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LETTERS for April 7 issue

By Staff | Apr 7, 2016

Hawaii must grow more food

The assumption that all meat comes from “factory farms” is incorrect. People have a choice to buy organic, grass-fed meats. In Hawaii, most meat producers have to rely on a grass-fed base. Importing grains is not only expensive, it’s impossible to be sure it’s a safe product. Additionally, a recent letter writer would postulate that animal husbandry is a major contributor to pollution and global warming. I suppose all those beautiful pastures on Haleakala are a major eyesore, polluted and contributing to CO2 emissions. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Long before man, the Earth was covered with grasses and animals. They grazed, lightly rolled the earth, their manure fertilized naturally, and they moved on, only to return when the land had returned to a state of fullness to repeat the process. Modern intensive grazing systems mimic this cycle. It is the basis for the grass-fed industry.

The Savory Institute, a world leader in this concept of integrated animal care and soil science, currently oversees the Hana Ranch agriculture operations. The carbon is kept in the soil, unlike the vast wasted lands of old agricultural plantings sitting idle, creating a fire hazard and a carbon-emitter.

These islands sustained over a million indigenous Hawaiians – 100 percent self-sustained at one time. It is time to work toward that now, not 99 percent imported food. Give the food producers tax breaks or no tax on production; let people farm the unused lands. Teach the children the importance of growing food. Tourism should not be the only driver of our island economy, nor development. We need a balance.



Columnist’s demands on signs ignored

You gotta love Norm Bezane and his never-ending demands for change. It appears that he’s been elected president of the Pacific Ocean. A few years ago, the highway was widened through the south end of Lahaina. A cement wall was added at the Prison Street intersection. President Norm demanded, “Take it down!” It’s still there.

Last year, he was upset with a radar system on the Kaanapali Parkway, a private street, that displays the not always accurate speeds of passing vehicles. “Take it out,” he demanded. It’s still there displaying inaccurate speeds.

Now he’s taking on a Windy City company that owns Whalers Village, claiming they ” disrespect our unique approach to how things are done.” It appears that Norm wants the Night Marchers to come in every night, do some remodeling and then disappear with no evidence of their overnight work before the first tourist shows up in the morning. That WOULD be pretty unique.

He’s also upset by new signs. Based on Norm’s track record, the signs will still be there five years from now, unless the dope who got busted by the North Koreans for snitching a banner gets out of jail and stops off on Maui on his way home.



Housing requires proper planning

There is a significant shortage of affordable housing on Maui. I feel housing, like food, healthcare and safety, is a basic that should be provided to all citizens in a civilized society.

However, housing requires proper and safe planning. Housing should not be rushed through solely to garner extraordinarily valuable tax credits. Gaming the system in attempting to recoup losses on poor land purchases should not be at the expense of those seeking affordable housing, or adjacent communities.

The recently hastily approved 33-unit Kaiaulu project in Kaanapali (10-h), being squeezed in on a hideous tract of land previously zoned as light industrial, is a flagrant example of these pitfalls.

The project borders a water treatment plant, maintenance yard and a very noisy highway, and it’s surrounded by innumerable power lines. The terrain is deemed suitable for the poor but grossly inadequate for more fortunate homebuyers.

This required a special variance for a dangerous single-road access from the fire department (also conveniently sped through the approval process despite objections). “Affordable” is one thing; livable and safe is another. Maui and the Land Use Committee should take a closer look at the Kaanapali 10-h project and more carefully scrutinize similar projects.

GARY WEISS, Kaanapali


The GOP: Cowardice in high places

Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz; so do Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney. Chris Christie endorses – in fact, practically fawns all over – Donald Trump. Ben Carson suddenly thinks Trump would make a great president, in agreement with Vladimir Putin of all people. Paul Ryan bemoans the sorry state of his party’s campaign but refuses to name names and implies he’ll endorse whoever wins the nomination. The national chairman of the Republican Party likewise indicates unhappiness with the candidates, but says he’ll endorse whoever wins. John Kasich appeals to reason, but nobody is listening. Who will he endorse when he finally drops out?

These guys are cowards, pure and simple. They have no principles, no scruples – only a skewed sense of party loyalty that communist party apparatchiks would surely appreciate. Rather than refuse to endorse either of the two frontrunners, they abide by a bizarre tradition of accepting their fate, holding their noses and supporting candidates they have called – and who have called them – every name in the book. Sure, they say, Trump and Cruz are “con artists,” bigots, bullies – but at least they are our terrible people. And, oh yes, they’re loyal conservatives.

Now I’m not so naive as to believe that the endorsers really mean what they say in support of their suddenly wonderful candidate. Nor do I believe the fence-sitters like Paul Ryan when they say (as Ryan did say) that we need to “raise our gaze and aim for a brighter horizon.” All of them are self-serving, jockeying for position, probably with an eye on winning or keeping a job in the next Republican administration. They are desperately trying to show that even though they have some problem with Trump and Cruz – hey, nobody’s perfect – they have an even bigger problem with Hillary Clinton. So they content themselves with supporting the “lesser evil,” or opting (like Ryan) for neutrality.

Let’s not leave this sorry lot without also noting that Trump and Cruz are cowards, too, though they mask their insecurities with bravado. They will never acknowledge their race- and gender-based hatreds, their moral deficits, their constant lying, or the real impact of their policies (or what passes for policies) on everything from military strategy to social programs and the environment.

History will record that when the Republican Party disintegrated, undone by two demagogues who represented depraved values and dangerous ideas, no one in the party dared to directly challenge and repudiate them. Instead, party leaders pretended that the demagogues’ views might somehow be toned down by wiser advisers or by the realities of power. Now that’s naivete!

MEL GURTOV, PeaceVoice