LETTERS for the January 17 issue
Help end the government shutdown
It is time for every citizen to get involved. Our current government shutdown exemplifies the dysfunction that exists in our Legislative Branch.
Practices in the House of Representatives and Senate in place now are far from what our Founding Fathers intended.
Please read, sign and pass along my petition on Change.org to stop political gridlock in Washington: www.change.org/p/mitch-mcconnell-stop-legislative-gridlock-now-d26b226f-c39f-4c91-803b-d1cff4651ab0?recruiter=77149834&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_content=fht-14121550-en-us%3Av6.
BOB GRAYBOSCH, West Maui
Schools should serve healthy meals
I don’t care what kids say – the school lunch lady is not trying to kill them. The federal government is. It seems that way at least.
The agriculture secretary – who once joked that he wouldn’t be as “big” as he is without chocolate milk – recently rolled back a 2010 law requiring schools to serve more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and less salt.
Schools are again allowed to serve full-fat milk, hefty helpings of refined grains and plenty of salt, in addition to mystery meat and other unhealthy animal-based foods that contribute to obesity, diabetes and other illnesses that can harm our kids and our already overburdened healthcare system.
The government needs a lesson in good nutrition, and it should require schools to serve healthy – and tasty vegan meals. As the United Nations has pointed out, vegan eating is “the solution” to reaching climate action goals and improving our health.
If your child’s school doesn’t offer many vegan options, try packing vegan lunches. Vegan foods are cholesterol-free and generally low in fat and high in fiber and other nutrients. See www.PETA.org for free recipes that students will eat right up.
HEATHER MOORE, PETA Foundation
Advice for the West Maui Community Plan
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs)
Considering previous community plans’ failings, the West Maui Community’s vision may want to implement what Queen Keopuolani expressed so succinctly in 1823: “The Life of the Land is perpetuated in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ.”
Community plan ideals are found in the Bible. Here are some practical applications of biblical principles intended to inspire future growth planning.
Water is the source of life. Until empirical data is collected after restoring stream flow and agriculture, future development should be limited to permanent affordable housing and agriculture infrastructure.
Protect and preserve watersheds; restore native forests, agriculture, loi terraces and fishponds; protect the reefs; and provide shelter for the people. Unless drastic measures are taken now, we may miss the opportunity to achieve food security and provide housing that remains affordable for future generations.
Other important issues to address are fire safety, sea-level rise, traffic, infrastructure, open spaces and community parks.
AGRICULTURE: In response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ West Maui Watershed Study, implement the option of “Traditional Hawaiian Practices: Construct or restore loi terraces; use historically-proven methods and structures for sediment management.” Apply for loi farmer subsidies to implement this sediment management option.
Restore the historical ‘Alamihi inland fishpond in the flood channel where the Kahoma Stream meets the ocean at Mala Wharf. Historical preservation along with mitigating land-based pollutants from entering the ocean – work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore as much of the Kahoma flood channel to natural conditions while maintaining a safe flood control zone.
With the vast expanse of unproductive farm land, implement a master plan for agriculture. Feeding residents and the visitor industry, agriculture provides food security, sustainable employment and eco-tourism opportunities; recharges the aquifer; and protects scenic vistas.
Native forest restoration will help recharge groundwater and may have carbon credit advantages. Historically known for breadfruit groves, food-producing trees can capture moisture from the air to recharge the aquifer naturally while providing shade that lowers the temperatures.
Keep livestock away from streams and edible produce. Surround pastures with textile, bio-fuel and animal feed crops to prevent contamination of food and water for human consumption.
Rather than import 90 percent of our food, strive to provide local produce and livestock for 80 percent of our food supply and only allow 20 percent to be imported. Exported agriculture products would also help boost local economy and offset shipping expenses of incoming supplies.
Start restricting imports of food that can be grown locally. Explore funding options; see if major food suppliers would invest in Hawaii’s agriculture.
Find new ways to market farm-to-table products to make it profitable. Build co-ops for food storage and distribution. Place strategically processing plants, canneries, slaughterhouses and other agriculture construction to be the most cost effective and in compliance with environmental impact standards.
To be continued…
MICHELE LINCOLN, Lahaina