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LETTERS for the March 7 issue

By Staff | Mar 7, 2019

Go vegan for Lent

March 6 marks the beginning of Lent, the period before Easter, when devout Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.

The call to abstain from eating animals is as traditional as Genesis 1:29, yet as current as the teaching of evangelical leader Franklin Graham. Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army pioneers William and Catherine Booth, and Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen White all followed the divine call. Pope Francis has been offered a $1,000,000 donation to a charity of his choice to go vegan for Lent.

A plant-based diet is not just about Christian devotion. Dozens of medical studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases.

A United Nations report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented routine mutilation, deprivation and beating of animals on factory farms. Today’s supermarkets offer a rich array of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as traditional vegetables, fruits and grains. Entering “vegan” in our favorite search engine provides lots of suitable products, recipes and transition tips.



Inform motorists about Kihei roadwork

(The following letter was sent to county and state officials.)

In regards to the Kihei road construction going on right now, what a mess. No signage anywhere that in fact it is road construction. No alternate routes of travel given to the public.

Maui County should have been using a radio spot on KPOA after the surf report.

Yesterday, there was over a two-hour wait time for a Maui Bus at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. Traffic was backed up from Kihei Foodland to Kahului, and there is no public awareness of it.

This morning, going through Maalaea Town, a friend who lives in Lahaina and works in Kihei got off the Maui Bus talking to his employer, trying to explain why he will be late for work.




Rep. Case off to a fast start

While I was sworn in as Hawaii’s U.S. Representative only six weeks ago, both the 116th Congress (2019-20) and my office have gotten off to very fast starts.

National issues: Of course, Congress commenced in the middle of what turned into our longest federal government shutdown. This completely unnecessary disruption stalled efforts by many of us to find a better way forward in governing our country from the get-go. There was a glimmer of hope in our bipartisan agreement of a few days ago to fully fund government for the rest of this fiscal year while implementing reasonable border security measures. But the President’s next-day declaration of a national emergency will make it even harder not only to enact comprehensive immigration reform but to advance reasonable mainstream solutions to a host of other pending and upcoming challenges.

Congressional offices: Besides renewing and forging relationships with prior and new colleagues and addressing critical national issues, I have focused in these first weeks on getting my Capitol Hill and Honolulu offices fully up and running to assist me with my responsibilities to (1) contribute to national leadership, (2) assure that Hawaii’s needs are addressed by our federal government, and (3) assist you with your individual concerns. I am fortunate to have been joined by a great staff, all of whom have Hawaii roots and knowledge and many of whom are Capitol Hill veterans.

Committee assignments: Much of the work in Congress is done in its committees, and I was especially fortunate in my committee assignments. The Appropriations Committee is the oldest in the U.S. House and is one of the most powerful and coveted, as it is responsible for all federal discretionary spending and thus cuts across all issues. The Natural Resources Committee has broad jurisdiction over our public lands and waters, along with critical environmental, Native Hawaiian and other programs. Both committees, along with my participation in various caucuses and other efforts, provide opportunities to influence the legislative and administrative process toward achieving our goals.

As always, I deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve you and Hawaii in the U.S. House of Representatives, and truly look forward to your consideration and input. Mahalo!



Support the Green New Deal

Last week, President Trump mocked me and called me “crazy” at one of his campaign rallies for cosponsoring the Green New Deal. Coming from a climate change denier-in-chief, I’m not surprised.

The Green New Deal is an aspirational document with goals to address climate change, move our country to 100 percent renewable energy, create millions of good-paying jobs and put us on the path to a clean, sustainable future.

With the world’s leading scientists warning us that we only have 12 years to take drastic action and stop the very worst impacts of climate change – while extreme weather, wildfires and rising ocean temperatures and levels become more common – we need to take bold, transformative action.

But Republicans like President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other climate change deniers would rather bury their heads in the sand and continue our reliance on fossil fuels. Next week, McConnell is forcing a vote on the Green New Deal in hopes that it will fail miserably.

I need your help today. We need to show Democrats and Republicans that the American people deserve and demand congressional action on climate change, now more than ever before.

The more public support for bold action, the more likely it is that we’ll have enough cosponsors and votes to make climate action a reality.