Letters 3-2-14

There is much to love about Honokaa


There is much to love about Honokaa

This is in response to Dean Nagasako’s “So much trouble on Mamane Street” letter in the Feb. 28 edition.

Mr. Nagasako, I have lived on the Big Island for more than 33 years and in Honokaa for the past 14. I walk the street of Mamane every day as my job allows me to walk from one end of town to the other by way of running errands. Waves of hands and hugs abound, there is much love here. If you are having such a hard time in this town, please feel free to move away.

We have great respect for the businesses in Honokaa and your words convey damage to us. Please refrain from talking stink.

It’s folks like you who tear towns apart, not “beer drinkers.” Sure there are troublemakers, but aren’t they in every town? The police are quite aware of who is who and who is doing what. Action takes time, not negative words.

Your statement of beer destroying lives is no less than ridiculous and quite frankly much like “Reefer Madness.” Cigarette smoking is far more dangerous than drinking beer. Your statements are false and pretentious.

There is some truth about the illegal drugs however. As with a lot of towns and cities across America, unfortunately we do have ice. These kinds of drugs are the culprit of our youth getting into trouble, not beer or the adults who drink it.

Your comment of “people snap big-time frequently” is by far the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

This town is healing from past negatives and is growing quite nicely. We have a new skate park being built and a new playground for our keiki. Along with the Hamakua Youth Center and other after-school programs being put into place, this town is taking care of our youth as a village in spite of what you state in your letter.

Our quaint town of Honokaa is not being taken down by anyone drinking beer or doing drugs. In spite of what you are conveying, this town is safe and lively. With our First Fridays up and running, our Western Week and other events, our sleepy little town is waking up and dancing in the streets. Our annual Peace Day Parade and Peace in the Streets activities are much anticipated and loved by all who are involved and witness.

We welcome anyone to come and visit us to see that Honokaa is alive and well, despite what Mr. Nagakako writes.

Jeanne Keller


Farmer welcomes more GMO testing

In response to Bob Babson from Maui on why genetically modified organisms are “not researched on the mainland,” I must conclude he is either a conspiracy theorist, uneducated in the topic or some combination of the two.

My family farm in Wisconsin is approaching 10 years of working closely with Syngenta on testing and research of GMOs. So far I haven’t seen any “frankenfoods” walk out of my fields. Syngenta duplicates these test sites across the country and world because climates and soil conditions vary widely. Unfortunately, people like Mr. Babson don’t understand that in order to feed our planet’s growing population we need to embrace science and technology.

Personally, I look forward to having drought-tolerant corn, disease-resistant soybeans and nitrogen-fixing corn as choices for my planting season. These traits can reduce water needs, fungicide use and the amount of synthetic fertilizers needed to produce a crop.

I think it is incredibly selfish of people who oppose GMOs on the bases of the unknown versus what has already been scientifically proved. These advances in technology could be the difference between life and death for starving people.

Finally, Mr. Babson, the real reason they test GMOs in Hawaii is the warm winter climate allows them to collect two seasons of data from one calendar year. Sorry the facts don’t match your hysterical rhetoric. To read some facts about GMOs follow this link: nytimes.com/2014/01/05/us/on-hawaii-a-lonely-quest-for-facts-about-gmos.html?src=me&_r=2&.

Tom Bandt


Wisconsin farmer

People, not feral animals, are to blame

I am responding to the recent letter from Pat Hall regarding feral cats.

There has been a continuing dialogue about the problem with many letters in West Hawaii Today and there is no argument that it is in fact a serious issue. We have always enjoyed indoor cats as pets but have to keep them vaccinated for outdoor cat diseases since feral cats are everywhere it seems and could present a health danger to our felines should any contact occur. Cats are certainly predators by nature, to the detriment of Hawaii’s endangered bird populations.

Pat Hall’s letter describes feral cats as “an invasive species and a top predator that have been introduced into our delicate island environment.” However, it should be noted that cats did not book passage on steamships to vacation in Hawaii many years ago. They were “introduced” by presumably well-intentioned animal lovers bringing their household pets to the islands. Somehow some of the originally domesticated pet cats were abandoned, lost or whatever in the history of these islands. They became “feral” through no fault of their own and as members of a society that brought about the problem we have a responsibility to deal with it properly.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society is being unfairly singled out as the villain in Pat Hall’s letter, which seems to suggest that it should be euthanizing these cats because they are feral. The word humane in their name suggests they feel a different approach is appropriate. I encourage Pat Hall to continue supporting HIHS so it can continue its mission of caring for animals that through no fault of their own find themselves in dire circumstances. How a society treats its animals says a lot about that society.

I am not a member of AdvoCATS but I am impressed by the dedication of its members who daily take the time and spend the money to feed feral cats at such places as the Kailua Transfer Station and other sites. It is my understanding that the concept of trap, chip, spay/neuter and release if done consistently over time should result in a humane reduction in the population of feral cats. This will take resources to accomplish and as a society we should support those who are trying to mitigate a condition that we created.

We should be concerned that it is necessary to have signs at our transfer stations warning that “animals are not trash” so residents will not “dump” unwanted animals, which will only exacerbate the existing problem.

Hopefully a positive, solution-based dialogue will continue as we try to implement and support humane attempts to resolve the feral animal population issues that exist in Hawaii.

Tony Mitchell


Quit complaining about farmers market

Leave our farmers market alone. Prices will increase when you are concerned about the looks of the tent. Do not say close up the market. You supply the vendors with new tents, Mr. Inkster.

Do you expect me to drive to Kealakekua for my veggies and fruits and flowers? It is pleasant to shop under the tents and the sun too will not bake the veggies and fruits and flowers in Kailua Village.

The visitors who come from the cruise ship only shop in Kailua Village and enjoy the farmers market. They tell me, we are fortunate to have a wonderful farmers market so convenient for them and the residents. They are so amazed with the truck that brings the papayas to market.

They are only at the farmers market to shop for fruits, flowers and other gifts. The prices are excellent at this farmers market. Do not ruin them. Quit complaining.


B. Pontis