Letters to the editor: 04-19-19

Science, not lawsuit, needed in coffee fight

The recent lawsuit filed on behalf of three small Kona coffee growers against coffee suppliers and coffee retailers is completely misguided. They contend that this litigation will benefit the estimated 600 to 1,000 growers of Kona coffee on Hawaii.


They argue that suing the companies that market 100% Kona coffee will stop “fake Kona coffee” from entering the market and prices will increase. Something is not right here. Making companies like Amazon, Costco, Walmart, Safeway, ABC and others defendants in this lawsuit makes no sense. They are customers and retailers that sell 100% Kona coffee for farmers. They should not be defendants. This is like biting the hand that feeds you.

There will be unintended consequences from this lawsuit and farmers stand to be hurt. In the 1993-1996 year period, fake coffee was imported and sold in the market as 100% Kona coffee. The fraud was discovered, there was a trial, and the perpetrator served prison time. This became known as the Kona Kai coffee scandal.

Negative publicity from the case tarnished the reputation of 100% Kona coffee. It hurt the industry as coffee marketers lost confidence in the 100% Kona brand. Green Kona coffee prices tanked and it took more than a decade for prices to recover from this negative scandal.

One basis for the lawsuit is that scientific testing is now available to be able to determine coffee origin. If modern chemistry can provide an answer to coffee origin, why not incorporate this “silver bullet” into the State of Hawaii Kona coffee certification program?

This will strengthen the 100% Kona coffee brand and improve market confidence that retailers are selling a scientifically certified product. Forget the ill-conceived lawsuit that is fraught with unintended consequences, and implement science that will strengthen the 100% Kona coffee brand. This will benefit coffee growers.

Ray Anders


Advocats doing yeoman’s work

Thank you for the piece on the Lanai cat sanctuary, but it would be nice to cover the local cat scene. The HIHS is killing at least a 100 cats a month while the spay/neuter program is doing what?

Meanwhile, Advocats is celebrating 20 years of trapping and spaying and neutering over 21,000 cats. Their mission is fewer, healthier, happier cats. Why isn’t the county and community stepping up and helping instead of ignoring, or worse harassing, those who are trying to do the right thing?

It’s hypocrisy talking about aloha and being pono when this is going on. Advocats holds spay/neuter clinics once a month in Kona and periodically in Ocean View.

WHT, I have trapped cats in your parking lot years ago so you’re welcome.

Margie Wolfe


What have we learned since Columbine?

Since Columbine, 20 years ago, 230,000 American students have experienced a school shooting.

Is this because Americans are very slow learners (compared to New Zealand, for example)?

Or, is it an example of how rich lobbyists control our country (NRA)?

Or, any other ideas?

Do we hang back until our own children are victims? Gun ownership in Hawaii is twice the number of the people who live here. Are we smart gun owners like Switzerland or is the tragedy clock ticking?


JoAnna Wyss

North Kohala