Kawainui Marsh: Outdoor Circle Wrong About Trails, Visitors
Dear Editor: October 13, 2013
Where in the world did the Outdoor Circle come up with the idea that planning for Kawainui Marsh "looks like DLNR might support a visitor destination modeled after Haunama Bay or the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) because they believe development and tourism will attract funding?"
That is totally bogus. DOFAW doesn't want that, they want habitat for endangered wetland birds as well as maintaining flood control capacity of the marsh. They are also interested in seeing more cultural uses and passive outdoor recreation around the border of the marsh. This may include hiking trails, educational signage, small parking lots as funding permits.
Also, the statement, "Before we get carried away with putting more buildings, roads, parking lots and trails in the marsh," Once again they are confusing readers by stating that it will be in the marsh. The marsh is now a state wildlife sanctuary. Construction of roads and parking lots in the marsh will not happen. Perhaps those concerned might read the DOFAW rules related to wildlife refuges which limit visitors to 100 persons per day. Nothing like Hanauma Bay or the PCC. They need to get their facts straight.
Example: "Trails will attract dog walkers and dogs can devastate the nests of endangered birds." The trails are proposed for the hillsides, not in the marsh. The dogs must be on leashes. The endangered birds do not nest on the hillsides. Predator control will be part of the wetland habitat restoration efforts.
The construction of the COE ponds at Kawainui below Castle Hospital, (not yet completed) has already resulted in a significant jump in the number of Hawaiian endangered birds using the ponds at Kawainui as habitat. DOFAW conducts community service projects there on the first Saturday of each month, go work there and find out first hand how hard it is to maintain wetland habitat in Hawaii.
Kawainui Marsh is an international treasure. As a RAMSAR wetland of international importance we should be supportive of efforts to restore the wetland habitat, and encourage once again, the cultural uses of this special place. Also, its value as an educational, recreational and research site will only increase in the future with the increased restoration efforts.
Rick Kaimi Scudder
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Let’s talk GMOs and pesticides
Dear Editor, October 12, 2013
Let’s talk GMOs and pesticides. First, the anti’s cannot prove or find any proven scientific harm from GMO plants. A fact. So, they jump on the seed companies pesticide use, conveniently forgetting that all farmers and homeowners use pesticides.
The anti’s intentionally inflate the usage numbers over many years to make it appear large. To illustrate: Did you know that since 1956 there have been 300,176 pounds of flying insect pesticide spray used in homes? Many of the occupants of these homes have been found to have cancer. We must ban all flying insect pesticide sprays now.
The anti’s then introduce legislation to ban all flying insect pesticides. They convince legislators, using lies, partial facts, fear tactics, and street demonstrations, to over-shadow the scientific evidence and sell the idea of banning flying insect pesticides.
The legislators, having little to no scientific understanding of the facts, and fear of not being re-elected, vote to ban flying insect pesticides. Businesses involved in the sale of flying insect pesticides go out of business and their employees go on unemployment. Welcome to the islands of Kauai and Hawaii.
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Letter from Fiji: Hard to Fathom how Households Will Afford new HMSA/Kaiser Rates
It is hard to fathom how the HMSA/Kaiser rates are going to work affordably in the average household. Let’s say you have the average sized family and the monthly premium is over $1,600.00 a month. That is almost a mortgage payment on a potential starter home. The average person with a family does not have that kind of income. Not only will it make home ownership impossible, but it is truly perpetuating an entire generation of latch key children where both parents must work just for health coverage. In the scheme of things how healthy is that for a family to have over worked, stressed out parents with latch key children with no one looking after them properly. Not to mention that their diet will suffer due to lack of funds. It all seems counterproductive to what health professionals laud as a healthy lifestyle.
Another scenario is an older person might want to retire a little earlier for fear that their Social Security may run out before they can collect or have done the math that if they live long enough they will actually collect more over the long term. That concept goes out the window if the only viable policy that works for someone their age is bordering $900.00 a month, that takes care of the social security check and they better have something saved for the deductible and then of course there is food which is nice to enjoy every once in a while and all the other expenses of being alive.
Hawaii wonders why it has a homeless problem? There is part of your answer.
People wonder why so many people are migrating out of the US. I live in Fiji now but one day will come back home to Hawaii. But even a poor country like Fiji gives all its citizens free medical. You have the option to go with Private, but otherwise like so many other countries in the world that actually care about their citizens and their ability to stay healthy and productive, health care is free or a visit might cost you about $1.25 US. Of course Hawaii’s medical facilities are better than Fiji’s . Maybe I better just contemplate staying here and hoping for a sudden death.
Here is another little secret from this poor country of Fiji. Take one of the zeroes off prescription drugs in the US and that is what they cost here..ie $100 in the US $10.00 US here, same brand same everything. To clean your teeth is about $1.25 again take the zero off for dental. Root canal about $150.00 if you go to a private dentist and I think it is around $30 for public dentist. For those that can’t afford it they even have traveling free dental clinics. I noticed that dental was not included in the HMO rates. The reason for the cheaper pharmaceuticals is when the patent runs out for a drug, any country like India is allowed to make it and sell it under the original brand name because it is the original product. So many of the drugs here come from India. You have to ask yourself if a poor country can do that for its citizens why can’t the mighty US do the same for its citizens?
Fiji is not the only country that does this for its citizens, the US is the exception when it comes to paying expensive health care premiums. I am sure the taxpayers would rather have their dollars go to socialized medicine with the option of privatized medicine for those that can afford it. In Fiji they are able to do this off a 15% Value Added Tax on most purchases that would be similar to what we consider an excise tax. I don’t know if most citizens would prefer a bump in their excise tax to have free medical, but that is one very simple way to achieve that fairly across the board. There are probably brighter minds than mine that could work it out.
Devils advocates may say the US spends a lot of research and development. Let’s pretend we take out the pharmaceutical lobbyists from the equation, a little tongue in cheek there since they are the most powerful lobbyists. Instead have a World research center that is funded by all the countries on a sliding scale, with all the brightest minds in the world working on research and development and sharing the knowledge. India who is not known for its wealth has a lot of medical developments occurring, almost every developed country is on a leading edge in one medical field or another, so why not put all those great minds together and share the knowledge in one big research institution .That is kind of what Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did, whether you are their advocate or not, the system worked. With the final outcome being to give the US citizens a glimmer of economic hope instead of living from paycheck to paycheck in fear of a catastrophic medical incident, while the majority is walking around quite healthy with the occasional cold or flu. Not to mention how a little more disposable income would help boost the economy instead of the HMO’s
If Hawaii decided to go for socialized medicine they could potentially do it on a statewide level instead of involving the Federal Govt bureaucrats who can’t even keep the doors open. If the state bumped up the excise tax by 5%, with 8 million tourists coming into Hawaii a year that spend a minimum of $200.00 a day and an average stay or 7 days, from visitors alone that would be a low average of 560 million dollars a year not including the daily purchases of the Hawaii residents that would probably be half that amount on a low average would be a billion dollars a year to cover the average person who may not opt for an HMO but are willing to pay 20.00 for a Dr visit and have a deductible. Taking the population of Hawaii and adding the numbers under the HMO plans if my math is correct is less than a billion dollars a year. There would still be those that would want privatized medicine who would not be a strain on the social medicine system.