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Saturday, August 14, 2004
Ruling on biopharms was right for HawaiiU.S. District Judge David Ezra has courageously ruled that companies testing biopharmaceutical crops in Hawaii's open air must reveal the locations of these experiments ("Potential risks from biopharms need examination," Editorial, Aug. 9).
Members of the industry have failed to give the public any assurance that these experiments do not endanger people and environment.
The biotech industry uses jobs as enticement to gain support for reckless activities. Biopharmaceuticals are plants or animals genetically manipulated to produce potent industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, essentially turning organisms into outdoor factories. In Hawaii, corn and sugar cane have been used. Hawaii also grows seed corn for mainland farmers, thus jeopardizing the greater food supply along with local farms and gardens.
Earthjustice filed suit to pave the way for environmental impact statements, which logically should have been conducted before putting such organisms into Hawaii's environment.
Our economic future looks encouragingBecause of this state's excellent location, ideal climate and multicultural population, the outlook for Hawaii's future is very encouraging. With its rebuilding plan for Kakaako, the Ward Estate is an excellent example ("Ward aims for urban village," Star-Bulletin, July 28). We can't but feel excited that the estate will achieve its goal.
One concern is that the rich and influential will control Hawaii. We will not let that happen. The people will control Hawaii by electing pro-people legislators.
How Tim Chang
Promises to farmers remain unfulfilledAt a recent City Council committee meeting and later that same day at a Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board meeting, Lilly Wong and Jim Stone, who represent some of the Kamilonui Valley farmers, told the Council and the board about important promises made to the farmers in the early 1960s. Wong and Stone said the farmers were told that if they would abandon their prime farm lands, where the marina and homes are now, and relocate into Kamilonui Valley, the farmers would benefit from new roads, sewers and spillway. In keeping with the promises, landowners Kamehameha Schools gave the farmers new 55-year leases.
The promises were never fulfilled, the farmers said, and now the leases have only a short time to run and their farms are almost worthless. Seizing on the farmers' problem, a housing developer wants to build a huge development in the valley.
Wong and Stone, instead of demanding that the promises be fulfilled, try to lay it on the community. The promised improvements, if done now, would increase the value of the leases. Older farmers could sell their operations to young and able farmers. The farmers who want to keep going would benefit from the improvements.
This would be a win-win result for the farmers and the community who want to see Kamilonui Valley remain agricultural.
Don't fool around with new phone serviceOceanic recently announced that it will soon be competing for your telephone business. Don't be in a hurry to jump on the bandwagon.
Oceanic frequently introduces new technologies well before they are ready for prime time. Worse yet, early users have to pay Oceanic each month for a service that doesn't work as promised, and end up paying to identify problems that Oceanic should have fixed.
When Oceanic introduced its high-speed Internet access, I was one of the first to try it. My initial experience was a disaster, with repeated problems and poor service. I canceled my service and waited more than six months until they had most of the bugs worked out.
Oceanic should spend less to market technologies that are not market-ready, and spend more to make them work.
One candidate enlisted, the other stayed safeOne of the 2004 presidential candidates volunteered to enter a war zone in Vietnam as a naval officer. The other chose to join the Air National Guard, specifically expressed a desire not to be stationed overseas and did not consistently report for duty at his stateside assignment.
Fast-forward to 2004. The allies of the second candidate, George W. Bush, are conducting a campaign to distort the Vietnam War service record of the first candidate, John Kerry, much as they did with the military record of Sen. John McCain, who competed with Bush for the presidential nomination in 2000, and that of former Sen. Max Cleland, who lost three of his limbs in Vietnam.
Voters should clearly note that Kerry, scion of a wealthy Massachusetts family, expressly chose to place himself in harm's way in the service of his country while his opponent utilized family connections to stay home.
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