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Your Views for April 24

Don’t blame sheep

On April 8, Earth Justice secured a court order to resume aerial eradication on Mauna Kea. Earth Justice argued that this action was necessary because the Department of Land and Natural Resources did not do any flying in the effort to exterminate sheep in 2012.

In a April 9 Earth Justice press release, Earth Justice estimated that there are 2,200 palila now left on Mauna Kea, an increase of 1,000 birds over the 2010 USGS survey. Was this made possible by virtue of no disruptive flights in Palila Critical Habitat during 2012?

The Polynesian and black rat are known to take a heavy toll on the palila. These rats eat eggs and also predate the adults, directly reducing palila population numbers. The primary predator is the feral cat, which destroys both adult and young birds, raising the question: Is the sheep really the main cause for the palila decline?

Additional palila predators include the Hawaiian owl, the Hawaiian hawk, plus wasps and ants, which prey on native caterpillars, a palila protein food source.

The massive removal of sheep through 2011, which has questionable effect of aiding the palila, has had serious adverse consequences. According to scientist Paul Banko in 2006, alien grass cover, not now being grazed, is suppressing mamane regeneration and greatly increasing the threat of fire.

It’s obvious that along with drought, the cats, rats, ants, wasps and perhaps fungus, are all contributors to the palila’s disappearance, yet they incriminate only the sheep! That singular emphasis on removing the sheep is adding to the threats being faced by the palila.

As Albert Einstein aptly communicated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Tom Lodge

Hawaii Hunting Association

Pick a new target

Instead of our government using taxpayer money to try to infringe on our Second Amendment rights, why don’t they ban smoking and cigarettes to make a difference with the 443,000 deaths per year from tobacco use? Or ban alcohol to put a stop to the 75,000 deaths per year due to alcohol use?

Why not draft a bill for stricter regulation, stricter background checks and a ban on street-racer-style modifications, since speed racing accounts for one-third of all traffic fatalities in our country each year (25,580 in 2012)? Or pass a bill to ban alcohol and have stricter penalties for drunken driving, since we lost 9,878 people to impaired driving in 2011?

But, no. They go after law-abiding gun owners, as if that will stop criminals from committing violent gun-related crimes.

Where is the logic? Can any of you liberals or Democrats out there please explain this to me?

Shawn Lathrop


Not a solution

With all due respect to Mayor (Billy) Kenoi, waste-to-energy technology is not a good solution for the county’s waste issue.

Waste-to-energy could just as easily be called “poison-to-air” technology. The island does not generate enough waste to adequately “fuel” the very expensive project. Shipping rubbish from Kona would be imperative, along with the viable possibility of barging waste from Maui and Oahu on the horizon. Recycling would be discouraged. Our air would be contaminated.

Let’s all work together and find better solutions.

Justin Avery



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