Your Views for May 18


Restrict GMOs

I remember my grandma in Honolulu lovingly holding a Kapoho papaya. I live on Hawaii Island now, and find it difficult to find that beautiful, large, old-style papaya. A 67 percent contamination rate from GMO papaya is too high; too high for other papaya farmers, too high for them not to be assured that if they do, their traditional papaya will not be contaminated. Besides, are there any pure seeds left?

Dr. Dennis Gonsalves states in your GMO article that if a fruit of a non-GMO papaya tree is contaminated by GMO pollen, only the seeds of the new fruit are contaminated, not the tree. True enough, but no one told consumers not to toss those seeds into their compost or not to save those seeds and plant them if they don’t want true GMO papaya trees growing in their neighborhoods.

He suggested that due to their containment protocol, there was no contamination risk. When contamination was revealed through statewide testing of papaya, he shifted the burden of preventing contamination to non-GMO papaya growers, telling them to spend precious time from their labor-intensive days, to just bag their flowers.

GMOs contaminate, and if the door to Hawaii Island is left open, we will face a situation where contaminated farmers will get no help from the county, state or federal governments. The USDA recommends that farmers at risk of contamination buy crop insurance, shifting the burden again to the victim, and contaminators continue the contaminating behavior.

See for yourself that the well-written Bill 79 by Councilman Margaret Wille allows for GMOs already on the island, and sensibly has them responsibly register and contain their GMOs. The folks against the bill want unrestricted, free reign with whatever organisms they bring in — plants, seeds, trees, algae, fish, vaccines — and that is not acceptable.

Merle Hayward

Hilo

Legalize it

My issue is the legitimacy of medicinal marijuana. Day in and day out, I see the medical use of marijuana being bashed by news stations everywhere. Why should marijuana not be a substitute for morphine, Codeine, and other narcotic drugs? Marijuana is all-natural.

This issue affects people because there are some patients at risk of losing their medicine, mainly due to false allegations and stereotypes. Many say that medicinal marijuana is being overused and is an excuse to get “legal weed,” but on the contrary, a medical marijuana permit cannot just be prescribed to any one and everyone. Those with a debilitating or serious illness can be prescribed marijuana, such as cancer, glaucoma, tumors, insomnia, etc.

Action is necessary because many patients are at risk of losing their medication and would have to go back on narcotic drugs that for some are just not effective or take a physical toll on their bodies. Why cant marijuana be a legitimate substitute for heavy narcotic drugs that harm our bodies in more ways than it helps?

A realistic solution to this issue would to legalize the use of marijuana.

Our government is in economic downfall and drought. The tax collection on marijuana sold by dispensaries would be a large step in reducing our deficit, which is is currently at $16.7 trillion as May of 16.

Josh Perry

Honokaa

Fake surplus

Gov. Abercrombie’s $300 million budget surplus is a fake “paper” surplus. The reality is that the state has a massive deficit of at least $483 million! The state’s Employee Union Trust Fund and Employee Retirement System both have a $15 billion and $9 billion shortfall, respectively. Also, there is a $461 million backlog in needed repairs at the University of Hawaii, of which only $37.5 million will be made up this cycle. So, how do you “create” a surplus when state finances are so fragile? Simple! You just don’t pay your bills!

The state needs to be paying $1 billion every budget period to eventually make up for those EUTF and ERS shortfalls for about 30 years. However, it will only pay $217 million this period — far too short to address the disaster. This is like shorting your mortgage payment so that you can claim to have savings or a surplus of cash.

Also, if you accept that the state has “shorted” the UH by not repairing and maintaining to the full $461 million in backlog, then the deficit rises to $906.5 million (hopefully, no building collapses like the state’s Farrington High School Auditorium did).

The concept is easier to see if compared to a family’s household budget. You can increase your savings at the end of the year by simply not paying to repair and maintain your home and by making only bare minimum and insufficient payments to your credit cards and mortgage. Quite simply, not paying your bills can temporarily build you a savings account, or in the state government’s case – a “surplus.” However, there will be disaster right around the corner as your home crumbles and your debt goes out of control.

To very loosely paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “If you fool enough of the people enough of the time … .”

Leighton Loo

Honolulu

 

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