Water is the key
Referring to your Oct. 5 article, “Drought crushes beef industry”: As a rancher/farmer I say to that headline, “I don’t think so.”
I recently slaughtered grass-fed/catchment-water Kobe beef cattle that averaged 800-pound carcass weight, all with natural rainfall. At a recent tour of Richard Ha’s farm in the Hamakua area, Richard stated the reason for locating his farm where he did was “water.” It is not rocket science to know that ranching/farming does not exist without a consistent year-round water supply.
You do not ranch/farm in a desert, yet many ranchers/farmers on Hawaii Island have obviously not done their due diligence and chose desert over water. It is not too late for current desert ranchers/farmers to do their due diligence and locate where that all-important water is available. Thousands upon thousands of acres of underutilized ag land are available on the water-abundant windward side.
Two other thoughts on the subject: Raising animals anywhere, to eat, has tremendous environmental impacts. The solution? An organic vegetable, fruit and grain diet — vegetarian.
The other is the taxpayer subsidy for ranchers/farmers. There should be no taxpayer subsidy. If we ranchers/farmers do it right, we do not need, nor do we want, taxpayer subsidies to run our businesses.
Kim should respond
An open letter to Harry Kim: Not long ago, you got an endorsement from James Weatherford, former candidate for the Puna County Council seat. Today (Sept. 28), Mr. Weatherford published a viewpoint article in the Tribune-Herald which many consider to be a smug, hateful rant regarding the problems with geothermal development in our neighborhood.
I recommend that you read it and publish a response to the opinion piece in a viewpoint article of your own, expressing your honest assessment of the piece (and your assurances that you will never appoint this man to a position in your administration, should you get elected as mayor) in the Tribune-Herald before election day.
I viewed online a presentation that you made at Leilani Community Center, where you never overtly expressed the sentiments I read in Weatherford’s piece. But we out here in the boonies — “victims” at the mercy of “corporate greed” and “bureaucratic cronyism,” as you at least implied in your presentation at Leilani — would like to know where you stand regarding your supporter’s claims.
I would also suggest that you ask him to apologize to the people who have sacrificed a lot of time and effort to keep our enclave of neighbors together in these difficult times. Believe me, it does not help to have accusations such as Weatherford’s expressed from the back bench while people are doing all they can, with the help of many others, to find solutions to the problem — not be part of the problem, like Weatherford. Kokua the effort, if you feel so inclined.
Carmine Spada’s rant on welfare (“Your Views,” Sept. 28) — explaining Hawaii’s increase in welfare recipients as resulting from the offspring of current recipients learning to use and abuse the system — cites not one fact, not one, in support of his argument.
Were Spada to look at a few of the facts in April’s report on “The State of Poverty in Hawaii,” for example, he’d find that there’s been a sharp increase in homelessness (11 percent) in the last two years, with 42 percent of all homeless people being children. He’d also see that in the two years between 2008 and 2010 there was a 13 percent increase in families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and a 39 percent increase in food stamp enrollees since 2007.
Gosh, note the dates associated with these increases in poverty indicators: They all begin in 2007 or thereafter. A sudden increase in the number of welfare recipients’ offspring, for which there’s no evidence? Or, the widespread impact of an economic depression judged by most economists to have begun in December 2007?
Come on, Spada, don’t make stuff up. Get informed.
We need jobs
The Tribune-Herald on Sept. 20 reported that the Big Island welfare recipients have doubled since last year. And, in addition to that, 17.4 percent more received food stamps. That is a huge increase, and it makes one wonder: How long can not only the county but the state continue to keep up with the continued increases? Sooner or later something is going to have to give.
Training programs would be good, as it would help some to get jobs and be self-sufficient. We need leaders for that.
Now, the good news was that the unemployment rate had dropped by a full point, going from 9.2 percent to 8.3 percent (Tribune-Herald, Sept. 21). I bet that made the governor happy, because with his leadership, people are finding jobs. Or, is it because there are no jobs and those who were looking for work have given up and gone on welfare? Logical.
I hope in the next election we will elect builders and not talkers, people who will take our need seriously to create jobs in the private sector. We have the manpower, we have the space. What happens in the future is up to you.