Wednesday | June 29, 2016
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Your Views for September 4

Don’t go to war

A message to our president and Hawaii’s delegates to Congress: I look to you to work every single day and on every single issue to resolve differences by other means than reverting to mankind’s greatest failure, war.

The only assurance of war is that the innocent will suffer and the profiteers of war will profit. No one questions the unspeakable cruelty that is occurring in Syria. I only question how we are addressing it. Will we ever learn?

Yes, a message must be sent that chemical warfare will not be tolerated by the humanitarian world, but to do this by war and cause more suffering to those of innocence is so self-defeating.

This message to you, Mr. President and our members of Congress, is to beg for some sanity in where we as a country are going.

On this 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” I wonder where we as a country would be today on civil rights if that leadership of peace was not there.

I wonder where we could be 50 years from now if leaders of our government work toward peace every single day, and identify this as their most important mission.

Harry Kim

Former Hawaii County mayor

Papaya and GMO

In its open letter, the papaya industry opposes my GMO legislation that generally prohibits the cultivation of GMO crops and plants. However, given the unique situation of the papaya industry here on Hawaii Island, my bill exempts the papaya industry from this ban.

The papaya farmers have a choice. Common sense says they should thank me for listening to them and in response revising my legislation so as to exempt the growing of GMO papaya.

Instead, they have allowed themselves to be placed in the role of spokesperson for the entire agro-chemical industry, arguing, in effect, that becoming just one more GMO-infested island is a good thing.

Yet, with so many international markets blocking GMO imports, and in light of the worldwide outrage against the corporate practices of the biochemical multinational giants, this island has an exceptional opportunity to become a source for many non-GMO crops, seeds and plants.

And to be sure, there are plenty of scientific studies available to raise concern about contamination and cross-pollination from GMOs and associated pesticides.

I suggest the papaya farmers meet with University of Hawaii professor and crop specialist Hector Valenzuela (who has raised concerns about GMO papaya) to discuss how to best chart their future.

Margaret Wille

Councilwoman for District 9,

North and South Kohala


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