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LETTERS for December 16 issue

December 16, 2010
Lahaina News
FISH AND CORALS LOVE ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS?

Thank you to the editors of a daily paper for having the courage to publish such a controversial and so Republican a notion that “Corals love sewage!” concerning injection wells.

There is a dire need for this discussion in our community, because the risks of not monitoring what is actually going down the drains, into our waste streams and into the environment where our children play is nothing short of irresponsible denial. The potential impact of these effluents on our health and the health of our reefs are dire and urgent.

Outlandish claims aside, nutrient loading or eutrophication is known by professional scientists to be a major part of the problem of degraded and declining reefs of Maui. Blooming alien species algae and declining herbivore fish populations also tell the story. But nutrient loading is only part of the story.

Unfortunately, this is a subject that most want to avoid by ignoring the consequences of our own daily action of flushing away the problems posed by human and animal excrement, by endocrine disruptors, by pharmaceuticals and other drugs, by cancer-causing chemicals, by pesticides and from toxic byproducts of sanitizing cleansers. All down the drain, out of sight and out of mind.

Wake up people! The U.S. EPA is demanding (by order of Jan. 27, 2010 to county Department of Environmental Management Director Cheryl K. Okuma) that the County of Maui “conduct sampling, monitoring and reporting, as set forth in Attachment A, pursuant to section 308(a) of the Clean Water Act...”

My understanding is that the director’s response is that such a study would cost as much as $1,000,000, so it is time again for foot dragging and gaming the system. Looking at the lists in Attachment A, I see no mention of the list of 134 endocrine disrupting chemicals just published by the EPA in the Federal Register on Nov. 17, 2010. So make that cost more like $2,000,000 if we actually want a comprehensive EIS of what is in the wastewater influent/effluent streams, including sludge/compost operations, injection well discharges and nearshore waters. It would also be interesting to know to what level these chemicals have reached drinking water production wells and surface sources (not required by EPA).

If estrogenic endocrine disruptors are prevalent in our wastewater effluent and discharges to injection wells, wouldn’t it be prudent to know this before the reef fish go gay and collapse due to inability to reproduce?

Now that Charmaine Tavares, Jeff Eng and Ellen Kraftsow have left their jobs without responding to our request, it is up to our mayor-elect, a water/wastewater expert, to step up and to take action to fully disclose this formally requested information and to protect our children’s water supplies. Or will it be business as usual, foot dragging and Republican-style denial?

THOMAS ALLEN CRAIG, Makawao



PROMOTE VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN THE SCHOOLS

School Board member Leona Rocha-Wilson wants to create a “two-path system,” in which students would be able to choose courses geared toward college or vocational training. This is an excellent idea, and we need our legislators to make it happen.

Let’s look at some current examples. We know there is a need for nurses and that thousands of students are turned away from nursing schools for lack of nursing instructors.

Lahainaluna High School used to have a flourishing agriculture program with corn and taro on campus; now there is barren land.

To have vocational training means we need more teachers to teach agriculture, wood shop, metal shop, auto shop, health care, computer technology, office management and home economics. These types of classes can prepare students for a future in construction, mechanics, office work and health care.

A bill supporting teacher training in vocational skills would give students a greater choice for their career path.

If you want to make this great idea a reality, contact Senator Roz Baker at senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov and Rep. Angus McKelvey at repmckelvey@Capitol.hawaii.gov.

EVE CLUTE, Department of Education, Licensed Teacher



MERRY CHRISTMAS!

If this is so, why do liberal and intellectual elements in America not want to say so? Tell me then, what these Christmas holidays stand for.

Yesterday, I searched Longs Drugs in earnest to find a card for my friends that had the words “Christ,” “Christmas,” “Holy,” “Sacred,” “Son of God,” and “The Day of our Lord” on the cover. Finally, I discovered one that proclaimed “Merry Christmas” (squeezed inside).

America has been celebrating the birth of Christ from the day the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth. The dogma of Christianity has been the cement securing the foundation for the ideals of our nation since its conception.

Merry Christmas to all — even “libbies” and intellectuals. I’m sure Christ loves them too.

RAY PEZZOLI JR., Kihei



NEW HOPE TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

The United States has made great strides to change the sickening attitudes and legal obstacles that for decades held women in the grip of physical and sexual violence, far too often with little recourse, while their abusers went unpunished.

But as a nation, we can go further. Congress has an opportunity to support efforts that exist in many countries to change the desperate plight of battered women by passing the International Violence against Women Act.

If it becomes law, this legislation would place efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women at the center of the U.S. foreign policy and the international aid agenda. For the first time, we’d take a comprehensive approach to a problem that is estimated to affect one in three women worldwide.

And we know that even beyond the awful physical and emotional suffering, violence against women wreaks a terrible economic toll by preventing women in developing countries from taking steps to fully support themselves and their families.

I urge you to contact your member of Congress to encourage him or her to support the bill.

Many of us know a woman whose life has been scarred by violence. Each of us has the power to speak out to help reduce the levels of violence globally and to create a more tolerant, safe, humane and just world.

The need is urgent. Millions of women all over the world suffer horrendous violence in all of its forms — acid attacks, rape, forced marriage, bride burnings. The good news is that there are local organizations that are fighting violence in their communities, from Capetown to Caracas. In some countries, new laws are needed to stop the violence. In others, more public education is needed to condemn the violence.

The International Violence against Women Act would support a range of efforts worldwide. Enacting the International Violence against Women Act would send a powerful message around the world — that the United States stands with those who will not tolerate the lives of fear and terror that so many women and girls experience.

The proposed law has strong bipartisan support in Congress and is backed by more than 100 diverse organizations, faith-based and secular, including Amnesty International, CARE, International Rescue Committee, Family Violence Prevention Fund, Jewish Women International, World Vision, Global AIDS Alliance, and Women Thrive Worldwide.

We know from our own experience in the United States that attitudes can be changed and laws can make a difference to prevent and reduce violence against women. We know we can make a difference to reverse this terrible crisis. And we owe it to women who are still suffering to speak up.

MARIBEL QUIALA, National Latina Health Network
 
 

 

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