The Road To Lava Viewing Site

For the sake of residents and vendors, keep the parking lot where it is (April 30, 2018)

I’ve walked the road with my visiting family and friends to the used-to-be-active lava many times, and found the small entrepreneurial vendors to be helpful and accommodating (“Big Island: The Days Are Numbered For These Lava Flow Vendors”). Why not keep it as is and speed up the licensing process?

Residents should not be exposed to more cars flying by their properties if the parking lot is placed at the end of the county road. Hilo government is becoming elitist with unpopular decisions concerning residents who struggle to earn a living. Hilo Farmer’s Market and the Kalapana road/vendors are indeed being hit with a heavy hand instead of being included in sensible solutions early in the process.

— Lorna Jeyte, Volcano

Was Constitutional Convention Really Hijacked?

Here’s a link to the actual Supreme Court decision (April 30, 2018)

A recent Community Voice article criticizes a Hawaii Supreme Court decision on the votes required to call for a state constitutional convention (“State Constitutional Convention Was Hijacked In ’96 — It May Happen Again”).

I include a link to that decision for those truly interested in why blank ballots are counted as no votes.

The opinion of the court quotes from documents and discussions of the 1950 Constitutional Convention which are very illuminating.

— Daniel Foley, retired judge, Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals, Kailua

Sunscreen Ban Long Overdue

The opposition is not based on science (April 27, 2018)

There have been many comments made by medical associations and the personal care product industry opposing bill Senate Bill 2571, all of them are based on opinion(s), not science (“Hawaii Seems Poised To Ban Coral-Damaging Sunscreen”). All of them cherry-pick the data from the American Cancer Society, but none of them explain that skin cancer “globally” has been on the rise since 1975, when sunscreens were first introduced on a large scale.

None of them tell you that oxybenzone contains a contaminant that is carcinogenic, or that octinoxate increases an enzyme in the skin that is involved in melanoma production, or that neither chemical helps stop the production of free radicals in the skin that can also cause skin cancer.

sunscreen, bottle, sunblock, oxybenzone
Sunscreens containing oxybenzone, such as this one, are the target of legislation. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

All of them tell you how more science is needed, but none of them have read any of the science papers in peer-review journals associated with this issue to understand what the science is. However, all of them do know that Dr. Downs’ work on coral is wrong, not reproduced and takes place in an unnatural setting like a “research lab” (just like every medicine/device/procedure that was ever developed for medicine that they use in their practices today).

Hawaii legislators have received testimonies from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, university professors and many more that clearly state that coral is adversely affected by sunscreens — especially in Hawaii.

Hawaii is an island state and coral reefs are vital to our culture, resiliency and economic stability. There are effective and affordable sunscreen products already on the market that do not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate. This landmark legislation is long overdue. We commend Hawaii legislators for their courage to defend coral reefs and their audacity to expect the personal care product industry to eliminate proven reef-toxic chemicals from the sunscreens they market in Hawaii.

— Joe DiNardo, Vesuvius, Virginia

Use TAT Revenue To Protect What We Have

We don’t need to advertise Hawaii; it’s already well-branded (April 27, 2018)

It looks like 2018 could see 10 million tourists arrive in Hawaii (Southwest Airlines may start flying here this year). Money from the transient accommodations tax should go to preserving and maintaining our beaches, trails, state parks, watersheds and wilderness areas. A significant portion of the TAT goes to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Some of that needs to be used for protection of what draws tourists here in the first place.

I’ve maintained trails on Oahu as a volunteer for over two decades. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on Kuliouou Ridge, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Wiliwilinui Ridge and Manoa Falls Trail, repairing and replacing steps and water diversions. I cannot keep up with the foot traffic. There are not enough resources going into maintenance on state trails.

Senate Bill 2446 would have partially addressed this situation, but it died in the Legislature.

As long as we are dependent on tourism, we need to spend more money on our aina. Hawaii is incredibly well branded as a tourist destination. We don’t need to advertise Hawaii; we need to protect it.

— Randy Ching, Honolulu

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