Letters 2-18-14


Legislation fails to protect manta rays

This is in response to a Feb. 2, 2014, manta ray HB 1684 regulation article in West Hawaii Today.

Firstly, HB 1684 has no teeth. It sounds cool but does nothing.

Secondly, since the reef at the manta experience location is being decimated by the impact of sometimes hundreds of divers per night, this should be addressed in this bill, but is not.

Thirdly, the manta experience does nothing but harm manta rays, by altering their natural feeding habits and injuring them, as is evident by the multiple mantas with multiple scars from run-ins with humans at the manta night show.

Fourthly, the zoo-like atmosphere at the site is dangerous to divers, snorkelers and mantas alike. It’s an unnatural situation where all participating parties are in danger with boats coming and going at different times, negotiating tight quarters, dodging divers, snorkelers and mantas as they crisscross from one end to the other to get to where they want to be. Do we need a fatality to get action? Sadly, yes, most likely.

Fifthly, as is so often the case, these types of bills are floated through the House, as a formality, to give the appearance of an active and concerned local government, all the while knowing nothing more than lip service, at best, will ever come of it. Like our local dolphin encounters, that regularly harass our dolphin pods with impunity, the double standard will always exists wherever a cash cow lives. The hypocrisy of mock concern for our environment, the animals inhabiting it and our natural resources when it’s convenient and the justification for our actions when it’s not, is as despicable as ever.

Don’t get excited about anything coming of this. The dive and snorkel industries have long been protected by the state Senate and legislation, and will be able to continue to profit and devastate to their hearts content. This is just another in the never-ending parade of legislative-season genuflection.

Jake Brothers

Kailua-Kona

Farmers market part of the village’s charm

This is in response to David Inkster’s Feb. 9 letter. I’ve only lived here for 14 years and the downtown market was here then. I’ve always felt it was part of the charm. It’s established and probably so grandfathered in that it would be wrong to change the look. It’s open six days a week. Those vendors sell things for a dollar.

If you don’t shop there, why complain? If you want neat tents, stay Captain Cook or go to Keauhou on Saturday.

Going out on a limb, I’d bet that the church going up next door will be a bigger eyesore than some tarps.

Richard Allen

Kona