Tuesday | January 24, 2017
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Letters 11-8-13

Safety check deal an excuse to raise fees

Michael Flaherty’s letter concerning vehicle safety checks that appears in the Nov. 3 West Hawaii Today is absolutely correct. This new edict coming down from the Department of Transportation regarding safety inspections was a done deal long before the public even heard about it. Asking for public input is a joke. Look how the public input charade over same-sex marriage backfired; overwhelming testimony against it but they’re gonna pass it no matter what the people want.

The safety check deal is nothing short of an excuse to raise fees and exert more control and power over the people from our beneficent government. Don’t you know they are protecting us and we should be happy to pay for it? Remember the state’s unfunded liability chit of $20 billion hanging over our heads. But of course, it’s OK to call a special session of the Legislature for a do-over on gay marriage.

The truth is, the vast majority of drivers in Hawaii have legally obtained driver’s licenses, we dutifully register our cars every year bearing the ever-increasing vehicle weight taxes, and I can tell you I have spent untold dollars in car repairs since the last safety check to keep my vehicle safe so the state insisting on photographing my car and my papers is not only excessive, it’s unlawful under the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures.”

The state already has all that information at the Department of Motor Vehicles and they have no right to photograph my car and my papers again and store that information somewhere for their future use (control). It’s an invasion of my privacy — another lost liberty, and it’s an expense the state has no business incurring given the sad condition of our economic affairs.

Michelle “Mike” Kerr


What’s to stop GMO seeds from blowing onto property?

Recently, I have heard several radio ads that have been anti-legislation on limiting genetically modified organisms in Hawaii, and supposedly supported by local farmers and ranchers.

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision where an Indiana soybean farmer was found guilty of using GMO seeds, which had blown onto his property even though the farmer had no wish to use any GMO seeds in the first place, I wonder if these same Big Island ranchers who supposedly support no limitations on GMO uses, have thoroughly thought through all of the potential ramifications of using these same GMO products to it’s end conclusion. What’s to keep some GMO company from developing a grass seed, spreading it around the Big Island, and then suing our ranchers when their GMO grass seeds are blown onto these same ranchers’ properties?

I await, and welcome a response from any GMO advocates who claim such an event is not possible.

Carl Merner


Kill Bill 113 and form task force

The anti-GMO Bill 113 puts the cart before the horse and will absolutely have unintended and unfavorable consequences for Big Island farmers.

Though we don’t grow GMO crops, I am always looking out for the best interests of our island’s farmers, agricultural industry, food security and food costs.

Bill 113 would allow farmers on the other islands to use biotech seeds —some being developed to adapt to climate change, and others to make plants resistant to fungus and viruses — but would prohibit Big Island farmers from doing so, which would make our local farmers noncompetitive, raise this island’s food costs and lessen, rather than increase, our food security.

Anti-GMO people worry that biotech crops are unsafe, but don’t seem to accept that every leading scientific and health organization in the world says they are safe. They worry about pollen-drift, but this has been widely studied and we absolutely know how to prevent it. And they ask about labeling GMO products, which I have no problem with as long as it’s not the farmers absorbing that cost. And what would we label? Only GMO papaya? What about all the GMO products coming into the state? Will we label cereal? Who’s going to pay for labeling?

Let’s kill this bill, and take the time to think all these things through. Let’s form a task force to come up with real and practical solutions that work for all of us and don’t cause serious problems in the big picture.

Richard Ha