Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 28, 2014

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund begins its Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach program on Hawai`i Island this fall with activities to introduce topics like ocean circulation, marine ecology and human impacts. Photo by Megan Lamson/HWF
INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATORS FOR PROTECTION of small farms, farm workers and the public from pesticides, GMOs and the taking over of small farms by corporate interests spoke at Pahala Community Center last night. The event was sponsored by Hawai`i Center for Food Safety; Pesticide Action Network, North America; Pesticide Action Network, Asia and the Pacific; The Ceres Trust; and Hawai`i Seed. The second of two presentations on the Big Island will be this evening at University of Hawai`i-Hilo in Room 1 at Wentworth Hall.
      Dr. Romero Quijano, a medical doctor, talked about his research as a physician into the causes of cancers, birth defects and other ailments where massive pesticide use, including aerial spraying, has blanketed farms and farmer housing. Much of his work has been done in the Philippines, his native country, and other Asian locales on banana, palm oil and other plantations, where protective gear and regulations are not as strictly enforced as in the U.S.
      However, he contended that pesticides everywhere get into the air and water and affect not only people nearby but the entire planet. He said that the highest concentration of pesticides in the breast milk of mothers is in the Arctic, far away from where it is sprayed.
      He talked about the need for public health officials, planners and physicians to look at health as the balance of the entire person, from their exposure to pesticides, to their living conditions, family and work stress and access to clean water. Giving people drugs when they show up with an illness is not the way to practice medicine, he said, and reported that studies of physicians show that they tend to be influenced more and more by pharmaceutical companies the longer they are out of medical school.
Dr. Romeo Quijano spoke on farm issues at Pahala Community Center yesterday.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Regarding genetically engineered or genetically modified organisms, Quijano contended that the GMO material can spread into the environment and that microbes that cause human disease can take up the resistance bred into the GMOs and make them more resistant to antibiotics and other treatments.
      He said that he takes issue with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approving of GMO crops as “substantially equivalent” when they look like the food that they are mimicking. He said that would be like saying two people are the same person because they have one nose and two eyes. He called the FDA approvals unscientific and called for use of the precautionary principle, to make sure food is safe before being marketed.
      Regarding land security for small farmers and the analysis of food production via large plantations versus small farms, Quijano said some analysts do not include the cost of mass-scale agriculture when it comes to pesticide illnesses, poor health in the community and environmental degradation. He gave examples of a mining project and a palm oil plantation destroying native forests, leaving the indigenous local people without their traditional source of food. “Of course they become less healthy” when their land, their food source and their way of living is disrupted, he said.
      Gilbert Sape spoke about community organizing and said that such issues need to be discussed not only on the United Nations level, where he is a negotiator, but at the local level. He talked about U.N. efforts on the Food Security committee of the Food & Agricultural Organization. He talked about the idea of responsible agricultural investments, which he said are difficult to negotiate. Sape said he also works on rights to the land and reported on indigenous Asian people going to court and proving their family has been using lands for many generations in order to be able to stay on land and farm in their traditional ways.
      Quijano talked about a small village where, he said, pesticides led to many cancers and deformities. He contended that it was organizing of the villagers that led to an eventual ban, almost worldwide, on a pesticide. He said he has been sued by a plantation where he was documenting the pesticide risks. It was painful; it cost him money, but, he said, it gave the cause more publicity and helped win the case.
      See more at www.panap.net, www.panna.org and www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Richard Abbett spoke on environmental issues at Saturday's candidate
forum in Volcano. Photo by Nalani Parlin
COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT SIX CANDIDATE RICHARD ABBETT, of Ocean View, discussed his work on environmental issues at Volcano Rotary Club’s forum held Saturday. He spoke of experience on the mainland working with water quality and wildlife as it relates to issues in Hawai`i, where he worked on nearshore water and reef issues. He said that in the Pacific Northwest, he was amazed at how salmon went from prolific to almost an endangered species. He said he operated a hunting and fishing outfit when the salmon habitat collapsed, damaging his business. He said he volunteered for Trout Unlimited, which took up the salmon issue, and became a lobbyist for the issue in the state of Washington and in Washington, D.C. He said he was involved in negotiations during the Salmon Wars in the late 1990s when Canada wouldn’t let American fishing boats travel through Canadian waters to reach Alaska for the wild salmon harvest there. 
Maile Medeiros David is one of three candidates vying for
County Council District Six. Photo by Julia Neal
      Abbett said he successfully worked to remove pesticides from waters where salmon spawn, achieving clearance of pesticides from 80 percent of the topical area of the state of Washington, then reaching into Oregon with the same project.
      He said that Hawai`i is 20 years behind some places on the mainland in setting policy and carrying out plans to protect resources. He said it takes community building, planning for 20 years ahead of time.
      Abbett promoted his idea of a green industry park, which, he said, would create three to four times the number of family-wage jobs than building an incinerator to get rid of the island’s waste stream. He said that transfer stations should change to commodity centers, and more of them should be sited around the island. Such places would have trash sorting and offer space to businesses that would make mulch and compost as well as recycle and upcycle building materials, metals, plastics and other discarded items, creating jobs. He said management of waste should include more education and outreach.
Jim Wilson will join the other two County Council District Six
candidates at a forum at Ocean View Ocean View Community
Center on next Monday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. Photo by Julia Neal
      Abbett also said he would support commercial garbage pickup operations that would be allowed to take trash and recyclables to local transfer stations rather than driving them to Hilo or Kona. The other two candidates also said they support legislation to allow the practice.
      See yesterday’s Ka`u News Briefs for forum coverage of Maile Medeiros David and Saturday’s for Jim Wilson.
      The three candidates meet at another forum Monday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WALK-IN VOTING BEGAN TODAY at Pahala Community Center. Registered Ka`u residents can vote weekdays through Thursday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
      The primary election is Saturday, Aug. 9.

HWF works with Ka`u's Imi Pono No Ka `Aina to
float microplastic debris from sand at Kamilo Point.
Photo by Megan Lamson/HWF
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND BEGINS ITS MARINE DEBRIS Keiki Education & Outreach program on Hawai`i Island this fall. MDKEO brings two marine science mentors into 20 different elementary schools to introduce topics like ocean circulation, marine ecology and human impacts like marine debris. Mentors work with Hawai`i Island teachers to coordinate relevant student activities that meet the math and science benchmarks and Common Core standards for the state of Hawai`i Department of Education in grades from kindergarten to five. These in-class lectures conclude with student presentations of potential solutions to reduce marine debris here in Hawai`i and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Basin. The program culminates with a family Beach Cleanup Day at local marine debris hubs including Ka`u’s Kamilo Point. 
      The program began with financial support from an HWF T-shirt fundraiser and will now be sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.
      For more information or to sign up a classroom, contact Catherine at spina.HWF@gmail.com. For more information about volunteering for the next Ka`u Coast cleanup event, contact Megan Lamson at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 769-7629. Find additional resources and details about HWF’s ongoing conservation projects at wildhawaii.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE DAVID IGE COMES TO KA`U today for a talk story session at the Pahala home of Marion Villanueva at 4 p.m. The address is 96-1174 Holei Street, on the corner of Pikake Street. Ige, Finance chair of the state Senate, is challenging sitting governor Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic Party nomination in the Aug. 9 primary election.

THE FORMER WORLD WAR II DETENTION SITE at Kilauea Military Camp is tomorrow’s topic of tours and screenings of the documentary, The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai`i.
      One-hour tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Showings of the documentary are at 1 p.m. at KMC’s Lava Lounge and 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium.
      The tours and film screenings are free. No registration is required. For tours, participants meet at KMC’s check-in area at near the flagpole. Park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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