Not ready for plastic bag ban
Mr. Chair and Members of the Hawaii County Council: Feb 15, 2011
Aloha, my name is Lee McIntosh. I live in Discovery Harbour. I am not in favor of bill 17, which bans businesses from providing plastic checkout bags.
Rather than institute a ban at a time that will be difficult for businesses and consumers to adopt, I encourage the Council to adopt amendments that will support recycling, reusing, and using compostable plastic bags. Our society is not ready for implementing a plastic bag ban yet. The alternative, reusable cloth bags, are expensive, unhealthy, and have recently been found to contain high amounts of toxic lead.
I have several concerns about this bill:
1. The reasons listed are insufficient and could describe any number of items.
2. This bill violates policy in the General Plan to encourage the concept of recycling by refusing to allow plastic bags to be recycled.
3. Thorough research has not been conducted because no distinction is made between compostable and non-compostable plastic. Compostable plastic is plastic which is "capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an available program, such that the plastic is not visually distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials (e.g. cellulose). and leaves no toxic residue." American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM). In order for a plastic to be called compostable, three criteria need to be met:
- Biodegrade - break down into carbon dioxide, water, biomass at the same rate as cellulose (paper).
- Disintegrate - the material is indistinguishable in the compost, that it is not visible and needs to be screened out.
- Eco-toxicity - the biodegradation does not produce any toxic material and the compost can support plant growth.
4. This bill is anti-business by only targeting businesses.
5. This bill will place an additional burden on our limited police force by requiring them to enforce these measures.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on bill 17.
Discovery Harbor, Hawaii
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Prayer: Tsutsui shows lack of respect, humility
Dear Senator Tsutsui: February 12, 2011
It is with great disappointment that I have learned of your discontinuance of a prayer prior to opening the Senate’s daily legislative body. To my knowledge, such a prayer has been a tradition for every federal and state legislative body since 1779. The act of giving thanks to God and asking for wisdom in the forthcoming senatorial duties seems to me to be within the framework of sensible behavior.
As a person who was born and reared in Spanish B Camp in Puunene, it saddens me that my State Senator has demonstrated little respect for this long standing tradition, his constituents on Maui, and the unspeakable harm it has already done to the State of Hawaii itself.
You show a lack of humbleness Sir.
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Republicans, TEA Party must speak up against Pension Tax
Dear Editor, Feb 8, 2011
I fail to understand why the Republican Party and/or Tea Party don't make this new taxation of retirement funds and pensions a major issue and drive with large newspaper ads.
This is an opportunity to switch retirees, pension recipients etc from being Democrats to their party. Why aren't they doing it? It is a real chance of a lifetime to tip the balance in Hawaii from being nearly totally Democratic.
They should publicize the names of all legislators who push and vote for this. Seniors do vote.
George S. Lavenson, MD
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Assisted Suicide? “I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses”
Hello from Oregon.
When my husband was seriously ill several years ago, I collapsed in a half-exhausted heap in a chair once I got him into the doctor's office, relieved that we were going to get badly needed help (or so I thought).
To my surprise and horror, during the exam I overheard the doctor giving my husband a sales pitch for assisted suicide. 'Think of what it will spare your wife, we need to think of her' he said, as a clincher.
Now, if the doctor had wanted to say 'I don't see any way I can help you, knowing what I know, and having the skills I have' that would have been one thing. If he'd wanted to opine that certain treatments weren't worth it as far as he could see, that would be one thing. But he was tempting my husband to commit suicide. And that is something different.
I was indignant that the doctor was not only trying to decide what was best for David, but also what was supposedly best for me (without even consulting me, no less).
We got a different doctor, and David lived another five years or so. But after that nightmare in the first doctor's office, and encounters with a 'death with dignity' inclined nurse, I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses, for fear they'd morph from care providers to enemies, with no one around to stop them.
It's not a good thing, wondering who you can trust in a hospital or clinic. I hope you are spared this in Hawaii.
Kathryn Judson, Oregon
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Opponents of training flights are a disgrace
I am writing in regards to the proposed expanded high altitude helicopter training plans for the Big Island. Our priority as a community is that the safety of our professional warriors, our sons and daughters, always comes first. Quite frankly, those among us who do not are a disgrace to us all.
As maximizing and maintaining their war fighting skills is essential for their safety in battle, please know that we will support any necessary changes needed so that they will be as ready as possible to stand in to danger on our behalf. Whatever small sacrifices we need to make in this regards for them, it is nothing compared to what they do for us.
We are more than willing to put up with some changes and discomforts if it can assist them in what they need. This includes any other necessary modernizations of the training areas and ranges, also.
We do appreciate the military's ongoing sensitivity to our concerns, and reasonable accommodations for us are always welcome. But rest assured, we support our troops.
President, Conservative Forum for Hawaii
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Ewa Neighborhood Board Members upset over Bryan Mick Appointment
Dear Editor, 2-1-11
On Wednesday, January 26, the Honolulu City Council held a public hearing for eight of Mayor Carlisle’s cabinet appointees. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported on the appointments in its January 27 staff article, “Council OKs Hannemann Cabinet trio,” but interestingly nothing was noted in the article about the eighth person, Bryan Mick, who has been appointed to fill the position of executive secretary of the neighborhood board commission.
During the hearing, an Ewa Neighborhood Board member testified in opposition to Bryan Mick’s appointment. Councilmember Berg, a former Ewa Beach Neighborhood Board member, asked the testifier pointed questions about Bryan Mick’s alleged lack of communication follow through related to a complaint that was to be filed with the neighborhood board commission office.
Why didn’t the staff at the Star Advertiser include this news? And will the media be present for the executive matters and legal affairs committee meeting next week when Mr. Mick’s appointment is tentatively set for further discussions?
Note also that some members of the Koolauloa community are not happy with Bryan Mick’s appointment as evidenced by an additional communication submitted to councilmembers: http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-1539 M-0168(11).
UPDATE 2-3-11 Bryan Mick's nomination withdrawn >>> LINK
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HB331, SB246 extends leases for Kanoelehua Industrial Area
The Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, KIAA, is asking for your support of House Bill 331 and SB246. This bill would allow lessees in the Hilo Industrial area the opportunity for lease extensions. The current state leases are set to expire as early as 2016. After that, by state law these properties will go up for auction.
You may email letters to Cory Aguiar at the KIAA Office, firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax 808-935-9740.
If you have any questions regarding this Bill, please contact me at (808) 961-9090.
Mahalo for your help,
Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association Government Affairs Chair