WEST KAUAI AND LOCAL ISLAND RESIDENTS
URGE COUNCIL TO “HOLD STRONG FOR KAUAI”
KAUAI LOCAL OHANA, EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, FISHERMEN, TEACHERS, SIGN MESSAGES OF ALOHA, UNITY AND CONCERN
FOR KEIKI AND AINA
WEST / EAST / NORTH KAUAI and LIHUE – On the eve of the Kauai County Council meeting to vote on the override of Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s veto of Bill 2491, a broad and significant showing of longtime local Kauai residents, particularly from west Kauai, are formally urging the Council members to “stand strong” and “hold steady” on their approval of Bill 2491.
Rapid Action Reveals Widespread Local Ohana Support of Override.
In less than 36 hours, groups of concerned residents, particularly from Ele’ele westward to Waimea and Kekaha, amassed hundreds of signatures from neighbors, family members, and friends, urging the Council to “hold steady” and vote consistently for Bill 2491 to be passed into law.
“These are the families and ohana that have been watching from the sidelines, observing and learning up to now,” said John A’ana, a taro farmer, retired fire captain, father, hunter and fisherman, “They realized that it’s now or never, and so local families are stepping up. They’re not afraid. They understand that their kids’ and grandkids’ lives, and the health of their fishing waters and hunting lands, depend on this.”
A Garden Island poll, created on November 10, supported this showing of significant public expectation for an override of Bill 2491, reporting, after 3 days, a consistent sentiment (currently 66.5%) that the Council will override the Mayor’s veto, with only 10% feeling that the Council will not.
"The chemical industry has been trying to play up the idea that this is a 'vocal minority,' but most local people really want to know what these companies are spraying on our island." said Lois Catala, who grew up on the west side.
Excerpts from letters sent to Council Members include:
From approximately 100 first responders, including lifeguards, emergency medical responders, and fire fighters, as private citizens, encouraging county legislation:
One of the most important tools needed for us to do our job is timely and accurate information. A comprehensive record of the chemicals being used in and around our communities by large-scale industrial agriculture is vitally needed. How can we ensure the health and safety of our communities without this vital information? ...Protecting the health and safety of Kaua’I is our kuleana.
From dozens of multigenerational fishermen - fathers, sons, and grandsons:
Our shoreline and reefs are our refrigerators, they have been feeding our families since our ancestors first set foot on Kauai. According to the labels on the restricted use pesticides, most are dangerous to fish and wildlife, and they are restricted from being used near waterways.
We need to know whether pesticide runoff is affecting the fish and reef populations that sustain us, and we would like to know immediately…We need to know whether the waters can sustain continued fishing and gathering now and for future generations.
We are proud of your vote, and urge you to stand by this approval for the health and safety of our children, wives, and families.
From dozens of respected west side kumu, educators, and community leaders, some with family and friends employed or contracted by the biotech companies:
Some of us have spent a lot of time helping bring up our younger generations in healthy and safe environments.
Now we are counting on you to protect the health and safety of west side families.
We are counting on your consistency in standing up for what you voted for on October 16 when you approved the mandatory disclosure of restricted use pesticides that are applied in west Kauai near our homes and schools. We care very much about our entire community and the children of ALL families on the west side.
As one west side grandfather said, “When the old families and residents of Kaua’i, especially our island’s west side multigenerational westside ohana, protectors of our safety, and the west side’s hardworking fathers, grandfathers rise to say something together, we mean it.”