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Politics // Just Thoughts
Bob Jones

GMOs, Mopeds, Waikiki Peddlers

GMO tomatoes. Photo from Bob Jones

You’ve been reading those pros/cons and inbetweens on the Star-Advertiser‘s op-ed pages about genetically modified foods known as GMOs – the O is for organisms. They resist crop disease, have longer shelf lives and can be reshaped and re-colored.

Many eaters and environmental organizations hate them. They say they haven’t been tested long enough to know if they do harm to humans or if their blowing seeds contaminate nearby non-GMO fields.

Most big farmers and supermarkets love them. We’d be lost to ring-spot papaya disease here without a genetic modification. We might have to offer supermarket tomatoes still green without a GMO variety. And now we’ll have an apple that doesn’t turn brown after it’s been cut.

But I agree with those who say we consumers should have a choice about what we eat. I don’t have a problem with any GMO product but maybe you do. So label them. The USDA keeps resisting that. GMO farmers too. They think it will frighten people.

We demand ingredients and fat and sodium content. Why not a GMO label? Or a “this has been irradiated” label? It’s just consumer information. Just saying no is not sensible in this instance.

Now that bus service is being curtailed, maybe it’s time to think moped.

We like the independence a car gives us. We can go almost anywhere if we can afford the gasoline. But there’s also the cost of insurance and repairs.

Bike? I had one in 1994-95 but it took me too long to get places, and I’d work up a sweat, which is not very presentable.

So I switched to a moped. Now I wish mopeds would get hard-wired into Hawaii culture. You can get one for under $1,000. You get 60 miles to the gallon, and do 30 to 40 mph on a level roadway. Park free anywhere.

Yes, you must ride carefully. And the most common moped fatality report says “rider was not wearing a helmet.” Anyone who does not is a moron.

The weather is perfect for mopeds. Rain seldom cancels riding. I could ride then, but I’m loathe to moped on slick roads. Use the bus. And I’ve yet to find the hilly street mine won’t climb.

The city should require more than a one-time $15 license and subject them to safety checks. I see too many mopeds with bald tires, no tail lights, and overly loud mufflers. I’d hope manufacturers will design engines that are less polluting and quieter.

Mopeds R Us! It’s worth considering.

By now you surely know that I am pro train. I’m not worried about the cost or the agreed-upon ugliness. What I am worried about is the running of the train.

We will have it. Not even 19th Century Ben can halt it at this stage. Only the feds can by denying us money. But in my 50 years residence here I’ve not seen the City run very much very well.

I’d feel better if we built the train and leased it to private enterprise to run. Not even an MTL/TheBus non-profit situation. A for-profit company abetted by our transit subsidy. I’d feel much better.

Yep, they’re still there: the Waikiki street sellers in the popular 2400 block of Kalakaua Avenue. Now it’s a jewelry peddler and a surfboard renter on the sidewalk as police walk and bike-ride by.

The mayor pays lip service to clearing the sidewalks, but action? Not so much. How many years have we had those nighttime sidewalk merchants who sell rent-free on public property all along Waikiki’s mauka sidewalks?

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