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Letters to the Editor – 1/29/14

Sovereign state

In his column “Getting Sensible About GMOs,” Bob Jones hoped that after “this session of the Hawaii Legislature is pau, the current fad of claiming that genetically modified food poisons our bodies also will be pau … faded into the background chatter as did the idea of total Hawaiian sovereignty.”

According to the dictionary, the word fade means “to lose freshness or strength; to disappear slowly; to die out.”

For the record, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell addressed the 12th annual Native Hawaiian Convention in September 2013, saying, “The Obama administration strongly supported legislation that established federal recognition of a government-to-government (relationship) between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community.” Hawaiian sovereignty, therefore, is still strong enough to warrant a visit by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Wayne Hinano

GMO politicians

For once, rather than simply spewing venom, Bob Jones has discerned three important arguments in the GMO debate: 1) overspraying plants with built-in pesticide and herbicide, 2) seed and food control by the six biggest chemical corporations whose sole intent is profit, and 3) the need for labeling and our right to know and choose. The chart accompanying Mr. Jones’ column shows why the USA uses 25 percent of the world market of Roundup and is silent about its toxicity.

These are reasons enough for county, state and federal policymakers to pass good laws protecting the people, instead of being swayed by tainted campaign contributions which keep them getting re-elected. Time to vote the GMO politicians out!

Dr. Melissa L. Yee

Raise minimum

The minimum wage in Hawaii has been $7.25 for six years with no adjustment for a rising cost of living. Raising the minimum wage would put more money into our local economy. Workers would be better able to pay for food, rent, goods and services. Fewer workers would trickle down into homelessness and fewer workers would qualify for food stamps.

In Hawaii there is a scarcity of jobs that pay a living wage. This creates a large pool of low-wage workers with no union representation who are stuck with jobs with little chance of finding a better-paying job.

Our Democratic Party-controlled state Legislature could and should raise the minimum wage. Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country and, therefore, should have the highest minimum wage in the country.

Tom Jenner

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