Your Views for December 24

Use mauna for ag

Dear Tribune-Herald, Gov. David Ige, and Mayor Harry Kim: With all the fuss about the Thirty Meter Telescope and the ki‘ai at Maunakea, why not put the mauna to better use than the telescopes?

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I think it is great to study the stars and try to find out what happened at the dawn of creation or the Big Bang, but what are we doing for the people of Hawaii as far as land use? Right now, we rely on the mainland for most of our food. Why not use Maunakea for agricultural use?

A friend of mine said that he went up the mauna before all the TMT “fuss” and found an apple orchard growing and flourishing up there. Why don’t we plant more apple trees? The cold temperature is just right for apple growing!

And why not encourage more food-growing and production up there and on this island?

A few years ago, Matson was threatening a strike. Thankfully, there was some agreement at the bargaining table, and a strike was avoided. But what if there WILL be a strike? It’s not a matter of if, but when!

We cannot continue to rely on the mainland for food and resources forever. Just to keep prices down for food and commodities and be eventually self-sufficient, we need to start taking action NOW and start producing more of our own local food and locally made commodities. No to TMT, and YES to better use of Maunakea and the ‘aina!

Stan Aoki

Hilo

Coqui vs. mosquitoes 2.0

I was delighted to read the column by Rochelle delaCruz entitled “Coping with coqui” (Tribune-Herald, Dec.9) and to hear that the disappearance of tiger mosquitoes from some of our local environments is now more fully credited to the activities of our coqui frogs.

I wrote a letter entitled “Coqui vs. mosquitoes” which was published in the Tribune Herald on Jan. 5, 2016, in which I proposed that the coqui were responsible for the disappearance of the tiger mosquitoes that had been pestering us every day out in the yard or on the lanai. At this writing, we have been minus mosquitoes for five years.

But back then, even my husband did not believe my explanation, which was based on information from an entomologist sent here by the CDC to help us cope with the dengue epidemic. Perhaps, he said, there was a giant mosquito magnet nearby, like the one he had installed previously which did not work? No, nothing like that nearby. Or perhaps some disease had wiped them out like the fungus that is killing frogs in Central America? No, that chytrid fungus is present in the coqui but does not affect them. He ran out of theories eventually!

Now we sit on the lanai in the evening and listen to the concert — no need to spray ourselves with that nasty Off, and no need to expend energy spreading useless stuff in the yard in an effort to keep the frogs away from the house.

The fanciful idea of making a local delicacy out of the frogs is not so far-fetched. In Barbados, for example, they have taken flying fish, which are extremely bony and were considered a trash fish, figured out how to de-bone them, fry them up, and made them into the national dish. All the tourists have to consume them!

But hearsay has it that the coquis taste bad.

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Adrienne S. Dey

Hilo

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