Your Views for February 21

Wasted fruit

What has been spoken about for a number of years is diversifying our economy, not just being totally dependent on tourism alone.

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Next to tourism, agriculture seems to be the next-most talked about subject when it comes to improving our economy.

Ever notice that around January and well into February, so many residential yards are filled with tangerines, followed by oranges? However, it is so sad to see many of these ripened fruits fall to the ground, turning into feasts for insects and rats, as many of the dropped fruits decay away.

Just from a 8-mile radius around my home to Hilo town and back, I count at least 14 tangerine trees on different properties with fallen fruits. Many folks who own these and other types of fruit trees are kind to give them away, but yet so many still go to waste. And, of course, families can only eat so many at a time.

I often wonder if these fruit trees were originally planted on people’s properties just as a novelty or decorative purposes. The same is said for papaya, lychee and the more higher-maintenance coconut trees.

Imagine the income that could be generated from the many neglected fruits and given and/or sold to those who could certainly turn them into profits, such as juice from the citrus, meat and oil from the coconut, or better yet, harvest them for turning into valuable mulch.

Rick LaMontagne

Hilo

Reefs at risk

The Feb. 7 editorial about geoengineering our climate (“Green groups who object to geoengineering put planet at risk”) left out the other impact of climate change — ocean acidification.

Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and land use changes dissolves in the ocean, making waters more acidic. Under these conditions, critters like corals, wana and opihi have a harder time forming their carbonate hard parts and shells, which become deformed, have a lower density and are easier to break.

The impact of ocean acidification was first felt in Washington state, where keiki oysters were not able to form shells in the acidic water. The severity of ocean acidification is slowly moving south, and is expected to affect our coral reefs in the next 20 years.

Climate change is more than just warming, and geoengineering projects that don’t remove the excess carbon dioxide put our coral reefs at risk.

Steven Colbert

Hilo

Heartfelt mahalo

I am an elderly senior and received my first vaccine dose recently.

I am deeply and profoundly grateful for this opportunity. I am so honored, that it brought me to tears.

My friends drove me to KTA and waited while I received my shot. The experience made me so aware of all those involved: scientists, first responders, physicians and nurses, and all the people who suffered and died from this disease.

Thank you deeply from my heart.

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Bev Russell

Keaau

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