RELATING TO TARO SECURITY.
Prohibits the development, testing, propagation, release, importation, planting, or growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawaii.
here's the link to submit testimony
image above: Painting 'The Planter" by Herb Kawainui Kane.Other events on Kaua`i include:
• Monday, Feb 16 KKCR Mixed Plate with Jimmy Trujillo & GMO free Kauai 5 to 6pm • Thursday, Feb 19 sign waving for gmo free taro in Hawai`i Lihue airport gateway 3 to 6pm • Tuesday, Feb 24 gmo free Kaua`i meeting at Cafe Cocos 7pm • Saturday, March 7 free Community Seed and Plant Exchange at Koloa Neighborhood Center with registration beginning at noon and seed exchange at 2pm Important you come out this Thursday! HB 1663 is being heard this week before the Hawaiian Affairs committee in the House, and then will move to the agriculture committee. Last year citizens from across the state submitted over 7000 letters of testimony in support of protecting Haloa the taro from genetic modification. Please join us and show your support for HB 1663 by bringing a sign or banner, or coming to hold one of our signs. We want to malama Haloa and protect traditional Hawaiian varieties and protect the rights of taro farmers to save their huli and replant their fields in the manner that they have practiced for generations. Genetically modified and patented taro must be repurchased from the UH each time you plant your field. Seeds and planting material have always been a free, common resource for growers. Don't allow farmers to lose their right to save the seed and huli that20they produce. The University of Hawai`i has experimented on the forceful insertion of DNA from the unrelated species of wheat, rice and grapevine. We must prevent these plantlets from leaving the laboratory and mixing in the environment with our 60 traditional varieties of taro. You cannot tell genetically altered taro from traditional taro by looking at them. If these synthetic plants are released, we would never know for certain which taro contained potential food allergens and which were hypo allergenic. KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance and Na Kahu o Haloa are working to spread the good news about ongoing taro-related current events. Na Kahu O Haloa, the "Guardians of Haloa", are taro farmers and consumers from many diverse backgrounds and purposes joined together to share our profound respect and aloha for Haloa--the taro plant, a sacred and healthy plant that is uniquely important to Hawaii's ecology, local agriculture and traditions. We encourage your continued support to Malama Haloa and perpetuate taro culture in Hawaii, by helping to: - Protect water rights for taro farmers and native ecosystems, and, - Protect natural taro from the risks posed by genetically modified, or GMO-taro. Haloa is Growing Strong in 2009!!! Many lo'i kalo (taro patches) have been re-opened in just the past few months all over Hawaii nei, as well as beginning the restoration of neighboring native ecosystems. Volunteers at community work days come excited to learn the ancient and modern techniques used to set up taro patches in a variety of locations and environments. Many go home to plant their own patches or pots of all kinds of Hawaiian kalo- looking forward to choice lu'au leaf and 'ono homemade poi for the family!SB709 Good news! SB709- a bill to protect taro from genetic modification, on PASSED its 1st hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment last week! Six of the seven senators on the committee voted in favor of banning on GMO-Taro. Mahalo piha to the Senators who listened to the community concerns and did their own research: Senator Mike Gabbard, Senator J. Kalani English, Senator Russell S. Kokubun, Senator Josh Green, Senator Gary L. Hooser, and Senator Les Ihara. Only 1 voted against the ban, Senator Fred Hemmings. The committee also agreed to amend the original language of the bill, upon the recommendation of taro farmers, with language that will protect all varieties of taro, not just Hawaiian varities. These good amendments also present other important points brought up in HB1663. This bill should be getting its 2nd hearing in the next couple weeks. NEXT for SB709, more or less: 1) it will be reviewed by the Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs, which is chaired by Sen. Clayton Hee (D-Kahuku/Laie/Kaneohe). If it passes the vote, then it will- 2) be heard by the entire Senate, if it passes the vote then it will- 3) cross-over to the House to be heard in committees and voted on, then- 4) heard by entire House of Reps, if it passes the vote then- 5) to Governor for approval, then- 6) become an official law. What happened to the GMO-taro bills last year? Did you know that if the 2008 bill (SB958) to ban GMO-taro had been heard by the entire House of Representatives it would have passed with a majority of votes? Its true! Not only did the bill have the support of the majority of the House but it also had already passed all the way through the Senate. What happened at the end was that a small group of legislators, led by Reps. Calvin Say & Clift Tsuji, 'poisoned' the bill to represent only the interests of the biotech industry, despite the public's overwhelming concerns and support of a ban on GMO-taro. Our challenge, this year, is not to be discouraged by the unfair actions of those few but to continue to gather the majority of support and make our public voice ever stronger-- e Onipa'a, to protect our right to eat and farm healthy, safe, natural taro. This historic and crucial effort takes commitment and time- but after 1,200+ years of natural kalo farming we got plenty of both, plus pure Aloha! Mahalo nui loa for your kokua! For more information please contact: Jeri Di Pietro 651 1332 or MiKey Boudreaux 651 9603
see also: Island Breath: UH releases tarot patents 6/23/06
- We don’t have enough farmers on Kaua‘i to grow the food we need
- Recent efforts to encourage more candidates into farming careers have not been adequately successful
- The immediate alternative is to engage the existing farmers to train more people to grow more food
- The best people to train are those that will benefit from a supply of fresh locally grown food
- Those are the local residents,
- That means we need to support training for the development and expansion of home-based and community-based gardens
- This will engage more people in growing more food for themselves and the benefit of their friends and neighbors. Eventually, the experience of developing cooperative community gardens can encourage candidates to create small commercial farms.
Thus was launched the “Community Gardens Project.” KCC began offering courses on growing food and established a campus garden as a practical hands-on training site. People learned how to start and manage a garden successfully and took those skills into their backyard and formed a family garden. Community gardens also were launched in various neighborhoods. Training programs are being offered in those regions to provide the convenience of technical assistance at the local level.
Today, home gardens are increasing in many neighborhoods. And more folks are enrolling in classes that offer training in ways to create and mange community gardens in their neighborhoods. Since the start of the Community Gardens Project last September, more than 200 persons have participated in training programs held at the KCC campus and at satellite training sites on the Westside and the North Shore. Although this “movement” is still small, it is receiving encouragement and support from several organizations and agencies. The College is continuing to offer classes and hands-on training programs. Similar programs are being provided by Malama Kaua‘i, the Kilauea non-profit that specializes in designing sustainable systems of all kinds. Some of Kaua‘i’s experienced farmers like Jillian and Gary Seals, Scott Pomeroy and April Courture, Marie Mauger and Mathew Field, Paul Massey, Kelly Ball, Tom Legacy and others are offering training and technical assistance to home gardeners and community garden start-up groups. Much of this support is focused on organic practices, mainly because these farmers believe that the organic methods are the sustainable ones that support rather than damage the environment.
Will this young movement bring forth a sustainable system of food production and provide the quantity of food we need? It is really too early to tell. But those who support the movement point out that local food production is receiving increasing support from all levels of government and has captured the approval of growing sectors of the public. It is important to recognize that the old conglomerate systems of food production are not adequately feeding the world’s population. Although these giant food producers may rise again, in the meantime it seems prudent to begin growing our own.
• Glenn Hontz is coordinator and director of the Food Industry Program at Kaua‘i Community College and can be reached at 246-4859 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sharon Astyk on 11 February 2009 in Casaubon's Book -
“It was much pleasanter at home, when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits.” - Alice in Wonderland
Rod Dreher has a fascinating observation over at his blog. He talks about watching an interview on CNBC with Taleb and Roubini:
“Both men are notorious bears, and called the current crash long in advance. Both, CNBC tells us, were the hottest tickets at the recent Davos gathering. CNBC called them in to discuss the crisis. Roubini and Taleb were both trying to make their case for why what’s wrong with the economy is radical, is fundamental, goes to the very base of all our economic assumptions.
The CNBC twits just wanted stock tips and investing advice.”
The more I think about his point, the more I think that it epitomizes something fundamental about the intellectual shift we have to make - and about how hard it is to make it. Moreover, it caused me to think about how hard it will be to unmake that shift. I commented on the piece at Rod’s blog, and said,
”I think the biggest problem is that people have been told that investing is a form of saving - *the* form of saving, in fact. And they believe it - even when their “savings” are being ripped out of their hands. So the problem, through that lens, must be investing in the wrong things, rather than the whole fact that what you put into the markets should be what you can afford to lose, not what you depend on for basic things.
Add to that the fact that the society has transformed basic things like security in old age and education into things that can only be achieved through fake saving (investing) in a market that goes up, rather than things ordinary people could have, and it is no wonder that people who live in this never-never land can’t grasp that it is a world of myth. That is, they know they are not going to be able to eat during retirement or send their kids to college on their income or on regular savings. But they haven’t yet grasped that the situation has changed radically and the choices are now - change the system or accept that a college education and independent retirement are no longer choices for most of us.”
I wanted to say more about this, though, because I think that while this does show where we’re not yet, it also gives us a glimpse of where we are a going, a change as radical as falling into Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass.
Here is what Taleb and Roubini are telling us with their answer that they keep their money in cash - roughly translated this means “We expect the markets to decline still more. We expect to lose anything we put into the markets. We believe that money is safer in holes in the backyard than in the stock market.”
Here is what people who kept asking questions about college and retirement savings were saying, in translation: “We’re terrified to take our money out of the markets, and we’re terrified to leave it in. We depend on the “fake saving” message of investment for basic things like food, housing, health care and education. We know we have no way of insuring food in the pantry when we are old, or that our children will get an education without it, and we’re not yet ready to admit that our hope of those things is already lost, and thus, cut our losses.
We desperately need the market to go up, so we are in profound denial about what you are saying. We have no alternate plan, and our government has no alternate plan. If what you say is true, we face utter disaster. Please tell me that there’s a way to make that not happen.”
And they are right. Both sides of the discussion are right. Without infinite growth, the hopes of an independent retirement were doomed - everyone was told they’d need half a million dollars or more to live on in retirement? What was the likelihood of that money being saved over the course of 35 working years out a 50K per year salary? Hmmm….
Four years at a State University costs $50,000 - a young family with two kids, who began saving at birth - what was the odds they were going to be able to pay for college without the markets? None.
That is, it isn’t just that people bought the mantra of fake saving, it was that they knew that this mantra was their only hope and clung to it as people being swept away in a current cling to anything in reach. And thus, most of us got into the stock market somehow. In fact, we often didn’t have any choice - our pensions, our health insurance funds, our mortgages were invested without our consent.
Our companies matched not our savings, but our 401K contributions. And all of this meant that the markets had an enormous amount of the average person’s money to play with. This enforced participation meant that the growth cycle had a feedback loop going - more people had to play, which meant more pay. Now we’re into negative loops.
We were lied to, and we were betrayed, and most of us will never see our money again. And that leads to an even more important corrollary point - it will be a very long time before our society sees this level of investment again.
Think about it. I’m 35, and my friends in their 40s and early 50s are often already caring for or concerned about aging parents that depend heavily on their investments. Many have lost nearly half of their money already, but haven’t pulled out of the markets because they have been told that this would hurt them, that it is a bad idea, and because they desperately need to believe that they someday will be able to retire. They can’t bring themselves to accept that the money they have now may well be as well as they can do, because it will not support the future they’ve envisioned for themselves. So they leave it in.
Many economists have estimated the bottom - quite a few have estimated it at Dow 4000 or so, while others are optimistic. But let’s assume that the most optimistic estimates are wrong, and that much more of the money is going to disappear. It took *30* years for the Dow to reach the same levels that it hit in 1929 - the recovery was not quick, and there’s really no certainty that we’d recover quickly either.
So millions of baby boomers are facing disaster - either extra years of work, or poverty in old age. And they are going to be angry and betrayed - none of them imagined their later years to be strained and struggling. They did what they were told. And eventually, they will take what is left of their money out of the markets and salvage what they can - and they won’t put it back. They won’t be able to afford to risk what little they have.
Shift down half a generation, to my peers, and those slightly older and younger. As we watch our parents struggle, how many of us are going to trust in the stock market for our own retirement? As we explain to our kids why they may not get to go to college, are we going to put our limited funds there?
Universal investment is over - and we will remember our whole lives what the dangers of speculation are. I’ve never met a peer of mine who expected to collect social security, and I don’t think that in 10 years, I’ll meet one who expects to derive money from a 401K.
The 20 and 30 year olds buried under massive student loans, the 19 year olds who will have to drop out because the college fund isn’t there - they will remember, inscribed on their chests where their vision of their future lay, that investment is not safe, it is not secure, it is not a way to ensure the future, but a way to betray it.
It took 30 years for the stock market levels to rise back up to the adjusted equivalents of the Dow in 1929 - in part, because it took 30 years for the people who were children in the Depression, and on whom the fear of banks and markets did not imprint, to grow up and tentatively step back into them.
It took 50 years, until the 1980s, to get levels of participation in the markets up to approximate the 1920s - until a generation of children who could not remember the Depression, and had only known growth, had grown up.
It was only after that that ideas like giving people their safety nets and letting the gamble in the markets with them came up - and anyone want to bet how long before the next time Social Security privatization comes to the table?
Let’s assume that peak oil and climate change simply aren’t that big a deal (for the record, I assume y’all know that they are). Even without these ecological limits, the idea that the markets will rebound in the long term is probably dubious - because market participation depends on people who believe the “investing is savings” mantra. And people who have seen it shown to be false will not believe it - you have to wait until a new generation of people, more gullible because they have not seen, arises.
And that means that even if we don’t face energy constraints (we do) and ecological constraints (we definitely do), we face capital restraints - much of our current infrastructure, the way of our way of life, was built with other people’s money, invested in the stock market.
Who will choose to give their money to corporations to spend? Who will choose to see their health care, housing and education dollars gambled? And that means that our long term recovery prospects must include the reality that the “investing is savings” mantra has been proved to be a lie, and it will be twenty years, or more, before anyone will buy that lie again.
Now mixed in with energy and ecological constraints, I think the constraints in investment capital do mean that we must - I don’t mean should, but must, make our plans for the future very carefully, that we must choose now where to put our limited resources and energies, because they may well turn out to be more limited than we thought. Down the rabbit hole we go - and it isn’t very clear what size we’ll be when we stop growing.
If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life: worms, fungi, microorganisms of all kinds.... Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for very long.—Wendell Berry