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In Gratitude for Sugarcane on Maui

April 15, 2014
Aaron Brothers - Pa‘ia , Maui Weekly

I have lived in Kuau Bayview since 1997 and next door since 1995. Only once have I had to breathe cane smoke. Hawai'i Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) Company is extremely considerate in giving everyone ample notice of burns and is very careful to burn when the trades will remove the smoke quickly.

Because of certain explicit covenants in our property deeds, any Kuau Bayview property owner is actually in breach of contract if he/she subsequently complains about "nuisances" arising from any agricultural activities.

People should not buy property in Kuau Bayview if they object to the active farming operations. I chose Kuau Bayview precisely because I love to be surrounded by cane fields rather than subdivisions. A little smoke for a maximum 15 minutes every two years is a small price to pay for the beautiful acres of greenery that make Maui so popular. I give thanks every day for HC&S.

HC&S uses no pesticides (except for mosquitoes in the Pu'unene ditches) and herbicides only during planting. The drip hose is the only thing that gets burned with the cane (no PVC) and it turns into carbon dioxide and water.

An emergency room doctor at Maui Memorial once wrote that the respiratory ailments he sees are caused by the volcano, not cane smoke.

Gay & Robinson are the A&B of Kaua'i. When they could no longer financially support their cane operations (2010), they leased their fields to DuPont, Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF and Bayer, which conduct GMO testing and use pesticides that are making the people of Waimea very sick.

I'll bet those on Kaua'i who complained about cane smoke are now wishing they had considered the alternatives. People should learn from their misfortune.

Aaron Brothers




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