Cutting sugar cane is healthier than burning

The workers of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar always support the cane burning and the generation of the red dirt because their livelihood is at stake. It seems they don’t care how much pollution is generated, whether the rest of us have breathing problems, the reefs die or the red dirt clogs our homes, as long as they have a job.

The problem is not with the workers, it is with HC&S since it burns the cane (creating Maui snow) and uses tractors to remove the cane from the dirt (creates red dust). Of course this is the American way, biggest equipment and easiest way – not the Maui way.

The workers say this is the Maui way. Didn’t the migrant laborers cut the sugar cane and ship it in trucks and trailers? Don’t tell me this is the Maui way, the way HC&S does its operations is not the Maui way.

I suppose backward countries can still cut their cane and there is no pollution. Why can’t HC&S cut its cane? Is it cheaper to burn and bulldoze the cane? Why doesn’t HC&S listen to the so many great ways for cutting pollution? Is it because our politicians don’t want to anger HC&S and cane sugar workers?

HC&S and our Legislature really need to take care of this problem. Don’t we have health and pollution regulations? Where is OSHA, the EPA and other agencies concerned with the health of our citizens?

David Chandler

Kihei