There are 5 House committees on the island of Kauai today and tomorrow. As soon as the Economic Development/Tourism and Culture/Agriculture committees landed, they were greeted at the Kauai County building by protesters sending a message aimed at Agriculture Chair, Rep. Clift Tsuji. Reminiscent of the demonstration (captured on YouTube) launched in April, they want Chair Tsuji and other House leaders to support the passage of a 10-year moratorium of genetically modified crops in Hawaii, including all varieties of taro. The group will tour taro farms tomorrow to learn more about the GMO issue and talk directly with working farmers. In the case of taro, there is also a cultural perspective to consider--taro is not only the state plant but of historic and cultural significance to native Hawaiians.
In addition to taro farms, the joint committees will visit the closed set of "Tropic Thunder" to discuss film industry tax credits, coqui frog infestation at Lawai, Hawaiian Mahogany biomass project, and Kilohana Plantation Railway as an example of agritourism.
The Health/Human Services and Housing committees are on Kauai to visit Wilcox Hospital and the Kauai County Housing Agency today, and Mahelona Hospital on Thursday as Mahelona celebrates its 90th Anniversary of service to the people of Kauai.