Fluoride Action Network

Wahiawa. Back in the Day: July 19, 1957

Source: Star Bulletin | July 19th, 2009
Location: United States, Hawaii

“Back in the Day,” appearing every Sunday, takes a look at articles that ran on this date in history in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The items appear verbatim, so don’t blame us today for yesteryear’s bad grammar.

Water FLUORIDATION rejected at Wahiawa

Fluoridation is dead in Wahiawa.

In the first test anywhere in the Territory of public sentiment on fluoridation, Wahiawa citizens have turned thumbs down on the issue and voted it out of the Suburban Water System’s postcard poll.

“Near final” results of the poll this morning showed 839 water users oppose the program and only 316 voted to fluoridate the water system.

A similar number voted against the proposed two cents per 1,000 gallons to support the program.

Supervisor Richard M. Kageyama, member of the Board’s Public Works Committee, told the Star-Bulletin today: “I’ve always been against fluoridation and the board will back the voters. If they don’t want fluoridated water, we’ll see that they don’t get it.”

However, Dr. James R. Robinson, director of the Territorial Division of Dental Health, said: “Fluoridation will eventually become a realization.”

He blamed the anti-fluoridation vote in Wahiawa on “utter confusion brought about by a small group that tagged fluoridation as poison.

“Public health can move only as fast as the public will let it,” he said. “All major health issues — such as the Salk vaccine — have faced opposition from small groups,” Dr. Robinson said.

Lloyd Blomquist, president of the Wahiawa Community Association, also blamed the defeat on confusion.

The community association initiated the fluoridation issue in Wahiawa by handing the board a petition asking fluoridation, signed by 1,250 citizens and 10 community groups.

Blomquist said the association “will continue to provide accurate information on fluoridation.”