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LETTERS for February 11 issue

February 11, 2010
Lahaina News

POLICE PRESENCE NEEDED ON ROADWAY






(The following letter was sent to Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta.)


I live in the 5200 block of Lower Honoapiilani Road. As I am sure you know, this is a narrow, winding road with a 20 MPH speed limit.


Lots of pedestrians and joggers navigate its narrow shoulders. Besides the usual passenger car/truck traffic, it is also used by delivery trucks, garbage trucks, Roberts Hawaii buses, commuter buses and other large vehicles.


Starting every morning about 5:30 a.m., the trucks and buses turn off Highway 30 left onto Napilihau, drop down to Honoapiilani and turn right in the direction of Kapalua. Completely ignoring the 20 MPH speed limit, they accelerate to 30-40 MPH-plus and then go into a hard deceleration at Papaua Place as they approach a tight downhill turn at Honokeana.


From that point, it’s back hard on the gas until they approach the next sharp corner at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. And it is not just the large commercial vehicles doing this —   passenger vehicles are just as guilty, but not as noisy.


Besides needing to enforce the speed limit on this residential street, of greater concern is the inevitability of a pedestrian being struck by a speeding vehicle. One idea to slow down traffic would be to install speed bumps from Napilihau to the entrance to Kapalua. It would probably be a lot cheaper than paying off the family of a person injured or killed by a speeding Maui County garbage truck.


To test the authenticity of my claims in this letter, post one of your officers with a radar gun in front of 5206 Lower Honoapiilani Road at 5:30 a.m. Don’t bother giving out tickets — just log how many speeding vehicle pass in a two- to three-hour period. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.   


FREDERICK LaCOUNT





SUPPORT BILL TO BAN FOIE GRAS



What food we choose to consume sometimes says much about us, and menu items vary extremely on Maui. Those of wealth can visit our most expensive restaurants to choose from a wide variety of items, while someone very low on funds accepts what is served by the good souls at Hale Kau Kau in Kihei. If “we are what we eat,” one who consumes foie gras at one of six Maui restaurants, including three in Lahaina, is a “fatty liver.”


Presently, the State Senate has Senate Bill 2170, which will prohibit the sale of this disgusting product statewide. It is “produced” by force-feeding geese and ducks with a metal tube jammed down their throat several times per day to induce the liver to swell up to ten times its normal size. Then some people choose to eat it! Production of this slop is outlawed in numerous countries, and there are only two factories on the U.S. Mainland. The one in California will stop next year, due to that state’s enlightened legislation.


By eliminating the market, we can halt this barbaric process of needlessly torturing animals to produce elitist foods.


World-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck stopped using this product years ago for this reason, but we still have some on Maui who will not. Let’s rid Hawaii of importing this and concentrate on healthy items produced right here in our islands for our meals.


No Foie Gras (NFG), the Maui grassroots group, will conduct an information sharing rally in Lahaina at Lahainaluna Road and Front Street (in the vicinity of half of the offending restaurants) on Feb. 27 beginning at 6 p.m. Contact Barbara at 879-0025 or www.h20color@webtv.net for more information. 


MIKE MORAN, Kihei





U.S. CENSUS WORK AVAILABLE IN WEST MAUI



I took the 28-question test to work for the U.S. Census. Why am I taking part in the collection of Census data?


Only 60 percent of Maui’s population was recorded in the 2000 Census. Hawaii lost an estimated $310 million of federal money between 2000 to 2009 due to the low population count. 


That is one reason why we now have Furlough Fridays and layoffs. Hawaii needs federal money to cover our expenses for highways, hospitals and schools.


The Census, a count of all citizens and non-citizens living in the United States, is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2009 report, “the federal government allocates over $400 billion each year to the states based on the population figures. That’s more than $4 trillion over the next decade shared among local, state and tribal governments. Each person undercounted would mean a loss of $1,200 of federal money per year for ten years.”


According to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the collected Census data is also used for the planning of “new schools, hospitals, transportation (mass transit), elder care, and business and industrial development.”


This is a great first job for anyone 18 and older, our senior citizens and bilingual residents. Census takers work from April to July 2010.


 The starting wage is $17. Most census takers (enumerators) work in their neighborhoods. The four-day training also pays $17 an hour. In addition, mileage is reimbursed. Working 20 hours a week grosses $340 a week or $1,400 a month.


The test requires basic math and reading skills. Can you add 20.1 and 58.3? The math is that simple. If you can read and understand this letter, you have the skills to pass the Census test. The application, instructions and practice test can be found at www.2010censusjobs.gov. Much success!


EVE CLUTE, Lahaina





LETTER MAKES SENSE NOW



I found Ron Boudreax’s unattributed quotation posing as a letter somewhat puzzling until I realized what the problem was.  I substituted George Bush’s name for Barack Obama’s, and suddenly everything was crystal clear.


DOUG KARR, Napili





LINGLE'S EDUCATION LEGACY



In the “State of the State Address,” the honorable Linda Lingle, who ran as the education governor, spoke with forked tongue.


“… and I enter this final year more convinced than ever that continuing the status quo structure of our public school system will never produce more than mediocre results.”


 I believe the status quo of furloughing schools and not releasing education funds from the legislature, in order to balance the budget on the backs of our children, will never produce more than mediocre results! 


When Lingle had a $600 million surplus, she refused to release the $200 million the legislature allocated for education.  The result at my school was kids being rained on, in the class, during the state assessment. A piece of the ceiling even fell and almost hit a child. 


During the past seven years, we have not seen a reduction in the $400 million in repair and maintenance needed for our schools. Lingle took the federal stimulus funds that were supposed to supplement education in Hawaii and supplanted them to balance the budget. She demanded 36 furlough days until HSTA was able to talk her down to 17 through collective bargaining.


She stripped the funds then complains of the results. The plan by the GOP is to do precisely this and then force a voucher system. Republicans are against public education, because it is a not-for-profit socialist system. Lingle — who has no children of her own — has no honor!


JUSTIN HUGHEY, Teacher, Lahaina





HOMELESS NEED HELP



According to The Maui News, in a recent poll of 44 homeless shelters, about 9 percent of people in the homeless shelters are five years old and under. Sixty-one percent of the adults at the homeless shelters have lived on Hawaii for at least a decade. About 30 percent of adults that live in shelters work either full- or part-time. Military veterans make up 12 percent of shelter users. We need to provide the homeless with more shelters and donate food, water and clothing.


Homelessness is on the rise! In a previous poll, the state estimated there are about 6,028 homeless people in the State of Hawaii. Only 1,929 of those people are sheltered. There are about 400 sheltered and 754 people that are unsheltered on Maui. So that would be a grand total of about 1,154 homeless people on Maui.


Homelessness affects society. Spa.ucla.edu states that between 10 and 15 percent of homeless males abuse drugs, making drug use increase in our society. Sexual assault on the streets is also increasing. The rate for sexual assault to homeless women is 20 times higher than for women in general. Children in emergency shelters have emotional and developmental difficulties, and most are unable to do well in school.


A case manager who has been working at the Salvation Army for about 12 years explained that homelessness does have an impact on our community, because they could go on private property and stay there. They would go out in the open and beg for money and/or food, which can get annoying. They also tend to get sick very easily, because they are lacking good nutrition, have sleeping difficulties, many suffer from chronic physical/mental illnesses, and most of them who don’t live in a shelter are out in the open with the cold winds and rain at night. This affects our community because they clog up the hospitals. When the homeless try to look for work, and they don’t find it, they show their anger/frustration. When they live in a small community like Lahaina, they tend to be visible when they want to be invisible. I think that it’s sad that these people are ashamed of what they are. Even when they don’t choose to be homeless.


However, the opposition states that there are many homeless shelters, but the homeless people don’t want to go there because there are many rules. For example, there is a curfew, you can’t smoke or drink alcohol and things like that. But I think the majority of people would want to live in a shelter.


The government could build more homeless shelters and provide counseling to get the homeless people back on their feet. Also, the government could try to provide more jobs like building roads, for example. Some things that we, as in the people who live in a house, could do are donate some useful everyday items such as food, water and clothing.


Homelessness is terrible! So, every once in a while, why can’t we donate something to help someone? Why can’t we help someone in need? Why can’t we make a difference?


KATERYNA BRODY, Student, Lahaina Intermediate School
 
 

 

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