LAWMAKERS TOOK A STAND
With the brand new approval of a bill that would give same-sex and opposite-sex couples the ability to enter into civil unions, Hawaii lawmakers took a giant step closer to joining the growing number of states that, in recent years, have taken legislative action to extend equal rights to all of their residents. The destiny of this bill now rests in our governor’s hands.
This new law will correct a long-standing injustice that excludes a segment of society, through no fault of their own, from enjoying the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as everyone else. It is difficult to understand how anyone of sound moral conscience can be threatened or offended by this long-overdue correction.
Pay no attention to those blinded by fear and ignorance who predict this new law will dilute or destroy the values most of us cherish. Equal rights for everyone shall neither weaken or contribute to the downfall of our community. On the contrary, a just society extends protection and privileges equally to all its majority and minority members regardless of gender, race, creed or sexual orientation, thereby upholding and strengthening the very principles upon which this democracy was founded.
Justice for all requires that our governor exercise legislative power responsibly, and act on behalf of the minority members of our society, by calling an end to the institutionalized oppression imposed on them by the majority.
Let’s hope she recognizes this historic opportunity to take a stand on the “right side” of history. Fate calls upon her to demonstrate wisdom and backbone by making the constitutionally and morally correct decision to sign this bill or allow it to become law without her signature.
No less than the well-being of every resident of our state and the best long-term interest of everything great this nation represents depends on it.
DR. MICHAEL RA BOUCHARD, Hilo
PLANNING DIRECTOR WILL BE MISSED
For the past 40 years, I have lived on Maui. We finally get a decent, honest, hardworking planning director in Jeff Hunt, and he resigns.
I am sure all the county B.S. got to him. What a loss for our island!
SU CAMPOS, Napili
KEEP WORKING ON TRAFFIC LIGHTS
I take the subject of traffic signal synchronization very seriously. At some point, the result of frustration with non-synchronization — which results in drivers running amber and red lights — will in turn result in deaths and/or serious injuries. What would my question be to the Department of Transportation? “Is there traffic signal synchronization in West Maui?” You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Synchronizing seven traffic lights in Lahaina Town is to bringing synchronization to West Maui... as adopting an animal from the Maui Humane Society is to solving the homeless and abandoned animal problem. A wonderful gesture, but we have miles to go before we sleep. In addition, is there an assumption that we only need this between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.? Why is that? Hundreds of cars are on the road after sunset. I drive during that time period, and I can tell you that at 9 p.m., it can look like rush hour in Lahaina and areas north. And the chance that impulse driving will translate into serious accidents is more likely at that hour than during the daylight hours. Perhaps our studies should be more expansive in the future.
There are eight traffic lights north of Kapunakea Street in West Maui. At least six of them are on trigger systems. This would play havoc with any lights that are synchronized. So by the time drivers southbound are brought into the synchronized system, they are already so frustrated that they will tend to try to stretch an amber light in order not to be stopped again and again.
I appreciate the efforts by anyone to solve any of our infrastructure problems, both in West Maui and island-wide. Credit is due merely for trying. But let’s not make statements suggesting that this problem, or any of our problems caused by overpopulation, have been solved. We haven’t even gotten our feet wet.
That accident is just waiting to happen.
DOUG KARR, Napili
PROJECT RUINED MOI FISHING HOLE
This letter is in regard to the Lahaina flood control project. Muddy runoff does need to be addressed, and retention basins are a proven way of dealing with the issues. It is unfortunate, however, that water was diverted away from the natural stream bed where the stream traditionally discharged. This construction has destroyed the moi hole in front of the large concrete culverts that has fed families for generations. It is gone, like many of our precious marine resources, never to return.
Hopefully, this project does reduce sediments and muddy runoff. If it does not, the current will take the muddy waters north in front of the housing development that objected to the water coming out of the natural stream mouth, and the moi hole will have been destroyed for nothing. Time will tell... I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
SADAO HORIKE, Lahaina
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT SURFERS' ACCESS
Mahalo to Uncle George Downing for his letter regarding Senate Bill 2646. The Save Honolua Coalition was originally in favor of adding Honolua to the list of surfing preserves. We later learned that the wording of this bill was somewhat ambiguous and could allow for undesirable outcomes. Words in the latest version — such as protection of competitive surfing, promotion and development of competitive and recreational surfing, etc. — could create an even more crowded scene at Honolua than already exists.
These red flags have caused us to withdraw our support for Honolua to be included in the bill as it is presently worded, and our lawmakers have complied by removing Honolua from the bill.
In my opinion, there are parts of the bill that are good, such as “recognize important surf sites and acknowledge their environmental, cultural, sports, and historic significance in Hawaii.” But the loopholes for contest promoters and corporate profit are glaringly obvious and need to be removed if the intent is to protect surfing, culture and the environment.
TAMARA PALTIN, Kahana
WHAT I DID THIS LENT
This Lent I was wondering what to do and how to do it to make this lent special. I thought of some things that would be hard to do, so I just gave up on thinking. As Lent passed, day by day, I went surfing, I went to school, and I just relaxed at home. But then one day, while I was surfing at Honolua Bay, my friend, Nalu, invited us to his friend's party at D.T. Fleming Beach.
My dad and I had a blast. After a couple hours, the lifeguards left. Two tourists, with a lack of ocean knowledge, decided to swim out in the rip current. Luckily, my dad saw the two waving for help and immediately Ronaldo Macedo and I got hold of some surfboards and went to rescue them. When we got them to shore, the two tourists were so thankful. I thanked God they were safe.
As I was playing, my dad was getting ready to leave and told me to start packing up. While I was packing, my dad started talking to a friend. Again, my dad noticed two more people in the water waving for help. Mr. Macedo got a board while I searched for a flotation device. Eventually, I grabbed a boogie board and closely followed Mr. Macedo. They were exhausted when we brought them to shore. The dad was so thankful that we saved him and his daughter. Limping back to us, after he checked in with his family, from his wallet he took all his money and handed it to Mr. Macedo. Mr. Macedo turned and handed the money to me. After leaving the party, I realized that what I did was the best thing I could possible do this Lent. This is why this Lent has been very special to me. What had happened at the beach that day was such a coincidence. The act of saving the people means a lot to me, because earlier that week I was given a card to rewrite that explained, "Take action without expecting a reward, and, if you do so, the reward may be even greater," which is why this Lent will always be in my memories.
KAWIKA KINIMAKA, 8th Grade, Sacred Hearts School
PTA HONORS TEACHERS AND STAFF
Thank you Princess Nahienaena teachers and staff for making our school the "BEST" that it can be.
We appreciate every single one of you who commit, sacrifice and dedicate your time for our children.
Our PTA would also like to thank the following: Jamba Juice Lahaina for the smoothies; Starbucks Coffee (Foodland); Dr. Brendan Krause for the free adjustments; Four Sisters Bakery (Lahaina) for the catered lunch; and Kimo’s Restaurant for the pastries.
PRINCESS NAHIENAENA PTA
LAHAINA BAPTIST CHURCH APPRECIATES GENEROSITY
On behalf of the Lahaina Baptist Student Ministry, we would like to extend our thanks to all people and business for your generous donations to our Silent Auction on April 11 at Lahaina Cannery Mall. With your support, we are able to send 17 students and three counselors to the “Super Summer” Youth Camp at Keanae.
The Lahaina Baptist Church Student Ministry is very grateful for all the donations, especially during these difficult economic times. Your generosity is truly appreciated. May God richly bless us all.
REV. CHRIS MARTIN, Pastor, Lahaina Baptist Church
WEST MAUI COMMUNITY ROCKS
A big mahalo to all who organized the 2nd Annual Legacy Golf Tournament held on April 10 at the Kaanapali Golf Course. The same incredible team of volunteers put together this tournament to benefit the Lahainaluna High School Project Graduation for a second time. Special thanks go to Joel Navarro and Title Guaranty, Matthew Dauenhauer of Chas'n Rainbows Realty, Rob Shelton of Kapalua Realty and Sutee Nitakorn, director of golf at the Kaanapali Golf Course. And, of course, much gratitude to the participants, prize donors and hole sponsors.
This successful event is a huge help to the planning committee and a big reward for the recipients-our Lahainaluna High School graduates.
West Maui Rocks!