HALLOWEEN ON FRONT STREET WAS BETTER THAN EVER
The community responded to the closing of Front Street for Halloween with one of the best turnouts in the last ten years. Everyone was in great spirits; the enthusiasm was everywhere. Lots of spectacular and creative costumes. The festivities turned out to be safe, well-monitored and came off without a hitch. To my knowledge, there was not a single arrest. Everybody seemed to be on their best behavior.
Halloween night was a win/win for everybody. All the participants who made the effort to get dressed up for this one night of the year were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Also, the importance of the economic impact for the restaurants, the merchants and the hospitality industry cannot be underestimated. Putting Halloween on a predictable and consistent footing in the future will allow visitors to continue to plan their Maui vacation around "Halloween on Front Street."
My hat's off to Mayor Alan Arakawa and his county executives who made this all happen. The closure of Front Street, the activities at Campbell Park, the porta-potties, etc. ensured a safe and worry-free night for all who were there.
"Halloween on Front Street" has overwhelming and ongoing community support. Thousands of people will be showing up on Front Street for many years to come.
For those in the community who have opposed the Front Street location, I respectfully suggest that an open-minded, constructive and flexible dialogue be opened up, where there is an effort to find common ground with a lot of "listening" and a lot less "demanding" so that, in the end, all members of our community are together and share the benefits of this unique event.
BOB PURE, Lahaina
ELECT JUDGES - DON'T APPOINT THEM
If you read The Maui News article on Oct. 25, you will probably be as outraged as I am.
A 41-year-old member of the police force, Ryan Masada, changed his plea from "not guilty" to "no contest" and was therefore only charged with third degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.
In exchange, the court agreed to a deferred acceptance of plea, meaning Masada will be able to clear his record COMPLETELY after five years of probation. It never happened.
Also part of the plea agreement was that Masada will serve NO JAIL TIME.
Masada allegedly discarded a glass pipe containing crystal meth residue in the junior men's locker room at the Wailuku Police Station, when officers were summoned for questioning in a theft charge investigation at Haiku.
The theft victim claimed that $1,900 was taken from his bedroom after police investigated a burglary at his home.
Judges and prosecutors are APPOINTED in Hawaii. It's an open invitation for a "quid pro quo" - a "I scratch your back, you scratch mine."
They should be ELECTED in order to be required to ANSWER to the people, to the voters.
It's an appointment for life until being kicked up again. If that judge in the Masada case would face election, he/she could probably kiss the job goodbye.
As an afterthought, I am also against calling any member of the police force "officer."
The police have usurped the title "officer" from the military, even if it is just a rookie, not even a corporal. A sergeant is an officer. This is an insult to every REAL officer from ensign upwards.
When and if I am stopped, I make it a point to ask the policeman/woman for the rank and use it during the conversation.
Of course, that diminishes the chances of getting out of a ticket...
But the main point is CHANGE THE LAW! Do NOT APPOINT judges and prosecutors, so that favors can be exchanged without any consequences.
JOHN BLAHUTA, Lahaina
FUN WALK A BIG SUCCESS
The Princess Nahi'ena'ena School PTA would like to express their heartfelt thanks to all who made our Annual Fun Walk another huge success.
Mahalo to The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Sweet Art Designs, Shanna Dellomes, No Ka Oi Deli, Atlantis Submarines, Cirque Polynesia, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Zeke Kalua, Glow Putt, Karen Kondo, Barbara Potts, Barnes & Noble and parents, teachers and staff of Princess Nahi'ena'ena School. MAHALO!!!!
PRINCESS NAHI'ENA'ENA PTA
KEEP COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY OUT OF NEIGHBORHOODS
The County Council's Planning Committee has declared that neighborhoods are open game for commercial activities; both short-term rentals (aka mini-hotels) and in-home businesses.
In essence, they are "unofficially rezoning" our neighborhoods from "residential" to a new, undefined "residential-commercial."
They have skipped the discussion of rezoning and are deciding the methods that can be used to kill our neighborhoods. The community was never asked to give up their residential zoning and have their neighborhoods rezoned to "residential-commercial."
Instead of knowing your neighbors and their children, there will be strangers in and out of the neighborhood - strangers visiting for a short while with little regard for the quality of life of those nearby. And meanwhile, property values go down.
The very people who should be protecting our neighborhoods are the ones jeopardizing them. Make your opposition to a "Short-Term Vacation Rental Ordinance" known to the mayor and your council member. Do it quickly!
KAY GHEAN, Kihei
HOTEL SHOULD CONSIDER XTERRA SPECTATORS
West Maui was extremely fortunate to have a world-class event held here in October.
A triathlon of world-class athletes from dozens of countries and amateurs from Maui and around the the globe.
Lance Armstrong, Olympic champions and world champions competed in a grueling ocean swim, mountain bicycling and running event that left two XTERRA world champions collapsed on the course.
Their physical beauty, fitness and determination exemplified everything that is good in the human spirit.
The venue was magnificent. The weather was perfect, with the ocean swim in the crystal clear and calm waters of D.T. Fleming Beach and the backdrop of the West Maui Mountains glorious for the cycling and running.
Everything was perfect except the host. How can an organization as world-renowned as the Ritz-Carlton be so oblivious to the needs of the spectators?
There was no water, coffee, food, T-shirts or other amenities unless you climbed a mountain of stairs to enter the hotel.
There was one bank of porta-johns located near the beach. If you needed to use them, it took 10-15 minutes out of your enjoyment of the event to use them.
A simple solution would have been for the Ritz to lease kiosk space to local vendors that could benefit from the event.
We have this event for an additional two years, according to my sources.
Get a clue, Ritz. You are not the center of the event.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST