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LETTERS for October 28 issue

By Staff | Oct 28, 2010


I would like to thank James Simpson of Lahaina, who brought up some excellent subjects pertaining to me in a letter printed in the Oct. 21 issue of The Lahaina News.

I am a political candidate running for the West Maui Tenth District State House seat and also president of the West Maui Community Association (WMCA), an official nonprofit organization. WMCA was formed to create an environment where the community can come together to solve problems that affect West Maui.

Our intentions as relating to a Front Street Lahaina Halloween are to help facilitate bringing the celebration back to Lahaina. We believe that through an open dialogue, we can make this happen so that everybody wins.

During an interview with the Lahaina News, I had said that the “LAC (LahainaTown Action Committee) dropped the ball on the event by not resolving the issues on Halloween.” It would have been appropriate to say that LAC “put the ball down,” in reference to their retracting the permit for street closure this year.

Apologies have been made. Since then, WMCA has worked with LAC to resubmit the amended permit to close Front Street on Halloween night.

The writer of the previous letter also mentioned the “Hawaii State House of Representatives-Unauthorized” Facebook page and the fact that it was investigated by the State of Hawaii Attorney General. Why?

I had originally called the page “The Hawaii State House of Representatives.” I simple changed the name, and now the page continues to promote bipartisan, open commentary concerning any legislation you care about.

My campaign has always been about transparency and accountability in government. I always welcome any questions or dialogue.

RAMON K. MADDEN, State House Candidate, Lahaina


The saying goes, doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is crazy. Not quite word for word, but you get the idea. And the idea is first to vote, and then take a good look at who you are voting for. Not which party, but who.

If we put the same people back in office, then we get what we deserve. Business as usual. But if we elect new people, we at least get the opportunity to have things differently. New people can’t change things right away, but down the road with new ideas, responsible legislation and budget-conscious work, we could see positive change.

If it’s the same incumbents we have now, then we get what we deserve — the same as we have now. Ask yourself, do you want the same? Vote!

BURT BELL, Lahaina


The armed robbery that Elle Cochran was involved in back in the 1990s flooded memories of a personal basis for my family. Our own daughter was a teen working in a video store in the 1990s in Lahaina, and our daughter was held up one evening in an armed robbery.

A rash of armed robberies had taken place back then, including Lahaina’s Burger King, which was victimized twice by “druggies” for quick money.

Armed robbery has a lingering effect on a person. No one should have to be put in fear while a gun is held to them.

This is one of the most important reasons why I am outspoken about Elle Cochran’s felony conviction. Her actions might have been resolved for her benefit, but it still has a lasting memory to the victims.

After all, a person does not usually commit armed robbery as their first crime.



Several letters lately, written by obviously perfect people, have been harsh on Elle Cochran. Events in 1993 prompted a sensationalized cover article in Maui News in what seems like a desperate attempt to sandbag the reputation of Maui’s leading council candidate.

Endorsements of Alan Fukuyama might stem from someone’s need for another controllable rubber stamper on the council. Watching the interviews on Akaku show Elle to be well-spoken and knowledgeable, and her opponent to be the opposite. Anybody who would oppose Elle obviously hasn’t met the energetic, charismatic local, Lahaina girl.

Elle is a champion surfer, has paddled the Molokai Channel Challenge on a standup paddleboard twice to raise money for Molokai youth, she has her black belt from Casco’s Tae Kwon Do, she does advanced Bikram Yoga, and is now training in Kyudo Zen archery at Jodo Mission.

Elle is a born and raised Lahaina Tita. I want her on my side. She is very approachable — people should talk with her before trash-talking her name. Maui is still small enough where talking stink about somebody from a big local family could come back around and bite you in the okole!



The decision as to who to vote for in the upcoming election for governor should be a very easy decision to make. The question: do you want your taxes to be raised? Then vote for Neil Abercrombie. The union members of the HSTA, ILWU and the HGEA have to wake up to the fact that they, too, are taxpayers. Why go to the polls and shoot yourself in the foot? Hawaii — being one of the highest-taxed states of the 50 — needs tax relief. I believe that Duke Aiona is on the right track to help everyone.



The two letters from Kihei in the Oct. 6 edition of the Lahaina News may have left some misconceptions. After lengthy meetings, the Ethics Board cleared Wayne Nishiki of wrongdoing.

Don Couch was not so fortunate — he had to pay a fine for elections violations. He took too much money from people on the Mainland who donated to his campaign.



I know that Mike White will make an excellent councilman. Mike has outstanding leadership skills and a passion for our Maui community and our Hawaiian culture.

Anyone who has worked with or for Mike has had the good fortune to experience Mike’s skills and his passion. These are the times — high unemployment and struggling business climate — when a leader with Mike White’s skill and experience will help our Maui community increase job opportunities and improve our business environment.

There is a question regarding Mike’s dedication to the County Council responsibilities because of his primary job as the general manager of the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Mike has already proven that he has developed such strong staff members at the hotel that he will have the time to dedicate to the Maui community as a councilman. His time as a state representative required that he be off-island four to six days a week. During that time, his staff carried the ball and the Kaanapali Beach Hotel ran as smoothly as if he was there.

A vote for Mike White is a vote for an improvement of Maui’s economy, which is so desperately needed right now.

NANE W. ALULI, General Manager, The Mauian Hotel