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LETTERS for May 7 issue

By Staff | May 7, 2009


(The following letter was sent to the state Department of Transportation, county Public Works Department and County Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson.)

Happy to see the Lahaina Bypass is moving forward. I’m concerned about limiting access to the top two subdivisions on Lahainaluna Road down to one road each. This is not acceptable for obvious reasons, among others. There seems to be an easy solution.

1) Extend Hakau Place to Lahainaluna Road through existing acquired land and pass by the water tank on county land (or Hokeo Street as an alternate).

2) Extend Kanakea Place to Lahainaluna Road through the county Water Department Baseyard.

Please consider these suggestions.

Also, could you please improve the Kuialua Street and Lahainaluna intersection? Perhaps you could re-stripe the median to create a “safe zone” in the center to give people a chance to merge with traffic when there’s an opening.



It seems we read daily, or see on local TV news, about thugs arrested in court for a felony. Then we read that they have 15, 20, 25 or more prior convictions! Why are these felons out on the street to ruin more people’s lives?

It is estimated that by the time a teenager reaches the age of 16, he or she has experienced 30,000 murders on TV, movies and video games! Not to mention all the other examples of human abuse.

After enough of this exposure, it becomes more evident why teens see brutality as a viable means to settle confrontations, whether it be among themselves, their girlfriends, parents or strangers. Unfortunately, I see no downturn in this frightening trend.



In light of the swine flu epidemic, here is a repeat of my letter to the editor published in 1999:

Why do people shake hands?

The story is that back in medieval times, people started shaking hands when they approached one another. People didn’t trust one another in those days, so each person extended his right hand and shook the other’s right hand to show that neither one had a knife or weapon in hand. Of course, neither knew what was in the left hand.

I avoid shaking hands as much as I can. It is an ancient custom that should be stopped. There is no modern reason for it. Some may think it is a form of greeting.

The only greeting that happens is that germs from our hands greet each other.

Say no to handshakes.



Upset about the SuperFumble cut and run? Some are saying evil environmental elitists from afar have capsized a perfectly shipshape idea. They have been keelhauling Maui Tomorrow, Sierra Club and Kahului Harbor Coalition. It’s Maui Tomorrow, not Mainland Tomorrow, and definitely not Maui Yesterday. The Sierra Club office is in Paia, and last time I checked, Harbor Coalition guys live Maui side.

Contrary to what the discontented April 23 writer said, the “victory” was quite substantial and showed remarkable foresight. It’s about the environment and the future.

Could Maui Police Chief Tom Phillips run red lights and stop signs, never yield right of way, habitually speed, or not safety check his vehicle? Phillips obeys and enforces traffic laws designed to create a safe environment for transportation to maneuver in.

Gov. Linda Lingle blatantly ignored laws enacted by the legislature to protect the environment and serve the public. She bureaucratically ran stop signs and skipped the safety check with zero accountability.

She bestowed Hawaii Superferry with more than $40 million — an average of $30,770 for every man, woman and child. Would the letter writer enjoy having almost $31,000 in his bank account or available for the state budget deficit? Was he consulted or informed of this extravagant expenditure?

Last December, State Auditor Marion Higa admonished the Lingle Administration for disregarding and manipulating state laws, and the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled against the governor’s Superferry tactics twice. She stubbornly maintains that state law backs her decisions.        

It was mystifying how the Superferry could lose money daily, weekly and monthly, yet continue to operate. The Alakai had set a course directly for the military-industrial complex harbor long ago. Watch the news — in the next few months, you will be reading that Tom Fargo has negotiated a lucrative government contract not only for his twin ferries, but many more to be built.
Why didn’t Hawaii Superferry build the 230-foot mini-Superferry version and perform the required environmental impact statement? Matters not — the 350-foot Alakai has weighed anchor and sailed across the horizon to rendezvous with her sister ship, guzzling 2300 gallons of marine diesel per hour. Lingle is left behind, stranded high and dry with worthless harbor improvements, outstanding loan obligations and thousands of disgruntled citizenry, pro and con.



Today I received an automated call from the Republican Party asking me to call the Speaker of the State House  to complain about Rep. Joe Bertram.  

I have known Joe for 25 years. He is a good person who has worked long and hard for the good of Maui, including being the main force behind bikeways on the island.   

It may not have been wise to try to support a friend, by being a character reference for someone charged with soliciting young women on the Internet. He may have spoken unwisely in calling an uncompleted police sting “an imaginary crime.”

Joe has apologized for his words, and for supporting a friend.

I find it disgusting and horrible that the Republican Party has seized this opportunity to blacken the name of someone  with Joe’s long and excellent record.   

I do know some Republicans with a sense of honor, but this official action of the Republican Party on Maui is contemptible. Yuck!



Mahalo to the Lahaina News and Walter Chihara for another great article about the Lahainaluna High School girls water polo team!

One of the great things about living in a small community like Lahaina is the support that our local programs receive from publications like the Lahaina News and community members that follow their progress.

Thanks again, and we will try our best to make all of Lahaina and Maui proud in the MIL and HHSAA tournaments coming up.



I urge you to write to our legislators in Hawaii, President Obama and the director of the Office of Management and Budget to stop wasteful federal spending on cruel and unnecessary animal experiments.

We must support the Obama Administration’s commitment to eliminating government waste and improving efficiency. As part of this initiative, we must urge them to investigate the large amount of federal dollars wasted on unnecessary animal research. This waste is driven by an “old boys network” in the National Institutes of Health’s peer review system that uses outdated animal research methods at the expense of innovative and modern, human-centered methodologies. The result is billions of dollars wasted and millions of animals lives lost.

As one example, the federal government is currently spending at least $47 million on nicotine/tobacco-related animal experiments; the lethal effects of smoking are well-known. Such experiments have continued for decades, while smoking prevention/cessation programs go underfunded. As scientific progress leads increasingly away from using animals to “model” uniquely human diseases, and as federal dollars for research become scarce, our nation can ill-afford a system that favors the status quo over effective, innovative and humane research. I urge you to promptly write to our government officials to address this significant area of government waste.