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Letters to the Editor

By Staff | Jul 23, 2009


In the June 4-10, 2009 edition of Lahaina News, a seventh-grader writes to “ban smoking in all public areas.” The next letter, just below “ban smoking,” someone writes “Practice tolerance” in relation to how we treat people.

Well, then, should we tolerate smoking? I think a little tolerance would be a good idea.

I quit years ago, think it stinks, but know that in some foxhole or battlefield, there may be some soldier smoking the last one of his life and enjoying that moment.

Let us do practice tolerance, and of course, expect, and teach manners, consideration and respect of others.



Since returning from Maui from Uncle George Kahumoku’s workshop, I’ve had a hard time coming down. The wonderment of it all. It has boggled my mind with awe. For months, I looked forward to this event with my grandson, Kai Nalu, and family friend, Axel. I wished they were older so that they would know what they have been given — what a gift.

Our first day was mostly play; went to Kihei, swimming, bought snacks, etc. With two growing boys, two meals a day wasn’t cutting it. Our first stop, though, was Krispy Kreme, and we nearly polished those (12) off before getting to our room at Napili Village. 

Then we ran into Nancy Kahumoku with truckloads of supplies for the workshop and students. I was truly overwhelmed with the prep work that was done even before the first class. 

There were barrels for steaming poi leaves, stock pots, tents for the classrooms (later set up under beautiful trees) and an ocean for a backdrop. Good God — what more could you want?  It’s not what we wanted, but what was given to us.

In the morning, we always started off with a circle of students under the big tent. Yes, it has three rings and ring masters to die for. What a way to get your day going: Masters of Hawaiian Music. I had no idea what we were in for, but I soon learned it was much more than I anticipated. I was brought to tears a few times, and I tried to keep to myself. 

I went from class to class taking photos, then Uncle George introduced me to the Hawaiian way of cooking for a group.  I had the time of my life in that outdoor kitchen with a pro — not only in music, but cooking as well. We cut up meats, stripped taro leaves and stems, cleaned edible hibiscus leaves, boiled taro roots for poi, peeled off skins with our hands, sea-salted meats and prepped food in baggies for later. We made poi, lau lau, fried salmon… I couldn’t believe what Uncle George could pull off. To feed 150 people in just a few hours, of course he had a little help from the outside world.

One morning, as the group was playing songs, a pod of dolphins came swimming by. I couldn’t believe what had taken place. I think it was Eddie Duchin, in the 1940s, that proved that dolphins could hear musical notes. They used this knowledge in the sonar for submarines. Well, this sight made us high as a kite. The dolphins came to play, and we had people jumping out of their chairs. One dropped his shorts (outer, that is)! People were swimming out to meet with these wonderful creatures. It will be in my memory for years to come. 

Our kumus for this seminar were spectacular; they all made love to their instruments. People from all over the world were there to participate and sat in front of their rooms with lunch, cocktails or the beverage of their choice. What a treat for those just staying in the Mauian. We had rain and high winds that stirred the magical sounds of Hawaiian. The spiritual highs — everything was a song of some sort. When the rains came, I think it was the angels rejoicing — they were so happy to hear the music. The aloha… new friends were made, some near and some from afar.

I am just the proud tutu of Kai Nalu Palama, an eight-year-old Hawaiian, little guy. I bought him an ukulele a year ago, and he has taken to it pretty good. My hat goes off to all of the people and organizations that teach Hawaiian culture. All the entertainers that take the time out to come, talk story and make music. And for that special minute that you might give to a child, or adult for that matter, just showing you care will maybe make a child’s life be filled with music. 

My daughter called me while I was on Maui, and I tried to explain to her what was going on in my heart. She said, “Mom, is it better than the Merry Monarch?” I said, “If you want perfection, go to the Merry Monarch. If you want perfection with personality, being personal with beautiful mistakes and laughter, come to Uncle George’s workshop!”

Like Uncle O’Brien said, “Come in here and leave your shame outside.” As we sat under the stars, 100 ukuleles and guitars played and sounded like God’s Harp. Beginners, young and old, on-key and off-key — no matter.

We had the youngest at eight, and the oldest at 92 (Auntie Irene Perry from Lanai). Kai Nalu was the youngest from Kauai. We had Edna Pualani Farden Bekeart of Maui talking story of yesteryear, also in her 90s and a songwriter. Our days were filled from the time we got up until after 10 p.m. I already really miss the feeling of the workshop. Axel brought down the house a couple times and was in a state of awe with what he was experiencing. A wonderful man from Texas gave Axel his guitar — that’s how impressed he was with Axel. He is hoping the guitar will help Axel continue his musical education. The giving was so powerful from all who attended.

The giving included a handshake, a hug — all heartfelt.



I would like to thank Penny Weigel for her letter to the editor regarding the absence of recycling bins at the Upcountry Fair. 

Recycling not only saves money, it is one of the easiest ways to care for our environment. Through a grant from the county Recycling Section, Community Work Day Program in Puunene produces wire baskets for recycling daily and offers them to groups regularly for community events and fairs. 

Many times, large orders of wire baskets can be transported by CWD for the event. Wire baskets are available at CWD Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A small deposit will be refunded when the wire baskets are returned to CWD. There is no charge for an order of ten or more baskets that will be returned in less than one week.   

For questions about wire baskets, please contact Community Work Day Program at 877-2524. Mahalo for recycling!



Beyond the Rainbow Foundation joins the golfing community in expressing its disappointment that the Kapalua LPGA Classic has been canceled.

We want to let everyone know that the Aloha Team Classic-2009 hosted by the foundation will be held starting on Oct. 18 and concluding on Oct. 21.

This event includes three days of golf on three of Maui’s world-class courses (including Kapalua Resort’s Bay and Plantation Courses, as well as The King Kamehameha Golf Club, Maui’s exclusive private golf club), three wonderful evening events, breakfast and lunch each day, afternoon clinic presented by LPGA professionals, and the opportunity to play one, two or three rounds with an LPGA Tour professional (see our website, www.AlohaTeamClassic.org, for all the details).

Call (808) 665-5815 today to register for the Aloha Team Classic-2009.

Beyond the Rainbow Foundation — “Helping Maui’s youth realize the promise of their future!” — is incorporated in the State of Hawaii as a nonprofit corporation and designated a 501(c)(3) Public Charity by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Businesses that would like to assist by providing prizes and/or welcome gifts are encouraged to contact the Foundation.