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LETTERS for November 5 issue

By Staff | Nov 5, 2009


Here in America, education is something that is preached to us since birth. Everyone always tells us that we have to take advantage of this so-called great education. However, this doesn’t seem like the case anymore. Given the current economic situation, the government has had to make some cutbacks, and for some off reason, the first place they cut money from is education. If education is paramount to getting us out of this recession, then furlough days are the last thing we should be doing.

The newly approved furlough days mean that students will be missing 17 Fridays from now until the end of the year. This means that we will be missing almost 80 hours of instruction. I’m no mathematician, but that is a copious amount of time. We already have some of the lowest test scores in the nation, and this isn’t going to help those at all. This especially puts a burden on AP teachers. Unlike other teachers, they HAVE TO cover a certain amount of material in order to prepare their students for the AP exams in May. Now they will be forced to cram more lessons into less time.

Trust me, I understand that the state is in a quagmire with the current economic situation, but I don’t understand why the first place they take money away from is schools. Schools are already greatly underfunded with poor teacher salaries and minimal class materials, and the state continues to take money away. If people were more educated, we might not be in this current economic situation. A lot of students are very grateful for the respite from school, but there are also ardent students who want to go to school and further their education. It isn’t fair for them. Being one of those students, I feel the state doesn’t even care about us. They are just getting money from wherever they can, and it’s not fair to students.

Furlough Fridays sound like a great idea. Teachers don’t necessarily take a pay cut; they just work less. Students get more days off school, and the state saves a bunch of money. But in the long run, it’s a horrible idea.

Our test scores are going to continue to go down, and students are going to become less educated. Eighty hours is a lot of instruction to miss, and it will come back to haunt the state. The state needs more money, but they need to stop taking it from the foundation of our society — the education system.



Buyer beware…

Every day we are irritated by numerous TV commercials for seniors to buy an electric scooter “at little or no cost to you,” and “the freedom to go everywhere.” I called the 1-800 number. “Sorry, you don’t qualify, but we can set you up on an easy payment plan.” Next time, watch the commercial closely. A young man unloads the scooter from a van, rolling it down a large ramp. Next scene, it is in the house! How are you going to get a 250-pound scooter in and out of your house, apartment or car?

Next is send total strangers “your old and broken gold.” ABC News tested this scam. Sent in $1,200 worth of gold and got a check for $207. When they asked for it back, the company said, “Sorry, it’s all been melted down.”

I understand all the anxiety about our health care problems. Another industry that needs investigating is the auto insurance industry. A.M. Best (a company most banks use to verify statistics) reported that auto insurers are paying back $6 on every $100 we send them. That amounts to $60 paid back on $1,000! And we see no uprising about it.



The Maui Chamber of Commerce stated, “Together we can balance water needs, water use and stream health, and put people first.” This sounds like a good plan, but what people are we putting first? 

There is a push by the chamber to support the sugar people over taro farmers and the public who would benefit from aquifer recharge. This is sad to see in Hawaii, where the host culture is a kalo culture and water is a public trust. It’s heartbreaking that Hawaiians need to fight to perpetuate their culture… their identity. This push is motivated more by fear than any other factor. 

I support balancing water needs by giving back at least half of the water — that is the most fair way. It would be the pono thing to do after 147 years of taking ALL of the water.  

Traditionally, islanders did not put “people first,” because people’s wants aren’t always unanimous or what’s best for the environment, and trashing the environment is bad for all people in the long run.

There are many non-controversial steps that can be taken to balance water needs and use that we as a county should look into: allowing use of gray water for toilets and diverting injection wastewater for agricultural irrigation, catchment systems on houses, etc. 

Maybe A&B could even go into the kalo business, as they seem to lose $8 million annually in sugar nowadays. None of the solutions are cheap, but that is a reality we all face. Hemo Wai!



The Lahaina Intermediate School PTSA is proud to announce that our annual Dance-a-thon fund-raiser was a huge success. Thanks to the support of our local community partners, our students raised $17,000, which will be used to support PTSA-sponsored activities throughout the school year.

The dance, which was generously hosted by the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, was a big hit with all the students. Special thanks go to the Royal Lahaina Resort, which provided the ono food, as well as to Tropic Water and Deejay David Mason. Your support of this event highlights your commitment to our students and the community.

Mahalo to the following businesses who generously supported our event: Aloha Mixed Plate, Bubba Gump, Cirque Polynesia, CJ’s Deli & Diner, Cool Cat Café, Costco, Dairy Queen, Executive Shuttle, Expeditions Ferry, Gazebo Restaurant, Glow Putt, Goofy Foot Surf, Honolua Surf, Hula Grill, Ilima’s Nail Salon, Kimo’s Restaurant, Mala Ocean Tavern, Maui Jim, Maui Tacos, Pacific Jet Sports, Pacific Whale Foundation, Paragon Sailing Charters,  Penne Pasta, Roy’s, Ruth’s Chris, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, and UFO Parasail.

A final mahalo goes to the many parents, teachers, staff members and students, who tirelessly volunteered their time to make this event possible.

The Lahaina Intermediate School PTSA helps support the Lahaina After School Tutoring Program, Reflections Art Program, Renaissance Partners in Living and Learning Program, annual LIS Volleyball Tournament, Staff Appreciation events, campus beautification, student incentives and other student events throughout the school year.



Our federal government is out of control. Most federal representatives completely ignore our Constitution that they took a solemn oath to uphold. The feds are responsible, but the real blame is that we the people have allowed it to happen. And it will continue to get worse unless we stop it.

We can start by contacting our senators and congressmen and demand that they make no changes to our health care. The current administration wants, over time, to take total control of our heath care.

Our dollar is no longer backed by gold or silver. It is fiat money made legal tender by the federal government. Furthermore, the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank, a private entity not responsible to anyone, determines how much money should be in circulation. We need to make a first true audit of this organization by urging Congress to pass H.R. 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009.

If we can get enough people to contact Congress about these two items, we will be well on the way to reining in our runaway federal government.