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LETTERS for December 24 issue

By Staff | Dec 24, 2009


It is amazing that so many voters do not understand what our Congress and President Obama are planning for voters that elected them.    

They want to give us another massive bureaucracy to administer our health care. What most voters do not understand is that the so-called health care reform does not apply to Congress or to our President.

They have their own health plan that is very lavish, and we voters cannot be part of it, but we must pay for it.

 During an ABC-TV special on health care, Obama was asked, “Will you and your family give up your current health care program and join the new program that the rest of us will be on?”

Obama ignored the question and refused to answer it.

Some senators were asked the same question, and they said, “We will think about it.” And they did. They said that Congress will be 100 percent exempt.

So, the new plan is good for us voters, but not good enough for the Obama family and Congress.

What fools we must be! Our elected servants have a much better plan than the voters who hired them.



I am writing this letter to you because I want to let the people of the community know what pollution is and how we can lessen the amount of it in the world, even just our county. Pollution is a demolisher of our natural resources. Pollution is when the land, air and water are soiled with harmful substances.

There are many things in Hawaii that cause pollution. Burning fossil fuels (vehicles) is a large pollutant here in Hawaii. A common effect that we know is smog. Smog effects people who have asthma or breathing problems.

Another pollutant in Hawaii is the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island. When it erupts, it releases 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide. Like we already don’t have enough of it already! Sulfur dioxide can bother our health, effecting our eyes and breathing.

Sugar cane burning is also a major source of pollution in Hawaii. It stinks, and the smoke can affect our health.

Our oceans are being polluted, too. I went to the beach and saw cups, plastics and other trash on the shore. It hurts me to see that some people don’t care about the marine life and just throw anything into our oceans.

Land pollution also happens here in Hawaii. I have my own personal experience to describe what I saw. My dad and I were going Upcountry to one of the landfills. It was filled with trash everywhere.

I think we should stop pollution, recycle more often and use eco-friendly products. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

NICOLE ACERET, Seventh-grader, Lahaina Intermediate School


My name is John Tyrpak, and I was a Maui resident for almost 20 years (from 1985 to 2004). I attended each and every Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament while I lived here and still attend every year, even though I moved back to Vancouver, Washington in 2004. My wife and I plan our annual Maui trip around the basketball tournament each year.

The tournament has changed in so many ways in the last 25 years, it is hard to put it into words, except that it is losing its ‘ohana feeling here on Maui. 

It used to be a great tournament where you met great friends from years past, met great fans from each visiting school, and it was just a nice place to watch great basketball in the middle of winter. I don’t get that feeling anymore. Our little tournament here on Maui is nothing like it used to be, and that is really sad.

Once Kemper Sports (from Chicago) took over the tournament, it became nothing but money — make more money, raise ticket prices, put ads all over the gym. Where’s the ‘ohana now? 

Locals can’t afford a $500 ticket to watch basketball — they are trying to feed their families, since most of them have been laid off or put on unemployment. 

The games are usually packed each day with locals who watch the games. This year, maybe half of what normally comes to watch showed up. The field wasn’t great, but we’ve had bad fields in the past, and the locals came and watched every game… not this year.

 Why not give some of those jobs that Kemper brings out here from Chicago to locals? Even the darn announcer this year was from Chicago… why?      It’s a local tournament with many local ties —  why is it so much about the bottom dollar and making money? It used to be $20 per day, every day, for general admission.

I certainly understand the tournament is big —  but so big it cuts ties to the people who made the tournament what it is in the first place? 

I love the tournament and what it does for Maui, but I hate what it has become and what we’re all losing: our ‘ohana !!!!



If we can make Furlough Fridays, we can make them jump off a building or a cliff! Who’s with me? Many kids want Furlough Fridays, but does that mean risking our education? Furlough Fridays is a sick system of preventing kids to learn. These are some reasons that Furlough Fridays are bad. After all, it is one dream, one chance, six billion people to educate.

The first reason is homework. Children and teens say that the number one reason they hate school is the homework! Homework is a good way to study for tests and to have a review of what you learned. Teachers do give a lot of homework, but they care about their students and their future. Do you care about them?

The second reason is less education! Children need a great education to start their future as adults! Children need to benefit; what’s more important in their life: education or being jobless? Children need to realize that our race needs to improve a lot starting with education. Many kids hate school, and I mean HATE school. Researchers say that 7,000 teenagers quit school without giving it a chance. It’s normal to hate school, but is it normal to quit school? No!

The governor is trying to solve the furlough situation, but all human beings need to have education. Look at me. I’m smart and have honors. That’s not the point, though. You know why I have these characteristics and/or qualities? I LISTEN AND HAVE A LOT OF EDUCATION. You want to be like me or a jobless deadbeat? (No offense, SpongeBob.)

Kids still want furlough days — even parents want it! I think there’s a thing called “Too Much Education.” I suggest at least one Furlough Friday for each school month and find a way to get money for the budget (lemonade stands, etc.). I hate school like the rest of you, but I need education to have a good job. Don’t you?

Furlough Fridays are a good and bad thing. The good news is that kids spend time with their family and three-day weekends! The bad thing is teachers are having a low salary and could quit teaching. I want you to think about the future of mankind. Parents, read this to your kids!

I’m worried about teenagers, however. They think they’re cool, they say that they have enough education and don’t want to go to college. It’s their choice, but do they want a job that pays $1,000 a week or $8 selling stolen equipment? What do you say, America? Do you want Furlough Fridays?



My daughter brought a petition home today concerning school busing. It states that all busing will end as of March 1, 2010, due to the Board of Education refusing to request funding from the legislature.

For the Lahaina area, this will be a traffic disaster.     

Currently, trying to get through the Highway 30/Lahainaluna Road intersection before or just after school is an extended effort in frustration. With hundreds of additional vehicles trying to deliver and pick up kids, we’re looking at Los Angeles style gridlock.

The petition asks parents to contact their state representatives and BOE officials to voice their concern about this issue. I would think that anyone who travels through a school zone would also be motivated to do the same.

I also wonder about the legality of the BOE canceling bus service. At the beginning of the year, parents pay a lump sum and contract for a full year’s bus service. 

If the BOE refuses to honor their part of the contract, then it seems every parent in Hawaii may be able to sign on to a class action suit against the BOE.

MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali


For those of us that believe that climate change and resource mismanagement have left us a future with some repair work needed, how do we broaden the conversation to include and involve others? In other words, when you think you have an important cause, how do you invite other people to learn more about it, see if they agree with you and want to participate in the solution?

For example, there are a lot of people involved in the sustainability movement. I know most of them. We all show up at the same meetings, sometimes preaching to the choir about things we all agree on.

Where are the rest of us?

Some of us in the movement are sanctimonious, knowing that we are RIGHT about the need to begin addressing our future in a new way (try gaining converts with that approach).

I have learned a lot about a possible future we might have if we don’t make big changes. We will run out of oil someday and need to power our world — especially our islands — differently. And beyond the oil issue is the simple idea that we cannot keep taking everything we need from the Earth with no regard to what will be left for future generations. Considering where we live and the way Hawaiians lived — “nuf” said about that.

But those people I see at all the meetings are still a tiny minority. When I move around Maui, I notice all those that I don’t see at sustainability meetings. I struggle just a little about making them wrong for not knowing about these important issues, but quickly realize they are just people with busy lives that haven’t take the same path I have.

What will it take to reach a lot more people, in a respectful manner, that doesn’t insult or intimidate them? What will it take to reach people that are in denial about there being any problem at all? What will it take to get people thinking that we might not always be able to depend on tourism for our economy? That locally grown food is healthy for us and for the planet and should be plentiful and affordable. That it is important to think about the population of the planet — especially on fragile islands. That the gas guzzler we own today might make life harder for our kids tomorrow. That supporting local businesses is more important in the future, as keeping currency flowing inside a system — and not shipped off to a corporate office — will make a huge difference toward a local economy staying healthy.

I really am interested in the answers to these questions. For a long time, I thought that as soon as “they” (did I really think that was the government?) tell me what changes I have to make for all this to work, I’m there. I’ll be the first to make the sacrifices. Now I realize that there is no “they” and I have to be the change. Won’t you join me? I’m in the phone book.