LETTERS for February 25 issue
PUT SKATERS IN CHARGE OF PROJECTS
The Lahaina Skate Park is coming on line in a relatively short period of time (ten years?) compared to the Lahaina Bypass (30 years) and widening of Honoapiilani Highway (still waiting).
The groups who are promoting the bypass and the highway widening should hire the skater boyz as lobbyists, as they appear to be very effective in working with county and state government.
MIKE SOWERS, Lahaina
WHO WILL DEAL WITH AG-RELATED PROBLEMS?
Agriculture is a vital part of Maui’s future. However, years of harmful herbicide use in the past is continuing to contribute to ecological decline. As a society, we need to be mindful and take steps to mitigate the detrimental effects that are continuing until today. Along Highway 30 near Kapalua Airport, almost all the ironwood trees are dead. This is not because of lack of water. These trees were put up as dust control, and contaminants remaining in the dust are killing the trees, and this toxic dust is blowing into the air we all breathe. The old pineapple road should be paved to prevent this toxic dust from blowing into the environment.
At Honolua’s Lipoa Point, the cactus used to be so plentiful it was impassable. Now, the contaminated dust is killing the cactus and shower trees, the seaweed that used to be plentiful is gone, and coral cover is below 10 percent. The surfers’ access needs to be paved and tilted away from the cliff toward the sediment retention basin — this was specifically made to deal with runoff, but it’s not catching runoff from the surfers’ road, and all the dust kicked up by vehicles is a primary factor in destroying the ecology of the area.
This environmental degradation is serious, and mitigation needs to be made a priority. Now that Maui Land & Pineapple is in so much debt, and many of the previous decision-makers are gone, who will be held accountable?
ISAO NAKAGAWA, Napili
HELP MAKE THE SURFRIDER FOUNDATION STRONGER
The term backpedalling (walking backwards) is used by surfers when walking back from the nose.
In 1969-70, I worked on a film called “Rainbow Bridge” with Mike Hynson, David Nuuhiwa and Jimi Hendrix. Back then, there were plans to expand Maalaea Harbor in the area known as “Freight Trains.” In the film, Hynson made an impassioned plea for the preservation of Maalaea. Since then, Jan Roberson of Surfrider Foundation has spearheaded efforts to preserve Maalaea for many years.
Also around that time, we were hearing about plans to make “harbor improvements” at Honolua Bay. This included a breakwater at the base of the cliff by the Cave. “You can kick out before the breakwater,” they told us. “Right,” we thought, with visions of slamming into the breakwater on a ten-foot day!
We had just seen Dana Point in California go from a right point break to a huge harbor. We pleaded with Colin Cameron, then president of Maui Pine, for help, and he went to the state with the idea of making Honolua a Marine Life Conservation District. Otherwise, the reef would have been blown up, dredged and destroyed.
In the 1970s, I had a couple contests at the bay and did some trail improvements for the contest. When it rained, I noticed that our trails got washed out because the surfers’ access road tips toward the ocean.
I’ve been looking for a way to correct that ever since. When MLP came up with plans for a golf course and surf park, I kind of liked the idea because it addressed the problem of the black plastic left over from ag, and it would have been a way to fix the surfers’ access road. Besides, the plan before that was 16 house lots on the point — that was the plan I did not like! The golf course and surf park got shot down by the public, and we still have the same drainage problem that sends mud and dust out to choke the reef.
In these tough economic times, most nonprofit organizations are suffering, so rather than start a new one, I am gonna “backpedal” and join up with the Surfrider Foundation, one of the original ocean-oriented nonprofit organizations, and see if we can find a solution. Jan has now stepped down from Surfrider, and new plans are in the works for Maalaea. We need to regroup. Please come join us for a meeting and surf movie on Wednesday, March 10, at the Whale Sanctuary (the big blue building by the Kihei fishpond) at 726 S. Kihei Road at 6 p.m.
LES POTTS, Napili
UNIFORMS DON’T SOLVE PROBLEMS AT LIS
Uniforms… the end of originality! Lahaina Intermediate School once had no uniforms, a teacher said. However, she is not sure why uniforms were established. I feel that uniforms should be banned because of two main reasons. First, school uniforms violate a student’s right to freedom of expression. Second, they are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence.
First, wearing uniforms violates a student’s right to freedom of expression. A peer explained, “It makes me feel like I have to be someone else than who I am.” When students “manipulate” their uniforms, they are trying to express their individuality. Many educators and sociology experts believe that making children wear uniforms stifles their self-expression. They say that it’s an important part of our development, and they believe that students who are required to wear uniforms will only find less approvable ways to express themselves, possibly through inappropriate use of jewelry and make-up.
Experts also believe that public educators are trying to force every student into one mold, when we should all be celebrating and accepting our differences. Uniforms do not prepare us for the real world either, as we will continue to be judged by our appearance. We should be able to embrace our uniqueness, because what kind of world would ours be if everyone was the same?
Second, uniforms are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence. Some teachers said that uniforms helped reduce the number of fights. However, I don’t see any difference on the number of fights in our school. A teacher of mine said that the kids who got into fights were either peer pressured into it, or it was based on rumors. What kind of people have we become when we force someone to fight? Aren’t we better than this? We should spend less time arguing about these things and more time building our trust with one another.
We are going to have a new, three-lunch bell schedule pretty soon. Do you know why? It’s because of the fights. It’s gotten so bad that we have to be encased in the cafeteria for the whole lunch period. Uniforms are supposed to lessen fights and barriers, according to my opponents. If this is what they are supposed to do, why do we have to stay in the cafeteria all lunch period? If the desired outcome is not reached, then what valid reason is there to have uniforms?
The opposition said that uniforms help diminish social and economic walls, while also improving academic, behavioral and social outcomes. In reality, they do not. These experts argue that the studies of schools that have established uniforms do not report any improvement in these areas. We have uniforms right now — do you see us holding hands and singing around the campfire? I don’t think so. We all have our cliques, because those are the people who we feel comfortable hanging out with. The public educators should be having activities where we build trust and respect within ourselves and each other. The problem is not the uniforms — it’s us.
I am against uniforms, because they violate our right to freedom of expression and are simply a Band-Aid to a bigger issue in our school. I want YOU, dear reader, to fight for your right to your individuality. Our planet is filled with people who are unique and special. What if we were all the same? Think about it, dear reader. Think about it.
BEATRIZ HARO, Lahaina