LETTERS for March 4 issue
KEEP LIBRARIES OPEN WHEN SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED
Furlough Fridays have had a huge negative impact on our education system. However, I doubt the government will be able to address this issue satisfactorily anytime in the near future. State public libraries have also been observing furloughs.
Lahaina Public Library has been closed on Wednesdays for the month of February, which I can understand in these tough economic times. The thing that I am really disappointed in is for the month of March, library furloughs will be on Friday — the same as public school furloughs.
This takes away yet another opportunity for our keiki to learn on Friday. Why not keep the furlough on Wednesday, when kids will be in school anyway?
What are our state’s priorities? Don’t those in position of power to make these types of decisions understand that with every opportunity to learn that they take away from students, they are jeopardizing all of our futures?
Who is responsible for making such an irresponsible decision, and how can it be changed back to Wednesday furloughs?
ALONZO RIVERA, Lahaina
LAHAINA INTERSECTION IS DANGEROUS
There are four intersections on Highway 30 in West Maui that are extremely dangerous. Let’s just talk about the worst today: KAPUNAKEA STREET/HIGHWAY 30.
Practically, with every change of the lights, two or three cars run a yellow or red light — often also going over the speed limit — “to make it through.”
This results in almost daily accidents. Just on Saturday, Jan. 9, there were TWO accidents back to back: one around 5 p.m., and the second about two hours later. Crossing that intersection as a pedestrian is a suicide mission.
What does the county do? NOTHING! What does Maui Police Department do? NOTHING, except show up AFTER the accident.
Let’s see… between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day, there are AT LEAST 20-30 cars that should be ticketed. During the night, there are less, but faster. So, let’s be very conservative: five cars ticketed per hour at $200 each equals $1,000 per hour, $24,000 per day and $8,760,000 per year — almost $9 MILLION at a very conservative estimate.
That should easily pay for the purchase, installment and maintenance of speed guns/monitoring cameras there, and also at three other intersections on Highway 30: Lahainaluna Road, Keawe Street and Kaanapali Parkway.
The less costly way would be to position a squad car with a good enough camera, but that would mean to deploy more police cars than we can afford. Not to mention that there are no places shady enough where the police could park. We cannot expect that our “finest” would suffer from heat exhaustion.
How many more accidents with property (car) damage, injuries and fatalities do we have to witness before anything is done? I was hoping that when our esteemed chief assumed command about a year ago, he would do a better job than his predecessor. But Wailuku is far away from Lahaina.
And I have not even mentioned the worst case scenario yet! One of these days, a car involved in one of these accidents will flip over the guardrail at the gas station, hit a gas pump, and an entire block will be leveled in the ensuing explosion when the entire gas station goes up. There are not enough ambulances to get everyone injured to the hospital.
Installing those cameras/speed guns would put a lot of money in Maui’s coffers, thereby improving our MPD in terms of equipment and personnel.
Enforcement would also make that stretch of highway safer, because word will get around (at least among the residents).
So why has nothing been done yet? Because this is Maui, and we are WAY too apathetic and indifferent in almost all ways.
JOHN BLAHUTA, Lahaina
GET RID OF THE LOCKS
My family and I were fortunate enough to spend two weeks in Hawaii staying at a Kahana resort.
I am writing to express my disapproval of the absurd gating system that was implemented around the complex. Every resident is required to carry three keys around with them every day, all day, in order to cross the complex to do laundry, swim, etc.
The gates serve no purpose other than to annoy residents. Locals will always be able to access the beach, which they have every right to do, through the adjoining properties. You have to use the gates to get in and out of the complex, which means that traversing the property to visit friends requires the use of one key four times.
The end result is that the guests, paying guests, who are at the resort to relax are the ones that are punished. Unlock these gates now!
My research uncovered the fact that some permanent board members are able to proxy-vote in the absence of most other board members. This “railroading” tactic gives an inordinate amount of power to a few clueless and misguided individuals who simply didn’t think things through. That is the reason why this ridiculous system was implemented.
The absurd gate system is as much the opposite of aloha as you can get. Here is another case of Mainland thinking taking away the beauty and freedom of Hawaii.
JOSHUA SAFFREN, San Carlos, California
EXPLORE IMPACTS BEFORE CHANGING NATURE
We need to be very careful when we try to improve on nature. Things can be labeled invasive or endemic, but all of these living things are interconnected and play an important role in our environment.
Take for example the “invasive” ironwood trees that were growing on Hawea, Makaluapuna Point and surrounding coastal areas. These tree roots were home to the protected uau kani (wedge-tailed shearwater), but were cut down because a corporation labeled them as invasive.
Cutting down the trees had an added side benefit to the landowners, resulting in unobstructed ocean views. There are also negative effects on coastal conservation land that is also habitat to the protected uau kani.
It also changes the micro-climate by allowing strong winds and harsh conditions to affect remaining plants in previously protected areas.
Last year, the native plants that had been planned to take the place of the ironwoods did not thrive. The naupaka is dying, an old a‘ali‘i has died and what of the uau kini’s habitat?
This year, with the irrigation lines being added, the native plants are doing better, but what happens when the irrigation is removed during uau kani breeding season?
The coastal trails have attracted hundreds of uninformed hikers to this area, further disturbing the uau kini and endangering hikers during times of high surf.
I must ask whom have all of these “improvements” benefited? It doesn’t seem to be the environment, the uau kani or the local population.
ISAO NAKAGAWA, Napili
OBAMA SHOULD GET TO WORK
As an independent, I took issue with G.W. Bush on a number of items. However, it has been a year-plus since this product of the Chicago Daley Political Machine entered the White House, and I am not a happy camper with his continuous line of crap to the American people and the world.
Do you remember these quotes? Thought it would be good to remind you of some of the lies brought to you by the new occupant of the Oval Office:
“I promise 100 percent transparency in my administration.”
“I promise NO NEW TAXES on a family making less than $250,000 a year.”
“I will allow five days of public comment before I sign any bills.”
“I will remove earmarks for PORK projects before I sign any bill.”
“I will end income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 a year.”
“I’ll put the health care negotiations on C-SPAN so everyone can see who is at the table.”
Also, I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of seeing his arrogant sneer in the paper and on TV DAILY. I truly think he might do some good if he would stay in the Oval Office and hunker down to the job at hand. On second thought, America is better off that he is out of the office and in his perpetual “Campaign Mode.” This guy hasn’t a clue how to govern.
RON BOUDREAUX, Lahaina
NO SEXISTS IN FOXHOLES
It is time to repeal the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding gays in the military. If a soldier is willing to put his or her life on the line to serve and defend this country, sexual orientation is irrelevant. There are no sexists in foxholes.
The content of a person’s character is what defines that person. Speaking as a decades-long practicing doctor of human sexuality, I know for a fact that sexual orientation is not a lifestyle choice, but it is in actuality biologically predetermined.
As a straight man and former Marine, I proudly served alongside gay men and women in uniform. They served their country with honor and distinction, as did previous generations of gay military personnel before them. Gays in the military have undeniably earned both our trust and thanks.
DR. MICHAEL RA BOUCHARD, Hilo