LETTERS for April 29 issue
COUNTY SINGLING OUT LAUNIUPOKO WALLS
It’s too late for us. Our beautiful wall that hurt no one was torn down a foot. The mayor and her planning director, Kathleen Aoki, and inspector, Sonny Huh, refused to consider the request of the County Council to defer any action on the 50-plus violations in Launiupoko for walls and pedestals over four feet tall.
We fought for months, having gone through three variance hearings only to be denied, and the final letter stating that our $1,000 a day fine would start May 1 did it. The wall had to come down.
The mayor was on the council when the law was passed in 1998. She knows it was for viewplane on beachfront lots on a highway in Kihei or on the road to Hana. What was the urgency? The wall had been up for ten years — why couldn’t she wait until the law was reviewed?
We also have proof that the Planning Department issued permits in violation of its own law, but won’t rescind those permits and force them to take their walls down to four feet. Where is the justice? Is it just pick and choose? Seems like only Launiupoko got violations. That’s discrimination.
The mayor’s web page states: “The relationship between government and the public is an important relationship and one that she values deeply.” I don’t think so. She should practice what she preaches. Her department would not even work with us to solve the problem — just take it down or pay the fine!
Her departments should all be on the same page. One department says the wall is okay; another says it’s not. They should have stopped the first wall being built ten years ago. Now we all have to pay for their ignorance of that law. What happened to compassion and common sense? It must has been replaced by power and greed.
ELIZABETH WHITEHEAD, Lahaina
WHO WOULD ATTACK A BABY DEER?
A friend’s daughter attends Lahainaluna High School. One of her classes is Aquaculture/Agriculture. One of the highlights in the class is taking care of a baby axis deer named Flower. The deer is so tame and trusting, she will climb into my daughter’s lap for a nap.
Sometime during the night of April 18, a male — who was caught on video surveillance — jumped a fence and beat the baby deer terribly. The injuries include broken teeth, cuts to face and chest, bruises — the list goes on and on. My friend’s daughter is heartbroken.
What kind of person could do something like this to a defenseless baby deer locked up in a pen? No other animals were harmed and nothing was stolen, so the baby deer was the focus of this attack. Whoever did this is not a human being. He may appear in human form, but is, in fact, a monster.
I hope the police bring this monster among us to justice fast. One can only imagine what other attacks this sick person is contemplating.
LILLIAN NEQUAM, Kahana
DON’T OPEN SURFING SITES UP FOR CONTESTS
Senate Bill 2646 looks to create surfing reserve designations in Hawaii.
A stated purpose of the bill is the creation of reserves for recreation AND competitive surfing. This stated purpose sets off the alarm bells.
Save Our Surf (SOS) advocates for recreational surfers and not for professional surfing events, since those events are often at the expense of the recreational surfer.
Competitive surfing equals surf contests. Professional contests take away from recreational surfers with reduced surfing opportunities for recreational surfing at peak surf times. One of the surf sites identified in this bill is Honolua Bay, Maui.
Passage of this bill equates competitive surfing interests with recreational surfing interests — thereby putting a “foot in the door” for professional contests and subordinating recreational interests to commercial interests.
The proliferation of contests has been somewhat held in check by the City and County permit process. It is relevant to note that community associations and surfers have battled to limit surf contests.
Do we want to provide a foot in the door for contest promoters (commercial interests) by passing this bill, thereby injecting the state into the conflict between the interests of the public (recreational surfers) and commercial interests?
SOS recommends the Maui surfing community immediately contact State Rep. Angus McKelvey to voice their opposition to this bill.
DLNR is currently supporting this bill. I wonder why? Could it be for highway improvement monies for DLNR if this bill passes, which will lead to more traffic allowed into the Honolua Bay area for surf contests?
SOS says no to surfing reserves! We hope our elected officials do the same
We must remember — surfing sites are ocean parks for all the people of Hawaii.
GEORGE DOWNING, Save Our Surf Spokesperson
FURLOUGH STALEMATE SHOWS LACK OF LEADERSHIP
Hawaii deserves a governor who can demonstrate the necessary leadership to bring diverse parties together, not keep them apart by creating an adversarial environment — as has occurred over the state’s Furlough Fridays stalemate. The students should not be used as pawns, and the media is not the place to negotiate labor disputes. It’s true that all state employees must contribute to reducing the state’s fiscal crisis. Teachers, administrators and support staff are willing to bear their share of reductions, but eliminating instructional days via Furlough Fridays is simply not an unacceptable approach.
In fact, the state Department of Education and Board of Education should be ensuring that our children receive at least a minimum number of daily instructional hours. Because the BOE failed to act, I introduced legislation at the beginning of this current legislative session requiring a minimum number of instructional hours. House Bill 2486 is currently in conference committee.
In the meantime, the governor could bring all parties together to work out a child-centered solution to replace Furlough Fridays while still reducing DOE expenditures. The unconscionable arrest of parents and students in the Governor’s Office certainly demonstrates that Hawaii needs leadership that will unite our creative-thinking adults to develop and implement cost saving options without sacrificing our children’s very future.
REP. LYLA BERG, Vice-Chair, House Education Committee
GET TO WORK, BUREAUCRATS!
I have a complaint about our politicians. After listening to the recent nonsense on Oahu between Hanabusa, Case and Djou all using negative campaigning, the school teachers having a sit-in at the Governor’s Office, the governor herself not giving a damn, the school committee causing Furlough Fridays, and the unions not doing anything to help, everyone who said “he said, she said” are to blame. No one wants to do anything to help our children.
The Lingle team, all politicians, the union and the teachers should all pull their heads out of their butts and start doing what is needed for our children.
I am sure that the county and state could fix things if they try. So far, no one seems to care.
ROBERT P. POTTER, Napili