LETTERS for June 3 issue
HELP CLEAN UP HONOLUA
Mahalo to Tamara of Save Honolua Coalition for the kind words (Lahaina News Vol. 30, No. 18). After her letter came out, I had another person ask an interesting question: “I keep hearing about these cleanups at Honolua and how you filled two roll-off dumpsters. How much more stuff can be out there?”
Well, actually, that made about the tenth or twelfth dumpster we have filled in the last couple years. How much more? About 50 years’ worth!!
We have made progress. All the big stuff — cars, refrigerators, etc. — are gone from Lipoa, but there are still 15 more cars on Kanounou Point and the remains of about five more at Nakalele. There are still more little piles on Lipoa: roofing tiles, bathroom tiles, a couple engine blocks, old carpet — stuff like that.
The Friends of Ron Cassidy will have another “Malama Honolua” effort on Saturday, June 19. (They usually have a pretty good party after.)
The friends of Ron Cassidy will have another “Malama Honolua” effort on Saturday, June 19 (they usually have a pretty good party after). Then on Sunday, June 27, Surfrider Foundation is sponsoring a cleanup at Kahului Harbor (in observance of International Surfing Day). Plenny plastic inside. Mahalo to all those who “make things happen.”
LES POTTS, Napili
AIONA HAS INTEGRITY
What a pleasure it was to see and hear Duke Aiona, candidate for governor of Hawaii. I was fortunate to attend a rally for Aiona, where he spoke about the issues he’s most passionate about.
At the top of his list are children and their education. Aiona said “it is less expensive to invest in our keiki now and give them a strong foundation and the tools to be a productive adult than it is to fix a broken adult.” How profound is that statement?
I was also touched when he was asked, “Why would you want to be governor during a time such as this with so many problems?”
His answer: “Why wouldn’t I; what an opportunity.” I couldn’t help but remember a quote I once read by Winston Churchill: “The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Holocaust survivor and famous author Viktor Frumkl wrote, “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last human freedom, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
Remember that the right attitude can change the world.
Finally, I admire Duke because he doesn’t try to purchase popularity at the expense of integrity and sincerity. Mahalo, Duke — you have my vote.
CHAYNE MARTEN, Maui Green Team
ROUND-A-BOUTS KEEP TRAFFIC MOVING
I enjoyed Doug Karr’s letter regarding the synchronizing of the Lahaina traffic signals, but the truth of the matter is that there is a far better solution.
Do away with the lights altogether and put in round-a-bouts like they have in New Zealand at most all busy intersections.
They have no traffic backups, tremendous amounts of gasoline are saved by not having to stop in line, and they are quite pretty with gardens in the middle.
It works beautifully, and it is embarrassing and frustrating to come back from there and see how backwards we are.
DAVE BARCA, Napili
THE DARK SIDE OF POLITICS
The result in the May 22 election was most attributable to around $1 million in false attack ads leveled at me in the closing weeks by both of my opponents and their supporters.
Charles Djou’s main goal was, of course, to win against the candidate he viewed as his real threat. But it was also to push me below Colleen Hanabusa in the hope that she, rather than me, will be his opponent in November’s general election.
Colleen’s goal, as confirmed election night by her campaign manager, was not to beat Charles but to finish second. This was so she could claim entitlement to the primary nomination, although my candidacy is the stronger one against Charles in the general.
Both achieved their goals. But how?
Here are two amazingly frank post-election articles describing how Charles and the national Republicans went about it and why:
From Politico out of D.C.: “GOP Threw Gasoline On Hawaii Fires.”
From the Independent Women’s Voice, the conservative D.C. group which alone spent around $250,000 on attack ads: “In Hawaii’s first congressional district, not only did Charles Djou win, Ed Case came in third.”
These articles outline the dark side of politics. Negative, D.C.-style attack politics are widely decried but too often work, as they certainly did here. And they are forgotten, forgiven or explained away as “just politics” once the results are in.
As a result, unfortunately, we can expect far more of the same as we enter the primary and general elections.
ED CASE, U.S. Congressman (2002-07)
NO MORE TAX INCREASES
I have been following the actions of the Maui County Council on the issue of real estate tax increases. I cannot believe in this economy, when your number one industry is tourism, that the council would even consider increasing taxes for any small business owner. And, owning and operating a vacation condo rental is a small business.
The council is moronic. The small business vacation renter just got slapped with a 2 percent increase in TAT taxes — that we passed on to the tourists — and now you want tourists to absorb an increase in their daily rates to stay here?
This may be “paradise,” but it is now becoming unaffordable to visit. Trust me — all potential visitors are looking for deals to stay here, and the landlords are not in a position to continue to absorb these increases.
Instead of helping the economy, you are killing your top industry. Why don’t you look at the services provided by your county and make those difficult decisions that all state, county and local municipalities are implementing.
Take out the bloat in your government. This really is the time to streamline services and become more efficient. Also, shouldn’t the citizens of Maui and Hawaii begin to pay for those services they use; increase their state income taxes and share the burden in these tough times. Maui residents are the people who benefit from their visitors.
Also, start to reduce entitlements. While visiting a local gym, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation. A guy said he is collecting $525 per week on unemployment and recently turned down a job paying $10 per hour so he could surf on the taxpayers’ dime. Give me a break! This guy should be cut off from benefits immediately. I am sure there are many more such examples.
Any more tax increases and I will dump everything here in Hawaii and look elsewhere to invest. It is just idiotic to think I am working to bring people to your state when you continue to penalize me for a job well done.
Think this through, will you?
I am a condo owner who is just getting very frustrated about being the scapegoat for all the financial woes of this economy in Hawaii.
JIM BOCHINSKI, Reno, Nevada