LETTERS for September 2 issue
YOUNG VOTERS CAN IMPACT THE ELECTIONS
How many people under 35 hand write letters, address, stamp and mail them? How many people under 45 know where their polling district is? Why would young people want to take an hour or more out of their busy day and go stand in a line to vote in a system designed hundreds of years ago? How many people under 40 read letters to the editor?
How many people over 60 send text messages? How many people over 70 are skilled with computers? These retiree-age folks are the ones who vote regularly and maintain the political system as we know it. These are the people responsible for making a future they can barely function in.
Over 90 percent of the existing politicians and their constituents are grandparents. Would the old guard ever accept being put out to pasture? Is it conceivable that they could give up their power base and let the younger people have a say?
Streamlining, auditing and modernizing the voting system would lose thousands of antiquated jobs. Only 148 people under age 35 voted in the last election in Maui County, and the good old boys want to keep it that way.
ROGER DATBRAUGH, Lahaina
AMERICANS PAYING FOR OBAMA’S VACATIONS
Michelle Obama should thank the hardworking American people for paying $242,000 plus additional expenses for her vacation in Spain. Her daughter, Sasha, several longtime family friends, her personal staff and various guests had a wonderful time.
Honestly, you just haven’t lived until you have stayed in a $2,500-per-night suite at a Five-Star luxury hotel. Michelle only booked 70 rooms for her friends, staff and family. She also thanks you, the working American people, for the use of Air Force 2 and the 70 Secret Service personnel who tagged along to be sure she was safe and pampered at all times.
Air Force 2 only used 47,500 gallons of jet fuel for this trip, and carbon emissions were a mere 1,031 tons of carbon dioxide. It costs only $11,500 per hour to operate Air Force 2 and each additional plane for the other members of her party group.
These are only rough estimates, but they are close — who’s counting? That’s quite a carbon footprint — as her good friend Al Gore would say — so we must ask the American citizens to drive smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and drive less, too, so we can lessen our combined carbon footprint.
She knows times are hard, and millions of us peons are struggling to put food on the table and trying to make ends meet. Michelle does, I’m certain, appreciate your sacrifice and does hope you find work soon.
Michelle was just really exhausted after Barack took the family on a luxury vacation in Maine a few weeks ago. Therefore, Michelle just had to get away for a few days. Barack and Michelle are now going to Martha’s Vineyard, where they will spend their sixth vacation this year with more of their family and friends.
Doesn’t it just get you right here?
“I never voted for someone, I always voted against someone.” – Mark Twain
RON BOUDREAUX, Lahaina
ORIGIN OF THE SALUTE
In days of yore, armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king — a custom that later became the modern day military salute.
Centuries later, inconsiderate drivers recklessly try to force their way ahead of unsuspecting motorists — a custom that led to the modern day one-finger salute.
JOHNNY ROBISH, Lahaina
COCHRAN WILL GET THINGS DONE ON THE COUNCIL
With a bit of energy, an average citizen can effect positive changes in our community. For over a year, Maui Land & Pineapple Co. and the state Department of Land & Natural Resources seemed to pass the buck around as to why there could be no port-a-potties allowed at Honolua Bay. With often 1,000-plus visitors a day, the lack of facilities were taking a heavy toll on Honolua. Elle Cochran brought “the people who knew the right people” together to make the port-o-potties a reality.
Elle founded, organized, established and was the first president of the Save Honolua Coalition, which was picked by The Maui News as the number one community group that made a difference that year.
Recently, the Kaanapali North Beach Condominium Association forbade the Coral Reef Alliance and Project S.E.A.-Link folks from putting the Reef Etiquette signs in front of one of the last nice little reefs on West Maui by Airport Beach. These signs are found at Mile Marker 14, Ahihi Kina‘u, Mokuleia Bay, Honolua Boat Ramp, South Kaanapali Beach and other places with endangered reefs.
Thanks to Elle Cochran’s local knowledge about who knows who, soon these signs will be posted on the Kaanapali North Beach shoreline.
Elle has trained and has been volunteering as a court mediator, and she has a great track record at getting parties to settle their differences.
Can you name three recent accomplishments from any Maui County politician or political hopeful? If elected, I guarantee Elle’s energy will get more things done in one term than the incumbents have done in their entire careers.
Vote for local girl Elle Cochran for County Council. She’s the only candidate born and raised in West Maui. You’ll be glad you did.
WAYNE COCHRAN, Honolua Valley
CLOSE FRONT STREET TO TRAFFIC ON OCT. 31
Whether you are in favor of Halloween on Front Street or not in favor, 15,000 to 20,000 people will show up on Oct. 3 and there will be a Halloween celebration. The question is, do we ensure that those people are safe and not in harm’s way? Or do we try and make it as unsafe as possible?
It is absolutely mind-boggling insanity to allow motor vehicles on Front Street while there are 15,000 to 20,000 people in the streets. This defies common sense. Someone is bound to get seriously hurt. Maui Police Department will be forced to spend the night herding and pushing people onto the dangerously narrow sidewalks.
Everything will be done to make sure no one has a good time. This is, plain and simple, a public safety issue.
On Oct. 31, Halloween is going to happen in Lahaina, as it does every year.
Neither the mayor nor a single County Council member has stepped up, come forward and shown a shred of leadership in addressing this issue and
solving it. The buck has to stop somewhere. Again, whether you think Halloween on Front Street is a good idea or a bad idea, the reality is, it’s going to happen.
I challenge county government to do the right thing and instruct MPD to close Front Street to motor vehicles from 4 p.m. until midnight on Halloween night to ensure the safety of Maui citizens.
BOB PURE, Lahaina