LETTERS for September 9 issue
CLOSE FRONT STREET ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT
It is really sad that once again, cars will be allowed on Front Street in Lahaina on Halloween night instead of people. It is just plain cruel that the 20,000-plus people who come to Lahaina for Halloween will again be forced onto the sidewalks — cramped, colliding and having to breathe the exhaust fumes of the slowly moving, “cruising” cars and taxis. Last year, it made me cough and my eyes tear.
It is a shame that police are used to herd the people onto the sidewalks. It takes just as many as before, but their purpose should be to keep the event in hand. The last year when people could be in the street, there were only 16 problems out of 20,000 attendees — .0008 percent.
More and more visitors are going to Waikiki and Kona for what was our “Maui Halloween,” and our recently reported business revenues for Halloween are down.
And it is a shame that the street can’t be for the great majority of people, so that they can enjoy the camaraderie of Halloween on Front Street without cars, just as we did on the Fourth of July. The few who don’t like the event don’t have to come.
There has been fun in Lahaina historically, and there should be now. We need leadership on Maui to bring us together and to make this happen. Because of health, safety, businesses reasons and fun, Front Street should be just for the people on Halloween night.
DR. GEORGE S. LAVENSON JR., Lahaina
SUPPORT LAHAINA’S HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION
As a candidate and a West Maui resident, I favor the restoration of Halloween as a community event in Lahaina. This is an annual event celebrated in Lahaina for over 30 years. It unites residents and visitors in a Halloween celebration. Continuing this event provides a significant economic boost for Lahaina Town and Front Street businesses, along with a significant boost for Kaanapali hotels and area businesses.
I have created an online petition at GoPetition.com/Petition/38315.html and Facebook page called “Front Street Lahaina Halloween” The purpose of this petition is to rally the community, obtain a new permit, build bridges with those who oppose Halloween, turn it into a fund-raising event and contribute any profits to benefit Hawaiian culture on Front Street, where King Kamehameha III once lived.
If we can make this happen, then everybody wins: Hawaiian causes, the county, the merchants, Maui visitors and the many fans of Lahaina and of Halloween. I believe the people of our community are its greatest resource.
RAMON K. MADDEN, Candidate, House District 10
GET TO KNOW THE BOE CANDIDATES
While we talk a lot about education in this state, most of us know nothing about the Board of Education (BOE).
Did you know that there are 13 members, all elected?
That three of those members are from the outer islands?
That every two years, one of those seats is up for election?
That no matter which outer island you live on, you vote for that seat?
No wonder we know so little. Just once in six years, the candidates come from our own county. In between, we hear almost nothing about the Board of Education.
Two years ago, we voted for Big Island candidates. This year, we vote for Maui candidates. In 2010, the candidates will come from Kauai.
If we care about education in Hawaii, we need to learn about how the BOE works. The first step is learning about this year’s candidates.
Three candidates will appear on the primary ballot. You may even know them: R. Ray Hart, Leona Rocha-Wilson and Barry Wurst. In order to find out more and to compare them, go to the League of Women Voters’ website at www.lwv-hawaii.com/survey.htm
The site has posted brief sketches submitted by the candidates along with their responses to questions posed by the Hawaii County League of Women Voters. Information submitted by other candidates from across the state appears there, too. All candidates were invited to submit their information.
SUSAN DURSIN & HELEN HEMMES, Co-presidents, Hawaii County League of Women Voters
WHO TELLS THE BEST LIES?
This is a repeat from a letter published in October 2008. It’s still the same in 2010:
It’s election time again. Political candidates are making promises that they know are outright lies. We, the public, know they are lies. But we vote for the candidate who tells us the most appealing lie.
We deserve what we get for being gullible again.
ARSENE “BLACKIE” GADARIAN, Lahaina
WHO DOES JO ANNE JOHNSON SUPPORT?
While some may allege that I have made an endorsement for the West Maui County Council race, I am flattered that anyone would think my support has that much influence over the voting public.
To keep this short and to the point, if anyone tells you that I have endorsed them or support any specific candidate in the West Maui race, they would be giving you false information.
To the contrary, since there are many worthy candidates to choose from, I have personally supported many of them by answering questions that are asked of me, and by also giving them my time and insights should they make such requests.
I have even given small donations when I have attended candidate events, since I know how expensive it is to run for office.
While I have refrained from making any endorsements, I feel compelled to state quite firmly that there are two candidates for the West Maui Council race that I absolutely would not wish to see elected: Eve Clute or Alan Fukuyama.
With many other candidates in this already crowded race, I believe the voters of Maui Nui will make their wishes known, and I do sincerely hope that the final two candidates who emerge from the first special election are worthy of your votes and are willing to serve the public honorably and effectively.
JO ANNE JOHNSON, West Maui Councilmember
LAUB DID GOOD WORK FOR VETERANS’ COUNCIL
For 21 years, I’ve been the Maui County Veterans’ Council secretary. I had many presidents.
President Paul Laub did a magnificent difference in the Veterans’ Council. He will make a great leader and get the work done. He will make a great addition on the Maui County Council.
CAROLINE K. TOM
FEDERAL ACT WILL CREATE AND SAVE JOBS
The cry from the American people for the past several years is “fix the economy.”
In Obama’s 9/9/09 speech, he stated, “A full and vibrant recovery is many months away. And I will not let up until those Americans who seek jobs can find them; until those businesses that seek capital and credit can thrive; until all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes. That is our ultimate goal.”
After Obama made his promise to help job seekers and businesses, it took nine months for Congress to pass the Federal Small Business Jobs Act (Jobs Act). On June 29, 2010, the Jobs Act was released by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu. According to the Senate Committee on Finance website (http://finance.senate.gov), the Jobs Act is “fully paid for, closes unintended tax loopholes and reduces the tax gap.”
The Jobs Act was enacted to help small businesses access capital, stimulate investment in small businesses and promote entrepreneurship — all of which will help small businesses create local jobs.
Congress established a Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) of $30 billion to provide capital investments to small community banks to increase small business lending. In addition, the Jobs Act created the State Small Business Credit Initiative to provide $900 million in grants to various small business programs. Maui Economic Opportunity Work Force Development and the Hawaii Small Business Development Center, among other Maui County agencies and businesses, can access this money for business development.
With the economy improving and more tourists visiting the islands, starting a business and improving an existing business can be funded through the SBLF. With more local businesses comes more local spending, which will bring more tax dollars to Maui County.
The Jobs Act is expected to create new or save 200,000 existing jobs. What this means for the Maui County budget is that the unfilled jobs cut from the budget could be restored and filled by qualified workers.
EVE CLUTE, Lahaina
VOTE FOR CLUTE
Eve Clute is very qualified for the County Council. She is very wise and works with the community to solve problems.
That is only one part of the story. In addition, Eve is everyone’s mom. She is a volunteer cook for the homeless, bakes cookies for the neighborhood kids and takes food to the workers at the Salvation Army. Eve cares about the people of Maui.
Eve deserves your vote on Sept. 18 in the Primary Election.
BETTY MAGPALI, Lahaina