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LETTERS for November 18 issue

By Staff | Nov 18, 2010


The 32nd annual Keiki Halloween Costume Parade was a great success on Oct. 31. Keiki came out in a large crowd to proudly parade down Front Street.

The parade ended at Banyan Tree Park, where keiki walked across the stage to show off their costumes and provide parents an opportunity for pictures. Keiki received ribbons for participation and a trick-or-treat bag of candy.

The three civic clubs — West Maui Soroptimists, Lahaina Sunrise Rotary and Lahaina Rotary Club — united to spread aloha in Lahaina and bring a community together for an event for our keiki.

Together, the civic clubs would like to extend thanks and gratitude to some fine Maui businesses that helped with this great event.

Warm mahalo to the following companies for supporting such a wonderful event: Grand Wailea Resort and Spa, Sheraton Maui Resort, Maui Ocean Center, Kapalua Adventures Ziplines, Paradise Weddings, Tickets on the Rocks, Sir Wilfred’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Lahaina Ice Cream Shop, Westin Resort Maui, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., 5A Rent a Space, ‘Ulalena, Atlantis Submarines and Trilogy.



Somewhere in this stack of books — maybe the one by the sofa table, or the one in the laundry room, or maybe even the one on the floor in front of the three overfilled bookcases — is the very book my club is about to discuss in ten minutes of travel time.

The book is “Conspirata” by Robert Harris, the second in a Roman trilogy covering Cicero’s life, a great Senator, as recorded through the eyes of his slave, Tiro, himself credited as an early inventor of shorthand.

Harris’ first book is “Imperium,” and there it is, stacked way up high on top of his novel, “Pompeii,” which is not part of the series but worthy in its own right, given it covers the last two days before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and the two days following… not a pretty situation and one that remains high on my list of ways to never die (if that can be avoided while living on an island with its own volcano).

“Pompeii” is a must-read for anyone who has ever been curious about this historic city and its remains. That said, I’m running out of time and I still have not located “Conspirata.”

“Where is it?” I wonder, and scamper around to yet another stack of books located discreetly in the master bedroom.

Empty handed, I rush to Barnes & Noble only to realize that while sitting at a red light, there never was an actual book. It was on my iPad — something recently acquired as part of an orchard of Apple products so that I could stay abreast of today’s technology.

The realization makes me giggle and a new realization forms… I am in transition. All my life I have reached for books, and as of this morning, the one I wanted did not exist… and yet it did. Only now it is tucked between the black covers of a half-inch-thick technological wonder and not stacked one on top of the other in an overfilled bookcase for all to see. How interesting.



I am a little confused by your article on foreclosures. You state that after only three months of not paying my mortgage payments, my mortgage company has the right to seek a way to recoup the money that they loaned to me. Money that I agreed to repay, so that I might have the pleasure of living in a home that possibly, for reasons totally beyond my control, I am no longer able to afford.

You imply that this is, somehow or other, not ethical or proper. Do you have a suggestion to resolve the issue? Would it be more proper for them to wait six months or a year before they can attempt to get their money back, or do you have some other idea — like perhaps they should forgive some of the debt that I rightfully owe to them, and perhaps lower my interest rate and payments to the point where I might be able to pay them something toward the money that they loaned to me upon my request?

The problem with either of these solutions is that it is very bad business. That means less profits, or perhaps a loss for the company and all the many American stockholders that are trying to survive in these tough times. It would, of course, require downsizing the mortgage company and perhaps closing offices, which would result in laying off more people and putting them in danger of not being able to pay their mortgages.

Perhaps it is possible that I overextended myself financially in the hopes of living in a nicer home. Or, is it even possible that I might have been trying to make a profit in the boom times of real estate? In any case, it seems reasonable to me that I will have to downsize my home to something that I can afford. Unless, of course, our government will take some more of your and others’ money in the form of taxes and give it to me, so that I may continue to live in a home that I cannot afford. That, I must admit, would make me smile to think that all of you nice folks are willing to share in making my payments!



Every time I think life is tough, I realize that some things are easy.

Drumsticks are easy to eat. They have handles for picking them up. Shrimp have built-in handles, too.

And best of all, French fries have two handles — one at each end.

Why says things are tough?



Republicans now find themselves in the dilemma of a car-chasing dog that finally catches one. What does he do with it?

The rhetoric of the “Republican revolution” that swept the party to victory in the recent elections is long on generalities — smaller government, lower taxes, less spending — but short on specifics.

How much smaller? Whose taxes? What spending? Inquiring minds have asked these questions without receiving satisfactory answers.

The magic spell that led to the Republican victory was extraordinary. The GOP ran on a traditional Republican spats-and-top-hat platform, yet managed to reveal itself as a populist uprising.

In an economy that has terrified people about job loss, Republicans argued against stimulus programs that create jobs.

In an environment where the filthy rich keep getting filthier all the time, Republicans favored tax cuts for the rich and health care cuts for the poor.

With more people facing bleak economic circumstances, Republicans said they would cut government services.

And less than two years after a newly deregulated financial industry had all but martyred the country with its reckless risk-taking, Republicans promised to free big business from regulation — yet again.

They won control of the House of Representatives and narrowed the Democratic majority in the Senate anyway. It wasn’t an election. It was a magic act.

Democrats were reduced to apologizing for voting for better health care, repairing roads and bridges and saving General Motors from bankruptcy. They promised not to do it again, but the voters didn’t believe them.

So, now what? All we know for sure is that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has a goal. He told a group of Republican fat cats “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Ponder that for a moment. How can Republicans ensure Barack Obama’s defeat in 2012? By working to keep the economy in the tank for the next two years! That’s the primary goal of the Republican leader of the Senate.

Voters responded to hard times by increasing the power of an avowed enemy of prosperity. Go figure.

If progressive Democrats are looking for that rabbit in the hat — and who isn’t? — it’s that so many conservative Democrats lost that Dem lawmakers are, on the average, more liberal than they were before the election.

But they’re a minority in the House now.



On behalf of the King Kamehameha III Elementary School PTA, I would like to express our deepest appreciation and thanks to the students, parents, teachers and staff, businesses and volunteers who made our biggest fundraising event, the eighth annual Fall Fun Walk, a huge success!

BIG MAHALO to The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Piiholo Zipline, UFO Parasail, Pacific Whale Foundation, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kahili Golf Course, Feast at Lele, ‘Ulalena at Maui Theatre, The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and its Pulehu Restaurant, Maui Advertising Company-Patti Link & Mort Krajec, owners of Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center (Bilarjo LLC) and management company Peake & Levoy, Hali’imaile Pineapple Company, Trilogy, Maui Toy Works, Bubba Gumps, Cane & Taro, Sansei’s Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Cilantro, Pizza Paradiso, Penne Pasta, Hula Grill, Maui Jim, Aloha Mixed Plate, Pua Olena Lapota, Lori Gupton, Darice Garcia, Doreen Buenconsejo, Alexa Hanohano, Lisa Segura, Michelle Heile, Amber and Oscar Villanueva, Vangie Souza, Carlos Wegner, Shannon Wegner, Lynn Manibog, Kerri Aotaki, Cassidy O’Donnell, Cherise Shulman, Laura Hussey, Kitt Percy, Evette Green, Lesley Vierra, Celeste Olson, Denise Smith, Karen Twitchell, Sarah Mestanza, Wendi Goodwin, Principal Steve Franz, Vice Principal Dawn Mains, Fran Flores and staff, Robyn Rodriguez, Liz Laborte, Hulali Waiohu, Dionne Santos, Gina Chavez, Claire Tillman, Edson Wagatsuma, Kit Story, Janet Draper, Kathy Kekahuna and Wendy Keanini.

See you next year!

KERRI AOTAKI, PTA President, King Kamehameha III Elementary School