LETTERS for March 3 issue
MAHALO FOR ORGANIZING S-TURNS SURF CONTEST
We would like to thank Uncle Bert, Uncle Johnny, Auntie Suzie and all the rest of the hardworking gang that put together the ninth annual S-Turns longboard contest for the keiki.
This group of people works tirelessly to put this contest on. It takes a huge personal commitment from these folks to put on such a successful event year after year.
They give the keiki breakfast, which means they have been up all night preparing.
They give the keiki midmorning snacks and then a wonderful lunch.
All throughout the day they have raffles, and the kids win all sorts of donated prizes.
At the end of the day, a trophy ceremony is done along with a huge amount of surfboard giveaways. Boards are donated by local contractors, vendors, etc. All the boards are new — never been used. The smiles that come from the kids who win these boards are priceless.
All of this is for FREE!!! All they ask is that we pick up our rubbish when we leave.
We can’t thank these people enough for what they do. You truly are a wonderful group of folks.
Next year will be their 10th annual event, and I hope all local businesses can come out and help support it.
THE LERBACK FAMILY
A BEAUTIFUL MAUI ENCOUNTER
This Maui is so amazing. For instance, on Saturday, as we rested at S-Turns in our outrigger, we watched as a bull whale turned upward to see us only a few feet below our paddles. Mama was near, elegantly breaking in a slow, meticulous roll as her calf joyfully breached… hard and happily in celebration of its new life.
Between the collective pause in our breathing and our excited exhales, we were held spellbound, absorbed in the mutual understanding that we had just experienced something incredibly beautiful.
ELAINE GALLANT, Lahaina
LA’AU LAPA’AU LICENSING A BAD IDEA
(The following letter was sent to all state legislators and the Maui County Council.)
This is in regard to recent news publications about the proposed program at the University of Hawaii. In just a few words, I don’t think this is a very good idea, because it distracts from the ancient history of La’au Lapa’au training given to our modern day practitioners by their ancestors. To be issued a “license” after four years of college classes makes me wonder about it.
Our modern day practitioners have spent many years training both in the “classroom” and out in the field searching for their la’au. This is the training they received from their elders.
I question how the “professors” received their knowledge that enables them to “teach” in the classroom at the university. We are not privy to this information.
Now, after four years of college, these students can receive a “license” to practice after an examination by a board of “experts” we know nothing about at this time. Further, nothing is said about an “internship” after graduation. What — not important?
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
COCHRAN, PARSONS WRONG ON OFFSHORE OCEAN AQUACULTURE
As a concerned citizen of Maui, I am writing in regard to West Maui Councilwoman Elle Cochran and Rob Parsons, Maui’s environmental coordinator. Both spoke out against offshore ocean aquaculture during the “Maui Unite” talk show hosted by Cochran.
They DO NOT support sustainability and food security for Hawaii. Cochran and Parsons both abused their positions in the community and as publicly elected officials to misinform the public about offshore ocean aquaculture. NEITHER of them are EXPERTS, and they do not have FACTS!!
Hawaii has been working diligently for the past 15 years to create a sustainable means of aquaculture, which is now the model for the nation and the world. Experience with the current aquaculture has minimal to no impact on the marine ecology and eliminates toxic fish imported from overseas.
I have facts explaining the need for offshore ocean aquaculture and how it will provide sustainable food security and economic prosperity locally, nationally and globally.
Shame on Cochran, an elected official, and Parsons for not representing the public they serve with FACTS!
Mayor Alan M. Arakawa hired Parsons to be the environmental coordinator for Maui County, and he has turned out to be a bad choice.
PUA KEAWE, Via E-mail
ORTIZ THANKS COMMUNITY
Feb. 28 marked the end of my proprietorship at Outback Steakhouse, Lahaina. I’ve been blessed to be part of a community that welcomed me into their homes and lives more than ten years ago. I’ve loved my time at Outback, and as this chapter of my life ends, I look forward to new endeavors and opportunities.
There are so many people and organizations to thank — just too many to list. It has been a privilege to serve and contribute to our community through many charitable fundraisers and special events that mean so much to me. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.
I am forever grateful to my wonderful customers, family and friends made over the years. You have enriched my life more than you know — from strangers to lifelong friends. To my amazing staff, I will never forget you. You have become part of my family, and I will cherish the memories forever.
Me ke aloha pumehana; Valla Con Dios.
ART ORTIZ, Lahaina
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR ON MARRIAGE ISSUE
With the signing of the Civil Unions Bill (Senate Bill 232), Gov. Neil Abercrombie wisely rights the wrong perpetuated by his shortsighted predecessor, who avoidably prolonged entrenched intolerance.
Long overdue, civil unions are a good start. Yet the ultimate goal must be one of total equality, which in the end will require a legal redefinition of marriage. Equal rights for all demands single-tiered legal protection of sexual diversity, identical to those of racial, religious and political diversity.
This values shift has already occurred within the general population. The Pew Research Center recently conducted a poll that found 70 percent of Baby Boomers and young adult Millennials believe the main purpose of marriage is mutual happiness and fulfillment, rather than raising children or anything else.
For anyone who thinks redefining marriage is a step too drastic, history will be the judge, as it was with interracial marriage. Only 60 years ago, interracial — or “mixed-race marriage” as it was then called — was illegal in 31 of the 48 states, yet today nobody would argue against the laws that righted that wrong. Substitute same-sex marriage for mixed-race marriage, and the issue again is revealed as one of equal rights and justice for all.
Imagine how different Hawaii’s rich and diverse heritage would be today if all the kupuna of the past 200 years had been legally denied the right to marry someone of a different race. Personally, my wife of Hawaiian ancestry and I would have been denied the right to marry, as well as her parents and countless other islanders.
The ultimate goal of the civil rights movement was for total equality, as is now of the sexual rights movement. It will be a righteous day for Hawaii when that happens — and it will — most likely through federal legislation legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
When that day comes, as goodness only begets goodness, there will be nothing to fear.
DR. MICHAEL RA BOUCHARD, Hilo
STOP KILLING HEALTHY ANIMALS
Interesting national news report from Bishkek, a city of nearly 1,000,000 on the other side of the world. They plan to kill 10,000 dogs this year after shooting 5,000 last year.
Yet on Maui, with a population of about 140,000, every year, year after year, we kill 7,000 or 8,000 cats and dogs, and this is not newsworthy? Why is that?
Is it the method of killing? Is shooting worse than poisoning? Isn’t dead, dead?
There are numerous places around the Mainland where killing companion animals is history, like Marquette, MI; Hastings, MN; Prescott, WI; and other locations in CA, NY, VA, UT, CO, IN and KY (almost there in Reno, Nevada). Other locations are drastically reducing the kill rates, like Austin, Texas.
So, this ain’t the Mainland? So take a look at New Zealand, Australia, India, Italy and Great Britain and the progress they have made. What do they know that we on Maui do not?
Is it knowledge or attitude? Let’s stop the killing of healthy companion animals.
MIKE MORAN, Kihei