LETTERS for March 31 issue
CREATE ROCK GARDENS ALONG THE HIGHWAY
From the south into Lahaina, there are new plantings with cobblestone in the median.
My proposal: from the north into Lahaina at the “Triangle” by Canoes Restaurant, use cobblestone as the ground cover and in the Oriental (Zen) Rock Garden fashion, put in the trinity of larger stones for The Mountain, The Hill and The Valley.
This can be seen from all driver angles and not impair visual traffic. No maintenance required.
FREDRIC CUMPIANO, Honokowai
PRESIDENT OBAMA BROUGHT CHANGE — FOR THE WORSE
Elect Obama for a change. Now we have more unemployment, more bankruptcies, more foreclosures, more debt, more overseas jobs and now a third war.
While there are unbelievable and horrible conditions in Japan and Libya, Obama is in South America!
Carry on fearless leader! You voted for him and you’ve got him!
JIM LYTLE, Lahaina
SOLUTION TO OIL DILEMMA IS SIMPLE
I find it insulting how Middle America, who least can afford it, is being tortured by greedy U.S. oil companies, aloof politicians and ignorant, primitive Middle East conglomerate assembles of tyrant-orientated tribes over the cost of oil.
The answer is elementary, yet it appears I am the only one who understands and comprehends the solution to this dilemma effecting our everyday life.
We learned the Supply & Demand Theory in Economics #101, yet nobody has the foresight, initiative or guts to apply it to this oil disaster.
The U.S. has, in the North Slopes of Alaska, the coast of California, the Gulf Coast and the previously untapped gigantic reserves in the Dakotas, almost more oil than the rest of the world combined. Yet we have to make concessions to and kiss butts of “oil rich nations.”
To lower the price of oil, simply announce these areas available for drilling to anybody. This immense supply would drive the oil-rich Arab gluttons to their knees, offering us Green Stamps while our oil companies would return the name of our “Mini-marts” to “Service Stations” and the price of gas competitive again to something more respectable.
Utilize our tons of oil!
Brazil has become independent of oil from the rest of the world by growing synthetic oil and drilling offshore.
Paradoxically, Obama is currently offering them assistance in drilling offshore, rather than doing the same to us.
RAY PEZZOLI JR., Kihei
AMERICAN DREAM TURNS INTO A NIGHTMARE
The Wall Street, Lehman Brothers, IndyMac, mega-bank crisis of 2008 was just the tip of the iceberg of America’s financial and real estate market destabilization. It has morphed into the foreclosure crisis with 6.6 million Americans having lost their homes since 2007 and 12 million more expected nationally within the next five years.
Unfortunately, Maui has the highest per capita rate of island foreclosures, joining over 20,000 families in Hawaii suffering through this traumatic experience during the last year alone. The federal government gave banks like Bank of America billions of dollars for loan modifications. These financial institutions, instead of providing loan modifications to struggling homeowners, pocketed most of the money, led borrowers to believe that they would be eligible for modification and then evicted them from their homes anyway!
On the surface, it appears simple: homeowners aren’t paying their mortgages, so they should lose their homes. However, it is actually much more complex.
It all started with banks selling inflated mortgages to Wall Street investors. By the 1980s, investors began suing the banks for fraud. To settle with investors, banks needed to raise money. Starting in 2003, the banks created defective loan products called “ARMs” that were set to explode into higher payments that they knew the borrowers would not be able to afford. Normal income and verification requirements were intentionally eliminated. This lulled people into loans, they were reassured “not to worry” about the eventual interest rate hike and promised that they could refinance.
Borrowers were duped, much like Hawaii’s previous administration, which bought $647 million in securities in mid-2007 after the Wall Street bubble burst, totaling over $1 billion in securities loss (a.k.a. “shortfalls”) or Maui County’s previous administration, which, also in 2007, was conned by Merrill Lynch into purchasing $44 million in student loan auction rate securities. This bank fraud is the primary reason that the people of Hawaii and Maui County had to endure teacher furloughs, and continue to be subjected to devastating reductions in other critical services.
This session, I’m again working at the legislature for the chair of housing. Over 50 bills have been introduced relating to foreclosures, including proposals to require mortgagees to enter into mediation, prohibit banks from pursuing deficiency judgments (collecting balance due after sale), a moratorium on non-judicial foreclosures and even a moratorium on foreclosures altogether!
Until enough elected officials have the courage to see and do something about the depths and extent of this bank fraud, our country and state will continue to slide into a depression nightmare. It is time to stand up and take the necessary steps, which will eventually stabilize our economy and protect private property rights and the American dream.
Elected officials should act to prevent bank fraud.
NETRA HALPERIN, Kihei
LUAKINI STREET TOO SMALL FOR BUS TERMINAL
(The following letter was sent to Mike Molina, executive assistant to the mayor.)
None of you people in this county government would live with what I am describing, yet you have told us to live with it.
The area in question is that between Prison and Dickenson streets on Luakini Street behind the building called The Wharf Cinema Center.
Luakini is a one-way street going north.
Luakini is 19 feet wide with restricted parking on both sides. Luakini is the equivalent of an alley. There are no sidewalks.
At various schedules, three buses stop in the alley behind The Wharf.
Passengers are let off and picked up in the middle of the alley, with other traffic attempting to go through.
By law, buses are not permitted to discharge and pick up passengers in the middle of a thoroughfare.
While waiting to enter the bus, passengers are caused to go to the other side of the alley. There is no other place to be. They usually eat, smoke and drink and leave their trash in the yards and driveways of adjacent residents.
Conclusion: the previous describes a bus terminal in an alley bordered by one-family homes.
I repeat: no one who reads this would tolerate the foregoing.
We complained to the various county departments.
They circled themselves to preserve the status quo. That is usually done.
We have pointed out three parking lots controlled by the county to be used by buses.
The county departments keep making excuses to keep the status quo.
There is no point in continuing dialogue with the departments.
I demand the attention of the County Council.
ARSENE “BLACKIE” GADARIAN, Lahaina