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LETTERS for July 7 issue

By Staff | Jul 7, 2011


With energy rates climbing, you should know LED lights use so much less power than most traditional lighting technologies for a number of reasons.

First, they are very efficient at converting electrical power to light, but even more significant, luminaries using them do not have to output as many lumens of light to get the same or nearly the same effective lighting.

Any traditional light bulb or source radiates its light in all directions; it is a point source of light. Much of the light is wasted, because it radiates in directions away from the target area. Inside luminaries, reflectors are used to redirect light shining away from the target, but even the best of these reflectors are very inefficient.

In a typical fixture or wall pack light, about 40 percent of all the light generated never makes it out of the fixture housing. It is absorbed inside and wasted as heat.

With LEDs, output light is one direction. This means the light is radiated in the direction of the target area. No reflectors are necessary, eliminating reflector waste.

Another reason is that traditional light sources, including metal halide, sodium, mercury vapor or florescent, tend to lose efficiency very quickly once they are in use. After only a few hundred hours of use, their light output starts dropping substantially, even though their power use remains the same.

While LEDs can also diminish output over their rated lifetime, it is a much smaller percentage and is spread over a much longer time.

The light color of LEDs is also much better, resulting in more effective lighting than other lighting technologies. This is being proven over and over in every study that has been done where LEDs have replaced sodium units. Even in some cases where LEDS had less lumen output, effective lighting is much better.

This, together with better voltage conversion efficiency, very long lifetime and no maintenance, show LEDs today as the clear winner over all other lighting technologies.

It is time for Hawaii to look at this truly green technology; after all, we pay more for our energy than anywhere else in the nation.

Our businesses and hotels use thousands of T8s, which are four-foot florescent tubes. Each tube uses 38 watts of energy with the driver and produces a lot of heat.

LEDOs LED lights use 14 total watts, never get hot and will last over 50,000 hours.

When you decide to replace those toxic florescent tubes and compact florescent lights, choose a company that has a good warranty and a good reputation.

CHAYNE MARTEN, Maui Green Team


This is regarding the flurry of letters about the intersection of Hoohui Road and Honoapiilani Highway, one of which was mine.

After reading the June 23 issue, I stopped by the police station and explained in detail the issue. They said the person turning right has the right of way but further directed me to the Motor Vehicle Department for a better explanation.

I then explained again the issue to the DMV, and my focus was on the yield sign.

What I was told was what I originally wrote: vehicles crossing traffic do not have the right of way. Their take on the yield sign was it is for cars turning right when the light is red.

Does this solve anything? Dunno!



On behalf of the King Kamehameha III Elementary School PTA, I would like to express our deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the fifth grade students, parents, teachers and staff, businesses and volunteers who made the “5th Grade Fun Day” a huge success! Congratulations to the fifth grade class on their completion of elementary school. We wish you all the best and continued success.

Special thanks to Food & Beverage Director Braulio Andaluz and Liz and Tom Bell with the Royal Lahaina Resort, and Executive Chef Kaipo Nakata and General Manager Lawrence Wong of Dave “D.K.” Kodama’s Cane & Taro Restaurant for generously donating the delicious food for our event. Also, thank you to Jim Bertoncino of Glow Putt and Local Boys Shave Ice, Lahaina.

KERRI AOTAKI, 2010-11 King Kamehameha III Elementary School PTA President


As he was announcing his second increase in troops for Afghanistan in December 2009, President Obama promised that by July 2011, those troops would begin coming home. As relayed by Bob Woodward’s book, “Obama’s Wars,” we know the president was skeptical about the United States’ war effort in Afghanistan. In spite of that skepticism, the president’s new plan for the war extends the longest war in American history for the foreseeable future.

President Obama announced his first surge of 20,000 troops in spring 2009. Pushing American forces well above the 50,000 mark and reinforcing a counterinsurgency strategy, he escalated a war in a country entering its fourth decade of continuous conflict.

Thousands of Marines and soldiers were rushed in, with the announcement that they were there to ensure free and fair Afghan elections. That summer, these troops found an insurgency fueled by resentment of their presence. Either because of hostility to foreign occupation or because our troops simply sided with someone else’s rival, akin to supporting just one side in a Hatfield-McCoy feud, 2009 became the deadliest year of the war, doubling the amount of Americans dead in 2008.

Meanwhile, the fire hydrant-like stream of dollars being pumped into the second most corrupt nation in the world seemed to purchase only further grievances among the population against a government radiantly kleptocratic. When President Hamid Karzai blatantly stole the elections in August, American officials were forced to abandon any narrative of Americans fighting and dying for democracy in Afghanistan. Then, in October, National Security Advisor Jim Jones announced that al-Qaeda had fewer than 100 members in Afghanistan.

However, given little political cover from the left, feeling little political pressure from the right and receiving nothing but a choice of small, medium or large escalation of the war by the Pentagon, President Obama in December 2009 ordered 30,000 more troops and billions of dollars into what soon would become America’s longest war.

Predictably, by doubling down on a policy that had proved counterproductive, we betrayed our national values and failed to inflict damage on al-Qaeda. We also went from being waist-deep to chest-deep in quicksand.

This past year surpassed 2009 as the deadliest year of the conflict, killing 57 percent more American service members. Tragically, but unsurprisingly, 2011 has been even more deadly. Insurgent attacks from January to March increased nearly 50 percent from the same period in 2010, while American deaths from March to May of this year increased 41 percent from last spring’s totals.

Nationwide, a U.S.-led campaign of night raids on homes has terrorized families, while a massive nation-building program funded by U.S. taxpayers has enriched a corrupt few and disenfranchised a poor majority. Again, betraying our own values, we looked the other way when elections were stolen for the second time in as many years. The number of civilian deaths are on pace to surpass the totals from 2010, the deadliest year of the war for civilians since 2001. The result? Eight in ten Afghan men now say the U.S. presence is bad for Afghanistan.

By the administration’s own account, al-Qaeda has not existed in any meaningful capacity in Afghanistan since we successfully scattered them in 2001.

However, despite growing bipartisan support for an accelerated drawdown, President Obama announced the withdrawal of 30,000 troops through next year. Such a withdrawal, particularly without a change in strategy, will only bring us back to where we were in December 2009. With only modest cuts in troop levels and no real changes in our strategy, we will continue to be stuck in Afghan quicksand for years to come.

The president should go further — removing the most recent 30,000 surge troops by the end of 2011 and reducing to a total of fewer than 30,000 troops by the end of 2012. Combined with sincere political efforts in Afghanistan and the broader region, and by maintaining a focus on al-Qaeda, the United States can move Afghanistan and the region toward stability, while freeing itself from its quicksand.

MATTHEW HOH, Center for International Policy


This letter is addressed to the persons involved in the acts of vandalism to Lahainaluna High School’s entrance marquee and fence line.

Not just mentioning that this act was inconsiderate and thoughtless, what makes this kind of act necessary? If you are doing this out of total boredom or anger, please redirect it elsewhere!

This also goes for neighborhood stonewalls… NOT your property, leave it alone!

To the young boys who decided to break into Lahaina MEO Headstart, think twice before attempting this again. You are being watched and will be caught!

This also applies to those responsible — or should I say, irresponsible parties — who decided upon themselves to claim something that was NOT theirs!! Have you no respect for other persons’ property? The storage unit belonged to the innocent children of Lahaina Headstart for the storage of their items, NOT YOURS for your backyard!!!

You should be ashamed of yourselves! Again, same thought: NOT your property! LEAVE it alone!