LETTERS for July 21 issue
WHARF IS THE PERFECT SPOT FOR A BUS STOP
A while back, I read a letter in the Lahaina News that was a detailed list of complaints against the Maui Bus stop at The Wharf Cinema Center. As I read this letter, I could only shake my head and laugh at the ignorance of the complaints.
First of all, the person writing the letter lives half a block down from The Wharf Cinema Center, so how does he know what transpires at the bus stop? Secondly, I rode the bus five days a week, and NOT ONCE did I see any of the riders leave their trash in the yards of the houses across the street. He also mentioned that Luakini Street is an alley and therefore is not accessible to public transportation. Well, forgive me for my ignorance, but I thought an alley was a narrow lane between houses?? Will he be stopping the delivery trucks and rescue personnel next?
He proposed that the bus stop be moved to a parking area on Luakini Street. Not only is that a bad idea, but it would be a major dent on our tourist economy. Try explaining to our visitors that they need to “find” the bus stop instead of just directing them to The Wharf Cinema Center.
The Wharf is the perfect place for a bus stop for many reasons. After a long bus ride from Kahului or Kaanapali, there are restrooms that we can utilize, restaurants and shops for bus riders to purchase cold drinks or something to eat, and the management team at The Wharf is courteous enough to update passengers on accidents or road closures in case the bus is running late.
There are benches provided for those of us who are getting off of work, and there is also covered shelter in the event of rain. Most importantly, The Wharf provides a stop for the bus drivers who shuttle the passengers across the island. The Wharf also has security personnel for passengers who ride the bus in the later hours. A bus stop in a parking lot would be dangerous at night.
So, thank you to Maui County for the bus, and a big MAHALO to Donna Soares and her management team for the use of The Wharf’s facilities. Without your kokua, hundreds of Maui employees and visitors would be standing in the middle of a parking lot… waiting for a bus.
KIM CHANG, Via E-mail
HOW CAN THE COUNCIL INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES?
The Maui County Council’s job is to find revenue and look at options. Counties all over our nation are acting on resolving government waste, entitlement, nonprofit contributions and privatization. Our County Council should do the same.
Don’t hit legitimate homeowners with guilt that they receive $6,600 in county services, yet contribute $578 through property taxes. Many can barely pay $150. Many cannot handle an increase of $250 per year if the home exemption is reduced.
Comments by certain council members at a recent hearing were disappointing. Regarding perspectives to the general fund, Councilman Mike White said the county has never asked much from the homeowners’ class. “This is reflected in the fact that not many people are here today,” he said. Mr. White, consider factors. Meetings are held during working hours. Gas prices prevent residents from attending. Lack of attendance could reflect lack of confidence.
Councilman Riki Hokama stated that he understands the history of this exemption. Those of us who have been working on it for many years understand how to isolate a component within a proposal. We know how it fits into the bigger picture and into our brain. “Many people out there,” he said as he nodded his head toward those of us who testified, “don’t have the understanding or information.” How condescending.
COMET has understood and provided information for 23 years. If Mr. Hokama feels he has an understanding, why is the system not fixed?
PAULA NEWELL, COMET Co-chair, Haiku
KEEP DOGS UNDER CONTROL
It is very frightening to see two large unleashed dogs approaching you at 8:30 a.m. at Napili Bay in a run once they see you have a puppy (and my two grandsons, ages eight and 10). Although our chocolate lab puppy was glad to see other dogs, these dogs approached very aggressively and one growled.
The owners just yelled at them from ten feet away in the water, but of course, the dogs didn’t pay attention. I had to pull the puppy away and stood in front of my two grandsons, who were frozen with fear.
I asked the owner to come get his dogs, but he just kept yelling at them and said “they are only 11 months old.” I don’t care how young or old — this was very frightening to all of us, and there is a leash law fully enforced by the Maui Humane Society.
One of the owners finally came about four feet from the dogs, and then they kind of backed away. My two grandsons walked on one side of me as I walked slowly with the puppy. These guys continued to let their dogs run up and down Napili Bay.
There should be some presence of law enforcement at Napili Bay early mornings, 7:30 to 9 a.m., to hand out citations to these owners who let their dogs off leashes and are in the water not paying attention to their dogs. One of the guys apologized, but I reminded him of the leash law.
I don’t want to think about it if the dogs attacked our five-month-old lab. We lost our 12-year-old English chocolate last November, and our new little guy is very special to us.
TERE PATTERSON, Napili
LAC APOLOGIZES FOR ERROR ON WEBSITE
This is in response to a letter, “Make sure event listings are correct,” in the June 23 Lahaina News.
Aloha to Tammy Brehio-Dolacinski from Honokowai and the Maui community.
I am extremely glad to hear that for the last three years, you have been faithfully turning to the LahainaTown Action Committee website at visitlahaina.com for all the local West Side events. We want all of the West Side residents to continue to use our website.
Being born and raised on Maui, Lahaina side, I remember as a young child the excitement of marching in the King Kamehameha Parade as a Brownie, then as I got older watching the statuesque Pa`u riders gracefully float by on their magnificent horses, so I understand your frustration.
There is no excuse for inaccurate information, and I apologize to you and the rest of our community for the mix-up. To answer some of the questions you posed, I am not sure why the parade date was shifted from Kamehameha Day weekend to the second weekend after Kamehameha Day.
LAC never received a press release with the new dates. In addition, local businesses were not informed of the date change with a flier. In any case, I take responsibility and apologize.
I look forward to regaining your faith in the LAC and continuing to build and unite our Maui community, specifically the West Side.
KAUIONALANI & KAPULE, Lahaina Town Action Committee Board Member and President
INCREASE APEC OPPORTUNITIES
Our elected leaders should insist that more local small businesses have a crack at the opportunities coming from the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. The APEC meeting of trade and foreign ministers will take place in Honolulu from Nov. 7-13. It is expected to attract 20,000 attendees and generate about $131 million in spending, but how much of that money will trickle down to our small businesses?
So far, the only real winners seem to be the big high-tech companies that are providing technical services and the Waikiki hotels providing the approximately 120,000 rooms that are needed. Surely, our elected officials can ask that APEC open up more service opportunities and trade show space for our small businesses, especially after collectively giving APEC tens of millions of dollars. If you agree with me, please write or e-mail your elected leaders to do more for small businesses during the APEC meeting.
ROWENA M. AKANA, Trustee-at-Large, Office of Hawaiian Affairs