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LETTERS for July 28 issue

By Staff | Jul 28, 2011


Thank you for the wonderful commentary on Project Graduation.

I’m so grateful to be able to help the high school seniors and the community.

I just wanted to let you know there were a few others who we need to thank, including the County of Maui Volunteer Center. The county contributed $5,000 to all participating high schools for Projection Grad. It’s a significant contribution — close to 25 percent of all money raised for the Lahainaluna event.

Mark and Claire Tillman were also unbelievable in the help and efforts they put out. Thanks to Paula Loewen and Sharon Nohara as well.

The Hard Rock Cafe, Westin Hotel and Moose McGillycuddy’s were incredible hosts.

Lahainaluna High School Foundation, Minit Stop, Rotary Clubs, Buzz’s Wharf, and Title Guarantee Escrow with Joel Navarro are others to thank.

And the countless volunteers, restaurants and activities for prizes that also made the event a success.

There are so many to mention — everyone helped.

It truly shows what “community support” is all about!

And thank you, Lahaina News, for your coverage and articles!

A heartfelt mahalo to all who helped.

DEBBIE PROBST, Lahainaluna Project Graduation Co-Chair 2011, Project Graduation 2012 Chairperson


As a longtime real estate taxpayer on Maui, it is my duty to point out immediate perils to this uniquely beautiful island. I am referring to the danger posed to Honokeana Cove/Bay. It has been my very great pleasure to swim in the cove for many years, but I fear that nobody will be able to do so safely — and that includes the precious turtles, not to mention the fish that so delight snorkelers — because of the invasion by Kaanapali Kai Charters.

Here are a few points that should be made to your readers and to the company.

The tranquility of Honokeana Bay is being shattered with the great big Teralani II and III catamarans letting off up to 50 people into the bay to snorkel and snuba.

These catamarans have come dangerously close to snorkelers already enjoying Honokeana Bay.

There are a number of honu (turtles) in Honokeana Bay that are probably fleeing the area and being frightened away by the catamarans.

Beach catamarans have been operating in West Maui for 40 years, and NEVER have they come into Honokeana Bay before.

Honokeana Bay is a favorite Hawaiian fishing area that is being disrupted by the catamarans coming into Honokeana Bay.

The catamarans have at least a dozen places to go on any given day, just like the other big catamarans, so why go into a very small cove, disrupting the tranquility?

Anchors from these big catamarans are possibly tearing up the coral reefs at the opening of Honokeana Bay.

Please take immediate steps to avoid this clear and present danger to this precious cove.



Well, finally good news: the Labor Department in D.C. tells us that consumer prices rose only 3.6 percent from May 2010 to June 2011, in part because oil prices declined steeply.

Obviously, they have not looked at OUR inflation here.

Electricity in West Maui rose in the same time span from 29.41 cents to 37.95 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH). A mere touch over 29 percent…

At the same time, when oil prices declined — and we use oil to produce power — the same price rose from May to June 2011 from 36.95 to 37.95 cents; 4.9 percent for one month times 12 equals 58.8 percent per year.

The pool from which inflation is calculated is much too murky, mostly because merchandise, services, utilities, etc. that go down by accident are thrown in real fast, while items that rose were taken out. In order to arrive at a realistic inflation rate you have to: 1) leave the same items in that “pool” for a year, and 2) attach a real value to how those items are needed.

Everybody needs electricity from MECO unless you use candles for illumination and have enough hamsters running in their cages on a treadmill to power your TV and heat your water. You can pass on a carton of O.J. if it got more expensive, but not on electricity.

The way inflation is calculated should be transparent; tell the people what is in the pool and leave it there for a year, plus, for example, gas is needed at a rate of X percent, food at Y percent, electricity at Z percent, etc.

Everything else is not even wishful thinking but pure cosmetics. Just go to a supermarket, get a haircut, pay your bills and then have somebody tell you with a straight face that inflation is 3.6 percent.

Not even politicians can be THAT stupid. But they have a gullible population and constituency, so let’s cram all the nonsense we can find down their throats, because what are they going to do anyway?



As we get older, little things become large obstacles when we go out for dining or cocktails.

The doors leading to the men’s and women’s restrooms were obvious in the past. But now artists have exhibited their talents by making the doors works of art rather than simple signs.

Then the entrance is in a dim light as well. After a meal or drink, barging into the wrong restroom can be embarrassing.

Ladies, if you find me in the wrong place, it’s not my fault. I say, “When you gotta go, you gotta go.”



I just finished reading your article about my doctor, James Ard. He was my doctor for eight years until his retirement in June.

He was a great doc, knew his stuff, fixed me up a few times, and was always good to talk story with. He’ll be greatly missed by the West Maui community.

Fair winds and flat seas, Dr. Ard.

MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali


A letter writer in your July 14 issue questioned the planting of Royal Poinciana trees in the highway median.

Apparently he did not realize that the plants are not Royal Poinciana trees but are Pride of Barbados shrubs. They are virtually fully grown as planted and are an attractive addition to the plantings.



My father, long dead, spent his working years in tool and die shops — an experience from which he crafted a political, economic and social philosophy of life.

“They’re all in it together,” he would say. That was the very core of the philosophy.

Were high wages bad because they made prices go up? Were high profits good because they made the stock market go up? Did politicians who complained about how little they were paid mysteriously become millionaires while in office? Did the World Series go seven games?

It was all evidence to him that his theory was sound. He never bothered to say who “they” were, but it was fairly obvious whom he meant: the forces that made sure that in any given situation, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. And, more than that, that the scales of justice were short-weighted to the advantage of money and privilege. Life, to my father, was just one big company store and the prices were not negotiable.

I wish he were alive today to see what’s happening. Even a cynic like him would be shocked at how the conspiracy that so outraged him has been codified into a system of government.

Tell a conservative Republican that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and he’ll say, “So? What’s wrong with that?” His only quarrel with what’s happening is that the rich aren’t getting richer fast enough.

Go to the Supreme Court and say, “Your Honors, is there any chance soon that you’ll rule against a corporation being sued by an individual who’s been cheated, misused and left on the beach to die?” By a five-to-four majority, the court would reply, “Get lost. We don’t pick winners and losers; we just apply the Constitution. Is it our fault that the founders loved owners better than workers?”

The latest example of the imbalance in our society to come down the pike is the lobbying effort by giant U.S. corporations to win a huge tax break on overseas profits. This isn’t chump change we’re talking about. Apple has $12 billion out there, Google $17 billion, Microsoft $29 billion, others more.

These are profits earned overseas, often by sending jobs overseas. If they brought the profits home right now, they would be taxed at the official, though mythical, 35 percent corporate rate.

They want the government to declare a one-year “repatriation holiday,” taxing the foreign profits at 5.25 percent a year. It would be great for the economy, the lobbyists argue, increasing tax revenues and allowing the companies to invest in new jobs back home. If they don’t get the break, the profits stay overseas, untaxed.

It sounds like a deal, right? Except, isn’t there something sleazy about American companies sending jobs overseas, then holding American taxpayers for ransom before they’ll pay taxes on the profits they earned doing so?

As for companies using the money to create jobs here, it probably won’t happen. After the last big tax holiday in 2005, companies tended to pass back the extra money to shareholders in dividends and stock buybacks.

Many of them did create new jobs, of course — by building new plants overseas.

You were right, Dad. They’re all in it together.

I still don’t think seven-game World Series are fixed, though. Maybe the umpires… just a little.