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LETTERS for August 11 issue

By Staff | Aug 11, 2011


So, according to the two pictures in The Maui News on Aug. 2, the bus has to park on the sidewalk in order not to block traffic on Luakini Street at The Wharf Cinema Center bus stop? Surely I’m not the only one who thinks there’s something wrong with that picture? 

I know it’s against the law to park on the sidewalk in Maui County except while actively loading and unloading, which I’m sure is what the bus is doing, but there’s something fundamentally wrong with locating a bus stop where it’s forced to park on the sidewalk and while there, pedestrians are forced into the narrow street. 

I doubt that the solution to that fundamental wrong is to change the traffic direction to the opposite one-way that it is now. The solution is to move the bus stop elsewhere!



As rental manager of Honokeana Cove Resort for the past 18 years and a resident of Napili for 40 years, I see no problem with the catamaran that anchors on the outskirts of Honokeana Cove, avoiding the coral and the turtles. Their snorkelers are respecting the elements much more than the snorkelers that enter from the shore. The ocean does belong to everyone and should be enjoyed by all. It would be a different story if they were ingressing and egressing onto the shore like the catamaran that used to come into Kapalua Bay illegally years ago.



Politicians from both parties have been occupied lately airing cures to our debt crisis — corporate jets, tax the wealthy, cut Medicare, reduce Social Security, the other party, etc. Paradoxically, none have taken the initiative alleviating it by setting the example and pruning their lucrative income and benefit programs. Did I sweat a year in the jungles of Vietnam for this lunacy?




The last census indicated that there are approximately 118,000 voting-age adults in Maui County. Of those, polls showed that 70 percent, or 82,600 Maui citizens, favored a return to district voting. District voting also appears to be favored by the majority of the members of the Maui County Charter Commission.

That said, I’ve heard that all nine of our Maui County Council members that you elected to represent you appear to oppose district voting. Is it possible that they believe that the collective wisdom of their nine intellects is far greater than the collective wisdom of 82,600 voters? Or is it something more?

How about pure, unadulterated self-interest and maybe a bit of greed? See, since the current voting system was implemented in 1991, an incumbent council member — with the exception of Wayne Nishiki — has never been defeated.

Odds are that unless we change to district voting, all nine will be in office until they reach term limits. Even then, it’s fairly likely they will be reelected after taking their mandatory two-year hiatus!

Given that, know that they are the highest-paid council members in the state, and each year that they remain on the council, their retirement benefit increases significantly — plus 12 percent per year? — and they don’t have to stand in the unemployment office line.

Who do they represent? You? Themselves? I’d bet all 82,600 of us voters know what to do about a council that grows a little too big for its boots and defies us! Don’t we?



Don’t like gay marriages? Don’t get one. Don’t like cigarettes? Don’t smoke them. Don’t like abortions? Don’t get one. Don’t like sex? Don’t have it. Don’t like drugs? Don’t do them. Don’t like porn? Don’t watch it. Don’t like alcohol? Don’t drink it. Don’t like guns? Don’t buy one.

Don’t want your tap water fluorinated? Too bad! Don’t want the majority of your grocery vegetables to be genetically modified? Too bad! Don’t like the U.S. government feeding us artificial dyes, flavors and additives not allowed in Europe? Too bad! Don’t want to buy into ObamaCare, or don’t want to take flu shots to get ObamaCare? Too bad! Don’t like the Federal Reserve and the World Bank eventually owning the world? Too bad! Don’t like Goldman Sachs making money on every bond sold by the U.S. government? Too bad! Don’t like ex-Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve thugs in every presidential administration driving policies for us to borrow even more money from the Fed? Too bad!

Don’t like your rights taken away? You are just seeing little signs of the “New World Order.” As Henry Ford once said, you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.



As Hawaii strives to be at the forefront of the green age and independent safe energy, we must do our share to reduce energy waste, protect our environment and reduce our emissions of potent greenhouse gases. As we pursue renewable energy options, we must ask ourselves if we have all the information we need to move forward. For example, what do we know about solar panels, besides the fact that they save us money, and that we’re using the sun to produce energy? Do solar panels contribute to global warming? What effect, if any, do solar panels have on our environment?

New research indicates a powerful greenhouse gas much more prevalent in our atmosphere than previously estimated. Ray Weiss of Scripps Institute of Oceanography led a team of researchers funded by NASA as part of its congressional mandate to monitor ozone-depleting trace gasses and greenhouse gasses. The team of researchers made atmospheric measurements of nitrogen trifluoride the amount of gas in our atmosphere. In 2008, there was 5,400 metric tons of the gas in the atmosphere — a quantity that is increasing at a rate of 11 percent a year. The gas is 17,000 times more potent as a global warming agent than a similar mass of carbon dioxide. It survives in the atmosphere at least five times longer than carbon dioxide.

Nitrogen trifluoride is one of several gases used during the manufacturing of liquid crystal flat-panel displays — thin film solar cells and microcircuits — also known as solar panels. Many industries have used the gas in recent years as an alternative to perflourocarbons, which also are potent greenhouse gases, because it was believed that no more than 2 percent  of the nitrogen trifluoride used in these processes escaped into the atmosphere. We now know that wasn’t true.

The current observed rate of increase of nitrogen triflouride in the atmosphere is about 16 percent of the amount of the gas produced globally. In response to the growing use of the gas, scientists have recommended adding it to the list of greenhouse gases regulated by Kyoto protocol, the 1997 agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions signed by 182 countries. 

As is often the case, we must look before we leap. Should we support localization of a photovoltaic (PV) assembly facility in Maui? Several companies have expressed a strong interest in the manufacturing side of the PV business. Note Intel is currently building a 60,000-square-foot PV panel manufacturing facility in Portland, Oregon, that represents a partner for bulk buying and potential on island assembly. Funding could come in part from our state’s Act 221. The lesson is simple: in order to fix one problem, let’s not create an even larger one.

CHAYNE MARTEN, Maui Green Team