LETTERS for October 6 issue
MAHALO FOR SUPPORTING LAHAINA POSTER CONTEST
The LahainaTown Action Committee and Lahaina Arts Society would like to thank all those who participated in the 2012 Lahaina Poster Contest and Po’alima Arts Festival held on Sept. 9 at the Old Jail Gallery and Campbell Park.
Mahalo to the award winners, Carlton Kinkade’s “Lei Day” (overall and People’s Choice Award), Julia Trops’ “The Guardian” (Most Promising) and Janet Spreiter’s “The Ogata House” (Honorable Mention). The LAS winner was Theresa Crowley Spitler.
Our appreciation to judges George Allan, Ronaldo Macedo, Lynn Shue and Barbara Sharp, and artist award donors Pioneer Inn, Angus and Joan McKelvey and Cool Cat Café.
Mahalo for food and beverage donations from Mala Ocean Tavern, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Lahaina Pizza Company, Lahaina Yacht Club, Lahaina Prime Rib & Fish Company, Maui Grown Coffee, Tropic Water, Maui Brewing Company, Kimo’s and Cool Cat Café.
We would also like to thank the Kaunoa Seniors for their lei-making services and hula performance, Maui Jam Band and 1810 for their music and hula performances.
All of this year’s entries can be viewed on the LAC’s Facebook site at www.facebook.com/#!/lahainatown. Follow us there and on Twitter @lahainatown1 for updates on when this year’s poster will be available for purchase. Please visit LAS at www.lahaina-arts.com.
LAHAINATOWN ACTION COMMITTEE
TAKE ACTION ON LITTER
I am Griffin Sagar, a sixth-grader at Maui Preparatory Academy. I have something I would like to share with you.
I have noticed trash in numerous state parks. I know we have county workers occasionally pick up trash at state parks, but we all need to pick it up! Maybe we can have county workers or volunteers to pick up trash once to twice a week. Our school can help, too! I know the county can’t do it alone, so my friends and I will be happy to help. We’ll get community awareness and get everyone who can help to come.
If we leave the trash, it will cause many problems. The tourists will be angry. They will spread the anger around. No one will come to Hawaii. The tourism industry will fall. People will move away.
We need to do something, fast, to stop the problem in its tracks. It may seem fine and dandy now, but in a few years, where will we be? Tourism isn’t the only industry that will be affected. The locals won’t want to come to the parks, either. Then, we will have to get rid of the parks. People will be angry. They will complain to the county. The county will lose revenue.
So, do we want Maui to fall? No, we don’t. That’s why we should take a stand.
When we do pick up trash, Maui will become one of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands. The tourism industry will be BOOMING! Everyone will have “Visit Maui” on their bucket list. Our beautiful Maui will be even better! With the extra money we receive, we can improve schools like Lahainaluna and King Kamehameha III. We can improve the harbor, if enough people agree.
Thank you for reading this. I think we CAN make a difference!
RAISE MAUI’S SPEED LIMITS
My name is John Caputo, and I am currently a junior at Maui Preparatory Academy. I have been here since freshman year. I originally came from Philadelphia, where I lived for the first 14 years of my life.
I grew up driving on roads where the lowest speed limit you could find was 40 mph on winding roads through the woods, and the highest was 85 mph on the freeway. When I moved to Maui and found out that the speed limits were so low, I thought I could manage. Two years later, when I actually received my license, I found out I couldn’t do it.
The rules of the roads on Maui are ridiculous. The speed limit is posted so low, and it makes trying to get around very long and frustrating. Even if you were to try to weave your way through traffic, it is very difficult. Most of the time drivers just sit in the passing lane, so it makes it difficult to pass any cars. You have a slight chance to pass other drivers while you’re on the road, but that only applies to four-lane roads. When you get to the two-lane roads, there is no shot at all, because when tourists come they just crawl down the road.
I understand that tourists like to look around and observe the scenery, but I don’t think that they should slow the whole line of traffic down. They need to pay attention to what they are doing or stay off the road.
I believe that raising the speed limits could solve all of these problems. Then people would be happy and Hawaii would be better.
WEST MAUI NEEDS A BOWLING ALLEY
Aloha, my name is Chloe Schaefer. I’m a resident of West Maui and a junior at Maui Preparatory Academy.
I believe we need more nightlife on the West Side. Nightlife for the most part as a teenager here is seeing a movie, shopping down Front Street and walking through Kaanapali. After a while, all those things get old.
I believe getting more nightlife would keep kids from doing the wrong things, like drinking, drugs and going to parties. From a teenager’s perspective, I think a bowling alley would do great here on the West Side.
Lahaina is a wonderful place to grow up. I love living in a community where everyone knows each other. In the past few years, I’ve learned that Lahaina has a lack of nightlife for teenagers. On Front Street, there are bars and clubs for people over the age of 18. We should build a great place that is entertaining and exciting.
Here is my idea: The ideal bowling alley would be located in the Kaanapali vicinity. This would be a great spot, because it’s in the middle of Napili and Lahaina. Also, most tourists stay near Kaanapali. The best location would be somewhere in Whalers Village. There are abundant parking spaces, phenomenal places to eat and a myriad of hotels within walking distance on the Kaanapali stretch.
When visiting different states, I love going to see what their nightlife is all about. I’ve been to a few bowling alleys. One of the best bowling alleys had Friday night lights. This is where after 8 p.m., the bowling alley turns into a nightclub for teenagers. There are neon lights and a great deejay for music. If we had a bowling alley with these ideas, it would be a great local and tourist destination. Let’s make it happen! The kids want to bowl!
KEEP DIRT OUT OF KAHOMA STREAM
I am Nainoa Moore, a student in seventh grade at Maui Preparatory Academy. I am writing to you because there is an important environmental issue going on.
I live right next to the Kahoma Stream, and I have been noticing that the bypass construction has been going on. The construction workers are dumping massive amounts of dirt into the river. The dirt gets into the river and flows down to the ocean, where the coral and the marine animals live. The dirt covers the ocean, which kills the coral habitats. We need to put a stop to this!
Something we could do to stop this is to make it illegal. They should dump their dirt somewhere else. Another idea I have is to monitor the water to see if we are doing a good job protecting our coral reef. My class and I would be willing to help monitor the water. We could come down once a month to take water tests and send in the results.
I know that it is cheaper to dump dirt in the river, but you can’t put a price on our coral reef. Maui is a beautiful place, and we want it to stay that way.
THOUGHTS ON THE MAYOR’S COMMENTS
I was reading your series on Mayor Arakawa fielding West Maui questions.
Napili’s Hui F Road is under the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit Court? Nice… now get the jurisdiction for the people and fix the road!
Also, loved the fact that the government mint people stated that they were uncoordinated, a little unfunctioning, on the tsunami issue. However, in the real world, it was nice again that the people were not dysfunctional and did the job themselves during these past two years of tsunami events.
Maybe the county could place porta-potties and portable sinks up the hills, on standby, at locations like the West Maui Airport Road and upper highways, where the people lived out of their autos for 12 hours or so.
Thank you to all of Maui’s wonderful people.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST
IT’S CLASS WARFARE
Republicans are accusing President Obama of waging class warfare, which is a little like the Japanese complaining about the time Pearl Harbor attacked them in 1941.
Still, that’s the Republican Party’s role in life. It’s the defender of the rich and powerful and a friend to those who can afford them. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it, and George Will can’t be everywhere at once.
The Republican outburst on “class warfare” was prompted by Obama’s new, improved economic plan, in which he proposed cutting government spending, trimming entitlement programs and — if you’re a conservative with a weak heart, you might want to stop reading right now — collecting more taxes from rich people.
The president went so far as to suggest a minimum tax on the incomes of those who make a million dollars a year or more.
“It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million,” he said. “It’s hard to argue against that.”
Unless you’re a Republican politician, of course. Speaker of the House John Boehner had no trouble saying: “Tax increases destroy jobs.”
The Republican attack on class-war mongering was particularly ill-timed. Just days later the Census Bureau reported that there are now 46.2 million Americans living in poverty, the most recorded in the 52 years that it’s been collecting poverty information. That amounts to about 15 percent of the population. If you just count kids, the percentage swells to 22.
It gets worse. Nearly half of the poor have fallen into “deep poverty,” a condition described as living on half of what qualifies as poverty, such as an income of about $11,000 for a family of four.
Moreover, an incomprehensible 16 million American children live in “food insecure” families, meaning many nights they go to bed hungry.
And the Republican answer for this is to cut social services so that the filthy rich can keep throwing big parties?
We’re fighting a class war all right, and the rich guys are winning — in a rout. Republican politicians as well as too many Democrats serve as their foot soldiers, with a majority of the Supreme Court their consigliore.
The rich that the Republicans worry so much about are doing very well, thank you very much. The top 1 percent of income earners (average income: $1.3 million a year) make over 20 percent of the total income of the nation. Their haul is greater than the combined paychecks of the bottom 40 percent of wage earners.
A few people earning most of the money isn’t a good thing for a nation or an economy.
Nor is there is evidence that cutting taxes on the rich produces jobs or better times. Some of our most prosperous times have coincided with high, progressive tax rates. The Bush-era tax cuts, on the other hand, failed to produce the robust job growth promised, fueled our deficit problems and set the table for the Great Recession.
Some say Obama’s jobs program is politically motivated. I say, so what? The Republicans’ every move is politically motivated. They’re openly seeking to sabotage the economy in order to make him, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says, “a one-term president.”
If they succeed and we give them the keys to the family sedan, we’ll spend ten years climbing out of the ensuing crash.
But the top 1 percenters will be just fine. They always are.