LETTERS for October 13 issue
HOWARD KONRAD WAS A GOOD FRIEND
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Saint Thomas Aquinas
The recent passing of Howard Konrad reminded so many of us in Lahaina how prized we were to have known this man. I met Howard 30 years ago when I walked into his Lahaina Scrimshaw store on Front Street with an idea for a visitor guidebook.
It was an unproven idea, and I was a young man hoping to start a publishing business. Howard said “yes” right off the bat and then walked me down Front Street to introduce my idea to other merchants, encouraging them to trust me. He even wrote a check for the first month even though the guidebook wasn’t even printed. My publishing business would never have been the success it has become if it were not for a few kind and trusting souls early on.
Throughout the years, Howard’s many kindnesses and generosity have touched so many. I will miss those long talk-story sessions in his office. Howard Konrad was a good man and a good friend.
MIKEL MESH, The Best Publishing Co., Lahaina
KUDOS TO COUNCIL FOR STEEP TERRAIN ORDINANCE
The County Council’s Infrastructure Committee (Elle Cochran, chair) voted unanimously on Oct. 4 on a new Steep Terrain Ordinance that will trigger slope engineering and soil reports for development on slopes of 35 percent or more. Oahu has a similar ordinance for development over 40 percent. The community asked for a 25 percent trigger, but a compromise with Public Works was made at 35 percent. But no can win um all, yeah?
I understand that this has been in committee for four years now, but they got it done today. As you know, Oahu has had a few boulders come rolling down onto a few houses over the past few years – even killed one person during this time, and a few others have been injured. This is something we never want to happen here on Maui, and I feel like we won one this time. Now it goes to the full council for a vote, but I feel confident that we’ll win another one there.
This brings to mind a house that was built on a ridge at Wailuku Heights. There was a lot of concern voiced on that one, and, after the concerns were heard, the owner said her plan was to plant trees around the property. Well, it must be taking the seeds a long time to sprout, because I can’t see any trees growing yet. How long has it been now?
It also brings to mind a project on the West Side between Puamana and Launiupoko. You can see it from the highway above a road that was built from the Launiupoko side. I have no knowledge as to how a permit was obtained for this, but it must have been under the “old” rule, and we really don’t have to know, do we? A couple weeks ago, a boulder came tumbling down from above. This one got in under the wire, and I hope no bad fortune comes its way. Keep your fingers crossed.
Congratulations to Chair Cochran and the members of the Infrastructure Committee, who will now present it to the full council so that it can become law. Members of the committee are Joseph Pontanilla, Mike Victorino, Riki Hokama, Don Couch, Danny Mateo and Bob Carroll.
Maui Tomorrow worked on this for the four years that it’s been going. Irene Bowie is the executive director.
Thank you for a job well done!
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
PROTESTERS ARE NOT HAWAIIAN ELDERS
The people who protested Halloween on Front Street are not elders. I am Hawaiian. They are not the elders of my culture. If any Hawaiians have given them this title, I would like to know. They have given themselves this title to get power and maybe money.
My ancestors would be angry if they knew what was going on in the name of their culture. They would love for us to celebrate Halloween.
The article I read said they used the term “host culture.” A host is someone who offers you a drink, makes sure you are comfortable and introduces you to others. That’s a host.
We Hawaiians are the indigenous culture. I feel respected and supported by the rest of Maui’s residents. I can get privileges because of my bloodline but haven’t had to use them. Mahalo and aloha.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD REGULATE HEIGHTS OF URINALS
This subject concerns males only.
Urinals in public toilets have caused problems because of their placement on toilet walls. Usually there are two or more urinals installed at the same level on the wall. The assumption is that all males are the same height. Not true.
Men and boys are different heights. Boys and shorter men are forced to use the toilet bowls. I contend that this is discrimination against shorter men and boys.
Since there are laws about everything else, the government should enact a law to require placing urinals at various heights.
After all, we need to provide for the health, welfare and comfort of all people, even short people.
ARSENE “BLACKIE” GADARIAN, Lahaina
PROTECT HONOLUA BAY
I just wanted to drop you a short note about my recent trip to Maui as a visitor to your lovely island. As my wife and I snorkeled throughout the week along West Maui, we came across Honolua Bay, where a gentleman informed us of the concern and effort over saving this pristine ecological part of Hawaii.
I have to say, after our wonderful experience in the water surrounding the bay, that we firmly support the Save Honolua Coalition’s efforts to save the bay. Having grown up in the Rocky Mountains and seen land development from Montana to Southern New Mexico overtake our fragile natural ecosystems, I am a firm believer in protecting, restoring and perpetuating more of our natural resources for future generations.
JOHN & ANGELA HUBBARD, El Paso, Texas
STUDENT WEIGHS IN ON THREE ISSUES
My name is Danielle Bergson. I am 11 years old. I go to Maui Preparatory Academy, and I have some important issues to talk about. Today, I’m going to talk about safety on the road, organic farming and ending hunger.
How Technology Threatens Safety on Our Roads: Texting while driving is a bad habit, because if you’re texting while driving, that means you’re not paying attention to the road. Then you can end up in an accident. What if you have kids in the car? You and your kid could get severely injured, or it could cause death. If you are not texting while driving and someone else is, you could move so they don’t hit you, your car or your kid. Don’t be texting while driving for your own safety.
Good for Our Environment and For Our Body: Eating organic is important because it is not just healthier, but it also tastes better. Additionally, organic foods don’t have pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals that kill bugs and turn the soil into something else. Pesticides are bad for our oceans as well, because when it rains, the pesticides from the grass and soil travel into the ocean and kill the coral, fish and sea creatures. If you eat organic, there are no pesticides to kill the coral, sea creatures and fish. I like eating organic, because it tastes so much better than eating inorganic foods. So, make food taste better, be healthier and save sea life.
Let’s End Hunger around the World: I think food donations are important, because some people are starving and suffering. Think of it this way – If you were starving and suffering to feed your family, wouldn’t you want someone to help you out? We should have more food shelters to give a helping hand to the starving. Also, there are a lot of kids that are dying every six seconds in Somalia. Even though they are not in our country, we should still help. People that would like to should have garage sales and send the money to the kids in Somalia.
At my school, Maui Preparatory Academy, the seventh grade tried not to eat for a day to see what it feels like to be hungry. A lot of them said that it didn’t feel good at all. As the seventh-graders weren’t eating, the kids at Maui Prep could sponsor them, and the money is being sent to help the kids in Somalia. Today, we should donate all the food we don’t need to help. I want to have a bake sale or a car wash to raise money for all of the kids and adults in need. Don’t forget to help the starving and end hunger around the world.
In conclusion, ending hunger, eating organic and safety on the roads are all really important to me, because these are all huge issues. Thank you for your time.
CONCERNED ABOUT POLLUTION ON MAUI
My name is Dalton Lins, and I am a resident of Lahaina. I am a sixth grade student of Maui Preparatory Academy. I am writing this letter because I am extremely concerned about the pollution in our ocean waters and our island of Maui. I would like to address my concern to the people of Maui. Our ocean waters have started to get more dirty from gasoline, boats and just careless human trash that is left on our beaches.
Human trash is a very large percent of pollution on Maui. By picking up our trash, we will benefit by having a cleaner island to walk on, breathe on and live on. There will be no benefit if we do not pick up our trash. If we do not pick up our trash, our island of Maui and our ocean will turn black, dirty and scummy. Not only would the beauty of Maui be lost, but our economy would fail, too.
A huge percent of our economy is the tourist industry. Tourists will not be encouraged to come to Maui by cigarette butts laying on the sidewalk of Lahaina, or the polluted gasoline waters that will cause Maui’s economy will drop dramatically.
The future could be horrible unless we do our very best to preserve Maui’s beauty. We have to think about the future so that the trashy future will not happen. We have to preserve Maui’s natural beauty before it is lost. So what would you want for our island? Polluted streets or the wonderful natural beauty of Maui? Think about it. We can do it. We can make a difference.