LETTERS for March 22 issue
DMV SHOULD PROVIDE BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE
Mr. Mayor, I would like to pass on a little input from the average guy trying to renew a license.
I must have been in a cave, but I was unaware of the new law that went into effect on March 5 requiring the forms of identification for renewal of a license. With all the things going on in the world, I can see there are different reasons behind this requirement.
Buy the fact of the matter is I am sure your and all others in our government could see that this would surprise and inconvenience a lot of our citizens.
My experience so far has been the lack of empathy and friendly, non-condescending help from the staff at the DMV to roll out these new requirements.
Like it or not, they are in the people business – and need to do better at it.
CEOs SENDING JOBS OVERSEAS
I always said I wasn’t very smart, so I need help with this. Place a call to your insurance company’s customer service department, and who do you get on the phone? Yep, someone in Mexico or India. That goes for your credit card company and mortgage company a lot of times, too.
Are these the jobs that have been sent to foreign countries by the CEOs of these large corporations that are making millions in bonuses? And is this the reason why our own country has such a high rate of unemployment?
But why is the GOP blaming President Obama for it when those jobs could be brought back home? Why are they saying that he isn’t doing enough to create jobs, when they are the ones that sent those jobs somewhere else?
Isn’t it true that large oil companies are making more money now than they’ve made in a long while? Exxon just reported multimillion dollar profits. And the GOP is blaming President Obama for the high gas prices or not doing enough about it. Hello!
See what I mean? I need help with this.
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
HELP THE BOO BOO ZOO
What is happening to the Boo Boo Zoo?
Last fall, we learned that the three decades old East Maui Animal Refuge, a.k.a. Boo Boo Zoo (www.booboozoo.org) had been attacked by both federal and state agents as a hotbed of crime, although no one on Maui observed anything but loving care of animals in need, who all lived in harmony under the care of Sylvan and his seemingly tireless group of volunteers and supporters.
After decades of helping injured, deformed, orphaned animals of numerous species, some government agents decided this was a problem surpassing so many much more obvious ones, worthy of bringing armed agents to confiscate long-term resident animals for extermination, because rules were broken.
Community outrage reached up to the governor and president, as well as various legislative representatives, demanding why this had become a priority. Seemingly cooler heads prevailed, and media reports advised agents would be working with the sanctuary to help it come into compliance with rules. The media coverage faded away.
Presently, the sanctuary is under extreme financial and workforce stress, as they strive to make major changes to this peaceful facility required by regulations, and the initial public offers of money and volunteer effort also faded.
Please contact Sylvan at 572-8308 or check the website to see how you can help now. They are in dire need.
MIKE MORAN, Kihei
NUTRITION & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COALITION APPRECIATES SUPPORT
On behalf of the Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalition of Maui County and its project cosponsors – the County of Maui, particularly its departments of Planning and of Public Works, and Office of Economic Development; Maui Redevelopment Agency; and Makawao Community Association – I thank the individuals and groups that supported a recent grassroots initiative aimed at a more walkable and livable county.
Foremost, mahalo nui to Dan Burden and Sarah Bowman of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute based in Port Townsend, Washington. They held community presentations and numerous walking audits of neighborhoods from Feb. 8 to 17.
Many thanks to the initiative’s partners and contributors: Jonathan Starr and Helen Nielsen, Makawao Merchants Association; Kihei Community Association; state Department of Education; Rich Brunner of Kamali’i Elementary School; and the sLower Road group representing Lower Honoapiilani Road in West Maui.
Also, for providing meeting sites and support, mahalo to the reWailuku project of the Wailuku Community Association, Po’okela Church, Makawao Steak House, Casanova Italian Restaurant and Deli, Chris Hart & Partners Inc. and Kahili Golf Course & Restaurant. And, thanks to the Rotary Club of Wailuku for adjusting its meeting schedule to host Dan Burden.
Because of the help of these individuals and groups, we got to walk the streets, see how traffic flows and really know the safety and other community issues. To be in the trenches with the folks – that was really important.
The Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalition, or N-PAC, is a University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine project. The coalition’s mission is to promote positive change in policies, systems and environments in order to encourage healthful eating and exercise, and thus reduce obesity and chronic diseases.
N-PAC is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and sponsored by Communities Putting Prevention to Work-Hawaii, improving healthy eating and healthy activities, creating jobs and promoting sustainability on the islands of Maui and Kauai; and by Hui Au Ola, the Maui County Area Health Education Center. For more information, see www.npacmaui.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coordinator, Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalition of Maui County
HOMELESS CAMPS DANGEROUS
We feel like we live in the “Wild West”… West Maui, that is. Last night, I heard gunshots near my house. Over the last few years, I have heard women screaming “please help me” and men yelling threats and profanity at all hours of the day and night. We have seen drug deals outside our front gate and are continually worried about brush fires started by the same residents.
Other residents are known to steal and strip cars, mopeds and bicycles, sometimes burning them when they are done and creating wildfires. Yesterday, I saw three men unloading crates full of moped parts and tools and carrying them into the bush. Doesn’t take a genius to see a stripping operation.
Every day, I see people walking down the dirt road with grocery carts full of bike parts that are probably stolen. Our neighbors have had items stolen from their yard. Within the same square quarter-mile are several public use areas used by our children, including the county pool, a new skateboard park, a playground and sports fields. School children walk – more likely run – through the same area to get home from school.
Who are these out-of-control neighbors? The residents of Lahaina’s homeless camps. Why are they allowed to stay? The rumor is that the development corporation that owns the property is worried about the rights of the homeless. What about the rights of the hardworking residents of Lahaina? What about the safety of the children of those same hardworking people?
Homelessness is not the issue here. The bigger question is, why are these people allowed to behave in ways that would put me in jail? The issue is the crime that has been allowed to become the norm. The area has become a haven for not only the innocent folks that are down on their luck because of the current economy, but also for the dregs of our community.
If a property owner wants to harbor the homeless, it is the responsibility of that person or company in this case to make it safe, secure and sanitary.
Secure, controlled homeless camps are popping up all over the country, governed by the very people that live there. Portland, Oregon is a great example of a city that has taken responsibility and done positive things for the law-abiding homeless there.
Good thing we live in a country where it is our constitutional right to bear arms to protect ourselves. Just like in the “Wild West” West Maui.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST