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LETTERS for May 3 issue

By Staff | May 3, 2012

Roosters not a noise nuisance

I am a Mauian by heart. Due to the poor economy, I’m forced to live and work overseas in Taiwan.

You folks complain about a “noise.” It is a noise, but it’s by Mother Nature. Roosters are God’s creatures.

Here, where I’m forced to live, there is NOTHING quiet – honking cars, blaring music, loud language at all times, any hour of day.

Please, I behest you, to come to your senses.

I do agree, without any hesitation, having a custom-bike roaring down the road is indeed totally unnecessary and disturbing… but roosters?

No, they are not, because God made them the way they are.

DR. GEORG WOODMAN, Kihei/Taiwan-


Convert oil companies to utility companies

This letter is in response to the articles covering President Barack Obama’s calling on Congress to end tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

This should make Americans ask a fundamental question: what’s the difference between what a public nonprofit utility company provides and what a private, for-profit oil company provides? After all, they both sell energy to all U.S. citizens. The difference is that natural gas and electricity are sold in the form of a public good, whereas oil is sold in the form of a private good.

Accordingly, on the grounds of promoting national security, the U.S. Congress should convert all oil companies to utility companies. This would eliminate the windfall profits and force the oil industry to earn just enough income to cover operating expenses, just as natural gas and electric utility companies are required to do. The resulting drop in gasoline prices would further stimulate the economy and lighten the energy stranglehold upon the U.S. by the Middle East. It would also eliminate the influence of the oil lobby.

In this case, desperate times call for deliberate measures. But as pathetic as the energy policy is in this country, the effort to develop alternative sources of energy won’t really be accelerated until the oil dries up, the Saudis place solar cells all across their desert and then sell us the electricity.

JOE BIALEK, Via E-mail


Maui professionals saved my daughter

We moved to Maui in September of 2011. We had been living in a small town in Arizona raising our 27-year-old mentally disabled daughter. (She functioned at about a seven-year-old level.) In July, our biggest fear was confirmed: we found out she had been molested by a caregiver. She completely shut down. My instincts as a mother told me to get her out of Arizona. So, my husband and I took her to healing Maui. We didn’t have much money, so we sold everything we owned and donated the rest to a local church.

We contacted two of the loveliest people I have ever met: Toni Johnson and Tara Garcia at the Breakers in Honokowai. They are realtors in the business of selling homes for a living. Even though we could not commit to the purchase of a home at that time, they worked extremely hard to find us the perfect rental. A safe haven for us and our daughter to heal from the horrible things that happened. They made sure that when we arrived, everything was in order down to beds in the bedrooms. (Thanks to Sharon at Mind’s Eye as well!)

Our daughter’s health was declining, and she was down to 87 pounds. She wasn’t eating, couldn’t speak or walk on her own and was incontinent. These are all things she was proficient at prior to the incident. We immediately started our search for professionals to help us bring our daughter back to her baseline. The first person we were able to see was Dr. Laurie Omuro, a counselor at Aloha House in Wailuku. Dr. Omuro worked with Brooke for weeks, tirelessly, while we waited to get in with other doctors for medical assistance. Ultimately, we decided together that our daughter would be better served by an occupational therapist and truly thank Dr. Laurie for being our first point of contact on the island, helping us get through an extremely difficult move.

Since our daughter’s weight and behavior were getting worse, we went in to see Dr. Heather Bejenaru at Doctors on Call at the Hyatt Regency Maui in Kaanapali. From the moment we walked into her office until the time we left, which was an hour-and-a-half later, we were treated with kindness, respect and patience by Dr. Bejenaru and her entire medical staff. And we had a plan. She had given us several referrals that we followed up, on like Dr. Cora Tasaki, a neurologist in Wailuku, and Dr. Gabrielle Galler-Rimm, a pediatrician specializing in special needs individuals, in Makawao. Dr. Bejenaru talked through our fears with us and took on our daughter as a patient in true aloha style.

About the same time, we started working weekly with Jennifer Chiemi Ban of Venture Physical Therapy. Bless her heart – she showed up at our home on the other side of the island from her office in Kihei twice a week. She retrained our daughter how to feed herself, how to sit on the floor and stretch out and how to get up! She did music therapy with her, as that was our daughter’s favorite thing to do. Now, she was going from a blank, empty stare to mumbling sounds. Jennifer did not cut her any slack; she continued to work with her as if she knew exactly what she was saying. As it turns out, she must have heard every word she said. Jennifer, you are forever in our hearts. We are thankful that we were led to you.

Finally, Dr. Gabrielle Galler-Rimm. Wow, this is truly a magical individual. I have always said that when it comes to working with the disabled community, you either have it or you don’t. You can’t be taught what it takes – it just comes from within. Dr. Galler-Rimm is all that and more. We drove to her office in Makawao every week for months. Generally, the same thing would happen. My husband and I would sit on the couch. Her beautiful therapy dog, Mo, would lie on the chair, and our daughter would stand by the door, trying to leave. For one full hour. We spoke about our concerns openly with Dr. Galler-Rimm in hopes that something would sink in for our daughter. The doctor would always be there for us, with comforting words, suggestions and validation that we were doing the right thing. I can’t even describe what it is like to see your child this way. It was heartbreaking. Eventually, our daughter started sitting down on the couch with us – briefly, and then she tried to escape the office. Weeks later she started acknowledging Mo, the therapy dog. Suffice it to say, on our last visit before we moved back to the Mainland, in January of this year, she sat down on the couch with us and had a full conversation with Dr. Galler-Rimm. It still gives me goose bumps to talk about.

Our journey took us to Maui. And Maui should be extremely proud of all the strong, professional women that call it home. My husband and I were ready to give up. Each and every one of these women saved our lives. We will always be grateful to Maui for bringing our daughter back to us.



Improve security at Lahainaluna

I would like to address an ongoing situation at my school that has me concerned. I would like to say that Lahainaluna High School is no longer safe. I can’t believe how corrupt and unsafe this school has become. I can’t really depend on our own school security, because they are not doing their job right! Instead of patrolling the campus, they sit around and talk story. There have been many incidents where I have felt threatened or have witnessed bullying. These bullying incidents come from the same group of people every time. It’s sad to see our tax dollars being wasted on teenagers who don’t take their education seriously.

When was it ever funny to throw mangoes at fellow school mates? When was it ever funny to throw milk in front of someone who isn’t doing anything but just walking by? I hear no apologies at all from these people! They just point and laugh at their victim.

When was it okay to fill up a trash can and roll it down the hill in front of people who are minding their own business? There is not a single teacher that’s willing to help monitor these actions, because they are too busy in their classrooms.

How is there such a thing called school pride in Lahainaluna, if the students here act so immature and are not even close to being role models to the younger generation? I wish that parents could take time out of their busy schedules to take a good look at their child. I wish these kids could do something more reasonable with their time than cause constant trouble.

Why express boredom through violence and pranks that hurt people’s feelings? Is there really a good outcome of doing something mean? It doesn’t feel good to be hit by a green mango in the head. It hurts to watch a group of people, or even be caught off guard, rolling a trash can that is full down a hill at you. This is not right at all!

I suppose my generation is really bringing the end of the world to reality through ignorance and violence. This is how a community falls apart, people!