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LETTERS for June 14 issue

By Staff | Jun 14, 2012

Skaters should wear helmets

I am pleased how well the Lahaina Skate Park turned out. It appears to have been well planned.

While driving past the skate park, I noticed many people using the park; however, not one person was wearing a protective helmet.

Why would our county risk such a huge liability, especially in light of recent skateboard deaths? Shouldn’t every person be required to wear a protective helmet and possibly sign a liability waiver?

In California, skate parks require users to wear helmets. It’s a good law that protects the county and, more importantly, our users.



Not all bike riders follow the rules

The bicycle riders that write letters appear to be from the good group, but there are so few of them in Lahaina. The question really is, which ones are asking for respect and sharing of the road?

In the other group are the ones that ride in and out of store fronts with people walking (like supermarkets), ride side-by-side on roadways and won’t yield to cars in back of them, and run stop signs and red lights while riding in pedestrian crosswalks when they’re supposed to be walking their bikes across. The law says bicycles are covered by the same laws as automobiles and other vehicles, so why do these people think they’re different?

Those that write letters asking for respect and sharing of the road should really police their own and then come asking for something like that.

I remember driving north on Wainee Street approaching Dickenson Street one day, and a bicycle was ridden by a local guy in the crosswalk going across Dickenson, so he and I were parallel to each other with him on my left side. To my amazement, the guy got to the other side and made a right turn in front of me to cross Wainee Street without stopping.

And I could go on and on about the idiots in Lahaina, but I won’t bore you with the details. Just know that it is not all peaches and cream with bicyclists in Lahaina, and you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.



Move bus stop to Prison Street lot

A few random thoughts came to mind recently, and I thought divulging them to the entire readership would be appropriate. First of all, the question I have in an international/political context is this: should not the United Kingdom in actuality be the United Queendom? Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her diamond jubilee. Did no one notice that over the last 60 or so years?

In regard to Blackie Gadarian’s complaints about the Luakini Street bus terminal at The Wharf Cinema Center, I lived on Luakini Street at the Liberty Apartments before there was a Wharf Cinema Center.

The pile driving they did while building it drove me out of the neighborhood. Blackie’s place wasn’t even there at the time. So Luakini is no stranger to, should we say, situations.

But I do have a suggestion: has no one even considered the Prison Street parking lot as a hub? Come on – it’s a natural. They only need two spots; one for incoming and one for outgoing. If all we really want to do is ticket unsuspecting or slightly under IQ’d tourists for parking in a no parking zone, it’s a natural. A shelter would be easily built. And the problem with the buses – which has been a problem since the 1980s when I worked in the harbor and the Pioneer Inn, and the buses parked at the harbor and idled their engines for 45 minutes to keep the AC going, making that area a dead zone from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. – would, more or less, be solved.

Think about it. And think about cats and dogs and other abused and mistreated animals. Think about that. They need help.



Suggestions sent to Health Department

(The following letter was sent to the state Department of Health concerning Proposed Revision of Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapters 11-54 and 11-55, to add a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharges from the Application of Pesticides to State Waters.)

As a doctor of public health, I request that the NPDES revised rules be amended to monitor all pesticide applications on their impact to aquatic habitats; alert the residents of the pesticide applications; and monitor the impact of pesticides on sensitive aquatic habitats.

This is a change from the current DOH permit policy that allows applicators to keep most of this information to themselves.

I recommend:

1) That the public’s right-to-know and access to information is increased. The DOH’s website showing all notices of intent to discharge, and pesticides, pesticide treatment plans and monitoring records, should be made available, 24/7. Provisions should include information and maps as to where, when and which pesticides are being discharged; warnings posted so residents and visitors can adapt their activities or use of that water; monitor impacts; comment and suggest alternatives ahead of time; and immediate postings and notifications of all spills and accidents.

2) Protect our drinking water, Class 1 and AA waters, and endangered species. DOH’s permit makes numerous exceptions to allow for the discharge of pesticides into our drinking water, our most protected Class 1 and AA waters, and impaired waters. This is a change that requires that DOH to apply the strictest standards when any of these waters are affected.

3) Require that applicators select the least toxic alternatives. Only large applicators are asked to evaluate alternatives to pesticides, and they are given broad license to decide when and how pesticides should be used. This is a change that requires DOH to set objective and high standards when pesticides are allowed. The DOH standard must include the use of less toxic alternatives and best practices to minimize harm.

4) Strengthen site monitoring requirements. DOH asks only that applicators do a brief visual “spot check” for impacts upon discharge, at the applicator’s discretion. This is a change that requires that DOH apply the ambient water quality monitoring standards before and after application for all discharges, and is made imperative for the most toxic pesticides, examining for the specific known and suspected effects of each pesticide.

5) Expand the range of pesticide users covered by the permit. Current DOH standards only apply to pesticides used on over 6,400 acres or 20 linear miles. These thresholds are too high to capture many of Hawaii’s most significant pesticide discharges. This is a change that requires that DOH apply its standards to all areas impacted by pesticides.

6) We want “ditches” that ultimately convey water to public water supply, or waters of the U.S., or waters of the State of Hawaii to be themselves considered waters of the U.S. and subject to Clean Water Act Protection. This change requires that DOH protect the ditches in addition to the “streams.”

7) Utilize individual permits or limited area/operator general permits rather than a statewide general permit. This change requires that DOH create and review pesticide usage prior to issuing any permit where water will be directly or indirectly impacted.

EVE CLUTE. Doctor of Public Health, West Maui