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LETTERS for December 13 issue

By Staff | Dec 13, 2012

Team won the hearts of the community

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breaths away.” Our football season delivered many such moments. First, our team and coaches played with passion, commitment and spirit at every game. They represented Lahainaluna’s essence: tradition, respect, humility and resilience. As the season wore on, they learned a valuable lesson in life: good sportsmanship. Their manners spoke loudly on and off the field. They never gave up; they were resourceful.

Secondly, the Lahaina community came out in force and supported our team from start to finish. They lined Lahainaluna Road with banners, bells and whistles, and joyful cheering as the team left campus for the airport to play in the championship game against Iolani. That was at 8:45 in the evening. Then, when the team returned, they again formed a gauntlet up Lahainaluna Road to congratulate the boys and coaches for playing with Lahainaluna pride and good sportsmanship. We may have lost the championship by three points, but we won the hearts and aloha of our school and community.

As we enter other seasonal sports (basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, wrestling, swimming, track & field, golf, canoe paddling and surfing), we take comfort in knowing that we have excellent role models to follow.

We thank not only our football boys and coaches but also the community for their undying support and expressions of aloha. We look forward to our continued partnership in the education of our students.

EMILY DeCOSTA, Principal


Teachers work many extra hours

Teachers work way beyond their required “instructional hours.” Every gain I’ve made since I began teaching four-and-a-half years ago was made outside of school hours.

Recently your paper published an article about my receipt of an Unsung Heroes Award. I wrote the grant request for Unsung Heroes over many non-paid hours.

Last year you ran an article about students I mentored who created an art show for all West Side students. Literally, work weeks of my time outside of class was spent on that project.

Today I got an e-mail telling me that five of my students won awards for posters they designed for the upcoming Na Mele contest. I printed and mounted those posters last Sunday. You can’t do this stuff during “instructional hours.”

If we only work instructional hours, what won’t I be doing? I won’t be applying for grants to get two dozen iPads for my class next year. I won’t be asking for more video cameras and talking to Canon about the $6,000 printer they have promised, but which I need to nudge them about.

I won’t be looking for a venue to show student work and perhaps talking up a “Friday Night is Student Art Night” for Lahaina this coming spring. I won’t be in my classroom at lunch time, so students can work, socialize and ask questions. I may not even have the opportunity to write the purchase orders for the money I have already been granted.

I won’t be spending next weekend updating my website and learning how to use new software. I guess I will be working on my application to become a Distinguished Apple Educator, because that will be a pathway away from a school system that has not offered me any merit pay for what I’ve done, has not stood up for me and my fellow teachers, and has not acknowledged that we are underpaid for the time we spend and the difference we make.



Rooftop music keeps me awake

Here it is another typical Wednesday night on Luakini Street. It’s Nov. 28, 2012, and it’s 11:30 p.m. Instead of enjoying my television program(s), I’m listening to Fleetwood’s restaurant in Lahaina pounding on their drums/cymbals, screaming out words to songs, and strumming loudly on their electrical guitars.

But guess what? I’m totally enclosed in my one-bedroom apartment that’s concrete, with double glass sliding windows fully closed/locked, with my air conditioning on high and television volume up near maximum. Is it even possible to hear them playing? It sure is.

The only thing I can say is Fleetwood’s has no respect for their neighbors, who are longtime residents who live in private homes or apartments that have been there for years.

However, I thought I could escape the intrusive, disruptive noise for a little bit by driving to Foodland… but guess what? I get out of the car, and I could still hear it all at the Old Lahaina Center parking lot as well. That is RIDICULOUS.

Tell me – does it need to be that loud for all of Lahaina Town to hear? Yes, you have a permit to play music on your rooftop – but that loud? I mean really?

How many people are you playing to? Is your rooftop that big as to hold a concert-size audience? I doubt it.

So do me a favor, like I have asked your company in person, via your Facebook page, via your website and via letter. Please keep the volume down and have respect for your neighbors who live around your business.

By the way, my contact information was always indicated on all those forms of communication, but for some reason you cared not to contact me. Shame on you. You could have at least called me.

I guess having grown up here on Maui since 1965, being a longtime resident of Lahaina since 1987 and having served this community does not rate in your book of important people to speak to.

Now it’s 12:56 a.m., and I can hear the base pounding from your enclosed dance hall.



Basketball program appreciates support

On behalf of the Lahaina Menehune Girls Basketball Program, I would like to thank and extend our sincere appreciation for Chef Christian Jorgensen of CJ’s Deli & Grill and the Maui Invitational for generously donating water, soda and Gatorade to assist us in fundraising for the 2012-13 basketball season. Monies raised will go towards purchasing new uniforms and equipment, and covering traveling expenses for future tournaments. Once again, we are truly humbled by your generous donation and community support.

IAN AOTAKI, Lahaina Menehune Girls Basketball Program


What is the United Nations thinking?

U.N. approved a Palestinian state. I don’t understand what kind of a state it would be. They have NO water (currently provided by Israel), they have NO food (currently provided by the U.N., donations and Israel), they have NO electricity (currently provided by Israel), they have 40 percent unemployment, Gaza and the West Bank are not connected geographically, Gaza is controlled by Hamas and the West Bank by Fatah, and Jordan is and should be the Palestinian state (and is not addressed). Not to mention all the obstacles of Jerusalem, which is a Jewish city since the beginning of history. Before any Palestine existed, Jerusalem was initially built by King David. A lot of the Arab refugees are NOT Palestinians! The right of return to Israel is NOT POSSIBLE! Return to 1967 boarders could not be an option, since they are not defensible.



Obey the law on lifted trucks

Regarding a comment that lifted trucks are being maligned, I say that you must be one of the owners of such a vehicle.

To you I say that it isn’t the idea of a lifted truck that is being targeted by the police.

It is the owners or the drivers of a lot of them.

Be aware of what the law on lifted trucks says. Abide by it, and you won’t be targeted.

It’s certain drivers that draw attention to them.

So, don’t blame or ridicule the police for what action they’re taking. Police yourselves first and then see why the action was taken.

Are you aware of what your headlights do to oncoming vehicles? It causes momentary blindness.

Why do we have to put up with that?

What does the law say about the distance from the road to your headlights? So, don’t malign the police for what they’re doing.

They are enforcing the law.