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LETTERS for February 7 issue

By Staff | Feb 7, 2013

Gun shows must be regulated

I’m not a shrink, but I’ve been accused of having common sense sometimes. I’ve been holding my breath on the subject of gun control for some months now. Now it’s time for me to speak. Please correct me if you disagree.

I’ve been a hunter from a very young age and a competitive pistol shooter with the police department for some years. Never in all my life have I agreed with allowing gun shows, because we have never been informed about the controls with them. Who runs them? I don’t know.

Have they been required to take a psychological examination? We are not privy to that information and have never been. People with mental ailments are allowed to buy whatever they want without any kind of controls? Not so good.

I also wonder about the mental ailments of the people running those shows as well as some of the people with titles in the NRA. Like other people who were prominent in the political news a few months ago, I question their interests.

Who in their right minds would allow anyone to buy an automatic rifle to keep at home? The Second Amendment rights should not have anything to do with this decision. It’s these gun shows that are the problem with this, where anyone could have bought any weapon displayed without a permit.

Something was wrong here, and a lot of young people have had to pay dearly because of it.

The NRA guys suggested armed guards at the schools. Did they offer to furnish the weapons for the guards? Of course not! It would deprive them of their gratuities from the gun makers. And, of course, WE would end up buying them.



Illegal rentals getting out of control

Illegal ohana rentals are everywhere on the island, and Kihei is the worst! Most people don’t seem to know what the laws are, or they’re turning a blind eye. That needs to be stopped now!

As for all the legal ohanas, it’s creating too much congestion in residential neighborhoods. Now, instead of living next to four houses with a typical family of the past, you end up living next to 16-20 people and even more!

These ohanas are also making a mess out of the rental market, because when you allow illegal ohanas at high rates, then what do you expect to happen to the rates of decent home rentals? Jacked up rates is what it’s called!

All this needs to change and stop now!



Iao Square: How about never?

There’s a famous old cartoon that’s captioned: “How about never? Is never good for you?”

That’s just the way the merchants and residents of Wailuku Town feel about Iao Square. This is a little park slated for a portion of the parking lot next to the Iao Theater. We wish it would go away.

The drawings of this county project show what planners call a “vest pocket” park tucked into the space next to the theater with a cute little food vending stand, some lollipop trees, benches and other features.

What these sketches don’t show is the parking will be removed. They also don’t show the uniformly hostile reaction the park has gotten from the residents and merchants in our neighborhood.

Those who have been on Maui awhile recall a few years back the same lovers of adorable planning ideas “improved” Market Street by eliminating scads of parking and making what parking remained much harder to use. While that might have made Market Street look ever so trendy, if you actually wanted to park there, well, too bad for you.

Many of us who live here thought once we were finally rid of Wailuku Main Street and a new administration was in place, perhaps we could have a more reasonable and user-friendly dialog about the uses made of our neighborhood. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Our neighborhood is in the Maui Redevelopment Zone, and it comes under the jurisdiction of the Maui Redevelopment Agency (MRA). This is a board appointed by the mayor.

Unfortunately, few of the people on the board over the years have really lived or worked in this neighborhood. Some have lived here in the past; few in the present.

Though the board has heard countless times that we want the parking and not the park, the park lives and is still on the agenda before the MRA.

I think I speak for the neighbors when I say we don’t want Iao Square, we never asked for it (there are two large open spaces on the same block), and we have repeatedly opposed it.

Please let the record show that this is not a popular idea, and we wish it would go away.

It is difficult to be critical of the members of the MRA board, all of whom serve in a volunteer unpaid capacity. But it is possible to observe they are not very good listeners, and they seem to give more weight to those cute little drawings than to our ardent desire to retain the scant remaining parking that we have left.

To our mayor, his staff and the legions of planners employed to keep thinking these ideas up we say that it’s good to take a fresh look at Wailuku, but in this particular case, WE WANT TO KEEP THE PARKING.

This is not to say we would oppose paving the lot, or from time to time, after it is paved, using it for public events like First Friday. But a park with permanent structures and no other use? Well, the time has come to drop that idea once and forever.

And while we’re on the subject of cute little projects paid for at the public expense, have you ever noticed that darling little green and police substation right next door? It was also built at the public expense. How sad it is totally empty and seldom occupied by MPD. Still, isn’t it nice that the police have reserved parking, just for them, that they could use if they ever decided to pay attention to Wailuku?

If anyone up there in the County Building is actually listening, it might not be a bad idea to have an officer at that station from time, particularly at night, because buildings, no matter how historically accurate and nicely painted, don’t watch the street or keep us safe.

So “yes” to more real live police for Market Street, and for Iao Square, “no.” Better yet, how about NEVER?