LETTERS for April 25 issue
What happened to cat at golf course?
Please help us! We are a group of people who have taken care of a little one-eyed cat at the Kapalua Village Golf Course for ten years. She was hanging out at the 18th hole. We fed and loved her, and now she is gone.
She has not been seen for at least three weeks; her food and dishes are gone, too.
We miss her and are very worried. Has someone taken her and given her a home? Has something happened to her? Please let me know if anybody knows the whereabouts of our little cat. We are sad and miss her.
Please, if you know anything, contact the Lahaina News. I would be so grateful. I would like to know what happened to her – good or bad.
KRISTINE HARVEY, West Maui
DOT official truly listens
I wanted to send out a long overdue mahalo to our state Department of Transportation employee Charlene Shibuya.
More than ten years ago, a temporary detour was built to construct the Lahainaluna bridge. The only thing separating the cars from the people were some plastic pylons. I called Charlene, and in two days, she brought in some concrete barriers.
On or about Feb. 20, the highway and Lahainaluna intersection were repaved and the new striping squeezed out the right-turn lane to almost nothing. Traffic was backed up to the second subdivision.
I contacted Charlene, and again in two days, the road was returned to its former design (and at night).
Lahaina is very lucky to have someone who truly listens and cares about our needs. I think she should be running the show.
God bless you, Char.
CHRIS BRECKELS, Lahaina
NRA cares about more gun sales
Biggies from the NRA are promoting the idea of armed guards in schools, which would mean thousands upon thousands of more guns sold by the gun makers.
This would mean more gratuities for them from the gun makers, wouldn’t it?
Then they talk down character checks for gun buyers. So more guns could be sold to the public? I think so.
What’s going on?
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
A Tax Day message
Since April 15 was Tax Day, let’s consider what we actually get for our tax dollars.
While every state faces its own budget challenges, we share a common challenge: crafting state budgets as our nation struggles with economic challenges and federal budgeting uncertainties. The roller coaster ride of fiscal cliffs, indiscriminate automatic cuts, debt ceilings and other Washington shenanigans have been distinctly unhelpful.
Here are a few suggestions for how Congress can reshape the federal budget to help the states continue to pull through the recession and emerge stronger and more economically competitive than ever.
First, Congress must find a way to bring more certainty back to the budget process. No more phony “fiscal cliffs” that get solved at the last moment. No more threats of government shutdowns.
Second, Congress needs to learn to make strategic budget priorities – just as we have to do in our states. Each year, over half of the discretionary spending Congress appropriates goes to Pentagon and war spending. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is the only governmental agency that cannot pass an audit to show how it uses our tax dollars. Congress cannot continue to exempt the Pentagon budget from scrutiny while making deep cuts to other programs. About one-third of non-defense discretionary spending – the spending Congress votes on every year – goes to the states, so overspending at the Pentagon inevitably squeezes funding for programs on which our states rely.
Third, Congress continues to fund out-of-date weapons systems that we may never need or use. The F-35 is a perfect example. It is over budget, behind schedule and plagued with technical problems. The future of America’s security will not be determined by aerial combat between fleets of opposing aircraft, but by things like cyber security, counter-terrorism and investing in economic competitiveness.
Fourth, we are scheduled to spend billions of dollars over the next ten years for nuclear weapons that were designed to fight the wars of the last century. For the cost of just one new nuclear submarine, we could provide body armor and bomb-resistant Humvees to all our troops overseas, house and treat every homeless U.S. veteran, and still have $2.2 billion left over to pay down our debt. Congress should focus on protecting the nation from 21st century threats and rebuilding our nation’s economy, not paying for pork barrel nuclear weapons projects.
Finally, many Pentagon contractors have successfully lobbied for generous tax breaks. We all use our nation’s roads, count on schools to educate our future workforce, and rely on public safety workers like firefighters, so why should Pentagon contractors get a break on their taxes? Citizens for Tax Justice found that aerospace and defense firms paid an effective tax rate of 17 percent from 2008 to 2010, lower than the average of 18.5 percent paid by all industries. It’s especially galling when these same contractors are seeing big profits and executive pay on par with Wall Street executives.
We all do our part by paying our taxes every April. As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes remarked, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” Now we need Congress to do its part by putting together a civilized budget for our society that invests our tax dollars wisely and reflects our values as a nation. We cannot afford to keep spending on out-of-date, unnecessary Pentagon programs. We must reshape the Pentagon budget to respond to 21st century threats, we must repair our economy and we must start investing in the future.
Let’s send this message to our representatives in Congress!
SANDY PAPPAS, Women Legislators’ Lobby
Support the creation of Maui’s North Shore Park
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is sponsoring a bill to fund the first step in creating our long-awaited North Shore Park – a study to create a plan. He needs to hear from all of us so he can demonstrate that public opinion is behind this, so please submit your support.
Go to www.schatz.senate.gov/ contact.cfm, put in all your contact information, scroll down the “Topic” list and choose “New Parks,” and under “Comments” put “Re. Pacific Islands Parks and Land Preservation Act of 2013, please support parks study for North Maui Coastline.”
Sen. Schatz has submitted the Pacific Islands Parks and Land Preservation Act of 2013 to Congress.
The bill authorizes studies of certain areas for possible inclusion in the National Park System and for other purposes. One of the the areas proposed for such studies is the North Shore of Maui. It is described in the bill as: “North Maui Coastline: The natural beauty of the North Maui coastline, specifically the area between Sprecklesville and Paia, possesses a high degree of integrity as an unspoiled example of a natural white-sand-dune ecosystem. Turtles and monk seals rest on this coastline, and native plant species thrive here. It is the site of three heiaus and the location of major battles before the islands united under one Kingdom.”
The federal studies being proposed will help identify the remarkable features of this popular area and support any future preservation efforts by the county or state.
Please support Maui’s North Shore as a future preservation project.
Go to Sen. Schatz’s website at www.schatz.senate.gov/contact.cfm, toggle the “NEW PARKS” under the topic section, and under comments note: “Support parks study for North Maui Coastline.”
MAUI SIERRA CLUB