homepage logo

LETTERS for July 31 issue

By Staff | Jul 31, 2014

Hawaiians say ‘no’ to tribal status

I wish to inform the public about the way Hawaiians on the West Side feel about rule-making through the U.S. Department of the Interior. My comments spring from the meeting held in Lahaina.

“No means no. A`ole.” That’s what the overflow audience of Hawaiians and their supporters had to say to the panel representing the Department of the Interior the evening of July 7 at King Kamehameha III School in Lahaina.

The Hawaiians who attended the meeting in Lahaina say “no” to tribal status. They say, “We are not indigenous to the U.S. We have educated ourselves, and we do not give up our rights in favor of political privileges. We want our country back.”



Be careful when sharing a rental

There are some really bad people out there scamming those of us that are fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads. A lot of us have to “share” our homes to pay our rents and mortgages. Sound familiar?

How can it be right when you have a lease with the owner, a signed agreement that people will leave, but you can’t make them leave? What are we supposed to do in these situations? Is there any recourse for us?

Is there anyone with personal experience that can give us some input?

It can hurt your ability to pay your landlord and utilities. Where is the justice in this situation? Anyone out there with answers?



I support Sen. Baker

As the primary election is nearing, I have been viewing candidates who are running for office. I remember as a teenager how happy I was when they changed the voting age from 21 to 18. I have voted in every election where I have lived since 1972. For those of us who live in West Maui – and I have for 36 years – we appreciate government representatives who get things done.

In the election for our state senator in West and South Maui, newcomer Terez Amato and incumbent Sen. Roz Baker are vying for the Democratic nomination. While I give kudos to Terez Amato for running for office, all I have read about her and her experience seems to be lacking. Time and volunteerism will help her, but we do not have time. The election is within days.

I can tell you in Senator Baker’s 12 years of representation, we have seen many, many successes for the people who live in West Maui and Kihei. She has brought millions of dollars into our community for projects like funding for the Kihei Library air conditioning, funding for six school construction projects, and for the rest of Maui in capital improvement projects for highways, airports, small boat harbors, schools, Maui Memorial Medical Center and UH-Maui College. This is only in her last term.

In the past, Roz help champion the Certificate of Need for the new West Maui Hospital to begin construction next year. In 2011, she was a driving force behind the passage of Act 206, protecting the employment rights of victims of sexual and domestic violence. She has fought for care for our kupuna, relief for distressed homeowners, equality in the workplace and same-sex marriage. The list goes on and on.

I can tell you as a constituent in her district, when I have contacted Sen. Baker for help, she has always taken the time to get back to me and assist me with solutions to my dilemmas.

While I applaud Terez Amato for running for office, I don’t believe she has the experience and solid connection to our community that Roz has. This is why I am urging all in my community to re-elect Sen. Roz Baker. She has the proven track record of being committed to your family and your community. On Aug. 9, vote for Roz! You won’t be disappointed!



GOP could help oust two elected officials

Republicans should vote the Democrat ticket in the primary election. It’s a great opportunity to get rid of both Abercrombie and Schatz. Do we want to listen to these two until the November election?

If the Republican vote is added to their opponents’ vote, we will get rid of them. Then, once again, I can enjoy my TV.



Paltin can fix problems in county government

Thank you for detailing the many failures of Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration, including failures in leadership, ethics, transparency and competency.

The county tells a federal judge that dumping sewage water into our nearshore waters is just fine. The mayor tells county employees not to speak to each other. It’s pathetic.

There’s a viable mayoral candidate who will be a way better mayor for all of us: Tamara Paltin.

She’s a lifeguard, mom and community activist who will help Maui County fix the problems of the Arakawa years.



Federal bill would hurt small online retailers

I read with some amusement the recent letter from Corinne R. Arquero in support of the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.

Arquero fails to note that if this misguided bill – which passed the Senate over principled bipartisan opposition – were to become law, the consequences for small online retailers would be catastrophic.

Many of these retailers are small “Mom and Pop” operations based in basements or garages in Hawaii and across the country. These businesses would now be required to comply with the laws of almost 10,000 taxing jurisdictions across the country – and could be threatened with audits from them as well, despite having no presence there whatsoever.

For Arquero, the general manager of a local mall, to make this argument is especially disingenuous. What would she say if the clerks in every one of her mall’s stores were required to ask customers where they lived, and collect and remit the appropriate sales taxes for that jurisdiction? No doubt it’d be a logistical nightmare!

Arquero is right that Congress should act to ensure a level playing field for 21st Century commerce; one which would ensure that small, nimble online retailers – the embodiment of the 21st Century economy – are on an equal footing with such 20th Century throwbacks as shopping malls.

PHIL BOND, Executive Director, WE R HERE Coalition Alexandria, VA


Monitor your kidney health

In Hawaii, hundreds are waiting for transplants. More than 134,294 people nationwide are waiting on an organ transplant. Hawaii has a high incidence of kidney disease with estimates of 162,000 that are affected with chronic kidney disease. Specifically, Hawaii has about 3,300 kidney disease patients who are suffering from kidney failure and participating in dialysis. Pacific Islanders, including Native Hawaiians and Filipinos, are at the highest risk for kidney disease, but it also strikes Hispanic and Japanese in high numbers. For more information on transplants, visit the “Donate Life Hawaii Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.”

The National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii (NKFH) wants you to know that kidney health can improve, but it takes swift and proactive management. The more common form of kidney disease happens slowly, over a long period of time. This is called chronic kidney disease. You might have heard it called CKD. Kidney disease happens without your knowledge and is often referred to as the silent killer. Chronic kidney disease is a lifetime illness; it will not go away and is a widespread problem, especially in older people. In an early stage of the disease, the kidneys don’t do a good job of removing extra water and waste out of the blood. Over time, the problem gets worse, and the kidneys may completely stop working. This is called end-stage renal disease or ESRD. Renal is another word for kidney.

The National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii hosts an annual “Da Kidney Da Kine” event in Central Maui and is planning to add a second smaller educational and testing event this fall in Lahaina. The NKFH also hosts monthly support group meetings to share education, awareness and support for anyone affected by kidney disease.

National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii encourages you to contact the local office to schedule a free educational presentation at your civic, senior, church or social gathering. Get involved with the Kidney Friends program that accepts gently used clothes at several locations throughout Maui. If you have an automobile to donate for a IRS-approved itemized tax deduction, reach out to your local NKFH office. The National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii accepts donations that stay in Maui at their local office in Wailuku.

Because kidney disease is a silent killer, and most do not realize there is a problem until it is in a serious stage, the NKFH encourages individuals to ask their doctor to be tested for kidney disease. Ask your doctor to find out your “GFR” (glomerular filtration rate). The NKFH Maui office is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For additional information, call the Maui office at (808) 986-1900 or visit www.kidneyhi.org.

JILL HOLLEY, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, Maui Office


Solution to conflict must be fair to both sides

Many of us hold strong black or white opinions about conflicts in what used to be called the Holy Land. How strange that believers in religions whose central teaching is kindness and respect for others would follow leaders willing to blow up innocent people. Media discussion often sounds like monologues defending one side.

Imagine reversing the situations of the factions to see if that would affect one’s judgments.

Suppose Israelis were confined to fenced and walled areas covering a fraction of the land they used to own. Palestinian guards would control all access and exits to those areas. Imported food, fuel and building materials could not exceed strict quotas. Weapons would be prohibited.

Palestinian settlers would regularly occupy and build homes on Israeli land. Israeli protests would be forcibly dispersed by a powerful Palestinian army. Any violence from Israeli resistance would be met by military action. If Israeli violence continued, Palestinian artillery, bombs and missiles would destroy Israeli civilian homes along with public water, sewage and power facilities. Schools and hospitals would sometimes be hit. Palestinians would respond to Israeli suffering by saying it was their fault for hiding terrorists. Israelis would say they were fighting for freedom.

Interesting that people locked up in their own country would demand freedom? Our politicians would reply that Palestinians had a right to defend themselves. Is it really so hard to come up with a solution providing justice for both sides? There are two sets of shoes to walk in here.