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LETTERS for November 27 issue

By Staff | Nov 27, 2014

Family appreciates support from community

My 18-year-old son, Braiden Maither, was recently diagnosed with a disease called Anklosing Spondylitis (A.S.). After returning from a surf competition in Japan, he started to have severe arthritis symptoms in every joint in his body. He also got sick, losing 30 pounds, and was unable to walk, in a wheelchair for months.

We finally received help at UCSF Medical Center in California. He made it back to Maui and is making progress toward walking and surfing again.

I’m writing this letter to thank so many people for their care and concern in the Maui community. Everyone’s efforts and prayers have truly lifted Braiden and our family.

We also want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the financial donations through “Farmers’ Market of Maui” and “Go Fund Me.” This has been a tremendous help to offset Braiden’s medical expenses in California.

We’ve never experienced such love and genuine care from so many people. Thanks again for helping Braiden on his long road to recovery and surfing once again.



Stay active in county government

Maui County faces many challenges, and I pray that the mayor will be successful in guiding our county to a better quality of life for our residents.

I am so grateful for my husband, my kids, the heartfelt support of our ohana, old friends, new friends, supporters and all who voted for me and believed in me. Our community has both inspired and humbled me.

I ran for office because I believe in Maui County, I believe in our people and I believe in our future.

The election is over now, but our work endures. Moving forward, I encourage you to remain active and involved, especially in county government.

Engage in civil discussions, question authority, question decisions being made on your behalf, and if you disagree, offer a better solution.

Push for transparency in government, push for accountability of elected officials and push for open communication for the people.

It is not enough to show up on one day every two or four years to vote and expect the future we want to see for our children and our families just materialize. Democracy only works with an active and involved citizenry.

Have the courage to take a stand for what is right.

The foundations have been laid. The networks have been formed. And everyday people can make a difference. Grassroots groups can make a difference. You can make a difference.



Support limiting government surveillance powers

I have some great news: last week the Senate voted to stop the National Security Agency from collecting the phone records of millions of Americans.

A few months ago, tens of thousands of supporters joined me in calling on Congress to vote – and pass – the USA Freedom Act, a historic bill to reform government surveillance.

And now, we have an incredible opportunity to restore Americans’ privacy and reform the NSA, both in Hawaii and on the Mainland.

That’s why I’m joining my colleagues again – including the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahy – to urge Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act. We’re pushing to pass this bill now before the new Congress convenes in January.

But in order to pass this bill, we need to demonstrate overwhelming grassroots support from people like you.

The USA Freedom Act has the support of a wide range of more than 40 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and major tech companies, and is co-sponsored by a strong bipartisan coalition.

That’s because no matter our political ideologies or backgrounds, we can all agree that Americans’ privacy must be protected.

We must pass the USA Freedom Act to end the indiscriminate collection of Americans’ telephone records, and put stronger protections in place to limit broad-based dragnet surveillance programs.

Will you join me, Sen. Leahy and tens of thousands of Americans to urge Congress to pass this bill?

This bill is the best chance we’ll have to rein in the NSA and impose stronger limits on government surveillance powers.



Mahalo for supporting Lahaina students

(The following letter was sent to Aaron Trujillo of Na Hoaloha Ekolu.)

On behalf of the hundreds of students, parents, volunteer tutors and Lahaina school staff members participating in the Lahaina Complex After School Tutoring Program, please accept our Haleakala-size “Mountains of Mahalo” for your extra efforts in providing “ono” sandwiches for our supper at the Haleakala summit. We believe that the visit to the Haleakala Observatories as guests of the U.S. Air Force was a huge success for all of us – students and adults alike.

By 6 p.m., our Lahaina Intermediate students in our tutor programs were very hungry! They and the adults absolutely welcomed Leoda’s ham sandwiches and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

Earlier that day, we observed two of the most powerful telescopes in the world at the summit. The sandwiches, along with more astronomy studies working with the Haleakala Amateur Astronomers, who patiently allowed us to use their telescopes to study the amazing night sky, made Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 a most memorable educational day for all of us.

Again, a huge mahalo to you and Na Hoaloha Ekolu for supporting our tutor project. We are truly blessed to have your support in helping to increase reading, writing and math literacy for our Lahaina keiki.

PAT & RICHARD ENDSLEY, Lahaina Complex Tutoring Project