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LETTERS for February 26 issue

By Staff | Mar 26, 2015

Mahalo for supporting basketball teams

The 2014-15 basketball season has ended, and it was a great one. The Lady Lunas made it into the state final, while the boys finished in an impressive fifth place at state. Both boys and girls clinched the MIL.

Of course, all of these kids came up through the ranks of the West Maui Youth Basketball League, Menehune and junior varsity divisions. That is why we wanted to take a moment to publicly thank all the people, from Tiny Mites to varsity, who, all too often, go unrecognized for their contributions.

To the coaches who give up so much of their personal time to teach the game – which at times can be like herding cats (Tiny Mite coaches, you know what we mean) – we appreciate you,

To the folks at Parks and Recreation who break down and set up the gym, keep score and referee for every game and practice for all the teams, we are thankful for you.

To the parents who pick-up, drop off, bring snacks, work the door, sell concessions and, of course, help fundraise, we are blessed by your commitment and love for the kids.

To the many individuals and businesses who have been very generous with both time and money, who really want our kids to succeed in life both on and off the court, we are constantly encouraged by your unwavering support.

To the entire Lahaina basketball community who show up for the Luna games (whether you have a kid playing or not), and the families who clap and cheer for the younger players, you bring a smile to our face while making the games that much more exciting.

Last but certainly not least, all the West Side players, from the youngest wide-eyed five-year-olds to the seasoned seniors, we are honored to have the opportunity to watch you learn and grow both within the game of basketball and within this special community.

Westside Hoops is so thankful and deeply appreciative to everyone who not only help out for Lahaina, but who do so much to help our Menehune through varsity players get to the Mainland for offseason camp. There they will experience extensive fundamental coaching as well as character building, while getting a taste of what it means to be away from home. It is these things that can help pave the way to college and beyond.

So, thank you Lahaina for making the West Side the best side for basketball. You all help in so many ways – even more than you know. Mahalo and God Bless!



Make sure developer obeys rules when building Lahaina project

I want to give the folks that own and rent in the vicinity of Kenui, Front and Wainee streets, Mala Wharf and the cannery a progress report on the 203 affordable homes that Stanford Carr intends to build.

The work on Front Street at the Mala intersection is being done by the county and being paid for by Maui County tax dollars.

This is part of our Maui County Council and Planning Commission’s “fast track” that ensures that the developer pays nothing for offsite work, and you and I do.

I was walking back on Honoapiilani Highway from Office Max on Thursday, March 12, when I noticed some activity on the site. A small excavator was loading trucks from their apparent “lay down” area, who then exited the site onto Kenui Street. Mud that was caked on the truck tires found a new home on the asphalt of the two-lane street.

A LOT of mud was being tracked out onto the road, which is a construction big time “no no” and includes hefty fines.

Young men with shovels in hand looked perplexed as they stared at the construction equivalent of a continually growing Mud Pie!

It is against the law for a construction site to “wash down” the street, as the contaminated water will go into the storm drain.

Having run large construction projects (for example, high-rises, hotels, strip malls, casinos, schools, restaurants and fire stations), I know the law. Before ANY work can begin on a site, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be approved by the state and the county.

The entire perimeter of the project, which will be more than a mile, has to be secured with chain link fencing or some kind of secure structure.

Additionally, silt fencing needs to be properly installed around the entire property with wattles secured at the base. Any storm drains on existing streets need to be protected. Once building commences, the site has to have an approved concrete washout area with signage.

There has to be at least one entrance/exit track out road for construction use using three- to six-inch crushed aggregate for a 30-foot wide by 50-foot long by 12-inch deep road.

Various companies make steel “Grizzly” or “Rumble Racks” to be used in lieu of rock if approved by the inspector(s), or as an additional tool used to avoid “track out.”

If a washdown area is required, and it usually is, the cost for installation could be $6,000 (for the track out road and wash down station) with a monthly maintenance cost of $1,500 or so. The cost for the perimeter fencing, silt fencing and wattles could easily cost $10,000.

Is the developer aware of the obligations?

The Maui Planning Commission ignored with prejudice “we the people” – including 600 signatures against and none for, and a standing room only hearing.

Remember Mauians, we are paying for all of the off-site improvements, thanks again to the council and commission.

And I also doubt that any fines will be levied, given the obscenely cordial relationship between the council/Planning Commission and developer.

Carr only has to build affordable homes on 51 percent of the property. HUD allows that affordable homes can cost up to $685,000.

The remaining 49 percent will be sold at market price. They will most likely be those built closest to the ocean with the best views.

We might not be able to stop the project, but we can make sure the developer obeys the law. Remain vigilant, citizens, and do not give up. History will validate our concerns.

Sometimes, just the simple fact that we are doing the right thing is reward enough.



Keiki health insurance program must be funded

We need to act today to save health insurance for our keiki.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides comprehensive, affordable healthcare to over 10 million kids – and its federal funding is about to expire.

Thousands of children could lose healthcare if funding runs out. Congress shouldn’t let this happen.

That’s why I’m joining my colleagues in the Senate to push for extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. But we need your help, too.

Tell Congress to protect quality healthcare for 10 million kids by extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program now, before it expires!

No child should be denied healthcare when they need it. That’s why I’m urging Congress to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

I hope you’ll stand with me.