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LETTERS for April 9 issue

By Staff | Apr 9, 2015

County should fix Canoe Beach restrooms

What is going on with the restrooms at Canoe (Hanakao’o) Beach in West Maui? Why have they been closed for well over a year? Why would the county spend money on painting the building, installing new fixtures and replacing the roof but not fix the plumbing for over a year?

Our West Maui community and our visitors deserve better. Parents taking small children to the portables have had to deal with overflowing feces, no toilet paper and parking lot traffic for far too long.

Regatta season is rapidly approaching. Please make fixing our bathrooms a priority. At the very least, the county should immediately look into the quality of service for the portables. The state of all three portables on March 30 was shameful.



Thank Harry Reid for his service

The leader of the Senate Democrats, Harry Reid, recently announced his retirement.

Harry has always been a steady and compassionate leader. He has been a great ally to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and has consistently fought for the middle class and for immigrant families.

Sen. Reid will be missed. My Senate colleagues and I are coming together in sending a heartfelt mahalo to Sen. Reid for his service. Will you join us?

Join me in saying mahalo to Senator Reid at www.ThankHarryReid.com. Sign on and give your thanks. I wish Sen. Reid and his family all the best. I hope you’ll join me in doing the same.



Group working to defend marriage

With all eyes on the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage arguments in a few weeks, I wanted to let you know that we are actually active in three separate marriage battles this month.

Earlier this month, the Pacific Justice Institute filed an amicus brief with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Incredibly, this court refused to stop a lower court from introducing chaos through judicially-mandated same-sex marriages, even as the Supreme Court is about to weigh in.

Meanwhile, our attorneys are finalizing, and we are planning to file later this week, amicus briefs in the First Circuit Court of Appeals (based in Boston) and the U.S. Supreme Court. Filed on behalf of esteemed academics, our briefs focus the courts’ attention on significant aspects of social science that do not support the push for marriage redefinition.

Many people have given up on saving traditional marriage and figure it’s just inevitable that marriage will be redefined by the courts. Friends, that may be what the media wants you to believe, but the stakes are just too high for us to give up on or stop fighting for something so important for our children and grandchildren.

Already, we have seen a direct correlation between marriage redefinition and the loss of freedom, including religious freedom. Each week, it seems like someone else is losing their job or their business because they continue to believe in God’s design for natural marriage. We can’t stay silent while this is happening!

Friends, our freedom comes at a price. These three important court filings are costing us thousands of dollars, but we know it’s the right thing to do. And, despite what the courts may decide on defining marriage, I can assure you that the need for defending people of faith from discrimination because of their beliefs will continue.

BRAD DACUS, Pacific Justice Institute


It’s long past time to find a cure for cancer

Cancer is one of the most feared words of all.

Almost every week, I hear about a friend, acquaintance, old schoolmate or family member being diagnosed with cancer. I have Facebook friends who report almost daily about their routine chemotherapy treatments. They, along with millions more, are in a battle for their lives.

Cancer routinely takes 577,000-plus lives every year in America.

The cost is over $103 billion in direct medical costs. The statistics are always changing but are staggering.

No one fighting cancer cares about how much they have to spend to defeat the disease. Life is worth more than all the money in the world. However, have the doctors and drug companies figured this out? The money pipeline related to all cancer treatments is worth billions. How many people would be out of a job if we found a cure?

I’m irked about cancer. I’m irked that we spend billions on wars. We have spent over $700 billion on Afghanistan. We give billions away to sustain foreign governments. We know how to put someone on the moon, but people are dying every day from cancer.

I realize our government is broke, but we need to spend more on cancer research. The National Cancer Institute receives about $5 billion a year to conduct research, but they and major research centers across the nation need more.

We could start by taking better care of ourselves: exercise more, eat better, sleep more and stress less. There are severe environmental issues from chemicals pouring into our air and contaminants polluting our water. We need to clean up our air and water. We can do without a lot, but we can’t live without water and air.

Start demanding from your local and national politicians answers on what they are doing about real healthcare in this nation. The answer is not just medical insurance to pay more dollars so that doctors and pharmaceutical companies get richer. We need a cure for cancer, multiple sclerosis and many other diseases. I’m glad for all people to have health insurance, but we need health solutions. It’s past time for a cure for cancer.



Get out and walk!

Walking has many benefits, according to the American Heart Association. Taking a deliberate walk on a regular basis is often the first step to weight loss. While many feel reluctant to begin an exercise routine, no one should hesitate about walking, assuming a basic health beginning point. Researchers agree that regular walking is often the first step to a more thorough exercise program.

And regular walking also reduces the onset of Type Two Diabetes in those people predisposed to the disease. Walking apparently has an overall positive affect on the blood system, including lowering sugar levels. Researchers agree that walking for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis significantly reduces the occurrence of coronary heart disease. Women of all ages should know that walking has a profound impact on reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Those with high blood pressure issues are especially encouraged to begin a walking program. Monitor your pressure before the walk and after the walk, and keep a diary of all your readings. Research has shown that people dedicated to a long-term walking program have a reduced incidence of both breast cancer and colon cancer.

It is for the physical reasons that most people choose to walk. However, new research indicates that walking also has significant benefits to our mental health. Dedicated walkers have a lower rate of psychological issues and are generally more satisfied with life. The highest scores for satisfaction came from those walkers who regularly walked with another person. The joint effort of having a friend dedicated to a common pursuit multiplied the benefits. The highest satisfaction rate came from those who regularly walked with a friend from church. Regardless, researchers encouraged walking at any level with a gradual increase of both time and energy expended.



Launiupoko revisited

It’s been 16 years since my now departed friend, Roger Grantham, called. I was living in Kipahulu, running a small horse ranch at the time. In true Roger style, he belted out over the phone: “Two-acre ag lots on West Maui; $300,000. They won’t last long.” For too many reasons to get into here, I told Roger that I was gonna pass.

Many West Maui residents did not pass. Approximately 75 two- to three-acre lots were sold before final subdivision approval. The vast majority of buyers were, again, West Maui folks; small business owners and hotel management couples with sufficient equity in their current properties who wanted more space than their R-1 and R-2 lots afforded.

If you resided in Kula or Haiku, agriculture lots were happening for decades prior to 1999, but not on West Maui. And, one after another, the local politicians jumped on the politically correct bandwagon, decrying the “McMansions” and the abuse of the ag lot classification of the old Pioneer Mill land. I recall numerous letters to the editor and even several of my “green friends” complaining about prime West Maui farm land being cut up for development. When I asked what they felt should be done with the old sugar land, well, the only suggestion (other than a shrug of the shoulders) was community park.

HIGHEST AND BEST USE was simply not a consideration for the critics.

Flash forward 16 years, and the criticism has (pretty much) stopped. I look out my window and smile. (I did make the move; just took another five years.) There are many dozen cars pulling into the Lahaina Animal Farm this bright Sunday – families all coming to visit and check out the horses, sheep, goats, turkeys and chickens. This same Sunday, I wave to my neighbors as they ride their horses by my horse ranch.

Throughout Launiupoko, we have a dragon fruit farm, solar farms, hydroponic tomatoes and lettuce farms. We have many coconut, banana, papaya and citrus farms. We have hiking trails, bike trails, equestrian trails. We have several chicken farms and several commercial nurseries. Goats and sheep can be found grazing in the “backyards” of folks’ property – folks who just wanted a little more space than was previously offered on West Maui.

We have a private water system that we share with a group of Native Hawaiians living and growing taro in Kauaula Valley. We have private roads and association dues to maintain these roads. We have private septic systems, which are now being threatened with taxation, yet the county generates revenue from property taxes, hotel taxes from our legal vacation and bed and breakfast rentals, and in some cases extraordinarily high property taxes from the folks that have not, yet, implemented their farm plans.

We have a farmers’ market every Saturday morning, selling delicious homemade jams, coffee, eggs, fruits and veggies – all fresh from Mother Earth.

If this all seems too bright, green, clean and subsistent for a tourist town… well, think again! And take a moment to think what the alternative might have been: fallow, dust swept land that the county or state could not afford to keep clean and green. Or, worst yet, the high-density development the county has allowed on all the sugar lands of Central Maui.

Yet, years back, it was politically correct to rage against the development of this subdivision go figure?

RAY FUQUA, Lahaina Stables, Launiupoko