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LETTERS for April 30 issue

By Staff | Apr 30, 2015

Check the facts on former councilwoman

Mr. Sowers, it isn’t rocket science that the cost of living is higher in Hawaii than on the Mainland, but thanks for enlightening us. There might have been two or three people who were not aware. I made the move from Seattle 20 years ago and have worked with many medical professionals since who also relocated, knowing full well there would be a trade-off.

It’s very interesting that you took the time to research the comparative cost of living in other states but didn’t bother to check the facts before you attacked Jo Anne Johnson Winer. The FACT is that she WAS able to procure funds to improve Puukolii Road, and the work was done except for the section of the road for which ownership is under dispute.

I still can’t quite understand why you have a problem with the fact that she is on the board for a West Maui hospital or what it has to do with the road. It is not a paid position; she gives freely of her time and energy to further those projects that will benefit West Maui and deserves our thanks and respect. Sorry if my letter left a sour taste…



Keep Styrofoam off our beaches

I am a student at Maui Preparatory Academy who wants to raise awareness of the effects of Styrofoam, and congratulate those who are for the cause and taking action in preventing Styrofoam from being littered on our beaches.

The Hawaiian Islands have always had an issue with trash that littered the beach, but now there is a huge push for making the environment green. One of the main issues that has occurred is the plastic bags and Styrofoam that are being wasted and thrown out to the environment. While the hazards of the plastic bags have been noticed – and had a law made banning it – the issue of Styrofoam cups and containers seems to go unnoticed by the law and by the mass public.

One of the reasons Styrofoam is so bad for our environment is it takes decades to hundreds of years to decompose, and it damages the ozone layer. When the cup or container is damaged, it breaks into small microbeads that animals can’t digest, and they choke on them. When Styrofoam is heated by the sun, it releases hydrocarbons into the air; it combines with nitrogen, which then forms the tropospheric ozone.

Some of these conditions can cause fatigue, coughing and chest pain. These side effects are not only doing the environment harm – they are also causing us harm. Styrofoam has such a negative impact on both our lives and the environment, and a couple of companies and groups are starting to take notice and trying to make a difference.

Microgreens and Styrophobia are now selling Styrofoam substitutes to give companies a “green” option. Another group is Foam Free Future – a group of kids from Maui Huliau who are also trying to make people aware of the threat that Styrofoam causes.

These companies and people are all trying to make the public aware of the threat of Styrofoam, and they should be recognized for doing so.



Farm to school lessons learned: Better food, same cost

Hemingford, Nebraska, public schools recently transitioned from a “warm and serve” to a “made from scratch” school lunch.

The change has been a hit with students and will likely have a positive impact on the school’s budget.

The numbers of students eating the school’s lunch offerings are way up, which also helps with the financial outlook. Kitchen staff have learned there are cost savings in procuring food for a made-from-scratch kitchen.

Hemingford, perhaps as much as any community, proves that a small-town school with desire, imagination and an innovative spirit can offer a first-class school lunch with fresh, local and made-from-scratch offerings that students truly enjoy.

JOHN CRABTREE, Center for Rural Affairs


David Malo Day was amazing

I was privileged to be invited to the Lahainaluna High School David Malo Day Ho’olaule’a last weekend – and what an event it was. This annual pageant by the Lahainaluna Hawaiiana Club and Boarders Chorus was Maui’s answer to the Big Island’s Merrie Monarch Festival – the singing, the dancing and the costumes all organized by volunteers. The students were spectacular, and the audience was “blown away.” Congratulations, Lahainaluna – you did Maui proud.



New partnership needed for Maui Memorial

If the public-private partnership for Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) is not allowed by the state, Maui will simply be a dangerous place to live or visit.

The common and immediate life-threatening conditions of heart attacks, strokes and serious accidents require complicated management within what is called the “golden hour” to prevent death and serious disability. At this time, with a catheter lab and topnotch heart specialists, a superior stroke team and a Level 3 trauma hospital that exceeds the national outcome level, this management can be and is accomplished at MMMC.

But with a monetary shortfall over $28 million, those specialists and services will start to bleed off and accelerate such that those lifesaving services will be first compromised and then no longer available on Maui.

Those with heart attacks, strokes and serious trauma cannot get to Oahu for those services within the “golden hour,” and the much talked about proposed West Maui Hospital could in no way begin to provide those services, certainly not so if MMMC cannot.

The result? It will simply not be safe to live on or visit Maui unless the state, our legislators, unions, hospital employees and the public realize that the allowance of a public-private partnership is more important than all other issues for Maui’s people and the future of Maui, and is allowed.