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LETTERS for June 18 issue

By Staff | Jun 18, 2015

Who offers advice on life?

If you could create human beings, would you give them a book of instructions? What is good for you and what is not; how to treat others and what to do if they are unkind.

Do you know anyone who asks you to give them all your problems? Is there anyone who can help you make life’s choices?

All the answers to these questions are in the world’s number one best-selling book. Read it and decide for yourself.



Be respectful during disputes

I am referred to, by some, as a “NIMBY.” It is a derogatory term with implications that a person has a selfish nature and does not want to share the area they live in. It stands for “Not In My Back Yard” and relates to protesting developments in communities and neighborhoods.

I wonder if it occurs to the name-callers that people who live in an area know things developers may not be privy to or simply ignore for their own agenda. Some of the issues directly impact the taxpayer and require accountability that the county is not enforcing.

“Infrastructure must precede development” is a law. When the county breaks the law, it is the taxpayer who suffers the consequences.

Where do you think the money comes from to pay the court expenses and fines incurred by the county for the violation of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Waste-water Reclamation Facility? Using the reclaimed water for agriculture could resolve those issues, which brings us to the next concern.

Water is the source of life. Common sense leads one to believe water should be a fundamental requirement. It is by law, but it is not enforced, as projects are approved without a guarantee of water.

How do we mitigate the drinking water issue? The estimated cost is approximately $25,000 for a water meter to allow for the infrastructure improvements. That certainly is a factor why affordable housing is problematic, as it is only one of many expenses related to development.

Is it the responsibility of the taxpayer to help fund developments when developers are in it for profit, even when it is called “affordable” housing? Would the farming industry provide tax dollars that could be put back into the community to pay for the potable water infrastructure? You can see how complicated some of the issues are.

I am finding that there are a lot of wonderful and dedicated people in the entire process. However, I have also encountered unrighteousness. I wish the participants would just tell the whole truth rather than what the commissions and council want to hear to give approval.

When developers meet the requirements and show the various departments that they have complied, it is not verified for accuracy. It is in compliance but sometimes missing pretty important details.

I have only recently been involved with the state and county and developers, and a lot of it is not pono. I contemplated the unrighteousness compared to what is happening around the world. It really is of no consequence and hardly worth mentioning. Then I consider that God did not put me in the Middle East; He put me in the middle of Lahaina, and we should all stand up for what is right wherever we are.

I think a NIMBY should be considered those who are willing to stand up for righteousness and confront injustice when they see it. It could be on the playground, in school, our workplaces, in the ocean, on the beach and in our homes. It would be awesome if we all took a stand against unrighteousness and say “NOT IN MY BACK YARD! Righteousness matters!”

Those Hawaiians practicing the culture malama the ocean, malama the aina, pule (pray) before you proceed, take only what you need, and give thanks to Ke Akua. What you do up mauka directly impacts makai. In essence, it is to take care of what God has entrusted to us. We live in the Hawaiian Islands, and our decisions should mirror these principles.

We have to be mindful that we do not become self-righteous along the way. It is easy to label the “greedy developer,” the “corrupt politicians,” the “radical Hawaiian activist,” the “coral reef hugger environmentalist,” the “fanatical Christian” and the “classic NIMBY.” We sometimes need a reminder; you can hate what a person is doing but still love them.

One person wrote, “We are all on this beautiful island together, and I believe we are all more closely aligned then it may seem at times in our hopes, dreams and visions for the future. The same is true with us all recognizing the significant issues associated with growth and development. We are capable of building beautiful developments that have awesome impacts for our community.”

Let’s grow our community together and build with a foundation of truth, respect, kindness and righteousness while giving thanks to God.



Impose term limits on Congress

The existing failure in Congress is intolerable. It is long past time for a return to the founders’ vision of a citizen Congress instead of a full-time professional ruling elite. The first big step in that direction is to impose term limits on Congress.

Brief service in Congress was the rule for the first century, but today’s Congressmen are creatures of Washington. These professional rulers develop long-term relationships with lobbyists, bureaucrats, the news media and the leadership of their party. These relationships come to overshadow the more tenuous connection with the voters who elected them, and to draw them away from the principles that brought them into public service.

Elections should be the antidote to this problem, but the extraordinarily high reelection rates demonstrate that is not the case. Incumbents have too many advantages. Their name recognition is usually much higher than that of any challenger, aided by taxpayer-supported communications and often by a sympathetic media as they move to the left. They begin raising money for the next election even before being sworn in, building a war chest that intimidates most potential rivals. If an incumbent finds himself facing a serious challenge in a primary, the national party will spare no effort to save him.

Fifteen states have legislative term limits, and the results there have been encouraging. Studies suggest that term-limited legislators are less likely to take orders from party leaders, and more likely to resist the demands of the governor. They are also more likely to hold down taxes and less likely to support expensive pork-barrel projects.

Polling shows strong public support for congressional term limits. The public good demands them. It is time for Congress to pass a term limits amendment and send it to the states.

PETER J. THOMAS, Americans for Constitutional Liberty