homepage logo

LETTERS for August 6 issue

By Staff | Aug 6, 2015

Support the proposed homeless camp

Do you realize the difference between chronically and transitional homeless? The “chronically homeless” are the demographic that most people think of when they think “homeless camp.” I would agree that would be inappropriate near a neighborhood.

What is being proposed, in Lahaina, is to provide for those that need a place to reside until they find a home; hence “transitional homeless.”

How many protesters take people into their own homes to provide shelter?

I have. I’m very aware of the desperate need for innovative solutions to resolve the growing homeless population.

How many people are willing to use the resources they have to help resolve critical issues, like homelessness? Why would you not want to consider this generous offer to help eight families or individuals?

The project includes screening and security. It will be surrounded with agriculture to camouflage the entrance to Lahaina. It is not creating additional traffic; it is keeping eight families from having to live in their cars.

When this project proves to be viable, it will provide a model for future camps. We could provide tent communities far away from residential and commercial areas for the chronically homeless.

Currently, the chronically homeless are living in alleys and beaches. They’re responsible for many of the valid concerns that people have of homeless individuals.

What if this concept works? It would provide an alternative for that demographic to live on agriculture land far away from the community.

I beg you: please reconsider your protest; support the homeless camp.



Lahaina needs more public restrooms

It’s a disgrace to our tourists’ image of a Maui paradise, as well as annoyed residents, that Lahaina’s major, popular shopping center only has one public toilet for its huge crowds. That toilet – a 1930s model, often smelly and filthy – is shared by men and women, and it’s a long walk from the popular businesses for the elderly and disabled.

The most popular beach park in West Maui is arguably Kamehameha Iki Park. It is the most crowded surfing and SUP park, the Native Hawaiian cultural and canoe center, and the center of five surfing schools that teach dozens of students daily. There is no public restroom! Keys for the restroom at the shopping center next door are only available through the stores. Across the street, there is a large baseball, basketball, track and soccer park with no restrooms. The old one there was torn down and never replaced. Shame on Maui County!

The nearest public restroom is way down along the harbor. During most of the year, the surf crashes on the beach, making walking there impossible. People who have to go urgently, therefore, have to swim or paddle, then walk down the beach to the harbor, or walk a long way to the facility along Front Street and across Banyan Tree Park.

Those having to go urgently have the choice of either polluting the ocean, wetting their pants or looking for a hidden bush!

Perhaps our mayor and County Council, their department directors and the head cops should reject their huge recent raises and donate that money to the taxpayers that paid their big salaries. Use the money for our parks. Put decent showers at both ends of Lahaina Harbor.

Who tore down the shower where the surfing crowd used to leave the ocean at the harbor mouth dock? Who removed the easy access steps there in and out of the ocean? Today, surfers cut their feet and legs on razor-sharp coral and step on sea urchin spikes entering and leaving those archaic, rusty, dilapidated steps into the ocean in front of the library. This is the access during our big surfing contests, and it shames Maui for entrants from around the nation.

STEVE OMAR, The Surf Patrol


Support Lahaina’s Keiki Hula Festival

After participating in the Keiki Hula Festival at the Lahaina Cannery Mall with Halau Hula o Na Wahine Nani o Lahaina and my beloved Kumu Kealani Kitaguchi, I must shamefully admit that it was my first time ever attending the festival. I did come early and stay all day on Saturday and return the next day on Sunday to support the other halau performing.

My heart rejoices for making a good decision to not only respect and show support for all the keiki and their halau at the festival, but also for hula, too. It was so wonderful to see the joy on the visitors and locals’ faces when watching the dancers.

Hula is truly a gift that we give away to others, and in the festival we are there to celebrate this wonderful gift that through hard work, kumus and haumana keep the tradition of hula alive.

Some concerns that did sadden my ‘uhane (spirit) include that there was very little local population there. Like I said, I was guilty in the past years, too! I was always out surfing the whole weekend; however, the crowd could not be more haole.

If this is celebrating hula, something that is vibrant and etched into our traditions, why isn’t our community present? And to those who did show up to help make pua (flower) and kukui nut lei, or the few sales tables of Polynesian items, mahalo for representing the festive heartbeat of Maui!

For next year, I challenge the West Side community and the island of Maui to become more involved in the Keiki Hula Festival. Let’s represent hula to our visitors and fellowship with each other in aloha, and show that hula is very much alive.

Also, one last suggestion: please do not schedule the hula festival on days when there is a canoe regatta and Theater Theater Maui show. This made it very difficult for some to commit to coming to the festival to watch and perform.

Otherwise, mahalo to Lahaina Cannery Mall for allowing us to gather together as one, support each other with dance, encourage the little ones to imua in tradition, and aloha one another for a weekend. It was beautiful and a pleasure.

Akua Ho’omaika’i Oe (God Bless You)!



Set an example of kindness

This generation of iPhones, texting, etc. includes many who lack control of their tongues, making bad choices of exaggerations and insults over the airwaves.

All one has to say is “I’m sorry” and move on. What ever happened to, “Don’t say you’re sorry; just don’t do it again?” Times change, and the people with them; each generation with their own problems and the baggage before them.

The lack of respect shown today is the largest gap I’ve ever seen. Just because the world around us is full of greed and hatred doesn’t mean we have to follow them.

I believe that as a nation, we are to set an example of love and kindness, because of all we have been given. Take a good look around in the world we live in.

“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” God Bless America.