homepage logo

LETTERS for September 24 issue

By Staff | Sep 24, 2015

Welcome Lahaina’s agricultural camp with open hearts, minds

I’m hopeful of the Lahaina camp’s success, helping folks as they transition into a home. It’s comforting to know options are being explored to address this complicated issue.

A few years ago, I entertained thoughts of homelessness. Multiple financial experts predicted our monetary demise.

Reminding me that Jesus is my refuge and strength, the Psalm “I will not be shaken!” was my mantra. Instead of focusing on fears, I thanked God every day for the blessings in my life.

I trust God’s plan. Still, it was a daunting experience to go through. The financial advisors didn’t factor “God” into the equation. Miraculously, we own our home – debt-free.

Nevertheless, I understand the associated feelings of fear and shame. Mentally, with confidence in God’s goodness, I’d think to myself, “Homelessness will be an adventure.” Recognizing it is temporary, my independent nature would’ve opted for camping.

That’s why I love the idea of this homeless camp. Campers will afford a clean and safe site with amenities. Having a place to stay alleviates some stress, especially shared with vacationers, encouraging fun. The campground includes security and the necessary provisions to be able to function in society.

Agriculture offers healthy food and a desirable environment. Nature is therapeutic and healing. “Where ill thoughts die and good are born… Out in the fields with God.” Creation is a reminder of a Creator who loves us. Acknowledging we have worth, even if we have nothing.

Please welcome Lahaina’s agricultural camp with open hearts and minds.



Resort should dim its lights

At night, when looking to the sea from above the hills at the resorts at Kaanapali, it is heartwarming how all the establishments respect Maui’s night sky with minimal lighting… except one. The newest; the Hyatt time share.

Every floor, unit, balcony and hallway is lit up. Why? Is all that late night wattage necessary? Isn’t there a county ordinance? If so, kudos, because it shows intelligence and appreciation to the sensitive environment around us.

So, I kindly ask the management team of the Hyatt time share: would you please align with your neighbors and tone it down? It would be much appreciated by all and in many more ways than one.



Art museum would be great for Lahaina

When I read that Lahaina would be potentially opening up an art museum, I was ecstatic. The museum would be between the Banyan Tree and the harbor on Front Street in Lahaina.

It is well known that Front Street has a plethora of art galleries, from colorful ocean photography, to engaging optical paintings to dramatic sculptures. This museum will create potential for a strong and connected art community.

Currently, art on Maui is focused on consumerism. The reason our art community isn’t as strong as it could be. There are many talented artists on Maui. However, there are not very many places for artists to connect, communicate and inspire each other.

As an aspiring artist myself, I feel as if my only option is to search the web to find talented artists and to also find inspiration, instead of looking in my own community.

Opening an art museum in Lahaina would also draw more families to the Banyan Tree. This will not only strengthen and grow the community and construct a family atmosphere, it will also bring more revenue to the area.

In closing, the opening of this museum will enhance tourism, art culture, and showcase local artists in a non-capitalistic setting.

SAMMI SHOEMAKER, Senior, Maui Preparatory Academy Student Body President


Tips to stay healthy

The best way to stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle. You can live a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease by exercising, eating well, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking.

Medicare can help. Medicare pays for many preventive services to keep you healthy. Preventive services can find health problems early, when treatment works best, and can keep you from getting certain diseases.

Preventive services include exams, shots, lab tests and screenings. They also include programs for health monitoring, and counseling and education to help you take care of your own health.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, co-pays for many of Medicare’s preventive health benefits have been eliminated. The idea was to encourage people with Medicare to get more preventive screenings and counseling to help them lead healthier, longer lives.

For example, you no longer face any out-of-pocket expenses when you get a “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam. This one-time exam is offered during the first 12 months after you’ve enrolled in Medicare Part B.

During the exam, your doctor will record your medical history and check your height, weight and blood pressure. He or she will also calculate your body mass index, give you a simple vision test and advise you on preventing disease and staying healthy.

In addition, the Affordable Care Act provides a free annual wellness exam to people with Medicare. When you get this exam, your doctor will go over your medical and family history and develop or update a personalized prevention plan for you. Your doctor also will check for any cognitive impairment and risk factors for depression, and review your functional ability and level of safety.

Medicare also covers shots for flu, pneumococcal disease (which can cause pneumonia and meningitis), and Hepatitis B. Flu, pneumococcal infections, and Hepatitis B can be life-threatening for older people, and we recommend that all people over age 65 get flu and pneumococcal shots. Most people only need the pneumococcal vaccine once in their lifetime.

And remember: Medicare beneficiaries can get these shots with no co-pays.

Beneficiaries also can get screened for cardiovascular disease and different kinds of cancer, including breast, prostate, cervical/vaginal, and colorectal cancer.

Take colorectal cancer, for example. This type of cancer is usually found in people age 50 and older, and the risk of getting it increases with age. Medicare covers screening tests to help find pre-cancerous polyps, which are growths in the colon, so they can be removed before they turn cancerous. Medicare will pay for a fecal occult blood test, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a screening colonoscopy, or a barium enema.

Medicare beneficiaries pay nothing for fecal occult blood tests. And they pay nothing for the flexible sigmoidoscopy and the screening colonoscopy, if their doctor accepts the Medicare-approved payment amount.

For people who have or are at risk for diabetes, Medicare covers screenings, certain supplies and self-management training.

If you need help to stop smoking, Medicare pays for up to eight face-to-face counseling sessions per year with a doctor or other Medicare-recognized practitioner.

Medicare also helps pay for tests for glaucoma, HIV, and osteoporosis (brittleness that places people at risk for broken bones).

People with Medicare don’t use these preventive health services as much as they should. But getting screened can help you stay healthy and live longer – and save the government billions in healthcare costs. It’s a classic win-win.

DAVID SAYEN, Medicare’s Regional Administrator for Hawaii


Help make Hawaii’s classrooms cooler

Our students need your support! Studies have revealed that classroom temperatures affect the ability of students to grasp instruction, with temperatures above 80 degrees negatively impacting the mental efficiency of students, decreasing work efficiency and output. Teachers are impacted negatively, too.

Chamber of Commerce Hawaii member Central Pacific Bank is contributing $25,000 to kick-start a campaign to generate monetary donations to help defray the cost of providing portable A/C units for Hawaii’s public schools. Hawaii’s students deserve a conducive learning environment.

We ask our members and the business community to join this effort by directing donations to Hawaii 3Rs, a nonprofit organization created by the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye in 2001 that works with state agencies, businesses and the community to reduce state backlog on public school repairs.

Donations can be sent to the organization at Hawaii 3Rs, 735 Bishop St., #336,?Honolulu, HI 96813.

We recognize this is a short-term solution, but with this urgent situation, this is one way we can help mitigate the current challenging learning environment for students. Please kokua and give our students the best opportunity to learn.

SHERRY MENOR-McNAMARA, President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii