homepage logo

LETTERS for March 10 issue

By Staff | Mar 10, 2016

How Jimmy Borges saved face!

Lots of people have praised the life of Jimmy Borges lately, and I would like to say how grateful I am. I am an art dealer that has represented famed French artist Guy Buffet since 1979. That might not have been possible had it not been for Jimmy.

In the early 1970s, Jimmy and Guy were good friends. Guy sat up front at one of Jimmy’s performances. It so happened that at the table next to him were two beautiful Tahitian stewardesses – with their male escorts, two enormous Polynesians!

Well, Guy being Guy, and speaking French with the ladies soon turned into a huge problem. While singing, Jimmy could not help but notice that nostrils were flaring and something along the lines of “we are going to rearrange your face!” was shouted!

Jimmy stopped singing and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a special treat. In our audience today is famed French crooner monsieur Guy Buffet direct from Paris! Let’s give him a big hand and ask him to come up now and sing one of his hit songs!”

Guy, no singer at all, hustled up to the stage and butchered his best version of “La Vien Rose.” He got a nice round of applause and ran out the back door to safety!

JAMES KILLETT, Lahaina Galleries


Maui Memorial should be fully equipped and staffed

Thanks to Dr. George S. Lavenson for reminding us of what kind of hospital West Maui needs. We need Maui Memorial Medical Center, fully equipped and fully staffed, having multiple specialities.

We are fortunate indeed to live on this glorious island with such a medical center; and, most frequently we can be at home for great hospital care.



Doctor wants mission of hospital explained

Dr. George Lavenson, a leading retired vascular surgeon who has huge experience in emergency medicine, wrote still another letter on the West Maui Hospital, saying that although the hospital is a good idea, it should not be promoted as a life-saving facility.

Six years ago, our family firm Maui Communicators (now inactive) played a key role in publicizing the need for the hospital and helping to secure its coveted Certificate of Need.

The last few years, after many conversations with the good doctor, I now believe (as Lavenson does) that a hospital would be a good place for treating some non-life-threatening injuries, but is not the best place to go with a heart attack. It is also a good stepping-stone to adding other facilities, such as badly needed assisted living and nursing facilities.

Lavenson told me in a new conversation this week about an incident that occurred at an event he attended recently, which provided a clear example of what he had been talking about. An attendee suffered severe chest pains. Lavenson, always wiling to assist with a medical problem before help arrives, said he nearly had to give CPR.

A call to 911 was made, and paramedics hooked the patient up to an EKG (which showed a heart attack). His condition was sent by telemetry straight to Maui Memorial; the team there called in a cardiologist while the ambulance was en route to the hospital. The patient arrived in 30 minutes, well within the “Golden Hour” limit, but did not go to the emergency room. He was sent directly to the cardiac cath lab (catheterization laboratory); the blocked artery to his heart causing the heart attack was opened, and his life was saved.

It appears that the West Maui Hospital will not have a cath lab, or a complement of heart doctors and cath lab team members required to provide 24/7 coverage. If the patient had been sent there first, the delay might have proved fatal.

Lavenson’s main quarrel with hospital developers and others supporting the hospital is that the facility should not be touted as a “life-saver.”

Why is the doc so persistent on this issue? He noted that as a physician, it remains his responsibility to look out for the welfare of people. He has said that many critical care doctors on the island feel the same way, but they cannot say so because they continue to be in practice.

The developers of the West Maui Hospital, since the Certificate of Need, have said little about plans or progress in the public press. Perhaps it is time for them to explain themselves.

NORM BEZANE, Kaanapali


Provide housing through the land trust model

A community land trust is like Hawaiian homelands housing, only it’s available to everyone. Considering our geographical limitations, it’s a rational and reasonable resolution to affordable housing in perpetuity.

Current guidelines include homes priced at $500,000 to $900,000 as “affordable housing projects,” perpetuating falsehoods instead of neighborhoods. Local families are suffering.

Implementing 100 percent CLT housing is one of the most effectual ways to meet Hawaii’s dire need of homes. Traditional affordable housing escalates to market rates. Market rate and luxury homes wouldn’t be affected.

It could be less tragic to lose our scenic landscapes and agriculture land to development if it blessed local families, too. Imagine people like you in the homes; farmers, teachers, firemen, police, medical personnel, tourism and support community workers, construction-related laborers, county and state workforce.

What if the proposed Makila Rural Community, Spencer Homes’ Maalaea Project, and Atherton’s Waikapu Project included real farms with truly affordable housing?

Developers and investors could provide opportunities for their company employees and local families to realize home ownership. All unions should lobby for CLT to encourage affordable and stable living conditions for their members.

Hawaii is unique. Families have been here for many generations with no intentions of leaving. Community land trust is a viable option for families wanting to afford to live here, enjoy their loved ones and feel security in home ownership, content with the knowledge that future generations will always have this place as their home.

Check out Na Hale O Maui and Affordable Farms Maui.org.



Rotary benefit a success

The Rotary Club of Lahaina would like to thank all who participated in making the first annual Rotary Club 54 Disco Dance a smashing success. Our club members, our community, those who generously donated to our silent auction, the auction bidders, those who attended the party and everyone else all contributed to the success of the event.

Maui Theatre, Bud “Deejay Blast” Galarita, and Chris Mahon from the Shark Pit Social Grill, The Rotary Club of Lahaina would like to thank you for being such great event partners and for exhibiting true Maui spirit.

The Rotary Club of Lahaina is a service organization, which means your contributions help us give back to our community – from scholarships to food drives and many other projects in between.

MARTI WUKELIC, President-Elect, Rotary Club of Lahaina