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LETTERS for September 15 issue

By Staff | Sep 15, 2016

DOT must consider key factors before building seawalls

The armoring of the coast between Lahaina and the Pali needs in-depth examination before one more dollar is spent. Three areas should be considered. The first is scientific.

The science is in on global climate change. Anyone who argues against it has either been deluded with junk science from the energy industry or rides a unicorn. One major result is sea level rise. It is slowly eating away at shorelines worldwide. Before my knees gave out, I would bike the highway to Maalaea almost every day. One of my favorite stops was the park just north of the firing range. There were some lovely trees to sit under. Today, the trees and park benches are gone – all washed away by the rising sea level.

The second is anecdotal. In your article of Sept. 7, a number of people discuss their observations of beaches disappearing due to both rising sea level and the armoring that has already taken place. Many people don’t realize that the energy every wave contains is normally absorbed by sand on the beaches. When those waves hit a wall, it reflects and ends up in areas never considered by the engineers who designed the walls. That energy will move beaches, effect habitats and destroy the reefs.

The third is financial. A lot of money has already been spent on armoring the coast. Have any of the projects been successful? Maybe. The jogging of the highway just north of Launiupoko seems to be working. The replacement of the wall at Ukumehame is a $7 million fiasco. The sand that was up against the old wall to absorb wave energy is gone. The waves coming over the top of the wall are worse than before the replacement started. It’s so bad the asphalt is being eaten by the salt water.

According to the article, the state is projecting $39 million in upcoming projects to keep the highway open. Anyone with basic math skills can figure out it’s time to stop putting multi-million dollar Band-Aids on the existing highway and put the money toward either moving it inland or boring a tunnel through the mountain from Lahaina to Wailuku.

Another financial consideration is federal money. The Feds will not spend a dime on any road that is within a tsunami zone.

Hopefully, the proposed legal actions will finally bring some clarity to the state DOT’s thinking.

MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali


Stall in hospital transfer puts all of Maui at risk

This new delay until July of 2017 for the transition of Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) to Kaiser Permanente is a result of the irresponsibility of the governor’s office, the judicial system and the unions, and it puts the hospital and all of Maui at great risk.

The leading immediate causes of death are heart attacks, strokes and accidents. Only MMMC, now and in the future, is and can be, an acute care hospital and can provide the extremely complicated life-saving care necessary to prevent death and serious disability from those conditions. Since that care must be given roughly within the “golden hour,” there is insufficient time to send the patients to Oahu.

Thus, it will simply no longer be safe to live on or visit Maui. Because of the delays in the transition of MMMC to Kaiser and the resultant confusion and uncertainty, we have lost needed professional and support personnel, and there are needed additions that were coming here but are now no longer coming. There will be a very certain cascade of reduction in hospital care available. And come July 2017, we cannot be at all sure that further means of delay will not be championed and imposed by those responsible for the current mess.

Although it should be minimized, some current employees will be impacted if the transition is promptly proceeded with now – as it should and must be. But if the transition does not now occur, we can lose MMMC, our island and eventually the benefits and jobs to the employees that the union is doing all of this for. Some of the excesses of the past that the state could not or did not support cannot be now continued, and at times some must accommodate more than others. Having been a physician in Vietnam, the Gulf War and in Europe caring for casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan, I have seen many give much for the good of all than in the current situation. It is far past time that those responsible for these delays act responsibly and put doing what is right for Maui and most ahead of their own positions, votes and personal issues.



Take a look at yourself before pointing fingers

Regarding Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand when the national anthem is played:

1. Is it a bad thing to do? YES.

2. Does he have the right to do so? Under the First Amendment, also YES.

Maybe it would be better for him to stay in the locker room while the anthem is played. There is one thing though: has anyone ever read the third stanza of the anthem? Somewhat ambiguous to say the least. Maybe that stanza should be removed. There are no more slaves in the U.S., but de facto racism is rampant and getting worse by the month.

All critics should take a good look at themselves before pointing fingers at others.



Mala cleanup set

To all Mala Wharf Fishing and Recreation Association members, past and present: Malama Aha Miki, the Mala Wharf burial site. A major cleanup for the burial site area, sponsored by the DLNR, Na Kupuna O Maui, the County of Maui, and the Mala Wharf Fishing and Recreation Association, is set for Sept. 24, 2016. Kokua Mala from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

STUART KAHAN, Mala Wharf Fishing and Recreation Association


Bible provides insight for restoring the Hawaiian Nation

The Bible is the resource for “how-to” restore the Hawaiian Nation. Obstacles include convincing people to want freedom, overcome fear and claim the promises of God.

Acknowledging the need of salvation and determining the source of deliverance are fundamental principles of restoration for people and nations.

Man-made solutions, time and again, demonstrate devastating consequences. Materialism is superficial, often causing complacency, boredom and depression. It deceives people into believing this is all life has to offer.

God’s eternal plan for restoration begins in our hearts, resulting in life to the fullest with unexplainable peace.

Fear-mongers predict failure and doom. Like Israel, Hawaii’s defense will be secure despite any threat. God’s a great defender.

“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Three verses later in Isaiah 41: “For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand. Saying to you ‘Fear not, I will help you!'”

That’s a promise of God. He’s big enough to hold all the problems of the world in the palm of His right hand, while at the same time lovingly holds your hand to help you.

Take ahold of God’s outstretched hand. Let Him rescue and lead you, beyond your greatest expectations, to freedom!

“On that day you’ll say ‘Thank the LORD! God has come to save me! I’ll trust and not be afraid.'” (Isaiah 12)



Don’t elect tax and spend politicians

What is the new frame for Republican Senate candidates?

In Arizona, John McCain claims that once Clinton is elected, only he and the Republicans can stop her from reckless spending. This is the general Big Lie used by Republicans over the years, and this should be the election when it evaporates into its plainly empty vapor.

In the harsh light of the actual budget day, Republicans are the champions of a war profiteering budget that routinely outspends everybody everywhere. They fund massive weapons programs to bomb across the Middle East and North Africa while potholes pock our roads, bridges collapse into rivers and teachers use their own money to buy pencils in poor schools in the United States of America.

This is not to say that Democrats are much better. They have shown little spine when it comes to resisting hawkish collusion between lucrative war contractors and our elected representatives.

Indeed, Obama has been in eight years and has failed to stop Republican-demanded military spending, which is by some measures just as outrageous as the spendthrift Bush-Cheney war-making disaster. The single biggest difference is that the president no longer came to Congress every few months for another massive “supplement” of hundreds of billions.

The pattern: Republicans shrilly denounce Democrats for being weak on defense. They claim their military adventures will be inexpensive. Democrats cave and vote along with the Republicans. The costs skyrocket. Many even higher costs are hidden in other budgets. Debt and deficits climb; domestic spending declines.

The bottom line is that Republican frugality is just a line. It is demonstrably false by voting records over the decades, certainly including the Republican Senate incumbents who will parrot McCain’s lie about serving as a check on a Clinton big spending president.

The big spenders, year after year, have been the Republican-elected officials who propose and vote for massive Pentagon budgets that shovel profits to their corporate friends. If voters were going to really seek some prudential fiscal hawks, they would probably be forced to look to the Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, Russ Feingold, Jeff Merkley or Earl Blumenauer types. But that would require paying attention to actual voting, real budgets, not just rhetoric.

If we want more war, more unemployment, a new recession and bursting bubbles that drive financial instability, vote for those Republican incumbents, many of whom gave us the radically wrong invasion of Iraq and the daily hemorrhage of Pentagon contracts that produce record deficits and starve domestic budgets.

The choice is ours, state to state, across our nation.