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LETTERS for March 16 issue

By Staff | Mar 16, 2017

West Maui needs a four-lane highway

Five friends and I bought tickets for Journey on Feb. 28 at the MACC. The show was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., so we left Kaanapali at 5 p.m. thinking we’d have plenty of time to get there. Were we wrong.

Everything was fine until we got to Lahainaluna and came to a dead stop. We figured that there must be a wreck, but after checking a few apps on the trusty iPhone, it appeared to be a normal backup. It took us 45 minutes to get from Lahainaluna to Launiupoko. Luckily, Journey started 45 minutes late.

If this is indeed a daily occurrence for workers trying to get home and visitors heading to the airport, then what is being done to eliminate it? The Lahaina Bypass? The bypass will move the problem south to wherever it connects with the main highway.

I am surprised that the workers who are stuck in this daily mess aren’t flooding county and state mailboxes with letters demanding relief.

Central Maui has multiple four-lane highways. Upcountry has a four-lane highway. South Maui has multiple four-lane highways. When does West Maui get a four-lane highway or a tunnel to Wailuku?

MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali


Offer Hawaiians a statehood vote

Queen Lili’uokalani exemplified love in response to evil and injustice. Trusting her loving Heavenly Father, she wrote: “You are my light Your glory, my support. Behold not with malevolence the sins of man but forgive and cleanse.”

Her response to the United States’ overthrow could’ve been bitter and vengeful. Instead, she extended grace and forgiveness to unrepentant and undeserving people.

Demonstrating God’s love in her music, writings and leadership transformed Hawaii’s conquering traditions.

Not by might or power but complete trust in “the Almighty Ruler of the universe” is why restoration is viable for the Hawaiian Nation.

A revolutionary Revolution occurred by Lili’uokalani’s Christ-like response to “love your enemies and pray for those who mistreat you.”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you… then you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke)

“Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (Peter)

“Love is patient. Love is kind. It’s not self-seeking. It’s not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects! Always trusts! Always hopes! Always perseveres! Love never fails!”

Evil, however, will end. God rescues from deceitful and unjust men. Nations must turn from evil to avoid disaster.

Offer Hawaiians a legitimate statehood vote. The United States’ facilitating this endeavor is love in action.

Love is the hope of nations.



Fight assisted suicide in Hawaii

I have been a Hawaii resident for 30 years. My uncle is totally blind and very depressed. My mom also has macular degeneration.

I am opposed to the Assisted Suicide Bill, SB 1129, SD 2.

Hawaii’s main appeal is our ALOHA spirit. “Alo” in the presence of “ha,” the breath of life. Making assisted suicide legal is promoting the opposite of aloha. It is the ending of “ha,” the breath of a living being.

Our Creator gave us our first “ha.” To snuff out that very breath of any human is to usurp God’s authority, even if demanded by a patient.

Please do NOT change our Aloha State into a death state as in “ha ole,” or no breath, no life, dead. I shudder to think of the special “death upon arrivals” flights and quick death agencies and businesses that would morbidly profit.

Should the Assisted Suicide Bill become law, medical doctors and registered nurses, if forced to go against their conscience, would have no choice but to LEAVE this state.

Maui has a severe doctor shortage. The general public will suffer when most MDs and RNs of conscience leave Hawaii to practice medicine elsewhere. Ethical dilemma? Then do the most good for the most people.

There are medical options of strong painkillers and even surgery to pain centers, should certain terminally ill patients find their situations unbearable.

Err on the side of life, for “Ua Mau Ke ea I ka Aina I ka PONO” (the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness). LIFE, not death.



Trump will lie and be impeached

Trump attacks others, from the Pope to Gold Star families, on a routine basis, often based on no evidence, exaggerated claims, and he claims trends based on cherry-picked cases that are in fact anomalous. Some of his attacks flow from his hypocritical assumption that he, a rich boy who inherited a fortune, gets to have pretty much everything. If he can’t earn it honestly, he uses dishonesty because, in his mind, the ends justify the means. Other times he just needs to redirect our attention.

I keep wondering when the adult supervision will appear. Congress is dominated by the lesser versions of the hyper-entitled Trump, with a few fine members like Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Earl Blumenauer and Cory Booker in the minority. Turns out the only real powerful check on the abuse doled out daily by Trump is you. You and your friends. You, your friends, and me. Civil society.

We are the last hope because we failed to be the first hope. We did not pay close enough attention to the endless obligatory need to self-educate, to help our communities learn what they need to know, to empower each other from the bottom-up, and to keep the “deciders” from making poor decisions. We tend to think in terms of outsourcing – it’s our logical hope, after all, that since we are good people who pay attention to the details that make our businesses and service institutions work well for people, that we should be able to count on those we hire by our votes.

Turns out we cannot count on them. We will either ramp up our civil ongoing involvement in monitoring our elected officials, or we will continue down this descending spiral toward autocracy, hate, violence and revenge. It will cost us everything, literally.

Congress is a den of thieves. We see rich white men serving each other’s agendas far too often, with only a slight bit of meaningful oversight from civil society.

Now comes a President Spoiled Brat. He is not a self-made person; at least one study showed that if Trump had simply invested his inheritance in a decent mutual fund, he would have several billion dollars more than he currently has in his net worth. When anyone is outclassed by George W. Bush it says volumes, and Trump is.

How can we fix this? I’m hoping we can start impeaching and not stop until we get to someone worthy of the job. Get Trump testifying to the Senate, to joint committees, to special prosecutors – I guarantee he will lie and can then be impeached.

But beyond that, we really need to do much more collaborative thinking, dialog and action from the grassroots to reconcile, to serve everyone’s need and no one’s greed, and to take far more responsibility than a simple ballot every election cycle. If democracy isn’t participatory, it isn’t decent democracy.



Aerospace can make America great again

SpaceX just launched ten Iridium Communications satellites into low-Earth orbit. These satellites will beam phone and data service to tens of thousands of Americans who live or work in areas too remote for regular coverage.

Until recently, blasting bus-sized satellites into space using rockets that can be reused belonged in the realm of science fiction. Now, such activities seem routine.

Policymakers should take note. Americans are set to reap the benefits of aerospace firms’ race to tame the Final Frontier – and the industry’s investments in manufacturing will create new jobs and wealth in the United States, not just shuffle around current jobs by moving around government dollars.

Since its inception, the aerospace industry has produced technologies that improve Americans’ quality of life. NASA helped invent memory foam, scratch-resistant glasses, insulin pumps and hundreds of other products we use every day.

Now, private companies are driving aerospace innovation. Thanks to satellite Internet firms, airplane passengers can enjoy Wi-Fi while cruising at 30,000 feet. That has made flying more enjoyable – and far more productive. The technology also makes it possible for Americans in remote areas to access high-speed Internet.

Satellite Internet has yet to reach its full potential. The market is expected to grow nearly 20 percent each year through 2022. Improved connectivity – made possible by new satellites – will improve the efficiency of a wide range of appliances, not just computers and smartphones.

Launching new satellites to support this increased connectivity would have been far too expensive a few years ago. But today, thanks to California-based SpaceX and Washington-based Blue Origin’s advances in rocket manufacturing, the cost of launches has plummeted. The Air Force is showing interest in ultra-low cost access to space, where reusable launch technologies stimulate tactical innovation in space operations.

Next-generation rockets have even made space-based businesses look viable.

Made in Space, a California startup, recently sent a 3D printer to the International Space Station, laying the groundwork for manufacturing in zero gravity. The firm plans to produce optical fiber in space, which would eliminate the microscopic imperfections caused by gravity. This high-quality fiber could revolutionize everything from medical devices to telecommunications.

Aerospace firms aren’t just spurring technological progress; they’re supporting millions of jobs. America’s aerospace sector employs over 1.2 million people and indirectly supports an additional 3.2 million jobs.

These jobs are helping to replace losses we’ve seen in the broader manufacturing sector. While the number of overall American manufacturing jobs dropped 22 percent from 2002 to 2012, jobs in the aerospace industry grew 7 percent. Aerospace exports also generated a trade surplus of over $80 billion in 2015 – the highest in the manufacturing sector.

Aerospace companies are even leading the charge to revitalize the manufacturing workforce.

Firms are designing their own educational programs, often at community colleges, to train workers. Northrop Grumman, for instance, has partnered with Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California to create a 16-week vocational program in aircraft manufacturing. The firm recruits many of the students upon graduation. Such public-private partnerships could serve as a model for manufacturers in other sectors.

Private aerospace companies are strengthening the labor force and pouring billions of dollars into new technologies that will improve Americans’ lives. That’s a reason to cheer every liftoff.

REBECCA GRANT, President, IRIS Independent Research