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LETTERS for the May 31 issue

By Staff | May 31, 2018

Front Street Apartments Tenants making progress

Thank you for your continuing news coverage of the attempt by Front Street Apartments Tenants to fight a pending eviction of more than 250 people. The situation is better than six months ago.

The Tenants Group has managed to get Senate Bill 2293 passed by the State Legislature, and the Maui County Council is considering approving the use of $250,000 in matching funds to prepare for condemning the ground lease at Front Street Apartments.

With that council approval, the state will have the authority to move forward in helping to fight the eviction.

We’d like to thank state Sen. Rosalyn Baker for supporting Senate Bill 2293, which called for negotiations to buy Front Street Apartments and, if unsuccessful, to condemn and buy the apartments.

Before being passed out of the State Legislature, Senate Bill 2293 was changed in the State House to include a $30 million project at Leiali’i and also the condemnation of the ground lease at the apartment, rather than the condemnation of the building and land.

Baker attended a tenants’ meeting earlier this month to explain as best she could about the revised bill. It is important to remember that Sen. Baker has been staunch supporter of the tenants and did get the bill passed in the State Senate, as supported by the Tenants Group.

At the meeting, many tenants were understandably nervous and fearful and kept on asking whether they would be able to stay in Front Street Apartments. Baker and the Tenants Group leadership explained they weren’t sure, but the situation was better than before.

Baker tried to reassure the tenants that she was trying to do everything in her power to help them. But rather than believe her, some have chosen to distrust the very person who has helped them.

These people need to stop and think and ask more questions, rather than jump to conclusions.

The Front Street Apartment Tenants Group is still researching the $30 million project at Leiali’i and has asked the tenants not to jump to conclusions. Some of them fear the $30 million project at Leiali’i is opening the gates to a 2,500- to 4,000-unit “massive development.”

According to the state, who responded late last week to part of a query, the $30 million project provides for 200 multifamily affordable units near Keawe Street, and the project has enough water and sewage capacity to serve the 200-unit affordable housing project.

Does this sound like a massive development? What source are these people citing, and how recent is their information?

Preliminary responses indicate it isn’t a massive development, but the Tenants Group is continuing to review the project, including its land use, to provide as accurate facts as possible.

GARY KUBOTA, Volunteer Liaison, Front Street Apartment Tenants Group


Public parking lot is a mess

We recently visited a restaurant in Lahaina. We have always parked in the free lot between Dickenson Street and Lahainaluna Road. We were appalled to see the condition of the lot.

There are people living out of their cars in the back rows of the lot. The fence line on the south side was overgrown, and trash was everywhere in the lot. There was obviously no room to park.

I am not sure who owns the lot, or who has jurisdiction over the condition of it, but something needs to be done. We wonder what visitors must think when they pull in the lot to park.

Between this parking situation and the growing number of aggressive cosmetic vendors on Front Street constantly harassing people walking on the sidewalks, Lahaina will be left with only the visitors from the cruise ships who have to disembark at the harbor.

LahainaTown Action Committee needs to address these issues immediately.



Why don’t police take action on stolen carts?

Recently, just after we landed in Maui for a vacation, we noticed a bevy of obviously stolen shopping carts.

Why isn’t Maui Police confiscating stolen property and prosecuting thieves in possession of it?

JOHN JAEGER, Irvine, California


Grilling can make you sick

Whatever happened to the good old days, when the worst things we had to fear on Memorial Day were traffic jams and indigestion?

Folks setting to break out their outdoor grill face a nasty choice. If they undercook their hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets, their family and friends may face food poisoning by E. coli and Salmonella bacteria.

The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises raising the temperature. But our own National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats produces cancer-causing compounds.

Do we really need to choose between food poisoning and cancer?

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious, plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs and soy nuggets.

These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They don’t even offer cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs or pesticides like their animal-based alternatives.

And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our neighborhood supermarket, along with nut-based milks, ice creams and other dairy-free desserts.

Let’s stay safe on the roads, but let’s extend the safety net to our family barbecue grill.