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LETTERS for the July 26 issue

By Staff | Jul 26, 2018

Audit will reveal Cochran’s record

For almost eight years, Councilmember Elle Cochran has been the chair of the Infrastructure Committee for the Maui County Council. Just last week, the county auditor informed the members of the Maui County Council that an audit will be performed on the execution of thousands of agreements with private developers that have shifted tens of millions of dollars of their subdivision infrastructure obligations to taxpayers of Maui County.

So what else will this audit reveal?

The audit will reveal that in 2012, Councilmember Cochran breached her duty to adopt a formula and system of the collection of the millions of dollars of debts owed by private developers.

The audit will also reveal that in 2015, Cochran voted in favor of a deceptive subdivision ordinance that put an additional burden on county residents to pay for private developers’ commercial and residential infrastructure obligations.

While Cochran now admits her staff did not read the language to the ordinance, she refuses to take any action to prevent further harm to our hardworking taxpayers.

The Cochran-approved ordinance has no limitations on the size of the development or any conditions for affordable housing in exchange for taxpayer-funded infrastructure.

Consequently, in late 2017, Councilmember Don Guzman requested the audit, which is a result of Cochran’s refusal to act upon “the voice of the people” who respectfully prayed to her authority to investigate and legislate a system of collection of developer debts owed.

During this campaign season, the personal resumes and documented voting records of the candidates speak far louder than false promises and flowery slogans.



Victorino is the most qualified mayoral candidate

Although I am proud of how far Mayoral Candidate Elle Cochran has come since I first met her in jail in the early 1990s, I will be voting for Mike Victorino this fall.

He is the most qualified candidate up for election. He was on the council for ten terms and knows what needs to be done and how to do it. Sorry, Elle.



Switch to vegan foods to lose weight

According to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, about half of American adults tried to lose weight in the last year. That would be a good thing – except that typical weight loss plans often don’t work and many people find themselves on perpetual diets with minimal success.

I think we need to try a new strategy; one that involves eating tasty vegan foods rather than animal-based ones.

In general, it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight if you eat vegan foods because they’re typically low in calories and saturated fat.

They also tend to be high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help boost your metabolism so you burn more calories.

Research shows that, on average, vegans have lower body mass indexes, or BMIs, than vegetarians and meat-eaters do, and vegans are considerably less likely to suffer from diabetes and other obesity-related diseases.

So, if you want to slim down and improve your health, skip the diet drinks and weight loss programs, and visit www.PETA.org for a free vegan starter kit.



Lobby for arts funding

We ask that you e-mail or call Hawaii U.S. Representatives, or your U.S. State House Representative, to STOP Glenn Grothman (R-WI).

He is expected to introduce an amendment cutting from the appropriations bill $23,250,000 from each agency, to include the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Currently, the bill has $155 million for each agency appropriated for Fiscal Year 2019, which is an increase of $2 million for each agency over FY 2018.



Forensic audit of OHA needed

I fully support the forensic audit of OHA.

When thinking about this topic, I asked myself a few questions.

How much will it cost?

My understanding is that it will cost about $50,000.

Would it hurt the beneficiaries? If so, how?

I don’t see it hurting the beneficiaries at all, except for those beneficiaries stealing money from OHA. Given the profound trust deficit OHA is operating under with respect to the community, this audit is a wise expenditure of $50,000, as it is a first step to rebuilding trust in OHA.

This is critical, as it is very likely that if a Constitutional Convention is approved by voters this year, proposals to eliminate OHA will be floated.

If OHA is not able to demonstrate that it adds value to the state and is an effective agency providing real benefits to Native Hawaiians, as opposed to cheap money to friends of the trustees and the CEO, the organization will likely be disbanded.

Since the audit is a good thing, what is the holdup?

This is the most interesting question, because I do not know the answer. But it is the question everyone is asking, and the fact that we don’t know is the reason the delay of the audit is making everyone suspicious.

Please get the forensic audit started immediately.