LETTERS for the August 9 issue
Conduct roadwork at night
The bypass is far better than many people expected (that would include me), but we have not seen it during peak tourism time starting at Thanksgiving.
I can see it now:
First whales seen!
First major traffic jam on Keawe Street!
And if you didn’t see the sign as you come off the bypass onto Keawe Street, roadwork begins Nov. 13 (duration not stated).
Could this be our next OMG event?
Why can’t our roadwork be done at night like major cities do? It just takes some good floodlights and planning in the Highways Department.
BRIAN EGAN, Lahaina
DOT must correct dangerous situation on Keawe Street
The recent completion of the long-awaited opening of the Lahaina Bypass extension has reduced travel time when commuting to and from the rest of the island. However, it has also created a traffic nightmare when coming back into Lahaina via Keawe.
To mitigate this problem, Keawe should have a stoplight installed at Kupuohi Street. The traffic volume is far too heavy on Keawe now with the bypass traffic forced to exit onto it.
It’s not uncommon now to have to wait five minutes just to enter or exit the shopping center, and if you need to cross between the shopping center and the Walgreens store, you stand a better chance swimming in shark-infested waters.
This means you must either wait for a considerate driver – something far too uncommon on the island anymore – to slow a little so you can exit the shopping center in front of them, or try to spot a slightly wider space between the speeding cars racing for the stoplight, charge into the pack and pray you don’t become somebody’s hood ornament.
How many serious injuries or deaths will it take in order to get this situation resolved by the Department of Transportation?
JOHN FORRESTER, West Maui
Tourism vs. environment? We shouldn’t have to choose
With the right leadership and management, we can have both, in balance.
I look forward to collaborating soon with our visitor industry leaders – the Maui Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Authority and affiliates – as we outline and plan for balance and solutions together in my Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee.
The concerns and concepts identified in the 2017-26 Maui County Tourism Strategic Plan will be referenced as motivation while we commit to specific, bold solutions and make swift progress to implement them, collectively.
The upcoming committee meeting is intended to serve as our cornerstone to devising creative ways to facilitate and implement successful objectives towards finding balance.
Let’s put a tourism coordinator in the Mayor’s Office. (It’s our biggest economic driver, after all.)
Let’s establish a Sustainable Tourism Board to help us guide policy.
Let’s require Commercial Ocean Recreational Activity and tour operators, who hold Public Utilities Commission permits, to get Sustainable Tourism Certification by the Hawaii Ecotourism Association, and give them the support they need to do so.
Let’s get serious about cracking down on illegal short-term rentals, so our visitors congregate mainly in resort areas rather than impacting our residential neighborhoods.
All of this is not only possible; it’s necessary and overdue.
Keep an eye out for IEM-38: “Visitor Impacts to County Environmental and Infrastructural Resources” and prepare to talk about real solutions.
You can view the Maui County Tourism Strategic Plan in its entirety; please Google “Maui County Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2026.”
Submit your thoughts, ideas or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can compile your mana’o.
ELLE COCHRAN, West Maui County Councilwoman
West Maui needs strong leadership
I do believe that I find no justification to vote for Elle Cochran for our next mayor. I do not see how my life and the lives of the West Maui people have improved in the past eight years.
I have watched a few videos of candidate forums, and I am convinced that Elle is not educated enough to be our mayor. This is my opinion after being a resident of West Maui for the last 48 years and watching the quality of West Maui go downhill, especially in these past eight years.
I would hate to see the whole island go in the wrong direction with Elle as mayor.
SU CAMPOS, Napilihau
Candidates voice good ideas
“Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and demand payoffs.” Written by Isaiah thousands of years ago, this sentiment was expressed by primary race contenders.
Though tempers flared, candidates presented themselves well at the West Maui Taxpayers Association forum. Besides some tense moments, there was comic relief and well-thought-out ideas.
Incumbents shared their successes and newcomers highlighted things they would do if elected to office. All recognized the problems of affordable housing, traffic and coastal erosion, but solutions were varied.
More tax revenues allocated to Maui was unanimously supported. Maintaining this high income-producing, desirable destination should be a priority.
However, Maui’s future is at stake. Urban, agricultural and environmental development is decided primarily by elected officials and their endorsers. Former and current politicians running for offices will continue with their agendas.
Regardless of the outcome of the primary race, some of the candidates have ideas that warrant attention.
One: alleviate the housing shortage instantly by disallowing short-term vacation rentals.
Two: mitigate traffic immediately. Reduce the number of rental cars allowed on the island. Implement shuttle services and a more efficient bus system with extended hours of operation.
Third: Hawaii’s “fraudulent annexation” must be addressed. Resolve past sins to establish a solid foundation to build upon.
Most importantly, follow Queen Ke’opuolani’s mandate: “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness of Christ Jesus.” He will deal with wrongdoing and restore righteous leadership.
“Then you will be called the City (County/State/Nation) of Righteousness.” (Isaiah)
MICHELE LINCOLN. Lahaina