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LETTERS for the August 16 issue

By Staff | Aug 16, 2018

Most leaders are corporate owned

It makes me sad when I talk to people who were born here and they share with me the ways things used to be. A way of life when people used to care about each other. Do you remember when “pono” meant something? When “aloha” had meaning.

Recently, I spoke with a local Hawaiian woman who was selling timeshares. After speaking to her and getting her to open up to me, she said, “Do you see this smile on my face? It’s fake. I put it on every day and take it off after work. My heart bleeds for the way it used to be but is no longer.” I asked her what I can do to help. She simply said, “It is too late.”

Now big money is changing Hawaii forever. Development hurts more than it helps the people. We should stop development now! It is out of control. Our infrastructure is fragile and overburdened.

Sadly, it’s our environment that pays the highest cost. Politicians who are endorsed by real estate developers are endorsed for a reason… can you guess what it might be? The answer is FAVORS.

Real estate developers are takers, not givers. Next time you see a candidate picture along with all the endorsements, remember that each endorsement is a special interest with their own agenda, and it will most likely not help you.

Unfortunately, most of our leaders are corporate owned. As for me, as long as I have air in my lungs, I will also fight – not for power or prestige, but to give the people a future and a hope.

CHAYNE MARTEN, State House District 10 Candidate


Take action on “cosmetic creeps”

Thank you for publishing letters about Lahaina’s “cosmetic creeps.”

There are six locations with six different names. Samples are forced into pedestrians’ hands. The non-compostable packets litter Front Street.

Street solicitation laws are not enforced, and fines are not being issued. We are missing County of Maui income because they are not issuing tickets. The income on these store fines could be $1,000 per violation, times three employees per store, times six stores in historic Lahaina, times 365 days a year equals $6,570,000.

Why are officials not levying fines?

Why aren’t street solicitation laws enforced?

Why aren’t cruise directors warning their passengers?

How can we get them removed from the sidewalks?

How can a cosmetics store afford $20,000 per month rent?

What is their cosmetology status?

Temporary solutions include refusing samples, honking your car horn to interrupt street sales and filming warnings and posting them on YouTube and travel sites.

Lahaina is a loving and strong historic town that will positively take action!



Support federal funding for arts and culture

Congratulations to those who e-mailed or called their U.S. Congressional representation in support of federal arts and cultural funding.

These past weeks, events in Washington have brought history to the arts and federal cultural funding of agencies in America. For many reasons – which included a no-cut funding vote of 297 to 114 in the House of Representatives, and a vote in support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities – the issue now moves on to the U.S. Senate floor.

Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) said, “I certainly urge members to support the innovative work the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities are providing our men and woman in uniform, our veterans and families.”

Obviously, Calvert is uneducated on why in fact these agencies of the government came into existence.

Sounds as if Chair Calvert picked up a copy of “The War of Art.” He is a bit behind, but not the cultural intellectuals.

The cultural arts bring America $166 billion annually in economic activity and bring $27.5 billion to our federal, state and local governments. Spending $155 million to cultural arts agencies is a small amount in regard to the financial return.

Some have called state and local government cultural funding a net number; there is no net number. Federal arts and cultural funding is a small amount with a large return, not only for Hawaii but also our visitors here.

Advocate for the arts and cultural funding of Hawaii.



Farmers markets harvest demand for healthy food

Large, hand-painted signs lean against a tent, the buzz of friendly conversation cuts through the humid air and the smell of fresh produce drifts in the breeze – you’ve found yourself at a farmers market.

Farmers markets are common in urban and rural communities around the nation. In urban areas, they provide an authentic, natural alternative for consumers to connect with those who produce their food.

In rural areas, farmers markets provide these same opportunities, among many others. They serve as a stimulant for local businesses and farmers, an attraction for strangers and locals alike, and, perhaps most importantly, they offer direct, secure access to nutritious food for rural Americans.

Food security – defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as having access to enough food to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle – is an ever-present challenge in rural communities.

According to Feeding America, 12.9 percent of Americans were food insecure in 2016, and three-fourths of counties with the highest rates of food insecurity were in rural areas.

There are programs designed to help alleviate food insecurity, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, research suggests that rural participation in SNAP is significantly lower for eligible recipients in rural areas than in urban ones. Policies that support SNAP acceptance at more farmers markets are a proven way to make progress.

As we celebrated National Farmers Market Week from Aug. 5-11, we praised these events that serve a key role in feeding rural communities nationwide.

CODY SMITH, Center for Rural Affairs