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LETTERS for the July 4 issue

By Staff | Jul 4, 2019

Traffic laws must be enforced

We just (June 23) had the 11th traffic fatality on Maui for 2019.

I blame the drivers but the police as well. We have speeding, alcohol and DISTRACTION (phone calls, texting) as reasons.

On a DAILY basis, I see drivers who text or are on the phone, whether it’s going 60 mph on Highway 30 in a 30-mph zone, in parking lots, looking for a space to park, etc.

Texting is extremely dangerous. So is just a phone call, even if it’s a “hands-free” call. Your brain is 50 percent on the call and only 50 percent on the traffic situation. It is a wishy-washy law to begin with. To make matters worse, there is practically NO enforcement of the “no texting/no call” law.

And, IF by chance somebody DOES get caught, authorities are way too lenient. Either it’s a small fine or even just a warning. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT RISKING LIVES HERE!

Somebody caught texting while driving should receive a mandatory three-month license suspension. Period. That would wake up a few people, and maybe it would make them pay attention to the law AND the traffic surrounding them. MPD is way too lax.



Declare your independence from the meat industry

Whatever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on the Fourth of July were traffic jams and wayward fireworks?

According to USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline, this year’s top threat is food poisoning by nasty E. coli and Salmonella bugs lurking in hamburgers and hot dogs at backyard barbecues.

The hotline’s advice is to grill them longer and hotter. They don’t bother to mention that high-temperature grilling of meat products also forms lots of cancer-causing compounds. And, who knows what they really put into those hot dog casings in the first place?

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising U.S. food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious and convenient veggie burgers and soy dogs. These plant-based foods don’t harbor nasty pathogens or cancer-causing compounds. They don’t even carry cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs or pesticides. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our supermarket.

This Fourth of July offers a great opportunity to declare our independence from the meat industry and to share wholesome veggie burgers and soy dogs with our family and friends.



County should consider water supply before approving projects

Can someone please explain why the county allows for the building of more hotel rooms, timeshares, shopping centers, etc., when we don’t even have enough water for the current population? Already, Upcountry is having to conserve water – and it’s only the beginning of summer!

Common sense, people!!!



Remembering my best friend, Willie Lisk

Willie Lisk was a West Maui lifeguard for 25 years.

One of my favorite mile-long morning swims has been by the lifeguard tower at Canoe Beach.

Back on the beach, Willie would always come down from the tower, always sit on the third step from the bottom, and we would talk story.

We would also sit under one of his coconut trees that he planted 25 years ago, at times sitting in silence looking out across the blue Pacific. As I write, “The best friend you can have is one you can sit with, never say a word, get up, walk away and feel like it’s the best conversation you ever had.”

However, Willie’s best attribute was a master story teller, as he would constantly fish me in, hook, line and sinker, with his stories. I would like to share a few of those stories.

His story of the Titanic continues on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then, “… by the way, the Titanic had several hundred cases of mayonnaise on board to be taken to Mexico, because they had no mayonnaise.” I sat there looking at him, and said, “You’re kidding.” “No,” Willie said, “and that’s why they celebrate Cinco De Mayo.”

During my lunch break, I was swimming in front of the guard tower. An ulua swims by with a hook and line in its mouth. So I grabbed the line and brought it back to shore.

“Do you know how birds fly in a V-formation?” “No,” I said, “but I’m sure you’re going to tell me.” Laughing so hard at his own joke, he walks back up to the tower, looks down, and says, “They use their wings.”

With each story, I would get up laughing, shaking my head, and say, “See you tomorrow.” However, during the day I would think back on Willie’s stories and laugh. I look for his van when I drive by the tower, and I don’t laugh anymore.

A retirement party was planned at Canoe Beach on Dec. 28, his last day as a Maui lifeguard.

Saturday morning, Dec. 22, my conscience demanded me to go down to the beach. I kept telling myself, “NO! I have things to do.” I finally gave up and headed down to the beach.

Upon my arrival, I was told Willie died last night. I went down on the beach and cried. And, once again, my conscience said, “Go for your swim.” I finally did, turning over many times to clear my mask of tears.

Willy was reluctant to have a retirement party, as he was leery few would show.

On Dec. 28, I would estimate 200 people came for Willie’s Celebration of Life. Firemen in their dress blues, a color guard and I stood in a trance as to the loss of my best friend. It was a day in which I feel I lost a portion of my soul.

At nights, I lie in my hammock, look out into the universe and ask, “Why?” Willie was only 52, and I’m 73. It doesn’t seem fair. His life was just beginning – his new home complete in March 2019.

I write in my self-published book: “One does not need many friends, just a few good ones.” Willie was a good friend to all. Six months has now passed. After my morning swim, I sit by Willie’s coconut trees and listen to the sea in silence, as we used to do.

RICHARD CRAIG ROSHON, www.hawaiiwhalesrus.com, Lahaina