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LETTERS for the March 19 issue

By Staff | Mar 19, 2020

Mahalo nui loa to Lahaina Restoration Foundation

What started as a basic third grade science lesson on animal and plant adaptations morphed into an exciting exploration of endemic, indigenous, and canoe plants of Hawaii.

As an alumnus, and now teacher, of King Kamehameha III School, I am filled with pride and gratitude for the beautiful improvements of Apuakehau (the mauka lawn of the Lahaina Public Library).

Loulu, Koai’a, Pohinahina, ‘Akia, Nanu, Koki’oke’oke’o, Kalo names just a handful of the many endemic, indigenous, and canoe plants that my students discovered on our “Native Plant Scavenger Hunt” in the Apuakehau area.

Thanks to the hard work of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and others, my students were able to take their learning outside. Their science and social studies education was deepened through the unique lens of Hawaii.

There is something extremely powerful about a learning endeavor that connects children to the place in which they live, play, and grow. Excitement and energy poured from the students as they discovered many of the Hawaiian plants we had just studied in the classroom.

I want to give a huge and humble MAHALO to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, the Maui Friends of the Library and all others involved in the project.

Thank you for restoring and beautifying Apuakehau, and many other locations in Lahaina. It not only enhances and enriches our community, but it helps cultivate a culturally enlightened and environmentally motivated generation of youth in Lahaina.



Cruise ship visits to Lahaina should be halted

Could you help us with terminating the cruise ships at this time, because of the pandemic spread of Coronavirus?

Hundreds of passengers are flooding into the islands from many destinations, and we are greatly concerned about the effect this could have on our island folks.



Best time for hoops all-star game is mid-March

Mahalo to the Parks and Recreation Administration, as they are letting the West Side recreation staff hold all-star Saturday on March 28.

A conflict made the March 14 day impossible to play, as West Maui staff had to help staff from the their districts for the Menehune tournament.

The only problem with the later date is it may cause some trouble with baseball leagues. The old date was so the leagues could go full out on March 16.

This is the way things were set up over 25 years ago: basketball December to mid-March, baseball from that time through to July, and soccer and football from August until mid-December.

It seemed to work for everyone.



Why are gas prices so high?

A barrel of crude oil is hovering now just above $31, about half what it was before the Coronavirus.

Even when you take the transportation to Hawaii into consideration, the gas price should be no higher than $2.50 per gallon.

But don’t hold your breath – we are getting ripped off again, as usual. When I go down to the gas station, the price per gallon is still $3.82.

Maybe when we have no more tourists coming to Hawaii, we may see a reduction by a couple of cents. And never mind that all gas stations in Lahaina are violating the Anti-Trust Act.

When one station goes up or down a certain amount, all other stations are following suit to the penny.

I wonder where our Attorney General is. Probably out collecting his paycheck.



Bow instead of shaking hands

Citizens of the world stand in fear, waiting to see how far and how wide the Coronavirus will spread, and whether or not it will reach pandemic levels of infection. I believe that we could vastly improve the health of our citizenry, and the citizenry of the world, while saving billions of dollars in costs associated with new viruses, colds, flu and other illnesses, if we, as Americans, would adopt the practice of bowing when greeting one another rather than shaking hands.

Millions of people at any given time are infected with various viruses, the symptoms of which are often concealed by the use of the vast array of medications available that allow sick people to continue working rather than staying home in bed, where they are less likely to infect others.

This fact was brought home to me recently when, after working in the cold and rain for several hours, I came down with bronchitis-like symptoms. I should have stayed in bed for a couple of days to avoid contact with the outside world, but an extremely heavy work-load forced me to medicate myself to the point that I could continue working.

I made a point of staying away from my aged parents at home during the time that I might have been infectious, and further, made a point of standing back from people when visiting with them. A few days later, even though I was feeling much better and felt that I would no longer infect others, I made a point of sitting at least two seats away from my family and guests at supper.

The biggest problem that I faced was in avoiding shaking hands with friends, new acquaintances and business associates during the period that I felt that I was somewhat of a danger to society’s health.

When I would be approached with an outstretched hand, I would stand back a step and bow with my hands behind my back, or bow with my palms touching with my hands against my heart as do the Hindus, with the traditional greeting of “NAMASTE.”

After each explanation, the friends or associates would accept my polite bow and bow in return.

I believe that if enough prominent Americans, including celebrities and politicians, would begin to politely bow in public (and when in front of the media), rather than shake hands, that many, if not the vast majority of, Americans, and hopefully the rest of the world, would abandon the unhealthy practice in favor of the polite “bow for health.”

GEORGE H. RUSSELL, Huntsville, Texas