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LETTERS for the June 4 issue

By Staff | Jun 4, 2020

Lahainaluna High School has the best alma mater

Several months ago, I went to meet my granddaughter at Lahainaluna High School. I had to wait until after a full student body assembly in the gym. I stood inside and listened while they sang their alma mater – with great skill, dedication and most of all, pride and enjoyment! The gym had very good acoustics. I had heard it many times over my 44 years here, and it finally dawned on me how impressive and inspiring it is.

It is hard to believe that this is the only Hawaiian language high school alma mater in America. It is a chant written by Albert Kaleikini, a STUDENT at Lahainaluna back in 1898!

Amazing! Lahainaluna undoubtably has the most unique and the coolest alma mater in America today! Long live the Lunas and mahalo to Albert Kaleikini.



Are there any Willie K fans here?

We will all miss master musician Willie K. In 2009, I had the pleasure of interviewing Willie for my column in Lahaina News. Busy Willie was a performer hard to catch up to, so the interview was short.

Willie would often start his gigs with a question: “Are there any Willie K fans out there?” Usually, the crowd would go wild.

A journalist often remembers a memorable quote years later. One of mine was Willie’s. Willie could have been a well-known star on the Mainland – the likes of Prince, B.B King, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffett, Mick Fleetwood, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and more. He could have been just as famous as the stars he played with if he wanted to be. But he rejected national stardom.

Maui’s luck was that Willie mostly stayed here with occasional forays to the continental U.S., Europe, the Mideast and Asia.

My question for him: why did you stay here? His response: “Would you live anywhere else?” You can read the full column at normbezane.com.



Pedestrians are not safe crossing Keawe Street

Trying to cross Keawe Street from Lahaina Gateway to the other side is a nightmare – like a sailor running the gauntlet. It was bad before, but now we have not just Walgreens but also Burger King, Starbucks and Panda Express.

I am not asking for a traffic light – just some crosswalk painted there. Ironically, once you made it and are on the Walgreens side, there IS a crosswalk coming out of the parking lot… go figure!

If the county can’t afford it, they can send me the bill for the two or three buckets of white paint and two or three working hours. I’ll be happy to pay for it.

Does somebody really have to be killed before something is done here?

Cars are coming down the bypass (which Keawe is) at 50-70 mph. When I called the county and described the situation, they told me, “Why don’t you go down to Highway 30, cross over there and then come back up?”

You gotta be kidding me! I guess the county wants us to do more walking, increasing our exercise miles? Fits perfectly into the official “logic.”

I wonder if I will live to see the day when there will be a simple crosswalk painted between Lahaina Gateway and the other side. So PLEASE just paint that thing. It’s not expensive and not rocket science. Maybe you could even (GASP!) put up a blinking warning light? Nah, too much to hope for.

I’d settle for the paint just to make this crossing safe. Drivers coming down Keawe are given no clue that there is an unmarked crosswalk coming. And traffic is heavy, even now.

There is additional danger when a courteous driver stops to let you walk across, only to be passed by another car that would run you over.

A bad situation with a most simple solution – maybe TOO simple for our county.



Allow parking at Canoe Beach

Isn’t it enough of a hard time financially for so many locals who are out of work due to virus concerns, and who are barely getting by without getting hit with another unexpected expense I often frequent the beach at Hanakao’o Beach Park (Canoe Beach) and have always wondered why all the “No Parking” signs are all along both sides of the access road.

Perhaps they’re remnants from another era, when the narrow roadway used to continue on to Kaanapali, but now the only purpose they could serve would be as a means to collect some additional funds for Maui County from violations.

With few tourists on Maui for now, most of the visitors to Canoe Beach are island locals and their families. But what did I find when I went there the Saturday beginning Memorial Day Weekend? The Maui County Park Ranger writing out citations.

Why can’t the “No Parking” restrictions be removed, and the beach park be allowed to serve the community as intended? The small dirt parking lot really isn’t adequate for the north end of the beach area and not very convenient for anyone wanting to get their aquatic gear down to the water easily.

Mahalo to Maui County… NOT!



Dying and living

When we’re born, there is one thing for sure we’re eventually going to die. If we were to look at the statistical evidence as to how that would happen, we would learn a lot – a lot about how to live.

Let me list a few of the leading causes of death each year in Hawaii, according to Department of Health records from 2013-15: #1, Heart Disease; #2, Cancer; #3, Other diseases (non-COVID-19); #4, Accidents; #5, INFLUENZA/Pneumonia.

COVID-19 wouldn’t have made the top 25! In fact, dying of COVID just beat out dying of HUNGER. According to State of Hawaii stats, we would have about a 700 percent better chance of being killed by a car than by COVID-19!

So why all the FEAR and overreaction that has taken our unemployment rate from 3 to 34 percent in only two months? Why the governmental “mandates” that have succeeded in smothering small businesses and contributed to Hertz announcing Friday they are filing for bankruptcy?

There can be only one explanation: CONTROL!

Today I read on the Hawaii Department of Health website that a woman visiting here was arrested and put in jail for going to the beach. She was “snitched” on by a neighbor (ala Soviet Russia).

The next article boasted at how the prison population in the state had DECREASED by over 700 inmates! WOW! Whoopie doopie! We let criminals OUT because of COVID and put vacationers going to the beach IN. Are you proud of that? Or is it as senseless to you as it is to me.

So, what do these stats tell us how we should live? How about the way we did between 2013-15, when 476 of our folks died of the flu/pneumonia. Back then, we had a 28 times greater chance of dying by those diseases than from COVID today, YET we lived our lives without masks, without quarantines and without social distancing.

At the very least, let people make their own choices. Worried about COVID? Stay home, wear a mask and stay away from folks. Let the rest of us be free to open our businesses and go about our lives living with the abundance of greater risks that come with simply LIVING.