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LETTERS for the October 22 issue

By Staff | Oct 22, 2020

Mahalo for delivering meals to seniors

As a kama’aina resident of Hale Mahaolu Eono, I’d like to give a big mahalo to restaurants like Merriman’s, Taverna and others for bringing great chef meals to our doors for free.

We are a small, low-income kupuna (oldest is 102) community living on our own up Lahainaluna Road. We take care of ourselves and try not to be a burden.

It’s not easy with the COVID-19 and being old, or just getting to the store in the Lahaina heat. So when I find a free box of food, bag of veggies or cleaning supplies at my front door — well, it makes my day. It shows that some folks really care about us kupuna even in this time of great hardship for many.

These businesses and organizations do this for us at their own expense without being asked and take no credit. They are a true example of aloha. So, to all the people who are kind enough to help us out, mahalo nui loa.



Paltin is the best choice for County Council

Everyone island-wide should vote for Tamara Paltin for County Council.

Councilmember Paltin is opposed by Rick Nava in this fall’s election. Paltin is clearly the best choice. Nava may have the most campaign signs, but Paltin has the best credentials. One of them is she is very smart (a degree in mathematics). Nava did not attend college.

Tamara outshone Nava at a recent Rotary forum, demonstrating her experience and wide command of county issues. Paltin’s involvement and interest in the community was shown this summer when she attended most of the CPAC public hearings on the newest Maui community plan. Nava did not attend and declined to serve on the committee.

Chairman of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, Nava emphasizes he is pro-business. He has also received contributions from a mysterious Mainland Super PAC. Does this mean he is pro-development?

Paltin, on the other hand, was one of founders of the Save Honolua Coalition, which was instrumental in saving 280 acres of land a developer planned to build on.

Paltin also last year was named the “Best Councilmember” by Maui Time Weekly, and earlier a person of influence by The Maui News. She has also been honored by the Sierra Club.

A vote for Paltin is a vote for experience as well as the ‘aina.



County and state officials should visit Front Street

Mayor Victorino, what a perfect opportunity these last six to seven months would have been for you to have given a little “love and care” to Lahaina Town — a town that has given so much historically and monetarily to many.

At this time, I find the “Welcome Back” signs on both sides of Front Street somewhat ironic and humorous. I can’t help but ask myself, “Welcome back to what?” Boarded up restaurants and shops? Dilapidated seawall? Cracked and filthy sidewalks littered with rubbish and cigarette butts! And a lot of folks setting up residence anywhere from parking lots, storefronts, street corners and seawalls from Shaw Street to Bubba Gumps and further.

Being that this population seems to be growing with a lot of new faces, it kind of makes one wonder where they are from, how did they get here and, most importantly, did they quarantine if new to the island?

I know the answer is not “shooing” them away into the cane fields, but at the same time, ignoring the issue is not going to solve anything. Wailuku Town managed to humanely and respectfully help their homeless by finding them shelters and providing them with the resources to help themselves — and, most importantly, continued with follow-up services and care. I’m curious why we don’t look to them for guidance in this matter.

Hopefully, Mayor Victorino, you and other representatives of our county and state will take the time to stroll down Front Street.

Come and see for yourself why so many of us are uncomfortable going down there, and why work should be done if we want to reopen with a safe and clean town.


Why halt singing at church?

A few months after COVID-19 started, churches were able to start again with restrictions by the state and Bishop Silva. No hymnals in pews; social distancing pews with blue tape to let people sit in certain areas; and masks worn at all times (except after receiving communion from a priest who walked through the church to hand it to you in your hands).

The Gospel, readings, some prayers and hymns were all put on a large TV on the back wall of the alter, so that the congregation could sing and pray during the mass while masked.

A few weeks ago, Bishop Silva decided to not put the hymns on the TV anymore for some reason. Now the hymns give praise to God, and we do not remove our masks to do this.

So, why can’t they still be put on the TV? Why not let the congregation praise God through song?



Nevada Super PAC money flowing into Maui races

Large corporate money is flowing from Nevada in an attempt to control the outcome of the Maui County Council races and seven charter amendments.

The new Super PAC based in Reno, Nevada has launched a $120,000 effort to elect a pro-development/pro-corporate slate of candidates, essentially attempting to take over the Maui County Council. The “Hui O Maui Citizens for Change” Super PAC chairperson and treasurer is Grant David Gillham, who lives in Nevada.

All the cards, mailers, banners and television/radio ads against progressive council members, candidates and the charter amendments are from this source. They may use some local voices, but there isn’t anything local about this. As a Super PAC, they do not have to give their funding sources.

Local groups, such as the Maui Pono Network, who back progressive candidates and the seven charter amendments have to tell where their money comes from. The Gillham group is big money from an unknown source.

It’s dirty politics when anyone with large funds can attempt to overwhelm and destroy local good governance. Do we let some outside entity that throws $120,000 into our local races dictate our government’s future? Or do we vote with the majority of our Maui County Council, give ourselves the changes in our charter that we need and move on?

Personally, I will vote for all seven charter amendments, and for King, Sinenci, Rawlins-Fernandez, Johnson, Paltin, Eyre and Kamikona for Maui County Council. I will not let Nevada hired guns confuse my vote.