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LETTERS for the October 29 issue

By Staff | Oct 30, 2020

Stop complaining and offer solutions for Lahaina Town

I am responding to “Name withheld by request” and the letter complaining about the condition of Front Street.

Lahaina Restoration Foundation currently has a grant from the county, and we have hired Lawrence Kauha’aha’a , the same person who cleaned up Wailuku, to help Lahaina. I walk Front Street regularly, and I am seeing tremendous progress from the work that Lawrence and his team are doing on the street seven days a week. We are not ignoring the issue! These programs take time and persistence.

There is also a county project, currently in the planning stages, to improve the seawall. Did you attend the public meetings that were held pre-pandemic?

It is easy to sit on the sidelines and complain anonymously. Instead, why not give me a call at 661-3262, come by the LRF office above the Baldwin Home Museum or e-mail me at theo@lahainarestoration.org and let’s discuss your solutions to these problems.

Our current Lahaina projects are the revitalization of Friday Night is Art Night with candlelit tours and history displays at the Baldwin Home Museum. We are also producing the Lahaina Poster contest. We are conducting free Hawaiian cultural classes at Apuakehau, the new cultural park next to the library.

In addition, we raised over $20,000 to promote Lahaina in a multitude of ways, including a What’s Open page online, a new Facebook page ReDiscover Historic Lahaina, ads in Lahaina News and on Maui Now, and more.

We have submitted permits for the month-long Holiday Lighting of the Banyan Tree, and we are planning other festive activities for the month of December.

Stop complaining on the sidelines and join us in the revitalization of Lahaina. If we all work together, we can accomplish a lot!


Executive Director,

Lahaina Restoration Foundation

Bureaucracy for its own sake

I heard that building codes enforcement inspectors have ordered evictions from a building at 283 Wili Ko Place in Lahaina because the original permit apparently does not allow commercial operations or residential use.

This after a decade of operations by businesses and continuous residence by several occupants.

In a time of pandemic and an imploding island economy, this seems remarkably ill-considered.

With the extraordinary budget and policy reactions we have seen in response to this crisis, would it not have been better for the community to simply upgrade the permit?

The premises are surrounded by commercial operations, so there is no nuisance issue. These enterprises employ a number of mechanics and support staff, whose income doubtless keeps various households going.

These evictions will certainly damage the local economy and potentially worsen Maui’s homelessness problem. Why is it necessary for officials to stand on the letter of the law at this particular point in time? It simply makes no sense.



Man must figure out our relationship with animals

Netflix’s explosive new documentary “My Octopus Teacher” chronicles a complex relationship between a man and the world’s most bizarre animal: an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Most of us treasure our “pets” — dogs, cats, horses. Our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for scarce funds for life-saving surgery, we know who would live.

Yet, we torment, kill and consume other animals that are similar in appearance, intelligence and ability to suffer. Then, we bristle at East Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.

We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings. We have gone to the Moon, unraveled and modified genetic codes, and found cures for deadly diseases. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Some of us have. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings. Veganism requires no special courses or certifications. Every one of us can become one on our next trip to our supermarket.



Take politics out of appointing county department managers

All the past mayors, from Lingle to the present Mayor Victorino, are against the county manager position — a position that would take all politics out of appointing department heads each time we get another mayor.

Appointing the managing director and department heads is a roller coaster of political friends, family and people with political influence every four to eight years.

So why don’t they want it to stop? The mayoral position is the golden ring, with money, friends and influence that is totally behind the scenes — and we pay for it. Of course, Victorino doesn’t want it to end; he would just be a simple citizen serving the people of Maui County instead of the person handing out the favors.

The county manager position may save up to 15 percent of our county’s cost in waste reduction, and it would allow the people working in county government to have long-term bosses that are not political appointees. It’s a win-win.

Don’t be fooled. All seven of the amendments have very good reasons to vote “yes.” Please vote “yes” with other well-informed Maui voters.