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LETTERS for the June 10 issue

By Staff | Jun 11, 2021

West Maui needs affordable and workforce housing

West Maui Taxpayers Association has been advocating for affordable housing in West Maui for over 40 years!

As a founding board member of WMTA in 1979, I know that we advocated for governmental intervention to address the need for more affordable housing in West Maui, including workforce housing.

The net result of good intentions over the years to meet local housing demands for West Maui has enjoyed some successes, but in the long run, seems to have made things worse. The unintended consequences are that we are literally thousands of dwelling units behind where we should be today.

The reality is that now, it is literally impossible to catch up with our community’s needs for housing, and any progress needs relief from some of today’s onerous requirements.

Politicians have stated it’s time for action and not talk, and we agree. The actions should be to facilitate — not to make it even more difficult.

We respectfully suggest that taking away areas where housing was planned to be allowable is not the kind of action that is needed.

All new homes in all price ranges will be generating substantial property tax income to the county, and it seems clear that mixed-unit developments with market-priced components are essential to offset affordable categories.

“Affordable Only” development projects are not making a dent in what our needs are. It’s time to incentivize home building and not further restrict areas where housing was allowed in the Maui Island Plan.

Would you consider joining our effort in making that point clear to our elected government officials, who are currently considering the updating of the West Maui Community Plan?


Urge Congress to fund Alzheimer’s research

Congress has continued to address the devastating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. But it is crucial more than ever to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research.

This year, 2021, the care of those with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia has a cost estimate of over $300 billion (alzimpact.org), not counting unpaid caregivers.

Currently, our nation has over 5 million kupuna, age 65 and older, with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

In Hawaii, there are over 20,000 kupuna with the disease and over 60,000 caregivers.

By 2050, the numbers are expected to increase substantially (alz.org).

Sen. Mazie Hirono can address this very important subject matter by increasing funds by $289 million for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Sen. Hirono has the capability to bring hope to caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

With more funding to Alzheimer’s research, it can assist scientists make discoveries to prevent or cure this costly and devastating disease.

Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association by supporting Sen. Mazie Hirono in the quest to increase research funding to end Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

Get involved; visit the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM, alzimpact.org).


Dairy is an outdated industry

June is National Dairy Month. Time to review the financial, ethical and nutritional burden created by the dairy industry.

NPR recently reported that New York dairy farmers, who are blaming slumping sales on the pandemic, are expecting more subsidies.

In New York, dairy is the number one agricultural export.

Dairy is an outdated industry that relies on a cycle of constant insemination and impregnation of cows to produce milk intended for their offspring.

Newborn calves are torn from their mothers, so we can steal their milk for human consumption (at a rate of 24 billion gallons a year nationwide).

Dairy products are laden with cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones, pathogens and antibiotics, leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Many people lack the enzyme for digesting dairy products.

But help is on the way. Food manufacturers have developed excellent nut- and grain-based milks, cheeses, yogurts and ice cream. U.S. sales alone are expected to exceed $2 billion this year.

It is time for everyone to explore plant-based dairy products, for the sake of our economy, our personal health and the health of the animals.

ERIC C. LINDSTROM, Executive Director, Farm Animal Rights Movement