Trash trucks show up too early
(The following letter was sent to Mayor Alan Arakawa.)
I have lived in Maui for about three years now, and for the first time, we live in a wonderful home in Lahaina in the Wahikuli area.
I have heard mothers and other people complain about the early morning trash pickup, but I had no idea just how bad it was until I moved to our new residence.
I know that trash pickup is probably one of the most important jobs here on the island, and being a parent of a one-year-old, we have our fair share of stinky trash.
Here is my question: are there any noise restrictions for residential areas?
Every Tuesday and Friday morning, we are awakened somewhere between 4:45 and 5:30 a.m. As an adult, it is quite easy to be annoyed and then go back to sleep until 6 a.m. or when it's time to get up, but as a child, it's not that easy.
After the pickup, the loud banging of the cans, the beeping from reversing and turning around, and then the pickup from the other side (about five minutes total), my child and many others in the neighborhood are wide awake and often crying.
We can hear it all, because I am sure you are aware, we all have our windows open.
My other concern is that school is about to start. I am sure that many of the teachers will tell you an extra hour of sleep for the young ones can make or break a day at school.
Is there a way our trash collectors could wait until 6 a.m. to pick up the trash - for the sake of our kids?
BRANDIE HENDERSON, Lahaina
Soccer players will miss Coach Rockett
Aloha. For nine years, I've had the joy of playing for the Lahaina Women's Soccer Team under the great leadership of Coach Dave Rockett.
Every Tuesday and Saturday, Coach Rockett brings all the gear, first aid supplies and clean uniforms, and shows up early for our practices and games.
He takes the time to give us the most effective lineup, keeps stats and analyzes our play, helping us to improve our game and become champs.
Year after year, he commits the time and puts up with us sassy West Side women.
For 15-plus years, he's done the same for the Lahainaluna Women's Soccer Program, and I think he deserves a huge shout out for all the time, energy and care he's put into those high school players.
So, BIG MAHALOS to Coach Rockett for your commitment to Lahaina's soccer programs, for your love of the game and your players, for all that you've taught us, and for all the fun soccer we've played as a result of your leadership!
Lahainaluna's new coach will no doubt have some big shoes to fill.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST
Attitude causes traffic wrecks
Regarding the letter "Bad driving is the issue, not speeding," I only can agree, because I've made my observations as a former police sergeant and as a citizen.
Here in Taiwan, I collected police videos from January through July 2013, displaying a compilation of traffic accidents.
Out of the 798 accidents, about 2-3 percent were due to speeding, and roughly 3 percent were due to drivers' errors in maneuvering the vehicle.
But nearly 95 percent of accidents in Taiwan, meaning 780 out of 798, were because of (deliberate) violation of traffic rules.
Ergo, attitude, not the speeding, causes accidents.
DR. GEORG WOODMAN
Mahalo to clinic staff
I have to write in and say a very big mahalo to West Maui Animal Clinic located at 232 Lahainaluna Road.
They did not know me as I was calling in hysterical at 7 p.m., but they were AWESOME, from the girl who answers the phone at night to EVERYONE in the office.
My cat, unfortunately, was attacking me at sunset as if I had turned into a toy.
I have a bad illness, and cat bites or scratches are not good; nor is keeping a cat who did not seem happy anymore, to my distress.
They went beyond in helping me with my cat and putting up with me being incredibly sad.
West Maui What you need to know about Congress right now
Deeply unpopular and flagrantly unproductive, Congress is on its August recess right now.
It won't return until Sept. 9, after a five-week recess, leaving itself just a few days to settle issues like raising the debt ceiling and passing a federal budget.
Here are some things you should know about where it stands at this stage of the game:
1) Few, if any, Congresses can match this one for futility - whatever your politics. The repeal of Obamacare, action on climate change, a "grand bargain" on our fiscal problems - the list of dropped balls is long.
A few weeks ago, Speaker John Boehner told Americans not to judge Congress by how many laws it passes, but by how many it repeals. It hasn't succeeded on either count.
2) The budget process is a mess. None of the appropriations bills needed for the government to continue running after Sept. 30 have been enacted. Passing a budget is the most basic function of government, and Congress can't manage it.
3) Members of Congress do not like to compromise. The parties are divided ideologically, and neither can get things done on its own. That's when responsible lawmakers usually step forward to build a consensus, but in this Congress, either they don't know how or they're not interested.
4) Hardly anyone thinks Congress is doing a good job - it's consistently below 20 percent approval ratings - and most people think it's too partisan. Yet members aren't concerned. They've become skilled at running against Washington, even though they are Washington, and they count on voters supporting their own member of Congress, however unpopular Congress as a whole has become.
5) As lobbyists descend in swarms on Capitol Hill, they hold more power than ever. They rain cash, twist arms and even draft bills - all the things that powerful congressional leaders used to do.
All of this contributes to the emerging themes for the 2014 congressional campaign.
Candidates will clearly run against the mess in Washington, and a good number of them, though not all, will talk regularly about the need to be bipartisan.
The big question for 2015 will be whether the successful ones can translate their talk into legislation to help move the country forward.