BE PART OF THE SOLUTION AT MAUI HUMANE SOCIETY
Two days ago, I ran into a prominent citizen who has supported Maui Humane Society for over 20 years. I was taken aback when she recounted the dirty laundry that has been clinging to the clothesline from letters written to newspapers over the past several months. And then she told me she has stopped supporting the shelter based on what she has read and gossip.
If I had the time and the space, I would catalog the enormous and numerous steps that have been taken, and are being taken, to correct the problems of the past. These are things the public doesn’t know, and often the steps forward that are gained are overshadowed by the nasty letters targeting the organization and its CEO.
The people who have contributed feel it is their inalienable right to target the very organization designed to protect our beloved animals. These people think it’s okay to expound upon the salary of its CEO without taking into consideration that she works 80 hours-plus per week, flies to Oahu each week to attend classes and meetings to better serve our animals, and that she drives a beat up Cavalier with missing hubcaps. This “enormous” salary she pulls down breaks down to less than $20 per hour — less than a grout-layer makes.
The public flogging that she endures from uninformed people has this organization spending precious time trying to deflect this nastiness and present a positive image. That takes valuable time away from what the organization is designed to do: to promote the human/animal bond and to prevent animal cruelty. This organization runs on a budget, and if people stop giving, it hurts the animals. It’s THAT simple.
How about if, instead of writing inflaming letters to the editor, we take this energy and turn it into something positive? Find what you can give of your own to help, whether it be extra towels for surgery, volunteering your time teaching your passion to the Junior Animal Lover’s Club, a few hours of plumbing or electrical if that’s your trade. We are ALL here for the animals, and there is not one person who works or volunteers at the Maui Humane Society who does not have the animals’ best interest at heart. But they are human, and humans are not purrrrfect.
Help them — don’t flog them. Stop the negative press. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.
BONNIE NELSON, Lahaina
SHOW EXPOSES ANIMAL CRUELTY
I have just donated a series of DVDs to Akaku: Maui Community Television. I wish to alert your readers to “Undercover TV.” The reason I felt a drive to do this is because so much is kept behind closed doors about animal abuse, and I wish to open the doors so we can all work to help the silent ones: the suffering animals. Animals have emotions and minds like us, and I wish to help others to hear their silent cries through these DVDs.
“Undercover TV” will air Thursday nights on Channel 52 (Akaku) at 9:30 p.m. for a half-hour. I do hope your readers tune in and see them. They should continue into 2010 with new Undercover DVDs .
“Undercover TV” is an innovative television series that exposes the extreme animal cruelty deliberately hidden from the American public.
The revolutionary, new half-hour television program produced by IDA (In Defense of Animals) takes the viewers where other shows won’t — inside factory farms, vivisection (animal testing) laboratories, fur operations, puppy mills and other exploitive industries to show people the truth about the suffering of animals behind the scenes.
Most Americans have never seen how animals used for food, clothing or scientific experiments are treated, because those who profit from their suffering keep them hidden behind locked and guarded doors by showing happy, animated animals on TV commercials. They depict the treatment of these animals inaccurately.
As a 25-year citizen of Maui County, I wish to share with your viewers these DVDs to open our eyes and hearts to caring about animals and making changes to help animals.
BARBARA STEINBERG, Kihei
LEGISLATURE HAS TOUGH DECISIONS AHEAD
I recognize that parents are concerned about the furloughs for public school teachers on instructional days.
By law, wages and hours of employment of state employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements between the union and state employer (which, for public school teachers, are the Board of Education, superintendent of education and governor, not the legislature). Since the legislature was not involved in the negotiations, it is inappropriate to engage in after-the-fact criticism or blame of either party for the final agreement. Both the state employer and union had an extremely difficult time. I respect their efforts and the process.
Going forward, the House will consider solutions to the school furlough issue during the upcoming regular session.
Parents and the public, however, should be aware that public education is one of several priorities that will be adversely impacted by the budget crisis. Other state services and employees will suffer because of furloughs and, possibly, layoffs. The legislature must also consider those state services and employees.
Much has been made for using the hurricane fund to reduce the number of furlough days for public school teachers. That, however, would be shortsighted. The hurricane fund acts as a reserve which, in essence, allows the state to issue construction bonds at good interest rates. If the hurricane fund is depleted, interest rates on those bonds may increase, requiring higher annual debt repayments. Moreover, the hurricane fund has no revenue source to replenish itself. Because of this, the use of the hurricane fund would not be a long-term solution. What will we do in the future after the hurricane fund is depleted?
Solutions to the budget crisis will require a better, more thoughtful and balanced approach combining revenue enhancements and expenditure reductions. The general fund shortfall is over $1 billion, and the savings from furloughs are not enough to close the deficit. To resolve the problem, the legislature will have to be innovative and courageous enough to make difficult decisions that will inevitably create hardship, but will serve the good of the general public.
REP. CALVIN SAY, House Speaker
KAHO'OHALAHALA SHOULD RUN FOR MAYOR
I want to send out an invitation to a man that I have known for over 12 years to be our next mayor. In the morass of political life, many people who run and are elected to office become less than we hope for. The pressures of the job, long hours and little understanding or praise from the public, stress on the family, dealing with the unknown, distancing from constituents, giving in to very persuasive large corporations.... the extraordinary crucible of public life changes people. I know I couldn’t do the job well. As a matter of fact, most of us either couldn’t do it or wouldn’t want to.
So when I look back at the 20 years I’ve lived here on Maui, only one person truly stands out. He is a leader that has kept touch with the deep roots of the host culture, kept pono in his dealings as an elected official on both the state and county level, and day after day asks the hard questions and shares profound vision which has helped to change our lives for the better.
Sol Kaho‘ohalahala, I am asking you to be our next mayor. I see Maui desperately needing the type of vision, commitment and extraordinary, unbreakable spirit that you have offered in every facet of your public life. Our county is in the midst of very challenging times. I know you can help us ensure a future that our children will have a real chance in.
SEAN LESTER, Kula