GIVE MAUI ITS HOTEL ROOM TAXES
Gov. Linda Lingle, I voted for you because you came up through the Maui County Council, and I thought you cared about Maui.
My sister was dying from MS when you got elected. Doctors said she could not be left alone, so outpatient services was coaching me to get a little money to help out as a caregiver. Right then you cut that funding, and I thought, well, she needs to do this to fix things. I had to build a shack in the back yard to do some ding repairs to try and scratch out a living, while still being within earshot of my sister’s constantly ringing bell for assistance.
Bush started out with a budget surplus and ran the country into the ground. Your policies, like supporting the “Superfailure,” got us into this mess. It’s your bed — lie in it.
The hotel rooms that produce those dollars are here on Maui, and we are the ones that have to deal with those tourists. We depend heavily on organizations like Community Work Day to help keep Honolua and the Upper West Side clean. You no longer care if Maui is trashed, just so long as you can cover your tracks. Now I am ashamed to say that I voted for you!
Give us our transient accommodations tax (TAT) funds and let US take care of the island that you used for a stepping stone to get where you are. I apologize to those who expect a more positive outlook from me.
LES POTTS, Napili
WORK TO STOP ANIMAL ABUSE
How does one find capacity in his or her heart to be cruel to animals? Approximately one trillion animals die each year from animal cruelty. Innocent animals suffer horrible treatment from careless people. Hurting animals is just like hurting humans. You’re only hurting yourself. We need to stop animal cruelty.
Animal abuse is one of the reasons why animals are dying. Many animals have been put through the same things. For example, pets get hit from their owners. Severe injuries and open cut wounds could get infected and lead to death. Pet owners also starve and sometimes abandon their animals, so they are left alone with no food or shelter. Sometimes pets like dogs are forced to fight other dogs. Dog fighting and cock fighting are illegal in all states. To many people who enjoy this violence, they call it entertainment. They do this to make money. Animals that take part in this crime don’t deserve to be treated with so much cruelty.
Animal testing is another reason for the deaths of animals. Science labs use their creations — such as chemicals, cosmetics, house cleaners and more — to test on animals. In labs, small animals such as mice, hamsters and rats are usually kept in clear boxes the size of a shoe box. Larger animals like dogs and cats live in wire cages. Usually animals are used for an experiment once, but sometimes they use the same animal. The larger animals — cats, dogs, etc. — stay in their cages during the experiment. Imagine what happened to those animals that have been used for testing.
The possibilities are that they suffer the side effects, die painfully or survive the experiment.
However, the people against it say that most animal cruelty is useful. We slaughter animals for their meat. We also use animals’ fur for clothing. Even though we use animals for our needs, it’s still cruel how they treat them.
A solution to stop animal abuse is by reporting what you saw. For example, you should observe how someone takes care of their pet. If they have scars or wounds, or you see the owner abuse the animal, try to remember the details. With all the information you gathered, you can report it to animal shelters or the police.
Animal cruelty is the reason for most animal deaths. Abuse, slaughter and testing are how most animals die. All animals have a purpose for living, and it’s the same purpose of why we’re alive. They are as important as we are in this world. Hurting them is just like hurting yourself. Support the Maui Humane Society; call 877-3680.
KARI HASHIMURA, Lahaina
COUNCIL SHOULD FOLLOW UPDATED GENERAL PLAN
(The following letter was submitted to the Maui County Council.)
Whereas the majority of the County Council members have shown that they continually approve development for the sake of JOBS for the various labor union members, which means a vote at election time for them, I wish to exclaim a serious concern for the continuance of this simplicity. There has to be an alternative. As a lifelong resident of this beautiful island of ours, I’d hate to see it turned into another Oahu with two-way, six-lane traffic at capacity each day of the work week. That would be a‘ole pono nui.
We have a General Plan (that the GPAC worked long and hard at) that designs growth areas of all districts. I encourage council members to adhere to the recommendations in that document. Continued building outside of the boundaries will cause monumental harm to the beauty of Maui and lifestyle we, as full-time residents, enjoy. Mahalo for your return to harmony for our beloved isle.
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
SCALE BACK GROWTH, GIVEN THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY
Members of the County Council’s Planning Committee met at Lahaina Civic Center on Jan. 11 to hear community input about the Draft Maui Island Plan. This is the plan that the County Council will vote on to become the law for the next 20 years of growth. It can be viewed online.
A lot of the studies for this plan were done in 2006; it is now 2010 and things have changed. Our infrastructure — which was bad before the economic crisis — is much worse now. This is evident when plans to remove a shipwreck off Lahaina were scrapped, school bus service is in jeopardy and kids have four-day school weeks. We are struggling to support the infrastructure we have now. They are shutting down schools.
Please do not allow urban growth boundaries to include rural areas that do not presently have the basic emergency, physical and social infrastructure, such as urgent care, a school and a fire station, especially in areas where large fires have occurred and near shore ecosystems are in good health.
Economic recovery is predicted to take quite a while, and to add on to government responsibilities in areas that they don’t exist is not in Maui’s best interests. The growth that we needed in 2007/2008 is not the same type we need now with Olowalu, Mahinahina, Pu‘ukoli‘i, Lahaina North, Lahaina South and Kapalua Mauka. How will we support this much new infrastructure?
Houses are being foreclosed left and right. If you have money to buy a house, there are homes available. I’m asking to please scale it back on the West Side — slow growth is a smarter way to go. If Maui allowed that much development in such a short span as 20 years, a lot of the construction would be done by off-island labor anyway.
If we still need growth, I would support Kaanapali 2020 for development on the West Side, because the project is sufficiently big enough, they have a working community group that has been meeting for the past ten years, the development is close to existing jobs and infrastructure, and meets most all of the guidelines set forth in the General Plan.
A lot of the plan is good stuff. The goals and core values are solid, and the Honolua area has a high level of protection (which I encourage everyone to support). It would be nice if Kapalua Mauka and Mahinahina were not included in the urban growth boundary as a buffer area for Honolua from urban growth.
The thing that was kind of disturbing was the lack of youth in attendance. This is the plan that will affect the next 20 years — where are the young men and women who will inherit the consequences of what is being decided? What do they want? I hope parents and teachers will encourage the next generation to speak up for the direction of growth they would like to see.
The Planning Committee will be making their way around the island. I hope more people who aren’t on company time go out and contribute their input.
Much love and support to Jo Anne Johnson and her ‘ohana.
TAMARA PALTIN, Kahana