It’s that time of year again, and there are numerous letters to the editor asking for Front Street to be closed in Lahaina for Halloween. Front Street is closed for the Maui Marathon events and for the Fourth of July fireworks, which aren’t any more culturally appropriate than Halloween.
Let the arguments continue as to which event/holiday results in a rowdier drunken crowd. I am more concerned about the end of the keiki parade on Halloween.
In past years, Maui Police Department has reopened Front Street from Papalaua Street south when the last children leave the starting point near the Hard Rock Cafe. This results in an extremely unsafe situation for those returning to their cars, as MPD is forced to squish all of the keiki and their families, strollers and wheelchairs onto the sidewalks, where there just isn’t enough room to fit them all. Keiki are running all over with cars on the road, when there weren’t any when they started.
All we are asking MPD to do is to give the keiki and their families enough time to get back to their cars at the starting point before reopening the street. This is a public safety issue on an already approved road closure. This has nothing to do with the closure or non-closure of Front Street for the adults later on. Either close the road properly and safely or don’t allow it at all.
DEBBIE PATTON, Lahaina
WHY ARE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TAXED?
A recent headline in The Maui News indicated “political foes spar over economy,” yet it never hinted, pondered or considered the absurdity of our political system, where its fat cats politicians rarely put in a “honest day’s work” and blatantly vote themselves pay raises regardless of periods of stagnant economy.
Their twaddle becomes evident after realizing I must pay tax on my unemployment payments, which both my employer and I have contributed for this purpose.
I have never heard a politician or seen our media address this ludicrousness.
RAY PEZZOLI JR., Kihei
PROTECT PEDESTRIANS ON KEAWE STREET
When you want to cross Keawe Street from Central Pacific Bank to Walgreens, you have to cross FOUR lanes without any light, crosswalk or yield sign. There are two lanes coming from uphill to Highway 30 and two the other way.
Now four lanes are a lot, even for a nimble person. What about the elderly? Plus, there is a lot of traffic, and cars go — as usual — somewhat over the speed limit, especially since there are no restrictions or warning signs. You can be stuck for minutes before there is no traffic in either direction, and then you have to hope that nobody comes along when you are crossing over.
How about making it simple? Somebody in the appropriate department of our county assigns a few cans of white paint and two guys to paint that crosswalk. It would take less than a day and add a lot of safety, for both pedestrians and drivers. We have enough accidents in West Maui already. So, how about it?
JOHN BLAHUTA, Lahaina
ANIMALS NEED SHELTER
Most generally agree we have great weather. When we aren’t pleased, we can quickly go to another area for a drastic change. Instinctively, if we are discomforted by climatic conditions, we usually escape them by seeking shelter. Come in out of the driving rain, seek shade from the burning sun, shelter from a blasting wind... unless you can’t.
A dog on a chain or locked in a car can’t escape. A horse, cow or goat fenced in with no manmade or natural shelter can’t escape the elements. Why would any human subject them to this cruel treatment — which happens every day on Maui — even if it wasn’t illegal?
While Hawaii has some of the weakest laws to protect our animals — usually ranking at 47 or 48 out of 50 — Maui County laws, while still in need of some improvement, are generally considered the best in the state.
Maui County Code 6.04 clearly calls for adequate water, food and shelter for “any fowl, reptile or mammal....
Granted, this mistreatment might not be as egregious as illegal staging of animal fighting, inducing trained animals to attack weaker ones, active physical abuse by force to torture or kill an animal, or poisoning, but the creature suffering in the burning sun only realizes it is hurting.
It takes a lot of time and effort to craft good legislation, which becomes meaningless when it is not enforced.
MIKE MORAN, Kihei
TARO FARMERS NEED WATER TOO
It’s really great the Farberow father and daughter team were able to work with Dave Minami and West Maui Land Company to save retired horses and give them water and a place to live out their retirement.
I only wish the company had as much compassion for Native Hawaiians trying to exercise their legal and ancestral rights to grow kalo in Kaua‘ula Valley. Where else can Hawaiians grow kalo if not in Hawaii?
Unfortunately, every summer it is a struggle to maintain the amount of water in the auwai (waterways that feed the taro patches). Often, water flow is reduced without notice, resulting in thousands of pounds of rotten kalo due to the water being too warm.
Besides the waste of kalo, it is discouraging all the work put into growing the kalo and maintaining the culture, when the fake farm subdivision below is lush with ornamental landscaping year-round. There must be a better way. Any politicians up to the task of resolving this problem?
KA‘IMILOA WRIGHT, Kahului
FUKUYAMA HAS EXCITING IDEAS
I would like to congratulate each of my opponents for a spirited race in the Maui County Council’s Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat. Many people in the days after the election have asked if I will be endorsing any of the remaining candidates. After thinking long and hard about this, I have decided to stay neutral, because I believe both Kai Nishiki and Mike White have not taken a strong stance on supporting our working families.
Rather, just as I have in the primary, I will be endorsing Alan Fukuyama for the West Maui council seat. He is an honest and collaborative leader who will fight for working people. Many of his ideas to move Maui County forward truly excite me. He has plans to support the development of sustainable technologies and wants to start on the long road of solving our water problems.
I do not make endorsements lightly, and I hope you will compare the records of the two West Maui candidates and ask yourself this: who really has the best interest for the future of my family? I believe your conclusion will be to vote for Alan Fukuyama.
Finally, as the outgoing Board of Education (BOE) member, I would like to remind each of you to not give up your right to vote for your BOE member. The right to vote should never be taken lightly — and never taken away from the people.
MARY RIBUCAN COCHRAN, Paia
CAMPAIGN DONATIONS BENEFITED THE SCHOOLS
Mahalo to all my supporters for your votes and contributions to my campaign for the West Maui County Council seat.
Your contributions went to buy needed supplies for schools and reading programs throughout Maui County. I chose to give to the community rather than spend money on campaign signs, brochures, etc.
I appreciate my interviews that were presented on Akaku and the opportunity to speak at forums and at senior center activities. I enjoyed listening to your improvements for Maui County, and I will continue to serve our three-island community as a doctor of public health.
EVE CLUTE, Kaanapali
COCHRAN CHANGED HER LIFE FOR THE BETTER
Nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes. What determines our character is how we own up to and take responsibility for our mistakes. Elle Cochran’s run-in with the law nearly 17 years ago seems to have been a big turning point for good in her life.
Growing up in Hawaii, many of us have friends or relatives that have gotten in trouble with the law or mixed up with drugs. What a positive role model Elle is for everyone on Maui who has gone through — or has a loved one who is going through — tough times.
She is proof positive that people can consciously make a change for the better and give back so much more than the hurt they may have caused while under the influence of drugs. Imagine if all the people in Maui who were incarcerated for making bad choices could turn their lives around, like Elle. What a great place Maui would be.
Well, they can, and Elle is leading the way and showing people how to do it. By getting involved, helping others and not giving up, Elle is showing her character, and now more than ever, that is the type of person we need to represent West Maui on the County Council.
Do not be influenced by a person’s mistakes, but rather how they choose to take responsibility and make amends for their mistakes.
TAMARA PALTIN, Kahana
WHITE WOULD REPRESENT THE VISITOR INDUSTRY
I remember when Mike White resigned from the Hawaii House seat representing us here in Lahaina. What a surprise that now he wants to be on the County Council. Isn’t serving on the County Council a big time commitment, as is managing a hotel? If he couldn’t even handle the State House seat, which is only a few months out of the year, how will he balance running a hotel on the West Side and working to represent the North Shore on the County Council in Central Maui?
The visitor and hotel industry have enough council members who represent the tourism industry. Let the Haiku-Paia-Makawao council representative represent the interests of Haiku, Paia and Makawao.
I believe it is a far better choice to choose the candidate committed and focused on their district and our county, rather than a candidate with a history of resigning and spreading themselves too thin.
SADAO HORIKE, Lahaina
WAYNE NISHIKI PROTECTS MAUI
Please take a moment to look at the makeup of our council. The absolute majority is made up of very development-friendly members. The model for the council is and has been such for decades. The few dissenting voices have been the insurance to assure some level of protection for long-term survivability of our lifestyle. This is what Wayne Nishiki does. Without Wayne, you probably won’t have a community voice when you need it, as it takes three sympathetic council members to request a public hearing.
With Don Couch, you will simply add one more face to an already developer- and special interest-controlled council.
Wayne Nishiki is a man whose entire adult life has revolved around ensuring these islands and their extraordinary resources have a future, from starting an investigative paper that exposed corruption to taking on a corrupt and nepotistic local and state government. He faced death threats for his extraordinarily brave and unflinching commitment to protect this land and its people. Wayne has always, always kept this foremost in his mind with every vote and action as a council member. His record is what is important here — it has been unflinching.
Some have challenges with his tactics; some with personal choices made outside his time in the council. That’s ok. The one thing you can be sure of is that Wayne will protect and support a long-term vision for our county that includes a level of responsible actions outside the purview of profit for developers.
SEAN LESTER, Pukalani
CANDIDATE SUPPORTS HAWAII'S SCHOOLS
I would like to thank all of you who supported me in my candidacy for the Board of Education-Maui District 2. I have always been proud of the public school education I received here in Hawaii. I have since put it to good use. It is my desire to give back to my home — this special place that has given so much to me.
During the primary campaign, I visited many corners of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai and Hawaii Island. In my travels, I gathered renewed appreciation and gratitude for the dedication and hard work of our teachers and administrators. The perception that our public school system is “broken” must change. There are successful programs within our schools that should be recognized, celebrated and expanded. I am in total support of our
excellent principals, teachers, office staff, education assistants, cafeteria staff, custodians and support personnel. They are dedicated role models, inspiring our
children to be the best they can be.
To the parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, and all in our community who supported me in the primary campaign, mahalo. If elected, I will take your love for our children and see to it that they receive an excellent education, whether they choose the path of college or vocational education.
A special mahalo to the members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the International Longshore Warehouse Union, the Carpenters Union and their families for their influential endorsement and continued support.
I am committed to the pubic school system of Hawaii.
LEONA ROCHA-WILSON, Board of Education Candidate