WHERE IS THE ALOHA?
This letter is directed to the impatient driver who honked and startled my mom, who was riding her bike in Lahaina, so that she fell and was injured. This driver not only caused her to fall off of her bike, but then proceeded to drive by with no care or concern, along with two or three other drivers who hurried by while she was sprawled out on the sidewalk visibly shaken and bleeding.
SHAME ON ALL OF YOU! This is the “Aloha State.” You obviously don’t know what that means, so I’ll tell you. It means that we smile at each other, we share with each other and we help each other. We treat others the way we would want to be treated. Is that how you would want to be treated? It certainly means that we stop and help when we witness an accident, like one driver finally did! Mahalo to whomever you are.
My mom and dad have been visiting Hawaii for over 25 years. They have business here, and they contribute to the community as well as to our local economy. They deserve more respect. My mom had just arrived on island, and after many years of renting a bike went straight to West Maui Cycles, where she bought a brand new bike and experienced much “aloha,” as the owner and staff went out of their way to make sure she was accommodated.
On her first day riding her new bike, she was run off the road on Front Street between Mala Restaurant and Canoes by someone with no “aloha.” This selfless act is disappointing and has discouraged her enthusiasm for bike riding on Maui.
This letter is also directed to whoever is responsible for the lack of walking paths and bike lanes on our island. SHAME ON YOU! We live in a climate and ecological era where biking and walking is common and should be convenient, safe and available in more areas than presently provided.
If you are reading this article and are still unsure of what practicing aloha means, I recommend that you read Mark Ellman’s book, “Practice Aloha.” Living in the Aloha State is not only a privilege, but a responsibility. Please accept the responsibility as a challenge and be kind to one another.
KIM WILLIAMS STILLER, West Maui
'STOP THE CHOP' WITH YOUR TREES
White flies/mealy bugs are a seasonal pest. Improper and over-pruning leads to stress, which the pests love.
Knowing “when to/how to” prune plus basic cleansing, feeding and soil management will cut costs and enhance beauty.
With palms, don’t prune to “feather dusters.” Leave fronds from nine to three o’clock.
With plumerias, don’t chop! Leaves and twigs become weak, look ugly and stress the tree for pests.
If you can’t maintain it, remove it and plant something you can.
Note: Blowers, don’t blow the “soft scape.” Save the leaf mold/topsoil. Relieve stress — use a rake.
Laziness to ignorance; responsibility from knowledge.
FREDRIC CUMPIANO, Honokowai
STOP HAWAII'S AQUARIUM FISH TRADE
(The following letter was sent to state lawmakers.)
It is time for the State of Hawaii to stop the aquarium fish trade. With our reefs degrading from overfishing, pollution and overuse, it is economically and morally unconscionable that a select few are personally benefitting from the removal of important herbivores and rare reef fish at expense to other ocean users.
As a marine professional, I have personally observed the impact this trade has on our reefs. Every fish is important to reef health and has an important role to play in this delicate ecosystem. If we are going to remove fish, then it should be only for human consumption and sustenance. Putting more stress on our challenged coral reef ecosystems for a hobby is, at the least, very poor management of our marine resources.
The Division of Aquatic Resources has a difficult enough job trying to manage a sustainable fishery for human consumption and sustenance. The manpower and expense devoted to managing the aquarium fish trade, not counting the need for more enforcement, is an unnecessary drain on our depleted state budget.
Many of the reef fish that the collectors are taking are the very ones that are cherished by snorkelers, SCUBA divers and other ocean enthusiasts. Our tourist industry — a much more important industry a thousands of times over aquarium fish collecting — includes visitors enjoying the natural habitat in which these fish are found. The removal of hundreds of thousands of yellow tangs, just to name one that is being harvested, makes a tremendous difference to the aesthetic beauty of our corals reefs, thus lessening the experience of our visitors.
I am a marine biologist who volunteers my time working with state, federal and university researchers, and who devotes the rest of my time to educating the public about marine conservation and human impacts on reefs. I have found aquarium fish collecting especially hard to justify. When we are teaching our community, visitors and children to cherish this marine resource and to minimize their personal impact on our reefs, how can we turn a blind eye to such an unnecessary stress to our valuable marine resources?
Finally, as a taxpaying Hawaiian citizen, I would appreciate if you, our elected and appointed officials, make a decision that is in favor of the greater good and not a select few.
Please stop this trade and let our reefs return to a more natural state of greater diversity. By stopping this trade, you will be sending a message to all Hawaii residents that we all need to cherish and conserve our marine resources and protect our reefs for our children.
LINDA PRESKITT, Kamuela, Hawaii
OVERTHROW IS WORTH STUDYING
A resolution introduced by County Councilwoman Elle Cochran supported a resolution regarding an investigation of the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy introduced at the state legislature.
One critic did not come here with intentions of adopting the culture, but, like so many others, thinks he can change things to his liking. Obviously, he is “talking” through his hat and didn’t do a bit of inquiring into the purpose of that resolution, like so many others of his kind.
For one to say that there were just a few supporters of this resolution introduced to the council by Cochran indicates he probably was not present. I was there, along with many others, but only a few gave testimony so that too much time would not be taken up.
I won’t go into the importance of this resolution, because it would probably go over the critic’s head, but just think about the injustice of that overthrow and imprisonment of the Queen. This has never been resolved, and an investigation is certainly justified.
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
TIPS FOR 'BIRTHERS'
To all “Birthers” (idiots): 1) Visit http://www.hawaii.gov; 2) Search for “Obama birth certificate;” 3) Click the top hit called “Statement by Dr. Chiyome Fukino-hawaii.gov;” 4) Shut up!
J. ANDREW SMITH, Via E-mail