'ULALENA SUPPORTS MAUI FOOD BANK
Why do we support our local community?
There is an 'Olelo No'eau (Hawaiian proverb) that says: A'ohe hana nui ka alu'ia. This means, no task is too big when done together.
During the past two months, staff at ‘Ulalena at the Maui Theatre raised $724 for the Maui Food Bank.
Here at 'Ulalena, we feel it is our obligation to give back to our community. A community that has, in turn, supported us for the last 12-plus years.
In our production, we chant, demonstrate and show our guests the richness of our culture, and at the core of that message is ALOHA.
Maui Food Bank has been a cause that we love supporting, and knowing that all of our donations stay here on Maui is very satisfying. We look forward to continue to help the Maui Food Bank in their efforts to stop hunger on Maui and express our warm ALOHA message.
KIPE EBANA, STEPHANIE SISNEROS, 'Ulalena
NO CHANGE WITH OBAMA IN CHARGE
Dear Mr. Obama... sorry I voted for you. What a big mistake that was.
All through your campaign speeches, every other word out of your mouth was time for "change."
Well, the only change I see is the chump change left in our pockets, after the big banks, etc., took us all for a long walk on a short pier.
All Congress does is walk around in circles, with their right hand in the pocket of the one in front of them.
You know, talk is cheap. How about taking charge and doing something for a change?
RON LAMBERT, Napili
STAY INFORMED ON CHEMTRAILS
I am writing in response to letters from Tere Patterson and Patrice Farner regarding chemtrails over Maui in your Dec. 1 and 15 issues. There is a group on Facebook made up of local residents here on Maui and elsewhere called "Maui Chemtrails and Geo-Engineering Awareness" that you can join and find out more information on this subject.
There is no question that we are being inundated with toxic chemicals every day, containing aluminum, barium and strontium that they spray at night from jets over our Hawaiian Islands.
This has been going on since 1992, and it is a program being done all over the world without our knowledge or permission. It is destroying our environment and affects every living thing on our planet.
When I first moved here, the skies were cobalt blue and the air was fresh and fragrant.
Now I don't know when the last time it was that I saw blue sky. The sky is now a silver blue on the best days, and most of the time it is a milky white, dirty sky. Who would have ever thought I would eventually need an inhaler?
This is not vog I am talking about. It's much different. If you wear polarized glasses, you can see the difference. The normal clouds are white; the long white trails appear a dirty brown.
Michael Murphy was mentioned by Patrice, and I also urge you to go to YouTube and watch "What in the world are they spraying?" This issue is critical and needs to be addressed immediately.
I now know what they are spraying, and I want it to be illegal for them to foul our skies and destroy our lives! I am asking people to please take note and do something now!!
In Suffolk County, New York, they are trying to do just that and propose a ban on spraying there. That information will be in my next letter to the Lahaina News.
BONNIE MORGAN, Kahana
LAHAINA HAS A GLUTEN-FREE BAKERY
Seek and you shall find... a gluten-free bakery!
Well, I really wasn't looking, but I did happen to notice a new company's sign while I banked at the Bank of Hawaii next to Longhi's on Front Street. It waved at me and called me over to Maui Specialty Bakery Products. And yes, while the chef does offer traditional bakery items, you need to know that she also offers vegan and gluten-free products.
The bakery opened on July 4, 2011 and is located right next door to KFC, making it seem ultra healthy just by proximity. But chef/owner Gloria McMeans truly does offer healthy choices and will make (within reason) any baked item you'd like, so long as you give her advance notice.
So what am I going to order? I'm having visions of a gluten-free loaf of seeded rye dancing in my head for breakfast. That and maybe some of Chef McMeans' decadent peanut butter cookies, tropical carrot cake and an eclair or two.
ELAINE GALLANT, Lahaina
MANY VISITORS WANT VACATION RENTALS
The letter written in your Nov. 10-16 paper titled "Keep commercial activity out of neighborhoods" compels me to respond as a first-time visitor during that week from the Mainland to your beautiful city on Maui.
In accordance with the information found in the letter, I must applaud your planning committee and mayor to have the foresight to realize that renting out ones' home as a short-term residence to a visiting family is not a commercial activity. The use of these homes has not changed from a residential status. Renters are still using these homes to LIVE IN. There is no need to redefine or rezone a residential district. Duration of time spent living in a home does not change a residence to a commercial establishment. Nor does it cause a need for rezoning of said home.
Money received in exchange for a family to reside in a home for a short period of time includes sales and tourist taxes that benefit a community. Visiting residents like me are glad to pay sales taxes for the freedom and enjoyment to live in a home in Hawaii, if only for a short time. Rather than burdening your own community with increased taxation, the planning committee appears to have shown consideration for their own citizens in this decision. Moreover, it allows the 99 percent who cannot afford to enjoy a home in Maui for six or more months to enjoy a home for a more affordable time period. Prohibiting the majority of visitors from more affordable time periods could easily be construed as discriminatory by its very nature.
It is certainly realized that it must take a tremendous amount of funds to continue services that will keep your main industry healthy and thriving. What better way is there than to charge visitors for these needed services through taxation of vacation rentals, rather than burdening the community with increased taxation if they are prohibited? Providing the option to accommodate visiting families who might prefer a noncommercial zone to live in is just another piece of the puzzle of a successful and inviting community atmosphere.
I continue to be perplexed that purchasing a home somehow allows a neighbor the assumed right to dictate how an individual neighboring home should be lived in, without actually paying taxes on it or purchasing the property themselves.
The argument presented from the letter published is comparable to declaring a Super Bowl party, where betting occurs within the walls of a private home, to be declared as a casino. Would selling on EBay inside your home become another "commercial activity?" Should shopping by virtual computer experience in your home be declared as "retail activities?" How about using your private kitchen to bake cookies to raise money for your church or a child's fundraiser? The only "commercial" in the activity of a short-term home rental is money changing hands. The home is still being utilized as a place to reside (cooking, cleaning, sleeping, etc.). Does the act of paying ones' home mortgage then create commercialism, since the banker is profiting from it?
To allow a neighbor to decide who should have a right to live next to him and for how long relinquishes control from the home owner to a next door neighbor. As a homeowner myself, I still have the right to be a stranger or a friend to my neighbor, and I can come and go as I please with no duration of stay required of me. I am grateful for that right. I am confident my neighbor is as well. To enable neighbors the right to instill requirements or prohibitions - that this letter writer has suggested - upon other property owners or renters has unintended long-term consequences; consequences that will ultimately undermine personal home ownership rights currently enjoyed. This will likely promote the ideals of neighborhood communes as opposed to an individuals' right to choose how he utilizes his own private living space. How will property values fare then?
The benefits of purchasing within a homeowners association with pre-established restrictions seem to be a likely solution for those who wish to live within a controlled environment. Not everyone does. We will kill open neighborhoods only when there are requirements instilled upon us to live the way our neighbor tells us we should live.
Again, I am thankful that your mayor is able to realize the benefits of these rentals, instead of focusing on any perceived negatives used to alter good judgment and common sense.
Please continue to promote vacation rental experiences for families that love to visit and appreciate the experience of living in a home in beautiful Maui. We truly thank you for your hospitality and cannot wait to return.
G.A. ADAIR, Seattle, Washington