Make Maui's waters safer
(The following letter was sent to the U.S. Coast Guard, Kaanapali Beach Boat Operators and Kaanapali Operations Association.)
In the past 12 months, there have been three accidents with swimmers being maimed or killed by motorized boats off the public beaches of our island. This is no longer an accident waiting to happen. The problem is accidents continue to happen.
The U.S. Coast Guard, State of Hawaii, County of Maui, boat operators and Kaanapali Operations Association have lost sight of the issue. Are they blinded by greed?
In most states, there are no conflicts on the public beaches. Motorized boats are simply not permitted in areas where there are bathers and swimmers.
What was the state thinking when they issued permits for motorized boats in an area where there are children swimming, surfers surfing, visitors snorkeling and canoe clubs paddling in the first place?
The beaches and offshore waters should be for swimmers, canoe paddlers, divers, spear fisherman, etc. This is not a question about money. This is a life and safety issue.
Na Kupuna O Maui asks what is most important - the money the state gets from the permits, the money that the boat companies collect from the visitors, the dollars the Kaanapali Beach properties garner by renting hotel rooms or the safety of the people?
There should be a ban on all motorized vehicles operating off our beaches and in the offshore waters where visitors and the community surf, paddle, swim and snorkel.
Na Kupuna O Maui also thinks that lifeguard stations should be added at Kaanapali Beach. This may be the highest used beach area in West Maui. That is the area where there is the most conflicting uses of the offshore areas, including people jumping off Black Rock, boats traveling onto and off the beach, surfers, snorkelers, body boards and skim boarders.
Na Kupuna O Maui will hold all the authorities responsible for the safety of our people in the ocean from here on out, including the U.S. Coast Guard, State of Hawaii, County of Maui, Kaanapali Operations Association, the boat companies and their captains.
AUNTY PATTY NISHIYAMA, Na Kupuna O Maui
Change election day in Hawaii
It's been stated that the vote in Hawaii does not mean a thing in regard to a national election. This is true, and the downside is that people don't vote in Hawaii.
By the time the polls are open in Hawaii, the national election has in most cases been decided. Unless there is strong local interest, why vote?
When I was district chair of the Republican Party, I explained this problem to Patsy Mink. She responded that the Constitution says that elections are to be held on the second Tuesday in November.
Several years have passed, and now we have early voting. This leads me to believe that we could change election day in Hawaii and make it on Monday. This would result in a lot more people voting. It would also create national attention to our election results.
FOSTER HULL, Lahaina
Roosters don't belong in residential areas
This letter is in response to Mr. Cockett's letter in the June 7 Lahaina News. Sorry, I'm a little late.
In response to your letter concerning the roosters, it should not matter where I am from or if I bought the house before or after the roosters moved in. That point is completely irrelevant to the issue.
This housing area is zoned "residential" - that means no roosters.
End of story and argument.
But to answer your question, yes - there are roosters where I come from. Texas has lots of farms and ranches, and that is where the roosters live. Texas also has a lot of residential areas, and the roosters are not allowed to live there.
And yes, I lived here before the roosters moved in. In fact, my husband is the original owner, having purchased the home 20 years ago. There were no roosters when I took residence in 1999.
LAURA BLACK, Top law enforcement
Officials should be elected
John Blahuta, mahalo for your bold, yet true, stating of the "police state" ("Fix Hawaii's justice system," June 21 issue).
I am a retired police sergeant myself... and I know why I resigned from that job.
Currently, I sojourn in Taiwan, and police here are a farce, saying it bluntly but still mildly.
However, I think "our" police display too much authority and power. "Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law" is a phrase everyone knows, but look in reality how one is treated, even though not prosecuted yet: handcuffed, pushed and shoved into the patrol car, dressed in "inmate" attire after being held at gunpoint, surrounded by a dozen patrol cars and a throng of gun-drawn officers.
I know the scenario too well.
Just as in the old days, police, sheriffs and judges should be elected by the citizens, not have a job more or less permanently.
DR. GEORG WOODMAN
Find better options than cane burning
I fell in love with Maui on first date and wanted it permanent. More dates proved no infatuation. Being asthmatic caused concern with cane burning, but not overly so after L.A. Last visit was a permanent one. Honeymoon over, I delved a bit deeper to determine what was contained in the smoke to take further precautions to guard my health. My commitment to Maui never wavered.
A self described "haole-come-lately," I chuckle at the defenders of the cane burning who fall back on the standards: "we have been doing it for generations," "it provides jobs," "it looks pretty," "respect the culture," etc. See, I can survive it just fine, but I ask what about your 'ohana, especially your keiki?
When I see statistics that almost 20 percent of Hawaii kids have asthma, and worse 25 percent for those of Hawaiian ancestry, I ask how can you defend that? No, cane smoke is not the only problem for breathing and lung afflictions. There are may others like vog, which is about impossible to stop, and secondhand smoke and other man-made pollutants that can be mitigated, just as cane burning can.
Claiming something is okay because it has been done for a long time (human sacrifice, racial discrimination) is ludicrous. Jobs? At what price? Culture? What, European? When other places eliminated this practice, new businesses and modified ones arose. No creative minds on Maui? Please! Think of your children.
Horrendous coal burning at the sugar refinery is another letter.
MIKE MORAN, Kihei
Don't hand coastal lands to developers
(The following letter was sent to County Council members.)
A recent story about the Lahaina Bypass road also included rhetoric about the "Pali to Puamana Parkway" and a county administrator buying acreage from Makila Land for $16 million. And I thought money was tight!
His intention is still to fall into the hands of future developers of the area by moving Honoapiilani Highway away from the shoreline. And how nice of him to say that he doesn't want anyone to be run over while crossing the highway to get to the ocean. That is the same crap that the 30-foot wall in Kahului was built with, for there has NEVER been anyone run over while crossing the highway. And there has never been an accident involving anyone parked on the shoreline either. (This fear was mentioned by a guy with Makila Land, who is also in favor of moving the highway.) It is all a crock-full of the same stuff spilling out.
As has been said before, that highway has been at the same location since a Japanese minister traversed it from Wailuku on horse and buggy a hundred years ago to give services in Lahaina. The idiotic thought of moving it now has the ring-a-ding sound of cash being made by some select people, I'm afraid. It certainly is not being discussed now with the people of Lahaina in mind. A simple question we ask is: "It is one of the most beautiful drives on this island. Why move it now?"
As an aside, I also understand that the gentleman also favors the mega-mall in Kihei and the Olowalu Town of 1,500 units. I wonder how loud the sound is coming from his pockets. This all can't be for free. NO CAN LA DAT!!!
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina