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LETTERS for January 2 issue

January 2, 2014
Lahaina News

Don't feed feral cats in vacant lot

This concerns the feeding of feral cats that live in clusters very close to populated areas.

In a large vacant lot across from Front Street Apartments, there is a large group of feral cats being routinely fed and watered. This encourages more to gather and roam freely onto the apartment complex grounds.

Article Photos

Continuous cleaning and repainting of the white fence around the complex is foisted on maintenance workers (employed by the complex), as muddy cat paws mark it as the cats crawl up and over the white wood fence to cruise the grounds at night.

They also leave muddy paw prints on cars parked within the grounds. I witnessed a middle-aged man taking bags of cat food and containers of water into the field across the street into the area to feed these animals.

I explained the problem to him, and he became very defensive. I proposed to him that since he is such a cat lover, to please collect these cats and TAKE THEM WITH HIM.

In this way, he gets his cats, and there is less upkeep for maintenance. or, HE could paint the fence on a regular basis, OR pay for the equipment and maintenance hours for the complex.

Mahalo for printing these concerns.

NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST

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Thanks for supporting Street Bikers' toy drive

On behalf of all the volunteers, businesses, riders, classic car owners and the members of the general public that participated and donated to the 2013 Street Bikers United-Maui County Chapter's "Toy Collection Drive-Car Show and Parade," mahalo! It is important to know that every toy collected in Maui County STAYS in Maui County!

Our collective effort this year resulted in a record number of toys donated to the Salvation Army for one event. Every toy that was collected on that day has already been distributed to one of the more than 14 social services agencies that the Maui County Salvation Army provides toys for.

These agencies include the Family Life Center, Head Start, The Boys & Girls Club of Maui County, children subject to the conditions of parents under Maui Drug Court, the Family Court, local homeless shelters and the children of incarcerated parents. SBU and the Salvation Army also endeavor to provide toys to the children in economically depressed regions such as Hana, Molokai and Kahakuloa.

This year, the Alii Motorcycle Club sponsored a ride to Molokai. Club members shipped their bikes from the outer islands and facilitated a toy collection drive and parade for the keiki of our sister island. In addition, the Alii's also shipped over a container full of toys for the island's keiki. All drivers should blow a kiss to an Alii rider next time you see one on the road.

With all of that said, I must report that the need is still so great, and there are so many more children and agencies in need, that we cannot yet announce "Mission Accomplished!"

In 2012, the Salvation Army assisted more than 135,000 families in Hawaii alone, and this is a state with 1.4 million permanent residents. In 2013, donations were down 30 percent as of this writing, and nationwide, donations to the Salvation Army are expected to drop by $20 million. There is no fault or blame to be directed to any one scenario, save for the current economic conditions. More families are in need now than ever before, and those toys need to keep coming in!

On a final note, SBU Hawaii would like to go on record in complete support of the Salvation Army.

Reoccurring stories have been circulating in social media accusing the Salvation Army of discrimination of the worst kind, complete with pictures of Bell Ringers with hateful signs. These accusations have been taken seriously by SBU leadership, rigorously investigated, and have been found to be patently false!

For 39 years in the State of Hawaii, SBU has maintained a relationship with the Salvation Army, and we will continue to do so in a partnership that serves to ensure that every child in Hawaii has a "Merry Christmas."

JAKE JACOBUS, President, SBU Maui County Chapter

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Trickle-down economics squash the Middle Class

If you are trying to figure out why Pope Francis spoke against trickle-down economics, look no further than North Dakota's booming oil economy.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness has skyrocketed there.

There are people all over America that have been squeezed out of living normal lives, because those with too much money move in and push out the ones with lesser means.

This is why, in my opinion, the theory of trickle-down economics is a fallacy, causing the middle class and the poor to fall through the cracks.

ALFRED WADDELL, Via E-mail

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Congress still isn't being responsible

Congress is winding down its historically unproductive session with a small flurry of activity. It's a welcome change, but it can't possibly make up for what should have been accomplished on Capitol Hill this year.

The problem is that for too long, members of Congress have been working hard at everything except the one thing they should have been working hard at: legislating. They've done fundraisers and town hall meetings, and helped constituents track down Social Security checks. But they've been so unproductive that they've actually threatened our world standing and our domestic well-being.

Congress finally is moving forward incrementally. Gridlock is breached, but it's not broken.

And the list of what Congress hasn't done is far too long. There's no food-stamp reauthorization or waterways construction bill. It passed a one-month extension to the Farm Bill, but that falls far short of the certainty this crucial economic sector needs. There's no lasting solution to the debt ceiling problem. It has left unemployment benefits, immigration reform, tax reform and action on climate change unresolved.

Unlike many members of Congress, Americans seem to understand that there are real costs to inaction. We're in a competitive race with China for world leadership, and whether we like it or not, others around the globe are comparing our two governments. Our political dysfunction is a serious handicap.

When asked about all this, congressional leaders tend to blame the other house, arguing that they've done their best but the other side has bottled up their efforts. All I can say is finger-pointing is not an excuse - it's an admission of failure.

Legislating is tough, demanding work. It requires many hours of conversation about differences, commonalities and possible solutions. It demands patience, mutual respect, persistence, collegiality, compromise, artful negotiation and creative leadership.

Yet when Congress meets only episodically throughout the year, when it often works just three days a week and plans an even more relaxed schedule in 2014, you can only come to one conclusion: they're not really willing to work hard at legislating. A last-minute flurry of bills offers hope, but it's going to take a lot more work to convince the country that Congress knows how to live up to its responsibilities.

LEE HAMILTON, Via E-mail

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Keep the downtown Post Office open

I would like to commend the postal agents at the Lahaina downtown station for their patient, efficient service as always, and especially during the holiday "rush." There used to be at least three people working at the downtown station in the past; with the cuts, there are only two doing the work of three or four now. They have been great at getting the mail into the boxes by 10 a.m. each day and then opening the doors to a long line of impatient customers.

I would like to commend the USPS for stepping up their game with their Priority Mail Service and tracking system.

I have had a mail order business for 24 years and really have never had problems. With their newest system, they are getting packages delivered in three days to just about anywhere on the Mainland! Even on Saturdays, with NO extra charge!

There has been talk of closing the downtown station in recent months. This would be a huge mistake. The downtown office serves not only the local people and businesses but the tourists that visit off the boats that want to send a postcard from "paradise."

The closing would not only be a huge inconvenience, but it would overload the already busy Civic Center location. I hope the ones who benefit from the use of the downtown station will make their voices heard if more talk of closing arises.

I would also like to mention to the box holders that leave their unwanted junk mail laying around the Post Office to make the effort to carry the unwanted mail to a trash receptacle somewhere else. I mean really - is it that hard?

RICK SODEN, West Maui

 
 
 

 

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