Bus stop needs a bench and recycling bin
I would like to talk about the Maui Bus stop at the bottom of Lahainaluna Road. Every once in awhile, I walk down the road, look at the bus stop and see a trash can covered in a mountain of rubbish. I think that we should have the weekly garbage truck pick up this rubbish, so it doesn't get out of hand.
I would also like to point out that elderly people ride the Maui Bus, and while they are waiting for the bus, they have to sit in the hot sun. I was wondering if Maui County could put up a shaded bench, so that the elderly would be more comfortable, and it would make the community look nicer. I would also suggest putting in a recycling bin. So, what do you think?
JACOB FERNANDEZ, Lahaina
GOP must stick to conservative principles
It is my hope that Pat Saiki can revive the Republican Party in Hawaii. As a past district chair of the party, I watched it being destroyed by the Christian Coalition and the antiabortion activists. For the Republican Party to succeed, they need to stick to the basic principles as outlined by the founding fathers of the conservative party. No one can deny the benefits of less government, lower taxes, support of business and a hand up instead of a handout. Independents and even moderate Democrats may realize the value of voting for Republican candidates if the platform is not sabotaged by activists with a different agenda. With the present leadership, we are one of the highest taxed states in the nation. Wake up, step up, say enough is enough and vote for the conservative agenda.
FOSTER HULL, Lahaina
Coalition looks after Maui's animals
Now in their third year, on the second Tuesday of each month, the Maui County Animal Coalition (MCAC) assembles to discuss and plan ways to better the treatment of the county's critters.
While each of the participating organizations is nonprofit, the vast majority have no paid staff. At times it can be a challenge just to find the time to attend the monthly meeting due to the composition, as most guys are employed for ohana sustenance as well as organization expenses, and then devote all their free, uncompensated time to the organization helping a variety of animals.
Over the years, guests have included both state and county elected officials and their staff, county department supervisors, national organizations' representatives and members of the media.
My manini part in all of this is meeting moderator and to help with communications. Month after month, I watch guys struggling to rescue a variety of animals in need, care for the injured, feed the hungry, safeguard the endangered, find homes for the homeless, rehabilitate the abused, spearhead spay/neuter clinics, assure protection laws are enforced and more.
While their specific missions vary widely, many of them exhibit a spirit of cooperation and aloha, finding ways to help each other achieve almost impossible tasks. Each month, someone asks for guidance and suggestions to rectify a concern, and usually someone offers a way to probably achieve it. I can only observe in awe at what these selfless guys do.
MIKE MORAN, Kihei
Support the Red Cross
It was one of those things that you see on the news and think, "that'll never happen to me..."
I was on vacation in Hawaii 25 years ago when a 100-plus mile per hour hurricane collided with the island. After a terrifying night, I woke up safe in a local school, so grateful to the Red Cross volunteer handing me a warm cup of coffee after a long night.
The Red Cross was really there for me and others in need with food, a willingness to listen and a hug. So when I retired a few years ago, I thought about how I could help the most. The answer came easily: become a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer.
As a disaster relief volunteer, I've assisted with nine national disasters and seen a lot of devastation. Through it all, I can attest that it's gifts from people like you that truly can change a life when someone is facing their darkest day.
We all have a lot of options about where to give - our time, our money and our support. I donate my time to the Red Cross, because I see every day where your donations go and how they help those in need.
The life of a volunteer isn't glamorous. I sleep on cots in shelters during disasters. I eat the food I serve. I am up by 6 a.m. to begin another 12- to 15-hour day behind the wheel of one of our Emergency Response Vehicles to deliver help and hope to communities impacted by disaster.
If you're going to give your money, know that the Red Cross will spend it wisely.
SHERRILL FIELDS, American Red Cross, Disaster Relief Volunteer
Don't legalize pot
I pray Hawaii doesn't follow other states in legalizing marijuana.
Yes, I know... "it's no worse than alcohol." It's also no better! Is stoned driving somehow okay compared to drunk driving? Is there a breathalyzer for pot? In my 17 years here, I have noticed that stoners tend to forget to turn on their headlights (pay attention; it's a sign). I have also known many potheads that traded down for meth are now dead or homeless.
Yes, I know... it's more "natural" than cigarettes, but is lung or esophageal cancer from smoking pot less deadly than it is from smoking cigarettes?
Yes, I know... it has been largely overlooked here for years, so what's the difference? Can you imagine the difference if it's legalized? It will be a message to every kid in Hawaii that it's okay - even cool. It will be everywhere. The fragrance of Hawaii will not longer be that of plumeria and jasmine; it will be the raunchy odor of pakalolo everywhere you go.
Why would greedy, money-grabbing state governments sacrifice the health and safety of another generation in lieu of tax income that will surely be eaten up by the long-term costs of medical care and support services for those who smoke, as well as those who are injured or killed by stoned drivers?
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST