Letters to the Editor: Oct. 6, 2020

Letters to the Editor

Maui Now seeks your Letters to the Editor. To submit a letter online: Letters to the Editor form.


Farmer Opposes New Agriculture Department for Maui

As a farmer, I oppose creating a new agriculture department for Maui. Vote NO

I own Maliko Ti, LLC and last year it sold over 900,000 leaves and donated over $100,000 to local dancers and charities.  This year, I am going broke with no tourists and no sales.

We don’t need additional regulation and supervision for our farms, and [we do not need] the added cost of a new County department of agriculture.  Between the State and Feds, we already have enough. — Tracy Stice, Haiku


Voting Yes on #2 for Maui County Professional Managing Director

I am voting YES on #2 for a Maui County Professional Managing Director and here is why:

Since 2007 when I was on the Cost of Government Commission, I saw first-hand the chaos and inefficiency during mayoral and department head changeovers.  We all agreed there needed to be structural change.

I testified at the last Charter Commission and they agreed that they liked the idea of a Professional Manager, but it was too big a topic to handle. Then a committee was created and thoroughly analyzed it. Finally, we can vote for it. It will save us money!  Typical counties save 10% of their budget in efficient use of resources. That’s $80 million for Maui County’s $800 million budget!

We will be able to accomplish LONG TERM solutions that take more than 4 or 8 years. We will keep institutional knowledge as performing managers may stay in their jobs longer. The Mayor still maintains his/her power but delegates the authority to get it done professionally.

It saddened me to learn this week that more than $200,000 of dark money from the mainland is being spent to defeat our professionally researched charter amendments. It seems our new political normal is that if you repeat lies often enough, the electorate will begin to believe it. EVERY one of their statements is a lie and false. It is unbelievable. Let us END dirty politics.  Say NO to political corruption and vote YES on #2 Professional County Manager. — Steve Goldsmith, Kihei


Letʻs Keep Maui Nō Ka ʻOi and Not Sell Out to Tourist Industry

I reflect on the way Hawaiʻi was before the tourist descended upon us.  In the mid 70s we had 100,000 visitors a year.  There were opihi, and fish, and the coral were healthy and beautiful. We could BBQ on any of OUR beaches, with no worries. Today, with 3 million visitors, our reefs are dying. There’s no fish to snorkel with, and we have mandatory water restrictions in Upcountry and Westside.

Oh, and our beaches now are closed at night.  Really? What have we given up for the millions that come here… who use our drinking water, pollute our waters because they really don’t care about the ʻĀina.  It’s time WE take a look and see what is important to OUR way of life.  Let’s keep Maui Nō Ka ʻOi and not sell the last square inch to the tourist industry. Now is a great time to reflect and work on changes to keep our island the best island in the world. — Gregory Lau, Kula


Upset County Is Writing Parking Tickets at Lower Circle of Kanaha Beach Park

Two weeks ago, my son, a friend and I all received parking tickets for parking in the “lower circle” at Kanaha Beach Park. There are no “no parking signs” within the circle; and it is big and wide and safe with 5 access gates to the beach. The homeless are parked there all the time. I’ve been parking there for 30 years.

Now Securitas runs the show and are obviously ticket and money hungry. I contested the ticket. My son’s ticket was dismissed, but mine wasn’t and neither were my friend’s tickets. What’s up with that Maui County?  Along with the no parking now near Baldwin, I guess Maui County is reserving these areas for the homeless and could care less if its tax paying citizens can safely and happily enjoy the beach. — Matt Andrews, Makawao


Why Is Roadside In Front of Baldwin Beach Park Now No Parking?

Why have we now made the roadside in front of Baldwin Beach Park NO PARKING?
If it is to deal with the homeless issues then “No Parking Sundown to Sunrise” would make sense. [No Parking during the day] will have a great impact when the tourists start coming back. There is not enough parking in the lots provided. Once again, let’s solve a problem by punishing every one for the problems created by the few. Just like when we close all the beaches at night because it was easier than policing the few causing problems. — Leon Wheeler, Kahului


$500 Restaurant Handouts Is Insult to Unemployed Who Want To Work

The decision of the Governor to give $500 credits to go to restaurants seem very counter productive and demeaning to those who are unemployed. We all prefer to get back to work, but would appreciate some opportunities to WORK doing needed things in our communities, such as: cleaning our parks, tutoring some kids out of the classroom, helping in senior establishments, churches, youth groups etc.
The public citizens of Hawaiʻi are smart and innovative, and to just keep worrying about hand-outs is an insult. — Joan Merrill, Lahaina


Support Our Elected Council Members and Vote yes to Charter Amendments

I received a giant direct mail card the other day saying to vote no on all 7 proposed Charter Amendments. ALL 7!  Apparently, not even one was good. Sounds fishy to me.

All 7 amendments, introduced by Council Members Kelly King, Shane Sinenci and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, were approved by a super majority of the Council. That says a lot. This is the hardest working, most productive Council we’ve had in years. Regardless of their different views, they agreed on these Amendments. They will bring our County Government up to universal standards shared by almost all other municipalities in the United States and enable the voters more of a say in county policy. Plus, one amendment creates a bold new Department of Agriculture to help us be able to feed ourselves and provide an alternative to 100% reliance on tourism.

I think that mailer I received came from an organization that wants to maintain the status quo, which does things like take the Lahaina Injection Well case to the US Supreme Court. (We lost. Administration is still fighting it). Rampant commercial development everywhere. Money, money money… Please support our Legislative body, your elected Council Members, and Vote yes. They are fighting to give voters a real voice in what goes on here. The County website explains details on them. — Nick Drance, Kihei


No Traveler Should Get Boarding Pass to Maui Without Negative Covid-19 Test

We live in a 71-unit condo in Makena.  Roughly half of the owners rent to short-term vacationers. We are concerned about that segment of people who will arrive at the airport without results of a [Covid-19] test (some will lie about taking the test) and will board the plane with the “promise” they will quarantine when they arrive in Maui.  We have definitely learned in the last several months that many people are downright dishonest and lie about where they are staying and/or that they will quarantine when they get here.

We strongly believe that no one should even get a boarding pass unless they have proof of a “negative test result.”  This will solve the problems of the above paragraph and put the onus on the traveler to insure they take a test with a trustworthy entity before they travel. The airlines don’t want someone on their plane who lied about the test or test positive shortly after arriving in Hawaii. The burden of tracking, monitoring those who are on quarantine, plus the trauma of hundreds of people on the plane, at the airports, and on the ground before or after they travel is no longer a problem. — Jim  & Lana Besaw, Makena


Start $100 Per Person Tourist Tax to Fund Environment, Sustainability, Healthcare and Education

Our biggest problem worldwide is greed and this manifests on all levels. Rich people are getting richer. Poor people are getting poorer. A lack of compassion, creativity and kindness has infested humanity.

In the state of Aloha we have the opportunity to make a difference if we don’t make money the priority. Let Aloha rule decisions; start a tourist tax, $100 per person on arrival. It goes 100 percent to environment, healthcare and education. Hawai’i needs to become more self sufficient; invest in sustainable agriculture; plant and sell hemp. We have the right soil and weather.

Support organic food and businesses, green energy and sustainability, aiming for a healthy Hawai’i. Making it a marketing strategy for high end tourism…. Let Aloha prevail in honesty, truth and compassion. We can make a difference! — Ulli James, Makawao


How Will Closure of Kaiser Wailuku ASC & GI Departments Affect the Community?

The closure of the Kaiser Wailuku ASC [Ambulatory Surgical Center] & GI [Gastroenterology] departments is not just about job loss or a Kaiser health plan insurance issue. MMMC [Maui Memorial Medical Center] services the entire community of Maui. It is the only acute care hospital here. I want to know how this will impact me and my family’s accessibility when we need surgery or a colonoscopy in the future.

The article that announced the closure touted “the state-of-the-art procedural & surgical suites at MMMC.” This may be true, but the infrastructure of MMMC has not changed since Kaiser took over. There are still 6 operating room suites, 2 labor and delivery operating room suites and 4 procedural suites for endoscopic procedures. How will MMMC handle the influx of Kaiser’s patients?

MMMC might perhaps extend operational hours but who wants to have surgery or a colonoscopy at 9 pm or 2 am? This closure will affect non-Kaiser patients and physicians who use these services too. What will happen when there is another Covid-19 surge or influx of tourists when the economy reopens? MMMC stopped elective surgeries & procedures to conserve PPEs. How will they decide who goes first when the resume these procedures?

The article also listed that Kaiser is “experiencing financial challenges at this time.” Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. had a $4.5 billion profit between April-June 2020. Their best performance in 10 years! Shame on you for blaming the pandemic!

I have had procedures done at both facilities and have nothing against the care that I received in both places. But I would want my procedures done at the Wailuku clinic. Kaiser, use your profits to update your clinic and not burden the Maui community. — Malu Nuuhiwa, Wailuku

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