Letters to the Editor

Letters: Maui Residents Discuss Derelict Cars, Vaccines, Homeless, Molokaʻi Deer, Trump and More

January 31, 2021, 3:21 PM HST
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Letters to the Editor
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County Should Cut Back Taxes To Prevent Derelict Cars

Derelict cars. We see them dumped illegally. We see them piled up in yards, a problem with no way out … seemingly that is. Many of these cars will never see the road again.

I propose that the County should cut back taxes on cars to no more than 1-2 years, thus allowing locals to put many of these cars legally back on the road.

The way it currently works just makes for more derelict cars with no end in site. Those cars sitting in yards will NEVER bring in any tax revenue. How could anyone under financial pressure pay back taxes that total more than the value of an otherwise potentially functioning automobile.

I feel that the government pays more attention to the auto-dealership and shipping lobby than they do to the financially challenged local population. — Eric Wagner, Kihei

Subsidize Slaughter Costs of Deer on Molokaʻi to Help Keep Population Healthy

As the Executive Director of a Molokaʻi agriculture non-profit and part time Molokaʻi resident, I am deeply concerned about the deer problem on Molokaʻi. The deer were a gift from King Kamehameha V, but the drought and overpopulation has become such a problem that it is a matter of life or death. Some want to eradicate but that can not happen again.

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What we need is a deer management plan that includes a stream-lined way for our Molokaʻi resident hunters to bring deer to market. Currently, it is illegal to hunt on Molokaʻi unless you have a permit that is very hard to get. Then, it’s almost impossible to sell the deer meat because of the extreme cost to have them slaughtered at the only Molokaʻi slaughterhouse.

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The state and county should subsidize the processing of the deers so that this healthy meat source can be sold to the outer islands. In doing this, the Molokaʻi hunters can make a modest income for their hard work, It will keep a check and balance on the deer population and provide much needed prized goods for Molokaʻi residents and the outer islands. — Brandi Corpuz, Kihei

Compliments To Waiheu Municipal Golf Course Workers

Thank you Waiheu Municipal Golf Course workers for your outstanding maintenance of the greens, which at this time are probably some of the best on the island.

I would also like to acknowledge the work you did with the 18th tee box. What a view. I hope the brush remains cleared. Your hard work is appreciated.Many thanks for what you do. — Michael Hagston

Why Not Vaccinate Maui Residents at Open-Air War Memorial Stadium?

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For a number of reasons, I am uncomfortable going to Maui Memorial for medical treatment, even if I need it. In LA, they are giving folks the first shot of vaccine at Dodger Stadium, according to the news.  Why did the authorities not choose, e, g., the parking lot of War Memorial Stadium as a vaccination site?  It’s open air. It’s big. It has electricity for a super freezer, and restrooms if some gates are opened.

I am not a scientist, and I am operating on the principle the authorities had a good reason to choose the hospital over other sites.  I simply want to know why. — Nancy Reese, Kihei

Mahalo to All Who Helped During Harbor Lights COVID-19 Outbreak

I wanted to publicly thank my colleagues Kaiolani, Junya, Ashley and Paula, my children Shawn, Maui, Leilani and Russell, as well as our churches, Maui Rapid Response and many other coordinating agencies who reacted to the common+unity among Maui’s every day heroes.  

With the assistance of our community, we were able to strategically implement a 4-phase deployment of assistance to our Harbor Lights residential complex.  It hasn’t been an easy task, but together we were able to sanitize, supply and nourish our residents through the recent outbreak and the socio-economic hardships that accompanied the struggle.  

Mahalo nui loa e kākou no ko ʻoukou mau kōkua!  Ke aloha pū.  Thank all of you for your help! May aloha be with you. — J Kahala Chrupalyk, Wailuku

Don’t Harass Homeless People Who Are Not Causing Problems

Evictions are illegal unless you are homeless. My homeless friend is being harassed by the Parks Department, Maui Police Department and BLM. He is located in a secluded spot, out of sight and isolated.  

During this pandemic, while we force social distancing, the authorities want every homeless person to cram into one room full of bunk beds and mentally ill people. Can we please leave people alone who are leaving us alone? Perhaps our police have other crimes they would rather investigate?

Why does an old man living outside pose a threat to anyone? When evictions come back and our neighbors become homeless, will we persecute them too? “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) — Anthony Simpson, Lahaina

Police Need To Better Enforce Mask Mandate on Maui

I am very concerned that many tourists visiting the island are not wearing masks. I contacted the Mayor’s COVID hotline. I was told to contact the police. The police told me they don’t have time to enforce mask wearing.

I am frequently at Ulua Beach scuba diving. I ask people all the time about wearing masks and they just keep walking by. I am a RN. I am upset that the Mayor allows this to keep happening. The police need to start writing tickets!!! — Richard Anderson, Kahului

State Should Return Dumpsters to Harbors

I want to thank you for taking the dumpster away from the harbors.  How are we (every boat owner) supposed to throw away trash?  Let’s thank the Governor for not paying the bill. And now every harbor on Maui has no trash disposal. Thanks Gov. Ige — Andy Payne

County Council Should Maintain Decorum During Meetings

The Maui County Council meeting of Jan. 15, 2021 began on such a high note. The student winners of the ‘Imi Pono Challenge’ were announced. The students, parents and teachers brought out the pride of Maui. The students honored their families by extending such grace and dignity to the council and those who were viewing online.

Then came the period of public testimony as the council moved onto other business. One of the testifiers decide to use his time to attack our mayor as a “scrub,” I’ll let the reader look up the meaning of the slang/insult.

Instead of the Council Chair giving an agreeing “I’m so smart” laugh to back up the insult, the Chair may want to review the rules of council decorum, especially as new junior council members need better examples than those shown in the past.

Our Mayor is doing the best that he can do, during the unprecedented times we are in. On my evening walks late at night I see him burning the midnight oil in his office. The man should be extended the same dignity given by those young winners for all that he is doing. — Joey Brunt-Zhuo, Wailuku

US Senators Should Presume Trump Innocent Before Impeachment Trial Starts

Is US Sen. Mazie Hirono qualified to vote in the next Trump impeachment trial? The United States judicial system is based on a person presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Mazie Hirono has already publicly stated that she will vote to convict Donald Trump. She did this before the charges and evidence were even presented.

I feel she should therefore disqualify herself from voting in the next Trump impeachment trial. Remember Chuck Schumer has promised a fair trial.
If she does vote is it grounds for a mistrial? — Tom Hoehl, Kahului

Forget Trump and ‘Get on with Your Lives Now’

Trump is no longer the president. I did not vote for Trump and for the last four plus years I have read and heard from people that created an identity around hating Trump. You need to forget about Trump and get on with your lives now. — Jeff McCammack, Wailuku

Pandemic Challenges Could Lead To Changes to Heal Maui

My heart broke when I moved to Maui.  Like a Siren, these islands and the Aloha Spirit enchanted me, as they do so many. Under the guise of a picturesque paradise and lifestyle away from the mainland rat race, we mainlanders have come for decades in droves. An unsaid promise was given for a mindful community whose eclectic threads are woven with the love of the land, sea and the Aloha Spirit. The enchantment soon wore off, for me, when I discovered that cultural appropriation and oppression had been cleverly cloaked in a lucrative advertising campaign for economic gain and development. As Joanie Mitchell’s song says, we are paving paradise and putting up parking lots. Literally.

We brought with us the belief that money and material gain equals success. Simultaneously witnessing Maui’s land and seas being exploited for tourism and commercial agriculture. Do you know that gut-wrenching instinct that whispers something is wrong here? We each want a piece of paradise. Yet in that individualistic dreaming, we are contributing to the very thing that breaks our hearts – the abuse and destruction of the island resources.

What if we, the people, got it wrong? What if this pandemic and all the challenges we face on these islands is a gift? Perhaps a precious gift to redefine what it means to be a resident and a visitor to Hawaiʻi. What if the pandemic is an invitation to collectively change the system? What if this is our chance to reinvent a new way to live in harmony with the land for a sustainable future?

If our Maui community could be viewed as a living organism, then I’d say our community is very sick. These islands have been sick ever since the first pandemic killed thousands of Native Hawaiians with the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778. The pandemic, economic issues and environmental destruction to these precious islands are only a symptom of a much greater disease. Greed.

Maui needs healing. When a person begins an authentic healing journey, they first must release everything that doesn’t serve their health and vitality. The emancipation from our old way of showing up for ourselves slowly transforms into conscious choices that organically foster thriving. We may change careers, let go of relationships, or change our diet and lifestyle. These small shifts are what bring about profound healing over time. Anyone who has recovered from cancer, a major injury, severe depression, or trauma knows that the path to healing isn’t in focusing on the problem. The path to healing is in learning new solutions that empower us to live in alignment with our true nature.

We’ve got a lot of problems on Maui. Environmental, Cultural, and Economic division has only exacerbated how we as a community navigate a global pandemic. We’re now watching our political representatives struggle with this pivotal moment.

Solutions do exist. When enough people find the courage to dig deep in their hearts and listen they will hear the heart of this land. The reason we are all here is to thrive with beauty. Maui feels like home to many because it’s the place we feel most alive.

We sit upon a cracked foundation with a deceptive advertising campaign manipulating to consume rather than preserve. A unified moral authority is the medicine needed to address the symptoms of our community illness. A unified vision for what is the priority. To heal. All of it!

To heal this community the collective realization that the mainland lifestyle does not and should not apply to these islands is paramount.

The world hasn’t always operated from a consumeristic mentality. What if we stepped outside the box of mainland influence using those eclectic community threads to reimagine a sustainable future? There are brilliant people living here, waiting for the invitation to make great change.

If my heart feels broken, I cannot imagine the generational heartbreak that exists in the native people of this land. Yet, throughout history, they’ve embodied a gracious collective strength and internal power. This lifeforce within them exists because of their inherent connection “with” nature.

Influenced under these pressures of progress, what if we could humbly admit that we were taught wrong?  What if we could recompense the past with accountability and forgiveness? What if with this collective vision the Native Hawaiians reclaimed their sovereignty by helping us to find ours?

I sometimes think that leaving may be the kindest choice I could make for this land that I love. It may come down to that. My own moral authority can’t stomach being apart of the problem. Yet, I’m so ready to be a part of the solution. My heart beats with these islands. Yours likely does too. — Sahara Sun, Kihei

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