Letters to the Editor

Letters: Maui Residents Discuss Rights of Landlords and Tenants, Homeless, COVID-19 and Retirement of Chief Faaumu

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Letters to the Editor
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Director of Hawaiʻi High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Praises Retiring Maui Police Chief Faaumu

As Maui Police Department Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu retires, the Hawai’i High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA, a drug enforcement support program under the Executive Office of the President) extends its warmest farewell and gratitude to Chief Faaumu for his dedication to the HIDTA membership, consisting of Hawaiʻi’s federal, state and local law enforcement leaders.  

Chief Faaumu and his fellow police chiefs representing the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program were able to leverage HIDTA funds for local drug interdiction operatives, all the while maintaining a close bond to their federal law enforcement counterparts. The strength of the HIDTA program is maintaining a multi-agency partnership in Hawaiʻi, which acts as a force-multiplier in statewide, interstate and international narcotic interdiction efforts. Chief Faaumu continued Maui Police Department’s tradition of working together with all agencies in Hawaiʻi’s criminal justice system.  

Hawaiʻi’s police chiefs are unified under the Police Chiefs of Hawaiʻi Association, and Chief Faaumu and his fellow chiefs developed the Hawaiʻi State Opioid Initiative, Law Enforcement Organization (LEO) and First Responder Working Group (Chaired by Chief Faaumu). These chiefs and first responder leaders (and with the assistance of Maui resident Valerie Matsunaga) were able to apply this initiative’s subsidy to acquire Narcan (a medicine to reverse the effect of a dangerous fentanyl exposure) for their police officers; strengthen forensic pathology data analysis relating to drug related deaths in Hawaiʻi; and educate community service providers on opioid abuse.  

Police officers usually are the first to be in contact with those with drug problems and mental health issues, and so the Working Group, under the direction of Ms. Matsunaga, produced a CARE Hotline Card (with a 24/7 live phone contact number) for police to give to those who need a reference for help.  


Our warm wishes to Chief Faaumu and his wife Debbie. — Gary Yabuta, Director, Hawaiʻi HIDTA

Whoʻs Looking Out for Landlords When Tenants Donʻt Pay?

People of Hawai’i who have rentals and are still paying mortgages beware when renting to anyone that called you aunty. Even with a 45-day court notice, you still have to go to court to remove tenants to sell your home. I went 3 months with no rent and had a trashed house and yard. I had to get a repossession order so I could enter my own property. Now they are squatting. There’s nothing in place to protect home owners from foreclosure due to non payment. Who’s watching out for landlords? — Mar Mattos, Makawao

Whoʻs Looking Out for Tenants Who Have Paid?

I am a single mother of three, with two of my children adults at ages 20 and 22. We have a HUD voucher and have been at our rental unit for two years. Our landlord has received rental payment during the entire pandemic. Our landlord let us go without water for weeks and days at a time.

Our landlord sent me an eviction notice on Jan. 1, 2021. We are past our eviction date as of Feb. 14 and still can not find suitable three bedroom housing for a family of four on Maui.


We live in the flood zone on Oili Road and due to rains and floods the septic tank has saturated the grounds and the landlord refuses to have it pumped because they want us out now and have known about septic issues via property manager for months.

I feel highly discriminated against as they will NOT give us a price to buy home simply stated in a text “because we donʻt like each other. She is refusing to sell me the home. I donʻt believe what they are doing is in their legal rights as landlords. — Jenny Bentley, Haʻikū

County Should Do More To Help Homeless on Road to Kanahā Beach Park

I drove through hell recently. You know, the stretch of Ka’a road between the sewer plant  and Kanahā Beach Park. I counted 88 homeless vehicles with folks living in them and 10 burned out uninhabited ones.  Both sides of the road people are living, spreading COVID, defecating and urinating right there on the side of the road.

The place, the people, obviously forgotten by our mayor, who is sure to be too busy allowing more tourists in. I am sad for the homeless but also for the person who requires an ambulance or any EMS at the beach for if they are coming from the hospital area they must slow way down to one lane of traffic to avoid hitting someone looped on crack.


Isn’t Maui better than this? Where are our leaders? — Matt Andrews, Makawao

New Restrictions Needed to Deal with Rise of COVID-19 Cases on Maui

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH COVID??? Maui seems to now be the COVID-19 epicenter for the state of Hawaiʻi! We have more new cases per capita than even Oʻahu. Mr. [Mayor Michael] Victorino, take a ride over to Lahaina and see the hoards of tourists NOT wearing masks and NOT practicing social distancing. Please do your job.

New restrictions are necessary to protect your constituents and all the residents of Maui. It seems as if only tourists matter. Business as usual. We need to go back to quarantine periods to get this back under control. Aloha. — Shelly Mack, Wailuku

Why Still Require Maui Residents To Take $150 COVID-19 Test to Return from Oʻahu?

Can we have an explanation from the mayor why Maui County is last in vaccine availability out of all the counties of Hawaiʻi?  And I would like to know why we need a $150 dollar test to fly back from Oʻahu to Maui when a less expensive one would be adequate. Keep in mind percentage wise, Maui County has a much higher rate of infection than Oʻahu, they should be requiring a test before we go to Oʻahu if anything. Time to stop it. It is too expensive and is not helping anything Mr. Victorino. — Robert Raimo, Kīhei


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