Letters: Topics Include Solar Farm, Vaccines, Masks, Naked Men, Tourist Wrath & Maui Skulduggery
Move Solar Farm Away From Top of Maui Meadows
This is an open and sincere letter to the Maui County Council. I am a 30-year Maui resident, and property owner in Maui Meadows. Please make Innergex [Renewable Energy], the Canadian solar farm, move away from the top of Maui meadows.
The terrain is steep, and anything they do above us will be bad. We chose this community for the quality of life. Please, Maui County Council, do not let some offshore foreign corporation build directly above Maui Meadows. They have no rights to endanger the residents below. If they are serious about their solar farm, then they will relocate away from the top of Maui Meadows. Thank you for your support of our safety. — Michael Kirby, Kīhei
Spend State Money on Vaccination Efforts, Not Unnecessary COVID-19 Testing
Why is Maui increasing Covid testing requirements so late in the game? US COVID-19 numbers are at a pandemic-low and the CDC has announced that masks are no longer necessary for the fully vaccinated. This is another example of leaders picking and choosing which “science” to follow.
What’s worse — the arrival test is less accurate than the pre-travel test. Rather than implementing costly programs that have no impact except to penalize travelers for choosing Maui to visit and spend their hard-earned vacation dollars, the State should ramp up vaccination efforts. Hawaiʻi only has 1.4 million residents. There is no excuse for Hawaiʻi not being number one in percent vaccinated! — Charles Anderson, Lahaina
Countyʻs ʻAuditʻ Office Should Reveal Maui Skulduggery
Eight years ago Maui set up an “Audit” office to look for wrongdoing in County procurement and operations. Why have we heard nothing from them for so many years when Honolulu is providing exciting scandal such as the recent “Pay to Play” scandal where Oʻahu county planning officers were accepting bribes to accelerate building permit approvals and the other applications went to the bottom of the pile.
Look, we are paying for the office of the county auditor, we are entitled to some headlines and scandalous revelations about Maui skulduggery. Please don’t let it be another case of “go along to get along,” which does not help Maui County citizens. Please plan some media outreach with the most titillating cases you are working on. –John Richards, Kīhei
Donʻt Bite the Tourist Hand that Feeds You
We are Canadians who have been visiting your lovely island each year for the past 25 years. It has been the highlight of each year. But we have been observing with concern the vitriol being put forth re over tourism on Maui. It seems to be an accepted fact that charging us for parking at public places, and putting parking restrictions in place will cure the plague of too many tourists. Such moves will only foster anger and resentment. If we are truly such a problem, why are you even considering applications for more hotels? Why do you even bother to market Maui to the world? We all know where Maui is!
It has been painfully obvious this last year how dependent on our dollars Maui really is. As visitors, we already pay steep taxes on our hotel and rental car costs, money that goes directly into your economy. Punishing us for actually coming to your island with all these extra parking costs and restrictions does nothing to enhance the visitor experience.
Instead of biting the hand that feeds you, you need a more balanced approach to how many people you actually allow to walk through your airport gates. You want our money, but you don’t want the bodies. You can’t have it both ways. — Wayne & Elvera Penner, Canada
Do Something About Transplanted Naked Men at Poʻolenalena Beach
Can police or rangers be sent to Po’olenalena (Secret’s) beach? All the naked homeless men that were on Little Beach are permanently living there. You can smell human feces and you see the same cars parked outside the lot for weeks. Such a shame. Is the Wailea Association doing anything? Our local government? We should have permanent patrolling of that beach. Period. What’s going on here? Unacceptable! — Olivia Marques, Kīhei
Kudos to Aloha State for Leading Noble Charge against Climate Change Emergency
I commend the beautiful State of Hawaiʻi for its decision to declare a climate emergency. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaiʻi was the first to feel the wrath of imperialism and totalitarianism. Today, it is the first to incur the depredations of climate change. Therefore, Hawaiʻi is the first state in our nation to mobilize their people by taking the next step towards finally addressing this universal war for the fate of humanity and life as we know it.
Hawaiʻi’s action paves the way for America to act boldly and wisely in their footsteps. Rising oceans and soaring temperatures threaten the existence of the Aloha State. We ought to ensure that the next generation of children possesses an opportunity to step foot on those sandy shores and ride those bluest of waves. What will we tell them if we fail to act and the legendary chain of islands go under forever?
We must act to guarantee this worst outcome never comes to fruition. More importantly, we must devote ourselves to building a world where every living soul can breathe clean air and drink clean water. Now is our moment to begin this grand test of the human will to survive. Thank you to Hawaiʻi for leading this noble charge. — Henry Wilson, Barrington, IL
Religious Reasons Should Not Be Exemptions to UH Vaccine Mandate for Students
I read in Maui Now that UH will require on-campus students to be vaccinated. This is an excellent decision. There will be exemptions for medical reasons. This is appropriate. However, there will also be exemptions for “religious” reasons. This is an outrageous capitulation to religious extremism and pseudoscience.
We would not allow “religious” reasons as an excuse for randomly punching people in the face. We would not allow “religious” reasons as an excuse for operating a restaurant infested with cockroaches and bird poop on all the tables. And we certainly would not allow “religious” reasons as an excuse to break into people’s houses and dump cow manure on their floor.
COVID-19 is a potentially deadly virus and people who medically can be vaccinated should not be allowed to allege “religious” reasons for refusing vaccination and then participating in public events where they could spread this virus to others. We have public health laws and human rights laws for a reason, and “religious beliefs” should never be an excuse to violate the rights of others or to endanger others in a time of pandemic. You have a right to your beliefs. Your beliefs do not give you the right to harm or endanger others. — Daniel Schechter, Kīhei
Reward the Vaccinated, Follow CDC Guidelines and Open Maui County
I understand the tough job that has been asked of [Maui County officials]. The CDC just came out with new guidelines: no mask wearing for fully vaccinated people indoors or outdoors. Here is the big question. Are you going to listen to the CDC and Dr. Fauci? Or are you going to disagree with the science and go off your “feelings’ and say I don’t agree?
Almost all folks on Maui have a phone and or a wallet. Police can check phones or check wallets for the vaccination card.
Mr. Mayor, you stated on a radio show that you are proud of Maui County residents. It is time for the reward for the citizens doing a great job and follow the CDC and Dr. Fauci’s guidelines. I keep seeing the word “Pono”. Let’s do the right thing and do what is right. Open Maui County. — P. Weaver, Buff Weaver Hospitality Advisors
With Vaccinations Available to Everyone, Now Your Health, Your Choice
Remember two weeks to flatten the curve? The original intent of COVID-19 restrictions was to protect the elderly and vulnerable, and prevent our health care systems from being “overrun.” We have unequivocally done that.
On Maui (May 10th 2021), the DOH reports that 51 percent (67,504) of the population have initiated vaccine; and 36 percent (46,620) have completed full vaccination. Our elderly and more vulnerable population have all had ample opportunity to receive a vaccine by now should they have wanted one. People who choose not to be vaccinated, that is their right to have that choice.
Our current state of the COVID-19 pandemic does not constitute an emergency. Our hospitalization rates never exceeded anything outside of normal range. Our death rates of COVID-19 in 2020 were less then the season flu in 2019. Furthermore an emergency does not suspend the constitution or peoples individual liberties or freedoms. It is time to lift government mandates on mask wearing, social distancing and restrictions on businesses. Your health, your choice, make masks optional and lift the mandates. — Brett Sherwood, Kīhei