Letters to the Editor

Letters: Help Henry the Pig & Vaccination Debate – Public Safety vs. Personal Freedom

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

Practice Aloha and Get Your Vaccination

A few Maui student athletes are demanding the “freedom” to be idiots! Because that’s what vaccine refusal is. Vaccines are the safest and most effective medical intervention ever invented. But some people are listening to the lies of ideological anti-vaxers, a movement whose modern manifestation began with a fraudulent paper by a charlatan, Dr. [Andrew] Wakefield, who invented “data” out of whole cloth in order to discourage vaccination so he could sell his own homeopathic nostrums.

Furthermore, refusing vaccination goes entirely against the aloha spirit of Hawai’i, because by getting vaccinated, we not only protect ourselves from a serious disease, but we help to protect those around us by slowing the spread.

Practice aloha by getting your vaccination! Help protect those around you. And while we’re at it, let’s impose a mandatory quarantine on unvaccinated visitors. The vaccines are readily available for free to every adult and child over 12 in the United States. Vaccination should be a requirement for entry into our state. — Daniel Schechter, Kīhei

‘We Are in a State of Crisis Management’

With the rise in coronavirus cases and over tourism, Maui needs more than ever to make strong community decisions for themselves. Not decisions influenced by finances or political agendas. But decisions based on the people who live here.

It seems that we are in a state of crisis management. Our government needs to pull together with our people instead of against it. No more bureaucratic games, let’s listen to the people. Queen Liliuokalani once said:  “The voice of the people is the voice of God”. Have we forgotten God?


We don’t need big brother or uncle Sam to tell us what to do. We are forged out of the cultural diversity of the Nations and have grown to be like the beautiful and mighty ‘Ohi’a Lehua. Our people have been braided together and have put our blood, sweat and tears into these lands. Who are the ones that are trying to impose their ways upon us? And what truly is their intent?

I do not see them at the rallies or protests. I do not see them in our public schools or athletic games. I do not see them at any of our farms and fishing spots. It is easy to celebrate but are they willing to go through the fire. If we are to be the best, then this time will help us to become more than we could ever have dreamed or imagined of as a community if we stay together.

Have those in the tourist industry taken responsibility for igniting this present situation of over tourism? Have we adopted foreign ways of dealing with this virus that does not match our current situation? It seems that we are just taking orders like a child, I would like to see our people flourish into full maturation and fill in the gaps with what it truly means by the aloha spirit.

Can we finally take our roles seriously as global leaders here in the middle of the Pacific. We have everything we need, but it seems the one thing we are lacking is the confidence in ourselves to do what needs to be done, and say what needs to be said in these crucial times. E kū haʻaheo ‘o Hawai’i. — Samuel Peralta, Kahului

Limit Hospital Resources for Non-Vaccinated COVID-19 Patients

The unvaccinated are now clogging our health facilities and wearing out our medical personnel while also demanding to be vaccinated as they lay dying . Meanwhile those of us who are vaccinated need medical attention due to accidents, surgeries, emergencies etc. and can’t get into our hospital.


So, let’s allocate a percentage (20%) of hospital resources and personnel to unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. This will ease the pressure and fear of illness on the medical people and also leave space for the rest of us who now have to postpone medical procedures or emergency trips to the hospital. That seems fair. — Virginia Ruffulo, Kīhei

People Lying About COVID-19 Exposure Should Be Charged with Assault

Today my son’s girlfriend, who is a PA at Maui Medical, discovered that a patient whose throat she was examining was COVID-19 positive. This person had recent travel, a fever, a loss of smell and had obviously lied to get past the screenings. Now she, her staff and all the patients that person was in contact with are at risk.  This person is an anti-vaxxer and the PA had tried to convince her to get vaccinated in the past.

I think people who lie about their travel histories, symptoms and exposures should be charged with assault with a deadly weapon: COVID-19.  And a special unit should be set up for patients who have not been vaccinated so that only vaccinated people are allowed in the main facility or hospital or schools and anyone lying, regardless of vaccination status, should suffer severe penalties.

People are free to not vaccinate and to not wear masks but they aren’t free to put the rest of us at risk. — Gail Nagasako, Wailuku

Follow the Science To Ensure Public Safety

I am all for freedom of choice. However, some people make choices that put themselves and others at risk. For example: DUI, running red lights, cigarette smoking and drug use.  When people make risky choices, laws are enacted to ensure public safety.


We are in a pandemic that is increasingly more contagious. Look at the number of cases on the rise. People who choose not to be vaccinated are putting themselves and others at risk of illness and fatality. Therefore mandates or laws must be put in place to protect the general public. 

Can you imagine surgeons not wearing masks or gloves while performing an operation or having no partitions between beds in a contagious area? Science dictates these procedures are necessary to reduce the spread of germs.

An employer, government or school official may choose to mandate vaccinations and that is their right to choose. They choose these options because the science cannot be denied.  It is proven the vaccine works.  In rare cases where a vaccinated person contracts the virus, the symptoms are much less severe.  No hospitalization. No deaths.

If you choose to walk through a mine field don’t force others to go with you. Follow the science. It’s proven. — Richard Odiorne, Wailuku

Maui Pig Rescue Searching for Escaped Pig Henry

I operate a pig rescue, Maui Pig Ohana, and am reaching out to see if anyone knows what happened to Henry, a pig we’ve been attempting to catch and relocate. He escaped from a truck full of piglets some months ago and has been living in the Kahului Community Center park since.

Someone came into the park with a dog and intent to harm him recently. The police were called but they were later seen again, and squealing was heard by a nearby resident. Henry’s been missing since that evening.

We’ve been working on trapping and relocating Henry for two months and we were almost there, just waiting for him to go a bit further into the trap.

We’re exploring every possibility, trying to find him. We have a reward for anybody who can lead us to him, if he’s still alive with people waiting for him to be sold for meat or slaughtered for an upcoming luau. We’ll pay whatever money he’s being sold for. We just want our friend back. He deserves to live the rest of his life wild and free.

Please if anyone knows something and can help us find him so we can continue our mission to relocate him, we’d be very grateful. Call 808-463-5533 — Melani Ellis, Haʻikū

Mahalo to Parks Department for Operating Public Pools during Pandemic

I am a frequent swimmer at the County of Maui pools.  The Parks Department should be commended for opening and operating the pools during the pandemic.  The staff provided professional care keeping the pool facilities open and safe throughout the difficult time.  Mahalo — Al Souza, Kahului

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


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