Letters to the Editor

Letters: Church steeple, bike lanes, beach access, drink tax, underage drinking, Russian vodka & more

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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

Kaʻahumanu Church in Wailuku needs help to restore church steeple

Ka’ahumanu Church is ready to launching a capital campaign March 3 at 10 a.m. to raise money to restore the church steeple that for many years has been in need of some loving care and maintenance. Kick off will begin with a presentation of a check for $10,000 from Pastor Marocco and Kings Cathedral.

Ka’ahumanu Church is located in Wailuku Historic District 3 is an integral part of Maui and Wailuku’s history, which predates the missionaries and the church.

Over the last couple of years, even through the pandemic, the church has been blessed by work completed by Architects Hawaii. The congregation has also applied to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature for a GIA/CIP grant and continues to seek out and apply to other sources of funding.

How can you help? Share our story. Contact our state representatives. Share your stories, ideas and thoughts with us. Contact Kahu Wayne Higa at [email protected] for more information. — Wayne Higa, Kīhei

Bike lanes in Kula need maintenance following storms

I enjoy a bike route where I spend only a little time on upper Kula Highway. It seems the county has given up on maintaining this road, including the bike lane that was so carefully considered, cleared and paved.

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We all know there was a terrible storm in the last couple of months, but this is getting ridiculous. In the bike lane, there are piles of debris forcing riders into the road; garage bins blocking the whole lane (7 days a week) that force riders into the road; a one-lane-open section forcing riders into the road; and drivers that eagerly enter this lane from the other direction without yielding (even though they can clearly see a rider occupying the lane but are happy to force you off the road as they scream at you for existing).

I’ve been riding for over 20 years and have never seen this level of disregard for cyclists. — Lori de Crinis, Kula

Promoting Russian spirits inappropriate now with invasion of Ukraine

I was in the Safeway store in Lahaina (this week) and saw a very large promotion/display very prominently at the front of the store, promoting Russian Smirnoff Vodka. This is very inappropriate at this point in time considering the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. — Gary Korabeck, Lahaina

Upset with Humane Society sending animals off island for adoption

A friend went into the Humane Society for a small dog I found for him after his dog recently passed. After finding a perfect match and going to adopt the dog, they tell him the dog has a 24-hour hold. He goes back [a day later] and they tell him the dog is still in the building but they are arranging for an off island adoption.

So they are using my contributions to the Society to spend money and send the dog who knows where when there is someone standing right there to adopt. Two days, two different stories. They are messing with people’s emotions when it comes to pets. I tried to email the CEO, good luck with that. They also will never receive another donation from me. — Cary Math, Kula

UH research proposing 10 cents-a-drink tax is ‘complete nonsense’

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I read the article about the dime a drink research by the University of Hawaiʻi. I really would like to know how they calculated this and who would have to pay for it. If they calculated from the sales from the wholesalers, the only way to go, they would have to charge $2.40 for a case of beer. In retail that would increase the price to the consumer by another 10 cents and in a restaurant by another 40-50 cents per beer.

If you try to figure out how much a bottle /glass of wine is calculated, it gets a little bit more complicated and when you look at hard liquor, where you have everything from 2 ounces to 1,75 liter’s bottle (anywhere between 1-50 drinks per bottle), it really raises eyebrows.

Basically, I think that the numbers are reversed fabricated. Let’s raise $58 million. How would they know how many drinks are served and how many times the 10 cents are added or multiplied to the consumer? Complete nonsense at best. — Bernard Weber, Kahului

Kudos to county and community organizations for seriously addressing underage drinking

I am so proud and excited that Maui County has taken the lead to seriously address underage drinking!

Congratulations to our Maui County Council, police department and all the caring organizations — like the Maui Family Support Services, Maui Youth and Family Services, and Maui Coalition for a Drug-Free Youth — for giving our kids respect and making our community safer.  

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The Social Host Ordinance is an effective and brave civil tool that helps homeowners recognize they do have an important responsibility to be sure their property is safe for all children, and not used for young people’s drinking parties.

Our amazing middle-school, high-school and college students on Maui, Lana’i and Moloka’i tell us that house parties are the place where most underage drinking occurs, along with destructive consequences, such as drunk driving, physical fights, sexual assaults, legal problems and alcohol poisoning.  

Yes, we need more education, like Maui Economic Opportunity’s underage drinking prevention program, but we also need to build a safe environment. Life is hard enough for our youth, who are pressured by alcohol advertising, a need to conform or prove their worth, and face an uncertain future. With the Maui Social Host Ordinance, we recognize our kids can’t do it on their own, and that adults should make sure Maui youth are seen, valued and protected, even at parties.  

As a former teen drinker, retired Hawaiʻi public school teacher and perinatal substance abuse professional, I can attest that underage drinkers have a harder time building meaningful lives for themselves, and eventually for their children.  

I care about the life-long effects of alcohol inside kids: on their developing brains, on their normal growth and sexual development, on starting illegal activities early on, and creating trouble and heartache between themselves and beloved parents, schools, coaches, kumus and friends. This will truly be a happy new year with Maui’s Social Host Ordinance in place. — Laurie Tanner, Kīhei

Speed bump needed where kids play along Kokomo Road in Haʻikū

Aloha to anyone who uses the playground and other areas along Kokomo road, [which is more like Germany’s Autobahn). To go 50 to 70 miles an hour, you can always manage the small speedbumps at the bottom of the road and then it is full blast to make up 10 minutes to where ever. Why not add a speed bump by where the kids play? The speed limit is 30, but you will be passed and waved at with one finger. — Ron Deppe, Haʻikū

Beach parking and access ‘being taken away, little by little, every day’

Beach parking and access is slowly being taken away, little by little, every day. The new “No Parking” signs down by Baby Beach on Kealakahi Place in Sprecklesville cannot be legal. First the public parking lot was blocked off by rocks, and now the street parking is taken away; all for the comfort of the local residents.

Maui residents pay money to live on this island, with the understanding that there should be equal access to these beaches. I can understand signs stating, “No parking after certain hours” if the goal is theft and crime prevention. However, daytime beach access parking should not be off limits when the space is available. — Katie Brown, Pāʻia

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