Letters to the Editor

Letters: Flooding, Kīhei roundabout, missing people, shared-solar, axis deer and 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

County needs to work on drainage to prevent repeat flooded areas

For the second time in just over one year, the buildings and roads around the Shave Ice and ABC Store are completely flooded. I saw lots of public works teams cleaning up the last time in December 2021.

These “once in a decade” rain events are becoming more frequent. Our newly elected Mayor Richard Bissen has an opportunity to get together with drainage experts to devise a plan to divert these flood waters and mud flows around that low lying area to prevent this from happening again.

The cost to business owners from lost revenue is considerable. To allow this to continue to happen tells them the county/state is not concerned enough about this unnecessary hardship to design a drainage system to help. — Alan Hutton, Wailuku

State Legislature should pass Carbon Cashback law

It is helpful to read about the environmental bill package proposed by the Environmental Legislative Caucus. The proposals are worthy and I would add another, Carbon Cashback. 

Currently there are two versions introduced in both the House and Senate. Half of the Environmental Legislative Caucus members are also co-sponsors of Carbon Cashback. It would lower emissions so that we can reach our emission reduction goals.


While it puts a price on carbon for the importers and emitters, anyone who files a tax return in our state would receive a bigger dividend than an increase at the pump. Of course prices seem to increase everywhere, yet this bill allows households to come out ahead financially and they can spend the money however they choose. This policy would also create jobs in renewables besides creating a healthier environment. — Bobbie Best, Wailuku

Makawao businesses affected by recent fire deserve our kokua

Two very special people to me were affected this past Monday night. The burning of the Makawao business building owned by Mr. Haole and rented by Aaron (Moose) Kranks Bicycles. Loosing $1 million to the freshly painted building and more than $200K to the contents is so much larger than reported.

I’m not sure, but I believe Kranks has donated thousands of Christmas bicycles for more than a decade with Maui’s fire department assembling them. This past year more than 400 bicycles were donated. Mr. Haole also serves Makawao with the neighboring Pharmacy n Mini Store across the street. They deserve our kokua, period. — Myko Zee, Wailuku

How are traffic, water issues to be address with Villages of Leali’i development?

I just completed review of the Villages of Lealiʻi development EIS (environmental impact statement) and a couple of things raise my concern. I see in the report that there are approximately 15 different projects on the books to be completed by 2030. In these projects, my count of additional potential residences varying from luxury estates, single family residences, muti-family and condos to agriculture lots totaling about 2,904.

In the report it states that the increase in traffic is projected to increase to 500 to 700 vehicles per peak hour per direction by 2030. https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/erp/Doc_Library/2022-12-23-MA-DEA-DHHL-Villages-of-Leialii-Village-1-B.pdf.


Water demand will increase of course as well. Using the modest figure from the report of 600 gallons per day per unit, I calculate that water demand will increase to about 1,742,400 gallons per day let alone the amount sewage discharge. This is all projected by 2030.

My observation is that the varied departments do not have overlapping communications and these figures are not being properly viewed in total. We have a water shortage and traffic problems now. How are these plans being approved and projections as I am describing being managed? — Lee Chamberlain, Lahaina

Concerned police are not doing enough to find missing people on Maui

Do people missing on Maui concern the police ? Do native resident’s or the Maui P. D. have any real heartfelt, human feelings towards non-native residents or visitor’s who turn up missing?OMG, the non-native people missing from Maui is truly unbelievable.. There’s something extremely sinister and pure evil going on in Maui. It’s so sad and disturbing, beyond belief. — Robin Plants, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Touts accomplishments of former Maui County councilmember Riki Hokama

Riki Hokama won’t be returning to the Maui County Council in 2023, but his contributions as a former council member attributed to much of what Maui can be thankful for generations to come. I can only remember a few projects Council Member Hokama spearheaded, but I’m sure there are many more.  

He championed the conversion of the original 2nd Circuit Courthouse into what is now the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for Maui County; he acquired federal funding and the workforce of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild the Lanai Kaumalapa’u Breakwater with massive concrete pylons (each pylon strategically anchored through computerized programming for maximum stability); and Council Member Hokama acquired the property and funding to develop the Maui Police Department Forensic Facility (large enough to handle mass disaster casualties and unattended deaths for examination and investigation).


Mahalo Council Member Riki Hokama — for all that you did for Maui.  — Gary Yabuta, Wailuku

Would like Shops in Wailea to provide better entertainment seating

Can anything be done regarding the seating for entertainment at the Shops in Wailea? So many people are complaining and rightfully so. They have eliminated the many white chairs and now have very little seating available — maybe a dozen huge, uncomfortable chairs and the seating around the trees. Plus, obnoxious security people chasing people out.

If all they want are the rich tourists who don’t really care about local musicians and music and just want them to spend their money, that’s what they will get. No locals will be going and I hope local talent will protest as well. First they put up the pay entry so now no place to sit. May as well call it Wailea California! No wonder locals are leaving Maui in droves. — Virginia Ruffulo, Kīhei

Praises Hawaiian Electric’s new shared solar program

Americans are eager for both short-term and long-term solutions to our dependence on oil, with 79% who say the priority for the country’s energy supply should be developing alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar (Pew Research Center – June 23, 2020).

With uncertainty in global markets, it is more important than ever to reduce the demand for fossil fuels by making a swift transition to locally sourced, renewable energy.

Hawaiian Electric’s new shared solar program is a fantastic example of how long-term, community-based alternatives to fossil fuels can lower electric bills for families while speeding the transition to a renewable energy future.

Combining shared solar with a carbon cash back program would build upon this momentum, making renewable energy an obvious choice. Under this program, fossil fuel importers would be taxed, and the revenue would be returned directly to Hawaiʻi residents in equal shares. Families could reinvest the cash they receive into solar subscriptions and other renewable energy projects.

A combination of solutions that incentivize alternative energy while disincentivizing fossil fuels will empower Hawaiʻi’s residents to reduce their electric bills while contributing to Hawaiʻi’s goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045. — Doug Hagan, Pāʻia

West Maui needs more fire protection at Olowalu and elsewhere.

Most people do not know that there has not been any increase in fire fighters at Maui Fire Department since 2005. Nearly 18 years ago, the County prioritized Haʻikū as the next area for a fire station. Seems that they are still vacillating between two potential sites while $16.5 million dollars has been collected from taxpayers to pay for it.

The West Maui Improvement Foundation Inc. has accepted the challenge to Hana Hou and privately fund the development of its second fire station for West Maui (Napili was first). The recent fires in that area that are notorious for destroying property and shutting down the sole access to our airport and hospital prove our point.

We suggest that we can’t wait 20+ years for the County of Maui to put a fire station at Olowalu. Our revolutionary EMB modular station can be built and operational within 12 months for approximately $2 million. — Joseph Pluta, Lahaina

Longtime Maui visitos say their friends opting for Mexico, and ‘maybe we should, too’

We have come to Hawaiʻi for over 40 years, but are currently ready to cancel our reservations for 2023. The reason should be apparent to all of you — the new buzzword is “overtourism” and how to reduce it. For years we believed in the “Spirit of Aloha,” which we have decided is no longer.

The Japanese visitor is once again being welcomed with open arms (two flights daily with Hawaiian Airlines), the Japanese language menu’s will surely return, and the nice restaurants and resorts need their money. They rarely swim, snorkel and sit in the sun at the beaches.

So….. your new discriminatory attitude toward visitors is leaking out as in parking charges for the beaches, restrictions for “locals only” at certain beaches, additional resort fees and taxes, and huge condo rent taxes.

Yes…. we visitors were kicked in the teeth by locals when Covid hit and have not forgotten how we were treated. Friends are opting for Mexico, so maybe we should, too. — Roger G. Heskett, Spokane, Wash.

Says ADA discrimination at Kahuli airport’s TSA pre-check

I am writing in hopes that you will be able to address and/or investigate a recent issue that has surfaced regarding ADA discrimination of TSA pre-check passengers at the Kahului, Maui Airport.  

Unbeknownst to many, Kahului Airport and TSA officials have redesigned the TSA checkpoint to include a TSA pre-check only checkpoint area.  This two-lane screening area is called TSA Checkpoint 02.  TSA Checkpoint 02 is NOT ADA compliant and requires all wheelchair bound passengers and those passengers who are unable to opt out of the walk-through metal detector (passengers with pacemakers, artificial joints) to divert to the general TSA checkpoint area.

They are denied their TSA pre-check privileges of leaving their medium electronics and 3-1-1 liquids/gels/aerosols in their carry-on luggage. Furthermore, all disabled passengers with medical implants that cause alarm through the walk through are subject to mandatory full body pat downs. There is no clarity on whether or not disabled passengers are still afforded priority in the general boarding area. — Lorilee Freitas, Makawao

Why still only one northbound lane entering new roundabout in Kīhei?

I hope that the new Mayor can take a look at why they can’t have two lanes of traffic going through the roundabout in the northbound direction. It looks to me like there is plenty of room for two lanes and do not understand why they want to punish people everyday when they would not have to.

Going to work to Wailea from North Kīhei, the traffic was backed up past Hope Chapel. They should never have been able to start the construction until they had a detour that would handle the traffic. — Marvin Gilbert, Kīhei

Proposes “radical” solution to Axis deer population problem

I have a radical, yet practical solution to the Axis deer population problem in Maui County. Not so long ago there were 10,000 deer here; now the estimate is close to 60,000 or higher.

Here is the radical part: the United States Armed Forces train with live ammunition on many bases on the island of O‘ahu. I suggest the military fly their helicopter gunships and/or drones over Maui county and cull, if not eliminate, the herds of invasive Axis deer. 

One of the major objections is, “What would we do with the carcasses?” The same military can airlift bulldozers and bury the carcasses in mass graves. This way, the young soldiers will be trained and equipment will be used putting our hard-earned tax dollars to very good and practical use. Win win. — Larry Feinberg, Pukalani

To submit a letter online: Letters to the Editor Form.


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