This Weeks Letters
YOU KNOW I WAS BEING SARCASTIC, RIGHT?
November 02, 2006
In your Oct. 26, 2006 "Know Your Candidates!" section you mentioned
that you could not think of anything that Councilmember [Mike] Molina
has accomplished other than authoring the Affordable Housing Charter
Amendment. I thought I would lend some assistance and provide you with
a few accomplishments of Councilmember Molina.
• Created the First Time Homebuyers Fund and authored the First Time
Homebuyers Program legislation that implements the $400,000 set aside
annually to assist needy families with the purchase of a home. The
Affordable Housing Charter Amendment and First Time Homebuyers are the
only significant pieces of affordable housing legislation fully passed
by the Council, thus far.
• Worked closely with the State, County and private officials to
construct the Paia Mini Bypass, which has provided traffic relief
during the afternoon rush hour.
• Requested State officials to expedite the planning and design of a permanent Paia Bypass.
• Secured over $1.5 million in road repair and paving projects
within his district over the last three fiscal years. These
appropriations are more than double the amount of funding secured by
any other district in the County.
• Requested and secured funding for the inaugural operation of the
public transit system for Upcountry. The Administration was not set to
fund this until 2008.
• Authored legislation to increase the size of school zones, from
300 feet to 1,000 feet, for the protection of children and pedestrians.
• Created the Countywide Road Safety Improvements line item within
the County budget to help address traffic and pedestrian safety issues.
• Annually supports the increase in Police and Fire personnel.
• Supported the funding for the Kaunakakai and Haiku Fire Stations.
• Supported the funding for the South Maui Police Station.
• And yes, he was one of the individuals that initiated the reduction in the price of gas from $3.69 to $3.67 per gallon.
The most important thing to consider is that Councilmember Molina is
responsive to his constituents. He consistently provides follow-up to
each call. This includes all districts; he does not brush off a call if
from another Council district. If he gets the call he will do his best
to address the matter. I hope this is helpful in understanding
Councilmember Molina's record.
-Gary Saldana, former aide to Councilman Molina, via email
ROB SAYS SPLIT 'EM
Ballot Question #1 asks voters: Should the Department of Public
Works and Environmental Management be divided to form two separate
departments? ("We Score the Ballot Measures," Oct. 26, 2006). If
approved, the change would require a revision of the County Charter to
reflect the departmental structure.
This ballot question is supported by Mayor Arakawa, who recognizes
that with five divisions (Engineering, Highways, Solid Waste,
Wastewater, and Development Services Administration) and 439 employees,
our current Public Works Department is cumbersome to manage.
I know this because as Environmental Coordinator, I am assigned to
DPWEM, and share an office there. Director Milton Arakawa and Deputy
Director Michael Miyamoto are swamped, more often than not, and also
oversee a budget of around $110 million, or nearly 25 percent of the
entire County budget.
The Cost of Government Commission studied and endorsed the proposal,
noting that the benefits of better management outweigh the added costs
of administration salaries and supporting staff. Additionally, a new
department of Environmental Management could provide the bureaucratic
structure to build a new division or Office of the Environment.
Currently, the County's environmental efforts hinge upon the Mayor's
choice to appoint an executive assistant in that role. I have been
honored to serve our community in coordinating these efforts, but have
done so without staff, and with a Mayor's Office budget that has been
reduced by the County Council each year. Faced with these limitations,
I took a creative approach. Fortunately, I have been privileged to work
with bright, young students through the MCC Cooperative Education
Hopefully, Maui County voters will see the wisdom in focusing County
resources on preserving, protecting, and restoring our environment, and
planning for a sustainable future. They can do so in two ways: by
voting "Yes" on Ballot Question #1, and by re-electing Mayor Alan
Arakawa, so that we may continue our vital environmental efforts and
strong partnerships for the next four years.
-Rob Parsons, Executive Assistant for Environmental Concerns to Mayor Alan Arakawa, via email
PUTS A LOT ON MR. ISAAK'S SHOULDERS
This goes out to the morons who wrote the "Play in one act" on Chris
Isaak(Oct. 19, 2006). First of all who authorized five people who only
know Isaak from a video on MTV to write an article on him? Not only is
it a huge disrespect to people who love his music, it clearly showed
your ages and maturity level. Reading that article reminded me of being
in high school listening to gossiping girls give reviews on other
Isaak's music not only is reminiscent of a time where love could
save us all, it puts romance back to front of the class. Our society is
no longer promoting romance, instead it's Girls Gone Wild
commercials and "shake that ass bitch" songs that feed our heads daily.
So next time an artist comes to town, let's have some people over 20
write about them, or a least like them. Peace.
-Kevin Vaugn, via email
The guy who "authorized five people who only know Isaak from a video on MTV to write an article on him" responds: Had
you actually read the article you're criticizing, you would have
noticed that "Brad" thought Isaak was "awesome" and "hilarious," most
notably because "back in the day, he wore a mirror-ball suit." There's
no possible way anyone under the age of 20 would have known this—or
used the phrase "back in the day," for that matter.
We misspelled the name of Marine Ira Hayes in our Oct. 19, 2006 story "Eastwood Deconstructs Heroism," a review of the movie Flags of our Fathers.
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