I hope you know what an idiot you have working for you in Editor
Anthony Pignataro. Based on his recent story (“The Mayor’s Race,”
Aug. 3, 2006), he clearly supports Alan
Arakawa despite: the Maui Lani Height
Violations; his handling of the homeless; the Water Use and
Development Plan being years late; the General Plan circus; his
insisting on using HPoko Wells; him telling us Upcountry residents to
stop “bitching and moaning.” The list goes on and on.
How the Pig can back The A-Team rather than Charmaine Tavares shows
either: (1) He’s an idiot; (2) He’s friends with [Mayoral Executive
Assistant David] DeLeon; (3) What all us women say: “He’s got the small
man syndrome (very small I might say).”
-“Sour Grape,” via email.
TAX OR CUT
COMET’s proposed property tax charter amendment will be disastrous
for Maui, if passed by the voters (Coconut Wireless, July 27, 2006).
Here’s why! It is simple math. If you cut taxes, then you have to cut
county services. So here is the question: which county services would
you like to see cut?
Which county parks and swimming pools should we close and how many
police officers and firemen should we layoff? Should we stop building
new county roads and infrastructure? How much should we cut back on
grants to such organizations as the Maui Humane Society, Maui Economic
Opportunity, Community Work Day and other worthy organizations? Should
we stop salary increases for county employees or maybe even reduce
We have a perfectly good property tax system right now which has a
$300,000 exemption for homeowners plus a low rate which make our
property taxes some of the lowest in the nation. Just to install the
new system would cost a lot of money to write up all new software and
to hire the new personnel in the finance department to implement and
The housing bubble has popped now and home values are declining.
Would you like to have your assessment frozen at the top? If someone
asks you to sign the petition, ask them which county services they want
-Bob Babson, Kihei
I know of no one who has not been impacted by and complains about
traffic on Maui (“Moratorium Time?” June 22, 2006). Especially during
rush hour. It’s such a waste of gas and although time in traffic can be
well spent, you know we’d rather not be in traffic. It can take over an
hour to get from Kahului to Lahaina, a distance of about 25 miles; or
south Maui to Kahului, which is only about 12 miles. We’re probably
using up more gas idling in bumper to bumper traffic than moving.
Personally, I don’t think more roads is the answer. We do need more
roads, but those will quickly fill up with traffic too. I have another
idea to suggest.
In the corporate world it’s called flex time. Basically, it’s an
adjusted schedule. A lot of Maui’s traffic problem is caused by
everyone trying to get someplace at the same time. What if only half
the people trying to get someplace no longer needed to get there at
that same time?
What would happen if teachers and students didn’t need to get to
school until 9 a.m.? What if school was 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., instead of 8
a.m. to 2 p.m.? How might that alter morning traffic jams? What if we
tended our shops, conducted our business and, basically, had “day time”
work routines at night? If half the people who work from 8 a.m. to 5
p.m. could change to working 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., it may not drastically
reduce rush hour traffic, but it sure would help.
Maybe some day soon, private business and government agencies will
allow employees to have this kind of flex time. Freedom is flexibility,
not adherence to a social convention or system of habit. If a large
enough number of parents simply refuse to bring their children to
school until 9 a.m. due to the extra cost of idle gas time (and a
higher safety risk) of transportation at “rush” hour, then so be it.
After all, parents are taxpayers and, thereby, part owners of “the
system”—complete with all the responsibilities of ownership.
-Ken Fields, Wailuku
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