Somehow, it seems, Anthony Pignataro has missed the obvious in his piece, “Water for HC&S” (The Maui 10, June 21, 2007). Warren Watanabe didn’t say small Upcountry farms “would not exist” because he was trying to make nice with HC&S; he was simply stating the facts. As Anthony pointed out, HC&S founders Henry Baldwin and Samuel Alexander built the original ditch of what would become the East Maui Irrigation (EMI) system. Then they built all the rest of the ditches and tunnels that bring water from as far as Nahiku to the dry Upcountry area. The company has maintained and operated the system for more than a century, right up to the present day.
Some people question whether HC&S/EMI should have control of all that water, but at this point, the reality is that they do. If those ditches and the people who run them quit working, there would be no water from Haiku to Kula, for farmers or anyone else. I once asked a county Water Department employee if the county is working on plans for taking over the system, and the answer was an emphatic “no!” So, until someone decides to terminate EMI’s water lease, and someone else steps up to take over the system, the entire Upcountry community depends on that system.
(This letter concerns the Maui bus system, which we wrote about in the May 3, 2007 cover story “Easy Rider.”)
When Roberts took over the operation of the Maui bus system from MEO almost a year ago there was an immediate improvement. However, the service has gradually deteriorated and is now almost back to the MEO level. Here are some of the problems I have noticed on the Central routes.
The drivers think nothing of leaving a stop early, which is much worse than leaving late because those who miss the bus have to wait another hour. Several times I have mentioned to the driver that (s)he was leaving five, six or even seven minutes early, which will cause some people to miss appointments, classes and so on.
They always ignore me. They apparently do this to compensate for gradually falling behind schedule and running quite late toward the end of the day.
At the Ka‘ahumanu Mall one Wailuku bus (#1) is scheduled to leave at the half hour, while the reverse route (#2) is scheduled to leave on the hour. So near the half hour you get on the bus marked “Wailuku” assuming it is the #1 but it’s really the #2 running 25 minutes late.
Since they don’t put the numbers on the bus you get on the wrong one and end up wasting an hour or more. Can it be so hard to label the bus with the route numbers?
Another problem is inconsistent policies. Some people will ask to be let off at nonscheduled stops and the driver complies. Others are denied such requests. Similarly, you may ring the bell just before a certain stop. The driver says, “We always stop here, so don’t ring the bell.” Okay, next time you don’t and the driver sails past the stop because no one is waiting there. You say, “Whoa! Let me off,” and the driver scowls as (s)he pulls over and says, “Next time ring the bell.”
Come on, guys, you can do better than this.
-Kurt Butler, via email
Congratulations on 10 years of independent reporting on Maui! I am writing to especially thank you very much for the recent excellent article your writer Mira Allen wrote about depleted uranium [DU] and the play Ten Fingers, 10 Toes (“The Drama of DU, June 21, 2007) which we sponsored on Maui.
A year or so ago you also published an extensive feature article on DU. We greatly appreciate your commitment to shedding light on the subject of this horrendous health danger to our soldiers, their families and, with DU coming off of firing ranges in Hawai‘i, our ‘aina and its people here in Hawai‘i.
-Mele Stokesberry, President, Maui Peace Action, via email
In our June 21, 2007 story “The Drama of DU,” we mischaracterized the status of state House Bill 1452, which deals with depleted uranium testing. The bill stalled in House/Senate Conference on April 27, and hasn’t been seen since. Also, we should have identified the speaker of the quote “The military is the biggest unregulated dirty industry polluting our planet today” as Lindafaye Kroll. Oh, and in our June 28, 2007 10th anniversary issue, we got the name of former contributing writer Elaine Gast’s company wrong. She owns Four Winds Writing, Inc.
Maui Time welcomes letters commenting on our coverage, but only if they’re complimentary. If you still wish to complain about something, please have the decency to use plenty of bad punctuation and grammar—that makes it easier for us to make fun of you when we respond. We also reserve the right to edit your letters. Send your letters to the editor via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), regular mail (Letters to the Editor, Maui Time Weekly, 33 N. Market St., Ste. 201, Wailuku, HI 96793-1742) or fax (808-244-0446). All correspondence must include your full name, hometown and phone number.