Letters: Save Tobacco Control Fund, Beach Parking, Mandate Hana Road Tours & Let Me See My Wife
* Updated June 29, 11:43 AM
Save Hawaiʻi’s Tobacco Control Trust Fund
As a longtime cancer advocate, I’m grateful that Governor [David] Ige intends to veto legislation that would eliminate Hawaiʻi’s stable tobacco prevention and cessation funding in our Tobacco Control Trust Fund – reversing decades of progress and worsening the e-cigarette epidemic among our keiki. He has until July 6 to officially veto this bill – and I urge him to do so.
For over 20 years, Hawaiʻi’s tobacco control program has helped adults quit smoking and prevented youth from starting. It’s also saved the state more than $1 billion in health care costs. These programs work, but only if they are well-funded and sustained.
Hawaiʻi needs this funding to protect people from the aggressive tobacco industry marketing. As the tobacco industry continues to evolve, the need for adequate and stable funding for our state’s tobacco prevention and cessation efforts has never been more important. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death.
Governor Ige supported the creation of this tobacco control trust fund when he was a state legislator. Now, he can solidify its legacy and protect this critical funding. As an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I ask him to please veto House Bill 1296 by July 6 and preserve our state’s tobacco control efforts. — Kellen King, Wailuku
More Signage Needed at Kīhei Crosswalks to Prevent Injuries
In light of the increasing pedestrian/vehicle related injuries, I ask that anyone else who finds the street crosswalks not appropriately identified with signage along Kīhei Road to please contact the County and request signs be installed.
I am most concerned about the crosswalks at Kalama Park/Alahele Place in the Kīhei Caffe area and at the cove area, where many crosswalks are difficult to see and need signs. They could simply install the upright plastic signs in the crosswalk that are used at school crosswalks and say “Stop for Pedestrians.”
Myself and my neighbors have made the request for signage to the County but nothing has been done about this. Now the tourists are flooding across the roadways and it is only a matter of time for more injuries to occur. This is a public safety issue that needs to be addressed. — G. Duncan, Kīhei
Why is Mask Wearing Mandated at Outdoor Recycling Centers?
I have visited the Oluwalu Recycling Center twice over the last two weeks and each time was admonished by the employees that I had to wear a mask while outside. I think they are a County operation and subject to the Governor’s recent announcement that masks are not required outdoors.
Can someone explain why these employees are insisting that masks are still required and if not, can someone pass the word from the Governor? — William Ankele, Lahaina
Tourists Should Show Respect for Maui’s COVID-19 Protocols or Stay Home
I don’t have much sympathy for people who decide to travel during a pandemic, and then complain about the processes necessary to protect our island community. It seems many travelers feel entitled being here and do not care about following our guidelines.
It would only take a few positive COVID-19 travelers to spread the virus to our community and very quickly overwhelm our health care system. Let’s not forget Hawaiian History when the common cold almost wiped out the Hawaiian population. A vaccine is no guarantee that you won’t get COVID-19 or spread it to others, per the Pfizer CEO. Show some respect or stay home. — Tina Coleman, Kula
Require Road to Hana Tourists to Traverse Maui’s Scenic Gem Via a Tour
I am not a resident of Maui, however I am a frequent visitor and I can sympathize with Maui residents about too much traffic, especially on the Road to Hana. A simple solution could be to not allow single cars on the Road to Hana, unless you are a permanent resident. All tourists must book a tour bus, in an effort to reduce the number of vehicles traveling the road.
Instead of having 30 individual vehicles traveling the road, one tour bus would be using it, with 30 passengers. This should help with the traffic congestion and present a more environmentally friendly alternative.
For permanent residents, you have to have a windshield sticker on your vehicle to allow access. A monitoring station at the start could be installed. Stiff penalties if violations occur. Maybe something to consider? — Karima Suleman, Edmonton, Canada
Commerical Dive Companies Should Be Considerate Using Public Beach Parking
In addition to all the other obvious negative impacts from tourism, there is the lack of parking at the beach parks. This would simply be a foreseeable irritation, except when so many of the spaces are filled with dive vans.
At the Kahekili Beach Park [in Ka’anapali], it clearly states that absolutely no commercial activity is permitted. I am supportive of private enterprise, but this activity has become arrogantly impactful. The vans meet their clients there, who bring their own cars, taking up multiple spaces, and the instructors teach their class in the parking lot, spreading out their tanks and gear, keeping their doors open, making the parking area even more congested and difficult to navigate.
If they would be more respectful and make an effort to minimize their impact it would be tolerable, even though it’s illegal. If they would bring their clients in their vans, and teach their classes on the grass, it would help. It would be nice if they would make some effort at being considerate, especially since they are profiting from a public asset. — Jill Ireland, Lahaina
Vaccinated People Should Be Allowed to See Loved Ones for Longer at Hale Makua
I have a question. If I am vaccinated and my wife is vaccientated, why is it still difficult to be with each other at Hale Makua? Not being able to be with her for over a year was ridiculous. The State couldn’t come up with an alternate plan. Now [with visitation] at 1 hour a week, it’s stupid.
She could come home with me 1 day a week and my life would be a joyous event. She needs me and I need her, period. I just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on part of my kidney. Imagine if I got any sicker. What a waste of our lives. We can’t get any time back. We have been together for 38 years. She’s only 58. She’s been there for 8 years. Time is precious people. We’ve made enough sacrifices. Time to get on with our lives. They’re ours to live. It’s worse than prison. — Richard Doran, Wailuku