Letters to the Editor

Letters: Hawaiian Immersion, Homeless, Dr. Pang, Vaccines & COVID-19 Mandates

September 18, 2021, 7:00 AM HST
* Updated September 17, 2:02 PM
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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

Keakaulike High School Not Supportive of Hawaiian Immersion Program

I have been teaching Advanced Placement Literature and Senior English at Kekaulike High School for 23 years. Since November of 2019 we have a new administration at the school who is not supportive of the Hawaiian Immersion program, Driver’s Education program or the Culinary Program. I have Kula Kaiapuni students in my English class who tell me they are being harassed by administration because they are choosing to eat their lunches outside of the Hawaiian Immersion classrooms because there is not room in the Cafeteria because of COVID-19 restrictions.  

I would like to bring this issue up to the public because although I am not Hawaiian by birth, I am Hawaiian at heart and respect and admire the strength of the Hawaiian culture.  I want to be “pono” and provide a voice for those who are afraid to voice their concerns. — Bea Arendale, Kula

Talk with Homeless People To Understand the Importance of Life

Sit with people who are houseless, like Aunty Penny, to know the importance of life. I see her more than I see most people during the week. We sit, cry, laugh, talk story. She is really funny. Isn’t it true the one who needs help from us teaches us to be grateful? We all are running a rat race and instead of being thankful for every moment, we measure happiness in things, places and money.

In my early 20s I started working with the houseless in Santa Monica, particularly mentally ill houseless women. I would see them outside the shelter and they would talk to me, some gave me gifts and one lady Janet made me a bag sewn out of her own socks. I loved that bag. I started mingling with the houseless, chatting them up, feeding them, laughing with them, even hugging them. I fell in love with each and every one. Even the drug addicts and the alcoholics.

Another shocker for you, they aren’t all addicts. Some of them just lost their way. … You never know what that woman or man’s story is and I choose to help others because I am able. I learned that people are people, no matter how dirty, poor, creepy or disgusting we think they are. I learned that even houseless people just want love and respect.

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I learned that they are so sad when people are mean to them. … I learned the most humane thing taken away from the homeless is everyone’s inability to look them in the eye. I have learned that they know you pity them, that they make you uncomfortable and that you are sometimes scared, and they hate that and want to show you they are just people in a rut with kind hearts and a need to be treated the same as everyone else.

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Don’t dehumanize the houseless. Look at them, talk to them and listen to them. … These people suffer their lowest moments out in the open for everyone to watch. I keep Aunty Penny in my prayers so that one day she may know peace and be able to rest. She cares so much for her community. — Maya Marquez, Paia

Vaccine Mandate, Not Locking Down the Economy, Way to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

Governor David Ige’s latest attempt to blame tourists for the COVID-19 problems in Hawaiʻi ignores that the source of the growth in cases comes from locals, not tourists. Moreover, his efforts to discourage tourists from coming, and threatening another lockdown, will again kneecap the economy for all the wrong reasons.

Tourists must either test, quarantine or arrive fully vaccinated. There are no such requirements for Hawaiians who do not leave the state. So blame the tourists? What is involved here is diversion from his lack of courage to do the right things. Instead of blaming tourists, it’s time to deny unvaccinated people any access to hotels, restaurants and large public gatherings. And it’s time to mandate vaccinations for those in close contact with the public, such as retailing, restaurants, gyms, etc. Stop blaming the wrong people, Governor, and control the spread by the rest. — Larry Rosencrantz, Lahaina

Why Should Vaccinated People Protect People Who Choose Not To Protect Themselves?

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Why should I, as a vaccinated person, continue to protect those who have chosen not to be vaccinated?
Why continue to threaten to close everything down again to protect those who choose not to protect themselves?

If a group of people decide to play on the freeway, do we forbid the cars and close the freeway down to protect those that chose the risk of playing there?

If you want people to get vaccinated, expose them to the risk they’re taking instead of rewarding them with restrictions on us who have chose to take the vaccine. — Theo Amend, Kahului

Witch Hunt of Dr. Lorrin Pang Should End

I completely support Dr. Lorrin Pang in all of his medical approaches to care of the patient. I first met Dr. Pang at the University of Maui College mass vaccination clinics as a volunteer. This man is truly devoted to his profession as a healer. He was always encouraging vaccination as well as educating the volunteer staff about vaccine/COVID-19 issues.  

It’s sad when a non-medical person like Sen. Roz Baker offers a medical opinion. I was trained as an Orthopedic Surgeon. Medicine is as much an art as it is a science. We used implants, devices and medications off label, regularly. Always, in the best interests of the patient. Nobody ever encouraged my resignation or asked the medical board to revoke my license. Sen. Baker should stick with legislation and give up the witch hunt.  Sad! — Nicholas Valos, Wailuku

Welcome to COVIDLAND, Now Go Home

It is time for the Govenor to man up and shut down before more people die. At this rate there will be no one left to serve the tourists.

To the tourists,  welcome to COVIDLAND! Hope you enjoyed the drought and the brush fires. Now go home! — Malia Kealoha, Paia

Vaccine Mandate Is Overreach and Based on Fear

I want to be respectful of public offices. That said, I am totally baffled by these “proclamations” made by our Governor and Mayor. What allows the government (without input from any other levels) to determine what every private business must do concerning vaccines? What suggests that this is still “a crisis”? The government is not here to prevent sickness and death. If that were the case, they should address heart disease, opioid addiction and suicide.  

When is our local government going to wake up and let people live their lives as well as allow businesses to flourish? The only people unaffected by these restrictions are those working in government. This is not public service. This is overreach and completely fear based. I am completely and utterly disappointed.  — Joshua Rempfer, Pukalani

Maui Now seeks your Letters to the Editor. To submit a letter online: Letters to the Editor Form.

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