Letters to the Editor

People of Hawaii now own Haleakala Trail

Haleakala Trail is now owned by the people of Hawaii. You can find a Google Map of Haleakala Trail at www.publicaccesstrailshawaii.org/old-haleakala-trail-summary.

Feel free to contact me at brown9183@twc.com.

Happy hiking.

David Brown

Executive Director

Public Access Trails Hawaii

Wailuku

*****

MPD is applauded for community outreach event

On May 16, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Junior Police Officers picnic where the Maui Police Department, in conjunction with public schools, honors the efforts of 5th-graders who work hard all year in assisting school officials in keeping schools safe before and after classes.

Though there are well-documented flaws with both the MPD and the public school system, it was great to see how welcoming and generous the MPD was in hosting this event, which was a true example of community outreach and mentoring. Most importantly, it was heartening to see 5th-graders simply be children unencumbered by troubles or pressure as they danced, whooped, played and consumed vast amounts of Gatorade.

As a parent whose children had attended private schools, it struck me how the public school experience, in its better parts, really does encourage a sense of belonging to a larger and diverse community with role models wanting to make positive changes — something largely absent in the insular world of elite private schools.

So, kudos to all and thanks for an eye-opening and very touching experience.

Andy Gross

Haiku

*****

Both good and bad seen in plan for new school

In 2004, the Hawaii Legislature appropriated $5.5 million for planning and design for a new high school in South Maui. Today, 13 years since that initial allocation, the state Department of Education has secured additional funding that will allow for a scaled-back first phase of construction. Recently, the DOE presented an updated timeline that shows school opening in fall 2021. This will be the result of 17 years of lobbying, planning, land acquisition, construction and appropriations totaling over $225 million ($120 million was not secured or allowed to lapse).

Not funded and not included in the first phase of construction are sports fields, a stadium, auditorium, electives building, additional parking and other amenities to complete the campus. Additional classroom buildings, not funded at this time, could be built in future phases to allow for approximately 1,600-plus students.

The forward-thinking design and architecture of the buildings and campus is to be applauded. Highlights include air-conditioned classrooms, administrative offices and library; a cafeteria with seating for 800; and a gym with seating for 1,925.

A major disappointment is that there is no air conditioning for the gym or cafeteria, even if the power came from renewable sources. This seems illogical, we need the community to persuade the DOE to rectify this shortsighted decision. Touted to be the state’s first net-zero school, the goal is to generate as much power as it uses. Ironically and unfortunately, the plans contained little information regarding power generation.

We look forward with cautious optimism.

Andrew Beerer

Kihei High School Action Team

Kihei

*****

Trump vs. Comey: It takes one to know one

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “nut job”? Is this the pot calling the kettle black, or it takes one to know one?

Marlene Rea

Kihei

* The Maui News welcomes letters on subjects of general interest. Letters must not exceed 250 words, and all letters are subject to editing. Handwritten letters are not accepted. Writers are limited to two published letters per month. No poetry. Letters may be submitted via the Virtual Newsroom on The Maui News website (www.mauinews.com), or via email (opinions@mauinews.com). Letters must include the writer’s name, community and a telephone number where the writer can be reached.

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