Our beautiful Valley Isle of Maui may just be the closest we'll ever get to paradise on Earth. That being said, if someone offered us a million dollars and said, "Find a few things wrong with this island and ways they could be improved," I think we would all agree on at least one of my answers.
1. No two ways about it--the out-dated, cheaper method of burning cane fields instead of using modern, safer cutting methods that are used by other countries would be number one on most Maui resident and visitor lists. But HC&S is so powerful and influential (politically, economically and culturally) that this may not happen in our lifetime.
2. "Share the Road." You see these signs all over Maui. But what do they mean, besides being careful of bicyclists traveling in the right lane? They mean share the road. Just because you are in the passing lane going the exact speed limit of 40 miles per hour on the highway--because some politician in Honolulu thought 40 would be a cool number--doesn't mean you are doing the right thing.
Why are there no bathroom facilities at Kahului Airport’s cell phone waiting lot?
Someone may have to get their kid to the hospital, or get their dog to emergency, or get to the airport because their alarm didn't go off--or go to the bathroom!!--or whatever. It's their choice if they want to "break the law" and go 10 or 15 miles
over the speed limit. Your driving along in the left lane side-by-side with another car, causing a rolling roadblock, could be the main cause of road rage, aggressive driving or even an accident. Share the road and stay right except to pass. That's aloha, and that's being respectful of other drivers.
Okay, now we come to, maybe, the number three thing that we find wrong with our beautiful island--and if you've ever had to wait for a plane at Kahului Airport, you know what I'm talking about. Here's the headline: "Governor Releases $113 Million for Hawai'i's Airports and Harbors." Here's my letter to da kine:
Dear Governor Abercrombie:
Please take a small part of your budget to have a port-o-potty bathroom placed in the outside cell phone waiting lot of our Maui airport. There is no facility there, and dozens of passengers sit in their cars waiting for family, friends and guests to arrive by plane. While waiting there are no bathroom facilities anywhere in the immediate area. Please, please, please This would not be a great expense at all!
This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui since August 2000. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to his daily ramblings on Facebook.