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Letter: State Needs to Prioritize Teacher Contract

The state (Board of Education, Governor and superintendent) needs to prioritize retaining quality, experienced teachers. But the state is not taking the negotiations process seriously by: Not bringing all team members to the table including their chief negotiator and governor’s representatives Not engaging in any significant way in discussions of our proposals, even non-cost items Not being available to bargain …

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Community Voices: County workers in Hawaii make highest wages in nation

County workers in the state of Hawaii make the highest wages on average in the entire nation compared to county workers in other states, according to research from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that county workers in Hawaii make a mean average wage of $61,365 a year. Private sector workers in …

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OPINION: A Slow, Yet Steady Fall from Grace

Voters have made it abundantly clear that they desire a change from the current backdoor-dealing, ‘establishment’ politics that have always existed here in Maui County; to a more lawful, transparent, inclusive way of doing things. When questioned about this inexplicable decision last Friday (specifically: the wasting of unnecessary money, energy and time by moving the three new incoming member’s offices …

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Community Voices: Plantation Worker Pride and Perspective

The plantation era is over in Hawaii, and a new generation of leaders will determine what comes next. Like many of my friends, I am a product of our plantation history, stemming from seven generations of mixed-race workers here on Maui. My first job was picking pineapples at 14 years old to help my widowed mother with family bills. My …

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Letters: Maui, Ignorance Will Be Your Demise

To the Mayor, County Council, and citizens of Maui: As a time-share owner on Maui, I thought you might be interested in the ramifications of Maui’s war on time-shares, how this impacts me and what effect it will have on YOUR future. I purchased my ownership on Ka’anapali Beach, north of Black Rock in Jan. 2003. At this time, time-share …

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Community Voices: Hawaii crime goes down, police spending goes up

Almost every morning, Hawaii residents wake up to news stories of violent crime in local papers, from road rage stabbings to burglaries. Most people in the islands might assume crime is getting worse, but surprise: crime in Hawaii is actually falling. Over the past two decades, crime in Hawaii has fallen by over 40 percent. This is during a time …

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Community Voices: Maui Hospital Transfer Travesty – Lives Will Be Lost

As a resident of Maui, I am appalled at the travesty that is occurring at Maui Memorial Medical Center – the only acute-care hospital serving the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The inability of our government leaders and the unions to come to an agreement about the future of healthcare on Maui is staggering. For many years, our only …

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Community Voices: Hospital Delay Heightens Vulnerability to Hurricanes

As I write this, Hurricane Lester is threatening Maui and the Big Island and the residents of those areas are preparing for the worst. Friends in the mainland who have never been on an island before an oncoming storm may not know just how scarce supplies can get…or how worrisome that can be. That’s why the onset of hurricane season …

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Community Voices: Maui’s long waiting list for water

Getting water on Maui isn’t easy, especially upcountry. Almost 1,900 applicants have been waiting for years, often decades, to get hooked up to the county water system. You read that correctly: 1,900 applicants on Maui are still waiting for running water, meaning that they must either gather water using a catchment system or are unable to expand their property due to …

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Community Voices: Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Illegal and Unfunded Bill

During a special session this summer, Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill that is both illegal and unfunded. The bill offers a $60 million severance package to union workers at the Maui public hospital system who will lose their jobs due to privatization, even though all the workers have already been offered their jobs back. Lawmakers overlooked the fact that the …

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