DONATIONS SOUGHT TO PRESERVE HONOLUA
It is unfortunate that the quiet title process of forcing families to sell their ancestral lands continues in Hawaii in this day and age; however, that is the result of legal action taken by Maui Land & Pineapple Co. to "quiet" the title of a very small parcel of land located within the Honolua Marine Life Conservation District.
While this is a sad situation, the Save Honolua Coalition hopes that it can be an opportunity to further Malama Honolua. Our vision for this property is our mission for our nonprofit: Maintain open space, public access and revitalize the health of the Honolua Ahupua'a through community-based management utilizing Hawaiian practices and values. We would like to facilitate a makai watch program being reinstated and continue to fund port-a-potties as part of a much-needed management plan for this sensitive area.
It is disappointing that MLP COO Ryan Churchill declined to comment in an article in The Maui News (Jan. 29, 2012) regarding the public auction of this property.
Time and time again, the community has come out en masse to support the protection of Honolua Bay from development, and I'm sure we would all like to know MLP's plans for the future at Honolua. Will they restart a bidding war at the confirmation hearing? If they were to acquire the land, what are their plans?
As a publicly traded corporation beholden to their stockholders, MLP is responsible for making a profit; so we wonder how outbidding our community will accomplish this. If they have plans for conservation and management, wouldn't it be cheaper for their stockholders to allow a nonprofit to shoulder the burden? If MLP or any other entity has plans for private or commercial development at Honolua, be assured that the community will rise up once again to protect Honolua.
Ultimately, the Save Honolua Coalition would like the community to have ownership of this land through a conservation land trust, and we are actively seeking donations to raise the necessary funds on our website at www.savehonolua.org. If you have a love for Honolua and believe in our mission and what we are doing, please donate - every little bit helps. If MLP or another entity ends up with control of the property at the confirmation hearing, we will continue on with our mission and hope to work together with the landowners on a management plan to address the many threats faced by the Honolua MLCD.
TAMARA PALTIN, President, Save Honolua Coalition
DON'T PUT TRANSIT HUB ACROSS FROM SCHOOL
If you have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. attending this school, or if you just want to help protect the students who attend, I urge you to take a moment to write a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org/. It only needs to be a a sentence or two.
(The following letter was sent to County Councilwoman Elle Cochran.)
My name is Lashawna Garnier and my daughter attends King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina. I have been informed that the parking lot across from this school is proposed as a location for a transportation hub for buses. The result being more buses in the area than there already are.
I have serious concerns about this proposal. First, the parking area is already overcrowded at the hours when school begins and ends. The school has no area for parents to park while picking up and dropping off our keiki, so we have no choice but to use the parking area across the street - that is usually full with tourist cars. There is also usually an officer, with pen in hand, waiting to pounce upon parents parking illegally for two minutes in the bus zone.
The second and more important concern I have is for the keiki themselves. I have seen these buses pull into this lot and operate in reverse while there are students crossing the lot to get to and from the school. These buses have several blind spots, especially in reverse, and I fear the unthinkable is bound to happen, especially if more buses are introduced to the area.
This is a public school, and it is the responsibility of the state to provide safe surroundings for the children who attend. The crossing guard provided is a start, but only offers a safe way for them to cross into an unsafe environment. If a child is injured in this parking area by a bus, think of what the consequences would be for the state. First question I would ask in court is, "Why in the world would you approve a major transit hub for buses to be put in an elementary school parking lot?!?!" (This is essentially what this parking lot is... King Kamehameha III School's lot.)
I propose we ban buses in this lot between the hours of 7 and 8 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m., and allow parents to use the bus zone as a loading zone (WITHOUT getting ticketed) NOT try to introduce more buses!
Mahalo for considering my letter, and mahalo for everything you do for our community.
LASHAWNA GARNIER, West Maui
KEIKI JUST NEED LOVE
I read the column that you published titled "The Importance of Preschool" (Jan. 26 issue).
While many of the wonderful things stated in the column are true - i.e., stimulation, socialization and acceptable behavior, etc. - many families can no longer afford preschool.
We are in the middle of one of the worst recessions in American history.
As I read the column, I thought how many young moms and dads might worry that their little ones are falling behind academically and/or socially (as the article suggests), because they cannot afford preschool and do not qualify for assistance.
Many families here on Maui and across America have had to pull together to make ends meet, only to discover that love is what children need. Love, attention, encouragement, goodness, kindness, discipline and fun.
My grandchildren sing, dance, swim, run, play, write letters and numbers, do art projects, garden, bake and are charitable.
So, don't worry if they aren't in preschool every day. Give them what they really need: lots of LOVE. They'll be just fine... no, they'll be GREAT!
T. COOPER, Napili
TWO LOUSY GOP OPTIONS FOR PRESIDENT
What a situation we're in! We have one candidate who was Speaker of the House back a few years running to replace President Obama. He stepped down before being replaced and then resigned from the House. Oh, yeah, in the process, he tried to get President Clinton removed because of "another woman" in his life, and look what his three marriages were like meanwhile! I don't think he can be trusted.
Then we have the other guy, who is now worth more than eight previous presidents times two - more than $400 million - because of his positions as CEO with various very large corporations. He's just another one of those greedy guys who accepts millions in bonuses instead of giving it back to customers in the lower and middle class, which made him look good in the first place (his customers).
So, we have one guy who can't be trusted and another who is greedy. I think I'll vote for the guy who's there now.
On the other side of the coin, we have West Maui County Councilmember Elle Cochran, who just bought that piece of property at Honolua Bay at auction for $30,000. outbidding Maui Pine, and now wants to turn it over to the Save Honolua Coalition to oversee after it's made into a preserve or something like that. What a gal! I know I'll vote for her again.
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina