County should monitor beach parking in Kaanapali
In about the mid-1980s, I complained to the Maui County Council that our public beach parking stalls at the resorts and Whalers Village were starting to have limited access. The property owners started to arbitrarily gate off or post signs that limited the usage of the public beach parking stalls in Kaanapali Resort.
At this time, after several council meetings - including a couple in Lahaina Civic Center - a determination was made by the County Council that all public beach parking stalls shall remain open for use to THE PUBLIC 24 hours a day for the purpose of beach recreation.
This did NOT include anyone who ran beach concessions, boat operations, hotels, restaurants, or shopping centers, shops or any employes thereof. Beach parking is also not to be used for restaurant or shopping center costumers.
This is after the Special Management Area Permits for each Kaanapali property were looked up. The permits list all of the stalls for each property, and every time additions to these properties were done, additional stalls were required with new SMA Permits.
Back then, the property owners were also required to have security patrol these stalls to warn abusers who should not be using the public beach parking stalls, and that they may get their vehicle impounded for doing so. Today, there are more abusers parking all day than beach goers using these stalls.
This complaint was made May 1, 2014. Since then, a zoning official said he cannot find any SMA Permits or a record of the council meetings, and it's not a important issue on his to-do list. Our West Maui councilwoman is of no help as well.
What can we do to reclaim our public beach parking and access rights? Some Kaanapali hotels have the public beach parking lots chained up before the sun sets, whether or not your car is parked in it.
RANDY DRAPER, Napili
Take action on litter
Staring out the window on my way home from Kahului, I see so much opala (rubbish) everywhere and feel sick in my stomach. So sad. I go surf one of my favorite spots, only to step out my truck to find stinky opala piled up and cigarette butts everywhere.
After a surf session, I walk the beach with my dog to look for shells, and I pick up more fishing line than shells. Every week, I can pick up opala and throw it away, but more comes. Mahalo nui loa ke Akua (thanks a lot, God) for putting caring people on Maui that volunteer their time to walk in the hot sun to pick up other people's messes.
Most of the opala isn't even from tourists, like most people like to blame. Go out and spend time gathering up all the junk. You will see it is locals that throw away their couches, TVs, fishing line, McDonald's, Heineken bottles, etc.
I pray that the kanaka and kama'aina can be responsible, pono, and have some pride for the place they stay. I am embarrassed that tourists come here and see slippahs, plastic spoons and diapers along the beach. This aina is like my house.
People come here to see the beauty that ke Akua created and the aina that the PEOPLE are supposed to take care of. So disappointing. I encourage people to take action. To help out just a little. When you go to the beach, help pick up opala around you. Throw away your own and bring a rubbish bag. I always have 3-4 in my truck. Start community cleanup days.
If you have keiki, teach them about the aloha for the aina and model it for them. Speak up when a friend throws rubbish down without a care. This is OUR aina. It gives us so much: a home, a playground, resting place, food, fun. Give back. It is everyone's kuleana (responsibility). Mahalo. Akua Ho'omaika'i Oe! God Bless You!
JAHANNA NAGANUMA, Lahaina
Buenconsejo cares about Maui families
Ka'ala Buenconsejo is not new to Maui, but he is one of the bright new talents in this year's Maui County Council race.
Ka'ala wants to move Maui into the future by being a champion of alternative energy solutions like solar power generation. His professional background working for local businesses has helped create jobs, eliminate red tape and cut wasteful spending.
As the father of three young children, Ka'ala knows firsthand how hard it can be for young families on Maui to make it. Working in real estate for many years, he, like many in Maui, had to contemplate changing careers as Maui's lending industry constricted. He was fortunate - he landed a great job at Na Hoaloha Ekolu helping local businesses stay afloat by adding jobs in a tough economy. He knows many were not so lucky. This experience helped stoke his passion for serving the community by helping working people and their families.
Born in Hawaii and growing up on Maui, Ka'ala wants his children, and yours, to have the opportunity to build their lives here with well-paying jobs, energy independence and plenty of beautiful open spaces. He knows we need to harness our endless sunshine for good, make it easier for small businesses to thrive, and eliminate wasteful spending so we can invest more in our roads, parks and public safety. This is why Ka'ala is running for County Council.
He is in a tough race against some very worthy opponents and entrenched local politicians. However, Ka'ala's deep local roots, his desire to turn the sun into energy savings, his commitment to turn wasted taxpayer money into roads and parks, and his proven record of helping to turn struggling businesses into thriving job-creators is what sets Ka'ala apart from the rest of the field.
Ka'ala Buenconsejo cares about all of Maui families - not just the loudest, but the those that need real solutions now. He will work to protect Maui, our home, our paradise, for us and our children for generations to come.
BILL KAMAI, Senior Maui Field Representative, Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters
Planning Commission ignores Lahaina locals
With so many local residents outraged by the plan to develop Kahoma Village, it is no wonder that the Planning Commission hearing on June 24 was packed with concerned citizens and was standing room only.
Countless Lahaina residents testified that they DID NOT WANT the extensive development of the 24-acre field at Front and Kenui streets to proceed as planned. This is the last open area makai of the highway, and a large majority of local residents overwhelmingly believe that this area should be designated as a community park.
The plans, however, are for Stanford Carr to build 203 residential units for sale in an area that already has MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE and SAFETY ISSUES that have existed for years. Many of these problems will never be solved. This means that the problems we experience regularly in Lahaina will only worsen.
When I testified, I tried to explain that many of streets that lead into this area do not even have sidewalks. This was just the first of many concerns I tried to express, but I felt COMPLETELY IGNORED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION the entire time. This isn't right. They are in charge of making a major decision that will impact thousands of locals for years to come. It was as if all of the locals and their children that live nearby this proposed development site, and who would be impacted the greatest, did not matter in the least.
Even though each testifier was given only a maximum of three minutes to speak, Lahaina locals echoed many of the same worries repeatedly. They explained concerns with safety, sewage, water, reef damage, traffic, historic ground, congestion, school capacity and so much more. The Planning Commission did not seem the least bit concerned.
They cut off one local woman as she tried to explain that she may have gotten cancer from all of the recent spraying of the field. Her three minutes were up. I felt that the local school principal was completely disregarded when he explained that all Lahaina schools are already far beyond capacity.
On the other hand, the representatives of the developers were given an unlimited time to explain their plans, and the Planning Commission seemed to be all ears for their very long and detailed presentation.
Some of the more upsetting things for me personally were that the Planning Commission WOULD NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NEARLY 600 PETITION SIGNATURES by Lahaina locals who were also completely against this project.
Many could not attend this meeting, as it was during regular work hours and located in Wailuku, so they signed the petition with hopes the Planning Commission would take them seriously. They didn't. The people that did testify, including me, thought we were speaking on behalf of the residents who couldn't make it to the meeting. Sadly, none of this seemed to matter.
Overwhelmingly, local residents stated they were upset and concerned by the terrible plans that seem to be already in motion. Perhaps nobody from the Planning Commission lives near this proposed development and will not be impacted themselves, so they continued the fast-track plan with complete disregard to us Lahaina locals who will pay the ultimate price.
I was stunned when the Planning Commission made their determination to continue with this terrible development so quickly. Despite overwhelming opposition, they made their decision by 2:30 p.m. the very same day as the hearing. THEY COMPLETELY IGNORED THE COUNTLESS RESIDENTS who were adamantly opposed to this proposed nightmare.
It just feels so wrong to me and to so many other citizens. I have tried to contact local officials numerous times regarding this, but have received little and no response. The local government, Planning Commission and Weinberg Foundation are truly letting us all down. Lahaina will suffer the consequences for years to come.
Because of the complete disregard by the Planning Commission and local officials to help, Michele Lincoln, along with a group of local residents, has retained an attorney to try and prevent this development. It may be our last and only hope to save this area. If you would like to contribute to this legal fund or need additional information, Ms. Lincoln has requested that you please contact her by phone at (808) 667-6652.
Also, I urge you to contact your local officials and express your concerns soon. With elections looming, they may actually listen.
MICHAEL WILL, Lahaina