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Gecko wins praise; Olowalu questioned

By Staff | Dec 10, 2015

Monkey pod trees in Olowalu form a canopy over Honoapiilani Highway.

LAHAINA – Kapono Gecko, the opinionated friend of this column, got readers’ attention when he suggested, as “dictator” of Maui County, he would take 13 actions to improve government and life in the county.

At least a half-dozen people, including one member of the County Council, have noted that they agree with the Gecko on most – if not all – points. The column can be read online at www.lahainanews.com (under the Opinion tab).

The only disagreement mentioned by several was the comment on GMOs. Gecko, it should be noted, took no position pro or con, but believes the law is the law. Voters approved this initiative, meaning in a Democracy, government is supposed to follow it.

Another commented that the columnist, through his friend, has become a bit “feisty.” True, but someone has to call attention in print to pressing Maui matters, since so few reporters or editorial writers seem to.

SNOWBALLS: Another reader asked, cleverly, what is with those Maui snowballs (big lava rocks painted bright white) installed along the roadway separating the highway from Lahaina Civic Center? Lava rocks painted white apparently for the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament seem very un-Hawaiian and are a tasteless eyesore. One official said they were installed for safety reasons. Yet, couldn’t the rocks remain their original color and still protect the arena?

APPLAUSE: The Kaanapali Alii, the condominium with beautiful landscaping and pool in between the Westin and the Marriott, merits a salute for installing solar – a move, according to a sign on the property, that will reduce energy costs 23 percent. Owners and visitors began returning to the resort last week after being absent most of the summer due to the solar and other work.

Whalers Village has been virtually torn up inside this summer, undergoing a major rehab that makes getting to shops a complicated journey through a labyrinth of narrow passageways. Visitors can look forward to four very tall palm trees that were recently installed in the center courtyard.

OLOWALU REVISITED: Two “local boys,” Frampton and Ward, are at it again, continuing to seek approval for a major development in Olowalu. Among those who may disapprove are the ghosts who reportedly inhabit the area, probably remembering a massacre there of Hawaiians a couple of centuries ago.

The first effort to build at Olowalu was met with a raucous community meeting a bunch of years ago that resulted in the developers backing off. Today, the developers are at it again, ironically led publicly by two people who should know better, since they grew up here. To modify the popular refrain, maybe they should go back to the Mainland, even though they aren’t from there.

We should question the fact that the state Land Use Commission has a say in whether the development will move forward. Approval could mark the beginning of the end for Maui as paradise. Vehicles from hundreds of residences will be entering Honoapiilani Highway from people who live there, making it tougher to drive from the Pali to Lahaina.

It should be noted that a few residents of the area testified in favor of the development. If these few are considered, they will have more influence than the scores and scores of people who have the greater interest of all of Maui at heart when they oppose the project.

Furthermore, why do people who reside in Oahu have a say on what we should do on Maui, since they probably do not understand how passionate many people are about not having our county become another Oahu? Whether they care that the coral reef will be greatly harmed by the addition of infrastructure and runoff is still another queston. And another is they also may not recognize how much we love the great stand of monkey pod trees that form a wonderful canopy over the highway – something many people look forward to seeing when they head in or out of town.

Maybe, at least this time, it would be good if the ghosts would weigh in.