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LETTERS for July 30 issue

By Staff | Jul 30, 2009


I love dogs! We always get ours at the Maui Humane Society. My dog, Yogi, goes with me every morning to pick up trash out at Honolua. One place I do not take my dog, however, is Hawea Point.

Hawea is the home of our uau kani. These birds drink saltwater and stay out at sea for months at a time. They only come to shore to breed, and Hawea is home to our largest colony on Maui. Uau kani mate for life, and when they lose their mate, some stay out at sea for years at a time.

Recently, 60 birds were killed by one loose dog on Molokai. They only lay one egg a year, so this is a major setback in the population. Our uau kani population on Hawea has been on the increase, due in large part to the efforts of kupuna Isao Nakagawa. Isao is out there every day and started the first artificial nests. I try to follow his style of stewardship and extend that to Lipoa Point.

Please respect the efforts of our kupuna, protect our seabirds and leave your dogs home when you visit Hawea Point.



Ron Egan will be leaving his position as general manager of LahainaTown Action Committee this month.

Ron took the position as general manager at a difficult time for LAC. He has always made sure LAC events went as planned; most of the time, setup and takedown was done single-handedly by him.

He has also been the only employee in the LAC office this year, holding things together. Ron has been a good asset to the LahainaTown Action Committee, and he will be missed.

SHARON BERRY, Lahaina Visitor Center


Having recently negotiated a very reasonable rental agreement on West Maui privately with the owner, staying clear of a property management company or real estate firm, then the following week putting two private parties together, both successfully putting their own deal together to rent, I have reached the conclusion that it is the real estate industry that continues to be the one major negative factor on this country’s economy.

A man was near the point of having to foreclose, with a property management company — one of the most noted companies on Maui — promising that if anyone could rent his unit over the last six months, they would be his best hope. This didn’t happen — always the excuse that it’s simply the poor state of our economy that prevented them succeeding.

I am then able to put two parties together in less than 24 hours — nothing in it for me other than knowing I have done a good deed — through a couple popular websites. 

A suitable agreement was made for $50 less a month than what the property manager/real estate company was requesting for the last six months — never successful, never willing to compromise.

One cannot help but wonder if these people do anything but sit around waiting for the phone to ring, and whether they would prefer in a case like this, that the owner have their property taken from them, or rushed to the decision of selling it — which he has now decided to do — just so they have another piece of real estate at their disposal to make a large profit from, should they gain the listing. 

The real estate industry inflated property values too far and too quickly throughout this country of ours, which has lead to disaster for so many of us in our daily lives… and for one  reason: greed. It has led to our current economic situation, and they now continue the practice under a false shield they call “professionalism.” Buyer, seller, landlord and renter… beware!



When libraries are closed, access to information becomes the privilege of the rich. It is astounding and tragic that the remote Hana Library and four other state libraries are slated for closure due to funding cuts.

Gov. Linda Lingle recently allocated $40 million of taxpayer money to provide a boarding deck for the privately owned and illegally operated Superferry. This $40 million will never be recouped. Closing Hana Library will save $20,000. What more can we take from the Hana Community?

Right now the public schools, grades K-12, are open only four days a week to save money.

If you have private wealth, you can access the Internet from your computer and Internet provider. You can purchase books online. Our libraries are among the most important structures in a democracy. We must provide access to information to all citizens, not just the wealthy.



The Paia Youth & Cultural Center wants to thank SOS Metals Island Recycling (SOS Metals) for their generous fund-raising efforts. With their support, PYCC was able to raise over $3,000 to put toward beautifying our trash and recycling area.

As a business on Maui, SOS Metals is truly remarkable in their efforts to keep our island clean and beautiful, while at the same time supporting, through their fund-raising, Maui non-profits.

During the week of June 2-6, 2009, SOS Metals offered free metals recycling and provided the opportunity for their customers to donate the savings to the PYCC. This free recycling week not only encouraged residents of Maui to properly dispose of their vehicles, appliances and other metals, but also promoted the idea of stewardship of our environment.

We extend our deepest and sincerest thank you to SOS Metals for making this a fun and educational experience for our youth members who participated. They had a great time!

We extend our thanks as well to the staff of SOS Metals Recycling, Akaku, Jeff and Jody King from Maui Today TV News, Pacific Radio Group, and Jennifer from Paradise Tropical Ice for all their support and goodwill toward our organization

We also give a hearty THANKS to all of you in the community who participated in this “free” week offered by SOS Metals and for making a donation to Paia Youth & Cultural Center.

SUSUN WHITE, Paia Youth & Cultural Center


The Maui Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs would like to thank the following individuals, companies and organizations for their assistance in making our event, the fourth annual Celebration of the Holoku “He Lani Ko Luna,” possible.

Thanks to our honorees, Adelaide Sylva, Sarah Keahi and Alaka‘i Paleka, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Pacific Radio Group, Deanna Davis, Judge Boyd Mossman, Maui Beach Hotel, Smythe-Fujiwara Designs, The Maui News, Kekoa Enomoto, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, Maui Jim’s, Ka ‘Ohana Oliveros and the many other businesses and families that donated to our Silent Auction. These folks help keep Maui No Ka ‘Oi!

Hosted on May 9, 2009, at Maui Beach Hotel’s Elleair Ballroom, “He Lani Ko Luna” honored Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, the holoku and honored three pillars of our community.

Funds raised at the event will benefit the participating Maui Council clubs — Central Maui Hawaiian Civic Club, Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club and Kuini Pi‘olani Hawaiian Civic Club — and their objectives of providing educational scholarships, preserving and perpetuating the culture and traditions of Hawaii, and participating in activities that promote the civic, social, economic and educational welfare of the Hawaiian community. 

MATTHEW ERICKSON, Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club


The pyramid shape has so many instructional applications. Recall that chart of food groups in health class? It showed a healthy diet composed of recommended portions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fruits and vegetables. Or perhaps in this era of economic uncertainty, you’re thinking of speculative financial transactions. Turn that shape upside down and you’ll see how economic geographers picture the precarious inverted pyramid of American employment.

Geographers have long embraced the notion that almost every occupation imaginable belongs to one of three sectors of the economy: natural resources, manufacturing, and goods and services. Often, these are called simply the primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors. The whole organizing principle is how far removed any economic activity is from Mother Nature.

The sequence is actually very logical; natural resources (a.k.a. raw materials) are grown, raised, harvested or otherwise obtained, transformed through the manufacturing process into a marketable product, and sold to the consumer. The automobile industry is an excellent, albeit changing, example. Iron ore, from places like Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, is shipped to Detroit and fashioned into a car that is then transported to a dealership and sold to a buyer.

As you might expect, primary sector jobs like farming, fishing, logging and mining are tied to the bounty of natural resources. In the not-too-distant past in the U.S., say around the time my dad was born (1924), primary sector jobs formed a broad base for our occupational pyramid.

I came into the world (1953) when the U.S. was the undisputed leader in industrial output. We took it for granted that the best of everything was made within our borders, and the livelihood of many an American family depended on a manufacturing job.

Somehow, nebulous entities — agribusiness and multinational corporations — crept into our vocabulary, and American jobs vanished as a consequence. Now, most of us work in retail sales or we do things to and for other people. Think about it: How many farmers, fisherman, loggers and miners do you actually know?

Chances are that most of your acquaintances, like you, work in the goods and services sector of the economy. Like me, you either sell something to someone or you provide some kind of service. I’m not suggesting that American agriculture or industry is faltering; far from it. Mechanization and the economy of scale have increased agricultural production, and outsourcing, especially in labor-intensive industries, has allowed U.S. manufacturing firms to remain competitive in the global marketplace. The result, however, is that primary and secondary sector jobs in the U.S. have declined precipitously with no rebound in sight.

As a geographer, I’m interested in the changing nature of land and life. I recognize that the agricultural revolution beginning some 10,000 years ago allowed for a surplus food supply and settled villages. The industrial revolution beginning some 250 years ago produced surplus value and wealth for manufacturing nations. And the term “post-industrial” has been applied to our current era. I’d argue that we’re still sorting that out.

As much as we’d like to embrace life in the new digital age, where wealth comes from mastery of electronic devices, I’m not alone in my fear that the inverted pyramid of American employment leaves us vulnerable.

A few years ago, I traveled to the American Southwest and marveled (at a safe distance) at erosional land forms where large boulders balanced atop narrow geologic formations. Undermined as they are, these rock features eventually will collapse. Perhaps there’s an economics lesson in that landscape as well.