LETTERS for February 23 issue
STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT LAHAINA WHILE DOING COMMUNITY SERVICE
I am writing to give some recognition to some very special third grade students. Recently, my class, along with Mrs. Anderson’s class, spent the day cleaning up and learning more about our community.
We started by learning the history of the Banyan Tree and picking up rubbish underneath it – mostly cigarette butts (yuck!).
We made our way down Front Street and met up with Uncle Timmy Gilliom to tour the soon-to-be launched Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani.
Our Hawaiian Studies teacher DeAnn Kaina took us across to Moku’ula to teach our students about the buried ancient royal village. We scoured the park to pick up more rubbish and couldn’t believe how many random and nasty items we found.
To see where the fresh mountain water meets the ocean, we made our way to the beach in front of 505. Here, we picked up even more rubbish and were greeted by two monk seals sunbathing on the reef. What a magnificent ending to our work day!
We would like to extend a sincere mahalo to all who made this happen: Maile, Matt and Kaulana with Community Work Day, Martin at ACE Hardware, Uncle Timmy, Makua DeAnn and our wonderful PTA.
I was asked by visitors several times, “How often do you do this?” I replied, “Not enough.” Just something for all of us to think about.
NICOLE McCOMBS, Third Grade Teacher, King Kamehameha III School
WHY DOES ML&P WANT HONOLUA TRACT?
I recently became aware of the auction for a 9,471-square-foot vacant lot located near the shoreline of Honolua Bay, and I was wondering why this was necessary. Isn’t Honolua Bay for the public to openly enjoy? Why are people in line to buy it? If people think it is necessary to have someone watching over Honolua Bay, we should let the people take care of it themselves – volunteers, for example – since we are the ones who use it.
I’m not sure if this is a rumor, but I heard that Maui Land and Pineapple Co. might plan to outbid the Cochrans, who gave a final bid. What are their plans for the parcel of land? Maybe with Save Honolua Coalition’s help, the Cochrans can keep watch over the land.
Save Honolua Coalition’s intentions are clear: maintain open space, public access, and revitalize the ecosystem of Honolua Ahupua’a through community-based management utilizing Hawaiian practices and values. It states on the Save Honolua Coalition website that moving the port-a-potties and installing donation boxes to fund the toilets are being considered.
Not only do they not intend to make a profit, Save Honolua Coalition plans on keeping it sanitary. This makes me wonder what I can do for my part to preserve the bay.
KRYSTALYNN HAN, Eighth-grader, Sacred Hearts School
PRESERVE HONOLUA BAY
I believe Honolua Bay must be preserved, because we need to save the ocean, the streams, coral, plants, birds and other species unique to our area. We can’t just destroy the habitat that is important to so many creatures. We must keep the environment clean. What’s left of the sensitive coral can maybe be saved by educating tourists (and locals) to stop stepping on it by adding signs at the bay. This is one way to keep the land sacred for our past and future generations.
A sign of respect would be to honor those before us by not destroying what’s left of the sacred spaces on Maui, because if we don’t, there won’t be anything left for future generations.
Working together with private corporations and organizations like Save Honolua Coalition can make changes to keep this land alive.
GENEVA LEON, Eighth-grader, Sacred Hearts School
VISITORS EXPERIENCE NATURE AT HONOLUA
Many residents and tourists come to Honolua Bay to experience the natural side of Maui. “We saw several different kinds of fish, coral, a huge turtle and eel. A few other snorkelers we talked to saw an octopus and dolphins!” says a 2011 reviewer on tripadvisor.com. Another called it “secluded, pristine and beautiful.”
It is important to save sacred land because of the importance of preservation. If Honolua Bay falls into the wrong hands, the way the land is dealt with may not be in the best interest of the animals and sea creatures that inhabit the area.
The ecosystem is sensitive, and another mishap might offset the delicate balance and ruin the natural beauty of Honolua Bay. With the ownership of the property in jeopardy, these worries are real. It’s important to consider who owns this property now and in the future.
AMANDA RIZKALLA, Eighth-grader, Sacred Hearts School
DON’T DESTROY A SACRED AREA
Respectfully, I would like to submit my opinion on the land development that is threatening Honolua Bay. I appreciate how Lipoa Point was saved from destruction in 2007, but the bay’s safety is threatened again.
I believe that the safeguarding of Honolua Bay is more important than development. Demolition of this sacred land is like razing a museum or national monument. It is part of our culture and history. It reminds us of the times of ancient Hawaii and all it stood for. Instead of ruining this historical piece of land, could the money saved be used on preserving this land for generations?
Funding the restoration of the Honolua Heiau to teach others about the importance of this land is one resolution. Letting Save Honolua Coalition become caretakers of Honolua Bay will ensure that this religious land will be protected.
Please help us save this sacrosanct and beautiful bay. Thank you for your time and consideration.
JOSHUA SCHWARTZLOW, Eighth-grader, Sacred Hearts School
PROTECT OUR BEACHES
I am writing because I am concerned about the future of the undeveloped land on Maui. I know the population is growing and we need affordable homes, but are luxury homes for those who might live here only part-time a practicality in developing Honolua Bay?
This is one of my favorite beaches to watch people surf, snorkel and even just look at the beautiful reef God created. One thing I love about Honolua Bay is that the water is so clear that sometimes I can see tiger sharks cruising around looking for food. When I go to Honolua, I get a refreshed feeling, because it is a quiet and beautiful place; I can sort my problems out and clear my head. I have snorkeled at Honolua, and it is one of my favorite places to snorkel because the reef is so beautiful and full of life.
I know there are many problems on Maui. There is a lot of littering, many people do not clean up after themselves, and there is no place to use the restroom in many areas. I heard about one house that was under construction that was vandalized, because the vandals thought it took the beauty from Honolua. I know what those people did was horrible, and there are other ways to protest instead of using violence.
We can and should protect our beaches, because it is already too late to save the dying reefs on some bays. Honolua Bay, for example, still has a chance of being saved by being protected. Many groups have been working hard to save Honolua. Port-a-potties are now there, and so are trash and recycling bins. We still have time to protect this one sacred spot so others can clear their minds, surf and snorkel.
SUMMER LOPEZ, Eighth-grader, Sacred Hearts School
PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT AT HONOLUA
Why is it important to preserve our native land? It’s a shame that we need to ask this question. When we think of valuable resources, what usually comes to mind are food, water, energy and shelter. Those satisfy our bodies, but what about the resources for our souls?
The land at Honolua Bay is one such resource. The experience gained when it is visited is unique. Our souls are touched and our spirits are rejuvenated. Places like this are dwindling.
Now, there is one small tract of land at Honolua Bay that is being disputed. What is for the good of the community for this one small piece of land? Can this land be preserved, maintained for public use, used to educate the public about Hawaiian culture? This small plot of land can even be used to change the way visitors look at our island – not just another place with a pretty beach further on, but a place of tradition and culture.
If we want Hawaii to be better in the long run, then we have to start somewhere. Organizations such as Save Honolua Coalition are willing to care for the plot. Individuals such as Elle and Wayne Cochran are willing to care for the plot. Locals and visitors can care for the plot. Community members will be able to pass freely between the land and the beach. It all boils down to this: people or profit?
JAMIE ADVINCULA, Eighth-grader, Sacred Hearts School
TAKE CARE OF THE PLANTS AT THE POST OFFICE
The United States Post Office in Lahaina, in case you have not noticed, is letting the shrubbery and trees – including a palm – die from lack of water. An employee said they have no budget for the plants. This smells fishy… and stupid.
We have always had those trees there – two, I think, are monkey pod or something similar. Plus green ti plants, etc. Now they are letting them die because there is no sprinkler system?
I don’t buy this. Someone get some water to those trees before they fall over on someone’s car or head.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST