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LETTERS for January 16 issue

By Staff | Jan 16, 2014

Launiupoko land purchase a blessing

(The following letter was sent to Mayor Alan Arakawa.)

The last piece of the Pali to Puamana Shoreline Park is in place. The County Council approved the purchase of the final link, 186 acres from Puamana to the Solid Waste Transfer Station, for $13 million at the 11th hour.

Thank you, Mayor, for your persistence is seeing this parkway completed. With stake holders working together, everybody is a winner, including the community, the county and West Maui Land.

What a blessing for West Maui – we are all blessed for this decision. Mahalo Ke Akua. Na Kupuna O Maui congratulates the County of Maui for fulfilling its responsibility to improve our quality of life on the West Side.

This land is our land; it is up to us, West Maui, to determine how it will be used for the betterment of all.

Na Kupuna O Maui has a vision. We need more play fields for our keiki. Unite to help us have this aina designated as a healthy, drug- and alcohol-free facility for our families.

West Maui has grown with children. They desperately need fields to engage in value-building activities. Na Kupuna O Maui supports soccer, football, basketball, cheerleading and tennis.

Join us – write to the mayor and thank him for his support throughout the years. Ask the mayor to save this land for the keiki, seven generations down the line.



Erosion a problem at D.T. Fleming Park

During our visit to the Napili-Kapalua-Honolua area in late December, we were surprised to observe and experience the consequence of construction and erosion within the watershed draining to Fleming Beach. We also surprised that the issue did not seem to be addressed in the Maui community. For example, we observed minimal coverage in the newspaper, even though a very popular public beach (Fleming) was closed for several days due to health hazards (e.g., danger of shark attack related to turbidity, exposure to pesticides and fertilizer residual from earlier agriculture in the watershed) to the general public and the high-end visitors at The Ritz-Carlton.

We are watershed scientists who vacationed in the area in December 2013 and noted the closure of Fleming Beach due to pollution from the streams flowing into the northeast end of the bay (Honokahua Bay). On Dec. 24, before the pollution event, we swam at Fleming Beach, but we noted the very turbid, rusty red-colored water and deposit of mud in the mouth of the stream backed up behind the beach berm. On the night of Dec. 28, we heard a brief period of intense rainfall, and then observed breaching of the berm by high stream flow on the morning of Dec. 29, which appeared to mobilize some of the sediment previously stored in the mouth of the stream and also deliver fresh sediment from sources within the watershed draining to Honokahua Bay. We could see several hectares of red soil freshly exposed in a construction site higher in the watershed (this exposed area is visible on Google Earth, adjacent to part of The Plantation Golf Course along Mahana Ridge), and we visited the area on foot on Dec. 30.

Photos show the exposed soil adjacent to the tee for Hole 6 on The Plantation Golf Course; the extensive rill and gully erosion appears to have delivered sediment to the stream draining to Fleming Beach.

Some erosion control measures are present in the construction site (silt fences, hydro-mulching, seeding, jute netting), but these were inadequate to check the extensive erosion and sediment delivery to the stream system and ultimately to Honokahua Bay.

The rainfall events that triggered the two closings of Fleming Beach (as reported by the lifeguard there) were not extraordinary events, indicating that this is likely to happen again, but some new, onsite preventative measures may reduce the frequency and duration. Is there someone else we should communicate with about this matter of public safety and protection of Maui’s wonderful natural landscape?



Feral cat population problem is complex

In response to “Don’t feed feral cats in vacant lot,” it is so obvious that you are not aware of the overwhelming problem of feral cats on our island (not just here in Lahaina).

As a cat owner and animal advocate, I would like you to understand ONE THING: you do not just pick up feral cats and take them with you.

What we need on this island are more proactive people to understand the feral cat problem and find a way to help. Not feeding them doesn’t actually help. They will move to another area. Oh, now I understand: NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST, you are not so concerned about the animals as much as with your little white wood fence!?

There are organizations here on Maui that can help with the feral cat problem.

Some say catching them and killing them is the solution. For some, maybe that is true.

I know the SPCA holds clinics to fix feral cats. The Humane Society will keep cats that are adoptable; sadly, they do have to put many down who are not adoptable.

It will take everyone to make a difference. No one wants feral cats running loose.

But to my friend who suggests the “middle aged man” take them with him, you just don’t get it.

How about this? If you have concerns and would like to make an attempt to fix the feral cat problem, get involved.

My name is Karen Twitchell. I won’t post my phone number, but you can just ask around – I am sure we will connect that is if you are truly interested in helping with our feral cat population!

I remember that a few years ago in that lot, cats were not the problem homeless humans were. And where are they now? In another lot?

KAREN TWITCHELL, Get educated and help


fix the feral cat issue

Feral cats are wild, meaning not tame. They may have been born in the wild, never having been in contact with humans.

They may be tame, pets or neighborhood strays, abandoned, lost, or trapped and released away from their homes, becoming “wild.”

Here in Hawaii, cats once were valued as hunters of rodents brought here by ships. This is documented in journals at Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

The population has increased because of human error and neglect. Failure to fix cats has resulted in too many cats. Today, cats are established throughout the state and live in “colonies” in a hierarchy of dominance.

Removing them will allow for another cat to move in.

This is the “vacuum effect.”

Caring people who understand the dilemma of denial of human responsibility are involved in TNRM:

Trap-Neuter (Spay)-Return-Manage is the only humane solution to manage the free-roaming cats.

This group of volunteers actively pursues the mission to manage their colonies, thereby preventing any more unwanted kitten births.

Most of the colony cats are not pet quality. However, if a tame cat arrives, the caretaker will remove it for adoption or to its owner, if possible.

Colonies of cats are not created by caretakers – they already exist! Caretakers see the tragedy of homeless cats hunting and pathetically starving to death, so they pitch in to help, rather than naively protest their presence. Euthanasia hasn’t worked, but ultimately, the management of colonies will curtail the population growth, as cats stop producing kittens and die naturally.

Caretaker volunteers feed the cats to trap them to fix them, and continue to feed to prevent hunting for food. They pay for food and devote countless hours of their own time. Why do these humanitarians get criticized?

For every cat fixed, think about this:

1) Average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year: 3;

2) Average number of kittens in a feline litter: 46;

In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats.

The cat is out of the bag. People who complain need to get educated and join in the effort.

How about setting up a colony station on your side of the fence, so they won’t climb it??

For further details, go to www.mauicats.com, www.mauihumane.org and www.alleycat.org.

From a citizen who cares about all living things.



Book Trust reflects on a successful year

As 2013 has closed, we pause to celebrate our biggest successes.

Growth in numbers speaks volumes:

2.6 million books provided by Book Trust nationally since 2001;

150,000 books will be added to home libraries in some of the neediest families in Hawaii by the end of this school year (this is 28,500 more than last school year);

6,000 Hawaii students spark their love of reading with the excitement of books delivered every month. They are motivated to read more. They are reading better. And they are becoming better learners – as evidenced by our survey results;

413 teachers from Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai accrue thousands of bonus points each month, enabling them to purchase additional classroom resources or books for their classroom;

21 Hawaii schools are enrolled in Book Trust, committed to bringing new books to some of the neediest students;

On four Hawaiian Islands, Book Trust is serving students;

With your help, we can serve more kids with more new books – books they choose themselves and read again and again.

Thank you for your continued and enduring support. Consider a gift today and bring New Year’s cheer to a child tomorrow.

ANN NICOL, Book Trust Hawaii Director


Hawaii should catch up with food labeling

Recently, I was visiting family in California when I stopped by a McDonald’s for a cup of coffee and a snack wrap.

On my tray was a label; it read, “WARNING: Chemicals known to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm may be present in foods sold or served here. Cooked potatoes that have been browned, such as french fries, hash browns and baked potatoes, contain Acrylamide, a chemical known to cause cancer. Other foods sold here such as hamburger buns, biscuits, and coffee also contain Acrylamide.”

I have a question; don’t our legislators think this information is vital to pregnant women? You would think babies born in California are more important than babies born in Hawaii.

I feel this information is important and enables pregnant women to make informed choices. Russia, China, andall of the European Union have labeling; however, the most free country in the world is still debating this issue.

The rest of the country is catching on; will Hawaii be last? I am not going to wait to share this information with my community. You need to know now.