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LETTERS for June 19 issue

By Staff | Jun 19, 2014

Unite and make history

This will be my final battle cry to stop the proposed Kahoma Village subdivision before the Planning Commission meeting at the Kalana Pakui Building, 250 S. High St., on Tuesday, June 24, at 9 a.m. in Wailuku (near the bus stop).

The area was once the homestead of David Malo, the famous Hawaiian historian. It was on the edge of a fishpond built by Kamehameha I, Hawaii’s most famous ruler, and was gifted to Malo by Kamehameha III.

There is evidence of karsts (underground sinkholes and caves) underlying the project area that were used for burials. Karsts are one of the environmental and cultural factors that should stop the proposed subdivision. It probably will not, however, as the county often ignores laws, Constitutional rights, and common sense and instead imposes “conditions and resolutions” to allow the developments to proceed.

I am attempting to build bridges of understanding. I believe that we must respect and protect the host culture. If we can see something through someone else’s eyes, perhaps we can protect that which we all love.

Karsts are important in Hawaiian culture, as they were used as burial sites. I understand the Hawaiians’ value of burial sites. Even though my God has risen from a burial site, his burial site in Jerusalem is still an important pilgrimage destination.

Rocks in Hawaiian culture can be an aumakua (god). I can understand that concept. Jesus is the Rock of my salvation.

A heiau is a place of worship and consists of “piles” of rocks. I refer to it as an Ebenezer, rock of remembrance. They are to remind us of God’s faithfulness in the past, His help to us in our present situations and His promise for a hope and a future.

Ask yourself, what kind of “hope and future” of Hawaii do you want to grow old in? What will be our legacy? We are ushering in Hawaii’s next era.

I would like to see green hillsides from mauka to makai (mountain to ocean) and have food security. I would like to see our oceans protected for enjoyment and to sustain us. The true meaning of “aloha” is to receive the breath of God. God is love. I would like to protect the Hawaiian culture, as it mirrors my faith and is the essence of aloha that is acknowledged worldwide. I would like to keep our islands a desirable destination for visitors, to ensure job security. I would like gathering places to encourage healthy lifestyles and keep our sense of community. I would like a park.

The Hawaii State Constitution acknowledges these ideals, but you must exercise your rights. Just like any exercise – use it or lose it. We are empowered to make it happen, but you have to do something. It is okay that the current politicians will not endorse the park. I want it to be a Park by the People and for the People. Politicians and their “parties” are welcome to enjoy the park along with all the thousands of people it will bless.

How many citizens does it take to convince them it needs to be a park? Let’s find out. Teach your children about democracy. Take the kids on a “family field trip” to the meeting and turn in your letters and art. Write letters to the Weinberg Foundation, Stanford Carr (the developer) and the Planning Commission.

What are some reasons why you think it should not be developed? You may see the vital need for this recreational area. Maybe your concern is for the safety of the residents, as it is in the tsunami zone and evacuation will be more hazardous. Mala and Baby Beach are at risk, so you may be concerned about polluting the ocean because of new construction with storm water runoff and drainage. The parking that local people use for Baby Beach and Mala will disappear. Kahoma Village will contribute additional contamination caused by the injection wells at the sewage plant that is illegally polluting the ocean. The county may claim sin of omission, but it will be a sin of “commission” if they approve Kahoma Village.

Kahoma Village will negatively impact federally protected waters, but so far, no one in the county seems to care. They were made aware of these issues and have not only approved the development, but allowed it to be “fast-tracked.” Therefore, we need to protect the ocean and preserve the history of the area. I pray we do not need to involve the federal court again to enforce the law.

Will the elders, men and women of the community, attend and lead by example? I would like to see all ages there to represent. There is public testimony allowed if you want to speak at the meeting (three minutes). They need to see a force to be reckoned with. Your involvement and presence is necessary to stop Kahoma Village.

I believe these issues are worth fighting for. It would not be the first time this land has seen warriors, as this is where Kamehameha and his troops gathered to unite the islands. Let us unite and make history to protect history. “A horse is made ready for the day of battle but victory belongs to the Lord,” (Proverbs 21:31). Saddle up like a paniolo and do it with aloha!



Project would have negative impacts

This is in regards to the proposed development on the vacant field located within the boundaries of Front Street, Kenui Road, Kahoma Stream and Honoapiilani Highway. As you and the community at-large, especially those within a close proximity of this area, are already aware, the negative impact on infrastructure, the environment, cultural heritage, traffic concerns, sea life and the esthetic beauty of Lahaina would be huge and irreparable.

I offer a doable solution that should appease all parties involved. Also, please note that it is obvious that when a large amount of beings are pressed into an area unintended by nature to accommodate a large number, unfortunately it seeds and grows the criminal element. As more and more “in need” (in many cases, non-contributing) members of society are being deposited in Maui County via a one-way ticket from the West Coast of the Mainland and many by way of Oahu (THIS IS FACT), there is now a great abundance of drug and alcohol abusers sleeping freely on the beach and in the historical graveyard across from the proposed development area. Yes, prior to the removal of trees and bushes from said area, this same area accommodated many more unsavory types, with crime rife within those encampments and creating a very unsafe environment for the surrounding residents. This is why I do not propose a large park.

Harry and Jeanette Weinberg would be pleased to offer more than a “Band-Aid” type of assistance. Instead of waving a flag of “housing availability,” encouraging an exodus from across the seas of investors, etc., let’s do a project that will affect the future in a positive manner.

FACT: Not all high school graduates will move on to college. These graduates still have skills, talents and interests that can be honed and improved upon here, if given the opportunity. What this community needs are TRADE SCHOOLS. What is needed in this genre – that our own population can fulfill if given the chance – are MECHANICS, PLUMBERS, ELECTRICIANS, WELDERS, CARPENTERS and other hands-on types of trades.

This location is choice for creating single-story classrooms, where our youth could still live at home while attending a two-year program for certification in a field of interest without an abhorrent cost. Small parking lots attached to each specialized classroom (NOT one large asphalt lot for all) to accommodate each building, and interspace these with several small parks. Keep it simple. Separate classroom buildings with parking and parks scattered within this acreage. It is not in the resort areas, is easily accessible and is better suited to serve the community.

This will please all involved, as this is what Harry and Jeanette would be PROUD of. The foundation would get a huge tax break for education; jobs will be created in order to fulfill this project; needed parks and trees helping to cool and clean the air will exist; vagrants will be discouraged from camping, as the area will be in use and small parks in full view; our youth will have opportunities; and the future brighter and cleaner. Less negative impacts… less constant traffic… no need to reconfigure roads.

The foundation set forth by the Weinbergs will be the heroes of Maui County by empowering, through education, maintaining the integrity of Maui, and keeping intact the wishes of Harry and Jeanette with a positive impact on Maui.

A. BARBEAU, Lahaina


Columnist’s comments are inaccurate

I am absolutely outraged by the inaccurate statements in Norm Bezane’s column today (June 12 issue). Why Mr. Bezane took it upon himself to trash LahainaTown Action Committee is beyond me.

LAC has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and continues to serve the community with events and fundraisers – to wit, last November answering a request for funds for 45 new Christmas wreaths. We were able to raise enough money in three weeks to purchase 65 wreaths.

Some of the events LAC puts on include the Christmas Lighting of the Banyan Tree, Whale and Ocean Arts Festival, Banyan Tree Birthday, Second Friday Town Parties and organizing the greeting of 70 cruise ships. We just recently sponsored a new event, raising a large amount for Lahaina Junior Golf. We have too many events this year to list them all. Every one of LAC’s events is successful.

Regarding his snide remarks about small contributions, it is part of our plan to reach out and involve the entire community. It is proving to be very successful. We have already raised $38,000 while still having three weeks to go. The business community is well-represented on our board and are very supportive. We do not rate our board members as best or not best, and we are not in need of putting our house in order. Our house is doing just fine, thank you.

Where does Bezane get his misinformation from? We are curious to know. Lahaina is a close-knit community that supports each other with aloha. Bezane does not fit this pattern. LAC deserves an apology. Shame on you!



Residents want to know what’s in their food

I’m writing in response to a recent letter extolling the virtues of Monsanto. While I understand that the writer receives a payback from them and I respect his loyalty, it is clear that he has accepted their propaganda. The company line that they are altruistically inclined and endeavoring to avert worldwide famine is puzzling.

By engineering seeds that produce crops that cannot regenerate, you create complete dependency on Monsanto. Instead of saving seed from the previous crop and replanting – as had been done for countless centuries – new seed must be purchased every year. If there is a bad crop and the farmer can’t afford new seed? Well, no new crop. That does not seem like a blueprint for sustainability, but more a scheme to control the world’s food sources.

The EPA has done no independent studies of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and has simply accepted Monsanto’s research. It is similar to their acceptance of the tobacco industry’s assurances that smoking was not only not harmful, it could be healthful. After decades of mounting evidence and countless deaths, labeling was implemented. People are still free to consume them. That is all that most opponents of GMOs want. The right to know what is in our food. How can one make a sane argument against that? We have labeling for calories and fat and sodium, etc., and the right to choose.

As to the safety of GMOs, 26 countries have banned them, and since their introduction for human consumption, there has been a dramatic rise in autoimmune diseases, infertility, gastrointestinal and chronic diseases. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine urges a moratorium and labeling. Just one of a growing list of concerned physicians and scientists.

People who oppose GMOs in Hawaii are neither against agriculture or science, nor are they vindictive against Monsanto or their employees. We would simply like our fields to produce healthy organic crops, free of chemicals and pesticides, not modified seeds. In the absence of that, we would like at least to know what chemicals are being sprayed, and when and how much. At the very least, we simply want labeling.

I would very much like to see science used in creating more nutritious, pest- and drought-resistant produce. The agrichemical companies are in a position to do some wonderful, innovative research, but instead they create crops that can be drenched with their best-selling herbicide and survive. It’s disappointing.



Congress should pass the Marketplace Fairness Act

It is important for Congress to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) for fair competition in today’s world of commerce. America promotes economic growth and business while ensuring fair competition for everyone.

The MFA would allow every state the authority to have online and catalog retailers collect a sales tax when the transaction is completed, just like local retailers. Hawaii does not have a sales tax; however, it does have the general excise tax (GET) that applies to almost all sales, which includes goods and services.

Currently, online, only retailers are not required to charge and collect the Hawaii GET, while local businesses must. Whalers Village is an open-air mall nestled between major resorts along the famous Kaanapali Beach. The center has about 90 bricks-and-mortar stores and restaurants that employ more than 1,000 full-time and part-time employees.

Whalers Village supports the Marketplace Fairness Act. Online retailers have an unfair tax advantage over traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers in terms of collecting sales tax. This is not a new tax; it’s simply about enforcement of current tax law.

Traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, from mom-and-pop local stores to big name retailers, are part of the Whalers Village experience. They provide much-needed jobs.

The annual sales and property taxes generated from Whalers Village of approximately $1.2 million help pay for life-safety services, such as law enforcement, firefighters and other governmental/civic services. This amount does not take into account the GET paid by the more than 90 businesses at Whalers Village. These sales taxes make our community a better place to live. There are so many cities and municipalities across the country that suffer because of budget and tax shortfalls; residents are left with higher taxes and other burdens.

Whether you shop at a mall or online, taxation should be fair.

Whalers Village has been a part of the Kaanapali Resort experience since 1970, and passage of the MFA will allow Whalers Village retailers, along with all retailers in Hawaii, to compete fairly with online and catalog retailers.

In order for there to be real and fair competition that reflects 21st century retail, Congress must act to end competitive disparity and avoid an increase in taxes on in-state consumers and businesses.

CORINNE R. ARQUERO, General Manager, Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants


Navy League welcomes distinguished visitor to Lahaina Harbor

When Maui Council’s Navy League received notice from Pearl Harbor that Memorial Day weekend would bring a first-time visitor to Lahaina, membership and Lahaina Yacht Club sprang into action to welcome the USS Louisville (SSN 724).

Captain of the Louisville, CDR Robert Figgs, and Lt. Harden conducted two tours on board the nuclear-powered attack submarine over Memorial Day weekend to Navy League members, supporters and Lahaina Yacht Club representatives. Tour participants were shown berthing spaces, the galley, shared racks, torpedo room and Tomahawk launch station, and given the opportunity to gaze through the periscopes in the control room. A magnificent privilege, noted Warren Gibson, Navy League supporter and world-class magician of Warren and Annabelle’s Magic Dinner Show.

With 12 officers, 20 chiefs and 130 enlisted, the USS Louisville Los Angeles Class Attack Submarine was deployed in 1991 to the Persian Gulf region to participate in Operation Desert Storm, conducting the first war patrol by an American submarine since WWII. In 2003, she deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where Louisville launched Tomahawk land attack missiles from the Red Sea into combat. Awarded in both 1991 and 2003, the Louisville and her crew were honored with Navy Unit Commendations stating she “distinguished itself in action against the enemy with outstanding heroism.” Other tidbit: The first submarine commander to Skype live to the “Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2009.

The military does a magnificent job at training very young people to use the latest and most sophisticated equipment to become masters of their tasks with deep knowledge, passion and dedication to the mission on this 361-foot United States asset.

On Memorial Day and every day, we salute our service members who conduct the elite special operations units of our services. Special thanks to the officers and crew of the Louisville for standing ready, positive and prepared to take this award-winning boat to sea to protect the freedom of our United States. The sub and her crew surely live up to the vessel’s motto: “Best of the Breed.” The USS Louisville is assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet and is home-ported at Pearl Harbor.

Navy League Maui Council members would like to thank partnering Lahaina Yacht Club and the following businesses and organizations for their generous support toward our visiting service members: Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Dinner Show, Hard Rock Cafe, Paradise Grill Kaanapali, Round Table Pizza, Bubba Gumps, Koa’s Seaside Grill, The Wharf Cinema Center, LahainaTown Action Committee and Pioneer Inn.

Navy League of the United States is a trusted partner of sea services. For more information, go to www.navyleague.org.

SUSAN ADAMS NEALY, Navy League of the United States, Maui Council