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LETTERS for December 25 issue

By Staff | Dec 25, 2014

Is the future ag or development?

Why we are… where we are… for such a time as this? Can you see we are the ones entrusted with ushering in Hawaii’s next era? Hawaii’s history begins with the pre-contact period, followed by the missionaries and whaling, then the plantation era, to be replaced with tourism. We are at the turning point to decide what is next. Will it be agriculture for sustainability, or will it be development? Consider this: sustainability will provide the necessity for development.

The land cannot remain as it is, so the choice is up to us. If we do not advocate for agriculture, then automatically it will be developed, because we are already seeing that happen. Due to the value of the land and the cost of labor, we have a challenge to compete with the world market. It is possible if given a chance. It is being done on a small scale and gives hope that others may be as innovative to realize the potential that agriculture offers.

It has to be economically feasible, which is why, as we transition, everyone must participate by giving and taking. I keep referring to why we are… where we are… for such a time as this, because we are the ones that will determine the course of history by our actions.

I am seeing a movement that is supportive of farming and ranching as well as protecting the Hawaiian culture. I am taking a stand on several issues in the community that relate to these concerns. It may not prove to be popular, but I am passionate about the things I love. I am willing to accept whatever consequences may occur as a result of the decisions to stand up for what I believe in.

Though I am not a farmer, I have lived in farming communities my entire life. You may not appreciate how important it is to protect it, until it is gone. Farming communities are more connected to the land and to each other – much like the Hawaiian culture. I will do what I can to support farmers and ranchers. I will not criticize them on their farming practices, because I don’t know what is right or wrong. I do know that farming and ranching is good.

The benefits of farming and open spaces and parks are acknowledged in that nature is healing and restorative. I think this poem written by an unknown author says it better than I can: “The little cares that fretted me… I lost them yesterday… among the fields, above the sea, among the winds at play, among the lowing of the herds, the rustling of the trees, among the singing of the birds, the humming of the bees… The foolish fears of what might happen, I cast them all away, among the clover-scented grass, among the new-mown hay, among the husking of the corn, where drowsy poppies nod, Where ill thoughts die and good are born – Out in the fields with God.”

Can we please “cast away the foolish fears of what might happen?” Let’s agree to “let ill thoughts die and good be born – out in the fields with God.”



Christmas is about giving

This Christmas, give somebody the gift of mercy and forgiveness. Actually, be broad with your giving and generosity. We all need a lot of both. For such a joyful holiday of cheer, giving and yuletide merriment, there are certainly a lot of stressed out sourpuss faces and agitated people. If you haven’t seen any of these, you probably haven’t been to the mall or busy shopping districts. People get tense over decorating, shopping, spending and fitting into their schedules all the jolly dinners, gatherings and religious services. You may have watched Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” He becomes over-the-top stressed out when his Christmas lights don’t work and literally kicks, stomps and curses a blue streak across his yard. It’s a funny scene, mostly because in some way we’ve all been there a time or two.

We go crazy at Christmas. Everything is totally and abnormally different from the rest of the year. We spend money, eat, cook, travel and overschedule more than any other time of the year. By the time Dec. 26 rolls around, we’re sick of Christmas. We start making a list of New Year’s resolutions that include never doing some of the stuff ever again that we did at Christmas! By the time the next Christmas rolls around, we do it all over again, and often worse than the year before. We promise and swear we are going to do things differently, but as long as we are able, we do it over and again.

Most of us enjoy giving if we can. We enjoy giving to the people we love. Christmas trees, decorating, eating and gatherings are all a part of the season. However, we become frustrated when we lose sight of the big picture. The big picture includes looking around and beyond our Christmas pain. Millions of people would simply be thrilled to have the problems that some of us have. Many people are in the nursing home and will never go to the mall again. Some have a terminal disease, and this may be their last Christmas. Others would simply love to have a house to decorate or someone to buy a gift for.

Celebrate Christmas this year. Give away some special gifts. Give gifts that money can’t buy or time cannot fade. Give love, give forgiveness and give some mercy. Extend these generously to yourself. If you can’t give them to yourself, it’s impossible to give them to others. The little baby that Christmas celebrates became a man and taught people that we should love God and love others as we love ourselves. Herein is part of the rub. Too often people stop loving themselves. Life becomes imperfect, we fail, get hurt or mad, and we kick Santa or the reindeer across the yard. Unfortunately, we stop there. We go into Ebenezer Scrooge, bah humbug mode. We don’t get our groove back and miss out on some of Christmas’ most wonderful characteristics – mercy and forgiveness. The Christmas story is about a child who came to show us the way. He showed us how to love, forgive and be merciful. Some of the people in your life probably need it more than you know. Give generously and start with yourself.



Consider people who don’t ride the bus, too

I am so glad that a passenger on the Maui Bus feels safe.

Ask Kenny MacMullen how safe he felt crossing Napilihau Street, in the crosswalk, and being hit by the bus and dragged under it. He is lucky to be alive.

And ask all the motorists how safe they feel when they have to avoid the bus when it crosses the center line or pulls out in front of them unexpectedly.

Just because a Maui Bus driver is courteous and remembers your name does not make him or her a safe driver.

Look at both sides… especially ours!



Event educated the public on King Kalakaua

Na Kupuna O Maui honored King Kalakaua on Nov. 30, 2014 under the Lahaina Banyan Tree with live entertainment, arts and crafts, an education table about King Kalakaua and mea ‘ono for the public.

King Kalakaua was Hawaii’s last reigning king. He was elected to power in 1874 and ruled Hawaii for 16 years until his death in 1891.

Known as “The Merrie Monarch,” Kalakaua revived elements of Hawaiian culture that had nearly been forgotten. These included the ancient Hawaiian martial art of lua and the dance of hula.

Kalakaua also had a great passion for technology. He was a bit of an inventor himself and had met Thomas Edison. Kalakaua wanted to lead his people into a new era with strong ties to the past, while incorporating technologies of the present to build a brighter future.

As one of the most influential monarchs in the Kingdom of Hawaii’s history, his name is perpetuated with Kalakaua Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Waikiki Beach and one of the busiest streets in the state.

King David Kalakaua was born in 1836 on Maui during the reign of King Kamehameha III. He moved to Oahu at the age of four and grew up attending the Royal School. He was fluent in Hawaiian and English and was a talented musician.

He began studying law at the age of 16, served on the staff of King Kamehameha IV, was postmaster general for Hawaii, and also worked in Hawaii’s Department of the Interior.

After the passing of King Kamehameha V, Kalakaua ran in the elections of 1872 but lost to William Lunalilo, who went on to be known as King Lunalilo. Lunalilo suffered from health problems and died of tuberculosis only 13 months into his reign at age 39. Lunalilo purposefully did not name a successor, so the people of Hawaii would have the chance to vote on their new king.

Kalakaua was elected king in 1874, beating out Queen Emma, the widow of King Lunalilo. During his reign, Kalakaua accomplished much for Hawaii. He was the first reigning monarch to take a world tour while his sister, Queen Liliuokalani, acted as regent.

He met with many foreign dignitaries and established an early reputation for Hawaii as a capable and respectable kingdom. Many heads of state gifted him with portraits of themselves, showing Kalakaua that he was an equal among the world’s leaders. Kalakaua also gave them gifts of Hawaiian culture, like royal feather capes, spreading artifacts of Hawaiiana throughout the world.

King Kalakaua also built Iolani Palace. Many of the royal furnishings were chosen by him on his world tour, including the Kingdom of Hawaii’s crown jewels. He had a passion for technology and outfitted the palace with electricity and telephones. The palace actually had electricity before the White House did.

He wanted to lead his people into the new era to emerging technology while still holding true to the islands’ cultural roots. Kalakaua was married to Queen Kapiolani, but they had no children.

In 1890, his health began to fail, and he went to California to receive aid. He passed away in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. After his passing in 1891, his sister, Liliuokalani, would go on to succeed him on the throne. She would be Hawaii’s last monarch.