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LETTERS for April 16 issue

By Staff | Apr 16, 2015

Where are all the medical professionals now?

Registered Nurse Penny Weigel writes in to claim doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from soggy Seattle and the snow-buried Midwest will be lined up for positions at the sometime-in-the-future West Maui Hospital. Why are they waiting? Why aren’t they here right now to fill the hundreds of current openings in this land of nasty ol’ sunshine?

Could it be the cost of living? Maybe it’s the lack of housing at a reasonable price. And having to drive 25 miles to Costco to get a decent price on gasoline doesn’t help.

A cost of living calculator indicates Hawaii will cost an additional 37 percent over Seattle. Housing is 67 percent more. A doctor from Seattle would have to be paid an additional 25 percent to break even.

Moving from the Midwest is even worse. Using Lincoln, Nebraska for comparison, Hawaii is 88 percent higher. Housing is 250 percent more. A doctor from Lincoln would have to be paid almost double to break even.

The financial reality to a medical professional contemplating moving to Hawaii may be equal to getting slapped in the face with a dead skunk.

Nurse Weigel also declares that I have a little itty-bitty bone to pick with her very good friend, former County Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson-Winer, over getting a road paved. Nurse Weigel is absolutely correct. I, and the rest of the residents of the 900-plus homes that are forced to use Puukolii Road, do have a bone to pick.

Nine-hundred-plus bones makes for a pretty substantial skeleton.

I loved Nurse Weigel’s witty play on words with my last name. I don’t believe I’ve heard that particular slight since elementary school.



Kaanapali Help clean Honolua

The state Department of Land & Natural Resources has finally granted us right of access to Honolua, so we can resume stewardship (bring back all the trash cans).

This means we will be having our annual Earth Day cleanup. At this late of notice, many people will have already made other plans, but we could still use a few volunteers to help fill a roll-off dumpster with all the stuff we’ve collected while we were technically not supposed to be working in the area. (We could not just let the place go.)

If you want to help, meet by the porta-potties at Honolua Stream Bridge on Saturday, April 18, at 8 a.m. I’ll see if someone will sponsor us to a pot of coffee to help jump-start the day.

As usual, we will be assisted by Malama Maui Nui and Aloha Waste. Hope to see you then!



Public parking required in Kaanapali Resort

(The following letter was sent to Maui County officials.)

First of all, most of the public beach parking signs at the Kaanapali Beach hotels state that after 7 or 8 p.m., the parking stalls are closed, and your vehicle will be impounded after these hours or locked inside the lots with chains.

Wayne Nishiki brought this same problem to the Maui County Council about 25 years ago, and it was decided at that time that 24-hour public beach parking was the intent of the Special Management Area Permits given before the hotels were built or renovated.

A county official told me he could not find the SMA Permits, and he did not have the time to look for the minutes of the Maui County Council that pertained to this.

Since then, I have left messages about this with him and council members, and no one has returned my calls. I filed the formal complaint last year on May 1, 2014 (# RFS 14-0000551).

Every day, there are hotel employees using these lots starting at 3 a.m., as well as people using Whalers Village and restaurant guests. The only enforcement of these lots is to keep the public beach users from using them.

Please restore the original intent of these 24-hour public beach parking SMA Permits with the correct signage and some enforcement!



An update on Kahoma Village

I am writing with an update on the Weinberg Foundation/Stanford Carr’s proposed Kahoma Village Project in Lahaina next to the Cannery Mall. (This is not to be confused with West Maui Land Company’s Kahoma Residential that is mauka, surrounded by the dust fence and currently being graded. The final outcome is uncertain for WML’s property, as it is in the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and the decision is pending.)

To my understanding, the county is doing the current construction by Front Street, on and adjacent to the Weinberg property. Weinberg/Stanford Carr’s Kahoma Village Project is in court.

Protect and Preserve Kahoma Ahupua’a Association (PPK-AA) is a concerned group of citizens trying to work with the Maui Planning Commission (MPC) to ensure they have a complete record before approval of the Kahoma Village residential project. PPK-AA was denied this right, so it unfortunately has to take MPC to court. The oral arguments are at 11 a.m. in the Maui Second Circuit Court on April 30. You are welcome to attend, though no public testimony will be allowed.

There are many issues that were overlooked and excused in the process of gaining approval for the project and largely due to the allure of “affordable housing.” Be aware that only 51 percent has to be “affordable” to meet the criterion. Do you know that under West Maui guidelines, $685,000 is considered affordable?

The Gettysburg battlefield or Thomas Jefferson’s home would never be considered as a site for affordable housing, yet our county approved the Kahoma Village project that is on very historical land.

A cultural history was prepared for the Army Corps of Engineers in 1979 for the Kahoma area. We learned that this property was associated with the ancient ‘Alamihi Fishpond used by Hawaiian royalty. “Shortly before Western contact (1778), ‘Alamihi was the site of a battle between two great chiefs, Kauhi’aimokuakama and Kamehameha the Great. Kauhi, the high chief of Maui, was fighting against the authority… during the rebellion, Kauhi seized all the food at ‘Alamihi ahupua’a… enough food was collected to support the needs of his army for a march across the island.”

“In the Great Mahale (land division) of 1848, Kamehameha III kept the ahupua’a of ‘Alamihi, including the fishpond, as Crown Land. Mauka (inland) of the pond and adjacent to it, David Malo (c. 1793-1853), a well-known Hawaiian historian, was awarded a parcel of land… it was reported by Kamakau (c. 1866) that there was a breadfruit tree ‘on which the first victim of the battle was laid.’ ” The tree was “near the house of David Malo.”

David Malo helped draft Hawaii’s first Declaration of Rights. He was one of the first pupils and graduates of Lahainaluna High School and Hawaii’s first superintendent of schools. This land was his homestead, given to him by Kamehameha III, and was the site of this important historical battle.

The study also stated: “Enough physical evidence exists to establish that significant subsurface prehistorical cultural remains are probably present within and immediately surrounding the ‘Alamihi Fishpond at Kahoma Stream.” They expressed the opinion that it is “eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.”

Throughout history, historical artifacts and sites have been destroyed by conquering nations and extremist groups. Their belief is that to destroy the history of a people is to ultimately destroy the people. Yet here we are justifying a housing development on this important, historical property. In some ways, ours is more insidious, because we delude ourselves that it is justifiable. We endorse it with invoking our constitutional rights to freedom of property rather than to “do what is right” with the land we are entrusted with. If we lose the culture, we lose “aloha!”

It’s time to start doing the right thing. Could we instead consider a historical park that would be visited by every age group, economic and demographic of people? It could be a gathering place to play, eat and celebrate life while protecting and preserving important historical resources. Would that be a more appropriate use for the land given its historical and cultural significance?

Please pray for the decisions regarding the land. Pray for wisdom and discernment in what is best for the community, the environment and what will be effective in the protection and preservation of Hawaiian culture and history… His story. Aloha means to receive the breath of God… God is love… that’s worth protecting and perpetuating for future generations!