LETTERS for May 5 issue
Public beach access denied in Honokowai
For the residents of Honokowai, Kahana, Napili and northward to Kapalua, beach access from the road to the ocean is not adequate. Take, for instance, the one-mile stretch of coastline from Honokowai Beach Park to Pohaku Point (S-Turns), where there is zero public access!
There are at least two sandy beaches; Kuleana’s, a surf spot; and numerous fishing and diving locations that are only for the guests of the private resort condominiums to use!
When residents try to access the ocean along this coastline, they are confronted with gates, surly security guards and our Maui Police Department spending taxpayers’ money to deny public beach access.
Some of these same condominiums don’t provide enough parking for their tenants and advise their tenants to park in the already limited public parking in our neighborhoods and parks.
Please contact the county, and let’s come to a solution that addresses increased public beach access. Thank you, Randy Draper!
PATTI NISHIYAMA, West Maui
Don’t allow land grabs through the court system
Jesus personifies the essence of Hawaiian culture: LOVE. Hawaiians worshiped I’o – Jehovah, prior to the Tahitian invasion.
David Malo recognized the similarities of Hawaiian and Jewish customs. Cultural understanding is essential for land disputes.
Allodial title criterion is found in Levitical precepts of law: “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine (Jehovah’s).”
God’s covenant is everlasting. His promises endure for all generations to those who place their trust in Him.
Selling interest in the land is like Esau trading his birthrights for a bowl of stew and “laid waste his mountain and his heritage.”
The ahupua’a system is a land division like the ancient tribes of Israel; divided by families yet still one nation.
When the plantation era began, much of the land was leased and through time “absorbed” into the companies. Those who retain these lands must process a “quiet title and quiet claim” to sell it.
Since the allodial heirs exist, it proves to be an insidious practice of using the courts to take the land. “This is a people robbed and plundered… and no one delivers and no one says, ‘Restore!’ Who among you will listen to this?” (Isaiah 42)
“The Life of the Land is perpetuated in Righteousness of Christ Jesus!” These wise words of Queen Keopuolani compel us to repentance. Redemption! Recompense! Restore!
Through Jesus, the oppressor will come to an end and vanish from the land. Trust His promises. The islands will rejoice – established in love and righteousness.
MICHELE LINCOLN, Lahaina
County must promote affordable housing
There used to be dozens of old, low-cost houses between the Lahaina Shopping Center and Lahaina Cannery Mall, stretching from off Front Street to the big highway and up and down Baker and Wainee streets. These homes were mostly shared by minimum wage Lahaina workers who easily paid the rents.
They were mostly bulldozed down by big developers, with permits granted by our rich county government officials, to be replaced with expensive condos and nightclubs and tourist shops. Our mayor and many council members for decades have promised to gain more affordable housing, yet they continued to back those developers!
From the 1960s to 2010, there were very low rent, affordable, entire cottages for rent for as low as $375 per month on acreage next to the big King Kamehameha III Elementary School parking lot and the medical center. The land was hidden from public view by a tall fence and large trees with dense tropical vegetation. Homes were surrounded by beautiful gardens and organic produce. The little village was thus nicknamed “THE JUNGLE,” where I lived in the 1990s for $375 a month, enjoying a nice, clean communal shower and restroom (near the popular surf spot where there is NO restroom)!
There was also a nice, modern community projects, meetings, socializing and event building. All the residents when we lived there were employed, well-dressed and groomed professionals who often owned their own businesses, and none were the stereotyped communal hippies.
The newer, excellent architecture cottages, built by expert architectural landlord Mac, were crushed. Remaining on most of that acreage is not parking, but rather an ugly, disgusting, huge trash heap of rubble! The acres are surrounded by the ugly, old, Third World-style Alano building, Native Hawaiian cultural center, heaps of trash, and a traffic-jammed parking lot. Next to that alley – often occupied by alcoholic and meth-tweaking, stealing bums – is the ball park with NO restroom or drinking fountain.
Did county officials think the cottages violated their codes? What about the millions they recently spent on those new offices at Maui Mall? Soon after opening, they were so poorly constructed that they were destroyed by 40 MPH wind and rain. The Lahaina Jungle Village survived 100 MPH winds during the 1980 “Storm of the Century,” as well as the 60 MPH gusts of the outer edge of Hurricane Iniki! DO NOT elect or re-elect politicians whose proven record is anti-affordable housing.
STEVE OMAR, Coordinator, The Maui Alternative Council
Don’t thank Obama for low gas prices
The price of gasoline is at a record low – and President Obama wants to take credit. At a recent speech, the president told the crowd “you’re welcome” for the fact that “a lot of families are saving a lot of money at the gas pump.”
That’s a slick move. President Obama is like a mayor who ignored years of pleas to repair giant potholes, and then shows up at the auto repair
shop to say “you’re welcome” after you pay for the new suspension and rims because of those potholes.
America has undergone an unprecedented energy revolution. But that’s despite, not because of, President Obama. Indeed, his administration has gone to great lengths to hamstring domestic energy production. Most recently, the president proposed a $10.25 per barrel tax on every barrel of oil. President Obama should stop taking credit for what he hasn’t done.
The centerpiece of today’s energy revolution is hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This technique has given energy developers access to previously trapped shale energy reserves buried deep underground – and the president has opposed it at every juncture.
Because of the rapid adoption of fracking, domestic oil production has expanded. Last year, American crude oil production peaked at 9.6 million barrels a day. That’s about a 2 million barrel increase over 2014.
That surge is boosting energy security. In recent years, America has dramatically reduced its dependence on oil from OPEC, the Middle East oil cartel that crippled the American economy in the 1970s with an oil embargo. The United States now imports only one-quarter of the oil it consumes – its lowest level in three decades.
Our reduced dependence on foreign oil is starving rogue regimes of revenue. That’s especially important endeavor now that Iran – a state sponsor of terror – has rejoined the international oil market under Obama’s Iran deal. By 2017, that regime’s oil exports could generate $10 billion in revenue.
But if the United States can provide its own fuel sources, it can help keep that outlaw regime in check.
But President Obama shouldn’t be patting himself on the back for these benefits. The president has repeatedly tried to paralyze the growth of the energy industry.
In November, President Obama rejected Keystone XL, a proposed underground pipeline connecting Canadian shale reserves to U.S. refineries. This would have created thousands of jobs – and strengthened North American energy for decades.
In March, the White House announced it won’t offer offshore drilling leases off the Atlantic coast, forfeiting billions of dollars in revenue.
And recently, the White House has gone after consumers. The president’s recent $10-per-barrel oil tax will raise gas prices by 25 cents for every gallon.
While the energy industry has grown despite these obstacles, such progress is threatened by the Obama administration. Sustained basement-level gas prices have forced producers to scale back production. The number of active oil and gas rigs in America dropped by nearly two-thirds between 2014 and 2015.
If President Obama wants credit for lower gas prices, perhaps he should have encouraged innovation and refused to block improvements to America’s infrastructure.
Of course, the American energy industry will persevere, evolve and grow. But there’s one thing that’s for certain: that won’t be thanks to this White House.
MICHAEL JAMES BARTON, ARTIS Research