homepage logo

LETTERS for February 15 issue

By Staff | Feb 15, 2018

Use the reservoir for recycling wastewater

In October 2017, Michael Miyamoto, deputy director of the county Department of Environmental Management (DEM), announced that construction of a 1,000,000-gallon treated wastewater tank would begin in 2018. It would be located on Puukolii adjacent to Kaanapali Hillside above the resort. The entire neighborhood has been fighting against the tank location for over two years.

In articles published in multiple Maui news outlets, it was announced that Maui County had lost in the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in their quest to keep injecting treated water into wells located in the ocean. Part of the article stated that DEM would now make use of an existing reservoir and pipeline to move the treated water to 800 feet altitude for irrigation purposes. Although not stated, it appears that the Puukolii tank will not be built.

This begs the question: why wasn’t the existing reservoir considered instead of proposing a new tank at considerable cost for land acquisition, pipes and the tank? The way the DEM people conducted themselves at a community meeting indicates it was either mother knows best and/or hubris.

The Kaanapali Neighbors organized and fought this project. It shows that grassroots organizing can fight and win against government.

MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali


Honolua area becoming a dumping ground

What a shame. We spent $20 million to purchase Honolua, and now it is returning to a dumping ground.

HTA (Hawaii Tourism Authority) did not renew the grant to Save Honolua Coalition, which was funding the ongoing maintenance of Honolua since the purchase by the state. HTA feels that this should be a volunteer position. Well, just drive by the middle gate and you can see how that is working out.

I have been taking care of Honolua for ten years and was receiving $1,000 a month from Save Honolua; now it has been cut off. I still considered myself a volunteer because I spend much more than that every month.

I burned out all my volunteers cleaning Lipoa Point in the five years it took to remove 50 years’ worth of junk, filling 28 30-yard roll-off dumpsters. Most of my volunteers nowadays come from the Sierra Club from the Mainland.

Angus McKelvey got us another $500,000 for maintenance, but that was quickly usurped by the state, saying they needed it for planning.

These planning guys are dragging their feet while Honolua weeps and continues to collect trash. Most people at those meeting say they don’t want to see any changes, so those meetings are a waste. Government spending… what else is new?



Mahalo for supporting LHS Senior Projects

On Friday, Jan. 26, 191 Lahainaluna High School seniors presented their Senior Projects to rooms full of community judges. These presentations were the culmination of their Senior Projects, which also entailed a research paper and a 20-plus-hour mentorship. Projects included automobile care, native plant restoration, cooking, dental hygiene and surfboard shaping, just to name a few.

The Lahainaluna High School Senior Project Committee would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals who made this day possible. We would like to thank the staff members of Lahaina Intermediate School and Princess Nahi’ena’ena Elementary School who assisted in evaluating projects. To all the community members who volunteered your Friday to judge projects, thanks for your time. Finally, a special mahalo to all mentors who volunteered to oversee our seniors. We hope that the Class of 2018 has made you proud to be a part of the Lahainaluna community.

This endeavor is truly a reflection of our tight-knit community that makes Lahaina such a special place to live and grow. Mahalo, Lahaina, for your outpouring of love and support for our students. Thank you!

TARA NAKATA, Librarian, Lahainaluna High School


Use the original plans for the Lahaina Bypass

Making “adjustments” at the Keawe Street/Honoapiilani Highway intersection to prevent the serious disruption to traffic and local businesses that will result from all of the traffic from the south being directed only on to the southern extension of the Lahaina Bypass, which ends and exits at Keawe, will fall far short of solving the problems and seems more of a “put-off” to the outcry of locals about the situation.

Initially, the plan was for the new Lahaina Bypass to go around and above all of Lahaina for the Kaanapali, Honokowai, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua traffic going to and from the “other side.” This would also relieve the increasing congestion in Lahaina. But the new section of the bypass was placed south of Lahaina instead of north from the existing portion of the bypass, so as to truly bypass Lahaina as originally planned. Now all of the traffic from the south will be blocked from using the existing Honoapilani Highway along the shoreline drive. They will have to proceed onto the bypass and then into Keawe… and the busiest intersection in Lahaina.

At the meetings that the HDOT was required to hold and that I attended, it was apparent that the decision to extend south from the existing portion of the bypass running from Keawe to Hokioko Place, instead of north, had already been made and could not be altered by the public. Instead, the developers and landowners in force at the meetings were asked how high mauka they would like the new southern extension of the bypass to go. The answer was “as high as possible,” thus leaving more room for developments.

Also, the promise to maintain the world-famous Honoapilani Highway shoreline drive as an additional route to Lahaina, and with access to beaches, surfing, fishing, etc., for the public, was not kept. It is to be closed to through traffic, and many fear that expensive developments for the few will extend to and take up the shoreline from the public, like from Lahaina to Kapalua. The HDOT put in the paper that this was an example of cooperation between the government and the public, but by one means or another, it was not the public that the agreement was with.

What is needed for the disastrous problem coming that this creates in the Keawe area and overall is not adjustments at the Keawe/Honoapilani intersection, but the following three things: keeping the shoreline drive open as now, creating the northern extension of the bypass, and not opening the new southern extension to traffic until the northern extension of the bypass is made, so as to allow a place for traffic to our northern communities to go other than Keawe. Local nearby adjustments to the shoreline Honoapiilani Highway can be made later if needed for shoreline erosion.

Initially, our County Council agreed with that solution, but at a recent meeting we were told that discussions and changes cannot be made about the bypass, but only about Keawe. What happened?

Keawe is not the cause of the problem nor can it affect a solution – it is the victim. With all of the revenue from our hotels, more than elsewhere in Hawaii, the northern extension should be financially feasible if our funds are retained here for our traffic needs, instead of so much of it going to Oahu for their railroad.



Iwi must be protected

There’s hope for the future. The county resolved to do what is right. The Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility’s reclaimed water is designated for irrigation. Utilizing an existing reservoir is superior to injection wells and water tanks for aesthetics, wildlife habitat and ecological benefits.

Like water infiltration, sometimes it takes a while for ideas to percolate and impurities removed. The importance of protecting iwi/bones is difficult for Western-minded people to comprehend. Sand mining in Central Maui and developments are desecrating iwi. Preserving the culture requires protecting what matters to Hawaiians.

How historical does property have to be for protection? Kahoma Village utilized 1970’s archeological reports and the 1884 Bishop Map but omitted important historical information in the development approval process. An Army Corps of Engineers analysis stated the area’s potential for nomination in the National Register of Historic Places.

Facts, including David Malo’s homestead and an important battle with Kamehameha that occurred on the property, were not forthcoming. Who ensures statutes are followed?

Are the archeologist’s findings receiving the same level of scrutiny? What if they uncovered four burials of chiefs in the sitting position facing the ocean?

“Iwi represent people. They say, ‘We are old, dry bones – all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! I’ll put My Spirit in you, and you’ll live again and return to your own land. Then you’ll know that I have spoken and have done it.’ ” (Ezekiel)



Stop racing on the highway

Can someone please tell me if there is some sort of race that is going on constantly on Honoapiilani Highway from Kaanapali to Puamana?

The way people drive makes me think there is a prize at the end of each area going in either direction.

Cars are zooming by me as I do 40 MPH, and I think I might be the stupid one until I find those cars smack dab in front of me at the next traffic light!

I do believe that the Maui Police Department could easily hand out 100-plus speeding tickets every day on the highway.

What is everyone’s rush? Relax enjoy the ride!



Pool generator needs to be fixed

Sitting down watching the Super Bowl, and once again at the Kahana Gateway Apartments, our pool generator just started to scream and vibrate.

Two weeks now with this noise – an unbelievably loud, terrible noise. Many complaints from neighbors seem to just go unnoticed. Does it really take over two weeks to fix a pool?