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LETTERS for the May 3 issue

By Staff | May 3, 2018

DOT should have completed the entire Lahaina Bypass

We waited over 30 years for the Lahaina Bypass and it made traffic worse! Maybe they should have finished the whole road before closing the old one – brilliant planning (LOL)!

Anyway, thanks to all the volunteers who showed up on Saturday. We filled both dumpsters in about two hours. Mahalo to Surfrider Foundation, Save Honolua Coalition, Aloha Waste and Down the Hatch for all the support.



Good job on the bypass

Tuesday, April 24, 8:20 a.m., drove from the Olowalu refuse center to my home on Lahainaluna Road in seven minutes, 27 seconds.




Encourage use of reclaimed water for irrigation

Apparently, the Department of Environmental Management is moving forward with their plans for the recycled water tank on Pu’ukoli’i in Kaanapali Hillside.

Maui County’s budget includes a half-million dollar land acquisition designating reclaimed water to benefit commercial enterprises/resorts.

For public well-being, utilizing an existing pipeline and reservoirs for the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility’s reclaimed water is better stewardship. Considering expensive monthly water and sewage charges for residents and the impact of tourism to the area, reclaimed water should benefit the community.

Treated reclaimed water can provide irrigation on the hillsides above Lahaina for agriculture. Realize sustainable food supplies, ag/eco-tourism and luscious, tropical, scenic views.

Recommissioning reservoirs and the ditch system provides means to irrigate large parcels of land. Irrigated ground cover can prevent fires and erosion along with natural filtration for a healthy ecosystem. Federally protected waters are at risk, so seeking federal assistance is reasonable.

Allocating state funds for capital improvements to facilitate agriculture in the district makes sense. State-controlled agriculture land is near Lahainaluna High School.

With close proximity to various educational facilities, agricultural/environmental learning opportunities from elementary to college level are viable. Produce for school cafeterias, farming and ranching, and community gardens are achievable.

Providing public access to the ponds/reservoirs will be appreciated. Beautiful, natural landscapes provide habitat for fish, birds and wildlife. Walking on paths through green pastures and resting by still waters is good for the soul.

Water is the source of life. Do your part; send comments to the mayor, council members and bf.committee@mauicounty.us.



The history of the Hololani revetment project

Your readers deserve a better understanding of the history of the Hololani revetment project and why it has received approval from all necessary local, state and federal agencies.

Hololani has lawfully placed sandbags on its shoreline under emergency permits since 2007. The Maui County emergency permit mandated that Hololani develop a permanent solution for the protection of the residential buildings because sandbags do not last. Hololani has been acting in compliance with this directive since then, and the current project is the result of years of engineering, environmental review and permitting.

The project has been publicly vetted multiple times over the last eight years and has received all required permits and approvals – local, state and federal. As such, we were surprised and blindsided when a small group came forward in opposition to the project just six weeks ago. These same people chose not to participate in the extensive environmental review and permit hearing processes that are the fundamental legal and policy bedrock for project assessment in the State of Hawaii.

When the county Planning Department asked if Hololani would support a regional beach nourishment project, Hololani agreed to do so and has taken a leadership role. Hololani directors have helped to develop the scope of work for the environmental impact statement (EIS), which will include all alternatives for protection of beach, shoreline and buildings – including beach nourishment and revetment options.

Hololani directors have been directly involved in drafting the funding agreement between nine condominium associations, which was unanimously approved by the board. If the beach nourishment option is pursued and implemented to successfully protect the region’s properties, Hololani is required to remove the revetment at its own cost.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands recommended approval of the Hololani project because of the unique geology – a sheer silt and clay cliff and no sand dunes. This morphology was confirmed in 2007 by geologists employed by both Maui County and the state. The project will not starve the beach of landward sand deposits and will not affect whether or not there is sand in front of Hololani. Furthermore, the design of the rock revetment will help promote the return of the beach during summer south swell conditions.

Experienced coastal engineers advise that there will be no effects on neighboring properties that will inevitably lead to further shoreline hardening. The lateral effects of the proposed project extend only a short distance and are mitigated by specialized low-profile shore protection mattresses that have already been in place for a decade.

The needs of neighboring properties will be determined by wind and wave conditions that are totally independent of the Hololani project.

Finally, simple economics are not being considered by a “do nothing” approach. Erosion at this site is occurring at nearly one foot per year. The county drainage culvert is in immediate need of repair, and in the near future protection will be necessary for the public road and underground utilities. The Hololani project will accomplish these goals at no cost to the taxpayers. In addition, Hololani will be providing permanent vertical and lateral public access to the shoreline.

After 11 years of permitting, planning and public hearings, Hololani deserves a vote in the House of Representatives. If the members of the House hear all the facts about this public-private partnership, we are confident we would win the support of the House, as we have at every other level of the public process.

STUART ALLEN, President, Hololani AOAO


Revetment needed to save my home

Aloha and thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of saving my home in Kahana. My name is Virginia Keen. My husband, Andrew, and I retired here from New York in 1999, as this was his dream place and my asthma improved greatly.

We loved the friendly people and aloha spirit. We began volunteering at the aquarium and Visitor Center. This is where I met Richard and Pat Endsley, who, realizing I was a retired teacher, drafted me as a tutor for the Lahaina tutoring program. I was coordinator and tutor for King Kamehameha III School’s third grade reading program for 14 years and two at Lahaina Intermediate School.

This is where I pay taxes, vote and also substitute teach, which I began doing in 2001 until the present. I am certified for all levels, K-12. Since costs have greatly risen at Hololani, I need to supplement my pension and Social Security by teaching. I am now 75 years old and am slowing down.

I give back to the community and lector at Sacred Hearts Mission Church on Saturday and Sunday Mass.

Andrew passed in December 2006 and is buried at the Maui Veterans Cemetery, where someday I will join him. He did not live to see the ocean take the beach and 40 feet of property, which began in January 2007. He loved it here, as I do, and would want you to save our only home.

In conclusion, I plead with you to save the Hololani and my beloved home by allowing us to build the revetment before it is too late. Please stop the endless expenses of yearly replacing seabags.

Please vote with your hearts and help us. We love Hawaii, too.



Ruling means no stream flow available for agriculture

The Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) recently ruled four West Maui streams to meet the Interim In-Stream Flow Standards (IIFS) set by the state. These streams are Ukumehame, Olowalu, Launiupoko and Kaua’ula. Basically, this means all that water now flows to the ocean. It is not clear how the IIFS is determined for each stream; the historic records of Pioneer Mill Company, which built, diverted and measured the amount of water used to irrigate their cane for 140 years, show that the IIFS actually exceeds the average sustainable flow of each of those streams. Therefore, there will be no stream flow available for agriculture from Lahainaluna Road all the way to the Pali going forward.

I suppose the CRWM expects ag operations or other nonpotable users to start drilling wells to irrigate now that the sugar plantations have gone. But groundwater wells on an island are much different than groundwater wells elsewhere. Here our aquifers are “perched,” or exist above sea level inland below the mountains. The water that moves from the perched aquifer to the lower elevations creates a basal lens of fresh water above the ocean salt water layer below. Wells located there would pull the groundwater from that lower layer of fresh water. That water also mixes with the salt water, and the more you pump, the saltier the water gets. Historically, the use of stream water for irrigation was the insurance to recharge these lower elevation aquifers.

Culturally and environmentally, it is correct to send some of that stream water back to the ocean… but all of it? Pioneer Mill closed in 1999; since then, there have been many legitimate start-up farmers in this referenced area. Most likely, they will not be able to exist without this water source. The ruling was immediate, with no reasonable time given for people to make adjustments.

But the scariest thing for all of us living or working on the West Side, farmers or not, is that now every one of those stream flow reservoirs – Kahoma, Wahikuli, Crater, Kaua’ula, Makila, Launiupoko, Olowalu Mauka and Makai, and Ukumehame – will be empty. Some of them are already. We are having one of the wettest years in recent memory. It’s so nice and green. However, come July, we all know what it’s going to look like with all that dry fuel and hot trade winds. The table is set for epic brush fires. Helicopters are the only means we have to fight those fires. There will be no reservoirs to pull from.

Any water to fight fires will have to be pulled from the ocean, in some cases flying miles to make one drop, not to mention dumping salt water on land that will not re-grow vegetation for years due to the now elevated salt content of the soil.

Legally, helicopters are not allowed to carry their loaded water baskets over public roads; this means no matter how far from the highway the fire is, the highway will close.

You have to wonder if the CWRM considered any of this. The County of Maui has two water treatment plants pulling 100 percent of their water from diverted streams for domestic use here on the West Side. Will they have to shut down as well? Does any of this make sense?