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LETTERS for the November 1 issue

By Staff | Nov 1, 2018

Support candidates seeking real change

Will more low-paying jobs and more work relieve our high prices and high costs? Wouldn’t that require better wages and a lower cost of living? Could it also require shifting taxes to those who benefit from higher costs, those with money to buy up lands, homes and opportunities the average worker cannot afford?

When most of the profit on imported products like food, fuel, cars, clothes, building materials and manufactured goods goes to companies and owners elsewhere, that means most of the money the average worker spends will leave the islands. That likely includes most money spent by visitors on tourism and travel.

It is clear more expensive home developments are not going to help the average workers, who really need homes and living costs to be more affordable. Could they benefit from higher taxes on expensive homes, and on homes bought for investment instead of to live in? Or higher taxes on profits from selling these homes? What about taxes on money that leaves the islands to enrich an already wealthy corporation or person overseas, instead of being invested in affordable homes and sustainable food and energy for the average resident here?

Consider this in the coming election. Are candidates seeking real change and able to describe how to get there? Who is supported by the current establishment? Who has multiple signs and ads with endorsements and donations from rich and powerful organizations? Who fills your mailbox with flyers? Whose interests do you think they will consider first?



Mahalo from the bottom of my heart

On Oct 11, my cousin had just come out of the water in front of the Maui Kaanapali Villas. He made his way to one of the lawn chairs, and told his wife, Lynne, that his heart was beating fast. Then he went down.

A 911 call was made immediately. I am writing to say a heartfelt mahalo to the unbelievable fast response from the Police Department, firemen and medics.

I was not there at that moment, but Lynne, and Rodridgo from the beach shack, told me that there must have been at least 12-14 people from the three departments immediately.

Taken to the hospital, Lynne later called me and said she was holding his hand as he just passed away.

I was concerned about getting her back to the West Side when she mentioned a police officer would be picking her up at the hospital and bringing her back to their resort. I met them there and was told by the officer that another officer would be picking up their daughter flying in from Seattle around at 10:30 that evening.

I told the officer that I would be spending the day with Lynne and would drive her to the airport to meet her daugher.

The officer also told Lynne to call the following day if she needed anything.

I know that several days following. Lynne and her daughter, Shannon, personally contacted both departments to personally say thank you.

To all of you in the police, fire and medics, I am grateful for your professional endeavors. It’s not easy, I’m sure.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy and to love”. – Marcus Aurelius-Roman Emperor 161-180

Me Ke Aloha Pumehaha (With Warm Aloha. Me Ke Aloha Ke Akua (May God Bless You).



Reduce light pollution to protect seabirds

This is a special time for Maui Nui. Endangered seabirds return to breed in October, with many arriving to vital colonies on the West Side. I’m writing to ask our community, our ‘ohana, businesses, and hotels to please consider reducing their light pollution during this precious time.

Blue light emanates from most of our bulbs. While we need it in the daytime, when used at night, it’s been shown to have many harmful effects on wildlife and humans. Unless we use warmer light bulbs, most of us are sending blinding, glaring lights from our homes, lanais, and buildings-and they carry to our shores and skies. For Hawai’s endangered seabirds, the light is confused for light emanating from food sources. It sends birds-young birds, especially-into a spiral around bright sports lighting, roof lights, and even our lanais when we leave the drapes open or allow our bulbs to light not just our homes, grounds, or games but the night sky. We call breeding season “Fallout Season” because we see so many grounded seabirds.

Please consider turning lights off or down (to the ground) where the illumination is needed-not the sky, where the stars can guide. Closing your blinds at night or choosing warmer bulbs at night is not only good for human health but it helps preserve Maui’s night skies.

Let’s allow the lights to guide us, not blind us – and, especially at this time of year – nor blind or harm our beloved and endangered seabirds.

NANCY TAYLOR, Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project


Water flow can help restore life in Lahaina

(The following letter was sent to the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.)

“And everywhere the water goes there will be many living things. Fishermen will stand by the sea to spread fishing nets. There will be many kinds of fish…All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will have fruit every month…the fruit from the trees will be for food. And their leaves will be for healing.” Ezekiel 47

Aloha! Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Kahoma and Kanaha Instream Flow Standards on Maui. Off-island for the public meeting held on October 9 in Lahaina, I appreciate being able to submit comments in this letter.

The “Hydrological Unit 6008 Kahoma Instream Flow Standard Assessment Report Island of Maui” fails to mention the historical inland ‘Alamihi Fish pond that was located in this watershed’s ahupua’a.

A Cultural History Overview of the Kahoma Stream Flood Control Project prepared by Pauline King Joerger and Michael W. Kaschko for the Army Corps of Engineers in September 1979 goes into detail of Kahoma’s ‘Alamihi Fishpond.

The report concludes “On the basis of the fishpond association with important historic events (the battle between Kamehameha I and Kauhi), prominent historic individuals (David Malo and Kamehameha III), and its likelihood to yield information important to prehistory, it is our opinion that ‘Alamihi Fishpond is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.”

The Kahoma Flood Control Project was constructed in the 1980s. The fishpond has been long forgotten as is evident in your report for the area. Perhaps the historical overview conducted for the Army Corps of Engineers can help facilitate some restoration and preservation today.

Is there any chance the ‘Alamihi Fishpond could be reconstructed in the lower region of the flood control project where Kahoma stream meets the ocean? Imagine restoring this ingenious Hawaiian inland fishpond. Considering the proximity to the popular Old Lahaina Luau it would help preserve the culture and provide educational opportunities. Also, it would help to mitigate land based pollutants from entering the ocean.

Please consider the abundance of food grown in this ahupua’a prior to Western contact. To sustain their troops, a famous battle between the High Chief of Maui and Kamehameha the Great was fought around the ‘Alamihi Fishpond for the food supply irrigated by the Kahoma and Kanaha Streams.

A USACE West Maui Watershed Study shows an array of alternatives for Ridge to Reef initiatives. One compelling alternative is “Traditional Hawaiian Practices: Construct or restore loi terraces; use historically proven methods and structures for sediment management.” Loi terraces are a beautiful solution to address land based pollutants from entering the ocean.

After 35 years living by Kahoma Stream and many hours spent on its banks, I can testify that since restoring more of the stream flow in recent years, fish are evident. Also, when the siltation basin gets overgrown, it provides a habitat for many birds, some of which may be endangered.

Please consider water usage to include restoring endangered ‘ohia forests and native plant nurseries. The Big Island’s Rapid ‘Ohia Death and other ecologically damaged areas could benefit from Kahoma/Kanaha’s source for native plants and trees.

Kamehameha Schools has approximately 1,200 acres in this region. It would be appropriate for them to provide Native Hawaiian plants and trees to perpetuate their culture. Proximity to public schools and tourist accommodations would be advantageous for cultural education and ecotourism opportunities as well.

Please include agriculture water to restore the abundant food resources this ahupua’a is historically known for. Lahainaluna High School’s agriculture program can help prepare future farmers for Hawaii’s agriculture industry.

The abundance of state agriculture land in the region could be used for further educational opportunities, as the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Lahaina Annex is located in this ahupua’a. Densely populated in the area, community gardens could have a viable workforce if irrigation and land is made available.

Enough water has been allocated for residential and tourism uses. Put a moratorium on development. Now is the time to conserve water resources for “the life of the land.” Every precaution must be exercised to help maintain a healthy aquifer and deter saltwater intrusion into freshwater sources.

Two decades have passed since the closing of Pioneer Mill with neglected agricultural land posing a life-threatening environment for the community. Hurricane Lane’s fire would have been less impactful if all this land was irrigated and growing crops, pastures and forests.

With a moratorium on development, perhaps the landholders would be more receptive to restoring native forests with carbon credit advantages and taxable income-producing agricultural industries.

Put a time limit for the state and other entities controlling land in this region to utilize the water for agriculture or reforestation.

If they do not comply within the given time frame, then they forfeit water usage from this aquifer. Drilling private wells into the same aquifer is depleting the natural resource meant for the public’s welfare.

Mindful of overpopulating a region, restoring watersheds with a healthy ecosystem from mauka to makai will ensure us and future generations of a reliable source of life-giving water supply.

Lahaina was home to the ali’i. Kahoma and Kanaha streams and this particular ahupua’a with the ‘Alamihi Fishpond was a resource worth fighting for. Please make decisions to protect and preserve this important historical place.

Hawaiian historical and cultural significance, tourism opportunities, food security, healthy ecosystem and educational prospects make the Kahoma/Kanaha watershed an important area for protection and preservation.