LETTERS for the May 16 issue
Steps to improve the West Maui community
With the landmark Clean Water Act case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, Lahaina’s wastewater lawsuit ruling will affect the nation. While in the spotlight, resolve other concerns to benefit the community and the nation overall.
1) Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility (LWRF): Act immediately using LWRF’s treated water to irrigate the dry slopes above Kaanapali to Lahaina. Existing infrastructure at the LWRF can pump reclaimed water to the Honokohou Ditch. Install irrigation systems and reinstate necessary reservoirs. Activate the National Guard to help with these preventative measures to avoid catastrophes, like Hurricane Lane’s wildfire. Besides preventing fires, providing endangered species habitat and recharging the aquifer, it allows impurities to percolate to protect near-shore waters. Reforestation is another benefit.
2) Native Forest Restoration: Develop a native forest ecosystem as a nursery and food resource. Hawaii needs native species for recovery from natural disasters, predators and diseases. In a perfect location for native foliage, Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools controls approximately 1,200 acres above and below the Lahaina Bypass, bordering Lahainaluna Road and residential areas. Hurricane Lane’s wildfire swept through this barren land, destroying homes and causing hundreds of people to evacuate. Charred remains polluted nearby schools, residences and businesses with soot and ashes. Beautiful and safer environment, cultural preservation, commodity and food production, proximity to schools for educational purposes, and tourism opportunities are some of many benefits of reforestation.
3) Restore a Kahoma Heiau: The county controls 0.92 acres on Kopili Street in Lahaina (TMK450100060000). Identified in the 1974 Connolly Report, historical evidence remains. Local knowledge describes it as a place of refuge and healing, where warriors would go for restoration.
4) Restore the ‘Alamihi Inland Fishpond in Kahoma: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Public Works are responsible for Kahoma’s channelized portion. Recent rulings have restored stream flow for the Kahoma/Kanaha Streams. USACE suggests “utilizing floodplain space to hold storm-water and sediment.” Restoring the five-acre ‘Alamihi Fishpond within the Kahoma flood channel, where the stream enters the ocean by Mala Wharf, will preserve history while protecting near-shore waters from land-based pollutants.
5) Develop a Historical Park: Adjacent to Kahoma’s ‘Alamihi Fishpond is the location of David Malo’s 11-acre parcel (LCA 3702), gifted to him by Kamehameha III. Located by Kahoma Stream between Front Street and Honoapiilani Highway, a park is an appropriate use for the famous Hawaiian historian’s homestead. Adhering to the West Maui Community Plan ordinance, it should be a park.
6) Realign Hazardous Coastal Honoapiilani Highway: The crisis of sea-level rise is evident in West Maui’s coastal highway. Cut off from airport access, emergency services, hospital, food supply and life sustaining resources will be the consequence unless action is taken. Realign the highway to address this crisis situation. Establish legislative criterion to assist communities in dire circumstances related to sea-level rise.
7) Anchor Square Affordable Studio Apartments: Convert Lahaina’s former Travelodge Motel on Papalaua Street into apartments. An immediate solution for affordable rentals, it provides adequate housing for individuals at entry level employment, people on fixed incomes and veterans.
8) Land Trust Affordable Housing: Address the national affordable housing crisis using guidelines of Hawaiian Home Lands. Establish precedents of the housing market to include land trust affordable housing. Owner-occupied, leasehold covenants would remain affordable forever. Land trust housing is transferable to heirs or could be a starter home to build equity. Either way it provides another level of housing that remains affordable in perpetuity. Provide an inventory of rentals, land trust affordable housing, traditional fee-simple housing and luxury level homes. Hawaii has a solution to keep housing affordable in perpetuity. Normalize that concept nationwide.
CONCLUSION: Leading by example, resolving some West Maui issues has the potential to help the nation.
MICHELE LINCOLN. Lahaina
Move away from dairy products
Mother’s Day, on May 12th, celebrated the cherished bond between mother and child. But mother cows, very icons of motherhood, never get to see their own babies.
Newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth and turned into veal cutlets, so we can drink the milk that was meant for them. The grief-stricken mother cows bellow for days, calling in vain for their return.
Dairy cows spend their lives chained on concrete floors with no access to the outdoors. Each year, they are impregnated artificially, to maintain production, and milked by machines twice a day.
When production drops, around four years of age, they are ground into hamburgers.
Dairy products are laden with cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones, pathogens and antibiotics, leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Most African and Asian Americans lack the enzyme for digesting dairy products.
But help is on the way. Food manufacturers throughout the world are developing excellent nut and grain-based dairy products. U.S. sales alone are expected to exceed $2 billion.
Let’s honor motherhood and compassion. Let’s replace the products of cow misery with delicious, healthful, cruelty-free, plant-based milk, cheese and ice cream products offered by our supermarket.
LESTER NAITO, Lahaina