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LETTERS for the July 11 issue

By Staff | Jul 11, 2019

Remove roadblocks to affordable housing

(The following letter was sent to County Councilmembers Tamara Paltin and Tasha Kama.)

I have been reading with great interest the following articles about the proposed subdivisions in Launiupoko: “Council working against the clock to review two Launiupoko affordable housing projects” by Louise Rockett of Lahaina News, “Housing panel concerned with a lack of water” by Colleen Uechi of The Maui News, and, of course, “Launiupoko projects to provide affordable housing to local families” by none other than Peter Martin himself.

The word “NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) is often used by those attacking opposition to development. Well, the two proposed projects of Makila Rural East and Polanui Gardens are literally in my back yard. If anyone is to be affected by these subdivisions, it’s me. No matter the names of those applying for these subdivisions, they are distinctively Peter Martin.

Yet, I know that Maui desperately needs affordable housing. As a resident of Launiupoko myself, I wholeheartedly agree with Martin in the need for affordable housing. Perhaps that’s why, for the better part of a decade, I’ve been trying to work with him and the county trying to subdivide without success. Peter knows full well that I’ve been trying to get his company’s help – and the County of Maui – in subdividing for over a decade to ease the housing crisis without success.

As a chiropractor, I see the need for housing in the eyes of folks I see every day, from those who can’t afford homes to employers who can’t find enough workers due to the lack of affordable housing. So many of us living here on Maui struggle every day just to make ends meet, and it’s about time to change that.

After reading Peter’s article, I’d like to suggest that instead of viewing people as “opposition,” that he try to listen to their concerns, find common ground and implement changes where possible. Having lived through multiple fires and floods, and dealing with traffic in the area, I fully understand their concerns.

Instead of seeing “wealthy people who recently purchased agricultural lots in Launiupoko” and “some folks living in Kaua’ula Valley” as the opposition, try working with them for a change. Many of those “wealthy people” work for a living. They also work hard to keep up with their bills, and yes, some of these same folks made you rich.

The “folks living primarily in Kaua’ula Valley,” mainly Hawaiians, are just trying to survive, and I hope you and your company for a change begin helping them rebuild their lives, not just their homes.

Regarding “houses for our locals,” if it’s truly about helping ease Maui’s housing crisis, get the county Planning Department to reassign Makila Plantation and have it included in the Urban Growth Boundary of the Maui Island Plan. You and the county left us out of those plans in 2012, and now’s the time to change that. Remove the impediments you put into our CC&Rs that keep us from subdividing and get the county to do the same. Whether your subdivisions are approved or not, Maui desperately needs more housing in the future, and Makila Plantation has the land to do it.

Getting us into the mix and by including us in the Urban Growth Boundary/Maui Island Plan will help ease Maui’s housing crisis. Let’s face it – if it is truly about affordable housing, as you say, then shouldn’t you be helping everyone to do what you’re doing? Help us in removing these roadblocks and pave the way for helping us to ease Maui’s housing crisis. After all, Maui needs housing, but housing that’s done right. Rather than fighting opposition, let’s all work together to make Maui a better place for all of us. Our keiki and our future depend upon it.



Support climate change bill before Congress

We hear so much about climate change, see evidence in extreme weather and record-breaking changes, and wonder how much individual efforts can really halt the progression of worse consequences. There are changes we can attempt, but we may be unwilling or unable, such as limiting air travel and eating animals, limiting fuel consumption and planting trees to offset trees that are cut down.

But we can all write our Congressional representatives to support HR 763, a bill that a group called the Climate Change Lobby (citizensclimatelobby.org) spearheaded. They achieved an impressive accomplishment: a Climate Change Caucus with members of both parties!

The main focus of CCL is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), which proposes a fee for producers and importers of CO2, with a dividend to all American citizens to compensate for the rise in fuel prices that producers will charge. (Citizens can spend the dividend as they choose.)

This bi-partisan bill will reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent in 12 years and make renewable energy more attractive, as it will be cheaper in comparison to carbon fuels. It will also increase our health as pollution decreases, and even create 2.1 million jobs.

Citizensclimatelobby.org gives more information and can help you write to your representatives. Hawaii Senators Hirono and Schatz and Representatives Case and Gabbard are aware and active in trying to combat climate change. To join our free local effort, e-mail mauicclnow@gmail.com. You can volunteer as little or as much as you like.



Donald Duck in ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’

I’m sorry, but who is calling the kettle black? Who really promotes hate and ignorance? Not Senator Mazie Hirono!

We have not seen this so-called letter by Sen. Hirono. But isn’t it true Donald Duck Trump pulled America out of the most important action to addressing climate change worldwide, The Paris Climate Agreement?! Trump and his cronies of industry and pollution now control the EPA with Andrew Wheeler (who may be forced to resign at this time), who denounces sound science and threatened our clean Air and Water Acts.

David Bernhardt, the new interior secretary whose past as a captain of industry has been launching the biggest public land giveaways (some 17 million acres so far to destructive mining and oil). He also is seeking to open U.S. coastal waters to offshore drilling.

How about Betsy DeVois, head of education, who has taken extremely needed funding from poor public schools and encouraged privatization of high schools that benefit wealthy white communities. The list goes on…

Please, Republican Richard, do some research… not Fox News, whose funding is questionable. Check out PBS news once in awhile. Try reading some nonprofit environmental information, like NRDC.org/Nature’sVoice; or Earthjustice at earthjustice.org; Public Citizen/Citizen.org, citizens for the future newsletter; and many, many more!

We all love America. We all love the life that this wonderful Earth provides for us ALL. Isn’t it Donald Duck who promotes separation, fear and disparaging language to everyone who does not agree or do his bidding?

He has normalized or legitimatized his own fake news! See his “Emperor’s New Clothes!!” He parades naked every day, but his loyal sheep are blindfolded. Why? Maybe because they project themselves as Donald Duck Trump!?

They want to believe the spins and false statements. But even if they don’t like or believe in the truth, science and fact do not disappear nor dissolve.

Please check out other news sources if you want to step out of ignorance and take off your blinders.

Sincerely and with Aloha for All!



Thanks for supporting Na Kupuna’s tournament

Na Kupuna O Maui is pleased to announce that the Kamehameha Iki Park Keiki Fishing Tournament was a success due to the support and contributions of our Maui community. We have so many to mahalo.

First, we want to thank the County of Maui, Karla Peters and Alan Fukunaga. Mahalo to Kaipo Kekona and crew for helping with the set-up. Kehau Kimokeo added the educational angle with information distributed to the public and participants about the Barbless Circle Hook Project and Marine Wildlife Program.

Na Kupuna cannot forget about the generous prize donations of bikes and other awards to our keiki. Thank you John Cote, Greg Lundberg, Joe Pluta and Munekiyo Hiraga.

It meant so much.