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LETTERS for the August 8 issue

By Staff | Aug 8, 2019

Remembering someone I never really knew

Like me, you may have seen shirtless Keith Gleich riding his bike up and down Front Street for years, blazing along at perhaps two miles per hour with his adoring, yet mangy, parrot. This gentle soul was a slow-moving landmark in Old Lahaina Town.

We will miss you, sweet Keith, as we pause to wonder: “Who will feed the bird?”



Share your voice on injection wells

Maui County’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility is not only degrading nearshore waters of West Maui but is now threatening countless water bodies throughout the United States. Share your voice today to protect clean water for all!

For over 30 years, the county’s Lahaina wastewater facility has dumped 3-5 million gallons of partially treated sewage every day into groundwater injection wells – which release into the waters of Kahekili.

Community groups on Maui have been fighting this careless pollution for the last decade. Repeatedly, courts have ruled in favor of clean water, affirming that Maui County has violated the Clean Water Act for three decades. Despite this, Maui County has spent $4.3 million in taxpayer money to fight the law – money which could have gone into water reuse to keep the nutrient-rich water off of West Maui’s reefs. Soon this case will be in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and has the potential to strip vital protections from hundreds of streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters by gutting the Clean Water Act.

This case impacts more than just Maui. Some of the largest polluters in the U.S. – dirty industries like fracking, coal mining, and factory farming – are watching and supporting Maui County’s case. A ruling in favor of Maui County would mean that these polluters are free to contaminate water bodies in the U.S. as long as they release their waste into a pipe in the ground – no matter where that pollution goes. However, if Maui County withdraws its case, we send the message that we want to work out our own solutions at home and not create a loophole for industrial polluters that ruins clean water for all.

We need voices to come together to prevent Maui County from being responsible for the end of clean water protection as we know it. Take action today by asking Hawaii’s leaders to unite in support of fixing the pollution from the Lahaina plant, withdrawing the case from the Supreme Court and safeguarding the nation’s waters. You can also take to Twitter and urge some of our leaders to take action, too.

ROB WELTMAN, Maui Group Chair, Sierra Club of Hawaii


It’s important to maintain blue marlins’ breeding stock

I have wanted to write this editorial letter for years. I just didn’t get around to it until I once again opened the Lahaina News, and another huge marlin was being displayed proudly by the fishermen who hauled it out of the ocean and onto a boat. It is inconsequential that the boat owner sells the fish and/or shares it with the clients on board. What is consequential is the continual depletion of these fish.

Every week, I read about another huge blue or other marlin being hauled out of the ocean, hung up on a hook, and folks who paid a lot of money to go fishing standing beside them, grinning. What is going to happen when the breeding stock is gone? Like climate change, this will most certainly occur.

Blue marlin is a fish that can be easily recognized. This majestic creature lives in temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean.

Major threats for the survival of blue marlins are increased boat traffic (which leads to accidental collisions), over-fishing and accidentally caught (with other fish species, especially tuna).

While blue marlins are not on the list of endangered species, they may become endangered in the near future due to uncontrolled fishing, lack of catch and release for large, mature adults, and pollution of the ocean.

Interesting blue marlin facts:

The blue marlin is very large, beautiful fish. Females are 3-4 times larger than males. Larger specimens can reach 14 feet in length and weight of almost 2,000 pounds. On average, a blue marlin usually reaches 11 feet in length and between 200 and 400 pounds in weight.

Dorsal (back) side of a blue marlin is dark blue, while the belly is silver white in color.

Blue marlins have an elongated body, long tail, pronounced dorsal fin and sharp, spear-shaped upper jaw.

A blue marlin uses its spear-shaped jaw to catch food. It feeds on crustaceans, fish (mackerel, tuna), dolphins and squids.

During the hunt, a blue marlin will pass through a dense school of fish and inflict injuries with its spear. Dead or injured fish will float around, and blue marlins will easily scoop them afterwards.

Blue marlins rely on eyesight to find food. It hunts during the day (diurnal animal).

Blue marlins have 24 vertebrae, which allow fast movement through the water. It reaches the speed of 60 miles per hour.

Because of their large size and sharp spear-shaped jaw, blue marlins have only couple of predators: white sharks, mako sharks and humans.

Blue marlins are very active and strong animals. They like to leap out of the water. Also, they will show powerful and acrobatic movements while trying to release the hook.

Blue marlins are solitary creatures. Sometimes they swim in pairs. Rarely, they will gather in larger groups (schools).

Blue marlins are migratory species. They will move from one location to another to escape low water temperatures (they prefer life in warm waters).

The mating season of blue marlins takes place late in the summer or early in the autumn.

Females become sexually mature when they gain the weight of 265 pounds. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of three years.

Females are able to spawn four times per single mating season, releasing up to seven million eggs. Only a small percentage of released eggs (less than 1 percent) will survive until adulthood. The majority of eggs will be eaten by other marine creatures.

The average lifespan of a female blue marlin is 27 years in the wild. Males live much shorter – only 18 years.

Now that you have some fun facts about these amazing creatures, please think twice before wanting to permanently remove them from their living and breeding grounds.


No more trophys at the cost of diminishing these beautiful creatures and the number that exist, for soon they may all be gone.

Mahalo for considering my plea.