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LETTERS for the September 19 issue

By Staff | Sep 19, 2019

Council made correct call on injection wells

I’d like to sincerely commend the courageous five of our Maui County Council who have the integrity and understanding to stand up and vote for the reefs of Maui.

It is true the offshore waters of Maui, especially the West Side, have been suffering for a long time. You look out from the beach, and it all looks beautiful; but put on goggles and you will notice a greenish tinge. The inside reef (what’s still left of it) has a green slime at the bottom of each coral throughout the reef.

We have plenty of science and data to prove high nitrogen (300 percent over the allowed amount) and other nutrients, according to a Hui Ka Wai Ola volunteer, which is a detriment to healthy reefs, especially added to global warming of the water. We truly need to handle our wastewater and not just send it out three feet from shore.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 has been the state law. It was enacted as a bipartisan law to protect our waters and make compliance a reality for the PEOPLE and LIFE of the land and waters.

The Trump Administration has been attempting to destroy much of our hard-won regulations of protection. Trump has even changed the face of the EPA!

Now comes the mayor of Maui to attack this cornerstone of our health and beauty at the Supreme Court! He has been embraced by the industrial polluting community and the Trump EPA to make loopholes in the Clean Water Act that would create great havoc across the country and alarm the world what beautiful Maui is doing.

Our dirty little secret will not go unnoticed. Mayor Victorino is about to shout it from the rooftops that Maui wants to keep on polluting – and is helping giants to do the same!

Over $4,000,000 has been spent on this venture, which is unlikely to succeed. Already two courts have ruled in favor of the existing law.

According to Kelly King, we have $20 million budgeted for Lahaina wastewater improvements. The mayor says he wants to go forward with improvements… so why does he want to waste monies and embarrass and potentially really hurt the visitor industry? And embarrass us all with his Trump collusion!? Yes, compliance is a hard pill to swallow – that’s why this matter has been repeatedly kicked down from administration to administration.

I believe that everyone wants to help make it pono and save our reefs, fisheries and health! There are many creative ways available. We can do it!

So please applaud the courageous five who are standing up to the mayor and the Trump Administration. We need to settle this case and move forward, not backward! Mahalo nui!!



Police must take action on speeding

I have written about this before, and nothing seems to be done by the Maui Police Department or Lahaina Police about the excessive speeding on Honoapiilani Highway.

The speed limit entering Lahaina is 35 mph, 40 fronting the Lahaina Police Station and 45 after the Times Supermarket.

Drivers easily speed above 60 mph with no police in sight. Is there a donut shop that they hang out in?

Dark window tinting that is illegal, excessively wide truck tires, weaving in and out of traffic and other laws that the police have sworn (and are paid) to enforce are ignored.

The current traffic fatalities are higher than ever. Does MPD even care?

RON TATE, Lahaina


Let’s be realistic about our water

I am a concerned West Maui farmer. It’s time to be realistic about development on the dry areas of West Maui.

Several developments have been proposed under the guise of “Affordable” or “Workforce” housing (which is certainly needed), but the fundamental problem of availability of WATER in this area of Maui is far from answered or assured.

Stream waters for irrigation have been virtually shut off by the Commission for Water Resource Management (CWRM). Some wells are being drilled to “supplement” surface water, but as it has been said many times, “only so many straws can drink from the same cup.”

Let’s look at the facts: the climate is getting warmer, West Maui is getting drier, the need for irrigation water is increasing, individual wells are producing less than they were only ten years ago and more wells are being drilled into the same aquifer, Launiupoko and Olowalu have been under severe water restrictions for over 18 months, and we have had the worst wildfires in living memory.

No one knows when we will reach the limits of what precious water the West Maui Mountains can provide, yet developers continue to placate us with statements like, “we have plenty of water,” and “we will just drill new wells.”

Promises and pie-in-the-sky statements will not put out the fires when the hills are burning and we have no water.

What will the water situation look like in the next ten to 20 years, when the ground water is tapped out? Then, we will be in a state of emergency, and we will be out of options.

We cannot wait until farms and nurseries go derelict, homes and properties dry up, streams dry to a trickle, and locals move away.

The Maui County Council must consider all these facts when evaluating development proposals in this dry zone. There are plenty of good places to build that have reliable water.

It is the council’s fiduciary duty to deny any such proposal until the availability of the additional water now, and decades into the future, is proven (not hinted at), and place a moratorium on any new development, whether affordable, ranches or luxury, in this dry area until proven water resources are available and in place.