homepage logo

LETTERS for the April 9 issue

By Staff | Apr 9, 2020

Kaua’ula Valley families seek the community’s support

A call to all who live a pono life

The current families of Kaua’ula Valley, Kuleana Land continue to rebuild their homes and lives a year-and-a-half after the fire of Aug. 25, 2018 raged through the area. Although the process of rebuilding their lives continues to be challenging, the families are able to persevere because of all the continued love and support they have received from friends, families and communities, both near and far. To all of you who have supported, we would like to express our deepest love, gratitude and appreciation.

However, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, “aggressive embers” began to light another “fire.” Only now, the “fire” that has been lit comes in the form of a hostile attempt to illegally occupy portions of Kaua’ula Valley.

These “embers” have thus far forced their way onto the property by pulling out and destroying the family’s gate, forcing in excavators, using a West Maui Land Co. dump truck to haul a motor home to occupy a burial area, wielding picks and chain saws, and running away from law enforcement.

These people have chosen a time most beneficial to their agenda, by doing so when the families are still in the rebuilding and reestablishment phase. They have chosen to employ the “kick ’em when they’re down” strategy.

The families of Kaua’ula facing these distressful times are determined to prevent these events from happening to any other person, family or community.

The families are comprised of construction workers, entrepreneurs, county workers, those in education, medical workers, landscapers and so on, all just doing their best to provide for their families and children. The children, of course, are the ones that suffer the most.

It is good versus evil. West Maui Land needs to cease and desist.

Much like the fire that burned Kaua’ula, as well as threatened to destroy the lives of those who live in Lahaina Town, so do the actions of the aforementioned people, if they are allowed to. The first fire only took a matter of minutes to burn and destroy the homes and lives of the Kaua’ula families.

We have the opportunity to prevent this second “fire” from burning and endangering the entire Lahaina community. This message serves as a calling to all of those who believe in living righteously (pono). We, the family of Kaua’ula, humbly ask you again for your support. Only this time, we can combat a tragedy before it occurs. This time, we will be able to extinguish the “fire” before it begins.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ?Aina i ka Pono!



Take advantage of SBA loans

There are some really great forgivable loans (meaning you do NOT need to pay them back if you follow a few simple rules) as part of the big U.S. government COVID-19 stimulus package. These are for small businesses (less than 500 employees), faith-based organizations and non-profits. Very simple application; this is called the SBA-Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Do not be fooled by the word “loan.” If you follow the simple rules, this becomes a grant, not a loan. There are billions in this fund – but it will run out, so people need to apply now. The link is: covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.

I am finding that lots of small businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations do not know about this here on Maui. When I read the word “loan,” I dismissed it myself, but it is a forgivable loan. It is really simple to apply for, but you need to go online.

The U.S. government also gives you a $10,000 grant just for applying, even if you decide not to take the loan. This is administered through the SBA-Small Business Administration.

Think about your corner gas station, coffee shop, church, charter business, dive company, small nonprofit, etc. All these people could really benefit from this, so ask them if they know about it. If they do not, please share this information.

This application is so EASY, and it is on the honor system, but they will catch you if you cheat! They do not even require backup documents. Easy. The big goal is to get money into the hands of small businesses fast.

Please let small businesses know about this! WARNING: There are lots of scams out there. Make sure you go to the official Small Business Administration website, which is part of the U.S. government.

There are other programs with SBA that are also worth looking at, but this one is the easiest, simplest and fastest.

Lahaina – What A Great Town! Let’s all help each other!

THEO MORRISON, Executive Director, Lahaina Restoration Foundation


Psychologists offer coping strategies

The residents of the State of Hawaii are strong, as has been proven many times over the years. But we are facing a challenge unlike anything we have ever experienced. We are not only faced with the COVID-19 virus, but we are also witnessing viral panic and increasing social isolation. When the unknown approaches, it can be very frightening and anxiety-provoking. It is normal to feel this way, and, in some cases, ongoing anxiety can lead to excessive worry, which can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Sustained anxiety is literally bad for your health. The more you panic, the less functional your immune system becomes.

The Hawaii Psychological Association would like to help those in Hawaii who are experiencing distress due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Psychologists are experts in stress and anxiety management who encourage all of our residents to breathe deeply and follow these simple steps to ease your mind and promote health for your body with the Coronavirus. We encourage everyone to channel your “nervous energy” into more adaptive and functional thoughts and behaviors:

Maintain perspective: The virus is a real threat and something we cannot control, but there are many things we can control – focus on those. Keep in mind that fear is part of a vicious cycle. Our sense of risk is driven by our emotions, like fear, and fear turns up our perceptions of risk. This situation has all the significant elements that research has identified causes fear: when a threat is new and unfamiliar, when people feel little sense of control over the threat, and when they experience a sense of dread (Slovic & Peters, 2006).

Educate yourself on appropriate precautions and follow them. Make sure your sources are reliable, be prepared and keep a realistic mindset. For example, when following necessary precautions, chances are significantly decreased of contracting the virus, and even for people who do get the virus, CDC reports 80 percent of those cases as mild to moderate.

Limit news and social media consumption. Keep up to date as the situation evolves, but be mindful of how much time you are spending watching the news or consuming information on social media, as it can increase stress and anxiety (Holman et al., 2014). Research suggests that social media may cause more anxiety than traditional media, so pay particular attention to how much time you are spending on social media.

Communicate with your children. Discuss the news coverage of the Coronavirus with accurate and age-appropriate information (Wang, 2020). Parents can also help reduce distress by focusing children on routines and schedules. Remember that children will observe your behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their feelings during this time. You may want to limit how much media they consume to help keep their anxiety in check.

Keep connected. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. You can manage these connections without increasing your risk of getting the virus by talking on the phone, texting, chatting with people on social media platforms, or video platforms (e.g., FaceTime, Skype, Zoom).

Find a routine. When faced with a “new normal” (e.g., kids out of school, working from home, limits to usual recreational activities), maintain or develop a routine for yourself and children. Structure and routines lend a sense of security.

Just breathe. Practice anxiety-reducing strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, mediation or prayer. There are many videos on YouTube or apps like Headspace or Calm that can assist with this.

Keep moving. Physical activity is very helpful in reducing anxiety and encourages a sense of wellbeing and control. Move your body. Go for a walk, go hiking, ride your bike, use exercise videos at home… even some form of subtle chair exercise can be helpful.

Look for the positives. Try to find some positives in the situation (e.g., more time to engage with your family/children). Use this time to reconnect at various levels with family members. Read with your kids, do crafts, cook a romantic dinner with your spouse. Look for moments of joy.

Exercise your brain. Learn a new skill. Memorize passages from favorite writings, keep a gratitude journal, read that book you’ve had on your list.

Lend a hand, be a good neighbor, find creative ways to serve others (write letters, for example, or have children color pictures for kupuna and mail them).

Seek additional help. If you or your loved ones are feeling an overwhelming nervousness, a lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that are negatively affecting their job performance or relationships, please consult with a trained mental health professional.

During these challenging times, visit www.hawaiipsychology.org for resources and more information.



The planet is talking to us!

Pandemic! The word strikes fear into all of us, and our leaders are saying, “No one saw this coming.” But in reality, the World Health Organization, CDC and scores of researchers have warned us for years that a new pandemic was inevitable, and that it was only a matter of when it would occur. Planet Earth has been talking to us, but now its screaming – we have no choice now but to listen. But what is it saying?

ALL human infectious diseases – from the flu, pox, measles, SARS, Coronas, and even the common cold – have come from animals. They have made the jump from animals to humans by direct contact, and it’s been happening since man first domesticated animals. But these new highly infectious viruses are increasing now at an exponential rate. But why?

This is all due to the unspeakable jam-packing of tens of thousands of chickens, pigs and other animals into huge factory-farmed indoor hell-houses. The stress on the animals, and virtual beak-to-beak contact, is a perfect biological storm for breeding and mutating the next infectious and deadly viruses to hit us. And, this is all done so we can overdose on chicken!

What the planet is telling us, in no uncertain terms, is that we not only have to stop factory farming animals, but more importantly, we have to kick our addiction to factory meat! The situation will not get any better until we dramatically reduce or eliminate our consumption of domesticated meat.

Plants do not give you disease, and there has never been a disease that jumped from a potato to a person, but viruses, looking for new hosts, will readily transition from animals to humans if given the opportunity.

Our high-intensity, factory farmed animal environments provide that perfect opportunity for new and deadly viruses to mutate, evolve and perfect their tactics for attack on humans. Unless we change our dependence on meat now, we might as well brace ourselves for the NEXT pandemic.

Why are none of our leaders talking about the root cause of this and virtually every other pandemic? Because of the pressure from the tremendously powerful beef, poultry and dairy lobbies – and the complicity of the Department of Agriculture.

Science and medicine have also known for years that the overconsumption of meat and dairy are directly responsible for the epidemic of today’s “modern diseases” – diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and cancers.

Further, two-thirds of our farmland is devoted to growing feed for factory farmed animals, and the majority of greenhouse gasses are caused – not by cars – by the meat and dairy industry both directly and indirectly.

Isn’t it time we listened to our planet, kicked our meat addiction and made the right and healthy choice to grow and eat plants? We will not only eliminate infectious disease, become healthier and happier, but it’s also the right thing to do for Mother Earth.