This Weeks Letters
A HOUSE DIVIDED…
March 29, 2007
The only thing less efficient than having the government run
something is having a non-profit corporation run it. Take the Community
Land Trust—a SPECTACULARLY good idea ("Dream Home," Feb. 22, 2007).
Instead of having the County of Maui jump in with both feet and acquire
some land—maybe even crown lands—to be leased to owner-builders so they
can build their own houses, we are gonna cross our fingers while we
watch Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez and John Andersen try and pull this off.
Yeah, they raised $100,000 so far. What are they gonna spend the money
on? Their own salaries and office rent.
I'm a retired Big Island contractor knowledgeable about constructing
owner-built Hawaiian "post" houses for $50,000 of wood, glass, plumbing
and appliances. I have experience with co-op housing and "worker owned"
housing from Germany to California. I've emailed and phoned Rodriguez
and Andersen three times offering to help and have never even received
a reply. Bad start already.
Why bring someone who actually knows what they're doing into the
loop? Better to let non-profit corporate bureaucrats run it with their
newfound developer friends, so the county is off the hook, and the
people pay $200,000 for a $50,000 house. And five years from now we'll
still have our fingers crossed waiting for something to happen.
Housing is too serious to be left up to the non-profits.
-Rich Zubaty, Kihei
We must stop Maui Land and Pineapple Co. from developing Lipoa Point
(The Maui 10, Feb. 1, 2007). Their conceptual plans are morally
reprehensive. I do not see how they can consider themselves socially
responsible planners with the future in mind and I do not see how they
can consider themselves culturally aware.
Just because they hire a Native Hawaiian consultant to tell them how
they can properly handle and move ancient bones does not mean they are
culturally aware. If they were truly culturally aware, they would leave
my ancestors' bones where they are and not handle them at all. They
would let my ancestors rest in peace where they wanted to be buried,
and build their parking lots, condominiums, golf courses and swimming
pools on their own cemeteries.
Maui Land and Pineapple claims to be Inclusive, Authentic,
Sustainable and Eco-Sensitive. These are empty promises, words that
look good on paper. It may be true they are perhaps 10 percent better
than other corporations who are 100 percent about making profit, but
that still makes them 90 percent about making a profit.
They care about ecology when it is beneficial to them. If they can
make the valley thrive, make the environment look good, they can sell
it for a big profit. The problem is you can only do this once. Once you
sell out, once you develop it, once you ruin it, it's done; it's gone
forever, gone for future generations.
For thousands of years, Hawaiians have lived in harmony with the
land based on the concept of ahupua`a. Some say ahupua`u means land
division—that is a concise definition. Literally ahupua`a means a heap
of stones topped by an image of a pig, because a pig or other tribute
was laid on the altar as a tribute to the chief for use of the ahupua`a
land which ran from the mountain to the sea. Traditionally, people in a
particular ahupua`a were self-sufficient. They took care of the land
and the land took care of them and their keiki and their keiki's keiki.
My people had all the resources necessary to live a happy and
productive life within a single ahupua`a.
In just a few generations, Maui Land and Pineapple's development of
the famous Honoapi`ilani (or the bays of the Chief Pi`ilani) has done
tremendous damage to our ecosystems. Fish that our ancestors caught and
knew where to find for generations are rapidly disappearing. Many of
the various types of limu can no longer be found at places Hawaiians
have gathered limus for centuries. Bays and beaches where Hawaiians
have fished and camped for centuries are now off-limits.
Auwe! Honolua Bay/Lipoa Point was inclusive, authentic, sustainable
and eco-sensitive, the way my ancestors took care of it—NOT the way
that Maui Land and Pine does. To develop it further would be a step in
the opposite direction of not only Maui Land and Pineapple's goals, but
also our goals as a community. If they are going to claim to be
inclusive, authentic, sustainable and eco-sensitive, it has to be for
real. It can't be only when it makes them look good. It has to be 100
percent of the time.
-Aaron E. Dela Cruz, Lahaina
What cracks me up is that so many residents can tell you straight
out that they don't want any more golf courses or multi-million dollar
homes that none of us can afford but it seems that no one LISTENS to
us. Look at Honolua—they want to make all kinds of stuff and from what
I see and hear no one wants it. Ms. [Charmaine] Tavares, I know that
MLP has you in the hat but there is no reason to make it so obvious.
Why don't you step up to the plate and do what you were elected to do
and that was to serve the residents of Maui, not these FILTHY RICH
COMPANIES. Or is the money too good that you forget where your paycheck
comes from and who pays for your NICE SIZE RAISE?
Altogether it comes down to who decides and ultimately I believe
that the mayor holds that power. Or should we all think about taking it
to the next level, maybe GOVERNOR or SENATE or even PRESIDENT. We know
what we want so it's up to them.
-Dalilha Billianor, Honolua
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