DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EVENT A SUCCESS
It was truly heartening to experience the individual, business and county support that made the disaster preparedness event at Lahaina Civic Center on May 4 such an interesting and important event.
Much credit has been given to the people of Japan for their selfless and eager willingness to help each other get through the disastrous earthquake and tsunami they suffered on March 11, 2011. Perhaps witnessing this is what motivated so many folks here to give of their time and resources to help with our disaster preparedness event; perhaps it’s just the nature of the wonderful folks of Maui.
I must first thank Mark Vieth, Garth Panzer and Craig Nalette of the Lahaina News for all their coverage and help in getting the word out about the event. Your help exceeded my expectations, and I admire your generous hearts.
Many kupuna told me their stories — not just about their childhood experiences with disasters in Lahaina, but how they were raised to survive on their own and not rely on others.
Thank you, Cathy Lum Lung, for taking the time to write your story published in the Lahaina News. Thank you to Florence Makekau and Al Ross for telling us what it was like to be a child in Lahaina on April Fools day, 1946, when the massive tidal wave swept through Lahaina. Craig and Adrienne Nalette lived through the roaring category 4-5 Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and shared what it was like to have absolutely no personal conveniences (water, electricity, phones and much more) for weeks on end. We have a lot to learn from them. I think they should write a book about the experience!
Pacific Radio Group jumped on the band wagon and had running announcements on several radio stations in the hours leading up to the event. My hats off to you folks!
Anna Foust, Civil Defense director; Val Martin, Lahaina fire chief; and Archie Kalepa, Maui Ocean Safety and Rescue officer, made up our panel of experts and helped us understand what we should do in the event of Lahaina disasters.
Saucy Walter of Verify LLC made info packets for the Maui County Citizen’s Disaster Preparedness Guide, an instructional card on how to help take care of our pets and even pitched in to buy dinner for everyone who came! Now that’s really going above and beyond the call of duty!
Christian Jorgensen of CJ’s Deli and Catering cooked up a sumptuous dinner complete with Hana bars for all to enjoy, and the folks at the local chapter of BNI (Business Networking International) brought beverages, coolers and ice.
The American Red Cross and CERTs (Community Emergency Response Teams) were well represented and also offered educational programs for us to take advantage of.
Maui Preparatory Academy requires each student to complete 25 hours of community service each year. They sent three terrific young men to help us set-up and cleanup the Civic Center: sixth-grader Zac Giles, junior Tanner Trout and senior Ray Vo. Thank you, gentlemen! You were a wonderful help! Thank you, Dawn Lewis, for your help in orchestrating all the volunteer efforts that evening.
The day before the event, I received a call from Michael Currier of Mac Professional Video LLC. Akaku had expressed interest in airing a video of the event, and Michael agreed to do it! Thank you, Michael, and a big advance mahalo to Akaku!
If there was one theme that came out of the event, it was the importance of learning everything you can about taking care of yourself and not relying on others… and to prepare for disaster in advance. Once in a disaster, ask not what others can do for you, but what you can do for others.
I hope folks will take the time to find out about the free training offered by CERTs-Community Emergency Response Teams and the American Red Cross, and attend venues such as this one when offered to learn what you need to do to get through the next Lahaina disaster.
“It takes a village.”
JANIS CASCO, Casco Wealth Management LLC
LETTER WRITER CONFUSED ON OBAMA AND CHAVEZ
Ron Boudreaux (Letters, April 24) puts Hugo Chavez and Colombia together in a rant about President Obama.
Unfortunately for Mr. Boudreaux, Hugo Chavez is the president of Venezuela, not Colombia.
What other facts is Mr. Boudreaux confused about?
LILLIAN NEQUAM, Lahaina
WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY TO PRESERVE HONOLUA BAY
This year on Oahu, Mayor Carlisle signed a bill into law to “keep country, country” from Kaena Point to Kawela Bay. On Hawaii Island, a collaboration of public-private partners succeeded in purchasing privately owned land adjacent to the Lapakahi Marine Life Conservation District and State Historical Park.
On Maui, a Maui News article on May 6 stated: “ML&P’s financial statement said that the company’s plans for 2011 include more sales of real estate...” and “Our cash outlook for the next 12 months and our ability to continue to meet our financial covenants is highly dependent on selling certain real estate assets in a difficult market.”
I pray the decision-makers at ML&P will consider a win-win solution to preserve the 580 acres mauka of Honolua Bay that was previously slated for development to remain as open space for future generations to be able to experience. People in Maui and around the world are supportive of perpetuating open space at Honolua. Preserving this spectacular landscape and view plane will only enhance the value of their master planned and holistic communities on Maui.
Preserving these 580 acres will be a positive and lasting legacy for ML&P. Preserving these 580 acres aligns with the West Maui Community Plan and can provide a mauka-to-makai link from the Pu‘u Kukui Watershed (that ML&P stewards) to the Honolua Bay Marine Life Conservation District.
TAMARA PALTIN, Napili
BALDWIN SHOW LACK OF SUPPORT
For the past six years, I have attended the state water polo tournament with the Lahainaluna High School girls’ team, and each year Lahainaluna has made Maui proud. In past state tournaments, as a fellow Maui attendee, the Maui Kamehameha girls’ water polo team showed their enthusiastic support for Lahainaluna right alongside of the Lahainaluna parents, faculty and the Maui community.
Unfortunately, in Lahainaluna’s first game of this year’s state tournament, Baldwin’s coach arrived with an armful of ti leaves, handed them out to the opposition, cheered against Lahainaluna and continued that behavior for the following two games… apparently encouraging his team to do the same.
Maui appearances at the state level afford Maui an opportunity to support fellow-island teams. As mentioned, in the past, the only other team from Maui to join the “Lunas” at this tournament was Kamehameha. Like Lahainaluna, the Kamehameha Schools across the state exemplify the true nature of sportsmanship.
Baldwin’s behavior last week not only embarrassed their team but also our island. Baldwin’s coach did not act as a good role model for his team.
Nonetheless, in Baldwin’s final game, the Lahainaluna girls cheered enthusiastically for Baldwin’s team, and I am proud of them. As hard as that must have been to do considering their disappointment with Baldwin’s lack of support, they are better people for it. A million thanks to Coach Will Hutchison and Assistant Coach Carol for their hard work, determination and repeated successes.
BECKY FULLER, Lahainaluna Parent