County taking action on Puukolii Road
The Kaanapali Neighbors have tried for years to get Puukolii, their only access road, paved. There have been meetings with the county, many letters to the editor written and other efforts made. All were met with a resounding "no."
A recent phone and letter campaign convinced West Maui County Councilperson Elle Cochran that something needed to be done. She set up a meeting with county officials and the neighbors. About 25 attended.
After introductions, David Goode, director of Public Works, took over. Director Goode is a much-needed breath of fresh air. Unlike past politicians and county staff that have either refused to do anything, or have come up with a myriad of reasons why nothing can be done, Director Goode views Puukolii as it is, not what it could or should be.
In the past, we were told that the road must be brought up to residential standards before it could be taken over or dedicated to the county. Director Goode views Puukolii as having a residential and an agricultural side. That means under standards set in the '70s, the road, in its current configuration, can be dedicated to the county.
There is an ownership issue, as the road has three owners. The first two are the county and Kaanapali Land Management. KLM will turn over any land needed to get the road paved.
The third owner currently refuses to turn over his two strips because of a dispute unrelated to the road. After some discussion, Director Goode stated that the county has people and processes in place to acquire the land for the public good.
The first step is to conduct a survey of Puukolii. This will take place shortly. Once the results are analyzed by Public Works, they will acquire the land needed for the project and request funding.
All in all, it was an excellent meeting. We have never gotten this good of a response in the 13 years I've owned in the neighborhood. We'll continue to work with Public Works to help them shorten time frames, and we should see a smooth road in the near future.
MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali
Proposed harbor would have a positive impact
What an exciting front page article in the Lahaina News on Aug. 2, 2012. I see this proposed harbor as a very positive economic engine for Lahaina and Maui as a whole. It will fill the need for a safe haven for boats in time of storms and a place to further the Hawaiian canoe culture. I realize that the project will encounter many hurdles, but in the end I feel that it will have a very positive impact for our community.
I have lived in Lahaina since 1974, and during those 38 years, I have been involved with the marine industry. Throughout that time, I have seen at least 100 boats wrecked due to storms and no place to hide. During most of these groundings, portions of the fragile coral reef have been destroyed. This project could reduce - if not eliminate - offshore mooring, thus reducing the possibility of vessel groundings and damage to the reef.
For a state that is surrounded by water, we have very little in the way of boating facilities. Our larger vessels have to travel to Oahu or the Big Island for haul-out; this facility would save the fuel to go off-island, and the money spent to repair would be spent here on Maui instead of Oahu or the Big Island.
I would like to take this opportunity to voice support on behalf of the 1,000-plus membership of the Lahaina Yacht Club for the concept of this proposed facility. We are an island state surrounded by water, and boating is an integral part of our daily lives, as most of our needs are delivered by ocean vessels - not to mention all of the activities enjoyed by our visitors on a daily basis.
Good luck to Harbor Quest LLC.
BRIAN K. BLUNDELL, 2012 Commodore, Lahaina Yacht Club
Stop catering to the rich!
Let's tear down the historic Mala Wharf to build boat slips for the wealthy! What is wrong with people who think they can come into Lahaina Town and change everything just to bring in revenues and cater to the rich? Sure they create jobs for the construction of two years, and then are those construction workers the ones that can afford to utilize the project once it is built? NO WAY!
Next thing after it is built, a large gate will be built to keep out the locals!
The Weinberg Foundation's plans of low-income and multifamily dwellings should be kept on the books. Their legacy has always cared about the locals and their future.
Let's stop catering to the rich and famous!
SU CAMPOS, Napili
Olowalu a bad location for 1,500-unit project
The only need for a town in isolated Olowalu appears to be for the profit of the developer and promises to a few locals. The proposed town with its 1,500 units, 4,000 residents and about 3,000 vehicles would be right in the middle of the only corridor to the urban areas of West Maui.
The amenities of walking paths, etc., are the usual frosting. It might be a good idea, but it is the wrong location. Civil infrastructure not now present would have to be provided by Maui taxpayers.
Moving the state shoreline highway - which has only 10 percent problem areas, and they are being fixed - mauka would be the start of allowing development to take direct access of the pristine coast from tens of thousands of locals and visitors, forever, like from Lahaina to Kapalua.
The coast would come under the county, and we have seen how County Councils can cave to developers. The only council member not to approve the Olowalu development was our West Maui representative, Elle Cochran. How telling.
GEORGE S. LAVENSON, Lahaina
Keep Lipoa Point zoned for preservation
(The following testimony was submitted to the Maui County Council's General Plan Committee on Aug. 2 to keep Lipoa Point in preservation. Council members Mike White, Joseph Pontanilla, Mike Victorino, Danny Mateo and Gladys Baisa voted to take Lipoa out of preservation, with Elle Cochran, Robert Carroll and Don Couch voting against the change.)
The Save Honolua Coalition was formed as a result of the General Plan process. In January of 2007, a much different version of Maui Land & Pineapple Co. submitted conceptual plans for a luxury golf course, 40 home sites and a surf park/cultural area at Honolua. Much has changed since then, but our mission remains the same: Maintain open space, public access and revitalize the health of the Honolua Ahupua'a utilizing Native Hawaiian practices and values. Our community remains vigilant and committed to Honolua.
The all-volunteer board and supporters of the Save Honolua Coalition have been working diligently since 2007 to show our concern for Honolua. We have formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, collected over 16,000 petition signatures of people locally and internationally who believe the undeveloped areas mauka and adjacent of Honolua Bay should be preserved in perpetuity, we have worked to fund port-a-potty services for over three years, although we do not own the land and do not run a commercial business that makes a profit off of Honolua. We have helped to organize testimony and input on a wide range of issues, including the Honolua Bridge, day-use mooring buoys and water quality.
Our West Maui community has seen Maui Land & Pineapple Co. go from a family plantation business belonging to the Camerons to a publicly traded real estate corporation with a lot of debt. We have survived mass layoffs; we have witnessed the Kapalua Bay Hotel shut down, torn down and in its place a towering luxury condominium put up. The Residences at Kapalua now stand empty, and less than five years later has gone out of business - shut down for lack of profit. Jobs lost, small local landscape characteristic gone forever. I beg you, do not allow out-of-place development like this to happen at Honolua.
If the Maui County General Plan is a comprehensive blueprint for the physical, economic, environmental development and cultural identity of the county, then Lipoa Point MUST be left in preservation (as indicated by the professional planners), and the undeveloped 220-plus acres mauka of Lipoa MUST be included in that designation as supported by the community. To leave Lipoa Point in agriculture, when there is no agriculture going on, nor is there any planned, defies logic. The corporation asks the council to consider Lipoa Point as collateral for its 1,600 pensioners; we ask the council to consider everyone: na keiki o ka 'aina, visitors, residents and future generations. What will happen to Lipoa Point if the corporation defaults on its loan? Why have negotiations stalled? It is not because the community is not committed.
The Plantation Estates Lot Owners' Association wrote to ML&P in February 2007 about the ill-designed drainage system at Honolua Ridge. Upzoning this development area from agricultural to rural would set an extremely bad precedent, especially since their track record shows that the infrastructure at the time of development in this environmentally special area did not meet their own lot owner association standards. Allowing a change to rural designation would increase the number of "empty" mansions to be built; currently there are 50. It also would not require any Environmental Impact Statement from developers mauka of our state Marine Life Conservation District. Please keep the zoning agriculture and hold the owners accountable to the agriculture requirements that were in place when they created this subdivision.
He ali'i aina, he kauwa ke kanaka - The land is our chief, and we are its servants.
Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina I ka pono - The life of the land is perpetuated in balance.
It is up to you as our leaders to keep the balance between development and natural beauty, so that Maui doesn't lose the magic that makes it so special.
TAMARA PALTIN, Napili
Council doesn't listen
(The following letter was sent to members of the Maui County Council concerning its review of the Maui County General Plan.)
What's the use of having public meetings if you're going to do as you damn well please in the end anyway? Your vote to include the Villages of Leiali'i and Olowalu Town is shameful.
YOU should be around to drive when the thousands of cars are added to Honoapiilani Highway. Thank you, Elle Cochran, for your "no" vote, but shame on the rest of you. I hope the contributions are making it worthwhile.
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
Excited about Italian Delight
Jody Fausk is a longtime Maui business owner. She missed her favorite pizza joint so much back in Philadelphia that she finally convinced Antonio Carannanty to move his establishment into her own back yard.
"It's true," said Fausk. "I'd go home every so often and kept asking him to come into business with me on Maui... now that our children are grown, the time was finally right."
When my husband and I visited for lunch, the place was packed with parents, after-school keiki and professionals on their lunch breaks.
In the corners, storage boxes and styrofoam were still neatly stacked, and a temporary menu was tacked above the shiny, new pizza ovens. But oh how our hearts beat at looking over our choices and watching Antonio throw that unbaked pizza crust. Real Italian... real Napoli... real Philly cheese steak... real Amoroso bread from a five-generation bakery... and so much more, all right here on Maui.
I could go on, but I suggest instead you just go in. Italian Delight is located in the Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center between Office Max and Foot Locker. Dine in or take out; it's open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Call 662-0077.
We wish Italian Delight much success, and by the looks of things when we were there, they are well on their way.
ELAINE GALLANT, Lahaina