Christine Hoerl was one-of-a-kind
Lahaina people will be saying, "Where's Christine? You know - the laundry lady with all the cats."
Well, my friends, her time came up recently. Nothing published in the paper - she wouldn't have liked that. After a bad fall at home, there was a stay at Hale Makua, back home on Fleming Street, another fall, another stay in the hospital, then the final endless walk down Hospice Lane that she took at her residence. She worked and played so hard her whole life. Her sweet little face and her big, confused blue eyes looked at me at Hale Makua as if to say, "Is this all there is?" I'm afraid so, my dear Christine. I saw the fear and confusion in my parents' eyes on that endless road, the hospice express.
You know, I don't know her age. Christine was Christine - a great storyteller; generous to a fault. A brave, strong lady, she fled her country (Poland? Austria?) during World War II. I should have listened better, but we were, most of the time, "In our cups."
Christine was quite the linguist. I don't know how many languages she spoke. She loved the local culture and its people. She got pretty good with Filipino, Tongan, Samoan - always interested in languages. She told me once she wanted to travel around the world and learn the different cultures and languages. As close as she got was inter-island stewardess at the old airport, where she met Dean Martin and a few other stars. She was a looker. Her English wasn't too good in the 1960s, but she got by on her personality and her positive attitude.
She would have made a great anchorwoman. There will never be another one like Christine Hoerl.
ROBBIE WARES, Lahaina
Earth Day cleanup set at Honolua Bay
Gotta get my Earth Day plug in early, before everybody makes other plans! Our annual Earth Day cleanup of the Honolua area will be on Saturday, April 19, this year.
It will be a coordinated effort of the Save Honolua Coalition and Maui Land & Pine, assisted by Malama Maui Nui and Aloha Waste.
We will be meeting at Honolua Stream Bridge (by the porta-potties) at about 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Hope to see you then!
LES POTTS, Napili
Public shouldn't try intervening with whales
The region's Large Whale Entanglement Response Network has been informed that well-meaning members of the public may have removed some trailing gear and buoys from an entangled humpback whale that was reported off Ni'ihau.
Officials warn that such intervention by unauthorized and untrained members of the public is extremely dangerous and not allowed. For the animal's and human safety, federal law prohibits approaching any humpback whale within 100 yards or less in Hawaiian waters. Only trained and well-equipped personnel are authorized under a NOAA Fisheries permit to mount responses.
While the efforts may have helped the animal off Ni'ihau, they may also do harm and impede removal of any remaining gear. Wraps of gear that remain behind are likely still lethal. In addition, removing trailing gear and buoys makes it difficult to re-locate the animal.
An authorized response involves a boat-based technique that uses specialized tools to safely free the animal, and at the same time, gain valuable information toward reducing the threat for other animals in the future.
Members of the on-water community have assisted and can continue to assist by reporting sightings of entangled or otherwise compromised whales to the NOAA Fisheries/Marine Mammal Hotline at (888) 256-9840, or the U.S. Coast Guard on Channel 16.
FIONA LANGENBERGER, Programs Administrator, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
LHS wrestling team appreciates support
The Lahainaluna High School wrestling team capped another outstanding season by winning their ninth consecutive MIL boys title and fifth consecutive girls title, then finishing as state runner-ups for both teams.
There was definitely some disappointment in not winning the state titles, but the excitement and anticipation for next season is already being discussed. Members of the wrestling team are already making their plans to continue their training and honing their skills with opportunities to wrestle and practice in the Maui Style youth wrestling clubs, the Hawaii USA wrestling tournaments, participating in the Western Regionals in Idaho in June, the Junior Nationals in Fargo or Reno Worlds in April, and summer clinics held here in Lahaina or on the Mainland. Success breeds success, and the wrestlers understand that summer training creates winter champions.
At this time, the Luna wrestling team would like to send out a heartfelt mahalo to a large group of businesses and individuals that supported and donated to the team to help us reach our goals. The $16,000 season expenses for the team is staggering, and we are very grateful and appreciative for all your support.
Our major sponsors/contributors include: Aloha Mixed Plate, Brian Arakawa of West Maui Shell Car Wash, Duke's Beach House, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kimo's Restaurant, Minit Stop Lahaina, Royal Lahaina Resort and Star Noodle.
The other generous contributors include: Carol St. John of Maui Showcase Properties, First Hawaiian Mortgage, Gazebo Restaurant, Giannotto's Pizza, Hula Grill, Kaanapali Alii, Kaanapali Beach Properties, Kainoa Casco of Susty Pacific, Kasprzycki Designs, Koa's Seaside Grill, Lahaina Pizza Co., Leilani's on the Beach, Gary Lincoln of Lincoln Construction, MauiGrown Coffee, Maui Paddle Sports, One Napili Way, Penne Pasta, Rip Curl, Roy's, Starbucks Coffee-Lahaina Cannery Mall, Tradewinds Kahana Grocery, Truth Excavation, UFO Parasail, West Maui Motors, Whaler's Locker, and Young Life Maui.
We would also like to thank Ray Camacho, Reyn Tateyama, Lindsay and Momi Ball, Kim Ball, Shane Cunanan, Mike Tihada, Mark Tillman, Scott Soldwisch, Alvin Kamitani, the Ah Puck Ohana, and the entire wrestling ohana of parents, alumni, LHS staff and West Side community. Imua!
TODD HAYASE, Lahainaluna Wrestling Team
Kahoma Village a done deal?
I attended the site visit on Jan. 8 on the northwest corner of the 24 acres of ugly. There were approximately 40 people, give or take, present and eager to express their opinions to the members of the County Council and the sole member of the media.
Following the introduction of the topic, citizens were allowed three minutes to express their opinions. I missed a few but listened to 21 folks express their outrage that this residential project will be built in their neighborhood. Two people, parroting Stanford "I'm a Maui Boy" Carr's polemic comments concerning Kahoma Village, passionately expressed their idolatry of Carr.
There are a couple of things that beg mentioning. By "fast-tracking" the project, the developer avoids all of the problems and subsequent liability for most of the "underground work," which includes domestic water, fire water, sewer and storm drains. For a project this size, the cost of the infrastructure would be $1,000,000 or so. That cost then is borne by the taxpayer as-is - and get this, all of the residential property taxes for all of the Weinberg properties on Maui, including Kahoma Village.
Someone made a deal at least ten years ago, allowing the foundation to dodge that annual civic responsibility required of the rest of us: to pay property taxes. Pretty cool, huh?
Present at the little get together was the developer's traffic engineer, who explained to all listening that folks currently living in the neighborhood - who will be impacted negatively by traffic - can always walk, or ride a bike, or take the bus. The congestion will have that silver lining. Everybody can get healthy; can get in shape.
We would all be much healthier if we did not have the developers of the world building crap on the fast track and expecting a pat on the back. They are truly the gargoyles of greed.
It's a done deal, folks. And the County Council you elected to represent your views is once again going to ignore you. And at least one stoplight will go up to allow foot traffic access to Baby Beach, and what a wonderful world it could be.
DAVID HAYDEN DROWN, Lahaina