Community Meetings on Affordable Housing Plan

We need much more affordable housing, but building in the Pu‘uone of Wai‘ale on iwi kupuna is NOT a good plan for affordable housing. It would be important for this county plan to include that information and that conclusion. Please attend, learn and speak at a meeting near you:

Press Release - HCA, Akaku Announce Series of Community Meetings to Inform Maui's Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan

Comment on Water Use and Development Plan from Jeffrey Parker

To:
Maui County Board of Water Supply                                                                       8-17-20
Chair Shay Chan Hodges

From:
Jeffrey Parker
Director
Coalition To Protect East Maui Water Resources
P.O. Box 170
Haiku, HI 96708
808 572-8569

Subject: Water Use and Development Plan
August 20, 2020 Public Meeting

Dear Chair Hodges and Members,

As Director of the Coalition To Protect East Maui Water Resources – one of the “Consent Decree Parties”, I am writing to express our concern that the BWS may not be aware of all conditions of the Consent Decree and our settlement with the County.  Specifically how the CD relates to the portion of the WUDP dealing with the proposed Haiku well field  (now said to be in the “Koolau Aquifer Sector”)   Those conditions, which we all agreed to, are not fully satisfied in the current version of the WUDP.  We believe that BWS should recommend that the WUDP not be accepted until all pertinent conditions of the Consent Decree are satisfied.

  1. From Chapter 14 of the current Draft WUDP: “Since 2003 there have been multiple assessments and cost-benefit studies conducted to explore groundwater development outside the Consent Decree area in the Haiku Aquifer …….”

From the Consent Decree:  4.2 Before any new project is planned by the County of Maui to develop groundwater in the agreed- upon portion of the East Maui Region, the County will undertake a Cost/Benefit Study of the surface and groundwater resources available in the Central Maui Region, Upcountry Maui Region and East Maui Region and conduct a rigorous Cost/Benefit analysis, including the evaluation of economic and environmental factors, of developing and transmitting these water resources. This Study shall address planning for stream restoration in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

None of the 3 studies mentioned in Chapter 14 of the WUDP comply with the agreements in the Consent Decree.  None of the 3 compare all the geographical regions listed in the CD. Likewise, none of them look at environmental impacts.  The Draft WUDP does not indicate that 16 Haiku deep wells will be part of any comprehensive study.

  1. From Consent Decree: Stream Restoration.10.1 The County agrees that as long term agricultural water needs are reduced, a stream restoration program will be studied, developed and initiated by the County. As such, the County agrees that one component of any plan or program to develop further water resources in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region must include the study, development and initiation, as may be applicable, of a stream restoration program in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

We think there has been ample time for the County to begin studying and developing a stream restoration program for streams in the Haiku aquifer area. None of these streams was part of the East Maui Water commission decision that is often referred to in the Draft WUDP.  These are cherished Haiku streams like East and West Kuiaha, Awalau and others. There is no reason for the DWS to postpone this important effort until the “Koolau Well Plan” is far along, and drilling of the wells is ready to commence.  A valid WUDP will detail the progress being made by the County on a stream restoration program.

  1. From the CD: Use of Data From Pumping of Two Hamakuapoko Wells  9.1 Actual data obtained from the pumping of the two Hamakuapoko Wells shall be employed  preparing the Cost/Benefit analysis referenced above and in deciding whether to begin planning any further project to develop groundwater resources in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

To my knowledge, ongoing study of pumping of the two Hamakuapoko Wells did not happen.  The language of the CD is clear:  this data must be used in “deciding whether to begin planning any further project”.  In our view, there has been plenty of time for the County to gather this data for use in a new WUDP. Monitoring data from these is not included in the WUDP, that we could find.

  1. The WUDP clearly anticipates the removal of Haiku water and sending it to Central and

South Maui to “meet planned growth”.  Yet the residents of Haiku have never been consulted.  No public meetings have been held with Haiku residents during the preparation this WUDP.  A public meeting zoom conference should be held, through the auspices of the Haiku Community Association, or other local organization.  Additionally, to my knowledge the Consent Decree Parties also have not been consulted.

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.

Aloha
Jeffrey Parker

 

Ideas for Solo Hiking – Upcountry

In April/May 2020 we are required to keep a distance from people outside of our own household to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to allow our health and other services to take care of those who need help. Sierra Club has therefor canceled all organized outings until further notice. But we are still allowed to venture out on our own or with members of our own household for exercise such as walking, running, hiking, swimming and surfing. No need to stay cooped up at home all day. Just keep at least six feet between yourself and anyone you meet. This is the fourth of several posts on good places to go hiking/walking without a guide.


The Makawao Forest Reserve hosts one of the more popular trails on Maui. It is easy to get to Upcountry, and a very pleasant destination for those seeking refuge from sun and heat near the coast because it is all shady. The Makawao Forest Reserve is an example of successful reforestation using non-native trees – mostly tropical ash, eucalyptus and cook pine. In today’s world the choice might have been native Hawaiian trees, but many of the benefits of reforestation have been accomplished. You will see indigenous ti plants and you may see indigenous maile and halapepe on your hike.

The Kahakapao Loop is just under five miles round-trip. It is well-marked and easy to follow as you can see in the pictures, with a gentle elevation gain of 1,165 feet. If the parking is full (at the end of Kahakapao Road), there is another parking lot accessible from the first parking lot, with a sign for horse trailers. The trail is shared with bike riders heading up-hill (they have dedicated trails for going down-hill). Here is a map:

https://bit.ly/kahakapao

Unfortunately there are many invasive plant species in the forest, including banana poka, strawberry guava and himalayan ginger. While they may be pretty to look at, they choke out native plants.


 

 

 

 

Ideas for solo hiking – West Maui

In April 2020 we are required to keep a distance from people outside of our own household to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to allow our health and other services to take care of those who need help. Sierra Club has therefor canceled all organized outings until further notice. But we are still allowed to venture out on our own or with members of our own household for exercise such as walking, running, hiking, swimming and surfing. No need to stay cooped up at home all day. Just keep at least six feet between yourself and anyone you meet. This is the second of several posts on good places to go hiking/walking without a guide.

The Kapalua Coastal Trail is an easy walk on the West Side with breath-taking views.

For a minimal 2-mile walk, park at Kapalua Parking at the intersection of Kapalua Place and Lower Honoapiilani Highway, cross Kapalua Place and follow the trail down to and along the ocean. Note the detour (see the map) out to a point at about 1/2 mile into the walk.

Note: as of May 12 at least, the path from DT Fleming Park to Makalua Point is closed off due to the coronavirus pandemic, so for this hike don’t park at DT Fleming. But you can park near the corner of Office Road and Lower Honoapili Road. That lets you do the Makaluapuna Point detour as well.

Update July 11: The restrooms at DT Fleming Park and the one at the other end of the hike at Kapalua Bay are now open.

For a longer outing, park at DT Fleming Park instead and head up the concrete path until you reach Kapalua Place and the trailhead described above. On the way there, take a detour on the lawn to the right where there is a fence and a monument informing about the historic events at Honokahua. In 1987 development of the Ritz Karlton started and uncovered the bones of hundreds of Hawaiians. There were massive protests on Maui and in Honolulu, leading to the moving of the Ritz Karlton away from the site, the preservation of the burial area and in 1990 to the Burial Treatment Law that gives traditional Hawaiian burials the same protections as those for Christian cemeteries.

On the way back from this longer outing, follow the Honokahua fence out to Makaluapuna Point for a detour to see some unusual lava stone formations forming a toothed wall against the crashing waves.

Here is a map:
https://bit.ly/kapalua-coastal

A message from the Sierra Club Maui Group amidst COVID-19

We hope you and your ʻohana are healthy and safe. We want to let you know that we are concerned about you—our valued members, volunteers, supporters and share some information and resources about how we will get through this together. We also want to update that the Sierra Club staff is currently working from home and all in-person gatherings like outings and other activities are canceled through April 30th (dates will be updated in the upcoming weeks).

For over a century the Sierra Club has used the power of bringing people together, to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth and restore the quality of the natural and human environment. Today we face additional challenges that compel us as an organization to change our in-person approach—but with no less dedication to our mission. To protect our community and wonderful volunteers, we will be working together while staying apart… but only physically. As we continue to pursue our goals, we are shifting our work to maintain connections online and do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

For the foreseeable future, our communities, economy, and democracy will face critical choices about the path ahead. As we confront a rapidly changing world, the Sierra Club has and will remain committed to fighting for a clean, just and equitable future. In light of the pandemic, our foremost demand has been for immediate relief for those affected by both the health and economic crisis. The Senate has finally approved a coronavirus relief package, providing sick leave, unemployment benefits, free coronavirus testing, food and medical aid to those most in need. The Sierra Club supported this package and our National teams worked to drive nearly 30,000 emails to members of Congress and over 4,000 tweets in support of the relief package.

This is a time when our shared values and aloha for each other play an important role. With this mindset, we can help our communities get through this in a way that minimizes the impact on the wellness and safety of us all while we continue to work towards environmental and cultural protection in a more just world.

When this is all over, we will have transformed, no doubt. We look forward to staying connected with you and of course getting together in person again to advocate for the environment, get outside for outings and service projects, and band together to continue to protect what we love.

Stay safe, healthy, positive, and calm. Together, we will move through this and hold hope for a better world.

 

NEW WEBSITE BY County of Maui Office of Economic Development for COVID19 related issues on Shelter, Food, EBT, Farmers, Rent, Unemployment, business loans, and Medical Services is:  https://www.covid19mauinui.com/

Ideas for solo hiking – South Maui

In April 2020 we are required to keep a distance from people outside of our own household to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to allow our health and other services to take care of those who need help. Sierra Club has therefor canceled all organized outings until further notice. But we are still allowed to venture out on our own or with members of our own household for exercise such as walking, running, hiking, swimming and surfing. No need to stay cooped up at home all day. Just keep at least six feet between yourself and anyone you meet. This is the first of several posts on good places to go hiking/walking without a guide.

South Maui is blessed with miles of easily accessible coastline that even novice hikers can enjoy. You can walk from beach to beach with only short detours on low grassy bluffs all the way from Kalama Park to Ulua Beach, over 3 miles. This stretch includes beautiful views out over low rocky cliffs as well as eight sandy beaches. Stay as close as you can to the water to keep on this trail. When you get to the South end of Ulua Beach you can walk up to the paved Wailea Beach Walk and continue for another mile to Polo Beach. No need to do the whole trail – you can generally get to it from South Kihei Road or Wailea Alanui Drive from one or both ends of any of the ten beaches it passes. Here is an approximate map of the 4+ mile (one-way) path described:

bit.ly/south-maui-walk