|Public Meeting: Mayor Charmaine Tavares
Save Honolua Coalition
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Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares was last night's Save Honolua Coalition's guest speaker. Mayor Tavares addressed a full house and the message: it's not over till the fat lady sings... and I haven't sung yet. Seriously though folks, if we want to save Honolua from irresponsible development, the fight is far from over. Mayor Tavares warns that we must stay vigilant and committed every step of the way to protect that land. She has a meeting scheduled mid-July, to discuss Honolua with MLP, the current "owners" (they have yet to show clear title). She reminded those in attendance the million dollar seed money that has been approved by the council is only the start, we do not know what the final price will be nor do we know what they are willing to sell. I personally want to see the whole 600 acres preserved and bought, at ag land prices with tests done to see that the land is not contaminated from years of pesticides, etc.
West District councilwoman JoAnne Johnson was also in attendance and has supported coalition efforts so far by introducing a resolution urging the county to acquire the land in question.
An important point brought up by the mayor was that acquiring the land is only the first step, once the land is acquired, there needs to be some sort of management plan for the area to address what can and should be done to promote the health of the environment and figure out the best way to address the needs and wants of the community while respecting the host culture and archaeological sites. Mayor Tavares said she will be discussing an interim plan with MLP at her July meeting. I believe a good interim plan would be for MLP to start cleaning up the mess that they have created over the past 50-100 years. There is layer upon layer of black plastic, years of DDT, DBCP run off and currently no rubbish cans or restroom facilities. I agree with MLP it is not a viable solution to leave this area alone as it has been used and contaminated for the majority of the 1900's and now it is time to clean up the mess they made. That last part of course is just my personal opinion...please let me know what you folks think and if there are ideas out there for some type of permanent management plan, could we form a community organization to care for and maintain the area? If the land is currently zoned ag/conservation, what would be good to grow there and can we as a community take on the project? Please we need your help and input to turn dreams and visions into reality. -Summary by Tamara Paltin