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Appeal Filed Seeking Stay of Lahaina Halloween Event

October 26, 2012, 6:14 AM HST · Updated October 26, 3:50 PM
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Richard Dancil. File photo by Wendy Osher.

***NOTE: Maui Now conducted an interview with Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa earlier this week, discussing the upcoming Halloween festivities.  His comments were made prior to yesterday’s filing. His commentary can now be found at the following direct LINK.

By Wendy Osher

An appeal has been filed with the Intermediate Court of Appeals seeking a stay on the county-sponsored Halloween event in Lahaina Town.

Kula resident, Richard Dancil, filed the motion against Maui County and the Lahaina Town Action Committee on Thursday saying the event will cause what he called “irreparable harm.”

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Dancil said, “a significant statutory violation being alleged is that the county violated HRS 343 by not doing an Environmental Impact Statement; that they circumvented it by granting themselves an exemption improperly, and or unlawfully.”

In the document he alleges a violation of state laws that protect endangered historic sites, and alleged circumvention of review by the Cultural Resource Commission.

According to an affidavit filed by Dancil, he claims that “reckless behavior of both the County of Maui and the LTAC violates HRS 6E, and constitutes an act of deliberate discriminatory indifference to the native Hawaiian people.”

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Maui County spokesperson Rod Antone this morning said Corporation Counsel is aware of the filing and will be responding to the appeal either today or on Monday. In an interview with Mayor Alan Arakawa earlier this week, he described the event as family friendly and said measures had been taken to ensure the safety of those in attendance.

The filing does not include the Keiki Parade, which Dancil claims was used to “incorrectly depict the entire Halloween sponsored event, which goes late into the evening, with an increase in the sale of alcohol, as a family friendly event.”

In a letter addressed to the Office of the Mayor, dated Oct. 15, 2012, Dancil suggested that some compromises be made. In the letter he stated:

We, and I mean Na Makua O’Maui and the Kupuna, who I am speaking on behalf of in this letter, as well as myself, request that from the Pioneer Inn and Library and Lighthouse including Banyan Tree down past Moku’ula to Shaw St. be barricaded off for any Halloween event. The Wharf down to the Burger King may be barricaded so that the restaurants are accessible but that no cars or persons can cross the street toward Moku’ula or toward the Banyan Tree Park. In this way, the event/party on Front street can continue and go up to Pioneer Inn and access the Wharf and Burger King and no further. We would work together on the details of exactly how to do this. (sic)

In seeking a resolution Dancil also made suggestions regarding the County Cultural resources Committee and the Burial Council.  In the letter, he stated the following:

As such, we desire the Cultural Resource Committee to re-invent its role, so that it can make a greater contribution to the process of both educating our public and protecting the culture and values and promoting more true Hawaiian events in Maui County. As such we would like the rules amended to create this to happen; to explore and decide how we would implement this and set a deadline for its execution and fulfillment.

We are also concerned about the burial council and the idea of having Maui’s issues handled by others elsewhere. We need to sit down and work this out, so that we have council representatives for each island who know the particular circumstances of their island and their Kupuna’s input.

Dancil further stated that:

An authentic embrace of the Hawaiian community stimulates the people of the Aina (land) and benefits them, the host culture, along with the foreigner and their economic needs and desires… Each will help the other to prosper, but only if the proper attention and investment is made in the proper order… It’s real easy to understand, when you really want to understand. For all our sake, we would welcome this.

In a similar filing last year, Second Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Loo dissolved a request for a temporary restraining order that sought to prevent Halloween festivities from proceeding. At the time, the court ruled that canceling the event would conversely cause irreparable harm to the Lahaina community which relies heavily on revenue generated from the annual event.

Earlier this month count officials had indicated that they had anticipated an increase in attendance this year.

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