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BREAKING: Court Battle Over Halloween in Lahaina Continues

October 30, 2012, 9:00 AM HST · Updated October 31, 5:43 AM
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Halloween in Lahaina, Maui Now file photo 2007.

By Wendy Osher

Halloween is just a day away, but a court battle over the county sponsored event on Front Street in Lahaina is ongoing.

Kula resident Richard Dancil today said he planned to file a motion for reconsideration this morning seeking a stay of the event.

The filing comes on the heels of an order denying Dancil’s request for an injunction pending the outcome of the appeal.

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In the motion, Dancil asserts the event will cause irreparable harm to native Hawaiian cultural and historical rights in the nationally registered historic town district of Lahaina. He says the event should not occur without the county being mandated to perform an Environmental Assessment.

According to the motion for reconsideration, the filing states:

“Dancil realized that his Motion for a Stay filed on October 24, 2012, was made pursuant to HRAP Rule 27 and HRCP Rule 65, and not pursuant to HRAP rule 8(a).  Dancil states that because the Court did not give its reasoning as to its denial of his motion, he believes that one reason may be because he failed to make his motion pursuant to the correct rule i.e. HRAP Rule 8.  

Dancil is requesting that if this be the case, that the Honorable Appellate Court would reconsider his Motion for a Stay of the County and Lahaina Town Action Committee sponsored Halloween event in Lahaina town…”

In the filing, Historic Hawai’i Foundation executive director, Kiersten Faulkner is quoted as saying, “It is the cumulative effect of countless individual decisions that start to change the authentic sense of history and identity that characterize Lahaina.”

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Dancil states that, “there is no greater endangered species in Hawai’i than the Hawaiian people themselves, and that it is essential to protect their psychological, cultural, historical and spiritual identity in the face of an onslaught of devastating foreign influence.”

The motion seeks a reconsideration of the court’s October 29, 2012, decision in favor of the county, and requests a Motion for injunctive relief pending resolution of Dancil’s Appeal.

In the alternative, Dancil says he hopes the court will order Maui County to:

  1. Provide a person at each designated historic site to ensure the protection of the sites from both physical harm and desecration by party revelers;
  2. Barricade off specific historic sites considered sacred, and/0r culturally sensitive to native Hawaiians, such as to be determined by the Cultural Resource Commission and the Cultural Advisor to the County of Maui;
  3. Issuance of public service announcements by the County of Maui on both radio, television and news media to respect the Hawaiian Host Culture on Halloween in Lahaina; to dress and behave appropriately; to act respectfully and with care and consideration in the historic town district, and/or any other relief that the court deems just and equitable.

Earlier this month, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa stated that the county’s role was in providing order to the event, and assuring public safety. County officials have described the festivities as a “family-friendly” event.

The court proceedings began last year when controversy over the event resulted in heated debate between merchants who rely on the event for revenue, and a group that included Dancil who complained about lewd costumes and behavior, expressed safety concerns, and sought protection of historic sites.

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