Maui Discussion

LETTER: Mayor’s Speech Impressive; Results Not So Much

February 21, 2014, 6:21 PM HST
* Updated February 24, 9:03 AM
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By Concerned Citizen, Wailuku

Name has been redacted due to safety concerns.

File photo by Vanessa Wolf.

File photo by Vanessa Wolf.

On 2/5/14, Mayor Arakawa made a presentation at the MACC stating the county gained momentum over the last four years by shifting gears from “simply reacting to problems to anticipating them and finding solutions.” Months earlier, he made another impressive speech at the MACC during which he described the administration’s commitment to sustainability on Maui.

Each seemed impressive, especially when headed into an election year. Yet it would appear that in some vital areas, neither was entirely true.

One quite visible “unanticipated, unsolved, unaddressed” problem area involves Maui’s out-of-control, forever growing feral chicken and rooster population. Alas, our to date “non-response” to the problem heads us daily toward Kauai’s feral fowl population that exceeds its people. Indeed, here on Maui they frequent municipal sidewalks (e.g., Market St), county/state office building grounds, Kaahamanu Church across the street … and from there up West Main St through and between the grounds of the Bailey Museum and Yokuchi Estate to a private home raising a large flock chickens and (fighting?) roosters a few doors up in its urban neighborhood. Indeed, the loud crowing is beyond annoying, ranging at times into the night having starting in earnest around 6AM averaging 6 second or less intervals (i.e., 600 per hour).


A second questionable area is the assertion of Maui’s commitment to “sustainability.” Given this administration has approved a 3057 unit “development” of $400K+ homes (Maui Lani) with its two multi-million dollar pharmacies on opposite street corners, one wonders how this mind-boggling growth of upscale homes delivering approx. 6100 more cars into Wailuku – Kahului to vastly increase density (congestion), infrastructure costs, energy use, social issues, need for “policing” etc. actually defines “sustainability”?


Yes, it may support traditional construction jobs and profits for a time in an upcoming election year, yet what are the irrevocable long-term effects, and can we honestly say they reflect a true commitment to sustainability on Maui? And here’s a kicker! How many new Maui Lani residents buying $400K+ homes will embrace a “forever-growing” increase in feral chickens/roosters – or those farming them in their backyards?

With all due respect, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the more people crammed into a given space, the more costly, crazy and “unsustainable” the result. There is no balance (pono) there in any fashion. Nor a truly visionary, courageous commitment to produce the kind of jobs and living environments that truly DO serve balance, sustainable energy, local food production, climate-friendly transportation, greater intellectual capital, etc.

I don’t know how anyone else feels about this, but I’d like to see more real results and integrity than rhetoric. I’d like to see more approaches to forward-thinking economics and public policy (For The Common Good, Herman Daly) reaching beyond traditional “development” notions to produce ample creative jobs and planning crucial to the achievement of true “whole community well-being.”


As for the roosters/chickens, how about devising and funding some creative approaches to round them up, provide food for the homeless, and remove roosters from urban neighborhoods period. Indeed, hens don’t need them to lay their daily egg.


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