My partner and I are/were a small business owners in Lahaina whose livelihood was destroyed in the fires. The lack of support, by which we mean NONE, for small business owners is appalling. We are more than 7 weeks from the fire and we have received ZERO assistance because we were fortunate enough to not lose our home. At this point, we are beginning to wonder if we would be better off if we had. The only available assistance appears to be SBA, which has also proven to be unhelpful so far. Without any assistance, we will be forced to leave the island. We can't imagine we are not alone in this situation. How does the county, state, or federal government expect to support tourism if there is no assistance for the small business that were lost in the fires? We were like to return servicing our community, but at this rate, not only do we not have funds to rebuild/restart our business, but we are not even receiving support to live now that our livelihood it gone.
1. I live in Kapalua. Please work on extending the bypass all the way at least to Kaanapali. Can you imagine if we didn’t have the Bypass? The people of the Westside would have been isolated for months without resources.
2. There are policies adapted by states who are prone to fires, e. g. California. Let us not be too proud and insist that we don’t care how they do it in the Mainland. Let’s review and adapt best policies.
3. Let’s not do the recovery piece meal. With all the monetary resources, let’s hire a large professional firm who is in the business of rebuilding and have the resources to do so. Of course, we should be mindful of the input of residents but let’s ask the help of professionals to draw up a master plan, have them collate all input, come up with a readjusted plan and execute. Let’s not depend on semi-pros who will not follow through or show up for the job. Otherwise, rebuilding will take a century.
4. Definitely bury all utilities so that they are not prone to the elements.
5. Listen to the Native Hawaiians. Restore the water pond or whatever else their elders say. They know the course of nature for centuries and progress should not change that, otherwise, more disaster will befall us.
6. I was not directly affected by the fire but my heart is broken as well. We have been residents for more than 30 years and have hopefully given back to the community as best we can. We have volunteered and contributed in our own little way and still do. Please let us know exactly what happened that day, who was in charge, where were our leaders, what went wrong, how are we going to correct it moving forward and what are the consequences to those who failed us.
7. The people of the Westside refuse to be 2nd rate citizens any longer. We need a satellite hospital here. Friends have not survived the 45 min drive (at best) to the other side.
8. Honoapiilani Hwy on a couple of spots is always wet due to the water from the ocean. It won’t be long until the ocean will take over, especially on high tide. It is time to move the road onto higher ground instead of waiting for a disaster to happen again.
9. The community has come together in unbelievable ways. We are so lucky to be living in a community such as ours. All we ask is for our leaders be honest with us. It was August. People go on vacation. It’s ok to be away from one’s job but someone has to be left in charge. It’s not ok to think- oh nothing will happen anyways .
10. I am willing to assist in doing research for any project that will need an extra pair of hands.
Recently my permit for repair of an existing structure took 2 years for permit approval even though i had a permit expediter, The work cost $200,000 and took 10 days to complete. I cannot imagine how long it will take to permit $500,000,000 worth of projects with the existing system. People will be without their homes for generations.
Please confirm Title 16.26B of the Maui County Code 105.2.1 Emergency reconstruction of dwellings and accessory structures will be in effect.
Kim von Blohn email@example.com
I am Kanani Higbee, Maui 'oiwi. I am displaced from Lahaina. I would like Hawaiian homes Leialii 1B built asap. Fast track. If developers can get the county and state to approve fast track of HHFDC housing, they can fast track Hawaiian Homes. We waited long enough. 3 generations of my family have died on the list. We still have not gotten a home. In fact, my grandma and sister were murdered. My grandma was murdered for her home up Lahainaluna Road. Many of my family have been murdered when I speak up about Hawaiian homes. Now my home in Lahaina is burned down. Other people received word to leave their homes because of approaching fires and no one warned me and my neighbors. My neighbors perished.
I believe lots of affordable housing need to be built. Not just rentals, but homes for Native Hawaiians to live in. We are under represented in home ownership, over represented in poverty. It's no wonder when we are murdered for our housing and land.
We need temporary housing in Lahaina and West Maui to be slapped together until our housing is rebuilt. There is not enough being done to rebuild temporary homes.
I would like for us to have steel electric poles that won't knock over when we have strong winds or cars run into them.
We need more water going to Lahaina. We need to not have golf courses anymore. There is nothing Hawaiian about golf courses. That just steals water from our Native Hawaiian farmers in the valleys.
We need other things like a siren that tells us what's the specific emergency. We need lots of fliers and ads in social media and the news telling us what the different siren sounds mean so we know what emergency is happening.
Please, we need homes. We need the land cleaned ASAP so we can go back. There needs to be much more people admitted to their homes with more National Guard dispatched to Lahaina so we can go back to our homes and then begin the next phase.
Please, we are going to be homeless if we don't have Hawaiian homes built. It's genocide for us to wait for years for housing. I was already forced from Maui to California when my sister and grandma were murdered. We need our Native Hawaiian people protected as we fight for our rights. The United Nations need to know that genocide is happening to Hawaiians. Every time I fight for funds for Hawaiian homes, people like Keeaumoku Kapu and his son in law Kaipo Kekona steal our funds to use for projects they want that's not even related to Hawaiian homes. People like myself put my life on the land telling my story of murders that happened to my family so we can get funds for our housing and then greedy people like Keeaumoku Kapu's son in Kaipo Kekona steal the money. He doesn't need $20 million for upcountry fencing. He just wants to pocket the money or get others the funds so they can gift him in other ways to his non profit which they use on themselves. It's greedy. Pure greed. Kaipo Kekona gets upcountry funds for fencing from taking from Hawaiians waiting on the list of Hawaiian homes so his family of developers can get bids to build and make a ton of money. We aren't blind to what's happening.
Lahaina needs to have it's natural water flow, diverted during the plantation era, restored. Once the area is green and flourishing again, it can serve as a model of resiliance. To right the wrongs of the past. It would also regenerate business and tourism in a sustainable way. Working with the natural world is the only way to truely prosper for all our citizens.
I am writing to offer my wholehearted support for the proposal to consolidate medical facilities and services into one comprehensive complex, which includes the establishment of a hospital for the West Side of Lahaina. I believe this initiative is a crucial step forward for our community, addressing the inadequacies of our current healthcare system and promising a higher standard of care for our residents.
Our current system, characterized by scattered medical facilities and limited services, no longer meets the growing healthcare needs of our community. The consolidation of these resources into a unified complex is not merely a matter of convenience; it is about saving lives. In emergencies, having a fully-equipped hospital in our community can make a profound and life-saving difference.
The benefits of a unified complex are manifold. It will streamline operations, reduce costs, and most importantly, result in better care for our residents. The synergies created through consolidation will enable us to attract more specialized medical staff and offer a wider range of treatments right here in Lahaina, reducing the need for residents to travel long distances for essential healthcare services.
Furthermore, a consolidated healthcare complex aligns with the values that have defined Lahaina as a tight-knit community. We have always thrived on our ability to come together in times of need. Consolidating our medical facilities not only meets our immediate healthcare needs but also strengthens the bonds that hold us together as a community.
In conclusion, I urge you to support and move forward with the proposal to consolidate medical facilities and services into a unified complex with a hospital for the West Side of Lahaina. This endeavor represents a monumental step towards enhancing the well-being and future of our community. Together, we can create a healthcare hub that not only meets our needs but also reinforces the unique spirit of Lahaina.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this crucial matter. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact that this consolidation will have on the health and vitality of our community.
This attachment was missed to Saman Dias Testimony
Aloha, my name is Anis Bel. I am born and raised in Lahaina and a Lahainaluna high school graduate. I lost my home, all of my possessions, and a pet in the fires on August 8. I support the initiative to put the power lines underground. To me it is not right that the federal government bails out Maui Electric and provides funds for them to put the power poles back. That money should be used to put the lines underground. It shouldn’t even go to a huge corporation like that when thousands of people are struggling, still having to pay mortgage on a home that is no longer even there. I think there needs to be more support for these families and solutions for them to build quickly so the issue can be resolved.
I also support bringing back Malu Ulu O Lele. We have been talking about managed retreat for years and this is the opportunity to do something. The state went through putting together a comprehensive sea level rise assessment. Use that assessment to set new setbacks in Lahaina so we are not battling for the next 20 years. This is a pivotal moment in Lahaina’s history. We need to do things right and with intention. Bringing back Malu Ulu O Lele throughout town and especially in those setbacks will provide food for our community so when the next crisis comes along, and it will, we are prepared. They will not be as much stress on the shipping system with constant delays and people who rely on tourism for money to feed their family. Hawaiians had hundreds if not thousands of years to resolve these issues and they did. They knew how to live with the Aina cohesively and we threw it all away. Let’s bring back this island’s roots and traditional systems because we know they still work. This is our chance to make a transition. A transition to diversify our economy and our food system. Transition to eco tourism and regenerative tourism to bring people that want to help Hawaii not abuse it. We need to rebrand the islands as the home of Hawaiians not some tiki bar tourist destination.
There is no need to think outside the box because native Hawaiian ancestors have already made the box and passed it down to us. Let’s learn from our history in Hawaii, we need to Malama Aina not follow suit of the capitalist exploitive system of America.
I am writing to submit my testimony in support of a crucial initiative that aims to improve emergency evacuation routes for the Lahainaluna area by utilizing existing pathways along Kahoma Stream. I believe that this proposal aligns with the priorities outlined in the Hawaii Bicycle Plan of 2003 and can significantly enhance the safety and resilience of our community.
Specifically, I would like to refer back to the priority items identified in the Hawaii Bicycle Plan 2003, which categorized the Kahoma Stream pathway and the Lahainaluna Road as priority II items. It's worth noting that these priorities were carried over from the 1974 Hawaii Bicycle Plan, underscoring their long-standing importance.
The proposed emergency evacuation route along Kahoma Stream has the potential to serve a dual purpose by not only facilitating bicycle transportation but also providing a safe and efficient means of escape during emergencies. Given Lahainaluna's vulnerability to various natural disasters, having such a resource in place is of paramount importance for the well-being of our residents.
The Kahoma Stream pathway, running parallel to the ditch, offers an excellent opportunity to create a dedicated evacuation route. It not only leverages existing infrastructure but also minimizes environmental impact, making it a sustainable choice for enhancing our community's resilience.
Furthermore, the connection between Honoapiilani Highway and Lahainaluna High School via the Kahoma Stream pathway (Item 71 Lahainaluna Road) and the link between Nohea Kai Drive and Lahainaluna High School through the Kahoma Stream pathway (Item 72 Kahoma Stream Path) would contribute significantly to the overall accessibility of the evacuation route network.
I kindly urge decision-makers and relevant authorities to consider the adoption of this proposal as a priority project for the Lahainaluna area. Enhancing our emergency evacuation routes is an investment in the safety and well-being of our community, and it aligns with established priorities in the Hawaii Bicycle Plan. I believe that this initiative will not only improve our readiness for emergencies but also promote sustainable transportation and community resilience.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to seeing the Lahainaluna area become better prepared and more resilient in the face of emergencies.
Please follow URL to map depicting the route. https://www.strava.com/routes/3142250509359357314
Elise Travis at September 27, 2023 at 12:31pm HST Oppose
My name is Elise Travis and I am a 44YR. resident of Maui. I am appalled how the animal rescue was handled by MHS. Top animal rescuers came on their own donations, brought all the top equipment for rescue and wanted to offer their services free of charge and work with anyone to help in the fire zone. They were told explicitly by MHS they were not invited and told if they are anywhere near the fire zone they will be arrested. No Aloha, No thanks for wanting to help.Very cold. MHS was adamant about this and these were the top rescuers who were deployed in Ukraine twice last year saving animals. They were treated horribly. We have all the documents to show this. I would like transparency and would like to know how much the rescuers who were allowed to be in charge were pd. From what I heard they have been pd. a lot of money ($200,000+) Also, they were not allowed to be in contact with the group hired and not allowed to be connected to work with anyone else. So, many lies were spread to keep them out. We need an investigation into this. This group that was denied clearance also had hazmat training and the drones to go in at night and get the job done fast. I am outraged that this was allowed to happen and the way they were treated when all they wanted to do was to help save the cats in the fire zone.No money needed to pay for their services. Also, the group that was contracted by MHS had no fire experience with fire cats along with the people held in charge. They are only trappers and no training to how to deal and trap the fire cats. They had one photo op and left. They did nothing and got pd. a fortune. I would like transparency as to what they were pd. Also, why they spread the lies to turn people against this group. All documented. Also, would like transparency on the donations collected for the Fire Cats and Animals. This money needs to go for them alone. They cannot be put back into the fire zone like MHS is doing. MHS needs to open sanctuary's with the 3+ mil $ they collected.l This money needs to be earmarked for the well being of the firecats. Thats what the donations were for. They can't just release them back into the fire zone. Right now , they will be spraying bad chemicals that will kill any cats left in the zone that are suffering and not being saved. We need the top professional rescuers to come in before they do any spraying.The ones that are hired do not know what they are doing. They are not trained to rescue Fire cats.This is a very specific type of training and it needs to be done now! there is no more time to waste.The Colony Cats were all affected by the fires and by law they are required to take care of them also. No food was allowed to be given to The Colony cats when MHS was giving out food. I was told explicitly by one of the volunteers that food was only given out to Pet Owners. By law they were required to also give food for the Colony cats that were in the Fire Zone and affected by the Fires. This was not done also . We need to get to the bottom of everything that was done and show transparency. Too many people are upset over the debockling of the animal rescuing Please open a 2nd recovery Center. Mahalo
For the Love if God , and the safety of all this poor pets, we need to have access to the burned zone to collect them.
So many loving, sad, starving , terrified animals are struggling for survival.
Please let the animal organization such as ‘’ save Maui cats’’ enter the city and save those innocent animals.
Mahalo and Aloha!
My name is Amy together with my other half we have 3 kids one of them with multiple disabilities and due to it I'm a stay at home mom. For the past 6 years we have continued to live with family due to unaffordable housing. I like many would love to own a home or rent an apartment but cannot due to the ridiculous prices that are placed. Even if one were to go through all the hoops to get approved for HUD, its still difficult to find a place thatll accept HUD. I do not find it fair nor right that many of the homes that should go to the people of hawaii are being snatched up by others living out of our state. Who then sell it for more or turn it into an air bnb or their vacation home to only live for a certain amount of months then abandoned or turned into an air bnb. How is it that we allow others who were not born and shaped by the land of hawaii to buy up it's land and homes when it's people are left to become homeless. You need to make owning a home, land more accessible to us. Especially now. Do away with the small town homes and start building actual homes with a yard so our children can flourish and have a home that gets passed down through generations. The greed needs to stop on the high prices for owning a home and renting. Landlords need to rent at a fair price rather than relying on the renters to pay for their whole house and mortgage. Celebrities and other non residents who own homes but do not live there year around should be taxed in their own brackets because the excess amount of land and housing they own could've gone to the people. Air bnb needs to be banned and housing for residents need to become more affordable because as I've stated before we all need a home.
Also we need safer routes for fire evacuations especially at the schools. As well as more water irrigation to vacant land so that fires don't restart. Putting our lines underground would be ideal but if it cannot be done then we really should be allowing the streams to flow again so that the land can become green. Native plants should be regrow so that native wildlife can flourish. A place where children can practice hula or even a place to play music freely would also be good.
The world is watching Maui at this time and how officials react to the treatment of victims pets that are still in the burn zone. If chemicals are sprayed and clearing commences before at least two full weeks of funded support to trap and remove the 500 estimated cats in the fire zones, there will be serious ramifications for Maui.
Aloha Government Relations, Ethics, and Transparency Committee. I apologize for this late testimony but only heard about this meeting a few minutes ago.
As a local Hawaiian, I am looking forward to our island’s rebuild. There are so many of us who have lost everything to these fires and are still in shock over what we have experienced.
I’m grateful to the good people and agencies who are helping us with necessary supplies such as shelter, food and other support. Having lived my life on Maui, it’s not surprising to see the aloha spirit within the intentions and actions of so many people. “Everyone coming together to help” is how all the best things have always gotten accomplished.
With that said, something feels different this time. The fires have wreaked their havoc on all our lives and while plans are forthcoming to rebuild, my Hawaiian brothers and sisters are feeling lost in the bureaucratic shuffle. Offers of supplies have been abundant but our hearts are absolutely broken.
And to make matters worse for us, our pets are being ignored. We have heard about all the animals still trapped inside the fenced off areas where the fires were. The Maui Humane Society, to put it plainly, has been a joke. For every social media post they make about a family being reunited with their missing pet, there are dozens more agonizing stories of animals that could have been helped, but weren’t. examples of them dropping the ball. They told us that they searched for our pets inside the burn zone, but then we learned that by “search” that means a person drove by our burned down homes - without getting out of their vehicle. Of course a scared animal is going to be hiding, not just sitting calmly out front! And once our “Lost” Tickets were closed, the Humane Society’s search for our pet concluded. Without having access to search for ourselves, we were counting on the Humane Society to really try. I’m certain that if they did, many more animals would have survived. Apparently it’s an issue of space to house them once they catch them. But isn’t that the idea of a fire rescue? To Rescue? Was there no plan in place? And why not?
On a positive note, some animal rescuers not associated with the Humane Society have done amazing work. There have been several instances where they trapped a cat and were able to reunite it with its owner. This is the true spirit of aloha. And even though they asked the Humane Society to share some of their donated traps, cages, and food, they were denied. But they keep on going! The unpaid rescuers out there as much as they can be, saving the lives of the animals that the Humane Society fails to.
Please allow the rescuers into the fenced in areas to continue to save the animals trapped in there. From what I understand the Humane Society only has a couple of people in there.
Mahalo for your time,
I respectfully ask that you do much more to support and rescue the approximately 500 surviving animals in the restricted area. You must allow more trappers who have the necessary experience and training into the restricted area as there is absolutely no way that the current 2-4 people can trap, monitor trail camera footage and maintain 80 food and water stations.
A mass trapping project must be allowed to take place immediately. Once the EPA begins spraying Soiltac it will result in the death of many more animals and the ones that manage to survive that will unlikely survive the demolition.
Secure the facilities necessary to house these animals. MHS has received more than enough financial assistance from the public to do this. And, as you know, FEMA will also pay for these short term facilities so there is absolutely no excuse for not securing necessary shelter space.
You have plenty of qualified local people who want to assist these animals by feeding, trapping and helping in any way that is needed. Let the community help!
Bring HAKA back! They are the most qualified, well rounded group that has been there at any point since the fire. The current director of field operations for MHS has no disaster response experience. Trapping after a disaster requires special skills that are unknown by those who specialize in Trap Neuter Release. At the very least, HAKA and anyone they approve should be working the restricted area. Ideally HAKA should also be placed in charge of field operations.
People have tried to be incredibly patient through six weeks of egos and posturing as animals suffer and die daily but time has run out!
Hundreds of these animals have families who are desperate to find them but you continue to compound their grief. This must change immediately! The eyes of the world are on Maui and the lack of official concern for the animals. It’s time to step up and do the right thing! If you think this can’t have a negative impact on both your political careers as well as how the world views Maui in the future then you need to look into Hurricane Katrina and a little dog named Snowball. It’s still all over the internet after 18 years!
From a very concerned animal welfare professional and disaster animal search and rescue specialist
I beg you to allow trappers and helping organizations into the burn zone IMMEDIATELY to get cats out of the toxic ash into safety!
It is inhumane to leave animals in those toxins that they will ingest leaving them to suffer and die a horrible slow death.
Fieldhaven only has one temporary shelter and more are needed to pull out the 500 or more surviving cats from the burn zone. Please secure another building immediately!! Time is of the essence.
Your actions have and will continue to be judged by those that donated, including myself. You have received millions in donations, much targeted for the animal rescue efforts and Maui Humane Society, yet this money is not being used to help these fire cats. You need to have more trappers help NOW - what is sickening is that you’ve had many experienced trappers offering to help yet you send them away?! That is unbelievably ignorant and sickening!
Please, get the cats out of the burn zone NOW!!
I will not donate another penny to you until I see proactive help for these animals still trying to survive on their own in the burn zone. Please, act now!
A very concerned citizen
We need homes to be more affordable for the people of lahaina and everywhere in hawaii. Landlords should charge a reasonable rent rather than making the renters pay for their house and mortgage. HUD is nice but once you go through all the hoops and are approved there arent a lot of homes that accept it. Also buying homes need to be more affordable and easier for the people of hawaii. Why is it that people who were not born and shaped by the islands can buy our lands and homes and in large quantity but not even live there full time. Those houses and land should go to the people instead of becoming vacation homes or air bnbs. Air bnbs should also be banned as again that's housing that the people do not get the chance to own. Our children deserve a home with a yard to flourish and grow and pass down through generations. I'd also like to propose maybe taxing those that do not live here year round. Also I'd like more fire escape routes as this fire could've been preventable if we had safer routes to go through. Especially at schools. There needs to be a dirt path that cars can easily evacuate the children out. I'd love to see more native plants being planted and more places accessible to those who have disabilities. More shaded areas too and resting spot and places to play music or dance hula rather than shops along the shore. The government needs to return the water to the people as well. Had we had more water maybe more people and homes could've been saved
I feel the lack of care for the animals still in the burn zone is unacceptable! The group from the mainland doesn’t have disaster experience and the local group HAKA doesand they are being denied entry!! When that chemical is sprayed it will be detrimental to these poor animals that have survived losing everything. Please let HAKA in to save these animals!They have the safety equipment and the expertise! The fact that we have to still be requesting this 7 weeks in is deplorable!
Good morning, thank you for the opportunity to voice my concerns today.
As a community, we are trying to heal but our animals are still suffering out there. They’re trapped inside the burn zone by fences. Please let the rescuers in to help get them out before demolition starts. The Humane Society isn’t doing nearly enough, turning away expert help. Please give the animals a chance to be rescued before the city starts crushing them when they begin demolishing the structures. Many of our pets are still out there and saving their lives will help us heal.
Here’s what I just wrote on the link that will become part of the public record:
OUR PETS ARE STILL TRAPPED INSIDE THE BURN ZONE!
It has been confirmed by the Maui Humane Society that there are at least 500 animals still alive and trapped inside the burn zone, an area that’s 3 and a half to 5 square miles. They are only using 4 people to trap surviving animals, while dozens of disaster-trained rescuers and expert trappers are being excluded from helping. They have been offered disaster relief help from all over the world but have refused assistance.
It has become sadly apparent that the Maui Humane Society is either not interested in helping the rest of the animals stuck inside the fenced-in burn zone, or are simply inept.
Initially they turned away fire survivor’s pets because they claimed that they didn’t have the space to take them in. But when presented with the opportunity to open an animal recovery center, they dragged out the process. Once they were forced by the community to do so, the facility was at capacity with rescued and fire-victim animals within days. The Maui Humane Society clearly needs to open more animal recovery centers but once again, are stalling the process.
They have had plenty of time and resources to open a second recovery center but once the demolition process begins, they won’t have to. All surviving animals will be crushed or suffocated by bulldozers and hardening spray chemicals.
Animals that have managed to survive this long, need our help and our voice. They are fenced inside the burn zone and will suffer horrific deaths if not rescued soon. We are begging for their lives.
WHAT IS THE MAUI HUMANE SOCIETY DOING WITH THE 4 MILLION DOLLARS IN DONATIONS IF NOT HELPING THE ANIMALS STILL STUCK INSIDE THE BURN ZONE?
WE URGE THE MAUI HUMANE SOCIETY TO OPEN A SECOND RECOVERY CENTER AND BEGIN AN URGENT TRAPPING AGENDA TO SAVE ANIMALS INSIDE THE BURN ZONE.
We demand transparency and we want the Maui Humane Society to do what they are supposed to do. SAVE MAUI’S ANIMALS!
Thank you for the opportunity to be heard today.