August 31, 2011
Hawaii, Letters

Lanai at risk of losing what makes it special

The Maui News, 30 August 2011

Lanai has natural beauty and lavish resorts. It is a quiet place for all who visit. It is Maui’s pristine backyard with open landscapes of amazing vistas, trails and historic archaeological sites. It is a place of legends and stories that will serve to teach future generations about their roots.

All of this is at risk.

Castle & Cooke has applied for the demolition of 15 to 20 historic buildings to make way for a large-scale commercial development. Rather than preserving the historic buildings and incorporating them into a development, it hopes to erase them.

Castle & Cooke also intends to destroy one-fourth of the island to make way for a mega-industrial wind turbine power plant. All energy produced will be transferred to Oahu. The turbines do not reduce carbon emissions or significantly reduce oil dependence. One of the last untouched legendary lands and vistas in Hawaii will be destroyed. A fragile ecosystem that supports endangered plants and animals as wells as hundreds of significant Hawaiian archaeological sites will be gone forever.

These things seem to be of no value to corporations whose fiduciary duty is to stockholders. The value is to the people who live here and who will have to live with the consequences. Long after the wind turbines have rusted away, after the subsidies have dried up, the people of Lanai will be left with a scarred landscape and a lost cultural heritage.

Let your senators, representatives and council members know how you feel.

Susan Osako

Lanai City

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