Letters for Monday, April 14, 2014

Dairy shouldn’t be near Mahaulepu

Dairy shouldn’t be near Mahaulepu

As a plantation cultivation crew chief and surveyor, I think Mahaulepu area is a bad choice for a dairy. Having worked that land, I can tell you it gets very hot in the summer. There were times at McBryde or Grove Farm that we would pull workers out of Mahaulepu because it was too hot. This is because the mountain range blocks the trade winds and it can get into the 100s. The Haupu Ridge also collects plenty of clouds on Haupu, or Black Mountain.

As with Hanakapiai stream, the water can come down at any time. There has been a couple of drowning there. The old storm ditches have not been dug in decades. They surround the base of the ridge. They are overgrown by giant choke plum trees. These were double ditches at least 15 feet deep each and monitored by Hawaii state law.

Mauka of Mahaulepu is “the bowls,” huge eroded pits that the moto-X guys used to use. The “crater” next to the bowls was used in that Japanese train movie, small compared to the other two bowls above. In big rains, the water from these pits empties into Mahaulepu. Just beyond Mahaulepu were the Koloa duck ponds, acreage of shallow duck ponds for all kinds of marsh birds.

Mahaulepu is riddled with lava tubes and the Guinea grass is too entrenched to remove. But what worries me most is the Heiau. I know of two, possibly four, at the base of Black Mountain. The plantations never bothered this site; the mana is still there. There is a 15-foot spherical boulder there that was pushed away from the heiau and each time it rolled itself back.

The VP at Grove Farm spent over six years on this project, really? Did he get out of his truck and walk around? Why make a dairy down wind of the Hyatt? The water table drains that way, too. If they needed to rezone this area why didn’t they? It would make a nice hotel. Nobody said anything about the cane fire breaks until their houses caught fire. Now, their groundwater is next.

There are perfect sites near Halfway Bridge or behind Kiohana Crater. When did common sense become a super power?

Robert Ritch



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