Dave Hakes' – Maui Life


"I must do something!" will always solve more problems than "Something must be done"




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  • No Blame – Just Solutions

    Posted by delta on June 27th, 2020

    Mayor Victorino,

    Until Maui is self-sufficient, Maui needs to keep the barges coming in – to keep the barges coming in, Maui needs to keep the stores open – to keep the stores open, Maui needs people in the economy with money to spend – Maui needs to keep people working any way possible…

    We can not “give” money out anymore because there comes a tipping point in which the government simply does not have the money to give and money will lose its value – we have almost reached that point.  At that point, consumers literally can not buy anything – money will have no value.  There would be no reason for anyone to go to work because they can’t get paid in funds that can be used.  There would be no reason for most people to stay on the island (which means no work force for anything in the near future).  If no one can buy anything (or no one is here to buy anything) the whole (Kamaaina Economic) system crashes – no stores or gas stations can stay open, more people will be out of work, more people will try to leave (at this point their money has no value to buy a ticket), less and less barges will come to the island – those of us who remain on the island (and their keiki) will starve (at the moment, there are not enough natural resources to keep those on the island alive long enough to raise or grow the natural resources required for them to live).

    Unfortunately, this is not out of the realm of possibility – we are surprisingly close to this happening.  This is not the mainland, we do not have backup, we can not drive away from this situation…  If we lose the barges we don’t just lose food and clothing, we lose gas – if we lose gas, we lose the use of all our utilities – gas runs our electrical power on the island and our electrical power runs everything (including our refrigerators, TV sources, Internet sources, water pumps, hotels, shops, stores, restaurants, etc)… So, even if there were a few of us left with the ability to pay our utilities (by trade – remember, money has lost its value), the utilities wouldn’t be there to pay for… Aside from utilities, there would be no gas for your car – imagine Maui, with it’s existing population, under those conditions…

    At this point, there is more than a virus to be concerned with, starvation kills just as slowly and painfully – what a person would do to their neighbor for the food in their house to keep their babies from starving is no joke – we need to start wrapping our heads around that…  As spoiled/entitled Americans it is a hard thing to wrap our heads around until we are in that situation – unfortunately, once you are facing this it is too late…

    I would love if everyone just up and left the island (for personal reasons), but (for now) we need people to stay:  we need people to work, we need people to spend money – to keep the stores open – to keep the barges coming – until we are self-sufficient…  

    I personally do not think we will be self-sufficient unless we are given no choice – we will push it until there are no options. Everyone will wait until it all crashes and most folks think they will actually live through it (most of them will not). So, for now, we need the barges…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>
    Mayor Victorino,

    We need to start with protecting those who are high-risk for COVID-19 by providing a program in which antibody positive folks are delivering to their houses (for groceries) or working at their houses (for cleaning, carpentry, electrical, cable, water) – so it is important to have knowledge of who is actually antibody positive.

    The funny thing is a few folks seem to think that antibody positive folks may be an issue. These are often the same folks who believe that a vaccine will be their cure.  What do they think the vaccine does?  It makes your body produce antibodies…  If they believe antibodies for COVID-19 do not protect one from the virus, or only protects one for so long, what does one possibly think a vaccine is going to do?

    It takes a good year to properly do a double blind study of a vaccine – without proper testing, putting something like that in your body is simply insane.  So, what do we need to do? We need to try to get the rest of the population to herd immunity over the Fall/Winter so the high-risk folks will have less to worry about in a shorter amount of time.  Waiting for a vaccine may actually kill more people…

    When we close the airports back down in October/November (when flu season comes back around) we need to keep the Kamaaina Economy open – this is what we should have done last time.  We need to build herd immunity on this island (without overwhelming the hospital) so that we don’t have to close out the airport again; we need to keep people working so that they can go shopping and buy food and clothing for their keiki…

    SIDE NOTE 1: Here’s where anyone reading this is going to have to dig in a little. “Cases” are good. We want the number of cases to go up so that we build an immunity as an island. The news is reporting “Cases” as though it is a bad thing, it is not – a month from now those folks will have the antibodies. It does get a little confusing when they report that “the curve is flat, but the number of cases is rising”. The curve is the number of deaths (or the number of hospitalizations, depending on who you’re talking to) – they are actually not rising. I see a lot of confusion out there about this, so I felt the need to explain.

    SIDE NOTE 2: There is a lot of inaccurate “coding” going on right now – this is not something I’m going to get into right now – let’s just say, when it all comes out people are going to be a little upset…

    SIDE NOTE 3: The PCR test itself was brought to be too quickly and is not accurate (it is a test for something else that has a statistical variance which would not normally be used) – it is due to both the test itself as well as user error and peer pressure amongst those coding the tests – this will all come out years from now and folks are going to feel a little upset about this as well…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>
    Mayor Victorino,

    Make no mistake.  This is a county of three islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we are on our own and we need to be on our own.  We can not afford to take orders from a governor encamped on an island with a military presence (personnel including dependents) equivalent to our very population.  The military presence alone (who gets their checks every two weeks no matter what) on Oahu can keep that island afloat…  The governor need not worry about the outer islands because his voters are on Oahu – Oahu is the population he needs to keep happy and alive, it is all he needs to stay in office… 

    It is not “PC” to say the above, nor think it, but this is survival – if we, as an island, do not spend money at Costco, Safeway, Foodland, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace those companies may rethink whether or not they need to be here…  The more of the big boxes who close, the less people we have working – which means even less people who have money to spend…  The more of the big boxes who close, the fewer barges we have coming in – until we are self-sufficient (or off the grid), we depend on those barges coming in for EVERYTHING!!!

    Without the barges, more people will die…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>
    Mayor Victorino,

    Your “new normal” calls for (in your words) quality of visitors, not quantity.  I’m sure most of us agree with this assessment.  The roadways were getting too packed and too many houses are now covering our once pristine countryside.  Places we use to camp and hike when we were kids now have housing tracts or Hotels on them.  Personally, it was killing me slowly and softly on the inside to see all that made this island a beautiful place to live dissolve into a concrete jungle…

    Any True Local understands the issue with the BNB’s (Bed and Breakfasts) and VRBO’s (Vacation Rental by Owners).  These are folks who drive up the housing prices (whether it is intentional or not), rarely pay their due in taxes (whether it is intentional or not) and do not (need to) hire enough local workers to help make a positive contribution to our economy…

    If we can keep a single hotel such as the Grand Wailea full (with it’s 787 rooms, 52 suites, 5 restaurants and 4 bars), it makes a larger contribution to our island than all of these BNB’s and VRBO’s combined.  1,400 employees and contractors and all the businesses who “back them up” would be grateful for the income…

    If you add the personnel required to run the Kea Lani, Four Seasons, Marriott and Andaz then you are talking about more money in a single month than all the BNB’s and VRBO’s can bring in in a year…  If you add to that the West Side Hotels such as the Hyatt, Westin, Kaanapali Beach Hotel and the Ritz (to just name the older ones with name recognition) it is obvious that we need to fill these hotels to get our economy back up and running…

    It is obvious that we need to concentrate on filling these hotels to capacity so we can get Maui back to work – yes, a smaller number of our population (the BNB’s and VRBO’s – who often are not local) is going to take a hit, but this is for the greater good…  We do not have a Kamaaina Economy unless the locals have money to go shopping – we need to get as many locals as we can back to work ASAP…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>
    Mayor Victorino,

    You have made a “shout out” for any and all ideas for new direction in Maui Island revenue streams…  There are several…  If you are willing to use county funds to buy and then resell land that can be used for farms and crops at an extremely affordable price or if you are willing to utilize eminent domain to re-task land use for the good of the community then we can make this work…  The County will have to make land affordable to those willing to get their hands dirty to provide food to the rest of the island…

    Let’s get down to what we need.  We need to, as a county, get off the grid.  What do we need to do this?  We need an export, so folks are dependent on us and do not want that export or supply chain to fail – we need an export which is “too big to fail”…  Aside from a solid export, we need to be completely self-sufficient (about the only thing we’ll need to be shipped in is gasoline).  Looking at this from a survival perspective, we need shelter, electricity, water, food, safe movement and first aid – almost everything we ship in we can make here on the island, and we can put people to work producing it…

    1. A SOLID EXPORT:  First off, I do not partake in, nor do I personally enjoy the smell of pot.  I have no skin in the game by making this suggestion.  I do not even like this suggestion, but it can make more money for Maui than anything else because it could give us a large and profitable “Export Business” within a very short time frame…  We can take any area that Mahi Pono has not bought and grow pot there.  We could setup a few factories to make and package gum, brownies, cookies, etc.  Between the security patrolling the area, the workers in the field, the factory workers, the trucks to get the product to Air Freight and the distribution from there, this would almost instantly put a Maui Product on the Map and would make this one of the richest counties in America overnight…  YB may be an option under certain circumstances (enough to keep them happy so the supply barges keep coming in no matter what), but I would export these products through the air for the speed and security with which air-travel affords…
    2. SHELTER:  We have enough housing on Maui to support what will become our “new population” – and there are still projects on the books – there may even be some empty homes for a while until the population settles (those who leave, stay, return, etc)…
    3. ELECTRICITY:  EVERY HOME – EVERY APARTMENT – EVERY BUILDING – EVERY MOTEL – EVERY HOTEL – EVERY SHACK needs to be able to produce enough electricity via solar panels to support the occupants within.  Maui needs to be a zero sum playing field.  The electric company itself can have farms of solar panels, buildings of batteries and using the existing power-lines with everyone connected to the grid have the ability to send power in separate directions as needed.  YB can ship in the parts and we can build a factory and assemble these solar panels and batteries and all the peripherals associated with them – this would not just add tech jobs to our arsenal, it would add contractors to install, repair and replace them when the need arises.  Point to make here – we want to assemble not manufacture, there is too much waste in the manufacture of these products.  We can not afford to think of anything other than the collective – this is something the county must do to save the county – our dependence on external sources (such as gas imports) for electricity has to end…  We could pay for this with the Marijuana exports or we can talk to someone like Elon Musk.  I’m sure he would “hate” to have a Tesla assembly factory here on Maui – with the right incentives, you never know…
    4. WATER:  There are six main areas of the island which require water – West Side, South Side, Central, Haiku, UpCountry and Hana Side.  Fortunately, these areas would also need their own individual electrical grid providing solar energy.  To supplement water in these areas, assure consistent water flow to all, it would be essential that the main electrical “HQ/Hub/Central Station” for each area be near the ocean (just above flood zone height for its respective area).  When this has been accomplished, lines can be run into the ocean to take incoming water – this can power itself as long as the flow is constant (which can be assured as long as the lines are out far enough and below the surface of the water), the hydroelectric power from the incoming water can power the very batteries which can be converted to the mechanical energy to pump water from the ocean into the large water desalination and purification unit/s which can supplement the water supplies throughout the island…  We can keep our outgoing system as is…  No more water shortages…
    5. FOOD:  We have the area for complete self sufficiency, we’re simply not using it…  The ideas and plans that Mahi Pono have are great, but they’re not producing enough to support the population of Maui County, they are not growing the right crops to support the population of Maui County, what they are doing is happening way too slow and they are not utilizing enough locals to do it.  Mahi Pono is a joint venture between California based Pomona Farming and a Canadian public sector investment board.  We have to do this ourselves.  We need to raise our own cattle, pig, sheep, goats and chickens.  We need to grow our own crops.  We need to think of the county first and then consider exports.  We need food now!  We need a proper plan, but we need expedience as well.  We need a plan, we need an Environmental Impact Statement and we need to get water flowing to that area so we can start producing food to feed the island.  We could also grow crops associated with the production of first aid supplies…  Most importantly of all – BEES – as a beekeeper I need to say BRING BEES INTO THE EQUATION!!!
    6. SAFE MOVEMENT:  Lit and well marked bike/walk lanes, tunnels, overpasses and trails all over the island – there should be no area on the island that can not be accessible on bicycle (or on foot) that requires a bicycle rider (or pedestrian) to engage with a car unless they choose to do so.  This would benefit the entire community as well as put many people to work in the creation and upkeep of the bike paths and their ancillary areas (such as rest areas and bathrooms).  Another unrelated idea would be for vacationers to only have Tesla’s to rent.  Not only could they be tracked, but they could literally be told they are not permitted in specific areas and the car simply will not drive there…
    7. FIRST AID:  There are some things we, as an advanced society, simply do not want to go without if cut off from the rest of the world.  Thing’s such as penicillin, hydrogen peroxide, bandages, bleach, insulin, iodine tablets, epinephrine, asthma inhalers, masks, safety glasses, IV Supplies, needles, syringes, ibuprofen, antibiotics, anti-fungals and the list goes on.  We need to make these things ourselves.  What a great bunch of quality workers we would have if we had a group of folks who could produce these things (and assure we had an adequate stock pile) right here on the island…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>

    Over the last three months, I have spoken with several of my customers (most of them being retirees from the real estate, medical or hospitality industries), two doctors on Maui several times and at length, two doctors on the mainland several times and at length, two lawyers on Maui several times and at length and have read through the

    • “Maui Island General Plan 2030”
    • “Countywide Policy Plan”
    • “Community Planning Process Handbook”
    • “Hana Community Plan”
    • “Kihei-Makena Community Plan”
    • “Makawao-Pukalani-Kula Community Plan”
    • “Pa`ia-Ha`iku Community Plan”
    • “Upcountry Greenway Master Plan”
    • “Wailuku-Kahului Community Plan” and the
    • “West Maui Community Plan”.

    I regrettably understand that the reasons the above Plans have not come to fruition is because of the money tourism brought in in the past – and when the economy is good everyone does what they can to keep that flow moving.  With the advent of the shutdown and what it has done to our economy, now is the time to reconfiguring our direction.  Tech and farming are fantastic and we need to get them up and running so we can be self sufficient, but they simply do not provide enough jobs.  We need to be able to support our exiting population with as little imports as possible, yet we want to supply an export which the rest of the world simply can not do without – this will keep the shipments coming for the few things we do need to bring in…

    Many sections of the plans written for the county, and areas of the county, (above) end with “This … is great for tourism” – ok fine, wish we could concentrate on what is best for those of us who live here first, but since we have to sell our idea to the tourism industry to get it off the ground, imagine what a “marketing gimmick” the above ideas could be for tourists in the future: an entire island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean completely off the grid and totally self-sufficient…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>

    We need to reorganize with the Mahi Pono owners to supply for our Maui Population FIRST.  Side Note: instead of growing Mac Nuts (which they are going to be doing a lot of) maybe they can fill those fields with marijuana???

    The County (or friends of the County) can buy Piiholo Ranch (it is for sale right now) and hire folks to raise cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, etc for local consumption…

    Most importantly, we do not want anymore folks moving here – we have to be able to support the population with what is grown or raised on this island.  Once we can do that we can welcome more folks to the island…

    <<<<<<<<<<———->>>>>>>>>>

    Everyone wants to do this (or pieces of this) until they realize what they would need to give up for it – and, make no mistake, we would all be giving up quite a bit to make any of this happen – it’s going to be a hard sell… You’re never going to get two people, let alone the adult population of Maui, to agree on any two things – that’s why I tried to present as many ideas as possible – you, as the Maui Mayor, need to pick and choose the battles worth fighting. Maybe you already have and this is going to go no where – but there’s always a chance… and there is always a choice… people often forget that not making a choice is a choice in itself…

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