Public hearings set for Na Wai Eha water withdrawal applications

PAIA – The state Commission on Water Resource Management will hold two days of hearings starting Wednesday on competing applications for withdrawal of water from Na Wai Eha, the surface water collection system that serves Central and South Maui.

During earlier proceedings, the commission received applications from existing users to continue withdrawing water pending a final commission decision on allocating the water resource. Most of the applications have been challenged because there likely will be less water allocated by the commission than the total of present withdrawals, even before applications for new uses are considered.

Starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Paia Community Center, the commission will hear testimony from users to justify the reasonable and beneficial uses they intend for water.

The commission staff will present a new map, which graphically represents the users’ locations and the ditches and gates where they seek to draw off the water. Commission staff member Roy Hardy said the map should help sort out exactly which applications are in conflict.

Two commissioners, Neal Fujiwara and Sumner Erdman, will conduct the hearings.

Limited Time to Change Hunting Rules

Conservation Council for Hawaii News Release

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing revisions to Hawaii Administrative Rules relating to hunting and game, and asking the public for their feedback. This is an opportunity to urge the state to change the hunting and game management paradigm to reduce the damage caused by introduced continental feral ungulates and game mammals, and provide more opportunities for hunters to help control animals and bring home the meat.

Sugar rush – Restating the Obvious by Harry Eagar –

Funny how things work out. Our new mayor wants to take over plantation water systems (although when he had a chance four years ago, he backed down).

A couple of years ago, a combination of drought and low prices had HC&S on the ropes, and the board at A&B was beginning to wonder whether sugar was a business they wanted to be in. At best, it accounts for only about 7% of revenue. HC&S is such a small part of A&B that it cannot ever contribute largely to profits, although it can — and recently has — hammered them down.

Since A&B answers to Wall Street, which does not give a damn about Upcountry water meters, low sugar prices open the way to a county takeover of EMI. This would be a disaster, but, like I say, funny how things work out.

Arakawa’s in, sugar prices are up, A&B will presumably stick with HC&S for a while longer, the valley will be green and Kihei will not have to live through endless dust storms.

Hanzawa’s family ties end

HAIKU – After 95 years, Hanzawa family members will give up operating their famous community store on Nov. 24.

Hanzawa’s Variety Store will not close. Neighbors Dana and Sue Klingman and Dana’s sister, Mollie, will reopen the store Dec. 1.

The store was started by Taichiro Hanzawa in 1915.

On Thursday, Sandy Daniells, granddaughter of Taichiro Hanzawa’s brother, Tetsuji, said she was having a hard time thinking of life without the store. She had intended to stay.

But five years of frustration trying to rezone the store and realign it for changing times had driven her and her husband, Matt, to the decision to lease the store.

Also, Matt’s parents and her mother are elderly, and they will be taking care of them. Sandy Daniells was a nurse before coming home from Oahu to take over the store when her uncle, Ralph Hanzawa, died in 1988.

“I really wish we had gotten the support we needed when we needed it,” she said.

Grown on Maui Bus Tour, other Hawaii news

Mainland images of the fall harvest may not apply to Hawaii, where the growing season is year-round. But after the islands’ busier summer than 2009’s and before a Christmas break that’s expected to be even more robust, travelers may find that quieter autumn is the peak period to reap the benefits of new and renewed activities and accommodations.

For activities, the menu of agritourism options – an appetizing way to support farmers and rural landscapes – keeps expanding on the four major islands:

Maui: The new Grown on Maui Bus Tour lives up to its name by including a locally sourced continental breakfast at the Whole Foods Market in Kahului, a company tour and pineapple tasting at the Haliimaile Pineapple Co., a gourmet lunch and tour at upcountry Oo Farm (owned by PacificO and IO restaurants) and a walking tour and dessert at Alii Kula Lavender Farm, before returning to Whole Foods. The weekly Tuesday tour, open to ages 12 and older, costs $130 plus tax. (808) 879-2828,

Two companies to release Maui stream water as ordered by the state

The state says Wailuku Water Co. and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. will begin releasing water to Waihee River and North and South Waiehu Streams in central Maui next week.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says the companies next Monday will act to comply with a state water commission order issued in June.

But the move is unlikely to satisfy two Maui groups who want the companies to return more water than the commission ordered.

Hui o Na Wai Eha and Maui Tomorrow appealed the water commission’s ruling in state court last month.

They say they’re being deprived of the water they need to grow taro and restore natural habitat.

Two companies to release Maui stream water as ordered by the state – Hawaii News –

Maui County settles lawsuit over stream water treatment plant

Maui County today announced a settlement today of a dispute over an environmental impact statement for a proposed stream water treatment plant.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares said the county will “revisit” the study.

Maui Tomorrow and Hui o Na Wai `Eha filed a lawsuit in Maui Circuit Court on June 21, challenging the adequacy of the Waiale Treatment Facility’s study.

The two groups also appealed a decision by the state Commission on Water Resource Management to restore only about one-fifth of the total flow from four streams.

A decision on the appeal is expected to take years and could affect plans for the Waiale plant, so the county has decided to take another look at the proposed project, county officials said.

Hui o Na Wai `Eha President John Duey said his group was glad the county agreed to carefully examine the costs and benefits of the treatment facility.

A&B Properties Inc., which developed the study, said the firm will continue to support the county’s effort to find water for residents.

Maui County settles lawsuit over stream water treatment plant – Hawaii News –

Attorney: Water commission ‘wilted’ – The Maui News


Panel: Decision strikes a balance between values, responsibilities

By ILIMA LOOMIS, Staff Writer

The state Commission on Water Resource Management on Thursday ordered 12.5 million gallons of water per day be allowed to flow in the Na Wai Eha streams in the West Maui Mountains, about one-third of the amount that had been proposed.

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The commission majority said the decision represented a balance between the values and responsibilities the law required them to consider. Chairwoman Laura Thielen said in a statement that even if 100 percent of the water were diverted, it would still not be enough to meet demands.

But contested hearings officer Lawrence Miike, also a commission member, issued a scathing dissenting opinion that accused the water panel’s majority of protecting the interests of private corporations over the public streams.

"By its decision, the majority has failed in its duties under the constitution and the state water code as trustee of the state’s public water resource," Miike wrote.

Stumped by tree care? A Washington Consumers’ Checkbook report

CLICK HERE for Professional Tree Services on Maui

By Robert Krughoff

Washington Consumers’ Checkbook
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Most of us don’t actually hug trees. But many of us love them, and for good reason. Trees provide shade that helps cool your home. They may flower in the spring and turn lovely colors in the fall. They lend privacy and add character and resale value to your property. They improve air quality.

But sometimes trees need work. The most common services are pruning, preventative spraying and fertilizing. In some cases, trees may need to be removed.

For that work, most homeowners will hire a professional. It is wise to do that carefully.