by Anthony Pignataro
Every now and then, I get reminded of the cold fact that in the United States of America, those in positions of power (elected officials, industrialists, land developers, etc.) see us normal people as nothing more than “consumers.” That’s all we are to them: drones who spend their lives buying ever-more sophisticated goods and services. Our economy depends on that characterization. If we stop consuming, then they stop producing and pretty soon Lenin is in charge (or something similarly apocalyptic).
I can’t find any other way to explain the contempt that lobbyist (sorry: “liaison for the projects”) Charlie Jencks seemed to exude in the June 21 Maui News story “Groups dig in against mega malls in S. Maui.”
A growing coalition of people (led by groups like Maui Tomorrow, who are threatening a lawsuit) in South Maui hate the idea that Irvine-based Eclipse Development Group is planning on building a 300,000-square foot shopping center on 30 acres and another 450,000-square foot “retail complex” on 68 acres just mauka of Piilani Highway at Kaonoulu Street in Kihei.
They look at documents like the Kihei Community Plan and don’t see anything like that kind of development anywhere in South Maui (the land is currently zoned “light industrial”), and they get scared about all the noise, traffic and pollution such a project will bring (state Senator Roz Baker has already written a semi-nasty letter to the state Land Use Commission asking them to stop the project because it violates the Kihei Community Plan). But old Charlie “Wailea 670” Jencks, who is shepherding the Eclipse projects through the state and county permitting projects, just wants us to all get along and support the deal.