KCA disappointed by meeting coverage

December 20, 2012
Jon Miller – KCA President , The Maui Weekly

The Kihei Community Association (KCA) has had a mutually respectful relationship with the Maui Weekly for several years, and we are appreciative of their continued support. However, we are disappointed with the story covering our Tuesday, Nov. 20, meeting as published in the Thursday, Dec. 6, edition for a number of reasons.

The writer is employed directly by the interests of Pi’ilani Promenade and Maui Outlets, and this fact should be disclosed for journalistic integrity. The article’s strong emphasis on the so-called “Mega-Mall” issues was disproportionate to the time allotted in the meeting, indicating bias in reporting.

Where was the mention of the $1,500 bench donations for our Kihei beach parks from a variety of (mostly business) sources–namely, Alexander & Baldwin, Pi’ilani Village Shopping Center, Finishing Edge Concrete Construction, Monsanto Hawai’i, St. Theresa Church, Kessler Family In Memory of Barbara S. Kessler 1948-2009, and Maui Dreams Dive Co.?

The statement made by the writer concerning “lack of business owners and labor members on the board” is not only prejudicial, but flat wrong, as at least half of the 2013 Board of Directors members do run their own businesses on Maui, others have vast business experiences, and some have been long time union members during their job experiences. This “spin ” makes the KCA appear anti-business and anti-union.

Everyone is invited to apply for our board of directors, and all applicants were approved by the membership. We are pleased to report that KCA’s board is composed of a diverse array of community members with impressive credentials and a diversity of experience that will serve the community well in 2013.

Jon Miller

KCA President

[Editor’s note: Maui Weekly senior contributing writer Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez, who covers Kihei Community Association (KCA) meetings, is a Pi’ilani Promenade project consultant. His points on the outlet shops and retail center in the Dec. 6 article were fact-checked. To prevent any possible conflict of interest in the future, Mr. Blackburn-Rodriguez will not report on Eclipse Development discussions at community forums.

The year’s final meeting of the KCA was a story assigned by the editor with full confidence in the writer’s ability to provide a neutral, informational overview of the meeting in the limited space available. The Maui Weekly appreciates the views of the KCA and stands by the story.]

Kihei Community Association Holds Final Meeting of the Year

Meeting reviews 2012 activities; elects 2013 board of directors.

December 6, 2012

Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez with contributions from Editor Debra Lordan – Senior Contributing Writer, The Maui Weekly

Meeting for the last time in 2012, the Kihei Community Association (KCA) elected board members for the 2013 term, heard a report on the Pi’ilani Promenade and retail shopping center project planned for South Maui, listened to an update on the Maui Island Plan and learned about the current status of the long-awaited Kihei High School.

Members of the KCA elected to the board include Mike Moran, Patricia Stillwell, Harry Hect, Jon Miller, Mark Hyde, Jeanne Duberstein, Andrew Beerer, Randy Wagner, Daniel Kanehele, Michael DiBella and Greg Stratton.

Officers for the association will be elected at the Jan. 15, 2013, meeting that will be held at 6 p.m. at the Kihei Charter School middle school site located at 41 E. Lipoa St.

Newly elected South Maui state House Rep. Kaniela Ing (left), state Sen. Roz Baker and South Maui County Councilman Don Couch attended the K?hei Community Association meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the K?hei Charter School. Baker and Couch were re-elected to office in November.

Members of the 2013 K?hei Community Association board of directors were selected at the association’s Nov. 20 meeting. Officers will be elected at the meeting scheduled for Jan. 15. Next year’s board members are (left to right) Mike Moran, Patricia Stillwell, Harry Hect, Jon Miller, Mark Hyde, Jeanne Duberstein, Andrew Beerer, Randy Wagner and Daniel Kanehele. Board members Michael DiBella and Greg Stratton were not present for the photo.

Retired lawyer Mark Hyde spoke at the meeting as the president of South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth, a community organization formed in April of this year.

Hyde, along with Maui Tomorrow and KCA member Daniel Kanehele, have been active in opposing plans for Pi’ilani Promenade, an outlet and retail shopping center planned for South Maui to be located mauka of Pi’ilani Highway on land just south of Blackie’s Pit Stop Shell station.

Hyde said that the development is now before the state Land Use Commission (LUC), which in July had decided that there was enough reason for the developers to come back before the LUC and given the opportunity to demonstrate that the current project was in “substantial compliance” with the 1995 LUC order that designated the land from agriculture to urban.

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Opponents allege the developers have failed to meet the substantial compliance test and have also not met a number of the 20 conditions that accompanied the 1995 LUC approval. In addition, opponents of the project have questioned the use of light industrial zoning for a shopping center and for affordable housing that will be located above the center site.

Supporters of the project and the developers (Eclipse Development) have argued before the LUC that the project is in compliance with the 1995 order and has met all conditions required under the order. They have also argued that they are in compliance with County of Maui light industrial zoning laws, which they contend allow both the retail centers and housing.

The LUC public hearings on the project have concluded and Hyde said that he expects a ruling by the end of January. He said that if the LUC finds a violation, it would then have to decide on a solution. If there is no violation found, Hyde said, “We will have to decide on any further action.”

KCA Board Member Daniel Kanahele reported on the status of the Maui Island Plan and urged people to continue providing their suggestions to the Maui County Council, which will vote to amend, adopt or reject the plan by the end of December.

Among other issues, the KCA opposes including 390 acres in Makena within an urban growth boundary. In general, the council’s General Plan Committee has recommended larger urban growth boundaries than those recommended by the KCA.

For more information on County Council agendas, meeting dates, times and locations, go to www.mauicounty.gov.

Andrew Beerer has been fighting for a Kihei High School for years, and at the November meeting he continued as an effective advocate on the issue. Beerer reported that land for the school has been purchased, the Department of Education (DOE) has requested money for construction, and that the KCA and high school supporters are lobbying the governor and the legislature for an appropriation to begin construction of the school.

According to Beerer, in four years there will be 1,000 more kids entering high school. Without the Kihei High School, more students will have to be bussed from Kihei to Central Maui. Beerer also thanked state Sen. Roz Baker and outgoing state Rep. George Fontaine for their help with the progress that has been made this far on the school.

For more information about the Kihei Community Association, visit their Website at GoKihei.org.

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