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A tale of two cities?  One protected, one destroyed. Comments were due today on a proposal to protect 1,500 arces of a rare leeward koa forest on Maui. The Nakula NAR is a small, but important subset of the huge Kahikinui Forest Reserve.  It is home to rare native plants and trees… what is more important is — if protected — this area will become home to many, many more species unique to Hawaii.  A restored, thriving community. See our comments on the Nakula NAR.

At the same time on the same island in the ahupua’a right next door, developers propose to build 1,400 homes, a golf course, and a shopping mall over a rare dryland forest.  The Wailea 670 project would threaten 20 native species  and desecrate multiple inter-connected sites of cultural signficance.  Public comments are now being taken on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Wailea 670 project in South Maui.  To learn more and submit comments, visit www.savemakena.org/wailea.

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On September 18, the bill to ban genetically modified taro unanimously passed First Reading in Maui County. Congratulations, Maui!!  Second and Final reading on this extremely important bill will be coming up this Friday, October 2nd.

From friends on Maui:

Ban on GMO Taro for Maui County–we’re almost there! Take part in this historic action and express your support!

If you have a chance, take a few minutes to call and talk to Council members Baisa (270-7939), Pontanilla (270-5501) and Molina (270-5507) before Friday.  Thank them for their yes vote and urge them to do so again.

Also let Victorino (270-7760), Mateo (270-7678), Kaho’ohalahala (270-7768), Johnson (270-5504), Nishiki (270-7108, and Medeiros (270-7246) know we are behind them and to keep the bill strong — no compromises.

The enforcement issue is one that can be resolved.  There are no excuses for this not to pass.  No changes between the last reading and this one will mean it is straight up, easy vote.  Keep it simple and sweet.  Let’s see a 9-0 vote again!

Testimony can be sent in by email (county.clerk@mauicounty.us) or come and join us in person.  If you can’t make it to the hearing, keep support for the kalo in your sights this week.  If you don’t want to speak – bring a kalo plant to show support.  Stay focused on what is important – protecting Hāloa.

Keep envisioning this bill passed without changes – for all kalo and effective immediately!

From us guys at KAHEA: Mahalo pumehana to the Maui community for all their good, hard work and their passion and care for Hāloa. There is no question that you are making a tremendous difference. We urge all who are about Hawai’i and who love their poi (!) to show their support by sending in testimony to the hearing on Friday! Please take a second also to forward this alert to friends and ‘ohana!

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From the amazing Hannah Bernard, an invitation to a Maui community event to launch actions that help bring back the health of nearshore waters around Maui.

More Fish in the Sea, A Community Conversation:  E ola ke kai, e ola kakou (As the ocean thrives, so do we)

WHAT: We all want more fish in the sea. How do we make it happen? That is the question we will address in a half day gathering of all segments of the community and a half day work event at a nearshore site to be determined. The results we seek – a community galvanized for practical action to achieve a shared vision: MORE FISH IN THE SEA.

WHEN: April 4, 2009 – 2:00 – 6 pm & FILMFEST 7 – 10pm Sunday April 5, 7:00 am – noon.

WHERE: Maui Community College, Pilina Building and lawn

WHY: Our Earth is truly the ocean planet with more than two thirds of its surface comprised of seawater. The health of our world ocean is paramount for the health of all, but especially for islanders like us who depend on the sea for our sustenance, quality of life, livelihood, well-being and way of life. Yet our oceans are in trouble and our fish are disappearing faster than they are being replaced (>90% of our large fish are gone according to Nature, 5/15/03, to name only one international study). We are calling on everyone to come together to support the healing of our ocean and to work together to return our nearshore waters to thriving health.

HOW: We will join in small group workshops, larger group conversations, and small step action projects to plan together, work together, learn together, and discover how we will change together. We will identify paths forward and begin developing practical concrete steps that individuals, communities, citizens’ groups, businesses, and government can take to help move us toward MORE FISH IN THE SEA.

WHO: Are you an islander? Do you Think Island or want to learn how to? All interested members of the community are invited – fishermen, restaurant owners, dive and snorkel boat operators, the hospitality industry, government representatives, citizens’ and civic groups, ocean scientists, students, communications media, and philanthropists will be invited. A broadly-based steering committee will design an exciting opportunity to talk and learn together, plan together, and act together. The event will be video-taped and we’ll use the resulting video record to help build public awareness of the need for more fish in the sea and what each of us can do to help.

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