Lahaina Officials Are Choosing Birds Over Children

I am profoundly disappointed in the Division of Forestry and Wildlife for deciding to extend the boundaries of the preservation zone and the Lahaina school board for not standing up to the eco-bullies. The decision to limit school bus routes disturbs the early morning and afternoon routines of dozens of children and their families. It’s high time that school officials understand that it’s their job to safeguard children and not birds.

Our family moved to Lahaina 5 years ago for my wife’s work and so I could pursue my passion of wave counting. At that time, the bus stop was 3 houses down. I could wake up at 7:15 am and have my daughter fed, clothed, and off to the bus on time. This allowed me a couple hours of counting on the beach before lunch and then a few hours of counting on my boat before I had to be back.

Now, I have to get up almost 20 minutes earlier so we can walk to the closest stop. Worse still, it’s in the opposite direction from the beach. I remember when it was a school’s job to take care of your kids for at least 6.5 hours a day. Back then a parent got to enjoy a whole days worth of pursuing passions, not part of a day. I’m losing almost a whole hour every day and that is not fair to me, my children, or my interests! On a normal day I could count thousands of waves if I stayed awake, now that number is less.

If that wasn’t bad enough, our morning route now leads past Ano Lee’s maker commune. To say the least it’s disgusting. As soon as you get to the bottom of the hill the smell of stale cheese snacks, burnt wires, and regret punches you in the face. I make sure that I walk between my daughter and the main shed, so she doesn’t have to see their unkept faces lit up by their glow forks while they eat breakfast.

Like many others on the island I am no fan of Lee and his Ungroomables. If the Forestry department really wants to protect wildlife they’d pull the plug on all those 3d printers. I’m sure that no animal wants to come within a mile of of that racket and the purplish-blue glow of the the chachki hut seems to attract more bugs than hikers. If we’re not careful they’ll just keep printing buildings until the whole island turns into Gatlinburg.

I’m just as committed to conservation as the next guy. I always cut the plastic rings on my cans just in case they slip off the side of the boat. If I break a bottle on the beach, I draw a little box in the sand around the area to warn people because it’s the right thing to do. At some point the board is going have to stop letting the nature lovers dictate their policies and nurture its relationship with parents. It’s time for them to do what is right. It’s with a heavy heart and sore feet that I urge officials to work together to bring back the lost bus routes.

John Driscol