To the Good Senators
Letter to the Editor
Expressing their opinions about life on Molokai, both Senators English and Hemmings have spent time on Molokai. I suspect that Hemmings has spent the most time here but, ironically, “did not get it,” despite his encounters. He seems to be of the “growth and jobs at any cost “ school of thought as being the solution to Molokai’s problems. Yet what has the legislature really done to improve Molokai’s lot? Very little.
Why not help the farmers here grow food for the Islands? Why not help set up an economic base that would fit Molokai and that Molokai’s people would welcome? Why not help Molokai buy the foreign owned Molokai Ranch that owns a third of the island and has shut down a third of the island’s economy? Why not pursue local government for Molokai so its people can control their own destiny for a change instead of having to continually respond to incursions from outside? Or, at least institute a system of elections where Molokai people can elect the paltry few representatives that we do have to important positions such as County Council and OHA? Nothing has been done about any of these issues. The highly centric powers that exercise firm and rigid control do not want to give up some to local control.
So Senator Hemmings, Molokai’s problems are not due to a “handful of malcontents,” but are due to a rigid, inflexible, highly centralized state government unwilling to share power and allow the state’s communities to develop according to their own needs and wants; not to mention a renegade Molokai Properties Limited, a.k.a. Guoco Group, Molokai Ranch.
Please let us have a chance to have our own leadership, control our own destiny and contribute to the “mutual interest.” There is already plenty of “hope” on Molokai and considerable efforts to rebuild but we need your support as a legislator.
Please do have that “open and honest debate” with Senator English. How about doing it on Molokai Aina and inviting the rest of us, including the Governor, who has Molokai ties and also could benefit from a fresh look? Something constructive could come of it. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself to all of Molokai’s people instead of your select few. We may appear to be warriors at times but are really about aloha.