Heal Malama Park

Opinion by Clare Seeger Mawae.

I write this after the fire on Sept. 2 down at Malama Park in Kaunakakai when one of my vans went up in flames and torched the other next to it. My reaction was disbelief! The vehicles are my livelihood and the question I had to ask myself was do I go down in flames with the fire or do I rise above it and focus on moving forward? I may have insurance, but in reality, this does not cover the real value after the consideration of past repairs and the years of service. The individuals that did this know who they are and perhaps feel no remorse in their actions. This just may have been a casual siphoning of gas that went terribly wrong. I am sure there is someone in this community that knows the culprits. Do the right thing and turn yourself in.

It’s sad that all over the world, there are those mindless and selfish individuals who do not care for others, especially in their community. Unfortunately on Molokai, we have the same problems as anywhere else, but luckily we can still feel relatively safe in comparison to other places. This island is full of wonderful people and it is a shame when certain individuals choose to tarnish the community by mindless acts of vandalism.

Malama Park was a cultural and historical site. This is not just a wakeup call for the vandals but a wish that Malama Park will come alive again for the community to enjoy.

I feel that Malama Park is a starting point to healing of substance abuse on this island where a community can come together and nurture the park back to life, just like the life poured back into the fish ponds and many other cultural and sustainable projects in this community. Malama Park has a strong history but the park is withering to an unnatural death. The burnt vans on the edge of the park only emphasize it more.

I begin to wonder how much more this community can endure after the recent outbreak of suspected fires, increased robberies and now acts of vandalism to other people’s properties. Molokai is changing. What is the saying that people say to visitors? “Don’t change Molokai, let Molokai change you.” Perhaps we should be saying to those hurting this island, “Don’t hurt Molokai, let Molokai heal you.”


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