Letters: Lava and the Military

Dear Editor,
Now that the lava is crossing Pahoa, and we are under martial law, we desperately need county council/ mayor’s office on the SouthEast side of the flow.  Where will the new County offices be if and when the conditions force moving from the current location?  I would like it known that we residents of the cut off section of lower Puna are very aware of our inalienable rights as human beings and do not take lightly to this test “occupation” at all.  It would be prudent to focus all this military might in the vacant neighborhoods where the looting/squatting/pillaging and the attendant crack/meth houses are operating in their norma full openness instead of the usual financial extortion of us poor citizens by the continuing seatbelt/registration/safety checkpoints, wasting our valuable police resources, and ticketing of persons trying to see the lava.   
At this time I would like you to urge the police and national guard on duty to continue act friendly towards the local residents and realize that laws aimed at keeping people safe from a lava flow moving a few feet an hour,  instead of allowing walk up access on paved county road leading directly to the flow, will only lead people who have come from all over the world, and local residents alike, to risk their lives and the lives of potential rescuers, all for some weird homeland security power trip over Pele and Puna that’s happening now. 


Sara Steiner

9 replies
  1. Handyman
    Handyman says:

    Aloha Sara Steiner,

    I assure you, this is no “power trip”, as you put it. The laws that have been implimented are needed to protect not only property owners but tourist and local thrill seekers alike. The invasion by the General public and the media is a direct violation of the property owners, whose immediate concern is to salvage what property they can. Not have to ask people to get off their property.

    The enhanced laws is to help deter crime and close loop holes that criminals are looking for to commit crimes in our community. Those who object to this are possibly those who can’t find the loop holes.

    With that said…….Aloha.

  2. Robert Petricci
    Robert Petricci says:

    Au contrar Handyman, we certainly do not need guys in combat gear driving around Puna, it is not a war zone, it is a residential community and our town. We have a very slow and long term lave threat to all of lower Puna.

    What we do need if they want to help us is for the government to pick up or at least allow us (the community) to pick up the piles of tires and other hazardous materials in the path of the flow. That when they burn and present a much larger threat to our schools, and general health and safety, than tourist or sight seers, IMO.

    The question under act 111 in Hawaii now becomes -Are we a free country, state, and county, or an occupied one?

    Under act 111 we are occupied.

    They let the toxic tires burn but stop want to stop the tourist dollars from helping our local economy? Great plan, not. Is that really what you want? While at the same time act 111 is dumping millions into special interest pockets on all these no bid contracts, with little or no accountability.

    You can cheer lead that if you want to but we all are going to pay for this. As a small farmer and business owner I need those tourist and sight seer’s to help us. In opposition to your comment I believe we do not need, interference in free commerce, another constitutional violation. They can not impede free commerce, which is what is proposed and what you advocated for. You may like warm and fuzzy dictatorial rule but many Americans and Hawaiians do not.

    There are laws on the books to protect private property already, we certainly do not need to suspend the constitution through act 111 to arrest trespasser or to protect private property. They can simply enforce the existing laws.

    Why is the answer to everything a military operation in this state anymore? It sure looks like an occupation if you ask me. Lose the combat gear and respect our rights to free association, not to mention the first amendment, and free commerce and I will welcome you. Come in combat gear and strangle my business and you are an occupier IMO.

    We have had lava flows in Puna for all recorded history and gotten along without military operations like this under a state law (act111) that suspends our state and federal constitution until now. That is way overboard and over broad.

    The lave has been flowing for 30 years and could do so for 30 more. Exactly how long should the constitution be suspended to make you feel better?

  3. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    I agree with RPs idea of minimizing toxic fuels in the “path”.
    In terms of ‘occupation’,
    Robert, your comments and concerns assume the rightfulness of the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and the imposition of empire capitalism, by the USA.
    Yes, Hawaii is a war zone; military and corporate control empowered by ‘free market capitalism’ continues to enable the 1%.
    Here and there.
    I have mixed feelings when I see the beige.
    Law and Order -vs- some idea of personal threat,
    real or imagined.
    I’m not sure how a community best soothes itself of the
    fears, real and imagined.
    Heightened fear is a reality in these moments. I see it.
    F… those few who prey on the vulnerable.
    I get it, the state protects the property owners.
    I’d be happy if one less burglary of a renter family happened in these moments.
    Harry Kim was at PO road earlier, being video interviewed.
    Some one that cares so deeply about Puna, and also sees
    govrnmt as a right tool to meet community needs.
    South Puna may be deeply challenged, as the lave bisects, to practice what we struggle to preach –
    grow food and be nice to each other

  4. Steve Danner
    Steve Danner says:

    The job of the police should be to prevent theft and desecration of homes, occupied or not. the job of the military could be to oversee areas on public roads where tourists, locals and news people can see the lava in a respectful way. these folks are spending money here. this may be a long term flow, and ultimately it seems the military can go home, and our newly beefed up police force could do it all.

  5. Steve Danner
    Steve Danner says:

    Yes, and while the army IS here, they can tool up and move said tires, etc. and just plain help out. It will be obvious what needs doing. The same thing we all would be doing if we were allowed in there.

  6. Handyman
    Handyman says:

    Aloha Robert Petricci,

    You have obviously been fortunate enough not to have experienced an invasion on your property. You should count your blessings.

    On Saturday, November 1st, about 10:30 a.m., while I was utilizing my restroom, I heard a voice outside call out, “hello!?”. After a brief moment I again heard the voice call out, “hello!? While I’m completing my task, I suddenly hear my fromt door slide open. I finally yell out, “what do you want!?”. The voice doesn’t respond. I complete my task at hand and open the restroom door, only to find a young man standing in the middle of my living room with his slippers on, and an older man at the sliding door about to exit my house. Both men looked local and spoke the same, as I asked what they were doing in my house?

    The young man spoke first, saying they knocked on the door but nobody answered and that they were looking for scrap metal to collect and sell and if I had any to give them. With that said, I stiff armed him in the throat and flew him against the wall next to my sliding door. I then turned him around and flung him against the older man outside and they both fell to the ground. I began berating them saying, “never enter a home that you were not invited into”. After they threatened to cause me harm, I reached in my doorway a brought out my baseball bat. As they were running out my driveway, they again threatened to call the police on me. It’s been three days and I have yet to get a visit from the police. I suspect I never will.

    I have since brought this incident to the attention of my children and grandchildren, who now make daily appearances to visit me. I was born and raised here, as well as my children and grandchildren and we will never bow down to the ploys of idiots trying to make a living off of our blood sweat and tears. No matter what racial back ground.

    Having the military presence helps us feel supported. I being a Veteran of the Army, I got no problem with them.

    Your reason of wanting to remove tires and other hazardous materials from the path of the lava, is perceived by people like me as a BS ploy to gain access to our properties to look at other valuables we may have. And to that, I say, NO!!!

    I’m not sure how long this military presence is going to last but I welcome it. You say this is not a war zone,…..I say, as long as the military are present, it never will be.

    The tourist will still come to witness the lava, whether it’s here in Pahoa or up at Volcanoes National Park.

    Your discription of Act 111 is a bit exaggerated and gloom minded and I’m not buying into it.


  7. Alan McNarie
    Alan McNarie says:

    Handyman, did you file a police report? I’d like to follow up on this and other reported looting incidents. If you want to share information but don’t want to post it here, you can e-mail me at amcnarie@yahoo.com or IM on Facebook.

  8. Robert Petricci
    Robert Petricci says:

    Handyman you insinuate Sara Steiner as a criminal that wants a loop hole and then say you believe people like me want to rob you. Now that is some real BS, I had to put my boots on just to reply. You do not know either one of us and you need to read ACT 111.

    FYI Sara is well known and greatly loved by everyone in the community that has the honor to know her, and you can relax as I want nothing you have. Here is a news flash for you, you do not need the military to protect you from your neighbors or the people that come to Puna. Use some common sense instead.

    We deal with things like that by simply getting to know our neighbors. Get a dog if your so terrified of intruders. Were we live we generally like and watch out for each other here, it’s called community and aloha, you should try it. We do not need or depend on the government to protect us. We work together as a community to deal with our problems, and again there are already laws on the books if need be for every issue you raised.

    I hear you, you do not agree, so just answer one question please, exactly how long do you propose to suspend the US and Hawaii State constitutions so you feel safe? How long should Puna give up our constitutional protections because you feel so threatened by people like me and Sara. A month, a year, forever?

    I am sorry you are so defenseless but I do not want to give up my freedom particularly for the very weak reasons you want me to hand them over for. I object….Sorry, try form a community watch or get a dog.

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