Letter: State a “Lava Nazi”?

Dear Mayor Billy Kenoi and Governor Ige,

As myself and several friends were reminiscing about what has happened to Pahoa since Hurricane Iselle and the approach of Pele, a little jingle came to our minds.  After reading the Hawaii Tribune Herald front page on Christmas Day,  I have modified Number 1 and 2, and the song needs to be made public, because this is the reality we live now in lower Puna.  Sorry Billy, but as the head of all emergency operations in Pahoa, you get all the credit:

On the 12th Day of Christmas, Mayor Billy gave to Pahoa,
12 Stinky Dumpsters
11 Enhanced Penalties
10 Days Between Updates
9 Thousand Empty Houses
8 Circling GreenHarvest Copters
7 Weeks of Detours
6 Evacuation Notices
4 Schools a Movin’
3 Wrapped Poles
2 more Empty Marketplaces
and 1 Puna Geothermal Venture Well…

Yep, Hawaii now has the reputation of “Lava Nazi” when it comes to anyone seeing active moving lava.  We now live in a constant “State of Emergency” and the government has it’s hands tied because of “Liability.”  No new businesses can come in to replace the bailed ones – lack of insurance.  You can’t see the lava because of insurance liability, the town of Pahoa is effectively, how can I put it mildly – “shut down”  in anticipation of…… perhaps the lava is coming… no…yes… no, it stopped again… darn, now where do we shop???

Please, Mr. Kenoi and Mr. Ige, there must be a way in the new year to change the way our government is handling lava viewing and helping preserve the business-friendly structure of Pahoa, the “Aloha”  reputation of Hawaii and the sanity of Puna residents in general!  Look what has been done to Pahoa so far, and Pele has only taken one house.

How do other countries handle live volcanoes and the impact to surrounding communities?  How did our own Civil Defense handle the lava the last 30-40-50-100 years?  What are we doing here, because how the people are being treated, makes us believe you wish all us humans to leave the area so you can industrialize or something….  There is no doubt we can do much better in 2015!

Sara Steiner

7 replies
  1. Malia DeFay-Brown
    Malia DeFay-Brown says:

    Homes in Puna are in much less danger than homes in a wild fire zone, tornado alley, flood zone, on an earthquake fault and such. Yet we are unable to obtain affordable insurance, sometimes even unaffordable insurance. We are denied the opportunity of reverse mortgages and sometimes even obtaining any mortgage at all. In the past 30 years less than 100 homes have been covered by lava in Puna. Elsewhere hundreds of homes have been lost due to acts of nature. This is an unfair standard and I believe it is WRONG!

  2. Handyman
    Handyman says:

    Aloha Sarah Steiner,

    It saddens me that you foresee such a bleak future for Pahoa and lower Puna in general. If you have a business in jeopardy of the lava flow, then perhaps you should follow suit as the other businesses and relocate?

    If that’s not financially feasible then that’s certainly not the fault of our community representatives , but your own business sense. There are other business owners as well as residents that are also in the same boat as you, but instead of constantly criticizing and whining over the situation, they offer solutions and sound ideas. To be the mouth piece for a group of whiners makes you and your group part of the problem.

    Our elected and/or hired community leaders are doing the very best that’s possible to keep this community safe and updated to the lava activity. There are legalities that prevent them from making decisions that you want them to make, because it’s not your honor or career at stake here. You speak of “Aloha” this and “Aloha” that but you truly have no concept of the word.

    Enough of the whining and become part of the solution, Sista Sarah.


  3. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Dear Sara – in my opinion you are mixing valid concerns with confusion. The result is a loss of validity overall.
    For example;
    1)People can view the lava because the county made a safe viewing location. Why manufacture a problem that doesn’t exist?
    2) The county provided uninterrupted refuse collection. That was so important!
    If the temporary location has become a nuisance, that will be addressed and a new location found.
    3)The county has mistreated no one that I’m aware of.
    Who got mistreated?
    I have seen no effort on Hawaii county’s behalf to get people to leave. What are you referring to??
    4)”Days between updates”? Again, what are you talking about? At least daily, sometimes twice daily Civil Defense updates have never stopped! This accusation lessens your credibility.
    5) What does county Civil Defense have to do with federal green harvest activities?? The DEA has no connection to the lava flow issues.

    Expansion of geothermal and the ‘industrialization’ of Puna has been a legitimate concern for decades. Thank you for raising that issue, but using provocative language like “Lava Nazi” seems lazy when an articulate presentation of facts might actually be useful.
    Knee-jerk anti-govt rhetoric is an unusefull habit, IMO.
    Accurate criticism there is plenty of room for,
    but I agree; misdirected whining doesn’t cut it.

  4. NeighborWatch
    NeighborWatch says:

    Sara that was very creative and funny. These whiners have no sense of humor or a creative bone in their body. They’re YES people. Everyone gets a high five and a pat on the back. Maybe some awards are in order. I’m sure Darryl will be running for Mayor. Can’t expect these people to get satire. Even if it is more fact than funny. LOL 😉

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