Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Kauai is changing attitudes one protest at a time

by Larry Geller

On Oahu we had Wal-Mart and now Whole Foods. Businesses built over dead bodies.

On Kauai they don’t give up so easily. At least, they aren’t going to take it any longer. The action at Naue continues.

An up-to-date account of the struggle to evict a developer from building atop an identified graveyard appears in today’s Honolulu Weekly. Or here, on their web page.

Read Joan Conrow’s article to find out why the Kauai protests are different. For one thing, the protesters, coming together from different islands, are very serious and dedicated to the protest itself:

The Kaua’i project has been the focus of ongoing controversy, including a demonstration last Thursday in which seven men temporarily stopped construction by linking themselves together with a PVC pipe.

While government agencies in charge of protecting iwi may slack off and neglect their responsibilities, these people are intensely focused and serious about winning this one.

By their example, they are challenging the attitude that Native Hawaiian gravesites are simply great places to build upon.

Anyway, please go read the article.


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Joan mentions the 1000 burials found off of Fleming Beach when the Ritz Carlton Kapalua was built, but no mention is made of the hundreds of burials "unexpectedly" found in the construction going on right now for the new Ritz Carlton Club at Kapalua Bay. This is the biggest "disappeared news" story regarding large scale unearthing of iwi anywhere in the state right now.

Thanks for mentioning that... I didn't know about it. I do know that a new manager has been appointed and that the construction was to end soon. Stuff that is in the papers.

If you have any contacts or other info on the discovery of remains there, please do let me know. larry [at] . Or in comments here. Meanwhile I'll try Google.

Larry, the first source on this was one of the construction managers at the Ritz Carlton Club site in Kapalua. Property owners and workers in the Kapalua resort have been hearing rumors about this for about a year now. There have been some Maui Burial Council documents show up on the net about this, but they mention just one or two iwi being unearthed. The actual numbers are much larger. It is hundreds.

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