Just read through your issue of 28 July and thought you might help with an idea. Here's my letter.
The property across from Malu-ulu-o-lele park in Laha'ina, on Makila beach, once belonged to a chiefly family, the last of whom was a treasured friend of mine. Her place was neatly kept and beautiful. With humble pride she would tell us about King Kamalalawalu and wife, Queen Pi'ilani-wahine, and their son, Kauhi-a-Kama, for whom the fish pond on that land was named as WAI-A-Kama. That loko i'a (fishpond) was a part of the Moku-hi-nia stream and pond which once formed the waterway of the area of Lua'ehu in what we now call Laha'ina. Today the pond, its islet of Moku Ula and the stream of Mokuhinia are all gone but, filled in, they form Malu-ulu-o-lele park.
I would like to see the chiefly property on Makila beach, between the present Hawaii National Guard Armory tnd the former Farden home area of Pua Mana (not the present Pua Mana realty area), all become a part of Malu-ulu-o-lele park. Right now strangers have desolated that chiefly property, the home is a shambles, and old cars are rotting there, too. There, in the chiefly area once a most sacred part of Lele and Lua'ehu, now called Laha'ina! I want to weep every time I see Laha'ina today because it is becoming so uncared for, so filled with trash and vandalism, and so un-lovely.
I knew Laha'ina from 1915 to after World War II as a really lovely old chiefly town with character and quaintness, with Aloha and beauty and welcome.
Today? Ugh. It is cheap, crowed, wholly commercial, and even many of the people, both local and alien, look as though they never bathe or comb their hair. Hawaii's people have always been well-groomed and pretty as they could be; and neat and smiling, and generous and welcoming. Auwe! No more.
So, take a tip from an older Kama'aina with a heart full of love for Old Laha'ina, and a dreadful sadness for the dreadful change there on the Maui area known to us as Ke Alo (The Front of the land). Surely the modern-day residents of Laha'ina, the Front of the Land of Maui, should put on a prettier, neater, more beautified Front?
Surely some beaches should be open to former residents and to visitors, too? Rather than cut apart with high-rise buildings, no view of the sea or neighbor isles or open horizon?
Surely the town could be cleaned of trash and junk cars and bottles and weeds and ugly unkeptness?
Forget the letter 'L' on Pu'u Pa'u-pa'u (which also is called Mount Ball) where historian David Malo was buried in order to avoid trashy sailors and ugliness and crime and all that, back in his day. We love "Mount Ball", Lahainaluna School, its faculties and students, the letter L, and all the good for which it stands! Rather, get after the real ugliness which all of us view when we have to go to Laha'ina.
Please, all of you people of Laha'ina, Kokua to make the place lovely?
Please try to have the Makila beach area made into a part of Malu-ulu-o-lele Park? And name that area of the park as Lua'ehu, its rightful name.
Thank you, and good wishes and Aloha ia oe.
Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970
Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background
Another Day At The Office Haleakala National Park