BY BUCK QUAYLE
Maui Condemner Condemned: When State Parks Administrator Joseph Souza announced his intention, at a public meeting last week, to condemn 2,763 acres of private land for a State park in the Makena-La Perouse area, he appeared to be about as popular as the FBI in the home of Angela Davis.
No sooner had Souza made the statement than rapid questions and accusations came flying from the 45 persons at the hearing last Wednesday in the State Building conference room in Wailuku.
They continued for the hour and a half of the meeting, and would have continued had Souza not stopped the hearing at that point.
The questions came mainly from Makena area landowners, many of whom had inherited the land from their parents, from the legal representatives of landowners, and from conservation group spokesmen.
Virginia Wirtz of the Maui Historical Society said the area "is rich in artifacts and we should make sure it is protected from the public."
Alfred Aruda, when told the area would be used for fishing, said, "The State has enough land for fishing."
"Ten years ago," charged Oscar Rice, "you took all Naska (an area near Kahului Airport) and let people take sand off the beach."
Billy Lee Newland, a Maui Community College student, asked if more land would be bought by the state before anything would be built on the land already state-owned.
Souza said land acquisition would come first, with building to follow. He said no firm boundaries or campsite buildings plans have been determined.
He said the proposal now is to get the land and to finalize plans for it later.
Attorney Sanford Langa, representing landowner Jack Elliott, said the State should acquire the "A & B lands around Kealia Pond. Take land people have no use for."
Maui Condemner Condemned:
The Makena area "is the one place on the island where you don't have to take A & B land, isn't it?" Langa charged.
Donald Tokunaga asked if the state would consider letting the small landowners remain on their property.
"May be a possibility," Souza said.
A man who said he represented a Mr. Carter, another landowner, said, "Mr. Carter wants it left alone. If not, the state's going to have to get a lot of money to buy the property."
Another man said he estimated the private property within the area would cost $10 million to $20 million on the open market. "Where is the state going to get the money?"
Souza said he didn't know, but he believed he would have the support of the legislature. He said the state did not plan to obtain the lands immediately but would purchase in increments.
Maui Condemner Condemned:
When asked what Souza wanted to condemn all the lava portions of the area for, he replied, "Camping."
At this, one mature woman's composure broke down and she cried out: "On the lava? Jesus!"
Toward the end of the hearing, an elderly man asked, "Where are all the poor people going to live?"
"I don't know," Souza replied.
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