Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, August 19, 2023
Let's stay focused on helping Lahaina fire victims--Eventually the Facts Will Come Out
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 10:06 PM :: 2089 Views :: Maui County, Health Care, Taxes

Let's stay focused on helping Lahaina fire victims--Eventually the Facts Will Come Out

by Kelii Akina PhD, President/CEO Grassroot Institute, August 19, 2023

As we continue to learn more about the tragedy in Lahaina, the priority should be clear: We must continue to help the victims of the fire.

Cleanup and aid — among the hardest tasks of all — are already underway, and will continue to be the center of emergency efforts for some time to come.

Yes, many of us want to know more about the cause of the fire and what might have gone wrong in the response. Eventually, the facts will come out. But for now, we need to focus on the most immediate problems.

Gov. Josh Green and Maui Mayor Richard Bissen have announced a series of measures to help Lahaina families. I especially want to praise the mayor for waiving property taxes for the affected property owners — including giving back the money from those who already paid. This is a practical and generous measure that will provide real financial relief to victims of the wildfires.

The governor, meanwhile, has used his emergency powers to help bring medical care to Maui and find places for displaced families to live. I especially appreciate the way in which he cleared the way for out-of-state medical professionals to attend to the needs of those affected by the tragedy.

Moreover, the governor has been very responsive to concerns about scams targeting Lahaina property owners and possible complications in rebuilding the area.

In response to those concerns, the governor has instructed the state attorney general to impose enhanced penalties on anyone who tries to take advantage of the victims while purchasing property in the affected area. This is a reasoned and focused approach that should help protect Lahaina property owners from fraud or predatory real estate schemes.

Some people have advocated a moratorium on all property sales in the affected area, but that would be overly broad and risk hurting the very people it intends to help. Many of those people are going through the worst days of their lives. Any moratorium could put them through more pain and difficulty. That’s not what anyone wants.

Looking ahead, we should take the time to think about the best way to ensure that a rebuilt Lahaina is prosperous and safe.

My colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii already are researching and discussing recommendations we will make — especially regarding state and county policies that could help Lahaina and the rest of the affected areas on Maui recover.

But meanwhile, let’s stay focused on the cleanup and aid efforts on Maui, to help the survivors of this terrible tragedy regain their footing and rebuild their lives.

As I mentioned in my column last week, if you are looking for ways to help, Honolulu Civil Beat has posted a list of organizations that are actively involved in the recovery efforts, which you can see here.

E hana kākou! (Let’s work together!)

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii