In an effort to fulfill its promise to “help resolve the cruise ship tourism issue,” ‘Aha Ki’ole O Molokai has scheduled five community meetings it will facilitate.
A recent press release from the ‘Aha Ki’ole states that the organization, “will facilitate community meetings in order to educate, gather input and develop a document to be presented for insertion into the Maui County Molokai Community Plan.”
The press release continues: “This document will define the protocol for conduct within a Molokai managed plan for our island’s growth and development. We hope to capture and mediate the concerns and issues that will allow tourism to be an acceptable part of our island economy.”
The Molokai Community Plan Update 2012, a project of Maui County’s Long-Range Planning Division, includes a strategy for developing a low-impact tourism market. The goal of promoting small‐scale tourism that creates local jobs and local businesses was established during an open house as well as two community workshops held on Molokai last year. The next step in this process, which will update the 2001 Molokai Community Plan and follow the direction of the Maui Countywide Policy Plan, is to develop a Community Plan Advisory Committee.
(A review of the Molokai Community Plan, along with other planning documents that may help resolve this tourism issue, will appear this week in The Molokai News. To see the current Maui County summary documents of the Molokai Community Plan Update 2012, go to http://www.mauicounty.gov/index.aspx?NID=1684)
The ‘Aha Ki’ole has planned the first of its five meetings to be an island-wide general meeting. It will be Wednesday, Dec. 21, 6 p.m. at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center.
The other four meetings will be specific to the four general moku, or districts, of Molokai. On Dec. 28, the North Shore and Mana’e Na Moku meets at the Kilohana Community Center, 6 p.m. The Kawela Moku, reaching from Kaunakakai to Kamalo, meets Jan. 4 at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center. The Pala’au Moku, covering the Kalamaula, Kualapu’u, Kala’e and Ho’olehua areas, meets Jan. 11 at the Lanikeha Center. The final meeting for the Kaluako’i Moku is Jan. 17 at the Maunaloa Community Center.
After this first phase of community meetings is complete, there will be no protests of the Safari Explorer. According to protest leader Walter Ritte, an agreement with American Safari Cruises will allow the boat to conduct its cruises unimpeded after Jan. 17. Ritte made this statement on KGMB-TV Friday morning and confirmed it via email.
ASC has not yet responded to this statement. “We’re in the process of determining ourselves exactly what the latest negotiations or discussions have led to,” wrote Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing for ASC.