The Unheard Story of Hawaii

Apr 27, 2024 646K Views 3.1K Comments

Maui, Hawaii, is a special place full of stories that have mostly stayed on the Island. Today, we’re meeting up with a local who goes below the surface to give us a view into the culture and lifestyle of those living on an Island that is unknown to most of us.

► Alika’s Email: [email protected] (to contact him and/or buy coconut candies)

► 🎞️ Video Edited By: Natalia Santenello

MUSIC USED IN THE VIDEO 🎵
► Headlund – Heart’s Reprise

[mellow guitar]
[man] My grandfather on my mom’s side
worked for the sugar plantation.
You were put in a lottery to draw lots.
So these were all kind of like
connected with employee housing
It’s an interesting experiment.
‘Cause this is what it’s like,
’63, Hawaii just recently became a state.
Yeah? Acknowledged in ’59.
-Yeah.
-And so back before then…
…all of the different races were…
For the sugar plantation
you had little camps.
You had a Filipino camp,
a Hawaiian camp, a Japanese camp,
but then post-admission into statehood,
the new subdivisions,
they had to show mixing in of races.
So then you had the homes here
and the subdivision was
one house a Japanese family,
the next house a Portuguese family,
next house, Filipino family.
We were like the first five homes
in this whole subdivision
of a hundred-plus homes.
So it was all sand.
It was all sand around us.
[Peter] What are the prices now
compared to those days?
-Oh, God!
-Today?
-Yeah.
Today is like, what?
They say a three bedroom house
is $1.3 million.
-So like this is 1.3 mil?
-At least.
[Peter] You’re what you consider Native,
right?
-I guess local.
One melted pot. [laughs]
-So is that how it works here? Most people
are a melting pot of some sort, right?
-Yeah, everybody’s kind of, you know…
There was a period where everybody
was saying we’re a melting pot
of culture, and race, and ethnicity.
But for me, I look back and said well,
I would agree and I would disagree.
We’re all live here
in a bowl of salad.
We’re all tossed salad, all mixed in,
but I wouldn’t say we’re melted.
Because we still all hold
our individual cultural identities.
-Okay.
-A tomato is still a tomato,
a cucumber is still a cucumber.
You know, and so my grandparents were
a designation of what they call a Sakada
They were like the first generation
of contract sugar workers
and they came from the Philippines.
And then they married my grandmother
who was 100% Hawaiian.
I look back at it, it was kind of
an interesting social experiment.
The quality of the people
that were brought, for example,
for digging tunnels…
-Okay.
-And so you found a lot of them
being the small Asian folks.
Whether it be Chinese,
or what we call Pake, or Japanese.
And then you had some
that came with skills.
Plumbers and power people, you know?
So these are the buildings here.
The sugar transport buildings.
-Are they still in operation?
-No.
These are all obsolete, out of operation.
-So no more sugar on the island?
-No more sugar on the island.
This is the sugar platform.
-What’s it now?
-It’s just right now, I guess
mats and containers are being stored here.
-How does it make you feel to see this?
-Um, for me?
-Yeah.
-I want to get it back for the kingdom.
-Yeah?
-You know, this is kingdom land.
This was, at one time, the king’s.
‘Cause they control the port.
-Okay, so when
the United States annexed Hawaii
did they pretty much take control
over the islands then
-…or was it a power sharing sort of–
-Yeah, yeah.
The military backed
the economic business people.
They illegally overthrew
the Kingdom of Hawaii.
And this is 131 years ago.
I think it was 1892, ’93.
But this is the harbor.
This is the entrance of the harbor.
-This is your lifeline these days?
-Right.
-Everything comes through here?
-Everything comes through.
-How important is that?
-Very important.
-It’s survival, right?
-I would say well over 95%
of everything that comes on this island
comes through this port.
And I say 95 because a small percentage
is air-freighted in
but the greater majority
is brought in by ships.
-How much of your food
are you guys importing?
-Well, there is evidence or rumor
that people say between 90-92%
of all the food that’s consumed
is being imported.
For me, as a farmer, as a grower of food,
I’d like to challenge us to say,
“How do we zero-net import?”.
Why are we going to the store
and buying a banana
from Ecuador or Mexico?
-Mm-hmm.
-When we can ask ourselves,
“Can we grow bananas?”.
[Alika] We just need to start with
what can we grow?
[Peter] So you do have a lot of land here,
I’m noticing, in Maui.
-This is all sugar lands.
This is all controlled
and then the sugar entities sold
close to 45,000 acres over to
a Canadian retirement investment fund
and they bought this land.
Some little more than six years ago
and it’s primarily lemons and limes.
There’s some coffee here.
Today a lot of politicians,
and decision makers, heads of businesses,
they make their decisions
based on the Benjamins.
On the pluses and the minuses.
If you are raised on the values of Kanaka,
of the people of Hawaii…
-Yeah.
-Then you are embedded with
the engrained motto…
Of state motto of [Hawaiian].
“The life of the land shall be remained
in it’s existence
as long as we continue
to live in the right way.”
-Okay.
-Right and just way.
In that, you know for me,
I look at the decision making is
any decision, any new decision,
any critical decision,
this decision that I’m about to make,
does it harm the land?
This decision, does it affect our air?
What’s its effect and affect
onto the children?
Effect and affect onto the elders?
How does it affect the birds?
How does it affect the nature?
How does it affect the ocean and the fish?
Everything like that.
You must look at it and say,
“Does anything or anyone
suffer from this decision?”.
And that’s the difference
of [Hawaiian].
Yeah?
[Alika] It’s too many people move here
but don’t live here.
They just sleep here.
Because if you live here you would then
protect this place that you love.
Many of them all have some place else
that they call home
If anything happens here,
they have someplace else to go to.
If something happens here,
we have no place else to go.
This is our home.
So our position always is Aloha Aina.
“Protect it with the love of the land.”
Malama Aina,
“Care for it.”
And so then they come here and get
involved trying to change this place
exactly like the place they ran away from.
This is the way it is
because this is
a choice of the the quality of lifestyle
that we want it to be.
-The lifestyle here is…
You’ve seen a lot, you’ve traveled.
It’s just slower in general?
-Or what would you say the lifestyle is?
-Yeah, I would say it’s slow.
But it’s getting faster day by day.
[laughs]
Technology has made us go faster.
-You know?
-Yeah.
-But where I live, my wife and son,
they’ll go diving for food.
I no longer do that so I always tell them,
“You guys go and I’ll man the hibachi.”
[laughs]
I’ll run the grill.
So they go out, they go diving, they go
spear the fish, and spear the octopus.
For them it’s their therapy
and it’s their lifestyle.
Our backyard, we grow food.
We harvest coconuts and my son’s
side hustle is selling coconut candy
and so we harvest the coconut and now
my job is to bake it and make it for them
and we have 100% organic coconut candy.
-You know?
-Oh, that’s great.
[mellow guitar]
[Peter] So this is a friend of yours
we’re going to see?
-Actually she was a young student of mine
that I coached.
I was a canoe coach.
-[Peter] Smells so good up here.
-[Alika] Yeah.
-These are all eucalyptus and pine.
-Oh, yeah.
-[Alika] She see me?
-[Peter] Yeah, she was on the porch.
-Okay.
[Peter] Oh, what a place.
[Peter] Almost chilly out.
[Alika] Yeah.
[Alika] We got a farm up here.
[Peter] Seventy years old, Alika, huh?
-Yeah.
-Wow.
Just island life
keeps you in shape or what?
[Alika chuckling] Yes.
[woman] How’s this view?
[Peter] What a view.
[Kai] The 500 acres of solar
that I shut down at Tetra Tech.
-[Alika] Yeah.
-[Kai] Put them in Waikapu instead.
I shut her down.
-[Peter] You shut down the solar?
-[Kai] Yeah.
-So they’re gonna put in solar panels?
-They did already.
You can see it,
that’s 250 acres right there.
They’re gonna do an additional 250 acres.
-Why’d you shut it down?
You don’t want to see the panels?
-It so goes against green energy.
It’s like the amount of greenhouse gasses
and emissions it takes
to make one panel
goes against greenhouse gases.
You never see one acre that the battery’s
not leaching into the groundwater.
And the fact that there’s no disposal
and they just bury it,
it’s like what the hell?
It kills all the microbes in the soil.
It’s like we’re not gonna be able
to farm for 11 years.
We’ll have to replenish the soil.
[Peter] Let me ask you this.
You can’t see from here
but there are windmills.
How do locals feel about the windmills?
I guess it depends who you talk to.
-That magnetic solar storm came
and it was cranking at 200 miles an hour.
That means the battery cells were full
at least an hour.
So where does the excess energy go
once the battery cells are full?
It directs itself to the ground.
[Peter] You are in contrary to what
most people think about green energy
who think windmills, solar panels
are a good thing.
-You’re saying no, it’s not helping.
-It’s horrible.
There’s no place for it to be disposed of.
That’s one of the gnarliest things.
-You like natural gas?
-I think nuclear is more clean energy
than anything else.
Let the water flow
and get a water generator.
Yeah, that can combust as well
but we would have all the water
flowing to our seas.
Which will be replenishing
our coral reefs.
-Okay.
So you’re saying that almost all of
the land in West Maui’s on a lease hold
and technically still owned
by the crown that is your lineage?
Is that correct?
-The actual crown.
-Pre-annexation?
-Not the Hawaiian government.
Not the Hawaiian nation.
-The only and real crown.
-Okay.
King Kamehameha the Great, Paiʻea,
he founded the entire Lele four.
Which is the entire island of Lanai
and the entire west side of Maui in 1810
as his royal historical domain.
Meaning that all Lanai,
all of Westside Maui
is under a Pioneer Mill contract
of a lease that had started in 1914.
Pioneer Mill merged a company
with Harry, Jeanette, and Weinberg
Harry, Jeanette, and Weinberg’s thing
was to strip over 500,000 Hawaiians
for speaking Hawaiian or dancing hula
known as the black magic devil language
or black magic dancing.
They stripped our language
and our hula for 40 years.
When my grandfather won in 1996,
he won against Pioneer Mill,
-Won what?
-100% crown judgment.
It’s over 4.1 million acres.
-Your grandfather?
-228 islands of Hawaii, yeah.
-So there were no deeds back then
or what’s the story with that?
-I have all the paperwork.
I had seven boxes
and this is all that we have left.
I have like a bunch of other stuff left
but this is…
-[Kai] Maybe not record this.
-[Peter] Yep.
-This is my Family
taking Harry, Jeanette, and Weinberg
Pioneer Mill, MFACT,
Hiromi and Omora, AKA the…
What are the guys that came and did
a bunch of development back in the day?
Yakuza. [laughs]
[Peter] Yakuza was here?
-Seriously?
-Yakuza.
-Well now–
-Yakuza parked their money here?
-A lot of it.
-Wow.
Industrialized in hotels, condos,
and all of the big, big houses
at frickin’ Sunset Beach.
[laughs]
So what it’s saying is after 80 years
of litigation based upon undisputed facts
that the Paki family owns
an absolute 100% interest
owned by the late Frank Clark
of the Moamokakui lands… plural.
Moamokakui lands is like the largest land
commission in the state of Hawaii.
It goes to 228 islands.
We only know about eight
I don’t even know about
the other 220 islands.
-Nobody lives
on those other islands, right?
-A lot of them have
artifacts, and headstones,
and a lot of our old culture
that they made us forget about.
Like in our culture in my paperwork
we were guardians of heaven’s gate.
Which is Eke Crater.
You know, Eke Crater
is the top of this mountain here.
-In the clouds there?
-Yeah, in our paperwork
it talks about a culture
that doesn’t even exist nowadays.
These people have commercialized
our culture, our language so much that–
-These people? Who are they?
-Even just the Hawaiians.
The Hawaiians that are down there,
[sings in Hawaiian]
[Kai and Alika laugh]
In our culture, like the Kapunas that
I remember when you’re speaking Hawaiian
you’re like, [speaks Hawaiian angrily]
-Kapunas, what are Kapunas?
-[Kai] Kapunas are the elders.
-[Alika] The elders.
-The language you don’t speak
or hear anymore.
[Alika] So that says
you guys have 100% of Lele–
-Lele four.
[Peter] What’s Lele four?
-[Alika] The land in vision.
-[Kai] Lanai and West Side Maui.
Where Murdoc, Bill Gates, and the richest
person in the world nowadays
running my lease hold, Larry Ellison.
[laughs and claps maniacally]
[Peter] Larry Ellison owns most of Lanai?
Or I’m gonna air quote “owns”.
-Lele four. [laughs]
-[Alika] Steward–
-[Kai] Steward of a lease hold.
[Alika] Look.
This is Lele one, two, three, and four.
[laughs]
This is Maui Nui.
The West Side Maui and Lanai is Lele four.
[Peter] And Lele four is yours?
-All of that.
She had one piece–
[Peter] What were you saying
about your favorite celebrity?
[Alika and Kai laugh]
[Peter] You were saying something.
-Oprah Winfrey bought Thompson Ranch.
Thompson Ranch was on a lease hold
from Waihini and Kolaloaui Konika.
That’s my great-great-grandma.
Two of our big parcels of land
were bought by Oprah Winfrey.
And she was aware.
She’s aware of the not owning the land
that is under a lease hold
under not a fee simple title
but a lease hold.
But she conducted her own energy
and she has this yellow brick road
all the way from Haleakala Ranch
to Sumner guys
who use it all the way to Wailea.
-Okay, so how does that work?
Someone, when they buy land like that,
there’s a title to it or no?
-You can get land from a state or
a realty place but you don’t own the land.
You own the establishment that’s on it.
-You don’t own the land?
-No, the crown owns the land.
The crown land can never be sold.
-You’re saying Oprah
doesn’t own that land?
-No neither does Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos.
-But they think they do?
-They bought the same parcel.
They think they do.
-They have a title with their name on it?
So in courts it’s their land, right?
-They’re not happy but nobody’s
challenged them yet, I just found out.
I could challenge them and end this lease.
But this lease,
I couldn’t just end one section,
I would have to end the whole thing.
That’s why I’ve been
trying to gather allies.
Like Haleakala Ranch Baldwins
or Marilenin Pine guys.
-So if I bought a home
in the neighborhood where you grew up…
-Yeah…
-Would that be legit?
-I think you would have to
research the title of the actual land.
You know, ’cause some of the lands,
like we’re finding is that
they were giving like 100 year lease
and her particular land,
the lease was upped in 1988.
The grandpa,
who was still alive then went to court
and he went through adjudication
and the adjudication was settled in ’96.
-And we only got a portion
of what our exhibit said we owned.
[Alika] Right.
And so they said pretty much like,
gave ’em 300 acres and said,
“Here, for now just…”
[Kai] But now your title insurance
is what you’re gonna be forced to buy.
-So if I–
-Title insurance is saying
you’re buying a lease hold property
and if the land owner was to ever come,
you get 80% back of what infrastructure
you put onto the land but you have
to leave when the landowner says
you have to leave.
-So you don’t get a proper title,
like free and clear, like it’s good to go?
-No.
-You get basically
just rights to the land?
-The crown will always own the land,
can never be sold, and only–
-People would disagree
with what you’re saying.
-People are just finding out.
[Kai] Unfortunately,
and I just found out every Hawaiian
that’s been losing
their Kwiana and Kwonahiki lands
has been losing it
because the crown never stood up for them.
And I didn’t know.
My family was kind of
fighting over the land.
Who gets what? Who’s at the top?
How much does it cost?
How much can we get?
They really messed sh*t up.
My dad, my uncles,
nobody really did anything.
They were all just doing drugs,
and just robbing people,
and then here I come along in
my baggy camouflage pants
hitchhiking on the side of the road.
Mahi Pono, this Canadian company,
they’re taking 70% of the water
that’s supposed to be
growing food for the people
and they’re growing lemons, potatoes–
[Alika] What about the sugar mill?
-The sugar mill
with the Chinaman that just bought it?
The sugar mill is still inconsidered
as a Hawaiian commercial sugar company.
They sold that.
That’s still in a lease hold.
[Alika] I want that sugar mill back.
-[Kai] The China guy is–
-[Alika] I don’t want the sugar mill.
I want the water
that’s under the sugar mill.
-There’s a well there.
-There’s three wells there.
[Kai] Guess where one of the wells is.
-Under the church right there.
-Yeah, yeah.
[Peter] So why do you want the water?
[Kai] To grow food. We have none.
-To grow food
and show housing for the people.
If that property has
7 million or 10 million gallons a day
and if I want to put
a hundred Hawaiian families
into affordable homes–
[Kai] Actual affordable homes.
-Yeah, we need to show that we have water.
And then on top of that
my interest with the mill was
we want to grow our own homes.
We want to be able to grow our own hemp,
process our own hemp,
build our own building materials,
So we can stand up our own homes
without shipping in
materials from elsewhere.
So these are real problems
that our people…
Our people are being a choice.
Oh, we gotta choose to live here or leave
and many of them are choosing to leave.
-More are outside of the islands
these days than on the islands I read.
-Yeah, yeah.
-That’s’ true, right?
-There’s more Hawaiians
living away from the islands
than there is within the state.
And so the question is
if there’s no Hawaiians,
how can this be Hawaii, you know?
[mellow guitar]
There’s a federal act
of the Hawaiian Homestead Act.
-Okay.
-And that was created in 1920.
And it was primarily just to get
the Native Hawaiians onto their lands.
On this island
we have around 20 to 21,000 acres
of that kind of land
but they gave the Hawaiians
the most unlivable,
unbuildable lands, you know?
It was all lava rock, forest.
-Are we on this land right now?
-This is it.
-This is it?
-This is one of the subdivisions.
It’s called Waiahuli Hawaiian Homelands.
-It’s nice land though.
-Yeah, took many, many years for them
to do the land prep, land clearing.
Getting the people on the land.
-Okay, so Native Hawaiians
would get their homesteads
and it’s just passed down
through the generations?
-Yes, so it’s a 99 year lease.
To first qualify
you need to have a minimum
of 50% blood quantum of Hawaiian blood.
And then now you can pass it down
to a successor of 25% or more.
As we go forward there’s gonna be
less and less blood quantum…
-…and more inter-marrying.
-Right.
-The current legislation
is trying to ask for a change
down to 3% blood quantum.
So that five generations from now
can still live on their land.
-Right, because how many Native
100% Hawaiians are there left?
-I really don’t know but–
-It’s like a thousand or something.
-Yeah, not that much.
-And so when it gets that low you can’t
start marrying your cousins, right?
-Right.
And it’s been years,
you know, from 1920 to now,
I mean only now there’s like a wait list
of like 50% or more Hawaiians
on the wait list.
-Okay.
-And the wait list today is now 29,000.
[Peter] But there are a lot of
nicer, newer homes.
Are the Hawaiians funding those
or where is that money coming from?
-It’s coming…
They’re forced mortgages out to Hawaiians.
-Okay, so the land is free for them
but they’re building the homes.
-The land is a dollar a year for 99 years.
-Okay.
-And they were to build their homes.
The act did not say
put Hawaiians into $600,000 mortgages.
The act said just to put
the Hawaiians on land.
So that they could have
their own homestead
and practice their own self-determination.
[Peter] So when you live on Maui
or any one of the islands,
correct me where I’m wrong here,
it’s like Hawaii is the the United States
and every island is like its own state?
-Would that be a good way of saying it?
-Yeah, yeah.
-Here is totally different
than big island, Moloka‘i, Oahu?
-Right.
-And you guys are very proud, right?
-Every island has its own beauty.
Every island has its own quirks.
[chuckles]
[Alika] ’50s and early ’60s,
we were still very rural.
We only had like a police force
of two, maybe four.
Because no military base,
no four year university,
no high-security prison kind of controlled
the growth of Maui for a while.
-Okay.
-And then in the ’70s when tourism came,
and then the economic income increased,
and the taxation increased,
we were then able to have a
somewhat larger police force.
But in the early stages
we were able to slow the growth down.
-Oh, interesting.
-[Peter] Surfing is huge in the culture?
-[Alika] Yeah, this is Kiki surf meet.
[Peter] Oh, this is great.
[Alika] Young surfers.
[Alika speaking Hawaiian]
[Hawaiian]
[rooster crows]
[Alika chuckling] Check out the waves.
[waves crashing]
[Alika] My grandmother,
she was known as the Opihi lady.
And opihi is a limpet
that you’ll find on the rocks
and seaweed, limu, we call it limu.
All of that was all edible
but she would walk through here
all the way down the coast
gathering food
and bring back food to the village.
[Peter] To the village?
-Yeah, this is
my grandmother’s stomping grounds.
But she was very spiritual
in the sense of her practice.
A lot of it was
she was always in tune with nature
and always very, very communicative
with gods, you know?
[Alika] I call it the Kanaka lens.
Kanaka is from a perspective of
a Hawaiian person,
a Hawaiian eye.
You incorporate not what is
just going on around you physically,
but you also incorporate
understanding of spirituality.
It’s a wholesome approach and not
just strictly a physical relationship.
You also must react through your na’al.
Na’al is your gut.
-Okay.
-Or your gut instinct.
-Yeah.
-And we look at that as your ancestors
coming to you
through a manifestation of nature.
And they try to find ways
to communicate to you.
So many a times you have a feeling inside.
It’s kind of like a butterfly
that’s just fluttering in you.
-Okay.
-That is your ancestors
communicating to you
of giving you this gift of guidance.
Some people will call it gut instinct.
-Right.
-The failure of man
or the failure of us is
we only listen to it 20% of the time.
We only follow our gut 20% of the time.
And I’ve always shared with the kids,
I say, you know,
that’s your Kupuna, that’s your elders,
that’s your tutu communicating to you
to guide you, to steer you
to make the right decision.
And if you ever have a doubt,
try to flip it.
Make the decision 80% of the time.
-[Peter exhales thoughtfully]
-[Alika] Yeah? And you will be right.
-But to listen to your gut
you have to be still–
-In tune.
-In tune?
-Yeah.
So how to reset yourself.
-That’s interesting.
I never thought of it that way.
So that’s the ancestors coming in
through you giving you guidance?
-Yeah.
-So always follow your gut?
-Yeah, so another thing would be hoailona.
Your ancestors come to you,
communicate to you
through manifestations of nature.
That they give you signs
that is out of the ordinary.
Sometimes it comes to you in the sun.
It’ll shine bright.
Sign…
You’ll see the change in light.
Sometimes it’ll come to you
in form of wind ’cause that’s nature.
Sometimes it’ll come to you
with a light gentle breeze
in the back of your ear,
that tickles the back of your ear.
You have to recognize it
’cause that’s you, grandma.
That’s you, tutu.
And you’re listening, and feeling,
and seeing she’s guiding you, yeah?
They come to you in rain,
light, gentle drizzle,
or heavy rain.
They can come to you in a rainbow.
Out of the blue you’ll see a rainbow.
They come to you in animals.
In the ocean
they could come to you as a shark.
Out of the blue
a whale jumps in front of you.
What does that mean?
So it’s one thing to see
and recognize what is a hoailona?
The second thing, or the challenge,
what does that mean?
You know,
what does that mean, grasshopper?
-Yeah?
-[Peter chuckles]
Say I see an owl
and it’s flying with me right here.
It’s telling me whatever I’m thinking
or deciding upon,
it’s going with me.
So I would interpret that
as an affirmative.
If that owl flew in front of me across,
that is telling me exercise with caution.
I’ve seen a couple of times
the bird would fly straight at me
and pass me going backwards.
And I was headed into a meeting.
I quickly interpreted that as
a flat out no ways.
Don’t even go. Yeah?
And I just…
I was with a group of guys
and they all told me,
“Uncle, you saw that bird?”
I said, “Yeah.”
“What direction was it flying?
It went backwards.”
I goes,
“Yeah, and how do you interpret that?”
He goes, “I think they’re telling us no.”
I said, “Yeah, so let’s
not even take this meeting.”
and we turned around and walked out.
Yeah?
And so these are things, real things
that we have to be in tuned with nature.
-Mm-hmm.
-Because we are not here by ourselves.
We are constantly being sheep-herded
and supported by those who came before us.
-Hmm.
-They all stand behind us
and they guide us.
You didn’t get to Maui
just to get to Maui.
You know, there is a purpose
of why they got you here.
-Yeah?
-Hmm.
-And so those ancestors
of the spirit world
work in together, and they communicate,
and the realm of communicating to us
is through various forms
and manifestations of nature.
[Alika] I wanted you to see
the sugar mill.
[Peter chuckling] Okay.
That’s a solid change of topics,
I like it.
[Peter] “US Postal Office”,
that’s a postal office still in business?
-Yeah, still going.
-Okay.
Yeah, it’s the last sugar mill.
-So it was the big five, right?
-On all of the islands?
-Yeah.
-No sugar here.
-Yeah, this is the last operating
sugar mill in the entire state of Hawaii.
They shut it down some six years ago.
-Six, that’s it?
-Yeah.
-There’s not one in Kawaihae right now?
-No, no.
I think the entity was
a corporation out of Taiwan got it.
Rumor has it that they have no interest
in the mill, they just want the land.
-And the water?
-Yeah, so they just want to develop.
They want to tear everything down
and develop.
[Peter] Here we got the tape
holding up the electrical box.
[both laughing]
[Peter] Here we go.
[Peter] This might be the most beat up
USPS I’ve seen I gotta say.
-It’s got the old boxes.
-But it’s very active.
[Peter] It’s got the old boxes.
This is it, huh?
[Alika] Yeah, it pushes out
a lot of mail. [laughs]
-It’s active as in
big line here during the day?
-Yeah.
[Peter] That’s great.
-Still active.
[Peter] You know what,
a lot of these post offices
haven’t been updated since the ’50s.
I gotta say
I’ve never had a problem with them.
-Yeah?
-I always ship things overnight
with them, they always work.
[Peter] Here we go, here’s the box.
Feels like something
might come out and bite you.
-No, we’re good.
-[mailbox clanks]
[Peter] So the tracks you can see here
just went right out to the port, huh?
-Right, on the left side coming here,
you’ll see a couple of buildings.
They’re old, old plantation buildings.
That was the manager’s building.
Today it’s a sugar museum.
So this is like a former manager’s house.
So they kept it refurbished, operating.
These two buildings are all part of
the sugar museum along with the equipment.
[Peter] So sugar really is
one of the big stories of Hawaii?
-Yeah.
-What’s up here?
-The land that she was telling me about,
that’s hers.
This golf course is part of the land
that she can take back.
-Kai, the woman we met earlier.
-Yeah.
And so I said take it back
’cause I kept an eye on this.
I’m going this golf course can be a farm.
It already has irrigation water lines
already in it.
We can easily transform it
into a food forest.
Every golf course, instant.
We can grow–
-You don’t have a lot of
golfer friends do you?
-No.
[laughter]
-Fair to say?
-Yeah.
-You’re definitely not making them now.
-No.
-It’s beautiful up here.
-Yeah.
[Alika] So this whole section
is shut down.
-Why?
-They don’t own it, she owns it.
-Yeah, but shut down? It’s not operating?
-Not operating.
-They’re mowing the grass.
-Yeah, that’s it.
Technically she can claim it
because it’s on a lease hold
and the Japanese
honored the standing to the Hawaiians
that they just left it like that.
-This side–
-So it’s Japanese ownership?
-Yeah, yeah, and the Japanese
respect… recognize that.
-This side is an operating golf course.
-Okay.
-Yeah.
[Alika] On every island
there’s struggling golf courses
that are struggling to turn a profit.
So why not just take it back
and grow food?
-Where are all the golfers right now?
I don’t see anyone?
-Yeah, this is a private club.
-Okay.
-These guys pay 15 grand a month
to be able to golf any time.
-Right.
-Yeah.
This is called the Marilyn Monroe House.
-Oh, that’s cool.
-I forget the guy’s name that designed it.
-Wow.
-But this is what similar design…
-That is cool.
[Alika] “King Kamhameha Golf Club”.
[Peter] What a beautiful building.
[Peter] Wow.
[Alika] Last week I went to a high school.
I spoke to two classes, about 30 in each.
So about 60 students.
Of the 60 students I asked who is
gonna work for the tourism and hotels?
-Not one raised their hands.
-Really?
-They don’t want to work for tourism.
Of the 60 students I said well,
“You guys all eat?”
They said, “Yeah.”
I said, “How many meals a day?”
“One meal, two meals, three meals?”
Every one of them, three meals.
I said, “So you guys eat 21 meals a week.”
“Who’s gonna grow the food?”
Only three hands went up
wanting to be farmers.
-Yeah, a lot of people don’t want to do
the hard work that it takes.
-So then I said, “Okay, you’re not
gonna do tourism, not gonna do food,
then what’s your plan?”
“What you 57 others?”
-They all shrugged their shoulders.
-Really?
-Have no plan.
-Wow.
-Is there a lack of motivation?
-Yeah, lack of vision.
-Lack of vision and lack of reality.
-Okay.
And I said,
“Good luck, you guys are juniors,
and in one year you’re gonna be kicked out
to society and you have no plan.”
You know?
[Alika] But what we’re looking at is
a view of the 45,000 acres
that once was all sugar production.
-This whole valley?
-Yeah, the whole valley.
My thinking is this,
45,000 acres that was bought up
from the former sugar company,
sold it to
a Canadian retiree investment fund.
An investment fund
is to invest and make money.
This enterprise is losing money
every year by the millions.
The parent company
is located in Northern California
The company up there
is called Trinitas. Yeah?
They bought up
some almond farms, and water,
and just recently filed bankruptcy.
So I’m hoping for
a domino effect to take place.
And that the investors
of this retirement fund are gonna say,
“We don’t wanna be losing more money.”
yeah?
But I need us to be ready
financially
to get supporters so that we can
buy the land back for the people.
-Do you have an email contact,
website, anything like that?
How do people find you?
My full name A-L-I-K-A-A-T-A-Y@Gmail.
[email protected]
-You ready for your email to blow up?
-I’m open.
-[Peter laughs]
-If it’s to–
-Can’t guarantee everyone’s nice.
-Like I told you, I’m not limping in.
You know,
we gotta make the change for our future.
-You know?
-Okay.
Well I’m sure you’re gonna get
a flood of emails
and like when I’m finding stories
like how I found you…
-Yeah.
-…was putting a lot of feelers out,
needle in a haystack.
You are showing us a perspective
and a look of Maui
that very few of us have.
-Yeah.
-So really appreciate you
bringing us in for that today.
Showing us your friend, her story.
That was very interesting.
-Yeah.
-And respect to what you’re doing,
what you’re all about.
-It’s the journey.
It’s the journey
and you never give up, you know?
And it’s also to dream,
you know, we gotta dream.
We can’t have reality without dreams.
-Well your passion for your homeland,
your island is palpable.
It’s very obvious, so…
-No, thank you for your time.
-All right guys,
thanks for coming along on that journey.
It’s the start of a multi-part
Hawaii series starting with Maui,
Moloka‘i, Oahu, Kauai.
This is just the beginning
and that was a good entry.
-We have a whole lot more.
-Lot more coming.
-An eclectic collection of experiences.
-Yeah.
-All right, thanks for coming along.
-Aloha.
-Until the next one… Aloha.
-Aloha.
[mellow guitar]

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