PRESS RELEASE -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ka`u Preservation 808-928-8144
KA`U RALLIES TO MALAMA PUNALU`U
November 2nd, 2006 – Punalu`u, Kau, Hawai`i
Over 200 people came to the Ka`u Community Rally on Nov. 1st to show their support of protecting Punalu`u, including State Rep. Bob Herkes, County Councilman Bob Jacobson and many others who want to stop the Sea Mountain V Development and protect Punalu`u as a “Living Classroom”. Hawaii County Planning Dept. Director Chris Yuen was there on behalf of Mayor Harry Kim who has stated his commitment to not supporting any development that is not "compatible with and acceptable to the community" of Ka`u.
Local business supported the event too, including Hana Hou and the Pahala Cafe who donated food to the event. Ka`u Musicians and Recording Artists Demetrius & Kurt de la Cruz performed songs about Punalu’u and U.S. Congressional Candidate, Mazie Hirono sent her support via a written statement, stating her strong opposition to the development and her strong support for protecting Punalu`u.
The event began with a filmed interview with Ka`u Preservation, founder and president Keola Hanoa who reminded everyone that history shows the courageous and proud people of Ka`u never give up and will never be defeated. This was followed by a presentation from Palikapu Dedman of the Pele Defense Fund, whose family has lived at Punalu`u for over 150 years. Palikapu inspired the crowd by explaining the cultural importance of Punalu`u to the Hawaiian people and how it has nourished the people of Ka`u for centuries. Palikapu was followed by Jason Turner, an assistant professor in the University of Hawaii – Hilo, Marine Science Department, who presented a power-point presentation on how the developer's draft environmental impact statement is incomplete, misleading and does not offer any explanation on how the endangered species that inhabit Punalu`u would be protected. His presentation showed slides of turtles with tumors that have occurred where there has been development. He warned the same could happen at Punalu`u if the development is built, as it would cause further pollution of the springs, ponds and bays at Punalu`u.
According to Earl Louis, Vice President of Ka`u Preservation, “It was an amazing and inspiring evening and many thanks to all of you who came and showed your support for Punalu`u. It is proof that the people of Ka`u want to protect Punalu`u. There was no opposition voiced at the meeting. Everyone who attended agreed -- MALAMA PUNALU`U!”
For more information on Ka`u Preservation’s effort to preserve the sacred lands of Ka`u, go to: www.kaupreservation.org.