Maui News Interview
Aram Armstrong to discusses a wide range of issues facing Maui County with Maui News reporter Sarah Ruppenthal.
Housing prices continue hitting record levels alongside rising costs of living. What can we do better as a county to help people find and afford homes, whether that's renting or owning?
Develop a kuleana-based housing system. We are the inheritors of a broken housing system. We need a new (ancient) system that makes the current one obsolete. I suggest a series of small-scale homesteading pilots in zones ripe for ecological restoration. One pilot could have homesteaders doing dryland forest restoration where processing mesquite (kiawe) as timber, fuel, and food source makes space for coconut (niu) and sandalwood ('iliahi). In a kuleana-based housing system, each resident contributes sufficient value to the system to feed their family and better their community. And they are welcome. E komo mai!
Drought, while an annual issue, has been raising more concerns of late, leading to emergency declarations at the state and federal level. How can we use our water resources more sustainably and help those most impacted by drought?
Empower those closest to the water resources to steward them. Rehabilitate water transportation infrastructure. Offer incentives for water catchment systems. Transition non-productive grass-scapes to xeriscaping. Fine corporate negligence of water resources and preventable soil loss. Plant choke dwarf coconuts.
Tourism has long been our primary economic driver. What do you envision as the next most viable industry to help balance out our economy, and what steps would you take to support that industry?
Biocultural Restoration Tourism. "Great Hunt: Natureʻs Tithe" runs every two week, welcoming ethical, culturally-sensitive hunters, skinners, wild meat processors to Maui County for a managed camping-hunting experience which places a bounty on mature female axis deer. Kamaʻāina guides are required. The operation is jointly managed by State, County, local, and native Hawaiian leadership. Excess meat is donated to the community for consumption and preservation. Carcasses are composted, used to create planting zones for dryland forest restoration with Re-Tree Hawaii partners. A documentary television crew insures pono participation and provides valuable marketing for the introduction of bicultural tourism. Maui Moccasins, anyone?
Five contend for council seat covering Makawao-Haiku-Paia
Reported by Sarah Ruppenthal on JUL 16, 2022