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Build eco-friendly prison on Moloka‘i

December 22, 2011
The Maui Weekly

Richard Langman's ("Letters to the Editor," Dec. 1-7) response to the paper's Nov. 10 commentary, "Hold Off On Building Maui Prison," was on the right track with proposing the correctional facility be built on an island other than Maui. Langman, in his "The Prison Island," said a correctional facility should be built on Kaho'olawe, but I vote for Moloka'i instead.

Moloka'i already has the residents, utilities and water needed to run it. Its population of approximately 7,500 has continued to decline since 2000, while unemployment rates continue to rise and are the highest in our entire state. Rates rose from 12 percent in April to 17.5 percent in October.

Approximately 80 percent of Moloka'i residents are now receiving government assistance. Since the island is known to have an opposition towards tourism, why not give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a diversity of jobs and become more self-sustainable by building an energy-efficient, solar-powered correctional facility? This would also allow family members of inmates to be able to visit, while keeping the money do so within Hawai'i. This is an opportunity for our state and counties to wake up, take initiative and show their leadership skills. Step in to help our sister island stimulate, stabilize and reverse the slow suicide of their island economy.

Yes, it's time to build an eco-friendly prison on Moloka'i.

Meli Kaikamahina King Kihei



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