Parks are natural magnets for youth, but are often also magnets for people who use or abuse drugs and alcohol. It is not uncommon to see under-aged groups at Kalama Park with alcohol after making a deal with one of the many alcoholic homeless who hang out at the park. The adults have legal purchasing power; the kids have money. Sometimes they'll even be seen drinking together after the legal purchase.
Kihei residents and Maui police are trying to break the cycle and the County Council is being proactive with a proposed alcohol ban. This positive action, along with the recent news that Kihei police are planning to begin a bike patrol in South Maui are positive signs for our community. Mahalo to the parents, school administrators and local police, including Captain Tivoli Faaumu for their support of these actions to ban alcohol consumption in some of our more youth-oriented South Maui parks.
Captain Faaumu explained: "Right now, we are in a reactionary role. By enacting this law, we will be in the proactive role."
Some object by saying that "such a law would end talk-story over beers after adult softball games." You can just look across the parking lot from that same softball field and see youth at the skate park also drinking beer and talking story after their skate workout. Is the example we are setting worth the price we all pay. Like Councilmember Gladys Baisa said (in part), we need to "stop sending out mixed messages about drinking."
Bob and Lis Richardson Kalama Park Action Team members Kihei