The Kihei Community Association (KCA) has had a mutually respectful relationship with the Maui Weekly for several years, and we are appreciative of their continued support. However, we are disappointed with the story covering our Tuesday, Nov. 20, meeting as published in the Thursday, Dec. 6, edition for a number of reasons.
The writer is employed directly by the interests of Pi'ilani Promenade and Maui Outlets, and this fact should be disclosed for journalistic integrity. The article's strong emphasis on the so-called "Mega-Mall" issues was disproportionate to the time allotted in the meeting, indicating bias in reporting.
Where was the mention of the $1,500 bench donations for our Kihei beach parks from a variety of (mostly business) sources--namely, Alexander & Baldwin, Pi'ilani Village Shopping Center, Finishing Edge Concrete Construction, Monsanto Hawai'i, St. Theresa Church, Kessler Family In Memory of Barbara S. Kessler 1948-2009, and Maui Dreams Dive Co.?
The statement made by the writer concerning "lack of business owners and labor members on the board" is not only prejudicial, but flat wrong, as at least half of the 2013 Board of Directors members do run their own businesses on Maui, others have vast business experiences, and some have been long time union members during their job experiences. This "spin " makes the KCA appear anti-business and anti-union.
Everyone is invited to apply for our board of directors, and all applicants were approved by the membership. We are pleased to report that KCA's board is composed of a diverse array of community members with impressive credentials and a diversity of experience that will serve the community well in 2013.
[Editor's note: Maui Weekly senior contributing writer Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez, who covers Kihei Community Association (KCA) meetings, is a Pi'ilani Promenade project consultant. His points on the outlet shops and retail center in the Dec. 6 article were fact-checked. To prevent any possible conflict of interest in the future, Mr. Blackburn-Rodriguez will not report on Eclipse Development discussions at community forums.
The year's final meeting of the KCA was a story assigned by the editor with full confidence in the writer's ability to provide a neutral, informational overview of the meeting in the limited space available. The Maui Weekly appreciates the views of the KCA and stands by the story.]