Tiare June I Kama’ole
I was born in Kama’ole, in a house my parents built with their friends. It’s a two or three acre property. It’s just off the highway, between Keokea and Ulupalakua, on the Leeward side of Haleakala. On the next section over, there is a mountainous rock pile that my dad suspects is an ancient lookout or heiau. Sacred site or no, I was born in an incredibly special place. To incredibly special people.
I am very fortunate. We are all very blessed. We are fortunate because my parents — even though they were hit hard by the 2008 recession and don’t even qualify for pretty much any forms of income security this time around — they still have their home. Our home. The land I was born on and the land that my father has so lovingly cared for my entire lifetime, 34 years. It is such a blessed piece of earth, and I am so grateful that my family shares it.
Right next door to my parents’ home is a memorial park for a man named Dr. Sun Yet Sen, who, growing up, I always thought was a medical doctor. But it turns Dr Sun Yat Sen, while a doctor, was really famous because he was a communist revolutionary. Total hero. And I was born just right next door to where he lived on Maui! And where his park is now.
And now also right next door to Oprah. She bought Silver Cloud Ranch from the Thompson family, who used to have a miniature horse farm. When I was a little girl, my best friend was also my neighbor, Naomi. She and I had a plan to buy Silver Cloud Ranch and grow old there together with a farm chocker full of all kinds of plants and animals. But Oprah bought it before we had a chance to grow old and fulfill our dream.
I have begun having a lot of anxiety about my parents’ home, though. Even before Covid happened, they were making preparations to condo-minimize their property and / or reverse mortgage their house, which is on a couple acres and has an ohana. Either way — whether condo-minimizing an income generating rental or reverse mortgaging any part of their property — my parents retirement strategy even before Covid has started looking likely to involve eating into their equity principal in order to survive financially.
My anxiety regarding this deeply unsettling prospect was compounded by Haleakala Ranch carving out a 53-acre section directly adjacent to my parents property. So now that land, which is the last little bit of open commons of my childhood haunts that once encompassed an entire southern frontier of Haleakala wilderness… Now that’s what’s at stake.
It’s hard to even write the words to describe how unsettled I am by the prospective sale of this property. It’s not the first time I’ve felt this way about the sale of land on Maui. I have felt this deeply in the past, and wrote about. But now it is literally in my back yard.
And on top of all that, the realtor listing the property on behalf of Haleakala Ranch is a woman who I call Auntie — the mother of a childhood classmate and friend of mine. This would be wonderful if only for a very unfortunate last encounter regarding my objection to their family’s policing the Poli Poli state road. (I feel strongly about the right to pedestrian access.)
So… that’s a little bit about my reality now. Here’s a bit about where I’ve been:
Happy Imobilier - the anonymous blog I kept while working at Dowling, which ultimately got me fired.
Ka Ipu Kukui
Hawaiian Canoe Club
Presidio Graduate School
Mixing Bowl / Kitchen Table Advisors
The Way I'm On
Aili.ai I HarmoniousLogic
Imagin.Earth / 4C
Common Ground Collective