Although I’m pretty sure you won’t have the nerve to print the following letter, I would appreciate some sort of explanation as to what your motivations are in trying to pass off unresearched inferences as news. This is completely unprofessional and I would like some sort of response from you, even if you won’t print my letter.
After reading the garbage you guys tried to pass off as a front page story “Toxic Water, Why People moving to Pulelehua may not want to turn on the faucet,” (Jan. 26, 2006). I realized that you guys are nothing more than a print version of Fox News. Aside from a brief historical narrative about the use of dangerous pesticides and their existence in certain wells on Maui, there are absolutely no facts to be found in this “article.” There are only scare tactics and inferences.
Are you guys trying to insinuate that ML&P is going to try and sneak known toxic chemicals into Pulelehua water supply? ML&P has employed thousands of Maui residents for many generations, and many of them will be living in Pulelehua. Are you suggesting that ML&P has a sinister plot to poison their workers? Nowhere in your story do you mention that you tried to contact anyone from ML&P with your concerns about their water sources. Of course if you had bothered to contact ML&P, the facts would have ruined the “Fear Value” of your story.
You quote Lance Holter as “dryly noting that the contaminated Napili A well is the closest potential water source to Pulelehua” when a cursory glance at any map clearly reveals that the Maui County Water treatment plant is located just a few hundred meters Mauka of the Pulelehua site. It is also worth mentioning that Maui County buys much of the water for West Maui from ML&P. The water that they purchase comes from mountain streams and is diverted far above any agricultural areas.
I can’t wait to own a home in Pulelehua. It is the most conscientiously designed community that Maui has ever seen. You guys should stick to covering “Arts and Entertainment,” you do a fairly good job at that, but leave the fear mongering and misinformation to the pros at Fox News.
-Greg Hansen, Lahaina
Anthony Pignataro responds: I didn’t call the company for my story because Ifeel its own public documents on Pulelehua and well contamination more than speak for themselves. For instance, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Pulelehua had nothing on DBCP well contamination. But when public comments demanding DBCP information started coming in, the project’s Final EIS suddenly included this new language: “While Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. continues to evaluate water supply alternatives, the most likely source for Pulelehua’s potable water will be from new wells… If a well produces water containing contaminants at levels above State or Federal guidelines, treatment would be required.” Now Greg, even a guy like you—who also works for Maui Land &Pineapple, which you neglected to say in your letter—should pause when reading that.