There is no shortage of markets in South Maui

The representative for the megamall property is quoted in The Maui News (June 19) saying that people living in South Maui have to “drive all the way to Kahului” to buy groceries, suggesting that the Texas-based owners he represents are riding to our rescue by converting the former Kaonoulu Ranch property into some as yet undisclosed commercial purpose.

He and the owners are apparently unaware that there are four markets in South Maui, not counting a few farmers markets and a fresh fish outlet. South Maui already has businesses and shopping centers of all kinds that meet our needs.

Of course, like everyone else on Maui, we drive to Central Maui to get to the airport, the hospital, to access government services and to make the occasional Costco run. That is a good place for those things.

The key question facing South Maui is not whether we need a grocery store to avoid having to drive to Kahului. Instead, it is whether the area will retain a beach community atmosphere or become like Southern California, with big-box stores and acres of asphalt to support them together with the traffic they generate. That’s a Mainland identity most don’t want.

Mark Hyde