Crews previously managed weeds with Roundup

Many Upcountry residents are becoming concerned with the explosive growth of invasive vegetation along our roads and highways. It is covering our guardrails, utility poles, fences and inundating the bike lanes used by so many bicyclists on a daily basis. This forces bikers out onto the already narrow traffic lanes.

The culprits are cane grass, lysine vines and incredibly dangerous Oregon blackberry. The latter is covered with razor-sharp thorns that can pierce work gloves, scratch cars, lacerate skin or even rip out eyeballs of unwary bikers.

The state Department of Highways maintenance supervisor, Ernest Tavares, reports that his crews previously controlled all these problems with regular spraying of Roundup and it was 100 percent efficient, cost effective and safe. But with the fearmongering by the SHAKA movement, he received a barrage of complaints and has stopped weed spraying. His nine-man crew cannot possibly maintain all the Upcountry roadways with machinery and hand labor.

This problem is rapidly becoming dangerous. I predict there will be inevitable lawsuits against the county and state as a result. Since it was obviously now-County Council Member Alika Atay, Dr. Lorrin Pang and Mark Sheehan of SHAKA who created this fiasco, then I say either prepare to be named as defendants in these lawsuits or show Maui how much you really love the aina by organizing volunteers to physically trim back this vegetation or admit you were wrong and permit Roundup spraying to resume.

Stu Nicholls