Hawaii has been ravaged by some of the deadliest wildfires in recent memory.
The death toll is rising and hundreds are still missing.
And the devastating Maui wildfires could bring about one shocking state policy.
Property owners in Lahaina face more devastation after jaw-dropping announcement
The area of Lahaina on the island of Maui has been destroyed by wildfires caused by dry grass and strong winds.
The fire department was delayed for hours over a bureaucratic snafu regarding water usage.
M. Kaleo Manuel, former deputy director of the Commission on Water Resource Management, was reassigned after he waited hours before authorizing the release of water to help extinguish the fires.
Manuel came under intense scrutiny after a video resurfaced of him discussing “water equity.”
These so-called progressive policies have real-world consequences when implemented.
As is often the case, the state is potentially swooping in to manage a crisis it exacerbated.
Never let a crisis go to waste
Hawaii Governor Josh Green announced that the state government hopes to acquire the razed land in Lahaina.
Green said, “My intention from start to finish is to make sure that no one is victimized by a land grab. People are right now traumatized. Please do not approach them with an offer to buy their land. Do not approach their families saying they’ll be much better off if they make a deal. Because we’re not going to allow it.”
Green wants to make a “land grab” of his own for the state.
Green commented, “I’m already thinking about ways for the state to acquire that land, so that we can put it into workforce housing, to put it back into families, or to make it open spaces in perpetuity as a memorial to people who were lost. We want this to be something that we remember, after the pain passes, as a magic place. And Lahaina will rebuild. The tragedy right now is the loss of life. The buildings can be rebuilt over time; even the Banyan tree may survive.”
Former top Obama adviser and mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel famously stated, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
Green apparently took that adage to heart.
Green added, “Much of what we do is challenged by other laws, federal and otherwise, that don’t let us restrict who can buy in our state. But we can do it deliberately during a crisis, and that’s what we’re doing. And so for my part, I will try to allow no one from outside our state to buy any land until we get through this crisis and decide what Lahaina should be in the future.”
Rarely ever is the government held accountable.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.