Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023|
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In the Hawaii County Liquor Commission, majority rules, and if you don’t speak out against a new proposal, by default you are for it. The rules for granting liquor licenses favor the applicant, not the community.
On June 1, a corporation had been granted a liquor license to make hard liquor in a residential neighborhood in South Kona. This new business didn’t have to collect signatures of people supporting their liquor license, but because our neighborhood didn’t get enough people to formally complain, they got their liquor license.
People who forgot to sign petitions or write letters against the liquor license were considered booze supporters. It’s how the “system” works.
At the public hearing, I told the Liquor Commission that I was worried that the alcohol production puts the nearby families at risk for explosions, fires, alcohol vapors and drunk drivers. There are kids playing nearby and adults going out to exercise.
These concerns didn’t matter. They got the license anyway. It was unanimous.
The corporation that said it wanted to distill coffee cherry to kill coffee leaf rust morphed into making alcohol. According to the College of Tropical Agriculture’s Kona Extension Office, distilling coffee cherry is not a treatment for coffee leaf rust. But yet, this same corporation is now legally allowed to make 7,500 barrels of vodka and gin in a neighborhood where families live. Majority rules.
In April, I asked the Liquor Control Department chair about why these rules help the applicant more than the community. His reply was, “Change is always happening, and in a democratic society, the majority rules. Under your scenario, nothing would change.”
So, let’s change the world and make more booze. It’s easy to get a liquor license. Hawaii County will help you.
The paying public of Waimea and surrounds deserve better than what we have received for years on end.
We badly need the roads resurfaced going in and out of Waimea. It is not enough to fill the potholes, on and on and on.
The dangerous Waiaka Bridge should be fixed or replaced as soon as possible. The money has been earmarked for this project.
What is the hold up, or should I say the real hold up, on these projects?
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