Sugar Smoke is a website to help promote awareness of the hazards caused by the burning of sugar cane. The Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company,(HC&S), a division of Alexander and Baldwin, burns the cane in the fields to remove the leaves from the stalk, which makes it easier for them to handle. The smoke it causes billows over the island of Maui and inundates the neighborhoods and homes downwind of the fields. Not only is the smoke dangerous to our lungs, eyes, sinuses, etc., but the black ash that it creates is unsightly and messy.

HC&S has no regard for the people whose lives they are endangering. For years they have ignored complaints by individuals who are concerned about their health which is in peril due to the cane burning.

On this site we have included some editorials and news articles from the Maui News. We will also try to keep you posted on the upcoming meetings and developments.

News Article in Maui News Week of April 9, 2001

Air pollution should be part of the past

This is in response to June Kenolio (Letters, April 7, 2001), who cherishes polluted air as a way of life on Maui.

Yes, in 1900 the sugar industry was polluting the air. It was a way of life on Maui. In the same era doctors were putting leeches on open wounds; anesthesia was a bullet to bite on; people were dying of simple infections due to the lack of vaccines and antibiotics; and those who contracted leprosy were exiled to Molokai. All of this was a way of life on Maui.
The next time your doctor tells you that you need surgery, for the sake of preserving old customs, you should forego modern-day medicine. Hop onto your kitchen table, put a bullet between your teeth, hand your doctor a dirty kitchen knife, and tell him to go for it.
Since you're really into nostalgia, if you''re lucky, they'll be burning cane that day. Your doctor can suffer an asthma attack and collapse soon after opening you up, and your wound can fill up with red dirt and Maui snow. If I came by and offered to cleanse and dress your wound and administer an analgesic and an antibiotic, would you tell me to go back where I came from?

James C. White, R.N.

The picture below was taken in Kihei, just downwind before it engulfed the beach. If you have photos, comments or news articles that we can use on our web page e-mail us. If you wish to join or support our cause e-mail the Maui Clean Air Coalition. Please sign our guestbook before you leave. Mahalo.

Updated April 15, 2001

cane smoke

MCAC (Maui Clean Air Coalition) holds semi-monthly General Meetings at various locations around the island and needs volunteers and donations to continue the momentum.
For more information: Call (808) 243-1994
write MCAC, PO BOX 1870, Kihei, HI 96753 or E-Mail









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