While I was very anxious about the “fires” I would have to put out on my editor’s desk when I got home, I didn’t know that I had the most to fear literal fires on. Maui. Last week, the first and largest fire spread through brush and fallow fields on Thursday, devouring 9,000 acres. A second, smaller fire burned 200 acres on Friday, Maui County mentionned.
“I am very grateful for the hard work of our firefighters, police officers, first responders, private contractors, emergency management personnel, Maui County Department staff, volunteers and everyone who has helped protect and care for our residents and visitors, “said Mayor Michael Victorino in a July 15 statement announcing that the fires were 100% under control. “It was a great team effort, and another reason I’m proud to say Maui no ka oi.”
But another hero was born from the ashes of the flame: Oprah.
Try to find out more about the fire in the Continent, Oprah came out on top of my searches in headlines such as “Oprah Winfrey Hailed For Opening Her Private Road During Maui Fire To Help With Evacuations.”
This prompted a sensible question from commentators: Why does Oprah own an entire road?
I’m sure this is a question many locals have asked before, especially those who have to take the roundabout excursion from Upcountry at Kihei through Maui Center, rather than the line of bees to which Oprah holds the keys. worth a review a story from August 2011 by former publisher MauiTime Antoine Pignataro, titled “The Deal With Oprah Winfrey’s Private Maui Road”:
“Oprah’s road is concrete and asphalt 12 feet wide. The Goodfellow brothers paved it in December 2010. The road stretches from the water reservoir at Kealakapu Road near Piilani Highway to Kihei in Keokoa near Haleakala Highway. It’s a road that locals have been waiting for 40 years – a potentially golden road that could drastically reduce traffic jams in central Maui.
That is, if the public could use it, which they certainly cannot. “The paved road, drainage channels and retention ponds will be maintained by individuals,” said a June 2009 drainage report on the effects of paving the road prepared by Wayne I. Arakaki Engineer LLC for OW Ranch, LLC (the initials would mean ” Oprah Winfrey ‘) and kept on file with the Maui County Planning Department. “This is a private road and will not be open to the public.”
“OW Ranch paid for the road. “It wasn’t cheap,” said Hugh Starr, OW Ranch agent, when asked how much it cost. He ultimately declined to provide a number, and officials from the County Planning Department and Haleakala Ranch said they did not know or could not provide the number (leveling the road required a deposit of 34,520. $, which County Civil Engineer Lance Nakamura said was only a fraction of the filing costs).
“According to Starr, the road is entirely on the land of the Haleakala Ranch, which he said was the main user of the road. But he added that OW Ranch and Kamaole Ranch (owned by former Winfrey personal trainer Bob Greene, who is also listed as manager of OW Ranch) retain access rights to the road that goes back to the initial purchase by OW Ranch of 1000 Upcountry. acres of Haleakala Ranch.
So this is it. Ah, and after Forbes, Oprah is worth $ 2.6 billion.
Illustration by Scrappers