Today's organized Lahaina town Halloween events have again escaped a last-minute challenge by a Kula man who wants the festivities canceled, saying that the events occur in an "endangered historic district of Lahaina" and threaten Native Hawaiian culture and identity.
On Tuesday morning, Richard Dancil filed a motion to have the state Intermediate Court of Appeals reconsider its Monday decision to deny Dancil's motion seeking a stay on the Halloween activities until an appeal for a 2011 case against the events was heard. The court quickly rejected Dancil's request for reconsideration.
The original lawsuit filed last year by Dancil and Na Makua O'Maui, a Native Hawaiian organization, said that staging a large, drunken street party in Lahaina, a culturally sacred and historic site, constituted a violation of Native Hawaiian rights.
Last year, a 2nd Circuit judge dismissed a temporary restraining order to stop the event, saying that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to file the lawsuit.
The recent motions were filed against Mayor Alan Arakawa and several of his departments along with the LahainaTown Action Committee. That organization and the county are co-hosting the family-friendly events.
On Tuesday, Dancil said that it was important to continue filing motions for a stay on the activities because "it is important to bear witness to what is happening to our culture in this endangered historic district of Lahaina and do what is possible to prevent the harm and propose ideas that would benefit all parties."
"We hear about the endangered plants and animals here in Hawaii. What about the people and their identity and their culture?" Dancil said in an email.
He added that the event should only be allowed to move forward in a way that is "lawful" and "pono," and an environmental assessment should be done.