I have lived on Maui for my entire life. My family and I have never experienced any illness or respiratory problems as a result of cane burning.
My birth house, in which I lived until about 13 years ago, was in Paia. Our home was about 30 feet downwind of the fields, literally in our backyards. Every other year when the fields were harvested, the smoke occasionally would hit ground level. It never bothered us or our neighbors. Still to this day none of us have any illness as a result.
It upsets me how people who don't agree with Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. make claims that the company is using fearmongering tactics to push its profit-gaining agenda forward. I see those same people doing the same thing by making people feel uneasy about burning cane and using only half of the facts and twisting it for their own personal gain and pushing forward inconclusive evidence.
Furthermore, to tell anyone how they should be doing business and how they should be harvesting and processing a plant to which they have no experience with is just absurd. I challenge the opposition to find solid and complete facts and to proactively work with the company and their employees who are fine and honorable citizens of this community. Only then can come understanding and a solution.