Columns

Ask the Mayor

Q: Who do I need to call to complain about smoking being allowed in the bathroom at my workplace? I know it’s against the law to smoke inside a workplace, but my employer continues to ignore the fact that many employees smoke inside our one men’s restroom, which is inside the building. ...

Neighbor Islands deserve better from the Legislature

This past week was spent at the state Legislature in a final effort to keep the Neighbor Islands from being dragged into Honolulu’s controversial rail project. As of this column’s deadline, it appears that despite our best efforts, the transient accommodations tax will be raised by 1 ...

At 102, Cornelia Spanier (center) credits her longevity to living a vibrant life filled with love, laughter and friendship. She got her sea legs in the late 1950s, and in the years that followed, sailed all over the world. “I’ve had so many wonderful adventures,” she said.

Neighbors: Young at heart

W hat’s the secret to a long life spanning more than a century? Cornelia Spanier says the answer is quite simple. “Don’t think old,” she said. “Think young.” And an occasional vodka martini helps, too. “You’ve got to live a little,” she laughed. Spanier, who turned ...

Infrastructure upgrades help meet Upcountry’s growing water needs

Upcountry water infrastructure improvements are, without a doubt, the most asked about aspect of our activities. They are also the most difficult to explain because there are so many components, each with its own set of obstacles. The Upcountry water system alone includes three treatment ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Every couple of months, something pops up on my Facebook news feed and grabs me by the heartstrings. This week, it was “Tuesdays with Matthew.” The post read “WATCH: Senior Citizens recreate “The Wizard of Oz” to celebrate the film’s 78th Anniversary!” Facebook knows me as well ...

Ordinance takes away land use ‘loophole’ in Honolulu

Earlier this year, the City & County of Honolulu tinkered with its real property tax system. People who aren’t aware of what happened may find themselves with property tax bills many times higher than what they are now. In Honolulu, as in most other counties here and in many ...

Maui Connections

‘Kuleana’ — writer/director Brian Kohne’s made-on-Maui, film-festival award winner — is headed to more festivals in Oklahoma, Kentucky, California and Guam in coming months. But it’s not the only movie with strong Maui connections on theater screens these days. I caught two of ...

Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff. Q: Whoever OK’d the removal of the monkeypod trees on Piilani Highway in Kihei should be fired. Apparently, they were destroyed because the county and adjacent homeowners association did not want ...

Taxing Neighbor Islands to fund rail seems a done deal

The State Legislature announced Thursday a plan to pay for the Honolulu rail project by raising the transient accommodations tax by 1 percent across the state. The proposed TAT hike is coupled with extending the 0.5 percent Oahu general excise tax surcharge. With the special session scheduled ...

The State of Aloha

Labor Day is around the corner. It’s more than a holiday, you know. The labor movement was once the most radical movement in the islands. And it can be traced back to a pair of haoles who crashed a homegrown movement on Maui. Bill Bailey was a real, live, flesh and blood Communist in San ...

‘Rapid Re-Housing’ an effective method for helping homeless

What are some of the causes of homelessness and what are solutions? The most common cause of homelessness is the cost of housing. Now more than ever, homes that low-income people can afford are not available. It’s a hard reality but without affordable rental options, people face ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Maui’s 2017 obon season is winding to a close, with the last two bon dances scheduled for Saturday at Kula Shofukuji Mission and Sept. 9 at the Hana Buddhist Temple. The very first bon dance was performed several thousand years ago by a Buddhist monk who, during meditation, saw his ...

Grand skim of things for DHHL detailed

Today we continue our discussion about the 5 percent charge assessed against special funds in Hawaii government, also known as the “Central Services Skim.” Last week we examined the exemptions from the skim and how it could be said that the funds that are paying the assessments are being ...

Maui Connections

They call her “the canoe.” The word is spoken with reverence, as though referring to a living ancestor with great respect. Six crew members of Hokule‘a — Kalepa Baybayan, Billy Richards, Penny Rawlins Martin, Pomai Bertelmann, Kala Baybayan and Kaniela Anakalea-Buckley — came to ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: Why is the county approving short-term rentals when we have such a shortage of rentals for our workers? We should shut down applications for short-term rentals until we get a solution for our residents to have homes to rent. A: While we cannot “shut down” applications on a whim as you ...

As the program coordinator for Imua Family Services’ Dream Imua, Rainelle Lushina brings dreams to life.

Fairy Godmother for Maui children in crisis

When Rainelle Lushina joined the staff of Imua Family Services nearly two years ago, it didn’t take long for her to realize she’d landed the job of her dreams. “It’s a perfect fit for me,” she said. “I really love what I do.” And it’s a dream job in every sense of the term: ...

Interact with county by using app

We live in a mobile world. With new research indicating that smartphone users outnumber basic phone users and millions of Americans rely on iPhone, Android, or a Samsung to power their day, it’s no surprise that more local government entities are heeding the call of mobile tools. In 2015, ...

Stop the mining and preserve the Central Maui sand dunes

Maui’s Environmental Court recently reaffirmed its order stopping all sand mining and other activities that disturb the natural dune systems in a section of the Maui Lani Project District. Sierra Club Maui and many other concerned residents have long advocated to preserve the unique natural ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Thirty-three years and one month ago, I met the man who would become my partner in broadcasting and in life. Barry Shannon and I had each returned to Maui after living off-island for several years. I had come home to heal after a painful divorce and got a job with Encantada Broadcasting. When ...

Exemptions pose dangers

Last week we began a discussion about the 5 percent charge that is assessed against the “special funds” in Hawaii government, which we called the “Central Services Skim.” For the last few fiscal years, the skim has redirected about $45 million a year from the special funds to the state ...