Columns

Audit produces enhanced management strategies

In July, the County Council authorized an audit of the Maui County Department of Transportation. The intent of the audit was to provide the council and the administration with a tool to identify long-term strategic solutions to improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and reliability of ...

The State of Aloha

On Feb. 1, 1968, Elvis Presley and his wife, Priscilla, announced that she gave birth to a little girl in Memphis, Tenn. And while that news grabbed most of the headlines, something far more significant happened in Memphis that day. Two trash collectors on the job sought shelter from rain. ...

Oceanfront land purchase improves public access

For as long as I can remember, shoreline access has been a priority for our local community. We fish, we dive, we surf and we gather with friends and families for special occasions, all at our wonderful beaches and Maui County beach parks. To this day, beach access remains important, which ...

Economic freedom best way to prosperity

We all want more prosperity for our families and our community, but how do we get there? “The best way is economic freedom,” said economist Jose Torra, who spoke in February at two luncheons hosted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, on Maui and Oahu. Torra is co-author of the ...

Sharing Mana‘o

On the eighth floor of Kalana O Maui, in the offices and chambers of the County Council, much of Maui County’s future is decided. Interested citizens can witness the legislative process, even participate through testimony, though relatively few people actually do. It’s probably a safe bet ...

Financial planning for a $200M per year deficit

A recent news release from the state Senate Majority Caucus says: “The State Senate has drafted, discussed, and voted on SB508, SB2415, SB2484, SB2489, SB2699, and SB2821 that are projected to generate approximately $72 million in revenues based on the Department of Taxation estimates. The ...

Maui Connections

Addressing participants on the eve of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s 26th annual Celebration of the Arts last Thursday, kumu hula Hokulani Holt told everyone to remember to thank a teacher sometime over the weekend. Fitting words for this unique event where everyone’s a teacher . . . and ...

Vacation rentals on Maui are fundamental to its economy

The Maui News’ March 27 front-page headline “Report: 1 in 7 homes in county a vacation rental” cites a misleading report that implies that vacation rentals are taking up much of our available residential housing, and concludes that these vacation rentals have adverse consequences that far ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: I have two dogs and one of them got loose and my neighbor says my dog killed one of his chickens and brought over the body. I’m suspicious because all of his chickens are in chicken coops so why was this one out? That, and we have plenty wild chickens running around anyway so how do I know ...

Preparation for county charter amendment proposals underway

Since this past August, the Maui County Council’s Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee has been working diligently to establish additional qualifications for the administrative heads of county departments. In the past, department directors only needed to meet very broad ...

All the right notes

Every afternoon, Teresa Skinner picks up her viola and plays for a loyal and discerning audience: the hens and roosters that congregate outside her Kula home. And if you watch closely, these feathered classical music aficionados seem to relish every note. “I think they really do listen,” ...

Honoring our heroes in health care

Today, and each year on March 30, we celebrate National Doctors’ Day. This day honors physicians for their hard work and constancy to not only their patients, but the communities they work in and society as a whole. From offices to emergency rooms, at bedsides or in operating rooms, their ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Lights! Camera! Action! As an associate producer and cast member of “Kuleana,” I’ve fielded a number of questions about this film, most of which boil down to “So . . . this is, like, a REAL movie?” Yes, it is, with an official MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rating of ...

The California stupidity fund

One of the changes made in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which applies to our federal tax returns for this year, is a limitation on deductions for state and local tax. Simply put, you can only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local tax. If you paid more, too bad, tough cookies. (This ...

Maui Connections

For the first time in a long time last Saturday, thousands of people experienced a feeling some of us had stopped believing exists anymore: Hope. The occasion was the “March for Our Lives” beginning at the University of Hawaii Maui College campus, followed by the “Concert for Our ...

442nd Regimental Combat Team celebrates its 75th anniversary

As the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) celebrates its 75th anniversary, many people will tell you that their story began on Dec. 7, 1941, the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed by the empire of Japan. But in reality, the story of all of the nisei soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion, ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: I know that the homeless situation throughout our island has been an issue for a while now. I have heard that Oahu was considering opening, if it hasn’t already, “safe zones” where homeless can stay. Is Maui considering this also? A: Although “safe zones” have been initialized in ...

Council prepares for fiscal year 2019 budget deliberations

This past Friday, the Maui County Council received the mayor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019, which runs from July 1 through June 30, 2019. As mandated by the County Charter, the mayor must present the council with a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year by March 25. In turn, ...

The State of Aloha

Murals are all the rage these days. The resurgence of the art form can be found across the country. The once-drab industrial buildings in Honolulu’s up-and-coming and fashionable neighborhood of Kakaako are awash in color with local artists painting murals. Wailuku has its share of murals ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Oh, the sacrifices we make for our art. Several years ago, in order to play multiple roles (and wear multiple wigs) in the Maui Academy of Performing Arts’ production of “Fresher Ahi,” I had nearly 2 feet of hair cut off. I’d worn my hair long for almost all my adult life, and the ...