Columns

Ask The Mayor

Q: I am very concerned about the dead and dying eucalyptus trees along the lower section of Piiholo Road. Trees and large branches are already crashing onto the road, disrupting travel and utility services. More importantly, the trees pose a serious safety risk to residents and visitors. Whose ...

West Maui’s Makila Kai workforce housing and farm lots considered

The Maui County Council’s Land Use Committee will consider an independent development application for the proposed Makila Kai affordable housing project on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The project is proposed under Chapter 201H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which provides developers of qualified ...

Lehn Huff is putting sustainability into action — one school garden at a time

The constant gardener

For Lehn Huff, gardening is more than a hobby — it’s a lifelong passion. “It’s always been a part of my life,” she said. At the age of 5, Huff fell for the charms of a snapdragon garden that bloomed in the backyard of her childhood home in Columbia, Mo. “I was completely ...

Sharing Mana‘o

There is a fine line between fact and fiction. When that line is blurred, when story becomes life, and vice versa . . . magic happens. As a presenter at the recent Hawaii Book and Music Festival in Honolulu, I was blessed to witness numerous magical moments produced by my fellow storytellers. ...

Messages from Legislature offered to the counties, city, poor, rich . . .

Between the beginning of this legislative session and April 28, the Rail Bill (SB 1183) was heard and debated numerous times. It seemed as if there were two main variables under discussion: how many years the county sur-charge on our general excise tax was to be extended, and the extent that ...

Maui Connections

A new movie score by Keola Beamer is worlds away from what you might expect from the legendary Hawaiian slack-key innovator. It’s on the path to happiness, and it doesn’t sound Hawaiian at all. Keola wrote the music for Dr. Tom Vendetti’s latest documentary, “The Tibetan Illusion ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: With all the fear surrounding the recent rat lungworm disease cases, many friends and family members I know have stopped buying and eating local produce. How is that affecting our farmers, and should we really buy only Mainland produce now? A: The recent cases are a sobering reminder that ...

Legislators consider Neighbor Island taxes to fund rail

It has been a roller coaster of a ride at the state Legislature this past week, and as of this column’s deadline, it may not be over yet. House and Senate members have been in a tug of war over funding Oahu’s controversial rail project. In the crossfire, the Neighbor Islands have been ...

The State of Aloha

As the name suggests, Angiostrongylus cantonensis was first identified by scientists studying rats from Canton, China. That was in 1935. But decades later, our islands have just come to a rude awakening about the dangerous nematode. The life cycle of this creature is something straight out of a ...

Sand resources need to be protected

Recently there’s been a public outcry against sand mining on Maui, particularly sand mining that involves companies transporting sand off-island for projects on Oahu, such as rail. However, this isn’t a new issue, it’s just gotten new attention. We tried addressing the sand mining ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Last weekend’s record-breaking rain wreaked havoc all over the island, but I was blessed to weather the storm with an international extended ohana. My heart is still humming with sweet melodies and memories of the ninth annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka‘anapali Beach ...

Primer offered on county funding

When we speak of and follow government in this space, we usually concentrate on state government and the state Legislature. But we mustn’t forget that there are county governments as well. They supply important services such as police, fire, park and road maintenance, trash and sewer ...

Maui Connections

Ace aerial art photographer Randy Jay Braun took a bunch of us flying last week. Randy was the featured speaker at “Akaku Upstairs,” the new weekly salon series from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at Akaku Community Center, 333 Dairy Road. He presented a PowerPoint on “Simple Steps to an An ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: As a resident of the west side, I can tell you I’m not the only one over here who is extremely concerned about the traffic volume on our one and only highway. Traffic volumes in the afternoon regularly increase travel time between Maalaea and Lahaina by a factor of two, three or even more. ...

County impacted as Legislature gets set to adjourn

It’s budget season and the Maui County Council is faced with many difficult decisions for the coming fiscal year. At the start of the budget session, the Budget and Finance Committee sent out a countywide survey asking residents to respond with their recommendations to balance the budget ...

As executive director of the Kihei Youth Center, Lehua Huddleston-Hafoka is changing lives — one kid at a time. POUONO HAFOKA JR. photo

An eye on the future

You know that circus act — the one where they spin plates on the ends of poles without them ever falling off? Well, as far as metaphors go, that’s a typical day at the office for Kihei Youth Center Executive Director Lehua Huddleston-Hafoka. But instead of spinning plates, she and her ...

People working to help homeless hold on to hope

Can homelessness be ended on Maui? People of Maui, are you like me? Do you “hope” that we can put an end to homelessness? Do you “hope” for a day when everyone on Maui will have a place they can call home? What is hope? Hope is the confidence of, the faith of, the anticipation of ...

Sharing Mana‘o

My first bicycle was a Schwinn Stingray, electric blue, with the high-rise handlebars and a metallic white banana seat. No basket, because it was a boys’ bike, and no newfangled hand brake or gear shift. My bike had only one speed and that was fine with me; one speed was all I needed to ...

Tax casualty? Maui Memorial Medical Center

This week our series of tax news returns to Maui, where we have an update on the efforts to help with Maui Memorial Medical Center workers and other employees of our state health system. As we have written before, our state-run hospitals in Maui County, including Maui Memorial Medical ...

Maui Connections

One benefit of living in a blue state is that a lot of us are actually happy to see our congressional representatives when they come home from Washington, D.C., and hold town hall meetings. Judging by cordial enthusiasm that greeted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from a crowded Castle Theater at the Maui ...