Columns

Foundation allowed to file brief in endless lawsuit case

Two weeks ago we wrote about a case now before the Hawaii Supreme Court in which the state audited and assessed the taxpayers, causing the taxpayers to spend millions of dollars on litigation that resulted in a court judgment. The state then audited and assessed more of the same taxes (general ...

Maui Connections

Before all the Grammy nominations and Na Hoku Hanohano awards, the chart-topping CD sales and the countless other distinctions that have made her a Hawaiian music legend, Amy Hanaiali‘i says she “honed her craft” in the Anuenue Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Now she’s coming home, ...

Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff. Q: I read a news article about a guy who started a new portable bar business where he brings his cocktail-making skills to private parties. Since there has been much discussion about the nonprofits being ...

Counties cannot agree to Ige’s Airbnb agreement

Details of an agreement that Gov. David Ige’s administration negotiated with Airbnb, an online short-term rental site, were released to the public last week. The news media first reported a deal weeks ago, but the details were slow to be shared. It has now become apparent why talks may have ...

The State of Aloha

What a difference a century makes. One hundred years ago, our queen was dead. Perhaps the most symbolic event of this transition from the old to the new world was the death of Queen Lili‘uokalani in Honolulu on Nov. 11, 1917. Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Walania Kamaka‘eha was born near ...

What tax reform means here at home

Tax reform proposals swirling around Washington, D.C., right now make some sweeping changes to the tax benefits that homeowners have come to depend on. Here on Maui, it has major implications. Due to our soaring housing prices, a high percentage of homeowners here have a mortgage. A total of ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Hopefully, by the time you read this column, Randall Saito will have been found and taken into custody. After walking away from the Hawaii State Hospital on Oahu, where he has been confined for the past 36 years, the man diagnosed as a sexual sadist and necrophiliac reportedly boarded a charter ...

Don’t be victim of customer service

In an earlier article, I wrote about customer service at the state Department of Taxation. One alert reader wrote, with tongue firmly in cheek (I think), “I object to the use of the word ‘customer.’ It certainly doesn’t feel like that type of relationship to me. Maybe ‘hostage’?” ...

Maui Connections

It didn’t take stores here on the Mainland long to replace Halloween masks with Christmas lights on their shelves. Thanksgiving feels like the Rodney Dangerfield of holidays, unable to get much respect, or even notice, in the commercial shuffle. Aside from turkey and football, Thanksgiving ...

Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff. Q: I request a review of the crosswalk located at Keonekai Road and South Kihei Road. I am a victim of this pedestrian crossing. Keonekai Road is a busy road and the pedestrian crossing on South Kihei ...

Panel reviews upcoming affordable housing projects, takes policy action

In October, the County Council’s Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee, which I chair, received a status update from the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns on several affordable housing developments that have started construction and are projected to become ...

Arthur Leva Sr. of Kihei, who turns 92 today, flew 32 combat missions over Nazi-occupied Europe as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber.

Neighbors: A Courageous Heart

Seventy-two years ago, a pair of boots saved Arthur Leva’s life. On March 10, 1945, as World War II continued to ravage much of Europe, Leva boarded a Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” at an airfield used by the U.S. Army Air Corps on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. Once airborne, he squeezed ...

Sharing Mana‘o

”The arts are the best insurance policy a city can take on itself.” — Woody Dumas, former mayor of Baton Rouge, La. The county’s efforts to “rebrand” and revitalize Wailuku town, now known as the reWailuku project, began over three years ago with community outreach and extensive ...

A Halloween nightmare: No end to litigation over tax payment

Halloween may be over but we still have lots of scary stories. Once upon a time there were several companies that were audited by our Department of Taxation. The companies and the department didn’t agree on what was owed. They spent several years and millions of dollars in a heated court ...

Maui Connections

A large oil painting by the late Madge Tennent hanging in Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center took a journey to get there that was almost as colorful as the painting itself. The larger-than-life-size work showing a dancing woman in a swirl of bright pinks, ...

Maui budget crisis has begun

Maui County taxpayers will be paying millions more every year into the state Employees’ Retirement System, according to the system’s executive director, Thom Williams. In a presentation last month in Wailuku, Williams said Act 17, signed into law this year by Gov. David Ige, requires the ...

Eliminate dependence on oil at electric power plant

Law of supply and demand. When supply is limited and demand is high, prices go up. With an existing supply and reduced demand, prices usually go down. With so many solar panels installed on Maui and Molokai the demand on Maui Electric Co. must have gone down, so why not the cost for electric ...

Ask The Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff. Q: Many people use Lunalilo/Liholiho streets to cut through down to Kahului Beach Road, and over time the heavy traffic has caused substantial wear and tear. Every big rain we get, new potholes appear, ...

Finance director confirmation and circuit breaker tax credit considered

Maui County is one step closer to appointing a new director of finance. The County Council’s Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee unanimously recommended approval of Mark Walker’s nomination to the position this past week. After nearly seven years on the job, Danilo ...

The State of Aloha

Here’s how it all unraveled for Louis Kealoha, the chief of police for the Honolulu Police Department, and his wife, Katherine, a city deputy prosecutor. On a summer’s night in 2013, Katherine called the police to report that their mailbox fronting their home in Kahala was missing. The HPD ...