Columns

Ask The Mayor

Q: I’m wondering why the keiki pool at Kihei Aquatic Center is closed. I have two toddlers and I would like to take them if the playground is too hot to play. I can’t take two toddlers to the deep pool by myself. Are there any plans to open consistently and/or posting the opening schedule ...

The State of Aloha

We can still see him just about everywhere we go. He proudly stands tall draped in his red-and-yellow feathered cape on a sign designating a point of interest. When I was a kid, his face was front and center on our license plates. Then there are the statues. In the tiny former plantation town ...

Senior campus could lessen impact on community resources

Maui County and Hale Makua Health Services are working on an important long-term project, the first of its kind on Maui, to benefit the current and future seniors of Maui. Working together, the county wants to help Hale Makua create our first senior care campus in Central Maui. The idea is ...

Sharing Mana‘o

“Much better than the real Eartha Kitt!” That’s a compliment I never expected, nor even hoped for, when I began performing as “Eartha Katt” at Cabaret Del Vino. Granted, my raspy baritone has drawn comparisons to the exotic icon ever since I was in high school. Contrary to popular ...

Reactionary reaction to resort fees

One of the bills that came out of the recently concluded legislative session is SB 2699, which proposes to make “resort fees” subject to our transient accommodations tax. A resort fee, which also goes on your bill if you stay at a hotel, and not only in Hawaii but around the world, is to ...

Maui Connections

Last Saturday Maui got its weather back. It was just coincidence, of course, but that didn’t stop folks at the Seabury Hall Craft Fair from feeling like the colorful annual event had triggered a day that dawned gorgeous and just kept getting better. After weeks of rain, chilly temperatures ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: I travel Maui Lani Parkway often to get to Wailuku and Waikapu. No matter what time I travel, once you get to the four-way stop at Maui Lani and Kamehameha Avenue it takes a long time to reach the stop because traffic backs up and it takes a good while to continue traveling. Are there plans ...

Recapping state’s legislative and county’s budget sessions

Earlier this month, the 2018 state legislative session came to an end. Throughout the session, I closely monitored measures that could potentially impact Maui County. This week’s column serves as an update on the critical measures that have either been deferred or passed by the ...

Where her heart is

On the morning of Saturday, Jan. 13, as a false alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile unleashed panic and confusion across the state, Monique Yamashita began filling water jugs at her Wailuku home — while calmly giving instructions over the phone to the on-duty operations director ...

Sharing Mana‘o

The arrival of the Japanese tall ship Kaiwo Maru at Kahului Harbor stirred memories for many longtime Mauians. Several decades ago, Kahului was a fairly frequent port of call for Japan’s merchant marine training ships. The Kaiwo Maru’s sister ship, the Nippon Maru, was the first and most ...

Letting the genie out of the bottle — for our keiki?

This November, voters throughout the state will be given the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment, brought forward by Senate Bill 2922, supposedly to fund primary school education. The amendment would give the Legislature the power to impose a real property tax surcharge on ...

Maui Connections

For serious metaphor collectors like myself, Maui is the gift that keeps on giving. When my late friend Ron Youngblood wrote a play about Maui, he even titled it “Metaphor.” The landscape teems with metaphors. Actually, the landscape is a metaphor, for the interconnectedness of this ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: My street in Maui Meadows is a mess! Turns out it hasn’t had any maintenance at all for 29 years. Now two streets here are being fixed, leaving the many other streets untouched. Can you help? A: First off, our road repairs and reconstruction work is limited by funding from the County ...

Stepping up enforcement efforts against illegal vacation rentals

The county’s Planning Department has signed a contract with LODGINGRevs to identify operators of illegal vacation rentals. Upon receipt of their list of operators, I am told enforcement action will be imminent. The search for a vendor to assist with compliance began with the County ...

The State of Aloha

Lahainaluna High School is more than a school. The school opened its doors above the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1831 and has never closed. It’s the last public boarding school in the country. Unlike Punahou School, which was established a decade later and devoted to educate only the ...

Council members should revisit some areas of proposed budget

Your County Council members have just completed deliberations for the fiscal year 2019 Maui County budget. This is a long and tedious process, which sometimes goes on until 2 a.m. on a daily basis during the process, and can last for many weeks. As a former council member who went through ...

Community Action programs celebrated during month of May

In 1963, President John Kennedy’s economic advisers drew up proposals to address the problem of American poverty. President Lyndon Johnson took up this charge after he succeeded Kennedy as president. He expanded and revised the proposals and developed the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. ...

Sharing Mana‘o

My cousin Betty hit a milestone birthday last week, so her family threw a surprise party for her Sunday. Indeed, she was genuinely surprised, but I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. It doesn’t seem possible that this beautiful, vivacious woman has seen eight decades of life. Regular ...

The tax office said so, so it must be true

HB 2432, one of the bills actively being considered this legislative session, proposes to hike the “transient occupancy tax,” or TOT, by an as-yet-unspecified amount. This part of the bill is noteworthy for the factual support behind it. Or, more particularly, the lack thereof. It’s based ...

Maui Connections

Alice Cooper might have been gleeful to announce “School’s out for summer,” but as another semester of teaching English at the University of Hawaii Maui College draws to an end, I’m feeling a little wistful. As this column has frequently noted, the younger generation has been showing ...