Columns

Ask the Mayor

Q: I am writing about the restrooms at Kokua Pool still being closed. Using the portable toilets is getting old, and portable toilets are not a proper changing room. When will something be done to get them reopened? A: I have good news. I have received word from our parks department that ...

Keeping Maui County safe is the council’s top priority

The County Council’s Budget and Finance Committee recommended passage of a bill to fund the removal of eucalyptus trees on the county-owned right of way on Piiholo Road in Upcountry this past week. The committee reviewed two options from the Department of Public Works. The first proposed ...

With a song in her heart

When Laura Civitello was 7 years old, a soulful sound caught her ear — and never let go. “It was Wilson Pickett’s ‘In the Midnight Hour,’ ” she said. “As soon as I heard it, I had to have it.” A few days later, she marched up to the front counter of the record store in her ...

In the fight for $15 minimum wage, this small Kihei business says yes

It is often said that small businesses cannot afford another hike in the minimum wage. My husband, who is my business partner, and I could not disagree more. Not because we are pious but because we are pragmatic. Small businesses benefit from paying their employees. Here’s how. We bought ...

Maui’s most controversial permit was approved in only 29 minutes

It’s a matter of basic human decency to show respect toward each other’s ancestral remains. The Central Maui sand dunes are the resting place for thousands of iwi kupuna (ancestral bones), but landowner Maui Lani Partners has been allowed to illegally mine hundred of thousands of tons of ...

Sharing Mana‘o

A reader asked me about a recent column in which I shared my mother’s descriptions of some old photos. On the back of a scenic snapshot, Mom had written “The foreground stinks like Kanaha Pond!” Those words put a smile on my face and a long-forgotten scent in my head that old-time ...

Statutes don’t give Department of Taxation math error authority

The National Taxpayer Advocate recently produced a “Purple Book” containing her top 50 recommendations for the IRS. One of them concerned “math error authority,” which brought to mind one of the failings in Hawaii’s tax system. On the federal side, disputes between the IRS and ...

Maui Connections

Last November I had the pleasure of interviewing Taane Mete, co-founder and director of Okareka Dance Company, about its production of “Mana Wahine” that travels from its New Zealand home to Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. I also spoke to Ananya ...

Head Start goes to college

At University of Hawaii Maui College, a free on-campus preschool is provided to children of college students and local families by Maui Economic Opportunity’s Head Start center. This center stands out as a shining example of Head Start’s brilliant strategy to engage the community in ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: I ordered and ate a sandwich at a deli recently, but apparently it had been sitting out on the counter for a while and I came down with what seemed like food poisoning later in the day. Who do I call to report the illness? A: If you’re comfortable doing so, you can contact the ...

Legislature needs a better cesspool plan

In late December, the state Department of Health released a report to the Legislature identifying 14 priority areas throughout the state where cesspool upgrades are critically needed to protect public health and the environment. The report was done in compliance with Act 125, passed by the ...

The State of Aloha

Clouds gathered over the skies of downtown Honolulu last week Wednesday. A light drizzle fell on thousands of people who gathered around Iolani Palace. Students, activists and community leaders waved flags, wore flower and ti leaf lei, and carried a portrait of Queen Lydia Lili‘uokalani ...

Survey will provide verifiable data about homelessness on the island

This is a very important week in tracking the state of homelessness nationwide. On Maui, the Maui Homeless Alliance agencies are busy taking the annual Point-in-Time count. If you aren’t aware, the Point-in-Time is a national count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons focusing on a ...

Sharing Mana‘o

In 10 days, I will be an empty nester again. This time, at least, it won’t be as painful as when my only child left home at age 19. Nonetheless, I anticipate a few days of separation anxiety and melancholy musings. Next Friday, Feb. 2, “The Fisherman and His Wife — Maui Style” will ...

Legislature needs to address key component of Trump Tax

One of the new key components of Trump Tax is a provision important to the vast majority of small businesses. Practitioners may know it as the Section 199A deduction. Under Trump Tax, corporations that used to see a maximum tax rate of 35 percent got that rate slashed to 21 percent. About 75 ...

Maui Connections

Partly out of civic duty, partly out of wishful thinking, I joined around 3,500 other folks on the University of Hawaii Maui College campus Saturday for the second Women’s March on Maui. The marchers protesting much of what has happened to our society since Donald Trump became its ...

Hawaii’s military families deserve easier access to their prescriptions

For most Americans, refilling a regular prescription is simple — picking up their medicine at their local pharmacy on the way home from work or while doing weekly grocery shopping. But for nearly 160,000 Hawaii veterans and beneficiaries of our active duty military currently insured through ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: When the ballistic missile attack warning was activated, it caused people to panic. I feel the panic was caused by no one knowing what to do and the lack of information on shelters. In the future, what are we supposed to do if the missile attack warning goes off again? A: My office has ...

Where were you on the morning of Jan. 13?

On the morning of Jan. 13, I was at the Kahului Airport heading to Honolulu. Just like many of you, I received a jarring alert on my cellular phone of an incoming ballistic missile. Airport personnel and travelers alike were unsure of the appropriate response and the protocol for this type ...

A Helping Hand

Every now and then, while Jim Sheppard is out running errands, he’ll spot one of the Maui Food Bank’s donation barrels — and his heart will swell with pride. “It’s a great organization run by great people,” he said. “I’m proud to be a part of it.” On Thursday afternoons, ...