Columns

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 ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: When you were mayor in 2006 and your administration requisitioned the Maui Inland Sand Resource Quantification Study, you responded with genuine concern for this precious resource and suggested a moratorium, or at least a halt of all sand mining until further assessment. However, 11 years ...

Lack of transparency cause of missteps with post office demolition

On Tuesday, an audit of the Old Wailuku Post Office Rehabilitation Project was released by the county auditor who noted “clearly, something went wrong.” The 56-page report highlighted how the administration made many missteps and managed the project with the least amount of public input ...

The State of Aloha

Pictures of King David Kalakaua depict a handsome, stately man, in an illustrious uniform modeled after European-style royalty or militaries of the 19th century not unlike Italian dukes or Greek princes. He will go down in history as the ruler who loved a good party, favored pomp and ...

Preventing rat lungworm disease

Angiostrongyliasis, or rat lungworm disease, is a very clear and present danger here, specifically in East Maui. So far, the state Department of Health confirms six people infected by rat lungworm, with three cases still under investigation. The disease stems from a parasitic worm, ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Warning: this column contains explicit language and a little bit of attitude. Now that I have your attention, let me clarify: I mean “explicit” as in “fully and clearly expressed; unequivocal; outspoken,” not as in “clearly depicting sexual acts or nudity.” There’s nothing here ...

Maui County Carnival a tax casualty?

The second annual Maui County Carnival, scheduled for April 6-9, has been canceled. Skyrocketing state government fees have been blamed as one reason for the cancellation. In April 2016, E.K. Fernandez Shows brought the carnival to Maui for four days at the War Memorial Complex in Wailuku. ...

Maui Connections

For Hawaiians of old, thank-you wasn’t something you said. It was something you did. It wasn’t until folks from elsewhere arrived on island shores that the Hawaiians learned a word for it. That was one of the lessons from kumu hula Hokulani Holt at last weekend’s Celebration of the Arts ...