Columns

Constitutional amendment offers a band-aid solution for complex challenges

On the general election ballot in November, the following question will be posed to voters: “Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education?” The ballot question was authorized by the ...

It runs in the family

When the curtain rises on the Maui Academy of Performing Arts’ production of “Into the Woods” on Aug. 24, two of its actors will share more than the stage that evening. They also share the same genes. Kirsten Otterson and her son, Kiegan, will play the characters of the Witch and ...

Hawaii Beach Safety Week followed by Tropic Care

This week is Hawaii Beach Safety Week across the state, and a good reminder to thank your local lifeguards the next time you see them. How important are they? Well, according to a Centers for Disease Control study on drowning prevention, it found that the chances of drowning at a beach ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone, The sun came out today; We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field. A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, It’s a brown-eyed handsome man. Anyone can understand the way I feel. — John Fogerty, “Centerfield” The 43rd annual Hawaii ...

The Wayfair switch in time

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Wayfair v. South Dakota case. It was a huge turning point in constitutional law involving the ability of states to tax “online sellers” such as Amazon, Newegg and Wayfair. “Yeah,” you might say, “I know about online sellers because ...

Maui Connections

Forty steps . . . pause for breath . . . Forty steps . . . pause for breath . . . Ten steps . . . pause for breath . . . Ten steps . . . pause for breath . . . That’s how it was for 24 Americans, including more than a dozen from Maui, as they spent three ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: I saw recently that Eddie Tam Gym is closed for some sort of repairs from now until the fall. What about voting? Beneath the gym is where everyone in Makawao votes every election year. Is that going to be taken into consideration or will we have to vote somewhere else? A: Don’t worry. If ...

Committee schedules meeting on affordable housing development

The Maui County Council’s Land Use Committee will consider a development application for the proposed Waikapu Development Venture Affordable Workforce Housing Project on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The project proposes to add 68 single-family and 12 duplex units to the much-needed affordable ...

The State of Aloha

Something caught my eye at the grocery store the other day. A cardboard stand obstructed part of the aisle with a large picture of smiling kids and perfectly tanned adults who were having a blast on a canoe, and then there were the words in bold letters: “AS LOCAL AS YOU ARE.” They were ...

Sharing Mana‘o

As I write this column, I’m being serenaded by a lone rooster somewhere beneath my balcony at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. More than 25 years have passed since I last visited Poipu, so I doubt that this is the same bird who nested outside our room when Barry and I celebrated our wedding ...

Who can we beat up with property tax?

The ongoing furor in Honolulu over the extent to which the rail project is adequately funded, or lack thereof, and the possibility of new state-mandated property taxes to fund education lead us to look at how we can or should make property tax classifications. Real property tax is currently a ...

Maui Connections

How sweet it was to wake up in Kula last Wednesday. After a happy family vacation in Montana, we had flown home Tuesday. Having to change planes in both Seattle and Portland, it took most of the day to get from Missoula to Maui. That was nothing compared to our seatmate, Michelle ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: I live in an area that backs up to a golf course. Six days a week, the golf course grounds-keepers start doing the landscaping between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. This involves using very loud equipment for lawn mowing and weed whacking. It also involves using vehicles with the headlights that ...

Visitor industry provides unrecognized support

During the County Council’s deliberations on the county’s fiscal year 2019 budget, comments were made stating the visitor industry should pay a greater share of taxes. This is somewhat understandable, since most Maui residents do not realize the level of support the industry already ...

A class act

It’s clear David Kuraya has a few tricks up his sleeve. As if by magic, the Iao Intermediate School band director can capture and hold the attention of a room full of middle-schoolers — all while inspiring a love of music. “It’s not just a job,” he said. “It’s a ...

We have to do our part to get voter turnout percentage up

During the 2016 general election, we had 93,912 people in Maui County registered to vote. Of that number, only 56 percent, or 52,972 voters, actually took the time to cast their ballots. Overall, the state of Hawaii ranked dead last in the nation for voter turnout with 42.5 percent. Those are ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Yogi Bear. Yogi Berra. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Growing up as Kathy Yogi, I was often called by those names, to my great annoyance. I hated the nickname “Yogi Bear” most of all. On the playground at Makawao School, kids would call out, “Hey, Yogi! Where’s Boo Boo?” or “How’s about ...

Exemption from general excise tax erodes tax base

House Bill 2748, which will become law soon, is sometimes referred to as the “Bob Nakata bill” after the former legislator, now a minister, who was one of the bill’s champions. It aims to advance the goal of providing “affordable housing” in our island state. One part of the bill ...

Maui Connections

When our nephew got married recently in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, he and his bride picked some Beatles songs for the ceremony. “Here Comes the Sun” as the bride walked up the aisle. “All You Need Is Love” as the bride and groom made their exit. It wasn’t lost on me that ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: Hawaii Revised Statutes 142-95 says that rabbits need to be kept off the ground. Well, I have a neighbor who has rabbits, and they keep escaping and ruining my wife’s vegetable garden. I keep telling him he needs to get this under control or they’re going to escape and breed and become ...