Columns

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 ...

Audit of MDOT validates the need to expand services

Since its inception in 2003, the Department of Transportation for Maui County, with its limited resources, has strived to provide quality transportation services to county residents. At the March 29 meeting of the County Council’s Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee, RSM ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: I want to file a complaint about my neighbor, who I think is putting up an illegal structure on his property next door. Can I make an anonymous complaint? A: There are several ways to notify county departments that you suspect unregulated or illegal activity. However, only complaints that ...

Loko i‘a need our help

Loko i‘a, or traditional Hawaiian fishponds, are an undeniable example of ancient Hawaiian innovation and an important symbol of Hawaiian culture. They remind us and the rest of the world of our ability to be true leaders who can sustain, create and maintain healthy, thriving ...

Talking trash

What can you do with an unwanted pile of packaging material? If you ask Art of Trash coordinator and 3D artist Wilma Nakamura, there’s a good chance she will tell you to wear it. Last month, when she received a shipping box filled with an excess of bubble wrap, Nakamura grabbed a roll ...

Alarming number homeless suffer from mental disability

In all circumstances, mental illness is a disturbing issue, especially when referring to homelessness. Many people who live a homeless lifestyle are living with some sort of disability, and an alarming number are suffering from a mental disability. Greg Payton, the CEO of Mental Health Kokua, ...