Columns

Sharing Mana‘o

“Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite.” Edward Albee said that, and he should know; Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes and two Tony Awards for his playwriting, as well as ...

Struggle continues with HART’s funding sources

There has been fierce debate recently over Bill 42 before the Honolulu City Council. Here’s the background: In 2007, the city passed Ordinance 07-001, which says that the Honolulu rail project would be funded only with proceeds of the general excise tax surcharge and federal money. ...

Maui Connections

Whether or not you knew Bob Stone personally, you may well know his work and the gentle sound of his voice. He was the director of the memorable documentary “Taylor Camp,” subsequently rebranded “The Edge of Paradise,” about a hippie treehouse community that took root on Kauai in the ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: I have a niece who is a single mother that lives in the Kulamalu affordable rentals, which really helped to keep her family together so I appreciate that being built. What is the next affordable housing project that’s coming up? These projects are too few and far between. A: Probably ...

Council approves Phase I expansion of Kula ag park

When Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. closed its doors and shut down sugar operations for good at the end of 2016, Maui was in dire need of a plan to keep thousands of acres of land in agricultural use and revive a fading farming industry. With this in mind, on Nov. 2 the Maui County ...

Neighbors: Profiles of our community

It’s been nearly two months since Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, but the heartbreaking images are hard to forget: families wading through waist-deep floodwaters; children carried to safety in the arms of police officers; evacuees arriving at shelters in the pouring ...

The election’s over — now what?

It was almost unsettling to wake up the morning after the election and realize it turned out pretty much as we expected. There were, of course, some individual surprises, but nothing on the seismic shock scale of 2016. For months, it had been expected that Democrats would win a modest House ...

Volunteer on Maui treated badly by Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

In 1979 I decided that America needed a national memorial engraved with names of the fallen from the divisive Vietnam War. Somehow, we were able to get the memorial built in just over three years. I had a lot of help from talented people. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial gets over 5 million ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Now that the 2018 campaign season has finally concluded, I’m not sure who is more relieved: the public or the candidates themselves. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, you likely agree that this election year has brought out the best and the worst of human nature, more ...

It’s real property because we said so!

Today we look at a case now pending in the Hawaii Supreme Court that may give us some insight on county real property taxes and their limits. Once upon a time there were a couple of companies that constructed some large wind turbines on mountain ridges on Maui. The wind farms aren’t cheap. ...

Maui Connections

Another Halloween has come and gone, but the spirits linger on. Thanks to social media and email, I feel like I was there (in disguise, of course), instead of 2,500 miles away in Tucson, Ariz., where I’m spending another fall with family and my job description runs more toward “grandpa” ...

Ask The Mayor

Q:Why is paratransit services allowed to leave clients stranded for up to four hours? I am a rider who has experienced this abuse more than twice in the last month. Their excuse is always the same. We had a few drivers that went home sick. The county needs to hire more drivers who can replace ...

Time for voters to head to the polls

This coming Tuesday our community will engage in one of our most important civic duties — voting. Statewide, approximately only 40 percent of registered voters participated in the recent August primary election and between 50 to 60 percent of registered voters participated in the most ...

The State of Aloha

In next week’s election we will answer a simple and straightforward question: “Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?” The question is not a reflection of some interest group or a special issue that has got everybody talking. The ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Finally! The big day is here at last! You might think that someone who often works in costume wouldn’t treat Halloween as a big deal, but I do. From as far back as I can remember, I loved dressing up and playing make-believe. An only child, I spent many hours amusing myself. I didn’t have ...

Takeaways from the ‘Con-Am’ argument

On Oct. 18, the Hawaii Supreme Court held oral argument on a petition by the four counties to invalidate the “Con-Am,” namely the constitutional amendment ballot measure that would allow the state to slap a “surcharge,” essentially an additional property tax, on “investment” real ...

Maui Connections

Poke in the desert? I know author Barbara Kingsolver, who made a memorable Maui Writers Conference visit in the ’90s, titled one of her books “High Tide in Tucson.” But it still sounds like a high-risk culinary concept — fresh seafood so far from the sea. Aging is a good thing for ...

Council revives county’s First-Time Homebuyers Program

Earlier this month, the County Council approved a recommendation from the Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee, which I chair, to adopt parameters for the county’s First-Time Homebuyers Program. Findings from a recent Hawaii housing planning study identify down-payment costs ...

Cultivating lives

This is no ordinary farm. The 2-acre plot of land has all of the trappings: rows of planted vegetables, towering mango and papaya trees, grazing goats, chicken coops and pig pens. But there’s something else taking root in the soil here. Hope. “This place is magic,” said Stacey ...

Sharing Mana‘o

“You’re the Magic Fish!” Of the many roles I’ve played on stage, the Magic Ulua has brought me an unexpected measure of fame, more gratifying than any award or statuette. Thanks to the Maui Academy of Performing Arts, hundreds of Maui keiki still recognize me as Auntie Ulua, or “that ...