Columns

Ballot questions to amend county charter progressing

Last week, the County Council’s Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture committee, which I chair, recommended the passage of two resolutions to amend the Maui County Charter. The first of two proposed charter amendments increases the fine for the illegal operation of transient ...

An open book

Alika Seki knows a thing or two about comic books. “I could talk about comics all day long,” he laughed. “I’ve been obsessed since I was a kid.” Seki has lost track of how many he’s read over the years, but estimates he now has between 50,000 and 70,000 comics. When Seki was 12, ...

Maui’s ‘hidden homeless’ live temporarily with others

A common phrase that is often used but isn’t often understood is the term “hidden homeless.” Just for clarification, I will be using this term to refer to people who live temporarily with others, those who are staying with relatives, friends, neighbors or others because they can’t ...

Sharing Mana‘o

My father, Dr. Masayoshi Nelson Yogi, succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Dec. 17, 1999. Over the past 18 1/2 years, not a day has passed without me thinking about him, usually with a smile or an observation like, “Daddy would have loved that!” Occasionally, I find myself overcome with tears ...

Allowing a motion to amend agenda could facilitate business

Recently, State Auditor Les Kondo shocked the public and some Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board members when he charged, at a HART board meeting, that HART employees had been required to record all interviews with State Auditor personnel and then submit the recordings to ...

Maui Connections

A funny thing happened at the Maui Film Festival at Wailea on Thursday. I was 10 minutes into interviewing Rising Star Nick Robinson in a Celestial Cinema tribute when a few voices rang out of the audience. They were yelling the name of Andy Irons, the iconic champion surfer who died at age ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: Who’s responsible for clearing vegetation on easements when it affects line of sight for drivers of vehicles? Here are two examples: 1. The west, downhill corner of Makani Road and Old Haleakala Highway has a hedge that is growing onto Makani Road and is also blocking the line of sight for ...

The State of Aloha

A few weeks ago I found myself in Waikiki. The sidewalks and streets were jam-packed with visitors from around the world. Mainland, Asian and Australian visitors walked about in their shorts and distinctive white shoes (the hallmark of most tourists), hemorrhaging money at every bar, restaurant ...

Cochran gets numbers wrong in campaign pay-to-play claim

Last week, County Council Member Elle Cochran accused my directors of having jobs because they gave me campaign money. Her exact quote was, “Every single director the Arakawa administration has put into place funded the maximum amount on the campaign.” Makes you wonder why she didn’t ...

Sharing Mana‘o

At the risk of seeming disrespectful, I opened my interview with the governor in my native language: “So what, guv? How you stay?” Without missing a beat, Gov. David Ige replied in kind, “I stay good!” The audience was delighted and so was I. The rest of our interview was conducted in ...

Does our state constitution require a balanced budget?

If you are a serious student of Hawaii constitutional law, here is a question for you: Where in our state constitution does it say we have to have a balanced budget? The answer appears later in this article. The part of our constitution directly governing our state’s budget is Article ...

Maui Connections

Nowadays, when we’ve all got tiny movie screens in our pockets and huge ones at home to watch whatever whenever wherever we want, the Maui Film Festival is a throwback to the simple pleasure of just going to the movies. It’s far more thrilling with a group of total strangers who get molded ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: Our kids used to love Napili Park but it’s been closed for so long now. What’s the status of the park? Is it going to reopen again? A: Back in March we had to close the park indefinitely for safety reasons after we discovered damage to the support beams of the playground equipment. The ...

‘When one rises, we all rise’

Two months from now, Dean Ishihara will attend a graduation ceremony at Hoapili Hale, the 2nd Circuit courthouse in Wailuku. There will be no tasseled caps, no gowns and no bands belting out “Pomp and Circumstance.” But there will be tears of joy, expressions of heartfelt gratitude and new ...

Giuliani launching public relations, not legal battle against Mueller

President Donald Trump and the most visible member of his legal team, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, have fired up their campaign against special counsel Robert Mueller. They at- tacked people at the Department of Justice whom Trump appointed. They smeared career DOJ lawyers and FBI ...

Dumping Roseanne and her show by ABC was quick, dirty and smart

Roseanne Barr’s divorce from civilization started 28 years ago. Given the honor of singing the national anthem at a San Diego Padres-Cincinnati Reds game, she shrieked the words and, upon concluding, spit at the ground and scratched her crotch. All choreographed for a national TV ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Gov. David Ige will be the featured speaker in the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center’s Leadership Series this Saturday. I’ve been entrusted with the honor of conducting an interview-style discussion with Ige, who is the first U.S. governor of Okinawan descent. We’ll talk about nisei values ...

IRS and Treasury Department take aim at tax ‘workaround’

About three months ago, I wrote about the $10,000 limitation on deductions for state and local tax that is part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In a nutshell, you can only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local tax. If you paid more, you get no tax deduction for the excess; not now, ...

Maui Connections

At this time last year, island film fans were eagerly awaiting the Maui Film Festival premiere of “Kuleana,” a historical mystery-drama set in the early years of Hawaiian statehood, produced and filmed on Maui the summer before by a mostly local cast and crew. The screening took place ...

Celebrate World Oceans Day by taking care of our ocean

To celebrate World Oceans Day June 8, I write this letter on behalf of the Maui Nui Makai Network, a group of community and partner organizations working to protect and restore healthy coastal and marine ecosystems for the people of Maui Nui. The traditional practitioners of our communities ...