Columns

Deliberations commence on county’s fiscal year 2015 budget

Upon receiving Mayor Alan Arakawa's budget proposal on March 25, the Maui County Council officially entered into its deliberations on the fiscal year 2015 budget. The proposed budget totals $622.6 million, an increase of county spending by $63.3 million.The challenge before the council is to ...

Aloha, Grandma Florence

In her final years, "Grandma Florence" became one of the island's most beloved social media personalities.But over Florence Shizuko Hasegawa's long life, she also overcame childhood poverty and early widowhood, lived out Lahaina's version of a Cinderella story, and reinvented herself as an ...

Maui Nei

Maui as a home is a paradise. Island views never fail to enchant. The ocean is inviting and connects us with them. Most importantly, most people are honest friends and neighbors. A paradise, indeed. A recent event proves it may be a fool's paradise when it comes to keys in vehicles.Ahead was a ...

Shouldn’t we do something about the gorillas in the bar?

I am often asked to summarize what's going on with the tax bills in the current legislative session.I usually say that it's obviously an election year because a very large number of the tax bills moving through are attemptsto give money back, usually in the form of credits or incentives, as ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Hello, darkness, my old friend,I've come to talk with you again . . ."The Sound of Silence" has the distinction of being named on lists of both the best and the worst songs of all time. I was a child when the single was released, but it was a jukebox favorite of mine. Ten years later, when I ...

Maui Connections

Gas masks, fairy wings and costumes inspired by vegetables were in style Sunday as hundreds of marchers gathered at the War Memorial Stadium parking lot to make their voices heard on the subject of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, on Maui now and in our future.Coconuts were handed out ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: Why do some of the safety stickers I see on cars have a 2016 expiration year, while others say 2015? And is there a new process for safety checks? I have to take my car in soon and wondered if there are any new requirements. Thanks very much, I appreciate the information in your column.A: ...

Council seeks to resolve issue of pay equality

Male-dominated jobs in Maui County government provide salaries and wages considerably higher than female-dominated jobs.Fifty years after the federal Equal Pay Act took effect, this kind of unfair disparity is unacceptable. The county should be setting a good example for other employers, not ...

The State of Aloha

That far-off chunk of land called Crimea is all over the news these days. At first, I didn't think the crisis was all that relevant to our day-to-day existence in Hawaii. But as the story unfolded, the situation in Crimea started to look familiar to any student of Hawaiian history.Here are the ...

Maui Nei

Art has been defined as the distortion of fact to arrive at truth. The best fiction is an artful diversion, another world to occupy for a short length of time. The worlds created by Toby Neal aren't that far away for readers on Maui.This prolific writer - 10 novels and counting - is a ...

Tax appeal? Beware the weekend

Once in a while, people fight with taxing agencies about their taxes. After all, legislatures, rather than tax agencies, write the laws, and the agencies might not always be right. If you want to take the agency on, however, you need to know to put in your request in time.Filing an appeal in ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Woe is me, I got the BlackBerry blues. Even wrote a song about it:I got the BlackBerry blues; my phone ain't smart no more.My iFriends say, "Just throw it away!"But I'm BlackBerried to the core.It may be obsolete, but it's the phone I choose.I got the BlackBerry blues.It's an iPhone world, a ...

Maui Connections

A group of "old ladies" is heading to Hilo, looking for some action this weekend.None of them is past her mid-20s; and the action they seek is on the volleyball court.They are Hawaiian Style Volleyball's Women's Open Team, and they're off to Haili's, or more formally, Hilo's 57th annual Haili ...

Ask The Mayor

Q: I recently found out that Kauai is no longer the wettest place on Earth, now Maui is. For years it used to be Mount Waialeale on Kauai but now it's some place called the Big Bog near Haleakala National Park. So my question is: If Maui has so much water, why do we have water problems? Can't ...

Promoting greater access to facilities, services and information

A bill to be considered at Tuesday's council meeting would allow families access to a cherished playground that has inspired residents to come together as a community.In 2012, substandard conditions forced the Department of Parks and Recreation to close the Kalakupua Playground on Giggle Hill ...

All in a day’s work

Catching a ride on a helicopter, trekking through jungle and rappelling down cliffs are all in a day's work for Palani Wright. The Lahainaluna High School graduate helps protect Maui's native forest with the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership. The nonprofit organization of public and ...

Maui Nei

The phone rang twice that morning. The first call was bad news about one of the outdoor cats. Malone had come down with several terminal health problems exacerbated by old age. The decision was made, reluctantly, to have him put down. Saying the fateful words spawned an emotional funk that ...

Mayors are still after surcharge authority

A few weeks ago, I wrote of an effort by the state's mayors to acquire the authority to slap a surcharge onto the general excise tax and use the tax just as it is in Honolulu, where there is a 0.5 percent surcharge to pay for rail. This bill is still alive and it represents probably the largest ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Recently, I was amazed to learn that tourism accounts for more than 80 percent of our county's economic activity. According to the Maui County General Plan, the visitor industry provides 75 percent of all private sector jobs on Maui.I don't know what the industry employment statistics were in ...

Maui Connections

It's tax time. After the holidays, New Year's Day, the Super Bowl and the Oscars, this doesn't even pretend to be a season of happiness. It's a time of laboriously poring over bad-news numbers on slips of paper of all shapes and sizes. It's taxing just trying to sort it all out, especially when ...