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Liquor Audit extended to September 21

The performance audit of the Department of Liquor Control has been extended to September 21, 2018, Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura announced today. The Council authorized the Council Chair to contract for the audit in February. The selected auditors, Harvey M. Rose Associates, LLC, have been working on the audit since May 21. “To ensure the auditors have enough time to …

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Community Viewpoint: State Representative Blocks DOCARE Bill

For well over a decade I’ve been an advocate for the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE).  In that time I’ve seen the constant changing of DLNR Directors as well as DOCARE Chiefs.  When any new leadership takes the reigns, there is always high hopes and initiatives they try to implement.  Often times though rotten employees within the …

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Community Viewpoint: Failed housing policy, in perpetuity

Following a decision by the owner of a Lahaina “affordable housing” complex to sell its 142 units at market prices starting in 2019 — three decades earlier than expected — there is movement at the Maui County Council to require that all of Maui’s so-called affordable housing to remain so in perpetuity. Councilwoman Elle Cochran introduced a measure in October …

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Letter: County needs to seriously consider banning ALL fireworks

The County of Maui needs to seriously consider banning ALL fireworks. A few people in my area have continually broken the law year after year by lighting off loud blasting and airborne fireworks starting around Halloween and continuing through January. The laws governing firework usage are not enforceable, the police can only ticket criminals if they see them doing the …

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VIEWPOINT: Why Are Maui’s Malls Vacant?

Today nearly 12 percent of Maui’s retail space is empty, and that figure is expected to rise to 16 percent by the beginning of next year. That would amount to an increase of 100 percent since 2013, when retail vacancy was at 8 percent. It may not be apparent walking through Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, but take a stroll through Lahaina …

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Community Viewpoint: Why no trailer parks on Maui?

Have you ever wondered why there aren’t any trailer parks on Maui? Or why “tiny home” villages haven’t caught on in the islands yet? With the cost of housing displacing more local families every day, these affordable alternative communities are noticeably absent. So what’s preventing their development? Ironically, there are not actually any explicit legal barriers, according to the Maui …

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VIEWPOINT: Mansions easier to build on Maui than apartments

Have you ever wondered why developers on Maui spend their time building mansions instead of affordable homes? At first glance, it would seem they could make more money building mansions, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Surprisingly, developers often make less money on mansions than if they were to build low-end or mid-level homes or apartments. Why? The reason is …

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VIEWPOINT: Ad regarding school bus service was self-serving and misleading

The beginning of every school year is a time of great excitement for students, parents and staff, that also brings new challenges to overcome. Each year, our bus contractors enable the safe delivery of approximately 40,000 students statewide every day. The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) recognizes that for 383 of its students on Maui these expectations were not …

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Letter: State Needs to Prioritize Teacher Contract

The state (Board of Education, Governor and superintendent) needs to prioritize retaining quality, experienced teachers. But the state is not taking the negotiations process seriously by: Not bringing all team members to the table including their chief negotiator and governor’s representatives Not engaging in any significant way in discussions of our proposals, even non-cost items Not being available to bargain …

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Community Viewpoint: County workers in Hawaii make highest wages in nation

County workers in the state of Hawaii make the highest wages on average in the entire nation compared to county workers in other states, according to research from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that county workers in Hawaii make a mean average wage of $61,365 a year. Private sector workers in …

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