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Susan Halas

Susan Halas is a Senior Political Contributor at MAUIWatch. She has followed Hawaii politics since 1976 when she moved to the Valley Isle. She was formerly a staff writer for the Maui News as well as other local print and digital publications.

2017 Review: A Year in the Life of Alan Arakawa

The best thing you could say about Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa in 2017 was that he clearly loved his job and was willing to give it his undivided attention 24/7. Last year, he was ubiquitous, which means he was everywhere all the time. His honor gave new meaning to the scriptural quote, “For where two or three gather in my …

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Unpacking yesterday’s marathon County Council meeting

The Maui County Council meeting of Friday, December 1 continued on Monday, December. 4 was a marathon session with a packed agenda of 51 items. On Friday over 90 Mauians showed up to testify in person on a shopping list of controversial proposals in a comment period which began at 9 in the morning and extended to nearly 7 at …

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Sugimura & Horovitz shine at Liquor Commission as Non-Profits Prevail

The Maui County Liquor Control Commission voted today to revise proposed rules which would have added a host of burdensome requirements that nonprofit organizations would need to meet in order to apply for a one day permit to serve alcohol at fundraising events. That permit is known as a “Class 10 – special license.” Present were Nane Aluli, Leon Bolosan, …

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UPDATE: Liquor Commission Rules Draw Ire of Nonprofits

Update as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 9. Following the executive session, the Maui Liquor Commission accepted a motion to review both their own proposed amendments to the rules regulating one-day liquor sales at nonprofit fundraisers and the version submitted by Yuki Lei Suigimura. The material included in these two draft versions will be published for public notice on Sunday …

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Frustration Mounts Over Non-Profit Liquor Rules

Wednesday’s meeting of the Maui County Liquor Commission went into executive session at 12:30 p.m. to consider revising drastic rules which affect the ability of nonprofit organizations to serve alcohol during one-day fundraising events. These “Class 10” special permits are now a topic of urgent concern as non-profits seek to push back against recent rules changes which would require fingerprinting, …

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Lona Ridge Permit Dead On Arrival

The Land Use Committee of the Maui County Council voted unanimously (9-0) on Wednesday to file the request by Lona Ridge for a special use permit to conduct commercial activities on the agriculturally zoned property located at 588 Kulaiwi Drive above Wailuku Heights II subdivision, an all residential area. The action to file the permit request known as LU-23 effectively …

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UPDATE: Wailuku Heights estate seeks expansion of commercial operations

Lona Ridge is on the agenda at the Maui County Council Land Use Committee. The controversial application by Lona Ridge Inc. to expand commercial uses at the five-acre estate above Wailuku Heights has finally landed at the County Council. UPDATE: The site visit to Lona Ridge above Wailuku Heights scheduled for Tuesday, July 18 was canceled due to lack of …

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Liquor Commission Moves to End 24/7 Liquor Sales

In a unanimous vote, the Maui Liquor Commission voted today to nix 24-hour liquor sales, cap the number of hostess bars at 12, and prohibit the delivery of liquor to businesses and residences. Voting unanimously were members of the Liquor Commission including Chairman Robert Tanaka and members Leon Bolosan, Dana Souza, Darren Lopez, Nicole DeRego, Dawn Bicoy, Nane Aluli and …

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