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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.

Leadership Shake-Up at Maui County Council

IT’S OFFICIAL Kelly King (right) steps down as council chair. Alice Lee (left) is expected to assume that post. King made the announcement today at a press conference at the County Building. She said she will head a newly created committee on climate change with Shane Sinenci as vice-chair. Lee’s water committee chairmanship is proposed to go to Yuki Lei …

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Budget Committee Slashes Wailuku Garage Funds in 6-3 vote cuts money in half for the proposed structure

In a stunning turnabout, the Economic Development and Budget (EDB) Committee of the Maui County Council voted 6-3 to cut already allocated bond funds for the Wailuku Parking Garage from $42 million to $27.7 million. Of that amount, approximately $13 million has already been encumbered (Approximately $10 million for infrastructure to Vineyard and Church St. area identified as Phase 1-A, …

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Maui OHA Rep. Hulu Lindsey on TMT: ‘Absolutely Never.’

“My position on building the TMT telescope on Maunakea is “absolutely never,” said Carmen Hulu Lindsey,  Lindsey, 75, is an elected board member to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) representing Maui. Asked if there was any wiggle room in that stance she was emphatic, “it’s non-negotiable.” She termed the mountain the ‘piko’ (navel) of the entire Hawaiian culture, adding, …

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Council Ridicules Administration Housing ‘Plan’

The administration’s long-awaited “strategic plan” for affordable/attainable housing was greeted with ridicule and dismay by several members of the Maui County Council attending the Aug. 7th meeting of the council’s Affordable Housing Committee. “This is not a plan,” said Council Chair Kelly King, “There’s no proposal.” King called the presentation “a hamster wheel…a circular exercise. There’s nothing in here we …

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Battling Politicos: Molina Demands Apology from Victorino

The sun is barely up on Friday morning and the normally affable Mike Molina is “steamed, still plenty steamed.” The object of his displeasure is Maui Mayor Mike Victorino, who Molina says “Has an ego the size of Haleakala.” Molina, the council member who represents Makawao, Haiku, and Paia and chairs the important GET committee, doesn’t mince any words, he …

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Fireworks Forum Frustrates

They came frustrated and they left frustrated. A group of about 60 Mauians attended a panel discussion on Tuesday night at Pomaikai Elementary School in Kahului to discuss the problems and dangers of illegal fireworks and to question how cultural traditions could be observed while preserving the peace and safety of the larger community. The panel moderated by Mahina Martin …

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Wong Resigns, Lutey Nominated for Corporation Counsel Post

Veteran county litigator Moana Lutey was nominated on Tuesday by Maui Mayor Victorino to serve as Corporation Counsel, the county’s top legal job. If confirmed by the County Council she will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Patrick Wong, and will be the first woman in the county’s history to hold the office. Lutey, 52, has been a …

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Council Unanimously Confirms Guzman as Prosecuting Attorney

The Maui County Council unanimously confirmed Donald S. Guzman to head the office of Prosecuting Attorney at its regular meeting of April 5, 2019 by a vote of 9-0. Guzman comes to the office with extensive legal and public service background. An attorney by training he served as a Maui deputy prosecutor from mid 2000 to mid 2005; he went …

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G.E.T Committee approves Guzman nomination for Prosecuting Attorney

The nomination of Donald S. Guzman to head the Office of Prosecuting Attorney was approved today by a vote of 8 to 0 (with member Hokama excused) at a morning meeting of the Maui County Council’s Governance, Ethics and Transparency Committee (GET). The nomination will now move to the full council. Today’s sparsely attended meeting was a continuation of the …

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