Susan Halas

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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.

Alleged desecration of Valley draws attentive young crowd

It was standing room only Thursday night (10/13) at UH Maui College as a crowd of over 100 mainly college age students, heard the “wild west” details of the post-storm events in the Iao Valley from the point of view of the young people who had been on the scene with cameras to observe the huge excavators and trucks removing …

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Public testimony skeptical of emergency measures in Iao Valley

What was billed as a special emergency meeting of the Maui County Council to authorize $5 million in reimbursements for expenses the county incurred during flooding of the Wailuku River during the severe storm of Sept. 13th turned into a marathon session that took public testimony from 32 speakers. These speakers all raised questions about the permitting process and alleged …

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Ethics Complaint “Politically motivated” says Councilman Couch

Council member Don Couch is the target of an ethics violation complaint filed by Haiku resident Sean Lester with the Maui County Board of Ethics. In documents received on Sept. 23, 2016, Lester alleges Couch purchased a home in Waikapu and a condo in Kihei in 2007. He states that Couch did not meet the “affordable income criteria” for the …

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As Maui Hospitals deal unravels Wes Lo explains the outlook

The great Maui hospitals deal which only a week ago looked like “All systems GO,” seems suddenly on track to completely unravel and leave Maui facing major cuts in hospital beds and medical services. In an interview this morning (9/1) Wes Lo, Maui Memorial Medical Center’s CEO looked tired and strained as he explained yesterday’s hospital board decision calling for …

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Maui Hospitals Transition to Kaiser stalls again; New date set for July 1, 2017

The much postponed transition of Maui’s three public hospitals to Kaiser Permanent management hit a new setback today with the news that Kaiser has written a letter to Governor Ige to postpone the official start date until July 1, 2017. In a letter (see below) dated Aug 28, 2016, Ray Hahn, senior vice president and hospital administrator for Maui Health …

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Primary 2016 – The Thrill Is Gone

Election night 2016 was characterized by low turnout, little energy, no magic, and only a few surprises. The night’s most unexpected finish was in the race for the vacant Wailuku County Council seat where former council member Dane Kane, finished first with 6,443 votes, while first time candidate Alika Atay came in second with 6,354. Trailing the leaders was the …

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GMO Seed Giant releases 2015 Memorandum of Understanding Voluntary Maui County reporting includes Restricted Use Pesticides details

In a follow-up to our March 6th MAUIWatch interview with Kai Pelayo, the new Monsanto Maui community affairs director, Pelayo forwarded a 32-page update to the company’s Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Maui for the year 2015. According to the document, the details of the agreement include information sharing, quarterly meetings, and an annual report that calls for …

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Upcountry Council Candidates debate draws large & attentive crowd Moniz, Greig-Nakasone, Sugimura answer questions from Maui Young Democrats

The first political debate of the 2016 election season drew a large and attentive crowd to the Pukalani Community Center last night to hear candidates for the Maui County Council’s Upcountry seat. Participating in the event hosted by the Maui Young Democrat (MYD) were Stacey Moniz, Napua Greig-Nakasone and Yuki Lei Sugimura who answered questions on topics that ranged from …

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Young Dems host Upco Candidates Debate Wed., April 27, 5:30 – 8 pm, Pukalani CC

The Maui Young Democrats host the first debate of the 2016 election season on Wed., April 27 from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Pukalani Community Center, (91 Pukalani Ave.) The free public event features the four candidates running for the Upcountry Maui County Council seat. They are (in alphabetical order): Eric Molina, Stacey Moniz, Nāpua Greig-Nakasone and Yuki Lei Sugimura. …

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