ACLU Sues State of Hawaii Over Lame Protest Permit Requirements

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You may know the Hawaii chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from such recent civil rights battles as the war over whether citizens can carry signs on public roads in the County of Maui (settled in October 2013!), distribute religious literature on public sidewalks (still pending!) and whether a county employee can administer a blog that satirizes a Maui cop (also still pending!). That was all fun and good and necessary–assuming … [Read more...]

Talking Story With New County Auditor Lance Taguchi About His Plans, Resources and Why It’s Taking So Long For Him To Get Started

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One of the little observed results of the 2012 election on Maui was the decisive approval of a Charter Commission proposal calling for a County Auditor. While not the sexiest job around, a decisive majority of voters (54 percent to 29 percent) voted to bring Maui County into the 20th century and hire an independent auditor–a person whose sole job is to investigate county departments and make sure they’re working honestly and efficiently. Of … [Read more...]

Maui County Councilmember Mike White Goes Crazy, Proposes County Adopt Anti-Nepotism Policy

We couldn't believe it either, but it's right there on the hearing agenda for the Monday, July 15 hearing of the Maui County Council's Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Granted, the item is the last thing on the meeting agenda, but still. Labeled PIA-25 NEPOTISM POLICY, the agenda states that the "purpose of the proposed bill is to create a Nepotism Policy for the County." Let's be clear here: nepotism is when, say, you have sons … [Read more...]

State of Hawaii Throws Book At Tricia Morris of Hawaii’s Premiere Mortgage Co.

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We’ve known for about the past six months that times have definitely gotten tough for Tricia Morris, probably Maui’s most famous mortgage broker. That the island could even have something called a “most famous mortgage broker” is testament both to Morris’ marketing savvy and the extent to which the real estate bubble from a few years ago consumed Maui. In any case, Morris’ career apparently mirrored the nation’s own experiences with subprime … [Read more...]

2013 MauiTime Green Issue

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Where environmental matters are concerned, Maui these days is a place of great contradictions. As a relatively tiny rock in the middle of the vast Pacific, the island has extremely limited landfill potential–a reality everyone here is well aware of–yet the County of Maui’s curbside recycling program remains an isolated experiment. So-called “zero emission” electric cars, though still just a small percentage of vehicles on the road, are … [Read more...]

What The State Of Hawaii Intends To Do About The Time A Fake Reef Attacked A Real Coral Reef At Keawakapu

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Sometimes it’s the smallest stories in a newspaper that prove the most interesting. On Jan. 5, I was skimming through The Maui News when I found the small, unbylined article “DLNR to present plan for repairing coral off Kihei” on page A3. The headline is unremarkable, but the story below it was anything but. I had no idea that on Dec. 2, 2009 (according to a 110-page report on the subject written by Honolulu-based Planning Solutions, Inc.–click … [Read more...]

Breaking: Judge Joseph Cardoza Orders Wailuku Main Street Association To Comply With Hawaii Attorney General Subpoena

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It took about 45 minutes for Judge Joseph Cardoza to rule that Wailuku Main Street Association (WMSA) needs to comply with the Hawaii Attorney General's second subpoena, which focuses on financial records still held by the embattled nonprofit organization. "This is a shuttered public charity," Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones said during the hearing, which focused solely on the issue of subpoena compliance–not on the larger issue of whether … [Read more...]

Maui Prison Guard Accused Of Using Inmates For Private Landscaping Company

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By Oliver de Silva Maui Community Correctional Center sent inmates to do landscaping work for a prison guard's private company, a new whistleblower retaliation complaint filed by former MCCC Correctional Officer Hendricks Haapu alleges. A 20-year vet of the prison, Haapu also alleges that he was "overworked, reassigned and verbally and physically harassed" when he complained about the labor to Sergeant Carl Duarte, his supervisor who also ran … [Read more...]

Wailuku Main Street Association Board Chairman Tom Cannon Puts Thumbs In Ears And Wags Fingers When Maui County Officials Ask For More Documents

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Just when you thought that giant heap of hurt the Wailuku Main Street Association (WMSA) went and leaped into couldn't get any bigger (and that heap already includes a subpoena from the State Attorney General's office and a Dec. 5 court date), we've obtained a couple letters from October showing the county's most controversial nonprofit has threatened to sue the County of Maui (click here to read the letters). In mid-October, Maui County … [Read more...]

Hey Maui County, It’s Time To Vote In The 2012 Election

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Can you believe this election has gone on for 17 months? Yeah, I know–it seems like so much longer than that. But look on the bright side: because the presidential election is so close, whoever loses will undoubtedly cry foul, and the shower of grammatically poor, fact-challenged political memes will continue as before. Seriously though, it's time to get to your polling place. If you don't know where that is, check out the State of Hawaii … [Read more...]