In Maui, we “talk story”. It is how business is done. It’s how relationships are made. It is informal, direct and sometimes skips from topic to topic quickly.
Every time a read the Maui News, I think I should write little articles highlighting noteworthy news stories from Maui, with my opinions and thoughts. I’m going to try to summarize top 10 things that I think are newsworthy each month. Many of my readers don’t live on Maui and so this can serve as a quick way to know what is happening. If I missed something you think is newsworthy, make sure to leave in the comments.
Maui Talk Story – May 2014
I start off with article about – ME! Click on the image to see the full article. The regular column is about REALTORs who do good work in the community and each week they feature someone. I’m one of the co-founders of Grow Some Good and the unofficial treasurer and webmaster. Check out the Grow Some Good program and sign up for our newsletter. We have great volunteer needs and fabulous fundraising dinners you don’t want to miss. You don’t need to garden to enjoy.
2. Sick Whale off Maui Brings in Tiger Sharks
Last weekend I heard that the sick sperm whale had move from South Maui up to Olowalu area and then just found this video indicating that it is back near Molokini. The whale is obviously in distress. There are several large Tiger sharks following the whale so people are advised to stay out of the water.
3. Politicians are “Signing Up”
They announce that they have registered to run for office and then the real signs begin! Every street corner, every major thoroughfare are littered with signs. I grew up in a family where Dad was a State Representative and then Mayor of our town so I did put up signs and distribute fliers and learned the “politics wave”. I personally don’t vote according to how many signs or who I know but select favorite candidates based on their ability to listen to all sides of an issue and think through real problems. I’m not tied to a political party and really scrutinize politicians that stick to party lines because they obviously can’t think for themselves. I also scrutinize candidates who put up 14 signs in a row – that sounds like a real misuse of resources to me.
4. Three Long-time Restaurants on Maui Close
First was Stella Blues in Kihei who closed their doors after 23 years. Then Moose McGillyCutty’s in Lahaina (Kihei Moose’s is still open) and then just today Buzz’s Wharf in Ma’alaea closed after 42 years in business. In April, we saw Dragon, Dragon in Kahului close. We see a lot of restaurants come and go but it is sad to see icons of our community unable to survive high rents and new competition. My Message –> “Get out and enjoy your old favorite restaurants often! ”
5. City Council Votes to Reduce Property Taxes
This isn’t just for one or two classes of properties but across the board. I don’t really want to pay more but from a community well-being perspective, I don’t like this. We are one of the poorest counties in the nation. Everyone thinks we should be rich from tourism but it doesn’t work that way. We need better infrastructure. We need better schools. Our property taxes are the lowest of any place I’ve ever lived. I wish they didn’t vote on this right before #3. I suspect it may have a different outcome!
I wish the best to the entire crew on this amazing journey. I toured the Hōkūle’a earlier this year and can not imagine living on the boat for longer than a few days! The crew members are a mix of experienced sailors and those who want to learn the old voyaging ways. I was delighted to learn that they have adapted to some new technologies so we can stay in communication. The crew is changed throughout the trip but the first leg to Tahiti is the LONGEST.
7. Congratulations to Steve and JoAnn Shipes
Steve and JoAnn are my buyer clients who successfully purchased a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, just 1/2 block from Charley Young Beach in Kihei. They were a joy to work with and will be long-time friends. Although they won’t be full-time residents right away, it is good that they decided to take this move while interest rates and prices are still reasonable.
About May 20th, my Facebook page started popping up strange photos of “Squiggles in the Sky” – mostly taken from friends up in Pukalani and Kula. Truly strange looking! The next day, news came out that they had “most likely” been caused by a test missile that was launched in Kauai about the time of the sightings.
9. GMO petitions
Maui has been flaring with people trying to get required signatures to put the GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) on the ballot in November. The first set of 8500 signatures were deemed about 50% invalid from the County Clerk. Bad sign. They proceeded to work to get more signatures but I haven’t heard if they’ve been deemed valid yet. I had lots of close friends ask me to sign. Each one that I asked, I wondered “What is the initiative on the bill really saying?” No one had read the initiative. Bad sign. It sounds like they (SHAKA Movement) want to put major limits on the ability of Maui growers to grow GMO-plants. I’ve read a lot and look at it from my science background. There isn’t a clear answer. But the anti-GMO groups have not convinced me that they know enough to educate the Maui populations before the election. I did not sign the petition. I feel privileged to be able to grow and eat organic and/or sustainably grown foods.
I had the opportunity to observe the 1st Tech Startup Weekend on Maui. It was energizing and exciting. People signed up and brought their ideas. 24 ideas were pitched (1 minute!) then everyone voted on the best ones. The top 10 ideas had about 20 minutes to establish a team who then had the weekend (54 hours) to come up with a prototype and/or business plan. People who didn’t know each other came together. Mentors from several sectors were available to consult. Then each team was allowed 5 minutes to pitch the results to judges on Sunday night. Ideas were everything from games, to shoes and ketchup! Sometimes I miss my techie roots… but my ideas for next year are around Real Estate!
That about wraps up the Maui Talk Story – May 2014 edition. I forgot to include the weather report — Weather has been different than most May’s which are delightful. We’ve had lots of days with no tradewinds. Many days with VOG and more south swells than are common for May.
Feel free to make suggestions to things I’ve missed below. If you disagree with my positions, I appreciate that you share your thoughts on my Facebook page!