Maui Motormouth

Aloha!

Did you know today is National Cat Day? It was started in 2005 to encourage prospective cat owners to go down to a shelter and become a fur–mommy or fur-daddy.

Our own Maui Humane Society shelter-kitty, Lili, is now 11 years old. She spends all of her waking hours trying to share whatever happens to be on our plates, ESPECIALLY any type of Hawaiian fruit. Here’s Miss Motormouth in action with a papaya:

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Her tongue goes about 60 mph. And she eats everything! Avocados, cherimoyas, mangos, lettuce, bananas….she has never turned a single thing down, including champagne on New Year’s Eve. Her philosophy is, if it’s good enough for us, who is she to question it?

Lili never begs. She waits patiently (she’s a Hawaii cat, afterall, and patience is imperative here) but she’s smart as a whip and I know for a fact we would never, ever get her to do this, even for Halloween:

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For all of you dog-lovers out there, Lili is a dog person, too. All of her best friends are dogs. It can be done, it just has to be the right two fur-people.

So if you have room in your heart and room in your home, please consider adopting a lovely feline TODAY. She is the joy of our lives and makes us laugh every single day. How much more could anyone ask?

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

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Maui Home Prices Surge

Aloha!

If you want to check out Maui real estate, it’s helpful to know that the median prices for single-family homes jumped 21.3% to $570,0000 in September, compared to 2013. Condos are up 34.8% to $465,000, according to the Realtors Association of Maui.

It’s worth noting that all of this is based on the area. For single-family homes, Central Maui (Kahului) had 32 sales and a $449,500 median price. Kihei had 12 sales and a $502,500 median price. But Haiku came in with eight sales and a $745,575 median price.

These low-end median prices are usually a typical Maui home made of cement block, and have three bedrooms, one bath, and a tiny kitchen. Perhaps a more accurate depiction of a median is this home in Olinda that I found on http://www.Zillow.com. (I love Zillow, especially the mapping and birds-eye views.) With a nice-sized kitchen, covered porch, etc.

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Four sales of luxury homes occurred in Wailea, for a total sales volume of $12.4 million and a median price of $1.4 million.

For those interested in condos, Kihei, the town right next-door to Wailea, outpaced all of the regions. It had 31 sales of condos with a median price of $315,000. Up north, Napili/Kahana/Honokowai had 12 condo sales, and a median price of $465,000. And upper-end Kaanapali came in with a median price of $930,000.

This is good news for Maui homeowners who have been hanging on waiting for their house prices to bump up so that they could sell. For those looking to buy in Maui, the time is now!

The full report can be seen at http://www.ramaui.com

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right. Mahalo for reading along.

Aloha, Jamaica

Calm and Clear

Aloha!
Tropical Storm Ana has moved on, and we suffered no damage. There were high winds, an amazing lightning show that went on for hours (we rarely get lightning on Maui) and a deluge of rain. But we even made it to a party on Saturday night that everyone wanted to go to and no one wanted canceled…(thanks, Shel!)

The thing about hurricanes is that it can look like they’re going out to sea, and then they can turn on a dime and blast back to land. That’s what happened with Hurricane Iniki when it hit Kauai in 1992. So the media has to really hype the hurricane, and get everyone’s attention just in case it does make landfall and there is major damage. People have to be safe. Thus, all the closures on Maui.

It was interesting, though, that Sunday morning–after the storm was on its way out– I was practically blasted out of bed at 3 AM from a flood warning on my cell phone. I don’t know how they even got the volume that loud, way louder than my normal ringtone!

There will be major run-off into the ocean from the storm, which creates murky water (dead fish and animals), and then the sharks move in. There was a report in the Maui News on Sunday morning (www.mauinews.com), about a man and his children surfing Maalaea Harbor after the storm, and a shark showed up. NEVER go in the water after a storm like this!

Anyway, the beauty of storms here is that they blow the VOG (volcanic organic gas) out, and we get nice clean air for a few days…longer, if we’re lucky.

We were hoping it would dial the heat down a notch or two, but we are still having record temperatures, over 90° every day, and the humidity…WHEW!!

Thanks to all the readers who sent good wishes for our safety in the storm, and even wrote to follow up. We appreciate each and everyone of you!

A hui hou. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

Tropical Storm Ana: Maui Shuts Down

Aloha!

A Reader wrote to say they were due for their first trip to Maui and wondered if they should cancel (without penalty.) We said yes. It certainly won’t be any fun to not be able to go to the beach, and to get blown around. There will be no boating activites and helicopter and air activities will most likely be canceled.

Here’s the latest:

Tropical Storm Ana is packing sustained winds of 65 mph and is 375 miles south–southeast of Hilo. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Big Island and Maui County’s leeward waters, the Alenuihaha Channel and the Big Island’s windward waters.

Before the heaviest winds arrive, south and south-east facing shores could see surf of 10 to 20 feet with storm surge of 1 foot, possibly 2 feet, on south-eastern shores.

Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches with locally heavy rainfall of 20 inches or more will precede the strongest winds. A flash flood watch statewide began at noon today.

Here are the area closings/changes:

Island Air halted flights to Maui and Lanai on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Fliers ticketed for travel on Island Air from today to Monday will be permitted to change their flight online without charge at http://www.Islandair.com or by contacting reservations at one 800–652–6541, which will maintain extended hours of 6 AM to 9 PM through Sunday and return to regular hours of 7 AM to 6 PM on Monday. Changes must be made prior to the departure of originally scheduled flights, the commuter airline said.

A host of local events are either postponed or canceled. Check the Maui News for the schedules.

On Molokai, there is gas rationing with purchases limited to $20 per vehicle, because the next shipment of gasoline to the island is not expected until next Thursday, due to Ana. At $5.33 a gallon for regular unleaded that comes to almost 4 gallons of gas. “When people panic, they fill up not only their cars, but gas cans and drums. Everybody wants to be prepared after seeing what happened to Puna, and that’s understandable. However, we need to make sure we have enough for everyone as well,” said Lori-lei Rawlins-Crivello of Rawlings Chevron on Molokai.

County parks and recreational facilities will be closed Saturday with camping grounds closed today, the county Department of Parks and Recreation announced Thursday. Camping permits issued for tonight and Saturday night were canceled.

State parks on Maui and Molokai were closed today, until further notice. Campers in remote coastal areas have been notified to leave.

Forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves and Na Ala Hele hiking trails and game management areas are closed until further notice. Haleakala National Park Summit closed at noon today. The park will remain closed until managers can assess the safety conditions of the roads, trails, campgrounds and visitor centers. In anticipation of Ana, the park stopped issuing backcountry camping and cabin permits Wednesday. Existing weekend backcountry permits have been canceled. For the latest closure information, go to the website http://www.nps.gov/hale.

The state’s small–boat harbors will be closed at 4:30 PM today, until further notice, the DLNR said. Those include Maalaea and Lahaina small – boat harbors.

Interisland shipper Young Brothers updated its shipping schedule Thursday, anticipating that Kahului Harbor will not be closed, but that the port of Kaumalapau on Lanai and Kaunakakai will be shut down by the Coast Guard today. For updates, go to http://www.youngbrothershawaii.com.

Visitors are urged to heed warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials and warned of rip currents and contaminated shorelines due to run-off.

Fuel your vehicle. Store and secure outdoor objects and loose, lightweight objects. Prepare to cover window and door openings with boards, shutters are other shielding materials.

Stock up on bottled water, toilet paper, rice, and essentials.

Fo those interested in shelters, the county said Thursday that locations, including pet–friendly shelters, will be announced as needed. The MauiBus will Shuttle residents to shelters for free if needed.

Lastly, be safe out there. Hurricane season lasts until November 30!

(All information sources from the Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com, as of Friday, October 17, 2014.)

A hui hou. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Interisland Airfare Question Answered

Aloha!

A reader wrote to ask about the cost of travel between the islands. I try to post the letters that have the broadest audience…

Message: Greetings!

I have been thinking of moving to Maui (Makawao, specifically) and renting a house owned by a friend of my family with my sister. I am hoping to take classes through the University of Hawaii; however, I noticed that the University of Hawaii: Maui College doesn’t really offer the classes/majors I am interested in. So my question is this: is there some sort of pass I could pay for to use for regular commuting between islands, or would I have to buy tickets separately? P.S. – Your blog has been EXTREMELY helpful in giving me a new perspective of what it is like to live in Maui, thank you so much!

Aloha,
Thank you for writing.
Unfortunately, nothing like that exists any more. In the old days (15 years ago, when I moved here) you could buy a coupon book, and the interisland fare was only $25.00. It was very helpful to residents who wanted to go visit family or even to just go shopping for things they needed on Oahu. Christmas shopping, even.

Not any more. We had an airline war. Mesa Airlines (operating as go! Airlines) put Aloha Airlines out of business. Now THEY they are out of business… which means Hawaiian Airlines basically has a monopoly, so we don’t expect to see prices drop anytime soon.

There was also a ferry that ran interisland, “The Superferry”, and most residents were very excited about it, because they could ferry their cars over and not have to rent a car. But that got torpedoed by environmental groups who felt that it harmed the whales (and probably the rental car companies…)
So we are back to paying around $87.00 and up for a one-way ticket to Oahu. Times that by two or four or five in the family, and it becomes very prohibitive.

I would not suggest trying to attend school on one island and live on the other if your budget is tight.

I wish you the very best as you plan your future. Thank you for writing, and for reading along.

A hui hou. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

The Psychology of Place 2

Aloha!

Our friends in Sonoma, California met a girl who moved there from Maui, and she complained, “There’s nothing to do here! I’m used to going to the beach every day.” Well, that may be, but if you move to Sonoma, California, you’d better be prepared to like hiking, biking, wine, and excellent food (and have the money to support that lifestyle.) Otherwise, why be there?

When we are on the outside looking in, thinking about how great it would be to live in a place, the dichotomy is that we can’t really know a place until we live there. To know the “psychology” of the place.

Vacationing in Maui doesn’t count; even part – time residents who own a condo near the beach and “play” the whole time they’re here, can’t really know.

It’s the people who work two and three jobs, long, long days to support a family on an $8 to $12 per hour salary while paying $7.00 for a gallon of milk, who know. Any place can put its best face forward to visitors – particularly if those visitors rarely venture outside the pristine, landscaped, hotel/restaurant areas where all the other visitors are, who look and act the same as them. A place doesn’t announce its ills, its economy, its prejudices or its wounds to the visitors it counts on for its life blood. All of that is kept under wraps – it’s best foot forward, always.

That is why the weathermen call the VOG (volcanic organic gas) here “haze.” As a boat Captain, Mike talks with tourists who think the VOG is just fog. And they have no idea that the sugar cane is burned, because it’s done at 4:30 am and far away from their hotels in Wailea…

The psychology of any place is a mix of history, change, job opportunity, education (or lack of it), racial tensions, shunning outsiders or accepting them, feeling agitated or at peace with where you find yourself in the world… and Maui is no different.

A hui hou. Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

Best of Maui 2014…Part 2

Aloha!
The Maui News (www.MauiNews.com) runs a contest every year for the “Best of Maui.” The results for 2014 are in. Last time I covered restaurants, and this time we will look at other activities. (In the interest of time, I will simply list them, and you can Google their addresses, phone numbers etc.)

Best Spa:
Grand Wailea Spa Grande
http://www.grandwailea.com

Best Golf Courses:
Kapalua Plantation Course
http://www.kapalua.com

The King Kamehameha Golf Club
www. kamehamehagolf.com

Wailea Gold Course
http://www.Waileagolf.com

Best Agri-Tourism:
Al’i Kula Lavender Farm
http://www.aliikulalavender.com
(love this place, but be forewarned, they now charge just to get on the grounds.)

Best Air Activity:
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
http://www.blueHawaiian.com

Best Sea Activity:
Trilogy Excursions
http://www.sailtrilogy.com
(I’m biased…Mike is a captain for the Scotch Mist out of Lahaina. If you love to SAIL, check them out at :

http://www.scotchmistsailingcharters.com/
Scotch Mist Sailing Charters is the premier sailing charter on Maui. Enjoy stunning scenic views as you glide silently along the sparkling blue waters off Maui’s …‎Reservations – ‎Sunset Cruise – ‎Snorkeling

Best Luau:
Old Lahaina Luau
http://www.oldLahainaluau.com
(my own favorite, The Feast at Lele, came in third:
http://www.feastatlele.com)

Best Resort/accommodations:
Grand Wailea
http://www.grandwailea.com
(nice if you can afford it!)

Best Local Coffee Shop:
Maui Coffee Roasters in Kahului
http://www.mauicoffeeroasters.com

Best Boutique:
Mahina
http://www.shopmahina.com for locations

Best sports store/surf shop:
Hi – Tech Surf Sports
Www.surfMaui.com

Second-place:
Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport
http://www.Hawaiianisland.com

Third-place:
Maui Dreams Dive Company
Www.Mauidreamsdiveco.com

That’s it for this year….enjoy them during your time on Maui, and remember, it’s always best to check back as hours and information can change….and places go out of business. As we all say here, “It’s Maui”!!

A hui hou. if you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.Mahalo!

Aloha, Jamaica