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

Safe No More?

Aloha!

One of things I’ve always loved the absolute most about living in Maui is the feeling of safety. I feel no need to stride purposely through a parking lot, keys in hand, ready to jump in my car to avoid being raped, robbed, or murdered…as I always felt in California.

Maui has been different. It just hasn’t had the big-city problems. Until now. There are two women missing, both of them having disappeared in the last month. There are posters plastered everywhere that say “Have you seen Charlie Scott?” This woman, “Charlie” was five months pregnant. They have found her burned-out truck and her faithful dog, but no Charlie. She was last seen on the way to meet her ex-boyfriend, the father of her child. The ex-boyfriends of both missing women are “persons of interest.” (This makes me feel somewhat better, just so we don’t have to yet utter those dreaded two words–“serial killer.”)

This stuff just doesn’t happen here. But now, everyone is beginning to wonder. My niece, Alyssa, who has been living with us for a few months, is suddenly on high alert as she walks home from the bus stop after work. She scoffs now at me telling her how safe Maui was when she moved here. She doesn’t think it’s so safe. There are two missing women.

One thing about an island this size– it’s very hard to run or hide. All they have to do is close the airport, or check the docks. Our friend Mike, who is a heavy equipment operator and owns a lot of big machinery, had his backhoe stolen from a job site at one point. First of all, how is someone going to get a backhoe off the island without arousing suspicion? So, Mike figured it had to still be on the island. He chartered a helicopter, flew over the island, and Bingo! there it was sitting in someone’s yard.

But they have done the whole search by air/search by land grid-pattern for these two women, and have turned up nothing. To me, there’s a very good possible explanation they are overlooking in this story.

We are surrounded by a vast ocean. All it takes is a good chunk of concrete, and anybody would be gone.

I pray for the families of these two women. I also pray that the halcyon days of safety in Maui are not over forever.

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

Aloha, Jamaica

Michelle Obama Visits Oprah on Maui

Aloha!
Just in case you haven’t heard –because you haven’t dug out from under that snowdrift yet– Michelle Obama is visiting Oprah Winfrey on Maui.

I love how the news sources get it wrong. Breitbart.com said that Mrs. Obama was partying at “Oprah’s Maui Beach House.” And yet Oprah’s house is nowhere near the beach. It is a ranch. A ranch on the side of Haleakala Mountain. Oprah can see the water, yes, but she is not at the beach. (See this blog’s Post “Where Does Oprah Live on Maui?” Nov.25, 2012.)

The news first hit here on Maui because a man trying to take his normal bike route near Oprah’s house was blocked by Secret Service agents and alerted The Maui News. (http://www.mauinews.com)

White House reports indicate the First Lady stayed behind this week in Hawaii to chill out with friends before her 50th birthday. Sources with direct knowledge tell TheDC that the First Lady is relaxing in Maui at Oprah’s estate with CBS’ Gayle King, Valerie Jarrett and Sharon Malone, who is Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife.

“Yesterday, we saw bomb-sniffing dogs and Maui police in the bushes,” Heather Long, the manager of nearby Grandma’s Coffeehouse, told The Dailey Caller. “We’re very close to Oprah’s property. They’ll probably walk up and down the road.”

Winfrey stops by the coffee shop regularly, but employees “try to not to make it a big deal,” Long said.

http://www.Oprah.com says this of the Hawaii home:

Once an ordinary little gray ranch that Oprah saw “for less than 10 minutes” and considered a tear-down, Oprah’s Hawaiian home has been transformed into the perfect 21st-century farmhouse, with great pieces of folk art, beautifully embroidered curtains, comfortable furniture, and inviting colors:

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Michelle Obama’s extended stay is reportedly part of a birthday gift from the President. The Obama daughters headed home to Washington. A birthday weekend without the children…sounds like Mrs. Obama needed some R&R.

And what better place to get it than here on Maui, land of plumeria breezes and sunsets that make you feel like you’re at the center of the earth?

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

The Real Reason I Live on Maui

Aloha!
So here it is, the REAL reason, above all others, that I live on Maui. My sister, who still lives where I grew up in Indiana (and teaches at our same junior high), sent this to me this morning. My teeth chatter just thinking about it:

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To all of you in the Midwest and on the East Coast battling this type of weather, please stay warm, and stay safe on the roads out there.

Have a cup of hot chocolate and think of me…I will soon be deluged with letters from people asking me questions on “How to Move to Maui.” (See FAQ’s on Moving to Maui).

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Smokin’ New Year on Maui!

Aloha!
If you’ve ever been to Maui for New Year’s Eve, you know that the celebratory fireworks are even bigger than Fourth of July here. I’m talking legal at-home fireworks. The air in our neighborhood was so thick that we couldn’t see, as a neighbor and his buddies set off firecrackers, etc. for four hours (I’m pretty sure that copious amounts of alcohol were involved) and we stayed inside with all the windows closed and the air conditioner on (I have asthma and am no fun when I can’t breathe). Since we don’t have a fireplace, of course, we made a picnic supper on the coffee table and lit candles and told New Year’s Eve stories. Then we started a new tradition: we lit a pillar candle, our “New Year’s Eve Candle” and everybody made a wish, and we all blew it out at the same time.

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2013 was the Year of the Shark on Maui. And Same-Sex Marriage, and a new group called SHAKA (opposing Monsanto GMO’s) and…Shopping!

There were numerous sharks sightings on Maui but in August, visitor Jana Lutteropp, 20, from Germany, was bitten in south Maui waters and died a week later. It was the first shark bite fatality in about a decade. Then in December, kayaker Patrick A. Briney died after a shark bit the foot he had dangling in the water while fishing with a friend.

Environmentalists think the exhaustion of the food supply due to overfishing has caused the predators to move into shallower waters, while the followers of the “old knowledge” say the sharks, a potent Hawaiian aumakau (family god), are a symbol or omen that call attention to desecration of Hawaii’s land and ocean resources.

The attack on Briney came three days after an unidentified woman was attacked (but survived) at Keawakapu Beach about five miles to the north. This presents a worrisome trend: There have been at least eight shark attacks around Maui in 2013, with 13 shark attacks overall reported around the state, according to state data and recent reports.
Attacks in Hawaii have risen sharply over the last two years compared with the last decade, when Hawaii saw only one fatality, in 2004.

In 2013, Maui victims have been attacked while swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and now kayaking. “We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui,” Hawaii Land and Natural Resources Director William Aila Jr. told the Associated Press. “That’s why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights.” http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-maui-shark-attack-20131203,0,457677.story#ixzz2onWTovvb.

As for Same-Sex Marriage in Hawaii, in November, the House passed SB1, the Same-Sex Marriage Law, and the Senate followed, to the chagrin of some and celebration of others…but not without a whole lot of shoutin’ and fightin’ going on all along the way.

The SHAKA group: Monsanto was in the news frequently, in regard to what the heck they are growing on Maui and what anyone can do about it. An article in the Maui Weekly said it best: “Who could have guessed that a generation that ingested practically every known chemical substance in their youth would, as they aged, suddenly converge on food safety as a major threat to public health? But that indeed was the big story of the year.

The GMO (genetically modified organism) protests drew the largest crowds seen on Maui in recent years, and larger, louder gatherings throughout the state. The show of force gave credibility to the existence of a broad base of support.

On Maui alone, there were three different mass marches, with a very large and vocal contingent of “Mother Power.” The moms and their kids in strollers, wagons and on foot were highly visible at all the local events.

There were marches through the spring and summer, and by year’s end, a new group called the SHAKA Movement (Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the ‘Aina) announced that they would put a GMO moratorium on the Maui General Election ballot in 2014.”

And finally, Shopping: a new outlet mall in Lahaina! Mauians will now have more choices and may even save a few pennies. The Mall is located behind Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Lahaina, where the Front Street Cinema used to be (it’s now a Gap.)

If you seriously want to know everything that went on on Maui this past year, you can see more at: http://mauiweekly.com/page/content.detail/id/532057/Year-End-Wrap–GMOs–Boldface-Names—Shark-Bites.html?nav=13#sthash.cJCCC9kM.dpuf

And also: mauitime.com

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year!)
Aloha, Jamaica

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New FAQ’s on Maui

Aloha!
Ta-da! There is something new at Mauidailyescape.com. So many readers have been writing to ask questions about moving to Maui that I was spending hours each week answering individual letters. So instead, I spent a few hours compiling “FAQ’s on Moving to Maui” (frequently asked questions). You’ll find the Tab at the top of each page.

It’s my Christmas gift to you (and myself!) because this leaves more time to post on this blog. And I will continue to post new questions as people ask me, so check back on the FAQ’s once in a while. Today I just added a section on “Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selling Everything and Moving” at the bottom of the FAQ’s…so Janet and Gaylynn, those are for you!

The Tab that was called “Moving to Maui” (my own story )is now called “Unexpected Paradise.”

Readers, please do me a favor and take a moment to share how you found this blog, so I can see what I’m doing right….what were your Search terms that led you here?

As always, thank you for your interest in the blog…thank you for your very kind words and comments on how the blog is helping to expand your view of Hawaii and Maui. I appreciate you all, and look forward to sharing the islands with you in 2014. And I ask that if you enjoy mauidailyescape.com, that you’ll please tell a friend!

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Warm Aloha, Jamaica

Aloha from the Isle of Traffic

Aloha!
Did you know that the island of Oahu has the worst traffic in America? Seriously. Google it. It’s held that distinction for a number of years.

Maui is known as the Valley Isle, and Kauai is known as the Garden Isle. Oahu is known as The Gathering Place, which is pretty evident, as the most populous island. But having been here for a week, I think they should change the name to the Traffic Isle.

I LOVE Honolulu…it is probably the cleanest big city I’ve ever been to, and it has everything that Maui doesn’t, like a brand new two-story Nordstom Rack. And dozens of restaurants that we only wish we had on Maui (read: affordable), such as California Pizza Kitchen…which is the first place we head for.

But I honestly don’t know how these people do this day after day. We were on the freeway heading out of Honolulu by 3:30 in the afternoon, and it was bumper to bumper.

Sitting in traffic, spotted a popular new bumper sticker here, which I haven’t seen on Maui yet (thankfully): “Defend Hawaii”….(a picture of an Uzi) and then “Don’t mistake Aloha for weakness.”

Guess it’s on a par with that old stand-by: “Welcome to Hawaii. Now go home.” And: “If you don’t like Hawaiians, why did you move here?”

Yep, lots of reading material while sitting in traffic. I’d like to propose a new bumper sticker: “Peace, Love, and Aloha.”

That is what I’m sending you.

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica