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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Your Opinion, Please

Maui Weather Today: High of 84, Low of 72

Your Opinion, Please

Aloha!

Sociologists tell us that the reason we are never quite satisfied is in our hunting and gathering DNA. If our ancestors had been satisfied after finding those first berries, they would not have kept looking for more, and would have starved to death.

So here in Paradise, the something more that many of us wish for is 1) A Target store (it’s in talks) 2) a Trader Joe’s (will never happen) and 3) lower prices (ain’t never gonna happen.) Or is it?

There is something all over the Maui news sources now that I wanted to get your opinion on. A developer from the Mainland is trying to build a huge Outlet Mall in Kihei. Many locals don’t want it, they say it will just cause traffic and congestion.  One of our biggest concerns here on Maui is that we don’t want to become Oahu. If we wanted to live on Oahu, we’d move there. The developers maintain that it will be good for the economy here and create jobs.

The people on both sides of the argument seem to be missing the bigger picture:

1) how are they going to keep prices low, at Outlet Store prices, when they have paid to ship this merchandise across the ocean? and

2) Who is really going to shop there?

Your opinion please: Would you spend your time shopping at an Outlet Mall on Maui?

What do you mainly come to Maui to do? Relax? Swim/go to the beach? Boating/Diving/Water activities? Hiking? Driving around to see the scenery?

Shopping on Maui? And if so, what do you buy? Souveniers? Clothing?

My experience with Outlet Malls is limited, though I do know people who are addicted to them and basically plan their trips to the East coast around them. It seems these malls are always full of merchandise that didn’t sell well otherwise. And here’s something I’ve always wondered about chain stores in Maui in general: how do they move the Winter merchandise? If you walk into the Gap or Banana Republic in the Shops at Wailea and see boots and hats in there, are you moved to buy them and take them home? Because I know the Mauians aren’t buying them. Unless of course someone is making a trip to cold country, but my experience has been that when I really needed something like that, it wasn’t in the stores right then anyway.

So let’s say the Outlet Mall goes in. Who is really going to buy those winter goods and haul them home, when they can get them back in Milwaukee just fine? Also, and this is the biggee for me–airlines now charge good money for bags that used to be free.

So are you really going to come to Maui and fill up a suitcase at an Outlet Mall and pay to haul the stuff home? Are you going to spend your time on Maui shopping at an Outlet Mall, or will you think “I could do this back home”? I will tally the responses I get and submit them as a Letter to the Editor of both The Maui News http://mauinews.com/ and The Maui Weekly http://mauiweekly.com/ Your opinion, please…

And if you are local, are you in favor of the Outlet Mall?

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica