Clearly, MauiTime readers have mixed feelings about Mayor Tavares. On the one hand, you voted her your favorite Mayoral candidate (in a squeaker over former Mayor Alan Ararkawa). But you also voted her runner up for Scariest Public Figure. ‘Guess it’s one of those love-hate things. We’ve made our feelings about the Mayor clear, but she is the incumbent and has already racked up a number of key endorsements, so it would certainly be unwise to discount her. On the other hand, the field of candidates vying to unseat her is large and diverse; whatever the outcome, this promises to be an interesting race.
TOWN TO LIVE, Winner City of Lahaina Website: http://lahaina.com Last year, Lahaina won best place to visit, so I guess what you guys are saying is that it’s just a great place. And we agree. Front Street and the Banyan Tree get all the attention—and deservedly so—but the West side also boasts a ton of cool hidden corners, populated by people with intense pride for their side of the island. The town’s historical significance, both pre- and post-contact is also not to be overlooked. Had Best of Maui been around a few hundred years ago, it’s a safe bet Lahaina—or Lele as it was once known—would have won then, too.
BEST COUNTY OFFICIAL, Winner Gladys Baisa Address: P.O. Box 880339, Pukalani, HI 96788 Phone: 808-280-1990 Website: http://www.gladysbaisa.com/ or years, this category has been the sole possession of Councilmember Jo Anne Johnson, who’s leaving the council because of term limits. Now, MauiTime readers have spoken, and Johnson’s heir apparent has emerged: Councilmember Gladys Baisa. Whether Baisa will have a run like Johnson’s (on the council or in BOM voting) remains to be seen, but for now it’s clear her Pukalani-Kula-Ulapalakua constituents, and voters islandwide, have warmed to her generally friendly, amenable demeanor. Baisa’s known as a peacemaker, a role she gets to play frequently on a council with some big, competing personalities. Even a mini-scandal involving a tax exemption claim on a home outside her district wasn’t enough to shake readers’ belief that Gladys is one of the white hats in county government.
What is there to say about Gov. Linda Lingle that hasn’t already been said (much of it in these pages)? From the Superferry boondoggle to the Furlough Friday dustup to her recent veto of civil union bill HB444, she has been consistently—and often woefully—out of tune with the best interests of Hawaii. The good news is her eight years are nearly up, and in November we’ll elect a new leader, hopefully one with the fortitude and foresight to guide the state forward rather than holding it back.
EDIT PICK: Best (Non) Candidate Who Should be on the County Council, Winner Lucienne De Naie Address: 810 Haiku Rd Ste 113 PMB 208, Haiku, HI 96708 Phone: 808-572-8331 Website: http://www.electluci.org/ We’ve blown this horn before, giving her multiple endorsements and even putting her on the cover, but Maui has repeatedly said “no.” It’s hard to figure out why. De Naie is a tireless advocate, especially for environmental issues, but more importantly she’s smart as a whip, sensitive but tough, passionate, full of integrity and knows her stuff inside and out. Other current councilmembers combine some of those qualities, but none have the full package. De Naie says she isn’t planning to run this year but may consider doing so at some point down the road. Hopefully by then voters will have finally realized she’s part of the solution.
BEST GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, Winner Neil Abercrombie Address: 1050 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96814 Phone: 808-589-2237 Fax: 808-591-0468 Website: http://www.neilabercrombie.com/ Former Congressman Abercrombie still faces a tough primary battle with Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann before he even gets to the general election, but if MauiTime readers had their way he’d win in a landslide. For a primer on Abercrombie’s positions and policies, see our June 3 Q&A with him; in short, he’s putting education at the forefront of his campaign, clearly in an effort to distinguish himself from the current (and soon-to-be termed out) governor, whose own education record is spotty to say the least (see Best State Blunder). In the end, whether he wins or loses, Abercrombie is committed; he quit his Congressional post earlier this year to focus full time on his campaign, a decision for which he drew some heat. His defense: “I’m running for governor. You run for governor, you go all in.”
This issue actually popped up last year, when a group of Lanai residents came forward claiming Kaho’ohalahala lived in Lahaina rather than Lanai. Sol ultimately won the Lanai Council seat by a healthy margin, but the legal challenges haven’t let up, and as of this writing are still very much active. Kaho’ohalahala has decided to run for Mayor this year—a position where it doesn’t matter where you live as long as it’s in Maui County—and will almost certainly serve out his current Council term. But it’ll still be interesting to see how this protracted fight plays out, less for Kaho’ohalahala than for the precedent it could set.
Entertainment and lifestyle news for Maui, Hawaii and the surrounding Islands. Maui Time Weekly is Mauis only independent and locally owned newspaper.
Mail this link to a friend