December 05, 2012 | 11:31 AMMAUI SUNSEEKER
You guys ever watch Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel? Well, you might want to tune in next week because the show's hotel fixer Anthony Melchiorri will be helping Maui Sunseeker owner Chuck Spence spruce up his 26-room Kihei resort, which he's owned since 2008 and which caters to adult LGBT clients.
"The hotel presented a unique problem as it receives rave reviews from its clientele but struggles with its occupancy and related cash flow, hence the marketing strategy focus," states a Nov. 29 press release. "Designer Blanche Garcia joins Melchiorri to upgrade the rooftop deck."
According to Spence, one of the Sunseeker's rather unique features caused a bit of a challenge for the cable TV film crew. "It was eye opening for all involved in this show for us from a business perspective and for the cast when they discovered the clothing optional hot tub," he said in the press release.
The Maui Sunseeker episode of Hotel Impossible airs on Monday, Dec. 17 on the Travel Channel. Check local listings for the time.
TOM CANNON SPEAKS!
Finally, after months of waiting, the embattled Wailuku Main Street Association, which has been under withering fire from the state Attorney General's office for serious mismanagement allegations and had a Dec. 5 say in court, has finally released a full, point-by-point defense. The 84-page response (which is actually two separate documents) to Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones' blistering Aug. 30, 2012 report on WMSA was, according to the copy MauiTime obtained, faxed to the courts on Nov. 28 from Mental Health America.
Put simply, WMSA Chairman Tom Cannon denies each and every instance of wrongdoing Jones first detailed in his report. Cannon yields no ground whatsoever. According to Cannon, WMSA has been a principled model of management for its entire existence, and every bad thing Jones ever discovered about the organization is either wrong or the product of (the apparently numerous) "disgruntled" former members of the WMSA board of directors that provided Jones with information–most notably Sam Clark, whom Cannon laughably derides as a "board bully."
Of course, Cannon also blames the media for the troubles plaguing his organization:
"When the Board did not support Clark and [former board member Bryan] Sarasin's plan to ax our ED [Executive Director Jocelyn Perreira, a long controversial figure on Maui and a particularly juicy target of Jones' investigation], the two officers worked to discredit WMSA by resigning in a huff and running to the Attorney General spouting falsehoods about our 27-year award-winning non-profit, falsehoods the Maui News and its weekly surrogates were happy to spread (as Maui News would like to control the voice of local public sentiment and, it seems, will slant its reports in order to incite negative public reaction to do this, to create unwarranted drama, and thus sell more newspapers)."
Typical of Cannon's approach is his explanation of a May 5, 2011 check for $200 WSMA wrote to the "Friends of Alan Arakawa," the current mayor's campaign committee. The IRS expressly forbids nonprofits from contributing money to political campaigns. The law is clear: thou shalt not give politicians money. A violation of that law could obliterate WMSA's precious nonprofit tax status. But have no fear: Cannon says it was all just a silly misunderstanding.
"Nothing indicated it was a political event," Cannon wrote, insisting that he had no idea the words "Friends of Alan Arakawa" denoted a registered political campaign committee. Then Cannon goes on to insist the issue is irrelevant anyway: "The check was sent back, un-cashed, making Deputy AG's concern a moot point," he wrote, nonetheless admitting that his organization made an illegal contribution.
Cannon sums up his response to Jones by saying the deputy attorney general "has not conducted a fair and impartial investigation of WMSA," has relied on "unsworn testimony" from "individuals we have shown him [sic] to be conflicted," "has not communicated with any existing board members" and "has (in various ways we have detailed) over-reached his authority, including the issuance of his second subpoena."
Then Cannon ties this little bow around all those accusations: "Deputy AG Jones seems completely unaware of what WMSA does."
I believe the standard legal rejoinder to a statement like that is: "Duh!"
No one looking at WMSA has any clue what the organization has been doing for the last decade with all that county taxpayer-funded grant money they've been taking. Cannon, where exactly have you been for the last year?
More importantly, what does Cannon's manifesto actually amount to? According to Jones, nothing at all. OK, I'm over-simplifying. He said it's worse than nothing–it may be example of Cannon attempting to practice law without a law license.
"Cannon, but Cannon is not a licensed attorney and to the extent that the Response is on behalf of the corporation he has engaged in the criminal offense of the unauthorized practice of law under section 605-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes," Jones wrote in his own 52-page response to Cannon's response. "Controlling authority makes clear that corporations may not appear pro se. Moreover, most of Respondent Thomas Cannon's Response rests on inadmissible, unauthenticated documents and hearsay. The Response is not supported by any affidavit or declaration or by source documents."
And here I thought things couldn't possibly get worse for WMSA. Shows what I know.
And now I'd just like to add my condolences to the family of Jose Krall, owner and pastry chef of the Maui Bake Shop, who died Saturday night in a plane crash a couple miles north of Kahului Airport. It's strange and, to be honest, seems rather petty to say I'm sad because I'll miss the shop's outstanding turkey sandwiches and bowls of split pea soup, but that's what the guy did.
Krall was a true pastry chef, and ran a gem of an establishment that sold fantastic food that made many people, including myself, very happy. I certainly didn't go there every day, or even every week, but just knowing he was there made working in Wailuku that much more enjoyable.
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