June 19, 2008Wednesday, June 11
Control of the new 640-square-foot restroom and "comfort station" at Kamaole Beach Park III was turned over to Maui County earlier this month by developer Kai Malu Wailea LLC. According to a gushing article in The Honolulu Advertiser, the station cost $550,000 to design and build. The article goes on to mention all the other awesome community projects the mega-million-dollar developer gave aid to as part of their deal with the county to build 150 luxury resort condos in Wailea. Donations included $98,000 to the West Maui Homeless Resource Center and $100,000 for a new paintjob at Kihei Elementary. A press release issued by Maui County earlier this month painted an even rosier picture of the deal complete with a picture of Mayor Charmaine Tavares happily receiving the keys to the facility from developer Bob Armstrong. "This new restroom will be greatly appreciated by beachgoers," said Tavares, who also referred to the station as "a significant project." OK, so it's not Mokulele Highway significant, but Tavares was a former Parks & Rec director so we'll give her a break on that one. At least Maui is getting something out of these developers besides more traffic and unaffordable housing. $750,000 isn't a bad deal considering what they stand to make from the sale of 150 Wailea condos, but it's something.
|Liberace would be jealous of this throne|
The Honolulu Advertiser also ran a great AP article today outlining a new study that finds marijuana is at its most potent in 30 years. Using samples seized by police dating back as far as 1975 the study finds that… uh, what was I talking about again?... Oh yeah, THC content in today's weed is up to 9.6%, double what it was in the '80s. I think we all knew the '80s were bunk, now we know why. John Walters, the director of The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said the report "makes it more important than ever that we get past outdated, anachronistic views of marijuana." Dude, you just blew my mind.
Thursday, June 12
The 9th annual Maui Film Festival kicked off last night with all the glitz and glamour that comes with it. Like almost everything these days, the festival has gone "green" running all their outdoor theaters on solar power. Guess the glow from Pierce Brosnan's smile wasn't enough.
Friday, June 13
If it's any consolation for Aloha Airlines employees who lost their jobs unexpectedly in March, former CEO David Banmiller and CFO Jeffery Kessler will not be receiving their bonus checks. According to an article in The Honolulu Advertiser the executives requested $600,000 during bankruptcy hearings to compensate them while they sell off the remaining assets of the company, a job they are both already paid $500 an hour for. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King berated the executive's attorneys at the hearing, saying "I don't think fairness is an appropriate thing to discuss unless you want to talk about fairness to people who lost their jobs on virtually no notice… I think this is a very ugly aspect of this case." Prior to the collapse of Aloha, once the state's second largest carrier, Banmiller was paid a salary of $500,000 per year while Kessler brought home a measly $156,000.
Saturday, June 14
It was a sad day in the world of journalism yesterday with the death of NBC's Tim Russert. Perhaps the last of a dying breed, the former host of Meet the Press made it his job to ask tough questions and hold politicians and public officials accountable for their actions. This was the guy who had the brass to ask then presidential nominees John Kerry and George W. Bush point blank and on-camera about their involvement with Yale's infamous Skull and Bones Society. Think Anderson Cooper could pull that off?
Sunday, June 15
Another update on the Molokai utilities mess. It's starting to get nasty now between Maui County, The Public Utilities Commision and Molokai Properties Ltd. Maui News reporter Chris Hamilton may have summed it up best, writing that the exchanges between the three "rose to the level of probable litigation – and is moving to scorn." The County is doing their best not to get stuck taking over a water system that has gone unregulated and unmaintained for years. Critics of Molokai Properties are accusing the company of walking away from their own failed system, while simultaneously positioning themselves to reap the benefits of a potential revamping and takeover of the system in the future. Gov. Linda Lingle has stepped in to help mediate the controversy and it's still unclear how the State will handle the situation. For now, legal wrangling and harsh criticism is the order of the day, with Molokai residents waiting in the wings.
A pair of somewhat concerning articles in The Maui News today about introducing "biological controls" to battle invasive species. The first plan is to introduce a moth from Madagascar to help eat and destroy the Fireweed plant overrunning ranchlands upcountry. The other is a plan to introduce a parasitic wasp to hunt down and kill the nasty Nettle Caterpillar that has been showing up in Maui gardens and nurseries. Introducing one non-native species to kill off another is a sketchy plan at best. We all know what a great idea bringing mongoose here to kill rats was. But proponents of the program assure residents that extensive testing goes into these programs now and since the government is implementing them, there is much less to worry about. Oh, the government is involved, now I feel so much better. Better make double check that research.
Happy Father's Day, love you Dad.
Monday, June 16
An article in The Honolulu Star Bulletin today said the state might be in the beginning stages of a full-blown energy crisis. Citing rising fuel costs and the islands' huge dependency on fossil fuels, energy consultant Maurice Kaya says things could get much worse and fast. Businesses on the edge could easily be pushed into the abyss by energy costs and the days of $6.00 per gallon are just around the corner. Kaya went on to explain in the article that it's up to individuals and business owners to make changes on a local level if we want to continue to draw much needed tourist dollars and keeping our own energy consumption from suffocating us.
In political news, Barak Obama received a huge endorsement from former Vice President turned activist/movie-star Al Gore today. Not much of a surprise considering Obama's skyrocketing popularity, but a solid endorsement none-the-less.
Tuesday, June 17
Jared Libby enjoys long walks off short piers, counting his chickens before his eggs hatch and throwing stones in glass houses. He is a Gemini/Cancer on the cusp (but doesn't believe in all that astrology crap) and his favorite color is Hunter Green.
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