Maui’s Newest Legislator

Feb 23, 2015


On Friday, Moloka'i farmer Lynne DeCoite was sworn in as the newest member of the state legislature. She fills the seat of the late Mele Carroll, who stepped down for health reasons at the start of the month. But not everyone was happy with the selection made by Governor David Ige.   Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Maui Keeps Its Counsel

Feb 16, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  The future of genetically engineered crops in Maui County remains uncertain. A US District Court judge has delayed the implementation of a ballot initiative that would put a moratorium on those crops. Many backers of the moratorium are frustrated with the delay—and they’re blaming the county attorney, Patrick Wong. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Windmills for Maui Landfill

Jan 19, 2015
Pixabay Commons
Pixabay commons

 Along with the rest of the state, Maui residents pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. While many are still waiting for the regulatory approval that could lead to broader use of rooftop solar, the county is looking to wind. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

State hospitals in Maui are pursuing a partnership with the privately-run Hawai‘i Pacific Health. The state’s publicly-funded facilities have been struggling for years and plan to seek approval from the legislature. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Maui No. 1 for Vacation Rentals

Dec 26, 2014
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

While hotels continue to be the accommodation of choice for most visitors to Hawaii, short-term vacation rental units have been growing in popularity. That’s especially true on Maui. A recent study commissioned by the Hawaii Tourism Authority reports that there are more vacation rental units on Maui than on any other island in the state. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

Little Fire Ants on Maui

Dec 19, 2014

Little fire ants are a problem usually associated with Hawaii Island. But in September, an established colony of fire ants was discovered on 20 acres of heavily forested land on Maui. It's the biggest infestation outside the Big Island.  And now a team is planning a counter attack not only on the ground, but also in the trees. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.


A popular car service is expanding its operation to Maui.

Uber announced and expansion of its Uber X and high end Uber Black service to Maui. The company offers personal car service that’s summoned through a mobile app.  You bring out your phone, summon a car, and ride to your destination. Billing is handled directly through a credit card attached to the app so there is no cash transaction.

Affordable Housing Shifting on Maui

Dec 15, 2014
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  Maui's workforce housing law has long divided developers and residents.  On an island where the average home sells for more than half a million dollars, a lot of local families are left scrambling to find affordable housing.  The county is now working to change its rules in a move they hope will help stimulate housing development.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Maui GMO: Part III

Dec 10, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Federal District Court in Hawai’i struck down Kaua’i and Hawai’i County ordinances that sought to restrict cultivation of genetically engineered crops.  Both cases are being appealed.  In his final report on the Maui GMO debate, HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka asked residents what actions can be taken beyond the Courts.

Maui GMO Part II

Dec 9, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Federal District Court in Hawai’i will decide if the Maui County ballot initiative on Genetically Engineered Crops is legal.   In his ongoing series, HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka asked Maui residents on both sides what actions can be taken to resolve this issue.

Maui County Abandons Recycling Pilot Program

Dec 1, 2014
Georgie Hunter via
Georgie Hunter via


Recycling in Hawaii is not really a local operation. A lot of the material is shipped to the far East to be processed. Maui started a pilot project to encourage more recycling by offering curbside pickup, but the economics have not worked out. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

  A nearly 200 year old boarding program at Lahainaluna High School is struggling to stay open. Funding has become one issue, and there are other challenges as well.  Now, a working group made up of school staff, students, supporters and local politicians is trying to find ways to save the program.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Maui’s Public Hospital Challenge

Nov 17, 2014

  For years, Hawaii's public hospitals have relied on state subsidies to offset the rising cost of health care. That’s especially true on the Neighbor Islands.  But now hospitals are receiving less funding from the state, and on Maui, administrators are looking at other options.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

  It's been a week since the controversial initiative calling for a moratorium on the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County managed to squeak by in one of the closest races of this election. Now that the campaigning is over, its passage has left residents wondering, “What now?” Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Maui Ballot Initiative to Ban GMOS Passes

Nov 4, 2014
The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A Maui County ban on genetically modified crops pulled off a stunning turnaround late Tuesday night. After trailing by 19 points in the first two printouts, the ballot initiative took the lead, passing by more than 1000 votes.

The new legislation would put a temporary moratorium on GMO crops, until a study is done to analyze the health and environmental impacts on the county.

Ashley Lukens is the Hawaii program director for the Center for Food Safety, a national organization that supports stronger regulation on GMO’s.

Water Flow to Be Returned to Iao Stream

Oct 13, 2014
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

For the first time in more than a century, there will be a continuous flow of water from Mauka to Makai in Maui's Iao Stream beginning today. Since the 1800's, the Wailuku Water Company has diverted water from the Central Maui stream, but now that's changing. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Upgrades Coming to Maui's Hana Airport

Sep 29, 2014
Flickr / maui.local
Flickr / maui.local

East Maui's remote Hana Airport can only handle small planes with nine passenger seats or less. But the state Department of Transportation is hoping to change that. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Governor Abercrombie released $2.1 million earlier this year for capital improvement projects at the east Maui airport. About half was designated for the design of a new aircraft rescue and firefighting station, and the rest for other airfield improvements.

Pro GMO Group Wants Ban off Maui Ballot

Sep 16, 2014
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  Few issues are as controversial in the islands as Genetically Modified Organisms. On Maui, there’s an initiative that voters will consider as part of the November election that would ban GMO farming. And last week, a group of residents and organizations filed a lawsuit to keep it off the ballot. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Residents Protest Athletic Complex at Maui Lani

Sep 4, 2014

  Construction has just begun on a large sports development in central Maui. But while young athletes and their coaches may be excited about the project, a group of local homeowners in Kahului is not. And they’re suing the county and the state to stop it. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Plans for the Ruins of Old Maui High School

Sep 1, 2014
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  It's been more than forty years since the new Maui High School opened in Kahului, leaving the old campus in Hamakuapoko to slowly deteriorate over the decades. Now the county has plans to breathe some new life into the abandoned campus. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Lahaina Harbor to Receive Restorations

Aug 22, 2014
Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons

  Lahaina Harbor is one of the busiest harbors in the state, not only for boat traffic but also for people coming on and off the boats. Now, a nonprofit group is setting out to make the harbor front safer and friendlier for pedestrians. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

Changes to Central Maui Landfill

Aug 4, 2014

  Life on Maui has changed, at least when it comes to trash collection. And you can blame it on budget cuts. Money problems are squeezing everything from trash pickups to hours of operation at county landfills. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Maui Memorial Medical Center Developments

Jul 25, 2014

  More than 100 Maui residents turned out at a public meeting this week to hear about developments at the Maui Memorial Medical Center. The facility may close its adolescent behavioral health unit this fall. It’s part of a plan to narrow a thirteen-million dollar budget shortfall, but the Wednesday night meeting showed it faces a lot of opposition.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Maui County Settles Land Fill Violations

Jul 18, 2014
Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons


   Maui County reached a settlement with the state Heath Department this week for violations at two landfills. As part of the deal, the county has also agreed to develop a program to help residents safely dispose of hazardous materials. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.  

New Ferry Pier for Lahaina Harbor

Jul 11, 2014
Flickr Commons / Joe Parks
Flickr Commons / Joe Parks

  Lahaina Harbor on Maui is going to be getting a new ferry pier. It’s designed to ease congestion, but the state Department of Land and Natural Resources revised its plans after hearing from the community. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

  On Maui, activists are trying to create a temporary moratorium on GMOS.

An organization called The Shaka Movement has put together a ballot initiative for a temporary moratorium on growing genetically modified crops. If passed, the measure would halt the planting of GMO crops until a safety study is completed. The group received just below 20,000 signatures, which was well over the 8,500  signatures required to add the measure onto the November ballot.
Joe Marsalla is one of the founders of the Shaka Movement. 

Kahoma Village Project- One Step Closer to Reality

Jun 30, 2014

  A 203-unit affordable housing project in West Maui is a step closer to reality. The $60 million dollar proposal cleared its final county approval last week, and construction is scheduled to begin this fall. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News. 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  A federal court has ruled that Maui County is violating the Clean Water Act. The problem is the release of partially-treated wastewater into waters near the shore of West Maui. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Redevelopment Cleared for South Maui Resort

Jun 2, 2014
Eileen Chao
Eileen Chao

  A proposal to redevelop a resort in south Maui cleared a major hurdle this week. The Maui Planning Commission approved the plan to make a series of changes to the Makena Beach and Golf Resort. Eileen Chao reports from the Maui News.

Dirt Biking Controversy on Maui

May 23, 2014
Eileen Chao
Eileen Chao

  Outdoor sports are of course popular around the state. But one activity is sparking increasing controversy on the island of Maui. Eileen Chao of the Maui News has more on that story.