LAHAINA - After this, the 144th "Voices of Maui" column, it is time to say goodbye. And if you believe that, you forgot about April Fools' Day. No shortage of remarkable people to write about, so the beat goes on.
DANCING AND TYLER, TOO - The Hawaii State Legislature, which appears these days to be doing a lot of constructive things, has tarnished its image by passing the easily ridiculed "I'm a celebrity - don't take my photo Stephen Tyler bill." Now legislators also want to define what dancing is.
Maui eating establishments sometimes suffer from a silly County Liquor Commission rule that bans dancing when there is no dance floor. The commission looked even sillier the other week when an official said that they don't want dancing, because someone might be dancing with a glass of booze. A fallen glass might break and injure patrons! Question: when is the last time you saw dancers with glasses in hand, especially since liquids tend to splash when people are gyrating to the music?
Will the legislature decree that wiggling to music in your seat is dancing? Is wiggling on the way to the tip jar dancing? Better that the legislature curtail liquor commissions from imposing such rules. It's good for the economy. Visitors just don't understand sometimes when they are asked not to dance, "because it's against the law."
AT THE BEACH - Legislators are ponying up funds to put back 75,000 cubic yards of sand on Kaanapali Beach in front of the Hyatt and Marriott to bring it back to the way it used to be. But won't the sand just wash back out? Nope, reported State Rep. Angus McKelvey, collared recently at the Sacred Hearts Bazaar. It took 30 years for the sand to wash away, and it will take 30 years for it to wash back out, he pointed out.
The sand might come back, but will there be enough beach parking? Hotels are required to provide it, but many beach parking slots frequently are filled with worker trucks and all-day local parkers. Few on the beach, but the lots are full. Let's give our visitors a break.
MORE ELECTRIC CARS - Rental car companies reportedly are gearing up to bring in electric cars. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is installing charging stations, and other hotels are expected to follow.
KEEPING WARM - Are weeks of cooling trade winds and cold, "not chilly," mornings the start of global warming? Some visitors are complaining. Old timers say we've been spoiled by half-a-dozen years of largely sunny winter days, which they say have been an exception. "We've been spoiled," said one.
EXERCISERS' DOWNER - To continue with the questions, remember that health club at Kahana that burned down awhile back? Its many fans are missing it. No word on whether it will be rebuilt.
TRAFFIC TROUBLE AHEAD - The first phase of the Lahaina Bypass, scheduled to open in January, then February, then March, may be here in time for April Fools' Day.
Bob Pure, vice president of the West Maui Taxpayers Association, who has become an expert on transportation issues through the former Lahaina Bypass Now group and close contacts at the state Department of Transportation, expects problems. Since Bob is in the know, we asked. He reported that he is concerned - like many of us - with the influx of traffic that will flow next to the Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center when the bypass opens. He has made DOT aware that traffic going north on the bypass and exiting at Keawe Street will, for the most part, turn right at the intersection in order to continue to go north.
"The DOT will have to address and monitor the intersection to ensure smooth traffic flow," he wrote in an e-mail. "Also, traffic going south, wanting to get on the bypass in front of the Cannery Mall, could experience left turn lane back-ups." Again, the DOT has been made aware of this and will have to monitor that situation.
WEST SIDE VICTORIES - Congratulations to Paris Nabavi of Lahaina's Cilantro Mexican Grill and David and Ululani Yamashiro of Hawaiian Shave Ice for being named exceptional small businesses by Maui County and the Maui Chamber of Commerce.
Starting in Lahaina, the shave ice company has expanded to Kahului and has its goal of being the best shave ice maker on Maui.
The Rotary Club of Lahaina was nominated for a nonprofit award by State Librarian Richard Burns, but Habitat for Humanity got the nod. It was an honor simply to be nominated, noted President Liz May.