GREAT NEWS that our town was voted the 15th happiest seacoast town in America by Coastal Living Magazine. The happy zone apparently does not always extend into our many condominium towers and communities.
CONDO WARS: Following a recent tongue-in-cheek column on 18 seemingly amusing - but sometimes all too real - rules for condos, there are new reports of strange happenings in condo land. One reader even asked if this columnist did investigative reporting. The answer is no.
Another reader is involved in a fuss with a board president he alleges awarded a big contract to a relative. The condo head reportedly harassed the owner by parading two fierce-looking dogs around his car time after time when he was nearby. A warning, or what?
FRONT STREETING: Looks like we will have Fourth of July fireworks after all despite a slow fundraising start. The Maui Chamber of Commerce is hoping excursion companies and merchants will be as generous as last year. Sadly, a few who reap windfall profits from the big crowds haven't contributed the last few years, but maybe, as with the Chicago Cubs, "this is the year."
The Lahaina Rotary Club has more than its hands and cell phones full managing a list of 117 details that need to fall into place to begin its facelift of the Lahaina Public Library sometime in July. Busiest are Rick Cowan and Sara Foley, who are struggling to sort out permitting needs, and Liz May soliciting auctions items and preparing for the June 22 "Savor the Sunset" benefit at the Royal Lahaina.
RESTORATION BEAT: For an offbeat mini-excursion, check out the interesting commemorative bricks around the Pioneer Mill Smokestack. Purchases of bricks aid history preservation efforts. Personal favorite: a large brick with the words "U'ilani. I love you. Kayley and Kayzee. Will you marry me?" Lahaina Restoration Foundation Director Theo Morrison reported that the proposal was accepted, and the two are now married. A bit embarrassing if she had said no.
Other bricks display the variety of jobs it took to turn cane into raw sugar. Samples include: T. Kurita, "Sugar Boiler;" Willie and Alice Soares, "48 years of Service;" Wilfred Vierra, "Cane Truck Operator;" John Lopes II, "Machine Shop Foreman;" Kuichi Haru Kadotani, "Tug Boat Operator;" and Hiromi Omura, "Harvesting Dept."
"By purchasing a brick, you're preserving a bit of history and creating a permanent legacy of your support for Lahaina's past," the foundation's website states. Best news is you can now purchase two bricks for the price of one. Call the foundation for details or ask Sammy Kadotani, one of Lahaina favorite "old timers" in charge of sales. Still waiting for Sammy to agree to a "Voices of Maui" profile.
CONGRATS to Janna Hoehn, whose project gathering photos of fallen Maui Vietnam soldiers has won national recognition. Jan Scruggs, director of the program in Washington, D.C., sent links to my Lahaina News column about persistent Janna to hundreds across the country, stating, "Grassroots involvement makes much happen in America. The Education Center at The Wall is succeeding because of people like Janna Hoehn."
BOOK BEAT: The Friends' Bookstore on the third floor of The Wharf Cinema Center has added a collection of brand new Hawaiiana books offered at retail prices, including "Hawaiian Antiquities" by Lahainaluna's 19th century historian David Malo, and "Voices of Maui: Natives and Newcomers." The store is badly in need of volunteer booksellers - a fun job for book lovers who get their pick of new titles and can often have rewarding chats with visitors. Call JoAnne Carroll at 269-3429.