LAHAINA - The Lahaina raceway, otherwise known as the Lahaina Bypass, is open. Speeders should beware, though, since police reportedly are on the prowl, and the limit is 30 mph in some spots. More on this later.
RING-BEARER - Trilogy Excursions, celebrating in 2013 40 years of giving catamaran rides and serving cinnamon buns for breakfast, is a full-service organization. When my wife, Sara, had her wedding ring of 44 years fall into the deep on a Honolua Bay snorkeling trip, Captain Dominick dove in and retrieved it off the reef. Diving recoveries are made all the time, he said. Mahalo Dominick!
SHOPPING MILESTONE - The opening of the new Outlets of Maui behind Hard Rock Cafe is drawing crowds. It was refreshing to see the modern stores and good graphics on the storefronts. Makes it look like a classy place, as opposed to most of Front Street with its ticky tacky shops (with a few exceptions).
While old standby restaurants seem to be doing okay, there are a couple of nice additions. The latest is Sugarcane Maui. The place got a nice facelift and added a creative, reasonably priced menu.
Another nice addition across and down the street is the relatively new Koa's, with a good menu and great views.
DOC DOES IT - My good friend Doc Lavenson, the respected vascular surgeon who served in Vietnam triage units and volunteered at Christmas time for some years at the U.S. hospital in Germany where critical patients from Iraq and Afghanistan were brought, finally kept a promise and commented on the long-delayed, proposed West Maui Hospital and Medical Center.
Having spent six years and hundreds of hours publicizing the hospital initiative and helping get a Certificate of Need, this columnist has been debating the topic with George for a bunch of years. He has won me over.
His thoughtful Lahaina News letter stated that the best place for a West Maui heart attack victim to go is Maui Memorial Medical Center in an ambulance with a wireless EKG hookup, so the prepared staff can do every possible lifesaving procedure on arrival.
The good news on the hospital is that developer Brian Hoyle promises to also build a skilled nursing facility, medical office building and even a drug and alcohol rehab facility.
BEST RESORTS - Five resorts close to Lahaina are among the top 20 in all of Hawaii, according to Conde Nast Travel: Honua Kai Resort in Honokowai, No. 10; The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, No. 13; and the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, Kaanapali, at No. 17
Across the channel on Lanai, Four Seasons Resort's The Lodge was No. 2 in Hawaii and Four Seasons Manele Bay No. 4.
Other top 20 Maui finishers include the Four Seasons Wailea, Fairmont Kea Lani, Wailea Beach Villas and The Grand Wailea.
More than half of the top 20 were in Maui, with just two on Oahu. We really are Maui No Ka 'Oi.