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Voices of Maui

By Staff | Jan 3, 2013

KAANAPALI – Never underestimate the power of the Internet and the reach of Lahaina News. Two visitors from Australia read online about the “no-spills girl” (“‘No-spill’ Christina thrives at Leilani’s,” Voices of Maui, Sept. 18, 2012) and showed up to meet the budding celebrity in person.

No reports of whether she is signing autographs yet, as Mai Tai Man Dale Simonsen does at the Tiki Bar in copies of “Maui for Millions: Tales of Remarkable People.” Free promotion for TS Restaurants, though (no charge, no obligation), for the column on Christina.

CONDO WARS: After another column, “18 new rules for condos” (Feb. 23, 2012), produced many laughs and a few dirty looks headed this way – not appreciative of the satire because it was too real – one reader on chance encounters a couple of times said she wanted to talk about “condo wars.” At a book signing the other day at the smokestack coffee shop, there was time to finally chat. It was a chance for her to spill the beans, which would take up a whole column if covered fully.

The lady’s main complaint is with a condo board made up of mainlanders who have been in office for 20 years. “We can’t beat them in an election,” she said.

Four attorneys representing various parties appeared at the annual meeting. One attorney in support of the complainers said that many condo officers often resemble dictators. “There are benevolent dictators, and there are vindictive ones,” the acquaintance (who is rapidly becoming a friend) added. Her condo’s board approved millions of dollars in contracts without competitive bidding, picking a preferred supplier.

My source – a reliable person – said abuses by condo boards on the island are rampant. Some owners at her place want the county administration, which has imposed a rule requiring residents to report on whether their units are rented, to add regulations that would curtail other abuses. No response yet from Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration.

“WE ARE NOT DONE.” Hardworking Sara Foley, who was kissed by her husband after receiving an award from an amused Roz Baker in front of 300 people at the grand opening celebration of Lahaina Public Library, said the challenging work isn’t over. She is working with landscape expert Shawn McLaughlin on plans to redo the library’s front lawn, fill it with Native Hawaiian plants and spiff up the front entrance. No small challenge due to permitting and other sensitive issues.

The Rotary Club of Lahaina effort has asked for and received some advice from the Fleming Arboretum. The Fleming family helped with the original landscaping of the library 57 years ago.