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Voices of Maui

By Staff | Oct 3, 2013

Some of the 700 finishers from Japan — including these half-marathoners — lent a festive air to the 43rd Maui Marathon last week. Competitors from Japan mostly wore red jerseys.

LAHAINA – Kapono Gecko, the fictional character who took care of our house when we were on vacation, returned to his home at Lahaina Public Library this week after nearly drowning helping a friend water our plants. But we did bring him some Frango mints.

GECKO RELATIVE IN THE NEWS (WE THINK) – Chantelle Crossman, a friend, noted love may be in bloom for her three-and-a-half-year-old son, Murphy. Seems Murphy has a little girlfriend who brought him a lizard as a gift. Murphy was delighted. It was very small, Chantelle noted, so she was not sure it was a gecko.

CATCHING UP ON THE NEWS – A two-week stack of papers awaited our return from vacation. The most disappointing headline was that Danny Mateo, Mike Molina and Joseph Pontanilla may run for the County Council next year. They missed the last two because of term limits. Isn’t it about time the old guard gave someone else a chance? The attraction might just be the $76,000 annual salary and not the desire to serve.

Gladys Baisa, one of the class acts on the council – and qualified to be mayor – noted she is not interested. She said she is a big believer in knowing when to stop. I wish others were as well.

Barbara Bush is of the same mind, once quoted in so many words that there have been enough Bush presidents. Ex-Governor Jeb Bush is showing signs of disobeying his mother.

Congratulations to savvy Councilman Mike White, who was named to the steering committee of the National Association of Counties’ Transportation Committee. White is one of the few council members of recent years who has had solid business experience and resists old ways of doing things. He often gets bashed by Maui News letter writers, who, most of the time, are not very well-informed.

WE LIKE IT LOUD – Awhile back, two nearby restaurants on each side petitioned Leilani’s to lower the volume on music provided by the JD on the Rocks Band on Friday and JD and Harry Troupe on Saturday.

JD and company have been packing them in, and his many, many followers would show up every week to hear very lively music. Lots of fun times there for everyone. JD himself has been playing at Leilani’s for 18 years.

Some JD fans are now showing up at a new venue on Wednesdays at the Smokehouse near Kaiser Permanente in Lahaina.

This columnist has been friendly with JD and gang, as well as the folks at TS Restaurants for years. A bit hard to write about – no position taken – but it would be nice if there could be a good compromise.

RULE HAPPY CONDO – A Kaanapali board is unhappy, because it can’t keep track of the many suppliers who go through its gate each day. The board wants to know who they are, so they asked homeowners to provide lists (Big Brother at work). So one owner listed them all: cleaning lady, gardener, Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service, Pizza Hut, etc. You get the idea…

MIXED MARATHON – The 43rd Maui Marathon was as colorful as ever, with a festive atmosphere as finishers completed their 5K, 10K and full marathon runs. The longtime announcer, who spoke both English and Japanese, was missed, however.

When male winner Takanori Haraguchi from Saga, Japan, ran past the finish line, almost no one knew he had won. No buildup to his final stretch; not much of announcement when he finished

The same was true with ladies winner Rhonda Loo of Alberta, Canada, who also crossed with little fanfare.

Perhaps it would be better to run only the marathon on Sunday, so there is no mixing of contestants.

One also wonders why the marathon is run in Maui’s warmest month? Could it be because it is the slowest visitor month and a way to hike occupancy? How about May, also a relatively slow visitor month?

You can see a bunch of photos on my blog at KaanapaliCondoNews.com.