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Looking back on a successful year for West Maui

By Staff | Dec 25, 2014

As we wrap-up 2014, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the past year and to thank all of you who supported me as your council member for West Maui. This year has brought many challenges, and I could not be more grateful for the continued support of the community. Together, we have weathered the highs and lows, and in the end arrived safely at the beginning of a new term.

In 2014, West Maui secured $13,000,000 for Capital Improvement Projects in the fiscal year 2015 budget, which includes the Lahaina Watershed Flood Control, West Maui Parks System, Front Street improvements, various sewer projects, and $500,000 for water supply and watershed protection. I am eager to see the initiation of these projects, as I am sure you are. West Maui will benefit greatly from these improvements, and they will hopefully make life here on the West Side more enjoyable than it already is.

As usual, I remain a staunch supporter of Native Hawaiian culture and have secured funding to perpetuate events such as the Maui Nui Canoe Race, Na Kamehameha Commemorative Pa`u Parade & Ho`olaule`a, and the Aunty Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival. These events enrich our community here in West Maui, and I hope to continue securing funding for them in the future. It is regrettable that the Maui Nui Canoe Race had to be postponed until a later date due to the wild weather brought on by Hurricane Ana. However, I would like to thank everyone who worked tirelessly on this event and will look forward to seeing it come to fruition next year.

While it is true that we have experienced the disadvantageous closure of two West Maui recycling drop box sites, I, along with Councilman Mike White, have been hosting a monthly recycling event at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. This ongoing event, in partnership with Maui Disposal and Malama Maui Nui, has been a great success, and I would like to extend a warm mahalo to Maui Disposal for lending us their bins and facilitating the drop- off, pickup and hauling services. I also extend my gratitude to Lahaina Cannery Mall for the use of their parking lot. We have had a great response to these events, and I look forward to continuing this service to West Maui until we succeed in reopening a permanent West Maui recycling drop box facility. We hope to continue recycling events in the coming year, and we will be sure to keep you all aware of the dates and times of these events, so that you may take advantage of this free, convenient service.

This year, we also saw the passage of Maui Preparatory Academy’s Tobacco-Free Beaches and Parks legislation, as well as the first-ever citizens’ initiative. These were both huge victories, and while the fight continues for the GMO (genetically modified organism) moratorium, we are all able to breathe a bit easier while enjoying our parks and beaches throughout the holidays.

While we enjoy this day together with our loved ones, I want to take a moment to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season. Remember to be kind to one another and extend true Aloha to those that you meet each day. Each year brings with it the opportunity for growth and change, and I sincerely hope that each and every one of you will be prosperous in the coming year.