Back in the Day on Maui
Recalling Maui’s near and distant past, compiled from Honolulu Star-Advertiser archives.
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20 years ago …
Support for film and entertainment projects and high-tech education are two of six priorities being recommended after an invitation-only countywide economic summit, Maui Mayor James “Kimo” Apana announced.
The participants in the daylong summit were County Council members, legislators and nearly 100 people involved in business, agriculture and social services. The results of the discussions validated his policies, Apana said.
But Apana also noted the program was limited to participants whom he characterized as “stakeholders” in the economic progress of the county. He said he did not invite reporters because he wanted to encourage participants to speak freely with no fear of being quoted on controversial positions.
While the session resulted in a recommendation to support lengthening the Kahului Airport runway, Apana acknowledged the participants did not include individuals who have questioned the need for a longer runway.
30 years ago …
Maui residents put out a “not welcome” mat before a proposal to route a cable across part of the island to carry geothermal power from the Big Island to Oahu.
More than 100 people turned out for an informational meeting called by the state Department of Business and Economic Development and ERC Environmental and Energy Services Co.
State Energy Program Administrator Maurice Kaya said the state was concerned about energy shortages and its dependence on oil. Geothermal resources were given a high priority as an alternative to oil and other fossil fuels, he said.
But there were questions over safety, health concerns, Native Hawaiian religion, cost and need raised by the more than 45 persons who signed up to speak.
50 years ago …
The Wailuku Hotel is being sold to Maui Management Inc. for about $1.5 million. It will be converted into a center for medical and other professional offices.
Maui Management is the business arm of the Maui Medical Group, whose members will relocate themselves in the hotel’s main building.
The Wailuku Hotel includes a seven-story, 100-room building constructed in 1965 by Robert Ching, former executive vice president of Honolulu Iron Works, at a cost of about $1 million.The hotel property includes another building with about 18 rooms and about 50,000 square feet of space at High and Main streets.
The property was bought from Ching by the owner of the Maui Palms hotel in 1967 for about $1.5 million.
It is believed that the hotel has been losing money. Money from the sale is expected to be used to expand and improve the successful Maui Palms in Kahului.
60 years ago …
He’s Hawaii’s perpetual booster — a roving ambassador of goodwill — blessed with sparkling personality, bouncy exuberance and a prodigious memory. He’s the top citizen of Maui, “Friendly Eddie,” the Merry Mayor of Maui.
In just a few weeks, Edward Fooksin Tam, a man whose charm, hospitality and diversified activities have won him a legion of friends all over the world, will celebrate his 60th birthday.
Sponsored by the Chinese Club of Maui, plans are already underway for a gigantic luau to celebrate the event.
110 years ago …
Nineteen Russian families were assigned to the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and arrived in Kahului on the Mauna Kea.
The Russians were taken at once to Camp 1, Spreckelsville, where they were told to select their own site for a camp where homes will be. This they did, selecting a site not far from the new stables.
The people are giving excellent satisfaction and it is believed they will prove a valuable asset to the territory.