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Hawaii News

Weekly digest of what’s happening on Maui

Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire exercise

The Maui Fire Department will conduct a series of live-fire wildland training exercises Monday through June 19 on Mahi Pono land just south of Haleakala Highway and west of Keahua Road. The training will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Upcountry and Central Maui residents might see smoke and flames during the training, and the smell of smoke might carry as far as Maui Veterans Highway.

Officials said the exercises give firefighters an opportunity to train in realistic conditions to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. For safety reasons, the public is advised not to trespass onto private property to watch the training.

Habitat for Humanity reopens Wailuku store

Habitat for Humanity has reopened its seven ReStores across the state, including the outlet at 1162 Lower Main St. in Wailuku. The ReStores are a major source of income for Habitat, selling donated items such as usable building materials, gently used furniture, working appliances, tools, lighting and other household goods to the general public. Proceeds are used to fund Habitat’s mission of partnering with low-income families to build decent, affordable homes.

Face masks are required to enter any ReStore and when dropping off donations. Maui store hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 986-8050.

Haiku center to remain closed for improvements

The Haiku Community Center, which has been closed due to COVID-19, will stay closed through April 30 to allow for kitchen and restroom improvements, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced.

Central Construction Inc. is the contractor for the $692,546 project, which includes new kitchen appliances, fixtures and finishes, stainless-steel counters, a new grease interceptor, electrical and ventilation upgrades and accessibility improvements.

Reservations required at county pools

Reservations for 45-minute lap swimming at select county pools are available from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays, excluding holidays. Swimmers must be at least 13 years old to reserve a lane, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Calls for reservations cannot be made earlier than 48 hours in advance. However, reservations can be made Friday for pool use on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Call 270-6116 to make a reservation, but only one per person per day is allowed, and no same-day reservations will be accepted. Identification must be presented at check-in.

The open pools are the Kihei and Lahaina aquatic centers, Coach Soichi Sakamoto Pool and the Upcountry Pool. Pool users must use face covers when not swimming and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other pool users.

Online workshop will explain grant requirements

Friday is the deadline to sign up for the county Office of Economic Development’s free grants training workshop designed for nonprofit and for-profit organizations that administer programs aimed at boosting the local economy.

The workshop will be conducted via BlueJeans at 1 p.m. June 17. An overview of the newest requirements in the FY 2021 grant application and handbook will be provided.

To request an invite code to attend the workshop, email Grants Manager Tina Silva at The FY 2021 application and handbooks have been posted on the Office of Economic Development’s website.

Hawaii gas prices remain stable but still high

Average gas prices in Hawaii changed just slightly during the past week, moving either up or down by a penny or two in most areas, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

In Kahului the average price for regular Thursday was $3.42 per gallon, 2 cents lower than the previous week, 2 cents lower than a month ago and 42 cents lower than a year ago.

That compares with Honolulu, where the average price was $3.02 per gallon; Hilo, at $3.45 per gallon; and Lihue, at $3.50.

“While gas prices are inching up in many areas, they have remained relatively stable compared to other parts of the country and are still about 30 to 50 cents lower than this time last year,” said Liane Sumida, AAA Hawaii general manager, in a news release. “Yet, we still have the highest state average gas price in the nation. As the local economy and tourism increase, we would expect prices to increase, too.”


Due to COVID-19 precautions, Maui County meetings are being held only online via To watch or provide video testimony, enter meeting ID; to listen or provide phone testimony, dial number provided and enter meeting ID.

>> Maui Planning Commission meets 9 a.m. Tuesday to conduct a public hearing on a proposed bill to amend Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to reduce the number of short-term rental home permits on Maui and Lanai per community plan area, with the exception of the Kihei-Makena area, for which no change is proposed. Communications on the agenda include Ampersand Venture 2 LLC’s request for a special management area permit five-year time extension to complete construction of the Maui Palms Hotel redevelopment project (Maui Pagoda) in Kahului; and Malama Kakanilua, Pele Defense Fund and Ho‘oponopono o Makena’s intervenors’ motion to overrule and recuse the hearing officer in an ongoing contested case hearing on the Grand Wailea Resort’s request for approvals to allow construction of 151 guest rooms and other improvements, the resort owner’s memorandum in opposition to the intervenors’ motion, and the Planning Department’s statement on the motion. (No public testimony will be taken in matters involving ongoing contested case hearing.) (Meeting ID: 663 596 249; phone testimony: 888-749-9073)

>> Liquor Control Commission convenes 9 a.m. Wednesday for an agenda that includes public hearings on applications for licenses allowing live or recorded music by Kilohana Restaurant, Makena OP Hale Bar, The Empanada Lady, and Noodles and Rice by Nutcharee; a review of Liquor Commission emergency rules; and update on hiring process for a new director. (Meeting ID: 852 524 880; phone testimony: 408-915-6290)

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