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Hawaii News

Weekly digest of what’s happening on Maui

                                Haleakala National Park reopened Saturday and reservations to visit for sunrise are available online only.


    Haleakala National Park reopened Saturday and reservations to visit for sunrise are available online only.

                                Jasmine Heavenlena Witt’s winning entry in the Maui Historical Society’s virtual lei contest.


    Jasmine Heavenlena Witt’s winning entry in the Maui Historical Society’s virtual lei contest.

House of the Sun reopens for sunrise viewing

The Summit District of Haleakala National Park reopened Saturday for sunrise viewing. Reservations must be made online prior to visiting the park, up to seven days in advance at The cost is $1 per vehicle, which is separate from the park entrance fee. Visitors without a sunrise reservation will not be admitted to the park, and reservations will not be issued at the entrance station.

Reservations allow access to the Summit District from 3 to 7 a.m. on the specified day. For questions about reservations, call the hotline at 877-444-6777.

Park officials encourage social distancing by spreading out among the four popular sunrise viewpoints: Puu Ulaula (or Red Hill Summit) at the 10,023-foot elevation, the Haleakala Visitor Center overlook areas at 9,740 feet, the Kalahaku Overlook at 9,324 feet and the Leleiwi Overlook at 8,840 feet, which is accessed via a 10-minute hike from its parking lot. The Red Hill Observatory and Haleakala Visitor Center buildings remain closed.

Take note that Haleakala National Park has resumed collection of park entrance fees, which are $30 per private vehicle, $25 per motorcycle and $15 per pedestrian or bicycle — all valid for three days. Holders of Hawai‘i Tri-Park Annual Passes with expiration dates from March 20 to June 30 will get an extension until Aug. 31.

Meet in Honokowai for candidates and cocktails

The West Maui Taxpayers Association and Java Jazz are sponsoring free Meet the Candidates events at the cafe and coffee shop in the Honokowai Marketplace on Lower Honoapiilani Highway.

Alberta de Jetley, a candidate for the County Council’s Lanai seat, will be on hand for the meet-and-greet from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, with Rick Nava, a candidate for the West Maui seat, appearing 3 to 5 p.m. June 29.

No-host cocktails and special happy hour menu prices will be available during those times. No reservations are required, but seating is limited due to social distancing and face coverings are required. To guarantee a seat, RSVP at, email or call 661-7990.

May Day was a virtual Lei Day in Hawaii

The Maui Historical Society celebrated its annual Lei Day Heritage Festival with a virtual lei contest on May 1. Contest entries are displayed in a digital exhibit available at celebrate-maui-museums.

Director Sissy Lake-Farm said the contest is meant to reinforce the “importance of lei in Hawaii, that the symbol of a lei shows as a gesture of aloha. Make a lei, give a lei and wear lei — a rich tradition that we can uniquely call our own.”

Jasmine Heavenlena Witt of Lahaina was the top winner, with Serena Kaldi from Kula in second place and Tyler Lee Kauikea Galigo of Kahului in third place. Honorable mention went to Jasmine Kekiwi of Makena and Puameiti Farm of Wailuku.

Lahaina-to-Lanai ferry is back on the water

Expeditions Lanai Ferry has resumed service with updated COVID-19 protocols for passengers sailing to and from Lahaina and Lanai. Two round trips are being offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving Lahaina at 6:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. and departing Manele at 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

All passengers are required to arrive one hour prior to departure time in order to fill out new state travel and health forms, complete screening and temperature checks, and purchase tickets from the ferry booth. Face coverings must be worn upon boarding and while on the vessel. Seating is limited and subject to physical distancing guidelines. Each passenger is allowed two suitcases and a carry-on.

Adult fares are $30 each way; children are $20. Kamaaina fares are $25 each way for adults and military, and $10 for seniors and children. Visit

Kahului gas price sees drop of 3 cents

Average gas prices in Hawaii moved up or down in a narrow range over the last week, depending on the island, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

In Kahului, Thursday’s average price for a gallon of regular dropped 3 cents from the previous week to $3.44. That’s 2 cents lower than a month ago and 40 cents lower than a year ago. The average price in Honolulu was $3, a penny lower than the previous week; in Lihue, 5 cents higher to $3.55; and in Hilo, unchanged at $3.45.

“Prices remain relatively stable in Hawaii compared to other states where the average price in most states have been increasing steadily over the past month,” said Liane Sumida, AAA Hawaii general manager, in a news release.

Customers can visit new outlet for Spectrum services

Charter Communications Inc. announced the opening of a new Spectrum Store at 58 Hookele St., Suite 530, in Kahului, where customers can add or manage their Spectrum Internet, TV, mobile or voice services; shop for devices and accessories; upgrade or exchange equipment; and make payments.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Sports complex closed to accommodate roundabout site

The Central Maui Regional Sports Complex is closed to address safety concerns and limit traffic around the site of the Maui Lani roundabout.

The project, at the intersection of Maui Lani Parkway and Kamehameha Avenue, is scheduled to be completed before the start of the new school year, county officials said. Bicycle and pedestrian access around the intersection and access to homes for residents will be maintained during the construction.

No detours are available through the neighborhoods for vehicular traffic in the area. There are no outlets available from the neighborhood subdivisions to Maui Lani Parkway.

For construction updates, traffic routing and other information, visit


Maui County meetings are being held via To watch or provide video testimony, enter meeting ID; to listen or provide oral testimony, dial number provided and enter meeting ID.

The Maui Planning Commission meets 9 a.m. Tuesday for agenda items that include:

>> Public hearings and action on amendment to Wailuku-Kahului Community Plan land use designation from park to public/quasi-public and zoning change from R-2 residential district to P-2 public/quasi-public district for 34 acres in Kahului to accommodate future expansion of Hale Makua Health Services facilities and development of new programs to serve seniors.

>> Kamaole Grand LLC’s request for special management area permit five-year time extension to initiate construction of seven residential buildings in Kihei comprising 217 condominium residences, recreation center, barbecue areas, swimming pool and associated improvements, and transfer of Nokaoi Development LP’s permit ownership to Kamaole Grand LLC.

>> Hawaiian Cement’s request for comments on draft environmental assessment for special management area use permit and shoreline setback variance for Kahului Harbor Hawaiian Cement Facility Relocation Project permit (public hearing to be held at a later date).

>> Resumption of recessed June 9 public hearing and action on County Council Resolution 20-27 referring to Maui Planning Commission’s proposed bill to amend the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to reduce number of short-term rental home permits per community plan area, with the exception of Kihei-Makena area, for which no change is proposed (discussion likely not to start sooner than 1 p.m.). (Meeting ID 547 177 173; by phone: 888-748-9073, 408-915-6290 or 408-740-7256)

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