Wednesday, September 26, 2007

no Aloha

Just received in my inbox:


Maui, HI - The 2007 Aloha Classic Wave Championships, scheduled for Nov 5 -17, has been postponed to 2008. There will be no event this year. We are sad to make this decision at this time but it could not be avoided as the title sponsor pulled out in the past week leaving little time to pursue a similar sponsor of the same caliber.

In combination, there has been a lack of rental housing available on the northshore with the Maui County's crack down on transient vacation rentals, leaving many competitors and sponsors without a place to stay during the event.
Hopefully both issues will be resolved for 2008 and we will be back on track.

On the bright side, the existing sponsors for 2007 have agreed to come on board again for next year and for that we are very grateful. We thank you for your interest and look forward to bringing you the best windsurfing wave event in 2008!

Bummer, this year I would have won it!


Little update/forecast on the sailing conditions in Maui.

Today third day in a row of really fun windswell at Hookipa... I'm sailing my ass off.
Tomorrow a little NW swell will add on top (almost 3 feet, 14 seconds from 335 at 8pm at the NW buoy... that's promising), so it should be even more fun for a couple of days and then another similar one on Sunday. Not a bad September at all.
The only question mark will be those big clouds south of us, but they're already moving west, so I don't think they will be too much of a problem...
Oh yeah, the wind is going to be gusty... just like 99% of the times... no big deal for me and the other Superfreaks of the island!


Lano said...

How can this be allowed to happen? Is the accomodation issue on Maui as bad as this story makes out?

Anonymous said...

Hey Lano,

The better question is, how were these unlicensed vacation rentals ever allowed to operate in the first place. You may not be aware of this, but the rentals that have been shut down were illegal businesses that ALWAYS had the opportunity to apply for a bed and breakfast permit and legitimize. A few did, but most chose not to. There were many reasons for this. Some were: They liked not paying taxes better, they did not want to incur any expenses (such as improving parking, roads etc) that would have allowed them to exist well in their communities, or that some understood that they would not make it past community review because their previous activities had been so disruptive. Charmaine Tavares is a hero to the residents of Maui for shutting down these selfish freeloaders and returning the communities to the families that live in them.


wally said...

If you want to understand how the situation came to exist, please read the letter below from Alan Arakawa, who is a former mayor for Maui County. The County Council bears a lot of responsibility for the current situation.

Here's a couple of more that are worth reading.

Charmaine Tavares is not a hero to all ...

wally said...

I see the URL's got truncated. Let's try again using HTML.

Letter # 1
Letter # 2
Letter # 3

cammar said...

this additional comment (non included in the official press release) from event organizer Mark Lefevre will answer your question:

Btw, the issues with the event had A LOT to do with the shutdown of the Maui Vacation Rentals. We couldn't find places for people to stay, including some sponsors and some top riders. It was causing a real mess. The top sponsor eluded that these issues had a lot to do with why they bailed on the event. Real sad!

Anon and Wally, thanks for the contribution. I could open a topic on my forum about it... what you think?
Or, if you just register to it, you can open a topic yourself!

cammar said...

would you be so kind to tell my how to embed links in these bloddy comments? I keep trying unsuccessfully!

Anonymous said...

This is Rand,

I used anonymous above because the Blog login will not get by our security programming. Please note that I signed the comment at the bottom and in no way wish to be anonymous on this subject. Far from it.

I was present at the council meetings (testified on occasion) when Alan Arakawa (when not yet mayor) was on the council and attempted to stand in the way of the County Code (which is crystal clear on the subjest) being enforced. Charmaine Tavares amongst others fought him and have finally prevailed. Arakawa would love to mix this issue with other housing issues to make it unenforceable, but has innacurately represented that as well. The MVRA loves Arakawa for good reason. He did their bidding. It was one of the primary reasons he was not reelected.

Illegal businesses will not be reinstated on the North Shore. Keep the country, country. To argue for the need for tourism over here now, is an argument in favor of North Shore, tax paying, hotels (and the hotel companies are chomping at the bit). If that is your goal, keep up the fight.


Anonymous said...

Additionally, (and as if the author of the statement did not know it) the Aloha has been cancelled before. In fact it has been cancelled during Mayor Arakawa's term in office, when vacation rentals were up in full force.

This year, no North Shore Kite Competitions, Surf Competitions, Tow-In Competitions will be cancelled for this or any other reason. Windsurfing, unfortunately, has struggled for quite a while with sponsorship as it as viewed as a declining sport. No need to insult intelligence and mix this issue with illegal businesses.


kitespook said...

"declining sport"

no need to mince words. windsurfing is dead.

Anonymous said...

"no need to mince words. windsurfing is dead."

Spoken like an in-line skater about skateboarding in the early 80's, when that sport was declared dead and the bumper sticker (which would later be borrowed by unimaginative kiters) read, "skateboarding has been cancelled".

All sports have cycles. Skiing, Motocross, Snowboarding, Kayaking are all in decline at the moment. None will die. No need to look further than here or the Hot Sails forum to feel the vitality of windsurfing. Some say after years of decline, sales are now up. Others say flat. The perception is still decline. The fact that you would come to a site peopled by windsurfers to make that statement speaks volumes.

See you on the water.

cammar said...

Ops, sorry Randy I didn't see your signature in your comment... howzit brah!

This is a very controversial topic.
I still have to make up my mind on which part to stay, honestly.

Windsurfers do bring business (to me too), but on the other hand I'm glad this is happening, otherwise my landlord would have probably renewed the place where I'm staying, kicked me out and made more money renting it as vacation rental...

Changing subject...

WOW! What a bloody awesome wavesailing session I had today at Hookipa! I loved every single moment of it, wipeouts and swims for the board included.
Some logo high sets, at times really clean, not particularly crowded...
And after that, dinner at Fish Market with Glenn (welcome back!), Andres and Diony.
Guess what did we talk about?
Yes, that declining/dead sport that makes us perpetually stoked...
Can't wait until I do more of it tomorrow.

PS. Oh, of course we talked about pussy too, but I guess everybody agrees that that is never gonna die...

Anonymous said...

Hi GP,

One interesting thing that many of your readers may not know, is that a representative (lobbyist) for the Maui hotel industry (the largest industry on the island) was present at each of the council meetings I attended on transient rentals. I sat next to her at one meeting. She took notes on all that was said from both sides, names, etc.

Why? There is at least one large resort on the North shore of both other major islands. A North shore hotel would be an enormous profit center for these folks. So follow the logical argument:

There is a large group of residents who do not want vacation rentals in their neighborhoods.

The county has now began strict enforcement of the county code and state plan an has shut down (is shutting down) these transient rentals.

The illegitimate vacation rental industry (residents and non residents) have been consistant in saying that we must supply rooms for vacationers on the North Shore.

A Kahului hotel is already permitted.

One of the key factors that was succesful in the argument against resort expansion on Oahu was the fact that Turtle Bay has vacancies still available (there are existing rooms on the North Shore of Oahu for tourists). There are no such legitimate available rooms on Maui.

How do you see this ending?

Do you rememember when Maliko would NEVER be developed? There is not an available lot up there now (except for resale).

How about Sprecks? Is it the same driving trough the new clear-cut for a subdivision?

Who do you think owns the (no longer profitable) Pineapple fields above Ho'okipa?

Is it really in our best interest to go on record saying that we don't have enough lodging in that area?

Keep the Country Country - on Maui


cammar said...


I see your point, but I'm confused.
Shutting down the illegal vacation rentals, like it or not, will bring up the need for rooms for vacationers on the north shore of Maui... will it not?

And that, as you say, will give big resorts power to get their permits to build.
Between the two, I'd rather see vacation rentals run out of private homes than a huge resort overlooking Hookipa...

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,

There are zoning plans for a reason. Local people have to have someplace where they can live and raise families, etc. It is unfair to residents and visitors alike to sandwich these uses together.

It is correct that when on a paid for vacation, a group may want to barbeque, drink beer, and party. That is how it should be. Put that next to a family where dad has to be up for the morning shift at 5:00, Mom can't get the kids to get the picture. That was the typical example. Now try the groups that were scheduling corporate functions and weddings.

Zoning was drawn up to avoid conflict. These folks had decided that none of that mattered, and they were going to do business in these restricted neighborhoods anyhow. It has been a source of stress and anger in the community.

The county code has a provision which allows those seeking to do so to apply to become legitimate bed and breakfasts, and these do exist on the North Shore and are not contested. The problem for the MVRA is that many of its members have opened their rentals in a manner where they could not be permitted, because that would require neighbor consent, property improvements, parking, safety, etc. In reality only a few owners would be allowed these exception permits, and that is how it should be.

Additionally a huge chunk of the South Shore (and central) is legitimate for transient rental and hotel.

If you are asking do I think we need more lodging than those options on the North shore, the answer is no.

But, Maui will no longer stand for vacation rentals operating illegally and I feel confident that that will not change.

So, it may be that some do feel that there is a need for more lodging on the North Shore. But again, I would ask for you to consider your experience in Realpolitik, and judge what is most likely to happen.


wally said...

Here is Charmaine Tavares on video in 2005 where she is clearly stating she is against what she is currently enforcing. Link to YouTube Video

There have been numerous letters to the Maui News in support of vacation rentals, including locals who have said the houses had far fewer problems than when they were long term rentals. The last time I stayed in Haiku, I slowly drove in and out of the driveway, never made any noise in the evening and shopped locally for my food, gas, restaurant meals, etc ... while the guy at the bottom of the hill let his dogs bark at all hours of the night. I don't think I slept through the night once in 2 weeks and I'm sure his neighbors loved being serenaded as well.

I have been to Maui around 20 times now and have always been very respectful when staying in a house in a residential neighborhood, as were my friends. Personally I would never return if I had to stay in a hotel or a Kihei condo.

Blame the big developers for what is happening on Maui, not a surfer/windsurfer trying to chill out for a couple of weeks close to the breaks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wally,

Youshould be aware that the reason this has been such an issue is that the county has received thousands of complaints (and many others to police) each year about these illegal businesses. Big developers had nothing to do with this.

Josh Stone's windsurf place in Haiku was so heavily protested by the nieghborhood that it was eventually shuttered.

The Youtube link you posted in non-functional for me.

The code on the subject was written with the express purpose that the North Shore not become a center for lodging (except on the basis of Bed and Breakfast exception).

I would suggest that for your next trip that you look for a legitimate North Shore Bed and Breakfast. The owners will be members of the community in good standing. As such, (using your example) they would be able to request with respect that their neighbor help them with the problem their dog is creating for their legitimate guests.

In any event, the code is now being enforced.

Last week I received a newsletter from a local realtor noting that these oddly modified properties are now coming on the For Sale market at advantageous pricing (for Maui).

cammar said...

Hey Wally,
you should post that link again, it doesn't work for me either...
While you're at it, would you please let me know the html tag you use to embed links in these comments?

Anonymous said...

Hi GP and Wally,

I found the link (replace "dot" with a "." below)


I actually watched this meeting back in 2005 and the meetings that lead up to it.

Charmaine was 100% on the level in what she said. This meeting was about establishing a proposal that would then be brought to the individual communities for evaluation by the planning department. It was to be a proposal (bill) that attempted to regulate the application and evaluation process for vacation rental *exceptions*. It had NOTHING to do with the enforcement of the current code at that time, and NOTHING to do with allowing or shutting down transient rentals. Charmaine was keeping the meeting focused on the writing of an exceptions bill, because these meetings frequently were taken off subject in an attempt by the MVRA to effect current regulation. Her position on that regulation has remained entirely consistant.

To update you on this now two year old video, the bill that was drawn up in this and subsequent meetings WAS brough to the communities by the planning department, and WAS uniformly shot down by Maui's residents. This meant that the new bill was never advanced, and the planning commmission therefore recomended that the existing Code be upheld.

Charmaine has listened to her constituancy and has done exactly that.

Best to all of you.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Wally, i am just there to chill. The transient rentals help us plebs that cant afford permanent residency
though we would love to be.But
honestly if that happned would i be complaning about my lot in life in maui and be against the VRBOs.

But more to Rands point , and while I agree they ARENT in compliance ( and never were ) that is because there was nothing to comply to! SO LETS GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO COMPLY TO. Get them to comply to a new type of permit, they then pay the higher taxes and expenses for improvements that one can argue they dont pay for now as Rand has stated , problem solved ??
i dont think so. I think it really is the bad apples that spoil the bunch effect. few bad parties
spoil the calm. I have been to Maui 7times,2weeks at a time, quiet and respectfull,i did hear parting but
honesty not much. Willies wife complained I heard.

But again self interest is the best motivator. I do plead for many "locals" involved to think of the good visitors the one who enjoy the aloha and are
quiet and
respectfull. Even to tranplants. We sit at baldwin or mamas beach dont litter and greet you with a smile.
It may be
fearmongering maybe but
Look at the risk of the hotel lobbyist. Would the north shore
fall to the almighty
dollar?? insiders ( a local owner who name i ahve no right to
repeat) say Kuau is
being bought up by a certian someone who is planning something big. Or so i heard. If Transient rentals go down will this person pick up the properties at a cut rate price that a cut rate price that even a kama`aina could not afford. Will the hotel lobby beat this fish monger out??

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon,

You are absolutely correct about the bad apples. When you showed up, stoked for your vaction, the neighbors would not have known you from the hell raisers that were there the week before. They assume you are the same people, and actually had stopped looking or considering years ago. It just had become a base level anger.

Add to that the anger over the fact that many of these transient rentals were on Ag land. This land was to have been used for farming, and as such was given an extremely low tax rate ($600-$1,000 a year in many instances for 3+ acres). This while neighbors wre paying in many instances 10 times that for small non Ag lots. As if that were not bad enough, the huge structures, and multiple structures that were often being built wre driving up the property taxes of the neighbors. So you have a small group (often non-residents or part time residents), running unpermitted businesses, paying low taxes on the land and often no taxes on the business (hard to pay income tax on a non permitted business without giving yourself away) and creating a bevy of problems for the neighbors.

It was not working and the community has spoken clearly. The code states that neighbors will have to agree to these businesses for any exception to be granted, and I would expect very few if any to be forthcoming at this point.


Anonymous said...

well its all too bad , i really respect the people there in general, i mean anywhere i go if they dont like us toorsits who WILL want us back?? Esp the people in Kuau, i give them real credit seems like the Kuau mart ownwer aint too happy about the situation BUT she was very ncie to us even thou We could ahve sbenn the partiers thats aloha spirit for you. Even the guys at Kuau launch, where while i was too chiken to sail out of, were always nice however they double parked on the street and got ticketed locals want to complain about your locals LOL???

AG lot abuse well i can see your point easily, i suspect the people i stayed with in kuau or sprecks werent ag land abuse. And both would qualify for a B and B , are those ag land units mainly up in haiku and halemaille ??

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon,

The Ag land issue has popped up wherever there is Ag zoning, so Haiku, Makawao, Kula, etc. The issue of Gentleman farms is also a hot topic, but is not always related to VR.

When talking about tourists, transplants, resident, and locals, it must be remembered that over 60 % of Maui's voters moved here from somewhere else. So, many of the residents are from elsewhere and understand that others love Maui too. That, however does not answer these questions.

As far as Sprecks and Kuau, the B and B exception code says that no vacation rental may exist within 500 yards of another. This was to keep an individual from getting stuck in a VR sandwich. Also, the community would have to want it, becuase any one of the residents could vote it out. The tax issue actually came to a head in Kuau, where some of these properties were forcing the property taxes of old time owners ino the land of impossible. So in terms of some of these places being possibilities for B and B, possibly one or two (because of distance restriction) in each of these neighborhoods could be, but only if everyone within that distance agreed that that should be the case.

It is a very complex issue and making genarilizations about one situation was not covering the problems in another area. The stress that was caused was not (in my opinion) healthy. These have been the most heated council meetings in the last 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Rand is not correct that there is 1000's of complaints on the books with the county and police. I did some checking on this and there is infact less than 20 for each of the past 5 years. The feeling I am hearing from the community up in Haiku that it is a few who are against while most support having vacation rentals. Why not go after the places that generated the complaints instead of throwing out the bay with the bath water. There definately seems to be a growing number of individuals who want to return maui to the stone ages.

Anonymous said...

Ag Land is a misnomer. The point of Ag land is supposed to be for Ag. The reality is that you can not afford to only do Ag. A study was done and the farm rep said that you can not make a living on a 2acre lot on Maui. The reality is that the zoning on Maui is completely screwed up in so many cases. All of Haiku should be switched from Ag to Rural. Many of these Ag parcels are owned by locals who have lived here for generations and have tried repeatedly over and over to grow Ag to support the family and it has not been possible. These family have been offering accomodations in their Ohanas for quite some time. Its really the only way they can afford to exist and not end up selling their properties to some new arrivals from California. Now the county is taking away the only way to make an ag parcel work. I would even venture to say that TVR belong on Ag. More so than perhaps R-2 zoning.

There is more to this issue than what you are reading in the papers and on the internet. Big business has always been the status quo on Maui from the time of the camps and big business interests are behind the crackdown. People believe that the TVR are going to cause the down fall of the nortshore, but, the reality is its step one for the big business to remove competition. Then the hotels start buying up properties, start employing their lawyers to change zoning, suddenly you have hotels on the northshore. Dont think it will happen? The people who have been whining about TVRs (a minority mind you) will be wishing for their way-back machine to bring the TVRs back and to get rid of the hotels. But, it will be too late.

As in most things on our lovely island, many people here never think long term, only immediate gratification. If the county is successful in shutting down this industry it will be a devostation to the northshore. Say good bye to the restaraunts, art galleries, book stores, cafes, and shops. Not to mention the $100s of million dollars the county is going to pay (oops I mean the taxpayers) in legal judgements because of this fiasco. We rue that day.

Anonymous said...

Tavares isnt gonna make it for another term. She has pretty much alienated everyone except Rand. Good luck bro.

Anonymous said...

Its Rand again (note the use of a name),

Ahhh, so someone has been reading the MVRA talking points (or maybe did some writing of them?). Lets assume for the moment that all 3 anonomous posts are from the same individual.

The beauty of anonymity is that truth and fact need not be considered.

1. Thousands of complaints were logged. Additionally hundreds came out to speak up and complain at council meetings and planning outreach meetings. Simply saying it is not so, does not make it not so. "I checked" is not a fact.

2. "The feeling I am hearing from the community up in Haiku that it is a few who are against while most support having vacation rentals." No need for a "feeling". The planning commision held actual meetings up here in Haiku, which were resoundingly against rentals and eventually (with other meetings in other areas) led to the planning commission determining to uphold the existing code.

3. This is an issue about local families renting their ohanas? No, this is about a group (largely non residents) that are paying for their piece of paradise by over developing ag land (with 2, 3 and 4 structures). For those who are residents, many have purchased additional Ag properties on which to run these illegal businesses.

4. The "worry" about the law suit against Maui County extends all the way to the edges of the MVRA :)(whoops-honorary MVRA member Alan Arakawa is also concerned). Upholding the county code will be deemed entirely appropriate should any judge actually hear this case.

5. You wrote "As in most things on our lovely island, many people here never think long term, only immediate gratification. If the county is successful in shutting down this industry it will be a devostation to the northshore. Say good bye to the restaraunts, art galleries, book stores, cafes, and shops. " C'mon. Any seals going to be clubbed? Babies slaughtered? North shore businesses will be terrific as always. The consumer base will remain south shore tourists, and Hana will remain the # 1 tourist destination on the isaland (requiring-you guessed it, a trip to the North Shore and through Paia).

6. As for Mayor Tavares, she is loved, not by the minority MVRA, but by her constituants. Remember, she RAN (in part) on taking care of this issue, and has been good to her word. But, as you know, it will not matter in terms of this issue. Vacation rentals will not survive this term.

Anonymous said...

The Maui Vacation rental and Aloha cancellation is complete BS !! Like the riders can afford places like expensive vacation rentals...$150+ BS again !!! They usually figure it out through friends and everything.

They just couldn't admit that they were full of it.... and should do something else than organizing events.

Looks like the "cancelled" thanks to them

jeff E of the Great White North said...

Ok read at your risk, long ran interesting story all true the story part that is. i think this is Giampaolos only blog entry that still gets comments. Proof that this issue is hotter then the kalua pig fresh out the earth.I have been reading the maui news and listening to the stuff things are heating up. WOW there going to be alot of hard feeelings over this.
I have posted a few times here but this is a real emotional issue for ohana, toorists like me and Ka'aamina alike.
Maui is a contrast of old and new a crossroads of cultures like no where else on earth. An happy "Aloha" mixed with a heavy grunt of resentment. Sometime made by the most unlikely people. Like the crazy haired white woman who almost ran me down in FRont of hawaiian island windsurfing, "go home Haole" she yelled. I almost offered to take her haole ass with me. Or at a bar in Paia. I was told i was , as a canuck just as much a north american as a texan was, by some white 45 or so old guy. Some transplant no doubt,another haole "hatin us Haoles" .I looked at him and thought could this guy be a recent 10 year Ohana?? who once was me who loved maui had a dream moved here and now is bitter??maybe now bitter against VRs.
And get this!! at the same bar, 5 minutes later, as i sit with my wife and two friends new to maui, there is this heavily muscled guy who looks "HEY pure blooded big boned ka'amahina" . OH OH now we are going to get a GO HOME HAOLE!! for real.
NO, "francis", is nice drunk but nice and now begins to tell us all about working to reclaim Kahoolawe,offers to buy us a drink!! and food off his plate...NOW THATS ALOHA!!!!
i see him, i meet these others bitter people, mix this up with this VR issues add a bit of coffee and write this down on nightshift in norethrn ontario at 0430 and i ahve an idea. AND I say get all euros ( soory Giapaolo), canucks (yup back to our dogsleds and igloos) american, japanese, portugese ,paniolos, all immigrant at one time. Send us all out.
Close us all down it aint our home .........hey as a culture we arent "zoned". The dream i am sure of many a monster truck driving ka'amahina!!
but that not going to wash is it!??
So take a chill pill on the VRs, freeze them, no more not ever. Get some proper damn zoning in. I hope some of these VR exist so i can meet the real hawiian ALoha spirit like I did that night. Hey maybe francis and his kind are the ones who SHOULD really have the only say

Anonymous said...

yea, it crack me up hard when I see some holo haole acting up against other haoles tell em to go home. Makes us locals laugh our akole off. Some of us have said out loud too the mouthing off haole to follow dem too. Hehehehe!

anyways, far as the TVR thing, alot of us locals are cool with it. It makes nice neighbors who keep da place nice. My tita used to work at a place near by and she no had to drive and could walk to work. No mo. Now she off to town to work in other place. More cars on da roads. Choke traffic an all dat stuff.

Be sure, da real kama'aina treat you right. No worries. Rand, you local brah? Dont think so. Anyways, aloha all.