Leaving Maui, Part I: Things I’ve seen

Since I’m moving to Sacramento May 13 (booked my flight and everything) I’ve decided to write a give a kind of retrospective look at my nearly six years on Maui, before this blog starts commenting on more California-centric topics. Today I’ll write about how much Maui has changed since I moved here Aug. 28, 2003. Tomorrow (or the next day, who can say…) I’ll write about things I did while on Maui. The next blog post will be about things I didn’t do, but maybe should have. And the last will be a rundown of my thoughts on the future of Maui.

So, in no particular, here are some of the choicest things I’ve seen while living on Maui…
1. State officials open a road (the realigned South Kihei Road/Piilani Highway intersection) even though two telephone poles were standing in the middle of lanes of traffic.
2. Erin Smith sing (Seriously folks, she’s the real deal. See her while you can, because five years from now we’re going to be wondering how lucky we were to see the Famous Erin Smith when she played for tourists…).
3. The sun rise over the ocean at Haiku.
4. A man cutting his hair with clippers in the Kihei Kalama Village men’s room.
5. Humpback whales swim just a few dozen yards from my kayak while I floated in a world completely silent save for the sound of them breathing through their blowholes.
6. A completed, ready-to-use boardwalk at the Kealia wetlands just sit, unused and unopen for years (it remains so) while state officials endlessly delayed the construction of a tiny parking lot.
7. An effective, technocratic mayor lose his reelection bid to a councilmember who never really articulated why she wanted to be mayor, then promptly declared war on unpermitted but locally owned vacation rentals shortly after taking office.
8. The governor and a majority of state legislators approve the writing of a law that would allow a single company (Hawaii Superferry, Inc.) to bypass state environmental regulations, then bitch and moan when the state Supreme Court struck it down.
9. Massive, ugly timeshares completely cover the beautiful grasslands that sat between North Beach near Kaanapali and the West Maui sewage plant (I also smelled this item, too, on a regular basis during the years I lived in Honokowai).
10. Abandoned cars left on the sides of various highways slowly stripped away by scavengers, like some time-lapse video of the jungle consuming a dead animal on the Discovery Channel.
11. Kahului Ale House owner Scott “Scooter” Metcalfe denounce me before the Maui County Liquor Control Adjudication Board as a “bad writer.”
12. Alicia Silverstone accidentally suggest to a packed house at the Paia Community Center that no one would want to drink a cup of her breast milk.

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