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Susan Halas

Susan Halas is a Senior Political Contributor at MAUIWatch. She has followed Hawaii politics since 1976 when she moved to the Valley Isle. She was formerly a staff writer for the Maui News as well as other local print and digital publications.

Rawlins-Fernandez & Molina Snare Top Spots as Council Names Committee Chairs

Though attendance was sparse, it was quite a day at the Maui County Council’s January 11th meeting. Organizing of the legislative body continued as committee assignments were handed out for the council’s eight standing committees. Snaring the top spots were freshman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez who was selected to chair Economic Development & Budget Committee, while Mike Molina was picked to head …

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Kelly King Elected Chair as New Council Organizes

When the newly elected Maui County Council took their seats for the first time at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2nd it elected Kelly King (South Maui) Chair, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez (Molokai) Vice Chair, and Tasha Kama (Kahului) Presiding Officer Pro Tempore. Each woman received a unanimous vote. It marked a changing of the guard for the legislative branch of county …

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Mayor-Elect Victorino Announces Appointments

Mayor-Elect Mike Victorino has announced twelve choices to key jobs in his upcoming administration. He takes office January 2. The soon-to-be mayor said he got over 300 applications for the top jobs and his selection committee worked diligently to make the recommendations. Victorino said about 90 percent of those recommended by the selection committee ended up being his picks. “I am …

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General Election 2018: Maui Voters Somewhat Split on Ideals

When the smoke cleared, after months of campaigning, sign waving, fund raising and door knocking Maui County voters proved somewhat split agenda when they divided their vote between candidates representing old school politics and those identified with a more progressive point of view. Mauians picked a new mayor from the retro wing of local politics and a nine member county …

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New Kihei Charter School Campus Nears Completion

The new Kihei Charter School is nearing completion with final inspections and move in expected soon. Until now the rapidly expanding school which serves grades K-12 has held classes in a variety of locations throughout South Maui. When completed the new campus will bring the entire student body together. It is expected enroll between 650 to 700 students in the …

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Gubernatorial Nominee Tupola Finds a Receptive Audience on Maui Visit

“I’m here to change your mind,” said Andria Tupola. The Republican nominee for Hawai`i governor was on Maui on Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with voters, waving signs and visiting schools. The 37-year-old former music teacher who served for four years in the Hawai`i State House, ending as House minority leader, was a come-from-behind winner in her own party’s primary with …

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Maui Women Send a Message in 2018 Primary

The 2018 Maui primary showed that the new strength and viability of women candidates for local and state offices offered more than a few moments of drama and surprise. The surprise finish of the evening was the strong showing by Tasha Kama in the Kahului council seat race, where she topped three-term Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa by a margin of …

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Last minute filers cut it close as nominations close

Every election year has its drama as some candidates wait until the last minute to file their papers. The 2018 primary was no exception, but this year it was more of a comedy as folks with lofty ambitions did and didn’t make the final 4:30 pm deadline on Tues., June 5th. Around 3:30 All was quiet at the office of …

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