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★ MAUI COUNTY COUNCIL ★ the big resorts cried foul. Nishiki, a small business ers when it counted and, inci-
owner who has trumpeted sustainability and afford- dentally, was named “Best
able housing, looks like a breath of fresh air on a coun- Politician” by Maui Time
Kahului Seat cil in need of resuscitation. readers in our annual Best
Incumbent Joe Pontanilla faces challenger Netra of Maui issue. There aren’t
Halperin in one of several races that pits a longtime Maui Time Weekly any huge knocks on the
elected official against a fresh-faced newcomer. endorses Kai Nishiki challenger, Alan Fukayama,
Halperin, who owns a psychotherapy center in Wailuku, but there’s no need for a
has made vacation rentals a central issue in her cam- change here.
paign; she says she decided to run for the council after
her bed-and-breakfast in Haiku was shut down. We like East Maui Maui Time Weekly
Halperin’s take on a number of Lucienne de Naie isn’t a political newbie by any endorses Jo Anne Johnson
issues including water use means—she’s run for office before and is involved with
and stream flow restora- a number of advocacy groups including the Sierra
tion. We also question Club—but she fits the change versus status quo para-
whether Pontanilla is digm that has come to define this election on all levels. Lanai
motivated and dynamic Intelligent, motivated and After earning our endorsement and finishing first in
enough to initiate the feisty, de Naie isn’t afraid to the primary, Sol Kaho‘ohalahala has been hit with a
changes that are need- rattle cages. “An activist series of residency challenges. While he doesn’t cur-
ed to move Maui cuts through the B.S.,” rently live on Lanai full-time, Kaho‘ohalahala has said
toward environmental she told us in an inter- he intends to return to a family home there after the
and economic stability. view last month. Some election; he was also born on
of that B.S. has come Lanai and has previously
Maui Time Weekly from her opponent, Bill served the island at both
endorses Netra Halperin Medeiros, another the county and state level.
member of the develop- At this point, his oppo-
er-friendly good old boys nent, John Ornellas,
club. The choice is clear. seems to be running a one-
Pukalani-Kula-Ulupalakua note campaign, charging
Incumbent Gladys Baisa has placed the economy Maui Time Weekly Kaho‘ohalahala with being
squarely at the center of her campaign. It’s hard to endorses Lucienne de Naie an out-of-touch outsider.
argue that’s not a pressing concern, but we feel it’s come We don’t buy it.
at the expense of long-term environmental considera-
tions. Enter Michael Howden, an acupuncturist and Maui Time Weekly
permaculturist who’s trumpeting widespread water use South Maui endorses Sol Kaho‘ohalahala
changes and agricultural sustainability. The controver- No county-level race has generated as much heat as
sial, much-maligned Wailea 670 development is a good this one. After incumbent Michelle Anderson dropped
illustration of the philosophical out for personal reasons, former longtime
differences between the can- Councilmember Wayne Nishiki tossed his hat back into
didates: Howden adamant- the ring. He’s opposed by former Deputy Planning
Note: Mike Victorino (Wailuku-
ly opposes 670 and told Director Don Couch. We gave the two men a dual
Waihee-Waikapu) and Danny
The Maui News that it’s endorsement in September and invited them in for
Mateo (Molokai) will both appear
“more mindless develop- interviews in the interim. The decision of who to sup-
on the ballot but are running
ment”; Baisa voted in port was not an easy one—there are things about both
unopposed.
favor of the project. There candidates we like and things that give us pause. In the
are things about Baisa we end, the fact that Couch received campaign contribu-
like, but we think it’s time tions from big business inter-
for a new voice. ests including Wailea 670 ★ STATE SENATE ★
developer Charlie Jenks
Maui Time Weekly tipped the scales. Nishiki
endorses Michael Howden took no developer money District 5
and, though we have After fending off a primary challenge from realtor
some questions about his Bart Mulvihill, incumbent Roz Baker (D) is facing
ability to get things done Republican Jan Shields. While we haven’t agreed with
Paia-Makawao-Haiku given his reputation as a Baker on every issue, we do agree with the numerous
The youth meets experience theme returns, with Kai contrarian, we believe he’s organizations—including the
Nishiki—a relative newcomer on the electoral scene more likely to be a strong Sierra Club and the Ohana
but owner of a familiar last name—run- independent voice. Coalition—that have
ning against incumbent Mike already endorsed her.
Molina. Molina’s cozy ties to Maui Time Weekly Shields, whose reputa-
big business interests have endorses Wayne Nishiki tion has been tarnished
been well documented in by evidence that she
these pages. As a recent failed for a time to pay
example, he voted— taxes on her small busi-
along with numerous West Maui ness, does not appear to
other councilmem- We endorsed incumbent Jo Anne Johnson in the be a better choice.
bers—to pull back a primary and nothing has changed since. She’s still a
bill that would have widely popular figure who has earned the respect and Maui Time Weekly
restricted water use after admiration of her constituents, stood up to develop- endorses Roz Baker
MAUI TIME WEEKLY OCTOBER 30, 2008 15
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