Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Surfboard Santa and Beach Christmas

Surfer Santa with all his surfboards (outside Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport in Kahului, on the road from the airport). He's doing a "shaka" sign with his right hand, a friendly greeting here. 

Sandy Christmas Tree with coral and lava rock ornaments
Dragon on Christmas Day at Kamaole III (aka Kam III) Beach Park in Kihei.

Snowman or Sand "Snow" Man with Surfboard at Mama's Fish House in Paia.

Another way of spending Christmas Day, with grills, shade tents, and coolers at Kam III Beach Park in Kihei.
A lot of Maui folks use the public beaches for holiday gatherings.
Christmas Day was overcast and kind of voggy, but no one got sunburned.

You might also like the Haiku International Santa display with artwork of Santa surfing Jaws (a spot famed for its killer waves)! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Beautiful Day for "The End of the World"

What a beautiful day. After days of rain, since at least Monday, today is turning out lovely. Haiku and upcountry, including Pukalani and Olinda, have had a good bit of rain and wind and clouds.... so it's nice to see clear skies again. 

Is the world ending or beginning?
Is today a dawn of a new time?
Yesterday ended at midnight, as a friend used to say.

A frilly red hibiscus... which is hard to take
since the wind moves the flowers around a lot.
To see a goofy take on the end of the world... here you go. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quonset Hut Art Studio in Haiku

Often, road signs will announce studio sales,
especially during the holiday season.
Artists abound in hidden studio hideaways in upcountry Maui.
This particular studio, Maui Monkey Business, was located towards the Makawao end of Haiku.
Enchanting entrance to a hidden Haiku studio,
flanked by plumeria trees and heliconia.

I loved this screen print on paper... It was on the wall of the studio.
Not sure if it's persimmons or oranges. 

Beautifully hand dyed and screen printed trivets and runners.
Lau'ae fern on the upper left, then lehua blossom in red and pink,
then a mermaid.
These are designs by Maui Monkey Business.

Colored yarns and t-shirts.

Supplies:  silk screens. Just the tip of the iceberg.
Around the corner is another small room with shelves of hand dyed fabrics.

Inside the quonset hut studio space. Artist Linda bent over her textiles.
The space is well-lit, and this is one of the surviving quonset huts
from the WWII military presence on Maui.
Linda hand dyes each piece of fabric and then prints her patterns.
What a great space to create in!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Maui Tradition: The Waldorf School Holiday Faire

Quainte Waldorf Holiday Faire sign.

The Waldorf School Holiday Faire in Kula enjoys the reputation for being the creme de la creme of holiday craft fairs on Maui.  So they can get away with any perceived snobberie in calling their event a "faire," which also has the advantage of sounding a bit old-fashioned and quainte, in a Dickensian kind of way. Also, they can charge a $3 admission fee per adult; kids get in free. For the first time ever, I trekked up there  to satisfy my elfish curiousity.  

Joy Webster with her Bags of Joy booth of recycled and upcycled fabrics turned into bags. She said the fabrics include manufacturers' samples and other new fabrics that were not intended to be re-purposed.  

While I did not encounter any elves, there may have been people dressed in antiquated garb that I totally missed while doing a gallop through the craft booths. I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the holiday ambience, but did get to meet some people who I knew from elsewhere. As is typical of my experience on Maui, casual acquaintances pop up in unexpected places, and often with surprising talents that one would have never known otherwise. I ran into a friend who I discovered is also making jewelry, one of the #1 side professions on Maui besides massage therapy.  

Crowded parking along Kula Highway at the Waldorf Faire. 

Parking was meager and difficult, as I had been forewarned, but it didn't keep people away, unless they were guys and avoid craft fairs like the plague. I also got a chance to meet Tania Ginoza of Maui Shop Girl, who I had been wanting to meet in real life, since I only knew her in a digital way. For me, it's nice to put a face on an online persona. We had a nice chat before I needed to do a mad dash. 

I don't recommend going to the Waldorf Faire on a time crunch, but it is possible, especially if one doesn't have to park. I didn't get the full experience, but I got to see children making gnome still life crafts, like "gnome on a rock" or "gnome on a log" or "gnome on a ring of tree trunk" and people dipping holiday candles. Candle making isn't a hot hobby these days for people other than Martha Stewart types or artisan crafters, but there were plenty of Waldorf School families doing the candle thing. It's good quaint family time. The other surprising thing was the entire booth with wool fluff, there's a real word for this, ah yes, roving... wool roving, to make wool felted bunnies and gnomes and needle felting types of things, which may be part of the Waldorf educational philosophy.  A Waldorf education is considered a good thing these days, and the side benefit is that the children know how to make gnomes out of all sorts of things. 

Craft booths were plentiful and mostly interesting, although I felt a bit overwhelmed, but it was not as intense as the Seabury Craft Fair which happens before Mother's Day.  Most crafts were clearly handmade, but there were a couple of booths which stood out for clearly having imported items - the jewelry was simply too inexpensive for the labor and materials involved. There was also musical entertainment and plenty of food booths as well as a silent auction, bake sale, farm stand, and wreath booth, plus lots of children's activities. I think the only full way of getting the Waldorf Holiday Faire experience is to bring a child and make some gnomes.   

Christmas ornaments, woven from lauhala (leaves from the hala tree), 
a traditional Hawaiian craft. 

Ane Takaha's Bhakti Rocks

Pascaline Laloux, a trained textile designer, with her exquisite
hand-painted leather pouches. 

Affirmative plaques by artist Katie Freeman

Waldorf Holiday Faire 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Landscaping and Garlands

A picture post for today... holiday foliage and landscaping around Maui. 

Protea garland from the Waldorf School Holiday Faire. Protea are the flowers in the middle that look like feather dusters. 

Another holiday garland from the Waldorf School Holiday Faire: Christmas berry are well-named because they are red and produce fruits around Christmas. They are NOT edible. 

Poinsettia at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center. Not sure what the white and green striped  plant is. It's beautiful though, and popular here.

Just for fun: a Christmas serrano pepper in my garden. I have never seen a pepper do this, half red and half green.
It really looked like this - I didn't photoshop the pepper. 

Holiday poinsettia bushes growing outside in Haiku. The classic red poinsettia and the less familiar white poinsettia with small flowers and leaves. Very poisonous. Growing next to Hawaiian ti leaf plants. 

The yard with the red and white poinsettia bushes. Very patriotic with a flag. And it's tropical too, with the pink hibiscus plant up front. 
Another shot from the Hali'imaile Community Garden. These are ginger flowers and buds. Actually, I don't see any flowers, just the buds, but they look pretty cool. This is the same edible ginger used in food. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fisherman Santa Claus

HO HO HO! Santa Claus lands the big one!
I know it's not the best pic, but there was no good place
to pull over at the time. This display is right on Makawao Avenue on the makai side (oceanside). Makawao is also having a Chistmas town fair today, so stop by if you have a chance. 

This is copied and pasted from Makawao Town's Facebook page:

9:30 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.




PONY RIDES FROM 11:00 A.M. TO 2:00 P.M.


Friday, December 7, 2012

The Big Land Grab - PLDC Act 55

Updated 1/8/13: Just finished the first rough transcript. Scroll to the bottom. 

This post is going to be rewritten and edited, but in the meantime, here goes. Originally, I thought I would have been able to post the three transcripts of three video clips, but it has taken longer than I expected.

Here are three videos taken at the December 3rd, 2012 Upcountry Sustainability meeting in Pa'ia, Maui featuring Lucienne de Naie and Mahina Martin's presentation on the Public Lands Development Corporation, Act 55. This is a big threat to public lands on islands, including prime farm lands on Oahu, watershed land, and pristine land like the Ahihi-Kinau natural area on Maui. There is one more video I hope to add later. 

Rough transcript of video clip 1:

Mahina: To repeal the bill you learn about tonight and make some changes, or lose that battle and wait for another year for it to come again. And by then we’ll need your… that’s why we’re here for you… and to share our thoughts on this…

Lucienne: We have these little hand outs the cliff notes version of what you can do, who you can write… where you can go. Mahina: Lucienne will also talk a little about the Sierra Club.

Lucienne: the end of the 6 week period is the start of the legislative session… Once it starts, things happen very quickly. Mahina as you can tell.

Lucienne: Thank you to Upcountry Sustainability. I think Mahina and I are very grateful for this. We kind of rubbed elbows at the same meeting in august, and thought somebody should start getting the troops educated here and getting the word out. My name’s Lucienne de Naie. I’m an activist with a couple of different organizations but I’ve served as an officer chair and another officer statewide of the Sierra club. The sierra club is one of the few organizations in Hawaii that actually has a fulltime person tracking what the legislature is doing. And he’s very busy, he’s our director, Robert Harris, and he’s an attorney, so he’s a very smart guy, and I remember in 2011, Robert calling me and saying, oh hey the state’s making a u-turn (?) … and there’s nothing we can do. It was one bill about one thing and now it’s a bill about something else and the comment period is closed.  We wouldn’t have enough time to get enough people down to comment.  It’s like we don’t know what to do. We’re gonna have to hope that during the rule making we can make this an accountable thing. This was the public lands development corporation, so I’m gonna share a few slides with you about where this began.

Video jumps forward…
Lucienne: It’s …very, very broad powers and very, very vague language, and usually things like that don’t accomplish what they intended to do. I see Gladys nodding here (referring to Maui County Council Chair Gladys Baisa in the audience). She’s seen a few things like that. So without further ado…

Mahina: And on the intent of raising money for DLNR. Although they’re cash strapped and they’re definitely in need of that, we don’t believe this is the way. And quite frankly, if you look at the larger projects that they want to do, if you think about it, do you think that money is going to show up magically in their budget for 2013 -2014? No, so, aside from the $100 filing fee for someone who wants to propose a project, we can’t detect any cash flowing into DLNR soon enough, safe enough and adequately enough. To that point, we really would challenge this idea that it will create money for a cash-strapped department. Clearly, it’s just not the way. So, we’re going to talk a little about the PLDC and we still laugh about how the first two words are public land followed by development.

Slide shows the legislative building, with words “How did PLDC originate?”

Mahina: That’s exactly where it started. Last year, this is actually two yrs ago coming January. But last year, the Senate had a bill that came through. Out of this idea by Senator Malama Solomon and Senator Donovan Delacruz, which all of you probably know by know, is a … [unclear] of this bill.

They started on the Senate and it was known as Senate Bill 1555. It was pretty quiet. Everyone agreed. DLNR needed money. Let’s look at something. The original version even included representation by the neighbor islands on the so called “power board” and eventually it got deleted.

In a fast switch, 23 days later, it made its way to the House and major revisions including removal of neighbor island representation, and a five member board, four of which have no cultural history experience background. They’re all actually financial, finance people, which is red flag #1 for us.

But there was a lot of movement that went through the House and Senate pretty quick and before you know it, it showed up on the finance committee and they along, this is the committee – but Calvin Say who our own… [?] Joseph is trying to unseat.

House speaker Calvin Say allowed for waiving the 48-hour rule so in essence it gave the public, whether you’re in Hana or Haleiwa or anywhere else or Lihue. You only had 115 minutes to hustle on over there and raise your objections. So, of course, Gary who’s there, who’s a former senator himself, waved the 2nd red flag and said, “Wait wait wait wait, what do you mean?”

And you can’t waive that, but they did. 115 minutes. We’re not making this up, there are records. We actually went into research and tracked it down to when these things made it through the legislature.  So already we know this isn’t good. Most of us are pretty dormant, we just don’t know this is happening because this is 2011 of last year.

Eventually… it makes its way through and it lands on Governor Abercrombie’s desk, and as you know, he can sign it into law or let it become law. So in a very rapid manner, it got signed into law. It lies dormant for a while, and now here we are in 2012.

(Slide asks, “What are Hawaii’s potential public lands?” Slide answers, “Lands once owned by the Hawaiian monarchy and Kingdom of Hawaii comprise the vast majority of state property. Estimated total: over 1 million acres.) And in 2012, PLDC takes it out and says we want public comment, and those were the meetings in August. They went to every major community or every island except for Lanai, so Lanai said “How come we’re not included, and we never got an answer to that?”

Lucienne: No public lands.

Mahina: No public lands. And the interesting part with that is that as they were going around to get public input on what is known as the administrative rules, the rules that will help them govern and move and maneuver their way through their authority and power, they were already in discussions with public lands. In July in fact, Mr. Haraguchi (sp?), the executive director, had already met with two organizations, two potential developers to talk about prime farm land on Oahu. Prime farm land we use currently now.

And in July, he met with a group called the Relativity Video and Access Land Lease, one to create workforce housing and one to create a sound state studio. So they were already in discussions before July. They had no rules and were discussing the project. They did not have full authority but were already in motion. So we started paying attention because it was becoming a little too quick under the radar. So by the time it came to us, the public, we had a lot of questions including the community….

Lucienne: Let me jump in here. Hugh Starr reminded me that the very first incarnation of this bill was only about the Ala Wai Boat Harboar and another small harbor on Oahu, Ke’ehi Lagoon, and it just sort of morphed in to this million acre deal on public lands across the state. And as we all know our public lands are mostly on the neighbor islands. Most of the public lands are you know.. Maui County.

Q: How did the public lands become public lands?

Lucienne: As it says here (slide), most of the public lands were once owned by monarchy and the Kingdom of Hawaii so there’s really some debate about whether it can be legally transferred to anybody. But this bill is just moving forward to say look, we have these partnership opportunities with people.

I had a personal presentation by Senator Delacruz and he was so proud, “Look we have this park here that no one’s doing anything with and we could do wonderful things, like we have a private group that wants to come and build cabins and build a restaurant and build that.

And it was interesting because there were a couple of citizens there that said we have a nonprofit group that’s been working with this park for years and DLNR will never give us a lease to do anything.

Why all of a sudden from some corporation you’re all interested in doing something but if a local community group that wants to invest funds here, you just kind of pushed us away. It just didn’t make a lot of sense so a lot of what’s at stake here on Maui – we have Makena State Beach, Hawaiian Home Lands, everything in light green or dark green are public lands in South Maui.

If you go on to East Maui, thousands of acres of our rainforest and you can see a lot of lands along the coast too. Someone might think, “Wow, that’d be a nice place for a resort.” Upcountry, we have Hawaiian Home Lands. We have our wonderful state forest reserves at Polipoli, we have our Makawao state forest reserves. Once again, a lot of stake, and then in Central Maui a lot of the areas that are our watershed land, and above Haiku and Huelo and these were all crown lands. And it really … the water rights upcountry.

What if someone came along, some Chinese firm and offered to pay more than A & B and lease them to extract water. Would we have a say, and of course the answer is no. We need to do something about this bill. I’m handing it back to you.

Mahina: This is actually what the bill itself looks like. And its description, I’ll read it to you, it’s actually a 32 page document but essentially it allows for a law. (video clipped)This law, act 55 once it was signed, senate Bill 55. but it allowed, it gave them the authority to take the initiative and use their scope of authority and defined, determined which public lands would bring the most opportune commercialization, revenue generating projects to help DLNR. That is the full stroke of what they can do. And that’s the biggest fear that we have. So, a 5 member board which we’re looking at right now…

Their chair is the director of finance, Calvin Young, and they also have William (?) over here on the far end…. The deputy director of DBED (Dept of Business and Economic Development)… and two appointees… one a former developer Duane Kurisu…and one an attorney, Bobby Bunda, former legislator… If they’re sitting around a circle, a board meeting and a project comes up to them, someone says how much can this make us. That’s what drives the decision making, and that’s the fear. Their decisions are not, their priority, their interest is not to protect and preserve but to seek out what the inventory of lands are and to be the most revenue generating for that purpose to give the money back into the state.

I want to point this out, because this is the portion of the administrative rules. After we met in August, they got heat, almost 1000 people on all the islands combined came and threw the book at them. So they said “All right, we’ll consider it.” 

Lucienne: And …they made specific suggestions about the rules. A lot of people said oh we don’t like this, this is just terrible. But there were people who did their homework and said we should change this paragraph. We should make the rules different this way. And mahina was one of them. But did they listen? No.

Mahina: But what was interesting is that in the original administrative rules proposed in August. If you read it through, the whole document was peppered with the word “developer, developer, developer” Now I’m going to tell you now, I’m not anti development, but I’m anti stupid.

And I don’t appreciate someone defining what that is for a community unless they live in it. And that’s why we are going on the road…

So I want you to see what they did. They changed every word that said “developer” into something called project, proposed, entrepreneur. They softened it to the degree that they took out what they thought was gonna get people’s hair raising. They keep insisting there was community input. They would retain it, maintain it, commit to it. …

And yet (hard to understand) it states on the far right/line at least one people meeting in the community affected, one, just one. So the process is someone will come to them with a proposal, pay $100, which used to be $500 but somehow it got changed. It’s a $100 fee now. They turn in their financials, do a nice form, make sure that they have the background for it.

The board’s executive director, Mr. Haraguchi (sp?) reviews it, to see if it meets the minimum of what they want. It gets recommended to this five member board. The board asks its questions, are you sure you’re solvent, are you sure you can make money, whatever whatever. You’re required to have one public meeting.

Go to Wailuku, let’s say it’s going to be Iao Valley. So go to Wailuku and have your one meeting. It ends up being on a day that of course you know some of us can, some of us can’t. They fulfill their requirement for one meeting. Beyond that you are invited to email your concerns, fly to Honolulu and attend a board meeting or mail them a letter. That’s the extent. Once that process is completed, the board in its own decisionmaking powers will have the authority to approve a project. And that’s how rapid something can change in our community. 1445

Q from audience: Has anything gone through yet?
Mahina: They were trying, but they backed off…

Q: …A lot of people had no knowledge.. how would you officially stop rhetoric?

Mahina: In my personal opinion, I think …hold? Put? your feet to the fire when you see see it rear its ugly head. Q: is there a standard to hold your feet to the fire? What about due process, which is the recommended rule under every state under federal compliance…? Why don’t we use that?

Mahina: Well they’re supposed to follow sunshine laws…

Commenter who asked initial question: Well if they’re not fulfilling their obligation under federal law… this state has the right to turn every official for lack of due process.
(?Not sure who replied to this):The state has an exemption. They’re not under the sunshine laws, so they can do anything they want…. 48 hours..

Commenter: that’s not true…
(End of first video – remember this is a rough, imprecise transcript)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Black and White Birds at the Beach

Flutter of wings… birds hopping on the sand… waves breaking… clouds slowly forming and reshaping overhead… sunlight on shadows… wind rustling through the trees. Beach time is sacred time. This time of year, we are scanning the horizon for whale spouts. But there’s plenty of wildlife the rest of the year, like the mongooses that visit the beaches. (Did you know the plural of mongoose is not mongeese?) Also there are many birds who live at the beach: sparrows, mynah birds, and little red cardinals.  Occasionally, we’ll see a sandpiper or franklin.

Sparrow in mid flight at Makena. 
DH and I often bring bread or cooked rice to share with the birds at the beach. We don’t bring uncooked rice, since that can expand in their stomachs and kill them. The sparrows sometimes will even eat off our fingers in mid-air. It’s great fun to watch.

A bird watching friend said that birds have incredible vision and can actually recognize faces, especially of people who feed them. Must be true, because they always hang out at our beach blanket.

This blog post is my photo response to MauiShopGirl's challenge: Black and White. If you love birds and have enjoyed this post, you might also want to check out my flightier post on the White Bird Tree of Wailea

How to train wild birds at the beach to eat out of your hand:
1. Feed the birds every time you go to the beach - crackers, cooked rice, bread, popcorn, sunflower seeds...
2. Over time, the birds will get used to you and will stop by your blanket.
3. Put the food closer to you over time. 
4. Try holding the food in your hand and hold very still. 
5. Eventually some brave bird will eat it, and others will follow. 

What will beach birds eat?
Besides grains, seeds, and breads, Maui beach birds also enjoy apple cores and sometimes fruit. I hope to write more about this a bit later. Let me know if you'd like to see beach birds eating apples on sticks or see any bird videos. 

Bird day at the beach. Yes, the rice is cooked.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Watch Out for Taguma

(To the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"):

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not SPEED
I’m telling you why
Officer Taguma just got me…

He’s got his laser
And checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s speeding or nice
Officer Taguma just got me…

He sees you when you’re speeding
He knows when you are not
He knows when you’ve been bad or good
So don’t speed for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not SPEED
I’m telling you why
Officer Taguma will get you…
O! Taguma will get you…

If you’re stressed about the holidays, and racing to the Queen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center, better think twice about pushing hard on the gas pedal. Or if you’re racing to the more resort-oriented Shops of Wailea, ease up on the gas.  Just because it’s Christmas or Hanukkah or the holiday season, doesn’t mean that Officer Taguma will play nice. He also seems fond of that stretch of highway between Kihei and Kahului.

This is the gray car that belongs to Officer Taguma.

Officer Taguma is Maui’s idea of an urban legend. If someone gets a ticket for speeding on Maui, nine out of ten times, it will be a ticket from Officer Taguma. He is downright notorious as the only officer with a laser, although there’s probably one or two others in the Maui police department.   There are countless stories about Officer Taguma, about how he ticketed his own mother for going 5 miles over the speed limit, about how he shot himself in the foot, and about how ruthless he is in collecting speeding tickets.  Supposedly, there’s even a support group for people that Taguma's victims.  If you see the bumper sticker, "Taguma Got Me," you’ll know what happened. 

Also, Taguma writes up a lot of parking tickets, especially in the Wailuku area. So he doesn't just tag speeders, he gets everyone. 

Slightly closer view of Taguma's car... 

I wanted to take better pictures of Taguma, but DH turned apoplectic. Given what happened to Tommy Russo, publisher of Maui Time, every time he tries to take a picture or video of Mauipolice, I guess that’s understandable. I don’t really need Taguma to get me too!  But I found this great photo set of Taguma by Maui Time on flickr. And I also found another funny local style blog post, Taguma Got Me

This is NOT Officer Taguma. He is NOT Santa Claus.
But it is part of the international Santa display in Haiku.

Drive safely (and park carefully) this holiday season - and the rest of the year - because you never know when Taguma is watching.  Watch out! Taguma might get you!

Updated 7/14/13: There's an awesome Facebook page called TagumaWatch which has some good updates on where Officer Taguma is on the island, plus occasional traffic or accident reports. There are some fun stories too!

PS. I'm linking this blog post to other blogs written by the Maui Bloggers Network, so will add more holiday links as they are posted by members. This is my holiday gift to other bloggers on Maui. 

3. Toby Neal- Living a creative life in Hawaii-

4. Joyce Chin Photography - The Maui Roller Girls 'Stache Bash: A Drag King Revue

Skipping 5 - which is this post

6. MauiShopGirl - Modern Holiday Cards

7. Lena Castles - The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree:

8. Chris Norberg - Wedding on Pride of Maui with Natalie Brown:

9. DzinePOD - Go Elf Yourself!

11. Gorgeous Maui Weddings - Stop missing the posts of your favorite FB pages, create a favorites list:

12. Winter in Hawaii- It's feeling a lot like Christmas

13. Maui Qigong - Why I lLike Sheng Zhen Qigong -
14. Maui Oceanview Condos - Santa in the Shark Tank!!

15. Linda Lindsay - 10 Maui People BIG on Pinterest -- A Collectible Delight! -

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Winter Weather" on Maui

Brrr… Not. It can get chilly on Maui during the winter, but usually one has to be higher up – like in Kula to really feel cold. Cold is a relative term. After living on Maui for a while, cold can be anything cooler than 70 degrees. Which is downright warm and comfortable anywhere else.

I suppressed a grin when I saw a woman at Del’s Farm Supply, located in warm and sea level Kahului, wearing a heavy scarf, long sleeve shirt, and get this … a pair of shorts.  I badly wanted to take a picture. 

In November I also saw two people on a drizzly night in Makawao wearing winter scarves. One gets acclimatized to warm weather and then “winter” feels cold.  

Generally, Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina are warm year round. Even Paia on the North Shore is fairly warm – 70s and 80s year round.  These are all towns at sea level. There was only one winter season that I recall where Kihei and Kahului were downright cold at night – friends in Kihei complained that they couldn’t eat dinner on their lanai (deck). 

My idea of cool weather - the neighbor's car windows have a lot of morning condensation from the cool, moist air. 

With higher elevations, the winter months can mean temps reach 50s maybe at night, but the sun comes out – usually, except not always in Haiku – and then the day warms up nicely to 70 and 80 degrees. 

Other than being at the top of Haleakala Crater, the coldest I’ve been on Maui was at a New Year’s party in Kula. Brrrr… 

That would have been a good night for a long sleeve jacket. By the way, yes I do know what real winter weather is. The coldest I have ever been in my life was standing outside in St. Petersburg waiting an hour for a streetcar on a typical subzero Russian winter's day. 

But what is cold really? The last few days have been really warm, in the  low 80s at least.  But late November was a bit chilly for Haiku, and there was a lot of condensation on the car windows in the morning.  

By the way, the last three weeks in October were pretty dry and warm this year, and then just around the election, Haiku experienced a lot of rain off and on for a couple of weeks. I think Hali'imaile and Makawao also got some rain. 

Weather… it’s kind of unpredictable. Generally it's warm and sunny or partly sunny. If it's raining where you are, if you drive around the island far enough, with any luck, you'll find a sunny spot. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

What Stores Do For Good Luck: The Japanese Good Luck Cat

Take a good look around the next time you're in a restaurant or store on Maui. Look above the store displays, above the cashier's area, or even above the aisle you're standing in. If it's a local store, bank, or small restaurant, there are very often Japanese good luck cats facing the front door. One paw faces up, always faces up, and there is some symbolism with the height of the paw or whether it's a right or left paw

A good luck cat gazing thoughtfully at the front door, at Pukalani Superette.
The establishment doesn't even have to be Japanese or owned by a Japanese family. These good luck cats are well respected totems of prosperity and protection.  

Haiku Grocery takes the cake!  There are so many good luck cats and prosperity statues that it requires several pictures. The pictures are a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea. The top left picture with the red totem with BIG eyes is a Japanese daruma doll, another good luck figure. The blue figurine appears to be a dragon, which could be Japanese or Chinese.

A Filipino restaurant and take out place in Wailuku. Two good luck cats and what looks like a rabbit, next to the scale. They do face the front door. Chicarron is a fried delicacy - fried pork rinds - like in the deep South!
A good luck altar at Sheik's restaurant in Kahului. Sheik's has a local following. DH sometimes goes there for mac salad. Good luck symbols include a bamboo kadomatsu, a daruma doll, good luck cats, and a boat of Japanese folkloric figures - the Seven Lucky Gods.  

Above the greeting card aisle at the Longs Drug Store in Kula (ahem, or Pukalani for zip code accuracy). Longs is a chain drug store
originally based in California, but now owned by CVS. 

Another common practice is for stores or retail establishments to have a Hawaiian blessing before opening, replete with a Hawaiian kahuna (master teacher) doing a ritual chant. Often a maile leaf lei is draped across the door.  The only picture I have of that is from the Art Maui blessing this year.