Thursday, January 29, 2015

February 2015 Events & Contests on Maui

This is not by any means a complete list of events on Maui, but it's a good start. Check the links for changes in dates or locations.

ArT=Mixx: Masquerade, January 31st at the MACC, a FREE party for those 21+ and older. Words can barely begin to describe it. Here’s a blog about a prior ArT=MIXX event. (It's almost February!)

Superbowl at the MACC. February 1st. Who says the Maui Arts and Cultural Center is only for high brow art lovers? The MACC is offering two supersize screens, one inside Castle Theatre and one outside.  Food trucks will have munchies for purchase.  FREE!

Art lovers! Maui Open Studios is returning for 3 weekends in February. The opening event is January 31st. This is a way to meet artists in person, buy art, and visit the studios where they work. Here’s one Open Studios experience.

Labyrinth walks: The Sacred Garden of Maliko, between Makawao and Haiku, has started offering labyrinth walks on Thursday afternoons in addition to the monthly full moon walk. Labyrinth walks can be a meditative, life changing experience, and are very safe (there’s no way to get lost in one).

This is a meditation style labyrinth.

Cultivating a Pono (Righteous) Death & Home Funeral in Hawaii, Upcountry Sustainability Event, February 2nd. 

Family Day at the MACC, February 7th – In celebration of the Schaefer Portrait Challenge at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, meet artists and paint a picture to take home. FREE!

Hawaiian Herbal Teas with Kahuna Kahu Lyons Naone, February 7th, Viewpoints Gallery Maui, 3620 Baldwin Ave., Makawao. Highly regarded Hawaiian teacher and practitioner Kahu will talk about and prepare Hawaiian teas. Followed by hula and live music. FREE! Flyer below and call Viewpoints for more info: 808-572-5979

Mardi Gras Maui. February 7th. Fundraiser for the Maui AIDS Foundation. 

Moonlit Movies at Sugar Beach. February 8th. Dinner and a movie.

Maui WordCamp February 13-15th. For your inner geek. For only $35, learn about the WordPress blogging format and social media, and hobnob with experts.  Learn to ask the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask.

Vagina Monologues, February 8th – Eve Ensler’s landmark play about the feminine experience, in the form of dramatic monologues by women, has been performed all over the world. This is a fundraiser for Women Helping Women.

VDay Maui, February 15th, a dance fundraiser and celebration for Women Helping Women. 

Maui Whale Day. February 14th. Parade, hoopla, and fun. Celebrating the humpback whales on Maui.

Hawaii Youth Symphony Concert, February 16th. FREE concert at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. 

Maui Chinese New Year Festival, February 21st. Sometimes there are other festivities around the island, like this Lion Dance at Long's Drugstore

Art Affair, February 28th at the Hui No’eau – annual fundraiser for Maui’s visual arts center.

Maui Short Story Contest – Write a Maui short story of 1500 words or less. Deadline: March 27th.

Ocean Vodka Cocktail Contest – for creative mixologists: create a drink using 2 ounces of Ocean Vodka. Finalists are flown to Maui to compete in a mix-off. Airfare and hotel lodging will be provided for finalists. Deadline: February 28th.

TIME-SENSITIVE: EdVenture photo contest – Submit your photos to win a $100 gift certificate for continuing education classes at UH Maui Campus. Deadline, Friday, January 31st

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why do we have so many #&?! power outages on Maui?

I’ve never had this many power outages before moving to Maui. Not on Oahu, where I grew up, not on the East Coast, not in Kauai, not even in Russia during a year abroad.  Where I live on Maui, on the north shore, it seems we get outages once a month. DH thinks it’s closer to twice a month. He also likes to complain about Maui having the highest electric rates in the country.

Let’s see – January – we’ve had two power outages. The first one affected many parts of the island and Molokai. A windstorm after New Year’s Day that metaphorically blew aloha shirts across the island, caused more inconvenience to a larger number of people than the non-hurricanes we had last year. Hurricane Iselle hit Ulupalakua hard, but spared the rest of the island and for most of us, was a non-event. This windstorm knocked out power at my house for 24 hours, Friday night to late Saturday night) and in Olinda, we found out later, friends lost power for two days. They lost $700 worth of fish in that time. Luckily we had a power inverter that ran the fridge from the car every few hours.  It wasn’t perfect, but we didn’t lose much.

Surreal aloha shirt that's trying to fly.

On my street, the upper half lost power the first night and got power back the next morning. The lower part of my street got power back one day later. According to our neighbor, this was the longest power outage on Maui in 20 years.  Usually, we get these mild-mannered Clark Kent power outages – they even apologize afterwards for the inconvenience.  Typically, they last a few minutes, to maybe a few hours, and often occur in the middle of the night with little effect. The second power outage in January lasted just a few hours thankfully. A few days later, the lights flickered off completely twice, but we didn’t lose power.

This power inverter connected to the car battery managed to keep the fridge mostly cold.
It needed constant monitoring because it was at the edge of its capacity.

By the way, I am forever replacing light bulbs in our house, even the compact fluorescent ones which are supposed to last for years.  The electricity seems to flow erratically, with power surges and dips. One of my lights has to be adjusted frequently because it is either too bright or too dim at night. A surge protector is a good item to protect one’s expensive electrical items. Better yet, get more surge protectors. Why stop at one?

So why are there so many #&?! power outages on Maui?

This is SPECULATION based on grains of truth:

1. Maui has mostly above ground (read: exposed) power lines so that any car accident caused by any drunk driver or druggie on crystal meth can take out a power line.

2. The wind. Maui has more wind than the other islands. So when the wind shakes the lines or the jungle overgrowth along the lines, the power can fluctuate or stop.

3. Those huge eucalyptus trees. When there’s a good rain, the branches can swell with water and crash to the ground without warning.  The strong wind can also knock down other trees, so Olinda with all its big beautiful trees along the main road, is particularly susceptible to longer outages.

Tree cutter at the top of a huge eucalyptus tree.

4. Maybe our lines are old and not as maintained as they could be. This is my “old age” theory.

5. All the hippies live in my neighborhood and they climb up the poles in acts of anarchy and protest. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you in the desert.

6. Variation on the Jungle Overgrowth Theory. For example, bamboo along our neighbor’s fence grows along the power lines. The bamboo moves a lot and may disrupt the lines. Also, if the bamboo is not trimmed carefully, the lines can get damaged.

7. A friend's public Facebook post stirred up a discussion about Maui Electric (MECO) and several outages that were not caused by extreme weather. Some of the reasons suggested include: centralized power generation instead of "point of use" power generation, with inefficient methods of transmitting power, as well as greed (lack of support for decentralized solar power connected to the grid) and conflict of interests by MECO. 

How to avoid power outages?

Live in Pukalani. For some reason, friends in Pukalani were hardly affected by the first January power outage. Live in a newer neighborhood with newer infrastructure. Or get solar energy installed with Haleakala Solar or another good company, and you will no longer be at the mercy of Maui Electric. In the meantime, get more candles!

Update 2/16/15: We had a nasty windstorm on Valentine's Day, which caused a freak power outage due to a neighbor's Costco portable car canopy that flew into our power line.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Encounter with the "Strange" Hen

The four chickens brazenly sashayed into our yard. Three white chickens, two of them like silky powder puffs with blue eye shadow, one white chicken with a few brown speckles, and a ruddy brown chicken strolled up the recycled tire pathway from the gulch and started pecking at our postage-stamp-sized lawn. Our lawn must have a sign, “We have chickens here! This lawn is pre-pecked! Come and eat!” Meanwhile our three part-time free range hens cackled under the house.

Four hens that showed up in late December from the gulch alongside our house.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Is Maui a Literary Wasteland?

"Can't you tell? I'm working on my next book." 
Is Maui a literary wasteland? Is conversation on Maui shallow? Is it all about weather, surfing, land prices, or rescued baby goats? Is there more than the daily grind or the daily wave? Some people say that you can’t have an intellectual conversation on Maui, that it’s not like New York or (fill in the name of your favorite big city), but if you have a hankering for poetry events and literary discussions, they do exist. Though some events ebb and flow with the tides. Here's a guide to resources and events for writers, readers, and lovers of words on Maui:
  • Maui Live Poets Society has readings at three libraries:  
    • Makawao Public Library, 3rd Wednesday of the month, 6:30 pm*
    • Wailuku Public Library, 1st Thursday of the month, 6 pm*
    • Lahaina Public Library, 2nd Tuesday of the month, 6:30 pm*
(*Times and dates are subject to change, so contact the appropriate library or visit their Facebook page for updates.)

Mahalo to Pat Masumoto, a local poet and artist extraordinaire, for sharing this information about the library poetry readings and to Nancy K. for inspiring this post. Pat also hosts My Mama Monologues, a poetry and storytelling tribute to mothers around Mother’s Day. Since she doesn’t produce this event every year, look for announcements in early spring.
  • The Collective Underground is a newer group of poets and writers who recently had a book release, and may have additional events and readings this year. I’m embarrassed to say I completely missed their book launch party, but one can’t make every event on this island.
  • Poetry Slams are frequently held at the restaurant Casanova the last Thursday of the month, at 9:00 pm, It's been on a hiatus but will start up again in February. Side note: Poetry Slams were very active the first few years that I lived on Maui, and were held monthly in Wailuku, moved locations a few times,  and then I lost touch with the group that ran them so I was delighted to hear that they had been running all along, and then disappointed to hear that they haven’t happened in the last month or so. So I’m not sure what 2015 will bring.
  • Maui’s own writer Toby Neal sometimes does book signings at our local stores. Keep up to date with Toby Neal’s Facebook page. Toby is social media savvy, so her twitter and Facebook are very current.
  • Another great writer is Jill Engledow, who just published a book last year, which I haven’t had a chance to read. She hasn’t done a lot of book events that I’m aware of, but I think it would be a great idea for her to do so.
  • Maui Film Festival showcases interesting films for their First Light film screenings in December/January and for their summer film festival, some of which are very literary, like “Even Though The Whole World is Burning,” the film on W.S. Merwin or the film about Jack Kerouac's life. 
Bill Keys' street poetry set up.

  • Koa Books is a Maui publisher which organizes some events at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, including the one on Georgia O'Keeffe.  By the way, many stimulating events are held at the MACC so I recommend signing up for their email or checking their calendar frequently.                             
  • Writer Eve Hogan also hosts writing workshops occasionally.
  • Shannon Wianecki, one of my favorite writers. writes articles for some of the local magazines like Maui No Ka Oi or Hana Hou. I missed her big event last year, but she has an entertaining twitter feed. 
  • The Maui Writers Conference used to be an annual event, had some setbacks, then was re-engineered as the Aloha Writers Conference in 2013. It did not take place last year, but may happen again in the future.
  • Talking Story is a collaborative playwriting project. For more information, contact Pat Masumoto.
If you know of any additional poetry or literary events and resources, please comment here, tweet me, email at mauijungalow(at)gmail(dot)com, or post on Facebook, or Google+.

Many mahalos to Pat Masumoto for additional suggestions!

Some upcoming events in 2015 you'll want to know about:

Terry Tempest Williams, January 19th, Maui Arts and Cultural Center. 
Maui Fringe Festival, January 23rd - January 25th, Iao Theatre, Wailuku.
Hawaiian Island Land Trust Buy Back the Beach Benefit Lu'au, January 24th, Lahaina.
ArT=MIXX Masquerade, January 31st, Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
Maui WordCamp, February 13th-15th, University of Hawaii, Maui College.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Baby Goat Adopts Maui Couple

To go where no goat has gone before.
On a bright and sunny Maui day, when palm trees swayed in the wind, whales cavorted in the ocean, and surfers flirted with waves, a kid was born on the rocky south shore of Kanaio*. Not a human kid, but a goat kid, a baby goat. This baby goat had a sparkle in his eye, an impish grin, and a healthy set of lungs.

Despite being very young and fresh out of the womb, he wanted to be an explorer goat. He had never heard of Star Trek but got this idea to go where no goat has gone before.

What a beautiful world this was! The blue sky, the sun in his eyes, oooh… and rocks to climb on and jump on and jump down from and jump back on. Rocks were fun! He could jump up and down from them all day! Wee! This is fun to be alive! Oh, and what was that thing in the distance where the big blue thing on top meets the big blue thing below, in a straight line? It’s so far away. He wondered if he could get closer to it.

Rocks to climb and the blue thing above and below.

Now he wandered a little farther from the herd and a little farther yet. An older goat noticed him moving away and yelled, “Hey you stupid kid, get back here! You might get lost! The world is a dangerous place!”

“But I’m exploring the world! The world is a wonderful place! I can climb rocks and kick my legs and jump down rocks. And there’s something sparkly in the distance. It’s kind of blue, then it sparkles and there’s a line all the way at the end on the other side of the world where the two blue things meet.  I want to see where it goes!”

The blue sparkly thing.

“Look kid, there’s nothing there to see. You gotta stick with the group here. I told you to come back and I’m telling you again. Come back now, or we won’t look out for you.”

“I just want to see the sparkly blue thing and where it goes…” The older goat wandered back to the herd. And the baby goat looked far into the distance, where the sun glinted on the ocean, luring him closer and closer.

“I’m almost there! Maybe I can just jump over.” So the baby goat jumped out from the rock towards the blue shimmering thing in the distance, and he landed, not on the sparkly blue thing, but down on some soft, crumbly things. His feet sank into the sand and he lifted one up, puzzled that the sparkly blue thing was still far away from him.

Adventure is in the air.

His feet kept shifting in the ground, as if the ground was loose and swallowing his feet. But he could lift them out and saw the rocks up top.  He was also closer to the blue sparkly thing. He moved closer to it and it was attached to a snake, a strange white snake that kept changing its shape, shifting and moving. There were no eyes, but the snake moved in and out towards him, curling and moving forward. And it made a sound, “Whoosh… whoosh.” The snake was long and then short, then it would disappear and reappear into the sparkly blue thing. He got close to it and his feet felt strange. They tingled and felt cold where the snake had touched it.

The strange white snake.

“This is fun,” he thought. “I bet no goat has ever been here before.”

Then he thought, “Wonder where mom is. I’d like some milk.” He called out, “Hey mom! Mom! I’m hungry!”

No answer.

“I guess I’d better go look for her. I’ll just jump back up to the rock. C’mon legs, you were made for jumping!”

Goats are made for jumping.

Up! Up! His goat body moved up and came back down again. “Okay, I gotta try harder next time.” Up! Up! And he came back down again on the same sand, with the waves lapping at his feet.

Keep trying. Maybe I can do it from the other side. So he ran to the other side of the cove and jumped up and still found himself on the sand. I’ll try again. So he ran to the far side and jumped up.

He was stuck. “Help! Help! Come get me! I’m down here and can’t get up!”


I’ll be louder, he thought. “Help! Help! I’m hungry!”

And he kept bleating. Maybe the old goat was right.

Then, after what seemed like forever, he heard a noise from up above.  Oh, there’s something on the rock! It’s not a goat. It’s too big for a goat! Oh, it’s a stick, it’s a big tall, walking stick! And it has eyes at the top, and it’s on two legs. It looks really funny! Well I don’t care if it’s a stick or a goat, maybe it can help me get out of here.

“Help! Help!” he bleated.

But the funny two-legged stick looked at him and walked away.

“Oh no! Don’t go away! Help!”

He jumped up again, trying to reach the rock and he couldn’t.

Life was awful. The world was terrible. He was trapped. There was a cold white snake thing on one side of a big blue thing, and on the other side was the high rock that he couldn’t reach. He should have listened. Why did he have to explore so much?

Then he heard more noises from the top of the rocks. The baby goat squinted. It was another stick creature, on two legs, with eyes high up. There was a patch of fur above the eyes and the eyes looked friendly and sparkly. The stick creature started to move down the rocks.

“Help! Help!” he bleated. The stick creature climbed down and the baby goat rushed to meet the stick creature. “Oh thank you! Thank you!”

Kanaio was very thirsty after being rescued.

When Carol and Mac were out exploring Kanaio one day, looking for shells, they did not expect to come home with a baby goat. It was a quiet day and the only people they had encountered were Dana and Jerry, visitors from Oregon.

After parting ways, Dana and Jerry showed up again saying they had seen a baby goat that was trapped under a cliff.

Carol and Mac thought about it. Feral goats are a problem on Maui. They cause a lot of damage to native plants, farms and ranch areas. If they rescued the goat, they couldn’t simply release him into the wild, because there were no other goats around. Or the goats might reject him if they found him again. It could mean one more feral goat to cause damage. But they also didn’t feel right abandoning him to die.

Newly adopted baby goat.

Carol and Mac had grown up children, yet they had always wanted another kid. Though they didn’t realize it until now. So much for shell hunting! Mac scrambled down the rocks and became a daddy again.

They named the goat Kanaio because that’s where they found him. As Mac recalls, Kanaio Boy daGoat was really young, maybe just a day old. He still had his umbilical cord attached. Mac rigged up a bottle and sock to give Kanaio some water, since he was very thirsty.

Next stop: Dels, the farm and ranch store on Maui. Baby goat kids need baby milk formula and something to suck on. Carol and Mac fed their baby kid every two hours out of a baby bottle.

Del's, offering supplies to take care of a baby goat.

Mac researched goat farms to see if anyone would take Kanaio when he gets older, since it might be challenging to keep him in a suburban neighborhood in Kihei. But goat farms like Surfing Goat Dairy said no, they can’t bring in feral goats with their domestic goats.  

"Can I help fix the washing machine?

“He’s really cute right now, but we know he’s going to get bigger.” Mac admits. Kanaio is small enough to stay on the lanai or even come in the house, but eventually he will need an area in the yard or something even bigger. Mac jokes, “If he’s old enough to hump my leg, he’s old enough to wait outside.”

Mom and kid.

In the meantime, Kanaio is having an adventure and going where no goat has gone before. Kanaio gets to play with cats, who think he is a very ugly cat. Besides, what cat with any pride would wag its tail? 

"What a strange looking cat!"

Carol and Mac take their baby goat to the beach, to visit friends, to Ho’okipa to watch turtles at sunset, to Nakalele Blowhole, and to Jaws to watch monster waves. Kanaio has even gone stand up paddling with a life jacket. 

Recently, Carol and Mac had to visit a veterinarian in Kula to get their baby kid castrated and dehorned and get a clean bill of health. At five weeks old, he is starting to find shoes very attractive.

"Can I eat this?"

Kanaio is also very popular and has groupies wherever he goes. Carol says, “We can’t go anywhere but it takes three hours to get there. Everyone wants to stop and take pictures, or hold him. Sometimes they don’t know what he is.” Mac laughs, “I tell them it’s our dog, but we fed him GMO food!” Mac says they’ve also meet a lot of local people who have raised goats, or have eaten goats.  “We keep an eye on him!”

Superstar Kanaio

"I just want to be loved."

"C'mon daddy, it's fun up here!"
"Maybe I'll be a life guard when I grow up."

"Have you hugged your goat today?"
If you’re on Maui, you might get to meet Kanaio and his parents. Pun alert! I kid you not. He’s extremely photogenic and is always happy to pose on a rock! You can also visit Kanaio Boy DaGoat's Facebook page to look at pictures and videos of his daily life. He’s one of the youngest celebrities on Maui!      

Another beautiful day in paradise. 
*pronounced “Kuh-nye-oh”

Photos are used with permission by Kanaio's parents, Carol and Mac.