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Lahaina wildfires

Road to rebuilding Lahaina paved with obstructions

The road to rebuilding Lahaina in the wake of the 2023 wildfires should be paved with fewer taxes and regulations, not more, according to Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Commenting on Maui Mayor Richard Bissen’s plan to raise property taxes and water fees to fund the

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Kauai disaster recovery holds lessons for Lahaina

Children played in the rubble left by the fury of Hurricane Iniki, Sept. 15, 1992, near Poipu Beach on Kauai. Photo by AP Photo/Reed Saxon. The following commentary was first published on March 6, 2024, by The Maui News. This version includes hyperlinks to the sources that support the statements.

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What Kent of Grassroot learned during recent visit to Lahaina

“Slowly,” “really expensive” and “frustrating” were words Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, used last week to describe how Lahaina’s recovery efforts are going. Speaking with radio host Johnny Miro on the H. Hawaii Media radio network, which has stations on Oahu, Maui and Kauai,

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Water agency ID’d as major Lahaina recovery roadblock

The state’s plans to spend over $600 million to shelter victims of the Lahaina wildfire in hotels is neither financially sustainable nor ideal for victims who are desperately seeking a sense of normalcy, according to Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.  Speaking on Feb. 29

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Lahaina aid should be about quality, not quantity, Helton says

It’s looking like the state is going to be spending a lot more than it expected to help victims of last year’s Maui wildfires, especially in Lahaina, which in turn is raising many questions about where the money is going to come from. But according to Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

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It’s time for responsible budgeting

Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee discussed Lahaina expenditures at their Feb. 20 meeting. Helping our Maui ohana recover from last year’s disastrous wildfires is paramount. But the only way to do that without hiking taxes or going into massive debt is to cut state spending. We can

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What I said to the governor about Maui housing

When facing a challenge such as rebuilding Lahaina, it’s important to work together to get the best possible outcome. Everyone involved won’t always agree on the best approach, but open discussion and debate will give the public a say to help find the best route forward. That’s why on Thursday,

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Akina lists ways to improve Maui Interim Housing Plan

The Grassroot president says the $500 million plan is fine but could be improved to more quickly help displaced fire victims A $500 million plan to find housing for residents displaced by the horrendous Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui is “directionally sound” but could be improved in several ways, said

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Kent predicts ‘big theme’ in Legislature will be Lahaina

Hawaii’s 2024 legislative session kicks off on Jan. 17, and the “big theme,” according to Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent, will be “Lahaina, Lahaina, Lahaina.” Joining radio host Rick Hamada last week on KHVH News Radio 830, Kent said the Lahaina fire aftermath will be “touching every aspect of

Read More →

Road to rebuilding Lahaina paved with obstructions

The road to rebuilding Lahaina in the wake of the 2023 wildfires should be paved with fewer taxes and regulations, not more, according to Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Commenting on Maui Mayor Richard Bissen’s plan to raise property taxes and water fees to fund the

Read More →

Kauai disaster recovery holds lessons for Lahaina

Children played in the rubble left by the fury of Hurricane Iniki, Sept. 15, 1992, near Poipu Beach on Kauai. Photo by AP Photo/Reed Saxon. The following commentary was first published on March 6, 2024, by The Maui News. This version includes hyperlinks to the sources that support the statements.

Read More →

What Kent of Grassroot learned during recent visit to Lahaina

“Slowly,” “really expensive” and “frustrating” were words Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, used last week to describe how Lahaina’s recovery efforts are going. Speaking with radio host Johnny Miro on the H. Hawaii Media radio network, which has stations on Oahu, Maui and Kauai,

Read More →

Water agency ID’d as major Lahaina recovery roadblock

The state’s plans to spend over $600 million to shelter victims of the Lahaina wildfire in hotels is neither financially sustainable nor ideal for victims who are desperately seeking a sense of normalcy, according to Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.  Speaking on Feb. 29

Read More →

Lahaina aid should be about quality, not quantity, Helton says

It’s looking like the state is going to be spending a lot more than it expected to help victims of last year’s Maui wildfires, especially in Lahaina, which in turn is raising many questions about where the money is going to come from. But according to Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Read More →

It’s time for responsible budgeting

Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee discussed Lahaina expenditures at their Feb. 20 meeting. Helping our Maui ohana recover from last year’s disastrous wildfires is paramount. But the only way to do that without hiking taxes or going into massive debt is to cut state spending. We can

Read More →

What I said to the governor about Maui housing

When facing a challenge such as rebuilding Lahaina, it’s important to work together to get the best possible outcome. Everyone involved won’t always agree on the best approach, but open discussion and debate will give the public a say to help find the best route forward. That’s why on Thursday,

Read More →

Akina lists ways to improve Maui Interim Housing Plan

The Grassroot president says the $500 million plan is fine but could be improved to more quickly help displaced fire victims A $500 million plan to find housing for residents displaced by the horrendous Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui is “directionally sound” but could be improved in several ways, said

Read More →

Kent predicts ‘big theme’ in Legislature will be Lahaina

Hawaii’s 2024 legislative session kicks off on Jan. 17, and the “big theme,” according to Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent, will be “Lahaina, Lahaina, Lahaina.” Joining radio host Rick Hamada last week on KHVH News Radio 830, Kent said the Lahaina fire aftermath will be “touching every aspect of

Read More →