Maui County’s strict rules keep rentals in check

Maui County has gotten tough with illegal vacation rentals.

Aware of the growing number of illegal rentals intruding into residential and agricultural areas, the county Planning Department began aggressively enforcing zoning laws in early 2007 and shut down a number of operators.

Deputy Planning Director Ann Cua said the department gave illegal operators a reasonable time to close.

Later, in January 2009, in an attempt to bring vacation rentals into compliance, the Maui Council passed an ordinance allowing a limited number of bed-and-breakfasts to operate in various areas.

Since then some 33 rentals have received permits, including coastal residences in Paia and Kuau.

Former Kuau store manager Leona Nomura said she supports enforcement of zoning laws because neighborhood beaches have become crowded with visitors. She said people have been treating residences as vacation investments, then complaining when they are told to shut down.

“They’re trying to get laws to fit their needs,” she said. “They’re all about buying and selling.”

Cua said while there are still many illegal vacation rentals, the new ordinance has provided a path for those homeowners who want to legally operate their properties as B&Bs.

Well offers chance to clear most of meter waiting list

WAILUKU – Maui County will be offered a chance Tuesday to buy a water well in Makawao that could make deep inroads into the Upcountry meter waiting list.

The well, known as Piiholo South, already exists, and it has been tested to produce 1.7 million gallons per day of water pure enough to drink without further treatment, according to Zachary Franks and Cynthia Warner, the developers.

But to finance the proposed $8 million price (including infrastructure), the county would likely have to find funds outside the Department of Water Supply. In the past, water source development has been paid for with department funds, not county general funds, supplemented by grants and borrowing through bond sales.

Only recently has the county budget supplemented the finances of the water department, with $1 million for a study of storage in the current budget. But until now, the department has had to pay for its own wells and reservoirs, unless it could get the state to cover the bill, as it did with the Kahakapao reservoirs.

The County Council Water Resources Committee will take up the issue during a meeting beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers. Panel Chairman Mike Victorino said discussion of the matter would be preliminary.

“The focus of the committee meeting will be simply to gather information,” he said. “But there is possible public use of this privately owned well, and I’m eager to explore this potential.”

Drought puts Big Isle and Maui on federal disaster list – Hawaii News –


By Helen Altonn

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 12, 2009

Hawaii and Maui counties have been designated primary natural disaster areas because of losses caused by drought this year, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials announced.

"President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to these areas and serious harm to farms in Hawaii, and we want to help," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to warm season grasses."

Some parts of Hawaii had a lot of rain the past month, but it fell mainly in places that do not have serious drought conditions, says Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist at the Honolulu Forecast Office.


Hawaii County
» Extreme drought: South Kohala
» Severe drought: Kau, North and South Kona
» Moderate drought: Lower Kona slopes (Honaunau to Kalaoa)

Maui County
» Severe drought: Central and West Maui, West Molokai
» Moderate drought: East Molokai, Lanai

Source: National Weather Service

Portions of the Big Island did not receive much rain, and they are still hurting from drought, said the National Weather Service meteorologist.

Hawaii’s wet season is from October through April, but Kodama and Jim Weyman, meteorologist-in-charge of the Honolulu Forecast Office, said in October it would be drier-than-normal from mid-December through April because of El Nino conditions.

An El Nino is a weather phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific with unusually warm sea surface temperatures that affect climate worldwide.

The Big Island’s South Kohala district had the sixth consecutive month of extreme drought in November, Kodama said. Some improvement occurred with rain in the early part of the month — from extreme drought to severe drought, he said.

Then it got windy, and farm agents said the winds "dried things out quick," Kodama said.

That window of opportunity to pull out of the drought is closing, he said.

Climate models have been pretty consistent in predicting drier-than-nomal conditions through the spring, Kodama said.

Council ponders use of ‘polluted’ wells for backup – The Maui News


WAILUKU – Three years after it banned using water from the Hamakuapoko Wells for human consumption, the Maui County Council is considering tapping the wells for emergencies.

The wells are contaminated with pesticides, but county water and state health officials have said treatment removes the chemicals to undetectable levels and makes the water safe to drink. Water Director Jeff Eng said Tuesday that if the council allowed the wells to be used as a backup during times of drought or other emergencies, it would allow the county to issue several hundred water meters from the Pookela Wells to residents who have been waiting for water Upcountry.

Monsanto picks scholars – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News


Monsanto Corn <br /> Click for larger image
Monsanto Corn
Click for larger image
KIHEI – Five Maui County students were among the recipients of the 2009 Monsanto Hawaii Life Sciences Scholarship. Ten $1,000 scholarships were distributed in Hawaii.

The Maui County recipients were Celina Hayashi, who graduated from King Kekaulike High School; Elizabeth Lagbas, Lahainaluna High; Colton Manley, Molokai High; Tiare Pimentel, Baldwin High; and Myles Tabios, Lahainaluna.

This annual scholarship is offered to students of all Hawaii high schools who will pursue postsecondary education in a discipline related to the life sciences. Examples are agriculture, agronomy, biology, botany, genetics, horticulture, plant physiology, chemistry, crop science and soil science.

Layoffs could leave island vulnerable to alien species –


maui-news-adShould the layoffs go forward in November as planned by Gov. Linda Lingle, not all Maui-based inspectors will disappear, according to Carol Okada, manager of the Plant Quarantine Bureau in the state Department of Agriculture.

There are inspectors in 10 positions covered by special funds who will not be affected, including six funded by the state Department of Transportation. But the six positions paid out of the state’s general fund are on the budget-cutting hit list.

Anna Mae Shishido, Maui County supervisor of the Maui Plant Quarantine Branch, wrote a letter expressing her concern about the impact of the layoffs to two Maui lawmakers – state Sen. J. Kalani English and Rep. Joe Souki.

She said the Transportation Department’s special fund specifies that the six inspectors it pays for would work at the Kahului Airport – which means they wouldn’t do maritime inspections.

As a result, Matson and other containers carrying produce, animal feed and other agricultural material would need to go to Honolulu first for inspection, Shishido said. Diverting that cargo to Oahu would mean extra handling of Maui-bound containers, adding delays and costs for consumers.

The layoffs would also mean that more than two dozen certified nurseries on Maui would no longer be able to self-certify their plant shipments to other states because state inspectors would not be available to conduct semi-annual nursery re-certification inspections, she said.

Shishido said she was alarmed about the potential for infestations of alien species without maritime inspections on Maui.

"We anticipate increased infestations of stinging nettle caterpillars and coqui frogs on Maui and new infestations of little fire ants and the varroa mite, which have not been found here so far," she said. "The safeguards we have worked so hard to put in place will be drastically decreased or completely gone. Maui will be exposed."

Layoffs could leave island vulnerable to alien species – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

Hawaii Ag-Tourism

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Ag-Tourism* Report.


Please visit the website for more information:

Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909

Hawaii?s ag-tourism valued at $38.8 million in 2006

The value of Hawaii?s ag-tourism related activities (see definition below) is pegged at $38.8 million for 2006, up 14 percent from the $33.9 million generated in 2003. There were 112 farms statewide that had ag-tourism related income during 2006, a 40 percent decrease from 2003 as fewer agricultural producers in Hawaii have opened-up their operations to visitors to the farm experience through ag-tourism activities. Interest in ag-tourism continues to be strong as 84 farms either are involved in agtourism activities in 2006, or planned to be in the future. The distribution of ag-tourism throughout Hawaii has become more concentrated during the past three years as Hawaii County now accounts for half of the farms with ag-tourism and 34 percent of the total value. Honolulu County had 12 percent of the farms and 37 percent of the total value. Kauai County accounted for 13 percent of the farms and the value was 16 percent of the total. Maui County accounted for 25 percent of the farms and was the only county showing a decline from 2003 with 13 percent of the total value.

Ag-tourism is a commercial enterprise on a working farm conducted for the enjoyment, education, and/or active involvement of the visitor, generating supplemental income for the farm. Activities such as producing and selling products directly from the farm, operating a bed and breakfast, conducting educational farm tours, offering horseback riding, festivals, concerts, and many other on-farm activities qualify as agtourism.

Hawaii Papayas Report

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Papayas Report.


Please visit the website for more information:

Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909

HAWAII PAPAYAS” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED monthly. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS (upon request) and available for $4 per year to all others.


Hawaii fresh papaya utilization is estimated at 2.4 million pounds for August 2007, up 1 percent from July 2007 and 9 percent higher than August 2006. Year-to-date sales totaled 17.8 million pounds, 5 percent above the comparable period last year.

August weather was mainly sunny with occasional showers benefiting orchard growth and development. Irrigation was stepped up to replenish soil moisture levels. Spraying to control insects and diseases was ongoing. In preparation of Hurricane Flosse?s strong winds, growers trimmed leaves from mature trees to prevent uprooting. Fortunately, it was downgraded to a tropical storm and passed with no damage to orchards. Newly planted acreage made favorable progress. Maturing fields were in the flowering and fruiting stages.

Papaya growers are expected to receive an estimated 40.0 cents per pound for fresh fruit in August, 15 percent (7.0 cents) less than July 2007 and 17 percent (8.1 cents) below August a year ago.

Papaya Acreage Survey 2007 Results

In August 2007, there were 125 farms reported on Hawaii County, unchanged from August 2006. The county still accounts for the majority of the State?s total papaya acreage and bearing acreage. Honolulu/Kauai/Maui County reported 53 growers compared to 45 growers a year ago.

Some growers commented on the challenges of growing papayas with continuous dry weather and the lack of natural rainfall, fire damage, and problems with insects, diseases, and wild pigs. Others had marketing and economic issues with low prices and the increasing cost of returns to maintain healthy papaya orchards. These concerns were influencing their decisions on whether to continue growing papayas. Some orchards reported doing well with no major incidences.

State 2007 Variety Summary

In August 2000, Rainbow and Kapoho ranked as the top two varieties Statewide with 42 and 37 percent, respectively. Over the years, a higher percentage of Rainbow has been planted. In August 2007, Rainbow and Kapoho accounted for 68 and 17 percent, respectively. Sunrise variety represented 8 percent of the acreage grown followed by ?Other? varieties making up 7 percent.

In August 2007, Rainbow represented 62 percent of the bearing acreage Statewide compared to 57 percent in August 2006. Kapoho comprised of 22 percent of the bearing acreage compared to 27 percent a year ago. Sunrise and ?Other? varieties contributed 8 percent each to the bearing acreage.

In August 2000, Hawaii County had 2,050 acres planted in papayas, Kapoho (49 percent), Rainbow (45 percent), and ?Other? varieties (6 percent). Annual survey indications show there has been a trend in growing more Rainbow. In August 2007, Rainbow acreage distribution accounted for 75 percent, Kapoho 19 percent, and ?Other? varieties 6 percent.

Hawaii Flowers & Nursery Products

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Flowers & Nursery Products report.


Please visit the website for more information:

Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909

HAWAII FLOWERS & NURSERY PRODUCTS” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED annually. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS (upon request) and available for $2 per year to all others.

Release: September 10, 2007


Hawaii?s floriculture and nursery products is estimated at $100.7 million for 2006. This is near the previous year?s record high and continues as the top contributor to diversified agriculture according to the USDA, NASS, Hawaii Field Office. Some commodity groups experienced increases while others had decreases in 2006. Cut flowers totaled $14.1 million, up 1 percent. Cut and potted orchids were valued at $22.2 million, nearly unchanged from last year. Lei flowers pegged at $3.5 million was 6 percent lower. Foliage sales were 7 percent less, registering at $18.1 million. Potted flowering plants were 1 percent above 2005 and valued at $6.4 million. Landscape plants were estimated at $20.9 million, almost unchanged from last year. Plant rentals increased 4 percent and totaled $5.1 million. Other nursery products jumped 14 percent, registering $5.8 million. Bedding and garden plants wholesale value, at $3.3 million, was 11 percent higher than 2005.


Hawaii County, with $51.9 million in sales, ranked number one in 2006. Honolulu farmers registered sales at $33.5 million, 3 percent more than 2005. Maui County sales totaled $12.3 million, 3 percent above last year. Kauai sales, pegged at $2.9 million, were 8 percent below 2005.


Hawaii County growers of flowers and nursery products accounted for 52 percent of the State?s total wholesale value of flowers and nursery products in 2006. Hawaii County?s 410 growers rang up sales of $51.9 million, 3 percent less than the $53.4 million in 2005. Honolulu?s 250 producers accounted for 33 percent of the State?s total wholesale value of flowers and nursery products. Honolulu farmers reported sales of $33.5 million, 3 percent above 2005. Maui County?s 195 producers generated $12.3 million in sales, 3 percent more than a year ago. Kauai?s 75 producers registered $2.9 million in sales, 8 percent less than 2005.



The value of out-of-State sales of flowers and nursery products (including wholesale and retail sales) during 2006 was estimated at $49.0 million. Values in this table are not comparable to values shown in the majority of other tables throughout this release. The value of out-of-State sales represents the dollar received at the point the commodity leaves the State. Thus, the product contains retail and wholesale sales and may include multiple transactions by the time it leaves the State.

Potted foliage, valued at $11.6 million, remained the number one floriculture and nursery product exported. Other potted orchids followed second with $9.3 million in value. Cut anthurium exports contributed $7.1 million, up 14 percent from 2005. Potted dendrobium orchids ranked fourth in out-of-State sales with $3.8 million, declining 13 percent from 2005.

In 2006, dendrobium orchid sales were valued at $8.8 million, 10 percent lower than 2005. Potted in bud/bloom contributed $5.7 million, declining 3 percent from last year. Cut sprays registered $2.5 million in sales, down 19 percent from the previous year. Sales of individual blossoms fell 10 percent to $532,000.

The combined production area for dendrobium cut sprays and in bud/bloom pots totaled 5.2 million square feet, 9 percent lower than 2005. Production area reported by growers includes newly planted, as well as established acreage; thus, year-to-year yield comparisons calculated using area and sales may be misleading.

Area utilized for cut sprays totaled 2.8 million square feet, 16 percent below 2005. Production area for potted in bud/bloom totaled 2.4 million square feet, increasing 2 percent from the previous year.