The Maui Mayor’s race just got a little more crowded—and a lot more interesting. Before Councilmember Sol Kaho‘ohalahala tossed his hat in this week, it looked like we were headed for a straight Tavares-Arakawa rematch (others, including former Planning Director Chris Hart, have pulled papers, but none seem likely to make a significant splash). Now, it’s a three-horse race. A release sent to MauiTime April 19 from the Kaho‘ohalahala camp touts Sol’s “strong native Hawaiian sensibility” and his commitment to “sustainable economic development,” “increased local food production” and “preserving [Maui’s] natural resources.” In light of all those eco buzzwords, you might think the timing was motivated by Earth Day—and perhaps it was. But there’s another motivator: the announcement last week that Riki Hokama will run for his old Lanai Council seat, the one currently held by Kaho‘ohalahala. Add the residency challenge that refuses to die, and seeking higher office makes sense…. Though the Mayor’s race is technically nonpartisan, Maui Democrats are lining up behind Kaho‘ohalahala. “The Democrats now have a real choice for Mayor,” party chair Lance Holter wrote in an e-mail. Holter dismissed the residency challenge as “mean-spirited politics” and “a tactic meant to weaken and give Sol pause.” But, continued Holter, “these attacks have only firmed [Kaho‘ohalahala’s] resolve to make Maui Nui prosper.”… Hey remember swine flu? Well it’s back—if it ever went away. According to an April 20 dispatch from the state Department of Health (DOH), a “mild outbreak” occurred recently at an unnamed Maui elementary school. A DOH rep said the incident was “short-lived and seems to have run its course,” but added that it should serve as a “reminder to parents about the continued need to get their children vaccinated.” Info on how to do that is available at flu.hawaii.gov…. Got two releases this week about the impending sale of the Hotel Hana-Maui. The first was from Amstar Group, LLC, the Colorado-based company that plans to buy the hotel. “Amstar’s repositioning strategy calls for revamping current operations and creating new job descriptions that, in the short term, will mean a reduction in jobs,” reads a sentence that’s at least 15 words longer than it needs to be (and here, Spin Cycle is taking the week off!). The second release was from Sen. Kalani English, who represents East Maui. “My first job was at the Hotel Hana-Maui, so I personally welcome this step to preserve the hotel’s long-term presence,” said English. He also said he’s met with Amstar executives and is “comfortable that they intend to be good corporate neighbors.”… Did you know that until now, a Mauian had never been named Scot of the Year? I know—the outrage! All kidding aside, congrats to Hamish Douglas Burgess of Lahaina, who was given the title recently by the Caledonian Society of Hawaii. “Some have heard the sound of Hamish’s Highland bagpipes wafting from cliff-tops overlooking West Maui’s surf spots, or [heard] him piping ‘Happy Birthday’ for our Lahaina Banyan Tree,” reads the release. “Hamish was also instrumental in getting the Hawaii tartan (plaid) worn as kilts in the state.” From one (one-quarter) Scot to another: Tha mo bhàta-foluaimein loma-làn easgannan (literally, “My hover-craft is full of eels” in Scottish Gaelic, according to omniglot.com)….
Man, Hitler can’t catch a break. A few weeks ago, you may recall, I told you about “Hitler Reacts to the Hawaii Superferry,” a YouTube video that takes a clip from the German film Downfall in which the Fuhrer receives some bad news, and changes the subtitles. It’s one of many “Hitler Reacts” videos, part of a pervasive meme that includes such gems as “Hitler Reacts to McCain’s VP Pick,” “Hitler Reacts to the Kanye West Debacle,” and, inevitably, “Hitler Reacts to the Hitler Reacts Parodies.” As first reported by the blog TechCrunch, Constantin Films, which owns the rights to Downfall, is trying (successfully, it appears) to get the videos removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As TechCrunch and others have pointed out, what this does more than anything is rob us of “Hitler Reacts to Constantin Films Taking Down the ‘Hitler Reacts’ Videos.”