Top Maui Now Headlines: May 4, 2018
Here are some of the stories making headlines on Maui Now. FYI: This video was produced on Thursday, May 4, prior to the Hawai‘i Island eruption.
A recent report released shows that one in seven housing units on Maui is a vacation rental. In Lāhainā it’s one in three. Over the last few years, Maui’s housing inventory has dropped to record lows and prices have reached near-record highs, for buyers and renters. A recent report by the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice says that with almost nine-thousand vacation retrial units taking up 13 percent of its housing stock, quote “Maui is an example of what Hawai‘i could become if we do not enact stricter regulations.”
County, State and Federal agencies were mobilizing for a possible eruption on Hawai‘i Island as of Wednesday, May 2, amid continuous earthquakes along the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano. Large ones were recorded on Thursday, May 3. For the past month and a half, cracks have formed on the crater floor of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō as it experiences ongoing uplift. Swarms of earthquakes of eight to 10 tremors per hour are being felt in the area, which experts say could precede an eruption. Residents in the lower Puna area have been told to be prepared to evacuate. So far, proactive measures include identifying shelters, mobilizing police and safety personnel, and preparing road crews to ensure access to evacuation routes.
Hawai‘i will become the first state in the nation to ban the sale of all sunscreens that contain certain ingredients, if a bill to protect coral reefs is signed into law. It would ban sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate until 2021, to allow sunscreens to get reformulated. Scientific research has found those chemicals to be toxic to coral. The state Senate has passed the measure along to the governor.
Southwest Airlines has unveiled plans to serve four Hawaii destinations — including Kahului. Company officials announced news on Thursday, May 3 about California gateway cities and say they continue analysis of interisland service. Plans also call for service to Kona, Līhue and Honolulu; tickets should go on sale for Hawaiʻi service sometime this year.
Maui’s own Ian Walsh won “Ride of the Year” and “Tube of the Year” for his barrel in 30 to 40 for conditions at the Pe‘ahi Challenge in Fall. How did he describe it?? “More than catching this wave, this wave caught me.” The World Surf League Big Wave Awards were held over the weekend in California, where Maui’s Paige Alms earned the Hydro Flask Women’s Best Performance of the Year Award for the third time in her career. Brazil’s Rodrigo Koxa set a new world record for the biggest wave ever surfed in history — which was an 80-footer in Portugal.