The Maui News - Members of the Cultural Resources Commission said last week they had no authority to restrict planned Halloween festivities on Front Street, even as Native Hawaiian leaders urged them to put the brakes on an event they called disrespectful.
Commissioners and county officials confirmed that the celebration planned by the LahainaTown Action Committee and the county Office of Economic Development did not require the panel's review. While the commission in previous years was asked to approve permits to construct a large stage in the historic district and allow vendors in Banyan Tree Park, those were removed from this year's Halloween plans, noted Department of Planning Director Will Spence. The commission's approval was not required for the event itself, he said. "There was nothing to trigger the review of the Cultural Resources Commission in this instance," he said. Mayor Alan Arakawa announced last month that the county had secured a special management area minor permit and shoreline setback approval for the event, which would include closing Front Street to vehicle traffic, providing portable toilets and assigning scores of police officers for crowd control.