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Nightlife Economy Threatened in Kihei

Proposal seeks to limit entertainment after 10 p.m. in “The Triangle.”

March 8, 2012
Trisha Smith - Contributing Writer , The Maui Weekly

I've recently found myself relating to Ren McCormack, an upbeat Chicago transplant portrayed by Kevin Bacon in the original "Footloose" who stands up against a city council ban on dancing and rock music within small town Utah back in the '80s.

And although it's 2012, our quaint community here on Maui is still dealing with frustrations like Ren did back in the '80s as the allure and the livelihood of Kihei's late-night scene within a popular area known as "The Triangle" is being threatened due to the objections and control of a few.

Many still battle the Maui County Department of Liquor Control (LC) through organizations like the Maui Dance Advocates for "freedom of expression." The community must stomach laws that restrict dancing to a 100-square-foot box in licensed liquor establishments, but now a proposed amendment to the commission's administrative rules asks " that all music, dancing, and entertainment shall cease not later than 10 p.m. for licensees located in the Kihei Kalama Village (KKV) complex "

"The impact of this potential new rule will be devastating to Kihei's economy," said a business owner within the area who preferred to remain anonymous. "Not only will it directly impact all the nightspots in KKV along with their employees and musicians, but it will have a trickle-down effect to all of the Kihei shops, hotels and tourist activities... "

According to South Maui Councilman Don Couch, noise complaints and other grievances have been filed since 2007--mainly by neighbors directly behind KKV and nearby condominiums.

According to the LC Director Franklyn L. Silva in March 4's "Viewpoint" in The Maui News, "... because of the close proximity of the liquor licensees at Kihei Kalama Village, the sound equipment cannot determine exactly which establishment is causing the noise violation."

The contentious proposal is on tap for the next Liquor Commission meeting this Wednesday, March 14, at 9 a.m. The public is welcomed to testify in person, and written testimony must be received before via liquor@mauicounty.gov or sent to: County of Maui, Department of Liquor Control, 2145 Kaohu St., Room 105, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Maybe we can locate Bible verses supporting late-night entertainment and music, and conduct our own "Footloose" demonstration. Maybe Mr. Silva will hear our voices as Rev. Shaw Moore heard his community's, and we may all come to some compromises, and perhaps finally say, "Let's Hear It for the LC!"

 
 
 

 

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