Lahaina Students & Getting Back to Some Sort of Normalcy - Sakamoto Properties

Lahaina Students & Getting Back to Some Sort of Normalcy

Home » Betty’s Hawaii Real Estate Corner » Lahaina Students & Getting Back to Some Sort of Normalcy
October 20, 2023
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Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner, brought to you by Coldwell Banker Sakamoto Properties. We have another exciting day here with us is Maiki Tihada from basketball fame Lahainaluna. Maiki is of course back home and has been here for quite a few years now. She runs a basketball camp. We’re going to ask her all sorts of questions about it but she’s doing some amazing things. We’ve even gotten her to say that she will get a real estate license and she’s working on that. She’s got that started and she’s so amazing and knows so many people that were thrilled to be able to have Maiki a part of our teams of everything. And we want to talk about football last game. Oh my gosh, I can’t do that game.

Maiki Tihada: That was a great game.

BS: I liked the 42 zero or maybe it was 42 six.

MT: Yes

BS: I forgot that six-part.

MT:  Yes. Those are tough games for the opponents.

BS: I have like a nervous breakdown when they’re not winning. I hate it. Roy hates that I hate that, but I do.

MT: Yeah. Some of the games could be very nerve-wracking to watch. But this past game, that was a really great one all the way down to the wire.

BS: That was nerve-wracking. That was miserable for me, anyway. Let me think what else I tangled here in our wires. Let’s see, we got the real estate part. You’ve kind of started doing your reading and getting ready for that.

MT: Yes, I’ve done a little bit of reading, open the book was already surprised to see that real estate was the single largest industry. That was just kind of exciting and it kind of has its hand in everything going on.

BS: I agree. And really for whatever it’s worth, anybody really willing to work, it can make money, substantial money. I think people lose track of that because a lot of times somebody will get into the business, and they’ve got another job, it’s a second job. And if they could make $10,000 additional 20,000, whatever it is, that’s a ton of money. If you’re really working all the time and or have a partner with the different things that you’re involved in. I think you’ll be absolutely amazing. We just have to get you through the course, and I know you can do it. She already has more degrees than I will ever have. She went to Gonzaga on a Fulbright scholarship. She also played basketball there and was spectacular. And she was the queen of Lahainaluna basketball. Those are all really pretty amazing things.

MT: Yeah, it’s exciting. I’m glad to be back, be home, and help the community, especially with basketball and in Lahaina. Helping up at Lahainaluna on the boys’ side being an assistant with TJ Ricard, who was my classmate and really good friend growing up. It’s been nice to kind of do that and try to build that and be around the kids.

BS: The basketball camp?

MT: Yes, we had a basketball camp this weekend. We had Chris Hyppa come down from the Seattle area and he is partnered and sponsored by Baden Bodden. They gave out, I want to say, 40 balls in total to all the kids from regular basketballs girls and boys to heavy basketballs that are about 3lbs. So, yeah, basically all the kids got to go home with the ball.  It was nice to kind of get back into it.

BS: Did they get shoes a while ago also?

MT: Yeah, we’ve had so many people donating from non-profits to colleges, businesses, and individuals, donating shoes, jerseys, equipment, balls, hoodies. I mean, really anything you could think of. That’s been kind of nice. We’ve been sorting through. We’ve been having boxes come in since the fire. It’s been going through that sorting amount, to the schools, to the kids. That’s been nice. It’s been keeping me busy. That’s been nice to kind of give back and be a part of that.

BS: Maiki has been doing the camps and Jeanelle Reid from our office. Our assistant has a son who I think is 12 or 13 or turning 13, and he’s been one of your students for a while.

MT: Max

BS: Max is so loving everything that he does.

MT: Shout out to Max.

BS: Yeah, shout out to Max. Max Reid, where are you?

MT: Yes

BS: I guess he’s really doing great. He so loves being a part of your camp.

MT: Yes. He really enjoyed it. I think at first, he was a little nervous. But at the end of the first day talking to him, he’s like, yeah, I’m coming back. It was nice to kind of see him in a different element. Usually when I’m seeing him, we’re out in Napili Park and it’s one-on-one to kind of have him in a group setting with, I want to say in his group, there is almost 30 kids.

BS:  Oh, that’s a lot.

MT: Yeah. For him to be in that and be able to kind of experience all the different players and the different skill sets and just be around that type of environment. It was good to kind of see him let loose and he was kind of feeling himself a little bit when he started doing the drills.

BS: Yeah, I think it’s good, but it will be good. It takes a lot of practice.

MT: Yeah. Got to go home with the ball. I think a heavy ball too. So, you know, it’s good. Max, you better be using that thing.

BS: I’m sure he is. I think it’s hard. We talked a little while ago here. We don’t want to get on with what’s all going on in Lahaina. We don’t really want to make a big thing except to talk about all of the things that are still going on there. You were mentioning the different parks and the different places that still have things happening.

MT: Yeah, we’ve got Honokowai Park. We have Aston. We have the Boat Ramp at Kahana. There is.

BS: Napili Park

MT: Napili Park.

BS: Yeah

MT: They’ve had singers come through. I think Cami King came through, One Point, Iration, and Paula Fuga. There’s different activities where people are coming in offering their services, whether it’s masseuse, acupuncture, different things at the hub where people can kind of come and do those things for free. They have dinner, they have groceries, they have I mean, really anything you could think of. They’re still holding it down and providing for everyone. That’s been the cool part. The community comes together, but everyone else kind of in the world, you know what I mean.  People that I’ve barely known, or I’ve met through basketball or things like that have kind of.

BS: Stopped by to help at the can.

MT: Yeah, stopped by.  Offered whatever they could, whether it’s resources or sending things. It’s been nice to see that, not just for myself but for the community.

BS: I think the community does matter, obviously, to all of us. But I think it does matter also that to realize that everybody didn’t have the same insurance as other people. Whether it was medical insurance, health insurance, people that were tenants were in a different position than people who had ownership. And there were a lot of people, I’m sure, that were in places where they were renting a room, which makes it even harder to justify or I don’t know, the justify is the word, but to make everyone understand that you are a part of everything that happened because you were living there and you had to leave and you had to pull your things together at the last minute. Which had to be overwhelming for anybody.

MT: Oh, yeah. I think it’s definitely been tough. On top of dealing with that, with the insurance and things like that, you have to a lot of people are still staying in the hotels dealing with Red Cross, whether it’s through having to check in every 24, 48 hours, you’re not necessarily sure when they’re going to be when they’re going to have to check out and where they got to go.  It’s really just the I think the anxiety and the frustration, and all of those things factored into it. It’s definitely tough just kind of seeing friends and family and people that you know in situations like that. And having kids and not necessarily knowing what to do or where to go. Just trying to be there as much as possible. But I think that’s kind of been the light of everything is just people coming together and people trying to be there for each other. I think if it was going to happen to any community, the Lahaina community is one that’s going to pull together, figure it out and be better.

BS: It’s not going to go away anytime soon.

MT: No, no, I think it’ll be 3 to 5.

BS: I do, too. I was thinking exactly. I hate to say that out loud, but yeah, I think you’re right. It’s going to be 3 to 5 years and it could be longer for people when you get ready to build because I think there’s only so many contractors. I hate hearing all of these out-of-state attorneys that keep advertising on the radio, on television, and everywhere that they can really provide a huge service. I hope they can because I think they’re getting a lot of clients. I’m not sure that’s totally the answer either.

MT: Yeah, I think people definitely have to do a lot of their own research and due diligence about just the things that are going on and the things that are out there. Because I mean, I think there are people who are trying to help, but just like anything else, there’s the other side of that as well. I think it’s just a delicate time that there’s going to be a marathon.

BS: Yeah, it’s a marathon. I think it really is going to be hard for a while. And the other thing is all of the rest of us should take a long, hard look at whatever fire insurance we have on our homes. Whatever medical insurance we have, does it cover something. What emergency see is really covered because I think so much happened to people that thought they had everything that they needed. They wouldn’t need any more insurance. It would all work. I’ve talked to people now who, I mean, again, have lost everything, and they’re still not sure what’s going to happen. I mean, there are people that had a house down and around Front Street with a great swimming pool, so it wasn’t like a starving person. But all of a sudden, it’s the same thing. They don’t know if they’re ever going to be able to build again where they should be going, what they should be doing. They’re getting older. It’s interesting because it’s going to be hard for everybody, and I hope none of us ever have to go through this again.

MT: Yeah, it’ll definitely be hard. I just don’t want anyone to leave. That’s my thing. I’m going to be here in Lahaina and I’m never going to leave. I have roots here. My family won’t leave.

BS:  No

MT: My grandpa hasn’t really left Lahaina much. He’s kind of been in Lahaina the whole time. So, yeah, I’m going to be here. I hope that the friends and family and the community and the people that I’ve grown up with and see all the time that I hope they all can figure it out and be able to stay. But, I mean, I think it’s going to be it’s just going to be tough.

BS: It’s going to be tough on everybody. You’re right. I mean, we’re staying. We’re lifers.  Roy grew up on Lahainaluna road four, six, three. We’re never going to leave. I mean, I don’t want to right now. I was supposed to be going to Buffalo where my family are. I was all set to go Julie and I were going to go and just spend a few days. My sisters have been having some medical problems, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I said all of that. I suddenly realize I don’t want to leave even for that right now. I just don’t want to leave now. I don’t know what that means. I just can’t do it. I don’t want to leave for anything. We’re lifers and that’s okay. And the people around all of us were lifers.

MT: Exactly.  All my girls and all the basketball girls and people I’ve grown up with.

BS: Your grandpa. Lanny Tihada is her grandpa. The whole world knows Lanny Tihada.

MT: Shout out to Lahainaluna football as well.

BS: That’s right. A shout-out to Lahainaluna football. Are you going to the game?

MT: Oh, yes, of course. Right up on the hill, I have to go.

BS: Wait a minute. You don’t need tickets or don’t wait I better not say that out loud, do you?

MT: Well, you know, thankfully my grandpa took care of me.

BS: He’s got you.

MT:  Yes, my grandpa takes care of me.

BS: We’re discovering.

MT: Thankfully, you know, shout out to pops.

BS: We can’t get tickets. I mean we will. Believe me, we will have tickets to that. I’m not sure how right now but we will.

MT: Yeah. It was kind of been a little sprint for the tickets for all the fans.

BS: They were sold out for minutes.

MT: Yes. I mean last week’s game sold out. I mean every game’s kind of been I mean ten, 20 minutes sold out. I think this past one was the quickest. I heard.

BS: I heard four minutes because we were dialing.

MT: There’s a Lahainaluna football fan page on Facebook and they get everyone ready. They get everyone ready to let you know hey, noon on Wednesday. Make sure your thumbs are ready and you’re ready to get on.

BS: We were ready.

MT: There’s only so many. I think it is because of the stadium size and whatnot. I think there was only 500 general admission tickets that were out there for parents, fans who are only five to come to the game. I’m not sure if it’s just taking into account. The other people that would be coming in whether it’s.

BS: The other team.

MT: Yeah, the other teams as well. Well, you got the MI all sports pass sent to schools and then you have the pass list of people who are going to be coming in that have to be part of the press or my news or whatever it may be. I think it’ll be a great game. I think I know the parking is a little different to now or they have I think they’re shuttling people from the Civic Center.

BS: Something like that.

MT: The stadium. I think it’ll be a great atmosphere. I think it’ll be good for the kids, and I think the Lahaina community will show up as they always do. And it’s homecoming. So, I mean, I think the energy is going to be even more electric than I think we’ve remembered the last time.

BS: It’ll be fantastic. And you’re right, homecoming makes a huge difference. Just having the school out and the kids are now back in school at Lahainaluna which is a huge thing. I think they’ve been there this would be the third day.

MT: They went back Monday. I think it was.

BS: Fourth day. I think that’s going it’s going really great.

MT: Some of the boys who play on my club team are there and they said things have been going well. I think maybe the majority of kids or so that they’ve seen have been back at school and whatnot. I think there’s a good amount of kids that are in school and a good amount of kids that are at school yet or just doing distance learning.

BS: Yeah

MT: Doing that.

BS: Some parents I think are afraid of the air quality.

MT: Yeah

BS: I’ve heard that and I’m not I don’t know I guess I don’t have a child in school now.

MT: Yeah, I think it’s just tough because the winds a lot of times just blow straight up to the mountain. And with just the town right there I think the community’s concerns and the parents are valid for those reasons.

BS:  All of the houses there.

MT: Exactly, and then all of the evacuation routes with what people were concerned about too is trying to get out. Now, you still got those three schools up there and one way really one way out and one way in because you can’t go through that lower road anymore. I think it’s just a tough time and I think it’s good for the kids to get back and be able to be together. And to have that sense of community, especially. I think this is the generation that went through COVID and then they’re not able to be in school and had to do that online. And then now, we’re back home and things kind of get back to normal when something like this happens.

BS: I remember the seniors. They say the seniors kind of their freshman year was a nightmare. They barely went to school, if at all. And now that same class are seniors. That the kids whether it’s Lahainaluna or any school, especially in Hawaii where it’s a limited number of people. Once things are tied up, they’re tied up, the road is a nightmare, etc. I think we all should start thinking broader thoughts. Years ago, when I first moved here, which is now pushing 50 years. There was talk that they would have a road that would go through the Pali through the mountain. Everybody was anti the idea. There was lots of reasons to be anti-everything. I think for Lahaina in a way, if that happened, at least there was an alternate route going to be a four-lane highway. I’m sure it’ll be a two-lane road with some good shoulders so people can pull over. But it’s got to happen. I know at one time there were federal funds available. I think they weren’t used. Now again just me that part is just my memory, which maybe hasn’t always perfect. But I think all of these things we’ve got to pay attention to and think about our community and maybe we have to go a little more and have more than we’ve been living with.

MT: Oh, yeah, definitely. I think Lahaina, I think there was a I want to say, I don’t know who did these numbers but maybe it was the state or something. They said Lahaina produces 12 percent of just the state budget and money in general. That’s how much they make, not Maui County not everything.

BS: Lahaina

MT: Yeah

BS: I have heard that.

MT: Exactly

BS: That same figure 12 percent.

MT: Yeah. Having one road in, one road out with things going like this and then with everything that happened. I think it’s definitely something that should hopefully get going now. We’ll definitely see what happens.

BS: Did you read the other day somebody published and actually, I had seen another copy of it? The 911 calls that happened. And again, I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. We can all come up with blame, but I think that’s ridiculous. When you listen, they only had so much information, the people who were answering and they were doing their best to say something. I can envision because I didn’t tell that part of it, the phones are ringing off the hook. You’re answering as fast as you can and trying to get to the next call. Typically, they’re saying leave and often the answer is we can’t. I mean, I don’t have a car or my mother’s an invalid or we can’t this or we don’t have, or the road is blocked or all sorts of things. That’s a real tragedy. It’s a tragedy for the 911 operators who had to do their best to answer these calls and give people whatever they had. I think it was so hard on them also. The people calling in it had to be their worst nightmare ever.

MT: Oh, yeah, that was definitely tough to hear. I think even more so whoever was in Lahaina making those calls. Tough for them to kind of see and hear their voices now and on top of social media. That was something that was kind of tough to be out there because it’s just the vulnerable tough time for everyone trying to figure it out and trying to get out. With the electricity going down so early in the morning and things like that. I’m glad that there were some people who were able to make those calls and able to actually get through because I know I didn’t have service from like 9 a.m. until I ended up leaving Lahaina.

BS: What time?

MT: Maybe a day or two days later and that was to make sure I could go and get stuff and got stuff for my grandpa because he needed his phone charger and things like that. You know what I mean?

BS:  It was hard for everybody.

MT: It’s a tough time. Hopefully, with things going forward, we can try to make things a little better.

BS: For anybody.

MT: For the people of Lahaina.

BS: For the island of Maui.

MT: For the locals, you know what I mean. And try to put more of a focus on the Lahaina people.

BS: Everybody also has to remember. Lahaina is the whole West Side. Lahaina nine, six, seven, six one is the whole West side. It’s a tragedy that this ever happened. We’ve got to be sure that we find ways, that we protect the people that rebuild in Lahaina and live there because this should never ever happen again this way. There has to be, I think, additional roads, additional everything. I think you can’t necessarily blame anyone entity. We all were without electricity for most of the day. I can’t remember when it went out, but we lived further out, and it was a hard, hard day. It was really difficult. I think everybody listening let’s all be a part of a solution in different ways. Let’s listen to as many people and keep our anger to ourselves or only when you need to use that anger. Try to work together and figure out what we can do, whether it’s electricity or I don’t even know what I mean. If a fire starts, let’s all pay attention and don’t take the attitude. I don’t need to leave. I’m fine. I’m okay.

MT:  Yeah

BS:  Because I do know someone who lost her husband that stayed to fight the fire. I don’t know exactly why, but we’re back to Danny Couch.

MT: Let’s go then.

BS: Thank you, Maiki Tihada.

MT: Thank you for having me again. Let’s go.