Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner brought to you by Roy and Betty Sakamoto, Coldwell Banker, Sakamoto, and Kapalua, and everything else that we are in the middle of doing. We are having a great day today. We’ve got a whole lot of things we want to talk about, real estate is one of them. We have Dr. Norm Estin calling in again today to talk about where we are at in Hawaii from the standpoint of the virus, the number of cases that are coming, how effective what we are all doing is, and vaccinations. I think we’ve got to really have serious talks about vaccinations. With me, of course, today is my husband Roy Sakamoto and he might try to stick to real estate but we are going to see. He is been kind of over the edge too on the whole. Let’s take care of one another. Let’s protect the field it’s not just about you, it’s not just about me, it’s not just about Roy, it’s about the people next to us. You don’t even know what the person across from you right now what they are dealing with. If perchance because you refuse to get vaccinated somehow that person gets it from you. It could totally destroy everything in their life so we’ve got to really protect the field. That’s me for today Roy.
Roy Sakamoto: Yeah. We have had a lot of instances where we were in Las Vegas a month and a half ago.
RS: It was interesting in the casinos and we did spend some time in the casinos.
BS: Yes, we did.
RS: Yeah but in the casinos, they had signed up, you are to wear masks unless you are vaccinated and most of the people did not have masks on.
BS: We did even though we are vaccinated.
RS: Yeah but scary because you don’t know if the guy next to you is vaccinated or not. Doesn’t have a mask and I guess with this delta variant it doesn’t matter that much you can still get the covid. I don’t know, strange times we are living with.
BS: No. It is hard but I do think we have to all think about it again and protect one another. I understand to a certain extent someone that has decided that after all these years they don’t want to vaccinate their children for measles or mumps or chickenpox or any of the other things that we were all as kids vaccinated against and certainly there’s always going to be a problem and somebody that reacts etc but this to me is so worldwide. It is not stopping it is getting worse. The delta variant now is causing horrible things for everybody.
RS: Yeah and it keeps mutating too.
BS: And it keeps mutating.
RS: Delta 1 and delta 2 and whatever.
BS: If we are vaccinated you’ve got a way better chance. Now, younger people are in our hospitals. The hospital in Maui already I would say is maxed.
RS: Pretty well taxed.
BS: If you have a problem today a heart problem let’s say or anything there’s almost nowhere to go. You are going to have to go to the hospital but there I would be petrified no matter where I went medically in the world today that I could end up getting the virus. I might be better off just staying home and see what happens. Now, that’s a horrible thing to say not advising that to anybody but let’s all think about it. Let’s talk to one another. Let’s just see if we can listen. I mean, let’s listen from my standpoint maybe I’ve got to open my mind again and listen to somebody talk about why they won’t be vaccinated, and then they’ve got to listen to me thinking about their future. The future of the world, the future of Hawaii, the future of tourism. If nothing else let’s insist that the person getting off an airplane to Hawaii is vaccinated. I mean why not that’s not going to kill anybody.
RS: I don’t think that would be easy to do.
BS: It seems easy to me.
RS: I don’t know.
BS: I mean, for most businesses today why not ask for a vaccination card before the person comes through the door and it would protect you, your employees, and everybody around you and yet I’m sure everybody all of us ends up afraid that we’re going to annoy someone or put someone off and we won’t keep our restaurant full or we won’t get our sell enough real estate or we won’t do something. Anyway.
BS: Enough for the moment. We are waiting for Norm a little bit. He is going to call in about 5 minutes and he’s going to give us some statistics and kind of what I consider to be really great information. We will listen to that in a few minutes.
RS: Yeah and not to change the subject but one question we get from a lot of people especially from out-of-town visitors is what our favorite restaurants are.
RS: I mean, this is a change of topic. What’s your favorite restaurant?
BS: Well, a couple of things right now our office is really close to the Ritz-Carlton. They like everybody had a hard time. They were closed for a long period of time have gotten opened up and there’s a couple of places there that I think are great for almost anyone. If you go in there around as we go there sometimes early 4:30. We’re getting older you know everybody wants to eat at 7:30. We are good at 5 o’clock, 4:30 something but if you go over there in the bar area you can go and have a table. It will be really great. There’s a lot of sports up for anyone that wants to be watching it, 6 o’clock music starts. Really everything there is great. A great burger, a great fries. They do some really spectacular sushi and it’s really good. You can share whatever you’re getting. Nobody’s going to make you feel like you got to order more than you do. You don’t have to drink because you’re in the bar and I love that and then they’ve reopened the area down near the pool which is spectacular also. At lunchtime you can get a simple menu you know Caesar salad, a burger.
RS: Fish tacos
BS: Fish tacos. It’s a simple menu, it’s outside, it’s glorious.
RS: It’s in the banyan tree restaurant at the Ritz Carlton at Kapalua.
BS: That’s the outside part and then nighttime Banyan.
BS: Spectacular menu there they are serving indoors and outdoors. It’s not a super inexpensive meal but it’s a great place to be. Again, in the bar area, almost anybody is fine with that.
RS: Yeah, lots of open seating. You are not crowded on top of each other. It’s a fun place. BS: Pour House right next to our office.
BS: Really great Italian food. You get lots of food there, they don’t mind if somebody’s sharing, pretty limited number of people, and now I think they are going to be tightening up again the number of people that they can have inside so that’s going to get harder and harder. That’s really great food, great people, family-run.
RS: Very underrated.
RS: The Pour House. It’s kind of a funny name but it’s good food, great food, and kind of a mom-and-pop operation. Very friendly.
BS: Mom and pop and the kids.
RS: And the kids.
BS: The kids are there usually to kind of helping out.
BS: What else? I mean, obviously, there is what’s new?
RS: There’s Cane & Canoe at Montage.
RS: That’s a fun place.
BS: In both of those the Ritz and Cane & Canoe have fabulous breakfast.
BS: Wait a minute, Kihei Caffe.
BS: Kihei Caffe is located in the heart of Lahaina. I guess owned by the same people that opened the Kihei Caffe.
RS: Down in Kihei.
BS: Yeah, down in Kihei that’s right. I’m going to be tripping up saying this but that’s really a great breakfast kind of place all day long starting at six in the morning.
RS: Yeah and fun breakfast.
BS: The people there were great, everything they did was good. The owner was there and we got to meet him and chat with him for a bit and I guess we had met him years ago when he opened up maybe one of Roy’s restaurants.
RS: Right. He opened the original Roy’s on Maui.
BS: What else? Marco’s.
BS: Marco’s in Kahului. One of our favorite places is breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
BS: Super. The food is good.
RS: Yeah and a place we kind of frequent a lot after the radio show is Tokyo Tei.
BS: Tokyo Tei
RS: Yeah, Wailuku.
BS: Anyone that hasn’t been there.
RS: Kind of a fun place.
BS: That’s easy to find. Love the food and it was one of the first places that I ever went with when I was living here which is a hundred years ago now. Roy’s parents loved that so any chance that we were over here for something we always went to Tokyo Tei or in Lahaina. What was the restaurant, the Chinese in Lahaina?
RS: Yeah, that one.
BS: Golden Palace.
BS: That was the best. I hate the fact that that was closed.
RS: That was a long time ago.
BS: Yes, it was a long time ago.
BS: What about real estate? Are we going to even mention it today?
RS: Absolutely. No, it’s a great market that we are in right now. Normally at the Maui board of realtors if we find that there are 500 or so escrows going at any given time it shows the market is really healthy. Lately, we’ve been up in the 800 escrows running and I think as of this morning there were still 700 and some odd escrows on Maui.
BS: That’s a lot. I didn’t know it.
RS: It’s quite a vibrant market. It’s crazy on spots but it’s a great time to buy. Interest rates are down I mean there’s no excuse for not buying.
BS: No, there isn’t. One of the great listings right now it’s Elizabeth Quayle has it from our office Coldwell Banker Kapalua. Her phone number is (808) 276-6061. It is located in the Napilihau, 5211 Kupele Place listed at $750,000, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths really great little house. It’s going to need work no question but you can move in. It’s somewhat move-in ready and you can do things as you go along. You should be able to get a great mortgage on it. Today, interest rates are still super low and I would say your payment could be below anything you’d pay in rent today. Also, there’s a couple of I understand and maybe more about them. The first-time homebuyer program the county or the state has right now?
RS: Yeah, right. There’s a home buyer assistance program for first-time homeowners, home buyers. You will get assistance with your down payment. It’s a great program and gives us a call for more information. Call Betty at 870-7062 or Roy at 870-7060. How about another new listing? It’s 72 Puu Hale Street, it’s in Kaanapali Hillside, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths just hit the market about 3 days ago. It’s again 4 bedrooms, 3 baths a little over 3,000 square feet and Kristen Kingwell has this listing. Kristen can be reached at 281-7313. 281-7313 Kristen Kingwell and ask her about 72 Puu Hale Street.
BS: I thought I heard maybe Dr. Estin coming in. Hold on, we may have him on the phone here. We are hoping to get our updated, Norm? Dr. Norm? Aloha, Dr. Norm Estin. Calling Dr. Norm Estin maybe we’ve lost him. He will probably call back in just a minute but that is also really a great listing. Super listing, the heart of Kaanapali.
RS: 72 Puu Hale Street and again Kristen Kingwell 281-7313.
BS: It is a little hard right now going through listings on the radio and one of the things that I would say is you really should talk to your real estate broker or whoever it is. If you are ready to buy right now it’s a difficult market in some ways because there’s so little inventory but let your agent help you. Now, we do have Dr. Norm Estin on the phone. Aloha Dr. Norm.
Dr. Norman Estin: Hey, aloha Betty, and aloha Roy.
RS: Good morning.
NE: Good to stay here in paradise.
BS: Are you out on the streets?
NE: I’m on the road. I’m going from one of our clinics in West Maui over to our clinic in Wailea and then on our way to a Department of Health meeting to talk about the latest developments in the pandemic and the delta virus. Unfortunately, not good news. There’s one hint of good news and a couple of messages of caution here. One we know that the vaccine that we have had the Moderna, Pfizer, and the Johnson & Johnson have been working. The bad news is they are not working as well as they used to especially with this new delta variant and I think everybody out there is going to start to have to take this seriously. If they haven’t been paying attention as you know our hospital has been filling up and we have more and more sick people. The problem with the delta variant is it’s causing an illness that’s attacking younger people than the 1st time around a year ago. Now, we have people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and even teenagers getting affected. We have unfortunately had a couple of deaths and people who are 30 years old and in the last few days and 3 weeks ago they were fine and these were of course people who are not vaccinated. The hospital is almost full and 90% of the people who are sick have not been vaccinated and this is all preventable. I want to encourage anybody who hasn’t taken a step here to get vaccinated to prevent this. That this is for real and there are some treatments. If you do get sick but they are not reliable and the best way is to prevent this. As a matter of fact, we are having a special vaccine clinic this Saturday. That’s 2 days from now at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus just like we did with the drive-thru earlier this year. We are having a special one because of this outbreak. It’s from 9:00 to 1:00 anybody can come there is sign up. Please we will take some walk-ins or drive-ins but it’s better if you sign up and for anybody out there who’s interested or knows somebody who needs a vaccine the easiest way to get information is to go to mauinow.com that’s an online news service. Mauinow.com and there’ll be an article there on the front page about this UHMC clinic that just got set up today because we are very concerned about the people of Maui. Our case numbers are increasing every day, our percentage of people that are positive is increasing every day. The number of people in the hospital is increasing and we are not doing what we have to do which is basically get vaccines and watch our social distance and wear the mask. I’m going to put the message out there for everybody listening and that if you are anywhere in public you need to be wearing your mask not only to protect yourself but to protect others so you don’t spread this because even though you are vaccinated you can carry the virus and spread it even though you don’t get sick. Again, the vaccination doesn’t give you 100% protection against getting anything but it will save you from getting into a hospital or being very sick or dying. That’s why it’s so valuable. It’s like a seat belt isn’t going to stop you from being in an accident but it’s going to protect you if you are in an accident. You are not going to be as badly hurt and you probably won’t die. That’s the value of this vaccine. We don’t want to be catching this or spreading this. Unfortunately, we are going to have to go back to where we were in terms of avoiding crowds, avoiding social gatherings. You don’t have to stay in your home yet but if you go out there better to be a good reason for it. You got to go to a store, you got to run an arid, you have to see a doctor. You probably don’t want to be going and just socializing with friends in a restaurant or otherwise. You certainly don’t want to go to a voluntary celebration like a birthday party or wedding reception or an anniversary or something especially where they’re going to be people who are unmasked.
BS: Or unvaccinated. Exactly.
NE: Yes exactly because that’s a surefire chance for this to spread.
BS: Norm, would you like to see more and more companies and certainly the state of Hawaii not allow people into the state unless they are vaccinated. Have a vaccination card more restaurants, more real estate offices, more everything don’t let anyone in unless they are vaccinated or you meet them outside or something. We’ve got to start doing something extra.
NE: I agree with you totally. The more protection the better. Certainly, a good place to start is you can’t come in unless you are vaccinated or if you do come in and you are not vaccinated you have to wear a mask at all times and maintain social distance. I’m going to give everybody a guideline out there to go by which is just remember 2 out of 3 and the 3 things are being outdoors wearing a mask or being distanced from anybody else. If you are outdoors you are safe because the virus is being spread through the air so all you have to do is make sure you are wearing a mask or stay distant from people. That’s if you are outdoors. If you are indoors you really have to have that mask on at all times and avoid being close to people because you don’t know who they’ve been around. The people in that room right now may be safe but the person you are talking to may have been in a room with a bunch of people carrying this an hour ago or yesterday or 3 days ago. They are still carrying it around and they are catchy so this is not something we want to mess around with this variant here. Libby Char the director of the Department of Health went on television last week. I’m sure a lot of you saw it and said look you need to prepare like we are having a hurricane and she wasn’t trying to make people anxious or scared or fearful. She was just being frank. If you have a hurricane coming you need to prepare and do certain things and this is going to be a little stormy here for a couple of weeks. We are not going to have the mobility we had. We are not going to be able to go outside. We are not going to have the social discourse and interactions we had. We are going to have to rein it in like we did a few months ago and that’s what she’s talking about. That’s what I’m putting out there to everybody now. Our Maui county division of the state health department is going to be saying the same thing here for the next few days. Listen folks got to tighten our belts here and it’s going to be a rough ride for a few weeks. Hopefully, it’s going to ease up after that but this is a bad actor this delta strain and we need to do all we can to protect ourselves individually and protect each other.
BS: We are right now just pretty much at the 3-minute warning. Actually, we may have a little more than 3 minutes but I’d like to say and I think everything you just said now if we would ask everybody that’s listening to pass it on to everybody. They know and listen to people when they are trying to tell you why they don’t want to be vaccinated. Let them have their say but then let’s all try to convince them. It’s not just about them it’s about all of us. It’s about the state of Hawaii. It’s about Maui county, it’s about Lahaina, it’s about Wailuku, it’s about Wailea, it’s about everywhere, every person, it’s about the young kids. We’ve got to take care of everybody.
NE: I agree with you totally and all these people getting sick are not vaccinated and we still have a lot of people out there who think hey I’m invulnerable or I’m concerned that this hasn’t been tested. This is a very safe vaccine. It’s been tested. There are very few problems it’s not perfect but nothing’s perfect but it’s a lot better than winding up in an intensive care unit and being on a ventilator which is what can happen if you are not vaccinated.
BS: Or going to a hospital that’s already full with people that don’t have ventilators anymore and that’s going to happen all across our country soon if people don’t get vaccinated. If they don’t pay attention to what you are saying, Dr. Norm. They’ve got to listen.
RS: Yeah. What’s the info again Norm on the clinic this Saturday?
NE: That’s a University of Hawaii Maui Campus location. There on Kahamanu Avenue in the back under the parking and as being put on by the Hawaii Department of Health. It’s a special part the mayor is totally behind it. We have the national guard helping the nursing school, helping the police department, helping all the agencies that have helped so far are coming together again. To sign up and get information just go to mauinow.com on your computer. that’s Maui now m-a-u-i-n-o-w .com and all the new stories will come up and one of the first stories will be about this special clinic. There will be a link there to sign up and register and reserve a time for your own reserve vaccine.
RS: Fantastic. There’s no excuse for not doing this.
NE: Yeah, meanwhile people have the opportunity to go to CVS or go to Walgreens or go to their local doctor.
BS: Go to doctors on call.
NE: Come into the doctors on call. If you are a Kaiser member you can go to Kaiser. Every physician will have this and it’s free. The office is paid for by your insurance. There’s absolutely no cost or co-pay to the member. It’s fabulous.
RS: It’s fantastic.
NE: We have people around the world clamoring for this.
BS: Okay, one last thing here, you want to buy real estate call Roy Sakamoto 870-7060 and Danny Couch is on with I love Hawaii and I couldn’t love Hawaii people anymore.
RS: Thanks Norm.
BS: Thanks Norm. Thanks, Roy.