Learning Center

Clean Energy Goals Leap Forward with Island Solar Projects

The demigod Maui lassoed the sun to make our days last longer. Hawaiian Electric Company also seeks to capture our abundant sunshine in it's largest quest yet for renewable energy projects. On May 11, 2020, HECO announced sixteen solar-plus-storage or standalone storage projects on three islands have been selected in the latest phase of Hawaiian Electric’s transition to using 100 percent renewable energy to generate electricity by 2045. The projects, selected after a competitive evaluation that [...]

Hawaii’s Economic Recovery from COVID-19

As much as we all want the COVID-19 pandemic to be over, to get things “back to normal” requires economic recovery. The critical question is not when we will recover, but how do we recover. In Hawaii, our isolation and relatively small population is an advantage in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our reliance on tourism and re-establishing a substantial influx of new arrivals by air and cruise ship while staying safe is a more complex matter to solve. A sea of rental cars around Kah [...]

Condo and Homeowner Association Questions During COVID-19

Emergency orders due to COVID-19 result in many questions for HOAs and Condominium Associations. Here is a general guideline for frequently asked questions. Question: How does my association conduct an annual meeting during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Answer: It’s difficult but not impossible to meet your Annual Meeting requirement. An annual meeting is meeting of the association of owners, not a regular board meeting, and operates under a different set of restrictions. This includes the date or ti [...]

7 Tips for Employers to Better Manage Teleworkers

Millions across the globe are suddenly working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current crisis caught many employers without a solid plan to manage teleworkers, and left employees new to working from home uncertain about how they should manage their time. Following are some tips for employers that are new to telework, to better manage work-from-home employees. An increase in teleworking is a good thing- usually Work-from-home strategies can help businesses bottom line, now and in non- [...]

Business Changes on Maui Due to Coronavirus

Note: This page is being updated as new information becomes available. Scroll down to see UPDATES. Aloha, We wanted to let our valued association and community members know of temporary changes to business operations on Maui due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as coronavirus. The County of Maui, through its Public Health Emergency Rules, has issued a stay at home / work at home order for all residents and visitors as 3/25/20.  All people on island must shelter in place at home or in lod [...]

Single Family Home Costs vs. HOA Costs

The decision to buy a single-family home vs a condominium on Maui is an important one. Home buyers on Maui are turning towards condominiums- more people purchased condominiums on Maui last year than single-family homes, and the median price was significantly less. Yet the idea of home ownership is often centered around a house than a condominium. Some buyers are concerned about HOA (home owner association) fees, and what that would add to their monthly payment. However, to make a fair comparison [...]

4 Tips to Peacefully Resolving HOA Conflicts

Homeowner associations are made up of people, and let’s face it, nobody is perfect. Even though we would love to live in a peaceful utopia, there can be discontent over a variety of issues. As we go about our day to day lives out in the world, people in conflict may choose to avoid each other rather than sort out problems. However, living in an HOA community it is much more difficult when the conflict is among neighbors. Constant battle can cause great stress, or even compel people to move away. [...]

Maui: A Look Back at 2019

While not a full list of the all of the happenings and news on the island in 2019, Here are some of the headlines that attracted the most attention. Blazin’ hot. Even though 2019 was the Chinese year of the pig, the year may be better remembered as the year of fire. Weather, including record breaking heat, combined with fallow fields contributed to blazes across 25,000 acres- more than five times as many as in 2018. Growing green business. Maui Brewing Company was recognized for investing over [...]

Reducing HOA Property Risks

Amenities add value to communities. Having a place to gather, play tennis or other recreation activities can be the centerpiece of the neighborhood on Maui. And since all members chip in through HOA fees, perks can be provided at a reasonable cost. However, amenities are not without risk A Homeowners Association is open to liabilities providing such amenities. It’s important to be fully aware of risks and take appropriate steps to minimize them. It may mean saving a lot of money down the road. [...]

Employers: Are you ready for payroll and related changes in 2020?

There are numerous payroll changes for 2020, mostly on the Federal level. You can toss out the old Form W-4- there’s a new one. 2020 is a leap year, which may throw off payroll calendars. Finally, there are a few interesting state laws taking effect in the upcoming year. While the new Hawaii laws are not directly tied to payroll, they may have an impact on personnel. Federal Changes FICA Taxes Social Security tax For 2020, employers and employees must each pay Social Security tax at 6.2%, up to [...]