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THE READER'S PAGE

Hawaiian Ayes and Nays

April 04, 1999

By coincidence, your "Hawaii Special Issue" (March 7) came just three days before we departed for Maui. It's our 10th trip to Hawaii and our third stay at Napili Point, one of the resorts mentioned in Susan Spano's article "Maui, Just Right." Needless to say, we too like the Napili area.

The Maalaea area presents a big contrast to Napili. When the trade wind blows from the northeast (which is most of the time) the wind funnels through the valley at the "neck" of the island and goes out to sea at Maalaea. Think of it as a continuous Santa Ana.

We stayed in a ground-floor condo unit at Maalaea (just once) and quickly discovered that we had to close the sliding doors on the ocean side of the unit before opening the entrance door at the back; otherwise, the wind would blow leaves, dust and sugar cane ashes right through the unit and dump them in the living room.

RALPH L. MERRILL

Long Beach

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As a recent resident of Kihei, Maui, I was surprised to see the quote in your article that said my town (according to Snorkel Bob, no less) resembles Beirut. Last time I checked, we don't have a Holiday Inn, let alone one with a smoking hole in it.

What we do have in Kihei are picture-postcard beaches, including some of the best snorkeling beaches on the island. We have restaurants ranging from the Maui Lu Resort's Ukulele Grill, with its marvelous fresh fish dinners, to Da Kitchen, featuring some of the best local food on the island. And, of course, a spectacular sunset almost every night. What we don't have is much in the way of fast-food joints.

I understand that the writer's time was limited, but while she was checking out Hale Hui Kai in Kihei she could have poked around the town a bit. Then again, this omission isn't surprising for a writer who apparently drove West Maui but missed the beautiful Iao Valley.

MICHAEL STEIN

Kihei, Hawaii

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