Dave Hakes' – Maui Life


"I must do something!" will always solve more problems than "Something must be done"




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  • Archive for the 'Personal Tidbits' Category

    How important is tourism to Maui?

    Posted by delta on 13th May 2020

    How important is the tourist to the Maui economy?  Well, let’s think about the numbers for a moment…

    When the tourist get here, they get their 

    1. rental car and go to
    2. Costco. They then stop by that
    3. restaurant they heard about (or fell in love with last time) and then on to their
    4. hotel/BnB. After unpacking, they go take a nap and then to the beach. On the way to, or on their way back from, the beach they stop for supplies and gas at the local
    5. mini-mart and after the beach they go to
    6. another restaurant. They also, if it’s their first time and want to see the island, most likely
    7. bike down the volcano, do a
    8. helicopter tour,
    9. hang in Hana for a day,
    10. hang in Paia for a day,
    11. hang on the West Side for a day,
    12. hang on the South Side for a day.

    On a five day stay, (#3), (#4), (#5) and (#6) would happen at least once a day. This would be approximately 30 “Points of Contact” in which the vacationer buys something – which allows the business owners to pay their employees as well as their taxes to the state and federal government…  Going off on a slight tangent – try “Contact Tracing” the above…

    Maui Vacation for four would probably cost $5000 if they were really watching their budget, but more likely it would cost $10,000 or more…  If we had just 5,000 families (20,000 people) visiting, that would be between 5 and 10 million dollars a day to our economy…

    Now, let’s talk about the support workers.  I’ll choose the Grand Wailea because it has about 1,500 employees and contractors and it would (all by itself) cause the biggest hit to our economy here on Maui.

    Who supports the support workers?

    1. gas station
    2. mechanic
    3. morning coffee
    4. lunch cafe
    5. dinner stop
    6. gym
    7. mini-mart
    8. FOOD shopping
    9. HOME shopping
    10. entertainment – concerts/movies

    That’s 1,500 people who have their 10 favorite places/folks for the services above.  That doesn’t count the plumbers, carpet cleaners, carpenters, etc…  So, just the 1,500 folks who support the vacationer at the Grand Wailea support 15,000 people.  There’s no doubt that we all go to Starbucks, Safeway, Costco, Foodland, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and Target (that will create a small discrepancy with the numbers)…

    That’s just one hotel.  On the South Side we have the Kea Lani, Four Season, Grand Wailea, Andaz and Marriott.  On the West Side we have the Hyatt, Westin, Ka`anapali Beach Hotel, Sheraton and Ritz…  Between these 10 hotels there are approximately 10,000 support personnel which are directly supported by another 100,000 folks…  That’s it, that’s the ballgame – our entire Maui island population (minus about 10,000-15,000 people) is here to support tourism…

    Now, imagine that there are no tourists and the hotels are closed.  Not only are we not receiving the money from the tourists, but there is no money for the support staff to spend on any of the folks who support them…  Imagine that for one moment…

    Why doesn’t the governor see this?  For one, he doesn’t care – he’s made it perfectly clear that he doesn’t care about our economy here on Maui.  More importantly, the island he lives on is supported by the military – these 50,000 men and women receive their checks on time every two weeks (as they should)…  The support staff for the vacationers are taking a dive, but he still has folks on his island who can support basic business openings here and there throughout the island he lives on – if Oahu opens up without tourists, about 60% of the businesses can be supported by those receiving paychecks on the island…

    Now, even if he had suddenly realize what he has done to our economy and tells Maui it can open up everything (including tourism), it doesn’t matter at this point.  The small business owner who is still in business after all of this doesn’t want to open because they can not support a staff if they have no business…

    Think about what a tourists would have to go through on their “dream vacation”…

    1st – due to the 14 day quarantine, they would have to ask for 19 days off of work just to get their 5 days in the sun (risking their job)…

    2nd – they would have to brave the trip here under the “New Normal” Guidelines – airports, planes, etc

    3rd – they would have to get a rental car that doesn’t look like a rental cause the locals would trash their car if they saw it

    4th – they would have to be tracked and risk jail if they broke the quarantine

    5th – after their 14 days of quarantine they would find very few things open

    6th – of the few places they find open, they would have to deal with the “new normal” of masks, social distancing and the locals not wanting them here – the Spirit of Aloha is out the window at the moment

    After a few tourists posted their Maui Adventure on Facebook and Twitter there would be a sudden mass cancellations of “dream vacations” – oh yeah, it’ll spread like wildfire…

    Where does that leave us?  It leaves us here – exactly where we are – our main source of income on this island is gone.  We have to figure out another way of living.  The mayor keeps alluding to Maui going back to being an Agrarian Society – I, for one, think that’s a great idea but not too many folks here on the island could live that way.  I know they think they could, but I don’t think they truly understand the scope of it…  I don’t think they truly understand how they would be living in ten years or what that would look like…  It would be work, both mentally and physically – and I’m not sure the folks who are here at the moment are the folks for the job – prove me wrong – please prove me wrong…

    Posted in Personal Tidbits | No Comments »

    Be Worthy

    Posted by delta on 8th May 2020

    Mr Joe Blow has always kinda looked at me and “sank” into themselves.  Maybe it’s my eyes (just one of those guys born with “Mean Eyes”), maybe it’s that I’ve always been built (like a Brick Outhouse – even at 51 years old), maybe it’s that I don’t like sitting (they have no idea that it’s simply because after 5 minutes it’s just too hard to get out of a chair for me) or maybe it’s just the way I move from side to side while standing (as if I’m always ready to “GO” – which I am, truth be told)…

    As a business owner, if the first person I see on site is male, I’ve always tried to smile first to relieve the tension before it began (I have a rather large smile) and say/do something to get them to laugh at me (not with me, at me) as quickly as I can.  Charm goes a long way…

    I have never liked that I intimidated people for no other reason than walking into a room.  I like to watch people and it’s hard to watch them if they are watching you – they don’t act the way they would normally act, so I get a revision of their normal behavior…

    For these reasons I thoroughly enjoy “watching” folks online.  They can’t see me or anyone else.  You can get more “intel” on how an individual thinks/feels about almost anything.  Someone who cowers in front of you in person, or simply stays out of the conversation to be PC, will “let er rip” on Facebook or Twitter or…

    What have I been seeing lately?  The reason I got out…

    I got out of the military because they made a mistake.  Their mistake was that they sent me home for a few weeks…

    While home, I was in a bar listening to a group of individuals talking about something they had no knowledge of and slamming that which they did not understand – they were simply regurgitating what they saw/heard on the news.  That was it.  I’m not going to protect this anymore, I actually wanted the “bad guys” to take these people out.  I was one of the few standing between the “bad guys” and these idiots.  I’m defending this?  Defending these people who would go out of their way to offend me at the drop of a hat.  Wasted my youth defending these people…

    I got out and went to school.  First thing I realized about college was that I was a rarity – I showed up on time (even after a harsh night), did my work and helped others (tutored calc and stats for free).  I know that sounds extraordinary, but it’s not.  I was surrounded by lazy people who were completely into themselves.  It’s not that I was awesome or good, it’s just that they were so bad that it made me look good…

    As an Audio/Visual Freelancer on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I was everyones first call.  I was a rigger, audio tech, video tech, lighting tech, GRFX op, tape op, playback op, camera op, spotlight op – you name it.  I was all those things (and pretty good at each individual thing), not because I had to be (I could have been any ONE of those things and gotten by), because I loved the industry and loved to work.  It was an addiction for me…

    Most folks think it’s really cool to have a jack of all trades on their crew for that “special something” that inevitably pops up in the course of setup or a few days into the run of the show.  All you have to do is show up on time, ready to work, ask the right questions beforehand so you would know what tools to bring, don’t worry about a break, be able to do any position the show required and be willing to stay after to reset anything that needed it.  I have always thought it was crazy how rare it was – I wasn’t, and am not, that awesome.

    When I became a technical director, project manager and producer I quickly realized how rare it was.  To find someone who shows up on time, ready to work, ready to learn, is willing to ask questions, works instead of complains, doesn’t look at their watch or phone all day – it is indeed a rarity…

    My biggest problem is that I have a brain.  To realize that you are rare simply because you don’t suck, well, that sucks…  I can’t even take a compliment because, in my brain, a compliment is not a compliment to me it is a jab at the incompetence of everyone else…  To me, I have never done anything extraordinary – it’s just what I do and/or how I do it…

    A few years ago I got out of the A/V business and bought a carpet cleaning company from my in-laws.  Tell you what, finding employees…?  Forget it…  Someone who wants to work?  Forget it…  Someone who shows up on time?  Forget it…  Someone who doesn’t constantly call in sick?  Forget it?  Someone who can take their eyes off their phone to pay attention to what they are doing?  Forget it…

    When it comes to “Friending” or “Following” folks online I have chosen folks from all gambits – I like to know what my friends are thinking about things but I also like to know what other folks are thinking.  I have a thing for thinking.  I do not like to just read that which perpetuates my own prejudice – I like to look at the whole picture – I like to try to change my mind with other view points…  I don’t care if it’s too far to the right or left, too republican or democrat, fear or hate – I want to read it…

    The few things I can say with complete certainty right now is that I’m glad I’m not defending you anymore and that YOU SUCK…  I want to ask of you, please, stop it – please make a point to stop sucking, please make it a point to try to be worthy.  I was out of the military before starting a family – didn’t realize it until we started having kids that everything I did was for them – not for you, for them…

    I am saying this simply because my daughter, my oldest, the beam of light straight from GOD who came into our family 17 years ago is leaving for the Naval Academy in two months.  When she gets there she will take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.  She is going to become an indentured slave who is going to be putting everything she has on the line for you…  Be worthy of that – please stop, think, repent and be worthy of that…

    These kids she will soon be serving with:  In this day…  at this time…  under these conditions…  These are kids who have the choice of any college in America…  These are kids who do not have to join the military to get what they want out of life…  This is their choice – BE WORTHY OF THAT

    Posted in Personal Tidbits | No Comments »

    The Exodus

    Posted by delta on 26th April 2020

    I drive around the island everyday from j0b to job and see no fear from those of us working or from my customers (most of them greet me with no mask or gloves or anything – I tend to wear them simply for their comfort level).  The consensus amongst all these folks (after many conversations with customers and other folks I talk with throughout the day) is that COVID19 went through Maui in January (that is when we all remember being sick)…

    The picture changes when I look online.  News is full of fear and my “Facebook Friends” are completely fear-bound (well, at least the ones posting).  Fear is always loudest – of course, the only fear based voices I’ve heard are those who have someone high risk in the house (I totally get it – my parents are high risk and living with us, so I get it), independently wealthy folks (who do not have to work) or those without kids (they don’t have other mouths to feed)…

    Why are all the numbers being put out the numbers of folks who have been tested?  Of that, who has tested positive?  Of that, who has died?  That makes no sense to anyone with a brain – this is the worst case of fear-based marketing I have ever seen in my life…

    Do you realize that these are much lower numbers than a regular flu season?  Do you realize that those dying are the same who would die from the regular flu?  What is different this time?  Ask yourself that next time you drive by, or go to, Maui Memorial and it’s empty parking lot…

    The real data is, what is the population of the U.S.?  Of that, how many have died?  Now, of the U.S. population, how many are out of work due to the lockdown?  When I ask how many are out of work, I am not talking about those who put in for government assistance – I mean the actual number of folks out of work.

    So, of the U.S. population, how many jobs were lost (which are not coming back in the near future)?  Of the U.S. population, what percentage has died from COVID19?  Those are the two numbers to dwell on…  Here’s another number: of those out of work, how many have children to feed?

    But there’s no antibody testing – none – what sense does that make?  Coronavirus’ mutate – that’s why you can get a flu shot every year but still get the flu (you got the shot for the strain they were guesstimating would occur that year).  Why not put the money for that into antibody testing?  If this thing mutates then an immunity shot is worthless anyway…

    The island wants to get back to work.  Problem is, but for those of us working right now, there are no jobs for them to return to.  The island has been devastated economically and there’s really no getting around the fact that 70%-90% of the business which were open on March 1st are “OUT OF BUSINESS” already.  There is no job to go back to here on Maui…

    The only reason they’re letting the home builders, construction crews, cleaners and gardeners go to work everyday is because they are assuming we are low risk (most of us are younger and healthier – because we work outdoors) and they need SOMEONE to have money to keep Walmart, Costco, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Safeway and Foodland here on the island…

    The governor just extended the lockdown for another month – this actually makes more sense than you can imagine.  The economy is already gone so the issue is no longer the virus , the issue is about how to save face in this election cycle because no one has a job to get back to – they have to figure out what to say or do about that.  Even if we open up today there will be no tourist, there will be no corporate conferences, there will be no concerts, there will be very few restaurants to service those who service these people and there will be even fewer businesses open to service the rest.  As this continues, as more businesses close, there will be more people out of work – there will be less people going shopping, so more stores will close and more people will be out of work.  This is a terrible downward spiral we have gotten ourselves into…

    Our economy is predicated on people spending money – if half the population is out of work and the other half is setting money aside for when the moment comes that they have no work, where does that leave us?

    Do people honestly think a hotel with 1,000 employees is going to just open up and bring everyone back to work with no customers booked?  How many such hotels do we have here in Hawaii?  Do people really think the restaurants and shops who service these individuals are going to open if the hotels don’t open?  Do people really think the folks who supply those restaurants and shops are going to stay open if the restaurants which support the hotels are not open?  That entire supply chain is closed down (or has been disrupted to a trickle) right now…  Think about that!  Why would they open?  To throw money out the window?!?

    Biking down the mountain, sunset cruises, scuba tours, snorkeling tours, smaller live music venues (bars/restaurants), helicopter tours, adventure tours (rappelling and such) – they are part of that chain as well.  Why would they open if there’s no customers?

    The list goes on…

    Here’s where we sit right now.  Everyone up for re-election is going to keep a lid on what is actually going on behind the scenes.  The press will do what they do (mostly blame the conservatives and praise the liberals), but even the politicians won’t blame each other because they all share in the blame and they can’t afford for the truth to get out until they have their little ounce of power.  So nothing will be said or done until after the election cycle.  No numbers will come out, no antibody testing, no apologies, no reality whatsoever…

    Here in Hawaii, specifically on Maui, if the “powers that be” had any balls and/or brains they would be straight up and tell people this.  After telling us the “truth of the matter” they would open up the airports on the 5th, 15th and 25th for those who wanted to leave the islands – and they would make that flight a free one…

    Even then, those of us left after the EXODUS are going to face some tough times…  It’s going to get much worse before it gets better…  but, in a few years there will be a lot of empty houses/properties and those of us still here will probably be able to get the property of our dreams for 50% of what it’s worth today – looking on the bright side…  The flip side of that is that we’ll be making 50% of what we are making today, but I digress…

    Let me be clear, we are on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  We can not simply drive to a new job.  If there are no jobs here, there simply are no jobs here…  What I am saying above does not apply to the U.S. as a whole, just our little island out here in the deep blue sea…

    I’d also like to be clear about one other thing – we should force no one to go back to work if they are uncomfortable with it, are high risk or live with someone who is high risk.  Some folks are really afraid – true fear – allow them to stay home…

    Posted in Personal Tidbits | No Comments »

    Tipping Point to Backlash

    Posted by delta on 9th April 2020

    We’re Americans…

    We’re not the smartest, most read or thoughtful of countries – but, there is one thing we are above all: we are arrogant as hell.  We choose to be ignorant in many ways – first and foremost, when choosing the news (we watch/read) or (online) searches we make for our information we typically choose to watch or read that which perpetuates our existing prejudices.  We do not intentionally go out of our way to read both sides to a story; we do not go out of our way to see the whole picture (just that which effects us in the here and now); we do not go out of our own way to change our own minds…

    We choose to let fear set the pace for our way of thinking…

    From the outset, fear started this country.  Fleeing persecution people came here for a better life – it was definitely harder than they thought it would be once they got here, but the initial spark in their brain that got them to come here in the first place was the thought of this place where they didn’t have to live in fear, could be free and work their own land.

    We became free from England because we feared what would happen if we had taxation without representation – our fear was so intense that we went to war over it.  The thing we still don’t really see today (because we choose not to see the whole picture) is that the entire thing was initially about rich folks being taxed, in debt and not wanting to pay up.  It became what it was because of the way England handled it – it quickly became a cry for freedom.  The population of America was somewhere around 2.8 million at the time, of that about 250,000 served the American cause, another 25,000 served the British cause and the rest of the population tried to stay out of it (for fear of choosing the wrong side most likely)…

    The Civil War began with the South’s fear of their way of life being changed.  They feared Lincoln so much that they left the Union before he was sworn in.  Lincoln did not start out wanting to free anyone, he simply wanted to keep the country/Union together.  It became a cry for freedom when he needed to motivate those who were on the fence about whether or not they should fight.  Of the (roughly) 35.5 million Americans at the time, the North had close to 2.2 million troops serve their cause and the South had close to 1 million troops serve their cause.  The rest of the country (again) chose to stay out of it…

    Fear is our motivator.  It is why we watch what we watch, it is why we read what we read, it is why we do what we do.  Roughly 5% of our population serves to protect the rest of us (as active duty military)and another 5% of the population are veterans.  That’s right, 90% of the population is afraid to put their money where their mouth is (of course, they are completely willing to tell you what they think of almost anything) – but I digress and will move on (before I go off on a harsh tangent)…

    The above being said, at what point does everyone realize that the numbers dying from this thing simply are not worth the numbers who are going to die from starvation or freezing to death (or any derivative of not having the money to pay for bills or food) or suicide (for getting too much in debt and seeing “no way out”)?  I mean, yes, we need to sit it out for a month to give the hospitals the time they need to prepare for the onslaught they will have in the ER – I think (I hope) we all get that at this point.  We are not going to stop this thing, we can slow it down a bit so the emergency response folks can prepare for what is to come, but WE WILL GET THIS THING.  For most of us it will be no worse than the seasonal flu – but this is much more contagious, so the ER’s have to be ready for it.  We will all have the anti-bodies in our blood before a shot comes out for it and if this thing mutates we will just have to fight it off again (and the shot will be useless) – so that is a huge waste of time, money and resources that can be used in other directions…

    The tipping point is going to occur when all those folks who are fearful of it realize there is no way to stop it and that there never was.  The tipping point is going to happen when they realize they gave up their freedoms, their jobs, their way of life, their sanity and went completely into debt for absolutely no reason…  I went over that quickly, but let it sink in a little: WE ARE FREELY GIVING UP OUR FREEDOM AND WAY OF LIFE AND GOING COMPLETELY INTO DEBT FOR SOMETHING THAT CAN NOT BE STOPPED…

    We have to give the ER’s time to prepare for this thing, ok – fine…  Stopping an entire economy out of fear is going to have a backlash of unimaginable proportions and I hope they are preparing for that as well…

    I hope every American realizes that our way of life has changed permanently.  Nothing is going to go back to the way is was…

    Posted in Personal Tidbits | No Comments »

    We can’t beat this thing, but we can be ready for it…

    Posted by delta on 1st April 2020

    So, by Census Data estimates:
    There are Approx 327,170,000 Americans

    • Approx. 40% Work
    • Approx. 20% Do Not Work
    • Approx. 20% Youth
    • Approx. 20% Elderly

    By the numbers:

    • Approx. 130,868,000 Work
    • Approx. 65,434,000 Do Not Work
    • Approx. 65,434,000 Youth
    • Approx. 65,434,000 Elderly

    Of those that work:

    • if 1/3 of the employed are unemployed that would be 43,186,440 out of work
    • if ½ of the employed are unemployed that would be 65,434,000 out of work

    According to the CDC Data found in the New York Times article entitled “Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths”:

    • 160M-214M Americans could be infected (that is 48.9% to 65.5% of the overall U.S. population)
    • 2.4M-21M Americans could require hospitalization (that is .0734% to 6.4% of the overall U.S. population)
    • 200,000-1.7M could die (that is .0061% to .0516% of the overall U.S. population)

    Why are we putting (approx) 50M people out of work to save (approx) 1M people? Are we taking a huge risk that a certain percentage of the 50M people who are out of work will freeze or starve without the ability to pay the electric bill or food? Assuming those 50M folks have a significant other and/or just one kid, that is bringing the numbers effected to 100M-150M (approx 50% of the U.S. population) who are living off of whatever credit cards they have…

    So, to rephrase the question with the new data: Why are we sacrificing 50% of the U.S. population for less than .05% of the population? Answer: because it could be more…  No government was prepared for this. Hospitals have run out of everything and most civilian Doctors and Nurses do not have it in them to triage (they want to help everyone and many would mentally break if asked to triage under the conditions that are to come). We are locked away in our homes to give them time to prepare for the numbers coming at them. They need more gear, equipment and personnel and they need them in place and ready to go – this gives them a month to prepare for what is to come…

    The numbers above are scary, but they could possibly be worse…

    Many factories have been retrofitted to make medical equipment and supplies, many veteran medics have been called to service to help hospitals triage (which is great, they are trained to do this). We’re giving these folks time to get the gear and equipment and personnel in place so that when we get this thing at least we know they are ready for us when/if we need it…

    There is another caveat as well.  Essential Service workers.  We are all pretty much in the low risk for this thing – for most of us it will be a slight cold and then we’ll be done with it.  The hope is that this thing runs through essential workers in the next month so we will be healthy enough to help out if it is asked of us…

    Posted in Personal Tidbits | No Comments »