Sunday, July 12, 2015

Naked in Maui

A question often asked is whether there are any nude beaches on Maui. Well, yes, Little Beach - just north of and over the hill from Big Beach / Makena State Park - is well know for being a haven for people who think that, ahem, every day is their birthday and like to dress accordingly. But the next question - is it actually legal? - is another question altogether. 

George Harker of Maui wrote back in 2000 (a long time ago) about an incident in which several nude sunbathers were arrested. He wrote, “On October 18, 1998 six men were arrested for being nude on Polo beach at Makaleha Beach Park…All were charged and convicted of violating HRS 707-734 renamed Indecent exposure and redefined in 1993. HRS 707-734 Indecent Exposure...A person commits the offense of indecent exposure if, the person intentionally exposes the person's genitals to a person to whom the person is not married under circumstances in which the actor's conduct is likely to cause affront.” When the case was taken to the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the conviction by a lower court judge was overturned. “The Court noted that the exposure of genitals had to be ‘intentional’ and with a conscious object to affront the other individual. It was also important that the person not be married to the person doing the exposing. Under state law there are four states of mind; "intentional, knowing, reckless and negligent." In this regulation the operative state of mind is intentional, nothing more and nothing less. The Supreme Court had trouble with the idea of ‘intentional’ because the other individuals were also naked and it didn't make any sense that the individual was trying to cause alarm to any of the other persons on the beach. The Court also noted that the act had to be directed to some specific person, not someone who might or might not happen along. Clearly whether the police were affronted or not was immaterial,” Harker wrote.

Again, here is the law as it stands as of 2015*: Title 37 section 707-734 of the Hawaii penal code says of Indecent Exposure - A person commits the offense of indecent exposure if, the person intentionally exposes the person's genitals to a person to whom the person is not married under circumstances in which the actor's conduct is likely to cause affront. Indecent exposure is a petty misdemeanor. Furthermore, Hawaii Revised Statue 712-1217 says - A person commits the offense of open lewdness if in a public place the person does any lewd act which is likely to be observed by others who would be affronted or alarmed. Open lewdness is a petty misdemeanor.

[*Compiled from various legal websites since it seems quite difficult to find the actual HRS and HARs online.]

Basically what this means to us non-lawyers is that as long as you don’t intend to cause an affront or go out somewhere where it is reasonably expected you may cause an affront, nudity is okay. With Little Beach being an area known for its acceptance for nudity, it is legal to be nude here, though police have apparently arrested people here before, though mostly for drug use and squatting from what I understand. You also have to consider that if anyone who isn’t in the loop regarding Little Beach comes along and is offended by what they find, and saying that someone intended to offend them, the nudity in question IS now illegal. While such a contrivance is typical of Hawaiian bureaucracy, that’s just the way it is folks. But, hey, at least it is still a petty misdemeanor.

The rules of what should be common-sense apply here: As long as you’re alone or with other people of a like-mind when you are nude, no problem. But if you’re somewhere people commonly keep clothing on, have some class and don’t bare your ass. Mahalo!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Polipoli State Park, Upcountry Maui

Once upon a time, Polipoli State park and its trails may have been a nice place to visit, but since two minor hurricanes blew past the island in 2014, felled and cut-up trees have left the area looking like a warzone. Combine this with the fact that there is little to no views on this often cloudy backside of Haleakala and elevation changes that are unchallenging to say the least make this place forgettable. Or, it would be forgettable except for the 6-mile long bumpy one-lane dirt road that take you to the remote park. Totally not worth the drive, folks, not unless you really like Redwood trees, which make up less than a mile of the trail, btw. Sorry, Polipoli, I'll leave you to the locals.

This link will take you to the state's official page. Notice what little information they give you...

Directions: From Kahului, take Highway 37 through Kula to the junction of Highway 377. Turn left on 377 for about 0.3 mile, then right on Waipoli Road. This becomes Polipoli Access Road at the first cattle guard and climbs up the mountain through a long and annoying series of switchbacks until it enters the forest at 6,400′ elevation, where the pavement ends and the road becomes an annoying one-lane dirt road with potholes. Parking lot has some picnic tables and surprisingly, a flush toilet.

Worst map ever.

Nice view.

What? No orcs?

Most interesting thing on the trails.

Monday, July 6, 2015

What Ales You, Kihei

If the brew gods have anything to say about it, south Maui just may yet become a brew lovers paradise. The latest entrant on the brewing scene is Kihei’s “What Ales You” tap-room located in The Triangle. (The Triangle, if you don’t know, is the area adjacent to Foodland in central Kihei, across the street from Kalama Park.) Basically, if you like beer – we’re not talking Budweiser or PBR here – you have to visit this quaint little place. I was a little skeptical at first since I knew the owner had taken over the dumpy space used by “Pita Paradise.” However, the location has been sincerely cleaned up and decked out with modern outdoor d├ęcor (no sore butts and this patio!). Inside is a bit more demur with only five small tables and a 13-seat bar, but at least it’s clean, a bonus for any establishment in The Triangle. There are also 3 TV screens above the bar and another off in a corner, just in case you need your sports fix.

I don’t really think people come to a tap-room to watch games; hopefully, they come for the beer. There are eight standing taps and another eight on rotation, all of which are microbrews and diverse enough to satisfy almost any palate. (I say ‘almost’ because there was no porter today, and no ale house is complete without at least one porter, I say. I realize porters aren’t popular nowadays, but still.) Essentially, with 16 beer on tap, this makes “What Ales You” the place to go when Maui Brewing Company is over-crowed (which is often lately) and Monkeypod Kitchen is too overrun with tourists who don’t mind paying Monkeypod’s confiscatory prices. But this tap-room has wine, too! Again, there’s a nice selection here though I sampled little of it, though the sip I had of my friend’s glass was quite buttery. As for liquor, you won’t find any here; better luck next door at Tiki Lounge where the bartending is hit or miss. Food is a bit more scarce at this point for “What Ales You” as they only opened in late June but offer some delicious bratwurst and cheese platter pupus (appetizers). Perhaps they will expand the food menu someday, but I can wait until then. They don’t seem to have much in the way of entertainment right now either, but with all the bars in The Triangle, be that as it may. From 4-6pm you’ll hear music splash over from the Tiki Lounge, anyway.

Finally, I’ll say that the staff was super friendly – Stacey, our server, was really sweet and Bucky is a guy who knows his beer. Working in paradise as I do, I know it’s hard to find decent staff in Maui, so I was really happy with how we were treated, service-wise. I’ll definitely be back. I hope you’ll go, too, because I’d like to see this place succeed.

Open 10am-11pm every day. Happy Hour 3-6, if I remember correctly.

Directions: 1913 South Kihei Road, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753. It is behind “Life’s A Beach” and “Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse,” and next to “Tiki Lounge” in the space that used to be “Pita Paradise.