Maui Police have confirmed an evacuation taking place in Kahului. MauiWatch first the incident around 4:30 p.m., with the following report:
“JUST IN: Police are evacuating homes on Molokai Hema Street in Kahului after unexploded ordinance was found in one of the homes. Please use alternate routes as various streets may be closed.”
MPD Public Information Officer William Juan has acknowledged the incident and says more details will be forthcoming as soon as they are available.
Kula – Two Maui Girl Scouts were among 25 statewide who earned their Gold Award this week, putting them in the top
five percent of Girl Scouts across the nation. The award is the highest achievement that a Girl Scout in grades nine through 12 can earn. To earn it, the scout must complete at least 80 hours in a project that creates measurable and sustainable change for the local, regional, or global communities.
Carley Coppin of Kula and Jessie Haylor of Makawao were recognized for their Gold Award projects, “Horses Fostering Youth” and “Health & Wellness Fair for Foster Children.”
First Hawaiian Bank Foundation sponsored the Gold Award for a second consecutive year with a $5,000 grant. Joanne Arizumi, senior vice president of First Hawaiian Bank and Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i board member, acknowledged the
girls’ exceptional projects at Saturday’s ceremony.
“The projects show that girls and young women today can accomplish anything they set their mind to,” said Arizumi. “It is truly a privilege to take part in the opportunities that the Girl Scouts provide.”
Lori Lum, public affairs director at Watanabe Ing LLP and chair of the Girl Scouts Hawai‘i’s board of directors, thanked parents, family and friends for supporting Hawai‘i’s Girl Scouts.
“The Girl Scout Gold Award provides an extraordinary opportunity for young women to make a powerful difference in the lives of so many people, while developing leadership skills that will help the girls succeed in life. Today’s Gold Award recipients are a true testament to the positive impact of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.”
The following young women were also recognized for their Gold Award projects:
Bethany Anderson, Hilo, “Preventing Inhumane Treatment of Cats and Dogs”
Caitlyn Anderson, Hilo, “Limiting the Impact of Invasive Mammals on Hawai‘i’s
Dori Lei-Chee, Honolulu, “Saving a Life Can Make a Difference”
Bethany Cole, Kurtistown, “From the Garden to the Table”
Catherine Coleman, Honolulu, “Native Stories”
Heather Arielle Dupire-Nelson, Honolulu, “Diagnosing Early Reading Challenges”
Kaylie Eko, Honolulu, “Giving Aloha to Our Furry Friends”
Amra Evers, Honolulu, “The Key to Volunteering”
Emma Green, Kāne‘ohe, “Healing Garden”
Briana Grenert, Kailua, “Rocket Readers”
Hannah Henderson, Honolulu, “Island Sustainability”
Kelsey Kozuma, Kāne‘ohe, “Self Defense for Teens: Anti-Bullying”
Kelly Lam, Honolulu, “Star Spangled Citizenship for Schools”
Rafael Lee, Honolulu, “Bullying Beware”
Jocelyn Louie, Kapolei, “Eat Local, Live Healthy”
Diane Low, Honolulu, “Healthy Snacks”
Marissa Lum, Kāne‘ohe, “Lei of Aloha”
Emma McLeod, Honolulu, “The Other Forgotten Heroes of Pearl Harbor”
Diana Sellner, Honolulu, “Bring Your Own Bag Hawai‘i”
Ariel Todoki, Honolulu, “Shooting for the Stars”
Erin Todoki, Honolulu, “Heart To Heart: Medical Play”
Nicole Wheatman, Honolulu, “Repurpose for Learning: Project Senegal”
Charlynn Yeung, Honolulu, “A Voice for Change: Raising Awareness for the Darfur Conflict”
By Jeff King
Like losing an old friend, or the end of a favorite book – a Kihei icon is no more. Today Stella Blues Café is closing their doors for good.
In a Facebook post, owners said, “I’m very saddened to say. After 23 years Stella Blues Café is closing it’s doors. We have put our landlords in a tough situation and we can’t come to terms on a lease moving forward. For the record they have been there for us and worked with us numerous times over the years.
“I can’t thank all of the people that have worked with and for us over the years and all the customers that have been loyal since I was a child. I have a very heavy heart but it’s also a freeing feeling that I have not felt in my adult life. Not sure what to say but I have love for all my family and friends.”
According to a MauiWatch report, the staff learned of the closure last night. No word on what kind of business will occupy the space directly across from the Kihei Bank of Hawai’i branch.
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: The State is planning to develop a sports complex on 65 acres behind homes in Maui Lani. They received a conditional special use permit from the planning commission on March 25. After construction, the State plans to turn responsibility for maintaining the park over to the County. The County purchased 209 acres last September for the exact same purpose. Why aren’t the County and State getting together and building the proposed sports complex on the County land instead? It would benefit everyone concerned and free up the space behind the homes in Maui Lani for a less invasive public park. This seems like common sense to me.
A: If it were as easy as you suggest, it might certainly have been one quickly built park. However, not only are there numerous steps and challenges involving any large land development, it is much more complex when both County and State jurisdictions are involved. State projects, by law, have always been separate. County-funded projects, by County code, are also separate. Each entity follows its own procedures and protocols every step of the way for obtaining funding for acquisition, design and construction, as well as negotiating with the landowner and agencies involved. Even if the park may eventually be turned over to the County for long-term maintenance, County and State guidelines would likely add further complexity to a joint development, rather than simplify it. This could make the project even more costly for taxpayers, as well as take a lot longer to complete. Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui has worked with the County for years to propose a Central Maui project that the State is willing to foot the bill for. For Maui County residents, this is expected to provide us with much-needed recreational fields for a fraction of the cost. The public meeting held this week by the State will give residents near the proposed park a chance to learn more about the project and voice any concerns they may have.
Q: Every year the area between Puamana and Ma‘alaea becomes a frequent place of sudden fires and road closures. If the areas of dry brush (old, unattended cane fields, etc.) were “control burned” on either side of the highway before the dry season, wouldn’t it help lessen the occurrence of these fires? Just a thought by some of us on the West Side.
A: Yes, the Fire Department has conducted prescribed burn training in the area of Puamana above Honoapi‘ilani Highway. The week-long training was conducted in December last year with the assistance of experienced “burn bosses” from the mainland. Controlled or prescribed fires greatly reduce the potential for wildfires by removing hazardous amounts of vegetation on the property, which literally serves as “fuel” for the fire. The longer vegetation accumulates, the more destructive an eventual fire will be, burning hotter, traveling faster and having unpredictable results. Wildfires cause vast economic damage and lead to major inconveniences for the public. Because of these serious impacts, Fire officials will consider ongoing use of controlled burns, but not until all foreseeable hazards have been addressed and contingency plans have been developed. Safety is our first priority, thus proper planning must be conducted prior to any type of controlled burning. Another major factor that must be considered are the costs related to this type of operation, which must be budgeted for in advance. Overtime costs include personnel assigned to staff relief apparatuses, since on-duty personnel not utilized for this operation need to be available to respond to 911 calls.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Will a traffic “refuge” lane ever be built for Ha‘ikū School? The other day I headed up to Ha‘ikū town just as school was letting out and got stuck in traffic behind parents picking up their kids. Even though a man was working to shout at parents to “Hurry up!” there was no way to drive past the school entrance. Cars started cutting in line, speeding up and driving in the opposite lane to continue up the road. If I had decided to do the same, there could have been a crash. This is a very dangerous situation; an accident is waiting to happen. And in an emergency, no one can get through. When and how can this dangerous situation be fixed?
A: The traffic scenario you describe is one that is difficult for the County to remediate due to extremely limited right-of-way in the area. For that reason, it would be difficult to construct a refuge lane. School officials are aware of the bottleneck, and will continue to explore options to alleviate the impacts of rush-hour traffic. Police have been asked to help monitor the area and to ticket irresponsible drivers; however, their resources are limited. The best solution is to avoid the area during school dropoff and pickup times and take Kokomo Road instead. Even though it may be a short detour, Kokomo will probably save you time and frustration.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.
Maui Police and Fire investigators have released few new details about this morning’s tragic fatal crash near Keanae in East Maui – except the fact the both young men were not wearing seatbelts – a fact that, sadly, led to the death of the driver, but may have saved the life of his passenger.
At 12:29 a.m. today, Fire fighters from Hana and Rescue personnel from Kahului responded to the area halfway between mile marker 15 and 16 on Hana Highway (Hana side of Honomanu Bay) for a vehicle that went off the road and down a cliff. Two 17 year-old males were in the vehicle at the time. The male seated on the passenger side was ejected prior to the vehicle going down the cliff. He did not require any type of medical treatment.
Conflicting reports say one of the young men may have been 18. Both reports confirm the vehicle was a 1998 Toyota RAV-4 pulling a trailer. The SUV apparently veered off the road and struck a guardrail.
Fire personnel rescue crews rapelled down the cliff about 300 feet to the vehicle and confirmed that the male was deceased. It was determined to conduct the body recovery at first light. Fire and Rescue crews remained on scene and at 6:30 a.m. today, upon Air-1’s arrival, began recovery operations.
The victim was airlifted to a landing zone at the Keanae Ball Park. His identity has not been yet been released.
HONOLULU – An arbitration panel has issued an award for educational officers of the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) who are members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) bargaining unit 06. The decision, announced April 21, affects DOE school principals and other educational officers.
“Our principals do tremendous work in leading their schools towards student and staff success, as seen in recent student achievement gains,” said School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are pleased that the arbitration has concluded and we can move forward in supporting our educators to prepare students for college and careers.”
“I want to thank all those who were involved in the various stages of the negotiation and arbitration process,” added Matayoshi.
Major highlights of the arbitration award include:
In December 2012, HGEA and the DOE agreed to principal performance evaluations on a new Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA). These evaluations are being conducted in all 255 DOE public schools.
CESSA was designed to support and improve principal effectiveness, thereby boosting teacher and student performance. This is aligned with Goals 1 and 2 of the Department’s Strategic Plan. The DOE and HGEA worked together to provide school principals with guidelines, training and support in advance of successful CESSA implementation in the 2013-14 school year.
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