A Wailuku man remains in critical condition this afternoon after his Cadillac slammed into two utility poles along Hana Highway Monday night.
Maui Police say the 30 year-old man was driving a 1997 Cadillac sedan northbound along Hana Highway near Haiku at 9:52 p.m. Monday when he lost control of the vehicle just north of Holokai Road. The car traveled left of center, and crossed over the south bound lane of travel. The vehicle then collided into a utility pole on the south bound embankment. Following the collision with the utility pole, the vehicle continued northbound within the southbound embankment striking a cluster of mailboxes, then into a second utility pole where the vehicle came to rest.
The operator, lone occupant of the vehicle sustained critical life-threatening injuries. He was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for further treatment.
Both driver and passenger side airbags were deployed as a result of this crash. Preliminary investigation reveals that the operator was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
The involvement of speed is suspected as a factor in this crash. Drugs and alcohol have not been determined as the investigation is still pending.
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: My question involves the enforcement of laws regarding noise pollution. We hear a great deal about air pollution whenever cane fields are burned, and rightly so. But a motorcycle with an illegal exhaust system can disturb people in their homes for more than a half block radius everywhere they go. One individual can affect thousands of people every single day. Cane field burning, whatever your position on the subject, is still being done legally. The motorcycle, or car for that matter, with a modified exhaust system designed for maximum volume, is illegal. Yet, I’ve never seen a police officer issuing a ticket. I would like to know what kind of effort is being made to reduce this type of pollution that is much more pernicious than some would have us believe.
A: Maui County Code 10.20.440 specifies that a motor vehicle must be equipped with a muffler in good working order with sufficient capacity for the motor and/or exhaust system to “prevent the escape of excessive or annoying fumes or smoke, and excessive or unusual noise.” Additionally, motor vehicles are not allowed to have an exhaust system that has been altered or modified to such an extent that the noise or exhaust is excessive or unusual, as defined by the code, or equipped with a dummy muffler, cutout, by-pass or similar device. Maui Police Department routinely issues citations on vehicles that are in violation of this law.
Q: I work near a business on Kupuohi Street in Lahaina. This business always has a sign blocking the sidewalk and street parking in front of their business blocked off with cones and a huge sign. They are the only business doing this. Who do we report this to? Isn’t it illegal to block a public area for private use? Thanks in advance!
A: You’re correct: Portable signs like “sandwich board” signs on sidewalks are specifically prohibited. The County’s commercial sign ordinance (Portable signs: Chapter 16.13.150.E) is very specific about the size, type and location of signs that businesses are allowed to have. On-street parking is intended to be available for public use and cannot be coned-off for the exclusive use of any individual or business. You may use the County’s Request for Service system to have these problems investigated and enforced. To access the online system, visit www.mauicounty.gov/RFS.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: In a previous column someone inquired about the legality of a contractor using his residence to conduct his business with company vehicles parked in front of other homes, using tools early in the morning with employees reporting to work, back-up horns going off, etc.– all this in a residential neighborhood. Now, the only recourse a resident would have is to file a Request for Service (RFS) complaint, but apparently the offending neighbor can find out who made the complaint. Do you think this might possibly turn out badly? Do you believe the County policy should be changed, or that an anonymous complaint should fit in these types of situations? Or should the neighbor keep quiet for fear of retaliation?
A: Those are excellent questions that we wrestled with for a long time before establishing the current policy, which does not allow for anonymous complaints. We evaluated the volume and types of complaints that had been coming in under the previous policy, and found that people were submitting a lot of frivolous and sometimes retaliatory complaints simply because they could do so anonymously. These complaints were costing taxpayer dollars to follow up on, and were wasting many hours of staff time. After much discussion, it was decided to require people to provide personal information so the complaint could be verified. This also allows the person who must respond to be informed of the origin of the complaint. That being said, if a person wanting to file a Request for Service (RFS) belongs to a homeowners or neighborhood association, the organization can submit the complaint as a group, rather than as an individual.
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.
Washington, DC – A new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) audit released today found that the average wait time for new patients seeking primary care at the VA Medical Center in Honolulu was 145 days, significantly higher than the desired goal of the VA. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called the findings of the wait times in Hawai‘i unacceptable and called for improvements in access to health care for veterans.
“This excessive wait time is unacceptable. It is clear that the VA needs additional resources to match increasing demand for health services,” Senator Schatz said. “Our veterans deserve better. That is why I’m
supporting legislation that would cut wait times and establish a major new VA medical facility on Oahu that would double VA clinical services on the island.”
Last week, Senator Schatz announced his support for bipartisan legislation authored by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would make the VA more accountable and
improve access to health care for veterans. It would allow the VA to reallocate $500 million in unspent funds to hire new doctors and nurses, expanding the pool of health care providers to help reduce the wait times for veterans. The bill would also authorize a $15.88 million lease for the Advance Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access (ALOHA) Center in the Ewa Plain of Oahu. Once completed, the 118,000 net usable square-foot ALOHA Center will double the VA’s existing clinical capacity on Oahu, helping veterans get the timely care they need by alleviating the demand for existing services at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. The facility is initially expected to provide care to 15,000 veterans, with enrollment growing annually as more veterans visit from the North Shore and the center of the island.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement on data revealed today showing Honolulu’s Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center has the longest average wait time – 145 days – in the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) system when it comes to new patient primary care appointments.
“These long wait times for new patients at Honolulu’s Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center are extremely troubling. The medical center faces challenges involving neighbor island transportation and access, but these should not be excuses. Prior to this data release, my office reached out to the VA Inspector General’s Office asking for an impartial review and verification of wait time data for Hawaii-based VA medical clinics and centers. The audit released by VA today makes clear that we need to get to bottom of what is going on in the VA system in order to take appropriate action. I will also introduce bipartisan legislation this week to provide immediate relief for waiting veterans who require emergency procedures.”
Download Hirono’s letter to the VA here: http://www.hirono.senate.gov/download/letter-to-va-ig.
A single-vehicle accident has closed Baldwin Avenue between Hali’imaile and Kaluanui Roads. According to Mauiwatch reports, a woman is the only accident victim and has been transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center with undisclosed injuries.
Police have closed the road in both directions. The accident was first reported shortly after 2 p.m. today. The road was reopened at 3:55 p.m. today.
A Pennsylvania visitor was an apparent drowning victim Sunday off the shore of South Maui. Seventy-three year-old John Ready of Hatboro, PA, was found floating face down about 100 yards from shore at Wailea Point in Kihei.
The incident was reported at 12:15 p.m. Sunday. Cardio pulmonary resuscitation was performed on the man until paramedics arrived. Ready was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Ready was a passenger on a Pacific Whale Foundation snorkel cruise at the time of the incident. Official cause of death will be released following an autopsy.
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are still searching for a missing fisherman off the Big Island.
A 56-year-old male was fishing from a 10-foot cliff near Mackenzie State Recreation Area Friday evening when reporting sources say he was swept out to sea after either slipping or being washed off by a wave.
Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from the Hawaii County Fire Department Friday at 9:40 p.m. and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, 110-foot patrol boat.
Hawaii County Fire Department has a rescue boat and ground team also assisting in the search.
The missing fisherman was wearing black rain gear.
For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.
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