Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: There is a stretch of beach between Baldwin Beach Park and Pā‘ia bay, where the old lime kiln used to be, that has become a nudist gathering spot. Isn’t this an illegal activity? If so, what can be done to prevent this from going on as it has been for months now? This bay is right next to the Maui Youth and Cultural Center.
A: In talking with our Maui Police Department, they said that officers will respond to calls involving “open lewdness,” which is the law people violate when they expose themselves publicly. However, MPD recommends using two phone numbers for two different scenarios. If the person in question is nude but keeping to themselves, i.e. “passively” sunbathing, then police recommend calling their administrative line at 244-6400. If the person in question is being aggressive, exposing themselves to people and engaging in other forms of harassment, people should call 911. Police will respond in both cases but obviously there is a higher priority placed on the second scenario. Some people have asked whether they should take a picture of the nude sunbather with their cell phones as evidence for police when they arrive, but this is not necessary. Also, you run the risk of turning a passive situation into a confrontation if the individual sees you taking their picture. Better to let police handle the situation. Lastly, this question is another good reason why the County should take advantage of the offer by Alexander & Baldwin to give us 36 acres of coastline – which would include this beach – if the County purchases a lot in their Kahului business park for our new service center. We could clear out the sugar cane and brush and make the beach more accessible for the public, which in turn would likely deter this sort of nudity from happening in the first place.
Q: On cruise ship days (currently Sundays/Mondays), crew members from the ship are jaywalking across to Maui Mall and back to the harbor by the banyan trees near the turn where Hana Highway and Ka‘ahumanu Avenue meet. Someone is going to get run over trying to cross over those five lanes of roads— that area by the old Kahului train depot is a really bad place to cross because it has a blind spot. The jaywalking happens all the time the ship is in, and the passengers from the ship see these crew members crossing at that spot so they try to cross the road too. I see a lot of people stuck in the middle of the road with both lanes of traffic passing them. Doesn’t the ship tell their employees to use the crosswalk at the stoplight by Longs? Please tag those people before someone gets hit! This is happening in the morning, during the day and also at night. I know because I drive through that area all the time.
A: Thank you for your comments about jaywalking near Kahului Harbor. Our Wailuku Patrol Commander has been informed about this so that MPD’s Community Police Officer in Kahului can work with cruise ship personnel to help inform crew members and visitors, and reduce the number of pedestrians who risk their lives just to save a few steps.
Q: Regarding the question you answered in last week’s column about motorcycles not triggering lights at some intersections: I’ve been told that if the light cycles two times, the rider may proceed through the red light with caution, of course, and common sense. Is this true?
A: According to Maui Police Department, while this is legal in other states, Hawai‘i State law does not have an exemption for motorcyclists to proceed through a red light. You can buy specialized magnets online that can help trigger the signals; however, before purchasing, consumers should carefully review the feedback from previous buyers as there is no guarantee that the magnet will work at all traffic signals. The magnets are mounted under the bike and send out a magnetic field that gets picked up by the sensors, which detect metal, not a vehicle’s weight.
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.