A Maui man was found lifeless in the ocean outside Lahaina Harbor last night. Maui Police say 41 year-old Ramzey Ho’opi’i of Waihe’e was last seen as a passenger on a boat returning to Maui. An intense storm band was passing through the area at the time the man’s body was discovered.
Ho’opi’i was brought aboard the boat and was receiving CPR while the boat docked. Maui Fire Department, Police and paramedics took over as soon as they had access to the boat. Life-saving measures were unsuccessful and Ho’opi’i was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is pending to determine the exact cause of death. This was the second tragic death in Maui yesterday. Earlier, a woman visiting from British Columbia died while snorkeling in Manele Bay, Lana’i.
A powerful first band of showers – downpours to be more specific – is wiping across Maui County at this hour. Click here for the latest radar animation. Already the early winter storm has left much of the east end of Moloka’i in the dark. Maui Electric crews are working to stabilize the situation and return service. (NOTE: Power has since been restored to all customers on Moloka’i)
At 5:13 this afternoon, Maui Fire Department crews were dispatched to Haiku Road between Kauhikoa and West Kuiaha Roads to deal with electrical lines that had been impacted by tree branches in high winds. On arrival they encountered a large tree branch across the road that had burned off a tree by high voltage power lines it contacted. A MECO lineman who just happened to be in the area responded quickly and had de-energized the lines by the time fire crews arrived. Haiku Road was closed for about 40 minutes while the branch was moved.
Motorists and area residents should be aware that MECO will close again when MECO crews deem it safe enough to repair the downed power line.
A great big MAHALO to that MECO lineman for handling what could have easily turned ugly. The other good news is that no one was injured.
Meanwhile a high wind advisory for the Haleakala summit continues. Forecasters say another strong band of showers can be expected – and possibly a third band later.
A woman visiting from British Columbia died today while on a snorkeling trip on Lana’i. According to a Maui Police report, 65 year-old Sandra Jordan of Sydney, BC, was on a snorkel outing with her family. At about 10:20 a.m. today, the victim was observed in distress while within the Manele Bay Boat Harbor.
The woman was assisted back to the boat after becoming unresponsive, although she had been able to keep her head above water. Crew members commenced Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation while the boat returned to its slip. Medics and Maui Fire Department crews took over the effort.
The woman was transported to Lana’i Community Hospital where, despite best efforts, she died. While drowning is the apparent cause, Ms. Jordan’s official cause of death won’t be official until an autopsy can be performed.
WAILUKU – The County of Maui Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) today announced that a blessing and grand re-opening of the Mitchell Pau‘ole Center will be held on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 in Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i. The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the facility, located at 90 Ainoa Street.
The Mitchell Pau‘ole Center was closed for improvements earlier this year, to bring the facility into compliance with the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible design:
The facility also underwent an expansion, building repairs and upgrades, including:
Total cost of the improvements was $1,327,000. For more information, contact April Shiotani, CIP Coordinator, DPR Planning and Development Division at ph. 270-8017.
HONOLULU – Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui counties, is re-launching its “Solar Water Heating Tune-Up” (Tune-Up) rebate of $150 due to high demand.
Last year, Hawaii Energy provided 826 Tune-Up rebates to residents totaling $123,900 during the four-month limited-time offer.
The Tune-Up rebate is valid from January 5 through May 31, 2015, or while funding lasts. Residential electric ratepayers on Hawaii Island, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu are eligible. However, those that received a Tune-Up rebate last year are not able to participate.
In order to qualify for the rebate, systems must be at least three years old and the tune-up must be performed by a Hawaii Energy Participating Contractor. The cost of a tune-up typically ranges between $300 and $500 (not including the rebate). Hawaii Energy also offers a $1,000 instant rebate when purchasing a solar water heating system. To find a participating contractor and schedule a tune-up, visit www.hawaiienergy.com/tune-up or call Hawaii Energy at (808) 537-5577 or toll-free (877) 231-8222.
Solar water heaters require maintenance every three to five years to check and repair normal wear and tear that may include leaks, corrosion or pump failure. A properly maintained solar water heater can last 15 years or more.
“We received numerous requests for Hawaii Energy to bring this rebate back since it really helps offset the cost of maintenance,” explained Caroline Carl, Residential & Transformational Program Director, Hawaii Energy. “A solar water heater is a major energy-saving investment that should be maintained to ensure it’ll last for years to come.”
Households that replace their traditional electric water heater with a solar water heater typically save between 25 and 40 percent on their electric bill. However, without regular maintenance these savings can gradually diminish.
Hawai‘i’s tourism economy continues to pace slightly ahead of last year contributing $293 million more toward the state’s economy, which translates to $1.4 billion in state tax revenue for the first 11 months of the year, a 2.3 percent increase from 2013. Maui led the state substantially in all growth categories. Moloka’i also experienced substantial growth in most categories – while Lana’i encountered less growth (and some loss) while plans are in the works for major resort renovations there. This morning, Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Ronald Williams issued the following statement and statistical highlights:
“We continue to focus our efforts on ensuring the long-term sustainability of one of the state’s largest economic drivers by distributing the benefits of tourism across the state. Throughout the year, the neighbor islands have seen growth in spending surpassing last year’s records. Through November, total expenditures are up on Maui (+11.9% to $3.7 billion), Moloka‘i (+10.2% to $29.9 million), Kaua‘i (+6.6% to $1.3 billion) and Hawai‘i Island (+5.4% to $1.7 billion).
“Increases in per person per day (+9.4% to $207.9) and average length of stay (+1.1% to 8.2 days), helped to boost visitor expenditures on Maui through November. Other contributing factors included growth in visitor arrivals (+1.1% to 2.2 million visitors) and a jump in air seats (+6.2% to 1.8 million air seats) to Kahului.”
Williams continued, “Arrivals and spending from our developing international markets also continue to grow as we work toward diversifying our tourism profile and increasing first-time arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands. This has helped to balance our core markets like Japan, where economic uncertainty has led to slight declines in visitor arrivals and decreases in length of stay, which are affecting total expenditures and may hinder us from reaching year-end targets for this market.
“On the other hand, we have seen a boost in arrivals from our core U.S. market due to an influx of air seats. As our airline partners monitor their airfares to meet load factors, it is important that we work together to sustain demand to support these routes and ensure that they remain in market.
“Maintaining the momentum and growth in visitor spending and arrivals is important for the state’s overall economy, and we will continue to work collaboratively with our industry partners and global contractors to ensure that our tourism economy continues to thrive in 2015. “
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