Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Aloha Mayor Arakawa,
Q: I am an avid golfer who enjoys playing the Waiehu Golf Course three times a week. The front nine offers a breathtaking panorama of Maui’s north shore, while the back nine offers vistas of the West Maui Mountains. For the past few years there has been constant erosion at the No. 6 tee, and during the past year, it seems that the erosion process has rapidly increased to where every time that I get to the No. 6 tee, there is yet another foot or more of grass that has tumbled into the surf. Had the original builders of the course have the foresight to lay down boulders that now protect the 6th fairway another fifty feet to protect the original pro shop and first tee box, this situation would not be happening. As it now stands, erosion has claimed (an estimated) 70 feet deep of shoreline to where there is only half of the 6th tee existing. If no action is taken, the 6th tee could be gone by the end of the year. Are there any plans to restore and protect this part of the golf course?
A: Yes, due to shoreline erosion caused by rising sea levels, we would like to eventually move the box so the tee would be out of harm’s way. We have not been able to harden the area due to federal and state regulations that place restrictions on the construction of any seawalls or other shoreline modifications. We do plan to have an additional review by the Army Corps of Engineers, to see if other protective actions may be deemed acceptable.
Q: Hawaii was one of the last few states to comply with the TSA, regarding the validity of the driver’s license, to comply with their ID program for travelers. The question is, if we have complied, why is the temporary license given prior to getting your permanent one rejected as “Not valid for ID purposes” at the TSA screening, Kahului Airport? A relative traveling to the mainland had this problem. He had just renewed his driver’s license, and only had his temporary issued one. He used his temporary driver’s license at the screening TSA checkpoint. He was told that his license “was not valid” for entry. He had no other ID with him as his other ID was with his wife’s items, and she had already passed through the checkpoint. There was a discussion, after which he requested that his wife be contacted at their gate and return. Upon returning to Maui from the Oakland Airport, he successfully used the same temporary Hawaii driver’s license, which the Kahului TSA officers had said was not considered valid identification. In Oakland, he had no problem. Can you explain why this is a problem with the Kahului TSA checkpoint but not elsewhere? Also, the returned license with the year punched out, is considered not valid, even if it is, because the year is punched out. If this is going to be a problem with the TSA, why not return the driver’s license intact, if it is still valid until receiving your new one?
A: This was a very interesting question. According to Steve Taber, local director for TSA operations in Maui County, their current security procedures require them to “validate that every person who enters the security checkpoint is authorized to enter. This is done by inspecting a passenger’s boarding pass and government-issued identification.” To pass, the identification presented must contain the correct security features embedded by each state; these features are not present on the temporary Hawaii driver’s license. For that reason, the temporary Hawaii license cannot be used as a primary form of identification. “When a passenger has a temporary Hawaii driver’s license, our officers will determine if they have another identification that can be used to establish their identity,” Mr. Taber continued. “At the TSA we strive to be consistent in our operations, and I cannot explain why the identification was allowed to be used in Oakland when it wasn’t authorized. I apologize for any frustration this may have caused the passenger.” As for our Maui County DMV, our County staff are tasked with following the State’s licensing procedures, which include punching a hole in a license if it is turned in at the time of renewal and a temporary one is issued. It’s a good idea for a passenger to carry more than one form of ID with them if they have a temporary license, and the best bet would be to plan ahead to allow time for the new, permanent license to arrive before any scheduled travel. Driver’s licenses may be renewed six months prior to expiration.
Q: Why are the restrooms at Canoe Beach still closed?
A: It has indeed been a long time in coming, but according to our Dept. of Environmental Management, the repairs to the wastewater pumping system are expected to be completed by the end of next week. The restrooms will be reopened as soon as the repairs are done.
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.