Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: How can I dispose of or recycle fire extinguishers sold for home use here on Maui? If it’s been used and the gauge shows empty, I was told to throw it in the trash. Isn’t there a better answer than that? What if it’s expired but not used? Isn’t it dangerous to throw it in the trash? Thanks for any advice you can offer, as the metals recycler won’t accept it and the hardware stores that sell the fire extinguishers won’t accept them either.
A: Great timing on your question, as we are currently taking appointments for a household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22. Used or expired fire extinguishers can be brought to the collection, along with other household materials such as oil-based paints, solvents, antifreeze, pesticides, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, thermometers, old medication, aerosols and propane tanks. There is no fee for household hazardous waste collected at the event; however, an appointment is required for participation and the estimated types and quantities of waste must be stated. Additional waste brought to the collection event but not disclosed at the time the appointment was made may be rejected. To make an appointment or ask about other types of materials, call the contractor, EnviroServices, toll-free at (855) 325-3222. Deadline to schedule an appointment is Saturday, Nov. 7. Commercial hazardous waste will not be accepted at this household collection event; businesses may call EnviroServices at (808) 839-7222 to schedule commercial waste pickup at their place of business.
Q: Here is a photo of (your) thug nephew flashing his IQ (Editor’s note: no picture accompanied the press release of the “Ask he Mayor” column). Deluded into believing he is the God Father of Wailuku, he and his fellow goons have repeatedly ordered me not to demonstrate against you. They regularly harass, threaten and assault me, hurl racist epithets (“#$@!% haole,” etc.) at me, and attack my protest signs. When not attacking me they give me murderous looks and say they will “get” me sooner or later. I have no doubt they will try.
A: Aloha sir, I can officially tell you the individual in the photo you sent is not my nephew. I have not been aware of any such protests in Wailuku town recently, but would certainly uphold anyone’s right to freedom of speech. It is their right as a citizen to do so, but no one has the right to harm you physically. I am also certain that our Police officers also uphold citizens’ right to demonstrate and express free speech, unless laws are being violated.
Q: I was at Hookipa earlier this week and saw a woman jump into the ocean while the surf was huge. One of the lifeguards went out to save her but I could see them arguing and she refused to get on his rescue board. Eventually there was a jet-ski that went out there and she finally got on. I heard later that she was drunk and throwing a fit in the water. I find this sort of irresponsible behavior reckless and a drain on our tax dollars. Can she be fined for having wasted time and resources of our lifeguards?
A: I heard about this incident and am glad our lifeguard persisted and called the jet-ski for back-up. As she was intoxicated she may have not realized the danger she was in, and if that’s the case our lifeguards had a duty to get her out of trouble. Otherwise, if he had just given up and gone back to shore, she might have drowned. I believe our lifeguard made the right decision and I am proud of his actions.
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.