WASHINGTON- The Secretary of the Navy informed Senator Brian Schatz and the rest of the Hawaii delegation that the Navy will name a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after the late-Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
“The Secretary of the Navy informed the delegation today that the Navy will name a destroyer in honor of an American hero and Hawaii’s own, Senator Daniel K. Inouye,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “The naming of this destroyer appropriately honors his life and dedication to service during Pearl Harbor, World War II, and throughout his 58 years in elected office serving the state of Hawaii. Senator Inouye represents what it means to be a public servant and Hawaii should be proud of this great honor provided by the Navy.”
“Ask the Mayor”
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: What are the laws regarding noise pollution coming from loud vehicles on our increasingly crowded island? Our once-quiet neighborhood is bombarded all day, all night, every day with jacked-up trucks, some with over-sized tires (monster trucks), cars, motorcycles and other types of vehicles with loud mufflers and motors. These vehicles are so noisy that they can literally wake the dead and be heard from a mile away. Where is the enforcement to combat this daily assault (noise pollution) to our eardrums and sanity?
A: The law requires all motor vehicles to have mufflers. The purpose of a muffler is to help control exhaust noise from the motor of a motor vehicle. Maui County Code, Title 10, Article 1, Chapter.10.20.440 prohibits a motor vehicle on a public highway or street unless the motor and/or exhaust system of the motor vehicle is properly equipped and adjusted to prevent the escape of excessive or unusual noise. The ordinance also states that no person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public highway or street with a motor and/or exhaust system that has been altered or modified to such an extent that the noise of the motor and/or exhaust system is excessive or unusual because of a dummy muffler, cutout, by-pass or other similar device. In layman’s terms, anything louder than a stock muffler is a violation. After-market mufflers that are advertised as being legal in all 50 states only meet emission control requirements, not noise requirements. The fine for having a loud muffler is $72. Maui Police Department officers enforce the loud muffler ordinance; the Traffic Section conducted two separate operations last year to address this issue and have plans to address the noise problem again this year. Moped modifications are prohibited by Hawaii Revised Statutes, which state that no moped shall be modified in any manner except as authorized by the motor manufacturer, and any modification shall not increase the power capacity of the motor above 2HP. For more info, visit www.mauicounty.gov/laws and select “Maui County Code.”
Q: Last week I received a plastic bag in my mailbox, asking me to donate to a food drive sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service. I thought plastic bags were banned in Maui County? How come the federal government is exempt?
A: The quick answer to your question is that in this case, the U.S. Post Office is not selling you anything. The more detailed answer refers back to the County ordinance that went into effect on January 11, 2011, which restricts the use of non-reusable plastic bags at the point of sale by any commercial enterprise or establishment, including sole proprietorships, joint ventures, partnerships and corporations, whether for profit or non-profit. This includes all employees of businesses, or any independent contractors associated with the businesses, that provide bags to their customers at the point of sale for the purpose of transporting groceries or other goods. The “Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance” enacted in Maui County was designed to help protect the environment by drastically reducing the number of plastic bags used on a daily basis by local retailers and consumers. For more information on the ordinance, enforcement and violations, visit www.mauicounty.gov/PlasticBags.
Q: Regarding the free health care being offered during the Tropic Care Maui event next month, I know that people are saying that all we have to do to receive free medical, dental and vision services is to show up and stand in line, but what if I need a doctor’s note signed or a signed for saying that yes, my son did get a physical exam. Will those forms be offered there?
A: No. You are responsible for bringing any forms and records that you need signed by medical personnel. The members of the U.S. Military that are providing these free clinics do not have these forms on hand, however they have said that they will sign any appropriate forms that people have with them that apply to the services received. These include Dental Health Certificates, DOE Students Health Record-Form 14 Sports/Athletic Physical Examination Form, College Entry Physical Examination Form, Physical Examination form for children and adults to enter foster care homes. If you have any questions about forms call the Mayor’s Office at 270-7855 and ask to be transferred to the Tropic Care hotline, which is manned by Tropic Care Coordinator and long-time former Council Vice Chair Joe Pontanilla. He can get your answers or refer you to someone who can.
www.mauicounty.gov/laws (select Maui County Code)
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, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono today met with Lieutenant General Vincent Brooks, incoming U.S. Army Pacific commander at Oahu’s Fort Shafter. Brooks will assume command of the U.S. Army Pacific in July.
“It was a pleasure to meet General Brooks and congratulate him on his confirmation to command the U.S. Army in the Pacific and his promotion to four-star general,” Senator Hirono said.
“I am looking forward to working closely with General Brooks on important issues facing our armed forces like the military’s rebalance to the Pacific and stopping sexual assaults in the military.”
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has ISSUED a FLOOD ADVISORY for MAUI ISLAND thru 11:30 p.m. this evening.
A Flood Advisory means nuisance flooding is occurring or imminent. This advisory may be extended if heavy rain persists.
EFFECTS: At 8:23 p.m. radar showed heavy rain near Ulupalakua, or about 20 miles southeast of Kahului. The area of rain was nearly stationary. Other locations in the advisory include but are not limited to Wailea, Makena and Keokea.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: STAY AWAY FROM STREAMS, DRAINAGE DITCHES AND LOW LYING AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING. RAINFALL AND RUNOFF WILL ALSO CAUSE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS DUE TO PONDING AND POOR BRAKING ACTION. DO NOT CROSS FAST FLOWING OR RISING WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE OR ON FOOT. TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – Due to popular demand, the 2013 Maui Solar Summit has been moved to a new location: Castle Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC.)
The summit is being presented on Friday, May 24, 2013 by the County of Maui and the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM). The goal is to answer questions about the future of the solar industry and photovoltaic systems in the county.
Mayor Alan Arakawa is scheduled to kick off the event with a talk entitled “Why the community wants more solar.” The mayor just returned this week from China where he was a panel speaker at an environmental conference in Taihu. During that conference, he discussed Maui County’s work with solar and other renewable energy in front of an international audience.
“This Solar Summit is a must for anyone, whether you work in the solar industry or are a homeowner who just wants to find out more about putting PV on their rooftops,” said Mayor Arakawa. “Maui is far ahead of the game when it comes making the most of our natural resources and we want to continue on that path, until we are completely independent of fossil fuels.”
As of Wednesday afternoon there were about 230 people registered for the 2013 Solar Summit. Now that the event has been relocated to the MACC, much more seating is available.
For advance registration, call 984-3379 or email SLIMinfo@hawaii.edu . Registration will also be taken at the conference on Friday morning at 11 a.m. at the registration table outside Castle Theater. The program begins at 11:30 a.m.; the event is set to conclude by 1:30 p.m.
The Solar Summit is free of charge; those who register in advance may purchase lunch for $5.
The summit will address questions pertaining to circuit penetration, interconnection studies, County permits, MECO pre-approvals, PUC Rule 14H, off-grid systems, and recent changes to the State tax credit made during the 2013 Legislative session.
For more information about the 2013 Maui Solar Summit check out http://sustainablemaui.org/maui-solar-summit/ .
For a look at a Forbes article about the Environmental Summit in Taihu that Mayor Arakawa just returned from, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltobias/2013/05/21/china-declares-global-state-of-emergency-an-urgent-telegram-from-taihu/ .
WASHINGTON- Senator Brian Schatz joined his Senate colleagues in voting against a harmful amendment for domestic sugar producers. The repeal of the sugar program would have created significant hardships for Hawaii’s sole remaining sugar producer, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S).
Sugar producers and processors contribute $20 billion in economic activity, and are responsible for 142,000 American jobs.
“Today, the United States Senate saved the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, which is the state’s sole producer of raw and special sugar, and is critical to Maui’s workforce and economy,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “HC&S provides $56 million in wages to 800 Maui residents that have served as a cornerstone of this company and community for decades. I thank my Senate colleagues for helping save jobs in Hawaii and protecting nearly $250 million in revenue that is produced by the company.”
HC&S – a company that has supported its community for almost 150 years – supports 800 men and women in full-time employment with over $56 million in wages, and has multiple generations of employees. Sugar is one of the oldest industries in Hawaii and it remains an important contributor to Hawaii’s economy. Based on a conservative multiplier, the estimated impact on the Hawaii economy is $250 million.
A repeal of the U.S. sugar loan program would be devastating for HC&S and would have a large impact on the local Maui and broader state economies. The “floor” that the program provides growers is critical to staying competitive with foreign governments who subsidize their growers and dump sugar onto the world and domestic markets. The elimination of this program would result in numerous U.S. sugar growers, including HC&S, from shutting down or significantly reducing their operations.
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