Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Aloha Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Newly returned to the island, I was pulled over for violating the “Move Over Law,” which I was completely unaware of and have not seen any education on since being pulled over and slapped with a criminal “petty misdemeanor” charge with up to 30 days in jail. I agree that this is an important law – moving over a lane to protect safety personnel. However, I didn’t know about the law, so I slowed down in my lane and kept to the left. Now I have to go to court in November and am facing up to 30 days in jail. Scares the heck out of me. Why are there no signs saying “Move over” anywhere? I think the public needs to be made aware of this before we start hitting law-abiding people like me with petty criminal charges. I am now afraid to use the highways at all around here and may move back to mainland if this turns out badly. It would be sad for Maui to have me leave. I’ve retained an attorney who says not to worry, but I worry. I hope you can use your ask the mayor space to educate folks about Move Over. I actually counted at least 100 cars doing what I did as the officer behind me had his lights flashing. And I pulled WAY over into the grass to keep him safe as he approached my car, so I do get that cars speeding by is unsafe for our officers conducting operations on side of roads. I will obey the law going forward, but hard to obey laws you don’t know about. And seems ridiculous to be slapped with criminal charge when I knew nothing bout the law and was driving very safely already to protect the officers. Just didn’t pull over. Would have had I known of the law.
A: Although you may have been out-of-state when it became a law here in 2012, you should know that all 50 states now have a “Move Over” law with Hawaii being one of the last ones to adopt it. Hawaii Revised Statute 291C-0027 “Emergency vehicle stopped for emergencies; duty of approaching vehicle,” states that when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the roadside and has flashing emergency lights on, a driver must slow down and change lanes into the adjacent lane if it is safe to do so, or if possible, two lanes over. Maui Police Department says there have been several press releases about the law since it was enacted. The press releases were covered by all the major TV news channels in the state, as well as in the Maui News, Maui Now, MauiWatch and other local news outlets; the last press release in August, 2014 stated that 60 citations had been given out in a two-week period. To read the full text of the “Move Over” law, visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov; locate the blue box on the lower left with the “Hawaii Revised Statutes” search bar, and type in HRS_0291C-0027.
Q: Will South Kihei Road be repaired or at least repainted anytime soon? There are so many patches and potholes and the center lines and crosswalks are washed out.
A: Our Public Works department informs me that South Kihei Road from Lipoa Street to Kauha’a Street is tentatively scheduled to be resurfaced in 2017. The section from Kauhaa Street to Kulanihakoi Street is scheduled for resurfacing in 2018. The County recognizes the deteriorating pavement conditions at these sections of South Kihei Road, and has made it a priority for resurfacing.
Q: When will the tennis courts at Eddie Tam be repaired? Both courts are in deplorable condition with cracks approximately ½ inch-wide crossing the courts. The nets are damaged and sagging. Out of four light poles with dual lights, one and a half pairs are not working, another pair will not stay on, leaving three lights in operation where there should be eight. In addition, the wind screening around the court is no longer in existence.
A: The results of the Parks needs assessment survey, which was mailed recently to many Maui County households, will help determine any future repairs or rebuilding of the tennis courts at Eddie Tam, Haliimaile and Pukalani. Park users may not realize just how expensive it is to repair, which is a temporary band-aid fix that costs $20,000-30,000 per court, or completely rebuild ($300-500,000 per court) tennis courts. The tennis community at large seems to prefer placing several courts at one location, rather than the current situation where fewer courts are located at multiple sites that are not ideal to begin with, weather-wise. If you received a Park needs survey in the mail, please be sure to complete and return it so the Parks department has sufficient data so that future funding for tennis court improvements can be prioritized accordingly.
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: 808-270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Maui Police have made an arrest in the attempted murder of a man at Waipuilani Park Sunday. He is Robert Kimo Prout, a 49 year-old man with no local address.
Prout was charged with Attempted Second Degree Murder and two counts of Contempt of Court. He is being held at the Wailuku Police station on $1,000,350 bail.
The victim – identity still not released – remains in critical condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Maui Police received a call at 3:55 regarding a male stabbing victim in the park. The victim, a 36 year-old Kahului man, was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.
Police say their preliminary investigation revealed that a male suspect had fled the scene prior to the arrival of officers. A canvass of the area was unsuccessful and the attacker remains at large.
An Attempted Murder in the Second Degree case has been initiated. Checks for the male suspect in this case continue as the investigation develops. All leads are being investigated. This is the fourth attempted Murder case investigation within the last three weeks.
Shortly before noon on Saturday, a metallic (mylar) balloon drifted into Maui Electric power lines on Namauu Place in Kihei, tripping both the transmission and distribution lines in this area. As a result, approximately 6,000 customers in parts of Kihei experienced loss of electrical service and power surges.
Maui Electric transferred affected customers to alternate circuits, restoring power at 12:20 p.m. to most customers as crews worked to replace damaged equipment.
WAILUKU – Maui County Budget Director Sandy Baz announced that the date for the rescheduled South Maui Budget Meeting is Monday, Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16 but was canceled due to a tsunami advisory that day.
Citizens with an interest in the County budget are encouraged to attend a community budget meeting in their local area and offer input, either as individuals or on behalf of an organization. Both written and verbal comments will be accepted. Tables will be set up to allow directors and staff from each County department to meet with members of the public, hear budget-related needs, listen to concerns and answer questions about various County-related issues. Attendees will be given a form upon arrival at the meeting to determine their needs, and which department(s) their comments pertain to.
The meeting in each community will begin with an overview by Mayor Arakawa and Budget Director Sandy Baz, followed by approximately one hour for attendees to submit comments at the various department tables. To close the evening, the group will be reconvened so that the Mayor and Budget Director can provide a recap of the issues that were raised by attendees.
The remaining community budget meetings scheduled for the upcoming Fiscal year are:
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
5:30 p.m., Haiku Community Center
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
5:30 p.m., Mayor Hannibal Tavares (Pukalani) Community Center, Social Hall
Monday, October 5, 2015
4:00 p.m., Mitchell Pauole Community Center
Thursday, October 8, 2015
4:00 p.m., Lanai Senior Center
Monday, October 12, 2015
5:30 p.m., Helene Hall
Monday, October 19, 2015
5:30 p.m., Kihei Community Center
For more information on the community meetings, contact the County of Maui Budget Office at 270-7855 or visit www.mauicounty.gov/Budget.
Staff from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) office will also be on-hand to offer information and gather public input on the use of the County’s funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Community Development Block Grant is a federal program created by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-383). CDBG funds received will be utilized for housing and community development needs primarily benefiting low and moderate income persons.
For information on CDBG, contact the County of Maui CDBG Program Office at 270-7213 or visit www.mauicounty.gov/CDBG.
Firefighters received the call at 3:10 a.m. that hotel security from Kahana Beach Resort on Lower Honoapiilani Road, reported seeing two aerial flares offshore. Napili firefighters arrived in the area at 3:17 a.m. and spotted a vessel offshore.
At about 4 a.m., a Lahaina rescue boat made contact with a 17-foot vessel with five men aboard, about a quarter-mile off Honokowai Beach Park. They had been drifting south after experiencing engine trouble off Hawea Point, just north of Kapalua Bay. The Lahaina crew transferred equipment and men onto their boat to lighten the load, and towed the vessel back to its launch point at the Mala boat ramp in Lahaina. Crews had the vessel back at Mala ramp by 5:45 a.m.
The men, ranging in ages from 25 to 70, were scuba diving in the area near Hawea Point. After pulling anchor they could not start their engines. They did not have a marine radio or a cellular phone on board so they shot off several emergency distress flares, hoping someone would notice and call for help.
The men were from Kihei. Firefighters from Napili and the Lahaina ladder crew on board their rescue boat responded to the incident.
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