WAILUKU – The County of Maui, State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be holding a community meeting for area residents who may be affected by the new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs).
These new maps may impact residential flood risk ratings by changing flood insurance requirements when the DFIRM becomes effective on November 4, 2015. The areas in Maui County that will be affected by these changes are Kihei, Waikapu, Kaunakakai and residents living on the south shore of Molokai.
Residents living in these areas are strongly urged to attend these community meetings so that personnel there can help you determine if you will be affected by the changes, what steps you need to take, how to prepare for potential mandatory insurance requirements and other related matters. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
There will be a short presentation by FEMA on the insurance program which will begin at 2:30 p.m. at both locations. For more information on these public meetings please call either Carolyn Cortez, Avelina Cabais or Chelsea Rabago at the Maui County Planning Department at 270-7253.
WAILUKU – Due to a manpower shortage, the Kihei area residential refuse collection route was not picked up today.
AFFECTED AREAS IN THE KIHEI AREA ARE:
The missed pickup is expected to be made tomorrow, Tuesday, June 16. The Department apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates the community’s understanding and cooperation.
Other entities have been busy playing catch-up as well. The National Weather Service issued a flood watch overnight when extremely heavy downpours drenched Maui’s north shore – all the way across to Kula and Ulupaakua. The watch expired early today.
Also, Maui Electric crews took several hours to restore power to industrial users i the Central Maui Baseyard area. All customers there have been restored to power as of noon today.
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Why does Pukalani only have one County bus stop? We are a community of over 7,500 residents, some of whom have to walk approximately two miles to reach the nearest County bus stop. School buses and small MEO buses have no problem driving further into Pukalani. Our County bus should be able to do the same.
A: Our County Dept. of Transportation is currently working with a consultant to update the County of Maui Short Range Transit Plan, which includes looking at routes and our bus stops in the Pukalani area. Once the plan update is readied, which should be in December or earlier, regional meetings will be held to give the public a report of their findings as well as to seek comments on any proposed changes. Because the addition of new bus stops in the Pukalani area has been a rather controversial topic, with a portion of the community stating they don’t want any bus stops located near their homes, it is important to work together to find safe solutions that take into consideration the needs of bus riders, neighbors and motorists. The Department of Transportation has already added a pedestrian crossing light in Pukalani to make the area safer for the community and will be looking at other options during the update of the transit plan. Please contact the MDOT at 270-7511 if you have further questions.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I would really like to have a paved walkway along the perimeter of the park on Shaw Street in Lahaina. It would be nice to have a safe place for families to get exercise. Thank you for your consideration.
A: I believe the area you’re referring to is the former park land that the County has turned over to the Friends of Mokuula, the nonprofit organization committed to restoring the royal complex at Mokuula and working with governmental entities to revive the historic cultural sites of Mokuula Island and Mokuhinia Pond. This area, formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is no longer under County Parks’ jurisdiction. However, the park facilities mauka of the highway are designed to offer opportunities for exercise, including the Skate Park, Lahaina Aquatics Complex and numerous playing fields.
Q: I saw the electric signs warning folks of the nighttime work being done around the Piilani Highway-Ohukai Road intersection. Why on earth would there be nighttime work in a crowded residential area?
A: This is a project being conducted by the State of Hawaii Dept. of Transportation (HDOT), which is making these intersection improvements to add dedicated left-turn lanes from Ohukai Road onto Piilani Highway to help minimize traffic backups into neighboring residential streets. HDOT understands there’s no good time for roadwork in any crowded area, day or night. Trenching work throughout the intersection is required for drainage, electrical and traffic signal modifications and due to the high volume of traffic through the area, which includes a daily average of 33,700 vehicles on Piilani Highway, all trenching work is done overnight to minimize traffic impacts. That being said, the contractors do try to get as much of the noisiest work done before midnight and proceed with lighter work overnight. Night work also helps to reduce impacts to dozens of small businesses located in neighboring commercial complexes. HDOT sincerely appreciates the community’s patience with the night work schedule. The project is anticipated to be complete this August.
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.
KIHEI – Fire crews and a batallion chief stayed into the late evening hours in Kihei to keep an eye on that fire that scorched two acres Monday.
At 11:52 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to reports of a brushfire mauka of Piilani Highway in Kihei. A Wailea ladder crew just happened to be nearby, and arrived on scene two minutes later. They found about an acre of brush burning, 100 yards mauka of Piilani Highway, and just south of Kulanihakoi St. The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter assisted crews from Kihei, Wailea, and Kahului. Northbound lanes of Pi’ilani Highway were closed for about two hours.
The site is the proposed location of the (nearly mythical) Kihei High School.
The fire was fully contained by 3:27 Monday, but crews have had not called it extinguished yet. There are a lot of large keawe trees in the area that may not be fully extinguished, so crews monitored well into the evening when it’s easier to see the glow of embers still burning.
The fire burned a total of two acres. Cause of the fire is undetermined.
WAILUKU – Maui Police are still looking for Gerald “Matt” Pritchard and have not made contact with him as of today.
A lot of greatly appreciated information regarding Pritchard has been provided. But leads have not resulted in locating him.
Read the original Missing Persons Report account here.
If anyone knows where Matt is currently staying or is in contact with him, please contact the Detective Nelson Hamilton at 244-6421 or Dispatch at 244-6400 or have Matt contact Detective Hamilton or Dispatch.
By Jeff King
Maui Police have reclassified a recent assault in Kihei as murder. A man known to locals as “Smiley,” Michael Phillip Gray, died from injuries after a savage attack on April 11. Now the case has escalated to a murder investigation.
On April 11, at about 10:55 p.m., Michael Phillip Gray, also known as “Smiley,” succumbed to his injuries and died at Maui Memorial Medical Center. His death was a result of injuries he sustained after he was assaulted at Kalama Park five weeks ago on March 15.
One adult male from Kihei and two juvenile males have been arrested in connection with this investigation. Due to Mr. Gray’s death, the case has been re-classified as Murder in the Second Degree.
The Maui Police Department is still seeking information into the assault of Michael Phillip “Smiley” Gray. Anyone with information should call Detective Jeffrey Mahoney of the Kihei Criminal Investigation Division at (808)875-5409 or Crime Stoppers.
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