Saturday was an exceptionally busy day for first responders on Maui. Two traffic accidents resulted in four fatalities. A beach rescue in Wailea resulted in a Reading, PA, woman being rushed to the hospital. At 10:37 a.m. Saturday morning, emergency crews responded to reports of an unresponsive woman in the ocean. Upon arrival, bystanders had already pulled the woman from the water at Ulua beach, in South Maui.
When Wailea firefighters arrived at 10:42 a.m., they found bystanders performing CPR on the woman. Beachgoers noticed the woman unresponsive and floating on the surface with snorkel gear, then brought her to shore.
Paramedics rushed her to Maui Memorial Medical Center. The woman is a 76-year-old visitor from Reading, Pennsylvania. Her condition is unavailable.
Then, at 2:05 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a brush fire reported near Shaw Street, in Lahaina.
Lahaina firefighters arrived at 2:14 p.m. and found about an acre of grass and brush burning on the mauka side of the Lahaina Aquatic Center. A water tanker and heavy equipment from a nearby construction company were keeping the fire from spreading.
Three crews from Lahaina and Napili and two fire department water tankers responded. The fire was called contained at 2:43 p.m. Crews had not called it extinguished late Saturday, but monitored for areas still left smoldering. Just over an acre burned. Its still unclear what caused the fire.
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.
The wind farm mills along Ulupalakua Ranch quit working for a while today. Maui Electric Company says 19,258 customers lost power today at 12:34 p.m. for about 20 minutes when the Auwahi Wind Farm tripped offline resulting in a sudden and severe loss of wind generation on Maui Electric’s system.
The electrical system, which runs optimally at 60 hertz, dropped to about 15 hertz when 20.7 megawatts of power from Auwahi Wind went offline. The result was a brief flicker for some, a “brown out” for some and lights out for others.
As a result, MECO was forced to “load shed” customers in order to protect and stabilize Maui’s electrical grid. Presumably that means shutting down as many customers as it takes to operate efficiently for as many customers as possible until the windmills were powering again.
Customers affected included parts of Lahaina, Kihei, Kula, Pukalani, Speckelsville and Makawao to Hana. All customers were brought back online at 12:57 p.m.
No word yet on why the wind farm tripped off. The Auwahi Wind Farm is hidden from view from most areas of Maui.
Two hundred and twenty Law enforcement officers graduated today from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. The 249th Session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from 49 states. Included in the class are members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 26 international countries, three military organizations, and four federal civilian organizations.
Two Maui Police Department officers were among the graduating class. On March 16th, 2014, Sterling Kiyota was promoted to the Rank of Captain and is currently assigned as the Lahaina Patrol Division Commander. On February 1, 2015, Ricky Uedoi was promoted to the Rank of Captain and is currently assigned as the Molokai Patrol Division Commander.
Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy, offers 11 weeks of advanced investigative, management, and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies. On average, these officers have 19 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.
FBI Director James Comey, was the principal speaker at the graduation ceremony.
Training for the program is provided by the FBI Academy instructional staff, Special Agents, and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise.
Since 1972, National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia due to the accreditation by the university of the many courses offered.
The graduating officers will be represented by the class spokesperson, Michael Dahl, Captain, with the Washington State Patrol, in Olympia, Washington. A total of 47,898 graduates now represent the FBI National Academy since it began in July, 1935. Of this number, approximately 16,233 are still active law enforcement work.
In the “vehicle vs. fire hydrant” event, it’s “Two-fer Sunday.” After an early morning collision in Lahaina that sent water spouting from a hydrant and closing Pi’ilani Highway for two hours, it’s happened again in Makawao.
Makawao Avenue, north of Laie Drive was closed by Maui Police just before 11 a.m. today after a car hit a fire hydrant. Police have the road blocked going both ways.
There is flooding around a structure at the corner of Laie Drive and Makawao Avenue. No other details have been made available.
WAILUKU – The County of Maui’s Department of Environmental Management reported that a wastewater overflow of approximately 11,500 gallons occurred on Tuesday afternoon at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility, located at 3300 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Lahaina. The overflow was caused by mechanical failure at the plant headworks. The overflow started at 8:00 a.m. and was stopped by 8:20 a.m.
Wastewater flowed from the headworks building to the adjacent grassy area at the facility. The entire spill was contained within the wastewater reclamation facility. The County wastewater Collections crew cleaned and disinfected the affected area.
The spill did not reach any waterway and no beach closures were required. The State Department of Health has been notified.
This is the fifth wastewater overflow since December 5, 2014. Each has occurred because of power or mechanical failures. And the County is still in the midst of reconciling two guilty verdicts in the wastewater discharge off Ka’anapali’s Airport Beach that have been mounting at an estimated $100,000,000…..so far.
Copyright © 2015 - Island News Technologies, LLC - All rights reserved