Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I’m considering buying a home that I’d like to turn into a Bed-and-Breakfast. Which County office can I contact to get information on the process to apply for a B&B permit?
A: Anyone with questions about permits for short-term rental homes or Bed-and-Breakfast homes can call the Maui County Planning Department’s Current Planning Division at 270-8205 or visit the County website at
www.mauicounty.gov/Planning and select a link under the “Hot Topics” header. There you will find links to information about both types of permits.
Q: This is something I’ve always wondered about: Do Planning Commission members get paid?
A: No, members of County Boards, Councils, commissions and Committees provide volunteer service. Members serve terms of two to five years, and help County government function more efficiently by reviewing policies, listening to public testimony and making recommendations. A few other examples of County boards and commissions include the Animal Control Board, the Board of Water Supply, the Cost of Government Commission, the Fire and Public Safety Commission, the Liquor Control Commission, the Police Commission, the newly-formed Public Works Commission and the Real Property Tax Review Board. Applications are being taken now for open seats, and are available online at www.mauicounty.gov/Boards or from my office on the ninth floor of the County Building. Deadline to apply is December 31, 2013. Questions may be directed to my office at 270-7855.
Q: Is it required for trucks carrying loose items to be covered? Much of roadside rubbish seems to be blown off of trucks carrying uncovered items or loads.
A: According to both the Maui County Code and the Hawaii Revised Statutes, drivers are responsible for ensuring that their load is tied down or covered properly, and that loose material from the load cannot escape into the air or onto the road. Police cite violators under State law, specifically HRS §291C-131. To read the details on requirements and penalties, read the posting on my blog at www.mauicounty.gov/Mayor and
click on “Mayor’s Update” on the left. Keeping loads covered not only helps reduce the amount of debris and litter on the road, it also helps keep other drivers safe from flying objects, sand, dirt and other projectiles that could potentially cause an accident.
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.
Honolulu—In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui today presented a proclamation to the Hawaii State Fire Council.
The theme for Fire Prevention Week, which takes place from October 6-12, is “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”
“During Fire Prevention Week, I encourage everyone to review and practice their escape plan and take steps to increase their safety from fire, especially in their homes,” said Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui.
“We hope that raising awareness of kitchen fires will encourage the public to take greater care while cooking and decrease the number of kitchen fires from occurring,” said Fire Chief Manuel Neves, Chair of the Hawaii State Fire Council (SFC).
Cooking fires accounted for 44 percent of the total residential structure fires and 25 percent of civilian injuries from June 2010 to June 2013.
The SFC is comprised of the Fire Chiefs from the four counties. The SFC’s primary mission is to develop a comprehensive fire service emergency management network for the protection of life, property, and the environment throughout the State of Hawaii.
HONOLULU – Divers completed a survey of Honolulu Harbor in the immediate vicinity of the initial release and found no visible evidence of molasses, Tuesday.
The dive survey covered an area on the bottom of the harbor of approximately 200 feet surrounding the source of the initial spill. The diver investigated the areas under the pier around the pilings and along the seabed out into the harbor.
“The seabed under the wharf and into the channel was observed to be in normal condition, with no pools or visual evidence of molasses,” Kevin Foster, U.S. Fish and Wildlife marine ecology specialist. “The consensus was that the molasses is no longer in the area.”
The dive included a live video feed to the surface where representatives from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service directed and observed the nearly two hour survey.
Water quality appears to be returning to normal visual conditions. Water sampling and testing continues in the harbor and Keehi Lagoon.
HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Health has implemented an incident command system to further organize the response to the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor last week.
An incident command post has been established at the Clean Islands Council facility near Sand Island. The incident command is comprised of representatives from the Hawaii Department of Health, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, Matson, Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The incident command has drafted and approved an incident action plan which outlines key objectives of the response and provides clear direction to all participants.
“The organization of all the federal, state and local agencies utilizing the incident command system is a major step in ensuring a single and focused effort to the issue at hand,” said Keith Kawaoka, the incident commander. “Each agency has brought in its most experienced staff from around the country and I am confident they will work together to develop appropriate solutions to the problem.”
The Incident Command System brings a common operating language to a multi-agency response for incidents that occurred. The Department of Health remains the lead agency for the state but works in close coordination and cooperation with all the state and federal agencies involved.
HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirms that the brown substance that is contaminating much of Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon and is the apparent cause of death for many marine animals, is molasses that spilled into the harbor from a pipeline under Pier 52.
The public is advised not to enter the ocean if they notice a brown color in the water. The plume of dark water is moving with the tides and currents from Honolulu Harbor into the Keehi Lagoon. From the lagoon, it is expected to dissipate into the ocean.
DOH also advises the public not to consume any of the dead fish that may be found in the area.
In response to the spill, DOH is posting warning signs at beaches in the Keehi Lagoon area and will determine if additional beach closures along Sand Island or the Ewa coastline is necessary. While molasses is not harmful to the public directly, the substance is polluting the water, causing fish to die and could lead to an increase in predator species such as sharks, barracuda and eels. The nutrient rich liquid could also cause unusual growth in marine algae, stimulate an increase in harmful bacteria and trigger other environmental impacts.
Early Monday morning, a Matson ship was loaded with 1,600 tons of molasses for shipping to the West Coast for processing. The ship left the harbor before sunrise and a dark discoloration of the water at Honolulu Harbor was reported to the Coastguard around 8 a.m. Representatives from DOH and the State Departments of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Transportation responded and began investigations.
Today, Matson located a leak in their molasses pipeline near Pier 52 and they are working to patch the line. Matson representatives have informed the DOH that as much as 1,400 tons of molasses or about 233,000 gallons of the liquid may have entered the harbor.
To reduce the environmental impact in the harbor, DOH emergency response crews are actively collecting dead fish in the area today and will continue to do so for as long as necessary. Water samples are being collected by DLNR and DOH staff to monitor the movement of the plume and judge how long it will take to flush out to sea.
By Cindy Tanaka, American Red Cross – Honolulu Chapter
Honolulu, – Back to school also means back to practice for thousands of student athletes and coaches. The American Red Cross has training and resources available for people to learn how to treat a variety of emergencies and injuries that may occur throughout the sports season.
“School and neighborhood coaches, athletes and spectators should know how to help prevent and respond to common sports injuries such as strains and sprains, fractures, cuts and concussions,” said Coralie Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Safe Kids Worldwide reports that every 25 seconds a child is hurt playing sports and that more than 1 million emergency room visits are made due to sports injuries each year. Sports injuries account for about 20 percent of all injury-related emergency room visits for young people, according to their study.
Red Cross has developed a number of resources for everyone involved in sports and recreational activities:
Information on courses and additional resources are available at redcross.org. A variety of Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross, or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.
Beat the Heat
“Heat can be especially hazardous to anyone exercising or playing outdoors this time of year. People should avoid scheduling workouts and exercise during the hottest times of the day,” added Ms. Matayoshi. “Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.”
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