VIDEO: Maui Still Sparkles with New Years Novelty FireworksDecember 28, 2011, 8:56 AM HST · Updated December 28, 6:43 PM 0 Comments
By Wendy Osher
***Video editing courtesy news/media intern, Bobbi-Lin Kalama from Kamehameha Schools – Maui.
Retailers on Maui began selling fireworks on Monday, as neighbor islanders get ready to ring in the New Year.
The firework festivities are still found on Maui where novelty items such as sparklers and fountains which emit effects of less than 12-feet, are permissible. The same is not the case on O’ahu where a ban on such novelty items went into effect almost one year ago.
Monitoring conducted by the state Department of Health revealed that there were no fireworks-related injuries treated in O’ahu hospitals during this year’s 4th of July period, compared to the average 17 injuries the island sees each year.
The same report shows that four out of the nine neighbor island firework injuries reported around the 4th of July this year, occurred in Maui County. The neighbor island tally was the highest total since 2006.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa acknowledged the positives and negatives of fireworks use, but said, “if done properly, under parental care,” fireworks could be a good thing.
“I would not want to ban fireworks per se; I would rather see better education on how to use fireworks properly,” said Mayor Arakawa during an exclusive interview this week.
“Almost everything we deal with has to do with how we prepare and the care and consideration we utilize with it,” he said.
The Fire Prevention Bureau on Maui urged the public to take proper precautions and suggested leaving the fireworks to professionals.
There are three public firework displays in Maui County this year including shows at the following locations: Hana, below Fagan’s Cross; Kihei, on a barge offshore fronting the Grand Wailea Hotel; and on Lanai at the Manele Bay Hotel.
Fireworks and firecrackers can only be legally set off from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day in Maui County.
Setting off fireworks outside designated times is punishable by law, with violators subject to fines of up to $2,000.
“It’s really great to be able to have the opportunity to participate in the celebrations, and to allow the general public to have something to work with,” said Mayor Arakawa.