Ask the Mayor: Kealia Litter; Overgrown Sidewalks

November 11, 2013, 1:28 PM HST · Updated November 17, 11:41 AM
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The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Kealia Wildlife Refuge, photo by Wendy Osher.

Kealia Wildlife Refuge. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Q: Along the three-mile stretch of land along North Kihei Road that is flanked by Kealia Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and the Pacific Ocean, there are no trash barrels available. The area is frequented by fishermen, tourists and weekend partiers, all of whom seem to leave their trash behind to blow into the pond and the sea. Cleanup of the area seems to rely on organized volunteer cleanup crews, or individuals who pick up trash as they walk along the beach. This is an extraordinarily sensitive stretch of land, and it deserves good stewardship. Is there anything you can do to help with this situation? Mahalo for your time and attention.

A: Indeed, this is a very special stretch of coastline that is ecologically delicate and offers sweeping vistas of Ma‘alaea Bay, Kaho‘olawe and Molokini. I contacted the land owner and learned that Alexander & Baldwin conducts nightly security patrols in the area, to monitor activity and directly encourage ocean users to take their ‘opala (rubbish) home with them. Additionally, license agreements with canoe clubs on the south end of Sugar Beach include stipulations that club members participate in the stewardship of the land by conducting cleanups and helping look after the area. A&B also hires contractors to clean the area from time to time and has worked with the US Fish & Wildlife Service on the turtle fence, which has protected much of the shoreline and prevented turtles from crossing the busy highway. Statistics show that having trash barrels in an area does not necessarily lead to a cleaner environment; ironically, it often leads to increased dumping. Thus, emphasis has been placed on regular beach cleanups. A local business recently conducted a major shoreline cleanup at Kealia; when I passed through the area I did not observe trash or windblown debris. My heartfelt thanks to all who dedicate their time and energy to help mālama (care for) this exceptional shoreline.

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Q: I enjoy walking in Wailuku for exercise, but came across a section of sidewalk near the bridge where the sidewalk is overgrown with tall weeds. It presents a safety issue for pedestrians who need to use the sidewalk. Whose responsibility is it to maintain the sidewalk, and how can I report this to the proper authorities?

A: According to Chapter 12.02.020 of the Maui County Code, it is the responsibility of the property owner whose land abuts or adjoins a county street to maintain the sidewalk area so it is free of weeds and noxious growth. The best way to report an overgrown sidewalk is to fill out a Request for Service (RFS) using the county website: www.mauicounty.gov. Click on “Online Services” (lower left) and select “Request for Service.” Include specific details on the location and scope of the concern, so that county staff can follow up accordingly.

Q: Would you know how a vehicle can be properly disposed of on Lāna‘i? I work for an organization with a van that’s not running anymore that needs to be put to rest. Thanks for your help.

A: There is currently a derelict vehicles and metals collections and recycling event happening on Lāna‘i, Nov. 4 -21. Pūlama Lāna‘i (formerly Lāna‘i Company) is working with our county contractor to pick up items from residents over the next two weeks. However, last week was the vehicle pick-up week and it is likely that the limit of 24 vehicles for this collection event has already been reached. Future collections are being planned for early spring. Lāna‘i residents also can put appliances, propane tanks, auto batteries and tires out curbside during the next two weeks (call first for collection schedule). On Moloka‘i, the county receives these items at the Moloka‘i Metals Facility at the Moloka‘i Landfill during regular landfill hours. Metals recycling events are also held periodically in Hana/East Maui.To inquire about participating in a vehicles/metals recycling event, call the County’s Office of Abandoned Vehicles and Metals at 270-2106. To call toll-free from Lāna‘i, dial 1-800-272-0125 and ask for extension 2106. To call toll-free from Moloka’i, dial 1-800-272-0117 and ask for extension 2106.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], 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.

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