Ask the Mayor: How to Report Excessive Dog Barking

March 24, 2014, 3:06 PM HST · Updated March 28, 2:31 PM
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The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Vanessa Ghantous photo Upcountry Maui rain, Feb. 21, 2013.

Upcountry Maui rain, Feb. 21, 2013. File photo courtesy Vanessa Ghantous.

Q: I recently found out that Kaua‘i is no longer the wettest place on earth, now Maui is. For years it used to be Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale on Kauai but now it’s some place called the Big Bog near Haleakalā National Park. So my question is if Maui has so much water, why do we have water problems? Can’t we build something to collect water at the “wettest place on earth,” and then distribute it to our residents and farmers in upcountry Maui? And wouldn’t this be high enough that the water would flow downhill and there would be no pumping costs? Just seems like we have the answer to all of our water problems right in front of us and nobody is doing anything about it.

A: Your question very accurately illustrates that we do not have a water shortage on Maui; we have an infrastructure shortage. It is absolutely possible from a technical perspective to build a system to move water as you suggest. In fact, a similar, but less extensive ditch system already exists that brings water from the eastern end of the island to Upcountry water users and the HC&S fields. A water delivery system as you described would be very, very expensive and would need to overcome some difficult environmental hurdles. The Maui County Department of Water Supply is currently moving forward with a systematic plan to provide water to meet future needs. Although the plan does not include a system such as the one above, we can improve our infrastructure in a manner that our community can afford.

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Q: Pray tell, when will Kaupakalua Road ever be repaved? The road damages our wheel bearings, suspension and tires on our cars, the patches all wash out when it rains; it needs to be properly re-paved. When will this happen? Thank you.

A: We currently have Kaupakalua scheduled for resurfacing in segments during fiscal years 2015 through 2017. It will start from the Makawao Avenue intersection and end at Hana Highway. Due to the cost of repaving a long road like this, coupled with the limited resurfacing funds available, we will have to repave it in sections over a period of a couple years.

Q: What kind of help is there for someone who has a problem with their neighbor’s barking dogs? I’m not talking about a little bit of barking, I mean the small dogs are barking constantly throughout the day and then the big dog barks non-stop from sundown ‘til all hours of the morning. It may not seem like a big problem compared to other problems out there, but when you can’t get a good night’s sleep and then the dogs bark all day too, after a few days you start to go a little crazy. Please, there has to be something that can be done— I am at the end of my rope.

File photo.

File photo.

A: To report excessive barking, you must first document the barking to prove that it violates county law. An audio or video recording of approximately 10 minutes of continuous barking or 20 minutes of intermittent barking will suffice. You should also document the days/times you hear the barking, so you can include that information with the recording to the Maui Humane Society’s Field Operations Department with the appropriate complaint form. The form is available at the Humane Society or online at www.mauihumanesociety.org (click on “Services & Programs” then hover over “Field Operations-Animal Control” and “Barking Complaints”). If you have questions or need assistance with the form, you can call Maui Humane Society (MHS) at 877-3680. According to the MHS website, after a documented barking complaint is received, an MHS field officer will attempt to work with the dog’s owner to resolve the situation; this process takes a minimum of six weeks. If this is not effective, the field officer will complete a report that gets sent to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office, not MHS or its field officers, makes the decision on whether to take further action. Note: a barking violation can carry up to a $500 fine; dogs are never impounded solely for barking complaints.

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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