The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.
By Mayor Alan Arakawa
Q: As a local resident, I used to enjoy taking my young children to swim at the shallow beach fronting Mama’s Fish House. Now when I go, the parking is so confusing. There are blue cones in the stalls in the top lot that used to be designated for public parking. Can I move the cones, or do they mean that the stalls are reserved for the restaurant? Sometimes in the later afternoons most of the beach stalls appear to be filled up with rental cars. I thought we’re supposed to have access to the beach, but parking is such a pain. Where are we supposed to park? Mahalo for all the info in your column, it’s very helpful.
A: The blue cones are placed there by the management of Mama’s Fish House to notify drivers that the stalls are designated for recreational shoreline access only; the rental cars in the stalls may have belonged to visitors enjoying the beach. The restaurant’s general manager said that while the establishment is not tasked with monitoring the beach parking area, the blue cones are put out as a courtesy to notify restaurant patrons and the public that those stalls are reserved for beach-goers. Some of the blue cones have been damaged by people driving over them, so the restaurant is in the process of ordering new ones. Beach-goers parking in the shoreline access stalls are asked to please move the blue cone to the side before pulling in.
Q: Recently my wife and I were walking along the ocean walkway at Kalama Park and noticed fishermen cleaning their catch and throwing the entrails out into the water in close proximity to where families were swimming, surfing and body boarding. There are no posted signs or designated disposal areas that I know of. With all the shark sightings, I think this could be a contributing factor. Perhaps the county should look into “No Fish Cleaning” signs, a designated disposal area and/or a county ordinance prohibiting such activity. Thank you for attention to this matter.
A: The situation you described is an important example of how common sense should apply. I would not want to see the county have to put up signs or enact a fish cleaning ordinance to regulate such traditional activities as shoreline fishing and diving. For generations local families have put food on the table by harvesting from the ocean, and it is a common practice to give back to the ocean the “entrails” to feed other marine animals such as eels and fish. However, in areas where other beach users are present, common sense should be applied by disposing of the leftovers in a way that will not leave blood or other fish material in the water nearby.
Q: When will work begin on the sidewalk along Old Haleakala Highway? Last we heard, Governor Abercrombie released $988,000 toward this project in July 2013 yet to date I see no improvements at all. For the safety of the kids and the general public I think this should be a priority. Thank you.
A: I agree, safety is a priority, and we have been moving steadily forward on this important project. After the governor’s announcement last year, we went through the official County Council process of accepting the funds from the state before proceeding to the design phase. The sidewalk project will be posted for bids this coming Friday, April 18, 2014; construction is tentatively scheduled to begin this fall.
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.