Illegal Fireworks Topic of Maui Community Meeting

April 30, 2019, 7:54 AM HST · Updated April 30, 7:54 AM
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Fireworks. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Government officials on Maui will serve as panelists at a community meeting tonight to discuss the magnitude of illegal fireworks on island.

The meeting is hosted by the group Paepae Maui Nei, a community driven organization concerned about the impacts of fireworks on individuals suffering from PTSD, young children, animals and families with health concerns.

The panel includes Maui Police Chief Tivo Faaumu, Fire Chief David Thyne, Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman, Harbors Maui District Manager Duane Kim, DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation Division Maui District Manager Paul Sensano and Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz.

The panel will provide information on what efforts are being made to address the community’s concerns and the challenges their agencies encounter.

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“We’re very grateful to be able to convene such a panel. We’ll have an opportunity to learn what’s being done and what are some of the challenges being faced,” said town hall moderator Mahina Martin. “A key question seems to be: How can we enjoy our holiday customs and traditions without causing a serious degree of trauma and harm to others in our community? Our intention is to have a chance for a healthy dialogue to take place – this town hall is part of that.”

According to the group, “concerns increased as constant fireworks described as ‘bomb-sounding’ would occur throughout the island at unpredictable times with some neighborhoods experiencing it near-daily for several weeks during the holiday season.”

According to Paepae Maui Nei, “The combination of the exceptionally loud aerial noise and the randomness of when it would happen set off traumatic reactions from individuals suffering from PTSD, young children, animals, and families whose terrified pets are injured or killed by traffic after panicking and breaking free from their homes. The level of intensity and unpredictability of the fireworks would leave those impacted without the ability to prepare in any way.”

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Pōmaikaʻi Elementary School Cafeteria.

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