Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Question: Can you direct me to the right person/office to answer this question: are any of the county pools in Wailuku and Kahului heated, and if so, which ones? I swim laps three days a week, and I'm looking to make a change. I am 58 years old and partially disabled with leg and shoulder injuries resulting from an accident as a pedestrian, when I was hit by a vehicle many years ago. Swimming laps is my main exercise, but it is difficult to share lap lanes. My right leg is very fragile, and it seems whenever I share a lap lane with someone, my leg gets accidentally kicked, which is particularly painful.
Answer: New Wailuku Pool, Sakamoto Pool, Kokua Pool and Kahului Pool are all heated. I would recommend Kokua Pool, which is located at 275 Uhu St. in Kahului. It is a heated 25-yard pool with six lap lanes available to the public all day. Pool hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. Entry stairs are approximately five feet wide with a handrail down the middle; another option for pool entry there is the chair-lift. Our pool staff informed me that the best days and times that might meet your needs are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. However, there are times when we permit large groups to use the pool intermittently throughout the year, so it is not possible to guarantee availability. Please feel free to inquire with our staff at any time, so they may be of assistance to you.
Question: I was at Wailea Beach a few weeks ago early in the morning, and I noticed hotel employees from the condos and nearby resorts putting out chairs and umbrellas in front of their hotels. Is this legal? Can I put my own chair and umbrella in their area and not get kicked out? Aren't beaches in Hawaii open to ALL? Please advise, as it was very upsetting to see this happening. I am a concerned, tax-paying Maui resident. Mahalo.
Answer: Our beaches and coastlines below the upper reaches of the wash of the waves are public lands under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The land mauka or above this point can be public or private. In many areas, the county or state control beach reserve parcels that border the high wash of the waves, used for beach parks, public access, or to provide a greater buffer between the coastline and private uses. In other areas, though, the land abutting the high wash of the waves is privately owned, including hotels, apartments, homes and businesses. To check on land ownership by address, owner name, parcel number or map, you can access the county property tax website at www.mauipropertytax.com.
Question: What is the name of a feral chicken deterrent, and where can you purchase it? I checked at a local hardware store, and they had no clue.
Answer: Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no commercial deterrent product on the market. We held a community meeting earlier this year on the topic of feral animals, and the meeting was attended by more than 100 members of the public with a forum presented by several local and national experts. As one of the results of that meeting, I am allocating funding in my Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal for the Maui Humane Society, so that it can develop and implement a plan to reduce the number of feral chickens in our community. It will be up to the County Council to decide whether to allot the funds accordingly. For now, you can contact the Maui Humane Society to borrow chicken traps or to request information on additional methods of removing feral animals.
Want to "Ask the Mayor?" Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via e-mail at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone at 270-7855 by or mail to 200 S. High St., Ninth Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the "Ask the Mayor" column.