Waiehu Beach Road brush fire put down
A brush fire on Waiehu Beach Road on Friday afternoon threatened the Maui Church of Christ and a residence before being extinguished by firefighters, according to a fire official.
Fire crews from Wailuku and Kahului responded to a call at 4:38 p.m. of a brush fire on the makai side of the road near the intersection with the church at 810 Waiehu Beach Road, Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said.
The fire spread through the brush and mangrove and came within 50 feet of a residence and the church before firefighters brought the fire under control and eventually extinguished it at 5:30 p.m., he said.
About 500 square feet was burned.
There were no property losses or injuries reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Med-QUEST signup deadline extended
HONOLULU (AP) - The state Department of Human Services is extending the Med-QUEST plan enrollment deadline for Oahu and Maui.
The department is extending the deadline by a week to May 22 because of unanticipated delays affecting both islands.
The program provides health coverage for eligible low-income Hawaii residents. Plans under the program are AlohaCare, HMSA, Kaiser Permanente, Ohana Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan.
Plan changes take effect July 1. This is the only time during the benefit year that clients can choose a plan.
Officials want to give Oahu and Maui members the standard two weeks to review their health plans and make changes. Those who want to remain with their current plan should not fill out the plan change form.
Maui Coast Guard adds new boat
The Coast Guard Station Maui launched its new medium response boat last month at Maalaea Harbor.
Dedicated April 26, the state-of-the-art boat is 45 feet long and runs on twin diesel engines with water jet propulsion. The boat is capable of exceeding more than 40 knots and operating in wind speeds of 50 knots and in 12-foot-high seas.
As the most technologically advanced vessel at the station ever, the response boat will ply Maui's more than 7,000-square-nautical-mile region and will be used in standard operations, including search-and-rescue missions.
The station currently has two 45-foot boats and one 25-foot boat.
Hawaii government Web portal redone
The State of Hawaii Office of Information Management and Technology has redesigned its Hawaii.gov portal landing page and has added a new search function.
In collaboration with Hawaii Information Consortium LLC, the state's Internet portal provider, the redesign modernizes the department websites and provides visitors with easy access to state agency content from desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.
Visitors also can search the website without refreshing or reloading the page with the help of an auto-complete tool. Using an open-source service managed by the U.S. government, the tool offers suggestions as the user types in the search input field.
The upgrade is part of the state's Business and Information Technology Transformation Plan released in October, which seeks to increase technology in the state over the next 12 years.
The public is invited to visit the Web portal at hawaii.gov and to provide comments in a feedback form at portal.ehawaii.gov/feedback.html.
DLNR seeks public input on fishponds
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking public comment on a proposal to streamline the permitting process for traditional Hawaiian fishponds.
The comment period on the proposal's draft environmental assessment, published April 23 in The Environmental Notice, will run through May 23.
The proposal calls for a single application process for restoration, repair, maintenance and reconstruction of the ponds statewide.
As a part of an initiative to restore the fishponds called "Hoala Loko Ia," DLNR representatives are available to meet with fishpond practitioners to review the proposal.
Comments can be submitted via the Honua Consulting's website at www.honuaconsulting.com/lokoia/.
Copies of the assessment and other related documents also can be found at Honua's website, as well as at hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl/manuals-reports.
For more information, call Michael Cain, staff planner with the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, at 783-2501 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.