Q: If we ever have to go to a shelter because of a storm, will they have food and cots for us there?
A: No, you will need to arrive at the shelter prepared with your own supplies such as bedding, food and water, clothing, medications and other personal items. A shelter is just that - a place to take shelter and is most often operated by volunteers at a government facility like a school, gym or other large, covered area. June marks the official start of hurricane season, which runs through November. To help your family members, neighbors and friends be better prepared for a hurricane - or any other disaster - it's important to take some time to make an emergency plan, gather supplies and familiarize yourself with other ways you need to be prepared. For a list of shelters, tsunami maps, hurricane information, links and resources for children, visit www.mauicounty.gov/civildefense.
Q: What kinds of permits or special reviews are needed for older buildings?
A: Older buildings are significant to our community in that they remind us of the people and uses that were conducted in and around them over generations. If a structure is at least 50 years old, it could qualify for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. As is often the case, such structures have been altered or modified over the years to the extent that they have lost their historical integrity. However, those that have retained their historical significance can be eligible for historic preservation tax credits for restoration and preservation. Two recent projects that have benefited from these tax credits are the newly reopened Ma'alaea General Store in Maalaea and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Home in Makawao. If the owner of a historic structure wants to demolish it, then certain mitigation is required by the state, following federal guidelines. This mitigation typically includes specific types of documentary photographs and architectural drawings. To get advice on any residential or commercial building permit, you can attend the next "Permitting Open House," scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. June 26 in the Mayor's Conference Room on the ninth floor of the county building. There you can meet one-on-one with representatives from the departments that sign off on county permits: water, fire, planning, public works and environmental management. For more information, call 270-7855 and ask for the capital improvement program coordinator.
Q: Where can I get information on starting my own business?
A: The Maui County Business Resource Center is a great place to start, and you can access information both online and in-person at the center, located at Maui Mall across from IHOP. The MCBRC is an extension project of the Office of Economic Development and serves as a resource for new and existing business owners who need assistance and consultation. The Kuha'o Business Resource Center, located in Kaunakakai, serves business owners on Molokai. To access online business research tools, browse business publications, obtain forms and applications for business licenses and to download a handbook on starting a business in Maui County, visit www.mauicounty.gov/
* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at email@example.com, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., 9th floor, Wailuku, 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the "Ask the Mayor" column; to request a personal response to a concern, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
mcbrc. To view the calendar of workshops from the MCBRC webpage, click on "Training Opportunities." You may call the MCBRC at 873-8247 for more information on services provided at the center.