Q: During Tropical Storm Flossie, the lightning in Central Maui was the most frequent and strong I have ever seen on Maui over many years. I grew up in Illinois and all the residences there had lightning protection. Does Maui County have any regulations about lightning protection?
A: According to our county Public Works and Planning directors and staff, Maui County does not have building code or electrical code requirements regarding lightning protection because they are not mandated in the national codes that our local codes are based on. Homeowners may opt to have a licensed electrician install a lightning protection system as long as it meets existing standards for height and other code considerations. Home Lightning Protectors (HLP) are recommended for areas that are susceptible to common lightning strikes, mostly in the Midwest. Many utility companies install lightning protectors on their lines to help prevent such accidents from happening.
Q: The Makena Surf has one of the most beautiful beaches on the south side. With the condos built, there only are very limited parking spaces available for the residents and visitors who want to experience this very special beach setting. Parking along the street was acceptable until recently, when tickets were issued for illegal parking, even though there are no "no parking" signs anywhere and no curbs are painted red or yellow. As a resident of Maui, I would appreciate it if you could ask the police department to stop ticketing cars parked along the curb, so more people can enjoy this very beautiful location.
A: According to Maui Police Department, the area you are referring to is a marked bicycle lane. Driving or parking on a bikeway is prohibited by state law under Hawaii Revised Statute 291C-123. Unless exempt due to being stalled or broken or assisting a stalled or broken vehicle or as a federal, state or county vehicle or an authorized emergency vehicle, anyone violating the parking prohibition shall be fined not more than $500. MPD officers will continue to enforce this state law when violations occur. The roadway is marked with the bicycle symbol, with signs posted in the area. From a planning perspective, it's important that we picture what we want our community to look like 50, 100 or even 200 years from now so we can work to create that vision. Open space and parking access are two components we need to plan for.
Q: My mom noticed an "Ask the Mayor" question in The Maui News a while back about potholes on Vevau Street in Kahului. Mom was born and raised in Kahului and grew up on 4th Street back in the 1920s, '30s, '40s and early '50s. Just a historical question: Does anyone know why the street name was changed to Vevau Street from 4th Street? My mom is now in her 80s and this question is still lingering. She would love to get an answer. Mom lives on the Mainland now, but a relative who lives on Maui sends my mom articles so she can read them.
A: After checking with staff from our Public Works Department, which is charged with maintaining county roads, it seems that the numerical names for streets in Kahului were used initially for planning purposes. As the area developed, the names were changed as needed. Staff provided me with a hand-drawn map of Kahului, dated 1907, showing the proposed layout for the area. To view the map, visit www.mauicounty.gov/blog and click on "Mayor's Activities" on the Blog menu. I hope the map brings back pleasant memories for grandma, and for anyone else who might enjoy a glimpse of the roads in Central Maui in the very early 1900s!
Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County-related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.