Q: I am a resident of Lahaina and have some friends wanting to come here the last week of October from the Mainland for our Halloween celebration rather than go to Kauai or the Big Island. My question is, will we have Front Street Halloween in Lahaina again this year? Warmest mahalo for your reply.
A: Yes! There will be an official Halloween event held in Lahaina this year, funded in part by the County of Maui through the Office of Economic Development, and coordinated by the LahainaTown Action Committee. Front Street will be closed from 3:30 p.m. to midnight from Baker to Prison streets for this fun and family-friendly event. Festivities will include a Keiki Costume Parade at 4:30 p.m., and a Costume Contest from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Banyan Tree Park. More activities will be available at Campbell Park, including food, keiki activities, face painting and live music by The Benny Uyetake Band. The Roberts Hawaii "Halloween Express" bus will help alleviate parking woes, with pickups at War Memorial Parking Lot and Kihei Aquatic Center. For information, call 667-9193 or visit www.visitlahaina.com.
Q: I can't remember how long it has been since the Iao Park bathrooms have been open at the top park. Yes, there are portable toilets, but the bathrooms are preferred. Are the bathrooms fixable, and if so, are there any plans to get them running again? Mahalo.
A: The upper park in Iao Valley is actually a state park, so I checked with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which manages state park facilities. Here is the response: "The comfort station at Iao Valley State Park was closed to address the large capacity cesspool (LCC) closure regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affecting the existing sewer system. DLNR, through a Consent Agreement with EPA, designed a septic treatment sewer system in compliance with the closure requirements. However, project construction was delayed due to concerns raised by some local residents regarding the appropriateness of a comfort station and sewer system in this area. Concerns included the perception that the facilities are a degradation of the cultural significance and spiritual character of Iao Valley and impact cultural resources in the general area. State parks staff has been working on addressing these concerns through discussions with concerned residents and the preparation of a report to address the state's requirement to assess any impacts to archaeological and historical properties in the project area. The report is nearing completion. Until there is a resolution of these issues, the comfort station will continue to be closed and portable toilets will be provided as an interim measure."
Q: I was at the county building last week and saw the official welcome ceremony for the sister cities delegation that was visiting from Fukuyama, Japan. Does Maui have other sister cities as well?
A: Yes! Maui County has a total of 24 sister cities. The program was established in Maui County in 1964 when an agreement was signed with Hachijo Island, Japan, as our first sister city. Maui County's most recent sister city agreement is Goyang City, South Korea (2012). Other sister cities include Madrid, Spain; Sao Miguel, Portugal; Territory of American Samoa; Embo, Scotland; Arequipa, Peru; Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile; and Badoc, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Our Maui County chapter is part of an international nonprofit, Sister Cities International, which works to advance peace and prosperity through cultural, educational, humanitarian and economic development exchanges. For more information, you can visit www.mauicounty.gov/sistercities.
*Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the "Ask the Mayor" column.