County / In Brief

‘County on Your Corner’ set for Saturday

A “County on Your Corner” will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Maui Mall.

Joining Mayor Alan Arakawa at the event will be members of the mayor’s Cabinet, including Managing Director Keith Regan and Housing & Human Concerns’ Deputy Director Jan Shishido.

Council Member Don Couch also is scheduled to appear.

The event will be held near the tower located at the mall’s main entrance.


Man strikes 71-year-old with a golf club

A Kihei man was arrested for hitting his 71-year-old housemate with a golf club when he tried to intervene in a fight at their residence Sunday night, police said.

Michael O’Brien, 57, was charged with second-degree assault and abuse of a household member. His bail was set at $2,000.

Police were called to the residence on Noe Street at 9:55 p.m.

O’Brien had gotten into an argument with another housemate over a loud television when the 71-year-old man tried to intervene and was hit, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The 71-year-old was hospitalized after being struck in the head with the golf club and being knocked unconscious, Rego said. The victim suffered bleeding in his brain and fractured ribs.


Homeless man held in assault of another

A homeless man was arrested for assaulting and threatening another man in the brush area off Kahekili Highway at Puuohala Road in Wailuku, police said.

Bail was set at $2,000 for Edward Ballesteros, 48. He was charged with second-degree assault and first-degree terroristic threatening.

The assault was reported at 7:20 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division. The 48-year-old victim, who also is homeless and staying in the area, was struck in the forehead with a 40-ounce beer bottle, he said. The man suffered a 3-inch hematoma to his forehead.

County / In Brief

Fire crews put out Kahului brush fire

Kahului fire crews doused a small brush fire off of Kuihelani Highway and Maui Lani Parkway in about 20 minutes early Sunday, fire officials said.

When fire crews arrived at the scene at 12:43 a.m., they found a fire about 20 feet by 30 feet. The Kahului fire crew and water tanker brought the fire under control in five minutes and fully extinguished it at 1:01 a.m.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. There were no damages or injuries reported.


High-surf warning in effect till 6 p.m.

A high-surf warning is in effect for north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai until 6 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Surf along north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai will reach 20 to 25 feet lasting though this afternoon, the service said. The surf heights are estimates of the height of the face, or front, of waves.

The warning indicates that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline, resulting in dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents, the service said.


ERGObaby carrier creator to speak

The Maui Economic Development Board will host a Feb. 6 “conversation” with Maui resident Karin Frost, entrepreneur and creator of the ERGObaby carrier, which made her a multimillionaire.

Part of MEDB’s Innovation Series of speaking events, the conversation will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Iao Theater in Wailuku. Admission is free, and registration for limited seating is at 5 p.m.

After moving to Maui permanently in 1997, Frost was a first-time mom in 2001 and was dissatisfied with baby slings and pouches available on the market, according to an announcement. So, Frost created one designed to keep her son as close to her body as possible, while also being comfortable by carrying her baby’s weight on her hips.

Parenting magazine’s 20th anniversary issue named ERGObaby carrier as one of the top 20 products in the last 20 years, and Frost’s business took off from there.

To reserve a seat, call Cari Taylor at 875-2336 or send her email at

County / In Brief

Passer-by helps fight wall fire

An outside wall of a Wailuku Heights residence burned Saturday morning, and a passer-by reported and helped control the fire with a garden hose as well as evacuate an elderly woman, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

Wailuku and Kahului firefighters responded to the 10:57 a.m. alarm at 401 Palani Place, Mainaga said. The fire damaged a 10-by-20-foot exterior wall on the backside of the house. The blaze was extinguished by the Wailuku engine company at 11:07 a.m.

Damage was estimated at $5,000, and no injuries were reported.

The fire’s cause was undetermined, but according to witnesses it was most likely caused by improperly discarded smoking materials, Mainaga said.


St. Damien statue to be blessed

A koa 7-foot-tall statue of St. Damien will be blessed today with festivities beginning at 5:15 p.m. at Kihei sculptor Dale Zarrella’s studio at the north end of Charley Young Beach in Kihei.

Those expected to be present during the blessing include Kahu Les Kuloloio and the Rev. Monsignor Terrence Watanabe of St. Theresa Catholic Church.

Zarrella’s statue will be taken later to Oahu and featured at the Damien and Marianne of Molokai Heritage Center in Waikiki.


Crew called to chloroform spill

A bottle containing a gallon of chloroform combusted in a lab at the Wailuku Police Station on Friday afternoon, triggering a response by a Maui Fire Department hazardous materials unit, said police spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra.

A female employee was exposed to the chloroform, he said. She was treated and released without needing to be hospitalized.

The incident was reported at 3:37 p.m. Friday. The spill was contained to an enclosed lab, with no other areas in the building affected, Ibarra said.

Firefighters cleaned and cleared the area of the hazardous material, he added.


MHS team wins Science Bowl title

Maui High School went undefeated and beat Iolani in the finals to capture the Hawaii Science Bowl championship Saturday at Honolulu Community College.

The team earned the right to represent Hawaii in April at the national championships in Chevy Chase, Md., said coach Ed Ginoza.

Saber team members are senior Steven Okada, sophomore Christopher Kim and juniors Bryson Galapon, Riley Camp and Gabe Salazar.

County / In Brief

Isle flags lowered to honor Soares

Flags are flying at half-staff today in remembrance of the late Wilfred Clinton “Buddy” Soares, a former state lawmaker.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that all national and Hawaii flags at state offices and agencies and the Hawaii National Guard be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset today, the day of funeral services for Soares.

Soares was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1966 and served a decade, six as minority leader. In 1975, he was appointed to the state Senate by Gov. George Ariyoshi and went on to be elected, serving from 1976 to 1986. He died Nov. 25 in Hollister, Calif., at age 83.

“Buddy Soares was what every legislator should aspire to be – knowledgeable, open to all, a friend to everyone, a master of relationships and able to close on any contentious issue leaving everyone content they were treated fairly,” Abercrombie said. “It was a genuine pleasure to serve with Buddy. Just seeing him put a smile on your face. If aloha can be said to describe anyone, that person was Buddy Soares.”


Average gas price rises by a penny

The price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Wailuku rose a penny from last week to $4.08, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

That was 6 cents more than last month but 31 cents lower than a year ago.

Statewide, the average price for regular unleaded was the same as Wailuku’s at $4.08 a gallon, the same price as last week, 11 cents more than last month and the same price as last year.

Honolulu’s average price had a 1-cent bump up from last week to $4.03 a gallon for regular unleaded, up 14 cents from last month and up 10 cents from a year ago.

Hilo gas prices were higher than Wailuku’s again this week at $4.09 per gallon, which was the same price as last week, 9 cents more than last month and 17 cents less than this time a year ago.

The AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch is a weekly snapshot of gas prices. Prices are derived from fleet vehicle credit card transactions at more than 100,000 stations around the country. Prices are the combined averages of last card swipe of previous day.


Pacific Princess to make Lahaina call

The cruise ship Pacific Princess will make a port call in Lahaina in April, part of its 12-day Hawaii and Tahiti cruise, Princess Cruises announced last week.

The cruise departs April 11 from Papeete and ends in Honolulu. Along the way, passengers will stop at Moorea, Bora Bora, Hilo, Kona, Lahaina and Nawiliwili.

Pacific Princess’ 2014 World Cruise will be canceled to allow for the new sailings.

The original Pacific Princess, made famous by ABC-TV’s hourlong romantic sitcom “The Love Boat,” was sold by the cruise company in 2002, when the present-day ship assumed its name.

County / In Brief

Maui County vehicle registrations surge

Maui County saw a 26.1 percent increase in new vehicle registrations last year, the second highest in the state after Hawaii County, according to information provided by the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.

Maui County saw 4,628 new registrations in 2012, up from 3,670 the year before, according to the Hawaii Auto Outlook. In 2012, Hawaii County saw a 28.6 percent increase from 3,479 in 2011 to 4,474 in 2012.

Statewide totals of new vehicle registrations grew 20.9 percent from 37,086 in 2011 to 44,830 in 2012.

The top three best-selling vehicles in Maui County were Toyota/Scion, followed by Nissan and Ford.


Bill seeks to name highway after Inouye

Mokulele Highway may be renamed the Daniel K. Inouye Veterans Highway through a bill going through the state Legislature.

Maui Sens. Gil Keith-Agaran and Roz Baker have introduced a bill to rename the highway in honor of the longtime U.S. senator who died Dec. 17 of respiratory complications. Inouye was 88.

Also known as Route 311, the highway runs 6.5 miles from Puunene and to Kihei.

Work to widen the highway from two to four lanes was completed in May 2008. The project cost $87 million and included native plant landscaping and a bike and pedestrian path parallel to the highway.

The bill says that the late Inouye was instrumental in obtaining federal funding for Hawaii, including federal highway funds for Mokulele Highway.

The bill passed first reading Thursday and has been referred to the Senate committees on Transportation and International Affairs and Technology and the Arts.


Building sustains $2,500 in fire damage

A fire caused about $2,500 damage Thursday in a unit of a building being remodeled at Honokeana Cove in Napili, a fire official said.

Napili and Lahaina firefighters responded to the 1:09 p.m. report of a structure fire at 5355 Lower Honoapiilani Road, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. Napili firefighters found a smoldering fire directly above the floor area where a worker had been soldering new pipes.

Crews also checked on whether the fire had spread between the walls, bringing the fire under control at 1:52 p.m. and extinguishing it at 2:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

Because of firetrucks on the road, Lower Honoapiilani Road was closed between Malialani Place and Napilihau Street for about 30 minutes, reopening at 2:24 p.m.


Publisher of Maui Time pleads innocent

WAILUKU – Maui Time Weekly publisher Thomas Russo, who was arrested last year during a police traffic operation on Haleakala Highway, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of failing to obey a police officer and disorderly conduct.

When he was arrested Nov. 20, police said Russo didn’t comply with officers’ repeated instructions to stay a safe distance away while traffic officers stopped oversized vehicles and ones with illegally tinted windows.

Russo, who used his cellphone to film his interaction with police officers, said at the time that he was doing his job.

A pretrial conference for Russo, 39, of Wailuku was set for 2 p.m. Feb. 21 in Wailuku District Court.

During Russo’s arraignment Thursday, Wailuku District Judge Kelsey Kawano granted Russo’s request for extended coverage, allowing for photography in the courtroom in his case.

County / In Brief

Plane’s flat tire shuts down runway

Interisland flights were diverted from the main runway at Kahului Airport for about an hour Wednesday morning after a Pacific Wings airplane had a flat tire on landing, an airport official said.

No injuries were reported. Eight passengers were aboard the flight from Kona, said Maui District Airport Manager Marvin Moniz. As a safety precaution, airport firefighters responded to the 8:21 a.m. report, he said.

The airport’s secondary runway was used for interisland flights until the tire was repaired and the airplane was moved from the main runway, Moniz said.

He said the main runway was cleared before Mainland flight arrivals later Wednesday morning.


Business burglaries under investigation

Police are investigating burglaries Tuesday night and early Wednesday of a Kahului store and the pro shop at Waiehu Golf Course.

Apple iPod Touch devices were stolen when the door was kicked in at the MacNet Computer & Home Theater store on Hana Highway, police said. The burglary was discovered at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday by a nearby business owner.

On Tuesday night, glass was smashed and several ionic bracelets were stolen in a burglary at the Waiehu Golf Course pro shop, police said. A burglar alarm was triggered at 11:58 p.m., police said.


State of the County address is Feb. 20

Mayor Alan Arakawa will make his State of the County address from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Baldwin High School Auditorium.

The address will highlight the county’s achievements from the past year, outline plans for the coming year and discuss issues facing the county.

Doors open at 4 p.m. with open seating. Pupu will be served following the event.

Those attending are strong urged to RSVP. Those with special needs requiring assistance are asked to notify the Mayor’s Office by calling 270-8275. A sign language interpreter will be available during the event.

For more information, contact Jock Yamaguchi at 270-7855 or send email to


Kaupakalua Road to close for work

Kaupakalua Road will be closed at the bridge near the Five Corners intersection in Haiku from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday for roadwork, the county announced.

Work is being done on the bridge, about 500 feet north of Five Corners.

Motorists are advised to use Ulumalu and Holokai roads as alternate routes around the bridge.

County / In Brief

Wailuku man a suspect in theft

A Wailuku man was charged with theft for allegedly taking a deposit for a language translation system that he didn’t deliver, police said.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Brysen Freitas, 25, on the charge of second-degree theft.

He was arrested Monday after an all-points bulletin had been issued for his arrest in the investigation initiated Nov. 11, police said.

The owner of A Saigon Cafe had given Freitas a $2,500 check as a deposit for the system, which he didn’t deliver, police said.


Workshop to focus on depression

“Depression: Getting Back on Track” is the topic of the Mental Health America Maui County Branch workshop from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at the Kaiser Permanente Maui Lani Clinic.

The event, presented by Bill Staton, is free and open to the public.

This session will cover recognizing the symptoms of depression and providing the tools to take care of and to move past depression. Topics include setting up short-term goals for success and reviewing the relationship between thoughts, feelings, behaviors and physical symptoms.

To register and for more information, call 243-6484 or 270-7308. The clinic is located at 55 Maui Lani Parkway in Wailuku.


Science fair will be held Thursday

The 54th annual Maui Schools Science and Engineering Fair with 87 projects from intermediate, high school and home-schooled students in Maui County will be held Thursday at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center.

Members of the public will be able to view the projects from 2 to 4 p.m., with an awards presentation from 4 to 5 p.m. Starting at 8 a.m., the research and display projects will be judged.

About a dozen projects will receive blue merit ribbons and trips to the state science and engineering fair April 7 to 9 on Oahu.


Surf warning halted; advisory continues

A high-surf warning was canceled Tuesday afternoon while an advisory remained in effect until 6 a.m. today for north- and west-facing shores of Molokai and north-facing shores of Maui, the National Weather Service announced.

A northwest swell had peaked as of late Tuesday, and surf was expected to gradually diminish through this morning. High surf was forecast to continue producing dangerous rip currents for swimmers and beach erosion.

After reaching a peak of 18 to 24 feet high Tuesday afternoon, surf was expected to lower to 6 to 10 feet today on north-facing shores and 3 to 6 feet on west-facing shores.

For more information, call (866) 944-5025 or go online to

County / In Brief

Assault and abuse charges in stabbing

A 22-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday morning after her husband reported being stabbed in the hand, police said.

Shalei Pahukoa was being held in lieu of $2,000 bail. She was charged with second-degree assault and abuse.

The victim reported that he and Pahukoa had argued when she punched him on the lip and stabbed him in the hand with a kitchen knife at about 9:30 a.m. fronting their tent on Lani Place in Wailuku, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

He said the man suffered a half-inch cut on his hand.


High-surf warning for islands’ shores

A high-surf warning has been posted for north- and west-facing shores of Maui, Molokai and Kahoolawe and for west-facing shores of Lanai through 6 a.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

The unusually long-period northwest swell is generating the high surf, expected to be 20 to 30 feet.

The swell also will produce infrequent large waves on nonadvisory area shorelines. Sudden changes in wave run-up and overwash are possible, the weather service said.

Beachgoers should use caution when venturing near the water’s edge, with waves occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors, making navigating harbor channels dangerous, the weather service said.

Boaters also are warned to be aware of increased numbers of surfers and bodyboarders using harbor channels to access surfing areas.

The surf also will generate dangerous rip currents.

Due to the large breaking surf and dangerous currents, the weather service warns of possible injury if entering the water.


Kanakanui Road to be closed for run

Kanakanui Road will be closed to traffic from Alanui Kealii Drive to Keonekai Road from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday for the Kamalii Elementary 5K Fun Run.

The cost is $20 for those ages 13 and older; those younger are free.

Race day sign-ups will be accepted. T-shirts will be given to paid participants as well as light refreshments after the event.

The run is a benefit for the school and helps support physical education, dance, music and arts programs.


Homeowner released in drug lab case

The owner of a Kihei residence where police reported finding a clandestine drug lab has been released from police custody pending further investigation.

Deborah Davidson, 45, was arrested Monday, four days after the methamphetamine conversion lab was located when police executed a search warrant at her home at 144 Luakaha Circle.

She wasn’t at the residence. Police arrested a 52-year-old man in whose bedroom the lab was found, police said. He was later released pending further investigation.

Drugs, ammunition and six mopeds also were seized from the residence, police said. The mopeds were either reported stolen or suspected of being stolen, police said.

Curtis Welch, 40, who was described as Davidson’s live-in boyfriend, was arrested Sunday night and released pending further investigation.

County / In Brief

Maui property 2nd in hotels ranking

The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea was ranked second in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2013 Top 25 Hotels in the United States.

The 380-room resort in South Maui was second in the U.S. awards, behind the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Big Island. The Big Island resort also was the Travelers’ Choice top hotel in the world and the top luxury hotel in the world and in the U.S.

The Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele came in at No. 6 in the U.S. hotel awards.

This is the 11th year the awards have been presented. TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on reviews from travelers around the world.


Past-due refuse customers notified

Final notices have been sent to approximately 4,000 Maui County residential refuse customers whose accounts are past due, the county’s Department of Environmental Management’s Solid Waste Division announced Monday afternoon.

The due date for payments is Jan. 25. All accounts that are unpaid after the deadline will be closed. A $30 fee will be charged to reopen an account.

Payments may be made at or mailed to the Solid Waste Division, 2200 Main St., Room 200, Wailuku 96793.

For more information, call the Solid Waste Division at 270-7875.


High-surf advisory for Maui, Molokai

A high-surf advisory remains in effect for north-facing shores of Molokai and Maui until 6 tonight, when surf is expected to reach warning levels.

The National Weather Service said a northwest swell continues to produce advisory level surf. A much larger northwest swell that will be around for a long period will build today.

High-surf warning conditions are expected to occur by tonight or early Friday, the National Weather Service said.

The surf along north-facing shores will be 10 to 15 feet.

There will be strong breaking waves and rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous.


Lahaina Bypass Now has shut down

Lahaina Bypass Now has shut down and is asking those with claims against the organization to make contact.

The group stopped operating at the end of the year.

Claims must be made within 30 days of today or it will be assumed that all claims have been satisfied, the news release said.

Claims must be in writing and mailed to Lahaina Bypass Now, P.O. Box 11205, Lahaina 96761.


County spelling bee to happen Jan. 31

The top spellers from 15 Maui County public and private schools will be competing in the Maui County Spelling Bee, beginning at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 in the Baldwin High School Multipurpose Room.

Twenty-nine students will be competing for the top two spots and trips to Oahu for the Hawaii State Spelling Bee on March 23.

Wendy Heyd, a resource teacher, will be the bee pronouncer.

Jody Brown, a school librarian, and Alan Isbell, an elementary school teacher, will be judges. Joan Junger, a resource teacher, is the bee coordinator and appeal’s judge.


Maui March for Life to be held Jan. 26

A Maui March for Life, a peaceful protest of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion, will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 26 in Kahului.

The march is being organized by the Maui Knights of Columbus Council 8578 to mark the 40-year anniversary of the ruling, made on Jan. 22, 1973.

The march will begin in the open space near the old Maui Economic Opportunity site, across Kaahumanu Avenue from the Maui Beach Hotel.

After a half-hour of sign-waving, the gathering will proceed along Kaahumanu Avenue, turn down Puunene Avenue and conclude at Christ the King Church, where a rosary will be said in front of a Memorial for the Unborn.

The national headquarters of the Knights of Columbus has provided preprinted signs, but marchers are encouraged to bring their own.

For more information, contact Norm Franco, deputy Grand Knight, at 357-6676.

County / In Brief

Alleged assault nets evaluation

A 29-year-old homeless man was admitted to Maui Memorial Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation after he was arrested Saturday night for throwing a large rock at another man in Happy Valley, police said.

The victim reported confronting the other man and telling him to leave after hearing him yelling and swearing at his dog at 8:45 p.m. on North Market Street, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

He said the man threw a fist-sized rock at the victim before running onto Mokuhau Road. He was located at a residence and arrested for investigation of second-degree assault before being hospitalized.


Child car seat inspections set

Free child car seat and booster seat inspections will be done from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Maui Marketplace on Dairy Road in Kahului.

Those interested in having child car seats checked to see whether they’re properly installed should show up with the child, car or booster seat and car. An inspection takes a minimum of 30 minutes for each seat.

The inspections are done on a first-come, first-served basis.

The inspection Saturday follows one last month where most of the 25 car seats checked had problems.

Under state law, child car seats are required for children under age 4. Children from ages 4 to 7 are required to be restrained in either car seats or booster seats while riding in vehicles.

Information about upcoming child car seat inspections is available on Facebook by looking up Maui County Child Passenger Safety at


Jewelry missing after burglary

Glass cases were broken, and numerous pieces of jewelry were stolen in an early-morning burglary Tuesday at a Makawao custom jewelry store, police said.

The burglary at Maui Master Jewelers on Baldwin Avenue was reported at 1:15 a.m., with patrol officers on scene within three minutes, police said.

The door to the business was pried open, and glass cases were broken inside, police said.

An investigation was continuing.


KIRC talk for permitted trollers

The Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission Ocean Resources Program will be holding a talk story session for registered permitted trollers and the public at 6 p.m. Friday at the Lihikai Elementary School cafeteria.

To be discussed are permitted trolling catch reports and other issues. There will be a question-and-answer session as well.

To sign up for the meeting or for more information, call Dean Tokishi at 243-5889.


Woman held in drug case

The owner of a Kihei residence where police reported finding a clandestine drug lab was arrested Monday in the Lahaina Patrol District, police records show.

Deborah Davidson, 45, was being held at the Wailuku Police Station cellblock Tuesday afternoon.

Police were looking for her after the methamphetamine conversion lab was found in the bedroom of a 52-year-old man living at the home at 144 Luakaha Circle, police said.

The lab, as well as drugs and ammunition, were seized when Crime Reduction Unit and Special Response Team officers executed a search warrant at the home Thursday, police said.

Six mopeds, including two that were reported stolen and four that were suspected of being stolen, also were found at the residence, police said. The man was later released pending further investigation.

Curtis Welch, 40, who was described as Davidson’s live-in boyfriend, was arrested Sunday night in Lahaina and later released pending further investigation.


Man held on theft charges

A Wailuku man was being held on burglary and theft charges following the theft of a custom surfboard from a Waiehu garage and the burglary of a residence in the Kehalani subdivision in Wailuku on Monday.

Bail was set at $7,000 for Christopher Walden, 26. He was charged with first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree theft.

Police were called to investigate the surfboard theft from the open garage on Lower Waiehu Beach Road at 10:20 a.m. after neighbors tried to stop Walden after seeing him pull up in a car, police said. After obtaining the car’s license plate number, patrol officers stopped the vehicle near Iao Parkside before Walden got out and ran, police said. The car was impounded.

Before Walden was arrested at 12:10 p.m., he illegally entered a relative’s house on Poniu Circle, stealing a suitcase and a laptop computer, police said.

Walden was located at McDonald’s in Wailuku and arrested.

Police were continuing an investigation.

County / In Brief

Water disinfectant will change

The Department of Water Supply on or about Wednesday will switch the distribution system disinfectant for the Upper Kula water system from chlorine back to chloramines.

Chloramines have been used since 1985 in the water system, the department said.

The water department had made a temporary switch to chlorine in November due to the near-empty levels of the Upper Kula reservoirs, which required the use of the Piiholo Water Treatment Facility while the Olinda Water Treatment Facility has been on reduced service.

The department said that both treatment facilities filter water from East Maui, but the Olinda facility uses a microfiltration technology and chloramines for disinfection, while Piiholo uses direct filtration and chlorine.

When the Olinda facility comes back on line this week, the switch will be made.

Customers with questions about water quality can call the department’s laboratory at 270-7550, or visit For health concerns, customers can call the Maui District Office of the state Department of Health at 984-8200.


More high surf for shorelines

A high-surf advisory has been extended for the north- and east-facing shores of Maui and Molokai until 6 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said.

A northwest swell was expected to build Monday night and is expected to reach advisory levels for the next couple of days. The swell is expected to decline Thursday, though a much larger, very long period of northwest swell will build in its place, the weather service said.

A high-surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.


Police investigate arson in fire

Police are investigating arson in a fire Sunday night that destroyed two portable toilets and caused nearly $40,000 in damage at the Pukalani Community Center.

When a Makawao engine company arrived on scene seven minutes after the 11:40 p.m. alarm, the roof of the bathroom facility was engulfed in flames, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. He said that the fire appeared to have started on the outside of the building where the two portable toilets were placed.

A Kula fire crew also responded, and the fire was brought under control at 11:57 p.m. and extinguished at 12:23 a.m. Monday.

Damage to the portable toilets was estimated at $8,000. Damage to the 600-square-foot cement restroom, located below the swimming pool, was estimated at $31,000.

Mainaga said that the restroom sustained heavy roof damage, with approximately 80 percent of the structure damaged.

Police said that the fire Sunday night followed two earlier cases where Christmas trees were set on fire at the center.


Arrest in alleged bottle assault

A homeless man was arrested for assaulting another homeless man with a beer bottle last week near Kanaha Beach Park, police said.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Justin Wiersma, 31, who was charged with second-degree assault.

The assault occurred sometime Wednesday night at the area of the park near the sewage treatment plant, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

He said that the two men had been drinking alcohol before Wiersma confronted the other man, alleging that the man had stolen from Wiersma.

Wiersma picked up the beer bottle, striking the other man on the left side of his head and causing a laceration and bruises, Rego said. He said Wiersma also allegedly punched the other man’s head.

Police were called Thursday morning when the victim went to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room to be treated. He required stitches for the laceration, Rego said.

Wiersma was arrested at 8:50 a.m. Thursday.


BHS meeting set for Thursday

The Baldwin High School Foundation’s fourth annual meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday in the school library workroom.

The benefits of the foundation’s school and scholarship programs will be discussed. Donors, alumni, staff and community members are invited to attend.

Those attending are asked to RSVP with Warren Shibuya at 878-3778 or Mel Ito at 270-6901.

For information on the foundation, go to


Charges possible in drug probe

A 52-year-old man arrested when police reported finding a clandestine drug lab in a Kihei residence has been released pending further investigation of drug charges, police records show.

The man was arrested Thursday when Crime Reduction Unit and Special Response Team officers executed a search warrant at 144 Luakaha Circle.

In addition to the methamphetamine conversion laboratory, police reported recovering methadone pills, two glass smoking pipes containing crystal methamphetamine, and 14 rounds of 30-30 ammunition. Police also seized six mopeds, including two that were reported stolen and four that were suspected of being stolen.

Another man believed to have been living at the residence was arrested Sunday night in the Lahaina Patrol District, police records show. Curtis Welch, 40, was described as the live-in boyfriend of homeowner Deborah Davidson, who also was being sought by police.

Welch was released Monday pending further investigation, police said.

County / In Brief

Weather service issues surf advisory

The National Weather Service has issued a high-surf advisory for the east-facing shores of Maui and Molokai through 6 p.m. today.

A long fetch of strong trade winds upwind of the islands will continue to produce advisory level surf to east-facing reefs and beaches. Surf will be subsiding but will remain elevated into today.

Surf is expected to reach 8 to 12 feet on Maui’s east-facing shores, the National Weather Service reported. Surf heights are estimates of the faces, or fronts, of waves.

Beachgoers can expect strong breaking waves, shore break and strong longshore and rip currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous.

For more information, call (866) 944-5025 or go online to


National park to hold Kipahulu event

Haleakala National Park will hold a Kipahulu community meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at its Kipahulu Visitor Center.

The agenda includes a meet and greet with the park’s new chief of interpretation, Polly Angelakis, along with updates on the park’s commercial services plan and the Kipahulu Comprehensive Site Plan.

There will also be a follow-up on previously discussed topics and participants may be able to discuss new matters.


Retired colonel to discuss drones

Retired Army Col. Ann Wright will speak at a free event tonight at the University of Hawaii Maui College on the topic of drone strikes.

The talk, “Killer Drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Gaza and the U.S.,” is being sponsored by Maui Peace Action and the UH Maui College Peace Club. It starts at 6 p.m. in the Noi’i Building (the old Science Building) in Room 10A.

Wright, a former State Department diplomat, is a citizen activist for peace and human rights. She will talk about the use of drone strikes by the United States, the effects on civilians and implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

Wright spent 13 years in the U.S. Army and 16 additional years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel.

Since her resignation in 2003, Wright has been writing and speaking out for peace. She participated in the Gaza Freedom March and the Gaza aid flotillas of 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Wright now lives in Honolulu.

County / In Brief

High-surf advisory in effect

A high-surf advisory for east-facing shores of Maui and Molokai has been extended until 6 p.m. today.

Surf heights along east-facing shores of Maui will be 8 to 12 feet with locally higher sets, the National Weather Service said. Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the faces, or fronts, of waves.

People can expect strong breaking waves, shore break and strong rip currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous.


Kihei teen’s art places second

Izabela Hamilton, a senior at Seabury Hall, placed second in Alaska Airlines’ “Spirit of the Islands” paint-the-plane contest.

The first-place winner was Aaron Nee, a junior from Kaiser High School on Oahu. His artwork will adorn an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft honoring Hawaii. The winners were announced Thursday.

Hamilton, 17, of Kihei took second in the online vote competition. She and third-place finisher Sophia Cleek, a 6th-grader from Kapolei Middle School on Oahu, will each receive a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination and a $1,000 scholarship.

Hamilton’s design features a male and a female hula dancer against a backdrop of ocean waves and windswept mountain cliffs.


Hiker rescued after fall

A 22-year-old Lahaina man was rescued from the Makamakaole Trail near Waihee by fire crews Saturday afternoon after he fell and injured his back, fire officials said.

He was transported by paramedics to the Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition.

The hiker and his four friends were about 45 minutes into the trail when the accident occurred.

The fire department’s Air One helicopter airlifted the man to secured landing zone on the highway to an awaiting ambulance. Kahului rescue personnel assisted. The Wailuku fire crew also responded to the incident, which was called in around 12:35 p.m.

County / In Brief

Wailuku pools to close for maintenance

WAILUKU – The new and old Wailuku pools will be closed for two days next week for maintenance, the county Department of Parks and Recreation announced.

Both pools will be treated for algae. Chemical treatment and cleanup will happen Monday and Tuesday.

The pools will reopen Wednesday.


KIRC sets dates for Kahoolawe trolling

Trolling will be allowed in the waters off Kahoolawe on Saturday and Sunday and on Jan. 26 and 27, the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission announced.

All vessels must register annually with the commission before entering the reserve during the designated dates. Filing of a catch report is required, and there is a $25 permitting fee.

Access to reserve waters are restricted because of the presence of unexploded ordnance from years of Navy training on the island and for the protection of marine resources. Reserve waters are within two nautical miles of the island. Other fishing, ocean recreation and commercial activities are prohibited.

For more information or to register, contact Dean Tokishi at 243-5889 or at or go to the website

Registration packets also are available at the Division of Boating and Recreation at 210 Imi Kala St., Suite 205, in Wailuku.


Prices at pump in Wailuku on the rise

Unleaded regular gas prices in Wailuku nudged up 3 cents to an average of $4.04 per gallon, or 2 cents less per gallon than Hilo’s average of $4.06 and 6 cents more than Honolulu’s $3.98, according to AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

Wailuku’s average price is 3 cents less than last month and 32 cents lower than last year at the same time, the snapshot of gas prices reported.

Statewide, the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gas went up 6 cents in a week to $4.04, which is 4 cents less than last month and a cent higher than last year.

In Honolulu, the average price per gallon of $3.98 is 5 cents more than last week, 5 cents less than last month and up 10 cents from a year ago. In Hilo, the average price of gas jumped 12 cents in a week to $4.06, which is 4 cents more than last month and 16 cents less than last year.

AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch’s report of gas prices is derived from fleet vehicle credit card transactions. Prices shown are combined averages of the last card swipes of the previous day.


Event offering free assistance with FAFSA

College-bound students and their families can get free help Sunday in completing a federal financial aid application required by most colleges, universities and vocational-technical schools.

“College Goal Sunday” will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Pa’ina Building in the Maui Culinary Academy.

Students should bring their 2012 IRS tax return (and those of their parents if the student is under 24 years old), plus their W-2 form and other 2012 income and benefits information. The tax form does not need to be complete.

The program’s assistance is aimed at helping students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

The event also will feature the Coll-EDGE! program conducted by Na Pua No’eau. The three-hour program is designed to encourage children from kindergarten through the 11th grade to start thinking about college, careers and professions. Preregistration is required by calling coordinator Ohua Morando at 984-3364 or emailing her at

The college goal event is sponsored by the Pacific Financial Aid Association and the Hawaii Association for College Admission Counseling.

County / In Brief

Man accused of threatening another with cinder block

Police arrested a 61-year-old man for allegedly using a cinder block to threaten another man early Tuesday in Lahaina.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Kim Lester of Hana. He was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening.

Lester was arrested after Lahaina patrol officers responded to a 12:05 a.m. report of disorderly conduct in the 600 block of Wharf Street. Police said the 50-year-old victim was sitting on a bench in the area when Lester yelled at him and held the cinder block while threatening to injure him. As a result, the victim feared for his safety, police said.

Officers located and arrested Lester.


Canadian rescued from Keanae Arboretum trail

A Canadian woman was airlifted to safety Tuesday afternoon after she injured her left leg about a mile into the Keanae Arboretum hiking trail, Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga reported.

Firefighters from Hana and Kahului and a rescue crew aboard the Maui Fire Department’s Air One helicopter responded to the 12:12 p.m. alarm and located the woman, described as being in her 50s, at 12:55 p.m.

She was secured in a hoisting apparatus by Hana firefighters and flown to the Keanae YMCA site. From there, she was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment of an injured ankle, Mainaga said.

The woman reported that she had slipped and injured herself on the trail.


High-surf advisory is extended until Saturday

A high-surf advisory for the east-facing shores of Maui and Molokai has been extended to 6 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Surf heights are expected to reach 6 to 8 feet through Saturday.

The surf conditions are expected to produce beach erosion and rip currents that would make swimming difficult or hazardous.

For more information, call (866) 944-5025 or visit

County / In Brief

Body found after cyclist reportedly rides off cliff

The body of a 29-year-old visitor from Amsterdam was recovered Friday afternoon by firefighters, who responded to a report of a bicyclist who had gone off the side of Kahekili Highway in Waihee and down a 125-foot cliff.

Rescue personnel responded to the call at 2:51 p.m. and rappelled down the cliff. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

The Air One helicopter was used to airlift the body from the bottom of the cliff.

Maui police are investigating the death.


Missed Kula garbage to be picked up today

Trash pickups were missed on a Kula route Friday due to mechanical issues, the county Solid Waste Division announced.

The areas affected include Haleakala Highway, Holomakani Drive and Place, Kainana Place, Kamehameiki Road, Kekaulike Avenue, Kolohala Drive, Lower Kula Road, Naalae Road, Pulehuiki Road, Ululani Street, Wahealani Street and surrounding streets and roads.

Trash on the route will be picked up today.


Informational meeting on immigration Wednesday

An informational meeting on immigration, employment eligibility and discrimination, sponsored by the county Immigrant Services Division and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Maui Economic Opportunity in Wailuku.

Topics to be covered include the USCIS Form I-9, relating to employment eligibility verification, and immigration law updates. There will be a question-and-answer session.

Speakers include Sebastian Aloot, senior enforcement attorney with the Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel; Darlene Kutara, USCIS community relations officer; and Kevin Block, director of immigrant services, county Department of Housing and Human Concerns.

For more information, contact Block at 270-7131 or go to the website and click on the “Departments” tab and then Housing & Human Concerns.

MEO is located at 99 Mahalani St.


County water plans the topic of meeting series

Islandwide meetings on the Maui County Water Use and Development Plan are scheduled for Tuesday to Jan. 22.

The Department of Water Supply Water Resources and Planning Division is hosting the meetings on the plan, a long-range blueprint for all uses water in the county.

State law requires each county to periodically update and adopt a plan by ordinance.

The meetings will provide an overview of the newly revised plan and explain the remainder of the public process.

All meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The locations and dates follow:

* Tuesday, Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.

* Wednesday, Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.

* Thursday, Kihei Community Center.

* Jan. 17, Lahaina Civic Center.

* Jan. 22, Helene Social Hall, Hana.

In addition to these water department meetings, input on the plan will be accepted during deliberations by the County Council Water Resources Committee.

For more information, call 463-3110.


Electronics recycling site to open extra day

To handle the greater volume of electronics recycling that occurs during the holiday season, the Maui County Electronics Recycling Program at 901 Lower Main St. will be open one extra day this month, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

Its normal hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The program had been closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day, which were both Tuesdays.


W. Maui taxpayers group to hold annual meeting

The West Maui Taxpayers Association will hold its annual meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lahaina Civic Center.

“Anyone who lives, works, visits or owns property in West Maui will find the WMTA annual meeting very informative,” the organization said in an announcement. “For over 35 years, WMTA has worked with and for the West Maui community to promote infrastructure investment in roads, parks, health care facilities, fire and ambulance facilities and numerous other community improvements.”

The meeting will include presentations on Department of Transportation projects, the proposed West Maui hospital and the Kahoma Village residential project, among others.

The public is invited to attend, but votes on WMTA business are reserved for members.

The meeting is sponsored in part by the West Maui Improvement Foundation, and Paradise Grill and Round Table Pizza, which will provide dinner service at 5 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 661-7990.

County / In Brief

Woman arrested in hammer attack

A 38-year-old Haiku woman was arrested Wednesday after her husband was hospitalized following an attack with a carpenter’s hammer in their home, police said.

Bail was set at $3,000 for Jennifer Berberian. She was charged with second-degree assault, abuse and violating a 24-hour warning citation.

Police said Berberian attacked her 40-year-old husband, striking him multiple times with the hammer at 4:18 a.m. He tried to take away the hammer and the two struggled, with him punching her while trying to stop her, police said.

He lost consciousness after being struck, suffering a scalp laceration and hematoma to the left side of his head as well as bruising to his lower back and abrasions and scratches to his left ear, police said.

Both Berberian and her husband were taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center. She had left the hospital at 9:27 a.m. before being officially discharged, and an all-points bulletin was issued for her arrest. She was arrested at 12:53 p.m. at a residence in Haiku.


Abuse, threatening suspect in custody

A 44-year-old man was being held in lieu of $106,000 bail after he was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Kahakuloa Village for threatening neighbors with a machete and twice abusing a woman last year, police said.

Carl Hano was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, felony abuse and abuse for three incidents. He also was arrested on warrants for contempt of court and failure to appear.

The threatening charge was for an April 21 incident when Hano threatened neighbors in Kahakuloa Village with a machete at about 6:30 p.m., police said.

On July 21 at about 5 p.m., he punched the woman in the face at a Kapalua residence, causing pain to her right jaw, and threw beer bottles at her left arm, also causing pain, police said.

On Aug. 30 at about 4 p.m., Hano and the woman were at a friend’s house in Napili when he began using profanities at her, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the living room, police said.

Hano punched the woman about four times and strangled her, impeding her breathing before releasing her and fleeing, police said. The woman was treated by medics for pain to her neck, scratches to her right cheek and swelling to her right forehead.

In all three cases, all-points bulletins were issued for Hano after he fled before police arrived.

Police arrested him at 4:34 p.m. Wednesday.


Hiker is rescued after becoming lost

A 57-year-old Kahului man who reported being lost while hiking the Lahaina Pali Trail was flown to safety Wednesday after being located by a fire rescue crew aboard the Air One helicopter.

Firefighters were dispatched at 12:40 p.m., with the Kahului rescue crew, helicopter and battalion chief responding. When firefighters made contact with the hiker by cellphone, he said he was near a waterfall bed and couldn’t get back on the trail, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

During an aerial search, rescue firefighters located the hiker two miles mauka on the side of a cliff at the 1,500-foot elevation at Kaonohua Gulch, Mainaga said. He said the hiker was airlifted to a landing zone set up in the parking area at North Kihei Road and Honoapiilani Highway.

The hiker said he had been on the trail for the last four days and ran out of water after the third day. He refused medical attention and was picked up by friends waiting at the landing zone, Mainaga said.


High-wind watch posted for summit

A high-wind watch has been posted for the summit area of Haleakala today through Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

High pressure building north of the state will cause an increase in trade winds. The watch covers the mountain 6,000 feet and higher.

Winds from the east will be 40 to 50 mph, with localized gusts of more than 65 mph.

The high winds can result in property damage and cause power outages. Drivers of high-profile vehicles are urged to exercise caution.

County / In Brief

Governor orders that all flags be flown at half-staff for Aiona

Flags will be flying at half-staff today for former state Board of Education member the Rev. Canon Darrow L. Kanakanui Aiona.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie ordered that all national and Hawaii flags at state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaii National Guard to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset today, the day of Aiona’s burial.

Aiona served on the Board of Education for 20 years and was an Episcopal priest for nearly 50 years. He died of heart failure Dec. 20 in Honolulu at age 77.

“Reverend Aiona’s deep devotion to education, especially in the Native Hawaiian community, was a powerful inspiration to students and educators in Hawaii,” Abercrombie said. “On the Board of Education and throughout his life, he was a forward-thinker who recognized how education plays a part in transforming lives and entire communities.”


Real estate panel set to host its monthly meeting in Kahului

The Hawaii state Real Estate Commission will hold its monthly committee meetings in Kahului on Jan. 9.

Three of the commission’s standing committees will meet back to back starting at 9:30 a.m. The Laws and Rules Review Committee will convene first, followed by the Condominium Review Committee and the Education Review Committee.

The meetings will be held at the Realtors Association of Maui office at 441 Ala Makani Place in Kahului.

The commission also will have its specialists available at a so-called Specialists’ Office for the Day event while the meetings are in progress and by appointment.

The commission said real estate licensees, condominium owners, educational providers and anyone interested in real estate licensing or condominium issues are invited to meet with staff to discuss any concerns.

For more information, see or call (808) 586-2643.


Man stable after trespassing, falling from zipline, police say

A 25-year-old man was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition Monday evening after he fell 45 feet from a zipline at the Skyline Eco Adventures facility at Kahoma Ranch above Lahaina, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

The man was among three motorcyclists who trespassed onto the Kahoma Ranch site, he said. The injured man got stuck midway on one of the skylines when he tried to use a rope to slide down on of the lines.

“The man held on for as long as he could then eventually fell,” Mainaga said.

A Lahaina ladder crew and a Kahului rescue unit carried the man out of the valley, after taking precautions not to cause back injuries. Then, the man was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Mainaga said.

County / In Brief

Fire burns brush in South Maui

Fire crews responded late Monday morning to a brush fire near the Wailea Pualani subdivision that burned approximately 4 acres.

Crews arrived on the scene at about 11:20 a.m. to find dry brush and kiawe trees on fire. The fire was extinguished just after 1:30 p.m.

No injuries or damage were reported, according to Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. The cause of the fire could not be determined, he said.

Maui, Molokai warning extended

The National Weather Service extended its high-surf warning for north-facing shores of Maui and the north- and west-facing shores of Molokai until 6 p.m. today.

Surf heights are expected to reach 20 to 30 feet along north-facing shores and 15 to 20 feet along west-facing shores.

Surf will gradually lower to 18 to 28 feet today along north shores and to 10 feet along west-facing shores. Surf heights are estimates of the front of the waves.

The weather service said that today will be mostly cloudy with scattered windward showers and isolated leeward showers. Conditions will be breezy with winds blowing 15 to 20 miles per hour with gusts of 35 miles per hour.

Show to focus on roads, infrastructure

Mayor Alan Arakawa’s TV show, “Your County with Mayor Arakawa,” will be shown live at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Akaku Channel 55.

The one-hour show will focus on the county’s plans to further improve roadways and other infrastructure maintained by the Department of Public Works.

Public Works Director David Goode and Public Works Deputy Director Rowena Dagdag-Andaya will be on the show along with the mayor.

Viewers may call in during the show to ask questions at 873-3430. Questions also may be submitted on Twitter to @countyofmaui and via the Maui County Facebook page.

The show will appear again Wednesdays at 7 p.m. from Jan. 9 to 30 on Channel 55.

Siren test planned for Wednesday

The year’s first civil defense monthly test of the statewide outdoor siren warning system, coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System, is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The siren test is a steady one-minute tone on all sirens. The steady tone is used to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property. Besides natural hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

When the siren signal is sounded, tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by civil defense agencies. Participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean and other related information during the monthly test.

Tests of civil defense sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry.