County / In Brief

A pond of water is left in a Baldwin Beach Park parking lot on Thursday. High surf closed the park until further notice, county officials said. Maui County photo

A pond of water is left in a Baldwin Beach Park parking lot on Thursday. High surf closed the park until further notice, county officials said. Maui County photo

Flooded lots close Baldwin Beach Park

High surf flooded some parking areas at Baldwin Beach Park on Thursday, closing the park until further notice, Maui County announced late Thursday morning.

The county provided photos that show water in nearshore parking areas.

The park closure was because of high surf and safety concerns, the announcement said.

For more information, contact the county Department of Parks and Recreation at 270-7383. For general parks information, go to www.mauicounty.gov/parks.

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PALS now has online registration

The county Department of Parks and Recreation has launched a new online registration process for the PALS Winter 2016 session and online registration is open, according to an announcement from the department.

The winter program will be offered on eight days from Dec. 23 to Jan. 5. It will not be offered on Dec. 26 or Jan. 2 when the Christmas and New Year’s holidays will be observed.

There are program sites on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. All sites are subject to change based on availability.

Online registration will be taken through Nov. 13 at www.mauicounty.gov/PALS.

Parents and caregivers who are unable to register online may call the PALS office at 270-7403 to schedule online access or to receive in-person assistance. Public access computers are available at public libraries.

The online registration process will include a separate email sent with site confirmation no later than Nov. 28. The email will contain payment information dates, locations and required document reminders to finalize PALS registrations.

The online process includes options to list any allergies or behavioral or physical challenges a child may have, as well as any medications being taken.

Program rates, payment information and other details are available at www.mauicounty.gov/PALS; click on the 2016 Winter Session Flyer.

For more information, call 270-7403.

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Flood victims can apply for tax relief

The state is providing tax relief for residents affected by flooding in September.

Maui and Kalawao (Kalaupapa) counties were declared federal disaster areas. Heavy rains pummeled the islands from Sept. 11 to 14. Gov. David Ige issued an emergency declaration Sept. 16.

The state Department of Taxation will consider extension requests from residents on a case-by-case basis. Tax filers should mark their returns “2016 Maui/Kalawao Flood Relief.”

Other relief includes casualty loss deductions and an exemption from gross receipts taxes applicable to insurance proceeds.

Additional information can be found on the department’s tax announcement No. 2016-08.

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Whale council seeks to fill vacant seats

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill two primary and two alternate seats on its advisory council, according to an announcement.

The seats are for the Maui County alternate, Native Hawaiian primary and both primary and alternate for Molokai.

The council ensures public participation in sanctuary matters and provides advice to sanctuary management.

“The members of our advisory council represent an extremely important element of our community,” said Malia Chow, sanctuary superintendent. “Their input, experience and expertise assist sanctuary managers in making informed and timely decisions on how best to protect and conserve our important cultural and natural resources.”

Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations and views regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Applicants who are chosen as primaries or alternates should expect to serve a two-year term.

Applications are due Nov. 30. To receive an application kit or for further information, contact Kate Spidalieri via email at Kate.Spidalieri@noaa.gov; by phone at (240) 533-0679; or visit the sanctuary website at hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/council/council_app_accepting.html.

Completed applications should be submitted to: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Inouye Regional Center, Kate Spidalieri, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu 96818.

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Accessory dwelling bill moves forward

An affordable housing bill passed out of the Maui County Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday.

The measure would permit ohana units on certain smaller lots.

The bill advances to the full council for the first of two readings required for passage.

The measure establishes “affordable accessory dwellings” as a permitted use on lots smaller than 7,500 square feet in residential, apartment, hotel, interim-zoning and rural areas. Currently, an accessory dwelling could only be built on a lot that is 7,500 square feet or more.

“This bill is a step toward increasing the critical housing shortage in our county,” Planning Committee Chairman Don Couch said.

Under the bill, the affordable accessory dwelling must accommodate the owner’s immediate family members or unrelated, income-qualified tenants earning from very-low to above-moderate income. Deed restrictions would keep the housing affordable.

No new short-term rentals or bed-and-breakfast operations would be allowed, an announcement said. A second accessory dwelling would be allowed on lots of at least 15,000 square feet.

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