County / In Brief

Water safe to use again in Honokokau

A boil-water advisory for Honokohau Valley has been lifted, the Department of Water Supply said Wednesday morning.

The resampled water from the system has been confirmed to meet federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health water quality standards and does not contain any trace of E. coli bacteria, the department said.

The department extends its appreciation to the 50 to 60 residents affected for their cooperation and understanding. The boil-water advisory was posted Tuesday when a regular test showed the presence of the bacteria.

If a water-related problem occurs, call the 24-hour hotline at 270-7633.


House releases list of committee chairs

The state House of Representatives on Wednesday released its final committee assignments for the upcoming legislative session that begins in January.

The Maui County representative announcements follow:

• Agriculture Committee — Lynn DeCoite, vice chairwoman; Kaniela Ing.

• Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee — Angus McKelvey, chairman.

• Economic Development & Business Committee — Kyle Yamashita.

• Education Committee — Ing, Justin Woodson.

• Finance Committee — Yamashita, Capital Improvement Projects subcommittee; DeCoite.

• Higher Education Committee — Woodson, chairman; Ing.

• Intrastate Commerce Committee — Woodson.

• Labor & Public Employment Committee — Yamashita.

• Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs Committee — Ing, chairman; DeCoite.

• Public Safety Committee — DeCoite, Ing.

• Tourism Committee — Woodson.

• Veterans, Military & International Affairs & Culture and the Arts Committee — Woodson.


McKelvey to put forth seat belt bill

West Maui-north Kihei state Rep. Angus McKelvey will reintroduce a bill requiring all school buses brought into Hawaii to be equipped with lap and shoulder safety belts.

The chairman of the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee said the action is needed following the deaths of six children and injuries to more than 20 in a school bus crash Monday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“What happened in Chattanooga is tragic, and we don’t want anything like that to happen here in Hawaii,” McKel-vey said. “Therefore, it is critical to pass this bill and make our school buses safe for all our children.”

House Bill 800 would require all school buses imported to Hawaii after July 1, 2010, to be equipped with lap and shoulder belt assemblies at all seating positions. The measure also requires the state Department of Education to adopt rules requiring the use of seat belts and for school buses in Hawaii to be retrofitted with safety belts by July 1, 2020.


Frenzy of sharks sighted off Kihei

The sighting of five 6-foot-long hammerhead sharks close to shore at Kamaole Beach Park I cleared the ocean fronting the beach and others nearby in South Maui for about two hours Wednesday, a Maui Fire Department official said.

Standup paddleboarders about 10 feet from shore reported seeing the sharks circle them and swim off at about 10:50 a.m., Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said. The incident in clear water conditions was witnessed by beachgoers.

They reported the shark sighting to lifeguards, who cleared the ocean. The waters off Kamaole II and III to the south and Cove Park to the north also were cleared, and shark-sighting signs were posted.

Ocean safety officers patrolled the shoreline and did not report any additional shark sightings. The beaches were reopened at 12:50 p.m., Taomoto said.

The sighting was on the south side of the beach. Two shark attacks that led to two women being hospitalized Oct. 21 and Nov. 14 were on the north side of Kamaole I next to Charley Young Beach.


Black Friday pet adoption event set

The Maui Humane Society will be holding a Black Friday/Holiday weekend adoption event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the shelter at 1350 Mehameha Loop in Puunene.

For the three days, attendees can “Pick Your Price” on adoption fees on all adult animals. Each adoption includes spay/neutering, vaccinations, microchip, county license (dogs only), a free veterinary exam, a special adoption goodie bag, including a free bag of pet food and more, a news release said.

Shelter hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 877-3680, ext. 3 or go to


Propane gas fire causes evacuation

About 20 people evacuated Paradise Grill in Kaanapali on Wednesday morning following a fire caused by a propane leak to a hot water heater, a Maui fire official said.

The fire and water heater were on the outside of the restaurant in the back, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto. Gas leaking from a line to a new water heater was ignited by a pilot light.

Firefighters, who got the call at 10:22 a.m., were on scene 7 minutes later. They doused the flames with a fire extinguisher and shut off the valve. They left the scene at 10:50 a.m., said Taomoto.

An engine from Kahului responded to the call because Lahaina and Napili engines were busy fighting a brush fire in Ukumehame, Taomoto said. Crews from Lahaina, Makawao and Wailuku also responded but were canceled en route.