Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: What is the process for obtaining a TWIC card? I need to get one for a job I’m applying for but I’m not sure where to call.

A: You can actually apply online for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card. The Maritime Transportation Security Act requires this card for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities/vessels. The Transportation Security Administration conducts a security threat assessment (background check) to determine a person’s eligibility and issues the credential. U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens in certain immigrant/nonimmigrant categories may apply for the credential. Visit to apply, or for more information such as which documents will be required. You can also apply online to transfer your TWIC card, or replace a lost, stolen or damaged card.

Q: I read that the Kahekili Highway on the Lahaina side of Kahakuloa village will be undergoing repairs for several months. Isn’t that going to screw traffic up completely on that side? The tourists don’t always get the memo when it comes to local construction projects.

A: Good point, but I’m told that besides putting out the media alerts we will also be reaching out directly to the rental car agencies, hotel associations and tour companies to make sure they know that we are going to close that area of Kahekili from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday from July 10 to the end of the year at least. That, along with the electronic signs, should provide enough notice to keep the bulk of the tourists from heading in that direction.

Q: I am 9 years old and my mom is helping me to write this email. I learned in school this year that the official color for Maui is pink. How come we don’t have more pink on the island?

A: Yes, you are absolutely correct, the official color of Maui is pink because of the Damask rose, or Lokelani rose, that grows here. It is a very beautiful flower that unfortunately is very rare, which is why you don’t see more of its pink petals around the island. Tell your mom that she may be able to take you to see the flower at the Kula Ag Park or at Hale Ho’ike’ike, formerly the Bailey House Museum. Good luck and thank you for writing to me.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth 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