Break in ditch sends debris into ocean
A break in an elevated portion of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.'s Hamakua Ditch as it crosses Kailua Gulch on Thursday sent a mud plume down the gulch and into the ocean near Baldwin Beach Park in Paia.
The public is advised to stay out of the water near the plume until it dissipates, which HC&S anticipates will occur over the next few days, as is the case after heavy rainfall, said Rick Volner, HC&S general manager.
Clean water from the Hamakua Ditch, which collects water from East Maui streams for irrigation of HC&S cane fields, overflowed into the gulch, picking up dirt and debris as it flowed toward the ocean, according to a company news release.
Water flow was stopped to that portion of the ditch when the break was discovered. The cause of the break remained under investigation, the company said.
"We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this break has caused the community," said Volner. "We do our best to maintain the 72 miles of ditches, flumes and tunnels that comprise our East Maui water delivery system, but as with anything that is over a hundred years old, there are going to be breaks."
Native Hawaiian sovereignty talk topic
A town hall meeting to discuss the process of Native Hawaiian nation building led by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Hale Pomaikai, Paukukalo Hawaiian Homes.
Speakers include Bumpy Kanahele of the Independent and Sovereign Nation State of Hawaii and Joe Lewis of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
For more information, contact Tasha Kama at 463-2963.
Police set to collect unused medications
Anyone with expired or unused prescription medications can bring their medications to a collection site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wailuku Police Department lot.
The service is free and anonymous - no questions asked. Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms of medication will be accepted. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.
The initiative in Hawaii, sponsored by the Department of the Attorney General, the Drug Enforcement Administration and state Narcotics Enforcement Division, is in its eighth year of take-back days nationwide.
Last year, Hawaii collected 4,507 pounds of prescription medications on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.
Take-back days are needed because current federal laws do not provide a way for patients, caregivers and pet owners to dispose of such controlled medications such as painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers and stimulants like ADHD drugs, according to a news release from the Department of the Attorney General.
Proper disposal of unused or expired medicine reduces the risk of dangerous and illegal drug use, children mistaking pills for candy and possible harm to aquatic life when substances are flushed down the toilet.
The Maui Police Department is at 55 Mahalani St. in Wailuku.