Q: There is a stretch of beach between Baldwin Beach Park and Paia Bay, where the old lime kiln used to be, that has become a nudist gathering spot. Isn't this an illegal activity? If so, what can be done to prevent this from going on as it has been for months now? This bay is right next to the Paia Youth & Cultural Center.
A: In talking with our Maui Police Department, they said that officers will respond to calls involving "open lewdness," which is the law people violate when they expose themselves publicly. However, MPD recommends using two phone numbers for two different scenarios. If the person in question is nude but keeping to themselves, i.e., "passively" sunbathing, then police recommend calling the administrative line at 244-6400. If the person in question is being aggressive, exposing himself or herself to people and engaging in other forms of harassment, people should call 911. Police will respond in both cases but obviously there is a higher priority placed on the second scenario. Some people have asked whether they should take a picture of the nude sunbather with their cellphones as evidence for police when they arrive, but this is not necessary. Also, you run the risk of turning a passive situation into a confrontation if the individuals see you taking their picture. Better to let police handle the situation. On a related issue, this question serves as a reminder of why I favor the county taking advantage of the offer by Alexander & Baldwin to give us 36 acres of coastline - which would include this beach - if the county purchases a lot in A&B's Kahului business park for our new service center. We could clear out the sugar cane and brush and make the beach more accessible for the public, which in turn would likely deter this sort of nudity from happening in the first place.
Q: On cruise ship days (currently Sundays-Mondays), crew members from the ship are jaywalking across to Maui Mall and back to the harbor by the banyan trees near the turn where Hana Highway and Kaahumanu Avenue meet. Someone is going to get run over trying to cross over those five lanes of roadway. That area by the old Kahului train depot is a really bad place to cross because it has a blind spot. The jaywalking happens all the time the ship is docked, and the passengers from the ship see these crew members crossing at that spot so they try to cross the road too. I see a lot of people stuck in the middle of the road with both lanes of traffic passing them. Doesn't the ship tell their employees to use the crosswalk at the stoplight by Longs? Please tag those people before someone gets hit! This is happening in the morning, during the day and also at night. I know because I drive through that area all the time.
A: Thank you for your comments about jaywalking near Kahului Harbor. Our Wailuku patrol commander has been informed about this so that MPD's community police officer in Kahului can work with cruise ship personnel to help inform crew members and visitors, and reduce the number of pedestrians who risk their lives just to save a few steps.
Q: Regarding the question you answered in last week's column about motorcycles not triggering lights at some intersections: I've been told that if the light cycles two times, the rider may proceed through the red light with, of course, caution and common sense. Is this true?
A: According to Maui Police Department, while this is legal in other states, Hawaii state law does not have an exemption for motorcyclists to proceed through a red light. You can buy specialized magnets online that can help trigger the signals; however, before purchasing, consumers should carefully review the feedback from previous buyers as there is no guarantee that the magnet will work at all traffic signals. The magnets are mounted under the bike and send out a magnetic field that gets picked up by the sensors, which detect metal, not a vehicle's weight.
* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.