Q: Is it legal for a minor to fire a paintball gun in a residential area or anywhere outside of a paintball park?
A: According to the Maui Police Department and the county's Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, a paintball gun is considered an air gun because it contains a compressed air mechanism. That means that by law, a juvenile would need to be using the paintball gun under adult supervision in a controlled environment and not causing harm to anyone or damage to property. Maui County Code 9.28.020 specifies that it is unlawful for a minor to acquire by purchase, gift or otherwise possess, use, operate or play with an air gun unless under the immediate supervision of an adult. However, the code also indicates that such use may not take place on a public highway, in a public park or playground, on school premises, in theaters, airports, harbors, piers or any other public place. It is also against the law to sell a minor any ball, pellet or other missiles designed to be used for or by air guns. To view the County Code, visit www.mauicounty. gov/laws.
Q: When I viewed my water bill recently, I noticed that the monthly sewer charges are higher than the monthly water charges. Why is that?
A: The simple answer as to why your sewer bill is more than your water bill is that it costs more, per gallon, to treat and dispose of wastewater than it costs to supply fresh water. This was not always the case. Before the 1970s, wastewater was simply dumped into the ocean. As the public has come to demand that wastewater be highly treated, costs have risen. Neither county-owned utility makes a profit, but both are required to charge enough to cover the real costs. Since some water users are on cesspool or septic systems instead of a county sewer line, this also means that there are fewer wastewater users to help pay for the higher costs.
Q: What kind of dental care will be provided during Tropic Care, and will this take place again next year?
A: Tropic Care Maui County will not take place again next year. It is a one-time event, providing free health, dental, vision, nutrition and counseling services at six locations throughout Maui County from Tuesday to June 12. The dental care services provided will primarily include dental screenings, with limited filling of cavities not requiring sedation, extractions and limited cleaning of teeth depending on available time. The 400 uniformed personnel providing care are professionals licensed in the United States, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, dentists and others from active and reserved ranks of the armed forces around the United States participating in a rapid deployment exercise. If further care is needed, Tropic Care participants will be referred to their established medical, optometry or dental health provider. If the individual does not have an established relationship with a provider, a list of affordable services will be provided. Tropic Care clinics will not accept advance appointments; participants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Identification will not be required, and no fees will be charged. Noncitizens, individuals with no local address and those with no health insurance are welcome to attend. Please keep in mind that participants will probably need to wait in line, so come prepared with your own water, snacks, supplies and other comforts in case seating and shade are not available at a particular clinic. For more information on locations, dates and times, visit www.mauicounty.gov/TropicCare or call 270-7855 and ask for the Tropic Care hotline.
* 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., 9th 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.