Maui Red Cross Volunteer To Help With Samoa Relief Effort

At least one Red Cross volunteer from Maui will be traveling to Samoa tomorrow to assist in relief efforts in the quake and tsunami damaged regions of American Samoa.  Other Hawaii Red Cross volunteers are on standby in anticipation of deploying to help those affected.

File Photo by: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross.

File Photo by: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross has a Disaster Relief Fund established for such disasters with contributions used to prepare for and serve victims.

If you would like to donate specifically to the American Samoa relief effort, please indicate so on your check or when you call, and your donor intent will be honored.  General monetary gifts without specific designations enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disaster.

Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to the Hawaii State Chapter at 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816, or to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013.  Internet users can make a secure online donation by visiting www.redcross.org.  Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish).

One of the most vital services the American Red Cross provides to families during a disaster is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that friends and family are safe and well.  The “Safe and Well” website is an easy to use internet tool that individuals affected by a disaster can let their families and friends know that they are safe.

How does Safe and Well Work?

Log onto the Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org  and choose “List Myself as Safe and Well.”  You will be asked for your pre-disaster address and phone number.  You can select from a menu of pre-scripted messages that will be viewed by your loved ones such as “I am safe and well” or “Currently at a shelter” or “will make phone calls when available.”  If you are outside the disaster affected area and you hear from a loved one without access to a computer, you can register them yourself through the Safe and Well site.  That way, other loved ones can be reassured as well.  You can actually play a part in the disaster relief effort right from your own home.

If you are concerned about a loved one, visit the “Search” page, enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number OR address.  If your loved one has registered, you will be able to view the messages that they posted.  It’s that simple.

The Safe and Well site safeguards the privacy of the disaster victim.  Although the safe and well messages will be viewable by friends or family members, the site does not reveal a specific location or contact information.  It is up to the disaster victim to choose who will know his or her whereabouts and how best to communicate that information.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information provided by the American Red Cross)

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Molokai Meeting Last In Series On Mayor’s 2010-2011 Budget

Residents of Molokai will have a chance to weigh in tonight on the Mayor’s Proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares unveiled her version of the Budget in March, presenting the document to members of the Maui County Council.  File Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares unveiled her version of the Budget in March, presenting the document to members of the Maui County Council. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

“These meetings give the public a chance to let us know what they feel is important for their area,” Mayor Tavares said. “We value their insights on what is most needed for the benefit of the community, and it is essential that my Administration receives feedback directly from our citizens.”

Meetings were held previously in South Maui, Paia/Haiku, Central Maui, Lanai, Lahaina, Pukalani and Hana. Meeting locations vary to accommodate residents throughout the County’s three islands; however, anyone can attend.

Citizens with an interest in the County budget are encouraged to attend a meeting in their local area and offer testimony as individuals or on behalf of an organization. Both written and verbal testimonies will be accepted. The County Charter requires that the Mayor and her Administration submit to the County Council a proposed operating budget in March of each year.

Budget Director Fred Pablo will present the projects and initiatives of the Administration specific to that community. Input from the community meetings will be taken into consideration when the fiscal year 2010-2011 budget is constructed, including priorities for programs and capital projects.

Each session will be preceded by presentations on the “Circuit Breaker” real property tax credit.  This information session is open to all residents who may qualify for this tax credit. Applications and instructions will be available for all interested parties in attendance.

Additionally, the program office of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will conduct public hearings preceding the Mayor’s budget community meetings in East Maui, Molokai, Central Maui and Lanai. CDBG will gather views and comments from interested persons who wish to participate in the preparation of the County’s proposed Annual Action Plan for the 2010-2011 fiscal year relating to the County’s grant application for approximately $2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Community Development Block Grant is a federal program created by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-383).  CDBG funds received will be utilized for housing and community development needs primarily benefiting low and moderate income persons.

(Posted by Wendy Osher, information provided by the County of Maui)

Maui Panel Of Professionals To Address Ag Furloughs

A panel of professionals on Maui will update the pubic on the impacts of potential furloughs facing the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.  Earlier this week, the state announced the temporary restoration of 22 plant quarantine inspector positions that were initially slated for elimination.  The temporary reprieve is good for a single year, but does not cover all of the cuts. Here on Maui, three positions will be eliminated for a total staffing of 11.  The presentation will be hosted by the Kula Community Association on Tuesday, October 6th.

Photo by Wendy Osher.

Photo by Wendy Osher.

The panel was organized by Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares as a way to bring the most up-to-date information to various Maui communities.

Panelists say potential impacts could result in threats to the environment, agricultural industry, tourism, and public health and safety.

The group of presenters include Anna Mae Shishido – Maui County Supervisor of the Department of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine Branch, Warren Watanabe – Executive Director of the Maui County Farm Bureau, Teya Penniman – Manager of the Maui Invasive Species Committee, and Kuhea Paracuelles – Environmental Coordinator, Office of the Mayor.

The Kula Community Association will host the group at its next meeting, which will be open to its entire membership and the community-at-large. It will be held at the Kula Elementary School cafeteria on Tuesday, October 6th, starting at 6:00 p.m.

(Posted by Wendy Osher)

Maui Police Town Hall Meeting Tonight In Pukalani

Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

The Maui Police Department will host the first in a series of Town Hall meetings tonight in Pukalani to address problems in the community and the direction of the new administration.  Tonight’s meeting runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.

Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta and Deputy Chief Clayton Tom will be hosting Town Meetings throughout various communities in Maui County.  Their talks will focus on the challenges that face the County of Maui and working with the community to address their concerns.  Some of the topics that will be covered will be the department’s agenda in dealing with the following issues.

  • Dealing with Critical Incidents
  • Reducing crime
  • Providing highway and roadway safety through efficient enforcement
  • Crime prevention and curtailing drug activity.

The dates, times and locations of each meeting are as follows:

  • Hannibal Tavares Up-country Community Center, Pukalani, Maui.  September 30, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Mitchell Pauole Center, Kaunakakai, Molokai.  October 14, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Helene Hall Center, Hana, Maui.  October 19, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Kihei Community Center, Kihei, Maui.  October 22, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, Maui.  October 26, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Velma Santos Wailuku Community Center, Wailuku, Maui. November 3, 2009, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Lanai Community Center, Lanai, Maui.  November 5, 2009, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information provided by the Maui Police Department)

Tsunami Advisory Ends; 1.2 Ft Rise in Sea Level Reported At Kahului Harbor

Image Courtesy USGS

Image Courtesy USGS

The Tsunami Advisory for Hawaii has ended.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares expressed appreciation for readiness in Hawaii, but sadness over the effects near the quake’s epicenter off of the Samoan Islands.

“I appreciate the emergency readiness of our partnering state and federal agencies. Their efforts are as valuable as the efforts of our citizens who take steps to be prepared before a disaster happens,” Tavares said.

“While we’ve averted a natural disaster, we’re saddened by the loss of life caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Samoa and American Samoa. They, along with our Filipino community who are struggling with the destruction created by this past weekend’s Tropical Storm Ketsana in the northern part of the Philippines, need our support and prayers,” said Mayor Tavares.

This will be the final message issued for this event, unless additional data is received.

(Updated @ 7:01 p.m. HST Tuesday, September 29, 2009)

________________________________

A tsunami advisory remains in effect until 7 o’clock tonight (Tuesday, September 29, 2009).  The effects of the lingering Advisory have been seen in the form of sea level changes on Maui.  The Maui County Civil Defense Agency reported a 1.2 foot rise in the ocean level at 3:09 p.m.  That was the second highest wave activity in Hawaii associated with the 8.3 earthquake that struck off the Samoan Islands this morning.  The largest wave activity in Hawaii was a 1.5 foot rise recorded at 3 p.m. on Oahu’s Haleiwa shore.  A nearly one foot sea level rise was also reported at Waianae on Oahu.  In addition to the sea rises, there was also a one foot drop or recession in the sea level reported at Kahului Harbor before 3 p.m.  While these waves are not expected to cause any significant coastal flooding, they can result in sea level changes, strong currents and hazardous conditions. Officials with the Civil Defense Agency continue to advise the public to exercise caution.  The tsunami Advisory is expected to expire at 7 p.m.

(Updated at 5:45 p.m. HST Tuesday, September 29, 2009)

______________________________________

(Updated @4:20 p.m.)

The Tsunami Advisory will continue for the State of Hawaii until 7 p.m. HST.  While waves are not expected to cause any significant coastal flooding, they can produce small changes of sea level at the coast and strong or unusual currents that can be a hazard to swimmers, boaters and beachgoers.  The first effects were seen shortly after 1 p.m. , with a 1.2 foot rise in the ocean level reported at Kahului Harbor at 3:09 p.m.  Wave action can continue for several hours after the initial wave, and the first wave is often not the largest.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.

Please refer to the telephone book yellow section for preparedness information and evacuation areas.

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON    TIME        AMPL         PER

——————-  —– ——  —–  —————  —–

KAWAIHAE HAWAII      20.0N 155.8W  2:38 p  0.18M /  0.6FT  10MIN

KAPOHO HAWAII        19.5N 154.8W  2:42 p  0.14M /  0.5FT  08MIN

HONOLULU OAHU        21.3N 157.9W  3:08 p  0.16M /  0.5FT  10MIN

WAIANAE OAHU         21.4N 158.2W  2:25 p  0.26M /  0.9FT  12MIN

HALEIWA OAHU         21.6N 158.1W  3:00 p  0.46M /  1.5FT  08MIN

HILO HAWAII          19.7N 155.1W  2:12 p  0.16M /  0.5FT  18MIN

KAUMALAPAU LANAI     20.8N 157.0W  2:39 p  0.12M /  0.4FT  14MIN

MOKUOLOE OAHU        21.4N 157.8W  2:49 p  0.02M /  0.1FT  18MIN

KAHULUI MAUI         20.9N 156.5W  3:09 p  0.36M /  1.2FT  16MIN

NAWILIWILI KAUAI     22.0N 159.4W  3:08 p  0.22M /  0.7FT  08MIN

(Updated @4:20 p.m.)

____________

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Updated @ 3 p.m. HST 9/29/09)

The effects of a lingering Tsunami Advisory have been seen in the form of sea level changes on Maui.  Aquatics officials reported a one foot drop in the sea level at Kahului Harbor twice over a two hour period.  The drops were reported after 1 p.m. when harbor surges and ocean currents were projected to begin affecting the Hawaiian Islands.  This following a large 8.3 earthquake off the Samoa Islands this morning.  Officials with the Civil Defense Agency continue to advise the public to be cautions of sea level changes, strong currents and hazardous conditions.  A tsunami Warning was cancelled and replaced by a Tsunami Advisory at around 10:30 this morning.  The potential ocean impacts were expected to continue in the Hawaiian Islands until 4 o’clock this afternoon.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Updated @ 3 p.m. HST 9/29/09)

_______________________

(Updated @ 10:45 a.m.)

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the Tsunami Watch for the state, putting an advisory in its place at around 10:23 this morning.

Based on all available data, a major tsunami is not expected to strike the State of Hawaii. However, sea level changes and strong currents may occur along the coast that could be a hazard to swimmers, boaters and beaches. All ocean recreation activities should remain cautious of tidal surge throughout the day.

High tide today will be approximately 2.0 – 2.4 feet between 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at various points in Maui County. This will be on top of trade wind waves of 6 – 10 feet. People living in the inundation zone should be alert to ocean level changes.

The earliest impacts of possible sea level changes are estimated after 1 p.m. and can continue until 4 o’clock this afternoon.

INFORMATION:  Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation.  Again, the Tsunami Watch was cancelled, and downgraded to an advisory which means sea level changes and strong currents may occur in coastal regions.

(Updated @ 10:45 a.m.)

_________________________

(Updated @ 10:25 a.m.)

A tsunami watch for Hawaii has been canceled, but an advisory is now in effect.  Based on All available data, a major tsunami is not expected to strike the state of Hawaii.  However sea level changes and strong currents may occur along the coast that could be a hazard to swimmers, boaters and beaches.  Therefore, a Tsunami Watch for Hawaii is cancelled, but an Advisory is in effect.

(Updated @ 10:25 a.m.)

_______________________________________

(Updated @ 8:15 a.m. HST)

A Tsunami Watch has been issued for the state of Hawaii following an 8.3 earthquake reported at 7:48 a.m. in the Samoa Islands Region.  The magnitude of the quake was upgraded from the initial 7.9 measurement released earlier this morning.  The quake was centered about 139 miles southwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Based on all available data, a tsunami may have been generated by the earthquake.  An investigation is underway to determine if there is a threat to Hawaii.  In the meantime, there has been a watch issued for the state.

If tsunami waves impact Hawaii, the estimated earliest arrival time of the first wave would be at 1:11 p.m. on Tuesday September 29th.  The Pacific Warning Center broke that down into regions of impact with Nawiliwili Harbor seeing the first effects at 1:11 p.m., Hilo at 1:14 p.m., and Honolulu at 1:15 p.m.  Again, this is a projection, and officials are still working to determine if a wave has been generated.

Actual arrival times may differ and the initial wave of a tsunami event may not be the largest.  A tsunami is a series of waves and the time between successive waves can be five minutes to one hour.

Again, this is a Tsunami Watch.  Officials are still investigating the event to determine if Hawaii will see any impacts.

We will update you with more information as it becomes available.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0748 AM HST 29 SEP 2009

COORDINATES – 15.3 SOUTH  171.0 WEST

LOCATION    – SAMOA ISLANDS REGION

MAGNITUDE   – 7.9  MOMENT

Region:                            SAMOA ISLANDS REGION

Geographic coordinates:            15.556S, 172.302W

Magnitude:                        7.9 Mw

Depth:                            85 km

Universal Time (UTC):             29 Sep 2009  17:48:19

Time near the Epicenter:          29 Sep 2009  06:48:19

Local standard time in your area: 29 Sep 2009  07:48:19

Location with respect to nearby cities:

204 km (127 miles) SSW (197 degrees) of APIA, Samoa

224 km (139 miles) SW (230 degrees) of PAGO PAGO, American Samoa

388 km (241 miles) NNE (28 degrees) of Neiafu, Tonga

2432 km (1511 miles) W (272 degrees) of PAPEETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia

EVALUATION

BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN GENERATED BY  THIS EARTHQUAKE THAT COULD BE DESTRUCTIVE ON COASTAL AREAS EVEN  FAR FROM THE EPICENTER. AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE  IF THERE IS A TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THE ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL OF  THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS

0111 PM HST TUE 29 SEP 2009

LOCATION         FORECAST POINT     COORDINATES     ARRIVAL TIME

NAWILIWILI         22.0N 159.4W    1:11 p.m. HST 29 SEP

HILO               19.7N 155.1W    1:14 p.m. HST 29 SEP

HONOLULU           21.3N 157.9W    1:15 p.m. HST 29 SEP

ACTUAL ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

(Updated @ 8:15 a.m. HST)

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A Tsunami Watch has been issued for the state of Hawaii following a 7.9 earthquake reported at 7:48 a.m. in the Samoa Islands Region.  Based on all available data, a tsunami may have been generated by the earthquake.  An investigation is underway to determine if there is a threat to Hawaii.  In the meantime, there has been a watch issued for the state.  If tsunami waves impact Hawaii, the estimated earliest arrival time of the first wave would be at 1:11 p.m. on Tuesday September 29th.  We will update you with more information as it becomes available.

State Water Commission To Address Remaining East Maui Stream Flow Standards

The State Commission on Water Resource Management (Commission) is preparing to address the instream flow standards for 16 surface water hydrologic units in east Maui.  This comes one year after the Commission’s decision to establish measurable instream flow standards for five priority hydrologic units in the same region.  Surface water hydrologic units are comparable to the drainage basin or watershed area for each stream.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

In May 2001, the Commission received petitions from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation seeking to restore stream flow for 27 east Maui streams.  Following the completion of several investigations, including a three-year U.S. Geological Survey study of stream flow characteristics and native stream animals, the Commission ruled on eight priority streams in September 2008.  The first eight streams and tributaries occurred within the hydrologic units of Honopou, Hanehoi, Pi‘inaau, Waiokamilo, and Wailua Nui.

The remaining 19 streams fall within the 16 surface water hydrologic units of Waikamoi (includes Alo and Wahinepe‘e), Puohokamoa, Ha‘ipua‘ena, Punalau, Honomanû, Nua‘ailua, ‘Ôhia (also known as Waianu), West Wailua Iki, East Wailua Iki, Kopiliula (includes Pu‘aka‘a), Waiohue, Pa‘akea, Waiaaka, Kapaula, Hanawî, and Makapipi.

To address the petitions, the Commission staff prepared an Instream Flow Standard Assessment Report consisting of the best available information for each corresponding hydrologic unit.

Drafts of all 16 reports are available on the Commission website at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/sw_ifsar.htm
The Commission staff will also be holding a public fact gathering meeting at the Pa‘ia Community Center on October 15, 2009 from 5 to 9 p.m., to accept oral and written testimony from the public.

“The purpose of the public fact gathering meeting is to provide the public with an opportunity to submit additional facts and data that might not have been included as part of our staff’s initial research,” said Ken Kawahara, Water Commission Deputy Director.  “This is the time to make sure our staff has the best available information to prepare a fair and balanced recommendation to the Commission.”

While the Commissioners will not be present at the October public meeting, the testimony and data received will be compiled and distributed to the Commission for consideration.

The public will also have another opportunity to testify when the Commission hears the staff recommendations at a future meeting to be held on Maui.  The Commission will continue to accept written testimony until October 30, 2009.

For additional information on the east Maui stream petitions, the assessment reports, and the public fact gathering meeting, visit the Commission website at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information provided by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources)

County Offers Adaptive Kayaking for Children with Disabilities

The County of Maui has launched a new kayaking program for children and young adults with disabilities.  The adaptive kayaking program is run by the Department of parks and Recreation and gives disabled youth a chance to participate in the therapeutic ocean sport.  The next session is free and will be held November 21th in Olowalu.

Photo Courtesy: County of Maui.  (L-R) Fran Yamamoto, a Recreation Technician with the County Dept. of Parks & Recreation, paddles with Karen "Alohilani" Hue-Sing Ledesma in the adaptive kayaking session held in August. Karen is a member of the Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

Photo Courtesy: County of Maui. (L-R) Fran Yamamoto, a Recreation Technician with the County Dept. of Parks & Recreation, paddles with Karen "Alohilani" Hue-Sing Ledesma in the adaptive kayaking session held in August. Karen is a member of the Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

Children with disabilities ages 5-18 and young adults 18-21 enrolled in the Extended School Year are invited to participate. Kayaks, life vests and adaptive equipment, including glove-adapted paddles, side stabilizers and specialized straps, will be provided.  Participants must be accompanied by a caregiver, and are asked to bring a lunch, water, sunscreen and a swimsuit and hat. Pre-registration is required.

Space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be limited to accommodate the needs of participants. Taught by Ron Bass, the session will include instruction on the basics of kayaking, a safety review and supervised practice. Mr. Bass has extensive experience working with adults and children with disabilities, and has taught therapeutic kayaking for many years.

An initial session for adults with disabilities was held August 25, 2009 in partnership with the County of Maui Aquatics Division, RSSD and Mr. Bass. A total of 18 kayak participants and 11 assistants attended.

“This exciting program offers those with disabilities the opportunity to get out on the water, which is often too difficult without the right equipment and assistance,” said Tara Sabado, RSSD Inclusion Specialist.

To register or for more information on the upcoming session, contact Sabado at ph. 270-7979 or tara.sabado@mauicounty.gov.