By Anthony Pignataro
Is it just me, or is the island falling apart? I’m not talking about coconuts falling off trees or beach sand wafting across South Kihei Road or even a portion of Haleakala suddenly breaking off and sliding into the ocean–those are normal events that take place in the evolution of volcanic islands. No, I’m speaking of a sudden rash of infrastructure failures in the Wailuku area.
A brief timeline is in order. On the afternoon of Monday, July 11, Ryan Piros, the assistant communications director for the County of Maui, announced that officials had just discovered that at some point over the weekend (or perhaps earlier) the entire county voicemail system broke. Something about a “corrupted hard drive” that would “take at least two days to repair” was the closest thing to an explanation we got.
Minutes later (I’m not kidding here), Piros sent a new announcement that the county was reopening the upper tennis and basketball courts at Wells Park in Wailuku. The courts have been closed for three days for some unscheduled maintenance.
“Workers had to remove nine light poles from the tennis and basketball court areas after two poles came crashing down on Friday, July 8th,” Piros said in the statement. “The nine poles were said to be in the same rusted condition as the first two that came down and were removed as a precaution.”
Two days later, during the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 13, a few emergency doomsday sirens in Wailuku went off for no particular reason. The sirens, Piros noted in a subsequent news release, “alarm[ed] many Wailuku residents.”
I should say so. Apparently, the problem was that the sirens were really old. “The source of these siren malfunctions has not been determined,” Piros wrote. “However it was noted by Civil Defense officials that all the sirens that went off were older models which are already scheduled to be upgraded as part of a statewide modernization program.”
So at least as far as the warning sirens are concerned, officials have the rot and degradation under control. Mostly.
Photo: Wells Park lightposts