HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In this "Ask the Mayor" segment, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa stops by the Sunrise studio. He says there have been more than 134 wildfires on his island so far this year and it's only July. Compare that to last year, Maui had 136 for the entire year. Each time, the mayor said it can strand tourists or keep residents from getting to work. It's a huge inconvenience. It's just one of the reasons why he believes a bypass should be built as an alternate way in and out of the west side of Maui.
Mayor Arakawa knew the county's first mayor Elmer Cravalho since he was a child and considered him a mentor. Cravalho served as the Speaker of the state and Territorial house. He was also the one to deliver the message to the state representatives that Congress had approved Hawaii's statehood status. Arakawa said Maui owes its success and popularity to Cravalho for helping to set up the infrastructure for the tourist industry when he was in office. Cravalho died on June 27, 2016. There will be a public memorial on July 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm on the front lawn of the Maui County building to remember him.