More Hawaii Flood Videos… “Lucky We Live in Paradise”

I posted a blog earlier with three videos on them of the last 24 hours of flooding.

More videos are starting to show up that really show how devastating this latest storm actually was:






County Targets Funds From Economic Stimulus Package

The County of Hawaii has submitted a list of road, sewer, transit and other projects to the federal government for funding under President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package.

The projects, worth an estimated $487.1 million, would create nearly 3,000 construction jobs in Hawaii County if all are funded.

The list of projects (Below) is a result of close collaboration with Senator Daniel Inouye, Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congresswomen Mazie Hirono, said Hawaii County Mayor William P. “Billy” Kenoi.

“We’re working very closely with our Congressional delegation in seeing that several of these projects get funded,” said Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “We won’t get everything we want, but we will continue to vigorously advocate for funding of jobs and projects that will improve the quality of life for all residents of the Big Island.”

The mayor met with his cabinet heads and county staff Monday to determine which pending projects would be most likely to be funded under the criteria established for the funding requests. Infrastructure projects that are ready or near ready to go, and the creation of jobs, were among the highest priorities in the selection of projects for the list.

The County’s list of proposed projects to be funded with federal funds includes new fire stations in Makalei ($9 million) and Captain Cook ($18 million), and a police station in Puna ($4.6 million).

Alii Parkway would get $15 million to construct a 4.5 mile long, two-lane highway extending Queen Kaahumanu Highway, just south of Kona Hillcrest subdivision, to Alii Drive near the Keauhou Shopping Center. And $17 million is being requested for the Laaloa Avenue extension in Kona.

Ten million dollars is being requested to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by widening Mamalahoa Highway at the Kamamalu intersection.

Also on the list is $9 million to replace the Lindsey Road Bridge in Waimea
Also being requested is $15 million for a new Puna gymnasium and ball fields, $2 million for planning an alternate access road in Puna, and $10 million for a new 20-acre park in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

Also requested is $6 million for Hawaiian Ocean View Estates to get a new community center and hurricane shelter.

Another request is for $7.5 million to repair, renovate and upgrade existing County swimming pools around the island.

New bus stops and shelters would be built island-wide with a $1.2 million request.

The single largest single-project amount, $89 million, would upgrade the land-mobile radio system used by County police and other public safety agencies. The County is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission to replace its current VHF radio system by 2012.

Other major items on the list include $26.4 million for the elimination of the County’s large capacity cesspools in Naalehu and Pahala. The projects are mandated by the federal Environmental Protection Administration.

The request from Mayor Kenoi comes as the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced this week it has identified nearly 11,400 public works projects in 427 cities that are “ready to go” and could stimulate the national economy.

President-elect Obama has said public works spending would be a cornerstone of his economic development plan by creating millions of jobs nationwide with the largest investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.

The conference is urging the U.S. Congress to fund the projects immediately, and estimates the effort would create more than 800,000 jobs across the country in 2009 and 2010.

The Hawaii County projects and those supported by the Conference of Mayors include requests to fund improvements in infrastructure; energy and green jobs projects; transit equipment and infrastructure; public housing modernization; water and wastewater infrastructure; and improvements in city streets and road infrastructure.

The conference predicts that federal investments in these areas will “improve the infrastructure that the private sector needs to succeed, help the small businesses of Main Street America, and produce lasting economic and environmental benefits for the nation.”

President-elect Obama has announced a goal of creating 2.5 million jobs by 2011, and described a two-year initiative to repair and upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure.


  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Queen Lili`uokalani Large Capacity Cesspool (LCC) Replacement Kona, HI Replacement of LCC, Closure Deadline: 6/1/2010 EPA Mandated LCC closures: Connection of the subdivision to the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) will provide secondary wastewater treatment in accordance with Dept. of Health regulations. $18,500,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Kealakehe WWTP Aeration Upgrade Kealakehe, HI Upgrade of the existing aeration system in conjunction with removal of accumulated sludge at the facility is required to restore plant capacity to its original design capacity of 5.1 MGD. State and EPA requirements now require that septic tanks be utilized for individual wastewater systems (IWS’s) in the majority of the cases so system needs to accommodate domestic strength sewage from the area served by the Kona Sewer System and is not currently capable of accommodating high-strength loads being discharged at the facility. $6,000,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Kealakehe WWTP Sludge Removal Kealakahe, HI Sludge removal Accumulated sludge in the lagoon treatment system has reduced the Kealakehe WWTP capacity and is required to be removed in order to help restore capacity. EPA mandate requiring closure of all LCC’s has exacerbated the problem since many LCC’s have been converted to Large Capacity Septic Systems that also dispose of large volumes of high-strength septage at the Kealakehe WWTP. Also see justification for Kealakehe WWTP Aeration Upgrade. $4,000,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Honokaa LCC Replacement Honokaa, HI Replacement of LCC, Closure Deadline: 9/1/2010 EPA Mandated LCC closures: Numerous State facilities will be served by the Honokaa sewer system (1-Honokaa State Library; 2-Dept. of Health facilities at Civic Center; 3-Judicial Courthouse at Honokaa Civic Ctr; 4. Dept. of Education facilities at Honokaa Elementary, Intermediate & High School; 5. Hawai`i Housing Authority Elderly Housing). $17,500,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Na`alehu & Pahala LCC Replacement Na`alehu & Pahala, HI Replacement of LCC, Closure dates: Na`alehu 4/2011, Pahala 10/2012 EPA Mandated LCC closures: Due to the impending dissolution of C. Brewer, Ltd, there are very limited options for residents served by the current sewer system and the County entered into an agreement with C. Brewer to take over the sewer systems in an effort to assist the communities. While no County facilities will be served by the new systems, the new WWT System in Pahala will be designed to accommodate additional flows from the business community as well as wastewater from the Ka’u High and Elementary Schools. $26,350,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Papaikou and Kulaimano Dewatering Papaikou & Kulaimano, HI Installation of new identical sludge dewatering systems at both Kulaimano and Papaikou WWT Plants with updated equipment. Use of identical equipment at both facilities is required to meet equipment redundancy requirements at both facilities. While normally 2 units would be installed at each facility, DOH has concurred that use of single identical portable units at each facility meets the redundancy provision criteria. $1,600,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Komohana Heights LCC Replacement Hilo, HI Replacement of Komohana Heights LCC; Closure deadline: 1/1/2009 State DOH studies indicate that bacterial levels routinely exceed standards established by HAR 11-54 for marine recreational waters within 1000 ft. of the shoreline. HAR 11-54 requires Enterococci levels not to exceed a geometric mean of 7 colony forming units/100 milliliters – much higher levels have been detected by DOH within Hilo Bay at the shoreline. $4,000,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Kalanianaole Avenue Sewer Rehab – Phase 2 Hilo, HI Second phase of Kalanianaole Avenue Sewer Interceptor project This interceptor conveys all wastewater from areas of the Hilo collection system, north of Banyan Way to the Hilo WWTP. Failure of the interceptor would result in a wastewater spill of approximately 2.5 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) to the Wailoa River within the confines of the Wailoa State Park and would result in the contamination of the Wailoa River, the small boat harbor and Hilo Bay. $8,000,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) North Kona Sewer & Reuse Kona, HI Installation of sewer and reuse infrastructure in the Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. conjunction with the State DOT Hwy. widening Project – Phase II This installation is required in order to serve planned development of the area and will also be a major step in implementation of an effective Effluent Reuse Program that will protect State Waters on the Kona Coast as well as save potable water supplies in the area. $20,050,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Pua Sewage Pump Station – Pump Replacement Hilo, HI Replacement of the existing wastewater pumps, control systems and monitoring systems. Failure of the Pua Sewage Pump Station would result in a sewage spill to State Waters of approximately 3.0 MGD). $1,800,000
  • DEM – Wastewater Division (WWD) Kealakehe Photovoltaic System Kailua-Kona, HI Installation of a Photovoltaic system at the facility to reduce electrical costs and reliance on electricity generated by petroleum products. The Kealakehe WWTP receives a high degree of sunlight and minimal interference from cloud cover. Installation of a photovoltaic system at the facility will reduce the dependence on electricity generated by fuel oil and would therefore help in conserving critical resources. $7,000,000
  • FIRE Makalei Fire Station North Kona, HI Build new station This fire station, built on 2.8 acres, will allow the Fire Dept. to improve response times to these communities that are currently serviced by personnel and vehicles approximately 7 miles away. An additional benefit would be a reduction in fire insurance costs, as the proximity of this station to the residences will improve the insurance rating for these communities. To the greatest extent possible, this building has been designed to the LEED silver standard. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of sustainably designed buildings. The building will incorporate solar water heating and a photo-voltaic electric system for electrical generation $9,000,000
  • MASS TRANSIT Base yard Construction Hilo, HI Construct base yard for transit agency to include an administrative building to serve the public and house office staff; a maintenance facility for vehicle repairs; repair facility; bus wash bay; and fueling station. TIMETABLE: 24 months Currently the transit agency shares a base yard with the Department of Public Works Due to growth by both departments, there is inadequate space available. A base yard for transit agency would allow more space for Public Work and transit. $10,000,000
  • MASS TRANSIT Vehicle Enhancement Project Island-wide Purchase 30-45 passenger buses and 25-30 passenger buses. TIMETABLE: 18 months The residents of Hawai`i County face difficult challenges commuting for work, school, health and recreational purposes, due in part to the distances they must travel to their destinations, fuel costs and lack of transportation alternatives to private automobile. Providing more vehicles to expand transportation services will improve the quality of life of our residents and visitors by providing greater access to jobs and educational institutions; easier access to healthcare facilities; transportation for our youth to after school facilities. $17,000,000
  • MASS TRANSIT Bus Stop and Shelter Project Island-wide Construct 50 covered bus shelters around the County to protect bus riders from the elements. TIMETABLE: 18 months As increasing numbers of people are using the bus service, it is vital that we provide them with comfortable and safe areas to wait for the bus. Having covered shelters will allow riders to be protected from the weather and allow for easy identification of transit agency bus stops. $1,200,000
  • OFFICE OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (OHCD) Kaloko Housing Project Kailua-Kona, HI Development of a 96 multi-family unit (24 transitional and 72 affordable rental) project on part of a County-owned 8-acre parcel To provide for development of viable communities by providing decent housing, suitable living environment and the expansion of economic opportunities. Due to impending closure of the only homeless shelter in West Hawai`i, the development and available Country resources are necessary as a first phase priority. $18,000,000
  • OHCD Solar Energy Program Island-wide Installation of solar energy systems in homes for very low-income elderly and/or disabled homeowners To provide solar energy systems in homes for very low-income elderly and/or disabled homeowners. $500,000
  • OHCD Energy Efficient Homes Project Island-wide Implementation of an Energy Efficiency Homes program To provide low-interest loan to homeowners interested in retrofitting existing homes to increase energy efficiency. $1,000,000
  • OHCD Retrofits for County Owned Multi-family Projects Kawaihae, HI Energy retrofits in Kulaimano Elderly Housing Project in Pepe`ekeo and O`uli Ekahi Tax Credit Project Energy retrofits are essential in increasing energy efficiency and reducing cost to both the project and tenants. $900,000
  • PARKS & REC Island-wide Accessibility Improvements and Architectural Barrier Removal Island-wide Construction of accessibility improvements at all recreational facilities & amenities. TIMETABLE: 2/2009 start; 12-18 month duration To ensure compliance with the ADA for equal access to all individuals. $10,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Waimea Trails & Greenways Phase I Waimea, HI Construction of a new non-vehicular trail system for pedestrians and cyclists linking residential areas within the Waimea’s town center. TIMETABLE: 11/2009 start; 6-8 month duration To link residential areas within the Waimea town center $5,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Alii Kai Subdivision Park Kona, HI Development of a new community neighborhood park; TIMETABLE: 10/2009 start; 6-8 month duration To provide a pavilion, children’s playground equipment & grassed lawn areas for non-organized sports & recreational uses. $4,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Puna Gymnasium & ball fields Puna District, HI Development of a new gymnasium with indoor recreational spaces and outdoor ball field type amenities. TIMETABLE: 2/2010 start; 8-10 month duration The Puna district is severely underserved in their recreational needs. $15,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Hawai`ian Ocean View Estate Community Center/Hurricane Shelter Ocean View, HI Development of a new community center for this growing Ka’u area. TIMETABLE: 10/2009 start; 6-8 month duration To provide seniors programs, youth programs and also double as a hurricane shelter for residents of the area that do not have sufficient protection in such an emergency. $6,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Island-wide Swimming Pool Repairs & Renovations Island-wide Repairs, renovation and upgrades to existing public swimming pool facilities including facility repairs (re-roofing, painting and other repairs), renovations; upgrades to existing pool filtration and circulation systems; TIMETABLE: 7/2009 start; 12-18 month duration To provide additional utility and functionability of the facilities and ensure public health and safety when utilizing the facilities and provision of solar heating for all pools. $7,500,000
  • PARKS & REC Backflow Preventers Installation Island-wide Installation of approved reduced pressure backflow preventers at all facilities island-wide; TIMETABLE: 8/2009 start; 12-16 month duration To comply with State water system standards for safety of the public drinking water system. $2,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Hawai`ian Paradise Park Subdivision District Park Keaau, HI Development of a new 20-acre park in the rapidly developing subdivision in the likewise rapidly growing district of Puna. TIMETABLE: 10/2009 start; 8-10 month duration. To provide direly-needed recreational amenities in close proximity to the residents. $10,000,000
  • PARKS & REC La`aloa (YMCA) Park North Kona, HI Development of ball fields on raw land for community use. TIMETABLE: 7/2009 start; 6-9 months duration Community is in dire need of additional soccer, baseball, softball and similar outdoor field amenities. $2,000,000
  • PARKS & REC Ho`olulu Park Improvements Hilo, HI Improvements to Hilo’s most heavily utilized public recreational facilities including re-roofing Edith K. Stadium and Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale, paving the parking areas, fencing the park’s perimeter, replacing the indoor tennis court’s playing surface, air condition the Civic Auditorium, re-roof and re-side the butler buildings and miscellaneous other facility improvements. TIMETABLE: 6/2009 start; duration 18-24 months Improvements that are much need to Hilo’s most heavily utilized public recreational facilities. $7,500,000
  • PLANNING Puna Makai Alternate Road (PMAR) Puna District, HI PMAR is identified in the Puna Community Development Plan, adopted 9/2008, & the Puna Regional Circulation Plan, 11/05, as necessary to accommodate the transportation needs of the businesses and residents of lower Puna District. Currently only one roadway provides access to the area south of Keaau in lower Puna, that has experienced an extremely high rate of population growth in the last decade and, with the potential for additional growth due to the high number of existing undeveloped lots, is expected to see the existing population of approximately 35,000 double by 2030. Phase: EIS & PER. TIMETABLE: Contract consultant as soon as possible (not later than 6/1/09); complete EIS/PER within 24 months. The PMAR EIS/PER is a necessary first step to getting this high priority infrastructure project constructed. Corridor alignment and design standards that meet the needs and desired lifestyle of the service area need to be identified, including determination of whether or not the PMAR should traverse the expansive existing subdivision of Hawai`ian Paradise Park (HPP) or to merely connect up to the substandard existing HPP roadway network. Additional determinations include initial and final connections to the existing roadway network near Keaau and in Hilo, phasing of construction based on need and availability of resources, extent of eventual connection to points further south of HPP. $2,000,000
  • POLICE Land-Mobile Radio (LMR) Upgrade (Public Safety Communications System) Island-wide Upgrade Land-Mobile Radio System. Macro Corporation has been acquired by County Data Systems as the consultant for this project. TIMETABLE: Preliminary Engr. – 2008 to 2009; Procurement – 2009; Installation – 2010 to 2012 There is a critical need to upgrade the system used by the Police Department as well as other agencies, to enhance public safety and to be in compliance with the FCC Narrowband Requirements with a 1/1/2013 compliance date. Pursuant to FCC mandate, as of 12/31/2012, the County will no longer be able to utilize the VHF radio system that is currently in place in it’s current configuration. $89,000,000
  • POLICE New Pahoa Police Station Pahoa, HI Construct new police station. Construction of a new facility will be at the site developed for construction of a new Fire Station that will place Public Safety services in a centralized area that is highly visible and accessible to the public. Currently the Department of Public Works is overseeing the project and the plans/design have been finalized by the consultant; waiting for a formal construction bid to be announced. TIMETABLE: Formal Bid – 2009; Construction 2009 to 2010 Currently personnel assigned to the Keaau Police Station provide police services to the communities in the lower Puna District and the officers patrolling this area utilize a facility constructed in Pahoa town as a sub-station. The current facility is inadequate in size and provides no room for expansion; not to mention being located in an area off of the main thoroughfare that is utilized by a majority of the community and visitors. $4,600,000
  • POLICE New Captain Cook Police Station Captain Cook, HI Construct a new police station. This project is intended to address both the current and future needs for improved public safety in the South Kona area, as well as incorporate into the facility a firing range to address the needs of the police department in providing for a training facility for our personnel in West Hawai`i. County has acquired the property located adjacent to existing Captain Cook Police Sub-station for construction of facility. Next phase involves the acquisition of a consultant for plans/design. TIMETABLE: Plans/Design Consultant – Summer 2009; Begin construction – 2010. As the community has grown substantially in the North and South Kona Districts, the demands for police services have also increased. At present, the main police station servicing the area is located in Kealakehe, North Kona District, and as a result, response time to emergencies may be delayed due to travel time to the communities located in South Kona. $18,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – BLDG DPW Facilities ADA Compliance Island-wide ADA compliance B Priority to be completed before June 30, 2008 and ADA Compliance C Priority to be completed before June 30, 2010 as per Self Evaluation and Transition Plan for Accessibility to Public Facilities (Beimborn/Kekoa, Associates, 5/17/00). As required by Resolution 261 00 – Island of Hawai`i Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan for Accessibility to Public Facilities. $4,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS ADA Curb Ramp Compliance Program Waimea, HI Replace sidewalks and curb ramps in Waimea to be ADA compliant. TIMETABLE: 80 working days Comply with FHWA settlement agreement. $1,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – BLDG Memorial Hospital Large Capacity Cesspool Conversion Hilo, HI Intercept wastewater discharge to large capacity cesspool. Construct new pump station, force main & connection to the municipal sewer system. The EPA on 12/7/99 promulgated regulation requiring all LCCs to be closed or upgraded by 4/2005. $1,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – BLDG DPW Facilities Backflow Prevention Compliance Island-wide Install water system backflow prevention assembly on all County bldg. facilities. The Department of Water Supply promulgated Rules and Regulations effective 10/21/04 requiring the consumer to install an approved backflow prevention assembly to continue water service. Public Works currently has 67 facilities island-wide that require compliance. $1,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS West Hawai`i Maintenance Facility Kealakekua, South Kona, HI Replacement of an existing county owned building located on the sight with a new facility housing shops and offices for the Department of Public Works Traffic, Building and Automotive Divisions. To accommodate Traffic Division with a facility to house its field crews and materials enabling more expedient and efficient responses to resolve West Hawai`i service calls. Replacement of inadequate service or facility; Improve operation efficiency. $3,500,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS Lindsey Road Bridge Replacement Waimea, HI Replacement of an existing bridge including transitional structures. TIMELINE: 240 working days. Increase carrying capacity of the bridge to meet current standards. $9,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – TRAFFIC Traffic Signal Upgrades- ten signal locations ten locations Upgrading traffic signals from Traconex control cabinets to 170s, installing Uninterrupted Power Sources, upgrading loop detection and adding communication network connections. TIMETABLE: Construction to begin in six months and completed 12-18 months Upgrades will provide additional controller capabilities for signal coordination. Standby power availability during power interruptions. Upgrading vehicular detection for volume counting. Providing communications for real time video viewing at home facility and ability to trouble shoot from home facility. $1,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – TRAFFIC Hokuli’a Bypass Mitigation – Four new signal locations Kona, HI Install traffic calming measures, new traffic signals and signs and markings. Four signals located at Hualalai, Lunepule, Royal Poinciana and Kaleiopapa. TIMETABLE: Construction will start in one month and be finished in 18 months. Mitigation increased traffic due to a partial bypass opening. $2,050,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – BLDG Hazardous Materials Abatement at County Facilities Island-wide Remove hazardous building materials identified by survey as posing immediate health risk and as required to proceed with the maintenance, renovation and repair of facilities. The National Emissions Standards Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) 1973 Act obligates the County to perform investigative reconnaissance for hazardous material content of all building components prior to any planned demolition or repair/maintenance work. Samples must be taken by a certified technician licensed by the State and analyzed by an accredited laboratory. NESHAP also requires hazardous material demolition and repair/maintenance work to be properly performed by trained and certified worker(s), and a minimum 10 day notification to the EPA of any hazardous material abatement work. A hazardous material inventory for Co. facilities is being established and will be maintained for administration of requirement. $4,500,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS Saddle Road Resurfacing/Reconstruction Resurface 13 miles of Saddle Road from MP 43 to MP 56. TIMETABLE: 200 working days. Existing pavement is highly deteriorated. Project will improve drivability and improve safety. $15,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – ENG Alii Parkway North Kona, HI Construct a 4.5 mile long, 2-lane highway extending Queen Kaahumanu Hwy, just south of Kona Hillcrest Subd. To Alii Drive near the Keauhou Shopping Center. Improvements will include paved shoulders, landscaping and a multi-purpose lane. TIMETABLE: 480 Working Days. Project will significantly reduce vehicular congestion on existing Alii Drive, Kuakini Hwy. and segments of Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. Project will take approximately 64,000 man days to construct during a 2-year period. $15,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – BLDG Hamakua Highway Maintenance Base yard North Hilo, HI North Hilo/Hamakua Road (Highways) Base yard facility. Request is for re-appropriation (5193.06) of unexpended balance and additional funding for construction. The existing metal quonset hut facility is old, electrical lines do not meet safety standards and the building needs major repairs to its metal structure. We have outgrown the current storage area for our equipment and supplies. The present facility is not on County property. A site on County property has been located in the Pa`auilo area. This would centralize operations for the North Hilo/Hamakua districts and make operations more efficient. $5,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – TRAFFIC New Energy Efficient Street Lights Island-wide Replacing existing street lights with energy efficient lights on existing poles. TIMETABLE: Construction will start in six months and be finished in 18 months. New technology is providing 50 to 70% energy savings on replacement fixtures. $1,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – BLDG DPW Facilities Hardening Island-wide Hardening existing DPW facilities (Administration, Fire, Police, Civil Defense, Fuel Depots, Base yards, etc) to resist and survive seismic and severe weather conditions. Critical for Public Safety or Health; Improve Operating efficiency. This project is needed in order to upgrade existing DPW facilities for seismic and severe weather survivability. Fire, Police and Civil Defense are required to remain fully operational during and after natural disaster events. Administration, Fuel Depots, Base yards are essential for recovery efforts after a natural disaster. $7,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – ENG Mamalahoa Widening North Hawai`i Community Hospital to MM56 Increase traffic capacity through the Kamamalu intersection. TIMETABLE: 240 working days Improve traffic safety and capacity. $10,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – ENG Kamanu Street Extension Kona, HI Extend Kamanu Street to connect Hina Lani Street to Kealakehe Parkway. TIMETABLE: Approximately 10,000 man days to construct over a one year period. Provide additional street connectivity to reduce traffic congestion in West Hawai`i. $15,000,000
  • PUBLIC WORKS – ENG (Priority 38) La`aloa Avenue Extension Kona, HI Construct approximately 1,400 ft. of new 60-ft wide road to extend the La`aloa Street from its present terminus to the Kuakini Hwy, including a full movement signalized intersection with acceleration/deceleration lanes on Kuakini Hwy. Construction also includes upgrading lower La`aloa Ave. through White Sands Beach Estates Subd. TIMETABLE 360 working days. Provide a new mauka to makai connector from Alii Dr. to Kuakini Hwy. to improve traffic circulation in this area. $17,000,000
  • RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Hilo Bayfront Trails Project Hilo, HI Completion of phase 1 (Conceptual Planning) of a 3-phase project to construct a multi-use path from Hilo’s cruise ship terminal to the Wailuku Pier, connecting existing recreational sites along the Hilo Bayfront area, both Mauka and Makai of Kamehameha Avenue and begin phase 2 (Design). TIMETABLE: Begin EIS early 2009 The project focuses on protecting, enhancing and managing our local cultural and coastal resources and would implement the Hawai`i Ocean Resources Management Plan and is in keeping with Coastal Zone Management objectives. $1,200,000
  • WATER SUPPLY Waimea Water System Improvement, 12-inch relief line from Spencer Road to Opelo Road South Kohala, HI Waimea Water System Improvement from Spencer Road to Opelo Road. Install 5,900 l.f. of 12-inch waterline. TIMETABLE: Out to bid 5/2009. To provide transmission capacity to the lower system without adverse effects on the distribution system. Low pressure conditions occur on a regular basis in this distribution system when the lower system is being replenished. $1,100,000
  • WATER SUPPLY Palani Road Transmission Waterline North Kona, HI Construction 2 concrete reservoirs and 12,500 ft. of waterline running south of Palani Rd. in mostly private, undeveloped property that extends from Mamalahoa Hwy. to the Liliuokalani Subdivision. TIMETABLE: Out to bid 2/2009. $14,000,000
  • WATER SUPPLY Queen K Highway Widening – Kealakehe to Keahole 16″ W/L installation North Kona, HI Install approximately 25,000 l.f. of 16″ waterline from Kealakehe Parkway to Keahole Reservoir. This also includes typing into Hinalani Street. This project will be inclusive with the State Highway design-build project. TIMETABLE: Out to bid 12/2008 $3,750,000

TOTAL: $487,100,000

*Note:  Due to format of file received, the number of jobs each project is expected to employ was left out.  If you are interested in the number of jobs each project is scheduled to employ, please email me.
**Edit update –  (Click Here for Printable PDF File which includes amount of people each project is expected to employ) Courtesy of Hawaii24/7

Lono Tyson Named New Director of the County Department of Environmental Management

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi has named Lono Tyson as the new director of the county Department of Environmental Management effective January 2, 2009.

The appointment fills another key slot in the mayor’s cabinet. Kenoi was sworn in as mayor on Dec. 1.

Tyson, 44, was solid waste division chief for the county’s Department of Environmental Management from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to live in Australia with his wife and family. Since leaving the Big Island, he has been employed as principal engineer for the international professional services company GHD based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Tyson has more than 15 years of experience in waste management including planning, engineering, design, permitting, construction, operation and maintenance of solid waste, wastewater, and other civil engineering projects.

“I am honored that we were able to get someone of Mr. Tyson’s experience, education and background to serve in this position,” Kenoi said. “He has experience both in government and outside of government.”

“As a Native Hawaiian engineer, I think he can serve as a very good role model to a lot of our students and future leaders here in the County of Hawaii, demonstrating that they too can be engineers and leaders in county government,” Kenoi said.

Tyson has more than a decade of private sector experience, and served as landfill engineer for the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, and as waste management engineer for the state of California’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Most recently in his work for GHD, he served as procurement manager for the construction of a waste reduction technology facility in south Sydney. He was also technical advisor for the construction, expansion and rehabilitation of landfills, as well as the design, construction, and operation of waste transfer stations and recycling centers throughout Australia and Chile.

Tyson was born and raised in Arcadia, Calif., and has a bachelor of science degree in engineering technology (construction) from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif.

“Just over five years ago I came to the Big Island to gain insight into my Hawaiian roots and to share my experiences with those who were interested in preserving the aina,” Tyson said. “I see this as an opportunity to complete unfinished business and to share my love of the islands and its people with my family. I look forward to assisting the County in developing and implementing sustainable solutions for managing our solid waste and wastewater. It is my hope that we all work together to remove the barriers that divide us as Hawaiians and prevent us from moving forward together towards our shared goal of preserving this beautiful gift called Hawai’i.”

The Department of Environmental Management is responsible for all matters relating to sewer operation and maintenance of five sewer systems as well as solid waste disposal and landfill programs, vehicle disposal, and all other environmental projects including county recycling programs. The department also provides key support during Civil Defense emergencies

Today’s (Strip) KO


Upcoming: Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day at UH Hilo

Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day

Saturday, January 24, 2009 – UH Hilo:


Hawaii Hopes for $418 Million From Congress for Highways & Transportation

More than 5,000 highway projects are ready to go, state transportation officials say, if Congress will only pony up $64.3 billion as part of an economic aid plan.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which compiled the list, said the projects would provide jobs and help reduce a backlog of crumbling roads and bridges.

The group wants Congress to include the projects in an economic recovery bill that could total as much as $500 billion. The spending is a priority for President-elect Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders, who say they hope to have it ready for the new president to sign when he takes office Jan. 20…

More Here

The list by state, number of projects, and dollar value of projects, in millions. x-denotes states that did not provide a total number of projects:

  • Alabama, 16, $877
  • Alaska, 4, $139
  • Arizona, 72, $1,091
  • Arkansas, 130, $1,120
  • California, $5,000-x
  • Colorado, 113, $1,154
  • Connecticut, 5, $765
  • Delaware, $125-x
  • District of Columbia, 3, $56
  • Florida, 92, $6,968
  • Georgia, 319, $1,1933
  • Hawaii, 51, $418
  • Idaho, 126, $805
  • Illinois, 245, $783
  • Indiana, 109, $501
  • Iowa, 41, $221
  • Kansas, 107, $357
  • Kentucky, 50, $400
  • Louisiana, 58, $423
  • Maine, 44, $221
  • Maryland, $230-x
  • Massachusetts, 37, $220
  • Michigan, 208, $1,750
  • Minnesota, 200, $950
  • Mississippi, 75, $600
  • Missouri, 34, $510
  • Montana, 158, $350
  • Nebraska, 30, $250
  • Nevada, 40, $250
  • New Hampshire, 27, $230
  • New Jersey, 153, $1,640
  • New Mexico, 49, $1,136
  • New York, 40, $550
  • North Carolina, 296, $5,170
  • North Dakota, $300-x
  • Ohio, $2,160-x
  • Oklahoma, 95, $778
  • Oregon, 105, $564
  • Pennsylvania, 319, $1,030
  • Rhode Island, 40, $100
  • South Carolina, 51, $850
  • South Dakota, 29, $155
  • Tennessee, 120, $400
  • Texas, 853, $6,018
  • Utah, 136, $10,800
  • Vermont, 17, $78
  • Virginia, 40, $680
  • Washington, 60, $1339
  • West Virginia, 181, $1,134
  • Wisconsin, 60, $320
  • Wyoming, 105, $400

Punahou’s Te’o Finishes Season as 8th Best Player in the Nation

At the beginning of this football season, I mentioned to everyone to watch for Punahou football player Manti Te’o on my blog here.

Rivals sports today declared him the 8th best player in the NATION!

Wish him the best of luck in college… just wish he would stay home and play for the WARRIORS!


“Project Better Place” and Mobility Miles

I was just reading this article from the San Jose paper the Mercury News and I found this interesting article with more on how “Project Better Place” will be making their money on this project:

Under the Better Place model, consumers can either buy or lease an electric car from the French automaker Renault or Japanese companies like Nissan (General Motors snubbed Agassi) and then buy miles on their electric car batteries from Better Place the way you now buy an Apple cell phone and the minutes from AT&T. That way Better Place, or any car company that partners with it, benefits from each mile you drive. GM sells cars. Better Place is selling mobility miles

So the way I see it, right now we tax gasoline for road projects and other things.

Question: How do we tax a private company on their profits from this invention if their cars are going to be using public roads?

Do we pass it off onto customers as they register their cars… therefore making registering these cars very expensive?  Do we pass it on at the Electric Charging Stations?

People using these cars on a daily basis to drive in from Puna to Hilo are going to be paying a lot per mile to this private company!

New Exhibit at Tsunami Museum Focuses on 2004 Deadly Tsunami

The Pacific Tsunami Museum is opening a new exhibit that is dedicated to the 2004 Deadly Indonesian Tsunami on Sunday, Dec. 14th.

“The Indian Ocean Tsunami exhibit will include the earthquake/tsunami generation, scenes from Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives, and survivor stories.”

The San Francisco Chronicle ran the follow article:

Nearly 50 years after Hawaii’s last catastrophic tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo is taking stock of a more recent disaster, thousands of miles away.

“The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004,” a new exhibit about the deadliest and most destructive ocean surge in recorded history, opens Dec. 14, two weeks before the fourth anniversary of the calamity that killed several hundred thousand in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other countries in its path…

More Here

Brown Water Advisory Issued for ALL ISLANDS

Citing the heavy rains and flood conditions, the State Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch has issued a brown water advisory for the entire state this morning.

More Here

Honeyeaters in Hawaii Different then Honeyeaters Elsewheres

Just read this interesting article about the Hawaiian Honeyeater Birds:
…”Everybody assumed Hawaii’s honeyeaters were the same as the ones in Australia and New Guinea,” said Robert Fleischer of the Smithsonian Institution. “In fact, nobody had a clue who their relatives really were…”
…They now reveal that the Hawaiian honeyeaters don’t fit anywhere near the Australasian honeyeaters. Instead, their closest relatives are waxwings, silky flycatchers, and palm chats, mostly fruit and insect feeders that do not resemble honeyeaters in any apparent way…
More Here

Had I Known…

Had I known that Hunter Bishop was not only going to stop blogging… BUT ALSO REMOVE HIS BLOG COMPLETELY… I would have copied and collected a few key blog posts that he had made for future references. :(

The blog in particular that I’m looking for was the Tax Break down by districts here in Hawaii.

If anyone knows how to find these statistics, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

Video Clips of the Flooding Going on Now… Schofield Barracks Flooded

Seems like about once a year here in Hawaii we get a real good dumping of rain. Looks like it’s happening now on Oahu.

Here are some random clips from the last 24 hours of flooding going on throughout Hawaii. It hasn’t rained too much where I’m at in Pahoa, but the neighbor islands are getting soaked and there is a current flash flood warnings going off.

Makaha Valley:
Another example:
Schofield Barracks:

Big Island Video News Footage of District 5 Debate Caused Ethics Complaint?

Online blogs made a very big difference in the elections this year both nationally and locally.

The District 5 Debate that was posted online by Big Island Video News and online comments that were later made on Hunter Bishops Blog lead to an ethics complaint from Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph against Lincoln Ashida. I myself personally believe that Mr. Joseph may have lost District 5 Council race because of that debate alone. (I was the timekeeper at this debate so I did follow it closely)

Big Island Chronicle recently mentioned that Lincoln Ashida was cleared of the charge.

I just thought I would bring forth the short clip that caused this whole controversy.

You can view it here.

Participate in PBS Discussion Tonight on Hawaii’s Digital Switch

I just noticed on Leslie Wilcox’s Blog that tonight on PBS there will be a discussion on the Digital Transmission switch that will be happening on January 15th.

If you haven’t yet focused on what Hawaii’s January 15 digital transition is all about, I invite you to take advantage of a total of an hour-and-a-half of clarity on this issue on PBS Hawaii tonight. At 7:30pm, watch and participate in our live, hour-long, call-in Island Insights program. And at 10pm, we’ll have a half-hour program addressing the what, why, when, where of Hawaii’s digital transition.

Last Nights Sky

I’m losing it folks!

Did anyone check out the sky last night?

It seemed as though the Moon and the Stars were moving through the sky much faster then they normally do.


I just asked Andrew Cooper if there was anything different about last nights sky… I’ll see what his response is.

Maybe I’m just becoming more observant of the sky or something… but it sure was a weird looking effect yesterday.

It seemed like I was watching a “time-lapse” of the sky moving at a very slow pace… Normally, I can’t see the moon and stars actually moving with my naked eye… but last night… It literally seemed like they were flying across the sky at a very rapid pace.

Or maybe I am losing it? ;)

Hawaii Couple to Give $100,000 to Anyone Who Can Find Buyer of Their Home(s)

This sounds a bit more realistic then the $100 Essay Contests offered here and here.

…In a grim real estate market where homebuilders and sellers across the nation are offering incentives from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to wide-screen TVs, a Hawaii couple is upping the ante by offering a $100,000 bounty to anyone who can locate a buyer or two.

David Bangert and Linda Harris of Kailua listed their two high-end Hawaii properties on the market about five months ago with real estate agents, but amid a declining market and lackluster response, they recently decided to include a $100,000 reward for each property in hopes of locating a buyer soon…

…The couple’s first property is a 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom home on a 35,000-square-foot oceanfront lot in the Windward Oahu community of Hauula. It’s listed for $1.7 million, down from the initial $2.3 million, and features a gourmet kitchen, stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from all angles and a stream that runs along side the property.

The second is a pristine, 38-acre undeveloped parcel near the ocean in the Keaau area of the Big Island for $1.2 million…

More Here

Some interesting comments are being generated over on the Big Island Chronicle regarding the “Essay House” on the Big Island over here.