First Public Electric Vehicle Charger at the State Capitol Introduced Today

Media Release:

Governor Neil Abercrombie today unveiled the first electric vehicle charger at the State Capitol, located in the building’s underground parking garage. The charging station, which accepts major credit cards and requires no membership, is available to all electric vehicle owners and is the first of many charging stations to be installed across the state as part of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s (DBEDT) EV Ready Program.

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At the State Capitol, it will cost EV drivers $2 an hour to charge, with a maximum of four hours. Charging times vary depending on the range of the car, but generally an hour of charging provides about 15 miles of range.

“Our vision for the future is that it becomes more common and accessible for people to drive electric vehicles,” Governor Abercrombie said. “The first public charging station for electric vehicles is a step toward a clean energy future, and every single step is important.”

Hawaii Electric Vehicle Charge Station

Electric Vehicle Charge Station

Through this program, the state is supporting the transformation of Hawaii’s transportation sector to be less dependent on petroleum and becoming electric vehicle friendly by installing approximately five charging stations at State owned buildings downtown and adding a small fleet of electric vehicles to the State motor pool. In June, the State received its first electric vehicles, two Nissan all-electric Leafs. The Hawaii State Energy Office and state motor pool currently have the vehicles.

Honolulu-based Volta Industries installed the Eaton Corporation charger equipped with a credit-card-swipe system, at the State Capitol. The charger is a Level 2, 240-volt station, using the industry-standard J1772 connector, which is compatible with all new electric cars currently in production. The cost of the charger unit and installation was approximately $8,000.

In 2009, $4 million of the State Energy Program’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding was allocated to the Transportation Energy Diversification EV Ready Program. DBEDT provided $475,500 of federal ARRA stimulus funds to the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) Automotive Management Division to assist Hawaii State governments comply with statutory requirements for electric vehicle parking and to lead by example through the purchase of advanced technology vehicles such as electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicle supply equipment (EV charging stations).

“Hawaii is charging ahead and making charging stations more accessible to people choosing to drive electric vehicles. We are committed to a smaller carbon footprint, 70 percent clean energy by 2030 and opportunities help protect our environment,” said Bruce Coppa, Director, State Department of Accounting and General Services.

The Capitol station, located in the State Capitol underground parking garage, is accessible via Miller Street off of Punchbowl Street, is open to the public during operating hours; 4:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday; 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays; closed on Sundays.

“Hawaii drivers now have a convenient charging facility downtown. Thanks to our success in securing federal funding, this is the first of an entire network of charging stations we plan to install throughout the state, as we build an infrastructure that will maintain Hawaii’s leadership in electric vehicles and entice more manufacturers to Hawaii,” said Richard Lim, Director, State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

DBEDT’s EV Ready Grant Program has awarded $2.6 million in federal stimulus funds to six organizations to accelerate Hawaii’s adoption of electric vehicles and related charging equipment. Another $1.4 million in federal stimulus money was allocated to the EV Ready Rebate Program, which allows rebates of up to $4,500 toward the purchase of new electric vehicles. Rebates of up to $500 are also available for the purchase and installation of new electric vehicle chargers in homes or business sites. Rebate forms are available on DBEDT’s Energy office electric vehicle website, electricvehicle.hawaii.gov.

In addition to the State EV rebates, Federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 are also available for highway-capable vehicles (the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle credit, which applies to at least 200,000 units per auto manufacturer before it phases out) and up to $1,000 for individual buyers and up to $30,000 for businesses installing EV charger stations.

The State of Hawai’i’s economic enterprise is to pursue energy independence by building a clean energy economy and reaching 70 percent clean energy by 2030. The DBEDT State Energy Office’s mission is to act as a catalyst for efficiency measures, renewable energy resources, transportation initiatives, green jobs, and investments in Hawaii’s economy.

For more information, visit hawaii.gov/dbedt/energy and electricvehicle.hawaii.gov.

Hawaii County Furlough Fridays – What’s Open… What’s Closed

Media Release:

Most County of Hawai`i offices that serve the public will be closed on Friday, July 29, which will be the first county employee furlough day of the new fiscal year. Starting in August, the county furlough days will be scheduled on the first Friday of each month.

In an effort to minimize any inconvenience to the public, county officials are asking residents to include the furlough schedule in their planning to ensure the county agencies they need will be open when they arrive.

In particular, motorists who need to register their vehicles or renew their drivers licenses near the end of July are urged to plan ahead. County vehicle registration offices will be closed on Friday, July 29, which would normally be the last business day of the month.

Hele-On bus service will operate as regularly scheduled, but administrative offices for the bus system will be closed on furlough days.

The Department of Parks & Recreation will not close any pools in July because of the furlough, but pools will be closed for two furlough days in August. Pool users are asked to check with the individual pools to determine the furlough schedule for each facility.

The Department of Public Works’ Aupuni Center and West Hawai’i Civic Center offices will be closed to the public on furlough days, and contractors are asked to schedule critical work and administrative requirements around the furlough days.

The county is implementing one furlough day per month as a cost-saving measure under a new two-year agreement between the County and the Hawai`i Government Employees Association. The furloughs will save the county an estimated $2.1 million per year.

For more information about county news and events, please visit hawaiicountymayor.com

Frank DeMarco Resigns as the Director of the Department of Environmental Management

Media Release:

The Director of the Department of Environmental Management, Frank DeMarco, recently submitted his resignation from this position to transfer back to the Department of Public Works, effective August 1. DeMarco, a licensed professional engineer, will return to his former position as the Floodplain Manager in the Engineering Division.

Dora Beck, current head of Environmental Management’s Wastewater Division will be temporarily assigned to the Director’s position. Beck has worked in various engineering capacities for the department since June 2003. She holds a MS degree in Civil Engineering, with emphasis in Environmental Engineering, from San Jose State University. Beck is a licensed professional engineer in California and Hawaii.

In announcing these changes, Mayor Billy Kenoi praised DeMarco for his leadership in addressing difficult situations, and for carrying out the critical work of the department. He also expressed gratitude for Beck’s willingness to step in to provide continued leadership and expertise.

According to Kenoi, “I feel fortunate to have had a man of Frank DeMarco’s background on our team. I appreciate his willingness to tackle the many challenges of the department and I respect his decision to spend more time with his family. We look forward to working with Ms. Dora Beck in her new role as acting Director of the Department of Environmental Management.”

Wordless Wednesday – Flash Mob Hula on Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii with Te Tiare Patitifa

A typically placid morning on Kaanapali Beach became a swirl of song and dance in a flash on July 22, 2011. Visitors, hospitality workers and other onlookers experienced a Tahitian dance flash mob as more than 20 youth, who moments prior appeared relaxing along Maui’s golden sand, began to rise and sway to the sound of Polynesian percussion. The performance culminated in an all-halau display of dance.

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The dancers were students from Te Tiare Patitifa, a halau (school) based in Wailuku. The group’s director, kumu hula Keoni Manuel, choreographed the performance.

The flash mob concept isn’t new, but this incarnation puts a cultural spin on a topical phenomenon.

“It’s a bit unconventional, but we’re proud to showcase the talent of our performers — especially the kids — and promote the culture of our islands,” said Lynn Okamoto, general manager of Lahaina Cannery Mall. “There have been other flash mobs in Hawaii, but they’re dancing to Katy Perry and Usher. We wanted to represent the host culture. We wanted to share a little aloha.”

The purpose of the performance was not only to find a creative way to share the culture, but also to raise awareness of the 13th annual Keiki Hula Festival held at Lahaina Cannery Mall, which was held July 23 and 24. The annual, two-day event features halau from across Maui County presenting richly choreographed kahiko (ancient hula) and auana (modern) hula that express the traditional values of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

The performance was coordinated by Gilbert & Associates, the Maui-based advertising agency for Lahaina Cannery Mall.

President of HSTAR-R – Calling for Demonstration Against Upcoming Governor Abercrombie Visit

Looks like Governor Abercrombies upcoming August 2nd visit to the Big Island has upset the Hawaii State Teachers Association – Retired group here on the Big Island according to it’s president Wayne Joseph.

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore, became the rallying cry of pensioners attending a meeting at the ILWU Hall in Hilo today, July 25, 2011.

Representatives from various retirement unions came together to hear a variety of complaints against Governor Neil Abercrombie.

ILWU president supports protest of Abercrombie

Abercrombie has gone on record as saying that he will renew his call for a pension tax and ending Medicare Plan B reimbursements in 2012…

I gave a speech reminding all that on August 1, 1938 some 200 brave workers picketed the docks in Hilo and was disbursed by 70 police officers in an anti union atmosphere.

That day is known as the Hilo Massacre.  Although no one died there were 50 injuries to those brave union representatives.

Today we face the same turmoil from our current Governor who has given every indication that he too is anti union by going after retirement benefits and in his failure to negotiate a contract with the teachers.

The Governor will be on the Big Island on Tuesday, August 2, giving speeches at three Hilo venues and we plan a protest at all three areas…

Full article here: Support Grows to Demonstrate Against Abercrombie Visit

In a posting yesterday, Wayne Joseph writes:

"We supported you when you needed us"

Retirees we need you help on August 1 and 2nd for the following events:

August 1st  8 am sign making at the Hilo ILWU hall.    We will be making picket signs to be used during our informational pickets on August 2nd.

 August 2, 2011 Scheduled events – Governor will appear at:

8 am Keaukaha Elem 
9 am Hilo Medical Center 
10 am UHH Science and Tech Building 
11:30 Chamber Luncheon @ Imiloa 

2 pm Hilo State Building Office Opening/Boards and Commissions   

4 options – 8am, 9am, 10am and 2pm please advise which event you will be available to attend.

Hoping to get around 100 members and friends to attend. Please advise , Hope you can attend all events to send a clear message.   Please wear your Logo shirts to show our union support.

Please email me at waiakeabigdog@aol.com and let me know which events you can attend.