Department of Emergency Management Announces Roll-Out of the Oahu Emergency Evacuation Plan Project

The Department of Emergency Management announced today that it will roll-out the Oahu Emergency Evacuation Plan Project beginning early in 2013.

The $500,000 one-year project funded by a grant from the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization with match funding from the City and County of Honolulu will identify high-risk coastal evacuation areas on Oahu and develop a strategy to designate evacuation routes and placement of evacuation signage.

Tsunami Sign

The project team consists of six highly regarded firms led by Robert Collins of Atkins North America, Inc. who will provide project management. Other team members include Group 70 International, Solutions Pacific, LLC., Martin and Chock, Inc., University of Hawaii Sea Grant and Dewberry and Davis, LLC.

Project objectives include performing a gap analysis that addresses a community tsunami risk assessment, evacuation capability, behavioral science and strategies to minimize traffic congestion.

Tsunami Entering

An integral part of this project includes public outreach meetings in evacuation high-risk areas to seek planning input from local organizations and Oahu residents.

“We recognize that our residents have been requesting coastal evacuation routes and evacuation signage for quite some time”, said Melvin Kaku, director for the Department of Emergency Management. “The project, information and public input gathered during this one-year study will ensure that we, the City, approach evacuation routing and signage as a holistic process to ensure consistency across Oahu. I especially want to acknowledge the support we have received from key community organizations in Ewa, Hau’ula, Kailua, Nanakuli and the North Shore who have come to the forefront as community disaster preparedness stake holders”.

Tsunami Leaving

Regional community outreach meetings are planned in identified high-risk coastal evacuation areas on Oahu. Specific dates and locations of these public meetings will be released as soon as site hosting agreements have been completed.

 

State ID Program Moving to County Driver Licensing Offices

The Governor’s neighbor island Liaison Offices will stop issuing State ID cards on Friday, December 14, 2012.  There will be a brief period when the public will not be able to obtain a State ID.

Hawaii State ID Card

Act 310 (SLH 2012) transfers the responsibility of State IDs from the Attorney General’s office to the State Department of Transportation beginning January 1, 2013.  The County driver’s license offices will resume that responsibility on behalf of State DOT. Members of the public in Hawai‘i County will be able to apply for a State ID at the Hawai‘i County driver license offices in Hilo and Kona.

This transition moves Hawai‘i one step closer to meeting federal requirements under the REAL ID Act of 2005.  Currently, Hawai‘i is the only state where driver’s license and state identification cards are issued by different government offices.

Other changes affecting State Identification beginning on January 1st include:

  • No appointments are required – (available at Hilo and Kona Driver License Offices only)
  • Renewals by mail will be offered to those citizens 80 years of age or older (must be submitted with proper documentation)
  • Minimum age for state ID is 10 years old
  • Fee changes

Documents required to obtain State IDs are the same as the documents required to obtain a driver license. These requirements can be viewed at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/finance-dl-hi-legal-presence

For questions regarding State IDs through December 31st please continue to contact the Governor’s Liaison Offices in Hilo at 974-6265 and Kona at 327-4953.

After January 1st please contact the driver license offices in Hilo or Kona by email at vehiclerl@co.hawaii.hi.us or by phone at 961-2222.

 

Department of Agriculture Gets Approval to Release Moth to Combat Fireweed in Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has obtained approval from the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) to release the Arctiidae moth to combat the spread of Fireweed, an invasive pest that is toxic to livestock, Senator Daniel K. Inouye announced today.

Fireweed

Fireweed is an invasive weed from Madagascar which has infected an estimated 850,000 acres primarily on Maui and Hawaii Island. Fireweed has no natural predators in Hawaii, is resistant to drought, and if left unchecked, could spread to an additional 1.5 million acres in the next ten years.

“For the last decade, Hawaii’s cattle industry has been combating Fireweed. Due to the scope of Fireweed’s spread, chemical sprays are not feasible or economical. I want to express my gratitude to the State Department of Agriculture and to the USDA-APHIS for working together to approve the release of this bio-control moth that will help to control this invasive flower. It is my hope that this effort will help to ensure that Hawaii’s cattle industry will continue to thrive and help the state move toward greater food self sufficiency,” said Senator Inouye.

It is believed that Fireweed arrived in Hawaii in the 1980s.

Each Fireweed flower produces 30,000 seeds per year which are easily spread by wind, hiking boots, vehicles, and animals. The Arctiidae moth is also native to Madagascar and feeds on Fireweed.

The state continues to research other animals that could be used to further disrupt Fireweed’s spread.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Hawaii State Teachers Negotiations Update With President Wil Okabe

President Wil Tanabe

President Wil Okabe

President Wil Okabe gives teachers an update regarding the negotiations on December 10, 2012 and the State’s take-or-leave-it attitude.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/FGVffo0pRDg]

 

Oahu Public Shoreline Access Information Now Available Online

Residents and visitors alike enjoy the shorelines of Oahu for a wide range of recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, surfing, and snorkeling. But historically, public access to shoreline locations has not always been obvious.

The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Office of Planning have worked collaboratively with the City and County of Honolulu and NOAA Fisheries to review and update information defining Oahu’s public access.

“This project demonstrates how we can improve public access to coastal resources when federal, state, and county agencies combine their talents and resources toward a common goal,” said William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR chairperson.

Click to see shoreline access spots on Oahu

Click to see shoreline access spots on Oahu

Public access points can now be found on a new easy-to-use map-based website that shows locations all around Oahu that can be clicked on and zoomed to show specific location name, and other information. Go to City and County of Honolulu Shoreline Access Points (and map) at http://bit.ly/QUz56q

“This comprehensive list and map of public shoreline access points are valuable resources for local fishermen, residents, and visitors,” said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. “This is an excellent example of multiple government agencies working together to develop easily accessible information that benefits all.”

The city Department of Planning and Permitting along with the state Office of Planning will coordinate with other relevant agencies to keep the information up-to-date.

 

Police Looking for 19-Year-Old Maui Woman Who May Be in Puna

Update 2/11/13 -Hawaiʻi Island police have located 19-year-old Nhi Nguyen Tuyet Pham of Maui, who was reported missing.

She was found in good health in Puna on Sunday (February 10).

Hawaiʻi County police are searching for a 19-year-old Maui woman who was reported missing from Lakewood, Washington, where she attends college.

Nhi Nguyen Tuyet Pham

Nhi Nguyen Tuyet Pham

Nhi Nguyen Tuyet Pham may be on the island of Hawaiʻi, possibly in Puna.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Daniel Murray at 965-2716.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

Big Island Police Investigating Cause of Fire and the Discovery of a Body in Honoka’a

Police are investigating the cause of a fire and the discovery of a body in a house in Honokaʻa.

HPDBadge

On Tuesday (December 11) at about 8:21 p.m., police and fire personnel responded to a home in Āhualoa in upper Honokaʻa after receiving a report of a structure fire and found the structure fully engulfed. Police determined that there was an occupant of the residence who was unaccounted for.

Police and fire personnel discovered the body after extinguishing the fire.

Detectives and an evidence specialist from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section responded and are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a fire and a coroner’s inquest.

Detectives have not released the identity of the deceased person and an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

The structure was deemed a total loss.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case contact Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.