3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island Tonight

A 3.0 magnitude earthquake shook the Volcano area of the Big Island this evening:

30 Volcano

31st Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show is Coming Up

“A Rainbow of Orchids” is the theme of the 31st annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show and Sale 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. Admission is free and the annual event offers complimentary refreshments, plus an orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last. Cameras are welcome.

The 30th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale is coming up

The 31st annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale is coming up

In addition to an elaborate indoor display of blooming orchids showcasing the many colors found in numerous hybrids, the show offers a specialty collection of United States Postal Service orchid stamps and colorful orchid badges from clubs across the nation. The unique display includes a selection of antique and modern magnifying glasses to examine the stamps by club historian Carol Zakahi.

Attendees are also invited to view the just-completed Orchid Grotto on the grounds of the mission. The grotto was completed by club volunteers and was recently named a 2013 Landscape & Beautification Award winner by Scenic Hawaii.

The Daifukuji Taiko drummers offer a rousing performance in the parking lot at 10 a.m. and harpist Bonnie Mitchell will also provide morning entertainment.

Got growing questions? Veteran members will staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts eight charter members who each have been growing orchids at different Kona elevations.

In addition to the other displays, the annual event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids, plus expert tips on how to grow them.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, contact Sarah Fogelstrom, 808-328-8501.

 

Governor Abercrombie Releases $134.7 Million for Hawaii Schools

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $134.7 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs), identified by members of the state Legislature, that will improve Hawaii’s public school facilities while enhancing economic conditions.

Abercrombie at School
“These priority projects will address many needed repairs and upgrades at our public schools to create environments in which students can learn and thrive,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The improvements are an investment in our keiki and our economy. Capital improvement projects like these across the state are contributing to Hawaii’s strong economy and our improved state unemployment rate, which declined to 4.7 percent in May.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects has been approved by the Governor:

Various Schools, Statewide

  • $41,700,000 – Construction for numerous repair and maintenance projects at school facilities across the state, including re-roofing, electrical upgrades, plumbing and other work
  • $2,000,000 – Planning, design, construction and equipment to provide energy improvements at various schools to identify inefficiencies and develop and implement energy conservation plans; the DOE will identify those schools with inordinate electricity consumption as compared to other schools
  • $1,000,000 – Planning, design and construction to remove potentially hazardous material to ensure various state schools are up-to-date with current federal standards
  • $500,000 – Construction to provide safe, age appropriate, and accessible playground equipment and walkways that meet the ADA Accessibility Guidelines at campuses that include Aina Haina, Manoa, Waialae, Pearl City Highlands, and Pahala Elementary Schools

Specific Schools

  • $40,000,000 – Kapolei II Elementary School, Oahu – Construction for the new Kapolei II Elementary School to accommodate population growth in this area of Oahu; the school will accommodate approximately 750 students
  • $9,600,000 – Ewa Elementary School, Oahu – Construction and equipment for an eight-classroom building to meet growth and enrollment needs; the building will include seven general education classrooms, one computer lab, one faculty center, two utility closets, restrooms, and mechanical/electrical/communications rooms
  • $8,000,000 – McKinley High School, Oahu – Design and construction to create a new synthetic track and field per recommendations of a completed athletic master plan for the school; project includes the demolition and rebuilding of existing structures occupying the area
  • $5,000,000 – Kawananakoa Middle School, Oahu – Design, construction and equipment for auditorium renovations to allow the facility to meet current ADA accessibility and building and fire codes, as well as modernize the facility as a performing arts center
  • $4,665,000 – Kapolei High School, Oahu – Design and construction of locker rooms and related facilities necessary to provide equitable girls and boys athletic, PE or other locker room facilities and appurtenances, in compliance with federal standards (Design funds are necessary to re-adjust the location of the athletic locker rooms)
  • $2,500,000 – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, Oahu – Design and construction of a new synthetic track and field to be used by the five Leeward District High Schools and also for the Special Olympics regional track and field championships, as hosted by Nanakuli for the last 20 years (The current cinder track is used daily by student athletes, special needs students, and the general community)
  • $1,480,000 – Ewa Beach Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs
  • $1,251,000 – Mililani High School, Oahu – Design and construction to remove and reconstruct the tennis courts due to wear and tear and damage from tree roots and water, as well as resurfacing of the lower parking lot and be ADA compliant
  • $1,200,000 – Aiea Intermediate School, Oahu – Design and construction to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at Aiea Intermediate School
  • $1,200,000 – Waiau Elementary, Oahu – Design and construction to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs
  • $1,100,000 – Mililani High School, Oahu – Design and construction of additional restrooms and concession improvements
  • $1,050,000 – Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School, Oahu – Design and construction to provide protection for students and staff from rain and the sun as they walk to the cafeteria, as there is no protection at present, and also provide drinking fountains for the students (The walkway will connect up to 6 buildings)
  • $997,000 – McKinley High School, Oahu – Design and construction for various electrical work (e.g., upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunications systems, electrical outlets, and data ports) and other related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school
  • $950,000 – Aiea Intermediate School, Oahu – Design and construction for a retaining wall, perimeter fence, and pedestrian gate with a ramp/walkway transition to the school parking lot
  • $940,000 – Lahaina Intermediate School, Maui – Design and construction for ADA compliant boys and girls restrooms
  • $800,000 – Kamaile Elementary School (Kamaile Academy Public Charter School), Oahu – Design and construction for various electrical system improvements and related site work (CIP projects for conversion charter schools such as Kamaile are implemented by DOE since the campuses are still considered DOE property)
  • $750,000 – Kanoelani Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction of a covered walkway for students and staff from inclement weather and the sun as they walk to the cafeteria (This walkway will connect up to 5 buildings)
  • $650,000 – Pearl Ridge Elementary, Oahu – Design and construction of a covered walkway for students and staff from rain and the sun as they walk to the cafeteria (This walkway will connect up to 4 buildings)
  • $625,000 – Kaleiopuu Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction for a second evacuation ramp through the back of the campus in case of an emergency
  • $550,000 – Kaleiopuu Elementary School, Oahu – Construction to provide various electrical system upgrades to provide ample power infrastructure to support technology-based curriculum
  • $500,000 – Waiakea High School, Hawaii Island – Additional construction for all-weather track and field facilities to be shared with Hilo High School, as both schools are currently using county facilities to host track and field events; this phase of the project involves the replacement of grass turf with all-weather surfacing and drainage enhancements (the current track and infield are subject to frequent rains)
  • $500,000 – Kauai High School, Kauai – Construction for renovation of Building T (a former locker room) and a new technology center, which will include a computer lab, visual design studio, two ADA-compliant restrooms, and office and storage space
  • $500,000 – Central Maui Middle Schools, Maui – Planning for a new school to accommodate population growth in Central Maui; according to the DOE, schools in the area are already over capacity and, as a condition for developing a housing project in Central Maui, the developer has set aside space for this new school (no funds to purchase land will be needed)
  • $475,000 – Washington Middle School, Oahu – Design, equipment and construction to transform an existing underutilized wood shop classroom into a combined agriculture laboratory/classroom and have room for computers and lab equipment so that students may have first-hand experience relating to plant science and lab activities
  • $450,000 – Waikiki Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction for a dedicated student drop-off on the makai side of campus, along Leahi Avenue, to significantly improve traffic congestion and safety (the school has doubled its enrollment in the last 10 years)
  • $410,000 – Kalaheo High School, Oahu – Design and construction for bleachers between the athletic field and tennis courts; this project will also address erosion control on the hillside slope
  • $375,000 – Makakilo Elementary, Oahu – Design, equipment and construction for a portable classroom for special education students
  • $360,000 – Manana Elementary School Library, Oahu – Restroom renovations and security and energy efficiency improvements in the school Library
  • $350,000 – Waiakeawaena Elementary School, Hawaii Island – Design and construction to provide safe and accessible playground equipment to meet ADA accessibility guidelines
  • $350,000 – Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School, Oahu – Design and construction to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs
  • $330,000 – Moanalua Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction of additional parking and a drop-off lane for the students
  • $330,000 – Kapunahala Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction to add wheelchair access to the second floor of a two-story classroom building to meet ADA accessibility guidelines
  • $256,000 – Kalihi Uka Elementary School, Oahu – Construction to repair roof leaks in Building C
  • $250,000 – Roosevelt High School, Oahu – Planning for comprehensive master plan to address lack of onsite parking and placement of future new or expanded facilities, such as the existing gymnasium and music facility, which are undersized and antiquated
  • $200,000 – Kipapa Elementary School, Oahu – Construction to replace the air conditioning system at the school’s administration building (Building J)
  • $195,000 – Washington Middle School, Oahu – Design, construction and equipment for the renovation of an existing computer classroom that will include a multimedia studio enabling students to broadcast live events, produce instructional DVDs, documentaries, and public service announcements; it will also allow the school’s video production class to provide its students with exposure to college and career opportunities
  • $190,000 – Honowai Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction to replace a steep, slippery, single-run outdoor stairway at Building H with a wider and safer stairway having a gentler slope
  • $150,000 – Ala Wai Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction of a secure space to store equipment and repair school furniture
  • $25,000 – Moanalua High School, Oahu – Additional Phase 1 construction for Auditorium/Performing Arts Center, including a rehearsal hall/band room facility with instructional support spaces (Additional funds are necessary to complete necessary items such as additional permitting and electrical connection fees)

 

Council Member Ilagan – “I voted to support the Mass Transit System with the goal of…”

“I voted to support the Mass Transit system with the goal of further development of bus routes in Pahoa,” said Hawai’i County Council Member Greggor Ilagan. In a 7-1 vote, one absent, the Hawai’i County Council approved the bus fare increase discussed in Bill 86.

From L-R: June Conant, Council Member Ilagan, Jeanne Seimer

From L-R: June Conant, Council Member Ilagan, Jeanne Seimer

“I can’t ignore the needs of this community. That hitchhiking mother walking down Maku’u with the child strapped to her back will continue to have bus service,” said Council Member Greggor Ilagan, District 4.

Last year Mass Transit provided an astounding 1.2 million rides island-wide. According to Mass Transit Administrator Tiffany Kai, the Puna area accounts for 30 to 40 percent of the ridership. “We have great challenges to face. We are the fastest growing area on the Big Island and the largest county in the state,” said Council Member Ilagan.

“I want keiki to get to school, people to get to their jobs and appointments, and the elderly to go grocery shopping, get to their doctor and visit with family. We need our existing bus routes. But more than that, we need to have even more transportation available for our under-served population,” he said.

Council Member Ilagan wants to increase the number of bus shelters and include more bus routes in Pahoa, specifically Kaloli and Shower Drive, Hawaiian Paradise Park and Ainaloa. The council member would also like to evaluate and assist with getting more accurate bus times for pick up and drop off, in and out of Puna. “I’d like to be able to have a bus leave Hilo later, so that those that work in town can return home on a pau hana bus,” said the councilman.

Since the last fare increase in 2011, bus routes have increased in Hilo, Kona, Waikoloa Village and Hawaiian Paradise Park (HPP). While services increased, the fleet of working buses decreased. Gasoline prices skyrocketed, and overworked mechanics continued to battle with aged and outdated equipment.

Three mechanics struggled to keep routes open, get people to work on time, and kids to school. This continues to be a huge undertaking given the shortfall of funds and the costs associated with providing transport. It costs approximately $7 to provide a ride to a single individual. Bill 86 asks for an increase of $1 to $2 for applicable passengers.

“The bus fare increase will help to maintain services…it is our goal to expand and enhance transportation,” said Kai. Approximately $637,500 will be generated for the General Fund from this increase.

In a few months, Mass Transit will be re-evaluating existing routes. “I want to do whatever I can to ensure continued service and expansion of bus service in Puna,” said Council Member Ilagan.

Please contact Council Member Ilagan with questions, concerns and comments at 808-965-2712, or via e-mail at gilagan@hawaiicounty.gov.

Hawaii Awarded $468,436 From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Under Clean Vessel Act Grant Program

Funding supports clean waters and recreational boating

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today that more than $14.7 million will be awarded to 23 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program in 2013.

Fish and Wildlife

The first Clean Vessel Act awards were made in 1993. Since that time the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has awarded more than $200 million to states for projects funding construction, replacement, renovation, and maintenance of facilities that assist recreational boaters in properly disposing of on-board septic waste.  The program also provides information and education on the importance, benefits, and availability of pump outs.

Hawaii – $468,436 The State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation plans to construct two new pumpout facilities at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and one new pumpout at Kewalo Basin, Honolulu, Island of Oahu.

This will increase the number of facilities available on the Island of Oahu by 50%. They will also replace existing pump-outs at Heeia Kea, Keehi and Waianae Small Boat harbors on the island of Oahu; Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor on the island of Kauai; and Lahaina Small Boat Harbor Public Loading Dock (North Face) on the island of Maui. The new peristaltic pumpouts will provide quicker pumpouts and will require less servicing. They will install remote monitoring devices on all new and replacement pump-outs. The State will couple construction with boater education.

“Clean Vessel Act grants are essential to ensure clean water and healthy environments that allow for recreational boating opportunities,” said Service Director Dan Ashe.  “The CVA program has a substantial economic impact on local communities, which is a win-win situation for conservation initiatives and businesses across America.”

Funds for the CVA program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust fund.  These funds are derived through the collection of fishing tackle manufacturer excise taxes and boat and fishing import duties as well as motorboat and small engine fuel taxes.  The program supports the user-pay, public-benefit cycle that has led to the successes of the Sport Fish Restoration programs. States apply for CVA funding and they or their partners provide matching funds to complete projects. Sub-grantees often include local municipalities and private marinas.

In addition to traditional on-dock pump outs, projects include pumpout boats that travel in designated harbors to make the sewage collection process more efficient and convenient. Some states  also install floating restrooms in areas where boaters congregate and no restrooms are available.

“The Clean Vessel Act is a critical tool in helping the states to maintain clean and healthy waters for people and wildlife alike,” said Assistant Director Hannibal Bolton of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. “The pump outs built through these funds ensure that clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems, and healthy recreational areas will be accessible to the American people.”

For more information on the 2013 grant awards made today visit:
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/CVA/CVA2013Funding.pdf

For more information on the CVA program visit:
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/CVA/CVA.htm