60 Bridges in Hawaii Structurally Deficient – 435 Functionally Obsolete

Hawaii has 60 bridges that are classified as structurally deficient accord to a just released analysis of U.S. Department of Transportation Data.

  • Of the 1,142 bridges in the state, 60, or 5%, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in “poor” or worse condition.1
  • 435 bridges, or 38%, are classified as functionally obsolete. This means the bridge does not meet design standards in line with current practice.
  • Federal investment in Hawaii has supported $1.7 billion for capital improvements on 550 bridges between 2005 and 2014.2
  • Since 2004, 20 new bridges have been constructed in the state; 10 have undergone major reconstruction.
Hawaii Deficient Bridges

Click to view more data

Personally, I’m surprised that the Big Island isn’t represented somewhere here and I wonder if Hawaii County even submitted data to the department of transportation as I can think of a few bridges that I don’t feel completely safe traveling over!

Talk Story Sessions Set for Rodent and Mongoose Control and Eradication Methods to Protect Native Habitats

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will hold a series of talk story sessions about methods to control and eradicate invasive rodents and mongooses to protect native species in Hawaii.  The agencies are co-leads in developing a draft programmatic environmental impact statement, which will analyze the impacts of and alternatives to controlling these invasive animals for the protection of native wildlife, plants, and habitats that support them.

Mongoose trap

“Introduced rodents and mongooses in Hawaii pose a significant threat to many of Hawaii’s native plants and animals,” said Suzanne Case, Chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. “It is important that we have a discussion with a wide variety of interested people so we can comprehensively address the damage these rodents and mongoose have on Hawaii’s ecology, culture, and way of life.”

“We really want to hear what communities would like us to consider in this analysis, including what methods should be considered and what are some alternatives,” said Mary Abrams, Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Methods to control rodents and mongooses in urban and agricultural areas currently exist, but those tools and methods aren’t always effective or available for use in conservation areas.  This process will look at rodent and mongoose control efforts worldwide, and document the most appropriate ones that could be used in Hawaii.”

The talk story sessions will be held on the following dates and islands:

Oahu from 6:30 to 8 p.m.:

  • February 25 (Thursday) at the McKinley High School cafeteria located at 1039 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814
  • March 17 (Thursday) at Hale Ponoi located at 91-5420 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI 96707

Molokai from 5:30 to7:30 p.m.:

  • March 1 (Tuesday) at the Mitchell Pauole Center located at Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai, HI 96748

Lanai from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.:

  • March 3 (Thursday) at Lanai Public Library located at 55 Fraser Ave, Lanai City, HI 96763

Kauai from 6 to 8 p.m.:

  • March 7 (Monday) at the Waimea Neighborhood Center at 4556 Makeke Road, Waimea, HI 96796
  • March 8 (Tuesday) at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Cafeteria at 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihue, HI 96766

Maui from 6 to 8 p.m.:

  • March 10 (Thursday) at Lahaina Civic Center at 1840 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
  • March 11 (Friday) at Kahului Community Center at 275 Uhu Street, Kahului, HI 96732

Hawaii from 6 to 8 p.m.:

  • March 14 (Monday) at University of Hawaii-Hilo, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Komohana Research and Extension Center (conference rooms A and B) located at 875 Komohana Street, Hilo, HI 96720
  • March 15 (Tuesday) at West Hawaii Community Center located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

In addition to these talk story sessions, the public is invited to submit written comments through April 7, 2016.  Comments may be made to either agency for joint consideration in the following ways:

Electronically: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2015–0026.

  • U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1–ES–2015–0026; Division of Policy and Directives Management;
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
  • Websitehttp://www.removeratsrestorehawaii.org click on “Get Involved” and enter a comment.

Once the comment period closes, both agencies will review the comments received and begin development of the document. For the Service, comments previously submitted during the first comment period do not need to be resubmitted. The draft programmatic environmental impact statement will be published in both the Federal Register and the Environmental Notice and provide another public comment period for review. For more information: http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/nativerestoration/   or  http://www.removeratsrestorehawaii.org.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 258

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 2 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 258:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 18, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new case of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 2/8/16 – 2/13/2016
Cases no longer infectious
255 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/6/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 234 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
212 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1246 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Video: Civilian Helicopter Crashes in Pearl Harbor

Five passengers were safely recovered after a civilian helicopter went down in the waters of Pearl Harbor at about 10:30 a.m. today in the area near the Ford Island bridge and the National Park Service Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Helicopter Crash in Pearl Harbor
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Navy boats and Federal Fire (FFD) were among the first responders to the scene. All five reported passengers were recovered at the scene and transported to local hospitals for further evaluation.

Operations at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, including visits to the USS Arizona Memorial have been suspended until further notice. FFD and security personnel have immediately secured the area to conduct their investigation.

The helicopter reportedly belongs to Genesis Aviation.

The safety of base personnel, the public and the environment remain priorities as the investigation continues.

Former HPD Sergeant and Detective Files Nomination Papers for Hawaii County Council

Grace Castillo, a 30-year veteran and retired Sergeant and Detective of the Hawai’i Police Department (HPD), has decided to toss her hat into the ring and file her nomination forms to represent the residents of Hawai’i County’s 3rd Council District (Keaukaha, Pana’ewa, Waiākea, Waiākea Houselots, Waiākea Uka, Kea’au).

Grace Castillo announces her run for Hawaii County Council

Grace Castillo announces her run for Hawaii County Council

After being approached by friends and family members to run, Castillo said, “I felt that this would be a great opportunity for me to continue to help and serve the people of Hilo, at a time where it is needed the most”.

In light of recent police events Castillo said, “I believe we need to re-connect with the youth and individuals of today and help guide them in the right direction. We all need to work together as a community. I want to help make Hilo a safe and favorable place to live and do business”.

During her time at HPD, Castillo served as; Patrol Officer, Safety Officer, Community Relations Officer, DARE Officer, Criminal Investigation & Juvenile Aide Sections Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Cellblock Sergeant and 2 years as a Reserve Officer. Castillo is a 1977 graduate of Hilo High School and is currently a Law Enforcement Officer Supervisor with Securitas at the Hilo Airport.

The daughter of the late William Sr., and Sosima Castillo, along with siblings April, William Jr., Aaron, Darryl, Belinda and Ethan. Castillo’s father William Castillo Sr., was a retired Lieutenant of HPD. Her brother Darryl Castillo is currently a Patrol Officer in Hilo. Castillo a single parent has three children and two grandchildren. Her son Nicholas Gega, III is the U.S. Air Force Recruiter for the Islands of Hawai’i and Maui, daughter Nolene Gega is a veteran of the Hawai’i Air National Guard and son William Black is currently a U.S. Airforce Firefighter.

Castillo’s entire professional career has been dedicated to public service by protecting our friends, neighbors and families on the front line every single day. This has prepared her to take her knowledge, integrity and expertise to run for elected office and hopefully represent the very people she protected for half of her life, on the County Council.

The Primary Election is on Saturday, August 13, 2016. You can learn more about Grace Castillo and her campaign by visiting www.facebook.com/hiloneedsgrace.

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department Searching for Missing Diver Off Puako Beach

The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a missing diver off Puako Beach, Big Island, Wednesday.

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Missing is 69-year-old Diana Wolking.

Wolking was last seen wearing a black rash guard, black and white bikini bottom with a scuba tank and black fins.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point is currently searching along with the crew of USCGC Kittiwake. Hawaii County Fire Department is  searching with helicopter and rescue boat crews.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu received notification at 7:20 p.m. from good Samaritans on the beach who witnessed Wolking enter the water just before sunset. After more than an hour, they noticed her truck still parked at the beach and could not locate any sign of her in the water or near the beach.

Anyone with information that may help locate Wolking is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 70 mph winds with waves up to 3 feet and good visibility.