Cool Schools Initiative – Hawaii First State to Mandate Clean Energy Schools

The Department of Education is expected to spend nearly $1 billion on electricity by 2035, but can save hundreds of millions through progress toward clean energy goals established by House Bill 2569, signed by Gov. David Ige today.

hb2569

“This bill will save hundreds of millions in future operating costs that can be better spent in classrooms and higher paid teachers instead of utility bills,” said Rep. Chris Lee, the bill’s introducer. “It also creates important accountability and transparency requirements for the $100 million the state has already given the DOE to cool classrooms.”

The measure requires the DOE to:

  • Establish a goal of becoming net-zero with respect to energy use by January 1, 2035;
  • Expedite the cooling of all public school classrooms; and
  • Submit an annual transparency and accountability report to the Legislature containing information about its progress toward the cooling of all classrooms and net-zero energy goal.

The state Department of Education spends about $48 million a year on electricity. By installing more efficient lighting, using natural ventilation, and investing in renewable technologies such as solar panels and batteries to power schools, energy costs will be reduced and student performance improved, according to Lee.

 

Hawaii is the first state to mandate that clean energy be used by all its public schools.

RIMPAC Begins… May Affect Garage Door Openers

Dozens of ships from 26 nations are arriving in Pearl Harbor this week for the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC 2016 will be held in and around the Hawaiian islands and off the coast of Southern Calif. June 30-Aug. 4.

RIMPAC brings international participants together to foster and sustain cooperative relationships.  Training during RIMPAC builds credible, ready maritime forces that help to preserve peace and prevent conflict.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered here, and led by U.S. 3rd Fleet. The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and several other locations in the state.

Hawaii’s operating areas and ranges offer realistic, relevant training opportunities like nowhere else in the world and environmental stewardship and protection of marine mammals are always top priorities during RIMPAC.  During the in port portion of the exercise, crews receive training on sighting marine mammals and required protective measures. Participants follow established and approved procedures to minimize the potential impact on marine life.

Some Temporary Noise and Crowds

With 25,000 participants coming to Hawaii, noise, crowds and traffic will increase in the last week of June and through the end of July. Some residents in Hawaii can expect aircraft noise temporarily in certain areas, including the early evening.

According to the Hawaii State Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Research and Economic Analysis Division, RIMPAC 2016 is initially anticipated to bring $52.5 million to Hawaii, based on the number of exercise participants and their time in port.

By the end of RIMPAC, the overall economic benefit is expected to be tens of millions of dollars higher than $52.5 million after purchases of supplies, fuel and food or the spending by family and friends of participating personnel are calculated.

Raising Discussion of Garage Door Openers

During RIMPAC some remotely operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed Part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.
Garage Door
Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they are not pointed directly at the door.  If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door.  If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance.  Surface search radars are available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue.  Exercising safety is a top priority for the Navy.

To be sure their garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company.  At least one company in Hawaii asks their customers to be patient in dealing with the inconvenience, “for a short bit of time, [but] for a lifetime of safety and freedom.”

To learn more about RIMPAC, please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014/
For concerns, noise complaints or general questions about RIMPAC, please call the Combined Information Bureau at (808) 472- 0235. Media interested in covering RIMPAC can call 808-472-0239.

High Technology Development Corporation Announces Three New Graduates

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the state of Hawaii agency that promotes and supports innovation and technology business startups, has graduated three more companies from its successful business Incubator Program at the Manoa Innovation Center (MIC).

High technology development corporation announces three new graduates.

High technology development corporation announces three new graduates.

Having graduated from the program, these firms have moved out of the MIC into their own headquarters, where they will continue to develop and grow. The graduating companies are:

  • The Collective, a startup created by Hawaii fashion designers Allison Izu Song and Summer Shiigi that helps independent designers use technology to streamline manufacturing and develop ways to provide high quality, locally produced clothes to consumers.  The Collective has helped launch a number of Hawaii designers and has managed DBEDT’s Creative Industries inaugural Creative Lab Fashion Immersive.  The Collective recently expanded their operations to Ward Village with retail space.
  • MeetingSift, a “meeting collaboration platform” that uses technology to bring meeting attendees closer and encourage participation, no matter where they may be in the world. MeetingSift’s products make meetings more efficient, allowing participants to use their smartphones to provide real-time feedback and communication, keep track of minutes, and provide more focus to discussion topics.  The company is moving closer to its investors.
  • Slickage Studios, a Honolulu-based company specializing in creating full-stack software solutions including customized website backend development, web applications, and native mobile apps.  Downtown Honolulu is their new home where they will be closer to their clients.

“We are happy to partner with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to host this celebration, which honors the three graduating companies from the Manoa Innovation Center,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees HTDC and promotes Hawaii’s innovation economy. “MIC’s mission to accelerate the growth of local tech companies by providing business development services, funding, and training are part of the state’s overall growth strategy to build a strong innovation economy.”

Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC adds: “It’s always an honor to see companies graduate from our incubation program. The creativity and innovation that propelled these startups from dreams to functioning business entities will ensure they will make their mark in the marketplace, no matter their field. Birthing a startup takes immense drive, talent, and perseverance, and we congratulate the principals of all three companies for moving on to the next step.”

The three companies graduated at a ceremony during HTDC’s Wetware Wednesday on June 29, 2016, a monthly networking event for the innovation and technology industry.  The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored the graduation celebration.

“We are grateful to HTDC for the support and guidance,” said Allison Izu Song. “In today’s fast-paced society, it’s nice to find an organization that sees the potential in small businesses, and offers the tools and guidance to learn and grow.  We are especially thankful for the guidance and mentorship from Innovate Hawaii’s, Wayne Inouye, and HTDC’s, Len Higashi.  Their doors were always open for us to talk about our issues, roadblocks, ideas and successes!”

Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines Forge Code-Share Partnership

Philippine Airlines (PR)  and Hawaiian Airlines (HA) recently forged a code-share partnership which will provide passengers convenient connections between the Philippines and the Hawaiian Islands.

Philippine Airlnes
“Philippine Airlines is proud to forge a codeshare partnership with Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu in O‘ahu to the  inter-island points of Līhu‘e, Hilo, Kona, and Maui.  From these points, passengers can visit other neighboring island destinations including Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island,”  PAL President Jaime J. Bautista said.

Passengers on PAL’s five times weekly Honolulu flights will have a seamless transfer to Hawaiian Airlines. PR passengers will be checked-in all the way to their final destination.

“As we widen our route network, we aim to not only provide point to point travel, but to create passenger traffic beyond the main gateways. All these are geared towards providing passenger convenience and satisfaction,” Bautista added.

The code share flights will be made available in conjunction with the flag carrier’s weekly service to Honolulu. Passengers on the HA/PR code-share flights between the inter-island points and Honolulu now have the chance to seamlessly connect to PAL’s regular flights between Honolulu and Manila and journey onto any of the flag carrier’s 30 domestic destinations.

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) is the 1st US Carrier Code Share Partner of PAL.

Governor Ige Signs Housing, Health Care Bills Into Law

Yesterday, Gov. David Ige signed into law six housing bills that aim to address the long-standing, complex housing shortage that has been a problem in Hawai‘i for decades.

Governor Ige Profile“My administration and the Legislature worked tirelessly and collaboratively on various measures to address the housing shortage this past session. We focused on maximizing the use of financing tools, we re-oriented target policies to boost production and we collaborated with the private sector and the counties to increase the housing supply,” said Gov. Ige.

The governor also signed into law bills relating to foster children, insurance and gender identity, long-term care facilities, health care and aging.

Here is a complete list of bill signed by the governor on Wednesday, June 29:

Housing Bills: SB 2561 (Act 127), SB 2566 (Act 128), SB 2833 (Act 129), SB 3077 (Act 130), HB 2293 (Act 131), HB 2305 (Act 132)

HB 2350 (Act 133) Relating to Foster Children – Expands opportunities for children in foster care to participate equally with classmates and peers by providing qualified immunity from liability for caregivers and childcare institutions for decisions regarding child’s participating in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities…

SB 2878 (Act 134) Relating to Youth Transitioning from Foster Care – Extends the application deadline for financial assistance for higher education available to foster or former foster youth.

HB 2084 (Act 135) Relating to Insurance – Prohibits all insurers in the state, including health insurers, mutual benefit plans under chapter 87A, HRS, from discriminating with respect to participation and coverage under a policy, contract, plan or agreement against any person on the basis of a person’s actual gender identity or perceived gender identity.

HB 1943 (Act 136) Relating to Long-Term Care Facilities – Provides an inflationary adjustment to the methodology used to reimburse facilities for long-term care of Medicaid recipients for FY 2016-17.

SB 2076 (Act 137) Relating to Health Care – Establishes a license program for suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and related supplies through the Office of Health Care Assurance.

HB 1878 (Act 138) Relating to Aging – Appropriates funds for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) for fall prevention and early detection services for the elderly.