Video – Ali’i Drive Open Following Watermain Break

The Hawaii Police Department reports that Alii Drive between the intersections of Hualalai Road and Walua Road in Kailua Kona is now open.

alii-flood

This portion of Alii Drive was previously closed due to ponding as a result of a watermain break.

Video via Councilman Greggor Illagan:

New “Fun Pass” Being Introduced at Hawaii County Fair

E.K Fernandez shows will be introducing their fun pass card system in this year’s 66th Annual Hawaii county Fair which runs from Sept. 22nd to the 25th.

fun-pass-cardsPlease understand cards are none refundable once purchased and only good for the following:

All E.K Fernandez carnival rides, all games and novelty wagons and all EK food wagons Pizza, cotton candy, funnel cake, hamburger, and corn dog wagons.

fun-pass-standThese cards will be pre-sold starting Sept 21-22 ,2016 from 10:00am until 5 pm each day! Location will be in the fairs grounds next to our information Booth area behind the Afook-Chinnen Civic auditorium

ALL ENTRY GATES WILL STILL BE CASH ONLY and ALL OTHER FOOD BOOTHS AND SODA BOOTH VENDORS ARE CONSIDERED CASH ONLY ZONES, which means please have CASH available to purchase in these areas, placing all your money on fun pass cards may limit you to selected participating areas of EK Fernandez Shows and food wagons.

parking-for-fair

New HVO Map Shows Location of New Lava Breakout

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field.

hvo-map-91916The area of the active flow field as of September 1 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on September 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

Map of coastal flow field with thermal overlay

This map includes a georeferenced thermal image mosaic showing the distribution of active and recently active breakouts on the coastal flow field.

hvo-map-91916a The thermal mosaic was acquired during a helicopter overflight on September 12. The episode 61g flow field is outlined in yellow to show the extent of the flow.

Informational Meeting for Manta Ray Viewing Rules This Weekend

A public information meeting will be held this Saturday to discuss new, proposed rules for the Makako Bay and Keauhou manta ray viewing sites in Kona.

manta-rayThe Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Boating and Ocean Recreation Division (DOBOR) has scheduled the meeting on September 24, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palamanui Campus of Windward Community College, 73-4255 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room B-126, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i. The meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 3 due to severe weather forecasts earlier this month.

Manta ray viewing opportunities on the Kona coast are unique worldwide  Tours are presently conducted in two specific areas where mantas tend to congregate at night to feed on plankton – at Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove) and at the coastline fronting the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel.  The activity has become so popular in recent years that it has reached a point that is unsustainable and unsafe. Regulation is needed to preserve the resource and address the dangers posed by overcrowding of boats and swimmers/divers in the water.

The first part of the meeting will be devoted to discussing the history of manta ray viewing on the Kona coast. The second part of the meeting will be to present DOBOR’s proposed management plan in detail and collect feedback from all interested stakeholders.

DOBOR staffers have been working closely with DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources staff, commercial tour operators, the staff of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel and other stakeholders to draft administrative rules to mitigate environmental hazards and decrease the potential risk for accidents causing harm to people or manta rays.

In 2016 DOBOR has been surveying the two manta viewing sites to determine where and how additional moorings could be placed to alleviate coral damage from vessel anchoring and allow for a safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious regulation of commercial manta diving activities.

DOBOR has drafted a proposed management plan and potential management options for the sites based on two years of collected stakeholder input.  The proposed management plan contemplates strategies such as prohibiting anchoring at the sites, limiting the number of commercial operators, prohibiting rafting, and restricting live boating to improve safety.

In order to give stakeholders time to review the proposed management plan before the September 24 meeting, DOBOR released the plan on its website on September 10, 2016.  Interested parties can access the proposed management plan and get meeting updates by visiting DOBOR’s meeting announcement page: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/meetings/

(The original meeting announcement was issued Sept. 1, 2016).

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Approves Tariff for Interim Time-of-Use Rates

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (“PUC” or “Commission”) issued an order on Friday, September 16, 2016, instructing the Hawaiian Electric Companies (the “HECO Companies”) to offer a tariff giving customers the option of enrolling in a new time-of-use (“TOU”) program, which allows customers to manage their electricity consumption to reduce monthly bills and benefits the overall grid.  The HECO Companies serve the islands of Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu.

Click to read docket

Click to read docket

Traditional electricity prices are flat and do not change based on time of day. TOU programs are designed to price electricity in a way that reflects electricity’s true costs by charging customers different rates at different times of the day, instead of a flat rate.  This encourages customers to reduce electricity use during times when electricity is more expensive to produce, while allowing them to take advantage of less expensive electricity being offered at other times.

The optional TOU rates approved by the Commission offer lower electricity prices during the daytime to encourage customers to use energy when solar and other lower-cost renewables are available. In exchange, the TOU rates are higher during the evening when the overall electricity demand is greatest (the system “peak”). The TOU program is the result of collaborative efforts of the HECO Companies and interested stakeholders, including local community groups, non-profit organizations, and renewable energy companies.

The “on-peak” TOU period coincides with the time of day during which the HECO Companies typically experience the highest volume of residential customer demand.  This period has the highest TOU electricity rate, higher than the price a typical customer would be subject to under the current residential tariff.  The “mid-day” period represents the time of day during which the HECO Companies typically experience relatively lower residential customer demand and higher level of solar PV and other renewable generation. This “mid-day” period features the lowest TOU period rate, below what a typical customer would pay under the current residential tariff.  TOU rates are intended to encourage customers to shift their demand from the “on-peak” evening period to the “mid-day” period and to enable more cost-effective integration of renewable energy.

Several key features of the TOU Program include:

  • Open, voluntary, optional enrollment to all residential customers of the HECO Companies.
  • A rate structure with three distinct time periods, each with its own “TOU” rate: (1) a “mid-day” period from 9am up to 5pm; (2) an “on-peak” period from 5pm up to 10pm; and (3) an “off-peak” period overnight from 10pm up to 9am.
  • A “shadow bill” feature which will allow program participants to compare their bill under the TOU program to what their bill would have been under their previous residential tariff, in order to determine if the program is beneficial to them.
  • A two-year program duration, subject to change by the Commission.
  • An option for customers to opt-out of the program at any time, without penalty.

The Commission instructed the HECO Companies to file a tariff for the interim TOU program within thirty days, at which time the tariff will take effect and the program will be open for enrollment.  The complete Order, as well as links to the docket record, may be found on the Commission’s website at: http://puc.hawaii.gov/.

Hawaii DLNR Conducting Animal Control Aerial Shooting Activities on the Big Island

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i.

mouflonAerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawai‘i.

Control schedules are October 25 and 26, November 14 and 15, and December 19 and 20, 2016.  Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

  • 7 a.m. October 25, November 14, and December 19, 2016
  • 6 a.m. October 26, November 15, and December 20, 2016

These actions are pursuant to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Ch. 13-130-19 and § 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.  The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

  • Locked 7 p.m. October 24, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. October 26, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. November 13, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. November 15, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. December 18, 2016 and reopened 7 p.m. December 20, 2016

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. October 19, 2016, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only.  Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in.  A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu‘u Ko‘ohi location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu‘u Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On October 25, November 14, and December 19, 2016, at Pu‘u Ko‘ohi. Permittees must meet at Mauna Kea Recreation Area at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On October 26, November 15, and December 20, 2016 at Pu‘u Mali. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

Honolulu District Court Users May Experience Delays in Accessing Building Elevators

Two of the four elevators at the Honolulu District Court building (1111 Alakea Street, Honolulu, HI, 96813) are temporarily out of service.  One of the elevators is being repaired locally, and the other elevator will require parts from the mainland.  We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your patience as we work to make these repairs as soon as possible.

Court users are being asked to please anticipate and plan for delays when entering and exiting the building.  When exiting the building, there are also public escalators available descending from the fourth floor to the first floor.  There are also public stairwells available when exiting the building.

Court matters handled at this busy courthouse include small claims and regular claims cases, landlord-tenant disputes, traffic cases, and misdemeanors. The facility also houses two circuit court divisions handling domestic violence jury trials.

elevators

HELCO Aerial Line Inspections Next Week

To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company will conduct aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Monday, Sept. 26, to Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016.

helicopter-line-inspectionThe islandwide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruptions this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Water Main Break Closes Kona Road

The Hawaii Police Department reports a temporary road closure of Alii Drive in Kailua Kona, from Hualalai Road to Walua Road, due to ponding of water from a water main break.

Photo via Fern Gavalek

Photo via Fern Gavelek

Motorist are being advised to avoid this location and take alternate routes. The expected closure times are approximately 4 to 6 hours.

Hawaii Preschool Open Doors Application Period Begins Today

The Department of Human Services encourages families to apply for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program between Monday, September 19 and Monday, October 31, 2016.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.

preschool-open-doorsThis program, which currently serves more than 1,300 children statewide, provides child care subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay preschool tuition. POD aims to provide children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life.

To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year (born between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012). Families are reminded that a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Families may choose any one of the 438 State-licensed preschools. Underserved or at-risk children receive priority consideration for the POD program, and funds are limited.

Interested families may request an application beginning Monday, September 19, 2016 from the Department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting www.patchhawaii.org or calling 791-2130 or toll free 1-800-746-5620.  PATCH can also help families locate a preschool convenient for them.

Applications must be received by October 31, 2016 to be considered during the January 1, 2017-June 30, 2017 program period. Applications should be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the following:

PATCH – POD
560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 218
Honolulu, HI 96817
Fax: (808) 694-3066

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed in HAR §17-799, which is available online at humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs. For more information about other DHS programs and services, visit humanservices.hawaii.gov

Volcano Art Center Announces Award Winners in Return of ‘Alalā Art Contest

Volcano Art Center is proud to present Return of ‘Alalā: Restoring The Voice Of Hawai`i’s Native Forests, a statewide multimedia art competition featuring Hawai`i’s endemic ‘Alalā.

The exhibit will be on display at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park through October 9th, 2016.  Proceeds from the exhibition support the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program and celebrate the reintroduction of the Alalā into Hawaii’s forests this November.  The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge although park entrance fees apply.

“Volcano Art Center wishes to express a sincere thank you to the participating artists who submitted work,” states Gallery Manager Emily C. Weiss.  “The juried show is a terrific representation of this unique species, in many different media, by over 40 different artists.  Special mahalo to the jurors: Paul Banko, Ph.D., Clifford Hague and Michelle Schwengel-Regala who had the difficult task of choosing 43 artworks from the over 80 entries submitted to include in the exhibit.

ʻAlalā No. 2, oil painting by Reyn Ojiri

ʻAlalā No. 2, oil painting by Reyn Ojiri

The Best of Show award was granted to Reyn Ojiri for his oil painting titled ‘Alalā No. 2.  Two first place awards were also presented in the professional category.

Into The Forest Again, watercolor painting by John D. Dawson

Into The Forest Again, watercolor painting by John D. Dawson

First place in the 2-D category went to John D. Dawson for his watercolor titled Into The Forest Again, and the first place award in 3-D was awarded to Elizabeth Miller for her ‘Alala Caws and Coaxes Her World Awake, a hand-tooled aluminum and india ink wall sculpture.

'Alala Caws and Coaxes Her World Awake, aluminum and india inks sculpture by Elizabeth Miller

‘Alala Caws and Coaxes Her World Awake, aluminum and india inks sculpture by Elizabeth Miller

Three awards were also granted in the hobbyist division.  First place to Maria Macias, second place to Lisa Komarczyk and third place to Alice Hostica. These works plus the other 36 pieces juried into the exhibition can be viewed at Volcano Art Center Gallery daily from 9am -5pm until October 9th.

“The community support and public outreach included in this exhibition exceeded expectations”, states Weiss.  VAC has decided to expand the exhibit to the Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.  The artwork not selected by the jury will be on display Mon. – Fri., 9am -5pm at Volcano Art Center’s Administrative offices at 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. also through Oct. 9th.

All artworks are for sale with proceeds supporting Hawai`i’s endangered birds. “VAC is proud to support this conservation effort.  We welcome the public to view the exhibit in person or online at www.volcanoartcenter.org to find out more ways to help support the ‘Alalā”, states Weiss.

For more information, please contact Emily C. Weiss at (808) 967-7565.

Volcano Art Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization created in 1974 whose mission is to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii through arts and education. Please visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

Wastewater Forum for West Hawaii Community on Thursday

The Office of the Governor is hosting a Wastewater Forum for the West Hawai‘i community to learn about the nuts and bolts of wastewater from a panel of state and county officials, a professor from the University of Hawai‘i and a county consultant.

wastewaterThe public is invited to submit questions for the panel to abigail.au@hawaii.gov or susan.m.kim@hawaii.gov.

Who:

  • Bruce Anderson, division administrator, DLNR aquatics resources division (moderator)
  • Sina Pruder, wastewater branch chief, State Department of Health (DOH)
  • Robert Whittier, geologist, State DOH Safe Drinking Water Branch
  • Eric Yuasa, engineering branch head, DLNR division of boating and ocean resources (DOBOR)
  • Finn McCall, engineer, DOBOR
  • William Taylor, Hawaii district branch manager, DOBOR
  • Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, director, Hawai‘i County department of environmental management
  • Dora Beck, chief, Hawai‘i County wastewater division
  • Shihwu Sung, professor of environmental engineering, UH Hilo
  • Brown and Caldwell, consultant, Hawai‘i County wastewater division

When: Thursday, September 22, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 pm

Where: West Hawaii Civic Center, County Council Chambers

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2016

YWCA Hawaii Island hosts the sixth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser Saturday, October 22. The one-mile march begins at 7:30 a.m. at the YWCA Ululani Street campus.
walk-a-mile-2016Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth and radio personality Darrin “DC” Carlson will lead the march.

The goal is to raise $25,000 for the YWCA Hawaii Island Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) program, the only 24-hour, 7-days a week rape crisis center for the island. SASS services are free and include crisis counseling, therapy for assault survivors and their families, forensic evidence collection and violence prevention education for schools and the community.

“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so ‘Walk a Mile’ is a chance for men to literally walk in women’s shoes. It’s also an opportunity to call for an end to sex assault, rape and gender violence in our community,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA Hawaii Island. “Sadly, nearly 50 percent of our SASS clients are 18 and under. Every dollar raised will be used to help survivors address and move through the trauma of sex assault.”

In 2015, SASS responded to more than 2,441 crisis and support calls from survivors and their families, opened 329 cases, provided 1,929 hours of therapy and performed 50 sexual assault forensic medical exams.

March participants are asked to report to the kick-off site (145 Ululani Street in Hilo) by 7:30 a.m. to register, select shoes and warm up for the walk. Walkers can wear decorated shoes for the judges’ choice contest. All participants must complete an entry form and submit a $25 registration fee.

Those interested in participating in the walk – individually or as a team – or being an event sponsor should contact Events@YWCAHawaiiIsland.org or call the YWCA office at 935-7141 ext 111.

“Sea to Sky” – Rebuilding Hōkūalaka’i

A free youth event called “Sea to Sky” will be held this weekend.  This event is designed to bring different aspects of our island together with the common purpose of rebuilding the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.  The Hōkūalaka’i will be used for teaching purposes on Hawaiʻi Island and beyond. Hōkūalakaʻi’s home is in the same location (Palekai) that the historic Hōkūleʻa departed from on its world wide voyage.

hokulakaiThis will be the first of many “Sea to Sky” events at Palekai in Hilo.  It will be an all day event with something for everyone to enjoy.  We have invited many members of the scientific field to have fun educational learning stations available for kids and all participants will be hosted with great food and activities. The focus of the monthly events are structured to:

  • Unite community in helping to restore the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.
  • Promote indigenous knowledge in science programs
  • Increase cultural relevance
  • Create opportunities to pursue careers in science and culture education fields

The schedule for the September 24th will be:

  • 8:00-8:30am Informal meet, setup and discuss days activities and work planned for the canoe.
  • 8:45-9:30am ‘awa ceremony and welcome
  • 9:30-11:30am Work on Hōkūalakaʻi, Visit Learning Stations, and Site Beautification Project
  • 11:30-12:30pm Lunch
  • 1:00-4:30 Paddling, Sailing, Swimming (Ocean Activities)
  • 4:30-5:00 Closing talk and cleanup

We will have “Learning Stations” and a variety of organizations joining us each week. Come down to Palekai and join in the community effort to restore Hōkūalakaʻi and help our youth learn about the science and culture that is happening on the Big Island.

If you would like to setup a booth to help educate kids, please contact us!  This will be an on-going event to share Hawaii’s Science and Culture with our youth and each other.  We will be publishing more details and our upcoming events on our website: http://alohapueo.org/pueo-events