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Commentary – Update From Councilwoman Ruggles

Aloha Kakou,

These recent months have been a time of great change on a local and global level. I would first like to express how grateful that I am for the strength, resilience and awareness of our community. The ability for us to work together in times such as these, care for each other and malama ‘aina is critical for our future and for the future of this planet. In my 3rd and 4th month in office I have been learning the ropes and have been very busy meeting with department heads, community groups, and residents. Please see below for a summary of what our office has been up to:

Legislation-  On March 8th I introduced two resolutions, Resolution 81-17 and Resolution 82-17. The first one urged the state to pass two bills currently being heard, one allowing Tiny Homes for ag land, and the other stopping counties from requiring minimum house sizes. Resolution 82-17 urged the state to prioritize the release of $15 million to the county previously authorized for the construction, repair, and maintenance of feeder roads and alternative routes for Highway 130. The council passed both resolutions.

  • Supporting local farmers- On Feb 22nd. I was able to pass a resolution giving $2,500 to the Food Basket that will double the SNAP-EBT benefits for certain days of shopping at the Maku’u market.
  • Styrofoam Ban- While the council passed the styrofoam bill out of committee, Council Members Dru Kanuha, Tim Richards, and Eileen O’Hara (sponsor), all had amendments they wanted to discuss so Council member O’Hara opted to delay the bill and create an ad-hoc committee to ensure the bill is foolproof. It should be heard again in June.
  • County Composting Facility- As you may be aware the county had a contract for a full composting facility for Hilo and Kona which the mayor recently terminated based on a report by the Environmental Management Department, saying the county was paying too much and that it didn’t meet the goals of our Zero Waste Implementation Plan. I will be reviewing the report this week and the council will be discussing next week in Kona. In the meanwhile, if you have any thoughts please let me know at 808-961-8263 or email me back. 
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hawaiian Acres Farmers Market now open: Support your local farmers at the Hawaiian Acres Community Center on the corner of roads 8 and C, from 12- 3 pm.  For more information call 808-966-9892 or email info@hawaiianacres.org

Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee upcoming meeting: You are invited to attend the upcoming PCDP Action Committee meeting, where public comment is welcome at the beginning of each meeting. It will be held at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility on 5/9 at 3pm. View the development plan here and contact Hans Santiago if you have any questions 808-961-8165.

Need extra money? Become a driver- Uber launching this Friday, 3/17:  On March 15th I meet with Uber representatives to discuss how they can help transportation in Hawaii, (I convinced them that there is sufficient demand for jobs AND rides in Puna). With Uber, anyone with a smartphone can locate available drivers near them and get affordable rides. Anyone can apply to be a driver if they meet certain requirements, and can apply here. I will be hosting a public meeting with a Uber representative on how you can participate in increasing transportation accessibility and our local economy next month, TBA.

Shuttle for the Disabled and Elderly- Beginning in May, there will be several vans funded by the State and County to provide free transportation to the disabled, (over 18 year old), and elderly, island wide. For more information call 961-8777.

East Hawai’i CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Basic Training Course: Free Class: March 18th at  Aupuni Conference Room from 8:30 – 4:30  For more information on CERT, visit https://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/ To reserve a space contact Patti Pinto at hawaiicert@gmail.com or call Patti at 808-935-0031

Connectivity and Emergency Response Subcommittee (CERS) upcoming meeting: You are invited to attend the CERS monthly meeting held at the Kea’au Community Center on
03/28 at 2 pm. For more information please email Patti Pinto- pintonian@gmail.com

Free Hazardous Waste Disposal: The next will be a free Residential Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event  will be at the Hilo Transfer Station on June 3rd  between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. They will be accepting automotive fluids, used batteries, fluorescent lights and pesticides, for a more complete list click here. If you have any questions or comments contact Chris Chin-Chance, Recycling Specialist with the Department of Environmental Management at 961-8554 or email to recycle3@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Puna Neighborhood Watch Meetings:
Neighborhood watch groups are proven to make communities safer. Here is a list of our local groups and how to can get involved:
Ainaloa Neighborhood Watch: At the Ainaloa Longhouse on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 pm. For more information please contact Judy Haney at 808-966-8114 of haneypaws@aol.com
Fern Acres Neighborhood Watch: At the Fern Acres Community Association(FACA) Building, on the corner of Pole 7 and Lehua, on the last Tuesday of every month at 6 pm. For more information please call the FACA office at 808-968-6006
Fern Forest Neighborhood Watch: At the Fern Forrest Community Lot, on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 10 am. For more information, please contact Ron Costa by phone at 469-471-4657
or by email at rcostamhs65@outlook.com
Leilani Neighborhood Watch: At the Leilani Community Center on the last Thursday of every month at 7 pm. For more information please contact the Leilani Community Association office at 808-965-9555
Orchidland Neighborhood Watch:  At Blanes Drive-In in Orchidland on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6 pm. For more information please contact Sharon by phone at 808-430-5048
or  by email at sfmccar@earthlink.net

Abandoned Vehicles: For private roads that are publicly traveled, call police dept non-emergency line 935-3311 with the location, make, model, and any other information on the vehicle. Officer will tag it with a notice, after 24 hours s/he will make an abandoned vehicle report, and vehicle will be towed in a few days to a week.

Vice/Drug Tip Hotlines: There is a 24-hour anonymous vice/drug tip hotline for you to provide the Police department information on drug use and distribution, as well as vice issues like prostitution, gambling (cock and dog fighting),  and other related crimes. Call 808-934-VICE (934-8423)

Student applications for Native Youth Congress being accepted:
The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center is inviting native students apply for the Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress,  July 9-15, 2017 in Shepherdstown, WV. Students will learn  leadership skills for addressing conservation issues in their communities.

Highlights from 3/7 council presentation from the Hawaii Island Rat Lungworm Working group: 

  • Only diagnosis is spinal tap, they’re currently working on a blood based diagnostic.
  • Solutions: Best method to educate residents in rural communities is through the school system. 10,000 copies of “mystery of rat lung worm disease” booklet given has been effective for students to educate their families.
  • Properly wash lettuce: take leaves apart, wash and inspect each stalk. Wash with potable water, commercial veggie wash, or baking soda water.
  • Develop pest management methods for school gardens. The group identified 5 schools with diverse elevations and developed non-toxic, “shelters” for snails and slugs, removed more than 3,000 slugs and snails from each garden.
  • Effective non-toxic slug reduction: catch slugs in a “Slug Shelter” 2ft by 2ft cardboard on slightly wet wood boards, or lightly folded up weedcloth or plastic,  put in cleared grass area, in shade. Slugs will be drawn to the “shelter” where you can easily collect them, with gloves or chopsticks, and dispose of them in a “slug jug.”
  • The group is currently working on a study to find a catchment filter sufficient for filtering out the disease. Findings should be out by summer.
NACo-  In the last week of February I went with 3 other council members to Washington DC, for the National Association of Counties (NACo) legislative conference and to meet with Hawaii’s congress members. I met city and county representatives from all over the U.S. and got to talk about issues, ideas, and solutions. I was also able to talk to experts on homelessness and opioid addiction, all relevant to our district. I drafted reports on each which are available on my Facebook page. We also met with Brian Shatz, Tulsi Gabbard, Mazie Hirono, and a staff member of Colleen Hanabusa in which I advocated for Puna’s need for help with our roads, internet and cell access, and invasive species, (including prevention).

Pahoa Community Meeting- Thank you to the more than 90 people attended the 2nd community meeting in Pahoa to expressed their concerns to the Chief of Police, community police officers, the fire department,and Director of Public Works, Frank Demarco and the Director of the Planning Department, Michael Yee who all listened intently.
The police department shared news of their increased presence in Pahoa since the fire, and a feeling of success in improving the level of public safety in Puna. The Fire Department, Battalion Chief shared that the recent fire was confirmed to have been started in the pawn shop, and that the damage was too extensive to confirm the exact source of the fire.
With the help of Mr. Demarco and encouragement from community members, a crosswalk was placed near Pahoa Intermediate/High School.

Infrastructure for Pahoa- Public works assured me that the sidewalk in front of Luquin’s will be re-opened in 3 weeks, if not sooner. On Feb. 9th I met with them and pushed for more street lamps and cross walks for the village, and improvement of the post office road for pedestrian use, (school children). On a side note, if you have any information on the young girl who was hit while crossing Highway 130 in front of HAAS school please call me at 961-8263.

Discussing Homelessness with Mathew Doherty-Executive Director of the US Inter-agency Council on Homelessness
Other Highlights of what I’ve been up to:
Regarding Connectivity:

  • On Feb. 1st. my staff and I walked through the district delivering surveys tothose living on streets approved for connectivity projects within our subdivisions.
  • On Fe.b 13th I met with members of the Fern Acres Community Association, the Connectivity and Emergency Response Subcommittee and the Department of Public Works to follow up on the progress of connectivity plans, especially in the area of S. Lauko road. Public works engineers confirmed the Puhala to S. Kopua connection will be their first project.
  • On Feb. 16th  members of the Fern Forrest Community Association met with our legislative assistant, Nelson Ho to discuss their desire to open up Kaleponi road for connectivity.
  • On Feb. 28th our office aide, Amber Shouse attended the Connectivity and Emergency Response Subcommittee meeting, where she heard community concerns and shared information regarding connectivity, Puna roads, and upcoming legislation with community members.

Support for Community Associations
On Feb. 1st myself and District 4 Council Member Eileen O’Hara met with the Ku’ikahi Mediation Center and talked about funding  a program for Ku’ikahi to provide tailored facilitation support to associations. The executive director will be bringing us a proposal in the next few months. She also sent me a list of resources for associations which our office will compile on a web platform to make available to the public.

Meeting with the Department of Water Supply: On Feb 2nd I met with the manager of the DWS to learn how the department works and discuss challenges that are facing Puna in regards to access to clean drinking water. They explained that most areas in Puna do meet the density requirements for water access, and they will be sending me those requirements. I urged them to consider Ainaloa subdivision to see if they meet the density requirements for county water hook up. They also pointed me to the correct authority to get lighting and ADA compliance at the Mt. View water spigot.

Meeting with the Corporation Counsel: On Feb. 2nd I met with newly appointed Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela. I informed him on the complex infrastructure challenges facing Puna and the federal complaint ruling in September of 2000 that found the County of Hawaii and the State DOT guilty of violating the civil rights of Puna residents, and delivered to him a follow up complaint being filed by residents alleging that the discrimination is ongoing. We are also discussing options private subdivision road improvement.

Pahoa Regoinal Town Plan Meeting: On Feb. 6th I met with Micheal Yee the Director of the Planning Department, Hans Santiago from the Planning Department, Roy Takemoto Assistant to the Mayor, and Council Member Eileen O’hara. at the meeting we discussed the proposed Master Plan for Pahoa and infrastructure challenges that are currently impeding economic development. Mr. Yee informed us the Pahoa Master Plan contract will start in 5 months.

Hawaiian Homelands: On Feb. 9th, hosted by former council member Aunty Emily Na’ole, I attended the Maku’u Homeowners Association Meeting where officials from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to see how I can support the expedition of giving displaced Native Hawaiian beneficiaries their land that they’ve already waited too long for. I gave DHHL my formal commitment to introduce any legislation that may urge the state to fund this process.

Upcoming Legislation:
Every two weeks I will send you council agenda email keeping you posted on upcoming council items, separate from these office newsletters.

As always you may contact me at my Hilo office number: 808-961-8263, or  by email at Jen.Ruggles@hawaiicounty.gov  or follow me on Facebook.

All my best,
Jen Ruggles

Coffee Berry Borer Quarantine Expanded to Maui

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture yesterday expanded the coffee berry borer (CBB) quarantine to the island of Maui, effective May 1, 2017. The quarantine, which has been in effect on Hawaii Island and Oahu, restricts the interisland movement of coffee and other CBB hosts and requires treatment and other quarantine protocols. Although recent detections of CBB were located in Hana and Kipahulu, the board decided that an island-wide quarantine was necessary to prevent the further spread of CBB in the state.

Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In December 2014, it was discovered on Oahu and in December 2016 was found on Maui. So far, CBB has not been detected on Kauai, Molokai and Lanai.

This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Since its detection in Kona, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.  It is still unknown how CBB made its way to Hawaii Island and how it arrived on Oahu and Maui. Hawaii has strict importation rules that require fumigation of all imported green coffee beans to rid the beans of pathogens and insect pests. Coffee plants and plant parts are also restricted from being imported to Hawaii under Plant Quarantine rules.

In addition, HDOA issued a quarantine order that requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from Hawaii Island to other islands that are not infested with the coffee berry borer.  The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment.

To view the Notice of Designation of Island of Maui as Expanded Coffee Berry Borer Infested Area Subject to Quarantine, go to: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/CBB-Quarantine-Maui.pdf

For more information on CBB in Hawaii go to the HDOA CBB webpage at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/ and the UH-CTAHR webpage at: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site/CBB.aspx

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Statement on Federal Stay on Travel Ban

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the statement below after U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu issued a nationwide stay temporarily preventing the Trump Administration’s travel ban from going into effect:

“Hawaiʻi is a place where people with different ideas, backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities feel welcomed and respected. It’s only right that our Attorney General Doug Chin represent those values in working to stop this blanket travel ban from going into effect. This travel ban is bad policy, plain and simple.”

Hawaii House of Representatives Sends Proposed Budget to Senate

The full House today approved the state budget with the passage of HB100 HD1, which appropriates funds for both operating and capital improvements costs of the Executive Branch for the current biennium fiscal years FY2017-2018 and FY2018-2019.  For FY2017-2018, the bill provides $7.08 billion in general funds and $13.9 billion in all means of financing.  For FY2018-2019, it appropriates $7.3 billion in general funds and $14.1 billion in all financing means.

The budget also includes a total of nearly $1.9 billion for FY2018 and $926 million for FY2019 for capital improvement projects (CIP) throughout the state.  Of the total CIP funds, $1.1 billion go to CIP projects on Oahu, $376 million to Maui County (including Molokai and Lanai), $361 million for Hawaii Island, and $ 167 million for Kauai.

“This year we have proposed a very practical budget because income estimates for the state are declining,” said House Speaker Joseph M. Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Kahului). “The priority is to meet the budgetary needs of our core programs including education, kupuna care, homelessness, health programs, environmental protection and transportation. This budget accomplishes that goal.”

The state budget consists of two major funding allocations: Capital Improvement Projects funding (CIP) is money earmarked to build and maintain the state’s physical infrastructure; operating funds are monies used to actually run or operate state programs and services.

“General excise tax collections for several months now have been showing zero growth as compared to last year,” said House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa). “On Monday, the Council on Revenues readjusted downwards the fiscal outlook for the next two years. This budget is the recognition by the committee that this is not the time to create new programs if they are at the expense of preserving our core services.”

Operating Biennium Budget Totals:

  • FY2018: $7.08 billion General Funds
  • FY2019: $7.3 billion General Funds
  • FY2018: $13.9 billion All Means of Financing
  • FY2019: $14.1 billion All Means of Financing

Operating funding highlights

Department of the Attorney General

  • $110,000 to maintain the Criminal Justice Information System
  • $101,000 to Maintain the Upgraded Automated Fingerprint Identification System
  • $95,000 for the Hawaii Integrated Justice Information Sharing Program

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

  • $3,000,000 for an Excelerator program in the High Tech Development Corporation
  • $80,000 to promote Hawaii as a destination for films

Department of Budget and Finance

  • $15,001,114 to centralize vacation payout for general funded employees statewide
  • $3,695,200 for upgrades for the Employees’ Retirement System

Department of Defense

  • $360,000 for 10-year motor vehicle replacement plan
  • $80,000 for a Hawaii State Fusion Center director

Department of Education

  • $5,600,000 to expand the Hawaii Keiki Healthy and Ready to Learn Program
  • $2,027,645 to support the Office of Hawaiian Education
  • $1,040,593 and 20 positions to expand pre-K programs in DOE preschools
  • $844,776 and 18 positions to support children struggling with homelessness in the DOE
  • $500,000 to address R&M backlogs in state libraries
  • 40 preschool teachers and 20 educational assistants to support special education students in DOE preschools

Department of Human Services

  • $3,000,000 for Rapid Re-Housing program to keep people out of homelessness
  • $3,000,000 for Housing First Program to keep chronically homeless individuals in housing
  • $1,500,000 for homeless outreach
  • $300,000 for homeless shelter maintenance and repair
  • $2,100,000 for low income family and elderly housing facilities
  • $400,000 for services for child victims of sex trafficking

Department of Human Resources Development

  • $3,274,000 for workers’ compensation claims
  • $350,000 for pilot program to improve effectiveness of employees
  • $101,080 for professional development courses for state employees

Department of Health

  • $40,710,951 for various federal grants to support the Disease Outbreak Control Program
  • $24,000,000 for support to local hospitals responding to emergency outbreaks
  • $13,200,000 for immunizations and vaccines for children
  • $3,510,951 for other grants
  • $4,314,600 for a voluntary family planning program grant
  • $4,145,695 for Kupuna Care
  • $3,000,000 as a match for the maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting grant
  • $1,700,000 for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)
  • $1,912,836 to rebase home and community care service subsidies
  • $422,540 for vector control
  • $300,000 to increase the inventory of clean and sober housing
  • $157,168 and 1 program specialist position for the Long Term Care Ombudsman
  • $150,000 for a Statewide Telehealth Pilot project
  • $102,000 for 2 epidemiological specialists to help with surveillance of disease outbreak

Department of Labor

  • $515,386 and 1 position for Disability Compensation Division modernization
  • $205,00 for Community Services Block Grant
  • $41,197 for Commodity Supplemental Food Program Federal Grant

Department of Land and Natural Resources

  • $4,000,000 for Hawaii Invasive Species Council operations
  • $3,405,749 for Native Resources and Fire Protection operations
  • $2,832,996 for Forest Reserve Management and Development operations
  • $500,000 for Bureau of Conveyances to modernize accessibility to records
  • $500,000 to implement an Integrated Information Management System
  • $250,000 for the Ala Wai Watershed Initiative

Department of Transportation

  • $124,400,000 for 10-year replacement plans for motor vehicles, equipment, and ongoing base funding for special maintenance projects
  • $35,500,000 for airports
  • $17,600,000 for harbors
  • $71,300,000 for highways
  • $4,000,000 for highway cleanup services in Department of Transportation
  • $3,000,000 in state matching funds for Airport Rescue and Firefighting vehicles statewide

University of Hawaii System

  • $600,000 and 6 psychologist positions to address mental health concerns of students enrolled in the University of Hawaii System

Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)

Capital Improvement Program Biennium Budget Totals:

  • FY2018: $784.9 million General Obligation Bond Funds
  • FY2019: $304.9 million General Obligation Bond Funds
  • FY2018: $1,997.8 billion All Means of Financing Funds
  • FY2019: $926.5 million All Means of Financing Funds

CIP highlights

Agriculture

  • $10 million for the development of an agricultural park in Upcountry Maui
  • $3.7 million for improvements to the Waimanalo irrigation system

Accounting and General Services

  • $19 million for Aloha Stadium to meet code, safety, and/or operational requirements
  • $25 million for improvements and maintenance of existing public facilities and sites, statewide.

Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

  • $3 million for an underground utility distribution system on Enterprise Avenue to Midway Road in Kalaeloa
  • $50 million for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund and the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund to finance additional affordable rental housing

Defense

  • $6 million to retrofit buildings with hurricane protective measures to increase the number of emergency shelters, statewide
  • $5 million for incremental addition, replacement, and upgrade of the state Civil Defense warning and communications equipment, statewide

Education

Lump sums of CIP that total over $202 million for school facilities statewide to address equity, school condition, and program support.

  • $13.4 million for a new classroom building at Campbell High School
  • $77 million for the construction of the new East Kapolei Middle School
  • $28.2 million for the construction of the new Pohukaina Elementary School
  • $10 million for health, safety, accessibility, and other code requirements for public libraries, statewide

Hawaiian Home Lands

  • $74 million for lot development, repair, and maintenance of Hawaiian Home Lands

Human Services

  • $2 million for site and dwelling improvements, site utilities, rock fall protection, exterior building repairs, and roof repairs at Puahala Homes
  • $10.7 million for interior and exterior building and site improvements at Hale Po‘ai
  • $1.5 million for rockfall mitigation at Hauiki Homes

Health

  • $1.6 million for improvements and renovations to the Kahuku Medical Center
  • $24.4 million for improvements and renovations to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, statewide
  • $4.4 million for improvements to health facilitates, statewide
  • $2.1 million to modernize elevators at Diamond Head, Lanakila, and Leeward Health Centers
  • $4.5 million for re-roofing, interior and exterior improvements to the Hilo Counseling Center and Keawe Health Center

Land and Natural Resources

  • $4.5 million for assessments, maintenance, and remediation of dams under the jurisdiction of the Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • $5 million for dredging and related improvements to the Ala Wai Canal
  • $6 million for rockfall and flood mitigation at various locations, statewide
  • $200,000 for hazardous tree mitigation in forest reserves, game management areas, natural are reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries
  • $800,000 to provide statewide support for fire and natural disaster response
  • $4.5 million for improvements at various boating facilities, statewide
  • $9 million for flood damage reconstruction at the Iao Valley State Monument, Maui

Public Safety

  • $53.5 million for electrical and mechanical infrastructure improvements and rehabilitation of buildings, at Public Safety facilities, statewide
  • $6.7million for a new consolidated women’s housing associated support office, and other improvements at the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC), Oahu

Transportation

  • $46.1million for renovations and new restroom facilities at airports statewide
  • $170 million for improvements to the overseas terminal ticket lobby at Honolulu International Airport, Oahu
  • $30 million for improvements at gates 29 and 34 to accommodate A380 Aircraft at Honolulu International Airport, Oahu
  • $8.7 million for a new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Inspection Station at Kona International Airport, Hawaii
  • $50 million for a Federal Inspection Stations (FIS) at Kona International Airport, Hawaii
  • $39.2 million for holdroom and gate improvements at Kahului Airport, Maui
  • $10.5 million for inbound baggage handling system improvements, Kahului Airport, Maui
  • $7.2 million for terminal improvements at Molokai Airport, Molokai
  • $4.5 million for a new aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) garage, renovation of the terminal, and replacement of airfield lighting at Kalaupapa Airport, Maui
  • $17.8 million for ticket lobby and holdroom improvements at Lihue Airport, Kauai
  • $6.3 million to address safety needs, optimize energy and operational efficiencies, and provide essential infrastructure to Pier 24-28 at Honolulu Harbor, Oahu
  • $7.5 million to address storm water run-off, erosion, passenger safety issues, ineffective drainage, and/or subsurface irregularities at Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai
  • $172.7 million for rehabilitation and/or replacement of bridges, statewide
  • $7.5 million for guardrail and shoulder improvements on state highways, statewide
  • $89 million for a new roadway and/or realignment, and extending the Daniel K. Inouye Highway from the Hilo Terminus to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Hawaii
  • $25.9 million for improvements and installation of drainage systems on state highways, statewide
  • $50 million for shoreline protection, highway realignment, and beach fill/nourishment for state highways, statewide

University of Hawaii

  • $30 million for the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Phase II at Kapiolani Community College, Oahu
  • $5 million for renovations at Snyder Hall, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Oahu
  • $15 million for renovations and new facilities at community colleges and neighbor island university campuses, statewide
  • $550,000 for renovations and improvements for University of Hawaii athletics facilities to address Title IX compliances, statewide
  • $1.8 million for replacement and, renovation of fire alarm systems at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Oahu

Kona Family Fun Day

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) is hosting their 4th Celebrating Our Community event in Kona on March 25, 2017, 11:00am to 2:00pm.

BISAC has successfully provided family friendly events in the last three years which include our Summer Jam, Puna Fall Fest, and Splash Bash events.  In continuation of bringing these types of events into rural communities, BISAC’s Kona Family Fun Day is another free fun-filled event which will be held at the Kailua Kona Park Grounds.

This free Family Wellness event will bring resources to the community; promote anti-drug and health and wellness messages.   The event will feature a health and resource fair made up of community organizations, games, food, bouncers, and an arm wrestling tournament.   There will be many free giveaways: bikes, razors, iPods, cameras, beats, etc.    Come out and meet our MC, Kona’s very own and 808 Viral celebrity Kona Kaipo.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Hilo Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old female who was reported missing.

Casey Baker-Fien was last seen in Hilo on December 8, 2016.
She is described as caucasian, 5-foot-3, 114 pounds with blond hair, blue eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.