Agreement Reached to Place a Conservation Easement Over Lands Owned by Turtle Bay Resort

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced an agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort (TBR) to establish a conservation easement on 665.8 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. Portions of this land had previously been planned for development but will now be protected forever from future development.

Governor announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

Governor Abercrombie announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

“As I said in my State of the State Address this year, ‘there are times for planning, and there are times for acting; now is the time to preserve open spaces at Turtle Bay,’” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This historic agreement is the result of public and private interests joining together to benefit the people of Hawaii and our visitors. This protects the heritage and rural character of the North Shore to ‘Keep the Country Country.’ ”

State Sen. Clayton Hee said: “The shoreline from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay represents one of the most beautiful and pristine areas on all of Oahu. As elected leaders, we have a profound and solemn duty and responsibility to preserve and protect this shoreline for future generations just as our ancestors did before us.”

The conservation easement will be placed upon the land and will permanently limit use of the land in order to protect the ecological, recreational and open space characteristics of Oahu’s North Shore. TBR will continue to own, use and hold title to the land, but it and future owners of the land will be bound by the restrictions. The easement will protect, and in many cases, allow restoration of critical marine and land ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural resources. It will foster and enable recreational and educational uses of the land.

The total value of this agreement is $48.5 million; $40 million will be provided by the state, $5 million will be provided by the city, and $3.5 million will be provided by The Trust for Public Land. The amounts of money provided by the state and the city are subject to appropriation and release of the funds. Gov. Abercrombie has previously asked for and encourages the Legislature to appropriate $40 million in general obligation bonds. The City Council has previously appropriated $5 million for this matter. TPL will be obtaining funds from various sources. The final documents and details of the agreement are to be worked out between the parties.

“We are excited to be a part of the stewardship to protect these natural resources and to secure forever the public’s access to that entire shoreline from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to thank the state for its leadership in this effort and to the people around the table who worked hard to make sacrifices and to find common ground. The work is not yet complete, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said: “The City Council has constantly demonstrated its commitment to land conservation as evidenced by the Fiscal Year 2014 budget appropriation of $5 million to preserve Kawela Bay. Protecting such a valuable natural resource on the North Shore today is an investment that will reap dividends for generations to come.”

This agreement benefits the public in many ways, such as preserving open space and providing public access to beaches in the area at no charge. It also allows public access to more than five miles of coastal hiking trails and opens up the area for traditional native Hawaiian cultural practices. In addition, the agreement keeps recreational use available to the public and prevents the sprawl of urban development in the area.

“This historic conservation agreement is supported by The Trust for Public Land, The North Shore Community Land Trust and many community organizations, residents of the North Shore and people from all over our island, along with visitors who enjoy and treasure the area,” said The Trust for Public Land, Hawaiian Islands State Director Lea Hong.

TBR Chief Executive Officer Drew Stotesbury said, “As a part of the North Shore community, Turtle Bay Resort is proud to contribute to the conservation of these unique lands.”

Volcano School Of Arts and Sciences Receives $618,000 for Planning and Design of New Campus

The Office of the Governor has announced the release of $618,000 to the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences for the planning and design of their new campus in Volcano Village, Hawaii.

Volcano School

Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, a public charter school, was created by community members to educate and nurture the individual strengths and interests of each student. VSAS graduates have demonstrated exceptional success in high school and college. The construction of a new campus will ensure that the successful vision of VSAS will continue long into the future.

Senator Russell Ruderman stated, “I am extremely happy with the announcement of the release of Grant in Aid funds for the Volcano School of the Arts’ new campus and I fully support the new models to education that VSAS provides its students. Students deserve quality options in education and they are motivated by the kinds of challenges that charter schools like VSAS can provide. I am thrilled to support these innovators in education that are demonstrating what’s possible, and learning what works, to put our students in the best possible position to succeed.

The project supported by this funding will provide expanded and improved educational opportunities. This award will provide an exceptional learning environment for all keiki at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, this funding will assist in creating jobs for our district. Our office has worked diligently to ensure that this GIA request made its way through the process, and redoubled our efforts with the knowledge that these funds would be lapsing soon. Through the efforts of many people including C. Mike Kido, Legislative Advisor, Office of Governor Abercrombie and Leila Shar, Financial Performance Manager, State Public Charter School Commission, that request has come to fruition.”

Governor Releases $58.4 Million for University of Hawaii System Facilities

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $58.4 million to the University of Hawaii (UH) system for capital improvement projects (CIP) at various campuses that will further energize our growing construction industry to help sustain our economy.

abercrombieheader“A majority of these funds are going to improvements at our community colleges, which make up the largest sector of the UH system,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These projects will help increase job growth and ultimately improves our state’s affordable education opportunities.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$38,213,000 – Honolulu Community College Advanced Technology Training Center, Oahu – Construction funds for a new three-story facility for science- and technology-related programs. The building will include classrooms, offices and laboratories, and will support technical workforce development in areas including diversified agriculture, aquaculture, renewable energy development and creative media. UH indicates that Honolulu Community College has established itself as the technological training center of the Pacific and has the expertise in technical workforce development to warrant a new facility.

$6,500,000 – Minor Capital Improvements Program Projects for Campuses of the Community College System, Oahu – Design and construction funds for the renovations of Kapiolani Community College’s (KCC) Kopiko Building, Wing B ($3,500,000) and Windward Community College’s (WCC) Hale Naauao ($3,000,000). KCC project includes renovating the building’s first floor (Wing B). Built in 1994, Wing B has three classrooms used by the nursing program, and will be upgraded with current technology and renovated to connect with the outdoor courtyard. WCC project includes renovations for the TRiO and special project programs including air conditions installation, restroom upgrades and converting spaces into offices, storage rooms, a staff room and a conference room. The 10,150-gross-square-foot building was constructed in 1930 and has not been renovated to meet the College’s academic and technological needs. The TRiO program includes Student Support Services, Talent Search and Upward Bound, which help disadvantaged and low-income individuals graduate from secondary/post-secondary institutions.

$6,312,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Design and construction funds to renovate the interior of the Old Pauley Laboratory for the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The research institute specializes in tropical marine biology, and is located on the 28-acre Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay.

$5,415,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Planning, design and construction funds for improvements at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Improvements include utility upgrades, replacement/rehabilitation of existing sewer lines by direct drilling between Oahu and Coconut Island under Kaneohe Bay, sewer pump replacement and wet-well repairs, and rerouting of north end sewer lines.

$2,000,000 – University of Hawaii at Hilo, Office of Mauna Kea Management, Hawaii Island – Design and construction funds for infrastructure improvements within UH’s managed lands on Mauna Kea, renovate mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku and improve the summit access road. The summit access road between the mid-level facilities and the Mauna Kea summit needs improvement. A section of the road was paved in the late 1980s and is deteriorated due to age, snow, rock debris and natural earth shifting. The Visitor Information Center (58-person capacity) is also overextended in terms of parking and facility infrastructure, and is unable to accommodate the significant increase in visitors who come for stargazing activities.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $100,000 for Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council Offices in Naalehu and Honokaa

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of two grants totaling $100,000 to Hilo-based nonprofit Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) for its Naalehu and Honokaa offices.

HCEOC Naalehu Office

HCEOC Naalehu Office

The Governor approved the allotment of funds in the amount of $50,000 each for the Naalehu and Honokaa offices for planning, design and construction for emergency repairs and access improvements, as identified by members of the state Legislature.

“This money will be used to improve accessibility for our kupuna and the disabled, particularly those living in remote communities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These funds represent an investment in community and nonprofit efforts that will have significant impacts in the lives of local individuals and families they serve.”

HCEOC Honokaa Office

HCEOC Honokaa Office

Repair of HCEOC satellite offices will facilitate outreach and services (transportation, energy and education programs) to disadvantaged residents dispersed in rural communities on Hawaii Island. A popular program is the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which subsidizes electricity or gas bills of qualified disadvantaged households. Each June, HCEOC provides outreach for the energy assistance program administered by the state Department of Human Services and local utility companies.

Hawaii’s Largest Private Union Backs Governor Abercrombie

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 142, representing nearly 18,000 members throughout the islands, is endorsing Governor Neil Abercrombie for a second term.

Mayor Kenoi and Gov. Abercrombie at the Palamanui Campus Groundbreaking

Mayor Kenoi and Gov. Abercrombie at the Palamanui Campus Groundbreaking

“Governor Abercrombie is the clear choice,” said Donna Domingo, ILWU president. “He’s always stood on the side of workers. He also understands the critical role ILWU plays in many of Hawaii’s most important industries including tourism, agriculture, and shipping. Hawaii’s future is in good hands with his leadership.”

“In many ways, ILWU helped build the state into what it is today,” said Governor Abercrombie. “It is an honor to receive the support of the union that brought the Democratic Party to prominence. With their support, we’ll move Hawai‘i forward to a brighter future for generations to come.”

Governor Abercrombie took office in December 2010. He has turned state finances around by over $1 billion, creating jobs and reducing unemployment. Hawai‘i now has a strong foundation to advance education for our keiki, improve benefits and services for our seniors, and expand stewardship of the environment.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Hosting Gov. Abercrombie at 2014 Focus Luncheon

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) will host Governor Neil Abercrombie at their 2014 Focus Luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

King Kam Hotel

Sponsored by Parker Ranch Center and Bank of Hawaii, the annual two-hour luncheon offers a unique opportunity to hear directly from the Governor on issues important to the State as well as the West Hawai`i community.

Attendees can also visit the Business Expo before and after the luncheon, where KKCC members showcase their products and services to the community.

Cost for the luncheon is $45 for Chamber and Rotary members; $55 for non-members. No walk-ins allowed. Reservation deadline is Friday, March 21. Business Expo is free and open to the general public. For more information and/or to register, visit kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.

Pahoa High and Intermediate to Get New $3.5 Million Dollar Expansion On Gymnasium

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $65.6 million to the state Department of Education (DOE) for capital improvement projects (CIP) that will improve dozens of public schools across the state, while adding local jobs and enhance economic conditions.

“Including the $62.4 million released for DOE projects last week, my administration has now announced the release of more than $600 million dollars for education improvements,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This is an investment in our keiki and our strengthening economy.”

Kaiser High School Head Football Coach Rich Miano said, “This project will have an immediate impact on four schools that use Kaiser’s athletic facilities as their home venue. It will also benefit the whole state of Hawaii because we will be able to host a variety of events including Special Olympics and NFL combines.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$25,850,000 – King Kekaulike High New Auditorium, Maui – Construction funds for an auditorium to complete previously-initiated design work. The school currently uses its cafeteria stage and student dining area for performing arts and assembly-type functions. The new auditorium will be a standalone structure and will provide support for performing arts and music programs at the school.

$15,000,000 – Farrington High Campus Modernization (Phase 1), Oahu – Design and construction funds to implement Phase 1 of the school’s campus modernization project. The project will start with upgrades to athletic facilities and include a new synthetic track and field and a new locker/shower facility. Future phases will replace the backlog of repair and maintenance projects associated with a master rehabilitation plan of the entire campus.

$5,000,000 – Kawananakoa Middle Auditorium, Oahu – Design and construction funds to renovate the school’s auditorium to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, building and fire codes, along with modernization of the facility as a performing arts center.

$4,850,000 – Kaiser High Girls Athletic Locker Room, Oahu – Design and construction funds for new athletic and locker and shower facilities for female students to meet gender equality requirements at the school. There is currently only a physical education (PE) locker room for female students.

Pahoa's New Gym

$3,500,000 – Pahoa High and Intermediate Gym, Hawaii Island – Design and construction funds for renovations and expansion of the school’s gymnasium to include a wrestling and locker/showers room.

$3,000,000 – East Kapolei Middle, Oahu – Design funds for a new school to address projected needs in the Kapolei area, which is currently served by Ilima Intermediate, Ewa Makai Middle and Kapolei Middle. By completing this school in the near future, a reduction in student enrollment will allow Kapolei Middle to transition off its current multi-track schedule.

$1,000,000 – Pearl City Elementary Electrical Upgrades, Oahu – Design and construction funds to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school. Electrical work includes upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunication systems, electrical outlets and data ports.

$1,000,000 – Campbell High Electrical Upgrades, Oahu – Design and construction funds to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school. Electrical work includes upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunication systems, electrical outlets and data ports.

$880,000 – Honowai Elementary New Classroom Building, Oahu – Design funds for a building with eight classrooms, restrooms, a faculty workroom and custodial closets.

$700,000 – Mauka Lani Elementary Electrical Upgrades, Oahu – Design and construction funds to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school. Electrical work includes upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunication systems, electrical outlets and data ports.

$755,000 – Waipahu High Track & Field Facility Improvements, Oahu – This project will start the design phase of a new synthetic track and field surface at the school. An old cinder track and grass field presently exists, and this project will allow for a competition track venue in the Leeward District, which presently has none.

$550,000 – Pearl City High Track & Field Facility Improvements, Oahu – This project will start the design phase of a new synthetic track and field surface at the school. An old cinder track and grass field presently exists, and this project will allow for a competition track venue in the Leeward District, which presently has none.

$550,000 – Niu Valley Middle New Classrooms, Oahu – Design funds for four new classrooms to support the “International Baccalaureate Middle Year” (IBMY) program at the school. Niu Valley is an accredited IBMY school and all of its students are required to take a second language.

$550,000 – Kohala High Architectural Barrier Removal, Hawaii Island – Construction funds to complete architectural barrier removal at school and provide program accessibility for the disabled in accordance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

$500,000 – Hilo Intermediate New PE Locker Room and Renovations, Hawaii Island – Design funds to replace and renovate the PE locker room and shower facilities at the school.

$475,000 – Kanoelani Elementary New Portable Classroom, Oahu – Design, equipment and construction funds for a portable classroom to address school enrollment (approximately 800 students/year), which has required moving a kindergarten class into a teachers’ workroom due to lack of space.

$450,000 – Kaiser High Track & Field Facility Improvements, Oahu – This project will start the design phase of a new synthetic track and field surface at the school to replace the aged synthetic track and grass field and also provide related improvements for facility maintenance and support.

$400,000 – Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate New Science, Technology & Media Building, Oahu – Design funds for a new building. Classroom building on campus, built in the early 1950s through 1962, do not meet standards relating to science, technology or media education.

$200,000 – Waipahu High Campus Retaining Wall, Oahu – Design and construction funds for a retaining wall behind Buildings C to Q in order to alleviate ground movement affecting these buildings. The project may also include landscaping and related improvements adjacent to the planned retaining wall.

$175,000 – Waikele Elementary Play Courts Resurfacing and New Playground Installation, Oahu – This project is to resurface the basketball court and replace aged, outdated and non-functioning play equipment in order to provide age appropriate pre-kindergarten playground equipment.

$120,000 – Pearl City Highlands Elementary Building G Administration Expansion and Renovation, Oahu – Design funds for additional administration space in Building G, which currently has an administration space deficit of more than 60 percent compared to the size of a typical elementary school.

$75,000 – Lahaina Intermediate Pedestrian Safety Improvements, Maui – Design funds addressing issues such as safe crosswalk placement, an island for pedestrians within the wide driveway and improvements for proper drainage.

$70,000 – Nuuanu Elementary Walkway Roof Repair and Renovation, Oahu – Construction funds for repairs and renovation of the walkway roof from between the administration building and the covered play court. The school has regular rainfall and this has resulted in some parts of the covered walkway to sag.

$2,500 – Moanalua High Auditorium/Performing Arts Center, Oahu – Additional construction funds for a rehearsal hall/band room and instructional support spaces.

Governor Names Jessica Wooley as Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced that subject to her confirmation by the state Senate, he has appointed Jessica Wooley to serve as the state’s Director of Environmental Control. In addition to serving as the head of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC), Wooley will serve the Governor in an advisory capacity on all matters relating to environmental quality control.

Jessica Wooley

Jessica Wooley

“Jessica is knowledgeable and experienced in issues pertaining to the environment, water resources, agriculture and land use,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Her legal and public service background will be a great asset in protecting Hawaii’s fragile environment. Her energy and commitment to the issues involved with the OEQC is a big plus for Hawaii.”

“Today I am announcing that, if confirmed, I will be leaving the Hawaii State Legislature to work as the OEQC Director,” Jessica Wooley said. “As a public servant, I see this as a tremendous opportunity to have a greater impact. I will be honored to work with the Governor and his administration as we continually work to make sure our environment is resilient and able to support the public interest and all of Hawaii’s policy goals. We must always keep in mind that our very economy, our health and our safety depend on our ability to care for our environmental resources.”

Elected in 2008, Wooley currently represents District 48 (Kahaluu-Ahuimanu-Kaneohe) in the state House, serving as chair of the Agriculture Committee. Previously, she was an attorney at Legal Aid, an economist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Deputy Attorney General under Governors Ben Cayetano and Linda Lingle.

Wooley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with a master’s degree in agricultural and resource economics and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley.

President Obama Reappoints Gov. Abercrombie to Council of Governors

President Barack Obama has reappointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to the Council of Governors, the White House announced this week. The council consists of 10 governors appointed by the President to focus on matters of national security, homeland defense, synchronization and integration of state and military activities in the United States and matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard.

Abercrombie Council of Governors“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue serving on the Council of Governors, which gives Hawaii a strong voice, together with our congressional delegation, in future decisions regarding the protection of our state and nation,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “During a productive and successful trip this month to the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., I attended a Council of Governors meeting that addressed the Pentagon’s recently proposed cuts to the Army and Air National Guard. During the meeting, I was able to help formulate and sign a bipartisan letter from 50 governors, urging further discussion on budget and policy issues involving the National Guard.”

While in Washington, the Governor also participated in NGA sessions focusing on education, job training, homeland security and public safety, as well as attended four meetings/events at the White House.

The Council of Governors was established by Section 1822 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 and implemented by Presidential Executive Order 13528. In addition to the 10 council members (five from each political party), charter federal participants include the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, presidential homeland security and counterterrorism advisors, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, the commandant of the Coast Guard and the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Governor Abercrombie Offices Releases Healthcare Transformation Plan

After a rigorous six-month planning process made possible by a federal grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), the state today announced the release of its healthcare transformation plan. Under CMMI’s State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative, Beth Giesting, the state’s healthcare transformation coordinator, convened more than 100 stakeholders from across the state to design Hawaii’s roadmap to achieve the “Triple Aim” of better care, better health and lower costs.

Office of the Governor Releases Healthcare Transformation Plan

Office of the Governor Releases Healthcare Transformation Plan

“Transforming our state’s healthcare system is a high priority of my administration, and under the leadership of Beth Giesting, we’ve made substantial progress since her appointment two years ago,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “This healthcare transformation plan outlines clear, tangible steps we can take to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care in Hawaii.”

“The resources that accompanied the SIM planning grant came at just the right time to allow us to take our efforts to the next level,” added Giesting. “We firmly believe that the priorities outlined in our plan will improve the quality of care and outcomes for all residents, while addressing the long-term fiscal sustainability of our healthcare system. In addition, it will bring greater equity by reducing geographic and cultural barriers to care.”

As part of its roadmap for transformation, the state’s plan identifies six essential catalysts for transformation:

  1. Primary Care Practice Redesign: Enrolling at least 80 percent of Hawaii residents in a patient-centered medical home by 2017 and exploring strategies to integrate behavioral health services into the primary care setting
  2. Care Coordination: Implementing programs to help high-risk/high-need individuals receive the services they need in part by establishing Medicaid Health Homes and Community Care Networks
  3. Payment Reform: Transitioning all payers to value-based purchasing by aligning reimbursement strategies
  4. Health Information Technology: Improving connectivity and capability across the healthcare ecosystem by accelerating adoption of electronic health records and increasing utilization of health information exchange
  5. Workforce Development: Expanding capacity for team-based care, addressing workforce shortages and improving cultural competency of providers
  6. Policy Strategies and Levers: Aligning state resources to drive policy changes, including the creation of a permanent transformation structure within state government

The plan is now available in its entirety for review at: www.hawaiihealthcareproject.org

In addition to Hawaii, 15 other states were announced as awardees of the SIM planning grant. Each state had six months to design and submit its own healthcare transformation plan, which will now be eligible for anticipated implementation awards later this year. CMMI expects to issue up to five such awards to the states to implement their plans, with each award valued between $20 and $60 million.

Hawaii Joins National Invasive Species Awareness Week

The State of Hawaii will participate in National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW). Gov. Neil Abercrombie will kick off the 2nd annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week (HISAW) with a proclamation on March 3 at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Auditorium.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Gov. Abercrombie has made invasive species an administration priority by supporting his cabinet to work across departments as members of the HISC and endorsing 2014 legislative initiatives proposing up to $5 million to meet operating costs of Invasive Species Programs.

“Protecting our islands from the threat of invasive species remains a top priority,” Gov. Abercrombie said in this year’s State of the State address. “We are experiencing a biological crisis involving a multitude of invaders ranging from the little fire ant and coconut rhinoceros beetle, which can harm our animals and trees, to parasites attacking coffee crops. Each represents a deadly threat to our isolated ecosystem, natural resources, and economy, and I ask for the public’s engagement in addressing this menace.”

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC), the interagency board created by the Legislature to provide cabinet-level direction on invasive species issues, is coordinating a series of events and activities, open to the public, in recognition of Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week in partnership with the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, county-based Invasive Species Committees, Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network, and The Nature Conservancy.

HISAW Kickoff at the Capitol, March 3, 9 a.m. – noon, Capitol Auditorium

  • Governor’s Proclamation: The public is invited to join Governor Abercrombie in commencing Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week. HISC Co-Chairs, Scott Enright (Hawaii Department of Agriculture) and William J. Aila, Jr. (Department of Land and Natural Resources) will also offer opening remarks.
  • HISC Awards Ceremony: The HISC will honor individuals, agencies, organizations, and businesses that have made a difference in protecting Hawaii from the impacts of invasive species. Members of the Legislature will present the awards in the categories of Hottest Hotline Report, Business Leader, Community Hero, County MVP’s, and Greatest Hit of 2013. See full list of winners and honorable mentions at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/
  • Participation and Information Booths: presented by Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources and Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Agriculture, Malama Maunaloa, Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership, Waianae Mountains Watershed Partnership, Oahu Army Natural Resource Program, Oahu Invasive Species Committee, University of Hawaii, and more.
  • Be a Beetle Buster & Help Save Hawaii’s Coconut Trees: March 3 kick-off

People across the state can easily participate in HISAW online by joining this special “mission” to survey all coconut trees in Hawaii for the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle. The public is invited to take photos of the crowns of coconut trees and post them to the “Help Save Hawaii’s Coconut Trees” mission on the Project Noah website or via mobile app. The photos will be reviewed by the Beetle Buster Team from the University of Hawaii Natural Resources and Environmental Management class to assess the presence or absence of this pest across the state. Adult rhino beetles bore into the crowns of coconut trees to drink the sap, leaving distinctive v-shaped cuts in the leaves when the fronds grow out. They could kill half the coconut trees in the state, if they aren’t detected and eradicated. The Beetle Buster Team will flag photos that show suspected beetle damage for follow up surveys. The project will go live on Monday, March 3. For more information and instructions on how to participate, go to: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/

Volunteer Events: Occurring statewide from March 3 to 9
Visit the Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/ for a full list of volunteer activities across the state. Opportunities include:

  • Helping clear invasive weeds along the Kaluapuhi Trail in Kokee (March 5)
  • Learning about invasive species issues in Hawaii at the Paintballs and Digital Mapping Talk Story, Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge (March 7)
  • Removing invasive species at Lyon Arboretum (March 8)
  • Pulling weeds on the offshore islet of Mokuauia (March 8)
  • Pulling weeds in the Koolau Mountains (March 9)
  • Helping to restore Mauna Kea (throughout March)

To learn more about NISAW, visit www.nisaw.org. To learn more about the local-level HISAW, visit http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) is a cabinet-level interagency collaboration mandated by Chapter 194, Hawaii Revised Statutes. It is co-chaired by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture with additional voting members from the Departments of Health, Transportation, and Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and the University of Hawaii. The HISC approves an annual budget to support invasive species prevention, control, and public outreach projects across the state. www.hawaiiinvasivespecies.org

Governor Abercrombie Calls for Public Input on Climate Change

Having recently met with President Obama and other state governors on a variety of issues including climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking for ideas from Hawaii residents on how the federal government can better support state and other local efforts in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Climate Change and Abercrombie

In November 2013, Gov. Abercrombie was one of 26 members appointed to the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Members have been asked to develop recommendations in the areas of:

  • Disaster Management
  • Built Systems (water, transportation, energy, facilities and coastal infrastructure)
  • Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Community Development and Health

The public is invited to provide input through an online form at http://governor.hawaii.gov/climate-change-task-force-survey/. Since the Task Force is on an expedited timeline, the first round of input must be received by Monday, March 10.  The form is also accessible from the Governor’s homepage, http://governor.hawaii.gov, by clicking on “Your Input on Climate Change” under “Useful Links.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share Hawaii’s unique needs, challenges and innovative solutions, while advising federal officials on what kind of support is needed and what would be most effective here in the islands,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Members of the President’s task force from every part of the country agree this is the challenge of our time and we must work together to prepare for and mitigate impacts.”

“Gov. Abercrombie’s appointment to the President’s task force puts our state in a valuable position to share what matters most for Hawaii in building a resilient future,” said State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel. “The recommendations submitted will be considered by the task force for the final presentation to President Obama. Although the focus of the task force is how the federal government can better support our climate change efforts in Hawaii, this is also a chance for us to identify next steps for action that we can take together as a state.”

Resilient Hawaii Forum
Another opportunity to share recommendations and discuss next steps for addressing climate change in Hawaii will be the Governor’s second Resilient Hawaii Forum, a free and open session being held during the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) conference on March 12, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. As mentioned in his 2014 State of the State Address, the Governor is convening the forums this year to engage stakeholders – Native Hawaiian organizations, natural resource managers, the military, tourism officials, agricultural representatives, researchers and government at all levels – to create a climate change roadmap for Hawaii. For more information on the PRiMO conference, visit http://collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/PRiMO/Pages/index.aspx.

Navigating Change
Read Navigating Change, Hawaii’s Approach to Adaptation, a report presented by Gov. Abercrombie at the first meeting of the President’s Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience in December 2013: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/navigating-climate-change/.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $62.4 Million for Education Facilities Statewide

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $62.4 million for capital improvement projects (CIP) that will improve various Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) facilities across the state, while stimulating the economy and generating local jobs.

“These funds will help to create a better learning environment for our keiki and provide teachers with the tools they need to succeed,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In the process, the funds will create work for hundreds in Hawaii.”

Kau High School

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$36,365,000 – Improving and Maintaining Facilities and Infrastructure – Planning, design, construction and equipment to improve and maintain facilities and infrastructure for various schools statewide. DOE’s estimated backlog for repair and maintenance is at $265 million. These projects include general school building improvements, electrical upgrades and playground equipment repair, along with maintenance and other school repairs and renovations. Some of these funds will go to the overall repair project at the damaged Farrington High Auditorium.

$7,554,000 – Program Support – Planning, land, design, construction and equipment for program support at various schools statewide, including new/temporary facilities, improvements to existing facilities, ground and site improvements, and for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and gender equity. ADA projects include McKinley High, Baldwin High, Kohala Elementary and Honokaa High. Gender equity projects include Keaau High, Waiakea High and Waipahu High softball fields and Kahuku High and Intermediate girls’ athletic locker room. Funds will also complete construction of a locker room project at Lahainaluna High and complete design of a locker room at Konawaena Middle School.

$7,500,000 – Equity – Design and construction for equality projects to improve instructional spaces such as science labs, special education classroom renovations and classrooms on a statewide basis for classroom/learning environment parity. Equity projects also include energy improvements relating to heat abatement in classrooms.

$5,800,000 – Capacity – Plans, land, design, construction and equipment for capacity projects at various schools statewide nearing their enrollment capacity or are short of classroom space.

$5,200,000 – Staff Costs and Project Positions – Fiscal Year 2014 costs related to wages and fringe benefits for 60 project-funded permanent staff. The positions will provide the technical and clerical support necessary for the DOE to adequately address their CIP needs by moving its CIP project-funded staff to the vacant Liliuokalani Elementary in the near future.

Governor Abercrombie Names Judge Michael Wilson to Hawaii Supreme Court

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today named Judge Michael D. Wilson as his nomination for associate justice to the state Supreme Court. This nomination will fill the upcoming vacancy when Associate Justice Simeon Acoba retires next month and is subject to state Senate confirmation.

Judge Wilson

Gov. Abercrombie joined Judge Wilson and his family members to announce the appointment in a news conference this afternoon in the Executive Office Ceremonial Room.

“Both on and off the bench, Judge Wilson is a well-respected leader,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “He brings a wealth of experience, having served as an attorney and Circuit Court judge. The Constitution and our kuleana responsibilities to it will be in good hands.”

“I am very grateful and humbled for being placed as a candidate by the Judicial Selection Commission and honored by the Governor’s appointment,” said Judge Wilson.

Judge Wilson, 60, has served on the First Judicial Circuit since 2000, presiding over the felony trial calendar, drug court and mental health court. Previously, he was a chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources and Commission, commissioner for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission and executive director for the state Division of Consumer Advocacy.

A graduate of Kailua High School, Judge Wilson earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from the Antioch School of Law.

The high court is composed of a chief justice and four associate justices. Judge Wilson is Gov. Abercrombie’s third appointment to the state Supreme Court. Justices are nominated by the Governor from a list of names submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. A justice’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the state Senate. Each justice is initially appointed to a 10-year term. All justices must retire at age 70.

Governor Abercrombie Names Dr. Linda Rosen as Department of Health Director

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Dr. Linda Rosen as director of the Department of Health (DOH). Dr. Rosen’s appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.

Dr. Linda Rosen

Dr. Linda Rosen

“Linda has more than 30 years of experience in the medical field and has held administrative positions for more than a decade,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Drawing from existing leadership within the Health Department, I have full confidence that Linda will continue the significant progress realized under late Director Loretta Fuddy for the remainder of her term.”

With the DOH since 2000, Dr. Rosen has served as medical director of the Family Health Services Division and Pediatric Emergency Services, deputy director for Health Resources Administration and, most recently, chief of the Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch, where she was responsible for administering a comprehensive emergency medical services system, including 911 ambulance services, trauma system development and community injury prevention.

Dr. Rosen is a pediatrician by training, working in the emergency and critical care and neonatology departments at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children from 1985 to 2000. She has also been a faculty member of the John A. Burns School of Medicine since 1987, as assistant and associate professor of pediatrics, and is currently an associate clinical professor of pediatrics and surgery.

Serving on a number of health boards and committees, Dr. Rosen is particularly passionate about reducing death, disability and health disparities through the application of a comprehensive public health approach to illness and injury, focusing on primary prevention and risk reduction.

A graduate of Punahou School, Dr. Rosen earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Hawai‘i Bidding for Major Conservation Gathering Event Would Be a First for the U.S

As a four-person delegation representing the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) visits Hawaii this week, the state is showcasing its position as the anchor of the Pacific in a bid to host the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress. The congress is the world’s leading summit on the environment.

IUCN delegation and Hawaii committee members tour Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

IUCN delegation and Hawaii committee members tour Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

A Hawai‘i-hosted congress would be the first time it has been held in the United States since the founding of IUCN in 1948, and the event would provide a unique opportunity to share with the world, the state and nation’s values and dedication to conserving nature on both national and international levels. As many as 8,000 delegates are expected to attend the 2016 meeting.

“Based on our success hosting the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, I believe we have a compelling case as to why the United States and Hawaii provide the ideal venue to host this gathering,”Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “The Aloha State is the anchor of the Pacific, and our bid is financially competitive and highlights the unique benefits of our location and host culture. We’re encouraging the IUCN evaluating team to review all that Hawai‘i has to offer for this preeminent conference.”

Chipper Wichman, Co-chair, Hawaii IUCN 2016 Steering Committee and Director and CEO of national Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai.

Chipper Wichman, Co-chair, Hawaii IUCN 2016 Steering Committee and Director and CEO of national Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai.

“IUCN has been fortunate to always receive strong invitations to host our World Conservation Congresses and the 2016 Congress is no exception. There are two excellent candidates in the running to host the event: Honolulu, Hawai‘i, United States of America and Istanbul, Turkey.

We are very grateful for the enthusiasm and commitment shown by Hawai‘i and thank the team for their warm welcome throughout the site visit. The IUCN Council will make a decision regarding the venue and hosts of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in May 2014,”said Dr. Enrique Lahmann, Global Director, Union Development Group; Congress Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Randy Tanaka and Enrique Lahmann at a reception for the IUCN delegates.

Randy Tanaka and Enrique Lahmann at a reception for the IUCN delegates.

The delegation is receiving broad exposure to a wide-range of the natural and cultural attributes of the Hawaiian Islands through site visits on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i, as well as meetings and receptions with government, hospitality industry, conservation and Native Hawaiian leaders. A cross-discipline, multi-agency organizing team, led by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), is showing the delegation convention facilities, transportation, lodging and security infrastructure, attractions and meeting/marketing expertise. Members of the IUCN evaluating team also received a 107 page-long Hawai‘i Nature + Aloha, Imagine 2016 proposal, which documents broad support for the conference and includes in-depth detail about the Aloha State’s bid for the event.

DLNR Chairperson William Aila said, “With environmental and conservation issues very much at the forefront of worldwide attention, Hawai‘i is in a unique position to demonstrate what we are doing to advance conservation issues like climate change, watershed management, coral reef protection, and traditional knowledge. Having Hawai‘i host the 2016 Congress will show the world how our core values of Aloha Aina connect to nature and our diversity.”

IUCN delegates contemplate the stillness and vastness of Halemaumau vent.

IUCN delegates contemplate the stillness and vastness of Halemaumau vent.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome the IUCN Site Visit Team to Hawai‘i,”said Chipper Wichman, director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and CEO and co-chair of the Hawai‘i IUCN 2016 Steering Committee. This is a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have been working for the past five years to bring the IUCN World Conservation Congress to Hawai‘i. “Our state is a world leader in biocultural conservation, and Gov. Abercrombie has put together a dynamic group led by William Aila and Esther Kia‘āina from the DLNR to host the IUCN team and show them the facilities and organizations that make Hawai‘i the best location for the world to convene and discuss global conservation issues. It has been an amazing week so far –we are leaving the IUCN delegation with a strong and lasting impression of Hawai‘i.”

Governor Abercrombie at reception at Hawaii Community College.

Governor Abercrombie at reception at Hawaii Community College.

Hosts for the IUCN delegation are demonstrating that Hawai‘i is a destination where “hospitality is not a sideline.”The IUCN World Congress bid has the full support of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and the Hawai‘i Convention Center (HCC). During this week the delegation is having meetings with HCC staff and management and many of Hawai‘i’s leading HTA-member hospitality providers. Both HTA and HCC have been working for the past five years to support the bid process.

Governor Abercrombie Taps Bhagowalia as Chief Advisor on Technology, Cyber-Security

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment and promotion of Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia as Chief Advisor for Technology and Cyber-Security, effective Feb. 18, 2014. The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawaii as a premier technology and cyber-security hub in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to strengthen ties between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s Business and Technology Transformation.

Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia

Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia

“Under Sonny’s exceptionally positive leadership and energy, the State of Hawaii has made great strides in developing a strong technology and security foundation, launching key programs to transform business and technology in the state, and charting a strong course for the future with a nationally recognized transformation plan,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Now more than ever, we need Sonny to help our state take the next step by representing Hawaii at a national level to ensure we establish a cohesive technology and cyber-security strategy, position Hawaii for future federal collaboration and investments, and encourage our community stakeholders to continue to support Hawaii’s technology transformation.”

The Governor also highlighted significant accomplishments by Bhagowalia and his extended CIO team over the past two and a half years in a detailed annual report, released today and available for download at the state Office of Information Management Technology (OIMT) website: http://oimt.hawaii.gov

With this change, OIMT’s two deputy CIOs will be promoted into new roles to facilitate the office’s transition from key foundational activities, such as planning and designing new systems, to implementation. Deputy CIO of Operations Keone Kali will succeed Bhagowalia as state CIO, while Deputy CIO of Business Transformation Randy Baldemor will join the Office of the Governor as Director of Strategic Initiatives, both also effective Feb. 18, 2014.

Since its creation in 2011, OIMT has made tremendous progress in three overarching strategic areas:

1. Reengineering “the way we do business” (on-line versus waiting in-line)
2. Modernizing and securing the technology infrastructure
3. Establishing transparency and accountability through governance

Accomplishments highlighted in the comprehensive CIO Annual Report include:

1. Aligning business and IT through four key programs (enterprise resource planning, tax, health IT, and business process reengineering)
2. Strengthening the state’s critical security and technology infrastructure through four key programs (consolidated infrastructure, enterprise shared services, enterprise security/privacy, and the Hawaii Broadband Initiative)
3. Implementing transparency and accountability through two key programs (open government and governance)

Departmental collaboration with OIMT, as explained in the report, further illustrates the depth and breadth of the transformation effort.

“The standard of excellence in leadership, program execution and teamwork set by Sonny provides a solid foundation for Hawaii’s future, and I commend him for his commitment and service to the people of the State of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie added. “This is the right time to transition, and I am confident that Keone will maintain the high-quality execution of the state’s IT transformation plan and management of OIMT. In addition, Randy’s newly established position within my office demonstrates our commitment to furthering this effort, and it will facilitate the strategic alignment of priorities and resources on key business transformation initiatives as well as fostering greater coordination and collaboration across departments.”

Bhagowalia said: “I thank the Governor, my fellow directors, my extended ‘ohana’ of CIOs, all our staff, and the people of Hawaii for their unwavering support of the transformation. We are proud of the major accomplishments so far and excited about the road ahead for the great State of Hawaii. While I look forward to new horizons, I ask everyone for their continuing support of Hawaii’s next CIO, Keone, and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Randy, in their efforts to advance the transformation.”

Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia
Prior to being appointed as Hawaii’s first CIO in July 2011, Bhagowalia served for 11 years as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and one year in as a Senior Level (SL) employee of the U.S. Government. He served as the Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington, D.C., supporting five national White House programs for the Federal CIO. He previously held two CIO executive leadership roles at the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education within the U.S. Department of the Interior. He also served with the FBI CIO within the U.S. Department of Justice for seven years as a SES (at Assistant Director level) and one year as a SL. In addition to his public sector experience, Bhagowalia served with distinction for 14.5 years as Chief Engineer/Manager at Boeing in support of Systems Integration and Business Development for U.S. Government Civilian, Defense and Intelligence Community Clients. He is a graduate from Syracuse University and Louisiana State University with Masters and Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering and Management.  He is a distinguished graduate (twice) from the National Defense University with CIO and IRM certification. He has won numerous national awards for executive excellence.

Keone Kali
Kali was named Deputy CIO in November 2012 and brings 20 years of experience in information technology, business development, and management in both the public and private sector. He previously served as the Director of Information Technology and acting Chief Technology Officer for the Pacific Disaster Center on Maui. Kali was also the CIO for the City of Beverly Hills, where he designed, executed and managed a comprehensive five-year Information Technology Master Plan, transformed the city’s technology architecture to support highly-available and accessible public services, and formed new revenue generating programs. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Randy Baldemor
Baldemor also joined OIMT over a year ago and brings to his new position 14 years of diverse business and government experience, including as deputy director of the state Department of Taxation, where he led the IT modernization efforts and business process re-engineering activities that significantly improved tax return processing and refund issuances. He has also served as president of software development company DiscoveryBox, assistant vice-president of claims for Island Insurance Companies, and litigation partner at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP. Baldemor received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida and earned his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.

The new chief advisor and director positions are being funded through a grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting quality of life improvements in the state.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $19.1 Million for State Hospital Facilities

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $19.1 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) that will upgrade and improve eight Hawaii Health Systems Corporation facilities.

“These projects will go toward replacements, renovations and upgrades to our aging infrastructure at several state hospital facilities across the state,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In addition to increasing safety and functionality, these projects, part of more than $2.1 billion in capital improvement projects released since I took office, will further stimulate our economy and generate more local jobs.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$4,000,000 – Kona Community Hospital Renovations and Upgrades, Hawaii Island – Address increased activity in the pharmacy, bring obstetric area to current standards, fix leaking showers, upgrade security doors, and continuation of the ER model

$2,200,000 – West Kauai Medical Center Air Conditioning System Replacement, Kauai – Repair and expand existing air conditioning system, which has become prone to mechanical breakdowns

Hilo Medical Center Angiography Suite

Hilo Medical Center Angiography Suite

$2,100,000 – Hilo Medical Center Angiography Suite Renovation/Upgrade, Hawaii Island – Existing equipment will be brought to current standards and enable patients to receive greater level of service, while reducing the need for patients to seek services on neighbor islands

$1,590,000 – Hilo Medical Center Laundry Washers and Dryers Replacement, Hawaii Island – Design and equipment for the siting and installation of laundry washers and dryers; majority of the washers are more than 22 years old and requires costly repairs; washers and dryers service Hilo Medical Center, Kau Hospital, and Hale Hoola Hamakua

$1,219,000 – Maluhia Hospital Air Conditioning System Upgrade, Oahu – Replace old equipment on the first, second, and third floors; existing air conditioning system is old and the replacement of the air handler units and other related equipment are necessary to improve air temperature and humidity for patients

$1,100,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Exterior Doors Replacement, Kauai – Replace exterior doors that are beyond repair; portion is nailed shut; doors need to be functional in case of emergencies

$850,000 – Hilo Medical Center Fire Alarm and Fire Suppression Systems Upgrade/Replacement, Hawaii Island – Upgrade and replace fire alarm and fire suppression systems to protect the health and safety of patients, visitors, and employees; existing system will be redesigned to meet current national fire protection requirements

$820,000 – Maluhia Hospital Dietary Electrical System and Emergency Generator Upgrade, Oahu – Existing electrical system in the Dietary Department is not connected to back-up power, and refrigerated foods would not be kept cool in the event of a power outage; when improvements are implemented, the hospital will have back-up power to keep Dietary in operation at all times

$800,000 – Maui Memorial Medical Center Air Conditioning System Replacement, Maui – Project will focus on patient care rooms in the East, South and West Wings, electrical rooms, pharmacy and laundry areas; existing air conditioning system has become prone to mechanical breakdowns and needs to be replaced

$750,000 – Hilo Medical Center Long-Term Care Facility, Hawaii Island – Planning of a new long-term care facility to replace the existing long-term care facility that no longer meets Medicare and Medicaid survey requirements

$600,000 – Leahi Hospital Reroofing, Oahu – The facility is more than 30 years old, and replacement of the roof is needed due to leaks

$500,000 – Leahi Hospital Walk-In Freezer and Refrigerators Replacement, Oahu – Current walk-in freezer and refrigerators are old and deteriorating with ice accumulating in the walls around the structure; project will also cool the food assembly area in the Dietary Department, which does not meet temperature requirements established by the Federal Survey Standards

$500,000 – West Kauai Medical Center Nurse Call and Baby Abduction System Replacement, Kauai – The existing system is more than 38 years old and parts are no longer available; with the new call system, communications between the nurse stations and patient rooms and for the baby abduction system will become more reliable

$500,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Patient Dining Room Renovation, Kauai – The existing patient dining room is closed due to termite infestation, which has made the area a hazardous place for both patients and staff; patients are currently using a temporary dining room

$500,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Nurse Call and Patient Wandering System Replacement, Kauai – The current system is more than 30 years old and replacement parts are no longer available

$384,000 – Leahi Hospital Trotter Building for Memory and Behavior Unit Renovation – Renovate Trotter Building to construct a Memory and Behavior Unit; there is a need for a Memory and Behavior Unit to accept more patients

$250,000 – Hilo Medical Center Patient Security System and Security Access System, Hawaii Island – Equipment for a patient security system and security access system to guard against infant abductions, dementia/Alzheimer patient elopements, and unauthorized access to sensitive areas; the system will also provide for the safety and security of patients, employees, and visitors, and meet the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Joint Commission regulations

$201,000 – Kau Hospital Renovations, Hawaii Island – Repairs to address items discovered during renovations of the roof, doors, windows, and air filtration and cooling systems, and hazardous material abatement; addresses repairs before additional renovations begin at the location

$199,000 – Kau Hospital Pluming Upgrades, Hawaii Island – Most of the pipes are more than 40 years old and require frequent repairs; in June, the hospital septic tanks were found to be corroding and posing a potential hazard to the integrity of the wastewater system; funds are needed to finance the engineering assessment and repair the system; the remainder of the funds will be used to design the plumbing upgrade within the facility

$75,000 – Kau Hospital Energy Audit, Hawaii Island – Determine cost-efficient ways to reduce energy usage and install energy-saving equipment such as variable frequency drives, controlling devices or programs, or modifying existing systems

$50,000 – Lanai Community Hospital Emergency Generator Replacement, Lanai – Transfer of Maui Memorial Medical Center’s generator that is no longer needed at the facility

Governor Abercrombie Releases $475,000 in CIP Funds for Ka’u Hospital

Senator Russell Ruderman just announced on Facebook the following release of funds for the Ka’u Hospital on the Big Island:

Kau Hospital

I am very happy to announce that today I received notification from Governor Abercrombie that he has released $475,000 in CIP funds for the Ka’u Hospital Renovations, Repairs, and Maintenance.

“It gives me great satisfaction to share with you that my Administration is releasing the following Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for work in your District:

Ka’u Hospital, Hospital Renovations – $201,000

HHSC, Repair and Maintenance Projects, Statewide (Ka’u Hospital, Energy Audit) – $75,000

HHSC, Repair and Maintenance Projects, Statewide (Ka’u Hospital, Plumbing Upgrade) – $199,000

I understand how important these projects are to the people you serve in your District. Thank you for your work in securing these projects and I look forward to working together to see its completion.”

I appreciate the Governor’s New Day Work Projects initiative and thank him for his personal attention to this matter. The release of CIP funds for renovations to Ka’u Hospital is a welcome influx of needed funding to improve the infrastructure and safety for our community and projects like this will help improve the safety and health of our community in addition to help reduce unemployment in our district.

Island Perspective With Governor Neil Abercrombie

Gov. Abercrombie was on the Kona side of Hawaii Island on Saturday and was able to sit down with Sherry Bracken to discuss Hawaii’s strong fiscal standing, paying our unfunded liabilities, early childhood education, the rural residency program for physicians, Honokohau Harbor, airports, his position on the President Obama’s Council of Governors, renewable energy and energy costs.