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Right Turn Lane Being Installed on Kuauli Road

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works will be installing a right turn lane on Kuauli Road where it intersects the Volcano Highway (makai side) heading towards Keaau.  Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, April 26th, and is estimated to be completed by Friday, May, 20th, weather and construction conditions permitting.  There will be no roadwork on weekends or holidays.

kuauli

Motorists are advised to expect delays and drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Waianuenue Avenue Road Improvements Between Carvalho Park and Rainbow Drive in Progress

The County of Hawai’i Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be conducting striping work beginning on Monday, April 25th as part of the road improvements on Waiānuenue Avenue between Carvalho Park and the makai intersection of Rainbow Drive.  The working hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Wainuenue Widening

The Traffic Division also announces that the one-way section of Rainbow Drive will be closed permanently to provide a safer pedestrian/wheelchair route to cross the bridge.    The project also includes the widening of the existing T-intersection for bus and vehicular access to Rainbow Drive.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.  If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Shipman, Kurtistown Park Will be Closed April 14 for Fumigation Treatment

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will close both the Herbert Shipman Park pavilion in Kea‘au and the Kurtistown Park pavilion on Thursday, April 14, to perform fumigation treatments.

Shipman Park

Other park areas, including ball fields, outdoor athletic courts and parking areas, will remain open. Both pavilions will be available for public use starting at 6 a.m. Friday, April 15.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closures may cause and thanks park patrons for their understanding while works to maintain the recreational sites.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

West Hawaii Forum – Hawaii County’s General Plan and Future Impacts

Join the discussion at this month’s West Hawaii Forum: Hawai’i County’s General Plan and Future Impacts on March 10th from 6 – 8 pm at the West Hawaii Civic Center – County Council Chambers.   Doors will open at 5:30 pm. This program is free and open to the public.

West Hawaii Civic Center

Hawai’i County’s General Plan, approved in 2005 by the County Council represents the County government’s overall plans and policy direction for Hawai’i Island.  Under the General Plan, the County engages in a process of revising and adopting a Community Development Plan (CDP), most recently in 2015 that will affect communities throughout our island home.

Hawai’i County’s CDP provides a strategy for our local government’s budgetary and planning priorities. This forum will feature experts from both inside and outside County government who will assess Hawai’i County’s General Plan and development plans and impacts for 2016 forward.

Hear the experts, ask questions, and get involved:

  • Duane Kanuha – Hawai’I County, Planning Director
  • Mike Matsukawa – Hawai’i Real Estate and Land Use Attorney
  • Bo Kahui – Executive Director, La’i’Opua 2020

Department of Parks and Recreation Offers American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Classes

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is offering American Red Cross lifeguard training classes at both Hilo’s Kawamoto Swim Stadium and Laupāhoehoe Swimming Pool.

Red Cross Training

Class participants must be at least 15 years old and pass a pretest that requires demonstrating their swimming ability. Also required are a lifeguard training manual, available free online at redcross.org, and a pocket mask.

The American Red Cross lifeguard training class costs $75 per person. After successfully completing the class, students will be issued an American Red Cross certificate for lifeguarding, first aid, CPR, and AED use. Certification lasts for two years and may be used to apply for pool lifeguard positions with the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation.

A four-day American Red Cross lifeguard training class will be offered at Laupāhoehoe Swimming Pool from 8:45 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on March 16, 18, 21, and 23. To register for this class, please call Mark at 962-6993.

The same class will be offered at Kawamoto Swim Stadium from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. starting Monday, April 18, and ending Friday, April 29. Pretesting will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6. To register for this class, please call Janie at 961-8698.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Dengue Fever Outbreak Continues – Hookena Beach Park Reopening March 1st

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Friday February 26th at 1:10PM.

The response to the ongoing Dengue Fever outbreak continues.  Although the number and frequency of new confirmed cases appears to be on the decline, the outbreak is not anticipated to be considered over anytime in the near future.  Therefore we need everyone’s help to continue to Fight the Bite.

To prevent mosquito bites, wear clothing that minimizes exposed skin, use mosquito repellent on skin that cannot be covered, and avoid areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

If you suspect you may have dengue, remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes, and contact a health care provider. Community health centers are working with the Department of Health to see patients who suspect they may have dengue regardless of ability to pay.

Help to reduce potential mosquito breeding areas around homes and businesses.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported no additional confirmed cases since yesterday and the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak is at 260. These cases include 235 residents and 25 visitors.

As there have been no confirmed cases associated with the Hookena Beach Park since November 11th and with the actions taken to include numerous sprayings and treatments of the beach park, County and Department of Health Officials will be reopening the park for normal use to include camping effective Tuesday March 1st.

Everyone is reminded that ensuring the safe and enjoyable use of our park facilities depends on everyone’s help and cooperation.  Please use repellent while visiting and enjoying the park and help to keep it clean.  If feeling ill, avoid visiting parks and public areas and remain home to prevent transmission of any communicable diseases.

For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001. Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 2/25/2016.

This map will be updated weekly with location data provided by the State Department of Health. Locations may represent multiple cases. For the most up to date case counts and other information from the Department of Health, visit their website at health.hawaii.gov.

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

Dengue Pinpoint 22616

Pāhala Swimming Pool Closing for Repairs Feb. 22 – March 4

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will close Pāhala Swimming Pool starting Monday, February 22, so the pool’s pump may be repaired.

County worker works on the Pahoa Pool last year

County worker works on the Pahoa Pool last year

This closure is expected to continue through Friday, March 4, 2016.

Normal operating hours are scheduled to resume on Saturday, March 5, when Pāhala Swimming Pool will be reopened for public recreational swim at 9 a.m.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure might cause and thanks pool patrons for their understanding while the needed repairs are performed.

Operating schedules, events listing, and holiday closures for each of Hawai‘i County’s nine swimming pools are listed online at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-aquatics/. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Hawaii Parks and Recreation Seeks to Hire Adults for Temporary Summer Fun Jobs

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking to hire adults for temporary summer jobs working with keiki who attend its 2016 Summer Fun Program.

Summer Fun

Summer Fun activity aides and activity technicians will earn $11 per hour and $14 per hour, respectively. Applicants will be asked in which districts they prefer to work, although enrollment levels and program needs will determine the recreation sites used for 2016 Summer Fun activities.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of employment, possess current First Aid certification, submit a completed Summer Fun application, and be available to work May 31 through July 15, 2016. Summer Fun starts June 6 following a mandatory four-day training period for all temporary employees.

Summer Fun applications are available online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, the Department’s main office at 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 6 in Hilo, the Recreation Division Office at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, and various County gymnasiums located around the island.

Completed applications must be filed with the Recreation Division or postmarked by Tuesday, February 16.  For more information about the Department of Parks and Recreation’s 2016 Summer Fun Program job opportunities, please contact the Recreation Division at 961-8740.

Hilo Municipal Golf Course to be Shortened, Remain Open During Renovation Project

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will shorten the Hilo Municipal Golf Course and open temporary greens so golfers may continue using portions of the links while it is undergoing major renovation.

Hilo Golf Course

Starting Monday, February 8, play will be limited to the front 9 holes and a temporary 9th green opened to accommodate construction work. When renovation of the back 9 holes is completed, they will be opened for play and the front 9 holes closed so renovation work may shift to that section of the course. Temporary greens will be opened at the 17th and 18th holes until new grass is established on the reconstructed greens. Also, temporary tee boxes will be opened at the 15th hole to allow for construction access.

These rotating partial closures are expected to continue through mid-May. During that period, tee times will be modified to allow golfers to play two rounds and create the equivalent of an 18-hole golfing experience.

Course renovation work will include the following upgrades:

  • Reconstructing the 9th, 17th and 18th greens
  • Constructing a new 14th green and using the existing green as a temporary green
  • Replacing all course waterlines
  • Installing new accessible drinking fountains throughout the course
  • Constructing new accessible shelters at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 13th and 18th tees
  • Constructing new accessible restrooms at the 4th and 12th tees
  • Performing structural and safety repairs to the course bridges
  • Tree removal

The Department of Parks and Recreation understands the inconvenience the ongoing construction work will cause, and sincerely appreciates patrons’ patience and understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Appeal Period for the Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps Begins on Feb. 9th

The 90-day appeal period for the Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) issued last August by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officially begins February 9, 2016.  Any owner or lessee of real property on Hawai‘i Island who believes his or her property rights will be adversely affected by the proposed flood hazard determinations may appeal to the County.

Flood MapThe preliminary maps are not just a digital version of the existing paper maps, but include new flood zones and changes to existing flood zones along the entire island coastal area, as well as the upper Waiākea area of Hilo, certain parts of Waimea and North and South Kona.  Hāmākua and Kohala remain largely unchanged.

The sole basis for such appeals is based on information from a certified survey done by a licensed surveyor or a drainage study done by a licensed civil engineer showing that the proposed flood hazard determinations are scientifically or technically incorrect.  All appeals should be submitted to the County Department of Public Works (DPW) Engineering Division by April 26, 2016 to be included in the Appeal Package the County will forward to FEMA for review.

DPW offices are located in Hilo at the Aupuni Center ((808) 961-8327) across from Long’s downtown and in Kona at the West Hawai‘i  Civic Center ((808) 323-4850) on the Ane Keohokālole Highway.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have many uses, including insurance rating and regulation of development.  Use of the maps is required for the County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes the County eligible for federal disaster aid in the event of a federally declared natural disaster.  Examples are Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and the heavy flooding in November 2000.

The new digital maps are intended to replace the existing paper maps.  The digital format will allow the maps to be more easily accessed and viewed on the internet.

Flooding is one of the major natural disasters in the United States. These maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance options and flood protection measures.

More detailed information is available on the County’s website at http://flood.hawaiicounty.gov/.

FEMA has posted digital copies of revised DFIRM and FIS report materials to the following Website:  https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/

Hilo Trap and Skeet Range Closing February 13- 14 to Host Statewide Tournament

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces that the Hilo Trap and Skeet Range will be closed to public shooting on Saturday, February 13, and Sunday, February 14, to accommodate a statewide tournament.

PITA

The Pacific International Trapshooting Association (PITA) will hold its 2016 State Championship February 12 through February 15 at the Hilo Trap and Skeet Range. PITA welcomes spectators to watch the competition free of charge.

For more information about the Hilo Trap and Skeet Range, plase contact John Kushi at 961-8733.

Four Kona Parks to Close Temporarily January 29 to Conduct Dengue Mosquito Treatments

The Department of Parks and Recreation will temporarily close four Kona parks on Friday, January 29, so those facilities can be treated for mosquitoes that have the potential to spread dengue fever.

Mosquito BiteWhile there is no indication that any of these parks are sources of possible infection, this measure is being employed as a proactive and preventative strategy for reducing mosquito concentrations and thereby lowering the risk of potential exposure.

The following parks are slated for treatments expected to start, weather permitting, at approximately 7 a.m. Friday, January 29:

  • Kailua Playground, also known as “The Ghetto”
  • Kipapa Park located on the mauka side of Ali‘i Drive, across from La‘aloa Bay Beach Park
  • Harold H. Higashihara Park
  • Arthur C. Greenwell Park, including Sgt. Rodney J. Yano Memorial Hall

Unauthorized persons will not be allowed to enter the affected parks until the treatment work is completed and the parks are cleared for public use. Signs will be posted at each park informing the public of the closures, spraying activity, and when the parks are reopened.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks park patrons and the general public for their understanding while it assists in the efforts to control the spread of dengue fever.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

 

 

Public Invited to February 5 Groundbreaking for Hōnaunau Rodeo Arena Reconstruction

Please join Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Councilwoman Maile David and other dignitaries for a public groundbreaking ceremony that will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, February 5, to commemorate the start of reconstructing the Hōnaunau Rodeo Arena.

Honaunau rodeo

The ceremony will be held at the rodeo arena located at 84-5134 Hōnaunau Road, which is approximately halfway between the Hōnaunau Post Office and the Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historic Park. Refreshments and light pupu will be served.

With the strong support of Councilwoman David, Mayor Kenoi and the Department of Parks and Recreation are investing $5.1 million to rebuild the entire rodeo arena and allow for expanded public use. Plans call for constructing a new comfort station, judges’ stand, covered spectator stands, and paved parking stalls. New panels, pens, and infill material also will be installed. A new 2,000-square-foot pavilion with concession area will support rodeo events while doubling as a much-needed venue for South Kona residents to hold public meetings, private parties, and other functions. Finally, the entire facility will be made ADA-compliant, while a completely rebuilt water system will include new water spigots that will be made available for public use.

Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. is expected to finish the arena reconstruction by October 2016.

For more information, please contact the Department at 961-8311.

Hakalau Bridge Closing for Repairs

The Hakalau Bridge located mauka of Highway 19 on Kanna Road, between Chin Chuck Road and Kaiwiki-Homestead Road will be closed for repair work starting on Monday, January 4, 2016 beginning at 7:00 a.m. and will remain closed for the duration of the project.

Hakalau Bridge

The repair work involves the rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure which includes replacing the old timber components with new wood preservative treated components.  The project is estimated to be completed by Wednesday, March 30, 2016, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Hawai’i County Announces New Business Resource Centers

In an effort to support local entrepreneurs forming small businesses, the County of Hawai‘i’s Department of Research and Development recently opened two Business Resource Centers, in Hilo and in Kona.

Click to see opportunities

Click to see opportunities

Located in the departmentʻs offices in the Hawaiʻi County Building in Hilo and the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona, the Business Resource Center serves as a one-stop-shop for small business information. Each location is equipped with a public use computer, a collection of business registration forms, and staff to assist entrepreneurs to get started.

The Business Resource Center is pleased to partner with the Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center Network, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, the State Departments of Commerce & Consumer Affairs and Taxation, and other County agencies on this initiative.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., except for State Holidays. Anyone interested in this new resource is welcome to stop by or visit the department online at hawaiicounty.gov/research-and-development and download the Business Resource Center’s guide, “How to Start a Business in Hawai‘i County.”

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on Hawaii Island Rises to 112

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases has risen by 5 more cases since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 112.

Mosquito Bite

As of November 30, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 98
Visitors 14
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 112

Of the confirmed cases, 98 are Hawaii Island residents and 14 are visitors.
86 cases have been adults; 26 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/20/15.

As of today, a total of 262 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated November 25, 2015)

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for New Waimea District Park

A groundbreaking and traditional Hawaiian blessing for a new 24-acre Waimea District Park were held Monday, November 16, during a public ceremony attended by Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Councilmembers, State lawmakers, and Parker Ranch Inc. executives.

Kahu Kealoha Sugiyama performs the blessing ceremony for a new Waimea District Park on Monday, November 16. Image provided by: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Kahu Kealoha Sugiyama performs the blessing ceremony for a new Waimea District Park on Monday, November 16.
Image provided by: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

The project’s first phase, complete with three covered play courts, lighted ball field and keiki playground, will be opened in December 2016, well ahead of the original 2020 estimate, Mayor Kenoi said while standing in front of the green pastures to be developed into active recreation.

“It’s going to be a pu‘uhonua (place of peace and safety) in beautiful Waimea,” he said.

Parker Ranch donated the land for the park site located near its former headquarters and reached via Ala ‘Ōhi‘a Road.

“This is truly an exciting day for Waimea and the Big Island,” Dutch Kuyper, Parker Ranch president and CEO, said, noting athletic fields are where children can learn good sportsmanship and humility, even in defeat.

Contractor Nan Inc. has been hired to build the project’s first phase, which also will feature accessible walkways, more than 150 paved parking spaces, landscaping, and infrastructure.

Mayor Kenoi thanked the Waimea community, including the Waimea District Park Builders, for not giving up on the dream of a new park. He also thanked State leaders for helping obtain partial funding for the park development, the County Council for approving the balance of the necessary funding, and the Department of Parks and Recreation for managing the project.

Hilo Bayfront Beach Closing to Motorized Vehicles Starting Friday

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces that it will close Hilo Bayfront Beach to all motorized vehicles starting the morning of Friday, September 25. All vehicles must be parked within designated parking stalls.

Hilo BayfrontSigns have been installed and boulders have been placed adjacent to the beach area to prevent vehicle access and make conditions safer for park patrons.  Keeping vehicles off the beach will also protect marine life from hazardous fluids that can leak from vehicles.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks park patrons and the general public for understanding the need to improve safety for users of Hilo Bayfront Beach and to protect the marine environment. The Department also reminds park users that dogs and overnight camping are not allowed at Hilo Bayfront Beach Park.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tonight’s Civil Defense Meeting Has Been Cancelled

The civil defense meeting scheduled for this evening at Pahoa High School has been cancelled.

Civildefense

Good morning,
I apologize for the late notice however we will be postponing the Pahoa Community Meeting scheduled for tonight at 6:30 at the Pahoa High School cafeteria. The County and our partner agencies are meeting with FEMA this morning to discuss the closing of the lava flow incident and there will be many questions asked as to what the implications may be with regards to the various projects and expenses incurred in response to the lava flow threat. It is our goal and desire to provide the community with this information and to share how the federal reimbursement program will apply to the projects and costs. Realizing that for some questions FEMA may need to internally have further discussion as well as for some of the applicant representatives at the meeting there may be a need to provide additional information or to review with their executives; it would be prudent to obtain the final answers and outcomes and share that information at the community meeting. Therefore the meeting will be postponed pending the final outcome of the public assistance program application review and approvals. We apologize for this inconvenience and look forward to sharing all information with the community.
Thank you,
Darryl J. Oliveira
Administrator, Hawaii County Civil Defense

Hawaii County Announces Web Based Puna Traffic Cameras

The County is pleased to announce the launch of punatraffic.com, a publicly available web based traffic monitoring service for the lower Puna to Kea`au area.

Click to view current conditions

Click to view current conditions

Traffic conditions along several transportation corridors that may be affected by the June 27th Lava Flow, including HWY 130, will be monitored with thirty cameras. The images are available for public viewing at punatraffic.com.

The camera images refresh every three to five minutes and are meant to assist the public in making their travel plans. The website also provides estimated drive times based on current traffic conditions.

The traffic monitoring system is a part of the County’s overall plan to monitor traffic flow that may have to be re-routed as a result of the June 27 Lava Flow.

The cameras were installed by ICX Transportation Group. The service went live on March 25, 2015.

The cameras are government property and specifically programmed to only work with government equipment. Please kokua and respect this public benefit and service.

The website also provides social media links to Civil Defense and the County of Hawai`i and can be updated to inform the public about road incidents.