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County of Hawaii Announces Temporary Closure of Kukuihaele Park

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces the temporary closure of Kukuihaele Park effective immediately and continuing through completion of construction activities, currently anticipated to be in April of 2017.

Kukuihaele Park

The project will improve and enhance the recreational facilities provided at this rural park for the benefit of area youth, residents and our entire island community. In addition to replacing the existing outdoor basketball court and upgrading the sports field, the County is investing in a new pavilion and restroom facility to support community gatherings, a new walking path to promote healthy living, and amenities such as picnic tables, onsite parking, safety improvements, and enhanced landscaping.

The general contractor has fenced off the entire perimeter of the park for public safety, and the County respectfully requests the public’s assistance in honoring the contractor’s worksite and ongoing construction operations.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks park users and the general public for their understanding and patience while it works to improve Kukuihaele Park.

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

TRAFFIC ALERT: Māmalahoa Hwy at Nāpo‘opo‘o Junction, Kona

Work continues on the County of Hawai‘i’s highway intersection improvement project this weekend. One lane of Māmalahoa Highway will be closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21 to allow Hawaiian Telcom to relocate overhead cables to newly placed utility poles near the intersection of Māmalahoa Highway and Nāpo‘opo‘o Road in Kona.

A section of the new Mamalahoa Highway.  Photo by Aaron Stene

A section of the new Mamalahoa Highway. Photo by Aaron Stene

Traffic control will be on site to assist with traffic flow and to assure the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution. Work is weather-permitting and is subject to change.  Hawaiian Telcom and The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns please call Barett Otani, County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Information and Education Specialist, at (808) 961-8787.

Hawaii County General Plan Public Input Forums

Hawaii County encourages people to attend an upcoming General Plan Public Input Forum.

Hawaii County General Plan

The General Plan guides the island’s long-range physical development.  Participants in the Forums will give feedback on alternatives for future growth.

  • Tuesday, August 23, 6:00pm – 8:00pm,25 Aupuni Street, Room 1401, County Council Chambers, Hilo

You may also participate at our live remote sites:

  • Waimea Community Center – 65-1260 Kawaihae Road
  • Pahoa Neighborhood Facility – 15-2910 Puna Road
  • Naalehu Community Center – 95-5635 Māmalahoa Highway
  • Kona Council Chambers – 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Building A

Thursday, August 25

  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Building A, County Council Chambers, Kona

You may also participate at our live remote sites:

  • Waimea Community Center – 65-1260 Kawaihae Road
  • Pahoa Neighborhood Facility – 15-2910 Puna Road
  • Naalehu Community Center – 95-5635 Māmalahoa Highway
  • Hilo Council Chambers – 25 Aupuni Street, Room 1401

Hilo’s Mo‘oheau Bandstand Closing for Renovations

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will close Hilo’s Mo‘oheau Bandstand temporarily starting Monday, August 15, so the structure may undergo extensive renovation.

A vigil for the victims in the Orlando night club shooting was held recently at Mo‘oheau Bandstand.

A vigil for the victims in the Orlando night club shooting was held recently at Mo‘oheau Bandstand.

The closure is expected to last through November 2016 to allow for structural and architectural repairs as well as painting, lighting and electrical upgrades.

To protect park patrons from construction hazards, barricades will be erected to restrict access to the bandstand throughout the project.

During construction, monthly Hawai‘i County Band concerts will be moved to the Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi Street. The noontime performances will remain as scheduled on the following Saturdays: September 10; October 1; November 12; and December 3.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks park patrons for their understanding while it works to improve Mo‘oheau Bandstand.

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

Traffic Alert: Oceanic Time Warner Cable Utility Relocation Work at Nāpo‘opo Road

As part of the Nāpō‘opo‘o Road and Māmalahoa Highway Intersection Improvement Project, beginning on Monday, August 15, 2016, Oceanic Time Warner Cable will be relocating overhead cables to newly placed utility poles near the intersection of Māmalahoa Highway and Nāpo‘opo‘o Road in Kona.

One lane of Māmalahoa Highway will be closed to traffic from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. throughout the week of August 15 through August 19 and August 22 through August 26, 2016.

Traffic control will be on site to assist with traffic flow and to assure the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution. Work is weather-permitting and is subject to change. Oceanic Time Warner Cable thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Wayne Iokepa at (808) 331-4919 or Barett Otani, County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Information and Education Specialist, at (808) 961-8787.

County Reschedules Resurfacing Work on Kekuanao’a Street

The County Highway Maintenance Division has rescheduled resurfacing work on Kekūanāo’a St. between Hīnano St. and Kīlauea Ave. to begin on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

kekuanoaTropical Storm Darby and unexpected construction constraints had an effect on the project and the County Highways Division is doing their very best to complete the project on August 17, 2016.  Working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  One lane closures, alternate lane closures, lane shifts will be in effect and at a minimum, one lane of travel (for two way traffic) will be provided at all times through the construction area.  The lane closures are necessary to complete the roadway resurfacing work in a timely manner and for the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

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.

Internet Connectivity Restored to County of Hawaii

Internet connectivity has been restored to the County of Hawai’i, and all impacted services are once again available. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.

County of Hawaii Experiencing Internet Difficulties

The County of Hawai’i is experiencing difficulties with its internet connection this morning.

The following services are still available, but may experience longer than usual wait times:

  • early walk-in voting
  • real property tax payments
  • building permits

The following services are unavailable until connectivity is restored, however, the offices remain open to answer any questions.

  • vehicle registration, new and renewal
  • driver licensing, new and renewal

Crews are working to restore connectivity as soon as possible, and an update will be issued once systems are up. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.

Traffic Signal Energizing, Testing, and Activation for Kapiolani St. and Lanikaula St. Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Lanikāula St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

Kapiolani Traffic Signal

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Lanikāula St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, pending the completion of functionality testing.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

The County also reminds the public that the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is in the process of their own road improvement project on Kapi‘olani St. approximately fronting the bus stop to Kāwili St. on the mauka side of the road.  Motorists are advised to drive with caution as road crews and heavy machinery will be in that area.

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.

Hilo Trap and Skeet Range Temporarily Closing

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will close the Hilo Trap and Skeet Range temporarily starting Monday, August 1, so the facility may undergo necessary accessibility upgrades.

trap and skeet range

The range is expected to remain closed through September and be reopened in early October 2016. A follow-up announcement will be issued before the range is reopened.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks range users for their patience and understanding while it works to upgrade the facility.

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

Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Moving to UHH Gym Due to Tropical Storm Darby

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will move next week’s Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Gymnasium.

Yagi

All children participating in the camp should report to the UHH Gym, located at 200 West Kāwili Street in Hilo, at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 26, for registration and the opening day of the camp.

The new venue will replace the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, which has been reserved for another event that must be postponed to protect attendees from the anticipated impacts of Tropical Storm Darby.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo for allowing its gymnasium to be used for the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp. The department also apologizes for any inconvenience the venue change may cause and thanks camp participants and their families for their understanding.

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

New Traffic Signals Being Installed at Mohouli and Kapiolani Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Mohouli St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Wednesday July 27, 2016.

Kapiolani Light

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Mohouli St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Thursday, July 28, 2016.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

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.

Hawaii County Product Enrichment Program Hō‘ike

The 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP) Ho’ike will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on July 29th from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Hilton Waikoloa Village Skyview

This one day event is a celebration for all who have worked hard to support festivals, events and community programs in the county of Hawai’i. This Ho’ike will also provide a platform for CPEP applicants and grantees to network and connect with each other essentially creating a greater opportunity to grow their programs.

A registration fee of $30 includes continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments, a panel discussion discussing “How To Involve Millennials in Community Events”, inspiring speakers and round table discussions with industry experts and past CPEP success stories. Bo Campos from Kai Opua Canoe Club, Richard Oshiro from Island Air, Missy Kaleohano from Island of Hawai’i Visitor Bureau, and Gary Marrow the Co-owner of KapohoKine Adventures are just a few who will be sharing their experiences, success stories and greatest achievements. For the first time this year, the County will be hosting an “Aloha Friday” gathering from 4-6pm for more time to talk story and network. Register online at cpephoike.org.

Some festivals, events and programs that are funded by CPEP include HawaiiCon, Queen Liliʻuokalani Canoe Races, Big Island Film Festival, Hawai’i Yoga Festival, Pana’ewa Stampede, and First Fridays in Downtown Hilo. They showcase the unique and diverse experiences available for residents and visitors.

This year, HTA is supporting 162 community, environment and cultural programs; 18 of those are on Hawai’i Island. The results of this program include more efficient and effective use of HTA and County funds and resources, more local control, direction and management, and better oversight and support of awardees.

Roadway Resurfacing Work on Kekuanaoa St. to Begin on July 25th

UPDATE: Our Highways Division has notified me that they are extending the resurfacing work from Hīnano St. to Kīlauea Ave. (originally from Mililani St. to Kīlauea St.)

The County Highway Maintenance Division will begin resurfacing work on Kekūanāo’a St. between Mililani St. and Kīlauea Ave. on Monday, July 25, 2016 and estimated to be completed on Monday, August 8, 2016.  Working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather conditions permitting.

road work 713Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  One lane closures, alternate lane closures, lane shifts will be in effect and at a minimum, one lane of travel (for two way traffic) will be provided at all times through the construction area.  The lane closures are necessary to complete the roadway resurfacing work in a timely manner and for the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

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.

HPP’s Loss is Pahoa’s Gain – $22.3 Million Dollar Pahoa Park “In a Nutshell”

Mahalo to Councilman Paleka’s Assistant Nadia Malloe for following up on my question as to why the Pahoa Park has inflated from $5 million dollars to $22.3 million dollars and she got this answer:

Pahoa Park ExpansionAfter inquiring with Hawaii County Parks and Recreation (P&R), the following was shared:

P&R designs 4 types of parks, listed by size/capacity:

  • NEIGHBORHOOD Park – typically designed to meet the needs of neighborhood, such as University Heights
  • COMMUNITY Park – typically designed for small neighborhood communities, such as Isaac Hale and Hawaiian Beaches
  • DISTRICT Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of an entire district population capable for islandwide attractions, such as Pāhoa Park
  • REGIONAL Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of a specific region, usually a larger scale in comparison to a district park, such as Old Ace Park in Kona
    *Swimming pools are only allowed in DISTRICT and REGIONAL Parks.

Approximately 10 years ago, it became very apparent that Puna is a rapidly growing community. Thus, in efforts to meet the recreational needs in this geographic area, the administration of P&R proposed building a 20-acre community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park, with an estimated cost of $5.5 million.

At the time this $5.5 million project was being proposed in 2010-2012, area residents were strongly in opposition of this project due to concerns relating to traffic, safety and privacy of area residents, fee simple ownership, etc. P&R did not want to impose this project where it was not wanted. Thus, P&R began to look at other solutions to our rapidly growing Puna community.

In Pāhoa, the geographical heart of Puna, a district park already existed with 56 acres of land not yet developed. Since County P&R already had an established district park, it would ease the process as no land acquisition nor eminent domain was necessary to move forward.

This district park expansion is the most expensive project in P&R history and its being granted to not just Puna, but the geographical heart and center of Puna. There will be multiple benefits such as reducing criminal activity, promoting healthy living, creating a safer community, potential revenue for Puna, area residents and vendors.

P&R can offer more programs, engaging families, elderly, and persons with disabilities as well. In fact, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, in the past 4 years, juvenile crime decreased approximately 52%, thanks to the hard work and dedication from our County Parks and Recreation Dept. The projected completion of this project is as soon as next month or early September.

In a nutshell, basically the proposed project went from a small community park in HPP to a large district park in Pāhoa. For a price comparison, the amount of money the State spent to build the ONE new gym at Pāhoa High School, can build FIVE of our County gyms.

Nan Inc. provided me with the following aerial footage of the park being built:

Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament Aug. 19-21

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites anglers to register for the 20th Annual ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament that will be held August 19-21.

Fishing Tournament Fish

Separate divisions are offered for keiki 5 to 12 years old, teens, men, women, kūpuna at least 55 years old, and ‘ohana or families. There also will be a barbless circle hook challenge. Entry fee is either $25 or $30 per person or family, depending on the division entered. Please make checks payable to “County Director of Finance.”

Weigh-ins will be conducted from noon until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 21, at Honoka‘a Gymnasium.

Completed registration forms must be turned in to the Department’s Recreation Division office at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo or postmarked by Friday, July 29. Registration forms, along with tournament rules, are available at County Parks and Recreation facilities island-wide, S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown. The forms also can be found online at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

For more information about the ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament, please call Jayme Carvalho at 962-2109 or 936-4285.

Hawaii County Lava Viewing Area Reminders

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports the active lava flow southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues to advance across the coastal plain on the southern flank of Kīlauea. The flow has spread about 400 yards beyond the base of the pali (cliff) of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision; and is about 1.8 miles from the ocean. Bright incandescence is visible from the active lava flow field, and the lava flow does not pose a threat to any community.

Photo by Milly Marchioni

Photo by Milly Marchioni

To maintain public safety and to preserve the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i opened the emergency road to lava viewing since last week Thursday, June 30, 2016. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road is limited to local residents and emergency vehicles, and is being monitored by security guards posted along the viewing area.

Visitors need to be aware of the following reminders:

  • Viewing area hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, with the last car allowed to park at 8:00 p.m.
  • It is about 6 miles round-trip from end of the pavement on Highway 130 to the end of the viewing area and back. The flow can be seen starting from just beyond the parking lot all along the viewing area route.
  • The road is unpaved and surrounded on all sides by rough lava flows on private property. Public access is restricted to the graded roadway and viewers are asked to please respect private property and the rights of local residents.
  • Restroom facilities are limited and lack running water.
  • All members of your party should dress appropriately with boots or sturdy, covered shoes, long pants and a hat.
  • Be prepared for rain, wind, sun, heat and dust exposure.
  • Bring lots of water (1-2 liters per person), there is no potable water available.
  • Bring a flashlight for walking at night over the rough ground.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protect the interests of Kalapana residents, and protection of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua (help).

Kahana Drive Bridge Repair Completed

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works is pleased to announce that the Kahana Drive Bridge repair and restoration project has been completed.  The Kahana Drive Bridge No. 46, located mauka of Highway 19 on Kahana Drive is now open to the traveling public.

Kahana Bridge fixedThe repair work involved the rehabilitation of the original bridge structure replacing the old timber components with new wood preservative treated components.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works would like to thank the community and motorists for their patience, understanding and support throughout the repair and restoration project.

County Opening Emergency Road for Lava Viewing Tomorrow

The active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō is making its way over the Pulama Pali along the western boundary of the former Royal Gardens Subdivision.  The lava flow does not pose a threat to any community.

Lava ViewingTo maintain public safety and to preserve the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i will open the emergency road to lava viewing on June 30, 2016.  Lava viewing along the three mile stretch of the County’s portion of the emergency road is permitted between the hours of 3 pm to 9 pm, daily. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road will be limited to local residents and emergency vehicles.

Security guards will be posted on the emergency road or Highway 130 before the entrance to Kalapana Gardens to provide lava viewing information and to direct parking. As in previous lava viewing events, visitors will be asked to park in marked areas near the end of the paved portion of Highway 130.  Again, it is approximately three (3) miles from this parking area to the end of the County portion of the emergency road, and vehicular traffic on the emergency road will be limited to local residents and emergency vehicles.

Visitors are reminded that the emergency road is a gravel road that traverses over older lava flows and ends at the National Park Service boundary.  Visitors are also reminded to prepare for the trek with proper footwear, sun screen, warm clothing, and water.

The County has established lava flow viewing areas along Highway 130 as far back as 2001 and most recently in Pāhoa in 2014.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protecting the interests of Kalapana residents, and the protection of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua.

Kahana Drive Bridge Repair Closes Bridge

The Kahana Drive Bridge No. 46-9 located mauka of Highway 19 on Kahana Drive will be closed for repair work starting on Monday, June 27, 2016 beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will reopen on July 1, 2016, weather and constructions conditions permitting.

Kahana Bridge Repair

Motorists will be able to use the Old Māmalahoa Highway and Kalehua Road as alternate routes during the bridge closure period.

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 Friday, July 8, 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.