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County Park Closures 2018 Schedule for Select Hawaii County Parks

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces its 2018 closure schedule for ‘Āhalanui Park, Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park, Kahalu‘u Beach Park and Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach.

Monthly closures are necessary to maintain and repair high-use parks without exposing park patrons to potential hazards associated with large-scale maintenance work.

Located in Puna, ‘Āhalanui Park will be closed between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, with the exception of the October closure, which will occur on the first Wednesday of that month. The closure dates are:

  • January 10
  • February 14
  • March 14
  • April 11May 9
  • June 13
  • July 11
  • August 8
  • September 12
  • October 3 (first Wednesday due to schools’ Fall Break)
  • November 14
  • December 12

Located in Puna, Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park will be closed on the third Thursday of each month and reopened at 1 p.m. on the following day. Overnight camping permits will not be issued for the night before each closure date. The closure dates are:

  • January 18
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 17
  • June 21
  • July 19
  • August 16
  • September 20
  • October 18
  • November 15
  • December 20

Located in North Kona, Kahalu‘u Beach Park will be closed until 10 a.m. on the first or second Tuesday of each month. The closure dates are:

  • January 9
  • February 6
  • March 6
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • June 5
  • July 10
  • August 7
  • September 4
  • October 16
  • November 6
  • December 4

Located in South Kohala, Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach will be closed all day on the following dates:

  • January 10-11
  • February 7-8
  • March 14-15
  • April 11-12
  • May 15-17
  • June – No scheduled closures
  • July – No scheduled closures
  • August – No scheduled closures
  • September 11-13
  • October 17-18
  • November 14-15
  • December 12-13

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for its understanding and cooperation during these temporary closures.

For more information, contact Parks & Recreation Administration office at (808) 961-8311 or email parks_recreation@hawaiicounty.gov.

Waianuenue Ave. Restriping – Traffic Markings Changing

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be restriping Waiānuenue Ave. from Kamehameha Ave. to Ka‘iulani St. Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM from Wednesday, December 13, 2017, and is expected to be completed by Friday, December 22, 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting. No roadwork will occur on the weekend.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles will be in the work zone. Alternating lane closures 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. Special off-duty police officers will be posted in the area to facilitate traffic movement.

There will also be some changes to the previous traffic markings/patterns between Kekaulike St. and Ka‘iulani St. The approach to Kino‘ole St. going in the mauka direction, will have a left turn only lane and a thru only lane as opposed to the current left/thru lane and a thru lane. Also from Kino’ole St. to Kapi’olani St., a two-way left turn lane will be installed and replace the current striped islands. All parking (8 stalls) will be removed from the roadway on the Hamakua Side of Waiānuenue Ave. between Kapi‘olani St. and Ka‘iulani St.

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.

County of Hawaiʻi Employee Recognition Awards

The 52nd annual County of Hawaiʻi employee recognition awards ceremony was held on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 and 19 exemplary employees were nominated for the categories of manager, supervisor and employee of the year.

  • The nominees for manager of the year were:
    Administrative Services Officer Joaquin B.K. Gamiao-Kunkel,  Planning Department
  • Battalion Chief Michael D. Hayashida, Fire Department

The nominees for supervisor of the year were:

  • Police Lieutenant John L. Briski, Police Department
  • Solid Waste Supervisor Denis A. Gibo, Department of Environmental Management
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin S. Hashizaki, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
  • Planner Bethany J. Morrison, Planning Department
  • Accountant Marianne T. Panoff, Department of Water Supply

Nominees for employee of the year were:

  • Human Resources Assistant Sandra A. Aguiar, Department of Human Resources, Health & Safety
  • Clerk Marilou B. Carvalho, Police Department
  • Planning Commission Support Technician Melissa A. Dacayanan, Planning Department
  • Senior Account Clerk Glenneen R. Erece, Department of Finance
  • Legal Technician Mary E. Fujio, Office of the Corporation Counsel
  • GIS Analyst Douglas B. Goehring, Department of Environmental Management
  • Information Systems Analyst Matthew L. Iaukea, Police Department
  • Water Plant Electrical/Electronic Equipment Repairer Alvin K. Inouye, Department of Water Supply
  • Clerical Services Assistant Dennis K. Kauka Jr., Office of the Mayor
  • Senior Account Clerk,Renee K. Kusano, Department of Water Supply
  • Police Officer Paul Mangus, Police Department
  • Legal Assistant Maurice C. Messina, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney

Joaquin B.K. Gamiao-Kunkel of the Planning Department was named Manager of the Year, Kevin S. Hashizaki of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney took the Supervisor of the Year award and Employee of the Year was accorded to Glenneen R. Erece of the Finance Department.

Roadway Resurfacing Work on Kīlauea Avenue

The County of Hawai‘i Highway Maintenance Division will begin resurfacing work on Kīlauea Ave. from the 4-mile bridge to Hale Manu Dr. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, and is estimated to be completed by Friday, October 20, 2017. Working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather 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.

Civil Defense Message – High Surf and High Wind Information Message

This is a Civil Defense message. This is a High Surf and High Wind information message for Sunday October 15 at 10:30 AM.The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind advisory for North, South, and East Hawaii Island, including the interior regions.

In addition, the National Weather Service has issued a High Surf advisory for all shores of Hawaii Island.

Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) reports their work crews are responding to spot power outages in isolated areas. As in all severe weather conditions, expect possible interruptions in power, cable and telephone services.

Should power outages occur, be on the alert for malfunctioning traffic signals. Please treat flashing traffic lights as a four-way stop.

Ocean front residents and beachgoers are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf. You are asked to exercise caution due to the unpredictability of high surf.

As a precaution, boat owners and oceanfront residents should take action to secure their property.

This email will be updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Saddle Road Now Open in Both Directions

This is a Civil Defense Road Closure Message for Saturday, October 14 at Noon.

Hawaii Police Department reports the Daniel K. Inouye Highway/Saddle Road is now open in both directions.

Thank you. Have a safe day. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Civil Defense Weather and Surf Information Update

This is a Civil Defense message. This is a weather and surf information update for Friday October 13 at 3 PM.

The National Weather Service reports unstable weather conditions to continue through today and into tonight for Hawaii Island.

KITV Radar image at 3:30 Hawaii Time.

Police report all roads are open at this time, but advise that driving conditions are poor because of occasional heavy downpours.

If lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors.

Should power outages occur, be on the alert for non-operable traffic signals. Please treat flashing traffic lights as a four-way stop.

In addition, the National Weather Service expects high surf to approach advisory levels along the shores of North Kohala, Hamakua, North and South Hilo and Puna from tonight through the weekend.

Oceanfront residents and beachgoers along the affected shores are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf as well as exercise caution due to the unpredictability of huge swells.

As a precaution, boat owners and oceanfront residents should take action to secure their property.

Asteroid Named After Hawai’i County Traffic Engineer

Ronald Thiel (Courtesy Photo)

Hawaiʻi County Traffic Division Chief Ronald Thiel knows lights.  Much of his work focuses on keeping local streets safe with street lights, traffic lights and hazard lights.

He also knows where lights are not helpful – when light pollution interferes with the work of astronomers and the lives of native wildlife.  For Thiel’s work preserving “dark skies” in Hawaiʻi County, an asteroid was recently named in his honor – 9923 ronaldthiel.

The asteroid naming ceremony took place on September 28, 2017, presented by Dr. Richard Wainscoat of the University of Hawai’i at a meeting of the Mauna Kea User’s Committee in Hilo.  The asteroid was first discovered by astronomer Bobby Bus on March 7, 1981, with an orbit of 1,723 days around the sun.  It has a diameter of 2.55 miles.

Over the years, Thiel has doggedly pushed for innovation, sometimes going against the flow of traffic.  Industry naysayers said it could not be done with Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) lamps, so he waited for technology to catch up, and he searched for the right manufacturer.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made it possible to take small steps with the purchase of the first LED street lamps.  Subsequent County investments and a partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi resulted in the installation of 11,000 LED lamps on County and State roadways across Hawaiʻi Island.  Hawaiʻi County, which is nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, became the first county in the nation to convert all of its street lights to LED lamps.

The LED lamps support the Island’s $58.4 million astronomy industry’s needs for dark skies.  Island observatories scan the heavens to improve our understanding of the far reaches of space, including asteroids like the 9923 ronaldthiel.

The lamps use filters to remove the LED’s blue spectrum, resulting in improved visibility, safer roads, and reduced eye fatigue by cutting glare.  The filtered lamps have also proven to be far less of an attraction for Hawaiʻi’s endemic threatened and endangered birds and bats.  The highly-efficient lamps have also reduced electrical and maintenance costs by over 50 percent, so the new fittings, lamps and installation expenses will pay for themselves in five years.  An added benefit is that the LED lamps have a life of 20 years.  The low-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced typically lasted just over four years.

Mālama Park Baseball Field in Pana‘ewa Closed for Repairs

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces Mālama Park baseball field will be closed beginning October 16, 2017 for repairs to the infield.

Parks Maintenance crews will be conducting the repairs and estimate six to eight weeks for all repairs to be complete.

The football field at the park will remain open during this time.

For more information please call Darrell Yamamoto at 961-8740.

North Kona Water Restriction Update – Two Wells Fixed… Three Still Down

Both the Department’s Hualālai Deepwell and Palani Deepwell have been repaired and are now operational.

As of this morning, the Emergency Water Restriction, which previously limited water use to only health and safety needs, has been lifted. Please be reminded that the mandatory 25% water restriction is still in effect for the North Kona area since three (3) wells are still undergoing repair. This means everyone must continue to reduce their normal usage by 25 percent (25%).

The Department will continue to make the necessary adjustments to the water system and asks that customers use water as efficiently as possible to meet the 25% reduction in water usage. The Department sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water usage. Due to your help, water service was maintained to all customers throughout this emergency.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Hawaii County Survey Provides Insight on Public Recycling Habits, Perceptions

Living on the Big Island offers many benefits such as diverse climates, rich cultures, and unmatched views.  However, Hawai‘i County as an island with finite space poses major solid waste management and recycling challenges.With the help from the County of Hawai‘i recycling staff, County intern Taylor Reid uncovered some key trends and patterns that could lead to solving the unique recycling and solid waste management problems facing the Big Island.  Reid conducted a survey at the County’s Refuse Transfer Stations, to which 195 people responded.

  • The survey found that the top items recycled on the island were HI-5 containers, cardboard, plastics, and waste paper, where all were being recycled at a rate of roughly 70%.  It found that the least-recycled category was electronic waste at 21%, which can be recycled at various locations listed on our website: www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/e-waste
  • 98% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that recycling is important for Hawai‘i.
  • 91% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they try and recycle whenever possible.
  • 78% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that recycling should be mandatory for Hawai‘i.
  • The survey also revealed that only 18% of transfer station users have visited www.hawaiizerowaste.org, a website dedicated in answering questions and providing information to the County regarding recycling.

Recycling and promoting sustainability is highly-regarded among all age groups and genders surveyed.

County of Hawai‘i Recycling Coordinator George Hayducsko said: “The Solid Waste Division wanted to see how the community viewed recycling, and whether current programs met the expectations of the individuals using the programs.  Taylor’s data will be useful to us in improving our program in the future.”

For more information visit www.hawaiizerowaste.org , or contact the Recycling Section of the County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management at 808-961-8942

Update on North Kona Water Restrictions

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. Over the past few days there has been a water level decline in the tanks that service the general area between the Mākālei Fire station to just south of the Palani Road and Māmalahoa highway junction.

These areas include, but are not limited to, Mākālei Estates, Kona Hills, Palisades, Wainani / Lokahi Makai, Kaiminani Drive (including all side streets), Kona Acres, and Hina Lani Drive (including all side streets). Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

The Department appreciates the community’s continued efforts to restrict water use during this time. As such, limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is still acceptable using the following best practices:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation.
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/greenwaste/ for more information.
  • Use of rainwater from downspouts for plants.
  • Do not over-water plants.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited. This restriction also prohibits the draining and refilling of swimming pools, hot tubs, water fountains, etc.

Customers should take appropriate measures to reduce the loss of existing water in swimming pools and hot tubs, such as checking the pool for leaks and consulting a pool supplier for appropriate pool covers.  In addition, customer should ensure proper operation and maintenance of pool pump equipment.

The installation process has begun for both the Hualālai and Palani Deepwell repairs. Contractor has two (2) crews working on both repairs concurrently. At this time, the anticipated completion of Hualālai Deepwell repair is this weekend, with Palani Deepwell repair to follow shortly thereafter.

We will update you throughout this installation process as more progress is made and/or more information becomes available.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a portable water tanker located on Hina Lani Street below Anini Street as well as water spigots along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe High School and Palani Road. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Pu‘uanahulu Landfill and Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station Closed for Kona Ironman Triathlon

The Pu‘uanahulu Landfill in Waikoloa and the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station in Kailua-Kona will be closed all day on Saturday, October 14, 2017, due to road closures for the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona.

The closure at Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will affect all services including Residential Rubbish Disposal, HI5 Redemption, 2-Bin Recycling, Green Waste Recycling, Re-Use Store and Mulch Pick-up.

Alternative services for Residential Rubbish Disposal, HI5 Redemption and 2-Bin Recycling are available at the Keauhou Recycling and Transfer Station.
Regular operations at the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will resume on Sunday, October 15, 2017.  The Pu‘uanahulu Landfill will resume its normal schedule and re-open on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Mahalo for your cooperation!

If you have any questions, please contact the Solid Waste Administrative Office at 808-961-8270.

South Point Fire Update

This is a fire information update for Monday September 25, 2017 at 2 pm.
Hawaii Fire Department reports the brushfire located in the area of Ka’alu’alu near South Point, in Ka’u is approximately 80% contained. No structures or communities are threatened at this time.

Due to this fire, the following advisories are issued:

  • There are no roadway closures at this time. Area motorists should be on the lookout for emergency vehicles.
  • Smoke from the fire may affect visibility for driving and air quality for Waiohinu area including Green Sands, Mark Twain Estates, and Discovery Harbor.
  • The public is requested to stay out of the active fire area.
  • This update is also available at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/
  • Closures may occur without notice.

Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation Director and Deputy Resign

Department of Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka and Deputy Director Ryan Chong have submitted their resignations, effective September 22, 2017.

Mayor Harry Kim

Mayor Harry Kim has thanked them and praised them for their very good and hard work.

“We are very grateful for all that Charmaine and Ryan have done for the community,” the Mayor said. “They took on a very difficult task and did good work.”

Roxcie Waltjen, the Department’s Culture Education Administrator, has been asked to fill in as the interim Director of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor said in a statement.  A letter to the County Council for Ms. Waltjen’s confirmation will be drafted this week.

Update On North Kona Emergency Water Restriction – Another Failure

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

This restriction also prohibits the draining and refilling of swimming pools, hot tubs, water fountains, etc. Customers should take appropriate measures to reduce the loss of existing water in swimming pools and hot tubs, such as checking the pool for leaks and consulting a pool supplier for appropriate pool covers. In addition, customer should ensure proper operation and maintenance of pool pump equipment.

Recent well failures at Kohala Ranch Water Company (private water system) has left their community without an operating potable water source. As such, it was essential for the Department’s pump contractor to relocate equipment and respond to their critical situation. This will push back the completion of the Department’s Hualālai and Palani well repairs by approximately a week and a half.

Updates on well repairs can be found at www.hawaiidws.org.

Due to a significant level of overall compliance, water levels in the tanks have remained stable. The Department appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Therefore, limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is still acceptable using the following best practices:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation.
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/gr eenwaste/ for more information.
  • Use of rainwater from downspouts for plants.
  • Do not over-water plants.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited.

For other unique situations, please contact the Department to discuss possible options. Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water “buffalo” located on Hina Lani Street below Anini Street as well as water spigots along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe High School and Palani Road. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Construction Work Starts at Kealakehe Recycling & Transfer Station October 2

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management announces that work to remediate the area used for scrap metal processing at the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will start on or about October 2, 2017.

The project was awarded to contractor Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd, and is anticipated to be completed by August 1, 2018.

The transfer station, greenwaste, white goods, scrap metal, reuse center, HI5 redemption, and mulch pickup are not affected and will remain open.  The site for e-waste collection will temporarily move to the same site as the Household Hazardous Waste collection.

The Department of Environmental Management apologizes for any inconvenience the project activities may cause.

For more information, please contact Gregory Goodale, Solid Waste Division Chief at 961-8515.

Curb Ramp Repairs on Keawe Street Intersections

The Department of Public Works and its contractor T&T Electric, Inc. will be repairing the curb ramps at the Keawe St./Haili St. intersection and the Keawe St./Kalākaua St. intersection beginning on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 and should be completed by Friday, September 22, 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting. The Contractor’s working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The intersections will remain open while repair work is being done. Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.

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.

Kīlau Stream Bridge Work – Temporary Bridge Closure 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. Monday Through Fridays

The Department of Public Works will begin work on the Kīlau Stream Bridge, located on Manowai‘ōpae Homestead Road in Laupāhoehoe on Monday, September 11, 2017 through about October 31, 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting.

The bridge will be closed from 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, in which no pedestrians or vehicles will be allowed to use the bridge with the exception of emergency response teams during an emergency event. The bridge will be open during non-working hours, on weekends and holidays.

The repair work involves the rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure which includes replacing the old timber members with new timber members and hardware.

Motorist and residents are advised to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of the construction 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.

Mayor Kim Issues Emergency Proclamation Regarding North Kona Water Emergency

Mayor Harry Kim issued an Emergency Proclamation on Wednesday regarding the North Kona water emergency.

His statement is as follows:

“The Emergency Proclamation which was officially signed today was initially intended to be completed in August.  The purpose of this Proclamation is to ensure that all administrative readiness is established by the County in the event that assistance will be needed from the State government.

This Proclamation also allows County government to bypass certain procurement policies in the event that emergency purchases must be made. This also includes the use of emergency funds for the use of the Department of Water Supply’s needs.”

Click on the link to access the Emergency Proclamation:

http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/weblink/1/doc/89509/Page1.aspx