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North Kona Water Restiction Update – Spare Motor Defective and Cannot Be Used

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

During today’s work, it was discovered that the spare motor is defective and cannot be used. DWS is now working on several options to obtain another spare motor before resuming the installation work. The updated repair schedule is to be determined.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies, businesses, and other customers that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended. Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained.

However, 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 tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. 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.

North Kona Emergency Water Restrictions Update

This is an Emergency Water Restriction Update for North Kona District customers for Wednesday August 16 at 3:45 PM.

The Department of Water Supply reports the North Kona emergency water restriction continues. North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and Honalo to Makalei must restrict water use to health and safety needs only. This means use water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only. Cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicle and boats.

Extraction of the Honokohau Deepwell pump and motor is now complete. After an inspection of the well, the spare pump and motor will be connected and reinstallation work will continue through the holiday weekend.

The Department of Water Supply sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Adjustments have been made to the water system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained. However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

For your use, drinking water is available from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as from a water spigot along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For after hours emergencies, or to report any observed wasteful use of water call the DWS at 961-8790. During normal business hours, call 961-8060.
This email account will be kept updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Merrie Monarch Festival – RE: Halau Overnight Stay at Parks & Recreation Facilities

2017 Hula Kahiko from the Merrie Monarch Website

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim sent the following letter on August 9th, 2017 to the President of the Merrie Monarch Festival, Aunty Luana Kawelu:

Dear Ms. Kawelu:
RE: Halau Overnight Stay at Parks & Recreation

As you know, historically, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has allowed overnight stays at Kawananakoa Gym, Papa`ikou Gym, Waiakea Recreation Center, and Waiakea Uka Gym by halau participating in the annual Merrie Monarch Festival (MMF). According to the MMF website, the 2017 festival included a total of 23 halau, 21 of which were not Hilo-based. The breakdown of people overnighting in the various County Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) facilities are as follows:

  • Kawananakoa Gym – 24 people housed for one night and 25 people housed for 8 nights
  • Papa`ikou Gym – 35 people housed for 4 nights
  • Waiakea Recreation Center – 25 people housed for one night
  • Waiakea Uka Gym – 51 people housed for 4 nights

This year, the Hawaii County Fire Department (HFD) alerted DPR of specific Fire and Building Codes that are being violated by allowing this practice. To immediately address these violations and allow overnight stays at this year’s MMF, DPR required, per Fire Code and exemption, an approved fire watch at each facility. Following the conclusion of this year’s MMF, at my instruction, DPR conducted an extensive study of DPR Administrative Rules, and Hawaii County Building and Fire Codes, to ascertain whether this practice should be allowed to continue.

DPR’s findings are as follows:

While there are no DPR Administrative Rules that explicitly prohibit overnight stays at DPR facilities, pertinent excerpts from Chapter 15 of the Hawaii County Code indicate/state:

  • Section 15-3 defines “Camper’— means any person who remains in a park area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and “Camping” – means the act of remaining in a park area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • Section 15-8 designates the authority of the Director to establish visiting hours and states in part: “all persons shall observe and abide by the officially -posted signs and designated closed areas and visiting hours.”
  • Article 4, beginning with Section 15-39 and continuing through Section 15-48, designates Camping and all rules associated, including the names of the parks where camping is allowed.

Based on these DPR Administrative Rules, overnight stay at the facilities listed above are prohibited.

With respect to the Hawaii County Building Code, fire sprinklers and/or alarm systems are required for any facility used for sleeping, with the R-1 designation as described below.

County gyms can possibly be evaluated as transient accommodations, but must meet the standards of this section of the code:

302.1 General. Structures or portions of structures shall be classified with respect to occupancy in one or more of the groups listed below. A room or space that is intended to be occupied at different times for different purposes shall comply with all of the requirements that are applicable to each of the purposes for which the room or space will be occupied. Structures with multiple occupancies or uses shall comply with Section 508. Where a structure is proposed for a purpose that is not specifically provided for in this code, such structure shall be classified in the group that the occupancy most nearly resembles, according to the fire safety and relative hazard involved.

The current occupancy type of a gymnasium is Assembly Occupancy. Use of
gymnasiums for sleeping would change the occupancy type to R -I Occupancy.

  • Fire Sprinkler Requirement. R-1 Occupancy in Section 903.2.7 of the Building Code requires a fire sprinkler system; therefore, a gym or other facility used for sleeping shall have a fire sprinkler system.
  • Fire Alarm Requirement. R-1 occupancies in Section 907.2.8 of the Building Code require a Fire Alarm system and smoke alarm system.

The restriction/constraint regarding the use of a gym as a sleeping space is the need for fire sprinklers. The codes also require audio/visual fire alarms. These are not commonly present in older buildings, and therefore, upgrades would be required to accommodate sleeping.

HFD has allowed sleeping in these facilities under the exemption found in the NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code, Hawaii 2006 Edition, regulation 20.2.3.6 Use of School Facilities for Sleeping, which reads:

“Educational occupancies that allow sleeping on a temporary basis shall prohibit smoking or open flames, and shall be provided with one of the following:

  1. Smoke alarms shall be provided in the designated sleeping area. When the facility is provided with a fire alarm system, the smoke alarms shall be connected to the fire alarm system, or
  2. An approved fire watch shall be provided.”

None of the DPR facilities above are school facilities, with the exception of perhaps Kawananakoa Gym, which is also governed by rules included in the lease agreement with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).

DHHL lease agreement #44, amendment #2, with DPR, item #8, states in part: “it is agreed that for the health and safety of those using the facilities, and to address potential damages to the gymnasium, NO FOOD OR DRINK AND OVERNIGHT STAY at the facilities are allowed.” (Emphasis as it appears in document.)

The DHHL lease agreement would disqualify Kawananakoa Gym in any event,
regardless of any safety -protection systems that may be in place.

Based on this research, DPR has recommended against the continued practice of allowing overnight stays at DPR recreational facilities. However, DPR/Hawai’i County recognizes and fully supports the cultural and historical significance of the MMF, and is aware of the shortage of accommodations available for this important event. As such, every effort will be made to work with your organization to identify potential alternate sites.

DPR would like to offer the usage of the Mauna Kea Recreation Area cabins to visiting halau in 2018. There are two bunkhouses, capable of holding 24 people each, plus seven cabins, capable of holding six people each, for a total of 90 people. Each bunkhouse and cabin has its own bathroom with shower. There are potable water, a dining hall, and ample parking.

DPR is ready to assist the Merrie Monarch Festival in addressing any potential
concerns you may have with these suggested alternate accommodations, and looks forward to working with you.

UPDATE on the North Kona Water Restrictions

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

The contractor started removing column pipe today and expect to extract the pump and motor in a couple of days. The spare pump and motor will then be connected and reinstallation work will continue through the Admissions Day weekend.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies and businesses that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended.

Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained. However, 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 tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. 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.

Hawaii County Seeking Applicants to Board of Appeals

The County of Hawai’i is urgently seeking applicants to vacancies on the Board of Appeals, an important body whose key task is the interpretation of County Code and other laws related to planning and construction.Members of the Board of Appeals hear appeals from final decisions by the Planning Director or the Director of Public Works.  The ideal candidate for the Board will have background or expertise in broad areas of planning and/or construction and be able to focus on the community needs without catering to special or self-interest.

The seven-member Board is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the County Council.

For applications or further information, please contact Rose Bautista, Executive Assistant, at rose.bautista@hawaiicounty.gov , or call 961-8211.

Another Water Pump Goes Down – North Kona Water Restrictions Mandated

This is an Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona District customers for Monday August 14.

The Department of Water Supply reports Honokohau Deepwell located in North Kona is now out of service. Due to the loss of this pump this morning, North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and Honalo to Makalei must restrict water use to health and safety needs only. This means use water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only. Cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicle and boats.

Conserve water by flushing toilets less often and taking shorter showers.
We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water (5-10) gallons for basic household needs, such as flushing toilets, hygiene and consumption in the event of service disruption.

Until further notice, the Department of Water Supply is suspending temporary service accounts and irrigation accounts in North Kona.

Department of Water Supply will be monitoring water usage and wasteful water use will be subject to further water restrictions and possible water shut off.

In order to help meet general customer demand, Water Supply has established Public Potable Water Distribution Stations at the following locations:

  • Ane Keohokalole Hwy. between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School
  • Hina Lani between Anini St. and Manu Mele St.

For after hours emergencies, or to report any observed wasteful use of water call the DWS at 961-8790. During normal business hours, call 961-8060.
This email address will be kept updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Thank you, have a safe day, this is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Hawaii County Expresses Heartfelt Mahalo to Old Airport Clean-Up Volunteers

The County of Hawai’i wishes to express heartfelt thanks to all of the many volunteers and sponsors for their kokua during the massive two-day clean-up of Old Kona Airport Park, to make this facility a nicer place to play for our keiki.We thank: Youth With A Mission, Hawai’i Community Correctional Center, Friends for Fitness, Debbie and John Mabuni, Council Members Karen Eoff, Maile David and Dru Kanuha, Michael Ikeda, Alexander Hill, Clint Santos, George Correa, Joey Valenzuela, Chase De Mattos, Christopher Mae, Matthew Tailon, Paul Ebel, George Kanakua, Kathleen Lacerdo, Bina Torres, Derwin Nunes III, Irene Kauwe, Gaudens Girbisi, Sr., Cynthia Hove, Barbara Krekeler, Margie Wolfe, Cristina Garcia, Kamrirg Chaz, Carlito Yadau, Noah Nehls, Jonah Nehls, Trystan Nehls-Nachor, Skibs Nehls, Katie McKillop, Celine Kitaoka, Yamile Marquez, Irie Charity, Melvin Ho‘omauawau, Lani Ho‘omauawau, Elizabeth Elkjer and Hannah Rose (Echo City Knockouts Roller Derby), Patricia Ikeda, Christopher Au, Mark Jensen, Kalae Mills, Tania Mills, Maia Mills, Isaiah Easley, Taylor Easley, Betty DeRoy, Scott Forrington, and Billy Doaner, along with numerous spontaneous anonymous volunteers who did not sign in officially.

We also thank the following volunteers from Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust:  Kehau Harrison, Ashley Flynn, Pelena Keeling, Lyle Gomes, Michael Shibata, Richard Teanio, Jr., Kalena Spinola, BJ Ells, Justin Murata, Bernaldo Quanan, Morgan Leleiwi, and Mana Purdy.

We thank the following businesses and non-profit organizations:  Sustainable Island Products, Davis Tile & Marble, Courtyard Marriott-King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Costco Wholesale, KTA Super Stores, Foodland, Pine Tree Café, Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Royal Kona Resort, Hawai’i Sober Living & Recovery Center, Hawai’i Land Care, Tante and Aracelli Urban Foundation, Umeke’s Fish Market Bar & Grill, Chubby’s at the Avalux Café, Safeway, 808 Building Maintenance, Signature Flight Support – BBA Aviation, Bongo Ben’s Island Café, Adobo on Board, and Kohanaiki.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is grateful for the assistance and support of the Hawai’i Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Environmental Management, the Civil Defense Agency, the Fire Department, the Office of the Corporation Counsel, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Office of the Mayor.

East Hawaii Residents Asked to Reduce Water Usage Due to Ongoing Dry Conditions

Due to the ongoing dry conditions, the Department of Water Supply is requesting customers in the affected areas to reduce your daily water usage by 10%. Listed are some ways to conserve water to reach the 10% goal:

AFFECTED AREAS: HAKALAU-WAILEA, SOUTH HILO, HAWAI‘I NINOLE, NORTH HILO, HAWAI‘I

  • Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes at a time. 
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. 
  • Serve drinking water only when requested. 
  • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Use drinking water wisely.
  • Do not let water run unnecessarily. Please shut the water off when you wash or brush your teeth. Use a glass to rinse when brushing your teeth.
  • When bathing or showering, use water only to wet and rinse off. 
  • Do not fill up the bathtub. 
  • Do not flush toilets unnecessarily. 
  • Review and reduce frequency of irrigation schedule by adjusting timers appropriately.

All irrigation and agricultural users should keep water usage to a minimum. Irrigate only at night from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. This measure will reduce water loss due to evaporation, and minimize water system usage during peak demand.For more information, please contact the Department at (808) 961-8790 or (808) 961-8060 during normal business hours or visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org.

Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona District

This is an Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona District customers for Sunday August 13 at 11:45 AM.

The Department of Water Supply reports Honokohau Deepwell located in North Kona is now out of service.

Due to the loss of this pump this morning, North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and Honalo to Makalei must restrict water use to health and safety needs only. This means use water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only.  Cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicle and boats.

Conserve water by flushing toilets less often and taking shorter showers.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water (5-10) gallons for basic household needs, such as flushing toilets, hygiene and consumption in the event of service disruption.

Until further notice, the Department of Water Supply is suspending temporary service accounts and irrigation accounts in North Kona.

For after hours emergencies, or to report any observed wasteful use of water call the DWS at 961-8790. During normal business hours, call 961-8060

New Online Service to Request Building Related Inspections

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Building Division is pleased to announce a new online service to better serve the community. You can now request your inspections online.

Just use the new Online Inspection Request Form located on the Building Division’s website at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pw-inspections. The form will assist in gathering all the information needed for your inspection request. Once completed and submitted it will send an email to the inspector that your request will be assigned to. Your inspector will then be able to schedule your request.

You can also bookmark the online inspection request form for direct access from your computer or mobile device.

For more information or assistance please contact the County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Building Division:

East Hawai‘i – (808) 961-8331
West Hawai‘i – (808) 323-4720
Email – cohbuild@hawaiicounty.gov

Traffic Signal Upgrade on La’aloa Ave. and Kuakini Hwy. Intersection Wednesday

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the traffic signals at the La’aloa Ave. and Kuakini Hwy. (Hwy. 11) intersection, on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

The upgrade involves installing wireless vehicle detection sensors in the roadway on all three approaches and programing the traffic signals to optimize traffic flow. The intersection will remain open and the Traffic Division will work on one approach at a time with Special off-duty police officers supporting them in directing motorists around the lane they are working in. Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.

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.

County, Social Services Agencies Move Homeless People to Temporary Shelter in Kona

The County of Hawai’i together with social services provider Hope Services have moved a group of homeless people from the Old Airport Park to temporary facilities on County property in Kona.

The one-acre property at Hale Kikaha is accommodating approximately 20 adults in facilities consisting of tents, portable toilets, a temporary water spigot and showers.

The move came as the County on Wednesday enforced a no-camping policy at the Old Airport Park, whereby all belongings and housing structures in the park were removed.  This was aimed at improving this facility as a community park.

Prior to Wednesday’s move, outreach workers from HOPE Services, Veterans Outreach, the West Hawai’i Health Clinic, Access Capabilities, County Parks and Recreation, Office of Housing and Community Development, the Mayor’s Office (Kona), and faith-based volunteers were able to find a limited number of spaces at other homeless shelters and relatives’ homes.

Available housing options were offered to the most vulnerable homeless people first, i.e., families, the elderly, chronically homeless, as well as those with substance abuse or mental health issues.

While the team of County and social services agencies tried to absorb the entire homeless population from Old Airport Park, the available housing inventory was insufficient.  Approximately 25 individuals remain without housing.  The County is working to increase the number of beds at the Hale Kikaha shelter, while exploring a permanent site to house the homeless population.

The Police Department will be monitoring to ensure that campers do not return to the park. The enforcement took place as the Department of Parks and Recreation gears up for clean-up efforts on Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10, 2017.

On Tuesday, Mayor Harry Kim issued an emergency proclamation under which zoning, building and fire codes were temporarily waived to enable the homeless people to be accommodated at the Hale Kikaha facility.

Hawaii Mayor Signs Emergency Proclamation for Homeless Folks – Suspends Some County Laws

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Him signed an emergency proclamation today due to the increasing homeless population in the Kona area of the Big Island of Hawaii:

Mayor Harry Kim

WHEREAS, Chapter 127A Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides for the establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management within the County.

WHEREAS, Chapter 127A Hawaii Revised Statutes and Chapter 7, Articles 1
and 2 of the Hawaii County Code, establishes a Civil Defense Agency within the
County of Hawaii and prescribes its powers, duties, and responsibilities, and
Section 13- 23 of the Hawaii County Charter empowers the Mayor of the County to declare emergencies; and

WHEREAS, homeless individuals have established an encampment at the
County of Hawaii’s Old Kona Airport Park, District of South Kona, County and State of Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, the homeless individuals at the Old Kona Airport Park were removed from the park grounds; and

WHEREAS, these homeless individuals could be temporarily sheltered at the
grounds of the Hale Kikaha Project located in the District of North Kona County and State of Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, these unsheltered homeless individuals are without access to
adequate bathroom, shower and living facilities; and

WHEREAS, these unsheltered homeless individuals require health and social
services in order to maintain themselves safely and in reasonable health; and

WHEREAS, the lack of secure, safe and sanitary shelter, and adequate health
and social services for these homeless people is endangering the health, safety and welfare of these people and pose a threat to the environment and public health, and demands emergency action to prevent or mitigate suffering, injury, loss, or damage to persons and property; and County of Hawaii is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer

WHEREAS, pursuant to section 127A- 13( b)( 1) Hawaii Revised Statutes the
Mayor has the authority to relieve hardships and inequities, or obstructions to public health, safety or welfare found by the Mayor to exist in the laws of the County and to result from the operation of federal programs or measures taken under Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, by suspending the county laws, in whole or in part, or by alleviating the provisions of county laws on such terms and conditions the Mayor may impose; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to section 127A- 13( b)( 2) Hawai’ i Revised Statutes the
Mayor has the authority to suspend any county law that impedes or tends to impede or to be detrimental to the expeditious and efficient execution of, or to conflict with emergency functions, including the laws by which Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, specifically are made applicable to emergency personnel; and

WHEREAS, due to the possibility of threat to the environment and public health to residents of the District of South and North Kona, Hawaii Island, and the need for government agencies and representatives from the private sector to mobilize and provide immediate services to our island residents, a state of emergency is authorized pursuant to Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, and Chapter 7, Hawaii County Code.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY KIM, Mayor of the County of Hawai’ i, do hereby proclaim and declare that an emergency contemplated by section 127A- 14, Hawaii Revised Statutes has occurred in the County of Hawai’ i and hereby proclaim an emergency for the purposes of implementing the emergency management functions as allowed by law, effective August 1, 2017, and continuing thereon for 60 days or until further act by this office.

I FURTHER DECLARE, that pursuant to sections 127A- 13( b)( 1) and ( 2) the following County laws are suspended during the emergency period as they relate to the grounds of Hale Kikaha Project located in the District of North Kona, County and State of Hawaii:

  1. Chapter 5 Building Code.
  2. Chapter 25 Zoning Code.
  3. Chapter 26 Fire Code.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawaii to be affixed. Done this 1st day of August, 2017 in Hilo, Hawai’ i.

HARRY KIM
Mayor
County of Hawai’ i

Public Information Meeting to Introduce North Kohala Agricultural Water Study

A public information meeting to initiate the North Kohala Agricultural Water Study will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at the Kohala Village Hub – Barn, located at 55-514 Hawi Road, in Hawi, North Kohala, Hawai‘i.  The meeting is sponsored by DLNR and Sen. Lorraine Inouye.

Representatives of the DLNR Engineering Division and its consultants, Waimea Water Services, LLC are conducting the study to identify the current and future demands, and explore options to evaluate existing and potential new water sources and transmission necessary to meet the agricultural needs of the region.

Funds for this study were appropriated by the Legislature with the support of Senator Inouye.

Meeting facilitators are from One World One Water.

 For more information, or to request an ASL interpreter, materials in an alternative format, or other auxiliary aid support, please contact admin@oneworldonewater.org 5 days before the meeting.

Community Clean-Up at Old Airport Park in Kona – No Camping Allowed

The County of Hawai’i will enforce a no-camping policy at the Old Airport Park in Kona from Wednesday, August 2, 2017, and all belongings and housing structures in the park must be removed by that date.  This is aimed at improving this facility as a community park.

Homeless people camping at the park are being instructed to leave, and a limited number of spaces at homeless shelters are available to receive them.

In the meantime, outreach workers from HOPE Services, Veterans Outreach, the West Hawai’i Health Clinic, Access Capabilities, County Parks and Recreation, Office of Housing and Community Development, the Mayor’s Office (Kona), and faith-based volunteers, have been reaching out to the people living in the park.

HOPE Services is coordinating existing housing inventory, and available housing options are being offered to the most vulnerable homeless people first, i.e., families, the elderly, chronically homeless, as well as those with substance abuse or mental health issues.

“HOPE Services is doing their very best to house those who qualify in the short time we have before August 2,” said Assistant Housing Administrator Lance Niimi, who asked that the public notify his office if other housing options may be made immediately available for the homeless. “Every bed space helps.”

“This is a comprehensive effort involving the community, State and County government, service organizations, businesses and volunteers, to make this a better place,” Niimi said.

The Mayor’s Office is currently in negotiations for a possible alternative site for the homeless in the vicinity, which could become available by the end of the year.

The Police Department will be monitoring to ensure that campers do not return to the park. The enforcement takes place as the Department of Parks and Recreation gears up for clean-up efforts on Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10, 2017.

 

Hawaii Electric Light to Host Public Meetings on Plans to Upgrade Hawaii Island’s Power Grid

Hawaii Electric Light invites the community to public meetings next week to share its draft plan to modernize Hawaii Island’s power grid and seek input from the community

Open houses will be held on Monday, July 31, in the Waiakea High cafeteria in Hilo and on Tuesday, Aug. 1, in the Council Chambers at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kona. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. Company representatives will present an overview of the plan at 6 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session

“Hawaii Electric Light has been effectively integrating renewable energy on our isolated island grid for many years, using innovative solutions to safely bring on more renewables while maintaining grid stability and reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “Since 2009, we’ve increased our renewable percentage from 30 to more than 54 percent, the highest in the state. To make the jump to 100 percent, we need to make the grid even better, stronger and smarter.”

The draft Grid Modernization Strategy filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in June describes the scope and estimated $205 million cost to update the energy networks of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light over the next six years. The plan aims to help bring on more renewable resources like private rooftop solar, increase reliability, and give customers new choices to control their energy use.

Highlights of this near-term work include:

  • Distribution of smart meters strategically rather than system-wide, i.e., to customers with private rooftop solar on saturated circuits; and customers interested in demand response programs, variable rates or who seek usage data;
  • Reliance on advanced inverter technology to enable greater rooftop solar adoption;
  • Expanded use of voltage management tools, especially on circuits with heavy solar penetration to maximize circuit capacities for private rooftop solar and other customer resources;
  • Expanded use of sensors and automated controls at substations and neighborhood circuits;
  • Enhanced outage management and notification technology.

Public comments gathered from this meeting and others held on Maui and Oahu will be included in the final plan to be submitted to the PUC at the end of August.

The draft plan and related documents are available at www.hawaiielectriclight.com/gridmod. Public comments on the plan can be submitted to gridmod@hawaiianelectric.com until Aug. 9, 2017

Why Mayor Kim Doesn’t Use a Government (.gov) Domain

The other day I was looking at Hawaii County Mayor Kim’s website and noticed that it didn’t have a .gov extension like all the other mayors in the State of Hawaii as well as many other mayors across the mainland and asked some of our local council members to look into why the Mayor wasn’t using a .gov account.

Councilwoman Karen Eoff inquired with the counties IT Director (Jules Ung) about the domain and she stated the following regarding the use of the domain:

Aloha Karen,

http://hawaiicountymayor.com/ is a domain that was registered and established by the previous administration.

When the new administration came on board in December 2016, site stats indicated over 2000 views that month with referrals from a variety of local sites including the Visitor’s Bureau, real estate businesses, local media, and search engines. From an SEO perspective it was beneficial to leverage the reach and rankings of the existing site to reach the broadest audience.

The current platform of http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/ is not dynamic and is incapable of hosting a blog.  So, the Mayor’s blog is utilizing WordPress at the .com site which for many bloggers is the preferred platform with convenient features.

Currently, plans are developing to move the County Website to a new secure, dynamic platform which can accommodate the Mayor’s Blog, as ideally, it would be an extension of the http://www.hawaiicounty.gov site.

Great questions and valid concerns from Damon.

mahalo,

Jules

Mayor Kim Writes in Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

Dear Ms. Marrone,

Subject: Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

The County of Hawaii supports the efforts of BIA Hawaii to remove Section 3 (the Sunset provision) of Act 83, SLH 2012. Removal of the sunset provision in this Act would prohibit the Counties from requiring the installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers or an automatic fire sprinkler system in most new construction of one or two family residential dwellings, which is currently mandated in the International Residential Code (IRC).

We understand and respect the position of the Fire Fighters in our community and remain committed to preventing loss of life and property through financially sensible building codes and ongoing community education.

At the same time, we in Hawaii are concerned about the dramatic increase in housing prices, especially for our first time home buyers and families. Adding the cost of a new automatic fire sprinkler system and required upgrades to water meters will add to the already high prices of housing in Hawaii.

We firmly believe that there are more cost effective methods of addressing the concerns raised by the fire protection organizations. These methods will not only protect fire fighters and homeowners but will NOT significantly increase the price of a new home in Hawaii.

As such, we are in full support of the proposed amendment to Act 83, SLH 2012 to delete the sunset provision of the bill.

Sincerely,

Mayor Harry Kim

Hawai’i County Planning Department Named Blue Zones Worksite

The County of Hawai’i Planning Department took the principles of healthy best practices to heart, earning recognition as the first County Department in the State of Hawai’i to receive the Blue Zones Approve worksite designation.

The Blue Zones concept of healthy living, aimed at a longer, healthier life, was pioneered by a book of the same name by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, who explored areas where people routinely live to age 100 or older.  Among the longevity-favored locales is Okinawa, Japan, from whence many Big Islanders descend.

The Planning Department navigated a long list of criteria and tasks in order to clinch the designation on July 11.

According to Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek, Organizational Lead with Blue Zones Project® – East Hawai’i, the Planning Department achieved Blue Zones Project recognition by adopting the following best practices that promote well-being:

  • Plant-based cooking demonstrations – using in house staff to demo and share their favorite recipes;
  • Organized walking moais (groups) – to increase natural movement throughout the work day and connect with co-workers in a positive manner;
  • Personality testing – administered to staff and sharing each other strengths to improve communication and productivity;
  • Wellness Wednesday communication strategy – email staff health related programs, updates, testimonials, invitations once a week to limit multiple emails;
  • Created a worksite wellness program named Planning 4 Wellness;
  • Established multiple walking routes and maps that include time and distance.

Planning staff recently showcased their Blue Zones inspired healthy cuisine with rave reviews at a recent meeting of the Mayor’s Cabinet.  The rest of the County Departments were encouraged to take Planning’s example by seeking Blue Zones Approved worksite status.

To learn more about becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite, contact the Blue Zones Project team in East Hawaii at BlueZonesProjectEastHawaii@healthways.com, or visit hawaii.bluezonesproject.com

30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim – Sunday, July 30

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the 30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim.The annual event will be held on Sunday, July 30th, 2017, with the race beginning at 8:00 am.  Registration forms will be accepted until 7:30 am on race day. We will have prizes for the winners.

You may register online at  https://flpregister.com/ or pick up a registration form at the Recreation Division office, 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo and all County pools.

For more information, please contact the Aquatic Specialist at 961-8694.