• Follow on Facebook

  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    March 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Feb    
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

Hawaii Island Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight – Image Via @IgnazioMagnani

Big Island of Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

Image sent to me from International Space Station Astronaut Ignazio Magnani

It will be visible beginning tonight, Saturday, March 25 at 7:05 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 62 degrees. It will appear 10 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 10 degrees above the Northeast part of the sky.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Friday, March 24 at 7:57 PM. It will be visible for approximately 4 minutes at a maximum height of 44 degrees. It will appear 10 degrees above the West Southwest part of the sky and disappear 37 degrees above the North Northeast part of the sky.

Lyft Launches Rideshare Company on Hawaii Island

Today Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S., is launching on Hawaii Island bringing its affordable, reliable rides to communities across the state’s largest island. The Hawaii Island launch is part of the company’s nationwide expansion to 25 new markets, which include Maui and Kauai. Lyft has been operating on Oahu since 2014.

In the last three months, Lyft has launched in more than 100 new cities. The ridesharing platform is now available in over 300 markets nationwide and continues to distinguish itself through its positive in-car experience, for both passengers and drivers.

To celebrate the arrival of Lyft, new passengers can use a special code LYFTLOVE17 to receive $5 off their first ride.

More than 700,000 drivers make their own flexible schedules and earn either a primary or supplemental income with Lyft. As the only rideshare platform to allow tips, Lyft drivers across the country have received more than $200 million in tips. Interested drivers can view the “Drive with Lyft” page to learn more about becoming part of the Lyft community.

How Lyft Works:

  1. Request: Whether you’re riding solo or with friends, you’ve got options. Just tap request and a driver’s there.
  2. Ride: After just a few taps in the Lyft app, a carefully-screened driver will be on the way to you — just set your pickup point.
  3. Pay: When the ride ends, just pay and rate your driver through your phone.

Commentary – Concerns Over New County Police and Fire Radio Systems

I am a member of the (CERT) Community Emergency Response Team here in Ocean view, and a ham radio operator. Being part of CERT we work closely with other agencies such as Volunteer Fire Department,  Red Cross, Hawaii County Civil Defense, and the National Weather Service.

I have concerns about the county switching over to the new narrow band VHF P25 phase 2 trunked radio system. They spent 31 million on this radio upgrade, and it doesn’t even cover the entire Island. There are a number of “dead spots” in the Ka’u area, especially here in HOVE.

As far as I know the county is in the process of trying to set up another radio site at the HOVE Fire Station, but currently they don’t have sufficient coverage in this subdivision. This poses a public safety issue. This also means that the county will probably end up spending more money on radio sites, and upgrades to enhance radio coverage on the island. Not to mention until the upgrades happens, they are putting police, firefighters, and the public at risk if their radios don’t work on the new digital radio system because of “dead spots.”

The Honolulu Police Department had similar problems with “dead spots” back in 1998 when they switched to Pro-voice 800 megahertz digital radio system which initially they thought would only cost $20 million dollars, but after numerous upgrades and adding more towers they ended up spending $40 million.

After reading information posted on the Hawaii Volunteer Fire Captains Association website, Volunteers complain that their new handheld radios battery does not last more than four to six hours. Sometimes volunteer firefighters are at a fire scene for longer than that. This may cause problems in a disaster when batteries cannot be charged at the scene of a event. The county needs to address these issues before we have serious problems.

Blake Stene
Hawaiian Ocean View Estates

Hawaii Electric Light Opens Third Electric Vehicle Fast Charger on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Electric Light announces the opening of a new utility-owned and operated electric vehicle DC fast charger accessible to the Hawaii Island community. The company held a dedication ceremony for the unit located at KTA Super Stores in Waimea Center today. This is the first DC fast charger, also known as a Level 3 charger, to serve the Waimea community. The unit joins two fast chargers located at Hawaii Electric Light’s offices in Hilo and Kona.

“We’re pleased to have KTA Super Stores as our first host on Hawaii Island and applaud them for supporting electric transportation and clean energy,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “The Taniguchi family and their employees have humbly served island residents for more than a hundred years. KTA excels at anticipating and meeting customer needs, and this partnership is one example of their commitment to give back to the community in which they serve.”

Hawaii Electric Light operates the equipment at no cost to the host for installation, maintenance or electricity. Hosts provide the requested space and minimal assistance for operation. Hosting a fast charger helps with compliance of the Hawaii state law that requires public parking lots with at least 100 parking spaces to have at least one exclusive parking space equipped with a charging station for electric vehicles. Additional host sites are being sought.

“We are excited to partner with Hawaii Electric Light in helping to bring our North Hawaii community its first Level 3 DC fast charger. Access to charging stations for electric vehicles gives our community more options and opportunities to support a clean environment,” said Toby Taniguchi, KTA Super Stores president. “On behalf of KTA Super Stores, congratulations to Hawaii Electric Light for their leadership in bringing North Hawaii its first Level 3 DC fast charger to fruition.”

Level 3 fast chargers can recharge a near-depleted EV battery to 80 percent capacity in about 30 minutes, and even less time for smaller recharges. The DC Fast Charger has both a CHAdeMO connection (used mostly by Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Kia Soul EV) and a CCS connection (used by the BMW i3). The chargers are available 24/7 with three different rates ranging from $7.00 to $8.00 per session depending on time of use. Session prices may change based on the changing cost of electricity. Drivers will be able to safely operate the charger and pay by major credit card or by a Greenlots subscription.

“The Big Island Electric Vehicle Association (BIEVA) is committed to working with Hawaii Electric Light and Nissan with helping to move the EV movement forward and that’s the key thing,” said Richard Castro, BIEVA vice president. “There are many road blocks with range anxiety but knowing these fast chargers are here makes a big difference.”

To become a DC Fast Charger host site, call 808-969-0358 or mail Hawaii Electric Light (GoEV), Engineering Department, P.O. Box 1027, Hilo, HI 96721. Detailed information on electric vehicles also is available at https://www.hawaiielectriclight.com/goev.

Hawaiian Airlines Joins Global Climate Change Monitoring Effort

Hawaiian Airlines has become the first U.S. carrier to join an international scientific project that enlists commercial airlines in the research of climate change and air quality worldwide. Hawaiian partnered with the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) venture by recently equipping one Airbus A330-200 aircraft with an atmospheric monitoring tool that will collect valuable data throughout the airline’s far-reaching network covering the Pacific, Asia and North America.

Hawaiian’s A330 aircraft, bearing registration N384HA, arrived at Honolulu International Airport over the weekend after spending weeks in Brisbane, Australia, where technicians installed IAGOS instruments under its cockpit that will be attached to probes in the front-left fuselage. The probes will autonomously perform atmospheric air samples from take-off to landing and record key high-altitude greenhouse gas measurements. They will also retrieve information about icing conditions that may be useful in aircraft safety studies. The system is expected to be operational around April following FAA certification.

“We are honored to lend our support to IAGOS and help assess the health of our atmosphere and measure climate change,” said Captain Ken Rewick, Hawaiian’s vice president of flight operations.

“We are excited to see Hawaiian Airlines becoming a partner in IAGOS. Instrumenting commercial airliners is a cutting-edge approach and cost-effective for obtaining large amounts of high quality data about our atmosphere,” said James Butler, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Monitoring Division, and chairman of the IAGOS Science Advisory Board. “Scientists around the world will increasingly use data from IAGOS flights to help improve weather forecasts, climate models, and our overall understanding of the Earth system. This is a great step forward for science.”

Scientists expect Hawaiian’s system to produce valuable metrics thanks to the carrier’s unique central Pacific location and network of non-stop flights extending from Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, and Tahiti in the South Pacific, to China, South Korea, Japan and the United States (including 10 western U.S. gateways and New York) in the North Pacific. According to IAGOS, commercial aircraft are uniquely positioned to collect highly relevant observations on a scale and in numbers impossible to achieve via dedicated research aircraft or satellites. All information will be transmitted after each flight to the IAGOS data center in France and shared with the scientific community within a few weeks.

Based in Brussels, the European-funded IAGOS is a not-for-profit association whose members include leading research organizations, universities and weather services from Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The program observes atmospheric data to better understand transcontinental pollution and validate air quality and climate models. Its information is used by about 200 universities or institutes in Europe, the United States, Japan, South America, India and China.

Hawaiian’s participation in IAGOS aligns with the carrier’s ongoing commitment to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment. Hawaiian is investing in fuel efficient aircraft by adding 18 new A321neos to its fleet starting later this year. Last year, the airline also conducted two demonstration flights to Honolulu from Brisbane and Auckland using a series of gate-to-gate environmental best practices outlined by the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE).

For more information, please visit IAGOS at iagos.org.

Go Hunt, Hawaii: Hawaii’s Official Hunting Resource

Since 1979, more than 68,000 students have received their certifications through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Hunter Education Program. Annually, more than 2,000 students register and attend Hunter Education classes across the state. This experience is now about to get just a little easier for the public.

On March 1, 2017, the Hunter Education Program launched a new website designed to improve the overall registration and certification experience for Hunter Education students and graduates — and for just about anyone interested in hunting in Hawaii.

On the new, user-friendly website, gohunthawaii.ehawaii.gov, hunters will be able to manage their hunting profile, view their class history, request and print replacement certifications, and link directly over to other apps to purchase a hunting license, apply for a lottery hunt, or apply for a letter of exemption.  Additional features include: mobile friendly, responsive web design, Hawaiian keyboard, and technical support (including live help chat) through ehawaii.gov.

Click to Go Hunt

“Working with ehawaii.gov, we created a website that puts the public in the driver seat of the operation,” said Andrew Choy, Hunter Education Program manager. “This collaborative work has been over a year in the making and began with foundational upgrades to our program’s administrative database.” Subsequent phases of this project, which are currently in development, will include online registration for classes. “The bottom line is that we want to improve the quality of our classes, increase accessibility, and streamline access to information,” Choy said.

In line with the Governor’s Initiative to promote government efficiency and transparency, “This project, like many others within the DLNR, increases access and transparency by moving government services online. This is a tremendous win for the public and the department,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR Chairperson. “We are proud of the inter-division collaboration of our staff to move this project forward. The hunting community and public at large will be well-served by this application.”

For more information, please visit: gohunthawaii.ehawaii.gov or call the Hawaii Hunter Education Program at 1(866) 563-4868.

New York National Guardsmen to Test NASA Space Capsule Recovery System in Hawaii

Forty-five members of the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing are heading to Hawaii, Feb. 27, to participate in a joint NASA and Defense Department mission to evaluate recovery techniques and gear that will be used to recover NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the next generation of American space vehicle.

Navy divers and other personnel in a Zodiac boat secure a harness around a test version of the Orion crew module during Underway Recovery Test 5 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, Oct. 28, 2016. Members of the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing will participate in a mission in Hawaii designed to test space capsule recovery techniques and equipment, although they will not work with a capsule simulator like this one. Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans. NASA photo

The team of 45 airmen is made up of pararescuemen; combat rescue officers; survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists; and other support airmen assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing’s 103rd Rescue Squadron based here.

Pararescuemen are trained to rescue downed aviators behind enemy lines and from land and water environments. Each pararescue airman undergoes two years of training that includes extensive medical training as well as training in parachute jumping, scuba diving and survival skills.

The pararescuemen are experienced in dropping fully stocked rescue boats to recover personnel.

The New York Air National Guardsmen will work with experts from NASA, the Air Force and the Department of Defense Human Spaceflight Support Office in developing techniques for air-dropping gear needed to recover the crew from an Orion screw module and fit the floating spacecraft with special equipment.

The New York airmen will conduct airdrops and practice helping astronauts out of the spacecraft, providing medical assistance if necessary. The jumps will help NASA and the military test a number of systems and procedures for future launches.

While the 106th airmen will be testing recovery equipment, they will not be working with an actual or simulated Orion capsule.

Experienced Airmen

This is not the first time the New York Air National Guard has been involved in a spacecraft recovery mission.

The 106th Rescue Wing provided a rescue support package at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, which is located adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center, for 109 of the Space Shuttle missions. The mission of the National Guardsmen was to rescue astronauts who were forced to abandon their spacecraft during the launch sequence.

“We are pleased to be partnering once again with NASA and the Department of Defense on manned space travel. This exercise is one of many steps the 106th will take to ensure the successful recovery of our nation’s astronauts should the need arise. This will further demonstrate the versatility and tremendous capability the Airmen of the 106th possess,” said Air Force Col. Michael Bank, the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing.

“The personnel of the 106th Rescue Wing are professionals who have proven themselves in both combat and here at home, “said Air Force Maj. Gen. Anthony German, the adjutant general of New York. “We’re pleased that they can lend their expertise as NASA plans for the continued exploration of space.”

To the Moon and Beyond

Orion is designed to take Americans back into deep space — defined as the moon and beyond.

The spacecraft resembles a larger version of the Apollo space capsule which took men to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s. Like the Apollo command module, the Orion spacecraft is designed to ‘splash down” in the ocean instead of landing on a runway like the Space Shuttles, which flew 135 times between 1981 and 2011.

Unlike the Apollo capsules, the Orion crew module is designed to be reusable and will house two to six astronauts instead of three.

An unmanned Orion flew in 2014. The next launch of the spacecraft is due in September 2018. That three-week long mission to the moon and beyond was originally to be unmanned by NASA has announced they are studying whether or not a crewed mission can be conducted.

The deployment of the 106th personnel is part of the Sentry Aloha series of air operations exercises hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard each year.

NASA’s objectives for the mission are to:

  • Test the best way to mark the spacecraft’s location in the water;
  • Test configurations for airdropping recovery equipment;
  • Practice the inflation of a “front porch” which would be used by astronauts exiting the spacecraft; test the stabilization collar which will be placed on the Orion capsule before recovery; and
  • Test storage capacity for equipment on land.

Local Divemaster/Photographer Member of 1st Place Team USA at World Shootout Underwater Photo Grand Prix

Kona Honu Divers divemaster and popular local photographer Jeff Milisen joins two other photographers on Team USA at the World Shootout Underwater Photo Grand Prix. Milisen, along with Renee Capozzola and Ron Watkins took home the first place prize in the National Team category, which included a trip to Papua, New Guinea.

Seahorse has an octopus on its head. Photo by Jeff Milisen

“We’re not surprised Jeff was part of a winning team, because he’s won so many other photo competitions,” said Byron Kay, owner of Kona Honu Divers where Milisen works. “He’s such a pro we asked him to once again host our 2nd Annual Kona Underwater Shootout which will be held May. Jeff’s willingness to put himself in situations that make most people squeamish allows him to capture the action up close and personal”.

Milisen specializes in “blackwater” photography of small marine creatures that rise to the surface of the ocean at night, and was the Overall Grand Prize winner in the 2015 Ocean Art photo contest.  Milisen, a biologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying coral reefs, is also a divemaster for Kona Honu Divers and the Director of the annual Kona Underwater Shootout. Check out Milisen’s photos at http://www.iphotograph.fish.

Byron Kay owns Kona Honu Divers, a SCUBA diving, Manta Ray watching and snorkeling activity company and equipment shop.  He also owns Kona Freedivers. Kay is a certified SCUBA and Freediving Instructor who’s a valuable resource for information about Hawaii’s ocean life. He’s also a founder of the Kona Underwater Club, an organization dedicated to local research, education, and cleaning up the debris on the coastline and in the ocean.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station AGAIN Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station AGAIN tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Saturday, February 18th  at 6:38 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 45 degrees. It will appear 12 degrees above the North Northwest part of the sky and disappear 10 degrees above the East Southeast part of the sky.

Hawaii Residents Can Possibly Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Friday, February 17th at 7:30 PM. It will be visible for approximately 4 minutes at a maximum height of 69 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the Northwest part of the sky and disappear 32 degrees above the South Southeast part of the sky.

Hawaii Ranked 1st Nationally in School Internet Connectivity

Hawaii’s public school system is the top ranked school district in K-12 broadband connectivity according to the 2016 State of the States annual report released by EducationSuperHighway, an advocacy group dedicated to upgrading Internet infrastructure in K-12 public schools.

“In 2014 we accomplished our goal to deliver Wi-Fi to all public schools statewide, which was a huge undertaking by our Office of Information Technology Services and Office of School Facilities and Support Services,” noted Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The work of our teams have paid off and we’re very proud to be recognized as number one in the country for our Wi-Fi connectivity.”

From 2010 to 2015, the Hawaii State Department of Education increased its broadband at schools from 0.3 gigabytes/second to 8.0 gigabytes/second.

“Having access to the Internet allows our teachers to enhance classroom lessons and gives our students vast digital learning resources that make learning an interactive, hands-on activity. Complete connectivity is a large step forward towards 21st Century Learning initiatives and preparing our students for college and careers,” added Superintendent Matayoshi.

Hawaii’s national No. 1 ranking is based on full 100 percent scores in the report’s four criteria:

  • Connectivity, reflecting the percentage of school districts meeting 100 kbps per student;
  • Fiber, reflecting the percentage of schools with fiber optic connections needed to meet bandwidth targets;
  • Wi-Fi, reflecting the percentage of school districts reporting sufficient Wi-Fi in all classrooms; and
  • Affordability, the percentage of school districts maximizing their bandwidth within set budgets.

EducationSuperHighway is a non-profit advocacy group focused on providing equal access to high-speed broadband for all K-12 public school students.

Parent Workshop – “Social Media, Media, and Sex: Opportunities, Solutions, and Challenges Facing Kids and Teens and What Parents Can Do”

Hawaii Preparatory Academy welcomes Justine Finn, director of Relation-Shift, for a free parent workshop, Social Media, Media, and Sex: Opportunities, Solutions, and Challenges Facing Kids and Teens and What Parents Can Do.

Justine Finn

The interactive workshop, which runs about 90 minutes, begins at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8, at the schoolʻs Gates Performing Arts Center (Upper Campus). All community members are invited to attend.

“Teens in the United States spend an average of nine hours a day on a screen, not including for school or homework,” says Finn. “Socializing, exploring identity, and dating often occur between texts and social media, raising new challenges and positive opportunities.”

As young people begin engaging in romantic and intimate relationships, many experience violence, abuse, and harassment. How can parents guide, empower and mentor their children to engage in healthy media and relationship behaviors? Finnʻs workshop will reveal what children are learning about sex, gender, and relationships from social and traditional media, and will provide parents with strategies to address common problems (and opportunities) facing their children and communities.

Finn founded Relation-Shift at the Harvard Innovation Lab after receiving the 2016 Harvard Graduate School of Education Entrepreneurship in Education Award. Relation-Shift works with middle and high schools to address relationship and sexual violence amongst middle and high-school aged youth. For the past 10 years, Finn has worked to advance the equality of women and men, focusing on creating inclusive workplaces and school cultures and developing the capacity of young people to engage in healthy relationships. Finn facilitates classes, workshops, and seminars across the country on gender, media representation, and the prevention of sexual and relationship violence and bullying.

For more information, visit www.relationshiftproject.com, or call 808-881-4002.

Court Dismisses Sandwich Isles Communications Lawsuit Against the Public Utilities Commission

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that state circuit judge Rhonda A. Nishimura today dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sandwich Isles Communications against the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Sandwich Isles, which provides phone and internet services to residents of Hawaiian home lands, sued the PUC to restore millions of dollars in federal subsidies that were suspended in 2015 by federal regulators. Judge Nishimura ruled from the bench, granting the PUC’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

After federal regulators suspended subsidies to Sandwich Isles in 2015 and 2016, the PUC issued decisions declining to certify it as an eligible telecommunications carrier. Sandwich Isles must be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier to receive a type of federal subsidy granted to communications companies to provide services to certain rural or other hard-to-reach geographic areas. After the PUC issued its decision, Sandwich Isles appealed to the circuit court.

The PUC declined to issue the certification in September 2016 because it was waiting for the results of a federal audit of the participation by Sandwich Isles in the federal subsidies program. The subsidy payments to Sandwich Isles were suspended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015 because of the audit and those subsidies are still suspended. In December 2016, as a result of the audit, the FCC ordered that Sandwich Isles pay substantial fines and repay the federal government more than $27 million in overpayments.

Attorney General Doug Chin stated, “Given the federal audit and its findings, the Public Utilities Commission was right to act with caution in this situation.”

The FCC’s orders are in the process of being implemented. Today’s ruling does not impact those proceedings. A written order from Judge Nishimura is forthcoming.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Tuesday, January 24 at 7:25 PM. It will be visible for approximately 2 minutes at a maximum height of 51 degrees. It will appear 28 degrees above the West Southwest part of the sky and disappear 36 degrees above the North part of the sky.

Hawaii Circuit Court Criminal and Family Court Criminal Cases Now Available Online

The Hawaii State Judiciary now has more court documents available for online viewing.  Circuit and family court criminal case documents filed January 23, 2017 and thereafter will be available for download and purchase online through eCourt Kokua.  This will supplement the current traffic, district court criminal, and appellate cases presently available on eCourt Kokua.  Civil case information will continue to be available through Ho’ohiki.

Because of this successful transition, improved services will be available internally as well as to the public: documents can be shared electronically and instantaneously between court locations; more court records will be accessible to the public for online viewing and purchase;  attorneys will be able to take advantage of e-filing these case types anytime of the day; and law enforcement will be able to get felony bench warrants electronically, eliminating data entry and filing of hard copies with new electronic warrants.

There is a transition team standing by to answer any questions about e-filing or any other technical questions.  Please call (808) 534-6644.  For all other public inquiries, please call the Communications & Community Relations Office at (808) 539-4909.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Work to Restore Power – Lanai Still Without

In the aftermath of powerful windstorms that swept through the state on Saturday, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light crews continue their work today to restore service to thousands of customers who remain without power.

Photos via Francine Grace

Winds remain gusty across the islands today and more outages are likely.

According to preliminary assessments, damage to electrical equipment from the windstorms was some of the most widespread in years, affecting customers on each of the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

Presently, all 1,700 customers on Lanai are without power and are being asked to plan for an extended outage as crews work to safely restore power.

On Oahu, there were more than 100 separate outages in the past 24 hours, affecting about 100,000 customers. All but about 1,900 in Palolo had been restored by this morning and there are still dozens of localized outages across the island, including in Makaha, Waianae, Wahiawa, Manoa and Kalihi.

After high winds snapped or damaged 19 utility poles on Lanai yesterday, Maui Electric crews are continuing restoration efforts today. The estimated time of restoration for Lanai City is by 11 p.m. tonight, with the Manele area to follow by Monday evening.

On Maui, crews are working to restore about 560 customers in pockets of Upcountry Maui and Paia.

On Molokai, Hawaii Electric Light crews will arrive later today to assist Maui Electric with the restoration of power to a radio tower. Currently no other customers are out.

Hawaii island experienced scattered outages caused by branches in lines, affecting about 7,500 customers over the past 24 hours. The largest outage was in the Waimea-Kawaihae area affecting about 2,700 customers Saturday night. All customers on the island have been restored.

Customers are reminded to stay away from downed power lines since they could be energized and are extremely dangerous.

When lines from a utility pole fall to the ground, touch a guardrail or land on a car, please remember:

  • Do not touch these lines. Stay away from downed power lines – at least 30 feet or more.
  • Report downed lines immediately by calling Hawaiian Electric’s Trouble Line; the number is 1-855-304-1212, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.
    • Don’t try to rescue the individual because electrical current can travel through them to you and you risk becoming a victim yourself.
    • Warn others to stay away.
  • Always assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous.
  • A downed line touching a fence or guard rail can energize it for several thousand yards and pose a hazard to anyone coming into contact with these structures. Don’t run away; instead, keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground to a safe distance (30 feet or more).
  • If a power line falls on your car while you are inside, follow these instructions:
    • Remain where you are, if possible, and call and wait for help.
    • If you must get out of the car because of a fire or other hazard, jump free of the car, hopping with both feet together so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground.
    • Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 30 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
  • Never step down or simultaneously touch the ground and equipment that is in contact with the power line, as this will increase the risk of electrical shock.

Hawaiian Electric Companies to Offer Discounted Medical Needs Rate

The Hawaiian Electric Companies will offer a special medical needs discount rate for customers of all three companies. This pilot is subject to Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval to go into effect on April 1, 2017 for two years.

Up to 2,000 customers dependent on life support equipment or increased heating and cooling needs due to a medical condition verified by a physician may save up to $20 a month on the first 500 kWh of energy use. Use above 500 kWh will be charged at regular residential rates.

“Everyone depends on electricity, but for some with special medical needs it can be a life or death matter,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service. “We believe most people will agree that providing a little financial relief for some of our neighbors is the right thing to do.”

Applications will be made available online, subject to commission approval, and will require a licensed physician’s signature. To qualify, a customer or a full-time resident in the customer’s home must be:

  • Dependent on life-support devices used in the home to sustain life or relied upon for mobility as determined by a licensed physician, including but not limited to: aerosol tents; apnea monitors; hemodialysis machines; compressors; electric nerve stimulators; pressure pumps; electrostatic nebulizers; and intermittent positive pressure breathing machines.
  • A paraplegic, hemiplegic, quadriplegic, multiple sclerosis or scleroderma patient with special heating and/or cooling needs.

Based on the number of applicants, the Hawaiian Electric Companies will determine whether to continue the rate after two years.

Residential customers with anyone in the home dependent on life support or emergency equipment are encouraged to inform their island utility of that fact by calling customer service today so they can be notified about future planned maintenance outages. However, because unplanned outages can occur, it is essential that customers with life support or emergency equipment needs make alternate plans should the power go out.

Apple Mapping Car Being Spotted Around the Big Island

This afternoon as I was driving in Hilo, I noticed a weird car drive by me with all these cameras on top of it.  At first I thought it was the Google Car that I had seen a few years ago on Bayfront but learned it wasn’t.
I was driving down the Mohouli extension road and the car turned on to Loko Place.  Knowing that Loko Place was a dead end street that was just recently built… I flipped a U-Turn and pulled over on the side of Loko Place and positioned myself to take a picture of the car.
It turned out it was an “Apple” car that was doing mapping for it’s “Maps” application http://maps.apple.com.

Apple Maps states:

Offering an all-new design and a host of innovative features, Maps makes finding and getting to your destination faster and easier than ever. With turn-by-turn spoken directions, interactive 3D views, proactive suggestions, and the ability to use third-party apps right inside Maps, there’s so much to explore.

Maps now predicts the places you’re most likely to go and suggests the fastest way to get there based on traffic, your current location, the time of day, and events on your schedule. So in the morning, Maps can provide a proactive suggestion for the best route to work that avoids traffic. And any upcoming meetings on your calendar are presented with suggested routes. Simply tap the suggestion to display the directions and start navigation.

It looks as though they are trying to compete with Google for customers.  The last time that I can recall the Google car being on the Island was in 2011 but I could be wrong.

The Google car in Wailoa Park

The Google Car works in connection with the Google Bike as the bike can take folks on even narrower roads and trails where the car can’t go.

5,000th Electric Vehicle Registered in Hawaii, Drive Electric Hawaii Formed to Promote Electric Transportation

Eight key organizations have agreed to collaborate on electrification of ground transportation in Hawaii as an essential part of achieving the state’s clean energy goals.

Drive Electric Hawaii seeks to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles through coordinated collaboration, and to make it easier to expand vehicle-charging infrastructure in a way that brings more renewable energy onto the electric grid.

The new organization’s launch coincides with registration of the 5,000th electric vehicle in Hawaii.

Click to read memorandum

Founding participants who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding are: Blue Planet Foundation; Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation (HDOT); Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT); Hawaii State Division of Consumer Advocacy; the Hawaiian Electric Companies (including Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light); Kauai Island Utility Cooperative; Rocky Mountain Institute; and Ulupono Initiative. Other agencies and organizations are expected to join as the initiative moves forward.

“The primary focus of the Drive Electric Hawaii Initiative is to accelerate the cost-effective electrification of transportation in all passenger vehicles, public transit vehicles, and fleet vehicles…,” the memorandum states. “This effort will play a meaningful part toward the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative objective of increasing energy security and self-sufficiency by eliminating Hawaii’s dependence on imported fuels for both electricity and ground transportation.”

Hawaii is second in the nation (after California) in per capita electric vehicle registrations and a leader in charging facilities. Despite low gasoline prices, plug-in passenger vehicles registered in the state increased 26 percent last year. At the same time, gasoline and diesel vehicle registrations fell by 4 percent and 3 percent respectively.

“We are in the midst of a massive transformation,” said Richard Wallsgrove of Blue Planet Foundation. “Electric vehicles can use renewable energy, enabling us to drastically reduce our state’s carbon pollution. At the same time, electric vehicles can help to lower the cost of energy for everyone. This can be a true win-win.”

With over one million vehicles registered in the state, Wallsgrove said, “Reaching 5,000 electric vehicles is an early milestone. But every great journey starts with one step. The goal of Drive Electric Hawaii is to accelerate this progress, reaching our clean energy goals faster, together.”

“Being able to offer EV users power that is generated from renewable sources is a high priority for us at Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. At 36 percent, we are well on our way to reaching – and exceeding – our goal of 50 percent renewables by 2023,” said David Bissell, KIUC president and CEO.

The initiative grew out of Rocky Mountain Institute’s eLab Accelerator initiative – “a boot camp for electricity innovation”– where earlier this year Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaiian Electric, Ulupono Initiative, and other Hawaii representatives brainstormed ways get more electric vehicles deployed and successfully integrated into the grid. Colorado-based RMI is an independent, global non-profit organization dedicated to sustainability, with a focus on market-based innovations for energy and resource efficiency.

“We think smartly integrated electric vehicles could be a boon — not a burden — for a Hawaii grid that is increasingly renewable, and Drive Electric Hawaii will help all stakeholders consider how to approach EV integration holistically,” said Jesse Morris, a principal at Rocky Mountain Institute focused on enabling the integration of distributed energy resources like EVs.

The Drive Electric Hawaii shared vision includes:

  • Building a broad coalition in support of renewable transportation
  • Encouraging use of electric vehicles
  • Increasing electric vehicle charging opportunities that support 100 percent renewable energy
  • Developing policies, regulations and laws to unlock the full value of electrified transportation

“The memorandum reinforces much of the ongoing work being done at DBEDT and elsewhere to improve the synergies between the electricity and transportation sector,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “We are grateful for the leadership taken by energy and transportation stakeholders in advancing this very important piece of our clean energy transformation.”

“Drive Electric Hawaii is a great opportunity for the public, private and nonprofit sectors to collaborate on accelerating Hawaii’s bold energy and transportation goals,” said Greg Gaug, vice president of investments for the local impact investment firm Ulupono Initiative. “As part of our energy system strategy, we look forward to working with the state, utilities, and transportation and energy stakeholders to get more EVs on our roads.”

“Many individuals, organizations and agencies must work together to achieve a clean transportation energy future. No one can do it alone,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “We believe that, along with renewable generation of electricity, transportation electrification can help us achieve stable, reliable and lower-cost service for all our customers,”

With signing of the memorandum, participants will begin to establish a work plan and initiatives to move forward.