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Security Guards Indicted for Taking Bribes at Honolulu Airport

An Oahu grand jury indicted four Securitas law enforcement and traffic control officers for accepting bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers at the Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced.

SecuritasDeputy Attorney General Albert Cook said, “Securitas employees Ruben Corpuz Alonzo, Ranie A. Ilagan, Gay Manicia Gatchalian and Euriphides Magalang allegedly solicited and accepted more than three thousand dollars in monetary payments from taxi and shuttle drivers at the airport. In exchange the defendants provided customers to these drivers and allowed the drivers to circumvent the rules and regulations relating to taxi and shuttle drivers and ground transportation at the Honolulu International Airport.”

“These indictments followed a months-long, complex undercover investigation conducted by the FBI in conjunction with Special Agent Investigators at the Attorney General’s office. Taxi drivers complained about certain officers at the airport taking bribes and showing favoritism to those willing to pay,” said Attorney General Chin.

The four Securitas employees were indicted for bribery, a violation of section 710-1040, Hawaii Revised Statutes. This is a class B felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Securitas receives about $33 million a year to provide security.

Hokulea Departs Fernando de Noronha for Natal

After a four-day stop at Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the Brazilian coast, Hokulea departed the UNESCO Marine World Heritage site yesterday at 11:00 a.m. Brazil time (3:00 a.m. HST) and is now headed to Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. Note: Fernando de Noronha is eight hours ahead of Hawaii Time. During their stay, crewmembers were able to learn about efforts to protect the marine life and other natural resources of the pristine island.

Hokulea21a

The Hokulea crew is now sailing approximately 241 miles to reach Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, located in northeastern Brazil. The arrival to the coastal city will mark Hokulea’s first visit to the South America continent. The leg will take approximately two days.

Hokulea21c

After stopping in Brazil, Hokulea will continue the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage and stop in several ports in the Caribbean before sailing north and visiting cities along the East Coast of the United States. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to celebrate World Oceans Day.

Hokulea21b

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles and made stops in 11 countries and 46 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

Hokulea21d

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius and South Africa. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea through means of using natural resources like ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Coast Guard Responds to Report of Flares Off Maui – Rescues Mariner

The Coast Guard rescued a mariner aboard a disabled 18-foot recreational vessel following a report of four red flares off Maui Thursday night.

Cadets and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle fire pencil flares off the fantail of the ship as part of a pyrotechnics training session Saturday, July 4, 2009. In recognition of the national holiday, everyone aboard also participated in the Square-Rigger Olympics, pyrotechnics training, and karaoke on the ship's waist later that night. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

Cadets and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle fire pencil flares off the fantail of the ship as part of a pyrotechnics training session Saturday, July 4, 2009. In recognition of the national holiday, everyone aboard also participated in the Square-Rigger Olympics, pyrotechnics training, and karaoke on the ship’s waist later that night. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

A Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew located the mariner during a search 5 miles west of Kihei and towed the vessel back to Maui.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a report of three red flares off Kihei around 9:23 p.m. A fourth flare was sighted by Maui Fire Department personnel from the shoreline shortly after.

The watchstanders launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point and the RBM crew from Maui to respond. The RBM crew sighted the mariner and confirmed he launched the flares before towing him back to Kihei.

“This mariner did everything right with his flares and the case illustrates the importance of having proper emergency gear aboard your vessel,” said Charles Turner, of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “In addition to required flares and flotation we recommend mariners have multiple forms of communication with them including a handheld VHF-FM radio, charged cellular devices and a properly registered personal locator beacon if possible. It’s State law to have a VHF radio on your boat if you’re more than a mile offshore. Communications can be a challenge around the islands and not all devices may have consistent coverage. It’s also a good idea to leave word with friends or family about your voyage and when you intend to return so they can alert responders if you are overdue.”

Flares should never be used as fireworks as they may prompt a Coast Guard search. If you are conducting flare training please contact the Coast Guard to advise them of the location and time of the training to deconflict any search and rescue calls. Flares are especially useful at night and burn red or white. Mariners who choose to further mark their location and signal with chemical lights are asked to use red colored lights as the typical yellow and green and very hard for rescue crews to detect with night vision goggles.

Hawaii DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation Opens Office on Kailua-Kona Pier

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has opened a new boating office at the Kailua Pier, in Kailua-Kona.  DOBOR staff based in this office will manage the day-by-day operation of the Kailua Pier and provide support services for recreational boaters.

DLNROffice hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Hours of operation may be subject to change depending on staff availability.  The Kailua Pier office will be closed weekends and State holidays.

The entrance to the facility parking lot will be gated when the office is closed or unattended.  When the office is open, the public can hail DOBOR staff on the gate intercom to gain access to five (5) parking stalls available at the pier to conduct DOBOR business only (permits, vessel registration, etc.).  For questions about access and available services, the public can call the Kailua Pier office at (808) 327-4318.

“We opened this new office as an extension of our Honokohau Harbor office for the benefit of boaters residing in West Hawaii,” said Ed Underwood, DOBOR Administrator.  “Because the pier is heavily used and it is a recreational resource for the community, we want to be sure we have a presence here to keep it well-managed and maintained.”

The Kailua-Kona Pier is the point of entry for cruise ship passengers visiting Kailua-Kona.  It has hosted the Iron Man competition every October dating back to the early 1980s and the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament since 1959.  Historically, the pier was used in the early 1900s for loading cattle on ships for transport.

Final Phase of Daniel K. Inouye Highway Improvements Announced

(2/1/16) The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is proud to announce that the final phase of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (formerly Saddle Road) Improvements Project, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration – Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), has been awarded to Road and Highway Builders, Sparks, NV.

Saddle Road photo courtesy of Aaron Stene

Saddle Road photo courtesy of Aaron Stene

The awarded contract amount of $50.7 million dollars includes realignment and reconstruction of the existing highway between MP 5.5 and MP 11 on the Hilo Side of the Big Island.  The contract completion is scheduled for May 29th, 2017.

saddle project

A preconstruction conference was held January 15th, 2016. On-site construction activities are scheduled to begin in late February 2016.

(Hat tip to Aaron Stene at the Kona Chronicle)

Grounded Vessel at Kohanaiki to be Removed By Salvage Firm – Operator Cited

Salvage operations are expected to begin this week to remove a 39’ Coast-Guard documented powerboat “Hoku Kea,” which ran aground Friday evening off Kohanaiki beach, west Hawaii. 
Hawaii County closed Kohanaiki Beach Park pending removal of the boat and hazmat. Fuel leaked from the boat onto the immediate area of the beach, and debris from the boat was also found in the area.
Kohanaiki Beach Park

Kohanaiki Beach Park

The “Hoku Kea” is owned by Hoku Boats LLC. The owner had pollution insurance which hired PENCO to remove 400 gallons of diesel, a few quarts of oil and seven batteries on Sunday morning. They have also signed a contract with Cates International which will be on site tomorrow morning to begin the salvage removal process.   
The vessel owner was cited by DLNR for operating a vessel without a valid boating safety certificate required by state boating rules.
Swimmers and surfers are being asked to stay out of the water until authorities can clean up the fuel spill and remove the boat and debris from the area. 

Keaau High School Students to Unveil Space Shuttle Replica… Public Invited

During the 2014-2015 school year, many students at Keaau High School had their lives turned upside down when the lava flow threatened their community. After overcoming adversity, the Cougars are soaring to new heights with a reconstruction of a space shuttle replica, which will be unveiled to the public on Jan. 28, 2016 at 4 p.m.

KHS Space Shuttle

Keaau High School Principal Dean Cevalos explains, “I’m extremely proud of our students for their maturity and hard work in overcoming a stressful situation and turning it into something positive,” said Principal Dean Cevallos. “The space shuttle project, which was possible through our community partners, is something that not only our island, but also our state can be proud of. Our students’ talents and abilities are really highlighted in this reconstruction and show how much they have matured and grown.”

Last semester, 25 automotive and construction academy restored a one-of-a-kind space shuttle replica. This project, in conjunction with the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES), Hawaii Community College, and the Hawaii Civil Air Patrol was made possible with the support of many community donors including K. Taniguchi Ltd., KTA Super Stores, Isemoto Contracting, W.H Shipman, Big Island Toyota/De Luz Chevrolet and Young Brother’s Shipping Company.

This project unveiling is open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. at Keaau High School’s Automotive and Construction Academy. The event marks the 30th anniversary of the NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter Challenger mission and will honor NASA astronaut, hero, and Big Island native Ellison Onizuka, who lost his life with other crewmembers when the spacecraft failed to launch into outer space.

To RSVP please email khs.restoringhistory@gmail.com

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Issues Travel Alert for 14 Countries Because Zika Virus

CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Mosquito Bite

This alert follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship. More studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:

  • Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Women trying to become pregnant who are thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

Because specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are difficult to determine and likely to change over time, CDC will update this travel notice as information becomes available. Check the CDC travel website frequently for the most up-to-date recommendations.

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Four in five people who acquire Zika infection may have no symptoms. Illness from Zika is usually mild and does not require hospitalization. Travelers are strongly urged to protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
    • Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant and nursing women and children older than 2 months when used according to the product label. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

In addition to the steps announced today, CDC is working with public health experts across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take additional steps related to Zika. CDC is developing interim guidance for pregnant women as well as sharing additional information about Zika with public health officials, clinicians and the public.  In addition, efforts are underway across HHS to develop vaccines, improved diagnostics and other countermeasures for Zika.

Background:

CDC scientists tested samples provided by Brazilian health authorities from two pregnancies that ended in miscarriage and from two infants with diagnosed microcephaly who died shortly after birth. For the two full-term infants, tests showed that Zika virus was present in the brain. Genetic sequence analysis showed that the virus in the four cases was the same as the Zika virus strain currently circulating in Brazil.  All four mothers reported having experienced a fever and rash illness consistent with Zika virus disease (Zika) during their pregnancies.

Locally acquired Zika was reported for the first time in Brazil in May 2015, and the virus has since been reported in 14 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean:  Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

According to Brazilian health authorities, more than 3,500 microcephaly cases were reported in Brazil between October 2015 and January 2016.  Some of the affected infants have had a severe type of microcephaly and some have died.  The full spectrum of outcomes that might be associated with infection during pregnancy and the factors that might increase risk to the fetus are not yet fully understood. Health authorities in Brazil, with assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, CDC, and other agencies, have been investigating the possible association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in infants. However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship. More studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

In the past, outbreaks of Zika virus infection have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.  Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  About one in five people infected with Zika virus will develop symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Other commonly reported symptoms include myalgia, headache, and pain behind the eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and case fatality is low. Guillain-Barré syndrome has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil. . Research efforts will also examine the link between Zika and GBS.

For more information about Zika:

Information about microcephaly

Information for travelers:

Information for health care providers:

Coast Guard Continues Search for 12 – Marine Members Identified

As the search for 12 Marine aviators off the North Shore of Oahu enters its second day the Coast Guard and partner agencies have expanded the search along the North Shore from Waianae to Kahuku, extending out to sea eight miles.

As of 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2016, graphic of combined searches conducted by surface assets (ships, boats and jet ski teams) involved in joint search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu's North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. Coast Guard search and rescue planners use a variety of systems to plan and coordinate searches. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu/Released)

As of 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2016, graphic of combined searches conducted by surface assets (ships, boats and jet ski teams) involved in joint search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu’s North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. Coast Guard search and rescue planners use a variety of systems to plan and coordinate searches. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu/Released)

“We’d like to reiterate to the public to use caution along the north and west shores of Oahu as the search continues. Debris should be treated as hazardous material,” said Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer. “Anyone sighting debris is asked to report it to the Marines at 808-257-8458 or 808-257-3023.”

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew taxis for takeoff at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 16, 2016. The Dolphin crew is participating in the second day of search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu's North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew taxis for takeoff at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 16, 2016. The Dolphin crew is participating in the second day of search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu’s North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

As of 8 a.m. Saturday morning responders have conducted 22 individual searches covering more than 5,000 sq. nautical miles (5,750 sq. miles). Responders continued the search throughout the night and on scene today are:

Aircraft: Surface assets: Shoreline:
-MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
-Navy P-3 Orion
-Navy H-60 helicopter
-Army H-60 helicopter
-Honolulu Fire Department helicopter
-Honolulu Police Department helicopter
-(2) Navy warships
-Coast Guard Cutters Ahi and Kiska
-(2) Ocean Safety jet ski teams
-(7) 10-person shoreline search teams
-Incident Command Post team Honolulu
-Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
-MSST Honolulu personnel in Haleiwa
Harbor alerting mariners to safety zone
and public safety concerns

Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu received notification of two possible downed military helicopters each reportedly with six personnel aboard late Thursday evening prompting the joint search effort.

Weather conditions are reportedly 8 to 12 mph winds, 13 foot swells with surf up to 20-feet and scattered showers. A high surf advisory for Oahu’s North Shore remains in effect through Saturday evening. A small craft advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service and is in effect for all of the Main Hawaiian Islands through Sunday morning.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.

The missing Marines have been identified as:

  • Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.
  • Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama.
  • Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24,Chaska, Minnesota.
  • Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.
  • Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.
  • Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama.
  • Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.
  • Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.
  • Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.

Komohana Street Reconstruction Work Begins Tuesday

Starting Tuesday, January 19, 2016, the Komohana Street Reconstruction work will proceed with a ONE LANE, ONE-WAY 24-hour traffic pattern in the Waiānuenue Avenue direction (Hāmākua bound) between the Kūkūau Street intersection and the Ponahawai Street Intersection to accommodate pavement reconstruction work.  The contractor, Yamada and Sons, Inc. plans to expedite the work and complete this phase of the project by Friday, February 19, 2016, weather and construction conditions permitting.

The following lane changes will be in effect during this period.

  1. Puna bound on Komohana Street from Waiānuenue Avenue, left turn only at Ponahawai intersection.
  2. Entering Komohana Street from Ponahawai Street, no left turn onto Komohana Street.
  3. Entering Komohana Street from Huali Place, no left turn onto Komohana Street.

komohana project

As work progresses, the opening of the southbound lane from Huali Place will be implemented.

The following lanes will remain open:

  1. Kūkūau intersection open to travel in all directions.
  2. On Komohana Street, Hāmākua bound, right turn onto Huali Place.
  3. On Komohana Street, Hāmākua bound, right turn and straight through at the Ponahawai intersection.

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

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 Yamada and Sons, Inc. at (808) 933-8434 or Barett Otani, County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Information and Education Specialist, at (808) 961-8787.

Utility Infrastructure Upgrades to Resume on Hamakua Coast – Delays Up to 45 Minutes

Hawaii Electric Light announces that construction work along Highway 19 will resume starting January 18, 2016. One lane will be closed to traffic along sections of the highway from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily between the 24-mile marker in Papaaloa and the 27-mile marker in Laupahoehoe on the Hamakua Coast.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of February, weather permitting.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of February, weather permitting.

Security personnel will direct traffic, and motorists are advised to drive with caution through the construction area. Delays of up to 45 minutes or less are anticipated. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes, if possible.

This project will improve system reliability by upgrading utility infrastructure. It involves removing and installing poles and upgrading transmission and distribution lines and equipment. Work is expected to be completed by the end of February, weather permitting. Regular updates will be provided to local media and posted on the company’s website www.hawaiielectriclight.com and Twitter account @HIElectricLight.

Hawaii Electric Light regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding. For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

“Pipe Bomb” Found on Car Determined Not Explosive

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an incident reported in South Kohala on Tuesday (December 5) by a local vehicle tow company.
HPDBadgeAt about 9:40 a.m. the tow company reported receiving a phone call from an individual about a car in the company’s possession. After taking a closer look, the owner of the tow company became very concerned about a device resembling a “pipe bomb” affixed to the front of the vehicle.

Responding officers confirmed the description given by tow company employees and conferred with U.S. Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) personnel about the suspicious device. After reviewing photographs of the device, EOD personnel elected to fly to Waimea from Oahu, along with special agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Late Tuesday night the device was disassembled and it was determined that the contents were not explosive.

The investigation will be continued by detectives with the Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigations Division with assistance from the FBI and ATF.

As a result of this incident, approximately 12 homes and their 21 occupants in the Nani Waimea subdivision were displaced while personnel worked to identify and safely disassemble the suspicious device. Police apologize for the inconvenience caused to those residents but, given the circumstances, it was the prudent thing to do.

Police ask anyone with information about the vehicle and/or the device to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Global Energy Expert to Speak at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a public lecture on the big picture issues facing human society. “Energy, Resources, and Human Demand on a Planet Well Past Its Human Carrying Capacity” by Nate Hagens will be held on Tuesday, January 12, at 6:30 p.m. in UCB Room 100.

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Hagens is the former lead editor of “The Oil Drum,” a website that provides analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of energy decline. He is currently a board member of the Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER) and the Institute for the Study of Energy and our Future. His presentation will address the opportunities and constraints people face after the coming end of economic growth.

The event is sponsored by the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM). For more information, call CAFNRM at 932-7038.

Low Bidder Announced for Daniel K. Inouye Highway Project

Sterling Construction Company, Inc. today announced that its affiliate, Road and Highway Builders, LLC (RHB), is apparent low bidder on a $61.0 million Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project to perform reconstruction work on a 6.6 mile stretch of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. The project, which will begin in the first quarter of 2016 and be completed in approximately two years, will require 800,000 cubic yards of excavation, construction of several large concrete structures, and 80,000 tons of asphalt paving.

Saddle Road earlier in project.  Photo courtesy of Aaron Stene

Saddle Road earlier in project. Photo courtesy of Aaron Stene

Paul J. Varello, Sterling’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The Daniel K. Inouye Highway, known to locals as Saddle Road, was built in the 1940’s to connect the major population centers on the east and west coasts of the island. In 2004, FHWA began a multi-phase project to upgrade the original 48-mile route to meet the current standards of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. RHB completed one of the phases between 2009 and 2011.

The current phase requires a high degree of experience and sophisticated construction capabilities given the highway’s age and its maximum elevation of over 6,600 feet. We are pleased to have been selected to rebuild a portion of this important and historic roadway, and look forward to collaborating with the FHWA on other projects throughout the Hawaiian Islands.”

Sterling is a leading heavy civil construction company that specializes in the building and reconstruction of transportation and water infrastructure projects in Texas, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and other states where there are profitable construction opportunities. Its transportation infrastructure projects include highways, roads, bridges and light rail. Its water infrastructure projects include water, wastewater and storm drainage systems.

Hakalau Bridge Closing for Repairs

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

Hakalau Bridge

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

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

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

New Law Requires Ignition Users to Drive with Hawaii State Identification Card

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is reminding all ignition interlock permit holders that a new law requires them to have the permit and a valid State of Hawaii identification card in their immediate possession while operating a vehicle equipped with the ignition interlock device.  The new law, Act 40, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

ignition interlockThe penalties for violating this law are:

  • For a first-time offense,
    • Three consecutive days to 30 days imprisonment;
    • A fine of $250-$1,000;
    • License revocation for an additional year; and
    • Loss of privilege to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.
  • For an offense within five years of a prior conviction,
    • Thirty days imprisonment;
    • A fine of $1,000;
    • License revocation for an additional two years; and
    • Loss of privilege to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.
  • For an offense within five years of two or more prior convictions,
    • One year imprisonment;
    • A fine of $2,000;
    • Permanent license revocation;
    • Loss of privilege to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.

State of Hawaii identification cards may be obtained in person at the Driver License locations listed on the HDOT website (http://hidot.hawaii.gov/hawaiistateid). Applicants must present documentary proof of legal name, date of birth, social security number, legal presence and proof of principal residence address.

In addition, Act 40 allows for a person whose license was revoked for Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant to apply for relicensing 30 days prior to the end of the revocation period, as long as the license is not issued prior to completion of the revocation period.

If you have any questions regarding Act 40, please consult with legal counsel. HDOT does not provide legal advice.

VIDEO: Part II – UPS Man Goes Ballistic Tossing Packages Out of Truck

Yesterday I posted a video about a UPS guy going ballistic throwing packages out of his truck.

UPS GuyHere is the second part to that video:

This is what the YouTube poster said about the video:

UPS worker in Hawaii gets mad cause he can’t drive or park then guns it around to park and tips load and then starts throwing packages with fragile tape. I hope your christmas gifts are ok…

Cemetery Road Restoration Project Completed – Lava Removed From Road

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works is pleased to announce that the Cemetery Road Restoration project has been completed and the functionality of the original 12 foot one lane roadway has been restored.

Cemetery road1The reconstruction work of removing the lava associated with the October 25, 2014 Pu‘u O‘o Volcanic Eruption that crossed onto Cemetery Road and paving the 500-foot stretch of roadway was completed within the forty working day time frame.  The project also completed within the budget of $150,000 and 75 percent of the construction cost was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Cemetery Road2

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works is continually striving to improve the quality of service for the health and safety of the people of Hawai‘i Island and would like to thank the community for their patience, understanding and support throughout the restoration project.

U-Haul Opens First Store on Hawaii’s Big Island

U-Haul has made a substantial commitment to meeting the moving and storage needs of Hawaiian residents, opening its first store on the Big Island and its third store in the Aloha State.

U-Haul has made a substantial commitment to meeting the moving and storage needs of Hawaiian residents, opening its first store on the Big Island and its third store in the Aloha State.

U-Haul has made a substantial commitment to meeting the moving and storage needs of Hawaiian residents, opening its first store on the Big Island and its third store in the Aloha State.

U-Haul Moving at Kailua-Kona at 74-5484 Kaiwi St. is located in the Old Industrial Park, previously called Gold Coast Business Centers. U-Haul closed on the property in December 2014 and opened for business last month.

“We have two U-Haul store locations on Oahu, and we’re excited to be able to offer our products and services on the Big Island at our new Kailua-Kona location,” U-Haul area district vice president Doug McIntier said.

The highlight of the store, once build-out plans and renovations are completed, will be the 164 climate-controlled indoor storage units. Air conditioning with be pumped into the units throughout the facility to keep your possessions cool at a low cost – a luxury that is difficult to find on the Big Island.

“We’re one of only two locations in Kona that will offer climate-controlled storage,” U-Haul Company of Hawaii president Kaleo Alau said. “From everyone we’ve talked to, this is a big deal. People have to drive miles and miles to find climate-controlled storage.”

Five buildings are included in the acquisition. Multiple restaurants and bars, retailers and other tenants will share the property with U-Haul. The primary building was last occupied by a coat upholstery shop and a mechanic business.

General manager Cerise Huihui and her team are pleased to currently offer truck and trailer rentals, towing equipment, boxes and moving supplies and U-Box portable moving and self-storage containers. There are 15 U-Haul trucks available at the facility. A hitch bay will be added for easy installations.

It’s a huge undertaking to open a store in Hawaii since each piece of U-Haul equipment is shipped from the mainland to Oahu by barge – and shipped again if its destination is another island. U-Haul boasts 246 box trucks, pickup trucks and cargo vans across the state. U-Haul is moving toward a goal of 400 or more trucks in Hawaii one day, McIntier added.

The Kailua-Kona store adds to U-Haul Company’s expanding presence in Hawaii. The two Honolulu stores, along with the neighborhood dealer locations and self-storage affiliates on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and the Big Island, give U-Haul 28 locations statewide.

“Our new store has a wonderful staff,” McIntier said. “Cerise is an outstanding manager who worked for a huge storage facility on the island and we brought her to U-Haul.”

“I’m very excited and thankful U-Haul is here in Kailua-Kona,” Huihui noted. “People are excited. The community has given welcoming responses to our surveys, knowing they can count on a family-owned business with local Aloha.”

The acquisition of U-Haul Moving & Storage of Kailua-Kona was driven by U-Haul Company’s Corporate Sustainability initiatives: U-Haul® supports infill development to help local communities lower their carbon footprint. Our adaptive reuse of existing buildings reduces the amount of energy and resources required for new-construction materials and helps cities reduce their unwanted inventory of unused buildings.

Contact U-Haul Moving at Kailua-Kona at (808) 374-2049 or visit the store. Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-3p.m. Sunday. Reserve equipment online and find additional locations at uhaul.com or contact U-Haul Reservations at 1-800-GO-UHAUL.

HELCO Announces Partial Lane Closure Near Big Island Country Club

Hawaii Electric Light Company announces a partial lane closure on Highway 190 near the 20-mile marker in the area of Big Island Country Club and Puu Lani Ranch in Puu Anahulu. Work will begin on Monday, December 14, and is expected to be completed by Wednesday, December 23, weather permitting.

Helco new Logo 2

One lane will be closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to allow the company to relocate utility poles. Motorists are advised to expect delays of up to 10 minutes and encouraged to use alternate routes.

Hawaii Electric Light regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.