Island Air Reaches Agreement with Three Unions

Island Air today announced it has extended agreements with three unions that represent its pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, flight attendants, customer service and ramp agents, and other employees.

Island Air“We are extremely pleased that we have reached agreements to extend contracts with the three unions that represent the majority of Island Air’s employees,” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air. “Each of these agreements recognizes the outstanding contributions our employees make to the success of Island Air. In negotiating with the unions, we had a shared goal of ensuring that our employees are treated fairly and rewarded for their professionalism and hard work, while also allowing Island Air to grow our business and continue to provide safe, reliable interisland flight service.”

Island Air reached a letter of agreement (LOA) with the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), which represents Island Air’s 42 pilots.

“We are pleased to announce the Island Air pilot group has come to a tentative agreement on a mutually beneficial contract extension between the pilots and the company,” said Capt. Jim Morris, representative and chairman of the ALPA Master Executive Council for Island Air. “This new agreement resolves any open contractual issues and lays the groundwork for ALPA to assist the company in its efforts to recruit and retain pilots. We would like to thank the management team for their professional approach to the negotiations and are confident that Island Air will now have the pilot resources it needs to continue its growth, both for our current passengers and future customers as well.”

Island Air also reached an agreement on an extended contract with the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Local 540, which represents the airline’s five flight dispatchers.

“The Transport Workers Union, Local 540, is pleased to have reached a new collective bargaining agreement with Island Air,” said Alex Giarrocco, president, Transport Workers Union, Local 540. “The agreement recognizes the key role our professional aircraft dispatchers play in the operational control of each and every Island Air flight. We are proud to share in the success of Island Air today and for many years to come.”

The third agreement is an LOA with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), Local 996, which provides collective bargaining for 216 Island Air employees, including aircraft mechanics and inspectors, aircraft cleaners, ground service equipment mechanics, fuelers, flight attendants, stock clerks, and customer and ramp service agents.

“The agreement reached between the Hawaii Teamsters and Island Air gives the company labor stability to focus its energy on growing the business,” said Ronan Kozuma, president, Hawaii Teamsters, Local 996. “We want to thank the Union’s representatives and Island Air management in addressing the employees’ concerns and reaching an agreement that both sides will benefit from.”

Tropical Storm Darby Claims Large Tour Boat Off Kona Coast

The Coast Guard is responding to the grounding of the Spirit of Kona on the island of Hawai’i, Sunday.
Kona Boat
Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Department of Natural Resources, Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation, commercial salvors and the owner of the vessel are working to develop a salvage plan.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received notification Sunday morning from a good Samaritan reporting the 65-foot Spirit of Kona, a commercial passenger vessel, aground on the rocks near the Kailua-Kona Lighthouse.

Kona Boat2

Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at Marine Safety Detachment Hawaii, state agencies and commercial salvors have attended the scene to assess the vessel and reported a 120 yard by 53 yard non-recoverable rainbow sheen in the vicinity.

The vessel reportedly has a maximum pollution potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, commercial batteries and 19.5 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils. No wildlife was seen in the area or reportedly affected.

The vessel reportedly broke free of its mooring in Kailua Bay as Tropical Storm Darby passed over the region early Sunday. No one was aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Sector Honolulu watchstanders have issued a broadcast notice to mariners reporting the vessel as a possible hazard to navigation.
Spirit of Kona
As the Spirit of Kona is a commercial vessel, operated by Blue Sea Cruises, the Coast Guard will investigate the cause the of the grounding and work with the owner to address repairs and operating requirements once salvaged. A notice of federal interest has been issued.

Tropical Storm Darby continues to impact the Main Hawaiian Islands Sunday. Commercial ports on Hawaii, Maui, Molokai and Oahu are closed. The Coast Guard encourages boat owners to take precautions with regard to their vessels by moving them to protected areas, doubling up lines and taking them out of the water as applicable.

Darby continues to move west northwest. Localized damaging winds of 30 to 40 mph can be expected, along with gusts of 50 to 60 mph or greater. Surf along east facing shores of Maui will be 8 to 12 feet. Surf along east facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai will be 6 to 10 feet. Passing rainbands will bring periods of showers. There is a chance for intense downpours or thunderstorms to develop near Maui county, then spread to Oahu and Kauai later today. Additional rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with local amounts up to 15 inches are expected with tropical storm Darby.

Coast Guard Rescues 8 From Burning Ship Offshore Oahu

The Coast Guard rescued eight crewmembers from a burning ship two miles offshore Oahu, Thursday.

Lady Anna

Eight people are safe after a rescue and assist team from USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) fought and extinguished an engineroom fire aboard commercial fishing vessel Lady Anna two miles south of Honolulu Harbor.

“We were in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer of USCGC Galveston Island. “This was a combined effort between the Galveston Island crew, the watchstanders at Sector Honolulu and rescue boat crews from Station Honolulu and Honolulu Fire Department. I’m happy that we were able to help and I’m proud of my crew for their quick and effective response in putting out the fire. The reason why we do training is to ensure that in an emergency situation such as this, we can perform safely and effectively.”

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center overheard a transmission on VHF channel 16 at 4:30 p.m. regarding a fire aboard the 78-foot fishing vessel Lady Anna. Watchstanders established communication with the vessel, directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu and diverted the nearby Galveston Island crew to assist.

Once on scene, the Galveston Island crew reported black smoke billowing from the engineroom. The RB-M crew arrived on scene and safely disembarked the crew from the fishing vessel. The Galveston Island Rescue and Assist Team then boarded the Lady Anna to investigate the smoke. When approaching the engineroom, the team identified flames coming from the generator and utilized a P-6 pump to successfully extinguish the fire.

International crewmembers from the Lady Anna were safely transferred by the RB-M crew to the commercial fishing vessel Sapphire III due to lack of clearance and two U.S. crewmembers were safely transferred to Pier 38. No injuries were reported.

The Lady Anna was towed in to Pier 17 by a water taxi after a marine surveyor deemed the vessel seaworthy and not in danger of taking on water or having a fire re-flash.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel will investigate the cause of the fire in the coming days and address any repairs necessary for the Lady Anna to resume normal operations. Lady Anna is homeported in Honolulu.

Coast Guard Urges Public in Hawaii to Prepare for Heavy Weather Ahead of Darby

The Coast Guard is urging the public to prepare for the onset of heavy weather expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands, Friday.

boaters manual

Tropical Storm Darby is expected to generate sustained winds of 60 mph, storm surge and surf up to 20 feet along east-facing shores throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Mariners and beachgoers should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television, radio stations and official accounts on social media. Boaters can monitor the progress of the storm on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.

The Coast Guard is working closely with local and state first responder agencies. Once the storm begins to impact the islands, emergency responders may not be able to assist those in danger. The public is urged to heed all evacuation orders. Mariners should seek safe harbor and shelter.

Additionally, mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Smaller boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected for high winds. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

A PDF version of the Hawai’i Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual can be found at the following link: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/SeaGrantSearch/TabId/526/ArtMID/3568/ArticleID/354/Hawai%e2%80%98i-Boater%e2%80%99s-Hurricane-and-Tsunami-Safety-Manual.aspx.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

DOT Announces Day-Time Flights to Tokyo Haneda

According to USA Today, Hawaiian Airlines will soon be able to make daytime flights to Japan.

Haneda Airport

Haneda Airport

Currently U.S. flights land at Haneda between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. local time because of noise concerns.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx tentatively announced Wednesday that the four airlines serving  Tokyo’s Haneda airport with night-time flights have been chosen to begin more desirable daytime flights this fall.

American Airlines and Delta Air Airlines will fly from Los Angeles. Delta will also fly from Minneapolis/St. Paul, which is a new route. United Airlines will fly from San Francisco and Hawaiian Airlines will fly from Honolulu.

Full story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2016/07/20/dot-announces-day-time-flights-tokyo/87343386/

New Traffic Signals Being Installed at Mohouli and Kapiolani Intersection

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

Kapiolani Light

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

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

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

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

Hokulea Departs Salem, MA and Arrives in Portsmouth, NH

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea left Salem, Massachusetts on Saturday morning after spending two days engaging with the community. During the stop, the crew was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody Essex Museum’s Oceanic Arts and Culture Gallery, which is currently closed to the public due to renovations.

Visitors come to check out Hōkūleʻa in Salem.

Visitors come to check out Hōkūleʻa in Salem.

This was a significant visit for the crew because of the museum’s collection of 20,000 objects from more than 36 island groups in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Among them are 5,000 Hawaiian objects that form one of the most important collections of its kind outside of Hawaii.

Curator Karen Kramer welcomes the crew into the storage facility where the crew was able to experience traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

Curator Karen Kramer welcomes the crew into the storage facility where the crew was able to experience traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

Part of the collection is one of the three statue images of Hawaiian god Kukailimoku. Only two other large carved images of Kukailimoku have survived: one at the British Museum and the other at the Bishop Museum. The three Ku images were brought together for the first time in more than 150 years for a groundbreaking exhibit at Bishop Museum in 2010.

Curator Karen Kramer explains a little about the Hawaiian artifacts in their collection.

Curator Karen Kramer explains a little about the Hawaiian artifacts in their collection.

Hokulea departed Salem on Saturday at about 6:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. HST) for Portsmouth, NH where the crew arrived at about 2:00 p.m. and were greeted by three members of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People, led by Chief Paul Pouliot. The voyaging canoe is scheduled to depart Portsmouth on Tuesday, July 19, for Portland, Maine.

Halfway to Hawaii – 59 “Pacific Cup” Entrants Underway

The biennial Pacific Cup attracted 64 entrants for the 2070 nautical mile course from San Francisco to Hawaii, with the fleet divided among four staggered starts on July 11, 12, 14, and 15. With 59 of the 64 teams underway, here is a report from the race office on July 17.

Halfway

Halfway to Hawaii! Overnight, the first of the racers reached their halfway point, but it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of time for celebration given the big breeze carrying them along at top speeds. The forecast still looks strong and near perfect for the entire fleet with wind speeds in the high teens to mid 20s.

Concerns about the tropical storms are waning, with Cecilia moving off to the north and hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. Closer to Hawaii, racers will be facing squalls, advancing the big dogs and challenging the smaller boats. Everyone will be focused on VMG and gybing in local shifts.

Standings

As of this morning’s position reports, in the Kolea Double Handed Division, Moore 24 Mas! retains her lead in division and Pac Cup overall with another impressive 203 mile 24 hour run and 198 mile CMG (course made good). Second in division, Nozomi also recorded a 200+ mile day and Evermoore continues in third place.

In the North Sails Double Handed 2 Division, Sailing for ALS holds the lead on corrected time while California Condor is on a pace to potentially be the first boat to finish. With half the race to go, lighter boats like Wolfpack will be looking to erase the gap, and the maxis in the BMW of San Rafael Division will likely blast past the entire fleet.

As of the halfway point, the Cal 40 Redhead continues to lead in Honu Division A, ahead of Windswept Lady who has slowly been closing the gap.

Continuing to hold her first place position in the Weems and Plath Division B, is J/42 Tiki J. However Encore and RV Aloha are nipping at her heels, and with half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.

In the Alaska Airlines Division, Express 37s Limitless and Elan are very close, with Limitless maintaining a slight edge. Close behind are race veterans Sweet Okole and Tiki Blue.

Competition in the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division is extremely close, with current leader J World’s Hula Girl maintaining a slight lead over Surprise, and Oaxaca. The estimated difference in corrected finish times between the top four boats in this division is less than six hours, with over 1300 miles to go.

Pyewacket, the early leader in the BMW of San Rafael ORR Division, continues on a quick pace having logged 363 miles over the past 24 hours. Rio 100 covered an impressive 470 miles with an average VMG of nearly 20kts, and she could be on a pace to beat Mari Cha’s record of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 10 seconds. The 56 ft. rocket ship Varuna VI is charging along at over 18 kts, and had a 434 mile 24 hour run. (Note that due to her late arrival in SF Bay, Varuna’s PHRF certificate has not yet been issued, so her overall ranking is not being calculated in the standings.)

In the Latitude 38 Cruising Division Ticket II remains well ahead of the rest of the fleet, but they’re now being passed by the racers.

Reports from the racers indicate that many repairs have been required – not surprising given the conditions, especially the large and sometimes confused seas that can slam the boats around. The lack of sunshine has also been an issue for those boats relying solely on solar power to charge electronics such as sat phones and navigation computers.

Spadefoot, reported some significant resourcefulness, after losing the use of their sprit following a wipe out. Initially expecting that they would be out of the race, they’re now back in the hunt.

2 Pilots Rescued From Downed Small Plane Off Kona

Survivors of a downed small plane were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard off Kona, Thursday, following a joint search involving the U.S. Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews.

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department personnel stand with the mother of Sidney Uemoto following her daughter's rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department personnel stand with the mother of Sidney Uemoto following her daughter’s rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew hoisted the survivors at 11:35 a.m. about nine miles north of the Kona airport, a mile and half offshore. They were flown to the airport where they were met by awaiting emergency medical crews and treated for minor injuries.

The mother of Sidney Uemoto checks on her daughter following her daughter's rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

The mother of Sidney Uemoto checks on her daughter following her daughter’s rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

A commercial helicopter flying along the Kona coast sighted a debris field and reported it to the Coast Guard. One of the Dolphin crews was diverted to investigate and sighted the survivors. They vectored in a second Dolphin crew with a rescue swimmer aboard to conduct the hoist. The survivors were both wearing lifejackets and were swimming toward shore at the time.

Coast Guard crews safely deliver David McMahon and Sidney Uemoto to emergency medical personnel in Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016, following their rescue nine miles off Kona. They were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. They reportedly sustained only minor injures in the crash. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

Coast Guard crews safely deliver David McMahon and Sidney Uemoto to emergency medical personnel in Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016, following their rescue nine miles off Kona. They were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. They reportedly sustained only minor injures in the crash. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

Involved in the search were:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane crews and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Air Station Barbers Point
  • A Navy MH-60R helicopter crew from the USS Chung Hoon (DDG-93) and the crew of the ship
  • The USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349)
  • A Royal New Zealand air force P3K2 Orion airplane crew
  • HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from the 353rd Special Operations Group from Kadena Air Base, Japan

At 3:15 p.m. watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received notification from Honolulu control facility personnel that the pilot of a dual engine aircraft with two people aboard radioed them reporting and in air emergency. The tower confirmed they then lost contact with the pilot and the plane no longer appeared on radar.

The plane was reportedly traveling to Kona from Oahu, not Maui as previously reported, with the last known position approximately 25 miles northwest of Kona. A Navy P3 Orion airplane was on approach to Kona and overheard the pilot’s call to the tower. The Orion crew initially diverted to investigate the report, but is not involved in the search.

Watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast advising mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to JRCC. They also directed the launch of assets to respond.

Me at the helm of USS Chung Hoon

Me at the helm of USS Chung Hoon

The Chung Hoon is homeported in Pearl Harbor. The Galveston Island is homeported in Honolulu. The Chung Hoon, Royal New Zealand air force and U.S. Air Force HC-130 are participating in RIMPAC 2016.

Hokulea Arrives in Salem, Massachusetts

Hokulea, the legendary voyaging canoe from Hawaii, arrived in Salem before noon on Thursday, July 14. The canoe and her crew left Boston at around 6:30 a.m., where they spent four days interacting with local Native American communities, schools and maritime groups.

Salem3Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Salem Maritime National Historic Site Superintendent Paul DuPrey, and representatives from the Salem community welcomed Hokulea with a ceremony at Salem’s Central Wharf. The engagement highlighted the connection between Salem’s maritime community and Polynesian seafaring history.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe to Salem’s historic waterfront. We’re proud to be one of your global voyage ports in the midst of your multi-year circumnavigation of the globe to raise awareness of Polynesian maritime culture and ocean conservation,” said Driscoll. “Amazing, this vessel, and the trip that you’ve made. Courageous, I should say,” added Driscoll. During the arrival ceremony, the mayor presented the Hokulea crew with the official city seal.

During their stay at Salem, the crew plans to hold environmental and cultural education programs and offer canoe tours to the public. The public is encouraged to follow the Salem Maritime NHS event page and Hokulea on Facebook for scheduling updates and changes.

Pending weather and safety issues, Hokulea will be departing for Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Saturday morning. The Worldwide Voyage will continue to spread its Malama Honua message over the summer as it sails up the east coast to Maine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hokulea Arrives in Boston

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea is continuing to visit communities in the New England area. The canoe was greeted by representatives from the Massachusett Tribe and a large crowd of residents when she arrived in Boston at Fan Pier on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. EST (11:00 a.m. HST). The Boston welcome ceremony also included performances by a Boston hula halau, Samoan dancers and Native American dancers and drummers.

Hokulea Boston 2

Hokulea is scheduled to stay in Boston for four days during which the crew will hold public canoe tours, meet with local Native American communities, schools and maritime groups. Today, the public will have an opportunity to meet the crew and learn more about Polynesian wayfinding, ocean protection and the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage during a Talk Story event hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

hokulea bostonPrior to arriving in Boston, Hokulea spent three days in New Bedford, MA, where the crew conducted canoe tours and dockside activities. The canoe is scheduled to depart Boston on July 14, and then sail to Salem, MA.

Commentary – DOT Decision Will Have Negative Impact on Traffic and Construction Industry

I’m deeply concerned about the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s decision to focus entirely on system preservation, and deferring new highway projects for the next 20 years. This decision will have a negative impact on traffic congestion, and the health of
Hawaii’s construction industry.

Saddle Road Extension

Saddle Road Extension

There is several highway improvement projects on both sides of the Big Island (Waimea mini-bypass, Saddle Road Extension, Highway 130 widening, etc) that are slated for deferral as a result of this decision. These proposed projects will help improve traffic flow, and employ a significant amount construction workers over the life these projects.

The decision to focus solely on system preservation projects will likely employ less construction workers, and won’t help mitigate traffic congestion. This is an extremely shortsighted decision, as a balance between system preservation and adding capacity needs to be found.

HDOT asserts they need more funding to do their mission. They need to sell this to the public at large. For example, they have to come up with a 20% of  the cost of  new highway to qualify for the 80%  FHWA match, which has put system preservation on the back burner.

I also propose HDOT do away with the weight tax, and replace it with a vehicle registration tax, which would be based upon how old the vehicle is. In addition, they need to increase the gasoline tax, and find a way to assess a fee on hybrid/electric vehicles that use less gasoline. These vehicles are not paying their fair share to use our highways.

HDOT’s decision to arbitrarily reallocate more money to the system preservation over more capacity is extremely unwise. The population of our state will continue to increase over the next 20 years, so new highways will have to be constructed to improve our transportation infrastructure.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Island Air 48-Hour Summer Sale – $64 Flights to Kona & Lihue

Summer fun has just begun with Island Air’s 48-hour summer sale. From Wednesday, July 6 through Thursday, July 7, Island Air is offering special summer fares on its newest routes to Kona and Līhu‘e starting at $64* one way. The travel period is July 20 through October 6, 2016. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

Island Air

“Interisland travel is such an integral part of summer in Hawai‘i, and we want to make it a little easier for families to ‘Fly the Island Way,’” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air.

*Island Air’s special summer promotional fares start at $64 one way for weekday flights, are non-refundable and non-transferable, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice. The fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee. Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

ABOUT ISLAND AIR:

Island Air is the value leader in the Hawaiian Islands, offering 238 convenient flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. The affordable alternative for interisland travel, Island Air’s 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft are able to provide captivating aerial views of Hawai‘i’s remarkable landscapes. Founded in 1980 as Princeville Airways, the company was renamed Island Air in 1992 and has been proudly serving the islands of Hawai‘i for more than 35 years.

For more information about Island Air or to make a reservation, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 652-6541. Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

Illegal Dirt Bike Racing Results in 46 Citations – 10 Impounds

46 criminal citations were written and 10 off-road motorcycles were impounded as evidence after officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) observed illegal dirt biking in Maui’s Kula Forest Reserve on Sunday, July 3, 2016.

DLNR

Officers cited one juvenile and nine adults and they each face multiple charges including prohibited motorized vehicle operation in a non-designated area; prohibited operation of non-four wheel drive vehicle; and several counts of vehicle and transportation prohibitions for unlicensed, untaxed and no plates. The dirt bikers allegedly accessed the forest reserve by trespassing through private property.

Acting DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla said, “Our Maui officers have been receiving on-going complaints from hikers, hunters, and mountain bikers about illegal motorcycle riding on trails designated for foot or mountain bike traffic only.  Hikers report having to jump off the trail due to a motorcyclist operating illegally.  Areas of cultural significance are being damaged and natural resources are being negatively impacted.” The Kula Forest Service on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala contains designated hunting areas, numerous recreational hiking and mountain bike trails, as well as Polipoli State Park.

Redulla commented, “Some social media postings are painting DOCARE’s actions in a negative light and the dirt bikers as victims.  Our officers are sworn to uphold the laws, rules and regulations, designed to protect public safety and the natural and cultural resources of Hawaii.  To suggest, their actions, based on public complaints, is somehow wrong, is quite simply, not accurate.” 

Hokulea Reaches Woods Hole After Making Connections in Martha’s Vineyard

Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea started the month of July with a sail to a new destination. After various engagements within the Martha’s Vineyard community, Hokulea departed at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 1 to make the journey over to Woods Hole.

Woods HoleA few members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe and local community organizers that the crew connected with at Martha’s Vineyard accompanied the Hokulea crewmembers on their latest sail.

woods hole2The canoe’s noon arrival at Woods Hole was marked by a greeting at Dyer’s Dock from representatives of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal nation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute community. A short welcome ceremony was performed, including the performance of a song written about Hokulea by the children of the Neekun School, a Wôpanâak Language immersion program.

woods hole3“In this day and age, we know that it can be confusing about what is meaningful. But this is. This gathering, this togetherness is historical and we will speak of it for generations to come,” said Ramona Peters, an elder of the Mashpee Wampanoag, during the arrival ceremony.

woods hole4Today, the Hokulea crew are attending the  Mashpee Wampanoag’s 95th annual powwow. The three-day long Native American event filled with traditional songs, dances, cultural ceremonies and other intertribal activities will honor Hokulea as part of the program.

woods hole5The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present-day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years.

woods hole6The crew and canoe are scheduled to participate in Woods Hole community events on July 4, departing July 5 for New Bedford followed by Boston.

Kahana Drive Bridge Repair Completed

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

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

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

Hilo Fourth of July Parking Restrictions

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces that motorists may not park on Downtown Hilo playing fields between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday, July 4.

fireworksThe temporary parking ban is being implemented to provide for the safety of people attending the Fourth of July Hilo Bay Blast celebration.

The temporary parking ban will apply to all County of Hawai‘i athletic fields located along Kamehameha Avenue in the downtown Hilo area. Signs and barricades will designate the areas where parking is prohibited.

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

Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines Forge Code-Share Partnership

Philippine Airlines (PR)  and Hawaiian Airlines (HA) recently forged a code-share partnership which will provide passengers convenient connections between the Philippines and the Hawaiian Islands.

Philippine Airlnes
“Philippine Airlines is proud to forge a codeshare partnership with Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu in O‘ahu to the  inter-island points of Līhu‘e, Hilo, Kona, and Maui.  From these points, passengers can visit other neighboring island destinations including Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island,”  PAL President Jaime J. Bautista said.

Passengers on PAL’s five times weekly Honolulu flights will have a seamless transfer to Hawaiian Airlines. PR passengers will be checked-in all the way to their final destination.

“As we widen our route network, we aim to not only provide point to point travel, but to create passenger traffic beyond the main gateways. All these are geared towards providing passenger convenience and satisfaction,” Bautista added.

The code share flights will be made available in conjunction with the flag carrier’s weekly service to Honolulu. Passengers on the HA/PR code-share flights between the inter-island points and Honolulu now have the chance to seamlessly connect to PAL’s regular flights between Honolulu and Manila and journey onto any of the flag carrier’s 30 domestic destinations.

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) is the 1st US Carrier Code Share Partner of PAL.

Hokulea Arrives at Martha’s Vineyard for the First Time in Her History

Hokulea achieved another first in her epic Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage: the famed voyaging canoe and her crew arrived at Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, an area accessible only by boat or air travel.

Marthas VineyardThe canoe’s interaction with the local community highlighted the area’s thriving Native American tribes and innovative sustainability practices.

Marthas Vineyard2Hokulea’s sail to the dock was escorted by a mishoon, a traditional dugout canoe that the Wampanoag – a Native American tribe on the US east coast – had just finished building.

Marthas Vineyard3The mishoon is the first one built on the island in over 300 years. Captain Bruce Blankenfeld displayed two strands of wampum (beads made from shell) that the crew received from the tribe, to acknowledge the Wampanoag nation’s welcome.

Marthas Vineyard4Hundreds of local community members on the dock greeted the crewmembers from Hawaii with a welcoming ceremony.

Marthas Vineyard5Customary chants and speeches were exchanged between the Hokulea crew and the Wampanoag, in honor of each group’s respective traditions. The crew was also presented with gifts of school-grown food from the Edgartown School students.

Marthas Vineyard6The canoe’s arrival was particularly meaningful to Sanford Low, a Hokulea crewmember and current resident of Martha’s Vineyard. “To me, this day could not have gone better; it was full of aloha, it was full of spirit, and it was just plain joy,” Low said. “This is really a joining of two different islands across a massive ocean… This canoe has come, these people, this crew has come to learn from the people of Martha’s Vineyard and take back to Hawaii.”

Marthas Vineyard7Hokulea will remain docked at Martha’s Vineyard for a few days, and crewmembers will set up tents and exhibits for the local community to learn more about the Malama Honua message of taking care of Island Earth.

Marthas Vineyard8The canoe is slated to continue her sail to Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Friday.