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City and County of Honolulu Donates Buses to Hawai’i County Mass Transit

Hawai’i County Mass Transit will soon take delivery of seven buses donated by the City and County of Honolulu, a much-needed boost to the Big Island’s beleaguered bus fleet.

The seven buses, built in 1997, have been retired from service on O‘ahu, but are still in working condition. According to a press release from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office, similar buses have a typical lifespan of a million miles, and are still used in TheBus operations.

Pictured (left to right): Hawai‘i County Mass Transit Administrator Curtis Sharp, Mayor Caldwell, O‘ahu Transit Services General Manager Roger Morton, Honolulu Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi.

Honolulu has regularly donated retired buses to Hawai’i, Maui and Kaua‘i Counties. The most recent donation to the Big Island was five buses in 2014. This year’s entire allotment of seven buses to the Neighbor Islands went to the Big Island due to its urgent needs.

The donated buses this time are expected to go into service here during the week of July 10.

Mass Transit consultant Curtis Sharp said that the donation was sorely-needed, with many of the HeleOn fleet sidelined. Five of the seven donated buses will replace five vehicles needing maintenance; repairs will proceed with an eye to getting a total of 10 buses on the road.

“We’re shooting for the end of July to have 10 buses running effectively,” Sharp said. “The two remaining donated buses will serve as back-ups.”

O‘ahu Transit Services maintenance personnel have kept thorough maintenance records of these vehicles and are turning over these records, preventative maintenance schedules, and service manuals to ensure Hele-On’s maintenance team a successful transition into their fleet.

“We sincerely appreciate the hand that Honolulu has offered us,” Sharp said. He thanked Young Brothers for waiving shipment charges for the buses.

Transpacific Yacht Race 2017 Begins – Organizers Expecting a Record-Breaking Year

Today, dozens of boats will make the 2,225-mile journey from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head in the 49th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race, more commonly known as Transpac. There are currently 55 monohull and multihull entries from the U.S., Japan, Australia, Norway, Italy, Canada, Peru, England and Russia, ranging in size from 33 to 100 feet. There will be three separate waves that start today, Wednesday and Thursday.

“This year’s race attracted a strong turnout of new racers, including Ken Read with his 100-footer Comanche, navigated by well-known racer Stan Honey,” said Bo Wheeler, Commodore of the Transpacific and Kaneohe yacht clubs. “Read and crew will be seeking to add another elapsed time race record to Comanche’s outstanding record inventory. Weather permitting, Comanche will try to beat the current monohull course record of 5 days 14 hours 36 minutes 20 seconds, set by Alpha Romeo in 2005, and have her name recorded permanently on the Transpacific Honolulu Race Elapsed Time Trophy that was created and donated by Transpac veteran Roy Disney.”

Wheeler said that Manouch Moshayedi’s 100-foot, fixed keel Rio 100 is back to defend and break her 2015 Barn Door Trophy victory for the first to finish monohull to cross the Diamond Head buoy. He added that the current multihull course record is also expected to be broken by contenders that include Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3 and H L Enloe’s ORMA60 Mighty Merloe, among others. The bulk of the rest of the fleet will be competing for corrected time trophies in their classes.

Transpac was originally inspired by King David Kalakaua to initiate the islands’ economic and cultural ties to the mainland. His yacht, Healani, won the first Challenge Trophy on July 4, 1889. During the years that the king was an active yachting enthusiast, it was his custom to invite the skippers and crews of the competing boats to join him at his boat house following the July 4 race.  He would fill the Challenge Trophy, as it was originally named, with champagne and pass it around for all to enjoy; hence the trophy’s colloquial name—the Kalakaua Cup.
​​
There is currently one entry from Hawaii: last Transpac winner, Grand Illusion, skippered by James McDowell. In 1999, 2011 and 2015, McDowell and Grand Illusion won the King Kalakaua Trophy, which is awarded to the first place overall yacht in corrected time.

There will be traditional Aloha Welcoming parties as each boat crosses the finish line and a variety of celebratory events for all participants. (Full Transpac Race 2017 Event Schedule below.) The prestigious King Kalakaua Cup and other trophies will be handed out at the Honolulu Awards Ceremony at The Modern Honolulu ballroom on Friday, July 21.

Update on Tonight’s Saddle Road Accident at Intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road

Situation Found at Scene: Two car Motor Vehicle Accident involving an SUV and full size pick-up truck.  Accident occurred as the SUV was traveling north crossing Saddle Road and was broadsided by the pick up truck that was traveling east on Saddle Rd.

Cause: Under investigation

Remarks: The driver of the truck was uninjured and refused treatment at the scene.  The driver and passenger of the SUV were transported to Hilo Medical Center, in serious condition, by Medic 3 and Chopper 2.  Saddle Road was closed for approximately one hour during the incident.

AirAsia X Touches Down in Honolulu – Inaugural Flight Marks Successful Entry Into the U.S.

Flight D7 001 from long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X landed at Honolulu International Airport on June 28, marking the airline’s first foray into the US.

(PRNewsfoto/AirAsia X)

The four times weekly route departed from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Honolulu, Hawaii via Osaka, Japan.

The successful inaugural flight was followed by a celebration and press conference event at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, graced by State of Hawaii Chief of Staff Mike McCartney; Malaysian Ambassador to the US HE Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique; Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George D. Szigeti; AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail.

AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said, “We are here to democratize air travel for everyone so flying long haul would no longer be a luxury only a few could enjoy. This landmark route to Hawaii is a bold new chapter in that quest to help more people travel farther for less. But this is just the beginning, and soon our guests will be able to enjoy flights to even more destinations in the US as we continue to grow our international footprint.”

Last week, AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline for the ninth straight years while AirAsia X won the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Premium Seat awards for the fifth consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards held at the Paris Air Show.

“We are deeply honored AirAsia X has chosen Honolulu as its initial destination to expand service in the United States and appreciate how this route strengthens our ties with the people and culture of Malaysia,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “AirAsia X customers in Kuala Lumpur and Osaka will enjoy the convenience of this direct service and how it connects them with the welcoming aloha spirit of the Hawaiian culture, the spectacular natural beauty of our islands, and the diversity of Asia Pacific influences that enriches the experience of being in Hawaii.”

To celebrate the inaugural flight, AirAsia X will be offering one-way fares from as low as USD189* for a standard seat or USD799* for the award-winning Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur; or USD149* for a standard seat or USD699* for the Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Osaka. These promotional fares are available on airasia.com now through July 2 for travel between October 1, 2017 and August 28, 2018.

The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is known around the world for its iconic, modern skyline featuring the Petronas Twin Towers. The city is a major shopping haven for tourists and its multi-cultural culinary scene attracts visitors from across the globe. Outside the city limits, Kuala Lumpur serves as a gateway to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Melaka, just about two hour’s drive away from the airport. No matter what your interests, it all happens in Kuala Lumpur.

Osaka is Japan’s third largest city located in the Kansai region. A city that loves to eat, Osaka’s unofficial slogan is kuidaore. which literally means ‘eat until you drop.’ Takoyaki (octopus balls), Okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), udon and other traditional Japanese culinary are some of the must-try food in Osaka. Visitor can stroll along the river at Dotombori and take a selfie with the famous Glico billboard, visit the majestic Osaka Castle, enjoy the thrills at Universal Studio Japan and many more.

* One-way all-in fare inclusive of taxes and fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) via Osaka, Japan (KIX)

Note: All times listed are local unless otherwise stated.

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Emergency Power Facility in Full Operation

The Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division and Hawaiian Electric Company today announced that the Emergency Power Facility (EPF) at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) is in full operation.

The facility, which uses four generators running on biofuels to provide up to 10 megawatts of power, was built by and is owned by the State of Hawaii. During non-emergencies, the EPF is operated by Hawaiian Electric to provide electricity to the grid. In an emergency, it can be operated in “islanded” mode to provide backup power for the airport, even if the rest of the island’s power grid is damaged.

Final testing of the facility was completed in June and the plant began providing electricity to the grid last weekend. Hawaiian Electric pays the Airports Division for its use and also pays for the maintenance of the generators.

“Continuing operations at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport during and after a catastrophic event is critical for the state. The new Emergency Power Facility will be able to provide backup electricity to the airport during a power outage,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation director. “The EPF is better for the environment since it works on biofuels instead of fossil fuels, further adding to its benefit.”

The power plant was designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and a 2,500-year recurrence earthquake. It can also use jet fuel in a protracted emergency.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership that provides benefits to our community and to the tourism industry,” said Ron Cox, senior vice president of operations for Hawaiian Electric. “These new, efficient generators are a cost-effective addition to the resources available to meet the island’s energy needs.”

This dual-operating arrangement that utilizes biofuels is believed to be the first of its kind at a major U.S. airport. Principal construction of the $23-million facility was completed in 2014, followed by interconnection work and the installation and testing of control systems.

Hawai‘i Community College to Host Car Show Featuring Automotive Celebrity Charley Hutton

Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai’i CC) will host a car show on Saturday, July 15 with featured guest Charley Hutton, one of the most talented and well-known automotive painters and fabricators in the world.

The Hawai‘i Community College Auto Body Repair & Painting Car Show will be at the Manono campus in Hilo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

During the week prior to the car show, Hutton will teach special workshops for Hawai‘i CC students in the Auto Body Repair & Painting Program (ABRP) and local industry professionals.

A Hawai’i CC Auto Body Repair & Painting student works in the paint booth at the campus in Hilo.

“We are honored Charley will visit us,” said ABRP instructor and alumnus of the program Garrett Fujioka. “This is an exciting opportunity for our students to learn from one of the best in the business. We are also thrilled to be hosting this car show, which will hopefully become an annual Hawai‘i CC tradition that helps inspire the next generation of local auto body repair and painting experts.”

A Porsche 356 Speedster rebuilt and painted by Hawai’i CC instructor Garrett Fujioka.

The car show will feature a variety of vehicles, including show cars, race cars, classics, imports, cruisers and trucks. The event will also feature door prizes every hour, refreshments, entertainment, and opportunities to meet Hutton. Any proceeds will benefit the ABRP Program.

About the Auto Body Program

The Hawai‘i CC Auto Body Repair & Painting Program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Certificate of Achievement. The program provides classroom and hands-on live lab training that represents the latest technological trends in the industry. Alumni have established successful careers on Hawai‘i Island and elsewhere as auto repair professionals and business owners.

More about Charley Hutton

Hutton is the owner of Charley Hutton’s Color Studio and has appeared on reality television shows American Hot Rod and Overhaulin’. He is the winner of four Ridler Awards. The Ridler Award is given annually at Detroit Autorama to the hot rod that exhibits the highest degree of creativity, engineering and design. It is considered the most prestigious award of its kind.

DLNR Issues Notice of Alleged Violations to Simon Valej of Hang Loose Boat Tours

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued a Notice of Alleged Violations to Simon Valej of Hang Loose Boat Tours for Alleged Unauthorized Alteration of Historic Properties and Unauthorized Land Use Within the Conservation District Located at Punalu‘u Wharf, Ka‘u, Hawai‘i.

A site inspection conducted on June 26, 2017, revealed remnants of the historic Punalu‘u Wharf have been impacted allegedly with heavy equipment, and significant ground disturbance has occurred with the State Land Use Conservation District.

State of Hawai‘i historic preservation laws state that it is a civil and administrative violation for any person to take, appropriate, excavate, injure, destroy, or alter any historic property or burial site during the course of land development or land alteration activities, without obtaining the required approvals; and State of Hawai‘i Administrative Rules for land use(s) within the State Land Use Conservation District state that no land use (s) shall be conducted in a Conservation District unless a permit or approval is first obtained from the DLNR or the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR). It is alleged that Mr. Valej failed to obtain any such approvals from the State.

For historic preservation violations, the statute states: Any person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $10,000 for each separate violation. If the violator directly or indirectly has caused the loss of, or damage to, any historic property or burial site, the violator shall be fined an additional amount determined by the court or an administrative adjudicative authority to be equivalent to the value of the lost or damaged historic property or burial site. Each day of continued violation of this provision shall constitute a distinct and separate violation for which the violator may be punished. Equipment used by a violator for the taking, appropriation, excavation, injury, destruction, or alteration of any historic property or burial site, shall be subject to seizure and disposition by the State without compensation to its owner or owners.

For violations of Land Use Conservation District administrative rules: the BLNR may subject individuals to fines of up to $15,000.00 per violation in addition to administrative costs. If activity continues after written or verbal notice from the DLNR, willful violation may incur an additional fine of up to $15,000.00 per day per violation for each day in which the violation persists.

In the Notice of Alleged Violations sent to Mr. Valej, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case writes, “This notice is to inform you that the alleged alteration and destruction of historic properties, and permanent change in the land area within the Conservation District created by the land use was not reviewed nor authorized by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The matter will be scheduled for a decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources at a time and date to be announced.”

DLNR is working with Hawai‘i County to further investigate allegations that the company left two piles of dirt on the shore after trying to excavate land for a launch. It is also attempting to work with the land owner on mitigation measures with respect to potential impacts in the ocean.

Hang Loose Boat Tours has a valid commercial use permit (CUP) from the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR). Its access permit from the private land owner was revoked, so unless the company can show it has another access point, which is required for the commercial use permit, DOBOR could ask the Land Board to revoke it.

Coast Guard Accepts 24th Fast Response Cutter

The Coast Guard accepted the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124), the 24th Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards, Tuesday morning in a ceremony at Coast Guard Sector Key West.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) cruises out of Key West, Fla., following the cutter’s delivery to the Coast Guard, June 27, 2017. The Oliver Berry is the 24th Fast Response Cutter to be delivered to the service and will homeport in Honolulu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll/Released)

The cutter, which is 154-feet long and has a crew complement of 24, will be homeported in Honolulu.

The Oliver Berry is tentatively scheduled for commissioning in October in Honolulu. It is the first Fast Response Cutter to be stationed in the Coast Guard’s 14th Coast Guard District, which covers the state of Hawaii, the U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa, various Pacific Island nations and parts of Asia.

The cutter’s namesake, Oliver Berry, is the first enlisted helicopter mechanic in naval aviation history and was an instrumental part in pioneering the use of the helicopter for search and rescue after World War II. In September 1946, he successfully disassembled a helicopter in Brooklyn, New York, organized transportation from New York to Newfoundland, Canada, and reassembled the helicopter for use to rescue 18 stranded passengers of a Belgian airliner that crashed near Gander, Newfoundland. He subsequently received the Silver Medal of the Order of Leopold II from the Belgian monarchy for his efforts.

The Fast Response Cutter is replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats, and features advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, as well as an over-the-horizon cutter boat. The cutter features advanced seakeeping capabilities, and can achieve speeds of more than 32 mph (28 knots). The cutter has an endurance of five days. The Coast Guard is in the middle of the FRC acquisition program, with plans to procure a total of 58 vessels.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) stand for a photo upon the cutter’s delivery to the Coast Guard in Key West, Fla., June 27, 2017. The Oliver Berry is the 24th Fast Response Cutter to be delivered to the service and will homeport in Honolulu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll/Released)

Oliver Berry is designed for multiple missions, including law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, waterways and coastal security, search and rescue, and national defense. For more information about this cutter, please contact 14th District Public Affairs at 808-535-3230 or Oliver Berry’s executive officer at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscg.mil.

22 DUI’s Last Week on the Big Island

During the week of June 19, 2017, through June 25, 2017, Hawaiʻi Island police arrested 22 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Six of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. Two of the drivers were under the age of 21.So far this year, there have been 560 DUI arrests compared with 535 during the same period last year, an increase of 4.67 percent.

There have been 675 major accidents so far this year compared with 720 during the same period last year, a decrease of 6.25 percent.

To date, there were 18 fatal crashes (one of which had multiple deaths), resulting in 20 fatalities, compared with 10 fatal crashes (one of which had multiple deaths), resulting in 11 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 80 percent for fatal crashes, and 81.82 percent for fatalities.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island-wide.

Hilo International Airport (ITO) Receives Outstanding Airport Award From Federal Aviation Administration

Hawaii Department Of Transportation is pleased to announce that the Hilo International Airport (ITO) received an award for outstanding and continued safety and compliance performance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the Annual Airports Conference Awards on June 13, 2017.

From left to right: Winsome Lenfert, FAA Acting Associate Administrator for Airports; Steven Santiago, Hilo International Airport District Manager; Mark McClardy, FAA Western Pacific Region Director of Airports

Under the direction of Airport District Manager Steven Santiago, the Hilo International Airport flourishes because of its strong leadership and the devotion of its staff to constantly improve the airport’s facilities, aviation safety programs, and community outreach.

The Hilo International Airport continues to thrive largely because of the capital improvements and maintenance projects that enhance the airport’s facilities. This year several projects are planned including terminal improvements to the existing airport restrooms; design of the arcade building upgrades which include enclosing and air conditioning the second floor; and the design and reconstruction of the aircraft apron areas. There will also be construction for noise attenuation to benefit the surrounding community of Keaukaha, parking lot repaving at the main terminal, and the addition of vehicle canopies over the parking lot entries and exits.

In addition to airport facility projects, a major component that elevates Hilo International Airport is its outstanding aviation safety program. Santiago has shown dedication to the implementation of activities that have improved airport safety. He identified and implemented services for the pilot community including safety briefings and airport operating rules, and he exposed pilots to WINGS, an FAA educational pilot proficiency program.

It is the leadership and integrity of Santiago and his team that makes Hilo International Airport worthy of the Outstanding Airport Award. HDOT strives for growth and efficiency at the Hilo International Airport in order to create a safe and comfortable environment that will leave visitors and residents with a positive impression of Hawaii.

HDOT is making improvements to our airports statewide through the Hawaii Airports Modernization program. More information can be found by clicking here.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Comments on Earthjustice Lawsuit

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is tasked with ensuring that the State of Hawaii’s transportation facilities including its airports and harbors are run in a way that protects the safety and well-being of its citizenry. These facilities play a vital role in the life and economy of the State. Currently, 80% of all goods consumed in the State are imported with over 98% of those goods being shipped through Hawaii’s commercial harbors. HDOT also operates the airport system which services more than 34 million total passengers who fly to and from Hawaii each year.

As a trustee of the State’s environmental resources and as required by law, the HDOT also always works to ensure that these facilities are operated in ways that are protective of the Islands’ sensitive resources including threatened and endangered species. To that end, HDOT recently expended hundreds of millions of dollars to install energy efficient lighting improvements at the State airports and commercial harbors to avoid impacts to sensitive species on the Islands as well as millions of dollars to safely translocate the endangered Nene away from airport facilities. HDOT also continues to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies to ensure that operation of the facilities minimize environmental impacts and are consistent with state and federal laws.

On June 15, 2017, the HDOT received a notice dated June 15, 2017 from Earthjustice declaring its intent to sue HDOT on behalf of Hui Hoomalu i Ka Aina, the Conservation Council for Hawaii, and the Center for Biological Diversity for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act in connection with the HDOT’s operation of the State’s airport and harbor facilities. While HDOT cannot comment on the specific allegations given the threatened litigation, HDOT has and will continue to operate its facilities in manners which are protective of all sensitive species and are consistent with legal requirements.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Solo-Sailor in South Pacific

The Coast Guard suspended the active search Thursday for a solo-sailor aboard the 36-foot sailing vessel Celebration last reported 1,800 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

Richard Carr, 71, remains missing.

“Mr. Carr had a deep passion for sailing and was on a very long and arduous voyage,” said Capt. Robert Hendrickson, chief of response, Coast Guard 14th District. “Our thanks to all our partners and the many mariners who helped us search for this vessel in one of the most remote regions of the world in an attempt to locate Mr. Carr. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends and also to the sailing community.”

Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules and French Falcon Guardian aircrews and the crews of three commercial vessels, two of which searched with embarked helicopters, conducted 17 searches in the region without any sign of the vessel. Search and rescue personnel from Rescue Coordination Centers in Tahiti and China also assisted in communications and planning evolutions.  Fishing fleets from several Pacific nations assisted by making callouts in their areas with no response from Carr. Limited vessel traffic and a lack of land to use as aircraft staging areas reduced the number of available assets and resources.

Weather on scene the day of Carr’s last communication was reportedly 11.5 mph winds, seas to 6-feet with good visibility.

On-scene assets searched a total area of more than 59,598 square miles (51,790 square nautical miles), an area the size of Oklahoma, over the 24-day period.

Involved in the search were:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point working out of Tahiti
  • French Falcon Guardian airplane crews out of Tahiti
  • Fishing Vessel American Enterprise: 258-foot U.S.-flagged seiner
  • Motor Vessel Hokuetsu Ibis: 688-foot Panamanian-flagged cargo ship
  • Fishing Vessel El Duque: 259-foot Mexican-flagged seiner

The Coast Guard recommends multiple means of communications and proper emergency equipment and supplies, such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) when sailing near and offshore.

May 28, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received notification from Coast Guard 11th District watchstanders reporting Carr had communicated to his spouse via a GPS message device that he was in distress. The spouse forwarded the information to the Coast Guard and based on his last communications strongly suspected her husband was suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

Upon notification, JRCC Honolulu issued a SafetyNet alerting vessel crews in the area to keep a sharp lookout for the Celebration and efforts to identify potential response resources began. Carr was reportedly on a voyage from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, and had been at sea for a couple of weeks.

Hawaii Legislative Leaders Target Special Session on Rail for July or August

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (Kauai, Niihau) and House Speaker Scott K. Saiki (McCully, Kakaako, Kaheka, Downtown) sent a joint letter to the Executive Director of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) advising the FTA of the Legislature’s commitment to convene a special session in July or August.

Click to view full letter

Although no specific dates have been set for the special session and no rail funding mechanism has been agreed upon, Speaker Saiki and President Kouchi said that, “after working with members of our federal delegation, it was deemed necessary and prudent to assure the FTA that the Legislature recognizes and understands the requirements under the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) between the City and County of Honolulu and the FTA.”

Coast Guard Conducts Overflight, Prepares for Return of Hōkūleʻa to Oahu

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point conducted an overflight of the voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and other vessels en route to Oahu from Molokai, Friday morning.

Crewmembers on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, conduct a fly over of the Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hikianalia and other voyaging canoes, June 16, 2017. The Hōkūleʻa will return home to Oahu, June 17 after being gone for 36 months, sailing approximately 40,000 nautical miles around the world. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle/Released)

“We recognize the incredible outpouring of public interest and support surrounding the homecoming of the Hōkūleʻa,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and Captain of the Port. “Along with DOCARE we want to ensure that this is a safe, enjoyable and memorable time with our primary focus being on the safety of all waterway users and responders while we honor the cultural significance of this event.”

Saturday residents and visitors to Oahu will welcome Hōkūleʻa home from their 3 year worldwide voyage. The canoes will sail from a mooring to Waikiki and then up the Ala Wai Canal to Magic Island. Hōkūleʻa and the Hikianalia are expected to moor at Magic Island by 9 a.m., with an official welcome ceremony to follow at 10 a.m.
The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), the City and County of Honolulu Emergency Services Department Division of Ocean Safety, the Honolulu Fire Department, Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Coast Guard are teaming up to provide on-water safety and security for the homecoming.

  • For its transit to Waikiki, water safety assets will be enforcing a 500-yard safety perimeter around Hokule’a. Vessels and canoes may be allowed to operate within the 500-yard safety perimeter with the permission of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, coordinated through the on-scene patrol commander, but will be required to remain a minimum of 100 feet from Hōkūleʻa. All crossing traffic will be prohibited on Hōkūleʻa’s final approach to the Ala Wai Canal.
  • The Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor boat ramp will be closed Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Only vessels returning to their berth in the Ala Wai boat harbor will be allowed up the Ala Wai channel adjacent to Magic Island. All motorized traffic will be asked to turn around and stay out of the canal as the canoes and Hōkūleʻa transit up the Ala Wai to their mooring. This is for safety in an area of limited space and restricted maneuverability.
  • Following the Hōkūleʻa’s mooring, all motor vessels wishing to transit the Ala Wai will require an escort coordinated through DOCARE.
  • Operators of all watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) are reminded to keep a sharp lookout for other traffic and waterway users. They are also reminded not to boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to comply with all state and federal regulations regarding life jackets and other safety equipment.

Army Soldier Surfing Dies in Hawaii When Fishing Boat Runs Over Him

An accident this morning at Waianae Small Boat Harbor involving a fishing boat and a man on a surfboard resulted in the death of the man. According to the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), sometime between 7 to 7:30, a man staying at the nearby Waianae Rest Camp was on a surfboard just outside the harbor. A 21-foot recreational powerboat exiting the harbor ran over the man. He is in the Army stationed at Fort Shafter.

The man was brought back to shore by the vessel with assistance from a commercial tour boat.

Honolulu Police (HPD) and Fire and DOCARE responded. HPD is taking the lead in the investigation, with assistance from DOCARE.

DLNR extends its deepest sympathy to the man’s family.

United Airlines Increasing Routes to Hawaii – Adding Lie-Flat Seating From 5 Hubs

United Airlines (UAL) today announced an increase of service on 11 routes connecting the continental U.S. and Hawaii, offering customers more flights between the mainland and the Hawaiian Islands than any other carrier.

Beginning December 20, United will increase service from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Hawaii. The airline will continue operating its daily nonstop service to Honolulu from all seven domestic hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., plus Guam and Tokyo.

“As we celebrate our 70th anniversary in Hawaii this year, today’s announcement carries a very special significance for our customers,” said Jake Cefolia, United’s vice president of Sales. “Our customers have asked for more ways to get to Hawaii, and by adding these flights we are thrilled to make Hawaii more accessible than ever for our customers travelling from the Midwest, Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions.”

Lie-flat seating from 5 United hubs

Beginning this summer, premium cabin customers on all overnight flights between Hawaii and Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C., will enjoy 180-degree flat-bed seats for a more relaxing and sleep-enhancing flight with custom-designed duvets and pillows provided by leading luxury specialty store and New York-bred retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.

Celebrating 70 years of service in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are an important part of United’s history. With the maiden departure of a United DC-6 Mainliner from San Francisco to Honolulu in May 1947, United played a major role in helping to make Hawaii an easily accessible destination for tourism and business. In fact, United’s West Coast hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco will remain the country’s largest gateways for connecting customers to Hawaii, and in December, United’s Denver hub will be another primary interior gateway to Hawaii, offering customers the ability to get to Hawaii from more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and Canada.

“United Airlines has been a leader in air travel between the mainland and Hawaii for 70 years and the airline continues to deliver positive benefits in our communities,” said Ford Fuchigami, Director of Hawaii’s Department of Transportation. “We look forward to welcoming more flights and visitors to Hawaii and another 70 years of partnership.”

“This combination of increased and enhanced service by United Airlines is fantastic news for Hawaii’s tourism industry, especially with the number of direct flights being added to Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “United’s customers anywhere in the nation will have easy access to all of Hawaii’s major islands and be able to experience our aloha spirit and diversity of culture and natural beauty statewide.”

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Beginning December 20, service between Denver and Kona (KOA), Lihue (LIH) and Maui (OGG) will increase from seasonal to daily year-round service. The airline will continue its year-round daily service from Denver to Honolulu.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Offering the only nonstop service between Chicago and Hawaii, United will increase service to Maui (OGG) to five times per week beginning December 20.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

From Los Angeles, United offers nonstop service to more Hawaiian Island destinations than any other airline. In addition to United’s five times daily service to Honolulu, United will increase service between LAX and Hilo, Kona, Maui and Lihue beginning December 20. United is the only U.S. airline with nonstop service from LAX to Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

From San Francisco, United offers more nonstop service to more Hawaiian Island destinations than any other airline. In addition to its five times daily service between SFO and Honolulu, United will increase service to Kona, Lihue and Maui beginning December 20.

Commentary – Mayor Kim’s Administration Has Made Me Very Discouraged

Mayor Harry Kim’s administration has been in office roughly six months. The way I’ve been treated over this period of time has been nothing short of abysmal, and made me very discouraged about interacting with his administration about transportation issues. It isn’t very appealing to get a phone call from the mayor directly, who proceeds to yell at you over the phone and state that you don’t have the facts straight.

I would let this go if this was my only issue with Mayor Kim,  but it is not. February 6th, 2017 is a day I’ll remember for a very long time. The new Department of Public  Works director Frank DeMarco issued a sweeping  directive against me that stated I cannot talk to anyone at DPW, and would have submit all inquiries directly to the mayor’s office in writing.

I was able to get this directive somewhat amended, so I could go through the DPW public affairs officer. This made a very difficult situation more palatable, but I still couldn’t talk to the front line engineers that I established relationships with. Some of these engineers I’ve known for 10 years or more. As of a result of this ill-advised directive, I can’t communicate with these engineers going forward.

These actions by Frank DeMarco are a stark example that he intends to ignore public feedback regarding transportation issues. Warren Lee, the previous director, welcomed feedback from the public. He went as so far to take me on a tour of the construction of the Mamalahoa Highway bypass at one point.

I’ve helped DPW advance several West Hawaii transportation projects, which has established a favorable track record with these engineers. However, Frank DeMarco stated at council meeting on April 11th that I was making too many inquiries with DPW staff, which was causing problems for DPW and other county departments. This could be farther from the truth, along with being very hurtful.

I’ve lived in here Kailua-Kona over 41 years, and have had only the community’s best interest at heart.  These issues with Mayor Kim’s administration are far and beyond the biggest challenge that I’ve faced with a government entity. We should be working together to make this a better place as I have a lot to offer, but Mayor Kim’s administration insists on treating me like an enemy of the state instead.

Aaron Stene, Kailua-Kona

Editors note – Clip taken from the DPW Homepage. http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/public-works/

Hilo Traffic Alert for Next Week

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be upgrading the traffic signal controller at the Maka‘ala St. and Kanoelehua Ave. intersection on Wednesday, June 14th between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Work will continue on Thursday, June 15th at the Waiānuenue Ave. and Ka‘iulani St. intersection between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.  Work involves removing and replacing the makai bound mast arm and traffic signal.

The traffic signals at both intersections will be shut down during the scheduled work hours and special off-duty police officers will be in the area to facilitate traffic movement.  Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution.

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.

Island Air Flight Attendants, Molokai Police Officer Recognized by Hawaii Governor and Mayors for Lifesaving Actions

Two Island Air flight attendants and an off-duty Moloka‘i police officer were recognized today by Gov. David Ige for recently coming to the aid of a woman in need of medical attention.

Gov. David Ige recognized two Island Air flight attendants and a Moloka‘i police officer for their life saving actions (left to right): Moloka‘i Police Officer Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario; Island Air flight attendant Shanay Coloma; Island Air flight attendant Wendy Nakamura-Chan; Gov. David Ige

On March 6, 2017, Island Air flight attendants Wendy Nakamura-Chan and Shanay Coloma witnessed a medical emergency at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Commuter Terminal in Honolulu. The two flight attendants, who were on reserve assignment at the time, immediately responded when a 50-year-old female passenger became unconscious and unresponsive. With the assistance of Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario, an off-duty police officer from Moloka‘i who was waiting to board a flight, Nakamura-Chan and Coloma used an automated external defibrillator (AED) located in the terminal to revive the passenger. The woman regained consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital for further examination. She was released from the hospital and was able to continue her family vacation on Maui the following day.

“Island Air flight attendants Wendy Nakamura-Chan and Shanay Coloma and Officer Bishaw-Juario came to the aid of a stranger in need, and that speaks volumes about their character,” said Gov. Ige, who presented the three individuals with letters of commendation in the Executive Chambers of the Hawai‘i State Capitol. “Without hesitation, they used their CPR and AED training, and their quick response likely saved a woman’s life. Their actions serve to remind us of the importance of learning CPR and knowing how to properly use automated external defibrillators.”

Earlier this week, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa presented the flight attendants and police officer with commendations in his office, while also declaring June 1-7, 2017 as “CPR/AED Awareness Week” in Maui County. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued Award of Recognition certificates to them.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa recognized two Island Air flight attendants and a Moloka‘i police officer for their life saving actions (left to right): Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa; Island Air flight attendant Wendy Nakamura-Chan; Moloka‘i Police Officer Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario; Island Air flight attendant Shanay Coloma; Maui County Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu; Island Air Vice President of Administration, Safety and Security Dee Airman.

“Wendy and Shanay, with the assistance of Officer Bishaw-Juario, instinctively responded to a critical situation and assisted a passenger in need,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO. “I would also like to thank Gov. Ige and Mayors Arakawa and Caldwell for recognizing these three individuals and raising awareness for training in CPR and the use of AEDs.”

Hokulea Sights the Hawaiian Islands

At 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, the crew of Hokulea sited the sacred mountain of Haleakala, signifying that the legendary canoe is officially back home after sailing for 37 months, 40,000 nautical miles and visiting more than 150 ports in 19 countries around the world. After spending 400 days at sea and 700 days on foreign soil, Hokulea will be bringing home wisdom, lessons and ideas as gifts to share with Hawaii’s children from this voyage of rich learning.

This tremendous voyaging accomplishment was a fitting way for the crew to celebrate World Oceans Day. One year ago today, Hokulea was in New York at the United Nations to participate in World Oceans Day dialogue about the importance of protecting Island Earth – especially the seas Hokulea has sailed throughout the world these past three years.

“We want thank this crew of Hokulea for sailing with such a high level of excellence and commitment to honoring the tradition of voyaging and ancestral navigation,” said Nainoa Thompson president the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “All of us in the voyaging community are extremely proud of them.”

“I also want to express our gratitude to the crews of the 30 other legs and the thousands of people in Hawaii, the Pacific and around the world for allowing this voyage to happen. We are grateful for all that they have given to the success of the voyage,” Thompson added.

Although Hokulea and Hikianalia are in home waters, the canoes are still under kapu until the arrival ceremony at Magic Island on June 17.

“We will be spending the next week slowly making our way towards Oahu,” said Thompson. “We appreciate the aloha and support of friends and families eager to greet our canoes and crew, and we ask for your patience and understanding as we direct all those interested in greeting Hokulea, Hikianalia and our crew to our June 17 arrival at Kalia (Magic Island), Oahu,” he added.

After returning to Oahu, Hokolea and Hikianalia will begin the most important leg of the voyage, which will be an eight-month sail to 30 ports throughout the Hawaiian islands.

“When we sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands, we will go to as many as 70 communities and 100 schools to thank Hawaii’s people and share what we have learned with their children. We are also looking forward to hearing Hawaii stories of Malama Honua,” said Thompson. “Kalia (Magic Island) is the first stop of a year-long homecoming,” he added.