Curb Ramp Repairs on Keawe Street Intersections

The Department of Public Works and its contractor T&T Electric, Inc. will be repairing the curb ramps at the Keawe St./Haili St. intersection and the Keawe St./Kalākaua St. intersection beginning on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 and should be completed by Friday, September 22, 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting. The Contractor’s working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The intersections will remain open while repair work is being done. Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.

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.

Right Turn Lane Being Installed on Kuauli Road

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works will be installing a right turn lane on Kuauli Road where it intersects the Volcano Highway (makai side) heading towards Keaau.  Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, April 26th, and is estimated to be completed by Friday, May, 20th, weather and construction conditions permitting.  There will be no roadwork on weekends or holidays.


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

Public Works PUBLIC Information Officer Noelani Whittington 2009 LAVA Tube Award Winner

It’s official… I read the newspaper today at work and low and behold… there it was.

Of course I appreciate Peter for filling me in on the scoops on the corrected Press Release that went out… and of course I appreciate my little birds that drop by now and then with their little tid bits of information.

Here is the article in full from the Hawaii Tribune Herald.  I’m posting it in full because I know that soon enough… people will be charged to read this again…  I hate that model of information… Give it free now… but then charge for it later.

Public Works PIO criticized

By Tribune-Herald
Published: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 9:06 AM HST

The Big Island Press Club has selected Noelani Whittington, public information officer for the Hawaii County Department of Public Works, as the unfavorable recipient of the Big Island Press Club’s Lava Tube Award, given annually to highlight the worst violation of government openness in the state.

The Torch of Light Award, awarded for the best example of open government, goes to Gov. Linda Lingle and the Hawaii State Legislature for passing a law to protect newsgatherers from revealing confidential sources.

Whittington “wins” this year for a memo she wrote in mid-November directing employees how to handle media requests. The memo directed employees not to speak to the media, not to discuss the causes of problems and how to stop the photographing or videotaping of baseyards and road projects.

The since-rescinded memo named several individuals — video producer Dave Corrigan, and bloggers Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker — who are not to receive any information from the department. This is despite the Hawaii County Charter requirement that “all persons shall be treated in a courteous, fair and impartial manner.” Whittington ignored the Charter when she wrote, “They are not journalists. They write what they think.”

“We hope that all the ex-journalists now working in the Kenoi administration will encourage a new standard for openness and access to information in county government,” said BIPC President Peter Serafin. “Today, every presidential press release is available to anyone with a computer and a modem — news professional or not. How can any local government justify being less open?”

In 2008 Reps. Blake Oshiro, Kirk Caldwell, Glenn Wakai, Gene Ward and Tommy Waters introduced a journalism shield bill, which the Legislature passed with no “nay” votes, and which Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law.

The Lava Tube and Torch of Light awards are announced each year on March 16, which is celebrated nationwide as Freedom of Information Day on the birthday of James Madison, the foremost champion of openness in government among the nation’s founding fathers.

The Big Island Press Club was founded in Hilo, in 1967.

The Lava Tube and Torch of Light awards have been presented annually since being established on the occasion of the Club’s 30th anniversary in 1997.

Got Windmills – Department of PUBLIC Works?

Kauai columnist/blogger Andy Parx has an interesting piece on the recent news of the Hawaii County Department of Public Works attempting to “Blackball” me and a couple other bloggers here on the Big Island.  I sure hope there is no connect between the Post Office incident and this.

“Take It From the Pros” writes Parx…

“One thing all of the journalists who are routinely air lifted into Kaua`i quickly find out is that getting information directly from county officials or personnel can’t even be compared to pulling teeth because eventually with enough effort you can get the gums to relinquish a tooth…

…And if you’re a private citizen- phew, forget it. At the end of each phone line is someone to refer you to someone who will refer you to someone else who will eventually refer you back to the one who originally answered the phone who will put you on hold until you just give up…

…But someone on the Big Island forgot to consult the Kaua`i stonewalling pros recently when a six page document landed on the desk of the Hawai`i Tribune Herald “direct(ing) DPW employees to stop filming attempts, not to talk about cause or fault, and to withhold information from so-called ‘citizen journalists’” the paper reported today

…When contacted yesterday apparently in anticipation of being revealed as a liar, in a classic response to being caught red handed told the reporter,

“I wasn’t denying anything on it. I just didn’t know what you were referring to,” Whittington said in a follow-up interview Wednesday.

Whittington said she might have been very busy when first interviewed occurred Feb. 19.

“Sometimes it takes me a minute to focus,” she said…

The incident we reported on twice last December and January where blogger Tucker was harassed by a Big Island police officer for taking a picture of her in public was not cited in the article…