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UH Hilo Joins Semester at Sea Program

A new cooperative relationship between the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) will enable students attending UH Hilo to traverse the globe and obtain an international learning experience with the Semester at Sea program.

Qualified UH Hilo students will receive a generous scholarship from the Semester at Sea program that enables them to visit between 10 – 11 countries per voyage. Students receiving federal financial aid are able to use those funds to pay for the difference in the program as well as the cost of travel to and from the port of origin, books, student visas, and other personal expenses.

UH Hilo and ISE plan to annually award 10 scholarships over a course of five years. This five-year agreement was signed aboard the MV Explorer on Monday, April 20th, during its visit to O`ahu by ISE/SAS President Les McCabe and Chancellor Rose Tseng.

“We’re thrilled to have an affiliation agreement,” said McCabe. “We’re diversifying our student body around the world and the opportunity to have students from this university fits perfectly with where we are trying to bring the program.”

Interested students should apply through UH Hilo’s Center for Global Education and Exchange. Dr. Keith Miser, executive director of the Center said, “This is a very special occasion for the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo. We have been in conversation for a long time, where we could help Semester at Sea with its goal of enhancing diversity while at the same time creating opportunities for low income, first-generation, and diverse students to participate in such an exciting experience.”

“This is great for our students and for our global initiatives,” Tseng added. “Even though we’re a very diverse school, many of our students don’t have the opportunity to see the rest of the world.”

The "MV Explorer"

The "MV Explorer"

The Fall 2009 voyage will bring the MV Explorer to dock in Hilo after 13 years. This will be the 100th voyage of the Semester at Sea program. Interested students should contact Carolina Lam, director of Global Education at UH Hilo, at (808) 933-8809.

H-130 Pictures Used for Highway Improvement Project

Here are the pictures that were submitted by the members of the Highway 130 Advisory Group.

The pictures and comments that I submitted are on pages 13-15.

In these other galleries that were just uploaded, you can view the meetings that took place.

Why they uploaded these pictures?  I have no idea other then to put some “targets on our backs” for the public to point the finger at and say “These are the guys that fucked up the Highway!”

I wonder why they didn’t take any pictures of the food they spent on the meetings? ;)

Peak Hours on H-130 Answered… Do We Really Need to Spend $56 Million on this Highway? Public Information Meetings on Highway 130 Begin Tomorrow

I asked what exactly the “Peak Hours” of congestion on Highway 130 were that was studied during the Highway 130 KPAG meetings that I was involved with.

I finally received an answer to this question that we are basing this $56 million dollar project on…

Roger Dyar, Consulting Traffic Engineer, has responded to your question regarding the peak hour used in Level of Service. The peak hours studied in the report are 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. and 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. This information will be incorporated into the KPAG Meeting #6 Summary.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Heather Forester, Planner – www.ssfm.com

I find it pretty funny that I’m getting this information less then 24 hours before the first official public meeting on this project is to take place.

I know myself driving from 7:30 – 8:00 in the morning from the end of Pahoa Town to Keaau that the traffic is not that bad and most of the traffic has made it into town already.

And in the evening… the problems run much later then 5:15.

Less yet, these estimates were done at a time (2002 – 7 years ago) when our growth patterns here in Puna were shooting off the charts. With the economy going the way it is… I don’t see near as many people moving to Puna in the next 30 years as originally expected.

Do we really need to spend $56 Million Dollars on a new Highway? It’s not to late to say no.

It’s a 30 year project… In thirty years who knows what the problems will be on the Big Island?

Reminder: The first of two public information meetings will be held tomorrow at Pahoa High and Intermediate School at 5:30.


Table 2: Estimated Average Daily Traffic Along Keaau-Pahoa Road

From – To: 2002—-2018—-2028—-2038 (Year)

Keaau Bypass Opukahaia Street 21,300 31,900 41,000 52,700

Opukahaia Street Transfer Station 20,400 30,700 39,600 51,100

Transfer Station Shower Drive 22,100 31,500 39,300 49,100

Shower Drive Pohaku Place 16,700 24,400 30,900 39,100

Pohaku Place Kaloli Drive 16,700 24,300 30,800 39,000

Kaloli Drive Pohaku Circle 16,700 22,800 27,700 33,700

Pohaku Circle Orchidland Drive 13,800 20,500 26,200 33,600

Orchidland Drive Paradise Drive 13,800 20,300 25,800 32,800

Paradise Drive Aulii Street 12,100 17,500 21,900 27,600

Aulii Street Makuu Drive 12,100 17,400 21,900 27,500

Makuu Drive Ilima Street 12,100 16,000 19,100 22,800

Ilima Street Ainaloa Boulevard 12,100 16,000 19,100 22,800

Ainaloa Boulevard Ka Ohuwalu Drive 11,700 15,600 18,700 22,400

Ka Ohuwalu Drive Kaluahine Place 11,700 15,800 19,100 23,100

Kaluahine Place Old Pahoa Road 6,000 11,000 16,100 23,600

Old Pahoa Road Kahakai Boulevard 4,200 7,400 10,600 15,200

Kahakai Boulevard Nanawale Homestead Road 4,000 6,200 8,200 10,800

Nanawale Homestead Road Unnamed Road 4,000 6,000 7,800 10,100

Unnamed Road Pahoa-Kapoho Road 6,600 7,900 8,900 10,000

Pahoa-Kapoho Road Leilani Estates 4,700 6,800 8,500 10,700

RJ’s Looking For Tires… Lex Brodie’s Robert Porter of Hilo Added as ITDG Shareholder

Here’s your answer to your question Mr. Mendoza…

TEQUESTA, Fla. (April 28th, 2009) — The Independent Tire Dealers Group (ITDG) L.L.C. achieved record gross sales in 2008 of about $100.6 million and gross profits of $3.4 million.

ITDG said the results mark the sixth consecutive year of posting record sales and profits. In 2007, gross sales were $96.4 million and gross profits totaled $3.39 million.

Michael Cox, ITDG president and CEO, said the marketing group anticipates first quarter results to finish at a similar level with last year’s first quarter, but he didn’t disclose those results.

ITDG also added three shareholders, bringing the group’s total number of shareholders to 63. They are: Ronnie Ward of Monroe, Ga.-based Ronnie Ward Tire Co. Inc.; Tony Guldalian of Monterey Park, Calif.-based Grand Prix Tire & Auto Center; and Robert Porter of Hilo, Hawaii-based Hawaii Tire Co. L.L.C./Lex Brodie.

“We would like to thank all the manufacturers, vendors and distributors that have supported our organization throughout these remarkable growth years,” Mr. Cox said in a press release. “We are excited about the continued growth in the years ahead.”

ITDG has 115 members representing more than 300 tire and service center locations in 16 states.

Yes… Lex Brodies is where I have always gotten my tires from since moving to Hawaii.

Equal Opportunities for Women: Mazie Hirono in Support of The Paycheck Fairness Act

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) speaks on the House Floor in support of two critical bills that would help end the discriminatory practice of paying men and women different wages for performing the same job — HR 11; The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and The Paycheck Fairness Act.


Got Snow Tires?

No folks… I wasn’t even close to being up on top of Mauna Kea when I came across the following sign today:


I was driving some weird old roads today.

I came across the following bridge and I was wondering if I should cross it in my car.

I mean… were the barricades stopping cars from going over the bridge before I got there?

I had no idea…  I got out of my car and visually inspected the bridge.  I could see that fresh tire tracks had gone over it… so I pushed my luck and crossed the buggah.


If for some reason I quit blogging more then a day or two… can someone please send someone out to the cane fields to rescue me?

I Do Not Have Swine Flu!

Hat tip to Leslie Lang for the following article she noticed:

The first confirmed death from the recent swine flu epidemic in Mexico, Maria Adela Gutierrez (English translation), worked as a door-to-door census taker for the tax board according to Mexican officials. She is not the original source of the infection, according to this article in the LA Times, but some local news reports indicated that she had infected as many as 20 people, as well as her husband and children. Martin Vazquez Villaneuva, the regional health secretary in Oaxaca, has denied these reports, according to the LA Times article.

Hawaii is the US Hotspot for the Flu

With the world on swine flu watch, a number of online maps are tracking the spread of the disease. The Google Maps Mania blog rounds up some of the best and most creative efforts.

One of the earliest is this user-generated Google map by “Niman”, which plots suspected,  confirmed or probable, and negative incidences (click image below to see full-screen, real-time version).

Niman\'s N1H1 Google map (grab taken 28 April)

This HealthMap displays the latest information on its swine flu map with markers co-ordinated according to the “heat” – encompassing recentness and size – of the outbreak.

The map pulls in information from a number of sources, including news reports and official alerts, and therefore markers may not necessarily represent a confirmed outbreak – worth clicking through the links before you panic.  See also the general HealthMap for info on swine flu plus a variety of other diseases.

Google also maps flu trends in the USA – based on where people are searching for flu-related terms. The reasoning goes that, if people feel ill, they tend to head for the internet for advice.

The search company reckons its data both corresponds with official tracking methods, and can scoop them by a fortnight, as it updates more quickly. At time of writing, Google trends suggests tropical Hawaii is the US-flu hotspot – something which has yet to translate into a rash of swine flu cases. The official Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website has official data on US swine flu cases – worth reading in conjunction with user-generated content for the most rounded picture.