Honolulu Residents Facing Fines for Bulky Items at Curbside Pick-Ups

The City Department of Environmental Services (ENV) is placing ads in both the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and MidWeek during the week of March 11 to educate Honolulu residents about the bulky item rules, routes, schedules and enforcement action that will begin May 1.

Bulky

“We now have the fines and appeals processes in place and are educating residents before implementing the whole system,” Lori Kahikina, director of ENV, said. “Many residents are aware of their setout schedules for bulky items, but this is a little reminder educating that fines will be levied to those who don’t follow the rules.”

Both ads will provide sector breakdowns with respective schedules, highlight the appropriate schedule/time to place bulky items curbside and discuss what types of materials are collected as bulky items.

Further, the ads will discuss property owner responsibility and penalties for violators of the City Ordinance.

The City also sent out in mass mail letters to all Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO) who oversee multi-unit dwellings on Oahu informing them when enforcement action will begin.

For more information on bulky items or refuse-related questions, logon to www.opala.org.

 

House Finance Committee Adopts Conservative Approach to Budget

Restructuring and Reprioritizing of Funds Trump Full Restoration to Pre-Recession Numbers

The House Finance Committee led by Representative Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa), today passed out the proposed state budget which is scheduled for a vote next week by the full House.

capital

HB200 HD1 appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for the current biennium fiscal years FY2013-2014 and FY2014-2015.

For FY2013-2014, the bill offers $5.9 billion in general funds and $11.6 billion in all other means of financing.  For FY2014-2015, it appropriates $6.1 billion in general funds and $11.7 billion in all additional financing means.

Finance Chair Luke acknowledged that the fiscal outlook is a little more positive than it has been in the past but she said, “because we have a fiscal climate that is looking up in terms of revenue, this is actually the time to take a conservative approach to our budget picture.  I realize that in the last four years we have had to cut funding to our programs and agencies because of the State’s financial crisis, but simply restoring the cuts to pre recession numbers is not the approach we are taking.”

“We need to re-evaluate what government is here for, what do we need, what can we do without.  The House is taking on the challenge to develop a budget that gives us the opportunity to provide structural stability to the State’s financial plan.  We want to increase transparency, efficiency and accountability in government.  We want to reprioritize and restructure government services and create an evolving, sustainable and robust economy for future generations,” said Luke.

“I believe expectations for complete funding restoration plus additional funds for more projects are high, as exhibited in the Executive’s budget request to us.  However, indicators from various economic forecasts show an unsteady trend in revenue.  For example, while the Council on Revenues (COR) projected increases based on a robust tourism industry and expansion in the rest of the economy, it remained uncertain about the impact on tax collections due to the renewable energy credit and changes in the tax laws.  Meanwhile, the University of  Hawaii Research Organization (UHERO) reported last month that despite the banner year for tourism, economic growth will ease over the next two years.  We are also facing the unknown ramifications of the federal government’s sequestration,” concluded Luke.

Funding highlights include;

  • $7.9 million in FY2013-2014 for a reasonable rollout of the State’s Information Management and Technology Transformation Plan. The Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) plan is to consolidate the State’s existing information-technology infrastructure, enhance security and privacy, and develop shared services functions across state departments.
  • $3 million has been provided to Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) for risk management to ensure adequate insurance coverage for natural disasters.
  • Restored services and positions cut by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) by funding positions that support our local food sustainability and agricultural health. This includes 19 critical specialist and inspector positions to help control the spread of invasive species, 5 engineers for irrigation systems, and additional personnel that provide specialized testing for livestock.
  • Additional support for law enforcement agencies through funding for data systems such as the Juvenile Justice Information system (JJIS), Automated Fingerprint Recognition System (AFIS), and Facial Recognition System (FRS).
  • $1.1 million for the State Library System to purchase additional books and e-books.
  • A total of almost $2 million to support for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to meet the State’s goal of using 70% clean energy by the year 2030.
  • To address the issues that encompass the State’s growing Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) unfunded liability, $205.5 million over the next two years has been infused into Other Post Employment Benefits (OPED).
  • $306,461 in additional support for the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program to reflect the increase in mortgage fraud and other disputes between lenders and owners.
  • $650,000 to update and address issues with the State’s tsunami warning siren system.
  • Support for our local students by providing to the Department of Education (DOE) an additional $12.9 million for the Weighted Student Formula and $1 million for the development of a Common Core assessment test in the Hawaiian language to serve students enrolled at 14 Hawaiian immersion schools across the state.
  • $155.75 million in general obligation bond (GO) appropriations for public school improvements that include health and safety and electrical upgrades.
  • Restored public health service positions within the Department of Health (DOH) including 8 vector control workers and $443,520 of funds to increase surveillance at our airports, 8 food safety inspectors, and 7 environmental health specialists and engineers to administer programs on environmental protection regulations. $800,000 in general funds for both fiscal years for Hale Makemae and Kula Hospital.
  • $10 million annual funding for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) to carry out its duties of planning and developing Hawaiian Homelands across Hawaii.
  • Significant support for the State’s largest department, the Department of Human Services (DHS), with $98 million to cover increasing Medicare costs, $1.9 million for youth and juvenile services, and 10 personnel to focus on homelessness project management.
  • Provides 9 additional positions to provide security and intake services for inmates returning from out of state facilities and appropriates $8.7 million in additional funding for the Department of Public Safety (PSD) to maintain essential functions.
  • A total of $3.8 million in general funds and $32 million in GO funding to the Department of Taxation (DoTAX) to upgrade its current tax system with the Tax System Modernization Project, a five-year program that will result in the increased efficiency of electronically filed taxes and tax processing.
  • Funding to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for various vehicles and equipment to upkeep our airports and harbors. Most importantly, approval of all special and regular maintenance requests submitted by the Department.
  • Continued support of our higher education systems with $780,000 for distance learning courses, $1 million for operating costs at the West Oahu Campus and $2 million to support the community college system in each fiscal year, and $100 million in GO appropriations for repair and maintenance of our campuses.
  • A Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget of $1,707,274,000 for FY2013-2014 and $912,851,000 for FY2014-2015 in all means of financing to address repair and maintenance backlogs and to develop “shovel ready” projects.

 

 

Car Wreck on Highway 130 at Maku’u Intersection Today

This wreck happened at about 3:45 this afternoon at the intersection of Highway 130 and Maku’u Street.

The red car was heading towards Pahoa and turning into Maku’u Street and she obviously wasn’t paying attention as she slammed right into on coming traffic.

Maku'u WreckThe accident happened two cars in front of me and thankfully I was able to brake my car and swerve around the action.  On my way back home I noticed that they had re-routed traffic going into Maku’u and the cars were still there.

Maku'u Wreck

And a little closer…

Maku'u Wreck iii

Governor Abercrombie Releases $46.39 Million for Capital Improvement Projects Statewide

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $46.39 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) across Hawaii, including investments required to qualify for federal funding toward state projects.

abercrombieheader

“Many of these priority projects require matching state funds to access federal dollars, secured before sequestration, to maintain and upgrade our public infrastructure and facilities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These CIPs will have the added benefit of stimulating Hawaii’s economy and generating local jobs. Priority has been given to projects that can begin quickly.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:

Statewide

  • $14,000,000 – Public Facilities and Sites, statewide – Design and construction for various repair and alteration projects to existing State Office Buildings; projects may include roofing, other repairs and improvements.
  • $3,157,000 – Wastewater Treatment Revolving Funds for Pollution Control, statewide – Transfer of general obligation bond funds to the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund to match more than $15 million in federal funds to finance wastewater infrastructure construction projects (such as wastewater systems, storm water, and non-point source projects) across the state to attain and maintain compliance with the federal Clean Water Act
  • $2,715,000 – Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund, statewide – Transfer of general obligation bond funds to the Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Loan Fund to match more than $13 million in federal funds to finance drinking water infrastructure construction projects across the state for public water systems to attain and maintain compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act
  • $1,000,000 – State Parks Energy and Water Efficiency Improvements, statewide – Design and construction of renewable energy sources for state park facilities and replacement of aging energy and water systems with efficient fixtures, systems and facilities
  • $1,000,000 – ADA Public Accessibility at Department of Land and Natural Resources Facilities, statewide – Design and construction to provide public accessibility at several DLNR facilities pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act; projects include the replacement of the accessible lift at Iolani Palace State Monument and an accessible route to the telephone at Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor on Oahu, as well as an accessible parking area in the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor and an accessible loading area at Rainbow Falls State Park on Hawaii Island

Civil Defense

  • $2,343,434 – Lump Sum CIP for Department of Defense (DOD) Facilities, Infrastructure and Devices, statewide – Various DOD CIP projects, such as renovation of Building 621 in Hilo, and renovation of the State Civil Defense Building 303 and road/parking resurfacing of the “Emergency Operations Center” at Fort Ruger on Oahu
  • $1,250,000 – Energy Savings Improvements and Renewable Energy Projects, statewide – Design and construction for various energy savings and renewable energy improvements at Hawaii Army National Guard facilities; projects include investigating the feasibility and design of wind/solar/photovoltaic systems at the department’s armories, installing new energy efficient air conditioning equipment and digital controls at various facilities, and various other energy projects
  • $450,000 – 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Readiness Center, Kalaeloa, Oahu – Design and construction for a Readiness Center at Kalaeloa; this project will provide office space, training rooms, storage, meeting rooms, and other National Guard Bureau required areas (DOD has completed the initial design work using federal funds; total project cost will be $33.9 million, including $33 million in federal funds and $900,000 in state funds)
  • $125,000 – Building 19 restoration, Kalaeloa, Oahu – Equipment and work needed to complete installation of a fire suppression system for Building 19 (Readiness Center) for the Hawaii Army National Guard
  • $50,000 – Minor Military Construction and Renovation at Army Guard Facilities, Oahu – Planning for the renovation of Building 282 at Kalaeloa

Hospitals

  • $1,100,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, Kauai – Design and construction to address main water pipes that have deteriorated due to age and corrosion from the salt air and have started to leak; the project will consist of removing and replacing all damaged main water piping with PVC and copper piping
  • $700,000 – Lanai Community Hospital, Lanai – Design, construction and equipment to install a photovoltaic system that will generate 40 Kwh of power, which is approximately 50 percent of the daily electricity needs for the hospital (Energy savings is expected offset the cost of the installation in 7 years)
  • $590,000 – Leahi Hospital, Oahu – Repairs to weathered concrete, replacement of caulking, and repainting of the exterior of the Atherton and administration buildings
  • $110,000 – Leahi Hospital, Oahu – Design and construction for the removal of an incinerator stack; current equipment is no longer in use and has begun to deteriorate

Housing

  • $7,000,000 – Kalihi Valley Homes, Oahu – Work to complete Phase IV site and dwelling improvements; the HPHA recently completed the full remodeling of 23 of the 42 residential buildings
  • $1,900,000 – Puahala Homes, Oahu – Work to compete Phase 1B abatement and modernization of Buildings 4, 5 and 6 of the 128-unit complex, including interior renovations of the units
  • $1,800,000 – Kaahumanu Homes, Oahu – Construction for complete site improvements, including spall repair, painting for 19 buildings, interior renovations, security fencing, and roadway and sidewalk improvements
  • $600,000 – Hauiki Homes, Oahu – Completion of construction for site work and roof repairs, including sidewalk and stair repairs of the 46-unit public housing project in Kalihi

Other

  • $5,050,000 – Maui Veterans Cemetery, Maui – Pre-design, design and construction for expansion and improvements to the veterans cemetery
  • $930,000 – Kalaupapa Settlement Improvements, Molokai – Design and construction for closure of landfills and reroofing of the store and administration buildings (two separate projects)
  • $500,000 – Waianae Small Boat Harbor, Oahu – Design and construction of covered vessel storage facilities, utilities and related improvements
  • $20,000 – Kaneohe Public Library, Oahu – Design and construction for replacement of the existing circulation desk and related improvements; the area will accommodate children and be compliant with ADA accessibility guidelines

 

50 Schools to Receive Excellence in Wellness Awards

Lt. Gov. Shan S. Tsutsui and the Hawaii Departments of Health (DOH) and Education DOE) together announced the state’s inaugural Excellence in Wellness Awards for Hawaii schools that have reached high levels of achievement in meeting DOE Wellness Guidelines.

DOE Release

Eight windward schools were the first to receive their awards, presented yesterday at the annual Windward District Fitness Meet at Castle High School.  Each school scored 90 percent or above on the state’s Safety and Wellness Survey in school year 2011-12.

“I commend these and other Hawaii schools for taking the important steps toward improving the health and wellness of our keiki,” said Lt. Gov. Tsutsui. “The Wellness Guidelines play a critical role in helping our students to be healthy and ready to learn. By setting standards for food and beverages provided to students, as well as goals for health

and physical education along with activities that promote a healthy environment, we are setting our children on a path to making healthier choices as adults.”

Windward schools honored today were Ahuimanu, Benjamin Parker, Heeia, Kaneohe, Kapunahala, Keolu, Laie, and Blanche Pope Elementary Schools. A total of 50 schools statewide will receive awards at local ceremonies in the coming weeks.

“Schools play an integral role in promoting student health through education, good nutrition, and other school-based activities that lend to achievement and learning,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Hawaii’s public schools have direct contact with more than 80 percent of the state’s children ages 5-17. By promoting regular physical activity and offering nutritious foods, schools are ideal locations to nourish children’s minds and bodies.”

“The Excellence in Wellness Awards demonstrate the success of DOE-DOH partnership in creating healthy school environments that support student and staff well-being,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “We will continue to work closely with schools to sustain high standards for health education and create healthier learning environments.”

All 50 schools will be eligible to apply for DOH grant funds up to $8,000 per school to support implementation of Wellness Guidelines in school year 2013-14. A total of $160,000 will be available to be divided and awarded between the best qualified applicants. More information about the DOH funding opportunity will be released soon.

The DOE Wellness Guidelines include standards for foods and beverages provided to students, as well as goals for health education, physical education, and other activities that support a healthy school environment. All public (non-charter) schools are expected to comply. The Safety and Wellness Survey (SAWS), an annual online survey jointly administered by the DOH and the DOE to public school principals statewide, is used to monitor implementation of the Guidelines. The Windward District Fitness Meet is an annual event that demonstrates Windward District schools’ commitment to wellness. Through out the school year, students have been preparing for the Fitness Meet in their Physical Education class. Physical Education is an essential component of the DOE Wellness Guidelines and helps students reach the recommended amount of physical activity.

For more information on the Wellness Guidelines, see the HIDOE Wellness Guidelines Toolkit at: http://doe.k12.hi.us/foodservice/toolkit/index.htm

 

$5,000 Donation to “MALAMA” the Food Basket

Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and the Parker Ranch Store are proud to present a $5,000 donation check to the Food Basket – Hawaii Island’s Food Bank. The donation will allow the Food Basket to provide 12,500 meals to families in need on the Big Island.

En Young (Food Basket, Executive Director), Connie Kurohara (Creative Arts Hawaii, Vice President), Tracey Akau (Parker Ranch Store, Manager) and Tyler Owens (Aloha Grown, Manager)

En Young (Food Basket, Executive Director), Connie Kurohara (Creative Arts Hawaii, Vice President), Tracey Akau (Parker Ranch Store, Manager) and Tyler Owens (Aloha Grown, Manager)

The three ohana companies strongly believe in supporting and giving back to the local community, so together they sold exclusive limited edition “MALAMA” shirts during the holiday season, with all proceeds benefitting the Food Basket.

“MALAMA was selected as the shirt design because ‘malama’ means to nurture, preserve or protect. We must malama our community and make sure that our neighbors and friends do not go hungry.

The kalo (or taro) was specifically selected as the shirt’s background image because it represents family and provides sustenance, which is what the Food Basket provides for our local community in need.”

The Food Basket provides nutritious and high quality food to local Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. Visit www.foodbaskethi.org for more information.

Malama shirts are still available for purchase at the Aloha Grown store in downtown Hilo, the Parker Ranch Store in Waimea or www.parkerranchstore.com. Cost is $20.00 with all proceeds benefitting the Food Basket.

For more information on Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown or the Parker Ranch Store, visit www.creativeartshawaii.com, www.alohagrown.com or www.parkerranchstore.com.