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Pacific Shipyards International Cited for Hazardous Waste Violations

FuddyThe Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch has filed a Notice of Violation and Order against Pacific Shipyards International, LLC (PSI) for violations of hazardous waste regulations. DOH has cited the company for exceeding the 90 day storage limit of hazardous waste that is awaiting disposal, failing to label the required accumulation start dates for stored hazardous waste containers, and failing to label a hazardous waste drum in a satellite accumulation area.

Facilities that generate large amounts of hazardous waste must dispose of that waste within a 90 day period. If the waste is still in storage at the end of the 90 days, a facility must hold a storage permit in order to be in compliance. Permitted storage facilities have stringent guidelines in place, such as increased frequency of inspections and emergency and contingency plans, to ensure public health and safety. PSI, located at Pier 41 in Honolulu, is not a permitted storage facility and was previously cited for violations in 2007 which were resolved.

DOH discovered the violations during December 2012 inspections of PSI, which performs mechanical and structural repairs and maintenance on ocean vessels. PSI has 20 days to respond to the violation notice and could face a penalty of $60,000.

The Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch oversees the management of solid waste generated within Hawaii to prevent releases of petroleum, hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants into the environment through aggressive enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. The branch promotes pollution prevention and waste minimization activities and the development of partnerships with the community.

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Girl Missing Since September

2/18/14 UPDATE:
Hawaiʻi Island police have located 16-year-old Desiree Tolentino-Awai of Hilo, who was reported missing.  She was found unharmed Friday afternoon (February 14) in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Desiree Tolentino-Awai

Desiree Tolentino-Awai

Desiree Tolentino-Awai was last seen in Hilo on September 20. She is described as 5-foot-4, 120 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Census Bureau Introduces New Interactive Mapping Tool along with Latest American Community Survey Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau released Census Explorer, a new interactive mapping tool that gives users easier access to neighborhood level statistics. The mapping tool uses updated statistics from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS), which were also released today.

census explorer map

The new application allows users to map out different social, economic and housing characteristics of their state, county or census tract, and to see how these areas have changed since the 1990 and 2000 censuses. The mapping tool is powered by American Community Survey statistics from the Census Bureau’s API, an application programming interface that allows developers to take data sets and reuse them to create online and mobile apps.

“The American Community Survey data are critically important to powering our nation’s 21st century economy,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said. “Making data more accessible and user-friendly for all Americans is a top priority of our ‘Open for Business Agenda’ at the Department of Commerce. The rich statistics in the 2008-2012 ACS will help more businesses, policymakers and communities make better-informed decisions that will help propel U.S. economic growth.”

Interactive map

“Census Explorer is another useful tool, like the dwellr and America’s Economy mobile apps, that the Census Bureau has developed to disseminate statistics faster and make them easier to access,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson added. “This interactive map helps users to learn more about the social, economic and housing characteristics of their communities — the same characteristics that drive decision-making from the local to the national level.”

The tool allows users to look at the following eight statistics from the American Community Survey:

  • Total population
  • Percent 65 and older
  • Foreign-born population percentage
  • Percent of the population with a high school degree or higher
  • Percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Labor force participation rate
  • Home ownership rate
  • Median household income

In addition to these characteristics, more than 40 social, economic and housing topics are now available through the American Community Survey statistics for all communities in the nation, regardless of size, down to the block group level. For example, health insurance coverage statistics are now available for the first time at the neighborhood level.

Additional Exploration Tools

A variety of other Census Bureau data tools have been updated with today’s new numbers, including the Census Bureau’s application programming interface, Easy Stats and American FactFinder. In addition to the updated exploration tools, the Census Bureau is releasing narrative profiles which allow users to explore a graphical and narrative presentation of the statistics from the American Community Survey.

About the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about all communities in the country. The American Community Survey gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results. Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation’s people.

The Census Bureau uses information collected over five years from the American Community Survey in order to have more accurate and reliable statistics for areas with populations smaller than 20,000. Statistics for larger areas are also included with this release, making comparisons across large and small geographies possible.

The Census Bureau is currently reviewing all of the questions on the American Community Survey to ensure adequate coverage of statistical information that communities rely on. The survey is the only source of local statistics for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as educational attainment, housing, employment, commuting, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs down to the smallest communities. The Census Bureau is inviting the public to give feedback on each question asked in the survey. For more information on the review process, please visit the American Community Survey content review website for more details.

 

Hawaii Airports to Go Green, Reduce Energy Costs by $518 Million

Gov. Neil Abercrombie unveiled an unprecedented energy efficiency program for the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Airports Division that will cut energy use by 49 percent, saving at least $518 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.

Honolulu International Airport

Honolulu International Airport

The airports will be modernized with the latest in energy-efficient and green technology, providing a high-impact solution for the Abercrombie Administration’s aggressive pursuit of 70 percent clean energy use for the state of Hawaii by 2030.

“These important upgrades at our airports will help Hawaii reach its clean energy goals,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “This project is a long-term investment, which will cut the energy use at our airports nearly in half, reduce our dependence on imported energy sources, provide savings on future energy costs and add jobs to our economy.”

The project will deliver results by replacing 372 transformers and 74,500 light fixtures, installing 9,100 solar photovoltaic panels; and include upgrades and replacement of chilled water and air conditioning systems, installation of smart controls, and deferred maintenance such as roof repairs to accommodate the upgrades. The $150 million contract was awarded to Johnson Controls through a state competitive procurement process for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC).

“This important project is part of a strategy and vision to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency,” said DOT Director Glenn M. Okimoto.  “DOT will make a large impact since the state airports system is the third largest consumer of electricity in Hawaii. This project will save the state millions of dollars and it will serve as a model for other state agencies.”

“Energy efficiency is Hawaii’s cleanest, fastest, and cheapest clean energy resource,” said Jeff Mikulina, CEO of Blue Planet Foundation, an organization working to clear the path for clean energy in Hawaii. “Every kilowatt hour avoided is fossil fuel that we don’t import–and carbon pollution that we don’t export.”

“It is both suiting and symbolic for Hawaii’s airports–the gateways for Hawaii residents and visitors–to be models of energy efficiency,” he added. “Blue Planet applauds the Governor, his Administration, and the private sector partners who are making this record-setting energy savings project a reality.”

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Hawaii Agriculture Theft a Problem – Hawai’i Law Seeks To Reduce Increasing Problem

The Hawai’i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) encourages farmers, ranchers and the public to know the law regarding ownership and movement of agricultural commodities.

Hawai’i law requires ownership and movement certification on any amount of an agricultural commodity that is to be marketed for commercial purposes or when transporting agricultural commodities weighing more than 200 pounds or with a value of $100 or more.

In testifying for passage of the law, the Hawai’i Farm Bureau Federation wrote, “Everyone knows farming is inherently risky. There are no guarantees of a successful crop. Besides being vulnerable to invasive pests and diseases, erratic weather patterns, and multi-year droughts, high land, labor, fuel, and other farm costs leave us unable to compete with mainland prices. On top of this, farmers are highly susceptible to theft. Our location and relatively large acreage, usually in more remote areas and impossible to guard 24 hours a day, leave us open to thieves that reap the benefit of our hard work or vandals that destroy our crops for kicks.”

The law requires that those convicted of agricultural theft face criminal penalties and pay restitution to their victims in an amount equal to the value of what was stolen as well as the cost of replanting.

A slab was brutally cut from this koa tree, which subsequently killed the tree in Kōke'e State Park, Kauai

A slab was brutally cut from this koa tree, which subsequently killed the tree in Kōke’e State Park, Kauai

In October 2013 Kaua’i’s The Garden Island newspaper reported on koa trees cut down by poachers. In the article Deborah Ward, the information specialist for the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, said “DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement is investigating recent cases of theft of koa at Kōke’e State Park, as well as other pending cases. The majority of thefts have been on State Parks lands, most recently last week on park land, and in June 2013 in the Nā Pali-Kona Forest Reserve.”

From the theft of exotic fruit and native Kou trees on Hawai’i Island to pineapple by the truckload on Maui to valuable landscaping plants on O’ahu, agricultural theft costs farmers and ranchers millions of dollars annually. Losses also occur from vandalism and illegal hunting and cattle poaching on private lands. These costs are ultimately passed on to consumers.

Hawai’i Forest Industry Association encourages anyone suspecting agricultural theft to contact their local police department to report the crime.

 

Big Island Police Charge Second Man With Numerous Offenses Related to Burglaries in Waiakea Area of Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a second man with numerous offenses related to burglaries in the Waiākea area of Hilo.

Keoni Mata

Keoni Mata

On Monday (December 15), 30-year old Keoni Mata of Hilo was initially arrested on a $500 bench warrant for contempt of court and for suspicion of fraudulent use of a credit card. The card was removed during a burglary in the Waiākea area on December 2.

Mata was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while South Hilo patrol officers continued the investigation. While in custody, Mata was additionally arrested for burglary in connection with a Waiākea break-in on December 5 and for theft in connection with a Waiākea burglary on December 12.

Tuesday evening (December 17) police charged Mata with two counts of burglary, eight counts of theft, four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, three counts of identity theft and two counts of forgery. His bail was set at $185,000. He remained at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday afternoon (December 18).

Kyson Dameron

Kyson Dameron

Last week, 18-year-old Kyson Dameron of Hilo was also arrested and charged with crimes related to these three burglaries, including the use of a stolen credit card.