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Asteroid Named After Hawai’i County Traffic Engineer

Ronald Thiel (Courtesy Photo)

Hawaiʻi County Traffic Division Chief Ronald Thiel knows lights.  Much of his work focuses on keeping local streets safe with street lights, traffic lights and hazard lights.

He also knows where lights are not helpful – when light pollution interferes with the work of astronomers and the lives of native wildlife.  For Thiel’s work preserving “dark skies” in Hawaiʻi County, an asteroid was recently named in his honor – 9923 ronaldthiel.

The asteroid naming ceremony took place on September 28, 2017, presented by Dr. Richard Wainscoat of the University of Hawai’i at a meeting of the Mauna Kea User’s Committee in Hilo.  The asteroid was first discovered by astronomer Bobby Bus on March 7, 1981, with an orbit of 1,723 days around the sun.  It has a diameter of 2.55 miles.

Over the years, Thiel has doggedly pushed for innovation, sometimes going against the flow of traffic.  Industry naysayers said it could not be done with Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) lamps, so he waited for technology to catch up, and he searched for the right manufacturer.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made it possible to take small steps with the purchase of the first LED street lamps.  Subsequent County investments and a partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi resulted in the installation of 11,000 LED lamps on County and State roadways across Hawaiʻi Island.  Hawaiʻi County, which is nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, became the first county in the nation to convert all of its street lights to LED lamps.

The LED lamps support the Island’s $58.4 million astronomy industry’s needs for dark skies.  Island observatories scan the heavens to improve our understanding of the far reaches of space, including asteroids like the 9923 ronaldthiel.

The lamps use filters to remove the LED’s blue spectrum, resulting in improved visibility, safer roads, and reduced eye fatigue by cutting glare.  The filtered lamps have also proven to be far less of an attraction for Hawaiʻi’s endemic threatened and endangered birds and bats.  The highly-efficient lamps have also reduced electrical and maintenance costs by over 50 percent, so the new fittings, lamps and installation expenses will pay for themselves in five years.  An added benefit is that the LED lamps have a life of 20 years.  The low-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced typically lasted just over four years.

Mālama Park Baseball Field in Pana‘ewa Closed for Repairs

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces Mālama Park baseball field will be closed beginning October 16, 2017 for repairs to the infield.

Parks Maintenance crews will be conducting the repairs and estimate six to eight weeks for all repairs to be complete.

The football field at the park will remain open during this time.

For more information please call Darrell Yamamoto at 961-8740.

North Kona Water Restriction Update – Two Wells Fixed… Three Still Down

Both the Department’s Hualālai Deepwell and Palani Deepwell have been repaired and are now operational.

As of this morning, the Emergency Water Restriction, which previously limited water use to only health and safety needs, has been lifted. Please be reminded that the mandatory 25% water restriction is still in effect for the North Kona area since three (3) wells are still undergoing repair. This means everyone must continue to reduce their normal usage by 25 percent (25%).

The Department will continue to make the necessary adjustments to the water system and asks that customers use water as efficiently as possible to meet the 25% reduction in water usage. The Department sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water usage. Due to your help, water service was maintained to all customers throughout this emergency.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Hawaii County Survey Provides Insight on Public Recycling Habits, Perceptions

Living on the Big Island offers many benefits such as diverse climates, rich cultures, and unmatched views.  However, Hawai‘i County as an island with finite space poses major solid waste management and recycling challenges.With the help from the County of Hawai‘i recycling staff, County intern Taylor Reid uncovered some key trends and patterns that could lead to solving the unique recycling and solid waste management problems facing the Big Island.  Reid conducted a survey at the County’s Refuse Transfer Stations, to which 195 people responded.

  • The survey found that the top items recycled on the island were HI-5 containers, cardboard, plastics, and waste paper, where all were being recycled at a rate of roughly 70%.  It found that the least-recycled category was electronic waste at 21%, which can be recycled at various locations listed on our website: www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/e-waste
  • 98% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that recycling is important for Hawai‘i.
  • 91% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they try and recycle whenever possible.
  • 78% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that recycling should be mandatory for Hawai‘i.
  • The survey also revealed that only 18% of transfer station users have visited www.hawaiizerowaste.org, a website dedicated in answering questions and providing information to the County regarding recycling.

Recycling and promoting sustainability is highly-regarded among all age groups and genders surveyed.

County of Hawai‘i Recycling Coordinator George Hayducsko said: “The Solid Waste Division wanted to see how the community viewed recycling, and whether current programs met the expectations of the individuals using the programs.  Taylor’s data will be useful to us in improving our program in the future.”

For more information visit www.hawaiizerowaste.org , or contact the Recycling Section of the County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management at 808-961-8942

Update on North Kona Water Restrictions

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. Over the past few days there has been a water level decline in the tanks that service the general area between the Mākālei Fire station to just south of the Palani Road and Māmalahoa highway junction.

These areas include, but are not limited to, Mākālei Estates, Kona Hills, Palisades, Wainani / Lokahi Makai, Kaiminani Drive (including all side streets), Kona Acres, and Hina Lani Drive (including all side streets). Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

The Department appreciates the community’s continued efforts to restrict water use during this time. As such, limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is still acceptable using the following best practices:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation.
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/greenwaste/ for more information.
  • Use of rainwater from downspouts for plants.
  • Do not over-water plants.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited. This restriction also prohibits the draining and refilling of swimming pools, hot tubs, water fountains, etc.

Customers should take appropriate measures to reduce the loss of existing water in swimming pools and hot tubs, such as checking the pool for leaks and consulting a pool supplier for appropriate pool covers.  In addition, customer should ensure proper operation and maintenance of pool pump equipment.

The installation process has begun for both the Hualālai and Palani Deepwell repairs. Contractor has two (2) crews working on both repairs concurrently. At this time, the anticipated completion of Hualālai Deepwell repair is this weekend, with Palani Deepwell repair to follow shortly thereafter.

We will update you throughout this installation process as more progress is made and/or more information becomes available.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a portable water tanker located on Hina Lani Street below Anini Street as well as water spigots along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe High School and Palani Road. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Pu‘uanahulu Landfill and Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station Closed for Kona Ironman Triathlon

The Pu‘uanahulu Landfill in Waikoloa and the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station in Kailua-Kona will be closed all day on Saturday, October 14, 2017, due to road closures for the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona.

The closure at Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will affect all services including Residential Rubbish Disposal, HI5 Redemption, 2-Bin Recycling, Green Waste Recycling, Re-Use Store and Mulch Pick-up.

Alternative services for Residential Rubbish Disposal, HI5 Redemption and 2-Bin Recycling are available at the Keauhou Recycling and Transfer Station.
Regular operations at the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will resume on Sunday, October 15, 2017.  The Pu‘uanahulu Landfill will resume its normal schedule and re-open on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Mahalo for your cooperation!

If you have any questions, please contact the Solid Waste Administrative Office at 808-961-8270.

South Point Fire Update

This is a fire information update for Monday September 25, 2017 at 2 pm.
Hawaii Fire Department reports the brushfire located in the area of Ka’alu’alu near South Point, in Ka’u is approximately 80% contained. No structures or communities are threatened at this time.

Due to this fire, the following advisories are issued:

  • There are no roadway closures at this time. Area motorists should be on the lookout for emergency vehicles.
  • Smoke from the fire may affect visibility for driving and air quality for Waiohinu area including Green Sands, Mark Twain Estates, and Discovery Harbor.
  • The public is requested to stay out of the active fire area.
  • This update is also available at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/
  • Closures may occur without notice.

Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation Director and Deputy Resign

Department of Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka and Deputy Director Ryan Chong have submitted their resignations, effective September 22, 2017.

Mayor Harry Kim

Mayor Harry Kim has thanked them and praised them for their very good and hard work.

“We are very grateful for all that Charmaine and Ryan have done for the community,” the Mayor said. “They took on a very difficult task and did good work.”

Roxcie Waltjen, the Department’s Culture Education Administrator, has been asked to fill in as the interim Director of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor said in a statement.  A letter to the County Council for Ms. Waltjen’s confirmation will be drafted this week.

Update On North Kona Emergency Water Restriction – Another Failure

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

This restriction also prohibits the draining and refilling of swimming pools, hot tubs, water fountains, etc. Customers should take appropriate measures to reduce the loss of existing water in swimming pools and hot tubs, such as checking the pool for leaks and consulting a pool supplier for appropriate pool covers. In addition, customer should ensure proper operation and maintenance of pool pump equipment.

Recent well failures at Kohala Ranch Water Company (private water system) has left their community without an operating potable water source. As such, it was essential for the Department’s pump contractor to relocate equipment and respond to their critical situation. This will push back the completion of the Department’s Hualālai and Palani well repairs by approximately a week and a half.

Updates on well repairs can be found at www.hawaiidws.org.

Due to a significant level of overall compliance, water levels in the tanks have remained stable. The Department appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Therefore, limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is still acceptable using the following best practices:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation.
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/gr eenwaste/ for more information.
  • Use of rainwater from downspouts for plants.
  • Do not over-water plants.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited.

For other unique situations, please contact the Department to discuss possible options. Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water “buffalo” located on Hina Lani Street below Anini Street as well as water spigots along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe High School and Palani Road. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Construction Work Starts at Kealakehe Recycling & Transfer Station October 2

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management announces that work to remediate the area used for scrap metal processing at the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will start on or about October 2, 2017.

The project was awarded to contractor Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd, and is anticipated to be completed by August 1, 2018.

The transfer station, greenwaste, white goods, scrap metal, reuse center, HI5 redemption, and mulch pickup are not affected and will remain open.  The site for e-waste collection will temporarily move to the same site as the Household Hazardous Waste collection.

The Department of Environmental Management apologizes for any inconvenience the project activities may cause.

For more information, please contact Gregory Goodale, Solid Waste Division Chief at 961-8515.

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.

Kīlau Stream Bridge Work – Temporary Bridge Closure 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. Monday Through Fridays

The Department of Public Works will begin work on the Kīlau Stream Bridge, located on Manowai‘ōpae Homestead Road in Laupāhoehoe on Monday, September 11, 2017 through about October 31, 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting.

The bridge will be closed from 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, in which no pedestrians or vehicles will be allowed to use the bridge with the exception of emergency response teams during an emergency event. The bridge will be open during non-working hours, on weekends and holidays.

The repair work involves the rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure which includes replacing the old timber members with new timber members and hardware.

Motorist and residents are advised to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of the construction 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 call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Mayor Kim Issues Emergency Proclamation Regarding North Kona Water Emergency

Mayor Harry Kim issued an Emergency Proclamation on Wednesday regarding the North Kona water emergency.

His statement is as follows:

“The Emergency Proclamation which was officially signed today was initially intended to be completed in August.  The purpose of this Proclamation is to ensure that all administrative readiness is established by the County in the event that assistance will be needed from the State government.

This Proclamation also allows County government to bypass certain procurement policies in the event that emergency purchases must be made. This also includes the use of emergency funds for the use of the Department of Water Supply’s needs.”

Click on the link to access the Emergency Proclamation:

http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/weblink/1/doc/89509/Page1.aspx

Kailua Park Temporary Access — Route Change Begins Today to Accommodate Big Island Fair

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will temporarily change the access route into Kailua Park, also known as Old Kona Airport Park, from Wednesday, September 6 through Tuesday, September 12, 2017, to accommodate the E.K. Fernandez Big Island Fair 2017.

During this period, vehicular traffic entering Kailua Park will be diverted to the beach access road located at the north end of Kuakini Highway.  The Department of Parks and Recreation reminds all motorists not to exceed the road’s five mile per hour speed limit, which will be in effect until normal traffic patterns are reinstated in the morning of Tuesday, September 12.

Signs will be posted to inform motorists of the routing change and affected dates.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for its understanding while it implements the temporary routing change aimed at protecting park users, fair attendees and fair operators, who will be setting up and disassembling carnival rides.

For more information, please call the Department of Parks and Recreation at 961-8311.

North Kona Water Restictions Update – Residents CAN Hand Water Precious Plants On Occasion

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

Due to a significant level of overall compliance, water levels in the tanks have remained stable. The Department appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Therefore, the following is an update on irrigation under the current Emergency Water Restriction. 

  • Limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is acceptable.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited.

For other unique situations, please contact the Department to discuss possible options. Suggested best practices for hand watering plants are:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation. 
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/greenwaste/ for more information. 
  • Use of recycled water from downspouts, washing machines, washing dishes, and shower “warm up” water is also encouraged. 
  • Do not over-water plants.

Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

North Kona Water Restiction Update – Spare Motor Defective and Cannot Be Used

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

During today’s work, it was discovered that the spare motor is defective and cannot be used. DWS is now working on several options to obtain another spare motor before resuming the installation work. The updated repair schedule is to be determined.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies, businesses, and other customers that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended. Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained.

However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

North Kona Emergency Water Restrictions Update

This is an Emergency Water Restriction Update for North Kona District customers for Wednesday August 16 at 3:45 PM.

The Department of Water Supply reports the North Kona emergency water restriction continues. North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and Honalo to Makalei must restrict water use to health and safety needs only. This means use water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only. Cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicle and boats.

Extraction of the Honokohau Deepwell pump and motor is now complete. After an inspection of the well, the spare pump and motor will be connected and reinstallation work will continue through the holiday weekend.

The Department of Water Supply sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Adjustments have been made to the water system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained. However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

For your use, drinking water is available from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as from a water spigot along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For after hours emergencies, or to report any observed wasteful use of water call the DWS at 961-8790. During normal business hours, call 961-8060.
This email account will be kept updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Merrie Monarch Festival – RE: Halau Overnight Stay at Parks & Recreation Facilities

2017 Hula Kahiko from the Merrie Monarch Website

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim sent the following letter on August 9th, 2017 to the President of the Merrie Monarch Festival, Aunty Luana Kawelu:

Dear Ms. Kawelu:
RE: Halau Overnight Stay at Parks & Recreation

As you know, historically, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has allowed overnight stays at Kawananakoa Gym, Papa`ikou Gym, Waiakea Recreation Center, and Waiakea Uka Gym by halau participating in the annual Merrie Monarch Festival (MMF). According to the MMF website, the 2017 festival included a total of 23 halau, 21 of which were not Hilo-based. The breakdown of people overnighting in the various County Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) facilities are as follows:

  • Kawananakoa Gym – 24 people housed for one night and 25 people housed for 8 nights
  • Papa`ikou Gym – 35 people housed for 4 nights
  • Waiakea Recreation Center – 25 people housed for one night
  • Waiakea Uka Gym – 51 people housed for 4 nights

This year, the Hawaii County Fire Department (HFD) alerted DPR of specific Fire and Building Codes that are being violated by allowing this practice. To immediately address these violations and allow overnight stays at this year’s MMF, DPR required, per Fire Code and exemption, an approved fire watch at each facility. Following the conclusion of this year’s MMF, at my instruction, DPR conducted an extensive study of DPR Administrative Rules, and Hawaii County Building and Fire Codes, to ascertain whether this practice should be allowed to continue.

DPR’s findings are as follows:

While there are no DPR Administrative Rules that explicitly prohibit overnight stays at DPR facilities, pertinent excerpts from Chapter 15 of the Hawaii County Code indicate/state:

  • Section 15-3 defines “Camper’— means any person who remains in a park area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and “Camping” – means the act of remaining in a park area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • Section 15-8 designates the authority of the Director to establish visiting hours and states in part: “all persons shall observe and abide by the officially -posted signs and designated closed areas and visiting hours.”
  • Article 4, beginning with Section 15-39 and continuing through Section 15-48, designates Camping and all rules associated, including the names of the parks where camping is allowed.

Based on these DPR Administrative Rules, overnight stay at the facilities listed above are prohibited.

With respect to the Hawaii County Building Code, fire sprinklers and/or alarm systems are required for any facility used for sleeping, with the R-1 designation as described below.

County gyms can possibly be evaluated as transient accommodations, but must meet the standards of this section of the code:

302.1 General. Structures or portions of structures shall be classified with respect to occupancy in one or more of the groups listed below. A room or space that is intended to be occupied at different times for different purposes shall comply with all of the requirements that are applicable to each of the purposes for which the room or space will be occupied. Structures with multiple occupancies or uses shall comply with Section 508. Where a structure is proposed for a purpose that is not specifically provided for in this code, such structure shall be classified in the group that the occupancy most nearly resembles, according to the fire safety and relative hazard involved.

The current occupancy type of a gymnasium is Assembly Occupancy. Use of
gymnasiums for sleeping would change the occupancy type to R -I Occupancy.

  • Fire Sprinkler Requirement. R-1 Occupancy in Section 903.2.7 of the Building Code requires a fire sprinkler system; therefore, a gym or other facility used for sleeping shall have a fire sprinkler system.
  • Fire Alarm Requirement. R-1 occupancies in Section 907.2.8 of the Building Code require a Fire Alarm system and smoke alarm system.

The restriction/constraint regarding the use of a gym as a sleeping space is the need for fire sprinklers. The codes also require audio/visual fire alarms. These are not commonly present in older buildings, and therefore, upgrades would be required to accommodate sleeping.

HFD has allowed sleeping in these facilities under the exemption found in the NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code, Hawaii 2006 Edition, regulation 20.2.3.6 Use of School Facilities for Sleeping, which reads:

“Educational occupancies that allow sleeping on a temporary basis shall prohibit smoking or open flames, and shall be provided with one of the following:

  1. Smoke alarms shall be provided in the designated sleeping area. When the facility is provided with a fire alarm system, the smoke alarms shall be connected to the fire alarm system, or
  2. An approved fire watch shall be provided.”

None of the DPR facilities above are school facilities, with the exception of perhaps Kawananakoa Gym, which is also governed by rules included in the lease agreement with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).

DHHL lease agreement #44, amendment #2, with DPR, item #8, states in part: “it is agreed that for the health and safety of those using the facilities, and to address potential damages to the gymnasium, NO FOOD OR DRINK AND OVERNIGHT STAY at the facilities are allowed.” (Emphasis as it appears in document.)

The DHHL lease agreement would disqualify Kawananakoa Gym in any event,
regardless of any safety -protection systems that may be in place.

Based on this research, DPR has recommended against the continued practice of allowing overnight stays at DPR recreational facilities. However, DPR/Hawai’i County recognizes and fully supports the cultural and historical significance of the MMF, and is aware of the shortage of accommodations available for this important event. As such, every effort will be made to work with your organization to identify potential alternate sites.

DPR would like to offer the usage of the Mauna Kea Recreation Area cabins to visiting halau in 2018. There are two bunkhouses, capable of holding 24 people each, plus seven cabins, capable of holding six people each, for a total of 90 people. Each bunkhouse and cabin has its own bathroom with shower. There are potable water, a dining hall, and ample parking.

DPR is ready to assist the Merrie Monarch Festival in addressing any potential
concerns you may have with these suggested alternate accommodations, and looks forward to working with you.

UPDATE on the North Kona Water Restrictions

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

The contractor started removing column pipe today and expect to extract the pump and motor in a couple of days. The spare pump and motor will then be connected and reinstallation work will continue through the Admissions Day weekend.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies and businesses that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended.

Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained. However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org.  For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Hawaii County Seeking Applicants to Board of Appeals

The County of Hawai’i is urgently seeking applicants to vacancies on the Board of Appeals, an important body whose key task is the interpretation of County Code and other laws related to planning and construction.Members of the Board of Appeals hear appeals from final decisions by the Planning Director or the Director of Public Works.  The ideal candidate for the Board will have background or expertise in broad areas of planning and/or construction and be able to focus on the community needs without catering to special or self-interest.

The seven-member Board is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the County Council.

For applications or further information, please contact Rose Bautista, Executive Assistant, at rose.bautista@hawaiicounty.gov , or call 961-8211.