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BREAKING: New Crack Found on West Side of Pu‘u O‘o

The United States Geological Survey reported that starting at about 2 p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2018, marked increases in seismicity and ground deformation indicated that a change was underway at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone.

Visibility was nearly obscured due to poor weather conditions, but a brief clearing allowed Hawaiian Volocano Observatory’s webcam (POcam) to capture this image of the crater within Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō shortly before the crater floor began collapsing.

Unfortunately, due to ongoing poor weather, a clear view of the collapsed crater floor has not yet been possible. The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater floor continued to collapse for several hours yesterday; smaller drops in the crater floor have likely continued through today (May 1) based on thermal images. PC: USGS.

A new crack about .6 miles long was found on the west (uprift) side of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during HVO’s overflight today. The cracking appeared to be nearly continuous en echelon structures that were heavily steaming.

A small amount of lava was apparently erupted from the crack, based on the presence of nearby tiny pads of lava and spatter, but it was no longer active when HVO geologists saw it during the overflight. This photo looks east, with Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō obscured by low clouds in the upper left corner. PC: USGS.

Telephoto view of a small lava flow (lighter in color) and spatter (blue-gray) that were erupted from a section of the crack on the west flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. PC: USGS.

Within hours of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater floor collapse, HVO’s monitoring instruments recorded increased seismicity and ground deformation along Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone (ERZ) that continued through the night.

These signals indicated an intrusion of magma from the Middle ERZ toward the Lower ERZ, extending from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō to at least Highway 130. This illustration shows the approximate area of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, which, in reality, is not defined by distinct lines. MC: USGS.

As of Tuesday, May 1, the eruption at the summit of Kīlauea has apparently not been affected by the collapse at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō or intrusion of magma along the volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone.

Following multiple overflows of the summit lava lake on April 21 and 27, which spilled lava onto the floor of Halema‘uma‘u, the lava lake level dropped over the weekend (April 28 and 29). But on the morning of April 30, the lava lake level began to rise in concert with summit inflation. This image of the summit lava lake was taken during HVO’s overflight just before 8 a.m. today, May 1, 2018. PC: USGS.

‘No Outlet’ Restriction Trial Discontinued

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces that it is discontinuing the trial “no outlet” restriction from 29th Avenue (also known as Poni Moi Avenue) onto Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road (Highway 130).

This restriction, which sought to improve the efficiency of the highway by limiting the side street connections, was put in place Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, and concluded Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

“After weighing the public feedback and the benefits of the ‘no outlet’ restriction at 29th Avenue we have decided to look at other options to improve the operations of Highway 130,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Much mahalo to the Hawaiian Paradise Park residents for their cooperation and patience during this trial.”

The HDOT Highways Division, Hawaii District is currently exploring other options to increase efficiencies along Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road. More information on upcoming operational improvements will be made available at a later date.

Bill Limiting Telescopes on Maunakea Passes Senate 25–0

Hawai‘i Senate Bill 3090 SD2 passed the Hawai‘i Senate in favor with a vote of 25–0 today, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, and now moves over to the Hawai‘i House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 3090 SD2:

Establishes the Maunakea Management Authority. Limits the number of telescopes that may be authorized on Maunakea.

Authorizes the renegotiation of leases, subleases, easements, permits, and licenses pertaining to Maunakea. Requires that revenue derived from activities on Maunakea be shared with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Excludes Maunakea lands from the definition of “public lands.” Provides for free access to Maunakea for traditional cultural purposes. Establishes police powers and provides for enforcement of laws on land under the jurisdiction of the Maunakea Management Authority. Appropriates funds. Effective 12/31/2033.

A statewide series of community presentations about the future of Maunakea begins tonight from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Nānākuli at Ka Waihona O Ka Na‘auo, 89-195 Farrington Highway.

A meeting has been scheduled for the Big Island in Hilo with Sens. Kahele and and Rep. Chris Todd at Keaukaha Elementary School on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Zonta to Honor Hirono & Community Leader with Rose Award

The Zonta Club of Hilo will honor Sen. Mazie Hirono and community leader Irene Nagao with its biennial “Rose Award of Excellence” on Monday, March 26, 2018, at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku Ola Ballroom. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., dinner and program starts at 5:30 p.m.

The Zonta Rose Award of Excellence recognizes women who have made a significant impact on the lives of others through their employment, volunteer activities and associations. The award is part of Zonta International’s observance of International Women’s Day and Zonta Rose Day. Zonta’s mission is to empower women through service and advocacy.

“We are proud to celebrate Sen. Hirono’s work to improve the quality of life for humanity across the globe and Irene’s efforts here at home to help those who need a second or third chance at life,” said Julie Tulang, Zonta Hilo service chair. “Both women have gone above and beyond in service to the local and global community, and truly embody Zonta’s mission to empower women.”

Sen. Hirono has led a life of public service. From working to protect victims of domestic violence to extending protections for Filipino veterans of US military, Sen. Hirono is a fierce advocate for Hawaii, women, children and immigrants in Congress. Nagao, president of Going Home Hawai‘i, has convened public and private groups to support programs for youth as well as those experiencing traumatic loss or integrating back into the community from incarceration.

A limited number of tickets, which includes dinner, are available; $55 a person, or $550 for a sponsor table of eight. Purchase tickets at ZontaRose2018.eventbrite.com by Monday, March 12, 2018. For more information email info@zontahilo.org.

HI-SEAS ‘Mission to Mars’ Cancelled

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission VI has been cancelled as a crewmember has voluntarily withdrawn participation in the study.

It is not possible to perform a mission with a crew of three.

Further, an investigation is ongoing into an incident that occurred on Feb. 19, 2018, temporarily suspending the mission.

A crewmember was transported from the HI-SEAS dome at the 8,200-foot level of Mauna Loa on Feb. 19 and admitted to Hilo Medical Center for required medical attention. The crewmember was under observation for a few hours before being released.

After a full safety inspection of the habitat has been performed, a new call for applicants will be released to compose a new crew for another mission based on a review by the institutional review board.

$500,000 for Master Plan for Pāhoa Elementary School

Pahoa Elementary School.

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura received a letter from Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige announcing that the state has released $500,000 in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding to finance a master plan for Pāhoa Elementary School.

Gov. Ige said:

Aloha Representative San Buenaventura:

I am pleased to let you know that my administration has released funding for the following Capital Improvement Project(s) (CIP):

Name: Pāhoa Elementary School, Master Plan, Hawai‘i

Description: To finance a master plan for Pāhoa Elementary School.

Amount Released: $500,000

Mahalo for your work on behalf of the residents of your district to secure these funds.
Projects such as these are critical components of the public infrastructure and
contribute to building a better home for our kupuna, keiki, and all the residents of
Hawai‘i.

A list of released CIP and CIP Grants-In-Aid (GIA) will be emailed once a month.

By working collaboratively, we can climb the mountains of challenges that face Hawai‘i.

With warmest regards,

David Y. Ige
Governor, State of Hawai‘i

Rep. Sanbuenventura said:

“Pāhoa Elementary School is the oldest elementary school in Puna. Despite its continued growth, Pāhoa Elementary School has had only one building and had been operating mostly from portable classrooms, a sub-standard administration building and no cafeteria. In fact, part of its playground has been coopted by the county for a baseball field.

Little children walk a careful line with escorts to cross the street to Pāhoa Intermediate/High school to eat. Thus, it is a long time coming that a master plan to design the school is finally coming to fruition instead of the hodgepodge portables connected by sometimes-covered walkways that the teachers and children have had to endure.”

Big Island Has State’s Highest Renewable Energy Percentage

The Hawai‘i Electric Light Company announces that the companies achieved a consolidated 27% renewable portfolio standard in 2017, up from 26% the year before. The increase was achieved primarily by the addition of new grid-scale and private rooftop solar systems.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light are well on their way to achieving the next mandated RPS milestone, 30% by 2020.

RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. Hawai‘i Island, with a mix of geothermal, solar, wind and hydroelectricity, had the highest renewable percentage at 57%, up from 54% in 2016. Maui County was at 34%, compared with 37% in 2016, and O‘ahu was 21%, up from 19% in 2016.

Maui saw a decline due to a decrease in the available wind energy. Maui Electric used 95% of the total wind power available, the highest percentage ever accepted from the island’s three wind farms.

The three companies also track the peak renewable energy production for the year. These peaks are typically achieved on sunny, windy days when demand for electricity is low and renewable production is high. The peak on Hawai‘i Island was reached on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 when 83% of electricity demand was met by renewables. The peak was 77% on Maui on Sunday, June 4, 2017 and 53% on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 on O‘ahu.

On O‘ahu, the 27.6-megawatt Waianae Solar project began operation in early 2017 and is the largest solar installation in the state. Private rooftop solar accounted for more than 70% of the 109 megawatts of new PV generation that came online on the five islands of the companies’ service territory last year. Annually, those new resources will displace more than 350,000 barrels of oil used for power generation.

The next milestone on Hawai‘i’s path to 100%, renewable energy will be in 2020 when the renewable portfolio standard requirement is 30%. The companies expect to integrate hundreds of megawatts of new renewable generation by mid-2019. There are four grid-scale solar projects and a biofuel-capable power plant under construction on O‘ahu and two grid-scale solar projects close to completion on Maui. Continued growth of private rooftop solar is expected on all islands.

In addition, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light intend to issue requests for proposals in two stages over the next two years for renewable resources planned through 2022. Those include:

  • 220 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation for O‘ahu
  • 100 MW for the island of Maui
  • 50 MW for Hawaii Island

HDOT Announces Restriction to Improve Hwy 130 Traffic Flow

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces a “no outlet” restriction from 29th Avenue (also known as Poni Moi Avenue) onto Kea‘au Pāhoa Road (Highway 130) Monday through Friday, between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., excluding weekends and state holidays. This restriction is effective Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, and will be conducted on a trial basis through the morning of Monday, March 5, 2018.

Uncontrolled access along Highway 130 was identified as a safety concern in the Final Environmental Assessment for the Kea‘au Pāhoa Road Improvements. HDOT will consider limiting the number of access points to the highway in portions of the corridor in accordance with the recommendations from the Environmental Assessment.

“We are constantly exploring cost-efficient and effective ways to improve our highways system,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Hawai‘i District crews have observed A.M. traffic building in this area due in part to multiple side street connections to the highway. We are limiting access from 29th Avenue as a test to evaluate the benefits and impacts of the restriction.”

Signage to notify motorists of the “no outlet” restriction, as well as traffic control devices, will be placed at the intersection to alert motorists to the trial.

HDOT would appreciate any comments on this pilot from the community. Please send comments to DOTPAO@hawaii.gov or call the HDOT Hawai‘i District at (808) 933-8866 prior to the end of the trial on Monday, March 5, 2018.

Puna Man Charged in Kidnapping Incident

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department has charged a 42-year-old Puna man in connection with a domestic violence related kidnapping incident.

Timothy Wayne Torres

Timothy Wayne Torres was arrested by patrol officers on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2018, at 2:15 p.m., in Puna and later charged by detectives with two misdemeanor and one felony abuse of a family or household member, kidnapping and first degree terroristic threatening in connection with an incident reported on Saturday, January 20.

Torres is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $55,000 bail pending his initial court appearance in South Hilo District Court scheduled for this afternoon, Monday, Feb. 5.

Anyone who may have any information about this incident is asked to call Detective Matthew Kaaihue of the Juvenile Aid Section at (808) 961-8883 or Matthew.Kaaihue@hawaiicounty.gov.

UPDATE: Strong Thunderstorm to Affect Parts of Big Island

UPDATE: Feb. 5, 2018, 3:43 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has just issued a report about a strong thunderstorm that will affect Hawai‘i County.

At 3:41 p.m., a strong thunderstorm was located between Honoka‘a and Waimea—about 33 miles northwest of Hilo. This storm was moving northeast at 25 mph.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph and dime size hail are possible with this storm.

Locations that may be affected by this storm include Honoka‘a and Pa‘auilo.

ORIGINAL POST, Feb. 5, 2018, 3:17 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has just issued a Flood Advisory for Hawai‘i County until 6:15 p.m. HST.

At 3:09 p.m., radar indicated heavy rain near Pu‘uanahulu. Rain was falling at a rate of up to 3 inches per hour.

Locations in the advisory include but are not limited to Pololu Valley, Kohala Ranch, Pu‘uanahulu, Hawi, Halaula, Kamuela, Kapa‘au, Kawaihae, Puako, Waikoloa Village, Waimanu Valley and Waipio Valley.

Stay away from streams, drainage ditches and low lying areas prone to flooding.

Rainfall and runoff will also cause hazardous driving conditions due to ponding, reduced visibility and poor braking action.

Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle, or on foot. Turn around, don’t drown.

This advisory may need to be extended beyond 615 PM HST if heavy rain persists.

BIPC Call for Scholarship Applicants

The Big Island Press Club (BIPC) announces the availability of scholarships for students pursuing higher education in journalism and related careers. Last year, BIPC awarded a total of $4,600 to six Hawai‘i Island students at its annual scholarship dinner.

Application deadline is Monday, April 2, 2018. To qualify applicants must:

  • Have Big Island residential ties
  • Demonstrate an interest in journalism or related career
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student and show a record of academic achievement.

Annually BIPC offers scholarships honoring past Big Island journalists and advocates. The awards include the Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship, the Bill Arballo Scholarship, the Marcia Reynolds Scholarship, the Yukino Fukubori Memorial Scholarship, the Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship and the Hugh Clark Scholarship. Awards are determined by the BIPC Scholarship Committee to qualified applicants.

Past BIPC scholarship winners include Hawai‘i Tribune Herald reporter John Burnett, Waiākea High School graduate and Wall Street Journal writer Grad Alex Bitter, HMSA Senior Vice President Elisa Yadao, owner of Hiehie Communiications Ilihia Gionson, Legislative Assistant to District 3 Peter Sur and retired newspaper and radio reporter Chris Loos.

Applications must be postmarked by Monday, April 2, 2018, and announcement of winners will be at the BIPC Annual Scholarship dinner to be held in May.

Applications are available at the BIPC website. For more information email: scholarships@bigislandpressclub.org or call BIPC Treasurer, Robert Duerr (808) 937-9104.

Founded in 1967, the BIPC is the state’s oldest and most active media organization in the state of Hawai‘i.

BIPC also announces its annual the Lava Tube and the Torch of Light awards annually on Freedom of Information Day, March 16, the birthday of James Madison. For further information visit the Big Island Press Club website.

$86 Million Sought for Puna CIP Projects

Rep. Joy San Buenventura

Hawai‘i Rep. Joy San Buenventura submitted House Bill 1617 relating to Capital Improvement Projects, seeking to appropriate more than $86 million in funds to help with the Puna District of Hawai‘i.

“Its about time that the children of Pāhoa Elementary School have their own cafeteria,” said Rep. Buenventura. “Kids should not need to cross the street and share a cafeteria with the teenagers of Pāhoa High & Intermediate. With a growing population, Pāhoa Elementary School should have its own cafeteria. Pāhoa Intermediate School needs a covered play court—separate from the older children of Pāhoa High School. The Highway 130 four-lane project has been in the books for awhile and is already in the 2019 budget. Having it in this bill is a reminder to have it funded.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2018, the bill was introduced and it passed the first reading.

The following projects were included on HB1617 that Rep. Buenventura is seeking appropriations for.

Pāhoa Elementary School:

Design and construction to renovate restrooms:

  • Design $10,000
  • Construction $50,000

Total $60,000

Design and construction for campus-wide repair and maintenance projects to reroof buildings and repaint building interiors and exteriors:

  • Design $105,000
  • Construction $440,000

Total $545,000

Also included in the elementary school appropriation, $9 million for construction for a new cafeteria and administration building.

Total funding sought for Pāhoa Elementary School: $9.605 million.

Pāhoa High and Intermediate Schools:

Plan, design, construction and equipment for a covering for the middle school play court:

  • Plans $100,000
  • Design $100,000
  • Construction $500,000
  • Equipment $300,000

Total $1 million

Plans, design, construction and equipment for a covered courtyard next to the gym:

  • Plans $10,000
  • Design $10,000
  • Construction $50,000
  • Equipment $30,000

Total $100,000

Plans, design, construction and equipment for a covered walkway from the cafeteria to the upper portables:

  • Plans $30,000
  • Design $30,000
  • Construction $150,000
  • Equipment $90,000

Total $300,000

Plans, design, construction and equipment to upgrade the track field:

  • Plans $1.5 million
  • Design $1.5 million
  • Construction $7.5 million
  • Equipment $4.5 million

Total $15 million

Total funding sought for Pāhoa High and Intermediate Schools: $16.4 million.

Highway 130 Map provided by Kea‘au-Pahoa Advisory Group (KPAG).

The bill also would appropriate $15 million for construction of a “Highway 130 Bypass Road” between Milo Street and Hawaiian Paradise Park as an alternate to Highway 130.

Also included in the initial version of the bill is $40 million for Highway 130 road improvements so  construction to expand the highway from two to four lanes or alternate alignments in that corridor between Kea‘au and Pāhoa can be completed.

Total funding sought for Highway 130 projects: $55 million.

Finally, the bill includes $5 million to plan, design, construct and for land acquisition for a wastewater treatment plant:

  • Plans $600,000
  • Design $750,000
  • Construction $1.75 million
  • Land acquisition $1.9 million

Total Funding: $5 million

Total funding requested for appropriation in HB1617: $86,005 million

Residents wishing to submit testimony, may do so online.

High Wind and High Surf Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning and Advisory for Hawai‘i Island for Thursday, Jan. 18, through tomorrow night Friday, Jan. 19, 2018.

A High Wind Warning means maximum sustained winds of up to 40 mph with higher gusts and locally damaging winds. The highest winds are expected to occur in the district of Kohala. Hāmakua, Hilo, Puna, Ka‘ū and the summit areas may also experience high winds.

Due to the warning and advisory, the following are issued:

  • Owners of small boats and aircraft should take measures to secure their crafts.
  • Exercise extreme caution with all coastal and ocean activities as winds will generate rough and choppy conditions.
  • Residents and property owners should take action to secure loose outdoor objects before winds increase.
  • If you have outdoor plans today, be prepared for very windy conditions.
  • As in all high wind conditions, do expect possibility of power, phone, and internet interruptions
  • Motorists should be on the alert for debris on the roadways caused by the winds.

In addition, the National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Advisory for the shorelines of Kohala, Hāmakua, Hilo, Puna and Ka‘ū.

A High Surf Advisory means there is a threat to life and property from the surf. Oceanfront residents, all ocean activities, and beachgoers are advised to be on the alert for possible strong currents and breaking waves.

You are urged to take precautions to prepare for these conditions.

Almost Half in Hawai‘i Unable to Pay for Basic Necessities

The Aloha United Way, with the help of sponsors, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Bank of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, released its United Way Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Report – Hawai‘i, during a press conference at the state Capitol on O‘ahu. The press conference was attended by top business executives and state Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler.

The ALICE report press conference was attended by top business executives and state Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler. Courtesy photo.

ALICE represents hardworking people that interact with others every day, the report disclosed. They are the people of our community who are child care providers, wait staff, cashiers, teaching assistants and others that work one, two or even three jobs yet still remain only one crisis away from being at greater risk of chronic health issues or loss of housing.

ALICE have income above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford basic necessities including housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.

In Hawai‘i, there are 165,013 ALICE households (37% of total households) while another 47,066 households, (11% of total households), live below the federal poverty level. In total, 48% of Hawai‘i households are ALICE and below.

Everyone was ALICE, is ALICE, or knows ALICE. ALICE is a vital part of our community. When ALICE struggles we are all impacted, the report said. The consequences to the community are increased healthcare and infrastructure costs, increased employee absenteeism, higher insurance premiums, reduced economic productivity and much more.

“ALICE individuals and families constitute over one-third of Hawai’i’s population, and it is essential to the well-being of our state that we recognize their presence, acknowledge their struggles, and offer support and services that will help,” said Aloha United Way President and CEO Cindy Adams. “The report allows us to identify their challenges and, through cross-sector coalition-building, work toward solutions that are effective, sustainable and long-lasting.”

This report is a call to action to inform statewide policy, philanthropy and allocation of resources.

For more information and to view of a copy of the full report, visit Aloha United Way.

Top Scientists to Converge on the Big Island – Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences

More than 1,000 of the world’s top academics, researchers and practitioners in computer science and information technology will gather at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawai‘i County for the Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), January 2-6, 2018.

Sponsored by the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the conference will cover trending topics and future concepts that may lead to the next big technological discovery in the world.

The conference will feature 10 research tracks, and 33 symposia, workshops and tutorials on topics such as digital transformation, big data, cybersecurity, cognitive computer and smart toys.

Over the past five decades, HICSS has built a distinguished reputation as the premier forum for the exchange of ideas in the information systems (IS) industry. It is one of the longest-running general-purpose scientific conferences in the world and is recognized for its ability to bring together top IS academics and professionals from more than 1,000 universities in an interactive working environment.

“Many of HICSS’ past papers have contributed to discoveries in information technologies and scientific knowledge in the IS industry,” said Tung Bui, HICSS conference chair and a professor of informational technology management at the Shidler College of Business.

“Early research theories and models of the Internet, drones, social media, human technology, etc., were all discussed at HICSS years before its debut. Its influence will continue to strongly shape the future direction of technology research in the world,” Bui said.

HICSS is the top conference in terms of citations, according to Google Scholar. Approximately 600 papers will be presented through 139 sessions. This yearʻs conference will feature two keynote speakers: Inhi Suh, general manager of IBM Collaboration Solutions, presenting “Cognitive Computing and the Future,” and Larry Smarr, founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, presenting “Toward a Global Research Platform for Big Data Analysis.”

The proceedings of the 2018 conference are available online.

Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences

Throughout its 50-year history, HICSS has promoted technological innovations and has advanced the research and development in the IS and technology fields publishing approximately 19,000 refereed papers. HICSS has also featured renowned researchers and practitioners from the technology industry who served as keynote speakers.
Over the past five decades, HICSS has built a distinguished reputation as the premier forum for the exchange of ideas in the information systems (IS) industry. It is one of the longest-running general-purpose scientific conferences in the world and is recognized for its ability to bring together top IS academics and professionals from more than 1,000 universities in an interactive working environment.

For more information, visit the HICSS website at www.hicss.hawaii.edu.

Governor Ige Releases $3 Million in CIP Funding for East Hawaii Region

Sen. Ruderman

Senator Russel Ruderman announces the following release of Capital Improvement Funds:

I am pleased to announce that Governor David Ige’s administration has released Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, to fund construction and equipment costs for renovation, acquisition, and installation of radiology equipment in the East Hawai‘i Region (Hilo Medical Center, Hale Hoola Hamakua, and Kau Hospital).

Amount Released: $3,000,000.

Thank you Governor Ige for your efforts on Senate District 2’s behalf.

Projects such as these are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building a better home for our kupuna, keiki, and all the residents of Hawai‘i.

HDOT Celebrates New Improvement Projects at Hilo Harbor

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), Harbors Division, celebrated the blessing of Hilo Harbor’s newly completed Pier 4 cargo wharf project, the Pier 1 cargo yard and passenger terminal improvements. The projects are designed to increase operational space and increase cargo handling efficiencies. The improvements to the passenger terminal will create a more pleasant and comfortable environment for cruise passengers.

Kahu Danny Akaka Jr. performs a blessing of the Pier 4 cargo wharf project, Pier 1 cargo yard and passenger terminal improvements at Hilo Harbor.

“These projects are more than brick and mortar improvements, they’re about providing opportunities for our people and meeting the needs of our communities,” said Gov. David Ige. “We are ensuring the viability of our commercial harbor system and encouraging a healthy job market that includes work opportunities in transportation, maritime related trades, hospitality and tourism, not to mention the local consultants and contractors the state has employed to complete the job.”

The Pier 1 Shed Modifications, Phase II project consisted of several improvements that upgraded the operational efficiency at Pier 1 by removing approximately 40 percent of the Pier 1 shed structure. This will allow vessel operators improved utilization of the pier, increasing cargo yard capacity and improving the cruise passenger experience. In addition, there is new asphalt concrete pavement, fire protection and lighting in the new cargo yard.

Other improvements to the Pier 1 shed create a more pleasant and comfortable environment to enhance the cruise passenger experience in Hilo. They include renovated restrooms, a new security room, a new fire alarm system and additional fire sprinklers throughout the shed. Work also included lead paint and asbestos abatement and disposal.

“Our shed modifications at Pier 1 enable better utilization of pier side facilities, helping to improve efficiencies in our cargo yard while improvements inside the passenger terminal will make our visitors’ experience more comfortable,” explained Interim Director of Transportation, Jade Butay. “In addition, the new improvements at our Pier 4 cargo terminal will alleviate some of the logistical challenges and improve our interisland cargo operations in the Port of Hilo. I want to congratulate our Harbors team as well as our partners – the Hawaii Harbors Users Group (HHUG), our consultant and contractors on a job well done.”

Development of the Pier 4 cargo terminal was separated into several phases including: dredging, container yard development, and Kumau Street improvements. In addition to the newly constructed Pier 4 wharf structure, safety and efficiency improvements were made by separating cargo and passenger operations at Hilo Harbor. An additional berth space was also created to accommodate the growing general maritime and cruise industries. Finally, a new interisland pier replaces the aging Pier 2, which is unable to accommodate the new container handling equipment and vessels.

“This is a momentous occasion not only for the Department of Transportation Harbors Division but for our cargo operations in Hilo as well,” stated Glenn Hong, President, Young Brothers, Ltd. “We’ve worked closely with the department to design this modern interisland cargo terminal at Pier 4 that will meet Hawaii Island’s needs into the future, allowing us to return to a two ramp operation so we can continue to serve this retail market and especially the mom-n-pop businesses that are the heart of our local economy. I want to extend my appreciation to Gov. Ige and his administration, Interim Director Jade Butay, Harbors Deputy Darrell Young and his Harbors team for their collaboration and hard work in making these facility improvements a reality. Mahalo Nui!”

The Pier 4 terminal project adds much needed cargo capacity to the Port of Hilo. Constructed in the early 1920s, Pier 2 cargo activities are restricted, limiting operations and full utilization of the terminal space. Delivery of interisland cargo on Pier 2’s narrow apron requires use of the area between Piers 1 and 3, creating a comingling of both cargo and cruise ship operations that compromises the safety of passengers and pedestrians and affects cargo operating efficiency.

North Kona Water Restriction Update

As of yesterday afternoon, Keōpū Deepwell installation is complete.

The Department has begun the disinfection and water quality testing process, which once successfully completed, will render the Keōpū Deepwell fully operational and ready for use. The Department anticipates this will happen by Monday, December 25, 2017.

At this time, the 25 percent (25%) Water Restriction remains in effect; however, the Department expects to downgrade to a voluntary 10 percent (10%) conservation once the Keōpū Deepwell is operating reliably.

Kona water tank levels remain stable and the Department continues to monitor the water system and make adjustments as necessary.

The Department sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to reduce their water usage.

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.

New Park Proposed for Hawaiian Paradise Park

The Department of Parks and Recreation is proposing to develop a master plan for a new public park within Hawaiian Paradise Park.

There will be two public presentations:

The first presentation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 7th

The second presentation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 19th

The location for both presentations will be the Hawaiian Paradise Park Owners Association Activity Center located at 15-1570 Maku’u Drive between 16th and 17th Streets in Kea‘au. The public is invited to attend both meetings.

The purpose of the first public meeting is to present the Department’s proposed vision, goals, and preliminary alternative plans and to gather input from the community and interested parties. The purpose of the second public meeting will be to present the preliminary master plan and gather any additional input.

The new park would be located on a County-owned, 20-acre parcel bordered by Kaloli Drive, 25th Avenue and 26th Avenue. Proposed facilities being considered in the master plan include a baseball and softball field, soccer and football field, tennis courts, skate park, playground, covered play courts, and a community center.

For more information or to request special assistance for these meetings, please contact
Jared Chang from SSFM International at 808-356-1242 or jchang@ssfm.com. If requesting special assistance, please contact Jared at least three days prior to the meeting.