Saving energy wins
hotel more than $119K
HONOLULU — A Waikiki hotel is receiving more than $119,000 as a reward for installing energy efficient air conditioning systems and lights.
The conservation and energy efficiency program Hawaii Energy says the Courtyard Marriott Waikiki Beach retrofitted 400 guestrooms with air conditioning systems that turn off automatically when the rooms aren’t occupied.
A switch also turns off the room’s air conditioning when a lanai door is open.
The hotel replaced less efficient halogen lamps in guestroom corridors with high performance and long-lasting light emitting diode lamps.
Hawaii Energy on Tuesday presented the hotel with a check for more than $119,000. It says the hotel will also likely save about $190,000 in electricity costs each year.
Hawaii’s electric utility customers pay for the Hawaii Energy program.
secrecy on wind farm
HONOLULU — Developers of a proposed Lanai wind farm want to keep information on the project secret.
Attorneys for Castle & Cooke Properties Inc. on Monday asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to keep confidential the information submitted for regulatory review.,
Castle and Cooke in 2008 proposed a 200-megawatt wind energy project on Lanai with transmission to Oahu by undersea cable.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the utilities commission opened a new case in July to review progress on the project after a majority ownership stake was sold to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Castle & Cooke says it retained rights to the wind project but utility commission officials say there is uncertainty about that.
Seven entities including two energy developers and two community groups have filed to intervene in the case.
Drug store limits sale
of products with acetone
HONOLULU — An official with Hawaii’s state Narcotics Enforcement Division is applauding a decision by a drug store chain to restrict acetone product sales.
Agent Keith Kamita told KHON-TV that acetone is used to wash crystal methamphetamine and make it whiter and more appealing.
CVS, the owner of Longs Drugs, is requiring customers to show identification to buy acetone and will ban sales of products such as nail polish remover to customers under 18.
Kamita said the number of meth labs in Hawaii has decreased sharply since drug stores began tracking sales of Sudafed or other types of pseudoephedrine, a decongestant used to treat cold and hay fever symptoms.
The medicine is a primary ingredient for making methamphetamine.
Kamita said requiring identification for buying nail polish remover is also good deterrent.
adding spaces for urns
HONOLULU — The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to break ground in a few months on a project to create 7,000 more columbarium spaces for cremated remains at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
The cemetery — referred to locally as Punchbowl, the name of the crater it’s located at — is the only national cemetery in Hawaii. Officials say it will run out of interment space in less than three years without the expansion.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday the new spaces will be where the public information center and administrative offices are currently located. The offices and the visitors’ center will move to a new building the department plans to build outside the crater.
Cemetery spokeswoman Nadine Siak said the project is going out to bid this week. Construction is due to start in November.
The government estimates the project will cost between $10 million and $20 million.
Siak said another 5,300 columbarium spaces could be installed at a later date on the slope south of the American Battle Monuments Commission memorial, where a sculpture of Lady Columbia overlooks cemetery graves. Each urn niche is 10 inches high, 14 inches wide and 20 inches deep.
The department plans to build a new information center and administrative offices on the northeastern exterior flank near the entrance road that leads into Punchbowl crater.
The department is hosting a public meeting to discuss the plan Saturday morning at Keehi Lagoon Memorial Park.
on Umauma Bridge under consideration
State transportation officials are already asking drivers to slow down over the Umauma Bridge. Soon, they may also ask them to wait their turn.
To reduce the load on the aging 278-foot span, the state Department of Transportation is looking to install temporary traffic lights on either side of the Highway 19 bridge near Hakalau, to limit access to one vehicle at a time, DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said.
A 25 mph speed limit has already been enacted, as well as a ban on oversize loads. It’s unclear when traffic lights will be installed. Sluyter said motorists should not be concerned about using the bridge.
A DOT spokesman late last month said state crews began making emergency repairs. Sluyter was unsure if work had begun and said the state may still be in the assessment phase.
The repairs are expected to take between three and six months, she said. It’s unclear how much they will cost.
Repairs will be followed by a $37.2 million rehabilitation project, which was awarded to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., already planned for the 102-year-old bridge. The state will cover 20 percent of the cost while the federal government will cover the rest.
The bridge, which is retroffited against earthquakes, was labeled structurally deficient in 2007 due to corrosion of the steel truss towers.
Wastewater spill prompts Papaikou shoreline closure
An effluent pump malfunction led to the discharge Tuesday afternoon of 7,600 gallons of wastewater into the ocean from the Papaikou Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Dora Beck, the county’s Wastewater Division chief, said the shoreline area near the facility’s outfall was closed “as a precaution” between Kekiwi Point and Waipahi Point. She also said the wastewater went through two of three normal processes and was chlorinated and disinfected, therefore posing no harm to the public. A pump breakdown caused the bypass.
The shoreline was closed, signs were posted as a precautionary measure in accordance with federal requirements and the state Department of Health was notified. It reopened Wednesday morning.
The average daily wastewater flow through the plant is 60,000 to 80,000 gallons.
By local and wire sources