Nanakuli Turn Lane Update: Eastbound & Some Westbound Left Turns to be Accommodated

farrington-highway-nanakuli

Photo Credit: KHON

Email exchange between Sen. Shimabukuro and DOT:

On Nov 25, 2016, at 11:30 AM, Sniffen, Edwin H <edwin.h.sniffen@hawaii.gov> wrote:

Thank you Senator,

That is exactly what the lane will be used for, we will accommodate Makai turns to the extent possible. It should be noted that the primary purpose is to provide queuing areas for left turn movements at the two intersections [Nanakuli Ave. & Haleakala Ave.]. Therefore, where possible, the lane will allow refuge areas for other left turns. That being said, if those other turn areas conflict with the major intersection queue lengths, the left turn will not be allowed. The left turn at Ka Waihona is an example of this. Accommodating a left turn into Ka Waihona’s parking lot would interrupt the left turn queue at Nanakuli Ave. However, there will be a full signal that will accommodate turn movements into Ka Waihona when the Nanakuli Village project is completed.

Please feel free to call or email me if I can be of further assistance.

Aloha,
Ed

Mr. Sniffen’s letter was in response to the following inquiry by Sen. Shimabukuro:

From: Maile Shimabukuro [mailto:maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2016 8:47 AM
To: Sniffen, Edwin H <edwin.h.sniffen@hawaii.gov>
Subject: Question Re: Nanakuli Turn Lanes

Aloha Ed / DOT: A constituent asked if the Nanakuli turn lanes can also be used for westbound left turns into Nanakuli Beach Park, Ka Waihona o ka Na`auao charter school, Depot’s beach park, etc. Since you are creating a continuous 1.2 mile 5th lane, I think that’s an excellent suggestion, and would help with traffic flow in both directions. Is this possible?

SA: Spotlight on Truancy Court at Waianae Intermediate

Nanea Kalani, “Family Court experiment helps Waianae school fight absenteeism,” Star-Advertiser, 11/27/16.

A pilot program under Oahu’s Family Court is quietly helping address a persistent attendance problem at one Leeward middle school by removing barriers for truant students while emphasizing the importance of a high school education.

Family Court Senior Judge R. Mark Browning last school year launched a specialized court to handle truancy cases out of Waianae Intermediate School, where average daily absences are more than double the state average.

The school, with 913 students in grades 7 and 8, had the highest chronic absenteeism rate last school year among middle schools at 38 percent, reflecting the percentage of students absent 15 days or more. The state average for middle schools was 14 percent that year.

Waianae Intermediate students on average missed 21 school days — amounting to more than four weeks of school — compared with the statewide average of nine absences.

Although statistics for this year aren’t finalized, the school believes the program is making a difference. For example, Waianae Intermediate Principal John Wataoka says he’s never had to sign so many perfect-attendance certificates and teachers have said their classes seem larger despite the same enrollment.

“We’re still far from where we want to be, so I can’t imagine not having this partnership,” Wataoka said of the truancy court program. “We’re looking to really transform not just the school but the community and their mindset as far as what school and education can ultimately do for their children’s futures.”

Browning consulted with his colleagues and area school leaders and floated the idea of establishing a specialized court to handle truancy cases.  Continue reading

SA: ‘Input on Swimming with Dolphins Sought’ – Deadline 12/1/16

Star-Advertiser, 19 Nov. 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service is reopening the public-comment period for a proposed rule to prohibit swimming with and approaching a Hawaiian spinner dolphin within 50 yards.

The proposal seeks to keep swimmers, vessels and drones at least 50 yards away from Hawaiian spinner dolphins within 2 nautical miles from shore.

The rule was first published in August, with a comment period closing Oct. 23, but the agency decided to reopen the comment period until Dec. 1 to provide additional time for the public to submit information and to comment.

Read the full story on the Star-Advertiser site.

AP/SA: ‘Kaena Point Windmill Plan Prompts Fears’

“Kaena Point windmill plan prompts fears”
Associated Press/Star-Advertiser
19 Nov. 2016

Some Hawaii residents are arguing against a proposed floating wind farm off Kaena Point, saying it could hurt wildlife and affect surfing prospects.

Jens Peterson, the project’s Danish developer, said the farm could create up to 100 jobs for 10 years and help Hawaii reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, reported Hawaii News Now. The proposal calls for building 51 floating turbines secured by anchors and electrical cables.

But the windmills could become “bird blenders” and have an impact on swells prized by surfers, said Robert Justice, a member of the North Shore Neighborhood Board.

“It will directly affect Pipeline, Jocko’s, all the good west swell breaks,” Justice said Wednesday. “We just had a world champ, John John (Florence), come out of the North Shore. It’s a breeding ground for good surfers. And everyone in the world comes to visit us, and to even chance destroying that, it’s just beyond words to me.”

Peterson said the project’s scope is unprecedented and “phenomenally complicated.”

“It is very, very difficult to do,” Peterson told the news station. At minimum, he said, the proposal is “10 times more complex than any other project ever tried anywhere on Earth.”

It’s unlikely that the turbines will be visible from land, according to Peterson.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will decide whether the location is suitable.

Read the full article on the Star-Advertiser site.

Report Faults Honolulu for Criminalizing Homelessness

AP/Star-Advertiser, 15 Nov. 2016

A new report puts Honolulu in a “hall of shame” for enacting policies that criminalize homelessness. [Click here for the 59-page PDF report.]

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty said today many cities have banned living in vehicles, camping in public areas and panhandling.

The center says policies that criminalize homelessness harm communities because they create barriers to employment, housing and education.

Honolulu is among a handful of cities named in the report’s “hall of shame” for what the authors call bad policies. The report says Honolulu issued more than 16,000 warnings to people violating its sit-lie ban since it was enacted in Waikiki in 2014.

Honolulu officials say the ban is necessary so people can safely use public sidewalks and because tourists and residents complained.

Denver, Dallas and Puyallup, Washington, also were criticized for criminalizing policies.

Public Access Room Presentation in Waianae – 11/19/16

The Hawai’i State Legislature’s Public Access Room (PAR) will be hosting a workshop at the Wai’anae Public Library on Saturday, November 19 at 1:00 pm.

The workshop will include tips and techniques on effective lobbying, testimony, and communicating with Senators and Representatives; understanding the legislative process, deadlines, and power dynamics at the Capitol; and using the tools on the Legislature’s website.

For additional information, contact PAR at (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov.

2016-waianae-par

Click image to open PDF

Free Online Answers for Civil Cases

The following is an excerpt from Susan Essoyan’s “Site Offers Free Advice for Needy Isle Residents Involved in Civil Cases” (Star-Advertiser, 12 Nov. 2016). For the full article, go to the Star-Advertiser site.

People who can’t afford a lawyer can now reach out to get free advice on civil legal issues — from child custody to debt collection disputes — via the new Hawaii Online Pro Bono Portal.

Michelle Acosta

Michelle Acosta

“It’s available at their fingertips,” said Michelle Acosta, executive director of the nonprofit Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii, which runs the site. “You can pose a question and it looks exactly like an email. A volunteer attorney provides an answer. You can go back and forth.”

The site, which went live Oct. 24, is the latest move in a concerted campaign to push open the door to justice for needy folks in Hawaii, a broad-based effort that has earned Hawaii national recognition.

The Aloha State placed third on the 2016 Justice Index issued by the National Access to Justice Center, which ranks states and the District of Columbia on their efforts to promote justice for all, regardless of economic status, language or disability.

“It represents a lot of hard work by an awful lot of people to get us to this point in Hawaii,” Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald said last month at the Hawaii Justice Foundation’s annual meeting. “We have made great strides under the leadership of our Access to Justice Commission.”

The commission was formed in 2008 in the wake of a report that found that only one in five low- and moderate-income people get their civil legal needs met. While the right to a lawyer is guaranteed in criminal cases, that’s not the case in civil disputes, despite the high stakes at times, from losing a home to custody of a child.

The new secure website, hawaii.freelegalanswers.org, allows people with limited incomes [income and asset restrictions apply] to pose questions on civil cases, whenever and wherever they have internet access. Most of the questions coming in so far deal with consumer debt collection and family-law issues such as divorce and child support, Acosta said.

Continue reading