Second Restroom Added to Wahiawa Transit Center

23 02 2018

The Department of Transportation Services (DTS) recently completed the construction of a second restroom and refurbishment of the existing restroom at the Wahiawa Transit Center, which welcomes 1,697 riders on TheBus every weekday. Contractor Brian’s Contracting Inc. completed the 18-month project at a cost of $166,988.99.

The Transit Center was initially built with a single restroom that was reserved for use by operators of TheBus. However, in response to community concerns a second restroom was added, allowing the facilities to be opened for use by the general public.

Although initially budgeted at $500,000, the project’s total price was significantly less. Savings totaling $333,000 were realized after engineers with the Department of Transportation Services came up with the idea of renovating an existing storage room to create the new restroom, which proved to be both feasible and functional.

The $5.5 million Wahiawa Transit Center debuted in October of 2011 and is located between Center Street and California Avenue next to the State Civic Center. The ground level includes bus driveways and a staging area for passengers. The second level of the structure consists of 58 parking stalls, 33 of which are available for users of TheBus park and ride.

The Department of Transportation Services would like to thank the users of the Wahiawa Transit Center for their patience during the restroom project and hope they enjoy the new and refurbished facilities.

Support the Acquisition of Two New Ambulances to Service the City and County of Honolulu

22 02 2018

The Honolulu City Council passed Resolution 17-321 which urges the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) selection committee to allocate CDBG funds to acquire two new ambulances for use in low-and moderate-income communities in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The resolution also asks the City Administration to fund the operation of the ambulances through increased state funding for ambulance services.

Under the State Comprehensive Emergency Medical System the State Department of Health may contract with the county for emergency ambulance services. Currently the City and County of Honolulu contracts with the State to provide its own emergency ambulance services and is reimbursed by the State for the expenses of the ambulance services. The contract also sets the maximum amount of the reimbursement for the contract period as well as the minimum number of ambulance units that must be in service.

According to an October 20, 2017 report produced by Matt Levi Investigates, the Department’s Emergency Medical Services Division (EMS) has only twenty ambulances to respond to emergencies and to transport sick and injured persons to medical facilities for the entire island of Oahu.

With a resident population on Oahu of almost one million and a visitor population annually of over nine million to the State, EMS is not able to adequately or efficiently respond to all calls for services especially when ambulances are needed for calls within and outside of their assigned areas. This includes calls to outside low-and moderate-income communities.

Since the City and County of Honolulu is annually allocated CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and these funds are for activities benefitting low-and moderate-income persons, the Honolulu City Council urges the City Administration to submit requests for CDBG funding for the two new ambulances to the CDBG and HOME Projects Selection Committee.

The Honolulu City Council also encourages the City Administration to work with the State on the emergency ambulance services contract to increase the maximum reimbursement for ambulance services to cover the operation costs, and personnel costs of the additional ambulances. If the State doesn’t agree to provide additional funding, the City Administration should expend City funds to cover the operational costs of the additional ambulances.

Providing essential services should be a priority when it comes to the health, safety and overall well-being of our communities. Encourage the City Administration to support the acquisition of two new ambulances.

Oahu Lane Closures for the Weekend of February 16-18

16 02 2018

PLEASE NOTE: Lane closure schedules may change at any time without further notice. All projects are weather permitting.


Roving lane closure on Kunia Road in the northbound direction between Plantation Road and Wilikina Drive on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., for maintenance work.



Two to three lanes will be closed on the H-1 Freeway in the westbound direction between the Halawa Interchange and Waiawa Road Overpass, for the H-1 Shoulder and Pavement Rehabilitation project.

  • On Saturday night, Feb. 17, lanes will be closed from 8:30 p.m. to 10:15 a.m.
  • On Sunday night, Feb. 18, lanes will be closed from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Alternating lane closure on the H-1 Freeway in both directions between the Aiea Pedestrian overpass and the Pearl City Interchange on Friday night, Feb. 16, through Saturday morning, Feb. 17, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., for the H-1 Shoulder and Pavement Rehabilitation project.


Roving closure on the H-1 Freeway in the westbound direction between the Ewa offramp (Exit 5A) and the Kualakai Parkway underpass on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., for maintenance work.


Two to three lanes will be closed on the H-1 Freeway in the eastbound direction between the H-1/H-2 Split and the Aiea Pedestrian Overpass, for the H-1 Shoulder and Pavement Rehabilitation project.

  • On Saturday night, Feb. 17, lanes will be closed from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.
  • On Sunday night, Feb. 18, lanes will be closed from 7:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • On Tuesday night, Feb. 20, through Friday morning, Feb. 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.



Left lane closure on Likelike Highway in the Honolulu-bound direction between the Wilson Tunnel and Valley View Drive on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., for maintenance work.



Left lane closure on Nimitz Highway in the westbound direction between Sand Island Access Road and Ahua Street on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., for maintenance work.



Right lane closure on Keahumoa Parkway in both directions in the vicinity of Kualakai Parkway on Friday, Feb. 16, through Friday, Feb. 23, over a twenty-four hour period, for The Rail project.

For more information, please visit the project website for The Rail at


Real Property Tax Payments Due Tuesday, February 20

15 02 2018

The City and County of Honolulu is reminding taxpayers that the real property tax second installment payment for tax year 2017-2018 is due by Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Payments can be made by mail or in person at any Satellite City Hall or Honolulu Hale. Taxpayers can also utilize the curbside drop box located outside of Honolulu Hale or pay electronically with an authorized debit or credit card.

Real Property Taxes must be paid whether you receive a tax bill or not.  A penalty of up to 10 percent plus interest of 12 percent a year will be assessed for late payments. The minimum tax for the fiscal year is $300.

Payment can be made by:

Mail:  Payment must have a post office cancellation mark on or before the “DUE DATE.”

In person:  Pay with cash or check only by visiting the Real Property Tax Collection Section, Division of Treasury, located on the first floor of Honolulu Hale, or with your original tax bill at any Satellite City Hall location.

Curbside Drop Box:  Located outside Honolulu Hale (black/gray box).

Electronic Payment:  Pay with MasterCard/Visa or Discover credit or MasterCard/Visa debit card online at, or by telephone at (877) 309-9117.

Payments made by debit or credit cards are only accepted online or by telephone during the installment period. A convenience fee is applied by the service provider, Official Payments Corp., and will be included at payment confirmation.

Traffic Alert for Sunset Beach Tomorrow February 15

14 02 2018
Sunset Beach Date Palm Trees

Date Palm Trees at Sunset Beach -Photo Courtesy of the City and County of Honolulu

The City and County of Honolulu will be conducting an emergency removal of seven Date palm trees fronting Sunset Beach Park on Oahu’s North Shore, which will require the closure of the makai lane of Kamehameha Highway for most of the day tomorrow, Thursday, February 15, 2018.

The lane closure is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. between Ke Nui Road and Hoalua Street on Kamehameha Highway.

Tree removal crews with the Department of Parks and Recreation Division of Urban Forestry (DUF) will be working with the Honolulu Police Department to help contra flow traffic around the lane closure. This single-lane closure is expected to have a significant impact to traffic along this corridor.

The decision for the emergency removal of the trees was made by the Certified Arborists at DUF after they determined the continual undermining of the palm trees by erosion made them a hazard to the general public and motorists. Despite the palm trees being located on the makai-side of Kamehameha Highway, compromised palm trees can fall in any direction once there are structurally unsound.

DUF crews plan on removing the top and middle portions of the palms, leaving about four feet of the tree trunks and roots in the ground. This is so the roots of the tree can further help to reduce the impact of the beach erosion, while immediately reducing the potential danger to the public.

Beach erosion at Sunset Beach Park became more severe during the beginning of this winter surf season, when researchers described the large 20-foot drop-off at the beach park as “unprecedented.” In December 2017 several measures were taken to immediately mitigate the erosion damage and protect public facilities. That included removing the Ocean Safety storage shed, relocating the lifeguard stand, relocating the bicycle path, and restricting parking and pedestrian traffic along the eroded areas.

Since that time, some of the sand that was washed away by a series of large northeast swells has returned, but a significant drop-off still remains.

The city, state partners, and researchers are continuing to monitor the situation and take necessary action to keep the public safe. Most recently, staff with the Department of Facility Maintenance removed additional debris from the former bike path on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

The City and County of Honolulu appreciates the community’s understanding as these measures are being done to ensure public safety.

Kupuna Caregiver Financial Support

14 02 2018

The Department of Community Services’ Elderly Affairs Division announced that it has launched the Kupuna Caregiver Pilot Program to help support working persons who also provide care to elders.

To be eligible caregivers must be employed at least 30 hours a week and provide care to a frail elder 60 years of age or older. The program benefit is limited to $70 worth of services per day and continues through June 30, 2018. The amount allocated to the City and County of Honolulu by the State of Hawaii is estimated to benefit 38 caregivers and priority will be given to applicants with the greatest caregiver burden and the most economic and social need.

With this pilot funding the city has chosen to provide Adult Day Care services. This service provides relief to a working caregiver by providing all-day supervision to a senior in a safe and comfortable environment. The $70 per day benefit would cover all or most of the cost of this service, which includes meals, on-site activities for physical strengthening, mental stimulation, socialization and recreation. For the caregiver it provides peace of mind, the freedom to continue working and a way to reduce anxiety and stress. Some of the city’s contracted day care providers are also able to assist with personal care, toileting, and/or incontinence.

Assisting 38 caregivers with this pilot program demonstrates the practical impact of government support to the many thousands of family caregivers on Oahu who are currently working. The data collected during this pilot program will provide valuable information on Oahu’s working caregiver population, including the level of need, effects on the workforce, and how support for caregivers should be targeted in the future. In response to the state of Hawaii’s announcement of the program’s launch, the Elderly Affairs Division has already received over one thousand calls from interested caregivers. Many have already been assessed for eligibility and the first participant is expected to start the program this week.

Legislation to continue and expand the program is currently being considered by the Hawaii State Legislature, and working caregivers are encouraged to contact their senators and representatives for more information or to voice their continued support.

Additional information on the program is available on the Elderly Affairs Division’s website at or by calling the Senior Helpline at 768-7700.

Congratulating and Recognizing Makuakai Rothman 2015 World Surf League Big Wave World Champion

17 10 2017

Chairman Emeritus Ernie Martin recognized Makuakai Rothman for his contributions to our community and for being the 2015 World Surf League Big Wave World Champion at the Honolulu City Council.

Big Wave World Champion, Makuakai (Makua) Rothman was born and raised on the iconic North Shore of Oahu from humble beginnings where he started surfing at the age of two. Appropriately, Makuakai translates to father of the sea. For as long as he can remember, Makua felt a calling to the ocean where he has spent countless hours, surfing his way to numerous awards beginning in 1994 when he won the 1st Keiki Award for the Local Motion/MCD Surf into Summer Competition. He attributes his surfing ability in large part to his father, Eddie Rothman who shared his love of the sea with Makua and his two younger brothers Koa and Lono.

Makua was crowned the 2015 Big Wave World Champion in the World Surf League’s first sanctioned Big Wave World Tour on February 28, 2015. He began surfing some of Hawaii’s biggest waves, including Pipeline and Sunset Beach before the age of ten. At eight-years-old he surfed 12-foot Waimea waves and by the age of 13 he had emerged as one of Hawaii’s most promising young surfers. At 18 he won the 2003 Billabong XXL Award for riding a 66-foot wave at Jaws on November 26, 2002, the largest wave known to be surfed anywhere in the world that winter.

In 2012 Makua began his journey in music, a passion he shares with his family of entertainers, grandmother Grace Costa and grandfather Robert Costa who always encouraged his love of music, keeping an ukulele ready at all times. He was taught by notable local entertainers including Israel Kamakawiwoole who encouraged Makua to sing for Hawaii and on behalf of the Hawaiian people, honoring where he came from and who he is as a Hawaiian. Makua released his first full-length album, Sound Wave in 2013 which debuted as the #1 Billboard World Album on iTunes and peaked as the #1 Billboard Reggae Album in December 2013. He is currently in the process of recording his second album, Keep Aloha.

Makua overcame various obstacles during his childhood including asthma which made surfing a difficult and dangerous pursuit. However, he always reminded himself that if he just kept on going things would work out. He has turned his struggles into a platform from which he encourages others to make their mark in the world and always remember that tomorrow is another day. He is involved with various organizations such as Mauli Ola, a non-profit that provides opportunities for children with cystic fibrosis and works with any child with a genetic disorder. He is also involved with AccesSurf and Surfers Healing. Makua aspires to organize the Makua Rothman Foundation and establish an athletic facility for children and youth on the North Shore.

Makua Rothman is also a family man and takes great pride in instilling all he has learned through his many life experiences to his children: Thor, Hikianalia and Kaleoalii wih his fiancée Nalani Itomura.

Therefore, on behalf of the people of the City and County of Honolulu, the Honolulu City Council congratulates and recognizes Makuakai Rothman on being named the 2015 World Surf League Big Wave World Champion. Further, the Council extends its sincere appreciation for his many contributions and dedication to be an ambassador of Hawaii and advocate for his culture and wishes him continued success in all future endeavors.