- STOLEN VEHICLE ARREST – A Puna man has been arrested and charged following a report of a stolen Honda Accord on December 3rd at the Prince Kuhio Plaza parking lot. The suspect was located in Kurtistown, where the stolen vehicle was recovered. The man was also charged in connection with other unrelated cases, including three counts of contempt of court.
- HILO CENSUS TRACTS RANK HIGH STATEWIDE FOR PERSONS AND FAMILIES BELOW POVERTY LEVEL, UNEMPLOYMENT – Hilo’s Villa Franca-Kaiko’o census tract (204) as well as Pu‘u‘eo-Downtown (tract 203) rank high for population percentage below the poverty level, both for persons and families. A different Hilo census tract makes the top 20 list for unemployment (among a population of 16 years and over). Tract 206, Keaukaha-Pana-ewa, ranks 13th statewide with a number of 16.5 percent unemployment. The rankings are based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 5-year data, combining data collected from 2009-2013. The numbers were released Thursday. More can be found on these Census Data Highlights prepared by the State of Hawaii.
- HAIHAI STREET FIRE STATION FEA – The Final Environmental Assessment for a new fire station near the Hilo Municipal Golf Course Driving Range finds there will be no significant impact from the project. The proposed station would be located on State land on the southwest corner of Haihai Street and Laula Road. The Haihai Fire Station will improve emergency services from Panaewa Makai to Waiakea Uka. It will replace the existing fire station located on Kawailani Street. The new station is scheduled to be completed in one phase by the end of 2015 at an approximate cost of $5.9 million. (LINK: Final Environmental Assessment for Haihai Fire Station)
Potential Impacts and Mitigation Measures:
Anticipated impacts during construction include construction equipment noise and the potential for dust generation. Both impacts can be mitigated by incorporating established mitigation measures, such as ensuring mufflers are in proper operating condition, limiting construction hours, and wetting down exposed surfaces. In the long term, the open space of a portion of pasture will be replaced with a new fire station building. According to a traffic assessment, emergency egress of emergency vehicles will not be a problem for the emergency vehicles, and the additional traffic by the emergency vehicles will not be significant. Drivers of the emergency vehicles are trained to turn on the sirens only when necessary to minimize noise impact.Haihai Fire Station final EA published Dec. 5, 2104