June 1 - The owner of a gate blocking access to a lane that leads to a popular Portlock beach known as "Seconds" estimates the city would need to pay more than $2 million to condemn the lane to keep it open. If the city condemns the private lane, Bert Dohmen-Ramirez told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Wednesday, "they have to pay fair market value," which he pegs at more than $2 million. "Do you think taxpayers would agree to that?"
In the past, the City had made plans to condemn the property, but those plans fell through. A city Department of Planning and Permitting representative lended weight to Dohmen-Ramirez' statement, saying that while the city is looking to acquire three shoreline access lanes along Portlock Road, liability and budgetary concerns stopped the City Council in the past. [Star-Advertiser, library card required]
May 31 - The Department of Transportation has plans to restripe the Eastbound Waialae Avenue H-1 Offramp. As it is, many use the shoulder lane to wait: traffic often backs up during rush hour and on weekends. [KHON]
May 31 - A fishing hook was removed from the cheek of a baby monk seal at Baby Makapuu Beach. The seal was released and is expected to make a full recovery. [HNN]
May 30 - Residents showed up in force at May's Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board meeting. At issue is public access to a beach fronting the 300-block of Portlock Road, which is home to a surf spot known as “Seconds.” The question at large is whether the City or State can condemn the land. Currently, no specifice plans to do so exist. [KHON]
May 30 - An arrest has been made in connection to the series of suspicious brush fires plaguing Hawaii Kai. [KHON]
May 29 - Kapiolani Community College's culinary program opened a new concept restaurant in the Waikiki Parc Hotel. The restaurant gives students experience in the dining industry while serving locals and visitors alike. [UH Press Release]
May 26 - The US Army Corp of Engineers is inviting public comment on its Ala Wai Canal Project. The project investigates and evaluates solutions to flood damage problems throughout the entire Ala Wai watershed (Manoa, Palolo, and Makiki drainages, including Waikiki and surrounding areas). More information is available at this website link: http://www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Civil-Works-Projects/Ala-Wai-Canal/
May 25 - Aina Haina Elementary and Kamiloiki Elementary took first and second place in this year's Hawaiian Electric Home Energy Challenge. Aina Haina will receive $10,000 and Kamiloiki, $6,000. [Hawaiian Electric]
May 25 - Kan Zaman Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine has opened its second restaurant in Kaimuki. The eatery is located next to the Pillbox Pharmacy. [Frolic]
May 24 - The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) suspects arson in the latest string of fires in Hawaii Kai. Last week's fire in Kamilo Nui Valley is believed to be the area's 12th for the year. [HNN]
May 23 - Another brush fire burned near the same location as last week, in Kamilo Nui Valley. It is highly suspected that these fires are being deliberately set. [KITV]
May 22 - Hawaiian Electric has been working to repair the cause of recurring brief outages in the East Honolulu area over the past week. The outages stem from faults on an underground cable that serves a large segment of East Honolulu, including Hawaii Kai. In order to restore service, crews temporarily rerouted several circuits and recurring faults have affected additional neighborhoods. An outage that affected the Kaiser High School area Monday was unrelated to the recurring cable issues. The Kaiser outage was the result of an equipment malfunction and subsequent fire. [KHON]
May 21 - A man was pulled from the waters at Baby Makapuu in critical condition. [KHON]
May 19 - Vandals hit Maunalua Bay canoes for the third time this week. [Star-Advertiser, subcription required]
May 17 - Vandals have once again damaged canoes at Maunalua Bay. Hui Nalu Canoe Club spent many hours and resources repairing slashed riggings. This is the second time in a short period the canoes have been vandalized. [KHON]
May 16 - An apparent 29 percent drop in the homeless count between Waikiki and East Oahu has a number of people questioning the data. Advocates for the homeless contend that this pool of enumerators simply didn't know where to look. They point to the loss of two advocacy groups from the volunteer census takers. Representative Gene Ward contends that count in East Oahu has gone down and credits his map of homeless encampments which show homeless that "“the word on the street” about Hawaii Kai is that “It’s not a friendly place to go.” Overall, however, he also agrees that the sudden drop seems out of place. [Star-Advertiser]
May 16 - Noxious odors from a nearby construction site shut down Kahala Elementary for the day. [KHON]
May 11 - A family cat was killed in a house fire in Niu Valley [HNN]
May 8 - Video of Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board meeting [Olelo]
Our next Plant and seed exchange will take place on the first Tuesday of June, June 6. It's held at Kaiser High School from 4-7 pm. Bring a plant and take a plant. If you don't have one to exchange, you can always bring us one the following month, or if you prefer to leave a donation, proceeds will go to Friends of Kaiser PTSA and be used for scholarships and fee assistance for students and teachers.
May 4 - Portlock gate re-ignites debate over beach access: A locked gate has been erected along the path leading to the Portlock surf spot known as "Seconds." The property owner had no comment. This is the second time a gate has gone up on the site. The earlier one was later removed. [HNN]
Apr 29 - Hawaii Kai Lions Club hands out 100 flotation devices to prevent drownings: The Hawaii Kai Lions Club handed out 100 donated yellow rescue tubes that are intended to assist swimmers in distress. The tubes were given out on a first come, first serve basis, and those who got one watched an instructional video on how to properly use the device. [HNN]
Apr 28 - Three Hawaii public school students have been selected out of 5,100 candidates as semifinalists for the US Presidential Scholars Program, including Emily Yang from Kalani High School. [HI DOE]
Once again it's time for the first Tuesday plant swap at Kaiser High School. We'll be there from 4-7 at the farmers' market in the school parking lot. As of this weekend, here are the plants it looks like we'll start with.
Tomatillo (green and/or purple)
Mini pear tomatoes (yellow and/or red)
Dracaena (white/green and red/white)
Bearded Iris (purple)
This is a tentative list. Some items such as mint and jalapeno are plentiful and we'll likely have them available throughout the event. Others are more limited in quantity. Bring your plant to and take another in exchange. It's a true community sharing experience.