Kailua Neighborhood Board Meeting – December 4, 2014



THURSDAY, December 4, 2014, 7:00 p.m.


Olelo Broadcast: Digital Channel 49, and Channel 54, see weekly listings.

Visit: www1.honolulu.gov/nco for more information from the Kailua Neighborhood Board.

(Board member Christmas pûpû party 6:15 p.m. to 7:00 pm.)

  1. CALL TO ORDER. Chair Chuck Prentiss.


  2. Applications available from Neighborhood Commission office for candidates for upcoming Neighborhood Board elections.


   III.   PUBLIC AGENCIES.                                                                                            

  1. Honolulu Police Department.
  2. Honolulu Fire Department.
  3. Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
  4. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Representative.
  5. Governor Neil Abercrombie’s Representative.
  1. RESIDENT AND COMMUNITY CONCERNS (Three (3) minutes each).            

(Please sign in at meeting, or email Chair Chuck Prentiss at prentissc001@hawaii.rr.com).

  1. ELECTED OFFICIALS (Three (3) minutes each).
  2. Representative Ken Ito.
  3. Representative Cynthia Thielen.
  4. Representative Chris Lee.
  5. Councilmember Ikaika Anderson.
  6. Senator Jill Tokuda.
  7. Senator Laura Thielen.


  1. PRESENTATIONS (Ten minutes each).
  2. City and County of Honolulu Office of Housing. Mayor’s homeless program.
  3. Update on Kailua Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant improvement.



      Motion 1. The Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31 requests the City to keep Kalama Beach Park including the parking lot and comfort station open until 7:00 p.m. during the six winter months and 8:00 p.m. during the six summer months.

Motion 2.  The Kailua Neighborhood Board will recess in January 2015.       

      Motion 3. Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31 endorses exploration of the concept to use a “land marina” as a cost effective solution to help address Hawaii’s homeless issue.


VIII.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of November 6, 2014.




  1. Parks and Recreation Committee – Chair, Jon Chinen
  2. Bill 58(2014)-This Bill seeks to create an Adopt-a-Park program for the City. The bill awaits a hearing by the Parks and Customer Services Committee after passing First Reading. The Committee has not scheduled a hearing.


 Recess-The Committee will recess in December 2014.


  1. Transportation and Public Works – Chair, William Hicks
  2. It was reported that “no parking” signs have been removed from where the sand pile used to be across from Kailua Beach Park and Buzz’.  The committee will ask DTS about the status of this.
  3. A Kailua resident, Rob Robinson, had reported that there is a sharp, blind curve on Kawailoa Road (the main road between Kalapawai Market and the bridge to Lanikai) directly across from the canal where there is inadequate space for pedestrians or bicyclists due to a property fence which is very close to the edge of the road.  Mr. Robinson said he has observed on several occasions a pedestrian, jogger, or a bicyclist who have very nearly been hit by passing cars.  A proper bikeway or sidewalk is needed on that side of the street.  Bill Hicks went to investigate this problem with the intent of walking to this area, but upon viewing it from his vehicle decided it was too dangerous to walk there.   Michael Espenan, who lives in Lanikai, said he has very nearly hit more than one pedestrian at that spot.  It appears as though either the property owner has placed a fence on what should be right of way space for an unimproved sidewalk, or possibly DTS has widened the road on what used to be the right of way space.  The committee will report this problem to DTS.
  4. The traffic situation in Lanikai was discussed.  Lanikai residents Susan Cummings, Neil Frazer, and Michael Espenan have expressed the opinion that there should be strict enforcement of all parking codes in Lanikai (i.e. no parking on unimproved sidewalks; only parking on the street pavement of the cross streets).  Such enforcement could eventually allow a pedestrian pathway.
  5. Copies of a draft DTS proposal to modify the Kalapawai Market triangle traffic pattern were provided by Lanikai residents Michelle Pillen and John Foti.  The committee has not yet discussed this directly with DTS.  The draft proposal resembles a modified three sided traffic circle, with one-way traffic on all three legs.  There is no provision for a traffic or pedestrian signal.  The KNB is on record as supporting modifications to the traffic pattern to enhance egress from Lanikai, including the introduction of traffic and pedestrian signals.  The committee will request that DTS provide an update of the status of plans to the committee at the January meeting.

Recess- The committee will recess in December 2014.


  1. Government and Community Services – Chair, Matthew Darnell
  2. Legislative Issues.
  3. BILL 57 (2014) – Relating to Real Property Tax Home Exemption.
  4. Resolution 14-271 – Procurement Preference for Small, Woman Owned, Disadvantaged, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned, and Hubzone Certified Businesses.
  5. Bill 60 (2014) – Naming of Parks, Sites, and Facilities.

Recess- The Committee will recess in December 2014.    


  1. Planning, Zoning & Environment – Chair, Donna Wong
  2. City and County Department of Wastewater Management. Kailua Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant (KRWWTP) odor control project.
  3. Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Master Plan.
  4. Koolaupoko Sustainable Communities Plan.
  5. B&B and TVU enforcement.

 Next meeting is third Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Kalama Beach Park.

  1. Public Safety, Public Health, and Civil Defense (PHPSCD) – Chair, Claudine Tomasa.
  2. The committee discussed Ebola Virus and its impact upon Hawaii. Board member Locchricio will coordinate a public information session in Kailua- co sponsored by the Maunawili Association and the Windward Coalition. Details are forthcoming.
  3. Community Preparedness Activities:
  4. Public education and training sessions are being scheduled for the Kailua community –the 4th Wednesdays of each month, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., starting January till June 2015 at the Kailua Recreation Center; Details are forthcoming via posting on the City’s Neighborhood Commission Website and local media.
  5. No CERT classes scheduled for month of December.
  6. Kailua NB’s Disaster Preparedness Sub Committee is working with other community groups to discuss and explore legislative proposals that support resilient communities.

      Recess- The PHPSCD Committee will recess in December 2014.

  1. Treasurer’s Report. Claudine Tomasa.





  1. A mailing list is maintained for interested persons and agencies to receive the Board’s agenda and minutes. Additions, corrections, and deletions to the mailing list may be directed to the Neighborhood Commission Office, Honolulu Hale, 530 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813; Telephone (808) 768-3710 or FAX (808) 768-3711; call Neighborhood Assistant Rise` Doi 768-3710 or e-mail – rdoi@honolulu.gov. Agendas and minutes are also available online at http://www1.honolulu.gov/nco;
  1. Any individual wishing to attend a Neighborhood Board meeting who has questions about accommodations for a physical disability or special physical need should call the NCO at 768-3710 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at least 24-hours before the scheduled meeting.


December Committee Meetings



Recess in December 2014. Chair: Claudine Tomasa, ctomasa@gmail.com. Cell 783-5396. Members: Bill Hicks, Gary Weller, Malina Kaulukukui.



Recess in December 2014. Bill Hicks, Chair. hicksw001@hawaii.rr.com. Members: Tony Locricchio, Claudine Tomasa, and Gary Weller.



Recess in December 2014. Matthew Darnell, Chair. Members: Jon Chinen, Tim Freeman.


Third Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Kalama Beach Park, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Donna Wong, Chair. Members: Larry Bartley, Douglas Dudevoir, Skip Byron, Gary Weller, Chuck Prentiss, Levani Lipton, Vern Hinsvark. Ex-officio (non-voting): Stann Reiziss.

  1. Call to order.
  2. Approval of minutes.
  3. Koolaupoko Sustainable Communities Plan Revision.
  4. General Plan 2011.
  5. Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Master Plan.
  6. Kapa`a Industrial Park.
  7. Proposed development above Kailua Bluffs.
  8. Short-term Vacation Rentals.
  9. New business.
  10. Adjournment.


Parks & recreation committee

Recess in December 2014. Jon Chinen, Chair chinenjon@yahoo.com, Cell: 753-6783. Members: Larry Bartley, Tim Freeman.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:  Recess in December 2014. Board Officers.

Windward Climate Change Summit

Sunday, November 23, 2014
3-5 pm
Kailua Elementary School
315 Ku‘ulei Rd, Kailua O‘ahu

“Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”

– UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Aubrey Yee, Kanu Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Research Center for Futures Studies

Impacts and Vulnerability

Stuart Scott, Deputy Secretary General, IESCO – International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization and long-time O‘ahu resident
Topic: Arctic Methane Emergency and the Root Cause of Climate Change

Dolan Eversol, NOAA/University of Hawai‘i, Sea Grant Program
Topic: Recent Climate Change Research and Local Sea-Level Rise

Dr. Camilo Mora, University of Hawai‘i Professor, Research Scientist Geography Department
Topic: Temperature Change: Impacts on Plants, Animals and Agriculture Production

Building Resilience Locally, Nationally, and Globally

Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director, Blue Planet Foundation
Topic: Fossil Fuel, Individual Action

Colin Yost, Chief Operating Officer, Revolusun
Topic: The Role of Government in Promoting Clean Energy

Puni Jackson, Program Coordinator, Ho‘oulu ‘Aina, Kokua Kalihi Valley, will speak instead of Doug Cole, who will not be able to present.
Topic: “Using Native Hawaiian Cultural Practices to Rebuild Aina and Community.”

Gerald Marten, Director, Eco Tipping Points Project Adjunct Senior Fellow, East-West Center
Topic: Human Ecology – Food Security, Disaster Preparedness



Windward Climate Change Hui:
Lois Crozer, Andrea Jepson, Julianne King, Aubrey Yee, Lisa Marten

Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Meeting Thursday October 16

Kaneohe Neighborhood Board No. 30
Printable Version (copy and paste into browser)


Thursday, October 16, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Benjamin Parker School
45-259 Waikalua Road, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744

Rules of Speaking: Anyone wishing to speak is asked to raise their hand, and when recognized by the Chair, to address comments to the Chair. Speakers are encouraged to keep their comments under three (3) minutes, and those giving reports are urged to keep their reports under three (3) minutes. Please silence all electronic devices.

Note: The Board may take action on any agenda item. As required by the State Sunshine Law (HRS 92), specific issues not noted on this agenda cannot be voted on, unless added to the agenda. A two-thirds vote (12) of this 17-member Board is needed to add an item to the agenda. Items may not be added if they are of major importance and will affect a significant number of people.

I. CALL TO ORDER – Chair Mo Radke

A. Subdistrict 5 – Lilipuna, one (1) vacancy
B. Subdistrict 11 – Behind Castle High School, one (1) vacancy

III. CITY/STATE MONTHLY REPORTS (Limited to three (3) minutes each)
A. Honolulu Fire Department
B. Honolulu Police Department
C. Marine Corps Base Hawaii

IV. RESIDENTS’/ COMMUNITY CONCERNS (Limited to three (3) minutes each)

A. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Representative
B. Councilmember Ikaika Anderson
C. Governor Neil Abercrombie’s Representative
D. Senator Jill Tokuda
E. Senator Clayton Hee
F. Representative George Okuda
G. Representative Cynthia Thielen
H. Representative Ken Ito

A. Hawaii Pacific University
B. Windward Community College

A. Adoption of September 18, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes
B. Adoption of the September 2, 2014 Agenda Planning Meeting minutes
C. Ko’olau Baptist Church located at 45-633 Keneke Street, will be applying for a Conditional Use Permit for alterations of their church and school facilities. – 8:00-8:15
D. Report on the current status of Haiku Stairs, Mo Radke – 8:15-8:25
E. HMSA Blue Zone Project, Bill Sager, decision making on whether to submit a letter of interest. – 8:25-8:35
F. Report on Hoolaulea Emergency Preparedness Presentation, Bill Sager – 8:35-8:45
G. Report on HHARP, Bill Sager. Kaneohe is forming a Community Resilience Committee whose principle duty will be to implement the HHARP plan. Members of the KNB Emergency Preparedness Committee are urged to participate. – 8:45-9:00

VIII. REPORTS (Limited to three (3) minutes each)
A. Treasurer’s Report
B. Legislative
C. State Legislature Committee – Chair Roy Yanagihara
D. City and County Ordinance Committee – (Vacant)
E. Public Health and Safety – Chair John Flanigan
F. Mental Health Committee – (Vacant)
G. Safety Committee – Co-Chairs Felipe San Nicolas, Bill Sager
H. Planning Committee – (Vacant)
I. Transportation Committee – (Vacant)
J. Education Committee – Chair Maurice Radke
K. Environmental Committee – Chair Bill Sager
L. Windward Civilian/Military Committee – Chair John Flanigan
M. OMPO Citizen Advisory Committee – John Beloue
N. Neighborhood Board Website Contact Committee – Bill Sager
O. Publicity Committee – (Vacant)
P. Haiku Stairs Special Task Force – Chair Maurice Radke
Q. Special Information Gathering Committee Bar and Cabaret Licenses
R. Emergency Management Planning Committee – Bill Sager

A. Next Regular Board Meeting – Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Benjamin Parker School
B. Next Agenda Planning Meeting – Tuesday, November 5, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Kaneohe Community and Senior Center

X. ADJOURNMENT2013 KNB Portrait A2 w-Patty

HECO comment period – update from Advertiser


Absolutely p.o.’ed. Disappointed. Insulted.

These are the responses I’ve heard from people who either own or lease solar photovoltaic panels regarding the plan that the Hawaiian Electric Co. recently proposed which would raise basic connection fees for all customers to $55, while imposing an additional $71 for new solar PV customers.

HECO also proposes that the utility credit solar PV customers about half of what they get now — at just 17 cents per kilowatt-hour — for the clean energy that they produce. In other words, if they produce the energy, they charge a premium. If solar PV customers produce clean energy, it should be worth less. How is that fair? How is charging ALL customers MORE — a whopping $55 (which is unheard of in any other state) — fair to everyone?

Meanwhile, more than 4,400 solar PV customers are still waiting to be connected to the grid. HECO has not answered questions of when they will be connected, or how they will be compensated, as they very well deserve to be.

Solar is not a luxury. It’s a technology that families from Waianae to Hawaii Kai, small businesses and non-profits invested in as part of a step towards a clean energy future and energy independence. It’s a technology that makes sense for Hawaii.

Polls show that an overwhelming number of people want more rooftop solar in Hawaii, according to the Sierra Club, which adds that “customer choice is in the public interest.”

So give HECO a piece of your mind. Or tell it to the Public Utilities Commission, which still has to approve HECO’s Aug. 26 plan. Public comment is welcome at hawaii.puc@hawaii.gov by Oct. 6. You can also contact Hawaii’s legislators (contact info is available at capitol.hawaii.gov).

Letters to the editor have been rolling in, with the vast majority expressing disappointment and disbelief with HECO’s plan. For your convenience,  here are “Letters to the Editor” that ran in the Star-Advertiser in the past few weeks. Shows you how powerful the voices for solar can be together (scroll all the way down, the earliest one’s my favorite). Keep them coming.

Sept. 27, 2014

HECO failing at lowering bills

I’m a photovoltaic investor and it saddens me to have read negative responses to PV systems.

I shouldn’t have to explain why we decided to invest our hard-earned money into a PV system, but I feel I must.

The reason my family did it was to get away from a huge monopoly like Hawaiian Electric Co. and start using the money saved from the outrageous electric bills to something more important — our kids.

It seems to me HECO is trying to create an animosity between us and a distraction from the bigger picture.

There are fewer customers on the grid but HECO is still charging three times more for electricity. Why hasn’t it figured out how to take the unused electricity my PV system produces and apply it to non-rooftop solar customers to lessen their electric bills?

Could it be HECO was unprepared?

Crystal Padron

Sept. 26, 2014

HECO delaying sustainability

Stop falling for Hawaiian Electric Co.’s misinformation campaign that pits customers against each other (“No special deals for PV owners,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 11).

Unfortunately, we’re past the luxury of bickering. Climate change is real. Climate change is here. Any doubters should check out what’s happening with rising sea levels on the islands of Kiribati, then go to watchdisruption.com.

HECO’s plan slows Hawaii’s move to clean energy and self-sustainability.

In addition to slowing photovoltaic installations, it swaps oil for liquefied natural gas, another fossil fuel, drilled via “fracking,” which creates climate impacts just as bad as oil.

Fracking also ruins communities by exposing them to environmental and health hazards, including toxic leakage into their drinking water.

I don’t think the people of Hawaii want to be party to this type of devastation.

We must all do everything we can to bring down carbon emissions, and that means cooperation and putting the planet before HECO profits.

Sherry Pollack

PV owners now being penalized

We installed thousands of dollars worth of photovoltaics two years ago.

It was our out-of-pocket gesture to benefit the community and help protect the environment.

It was also, incidentally, a very real subsidy to Hawaiian Electric Co., in the form of reduced fossil fuel costs, thereby freeing up funds which could be used to maintain and improve the electrical grid.

We generate all our own home power, plus some extra for the community to share. Based on our past electric bills, we won’t recoup our investment for more than 10 years. Oahu’s other 33,000 PV owners are doing essentially the same.

Let’s not forget that PV owners paid their dues, up front, when purchasing their systems. We committed personal resources to move all of us toward our shared goal: clean air and energy independence.

Why, then, should we be financially penalized and seen as part of the problem, when we’re proactively pursuing the solution?

Don Hallock
St. Louis Heights

Sept. 24, 2014

HECO driving customers away

Here is a glimpse of the future if Hawaiian Electric Co. raises the hook-up rate for solar customers:

Solar customers will look at the annual $850 or so that HECO is charging to be connected to the grid, do the math, and figure out that if they buy batteries and a generator, they will not need HECO. Battery technology is getting cheaper.

HECO is getting what amounts to free power from the excess from these customers. New HECO generators to replace this lost power will be very expensive.

HECO’s CEO, Constance Lau, as reported in 2013, was earning $5.82 million per year. If you have a family of four, you are paying more than $20 a year just for Lau’s salary. Double that for the next few key executives.

With solar customers opting out of the grid, that burden falls on fewer shoulders.

All rates will go up.

Tom Wallace
Hawaii Kai

Sept. 19, 2014

HECO conquers by dividing us

Hawaiian Electric Co. created a debate pitting ratepayer against rate-payer, deflecting attention from the real issues at hand.

Temperatures could increase by 2 degrees by the mid-2030s according to Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for Climate Change. Kyte also said we could be staring at an ongoing food crisis within the next decade.

One person in five receives aid through the Hawaii Food Bank. Making matters worse, we can expect a sharp climate-induced rise in food prices due to the severe drought in California. Many will have to choose between feeding their families or paying their electric bill.

HECO and its shareholders should bear some of the burden. And HECO should be mobilizing its resources to expedite a grid with majority renewable energy to help reduce rates. We all need to make sacrifices in this era of climate change.

Dan Nakasone

Sept. 18, 2014

It’s not HECO’s call about tax rebates

Something seems to have been lost in the debate over our rooftop solar panels.

The idea was to find a way to reduce the island’s collective carbon dioxide footprint. In order to do that, homeowners needed an incentive. Tax rebates are that incentive.

This should not be Hawaiian Electric’s call. HECO, as a corporation, has no interest in reducing CO2, if it costs the corpor- ation money.

That is why, I hope, we have government and regulations that lean toward the interests of the people, not the corporations.

Garry Francell
Waialae Nui Ridge

Solar production was boon for HECO

Hawaiian Electric Co. encouraged solar power production because it made economic sense for HECO and for all its customers.

This solar power production deferred rate increases for needed generating capacity that HECO otherwise would have been required to build itself. HECO also touts solar power as a non-fossil-fueled, sustainable resource.

Due to significant tax credits, customer-generated solar power was cheaper (and more timely) than power that HECO could have produced itself. HECO enjoyed the additional capacity, deferred ratemaking politics, and avoided the customer rate-shock that would have occurred if it had built this generating capacity itself.

Shame on HECO for creating a wedge between its solar and non-solar customers over transmission upgrade costs.

HECO dollars to be spent on transmission upgrades have been more than offset by the dollars that HECO saved by not building this generating capacity itself, dollars that ultimately all HECO customers would have paid.

Donald Armstrong

Sept. 14, 2014

“PV system permits plummet on Oahu,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 10:

» Anybody who says Hawaiian Electric did not anticipate the demand is drinking the HECO Kool-Aid. I agree, they did not plan for it, but not because it wasn’t evident in all the numbers.

» HECO did not anticipate, HECO did not anticipate, HECO did not anticipate. I am so sick and tired of hearing this because all it is saying is that they did not plan or do their job!

» Hawaiian Electric currently pays a 5 percent annual dividend. PV is not an option for me, so I bought shares of HE stock. For now, the 5 percent dividend covers my electricity bill.

» Lemons into lemonade. Good for you.

Sept. 7, 2014

HECO profiting well from PV customers

Hawaiian Electric Co. President Dick Rosenblum’s latest quote, “We just want them to pay their fair share” regarding residential PV owners, really galled me.

HECO proposes to not only increase the base charge but also reduce by half the price of the credits it’s giving solar owners, citing fairness and pandering for support from those without PV panels upset about paying full price.

If Rosenblum wants to talk fair share, how about HECO sending a check for that electricity they’re taking from me and selling to non-solar owners?Even at the reduced rate, it would be a pretty penny every year.

HECO doesn’t pay a dime for residential PV systems yet profits by re-selling any annual over-production from the panels at full price with absolutely no overhead to itself when the credits zero out.

I hope the state Public Utilities Commission sees through this charade to pad HECO’s bottom line and that the Star-Advertiser does a little investigative reporting to bring the heat.

Mike Hanson

Sept. 4, 2014

Maybe turn HECO into a nonprofit

The premise of Hawaiian Electric Co. President Dick Rosenblum’s defense of proposed HECO rates seems to be that solar power adopters are getting a “good deal” from HECO ratepayers after paying off their solar systems.

Rosenblum seems to conflate taxpayers with ratepayers.My solar “deal” was a result of taxpayers deciding that the common good was served by decreasing the amount of electricity generated by HECO and increasing the amount of electricity generated by individual solar panels.The $55 charge advocated by HECO is really solar owners paying for 200 kWh of electricity they don’t use.

Using Rosenblum’s logic, shouldn’t taxpayers own HECO so that the subsidies provided from non-solar to solar customers are equitably distributed?

HECO reported $161 million profit for 2013.If HECO was non-profit, the $38 million subsidy claimed by Rosenblum could be easily absorbed by the public corporation and rates could be lowered for all.

Mark Felman

Sept. 2, 2014

HEI salaries related to high energy cost?

Informative and interesting article on high-salaried occupations in Hawaii (“Medical field tops wage ranking in Hawaii,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 28).

Going a little further and calculating, it appears that the CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries received in the neighborhood of $2,885 an hour. Once you calculate the salaries of all other Hawaiian Electric employees, the total annual salaries must be off the charts.

Could that be one of the reasons that Hwaii owners and businesses pay the highest price in the nation for electricity?

James l. Robinson

What will new rate be called on bill?

HECO’s new plan will raise more than solar rates; it will raise mine, too, and I’m not a solar customer because I live in a condo.

HECO says it now charges 34 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

When I do the math, my last bill came out to 37.7 cents per kWh, all charges inclusive. Even if HECO reduced the charge from 37.7 cents per kWh to 26 cents per kWh and then added the $55 charge, my bill would increase by 25 percent.

I say, OK, charge me the 34 cents per kWh (not the 37.7 cents per kWh), but forget the $55 charge.

What does it plan to call the new charge anyway?My bill already has the following ambiguous charges on it:Customer Charge; Base Fuel Energy; Non Fuel Energy; Energy Cost Adjustment; IRP Cost Recovery; PBF Surcharge; Purchased Power Adjustment; RBA Rate Adjustment; and Renewable Infrastructure Pgm.

HECO is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Baaaaaa to its plan.

Kathleen Adams

Aug. 31, 2014

HECO energy plan will kill PV industry

Shibai! Hawaiian Electric Co.’s so-called energy plan is anti-green and anti-renewable energy.

First, it will penalize photovoltaic (PV) customers who invested tens of thousands of dollars to become energy efficient.That will also destroy the PV industry in Hawaii.

Second, while HECO claims it wants to reduce charges to non-PV customers, the plan actually provides their rates will increase, too — all in the mere hope that after 2030 HECO “might” reduce energy costs for everyone.

If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

Michael A. Lilly
Pacific Heights

Changing rules now unfair to PV owners

My electric bill last month was $17.

We delivered to Hawaiian Electric Co. 280 kilowatt hours (kWh) and received 220 kWh for a credit of 60 kWh. But with the proposed rate increase we would have to pay $99.57 — a dramatic increase.

Here’s the calculation: To HECO, we would have to pay 220 kWh times 34.62 cents, totaling $76.17 for the electricity we received, and simultaneously, receive a credit of 280 kWh times 17 cents for $47.60 total for the power we feed into their system(instead of our present 280 kWh times 34.62 cents for $96.93 total).

So although this wasa good summer month and we made more electricity than we used, we still would have a negative balance of $28.57 ($76.17 – $47.60 = $28.57).

Add to that the proposed new fixed monthly charge of $71 and our bill would then be $28.57 + $7 = $99.57. This would make solar a poor investment for us and probably many other solar customers.

HECO should not be allowed to change the present rules for existing solar owners, because the present rules were the main reason people bought solar.

Volker Hildebrandt

Aug. 30, 2014

HECO plan will ensure its profits

HECO has come up with a new plan that sounds more like a way to discourage private photovoltaic (PV) installations and effectively raise rates.

» Step 1: Promise (someday) a 20 percent reduction in electric rates.

For its mythical average customer using 600 kilowatt hours a month, that would be a savings of around $42 monthly.

» Step 2: More than quadruple the minimum monthly charge to people with PV from $17 a month to $71 a month, a $54 monthly hike.

» Step 3: Charge a one-time interconnection fee of an undisclosed amount for each PV installation.

» Step 4: Reduce the credit for electricity supplied by customers’ PV installations in half (from the retail rate of about 35 cents per kWh to 17 cents per kWh).

Result: More profit for HECO.

Battery backed-up, off-grid installations will become more attractive, and HECO’s customer base will decrease even further.

Result: Less reliable grid.

Bob Gould

More Drone Units Arrive

MCB Hawaii welcomes VMU-3 ‘Phantoms’ Kristen Wong

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii – Marine Corps Base Hawaii recently welcomed a new unit to its air station. Marines with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 are currently settling into their new home in Hangar 102.

The VMU-3 “Phantoms” are now a permanent unit at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, and will fall under Marine Aircraft Group 24, with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Wing Support Detachment 24 and Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367.

“We’re happy to be here and integrating with other units in the MAG and the ground units like (1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment) and 3rd (Marine Regiment),” said Maj. Daniel Lindblom, executive officer, VMU-3 and native of Alexandria, Va.

Although there are Hawaii-based Army units using the same equipment, VMU-3 is the first Marine unmanned aerial vehicle squadron in Hawaii.

“With the drawdown in Afghanistan and the commandant of the Marine Corps’ reemphasis in the Pacific, this is the best time for VMU-3 to move to Marine Corps Base Hawaii,” Lindblom said. The unit was established in 2008 at Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, and previously fell under Marine Air Control Group 38. Even though the unit was born in California, its intended home was always Hawaii, according to Lindblom.

“Getting on a flight line is exactly where the unit is supposed to be,” said Lt. Col. Brynn Schreiner, the current and fourth commanding officer of VMU-3 and a native of Ohio. “There are a lot of (new) challenges (like becoming more familiar with the different units and departments on base), but that makes it more rewarding (to be stationed here).”

Lindblom said the unit’s mission has four core elements: Aerial reconnaissance, control and direct fire, provide terminal guidance to other aircraft, analyze and synthesize information. He added that there are smaller, additional mission-related tasks, which the squadron is still currently developing. The Shadow RQ-7B Unmanned Aerial Systems, which are prop-driven, single-engine propeller planes. The unit currently has 12 Shadow RQ-7B UASs, and by Fiscal Year 2016, Lindblom said the first of 45 RQ-21A Blackjack Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems will be arriving to MCB Hawaii.

With the Shadow RQ-7B UAS, VMU-3 is capable of assisting the community with visibility when it comes to natural disasters such as tsunamis, or even search-and-rescue missions for missing ships. Schreiner was previously stationed with a unit that provided aerial observation support after Hurricane Sandy, flying over New Jersey and New York to help authorities better identify critically damaged areas and other needs. VMU-3, he said, has the means to do the same. He added that in the future, he is interested in possible training with partner nations like Australia.

“We’re just really excited,” Schreiner said of the unit. “It’s a great opportunity to be here, it’s a great island, great base, and we’re looking forward to participating in bigger exercises.”

The initial group of VMU-3 Marines have been at MCAS K-Bay for approximately three months. More personnel will be arriving as the year progresses.

Sgt. Benjamin Washburn, a UAV technician with VMU-3, and native of Downers Grove, Ill., said he reenlisted in order to be stationed for the first time in Hawaii.

“(It’s) great (to) go from the desert to paradise,” Washburn said. “It’s well worth it. So far, so good.”

Washburn and Cpl. Robert Morales, mission payload operator, VMU-3, were showing visitors the various features of the unit’s Shadow RQ-7B UASs and answering questions at the unit’s open house, Sept. 19.

“It’s beautiful,” said Morales, of Oakland, Calif. This is the first time Morales has been stationed in Hawaii. “Life here seems to be a lot more relaxed,” Morales said. “(It’s a) total upgrade from the desert. (There is a) sense of family here (that) is really nice. I love Hawaii.”

The unit, which splits itself into detachments when deploying, will not only be operating at MCAS K-Bay, but also Pohakuloa Training Area and Wheeler Army Airfield. The unit’s first exercise will be internal training at PTA during Exercise Lava Viper. “I’m looking forward to all (future operations), whether flying to support the ground or aviation units,” Schreiner said. “I think it will be a great experience for us and hopefully an awesome experience for the customers we serve.”

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