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goakamai googlemapsThen came dreaded Monday

On Saturday, after the water main broke at Ainakoa and Kalanianaole, our family received a text from a relative informing us of the blocked highway.  We were in Hawaii Kai at the time.  Although we were to have met others at 2pm in Kahala, we cancelled those plans when it became clear the road was not likely to be reopened that day.  On Sunday we stayed home.

Then came dreaded Monday, when one of us had to go to town to work and another of us had to pick up a child just on the other side of the blockage, in the Kahala area.  Going over was apparently not an issue. Traveling with my daughter in the morning carpool lane, my husband was able to get through Westbound traffic with ease.  I was home dreading picking her up at 3:30pm however.

At 3pm, while I was waiting outside her school I decided to take a walk around the Kahala Mall area.  The roads did not seem overly congested, but I also noticed a black SUV on the road that had not moved in the 5 minutes I had been observing.  Armed with just two apps, GoAkamai and Google Maps, I planned my return trip.  

Go Akamai is a lightweight app that takes up few resources but provides valuable updated information.  As I was viewing it at around 3:10pm, the traffic alert message that the second lane to Hawaii Kai was opened had already been posted.

Google Maps is a good source of instant road traffic information (including on side streets), but a poor one for road alerts or shutdowns.  The app uses GPS on users' phones to track speed.  It can tell you when cars are stuck in traffic, but can't tell you when there are no cars on the road due to an accident or reroute.

Combining the strengths of both apps, I mapped out a plan that had me backtrack a few roads before reentering at Waialae Avenue.  As it turns out, a friend later texted me that her route took over an hour to get to Ainakoa and Kalanianaole; my route took 15 minutes.

Ultimately, I returned home within 5 minutes of the usual commute time on Monday.  After we cleared the bottleneck, it was smooth sailing through the rest of East Oahu.  My husband also lucked out on the commute solely by using GoAkamai and traveling when traffic seemed lightest.  He stayed on H1 all the way until it changed to Kalanianaole.  He later commented that it was one of the lightest traffic days he's had -- mostly because everyone else left work early in anticipation of a backlog.

Today, I had the "privilege" of making a morning commute from Kahala to Hawaii Kai at around 8:30 am.  Because there is only one lane open in the morning, it took an extra 20 minutes over the usual commute.  Overall, our experience so far with the BWS repair has been inconvenient but not life-altering.  Hang in there everyone.  Just a few days more. . .


Follow Nixle for the latest governmental updates, or check in with my Twitter feed /1 for the latest information.


Good news ! 

  3:48 PM - 24 Jan 2017

All Kalanianaole Hwy EB lanes expected to be open by noon Wednesday,

Even Better News !

Before 5am Wednesday, all lanes to Hawaii Kai have been reopened.


On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at about 4:45 a.m., a 24-inch water main break occurred before the intersection of Kalanianaole Highway and Ainakoa drive: near the end of the H-1 freeway.  From approximately 6:00 am, Kalananaole Highway Eastbound (EB) was closed on Saturday.  At approximately 11pm, one lane was reopened.  The lane remained open throughout Sunday.

One lane remains open EB.  The Board of Water Supply (BWS) along with cooperating agencies, opens two lanes for the afternoon commute when it is safe to do so.  On Monday at approximately 3pm, a second lane was opened for the evening commute.

The removal of a defunct water main above the present one is causing additional delays to the repair, and BWS now estimates that it will take until Thursday, January 26 to completely restore transit to the East Oahu area.  Residents are advised to minimize travel through the area if possible.  Until the repair is completed, all other scheduled roadwork for East Oahu through Waimanalo is postponed.

1/ for document citation and verification, see Twitter feed and official retweets

Jan 20 & 21 - There is a traffic alert for weekend and night work in Hawaii Kai, with alternating lane closure on Kalanianaole Highway in both directions at the Kealahou Street Intersection on Friday night, Jan. 20, through Saturday morning, Jan. 21, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., for maintenance work. [HI DOT]

Jan 19 - Jersey Mike's Subs will open its first Hawaii restaurant at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center next week. [PBN]

Jan 16 - Kalani High School paddlers rescued after canoe overturns near Hanauma Bay [Star-Advertiser]

Jan. 15 - Kalama Valley's Big Brothers/Sisters donation drop-off box has been closed.  The nearest Hawaii Kai donation station is run by UCP at Hahaione School.  [updated]

Jan 15 - Two men were in serious condition after a gun exploded around 12:50 pm at the Koko Head Shooting Complex. One man sustained injuries to both hands, and the other man had an injury to his face. Paramedics treated the men and took them to a hospital. [Star-Advertiser]

Jan 14 - Rix Island Wear at Kahala Mall closed on Jan 4. [PBN]

Jan 13 - Army Major Christopher "CJ" Scott surprised his 3 kids -- a kindergartener and two first-grade twins -- by showing up for lunch at Hahaione Elementary.  He was stationed in Saudi Arabia and had not seen his children in 5 months.  It was the first military reunion organized at the school.  [HNN]


January 12 -The state Attorney General's office told state Rep. Gene Ward that a map he published in November of suspected homeless encampments and homeless activity in his East Honolulu district passes legal muster and is constitutional.  Representative Ward, on Wednesday, called the Attorney General's opinion "a win-win. I'm happy with it." He plans to reproduce the map if the information changes. [Star-Advertiser - library card required]

January 12 - A 67-year-old woman who died after she was found floating lifeless in the water at Hanauma Bay has been identified as Christy H. Kang of Honolulu. [Star-Advertiser]

January 9 - The State will relist for sale the Moku Ahi fire boat that was taken out of commission in 2014.  The Moku Ahi once responded to emergencies inside Honolulu Harbor and along Oahu’s south shore, from Kalaeloa Deep Draft Harbor to Hawaii Kai. Currently, there are no plans for a new fire boat.  [KHON]

January 8 - Fifteen boaters are safe Sunday night after a Good Samaritan vessel saved them from their burning boat off Hawaii Kai’s Maunalua Bay. According to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Oahu Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, the 36-foot cabin motorboat was called Aquadelica. The boat eventually sank. [KHON]

January 8 - A fire which broke out around noon on Koko Crater scorched approximately 7 acres before being put out.  Firefighters closed Koko Crater trail and the rifle range while extinguishing the brush fire with helicopter-dropped water.  [Star-Bulletin]

January 6, 2017 - State Representative Gene Ward's decision to publish a map of homeless in Hawaii Kai has unleashed a storm of commentary and prompted him to seek guidance from the State Attorney General. [Star-Advertiser]  On January 4, Civil Beat published an op-ed article entitled "Publicizing Locations, Traits Of Homeless People Is Unwise" [Civil Beat], followed on January 5, with an op-ed article entitled, "Nothing Wrong With Map Depicting Events Involving Homeless." [Civil Beat]

January 5, 2017 -  Hawaii’s Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts Inc., known for its popular mochi ice cream, has been sold to Kenex Holdings, a Chicago investment company, the two companies said this week. Under the terms of the deal, founder Keith Robbins will remain a significant investor in Bubbies and will retail his official title as “Mr. Bubbie” at industry trade shows moving forward. Rick Schaffer, former vice president of retail sales at Grecian Delight, a manufacturer of Greek and Mediterranean food products in the U.S., will join Bubbies as CEO. Bubbies has a franchised location at Koko Marina Center in East Oahu and a production facility in Aiea in Central Oahu. [Chicago Business Journal]

January 5, 2017 - A 35-year-old Honolulu moped rider was taken to a hospital after he slammed into a utility pole in Kaimuki. At approximately 2:30 a.m., police said the man was traveling eastbound on Maunaloa Avenue in proximity to 8th Avenue when he lost control of his moped and veered into the westbound lane. [Star-Advertiser]

Dec. 31, 2016 - A water main break in Hawaii Kai has forced the closure two lanes of Keahole Street.
The break occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. near Hawaii Kai Drive. All lanes of Keahole Street near the break were originally closed off, but police reopened one lane in each direction shorlty before 11:30 a.m. [Star-Advertiser]

December 30, 2016 - The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association that owns the private marina in Hawaii Kai, wants to more permanently inhibit sand from migrating off Portlock Beach into the boat entry channel by constructing a $2 million rock groin. It asserts that the groin which would replace a row of giant sandbags first installed in 2004 on the east side of the entryway, will keep the channel clear for longer and be less costly in the long term compared with maintaining the sandbags.

To build the groin, the association needs several government approvals including a Department of the Army permit, a state conservation district use permit and a city special management area permit. State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) public comments on the plan are being accepted through Jan. 23. Comments can be sent to DLNR's Natalie Farinholt. The report detailing the groin plan is available at

According to the environmental impact report produced by Waimanalo-based Sea Engineering, Developer Henry Kaiser created the marina channel in 1959 as part of building the Hawaii Kai community around what was once a fishpond. To keep the channel deep enough for boats, more dredging was done in 1981, 1985, 1988, 2004 and 2013. In 2004 as part of dredging work, an experimental sandbag groin was installed to reduce sand moving from Portlock Beach into the channel. The row of sandbags was rebuilt in 2013 after significant deterioration. In written comments, one beachfront owner wrote: "The last two dredging projects, when the sandbag groins were placed and the third bridge bay was dredged, caused Portlock Beach and the beach park to erode."

If approvals are obtained without unexpected delay, the association anticipates being able to build the groin in 60 to 90 days starting in the fall of 2018. For more information, access the full Star-Bulletin article. [Star-Advertiser - library card required]

December 27 - In a November newsletter, State Representative Gene Ward published a map of homeless' whereabouts in Hawaii Kai.  Several weeks later, it sparked the outrage of individuals and organizations, including the American Civil Liberties' Union (ACLU) which expressed its concern in the following statement:

Publishing a map of "reported homeless events" in public areas only serves to move us further away from addressing the causes of homelessness. Instead, it is an open invitation to further profile, dehumanize and harass those that have nowhere to go except our parks, sidewalks and shared public spaces. The Constitution protects the rights of the poor and homeless against government policies that target them unfairly or criminalize their mere existence.

Despite strife on both sides, all concede that to date no prohibited actions have taken place. [HNN]

December 25 - Hiker dies after being rescued Christmas morning on Koko Crater trail. The man was found in cardiac arrest.  [Star-Advertiser]

December 23 - Man dies after being found unresponsive in waters at Hanauma Bay [KHON]

December 20 - Three ambitious Kalani High students will conduct sophisticated astronomical research using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. The aspiring astronomers were awarded time to use two Maunakea observatories as a part of the Maunakea Scholars program. [HI DOE]

Publishing a map of "reported homeless events" in public areas only serves to move us further away from addressing the causes of homelessness. Instead, it is an open invitation to further profile, dehumanize and harass those that have nowhere to go except our parks, sidewalks and shared public spaces. The Constitution protects the rights of the poor and homeless against government policies that target them unfairly or criminalize their mere existence.