New Grill? Here are your local fuel options
- Buy a tank empty and fill it at one of these nearby stores
City Mill - Hawaii Kai Towne Center
Kahala Shell Auto Care - 4204 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816 - Across from Kahala Mall
- Buy a tank full and exchange it when it becomes empty
Aina Haina 76 - at Aina Haina Shopping Center - Hawaii Gas PropaneXchange - 17# proprietary see-through canister
Lowes or Home Depot - Nimitz by the Airport - tank exchange - standard 4.7 gallon canister
As of September 2016, City Mill refills your tank for $6 a gallon (I'm rounding the pennies in this piece for simplicity. Technically, it's $5.99). For a 4.7 gallon standard tank, that's $28.20. Tanks must be less than 10 years old. The manufacture date is stamped at the top.
Aina Haina 76 uses Hawaii Gas' PropaneXchange program, with proprietary see-through canisters. The canister size is 17 pounds. Once you've bought their proprietary canister, refills are $30. To purchase the initial filled canister costs $60. You cannot refill these tanks once you've purchased them. They must be exchanged at a PropaneXchange vendor.
Lowes uses Blue Rhino service with standard tanks. Lowes price is $22 for an exchange of your empty for a filled, or $50 for a filled tank with no exchange. Filled is considered 15 pounds of propane.
Home Depot uses AmeriGas service with standard tanks. Home Depot's price is $22 for an exchange of your empty for a filled, or $53 for a filled tank with no exchange. Filled is considered 15 pounds of propane.
Both Lowes and Home Depot refill the tanks to 15 pounds, whereas City Mill just fills the tank. A standard tank holds more than fifteen pounds. A filled tank is closer to 20 pounds at capacity. For my money -- and the Hawaii Kai convenience -- I like City Mill for propane gas. I've also found that my "empty" tank is rarely as empty as I think, so a refill is a better value for me.
I also have one Hawaii Gas PropaneXchange tank. I got it when they were still exchanging standard steel tanks for their proprietary ones. They don't do that anymore. Visually, the tanks look great. I like that I know when they are truly empty. However, for the price, I can't recommend it as a value choice. Honestly, I don't feel that they last as long. It seems like I exchange it more often than other ones.
Finally, a note about tanks older than ten years old. If you have one, you can exchange it at Lowes or Home Depot. Just be sure to exchange it for one that is newer. I say this because I think I got an old tank the last time I did an exchange there, so when I went back -- well -- fair is fair. The clerk was very understanding when I asked him to check the dates.
One of the many things I love about Hawaii is its sense of community, including free flu vaccines for all school children whose schools have participated in the past Department of Health program. Sadly, however, we were just informed by Niu Valley Middle School that the annual shots are on hold this year.
I will update this information as we learn more. Meanwhile, parents are encouraged to seek out alternative options. The Department of Health publishes a list of clinics for adult immunizations. Parents may want to check with these pharmacies and inquire about keiki vaccines. Then of course, there's always your child's doctor's office.
So far, there's no word on whether this is a temporary hold or a longer one. I'm hoping it's the first, but maybe our household ought to check into getting vaccines earlier rather than wait.
September 1, 2016 - Kona Brewing Company announced its upcoming POG (passion-orange-guava) beer. The brew will be called Hanalei Island IPA and will only be avallable in 2016 at its local brewpubs on Hawaii Island and in Hawaii Kai. [Brewbound.com]
August 31, 2016 - A class-action lawsuit alleges at least 160 individuals had their property illegally foreclosed by 72 condominium associations. Three Hawaii Kai condominium associations at Colony Marina, Esplanade and Mawaena Kai, are among the 72 named. The lawsuit seeks payment of restitution and damages, including punitive damages, along with interest, to those whose properties were allegedly improperly foreclosed. [Civil Beat] [Ilind]
August 31, 2016 - Police are investing a report of a car that caught on fire and rolled down Wilhelmina Rise early this morning and ended up hitting a utility pole. No one was in the car, a fire official said. [Star Advertiser]
August 31, 2016 - Cha Cha Cha Salsaria in Hawaii Kai Shopping Center closed its doors August 30 after 22 years in business. The restaurant was sold to Cardenas Familia Corp., a family-run Mexican restaurant business, for undisclosed terms. According to the previous owner, the new buyers hope to reopen within two weeks "but are prepared for a month" [Star Advertiser - library card required]
August 31, 2016 - Island Distillers plans to open an expanded distillery and tasting room in Hawaii Kai, behind Kaiser High School. Known for its Hawaiian Moonshine, the Honolulu-based company was issued building permits in May to build new tasting and distillery buildings at its current location at 577 Pakala St. [PBN]
Aug. 30, 2016 - Promoters of a planned $25 million artificial reef containing cremated human remains off Hawaii Kai are dropping their "memorial reef" proposal but will push ahead with trying to establish a new fish habitat. A Hawaii Memorial Reefs LLC official notified the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board in a letter Sunday that the company has abandoned its plan to deploy structures made with concrete and cremated remains as an artificial reef in Maunalua Bay, after a community outreach effort produced mainly negative feedback. The company still wants to create an artificial reef, just without using cremated remains. [Star Advertiser - Library Card Required]
August 30, 2016 - On his first day of a new assignment at Kaimuki Middle School, Aaron Hess said, he witnessed a disturbing scene: an educational assistant pouring iced coffee over the head of a student. Shortly after reporting the incident to authorities, Hess was fired. According to Civil Beat, which had inquired about the situation, "The department [of Education, State of Hawaii] would disclose nothing about the outcome – for instance, whether the educational assistant had been exonerated or disciplined. Nor would it say when the investigation concluded." Hess worked for Bayada Home Care, a company that contracts paraprofessionals to Hawaii's public schools. [Civil Beat]
Aug. 30, 2016 - The Hawaii Kai Satellite City Hall and police substation at Hawaii Kai Towne Center will relocate to a different site in East Honolulu after the property owner more than doubled the rent. After the city's long-term lease ends on August 31, the city will begin leasing the property on a month-to-month basis. The monthly payment will be $3,200 until a new location is established for the satellite city hall and police substation. For now, the city and property owner, ValueRock Realty Partners, based in California, recently agreed to a month-to-month lease extension at no rent increase. [Star Advertiser - library card required]
August 29, 2016 - Choppy sea conditions causing surf between 8 to 10 feet kept Ocean Safety lifeguards busy rescuing paddlers from two canoes at Makapuu. No injuries were reported. [Star Advertiser]
August 28, 2016 - Homelessness concerns Hawaii Kai. Article addresses homelessness issue and the limits to what can be done about it. Bishop Estate has cleared area by the post office and will be clearing more area on Keahole. [Star-Advertiser]
August 27, 2016 - Hawaii Prep World features Andrew Kaufusi, Kaiser Football player on offense, defense and special teams in their 34-7 win over Radford. [Hawaii Prep World]
August 26, 2016 - A heartbroken family requests the public's help in finding 21 year-old Johnathan Fraser. Fraser has been missing since July 30 and was last seen in Hawaii Kai. [HNN]
August 26, 2016 - The Oahu SPCA is up against a September 1 deadline to vacate its space in Kalama Valley Shopping Center. Kamehameha Schools moved to evict the group after it ran into trouble with the city over unpermitted renovations as well as zoning issues. The city says the fines accruing against KS and the non-profit are now more than $14,000. On drive-by observation, the shelter appeared to be open for business as usual on September 1. [KITV] [+ drive-by observation]
August 26, 2016 - Hawaii Public Radio highlights one of Honolulu’s leading developers, Christine Camp, president & CEO of the Avalon Development Company. Avalon's most recent project is the 7000 Hawaii Kai rental complex. [HPR]
August 26, 2016 - PBS Hawaii has posted video replay of its episode, "INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I: State Senate District 9 / State House District 29," which originally aired on August 25, 2016. In District 9, Former City Councilman Stanley Chang is challenging the State Senate’s only Republican incumbent, Sam Slom, in the race to represent East Honolulu, which includes Kahala, Diamond Head, Aina Haina and Hawai‘i Kai. [PBS Hawaii]
Enrollment counts for 2016-2017 were just released at Hawaii DOE:
|NET CHANGE, ANNUAL, OFFICIAL ENROLLMENT COUNT SY 16-17|
|Regular Education||Special Education||Grand||Pre-K|
|139||NIU VALLEY MID||-3||11||8||0||0|
|OFFICIAL ENROLLMENT COUNT SY 16-17|
|Regular Education||Special Education||Grand||Pre-K|
|139||NIU VALLEY MID||827||89||916||0||0|
|OFFICIAL ENROLLMENT COUNT SY 15-16|
|Regular Education||Special Education||Grand||Pre-K|
|139||NIU VALLEY MID||830||78||908||0||0|
Mirroring the rest of the state, East Oahu public education counts generally held steady with no large changes noted. The only possible outliers would be Kalani, where special education enrollment increased by nine percent, and Niu Valley, where special education enrollment increased by 14 percent. I've extracted East Oahu data from two years of spreadsheets and posted it [here], if you're interested in more detail by grade level.
Remember when Honolulu had a morning AND an evening newspaper?
Rarely do I diss technology. In almost every instance, technology has brought us closer together and shortened the time between processes. In this case, however, it seems to have killed local news.
We've come full circle. Back in the early part of last century, news traveled slowly, often transmitted through inefficient means such as over the fence of your neighbors' yard. These days, unless your retired neighbor is livestreaming it, you'll probably get your local news the same way.
To compile the East Oahu weekly news update, I've devised a long list of different techniques for extracting local news over what should be a more efficient internet. Even then, I still miss important news that was published timely. On this, I blame Google. Yet at the same time, I haven't found any search engine as effective as Google. Go figure.
Part of the blame is just the cost of internet success. With 60 trillion webpages indexed and growing, Google can't crawl every site every minute. A bigger part of the blame however, comes from individuals whom game the system, trying to figure out Google's ranking algorithm at every turn. These people are experts in the booming field of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
These SEO experts are part marketing guy, part snake oil salesman. Behind-the-scenes detail is where running a website gets complicated. Good content and good writing don't count if you can't be found or if users perceive you as clickbait, which is why I'm baffled as to why the Star Advertiser still runs behind a paywall; ditto for the Pacific Business News.
Recently, I subscribed to the Star Advertiser. After the introductory period ran out, I cancelled. I gave it my best shot, but I found that the paper version was inconvenient: I couldn't find the parts I wanted quickly. Surprisingly, I couldn't find these parts on their included online subscription either.
Usually, my go-to trick is to use Google to search a site's content when there is no search bar, or where the search bar does not turn up the results you are looking for. The syntax in Google is, site: followed by the domain name, e.g. site:CNN.com (no spaces between site: and the domain). Because Star-Advertiser is a subscription only site, I couldn't do that. That's when I resorted to the entirely free option of Star-Advertiser state library access. Sadly, the free option was better than the paid.
What happened next nearly makes me cry. I received not one, but five calls soliciting my renewal. Really? When I say it makes me want to cry, it's not because I was particularly bothered by the calls, but rather I was saddened by the realization that they're in a state of denial.
As far as what will happen to Hawaii's press, I don't know. I know I'm eternally grateful to sites like Civil Beat which just recently gave up all hope of being self-sustaining and became a non-profit instead. I just don't know if it's inherently just or long-term feasible. (Note to self and others: don't forget to DONATE.)
Twitter: The newsroom floor. Facebook???
Twitter isn't news. It's more like being on the newsroom floor. Twitter is where to go when the President has a "big announcement." For example, several hours before Barack Obama's announcement in 2011, Twitter had leaked that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Of course, Twitter doesn't always have it right. That's why it is the newsroom floor: a place you want to be when news may come out, the gossip mill around the water cooler. Sometimes, Twitter can be dangerous for tweeters. Take, for instance, Ryan Lochte lying -- not to the international public -- but in a private remark his mother. That, in turn, led to this tweet, which led to big news, the fallout which continues today.
Hawaii is not really on the bandwagon with the Twitter-newsroom-floor trend. Here, Twitter is used sporadically -- more as a means for publicity than news. One area I can say Hawaii uses Twitter in an outstanding way is with its #HiTraffic hashtag. Official government agencies, namely the Honolulu Police Department (HPD), are behind the hashtag's widespread use. If you want to check up-to-date traffic conditions, just search #HiTraffic.
The lack of Twitter usage leaves me struggling to find news. Its alternative, Facebook, just doesn't appeal to me, and quite frankly I've only found it good for seeing the latest pictures of my friends' cats and kids. On the flip side of that, I've found it a good place that -- if you're not careful who you "friend" -- lends itself to trolling and uncivil comments. Lastly, I just don't trust Facebook. Since the start, Facebook has been about monetizing the site, sometimes at the cost of simply assuming everything belongs to it.
As if to make the point, just yesterday, Facebook did a flip-flop now claiming it is a social site and not a media site, as they had once declared. No doubt, that came from the fact that Facebook fired the humans that filter the news and the algorithm immediately posted fake news at the top of users feeds.
A decade ago, a journalist friend correctly predicted the polarization of internet news, almost a natural extension of the "if it bleeds, it leads" mantra of broadcast news. In a world where truth counts less than clicks, extremism has reached levels we never imagined. Pillars of the media world have been separated into different camps: Fox pandering to the right, with MSNBC pandering to the left. Recently, the mainstream media's divergence from political neutrality shocked even me. When compiling a list of balanced news outlets for my son, I briefly considered adding Mother Jones to the list of neutral bias outlets. How far have we deviated from politics-neutral reporting when Mother Jones makes the list? (Although, for the record, I find Mother Jones' analysis always centered on fact and not sensationalism, and carefully vetted before publication unlike more well-known counterparts.)
National news aside, local news struggles to find a way to remain both profitable and relevant in the giant sea of the World Wide Web. News that may be useful and helpful to residents of a small area like Hawaii get pummelled in Google rank. Naturally, that causes local outlets to scour the web for irrelevant stories that will raise its internet visibility. That in turn, buries the news we really needed.
I don't have a solution. Or, maybe my solution is to scour the web for you so you know where to find East Oahu / Hawaii Kai relevant information. Or, maybe my longer term hope is that the myriad of technologies we have somehow find a natural settling as a true troll-free virtual community. Or, maybe that's just wishful thinking.
August 25 2016 - Honolulu City Council is exploring guided tour limits at Waimanalo beaches. A bill under consideration is aimed at addressing an influx of tourists who are making their way to East Oahu as part of organized guided tours. Some believe the increase in visitor traffic became an issue when a similar commercial activity ban went into effect in Kailua and Lanikai, essentially, displacing tour groups into neighboring communities. Now some are concerned this bill would force an influx of visitors into areas like Kahala and Hawaii Kai. [HNN]
August 24, 2016 - The Takitani Foundation has announced the winners of its academic scholarships for 2016. From the Honolulu district,: AJ Clifford Alcover of Farrington High School; Emily Wong of Kaimuki High School; Ria Oba of Kaiser High School; Yiju Huang of Kalani High School and Courtney Hiraoka of University Laboratory School. Sixty-six scholarships were awarded in total across different learning institutions. [Takitani Foundation]
August 23, 2016 - Denby Fawcett weighs in on the Kahala Avenue luxury condo debate in a Civil Beat column. [Civil Beat]
August 22, 2016 - President Barack Obama recognized four Hawaii teachers as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The teachers will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. From East Oahu, one of the recipents is Bryan Silver, Kalani High (7-12 Science awardee) Silver has been teaching Industrial Engineering Design, Drafting Technology I+II and Engineering for 16 years at Kalani High. He runs a robust afterschool robotic program in VEX, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Robotics and Real-world Design Challenge. [Hawaii DOE]
August 22, 2016 The Hawaii Department of Education has published a newsletter entitled "Supporting Student Success: Phase I Statewide Listening Tour." Findings and best practices are outlined within the six page document. [Hawaii BOE/DOE]