Kuakini’s top volunteer serves with endless vigor

(Via Star Advertiser)

You can’t put a price on what volunteer Lillian Takeda does for the Kua­kini Health System, but you could certainly fill out one heck of a timecard.

Takeda, 77, has been donating her time to the Kua­kini geriatric care facility since 1995. The last time anyone counted, back in December, she had contributed 21,634 hours of service — the equivalent of working 40 hours a week for more than 10 years without a break. Takeda’s tally is tops among the health system’s irreplaceable corps of more than 400 volunteers.

“I enjoy coming here,” she says. “I would like to keep doing this as long as I can. I keep going.”

Takeda and her mother used to come to the facility to help take care of Takeda’s aunt. Takeda would often handle the feeding duties.

When her aunt died, Takeda, recently retired after a long career in the Department of Education, was asked whether she’d like to continue coming as a volunteer.

These days Takeda leads exercise classes for residents of the care facility.

One recent Tuesday class finds Takeda guiding a class of 20 residents through series of brain-rousing, blood-pumping exercises.

In one exercise, seated residents loft and catch a small beanbag.

“Breathe in, breathe out” Takeda says. “Now march, march, march!”

The class, still seated, dutifully lifts their feet — left, right, left, right — in perfect cadence.

Then it’s time for the class to pick their favorite drills.

“Wake the brain up,” one says, and the group responds by tapping their heads with splayed fingers.

“Row, row, row your boat!” another calls out, and the class rows imaginary oars while singing the familiar song, some in English, others in Japa­nese.

At Takeda’s prompting, the beaming seniors fold their arms like chicken wings and flap.

“Kokke-kokko,” Takeda calls.

“Megasameta!” the class responds.

Takeda leads the class twice a week. She also spends time feeding patients as part of the facility’s trained Meal Brigade.

But that’s not all. Takeda also volunteers at the Moiliili Senior Center, helps with a weekly hana­fuda card group and works long hours at home sewing napkins, blankets and scarves for Kua­kini Home residents and knitting caps and booties for newborns at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children. She and her husband, Fred, also care for their son, who has emphysema, and spend as much time as possible with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“Every day is full,” Takeda says. “I like it that way.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at Kua­kini Health System may call 547-9184 or visitwww.kua­kini.org.

Inside Honolulu Hale Broadcast Schedule Oceanic Cable Channel 54 Week of April 20 – April 26, 2014

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014:
9:00 am Public Safety & Economic Development cc LIVE on Channel 54
10:30 am Parks & Customer Services cc LIVE on Channel 54
1:00 pm Executive Matters & Legal Affairs cc LIVE on Channel 54

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014:
9:00 am Budget cc LIVE on Channel 54
1:00 pm Public Works & Sustainability cc LIVE on Channel 54
7:00 pm Public Safety & Economic Dvlp. cc Re-telecast of 4.22.14 on Channel 54
To Follow Parks & Customer Services cc Re-telecast of 4.22.14 on Channel 54
To Follow Executive Matters & Legal Affairs cc Re-telecast of 4.22.14 on Channel 54

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014:
9:00 am Zoning & Planning cc LIVE on Channel 54
1:00 pm Intergovernmental Affairs & Human Services cc LIVE on Channel 54
2:30 pm Transportation cc LIVE on Channel 54
cc = Close Captioned
All times are approximate and subject to change. For further information regarding these
telecasts please contact Glenn Booth, Council Telecasting Director, at 753-3342.


Apply by May 5, 2014 – 11:59 P.M. H.S.T.

Management Analyst IV



Senior Construction Inspector



Continuous Recruitment

Electrical Engineer VI



*includes $1,038 shortage differential


Subject to funding availability.

For a complete job announcement, go to our website at http://www.honolulu.gov/hr on the opening date.

City Departments: Click on Job Opportunities; Scroll down, then click on the job title; Click print Job Bulletin; Post or distribute to employees in the department, divisions and units.

The appointing authority shall take all reasonable measures to bring announcements to the attention of employees in the department and distribute the announcements to the various units within the department and other agencies.

The complete announcement should be photocopied or sent electronically.

Department of Human Resources

USS Port Royal to remain with Navy — The cruiser will be “laid up” at Pearl Harbor until it is returned to service

(Via Star Advertiser)


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In the 20-year life of the cruiser USS Port Royal, based at Pearl Harbor, some of the warship’s battles have been fought at home, some with the environment and some with the Navy itself.

After a bad grounding incident in 2009 off Hono­lulu Airport’s Reef Runway, the Navy repeatedly tried to retire the newest cruiser of the Ticonderoga class, and Congress repeatedly pushed back.

The latest victory goes to the Port Royal, sort of.

The Navy has agreed to keep it in its inventory, but in a “laid up” status along with 10 other cruisers, including the two others at Pearl Harbor, the USS Lake Erie and USS Chosin, officials said.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Feb. 24 that as part of “difficult choices” the Pentagon faces with budget cuts, 11 of 22 cruisers in the fleet would be placed on reduced operating status while they are modernized and eventually returned to the fleet.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report this month that the halving of the fleet would involve placing the 11 newest cruisers, including the Port Royal, into a long-term phased modernization plan starting in fiscal 2015.

The Navy would then reactivate the upgraded ships on a one-for-one basis as the 11 oldest cruisers reach their expected service life.

Under the plan, the Navy would bring the semimothballed Port Royal back into active service in 2026, when it retires the USS Chancellorsville, the GAO said. The Port Royal would remain on active duty through 2044 — 15 years longer than its expected service life.

Insidedefense.com recently reported on a top Navy official saying the plan to lay up cruisers would save more than $6 billion.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Congress likely will oppose the Navy’s latest plan to retire the cruisers, just as it has done with similar plans in recent years.

Hanabusa said the Navy is trying to characterize ship reductions as modernizations.

The retirement of the cruisers, “which is what I expected the modernization to really mean, is going to be detrimental for us in the Pacific,” Hana­busa said in a phone interview. “In addition, of course, we home-port three of them (at Pearl Harbor) and they are fine. There is nothing wrong with them. They’ve been repaired and they are functioning. So why do we want to do this?”

Hanabusa maintains that some of the funding for the war in Af­ghani­stan could possibly be reprogrammed to support the cruisers with the war rapidly winding down.

“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said.

Lt. Robert Myers, a Navy spokes­man at the Pentagon, said the service is “working closely with Congress on a proposal that preserves our readiness within a constrained fiscal environment.”

The Navy’s proposal “will achieve our end goal of returning these ships to the fleet with greater capability and a longer service life,” he said.

The USS Chosin, another of the cruisers at Pearl Harbor, completed major maintenance in March 2012 at a cost of $107.1 million, the Navy said.

The April GAO report specifically addresses the 567-foot Port Royal.

The Navy assumed the 2009 grounding had created hidden maintenance problems and that a midlife upgrade would be expensive, so the decision was made to retire the ship, the GAO said.

But a 2013 Navy review of the $1 billion warship, ordered by Congress, found its material condition similar to other cruisers. The GAO, told by Congress to review those findings, concurred.

“GAO found that, in terms of its estimated service life and capabilities, the Port Royal has some advantages,” the investigative arm of Congress said. “The ship is the youngest cruiser in its class and has more service life remaining than any other cruiser. The Port Royal also has some key capabilities that many of the Navy’s other cruisers lack, including a ballistic missile defense capability that is highly sought after by combatant commanders.”

The Port Royal is one of just five cruisers with ballistic missile shoot-down capability, the agency said.

The cruiser ran aground and was stuck for four days in shallow water off Hono­­lulu Airport’s Reef Runway in 2009, causing significant damage to the ship and reef.

A total of $18 million was spent on refurbishment before the warship ran aground, $40 million on fixes after the grounding and more than $20 million in 2010 and 2011 to deal with cracks in the Port Royal’s aluminum alloy superstructure, a problem identified on all Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

The Navy previously indicated the Port Royal had never completely recovered from the grounding, but never provided “adequate analysis” as to how, a House report said.

The Navy tried to retire the Port Royal in fiscal 2013 and 2015, according to the GAO.

The Naval Sea Systems Command, which conducted the earlier assessment, said in its 2013 report that the expected life of the Port Royal, commissioned in 1994, was 35 years.

The GAO found that the Navy overestimated the cost for the next modernization of the Port Royal by $306 million and concluded the upgrades would cost $406 million.

“On the basis of current information, the Navy’s plan to decommission the Port Royal is not aligned with decommissioning requirements,” the GAO said.

The Navy subsequently decided to place the Port Royal in its phased modernization with the other newer cruisers, the GAO said.

Cruiser goes into ‘laid up’ status at Pearl Harbor

(Via Ho’okele News)

The Navy’s newest guided-missile cruiser in the Ticonderoga class will go into “laid up” status.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the USS Port Royal and two other cruisers, the USS Lake Erie and the USS Chosin, will go into that status at Pearl Harbor.

They are among 11 of 22 cruisers that will be placed on reduced operating status while they are modernized.

The Navy has tried to retire the 20-year-old Port Royal since it grounded in 2009 off Honolulu Airport’s Reef Runway, but Congress has resisted the move.

Under the plan announced earlier this year, the Port Royal would go into a long-term modernization plan in 2015. It would be brought out of semi-mothballed status in 2026 and remain on active duty until 2044.

HI-5 Redemption Center to reopen at Hickam

(Via Ho’okele News)

U.S. Navy photo by Denise Emsley Aluminum cans are collected at the Navy Region Hawaii Recycling Program's Hickam Redemption Center (building 1715).

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii


The Navy Region Hawaii Recycling Program plans to reopen its HI-5 Redemption Center, building 1715, near Kuntz Gate at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on May 6.

“The center had to be closed in October 2013 due to financial adjustments of the program, requiring moving redemption from Morale, Welfare and Recreation to the Navy Exchange,” said Fran Pena, recycling program manager for Navy Region Hawaii.

“We are very pleased to reopen and provide easy drop off HI-5 cans and bottles to all military, family members and Department of Defense civilians who wish to use our facility.”

Vouchers will be issued at building 1715 that can be redeemed for cash at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange customer service desk in the main atrium.

For those who wish to recycle more than cans and bottles, personnel at the other end of the building will accept cardboard and paper items such as newspaper, soft cover books, catalogs and magazines.

The redemption center is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Please remember that all bottles or cans turned in for redemption should be free of liquids and debris.

For commands and activities who are interested in establishing regular pickup service for recyclables, or who need assistance in transporting large quantities of goods, call Richard Vila at the Navy Region Hawaii recycling program coordinator at 474-9207.

Ashes of Hickam Field survivor scattered at USS Utah Memorial

(Via Ho’okele News)

The ashes of Army Private 1st Class William "Bill" P. Mueller, a survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Hickam Field, were scattered in the waters near the USS Utah Memorial.

Story and photos by Brandon Bosworth


Assistant Editor, Ho’okele

The ashes of Army Private 1st Class William “Bill” P. Mueller, a survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Oahu, were scattered in the waters near the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island during a ceremony held April 9. Mueller was at Hickam Field during the attack.

Lt. Col. Sonny Young (Army ret.), served as the officer in charge during the ceremony, and Chaplain Capt. Ray Kitagawa, senior Army chaplain, Hawaii Army National Guard, presided over the services. The Hawaii Army National Guard provided full military honors.

“It was Bill’s wish to make a final voyage to Hawaii after he died to have his remains scattered here in the waters of Pearl Harbor,” said Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor survivor liaison. “Thanks to the efforts of his son, Mike, and these wonderful people, his wish will come true today.”

Mueller was born in Germany on June 9, 1921. His family immigrated to the United States in 1924 because of the growing strife in Germany. Mueller joined the U.S. Army on Oct. 6, 1939 in Pittsfield, Mass. at the age of 18. He arrived at Schofield Barracks in December 1939 and was assigned to ‘D’ Company, 19th infantry, 24th Division.

On the morning of Dec. 7 1941, Mueller was waiting to begin a flying lesson at Hickam Field.


A Hawaii Army National Guard bugler plays "Taps" at the ash-scattering ceremony held April 9 honoring Hickam Field survivor, Private 1st Class William "Bill" P. Mueller, at the USS Utah Memorial as Lt. Col. Sonny Young (U.S. Army ret.) presents the U.S. flag to his son, Mike Mueller. Photo collage by Rico Onaha Hutter

“His instructor was a little late landing to pick him up and, unfortunately, Bill witnessed him getting killed by a Japanese fighter,” said Taylor. “He was an eyewitness to major destruction to aircraft and hangars at Hickam and the terrifying scene of Navy ships blowing up, bombs falling everywhere, and fighter planes strafing with their machine guns – one of those guns killing his instructor.”


Following the attack, Mueller was sent to Canton Island where he underwent six months of intensive combat training, which was followed by jungle warfare training in Australia. He first entered into combat in the jungles of Papua, New Guinea, where he lost many fellow Soldiers. In over a year of fighting, he received many combat wounds, malaria, amebic dysentery, dengue fever and jungle rot. Despite his desire to stay and fight, Mueller was ordered back to the U.S. for medical care in June 1944.

Mueller went on to serve a year of cadre duty at Camp Croft, S.C. and received an honorable discharge on June 15, 1945. Over the course of his military career, Mueller received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal and many other citations.

“He was a proud U.S. Army veteran of the 24th Infantry Division, which was the first to see combat in World War II,” said Taylor. “The 24th Infantry Division is fiercely proud of their heritage as the ‘first to fight’ in defense of freedom.”

Just prior to his discharge, Mueller met Jean Marler, the woman he would marry. He and Jean were together until her death in 1975. After leaving the Army, Mueller worked for the post office and retired 30 years later as a letter carrier.

“Bill was my kind of guy,” said Taylor. “He loved country music, very cold beer, flirting with the ladies, traveling, photography, prospecting, riding motorcycles, and spending time in his ‘ham shack.’ He rode his custom-made Gold Wing trike until he suffered a stroke in 2011.”

Mueller died on Dec. 23, 2012. At the April 9 ceremony, he received full military honors, including three rifle volleys, the sounding of “Taps” and folding and presentation of the U.S. flag.

Mueller’s son, Mike, flew in from Kingman, Ariz. for the event.

“It was very touching and very impressive,” he said. “It was better than what Hollywood could have done.”

Mike Mueller always knew that his father’s wish was to return to Pearl Harbor upon his passing.

“He was very patriotic, and very proud of being a Pearl Harbor survivor,” he said. “Since I was a child I knew he wanted to come back to Pearl Harbor.”

JBPHH, CSAAD ‘Stay Alive’ offers rides to prevent drinking and driving

(Via Ho’okele News)

0418_6Story and photos by Don Robbins

Editor, Ho’okele

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and two associations at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam have joined forces to help their fellow military service members avoid the dangers of drinking and driving.

“The Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) and the JBPHH Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) have combined for a “Stay Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Abrel Smith, president of JBPHH CSADD.

Members of the associations are distributing credit card-sized plastic cards, designed to be attached to a person’s keychain. The front of the card features messages such as “Count on Us, We’ll Get You Home Safe!” and “Don’t Be That Guy/Girl.” The back of the card features the phone number 808-473-1222 in large red letters.


The Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) and the JBPHH Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) are distributing these credit card-sized plastic cards for fellow service members to place on their keychains. The cards have a number on the back to call for a ride to prevent drinking and driving.

Military service members who need a ride home because they have been drinking can call the phone number and a fellow service member will pick them up at their location and take them home to their residence, Smith explained.

“If they put it on their keychain, the Sailor might see it and think twice about doing something crazy,” Smith said.

“I’m really excited about our Stay Alive program because I know that this program will, and has, saved careers here at JBPHH and other commands around the island as well. This program plays a vital role in keeping our service members from getting behind the wheel intoxicated,” Smith said.

“The great thing about it all is you don’t have to pay a dime. Just pick up the phone and call 808-473-1222, and I promise you will get home safe, no question asked. Remember, your JEA and CSADD cares,” Smith added.

The volunteer service members running the program have scheduled certain people to have rotating duty days so someone will be available to offer rides to intoxicated service members. Volunteers will also be using their own personal vehicles and gas to provide the service.

Royal Australian Air Force commodore visits JBPHH

(Via Ho’okele News)

0418_5Commodore Peter Yates, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) general logistics director, asks questions about corrosion control and maintenance procedures during a briefing held April 7 with 15th Maintenance Group leadership in hangar 21 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). Yates was visiting JBPHH to conduct tactical-level discussions on how the RAAF and U.S. Air Force can expand their interoperability in order to deliver seamless integration of forces.

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden

USS Chung-Hoon honors Sigsbee Sailors aboard ‘Mighty Mo’

(Via Ho’okele News)

USS Chung-Hoon's ceremonial guard conducts a three-volley salute to pay tribute to Sigsbee Sailors at a ceremony held April 14 at the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Story and photos by Brandon Bosworth


Assistant Editor, Ho’okele

Sailors from USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) gathered at the Battleship Missouri Memorial on April 14 for a ceremony honoring the memory of those who served aboard the USS Sigsbee.

The ceremony was held to pay respects to the 23 Sailors who lost their lives when a kamikaze suicide plane struck the ship on April 14, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa.

This annual ceremony is usually held aboard USS Chung-Hoon, but the ship is currently undergoing repairs. However, the location of this year’s event is fitting as the USS Missouri suffered its own kamikaze attack on April 11, 1945 in waters northeast of Okinawa.

Sailors from USS Chung-Hoon pay tribute by dropping flower petals into Pearl Harbor.

At the time of the kamikaze attack on Sigsbee, the commanding officer was Cmdr. (later rear admiral) Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon, namesake of the USS Chung-Hoon.

The attack knocked the ship’s port engine and steering control out of commission and caused the starboard engine to be capable of running at only five knots. Despite the damage, Chung-Hoon continued to direct the ship’s anti-aircraft fire, while at the same time directing damage control parties that saved Sigsbee. The ship managed to make it to port under its own power.

“The Sigsbee wasn’t as well-armored as other ships but was well-prepared, thanks to her commanding officer,” said Cmdr. Ryan Collins, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon.

“In the minutes, hours and days following the attack, the performance of the Sigsbee’s crew was something to marvel at,” he said. “We strive to live up to their heroism.”


Cmdr. Ryan Collins, commanding officer of USS Chung-Hoon, speaks at the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Chung-Hoon received the Navy Cross and Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as commanding officer of Sigsbee from May 1944 to October 1945. Chung-Hoon was also a Pearl Harbor survivor, assigned to the battleship USS Arizona during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

USS Chung-Hoon’s ceremonial guard conducted a three-volley salute and Sailors dropped flower petals off the side of Missouri into the waters of Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to the Sigsbee Sailors who lost their lives.