Pearl shipyard to hire 731 — The number is a big boost as the Navy plays catch-up with overdue maintenance

(Via Star Advertiser)

June 30 2014

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard said it plans to hire 731 workers this fiscal year, a significant boost for high-paying jobs at the state’s largest industrial employer.

The shipyard has 4,523 civilian workers and 462 military members, spokesman Sean Hughes said.

The shipyard apprentice class of 306 new hires is expected to be the biggest the yard has ever seen — extending all the way back to World War II when the most hired in a year was a little more than 200, Hughes said Thursday.

A job fair for workers ranging from apprentices through engineers is expected to be held Jan. 28, he said.

The 731 new workers “significantly exceeds any number we’ve hired in recent history,” Hughes said. “We’re hiring to keep up with increased workload (and) we expect this will help back-fill approximately 270 expected losses through retirement and other departures this year.”

Apprentices start at just under $20 to $22 per hour depending on the trade, and about four years later make $29 to $31 an hour upon graduation, Hughes said.

Salaries for entry-level engineers range from $47,000 to $60,000, while more experienced engineers can make $150,000 a year or more.

“This is great news,” said Ben Toyama, who is with the Hawaii Federal Employees Metal Trades Council. “The union is waiting to see what all the (job) numbers look like — in which departments and which divisions. We’re not going to find out for about a week or so.”

The Navy is hiring at its four public shipyards nationwide as it attempts to play catch-up with overdue fleet maintenance due to sequestration, overtime restrictions and hiring freezes that reduced productivity.

Congress agreed to budget relief in 2014 and 2015 from federal spending cuts known as sequestration, and the Navy said its fiscal 2015 budget funds “the most critical deficiencies related to productivity and safety at our naval shipyards.”

The shipyard typically hires 100 to 150 apprentices a year, “so our plan to hire 306 apprentices this year is an historic increase,” Hughes said. “It’s the most we’ve ever brought on in one year in over a century of service. At the peak of World War II, we had a class of over 200, but nothing near or over 300.”

Hughes said it takes several years to develop apprentices into skilled journeymen, “so we consider this year to be a very healthy long-term investment in our career talent pool.”

The shipyard also hires about 40 to 100 engineers each year, he said. This year more than 200 engineers are being brought on board.

“This increase in workload is due to increased fleet demands for submarine and surface ship maintenance across the Navy, as well as support to the new home-ported submarines in Hawaii and Guam as part of the Navy’s rebalance to the Pacific,” Hughes said.

About 90 percent of the shipyard work is on submarines. The USS Mississippi became the fourth Virginia-class attack submarine to be based at Pearl Harbor when it arrived Nov. 25. Hawaii also is home to 14 Los Angeles-class attack submarines, the Navy said.

Other jobs the shipyard will be looking to fill this year include information technology specialists, contract specialists and other waterfront production helpers and laborers, Hughes said.

Hiring has fluctuated over the past few years. The shipyard hired 371 people in fiscal 2012, 163 people in fiscal 2013 (down primarily due to sequestration and the hiring freeze) and 406 people in fiscal 2014, Hughes said.

Part of the Pearl Harbor hiring has to do with revitalization of an aging workforce.

“We’ve got a little over 900 people at the shipyard who are retirement-eligible, so that’s a lot of folks who could be going out the door,” Hughes said. “We expect some attrition over the next few years, so we’ve got to back-fill.”

The shipyard usually does an annual apprentice job fair, but a consolidated effort will be held Jan. 28 for apprentices, engineers and other positions during Job Quest 2015 at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, Hughes said.

All job listings, as well as employment applications, are exclusively at USAJobs.gov, Hughes said. He added that all new hires must be U.S. citizens and be eligible to obtain and maintain a security clearance.

Farrington beats Damien in overtime at Pete Smith

(Via Star Advertiser)

The vision and burst that helped Ranan Mamiya rack up jaw-dropping numbers as a Farrington running back came in handy for the Governors basketball team on Thursday.

With Farrington trailing Damien by two in the final seconds of regulation, Mamiya found himself with the ball on the wing. He exploded to the basket and dropped in the tying layup as the buzzer sounded to force overtime.

Mamiya also drove for the first basket of the extra period and the Governors held off the Monarchs 58-54 at Kalaheo to advance to the semifinals of the Pete Smith Classic.

“I just tried to get down the court as fast as I could to try to get a foul or make the shot,” Mamiya said of the tying bucket. “It was good teamwork. Everybody spread out, there was an open hole, I just hit the hole and made the shot.”

Farrington, ranked second in this week’s Star-Advertiser poll, overcame Damien’s inside combo of Rocky Mori (20 points) and Kapi’ina King (16 points) to remain in the winners bracket and will face No. 1 Punahou at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

Punahou pulled away from Terry Fox (Canada) 71-54 in Thursday’s second quarterfinal game to set up its third meeting with Farrington of the preseason. The Buffanblu and Governors split their previous matchups in tournaments at Radford and Moanalua.

Mamiya, who rushed for 1,246 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Farrington football team, finished with nine points while guard Jake Smith hit five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 for the Governors.

PETE SMITH CLASSIC

At Farrington
Campbell 41, Fleetwood Park (Canada) 31
Southern Okanagan (Canada) 44, Kamehameha II 40
Mililani 55, Castle 44
Punahou II 59, Anuenue 27

At Kalaheo
Farrington 58, Damien 54 (OT)
Punahou 71, Terry Fox (Canada) 54
McKinley 65, Konawaena 53
Kalaheo 71, Leilehua 52

Homeless in Kapalama given notice to clear tents, belongings

(Via KHON)

Kapalama Canal
Kapalama Canal

City crews were out in Kapalama Tuesday morning to notify homeless there that they have 24 hours to remove belongings from along the canal.

The notice is part of an ordinance that prohibits people from storing items on city-owned property.

Sec. 29-19.1 Declaration of legislative intent – Purpose.

Public property should be accessible and available to residents and the public at large for its intended uses. The unauthorized use of public property for the storage of personal property interferes with the rights of other members of the public to use public property for its intended purposes and can create a public health and safety hazard that adversely affects residential and commercial areas.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says this law, which has been in effect for more than three years, is not sidewalk-driven. “People bring things, large bulky things, and leave them there in a permanent way, and you can’t do that on government city property,” he said.

Crews are expected to return Wednesday to remove any items that have not already been cleared and store them for 30 days. “If they’re not claimed, and for the most part they’re never claimed, then we dispose of them,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell says the city took action after receiving numerous complaints from the community. Rows of tents, bundled mattresses and trash were apparent along both sides of the canal.

“We go to where the complaints are. We don’t decide. We don’t choose we’re going to go here or go there,” Caldwell said. “We get complaints from the community around this island and we tend to go where the largest number of complaints are.”

Caldwell says the city conducts stored property notices and removals on a weekly basis at a cost of approximately $15,000 per month.

Last month alone, crews removed 14 tons of trash, some of which was taken to H-Power to generate electricity, he said.

The idea, according to Caldwell, is to encourage the homeless to seek assistance at designated shelters, like the Institute for Human Services.

“We think it’s safer for them. It’s cleaner for them,” he said. “There are restrooms and they can take a shower, where on Kapalama canal, none of those facilities are available, and it’s not a site for camping or bringing things from other areas.”

Click here to read Article 19 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (begins on page 35).

For information on retrieval of stored items, call 768-3585.

kapalama canal homeless

Pearl Harbor submarine wins community award

(Via Star Advertiser)

A Pearl Harbor-based submarine is being recognized for community service work it does year-round.

The USS Buffalo is one of seven commands in Navy to win the award.

Over the year, sailors on the Buffalo donated to the Dolphin Scholarship Fund and the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. The society said the Buffalo had the highest per capita donation rate of any command in Hawaii.

The sailors also conducted blood drives for the Armed Services Blood Program.

The 2014 Navy Project Good Neighbor Community Service Flag Award recognizes volunteer programs and outreach projects. The Buffalo earned the honor in the small-sized sea-duty command category.

Firefighters respond to house fire near Aloha Stadium

(Via KHON)

Firefighters have responded to a single-family house fire on Piikea Street, near the Aloha Stadium.

Two male and two females who reside there self-evacuated from the structure.

The initial call came in around 7:30 p.m., and a second alarm call was made at 7:35 p.m., according to the Honolulu Fire Department.

Eight companies arrived to the scene to comabt the flames.

The fire was controlled at 8:20 p.m. and extinguished at 8:35 p.m.

HFD says the damage costs of the fire are estimated at $300,000 to the structure and $30,000 for its contents.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to HFD.

Former USS Arizona Memorial worker claims corruption

(Via KHON)

A former park guide at the USS Arizona Memorial is stepping forward with allegations against management and a lawsuit.

KHON2 first reported in March that tour companies were selling tickets when they’re supposed to be free.

Earlier this week, several reports revealed that top managers either knew or were involved.

John Landrysmith worked as a park guide at the USS Arizona Memorial for three years. As a war veteran, he said it was his dream job.

“To be able to tell people from around the world why this place was so significant and why it was so important was one of the most fulfilling things I ever did,” he said.

Landrysmith welcomed visitors and distributed tickets, but in 2013, he says management began telling workers to set aside tickets for tour companies.

“This made it incredibly hard, because this would mean the next day when we would open the doors, and in many cases before we would even have people inside the facility, we would be out of tickets for the entire day,” he said.

Landrysmith said managers told staff the money would be used to help improve the park, which he says never happened. He reported his concerns to a manager.

“The next day, I was called into the office and given a verbal warning for insubordination,” he said.

Landrysmith also claims his former employer made the situation difficult for him and changed his work shift.

Attorney Michael Green will be filing a lawsuit naming four managers at the USS Arizona. His client wants the people who allegedly knew about the wrongdoing to be held accountable.

“It kind of makes me sick to my stomach,” he said.

Paul Deprey, National Parks Service superintendent, told KHON2 he could not comment on issues related to employees under the National Park Service’s privacy policy and that “nothing has been submitted to the National Park Service related to this at this point.”

Deprey said park officials evaluated the program, uncovered problems and corrected them immediately.

“We’ve taken several steps over the past, well since January really, to improve how we operate the program and improve how the program, the ticket reservation program, can provide improved services to our visitors,” he said. “I think that those stand as examples of us recognizing when there are problems and taking appropriate actions to respond to those problems in an appropriate manner.”

“Do you want your job back?” KHON2 asked. “If they offered it to me, I would take it,” Landrysmith said. “I very much would like to have my job back. It was quite an honor as a veteran to be able to continue to honor those men.”

Landrysmith left his job earlier this year.

Community concerns raised for Kalihi Safety is top issue for residents

(Via KITV)

Could gangs be back in Kalihi?
An increase in violent youth is just one of the concerns for the Kalihi community.

Parts of North King Street are still dim, five months after 55-year-old Dominador Aguilar Junior was hit and killed along the Kalihi road.
Where he died a set of brighter LED lights went in over the crosswalk, but residents wait for the rest of the dark road to be lit up.

“There have been fatalities here in Kalihi in the past few months on over a quarter-mile strip of road. We just want to make the situation better,” said Daniel Holt, the chair of the Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board.

The city has plans to switch the lamppost lighting to the brighter LEDs, buy a timetable to do that hasn’t been given to the community.

Dim streetlights aren’t the only reason Kalihi is going through a dark time.

“We are having youth violence, gang violence. It seems to be centered around Farrington High School,” stated Holt.

Violence has some worried about a resurgence of gangs and the problems they bring.

“Residents are seeing more of the weapons and more of the fights,” stated Debbie Spencer-Chun with Adult Friends for Youth.

“There have been big fights. A woman said the youth were running through the housing project with knives and a handgun. When it gets to that level something needs to be done,” said Holt.

On Monday, a teen reportedly pulled out a gun on the Kalihi street. But just as surprising was the reaction from other teens.

“They’re not afraid when it comes to fighting. Recently there was firearm branded and nobody ran,” said Malakai Maumalanga, with Adult Friends for Youth.

In fact, many gather around. Crowds of spectators come out to see the violence. They are even given advanced notice of fights or challenges, posted on social media by gang members.

Kids have been taught how to use this technology, and they are using it to do negative behaviors: Posting inciting messages and challenging people to fight from other communities.

To help deal with the increase in violence, a task force formed to bring together those impacted by it, and those who may be able to reach the teens themselves.
The group says combating the violence will be a challenge, without any city or state funds while some in the community don’t even want to admit there is a problem to begin with.

City to inspect outfall pipe at Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant

(Via KHON)

Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant
Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant

Early Thursday morning, the city will inspect the flap gate at the end of an outfall pipe at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The inspection, which will take place from 1-5 a.m., requires the use of a deep-diving manned submersible.

City officials say the inspection is unrelated to last month’s wastewater spill, which involved 5,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater spilling into Honolulu Harbor and 20 million gallons flooding the plant’s interior.

Flows will be held back during low flow hours. The city anticipates no disruptions to water, sewer or roadways while crews perform the work.

The 84-inch outfall pipe transports primary treated effluent from the plant to a depth of 240 feet and approximately 2.3 miles off shore to blend back into the environment.

The plant services residents and businesses from Kuliouou to Salt Lake, including Kahala, Kaimuki, Waikiki, Manoa, Makiki, downtown Honolulu and Kalihi.

Pearl Harbor park workers allege poor maintenance, mismanagement

(Via KHON)

USS Arizona Memorial

Several new reports are casting a shadow over Hawaii’s most visited tourist site.

Based on interviews with USS Arizona Memorial workers, reports posted by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility allege shoddy conditions and mismanagement at the historic park.

KHON2 first reported in March that tour companies were selling admission tickets to the memorial which are supposed to be free to the public. In these reports, workers say top park managers were complicit in the activity.

There’s also concern over poor maintenance of the memorial, the superintendent’s chronic absenteeism and low morale of employees.

Following these reports, there was no investigation by the National Park Service. The park service tells KHON2 that it’s been working with the memorial to make sure everything is running smoothly.