Arizona Memorial undergoes $350K makeover Work on wall to be completed by Veterans Day

(Via KITV)

A part of Hawaii’s most-visited attraction is undergoing a $350,000 makeover.

It’s what most visitors to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial come to see — the shrine wall with the names of 1,177 men who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

For the first time in 30 years, the wall honoring those men will have a new look.

“It’s been a long process — about five weeks — and the old wall has completely come down, and we’re almost finished with the new wall,” U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Public Affairs Officer Amanda Carona said.

Work on the shrine wall began in September and is expected to be finished in time for Veterans Day.

“I believe there’s about 16 more panels to be put in, and then we’ll be complete for the official dedication on Nov. 11,” Carona said.

Like other war memorials in Washington, the shrine wall is made of Vermont Olympic marble. Because of the elements in Hawaii, it’s expected to last about 15 to 20 years.

“The salt water and the weather effects the marble, and you start to see some deterioration,” Carona said.

Visitors to the memorial can still see the shrine wall through an opening in a construction barrier.

“They understand this process that needs to happen. They’re excited to see the new wall,” Carona said.

“I think they did a beautiful job on it. The whole memorial, the shrine wall and the people who handle all the crowds, to me, I think it’s beautiful,” visitor Dick Bacon said.

The new shrine wall will likely be reconstructed again before the 100th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It’s the second phase of renovations to the memorial. During the third phase, the terrazzo flooring will be replaced.

Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant back in operation after flood cleanup

(Via KHON)

The Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is finally back to normal operations.

One week after Hurricane Ana’s heavy rain flooded the plant last Sunday.

Heavy rain was all it took for the basement to flood with 20 million gallons of sewage.

Lines marking the wall, approximately eight feet high, showed how high sewage was up to when the basement flooded.

It took 20 people working 12 hours straight, no breaks, in pitch black darkness, to bring the sludge down.

The flooding forced the plant to shut off power.

The storm water also impacted the plant’s “clarifiers” which are huge tanks where sludge and waste gets treated and processed before flowing out into the ocean.

But five days and a lot of overtime later, the mayor says the plant is back to normal.

“It doesn’t smell too bad right now! That means the facility is up and running!” says Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Officials say they’ve reached their goal of “cleaning up” the mess Ana made. All necessary clarifiers are up and running, and the power was back on as of 10:30 Friday night.

Now they’re looking to the future.

“Every time we go through a hurricane, or a tsunami event, we think: what can we do better? Here at Sand Island, we thought: what can we do better in case of another rain event?”

Standard operating procedures will change.

They’ll start plugging holes so flooding doesn’t happen again. Bulkheads, which are walls used to contain flooding, will also be added into the mix.

Sand Island will also look into moving their circuits from the basement to grade level, so if flooding occurs again, the plant won’t lose power.

We’re told by employees that the clean up wasn’t a pleasant experience. They’re relieved it’s over.

“It’s fine,” reassures Mayor Caldwell. “It doesn’t even stink!”

Annual ‘Kids Fest’ held at Bishop Museum

(Via KHON)

It was all about health at Bishop Museum on Sunday.

Children, parents and members of the media attended the 10th annual Kids Fest put on by Hawaii Pacific Health.

The free event for children and families featured interactive activities and games.

“We’re just hoping they learn a little bit about health education,” said Dr. Cedric Akau, Kids Fest co-chair. “Living healthy, exercising, getting out there, being active, good nutrition to help prevent injuries.”

Part of the fun every year is a media competition.

Our Wake Up 2Day’s Jai and Kelly represented KHON.

We hear they placed “second,” and we’re proud to say no one was hurt and there was no cheating.

Kelly and Jai Kids Fest
Kelly and Jai from KHON’s Wake Up 2Day
Fire Truck Kids Fest
Keiki attending the Kids Fest got to meet some of the community’s firefighters.
Kids Fest Teddy Bears
Children enjoyed the interactive and educational activities at Kids Fest.


Riggers at shipyard create unique multi-trade trainer

(Via Ho’okele News)

Employees from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, code 740 lifting and handling department, refurbished a former advanced SEAL (sea, air, land) delivery system into a hands-on trainer for all waterfront workers.

Story and photo by David Tomiyama

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

Employees from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard code 740 lifting and handling department are refurbishing a former advanced SEAL delivery system (ASDS) and turning it into a multi-trade, mockup trainer that the entire waterfront can use. It is the first of its kind, corporately, of any shipyard.

“The confined space of the mini-sub simulates the experience on a boat,” said Jerry Mershon, code 700 continuous training and development (CTD) program analyst.

“This trainer provides deckplate workers with the opportunity to put into practice their knowledge, skills and abilities outside of a classroom environment,” Mershon said.

The former ASDS boat now rests on keel blocks in the open air of building 1671. Code 740 and shop 99 personnel have already performed hands-on training using the multi-trade mockup.

“There are so many different ideas for use of this trainer moving forward that it doesn’t have an end state,” said Kamuela Unga, code 740 CTD leader. “The multi-trade trainer mockup’s interface has the potential to be flexible with any and all training.”

Once fully equipped, the multi-trade mockup will train shipyard workers in Los Angeles-class(LACL) and Virginia-class (VACL) maintenance operations. The boat has two inner chambers. One side will have mockups for LACL work, and VACL mockups will be in the other chamber.

Electronic equipment, including a closed circuit TV system with 42-inch monitors, will be installed in a nearby converted field office connex box to enable subject matter experts (SMEs) and trainees to watch the training being performed live via cameras installed onboard the vessel. The SMEs can provide advice and answer questions via hand radios.

“We can record the training to allow the trainees to view a playback of their performance,” Mershon said. “We will have the opportunity, with further analysis, to learn from the positive and negative points of each training session, and capture best work practices for other workers to see ‘how it’s done best.’”

Presently, the only access is through an opening on the bottom of the boat. A permanent steel tower platform, which will feature swing gates and a 1.5 ton air hoist on a trolley system to assist with lifting and handling needs, is currently being constructed by code 920 personnel. The tower platform will afford topside access of the ASDS and elevated training exercises.

The outside of the trainer will be used for familiarization training for temporary services, containments and staging. The future state includes coolant discharge joint fit ups and hull valve work in addition to the training which will be conducted on the inside of the boat.

The former ASDS vehicle 1 caught fire Nov. 9, 2008 and was damaged beyond repair. It was stored at Pearl City Peninsula until late spring of last year when it was moved to shop 31 while a plan for utilizing it was developed.

Last October, Unga noticed the dormant ASDS wasting away behind shop 31. Needing a hands-on facility for code 740 that falls in line with the Naval Sea Systems Command CTD program initiative, he pitched turning the mini-sub into a training platform. Unga and code 740 Superintendent Q. Peralto proposed keeping the mini-sub intact to shipyard leadership so that all codes and shops could benefit from a single, realistic training platform that the entire waterfront workforce could use.

Once approved, the Lifting and Handling and transportation services led the charge to turn the ASDS into the multi-trade, mockup trainer.

“The idea is for everybody on the waterfront — apprentices, ship’s force, all the codes and shops — to perform hands-on training here on this multi-trade mock up trainer,” said Unga.

“We always hear ‘why are we practicing on the boat,’ which for several reasons is a bad way to do business. With this mockup trainer, we can get people out of the classroom and away from their books and have hands-on practice in a confined space that mimics submarine conditions.”

MWR plans spook-tacular Halloween events this month

(Via Ho’okele News)

* A free spooky movie and costume contest will be held today at Hickam Pool 2. Signups for the costume contest will begin at 5:30 p.m. Judging will be by the other patrons at the pool. The movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will begin at 6 p.m. For more information, call 260-9736.

* Patrons ages 12 and older can make origami decorations for Halloween from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Hickam Arts & Crafts Center. The cost is $20 per session which includes supplies. For more information, call 448-9907.

* A free zombie 5K run will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Hickam Fitness Center. Awards will be given to the top two finishers in men’s, women’s and youth ages 17 and younger categories. For more information, call 448-2214.

* A free candy hunt will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Scott Pool for ages 2 to 12. Children can dress up in their Halloween costumes and hunt for candy in the field by the pool. For more information, call 473-0394.

* Haunted Hawaii ghost stories will be held at Dole Plantation with Liberty on Sunday. Patrons will leave at the following times and locations: Express at 6 p.m., Beeman at 5 p.m., Instant at 5:15 p.m. and Makai Recreation at 5:30 p.m. The free event is for single, active-duty Sailors and Airmen only. For more information, call 473-2583.

* Liberty’s Halloween-themed “No Dough Dinner” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Beeman Center. This free event is for single, active-duty Sailors and Airmen only. For more information, call 473-2583.

* A gymnastics “spooktacular” will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at the youth fitness gymnasium, Bloch Arena. The cost is $5 per hour for members and $7 per hour for nonmembers. Prizes will be awarded at 5 and 7 p.m. for the most unique costume. For more information, call 422-2223.

* Halloween costume parties for children ages 12 and under will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at Hickam Bowling Center and Naval Station Bowling Center. Bowling games are $1.50. Shoe rental is $1.50. The event will also feature free punch and cookies. For more information, call 448-9959 or 473-2574.

* A free “trunk or treat” event will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at Hickam Beach. Patrons can pre-register at the MWR Outdoor Recreation-Hickam Harbor office. For more information, call 449-5215.

* A Halloween bowling party will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Escape Bowling Center, Wahiawa Annex. Bowling games are $1.50, and shoe rental is $1.50. For more information, call 473-2651.

* A haunted plantation with Liberty event will be held on Oct. 31. Participants will leave from the following Liberty locations at the following times: Express at 6 p.m., Beeman at 6:30 p.m., Instant at 6:45 p.m. and Makai Recreation at 7 p.m. The cost of the event is $20 and includes a front-of-the-line pass. This event is for single, active-duty Sailors and Airmen only. For more information, call 473-2583.

* “Nightmare on McChord Street, Part II” Teen Center Lock-In will be held from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 at the Hickam Teen Center. The event is for youth ages 13 to 18. The cost is $25, or $20 with a canned food donation. The event will include scary games and a costume contest. Teens need to have a current registration form on file in order to attend. The form can be downloaded from or patrons can stop by the teen center. For more information, call 448-0418.

* A free Halloween costume party will begin at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at The Country Bar. Participants should register by 11 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best male costume, best female costume and best overall couple. For more information, call 473-1743.

Joint base Halloween safety precautions announced

(Via Ho’okele News)

Halloween night trick or treating hours at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will be from 6 to 8 p.m.

In addition, there will be free X-ray screening of candy inside joint base Air Mobility Command (AMC) Passenger Terminal from 6 to 10 p.m. to make sure there aren’t any hidden tricks inside the treats. For more information on the screening, call 449-6833, option 7.

Below are some Halloween safety questions for adults and children to ask themselves.

For children:

* Do you buy or make costumes that are flame resistant and short enough to prevent tripping and falls? Do you wear shoes that fit and make sure accessories (such as swords) are of soft, flexible material?

* Do you wear costumes bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists?

* Do you decorate costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the car’s headlights? Are your bags or sacks light colored or decorated with reflective tape?

* Do you use masks that don’t restrict breathing or obscure vision? Try face painting instead.

* Do you carry a flashlight?

For parents

* Will children always be accompanied by an adult or older, responsible child?

* Will children visit homes where they know the residents and where the outside lights are on?

* Do you remind your children that they shouldn’t enter homes unless they are accompanied by an adult?

* Will you make sure that all treats are checked by an adult before eaten?

* Will you make sure children obey all traffic laws?

* Will you tell children not to run? Do you caution children against running out from between parked cars or across lawns and yards where ornaments or furniture present dangers?

* Do you make sure children use sidewalks, cross streets at corners or crosswalks, and obey all traffic signals when crossing streets?

* Do you make sure to set a curfew and stress the importance of returning home on time?

For homeowners:

* If you expect trick-or-treaters, do you turn on outdoor lights and prepare your lawns, steps and porches by removing anything that could be a tripping hazard?

* Will you use only battery operated lights for jack-o’-lanterns (no open flames)? * Will you secure all pets inside the house to avoid contact with trick-or-treaters?

For motorists:

* Will you drive slowly in residential areas and watch out for children darting from behind and between parked cars?

* At night, will you watch for children in dark clothing walking down the road, in the shoulder of the road or on the median?

* Will you watch carefully for trick-or-treaters when backing vehicles out of driveways?

‘Love shouldn’t hurt:’ October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

(Via Ho’okele News)

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the theme for this year is “Relationships should be positive, safe and respectful.”

Juli Robertson, family advocacy education program coordinator, said the point of this year’s theme is to remind people that relationships should be healthy structures.

“A lot of time domestic violence is thought of as physical abuse, but emotional, verbal or financial abuse or withholding are not healthy relationship patterns,” she said.

“This month is about empowerment and awareness of what domestic violence looks like. So many people have never been in a controlling or abusive relationship before, so they don’t automatically recognize some of the signs until it’s too late,” Robertson said.

To commemorate the month, the family advocacy program (FAP) has hosted several guest speaking engagements and informational tables displayed at joint base. Robertson said this year they wanted to shift the focus of the campaign from the victims of domestic violence to the offenders and prevention. “The focus needs to be on prevention because that’s when we succeed,” she said. “The more opportunities we take to provide information and resources on prevention, the lower the cases of domestic violence we’ll have in the military.”

Robertson said the FAP offers a variety of preventive programs, including individual and couples counseling and anger management and stress management courses.

However, though domestic violence awareness is recognized during a month which is closely associated to women and women’s health issues, Kajsa Blansett, FAP education program coordinator, insists domestic violence is not just a women’s issue.

“Domestic violence is always looked at as a women’s issue, but it should also be a men’s issue,” she said. “We know domestic violence happens within both genders, so men should also be open to asking for help just as well as women.”

Blansett also encouraged victims of domestic violence to seek help rather than retaliation.

“That’s where family and couples counseling come in. The idea should be, ‘Let’s fix this before it gets out of hand,’” she said.

Though the hope would be to never have any instances of domestic violence, Blansett said knowing the signs of abuse, how to report, and what resources are available is key to putting an end to a bad situation quickly.

“Know the signs and report it,” she said. “It doesn’t always have to be bruising; it can be concerning behavior or other red flags.”

Blansett also advised withholding judgment of victims of domestic violence.

“Victim blaming is common, but there are many reasons a victim may stay,” she said. “Fear, financial dependency and children are all common reasons.”

Additionally, Blansett said many domestic violence victims are trapped in the cycle of abuse.

“Research shows that boys who saw their mother abused by their father are much more likely to become abusive in relationships as an adult. Likewise, women who witnessed domestic violence as a child are likely to accept abuse in a relationship as a normal pattern of behavior,” she said.

1st Lt. Molly Morrissey, 15th Wing deputy sexual assault response coordinator, said ultimately, violence stems from a need for power and control and ending violence of all kinds in the military will take a combined effort of wingman taking care of each other and creating an environment of dignity and respect where offenders are not able to operate.

To assist with empowering Airmen and their families with the resources that are at their disposal, the SAPR office has created a resource challenge that will give Airmen the opportunity to win incentives for their squadron while also learning about the various helping agencies and resources available.

“Our hope is that Airmen would be aware of sexual assault and domestic violence, not only in their designated months but all the time,” she said.

“Our goal is that Airmen will be more aware of resources that are available for themselves or to be able to help others in need. Sometimes people are faced with situations where they want to help someone but do not know how. The best way to help a survivor of violence is to listen, be supportive, don’t blame them for what happened, and try to connect them with additional resources for help such as the SARC, chaplain or DoD Safe Helpline,” Morrissey said.

Additional resources include family advocacy and the domestic abuse victim advocate (DAVA) program, which allows service members and their family members to make a restricted report to a domestic abuse victim advocate and receive confidential support and information regarding domestic abuse without reporting to law enforcement or the member’s chain of command. For more information on domestic violence or to reach a DAVA, call 808-474-1999.

For more information regarding sexual assaults, contact the SAPR office at 448-3192.

Airmen organize clothing drive for local shelter

(Via Ho’okele News)

When Airmen at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam decided to organize a clothing drive within their work section, they had no idea the support and participation they would receive would be so big.

“We decided to do a clothing drive for the month of September for our building, but we ended up bringing in way more donations than we expected,” said Airman 1st Class Cheyann Smith, 647th Force Support Squadron military personnel section (647th FSS MPS). “The amount of support we received was amazing.”

Smith and her husband, Airman 1st Class Michael Smith, also 647th FSS MPS, frequently volunteer at Next Step Shelter, a local homeless shelter. After visiting the shelter a few times and speaking with people who use the shelter’s support, most people said they are in need of clothing and shoes.

“We used to go to the store and purchase clothes and shoes for families at the shelter on our own, and one day decided we should use the resources we have and organize a drive so others could donate,” Cheyann said.

The drive was initially intended for their building, hangar 2, in an area which they share with the 15th Comptroller Squadron (15th CPTS), but eventually people from all over the base began to donate. The drive lasted through September and at its conclusion, collected more than 1,000 pounds of clothing and shoes.

While delivering the clothing over a few visits to the shelter, Cheyann also helped coordinate with a 15th Wing Chapel parish that organized a dinner at the shelter. The dinner gave several volunteers and donors the opportunity to visit the shelter and help distribute the clothing and shoes.

“This was a great opportunity to help people and to see people come together for a good cause,” Cheyann said.

More than 200 people received food and were given the opportunity to receive the donations. Goodie bags were also passed out to shelter women and children.

Cheyann said organizing the drive wouldn’t have been possible without the help of everyone involved, including her supervisor, Staff Sgt. Lakisha White, 647th FSS MPS, and Senior Master Sgt. Patrick Seiler, 15th CPTS.

“They were so supportive and helped encourage me to organize the drive,” she said.

Joint base to conduct Giant Voice testing

(Via Ho’okele News)

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) will conduct Giant Voice testing on Oct. 27, 28 and 29.

Testing will consist of various tones and voice messages. Off-base residents will be able to hear the testing of outdoor units.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27, joint base will test five new Giant Voice outdoor units, including ones at West Loch, Pearl City Peninsula, Hospital Point and two at Ford Island.

From 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 28, joint base will test all indoor and tower Giant Voice units at JBPHH, West Loch, Pearl City Peninsula and Wahiawa.

Testing may continue on Oct. 29 to correct deficiencies.

‘Know Load’ tips can help residents conserve energy

(Via Ho’okele News)

1024-5Todd Thom

Navy Region Hawaii Housing Liaison

The Navy Resident Energy Conservation Program (RECP) is reaching its fourth year at the Navy/Forest City public private venture (PPV) housing in Hawaii.

By now, residents should be familiar with RECP and the fact that the cost of Hawaii electricity is the highest in the nation. Navy Region Hawaii and Forest City Residential Management also recognize this and have been conducting “Know Load” assessments to help Forest City residents conserve electricity and lower their monthly consumption.

The “Know Load” program helps residents learn about the electricity load their home is carrying each month as well as how simple behavior modifications in the household can achieve energy savings. The assessment is first conducted over the phone where the resident provides answers to basic questions such as “how often is the air conditioning used in the home, how often is the filter changed, or at what temperature is the thermostat set?”

Many residents have been able to reduce their monthly electric consumption from these phone assessments. However, other residents have benefited from “Know Load” experts actually visiting their homes to have face-to-face interactions, view the “plug load” (number of household items using electricity), and check the operational efficiency of the air conditioning system, water heater, etc.

Residents desiring a “Know Load” assessment can contact their respective Forest City Resident Service Office to make an appointment. The Navy housing office also conducts outreach assessments for residents who have high electricity bill payments.

Dr. Sabita Mullins of Radford housing shared the results from working with the “Know Load” program. “We received our energy bill today, and let me just say what a huge relief it was to see the amount due: $21.51. What a difference from the previous bills of $300-400. I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to come by and do an assessment of our usage,” Mullins said.

Earlier this year (reference article in Feb. 28, 2014 edition of Ho`okele), we shared some findings from our assessments and believe it is valuable to share them again. It’s important for residents to change their filters monthly and ensure that the air conditioning drain is removing the condensation. A clogged air conditioning filter reduces air flow and increases the electrical load.

Residents should be mindful of the air conditioner’s operation by checking it weekly to ensure the area around the air conditioning unit remains dry. Many air conditioning thermostats are set at 72 degrees—which is actually a very costly setting. Remember that 78 degrees is the national standard because it takes into consideration safety, comfort and conservation.

Another very important and potentially costly appliance to operate is the water heater. Residents can check the space around the water heater frequently to ensure it is dry and free of leaks. They should also check to make sure the water heater timer reflects the correct time of the day, and the timer pins are set for periods when the sun is available.

The “Know Loads” team found timers were incorrectly set due to a power interruption, resulting in the home using electrical power instead of the sun for heating water. Maximizing the sunlight to power the water heater can reduce electrical costs by as much as 20 percent.

Many items plugged in and not in use continue to draw electricity. An LED/LCD television entertainment system with a cable box in stand-by mode can cost more than $400 per year to operate. These items should be unplugged or turned off through the use of a power strip when not actually being used.

Fish tanks can cost $700 per year to operate, and there are fans that can cost $360 per year to operate. A refrigerator or deep freezer in a garage space or on a lanai will cost more to operate than if it is installed inside the home because of the additional heat normally experienced in these locations. It is recommended that those appliances are brought indoors. Residents can become a “Know Load” through knowledge of their home’s plug load. After all, the money they save could be their own.

Another resident who has experienced the benefit of receiving assistance from the “Know Load” program is Allyson Oller. “I had been doing everything I knew to keep my cost down but, for some unknown reason, I wasn’t able to achieve my goal. The Navy ‘Know Load’ team conducted a review of my household plug load and checked my air conditioning and water heating equipment,” Oller said.

“During their visit, they identified things that I was not aware of and helped me initiate changes to correct what they found and informed me of other behavioral changes I could apply. I followed their suggestions and have had no bills since their visit.

“I continue to use my air conditioning when it is hot and use fans when it’s not so hot. We are still comfortable in our home and don’t owe any money because of the assistance from the ‘Know Load’ program,” she said.

Other residents who have received assistance from the “Know Load” program offered feedback about the results, such as:

“Thank you for the e-mail. All is well. We had a $54 electric bill this month, but that’s a whole lot better than $250.”

“I had no idea that a freezer in the garage uses more electricity than when it is in the house.”

“Thank you so much for talking me through my solar water heater. Knowing what I know now, I’m going to be running on full solar. I feel better knowing where my money is going, and I will start unplugging things that I’m not using.”

Housing residents who have questions or need assistance with their energy conservation efforts should contact their Forest City resident service office or the Navy “Know Load” representative at 474-1812.

For more information about energy conservation, visit