By Jeff King
A Haiku man died at the scene of a fiery crash in central Maui late last night. Maui Police say 29 year-old Jordan Costa was riding a 2007 Honda motorcycle northbound on Kuihelani Highway when he impacted the rear of a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck being driven by a 54 year-old man from Kahului.
After the impact between the motorcycle and pickup truck, the motorcycle skidded off the roadway into the brush on the eastern shoulder of Kuihelani Highway and caught fire. The motorcycle operator, Jordan Costa, died at the scene. The man driving the pickup truck did not sustain any injuries as a result of this crash.
The accident happened at 10:45 p.m. about a half-mile north of Maui Lani Parkway. Costa was wearing his helmet at the time of this crash. The operator of the truck was utilizing his seatbelt and the airbags to the vehicle did not deploy.
The involvement of speed is suspected as a factor in this crash. The involvement of drugs and alcohol has not been determined as the investigation is still pending.
This is Maui County’s 15th traffic fatality this year, as compared to 10 at the same time last year.
WAILUKU – The restrooms at Launiupoko Beach Park have been closed due to a waterline break. The repairs are estimated to take several days to complete; portable toilets are available for use until the waterline has been repaired and the restrooms are reopened.
By Glenn James, Maui Forecaster and Weather Guru
Tropical cyclone Genevieve began her life as a tropical depression in the eastern Pacific Ocean. As it crossed the 140W line of longitude, separating the eastern and central Pacific, this system weakened, and became a post-tropical cyclone for several days. Once the low level circulation center, or what was left of it, came into our central Pacific…the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) began tracking it.
It became what we could call a tropical disturbance, as it was carried along in the low level trade wind flow. Recently it began to organize itself again, aided by light winds aloft , and warm sea water temperatures below. The CPHC upgraded it into a tropical depression…as it restrengthened. It’s now back to being referred to as Genevieve, and will likely intensify further over the next 12 hours…becoming tropical storm Genevieve for a day or two.
The good thing is that this system isn’t likely to turn northwestward towards the Hawaiian Islands. It’s expected to migrate along in a generally west to west-northwest direction. The long and short of all this is that our islands don’t have to worry about threatening weather conditions, other than some possible heavy showers with time. The northern fringe of its associated clouds will bring an increase in showers to our area later Thursday into Saturday, with improving weather as this system moves away to the southwest Sunday into early next week.
Here’s the CPHC graphical track map for this system, along with a satellite image…down to the southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Thereafter, it appears that there will be more tropical activity originating to our southeast and east-southeast through the next week, if not longer…we’ll need to keep an eye out in those directions.
Maui Police Department’s Operation Speed pulled over a LOT of cars. The annual campaign – held this year between July 21 and July 26 – resulted in 813 citations. That works out to about five citations every hour, around the clock for the annual campaign.
Members of the Maui police Department Traffic Section assisted by patrol officers from Wailuku, Kihei, Lahaina, Juvenile Division, Community Relations and Community Oriented Police officers participated in a weeklong Speed Enforcement Education Detail (SPEED).
“Our primary goal during the operation was to make Maui County’s roadways safe for the entire public to use, and to reduce the number of motor vehicle collisions in which death occurs, as it is related to speeding,” a press release from MPD traffic section said.
During the weeklong campaign, Officers working the SPEED detail issued a total of 813 citations. The citations are broken down as follows:
During the week, Officers also made five arrests. Two were for outstanding warrants. Two were for OUI. The last arrest was for Obedience to Police Officer and Resisting Arrest following a traffic stop in which the vehicle operator failed to follow instructions by the stopping officer and fled the scene of the stop.
UPDATE: Maui Fire investigators have called the fire extinguished as of 6:30 a.m. today.
Crews have been on the hillside above Ma’alaea since a brush fire erupted this morning. As of 6 p.m., nine members of the Maui Fire Department’s Wildland Team and nine members of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife continue to work with Air-1 to mop up what’s left of the fire. The 30 acres fire is considered 100 percent contained, but not yet extinguished.
There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire is undetermined. Crews will be monitoring and making checks of the fire ground throughout the night.
HONOLULU – The Hawaiian Electric Companies are proposing a portfolio of programs to provide customers more options for saving on their electric bills while supporting the adoption of more clean energy, reducing the use of more expensive fossil-fueled generation and relieving stress on the electric grid.
The programs are outlined in the utilities’ Integrated Demand Response Portfolio Plan filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) yesterday.
The plan lays out new and enhanced “demand response” programs for residential, commercial, industrial and water pumping customers. Under the programs, customers receive financial incentives for shifting energy use to certain times of the day or voluntarily allowing the output of certain appliances or equipment to be adjusted if necessary to help maintain reliable service for our island grids.
Traditionally, when demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day, utilities have focused on meeting that demand by dispatching generating units – that is, adjusting the supply of power. This becomes more challenging as variable renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, continue to increase. The possibility of power outages increases when these resources suddenly stop producing power. Demand response programs allow utilities to adjust demand to help maintain the balance between customer use (demand) and generation (supply).
Further, demand response programs can be a more cost-effective option than using energy storage or oil-fired generation to balance demand and supply.
In addition, by offering lower or higher prices during certain times of the day, some demand response programs encourage customers to shift energy use to specific times, such as when solar and wind systems are producing the most power. This can maximize the use of wind and solar power that might otherwise be wasted.
“Demand response programs are a win-win for our customers and the environment,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “With demand response, customers get financial rewards that lower their monthly bills. We reduce the use of more expensive generators to meet electricity needs. And together we can unlock the potential for more low-cost renewable energy.”
In most cases, customers participating in demand response programs agree to allow the utility to adjust the energy use of pre-determined appliances remotely, like residential and commercial hot water heaters or air conditioners. Larger commercial and industrial customers may also include equipment that they will not miss for short periods. A signal sent from the utility to a customer’s electrical equipment or energy management system adjusts the equipment.
To help enroll customers, the Hawaiian Electric Companies plan to work with independent companies that also have experience implementing demand response. This includes coordinating with Hawai‘i Energy, the PUC-appointed public benefits fund administrator that manages energy efficiency programs, including rebates for solar water heating and energy efficient appliances.
The utilities also plan to build on their partnership with Energy Excelerator, a resource provider for clean-energy startups, to enhance the demand response portfolio continuously by using emerging technologies.
Hawaiian Electric currently offers five demand response programs on O‘ahu. Among them is “Energy Scout” which provides 32,000 participating residential and small business customers a credit on their electric bills to allow the utility to turn off their hot water heaters remotely for brief periods. “Fast DR” is a pilot program that pays participating large commercial and industrial customers several thousand dollars in incentives each month to allow the utility to reduce their electricity use briefly when necessary to stabilize the grid.
Subject to review and approval by the PUC, existing programs will be revised and new ones developed and rolled out in 2015 for customers on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, and later for Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i.
The new demand response portfolio complements the use of large-scale energy storage as another way to as another way to support clean energy while maintaining reliable service. Hawaiian Electric recently issued a request for proposals for large-scale energy storage and is
currently reviewing bids.
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