HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Gary Gill as Acting Director of the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), effective immediately.
“During this interim period, Gary is ready to ensure that the important work of the Department of Health continues without interruption,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “He shares my utmost confidence and that of the entire DOH ohana in moving the department forward until a permanent director is identified.”
Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes § 26-33, the Governor has until Feb. 9, 2014, to name a permanent director.
Born in Honolulu, Gill worked closely with the late Director Loretta Fuddy as Deputy Health Director for the Environment, to which he was appointed in January 2011. In that capacity, he has overseen hazardous evaluation and emergency response as well as the clean air, water and solid waste programs delegated to the state by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, sanitation, food and drug, indoor and radiological health, vector control and the State Laboratories Division programs have been his responsibility.
At age 26, Gary successfully ran for a seat on the Honolulu City Council, where he served two terms representing District 6 (Downtown Honolulu) – including two years as council chair. Leaving elected office after 8 years of service, he was appointed as the state Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (1994-1998) and state Deputy Director of Health for the Environment (1999-2002).
Gill has also worked within the hospitality industry and nonprofit community, including as development director for the Hawaii Sierra Club, program manager for Kokua Kalihi Valley community health clinic, executive director of Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore, and program director for Blue Planet Foundation of Hawaii.
HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $3.46 million in capital improvement project (CIP) funds for the Hawaii Film Studio, including a new production and multipurpose building to support film operations.
“This year marks 100 years of film production in Hawaii, a rich legacy that I was pleased to support earlier this year by signing legislation extending film tax incentives designed to further strengthen the industry,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These CIP funds will protect our state’s investment in the Hawaii Film Studio, a key asset of our local creative economy. As international competition grows, it is particularly important that we support the Hawaii Film Office and its partner county film offices on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island in their collaborative efforts to preserve the State of Hawaii as a premier motion picture and television location.”
Hawaii Film Commissioner Donne Dawson added: “The Hawaii Film Studio is the only film facility of its kind in the state and is a critically important piece of Hawaii’s production industry. This CIP will go a long way to help us achieve the next phase of much-needed improvements for this aging facility.”
Allotment of these funds were identified by the state Legislature and approved by the Governor.
HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $74.39 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs) that further invest in Hawaii’s airports. A large chunk of those funds will pave the way to Kahului Airport from Hana Highway.
“We are making significant investments in our airports that will bring immediate and long-term benefits for the people of Hawaii, ranging from improved facilities, enhanced safety, and increased sustainability and energy savings,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Identified in partnership with state Legislators, these priority projects coincide with the launch of an unprecedented energy efficiency program that will cut energy use at our airports nearly in half, reduce our dependence on imported energy sources, provide savings on future energy costs, and add jobs to our economy.”
Allotment of funds for the following projects were identified by members of the state Legislature and approved by the Governor:
$10,000,000 – Supplemental to the $45 million Kahului Airport, Airport Access Road to Hana Highway Project, Maui – Rental Motor Vehicle Customer Facility Charge funds for additional construction to provide a proposed divided multi-lane airport access road to connect Hana Highway to the Airport Loop Road and proposed Consolidated Car Rental Facility; additional funds are needed to accommodate design changes that have occurred since the original construction funds were requested, including a change in roadway materials from asphalt to concrete to match the DOT Highways portion of the road, and the addition of approximately 1,000 feet of retaining walls adjacent to the new off-ramps to the Consolidated Car Rental Facility.
$600,000 – Kahului Airport, Restroom Renovation, Phase II, Maui – Construction for the renovation of public restrooms; Phase II will include restrooms at Holdrooms D, E and F as well as the Checkpoint and Grout Tour Area.
$320,000 – Kahului Airport, Terminal Fire Protection System, Maui – Design to replace the existing fire sprinkler system lines and risers throughout the airport.
$810,000 – Lihue Airport, Ticket Lobby and Holdroom Improvements, Kauai – Design to increase the covered area of the ticket lobby and expand the usable area for holdrooms.
$298,476 (in addition to $1,346,210 in federal funds) – Molokai Airport, Taxiway Safety Area Improvements, Molokai – Additional construction to bring taxiway safety area into compliance with federal requirements; this project will provide the design for a new box culvert and/or trench drain of approximately 800 feet in length to replace the existing ditch currently adjacent to the taxiway.
$45,719,000 – Honolulu International Airport, Taxi Lanes G and L Widening, Phase I, Oahu – Construction for Phase I (three phases total) to widen and strengthen taxi lanes G and L, from taxiway A to the existing maintenance facility, and related improvements; work will include excavation, asphalt/concrete paving, modifications to airfield grading, drainage, airfield lighting, striping, and utility work.
$15,000,000 – Honolulu International Airport, Aloha Air Cargo Demolition, Phase II, and Hardstands, Oahu – Construction for the demolition of the remainder of the Aloha Air Cargo facilities (four permanent buildings and various temporary structures) and to provide a concrete hardstand fronting the new Hawaiian Airlines maintenance facility complex; the demolition of the existing structures and the construction of the hardstands are required to facilitate construction of replacement hangar and cargo facilities.
$1,500,000 – Honolulu International Airport, Elliot Street, Oahu – Design for the demolition of the existing Hawaiian Airlines / Aloha Air Cargo Maintenance Hangar as well as Hawaiian’s engine shop, cargo facility, credit union building, multipurpose buildings, and all remaining temporary structures
$150,000 (in addition to $450,000 in federal funds) – Honolulu International Airport, Sustainable Management Plan, Oahu – The plan will include the establishment of sustainability goals and initiatives, assessment of potential funding sources, and establishment of procedures to ensure identified goals are met; key areas include reducing energy consumption and solid waste generation, potable water conservation, and increasing recycling efforts at the airport.
This morning, President Barack Obama endorsed Governor Neil Abercrombie for a second term as governor of Hawai’i.
President Obama said, “I’ve known Governor Abercrombie for decades, and I’ve come to appreciate him not only as a friend, but as an extraordinary public servant who has never let politics get in the way of serving the people of Hawai’i. I firmly believe that Neil deserves a second term as Governor, and I look forward to continuing to work with him for years to come.”
You can read more about this endorsement here on Governor Abercrombie’s website.
HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie shared the following statement regarding the passing of Hawaii Department of Health Director Loretta Deliana Fuddy, after speaking with her family. Ms. Fuddy was killed in Wednesday’s small plane crash north of Kalaupapa, Moloka’i.:
“Our hearts are broken. Loretta was deeply loved and respected. She was selfless, utterly dedicated, and committed to her colleagues in the Department of Health and to the people of Hawaii. Her knowledge was vast; her counsel and advice always given from her heart as much as from her storehouse of experience.
“We send our best thoughts to her family and will do all in our power to reflect her professionalism, her love of Hawaii and the high standard she set for herself and all of us.”
The Coast Guard transported three passengers to Emergency Medical Services after the Makani Kai plane crashed in the ocean approximately one mile off Kalaupapa, Molokai, Wednesday.
Coast Guard watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received report of a plane crash with nine passengers aboard at 3:27 p.m. Wednesday.
The Coast Guard launched two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews and one HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu. Coast Guard Cutters Ahi and Galveston Island, home-ported in Honolulu, and two 45-foot Response-Boat Medium crews from Station Maui were also dispatched to the scene.
Rescue swimmers from the Dolphin helicopters were deployed, rescuing three passengers in the water. Maui Fire Rescue rescued additional passengers.
Three people were transported by Dolphin helicopter crews to Honolulu for emergency medical services. Two people were transported by a Makani Kai company plane to Honolulu and the rest of the passengers remained on Molokai.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- H…) released condolences yesterday upon the passing of Director Fuddy, who was killed in a Makani Kai commuter airplane crash off Kalaupapa. The eight other passengers, including the pilot, survived.
“Loretta Fuddy was one of the finest, most capable, and most caring public servants I have ever known,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “This is a sad day for Hawai‘i. My condolences and aloha go to Loretta’s ohana and the Hawai‘i Department of Health family. Loretta was one of the very best.”
Fuddy has served as Hawai‘i State Health Director since March 2011. She spent 30 years working in health and human services.
Today, Maui mayor Alan Arakawa extended his condolences to the victim’s family, including her sister, who is a part of the Maui County family and works as a Maui Police Department Chaplain on Molokai.
“We are extremely saddened to hear the news,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Loretta’s life was dedicated to improving public health in the community and the entire state suffers from this loss.
At the same time we are very grateful for the efforts of our men and women of the Maui fire and police departments, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard. They managed to get the rest of the crash survivors to shore safely and we thank them for this holiday miracle.”
HONOLULU — The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has contracted SMS to conduct a phone survey over the next few weeks of Hawaii residents and small businesses to find out how people in Hawaii are using their Internet connections today and how they plan to use Internet service in the future.
The survey is part of the state’s effort to improve the broadband capabilities, address anticipated future needs and ensure that Hawaii’s is competitive with the rest of the world as a venue for digital commerce. DCCA is part of a multi-agency state effort to move to high-speed broadband and meet Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s goal of providing affordable Internet access to Hawaii’s residents.
The phone calls will be made to businesses during weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and to residences from noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The calls are confidential and no names will be used. No personal identifying information will be requested, nor will it be required..
The phone survey is being conducted in conjunction with DCCA’s broadband speed test campaign to measure Internet access speeds around the state and to look for gaps in connection. People around the state can go to hibroadbandmap.org/speedtest (or http://goo.gl/e23RPl) to be part of the campaign to measure and improve broadband access around the islands. The speed test can be performed using a desktop or mobile web browser.
In addition to its regulatory oversight of the franchised cable industry, the Cable Television Division has been given the responsibility to implement activities to promote ubiquitous access to high-speed broadband at affordable prices throughout the state.
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