Sinkhole redirects traffic by corner of Dole and East-West
Fadi Youkhana / Ka Leo O Hawai‘i
Sinkhole by East-West and Dole. Traffic is being redirected as a result of a sinkhole by the corner of Dole Street and East-West Road Monday evening.
University of Hawai‘i officials said they first caught sight of the sinkhole around 8:20 p.m. UH officials said the sinkhole appeared to be one foot deep, with a three-foot diameter and was concaving in.
Honolulu Police placed two flares around the sinkhole for passing vehicles and pedestrians. Police said that county officials were alerted of the sinkhole and will repair it sometime this evening.
Kalanianaole Hwy reopened in Waimanalo after sinkhole repair…
KHON NEWS – Honolulu, Hawaii
Kalanianaole Highway is back open Friday.
State crews spent the night fixing a large sinkhole in the road near Mekia Street in front of Shima’s Supermarket. The road was reopened at around 4:30 a.m.
While the hole did not look all that large on the surface, the state Department of Transportation said it was seven feet wide and six feet deep beneath the pavement.
Traffic was detoured and, because the highway is a road many rely on to get home, drivers were forced to sit in gridlock Thursday evening.
“Crazy. It’s the biggest, longest line I’ve seen in my life,” one driver said.
“We’ve been here (sitting in traffic) for 40, 45 minutes, maybe?” another driver said.
Officials said the hole was likely caused by a sewer pipe.
Copyright 2014 KHON2.
Sinkhole Locators: Hawaii Private Locators (808) 260-3558 www.UndergroundInspections.com
Remains of Japanese plane crew might lie on Hawaii golf course…
By Wyatt Olson – Stars and Stripes.
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — A local historian is convinced he’s located the site where a two-man Japanese dive-bomber crew crashed on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, and was buried nearby: the tony grounds of Hoakalei Country Club Golf Course in Ewa Beach.
“The responsible thing to do is at least make an attempt to find these guys,” said John Bond, a semi-retired Ewa resident who has labored for years to bring recognition to the largely forgotten Marine Corps Air Station Ewa and its role in the 1941 battle. “If they can’t find them, then put up a marker saying this is a crash site and remember that so-and-so was killed here. I don’t understand why that would be a problem.”
But the golf course’s owner, Haseko Development, has been less than receptive to the idea of an active search for the grave on the property, which the company announced in October was being sold to a Japanese firm. Haseko Vice President Sharene Saito Tam said the company has done all it was required to do in identifying culturally and archaeologically significant artifacts on the property during development and has found no evidence of such a grave. Further, she said, Bond does not have documentation that pinpoints the gravesite’s exact location.
As to placing a marker on the grounds, she said: “From the company’s point of view, if there was evidence that showed that to be the case, of course it would be considered, but at this point there is nothing like that. But to ask any landowner to put a marker that indicates a grave where you don’t know a grave exists does not seem appropriate or respectful of the people they are trying to name there.”
Of the roughly 60 Japanese troops who were killed or lost during the Dec. 7 attack, many were buried in various cemeteries on Oahu but were repatriated after the war. About 30 Japanese remain missing from that day.
One notable memorial to a Japanese airman stands in Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. A bronze plaque marks the spot where Lt. Fusata Iita, commander of the 3rd Aircraft Group of the Japanese Imperial Navy, crashed his plane on a hillside near Kansas Tower that morning. Iita’s body was long ago returned to Japan.
The defense attache with the Japan consulate in Honolulu said the case of the two Ewa airmen is “a difficult situation” for Japan because the site is private property and the owner says there’s no evidence to back up Bond’s assertion.
During the past few years, Bond and a group of historians specializing in the 1941 attack have gathered extensive documentation and photos about the crash site, which had been lost to time and land development.
Even Tom Dye, the archaeologist contracted by Haseko to monitor its land development, admitted that Bond and his colleagues have “done an incredible amount of work” in tracking down photos and accounts of the crash.
“They’ve found much more than I think anybody could have expected about this crash event,” Dye said. “But there’s just nothing yet that gets us a location that we could narrow things down and really make a concerted effort to look for a burial.”
Comparing old photographs and military reports from the time of the attack, Bond said he has calculated the crash site lies within a 50-yard radius of the golf course’s club house.
A Dec. 9, 1941, report by Capt. Lester Milz, with the 251st Coastal Artillery, noted that the badly burned bodies of two Japanese crewmen had been found and his men disposed of the remains. Two days a later, an Army staff officer visited Milz’s battery and wrote in his diary that he’d been told the airmen’s bodies had been buried in a “coral grave.”
“I knew they buried them in a sinkhole because that’s what we have out here,” Bond said of Ewa Plain, which is an ancient limestone field. “You don’t dig easily in this ground. It’s like concrete.”
Bond contends that burying bodies beside crash sites was common in that era.
“If you had a crash and couldn’t extract the people out, you just buried them by the plane,” he said.
Dye said that even if the exact crash site is pinpointed, there’s no direct evidence indicating where the bodies were buried.
“You really just have to guess at that point,” Dye said. “Mr. Bond perhaps is comfortable with guessing, but you’re not supposed to guess. We really don’t have any credible evidence to lead us to a place where we could productively search for remains of the two airmen.”
Bond suggested that ground-penetrating sonar could be used to detect the grave.
“GPR has highly evolved in the last few years,” he said. “They’ve used it on archaeological sites to find tombs. It will detect these sinkholes. It’s also used in old cemeteries.”
Dye, however, said that limestone subsurface is “a nightmare scenario for ground-penetrating sonar.”
“The problem you have with ground-penetrating radar is there are just a huge number of false positives,” Dye said. “You’d have to dig every single one of them up to find out what they were. It’s not specific enough to tell you, oh, that’s bone versus that’s a rock or that’s a root.”
Bond has written a request to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which is tasked with locating and retrieving the remains of U.S. servicemembers lost overseas, requesting that it take an active role in searching for the grave.
“Getting involved in another nation’s recovery event is not something we’d typically do unless it was in the course of one of our own investigations,” JPAC spokesman Lee Tucker said. The agency has in the past provided research assistance to the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s Social Welfare and War Victims Bureau, which oversees such recoveries.
Tucker said the Japanese government did not require JPAC’s assistance or approval in searching for remains in Hawaii.
But Takeshi Ogino, the defense attache at the Japan consulate in Honolulu, said Japan did not have a comparable agency such as JPAC to research and retrieve MIA remains in foreign countries. He said the consulate had not received an “official request” from either Bond or the Haseko group in regard to searching for the airmen’s grave or commemorating the crash site.
Haseko’s Tam said that if Bond produces “additional information and evidence that we can authenticate,” the company might consider further search.
But Bond contends that the time to actively search and recover the remains is now, as the 73rd anniversary of the attack nears.
“If a decent search was done they could be found,” he said.
By Nancy Cook Lauer
West Hawaii Today
Responding to public opposition, the state Department of Health dramatically watered down its proposed rules phasing out cesspools, but it’s unknown if Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign the package before he leaves office Monday. The new rules would apply to just 13 percent of the 49,344 cesspools on Hawaii Island, and 22 percent of the 87,969 cesspools statewide.
Instead of requiring all cesspools be converted to septic systems upon the transfer of property, the new rules would apply only to cesspools within 750 feet of a sensitive water body or near a drinking water well. In addition, the grace period for a cesspool to be converted upon transfer of the property will be extended from six months to one year. And, the rules won’t apply to transfers of property where money doesn’t exchange hands, for example, between family members.
The Health Department also proposes to offer grants or no- or low-interest loans for the conversion process. Lots of 1 acre or more in new subdivisions will be allowed to have individual rather than gang septic systems. Exemptions may be granted for properties that can’t accommodate a septic system and leach field. “Pretty much we covered most of the concerns that were voiced during the public comment period,” Sina Pruder, chief of the department’s Wastewater Branch, told West Hawaii Today on Tuesday.
The Abercombie administration had pushed for the rule change to meet federal clean water requirements and to battle pollution of coastal waters and drinking water supplies caused by human waste bacteria. Hawaii is the only state in the nation that still allows new cesspools to be constructed. Hilo Realtor Robert Williams called the revisions, “a step in the right direction,” but he said the rules governing small subdivisions weren’t addressed. The revised rules would still require subdivisions of 15 homes or less to have a central septic system. The current rule allows cesspools for subdivisions of 50 homes or less.
Williams said the rules would make it difficult to construct affordable housing, another state priority. “It makes doing a subdivision between 15 and 50 lots not practicable,” Williams said. Gov.-elect David Ige, while on the campaign trail, had criticized the rule-making process and may be unlikely to sign the package either. “It’s ridiculous that they would go ahead, develop these rules and drop it on the counties without any prior conversations,” Ige said at an Oct. 9 gubernatorial forum in Hilo. “There needs to be more consultation from the very beginning.”
Ige may favor a legislative approach rather than a rule-making one, said Williams, who has been following the issue closely. A bill favored by the administration failed in the past legislative session. “It’s not 100 percent dead, but it seems that the governor’s not likely to sign this,” Williams said. “I’m hopeful that they take the topic up under the new administration and hopefully, it’s done better.” Calls to the governor’s office were not returned by press time Tuesday. The Health Department received more than 230 public comments. The proposed revised rules were published Nov. 13 and can be found at health.hawaii.gov/wastewater/home/public_notice.
KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Armed with maps and Google Earth images, inspectors from the State Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch sought permission Monday to cross private property in Kahaluu to test the water in Kahaluu Stream. “We can’t tell what’s going on in the stream itself between certain areas and Kahekili Highway,” environmental health specialist Scott Murakawa said. The Health Department needs to test the stream water as it tries to pinpoint the source of bacteria contaminating the lagoon and the channel that leads to Kaneohe Bay.
“We’ve been able to access points that are quite far apart. What we want is to narrow that down” inspector Wataru Kumugai said. The inspectors delivered letters to three properties, asking for permission to collect water samples starting Wednesday. The state wants to increase the number of test sites. “It’s important so we can determine what’s going on in the watershed,” Murakawa said.
The state also wants to inspect a stream that runs alongside the city’s Ahuimanu Wastewater Pre-Treatment Facility. That stream connects another watershed to the lagoon. “As we go along with the sampling plan, we’ll reassess and possibly look at other properties in the future,” Murakawa said. Those properties could be some of the 600 homes near the lagoon that have cesspools. Some of them may be malfunctioning. Kurt Tateishi has lived in his Kahaluu home on Ahaolelo Road for over 50 years. He said his cesspool has not overflowed, but he is worried that the state may begin cracking down on cesspool owners.
“There’s no sewer system up here yet. So we would have to go to septic. Most of us don’t have money to do that.”
Murakawa said he and Kumugai will return Wednesday to collect water samples from the stream. It’s the next step in the process of elimination to find the source of bacteria that caused the state to post caution signs that wastewater bacteria may be in the lagoon.