Star-Adv Op-Ed (7/6/16): Real Cost of Cooling Classrooms

Star-Advertiser: Editorial/Island Voices
Cooler classrooms not just about installing AC
By Clay Asato*
July 6, 2016

Quotes from elected officials and a recent Star-Advertiser editorial have expressed surprise and even anger at the prices of the bids received by the state Department of Education to undertake heat-abatement work at schools across the state.

Many of the statements made in articles and comments refer to contractors overcharging for air conditioning installations, perhaps in the mistaken belief that the work primarily involves simply retrofitting schools with cooling appliances.

In fact, the bids reflect the requirements of two bills enacted this session: Senate Bill 3126, enacted as Act 47 (2016), and House Bill 2569, enacted as Act 176 (2016).

These measures call for much more than adding air conditioning to schools. They also require modifications to school facilities to accommodate a range of energy efficiency features and the use of renewable energy to move public schools toward netzero energy use (i.e., a school’s energy needs must be completely satisfied by renewable power sources).

Because the majority of Hawaii’s schools are more than 50 years old and their construction and electrical systems reflect a different time, retrofitting them with modern features and systems, which they weren’t designed to support, often requires electrical and construction upgrades.

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Star-Adv: 6th Pedestrian Killed on Farrington Hwy This Year

Star-Advertiser: “Pedestrian hit on Farrington is sixth killed there this year
By Rob Shikina
July 6, 2016

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the hit-and-run driver who fatally injured a pedestrian Monday in Waianae and are reminding the public of traffic safety after six pedestrians were killed this year in a 7-mile stretch of Farrington Highway on the Leeward Coast.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office identified Monday’s victim as 46-year-old Waianae resident Allen Ramos.

Police said a dark-colored SUV traveling east on Farrington hit Ramos, who was in a marked crosswalk near Hakimo Road, at about 11 p.m. and left the scene. Paramedics took Ramos to the hospital, where he died early Tuesday morning.

Ramos’ death comes one day after a pedestrian was killed Sunday night crossing Farrington near Puhano Road. The unidentified woman was not in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by a 60-year-old man driving a car.

Just last week a community meeting was held in Waianae to discuss ways of improving pedestrian safety on Farrington.

All six fatalities were between Pohakunui Avenue and Kaupuni Street. Two were during the first two weeks of the year, one was in April and another was in May.

Maj. Darren Izumo, head of the Police Department’s Traffic Division, said Tuesday that of the six pedestrian fatalities on Farrington, four were not in a marked crosswalk.

Half of the 28 traffic deaths on Oahu this year involved pedestrians, Izumo said. At this time last year, there were 11 pedestrian fatalities compared with 15 for the same period in 2014.

Read the full article on the Star-Advertiser site.