Gathering of Geeks & Fans

Geeks and storm troopers

Many people attended this past weekend’s 10th Annual Hawaii Geek Meet, which bills itself as “a fun, casual, family-friendly, grassroots gathering for people who are curious and have a passion that they love to share.” Geeks include coders, gadget lovers, designers, makers, artists and probably most of all, fans like you and I. There is a bit of geek in all of us.

This annual picnic was a fun, family oriented venue where people checked out an assortment of “geeky things” such as games, Star War characters, lego blocks, radio broadcasting, cosplay, coding, nerf battles, drone technology and more. It was also an opportunity to meet some interesting people and network. Interesting stuff to see if you want to have fun and just be “out there”.


Ellen from Drone Services Hawaii and a new, small drone.


What’s up with these license plates? Perhaps striking the rainbow design?


Getting ready for a nerf gun battle.


Gamers were there touting Shakesperian readings of the Star Wars story.


Look directly at the image of the sun on this clever device.


A lego fudgesicle. Fat free!


The crew from the Pacific Aviation Museum.


All photos taken on July 2, 2017 at Magic Island by Mel. More photos at The Hawaii Files page on Flickr.com.

Mayor Signs Bills to Increase Vehicle Taxes, Bus Fares, Parking Meter Fees and Zoo Admissions

More cost for motor vehicles

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell recently signed the following bills into law. The bills have become County Ordinances. Several increase the cost of service to taxpayers via higher fees, admission fares and taxes.

Motor vehicle owners will be the hardest hit with increased vehicle weight taxes and increased parking meter fees to pay for the more than $10 billion rail project.

For several years now the city has targeted motor vehicle owners and operators with higher taxes, parking fees, less parking spaces, lousy roads and more to entice drivers to get out of their cars and use TheBus and other methods of public transport.

Bus fares and passes are increasing.

The Honolulu Zoo admission fee and public golf course green fees are being increased. The city is also issuing bonds to pay for the highly troubled and over-expensive ($10 billion and counting) rail project.

Below is a list of the newly signed ordinances with links to the documents themselves (PDF).

2017 Ordinances

ORD17-021  CITY PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

ORD17-022  HOUSING CODE

ORD17-023  ADMISSION FEES FOR THE HONOLULU ZOO

ORD17-024  MOTOR VEHICLE WEIGHT TAX

New Parking Meter in Honolulu

ORD17-025  PARKING METERS

ORD17-026  AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS AND BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU IN A MAXIMUM PRINCIPAL AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AGGREGATE OF THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED IN THE CAPITAL BUDGET ORDINANCE OF SAID CITY AND COUNTY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2018, AND SPECIFIED IN SAID ORDINANCE TO BE FINANCED FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE OF SUCH BONDS AND TO BE EXPENDED FROM THE GENERAL IMPROVEMENT BOND FUND, THE HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT BOND FUND, SOLID WASTE IMPROVEMENT BOND FUND, OR THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL FUND

ORD17-027  PUBLIC TRANSIT

ORD17-028  EROSION, SEDIMENT, AND POLLUTION CONTROL

ORD17-029  FEES FOR USE OF MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSES

ORD17-030  INCENTIVES FOR ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS PRODUCTION

ORD17-031  LEGISLATIVE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2017 TO JUNE 30, 2018

ORD17-032  EXECUTIVE OPERATING BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2017 TO JUNE 30, 2018

ORD17-033  EXECUTIVE CAPITAL BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2017 TO JUNE 30, 2018

ORD17-034  HART OPERATING BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2017 TO JUNE 30, 2018

ORD17-035  HART CAPITAL BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2017 TO JUNE 30, 2018

ORD17-036  AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS AND BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU IN A MAXIMUM PRINCIPAL AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AGGREGATE OF THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED FOR THE HONOLULU AUTHORITY FOR RAPID TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL BUDGET PROJECTS IN THE HONOLULU AUTHORITY FOR RAPID TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL BUDGET AND PROGRAM ORDINANCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2018, AND SPECIFIED IN SAID ORDINANCE TO BE FINANCED FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE OF SUCH BONDS AND TO BE EXPENDED FROM THE TRANSIT IMPROVEMENT BOND FUND.

The Bus
It will cost more money to ride The Bus starting on January 1, 2018.

King Tides @ High Tide

King Tide @ High Tide Seasonal high tides this month are once again being billed as King Tides. What is happening is that the afternoon and evening high tides are impacting several places on Oahu with surf that is penetrating further inland than usual. I think it is a seasonal thing.

King Tides make for great picture taking opportunities as we see here.

In order for you to experience the King Tide phenomena, check out this table courtesy of the weather service at the NOAA.

Date 		Day	Time		Pred	High/Low
2017/06/24	Sat	03:57 AM	0.75	H
2017/06/24	Sat	09:29 AM	-0.39	L
2017/06/24	Sat	04:52 PM	2.58	H
2017/06/25	Sun	12:04 AM	-0.02	L
2017/06/25	Sun	04:53 AM	0.72	H
2017/06/25	Sun	10:15 AM	-0.28	L
2017/06/25	Sun	05:38 PM	2.48	H
2017/06/26	Mon	12:54 AM	-0.04	L
2017/06/26	Mon	05:53 AM	0.71	H
2017/06/26	Mon	11:04 AM	-0.11	L
2017/06/26	Mon	06:24 PM	2.32	H
2017/06/27	Tue	01:43 AM	-0.03	L
2017/06/27	Tue	06:59 AM	0.74	H
2017/06/27	Tue	11:56 AM	0.10	L
2017/06/27	Tue	07:10 PM	2.11	H

Photos by Mel taken 6-23-2017 at Ala Moana Beach Park / Magic Island.

King Tide @ High Tide

King Tide @ High Tide

King Tide @ High Tide

King Tide @ High Tide

King Tides This Weekend, May 2017 with podcast.

Bikeshare Racks Taking Away Public Parking Spaces

Biki Taking Away Parking

Biki bikeshare racks are sprouting like weeds all over urban Honolulu taking away some valuable and cherished parking spaces that motorists regularly use. What’s up with this? What is this Biki thing?

The bikeshare operation is the latest effort in the City & County of Honolulu’s scheme of trying to force motorists out of their vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) by making driving and parking more expensive through higher taxes and fees.

Now we have Biki,  a private company to setting up rental bicycle racks all over town, taking away valuable, highly used, parking spaces away from the motoring public. Some of those spaces are places where motorists enjoy free, unmetered parking, such as in the area along Kalakaua Avenue at Kapiolani Park.

Biki is a non-profit bicycle sharing operation that is priced (like old fashioned cell phone service) at $3.50 per ride, per user for a 30 minute block. Bike renters can pick up a bike at one rack and return it to another. The service takes only electronic payments. No cash. Each rack is self powered with a small solar array mounted on a pole adjacent to the rack. The racks will hold about 20 or so bikes.

The bicycles are goofy looking and as this photo shows, may also contain advertising. It will be just a matter of time before some of the bike racks and bicycles are vandalized.

The per ride pricing is very high for most residents. The current bus fare is $2.50 per ride, unlimited distance and time. The per ride bus fare is going up to $2.75 after a recent bill was passed by the City Council. The $2.75 is still cheaper than the Biki $3.50 rental. Clearly the high priced Biki is aimed at tourists.

That said, why are Biki racks popping up in neighborhoods where tourists don’t travel to? Why are Biki racks taking up valuable parking spaces, metered or free, that residents use? I have to think this is part of the city’s larger agenda to get most of us out of our motor vehicles.

Biki should only be set up in places that target tourists. Biki racks should never replace any motor vehicle public parking. It is bad enough that the city has taken many parking spaces away to build bicycle lanes. Motorists are being shortchanged while paying ever increasing taxes and fees to operate a vehicle.

#Biki #Bikeshare

Additional Links:

One of our Flickr followers writes: “The only people this may appeal to are tourists, and only some of them, at that. The cheapy [sic] bicycle at Walmart is between $50 and $100, which you can ride anytime, which would be the automatic smart choice for residents, and you don’t have to walk to a bike station to get it. I can also see vandals and some homeless wrecking the stations and even some bikes in the racks. Some of the racks are in an area that isn’t in plain sight, which will set it up for vandalism. I’d give it a couple weeks after they officially start before the vandalism starts, and two years (or less) before they pull up stakes.”

Honolulu Residents Get Raw Deal With Bikeshare, Civil Beat Commentary

Attorney General’s office seeks answers to city’s new Bikeshare program, KHON on YouTube

Biki Pushback at Kapiolani Park, KITV 4 News

Vote No on City Charter Amendment 8, HawaiiFiles Blog Archive

 

Biki Taking Away Parking
More like “no parking forever” in this area next to Ross Dress For Less on Keeaumoku.

Biki Taking Away Parking
City parking meters and parking spaces are being transferred to Biki vendor operations.

Biki Stations: EXPENSIVE!
Will you pay $3.50 to rent a goofy looking bicycle for 30 minutes (or less)?

Biki Station: Ala Moana Park
Biki logo on one of their Ala Moana Park racks as it is on all others.

South King Street - Honolulu HI
Honolulu’s street parking spaces are under assault by Biki and other bicycle policies being implemented by the City & County of Honolulu.

Hokule’a Public Exhibition

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe ToursThe Polynesian Voyaging Society is hosting a three day exhibition and open house for Hokule’a at the Hawaii Convention Center. The exhibition started on Sunday June 18 and runs through today, June 20 finishing at 5:00 p.m.

The highlight of the exhibition is seeing the Hokule’a up close and getting a chance to climb aboard the fabled vessel for a few minutes. This is being done online as well as at the convention center on the second floor. Media reports have stated that the online reservations are filled. As luck would have it, I was able to reserve a space in person and got to board Hokule’a for a short time after waiting in line for about 45 minutes yesterday.

The pictures from this visit and the event, which includes a number of educational, ecological and scientific exhibits on the second floor. Access to the exhibits are free. The only paid events are the lectures being presented by a number of people in the sailing, Hawaiian and intellectual community.

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe Tours
Hokule’a tied up near the Hawaii State Convention Center.

Hokule'a Returns to Hawaii
Hokule’a arrives at Magic Island, 6-17-2017. Photo by Sonny Lapenia.

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe Tours
Visitors onboard Hokule’a.

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe Tours
The wait in line to board Hokule’a was about 45 minutes.

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe Tours
On board Hokule’a for a 10 minute stay. Solar array for some of the 21st century electronics.

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe Tours
One of the Hokule’a crew members talking about the round the world voyage.

MORE PHOTOS AT THE HAWAII FILES FLICKR SITE.