Hawaiian Electric Volunteers Help Light Kaimuki Tree
Hawaiian Electric volunteer crew helps revive tree-lighting tradition at Puʻu o Kaimukī Mini Park
Hawaiian Electric volunteers from IBEW Local 1260 stand before the revitalized Christmas tree at Puʻu o Kaimukī. Left to right: Ryan Pascual, James Park, Anthony Murray, Neal Munemitsu, Evan Garcia, Tim Watanabe, Sean Panquites, Cedric Pang, Jason Rodrigues, Harry Moy and Todd Mayeshiro.
When the Kaimukī Christmas Parade ends this evening, it will culminate with the lighting of the floating Christmas tree at Puʻu o Kaimukī Mini Park – a tradition brought back, in part, thanks to Hawaiian Electric volunteers from IBEW Local 1260.
The illuminated tree, which sits about 40 feet above the mini park off Koko Head Avenue, had gone dark the past few years. But about a dozen Hawaiian Electric linemen, trouble men, inspectors, and substation technicians worked Wednesday to string new multicolored, energy- efficient LED light strands atop its galvanized steel base.
After staging bucket trucks and placing a tarp below the tree to capture any loose bulb shards, above-ground volunteers removed the old, weathered incandescent bulbs from the tree and tightened the fixtures. On-the-ground volunteers unrolled the reels of colored lights to check for flaws and broken bulbs. Each 66-foot strand was lifted to the top and safely secured to ensure the tree could withstand the elements.
The true test came when volunteer leader Todd Mayeshiro, a community relations specialist and former lineman, turned on the light switch amidst cheers from park users.
“Weʻre so glad it worked,” smiled Mayeshiro. “There were a lot of challenges, but everything just fell into place, and our volunteers stepped up from across the company to make this happen in time for tonight’s scheduled Kaimukī Christmas Parade and tree lighting ceremony.”
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will participate in tonight’s festivities. Hawaiian Electric worked with the City & County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation and Kaimuki Business & Professional Association to resurrect the illuminated tree, which had been a community fixture for about three decades. In recent years, upkeep of the tree had become difficult, and it remained dormant.
In total, nearly 1,000 LED light bulbs were used to adorn the cone-shaped tree, which will save about 90 percent in electricity use. Volunteers completed their work in just under three hours.
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Hawaiian Electric volunteers Tim Watanabe, Anthony Murray and Neal Munemitsu unrolled reels of colorful LED lights to check for flaws and broken bulbs. They were among the dozen IBEW Local 1260 lineman, troublemen, inspectors, and substation technicians that worked Wednesday to revitalize the floating Christmas tree at the mini park off Koko Head Avenue in Kaimukī.
Volunteers strung new multicolored, energy efficient LED lights on the floating Christmas tree at Puʻu o Kaimukī. Each 66-foot strand was safely secured to ensure it could withstand the elements.
Volunteers add the final strand of LED lights atop the tree at Puʻu o Kaimukī. In total, nearly 1,000 LED light bulbs were used to adorn the cone-shaped tree, which will save about 90 percent in electricity use.
Hawaiian Electric volunteers from IBEW Local 1260 helped revive the floating Christmas tree at Puʻu o Kaimukī. Above-ground volunteers removed the old, weathered incandescent bulbs from the tree and tightened fixtures.
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