Hawaii and the Great American Smokeout

Throughout November, community organizations throughout Hawaii will be hosting events to celebrate the American Cancer Society’s 36th annual Great American Smokeout, which takes place November 17, 2011. The Great American Smokeout is an annual nationwide event created by the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to use November 17 as the day to quit smoking or to make a plan to quit smoking.

 

For those interested in quitting tobacco, there is free help available. The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), is a free and confidential telephone service for Hawaii tobacco users who want to quit. Available statewide, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline provides people who are ready to quit with free nicotine gum or patches as well as free coaching. It also provides referrals to other community cessation services and information to family and friends and health care providers who are interested in helping others quit tobacco.

For more details on the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline and contact information for other cessation programs, access to an interactive quiz to test if you’re addicted to nicotine, or to calculate how much money you can save from quitting tobacco, visit www.clearthesmoke.org. You can also follow Clear the Smoke on Twitter @clearthesmoke or Facebook at www.facebook.com/clearthesmoke.

A list of Hawaii’s smoke-free events statewide include:

WEST HAWAII ISLAND
Thursday, November 17: West Hawaii Tobacco-Free Coalition will be commemorating the Great American Smokeout with an exhibit table at a free Luncheon and Community Fair for the homeless, a celebration in recognition of the Hawaii County’s 2011 Hunger & Homeless Awareness Month. The event is sponsored by HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc., Family Support Hawaii, and Community Alliance Partners – Hawaii County and will take place on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Kona Airport, Makaeo Pavilion. For more information, contact Josephine Ibarra, HOPE Services Hawaii’s West Hawaii Community Relations Director, at (808) 933-6041 or jibarra@hopeserviceshawaii.org.
Old Kona Airport – Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

EAST HAWAII ISLAND
Thursday, November 17:  American Cancer Society – East Hawaii Branch will be hosting a Turkey Trot Great American Smokeout event at Waiakea Intermediate School during lunch recess from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students can participate in a mini-fun run and the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii – East Hawaii Coalition will conduct a spin game and Tobacco-Free Me Pledge. For more information, contact Vanessa Carlson, Waiakea Intermediate School’s Student Activities Club Advisor, at (808) 981-7231.
Waiakea Intermediate School – 200 West Puainako Street, Hilo, HI  96720

OAHU
Thursday, November 17:  University Health Services-Manoa Health Promotion Office will be hosting the American Cancer Society‘s Great American Smokeout health fair. The fair’s theme is “Clean Air, Clean Aina.” The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Campus Center Mall and will feature interactive games, displays, free giveaways and prizes. Other participating organizations include Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, University of Hawaii School of Dental Hygiene, American Heart Association, Waikiki Health Center, Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry and Blood Bank of Hawaii. For more information, contact Lisa Kehl or Kristen Scholly at (808) 956-8060.
University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Campus Center – 2465 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI  96822

MAUI
Saturday, November 19: The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Maui will be hosting a Great American Smokeout event at the Maui Mall. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be food, entertainment, and great family fun.

Grade level division winners and the overall winner of the “Smoke-Free Cars = Healthy Kids & Ohana” art contest will also be recognized at the event. The contest was open to all Maui County students in grades six to eight to help build awareness that secondhand smoke in cars is harmful to everyone’s health, especially those who are ages 17 and younger.

For more information, contact Sonya Niess, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Maui Coordinator, at (808) 575-7602 or sonya@tobaccofreehawaii.org.
Maui Mall – 70 East Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI  96732

KAUAI
Thursday, November 17: American Cancer Society, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, Kauai Veterans Clinic, and Hoola Lahui are joining forces for the Great American Smokeout “Holo Holo.” This initiative is a mobile unit that will be deployed at several Garden Isle beach parks (formally Pine Tree Inn, Hanamaulu & Kapaa) from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to distribute Quit kits and provide on-the-spot cessation advice to beachgoers. For more information, contact Susan Oshiro-Taogoshi at American Cancer Society’s Kauai office at (808) 246-0695.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 50-Year-Old Man

Big Island police are searching for a 50-year-old Hilo man who was reported missing.

Ronald Kahapea

Ronald Kahapea

Ronald Kahapea of Hilo was last seen at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday (November 8) on Banyan Drive.

He is described as 5-foot-7, 141 pounds with black short-length hair, brown eyes and a mustache. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, an unknown color t-shirt, a black North Face jacket and white New Balance shoes.

He has a medical condition that requires medication.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Fair Winds Big Island Ocean Guides Celebrates 40th Anniversary

On Saturday, December 3 Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides celebrates 40 years of offering quality snorkel and dive excursions along the Kona coast.

The community is invited from 10am until 2pm to enjoy 40-cent hot dogs and drinks, 40-cent shaved ice from Scandinavian Shaved Ice, live music featuring Ponchoman, and prize drawings for logo items and certificates valid for future adventures aboard the Fair Wind II or Hula Kai.

Those joining Fair Wind’s 40th anniversary celebration December 3 can also enjoy $4 boat rides. The Fair Wind II will depart Keauhou Bay hourly beginning at 10am for 45-minute excursions with
full use of the vessel’s water slides and high jump platform. Beginning at 10:30am and departing hourly until 12:30pm, guests may board the Hula Kai for a free 45-minute historical cruise.

“Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides has been through tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes,” Fair Wind Vice President Mendy Dant shares. “Through visitor industry ups and downs, through it all, we’ve remained committed to this community, to ocean awareness and preservation. We are happy to share this 40th milestone on December 3 with our friends in the community and we look forward to seeing many of them there.”

Kamaaina with a valid Hawaii ID can register on December 3 for a free one-year membership in Fair Wind’s Kamaaina Club, a $25 value. Kamaaina Club members are eligible for Fair Wind and Hula Kai cruise discounts plus gift shop discounts and early email notification of cruise specials offered from time to time throughout the year. Even family and friends visiting a Kamaaina Club member are extended a special courtesy discount.

In addition to Fair Wind’s 40th Anniversary celebration, Fair Wind will be showcasing their newly renovated headquarters and retail shop, which were badly damaged in the tsunami that followed the devastating March 2011 earthquake in Japan.  Unique retail items will be available for purchase and just in time for holiday shopping.

As guests of this unique underwater world, Fair Wind has always recognized that everyone is responsible for ocean and reef preservation and health. Fair Wind is proud to be part of an island-wide effort to help educate residents and visitors alike about ways in which they can help. The company’s respect for the ocean and its environment was acknowledged by the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce with the Chamber’s 2011 Pualu Award for Environmental Awareness.  Fair Wind also picked up the 2011 Business Administration Award in the category of Family Owned Small Business for Hawaii County. Additionally Fair Wind has been recognized by Frommer’s Travel Guide, The Idiot’s Guide to Hawaii and the West Hawaii Readers’ Poll as the Best Snorkel Cruise on the Big Island.

Tune in to LAVA 105.3 for information and free giveaways leading up to the station’s broadcast from Keauhou Bay on December 3, visit www.Fair-Wind.com or call 322-2788 for more information. 40th Anniversary attendees are asked to park on the north side of Keauhou Bay at the bottom of Kamehameha III Road.

About Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides

Fair Wind’s award-winning tradition of excellence and aloha has earned the company a reputation as the first choice among residents and visitors for ocean adventure. The Fair Wind II, with capacity for 100 guests, is a custom-built, 60-foot aluminum catamaran with covered deck, trademark tri-colored striped sail, two 15-foot water slides, high jump platform, on-board restrooms, grill area, freshwater showers, and a staircase descending directly into the water for easy water access. The more exclusive and intimate Hula Kai, with capacity for just 42, caters to snorkel and dive enthusiasts, going where others can’t. This 55-foot Technicraft hydrofoil catamaran is packed with first-class amenities such as individual theater-style seats for panoramic views during every excursion. Hula Kai also has two fresh-water showers, two rest-rooms and a large commercial grill used to prepare gourmet meals. The Fair Wind Rewards Club allows ocean adventurers to collect points valid for discounts on future ocean activity bookings.
Visit Fair-Wind.com.

APEC Photo Contest Winners Announced

Three photographers with images that dramatically capture APEC’s work in 2011 were announced today as the winners of the Pacific-wide APEC photo contest.

204 photos were submitted by 95 photographers from 17 APEC member economies to best reflect the 2011 priorities of strengthening regional economic integration, advancing regulatory cooperation and promoting green growth.

Title: Solar Energy Panels Photographer: Reynaldo C. MONDEZ (Philippines)

Out of the entries, Reynaldo C. Mondez from the Philippines stood out with his photo “Solar Energy Panels” and won the APEC Judges’ Grand Prize.

The Judges’ Second and Third Prizes went to Romeo B. Doneza also from the Philippines with his photo “World-Wide” and Wong Chi Keung from Hong Kong, China with his photo “No-Boundary Network.”

Title: World-Wide Photographer: Romeo B. DONEZA (Philippines)

To engage the community throughout the Asia-Pacific, the top ten photos were posted on the APEC Facebook page for comments and votes. More than 10,000 votes were cast during the two-week voting period – Mondez received over 4,600 “Likes” for his photo, also winning him the APEC Popular Choice Award.

“I am very happy and truly humbled by this experience,” said Mondez, a retired photographer from the National Housing Authority of the Philippines. He currently runs a small wedding photography business with his son in Metro Manila.

“The photo is a symbol of hope for a sustainable future, even in the most remote parts of the Philippines,” said Mondez. His winning photo of children playing basketball next to a hut and a solar energy panel was taken in a rural village in Rizal province.

“What I’m trying to convey to the world is to make renewable energy more accessible to everyone by first lowering the cost of the technology,” he added. “Through my photo, I hope to reach out to the decision-makers who are involved in renewable energy.”

APEC is currently working to reduce unnecessary trade and investment barriers to environmental goods and services, in an effort to lower costs and increase citizens’ access to important green technologies. APEC is also developing energy-efficient policies to support a sustainable, low-carbon future that also reduces carbon emissions.

“Big steps have been taken this year to promote green growth in the Asia-Pacific,” said U.S. APEC Senior Official, Ambassador Kurt Tong, who was a member of the judging panel. “We are addressing the concerns of APEC citizens at the grassroots level.”

“The places and people captured by these photographers serve as reminders of the value of APEC’s work in fostering greater cooperation and promoting sustainable growth in economies and among everyday citizens.”

Title: Winds of Change Photographer: Ellen DE LEON (Philippines)

Also on the panel was Agence France-Presse’s Photo Editor-in-Chief, Eric Baradat who was impressed by the many high-quality submissions. “The three winning images exude both creativity and conscious composition,” said Baradat. “They capture the very essence of what APEC is doing.”

The winning photographs of the APEC Photo Contest 2011 are available for viewing online.

Research Reveals Trade Transaction Costs Fall in APEC Region

Trade transaction costs across the Asia-Pacific region have fallen 5%, resulting in US$ 58.7 billion in total savings for businesses, research shows.

In a new report released, an independent research team has investigated whether APEC met its target of reducing trade transaction costs between 2007 and 2010, after implementing a comprehensive action plan to facilitate trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

The report reveals that although fees and charges for importers and exporters increased across the region between 2006 and 2010, the amount of time taken to clear goods across borders decreased, resulting in an overall drop of 5% in trade transaction costs and therefore costs savings for businesses.

“The reduction is good news for businesses and economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Given the uncertainty of the global economy, trade facilitation is now even more crucial to supporting sustainable economic growth,” said Denis Hew, Director of the Policy Support Unit, the team responsible for the report.

“Reducing trade transaction costs boosts the profitability of businesses and helps create jobs. Introducing measures so that goods flow more easily at, across and behind borders also increases the competitiveness of markets and brings lower prices for consumers,” Dr Hew said.

“As the volume and complexity of trade across the Asia-Pacific region grows, streamlining and simplifying import and export procedures so that goods and services are delivered more efficiently and cost effectively is paramount,” he said.

The report, which can be downloaded from the APEC website, will be circulated to APEC Trade Ministers and senior officials for discussion in Honolulu this week.

The report shows that total fees and charges rose in real terms across the region by US$ 6.3 billion between 2006 and 2010 for importing and exporting all merchandise, an increase of 4.8%.

However the amount of total time taken to complete trade-related procedures dropped, which represents a decrease in costs of US$ 65 billion, or 6.2 percent from 2006. Thus, overall trade transaction costs resulted in total savings for businesses of US$ 58.7 billion.

The costs – the fees and charges plus the monetary value of the time spent getting goods to market – relate to document preparation, customs clearance and technical control, ports and terminal handling and inland transport and handling.

The researchers measured trade transaction costs in the region as part of their assessment of the success of APEC’s Trade Facilitation Action Plan II (TFAP II). The assessment found that APEC had reached its target of reducing trade transaction costs by 5% between 2007 and 2010, a goal set by APEC Leaders in 2005.

Total trade transaction costs fell from US$ 1.187 trillion in 2006 to US$ 1.128 trillion in 2010.

Under TFAP II, APEC has been carrying out projects around the region to encourage economies to undertake reforms and improvements to streamline trade in four priority areas; customs procedures, standards and conformance, business mobility and electronic commerce (data privacy and paperless trading).

In their report, the researchers conclude that APEC has made “significant progress to improve trade facilitation and reduce trade transaction costs through the measures implemented under TFAP II.”

Monica Contreras, chair of APEC’s Committee on Trade and Investment, welcomed the findings, which showed APEC has successfully identified obstacles that hinder trade and implemented actions and measures to address them, thereby bringing real results to the business community.

“While we are enthusiastic about the progress made by APEC, we also recognize that there is more that can be done to improve trade facilitation across the region, therefore further efforts in this regard have been already deployed ” Ms Contreras said.

TFAP II is one of many APEC initiatives aimed at increasing free trade and investment and strengthening regional economic integration to assist economic growth and prosperity for its people. TFAP II follows the first successful action plan, which worked to reduce costs also by 5% over four years to 2006.

The new report shows that by 2010, net savings were realized in most stages of the logistics chain across the APEC region. Substantial time savings were realized – the average time spent to prepare documentation for example was reduced by two days for both imports and exports. However fees and charges rose strongly in real terms, particularly in ports and terminal handling.

On average it took 17 days and US$ 842 to complete an APEC export transaction for a single, standard container of goods in 2006. In 2010, it took 15 days and US$ 856. Previously in 2006, it took 17 days and US$ 941 to complete such an APEC import transaction; in 2010 it took 15 days and US$ 923.

For the main report, go to:

“APEC’s Achievements in Trade Facilitation 2007-2010” “Final Assessment of Second Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP II) http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1211

For detailed measurements of trade transaction costs, including figures for each economy, go to: “Aggregate Measurement of Trade Transaction Costs in APEC 2007-2010” http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1212

For assessment of APEC’s progress in the four priority areas, go to: “Trade Facilitation through Customs Procedures: Assessment of APEC’s Progress” http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1213

“Reducing Business Travel Costs: The Success of APEC’s Business Mobility Initiatives”  http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1214

“Facilitating Electronic Commerce in APEC: A Case Study of Electronic Certificate of Origin” http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1215

“Reducing Trade Transaction Costs: Harmonization of Standards and Conformity Assessments in APEC”. http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1207

President Obama, First Lady to Travel to Hawai’i, Attend APEC

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will arrive in Honolulu, HI to attend APEC.  The arrival and departure of Air Force One in Honolulu is open to the press, and closed to the public.

Members of the media who wish to cover the arrival of Air Force One must have APEC media credentials.  The APEC credentialing deadline has passed.

About APEC

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region.  Established in 1989 and comprising 21 member economies from around the Pacific Rim, including the United States, APEC fosters growth and prosperity by facilitating economic cooperation and expanding trade and investment throughout the region.  APEC economies account for 54 percent of global GDP, 44 percent of world trade, and 61 percent of U.S. goods exports.  In 1993, President Clinton invited fellow APEC Leaders to meet on Blake Island near Seattle, elevating APEC from ministerial to head-of-government level for the first time.  Hosting responsibilities have rotated among APEC economies over the succeeding 18 years, with Japan welcoming President Obama and other APEC Leaders to Yokohama in November 2010.

 

As host of APEC 2011, the United States aims to create opportunities for prosperity and job creation by expanding trade and investment, cultivating small and medium-sized businesses, and fostering an environment that allows innovation to flourish.  President Obama chose his birthplace of Honolulu as the site for the APEC 2011 Leaders’ Meeting to highlight America’s position as a Pacific nation.  The APEC 2011 Leaders’ Reception and Dinner on Saturday, November 12, 2011, will take place in Honolulu at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki.  On Sunday, November 13, APEC Leaders will meet at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina.  The Hawaii Convention Center will play host to Ministerial and Senior Officials’ meetings, as well as house the international press file center.