Pālamanui Donates $9.68 Million to Help Fund First Phase of HCC’s Pālamanui Campus

This morning Mayor Kenoi posted on facebook that he was at “… the West Hawai‘i Civic Center for an announcement about Hawai‘i Community College’s upcoming Pālamanui Campus in Kona.”

Well the announcement has been made:

Mayor Kenoi, UH Board of Regents Vice Chair James Lee, and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood accepted a check for $9.68 million from Pālamanui presented by Steve Colón of Hunt Companies, one of the partners in the project. The money will fund the first phase of Hawai‘i Community College’s Pālamanui Campus.

Mayor Kenoi, UH Board of Regents Vice Chair James Lee, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and Steve Colon.

Mayor Kenoi posted the following comment on facebook:

“The kids on Hina Lani St. deserve the same access to higher education as the kids on Kawailani St.”

This is a huge step for higher education here on the Big Island!

Mayor Kenoi chats with University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center.

Big Island Police Reclassify Investigation of Eden Roc Body to Murder Investigation – Identify Victim

Big Island police have reclassified the investigation of body a found Saturday in the Eden Roc subdivision from a coroner’s inquest to a murder.


An autopsy conducted Tuesday morning (January 31) determined that the victim died from a combination of ligature strangulation and a brain injury from a gunshot wound. The victim has been identified as 52-year-old Robert John Leong of Eden Roc.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or email him at ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Pacific Aviation Museum is Seeking Volunteers for New Student Education and Tour Programs

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Education Department has new student education and tour programs for 2012 and requests volunteers to help deliver these programs, plus develop additional ones, help manage events, process data entry, research, transcribe oral histories, and work on the Museum’s successful outreach program to 6th graders, “Barnstorming.”

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hanger 37

Other volunteers are need in all areas of Museum operations, as well, from docents delivering tours to mechanics helping restore historic aircraft in the Restoration Shop.

The education programs target pre-school students through high school seniors and focus on math, science, social studies, technology and engineering connected to the principles of aviation and history of aviation in the Pacific. The opportunities are perfect for those retired from the fields of education. The Museum will train and a minimum of at least one day a month is required to be a volunteer.

Volunteers sought for the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Volunteers receive many benefits: They work hands-on with aircraft, meet and talk story with veterans and experienced pilots and mechanics, receive free admission to the Museum and to the other Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, receive discounts at the Museum gift shop, free admission to all Hangar Talks and lectures, an annual “Volunteer Appreciation” party, and more.

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Loretta Fung for more information and a volunteer application at 808-441-1008 or Loretta.Fung@PacificAviationMuseum.org. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or partnered with a parent. The Museum will provide documentation for service hours.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, located on Historic Ford Island, 319 Lexington Boulevard, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which depends on its volunteers, members, and support from donations. 808-441-1000; www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Navy Receives Superferries… Will Be Used in Japan for Troop and Equipment Transport

The Navy has just gotten $210 million worth of high speed cats for $35 million. The U.S. Maritime Administration reports that it has now transferred the former Hawaii super ferries Huakai and Alakai to the U.S. Navy and that the Navy provided $35 million to the Maritime Administration for both vessels.


Back in October 2005 we reported shipbuilder Austal USA as saying that the order for the pair had become unconditional following Maritime Administration approval of a $139,731,000 Title XI loan guarantee, or approximately 78.5 percent of a total shipbuilding project cost of $178 million. That allowed the signing of a $210 million financial closing agreement .

That works out at a ship price of $105 million a copy (at 2005 prices), which compares with the $151.8 million to $185.4 million a copy the Navy is paying for the seven JHSV’s on order at Austal USA.

The Navy plans to use Huakai and Alakai to transport troops and equipment to training areas from Okinawa and other locations. These vessels will help the Navy meet these unique operational requirements without the need to build new vessels. Powered by waterjet engines, the catamarans can each carry 288 cars and 866 passengers.

The Maritime Administration took possession of the two ships after Hawaii Superferry, Inc., defaulted on the loans that the Maritime Administration had guaranteed.

The vessels are currently docked at Lamberts Point in Norfolk, Va.

New Luxury Resort Planned for Kona on the Big Island

GHM, a luxury resort and hotel group that manages exclusive properties anchored in Southeast Asia, is launching its third decade with plans for new boutique properties in locales well beyond its traditional geographic base.

The Legian, Bali Indonesia... A GHM Property

Over the next four years, as the new hotels come online in China and Switzerland, in India and the United Arab Emirates, GHM expects to double the size of its portfolio.

The developments include the following:

  • Two properties, in Suzhou, China and Andermatt, Switzerland, are now under construction and expected to open in late 2012 / early 2013 and the winter of 2013, respectively.
  • In Kona, Hawaii GHM is collaborating with Pritzker Architecture Prizewinner Tadao Ando on the development of a new 32-villa property situated on a hardened flow of lava.
  • Also in China, GHM has launched a new hotel brand, Ahn Luh, in collaboration with China’s largest tourism group and a prominent real estate developer. The first two Ahn Luh properties are scheduled to open in two-to-three years.
  • GHM in December last year inked a development deal with partners in the United Arab Emirates, and has identified its first project as The Chedi Khorfakkan in Sharjah. New development deals are also in the planning stages for Cuba and Brazil.

“In our first twenty years, we pioneered resorts in some of the world’s most up-and coming destinations, from Ubud on Bali to Quang Nam in Vietnam, establishing an ambitious presence with hotels that melded lofty, contemporary design with exquisite, local architectural elements,” said Hans R. Jenni, who co-founded GHM with Amanresorts visionary Adrian Zecha. “In this, the first year of our third decade, we’re engineering the moves on a five-year plan of growth the likes of which we’ve never seen.”

 In preparation, GHM has just launched a completely redesigned Web site at GHMhotels.com. The new site opens the door on GHM with a more user-friendly layout and design, featuring a booking engine, rich visuals and regular news updates.

At the Chedi Club Suzhou, GHM is opening 36 rooms on three floors of the city’s tallest building, Global 188. Additionally, the Chedi will feature a destination, rooftop restaurant, a fitness centre and a spa replete with 15 treatment rooms. In Andermatt, an emerging alternative to the ski resorts at St. Moritz and Gstaad, GHM plans to debut its largest hotel to date in the 169-room Chedi Andermatt, which includes 119 luxury apartments and residences of 96 – 550 square metres. The facilities will feature an apres ski bar, a wine-and-cigar library, a private outdoor skating rink, as well as a fitness centre, restaurant, and a bar & lounge.

In its first twenty years, GHM has earned a reputation for refined hotel designs having worked with some of the world’s most sought after and creative designers. Each new GHM hotel is a study in bold design, a trend that is likely to continue as the likes of Tadao Ando bear down on projects for the group. The Kona design, for example, makes use of Ando’s penchant for planes of exposed concrete and a topographically sensitive foundation.

“Because so many of our guests tend to spend a lot of time on property, we feel an additional, creative responsibility,” said Jenni. “Each of our properties is not merely a hotel or a resort, but a setting, a destination in its own right, and thus, an opportunity to create a space that’s not easily forgotten.”

Governor Abercrombie “Touches the Tigers” at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Nearly 200 gathered today, sharing memories of  “The Flying Tigers” of WWII who did so much to help the Chinese people during the war with Japan. The event took place at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in Hangar 79 in front of the Museum’s “Flying Tigers” exhibit.

Governor Neil Abercrombie talked of the service Hawaii’s Chinese gave, and Madame Li Xiaolin, president of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries spoke and presented her new documentary, Touching the Tigers.

Touching the Tigers, a 40-minute documentary, is the story of American Flying Tigers pilot Lt. Glen Beneda, who was shot down in his fighter and wounded while defending China from Japanese forces during World War II on his 81st mission with the 14th Air Force. Beneda was rescued by Chinese farmers and soldiers and escorted to a U.S. air base where he received aid and an unforgettable attachment to the Chinese people. Mr. Beneda’s wife Mrs. Elinor Beneda and two sons Edward and Henry Beneda were in attendance at the Museum event, and honored.

The China Children’s Choir of Beijing performed. A traditional lion dance and a pupu reception ended the festivities.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor rated “one of the top 10 aviation attractions in the nation” by TripAdvisor® is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization located at 319 Lexington Boulevard on Historic Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818.

Honolulu Mayor Candidate Kirk Caldwell to Release Campaign Finance Report Tomorrow

Tomorrow we will file our campaign finance report for July 1 – December 31, 2011. We’re excited to announce that we’ve raised over $72,000 in the last six weeks of this reporting cycle.  We believe that this amount represents just the beginning of this campaign. This shows the confidence supporters have in Kirk Caldwell and the growing momentum surrounding our campaign.  We do retain personal debt of the candidate himself from the last closely contested campaign of $188,000. We are encouraged by our early fundraising efforts and even more encouraged by the individuals who are joining us in this campaign, working together for a better future for Honolulu.

– Lex Smith, Caldwell for Mayor, Campaign Chair

Help Support Big Island Resident in National “Home Depot Search for a Star” Contest

Big Island Resident Agyai Marshall submitted this video in the “Home Depot search for a star” contest:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/weIeUKXc_2E]

Marshall wrote:

A song I wrote for the 2012 Home Depot Search for A Star Competition, top 4 winners get an all expenses paid trip to perform at the annual managers meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. I work in the Paint Dept. at Store #8453 in Hilo, HI, and when I’m not mixing paint I’m a musician. You can check out my band, N.Y.R, at reverbnation.com/nyrmusic.

Special Thank You to Koa Anduha, Glen Ishii, & S.M. Amare Belay for allowing us to shoot at the store. (after hours of course!)

(We basically shot this video in less then 3hrs, and I had no idea what I was doing but I hope you enjoy the experience)

Ala Moana Hotel to Offer Rooms at Rate Equal to the Combined Score of the Super Bowl

Ala Moana Hotel has caught football fever, sacking room rates so visitors can score a super deal. In celebration of Super Bowl XLVI, Ala Moana Hotel will offer 46 ocean-view room nights every day for 46 days, at a special rate equal to the final combined score of the big game.

The Ala Moana Hotel

As the New England Patriots and New York Giants battle on the gridiron to be this year’s Super Bowl champions, hopeful Ala Moana Hotel fans will have even more to cheer about!   The final combined game score is destined to be an epic deal!  Since the year 2000, the lowest combined score has been 31 with the highest 69.

“No matter which team is your favorite, Ala Moana Hotel wants you to be a winner with this exciting special offer.  We’re game to provide deluxe accommodations in the heart of Honolulu at a super value,” said Marty Milan, director of sales and marketing for Ala Moana Hotel.

THE GAME PLAN:

  • Ala Moana Hotel’s Super Bowl 46 rate will be determined after the conclusion of the”Super Sequel” Super Bowl championship game on Sunday, February 5, 2012.
  • The Super Bowl 46 rate will be announced Monday, February 6, 2012.
  • For 46 days, from March 1 to April 15, 2012, the hotel will sell 46 room nights of its Waikiki Tower ocean-view rooms at this rate.
  • Score this rate by going to www.AlaMoanaHotel.com/SuperBowl46 starting February 7, 2012, at 10 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time to book a stay within the 46-day period from March 1 – April 15, 2012.
  • No phone reservations will be taken. Each non-refundable booking is on a first come, first-served basis and requires a three-night minimum to five-night maximum stay.

“Fans looking to participate in our ‘pigskin promotion’ should act swiftly, as soon as reservations are open, because rooms are sure to sell quickly,” added Milan.

Ala Moana Hotel is conveniently located at the gateway to Waikiki. Physically connected to the world’s largest open-air retail mall, hotel guests can stroll over to Ala Moana Center for a shopping spree, then come back and relax at the hotel’s first-class facilities.  The expansive poolside sundeck is perfect for working on a tan and the fully equipped fitness center for working up a sweat.  On-site Plantation Café offers a breakfast buffet, Royal Garden features Chinese dim sum for lunch and dinner, and all-new YuZu presents innovative contemporary Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner. Even dance the night away at popular Rumours nightclub on Fridays and Saturdays.

The mystery Super Bowl 46 rate is per room, per night, based on single or double occupancy only. A credit card is required as a guarantee for the full amount of room and tax. Reservations may not be changed and cancellations are non-refundable. Rates and specials cannot be combined with other offers and are subject to availability and change. Additional restrictions may apply. For additional information, visit www.AlaMoanaHotel.com/SuperBowl46.

Follow Ala Moana Hotel on Twitter at: @AlaMoanaHotel and Facebook at: www.facebook.com/AlaMoanaHotel for the latest news and updates.

Exhibit – “Living Endemic Birds of Hawai‘i”

“Living Endemic Birds of Hawai‘i” by famed Hawaiian wildlife artist Marian Berger is back on exhibit, for one week only, from February 21- February 27, 2012 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The exhibit is back on display by popular demand.

Black-Necked Stilt

The exhibit features reproductive prints of the original watercolor paintings representing 37 species of birds found only in Hawai‘i. The vision of this extraordinary project has been to produce a limited edition masterpiece in the style of John James Audubon as a means of supporting critical work to ensure the survival of Hawai‘i’s endemic birds. Each image is printed in double elephant folio size (26″ x 39.5″), after Audubon’s great work on the Birds of North America, with all individual birds painted life-size.

The project, that resulted in the original exhibit, in January of 2011, is a unique collaboration between the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Discipline, and private landowners. The Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP) comprises two captive breeding facilities, one at Keauhou Ranch in Volcano on the Big Island, and the other in Makawao on Maui, and works at a number of field sites around Hawaii. Using intensive propagation and release techniques, the HEBCP aims to re-establish self-sustaining populations of critically endangered birds or augment existing ones. More than 1,000 chicks of many different Hawaiian species have been successfully raised by the HEBCP since 1993.

Pueo

“The exhibit in early 2011, was quite successful in raising both awareness and funds, for the amazing conservation work being done right here in Hawai‘i,” states gallery manager Emily Catey.  ” Volcano Art Center is happy to display the images again to continue to raise awareness for this effort.”

The exhibit, opening February 21, 2012, features giclee reproductions priced individually, compared to the first exhibit where the original watercolor paintings sold only as a complete set.

Don’t miss this opportunity to view the partial collection, of the “Living Endemic Birds of Hawai‘i by Marian Berger. Call (808) 967-7565 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

Japan Approves First Shipment of Genetically Modified Rainbow Papayas

After 13 years of negotiations, Japan has approved its first shipment of genetically-modified Rainbow papayas from Hawaii.

“The fact that the Japanese have tested it to the nth degree and evaluated its food and environmental safety proves it’s a good product,” said Rod Yonemura, consultant to the 160-member Hawaii Papaya Industry Association based in Hilo, capital of Hawaii’s Big Island…

…To introduce the Rainbow to Japanese traders, Yonemura said HPIA is planning a booth at the Super Market Trade Show in Tokyo Feb. 1-3, and another at Foodex Japan in Chiba March 8-9…

Full Article here: Japan Receives Hawaiian Rainbow Papayas

Big Island Police Investigating Body Found in Eden Roc

Big Island police are investigating a body found in Puna as a coroner’s inquest.

Shortly after 6:52 am, Saturday (January 28), police received a report of a body found near a residence in the Eden Roc Subdivision. The unidentified man appeared to be in his 50s.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are conducting further investigation into the death and have not ruled out foul play.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning to determine the exact cause of death and to assist in identification.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or email him at ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Puna Girl

Big Island police are searching for a 17-year-old girl reported as missing from Puna since December 20.

Tihany Glimane

Tihany Glimane is described as 5-foot-6, about 135 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on her 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Horizon Will Plead Guilty to False Vessel Oil-Record Keeping Entries

Horizon Lines, Inc. announced that its Horizon Lines, LLC operating subsidiary has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, under which the ocean cargo carrier will plead guilty to two counts of providing federal authorities with false vessel oil record-keeping entries on a containership in the U.S. West Coast-Hawaii service.

Under the agreement, which is subject to court approval, the company will pay a fine of $1.0 million and donate an additional $500,000 to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation for environmental community service programs. The company also has agreed to be placed on probation for three years and institute an environmental compliance plan.

The charges stem from the improper use of an oily water separator and related inappropriate record keeping on the Horizon Enterprise, an American-flag containership that sails between Tacoma, Oakland and Honolulu. Oily water separators are used to remove oil from bilge or wastewater, so that the water can then be legally discharged into the ocean.

The company responded promptly and proactively to the discovery of these violations. As part of the company’s environmental review, Horizon Lines conducted a fleet-wide audit and has cooperated fully with the Department of Justice, the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities involved. It also immediately implemented a compliance and training program, which is being performed by an outside contractor. The program augments the company’s existing environmental policies for mitigating operational impacts while at sea. Additionally, the company has established the position of Environmental Compliance Director to lead Horizon’s overall environmental compliance programs. The position reports directly to the company’s Chief Compliance Officer and the Board of Directors.

“Horizon Lines has always endeavored to operate as a responsible environmental steward,” said Stephen Fraser, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We do not in any way minimize the unauthorized actions by a few individuals that run contrary to the care and training normally demonstrated by our vessel crews throughout the company. We are making every effort to see that this does not happen again, as we continue to provide service to our customers as an environmentally responsible American corporation.”

Over $10,000 in Cash and Prizes at Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

Hawai‘i’s favorite pupu gets its due at the first Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Sunday, Mar. 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa. The inaugural culinary competition offers over $10,000 in cash and prizes and is open to both amateur and professional chefs.Poke (po-KEH) is the Hawaiian word for “slice.” The local-style pupu (appetizer) consists of marinated, fresh local fish that’s raw, seared or cooked.

Spearheaded by celebrity chef Sam Choy, the contest celebrates locally sourced seafood with competition in four divisions. Culinary fun encourages the creative use of seaweed, seeds, herbs, spices, nuts, marinades, tofu, fruit, vegetables and seasoning.

Entry deadline is February 28 and contest details are conveniently posted online on Facebook at Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest.

Contest related activities start 10 a.m. and include a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace with fresh fish sales, guest cooking demo and a presentation on sustainable aquaculture by Guy Toyama of Friends of NELHA. Poke contest judging starts 10 a.m. with an awards ceremony and tasting open to the public at 11:30 a.m. Admission to all activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and proceeds benefit the future culinary instruction facilities at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui.

A TV host, cookbook author and founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Choy put poke on the culinary map with his many tantalizing preparations. The award-winning restaurateur remembers the first poke contest in the early 1990s. “It was held under a tent up in Kamuela and there were only a handful of entrants,” he recalls. “Today there are two dozen contests across the country.”

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

Other weekend festivities include:

  • Free Daughters of Hawai‘i Tribute 10 a.m. March 16 at Keauhou Bay
  • Free Puana Ke Iki Lecture “1893 Executive Agreements & Impacts Today” by Dr. David Keanu Sai 5:30 p.m. March 16 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa
  • Keauhou Canoe Club’s Ku’uipo Race HIPA Series Race March 17 at Keauhou Bay
  • Free 12th annual Kamehameha III “Lani Kauikeaouli”.Concert 5-10 p.m. March 17 on the lawn at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is sponsored by the Keauhou Resort, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai and Aloha Shoyu.

Onizuka Day Explosions

Center for Study of Active Volcanoes Hawaii Presents Onizuka Day 2012 Explosions

Liquid nitrogen is used in explosive demonstrations by the University of Hawaii at Hilo Geology Department, to illustrate the nature of erupting volcanoes.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/tPYyEQndvn8]

No rugged plastic garbage cans were harmed in this experiment. Watch for the trajectory of a high-flying plastic bottle at 0:06 as it heads towards a roof. Slow motion sequence begins at 0:22.

The 26th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster and Hawaii’s Lt. Col. Onizuka

A nation remembers and mourns the 26th anniversary of the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger and its crew today. On January 28, 1986 at 11:38 am, the Challenger broke apart and its crew was lost to the heavens when an O-ring on its right SRB rocket booster broke, leading to a fuel tank rupture and a catastrophic explosion.

Lieutenant Colonel Ellison Onizuka, a 39-year old Air Force test pilot and NASA astronaut who was born in Kealakekua, Hawaii was among the brave crew of Challenger mission STS-51-L, and will always be remembered by locals as Hawaii’s Astronaut. Spirit still among the stars but body laid to rest in Hawaii’s Punchbowl National Cemetery, Onizuka’s grave stone still attracts homage from visitors and provokes tears and sharp salutes alike.

Onizuka is credited with having said, “Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds … to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.” At the time when the Shuttle Challenger exploded, I was six years old and watching the event live on television. It was a memory that even at that young age I understood the full implications of – my own father being an Air Force officer – and one of many moments of my life that has humbled me to respect those who bravely serve our country and inspired me to always look heavenward…

Full Article Here: The 26th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster and Hawaii’s Lt. Col. Onizuka

[youtube=http://youtu.be/j4JOjcDFtBE]

January 28th, 1986 at 11:39 am EDT – The Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes on its 10th flight during mission STS-51-L. The explosion occurred 73 seconds after liftoff and was actually the result of rapid deceleration and not combustion of fuel.

CNN was the only national news station to broadcast the mission live, so thus what you are witnessing on this video is the only coverage of the disaster as it happened when it did. Approximately 17% of Americans witnessed the launch live, while 85% of Americans heard of the news within 1 hour of the event. According to a study, only 2 other times in history up to that point had news of an event disseminated so fast – the first being the announcement of JFK’s assassination in 1963, the second being news spread among students at Kent State regarding the news of FDR’s death in 1945. It has been estimated at the time that nearly 48% of 9-13 year olds witnessed the event in their classrooms, as McAuliffe was in the spotlight.

The 25th Space Shuttle mission altered the history of manned space exploration and represented the first loss of an American crew during a space mission (Apollo 1 was during a training exercise).

Christa McAuliffe was slated to be the first teacher in space for the Teacher in Space Program. As her maximum altitude was ~65,000ft (12.31 miles), she never made it to space. That title was given to Barbara Morgan of STS-118 aboard the shuttle Endeavour in August 2007, 22 and a half years after the Challenger Disaster. Morgan served as McAuliffe’s backup during STS-51-L. As Morgan is now part of the Educator in Space Program, she will be credited as the first “educator” in space, to distinguish her from McAuliffe.

Aboard Challenger during STS-51-L:

Francis “Dick” Scobee (Commander)

Michael Smith (Pilot)

Judith Resnik (Mission Specialist)

Ellison Onizuka (Mission Specialist)

Ronald McNair (Mission Specialist)

Gregory Jarvis (Payload Specialist)

Sharon Christa McAuliffe (Payload Specialist – Teacher in Space)

 

Hydrogen Vehicles to be Deployed in Hawaii

Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, today announced that the has been awarded orders by Torrance, California based US Hybrid Corporation, for the delivery of five new generation HyPM™HD Series Fuel Cell Power Modules.

US Hybrid specializes in the design and manufacture of power conversion systems for medium and heavy duty electric, hybrid and fuel cell commercial buses and trucks. The power modules will be used in a dump truck, a step van and several buses.

The vehicles are part of a government funded program managed by the High Technology Development Corporation’s Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies and will be deployed for a variety of end users in Hawaii. This sale establishes the first order of the new generation of HyPM™ HD series product which was formally launched in November 2011 at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Orlando, Florida.

“We were delighted by the market response to the launch of our high power range of HD product last year and are very pleased to have received this order. High power density, minimal footprint and ease of integration make the HD series an excellent fit for bus and heavy mobility applications”, said Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and Chief Executive Officer.

Sorry… No Political Ads on My Site This Year

I appreciate the offer of having politicians asking to place ads on my site.  I myself would rather feel free to be able to blog about politicians the way I want w/out having to worry about them pulling an ad from my site.

With that being said… I will once again say that I will not be accepting any political ads on my site!

I will accept press releases that I can easily cut and paste to my site… however, accepting them… does not mean I will print them.

I try my best to keep this site from being politically influenced…. however I know there are those that would like to influence what I put on here… (it won’t happen)

Hike, Explore & Protect Kahuku

Two adventurous programs offered by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will introduce a captivating landscape, biodiversity and history of the park’s southernmost section to intrepid hikers.

Kipukaakihi looking down

People and Land of Kahuku is a two-mile, three-hour expedition through pastures, a quarry, an airstrip and the 1868 lava fields of Kahuku. Rangers will explain how people lived on the vast Kahuku lands, from the earliest Hawaiians through today. Walk in emerging native forest, hear about Kahuku’s history of violent earthquakes and eruptions and the residents who survived them, and find out how Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park plans to restore the native ecosystem and protect Kahuku’s cultural sites.

The hike is offered Feb. 12, Feb. 18, Mar. 11, Mar. 25, Apr. 15 and Apr. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet near the Kahuku gate, which is located off Highway 11 between mile markers 70 and 71 on the mauka side of the highway. Park and meet inside the gate near the ranch buildings. Boots, raingear and long pants are recommended. No advance registration is required.

Kīpuka‘akihi is a challenging 1.5 mile, five-hour adventure to see some of the rare plants and wildlife that inhabit this treasured kīpuka.

Participants must be prepared to scramble over fallen trees, lava rock, and slippery, wet terrain. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, long pants, sunscreen and a hat. Bring raingear, garden gloves, a day pack, insect repellent, lunch and water. This forest stewardship program provides opportunities to help protect this rainforest by pulling up invasive kāhili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kīpuka.

Due to the fragile nature of the region, the program is limited to 15 people and pre-registration is required. To sign up, call (808) 985-6011.

This expedition into Kahuku’s isolated refuge of rare plants is offered Feb. 26, Mar. 18 and Apr. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet near the Kahuku gate, which is located off Highway 11 between mile markers 70 and 71 on the mauka side of the highway. Park and meet inside the gate near the ranch buildings.