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*Update* He Has Been Located -Big Island Police Searching for Missing Big Island Man Who May Need Medical Attention

3/16/12 UPDATE – He has been located

Big Island Police released the following Nixle report regarding a missing Hilo man who may need medical attention.

Missing person Daniel Spencer, M-33, of Hilo, fair complexion, 185 lbs., 6 foot tall, wearing denim jeans overalls, party last seen on 3-15-12 at about 3:00 pm at Waiakea Villas, Hilo, party may be in need of medical attention.

Party last seen with a caucasian female in her mid 30’s, slim built. Anyone with information on his whereabouts or the identity of the female party is being asked to call 911, or the police non-emergency number of 935-3311. Photo not available at this time.

Red Bull Stratos Project Smashes My Tandem Altitude Skydive Record!

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to go with Skydive Hawaii up to 21,000 feet where I faced temperatures of NEGATIVE 56 Degrees below Zero and set a Hawaii Tandem record for Altitude jumping in a tandem jump.

Well this Red Bull Stratos Skydiver has really topped them all at 71,580 feet, well over three times the height that I jumped at!


On March 15, 2012, Austria’s Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a space capsule from an altitude of approximately 71,580 feet as the Red Bull Stratos project moved forward into the manned flight stage in New Mexico. The 42-year-old rode the space capsule attached to a giant helium balloon above the so-called “Armstrong Line.” The goal of the Red Bull Stratos project is to see Baumgartner attempt a record-breaking freefall from 120,000 feet this summer where he’ll potentially become the first man to go supersonic without the support of a vehicle.

Congressional Candidate Marx Calls War on Women’s Rights a “Battle of Republican Dinosaurs”

Bob Marx, Democratic candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District, calls the present GOP campaign against women’s rights a “Battle of Republican Dinosaurs.”

Bob Marx, speaking to a group of female Democrats on Thursday, declared that “We have not seen such a draconian attack on women’s reproductive rights since the 1960’s and 1970’s. The GOP is trying to take back women’s fundamental right to make reproductive choices. We must not allow this to happen.”

Marx continued, “These ‘Republican Dinosaurs’ are trying to take women’s rights, women’s health, and their economic security. They are not going to stop anytime soon. Hawai‘i must send a Democrat to Congress who will fight them.”

“As your Congressman I will never forget that Patsy Mink’s district is the district of women’s equality, equal rights for all, and concern for women’s issues,” Marx stressed.

“Opponents of the equal rights gains are leveling attacks against American women every single day,” the Hawai‘i Democrat emphasized.”  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents know that looking backward politically to a time when women and their rights were suppressed is wrong for women, men and America,” Democratic candidate Marx stressed.

“We need to come together and rise to the challenge facing women on these issues,” Bob Marx concluded.

Bob Marx’s great Aunt was the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin.

Bob Marx is a Democratic candidate for congress in the 2nd Congressional District.  The district includes Maui County, Hawai’i County, Kauai County, and rural Oahu.


Federal Appeals Court Upholds Limits on Sea Turtle Deaths in Hawaii’s Longline Fishery

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision issued Wednesday, upheld a federal district court settlement limiting the number of loggerhead and critically endangered leatherback sea turtles that can be caught by Hawaii’s longline swordfish fishery. The settlement responded to a lawsuit brought by Turtle Island Restoration Network, the Center for Biological Diversity and KAHEA challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2009 decision to nearly triple the number of sea turtles the fishery could catch. The settlement rolled back the limit to prior levels. Wednesday’s decision rejected an appeal by the fishing industry, which sought to invalidate the agreement.

Courtesy of the Hawai'i Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project

Said Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff: “We’re glad the federal appeals court upheld the temporary sea turtle protections we won with the consent decree, but the high level of sea turtle harm NMFS is now proposing may well be worse than the previous rule.  NMFS seems to be raising the limits to accommodate the longliners rather than to ensure that the species aren’t driven to extinction, as the law requires.”

“Hawaii’s public-trust ocean resources have to be better managed for our collective best interest, and not just the interests of this commercial fishery,” said KAHEA Board President Kealoha Pisciotta. “The 9th Circuit decision is a victory not just for the turtles, but for Hawaii’s people who rely on a healthy, functioning ocean ecosystem. We can’t rest as long as federal fishery managers continue to allow unacceptable levels of harm to the few sea turtles remaining in the ocean.”

Turtle Island Restoration Network, Center for Biological Diversity and KAHEA sued the National Marine Fisheries Service over its decision to increase, from 17 to 46, the number of loggerhead sea turtles the fishery could catch in a year before being required to shut down. At the same time, the Fisheries Service was considering increasing protections for loggerheads under the Endangered Species Act by upgrading it from “threatened” to “endangered.” The plaintiffs and the agency agreed to settle the case by rolling back the number of loggerheads allowed to be caught to 17 while the agency decided whether to uplist the species and prepared a new analysis of the effects of increasing the turtle catch limit on the species’ survival and eventual recovery. Judge David Ezra approved the settlement as a consent decree.

In its appeal, the fishing industry argued that the court lacked the power to issue the consent decree. The appeals court rejected this argument, noting that the consent decree simply offered the sea turtles some protection by reinstating the previous catch limit, while allowing the agency an opportunity to reconsider its position in light of the latest scientific information.

“Our settlement ensures that sea turtles can swim more freely and safely in Hawaii’s waters,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “If loggerheads and leatherbacks are going to survive, we need to stop killing them in our fisheries.”

While the appeal was pending, the Fisheries Service in September 2011 changed the loggerheads’ designation to “endangered.” In January 2012 the agency also issued a new “biological opinion” under the consent decree. That document proposes to increase the number of endangered loggerhead sea turtles the longliners can catch from 17 to 34. It also increases the limit for catching endangered leatherback sea turtles from 16 to 26. Notably, in 2011 the fishery was forced to close after it caught its limit of leatherbacks.

Said Teri Shore of the Turtle Island Restoration Network: “Sea turtles are becoming more endangered, not less, so each one we lose in the longline fishery pushes them closer to extinction. Allowing more sea turtles to be harmed in this high-bycatch fishery makes a joke out of so-called sustainable seafood.”

Swordfish longline vessels trail up to 60 miles of fishing line suspended in the water with floats, with as many as 1,000 baited hooks deployed at regular intervals. Sea turtles become hooked while trying to take bait or become entangled while swimming through the nearly invisible lines. These encounters can drown the turtles or leave them with serious injuries. Sea birds such as albatross dive for the bait and become hooked; marine mammals, including endangered humpback whales and false killer whales, also sometimes become hooked when they swim through the floating lines.