County of Hawaii Announces the Release of the Hawaii County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline

Mayor Billy Kenoi and the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development today announced the release of the Hawai’i County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline, a study of where we are to inform future conversations about growing our own food.

The Hawaiʻi County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline 2012 was prepared to establish a baseline for measuring future progress in the area of County food self sufficiency.  The project collected a range of existing information to help inform Hawaiʻi County residents and policy makers about the current status for local food production on the island.  It also mapped the current status of agricultural production islandwide utilizing the resources of the Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Lab at UHH.  It is the first report of its kind in the State of Hawaiʻi and offers some useful insight into the nature of local food production, where it takes place, what factors propel or constrain it and what actions can be taken to promote it.

Summary of Food Consumption Patterns

Hawaiʻi County Food Self Sufficiency Scorecard

The above scorecard graphic summarizes the current state of local food production by major food groupings:

  • Roughly 95% of all fresh milk sold on Hawaiʻi Island comes from the two local dairies.  All raw Hawaiʻi Island milk is sold to Meadow Gold and is packaged at their Railroad Ave. plant for multiple brands including Mountain Apple, Lucerne, Best Yet and others.  No organic milk is produced on the island and only a small portion of other dairy products, primarily half and half comes from local sources.  A portion of locally produced fresh milk is shipped to other islands for retail sales and bulk processing in Honolulu.
  • 17% of the fresh beef sold commercially on the island comes from local ranchers.  Hawaiʻi Island ranchers produce roughly twice the number of cattle needed to feed the island’s population but most are shipped to the mainland for fattening and market. Additionally some of Hawaiʻi Island’s beef is shipped to Oahu as hamburger and specialty cuts of grass fed beef.
  • Less than 5% of the pork and none of the chick or eggs consumed on the island come from local commercial sources. Informal sources of local eggs are available in neighborhoods and at Farmers Markets.  Wild pigs and other game animals account for an estimated 400,000 pounds of meat annually in the informal food supply.
  • Macadamia nuts represent roughly 5% of the total nut protein consumed on island.  The Island produce more than 6 times the total average annual demand for this protein source but macadamia is just a small portion of our local nut consumption.
  • 51% of the fish purchased commercially in the State of Hawaiʻi comes from Hawaiian waters.  This number comes from a 2012 CTAHR study that counted commercial and recreation catch numbers statewide.  Under reporting and non reported recreational fishing may increase this number on Hawaiʻi Island.  Some fish is exported to HNL and other markets as well.
  • Base on 2008 numbers, when the State stopped collecting most agricultural statistics, 34% of the State’s vegetables and 32% of its fruits consumption is produced locally.  Hawaiʻi Island also exports much of its fruit production and significant amounts of its vegetable and sweet potato production within the state and internationally.  There are significant amounts of both vegetables and fruits that are sold at Farmers Markets and other outlets that are no accounted for in these numbers.
  • Locally produced vegetable starches like taro, sweet potato, cassava and other crops amount to less than 10% of total starch consumption.  Nearly 12 million pounds of sweet potato are exported to the West Coast annually
  • None of Hawaiʻi’s grain consumption is produced locally.
  • There is also a significant amount of consumption that comes from informal sources that cannot be tracked.  Farmers Markets, neighborhood sharing, back yard farming and ranching, recreational fishing and hunting all contribute an immeasurable amount of food to local families and are reflected in the scorecard as additional production that exceeds available statistics.

Crop Land Summary

The Baseline study provides detailed maps of the existing agricultural activity in each region on Hawaiʻi Island.

  • In aggregate, there are approximately 42,700 acres in crop production (excluding commercial forestry), half of which is in macadamia nuts, the bulk of which is exported.  Only about 10,400 acres (24%) are in vegetable and fruit production and a significant portion of this production (papaya, tropical fruit, sweet potato and vegetables etc.) is grown for export elsewhere.
  • Pasture takes up roughly 600,000 acres on the island with productivity that varies by rainfall, location, management techniques etc.  Building a grass fed beef industry to support local beef and other meat producers will require improvements to local slaughter facilities, committed local ranchers and strong support from consumers to select local grass fed beef at a price that can sustain its production.
  • Crop production varies from region to region and each district has its own set of unique forces and resources that help to define the kinds of agricultural production that takes place in each area.  The report provides a summary of regional production and discusses the context in which that production takes place and the contribution each area can make in terms of future food self sufficiency.

County Real Property Taxes

The report provides several maps and supporting data to summarize the state of current agriculture based on the real property tax records for Agricultural Use and Dedication Programs.  These programs effect over 600,000 acres island-wide and result in $34 million dollars in tax saving to landowners.  Real Property Tax benefits for agricultural use is the single largest tool the county has to encourage local food production and the current system could be more clearly focused to accomplish that goal.

Irrigation Systems

The current state of the five dedicated agricultural water systems on the island is summarized in the report along with a map of properties that draw agricultural water from the domestic system operated by the County Department of Water Supply.  DWS is currently the largest daily provider of irrigation water islandwide serving a disperse group of farm activities.  The largest single user of irrigation water on the island is the Natural Energy Laboratory at Keahole Point who provides fresh water to multiple aquacultural businesses.

Ocean Resources, Subsistence Hunting and Honey Bees

The report summarizes useful data related to ocean resource management and emphasizes the need for local actions to insure cooperative management for sustained use of the ocean commons that surround the island.  It also summarizes available hunting data and tries to define the volume of meat taken from the forest and mauka lands to support the food needs of local families.  The role of commercial honey bees is discussed and their importance in the food system is also discussed.

Accessing the Baseline Study

A link to the Baseline study is available for public review at The link will provide a viewable copy of the report and a full digital version for printing purposes. Individual maps and Figures from the report are available on the site as well.

Also on the website is an interactive ArcGIS Explorer Online version of the agricultural mapping database.  This data is accessible to anyone with a computer and internet access.  It will provide an interactive map of Hawaiʻi Island that will display the location of active crop lands in 2012.

The Hawaiʻi County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline 2012 was prepared for the Hawaiʻi County Department of Research and Development by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Geography and Environmental Studies Department and Island Planning.  The principal authors were Jeffrey Melrose and Dr. Donna Delparte.

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Big Island Police Seeking Female 911 Caller Who Reported Dead Man in Volcano

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a female caller who made a 9-1-1 call on May 3 to report a deceased person at a home in Volcano.

The caller made the report but her identification was not obtained.

Responding officers discovered the body of 52-year-old Patrick Barrionuebo at his home on Paʻaliʻi Street.

The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest. Autopsy results are still pending.

Police request that the 9-1-1 caller or anyone who knows her identity contact Detective Norbert Serrao by phone at 961-2383 or by email at

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.

Honolulu Zoo Chimpanzee Scares the Crap Out of Tourists

This has to be the funniest video you will see in a long time.

These tourists at the Honolulu Zoo were filming this chimpanzee… and well I’ll just let you see what happens:


This is what was said on the clip:

While visiting the Honolulu Zoo, the twins found this chimpanzee playing a game of peek-a-boo with his audience. He had a twist surprise ending though. An ending that they did not like one bit!

Big Island Police Blame “Crunk” Overdoses in Four Deaths Since 2009

I had never heard of the term “Crunk” until this morning when I learned that Big Island Police have blamed being “Crunk” on four deaths since 1991.

Crunk: This is a verb that means to get high and drunk at the same time.

KCTV5 out of Arizona reported:

“…In January, a Hawaii man, Chucky Dias Oliveira made the headlines after he died in his sleep after drinking the concoction called “Crunk.”

“When they don’t understand the dangers of it, they’re more willing to take the risk. And we see the effects of it,” Hawaii Police Dept. Det. Ian Lee Loy said.

Crunk is referred to in rap music and urban slang. It means a lot of things, including a drink that mixes soda or other beverage with an over-the-counter cough syrup and crushed prescription pain killers.

Crunk produces an intense rush that’s proven dangerous.

Leonard Feliciano, director of adolescent services with the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, said a frightening fact is Crunk is growing more popular with teenagers and kids…

They then went onto say:

“…Imagine that kind of person behind the wheel of a car, driving down the road not being able to respond to a traffic signal, or someone turning in front of them or a pedestrian,” Lee Loy said.

Big Island police blame Crunk overdoses for four deaths since 2009. The toxicology report from one of the victims shows evidence of pain pills mixed into a Crunk cocktail.


“They think because it’s prescription it must be safe. It might have a dosage that might be harmful to them,” Lee Loy said…

There is also a criminal level in being “Crunked”:

…Big Island police have linked Crunk to DUI’s and other crimes. And now it’s moved on campus. Some students are pushing pain killers.

“We’ve received information that kids in middle school and as young as elementary school are in possession of these prescription medications,” Lee Loy said…

You can read the full article here – Crunk: Deadly Over the Counter Cocktail

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on Social Security and America’s Retiring Population

Bob Marx believes Social Security is an essential program that America’s retiring population counts on for economic stability.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Forty percent of Americans aged 65 or older depend on Social Security to keep them from slipping below the poverty line. Despite the essential nature of the program, funds for retirees are running out.

Many view Social Security as a fund or retirement account that is tied to the individual contributor. This is not how the program actually functions. Rather, employee taxes are used to pay benefits directly to current retirees, and current payees depend on the next generation of employees to pay for their retirement benefits. The problem with Social Security’s sustainability stems from the current economic climate—higher unemployment, lower wage growth, and a 3.6% cost of living increase translate to full Social Security benefits running out in 2033—a mere 21 years from now.

Bob Marx, neighbor island candidate for Hawai‘i’s Second Congressional District, remarked on the need for Social Security reform Tuesday, commenting that “now more than ever we need to ensure our kupuna are taken care of.” Social Security is in dire need for reform—the program took in $691 billion in tax revenue in 2011, $45 billion short of the Social Security’s $736 billon in expenses. To continue paying 100% of benefits past 2033, the combined employer-employee tax rate would have to be raised 4.3% from 12.4% to 16.7%.

The problems with Social Security extend further than its potential inability to pay future benefits. The employer-employee combined tax rate burdens the employee rather than the employer. Faced with a higher tax rate, employers stay competitive by reducing employee wages to offset the higher taxes. Marx noted, “The problem [with any reform] will be preventing employers from pushing the costs onto workers… [which will] further depress our economy.”

Bob Marx has been adamant about the need to ensure our elderly are taken care of. At an event in downtown Hilo, Marx spoke with residents about the need for social security reform. “Our elderly have more expenses than ever and poverty is a real possibility.” When asked about what he would do if elected, Marx replied: “I will ensure the stability of our retirees and ensure all of our social welfare programs are solvent well into the future.” Marx proposed raising funds to pay for Social Security by increasing taxes on non-earned income. “Taxes on capital gains and dividend earnings are lower than they were 10 years ago—and look at the resulting situation our economy is in.”

As the Federal Government’s largest expenditure, Social Security is a program that is an essential public service. In this economic climate, much focus is on cutting costs and inevitably, cutting corners. “Services such as Social Security are the product of our government’s responsibility to retirees,” stated Marx. “We should prioritize those most in need, ensuring that they can retire above the poverty line.”

National Hepatitis Testing Day Friday – Hawaii Department of Health Giving Away Free Shots

National Hepatitis Testing Day will be observed in Hawai’i on Friday, May 18, 2012.

In collaboration with Hep Free Hawai’i, the Hawai’i State Department of Health (DOH) clinics and other community-based sites are offering free hepatitis screenings to the public on Friday, May 18 to encourage people to find out their hepatitis B and C status. National Hepatitis Testing Day events will also help to raise awareness and support improvements in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for people living with chronic viral hepatitis B and C.

“Often called the silent epidemic, most people with hepatitis B or C don’t have symptoms for many years,” stated Loretta Fuddy, A.C.S.W., M.P.H., DOH Director of Health. “People with hepatitis B and C shouldn’t wait until they feel sick to be tested because there are many things, including treatment, they can do to take care of themselves before they become ill. The earlier people know they have hepatitis, the better the outcome.”

According to DOH Immunization Branch estimates, 1 percent to 3 percent of people in Hawai’i have hepatitis B, and approximately 23,000 are living with hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and C are the most common known causes of liver cancer in Hawai’i, and Hawaii has the highest rate of liver cancer in the U.S. “Many people with hepatitis B and C get liver damage or cirrhosis from the disease, which can be minimized by making healthy choices such as not drinking alcohol,” said Fuddy.

Hepatitis B and C are spread through contact with blood and body fluids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that anyone who has been exposed to blood through needle use, blood transfusion, non-sterile equipment, or tattooing should be tested for both hepatitis B and C. Anyone born in a country with high rates of hepatitis B, especially countries in Asia and the Pacific, should be screened for hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is easily spread from mother to child through contact with blood and other body fluids.

Not all sites will offer hepatitis B testing. Individuals can call Aloha United Way 211 or go to to find the free screening location nearest them.

For more information about National Hepatitis Testing Day, go to For more information about hepatitis resources and events in Hawai‘i, go to

2012 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races – Schedule and Information

Where do the world’s best ocean paddlers gather every Labor Day Weekend? In Kona, Hawai’i at the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races.

The world’s largest outrigger canoe races, hosted by Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, launch on Saturday, September 1 and continue through Monday, September 3, 2012 with expert paddlers from around the world competing in hotly contested races.

And while the competition is fierce throughout the holiday weekend, the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races are rooted in a higher purpose – to perpetuate Hawai’i’s vibrant canoe culture.

Outrigger canoes have been a primary source of transportation throughout the history of Pacific Islanders. Today, traditional outrigger canoe racing is a very popular sport in Hawai’i and other Pacific nations. In fact, the popularity of outrigger canoe racing has spread to nearly all Pacific Rim countries, Europe and Central and South America.

Early Days

How did the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races get started?

In the 1950s, the precursor to the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races was an outrigger canoe race held on O’ahu, from Ke’ei Beach around Diamond Head and over to Kailua Beach. Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club hosted that race and their crew, coached by Frank Enriques, beat out the other crews that included some very good crews from Hilo. Two decades later, when Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club created the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races, this same 18 miles is the race distance they had in mind.

Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club started what was then-called the Queen’s Race in 1972 as a training race leading up to the Moloka’i Hoe, the renowned open ocean race from Moloka’i to O’ahu. Louis Kahanamoku, the fifth of six brothers of the legendary water sports family whose most famous member was three-time Olympian Duke Kahanamoku, and his wife Mary Jane acted as General Chairman and Race Secretary. It was Louis who proposed to name the race after Queen Lili’uokalani since her birthday is celebrated on September 2.

The inaugural Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Race was a men only race, starting in Kealakekua Bay and finishing at Kailua Pier. The first race attracted eight 6-man crews. Two years following, the women’s division was added and the course was set with women racing from Kailua Bay to Honaunau, and then the men bring the race back – racing from Honaunau to Kailua.

2,500 Paddlers Now Gather from Around the World

Today, the 41st annual Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races embrace and celebrate Hawai’i’s ocean heritage. The Races draw more than 2,500 competitors from around the world who arrive in Kona to race the 18-mile open ocean course.

Several events unfold throughout the three-day weekend:

Saturday, September 1

  • Wa’a Kaukahi (races for single hull canoes)
  • Awards Ceremony
  • Torchlight Parade

Sunday, September 2

  • Wa’a Kaulua (races for double hull canoes)
  • OC1 (one person) & OC2 Races (two person)
  • Stand-up Paddleboards
  • Teen (single hull canoes)
  • Hawaiian luau

Monday, September 3

  • Ali’i Challenge (a blend of Survivor and Amazing Race with single hull canoes – 12 person crew)

New to the sport of outrigger canoe races? Single hull outrigger racing canoes carry six paddlers; double hulls carry 12. Add these traditional words to your vocabulary and you’ll sound like a pro in no time: wa’a (canoe, the very same word in Hawaiian, Tahitian and Maori), ama (outrigger float on the canoe), hoe (start paddling), huki (dig) and huli (flip the canoe – not what you want to do in racing).

Not a paddler? No problem. There’s plenty to do including Thursday’s “talk story” cultural walk through Historic Kailua Village. Walk with noted historians who will share rich history of the village including ancient Hawaiian cultural sites like Ahuena Heiau, Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church. Throughout the weekend check out the cultural craft and ocean fair and on Saturday, Blue Sea Cruises and Body Glove are offering spectators and race crews shuttle cruises. This is a great way to watch the race without getting wet and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful Kona coast.

The 2012 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races are sponsored in part by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, County of Hawai’i, Queen K Tesoro, Steinlager, OluKai, Ocean Paddler Television, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Hulakai and numerous corporate and community donors.

For more race information, including a detailed slate of events, photos, history and contacts, visit

Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races

Summary of Overall Winners Past Five Years

  • 2011 Overall Men        Livestrong #1               Iron Open NK   1:52:26
  • 2011 Overall Women   Kalihi Kai                    Iron Open NK   2:12:172
  • 2010 Overall Men        Team Primo                Iron Open NK   1:53:56
  • 2010 Overall Women   Waikiki Beach             Iron Unlimited  2:08:52
  • 2009 Overall Men        Team Primo #2                       Iron Open NK   1:52:34
  • 2009 Overall Women   Hui Lanakila #2                       Iron Open NK   2:12:16
  • 2008 Overall Men        Team Livestrong #2     Iron Open NK   1:54:06
  • 2008 Overall Women   Waikiki Beach             Iron Open NK   2:05:47
  • 2007 Overall Men        Tui Tonga                   Iron Open NK   1:43:42
  • 2007 Overall Women   Hui Lanakila                Iron Open NK   2:18:39

The Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races (QLCR) kicks off each Labor Day holiday weekend. The world’s largest long distance canoe race is organized and hosted by Kai Opua Canoe Club, started 1929 in Kona.

QLCR includes an 18-mile long distance single hull canoe race for men and women crews, double-hull canoe races, stand-up paddleboard races, OC1, OC2 and Teen long distance canoe races. The Ali’i Challenge,a blend of Survivor and Amazing Race, includes a paddling distance of almost 17.5 miles followed by each crew of 12 negotiating a land course. Other Queen Lili’uokalani events include International Paddlers Night, Torch Light Parade through Historic Kailua Village, Queen Lili’uokalani Awards Ceremonies and a traditional Hawaiian Luau.

The Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Race is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Queen K Tesoro, Steinlager, OluKai, Ocean Paddler Television, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Hulakai and numerous corporate and community donors.

Census Bureau Releases More Data – Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population Grew by 2.9 Percent

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a set of estimates showing that 50.4 percent of our nation’s population younger than age 1 were minorities as of July 1, 2011. This is up from 49.5 percent from the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010. A minority is anyone who is not single-race white and not Hispanic.

The population younger than age 5 was 49.7 percent minority in 2011, up from 49.0 percent in 2010. A population greater than 50 percent minority is considered “majority-minority.”

These are the first set of population estimates by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex since the 2010 Census. They examine population change for these groups nationally, as well as within all states and counties, between Census Day (April 1, 2010) and July 1, 2011. Also released were population estimates for Puerto Rico and its municipios by age and sex.

There were 114 million minorities in 2011, or 36.6 percent of the U.S. population. In 2010, it stood at 36.1 percent.

There were five majority-minority states or equivalents in 2011: Hawaii (77.1 percent minority), the District of Columbia (64.7 percent), California (60.3 percent), New Mexico (59.8 percent) and Texas (55.2 percent). No other state had a minority population greater than 46.4 percent of the total.

More than 11 percent (348) of the nation’s 3,143 counties were majority-minority as of July 1, 2011, with nine of these counties achieving this status since April 1, 2010. Maverick, Texas, had the largest share (96.8 percent) of its population in minority groups, followed by Webb, Texas (96.4 percent) and Wade Hampton Census Area, Alaska (96.2 percent).

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHPI)

  • The nation’s Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population was 1.4 million in 2011 and grew by 2.9 percent since 2010.
  • Hawaii had the largest population of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders of any state (359,000) in 2011. California had the largest numeric increase since 2010 (9,000). Hawaii had the highest percentage of NHPI (26.1 percent).
  • Honolulu had the largest population of NHPI of any county (235,000) in 2011. Los Angeles County had the largest numeric increase since 2010 (2,700). Hawaii County had the highest percentage of NHPI (34.0 percent).

Full article here: Most children under the age of 1 are minorities, Census reports

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island Last Night

Magnitude 3.0
Location 19.405°N, 155.264°W
Depth 1.6 km (~1.0 mile)
  • 6 km (4 miles) SSW (211°) from Volcano, HI
  • 16 km (10 miles) WSW (242°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) WSW (239°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 38 km (24 miles) SSW (209°) from Hilo, HI
  • 341 km (212 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 24, Dmin=1 km, Rmss=0.07 sec, Gp= 68°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Event ID hv60344451