What Was That RIMPAC? It Just Blew Into Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island

A Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) from the USS Essex (LHD 2) blows into Kawaihae Harbor as part of the RIMPAC training operations going on in Hawaii. July 17, 2012.

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The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a class of air-cushion vehicle (hovercraft) used as landing craft by the United States Navy’s Assault Craft Units and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). They transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force both from ship to shore and across the beach.

Handicapable Tandem Skydiver Jumps From Plane and Lands in Wheelchair

As most readers of my site know… I’m a bit crazy and love to go skydiving every now and then.

Today out at Dillingham Airfield, Skydive Hawaii did a tandem jump with a former Big Island resident named Damon Boiser who is “handicapable“.

Damon Boiser about to take a jump of a lifetime!

There are no laws or rules that prevent someone in Boiser’s condition from skydiving and the folks at Skydive Hawaii were well prepared to take him up.

Getting some assistance into the plane

Boiser wrote on his Facebook account:

Insanity!!! Richard saw my chair in the field from way up in the sky and said, “Lets land you right in your chair.” And did!! Perfectly!! You guys are absolute pro’s and nothing but first class all the way! Mahalo loa! Aloha :)

Superman?

Boiser let me know that he broke his neck when he lived in Kona on the Big Island diving at Magic Sands beach.  He is still active in Akido and Shotokan Karate where he is working to become a Sensei to instruct other disabled folks.

Richard (the person he jumped with) was incredible and so was photographer Knox. I sat right next to the door and was the very first to jump. (It was for my friends birthday, Keoki Copeland.) Any ways we rolled out backwards did a double back flip into free fall. The air was so wonderful and crisp. Surprisingly i didn’t have the slightest sensation of fear. It felt like boyhood dreams of being Superman, (I wrote a letter to Christopher Reeves back when I broke my neck in 2003). Then Knox the photographer flew over to us and we horsed around in air. I actually played Karate and sparred with him. We play fully blew a kiss as we separated to deploy our shoot. The flight down was gorgeous. As it turned out Richards god mother or childs godmother was my Hawaiian teacher up at Kamehameha. Small world. Then he landed me in my chair. Absolutely amazing. He did it all bare feet too.

A perfect landing!

I’m definitely going back. I used to be a surfer, then I played music semi professionally. Now that I no longer can, maybe I’ll be a skydiver.

Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hōkūle’a and the World Wide Voyage

His Holiness the Dalai Lama conducts a blessing of the earth and a consecration of Hōkūle’a and her World Wide Voyage.

Amid traditional Hawaiian chants and ceremonies at an ancient and sacred site, the occasion is captured with powerful symbolism and personal moments.

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Fair Wind Excursions Now Offering Snuba Option

Hawaii Island’s award-winning ocean activities company, Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides, has introduced Snuba to their line-up of ocean fun.  Snuba, a combination of “snorkel” and “scuba,” is an underwater breathing system developed by Snuba International. It requires no prior dive experience or certification.

“Snuba was created for anyone with an ability to swim who may want to experience breathing underwater,” explained Penn Henderson, Fair Wind’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “It is perfect for couples, families, children eight years and older and seniors; anyone who wants to add to their Fair Wind adventure.”

Following a 15-minute safety briefing with a skilled, certified Snuba Guide, participants use swimfins, a dive mask, weights and a diving regulator with an air source from a raft at the surface. Snuba is a great way for a certified diver to introduce non-certified partners to the underwater breathing experience and a fun way to see Hawaii’s Technicolor marine life from beneath the ocean’s surface.

Snuba allows participants to dive two feet, ten feet, or twenty feet; whatever they may be comfortable at. A Snuba guide is with them the entire time.

Snuba is available aboard Fair Wind II Cruises to Kealakekua Bay. Guests sign up on board with the Snuba Guide and cost is $69 per person. Visit www.Fair-Wind.com or call 808-322-2788 to learn more.

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Hawai‘i Health Connector Releases Request For Proposal for IT Development

The Hawai‘i Health Connector seeks proposals from qualified bidders for the construction of its online marketplace for health insurance. As stated in Governor Neil Abercrombie’s declaration letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, Hawai’i’s intent is to implement a non-profit State-based Exchange, and the Connector is seeking solutions supporting this initiative.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build a system that will make health insurance more transparent and available” said Coral Andrews, executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector. “We look forward to reviewing proposals from local and national vendors who can support our efforts in this groundbreaking initiative.”

Interested companies can find the request for proposal (RFP) as well as information about the Connector’s activities online at www.hawaiihealthconnector.com. The downloadable RFP and detailed instructions can be found under the “Public Notices” section of the website. The direct link to the RFP is http://www.hawaiihealthconnector.com/Public_Notices.html

Procurement Schedule

Public notices about the RFP will run in the daily papers for all islands.

Questions about the RFP should be directed to Kathy Mitchell via email: Kathy@hawaiihealthconnector.com

The Hawai‘i Health Connector is the online health insurance exchange for Hawai‘i. The Connector was established as a non-profit organization in 2011 by the state legislature through Act 205, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. The Connector’s aim is an online marketplace that is Hawai‘i-for-Hawai‘i, one that takes into account the State’s unique culture and works with the Prepaid Health Care Act, an employer mandate for health insurance coverage in effect since 1974. For more information, visit www.hawaiihealthconnector.com.