The Twelve Days of Christmas… Hawaiian Style

Santa Christmas

With 12 days left to Christmas, I thought I would present to you the most viewed YouTube video on the Hawaiian version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”:


Stay Safe USS Cheyenne – Submarine Leaves Pearl Harbor With My Heart Still On Board

A year ago yesterday, I had the opportunity to get a private tour of the Fast-Attack Submarine the USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), and today I’m saddened to be learning that it is leaving Hawaii for a six-month deployment.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Dec. 13 for a scheduled six-month deployment to the Western Pacific region.

Commander Rogeness and I infront of the USS Cheyenne Submarin

Commander Rogeness and I infront of the USS Cheyenne Submarine

Cheyenne’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Noel J. Gonzalez, commented the crew is eager and excited to get underway.

“I am extremely happy with the crew’s enthusiasm, eagerness, and motivation to accomplish our tasking,” said Gonzalez.

At the helm of the USS Cheyenne

At the helm of the USS Cheyenne

Gonzalez said the crew has anxiously waited for the day to deploy after having spent months preparing and training for the missions they will soon undertake. From different weather patterns to deployed operational tasking, Cheyenne will face many challenges during deployment that are not normally encountered in the local operating area.

For many on the crew, including Electronics Technician 3rd Class Sean Michael Dziuvenis, this will be a first deployment.

“It’s going to be a long time away from homeport, not talking to my family and friends, but I’m looking forward to the port visits and seeing the world,” said Dziuvenis.

Inside the sub

Inside the sub

Along with accomplishing the mission, the deployment will provide an opportunity to gain experience for many on the crew to include watchstanding, and submarine qualifications.

“This is without a doubt the best-trained crew in the Pacific Fleet and they are ready to complete any mission,” said Cheyenne’s Command Master Chief Michael Hinkle.

In the Sioux language, Cheyenne means "aliens" or "people of foreign toungue".  The Sioux Indiangs gave the name "Cheyenne" to the Indian tribe that roamed the plains in this region.  The crew of the USS Cheyenne earned the Commander, Submarine Squadron SEVEN Battle Efficiency "E" Award in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007.

In the Sioux language, Cheyenne means “aliens” or “people of foreign toungue”. The Sioux Indiangs gave the name “Cheyenne” to the Indian tribe that roamed the plains in this region. The crew of the USS Cheyenne earned the Commander, Submarine Squadron SEVEN Battle Efficiency “E” Award in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Commissioned September 1996, USS Cheyenne is the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Cheyenne, Wyoming, and is one of the most capable attack submarines in the world. She can launch Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles as well as Mark-48 torpedoes.


3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Fern Forest Area of the Big Island Today – No Tsunami Generated


Magnitude 3.3
Location 19.320°N, 155.131°W
Depth 8.6 km (5.3 miles)
  • 17 km (10 miles) S (180°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 18 km (11 miles) SE (143°) from Volcano, HI
  • 20 km (12 miles) S (188°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 35 km (22 miles) SW (223°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI
  • 43 km (27 miles) S (186°) from Hilo, HI
  • 358 km (222 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.8 km (0.5 miles); depth +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
Parameters Nph= 50, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.12 sec, Gp=122°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=2
Event ID hv60440981


Over 100 Attendees Gather for “Growing Koa in Hawai’i Nei” Symposium

The Hawai’i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) announced today that 110 people attended the “Growing Koa in Hawai’i Nei” Symposium held at Kilauea Military Camp (KMC) in Volcanos National Park on November 16th. Over 40 of them participated in the tour of Keauhou Ranch, Ka’u the following day.

Koa Symposium Keauhou Ranch Tour participants in koa stand

Koa Symposium Keauhou Ranch Tour participants in koa stand

The symposium brought together landowners, foresters, students and others interested in growing koa, for a day of panel discussions and presentations to promote sustainable forestry practices and to share the latest research on koa reforestation in Hawai’i.

“We are very pleased with the interest shown in Hawai’i’s koa industry by business owners, forestry professionals, students and other participants,” said Heather Simmons, HFIA Executive Director. “Attendance exceeded our expectations. We are encouraged by their commitment to protect, preserve and grow Hawai’i’s most popular indigenous hardwood and one of the most valuable timbers in the world,” Simmons stated.

Symposium highlights included:

  • An opening cultural protocol, “Koa mo’ōlelo,” by Cheyenne Hiapo Perry, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance Coordinator.
  • Keynote speech by Dr. Charles Michler, Director of the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) at Purdue University, Indiana and the Tropical HTIRC in Hawai’i. His compelling presentation addressed ways to take advantage of genetic variation that exists within koa trees for a desired suite of traits and discussed research being conducted in Hawai’i.
  • A koa mapping exercise and a preliminary report of the “Distribution of Koa Growers Survey,” by Julie Gaertner, graduate student in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science program at University of Hawai’i (UH) Hilo.
  • “2020: A Clear Vision” group goal setting plan for koa forests in the year 2020, facilitated by Mike Robinson, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Property Development Agent and HFIA Director, assisted by Peter Simmons, HFIA Director and former Regional Land Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools.

The Keauhou Ranch tour included visits to a 3 to 6-year old koa plantation and to various koa stands where trials are being conducted by Kamehameha Schools on koa stand thinning. Led by Kamehameha Schools’ Land Asset Manager and forester Kama Dancil, Forest Solutions foresters Thomas Baribault, Ph.D. and Nicolas Koch, and University of Hawai’i’s forester J.B. Friday, Ph.D., the tour provided an excellent example of large-scale koa forest restoration.

Matching young-growth koa end tables by Ron Hester displayed at symposium.

Matching young-growth koa end tables by Ron Hester displayed at symposium.

Symposium sponsors included the County of Hawai’i Department of Research & Development, Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW), Awapuhi Farms & Mill, Hawaii Forest & Trail, and DHHL.

More information about the event, speakers, and planning committee can be found on the Symposium webpage. Results of the koa mapping and goal setting exercises along with a video of the talks will be posted on the site after the first of the year. Learn more about the young-growth koa study at the Young-growth Koa Study webpage.


2013 Waimea Ocean Film Festival Coming Up – GoPro Joins Ocean Film Fest

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers a stellar lineup of films and special guests for 2013. The festival headlines several TEDx and TED global speakers; world, US and Hawai’i premieres; plus a non-stop schedule of stunning and thought-provoking films, breakfast talks and special cultural exhibits and events. The festival runs January 3-11, starting at Waimea and Kohala Coast venues before moving to Four Seasons Resort Hualālai with the first showing at the resort the evening of January 7.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival

Each year, the festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture. The 2013 event opens on January 3 with a tribute to the late Jake Eberts, including a compilation of his work, and the showing of the latest film he produced, Hidden Beauty/Wings of Life, presented by director Louie Schwartzberg.

Producer Paula Dupré Pesmen and director Jeff Orlowski will be on hand during the festival to talk about the making of Chasing Ice, currently under consideration for a 2013 Academy Award nomination. Jon Shenk joins the festival for a discussion of The Island President, along with some 30 other filmmakers and speakers, traveling from as far away as New Zealand, Norway and the UK.


Ocean Film is pleased to welcome M. Sanjayan as a guest speaker on ocean health. Sanjayan is a CBS correspondent on science and environment, a chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy, has appeared on NBC’s Today Show and David Letterman, was a TED Global 2010 speaker, has hosted documentaries for the Discovery Channel, BBC, and National Geographic TV, and is one of 20 senior advisors to the Clinton Global initiative.

Among the other outstanding festival speakers, Ocean Film presents Noah Idechong, founding executive director of the Palau Conservation Society and the elected speaker of the Palau National Congress, to elaborate on the Palau experience in reversing the deterioration of its reefs and depletion of its fisheries to become one of the world’s leading dive destinations. Dr. Adam Pack, associate professor at UH-Hilo, will share his 18 years of studying the behavior and biology of humpback whales in their Hawaiian breeding and calving grounds. Alan Cohen, inspirational author and featured speaker in the film Finding Joe, will speak about the work of Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey, while Louie Schwartzberg, whose presentation on gratitude was the most popular TEDx talk of all time, will discuss gratitude at the festival, along with a showing of the film with the same name.

GoPro joins Ocean Film in 2013 Creative Director Bradford Schmidt talks about the beginnings of GoPro, the evolution of the camera’s capabilities and design and what it’s like to work with the world’s most versatile camera. GoPro athletes Jaime Sterling, Alana Blanchard and Monyca Byrne Wickey join the festival for a “Best of GoPro” evening January 3.


Other festival activities include an exhibit and presentation on the 2013 worldwide voyage of Hokulea, the artist works of Christian Enns and Becky Holman, a Barela Art Gallery reception, a cultural evening featuring a talk on wayfinding under the stars January 9, the Taste of the Island culinary event January 6, and a book signing with Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, the real “Gidget,” who will talk about the book written by her father that started it all, Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas. Participants can begin the day with sunrise yoga on the beach or outrigger canoe lessons, power up with coffee at the morning breakfast talks and then head out for a day of thought-provoking film and discussion.

A still frame from "Hokulea: Passing the Torch" one of the films shown last year.

A still frame from “Hokulea: Passing the Torch” one of the films shown last year.

Selections and film synopsis from the 2013 film line up include:

  • Chasing Ice / USA (Jeff Orlowski* Paula DuPré Pesmen*)
  • Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul / USA (Phil Arnone*)
  • The Endless Winter / UK (Matt Crocker, James Dean)
  • Finding Joe / USA (Pat Takaya Solomon) Alan Cohen* for Q&A
  • Gauchos del Mar / Argentina (Joaquín Azulay & Julián Azulay)
  • Going Vertical AUS (Poppy Walker)
  • Gratitude / USA (Louis Schwartzberg*)
  • Hidden Beauty/Wings of Life USA (Louis Schwartzberg*)
  • The Island President / USA (Jon Shenk*)
  • Jaws: Changing the Game / USA (Wangdu Hovey*)
  • Naked Ambition / UK (Joe Wihl, Oliver Gray)
  • Nona Beamer: A Legacy of Aloha / USA (Linda Kane*)
  • North of the Sun / Norway (Inge Wegge*, Jørn Ranum)
  • There Once was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho / New Zealand (Briar March*)
  • The Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom / USA (Lucy Walker)
  • Under African Skies / USA (Joe Berlinger)
  • Waking the Green Tiger / Canada (Gary Marcuse)
  • The Water Tower (Pete McBride)
  • 2012: The Beginning (Shannon Kring Buset*)

*Filmmakers attending Ocean Film and leading a discussion

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel are offering discounted rates to attendees purchasing a festival pass.

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival thanks all 2013 Film Festival partners. Mahalo to Go Pro, San Disc Foundation, Four Seasons Resort Hualālai, The Fairmont Orchid, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hapuna Prince Resort, West Hawaii Today, Big Island Weekly, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), Big Island Brewhaus, Redwater Cafe, Parker School, Merrimans, gaiacreative, Ke Ola Magazine, Joe Fagundes III (Kona Law), Maile Charters, Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures, and Starbucks Coffee.

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook,, or visit

TICKET INFORMATION – Waimea and Four Seasons film passes for the festival are on sale now.  Passes may be purchased online or by calling the festival office at 808.854.6095.


BOE Member Sends Letter to Okabe: “Why does HSTA refuse to meet until January 11, 2013?”

Former Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) President Jim Williams yesterday sent a letter to current HSTA President Wil Okabe asking for clarification on Mr. Okabe’s recent public statements on negotiations.

President Wil Tanabe

President Wil Tanabe

Mr. Williams currently serves on the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) and is chairman of the Human Resources Committee. He is one of the two Board votes on the Employer negotiations team, and has participated in negotiations since joining the board in April 2011.

“Less than two years ago you as (HSTA) president and I as (HSTA) Executive Director worked together to put an end to the “Furlough Friday” fiasco that was the biggest issue before us as I began my service,” wrote Mr. Williams. “Now, as a voting member of the Employer negotiations team and a member of the Board of Education, I feel compelled to ask you some questions about the current negotiations between HSTA and the Employer and related to the teacher demonstrations that are being held periodically.”

On December 10, 2012, after HSTA did not accept the state’s settlement offer the State made a proposal to HSTA for increased salaries. This proposal for “Salaries (“2nd Amended Proposal ‘W”) represents the same financial package offered as part of the December 5 settlement offer. This proposal represents $49 million of new compensation from state general funds and is $11 million more than any previous offer made by the State or considered by teachers. The salary breakdown is:

  • Two percent raises for all teachers in each year of the contract: July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014;
  • Restoration of the temporary five percent wage reduction in teacher compensation currently in place;
  • Restoration of full work year of 190 days (elimination of days of Directed Leave Without Pay), and
  • Future pay increases, starting July 1, 2015, will be subject to an evaluation rating of “effective” or “highly effective” based on evaluations beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

Since the last negotiation meeting on December 10, 2012 this offer for increased compensation has been “on the table” for review and discussion by HSTA leaders and its members.

“At the conclusion of our discussions on December 10, after HSTA stated its unwillingness to accept the Employer settlement offer, the Employer spokesperson formally handed across the table a revised salary proposal including the same 2% (both years) pay increases that were in the settlement proposal,” wrote Mr. Williams. “Did the HSTA negotiations team inform you of the amended salary proposal? If you were informed, how can you say that the Employer withdrew our proposal, when virtually everything in the settlement offer, including the salary change, remains on the bargaining table?”

The state remains committed to negotiating with HSTA as soon as possible to reach a resolution that results in a ratified contract. The state proposed to continue negotiations on December 19, 20, and 21; however, HSTA did not agree to meet until January 11, 2013.

Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander Population Expected to Nearly Double, from 706,000 to 1.4 Million by the Year 2060

The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. These projections of the nation’s population by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, which cover the 2012-2060 period, are the first set of population projections based on the 2010 Census.

“The next half century marks key points in continuing trends — the U.S. will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority,” said Acting Director Thomas L. Mesenbourg.

Furthermore, the population is projected to grow much more slowly over the next several decades, compared with the last set of projections released in 2008 and 2009. That is because the projected levels of births and net international migration are lower in the projections released today, reflecting more recent trends in fertility and international migration.

According to the projections, the population age 65 and older is expected to more than double between 2012 and 2060, from 43.1 million to 92.0 million. The older population would represent just over one in five U.S. residents by the end of the period, up from one in seven today. The increase in the number of the “oldest old” would be even more dramatic — those 85 and older are projected to more than triple from 5.9 million to 18.2 million, reaching 4.3 percent of the total population.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Baby boomers, defined as persons born between 1946 and 1964, number 76.4 million in 2012 and account for about one-quarter of the population. In 2060, when the youngest of them would be 96 years old, they are projected to number around 2.4 million and represent 0.6 percent of the total population.

A More Diverse Nation

The non-Hispanic white population is projected to peak in 2024, at 199.6 million, up from 197.8 million in 2012. Unlike other race or ethnic groups, however, its population is projected to slowly decrease, falling by nearly 20.6 million from 2024 to 2060.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Meanwhile, the Hispanic population would more than double, from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. Consequently, by the end of the period, nearly one in three U.S. residents would be Hispanic, up from about one in six today.

The black population is expected to increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million over the same period. Its share of the total population would rise slightly, from 13.1 percent in 2012 to 14.7 percent in 2060.

The Asian population is projected to more than double, from 15.9 million in 2012 to 34.4 million in 2060, with its share of nation’s total population climbing from 5.1 percent to 8.2 percent in the same period.

Among the remaining race groups, American Indians and Alaska Natives would increase by more than half from now to 2060, from 3.9 million to 6.3 million, with their share of the total population edging up from 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent. The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population is expected to nearly double, from 706,000 to 1.4 million. The number of people who identify themselves as being of two or more races is projected to more than triple, from 7.5 million to 26.7 million over the same period.

The U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. While the non-Hispanic white population will remain the largest single group, no group will make up a majority.

All in all, minorities, now 37 percent of the U.S. population, are projected to comprise 57 percent of the population in 2060. (Minorities consist of all but the single-race, non-Hispanic white population.) The total minority population would more than double, from 116.2 million to 241.3 million over the period.

Projections show the older population would continue to be predominately non-Hispanic white, while younger ages are increasingly minority. Of those age 65 and older in 2060, 56.0 percent are expected to be non-Hispanic white, 21.2 percent Hispanic and 12.5 percent non-Hispanic black. In contrast, while 52.7 percent of those younger than 18 were non-Hispanic white in 2012, that number would drop to 32.9 percent by 2060. Hispanics are projected to make up 38.0 percent of this group in 2060, up from 23.9 percent in 2012.

Other highlights:

  • The nation’s total population would cross the 400 million mark in 2051, reaching 420.3 million in 2060.
  • The proportion of the population younger than 18 is expected to change little over the 2012-2060 period, decreasing from 23.5 percent to 21.2 percent.
  • In 2056, for the first time, the older population, age 65 and over, is projected to outnumber the young, age under 18.
  • The working-age population (18 to 64) is expected to increase by 42 million between 2012 and 2060, from 197 million to 239 million, while its share of the total population declines from 62.7 percent to 56.9 percent.
  • The ratio of males to females is expected to remain stable at around 104.7 males per 100 females for the population under the age of 18. For the population age 18 to 64, the ratio of males per 100 females is projected to be 98.9 in 2012 and increase to 104.1 in 2060. The ratio for the population age 65 and over is also projected to increase, from 77.3 males per 100 females in 2012 to 84.4 in 2060.

Supplemental population projections, based on constant, low and high projections of net international migration, are planned for release in 2013.


Noted Author/Professor to Speak on Economic Impact of Energy at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a free public lecture on the economic impact of rising energy costs by Syracuse University Professor Charles A.S. Hall. The address, entitled “Peak Oil, EROI and Your Financial Future in Hawaiʻi,” is scheduled for Friday, January 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in UCB 100.

Professor Charles A.S. Hall

Professor Charles A.S. Hall

Hall, the author of Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy, will explain how high energy prices reduce discretionary incomes by using the concept of Energy Return on Investment (EROI).

The event is sponsored by the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) and Chancellor Don Straney. For more information about Hall, visit .


Big Island Police Arrest Third Suspect in Connection With Kona Robbery

Hawaiʻi County police have arrested and charged a third suspect in connection with a robbery in a parking lot at Aliʻi Sunset Plaza in the early morning of November 26.

Kainoa Bryan

Kainoa Bryan

At 12:40 p.m. Tuesday (December 11), police arrested 21-year-old Kainoa Bryan of Kealakekua. At 4 p.m. Wednesday (December 12), Bryan was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, fourth-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (December 13).

A 26-year-old Kealakekua man reported that after he met a local man at bar, the man took him to the northwest corner of the parking lot to meet with five or six males. They punched and kicked the victim and stole his backpack before fleeing on foot.

The victim was treated at Kona Community Hospital for a fractured jaw and minor cuts and scrapes.

Police continue to ask for help from anyone who witnessed the attack or saw the victim talking with a local male in the Coconut Grove area. The victim was wearing shorts and a striped tank top and was carrying a backpack.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238.

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.