Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Ranger Earns Top Honors for Search-and-Rescue Training

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Law Enforcement Ranger Nainoa Keana‘aina is the first-ever recipient of the Honor Graduate Award from the National Search and Rescue Academy (NSARA).

National Park Law Enforcement Ranger Nainoa Keana‘aina

National Park Law Enforcement Ranger Nainoa Keana‘aina. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson.

The intensive six-week NSARA program was conducted at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 7,000 feet, near Bridgeport, CA. The training provides participants with essential field rescue skills in ground search operations, incident command systems, swiftwater rescue, technical rope rescue, helicopter rescue techniques, remote emergency medical responder training, and more.

Keana‘aina served as class president and incident commander, and was selected by his fellow classmates for the Honor Graduate Award.

“Nainoa exemplified personal leadership skills and a commitment to learning during the intensive six-week academy,” said NARSA Coordinator Ken Phillips. “He is the sort of professional responder that a search and rescue (SAR) coordinator desires to have on a SAR team.”

The physically demanding NSARA training was conducted by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Department of Defense. To broaden inter-agency cooperation, allied and federal agency personnel jointly attended the academy.

 

 

Second Robbery Reported Today in Hilo – Suspects Still at Large

Police are investigating a reported robbery attempt in a Hilo park early Thursday morning (January 31).
HPDBadgeAt about 6:32 a.m., police received a report that an 82-year-old female visitor was walking near the area of Liliuokalani Park on Banyan Drive in Hilo when she was accosted by two male suspects. One of them approached her from behind and attempted to forcibly remove her handbag, causing her to fall to the ground, while the other watched. After their unsuccessful attempt, both suspects fled the area empty handed.

The victim was uninjured and declined treatment.

One suspect was described as in his 20s, approximately 6- feet tall with a slim build. The other was shorter, described as about 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, also with a slim build. Both were wearing dark clothing.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing this investigation, which is classified as an attempted second-degree robbery.

Although the Banyan Drive peninsula is a relatively safe area, police would like to issue an advisory to the public who often frequent the park and surrounding areas during the early morning or late evening hours for exercise—as well as others who may be in the area—to be cognizant of their surroundings. In addition, park users should have a flashlight available during the hours of darkness.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed this robbery attempt or who has any information about it call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Joel Field at 961-2381. Detective Field may also be reached by email at jfield@hawaiicounty.gov.

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 Arrest 23-Year-Old Hilo Woman in Connection with Robbery This Morning

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a Hilo woman in connection with a robbery Thursday morning (January 31) in Downtown Hilo.

Shortly after noon, officers responded to a report of an armed robbery that occurred at 11:50 a.m. at a business at the corner of Keawe Street and Furneaux Lane.

Keawe and Furneaux

They learned that a 33-year-old female employee had been accosted by a woman who displayed a handgun and demanded cash. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money and was seen driving away in a white pickup truck.

Through the license plate number, police determined the identity and location of the person who was driving the truck. At 12:30 p.m., they arrested 23-year-old Tia Nohealani Menino of Hilo on Makaʻala Street in the Hilo industrial area.

She is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed this robbery call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380. Detective Morimoto may also be reached by email at dmorimoto@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 Resident Bryant Tadeo Makes Top 40 on American Idol Season 12

According to spoiler alerts coming out… Big Island’s own Bryant Tadeo has made it to the top 40 in American Idol Season 12.  This means we will be seeing him on national television soon.

Bryant updated his Facebook header today to reflect him moving to the top 40

Bryant updated his Facebook header today to reflect him moving to the top 40 (He’s the one w/ the Shaka)

From the American Idol YouTube site:

From the Big Island of Hawaii, Bryant Tadeo marks his second attempt in becoming the next American Idol. Listen to his story in his own words.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Rf9fhbG7NcM]

And from Wet Paint we learn a little more:

…Such is the case for Hawaii native Bryant Tadeo. He may have been cut in Hollywood last year but, but Bryant has made it all the way to the Las Vegas round, according to a recent spoiler list of the Top 40 contestants for Season 12

Tadeo most recently sang here publicly on the Big Island at a fundraiser for Mitch Roth:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Cb8xYvmEGnE]

UH Hilo’s New Bookstore Opens

UH Hilo held a grand opening ceremony today for it’s brand new bookstore today.

UH Hilo's New Book Store

UH Hilo’s New Book Store

The $4 million, 3,500 square foot store is a new addition to the campus center making it much more convenient then the old location.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Announces New Chief of Interpretation

Park Ranger Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell is the new Chief of Interpretation at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and oversees visitor services and educational and cultural programs at the park. She is the first native Hawaiian to serve in the position.

NPS Photo of Chief of Interpretation, Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell, by Jay Robinson

NPS Photo of Chief of Interpretation, Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell, by Jay Robinson

A 32-year park service veteran, Makuakāne-Jarrell has worked at all five national park units on Hawai‘i Island. She began her career as an Interpretive Ranger at Hawai‘i Volcanoes through the Young Adult Conservation Corps program, and worked her way through the ranks, becoming the park’s Supervisory Ranger. Makuakāne-Jarrell then worked as the Interpretative Specialist at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park with her late husband, Park Ranger Steve Makuakāne-Jarrell, and served as a Law Enforcement Specialist at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site.

“One of my visions for the park is sharing all the traditional Hawaiian names of places here. Hawaiians are very keen observers, and when they name things, it usually tells the story or history of the area. By using these given names, it helps protect, honor, and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture,” Makuakāne-Jarrell said.

Before becoming Chief of Interpretation, Makuakāne-Jarrell served for eight years as the Educational Specialist for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. She coordinates the annual Cultural Festival, now in its 33rd year, and piloted the first Summer Junior Ranger Program. She also started the Nā Leo Manu (Heavenly Voices) concerts, and ‘Ike Hana No‘eau cultural workshops at the park.

“Joni Mae brings an ideal combination of perspective into the important position of Chief of Interpretation,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Her strong background of Hawaiian values and culture, combined with her leadership skills and dedication to the park’s mission, and significance as a World Heritage Site, will serve the park and its visitors very well.”

Measure Introduced to Ban Smoking on ALL Hawaii Beaches Statewide

HB325, introduced by Rep. Kani­ela Ing (D, Kihei-Wai­lea-Makena), would amend Chapter 328J of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to prohibit smoking on all beaches in the state.

Click to see bill

Click to see bill

“Maui is known for our world-renown beaches.  In addition to the health risk to smokers and risks caused by second hand smoke, cigarette butts are still one of the primary causes of litter on Maui.” said Representative Ing.  “I introduced this measure to keep our beaches clean and ensure that both residents and visitors are able to enjoy their beach-going experiences and keep their children safe.”

Last year, Community Work Day program’s three-hour “Get the Drift and Bag it” event brought together over 1,200 volunteers that collected over 7,600 cigarette butts on Maui.  Additionally, national surveys indicate that Hawaii reports between 15 and 30 cases of children ingesting cigarette butts each year.  According to a poll conducted by the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii 73% of respondents supported smoke-free beaches.

Ing sees this bill as a chance to facilitate discussion and see where the community currently stands on this issue. “I encourage emails and phone calls to my office and promise that all will be read and considered wholeheartedly before pushing forward this piece of legislation.” said Ing.

“The Hawaiian Tattoo” Now Available in Waimea

The traditional Hawaiian art of “kākau” (tattooing) all but disappeared in the 1800’s, under missionary influence.  However, thanks to writers and artists like P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski and Tom O’o Mehau, their imagery and legacy have been preserved for future generations.

Kwiatkowski first self-published “The Hawaiian Tattoo” in 1996.  The new edition, by Mutual Publishing Co., Honolulu, revives the popular, readable reference, dwindling copies of which were commanding four-digit prices.  Recreated with the same vivid intricacy as the first, the book is now more affordable and available to a wider reach.

By P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski and illustrated by Tom O’o Mehau

By P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski and illustrated by Tom O’o Mehau

Inspired by Bishop Museum resources—drawings of first-contact artists such as Webber, Choris and Arago, skin images of mummified remains, and kapa designs—Kwiatkowski details the history of various tattoo patterns, including deep religious or other significance.  Mehau’s distinctive illustrations bring the tattoos, and their stories, to life.

“The Hawaiian Tattoo” may be purchased at Mama’s House Thrift Store or Gallery of Great Things in Waimea, and will be available for sale at the February 16th “Pride in Hawaiian Arts” event at Kahilu Town Hall, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, and visitors can enjoy a variety of cultural artists in two- and three-dimensional media, Hawaiian music and hula.  WAG artists, including Mehau, will be on hand to share their works in bone and wood carvings, fine arts, and more.

Waimea Artists’ Guild (WAG) is an association of professional artists whose intent is to produce art and promote education in their community.  Part of The Pantry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, of which WAG and Mama’s House Thrift Store are components.  For additional information, contact: Beth or Tom Mehau at The Pantry, 887-2289.

Officials Looking at Highway 130 Today

I just drove by Highway 130 and Kapoho Road intersection near Pahoa High and Intermediate School and I noticed a bunch of folks on the side of the road.

H130 Pahoa Map

I parked my car at the school and then crossed the street to ask what they were doing as they were obviously looking at the intersection and many of them had safety vests on.

At first I thought it was all State workers but then I noticed Kevin Dayton from Mayor Kenoi’s Office and I asked him what was going on.

State and County officials were looking at Highway 130 this afternoon.

State and County officials were looking at Highway 130 this afternoon.

Dayton said that the group was looking at the entire 9.5 miles of Highway 130.  He also once again mentioned the round-a-bout at Malama Market intersection and then mentioned something briefly about the Ainaoloa Intersection but I didn’t quite catch what he said.

I’m not sure why the State was looking at the Highway…. AGAIN!

I was with the KPAG group of COMMUNITY MEMBERS that did the Highway tour thing with State Officials a few years ago:  A Field Tweet Down Highway 130

Wordless Wednesday – Crazy Guys Fly Off Cliffs on Oahu

UPDATE: I forgot to mention to WATCH THE ENTIRE CLIP FOR A FEW SURPRISES!

This video is a compilation put together of some flights and a speed-BASE jump.  The flights all occurred on Oahu at different locations

“Speed Flying”, more technically classified as “Paragliding”,  down these mountains is not recommended for folks that do not know what they are doing.

WORDLESS:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/h7gkP97uvMA]

Mahalo to the folks at SkyDive Hawaii for showing me the video!

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 22-Year-Old Hilo Woman

1/30/13 6:07 pm *UPDATE* She has been located

Big Island police are searching for a 22 year-old Hilo woman reported as missing.

Lea Devaney

Lea Devaney

Lea Devaney was last seen in Hilo on Sunday (January 27). She is described as Cacausian, 5’ 4” tall, 100 pounds, having a slim build with shoulder length brown hair usually tied into a bun and green eyes. She may frequent the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Subdivision in Ka‘u or the Kona areas.

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.

Mamalahoa Highway Bypass Now Open 24/7

The Mamalahoa Highway Bypass is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide much-needed traffic relief to the families of South Kona.countylogo

The bypass is located midway between the shoreline and Mamalahoa Highway. The bypass starts at the southern edge of Keauhou and runs approximately three miles to the bottom of Haleki’i Street in Kealakekua’s Kona Scenic subdivision.

The Mamalahoa Highway Bypass first opened in 2009 under a temporary agreement with 1250 Oceanside Partners, the developer of Hokuli’a. Initially, the bypass was only open in one direction for limited hours. Even under those conditions, the alternate route provided alleviated traffic congestion and frustration. The agreement later allowed for two-way traffic for longer hours.

“We’re happy to announce that this much-needed bypass is now permanent,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “It is yet another important piece of infrastructure critical to improving the traffic situation for the people of West Hawai’i.”

1250 Oceanside Partners conveyed all of its right, title and interest from the Ali’i Drive entrance to the Haleki’i Street intersection to the County in December 2012. The 4,284 feet of Haleki’i Street from Mamalahoa Highway Bypass to Muli Street was conveyed to the County in November 2012.

In preparation for opening the bypass 24/7, the Department of Public Works completed improvements to the bypass, including paving the shoulders, installing guardrails, removing a speed hump, restoring the road at the Ali’i Drive entrance, removing stop signs and striping turn lanes at the Haleki’i Street intersection. Signs prohibiting bicycles, pedestrians, mopeds, vehicles over three tons and scooters were removed. The 45 mph posted speed limit on the bypass and the 25 mph limit on Haleki’i Street will remain.

A large portion of the South Kona community works in either North Kona or South Kohala and commutes daily along Mamalahoa Highway. The two-lane bypass gives motorists an alternate route between North and South Kona. Opening this bypass was one of Mayor Kenoi’s priorities upon taking office in December 2008. The Mayor was personally involved in talks with Mauka Kona residents to insure that the opening of this bypass helps meet the critical need for the transportation infrastructure in West Hawai‘i.

“The more we improve our island’s road infrastructure and mass transit system, the less time our working people will be spending in traffic, and the more time they will be spending at home with their families,” said Mayor Kenoi.

Future plans include extending the Mamalahoa Highway Bypass from the intersection with Haleki’i Street to the junction of Mamalahoa Highway and Napo’opo’o Road.

 

House of Representatives Takes First Step to Address the Public Land Development Corporation

The House Committee on Water and Land has scheduled a hearing on Saturday, February 9, 2013 regarding the abolishment of the Public Land Development Corporation or alternatives to achieve the original intent to generate revenue from public land.

Legislature Logo

In response to public frustration over the manner in which the Public Lands Development Corporation was created, how its rules were promulgated, the broad powers granted to the organization, and the lack of public input and participation in that process, the House Committee on Water and Land  will be hearing bills that will either repeal the Public Land Development Corporation altogether, amend, or start from scratch and create a new agency that will provide far greater community input and oversight.

“As the Chair of Water and Land I am approaching the issue from the standpoint of repeal,” said Rep. Cindy Evans (District 7, North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “The PLDC cannot exist as is, something has to change; however, I am open to options and the most compelling argument will move forward.”

Rep. Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona) Vice-Chair of the Committee on Water and Land stated, “My community has expressed serious concerns about the PLDC, particularly about exemptions from planning, zoning and environmental laws. This legislation was passed with very little public oversight the first time around, and, this time, the public deserves to have a voice in the political process.”

“The people I have spoken with on Maui who understand the implications of PLDC support a full repeal. While I recognize the need for increased DLNR revenue and improved public land efficiencies, we must achieve these goals without posing a threat of undermining public input or skirting environmental regulations” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (District 11, South Maui). “The people, especially on the neighbor islands, are saying “try again” – we, as lawmakers, need to listen to them.”

 

Hawaii Lawmaker Takes Swift Action in Response to Near Tragedy in Kalihi

Early yesterday morning, two boulders tumbled down the side of a mountain, damaging a home on Nobrega St. in Kalihi Valley. Gerald Abella was sleeping in his bed at 4:45 a.m., when a 3 foot by 5 foot boulder crashed through his bedroom wall, coming within inches of hitting his head.

This boulder just narrowly missed killing someone!

This boulder just narrowly missed killing someone!

Before the day was over, Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi) had visited the scene, talked to the family, and drafted a letter to William Aila Jr, Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, urgently requesting a survey of any potential risks associated with the hillside in the future.

Yesterday’s event was similar to last year when 5 boulders rolled down the mountainside over Kalihi Valley and damaged several homes at Kula Kolea Place. In the immediate aftermath of that natural disaster, Vice Speaker Mizuno personally delivered a letter to the Governor requesting State assistance in mitigating, stabilizing and/or removing unstable rocks above Kula Kolea Place. The Governor listened and the situation was addressed properly, promptly, and effectively.

“We’ve been in this position before and used that experience to take appropriate and timely action in the wake of yesterday’s near catastrophe. I’m requesting the DLNR to conduct a survey of any potential future risks associated with the hillside as well as to exercise all means of ensuring the safety and well-being of area residents,” said House Vice Speaker John Mizuno. “Our number one priority is to keep more boulders from crashing into homes on Nobrega St., but we have also begun to work with the DLNR to take a proactive approach in preventing similar occurrences throughout Kalihi Valley in the future.”

 

State Takes Proactive, Collaborative Approach to Possible Boeing Strike

The House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, in conjunction with the Committees on Labor and Tourism, held an informational briefing regarding a possible engineer strike at the Boeing Company and the potential impact, if any, it may have on the State of Hawaii.

Legislature Logo

CPC Chair Angus McKelvey headed a panel that included Reps. Derek Kawakami, Mark Nakashima, Tom Brower, Romy Cachola, and Gene Ward. The panel was rounded out by Ray Goforth, Executive Director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and Jeannine Souki of the Airlines Committee of Hawaii.

The SPEEA, which represents the personnel involved in the labor dispute, and Boeing are at odds over a new wage and benefits package. Boeing’s first offer was overwhelmingly rejected and the SPEEA has expressed significant concerns with the latest proposal. The next vote will be on February 15th and if the two sides do not agree, the SPEEA could possibly go on its third strike in history.

Among some of the possible issues discussed at the briefing were what effects, if any, the disruption could have on Aircraft On Ground support services, the impact the strike in 2000 actually had on the visitor industry, as well as the percentage of Boeing aircraft in the airline fleets that serve the state.

“I was pleased to see the HTA and the airlines in close communication to ensure that our visitors to Hawaii will have the confidence that their travel experience will be as seamless and enjoyable as possible,” said McKelvey. “Our proactive course of action will hopefully result with Hawaii being in a position to see as minimal disruptions as possible to our visitor industry, should this come to pass.”

 

 

Big Island Police Searching for 20-Year-Old Washington Man Reported Missing

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 20-year-old Washington man who was reported missing.

Alexander Adams

Alexander Adams

Alexander Adams of Lyle, Washington, was last seen January 11 at North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital.

He is described as 5-foot-8, 150 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He may be in the company of 25-year-old Johanna Kibrick of Portland, Oregon.

Police ask that anyone with information on his 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.

1/30/13 *UPDATE*  According to Oregon Live:

…Souther said no foul play is suspected “at this time” but said that Adams apparently doesn’t have a cell phone and “there’s no way to contact him.

“We do have people who come here to Hawaii that just backpack around and sometimes it takes awhile to track them down,” Souther said.

Kawaihae, the community where Adams was last seen, is near the northwestern corner of the island of Hawaii. Souther described it as a harbor area that is not heavily populated.

“We’re just following up leads as far as the last places he was know to be, using his bank cards and what not,” Souther said.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Puna Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Puna girl who was reported missing.

Keahi Javine

Keahi Javine

Keahi Javine was last seen in her Keaʻau neighborhood on January 19.

She is described as 5-foot-1, 116 pounds with brown 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.

 

Hawaii-Based Marines Test Green Waste Disposal Technology at PTA on Mauna Kea

On an island world-famous for its chain of active volcanoes, Marines are harnessing extreme heat to test a process that could become the future of military waste management.

The science advisor for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, supported by the MarForPac Experimentation Center, demonstrated a green, rubbish-reducing technology here Jan. 25.

“It’s not burning,” said Ben Tritt, the MarForPac science advisor for Office of Naval Research. “It’s gasification under a very controlled environment, and it’s much cleaner than burning … It’s (also) a self-sustaining process.”

Pvt. Dylan Bolt, a mortarman with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, operates the tablet-like interface on the MAGS (Micro Auto Gasification System) here Jan 25, as part of Exercise Lava Viper. MAGS is being tested by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Experimentation Center to determine whether it is a viable waste management solution for Marines operating out of austere environments. The machine is capable of handling the daily waste disposal needs of approximately 1,000 troops, converting 95 percent of the waste to gas, which is then used to fuel the process. Bolt, 21, is from Prosser, Wash.  Photo By: Cpl. Ben Eberle

Pvt. Dylan Bolt, a mortarman with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, operates the tablet-like interface on the MAGS (Micro Auto Gasification System) here Jan 25, as part of Exercise Lava Viper. MAGS is being tested by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Experimentation Center to determine whether it is a viable waste management solution for Marines operating out of austere environments. The machine is capable of handling the daily waste disposal needs of approximately 1,000 troops, converting 95 percent of the waste to gas, which is then used to fuel the process. Bolt, 21, is from Prosser, Wash. Photo By: Cpl. Ben Eberle

The machine behind the magic is called MAGS (Micro Auto Gasification System), and perhaps the most impressive aspect of the technology is its simplicity.

Operators start MAGS with diesel fuel, bringing the inside of its insulated drum to temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The machine is then “fed” trash at a rate of approximately 50 pounds per hour, turning 95 percent of it into gas which is used as fuel to sustain the process. The remaining 5 percent is converted to inert ash which can be safely disposed of in landfills, or mixed with compost, asphalt or cement. One machine is capable of meeting the daily waste disposal needs of approximately 1,000 troops.

“It not only (handles) mixed solid waste – trash that you would typically throw away – but we’ve also done some testing with petroleum, oil and lubricants,” said Tritt. Virtually the only materials MAGS cannot “digest” are glass and metal, which the system leaves intact and sanitizes so they can be easily recycled.

Aside from the obvious environmental and health benefits of reducing landfill usage and burn pits, MAGS and similar waste-to-energy technology can be operated expeditiously in austere and remote environments.

Wherever Marines go, MAGS can follow. This provides an economic benefit by greatly reducing the amount of waste that needs to be shipped from the forward operating base to the nearest disposal site.

The benefits are plentiful and the technology is state-of-the-art, but does it take a scientist to operate?

“Actually, it’s simple enough that a scientist can operate it,” joked Tritt. “It’s kind of like running an iPad.”

During Exercise Lava Viper, a field training exercise currently taking place at PTA, several Hawaii-based Marines gained firsthand experience with the MAGS. They agreed that the system was easy to use.

“The best thing about this machine is not having to load all our trash into Humvees and other vehicles to get it out of our training site,” said Lance Cpl. James Russell, an electrician with Combat Logistics Battalion 3, and Poughkeepsie, N.Y. native. “(Technology like this) will cut down on burn pits, and it’s easy to clean. All you need is a broom and dustpan and you’ll get it done in an hour … she’s good to go.”

So MAGS is self-sustaining, environmentally friendly, highly transportable, reduces waste disposal costs, and it minimizes the amount of time a Marine spends with his broom and dustpan. Unlike the Big Island’s majestic volcanoes, this type of waste-to-energy technology won’t inspire any postcards, but there are at least a few reasons to get excited.

 

45-Year-Old Man Dies in Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Collision in South Kona

A 45-year-old Captain Cook man died Monday (January 28) from injuries he received in a motor vehicle/motorcycle collision on Route 11 south of the 109-mile marker in Captain Cook, South Kona.

HPDBadgeResponding to a 7:35 p.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that the motorcyclist was operating a 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle and traveling south on Route 11 when he rear-ended a 2005 Toyota pickup truck stopped in traffic to make a left turn onto Seiganji Mission Road.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 35-year-old woman from Captain Cook, and her four-year-old son were not injured.

Fire Department rescue personnel took the motorcyclist to Kona Community Hospital, where he died at 7:56 p.m.

The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet.

Police believe that speed and alcohol were factors in this crash.

The name of the motorcyclist is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of the next of kin.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask that anyone with information about this crash call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 7th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with none at this time last year.

(The fatality count was reduced by one because one person in a previous crash died from a medical condition.)

 

2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival Coming Up

It’s where you can feast on rich, creamy chocolate to your heart’s content! Satisfy all your chocolate cravings—and more—at the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) Saturday, March 23, 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

The highlight of the decidedly decadent festival is the colorful and tasty 5:30-10 p.m. gala with tempting sweet and savory chocolate creations prepared by top island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.  Savor a friendly culinary competition where you can vote for People’s Choice in a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.  Also enjoy live entertainment by LT Smooth; dancing; fine wines and hand-crafted ales; plus a silent auction.

“We are delighted to be the host hotel for the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival,” shared Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais. “To be a part of such a wonderful event in partnership with the Kona Cacao Association is an honor and a privilege, not to mention the delicious culinary creations from Hawai‘i Island’s best chefs.”

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc., BICF benefits the $1 million “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Other chocolatey fun includes daytime cacao farm tours and compelling educational demonstrations by chocolatiers and cacao farmers. Learn about what it takes to grow the bean that makes chocolate—and why Hawai‘i is the only state that commercially grows cacao—plus how to turn cacao, or cocoa, into the coveted “food of the gods.”

A veritable Who’s Who in the world of chocolate—both locally and nationally— has been invited to serve as celebrity culinary judges and educational presenters. Last year’s inaugural event headlined “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City as a celebrity judge.

Ticket sales for Hawai‘i’s premiere chocolate event start January 1 and early-bird gala tickets are $60 until 100 are sold.  After that, presale tickets are $75, then $85 at the door. Tickets will also be available at Kona Wine Market and Kona Pacific Public Charter School. For event details and online tickets, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

A special event rate of $309/night for Garden View accommodations including daily breakfast for two is offered at The Fairmont Orchid. Contact reservations for details at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of this new association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.