Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Kīlauea Man

The Coast Guard suspended its search at approximately 6 p.m. Friday, for a 55 year old man who went missing after he was presumed to have entered the waters off Ninini Beach, Kauai, Tuesday.The search began at approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday when it was reported that Scott Akina had not returned home from his usual workout near Kalapakī and Nawiliwili Bays.

The Coast Guard, Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Police Department, Ocean Safety Bureau and the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement have searched an area over 6,200 square miles using aircraft, cutters, small boats and shore personnel.

“The decision to suspend a search is one of the hardest we have to make,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Shannon Gilreath, Sector Honolulu’s acting commander. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Akina during this difficult time.”

The Pathfinder for Maritime Search & Rescue

The Pathfinder for Maritime Search & Rescue

The Coast Guard deployed crews aboard MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, an HC-130 Hercules airplane, the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ahi, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a vessel from the local volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-15 Kauai.

The Coast Guard also used self locating datum marker buoys and a Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System to determine the search area of highest probability for locating Akina.

For more information regarding the search, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

University of Hawaii Announces 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The University of Hawai‘i Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service for the benefit of UH and the community. This year’s honorees will be recognized on Tuesday, May 14, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel at a dinner in their honor. The Honorable Daniel Akaka is honorary chair of our 25th annual event. The honorees are:
Distinguished Alumni 2012
2013 Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Edwin Gayagas (BEd ’62 Mānoa) – Community Service Volunteer and Retired U. S. Army Officer
  • Alden Henderson, PhD (BS ’77, MPH ’82 Mānoa) – Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Patrick Sullivan, PhD (MS ’81, PhD ’85 Mānoa) – Chairman & Founder, Oceanit
  • Barbara Tanabe (MBA ’83 Mānoa) – Owner & Managing Partner, Ho‘ākea Communications

2013 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award

  • David Ezra, JD (Attended Mānoa) – Senior United States District Judge

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner or UHAA, contact the Alumni Relations office at (808) 956-2586, toll-free 1‑877-842-5867 or, or visit

Hawaii Department of Education Honors 32 Schools Today for Extraordinary Achievements

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today honored 32 schools for extraordinary achievements at the first annual Strive HI Awards ceremony. The awards ranging from $12,500 to $100,000 recognize schools for significant academic progress for two consecutive years and represent a one-time grant to further improvement efforts.

The ceremony was held this morning at King Intermediate School, one of the high-achieving schools. The Strive HI Awards were presented by Governor Neil Abercrombie, Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Schools Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe.

“We are proud to be able to financially recognize the hard work of the teachers, students and staff of these schools,” Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi said. “The Strive HI Awards reflect that the department is not only focused on intervention in current priority schools, but also encourages other schools across the islands to keep striving high.”

The following schools earned the highest single awards of $100,000 for exiting “restructuring” – a sanction under the No Child Left Behind law – by meeting annual progress goals for two consecutive years:

  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • King Intermediate School
  • Moanalua Middle School
  • Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School (Oahu)
  • Waters of Life Public Charter School (Hawaii Island)
From left to right: King Intermediate Principal Sheena Alaiasa, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, State Sen. Jill Tokuda, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Donald Horner, and Castle-Kahuku Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert at the Strive HI Awards ceremony.

From left to right: King Intermediate Principal Sheena Alaiasa, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, State Sen. Jill Tokuda, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Donald Horner, and Castle-Kahuku Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert at the Strive HI Awards ceremony.

Awards of $50,000 were given to two elementary schools exiting restructuring, Benjamin Parker and Nanakuli.

“I want to congratulate the principals, teachers, staff, and students at these Strive HI schools for leading the charge in transforming our public education system,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “They are setting an excellent example by showing what can be achieved when everyone strives higher toward a common goal.”

The Strive HI Awards also celebrated schools that ranked in the top 5 percent in the state for reading or math growth, providing grants of $12,500 for each subject area – or $25,000 for schools reaching the mark in both subjects. These high-performing schools are boosting student reading and/or math proficiency at the fastest pace among all Hawaii public schools.

On top of exiting restructuring, Nanakuli won an extra $25,000 for finishing in the top 5 percent in both reading and math growth, bringing its total award to $75,000. Parker, which also left restructuring, earned an additional $12,500 for ranking in the top 5 percent in math, for a combined award of $62,500.

Four other schools also finished in the top 5 percent in both categories and earned $25,000: Thomas Jefferson Elementary on Oahu, King Kekaulike on Maui and Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate and Keaau High on Hawaii Island.

Schools receiving $12,500 each include:

  • Aliamanu Elementary (Math)
  • Haaheo Elementary (Math)
  • Haleiwa Elementary (Reading)
  • Hokulani Elementary (Reading)
  • James Campbell High (Math)
  • Kahakai Elementary (Math)
  • Kanoelani Elementary (Math)
  • Kanuikapono Learning Center Public Charter School (Reading)
  • Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino (Reading)
  • Keaau Middle (Math)
  • Kealakehe High (Math)
  • Kilohana Elementary (Math)
  • King William Lunalilo Elementary (Math)
  • Kohala High (Reading)
  • Kula Kaiapuni O Anuenue (Reading)
  • Lanakila Elementary (Math)
  • Manoa Elementary (Reading)
  • Maunawili Elementary (Reading)
  • Pahoa High & Intermediate (Math)
  • Red Hill Elementary (Reading)
  • William P. Jarrett Middle (Reading)

The award money must be used for upgrades at the schools, which could include the purchase of technology infrastructure, musical instruments, science lab and equipment, as well as other academic/financial plan-approved expenditures.

“Receiving recognition for the work that we, as educators, goes a long way,” said King Intermediate Principal Sheena Alaiasa. “We believe in educating our future, we believe in our talents and abilities to teach, and more importantly, we believe in our children. To have this honor bestowed upon our school is affirmation that we are on the right track and that we have made a difference.”

The DOE’s “Strive HI” campaign reflects the department’s commitment to transform public education in the 50th state by preparing students for success, leading education transformation and building a brighter future.

Strive HI award funds are part of the state’s Race to the Top (RTTT) federal grant received in 2010. U.S. education officials recently removed Hawaii from the RTTT “high-risk” status for progress in two specific areas, which cover standards, assessments, and data system development and use. Next year’s Strive HI Awards will be based on each school’s performance under the state’s new accountability system metrics that go into effect in the 2013-14 school year.

Hawaii Joins the Nation in Recognizing ‘Invasive Species Awareness Week’

Events Begin with Governor’s Proclamation at the Capitol

For the first time, the State of Hawaii will participate in National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW), observed from March 4 to 10. Gov. Neil Abercrombie will kick off “Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week” (HISAW) with a proclamation on March 4 at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Auditorium.

I caught this Jackson Chameleon the other day in my yard.  These are invasive to our islands and can do a lot of harm to our ecosystem

I caught this Jackson Chameleon the other day in my yard. These are invasive to our islands and can do a lot of harm to our ecosystem

Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) Co-Chairs Russell S. Kokubun, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, and William J. Aila, Jr., Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, will receive the proclamation.

“Invasive species impact our natural resources, food security, health, cultural heritage, economy and way of life, and we must build our capacity to address these challenges,” said Gov. Abercrombie, who has made this issue an administration priority by encouraging his cabinet to work across departments as members of the HISC.

The HISC is coordinating a series of events and activities in recognition of HISAW with HISC member agencies and partners, including the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, county-based Invasive Species Committees, Hawaii Conservation Alliance, Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network, and The Nature Conservancy.

· HISAW Kickoff at the Capitol, March 4, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Capitol Auditorium

Governor’s Proclamation: The public is invited to join Governor Abercrombie in commencing Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week. HISC members Dr. Maria Gallo, Dean of UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and Gary Gill, Deputy Director of the Department of Health’s Environmental Health Administration, will offer opening remarks.

HISC Awards Ceremony: HISC will honor individuals, agencies, organizations and businesses that have made a difference in protecting Hawaii from invasive species. Members of the Legislature will present the awards in the categories of Above and Beyond, Business Leader, Community Hero, County MVP’s, and Greatest Hit of 2012. See full list of winners and honorable mentions at

People across the state can easily participate in HISAW online by joining the special Hawaii Bioblitz “mission” to find out what’s living in their backyard. The public is invited to take and submit photos of plants and animals anywhere in Hawaii and post them to the Project Noah website or via mobile app. More than 30 local experts have volunteered to help the public identify the plants and animals in their photos and whether they are native, non-native or invasive species. For more information and instructions on how to participate, go to:

· Volunteer Events: March 210 (statewide)
Visit the HISAW website at for a full list of volunteer activities across the state. Opportunities include:

Removing invasive species at Lyon Arboretum (March 9)

Pulling invasive algae from Oahu’s fishponds (March 9)

Working to restore the forests of Keauohana on Hawaii Island (March 2 & 9)

Pulling weeds in the Alakai bog on Kauai (March 7)

Other events including contests and educational opportunities.

Chair Kokubun called upon the HISC to organize Hawaii’s first Invasive Species Awareness Week in concurrence with NISAW. “It is important for Hawaii to be engaged at a national level so that we can partner with federal agencies and other states to safeguard Hawaii’s biosecurity,” Kokubun said.

“Hawaii has unique challenges and successes in addressing invasive species. Islands are especially vulnerable to invasive species,” said Chair Aila. “But we also have the opportunity to more effectively prevent and manage invasive species on islands because of our isolation.”

Administration bills propose enhanced funding for lead agencies and partners through conveyance and barrel taxes and a proposed 10 cent fee on single-use grocery bags.

To learn more about HISAW, visit

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) is a cabinet-level interagency collaboration mandated by Chapter 194, Hawaii Revised Statutes. It is co-chaired by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture with additional voting members from the Departments of Health; Transportation; and Business, Economic Development and Tourism; as well as the University of Hawaii. The HISC approves an annual budget to support invasive species prevention, control, and public outreach projects across the state.

Coffee Berry Borer Bill Passes House, Moves to Senate

The House passed HB353 HD1, introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen, which would appropriate funds to address the infestation of the coffee berry borer beetle, a pest that is causing widespread damage to coffee crops on the Big Island.


In recent years the coffee berry borer beetle has been ravaging coffee farms in the Kona area, with over 90% of coffee operations on Hawaii Island being affected. Help is clearly needed for an industry that is responsible for $30 million in revenue annually, and help is on the way. The bill, which will now advance to the Senate for consideration, would appropriate $300,000 in State funds to be matched by an additional $200,000 from federal or other sources.  When added to current federal funds of $330,000 already granted and another $200,000 that the State DOA has committed to, it adds up to a total of just over $1 million in state and matching funds over the next four years.

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

“Our farmers need help in dealing with the coffee berry borer beetle before it decimates the Kona coffee industry,” said the bill’s introducer, Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau). “The final draft that we sent over to the Senate provides the industry with the aid it desperately needs in a manner that is fiscally responsible, and I plan to keep working hard to secure additional funds in the future.”


54th Annual Hawaii Island Billfish Tournament Information

This iconic big game fishing tournament built on prestige and strict International Game Fish Association (IGFA) rules for world records starts fishing on August 3rd and continues through August 10, 2013 in Kona, Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii

For five days, teams fish the famous waters off the Kona coast aboard some of the finest sport fishing vessels with captains who have built reputations around the world for catching big fish. Prized and powerful Pacific blue marlin are caught or tagged and released along the Kona coast every day. Occasionally, these famous waters produce a grander, a term known as a Pacific blue marlin weighing in at over 1,000 pounds. HIBT is headquartered on Kailua Pier where spectators see plenty of scoreboard action as teams weigh in at the end of the day, putting valuable points on the scoreboard. Kailua Pier is also a great place to watch the Tournament start each morning as boats line up across Historic Kailua Bay at 7:30 a.m, returning to the pier at 4:30.

Fishing action in Kona is expected to be hotly contested this summer. HIBT teams are expected from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Vanuatu and from across the USA. All eyes will be on Old South Marlin Club Team 4 (North Carolina) who captured the 2012 win and the coveted HIBT Governor’s Trophy. This team’s cumulative total of 3,150 points ended up in the HIBT history books with the highest winning HIBT score since 2008. In fact, the Old South Marlin Club Team 4 score now ranks as the third highest since the tournament began in 1959.

HIBT event headquarters, retail and tournament control will once again be anchored at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, located adjacent to Kailua Pier. The public is invited to come to the Kailua pier and watch the boats line up across Historic Kailua Bay as fishing starts each day sharply at 7 a.m. At 4pm, boats return to Kailua pier with their team and catch.

The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is underwritten by the generosity of the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The tournament is further supported in part by KWXX Radio and numerous corporate and community donors.

For more tournament information, including IGFA world records, rules, and 2013 HIBT entry information, log onto