UH Hilo Students Take Top Research, Memorial Scholarship at UH Systemwide Symposium

A Marine Science student in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Option Program (MOP) recently took top honors in the 30th Annual Marine Option Program Student Symposium, held April 13 at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

UH Hilo

The Award for Best Overall Research Paper went to Marine Science senior Kristina Tietjen for her project entitled “Evidence for a New Genus of Triphoridae in Hawaiʻi Based on Scanning Electron Micrographs of the Protoconch.”

In addition, Marine Science senior and MOP Student Coordinator Laura Knight was awarded the prestigious Anna Toy Ng Memorial scholarship. This award was established to annually recognize the most exemplary MOP student from across the UH System for marine scholarship, ocean stewardship, and participation in MOP. Knight is a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-MOP Sea Turtle Rescue Team, was a NOAA Whale Count Site Leader for MOP, participated in the QUEST Scientific Diving program, and was awarded internships through the Kalākaua Marine Education Center (KM EC) to work as a research diver as part of NOAA’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument surveys.

Seven other UH Hilo students presented their work at the MOP conference, which included oral and poster presentations on research and internship projects. Students included Sandor Baranyi, Chelsey Bryson, Sean Cantero, Brittany Dolan, Hōkūokahalelani Pihana, Alanna Sutton, and Derek Watts. They all received full travel stipends from the UH Hilo MOP program to attend the symposium.

The UH Hilo MOP is a hands-on program open to students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. It is directed on the UH Hilo campus by the Kalākaua Marine Education Center (KMEC) and is a certificate granting program which offers courses on marine project development through the Department of Marine Science.

For more information or to join MOP, email uhhmop@hawaii.edu or call (808) 933-3907.

Big Island Police Searching for 2-Year-Old Lanai Boy and Woman Last Seen With Him

4/23/13 UPDATE:  The child has been located and returned to the mother.

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 2-year-old Lanaʻi boy and the woman last seen with him. Kingszon Sanchez is described as Hispanic, 2-foot-6, 35 pounds with long brown hair, and brown eyes.

Kingszon Sanchez

Kingszon Sanchez

On March 5, the child’s 22-year-old mother, who is his legal custodian, gave the boy’s paternal grandmother, 53-year-old Katherine Ruth Hunter, permission to fly him from Lanaʻi to the island of Hawaiʻi to visit her for five days.

Katherine Ruth Hunter

Katherine Ruth Hunter

Hunter has since refused to return the child to his mother on Lanaʻi. Hunter is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, 170 pounds with long white hair and green eyes. She is last known to have lived in Pāhoa. She is wanted for questioning in a custodial interference investigation.

Noah Sanchez

Noah Sanchez

Hunter’s son, 25-year-old Noah Sanchez of Keaʻau, is the boy’s biological father. He is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He also has an unrelated outstanding warrant for his arrest.

On March 30, the child’s mother arrived on the island of Hawaiʻi. She saw the boy, Hunter and Noah Sanchez at a Pāhoa restaurant but they drove away in a blue sedan before she contacted police.

Police ask that anyone with information on their 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 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 Renewing Search for Help in Locating Missing 21-Year-Old Hilo Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in locating a missing 21-year-old Hilo man.

Jensen Joshua Yadao

Jensen Joshua Yadao

Jensen Joshua Yadao was last contacted by a relative on March 10 and has not been seen since.

He is described as part Hawaiian, about 5-foot-4, about 120 pounds with brown eyes, short black hair and a tan complexion.

His family is concerned for his safety and well-being.

Police ask that anyone who may know his whereabouts or has information about this case call Detective Wendell Carter at 961-2378 or email him at wcarter@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.

 

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Ensuring Emergency Compassionate Care for Female Sexual Assault Victims

The rights of female sexual assault victims were strengthened today as Gov. Neil Abercrombie enacted legislation to ensure that they are provided accurate, unbiased information about and access to emergency contraception when receiving emergency medical care at Hawaii’s hospitals.

abercrombieheader

House Bill 411, relating to “Hospital Emergency Compassionate Care for Sexual Assault Victims,” was enacted as Act 27, thereby establishing provisions that require any hospital in Hawaii to provide information about, offer and, if accepted or requested, dispense emergency contraception to a female sexual assault victim arriving for emergency services. Such services must be provided even if a female refuses to undergo a forensic examination or refuses to report the alleged sexual assault to law enforcement. Penalties are established for non-compliance.

“It is our duty as a society to ensure that any individual who has been traumatized by a sexual assault receives compassionate care, and this legislation underscores a woman’s right to choose contraception when faced with the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy resulting from a sexual assault,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Due to the commitment and persistence of many local advocates and legislators – some whose efforts extend back more than a decade – this legislation will protect the health and safety of Hawaii’s sexual assault victims and guarantee that they receive the medically accepted standard of care.”

Similar to a measure proposed by the Abercrombie Administration (HB878/SB1109), HB411 was introduced by the House Women’s Caucus, which includes Reps. Della Au Belatti, Rida T.R. Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Faye P. Hanohano, Linda Ichiyama, Jo Jordan, Nicole E. Lowen, Sylvia Luke, Dee Morikawa, Cynthia Thielen, and Jessica Wooley.

A companion measure was also introduced in the Senate by Sens. Rosalyn Baker, Josh Green, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Maile Shimabukuro, Jill Tokuda, and Laura Thielen.

Former legislators who have championed the legislation for many years are Annelle Amaral, Marilyn Lee, Barbara Marumoto, and Hermina Morita (current chairperson of the Public Utilities Commission).

The state Attorney General’s office reported that there were 350 reported cases of forcible rape in Hawaii in 2011. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than half of all rapes are not reported to the police. The average rate of pregnancy resulting from rape is between 5 and 8 percent with an estimated 32,000 rape-related pregnancies occurring every year in the United States. Emergency contraception is considered a safe and effective means of preventing pregnancy after a sexual assault and is recognized as the standard of care for sexual assault patients.

Other bills recently signed by the Governor include:

Senate Bill 409, relating to “Mahina ‘Olelo Hawai’i” – Enacted today as Act 28, the measure was proposed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to designate February ‘Olelo Hawai’i Month in Hawaii to celebrate and encourage the use of the Hawaiian language, an official language of the State of Hawaii. The bill was written in Hawaiian and translated into English. In February, Gov. Abercrombie proclaimed the month ‘Olelo Hawai’i Month through an executive proclamation. The measure makes the observation an official annual occurrence.

House Bill 868, relating to “Eliminating the Asset Limit Eligibility Requirement for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program” – Enacted April 18 as Act 18, the measure was proposed by the Abercrombie Administration to remove asset limit requirements that were required for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Previously, the law allowed a total of $5,000 in assets and the value of one motor vehicle in determining eligibility for financial assistance. Households must still meet income eligibility requirements. This measure encourages families to save money and build assets to enable self-sufficiency. The legislation is aligned with the Governor’s New Day objective of developing asset-building programs that fight poverty, help families move toward self-sufficiency, and support the growth of the middle class.

The state Legislature maintains a list of 2013 Acts here.

 

Big Island Police Searching for Man Wanted on Drug Charges and Bail Jumping

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 42-year-old Kailua-Kona man who is wanted on a bench warrant and two warrants of arrest.

Nohea Gene Heinicke

Nohea Gene Heinicke

Nohea Gene Heinicke is described as 5-foot-5, 160 pounds with brown/black hair and dark brown eyes.

The bench arrest warrant is related to drug charges and the arrest warrants are for violating terms of release on bail and for bail jumping.

Police ask that anyone with information on Heinicke’s whereabouts not approach him but, rather, 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 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.

 

Green Award Recognition Given to Hawaii Federal Agencies

USPS, HUD find innovative avenues to reduce energy consumption, increase recycling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces today it has selected the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as award winners, and the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park with an honorable mention in the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge Program.

Click for more information

Click for more information

“EPA is pleased to recognize the U.S. Postal Service, Housing and Urban Development, and the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for their outstanding leadership to reduce their environmental footprint,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By taking the initiative to reduce waste and conserve water and energy, these agencies will not only help motivate other federal agencies and organizations to follow suit, but save the government money as well.”

Leadership Category
Winner: USPS Honolulu Processing and Distribution Center: USPS Honolulu achieved a 70.7% recycling rate, increasing significantly by 400 tons in the last year. One of the keys to their success was the creation of a Green Team of finance managers, maintenance managers, operations specialists, and vehicle maintenance staff. The Green Team set a standard for recycling at the Honolulu plant and communicated that to the more than 160 Postmasters in Hawai’i. There were significant cost reductions of $65k as a result of decrease trash disposal.

Innovation Category
Winner: HUD Honolulu: HUD Honolulu created a tracking tool to analyze the transportation methods of the staff. The tool not only allowed HUD to establish detailed transportation metrics, but also encouraged more sustainable transportation choices on a person-by-person basis. They took many factors into account including staff point of origin, total miles to work, mode of transportation, and frequency of work-related travel. As a result, they exceeded their goal of decreasing commuting via car by 5%.

Education and Outreach Category
Honorable Mention: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: In conjunction with the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, they developed an employee survey to ascertain energy knowledge, views, and habits. The students from the university analyzed the survey results and developed recommendations for educating the national park employees about energy conservation methods. As a result, informational signs and stickers were put up and energy meters were added to some equipment. Additionally, supervisors monitored employee activity and the energy manager tracked quantitative results through energy bills.

In total, Federal Green Award participants regionally:

· reduced over 57.5 million kWh of electricity and 342 million cubic feet of natural gas (equivalent to the energy used in a year by almost 2200 households);
· prevented over 40,000 tons of waste from reaching landfills, through composting and recycling, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 107,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (the equivalent of taking over 22,000 cars off the road for a year);
· reduced water usage by over 357 billion gallons; and
· saved over $16.6 million by reducing waste, water and energy use.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort to challenge EPA and other federal agencies to reduce the federal government’s environmental impact. Offices or facilities start their participation by selecting a minimum two of the six target areas—waste, electronics, purchasing, energy, water, or transportation—and commit to improve by at least 5% per year in their selected target areas.

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge winners, visit: www.epa.gov/region9/federalgreenchallenge/awards/pacificswawards/

 

Pacific Fleet Commander and Hawaii Community Leaders Visit USS John C. Stennis at Sea

This article so reminds me of when I got to visit the USS Ronald Reagan out at sea:

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) at sea April 20.

 I just returned from a day at sea with the amazing crew of USS John C. Stennis. The aircraft carrier and USS Mobile Bay are headed home following an 8+ month surge deployment. Our Navy and our nation asked much of these Sailors (and their families) and they delivered. Their amazing work in the Arabian Gulf and in the vital Indo-Asia-Pacific region showcased the Navy's warfighting readiness while advancing critical relationships with our partners and allies. Both are important missions that contribute to security and stability, and at which Stennis Strike Group excels. I could not be prouder of their efforts" Admiral Cecil Haney


“I just returned from a day at sea with the amazing crew of USS John C. Stennis. The aircraft carrier and USS Mobile Bay are headed home following an 8+ month surge deployment. Our Navy and our nation asked much of these Sailors (and their families) and they delivered. Their amazing work in the Arabian Gulf and in the vital Indo-Asia-Pacific region showcased the Navy’s warfighting readiness while advancing critical relationships with our partners and allies. Both are important missions that contribute to security and stability, and at which Stennis Strike Group excels. I could not be prouder of their efforts” Admiral Cecil Haney stated on Facebook.


Adm. Cecil Haney and several local community leaders from Hawaii, met with John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) leadership, observed flight operations at sea, an air-power demonstration and thanked the strike group team for their performance during the deployment.

Picture from when I toured the USS Ronald Reagan

Picture from when I toured the USS Ronald Reagan

“I want to thank everyone for what they have done for our nation and the great work,” said Haney. “All of you have made a big difference.”

This was the first visit to an aircraft carrier, and the chance to experience carrier operations at sea, for many of the guests.

Picture from when I toured the USS Ronald Reagan

Picture from when I toured the USS Ronald Reagan

“It was an eye opening experience,” said Malia Oshima Paul, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “I enjoyed seeing all of the inner workings in the hangar bay and seeing all of the Sailors working. I’m appreciative of everyone’s sacrifices and hard work.”

As their visit concluded, the guests boarded a C-2A Greyhound, taxied to one of the ship’s catapult tracks, then accelerated from zero to 185 nautical miles per hour in less than three seconds, launching from Stennis’ flight deck to return home.

Picture from when I toured the USS Ronald Reagan

Picture from when I toured the USS Ronald Reagan

JCSCSG, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing (CVW-9), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53), is returning from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility.

Guy Toyama Memorial Fund Kickoff Event Set for Friday

A new memorial fund seeks to raise $1 million to honor the life and legacy of Hawaii visionary, Guy Toyama. Sustainability grants and scholarships will foster positive change in Hawaii and Japan.

A kickoff event for The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund is set for Friday, April 26, 2013 at the NELHA Gateway Center. The fund seeks to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in areas of environmentally sound practices in Hawaii and Japan. The event is from 4:00pm to 7:00pm and will include entertainment, pupus and refreshments.

The late Guy Toyama shows off his award winning Abalone Poke.

The late Guy Toyama shows off his award winning Abalone Poke.

The Fund will provide scholarships for students interested in sustainability and entrepreneurship. In addition, the fund will provide grants for non-profit projects focused on innovation and sustainability integration. The fund will create positive outcomes for future generations through disciplines such as renewable energy, local food production, and waste reduction.

Guy Toyama, a Hawaii visionary and champion of sustainable business and renewable energy, passed away in November of 2012. In honor of his longstanding commitment to improving the relationship between people and the islands, his never-ending spirit of kuleana will be carried on through the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund.

“All who knew Guy were touched by his enthusiasm for life and his commitment to Hawaii and its future,” said Hawaii County Mayor, Billy Kenoi. “The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund will perpetuate his dream of sustainability and foster the positive changes he sought for generations to come.”

Guy’s joyful exuberance and his exceptional knowledge of how to live lightly on the planet were a source of inspiration to many. This memorial fund, made possible by donations from friends, family, and businesses, furthers Guy’s global vision for a better future.

“Guy’s entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with his commitment to community leadership and his infectious laugh and smile, brightened the lives of all around him and so, his legacy continues, said Mark McGuffie, Managing Director of Enterprise Honolulu.

Michael Kramer, Managing Partner of Natural Investments LLC, added “we were privileged to have Guy as a leader and visionary, but for a very short time. Through the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund we have a unique opportunity to make lasting and positive change here in Hawaii and in Japan.”

Local chefs David Paul and Peter Merriman are supporting the event and will prepare a light menu of pupus and refreshments. Numerous local establishments are graciously supplying prepared food, entertainment, and various products and supplies.

The fund will support opportunities that further Guy’s vision for a better future. Scholarships for students studying sustainability, the healing arts, or entrepreneurship would align perfectly with several of Guys passions. Grants for exchange programs between students in Hawaii and Japan are also under consideration.

Friends of the Future, a Hawaii 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is accepting contributions to the Fund. Checks should be made payable to Friends of the Future, include “Guy Toyama Memorial Fund” in the memo line, and be mailed to Friends of the Future, PO Box 2655, Kamuela, HI 96743. Visit www.fofhawaii.org and click on the DONATE link to contribute online using PayPal or a credit card. Include “Guy Toyama Memorial Fund” in the “note to seller” field when you review the PayPal transaction. Requests for additional information can be addressed to info@guytoyamafund.org.

 

 

“My McDonalds, My Community” – Statewide Cleanup Announced

75 McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii to Unite in Statewide Community Cleanup.

McDonalds Litter

WHAT:  “My McDonald’s My Community” Statewide Community Cleanup

WHO: McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii employees statewide

WHEN: Saturday, April 27, from 9 to 11 a.m.

WHERE: All McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii and a two-block radius around each restaurant (a list of all neighborhood restaurants is accessible at www.mcdonalds.com)

DETAILS:  McDonald’s employees will participate in a My McDonald’s, My Community cleanup that will take place simultaneously on Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and Oahu in a unified effort to keep the Hawaiian Islands clean. The cleanup, which will include trash and litter pick-up within a two-block radius of each McDonald’s restaurant, is part of Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful Day, a statewide volunteer event hosted by Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful, the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.

McDonald’s will be live-tweeting from cleanups across the state. Join in on the conversation by following @McDonaldsHawaii and the hashtag #MyMcDsMyCommunity.

 

 

Big Island Police Asking the Public’s Help in Identifying Thief

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man wanted in connection with numerous theft and fraudulent use of credit card investigations.
Scammer

On March 24, an unidentified male used a stolen credit card at several retail establishments in the Hilo and Puna districts. He is described as a local Caucasian-Portuguese mix about 5-foot-9, 165 pounds with a skinny build and a fair complexion.

Police ask that anyone with information on his identity or location 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 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.

 

New Superintendent for Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau and Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historic Parks Announced

Tammy Duchesne has been selected as the new superintendent of Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historic Park and Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historic Park on the west coast of Hawai’i.  She replaces Kathy Billings who was recently selected as superintendent of Death Valley National Park.

Tammy Duchesne

Tammy Duchesne

“Tammy has a great deal of experience working with park staffs, neighboring communities, and other agencies to create shared visions and solve problems in the Pacific,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz.  “Her enthusiasm and deep professional and personal commitment to the Pacific Islands makes her a great fit for this opportunity.”

Duchesne is currently the superintendent at Women’s Rights National Historical Park in New York.  Prior to that, Duchesne was the management assistant to the National Park Service Northeast Regional Director where she served as a liaison between 76 parks and the Regional Office, helping to provide park management guidance and assistance to the field.  While Duchesne has spent years on the east coast, she has extensive experience working in Pacific Island parks and working to help tell a more comprehensive story of the Pacific Islander experience.

Duchesne served as curator and chief of cultural resources for both War in the Pacific and American Memorial Park for more than six years.  During that time she was instrumental in creating an “on-line virtual museum,” helping to open the American Memorial Park Visitor Center in Saipan and assisting in the creation of new and more inclusive exhibits at the park.  During her tenure in Micronesia, Duchesne established a digital image exchange partnership with the Micronesian Seminar in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, which enabled both institutions to better tell the story of how World War II affected Pacific islanders.  She also collaborated with the anthropology faculty at the University of Hawai’i to shed light on how World War II songs and chants captured the essence of the war experience for Micronesians.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the parks, share and learn about the richness and diversity of the resources at Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau and Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historic Parks and engage with the native Hawaiian community, the park staff, and our partners to protect, manage and interpret traditional sites, landscapes, and culture.  I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities and am excited to make Hawai’i home.”

Duchesne holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and anthropology from Tulane University, New Orleans, a master’s degree in teaching from Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts, a master’s degree in Micronesian Studies from the University of Guam, and a graduate certificate in museum studies from George Washington University.

Duchesne enjoys travel and learning about other cultures.  She looks forward to resuming old hobbies like long distance ocean swimming, snorkeling, outrigger paddling, and stand-up paddle boarding.  Duchesne will begin her new assignment in June, 2013.

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historic Park (www.nps.gov/kaho) is located at the base of the Hualālai volcano, along the Kona coast on the island of Hawai’i.  The 1,160 acre park was established in 1978 for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional native Hawaiian culture.  The park features a number of historical and cultural resources of great significance, including an ancient Hawaiian settlement and aquaculture site, ‘Aimakapa Fishpond, where fish were trapped in the massive lava walls during high tide and farmed to feed the villagers.  The park is also home to the Hawaiian black-neck stilt and the Hawaiian coot, both endangered native water birds, as well as the endangered green sea turtle.

Established in 1961, Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historic Park (www.nps.gov/puho) is a 182 acre park located on the west coast of the island of Hawai’i.  The park contains a complex of important archeological sites including ancient coastal villages, royal fishponds, and Hale O Keawe temple.  For several centuries the site was home to royals and warriors.  An adjacent area enclosed by the Great Wall served as a sanctuary for surrounding island villagers seeking forgiveness for breaking sacred laws.