Clothesline Project Comes to the Big Island

The Clothesline Project was created to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women.  In an effort to express themselves, women who were affected by violence were asked to decorate t-shirts that would later be hung on a line for public display.

Clothesline ProjectThe intent was to honor survivors while promoting awareness of these crimes.  In recognition of Victims’ Rights Week an annual commemoration to promote victims’ rights and service available to victims, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will be creating a clothesline project to not only bring awareness for violence against women, but awareness of victims of all crime in our community. Our clothesline will be displayed from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday, April 9th – UH Hilo, The NEW Student Services Center
  • Thursday, April 10th – Aupuni Center, Hilo
  • Friday, April 11th – West Hawai’i Civic Center, Kailua-Kona

Supplies will be available for anyone who wishes to make a t-shirt to display on the line.  Anyone who has been affected by crime in our community whether male or female is invited. In addition, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will display informational material regarding services for crime victims.  For more  information regarding this event, please free to contact the Victim Assistance Unit at (808) 934-3306.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Praises Hawaii’s Education Leadership

Hawaii’s public schools can be a model for the nation, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who visited two schools today before returning to Washington, D.C. Secretary Duncan, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi spoke with media in reflecting on the progress made during the last three years based on the Race to the Top (RTTT) federal education reform grant.

 Secretary Duncan with Keith Hayashi, Supt, Matayoshi, Gov. Abercrombie in Waipahu HS aquaponics lab


Secretary Duncan with Keith Hayashi, Supt, Matayoshi, Gov. Abercrombie in Waipahu HS aquaponics lab.

“When we first did the RTTT grant, there was a huge amount of skepticism in the outside world, and frankly, internally,” stated Secretary Duncan. “Hawaii initially had its challenges; they’ve shown amazing leadership, courage and vision. I can’t overstate how important the Governor’s leadership has been…the leadership of the State Superintendent…they are a profile in courage. The only way you get better is to challenge the status quo. The only way to accelerate the rate of change is to do something different. The progress has been extraordinary. Hawaii by any objective measure – is one of the fastest improving states in the nation – top five states, that’s top 10 percent in the nation.”

Ka Waihona student (newly accepted to Kamehameha) explains kalo to Secretary Duncan

Ka Waihona student (newly accepted to Kamehameha) explains kalo to Secretary Duncan

Secretary Duncan began the day at Ka Waihona o ka Naauao, a public charter school in Nanakuli, where he learned how to pound taro (paiai) and participated in a discussion about culture-based education with stakeholders and Kirin Ahuja, the U.S. DOE’s executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Secretary Duncan pounds kalo

Secretary Duncan pounds kalo

Secretary Duncan then visited Waipahu High where he participated in a Hawaii DOE and Hawaii State Teachers Association joint-committee meeting followed by a tour of the school with Gov. Abercrombie and Supt. Matayoshi.

Supt. Matayoshi and WHS students greet Secretary Duncan.

Supt. Matayoshi and WHS students greet Secretary Duncan.

Waipahu High is the second-largest high school in Hawaii with 2,450 students. About 70 percent of its students are of Filipino ancestry, while nearly 6 out of 10 students come from economically disadvantage backgrounds. Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi, who was appointed in 2009, has led a tremendous academic turnaround at the school. Reading proficiency among 10th graders rose to 69 percent in 2013 from 58 percent in 2011, while math proficiency jumped to 47 percent from 26 percent. College-going rate increased to 58 percent from 49 percent during the same period.

“We are proud to share the passion of what we do here at Waipahu with Secretary Duncan,” Principal Hayashi said.

Secretary Duncan with Andrea Gurado, WHS student with full ride to Columbia University, looking at her science project exploring synthesizing molecules.

Secretary Duncan with Andrea Gurado, WHS student with full ride to Columbia University, looking at her science project exploring synthesizing molecules.

One of the students who enjoyed lunch with Secretary Duncan at Waipahu was Andrea Jurado, who recently accepted a full scholarship from Columbia University. She arrived to the islands just four years ago from her native Philippines, and since then, she has taken advantage of opportunities that have helped her excel during her four years at Waipahu. She’s participated in internships with the University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. She will also represent Hawaii at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, Calif., which is the largest science and engineering fair for high school students from around the globe.

“Waipahu is very focused on students succeeding in post-secondary life,” said Supt. Matayoshi. “The school has a great early college program, and great opportunities for students to succeed. We’re very happy that Secretary Duncan can see the fantastic work being done here by our faculty, teachers, and students.”

“I ask anybody in the state, before you make a judgment about the public schools, see what’s been accomplished in the last three years. By any outside observation, Hawaii public schools are rising, and we’re going to keep on rising,” added Governor Abercrombie.

Principal Sheena Alaiasa of Castle High in Kaneohe was one of the educators selected to meet with Secretary Duncan during his visit. As head of King Intermediate last year, Alaiasa was named the 2014 National Middle Level Principal of the Year by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

“It’s great for Hawaii as a whole for the U.S. DOE to see what we’re doing,” said Principal Alaiasa. “It means a lot to our students for them to meet and greet someone of such importance.”

Hawaii is the 50th and final state to welcome Secretary Duncan during his tenure. Prior to this visit, the last U.S. education secretary to visit the islands was Richard W. Riley in 1994 under President Bill Clinton. The last federal education official to visit Hawaii was Martha Kanter, U.S. Department of Education under secretary of education, who spoke at a September 2010 higher education summit in Waikiki. Also, in December 2009, Peter Cunningham, assistant secretary for communications and outreach for the U.S. Department of Education, visited several island schools.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund and State Team Up to Clean Manukā Natural Area Reserve (NAR)

Saturday marked the fifth year that Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) has teamed up with the State’s Natural Area Reserve crew to clean up a stretch of coastline within the Manukā Natural Area Reserve (NAR), which extends from Ka‘ū into South Kona.  During this time, over 130 people have helped haul over 2,975 pounds of marine debris and shoreline rubbish off this remote stretch of coastline that extends from Humuhumu Pt. to the north.

Group photo at the end of a long, successful, cleanup day!

Group photo at the end of a long, successful, cleanup day!

This weekend was no different.  After driving over very rough roads and hiking over a mile each way, the 30 cleanup participants hauled 26 bags of debris (weighing ~430 lbs.) off the isolated shoreline.  Volunteers came from Hilo, Kona, Puna and Kaʻū and worked for hours on this collective mission to mālama ke kahakai (take care of the shoreline).

Cleanup volunteer, Joe Robinson, drives the HWF truck towards the cleanup site.

Cleanup volunteer, Joe Robinson, drives the HWF truck towards the cleanup site.

NAR Specialist, Jenn Randall, arranged to bring an all-terrain vehicle to haul debris back to the staging site where it will be removed by helicopter in the coming week.  Mike McCagh, with HI Kombucha, brought a keg of grapefruit kombucha tea to share with the hardworking participants.  Tony Villegas, with Coconut Auto Repair, provided a 4WD vehicle to transport a group of youngsters from Kaʻū.  Joe Robinson, underwater photographer from Kailua-Kona, donated his time and equipment to photo document and film the event.  Randall, added that they were quite pleased by the outcome of the day and that volunteers had removed all the debris she was hoping for with energy and enthusiasm.

Volunteers, Brian Waldo and Tony Villegas, showing off their debris finds.

Volunteers, Brian Waldo and Tony Villegas, showing off their debris finds.

HWF has been leading community-based efforts to remove marine debris from along the Ka‘ū coastline since 2003.  During this time, HWF estimates that over 90% of the 168 tons of debris removed is plastic (e.g., fishing line/nets, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes).  As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Marine Debris Program shares, “Marine debris affects everyone”.  Here locally, HWF strongly believes that the solution begins with individuals like those of who volunteered this weekend and with the small decisions that residents of Hawaiʻi Island make each day.

An assortment of interesting finds from the event … (not including one small glass float).

An assortment of interesting finds from the event … (not including one small glass float).

Examples of these choices include re-using or simply refusing single-usage plastics, bringing your own water bottle or using available drinking fountains, and carrying your own to-go ware to Styrofoam-toting restaurants.

HWF’s Project Coordinator, Megan Lamson, implores, “Do your part to help our marine and coastal wildlife: choose to re-use, remember to recycle, and limit your single-use purchases!  We live on an island, and we must be mindful of how we are treating the land, freshwater, and ocean that support us.”

Kaʻū youth group with their leader, Terry Shibuya, and NARS crew (intern Rory and Specialist Jenn Randall).

Kaʻū youth group with their leader, Terry Shibuya, and NARS crew (intern Rory and Specialist Jenn Randall).

For more info about getting involved in an upcoming cleanup event, please contact HWF at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, call 808-769-769 or check out their website at www.wildhawaii.org

Big Island Police Arrest 22-Year-Old Woman on Suspicion of Attempted Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a 22-year-old Captain Cook woman on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with an investigation of a shooting Friday morning (March 28) in Hōlualoa. Randi-Keli K. Banagan was arrested at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday (March 29) at a residence off of Captain Cook Road.

Randi-Keli Banagan

Randi-Keli Banagan (Oct. 2013 File foto)

On Friday (March 28) at 7:47 a.m., Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim on Waiono Meadows Road. They found a 26-year-old Hōlualoa man with a gunshot wound to his chest who reported that he and his girlfriend had been walking down Waiono Meadows Road when they encountered an acquaintance driving up the road. After the victim and the woman in the car got into a confrontation, the woman in the car reportedly shot him with a rifle.

The suspect fled in the car in the direction of Highway 180.

The victim was taken to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Banagan is being held at the Kona cellblock while Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigating.

Another Wreck at Our Favorite Intersection

There appeared to be another wreck on Highway 130 at The Pahoa MarketPlace intersection. The round-a-bout will be installed soon.

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Off the Coast of the Big Island

A 3.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the Kailua side of the Big Island this afternoon.  No tsunami was generated from this.
3.0 Kalaloa

HPD Can Still Rent Hoes in Honolulu

HPD and Hoes

Video: Flash Flood on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands have been getting a lot of rain in the last few days.  Here is a video of a flash flood on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BAJBCWYD8iQ]

The video was uploaded yesterday.

Over 600 Attend “Discover Your Future in Aviation” Event

Over 600 people attended Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s 5th “Discover Your Future in Aviation” event yesterday, Saturday, March 29, 2014, 10am to 4pm. Attendees consisted of young people interested in aviation as a career or hobby, schools, Scouts, aviation enthusiasts, and families.

aviation future6

The special aviation day featured a Moon Rover, hands-on workshops, remote control flying, open cockpits, a career fair, flight lab, and interactive science exhibits. Historic re-enactors appeared as Amelia Earhart, Rosie the Riveter, a Zero pilot, and more.

aviation rover

In celebration of Women’s History Month and the contribution of women in aviation, the Museum honored Captain Sharyn Emminger Dey, the first female pilot to fly for Hawaiian Airlines who captained the highly publicized flight of the first all-women flight crew of a United States scheduled air carrier. She was available to meet and greet guests at the event.

 

Search for Possible Missing Kayaker Near Kauai

The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing kayaker approximately half a mile northeast of Kilauea Point on the north shore of Kauai, Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Kauai received a call at 11:11 a.m. from a good Samaritan on shore stating that she noticed an unmanned, adrift yellow kayak in the area.

The Kauai Fire Department located the kayak with dive gear that included fins, a wet suit, paddle and weights aboard. The Fire Department searched in the vicinity of the kayak and found no one in distress.

KayakThe kayak is approximately 15 feet long with the words “KAYAKKAUAI.COM” and “OCEAN KAYAK,” and a single line hanging off the side. There are no other markings on the kayak.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Kauai is actively searching the area.

No one has been reported missing or in distress in the area.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to keep a sharp eye out for anyone possibly in distress.

Anyone with information can help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

New County Council District 4 Office Opens in Pahoa

Councilman Greggor Ilagan, of District 4, reopened his office in Puna after months of renovations and building improvements to the old Pāhoa Police Substation. “The public needs easy access to their government and this new office will help achieve that goal,” said Councilman Ilagan.

Councilman Illagan enters the new office.

Councilman Illagan enters the new office.

The new office is located at 15-2879 Pāhoa Village Road, Pāhoa HI, 96778, and is open Monday through Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays. The previous office, located at the Malama Marketplace in Pāhoa, was closed due to budgetary concerns. This office move saves taxpayers over $24,000 annually in rent and associated fees.

This space will also be available for other County departments to utilize as needed. Immigration services will operate from this office beginning April 4, and will continue thereafter on every first Friday of the month. Other services from the Housing and Mass Transit Department may become available in the future.

“Please come and visit; our doors are open for anyone with concerns, comments and suggestions,” said Councilman Ilagan. The video conferencing site for public testimony will remain at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, 15-2710 Kauhale Street, Pāhoa HI, 96778.

 

Visits to Correctional Centers Cancelled… Again!

For the second weekend in a row… visits at Correctional Centers have been cancelled.

Hawaii State LogoIt is rumored that the correctional centers are understaffed and that guards are intentionally calling in sick to bring attention to the matter.

  • Visitation at Oahu Community Correctional Center has been cancelled for the day.  To check the OCCC hotline you can call 832-1623. The Department of Public Safety has started putting out visitation cancellation notices through social media in an effort to get the word out faster to people who are planning to come to the facility to visit a loved one. Watch for these posts between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled visitation day.  To find out more about visitation schedules for each facility go to our website at dps.hawaii.gov.
  • Visitation at Hawaii Community Correctional Center has been cancelled for the day. The Department of Public Safety has started putting out visitation cancellation notices through social media in an effort to get the word out faster to people who are planning to come to the facility to visit a loved one. Watch for these posts between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled visitation day. To find out more about visitation schedules for each facility go to our website at dps.hawaii.gov.

Big Island Police Release Folks Arrested on Suspicion of Hilo Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have released two people who were arrested Wednesday (March 26) on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection with the death of a 59-year-old Hilo man.
HPDBadgeResults of an autopsy conducted Friday afternoon (March 28) on the body of Robert A. Evanson are being deferred pending further tests.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, detectives released 63-year-old Elsworth Hulihee of Hilo and 52-year-old Rhonda Faris of Pāhoa from police custody pending further investigation.

Evanson was found unresponsive Wednesday (March 26) in an apartment complex in Hilo.

Governor Releases $58.4 Million for University of Hawaii System Facilities

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $58.4 million to the University of Hawaii (UH) system for capital improvement projects (CIP) at various campuses that will further energize our growing construction industry to help sustain our economy.

abercrombieheader“A majority of these funds are going to improvements at our community colleges, which make up the largest sector of the UH system,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These projects will help increase job growth and ultimately improves our state’s affordable education opportunities.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$38,213,000 – Honolulu Community College Advanced Technology Training Center, Oahu – Construction funds for a new three-story facility for science- and technology-related programs. The building will include classrooms, offices and laboratories, and will support technical workforce development in areas including diversified agriculture, aquaculture, renewable energy development and creative media. UH indicates that Honolulu Community College has established itself as the technological training center of the Pacific and has the expertise in technical workforce development to warrant a new facility.

$6,500,000 – Minor Capital Improvements Program Projects for Campuses of the Community College System, Oahu – Design and construction funds for the renovations of Kapiolani Community College’s (KCC) Kopiko Building, Wing B ($3,500,000) and Windward Community College’s (WCC) Hale Naauao ($3,000,000). KCC project includes renovating the building’s first floor (Wing B). Built in 1994, Wing B has three classrooms used by the nursing program, and will be upgraded with current technology and renovated to connect with the outdoor courtyard. WCC project includes renovations for the TRiO and special project programs including air conditions installation, restroom upgrades and converting spaces into offices, storage rooms, a staff room and a conference room. The 10,150-gross-square-foot building was constructed in 1930 and has not been renovated to meet the College’s academic and technological needs. The TRiO program includes Student Support Services, Talent Search and Upward Bound, which help disadvantaged and low-income individuals graduate from secondary/post-secondary institutions.

$6,312,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Design and construction funds to renovate the interior of the Old Pauley Laboratory for the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The research institute specializes in tropical marine biology, and is located on the 28-acre Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay.

$5,415,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Planning, design and construction funds for improvements at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Improvements include utility upgrades, replacement/rehabilitation of existing sewer lines by direct drilling between Oahu and Coconut Island under Kaneohe Bay, sewer pump replacement and wet-well repairs, and rerouting of north end sewer lines.

$2,000,000 – University of Hawaii at Hilo, Office of Mauna Kea Management, Hawaii Island – Design and construction funds for infrastructure improvements within UH’s managed lands on Mauna Kea, renovate mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku and improve the summit access road. The summit access road between the mid-level facilities and the Mauna Kea summit needs improvement. A section of the road was paved in the late 1980s and is deteriorated due to age, snow, rock debris and natural earth shifting. The Visitor Information Center (58-person capacity) is also overextended in terms of parking and facility infrastructure, and is unable to accommodate the significant increase in visitors who come for stargazing activities.

Ainaloa Boulevard Sidewalks Getting Extended to Highway

New sidewalks are being constructed along both sides of Ainaloa Blvd in Puna.

Ainaloa Way

The sidewalks will connect to Highway 130.

The County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works Highway Maintenance Division is constructing these sidewalks.  They are excavating the roadway shoulders in increments of 500-feet to 1,000-feet, and closing lanes to allow for equipment.  The alternating lane closures are Monday-Friday 8:00 – 2:00 PM.  Sidewalk completion is scheduled for mid-April 2014 weather permitting.

Big Island Television Going Digital

Big Island Television, iconic island information channel for almost 30 years, steps into the digital age on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, according to President A.D. Ackerman who founded the company in 1985.

The Big Island Television team, Vice President Noel Black-Ackerman, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Randall Quander, Office Manager Denise Lindsey, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Lyman Medeiros, "Discover Hawai'i" Hostess Cobey Ackerman, President A.D. Ackerman, Director of Sales & Marketing Rachelle Hennings-Newman

The Big Island Television team, Vice President Noel Black-Ackerman, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Randall Quander, Office Manager Denise Lindsey, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Lyman Medeiros, “Discover Hawai’i” Hostess Cobey Ackerman, President A.D. Ackerman, Director of Sales & Marketing Rachelle Hennings-Newman

Known for in-depth visitor information, as well as historical and cultural programming, Big Island Television (BITV) in its new digital format, will move from Channel 9 to Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channel 97.6 and Channel 130.

Customers are advised that if their TV cable goes from the wall directly to a newer television with an internal digital receiver, BITV can be located with a simple, one-time “channel search” from the television’s menu options.  The scan will quickly locate BITV on Digital Channel 97.6.

Those customers with an Oceanic Cable Box, will find BITV on Channel 130; a channel scan is not needed.

“Now, in this new environment, video images of our people, places, culture and history, will come to life like never before,” said Ackerman.  “People who live here say all the time that they watch BITV, and we hope they will continue to watch and enjoy the experience even more.  We have new programming every single week—and for me, I know I’m always finding something new to learn about our island home.”

Original weekly programs on BITV include “Hawai‘i At Its Best,” a one hour circle island tour, that highlights each district and businesses it contains, and “Discover Hawai‘i,” featuring in-depth interviews with interesting residents, chefs, artisans, musicians, community leaders and more.

Locally owned and family operated, Big Island Television offers 24/7 programming that highlights the unique culture, history and natural wonders of Hawai‘i Island, along with shopping, dining and activity options for visitors and kama‘āina.  An extensive video collection is available online at www.YouTube.com/user/BITVHAWAII and www.BigIslandTV.com.

For more information call 808-322-3672, click www.BigIslandTV.com, watch Digital Channel 97.6 or Channel 130.

Got Guac?

The free, eighth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 on the Bayfront lawn of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.

Got Guac?

Got Guac? Photo by Sonia Martinez

Catering to families, the event has something for everyone: non-stop entertainment, culinary and agricultural activities, plus keiki fun.

Enjoy a farmer’s market; arts and crafts booths and tasty-avocado themed cuisine prepared by food vendors and Sheraton’s culinary team. This year’s festival art is by Kona artist Jan Salerno and available on posters and organic cotton t-shirts.

An updated lineup for the entertainment stage is opening pule by Kumu Danny Akaka and hula at 10 a.m., Aunt Irma’s Kahikina Nahe Nahe at 11 a.m., Bolo at noon, Manuel and Bernice at 1 p.m. and eco-chic vegan fashion show by Gentle Aloha Feast at 2 p.m. Students of the youth mentoring group Incense will model designs by Huluwuwu, Lulie’s and Nohea Hawaii to the music of hip hop artist Pana. Live entertainment continues until 5 p.m.

Learn how to graft avocados at 11 a.m. and hear a panel discussion on “Keeping the Culture in Agriculture” at noon. Get the scoop all day on different avocado varieties at an informative display by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers.

A 2-4 p.m. composting workshop focuses on basic backyard techniques and working with worms. Those who finish the workshop will get a free composting bin.

The avocado recipe contest offers competition in appetizers, entrees, desserts and vegan. Judging is 10 a.m. with public tasting at noon and announcement of winners at 1 p.m. First place winners will receive prizes from Island Naturals and Kealakekua Ranch Center. Entry form, rules and instructions can be found at www.avocadofestival.org or phone 963-6860.

Hands-on fun for families includes games for keiki, free avocado and vegan products sampling and visits with Recycle Hawai’i’s live mascot, Recycle Dog. In addition, 200 healthy, raw treats will be served to attending keiki as part of the local Feed the Children project. Keiki and adults can also paint silk banners “to banish childhood hunger.”

For festival updates, visit Big Island Avocado Festivals on Facebook, contact Randyl Rupar at 936-5233 or visit www.avocadofestival.org.

Hawaii Avocado and Mango Festivals are sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawaii and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Air Museums Receiving Retiring Navy Aircraft

The first of the Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft retires to Naval Air Museum Barbers Point, Kapolei today.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Barbers Point Museum President Brad Hays and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Ken DeHoff welcomed this historic submarine hunting workhorse from Navy Squadron VP-47 located on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay unit today. The Navy is replacing the P-3 with Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon, the military version based on the commercial airlines 737-800, scheduled to begin in 2016.

Hays said, “I am very proud to accept this aircraft as it helps tell the story of naval aviation at Barbers Point.” DeHoff said Pacific Aviation Museum would be receiving a P-3 from Navy Squadron VP-U2 next month. Both aircraft are on loan from National Museum of Naval Aviation and will be displayed in different colors and the configuration of their units and the missions they flew. Both Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor located on Ford Island, and Naval Air Museum Barbers Point located at Kalaeloa Airport, work together to preserve aircraft and tell their stories. Visitors are welcome.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, which depends on membership and donations for support. A Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, it is rated one of the top 10 aviation attractions nationally by TripAdvisor®. It is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818, 808-441-1000.

In Celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival – Learn About Hula Plants from Kumu Hula/Botanist Team

On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia and Tim Tunison lead the field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.  To register for their field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ke Hula,” please contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org. Photo by Dave Boyle

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula. To register for their field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ke Hula,” please contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org. Photo by Dave Boyle

“Please join us for this exciting program in celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula,” stated Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Elizabeth Fien.

From kumu hula Valencia, learn about hula plants as kino lau, manifestations of Hawaiian deities in plant form (as his Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu understands them).

“There are plants for the hula altar, the kuahu, which include maile, ‘ie‘ie, ‘ilima, lehua, and halapepe.  In addition, there are adornments—mele hula plants that are worn by the dancers—which include maile, ‘ilima, and lehua, plus palapalai, ‘a‘ali‘i, pukiawe, and ‘olapa,” Valencia explained.

Participants meet at the Kilauea Visitor Center.  The day begins with a welcoming oli (chant), followed by a short walk to the kahua hula—the hula platform that overlooks Halema‘uma‘u Crater, home to the volcano goddess Pele.

Next the group will drive to Kilauea Overlook to discuss cultural protocols used when picking plants—and to walk among native species in their natural environment, with scientific information and insight shared by botanist Tunison.

“After lunch, we’ll visit Tunison’s property in Volcano Village, where he is restoring the land to its native ecosystem.  We’ll get a hands-on lesson in native plant propagation, plus receive plant seedlings to grow at home,” said Valencia.

Valencia was born and raised in Honolulu, though his ‘ohana (family) was originally from Hilo.  He established Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu in Honolulu in 1991, and currently maintains his halau (school) in Honolulu as well as Volcano.

Tunison worked for the National Park Service for over 30 years.  He was a Botanist at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from 1982-1994 and Chief of Resource Management from 1995-2006, when he retired.  Since then, Tunison has taught field botany, native plant propagation, and forest restoration.

This event is presented by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization.  Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members.  Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25.  Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

To register for the “Plants of Hula” field seminar, call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should email institute@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days prior to the program start.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

Rules for Protests at Hawaii State Capitol Challenged as Unconstitutional in Federal Court

A federal lawsuit against the State Department of Accounting and General Services (“DAGS”) charges that outdated rules restricting public use of State property (including the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda and grounds) violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs for the lawsuit are the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (“ACLU”) and Pamela G. Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group and ACLU board member. They are represented by Daniel M.Gluck, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU and Alexandra Rosenblatt of Chun Kerr, LLLC.

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Public access to grounds and rotunda, noted in the run-up to 2011 APEC meeting, now an issue for upcoming ASEAN meeting, April 1-2.

The lawsuit asks the court to require DAGS to remove burdensome requirements for obtaining a permit – including requirements that small groups have to get the government’s permission before holding a protest; that individuals have to agree to indemnify the State for any injuries arising from their protest (even if the injuries are caused by the protesters’ opponents); and that individuals or groups apply for a permit  weeks in advance (with no exception for spontaneous demonstrations in response to sudden events or news).

The ACLU informed DAGS of these problems over three and a half years ago (more than a year before the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting). The ACLU continued to inform the State of these problems through 2011, 2012, and 2013, but the State has neither changed its rules nor issued any new policies to correct these problems.

The ACLU has assisted several groups in navigating the unlawful permit process, but does not know how many other individuals or groups have been deterred from holding a demonstration because of DAGS’ unconstitutional rules. Honolulu now plans to host Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and defense ministers of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations April 1-2, and the ACLU hopes that this lawsuit will ensure that any individuals or groups that want to demonstrate on State property during the ASEAN Conference (or any other matter) are able to do so.

Daniel M. Gluck said: “After three years of being rebuffed by DAGS and the Attorney General?s office to resolve these issues administratively, it’s clear that the State won’t take any action without being sued.  We need to ensure that the free speech rights of all people are respected and protected, particularly on state grounds such as the Capitol, to show that our government is open, transparent, and participatory.”

Alexandra Rosenblatt said: “Current permitting practices could prevent people from gathering around a legislative measure or breaking community crisis. The State requires a fourteen day lead time for permits, yet legislative hearings only have a 2-3 day lead time. The State also requires that permit holders waive all claims against the state as a condition of exercising their first amendment rights. DAGS has made exceptions, but the absence of consistent, objective standards raises a concern that groups could be treated differently based on the content of their speech. When it comes to our government and state capitol there is no room for opaque rules that hinder community voices from being heard.”

The ACLU’s First Amendment Toolkit is a free guide for those considering demonstrations at the Hawaii State Capitol, or at parks, beaches, sidewalks and more statewide.