Governor’s Chief Advisor for Technology and Cybersecurity Wins National ‘Government Innovator of the Year’ Award

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today commended Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, his chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity, for earning the 2014 Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA) “Government Innovator of the Year” award. Bhagowalia received the award for facilitating Hawaii’s business and technology transformation, launched in 2011 under the Abercrombie Administration.

Sonny

“This prestigious award recognizes the finest leaders and innovators in government,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Under Sonny’s innovative leadership, Hawaii has developed an ambitious business and technology plan, established a stable technology foundation, launched key programs to transform delivery of online services, and significantly improved transparency and accountability. Our state government is now being recognized as a leader in the nation for our steady and incremental transformation gains.”

Bhagowalia received the honor amid a field of nominees from federal, state, local and tribal governments. Hawaii was the sole state recipient in the “Government Innovator of the Year” category, beating out two federal finalists from the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The award was one of 24 handed out at this week’s GTRA GOVTek Executive Government Technology Awards Gala, which celebrates and recognizes government and industry information technology (IT) leaders whose vision, innovation and remarkable accomplishments have improved efficiency, the delivery of government services, citizen engagement, information sharing, and national security.

Bhagowalia was nominated for his accomplishments as the first leader of state Office of Information Management Technology (OIMT) and his achievements over the past year in transforming business and technology in the state through the innovative use of enterprise architectures, strategic planning, program management, transparency and personal transformation.

After being appointed by Gov. Abercrombie as the State of Hawaii’s first chief information officer (CIO) and serving in that capacity for three years, Bhagowalia was promoted to Governor’s chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity in February 2014. The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawaii as a premier technology and cybersecurity hub in the Asia-Pacific region, and to strengthen ties between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s business and technology transformation.

Bhagowalia is working with the new state CIO, Keone Kali, and other stakeholders to publish a cybersecurity report on Hawaii’s next steps to align with the National Cybersecurity Framework and establish itself as a world-class cybersecurity center of excellence for the emerging 21st Century Asia-Pacific region.

“Hawaii is on track and being recognized at the national level for making steady progress in modernizing and securing our technology infrastructure and reengineering the way government does business – online versus waiting in line,” Bhagowalia said. “A cybersecurity framework of cooperation and investment will be required by government, industry and academia with local, national and international representation to help Hawaii realize its promise as a crossroads of the Pacific in the Information Age.”

For more information on the GTRA Awards, visit: http://june2014.gtra.org/awards/

“ROAST & ROOTS” – Mark Yamanaka and Raiatea Helm to Perform at Festival of Hawai‘i Flavors

Capping off a festive celebration of Hawaii’s most ‘ono foods and coffees, Grammy nominee and twice Female Vocalist of the Year, Raiatea Helm is the icing on the cake. The first-ever “Roast & Roots” food event on Saturday, July 19, 2014, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay’s Convention Center, serves up a family-friendly festival with arts and food booths, cooking demos, competitions and all-day entertainment, wrapped up with an intimate concert in the afternoon.

Roast & Roots

Hosted by Hawai‘i Coffee Association (HCA) in alignment with their 19th annual conference, Roast & Roots is a collaborative project between HCA, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. Events of the day include a “Buy Local” MarketPlace, Coffee Corridor, exciting People’s Choice Cupping Contest, a “mystery box” demo by Chef Sam Choy, and an exciting Chef-Student Culinary Competition. Abundant entertainment throughout the day includes music by Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner Mark Yamanaka, Kaleo Perry and Dennis Garcia, leading up to Raiatea Helm in concert at 2 p.m.

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka at the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Known for her soaring lyrics and intricate musicianship, Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm is winner of eight Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation fellowship in music. Beginning her musical career in high school, Helm has captured hearts in Hawai‘i and across the continent and the Pacific, playing to packed houses in Tahiti, Japan and China. Adding her Hawaiian musical flavor to the event seasons it with everything Hawai‘i Island loves: great food, music and family fun.

In the hours leading up to Helm’s performance, families and friends will have numerous opportunities to taste and purchase local food products and peruse the works of Island artisans, including those in the Kona Coffee community in the Coffee Corridor. Additionally, food booths presented by the host hotel and participating chefs and restaurants offer a delicious sampling of dishes from regional ingredients on land and sea.

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

Highlighting the Culinary Competition, Roast & Roots pairs up six local chefs with six culinary students from Hawaiʻi Community College at the University of Hawai‘i Center, West Hawaiʻi and Konawaena, Kealakehe and Waiakea High Schools. Teams will use local Hawai‘i Island proteins such as grassfed beef from Hawaii Beef Producers, local pork from Kulana Foods and farm-raised lamb from Waiakea Uka Ranch and a fresh bounty of local Hawai‘i Island produce, to put their best plates forward.

Emcee for the culinary portion, Chef Sam Choy will share his mana‘o with the audience, and has offered to do a “live mystery box” demo, where he will prepare a dish on the spot, using ingredients that are secret to him until the box is opened onstage. Chef Scott Hiraishi will serve as the Lead Judge and Co-chair for the event. Student and chef pairings will be announced early in July.

Mayor Kenoi talks with Sam Choy outside the Sam Choy Poke Contest.

Mayor Kenoi talks with Sam Choy outside the Sam Choy Poke Contest.

Part of the Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s three-day annual conference, Roast & Roots invites the general public to experience some of HCA’s exciting and educational activities, as well as the expertise of Hawaii’s statewide coffee industry growers, processors, roasters, wholesalers and retailers. The annual conference includes workshops and seminars covering coffee cupping packaging, certification, legislative and industry updates, including reports from UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC).

Admission at the door is $5 per person, free for anyone under 17—includes Culinary Demonstration, Marketplace and Raiatea Helm Concert. No advance ticket sales. For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Tracey Apoliona, mkc01@hawaii.rr.com, (808) 960-3094 or visit www.Facebook.com/RoastandRoots.

County of Hawai‘i Law Raising the Age of Sale to 21 Years for All Tobacco Products – Takes Effect July 1, 2014

Last year the Hawai’i County Council unanimously approved a bill to raise the age of sale of tobacco products to 21. That measure, Hawai‘i County Ordinance 13-124, takes effect on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

Signs Required at the Point of Sale:  The law requires that signs are to be posted at the point of sale. Signs where sent out to all registered tobacco retailers in May 2014. Signs are available at the Mayors Offices in East and West Hawaii or by contacting the East Hawaii Tobacco-Free Coalition Coordinator via email at

Signs Required at the Point of Sale: The law requires that signs are to be posted at the point of sale. Signs where sent out to all registered tobacco retailers in May 2014. Signs are available at the Mayors Offices in East and West Hawaii or by contacting the East Hawaii Tobacco-Free Coalition Coordinator via email at

The law prohibits the distribution of tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, to underage customers born after June 30, 1996. Retailers need to be aware that anyone who is born after June 30, 1996 is prohibited from purchasing tobacco products or electronic smoking devices until they are 21 years of age.

There is an exemption in the new ordinance for people who reach the age of 18 before July 1, 2014. Those who reach the age of 18 before July 1, 2014 are allowed to continue to purchase tobacco. The purpose of the exemption is to ease the transition for people who already use tobacco, and for the retailers.

The Coalition For A Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i (CTFH) and staff from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids worked closely with West Hawai‘i Councilmember Dru Mamo Kanuha and his staff to pass this bill. Hawai‘i County Council unanimously passed Bill 135 on November 20, and Mayor Kenoi signed the legislation into law in December 2013.

The Coalition For A Tobacco-Free Hawaii applauds Hawai‘i County for standing strong on tobacco control. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (www.tobaccofreekids.org), “National data show that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21.” The ages of 18 to 21 are a critical period when many smokers move from experimental smoking to regular, daily use. Increasing the tobacco sale age to 21 will help prevent young people from ever starting to smoke.

Hawai‘i County joins New York City and Needham and Canton, Massachusetts, in raising the age of sale on tobacco products to 21.  Four states—Utah, New Jersey, Alaska and Alabama—require tobacco buyers to be 19.  Several other counties and states, including Texas, are considering similar measures.

It is important for retailers and potential buyers to know these key points for the new law:

  • Any person who sells or distributes tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, to an underage customer will be subject to a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Persons, retailers, and employees that sell or distribute tobacco products must verify proof of age of the recipient/purchaser.
  • Sale is prohibited to persons born after June 30, 1996.
  • Valid identification includes: state driver’s license, state identification card, military ID, or passport.
  • Signs are required to be posted at every point of sale.
  • From July 1, 2014 – July 30, 2017, persons who sell or display tobacco products shall post signs clearly and keep them posted at the place of business at each point of sale.
  • Failure to post this sign shall be subject to a fine of up to $500.

Signs were sent to all registered tobacco retailers in May 2014. Additional signs are available at the Mayor’s Offices in East and West Hawai‘i or by contacting the East Hawai‘i Tobacco-Free Coalition Coordinator via email at sally@tobaccofreehawaii.org.

For more information please visit the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i website at: http://www.tobaccofreehawaii.org/community-coalitions/tobacco-free-big-island/hawaii-county-new-law-raising-the-age-of-purchase-for-tobacco-products-to-21/

Wordless Wednesday – Skiing on a Hawaii Wave: Willy Bogner Film

Snow Skiing on a Hawaii wave?

Skiing in Hawaii

“Skiing Hawaii” a short film by Willy Bogner:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/ya9sDipOb8o]

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds). It will be visible beginning tonight, Wednesday June 25th at 8:22 PM.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

It will be visible for approximately 3 minutes.  Maximum Height: 60 degrees, and it will appear in the North Northwest part of the sky and disappear to the East.