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First Multinational Proliferation Security Exercise Held in Hawaii

The Unites States and its Asia-Pacific regional partners are hosting a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) exercise, Fortune Guard 2014, as the debut exercise in the new annual PSI Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation (APER) Aug. 4-7 in Honolulu.

Brig. Gen. Burt Thompson, U.S. Pacific Command's deputy director of Strategic Planning and Policy, speaks with a Fortune Guard 2014 participant during the opening ceremony at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Amanda Dunford)

Brig. Gen. Burt Thompson, U.S. Pacific Command’s deputy director of Strategic Planning and Policy, speaks with a Fortune Guard 2014 participant during the opening ceremony at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Amanda Dunford)

Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, Eric Rosenbach, kicked off the opening ceremony at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies Aug. 4.

“PSI exercises are an important way that endorsing nations demonstrate this intention to act while enhancing their capability and capacity to do so,” said Rosenbach. “The scenarios we’ll explore in Fortune Guard reflect the real-world challenges we face, from dual use commodities to maritime and air proliferation streams.”

Adm. Harry Harris, Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the keynote speaker and stressed the importance of engaging key audience participants and demonstrating its viability for countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials and delivery systems, and increasing the capabilities of countries in the region to counter WMD proliferation.

“PSI has brought together an international community capable of acting at a moment’s notice, who are committed to planning and training for any possible contingencies or eventualities, and who are willing to work together, government-to-government, to facilitate rapid decision-making,” he said. “… And now we’re upping our game, as we gather for the first exercise under the annual Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation, starting here in the United States, then next year New Zealand, then Australia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan. Together we are taking the next great step in preventing the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials. And we’re taking that great step together.”

Fortune Guard 2014 is the first event in the APER series of annual dedicated PSI exercises hosted on a rotating basis by six regional partners in the following order: the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

“In the past 6 years, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have all held at least one PSI exercise,” said Rosenbach. “Building on this robust level of activity in concert with these partners, Exercise Fortune Guard represents the launch of a new level of commitment to PSI in the Asia-Pacific. Each year, one of the Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation partners will host a PSI exercise, offering the region a key platform for cooperation on the critical threat of WMD proliferation and for the building of capacities needed to effectively counter this threat,” he said. “Fortune Guard is the first exercise in this series, and we are appreciative of our partners’ efforts in helping to plan this dynamic exercise that will focus on sharing skills and best practices related to interdiction, from rapid, national-level decision-making to operational tactics and procedures.”

The Secretary of Defense extended an invitation to participate in Fortune Guard 2014 to Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam. The Secretary of Defense also extended an invitation to observe the tabletop discussions to regional countries that have not endorsed PSI to include China, India, Indonesia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and ASEAN.

Participating nations are expected to conduct a tabletop exercise, a live exercise at sea on the USNS Henry J. Kaiser and a port exercise over at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The tabletop exercise will focus on national-level decision-making in interdiction scenarios. Which agencies engage, at what level, and at what point in process? Thinking through these challenges in advance can better prepare us all for real-world scenarios.

According to Rosenbach, a portion of the participants will spend the day aboard the Kaiser for a live exercise at sea. The Kaiser will contain a simulated WMD-related cargo and participants will witness ROK Navy and Coast Guard, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and U.S. Coast Guard special operations teams boarding and searching the ship, in a scenario that will also feature Royal Australian Navy role players.

At the same time, back on “terra firma,” another group of exercise participants will engage in an academic seminar, with topics ranging from Norway’s firsthand account of operations in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons to the relationship between UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and PSI.

On the final day of the exercise, the participants will have the opportunity to see capability demonstrations from tactical teams from Japan, Singapore and the United States, related to the simulated detection of radiological and proliferation-related materials aboard a C-17 aircraft and shipping container.

“We must always remember that the fate of all nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific is inextricably linked together. Security and stability in this region of the world comes from the united effort of like-minded nations, and like-minded people. People like many of you in the audience, here today. People who are aware of the challenges…aware of the opportunities…and aware of the dangers we all face together, now … and in the future,” he said. “By working together toward a common goal, we have an opportunity to help shape a brighter and more prosperous world for all us.”

UH Hilo Announces Trumbo, Santos & Sing Chow to Vulcans Athletic Hall of Fame

Congratulations to the Vulcans 2014 Athletic Hall of Fame class: former Athletic Director Bill Trumbo, tennis player Arthur Santos and softball pitcher Leo Sing Chow.
UH Hilo Moniker
Sing Chow (2003-07) was a 4-time all-conference, all-region and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar/Athlete selection. During her career, the Vulcans won two Pacific West Conference championships and appeared in three NCAA Regionals. She currently coaches the Hilo High School softball team. Sing Chow was nominated by Joey Estrella.

Santos (1975-79) was a 4-year player and won the 1975 Hawaii State Collegiate Singles title. While a student, he started and coached the Waiakea High School tennis program. Since leaving UH Hilo, he has conducted prison and wheelchair tennis programs in Hawaii and Wisconsin. He has competed nationally with singles and doubles titles in the Caribbean, Middle East and Austria. He is a member of the Peter Burwash International Tennis Specialists. Santos was nominated by Kip Koross.

Trumbo (1990-2000) guided the athletic department through the transition from the NAIA to the NCAA. Along the way, he secured corporate sponsorships for various programs, founded and built the Vulcans Athletic Hall of Fame, created multiple top-level collegiate basketball tournaments and engineered nine Vulcans Athletic Scholarship Fund Drive. Trumbo was nominated by Ray Fornof.

This year’s induction ceremony will be held on:
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Nani Mau Gardens
$50 per person

Reservations can be made by calling HOF coordinator Joey Estrella at 808-895-5977. Corporate tables of eight are also available.

State of Hawaii Attorney General Announces $11.3 Million Settlement Involving Deceptive Credit Card Business Practices

Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that the State of Hawaii has reached settlements totaling approximately $11.3 million to resolve cases against four credit card companies, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Discover Financial Services, and Citibank, regarding marketing practices for credit card payment protection plans alleged by the Attorney General to be deceptive under state law.

JP Morgan“We filed these cases to protect Hawaii consumers and stop illegal and deceptive practices of marketing credit card protection plans,” said Attorney General Louie. Consumers were typically solicited by their credit card company via phone or email with misleading sales pitches that omitted important information.

Many Hawaii consumers were duped into signing up for a service that they would not have otherwise purchased. The improper conduct included: enrolling consumers without their consent; providing misleading information about free trial periods; distorting plan benefits; billing for services not provided; unfairly charging credit card customers for interest and fees; or denying plan benefits to eligible customers.

“With the resolution of these cases we have taken a strong stance against unfair and deceptive credit card practices,” said Attorney General Louie. Louie added that “These cases are important because they put the credit card industry on notice that it will be held accountable if it engages in misleading practices.”

Federal enforcement actions involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and private class action lawsuits have sought and are seeking restitution for Hawaii consumers. The proceeds from these settlements will go to the State General Fund.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s office worked with the law firms of Cronin, Fried, Sekiya, Kekina & Fairbanks; Baron and Budd; and Golomb & Honik on these cases.

Pacific Edge Magazine Announces New Gala Date and Updated Nomination Deadline

Hawaii’s best and brightest companies and business leaders to be honored at red-carpet awards gala on September 25

Pacific Edge Magazine (PEM) announced today it has moved the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards to September 25, 2014. Element Media, Inc., Hawaii’s premier custom publishing firm, will host the exclusive red-carpet soiree to recognize the state’s most influential business leaders, organizations and non-profits while celebrating the company’s eighth anniversary.

pacific Edge

Local business and community leaders are encouraged to submit nominations for the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards by August 14, 2014 at www.pacificedgeawards.com. Self-nominations are encouraged.

“Since our very first issue in 2005, we’ve been passionate about highlighting the individuals, companies and organizations that inspire and innovate our local business community through our monthly networking events, in-depth articles and online presence,” said Jamie Giambrone, co-founder of Element Media, Inc. and co-publisher of Pacific Edge Magazine. “This awards gala will provide the opportunity to shine the spotlight on those most deserving of their achievements, while also celebrating the eighth anniversary of Pacific Edge.”

Nomination categories include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Young Professional of the Year
  • Business Executive of the Year
  • Educator of the Year
  • Commitment to Green Award
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award
  • Best New Business
  • Best Family-Run Business
  • Best Social Media Campaign

All submissions are evaluated by an independent panel of judges comprised of respected local community leaders.  Detailed information about the gala and award nomination submissions are available at www.pacificedgeawards.com.

Last year’s gala attracted an esteemed crowd of more than 350 guests in which the following individuals, businesses and organizations were recognized:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Mel Tanioka, Founder & President, Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering
  • Young Professional of the Year Award – Ina Chang, President, Aloha Data Services
  • Business Executive of the Year Award – Shelley Wilson, President & CEO, Wilson Care Group
  • Commitment to Green Award – Oceanit
  • Educator of the Year Award – Matt Lawrence, Teacher, Waikiki Elementary School
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award – Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu
  • Best Social Media Campaign Award – W.M. Keck Observatory
  • Best Family-Run Business Award – Kamaka Hawaii
  • Best New Business Award – Mojo Barbershop
  • Best Non-Profit Impact – The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery

Inquiries about corporate sponsorship or nominations can be directed to Jamie Giambrone at (808) 737-8711 or Jamie@elementmediahi.com

Receive updates and the latest awards news by following Pacific Edge Magazine on Twitter at @PacificEdge and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PacificEdge.

Big Island Police Searching for Man Considered Armed and Dangerous

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 36-year-old Papaʻaloa man who is wanted on two bench warrants for contempt of court.

Timothy John Nacis

Timothy John Nacis

Timothy John Nacis is also wanted in connection with a terroristic threatening and criminal property damage incident that occurred Saturday morning (August 2) in Hilo. He is described as 5-foot-11, 175 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a light-colored Lexus sedan, license plate GTR 462.

He is considered armed dangerous.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts not to approach him but to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Receives Grant for Endangered Hawksbill Turtle

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is one of 23 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The $19,200 grant will assist park efforts to protect the federally endangered hawksbill turtle, known as the honu‘ea in Hawaiian, by supporting park volunteers who monitor nesting beaches, rescue distressed females, eggs and hatchlings, improve habitat, and provide information to beachgoers along the southern coast of Hawai‘i Island.

10 honu ēa have been documented along the southern shores of Hawai‘i Island -- 6 returnees, and 4 newly tagged, NPS Photo

10 honu ēa have been documented along the southern shores of Hawai‘i Island — 6 returnees, and 4 newly tagged, NPS Photo

Loss of nesting habitat caused by beach erosion and invasive plants threatens the future of the honu‘ea on the southern coast of Hawai‘i Island. Student biologists and individuals from the community will assist as volunteers and remove invasive woody plants such as koa haole that are encroaching on to beaches, as well as relocate nests to prevent damage to fragile eggs from high surf and overcrowding. While monitoring turtle activity, volunteers assist stranded females and hatchlings, and provide on-site information of park recovery efforts to beachgoers.

“The honu‘ea is a much beloved turtle in Hawai‘i and it would be tragic to see this animal disappear from our shores. We’re very excited to work with the National Park Foundation to restore nesting habitat. In addition to helping to protect the turtle, we’ll also be providing valuable training and experience to students interested in pursuing careers in conservation biology,” said Dr. Rhonda Loh, Chief of Natural Resources Management for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

One of the returning females had not been documented since 2005, and biologists and volunteers were overjoyed to see her return!  NPS Photo

One of the returning females had not been documented since 2005, and biologists and volunteers were overjoyed to see her return! NPS Photo

Now in its seventh year, the Impact Grants program provides national parks with the critical financial support they need to transform innovative, yet underfunded, ideas into successful in-park programs and initiatives.

“Through our Impact Grants, we will help make a profound difference in our national parks by providing much-needed funding for projects that support habitat restoration, wildlife protection, and conservation research,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.

21 nests are confirmed at four beaches, including two within the national park, ‘Āpua Point and Halapē. NPS Photo

21 nests are confirmed at four beaches, including two within the national park, ‘Āpua Point and Halapē. NPS Photo

The 2014 Impact Grants were made possible, in large part, through the support of Disney and Subaru of America. A listing of these parks and their Impact Grants project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.

For more information on the National Park Foundation and how to support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org. For more information on the National Park Service, please visit www.nps.gov.