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USGS Releases New Photos of Active Lava Flow

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the farthest activity about 6 km (3.7 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Some of these breakouts are active along the northern boundary of the flow field, and are burning several small patches of forest - creating the smoke plumes visible near the center of the photograph.  (Click to enlarge)

Some of these breakouts are active along the northern boundary of the flow field, and are burning several small patches of forest – creating the smoke plumes visible near the center of the photograph. (Click to enlarge)

The breakout that began in late November continues to feed lava to the northern boundary of the flow field via a new lava tube. The trace of this new tube is easily visible in the thermal images.

This view looks northeast, and the breakouts along the forest boundary are visible near the top edge of the photograph.

This view looks northeast, and the breakouts along the forest boundary are visible near the top edge of the photograph.

An HVO geologist collects a molten lava sample for chemical analysis, scooping up a bit with the rock hammer to then drop in the water bucket to quench it. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the distance.

 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This view shows the north rim of Kīlauea Caldera, with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum perched at the rim for ideal views of summit activity.

A clear day at Kīlauea's summit. (Click to enlarge)

A clear day at Kīlauea’s summit. (Click to enlarge)

Mauna Kea is in the distance, partially obscured by clouds, and Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone extends off the left edge of the photo.

The sun angle was ideal yesterday to show the complex texture on the surface of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea’s summit.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Spattering was active in the southeast portion of the lake. For scale, the lake is about 230 meters or 755 feet across.

UH Hilo Student Senator Amber Shouse Reappointed – Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Gail Makuakane-Lundin Being Replaced

On December 8, 2015 UHHSA Senator Amber Shouse was reappointed to her position of Senator at Large by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Gail Makuakane-Lundin. Makuakane-Lundin is being replaced. Makuakane-Lundin declined to comment.

UHHSA Senator Amber Shouse

UHHSA Senator Amber Shouse

Shouse said, “I am thankful the wrong has been righted. I hope UH Hilo can further bring justice to this situation. I am looking forward to serving the student body as I was elected to do.”

Shouse had been unjustifiably removed from UHHSA on October 2, 2015, and then again on October 5 by a cabal led by UHHSA President Lazareth Sye and Treasurer Melinda Alles. Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano was present during the meeting and did not discourage the unjust removal.

Kusano sent an email to Sye on 9/28/15 mentioning Shouse in a derogatory manner 4 days before the removal saying, “Amber persists in believing that I’ll be the puppetmaster of the advisor just as she believes I’m UHHSA’s puppetmaster.  She needs to realize that whoever is feeding her this garbage needs to be ignored. … I hope she hears what Aunty Gail is really saying rather than what she wants to think Aunty Gail is saying.” Kusano has declined to comment. Shouse has filed complaints with UH Hilo.

Vice President Abraham Jose, former UHHSA Data Director Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki, COBE Senator Alison Pham, Senator David Khan, Senator Jessica Penaranda, Senator Nick Nguyen, Daniel Woods along with Sye and Alles were responsible for Shouse’s unjustified removal. Only Senator Pham chose to comment. She said,  “I would like extend my sincerest apologies to Ms. Shouse for how she was removed. I hope we can improve UHHSA to provide a better, more fair, and more transparent student government for UH Hilo.”

UHHSA Adviser Shara Mahoe sent an email responding to Shouse’s 10/27/15 appeal saying, “The preponderance of the evidence collected supports your allegation that you [Shouse] did not overstep your boundaries as an UHFISA Senator by communicating directly…with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Gail Makuakane-Lundin and Dean of Students, Kelly Oaks.”

Shara Mahoe stepped down as UHHSA Adviser on 11/5/15. At the 10/8/15 UHHSA meeting Mahoe had requested funding from UHHSA to supplement her income possibly in violation of state law.

President Sye and the rest of UHHSA have yet to issue a formal apology to Shouse for the unjust removal.

UHHSA Senator Briki Cajandig said, “Amber’s reinstatement was a fair and ethical decision. She has always deserved her spot on the Senate and represents students to the best of her ability with integrity. I’m so glad we have the chance to work together once again.”

Dean Kelly Oaks was also present at the 10/5/15 UHHSA meeting, the 2nd meeting Shouse was unjustifiably removed. She declined to comment regarding the reappointment.

Former UHHSA senator and UHSUnews reporter Jennifer Ruggles said, “Our student government receives $170,000 in student fees every year and unsettling events like this discourage student participation. It’s alarming how the student affairs administrators who oversaw Shouse’s removal, like Director Kusano, continue to allow such undemocratic behavior at a place of higher learning.”

UH Hilo has not commented.

For more information contact UHSU at: uhstudentunion@gmail.com

Updated Map Pinpoints Dengue Fever Cases on Big Island of Hawaii

Below is a updated map that depicts case locations as of 12/30/2015.

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 195

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 5 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 195.

Mosquito Bite

As of December 31, 2015*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 5 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 8 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
8 Illness onset  12/21/15 to 12/27/15
Cases no longer infectious
187 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 12/20/15
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
195

Of the confirmed cases, 176 are Hawaii Island residents and 19 are visitors.
158 cases have been adults; 37 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 12/27/15.

As of today, a total of 750 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated December 30, 2015)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii

HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed. Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, two imported dengue fever cases have been confirmed (one on Oahu and one on Hawaii), and one imported chikungunya case (on Hawaii) has been confirmed. These cases are not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.

Hakalau Bridge Closing for Repairs

The Hakalau Bridge located mauka of Highway 19 on Kanna Road, between Chin Chuck Road and Kaiwiki-Homestead Road will be closed for repair work starting on Monday, January 4, 2016 beginning at 7:00 a.m. and will remain closed for the duration of the project.

Hakalau Bridge

The repair work involves the rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure which includes replacing the old timber components with new wood preservative treated components.  The project is estimated to be completed by Wednesday, March 30, 2016, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Updated Map Shows New Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection on the Big Island of Hawaii

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Top High School Teams to Compete in LifeSmarts Hawaii State Championship

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Office of the Securities Commissioner announces the competitors in the LifeSmarts Hawaii State Championship. The lineup for the state competition is made up of the four top scoring high school teams in the local online competition, which ran from October 26 to December 4, 2015.

Iolani Schools, 2015 State Champions represented Hawaii in the National Competition held in Seattle Washington.

Iolani Schools, 2015 State Champions represented Hawaii in the National Competition held in Seattle Washington.

The LifeSmarts Hawaii program is sponsored by the DCCA Office of the Securities Commissioner in partnership with the Hawaii Credit Union League and the National Consumers League. LifeSmarts is a consumer education program designed to teach students in grades 6-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities through online quizzes and in-person competitions.

“We congratulate the winning teams and thank all the students and coaches who participated in the 2015 LifeSmarts online competition,” said Securities Commissioner Ty Nohara. “We’re excited that a record 19 teams competed in the online competition this year and remain committed to growing the program to teach youth critical life skills.”

The top four teams are from Iolani, Maryknoll, Pearl City and Waiakea high schools. The teams will compete in-person 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, February 20, 2016, at the Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium. The event is free and open to the general public.

The winner of the LifeSmarts Hawaii State Championship will be determined through written tests, a “speed dating the experts” activity, and a gameshow style buzzer round. The overall winner represents Hawaii at the National LifeSmarts Competition in Denver in April 2016.

For program information on the next competition season and/or sponsorship inquiries, please contact LifeSmarts State Coordinator, Theresa Kong Kee at 808-587-7400 or email tkongkee@dcca.hawaii.gov. For up-to-date happenings on the LifeSmarts Hawaii program, follow the Office of the Securities Commissioner on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching “HISecurities”.

Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Hilo, Na Pua Lei o ka Na`auao (College of Hawaiian Language Dean’s List)

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Hilo, Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha `oi no ke kau ha`ulelau 2015:

(The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the fall 2015 semester):

UH Hilo Moniker
Della Ann Ah Nee, Destanie Alayon, Jainine Abraham, Alexandria Agdeppa, Kristen Enriquez, Pomaikai Iaea, Kayla Ing, Bridgette Ige, Brenna Usher, Karise Hallsten, Kiana Kamala, Alana Kanahele, Hyesun Kong, Seoryoung Lee, Sheena Lopes, Alohilani Maiava, Michael Moore, Hokulani Mckeague, Zachary Nanbu, Daniel Nathaniel, Samantha Nua, Alana Paiva, Isaac Pang, Vanessa Winchester-Sye, Joshua Bass, Courtney Ann Brock, John Crommelin, Anayah Doi, Angelica Durante, Mahealani Freitas, Philip Gamiao, Alexander Guerrero, Kalai Grothman, Pomaikai Ravey, Samantha Reis, Koa Rodrigues, Eliza Silva, Nakuinaokalani Soma, Marleena Sheffield, Trevor Slevin, Victoria Taylor, Gin Tezuka, Kiliona Young, Cheyne Yonemori, and Abcde Zoller.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 190

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 8 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 190.

Mosquito Bite

As of December 30, 2015*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 8 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 4 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
4 Illness onset  12/21/15 to 12/26/15
Cases no longer infectious
186 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 12/20/15
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
190

Of the confirmed cases, 172 are Hawaii Island residents and 18 are visitors.
153 cases have been adults; 37 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 12/26/15.

As of today, a total of 736 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated December 23, 2015)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii

HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed. Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, two imported dengue fever cases have been confirmed (one on Oahu and one on Hawaii), and one imported chikungunya case (on Hawaii) has been confirmed. These cases are not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.

Hawaii Becomes First State to Accommodate Hearing & Visually Impaired at Movie Theaters

Pioneering event marked by showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Ward Theatres

Star Wars LogoA bill introduced by Kauai Representative James Tokioka (Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao), and signed into law by Governor David Ige will make Hawaii the first state in the nation to accommodate for the hearing and visually impaired at movie theatres statewide.

HB1272 requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the state to provide open captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced with open movie captioning. It also requires them to provide an audio description of any motion picture that is produced and offered with audio description. The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2016 and sunsets Jan. 1, 2018.

The law allows equal access to movie theaters for the deaf, blind, deaf/blind and hard-of-hearing communities.  It also brings Hawaii closer to achieving full inclusion for our deaf and blind communities that was first initiated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

The law removes communication barriers and provides equal access to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have poor vision through reasonable accommodations at movie theaters. It will also help seniors who have trouble hearing, as well as individuals who are learning English as a second language by providing the written dialogue on screen.

  • WHO:  Aloha State Association of the Deaf
  • WHAT: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12:15 pm) to be the first open captioning and audio description movie showings for deaf and visually impaired movie goers   Reception to follow (media availability at reception)
  • WHEN: Saturday, January 2, 2016 3:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Dave and Busters, Pa’ina Room (2nd Floor), 1044 Auahi Street,          Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii’s New Tobacco and Prevention Laws Begin January 1st

The Hawaii State Department of Health wants to remind the public that, effective Jan. 1, 2016, you must be at least age 21 to buy tobacco products and electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes) in Hawaii. Hawaii is the first state in the nation to raise the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21. A second measure, which also goes into effect on Jan. 1, incorporates e-cigarettes into Hawaii’s smoke-free laws, meaning that the use of e-cigarettes is now prohibited where smoking and/or using tobacco products is already banned.

No Smoking in Hawaii

“We are proud to once again be at the forefront of the nation in tobacco prevention and control,” said Director of Health Virginia Pressler. “While our comprehensive approach to addressing tobacco use in Hawaii has led to quantifiable decreases in deaths due to smoking, an increase in targeted marketing to our youth and young adults and new technology in the form of e-cigarettes requires our state to take additional measures to protect our young people.”

Acts 122 and 19 were passed by the State Legislature during the 2015 session and signed into law by Governor Ige. Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 (Act 122) is a nationally recommended strategy. In the U.S., 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 21. Nearly half become regular, daily smokers before age 18, and an additional 25 percent become regular, daily smokers between ages 18 and 21. The 18 to 21 year group is therefore a time when many smokers transition to regular use of cigarettes.

The use of e-cigarettes in existing smoke-free locations can expose non-smokers and vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women to aerosolized nicotine and other toxic substances. Act 19 protects the public from unwillingly inhaling chemicals emitted by e-cigarettes that may contain nicotine and carcinogens such as formaldehyde, metals and nitrosamines.

While smoking rates have drastically decreased among Hawaii’s youth and adults, there has been a recent and rapid increase in e-cigarette use. Only 5 percent of Hawaii public high school students reported trying e-cigarettes in 2011 versus 22 percent in 2014, representing a 344 percent increase in e-cigarette use in just four years. Among middle school students, e-cigarette use jumped 542 percent during the same time period, from 2 percent in 2011 to 12 percent in 2014.

Adult e-cigarette use was 20 percent in 2014. “Acts 122 and 19 make tobacco products including e-cigarettes less accessible and less attractive to our youth,” said Lola Irvin, Administrator for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. “Prevention is the best strategy, and youth are especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction. By prohibiting their use in public places, the new laws encourage a no-smoking norm.”

The timing of these new laws coincides with the start of 2016, an ideal time to make and keep New Year’s resolutions to quit using tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes. If you are over 18 and need help quitting tobacco or e-cigarettes, contact the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to hawaiiquitline.org to connect with a quit coach and receive nicotine replacement therapy, free of charge.

For more information about the new tobacco control laws, including new signage for retailers, please visit: http://health.hawaii.gov/tobacco/home/retailx/.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 182

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 182.

Mosquito Bite

As of December 29, 2015*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 2 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
2 Illness onset  12/20/15
Cases no longer infectious
180 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 12/18/15
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
182

Of the confirmed cases, 164 are Hawaii Island residents and 18 are visitors.
146 cases have been adults; 36 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 12/20/15.

As of today, a total of 727 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated December 23, 2015)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii

HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed. Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, two imported dengue fever cases have been confirmed (one on Oahu and one on Hawaii), and one imported chikungunya case (on Hawaii) has been confirmed. These cases are not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Names People of the Year

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) names the recipients of its appreciation awards, given annually to supporters of the state’s local fruit industry. The five award recipients include Mark G. Wright, Ph.D.; David Frenz, Tracie Matsumoto, Ph.D; Lisa Keith, Ph.D; and Peter Follet, Ph.D.

htfg logo

“The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers feels it’s important to recognize those who make significant contributions to the tropical fruit industry across the state,” said Ken Love, HTFG executive director. “Past winners include chefs, growers and researchers.”

Dr. Wright of the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa was cited for his continuous support of HTFG and helping statewide growers better understand the benefits of integrated pest management.

Frenz of Birds and Budz in Hilo was recognized for “dedication to high quality propagation while helping growers realize there are many plant varieties to consider.”

Both affiliated with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) in Hilo, Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Keith were honored for continuously supporting HTFG and its programs through research.

Dr. Follet, also of USDA ARS and PBARC, was tapped for HTFG support and quarantine update education.

SAVE THE DATE

The 2016 Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 30-October 2 at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort on The Garden Isle.

Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the weeklong event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

Registration forms, speaker itinerary and fee schedule will be available in April at www.htfg.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Marking its 26th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.htfg.org.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival Begins Friday

Welcome the New Year with a superb lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits and more January 1-8 at the 2016 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film).

Waimea Ocean Film FestivalFind the 2016 program posted online, where you can also purchase festival passes, at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org. Program copies and pass sales will be available starting 9 a.m.-3 p.m. December 31 at the festival hospitality desk at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. Also find programs at concierge desks at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Films are shown starting 9:30 a.m. January 1, and play simultaneously January 1-4 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu, HPA Gates and Parker Theatres), plus at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. The festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai the evening of January 4, where passes will also be sold.

Ocean Film brings over 60 extraordinary films to the big screen this year, most of which are world, U.S., Hawai‘i or Big Island premieres, with many filmmakers in attendance to answer questions following the showing of each film. The format of this dynamic festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through exceptional films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment—including things we do on land that impact the sea; and island culture. Inspirational films and films that shed light on who we are, or give pause for thought, form part of the mix.

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering discounted room rates to festival pass holders from January 2-11.

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival is a 501c3 organization made possible through the support of patrons, sponsors and the community. Mahalo to the 2016 Ocean Film partners: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Holualoa Inn, Matson, K2 Imaging, Sushi Rock, Palani French Bakers, Big Island Brewhaus, Big Island Traveler, Maile Charters, Starbucks Coffee, Anna Ranch Heritage Center, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), Parker School, West Hawaii Today, Hawaii Tribune Herald, Kona Law, Emily T Gail Show, The Beach FM and The Wave FM.

Game Bird Hunting Season Announced For Kahua/Ponoholo Ranch Cooperative Game Management Area

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) announces the opening of bird hunting in the Kahua/Ponoholo Ranch Cooperative Game Management Area.

DLNR

Game bird hunting in this area will be open on Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays, beginning on Saturday, January 2, 2016 through January 31, 2016. Hunters must check in at the Von Holt Memorial Hunter check station.

Hunting will be allowed on open hunting days from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. All hunters must check out of the hunting area by 6:00 p.m. Hunting areas may change based upon landowners’ operational needs. Keep all gates closed. Maps of the hunting area will be made available at the Hilo and Kamuela DOFAW offices and at the hunter check station on hunting days.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the DOFAW office in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063.

Updated Dengue Fever Map Pinpoints More Cases

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Monday December 28th at 4:00PM.

As of 1:00 PM today the Department of Health reported the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak to 181. These cases include 163 residents and 18 visitors.

Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 181 confirmed cases, 2 are recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.

Symptoms of dengue include a high fever, intense headache and joint pain, and rash on the arms. If you suspect you may have dengue, contact your health care provider and remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

The Department of Health is spraying and treating areas connected to confirmed cases to reduce mosquito populations. In addition, Civil Defense teams are inspecting areas of high mosquito presence reported by the community. If teams visit your home while you are away, they will leave a note – please follow the instructions on the note to contact the appropriate agency.

While these efforts lower risk by reducing mosquito populations, the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellent, and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001. Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 12/28/2015.

  • This map will be updated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with location data provided by the State Department of Health. Locations may represent multiple cases.
  • For the most up to date case counts and other information from the Department of Health, visit their website at health.hawaii.gov.
  • Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.
  • This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Hawaii Survey Shows Many Young Adults Erroneously Believe Government and Health Insurance Cover Long Term Services and Supports

The majority of people in Hawaii erroneously believe their health insurance plan and government programs will cover the costs for long term services and supports, according to a recent statewide survey commissioned by of the State of Hawaii Executive Office on Aging.

Department of HealthThe survey, conducted by Market Trends Pacific as part of a long term services and supports public awareness campaign, showed that slightly more than half of respondents, about 54 percent, are very or fairly familiar with long term care, while about a fourth of the respondents, or 24 percent, has any familiarity with long term services and supports. Those who are least aware of long term care are younger residents who have been in Hawaii for 20 years or fewer, non-home owners, persons without a college degree, and males.

Uncertainty about Payment for Long Term Care

The survey results showed many are unclear about who pays for long term care: 39 percent think that their health insurance covers long term care, and 24 percent trust that the government will help them. The majority of respondents identified health insurance, personal savings, Medicaid or Medicare as funding sources.

“Many in Hawaii may be aware of the need for long term care, but there is clearly a smaller percentage who are aware of the need to prepare for the costs associated with that care,” said Terri Byers, director of the Executive Office on Aging. “We know that we should save and plan for college or retirement, but long term care is not often part of the picture, despite the fact that 70 percent of us will use long term services and supports at some point in our lives. We recognize that we must begin to change this.”

Hawaii’s Younger Population Most Vulnerable

The cost of long term care is one of the obstacles to preparing for long term services and supports. Young adults may have other financial obligations and may already have difficulty making ends meet. “This is not an issue on their radar and the costs may make many shy away from even trying to plan for long-term care,” Byers said.

“The Executive Office on Aging is launching a public awareness campaign in early 2016 to help people understand their options and the need to plan ahead to enjoy more choices, and to avoid the risks of not being financially prepared,” Byers said. Many have been led to believe impoverishing themselves to qualify for government assistance is the best solution, but this ultimately limits their options.”

“It is clear that there are no private products available on the market that provide an answer for everyone and the best made plans don’t always materialize. Our ultimate goal is to initiate a conversation and inspire more people to find out all they can to be prepared mentally, emotionally and financially to create a personal plan for care that is sustainable and adaptable.”

Survey Information

Market Trends Pacific, Inc. conducted a total of 603 surveys of full-time residents (six months or more) of Hawaii who were 18 years of age or older. The sample included RDD (random digit dialing) residential landline and cell phone numbers from a professional national survey sampling firm. Respondents were also encouraged to complete the survey online. Market Trends Pacific developed the questionnaire in conjunction with communications consulting firm, Strategic Communication Solutions, and the Executive Office on Aging. There was a total of 297 landline phone and mobile interviews and 306 online questionnaires.

The survey results are available from the Executive Office on Aging’s Aging and Disability Resource Center website at www.hawaiiadrc.org.

In the survey, 366 interviews were completed with residents of the City & County of Honolulu, 108 with Hawaii County residents, 73 with residents of Maui County, and 56 with Kauai residents. The statewide data file was weighted on the basis of estimates of the number of householders by county and age from the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census, with equal gender counts assumed. The sample design in the table below features expected sample precisions for the counties ranging from plus or minus 5.12 to 13.08 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level and a precision for statewide results of plus or minus 4.06 percentage points.

Dengue Fever Risk Forces Hawaii State Land Closure For Public Safety – Milolii Village and Honomalino Bay Areas Covered

For the safety of everyone, due to the dengue fever outbreak at Milolii, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has closed to the public all State unencumbered lands in the immediate vicinity of Milolii village and Honomalino Bay.  These include the parcels designated by Tax Map Key numbers: (3) 8-9-003:001 and (3) 8-9-004:007.

(3) 8-9-003:001

(3) 8-9-003:001

We’re recommending the closure of this area to all but essential personnel and residents of the areas.  This closure follows Hawaii County’s closure of Milolii Beach Park until further notice so crews led by Hawaii County Civil Defense can conduct mosquito control and pesticide treatments. State and county experts are now calling Milolii a hot spot in the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island.

(3) 8-9-004:007

(3) 8-9-004:007

The latest number of confirmed dengue fever cases on the Big Island has risen to 181 as of Friday afternoon, including 163 Big Island residents and 18 visitors.

Entry into closed lands is a violation of Hawaii Administrative Rule Sec. 13-221-4 and Hawaii Revised Statute 171-6, and is subject to a penalty of up to $5,000 for the first offense. 

Signs will be posted at various access points warning people of the hazardous conditions.

Hawaii Electric Light Signs Contract to Buy Hamakua Energy Partners Generating Plant

Hawaii Electric Light Company has signed an agreement to purchase the 60-megawatt Hamakua Energy Partners (HEP) generating plant currently owned by an affiliate of the Boston-based private equity firm, ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC. The $84.5-million purchase agreement, which requires approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), is expected to result in lower costs for customers and will support continued integration of renewable energy from variable sources such as solar and wind.

Helco new Logo 2

“We’re pleased to reach an agreement that can benefit our customers in many ways,” said Jay Ignacio, president of Hawaii Electric Light. “It’s expected to result in immediate savings to our customers compared to what they would pay under the current contract. It will also allow us to make better use of the plant’s cycling capabilities to help us continue to lead the nation in integration of renewable energy.

“We are committed to achieving Hawaii’s 100 percent renewable portfolio standard goal and having the flexibility to operate this plant will help.”

Ignacio noted that ArcLight officials approached Hawaii Electric Light about the potential purchase of the plant.

The negotiated sale is estimated to save customers a net $42 million after the purchase price over the remaining 15 years of the existing power purchase agreement. A typical Hawaii Island residential customer could save at least $1.40 per month on their electric bill. If the plant remains in service for its full estimated useful life, projected net savings for customers could total approximately $80 million.

Customers will save from the elimination of payments to HEP under the current contract for making energy available 24 hours a day, as well as elimination or reduction of other costs. For example, the combustion turbine equipment used at the HEP facility is the same as that used at another Hawaii Electric Light generating station, leveraging operational expertise and allowing better procurement and utilization of equipment parts.

Hawaii Electric Light will also be able to make the most of the HEP plant’s cycling ability to support the integration of variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. The current contract limits how often the plant can be stopped and started. By owning the plant, Hawaii Electric Light will have greater flexibility to cycle HEP’s generating units, exercising greater operational flexibility to support renewable energy and use HEP’s efficient generating units.

The HEP plant comprises 23 percent of Hawaii Island’s generating capacity and produced about 16 percent of the island’s energy in 2014. The plant includes two combustion turbines, a steam generating unit, and two heat recovery steam generators.

This combination of generators allows the plant to operate as a more efficient “combined cycle” plant with the steam generator running on the captured waste heat from the two combustion turbines, producing additional power without burning more fuel. The combustion turbines currently run on naphtha, a cleaner fossil fuel, and could be converted to use even cleaner and potentially lower-cost natural gas or renewable biofuels in the future.

The plant also includes a “black-start” generator that can restart the plant in the remote event of an island-wide outage.

Hawaii Electric Light intends to submit the purchase agreement to the PUC and the Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy for review before the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 181

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 181.

Mosquito Bite

As of December 25, 2015*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 7 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
7 Illness onset 12/15/15 to 12/20/15
Cases no longer infectious
174 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 12/14/15
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
181

Of the confirmed cases, 163 are Hawaii Island residents and 18 are visitors.
145 cases have been adults; 36 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 12/20/15.

As of today, a total of 708 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated December 23, 2015)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii