New Gallery Offers Nightscape, Astrophotography and Space Art at Queens’ MarketPlace

Adding to its stellar collection of shops, restaurants and services, Queens’ MarketPlace announces an exciting new art experience, Starscape Gallery, scheduled to open in February 2016. Specializing in fine art, nightscape photography, astrophotography, and space art Starscape will offer an out-of-this world selection of museum-quality prints, original paintings, and more.
CullensOwner and photographer Steve Cullen sees an interesting trend in what he calls “astro-tourism” on the island—those visitors excited about the mountain summits, stargazing and the night skies. To capture their imagination, he brings together a unique group of fine artists and art photographers with a shared passion.

“The gallery features nightscape photography, beautiful landscape compositions taken under the evening sky. These could be of places you’ve visited before in daylight, like Pololū Valley but with the Milky Way, a constellation, or perhaps a moonbow delivering a perspective that can only be captured with a camera at night,” said Cullen. “We also have some amazing astrophotography of deep space objects like galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters as well as stunning space art which is a more traditional artist’s interpretation of space phenomena.”
Cullens Milky Way

Cullen says that astrophotography is a more challenging, more technical process, to produce a different kind of art photos. “We might take 200 pounds of equipment out, set it up and leave the shutter open anywhere from eight hours to hundreds of hours,” said Cullen. “The telescope, and thus the camera, precisely tracks the sky as Earth rotates to capture the imagery in fantastic colors and clarity.”

A retired technology executive from Silicon Valley whose first love was astronomy, he moved to New Mexico in 2006, built three observatories and started doing his own research and astrophotography. He soon realized there was a business opportunity and created LightBuckets, the first “online telescope service”, a subscription-based business catering to citizen scientists, astrophotographers, and researchers around the world.

When that operation was sold to a French company, Cullen and wife Cindy (Starscape Gallery’s Gallery Director) moved permanently to Hawai’i Island, one of his favorite places on the planet. Since then, they have been working enthusiastically to open the new gallery.

“Visitors will be treated to a magical visual experience that inspires one to dream of distant worlds, ponder the enormity of the cosmos, and embark on a journey back to the beginning of time,” said Cullen. “Everywhere you look there’s a captivating view of distant galaxies, nebulae, stars, and planets or incredible horizon-to-horizon vistas of the night sky from amazing locations around the globe. The familiar takes on an air of other worlds under the infinite light of the universe.”

Starscape Gallery at Queens’ MarketPlace will be open 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call (808) 430-5864, visit our website at www.starscapegallery.com, or follow Starscape Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/starscapegallery.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Commentary – Forced Land Sales Bills killed

We have been informed by House Committee on Water and Land Chair Ryan Yamane that this Saturday’s hearing for the two forced land sales bills (House bills 2173 and 1635) has been cancelled.
HB2173

HB1635
Representative Yamane indicated that this effectively kills both bills for this session, noting that he was persuaded to take this action in light of strong concerns voiced by a broad spectrum of community members, including many voices of our Lāhui — alumni, parents, haumāna, kumu, staff, other Native Hawaiian trusts and agencies, charter schools, other educational partners and collaborators, and many others. He and members of his committee also heard from other landowners and business leaders who shared their concerns about these bills from their perspectives. Clearly this response was a collective effort put forth by many.

We mahalo Chair Yamane and the committee’s vice chair, Rep. Ty Cullen, for listening to the voices in our community and pulling back these two bills.

Today, the news is positive. But with nearly three months remaining in the legislative session, we will continue to monitor the process for any signs of these bills being brought back in some other form. We must be vigilant. E kūpa‘a mau!

Mahalo nui to all for taking a stand on this issue and engaging in the civic process to make a difference for our people and for all of Hawai‘i. Our voices were heard; our rights and connections to our ‘āina were protected.

While it is easy to think our work is now done, in so many ways, our work has just begun. We need to make sure that bills like these don’t ever come back and that those who introduce them continue to hear our voices. More importantly, at Kamehameha Schools, we need to use these experiences to step up and join those in our community who are fighting hard to protect and advance Native Hawaiian education, well-being and identity, whether it be on ‘āina, in community, in the legislature, in boardrooms, in classrooms, or elsewhere. This is what our new Strategic Plan 2020 is really about.

All of us, moving forward together — I mua kākou! I mua Kamehameha! I mua ka Lāhui Hawai‘i!
Livingston “Jack” Wong
Chief Executive Office, Kamehameha Schools

Declaration of Emergency Declared for Hawaii Island Due to Dengue Fever Outbreak

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi made a Declaration of Emergency due the outbreak of Dengue Fever on the Big Island of Hawaii.

To view the declaration click here:  http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/WebLink8/PDF/2p3kvnm3psnzz055cirgyy55/16/Dengue%20Proclamaiton%20Mayors%2002-08-16.pdf

Dengue Declaration of Emergency

As of February 8, 2016*:

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 1/29/16 to 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
249 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/28/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
251

Of the confirmed cases, 227 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
206 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1124 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Senate Bill to Acquire Land at Kapua Bay Slated for Full Senate Vote – One of Three Bills Introduced by Late Sen. Kahele

Senate Bill 3071, which calls for the state to purchase land at Kapua in South Kona on Hawai‘i Island, is poised for a final vote by the full Senate this week.  

Kapua Bay

The bill proposes that the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), in consultation with the Trust for Public Land (TPL), engage in negotiations to acquire certain lands located at Kapua.  The proposed acquisition comprises four parcels that cover over 7,780 acres of land within the Agricultural and Conservation State Land Use Districts. It includes two parcels that are adjacent to the Manukā Natural Area Reserve. Funds would be appropriated to conduct an environmental study of the makai lands and the DLNR would be directed to attempt to reach an agreement for acquisition of the lands by December 31, 2016. 

SB3071 is one of three bills that the late State Senator Gil Kahele signed hours before his death on January 26.  The measure was particularly important to the late Senator, who grew up in the area and wanted to ensure the site was protected from development and preserved for future generations.

The bill passed second reading on February 5, 2016 and is scheduled for third reading before the full Senate on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 251

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 251:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 8, 2016*:

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 1/29/16 to 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
249 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/28/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
251

Of the confirmed cases, 227 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
206 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1124 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

League Of Women Voters of Hawaii on Election of Judges

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii strongly opposes Senate Bills 2238 and 2239, scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee on Wednesday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m.in Room 016.

Capital

Both measures propose preparation of a State Constitutional amendment to elect justices and judges in Hawaii. The League believes these steps would jeopardize selection of judges based on merit. Judicial independence is necessary for the Hawaii State Judiciary to operate as a co-equal third branch of government, including preservation of individual constitutional rights, fair and impartial adjudication of legal disputes, and fair and timely criminal prosecutions. The need for judges to spend money and time campaigning for election would detract from their ability to devote their professional time and energy to official duties.

The right to a fair trial is a founding principle of our democracy, and it’s a value that Americans believe in. New research shows the more TV ads aired during state supreme court judicial elections, justices are consciously or unconsciously less likely to vote in favor of criminal defendants. Moreover, the more campaign contributions from business interests the justices received, the more likely they were to vote in favor of business litigants appearing before them in court.

The revolution in financing political campaigns, especially since the 2010 Citizens United case, (which struck down federal limits on corporate and political spending) has allowed Political Action Committees (PAC’s) and Super PAC’s to advertise heavily in Mainland states where judges are elected. Last November spending in a seven-way race for seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court surpassed $15.8 million, with the top three candidates who collected the most money winning the seats.

SB 2238 and SB 2239 are undesirable for many reasons, but most especially because they would make it possible to leverage “dark” campaign money from obscure sources. Every litigant in a civil case or a defendant in a criminal case needs to know that his or her case will be heard by a judge whose loyalty is to the law, and whose integrity will not be compromised by campaign finance or political pressures.

We hope our legislators will realize how important it is to keep Hawaii’s judges independent and impartial, and will defeat these unwise proposals.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

For more information, visit www.lwv-hawaii.com

Hawaii Island Humane Society Community Town Hall Meeting

On the advice of the County Council members, we the tax paying community invite Hawai’i Island Humane Society, the Hawai’i County Council and the Hawaii County Chief of Police, to a Town Hall meeting.Dog town meetingThis forum is a sincere attempt to create a working relationship with the administration of HIHS to foster a foundation of cooperation and assist rescue groups on the island to eliminate euthanasia of animals when there are viable alternatives. The format will be a town hall style.  HIHS and the Animal Advocates Hui will each have fifteen minutes to give a presentation, and or proposal.

A mediator from the media or Hawai’i County Council will be appointed to facilitate. There will be a twenty five minute open round table discussion with a Q & A segment followed by a twenty-five minute open Q & A for the community.

Topics of discussion:

  • Our annual $2.1 million tax dollars appropriated by the County Council of Hawai’i.
  • Restructure of Hawai’i animal control contract to incentivize adoptions rather than setting a 14,000 euthanasia performance measure.
  • Reform of the Hawaii Island Humane Society programs and policies
  • Working with organizations attempting to help our animals
  • Discuss plans to eliminate euthanizing adoptable and treatable animals
  • Plan an oversight committee for HIHS

Date: Friday February 19th, 2016, Time: 5pm-7pm, Place:West Hawaii Civic Center ~ 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, Community Meeting Hale (Bldg G, Makai building below gazebo)

We hope to see you at the forum. It is important to our community that we work together for the betterment of our Island companion pet population.