Cool Schools Initiative – Hawaii First State to Mandate Clean Energy Schools

The Department of Education is expected to spend nearly $1 billion on electricity by 2035, but can save hundreds of millions through progress toward clean energy goals established by House Bill 2569, signed by Gov. David Ige today.

hb2569

“This bill will save hundreds of millions in future operating costs that can be better spent in classrooms and higher paid teachers instead of utility bills,” said Rep. Chris Lee, the bill’s introducer. “It also creates important accountability and transparency requirements for the $100 million the state has already given the DOE to cool classrooms.”

The measure requires the DOE to:

  • Establish a goal of becoming net-zero with respect to energy use by January 1, 2035;
  • Expedite the cooling of all public school classrooms; and
  • Submit an annual transparency and accountability report to the Legislature containing information about its progress toward the cooling of all classrooms and net-zero energy goal.

The state Department of Education spends about $48 million a year on electricity. By installing more efficient lighting, using natural ventilation, and investing in renewable technologies such as solar panels and batteries to power schools, energy costs will be reduced and student performance improved, according to Lee.

 

Hawaii is the first state to mandate that clean energy be used by all its public schools.

RIMPAC Begins… May Affect Garage Door Openers

Dozens of ships from 26 nations are arriving in Pearl Harbor this week for the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC 2016 will be held in and around the Hawaiian islands and off the coast of Southern Calif. June 30-Aug. 4.

RIMPAC brings international participants together to foster and sustain cooperative relationships.  Training during RIMPAC builds credible, ready maritime forces that help to preserve peace and prevent conflict.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered here, and led by U.S. 3rd Fleet. The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and several other locations in the state.

Hawaii’s operating areas and ranges offer realistic, relevant training opportunities like nowhere else in the world and environmental stewardship and protection of marine mammals are always top priorities during RIMPAC.  During the in port portion of the exercise, crews receive training on sighting marine mammals and required protective measures. Participants follow established and approved procedures to minimize the potential impact on marine life.

Some Temporary Noise and Crowds

With 25,000 participants coming to Hawaii, noise, crowds and traffic will increase in the last week of June and through the end of July. Some residents in Hawaii can expect aircraft noise temporarily in certain areas, including the early evening.

According to the Hawaii State Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Research and Economic Analysis Division, RIMPAC 2016 is initially anticipated to bring $52.5 million to Hawaii, based on the number of exercise participants and their time in port.

By the end of RIMPAC, the overall economic benefit is expected to be tens of millions of dollars higher than $52.5 million after purchases of supplies, fuel and food or the spending by family and friends of participating personnel are calculated.

Raising Discussion of Garage Door Openers

During RIMPAC some remotely operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed Part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.
Garage Door
Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they are not pointed directly at the door.  If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door.  If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance.  Surface search radars are available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue.  Exercising safety is a top priority for the Navy.

To be sure their garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company.  At least one company in Hawaii asks their customers to be patient in dealing with the inconvenience, “for a short bit of time, [but] for a lifetime of safety and freedom.”

To learn more about RIMPAC, please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014/
For concerns, noise complaints or general questions about RIMPAC, please call the Combined Information Bureau at (808) 472- 0235. Media interested in covering RIMPAC can call 808-472-0239.

High Technology Development Corporation Announces Three New Graduates

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the state of Hawaii agency that promotes and supports innovation and technology business startups, has graduated three more companies from its successful business Incubator Program at the Manoa Innovation Center (MIC).

High technology development corporation announces three new graduates.

High technology development corporation announces three new graduates.

Having graduated from the program, these firms have moved out of the MIC into their own headquarters, where they will continue to develop and grow. The graduating companies are:

  • The Collective, a startup created by Hawaii fashion designers Allison Izu Song and Summer Shiigi that helps independent designers use technology to streamline manufacturing and develop ways to provide high quality, locally produced clothes to consumers.  The Collective has helped launch a number of Hawaii designers and has managed DBEDT’s Creative Industries inaugural Creative Lab Fashion Immersive.  The Collective recently expanded their operations to Ward Village with retail space.
  • MeetingSift, a “meeting collaboration platform” that uses technology to bring meeting attendees closer and encourage participation, no matter where they may be in the world. MeetingSift’s products make meetings more efficient, allowing participants to use their smartphones to provide real-time feedback and communication, keep track of minutes, and provide more focus to discussion topics.  The company is moving closer to its investors.
  • Slickage Studios, a Honolulu-based company specializing in creating full-stack software solutions including customized website backend development, web applications, and native mobile apps.  Downtown Honolulu is their new home where they will be closer to their clients.

“We are happy to partner with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to host this celebration, which honors the three graduating companies from the Manoa Innovation Center,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees HTDC and promotes Hawaii’s innovation economy. “MIC’s mission to accelerate the growth of local tech companies by providing business development services, funding, and training are part of the state’s overall growth strategy to build a strong innovation economy.”

Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC adds: “It’s always an honor to see companies graduate from our incubation program. The creativity and innovation that propelled these startups from dreams to functioning business entities will ensure they will make their mark in the marketplace, no matter their field. Birthing a startup takes immense drive, talent, and perseverance, and we congratulate the principals of all three companies for moving on to the next step.”

The three companies graduated at a ceremony during HTDC’s Wetware Wednesday on June 29, 2016, a monthly networking event for the innovation and technology industry.  The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored the graduation celebration.

“We are grateful to HTDC for the support and guidance,” said Allison Izu Song. “In today’s fast-paced society, it’s nice to find an organization that sees the potential in small businesses, and offers the tools and guidance to learn and grow.  We are especially thankful for the guidance and mentorship from Innovate Hawaii’s, Wayne Inouye, and HTDC’s, Len Higashi.  Their doors were always open for us to talk about our issues, roadblocks, ideas and successes!”

Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines Forge Code-Share Partnership

Philippine Airlines (PR)  and Hawaiian Airlines (HA) recently forged a code-share partnership which will provide passengers convenient connections between the Philippines and the Hawaiian Islands.

Philippine Airlnes
“Philippine Airlines is proud to forge a codeshare partnership with Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu in O‘ahu to the  inter-island points of Līhu‘e, Hilo, Kona, and Maui.  From these points, passengers can visit other neighboring island destinations including Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island,”  PAL President Jaime J. Bautista said.

Passengers on PAL’s five times weekly Honolulu flights will have a seamless transfer to Hawaiian Airlines. PR passengers will be checked-in all the way to their final destination.

“As we widen our route network, we aim to not only provide point to point travel, but to create passenger traffic beyond the main gateways. All these are geared towards providing passenger convenience and satisfaction,” Bautista added.

The code share flights will be made available in conjunction with the flag carrier’s weekly service to Honolulu. Passengers on the HA/PR code-share flights between the inter-island points and Honolulu now have the chance to seamlessly connect to PAL’s regular flights between Honolulu and Manila and journey onto any of the flag carrier’s 30 domestic destinations.

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) is the 1st US Carrier Code Share Partner of PAL.

Governor Ige Signs Housing, Health Care Bills Into Law

Yesterday, Gov. David Ige signed into law six housing bills that aim to address the long-standing, complex housing shortage that has been a problem in Hawai‘i for decades.

Governor Ige Profile“My administration and the Legislature worked tirelessly and collaboratively on various measures to address the housing shortage this past session. We focused on maximizing the use of financing tools, we re-oriented target policies to boost production and we collaborated with the private sector and the counties to increase the housing supply,” said Gov. Ige.

The governor also signed into law bills relating to foster children, insurance and gender identity, long-term care facilities, health care and aging.

Here is a complete list of bill signed by the governor on Wednesday, June 29:

Housing Bills: SB 2561 (Act 127), SB 2566 (Act 128), SB 2833 (Act 129), SB 3077 (Act 130), HB 2293 (Act 131), HB 2305 (Act 132)

HB 2350 (Act 133) Relating to Foster Children – Expands opportunities for children in foster care to participate equally with classmates and peers by providing qualified immunity from liability for caregivers and childcare institutions for decisions regarding child’s participating in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities…

SB 2878 (Act 134) Relating to Youth Transitioning from Foster Care – Extends the application deadline for financial assistance for higher education available to foster or former foster youth.

HB 2084 (Act 135) Relating to Insurance – Prohibits all insurers in the state, including health insurers, mutual benefit plans under chapter 87A, HRS, from discriminating with respect to participation and coverage under a policy, contract, plan or agreement against any person on the basis of a person’s actual gender identity or perceived gender identity.

HB 1943 (Act 136) Relating to Long-Term Care Facilities – Provides an inflationary adjustment to the methodology used to reimburse facilities for long-term care of Medicaid recipients for FY 2016-17.

SB 2076 (Act 137) Relating to Health Care – Establishes a license program for suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and related supplies through the Office of Health Care Assurance.

HB 1878 (Act 138) Relating to Aging – Appropriates funds for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) for fall prevention and early detection services for the elderly.

Lava Flow Front Reaches Base of Pali

The flow front was reaching the base of the pali today, burning vegetation in the adjacent kipuka.

The front consisted of ʻaʻā that was fed by a narrow channel extending down the steep section of the pali.

The front consisted of ʻaʻā that was fed by a narrow channel extending down the steep section of the pali. Pictures via USGS

A mango tree is surrounded by the ʻaʻā flow:

hvo 6292The flow front as it approaches another mango tree.

hvo 6293The flow front was supplied by a narrow channelized section on the steep portion of the pali.

hvo 6294A close-up of clinker at the flow front

hvo 6295

County Opening Emergency Road for Lava Viewing Tomorrow

The active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō is making its way over the Pulama Pali along the western boundary of the former Royal Gardens Subdivision.  The lava flow does not pose a threat to any community.

Lava ViewingTo maintain public safety and to preserve the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i will open the emergency road to lava viewing on June 30, 2016.  Lava viewing along the three mile stretch of the County’s portion of the emergency road is permitted between the hours of 3 pm to 9 pm, daily. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road will be limited to local residents and emergency vehicles.

Security guards will be posted on the emergency road or Highway 130 before the entrance to Kalapana Gardens to provide lava viewing information and to direct parking. As in previous lava viewing events, visitors will be asked to park in marked areas near the end of the paved portion of Highway 130.  Again, it is approximately three (3) miles from this parking area to the end of the County portion of the emergency road, and vehicular traffic on the emergency road will be limited to local residents and emergency vehicles.

Visitors are reminded that the emergency road is a gravel road that traverses over older lava flows and ends at the National Park Service boundary.  Visitors are also reminded to prepare for the trek with proper footwear, sun screen, warm clothing, and water.

The County has established lava flow viewing areas along Highway 130 as far back as 2001 and most recently in Pāhoa in 2014.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protecting the interests of Kalapana residents, and the protection of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua.

Hokulea Arrives at Martha’s Vineyard for the First Time in Her History

Hokulea achieved another first in her epic Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage: the famed voyaging canoe and her crew arrived at Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, an area accessible only by boat or air travel.

Marthas VineyardThe canoe’s interaction with the local community highlighted the area’s thriving Native American tribes and innovative sustainability practices.

Marthas Vineyard2Hokulea’s sail to the dock was escorted by a mishoon, a traditional dugout canoe that the Wampanoag – a Native American tribe on the US east coast – had just finished building.

Marthas Vineyard3The mishoon is the first one built on the island in over 300 years. Captain Bruce Blankenfeld displayed two strands of wampum (beads made from shell) that the crew received from the tribe, to acknowledge the Wampanoag nation’s welcome.

Marthas Vineyard4Hundreds of local community members on the dock greeted the crewmembers from Hawaii with a welcoming ceremony.

Marthas Vineyard5Customary chants and speeches were exchanged between the Hokulea crew and the Wampanoag, in honor of each group’s respective traditions. The crew was also presented with gifts of school-grown food from the Edgartown School students.

Marthas Vineyard6The canoe’s arrival was particularly meaningful to Sanford Low, a Hokulea crewmember and current resident of Martha’s Vineyard. “To me, this day could not have gone better; it was full of aloha, it was full of spirit, and it was just plain joy,” Low said. “This is really a joining of two different islands across a massive ocean… This canoe has come, these people, this crew has come to learn from the people of Martha’s Vineyard and take back to Hawaii.”

Marthas Vineyard7Hokulea will remain docked at Martha’s Vineyard for a few days, and crewmembers will set up tents and exhibits for the local community to learn more about the Malama Honua message of taking care of Island Earth.

Marthas Vineyard8The canoe is slated to continue her sail to Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Friday.

Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Donates $17,100 to Kahi Mohala

Sutter Health Kahi Mohala received a $17,100 donation from The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s Public Health Fund.
Kahi Mohala
The funds will be used to support Kahi Mohala’s Healing Forces Trauma Recovery Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), a specialized outpatient day program designed for military personnel and veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental health problems caused by trauma during their service.

“The Chamber’s generous gift will increase operational capacity and treat more of our military service members and veterans exposed to things like combat and multiple deployments,” said Dr. Ken Delano, clinical director for Healing Forces. “Through our partial hospitalization program, we help patients improve their coping skills and implement permanent lifestyle changes to maintain long-term recovery.”

The program provides treatment five days a week and is aimed at preventing further de-compensation and inpatient hospitalization. The program is the only one of its kind in Hawaii treating both military men and women.

“We are deeply committed to helping the military personnel and veterans who served our country recover from their time abroad by contributing to the innovative, high-quality treatment,” said Phyllis Dendle, Administrator for the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s Public Health Fund.

Statewide Campaign on Mosquito-Borne Diseases and Threats to Hawaii to be Announced

Governor Ige and the Mayors of Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Counties will announce a new statewide public education campaign to build awareness of mosquito-borne diseases and their threat to Hawaii.

Mosquito Bite

The state and counties will also announce the state’s planning efforts to prevent, prepare, and protect Hawaii from mosquito-borne disease outbreaks this summer and throughout the year. State departments will mention special efforts underway to reach visitors, traveling residents and students with guidance on preventing the spread of Zika.

Why: As a favorite travel destination, Hawaii is identified as one of the nation’s higher risk areas for the potential spread of Zika virus. With the Aedes Aegypti mosquito present in our state, year-long warm climate, and past experience with dengue outbreaks, mosquitos pose a serious threat to our residents and visitors.

When:  Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: Governor’s Ceremonial Chambers, State Capitol 5th floor

Who:

  • Governor David Y. Ige
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City & County of Honolulu
  • Mayor Alan Arakawa, County of Maui
  • Mayor Bernard Carvalho, County of Kauai
  • Mayor Billy Kenoi, County of Hawaii
  • Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director, Hawaii Department of Health
    Major General Arthur J. Logan, Adjutant General, Department of Defense
  • George Szigeti, Director, Hawaii Tourism Authority
  • Ross Higashi, Airports Division Deputy Director, Department of Transportation
  • Steven Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, Department of Education

Lava Flow Continues Towards Ocean

The lava flow is now about 2.5 miles from the ocean and shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 23 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 28 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).  (Click to enlarge)

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

 

Big Island Police Asking Public’s Help in Identifying Three People

Big Island police are asking the public’s help in identifying three folks wanted in separate incidents:

  1. Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a reported break-in to a vehicle Monday (June 27) in the parking lot of a restaurant on Pauahi Street in Hilo.
    Scooter dudeAfter receiving a report and reviewing video surveillance, it was discovered that at approximately 2:54 p.m. Monday, an unidentified male entered a 40-year-old woman’s vehicle and removed an item. He then left the area in an unknown direction on a blue scooter or moped.

    He is described as a younger “local” male with a slim-to-medium build. He was wearing a light shirt, light shorts, a white hat and a dark backpack. His image was captured on a surveillance camera.

    Police ask anyone who recognizes his photograph or knows anything about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Officer Tyler Jelsma at 961-2203.

  2. Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a robbery that was reported on Tuesday (June 28) at a business on the 300 block of East Makaʻala Street in Hilo.
    combative womanAt approximately 5:32 p.m. Tuesday, a woman was observed to exit the store without paying for several selected items. When a 27-year old female store employee attempted to contact the woman outside the store, the woman became combative and struck the employee. The woman then ran into the parking lot and left the area in a white two-door sedan.

    She is described as Caucasian, in her early 40s, about 5-foot-11 and 130 pounds with dark eyes and short dark hair. She was wearing a white long-sleeved dress. Her image was captured on a surveillance camera.

    Police ask anyone with any information on the identity of the woman in the photograph or any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Tyler Jelsma at 961-2213.

  3. Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone involved in a break-in at a Hawaiʻi County facility on Railroad Avenue.
    Generator dudeThe break-in occurred early on the morning of May 18. A generator was removed from the facility. Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect and a suspect vehicle.

    Police ask anyone with information about this incident, the person or vehicle shown, or persons in possession of the stolen generator to call Officer Jacob Obermiller at 961-2213 or 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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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