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7 People Rescued From Ocean After Being Swept Out at Hakalau Beach Park

Hawaii County Fire Department reports that seven people were rescued from the ocean today at Hakalau Beach Park.

Hakalau Beach Park

Situation Found at Scene: Fast flowing river, unable to get a visual on victims from land.  Chopper 01 located victims, deployed 2 rescue swimmers and extricated all victims to land via chopper 01

Remarks: Total of 7 victims, All victims accounted for, and extricated out of the water by chopper 01.  No emergency medical services was needed at scene.

Hawaii Senate Looking to Override Governor’s Veto, May Amend Bill

Hawaii Senators are looking at overriding a bill that Governor Ige had previously vetoed.

Today, Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Douglas Chin requesting an opinion as to whether at this point in time during special session the Senate may override the governors veto as you indicated we may amend a bill

Chin RequestFrom what it appears to me there appears to be a small war going on between the Governor, Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) and the Legislature.

A list of the bills vetoed and the governors rationale can be found here:  https://damontucker.com/2016/07/13/hawaii-governors-veto-list-and-rationale-summary/

I’m not sure what bill in particular the Senate is looking at overriding so this should be interesting to see what the Attorney Generals opinion is in the next 24 hours per rule 86 of the Senate Rules: Questions to State Officers.

League of Women Voters of Hawaii Creates One-Stop-Site for 2016 Candidate Information

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii  announces the launch of a nonpartisan election resource about candidates, http://www.lwv-hawaii.com/candidates-2016.htm.  Candidate information is available for all counties in Hawaii.  Nearly three hundred candidates were contacted by the League.

primary candidates

This “one-stop shop” for candidate information provides simple tools to help Hawaii voters compare and contrast different candidates. Detailed candidate information, including candidates’ contact information and a statement from candidates about their background and qualifications, is available for offices at the county, state and national levels.

The LWV urges people to become familiar with the candidates and to vote in the primary Aug. 13. The League’s database will be updated to reflect winners of the primary election, so that information continues to be available for the general election on November 8, 2016.

For additional information about online voter registration, location of your polling place, and important voting procedures, the State Office of Elections provides an online guide to voting in Hawaii: http://elections.hawaii.gov/voters/voting-in-hawaii-guide/

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 http://www.lwv-hawaii.com

Senator Schatz Meets with Admiral Harris at RIMPAC

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) lead a congressional delegation to the Asia Pacific to participate in high-level meetings with leaders in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. Before heading to Asia yesterday, the delegation toured the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) headquarters at Camp Smith and met with Admiral Harry Harris, PACOM commander.

USS America pulls into Pearl Harbor

USS America pulls into Pearl Harbor

Following a briefing with Admiral Harris, the delegation boarded the USS AMERICA.  While onboard, the group toured the ship, observed the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, and met with sailors serving aboard the USS AMERICA.

In addition to Schatz, members of the delegation include U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), and Donna Edwards (D-Md.).

Hawaii Coffee Association Hosts 21st Annual Conference and 8th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled July 13-15 for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) 21st Annual Conference and 8th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel located in the heart of the world-famous Kona Coffee Belt. A robust program of presenters included numerous state and federal researchers, regulators, agencies as well as an ample trade show.

Previous cupping winners Tommy and Beth Greenwell with Hawaii News Now’s Howard Dicus.

Cupping winners Tommy and Beth Greenwell with Hawaii News Now’s Howard Dicus.

Activities included tours of area farms and processing facilities, and an optical sorter demonstration. Workshops covered coffee brewing, cupping, processing for quality and social media training. Presenters from Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture, USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources were on hand to offer updates and answer questions. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary and predictions surrounding economic and other current trends.

In the cupping competition, 83 entries from growing districts located across the state competed for top honors in two categories: Creative and Commercial. Qualifying for the Commercial division means at least 1,000 lbs. of the coffee entered is available for sale.

Competing in the Creative division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Greenwell Farms with their Pacamara varietal with a score of 84.8. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a Margogype variety produced by Aloha Hills Kona Coffee LLC with a score of 83.4.

The highest scoring entries from other participating Hawaiian coffee origins also earned honors including Hawaii District’s Second Alarm Farm (84.2), Maui’s Olinda Farms (84.3), Ka’u District’s The Rising Sun (84.2), and Kauai’s Moloa’a Bay Coffee (83.1). Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

HCA’s cupping committee chair, David Gridley of Maui, said, “75 coffees scored 80 and above. It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawai‘i for their remarkable efforts.”

Veteran cupper Shawn Hamilton noted an ongoing increase in scores. “It’s a great trend. There were so many great coffees [competing] it makes our job harder.” Fellow cupper Warren Muller added, “We’re really proud of all the great work the farmers are doing. It’s very exciting for us.”

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel’, acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

HCA membership gathered to elect their new board and officers. The new president is Chris Manfredi (Ka’u Farm & Ranch Co., LLC), vice president is Ralph Gaston (Isla Custom Coffees), treasurer is Adrian Guillen (Hawaiian Queen Coffee) and secretary is Gloria Biven (Royal Kona Visitor Center Mill & Museum).

The new board of directors features broad representation spanning a variety of business disciplines within the coffee industry including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Greenwell Farms, Heavenly Hawaiian Coffee, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Ka’u Coffee Mill, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Kona Coffee Council, Kona Mountain Coffee, Monarch Coffee and UCC-Hawaii.

Incoming President Manfredi shared, “I’m humbled and honored by the vote of confidence made by the members. I hope to fulfill their expectations by working hard to strengthen our industry and, by extension, the businesses, employees and families that depend on high quality Hawaiian coffees.”

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.

Learn more about the HCA at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

Learn more about the Hawaii coffee industry at hawaiicoffeeindustry.com

Hawaii County Product Enrichment Program Hō‘ike

The 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP) Ho’ike will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on July 29th from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Hilton Waikoloa Village Skyview

This one day event is a celebration for all who have worked hard to support festivals, events and community programs in the county of Hawai’i. This Ho’ike will also provide a platform for CPEP applicants and grantees to network and connect with each other essentially creating a greater opportunity to grow their programs.

A registration fee of $30 includes continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments, a panel discussion discussing “How To Involve Millennials in Community Events”, inspiring speakers and round table discussions with industry experts and past CPEP success stories. Bo Campos from Kai Opua Canoe Club, Richard Oshiro from Island Air, Missy Kaleohano from Island of Hawai’i Visitor Bureau, and Gary Marrow the Co-owner of KapohoKine Adventures are just a few who will be sharing their experiences, success stories and greatest achievements. For the first time this year, the County will be hosting an “Aloha Friday” gathering from 4-6pm for more time to talk story and network. Register online at cpephoike.org.

Some festivals, events and programs that are funded by CPEP include HawaiiCon, Queen Liliʻuokalani Canoe Races, Big Island Film Festival, Hawai’i Yoga Festival, Pana’ewa Stampede, and First Fridays in Downtown Hilo. They showcase the unique and diverse experiences available for residents and visitors.

This year, HTA is supporting 162 community, environment and cultural programs; 18 of those are on Hawai’i Island. The results of this program include more efficient and effective use of HTA and County funds and resources, more local control, direction and management, and better oversight and support of awardees.

Hokulea Departs Salem, MA and Arrives in Portsmouth, NH

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea left Salem, Massachusetts on Saturday morning after spending two days engaging with the community. During the stop, the crew was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody Essex Museum’s Oceanic Arts and Culture Gallery, which is currently closed to the public due to renovations.

Visitors come to check out Hōkūleʻa in Salem.

Visitors come to check out Hōkūleʻa in Salem.

This was a significant visit for the crew because of the museum’s collection of 20,000 objects from more than 36 island groups in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Among them are 5,000 Hawaiian objects that form one of the most important collections of its kind outside of Hawaii.

Curator Karen Kramer welcomes the crew into the storage facility where the crew was able to experience traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

Curator Karen Kramer welcomes the crew into the storage facility where the crew was able to experience traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

Part of the collection is one of the three statue images of Hawaiian god Kukailimoku. Only two other large carved images of Kukailimoku have survived: one at the British Museum and the other at the Bishop Museum. The three Ku images were brought together for the first time in more than 150 years for a groundbreaking exhibit at Bishop Museum in 2010.

Curator Karen Kramer explains a little about the Hawaiian artifacts in their collection.

Curator Karen Kramer explains a little about the Hawaiian artifacts in their collection.

Hokulea departed Salem on Saturday at about 6:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. HST) for Portsmouth, NH where the crew arrived at about 2:00 p.m. and were greeted by three members of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People, led by Chief Paul Pouliot. The voyaging canoe is scheduled to depart Portsmouth on Tuesday, July 19, for Portland, Maine.

Federal Settlement to Reduce Air Pollution at Hawaii Refinery

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Par Hawaii Refining for alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Kapolei Refinery, in Kapolei, Hawaii, as part of a larger $425 million settlement covering six refineries.

Click to read

Click to read

Par Hawaii will spend an estimated $47 million to install and operate pollution control equipment at the Kapolei Refinery, formerly owned by the Tesoro Corp.

“EPA remains committed to ensuring companies take responsibility for protecting public health and the environment,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With this agreement, Par Hawaii will not only reduce harmful emissions from refinery leaks and flares, but will also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by nearly 240 tons per year from the Kapolei refinery heaters and boilers.”

Under the settlement, Par Hawaii and subsidiaries of Tesoro Corp. will spend about $403 million to install and operate pollution control equipment at refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah, and Washington State. Tesoro will also pay a civil penalty of $10.45 million, of which the United States will receive $8.05 million. Co-plaintiffs Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington State’s Northwest Clean Air Agency will split the remainder, receiving $1.3 million, $850,000, and $250,000, respectively. Tesoro will also spend about $12.2 million to fund projects that will improve public health in local communities previously impacted by pollution.

Once implemented, the pollution controls required by the settlement will reduce annual emissions at the six refineries by an estimated 773 tons of sulfur dioxide, 407 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,140 tons of volatile organic compounds, 27 tons of hazardous air pollutants, 20 tons of hydrogen sulfide and the equivalent of 47,034 tons of carbon dioxide.

Tesoro Corp., is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and its subsidiaries, Tesoro Alaska Company LLC, Tesoro Logistics L.P., and Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC operate five of the refineries covered by this settlement. Par Pacific Holdings, Inc., formerly known as Par Petroleum Corp. and a parent corporation of Par Hawaii Refining, purchased the Kapolei, Hawaii refinery from Tesoro in 2013.

The penalty is due 30 days after the consent decree is entered by the court. There will be a 30 day public comment period on the consent decree lodged today. Information on how to comment on the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice’s website.

For more information on the settlement or to read the consent decree, go to https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/tesoro-and-par-clean-air-act-settlement