Police Making Two “Active Shooter” Presentations in North Kohala

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make two “active shooter” presentations in North Kohala on Saturday (August 27).
Active Shooter
The presentations, which are open to the public by reservation only, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Kohala Inter-Generational Center located at Kamehameha Park.

The presentations are designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident. Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention. They will also provide additional resources for participants so they can continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

Seating is limited. Persons wishing to attend must make a reservation by contacting the Hawaiʻi Community Federal Credit Union at 930-7700 or marketing@hicommfcu.com.

Persons unable to attend may obtain “active shooter” information by viewing the “Active Shooter/Violence Awareness” page on the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website (www.hawaiipolice.com) under the “Services” tab.

Hawaii State Highway Bonds Sale Secures $247 Million, Saves State More Than $22 Million

On Aug. 10, 2016, the State of Hawai‘i successfully sold $204.485 million in Highway Revenue Bonds at the lowest interest rate in the history of the state’s Highway Revenue Bond Program. The sale raised $247.581 million.

Highways DivisionApproximately $120 million of the bond sale proceeds will be used to fund various highway projects throughout the state and about $127 million of the proceeds will be used to refinance existing state bonds. The refinancing will reduce debt service payments and save more than $22 million in interest costs.

“This financing is a tremendous success for the state, enabling continued investment in our infrastructure at a very affordable borrowing cost,” said Gov. David Ige. The low interest rates achieved demonstrate bond investors’ confidence in Hawai‘i’s economic strength and its continued practice of sound fiscal management. This is the result of years of discipline and conservative fiscal management.”

Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service and Fitch Ratings affirmed the state’s strong bond ratings of “Aa2”, “AA+” and “AA,” respectively. Each rating agency also attached “stable” outlooks on their ratings, indicating secure future economic and financial trends for Hawai‘i. Rating agencies cited the stability and diversity of revenue streams that are pledged as security for the bonds, as one of the key strengths of the credit.  Other strengths cited include strong legal provisions, high debt service coverage, and stable revenue trends, particularly in those sectors that are less reliant on economic activity.

The marketing plan for the bonds included investor presentations, both in-person in Hawai‘i and on the mainland, as well as internet-based presentations and conference calls. The extended marketing generated strong demand for the bonds from institutional investors.

There was very strong demand for the bonds by both Hawai‘i and national investors. Orders for the bonds amounted to 4.5 times the amount available for sale. The strong demand resulted in net interest rates on the bonds that ranged from 0.50 to 2.50 percent, with the average net interest rate less than 2.25 percent. This is the lowest rate the state has achieved since starting the Highway Revenue Bond Program in 1993.

“The success of the recent bond sale and the low interest rate on the offering is due in no small part to the hard work of the Highways Division in adhering to its sound fiscal and debt management policies,” said Ford Fuchigami, director, Hawai‘i  Department of Transportation. “We are extremely pleased with the demand for the bonds and the needed infusion of capital the Highways Division will receive from the sale.”

The bonds were sold by a financing team led by Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, serving as book-running senior manager and Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Securities, serving as co-senior managers.

Free ‘Imiloa Membership for All UH Hilo Students

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has announced an exciting new benefit for its students. For the very first time, the University’s ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is offering a complimentary individual membership to every student with a valid I.D. who is registered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Free Imiloa
“Very few universities can boast an on-campus resource like the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, which showcases Mauna Kea and its cultural and scientific value, especially way-finding and astronomy,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “We greatly appreciate this gesture and encourage all of our students to take advantage of the benefits ‘Imiloa has to offer throughout the academic year.”

‘Imiloa is located on the upper campus, and housed in a striking titanium-clad conical structure. The Center is open to the public six days a week (Tuesday-Sunday). Student members will be able to enjoy four free daily shows in the full-dome planetarium, full access to the interactive exhibit hall, plus discounts on special events and purchases at ‘Imiloa’s award-winning Sky Garden Restaurant and on-site store.

For Astronomy majors Shelby Wood and Micah English, an ‘Imiloa membership is something they’ll make extensive use of.

“I’m from New Mexico, and have never been to ‘Imiloa, so I appreciate the opportunity to check it out,” Wood said. “I think it’s really great that they are doing this, because I have been to the planetarium and it was really cool,” English added.

Hawaiian Studies Major Kehaulani Esteban sees ‘Imiloa as a valuable resource for learning more about the Hawaiian culture.

“I’m really looking forward to the Mauna Kea show because we get to learn about how the Hawaiian Islands were created,” Esteban said.

`Imiloa Executive Director Ka’iu Kimura sees the memberships as an effective avenue for advancing ‘Imiloa’s mission to inspire exploration through the sharing of Hawaiian culture and science.

“One of the goals ‘Imiloa has set for our second decade is to take our programming across the island, the state and beyond. At the same time, however, we are committed to amplifying our impact here at home,” Kimura said. “What better way to inspire the next generation than to deepen our ties to UH Hilo and the community of students at our doorstep?”

Students can activate their free membership by visiting: http://blog.imiloahawaii.org/general-information/free-imiloa-membership-for-all-uh-hilo-students/.

FDA Warns Hawaii Seafood Processor About Handling of Tuna

A seafood-processing facility in Honolulu was found to have “serious violations” of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations during a May 17 and 20 inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Click to read the warning letter

Click to read the warning letter

The resulting warning letter, dated July 27 and sent from the agency’s San Francisco District Office, informed Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC that its “fresh, refrigerated histamine-forming fish products, including Ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and skipjack tuna” are therefore adulterated, meaning that “they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”

FDA acknowledged the company’s June 13 response to the inspection results, but found that it did not adequately address all the problems observed by inspectors.

The warning letter states that Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC “must conduct a hazard analysis to determine whether there are food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur and have a HACCP plan that, at a minimum, lists the critical control points” to comply with federal law.

FDA noted that the company’s HACCP plan for fresh, refrigerated histamine-forming fish, including tuna, does not list the critical control point of refrigerated storage for controlling the food safety hazard of scombrotoxin (histamine) formation.

An agency investigator observed refrigerated product storage to be at 44 degrees F and the internal temperature of two Ahi tuna in the room to be at 42 degrees F. However, FDA’s letter stated that refrigerated, not frozen, storage or processing of raw product is to be held at a cooler temperature of 40 degrees F or below.

Or, if the fish are stored under ice, the product must be completely and continuously surrounded by ice throughout the storage time, according to the warning letter.

FDA also pointed out that the firm’s HACCP plan for fresh, refrigerated histamine-forming fish such as tuna does not list the food safety hazard of pathogenic bacteria growth for fish intended for raw consumption. The company responded that pathogenic bacteria growth was not considered a potential hazard because it uses potable water in the facility.

“Your response is not adequate and your hazards analysis is incorrect,” the warning letter states. “FDA has identified pathogenic bacteria growth and toxin formation as a food safety hazard in finfish, i.e. tuna, intended for raw consumption and control of this significant hazard must be included in your HACCP plan in the event of time and temperature abuse.”

FDA’s letter also mentioned that the firm was observed monitoring the surface temperature of fish at receiving with an infrared thermometer.

“Your response received on June 13 stated that you have now resumed taking the internal temperature of the fish with a probe thermometer. We will verify the adequacy of your corrective action during our next scheduled inspection,” the letter stated.

Other problems cited at the facility involved current good manufacturing practice requirements. These included not monitoring for the prevention of cross-contamination, insufficient cleaning of food contact surfaces, and inadequate control of employee health conditions.

Specifically, the letter states that an investigator observed unprocessed Ahi tuna intended for raw consumption being stored on a concrete floor and then dragged across the floor onto a pallet by an employee.

The company responded that the employee had received a written warning and was counseled, extra pallets were added for storage, and that plastic platform trucks were ordered to help move products.

FDA called that response “not completely adequate because you have not addressed the steps you have taken to ensure prevention of other employees from engaging in the same practice.”

Recipients of FDA warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to respond with details of the procedures they have taken, or will take, to correct the current violations and prevent them from recurring.

Look Out Nate Garner… Councilman Ilagan Starting YouTube Channel

After serving four years on the Hawai’i County Council, Greggor Ilagan is seeking a bigger audience — working with YouTube.

ilagan youtube

One week after the primary election, he launched his new venture as a content creator, Ilagan Videos, with the shaving cream challenge. Besides the Ilagan Challenges, other possible ventures that are being explored include Ilagan News and Ilagan Travel.

It’s far from his original goal of running for the State Senate, but after the hard-fought campaign, it is a way to keep moving. It is also in line with his innovative use of technology to run his office and to reach out to constituents. “Sometimes in life our path changes,” Ilagan said. “And it’s how fast we adapt to that change that matters.”

So the Puna councilman decided to follow a new path outside of government. “Thank you everyone for your support,” he said. “Continue to exercise your right to vote, and please subscribe to Ilagan Videos.”

Island Air Expands College Student Standby Program

As Hawai‘i college students start the new semester, they can look forward to their next interisland getaway with Island Air’s expanded College Student Standby Program. Students enrolled in Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU), Chaminade University of Honolulu and Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i (BYUH) now have the opportunity to stand by for any Island Air interisland flight for the student-friendly price of just $45* each way.

Island Air PlaneIsland Air launched its college standby fares last October as a pilot program available to students enrolled at University of Hawai‘i (UH) schools and community colleges on O‘ahu and Maui. As Island Air added routes to Līhu‘e and Kona, the standby program was expanded to include all universities and community colleges in the UH system. The program’s popularity among UH students, along with growing requests from students at other Hawai‘i universities led Island Air to extend the standby fares to HPU, Chaminade and BYUH students.

To qualify for the College Student Standby rate, students must present a valid University of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Chaminade University or Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i student identification to a customer service agent at any Island Air ticket counter. There is no maximum number of times a student may participate in the offer.

“As an island business, we support our students who are pursuing their higher education goals, and we want to make traveling interisland more convenient and affordable for them,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air. “We know the importance of getting away from hitting the books for a little exploration or taking some time to visit family and friends. We hope students will take advantage of this opportunity and ‘Fly the Island Way’.”

*$45 is a standby rate, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice.  Fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee.  Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

ABOUT ISLAND AIR

Island Air is the value leader in the Hawaiian Islands, offering 238 convenient flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. The affordable alternative for interisland travel, Island Air’s 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft are able to provide captivating aerial views of Hawai‘i’s remarkable landscapes. Founded in 1980 as Princeville Airways, the company was renamed Island Air in 1992 and has been proudly serving the islands of Hawai‘i for more than 35 years.

For more information about Island Air or to make a reservation, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 652-6541. Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Dissolves UPW Injuction; Maui Hospitals Transition May Proceed

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today issued an order dissolving an injunction that had temporarily barred certain transition activities relating to Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Communty Hospital. Based upon a settlement agreement reached on August 13, 2016 between Governor and the United Public Workers union and a joint request from both parties, the Court dismissed the underlying appeal brought by UPW as moot.

Attorney General Chin said, “During oral arguments before the 9th Circuit, the judges made clear to both UPW and the State that it preferred seeing the parties settle instead of the court making an all or nothing decision. Reaching compromise is not always easy. I thank Governor Ige and the union leadership for finding a forward path.”

Click to read

Click to read

In 2015, the Hawaii state legislature passed a law ending the Hawaii Health System Corporation’s delivery of health care services at the three Maui region facilities and transferring service delivery to a private operator. UPW had sued to stop the transition from taking place. Today’s order means that all transition activities between the State and a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health System, may resume at the three Maui region facilities.