Hawaii DLNR Keeps Areas Closed in Anticipation of Hurricane Lester

Due to the uncertainty over the track of approaching Hurricane Lester, all Hawai‘i island, Maui, and O‘ahu State Park camping and lodging areas will be closed to overnight use beginning Friday, September 2 and will remain closed — at minimum through Monday, September 5 — until conditions warrant allowing these activities.

Lester2 The gates at Makua Beach (Ka‘ena Point State Park, O‘ahu), which normally open at 2 pm on Fridays for weekend access, will remain locked through the weekend.  At this time, all State Parks are open for day use.

Full refunds will be processed for all current permit holders.

Kaua‘i State Park camping and lodging areas remain open at this time, but are subject to closure depending on updated forecasts.

On Maui and Hawaii islands, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, forest campgrounds and game management areas, will remain closed until further notice.  Camping permits for this weekend are cancelled until further notice.  

For public safety, DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife is canceling the following scheduled weekend hunts for Saturday and Sunday, September 3-4, 2016:

Lanai Mouflon sheep rifle hunt – There will be a makeup hunt scheduled for October 29-30, 2016 for those hunters impacted by this cancellation. For further information, contact the Maui DOFAW office at (808) 984-8100.

Puu Waawaa scheduled weekend hunt – There will be a makeup hunt scheduled for September 24-25, 2016 for those hunters impacted by this cancellation.  For further information, contact the Kamuela DOFAW office at (808) 887-6063.

DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with these area closures as the storm approaches.

Additional closures may follow over the weekend, and updates will be provided to news media and on the department’s website.

People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf as well as ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches and rocky coastal benches and lava flows.  High surf may create the potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.  Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches.

Hurricane Watch Also Now Issued for Oahu

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Oahu.

Lester2At 500 PM HST (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Lester was located near latitude 18.7 North, longitude 146.0 West. Lester is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue during the next 48 hours.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts.  Lester is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in intensity is expected into tonight, followed by gradual weakening.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 957 mb (28.26 inches).

Commentary – Stene’s Disappointed With Big Island State Legislators

I’m very disappointed with our Big Island state legislators. They haven’t responded to any of  my emails, which expressed concern about the Hawaii DOT’s decision  to defer all new state highway projects. State Senator Josh Green was the only legislator that truly acknowledged my concerns about the DOT’s shortsighted decision.

Highway 130 Widening

There is several proposed highway projects in both east and west Hawaii that are  affected by this  deferment, such as the widening of Highway 130 in Puna, and the Saddle  Road Extension in South Kohala. However, there hasn’t been much public push back  as far as I’ve seen, especially from our island’s state legislators.

I strongly believe they should take a stronger stance against the Department of Transportation  in this matter. If DOT continues to allocate 90% of their budgetary resources towards system preservation, this will result in less construction jobs, and more traffic congestion on our island’s highways over the long term.
These profound negative impacts will stifle economic growth on the Big Island.  This should concern our state legislators, as I strongly believe we should continue to invest in our island’s our transportation infrastructure.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Maui County Courts to Close Due to Projected Severe Weather Conditions

State courthouses and judiciary offices in Maui County will be closing at 12:00pm (noon) on Friday, September 2, 2016, due to severe weather conditions being projected by the National Weather Service.

These closures include district courts on Molokai and Lanai, as well as the Children’s Justice Center, Office of the Public Guardian, and the Driver’s Education Office.

lester1The Chief Justice issued an order extending deadlines for any Maui County court matters with a filing or hearing date of Friday, September 2, 2016.

All documents due during the court closure will be considered timely if filed by the close of business on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

Hearings or trials cancelled due to the closure of the courts shall be rescheduled to the next available date with due regard for any statutory mandates.

We will provide updates if there are any changes or additional closures.

Estimated 5,500 People Lost Power Due to Tropical Storm Madeline

Hawaii Electric Light’s business offices, including the Customer Service and Customer Engineering offices, will remain closed today. The Company will continue to address customer outages caused by Tropical Storm Madeline on Thursday. Customers may still reach the company to report power outages and downed power lines by calling its trouble desk at 969-6666. All offices will be open for business on Friday, September 2, 2016.

HELCO Worker

During the course of the day yesterday, an estimated 5,500 customers experienced power interruptions related to Tropical Storm Madeline on Wednesday. Employees worked to repair downed lines and broken poles, and remove trees and branches from power lines to restore power to customers. Nearly all affected customers have been restored. As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 100 customers in Pahala, Mountain View, and Honokaa are without power. Crews are working tonight to restore power to customers as long as it is safe to do so.

“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson Rhea Lee-Moku. “Do not touch fallen or low hanging power lines or anything they may be in contact with. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Stay clear of puddles where downed lines may have landed. Stay at least 30 feet away from a fallen line and call the Hawai‘i Electric Light trouble desk at 969-6666.

Even after power is restored, small pockets of outages may occur. Customers who are without power and have not yet reported their outage should call the trouble desk to report it.

Coast Guard Rescues Man From Capsized Vessel Off Kauai

The Coast Guard rescued a 56-year-old man after his 24-foot fishing vessel capsized approximately 12 miles west of Kikiaola Harbor, Kauai, Thursday.

rescued manThe man was safely hoisted into an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and was transported to the airport at Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, where his family was waiting to pick him up.

The man was fishing when a large wave swamped and capsized his vessel. The man was reported to be wearing his life jacket and no injuries were reported.

Seas were reported to be at seven feet.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon alert at 8 a.m., indicating potential distress.

At 9:17 a.m., an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched along with a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Kauai.

The Dolphin crew arrived on scene at 10 a.m., and located the man at 10:17 a.m., after he fired off a flare upon seeing the helicopter.

“We commend this mariner for ensuring he took all the necessary safety precautions before going on his fishing trip,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Crystal Escalante, a duty watchstander at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center. “Having a flares, a life jacket and especially a properly registered EPIRB significantly allowed him to be rescued so quickly.”

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to always wear a life jacket, file a float plan with a friend and highly encourages recreational boaters to have a registered emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). A free Coast Guard Boating Safety Application is available on both iPhone and Android devices that has direct contact information to the nearest Coast Guard Command Center to report distress situations.

Coast Guard Opens Hawaii County Ports and Prepares for Hurricane Lester

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port opened the Hawaii County ports Thursday morning and cargo operations have resumed.

Tropical Storm Madeline is expected to continue to move west and degrade. Vessel and facility operators are recommended to exercise caution when maneuvering in the ports as there may be fields of debris present.

The reopening of the Hawaii County port is to ensure the flow of goods and services prior to the arrival of Hurricane Lester.

The Coast Guard will continue to broadcast Notice to Mariners and post Marine Safety Information Bulletins on http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict&region=14 to notify the future closing of ports and any special conditions.

Coast Guard urges boaters to exercise extreme caution with the arrival of Hurricane Lester over the weekend.

Mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Smaller boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected for high winds. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

A PDF version of the Hawai’i Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual can be found at the following link: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/SeaGrantSearch/TabId/526/ArtMID/3568/ArticleID/354/Hawai%e2%80%98i-Boater%e2%80%99s-Hurricane-and-Tsunami-Safety-Manual.aspx.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.Hurricane Manual

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Partially Open as Hurricane Lester Nears

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open Thursday, with partial closures in place as Hurricane Lester nears, and Hurricane Madeline,  now downgraded as a tropical storm, passes south of Hawai‘i Island.

NPS Photo/Jay Robinson: Hurricane Madeline caused an ‘ōhi‘a tree to fall near Kīlauea Visitor Center on Wednesday. Several other trees were reported down on closed park roadways.

NPS Photo/Jay Robinson: Hurricane Madeline caused an ‘ōhi‘a tree to fall near Kīlauea Visitor Center on Wednesday. Several other trees were reported down on closed park roadways.

Open areas include Crater Rim Drive and Crater Rim Trail, Kīlauea Visitor Center, Jaggar Museum and observation deck, Steam Vents, Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube), Kīlauea Iki, Devastation Trail, Sulphur Banks and most front-country trails.

These closures remain in place: all camping and campgrounds, Chain of Craters Road, including the coastal lava viewing area, all backcountry areas, Hilina Pali Road, and Mauna Loa Road after Kīpukapuaulu to the overlook.

“Hurricane Lester is still a threat to Hawai‘i Island, even though it is projected to go north.  Therefore we will maintain the aforementioned closures until Lester has passed and is no longer a threat,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.

Hawai‘i Island and Maui are under a hurricane watch, and according to the National Weather Service as of 11 a.m., the center of Hurricane Lester was 675 miles east of Hilo, moving west at 13 mph. Forecasters are again expecting very heavy rainfall, dangerously high surf, and hurricane-force winds.

The Kahuku Unit, open only on Saturdays and Sundays, will remain closed on Saturday. Rangers will determine if Kahuku can reopen for Sunday.

Updates are posted to the park’s website www.nps.gov/havo, its general information phone number, (808) 985-6000, and its official social media sites.

WAR AND PEACE – Star Wars Meets Peace Day September 21

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” launches the annual Peace Day celebration September 21 at 6 p.m. at Honoka‘a People’s Theatre. The movie screening is free (donations appreciated) and cosplayers are encouraged to enter the costume contest for a chance to win prizes.

The Peace Committee, producers of the annual Peace Day events, chose the most recent installment of the “Star Wars” saga because of its connections with Buddhistic themes such as mindfulness meditation, and the Force’s similarity to the Dharma. Educator Kiyoshi Najita will discuss the concept during his introduction to the film September 21.

Peace-themed events continue through the month, including youth activities, a Blue Zones ‘Power 9’ event, books and art projects, the 10th Annual Peace Day Parade and Festival, and a complete Day of Mindfulness workshop on October 1.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

2016 Peace Day Flyer

PEACE POSTER CONTEST

All students are encouraged to express themselves with posters on this year’s theme: “Peace = Future.” Cash prizes will be awarded in numerous categories, and the contest is open to public, private and homeschool students Pre K to 12. Entry forms and details at www.peacedayparade.org. Deadline to enter is Friday, September 16.

PEACE MOVIE NIGHT

Peace Day, Wednesday, September 21, 6 p.m. A free screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Honoka‘a Peoples Theatre.  In celebration of Peace Day in Hawai‘i, and launch of “Peace Week,” the next epic chapter of the Star Wars saga shares unique messages of Mindfulness and Buddhistic themes threaded throughout. Presentation by educator, costume contest and more. Free (donations appreciated).

WINE AT 5

Friday, September 22, 5 p.m. at Cafe Il Mondo. A Blue Zones presentation and sampling of Cannonau DI Sardegna wine from Sardinia, Italy. This wine has the highest level of antiozidants of any wine in the world. The Blue Zones Project tells us that spending time with our friends can have a big impact on our health and happiness. Even if it’s just an hour, it’s important to set aside time to slow down and connect with friends and loved ones over a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice). Free.

PEACE DAY PARADE & FESTIVAL

Saturday, September 24, the 10th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace steps off at 4 p.m. Mamane Street will be closed for this colorful and entertaining celebration, with Taiko drumming, hula, and all kinds of music. The Peace Day Festival follows immediately, with food booths, great music, Bon Dance and Silent Auction and more. A very special Ho‘oponopono-centered activity for young people will be presented by West Hawaii Mediation and the Hamakua Youth Center.

READ FOR PEACE

Monday, September 26, 5-6 p.m., “Read for Peace” in the Honoka‘a Library, presented by Friends of the Libraries. Free. This year’s book selection is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The instant New York Times  bestseller tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths  collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Free.

CHALK THE WALK

Thursday, September 29, 3:30-5:30 p.m., “Chalk the Walk” at Honoka‘a Library. Young artists are encouraged to come and express themselves on the sidewalks. A free activity for youth presented by the Friends of Honoka’a Library; all materials provided. Free.

A DAY OF MINDFULNESS

Saturday, October 1, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., A Day of Mindfulness with Dr. Gregory Pai, meditation teacher, Broken Ridge Korean Temple, Oahu. Located in the Social Hall, Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Experience guided sitting and walking meditation, a Dharma discussion with Q&A and a mindful, silent meal. Please RSVP to fredburian@msn.com, or call 808-775-1064. The Day of Mindfulness is free, and donations, or Dana, as offerings of generosity and gratitude for the teachings, will be gratefully accepted.

For more information and updates, please follow Peace Day Parade on Facebook, visit www.PeaceDayParade.org or email info@peacedayparade.org.

A Feast from Mauka to Makai – Waikoloa Beach Resort Food Events Feature the Best from Land and Sea

September 9-10, 2016 is the weekend foodies look forward to all year, when two of the island’s tastiest culinary events happen back-to-back in Waikoloa Beach Resort: Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Friday, September 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and Hawai‘i Island Festival’s Poke Contest, Saturday, September 10 at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

Poke Festival 2016

Celebrating its 20th year, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range (TOTHR) is not just for carnivores anymore. Along with island-raised meats—skillfully prepared by 30 top chefs from around the state—TOTHR showcases a bounty of locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts and other farm products. Additionally, a special culinary activity, “Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101,” presented by chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason Schoonover of the award-winning 12th Ave. Grill, takes place at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets are $45 and $60 at the door for TOTHR, $10 for Cooking 101, available online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com or at the Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. For general event information, phone 808-322-4892.

For kama‘āina, Hilton Waikoloa Village offers a Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package, starting at $239, which includes two tickets to the event. A valid Hawai‘i state ID and address are required. For hotel reservations, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, (package code TSH), or call 1-800-HILTONS.

On Saturday, September 10, the culinary journey travels from the pastures to the ocean for Hawai‘i Island Festivals Poke Contest at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. A traditional Hawaiian food that has stood the test of time and continues to trend in popular cuisine, poke is a side dish made of bite-size pieces of fish, combined with a limitless range of creative additional ingredients.

Doors open for the Poke Contest at 11 a.m., where for both professional chefs and home cooks, will compete for cash prizes in numerous categories. And, after the judges announce the winners, the audience gets to taste too. For information and entry forms, visit www.hawaiiislandfestival.org.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties.  The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs.  For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

Hawaii to Effectively Manage 30 Percent of Hawaii’s Nearshore Ocean Waters by 2030

Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and Promise to Pae Aina partners (P2P) are celebrating Governor David Ige’s announcement today that the State is committed to effectively managing 30 percent of Hawaii’s nearshore waters by 2030 in the main Hawaiian Islands. Announced at the opening ceremony of the IUCN World Conservation Congress, this 30 by 30 marine goal is a milestone event for P2P, a Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage-inspired collaboration of partners with a collective commitment to ensure Hawaii is a better place when Hokulea returns than when she left in 2014.

ige iucnIn his speech today, Governor Ige said, “Our reefs provide habitat for spectacular marine life, and feed us.  That’s why I’m committed to effectively managing 30 percent of our nearshore ocean waters by 2030.”

Multiple sources of scientific research suggest that the health and function of at least 30 percent of nearshore reef areas are necessary to sustain the productivity of reef regions like those in the main Hawaiian Islands. The 30 by 30 initiative provides an overarching target that builds on the State’s current efforts to improve the capacity and coverage of enforcement, support community-based marine management, develop a plan to address coral bleaching, and strengthen statewide regulations, monitoring, enforcement, and other adaptive management measures. Effective management will be measured by a broadly agreed-upon set of biological parameters for “healthy” reef systems developed by scientific expertise, traditional knowledge, and user input. The plan for this effort is to be an open, inclusive process balancing fisher and other ocean user interests with the State’s restoration and conservation needs.

“Initiatives such as 30 by 30 are essential for our sail plan to a sustainable future. To protect life on earth, we have to protect the ocean waters,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society. “The impact made by the collective efforts of our partners is a testament to how the community can come together to create change that will benefit our children and our future,” he added.

The 30 by 30 commitment was developed through a collaborative effort of conservation organizations, marine resource management groups, community members and government agencies brought together by Promise to Pae Aina o Hawaii (P2P), a collective impact initiative inspired by the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. As Hokulea sails the Worldwide Voyage (WWV) sharing her message to mālama honua, to care for Island Earth, P2P’s primary focus is to compel the ocean management community to acknowledge that the issues facing the environment are shared problems that need shared solutions. The group came together and penned the Promise to the Pae Aina declaration (http://www.hokulea.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Promise-to-Paeaina.pdf) document on April 23, 2014.

Hawaii Police Department’s 84th Recruit Class Receives Badges

Members of the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s 84th Recruit Class received their badges Wednesday morning (August 31) during a brief ceremony attended by about 90 friends and relatives.

Front row: Lisa Ebesugawa, Brian Tada, Lauren Pacheco, Kaipokoka Aurello, Robert Kamau Jr., Conrad Bidal, Isaac Michaels. Back row: Isabell Feki, Joshua Willing, Joshua Rodby-Tomas, Bryan Young, Christopher Huff, Elik Vodovoz, Kyung Yu, Kamuela Akana.

Front row: Lisa Ebesugawa, Brian Tada, Lauren Pacheco, Kaipokoka Aurello, Robert Kamau Jr., Conrad Bidal, Isaac Michaels. Back row: Isabell Feki, Joshua Willing, Joshua Rodby-Tomas, Bryan Young, Christopher Huff, Elik Vodovoz, Kyung Yu, Kamuela Akana.

The ceremony was a substitute for a larger luncheon ceremony that had to be cancelled because of Hurricane Madeline. Knowing that friends and family, including some from the mainland, would be disappointed if the recognition ceremony was called off altogether, the Police Department’s training staff made last-minute preparations to hold a shorter ceremony earlier in the day to allow everyone time to return to safety before the storm intensified.

During the ceremony, Chief Harry Kubojiri issued the reaffirmation oath to the recruits, and Class President Joshua Willing made brief remarks. The highlight was when someone special to each recruit pinned on that officer’s badge.

Two recruits received special recognition for excellence. They were Class Vice President Kamuela Akana, who excelled in firearms training, and Class Secretary/Treasurer Kyung Yu, who excelled in academic training.

The other members of the 84th Recruit Class who completed the first phase of training are Kaipokoka Aurello, Conrad Bidal, Lisa Ebesugawa, Isabell Feki, Christopher Huff, Robert Kamau Jr., Isaac Michaels, Lauren Pacheco, Joshua Rodby-Tomas, Brian Tada, Elik Vodovoz and Bryan Young.

The recruits, who just completed six months of intensive training, will now undergo four months of on-the-job field training with veteran police officers before they are qualified to work alone.

All Hawaii Island PUBLIC Schools Will Reopen Tomorrow

As Tropical Storm Madeline moves past the State, all Hawaii Island public schools will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 2. Schools on the island were closed on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for the storm.

doe logo

The schools that were activated as shelters on Wednesday closed sheltering services at 6:00 a.m. today.

All after-school activities remain cancelled through tomorrow.

“We assessed our school campuses this morning and no damages were reported,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We will remain vigilant as Hurricane Lester makes its way towards the islands and continue to keep everyone informed of the affects it may have on our schools.”

All public charter schools on Hawaii Island will also open tomorrow.

On Maui, Hana High and Elementary School was closed today following heavy rains that created dangerous conditions. Hana School will also reopen tomorrow.

For more information about HIDOE schools and continued updates, visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org, follow us on Twitter at @HIDOE808, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

Hurricane Watch in Effect for Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe #HurricaneLester

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Hawaii County, Maui County including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.

lester1

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A Hurricane Watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm conditions, which make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Interests elsewhere in the Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Lester.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by the National Weather Service office in Honolulu Hawaii.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Lester was located near latitude 18.4 North, longitude 144.8 West. Lester is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h). This motion is expected to continue into the afternoon, followed by a gradual turn toward the west-northwest later today through Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 968 mb (28.59 inches).