Hokulea Celebrated at Virginia’s Nationally-Acclaimed Mariners’ Museum

As Hokulea undergoes maintenance while in dry dock at the nationally-acclaimed Mariners’ Museum, guests can learn about the history of the legendary voyaging canoe at the new Polynesian Voyagers exhibition. In collaboration with the Polynesian Voyaging Society,the display was designed to highlight the story of settlement in the vast Pacific Islands and celebrate the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Polynesian Voyagers is offered in conjunction with Hokulea’s second visit to Hampton Roads, Virginia and will remain open until June 11, 2017.

drydockThe educational partnership was established to further the voyage’s mission of fostering learning environments and honoring cultures on a global scale. The unique showcase was made possible through a collaboration of thought leaders, including Museum curators, crewmembers, Native Hawaiian educators, Polynesian leaders and local community partners. As a result, visitors can explore traditional supplies and methods encountered on a voyaging canoe and learn more about the time-honored wayfinding skills of Polynesian navigators.

drydock-calvin“This collaboration has helped us celebrate the time-honored legacy of Hokulea and pave a new pathway for education,” said Miki Tomita, director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society Learning Center. “It’s been a privilege to partner with the Mariners’ Museum as we continue our nautical journey along the Worldwide Voyage.”

As the dry dock crew works on Hokulea, museumgoers are invited to experience the vessel up close and watch as repairs and restoration work take place during Museum business hours. Hokulea is scheduled to remain parked at the Mariners’ Museum until Sunday, Nov 6.

drydock-marcFor over 80 years, the Mariners’ Museum has been dedicated to connecting communities to the world’s waterways through exploration and engaging experiences. With its rare international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime artifacts, guests take on history through an interactive lens and are offered a unique educational opportunity.

During the week of Nov. 7, the vessel will be transported back to the open ocean to begin its next leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage to Miami, Florida.

For more information on the Mariners’ Museum’s Polynesian Voyagers exhibit, visit http://www.marinersmuseum.org/polynesianvoyagers/

Japanese Government Delegation Tours Hilo Today on World Tsunami Awareness Day

In observance of World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5, Hawaii County Civil Defense hosted a Japanese government delegation for a tour of Hilo and briefings at the Emergency Operations Centers at Hilo Airport and at Civil Defense. The delegation finished today’s tour with a visit to the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

(clockwise starting from top left):  Marlene Murray, Hawaii County Managing Director Randy Kurohawa, Secretary General Ryota Takeda, Ed Teixeira, Ilihia Gionson, Tiffinie Smith, Rumi Ariyoshi, Consul General Yasushi Misawa, Satomi Okagaki, and Honorary Consul General of Hilo Art Taniguchi.

(clockwise starting from top left): Marlene Murray, Hawaii County Managing Director Randy Kurohawa, Secretary General Ryota Takeda, Ed Teixeira, Ilihia Gionson, Tiffinie Smith, Rumi Ariyoshi, Consul General Yasushi Misawa, Satomi Okagaki, and Honorary Consul General of Hilo Art Taniguchi.

Ryota Takeda, Secretary General for the House of Representatives, Japan Diet, led the visiting delegation. Joining him was Takeshi Ogino, a deputy director in the Japan Ministry of Defense, Kimihito Aguin also of the Ministry of Defense, and Satomi Okagaki, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation arrived in Hilo from an evacuation drill in Valparaiso, Chile involving 100,000 people. They were joined in Hilo by Yasushi Misawa, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, and Rumi Ariyoshi of the Consul General’s office.

“We human beings cannot escape from natural disasters, but we can minimize the damage. Preparedness makes a big difference in the outcome of a disaster,” Takeda said. “I trust that our cooperation and collaboration with Hawaii will boost preparedness in years to come.”

The Japan delegation was hosted in Hilo by Hawaii County Managing Director Randy Kurohara, Civil Defense Director Ed Teixeira, Hawaii Island District Airports Manager Chauncey Wong Yuen, members of Hawaii County’s emergency management team, and Marlene Murray, Director of the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

The delegation visited the Hilo Airport Incident Command Center for a briefing on the annual tsunami evacuation drill conducted by schools in Keaukaha, which was accomplished in tandem with the November 1 statewide test of the emergency warning system. The delegation also toured Keaukaha and the tsunami-vulnerable areas of Hilo including Banyan Drive.

At the Civil Defense Emergency Operations Center the group shared a presentation of recent tsunami evacuation drills in Japan and Chile, participated in a communications exercise with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and amateur radio operators. “Today we demonstrated how we rely on important communications systems when a warning needs to go out to the public in times of emergency. We activated redundant lines of communication to the State Warning Point in Diamond Head, Oahu; the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Oahu; and the Amateur HAM radio operators throughout the State, Pacific region, and mainland,” said Civil Defense Director Ed Teixeira.

“We hope that all we have been through will go far in making our community stronger and more prepared for disasters,” said Hawaii County Managing Director Randy Kurohara, referencing the multitude of natural disasters challenging the Hawaii Island community in the eight years since Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration took office –  tsunami threats including one generated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan that caused damage in West Hawaii, multiple hurricane warnings, wildfires, flooding, the dengue outbreak, Tropical Storm Iselle, and the Puna Lava Flow.

Jointly proposed by 142 nations including the U.S. and Japan, the United Nations General Assembly voted in December 2015 to designate November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day. This year’s observance is the first. The Assembly called on all nations and communities to observe the day to raise tsunami awareness and share approaches to risk reduction. According to Takeda, over 1,000,000 people worldwide participated in the inaugural event.

The debut World Tsunami Awareness Day focused on education and evacuation drills. Exchange students from Hilo and Waiakea schools will go to Japan to participate in a disaster risk reduction summit for high school students, November 25-26 in Kuroshio. The summit will host 350 students from 30 countries.

For more World Tsunami Awareness Day info, visit World Tsunami Awareness Video. For tsunami preparedness tips, visit http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/tsunami_safety.php. Sign up for Civil Defense alerts at https://countyofhawaii.bbcportal.com/.

Interest in Next Wave of Solar Power Rising in Hawaii

Applications for the next generation of private rooftop solar energy systems have surged in recent weeks, showing growing customer interest in the program and this new technology.

solar-panel-in-hawaiiAs of Nov. 1, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company received 234 Customer Self-Supply applications, up from approximately 50 applications in early October.

So far, nearly 100 applications have been approved and are ready for installation, with the rest going through the standard technical review.

“Things are just getting started. Solar power is still a viable option and we expect more customers to install self-supply systems as they learn more about the program,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service.

Customer Self-Supply represents the evolution of solar energy systems. These systems enable households to generate their own electricity and to potentially store energy for use after the sun goes down.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies lead the nation in the adoption of solar power. Nearly 79,000 customers have been approved on Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii island. To date, 15 percent of all residential and commercial electric customers have PV systems – nearly 20 times the national average. Approximately 29 percent of all single family homes have been approved to install a PV system.

32 New Deputies Join State Sheriff Division Ranks

Public Safety Department officials, family members and friends today gathered in Waipio to witness the graduation of the Law Enforcement Recruit Class 16-01 for Deputy Sheriffs at the Hawaii Okinawa Center.  32 new deputies were added to the Sheriff Division and will be assigned to positions across the state.

sheriff-recruitsThe new deputies were presented with graduation certificates, followed by the recitation of the Oath of Office and the badge presentation.  A family member was picked to pin the badge on the new deputy sheriff.

“These men and women took an oath to serve and protect the people of Hawaii and that responsibility to the community and the Department begins today,” said State Sheriff Renee Sonobe Hong. “They have trained hard over the past 6 months and I believe they will carry out their law enforcement duties statewide with professionalism, integrity and fairness.”

The recruits were trained in nearly 1,000 hours of academic instruction in laws and procedures, constant testing, training in physical fitness, and police tactics.

Student awards for Top Gun, Physical Fitness, Leadership and Academic Average were also handed out to the recruits who ranked at the top of their class in those areas.

The new deputies will be sent out to work in various positions on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the big Island of Hawaii.  24 will be assigned to Oahu, one on Kauai, two on Maui and five to Kona on Hawaii Island.

The Sheriff Division carries out law enforcement services statewide.  Its mission is to promote public safety by: protecting all persons and property within premises under the control of the Judiciary and all state facilities; providing process services and execution of court documents; handling detained persons; and providing secure transportation for persons in custody.  It also provides law enforcement services at the Honolulu International Airport.

Pahoa Bee Company Wins $25,000 in 2016 HIplan Competition

A Pahoa based bee company was awarded $25,000 today at the University of Hawaii Campus Center for their business plan they entered in the 2016 Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition.

Ono Queens LLC owned by Christopher and Wendy Klepps won the grand prize beating out 49 other Hawaii Island Business Plans.

Wendy and Christopher Klepps of Ono Queens LLC accept a check for $25,000.

Wendy and Christopher Klepps of Ono Queens LLC accept a check for $25,000.

49 original competitors were trimmed down to 8 finalists and today they presented 15-minute PowerPoint Presentations to judges Howard Dicus, Murray Clay, Jared Kushi and Chuck Erskine.

hiplan-judgesAfter the judges listened to the 15-minute power point presentations, there was a short break and then the companies followed up with a 2-minute “Elevator Pitch” to try and win the judges over.

The overall judging was weighed in their two presentations given today as well as their submitted 7-page written plans.

The Finalists were (in order of presentation):

  • Aloha Nui Family Practice
  • Big Island Wasabi, LLC
  • Dam Fine Farms
  • Easybotics
  • Hawai’i Ulu Producers Co-op
  • Hawaii Family Health
  • Ono Queens, LLC
  • The Spoon Shop, LLC

The third place runner up was Big Island Wasabi LLC:

Sara Phillips authored the business plan for Big Island Wasabi LLC

Sara Phillips authored the business plan for Big Island Wasabi LLC

The second place runner up was Hawaii Family Health:

Michelle Mitchell was the author of the Hawaii Family Health business plan.

Michelle Mitchell was the author of the Hawaii Family Health business plan.

After the winners were announced, there was a short reception held for the folks and sponsors that were in attendance.

Some of the sponsors mentioned were, Ulupono Initiative, University of Hawaii Hilo, Big Island Toyota, HTDC, DeLuz Chevrolet, Darren T. Kimura, HIGROWTH, NELHA, Hilo Brokers, Marine Genetics and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce.  The Official Media Sponsor was Pacific Media Group.