Hawaii Department of Health Issues Cease and Desist Order to Marine Agrifuture LLC

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Sanitation Branch has ordered Marine Agrifuture LLC (also known as Olakai Hawaii) to immediately cease and desist selling or distributing their products, Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo, and Sea Asparagus. The farm is located in Kahuku on Oahu.

marine-agrifutureReports of Salmonella infections on Oahu were linked to consumption of ogo (or limu) and subsequently led to the investigation of Marine Agriculture LLC on Nov. 2 and 7.  During the investigation, testing was conducted on environmental, processing area, and ogo samples. Laboratory tests identified Salmonella bacteria in the packing and processing tanks and in the farm environment.

“Distributors and retailers have been notified to remove the affected products from sale or distribution immediately,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Sanitation Branch.  We advise the public to discard any suspect product they may have.”

Marine Agrifuture is a major distributor of ogo and sea asparagus in Hawaii and its products may have been shipped to all islands as well as the mainland (California and Washington state). The department is still confirming all locations and states the product may have been shipped to.

Marine Agrifuture will be allowed to resume their sale of Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo, and Sea Asparagus once the farm demonstrates to DOH that the risk of contamination from pathogenic bacteria has been mitigated at the source and that sanitation practices have been implemented to preclude contamination during the processing of the food product. DOH will continue to work with the farm and will require retesting of areas and products to assure food safety.

Kona Historical Society to Host Online Membership Drive

Kona Historical Society is hosting its first-ever month-long online new membership drive via Facebook. Starting Nov. 10 and ending Dec. 9 on Kona Historical Society’s Facebook Page, the drive aims to recruit 100 new members by offering special membership rates, new membership levels and benefits, as well as special weekly challenges with prize drawings generously provided by Hawaii Island sponsors, such as the Kona Brewing Co., Body Glove Hawaii and Kohanaiki. The drive will also feature posts about the special resources Kona Historical Society protects and the services it offers.

kona-historical-society-facebookAs a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Kona Historical Society relies on the support of its membership to help fund the essential role it plays in collecting, preserving and sharing Kona’s and Hawaii’s history. Kona Historical Society members are part of large and growing ohana of people who appreciate and support the important roles that history, culture and the arts provide on our island and state. Members are the lifeblood of Kona Historical Society, and annual membership dues, which start at $35 for individuals, provide the organization with a major source of vital revenue to cover day-to-day needs and special projects.

Supporters of Kona Historical Society will be able to purchase membership by calling 808-323-3222 or going to store.konahistorical.org. Information about membership and the various levels is available at www.konahistorical.org/index.php/khs/membership. Be a part of Kona Historical Society’s Online Membership Drive at www.facebook.com/konahistoricalsociety.

Founded in 1976, Kona Historical Society is the only museum in West Hawaii with permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as a full docket of public programming. Over the past four decades, it has provided public space, free or deeply discounted school and other educational programs and lectures throughout the year, access to unique and significant Hawaii collections and artifacts, stewardship and financial care of two State- and National-registered historic sites and structures, and more than 10 acres of State Legacy Land reserves. Every year, Kona Historical Society serves thousands of people through its work, which gives a clear-eyed view of what Hawaii’s rich, complex and multiethnic community truly looks like and is.  Kona Historical Society has garnered dozens of awards and commendations for its museums, historic structures and public programs.

Hawaii Senate Organization for 29th Legislature

The Hawai‘i State Senate today announced new positions in leadership and key standing committee chairs ahead of the 2017 legislative session.

capital“These changes we are making reflect the experience and expertise our Senators bring to this legislative body,” said Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English.  “The new alignment within leadership and our committees will continue to make us effective as we do the work of the people.”

Leadership and members in the twelve other Senate Standing Committees will be announced when assignments are confirmed.

Leadership

  • Senate President: Sen. Ronald D. Kouchi
  • Senate Vice President: Sen. Michelle N. Kidani
  • Senate Majority Leader: Sen. J. Kalani English
  • Senate Majority Caucus Leader: Sen. Brickwood Galuteria
  • Senate Majority Floor Leader: Sen. Will Espero
  • Senate Majority Whip: Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz

‘A’ Bracket Senate Committee Assignments

Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health (CPN)

  • Chair: Sen. Rosalyn Baker
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Clarence Nishihara

Judiciary and Labor (JDL)

  • Chair: Sen. Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Karl Rhoads

Ways and Means (WAM)

  • Chair: Sen. Jill N. Tokuda
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz

Coast Guard Terminates Voyages of Fishing Vessels – Issues Violations

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) terminated the voyages of the commercial fishing vessels Azure, Capt. Millions III and Capt. Danny for hazardous safety conditions during boardings off Honolulu Harbor in early November.

Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. Partnering with the Galveston Island during the boardings were two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents bringing their expansive knowledge and fisheries expertise.

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) makes contact with commercial fishing vessels near Honolulu in early November to conduct boardings looking for compliance with state and federal regulations. Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. They also had two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents aboard which was the first time the Coast Guard engaged in this partnership. The USFWS agents were looking for Endangered Species and Lacey Act violations, thus facilitating the protection of natural resources that the fishing fleet encounters in the region. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) makes contact with commercial fishing vessels near Honolulu in early November to conduct boardings looking for compliance with state and federal regulations. Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. They also had two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents aboard which was the first time the Coast Guard engaged in this partnership. The USFWS agents were looking for Endangered Species and Lacey Act violations, thus facilitating the protection of natural resources that the fishing fleet encounters in the region. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

Of the three fishing vessels whose voyages were terminated by the Galveston Island crew, the boarding team found multiple discrepancies, including excessive volatile fuel, multiple five-gallon buckets of oily water, oily water in the bilge, lack of a sound-producing device, lack of a record log book for training and drills as well as inoperable bilge and general alarms. In one case, a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of a U.S. documented vessel.

“Our role as the boarding team is to ensure compliance with all federal regulations,” said lead boarding officer, Lt. j.g. Chelsea Sheehy. “We identified various types of violations and instructed the respective masters to make the necessary corrections in order to ensure the overall safety of the Hawaii-based commercial fishing fleet.”

The Galveston Island crew escorted the three fishing vessels to the pier in Honolulu. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel are attending the vessels to ensure all discrepancies are rectified prior to any new voyages.

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

Mandatory dockside safety exams must be completed for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. These exams are free and any discrepancies found at the dock may not result in fines. Fishing vessel that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (not expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.

The Galveston Island is a 110-foot Island class patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. The cutter is a multi-mission platform with a primary operation area in the main Hawaiian Islands that completes several such patrols annually.

Pele’s Hair Provides Clues About Kīlauea Lava

A USGS-HVO scientist collects Pele’s hair from the parking area south of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, which has been closed since early 2008 due to ongoing volcano hazards associated with the summit lava lake. Y

hvo-111016Yesterday, with the lack of trade winds, the noxious sulfur dioxide gas emitted from the lava lake was being blown away from this area, but his gas mask was at the ready just in case the wind shifted. A hard hat is necessary at all times because explosions within the summit vent, which occur without warning, have thrown pieces of molten lava and solid rock into this area and beyond.

A close-up of Pele’s hair from Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake. X-ray diffraction analyses of the Pele’s hair (basaltic glass) collected today will provide information on the mineralogy of Kīlauea lava, which, in turn, can shed light whether the magma supply to the volcano is constant or is changing.

hvo-111016aThe accumulation of Pele’s hair downwind of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater is the focus of HVO’s October 20, 2016, “Volcano Watch” article (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/view.php?id=460), which includes a description of how it forms and additional photos.