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Hawaii Island Police Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Puna

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 10 p.m. Wednesday (March 29) in Puna.
While responding to a request for assistance at a convenience store parking lot in Kurtistown, an officer observed a vehicle to strike a man who dropped toward the ground and disappeared from the officer’s view.

As the vehicle fled the scene, the officer was still unable to identify the location of the man who had been struck and felt the man’s life may have been in danger.In the process of fleeing, the suspect vehicle also struck the officer’s vehicle.

In response to the imminent danger, the officer fired two shots toward the vehicle which continued onto Highway 11 heading South in the Volcano direction. The vehicle was later located abandoned in the Glenwood area.

The male victim who had been struck by the suspect vehicle was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

The officer who fired his weapon has just less than two years of law enforcement experience.  Police have initiated a second degree assault investigation, as well as accompanying traffic related violations.

As is standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information about it to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Gabbard, Hanabusa, Young Introduce Bill to Exempt Hawaii, Alaska from Travel Fee Increases

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), and Don Young (AK-AL) introduced bipartisan legislation today to exempt Hawaiʻi, Alaska, and communities that rely on essential air service as subsidized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, from increases in TSA air travel fees. The Passenger Fee Restructuring Exemptions Act (H.R.1782) recognizes the unique reliance on air travel that residents of Hawaiʻi and Alaska face by lowering the states’ TSA fee to $2.50 for interstate direct flights. Congress raised the national TSA fee to $5.60 in late 2013, and could increase the fee to $6.60 in FY2018.

  “The doubling of the TSA fee since 2013 has had a disproportionate, negative impact on Hawaiʻi residents and businesses who rely on air travel as the only available mode of transportation for everyday necessities like commerce, healthcare, education, and more. As Congress considers raising the TSA fee again, our bipartisan legislation will help relieve this cost burden by exempting Hawaiʻi and Alaska, and other communities who rely solely on essential air service, from this tax,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“Hawaiʻi and Alaska share unique geographic challenges that make our dependence on air travel a necessity.  As such, any increase in TSA fees disproportionately hurts our residents, tourists and businesses alike. This bill redresses that wrong by exempting Hawaiʻi and Alaska from the disparate impact of these fee increases,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

“Simply put, current aviation security fees disproportionately affect the residents of my state due to our unique reliance on air travel. I have opposed fee hikes in the past and have consistently worked with my Hawaiian colleagues to alleviate the hardships placed on those without transportation alternatives. This bipartisan legislation will address this inequity and allow our residents, who depend on air travel, to access and grow their economies without being overburdened by the growth of government fees,” said Rep. Don Young.

Kona Brewing Company and Lavaman Triathlon Celebrate 20 Years of Aloha – Traffic Advisory

Kona Brewing Co. will celebrate a twenty-year partnership with Lavaman Triathlon on Sunday, April 2, 2017.  Starting as a founding partner of the Lavaman Triathlon in 1997, Kona Brewing Company’s partnership with the local event has continued and evolved — the Lavaman Triathlon has grown more than 20-fold, from 83 participants to more than 1,800, and Kona Brewing Co. has become a fan favorite and the #11 craft beer sold in the U.S., growing 3x faster than other beers in the craft beer category. (source Nielsen, Total US xAOC FY 2016)

“Both brands started with big dreams and we’re now making big waves in our respective industries. We attribute this lasting partnership to our common goal of giving back to our community and are proud to have kept our joint slogan ‘Celebrate the Sprit’ alive for two decades,” said Gerry Rott, Lavaman Race Director.

The 51.5k mile race kicks off at the Waikoloa Beach Resort and ends with the annual Lavaman Awards Beach Party, where competitors and more than 600 volunteers celebrate the day by toasting with Kona Brewing Co.’s liquid aloha.

In addition to its support of the Lavaman Triathlon, Kona Brewing Co. is committed to social responsibility and donates more than $120,000 annually to a variety of local non-profit organizations which range from environmental protection, to cultural and community organizations.

“Giving back to our local community is in Kona Brewing Company’s DNA and we will continue to support the islands for years to come” said Eric Chang, Kona Brewing Co. Senior Market Manager. “Our roots and respect for the Islands run deep with two brew pubs and a 22 year history brewing beers in Hawai‘i.”

April 2, 2017 also marks the one-year anniversary of bottling Lavaman Red Ale, Kona Brewing Co.’s malty brew with caramel notes.

For more information, visit KonaBrewingCo.com and Lavamantriathlon.com.

TODAY – Meeting Regarding Commercial Air Tour Noise Issues in East Hawaii

A meeting regarding commercial air tour noise issues in East Hawaii is being held today, Thursday, March 30, 2017, 1:00 – 3:30 pm at the Hilo Airport Conference Room 216 (above Blue Hawaiian offices, main terminal).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Park Service (NPS) work together to address noise associated with air tours operations over national parks, including Haleakala National Park and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Recently, concerns have been raised about noise from helicopter operations in Hawai’i outside of park boundaries, particularly on the Big Island. FAA and NPS are visiting Hawai’i to better identify specific concerns with helicopter operations within and outside of national parks.

These meetings are an informal opportunity to share information and perspectives on helicopter operations, including safety, economic and noise impacts. Please note that these are not public hearings and are not associated with previous planning exercises for air tour management plans at national parks.

Following a welcome and introductions by FAA & NPS and comments from representatives of the Hawaii congressional delegation, state and local governments, other participants will be invited to share their concerns and views with the federal agencies.

We ask that all participants afford one another respect and the opportunity to be heard without interruption or debate. In order to make sure that each interested attendee has an opportunity to be heard, we may need to establish a designated time allotment that will be determined based on the number of participants in attendance.

While the agencies may have follow up questions for stakeholders regarding their specific comments or concerns, the main purpose of the meetings is to allow the agencies to listen to the views of different stakeholders.

Trump Travel Ban Case Update: Court Grants Conversion of Temporary Restraining Order to Preliminary Injunction

Attorney General Doug Chin

Attorney General Doug Chin issued the following statement today in response to the ruling by federal judge Derrick K. Watson granting the state’s motion to convert the temporary restraining order enjoining the President’s travel ban to a preliminary injunction:

“This is an important affirmation of the values of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution’s First Amendment. With a preliminary injunction in place, people in Hawaii with family in the six affected Muslim-majority countries – as well as Hawaii students, travelers, and refugees across the world – face less uncertainty. While we understand that the President may appeal, we believe the court’s well-reasoned decision will be affirmed.”

Unlike a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction generally has no set expiration date.

Hawaii Study Shows the Importance of Coastal Water Quality to Recreational Beach Users

Coasts around the world are threatened by land-based pollutants, including sewage, which affect water quality, coastal habitats and human experiences. To capture the value people place on the coastal environment, UH ecological economist Kirsten L.L. Oleson and former MS student Marcus Peng recently published a study in the journal Ecological Economics. Titled “Beach Recreationalists’ Willingness to Pay and Economic Implications of Coastal Water Quality Problems in Hawaiʻi,” the study found that improvements in coastal environmental conditions could result in large benefits for beach users on Oʻahu, in some cases valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This could justify increased spending on management and restoration.

“The economic value of water quality isn’t yet well understood in Hawai‘i,” says study lead author Marcus Peng, a former Master of Science student in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources who is now pursuing his PhD in Economics at UH Mānoa. “Quantifying the economic value of coastal water quality can help to inform policy decisions that impact the coast and help justify expenditures in water-quality improvements.”

Coastal water is a critical habitat for many marine species, and it is the basis for many economic concerns important to society and local economies, including tourism, coastal recreation, fisheries and property values. The article argues that water-quality degradation presents real and serious costs to the environment and human welfare, and in destinations important for beach tourism, like Hawai‘i, it could threaten an industry contributing trillions of dollars to the global GDP.

In a survey administered to 263 beach users across beaches on Oʻahu, Peng and Oleson surveyed participants’ willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental attributes at different levels of quality. They asked about reducing the number of days a year when the bacterial count in the water exceeds safety standards, and increasing water visibility distance, coral reef cover and the number of different fish species. While beach users cared about all of these, their strongest preferences, based on the amount they were willing to pay, were for water clarity and bacterial quality improvements.

In light of recent and repeated water-quality warnings and beach closures, echoing the serious and prolonged sewage spill in 2006, it is important that decision-makers recognize the significant value of the coastline and the serious harm to the economy that takes place when natural resources are poorly managed or neglected. This is especially true in a state heavily reliant on its natural resources for recreation and tourism. The authors suggest that further studies such as this should attempt to ascertain the economic costs of human impacts on the coastal zone, and these studies should then be used to set management priorities and allocate budgets. Dr. Oleson emphasized, “Reducing human impact on our environment is an investment that benefits society and supports and sustains our quality of life.”

Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee Approves State Budget Amendment

The Senate committee on Ways and Means today approved an amended state budget which proposes a financially prudent six-year plan to provide funding for core services and priority issues of the community while taking into account declining state revenues, rising fixed costs, and the uncertainty of the federal funding climate.

HB100 HD1 SD1 proposes reducing the Governor’s budget request by $114 million in general funds over the biennium, which includes fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.  However, the WAM committee was able to provide funding for recurring program needs and essential social services along with appropriating funding for addressing infrastructure and facilities needs in critical areas.  WAM members were able to do this by reviewing the details of every budget request as well as each departments’ existing base budget to consider all possible ways to reduce costs without jeopardizing services or core functions of the State.

“With the downgraded report from the Council of Revenues in March, it is daunting to be looking at a deficit of some $31 million for this fiscal year and some $220 million over the next three fiscal years,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (Dist. 8 – Kaua’i, Ni’ihau). “While there are programs and areas that we would like to have funded but are unable to because of fiscal constraints, the Senate budget is at least able to address the basic needs of our most vulnerable citizens.”

“What we’re presenting is a balanced approach to ensure funding for priority community needs while appropriating funds for increasing costs in retirement benefits and other fixed costs. This is the result of digging deep into the base budgets of each state department and thoroughly examining how to make cuts without impacting the basic, essential needs of our community: keeping the lights on in our schools, provide housing, protecting our natural resources, and ensuring health care services are available to keiki and kupuna,” said Senate WAM Chair, Jill Tokuda (Dist. 24 – Kane‘ohe, Kane‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘‘Āhuimanu).

Many of the significant appropriations in education, environment, homelessness, and health care reflect the Senate’s commitment to the Legislative Program set forth at the start of the 2017 session.  The Legislative Program are the priority issues which embrace Hawaiian values and aim to improve the quality of life for the residents of Hawai‘i.

In the area of education, the Senate draft of the executive budget adjusts the Department of Education’s appropriation by adding $52.1 million in general funds in FY2017-18 and $57.2 million in general funds in FY 2018-19.  Although $12 million less than the Administration’s request, $2.8 million in general funds and $2.8 million in federal funds for each fiscal year will continue and expand school-based health services in Hawai‘i’s public schools. $1 million in general funds was approved for each fiscal year for the Early College High School program to support the success of the initiative and encourage more opportunities for Hawai‘i’s public high school students to earn college credits before graduating high school.

At the University of Hawai‘i, $3 million in general funds was appropriated for the Cancer Center clinical trials and operational support.  $1.8 million in general funds was allocated for the Hawai‘i Promise Program that allows more students to afford community college.

In terms of the homeless effort, $3 million in general funds was appropriated for each fiscal year for the Housing First Program, $2.1 million in general funds in each fiscal year for operation of State Family and Elderly Housing Facility. The committee also provided $500,000 for each fiscal year in general funds that will allow for the continuation of outreach and interim case management for homeless individuals with serious and persistent mental health challenges.

In the area of environment, $750,000 in general funds for each fiscal year was allocated for Rapid ‘Ō‘hia Death Response, $400,000 in general funds for each fiscal year for Fire Protection Programs, and $250,000 in general funds for each fiscal year for protection of watershed forests.

To ensure Hawai‘i’s seniors are able to continue leading healthy, independent, meaningful and dignified lives, $3.9 million in general funds for each fiscal year was allocated for Kupuna Care.  $600,000 for fiscal year 2017-18 in general funds was provided to support family caregivers and $1.7 million in general funds for each fiscal year is appropriated for the Aging and Disability Resource Center.

HB100 HD1 SD1 also includes funding for capital improvement projects (CIP) which reflects the Senate Legislative priorities and supports many of the initiatives the Administration has been pledging such as doubling food production, addressing jail overcrowding, attending to capacity issues and new schools for growing communities, and addressing affordable housing, particularly for seniors. $35 million was allocated to address the backlog of repairs and new units for senior housing. Currently, there are over 4,100 seniors on the waitlist for senior housing.

OPERATING FUNDING HIGHLIGHTS

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

  • Add (2) positions and $226,134 in FY18 and (3) positions and $200,000 in FY19 in general funds for the Agricultural Food Safety Certification Program
  • Add $750,000 in general funds in each FY for pesticide regulation expenses and studies
  • Add (3) permanent positions and $79,236 in FY18 and $158,472 in FY19 in general funds for pesticides compliance

DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTING AND GENERAL SERVICES

  • Add $2,185,567 in FY18 and $2,210,913 in FY19 in general funds for New Payroll System and Time and Attendance System
  • Add $937,024 in FY18 and $922,326 in FY19 in general funds for integration of Human Resources System with Payroll and Time and Attendance System
  • Add $3,175,000 in general funds in each FY for Carrier Circuit and Collocation Costs for the Office of Enterprise Technology Services
  • Change means of financing for (5) permanent positions and $505,585 from trust funds to general funds in each FY for Campaign Spending Commission

DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

  • Add $38,000 in general funds in each FY for Criminal Justice Division Rent, Family Law Division Rent, Tax and Charities Division Rent
  • Add $110,000 in general funds in each FY for Criminal Justice Information Systems Hawai‘i software licenses/renewals for the State Criminal Justice Information and ID Program
  • Add (1) position and $50,000 in general funds in each FY for Police Review Board

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM

  • Add (1) permanent position and $25,386 in FY18 and $50,772 in FY19 in general funds for compliance with decisions and orders of Land Use Commission
  • Add (1) temporary position and $27,618 in FY18 and $55,236 in FY19 in general funds for Special Action Team on Affordable Rental Housing
  • Add (1) permanent positon and $29,868 in FY18 and $59,736 in FY19 in general funds for Transit-Oriented Development Projects and Interagency Transit-Oriented Development Council/Support
  • Add (0.5) temporary position and $23,750 in FY18 and $47,500 in FY19 in special funds for Chief Operating Officer/Industry Specialist for Hi Technology Development Corporation
  • Add (0.5) temporary position and $16,250 in FY18 and $32,500 in FY19 in special funds for Special Projects Coordinator for Hi Technology Development Corporation

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND FINANCE

  • Add $30,637,298 in general funds in FY18 for severance pay and social security and Medicare payments for employees to be separated from state employment due to the upcoming transfer of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation’s (HHSC) Maui Region to Kaiser Permanente management
  • Add $4,493,450 in general funds in each FY for Centralized Vacation Payout for various departments
  • Add $34,625,428 in FY18 and $70,673,178 in FY19 in general funds for additional retirement benefit payments funding for the State to reflect phase-in of employer contribution rate increases.
  • Add (1) permanent position and $2,018,171 in FY18 and $107,552 in FY19 in other funds for Hawai‘i Domestic Relations Orders Implementation for the Employee Retirement System

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

  • Add (1) staff attorney and $68,145 in FY18 and $130,180 in FY19 in special funds for unfair and deceptive trade practices enforcement for Office of Consumer Protection
  • Add $200,000 in special funds in FY18 for consultant services and training
  • Add $303,949 in special funds in FY18 for other current expenditures for Public Utilities Commission equipment, renovation, and moving costs

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

  • Add $90,000 in general funds in each FY for State Active Duty continuing operations
  • Add $768,000 in FY18 and $464,000 in FY19 in general funds for tree trimming and removal at Hawai‘i State Veterans Cemetery
  • Add (1) permanent position and $50,772 in each FY for Veteran Services Counselor

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

  • Add $1,000,000 in general funds in each FY for Early College High School Initiative
  • Add $2,800,000 in general funds and $2,800,000 in federal funds in each FY for Hawai‘i Keiki Program
  • Add (2) permanent positions and $91,909 in FY18 and $183,818 in FY19 in general funds for School Based Behavioral Health Services for Maui and Hawai‘i Island
  • Add (2) permanent positions and $183,818 in general funds in each FY for Hawai‘i Teachers Standards Board
  • Add (15) permanent positions and $779,310 in FY18 and $1,434,885 in FY19 in general funds for Civil Rights Compliance Capacity
  • Add $1,100,000 in general funds in each FY for Student Information System Enhancement and Expansion
  • Add $670,000 in general funds in each FY for Alternative Teacher Route Programs
  • Add $2,500,000 in FY18 and $4,000,000 in FY19 in general funds for School Service and Maintenance
  • Add $1,500,000 in general funds in each FY for Utilities
  • Add (4) permanent positions and $1,755,525 in FY18 and $3,711,835 in FY19 in general funds for Student Transportation Services Statewide

PUBLIC LIBRARIES

  • Add (6.5) permanent positions and $50,799 in FY18 and $203,196 in FY19 in general funds for Nanakuli Public Library
  • Add (1) permanent position and $23,466 in FY18 and $46,932 in FY19 in general funds for Office of the State Librarian
  • Add $250,000 in general funds in each FY for Repair and Maintenance Backlog

CHARTER SCHOOLS

  • Add $9,651,776 in FY18 and $9,944,866 in FY19 in general funds for Per Pupil Adjustment

EARLY LEARNING

  • Add (10) permanent positions and $136,688 in FY18 and $556,842 in FY19 in general funds for Pre-Kindergarten and Induction Program
  • Add (2) permanent positions and $53,733 in FY18 and $82,317 in FY19 in general funds for Executive Office on Early Learning

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

  • Add $117,167 in general funds in each FY for membership fees for national and regional chief executive organizations

DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS

  • Add $6,865,887 in general funds in each FY for fringe benefits for general funded positions

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

  • Add $2,100,000 in general funds in each FY for operation of State Family and Elderly Housing Facility
  • Add $3,000,000 in general funds in each FY for Housing First Program
  • Add $1,500,000 in general funds in each FY for homeless outreach services
  • Add $3,000,000 in general funds in FY18 for Rapid Re-Housing Program
  • Add $300,000 in general funds and $100,000 in federal funds in each FY for services for child victims of sex trafficking
  • Add $4,558,858 in general funds and $2,454,770 in federal funds in FY18 and $4,634,292 in general funds and $2,495,388 in federal funds in FY19 for settlement for foster care board rates
  • Add $2,500,000 in general funds and $7,056,720 in federal funds in FY18 and $5,000,000 in general funds and $14,113,440 in federal funds in FY19 for adult dental benefits
  • Add $1,886,205 in general funds and $2,309,090 in federal funds in FY18 and $4,052,472 in general funds and $4,961,033 in federal funds in FY19 for nursing facility inflation factor
  • Add $2,947,556 in general funds and $2,691,040 in federal funds in each FY for Medicare Part B Premiums
  • Transfer $500,000 in general funds in each FY from Office of Youth Services to School Community Services for Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health (REACH) Program.

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT

  • Add $2,396,000 in general funds in FY18 for worker’s compensation claims

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

  • Add (2) temporary positions and $144,054 in FY18 and $208,143 in FY19 in special funds for Medical Marijuana Registry Program
  • Add (5) temporary positions and $890,000 in non-recurring special funds in each FY for medical marijuana dispensary licensing program
  • Add $6,507,305 in general funds in each FY for base budget funding of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, Primary Prevention, and Chronic Disease Management per funding in Act 118, SLH 2015.
  • Add $500,000 in general funds in each FY for services for homeless individuals with serious and persistent mental health challenges
  • Add $800,000 in general funds in each FY for outreach and counseling services for chronically homeless individuals and families with severe substance abuse disorders
  • Add $300,000 in general funds in each FY for clean and sober housing for chronically homeless individuals with severe substance use disorders
  • Add $1,340,000 in FY18 and $1,613,000 in FY19 in general funds for purchase of service contracts for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Add $2,754,980 in FY18 and $7,118,914 in FY19 in general funds for rebased provider payment rates for Development Disabilities
  • Add $3,000,000 in general funds in each FY for maintenance of effort for Healthy Start
  • Add $799,833 in FY18 and $742,034 in FY19 in general funds for statewide emergency ambulance services
  • Add (1) permanent position and $60,629 in FY18 and $121,259 in FY19 in general funds for investigation of suspected health clusters from environmental sources
  • Add $3,976,435 in general funds in each FY for Kupuna Care
  • Add $1,700,000 in general funds in each FY for Aging and DisabilityResourceCenter
  • Add $600,000 in general funds in FY18 for Kupuna Caregiver Program
  • Add $150,000 in general funds in each FY for purchase of services contract for statewide telehealth pilot project
  • Transfer $942,000 in general funds in each FY as subsidy to Wahiawa General Hospital to Subsidies

HAWAII HEALTH SYSTEMS CORPORATION

  • Add $300,000 in general funds in each FY for operations subsidy for KahukuHospital
  • Add $36,486,000 in FY18 and $34,686,000 in FY19 in general funds for operations subsidy for the regions
  • Add $5,000,000 in general funds in FY18 for Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation – Regions or Maui Health System, a Kaiser Foundation Hospital LLC.
  • Add $33,420,000 in general funds in each FY for operations subsidy for Maui Health System

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

  • Add (1) permanent position and $19,746 in FY18 and $39,492 in FY19 in general funds for Legal Support
  • Add (1) permanent position and $515,386 in FY18 and $2,810,772 in FY19 in general funds for Disability Compensation Division Modernization

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

  • Add $14,047,588 in general funds in each FY for various programs’ base budgets per funding in Act 84, SLH 2015.
  • Add $2,228,250 in special funds in FY18 for re-appropriation of lapsed Land Conservation funds
  • Add $1,700,000 in special funds in each FY for increased Conveyance Tax revenues for Land Conservation Fund
  • Add $4,000,000 in general funds in FY18 for Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council
  • Add $750,000 in general funds in each FY for Rapid ‘Ō‘hia Death Response
  • Add $400,000 in general funds in each FY for Fire Protection Program
  • Add $250,000 in general funds in each FY for protection of watershed forests
  • Add (15) permanent positions and $1,065,147 in FY18 and $1,097,047 in FY19 in general funds for personnel and operating funds for management and restoration of Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Add $165,000 in general funds in each FY for Malpractice Insurance. Add $3,334,801 in general funds in FY18 for Housing Inmates in Non-State Facility during Renovation of Halawa Correctional Facility
  • Add $1,500,000 in general funds in FY18 for Lease Rent for Department of Public Safety Administration Building and Moving Costs

DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION

  • Add $59,000 in general funds in each FY for Medical Marijuana Tax Collections

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

  • Add (7) permanent positions and $157,939 in FY18 and $303,878 in FY19 for Airside Operations Section Security Unit Pass and Identification Office
  • Reduce $123,787 in FY19 for contracted employees in the Pass and Identification Office.  Similar adjustments were made for other airports’ Pass and ID Offices.
  • Add (6) permanent positions and $162,752 in FY18 and $293,004 in FY19 for Federal Inspection Station
  • Add (10) permanent positions and $679,152 in special funds in FY18 and $1,243,998 in special funds and $216,000 in federal funds in FY19 for Intelligent Technology Systems Branch
  • Reduce (32) positions and $1,461,444 in special funds in both FY for long-standing and lower priority vacancies on O‘ahu in various Highways programs.
  • Add $3,514,950 in FY18 and $1,242,000 in FY19 in special funds for information technology projects.

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I

  • Add (4) permanent positions and $3,000,000 in general funds in each FY for Cancer Center clinical trials and operational support
  • Add $350,000 in general funds in each FY for Concussion Awareness
  • Add $1,829,000 in general funds in each FY for Hawai‘i Promise Program
  • Add (4) permanent positions and $820,000 in general funds in each FY for Title IX program for the Community Colleges

Add (3) permanent positions and $470,000 in general funds in each FY for Title IX program for UH System-wide Support

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (CIP) HIGHLIGHTS

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

  • $20,000,000 to purchase over 500 acres of agricultural land to lease to local farmers, decreasing dependence on imported agriculture products
  • $25,000,000 in upgrades and improvements to critical water infrastructure systems and agricultural facilities, statewide

DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTING AND GENERAL SERVICES

  • $20,000,000 for the maintenance of existing statewide facilities for the Public Works Division

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM

  • $25,000,000 for an infusion to the Rental Housing Revolving Fund, and $25,000,000 for an infusion to the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund to address infrastructure, construction and development needs of affordable housing across the State

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

  • $16,000,00 for upgrades and improvements to National Guard readiness centers and facilities, statewide
  • $6,000,00 to retrofit public buildings with hurricane protective measures

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

  • $168,000,000 for growing student populations on both O‘ahu and Maui for new school and classroom projects
  • $437,965,000 in total to the Department of Education; 44% of the entire general obligation bond amount awarded statewide

DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOMELANDS

  • $15,000,000 for various improvements to existing infrastructure on Hawaiian home lands, statewide
  • $30,000,000 for NAHASDA development projects statewide

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

  • $51,500,000 to Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority for the renovations of their public housing facilities, statewide
  • $35,000,000 for a senior housing project on O‘ahu that will provide an additional 200 to 250 units for senior living public housing facilities to accommodate an underserved elderly population

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

  • $20,000,000 for improvements and renovations to existing facilities within the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation
  • $10,000,000 for an infusion to the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund.
  • $15,000,000 for an infusion to the Wastewater Treatment Revolving Fund

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

  • $9,000,000 for Kaanapali Beach restoration and berm enhancement
  • $15,000,000 for watershed protection, management and administration
  • $10,000,000 for State parks infrastructure and facility improvements, statewide

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

  • $60,000,000 to end the search and debate of a prospective jail site by solidifying a Halawa location and allowing the Department of Public Safety to begin the process to design a new jail.
  • $6,000,000 to begin the process of adding beds to the current Halawa prison site to bring home prisoners from the mainland

SUBSIDIES

  • $13,000,000 for the design and construction of pedestrian walkways for the City and County of Honolulu
  • $2,500,000 for site improvements to the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex on Kauai County.

DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION

  • $500,000 for infrastructure and equipment for the safety and security of Department of Taxation facilities, statewide

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

  • $150,000,000 for ticket lobby improvements to the Honolulu International Airport, O‘ahu.
  • $50,000,000 for the construction of a new federal inspection station at the Kona International Airport at Keahole, Hawai‘i
  • $75,000,000 for an extension of the Lahaina Bypass Road on Maui
  • $22,000,000 for various programs and projects to facilitate highway planning, statewide
  • $47,000,000 for shoreline protection improvements of existing state highway facilities

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I

  • $6,000,000 for site improvements and repairs to Hawai‘i Hall on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus
  • $6,000,000 for site and infrastructure improvements to research stations, statewide

North Hawaii Community Hospital Offers Multiple Scholarships

North Hawai’i Community Hospital has scholarship opportunities available for graduating high school students and students in the field of nursing.

The Peggy Dineen-Orsini Scholarship offers a $2,000 award to a resident of Hawai’i County who is enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland. Private donors along with the Medical Staff at North Hawai’i Community Hospital fund this scholarship in memory of Peggy Dineen-Orsini, who was a registered nurse at North Hawai’i Community Hospital from 1996 to 2004, remembered for her compassion for her patients, colleagues and friends.

The second scholarship is funded by Hawai’i Emergency Physicians Associated, Inc. This $3,000 scholarship is for a graduating high school student with demonstrated financial need and who may have limited ability to attend college without financial assistance. Hawai’i Emergency Physicians Associated, Inc. funds this program to provide more opportunities to local youth through higher education. Applicants must be high school seniors from North Hawai’i, with a compelling financial need, and must be enrolled full-time during their scholarship year.

Applications are available online by visiting www.nhch.com (see Community/Education Scholarships). Completed applications and required documents must be received or postmarked by April 30, 2017. Please mail completed applications and required documents to North Hawai’i Community Hospital, Attention: Development Department, 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, HI 96743.

For more information, contact the Development Department at North Hawai’i Community Hospital at 881-4420.

Hawaii Representative Responds to Sale of Hawaiian Artifacts in Paris

State Representative Kaniela Ing (Chair, House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs) issued the following statement in response to Native Hawaiians who are protesting the sale of certain artifacts in Paris, France.

This flag is just one of many items up for auction

“Here is a rich guy and an auctioneer trying to make millions off  ‘Hawaiian’ artifacts without reaching out to Bishop Museum or to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for authentication. It’s irresponsible, unprofessional, and disrespectful to our culture.

“However, if these artifacts are indeed authentic, we need to find some funds to bring them home for safe keeping immediately. I’m exploring whether state funds are available and putting a call out to all private residents with means. I’m hoping that a hero emerges who will not only buy the artifacts but donate them to the Bishop Museum for all people to enjoy in perpetuity. Hawaiians need to send the message that our ancestors and culture are not for sale.”

Facebook video link: https://www.facebook.com/mehanaokala/videos/10154458709323441/

World-Class Pastry Chefs, Cacao Experts Lead Seminars at Big Island Chocolate Festival

Get the insider scoop on growing cacao—the bean needed to make chocolate—and find out why it must be fermented properly. See how to make chocolate dessert sensations—and taste them—by the nation’s leading pastry chefs.

Chocolate Covered Bacon on a stick

All these compelling educational offerings are part of the sixth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival April 28-29. The fun demonstrations and informative seminars lead up to the festival gala 5 p.m. April 29 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn., Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Kona Pacific Public Charter School and Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina.

Here’s a quick rundown of hands-on fun that can be booked at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com:

With the exception of the cacao farm tour, all activities are at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Friday April 28

  • 11 a.m.-noon: Guided Plantation Tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Keauhou. Visit the nation’s first tree-to-bar chocolate operation to see cacao growing on trees and how it’s processed into chocolate. Enjoy samples and visit the Chocolate Shoppe. Admission to the farm tour is $25.

Friday April 28-Cacao Farming Seminars, $40 for all

  • 11 a.m.-noon: “Cacao Survey Results” and an update on the “CTAHR’s Cacao Variety Development Project,” is presented by Dr. H.C. Skip Bittenbender of UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. An extension specialist for coffee, kava and cacao, Bittenbender has conducted field research to provide prospective growers with quality stock in an effort to bring Hawai‘i cacao to the marketplace.
  • 12:15 p.m.- 1:15 p.m.: “Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Production” by author Paul Picton. A native of Canada, Picton is president/co-owner of Maverick Chocolate, a family operated, bean-to-bar chocolate company that opened 2014 in Ohio.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: “The Art and Craft of Cacao Fermentation” by Dr. Nat Bletter of O‘ahu’s Madre Chocolate. Find out why fermenting is the most important step for determining flavor in tree-to-bar chocolate making.

Saturday, April 29-Chocolate Culinary Demonstrations, $35 each or $75 for all

  • 9:30-11 a.m. Demonstration with Tasting: “Small Chocolate Bites,” by Donald Wressell, executive pastry chef at Guittard Chocolate Company. Known for his spectacular, chocolate sculptures at past BICFs, Wressell will show three-to-four different types of mini desserts like chocolate marshmallows, chocolate financier and others.
  • 11:15-12:45 p.m. Demonstration: “Chocolate Crystallization & Tempering” by Alicia Boada, who is coming on behalf of Cacao Barry.

    Chef Alicia Boada

    She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate, whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa. Boada is a highly credentialed culinarian, being certified as an executive pastry chef, culinary educator and culinary administrator by the American Culinary Federation. As a corporate pastry chef and chocolatier, Boada offers worldwide training while keeping on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. She also serves as president of Women Chefs & Restaurants.

  • 1-2:30 p.m. Demonstration: “Creating a Artistic Chocolate Showpiece.”

    Chef Stephane Treand MOF

    Stéphane Tréand MOF of The Pastry School offers tips on how to add artistic flair to your chocolate creations. Tréand’s prestigious Pastry School in California instructs students of all abilities in the pastry and baking arts.

Also available is the Saturday I LOVE Chocolate! all-day pass for culinary demos and gala priced at $135.

Chocolate decadence culminates 5-9 p.m. April 29 with the festival gala at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Awards. Also on tap will be unlimited pours of fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate body painting, entertainment and a silent auction.

Find ticket info at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Special room/ticket packages for two start at $385 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and can be conveniently booked at http://www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/buy-tickets/ and through the Festival website under “Tickets.” Island Air offers festival attendees a 10 percent discount for travel April 24-May 3, 2017: Code BICF10 and travel must be booked by April 29. Terms and conditions may apply.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Mahalo to 2017 event sponsors:

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valrohna USA, Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut, ChoiceMART, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, XPress Reprographics, The Spoon Shop, Island Asphalt Maintenance, DHX, Island Air, Republica Del Cacao and The Wave@92FM.  www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. @BIChocoFest

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

“Behind every distracted driving death is a story of loss. In the blink of an eye, lives can be transformed forever,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Scrolling through song lists on a cell phone, or texting while driving is not just irresponsible, it can have tragic consequences. We’re calling on drivers to put down their devices and help keep the roadways safe.”

During April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), along with the county police departments, and traffic safety partners, Toyota Hawaii and DTRIC Insurance, will be working together to educate Hawaii about the dangers of distracted driving.

Presentations will be held at Drive Aloha Fairs statewide to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving with the use of a state-of-the-art digital driving simulator system that allows drivers of all ages to experience how dangerous it is to operate a vehicle while being distracted. The digital simulator system is the only one of its kind in Hawaii.

“Distracted driving is a completely preventable cause of death or injury on our roadways. We believe education can be as important as enforcement in addressing this problem, which is why we are pleased to have our traffic safety partners and law enforcement agencies working with us,” Fuchigami added. “The collective goal of this campaign is to change driver behavior. We hope that once people see the statistics, they will evaluate and alter their driving habits to help protect themselves and others on the road.”

According to NHTSA, at any given daylight moment across the country, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. Nationally, in 2014 alone, motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers claimed 3,179 lives and injured 431,000 people. Additional research shows that 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.

There are three types of distracted driving: (1) Visual, taking your eyes off the road; (2) Manual, taking your hands off the wheel; and (3) Cognitive, taking your mind off driving. Operating a cell phone while driving involves all three types of distracted driving.

Hawaii’s law prohibits the use of mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle, making it illegal for drivers to text or engage in other hand-held uses of mobile electronic devices such as cell phones, mp3 players, personal digital assistants and navigation devices. The law also prohibits drivers from using a hand-held mobile electronic device when stopped at a red light or stop sign. Furthermore, no person under the age of 18 may use a hands-free mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. The fine for violating this law starts at $257. Violations in school zones or construction areas are subject to a higher amount.

Although distracted driving related incidents tend to be underreported locally, last year police issued over 20,000 distracted driving citations statewide. Increased enforcement of distracted driving laws combined with public education have proven to be an effective method to reduce distracted driving and save lives.

In partnership with Toyota Hawaii and DTRIC Insurance, the distracted driving presentations will be held at the following Drive Aloha Fairs, which are free and open to the public:

  • Thursday, March 30, 2017 – Tamarind Square, Honolulu 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 1, 2017 – Prince Kuhio Plaza, 111 Puainako Street, Hilo 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, April 8 & 9, 2017 – Kukui Grove Center 3-2600 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017 – Kamehameha Shopping Center 1620 North School Street, Honolulu 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, April 22 & 23, 2017 – Queen Kaahumanu Center 275 West Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday April 29, 2017 – Pearlridge Center 98-1005 Moanalua Road, Aiea 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More information about the dangers of distracted driving can be found at www.distraction.gov

“Marvel’s Inhumans,” Boosting Hawaii’s Economy by Increasing Jobs for Residents

The State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu are officially part of the Marvel Universe, as the newest Marvel television series, “Marvel’s Inhumans,” for ABC launches a new model in television history.  For the first time ever, a version of the first two episodes, produced in conjunction with ABC Studios and shot entirely with IMAX® cameras, will premiere exclusively in IMAX® theatres for a two-week window beginning Sept. 1, 2017. ABC plans to then premiere the weekly series in the fall, with additional exclusive content that can only be seen on the network. The project is estimated to employ 150 local residents and utilize the services of dozens of local businesses, as part of the team that will bring this long-anticipated series to life.

“We are thrilled that Disney|ABC and Marvel have made the decision to film in Hawaii, which will not only create jobs and contribute to our local economy, but showcase the need to expand our infrastructure in the creative and film sectors,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria.  “The filming of this unique and innovative television project here in Hawaii is the perfect complement to our overall growth strategy, which includes diversifying our economy by growing our creative sector.”

Key to the decision to choose Hawaii as the location, the production required a large studio space, underscoring the need for the State of Hawaii to expand stages to increase production opportunities. With the Hawaii Film Studio being occupied with Hawaii 5-0, DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division facilitated a licensing agreement with Navy Region Hawaii and Navy Facilities Engineering Command to secure the former military warehouse facilities for the production of “Marvel’s Inhumans.” The space was transformed into a complete studio production lot in West Oahu. The collaboration between agencies to secure this project extends to City and County of Honolulu, Honolulu Film Office, the U.S. Navy and National Guard.

The production hired locally based crew members, from camera to art departments, who have worked in entry-level positions on past productions, including ABC’s “Lost,” and now qualify to move up the ladder to a higher position.

“It is extremely gratifying to see these opportunities for Hawaii’s stellar professional crew base, as well as seeing the production open doors to new interns who want to hone their skills in the media industries,” said Georja Skinner, division chief for DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division, which oversees the Hawaii Film Office operations. “Marvel’s Inhumans” is a critical milestone in our media industry development, as it showcases the need for future infrastructure and workforce development to grow the industry statewide.”

Honolulu Film Commissioner Walea Constantinau is enthusiastic about what this means for the City & County of Honolulu. “We are thrilled to be a part of the Marvel universe and an integral part of such a groundbreaking show.  Oahu has been at the forefront of innovative television from being the first place to host a show being shot entirely on location, the original ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ and the home to a series credited with bringing drama back to television, ‘Lost.’  This new series takes it to another level and we are excited to be part of television history in the making.  The immediate economic boost and long term film tourism impacts will greatly benefit our community.”

“With the unique landscape and backdrop, Hawaii is an ideal place to film this innovative series,” said Mary Ann Hughes, vice president of film and television production planning for Walt Disney Studios.  “The location and incentives were key factors in our decision to bring this new series to the Aloha State.”

“Working in Hawaii is like no place else on Earth. The incredible locations, from the beaches to the city to historical landmarks like Diamond Head, our production has been treated to a visual feast. The people, the culture, the food, the weather — they all add to what makes “Marvel’s Inhumans” a unique storytelling experience. Aloha!”
said Jeph Loeb, executive producer and head of Marvel Television.

The Inhumans are a race of superhumans with diverse and singularly unique powers.  The characters were first introduced in Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965. Since that time, they have grown in prominence and become some of the most popular and iconic characters in the Marvel Universe. “Marvel’s Inhumans” will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.

“Marvel’s Inhumans” is executive produced by Scott Buck (“Dexter,” “Marvel’s Iron Fist”) along with Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage”) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage”) with Buck serving as showrunner.  Roel Reine (“The Delivery,” “Black Sails”) will direct the first two episodes. This series is a Marvel and IMAX project and is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

About Creative Industries Division (cid.hawaii.gov) and Hawaii Film Office (filmoffice.hawaii.gov)

The Creative Industries Division (CID), Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), is the State’s lead agency focused on strengthening, advocating and accelerating the growth of Hawaii’s creative clusters. Comprised of the Hawaii Film Office (HFO) and the Arts and Culture Development Branch (ACDB), CID acts as a business advocate supporting workforce, policy and infrastructure development. Since 1978 the Hawaii Film Office has served as the central point of contact for all film production, administering the production tax credit program for film, facilitates that statewide film permitting program, and runs the Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head, the only state owned and operated facility of its kind in the country.

About the Honolulu Film Office (www.filmhonolulu.com)

Established in 1993, the Honolulu Film Office is a part of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development team, situated in the Office of the Managing Director.  The Honolulu Film Office, under the direction of its founding Film Commissioner Walea Constantinau, is dedicated to assisting with the development and growth of the film industry on Oahu; marketing Oahu as a premiere on-location destination to the global film community; is the one-stop shop for film inquiries and permitting for City and County of Honolulu jurisdictions; and works closely with the Oahu Visitors Bureau and tourism partners on Destination Marketing Through Film initiatives.

Kona Family Fun Day Celebrated

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) hosted one of its annual events in Kona.  The Kona Family Fun Day, was an event which celebrated community, promoted positive messages, and provided opportunities to enhance family relationships.  Over 15 community organizations participated in providing the community with resources and family-fun activities.  In true style, BISAC had carnival games, bouncers, giveaways, family activities, an arm wrestling exhibition, and lots of good tasting food.  Hundreds of individuals took part in the event.

BISAC through its events and long standing positive reputation in the community continues to inspire positive change and helps individuals and their families reclaim their lives.  The Kona Family Fun Day was made possible by Hawaii County Council members: Karen Eoff, Maile David, and Dru Kanuha.  “This event was very successful and we will continue to provide these types of outreach events in the future” said BISAC’s CEO, Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.  “Our next annual event, Summer Jam is scheduled for July 28-29th and we hope to see you all there.”

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse and mental health.  They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

Hawaii Supreme Court Special Session in Honor of the Late James S. Burns

The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court will convene in special session to honor the late James S. Burns, former Chief Judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, on:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
4:00 p.m.
Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiolani Hale, Second Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi  96813

Chief Judge James Burns

The special session is anticipated to last approximately one hour, and will include remarks from representatives of the Judiciary and the legal community.

This event is open to the public.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Statement on President’s Repeal of Clean Energy, Environment Protections

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order rolling back progress to fight climate change and promote clean energy nationwide:

“In light of President Trump’s Executive Order paving the path for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, and slashing funding for the EPA by nearly one-third, the consequence of today’s actions on our environment and precious water resources are especially concerning. Unless we make a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions, invest in clean energy, create green jobs, and improve our air and water quality, we are moving backwards, at a time when our planet simply cannot afford for us to do so. In spite of this action today, I have no doubt that Hawaiʻi will continue to lead the nation in renewable energy production. We must continue investing in renewable energy, moving away from foreign oil and fossil fuels, and moving toward our goal of 100% clean energy by 2045.”

Coast Guard Establishes Temporary Safety Zone in Vicinity of Active Kilauea Lava Flow

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the Kilauea Volcano active lava flow entry into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Big Island, Hawai’i, Tuesday.

The temporary safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean from noon March 28 to 8 a.m. Sept. 28.  Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey recommend 300 meters as the minimum safe distance to avoid hazards from the lava flow.

The Coast Guard has taken action to ensure public safety because of the danger the unstable sea cliff, volcanic shrapnel, toxic gases and potential bench collapses pose to vessel traffic and the public. As long as lava enters the ocean, further sea cliff degradation, hazardous conditions, delta construction and collapse are likely to occur.  These collapses occur with little to no warning and cannot be predicted.

According to the HVO, large and dense fragments ejected during delta collapses can be thrown in all directions from the point of collapse, including out to sea.  Based on a review of nearly 30 years of delta collapse and ejecta distance observations in HVO records, a radius of 300 meters was determined as a reasonable minimum high hazard zone around a point of ocean entry.

A Broadcast Notice to Mariners has been issued via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the safety zone. Entry of vessels or people into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Honolulu or his designated representative.

To view documents in the Federal Register mentioned in this release, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0172 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. It may take up to five days for documents to publish in the Federal Register, once published public comments may be submitted for a period of 60 days.

The Coast Guard is also issuing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to establish a permanent Safety Zone for this region. We solicit feedback from the public on this rule making process. You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0234 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

Written Comments: Written public comments will be accepted on or before 11:59 p.m. June 3, 2017, via http://www.regulations.gov. The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically; however, written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

Oral Comments: The Coast Guard will provide the public an opportunity to make oral comments by holding a public meeting on May 08, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi St. #7, Hilo, Hawaii 96720.

20-Year-Old Woman Dies Following Two-Vehicle Crash on Highway 270

A 20-year-old Paʻauilo woman died following a two-vehicle crash Monday night (March 27) on Highway 270 just South of the 13 mile marker.

Makaylyn Kalani

She was identified as Makaylyn Kalani.

Responding to a 8:40 p.m. call Monday evening, police determined that a 2008 Honda four-door sedan operated by Kalani had been traveling North on Highway 270 near the 13 mile marker when it crossed left of center of the roadway and collided head on with a 2009 Toyota pickup truck that was traveling south.

The occupants of the Toyota, a 24-year-old man and a 19-year-old women, both of Kohala, were taken to the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Kalani was taken to the Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. Tuesday (March 28).

Police believe speed and inattention were factors in the crash.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 7th traffic fatality this year compared to five at this time last year.

Annual Waimea College Fair – April 6th

Hawaii Preparatory Academy will host the annual Waimea College Fair sponsored by the Hawaii Association for College Admission Counseling from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, in the schoolʻs Castle Gym.  The event is free and is designed for all Waimea area students interested in pursuing higher education opportunities.

This yearʻs program will feature 80 colleges, including all colleges and universities within the state of Hawaii.  Other colleges represented include:

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Dartmouth College
  • Santa Clara University
  • Gonzaga University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Colorado State University
  • Northeastern University
  • University of Oregon
  • West Point

A general advising and financial aid center will be available to students and their families to answer specific questions regarding the college admission process and financial aid.

For more information, please visit the Hawaii Association for College Admission Counseling website at www.hawaiiacac.org, or email HawaiiACAC@gmail.com.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Announces Hawaiʻi Students Nominated to Military Service Academies

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the names and photos of her nominations to the U.S. Military Service Academies for classes entering Summer 2017.  After an exhaustive application and interview process, she nominated twenty-two students from across Hawaii’s Second Congressional District. Their applications are now being considered for final selection by the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy.

“Across Hawaiʻi, high school seniors will soon begin gearing up for graduation, summer plans, and either beginning college, serving in our military, or entering the work force. A select few will be enrolling in one of the U.S. Military Service Academies, and I’ve had the privilege and great responsibility of nominating twenty-two phenomenal applicants to represent our Aloha State in service to our country.  I wish each of these nominees the very best in the final weeks of the selection process and in their promising futures,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

The nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. Nomination does not guarantee an appointment. The honor of attending a Military Service Academy comes with the obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. More information about the nominations process is available here.  

The following students from Hawaii’s Second Congressional District were nominated by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to the corresponding military academy / academies below (photo available for download by clicking the nominee’s name).

HAWAIʻI ISLAND RESIDENTS

KAUAʻI RESIDENTS

MAUI RESIDENTS

OʻAHU RESIDENTS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Commits Funds to Protect Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Stilt

The Department of the Interior announced that through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Cooperative Recovery Initiative (CRI) more than $3.74 million is being committed to nine projects on 12 national wildlife refuges across 12 states to help recover some of the nation’s most at-risk species on or near national wildlife refuges.

Hawaiian Coot (Photo by Dick Daniels http://carolinabirds.org/)

“We are targeting our work where it will do the most good for America’s resources,” said FWS Acting Director Jim Kurth. “This initiative is a unique way to engage in conservation work with states and partners, giving the taxpayer a good return on investment.”

Species to benefit from CRI funding include the Miami blue butterfly, ocelots, Puritan tiger beetles, masked bobwhite and spectacled eiders.

Since 2013, FWS has funded 66 projects for nearly $27 million through the CRI. Other species that have benefited include the Oregon chub, the first fish in the nation to be taken off the endangered species list; Sonoran pronghorn; dusky gopher frog; and red-cockaded woodpecker. These projects often provide conservation benefits to other imperiled species and encourage partnerships with states and private groups.

Project Details:

Hawaiian Stilt

Pacific Region
Protect Two Endangered Hawaiian Waterbirds and Core Wetland Habitats at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

A project team will establish long-lasting protections for two endangered birds, the Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt, against predators and ungulates and create new habitat, resulting in a large-scale restoration of Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, a critically important wetland habitat in Hawaii.

Enhance the Conservation Status of Spalding’s Catchfly
A project team will establish five additional viable subpopulations of 500 individual threatened Spalding’s catchfly on protected habitat at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge in Washington and three other partner and privately-owned locations within the Channeled Scablands and Palouse Prairie regions in Washington and Idaho.

Southwest Region
Protect Endangered Species Corridors in the Rio Grande Valley

Staff at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas will work with partners to acquire a 400-acre conservation easement to expand habitat between the refuge and Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge for the endangered ocelot. The increased habitat will also aid the endangered northern aplomado falcon.

Establish Second Captive Breeding Population of Masked Bobwhite Quail in North America
A project team will expand the endangered masked bobwhite population by creating a captive population in a rearing facility at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona and establish a second captive population and biosecurity program at Sutton Avian Research Center.

Southeast Region
Protect and Enhance Watercress Darter Habitat at Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge

A project team will maintain the current pool habitats on Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama for the endangered watercress darter to improve migration and genetic diversity, promote additional aquatic habitats on the refuge, and monitor restored and developed habitats. They will also remove a failing water control structure, promote connectivity for fish passage between pools, and enhance habitats downstream or adjacent to the pools.

Habitat Restoration through Prescribed Fire at Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge for 11 Listed Plant Species and the Florida Scrub Jay
A project team will restore fire-suppressed scrub and sandhill habitat to enhance populations of 11 listed plant species and the endangered Florida scrub jay at Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. In particular, the staff will augment the only protected population of endangered Garrett’s mint through seed collection and strategic dispersal, which will significantly increase the population.

Restore Populations of the Critically Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly
A project team will establish new viable populations of the endangered Miami blue butterfly over a much larger geographic range in south Florida, including on National Key Deer Refuge, Great Heron National Wildlife Refuge, and local state parks.

Northeast Region
Puritan Tiger Beetle Habitat Enhancement and Population Stabilization in the Connecticut River Watershed

Two new viable subpopulations of the threatened Puritan tiger beetle will be established by a project team from Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge on state-owned lands in New Hampshire and Vermont, within the Connecticut River watershed. The project will optimize a captive rearing protocol, enabling the beetle to be reared in the lab and translocated to protected habitat sites.

Alaska Region
Estimate Global Abundance and Evaluate Changes in At-Sea Distribution of Threatened Spectacled Eiders.

A project team will estimate the global population of threatened spectacled eiders as well as evaluate changes in distribution at marine molting, staging, and wintering areas, including in Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The team will also evaluate changes in non-breeding distribution of adult females captured on the refuge breeding area.

For more information on the 2017 projects and those in previous years, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuges/whm/cri/.