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Coast Guard, Navy Medevac Fisherman From Vessel Off Oahu

A 30-year-old Vietnamese fisherman, suffering severe abdominal pain, arrived in good condition to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu Wednesday evening, aboard a Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter.

Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter

“This is a great demonstration of how our military branches work together to successfully complete a mission, said Lt. Nic Lannarone, command duty officer at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu. “We are proud of all crews and their seamless work to ensure mariners in need reach a higher level of care as quickly as possible.”

Watchstanders at JRCC received a call from the master of the 68-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady of the Sea II at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. The vessel was reportedly 276 miles south of Oahu making 7 knots (8 mph) en route to Oahu.

JRCC watchstanders requested assistance from the Navy HSM-37 ‘Easyriders’ due to the distance offshore.

The watchstanders briefed the duty flight surgeon and agreed on a medevac. A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point launched to provide top cover and communications while the Navy Seahawk crew launched from Kaneohe Bay.

Coast Guard watchstanders worked with the Navy and the crew of the U.S.-flagged Lady of the Sea II to arrange a Navy surface asset and basket hoist transfer once the vessel was 173 miles south of Oahu.

Weather on scene was reportedly winds of 17 mph with 7-foot seas.

Big Island Residents Catch Rat Lungworm – Residents Consumed Drink Tainted by Slug

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed two new cases of individuals with rat lungworm illness on Hawaii Island. In addition, four related cases are considered highly probable based on clinical indications, a common discrete exposure, and symptoms consistent with the illness. All six cases are adults who were hospitalized and their illnesses reported to the department over the past weekend.

The adults became infected with the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis at a home in Keaau on Hawaii Island a few weeks after drinking homemade kava which they had left out in uncovered buckets after preparing the drink at the home. The kava was poured into a large bowl and after consuming most of the contents, the individuals noticed a slug at the bottom of the bowl. The department’s investigation determined the source of the infections was likely the homemade kava tainted by slugs.

“The department is continuing to monitor this serious illness spread to individuals by infected slugs and snails,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Cases like this recent cluster are especially concerning because they can be prevented with basic precautions such as storing food in covered containers and properly inspecting and washing food before eating. These healthy habits can protect against food contamination and prevent serious illnesses.”

With the addition of the two illnesses confirmed today, there have been a total of 11 confirmed cases of rat lungworm infection this year in the state.

Earlier this year, four Maui resident cases, two non-resident cases who were visitors to Maui, and three Hawaii Island resident cases were confirmed. The two cases confirmed today were Hawaii Island residents and of the four probable cases, three were Hawaii Island residents and one was a resident of Maui who traveled to Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii Department of Health advises everyone to carefully store, inspect and wash produce, especially leafy greens. Always store food in covered containers, wash all produce thoroughly and supervise young children playing outdoors to prevent them from putting snails or slugs into their mouths. Controlling snail, slug, and rat populations is one of the most important steps in fighting the spread of rat lungworm disease. Take precautions to control slugs, snails, and rats around properties, and especially around home gardens. Farmers as well as food handlers and processors should increase diligence in controlling slugs, snails, and rats on the farm.

The Department of Health’s Food Safety Program continues to inspect and educate food establishments statewide on safe food handling and preparation to prevent contamination and food borne illness. Food establishments statewide are reminded to use only approved and licensed sources and carefully inspect and wash all produce during food preparation.

The most common symptoms of angiostrongyliasis or rat lungworm include severe headache and neck stiffness, but symptoms may vary widely among cases. Seek medical attention for headache, fever, stiff neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin or extremities. The most serious cases experience neurological problems, pain and severe disability. Healthcare providers should monitor and support patients’ symptoms, and report any persons they suspect may be infected. More information on the signs and symptoms of rat lungworm infection are at: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2015/07/angio-fact-sheet-20150716.pdf

Fresh Fish, Poke and Local Food Dishes Coming Soon to Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, a retail store and visitor center for over 10 years, will soon feature the famously fresh fish, poke and local food dishes from North Kohala’s Kawaihae Kandyz. Currently causing a splash on the food scene with a flair for local fare, Kawaihae Kandyz has been garnering attention in the town of Kapa‘au for the past year and a half, winning acclaim for their signature Shoyu Poke Nachos.

Poke Nachos

The official launch date is set for Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, located in Kawaihae on Highway 270 at 61-3251 Maluokalani St.

The popular eatery is owned and operated by Chef Shannon Javillonar and wife Fran. Chef Javillonar was inspired to start his own business after 10 years with a well-known hotel along the Kohala Coast. As Javillonar worked his way up, he learned the trade and crafted his talent to create “home-style cooking” with a unique take on local food.

In addition to his signature Poke Nachos, his Poke Bombs and Poke Bowls are up-and-coming local and visitor favorites. His fish is caught fresh and priced based on the current market value. All of his creations are made-to-order. Since it opened for business, Kawaihae Kandyz has blossomed with followers on social media, and earned great reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Instagram and Facebook, and of course word-of-mouth.

Poke Bombs

When asked why he is looking to expand, Javillonar said “Many of my customers travel from as far as Kona, Waikoloa, the Kohala Coast and Waimea. I’ve been getting a lot of requests to open in Kawaihae so they would not have to travel to Kohala. Kawaihae is a great location and is centralized. It lets our local residents also know about Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company’s Visitor Center and Retail Store and what a hidden gem they are. It’s a win-win situation!”

Kawaihae Kandyz will be open at the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company location in Kawaihae on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (808) 896-2767. , located in Kawaihae

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co., partnered with Edmund C. Olson, is a locally owned and operated enterprise, committed to providing 100% Hawaiian macadamia nuts, 100% of the time, in ways that are economically efficient and environmentally responsible.  Their goal is to provide a future for the growers, jobs for Hawai‘i Island workers and produce the highest-quality products to sell to the world.  For more information, visit www.HawnNut.com.

“Epic Boat After Party” Results in Citation at Kaneohe Bay

A boat operator, who advertised his “Epic Boat After Party,” on social media, was cited by the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) on Easter Sunday for conducting commercial activities without a permit.

Among the 15 passengers Adam Taylor carried on his boat to the Ahu o Laka sand bar in Kaneohe Bay, were undercover DOCARE officers who paid Taylor fees for a boat ride. All commercial activities conducted from State small boat harbors, facilities, and near shore waters require a permit from the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

“We were alerted to this Easter afternoon party at Ahu o Laka by a social media posting,” said DOCARE Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell. “When the possibility of unpermitted activities are blatantly advertised via social media or in blogs and we become aware of it, we will aggressively investigate and take appropriate actions against anyone caught breaking the law,” Farrell added.

Officers had prepared for a major “flotilla” at Ahu o Laka, but overcast skies and cool temperatures likely kept big crowds from developing.  In past years and particularly on major holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, enormous crowds have descended on the popular windward O‘ahu sandbar.  This has resulted in a prohibition against open containers and alcohol consumption and possession at Ahu o Laka during the summer season holiday weekends. In addition, the state boating rule, first established in 2012, prohibits loud, abusive or disorderly conduct; and the presence of persons under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or non-prescription drugs in an area designated as the Ahu o Laka safety zone. The safety zone in the middle of Kane‘ohe Bay is just over a square mile in area and comprises the majority of the sandbar and is defined by six marker buoys.

A first offense for failing to have a commercial activities permit can carry a maximum fine of $5000.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Hilo Town Hall Draws Largest Crowd Yet on Statewide Tour With More Than 600 East Hawaii Residents

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was in Hilo last night to host her fifth Town Hall in a series of seven statewide. More than 600 East Hawaiʻi residents attended the meeting at Waiakea High School—the largest crowd yet on the congresswoman’s Town Hall Tour across the islands. Many brought homemade signs showing their support for peace over escalating wars abroad. They expressed deep concern over the threat of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Hawaii’s preparedness, and also Trump’s recent illegal attack in Syria.

Residents asked Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a variety of questions from healthcare to decriminalizing marijuana to criminal justice reform, and many other issues that affect the people of Hawaiʻi. She was thanked for introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, for cosponsoring “Medicare for All” legislation, and for her work to honor Filipino World War II Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The next stops on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s statewide Town Hall Tour are below. Second Congressional District residents are encouraged to RSVP at least one day prior to the meeting date at gabbard.house.gov/townhall or by calling the office at (808) 541-1986.

  • Kauaʻi – Tonight, Wednesday, April 19th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Kauaʻi Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Hwy, Līhuʻe, HI 96766
  • Maui – Thursday, April 20th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732