Aloha Grown “Malama Honua Fund” Awards Five (5) Big Island Schools and Organizations

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, five (5) Big Island schools and organizations were presented with a 2017 Aloha Grown Malama Honua Award. Each organization received a $500 award to put towards a specific project or program that embodies Aloha Grown’s philosophy to ‘Support Local, Sustain the Aina & Share the Aloha.’

From left to right: Camille Kalahiki (Manager – Parker Ranch Store), Joe Vitorino (Program Director – Kohala Youth Ranch), Tina Doherty (Head of Parker Middle School), Jenny Bach (“Farm to School” Coordinator/Garden Teacher – Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School) and Randy Kurohara (President & Owner – Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store).

“Here at Aloha Grown, we are committed to supporting efforts to care for our island, our people and our culture,” said Randy Kurohara, President and Owner of Aloha Grown. “That is why 2% of every Aloha Grown sale goes to our Malama Honua Fund, which annually awards local nonprofits, schools, organizations and initiatives that embody our philosophy. This year we received a number of applications and essays from many well-deserving organizations.”

Parker Ranch Store Manager Camille Kalahiki noted, “it was inspiring to see how many organizations are committed to sustainability efforts in our Big Island communities.”

From left to right: Aunty Bev (Aloha Grown employee), Jason Wong (Principal – Na Wai Ola Public Charter School), Stephanie Olson-Moore (Third Grade Kumu – Na Wai Ola Public Charter School), John Lyle School (Parent – Volcano School of Arts & Sciences), Kalima Cayir (Principal – Volcano School of Arts & Sciences) and Randy Kurohara (President & Owner – Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store).

The Malama Honua Fund award application process included a one-page essay explaining how the organization follows Aloha Grown’s philosophy, as well as a description of the project/program that the $500 award would be used to fund. All essays were thoroughly reviewed by an Aloha Grown selection committee.

Congratulations to the 2017 Malama Honua Award Winners! We applaud you for your dedication to sustainability efforts on the Big Island!

  • Parker School & Waimea Elementary School – “Kihapai Ho`oulu” Project
  • Kohala Youth Ranch – “Equine-Assisted Therapy” Program
  • Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School – “Farm to School” Program Hydroponics & Aquaponics Systems
  • Volcano School of Arts and Sciences – “Kalo Garden” Project
  • Na Wai Ola Public Charter School – “Third Grade Composting” Project

Update on Emergency Water Restriction Notice – Store Water in Event of Service Disruptions

This is an update for the Emergency Water Restriction notice. The Department’s Keahuolū Deepwell is out of service and currently being repaired. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all irrigation activities.

Repairs are currently under way. Troubleshooting aboveground equipment yesterday and last night indicated that the problem occurred underground. Contractor is currently on site and the extraction of pump and motor has begun today. There is a spare pump and motor for this well, which is currently on site. Based on this information, the repairs are anticipated to be completed within a week and a half.

More details on completion date will be available as further progress is made. Adjustments were made to the water system to provide customers a minimum level of water service; and thus far, there were no reports of loss of water service. The DWS appreciates everyone’s assistance and asks for everyone’s continued cooperation, because without it, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

As of this afternoon, DWS has suspended service to all temporary service and irrigation accounts. DWS will be actively restricting specific accounts due to exorbitant water use.

For the community’s use, potable water distribution stations are at the following locations:

  • Ane Keohokalole Hwy., between Kealakehe Parkway and KealakeheHigh School
  • Hina Lani between Anini Street and Manu Merle Street

For information, please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. You can also call the Department of Water Supply at 961-8060 or 961-8790 for more information or to report wasteful water use during normal business hours.

For after-hours emergencies, please call 961-8790.

Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Plan for Upgrading Power Grids Can Help Integrate More Private Rooftop Solar

The Hawaiian Electric Companies today submitted the draft of a plan to modernize its five island power grids to bring online more renewable resources, improve reliability and resilience and give customers more choices.

Click to view

Filed today with the Public Utilities Commission, the draft plan describes the scope and estimated cost to update the energy networks of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light in the next six years, and how it will help the companies achieve a consolidated renewable portfolio standard of 48 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2045.

The draft plan also describes how new technology will help triple private rooftop solar, make use of rapidly evolving products – including storage and advanced inverters – and incorporate an array of sophisticated energy management tools, including demand response.

“Our grids were originally designed for one-way flow of electricity to customers from a handful of power plants,” said Colton Ching, senior vice president for planning and technology. “We can use advanced technology to transform these grids for two-way power flow from nearly 80,000 privately owned rooftop solar systems today and tens of thousands more in the future, along with thousands of energy storage systems that will be part of our grids by 2045.”

Much of the first phase of work would be aimed at adding sensors and control systems onto circuits where the high level of private rooftop solar can produce potentially damaging variations in voltage and limit addition of new systems.

The cost of the first segment of modernization is estimated at about $205 million over six years. The plan focuses on near-term improvements that provide the most immediate system and customer benefit but don’t crowd out future technological breakthroughs.

Highlights of this near-term work include:

  • Distribution of smart meters strategically rather than system-wide, primarily for enhanced sensing and monitoring purposes, i.e., to customers with private rooftop solar on saturated circuits; and customers who want to participate in programs such as demand response, variable rates or who seek usage data;
  • Reliance on advanced inverter technology to enable greater private rooftop solar adoption;
  • Expanded use of voltage management tools, especially on circuits with heavy solar penetration to maximize circuit capacities for private rooftop solar and other customer resources;
  • Expanded use of sensors and automated controls at substations and neighborhood circuits;
  • Expansion of a communication network giving system operators greater ability to “see” and efficiently coordinate distributed resources, along with smart devices placed on problematic circuits and automation for improved reliability;
  • Enhanced outage management and notification technology

To develop this grid modernization strategy, the Hawaiian Electric Companies took a “clean sheet” approach, starting by talking with customers and community stakeholders across the state to determine what was important to them when considering energy delivery today and in the future.

The companies plan to meet with stakeholders and to hold public discussions of the grid modernization draft plan starting in July, with their input to be included in the final version of the plan to be submitted at the end of August.

The draft plan and related documents are available at www.hawaiianelectric.com/gridmod. Public comments on the plan can be submitted to gridmod@hawaiianelectric.com until Aug. 9, 2017.

Public Input Invited on Two Draft Forest Management Plans

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is seeking public input and comments on two draft forest reserve management plans, one for Pūpūkea Forest Reserve on the island of O‘ahu, and the other for Kula Forest Reserve and the Papa‘anui tract of Kahikinui Forest Reserve on the island of Maui.

These plans are part of a series of site-specific plans to be prepared by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) for individual forest reserves throughout the State.

Generally, management plans include a brief history of the specific forest reserve, a complete record of land transactions and boundary changes over time, a description of natural and cultural resources, as well as an account of infrastructure and intended use(s) of the area.

Plans will serve to: (1) provide information on the natural resources of the reserve; (2) prioritize implementation of management objectives; (3) assist in preparation of regulatory compliance documents required to implement management actions outlined in the plan; (4) support DOFAW efforts to secure funding for plan objectives; and (5) solicit requests for proposals or bids to implement plan objectives.

The management plan approval process includes review by DOFAW branch and administrative staff, partner agency and public consultation, approval by the administrator of DOFAW, and finally, approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Pūpūkea Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s proclamation on May 5, 1910, to conserve and protect the remaining forest and increase local water supply.  Located on the north shore of Oʻahu, the reserve consists of approximately 782 acres of public land.

Vegetation is primarily composed of non-native species, although some native vegetation still exists in the southeast portion of the reserve.

Current management activities include the maintenance of infrastructure for public access and recreation. Hiking, camping, and hunting are allowed in Pūpūkea Forest Reserve.

Kula Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s proclamation on September 11, 1912, with a purpose different from most other forest reserves. The reserve was established with the intent to reforest the area that had been converted to pasture after 20 years of livestock grazing. Establishing forest cover around Polipoli Spring, which at the time was considered the only permanent source of water on the southern end of Haleakalā, was one of the underlying reasons for creating the Kula Forest Reserve.

Kahikinui Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s proclamation on December 22, 1928. The overarching goal at Kahikinui was to improve the vegetative cover in the area to “prevent excessive runoff and make water on the lower lands available for use in the intervening dry periods, where it is almost always at a premium.”

The Forest Reserve System in Hawai‘i encompasses approximately 684,000 acres of conservation land. It was created in 1903 to protect forests and other watershed areas to ensure an ample water supply for the people of Hawai‘i.

“The Forest Reserve System in Hawai‘i contributes to the public’s source of fresh water, provides recreational opportunities, forest products, and a wealth of cultural and natural resources,” said David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife administrator. “The management plans provide a historical context and current description of resources within these forest reserves, in addition to providing guidance for future management activities.”

Draft management plans will be posted on the DLNR DOFAW website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/frs/reserves/management-plans/  Please submit written comments by July 31, 2017, to:

Jan Pali, Forestry and Watershed Planner
Jan.N.Pali@hawaii.gov
Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
Honolulu, HI  96813

If anyone desires this information in an alternate format, please contact Jan Pali at 808-587-4166.

Big Island Police Searching for Persons Involved in Flipping Over Sailboat

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help for any information relative to damages to a Hobie sailboat that was moored off of Reeds Bay in Hilo. Several persons were seen climbing aboard and flipping over the sailboat on (Sunday, June 11), sometime between 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact Officer Amy Omaya of the South Hilo Patrol at (808) 961-2203.

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 $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stop pers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

NOAA and DLNR Ask People’s Cooperation to Keep Distance from Mother Seal and Pup on Waikiki Beach

Marine resource protection officials are asking the public’s cooperation to keep their distance and avoid disturbing a Hawaiian monk seal mother and her newborn pup on the popular Kaimana beach at Waikiki.

Some time overnight the female monk seal known as “Rocky” or RH58, gave birth to a seal at the far Diamond Head end of Kaimana beach. She had been seen frequenting that area in recent days. Volunteers from the Hawaii Marine Mammals Alliance Oahu group have set up a safety perimeter with ropes and signage to keep viewers a safe distance away to avoid disturbing the mother seal and her pup. It’s also important for human safety since a mother seal may charge anyone that gets too close on the beach or in the water that might be viewed as a threat.

Volunteers will keep watch in shifts and provide education and outreach information to beachgoers over the approximately 5 to 7 weeks while the pup is weaned and eventually able to forage for food on its own.

According to Angela Amlin, NOAA Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Program Coordinator, this is the 10th pup for RH58, but the first one to be born on Oahu. The other nine were born on Kauai. She said, “Our first concern is for human safety. People should stay behind the ropes on the beach and avoid swimming near the seals. It’s also important not to attempt to approach or interact with the seals, or try to feed them, which could habituate them to human contact and could lead to future problems.”

NOAA staff are contacting condominium and hotel managers, also Ocean Safety lifeguards in the vicinity for cooperation to mark off the area so the seals may rest undisturbed. Monk seals are protected under state and federal laws.

Kristen Kelly, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources Marine Wildlife program assistant, says, “It is a really exciting event to have a pup born in such a popular and highly traveled area. It is also a concern for us here at DLNR. It is important to respect these animals especially a mother seal giving protective care to her pup. It is very important to give the pair space and respect in this vulnerable time. Take care to remain behind the barriers and head more to the ‘ewa side of the beach to enter and exit the water while the pair is here. Take special care in the water near the mother seal — there have been several instances of mothers protecting their pups from a perceived threat in the water, and attacking even if their baby is on shore. We advise staying out of the water on that side of the beach until the pair leaves. Try to remain at least 150 feet away in the water.”

She further adds, “We want people to enjoy viewing these special animals but please watch from a respectful distance! When observing these highly endangered species let’s do the right thing: take care and respect the seals, avoid sudden noise or any disturbance that could cause the mom to leave unexpectedly before she should. She needs to stay with the pup until it is ready to go out on its own. We also don’t want these wild animals to become conditioned to humans being nearby or trying to feed them. Please allow a respectful distance from seals so their pups can grow up naturally.”

VIEWING TIPS:

  • Please stay behind any ropes or fencing and follow instructions from personnel stationed on the beach.
  • Enjoy seeing and photographing these magnificent creatures from outside the safety perimeter, clearly marked by signs and ropes.
  • Hawaiian monk seals, even pups, are large powerful animals and can bite if they feel threatened. Keep a safe distance away.
  • Anyone who witnesses someone harassing or harming the seals may make a report to the DLNR Enforcement line at 643-DLNR (643-3567) or the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Hotline at 888-256-9840
  • In addition, harassing these mammals is against both federal and state law.  So please do your part to help our Hawaiian monk seals thrive and survive.

It’s becoming more common for monk seals to haul out on beaches popular with people. After a mother seal and her pup showed up just before Memorial Day 2017 on Mokulua North (Moku Nui) offshore islet, Kailua kayak rental companies began showing a DLNR-produced safety video to customers. Kayak renters are also asked to read a card that lists safe monk seal viewing protocols.

14 More Mumps Cases Reported – First Big Island Case Confirmed

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed fourteen (14) more cases of residents with the mumps, raising the total number of cases this year to 133. Eleven (11) cases are on Oahu, two (2) are on Kauai and one (1) is on Hawaii Island, representing that island’s first confirmed mumps case this year.

The new cases involved eight (8) adults. None of the cases required hospitalization and all are recovering. DOH officials are investigating the new cases and expect the mumps virus to continue circulating across the state.

DOH urges those who are suspected or diagnosed with mumps to stay at home to avoid exposing others. According to Hawaii State Law, a person with mumps may not attend school, work or travel for nine (9) days after the start of swollen salivary glands.“We continue to see people with mumps being mobile in the community well after the onset of the illness and before they have been diagnosed,” said Dr. Park. “This increases the risk for introduction of the disease on other islands and areas of our state as well as continued spread on Oahu.”

Mumps is highly-contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, fever, tiredness and muscle aches.

To prevent the spread of mumps in our community, persons exhibiting symptoms of the disease should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Additionally, everyone is asked to review their immunization records to ensure they are fully vaccinated.

All children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine which protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. The first dose is given at age 12–15 months and the second dose routinely at 4–6 years of age. However, due to the continued circulation of mumps in Hawaii, children between 1–4 years of age should receive their second dose now (a minimum of 4 weeks after the first dose).

All adults born in or after 1957, without evidence of immunity to mumps and who cannot verify previous MMR vaccination, should receive one MMR dose.

Individuals with only one documented MMR dose are strongly encouraged to consider receiving a second MMR vaccine dose. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccinesimmunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

More information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

Hawaii Department of Education Opens Second Data Center

After seven years of progress towards upgrading its technology infrastructure, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) opened its second data center at Hoʻokele Elementary School earlier this month.  This marks an important milestone in HIDOE’s Converge Infrastructure initiative, which is focused on consolidating the information technology (IT) equipment and services in order to streamline management and support statewide.

The Hookele data center acts as a backup in case the primary fails and will eventually house disaster recovery services for HIDOE’s critical applications and systems.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“Prior to the opening of these data centers, our IT equipment and services were scattered throughout various locations making management and recovery efforts difficult,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Thanks to the work done through this initiative and legislative support, we have consolidated and enhanced our resources to meet the increasing connectivity demands in our schools.”

Planning for the initiative started in 2010 with the department’s offices of Information Technology Services and School Facilities and Support Services. In Spring 2015, the first data center opened at the former Queen Liliʻuokalani Elementary School in Kaimukī, which now houses department facilities and technology offices. The center is the primary production site with the new center at Hoʻokele serving as the back up and recovery site.

“During the planning process we put a lot of effort into the design of these centers. We incorporated energy efficient strategies and leveraged software that will provide additional flexibility for our systems that will allow us to adjust based on varying demand through the year,” added Clyde Sonobe, assistant superintendent and chief information officer.

The Hoʻokele center will eventually house disaster recovery services for HIDOE’s critical applications and systems.

Earlier this year, HIDOE was recognized as the top ranked school district in K-12 broadband connectivity according to the 2016 State of the States annual report released by Education Superhighway, an advocacy group dedicated to upgrading Internet infrastructure in K-12 public schools. For more information about this award, click here.

Department of Education Pursues Expansion of Hawaiian Education Assessment

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has taken another step towards advancing Hawaiian language assessments for Hawaiian immersion students. In a collaborative effort with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Hawaiian language stakeholders, HIDOE is seeking federal approval for the expansion of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KAEO) to Grades 5-8. Ka Papahana Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Language Immersion) students in Grades 3 and 4 have been taking the KAEO assessment since the 2014-15 school year.

“The collaborative work to expand Kaiapuni assessments for more students honors our commitment to assure that a Hawaiian language education pathway is strengthened and realized in our public school system,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “A lot of work has been done to ensure that these tests are rigorous and meets a standard of education that provides high quality assessments for our Kaiapuni students.”

Additionally, the desire to expand Hawaiian assessment was expressed by Native Hawaiian education advocates who provided feedback during the Hawaii Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) public comment period and in testimony before the Board of Education.

For the past two years, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) approved HIDOE’s requests for extended waivers that allowed Kaiapuni students to take a specialized assessment in lieu of the state’s English language arts and math student assessments.

HIDOE will now request a USDOE double-testing waiver for Kaiapuni students in Grades 5-8. Approval of the waiver would allow Kaiapuni students enrolled in those grades to take the KAEO field tests in language arts, mathematics and science in lieu of the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in language arts and mathematics and the Hawaii State Science Assessment (HSA-Science).

“The previous waivers granted by the USDOE has lifted the burden of having our Hawaiian language students take double the amount of assessments,” stated Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, office of strategy, innovation and performance. “The work put into the expansion of assessments for Kaiapuni students is unprecedented.”

A seven-day public comment period will open on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and close on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Those interested in submitting comments can email ESSA@hawaiidoe.org.  For more information, please click here to view the public notice.

Click to read notice

Pāhoa HI-5 Certified Redemption Center Closing

Effective July 1, 2017, the Pāhoa HI-5 Certified Redemption Center located at the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station will be closed until further notice.

The transfer station will remain open.

The close proximity of another certified redemption center, about a half-mile away,  resulted in an unexpected increase in cost to continue services when the Pāhoa site’s operations contract was re-bid.

Due to this increase in cost and the close proximity of the alternate center, the site will be closed for the time being; the Department plans to re-bid the site, and possibly reopen it at a later date.

Please see the schedule below for the alternate sites and operating hours:

  • Kea‘au, Atlas Recycling Wednesday, Friday, 8:00am – 3:30pm
  • Kea`au Recycling & Transfer Station Saturday, Sunday, 16-921 Kea‘au-Pahoa Road
  • Pāhoa, Business Services Hawai`i Daily 8:00am – 3:30pm, Pahoa Village Road (Across from the Post Office)

The Department of Environmental Management would like to thank the public for their cooperation and understanding as we work with our contractors to make the HI-5 program as convenient as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the closure of the Pāhoa HI-5 Certified Redemption Center.

For more information and a complete list of Certified Redemption Centers in Hawai`i County please visit www.hawaiizerowaste.org, or contact Craig Kawaguchi at ckawaguchi@hawaiicounty.gov

Civil Defense Notice on Water Restrictions – Public Potable Water Distribution Stations Set Up

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is an Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona District customers for Thursday, June 29 at 4PM. The Department of Water Supply reports Keahuolu Well located in North Kona District is out of service.

Due to the loss of this pump and to avoid the loss of water pressure and service, the Department of Water Supply is issuing an immediate restriction on water use to health and safety needs of drinking, cooking, and sanitation ONLY.  North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and  Honalo to Makalei must cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicles and boats.    

Conserve water by flushing toilets less often and taking shorter showers.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water (5-10 gallons) for basic household needs, such as flushing toilets, hygiene and consumption in the event of service disruption.

Until further notice, the Department of Water Supply is suspending temporary service accounts and irrigation accounts in North Kona.

Department of Water Supply will be monitoring water usage and wasteful water use will be subject to further water restrictions and possible water shut off.

In order to help meet general customer demand, Water Supply has established Public Potable Water Distribution Stations at the following locations:

  • Ane Keohokalole Hwy. between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School
  • Hina Lani between Anini St. and Manu Mele St.

 

Community Forum on Kona Water Restrictions – One Year to Fully Restore Water Service

Due to the emergency nature of the current and prolonged water restrictions in North Kona and the greater Kona area, we have scheduled this special forum event during the normal West Hawaii Forum series summer break of July-August.

During this forum, we expect officials from DWS to explain the how and why of the current water emergency.

We will also explore, with the help of our community forum audience;

  1. why the agency was not better prepared for critical equipment failures and service disruptions,
  2. why it will take nearly an entire year to fully restore water service to the Kona area,
  3. the lessons learned from this experience and prevention plans to avoid potential future service disruptions and impaired operations.
  4. And we will also explore DWS power dependency and relationship to customer water supply services.

The seriousness of the current area water emergency cannot be emphasized enough.

The Forum’s featured speakers include:

  • Keith Okaomoto, Manager and Chief Engineer of Department of Water Supply

Additional forum presenters will be announced in the coming days.

This forum will feature a new and improved audio listening experience. We look forward to seeing you there.

WEST HAWAII FORUM DATE: Thursday, July 20th, 2017

TIME & PLACE: 6 – 8 PM, WHCC

EVENT DETAILS:  http://www.westhawaiiforum.org/event/department-of-water-supply-apologizes-questions-remain/

AirAsia X Touches Down in Honolulu – Inaugural Flight Marks Successful Entry Into the U.S.

Flight D7 001 from long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X landed at Honolulu International Airport on June 28, marking the airline’s first foray into the US.

(PRNewsfoto/AirAsia X)

The four times weekly route departed from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Honolulu, Hawaii via Osaka, Japan.

The successful inaugural flight was followed by a celebration and press conference event at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, graced by State of Hawaii Chief of Staff Mike McCartney; Malaysian Ambassador to the US HE Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique; Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George D. Szigeti; AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail.

AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said, “We are here to democratize air travel for everyone so flying long haul would no longer be a luxury only a few could enjoy. This landmark route to Hawaii is a bold new chapter in that quest to help more people travel farther for less. But this is just the beginning, and soon our guests will be able to enjoy flights to even more destinations in the US as we continue to grow our international footprint.”

Last week, AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline for the ninth straight years while AirAsia X won the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Premium Seat awards for the fifth consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards held at the Paris Air Show.

“We are deeply honored AirAsia X has chosen Honolulu as its initial destination to expand service in the United States and appreciate how this route strengthens our ties with the people and culture of Malaysia,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “AirAsia X customers in Kuala Lumpur and Osaka will enjoy the convenience of this direct service and how it connects them with the welcoming aloha spirit of the Hawaiian culture, the spectacular natural beauty of our islands, and the diversity of Asia Pacific influences that enriches the experience of being in Hawaii.”

To celebrate the inaugural flight, AirAsia X will be offering one-way fares from as low as USD189* for a standard seat or USD799* for the award-winning Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur; or USD149* for a standard seat or USD699* for the Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Osaka. These promotional fares are available on airasia.com now through July 2 for travel between October 1, 2017 and August 28, 2018.

The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is known around the world for its iconic, modern skyline featuring the Petronas Twin Towers. The city is a major shopping haven for tourists and its multi-cultural culinary scene attracts visitors from across the globe. Outside the city limits, Kuala Lumpur serves as a gateway to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Melaka, just about two hour’s drive away from the airport. No matter what your interests, it all happens in Kuala Lumpur.

Osaka is Japan’s third largest city located in the Kansai region. A city that loves to eat, Osaka’s unofficial slogan is kuidaore. which literally means ‘eat until you drop.’ Takoyaki (octopus balls), Okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), udon and other traditional Japanese culinary are some of the must-try food in Osaka. Visitor can stroll along the river at Dotombori and take a selfie with the famous Glico billboard, visit the majestic Osaka Castle, enjoy the thrills at Universal Studio Japan and many more.

* One-way all-in fare inclusive of taxes and fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) via Osaka, Japan (KIX)

Note: All times listed are local unless otherwise stated.

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Emergency Power Facility in Full Operation

The Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division and Hawaiian Electric Company today announced that the Emergency Power Facility (EPF) at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) is in full operation.

The facility, which uses four generators running on biofuels to provide up to 10 megawatts of power, was built by and is owned by the State of Hawaii. During non-emergencies, the EPF is operated by Hawaiian Electric to provide electricity to the grid. In an emergency, it can be operated in “islanded” mode to provide backup power for the airport, even if the rest of the island’s power grid is damaged.

Final testing of the facility was completed in June and the plant began providing electricity to the grid last weekend. Hawaiian Electric pays the Airports Division for its use and also pays for the maintenance of the generators.

“Continuing operations at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport during and after a catastrophic event is critical for the state. The new Emergency Power Facility will be able to provide backup electricity to the airport during a power outage,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation director. “The EPF is better for the environment since it works on biofuels instead of fossil fuels, further adding to its benefit.”

The power plant was designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and a 2,500-year recurrence earthquake. It can also use jet fuel in a protracted emergency.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership that provides benefits to our community and to the tourism industry,” said Ron Cox, senior vice president of operations for Hawaiian Electric. “These new, efficient generators are a cost-effective addition to the resources available to meet the island’s energy needs.”

This dual-operating arrangement that utilizes biofuels is believed to be the first of its kind at a major U.S. airport. Principal construction of the $23-million facility was completed in 2014, followed by interconnection work and the installation and testing of control systems.

Hawai‘i Community College to Host Car Show Featuring Automotive Celebrity Charley Hutton

Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai’i CC) will host a car show on Saturday, July 15 with featured guest Charley Hutton, one of the most talented and well-known automotive painters and fabricators in the world.

The Hawai‘i Community College Auto Body Repair & Painting Car Show will be at the Manono campus in Hilo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

During the week prior to the car show, Hutton will teach special workshops for Hawai‘i CC students in the Auto Body Repair & Painting Program (ABRP) and local industry professionals.

A Hawai’i CC Auto Body Repair & Painting student works in the paint booth at the campus in Hilo.

“We are honored Charley will visit us,” said ABRP instructor and alumnus of the program Garrett Fujioka. “This is an exciting opportunity for our students to learn from one of the best in the business. We are also thrilled to be hosting this car show, which will hopefully become an annual Hawai‘i CC tradition that helps inspire the next generation of local auto body repair and painting experts.”

A Porsche 356 Speedster rebuilt and painted by Hawai’i CC instructor Garrett Fujioka.

The car show will feature a variety of vehicles, including show cars, race cars, classics, imports, cruisers and trucks. The event will also feature door prizes every hour, refreshments, entertainment, and opportunities to meet Hutton. Any proceeds will benefit the ABRP Program.

About the Auto Body Program

The Hawai‘i CC Auto Body Repair & Painting Program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Certificate of Achievement. The program provides classroom and hands-on live lab training that represents the latest technological trends in the industry. Alumni have established successful careers on Hawai‘i Island and elsewhere as auto repair professionals and business owners.

More about Charley Hutton

Hutton is the owner of Charley Hutton’s Color Studio and has appeared on reality television shows American Hot Rod and Overhaulin’. He is the winner of four Ridler Awards. The Ridler Award is given annually at Detroit Autorama to the hot rod that exhibits the highest degree of creativity, engineering and design. It is considered the most prestigious award of its kind.

Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona – Cease ALL Irrigation Activities

This is an Emergency Water Restriction notice for North Kona. The Department’s Keahuolū Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking and sanitary purposes) only. Cease all irrigation activities.

Cause of failure is being assessed to determine what needs to be done and how long it will take. Adjustments to the water system have been made to provide customers a minimum level of water service. Without everyone’s cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

DWS will be suspending service to all temporary service and irrigation accounts as well as actively restricting specific accounts due to exorbitant water use.

Report any observed wasteful use of water to the DWS at 961-8060 or 961-8790.

For information, please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. You can also call the Department of Water Supply at 961-8060 for more information or to report wasteful water use during normal business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For after-hours emergencies, please call 961-8790.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Kona Girl

7/3/17 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 17-year-old Nahoni Chaul of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing. She was found unharmed on the island of Kauai on (June 30).

Hawai`i Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Kailua-Kona girl who was reported missing.

Nahoni Chaul was last seen in Kailua-Kona on (June 20).

Nahoni Chaul

She is described as Caucasian, 5 feet-9-inches, 165 pounds with brown short shoulder length hair, medium complexion, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pair of grey shorts, a grey t-shirt, a blue backpack, and brown slippers.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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 $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID Service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Electric Light Explains Brief Power Interruption – About 21,000 Experienced Brief Loss of Power

Hawaii Electric Light reports that about 21,000 customers in various areas of the island experienced a brief power interruption this afternoon due to a sudden loss of generation when a combustion turbine unit (CT5) at its Keahole Power Plant tripped offline.

Protective devices automatically disconnected some customers temporarily to rebalance the available supply of power generation with the demand for power, stabilizing the grid and maintaining service for the majority of customers. Those affected experienced a temporary power interruption lasting about 10 minutes while backup generators were started.

The unit has since returned to service. Customers who remain without service may call 969-6666. Hawaii Electric Light also posts outage information on its Twitter account @HIElectricLight with the hashtag #BigIslandOutage.

DLNR Issues Notice of Alleged Violations to Simon Valej of Hang Loose Boat Tours

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued a Notice of Alleged Violations to Simon Valej of Hang Loose Boat Tours for Alleged Unauthorized Alteration of Historic Properties and Unauthorized Land Use Within the Conservation District Located at Punalu‘u Wharf, Ka‘u, Hawai‘i.

A site inspection conducted on June 26, 2017, revealed remnants of the historic Punalu‘u Wharf have been impacted allegedly with heavy equipment, and significant ground disturbance has occurred with the State Land Use Conservation District.

State of Hawai‘i historic preservation laws state that it is a civil and administrative violation for any person to take, appropriate, excavate, injure, destroy, or alter any historic property or burial site during the course of land development or land alteration activities, without obtaining the required approvals; and State of Hawai‘i Administrative Rules for land use(s) within the State Land Use Conservation District state that no land use (s) shall be conducted in a Conservation District unless a permit or approval is first obtained from the DLNR or the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR). It is alleged that Mr. Valej failed to obtain any such approvals from the State.

For historic preservation violations, the statute states: Any person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $10,000 for each separate violation. If the violator directly or indirectly has caused the loss of, or damage to, any historic property or burial site, the violator shall be fined an additional amount determined by the court or an administrative adjudicative authority to be equivalent to the value of the lost or damaged historic property or burial site. Each day of continued violation of this provision shall constitute a distinct and separate violation for which the violator may be punished. Equipment used by a violator for the taking, appropriation, excavation, injury, destruction, or alteration of any historic property or burial site, shall be subject to seizure and disposition by the State without compensation to its owner or owners.

For violations of Land Use Conservation District administrative rules: the BLNR may subject individuals to fines of up to $15,000.00 per violation in addition to administrative costs. If activity continues after written or verbal notice from the DLNR, willful violation may incur an additional fine of up to $15,000.00 per day per violation for each day in which the violation persists.

In the Notice of Alleged Violations sent to Mr. Valej, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case writes, “This notice is to inform you that the alleged alteration and destruction of historic properties, and permanent change in the land area within the Conservation District created by the land use was not reviewed nor authorized by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The matter will be scheduled for a decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources at a time and date to be announced.”

DLNR is working with Hawai‘i County to further investigate allegations that the company left two piles of dirt on the shore after trying to excavate land for a launch. It is also attempting to work with the land owner on mitigation measures with respect to potential impacts in the ocean.

Hang Loose Boat Tours has a valid commercial use permit (CUP) from the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR). Its access permit from the private land owner was revoked, so unless the company can show it has another access point, which is required for the commercial use permit, DOBOR could ask the Land Board to revoke it.

Coast Guard Accepts 24th Fast Response Cutter

The Coast Guard accepted the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124), the 24th Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards, Tuesday morning in a ceremony at Coast Guard Sector Key West.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) cruises out of Key West, Fla., following the cutter’s delivery to the Coast Guard, June 27, 2017. The Oliver Berry is the 24th Fast Response Cutter to be delivered to the service and will homeport in Honolulu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll/Released)

The cutter, which is 154-feet long and has a crew complement of 24, will be homeported in Honolulu.

The Oliver Berry is tentatively scheduled for commissioning in October in Honolulu. It is the first Fast Response Cutter to be stationed in the Coast Guard’s 14th Coast Guard District, which covers the state of Hawaii, the U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa, various Pacific Island nations and parts of Asia.

The cutter’s namesake, Oliver Berry, is the first enlisted helicopter mechanic in naval aviation history and was an instrumental part in pioneering the use of the helicopter for search and rescue after World War II. In September 1946, he successfully disassembled a helicopter in Brooklyn, New York, organized transportation from New York to Newfoundland, Canada, and reassembled the helicopter for use to rescue 18 stranded passengers of a Belgian airliner that crashed near Gander, Newfoundland. He subsequently received the Silver Medal of the Order of Leopold II from the Belgian monarchy for his efforts.

The Fast Response Cutter is replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats, and features advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, as well as an over-the-horizon cutter boat. The cutter features advanced seakeeping capabilities, and can achieve speeds of more than 32 mph (28 knots). The cutter has an endurance of five days. The Coast Guard is in the middle of the FRC acquisition program, with plans to procure a total of 58 vessels.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) stand for a photo upon the cutter’s delivery to the Coast Guard in Key West, Fla., June 27, 2017. The Oliver Berry is the 24th Fast Response Cutter to be delivered to the service and will homeport in Honolulu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll/Released)

Oliver Berry is designed for multiple missions, including law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, waterways and coastal security, search and rescue, and national defense. For more information about this cutter, please contact 14th District Public Affairs at 808-535-3230 or Oliver Berry’s executive officer at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscg.mil.