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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.

Hawaii Governor Elected Vice Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association

Gov. David Ige was elected vice chairman of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) at its annual conference in Whitefish, Montana. He will serve with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, who is the incoming WGA chairman.

In his role as vice chair, Gov. Ige will serve as chairman of WGA’s policy committee. The governor will serve for one year before becoming chair of the WGA next year, by a vote of the Western Governors.

Former Hawai‘i Governors George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano previously served as WGA chairmen.

The Western Governors’ Association was established in 1984 to represent the governors of 19 western states and three U.S. flag islands – American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The association is an instrument of the governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the Western United States.

Department of Health Announces Zika Preparedness & Response Milestones to Fight the Bite During National Mosquito Awareness Week

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 25–July 1, 2017, is a nationwide annual reminder of the importance of controlling mosquitoes and reducing the serious risks of vector-borne diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Protecting Hawaii from these diseases is a major undertaking, and the state has recently reached several milestones in mosquito-borne disease prevention and response.

DOH vector control staff treat a large area of residential yard to eliminate adult mosquitoes.

With the support of the Hawaii State Legislature, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has been diligently ramping up its vector control capacity by increasing staff positions on all islands, conducting training on mosquito surveillance and disease response protocols, and ensuring sufficient equipment and supplies are available to effectively respond to potential disease outbreaks from mosquitoes, should it be necessary.

While staffing has increased statewide from 25 to 45 positions, the hub of activity has been on Hawaii Island, which now has 15 dedicated vector control staff positions with a range of expertise including inspectors, specialists, and an entomologist. This week, DOH vector control staff are participating in a three-day workshop conference in Kona to evaluate response plans and undergo training on mosquito surveillance and abatement practices.

“Having a well-equipped vector control program year-round is crucial to maintain monitoring and reduction of mosquitoes and other vectors even when we aren’t engaged in an active disease outbreak,” said Keith Kawaoka, DOH’s deputy director of the Environmental Health Administration. “Increased staffing means our Vector Control program will be ready to immediately respond to suspect or confirmed cases of mosquito-borne disease and have the resources to control mosquitoes and their breeding areas in order to reduce the risk of diseases spreading. Our Vector Control program is also a key partner in routine control of mosquito populations within the community through ongoing education, source reduction, and larviciding.”

The Hawaii Island District Health Office’s Vector Control Program has taken the lead to develop and implement strategies that will reduce mosquito activity and prevent breeding areas. Efforts include:

  • Collaboration with Hawaii Invasive Species Council’s Mamalu Poepoe project to re-examine monitoring and abatement strategies at points-of-entry (i.e., airports, harbors, etc.) to increase the state’s biosecurity related to introductions of new species of disease carrying mosquitoes.
  • Island-wide mosquito surveillance and mapping to identify present species and their prevalence and assess the risk to residents and visitors alike. Special attention is being paid to Aedes aegypti, which is an extremely efficient carrier of Zika, dengue and chikungunya.
  • Ongoing studies to predict mosquito breeding patterns based on rainfall and other environmental and seasonal influences.
  • Practicing, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of abatement strategies conducted in public and residential areas.

While vector control has been a crucial focal point, other department-wide efforts to better prepare the state to both prevent and respond to the possibility of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, especially Zika, are underway and making substantial progress.

Statewide Mosquito-borne Disease Response Plan Completed and Tested

Drawing on lessons learned from the 2015–16 dengue outbreak, which was focused on Hawaii Island and sickened 264 people, DOH collaborated with local, state, and federal partners to develop the Joint Hawaii Mosquito-borne Disease Outbreak Emergency Operations Plan so that the state may be better prepared to respond to an outbreak, especially with the threat of Zika growing in regions worldwide. The plan provides essential and evidence-based guidance to state and county emergency management agencies prior to, during, and immediately after a mosquito-borne disease outbreak. Hawaii’s plan is closely aligned with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plan guidance and further tailored for Hawaii’s unique situation. DOH has hosted a series of tabletop exercises to collect feedback from partners and stakeholders. This year, exercises have been completed in Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Counties, and another will take place in Honolulu later this week.

Disease Surveillance and Investigation Capability Improved

DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD) has added three staff members to enhance the efficiency of disease surveillance and investigation. Additional staff have improved collaboration between investigators and epidemiologists with partners, such as the State Laboratories Division and the Environmental Health Services Division, which houses the Vector Control Branch. Enhanced integration and coordination among these areas will ensure streamlined processes during emergency outbreak situations.

State Laboratory Capacity Increasing

The DOH State Laboratories Division (SLD) in Pearl City is one of a handful public health laboratories in the nation with the capacity to test for dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. This capacity allows our state to quickly turn around testing results for mosquito-borne diseases in the Pacific. In response to the most recent outbreak, SLD developed and refined its IgM testing (analysis of early antibodies in blood samples) capacity to address rising concerns about Zika infection. SLD is in the process of establishing plaque reduction neutralization testing (PRNT), a more complex antibody testing process, for dengue and Zika. This will allow the state to better define cross reactive samples, which currently must be sent to CDC, and thus reduce the time to resolve final results.

Birth Defects Surveillance Ongoing

DOH’s Hawaii Birth Defects Program (HBDP) and DOCD have been working together to monitor mothers potentially affected by Zika since January 2016. Since Zika can be passed from a pregnant mother to her baby before or during birth, it is critical to collect data regarding them and their babies through their clinicians. Data are then contributed to the national Zika birth registry with the hope of better understanding congenital Zika infection, including its scope, risk, and incidence.

Education and Outreach Campaign

Public education efforts have been driven by the Fight the Bite program, a statewide campaign that urges Hawaii to collectively prevent, prepare and protect against mosquito-borne diseases. A wide range of educational materials are available to arm the public with knowledge about these diseases and how they can take proactive measures in their communities.

In addition to being made available online at www.fightthebitehawaii.com, DOH is working with health centers and clinics statewide to ensure providers are properly trained on how to use and distribute materials to their patients/clients. Earlier this year, DOH conducted for Hawaii’s clinicians the first ever statewide public health grand rounds webinar, which focused on the clinical management of Zika infection.

For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease-types/mosquito-transmitted/. To access Fight the Bite educational materials, including print, video, and audio-based resources, visit www.fightthebitehawaii.com.

Tickets on Sale for Hawaii Island United Way’s 2017 Evening in Paradise, Evening with Kalani Pe‘a

Tickets are now on sale for two events during Hawai‘i Island United Way’s biggest weekend of fundraising for the year. Proceeds from these events support 48 human service programs delivered by Hawai‘i Island United Way’s 38 partner agencies islandwide. These services touch three quarters of our island’s residents.

On Friday, July 7, join Hawai‘i Island United Way for an evening with Hawai‘i Island’s Grammy award winner Kalani Pe‘a. Kalani’s debut album “E Walea” quickly topped the charts on iTunes, and was recognized with the Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album and the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. Enjoy a gourmet dinner and cocktails at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel while Kalani serenades the crowd with his contemporary Hawaiian soul stylings. Tickets are $175.

On Saturday, July 8, join our island’s finest chefs at Evening In Paradise at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel’s Hale Hoaaloha Pavilion, a gourmet grazing evening with ‘ono food, live entertainment by Vaughn Valentino, and a silent auction with donations from an array of local businesses. Restaurants and purveyors which have confirmed participation include Big Island Abalone, Huggo’s On The Rocks, Lava Lava Beach Club, Mai Grille, Mehana Brewing, Paradise Beverages, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Roy’s Waikoloa, Seaside, Southern Wine & Spirits, The Fish Hopper, The Noodle Club, Tommy Bahama, Two Ladies Kitchen, Volcano Winery, and more. Tickets for Evening In Paradise are $100, or $50 for keiki 5-11.


Registrations are also still being accepted for the Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament on July 7 and 8. For more information or to buy tickets, call Hawai‘i Island United Way at 935-6393 or visit HIUW.org/EIP for Evening In Paradise and HIUW.org/Kalani for Kalani Pe‘a.