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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/.