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Hurricane Fernanda Moving North of the Big Island – Weakening

At 800 PM PDT (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 16.5 North, longitude 134.4 West. Fernanda is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h).  The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest on Wednesday at about the same rate of speed, and this general motion should continue through Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.  Fernanda is a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Continued weakening is forecast during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 976 mb (28.82 inches).

Hawaii County at Risk of Losing 11 Million in Federal Funding for Highway Project

In a July 7, 2017 letter Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim sent to State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson Suzanne Case, Mayor Kim is asking for an “expeditious review” of the Section 106 process  so that the county doesn’t risk losing 11 million dollars in federal funding for the Mamalahoa Highway Rt. 19 Widening Project.

It is not known by me if Case has responded to the Mayor’s request.
Here is the letter:

 

Dear Ms. Case:

SUBJECT:   DLNR STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION DIVISION MAMALAHOA HIGHWAY (RT 19) WIDENING Federal Aid Project No. NH-019-1(044) South Kohala, Hawaii

I am once again respectfully asking for your help in getting the subject project through the environmental process; more specifically the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) and the Section 106 process.

We are at a critical state where we need to reach a planning and design conclusion, by August 14, 2017, to encumber Federal obligation funds.  We are still so far away.

The draft Archeological Inventory Survey (AIS) report is presently with SHPD.  The Effect Determination letter is in route to SHPD, from FHWA.  We need an expeditious review and hopefully an approval from the SHPO to conclude this Section 106 process.

I ask for your help because we are in dire need to move this project along, or lose Eleven (11) Million Dollars of Federal funding if deadlines are not met.

Should you need any additional background information, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 808-961-8526 or our Director of Public Works, Mr. Frank De Marco at 808-961-8321.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your help,

Sincerely, Harry Kim

Mayor

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Global Tourism Summit to Honor Malama Honua and Crew of Hokulea at Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon

Recognizing their global quest to share Hawaii’s sustainability message, Malama Honua and the crew of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hokulea, will be the honorees of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon, September 19.

Over a three-year period, from May 2014 until its triumphant return to Honolulu on June 17, 2017, Hokulea’s crew circled the world sailing approximately 40,300 nautical miles, stopping in more than 150 ports, and visiting 23 countries and territories. In completing Malama Honua (which means “to care for our Earth”), Hokulea’s crew shared its message worldwide on the significance of perpetuating native cultures and protecting natural resources, especially the ocean environment.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit takes place September 19-21 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon is a highlight event of the opening day. The festive luncheon in the Center’s ballroom will feature live music, a video tribute to the worldwide voyage of Holukea, and remarks from Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“Malama Honua is the greatest accomplishment in modern Hawaiian history and we are proud to honor the crew and the purpose for the voyage at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit can join us in showing their aloha to the legacy of Malama Honua and Holukea’s crew, and celebrate the message of sustainability they shared with nations and people around the world.”

Attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon honoring Malama Honua is included as part of the registration to the Global Tourism Summit, which is available online at the dedicated summit website, www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265

Sustainable tourism is the theme of the Global Tourism Summit. The significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will be shared in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intent to bring people together to improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

Previously known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name of the annual event to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism.

Hurricane Fernanda Re-Intensifies – Hawaii In the Picture

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 16.0 North, longitude 133.9 West.  Fernanda is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h).  The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest at about the same rate of speed during the next two days.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Fernanda is anticipated to become a tropical storm by Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 972 mb (28.71 inches).

22-Year-Old Hilo Woman Dies in Single Vehicle Crash

A 22-year-old Hilo woman died following a single vehicle crash on (July 18), in Hilo.
Her name is being withheld pending notification of her family.

Responding to a 5:41 a.m. call, police determined that a 2004 Honda sedan was traveling north bound on Highway 19 at Nahala Street when it ran off the roadway.

The woman who died was taken to the Hilo Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 7:26 a.m.

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

Police believe that speed was a factor in this crash.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest report and ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Casey Cabral at (808) 961-2329 or at Casey.Cabral@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers does not tape record phone calls or subscribe to Caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

This is the 21st traffic fatality this year compared with 12 at this time last year.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to Host Live Veterans Telephone Townhall with State, Federal Leaders

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will host a live veterans-focused “telephone town hall” on Tuesday, July 25 at 4:00pm HST with Jennifer Gutowski, Director of the VA Pacific Island Health Care System (VAPIHCS); Karen Gooden, Director of the Honolulu Veterans Affairs Regional Office; and Ron Han, Director of the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Veterans’ Services (OVS). The call will provide an opportunity for Hawaiʻi’s veterans, their families, and our community to get updates on veterans legislation being considered by Congress, receive an overview of resources for Hawaiʻi veterans, and ask state and federal leaders about veterans’ healthcare, benefits, services, and more.

Please note: To protect each individual’s privacy, veterans living in Hawaiʻi’s Second Congressional District with questions regarding a personal claim or casework with the VA should contact Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s office directly at 808-541-1986 or TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.

How to register for this event:

  • To dial in to the call at the time of the event, call 888-476-4187 at 4:00pm HST on Tuesday July 25
  • To receive a call reminding you to join this event: Text “TULSI” to 828282, OR  Go to vekeo.com/reptulsigabbard and enter your name, phone number and email. Once you submit your information, you will receive a confirmation email. Please note: you must click “Verify” in the confirmation email in order to complete your registration

PISCES and Honeybee Robotics Receive $119K Grant From NASA

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) and Honeybee Robotics, Ltd. have received a $118,690 NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to jointly develop an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology that could launch the future of space settlement.

ISRU takes raw, natively sourced materials and converts them into usable resources. On places like the Moon and Mars, ISRU can transform regolith (or surface soil) into critical necessities like oxygen, water, rocket fuel and construction materials.PISCES and Honeybee Robotics have partnered on the 12-month ISRU project to design and develop an automated construction process that creates building blocks made entirely of sintered Hawaiian basalt. Since Hawaii’s basalt closely resembles Martian and lunar regolith in chemical composition and appearance, the blocks will have applications both on Earth and in space. ISRU basalt materials could enable the construction of habitats, tools, shelters, roads, landing pads and other critical infrastructure required for space settlement. Basalt building blocks could also provide a sustainable new construction material for the State of Hawaii in place of imported cement.

Through the STTR grant, PISCES is currently investigating the ideal sintering temperature to create these building blocks with an optimal balance of strength and volume. Honeybee Robotics is designing a robotic process for creating and/or deploying the blocks to automate the ISRU construction process. The Brooklyn-based company designs, builds and integrates technologies for a range of challenging environments including space exploration. It has contributed sample acquisition and processing tools for NASA rovers currently exploring Mars.

“We are excited to be working with Honeybee Robotics again on this NASA STTR project,” said PISCES Program Manager, Rodrigo Romo. “Honeybee was a key partner in our robotically built launch and landing pad that we constructed using only local basalt materials. This grant award will take the process a step further, allowing us to optimize the building block design and construction materials to allow for both vertical and horizontal construction applications that can be used both on Earth and on other celestial bodies for space settlement.”

A Honeybee Rover

“Hawaiian basalt is a great analog to the challenging environments we are likely to find on Mars or the Moon, where autonomous ISRU systems will need to work reliably and autonomously in tough conditions,” said Kris Zacny, vice president of the Exploration Technology Group at Honeybee Robotics. “Using local resources will be critical to enable new mission architectures by harvesting materials from the planet as needed. Also, approaches we develop for ISRU can also have applications in space mining, opening doors for both exploration and commercial missions. That’s why we’re so excited to be working with PISCES to advance our experience and robotic technologies.”

The STTR-funded project is Phase I in the development for planetary building blocks. If successful, PISCES and Honeybee Robotics will solicit a proposal for a Phase II STTR award which provides funding awards up to $1 million over two years.

The joint PISCES-Honeybee Robotics project was selected among 1,621 proposals submitted to NASA’s 2017 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and STTR programs. Of those, NASA selected 61 STTR Phase I proposals to negotiate contracts for funding. NASA’s STTR Program funds businesses and research institutions developing technologies that can support the space agency’s missions into deep space.

5th Annual Big Island Summer Jam

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) will be celebrating their 5th annual Summer Jam event.  This event is scheduled for July 29, 2017 at Hilo’s Edith Kanaka`ole Multi-purpose Stadium.

The event begins at 8:00 a.m. and finishes at 3:00 p.m.  This year’s event will include a craft fair with over 40 vendors, health fair, keiki activities, Strong Man contest and an Arm Wrestling competition.   The event’s purpose is to provide a free fun-filled event for the whole family.   BISAC will be honoring Judge Greg Nakamura for his years of service in Hawaii County Drug Court.

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

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