Officer of the Month for August: Marcos Santos

Officer Marcos Santos, a (13-year police veteran), has been named as the Aloha Exchange Club’s August 2017 Officer of the Month.

Officer Santos is being saluted based on his actions and assistance with a potential suicide case. He was assigned to conduct checks in the Hakalau area on a report that a suicidal male party was heading to that area. Dispatch provided the parties name, physical description, and vehicle description.

Officer Santos responded and observed the male party near the center of the Honoliʻi Bridge and carefully approached the man. The individual was highly agitated and indicated he planned to harm himself. Officer Santos continued to talk with the man for nearly one hour maintaining a calm voice and assuring him that the officers were there to help him. He was able to gain the male parties trust leading to the man stepping off the bridge and walking with Officer Santos to a safe place. Due to Officer Santos actions, the man is alive today.

Officer Santos demonstrated his commitment to the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, and Community Satisfaction.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Presented with IAVA Salutes Award for Leadership in Government

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) yesterday received the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Salutes Award for Leadership in Government for her dedication to serving and empowering veterans. The award was presented at the first annual IAVA Salutes event that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership and courage while advocating on behalf of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Martha Raddatz of ABC News was recognized alongside Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with the IAVA Salutes Award for Leadership in Journalism.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, pictured with Allison Jaslow, Executive Director of IAVA; Martha Raddatz, ABC News; and Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IAVA, received the IAVA Salutes Award for Leadership in Government on Wednesday evening.

“As we observed the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks earlier this month, I was once again reminded how that fateful day changed our country and our lives. During my deployment to Iraq where I served in a medical unit, I questioned whether leaders in Washington truly understood the cost of war, and if they ever thought about those who truly pay the price. One of the major motivations for me to serve in Congress came from my experiences being deployed, and wanting to be in a position to make critical decisions regarding when to go to war, and just as importantly, when not to go to war, and to ensure the promise our country made to our veterans is upheld and honored. I am humbled to receive the IAVA Salutes Award, and I will continue to do my best to honor the service and sacrifices of my brothers and sisters in arms and their families,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

“We were honored to have the opportunity to recognize Congresswoman Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and soldier in the National Guard. Congresswoman Gabbard consistently has the backs of IAVA members through her work in Congress, and is a steadfast advocate for national defense issues. Congresswoman Gabbard is an example of what our generation of veteran leaders can accomplish. She has been a critical leader in IAVA’s fight for increased recognition and services for women veterans, including serving as an original co-sponsor of the Deborah Sampson Act,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA.

Background:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard launched the bipartisan Congressional Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus in 2015 on the 12th Anniversary of the Iraq War. The caucus includes a bipartisan group of Members who have served in the military after 9/11, and who are dedicated to issues related to our newest generation of veterans.

Rep. Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and she continues her service as a Major in the Army National Guard. Her 2005 deployment was a 12-month tour at Logistical Support Area Anaconda in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Explore Kahuku October – December

Everyone is invited to participate in the free guided hikes, “Coffee Talks” and ‘Ike Hana No‘eau Hawaiian cultural programs in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, from October through December 2017. Visitors can also explore Kahuku on their own on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A visitor explores the Realms and Divisions of Kahuku. NPS Photo Janice Wei

The Kahuku Unit will be open for visitors on both Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 and New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, but no guided programs will be offered.

Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes. Entrance and all programs are free.

Participate in ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) Hawaiian cultural demonstrations at Kahuku on the third Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon, October 20, November 17, and December 15. Programs are free.

Get to know your park and your neighbors and join an informal “Coffee Talk” conversation on a wide variety of topics at Kahuku the last Friday of most months (there is no Coffee Talk in November). Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries will be available for purchase. Coffee Talks are offered free on October 27 and December 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Pu‘u o Lokuana is a short 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone, Pu‘u o Lokuana. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū. This hike is offered October 1 & 28 and November 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered October 7 & 22, November 26, and December 3 & 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree, and the new disease of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is offered October 8, November 12, and December 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Families are invited for a day of fun, culture and discovery at the Kahuku Unit. Learn about the hidden powers that plants have to keep us healthy through the teachings of Aunty Ka‘ohu Monfort, a practitioner of lā‘au lapa‘au (Hawaiian herbal medicine). Collect seeds from native plants and help park rangers bring new life to Kahuku. Kids 17 and under and their families must sign up by October 13 by calling 808-985-6019. Bring water, lunch and snacks, sunscreen, hat, long pants, shoes and reusable water bottle. Kahuku ‘Ohana Day is Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Birth of Kahuku. Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku. Traverse the vast 1868 lava flow, see different volcano features and formations, and identify many parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the Hawaiian hotspot and the creation of Kahuku. This guided easy-to-moderate hike is offered October 14, November 4, and December 9 & 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped, and restored this land. The guided hike is offered October 15, November 19 and December 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nature & Culture: An Unseverable Relationship (He Pilina Wehena ‘Ole). Hike the Palm Trail and be inspired by a place where hulihia (catastrophic change) and kulia (restoration) can be observed as the land transitions from the 1868 lava flow and its pioneer plants, to deeper soil with more diverse and older flora. Learn about native plants and their significance in Hawaiian culture. This moderate hike is about two miles and takes two hours. The Nature & Culture program is offered October 21 and November 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku. Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. Bring a snack for the “talk story” segment of this hike. Offered October 29, November 11, and December 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hi‘iaka & Pele. Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters Pelehonuamea (Pele) and Hi‘iaka, and the natural phenomena they represent. Visitors will experience the sisters coming alive through the epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku on this easy 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku. The Hi‘iaka and Pele program is offered November 18 and December 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Keep up with Kahuku events and visit the calendar on the park website, https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/kahuku-hikes.htm, and download the Kahuku Site Bulletin https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/2013_11_05-Kahuku-Site-Bulletin.pdf.

Statement by George D. Szigeti, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement commenting on Hawaii’s visitor statistics results for August 2017.

George D. Szigeti

“Knowing summer is the peak period for leisure travel globally, our State’s tourism industry partners deserve a collective thank you for how they continued to elevate Hawaii as a premier destination experience in August. The solid increases in visitor spending reported for all four major islands was a notable highlight.

“Two key economic figures for the first eight months of 2017 reveal how fortunate our State’s tourism industry has been this year. Through August 2017, visitor spending statewide is at $11.34 billion and the State tax revenue generated by tourism is $1.32 billion.

“By comparison, when Hawaii was starting to emerge from the Great Recession in 2010, the tourism industry realized $11.01 billion in total visitor spending and generated $1.05 billion in State tax revenue for the entire year. With four months to go in 2017, our tourism industry has already surpassed both of the full-year totals from just seven years ago.

“The natural disasters that struck Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands these past few weeks remind us again that we can never take tourism in Hawaii for granted, and that our State’s future well-being could be suddenly altered. Going forward, we must strive for a balance that allows Hawaii’s tourism industry to continue thriving while seeking sustainable solutions that perpetuate culture, preserve natural resources and supports the quality of life we all want.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes for FAA Extension and Immediate Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted for H.R.3823, legislation that temporarily reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, provides tax relief to those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, extends critical health care provisions, and modernizes aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Emergency tax relief for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands comes after Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard joined colleagues in delivering a letter to President Trump, urging the administration to immediately mobilize additional Department of Defense (DOD) resources for Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Island recovery efforts.

“While this bill failed to extend key healthcare and education programs that will be expiring soon, it included critical measures that will ensure the FAA reauthorization is extended, stabilizes the National Flood Insurance Program, extends programs for Teaching Health Centers, strengthens Medicare, and protects diabetes treatment programs for Native Americans.

“Most critically, this bill provides tax relief to Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who saw their lives and livelihoods upended by Hurricane Maria, as well as those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Congress and the Administration must take further action to ensure those impacted get the relief and assistance they so desperately need,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Click to read full letter

Governor Ige’s Statement on Approval of TMT Permit

The Board’s decision today is the latest milestone in what has been a complex journey. I believe Hawai‘i can host a new telescope in the right way, with respect for the values, traditions and culture of the first Hawaiians, and that our island state can be Earth’s eyes into the universe to prepare for a brighter future.
— Governor David Ige

Stop Flu at School Clinic Information Now Available – Free Flu Shots Available

The list of schools participating in this year’s school-located flu vaccination program, Stop Flu at School, is available on the Hawaii Department of Health’s (DOH) website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/. DOH will hold flu vaccination clinics in 167 public schools statewide from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21, 2017.

To sign up for the free flu shots available to their children, parents or guardians should complete and sign provided consent forms, and return them to schools by the deadline, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.

Information packets and vaccination consent forms will be distributed to parents through participating schools in early October. A fillable, electronic version of the consent form can be found online at https://vaxonlinereg.doh.hawaii.gov, and non-English translations of the consent form packet are available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/.

This marks the eleventh year of the Stop Flu at School program. Since 2007, nearly 600,000 flu vaccinations have been administered at more than 300 public, private, and charter schools statewide through this voluntary program. The annual program, which provides flu vaccinations to school-age children at no cost to Hawaii families, is supported by federal funds and private contributions, resulting in a massive statewide coordination effort involving volunteers and local partnerships. Program costs have previously totaled approximately $2 million per year.

This year, the department anticipates vaccinating 35,000 public school students through the program. Flu vaccination of students at school is an effective strategy for reducing the spread of influenza in our communities and protecting those at risk of serious illness.

For more information about Stop Flu at School, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/ or call Aloha United Way’s information and referral service at 2-1-1.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Bipartisan Coalition Reintroduce Native Hawaiian Housing Legislation

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today joined a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in introducing the reauthorization of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA), which has empowered more than 1,400 low-income families in Hawaiʻi over the past two decades, along with native communities across the country. In addition to the introduction of the bill today in the House, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) has also introduced companion language in the U.S. Senate.

“Reauthorizing NAHASDA is critical to fulfill our nation’s trust responsibility to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Safe, secure, and affordable housing is essential to the wellbeing of our country’s native people which leads to better health, education, and economic outcomes that strengthen native communities,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “In Hawaiʻi, almost 30 percent of the homeless population is comprised of Native Hawaiiansa statistic that is far too high in the most prosperous country in the world. Reauthorizing NAHASDA provides needed financial support to native communities in Hawaiʻi and across the country. We must continue to fight for the programs that will improve housing and wellness resources for Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities throughout the country.”

Background: NAHASDA was first established in 1996 with the consolidation of several separate assistance programs, provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, into a single block grant program. In 2000, NAHASDA was amended to add Title VIII – Housing Assistance for Native Hawaiians. The amendment adds similar programs for Native Hawaiians who reside on Hawaiian Home Lands to the NAHASDA legislation.

In Hawaiʻi, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is the sole recipient of the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant as provided for by the law. DHHL administers 203,000 acres of trust land; 99% of those lands are located in Hawai‘i’s Second Congressional District: from the southernmost tip of Hawai‘i Island to Kauaʻi and Niʻihau; it includes every Hawaiian Island, but excludes urban Honolulu.

Hawaii County Police “Officer of the Year” – Officer Marco Segobia

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee named Officer Marco Segobia as the “Officer of the Year” at its award ceremony in Kona yesterday, (September 27). Officer Segobia was selected out of a group of eleven former Officers of the Month.

Officer Marco Segobia

In speaking to the officers, families, and friends attending the awards luncheon, Chief Paul K. Ferreira praised the work of the officers considered for the “Officer of the Year” award and congratulated them all on their unique contributions to the department and community. The Chief added, “all of you are prime examples of fulfilling the Mission of our department to work cooperatively with the community to enforce the laws, preserve peace, and provide a safe environment.”

Officer Segobia was involved in an investigation starting at the lowest level, and through his work and perseverance, he was able to work his way up to the highest possible level of a major drug trafficking organization. Officers recovered a significant amount of narcotics and apprehended those responsible for importing and distributing the drugs.

Officer Segobia is committed to keeping drugs out of the community. He is motivated, proactive, possess a high energy level, and is a pleasure to work with according to his fellow officers. He has a passion for vice work and is a prime example of a quality vice officer.

Board of Land and Natural Resources Approves TMT Permit

Recognizing its responsibility to strike a balance between native Hawaiian traditional and cultural practices and other stakeholders in the state, a 5-2 majority of the Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources (the Board) adopted today the recommendation of retired judge Riki May Amano to approve the application for a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) to build the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT).

Board and DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “This was one of the most difficult decisions this Board has ever made. The members greatly respected and considered the concerns raised by those opposed to the construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve.”

Supporters of the project testified during a contested case hearing and in oral arguments that Hawaiian culture and modern science can co-exist on the mountain. Construction of the TMT is expected to provide jobs for more than 100 people and at completion, permanent jobs for as many as 140 workers on the island of Hawai‘i. The consortium of research universities behind the TMT have provided $2.5 million for scholarships, classroom projects, and STEM grants every year since 2014. Under the CDUP, builders of the TMT must provide an additional one million dollars each year for college scholarships for native Hawaiians and other educational initiatives on Hawai‘i Island.

The Board adopted 43 conditions to the permit including Governor David Ige’s previously detailed “path forward” 10-point plan requiring the University of Hawai’i to decommission three existing telescopes, any future development to occur on existing sites, and the TMT site to be the last new site on Mauna Kea. Additional conditions include:

  • Design choices to mitigate visual and aesthetic effects
  • Waste minimization plan for hazardous & solid waste, including a zero discharge wastewater system
  • Cultural and natural resources training for workers
  • No impact to water resources under the public trust doctrine, Lake Waiau hydrology & water resources considerations
  • Educational exhibits, specific community outreach efforts and cultural observation days
  • Invasive species prevention and control
  • Continued public access and continuing consultations with cultural practitioners
  • Arthropod monitoring and Wekiu bug habitat restoration study

A copy of the preface to the Board’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision and Order is attached.

Board’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision and Order: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/mk/files/2017/09/882-BLNR-FOFCOLDO.pdf