Centennial Observance of Passing of Queen Liliʻuokalani

The public is invited to attend the centennial observance of the passing of Queen Liliʻuokalani on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol at 8 a.m.

Ride So They Can Walk – A Biking Event to End Polio Now

The Hawaii Rotary Club is sponsoring statewide bike rides that will be happening from Saturday, Nov. 11 through Saturday, Nov. 18. The purpose of these rides is to help to put an end to polio.

During this week, there will be Rotarians, individual community members, biking groups and clubs riding bikes and those on stationary bikes in health clubs and gyms all riding in the support of eradicating polio. This ride is different in that no roads need be closed as everyone will ride on their own schedule and desired distance.

Each rider will pay a $20.00 registration fee and will also have friends and family sponsor their ride with all those donations going to Rotary’s Polio Plus program. When Rotary started the campaign to eradicate polio in 1988 there were 350,000 cases a year in the world. As of the date of this writing there are 10 cases worldwide – 6 in Afghanistan and 4 in Pakistan. This isn’t good enough – Zero is the magic number. Each rider will receive a commemorative towel with the specially designed logo once they complete their ride and bring in a minimum of $100.00 in sponsor donations. Do even more by challenging another rider to see how many sponsor dollars you can bring in.

Join in the fun by becoming a rider and/or sponsoring a rider to help Rotary End Polio Now.

Register to ride, Sponsor a rider for $20, or Donate now: http://bit.ly/2wSMMi1

Half of Hawaii’s Coral Bleached in One Year

Scientists estimate that beaching affected 56 percent of the coral around the Big Island, 44 percent of that along West Maui and 32 percent around Oahu over a one-year period spanning 2014-2015.

Researchers recently completed an 88-day expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai to survey two remote regions in the Pacific. First, they traveled to the islands of Jarvis, Howland, Baker and Wake, all part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Then they traversed to the Mariana Archipelago, working their way up the island chain from the populated islands in the south to remote locations in the north.

map of mission area

During the expedition, researchers collected data to evaluate climate and ocean change, coral ecosystem health, and the extent of coral bleaching. Scientists with NOAA, the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, San Diego University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution participated in the mission.

1. Coral Bleaching in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands experienced unusually warm ocean temperatures in the last few years, during the longest global coral bleaching event on record to date. Prior to the bleaching event, Jarvis Island had very high coral cover. Preliminary surveys in 2015 and 2016 indicated that most coral colonies died due to coral bleaching. While at Jarvis in 2017, researchers surveyed these coral reef communities and assessed the recovery potential from the thermal stress that caused the coral to bleach.
All images courtesy of NOAA:
Coral reef colonies near Jarvis Island; Image credit:Tate Wester

2. Bumphead Parrotfish

The giant bumphead parrotfish is an amazing fish that can live to be 40 years old, growing up to four feet long and 100 pounds. They use their large head bumps to literally bump heads during competitive displays, when large numbers of fish aggregate to spawn on a lunar cycle. Researchers saw many bumpheads during their first day at Wake Island. The bumphead parrotfish has been heavily targeted by fishing throughout much of it’s range and is now considered globally rare by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The giant Bumphead parrotfish; credit: Andrew E. Gray
 3. Reef Life

On the east side of Agrihan Island, an octopus takes off across the rocky reef after being discovered by a diver. All reef life is important, including this clever invertebrate. These fascinating creatures can rapidly change color to blend in with their surroundings, making them difficult to spot.

octopus near Agrihan Island; credit Louise Giuseffi)
 4. Crown-of-thorns Sea Stars

The scientists found many crown-of-thorns sea stars at Alamagan Island. These prickly invertebrates feed on coral tissue. Here, the sea star leaves only the skeleton of this Acropora coral in its wake. In large numbers, they can do significant damage to coral reefs, but in small numbers, they are a natural key component of the coral reef ecosystem.

Crown-of-thorns sea stars at Alamagan Island; credit: Keisha Bahr
 5. A Rare Sighting

An extremely rare sighting at Farallon de Pajaros, scientists found this female angelfish after completing their fish survey. Little is published about this species beyond aquarium enthusiast blogs. Some describe it as being endemic to the Bonin or Osagawara Islands just south of Japan, although the researchers discovered this fish within the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument waters during their expedition.

Rare anglefish species; credit: NOAA, Andrew E. Gray)
 6. Volcanic Vents

Underwater volcanic vents near the Maug Islands release carbon dioxide gas that cause surrounding waters to acidify—a localized example of how carbon dioxide emissions in our atmosphere cause global climate change and ocean acidification. Maug’s carbon dioxide vents occur near coral reef ecosystems, allowing scientists to glimpse the future of these ecosystems along a naturally occurring gradient of changing ocean chemistry conditions.

Maug's underwater volcanic vents; credit: Kaylyn McCoy)
 7. Bubble Coral

Despite their appearance, these Plerogyra corals, also known as bubble coral, are actually a type of Scleractinian, or hard coral. The tissue is soft and bubble-like, and hides the hard skeleton underneath.

Bubble coral; credit: Tate Wester
 8. Colorful Nudibranch

Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) uncover many beautiful creatures, including this nudibranch. a nudibranch; credit: Ingrid Knapp)

9. Healthy Coral

Corals at Pagan Island seem to have fared much better than other areas hit hardest by the recent global coral bleaching event. Here is a close-up of an Acropora coral (typically more susceptible to bleaching events), which appears to be doing just fine.
healthy coral in Pagan; credit: Ingrid Knapp
 10. Stars in the Sand

If you look closely in the sand, sometimes you can find “star dust,” or the star-shaped skeletal remains of Foraminifera, microscopic unicellular organisms that form an important part of the marine food chain.

Star-shaped skeletal remains of Foraminifera, microscopic unicellular protists; credit: Louise Giuseffi)

Adult and Keiki Printmaking Workshops

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) offers adult and keiki printmaking workshops on Saturday, November 18 on the Manono Campus, Building 389.

The “Manono” Building is considered to be located at Hawaii Community College.

Art for Keiki: Encaustic Monotype Printing is for ages 6-11, and will be held from 8:30 am-10 am. Cost is $45 and includes all required supplies.

Art for Everyone: Encaustic Monotype Printing is for ages 12 and up, and will be held from 10:30 am-12:30 pm. Cost is $55 and includes all required supplies.

Encaustic monotype printing is a fun and simple way to produce quick, colorful works of art with bees wax, damar crystals, and ground pigments. Participants will take home multiple prints and will mount a single piece on a wood panel as a completed work of art ready for display.

Instructor Kevin Diminyatz received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Mills College and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Printmaking and a minor in Art History from Sonoma State University.  He is currently a lecturer in the Art Departments at UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/ccecs/.

Workshop on Emotional Intelligence Offered by CCECS

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) offers a mindfulness-based workshop entitled “Emotional Intelligence: The Key to Personal and Professional Success” on Saturday, November 18, from 1 – 5:30 p.m. in the UH Hilo Old Gym. Cost is $35.

Bernie Schreck, a longtime instructor of meditation and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), will teach participants simple mindfulness practices and how to use them to develop their capacity to observe feelings and actions, take responsibility for them, and cultivate empathy. No experience is necessary.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/ccecs/.

Hawaii Electric Light Company Closed on Friday

In observance of Veterans Day, Hawaii Electric Light offices will be closed on all islands on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.  Offices will be closed on the following holidays:

27 Schools Receive Incentives for Well-Rounded Education

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education is working with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health to meet the needs of children and provide a well-rounded education for all public school students.

This year, DOH is providing a competitive award up to $5,000 per school to 27 schools statewide that completed an application and showed a demonstrated commitment to the whole child and well-rounded education, as described by the HIDOE wellness guidelines, which establish standards for foods and beverages on campus, health and physical education, and overall wellness.

Click to view Hawaii State Department of Education Wellness Guidelines

Applications for the financial incentive had to be completed collectively by the school’s wellness committee in order to broaden and strengthen support for achievement of the guidelines.

Schools will be able to use the DOH awards on school wellness-related programs, including community outreach and education campaigns for students, families and staff.

The funds may also be used to purchase equipment or technology to support health education or physical education.

“Our students’ well-being and health play major roles in their readiness to learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Teaching about wellness and encouraging healthy habits at an early age allow our students to develop these important life skills and continue using them even after high school.”

Research has shown that policies like the wellness guidelines contribute to academic achievement as well as overall student health and wellness. Supporting whole-child and well-rounded education aligns with the DOH’s student health goals and the HIDOE Strategic Plan.

“Whole-child education means that each and every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Part of providing a well-rounded education includes health and physical education classes, as well as educational activities about nutrition and healthy eating.”

The HIDOE wellness guidelines were updated in March 2017 for the first time in 10 years, to meet requirements of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and in response to stakeholder feedback. The new guidelines take effect in all public K-12 public schools during the school year.

HIDOE and DOH have been working together since 2007 to encourage schools to meet the HIDOE wellness guidelines.

School scores on the Safety and Wellness Survey, which measures schools’ implementation of the wellness guidelines, have gone up consistently each year since 2010. Last year, the average score was 85%. DOH will provide “Excellence in Wellness” banners to 110 schools who achieved 90% or more of the guidelines during last school year to commemorate their accomplishment.

“We commend our state’s public schools for their efforts towards implementation of the wellness guidelines,” said Dr. Pressler. “More schools will proudly display wellness banners this year than ever before, meaning that principals and administrators clearly understand that providing a healthy environment fosters academic achievement as well as lifelong healthy habits.”

To view the SAWS results, click here.

For more information on the current HIDOE wellness guidelines, click here.

Bill Signed into Law to Make APEC Travel Card Permanent

BIN file photo.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card program has been signed into law by the President.

Introduced by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and Steve Daines’ (R-Mont.), the bill allows Americans and citizens from APEC nations to access fast-track processing lanes at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport and airports across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific area.

“The APEC Business Travel Card program has benefited hundreds of Hawai‘i residents by making it easier to travel and conduct business across a region critical to our local economy and jobs,” said Sen. Hirono. “This newly signed law reaffirms the importance of travel to our country’s engagement with the nations of the Asia-Pacific.”

“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States–we must make every effort to expand markets to create new good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Daines. “I’m thrilled to see President Trump sign this bill into law to open new opportunities for businesses.”

Prior to congressional action, permission for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to issue APEC Business Travel Cards was set to expire Sept. 30, 2018.

Over 200 Hawai‘i residents actively hold a card. On average, cardholders save 43 minutes in airport wait times.

The bill, called S. 504, is supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce, U.S. Council for International Business, National Foreign Trade Council, U.S. Travel Association, Global Business Travel Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, U.S.-China Business Council, U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China and the National Center for APEC.

HPD Names Officer Conrad Bidal 2017 Top Cop

The Hawaiʻi Island Policed Department has named Officer Conrad Bidal the Department’s 2017 “Top Cop” by the Law Enforcement & Security Coalition of Hawaiʻi.

The prestigious award was presented to Officer Bidal on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki during the 33rd Annual Top Cop Law Enforcement and Security Awards Banquet.

Bidal, a one-year veteran officer who is assigned as a patrol officer in the Puna District, was described in nomination papers by Capt. Samuel Jelsma as an officer who displays steadfast dedication to the job and a diligent work ethic, maintaining perfect work attendance from his date of hire.

Officer Bidal was recognized for his decisive and heroic actions at the scene of a Jan. 16, 2017, structure fire of Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant in Pāhoa town, that undoubtedly prevented loss of life or serious bodily injury to the occupants. At the time he was just two weeks into his solo assignment.

Responding to the midnight structure fire and being one of the first to arrive he noted that interior lights were illuminated on the second floor of the building potentially indicating that tenants were within.

Officer Bidal immediately began looking for and located an open door on the back of the building, disregarding his safety he ran into the building solo and began a methodical search for anyone inside.

Upon his first search of the building, he located four people still within their upstairs apartments apparently unaware of the fire; he alerted and safely evacuated each of them.

After clearing the burning building of occupants, he then conducted a secondary search to ensure it was empty and while doing so encountered previously evacuated residents who had re-entered the building in an attempt to gather personal belongings.

Officer Bidal was forced to re-evacuate the residents and as he completed this task the building became fully engulfed in flames.

Officer Bidal displayed extreme courage by facing increasing temperatures, smoke and flames during this second clearing of the building as the fire had spread to cover nearly half the building at that time.

6-Year-Old Wins Jamba Juice for a Year

Kolten Wong and 6-year-old Matyx Camero.

A 6-year-old boy from Hilo won Jamba Juice drinks for a year at the Hilo homecoming for Major League Baseball player Kolten Wong on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Jamba Juice, located at the Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza in Hilo, hosted the meet-and-greet for the star, a Hilo native, from 7:30 to 9 a.m., where fans got chances to take pictures, get autographs and talk with Wong.

At the event, Jamba Juice gave out free drinks and coupons to patrons, as well as offering one lucky customer a chance to win Jamba Juice for a year.

The winner of Jamba Juice for a year, was 6-year-old Matyx Camero of Hilo.

Wong graduated from Kamehameha High School on Hawai‘i Island, and also attended and played ball for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors. He has been playing Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2013.

This past season Kolten batted .285 his highest batting average in the big leagues.

First Annual Tiki Festival, Hawai‘i Island

The First Annual Tiki Festival on Hawai‘i Island will take place beginning at the Royal Kona Resort on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, and culminating at Kozy’s Tiki Palace at the The Shops at Mauna Lani on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Renowned local celebrity, magician and businessman “Kozy” (Paul Kozak) along with “Tiki Shark Art” are the hosts for this festival. This star-studded, three-day, free art festival will celebrate all things tiki—culturally, historically and artistically.

Hawai‘i’s own celebrity artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, along with mainland tiki greats Doug Horne, Ken Ruzic and Tom “Big Toe” Laura, will show and sell their latest work throughout the festival.

(L–R) Tom “Big Toe” Laura, Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, Doug Horne and Ken Ruzic. Courtesy photo.

On opening night, Thursday, Nov. 16, from 4 to 9:30 p.m. the opening day of festival will be at Don’s Mai Tai Bar in the Royal Kona Resort. The evening will include music by Grammy-nominated musician Henry Kapono and LT Smooth. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will be on-hand with poke tastings. Of course there will be tiki art vendors and artists available to talk with.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will be serving up some of his famous poke.

The next night, Friday, Nov. 17, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Kozy’s Tiki Palace, a wine and cheese tasting will be held. Attendees can talk with the artists and art will be available at a discounted price.

“I am honored to be able to put together this annual event for the community,” said Kozy (Paul Kozak),  sponsor and owner of Kozy’s Tiki Palace. It’s the first time in Hawai‘i history that these Tiki artists will gotten together for a group show.”

On Saturday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 6 p.m. the festival wraps up at The Shops at Mauna Lani, where over 40 vendors, artists, food booths, two Tiki Bars, two bands will play; art will be available at discounted rates.

According to Abbas Hassan, Parker and Choy’s agent, “This will be a yearly event on the Island of Hawai‘i held in an authentic tiki environment and is going to raise the bar of all tiki festivals that are currently held on the mainland. Tiki enthusiasts from all around the world will flock to it.”

This is the first of its kind, three-day, free event where folks will have a chance to meet and talk story with world class artists, chefs and entertainers.  Everyone is encouraged to participate, have fun and buy some tiki art.