Top Scientists to Converge on the Big Island – Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences

More than 1,000 of the world’s top academics, researchers and practitioners in computer science and information technology will gather at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawai‘i County for the Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), January 2-6, 2018.

Sponsored by the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the conference will cover trending topics and future concepts that may lead to the next big technological discovery in the world.

The conference will feature 10 research tracks, and 33 symposia, workshops and tutorials on topics such as digital transformation, big data, cybersecurity, cognitive computer and smart toys.

Over the past five decades, HICSS has built a distinguished reputation as the premier forum for the exchange of ideas in the information systems (IS) industry. It is one of the longest-running general-purpose scientific conferences in the world and is recognized for its ability to bring together top IS academics and professionals from more than 1,000 universities in an interactive working environment.

“Many of HICSS’ past papers have contributed to discoveries in information technologies and scientific knowledge in the IS industry,” said Tung Bui, HICSS conference chair and a professor of informational technology management at the Shidler College of Business.

“Early research theories and models of the Internet, drones, social media, human technology, etc., were all discussed at HICSS years before its debut. Its influence will continue to strongly shape the future direction of technology research in the world,” Bui said.

HICSS is the top conference in terms of citations, according to Google Scholar. Approximately 600 papers will be presented through 139 sessions. This yearʻs conference will feature two keynote speakers: Inhi Suh, general manager of IBM Collaboration Solutions, presenting “Cognitive Computing and the Future,” and Larry Smarr, founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, presenting “Toward a Global Research Platform for Big Data Analysis.”

The proceedings of the 2018 conference are available online.

Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences

Throughout its 50-year history, HICSS has promoted technological innovations and has advanced the research and development in the IS and technology fields publishing approximately 19,000 refereed papers. HICSS has also featured renowned researchers and practitioners from the technology industry who served as keynote speakers.
Over the past five decades, HICSS has built a distinguished reputation as the premier forum for the exchange of ideas in the information systems (IS) industry. It is one of the longest-running general-purpose scientific conferences in the world and is recognized for its ability to bring together top IS academics and professionals from more than 1,000 universities in an interactive working environment.

For more information, visit the HICSS website at www.hicss.hawaii.edu.

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry Completes Fisheries Enforcement Patrol Off Hawaii

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124), a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in Honolulu, recently completed a 10-day patrol of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the Hawaiian Islands region. They conducted six boardings on Hawaii-based, U.S.-flagged long-line fishing vessels and issued eight safety and fisheries regulations violations.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) crew conducts a boarding from their 26-foot over-the-horizon small boat in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone off Hawaii, Dec. 19, 2017. The crew was on their first Living Marine Resources patrol since commissioning the vessel Oct. 31. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

“Oliver Berry is ideally suited for challenging offshore conditions in the Main Hawaiian Islands. The crew performed admirably in the heavy seas we encountered and when launching and recovering our standardized small boats from the stern to conduct boardings. We are specifically designed for several missions including search and rescue and fisheries enforcement. We greatly improve the Coast Guard’s on water presence with more range and operational hours over our predecessor, the 110-foot patrol boats,” said Lt. Kenneth Franklin, commanding officer, Oliver Berry.

Oliver Berry’s crew enforced fishery regulations in the region, to ensure the estimated $7 billion industry, which provides more than half of the global tuna commercial catch, remains sustainable. Boarding teams also ensured crews are in compliance with federal and state regulations regarding all required lifesaving equipment. Citations were issued when applicable, requiring master’s to correct discrepancies. This is a critical role in the Coast Guard’s mission to preserve a natural resource, highly migratory fish stocks, essential to the fishermen and economy of not only the United States, but many Pacific nations.

On Dec. 19, while conducting a boarding of a U.S.-flagged longline fishing vessel, the boarding team suspected a foreign national was acting as the vessel captain and operating the vessel. The operation of a U.S.-flagged commercial fishing vessel by a foreign national is illegal. After an investigation, the vessel was cited for the alleged manning violation also known as a paper captain and the evidence was forwarded to the Coast Guard Hearing Office for further review and possible legal action. The penalty for operating with a paper captain once their documentation has been voided is a civil fine of up to $15,000 per day.

The Oliver Berry crew also hosted several members of the Hawaii County government and the Hilo-based Navy League during a port visit in Hilo. The crew showcased the capabilities of the cutter’s 26-foot over-the-horizon small boat and advanced command and control electronics to demonstrate how the newest Fast Response Cutter will benefit Hawaii County, while based in Honolulu.

“We all enjoyed engaging with our local government partners in Hilo and explaining how our cutter can assist in future search and rescue or law enforcement cases near the Big Island. Our goal is always to build stronger relationships between all our partners throughout the state,” said Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll, executive officer, Cutter Oliver Berry.

Oliver Berry is designed for multiple missions, including law enforcement and search and rescue. Oliver Berry has advanced seakeeping abilities and can achieve speeds in excess of 28 knots, with an endurance of five days.

For more information about Oliver Berry, please contact District 14 Public Affairs at 808-535-3230 or Oliver Berry’s public affairs officer at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscg.mil.

IRS Advisory: Prepaid Real Property Taxes May Be Deductible in 2017 if Assessed & Paid

The Internal Revenue Service advised tax professionals and taxpayers today that pre-paying 2018 state and local real property taxes in 2017 may be tax deductible under certain circumstances.


The IRS has received a number of questions from the tax community concerning the deductibility of prepaid real property taxes. In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018.  A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017.  State or local law determines whether and when a property tax is assessed, which is generally when the taxpayer becomes liable for the property tax imposed.

The following examples illustrate these points.

Example 1:  Assume County A assesses property tax on July 1, 2017 for the period July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.  On July 31, 2017, County A sends notices to residents notifying them of the assessment and billing the property tax in two installments with the first installment due Sept. 30, 2017 and the second installment due Jan. 31, 2018.   Assuming taxpayer has paid the first installment in 2017, the taxpayer may choose to pay the second installment on Dec. 31, 2017, and may claim a deduction for this prepayment on the taxpayer’s 2017 return.

Example 2:  County B also assesses and bills its residents for property taxes on July 1, 2017, for the period July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.  County B intends to make the usual assessment in July 2018 for the period July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.  However, because county residents wish to prepay their 2018-2019 property taxes in 2017, County B has revised its computer systems to accept prepayment of property taxes for the 2018-2019 property tax year.  Taxpayers who prepay their 2018-2019 property taxes in 2017 will not be allowed to deduct the prepayment on their federal tax returns because the county will not assess the property tax for the 2018-2019 tax year until July 1, 2018.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that a number of provisions remain available this week that could affect 2017 tax bills. Time remains to make charitable donations. See IR-17-191 for more information. The deadline to make contributions for individual retirement accounts – which can be used by some taxpayers on 2017 tax returns – is the April 2018 tax deadline.

Ige Appoints Interim Director of Department of Human Resources Development

Hawaii Governor Ige appointed Ryker Wada to serve as interim director of the Department of Human Resources Development effective Jan. 1, 2018 following the Dec. 31st retirement of Director James Nishimoto, who devoted over 40 years of his career to public service.

Ryker Wada

Wada has served as deputy director of the department since Dec. 2016. Prior to this he was the Certificated Personnel Regional Officer for the Windward District of the Department of Education (DOE) where he was responsible for human resources and labor relations.

Before joining DOE he served as the Managing Attorney for the Honolulu Office of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Wada earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Governor Ige Releases $3 Million in CIP Funding for East Hawaii Region

Sen. Ruderman

Senator Russel Ruderman announces the following release of Capital Improvement Funds:

I am pleased to announce that Governor David Ige’s administration has released Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, to fund construction and equipment costs for renovation, acquisition, and installation of radiology equipment in the East Hawai‘i Region (Hilo Medical Center, Hale Hoola Hamakua, and Kau Hospital).

Amount Released: $3,000,000.

Thank you Governor Ige for your efforts on Senate District 2’s behalf.

Projects such as these are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building a better home for our kupuna, keiki, and all the residents of Hawai‘i.

Hawaii Tourism Authority Issues LGBT Travel Studies for Japan, Taiwan Markets

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today that two research studies have been issued providing insight on the profiles, preferences and opinions of LGBT travelers from Japan and Taiwan, as it relates to visiting the Hawaiian Islands.

Commissioned by HTA’s Tourism Research Division, the studies were conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based firm specializing in LGBT consumer research. The two new studies complete a set of six studies that are the first ever done analyzing LGBT travel to the Hawaiian Islands by the State of Hawaii.

Earlier this year, four studies were issued evaluating LGBT travelers from the United States, Canada, Australia and China.

All six LGBT travel studies are posted online in the Reports Section under Target Lifestyle Segments of HTA’s website at www.HawaiiTourismAuthority.org.

Jennifer Chun, HTA Director of Tourism Research, said the studies on Japan and Taiwan provide valuable information from survey respondents in each country that Hawaii tourism industry partners can utilize to attract more LGBT travelers from these two markets.

“The studies’ findings reveal there is potential in Japan and Taiwan to reach a larger percentage of LGBT travelers from both markets,” said Chun. “Hawaii tourism partners can customize their marketing programs to make a vacation in the islands a more enticing option compared to other destinations in Asia that are currently drawing the bulk of LGBT travelers from Japan and Taiwan.

“Hawaii’s attributes are well-known to LGBT travelers from Japan, but the research indicates that special offers targeting this particular segment would be well-received and help allay concerns about Hawaii being a good value.

“Taiwan appears to be a budding LGBT travel market for Hawaii that can be developed through increased awareness about the offerings of the islands beyond our beautiful beaches. For example, Taiwan’s LGBT travelers enjoy excellence in cuisine and touring historic sites and landmarks, but they don’t yet associate these attributes with Hawaii.

“Furthermore, Taiwan’s survey respondents do not view Hawaii as an LGBT-friendly destination, which is not the case and a perception that can be changed by educating travelers about our longstanding legacy of diversity and acceptance of all people worldwide, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.”

Noteworthy findings from the LGBT travel studies about Japan and Taiwan include the following:

Japan

  • Survey respondents averaged 3.3 leisure trips outside Japan’s mainland in the past three years, with gay and bisexual men taking more trips (3.6 trips) than lesbian and bisexual women (2.9 trips).
  • Among destinations visited in the past three years, Hawaii ranks sixth among survey respondents at 14 percent. The top five destinations were Taiwan (47%), Thailand (33%), Okinawa (32%), Korea (22%) and Hong Kong (19%).
  • Of the survey respondents, 43 percent have visited Hawaii since adulthood and, within that group, 33 percent have visited Hawaii in the past three years. Oahu has been visited by 77 percent of respondents followed by the island of Hawaii at 32 percent and Maui at 10 percent.
  • The top three reasons for Japan LGBT travelers not visiting Hawaii since adulthood or within the past three years were “financial reasons/travel costs” (31%), “better value at another destination” (27%), and “not enough time to travel” (25%). LGBT-related reasons were not a factor.

Taiwan

  • Within Asia, Taiwan is considered to be very progressive in regard to LGBT rights. On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the definition of marriage as being only between a man and a woman as unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • Survey respondents took an average of three vacations outside Taiwan within the past three years. The most popular destination for both LGBT men and women is Japan at 71 percent, with the visitation rate being similar to the general population. Bali, the Maldives and Guam are all more favorable as travel destinations than Hawaii.
  • Only 8 percent of survey respondents have visited Hawaii. The most common reasons for not visiting Hawaii were “financial reasons/travel costs” (42%), “not enough time to travel” (36%), and “not familiar with what there is to see and do in Hawaii” (35%).

About the Hawaii Tourism Authority

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawaii’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawaii, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

UH Hilo College of Business and Economics Dean’s List Fall 2017

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Business and Economics made the Dean’s List for fall 2017:

Shiela Mae Sagun Almazan, Sheng Paul Ang, Desiree Rosalita Ashley, Jeryl Dadulla Bautista, Courtney Ann Aiko Inone Brock, Marson Nicolas Cabay, Charlene Mae Corotan, Elijah J.O.A. Cruz, Andrew Nalu Dawrs, Jhoanne A. Domingo, Allison Leilani Dupre, Lindsay Baker Emerson, Cyanne Malia Meihoong Fernandez, Manuel M. Fernandez, Gabriel Adam Fry, Christine Joy Halabas Galdones, Francine Andrei Bautista Gallego, Darcy Malia Gaylord, David Scott Graehler, Yan Ying Huang, Jeongwon Hwang, Nicole Kaleiokamalamalama Ignacio, Chelsey Kimiko Ikeda,

Janine Makanalani Iseri, Juvette Kamaka’ala Kahawaii, Pilialoha Jean Kailiawa, Zoe Ayaka Kimura, Momoko Koizumi, Polina I. Kozinskiy, Sinailetulaga Trude Kulberg, Thomas Weston Lindsey III, Samantha June Lord, Kainoa Abram Lyman, Victoria Magana Ledesma, Seth Thomas Master, Evan James Merrier, Tailani Morse, Austin Masaki Nakamura, Puanani Amina Nakamura-Jones, Attok David Nashon, Wyatt John Nelson, Brandon Kenta Okimoto, Lynda Naomi Ono, Minami Osawa, Cortney Gail Sachiyo Oshiro, Jazzle Ann Paraiso, Kahiau Raymond Tatsumi Peralta,

Jaye Leah Plumb, Alyssa Marie Reinking, Alicia Chanes Rodriguez, Marvin Joubin Rositzki, Kyungmin Ryu, Nicole Yukiko Saito, Shelby Blue Steele, Garnett Gani Stone Jr., Jaron Takeo Sugimoto, Adam Robert Swope, Nolan Anthony Cruz Taianao, Jubylen Godoy Teehee, Calvin Daishi Uemura, Onosa`i Va`a, Sienna Lynn Wareham, Thomas Edward Warren III, Travis Keoni Winters, YingYan Sun Wong, Kristen Michie Yagi, Tahiya Zaman and Yuye Zhao.

HCFCU 2018 Scholarship Program to Award 8 Scholarships

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is excited to announce its 2018 Scholarship Program will be accepting applications starting January 2, 2018.

Eight deserving Hawaii Islanders will each receive $2,500, totaling $20,000 given in scholarships, to help support their transition to higher education.  HCFCU has provided scholarships to Hawaii Island students for more than 32 years.

Each scholarship is named after an HCFCU volunteer or manager who made important contributions to the organization.

Five of the scholarships — Peter Hirata Scholarship, Albert Akana Scholarship, Katsumasa Tomita Scholarship, Frank Ishii Scholarship, and Mitsugi Inaba scholarship — are awarded to students based on need, academic achievement, career goals, and extracurricular activities.

The John Y. Iwane scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior that meets all the criteria mentioned above with plans to enter an agriculture-related field of study.

The Michael Asam Scholarship will be awarded to a senior who actively participates in an HCFCU sponsored Student Credit Union as a teller or as a Student Credit Union Board member.

The Yasunori Deguchi Scholarship will be awarded to a post-graduate on Hawaii Island, currently attending college or going back to college.

Eligibility Requirements

HCFCU’s Scholarships are open to our Hawaii Island communities. You do not have to be a member of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. You must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible to apply.

  • Graduating senior from any Island of Hawaii high school and planning to attend a post-secondary college or four-year college during next school year as a full-time student(post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum); or
  • A posthigh school graduate on Hawaii Island who is either currently attending, or going back to, a post-secondary college or four-year college as a full-time student (post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum).

Submission Requirements

The following is required in order to complete your application.

  • Academic Record
  • Non-Academic/Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Career Goals & Educational Plans
  • Financial Need -Verified EFC signed off by counselor. FAFSA will need to be completed. (not required for post-graduates returning to college)

Interested applicants may fill out an application online at HCFCU’s website, www.hicommfcu.com. The online application streamlines the process and allows the applicants to save their work and complete it at a later date.

Applications and all required information must be received by April 2, 2018 to be considered.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, federally insured financial institution owned by its 40,000 members. HCFCU’s branches are located in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala, along with Student Credit Unions in Kealakehe, Kohala and Konawaena High Schools. In 2018, HCFCU will open its first-ever branch in East Hawaii in Hilo. In addition to complete checking and savings services,

HCFCU provides service-minded financial professionals to help facilitate mortgage, land, construction, small business, educational, personal and auto loans; drive up tellers; credit and debit cards with rewards; online and mobile banking; investment services and youth programs. HCFCU also supports numerous Hawaii Island non-profit organizations and community events. Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents.

HPD Asking Public’s Assistance in Reporting Illegal Fireworks

Hawaiʻi Island police, concerned about illegal aerial fireworks, are asking for the public’s assistance in reporting information about the location of these dangerous and illegal pyrotechnic devices as well as the identity of people in possession of them.

An incident on Oʻahu just last New Year’s Day resulted in a woman’s death and her male companion being critically injured. These explosive aerial devices are extremely dangerous to anyone nearby and should only be handled by trained, licensed professionals. We have already had numerous reports of these devices being ignited on the island.

Hawaiʻi state law dictates that anyone purchasing, possessing, storing, setting off, igniting or discharging aerial devices, display fireworks or articles pyrotechnic without a valid pyrotechnic permit may face felony charges resulting in a five-year term of imprisonment if convicted.

Please remember that anyone igniting aerial pyrotechnic displays risk not only their life but also the lives of loved ones nearby and potentially neighbors as well.

Anyone having information about the location of illegal fireworks is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or 911 if it is an emergency situation.

Coast Guard Seeks Mariner Input for Pacific Seacoast Study

The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking input from mariners for a study of navigation requirements in the Pacific Seacoast System.

The Waterways Analysis and Management System study will review the short range Aids to Navigation system that covers American waterways from the Canadian border to the Mexican border and around Alaska, Hawaii and all U.S. territories throughout the Pacific.

Interested mariners and maritime stakeholders can provide input by taking the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PacSeacoastWAMS

The survey will be available until March 31, 2018.

In addition to the survey input, the system-wide study will cover international requirements, environmental concerns, user capabilities, available technology and available resources.

The study is part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Future of Navigation initiative, the multi-year effort to analyze, optimize and modernize the navigation systems that safely guide millions of mariners and trillions of trade into U.S. ports.
“This WAMS study will help us to tailor our Aids to Navigation levels of service to better meet the needs of mariners across the Pacific Seacoast System,” said Cmdr. Justin Kimura, the chief of the Navigation Technology and Risk Management Division in the Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems.

Managed by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems and maintained by Coast Guard buoy tenders and ATON teams around the nation, Aids to Navigation help mariners to determine their position, chart a safe course and steer clear of hazards.

HPD Searching for Walbert LeeLoy

The Hawaii Island Police Department has reported that Walbert LeeLoy is missing. He is described as a 62 year-old Hawaiian male, 5’10”, 190 lbs, brown eyes, grey hair and has a tan complexion. He as last seen wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.

Walbert LeeLoy

LeeLoy was last seen at his Hilo residence on Friday, December 22, 2017 at about 6:30 pm.

Police are concerned for his well being and if he is seen, ask the public to notify police on the non-emergency number 935-3311.

HDOT Celebrates New Improvement Projects at Hilo Harbor

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), Harbors Division, celebrated the blessing of Hilo Harbor’s newly completed Pier 4 cargo wharf project, the Pier 1 cargo yard and passenger terminal improvements. The projects are designed to increase operational space and increase cargo handling efficiencies. The improvements to the passenger terminal will create a more pleasant and comfortable environment for cruise passengers.

Kahu Danny Akaka Jr. performs a blessing of the Pier 4 cargo wharf project, Pier 1 cargo yard and passenger terminal improvements at Hilo Harbor.

“These projects are more than brick and mortar improvements, they’re about providing opportunities for our people and meeting the needs of our communities,” said Gov. David Ige. “We are ensuring the viability of our commercial harbor system and encouraging a healthy job market that includes work opportunities in transportation, maritime related trades, hospitality and tourism, not to mention the local consultants and contractors the state has employed to complete the job.”

The Pier 1 Shed Modifications, Phase II project consisted of several improvements that upgraded the operational efficiency at Pier 1 by removing approximately 40 percent of the Pier 1 shed structure. This will allow vessel operators improved utilization of the pier, increasing cargo yard capacity and improving the cruise passenger experience. In addition, there is new asphalt concrete pavement, fire protection and lighting in the new cargo yard.

Other improvements to the Pier 1 shed create a more pleasant and comfortable environment to enhance the cruise passenger experience in Hilo. They include renovated restrooms, a new security room, a new fire alarm system and additional fire sprinklers throughout the shed. Work also included lead paint and asbestos abatement and disposal.

“Our shed modifications at Pier 1 enable better utilization of pier side facilities, helping to improve efficiencies in our cargo yard while improvements inside the passenger terminal will make our visitors’ experience more comfortable,” explained Interim Director of Transportation, Jade Butay. “In addition, the new improvements at our Pier 4 cargo terminal will alleviate some of the logistical challenges and improve our interisland cargo operations in the Port of Hilo. I want to congratulate our Harbors team as well as our partners – the Hawaii Harbors Users Group (HHUG), our consultant and contractors on a job well done.”

Development of the Pier 4 cargo terminal was separated into several phases including: dredging, container yard development, and Kumau Street improvements. In addition to the newly constructed Pier 4 wharf structure, safety and efficiency improvements were made by separating cargo and passenger operations at Hilo Harbor. An additional berth space was also created to accommodate the growing general maritime and cruise industries. Finally, a new interisland pier replaces the aging Pier 2, which is unable to accommodate the new container handling equipment and vessels.

“This is a momentous occasion not only for the Department of Transportation Harbors Division but for our cargo operations in Hilo as well,” stated Glenn Hong, President, Young Brothers, Ltd. “We’ve worked closely with the department to design this modern interisland cargo terminal at Pier 4 that will meet Hawaii Island’s needs into the future, allowing us to return to a two ramp operation so we can continue to serve this retail market and especially the mom-n-pop businesses that are the heart of our local economy. I want to extend my appreciation to Gov. Ige and his administration, Interim Director Jade Butay, Harbors Deputy Darrell Young and his Harbors team for their collaboration and hard work in making these facility improvements a reality. Mahalo Nui!”

The Pier 4 terminal project adds much needed cargo capacity to the Port of Hilo. Constructed in the early 1920s, Pier 2 cargo activities are restricted, limiting operations and full utilization of the terminal space. Delivery of interisland cargo on Pier 2’s narrow apron requires use of the area between Piers 1 and 3, creating a comingling of both cargo and cruise ship operations that compromises the safety of passengers and pedestrians and affects cargo operating efficiency.

UH Hilo College of Pharmacy Names Fall 2017 Dean’s List

The following students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy have been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2017 semester:

Class of 2021
Clifford Agcaoili, Trang Bui, Aileen Bulatao, Brandon Chagami, Thai Dinh, Lauren Domingo, Sean Domingo, Angina El, Justin Fujiwara, Tailai Guan, Taylor Hiraga, Jake Hoctor, Feng Ming Huang, Jenna James, Patsylynn Jetley, Melody Keshavarz, John-Michael Kimhan, Da Hai Lee, QiXin Li, Kimberly Lin, Noelle Lovesy, Brittany Luna, Christian Macaspac, Josephine McDonald, Shane-Earl Naeole, Nu Nguyen, Lan Thi Hoang Nguyen, Destinee Ogas, Kimo Okamoto, Rebecca Oshiro, Calvin Ostler, Jaymee-Rae Pang, Elaine Phan, Henry Quach, Tiana Ramos, Tiana Ramos, Norlyn Ranchez, Sera Shimizu, Maysyvelle Sistoza, Johnson Siu, James Soe, Fumiko Steiger, Melissa Ann Tyndale, Christian Villalta, Donald Waddell

Class of 2020
Brandi Chun, Joshua Dillon, Jensine Melody Domingo, Amelia Furlan, Jhoana Paula Gonzales, Taylor Hori, Kamala Lizama, Tracy Lopez, Mary Lui, Jarin Miyamoto, Tony Moua, Stacey Nguyen, Brent Ocker, Tyler Peterson, Felix Rasgo, Robyn Rector, Taumie Richie, Shaina Saiki, Reid Shimada, Samantha Texeira, Jared Toba, Johnny Tran, Kelsey Trujillo, Thi Hong Vo, Stacie Waiamau

Class of 2019
Sydney Barney, Deniz Bicakci, Athena Borhauer, Rene-Scott Chavez, Torrence Ching, Katrina Downey, Samantha Gonzalez, Cathlyn Goo, Leigh Heffner, Faith Hicks, Vance Hill, Preston Ho, Stacy Huynh, Gurinder Kaur, Logan Kostur, San Ly, Kate Malasig, Jennifer Nguyen, Thu Nguyen, Kelsey Noetzelmann, Kara Paulachak, David Pham, Gam Phan, Rachel Randall, Lindsey Reinholz, Desiree Shouse, Clement Tran Tang, Shannon Trinh, Nicholas Tsoi, Ashley Uehara, Nancy Wong, Veronica Wong, Krystin Yasay, Carrie Yeung

Partners In Development Foundation Receives FLEX Grant Award From Hawai‘i Community Foundation

Partners In Development Foundation (PIDF) has received a grant award for unrestricted support from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) in the amount of $49,000.

This was made possible through their FLEX Grants program, which is made up of a partnership of many funds to support operating of high performing nonprofits. This particular award was comprised of the following funds:

  • Annie Sinclair Knudsen Memorial Fund – Restricted to support programs/projects benefiting Kauaʻi.
  • Marisla Fund – Funds restricted to support programs/projects benefiting Kauaʻi.
  • Reverend Takie Okumura Family Fund – To support programs that support healthy development of Hawaiʻi’s young children (birth to 5 years old) and youth (ages 6-20 years old).
  • Richard Smart Fund – Funds restricted to support programs/projects benefiting Waimea.
  • Tai Up Yang Fund
  • Henry A. Zuberano Early Education Fund

Funds received will benefit PIDF’s Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool, Hui Hoʻomalu Foster Care program, Ke Kama Pono Safehouse for adjudicated youth, Nā Pono No Nā ʻOhana Family education program on the islands of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i and Oʻahu, as well as PIDF operations statewide.

Hawaii Gets Federal Nod on ESSA Plan, Approval Expected Soon

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) this morning received encouraging feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) following a review of its State plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). USED officials gave the indication for “ultimate approval of the plan” during a call with HIDOE officials.

“We had a great discussion with federal education officials who determined that Hawaii is well on its way for approval once we make minor adjustments to our consolidated plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The State plan is a culmination of a community effort and it’s rewarding to see that the USED recognizes Hawaii’s effort and commitment to providing equitable and accessible education.”

ESSA is a reauthorization of the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the prior reauthorization, most commonly known as No Child Left Behind.

Following the Hawaii State Board of Education approval, the Superintendent and Governor David Ige submitted the signed state’s ESSA plan to USED in September 2017. The Hawaii ESSA plan is designed to support HIDOE’s Strategic Plan objectives, which provides common direction for public schools to empower students in their learning.

“I’m pleased to learn that we are close to getting our ESSA plan approved,” said BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto. “The plan reflects our collective commitment to providing a well-rounded education for all students.”

HIDOE is making the necessary adjustments where further clarification is being sought on student supports that are already in place. Once the non-substantial changes are made, Superintendent Kishimoto will send the State plan to the USED for final approval.

For information on the state plan, visit http://bit.ly/HIDOE-ESSAfaqs.

Click to read

Read the USED Hawaii State plan interim feedback letter here.

FREE Wi-Fi Now Available at Honolulu Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division is pleased to deliver free Wi-Fi at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) just in time for the holidays. A soft launch began December 14, 2017 and within minutes travelers discovered the free Wi-Fi and immediately connected to the new service. The Wi-Fi is available through Boingo Wireless (Nasdaq: WIFI) which operates wireless networks in major airports, stadiums, campuses, military bases and commercial properties throughout the country and world.

“Free Wi-Fi is a highly requested service and my administration is thrilled to make it happen,” said Governor David Y. Ige. “Thousands of people have connected in just the first week of the new service, further enhancing the passenger experience.”

“Boingo is proud to work alongside HDOT to unlock fast, free connectivity for travelers,” said David Hagan, CEO, Boingo. “We look forward to connecting the millions of passengers that fly through Hawaii’s airports each year and satisfy their mobile demands.”

The Wi-Fi coverage area at HNL includes the Overseas Terminal and Central Concourse on the first and second levels between ticket lobbies 4-8, gates 12-25 and baggage claims E-H. Boingo is working on wireless infrastructure improvements that will add Wi-Fi coverage to the Diamond Head Concourse, Ewa Concourse and Interisland Terminal in the coming months, with airport-wide service anticipated for early spring 2018.

Customers can receive unlimited fast, free Wi-Fi sponsored by advertisers, or can opt for even faster speeds by purchasing a one-day or monthly Boingo subscription. Additional information can be found by visiting the following FAQ website by clicking here.

In addition to Wi-Fi, Boingo is building a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) network at HNL, a wireless solution that is designed to boost cellular connectivity for passengers.

HDOT and Boingo will bring Wi-Fi and DAS networks to additional airports in Hawaii including, Kahului Airport (OGG), Hilo International Airport (ITO), Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) and Lihue Airport (LIH) beginning in 2018.

Boingo offers 24/7 customer service by calling 800-880-4117 or emailing support@boingo.com.

Revenue Per Available Room for Hawaii Hotels Grew 5.5 Percent in November 2017

Hotels in the Hawaiian Islands earned more revenue per available room (RevPAR) in November at $190 (+5.5%) compared to a year ago, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). Additionally, both average daily rate (ADR) in November at $243 (+1.4%) and occupancy at 78.5 percent (+3 percentage points) grew year-over-year.

HTA’s Tourism Research Division issued the report’s findings utilizing data compiled by STR, Inc., which conducts the largest and most comprehensive survey of hotel properties in the Hawaiian Islands.

Jennifer Chun, HTA director of tourism research, commented, “November was a good month for hotel properties as a whole, as RevPAR increased statewide and for each island county, most notably on the neighbor islands. These across-the-board increases help support jobs and families in each county and generate increased state tax revenue, which ultimately helps to fund community needs statewide.

“The biggest eye-opener for November were the impressive results reported for Midscale and Economy Class hotels, with RevPAR jumping by 18.4 percent and occupancy by 10.1 percent. That kind of increase in occupancy is phenomenal considering that tourism in Hawaii has been thriving in recent years. It’s a sign the industry did an effective job in attracting price-conscious travelers, especially to Oahu where the increase in occupancy was 12.9 percent.

“Year-to-date, hotel properties on the island of Hawaii and Kauai continue to report the strongest rate of growth in both RevPAR and occupancy. Occupancy for Kauai hotels has risen to 76.8 percent and for hotels on the island of Hawaii to 74.3 percent, meaning the gap between these islands with hotel occupancies on Oahu and Maui has closed considerably this year.”

As seen in the accompanying tables, all classes of hotel properties in Hawaii earned more per available room in November compared to a year ago. Midscale and Economy Class hotels charted the highest RevPAR growth statewide for November to $111 (+18.4%), boosted by growth in both occupancy at 79.1 percent (+10.1 percentage points) and ADR at $140 (+3.3%).

Upper Upscale Class properties statewide achieved the highest occupancy rate at 83.6 percent (+1.2 percentage points) in November, however, ADR for this class of hotel properties remained unchanged from a year ago.

All four island counties in Hawaii achieved higher RevPAR in November year-over-year. Hotels in Maui County recorded the highest RevPAR at $236 (+6.5%), supported by growth in both ADR to $314 (+4.7%) and occupancy at 75.2 percent (+1.2 percentage points).

Kauai hotels earned the largest gain in RevPAR to $168 (+13%) in November, boosted by increases in ADR to $232 (+4.2%) and occupancy at 72.5 percent (+5.6 percentage points).

Hotels on the island of Hawaii achieved the highest rate of growth in occupancy at 73.2 percent, up 10.8 percentage points, in November. This drove the island’s RevPAR growth to $167 (+12.9%), despite the ADR declining to $228 (-3.8%).

Oahu hotels reported a small increase in RevPAR to $180 (+2.3%), with modest growth in occupancy at 82.1 percent (+1.5 percentage points) offsetting flat ADR of $219 (+0.4%). Waikiki hotels performed similarly to last November.

Hotels in Hawaii’s luxury resort areas performed well in November compared to a year ago, with Wailea leading the state in RevPAR to $409 (+13.2%), ADR to $489 (+7.5%), and occupancy at 83.8 percent (+4.2 percentage points ). The Lahaina-Kaanapali-Kapalua resort area reported growth in RevPAR to $194 (+4.4%) and ADR to $258 (+2.6%), with occupancy at 75.1 percent (+1.3 percentage points).

The Kohala Coast resort area reported strong growth in RevPAR to $231 (+8.5%), driven by an increase in occupancy at 69.6 percent (+6 percentage points), which offset a slight dip in ADR to $333 (-0.9%).

Year-to-Date 2017
Year-to-date through November, Hawaii hotels statewide reported growth in RevPAR to $208 (+5.7%), ADR to $259 (+4.2%) and occupancy at 80.2 percent (up 1.1 percentage points).

Through the first 11 months of the year, Luxury Class hotels achieved the strongest overall results of all hotel classes, with increases in RevPAR to $384 (+7.3%), ADR to $506 (+4.8%) and occupancy at 75.7 percent (+1.8 percentage points).

Midscale and Economy Class hotels also reported a strong increase in RevPAR to $117 (+5.8%), supported by growth in ADR to $151 (+3.2%) and occupancy at 77.6 percent (+1.9 percentage points).

North Kona Water Restriction Update

As of yesterday afternoon, Keōpū Deepwell installation is complete.

The Department has begun the disinfection and water quality testing process, which once successfully completed, will render the Keōpū Deepwell fully operational and ready for use. The Department anticipates this will happen by Monday, December 25, 2017.

At this time, the 25 percent (25%) Water Restriction remains in effect; however, the Department expects to downgrade to a voluntary 10 percent (10%) conservation once the Keōpū Deepwell is operating reliably.

Kona water tank levels remain stable and the Department continues to monitor the water system and make adjustments as necessary.

The Department sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to reduce their water usage.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies, call us at 961-8790.

New Park Proposed for Hawaiian Paradise Park

The Department of Parks and Recreation is proposing to develop a master plan for a new public park within Hawaiian Paradise Park.

There will be two public presentations:

The first presentation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 7th

The second presentation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 19th

The location for both presentations will be the Hawaiian Paradise Park Owners Association Activity Center located at 15-1570 Maku’u Drive between 16th and 17th Streets in Kea‘au. The public is invited to attend both meetings.

The purpose of the first public meeting is to present the Department’s proposed vision, goals, and preliminary alternative plans and to gather input from the community and interested parties. The purpose of the second public meeting will be to present the preliminary master plan and gather any additional input.

The new park would be located on a County-owned, 20-acre parcel bordered by Kaloli Drive, 25th Avenue and 26th Avenue. Proposed facilities being considered in the master plan include a baseball and softball field, soccer and football field, tennis courts, skate park, playground, covered play courts, and a community center.

For more information or to request special assistance for these meetings, please contact
Jared Chang from SSFM International at 808-356-1242 or jchang@ssfm.com. If requesting special assistance, please contact Jared at least three days prior to the meeting.

Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas Opens on Friday

Queens’ MarketPlace will light up island nightlife with the highly-anticipated Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas, an upscale, three-screen movie venue with a full-service restaurant and bar. When the curtain goes up on Friday, movie lovers will be able to kick back in a cushy leather seat and order a glass of wine to enjoy with a first-run feature.

Guests will enter a spacious, contemporary lobby, with a bar and high-end furnishings, including an actual sample of the theaters’ leather loveseats to “test drive.” A 25-foot passageway of glass doors will lead into a 5,000 square-foot outdoor lanai lounge, available to everyone, movie patron or not.

Three exclusive auditoriums, outfitted with cutting-edge sound and projection equipment, will seat 85-100 people each, the largest offering Real 3-D technology. Food and beverages—from popcorn and sodas to gourmet snacks, pizza and cocktails—may be purchased prior to the show, or ordered for delivery to the loveseat.

“The ‘luxury cinema’ concept has proven to be quite a hit on the mainland,” said Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas owner Tony Dalzell, “so we decided that would be our business model here.” With an MBA and extensive experience in consumer marketing, Dalzell was also owner-operator of Marina WaterSports, Inc., California’s largest watercraft and parasailing attraction. Assisting Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas is theater consultant Scott Stalcup who has overseen 100 plus projects for AMC Theaters.

Since most of North Hawai‘i gets its movie fix in Kona or Honoka‘a or from Netflix on the sofa, Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas is date night waiting to happen. The Dalzells easily saw the potential success of adding a theater to Waikoloa Beach Resort nightlife.

“It’s no secret that, after dark, one’s entertainment options around here are pretty limited,” said Dalzell, who moved to the island earlier this year with wife Maria after visiting annually for two decades. “Retirement was an option but we both wanted something to do. We’re happy that it ended up being something that’s a contribution to our new community.”

In addition to films, Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas will be available for rentals, concerts and live performances. It will offer a potential boon for neighboring businesses, and will be providing about 45 new jobs in the community. For more information please visit their website at hawaiicinemas.com, or email inquiry@hawaiicinemas.com.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call (808) 886-8822.