HI-SEAS ‘Mission to Mars’ Cancelled

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission VI has been cancelled as a crewmember has voluntarily withdrawn participation in the study.

It is not possible to perform a mission with a crew of three.

Further, an investigation is ongoing into an incident that occurred on Feb. 19, 2018, temporarily suspending the mission.

A crewmember was transported from the HI-SEAS dome at the 8,200-foot level of Mauna Loa on Feb. 19 and admitted to Hilo Medical Center for required medical attention. The crewmember was under observation for a few hours before being released.

After a full safety inspection of the habitat has been performed, a new call for applicants will be released to compose a new crew for another mission based on a review by the institutional review board.

Public Shooting Range Approved on Hawai‘i Island

The State of Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) voted to approve an area of land on Hawai‘i island as a public shooting range for the purpose of supporting the state’s Hunter Safety program.

Hunters have long sought an established area on Hawaiʻi Island for practicing hunting safety measures. Known as Mile Marker 16 on Saddle Road or “Morita Camp”, the relatively remote yet accessible area is considered a favorable place for people to improve marksmanship and practice the safe and responsible use of firearms.

Under Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, the BLNR can designate an area where activities related to target archery and firearms practice may be conducted. This designation will enhance safe hunting practices and improve conditions for the local hunting community.

A number of individuals and groups stepped forward to support the decision and volunteer assistance, and have expressed interest in developing this opportunity for the hunting community.

Hawai‘i Driver’s Licenses Must Have Gold Star After October 2020

On Jan. 16, 2018, motorists renewing their Hawai’i driver’s licenses began bearing a star in a gold circle, indicating that the license is in full compliance with new federal guidelines.

The Department of Homeland Security has mandated that all driver’s licenses used as identification to board flights and enter all federal buildings must bear the gold star by Oct. 1, 2020. Passports can be used as alternate identification to board flights.

To obtain the gold star driver’s licenses, which indicates the license is Real ID compliant, motorists must present the following documents to the Vehicle Registration & Licensing Division:

  • A U.S. State, Local Government- issued Certificate of Birth; or a valid U.S. Passport or Passport Card;
  • For married women who changed their names, a certified government-issued marriage certificate (showing name on birth certificate);
  • A Social Security card (unlaminated) showing current name;
  • Two documents showing your physical address (such as a HELCO bill). If you use a post office box number, submit one document with the post office box number and one document with your physical address.

Motorists may elect to get a limited-purpose driver’s license, which will not have a gold star, but which may only be used to drive.

For more information on acceptable documents, go online.

The County Division of Vehicle Registration & Licensing recommends renewing your license in the middle of the month when visiting Kona, Waimea or Pāhoa offices in order to avoid peak crowds at other times of the month.

No change is required at this time to currently valid licenses.