Please stand by while I evacuate from Pahoa to Hilo in the next few days. I’ll be posting here and there… but for now, I need to make sure my Ohana and friends are safe.
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Hawaii.
Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
- Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
How to Apply for Assistance:
- Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Community, Economy, Hawaii, Legal, Maui, National Affairs, Pahoa, Puna, Security, Transportation | Tagged: Federal Aid Programs for the State of Hawaii Declaration | Leave a comment »
Long before the lights and cameras come to life, movie action starts on paper, with a fine-tuned craft of screenwriting. In celebration of the screenplay, Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its first feature film script contest, with top entries saluted at the tenth annual festival, May21-25, 2015. The winning script will be submitted to the Paradigm Agency in Hollywood for possible representation.
With a signature focus on narrative films, BIFF has nurtured the art of storytelling, both on the big screen and off, presenting screenwriting and filmmaking workshops, networking and social opportunities, and audience feedback in a casual, creative setting. The new screenplay contest is a natural outgrowth of inspiration and education planted over the last decade.
“Because we have writers who come to our workshops every year, we know that their film ideas are taking shape, if not actually completed,” said BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears. “This could give the right motivation to actually sit down and polish, fine-tune, give your project its best shot. Paradigm is one of the top five talent agencies in the business, and, although we can’t guarantee anything, just to have them consider representing your script is a tremendous opportunity; it’s priceless.”
Scripts must be submitted no later than February 1, 2015, and must be between 60 and 140 pages in standard screenplay format. Professional readers will screen all submissions, by reviewing the first ten pages, to select nine semi-finalists. Of those, three finalists will be evaluated by veteran screenwriters, instructors and consultants and one winner selected.
All semifinalists will receive filmmaker passes to BIFF 2015 and finalists will receive a Golden Honu Award plate and listing on Variety.com. Only the winning screenplay, announced at the Awards Brunch on May 25, will be submitted to Paradigm Agency in Hollywood for possible representation.
Films may be submitted by mail or email, or on line via www.FilmFreeway.com, an easy and affordable entry service for screenwriting contests and film festivals. Deadlines are January 1, 2015 (Early Bird) and February 1, 2015 (Regular). Complete rules, fee information and entry forms are available at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.
Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 21-25, 2015. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For more information, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Education, Entertainment, Hawaii, Kohala, Movies and Film, Something New?, Television | Tagged: Big Island Film Festival, Screenplay Contest | Leave a comment »
Big Island Photographer G. Brad Lewis took this stunning panorama picture of the Pu’u O’o Eruption on the flanks of Kilauea on the Big Island. You can see all the way from the source of the flow… down to where I live in Pahoa if you click on the picture to make it larger.
Lewis stated, “I wanted to capture a different perspective on the lava flow moving slowly toward Pahoa. Tie it all in. I shot this on 9/6/14 from the mid-flanks of Mauna Kea. Three plumes on the horizon tell the story. From the Pu’u O’o vent on the right, to the advancing flow on the far left. This is the story of Kilauea Volcano. This is why we have an Island to live on here. This is as natural to the Earth as is breathing to our bodies. Aloha!”
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Community, Environment, Hawaii, National Affairs, Pahoa, Puna, Security, Unexplained Phenomenon | Tagged: G. Brad Lewis, Pu‘u ‘O‘o, Where the lava flow is now | Leave a comment »
Fresh and nutritious Hawai’i Island food and the people who produce it are the stars of Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Friday, Sept. 26 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.
This year’s annual event that promotes agricultural sustainability is 5-8 p.m. to offer an extra hour for grazing among tasty culinary stations, food producer booths and agricultural-themed displays. The fun sprawls both inside the Hilton’s recently renovated ballroom and outside on the scenic Lagoon Lanai.
Pre-sale tickets are available at a dozen islandwide locations and online for $45 through September 25; they are $60 on event day. Details: www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.
New this year, seven of the 30 culinary stations will showcase a chef using local products from a specific rancher and farmer out on the Lagoon Lanai. These stations will identify those who contributed to the dish for attendees, as well as the meat cut used. In addition, participating ranchers and farmers are also invited to talk story with attendees at each station. Event chair Jeri Moniz says the purpose for the pairings “is to foster more communication between food producers and chefs,” one of the event’s goals.
Each Taste chef is assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of pasture-raised beef—or locally sourced pork, lamb, mutton, goat or USDA-inspected wild boar—and the result is a festive adventure of tasting everything from tongue to tail. All the beef cuts are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones.
In addition to “grazing” on prepared top round or Rocky Mountain Oysters—aka bull’s testicles—attendees can taste samples at local food product booths and view compelling educational displays on sustainability and agriculture.
Those wanting to learn first-hand how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef can attend the event’s annual Pasture-Raised Beef Cooking 101 culinary demonstration. This year’s guest presenter is Peter Abarcar Jr, executive chef of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, who is preparing Chinese Style Oxtail with Radish and Salt Fish Fried Rice plus Grass-Fed Chuck Steak Pipikaula with “Killachurri” Sauce The 3 p.m. presentation includes sampling and is $10; tix available online or at the door.
Also open to the public is a free 1:30 p.m. seminar, “A Primer on Local Beef” by local livestock extension agent and long-time researcher, Glen Fukumoto. “A Primer on Local Beef” will delve into the history of the beef industry in Hawai‘i and look at the product’s supply and demand issues. Fukumoto will also examine meat quality for the grass-finished market through the years, based on his 30 years of research.
Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of fresh, local cuisine can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, September 26, 2014. The kama’aina special includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i State ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel accommodations start at $149 per room, per night, based on availability. To book the exclusive package, (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or call 1-800-HILTONS.
Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.
A free parking and shuttle service to Taste is available from ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay noon-10 p.m. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.
Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today, KBIG, KAPA and Native FM. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com.
Sick and injured Hawaiian monk seals will get a second chance at survival thanks to The Marine Mammal Center’s new Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital, which is dedicated to the rescue and care of this critically endangered species.
On September 2, The Marine Mammal Center held a Grand Opening celebration and blessing at the new $3.2 million facility, which has been named Ke Kai Ola (The Healing Sea).
In addition to celebrating this milestone, the Center also celebrated the release of the first four patients treated at the hospital. Four young, malnourished monk seals were admitted to Ke Kai Ola on July 9 after being rescued in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Center’s veterinary experts and trained volunteers cared for the seals until they were healthy enough to return to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on August 31.
“We built this hospital to save a species,” says Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “Thanks to funding from the Firedoll Foundation as well as a generous family foundation and hundreds of donors throughout the world, this hospital can now provide life-saving medical care.”
The Hawaiian monk seal population is estimated at fewer than 1,100 individuals and continues to decline. Fewer than one in five pups in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands survive their first year due to threats like entanglement in ocean trash, changes in the food chain and predation.
“It takes a village to care for sick or injured monk seals,” says Dr. Frances Gulland, Marine Mammal Commissioner and senior scientist at The Marine Mammal Center. “We are honored to bring our veterinary and husbandry experience and now partner with the National Marine Fisheries Service, whose work to date is responsible for saving about 30 percent of the monk seals alive today.”
With the help of community volunteers, the Center will also conduct public outreach programs to provide education about Hawaiian monk seals and conservation efforts.
Learn more: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/hms
Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia Arrive in Apia, Samoa – Sail with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., sailed aboard Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia in Apia Harbor, Sāmoa today. They joined Worldwide Voyage crew and specialists such as Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue, artist Wyland, Blue Planet founder Henk Rogers, and Greg Stone of Conservation International.
“Hōkūle’a, our voyaging canoe, threads together stories of hope as she voyages across the world’s oceans. We are inspired that His Excellency Ban Ki-moon and island leaders are coming together on Hōkūle’a’s deck around shared values of preserving and protecting our oceans,” said Nainoa Thompson, president and master navigator of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon presented Thompson and the crew of the Worldwide Voyage with a handwritten message in a bottle that he asked them to carry with them as they circle the globe. The message stated, “I am honored to be a part of Hōkūle’a’s Worldwide Voyage. I am inspired by its global mission. As you tour the globe, I will work and rally more leaders to our common cause of ushering in a more sustainable future, and a life of dignity for all.”
Today’s sail represents the theme of the Worldwide Voyage, Mālama Honua, or “Care for Our Island Earth.” The ongoing United Nations Small Island Developing States conference focuses on island nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change and the challenges that face our oceans.
“People often say we are in the same boat,” Ban Ki-moon said during the conference,” I would say we are all on the same small island on the same small planet Earth; this is like a small boat in the universe.”
On the same afternoon of the UN Secretary General sail, Polynesian Voyaging Society leaders at home in Hawaiʻi took part in a Pillars of Peace dialogue about climate change hosted by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a panelist at the event and a former guest aboard Hōkūle’a, emphasized to participants, “We have just one planet home. This is an issue of whether we want to survive as a species or not.”
“Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia are sharing an uplifting message as they circumnavigate the globe about the need to care for each other, our oceans, and earth at a critical time in history,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society Chairman, Neil Hannahs. “Our dedicated crew at sea and on land believes that the sustainable practices refined by many island cultures promote a thriving existence, prudent management of finite resources, and intergenerational equity.”
After the Samoa conference, Hōkūle’a and her sister canoe Hikianalia continue their sail across Earth’s oceans to grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports and 26 countries, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017.
EPA Awards $200,000 to Children’s Defense Fund – Will Advance Environmental Stewardship on the Big Island
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded an environmental education grant of $200,000 to the Children’s Defense Fund for their “Mauka to Makai” project designed to improve environmental education in their summer learning centers and partner schools on the Big Island.
The “Mauka to Makai” (Mountain to Sea) project will incorporate environmental themes across all core and non-core academic subjects with an emphasis on resource management and habitat restoration.
“We’re pleased to be part of an environmental education effort highlighting flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The “Mauka to Makai” stewardship will increase the protection of Hawaiian ecosystems from threats like invasive species, climate change, and habitat loss.”
Using a combination of student learning experiences, professional development for classroom educators, and strengthened partnerships linking public schools and local environmental agencies, the project will implement an environmental education model to increase community-wide knowledge of important environmental issues and foster the skills needed to help students, educators, families and the community make decisions about environmental responsibility and stewardship. The Mauka to Makai project aims to increase environmental knowledge on the Big Island by educating more than 7,000 students, providing professional development to over 100 educators, and supporting community projects through sub-awards.
The larger goal is to make the Mauka to Makai a model program that can be replicated across the nation with local partners and national experts. The project can be replicated with a similar focus on land to water resource issues or its focus can change with geographic location to highlight the regional environmental priorities of any given area.
The EPA Environmental Education Model Grants Program supports environmental education projects that increase the public’s awareness about environmental issues and provide them with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Office received over 80 applications this year, and the Mauka to Makai project is one of two projects in the Pacific Southwest Region that received an environmental education grant.
Filed under: Agriculture, aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Education, Environment, Hawaii, Hawaiian, Kids, National Affairs, Sustainable Living | Tagged: Children's Defense Fund, Environmental Protection Agency, Mauka to Makai | Leave a comment »
Renowned local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker officially confirmed his first ever personal appearance in Orlando Florida September 5th. This event is planned in collaboration with surf giant Body Glove, who celebrated their 60th Anniversary on the Big Island last year.
“Billy Meistrell, whose Dad founded Body Glove back in 1953 and I will be signing DVD’s calendars, towels, mugs and limited edition collectable swag at Aku Aku Tiki Bar” said Parker.
A debut of the star-studded Body Glove/Centurion Boats Wake movie, filmed entirely on location in the Middle East, is also scheduled for the same night. “You will not want to miss this party for the world” said Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art Inc “Other than the Big Island, Florida is the next best venue for an event like this” he added.
This FREE event is taking place on Friday September 5 -2014 starting at 7:30 PM at Aku Aku Tiki Bar.
The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will depart Hawaii Friday, Aug. 29 for a new homeport in San Diego.
USS Lake Erie was commissioned in Pearl Harbor July 24, 1993. It is the first Navy ship in modern times to be commissioned in Hawaii since the commissioning of the USS Willamette (AO 51) in 1982.
In 2006, Lake Erie conducted the first successful intercept of a ballistic missile during its terminal phase using a Standard Missile-2.
In 2008, Lake Erie made international headlines when it used a tactical missile to intercept an orbiting satellite. The inoperative satellite was considered a potential threat and was eliminated at an estimated closing velocity of 22,000 miles per hour before it could re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
In 2013, Lake Erie utilized its fire control radar to provide tracking data to a ground-based missile interceptor, expanding U.S. missile defense capability. The ship also conducted the first live-fire intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile using space-based sensors.
Aboard the ship last year on the eve of the Battle of Lake Erie, Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, spoke about USS Lake Erie’s namesake to visiting Chinese sailors.
“This fine Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Lake Erie, is named for a famous battle in the War of 1812 – a turning point that proved a strong navy, working together, can protect a nation and make commerce and trade safe.”
Williams added, “When you see the patch, ‘Don’t Give Up the Ship,’ it signifies the grit and determination of Master Commandant (Commander) Oliver Hazard Perry, who showed bravery under that pennant. Thanks to his victory, we have enjoyed generations of peace with our friends and partners.”
As a testament to readiness during the ship’s tour in Hawaii, Lake Erie earned seven Battle “E” awards in recognition of sustained superior performance in an operational environment.
Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan expressed thanks to the community for supporting the men and women of USS Lake Erie and their families.
“The community embraced CG 70 and pulled together to enable her every achievement,” Banigan said. “The Sailors and families of Lake Erie extend a heartfelt Aloha. We will miss the beauty of the Hawaiian island chain and, more importantly, the warm friendships we leave behind. Crew Lake Erie offers one last Aloha and Mahalo!”
Lake Erie is replacing USS John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego.
U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious readiness groups, surface action groups or operating independently.
Media representatives who would like to cover the ship’s arrival must contact Wayne Randall at 473-2934 or 808-228-2995 by 1 p.m. on Aug. 28 to arrange an escort. Media will be met at 8 a.m. on Aug. 29 at the Nimitz Gate Pass & ID parking lot.
For more information about USS Lake Erie, visit http://www.lake-erie.navy.mil/
Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i, an initiative of theHawai‘i Community Foundation, announced today The Elders’ student discussion, “Leaders Make the Future: The Wisdom of Elders and Youngers” on August 30 (limited tickets available) and public forum “A Just and Inclusive Global Community” on August 31 (sold out) will be streamed online in real time, free of charge for those unable to attend.
These two events are part of a series of Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i events (August 29 -31) where members of The Elders, global peace leaders Gro Harlem Brundtland, Ms. Hina Jilani and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will speak and exchange ideas with the people of Hawai‘i on practicing peace, compassion and ethical leadership.
To view the live webcasts of these two events, please visit http://www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/the-elders-in-hawaii-via-live-stream. Viewers can also submit questions for The Elders’ consideration through Twitter or Facebook using #PEACEHI during the events.
Student Talk, “Leaders Make the Future: The Wisdom of Elders and Youngers”
- Saturday, August 30, 2014
- Live stream starts at 8:45 a.m. HAST
- The Elders’ talk starts at 9:30 a.m. HAST
Members of The Elders will speak directly to high school, college and university students to help the youth on their path of ethical leadership, to encourage compassionate and responsible behavior, and to instill hope for the future of Hawai‘i and the world. Additionally, the event will feature performances by Aidan James, Nick Acosta and Kealoha.
Public Talk, “A Just and Inclusive Global Community”
- Sunday, August 31, 2014
- Live stream starts at 3:15 p.m. HAST
- The Elders’ talk starts at 4:00 p.m. HAST
The Elders will speak to the general public about global citizenship and equality, and how these can help empower individuals, youth and civil society groups, leading to a better future for all. The event will include slam poetry by Kealoha and a musical performance by Henry Kapono.
About Hawai‘i Community Foundation
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), with 98 years of community service, is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of over 650 funds, including more than 190 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2013, $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed by HCF statewide, including $4 million in scholarships. The HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. For more information on HCF, please visithttp://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Education, Hawaii, National Affairs, Security | Tagged: Elders in Hawaii, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Ms. Hina Jilani Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pillars of Peace | Leave a comment »
Locally owned and operated Big Island companies – Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design and print exclusive limited edition “ALOHA PUNA” fundraiser shirts, in an effort to assist our Puna community in need.
The “ALOHA PUNA” shirts will be sold for $20.00 each with all proceeds to benefit the Hawaii Island United Way (HIUW) for recovery efforts in Puna.
According to Connie Kurohara, VP Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store, “It has been so heartwarming to see Big Island residents, as well as those abroad, come out to support our Puna community. As many families have a long road ahead after the destruction of Hurricane Iselle, we just want to do our part to kokua with recovery efforts. At Aloha Grown, our mission is to support local, sustain the aina, and share the aloha…and we intend to do just that.”
“ALOHA PUNA” fundraiser shirts will be available for purchase at the Aloha Grown store in downtown Hilo (224 Kamehameha Ave), Creative Arts Hawaii in Keaukaha, Hilo (500 Kalanianaole Ave) and the Parker Ranch store in Waimea (Parker Ranch Center). For more information, visit www.alohapuna.com.
The federal Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), which administers states’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) formerly known as Food Stamps, has extended Hawaii’s reimbursement deadline for food spoiled during Tropical Storm Iselle.
Hawaii SNAP administrators requested the extension through Aug. 30, 2014 to provide thousands of Hawaii Island and Maui County households additional time to apply for assistance. Due to storm damage and debris, many individuals and families were unable to leave their homes by the original deadline.
Reimbursement is limited to the actual dollar value of food destroyed and cannot exceed the household’s current monthly allotment. To qualify, the individual or household must have been receiving SNAP benefits when the disaster occurred, and report the food spoilage to the Department of Human Services (DHS) Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) office on their island by Aug. 30, 2014.
Individual or household applying for reimbursement must provide the DHS BESSD a signed statement that includes the following information:
1) Name of the storm and dates of impact;
2) General list of food items lost due to storm related power outage;
3) Length of time household power was out;
4) Statement that the household is aware of the penalties for the intentional misrepresentation of the facts; and
5) Statement that the household is aware that SNAP replacement allotment will not be issued if the required statement is not signed and returned by the specified deadline.
Natural disasters affect everyone in striking range. However, elderly and/or disabled individuals, families with infants and minor children, and families with limited income are disproportionately affected because they are lack the necessary resources to replenish food supplies or other basic necessities. It is these populations that make up the estimated 98,000 Hawaii households that currently receive SNAP benefits.
To reach the BESSD offices in Maui County call on Maui 808-984-3300; on Molokai 808-553-1751; and on Lanai 808-565-7102. To reach the Hilo BESSD Office call 808-981-7288.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration asking for federal assistance to help pay for damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle, which impacted Hawaii from Aug. 7 to 9, 2014.
For updates on Iselle recovery efforts, visit the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency website at: scd.hawaii.gov
Filed under: Abercrombie, Agriculture, aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Brian Schatz, Community, Economy, Environment, Hawaii, National Affairs, Pahoa, Puna, Security, State Affairs, Unexplained Phenomenon | Tagged: Federal Disaster, FEMA, FEMA Aid, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Hurricane Iselle | Leave a comment »
Two weeks ago, Hurricane Iselle devastated Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii on August 7, 2014.
Fragile invasive albizia trees shattered, downing utility lines and blocking major roads.
The storm surge at Kapoho flooded and demolished homes. The community immediately started to pitch in with food, water, and ice. The government efficiently organized resources, and cleared roads and beach parks and HELCO is working overtime to get electricity back to folks systematically.
Much mahalos to everyone for your aloha spirit during this challenging time. Imua!
Filed under: Agriculture, aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Community, Environment, Hawaii, KO's, Military, National Affairs, Pahoa, Puna, Security, State Affairs, Transportation, Unexplained Phenomenon | Tagged: Hawaii, Hurricane Iselle Damage & Recovery in Puna | Leave a comment »
Hawaii Electric Light, Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric have collectively contributed $25,000 to the Hawaii Island United Way. In addition, contributions from employees of the three utilities will be matched by the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, up to a total of $10,000. All funds will be used to support Hawaii Island residents impacted by Tropical Storm Iselle.
“Since the storm swept across our island, we’ve all seen how our community has come together to face the challenges,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “As our company ohana remains focused on restoring power to all of our customers, we’re thankful that Hawaii Island United Way is also directly providing relief to those most impacted by the storm.”
“We are so grateful for the support of the Hawaiian Electric Companies to provide for the victims of Tropical Storm Iselle,” said Jeanine Atebara, president & chief professional officer of Hawaii Island United Way. “We have a network of 40 nonprofit health and human service partner agencies which gives us the connections and contacts to link providers to those who need it most.”
In addition to financial contributions, Hawaii Island United Way is also accepting food donations which may be taken to the Food Basket in Hilo (40 Holomua Street) or Kona (left after Higashihara Park). For more information or to make a financial contribution, please visit www.hiunitedway.org.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is hosting a public forum to generate discussion about a management concept designed to reduce user conflicts in specific surf breaks in the waters off of Oahu.
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Jefferson Elementary School cafeteria at 342 Kapahulu Avenue in Waikiki, Oahu.
Proponents of the concept, representing a movement called “Safe Surf Hawaii,” are suggesting the creation of a framework for separating user groups competing for waves in the same surf breaks with the ultimate goal of improving safety and reducing user conflicts.
What’s being proposed:
A one year pilot project, in which, during a limited number of time periods each week (i.e., Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from 3 to 9 p.m.), standup paddleboarders (SUPs) would not be permitted in the surf zones located between the entrances of Ala Moana / Ala Wai harbor and Kewalo Basin harbor.
(excerpt from http://www.safesurfhawaii.com).
“The department was asked by Safe Surf Hawaii to solicit comments from the general public and gauge acceptance of this plan to limit use of SUPs in this waterway,” said William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR chairperson. “If the concept gains wide support, the department may consider rulemaking as a way to formalize the plan. However, the support would need to be nearly unanimous among all users.”
Representatives of Safe Surf Hawaii will be given an opportunity to present their plan before the floor is opened to discussion.
DLNR faced a similar challenge when user groups asked for the department to ban the use of SUPs in the waters of Ala Moana Lagoon. Instead of creating a rule, the department elected to install a series of buoys and suggested a voluntary separation of the conflicting uses in 2010.
“Our goal at that time was to reduce the user conflicts and create a safe environment for all users, but without a formal rule change that would have prevented access to these high-value ocean waters for a specific user group.”
“In our opinion, the Ala Moana Lagoon decision was very successful,” Aila said. “Once we installed the SUP corridor, complaints stopped coming in. No one was prevented from accessing the resource. What we are hoping is that discussion and understanding can again help us resolve a growing problem.”
The department encourages all ocean users to comment on the proposed plan and/or suggest other solutions by attending the meeting in person or by sending comments to DLNR’s generic address for receiving comments at dlnr.HarReview@hawaii.gov.
The meeting location is disability accessible. If special needs are required (i.e., large print, taped materials, sign language interpreter, etc.), call Clifford Inn on Oahu at (808) 587-1972 at least three business days prior to the public forum.
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan or TRICARE.
Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per child to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have TRICARE or a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.UHCCF.org, and there is no application deadline.
In 2013, UHCCF awarded more than 1,700 medical grants, worth $5.6 million, to children and their families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy.
UHCCF was founded in 1999. Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded more than 7,500 medical grants, totaling more than $23 million, to children and their families across the United States.
“Thousands of children struggle every day for something many of us take for granted – our health. That reality is the driving force behind UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation’s mission to help families in need access medical care that will improve their child’s health. Our medical grants have already helped thousands of children in need, and we are looking to help thousands’ more children in the future,” said David Heywood, president, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Hawaii.
New children’s book to raise funds
To help raise funds for its child medical grant program, UHCCF has published a new children’s book, “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” – the second book in the Oliver & Hope series.
The new 32-page hand-illustrated book continues the story of Oliver the lovable bear and Hope the spirited butterfly as they join their friends Millie the barn owl and Chewie the English bulldog for their first camping trip. The night is filled with amazing discoveries and silly games that make the shadows a little less scary and the adventure a lot more fun. The book follows last year’s award-winning book, “Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure.”
Both “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” and “Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure” are available on Amazon.com for $13.95 each. The first 250 people who purchase an “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” book will receive a Chewie the English bulldog plush toy, to be shipped separately.
Proceeds from UHCCF products, including the Oliver & Hope books, help fund UHCCF grants that help families pay for children’s medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by commercial insurance. Also, organizations and private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF at www.UHCCF.org. Donations are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.
Both books were written and illustrated by Meg Cadts and Samantha Fitch. Meg Cadts is the pen name for the UHCCF team of writers and contributors.
The Oliver and Hope characters also host their own page on the UHCCF website, Oliver & Hope’s Clubhouse (www.UHCCF.org/oliverandhope), which features free audiobook versions of the books, activities and games.
For more information on UHCCF and to visit the clubhouse, visit www.UHCCF.org.
Hawaii Electric Light continues to restore electric service to customers who lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. Service to an additional 300 customers was restored Monday. Currently, an estimated 1200 customers remain without power.
Significant progress has been made in Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park. Pockets of customers within these areas may still be out of power. Customers in those areas who are still without power should report it by calling 969-6666.
Areas of work
Today, electrical line crews are focused on the following areas:
- Nanawale Estates – electrical line crews are working on power lines throughout the subdivision. Work also continues on digging holes to replace utility poles damaged by falling trees.
- Lanipuna Gardens – electrical line crews are working on repairs on the main line providing service to the subdivision, as well as side streets.
- Leilani Estates – electrical line crews are working on Kahukai Street and side streets, which suffered extensive damage from fallen trees.
- Kapoho – electrical line crews are working on lines that provide service to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.
“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we make progress. In some neighborhoods, although main power lines have been restored, individual outages may need to be addressed home by home,” said Darren Pai, Hawaii Electric Light spokesman.
Restoration progress may also be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.
Even if customers don’t see crews in their area, we want customers to know that work is being done to restore power to their communities. In many cases, additional work on the electric system is needed in other locations to restore service.
Although crews are making progress and restoration in many areas may be much faster, estimates indicate it could approximately another two weeks – and in some cases, even longer – to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage. Actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.
Customer Information Center in Puna
Hawaii Electric Light’s Customer Information Center was relocated on Aug. 16 to Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna, and will remain open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – and longer if needed – as the restoration process continues. The center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches is closed.
Company representatives are on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairing the damage. A charging station also will be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there.
The process for restoring service involves many steps that need to be coordinated to ensure public and utility workers’ safety. We also must ensure we deploy the right resources to ensure crews can restore power as quickly as possible. Here’s an overview of the restoration process:
- Assess damage: Damage assessments by field crews identify the extent of damage and the specific materials – including poles, transformers, and power lines – that need to be repaired or replaced.
- Clear trees and debris/dig holes: Contracted tree trimming and construction crews then need to clear fallen trees and debris and dig holes for utility poles
- Install poles, restring lines, and install transformers: Electrical line crews can then be deployed to begin installing the poles, framing the cross arms on the poles, restringing lines, and installing transformers and other equipment.
- Repair main line first before energizing: Work is first done on the main lines serving subdivisions to restore the connection into those neighborhoods. Side streets can then be restored. Even after power is restored to a neighborhood, there may still be damage at individual homes or pockets of homes within a neighborhood that will need to be addressed separately.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Community, Environment, Hawaii, Security, Technology, Transportation | Tagged: HELCO Power Restoration Update, Hurricane Iselle, Nanawale | Leave a comment »
Today, Senator Schatz met with Mayor Kenoi’s cabinet, HELCO, State Senator Ruderman, Director of Civil Defense Darryl Oliveira, representatives from the Big Island Invasive Species Council and the U.S. Forest Service, to begin the process of developing a hazard mitigation plan for albizia on the Big Island.
Agreement was reached by all parties that all levels of government share responsibility for dealing with the hazard that these trees pose, and that the federal, state, and county government would provide financial and other resources towards this mitigation plan. HELCO also agreed, subject to approval by the PUC, to participate in the hazard mitigation program.
The next steps are to assemble all key stakeholders, and develop a hazard mitigation plan with a budget, and determine cost sharing. The target timeframe is to assemble the key stakeholders, and develop a preliminary hazard mitigation plan as soon as possible.
“Albizia wreaked havoc on power infrastructure and damaged private property, and we have to work together to minimize the likelihood that this happens again. I’m thankful for Mayor Kenoi’s leadership and assistance in helping to put together the resources necessary to mitigate this problem.”
Filed under: Agriculture, aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Brian Schatz, Community, Environment, Hawaii, Kenoi, Pahoa, Puna, Security, Something New?, State Affairs, Unexplained Phenomenon | Tagged: Albizia Eradication, Hurricane Iselle, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Sen. Brian Schatz | Leave a comment »