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.

Hokulea Samoa 3 “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.”

Hokulea Samoa 2

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.”

Hokulea Samoa

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.
EPA LOGOThe “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.

Renowned Big Island Artist Announces First Ever Appearance in Florida

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.

Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker and Billy Meistrell

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and Billy Meistrell

“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.

http://www.mahalotiki.com/

USS Lake Erie to Depart for New Homeport of San Diego

The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will depart Hawaii Friday, Aug. 29 for a new homeport in San Diego.

My Uncle and Aunt before they got a private tour of the USS Lake Erie.

My Uncle and Aunt before they got a private tour of the USS Lake Erie.

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.

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

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 talks to some of his crew.

Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan talks to some of his crew.

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/

Free Live Webcast Available for Two Pillars of Peace Hawaii Events with The Elders

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.

Elders in Hawaii

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/.

“Aloha Puna” Fundraiser Shirts to Benefit HIUW for Puna Recovery Efforts

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.

Aloha Puna

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.

 

SNAP Reimbursement Deadline Extended for Maui County and Hawaii Island

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.

Snap Card

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. Abercrombie Signs Formal Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration

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.

Shaka For HELCOThe request seeks Individual Assistance for Hawaii County. Individual Assistance would make additional funding, loans and services available to affected residents.

For updates on Iselle recovery efforts, visit the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency website at: scd.hawaii.gov

Video – Hurricane Iselle Damage & Recovery in Puna, Hawaii

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.

Falling Branches

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!

Hawaiian Electric Companies Contribute $25,000 to Hawaii Island United Way

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.

Shaka For HELCO“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.

Public Forum To Reduce User Conflicts In Oahu Surf Breaks

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.

SafeSurf

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.

Medical Grants Available for Children in Hawaii

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.

Oliver

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.

 

HELCO Power Restoration Update – 1,200 Remain Without Power

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.

Restoring PowerBackground on restoration process

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.

Leaders Begin Process of Developing Hazard Mitigation Plan for Albizia on the Big Island

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.

Senator Brian Schatz is back in Puna today.  Earlier he could be spotted handing out supplies to Hurricane Iselle victims at the Nanawale Longhouse.

Senator Brian Schatz is back in Puna today. Earlier he could be spotted handing out supplies to Hurricane Iselle victims at the Nanawale Longhouse.

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.”

Congresswoman Gabbard Releases Details on Steps to Get Federal Aid for Puna

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released details on the next steps that must be taken to quickly and effectively bring federal aid to Puna residents on Hawaiʻi Island whose homes and property were damaged by Hurricane Iselle.

Hayden and Tulsi Squatting

The congresswoman spent Friday with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials and employees of the Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing visiting people’s homes and meeting with residents, as FEMA assessed the cost of damages and gathered information for a detailed report that will be submitted to Governor Abercrombie. The governor will then be able to request federal aid from President Obama through a disaster declaration.

“I’m urging FEMA, Hawaiʻi County, the governor, and President Obama to expedite the process of declaring Iselle’s devastation a natural disaster so that the people of Puna can receive immediate help,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, whose congressional district includes all of Hawaiʻi Island. “I’ve met with residents who have lost everything, and though they’ve shown strength, resiliency, and compassion for their neighbors, many families in Puna are looking for federal assistance to start putting their lives back together after this overwhelming storm.”

FEMA assessments have been finalized except for a small category to be completed today. Although homes and residential area assessments are complete, the infrastructure damage evaluation will take another two to three more days. The governor and his staff are working through all of the assessment details now and will request federal aid from President Obama when they’re confident they have all of the pertinent data; they expect to have a timeline by this evening.

On Friday, Rep. Gabbard was briefed by Hawaiʻi Army National Guard Colonel Moses Kaoiwi at Keaukaha Military Reserve’s Emergency Operations Center in Hilo. He showed an overview of the damage caused by Hurricane Iselle on Hawaiʻi Island, and they discussed the progress of relief efforts and plans to move forward.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard continues to work with federal, state, and county officials to ensure that every available resource is being utilized to expedite recovery efforts and provide the services, supplies, and tools that are needed to guarantee the safety, health, and wellbeing of all those affected by Hurricane Iselle. The Disaster Assistance Recovery Centers (DARC) are still operating and federal, state, and local agencies are there to continue assisting people in need. As of this morning, water service has been restored to all areas of Hawaiʻi Island affected by Iselle, while approximately 1,500 customers are still without electricity.

DLNR Sponsors Archaeological Violation Investigation Class

DLNR

Anyone driving by an open field on the edge of downtown Hilo recently may have spotted several dozen people gathered around holes marked with yellow flags. This was the field exercise for an Archaeological Violation Class sponsored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). Combining two and a half days of classroom instruction, police officers from state and federal agencies, prosecutors and archaeologists participated in the field exercise to practice and test their crime scene investigation skills. The class was taught by Archaeological Damage Investigation and Assessment, a Missoula, MT-based company.

Martin McAllister, the company’s principal and a former U.S. Forest Service archaeologist, explained that archaeological or antiquity crimes constitute a $7 billion dollar a year illegal industry in the United States. “Most members of the American public think this is a low-level, casual type of situation,”McAllister said. “Interpol, the international police force, ranks it as one of the top five crimes in money that’s made every year and certainly there are artifacts here in Hawaii that would bring hundreds of thousands of dollars on the black market.”

SHPD Administrator Alan Downer added: “The most common archaeological crime in Hawaii is the looting of burial caves and historical sites. This class gives investigators and archaeologists the additional skills and knowledge to conduct thorough, scientifically sound investigations as part of a multi-prong effort that begins with awareness, followed by detection, investigation and ultimately prosecution.”

In addition to the field exercise, participants learned about the looting, collecting and trafficking network; about state and federal statues used to prosecute archaeological violation cases; and about the factors associated with archaeological crimes.

Medical Marijuana Policy Advocates Announce Series of August Events on Oahu, Hawai‘i Island

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (co-founders of the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii) have announced three free, public events on medical marijuana policy in August.

Medical Marijuana Meetings

Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are requested by 8/20, walk ins welcome, space permitting. RSVP for any event to: office@acluhawaii.org or call (808) 522-5906. Neighbor Islands call toll free, 1-877-544-5906. All venues ADA-accessible, request special accommodation by 8/18.

  • Oahu, Saturday, 8/23/14: “Policy Perspectives on Medical Marijuana” featuring Robert Jacob, Mayor of Sebastopol, CA and Executive Director of Peace in Medicine, a non-profit healing center and cannabis dispensary, and James Anthony, a former Oakland City prosecutor, now a full time attorney specialized in medical cannabis dispensary land use law. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Blaisdell Center Maui Room (second floor), 777 Ward Avenue.
  • Hilo, Sunday, 8/24/14: “Policy Perspectives on Medical Marijuana” repeats. 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Hilo YWCA, 145 Ululani Street.
  • Kona, Friday, 8/29/14: “Medical Marijuana TalkStory”. A free form conversation among patients, caregivers, doctors and advocates conducted by staff of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii. 2pm to 4pm at the Royal Kona Resort, in the Resolution Room. 75-5852 Ali‘i Drive.

Free Self Storage for Iselle Victims

A-American Self Storage is offering 60 days of free self-storage to Hawaii residents who have been affected by Hurricane Iselle on the Big Island of Hawaii.

storage

Please contact the local storage office in Keaau, Hawaii for more information at (808) 966-4040.

“We care about our community and hope to assist anyone who was affected by this storm,” said Josh Paterson, Vice President.

Hurricane Iselle was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii in recorded history causing heavy rain, flooding and power outages.

For 41 years, A-American Self Storage has been committed to family ideals and values, and has maintained storage roots in the communities they serve. A-American was founded in 1973 as one of the first self-storage companies by owner, Edmund C. Olson.

http://www.aamericanselfstorage.com

Kīpukapuaulu, Nāmakanipaio, and Mauna Loa Now Open

The popular forested trail at Kīpukapuaulu (known locally as “Bird Park”), Nāmakanipaio campground, and Mauna Loa summit and backcountry within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are now open.

Park rangers report that the Mauna Loa Cabin and other areas in the Mauna Loa backcountry within Hawai‘i Voclanoes National Park sustained little or no damage as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. NPS Photo/Talmadge Magno

Park rangers report that the Mauna Loa Cabin and other areas in the Mauna Loa backcountry within Hawai‘i Voclanoes National Park sustained little or no damage as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. NPS Photo/Talmadge Magno

Mauna Loa Road is open to hikers and pedestrians, but is currently closed to vehicles.  Visitors who want to access Mauna Loa trail, the summit, and Pu‘u‘ula‘ula (Red Hill) or Mauna Loa cabins, must obtain a backcountry permit at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center. A gate code for Mauna Loa Road will be provided with the permit. Call 808-985-6178 for information.

“We’re delighted to report that most of the places visitors typically visit within the national park are now open,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our park crews mobilized quickly, safely, and efficiently to reopen as much of the park as possible following Hurricane Iselle,” she said.

All coastal trails and coastal backcountry campsites are open within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Nāpau and Kūlanaokuaiki campsites and Pepeiao Cabin are also open. Power has been restored, and most phones are working throughout the park. Kīlauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum have returned to normal operating hours.

Hurricane Iselle, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, snapped trail signs off posts in some areas, and damaged park resources, including a historic home at ‘Āinahou, and a greenhouse used to propagate endangered plants. Potential damage to fencing in remote areas and the coastal nesting sites of the endangered hawksbill turtle are still being assessed.

Community Assistance Information Update

This is a civil defense message.

Civildefense

This is a Community Assessment and Assistance information update for Thursday August 14th at 7 PM.

1.       County Public Works and Parks & Recreation crews with state Highways, Forestry crews, Hawaii National Guard, and private contractors will be continuing with debris clearance and road clearing operations. All affected subdivisions currently have access to the highways and main roadways however there may be debris and obstructions within the subdivision roadways. Once again, the community is thanked for their help and assistance with the clearing of the roads and the removal of trees and debris. Everyone is reminded that all downed power lines should be treated as energized and avoided to insure safety.

2.       HELCO crews continue to work on restoring power in the affected areas.

The various telephone service providers continue to work to restore telephone service to affected areas. Verizon reports is has restored service, while AT&T reports it has re-established intermittent coverage.

3.   The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency and the County of Hawai‘i will set up Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers (DARCs) on Hawai‘i Island to provide information and services to people whose property was damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle.

The schedule and location for the Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers is:

Tomorrow, Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00pm at the Pahoa Community Center

Saturday August 16 and Sunday August 17 from 8:00am to 8:00pm at the Mountain View Gym

— Community assistance centers for the distribution of water and ice will also be set up at the following locations on Friday at noon:

a.    Dry ice will be available at Nanawale Estates Community Center starting at 10 a.m.Friday. Residents must bring a container for the dry ice.

b.     Potable water will be available at Seaview Estates Park at 11 a.m. Residents need to bring containers to haul potable water.

c.      Ice will be distributed at Leilani Estates Community Center starting at noon.

 Water and ice will also be set up at the following sites begining at noon:

  1. Kalani Honua Retreat
  2. Hawaiian Shores Community Center
  3.  Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center
  4.  Nanawale Estates
  5.  Ice will also be distributed at J. Hara Store in Kurtistown starting at 3 pm on Friday

e.   Ice will also be distributed at J.Hara Store in Kurtistown starting at 3 p.m. on Friday

Supplies are limited and everyone’s patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

 

4.    All county parks including Ahalanui warm pond and Isaac Hale Beach Park will be open Friday, but park users should be cautious because park areas may have storm debris, and park crews will be in the area cleaning up debris.

5    The County Department of Environmental Management is waiving tipping fees for disaster debris from Tropical Storm Iselle. Haulers must request the waiver form at the scale house to qualify. For more information, haulers should go to the Web site www.hawaiizerowaste.org.

6.    Damage assessments are ongoing and being conducted by the County Office of Housing and Community Development and the Hawaii National Guard.

Again:

1.      County Public Works and Parks & Recreation crews with state Highways, Forestry crews, Hawaii National Guard, and private contractors will be continuing with debris clearance and road clearing operations. All affected subdivisions currently have access to the highways and main roadways however there may be debris and obstructions within the subdivision roadways. Once again, the community is thanked for their help and assistance with the clearing of the roads and the removal of trees and debris. Everyone is reminded that all downed power lines should be treated as energized and avoided to insure safety.

2.   HELCO crews continue to work on restoring power in the affected areas.

The various telephone service providers continue to work to restore telephone service to affected areas. Verizon reports is has restored service, while AT&T reports it has re-established intermittent coverage.

3   .The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency and the County of Hawai‘i will set up Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers (DARCs) on Hawai‘i Island to provide information and services to people whose property was damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle.

The schedule and location for the Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers is:

Tomorrow, Friday, from 8:00am to 8:00pm at the Pahoa Community Center

Saturday August 16 and Sunday August 17 from 8:00am to 8:00pm at the Mountain View Gym

— Community assistance centers for the distribution of water and ice will also be set up at the following locations on Friday at noon:

a.     Dry ice will be available at Nanawale Estates Community Center starting at 10 a.m. Friday. Residents must bring a container for the dry ice.

b.      Potable water will be available at Seaview Estates Park at 11 a.m. Residents need to bring containers to haul potable water.

c.      Ice will be distributed at Leilani Estates Community Center starting at noon.

Water and ice will also be set up at the following sites begining at noon:

  1.   Kalani Honua Retreat
  2.   Hawaiian Shores Community Center
  3.   Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center
  4.  Nanawale Estates
  5.  Ice will also be distributed at J. Hara Store in Kurtistown starting at 3 pm on Friday

Supplies are limited and everyone’s patience and understanding is greatly   appreciated.

4.    All county parks including Ahalanui warm pond and Isaac Hale Beach Park will be open Friday, but park users should be cautious because park areas may have storm debris, and park crews will be in the area cleaning up debris.

5.    The County Department of Environmental Management is waiving tipping fees for disaster debris from Tropical Storm Iselle. Haulers must request the waiver form at the scale house to qualify. For more information, haulers should go to the Web site www.hawaiizerowaste.org.

6.    Damage assessments are ongoing and being conducted by the County Office of Housing and Community Development and the Hawaii National Guard.

Thank you for listening and have a safe day.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.