Island Naturals Implements $10 Per Hour Minimum Wages

As of July 2015 Island Naturals Markets has established a $10 per hour minimum wage for all employees.

Island Naturals

While most staff are already above $10/hour, some entry level employees got an unexpected raise in their paycheck this month as the company adopted the voluntary higher minimum wage standard.

Russell Ruderman, President of Island Naturals, who was recently awarded the State of Hawaii Small Business Administration, Businessperson of the Year, believes strongly in investing in his staff for motivational and retention purposes.

“In recent months we have seen some national companies raise their minimum wage voluntarily, and we want to be in the forefront of this movement locally.  But it’s also the right thing to do. Treating employees well, and paying them well, is good business!” said Ruderman.  “Island Naturals values our staff and strives to provide a good work environment, higher wages than local standards, and treats staff with respect.”

“While $10/hour is not a true living wage in Hawaii, this is a step in the right direction, as raising our minimum also results in higher wages for mid-level staff.  Doing so approaches a living wage for more and more workers. We are happy to share our success with our staff, and we all work together to make our company successful, said Ruderman.”

Island Naturals is the leading group of naturals food stores on the Big Island with three locations in Hilo, Pahoa and Kailua-Kona.  Island Naturals has more than 200 employees.

New Map Shows Recent Changes to Lava Flow

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on June 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 30 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

This map overlays a georeferenced thermal image mosaic onto the flow field change map to show the distribution of active and recently active breakouts.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal images were collected during a helicopter overflight of the flow field today (June 30). The June 27th flow is outlined in green to highlight the flow margin. The yellow line is the active lava tube. Temperature in the thermal mosaics is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas, including active breakouts.

33rd Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show

Find out how “You Can Grow Orchids” at the 33rd annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale Sunday, July 19 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. In conjunction with this year’s theme, find informative displays illustrating what is needed to successfully nurture orchids.

Orchid Show

The free event offers attendees complimentary refreshments, plus an orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last.  Time is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. with the Daifukuji Taiko Drummers performing at 10 a.m.

Enjoy an elaborate and colorful display of live blooming cattleya, cymbidium, dendrobium, phalaenopsis, miltonia, vanda and more. Cameras are welcome. In addition this year’s show will have a display of orchids appearing on “Plates, Platters and Plaques.”

Got growing questions? Veteran members will staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts eight charter members who each have been growing orchids at least 30 years at different Kona elevations.

In addition to the other displays, the annual event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids grown by club members and Big Isle commercial growers.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.kdoc.us, get club updates at www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise or phone 808-325-3261.

 

CALEA to Examine Hawaii Police Department – Public Comments Welcome

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA ®) will arrive on Hawaiʻi Island on July 13 to examine the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s policies and procedures, administration, operations and support services.

calea
The purpose is to verify that the Hawaiʻi Police Department continues to meet the 400-plus National Standards established for a law enforcement agency that are required for the department to maintain voluntary accreditation.

Part of this review will include a public comment session at 5 p.m. on July 14 at the Hawaiʻi County Council chambers at 25 Aupuni Street in Hilo. The session will be hosted by the visiting assessment team, which is seeking the community’s input as to whether accreditation should be maintained.

Chief Kubojiri encourages public comments. “As I’ve always maintained, this is not my police department, this is your police department,” Kubojiri said. “The process of being accredited ensures the public that their police department follows and maintains nationally recognized standards established for a law enforcement agency.”

Individuals who cannot attend the public information session are encouraged to phone in their comments to (808) 961-2270 on July 14 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Written comments may be sent to CALEA®, 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia, 22030-2215 or through the CALEA® website at www.calea.org.

The comments are limited to the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.

A link to the list of the CALEA® Standards the assessors will be reviewing to determine if the Hawaiʻi Police Department is in compliance is available on the “Accreditation” page of the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com. A full copy of the Standards may be viewed at the Police Department’s main station at 349 Kapiʻolani Street in Hilo. These National Standards, as they relate to the practices employed by the Hawaiʻi Police Department, are what the assessors are seeking the public’s input on during public testimony.

Of the roughly 23,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, the Hawaii Police Department is one of only about 1,200 that have been awarded CALEA Accreditation. The department was initially awarded accreditation on November 17, 2012.

For more information, you may call Lieutenant Kenneth Quiocho at 961-2260.

Hilo Coffee Mill Burglarized… Owner Responds

Hilo Coffe Mill was recently ripped off and the following was reported by one of the owners to me.   If you know who may be involved in this theft, please contact the police.

On June 10th at 3:40am thieves came onto the Hilo Coffee Mill property. We believe they jumped the fence on the Hilo Side. We have over 8 hours of video showing the entire event. The Police Department are working on it all now and will have a release of some sort soon.
Coffee mill thief
They first came onto the property, surveyed the area around our solar/warehouse. They then proceeded to go inside the warehouse and steal first our van, second our $9000 zero turn Hustler lawn mower, a weed wacker and then our Kawasaki ATV. There are other small items missing too.
Coffee mill thief 2

They left first with the van and the zero turn mower, plowing down our front gate. They turned left on the highway heading toward Mountain View. When they returned about 16 minutes later, they came from the Hilo side of the highway, leading us to believe they went through Hawaiian Acres from South Kulani and coming out at Road 8.

They then hooked up the ATV and actually had one of the thieves ride on the back of it because they couldn’t get it started. They once again turned left out onto the highway toward. Mountain View. This was at 4:51am

The good news is we have 8 hours of video and we recovered the van, with some damage, like the seat belt that was cut out and used as a tow strap for both the mower and the ATV, and the mower, which is pretty much totaled, to the tune of about $5000 in repairs. Yes, we have insurance but we do have a large deductible and have lost the use of the mower until it can all be settled.

We are still missing the ATV. I’ll post more videos and pictures shortly. Stay tuned because these no good SOB’s will be caught.

Many cars on the highway at that time of the morning. Someone must have noticed something funny going on…

Thanks for everyone’s support. Feel free to SHARE with anyone you think can help.

Katherine Hall-Patton
Hilo Coffee Mill

Big Island Earthquake Upgraded to 5.2 Magnitude

The earthquake that happened yesterday evening has been upgraded to a 5.2 magnitude earthquake.

This follows a previous update of 5.0 and 4.9 as previously reported.
52 big island

NO TSUNAMI EXPECTED FROM BIG ISLAND EARTHQUAKE

TO – EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT – LOCAL TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

50 Big Island

  •    ORIGIN TIME – 1010 PM HST 27 JUN 2015
  •    COORDINATES – 19.3 NORTH 155.2 WEST
  •    LOCATION   – IN THE HILINA REGION OF KILAUEA VOLCANO
  •    MAGNITUDE   – 4.8

EVALUATION

NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED. REPEAT. NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED.

HOWEVER…SOME AREAS MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED SHAKING.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS

ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

 

Two Miles of Fencing at Big Island Natural Area Reserve Vandalized – Repair to Cost Taxpayers $100,000+

Nearly two miles of ungulate proof fencing, surrounding the Pu’u Maka’ ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR), built in the early part of this decade, was recently cut and destroyed by vandals.

Fence Repair

Ungulate fencing is intended to keep feral goats, pigs and other invasive animals away from native plants. This is not the first time fencing in two units within this Hawaii Island Natural (NAR) was vandalized.  Aroutine inspection of the fencing by NAR staff from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) revealed that vandals had cut through multiple sections of fence at intervals of 5-10 meters top to bottom.

DLNRChairperson Suzanne Case said, “Whatever point these vandals think they’re making, they need to realize that they and every other taxpayer in Hawaii, ultimately ends up paying for the replacement of this fencing.   Additionally, significant staff time will bespent to repair the damage which could take several months and takes staff away from other scheduled projects and regular duties.”

The damagehas been reported to the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE).     A first degree criminal property damage casehas been filed. Anyone caught and convicted of vandalizing or destroying state property faces a class B felony with fines in the thousands of dollars as well as 5-10 years in jail.

NickAgorastos, a NAR Specialist on the Big Island estimates it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the damage.   He said, “This damage was done in one day and the cost estimate does not include the labor cost needed to remove ungulates that may have slipped through the damaged portions of fence.   It’sunfortunate that we all end up paying for someone else’s thoughtlessness and complete disregard for the purpose of ungulate fencing.”

Hundreds of milesof fencing around the state have been constructed for the express purpose of protecting watersheds and native plants; some of which are so rare there are only a few remaining. Pu’u Maka’ ala Natural Area Reserve is a high value, native forest, containing many sensitive natural resources.   It and many other state lands that are fencedcontinue to provide hunting and recreational access. Anyone with information on this crime is encouraged to call the DOCARE Hotline at 643-DLNR.

Watch “Protection of Hawaii’s Native Forests & Watersheds-A Discussion About Fencing & Invasive Species Control”

Big Island Police Searching for Shirtless Burglar

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a photographic image of a suspect involved in an attempted burglary at a business establishment on the 1100 block of Kīlauea Avenue in Hilo.
robbery suspectThe photo depicts the male suspect, who is described as being Caucasian, in his late teens or early 20s, approximately 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-9 with short hair. He was wearing a tank top or possibly no shirt, dark shorts, dark shoes, dark gloves and a light large-brim hat. He was carrying a dark backpack with reflective markings.
Robbery Suspect2
Police ask anyone with information about the person in this photograph to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or joel.field@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Commentary – Poor Job Handling TMT Protestors

Governor Ige’s administration, and to a lesser extent, the County of Hawaii, are doing a poor job handling the ongoing Thirty Meter Telescope protests on Mauna Kea. The governor’s proposed changes to the stewardship of Mauna Kea offended both the protesters and the individuals who’ve helped preserve this sensitive area.

TMT laserThe protesters  were mainly unhappy the governor reaffirmed the TMT’s legal right to begin construction, but there were other aspects of the revised stewardship plan the protesters were not pleased about. They were also unhappy the removal of ¼ of all the existing telescopes and imposing access restrictions to the summit area, among other issues

The governor’s stewardship changes also offended the individuals who’ve helped preserve Mauna Kea. It was  like a slap to the face when the governor stated the University of Hawaii and Department of Land and Natural Resources have been poor stewards of  Mauna Kea. There were issues with the stewardship of Mauna Kea in the past. However, there has been immeasurable improvements over the past 15 years. The execution of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan in 2010 was one of the highlights of these recent improvements.

Governor Ige’s administration also dropped the ball as far as dealing with these ongoing Thirty Meter Telescope protests. His administration has allowed these protesters to illegally encamp at Hale Pohaku for the past three months and obstruct access to the summit area. Yes, these protesters have a constitutionally protected right to protest, but they shouldn’t break the law in the process.

The elephant the room is the ongoing Hawaii sovereignty debate. The latter has Trojan horsed itself into the current debate over the Thirty Meter Telescope. The State and County of Hawaii are playing softball with these groups as a result. For example, the Hawaii County prosecutor is considering dropping criminal trespass charges against the first wave of 21 protesters in lieu of initiating  ho’oponopono with these individuals. This will entail holding discussions with the governor, the University of Hawaii, Thirty Meter Telescope, DLNR, etc.

The Thirty Meter Telescope has undergone a seven year public vetting process. These individuals had  ample opportunity express their concerns about this project during this time. In short, this is simply another stalling tactic that is being employed by the opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

As it stands now, the Thirty Meter Telescope has the legal right to initiate construction until the appellate courts say otherwise. I hope Governor Ige gets a backbone and  stops pandering to the interests of these protesters.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Two Officers Recognized as “Officers of the Month”

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Detective Scott Amaral on Thursday (June 25) as one of two East Hawaiʻi “Officers of the Month” for June.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Detective Scott Amaral.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Detective Scott Amaral.

Detective Jesse Kerr, who shares the award, was unable to attend the ceremony and will be recognized officially at a later date.

The two Juvenile Aid Section detectives are being honored for helping the FBI locate a fugitive wanted in Colorado for kidnapping a 9-year-old family member.

When the FBI received information that the man and girl might be on Hawaiʻi Island, Detectives Amaral and Kerr were assigned to provide assistance. Using their investigative skills, they developed intelligence about the whereabouts of the fugitive and child. As a result, the man was arrested in a small town in Texas within 11 hours from the time the two detectives received the assignment. The girl was located and returned to her family.

“Both detectives deserve equal recognition for collaboratively getting the job done,” said Lieutenant Lucille Melemai, who nominated Amaral and Kerr for the honor. “They represented our department well.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Amaral and Kerr are eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

New Satellite Image Captures Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by the Landsat 8 satellite.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The lava flow field is partly obscured by clouds, but the image shows much of the activity on the June 27th flow. Active breakouts are scattered over a wide area northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the farthest active lava about 7.8 km (4.8 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

TMT Cuts Short First Day of Construction Restart For Safety Reasons

Statement from Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT International Observatory Board:

TMT laser

“This is a difficult day for Hawaii and TMT. As we attempted to begin our work today, we were met by protests that regrettably resulted in some arrests. Boulders blocked our access to the construction site and the Department of Land and Natural Resources deemed it unsafe for us to proceed. For the safety of our team, we made the decision to bring them off the mountain and we are planning to resume when the issue is resolved.

“We want to thank the state and county police officers for protecting the safety of our team and the protesters and extend our gratitude to them, as well as to all of our supporters in Hawaii.

“We want to acknowledge and reach out to those who disagree with our project. We respect their views and, looking toward the future, we hope we can work together to find common ground.”

Statement From Governor’s Office on Mauna Kea Arrests

Eleven adults were arrested by the Hawai‘i Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Wednesday, during a protest to stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.

Mauna Kea Via UH

The arrests are unfortunate, but the state’s number one priority is the safety of the people on Mauna Kea – from TMT workers to protestors who are exercising their first amendment rights to peaceably assemble and protest in a civil manner.

We are disappointed and concerned that large boulders were found in the roadway leading to the summit of Mauna Kea. This action is a serious and significant safety hazard and could put people at risk.

Because of this, we are making an assessment to determine how to proceed.

We will be working to clear the roadway tomorrow. Therefore, construction is on hold until further notice.

**Governor David Ige is in Washington, D.C. for an energy forum with the Washington Post and meetings with Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation and federal officials.

New Lava Flow Map Showing Flow Field Changes

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on May 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 4 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Pahoa Senior Center to Reopen

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will reopen the Pāhoa Senior Center on Monday, June 29. Pahoa Senior Center

Services returning to the Pāhoa Senior Center will include the Hawai‘i County Nutrition Program (HCNP), Elderly Recreation Services (ERS), Coordinated Services for the Elderly (CSE), and the Pāhoa Senior Club.

In September 2014 as an advancing lava flow threatened to inundate Pāhoa, the Department of Parks and Recreation temporarily relocated those operations so the Pāhoa Senior Center could be used as an emergency fire station servicing the lower Puna community.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for its patience and understanding while the Pāhoa Senior Center was closed for emergency purposes.

For more details regarding the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Elderly Activities Division and the programs it offers, please call 961-8708.

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Crash on Hawaii Belt Road

Five people were injured—one critically—in a three-vehicle crash Friday (June 19) on the Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Highway 19) at Maulua Gulch along the Hāmākua Coast.

Malua GulchResponding to a 9:14 a.m. call, police learned that a 2003 Toyota pickup truck traveling south near the 23-mile marker crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 2008 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer traveling north. The tractor-trailer lost control and crossed the centerline, colliding with a 2003 Chevrolet four-door sedan traveling south.

All occupants of the three vehicles were taken to Hilo Medical Center.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 40-year-old Hilo woman, was treated and released for minor injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 49-year-old Hilo man, and his passenger, an 11-year-old Hilo boy, were treated for their injuries and released.

The passenger in the sedan, a 24-year-old Laupāhoehoe woman, was treated for her injuries and released. The sedan’s driver, a 23-year-old Laupāhoehoe man, was transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.

Traffic Enforcement Unit investigators have initiated a negligent injury case and are continuing the investigation. It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Hawaiʻi Belt Highway was closed in both directions for more than two hours. Traffic was then allowed to take turns using one lane until the road was reopened to all traffic at approximately 3:40 p.m.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call Officer Clarence Acob at 961-2293.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Man Goes Ballistic at WalMart and Smashes 12 TV’s

A 48-year-old man has been charged with a felony after a dozen televisions were smashed while customers shopped at a “big box” store in Kailua-Kona.

Alexander Springer

Alexander Springer

At 6:49 p.m. Monday (June 15), Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a disturbance at a store on Henry Street. They arrived to find a suspect outside the store with another customer.

Witnesses reported that the suspect, Alexander Springer, had grabbed a bat from the store and used it to destroy 12 televisions. One of the store’s customers stopped him and took him outside while waiting for police to arrive. Damages were estimated at $4,081.

Police arrested Springer, who has no permanent address, and charged him with second-degree criminal property damage, a Class C felony. His bail was set at $2,000. He was held at the Kona police cellblock until his initial court appearance on Tuesday (June 16).

Decomposed Bodies Found on the Big Island

Big Island Police are investigating two bodies that were recently found on the Big Island in states of decomposition.HPDBadge

  1. At 8:37 a.m. Monday (June 15), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a body off the road leading to the Hilo airport.They found the body under a makeshift shelter in overgrowth about 80-100 feet south of Kekuanaoa Street and approximately a half-mile east of the intersection of Kekuanaoa Street and Kanoelehua Avenue. The body was in advanced stage of decomposition. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the sex and cause of death. Fingerprints, dental records or both will be used to establish identity. The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest. Police ask anyone who may have seen someone riding a white bicycle into the bush area in that vicinity during the latter part of May or early part of June to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or clarence.davies@hawaiicounty.gov
  2. At 11:10 a.m. Tuesday (June 16), officers responded to a report of an unattended truck off the 15-mile marker of Saddle Road. They found a body in an advanced stage of decomposition.  An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the sex and cause of death. Dental records will be used to establish identity.  The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest.

EPA Honors Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as Federal Green Challenge Winner

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge Regional Overall Achievement award as part of its efforts to encourage federal departments to reduce their environmental footprints through sustainable practices.

A park ranger recycles cardboard

A park ranger recycles cardboard

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, located on Hawai‘i Island is one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the world. Located nearly 2,500 miles from the nearest continental land mass, the park stretches from the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet down to sea level. It encompasses two of the world’s most active volcanoes, and attracts more than 1.6 million visitors a year.

“We applaud National Park Service staff for leading the way towards zero waste, and educating the millions of visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This unique landscape deserves protection, and that starts with the commitment by the federal employees who work there.”

“We are extremely honored to receive this level of recognition for our climate-friendly efforts,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our staff is dedicated to implementing environmentally responsible practices, and we encourage our visitors and park partners to do the same,” she said.

The park had top regional achievements in the Federal Green Challenge Waste and Purchasing target areas, increasing recycling by 167 percent to achieve an overall recycling rate of 76 percent, while decreasing copy paper purchases by 89 percent. In addition, 95 percent of its cleaning products met Environmental Preferable Purchasing criteria.

Not only does Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park walk their talk behind the scenes, but park employees reach out to the community and visitors throughout the year through programs, exhibits and presentations on the values and importance of being climate friendly and sustainable.

The park actively works to reduce their environmental footprint in all six Federal Green Challenge target areas: energy, water, waste, electronics, purchasing and transportation.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to Hawaii’s largest public rainwater catchment system that stores 5.3 million gallons of water. The water is treated, filtered with cartridge and sand filters, and disinfected to supply water to 56 areas throughout the park. Water bottle refilling stations, posters, and sale of refillable stainless steel water bottles educate the public to “Step Away from the Plastic.”

In addition, the park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center, which opened in 2011, earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council – and is currently the only federal building in Hawai‘i to receive LEED Platinum certification. The 4,896-square-foot building is powered by photovoltaic panels and is constructed from mostly recycled or reused materials.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has made more great strides in conserving energy. Park rangers ride electrically powered “Eco Bikes” to their programs along the Kīlauea summit, saving fossil fuels and parking spaces. The Kīlauea Visitor Center features special yellow LED lighting to conserve energy and keep night skies dark. Solar panels generate renewable energy, and electric and alternative fuel vehicles further reduce energy and transportation-related emissions.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort challenging federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the Federal Government’s environmental impacts. In 2014, more than 400 participating facilities, representing nearly 1.3 million federal employees, “walked the talk” in various target areas and reduced their environmental footprint, which in many cases also resulted in significant cost savings. In EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region, $3,486,990 was saved through reductions in energy, purchasing, transportation and waste.