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Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

ag-conference-2016This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail. The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

ag-conference

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships.  This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org. Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well. For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org. Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

Two-Year Demo to Determine How Storage Can Smooth Journey to 100% Renewables

Hawaiian Electric Company has placed into service its first utility-scale Battery Energy Storage System or BESS, on Oahu — a one-megawatt battery located at the Campbell Industrial Park generating station. The BESS is a joint demonstration project by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric, with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

helco-battery-installation

The demonstration project will continue for two years, with a possible extension, to determine the battery’s safety, operating characteristics, and its effectiveness in helping to integrate more renewable energy on a circuit that already has a high level of solar.

“To achieve our 100 percent renewable energy goal, we need to be able to smooth power flowing to the grid from variable renewable generation like wind and solar as well as shift electricity generated when the sun is shining to when people use the most electricity in the evening,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “We are working on these capabilities both with larger, utility-scale systems like the BESS units and with ‘behind-the-meter’ batteries at business and residential customer sites, all working in unison to make clean power work.”

The centerpiece of the BESS project is an Altairnano one megawatt/250 kilowatt-hour BESS which is housed in a large shipping container. The BESS is comprised of batteries that store the 250-kWh of energy and a corresponding inverter that changes DC to AC electricity so the battery can export up to one megawatt of power to the grid. The quick-responding battery can go from zero to full power output in a fraction of a second and provide 250 kilowatts of power for one hour or one megawatt for 15 minutes.

Also being tested are control algorithms that may be used in even larger batteries for power smoothing, voltage regulation and frequency response — all key factors in maintaining reliable service for customers with steady, quality power.

Other company battery storage projects in service

Working with Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have a similar BESS project in operation on Hawai‘i Island focused on wind smoothing and frequency regulation. Another has been installed at Maui Electric Company’s Palaau Power Plant on Molokai and is being tested to provide backup and stability for the island’s electric grid while providing an opportunity for HNEI to test its use.

“Battery storage systems can provide many different services to both customers and the utility, however, the systems need to be told what to do and how to do it to provide the most value while maximizing the life span of the system,” said Richard Rocheleau, director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute. “These projects will test different control strategies on different islands for different power system issues and provide information to Hawaii and the industry on the tradeoffs between performance and longevity. This will help to get the most out of larger systems that are being planned to help meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals.”

The BESS projects are among half a dozen energy storage demonstrations and pilot projects underway across the Hawaiian Electric Companies service territories.

“Lava Ocean Entry” 1 of 15 Photos Selected for National Geographic Contest

Kailua-Kona Photographer Mason Lake’s photo titled “Lava Ocean Entry” taken on the Big Island of Hawaii at the lava flow entrance Kamokuna, is one of fifteen photos that are in the running for the title of 2016 National Geographic “Nature Photographer of the Year”.

Lava Ocean Entry ... Lava ocean entry from the 2016 Kalapana lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Watching new earth being formed is an amazing experience. Boiling ocean waves crashing into fresh lava & giving off clouds of steam along with scatter violent lava bursts from pressure release, creation of the earth is mesmerizing & powerful sight to see. Photo and Caption by Mason Lake/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Lava Ocean Entry … Lava ocean entry from the 2016 Kalapana lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Watching new earth being formed is an amazing experience. Boiling ocean waves crashing into fresh lava & giving off clouds of steam along with scatter violent lava bursts from pressure release, creation of the earth is mesmerizing & powerful sight to see. Photo and Caption by Mason Lake/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

The Grand Prize of the contest provides the winner with a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

international-space-stationIt will be visible beginning tonight, Saturday, September 24, at 7:29 PM. It will be visible for approximately 2 minutes at a Maximum Height of 46 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 46 degrees above the South part of the sky.

Lend a Hand to Protect Volcanoes National Park on Public Lands Day this Saturday

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates 100 years protecting native ecosystems and invites everyone to lend a helping hand on National Public Lands Day (NPLD) this Saturday, Sept. 24. It’s a fee-free day, and while all park visitors can enjoy the park at no charge, NPLD volunteers will receive a free pass to use on another day of their choosing.

Keiki cut invasive Himalayan ginger from rainforest near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Keiki cut invasive Himalayan ginger from rainforest near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Join volunteers on Saturday for the Stewardship at the Summit program, from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Meet NPLD coordinator Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center, then head into the rainforest to remove invasive Himalayan ginger from the summit of Kīlauea. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, raingear, snacks, and water. Loppers/gloves provided.  No advance registration required.

While pretty and fragrant, Himalayan ginger (also called kāhili) is one of the most invasive plants in the park, and on earth. It is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the 100 World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species. The park strives to protect the rainforest habitat of native birds and plants, but Himalayan ginger takes over the native rainforest understory, and makes it impossible for the next generation of forest to grow. This inedible ginger species crowds out many native plants, including pa‘iniu (a Hawaiian lily), ‘ama‘u fern, and others.

Every year on NPLD, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, all fee-charging national parks offer free entry. Many parks and public lands across the nation organize stewardship projects and special programs to raise awareness about why it is important to protect our public lands. To find out more, visit www.publiclandsday.org.

New Lava Flow Map Shows Recent Changes to East Rift Zone

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field at the coast. The area of the active flow field as of September 12 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on September 20 is shown in red. The dashed blue line shows the pre-1983 coastline. The base is a Digital Globe image from January 2016.

hvo-map-92016Lava deltas – the new land accreted to the front of an older sea cliff – are prone to collapse because the loose underwater lava rubble on which they are built can sometimes become unstable and slide. The interaction of the hot rock composing the delta and cold seawater has led to violent explosions that blasted rocks in all directions, caused local tsunami, and produced billowing plumes of ash and hot, acidic steam.

The dotted line surrounding the Kamokuna lava delta indicates a distance of 300 m (790 ft), which is the maximum documented distance that rocks and spatter have been thrown inland from the older sea cliff by delta explosions that occurred during the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption. It is possible that debris could be thrown even farther during exceptionally large explosions.

Kīlauea’s Summit Lava Lake on the Rise Again

During recent summit deflation, the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater dropped out of view of overlooks in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

But since the switch to inflation early Sunday morning (September 18), Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake has been rising again, bringing the lake surface back into view. This morning the lake level was measured at 12 m (39 ft) below the vent rim, with sporadic spattering visible from the Park’s Jaggar Museum Overlook.

Click to enlarge

This telephoto image provides a closer view of the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater and spattering on the lake surface. Click to enlarge

This image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, the crater wall of Halemaʻumaʻu behind the eruptive vent is about 85 m (~280 ft) high.

This image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, the crater wall of Halemaʻumaʻu behind the eruptive vent is about 85 m (~280 ft) high.

Iconic Hawaiian Bird Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

In response to a 2010 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed protection for the ‘i‘iwi as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This bird, a bright-scarlet, nectar-feeding Hawaiian honeycreeper, was once widespread across all of the main Hawaiian Islands, but is now primarily found at higher elevations on East Maui and the island of Hawaii. The number one threat facing the species is climate change, which is driving the spread of highly lethal mosquito-borne diseases.

The ‘i‘iwi. (Photo by Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity.)

The ‘i‘iwi. (Photo by Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity.)

“The ‘i‘iwi is a spectacular, iconic Hawaiian bird that desperately needs Endangered Species Act protection to survive,” said the Center’s Loyal Mehrhoff. “But the good news is that if we protect it, it has a good shot at dodging extinction. A recent study by the Center found that the majority of U.S. birds with endangered species protection are improving.”

The ‘i‘iwi (Drepanis coccinea, also known asVestiaria coccinea) is a medium-sized honeycreeper that lives in native forests of ohia and koa. It is one of more than 50 species of honeycreepers that evolved, in a spectacular example of adaptive radiation, from a single finch-like bird that colonized Hawaii 2.5 million to 4 million years ago. Two out of three Hawaiian honeycreepers are now extinct, and most of the remaining honeycreepers are either already listed as threatened or endangered, or are declining. The ‘i‘iwi has seen a 92 percent decline on Kauai in the past 25 years and a 34 percent decline on Maui. As temperatures increase with global warming, so does the spread of introduced mosquito-borne diseases like avian malaria — which is almost 100 percent fatal to the bird.

“Protected areas that we once thought could save the ‘i‘iwi are now expected to be uninhabitable in the future because of the expanding range of mosquitoes and malaria,” said Mehrhoff. “So it’s crucial for the ‘i‘iwi to get the help it needs to avoid extinction and recover. This will require removing or greatly reducing the threat from introduced mosquito-borne diseases, as well as restoring and protecting native Hawaiian forests.”

Hawaii Electric Bills to Increase – Company Cites Albizia Trees and System Upgrades for Increase

Company cites costs of albizia clearing, system upgrades

Hawaii Electric Light proposed the first increase of base rates in nearly six years to help pay for operating costs, including expanded vegetation management focusing on albizia tree removal, as well as system upgrades to increase reliability, improve customer service and integrate more renewable energy.

The request is for a 6.5 percent increase in revenues, or $19.3 million.

Rate reviews are required by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) every three years.

If approved, a typical residential bill for 500 kilowatt hours on Hawaii Island would increase by $9.31 a month to $171.16. The proposed rate change will be reviewed by regulators and would likely not take effect until the summer of 2017 at the earliest.

Thanks to lower fuel prices, bills reflecting the new rates, if approved today, would still be lower than a year ago.

In 2013, with PUC approval, Hawaii Electric Light withdrew its request to increase base rates, leaving in place the same base rates established in 2010.

As part of the current review, Hawaii Electric Light is proposing benchmarks to measure its performance in key areas, such as customer service, reliability and communication for the rooftop solar interconnection process and to link certain revenues to that performance.

$14M spent clearing albizia since 2014

Among the increased operating costs driving the rate change is an extensive vegetation management and tree removal initiative.

albizia

The threat from invasive albizia trees toppling in high winds became clear after Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and led the company to triple its annual spending on vegetation management. Since 2014, Hawaii Electric Light has spent $14 million on tree trimming and removal, concentrating on areas where falling albizias threaten utility equipment and highways.

The tree removal program, which is continuing, reduced the impacts of the recent tropical storms Darby and Madeline on roads and power lines, resulting in fewer outages and faster power restoration.

Investments in customer service pay off

Hawaii Electric Light has also spent more than $14 million over the past six years improving customer service systems, developing technical solutions to integrate more private rooftop solar, replacing and upgrading equipment to improve efficiency and reliability and developing detailed plans to achieve the state’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy. The company has absorbed a large portion of these increased costs in the years between rate cases without passing them on to customers.

Investments in more customer service staffing and new technology have resulted in significantly improved service, including reduced call-waiting times. The percentage of customer calls answered within 30 seconds went from 33 percent in 2010 to 93 percent in 2015. And in surveys of customers who called in to stop, start or change electric service in 2015, 94 percent said they were satisfied with the experience.

Renewable energy use grows to 49%, highest in state

Hawaii Electric Light has increased its use of renewable energy from 35 percent in 2010 to 49 percent today, using wind, hydroelectricity, solar and geothermal to replace oil imported to generate electricity. The company reduced its use of oil by 13 percent over the same period. Part of the proposed rate adjustment will help pay for continued improvements to the power grid to help integrate even more renewable resources while improving reliability.

By the end of 2016, Hawaii Electric Light will have made more than $290 million in capital investments over the past six years, including replacing and upgrading transmission lines in West Hawaii; modernizing generation equipment to increase efficiency; increasing grid capacity and system reliability; and adding or replacing lines and transformers as well as more than 4,500 poles for new and expanded service.

Hawaii Electric Light has “decoupled” rates – a regulatory model that periodically adjusts rates to remove the company’s need to increase sales to recover a level of PUC-approved costs for providing service to all customers. The company is required to submit full rate cases every three years for an updated review by the PUC of the current costs of service.

Video – Ali’i Drive Open Following Watermain Break

The Hawaii Police Department reports that Alii Drive between the intersections of Hualalai Road and Walua Road in Kailua Kona is now open.

alii-flood

This portion of Alii Drive was previously closed due to ponding as a result of a watermain break.

Video via Councilman Greggor Illagan:

New HVO Map Shows Location of New Lava Breakout

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

hvo-map-91916The area of the active flow field as of September 1 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on September 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

Map of coastal flow field with thermal overlay

This map includes a georeferenced thermal image mosaic showing the distribution of active and recently active breakouts on the coastal flow field.

hvo-map-91916a The thermal mosaic was acquired during a helicopter overflight on September 12. The episode 61g flow field is outlined in yellow to show the extent of the flow.

Informational Meeting for Manta Ray Viewing Rules This Weekend

A public information meeting will be held this Saturday to discuss new, proposed rules for the Makako Bay and Keauhou manta ray viewing sites in Kona.

manta-rayThe Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Boating and Ocean Recreation Division (DOBOR) has scheduled the meeting on September 24, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palamanui Campus of Windward Community College, 73-4255 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room B-126, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i. The meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 3 due to severe weather forecasts earlier this month.

Manta ray viewing opportunities on the Kona coast are unique worldwide  Tours are presently conducted in two specific areas where mantas tend to congregate at night to feed on plankton – at Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove) and at the coastline fronting the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel.  The activity has become so popular in recent years that it has reached a point that is unsustainable and unsafe. Regulation is needed to preserve the resource and address the dangers posed by overcrowding of boats and swimmers/divers in the water.

The first part of the meeting will be devoted to discussing the history of manta ray viewing on the Kona coast. The second part of the meeting will be to present DOBOR’s proposed management plan in detail and collect feedback from all interested stakeholders.

DOBOR staffers have been working closely with DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources staff, commercial tour operators, the staff of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel and other stakeholders to draft administrative rules to mitigate environmental hazards and decrease the potential risk for accidents causing harm to people or manta rays.

In 2016 DOBOR has been surveying the two manta viewing sites to determine where and how additional moorings could be placed to alleviate coral damage from vessel anchoring and allow for a safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious regulation of commercial manta diving activities.

DOBOR has drafted a proposed management plan and potential management options for the sites based on two years of collected stakeholder input.  The proposed management plan contemplates strategies such as prohibiting anchoring at the sites, limiting the number of commercial operators, prohibiting rafting, and restricting live boating to improve safety.

In order to give stakeholders time to review the proposed management plan before the September 24 meeting, DOBOR released the plan on its website on September 10, 2016.  Interested parties can access the proposed management plan and get meeting updates by visiting DOBOR’s meeting announcement page: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/meetings/

(The original meeting announcement was issued Sept. 1, 2016).

Hawaii DLNR Conducting Animal Control Aerial Shooting Activities on the Big Island

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i.

mouflonAerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawai‘i.

Control schedules are October 25 and 26, November 14 and 15, and December 19 and 20, 2016.  Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

  • 7 a.m. October 25, November 14, and December 19, 2016
  • 6 a.m. October 26, November 15, and December 20, 2016

These actions are pursuant to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Ch. 13-130-19 and § 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.  The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

  • Locked 7 p.m. October 24, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. October 26, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. November 13, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. November 15, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. December 18, 2016 and reopened 7 p.m. December 20, 2016

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. October 19, 2016, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only.  Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in.  A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu‘u Ko‘ohi location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu‘u Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On October 25, November 14, and December 19, 2016, at Pu‘u Ko‘ohi. Permittees must meet at Mauna Kea Recreation Area at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On October 26, November 15, and December 20, 2016 at Pu‘u Mali. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

Volcano Art Center Announces Award Winners in Return of ‘Alalā Art Contest

Volcano Art Center is proud to present Return of ‘Alalā: Restoring The Voice Of Hawai`i’s Native Forests, a statewide multimedia art competition featuring Hawai`i’s endemic ‘Alalā.

The exhibit will be on display at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park through October 9th, 2016.  Proceeds from the exhibition support the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program and celebrate the reintroduction of the Alalā into Hawaii’s forests this November.  The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge although park entrance fees apply.

“Volcano Art Center wishes to express a sincere thank you to the participating artists who submitted work,” states Gallery Manager Emily C. Weiss.  “The juried show is a terrific representation of this unique species, in many different media, by over 40 different artists.  Special mahalo to the jurors: Paul Banko, Ph.D., Clifford Hague and Michelle Schwengel-Regala who had the difficult task of choosing 43 artworks from the over 80 entries submitted to include in the exhibit.

ʻAlalā No. 2, oil painting by Reyn Ojiri

ʻAlalā No. 2, oil painting by Reyn Ojiri

The Best of Show award was granted to Reyn Ojiri for his oil painting titled ‘Alalā No. 2.  Two first place awards were also presented in the professional category.

Into The Forest Again, watercolor painting by John D. Dawson

Into The Forest Again, watercolor painting by John D. Dawson

First place in the 2-D category went to John D. Dawson for his watercolor titled Into The Forest Again, and the first place award in 3-D was awarded to Elizabeth Miller for her ‘Alala Caws and Coaxes Her World Awake, a hand-tooled aluminum and india ink wall sculpture.

'Alala Caws and Coaxes Her World Awake, aluminum and india inks sculpture by Elizabeth Miller

‘Alala Caws and Coaxes Her World Awake, aluminum and india inks sculpture by Elizabeth Miller

Three awards were also granted in the hobbyist division.  First place to Maria Macias, second place to Lisa Komarczyk and third place to Alice Hostica. These works plus the other 36 pieces juried into the exhibition can be viewed at Volcano Art Center Gallery daily from 9am -5pm until October 9th.

“The community support and public outreach included in this exhibition exceeded expectations”, states Weiss.  VAC has decided to expand the exhibit to the Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.  The artwork not selected by the jury will be on display Mon. – Fri., 9am -5pm at Volcano Art Center’s Administrative offices at 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. also through Oct. 9th.

All artworks are for sale with proceeds supporting Hawai`i’s endangered birds. “VAC is proud to support this conservation effort.  We welcome the public to view the exhibit in person or online at www.volcanoartcenter.org to find out more ways to help support the ‘Alalā”, states Weiss.

For more information, please contact Emily C. Weiss at (808) 967-7565.

Volcano Art Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization created in 1974 whose mission is to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii through arts and education. Please visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

Wastewater Forum for West Hawaii Community on Thursday

The Office of the Governor is hosting a Wastewater Forum for the West Hawai‘i community to learn about the nuts and bolts of wastewater from a panel of state and county officials, a professor from the University of Hawai‘i and a county consultant.

wastewaterThe public is invited to submit questions for the panel to abigail.au@hawaii.gov or susan.m.kim@hawaii.gov.

Who:

  • Bruce Anderson, division administrator, DLNR aquatics resources division (moderator)
  • Sina Pruder, wastewater branch chief, State Department of Health (DOH)
  • Robert Whittier, geologist, State DOH Safe Drinking Water Branch
  • Eric Yuasa, engineering branch head, DLNR division of boating and ocean resources (DOBOR)
  • Finn McCall, engineer, DOBOR
  • William Taylor, Hawaii district branch manager, DOBOR
  • Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, director, Hawai‘i County department of environmental management
  • Dora Beck, chief, Hawai‘i County wastewater division
  • Shihwu Sung, professor of environmental engineering, UH Hilo
  • Brown and Caldwell, consultant, Hawai‘i County wastewater division

When: Thursday, September 22, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 pm

Where: West Hawaii Civic Center, County Council Chambers

Hokulea Spreading the Malama Honua Message at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference

To Malama Honua is to take care and protect all that makes up our planet. From the lands to the seas to perpetuating indigenous cultures across the globe, Hokulea’s historic Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage connects communities and countries through stories of hope and wisdom-utilizing these different perspectives as a guiding force to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and master navigator of Hokulea shared his vision of Malama Honua at this year’s 2016 Our Ocean Conference, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, September 15, 2016.

our-ocean-nainoaWith a special connection to the sea, Thompson was chosen to speak among prominent influencers and leaders to help explore and understand the importance of conserving the ocean. The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage has been inspiring collective actions from different organizations around the world-many of which are starting in Hawaiʻi, as Governor David Ige announced Hawaiʻi’s commitment to manage 30 percent of Hawaiʻi’s nearshore waters by 2030 during the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress.

our-ocean-panel

“It was an honor to provide a voice for Hawaii and the Pacific at this important conference focused on ocean protection,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Being in the room and hearing the actions being taken by these great ‘navigators’ makes me hopeful that the world will get back on the right course with a sail plan for a sustainable ocean and future for our children.”

The ocean is a vital resource to sustain all life on Earth. The Our Ocean Conference brings together many of the world’s environmental activists, and higher-level government leaders to catalyze actions in order to protect our ocean from pollution, climate-related impacts, and unsustainable and illegal fishing.

our-ocean-obamaSeveral speakers of the 2016 Our Ocean Conference included President of the United States, Barack Obama; Actor and Environmental Activists, Leonardo DiCaprio; and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii-all who hope to empower and create a movement for generations to follow.

The 2016 Our Ocean Conference was held in Washington D.C.from September 15 to September 16, 2016.

Flooding Closes Famous ‘Iao Valley State Monument Indefinitely

‘Iao Valley State Monument, Maui, will remain closed indefinitely due to extensive damage from heavy rain and flooding the night of September 13 and early morning on September 14, 2016.  Notice of the park closure is posted at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/.

iao-valley-damage

Photos courtesy of DLNR

The flooding of ‘Iao stream also significantly damaged the Kepaniwai County park downstream and road to the park, which are also closed, as well as a number of residences.  Due to hazardous conditions, access to ‘Iao Valley is currently restricted to residents only. 

“Our inspections show that ‘Iao Stream course has changed and is significantly wider, cutting into state park land that contained public access features. The stream is heavily silted and cobbled with new material and landslides on both sides of the stream are evident,” said Curt Cottrell, Department of Land and Natural Resources State Parks division administrator.

iao-valley-damage2Within the lower portion of ‘Iao state park, sections of the two popular loop trails along the stream have washed away, and there is no longer any remaining land to rebuild them where they originally were.

On Wednesday, clear water in Kinihapai Stream, the smaller stream that passes under the park’s iconic pedestrian bridge, did not seem to indicate any landslides upstream. It seems not to have widened or changed course.  However, during inspections, the stream level remained quite high, covering the base of the foundations for each end of the bridge, preventing inspection of the bridge supports.

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The turning area that tour buses take to get to their parking area is just above an area of significant erosion that may have affected the stability of the lower parking lot.

“We are planning to hire an engineering consultant to evaluate the stability of the lower parking lot where tour buses park. An examination is also planned for the footings of the pedestrian bridge,” said Cottrell.

“If the parking lot and bridge both are shown to be intact and stable, State Parks will proceed to remove debris, and allow limited access to portions of the trail, while needed repairs can be started. Access is predicated on Maui County effort to restore safe vehicular use of the lower roadway,” he said.

iao-valley-damage4Park areas not adjacent to either of the streams do not appear to have suffered any significant damage.

Maui State Parks staff have been notifying tour companies of the park closure.

‘Iao Valley is rich in cultural and spiritual values and is the site of the battle of Kepaniwai where the forces of Kamehameha I conquered the Maui army in 1790. (6.2 acres). The park is most famous for a scenic viewpoint of Kuka‘emoku (ʻIao Needle), an erosional feature which abruptly rises 1,200 feet from the valley floor.

Hawaii DLNR Shares Concerns Over Reports of Sub-Standard Living Conditions on Certain Longline Fishing Vessels

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is aware of media reports regarding living and working conditions on longline fishing vessels that bring catches into Hawai‘i ports. DLNR’S area of responsibility is limited to the ministerial task of issuing commercial fishing licenses to qualified applicants.

dlnr“The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), issues licenses to individual fishermen engaged in commercial catch.  DAR continues to follow long-established statutory and administrative rules which require commercial marine licenses for the taking of marine life and landing it in the state for commercial purposes,” explained DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.  The rules regarding Hawai‘i commercial marine licenses can be found in Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS-189-2 and HRS-189-5).

“We are naturally concerned about press reports pertaining to on-board living conditions, pay disparity and the issue of involuntary labor, and applaud the longline fishing industry for the efforts it is taking to resolve these issues,” Case added.  “Further we are happy to engage with any stakeholders, including lawmakers, commercial fishing interests, and other regulatory agencies, in explaining the current laws and regulations pertaining to licensing of commercial longline fishers and in exploring any legislative or administrative rule changes,” Case said. “While our jurisdiction only extends to the protection of natural resources, we are certainly very concerned about any human rights violations that are reportedly occurring on the longline fishing fleet, and stand ready to assist in any way possible,” she concluded.

HDOA Serves Warrant to Gain Access to Maui Property Infested with Little Fire Ants

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) obtained a court-ordered warrant and entered the property of a Maui resident who has continuously denied access to the property that was suspected of being infested with little fire ants (LFA).

lfa

LFA were detected in the Huelo neighborhood in early 2015 and surrounding properties have been under treatment to eradicate the stinging ants. With the warrant, HDOA Chairperson Scott Enright and department pest control personnel were able to survey the 1.75-acre property on Monday, Sept. 12 and found LFA infestations in potted plants and kalo patches.

“After months of unsuccessful discussions with the resident, the department was forced to take legal action in order to have any chance of eradicating this serious threat to the state,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

HDOA has not taken this type of legal action since 2000 during the eradication efforts for banana bunchy top virus on Hawaii Island. Usually, the department tries to work cooperatively with residents, farms and nurseries to eradicate invasive pests. Eradication efforts have been extremely successful on Oahu, in Mililani and Waimanalo, mainly due to the cooperation of residents and residential associations.

HDOA crews will return to the Huelo property to begin treatment of the infestation. Treatment of the Huelo property will include appropriate treatment for the kalo, because it is an edible crop.

LFA was first detected on Maui in 2009 on an organic farm in Waihee. The infestation was successfully eradicated in one year following the eradication protocol developed by Dr. Casper Vanderwoude of the Hawaii Ant Lab and the ongoing efforts of the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC). In late 2013, LFA was found on Maui and traced to infested hapu`u logs imported from Hawaii Island, where LFA is widely established.

Originally from South America, LFA is considered among the world’s worst invasive species.  LFA are tiny ants, measuring 1/16th of an inch long, are pale orange in color and move slowly, unlike the tropical fire ant which moves quickly and are much larger with a larger head in proportion to its body. Tropical fire ants have been well established in Hawaii since before the 1870’s. LFA can produce painful stings and large red welts and may cause blindness in pets. They can build up very large colonies on the ground, in trees and other vegetation, buildings and homes and may completely overrun a property to the point of abandonment.

For more information on LFA in Hawaii, go to the HDOA website: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/main/lfainfo/

Hokulea and Aha Punana Leo Converge on Kahnawake – Heading Towards Great Lakes

As Hokulea continues forth on her Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, the crew and founding board members of Aha Punana Leo-a Native Hawaiian nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the Hawaiian language for future generations in Hawaiʻi-honored a relationship that spans nearly 5,000 miles and 40 years of revolutionaries working together to revitalize and perpetuate the core of indigenous knowledge.

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Passing through the 34th lock to get to the upper Montreal area of the St. Lawrence river, Hokulea docked at her first Marina within a Native Reserve-the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.

This gathering was yet another opportunity along this Worldwide Voyage to honor the collaborative work being done in native communities to keep indigenous knowledge alive and relevant to the world around us. Additionally, the crew of Hokulea, the founding members of Aha Punana Leo, and the Mohawk community hope to inspire and perpetuate native knowledge and language for generations to come.

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Kauanoe Kamana, founding board member and current president of Aha Punana Leo, addressed both groups in Hawaiian. “The connection between our work in language revitalization and the pursuits of our waʻa Hokulea, have to do with the fact that we set out with our work, prepared and with a strong resolve to succeed as best as we can,” said Kamana as translated in English. “But, we donʻt know what the result will be until we actually arrive.”

“Your work in the past had huge impact in Hawaiʻi, and the fact that you would allow us to bring our leaders up here, our pioneers, our courageous individuals, Pila Wilson, his wife Kauanoe, Nāmaka,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator. “These are the ones that are changing the world and bringing back the language with your help,” Thompson added.

The Mohawk community is home to the immersion program whose leaders helped pave the way for Hawaiʻi’s immersion program in the early ʻ80’s. Dorothy Lazore was instrumental in establishing the Mohawk language immersion program in Kahnawake and spoke before Hawaiʻi’s Board of Education on the day that Hawaiʻi DOE’s immersion program was approved-a program that has become a model nationally and internationally.

mohawks“As you were telling us just how we helped you and how we were an inspiration for your people, and how our teachers went out to help you to revitalize what could have been lost in one generation or in two,” said Kanentokon Hemlock, Bear Clan Chief of the Kanonsonnionwe Long House. “It’s interesting because you inspire us.We look to you. We follow your inspiration too in all the work you have been doing in your land,” Hemlock shared.

During this monumental visit, crew members of Hokulea and Mohawk natives gathered at the Kanonsonnionwe Long House as they welcomed each other by exchanging gifts and songs in their native languages. Kālepa Baybayan, captain of Hokulea’s leg 23 of the Worldwide Voyage, presented Kanentokon Hemlock, Bear Clan Chief of the Kanonsonnionwe Long House, with a traditional Hawaiian feather or kahili.

“Working together like this-that is the key to our collective success! It is that kind of mindset, thinking not just about the individual, but thinking about all of us-us as an ʻohana,” said in Hawaiian by Kamanā.

Leg 23 Sail Plan

Leg 23 Sail Plan