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UH Announces Finalists for Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Three finalists have been identified for the position of dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and director for Research and Cooperative Extension. The three finalists are scheduled to participate over a three-day period of visits on the Mānoa campus and the island of Hawaiʻi. The visits include department discussions; meetings with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and internal and external constituents; and a public presentation.

Nicholas Comerford, William Randle and Alan Sams

Campus and community members, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend.

Campus visit schedule:

Nicholas Comerford, January 30–February 1

William Randle, February 6–8

Alan Sams, February 13–15

“We were fortunate to have received a strong pool of qualified candidates. I would like to thank the search advisory committee for their outstanding work in identifying these three finalists from the pool, and for their efforts and commitment to the search,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Research Michael Bruno. “As always, we encourage UH faculty, staff, students and the public to come out and meet the candidates, and we look forward to receiving their input to assist in hiring the best person for the position.”

For more information about the search process, including a list of the members of the search advisory committee, the campus visit daily schedule and the candidate biographies, see the search website.

Lower Level of Kīlauea’s Summit Lava Lake Exposes Vent Wall

The summit lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater on Sunday Jan. 15, 2017 was about 50.5 m (166 ft) below the crater floor (vent rim). One of the most interesting things exposed by the lower lake level was the clear view of the thick, dark veneer of lava on the eastern vent wall (close-up shown below). This veneer formed when the lava lake level was high; lava next to the vent wall cooled and solidified, leaving “bathtub rings” as the lake level rose and fell.

HVO and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum, perched on the rim of Kīlauea’s summit caldera, are visible in the upper left corner of the photo. (Click to Enlarge)

The black rock on the crater floor around the vent was created when the lava lake rose to the point of overflowing in April-May 2015 and October 2016.

Telephoto image of the lava veneer on the 50.5 m (166 ft) tall eastern vent wall; the lava lake surface is visible at lower left. The solidified lava coating the vent wall is quite thick. Parts of it have bathtub rings, but much of it is composed of lumpy protuberances that might have been small ledges at the lake margin or ramparts that formed around spattering sources.

If the lake level remains low, sections of this veneer will likely peel away from the vent wall and collapse into the lava lake.

In places, the dark-colored veneer of lava, or bathtub rings, have already collapsed into the lava lake, exposing older, light- or rusty-colored rocks in the vent wall. The lava lake surface is visible in the foreground.

The distance from the vent rim to the lake surface is 50.5 m (166 ft).

First Annual Hawaii Film Challenge

Hawaii Film + Arts International today announced their First Annual Hawaii Film Challenge, an international screenwriting contest open to a global pool of talent, and awarding three winners airfare and lodging for their creative team, as well as casting, production staff, and equipment support, and a 10-day shoot and production experience in Hawaii, culminating in an exclusive screening.

The competition is open to entrants 21 years of age and older, and is targeting short film scripts (10-12 minutes) from passionate filmmakers who want the opportunity to have their story produced.

“We created this challenge to give emerging filmmakers a once-in-a-lifetime platform for their voices, and to extend established talent the opportunity to have a truly unique shoot experience,” said Mark Blackburn, co-founder of Hawaii Film + Arts International, patron to several leading Pacific artists, and one of the country’s foremost Polynesian art scholars.

“Many filmmakers have a compelling story to tell, and even a tight creative team to realize it, but lack the resources to produce it,” said Sanford Hasegawa, co-founder of Hawaii Film + Arts International, and longtime staple of Hawaii’s visual arts scene. “That’s why Hawaii Film + Arts International is taking care of the big needs, such as casting and equipment, as well as the nitty gritty details that are essential to completing any film, like securing permits with the state of Hawaii. We believe excellent stories shouldn’t be buried, so we’re investing in them.”

Script judges will be members of the film and literary arts community, and part of the HFA team; scripts are welcome in any genre, from narrative and experimental to action adventure, comedy or documentary. Entries can take advantage of Hawaii’s versatile environment for shooting, which includes mountains to ocean, urban city streets to tropical forests.

Because professional film staff will be working in the challenge, there is a mentorship component unique to this contest, offering winners the opportunity to work alongside more veteran film staff. And in exchange for 100% IP rights, which will allow HFA to reinvest back into future challenges and filmmakers, winners will not only receive the HFC shoot experience, but ongoing entry of their films into festivals around the world, establishing long-term exposure of their work.

“With their films, winners will enter into a network Hawaii Film + Arts International is building with filmmakers and industry connections across the globe,” said Sanford. “Some of the world’s most iconic directors have shot in Hawaii, from Spielberg, to Michael Bay, to Guillermo del Toro. Now, it’s time to hand over the lens to new voices, and leverage everything Hawaii has to offer to bring their stories to life.”

About HAWAII FILM + ARTS INTERNATIONAL:
Hawaii Film + Arts International (HFA) is an international organization dedicated to creating events and opportunities for the people of Hawaii to tell their stories through film and the arts. The HFA team is passionate about the power of film and the arts to inspire and engage audiences around the world. By creating a mutual exchange between local and international filmmakers and artists, HFA serves as a catalyst for their work to reach a larger audience. From artist launches and film projects to events, HFA manages the creative, communications, logistical, and execution partnering with the right partners at the right time. All HFA projects have one thing in common. They are platforms for artists created by partners who share the same vision to bring the art of storytelling to life in a way that engages local and global communities.

To learn more about the Hawaii Film Challenge, visit www.hawaiifilmchallenge.com.
To learn more about Hawaii Film + Arts International, visit www.hawaiifilmandarts.com.

Hawaii House of Representatives Opening Day Remarks

In his opening day remarks, Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki called on members of the House of Representatives to extend the general excise tax to finance rail, to find viable alternatives to prison incarceration and to provide human compassion to those who are mentally ill and terminally sick.

“We have a lot on our plate for this session. And the last revenue forecast by the Council on Revenues does not make our job any easier,” Souki told legislators. “But we’ve been there before, as lawmakers and as a community. And we will together find solutions to our most pressing issues.”

In his speech, Souki also supported making needed changes to our public education system and completing the privatization of Maui’s public hospitals.

He called on legislators “to look for solutions like rail to relieve traffic on our roads. It does come with a high cost, but make no mistake, rail is the key to the future of Oahu.”

Souki wants to remove the sunset date on the original general excise tax financing bill, but only if we reduce the tax rate with the city making up the difference. He also wants to reduce administrative costs from 10 to 5 percent.

He proposed a feasibility study to see if elevated toll roads would make sense for Honolulu.

“We must employ a multi-faceted approach, utilizing our buses, flex scheduling and technology that allows distance learning, tele medicine and alternative workplaces to reduce commuter travel,” he said.

With our prisons severely overcrowded and an estimated 10 years needed to build a new one, Souki suggests using electronic bracelets to confine those guilty of misdemeanor, white collar or non-violent crimes to their homes.

“With new technology, we can employ varying degrees of restrictions based on the crime committed, and monitor movements of those under supervision,” he said. “What I’m talking about is creating a whole new level of Non-Institutionalized Incarceration.”

Souki said human compassion is important to everyone in Hawaii and we can see our family members who are near death that need our support.

“Those who are suffering from a terminal illness and are of sound mind should be given the opportunity to decide how they will end their own lives,” Souki said.

He will submit a bill to allow medical aid in dying this session.

The House will continue to provide food and rental tax credits for low income families that are about to expire, Souki said.

“There is nothing more important to human dignity than food on the table and a roof over your head,” Souki said.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki welcomed the five new members to the House and asked the returning representatives to draw from their aspirations to be constructive and find solutions to our most pressing challenges.

“The need for Hawaii to be functional has never been more critical. In just two days, the United States will undergo profound change,” Saiki said. “We need to be ready and we need to overcome differences so that we can make Hawaii more effective and viable.”

Saiki asked the representatives to heed the words of President Obama to not demonize each other but listen, fight for our principles and find common ground.

(LINKS TO FULL SPEECHES, SOUKI, SAIKI)

Commentary – Former Councilman Airlifted to Oahu, Cardiac Care Unit Wanted at Kona Hospital

Former Council member Dominic Yagong is the latest high profile community member to be airlifted for heart or stroke problems to Maui Memorial or Queen’s on Oahu. Please ask your Hawaii State Senator and Council members to include a Cardiac Care unit in the state budget. It would be $2 million to remodel the ER at Kona Community Hospital and money for a stipend for two cardiologists.

Yagong posted the following on his Facebook page:
“Medivac to Queens hospital tomorrow morning. Spending the night in Waimea ER after experiencing severe chest pains at Basketball game in Honokaa. Sorry girls for missing announcing your game. I’ll be fine,,,,got my lucky Green Bay cap with me! Thanks Kahea for calling EMT. No worries…thumbs up!”

THE PROBLEM: There is a 2- hour window when patients need to be treated in order to expect a full recovery. Think about where you live on the Big Island. From my home it would take 45 minutes to get to Kona Community Hospital Emergency Room, then the time to be diagnosed and then get the helicopter and then the 45 minute + time to Oahu, getting checked in and a cardiologist hopefully is at the hospital and you need to be seen, an Operating Room hopefully is available. Get the picture? Other important island residents to be airlifted are Mayor Kim, Council Chair Pete Hoffmann and OHA Representative Bob Lindsey.

I talked to an architect who specializes in building hospitals and a medical planner at NBBJ Architects. There is currently no facility or any cardiologists to staff a dedicated cardiac care unit for West Hawaii. We agreed that Kona Community Hospital (KCH) was the best location for a Cardiac Care unit. Kona Community Hospital has one cardiologist, Dr. Michael Dang who travels from Honolulu. Dr. Larry Derbes is an interventional cardiologist in private practice in Kona, who agrees that a Catheterization Lab to do stents and ablations and to treat strokes, would save lives and result in better outcomes and quality of life for cardiac patients. He is eager to help. I talked to Jay Kreuzer, is the CEO of KCH, and has also been a cardiac patient. He pointed out that staffing the Catheterization Lab is the biggest challenge because we lose doctors, because the Medicare reimbursement rate of only 93% of the actual cost is compounded by Hawaii Medical Services Association (Hawaii’s biggest healthcare insurer), which compensates at only 110% of the Medicare Reimbursement. He told me that there is an airlift almost every day from KCH to either Queens in Honolulu or Maui Memorial and they are usually for heart or stroke patients.
I also met with Dr. Frank Sayre, Chair of the Board for the West Hawaii Regional Hospital Board of Directors, which oversees Kona Community Hospital and the North Kohala Community Hospital. He agreed with Jay Kreuzer. He told me that he had discussed setting up a “funded chair” for specialists (similar to academic chairs) as a stipend to keep doctors on the island.
SOLUTIONS:
1. A HYBRID CATHETERIZATION LAB/ OPERATING ROOM FOR KONA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL was recommended by architect and planner. The recent flooding of the Operating Room at KCH presents an opportunity to remodel the Operating Room and accommodate Cath Lab equipment.
2. STAFFING: An annuity with the Hawaii Community Foundation or the Kona Community Hospital Foundation to generate a yearly stipend for two cardiologists to establish a “chair position.
Please get in touch with your State Representatives and State Senators to include these items as allocation in their Budget Legislation for the coming year.
There has been some discussion about building a new hospital sometime, but even if that were started tomorrow, it would still take about 6 years to be built, with land acquisition, EIS, plans, hiring a contractor and building. We need a Cardiac Care unit NOW to save our friends and family and allow heart attack and stroke patients to recover fully and at home on our island. Please ask your Hawaii State Senator and Council members to include a Cardiac Care unit in the state budget. It would be $2 million to remodel the ER at Kona Community Hospital and money for a stipend for two cardiologists. Healthy people are happy people.

For more information go to this site: https://debbiehecht.com/2016/06/21/a-cardiac-care-unit-for-the-big-island-of-hawaii/

Debbie Hecht
Kailua-Kona

Python Snake Turned in on Oahu

An illegal snake was turned in over the weekend under the State’s Amnesty Program. The snake was turned in on the evening of Friday, Jan. 13th to the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu. Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the snake the next morning and it is being safeguarded at the Plant Quarantine Branch. It has been identified as a ball python and measures about four-and-a-half feet long and weighs about four-and-a-half lbs.

Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. They have no natural predators here and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to endangered native birds. Large snakes can also be a danger to the public and small pets.

Ball pythons are non-venomous and are common in the pet trade on the mainland. They are native to Western and West-Central Africa and are related to boas, which are also constrictors that subdue its prey by coiling around and suffocating it.  Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds.  Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet long.

Under the amnesty program, illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo on Hawaii Island or any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed. Anyone with information about illegal animals should call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).  The maximum penalty under State law for possession and/or transporting illegal animals is a class C felony, $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Drone Footage – A Sad Day in Pahoa

As most folks know by now, Luquins and Akebono Theater caught fire in Pahoa early Monday morning.

Here is aerial footage of the aftermath:

Sad Day In Pahoa from Clive on Vimeo.

Project Vision Hawaii Receives $25,000 Grant from Walmart Foundation for Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Project Vision Hawaii (PVH) will increase its emergency and disaster relief program efforts through a $25,000 donation from Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program.

State Senator Karl Rhoads, Anne Chipchase (PVH board president), State Senator Josh Green, Steven Reed (Hawaii market manager for Walmart), Annie Valentin (PVH executive director) and Maika Motas (AED Institute of America) with $25,000 check from Walmart Foundation.

The grant from Walmart Foundation will be used to stock all three Project Vision mobile screening units with emergency preparedness supplies such as automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and wound care items to help residents affected by natural disasters.

“Walmart’s gift will strengthen Project Vision’s ability to serve Hawaii’s most vulnerable and underserved populations in the event of a natural disaster,” said Annie Valentine, executive director of PVH. “The supplies we’ve purchased are critical in ensuring those severely affected and unable to get help, receive the resources and support they need to recover.”

Project Vision operates three mobile screening units – one to serve Oahu, Molokai and Lanai, another on Hawaii Island, and a third shared between Maui and Kauai – in an effort to increase access to health care. The nonprofit provides free vision and health screenings to the state’s underserved communities with the goal of detecting and addressing eye diseases early on.

“We believe in giving back to the communities we serve,” said Steven Reed, Hawaii market manager for Walmart. “On behalf of more than 4,000 Hawaii associates, it’s our privilege to collaborate with Project Vision and support this important community outreach program for those in need.”

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

The 9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop is happening February 1-28, 2017, featuring five different shops from Kona to Hilo and points in between. Traveling quilters can have passports stamped for a chance to win prizes, collect quilting patterns and kits to create a custom “Tropical Flowers of Hawaii, a Stain Glass Quilt” quilt for 2017, and enjoy the company of fellow quilters island-wide.

Those who visit and get passports stamped at all five shops are eligible to win the Grand Prize. Other winners will receive fabric, quilt shop gift certificates and more—with special in-store prizes at individual shops, for a total of 11 winners. The five shops will also have exclusive quilt block patterns, one from each store, plus a customize bonus add-on to give the 2017 Shop Hop quilt some added zip.

The 9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop launches February 1, leading into the 24th Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the Hawaiian Quilt Show held in Waimea. Maps and passports can be picked up any quilt shop on the route, and “shop-hoppers” can follow their own path, or sign up for one of two bus tours. In West Hawaii, call Karen Barry at Quilt Passions, 808-329-7475. In East Hawaii, call Leimomi at Kilauea Kreations II, 808-961-1100.

For more information contact Mary at bigislandquiltsh@earthlink.net, or visit www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii.

2017 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop shops:

West Hawaii

East Hawai‘i

Hawaii Child Advocates Announce Legislative Priorities

Hawaii Children’s Action Network (HCAN) released their annual “Children’s Policy Agenda” today.  HCAN was created to help nonprofits, businesses, government, and citizens advocate for policies aimed at improving kids’ lives.

According to the group’s executive director Deborah Zysman, the event is all about collaboration.  “A diverse group of policy experts, non-profits advocates and coalitions have come together to prioritize the next steps we can take to make Hawaii the best place for children. Together, we share a common goal to improve the health, economic security, and education of our children,” said Zysman.

Over fifty organizations participated in the creation of this year’s Agenda.  Issues are categorized by economic security and equality, strengthening families, child safety, health and wellness, and education. All contain policy ideas that will be led by various groups.

Senator Karl Rhoads (D-13) and Rep. Matt Lopresti (D-41), new co-chairmen of the Keiki Caucus, supported HCAN for the launch.  The Keiki Caucus previously was chaired by former Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland until she retired last fall.

“We realize that of course kids are indeed our future,” said Rhoads.  “It’s an honor to chair this Caucus and to help carry the torch of doing what we need to do to make Hawaii a great place for children to grow up,” he said.

According to Lopresti, the future looks bright for the cooperation between citizen groups and lawmakers.  “We rely on citizen groups and issue experts in the same way that advocates rely on lawmakers to keep making progress,” said Lopresti.  “The Children’s Policy Agenda is a great way for us to open up the channels of dialogue and share expectations,” he said.

More information about the Children’s Policy Agenda can be found at www.hawaii-can.org

North Kona Residents MUST Reduce Water Consumption by 25%

This is a Department of Water Supply water notice for customers in the North Kona area.  Due to ongoing repairs to wells in North Kona, a water restriction notice is being issued.

Customers must reduce water consumption by 25 percent.

For a list of ways to reduce water use, please go to our website at www.hawaiidws.org.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in using water sparingly at this time.  Once again, this is a water restriction notice for North Kona. For further information, please call 322-0600 during normal business hours, 7:00 to 3:30.

Annual Stop Flu at School Vaccination Clinics Start Today

The Hawaii State Department of Health’s (DOH) annual Stop Flu at School program begins today, and will continue in more than 240 public, private, and charter schools statewide through Feb. 28, 2017. This marks the 10th year for the voluntary program, which administers free flu vaccinations to Hawaii students in kindergarten through eighth grade who are enrolled at participating schools.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older. Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths in the United States, and the most recent CDC report showed flu activity beginning to increase in the United States. Influenza A viruses, often associated with more severe illness, especially in young children and people 65 and older, have been the most common circulating strains so far this season.

“Through the Stop Flu at School program, we hope to vaccinate many of our school-age children,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist. “Since flu can cause severe illness in people of all ages, we encourage everyone to talk to their doctor to learn more and get vaccinated. Vaccination is our best defense against the flu.”

For more information about the Stop Flu at School program, go to http://flu.hawaii.gov/sfas.html or call the Aloha United Way’s information and referral line at 2-1-1.  To locate a vaccinating pharmacy in your neighborhood, use the DOH Vaccine Finder at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/where-to-get-your-adult-and-flu-vaccinations/.

The Stop Flu at School program is an innovative partnership between DOH, Department of Education, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and Hawaii Catholic Schools. The program is endorsed by the Hawaii Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is made possible through funding from DOH, CDC and Hawaii Association of Health Plans.

DLNR & YOU TV Special Chronicles Hawaii’s Endangered Forest Birds

The latest DLNR & You television special, The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawai‘i, documents the efforts of dozens of organizations and hundreds of people across the state to halt the extinction of critically endangered forest birds.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We hope this show brings the serious plights of these native birds into our homes.  When you see a tiny ‘Akikiki (Kaua‘i honeycreeper) in the forest or hear the call of the native crow, the ‘Alalā, it reinforces why so many people are undertaking some pretty extraordinary steps to reverse the downward trend of numerous forest bird populations.  The birds have long been part of Hawai‘i’s natural landscape, and culturally they’ve been revered for centuries by Native Hawaiians.”

Photographed over the course of nearly two years, “The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawai‘i, transports you deep into the Alaka’i Plateau on Kaua‘i, where the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project (KFBRP) is working with numerous partners to try and save three endangered species of tiny birds on the brink of extinction (‘Akikiki, ‘Akeke’e, and Puaiohi). Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton, the KFBRP Project Leader commented, “The most recent estimate for the number of ‘Akikiki is 450 birds, give or take fifty.  The worst thing that could happen is for any of these forest birds to join the list of twenty-three endemic bird species that have gone extinct since 1778. All of our partners and everyone working to reverse these trends are excited to show viewers around Hawai‘i some pretty astonishing projects underway to save these amazing forest dwellers and their native homes.”

The show chronicles some of these remarkable projects and the people working in some really tough environments, toward the common goal of preventing further population reductions and ultimately extinction.  In one segment you can watch as a staffer from San Diego Zoo Global climbs a freely suspended ladder, 40-feet in the air, to collect marble-sized eggs from a treetop nest in an ʻōhiʻa tree. Another segment is dedicated to “The ‘Alalā Project,” which for several decades has worked tirelessly toward the reintroduction of captive-raised ‘Alalā, back into the Pu’u Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve on Hawai‘i Island. You’ll see, first-hand, the tremendous amount of work being done by a broad collaboration of federal, state and non-profit partners to be sure the birds continue to exist and thrive in their natural habitats.

The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawai‘i, airs on KFVE-TV (K5) on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 at 9:30 p.m.  It will be available on line for viewing after 7 p.m. on Jan. 21st at https://vimeo.com/199157463. This is the third DLNR & You television special to have been broadcast by K5.  In 2016, Renegades, Risks and Rewards of the Napali Coast, traced the work of the DLNR Division of State Parks and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement to clean-up the fabled Napali Coast State Wilderness Park.  The second show, The Endangered Sea Birds of Kaua‘i, describes the plight of native seabirds, very much like the same issues facing forest birds.  Airtime for all three programs is provided by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Safeway, Inc. for HI-5 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against SAFEWAY, INC. (Safeway) for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the state’s deposit beverage container law. Safeway was delinquent for the monthly reporting period of Aug. 1-31, 2016.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit monthly distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. Safeway received multiple written notices reminding them of reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

DOH has assessed an administrative penalty against Safeway of $2,800 for its failure to comply with deposit beverage container requirements.

Safeway may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

Foul Play NOT SUSPECTED in Pahoa Fire – Police Seeking Witnesses

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking witnesses to the start of a fire Monday (January 16) in Pāhoa.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

The fire started just after midnight Monday at a vacant business at 15-2948 Pāhoa Government Road next to Luquin’s restaurant in Pāhoa town.

Police do not suspect foul play. They ask anyone who saw or heard the start of the fire to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or wendall.carter@hawaiicounty.gov

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hosts WWII Tuskegee Airmen

On February 3 and 4, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with special presentations by decorated WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee to Hawaii’s youth and the public.

On Friday, February 3, 10 – 11 am in the theater, teachers are encouraged to bring their students, in grades 6-12, to a presentation geared towards youth entitled, “In His Own Words,” by Colonel McGee. Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds the record for the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in the United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers who fought racial prejudices to fly and fight for their country during WWII. Colonel McGee’s career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and 3 wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (twenty-five times).

Admission is free for this youth presentation, and funding for bus transportation to the Museum will be provided for school groups who register in advance. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly advised. To register, contact 808-445-9137 or email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

On Saturday, February 4, Colonel McGee will once again be the featured speaker at a “Hangar Talk” in the theater, 11am to 12 noon. This event is open to the public.

Also present at the Hangar Talk will be WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37. Access to the Hangar Talk is free with Museum admission, free to Museum Members, and free for Navy League members with I.D. For more information, call 808-441-1007. Discounted tickets are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Prior to 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. Even in light of extreme racism, African Americans fought to defend their country, which led to the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of WWII. Their dedication to defending the freedom of all Americans and their acts of heroism paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Tuskegee Airmen completed more than 1,500 missions.

Both events are being held in conjunction with Black History Month.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in America’s winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Smoking Costs the Average Hawaii Smoker $2,048,587 Over a Lifetime

With the societal and economic costs of smoking totaling more than $300 billion a year and rising, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on The Real Cost of Smoking by State.

To encourage the estimated 36.5 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub’s analysts calculated the potential monetary losses — including the lifetime and annual costs of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Financial Cost of Smoking in Hawaii (1=Lowest, 25=Avg.):

  • Out-of-Pocket Cost per Smoker – $167,535 (Rank: 48th)
  • Financial-Opportunity Cost per Smoker – $1,411,246 (Rank: 48th)
  • Health-Care Cost per Smoker – $173,258 (Rank: 32nd)
  • Income Loss per Smoker – $283,621 (Rank: 46th)
  • Other Costs per Smoker – $12,926 (Rank: 36th)
  • Total Cost Over a Lifetime per Smoker: $2,048,587
  • Total Cost per Year per Smoker: $40,168

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/the-financial-cost-of-smoking-by-state/9520/

Hawaii Fire Department Press Release on Pahoa Town Fire

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 1116

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: Smoke and fire coming from the back of Luquins building, adjacent to Akebono Theater. Smoke coming from the windows of Luquins buildings on the Pahoa Village Road side.

Cause: UNDER INVESTIGATION

Remarks: 3 commercial properties, including historic Akebono theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial building from 1938 and a large multiuse residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s restaurant, built in 1907. Fire was brought under control and an extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued until the time of this press release.

Hawaii Civil Defense Message on Pahoa Village Road Closure

Hawaii Police Department reports Pahoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through tomorrow afternoon.

Area residents should expect to smell smoke tonight.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department will remain on scene through the night to monitor any flare ups that may occur.

Thank you. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

Coast Guard, Local Responders Searching for Overdue Diver Off Big Island

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department are searching for an overdue diver off Pohoehoe Beach, Big Island, Sunday.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew  launched and is searching the surrounding areas. The crew from USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336) is also en route to assist in the search.

The Hawaii Fire Department is also searching with helicopter, rescue boat and ground crews. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center.

Anyone with information that may help locate the diver is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

The initial call was made to Hawaii Fire Department by a good samaritan who is an experienced diver. The good samaritan said the man was caucasian, looked to be in his early 20s, about 150 pounds with red hair. He is reportedly wearing blue board shorts and a white rash guard with blue lettering. The man was last seen at 12:40 p.m. leaving the beach to swim out to the farthest rocks with fins, a mask, diving gear and a back up regulator.

The good samaritan watched since the diver was going out alone, did not have a float or any safety gear and noticed, based on experience, the diver only had enough air for a maximum of 80 minutes. After two hours, the good samaritan reported the diver overdue to Hawaii Fire Department who relayed the report to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center at 2:11 p.m.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 10 mph winds with waves at 2 feet and approximately 6 miles of visibility.