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Free Orchid Show – 34th Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show

It’s an “Eruption of Orchids” at the 34th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale Sunday, July 17 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. This year’s theme salutes the centennial of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with a central blooming display backdropped by a volcano.

Orchids

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.

Hawaii Department of Health Release Names, Scores and Rankings of ALL Applicants for Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today released the scores and ranking of the applicants for Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses.

Honolulu Applicants

Click to enlarge

The list of applicants and their respective scores and ranking are posted at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanadispensary/latest-updates-and-news/.

Hawaii Applicants

Click to enlarge

A total of 66 applications for eight dispensary licenses were reviewed, evaluated, and scored (based on 13 merit criteria) by four members of a selection panel. Each application could receive a maximum of 520 points (10 points maximum could be awarded for each merit criterion by each of four individual panelists).

Kauai Applicants

Click to enlarge

All applicants were required to submit documentation to prove compliance with the statutory and administrative requirements for both individual applicants and applying entities.

Maui Applicants

Click to enlarge

“To meet the ambitious and expedited time schedule for the selection process and given the large number of applications to review, the vetting process was conducted concurrently with the scoring of the applications,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance.

While all applications were scored, 12 applicants who did not submit the requisite documentation or whose documentation did not establish compliance with the requirements were not ranked in the final compilation of scores.

Non Applicants

Unselected applicants

DOH notified all unselected applicants by certified mail this week prior to the posting of the applicants’ scores. To help ensure the medical marijuana dispensary program can be available for patients, DOH has been working on other requirements for the programs implementation.

The department is continuing work with Bio Track THC to establish the web-based seed-to-sale computer tracking system for dispensaries.

The DOH State Laboratories Division has established a certification process for medical marijuana testing facilities and applications are available at http://health.hawaii.gov/statelab/.

“It’s an exciting time, launching this new industry in Hawaii,” said Margaret Leong, supervisor of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program. “So far, the licensing staff have met in person with seven of the licensees and the discussions have been really productive and beneficial to all of us. The licensees have generously shared their knowledge of the industry gained through the application process, and we’ve been able to provide more specific guidance to ensure that their facilities conduct operations in compliance with all state requirements to be able to open their dispensaries in a timely manner.”

Additional information about the medical marijuana dispensary program and the registry program is available at health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana.

Hawaii Senator Calls for Ban on Sunscreen with Oxybenzone

Compound found in sunscreen and personal care products blamed for damaging coral reefs

Some sunscreens known to have Oxybenzone

Some sunscreens known to have Oxybenzone

As the 13th annual Coral Reef Symposium comes to end in Waikīkī, State Senator Will Espero (Dist. 19 – ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages) has announced he will introduce legislation for Hawai‘i to ban sunscreen with oxybenzone beginning in 2018.

“A ban is the right thing to do in order to protect our fragile marine eco-system,” said Sen. Espero. “Since our ocean environment is key to our tourism industry and our economic lifeline, banning a chemical substance that harms our coral and other marine animals should be a top priority next year in the state legislature.”

Speakers and scientists at the Symposium shared the dangers of oxybenzone on our coral reef and other marine life. Scientists said testing has revealed high levels of oxybenzone in Hawai‘i waters. Oxybenzone is found in personal care products and is a component of many sunscreen lotions.  It has been found to kill coral and negatively affect other Marine organisms.

“At the very least, a serious discussion should be had on the value and need of oxybenzone in sunscreen and other products,” Sen. Espero noted.

Hawaii Senate Confirms Judges for District Court and District Family Court

The Hawai‘i State Senate today unanimously confirmed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of the Third Circuit and James S. Kawashima to the District Court of the First Circuit.

Judges confirmed

Kanani Laubach is a Partner at Laubach & Frenz, AAL, LLLC in Hilo, where she focuses her legal practice on criminal cases heard in District, Family, and Circuit Courts and family law cases involving temporary restraining orders. Prior to entering private practice, Laubach served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Hawai‘i. She also previously served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu.

In addition to her legal experience, Laubach previously worked as a family therapist for Felix assigned families and a visitation specialist with Parents and Children Together where she taught parenting skills and child development.  Laubach attained her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University. She earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawai‘i State Bar in 2003.

Laubach will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Melvin H. Fujino to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.

“Ms. Laubach’s legal experience in the government and private sectors makes her a well-rounded practitioner with substantial trial experience. Her background in psychology, her extensive courtroom experience, and her many years of interaction with the community through her personal and family experiences will no doubt provide her with the special insight and temperament necessary for the often challenging cases brought in family court,” said Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “Her reputation for being a person of integrity who treats everyone equally and fairly and has the ability to relate to and is respectful toward everyone makes her an exceptional appointment to the court system.”

Since 2010, James S. Kawashima has received appointments as a per diem judge with the District Court of the First Circuit.  He maintained a private legal practice specializing in labor and employment law, state and federal criminal defense, trust and probate litigation, commercial litigation and personal injury, although he has devoted himself to his per diem judicial appointments over the last four years. Earlier in his career, Kawashima served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Special Prosecution Unit of the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.  He went on to serve as a Deputy Attorney General in the Hawai‘i Department of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  He also worked at private law firms in both Hawai‘i and California, handling litigation in construction, bankruptcy, employment cases, and insurance defense.

Kawashima graduated from Princeton University and received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Southern California Law Center. He was admitted to the Hawai‘i State Bar in 1992.

“Along with the experience he’s gained and judgment displayed during his periodic duties as a per diem judge, Mr. Kawashima brings experience and skills to the bench in areas other than the usual legal research, writing and reasoning expected,” said Sen. Keith-Agaran.

The term of office for both judgeships is for six years.

International Ships Sail to Hawaii for Rim of the Pacific 2016

Four multinational groups have set sail toward Hawaii in support of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise commencing on June 30.

The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a group of multinational ships during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010.  RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise.  Since 1971, this large-scale biennial exercise has been designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea.   (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor/RELEASED)

The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a group of multinational ships during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Since 1971, this large-scale biennial exercise has been designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor/RELEASED)

Participating in Group Sail, 10 ships departed from San Diego, while 12 ships met in the Western Pacific Ocean.

  • USS America (LHA 6) departed San Diego on June 21, leading Canadian ship HMCS Vancouver, Chilean ship CNS Cochrane, USS San Diego (LPD 22), and USS Howard (DDG 83).
  • USS Princeton (CG 59) departed San Diego on June 22 along with Canadian ship HMCS Calgary, USCG Stratton, and USS Pinckney (DDG 91). USS Coronado (LCS 4) departed San Diego on June 23.
  • Singaporean ship RSS Steadfast departed the Western Pacific Ocean on June 18 with Japanese ship JS Hyuga, Indonesian ship KRI Diponegoro, Indian ship INS Satpura, and USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93).
  • USS Stockdale (DDG 106) departed the Western Pacific Ocean on June 18 with USS William P Lawrence (DDG 110), and the People’s Republic of China vessels PLA(N) Hengshui, PLA(N) Peace Ark, PLA(N) Xian, PLA(N) Gaoyouhu, and PLA(N) Changdao.

The ships participating in Group Sail are expected to arrive in Pearl Harbor during the last week of June.

USS Chung Hoon gets fuel during an exercise in 2010.

USS Chung Hoon gets fuel during an exercise in 2010.

Conducted prior to the start of RIMPAC, Group Sail offers participating units the chance to operate together and conduct basic training like tactical maneuvering drills and communication system checks. Group Sail helps prepare participating units for the more complex exercises conducted during RIMPAC.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet and executed by U.S. Third Fleet in the Hawaiian operating area. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber Joins JCCIH Installation Ceremonies

Officials of the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry flew to Hilo to participate in the installation of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) officers for 2016-17.

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

During the 66th annual ceremony on June 8, Russell Arikawa of Ginoza Realty, Inc. was installed as president of JCCIH. The two Chambers continue to explore beneficial opportunities between the business communities of Higashi-Hiroshima and East Hawaii.

Arikawa, a realtor, has served the Chamber as government affairs chief and as a chair of the popular Taste of Hilo. He is a director of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, and a commissioner with the Department of Water. Born in Hilo, he graduated from University of Hawaii-Hilo.

During his remarks, Arikawa said East Hawaii faces many challenges, old and new. “It is an era distinguished by community service,” he said, but it is also a time “which challenges every elected official and public servant. We must be more accountable and more accessible to the people.”

Arikiawa received the gavel from immediate past president, Darren Nishioka of CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union.
Other officers of JCCIH include: first VP, Audrey Takamine of Takamine Construction; second VP, Stephen Ueda of Suisan; third VP, Donn Mende of County of Hawaii; treasurer, Joseph Skruch; auditor, Ivan Nakano of I. Kitagawa & Company, Ltd.; and Japanese secretary, Naomi Menor of Naomi’s World Travel Service. The officers and 34 directors were installed by Attorney Peter Kubota.

Sandra Dawson of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) gave the installation keynote address, reporting on the status of the project and its challenges. JCCIH has been a staunch supporter of TMT and has worked closely with the astronomy community to promote culturally appropriate scientific research.

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

JCCIH fosters economic sustainability and perpetuates the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. The two value pillars that the JCCIH is built on are the Hawaiian Kahiau (giving without expecting anything in return) and the Japanese Okage Sama De (I am what I am because of you.)

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo. It also hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit the website at www.jccih.org

Lava Flow Approaches Royal Gardens Subdivision

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 23 is shown in red. The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 16 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on June 23 is shown in red.

The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. (Click to enlarge)

The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. (Click to enlarge)

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Lava Flow “61g” Continues Advancing Downslope

The episode 61g flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues advancing downslope.

In this photo, the current flow is the lighter color area along the center of the image. The flow front has advanced about 770 m (0.5 miles) since the June 16 overflight, which equates to an advance rate of about 100 m per day (330 ft per day).

The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image.  (Click to enlarge)

The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image. (Click to enlarge)

The lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains active, and has enlarged since our last observation.

The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin.  (Click to enlarge)

The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin. (Click to enlarge)

An HVO geologist collects a fresh lava sample for chemical analysis.

The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today.  (Click to enlarge)

The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today. (Click to enlarge)

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube.  (Click to enlarge)

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube. (Click to enlarge)

Incandescent vents are still open on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. (Click to enlarge)

From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. (Click to enlarge)

An aerial view of the same vent shown at left provided a look of the lava stream within the deep cavity.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

25th Annual Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race

Kings’ Shops is celebrating the 25th year of the Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race, which benefits the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawai’i.

rubber duck

The festivities at Kings’ Shops start at 10:00 am on Monday, July 4, and will include food booths, children’s entertainment, live music on the stage, and special promotions at participating stores including Tiffany & Co., Sunglass Hut, Jourabchi, Crazy Shirts, Genesis Gallery, Macy’s, Na Hoku, Da Big Bags, and Tori Richard. The Rubber Duckie race will begin at 3:00 pm on Kings’ Lake followed by a special performance by Anuhea at 3:30 pm on the stage. The evening will end with the awards ceremony at 5:00 pm at the Kings’ Shops stage and then a fireworks extravaganza at the Waikoloa Bowl at 8:00 pm.

Free activities will also be available including photo booths, airbrush tattoos, balloon sculpting, lei making, bouncy houses, and EMS and fire trucks to explore. Restaurant booths will include featured menu items from The Three Fat Pigs and A-Bay’s Island Grill. Local Big Island beers will also be available at the beer garden located at The Three Fat Pigs’ front lanai.

Adoption certificates for the Rubber Duckie race are on sale until 3:00 pm on race day (July 4) and offer a chance to win over $37,000 in prizes. Individual duckie adoptions are $5 each and Quack Packs are $25 each and include four adoption certificates and one event T-shirt (while supplies last).

For a complete list of entertainment, promotions and activities, please visit www.KingsShops.com.

 

Hawaii Becomes First State in Nation to Enroll Firearms Owners in Centralized Information System

Gov. David Ige signed SB 2954 (ACT 108) which authorizes county police departments in Hawai‘i to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms, in a criminal record monitoring service.

“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai‘i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” said Gov. David Ige.

“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai‘i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” said Gov. David Ige.

The system, also known as the “Rap Back” system, is a service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides continuous criminal record monitoring for authorized government agencies such as law enforcement agencies. The service notifies the agencies when a firearm owner is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country. This will allow county police departments in Hawai‘i to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms. The law also authorizes the Hawai‘i Criminal Justice Data Center to access firearm registration data.

“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai‘i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” said Gov. David Ige.

Gov. Ige also signed HB 625 (ACT 109) and HB 2632 (ACT 110) Relating to Firearms.

HB 625 specifies that harassment by stalking and sexual assault are among the offenses that disqualify a person from owning, possessing or controlling any firearm or ammunition.

HB 2632 requires firearms owners to surrender their firearms and ammunition to the Chief of Police if they have been disqualified from owning a firearm and ammunition for the following reasons: Diagnosis of significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder, or emergency or involuntary hospitalization to a psychiatric facility. This measure authorizes the Chief of Police to seize firearms and ammunition if a disqualified firearms owner fails to surrender the items after receiving written notice.

Food Producers Invited to Exhibit at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Local food producers are invited to display and sample their product at the 21st annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Taste Kam Item

The state’s premiere ag showcase again offers a free opportunity for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hookup with participating chefs and attendees during the 6-8 p.m. Taste.

The event is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations wanting to present informational displays.

Producers and ag-related educational organizations interested in participating may signup online at www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com or by contacting Jill Beaton at tasteexhibitors@gmail.com or 808-937-0314. The deadline is July 31.

Taste headlines 30-some statewide chefs who dazzle diners using various cuts of forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of island fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Also on tap is a 3 p.m. culinary activity, “Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101,” presented by chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason Schoonover of the award-winning 12th Ave. Grill.

taste2Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10. Tickets are for sale online and available starting July 1 at Kuhio Grille in Hilo, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Purchase tickets online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

For general event information, phone 808-322-4892.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact 808-322-4892 no later than August 9, 2016.

Taste Hayden

Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of the Taste can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This Kama‘aina Special also includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i state ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel room prices start at $149 plus tax per room, per night, based on availability. To book an overnight stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or https://secure3.hilton.com/en_US/hi/reservation/book.htm?hotel=KOAHWHH&spec_plan=TSH&arrivaldate=20151009 or call 1-800-HILTONS.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, Hawaii Beef Producers, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, Kamehameha Schools, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Hokulea Crewmembers Conduct Crew Switch for the Next Leg in the Worldwide Voyage

While docked on Block Island on Wednesday, crewmembers of Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea began the detailed process of a crew switch. The latest crew of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage arrived safely on Block Island, where they spent the day in training, preparing and receiving information from the canoe’s leg 20 crew, for leg 21 of Hokulea’s sail. Captain Bruce Blankenfeld conducted an orientation for the canoe’s latest crewmembers, as well as a brief overview of future port stops.

crew change

The Hokulea crew’s time on Block Island was spent engaging the local community through canoe tours and educational outreach. The canoe’s next stop is about 50 nautical miles away in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut where crewmembers will conduct lectures and interactive demonstrations of Polynesian wayfinding, voyaging and navigation at the Mystic Seaport Museum’s 25th Annual Wooden Boat Show.

Department of Agriculture Considering Rule Changes Regarding Quarantine Restrictions on Ohia and Soil

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is currently considering proposed changes to the Administrative Rules regarding Chapter 4-72, Hawaii Administrative Rules, by adding a new section: §4-72-13 Quarantine restrictions on ohia and soil from rapid ohia death infested areas.

To view the proposed rule changes, click here.

ohia death

Public hearings regarding this rule change will be scheduled in the near future.

For information on this rule change, contact the Plant Quarantine Branch at (808) 832-0566.

Hawaii Representative Asks Attorney General to Investigate School Air Conditioning Bids

Contractors bids so high that project delayed and students to suffer

As summer heats up and public schools prepare to begin Aug. 1, plans to spend $100 million to cool off 1,000 classrooms have been delayed due to the outrageously high bids from contractors to install air conditioning.

Rep. Matthew LoPresti

Rep. Matthew LoPresti

Rep. Matthew LoPresti has asked the Attorney General to investigate if there is a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers by artificially inflating bids for profit at the expense of school children – who will suffer through yet another unbearably hot summer in stifling classrooms.

“We cannot just wait for another round of bids and hope they are reasonable,” said Rep. Matthew LoPresti. “Classrooms in my district and across the state will soon be too hot for students to learn and teachers to teach. We must find a way to get this project moving forward.

“At the same time, the bids for the work came in so high that it is possible contractors who know the state is hard pressed to get this work done conspired to submit bids much higher than reasonable to make unreasonable profits.”

This past session the Legislature approved more than $100 million to add air conditioning to 1,000 classrooms by the end of the year and Gov. David Ige has been working with the state Department of Education and private companies to get the work done.

The DOE now says the project must be either delayed due to the high bids or far fewer classrooms then expected will be cooled.  As an example, the DOE said the bid for one photovoltaic-powered air conditioning project with an estimated cost of $20,000 came in more than $100,000.

LoPresti said there have also been complaints from contractors that the bid specifications for a $20,000 project were up to 100 pages long and that makes submitting a bid expensive and complicated.

“I would like the DOE to take a look at the bidding process and simplify the documents if possible,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of why these bids are so high. Whatever the reason, we need to fix it.”

The cool schools project now is being pushed back with bidding reopened with the new fiscal year which begins July 1, 2016.

“If contractors are gouging the state at a time of great need in our schools and the students have to suffer because of this, the Attorney General must find them and prosecute to the full extent of the law,” LoPresti said. “The public deserves answers as to why bids are coming in suspiciously high and we cannot just sit by and accept this.”

As part of his “Cool Schools 4 Ewa” initiative, LoPresti is reaching out to the public to create a hui of professional volunteers willing and able to contribute to the heat abatement effort by donating their time and labor to help the DOE cool classrooms at realistic and reasonable costs.

LoPresti urges those able to install PV or PV AC systems to contact his office so he can help organize and facilitate those willing to step up and help our keiki to move beyond those who would rather profiteer from their suffering.

Commentary – Cardiac Care Unit Needed on the Big Island

THE PROBLEM:  The GOLDEN 2 HOUR WINDOW FOR CARE: People with cardiac problems- heart attacks and strokes must be airlifted to Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu or to Maui Memorial to be treated.   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.  At least 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?

THE SOLUTION?  Read the report below.

QUESTION:  How many people do you know on the Big Island that have had a heart attack or stroke?  That have needed ablations or pacemakers or stents?  Please contact me with your story. Debbie Hecht


A Cardiac Care Unit is needed on the Big Island.  Several well-known community members have been airlifted to Queens Hospital in Honolulu or Maui Memorial Hospital with heart problems or strokes:  Mayor Kim, Council Chair Pete Hoffmann, and OHA Representative Bob Lindsey.

Before going to Kona, I discussed a cardiac care unit for West Hawaii with Jon Luft, Architect and Teri Oelrich, medical planner at NBBJ Architects, who specialize in planning and designing hospitals. They are currently involved in building a one million square foot, state-of-the-art replacement hospital for Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. Jon lived on the Big Island in the 1980’s and Teri has also worked in Hawaii.  Teri thought that a hybrid Operating Room (OR) and Catheterization Lab would be a first step to assessing the need/use of a Cardiac Care Unit.  She was helpful in explaining the process for a Certificate of Need.

From these discussions, I learned that hospitals make money on their operating rooms.  North Hawaii Community Hospital is booked solid with orthopedic and gastroenterology procedures.  Queens Medical has taken over the operations of North Hawaii Community Hospital.  There is currently no facility or any cardiologists to staff a dedicated cardiac care unit for West Hawaii.

We came to the conclusion that Kona Community Hospital (KCH) was the best location for a Cardiac Care unit.  I also learned there is additional, unused land adjacent to the Kona Community Hospital for expansion if a full-scale cardiac care unit is needed in the future. I also learned that here is a 2-hour window where a patient must receive intervential care to recover completely. By the time a cardiac victim would get from their home to KCH is evaluated and airlifted to Maui or Oahu, much more than two hours have elapsed- 4 hours is a more likely estimate. All of the people I talked to expressed the need for a new hospital closer to the Kona International Airport.

Kona Community Hospital has one cardiologist listed on their list of specialists, Dr. Michael Dang who comes periodically from Honolulu.  Dr. Larry Derbes has applied for privileges at KCH and is an interventional cardiologist in private practice in Kona.  He agrees that a Catheterization Lab to do stents and ablations and to treat strokes is very necessary for West Hawaii, would save lives and result in better outcomes and quality of life for cardiac patients. He is interested in helping to establish, and in working at a Cardiac Care Facility.  He also outlined the challenges of a doctor trying to make a living on the Big Island because of the Medicare reimbursement rate, which is roughly 93% of the actual cost of living. He was working in Waimea, but is closing that office and moving his practice to downtown Kona, approximately 20 minutes from KCH.

Jay Kreuzer, is the CEO of KCH, and has also been a cardiac patient. He said that the problem with the the Medicare reimbursement rate of only 93% of the actual cost, is compounded by Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA-the State of Hawaii’s biggest healthcare insurer) compensates at only 110% of the Medicare Reimbursement Rate as compared with most mainland insurance companies which reimburse at 130% of the Medicare rate.  These explanations further illustrate the negative impacts of insufficient reimbursement rates for attracting and retaining good doctors on the islands.

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.  He confided that Queens and KCH are in negotiations to acquire KCH.   He said the difficulty with a Cardiac Care unit is finding cardiologists to staff the clinics,  “There is no sense in building it if we don’t have the staff.”  If Queens acquires KCH, he believes more doctors would be available for rotations at KCH for specialties.

Queens’ strategy would be to enable more patients to stay on the outer islands instead of going to Oahu because their beds are always full. He also told me that the recent heavy rains had caused extensive flooding and damage to one of the Operating Rooms, which might represent an opportunity to remodel for a hybrid OR and Cath Lab.

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 reiterated what Jay Kreuzer said about why it is difficult to keep good doctors.  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.

This discussion was between Frank and a staff member from the Hawaii Community Foundation. Frank and I also discussed setting up an annuity pool with the Kona Hospital Foundation to fund several stipends for cardiac specialists who are willing to be “on call” at the hospital.  We talked about the possible need to hire a grant writer and/ or approaching several donors interested in better cardiac care on the island.

SOLUTIONS:

A HYBRID CATHETERIZATION LAB/ OPERATING ROOM FOR KONA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: According to the medical planner, Teri Oelrich, affiliated with NBBJ architects, many rural areas first create a hybrid Catheterization Lab out of an existing Operating Room.  She estimated that this could be accomplished for approximately $1.5 million for equipment only; remodeling would be an additional cost.

The recent flooding of the Operating Room at KCH presents an opportunity to remodel the Operating Room and accommodate Cath Lab equipment.

STAFFING: Funding mechanisms could be established through donations to the Hawaii Community Foundation or the Kona Community Hospital Foundation

Establish a funded “chair position” for each specialty that is needed with a yearly stipend.

OR establish a pool of money as an annuity that will provide a stipend each year for several specialists.

STEPS TO ACHIEVE:

COMPILE STATISTICS to show the need for the Catheterization Lab by using billing for the last 2 years, or assessing airlifted patients as to why they were being carried off-island. The goal of this would be to establish the need for a Catheterization Lab or other specialties and give direction to the hospital and the Board as to what doctors, staff and facilities would be needed. This is important because:

With this data KCH would know what specialties and specialists were needed to treat and allow patients on the island to recover, which is a huge benefit for better outcomes for the patient and keeps interventions in the 2-hour window.  In the event of a Queen’s acquisition, it would expedite a facilities upgrade and staff hiring.

Having this data available would help determine the best strategies on how to repair the flood damaged ER (possibly into a cath lab hybrid).

Having the data could illustrate the need for a cath lab, and support the Board and CEO’s strategic planning.

FUNDRAISING

Consider hiring a grant writer to apply for grants from the Hawaii Community Foundation, HMSA Foundation, Kona Community Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary of Kona, Heart Association, Bill Healy Foundation, Ironman Foundation etc.

Establish an annuity to provide stipends of $50,000 for one or two on call cardiologists or a visiting cardiologist for KCH.  For example:  An annuity could be set up for $1,000,000 to invest at 5% to raise $50,000 per year for a stipend to pay a cardiologist to be on-call in addition to their private practice.

Contributors (Alphabetical Order) – Dr. Lawerence Derbes, Debbie Hecht, Jay Kreuzer, John Luft Teri Oelrich, Dr. Frank Sayre


Here is the Response from the West Hawaii Regional Board of Directors.

The response:  WHRBOD Decision Letter Cath Lab Proposal 6.10.16

To see the Board members in case you might want to speak to them about this:  http://www.kch.hhsc.org/about-us/senior-leadership/regional-board-of-directors/default.aspx

There is an ongoing problem to keeping doctors in Hawaii that is outlined in the report.  There is more information needed on how to best serve the Community.

Please contact me to become part of the movement to have community needs met by the Kona Community Hospital.  Mahalo!    Debbie Hecht

Vandals Damage One Of Hawaii‘s Most Important Cultural Site

Kaniakapupu, in the forest above Honolulu, in the Nuuanu district, is central to the story of modern Hawai‘i.  Not only was it the summer palace of King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama, it was the first government building built in western style with mortar and plaster.  Completed in 1845, Kaniakapupu was the “scene of entertainment of foreign celebrities and the feasting of chiefs and commoners.  The greatest was a luau attended by 10,000 celebrating Hawaiian Restoration Day in 1847,” (from a plaque erected on-site by the Commission on Historical Sites). Earlier it was the site of a notable heiau for Hawaiian royalty.

Kaniakapupu-Vandalism

Recently vandals etched a series of crosses on at least three of the inside walls of the crumbling structure.  For more than 15 years, volunteers from Aha Hui Malama O Kaniakapupu have worked tirelessly to protect and preserve this historically and culturally significant place.  During a recent trip to the site, the vice-chairman of the group, Baron Ching, pleaded, “Leave it alone. Don’t scratch it, don’t do anything to it, come with respect.  Criminy sakes, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but this is not a graffiti palette to do your thing.  This is important to a lot of people.  This is important to the Hawaiian nation, yea.  It’s just utter disrespect, utter disrespect.  How does it make me feel?  It makes me feel awful.”

On the day Ching visited the site with Ryan Peralta of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, a family spread a blanket over the top of a stone structure just outside the walls of Kaniakapupu and prepared for a photo shoot.  Even this seemingly innocuous activity is viewed as culturally disrespectful. Ching added, “Come with respect. There is history going back to the beginning of time in this area. Modern Hawai‘i was forged in this place…inside these walls every single monarch, every single high chief or chiefess were inside these walls…and it’s entirely inappropriate to put graffiti on the walls, to move the stones around. It’s entirely inappropriate to be climbing around this place.”

A DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officer also checked out the site and the vandalism.  Unfortunately unless vandals are actually caught in the act of desecrating the sacred site, it’s difficult to identify them and subsequently cite them.

Within the past month, vandals also etched marks on the walls underneath the newly restored fence surrounding Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu.  Reflecting on this kind of activity, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case commented, “It’s hard to understand how anyone thinks it is okay or pono to draw or etch graffiti on any of Hawai‘i’s historical or cultural treasures.  They need to understand that their actions not only potentially destroy the cultural integrity of these sites and structures, but also show tremendous disrespect toward our host culture and to the countless volunteers and staff who work hard to preserve these places for future generations.”

Ching concluded, “It’s not the first time they’ve carved all kinds of stuff in there.  They’re carving happy faces, all kinds of stupid stuff.  This plaster is 180 years old; was put here by the hands of the kapuna. It was the first government building built by the government of Hawai‘i. When you vandalize it or damage it in anyway, there’s no way we can repair that.”

Social media sites have potentially exacerbated vandalism by failing to point out that Kaniakapupu is closed to visitation and no one should be in the area. Anyone who witnesses or has knowledge of vandalism to any historical or cultural site in Hawai‘i is encouraged to call the statewide DOCARE Hotline at 643-DLNR.

Kaniakapupu Vandalism Video News Release, June 23, 2016 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Hawaii Companies Cited for HI-5 Violations – Costco Fined Nearly $16,000

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is reminding all beverage distributors in the state of reporting requirements for HI-5 beverage containers. Failure to properly meet reporting deadlines or improper reporting can result in penalty fines of up to $10,000 per violation per day. The next upcoming HI-5 beverage container reporting deadline is July 15, 2016.

HI-5Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the semi-annual payment period. DOH conducts regular inspections of beverage distributors and certified redemption centers to ensure compliance with Hawaii laws.

“The department issued notices to nine companies for violations during the last reporting period,” said Darren Park, manager of the Deposit Beverage Container Program. “Distributors and recyclers are reminded to comply with all upcoming deadlines and requirements to avoid penalty fees or suspension of certification.”

The department’s Deposit Beverage Container Program issued Notices of Violation and Order (NOVO) against nine companies in the past year for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law. All of the companies were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2015 and each company was fined an administrative penalty fee of $400 for failure to comply with deposit container requirements. Each company was provided the opportunity to request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The companies cited were:

  • BEM, Inc. dba Kona Kombucha located at 32-2032 Old Mamalahoa Highway in Papaaloa on Hawaii Island;
  • Celestial Natural Foods, Inc. located at 66-443 Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa on Oahu;
  • Gauranga Live LLC located at 200 Kanoelehua Ave. in Hilo on Hawaii Island
  • Genesis Today located at 6800 Burleson Road in Austin, Texas;
  • Instapressed located at 856 Ilaniwai St. in Honolulu on Oahu;
  • Jeonju Makeolli USA Company located at P.O. Box 1313 in Honolulu on Oahu;
  • Kauai Natural Waters LLC located at 5694 Ohelo Road in Kapaa on Kauai;
  • Nalo Juice LLC located at 402 Opihikao Place in Honolulu on Oahu, and
  • Pacific Hi-Tak, Inc. located at P.O. Box 701 in Honolulu on Oahu.

DOH also cited a number of companies in 2015 and 2014 for other violations of the Deposit Beverage Container Law.

Costco Wholesale Corporation located at 525 Alakawa Street in Honolulu on Oahu was cited for failing to properly label deposit beverage containers for Kirkland brand water during compliance inspections in 2015 on Oct. 9 and Nov. 10. Costco paid a penalty of $15,998.

Garden Isle Disposal, Inc. located in Lihue on Kauai was cited for multiple violations within the period of March 18, 2014 to June 27, 2015 that included failing to inspect deposit containers for redemption labels, failing to pay only on eligible containers, and failing to inspect deposit containers for contamination. Garden Isle Disposal (GID) was fined an administrative penalty fee of $12,000. A settlement reached between DOH and GID through a consent order requires GID to pay $3,000 and submit a corrective action plan to avoid future violations. GID will forfeit the $9,000 in suspended penalty fees if there are additional Deposit Beverage Container Law violation(s) within one year of the consent order.

Wow Wow Lemonade, LLC located in Kahului on Maui was cited for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2015. The company paid a penalty fee of $400.

Kale’s Natural Foods located in Honolulu on Oahu was cited and fined a penalty fee of $400 for failure to submit their semi-annual report for Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014.

FRS located in Chantilly, VA was cited for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014 and paid a penalty fee of $400.

Kukuiula Store located in Koloa on Kauai was cited for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014 and paid a penalty fee of $440.

HaHa Hawaiian Organics, Inc. located in Honolulu on Oahu was cited and paid a penalty fee of $400 for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The company was cited again and fined a penalty of $400 for non-payments and delinquent reporting for Jan. 1 to June 30, 2015. DOH withdrew the penalty after the dissolution of the company.

DOH issued a total of 17 Notices of Violations and Orders for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 to deposit beverage container distributors for failing to submit their reports and payments and to certified redemption centers for various redemption violations. Despite the DOH’s compliance assistance attempts, these companies continued demonstrating non-compliance with the deposit beverage container program.

Governor Ige Town Hall Meeting in Kailua-Kona Friday

Governor David Ige has announced a town hall meeting this Friday in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Governor Ige Profile

What: Governor David Ige’s Community Connection town hall meeting in Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island. This is an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with the governor and members of his administration on issues that are important to the West Hawai‘i community.

Who:              

  • Governor Ige
  • Scott Morishige, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness
  • Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Agriculture                                               

When:  Friday, June 24, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm 

Where: Hawai‘i Community College — Palamanui 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona

Big Island Police Searching for Parties Responsible for Dumping Abandoned & Derelict Vehicles

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking the public for help in identifying individuals or businesses who are responsible for the dumping of abandoned and derelict vehicles.
Abandoned
Since January 1, approximately 280 abandoned or derelict vehicles have been reported in the Kona District alone, compared with 106 reported during the same period in 2015.

“Be on the lookout for private or business vehicles that may be dumping vehicles on the sides of our roadways,” said Sergeant Roylen Valera of the Kona Community Policing Section. Dumping a vehicle is a criminal offense punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, offenders could face a criminal littering charge, which is a petty misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $1,000 and community service.

“We would like to remind vehicle owners to complete the necessary paperwork if they dispose or transfer their vehicle to another person or entity, to ensure that they will not be liable for the vehicle if it is found abandoned on the side of the road,” Sergeant Valera said. If the paperwork is not completed, you will be responsible for any fines or towing charges. Our goal is to preserve the beauty of Hawaiʻi Island. ”

Police ask anyone who knows the identity of those who dump abandoned or derelict vehicles to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Sergeant Roylen Valera at 326-4646, extension 259.

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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

State Awarded $764 Thousand to Study Military Impact on Hawai‘i’s Economy

The State of Hawai‘i has been awarded a $763,856 grant by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to complete a Supply Chain Map for Hawai‘i’s defense contracting community. This grant starts on July 1, 2016 and will be administered by the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

110831-N-IC111-250 PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Aug. 31, 2011) – Sailors and Marines render honors as the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) passes the USS Arizona Memorial while entering Pearl Harbor for a port visit. Ronald Reagan is currently in the 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin B. Gray/RELEASED)

110831-N-IC111-250 PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Aug. 31, 2011) – Sailors and Marines render honors as the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) passes the USS Arizona Memorial while entering Pearl Harbor for a port visit. Ronald Reagan is currently in the 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin B. Gray/RELEASED)

The defense industry is Hawai‘i’s #2 economic sector. Past analyses of the impact of the military in Hawai‘i have been completed at the macro-economic level. The average annual direct defense expenditures in Hawai‘i are about $8.8 billion, resulting in a total output of $12.2 billion into the economy. This sector supports approximately 100,000 jobs, or 16.5% of Hawai‘i’s total jobs, across all islands.

“This grant will enable the State of Hawai‘i to identify the prime contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers to the military. This will enable us to plan ahead to better support this critical component of our economy by ensuring that Hawai‘i  businesses are prepared to adapt to changing defense requirements,” said Gov. David Ige.

The Military Affairs Council (MAC) of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i is a strategic partner for this grant. “We look forward to partnering with the state to inventory and study Hawai‘i’s DoD supply chain which includes all of our MAC members. This project will reveal how the defense sector impacts every island and aspect of our economy,” said David Carey, Chairman of the Military Affairs Council.