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Real-Life CSI Coming to Kona

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is offering a class on Introduction to Forensics: Real-Life CSI in Kailua-Kona.

CSI

Classes will be held at Kealakehe Intermediate School (Room TBA) on Tuesdays from 5 – 7 p.m., September 13 to November 22, with no session on November 8. Tuition is $150. The textbook Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 8th edition by Richard Saferstein is required.

This non-credit class will introduce participants to the field of forensic science. Evidence collected at a crime scene can often tell the story of a criminal act if properly interpreted. Detection and analysis of DNA traces, fiber, hair, body fluids, fingerprints, footprints, toxic substances and illegal drugs are fundamental to the forensic scientist’s craft.

The instructor is Dr. Kristal Uhl-Blacksmith, an environmental engineering consultant and former mortician, who has taught biology, anatomy and forensics.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/ccecs/.

Ensuring a Future for Hawaii’s Endangered Forest Birds

Two Species on the Brink of Extinction Being Brought Into Safety from Threats in the Wild

Hawaii’s forest birds are one of the best examples anywhere in the world, of what’s known as adaptive radiation. This means a few founding individual species evolved into a multitude of species. They’re also a key reason Hawaii holds the unenviable nickname of “extinction capitol of the world”, as many species have disappeared since the arrival of people to the islands.

Endangered Bird2

Most of the remaining are highly endangered and the subject of intense conservation efforts. Habitat loss and degradation, non-native predators, landscape-altering invasive weeds, and avian disease spread by mosquitoes have all contributed to the current predicament faced by these species.

John Vetter, for the DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife explains, “Kauai is the starkest example of this endangerment. Since the 1960s, five species have gone extinct, with three others considered critically endangered.

Endangered BirdIntroduced avian malaria is the biggest driver of this extinction crisis, but habitat degradation and non-native predators continue playing a significant role. Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Iniki, contribute to habitat loss or destruction. Avian disease is spread by non-native mosquitoes, which have been moving upslope as the climate warms, threatening the populations of the species at the highest parts of the island.”

Over the past two years, DLNR and its partners, led by the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project have spent many months deep in the forests of the Alakai Wilderness Preserve  searching for nests of two species, the Akikiki and Akekee. They collect eggs that are then moved to a captive breeding facility. There are fewer than 1,000 Akekee and the Akikiki population is below 500 birds. Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton, the project leader said, “Both have experienced significant declines over the past decade leading to concerns that these species will disappear in the near future.”

“The creation of captive populations serves as insurance for the possible extinction of the species, while simultaneously providing young that can eventually be reintroduced back into the wild,” Crampton added.

Endangered Bird3A similar program for the Puaiohi, another critically endangered species found only on Kauai, was successful and culminated in the release of hundreds of captive-reared birds to supplement the wild population. Earlier this year, most of the remaining Puaiohi individuals in captivity were released back into the forest, signaling the end of the program. This fall, the rarest species of Hawaiian forest bird, the Alala, will be reintroduced back to the forests of Hawaii Island. The last wild one disappeared in 2002. The remaining 130 birds are found only in two captive facilities on Maui and Hawaii Island.

Significant partners in these efforts include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has contributed significant funding and expertise to these projects, and San Diego Zoo Global, which manages the captive breeding of these critically-endangered species, and plays a large role in the reintroduction and monitoring of the birds back to the wild. The Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, a project of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii and DLNR, oversees the research and management of the species on Kauai. They lead nest-searching and collection efforts, while also controlling other threats to the species in the wild, primarily rats.

That “KMT” Sticker on the Back of University of Hawaii Football Team Helmets

The University of Hawaii Football team will be taking on the California Bears tomorrow in a game that will be played overseas in Australia.

The team will have a special sticker on the back of the helmet that will be worn the entire the season:

Photo via Na Koa Football Club

Photo via Na Koa Football Club

The photo honors the late K. Mark Takai, US House of Representative, UH alum and Letterwinner.

President Barack Obama Announces the Expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Today, President Barack Obama announced the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) by more than 442,000 square miles.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), who formally proposed the PMNM expansion in a letter to the president in June, applauded the decision. This action will create the world’s largest marine protected area by putting some of the world’s most important ocean ecosystems under conservation.

new area
“This is one of the most important actions an American president has ever taken for the health of the oceans,” said Senator Schatz. “Expanding Papahanaumokuakea will replenish stocks of ‘ahi, promote biodiversity, fight climate change, and give a greater voice to Native Hawaiians in managing this resource.  President Obama’s declaration is only the beginning.  To create continued success, we will need to follow through with management, research, educational opportunities, and enforcement.  This declaration sets us on a strong path forward for our irreplaceable environment and the generations to come.”

At 582,578 square miles, the declaration creates the world’s largest marine protected area by expanding the PMNM west of 163° West Longitude out to the full 200 nautical miles of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, while preserving access for local fishermen on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau by maintaining the current boundaries of the PMNM east of 163° West Longitude.  President Obama will also grant Schatz’s request to make the Office of Hawaiian Affairs a Co-Trustee of the PMNM.

HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic Results

A total of 122 youths from 13 teams, included four teams from Oahu and Maui, participated in the HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic this past weekend at Waiākea-Uka Gym.

In the Varsity Girls division finals, Maui Sparks edged Wahine Ryders 41-39 in overtime, with Mikayla Tablit hitting the game winning three-pointer in the waning seconds of the game. Tablit led the Sparks with 21 points. Mandy Kawaha topped the Ryders with 19.

Maui Sparks

Maui Sparks

Members of the champion Maui Sparks squad included Tablit, Nel Mae Bumanglag, Kaylee and Kyra Cambra, Kamaile Cugal, Jordyn Mantz, Honeylet Padasadao, Ashley Taylor Peralta, Kealia Sjostrand, Mikiala Sniffen and Tanniya Uchida.

In the third-place contest, Waiākea defeated Keaʻau 43-15. Madison Hwang tallied 10 for Waiākea.

In the Girls Rising Stars finals, Kona Stingrays withstood a furious comeback from Hoop Dreams to claim the championship 26-25. Gracie Hing scored 11 points for the Stingrays and Keani Midel had 10 for Hoop Dreams.

Kona Stingrays

Kona Stingrays

Members of the champion Stingrays included Hing, Kassie and Lanie Alapai, Kiera Ambrosia, Tayvia Cabatbat, Dallas Carlos, Rebekah Fong, Peyton Healeamau, Gabryela Kaipo, Iolani Kamakau, Caiyle Kaupu and Juliana Losalio.

In the third-place contest, Honokaʻa outscored Maui Sparks 26-15. Kaliana Salazar-Harrell led Honokaʻa with 14 points.

In the boys Rising Stars division, Hoop Dreams out-gunned St. Joseph 62-32 to claim the title. Keawe Silva scored 18 points, Kobe Kahele added 16 and Kiaʻi Apele tallied 11 for the champions. Stan Mawry led the runners-up with 10 points.

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Members of the champion Hoop Dreams included Silva, Kahele, Apele, Kaukahi Alameda, Macmillan Aloisio, Isaiah Cordero, Chance Simeona, and Kaupena Yasso.

In the third-place contest, Hawaiʻi Storm ran past PGU 42-7. Enzo Mazzulli scored 10 for the Storm.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaii Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.

Big Island Police Name “Officers of the Month” for July & August

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Puna Patrol Officers Eddie Cardines and Whitman McCallum on Thursday (August 25) as “Officers of the Month” for July and Vice Officer Zenas Pacheco as “Officer of the Month” for August.

Officers of the Month for July: Whitman McCallum and Eddie Cardines

Officers of the Month for July: Whitman McCallum and Eddie Cardines

Officers Cardines and McCallum were honored for their actions that led to the immediate capture of a triple homicide suspect. Officer Pacheco was commended for reducing the supply of methamphetamine in East Hawaiʻi.

In the early hours of May 6, Officers Cardines and McCallum were dispatched to a report of a possible gunshot victim in Leilani Estates. As they were trying to locate the house, McCallum noticed a vehicle leaving the area without its lights on. He alerted his fellow officers and attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver evaded him and drove away. Officer Cardines caught up with the vehicle a block away and made a felony traffic stop. After the suspect was apprehended, Cardines inspected the car, preserved critical evidence in danger of being washed away by a sudden downpour of rain, and made observations that ultimately led to the discovery of a woman’s body in the trunk.

Once the suspect had been secured, McCallum joined another officer to check the suspect’s house, where they discovered the bodies of two young children.

Sergeant Brandon Konanui said the actions of McCallum and Cardines led to the preservation of evidence and the “quick capture of a highly dangerous suspect.”

Officer of the Month for August: Zenas Pacheco

Officer of the Month for August: Zenas Pacheco

Officer Pacheco’s award was for seizing what Acting Lieutenant Brian Miller described as an “unheard of” amount of methamphetamine in East East Hawaiʻi. “Within the past two months, Officer Pacheco has recovered approximately 6 pounds of methamphetamine, which was headed to high-level drug suppliers in East Hawaiʻi,” Miller wrote in nomination papers.

In one case, a suspect who was in the custody of Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center had been distributing meth while out on work furlough. Pacheco recovered 11.5 ounces of the drug after executing a search warrant on the inmate’s car in June.

Officer Pacheco developed enough information to conduct a joint operation with the Drug Enforcement Administration in July on the supplier of the man arrested in June. They recovered more than 5 pounds of meth, leading to the arrest of the supplier, who is facing a mandatory 10-year sentence to federal prison.

As “Officer of the Month,” the honored officers are eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

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

International Market Place Celebrates Grand Opening Today in Waikiki

Thousands gathered today to take part in the grand opening of the fully reimagined International Market Place in Waikīkī. The 345,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center offers Hawai‘i’s first Saks Fifth Avenue as well as a world-class lineup of restaurants and retailers – nearly 50 percent of which will be unique to O’ahu.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

“From dining under the sun and stars on the spectacular Grand Lānai to the excellent retail and entertainment, International Market Place will once again serve as a special gathering place for residents and tourists in the heart of Waikīkī,” said Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, Inc. “We believe it will become a premiere destination on the island, and one of the best assets in our portfolio.”

Situated between the bustling Kalākaua and Kūhiō Avenues, International Market Place will offer approximately 90 of today’s most sought-after retailers and ten world-class restaurants. The center’s exceptional design incorporates a “cultural journey” of the land and its people, water features, indigenous landscaping and the historic 160-year-old banyan tree.

“International Market Place offers a unique Hawaiian sense of place that honors the past, perpetuates Queen Emma’s legacy and looks to the future,” said Cordell Lietz, president, CoastWood Capital Group. “It has been an honor to work with Taubman and Queen Emma Land Company to bring to fruition our shared vision for the important historic site.”

“We are excited for this property’s future as it establishes its own reputation and legacy as a new iconic landmark and gathering place,” said Eric Martinson, president of Queen Emma Land Company, the owners of the land on which International Market Place sits.

The International Market Place retail and restaurant lineup includes the following. A single asterisk (*) before the name indicates brands that are unique to the island.

STORES:
*45rpm
ABC Stores
*Abeo
Abercrombie & Fitch
Aesop
Anthropologie
Banana Republic
*BCBG MAX AZRIA
Brunello Cucinelli
*Capital Teas
*Catimini
Chapel Hats
*Christian Louboutin
Clarks
Crazy Shirts
*Fabletics
Flip Flop Shops
FootAction USA
Fossil
*Free People
GameStop
GNC Live Well
Godiva Belgium 1926
Greenroom Hawaii
*Hanna Andersson
*Hervé Léger
Hilton Grand Vacations (kiosk)
Hollister
Honolulu Cookie Co.
*Intermix
Island Art & Sole
*Jo Malone
*Kona Coffee Purveyors
*Kula & Ko
Laline
Lani Beach by Mireille
L’Occitane en Provence
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
MAC
Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats
Maui Divers Jewelry
Michael Kors
*Mitsuwa Marketplace
*Oliver Peoples
*Ondademar
Pacific Harley-Davidson
Pandora
Papyrus
*Penhaligon’s
*Robin’s Jean
*Saks Fifth Avenue
Sand People
*Seafolly Australia
*Shinola
Shoe Palace
*Stuart Weitzman
*Sugarfina
Sunglass Hut
Swarovski
Tabora Gallery
Tesla
*Trina Turk
Vera Bradley
Vilebrequin
*YOGASMOGA

RESTAURANTS ON THE GRAND LĀNAI (THIRD LEVEL):
*Baku
*Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi
*Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza
Goma Tei Ramen
*Herringbone
*Kona Grill
*STRIPSTEAK
*Yauatcha

RESTAURANT ON THE FIRST LEVEL:
*The STREET, A Michael Mina Social House

In addition to the stellar shopping and dining, guests can enjoy a free show each evening called “O Nā Lani Sunset Stories” that kicks off with a ceremonial lighting of the Lamakū Torch Tower that sits proudly on Kalākaua Ave. Honoring the beloved Queen Emma, the nightly show highlights stories, traditions and culture of this special gathering place.

Guests to International Market Place may take advantage of many amenities, including a 700-space parking garage, valet parking, electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi and much more.

International Market Place was developed through a partnership between Taubman and CoastWood Capital Group in conjunction with Queen Emma Land Company. Revenues will directly support The Queen’s Medical Center, the state’s largest private, nonprofit hospital and its mission of providing quality health care to all of Hawai‘i’s people.

For more information on the shopping, dining and entertainment destination, please visit ShopInternationalMarketPlace.com, Instagram: @intlmktplace and in Japanese @intlmktplacejp; Facebook: facebook.com/IntlMktPlace and in Japanese at facebook.com/IntlMktPlaceJP.

Hawaii’s Public High School Graduates Improve in ACT College Preparedness Test Scores

A national report released Tuesday shows an increase in Hawaii public schools’ Class of 2016 graduates meeting college readiness benchmarks. ACT, a research-based non-profit organization, issued The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report, which includes information on students taking the ACT test in every state, including Hawaii.

2016 act

Hawaii’s Class of 2016 public high school graduates meeting ACT’s college readiness benchmarks saw these year-over-year changes:

  • A 2 percentage point improvement in Mathematics
  • A 1 percentage point improvement in English and Science
  • Unchanged Reading scores

Approximately 10,525 Hawaii public school graduates in the Class of 2016 took the ACT college preparedness test as juniors. All of Hawaii’s public school juniors now take the ACT test as part of a range of recent transformational efforts to increase students’ college and career readiness. Learn more about these efforts in an Expectation of College . These efforts have produced strong increases in college enrollment, enrollment in early college programs at the high school level, as well as significant declines in college-level remediation in English and Mathematics.

The ACT results provide students information about their readiness for postsecondary education, a score that they can use for college admissions and placement, and information about how to better prepare for postsecondary education during their senior years. The ACT includes a student survey to gauge their plans for life after high school.

“Eighty percent of 2016 graduates who took the ACT test indicated their desire to earn a two- or four-year college degree, and we are encouraged by steady gains in our students’ college preparation and enrollment,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  “However, we recognize the need for more of our students to be ready for the rigors of work and study after high school.”

Over the past three years, Hawaii public school students have seen steady improvements in the individually tested ACT subjects:

  • 4 percentage points up in English
  • 3 percentage points up each in Mathematics, Reading and Science

While Hawaii’s scores have been rising, ACT scores nationwide have shown declines and fluctuating results. Also, not all states administer the ACT to all juniors.

Improvements in the recent ACT scores are a promising reflection of college readiness in Hawaii’s public high school graduates. The ACT is one of only two readiness examinations used for U.S. college and university admissions and was taken by approximately 2.09 million 2016 graduates nationwide.

Click here to view The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report.

 

Hawaii Governor Signs Letter of Support for Expansion of Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Gov. David Ige sent a letter to President Barack Obama conveying his support for the expansion of the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

The letter was signed and transmitted on the evening of Aug. 24.

Jennifer Greenwell Earns Licensed Q Grader Certification

Greenwell Farms knows that keeping the quality of Kona’s world famous coffee is important to ensure its sustainability for seasons to come. Quality assurance at Greenwell Farms has been enhanced as Jennifer Greenwell recently earned a prestigious Coffee Quality Institute’s Q Grading certification.

Earlier this summer, Jennifer Greenwell spent an intense week pursuing the prestigious and respected certification as part of a seven-person group testing under the direction of Jodi Dowell Wieser. This was the first Q Grader and Training exam in Hawaii. Greenwell had to successfully pass over 20 intense test sections on coffee related subjects, such as green grading, roast identification, coffee cupping, sensory skills and sensory triangulation.

jennifer greenwell

Prior to the exams, Greenwell prepared and for 30 + days engaged in an Olympic-type coffee cupping training with Chai Neo, the other certified Q Grader at Greenwell Farms. Greenwell had to train her taste buds to respond to the sweet, sour, and salt areas of the tongue and together, Greenwell and Neo cupped and cupped coffee samples from around the world as Greenwell grew more and more confident in her skills. Armed with heavy training, Greenwell headed to Oahu, knowing the difficult and demanding testing she would be up against.

“I’m personally so grateful to Jackie and Ray Suiter of Kona Coffee Purveyors for making the Q Grader certification possible here in Hawaii. They are really the ones that made it happen by certifying their lab, rearranging roasting schedules and getting Jody out here to Hawaii to conduct the certification,” said Jennifer Greenwell.

With this prestigious certification, Jennifer Greenwell joins an elite group of coffee industry experts. Greenwell and Chai Neo are both qualified to cup and grade coffee based on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s standards and methods. The Q Grading Certification program was created in 2004 to train coffee professionals to better identify the scientific tasting protocols, coffee grading, coffee knowledge and develop sharp sensory skills critical in identifying the common aromatic scents found in coffee.

With two Q Graders now on the farm, Greenwell Farms has doubled the quality-based guarantee that its coffee has been strictly evaluated by coffee experts to ensure quality. These two Greenwell Farms Q-Graders will continue to contribute greatly to the Greenwell Farms quality control efforts and the goal of producing the highest quality Kona coffee possible.

“As Hawaii continues to lead the US coffee growing industry, having cupping certification opportunities is important for the industry as a whole,” stated Tom Greenwell, proud husband and Greenwell Farm President. “With every Q Grader certification, expertise in industry knowledge grows and naturally branches out into the consumer market, making coffee drinkers ultimately more aware of the importance of high quality coffee in their cup.”

Three Big Island Residents Selected for Omidyar Fellows Program

Omidyar Fellows Program is excited to announce Cohort V of the Omidyar Fellows! Please join us as we warmly welcome these 14 outstanding local executives from various sectors and islands.

Omidyar FellowsEach new Fellow will bring their own insights and experiences as they expand their leadership horizons together. Cohort V is ready to heed the call as they learn, discover, and collaborate to collectively impact the future of Hawaii.

  • Brad Bennett (Kaumana, Hawaii Island), complex area superintendent, Department of Education Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area
  • Kyle Chock (Kamuela, Hawaii Island), assistant executive secretary-treasurer, Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Elisia Flores (Hawaii Kai, Oahu), vice president and chief financial officer, L&L Franchise, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Ignacio (Waialae Iki, Oahu), orthopedic surgeon and managing partner, IMUA Orthopedics, Sports & Health
  • Malia Kaaihue (Kaimuki, Oahu), president, DTL, a Hawaiian strategy studio
  • Nalani Fujimori Kaina (Hawaii Kai, Oahu), executive director, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
  • Micah A. Kane (Kaneohe, Oahu), president and chief operating officer, Hawaii Community Foundation
  • Shelee Kimura (Aiea Heights, Oahu), vice president of corporate planning and business development, Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Keoni Lee (Kaimuki, Oahu), co-founder and owner, Oiwi TV
  • Richard Matsuda (Waimea, Hawaii Island), chief of operations, W. M. Keck Observatory
  • Alicia Moy (Kakaako, Oahu), president and chief executive officer, Hawaii Gas
  • Cameron Nekota (Kaimuki, Oahu), vice president, D.R. Horton Schuler Homes LLC
  • Susan Tai Kaneko (Lihue, Kauai), president and chief executive officer, Kauai Economic Development Board
  • Nicole Velasco (Lower Kalihi, Oahu), executive director, Office of Economic Development for the City & County of Honolulu

Matson to Build Two New Con-Ro Ships For Hawaii Service

Matson, Inc. today announced that its subsidiary, Matson Navigation Company, Inc., a leading U.S. carrier in the Pacific, has signed a contract with General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, to build two new combination container and roll-on/roll-off (“Con-Ro”) vessels for its Hawaii fleet at a contract price of $511 million for both vessels with deliveries scheduled for the end of 2019 and mid-year 2020.

Artist rendering of Matson Kanaloa Class vessel. Courtesy General Dynamics NASSCO

Artist rendering of Matson Kanaloa Class vessel. Courtesy General Dynamics NASSCO

Matson is calling these vessels the Kanaloa Class in honor of the ocean deity revered in the native Hawaiian culture and will name each of the new vessels after predecessor ships from its 134-year history.  The first vessel will be named Lurline, the sixth Matson vessel to carry that name, while the second vessel will be its fifth named Matsonia.

The Kanaloa Class vessels will be built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform, which is 265 meters long, 34.9 meters wide (beam), with a deep draft of 11.5 meters and enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles.  In addition, the new vessels will have state-of-the-art green technology features, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and dual-fuel engines, meaning that they will be able to operate at speeds up to 23 knots on either conventional fuel oils or liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) with some adaptation for LNG.  These advancements are important to Hawaii as a means to reduce fuel consumption, and will result in significant emissions reductions over time.

The two Kanaloa Class ships will replace three diesel powered vessels in active service, which will be moved to reserve status.  With delivery of the Kanaloa Class ships, along with its two new Aloha Class ships, Matson will have completed the renewal of its Hawaii fleet, allowing it to retire its seven older steamship vessels that will no longer comply with environmental regulations in 2020 without substantial modification.

The larger capacity of the Aloha Class and Kanaloa Class vessels will allow Matson to return to an optimal nine-ship fleet deployment in Hawaii, increasing efficiency and lowering operating costs.  The Kanaloa Class vessels are expected to be more fuel efficient than the ships they will replace and will add rolling stock carrying capacity while lowering operating, repair and maintenance, and dry-docking costs.

“This vessel order underscores Matson’s long-standing commitment to serve Hawaii with the largest, most reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly fleet for the long-term,” said Matt Cox, president and CEO.  “The Kanaloa Class ships will be built specifically to meet Hawaii’s freight demands while reducing our environmental impact and improving our efficiency for decades to come.”

Matson expects to finance the Kanaloa Class vessels primarily through cash flows from operations, borrowing available under the Company’s unsecured revolving credit facility and additional debt financings, which could include U.S. Government guaranteed vessel finance bonds (Title XI).

Avocado Thieves Caught Red Handed

Two men are being held on charges after being arrested for allegedly stealing avocados from an orchard in Puna.

In response to a 4:45 p.m. call Wednesday, Puna District officers learned that the owner of an orchard off Highway 132 in the Kapoho area had confronted two men and a woman in a pickup truck on his property after observing 80 pounds of avocados in the bed of the truck. The owner and a friend had blocked the truck and called the police.

Max Mattos

Max Mattos

The two men, 49-year-old Max Mattos of Keaʻau and 33-year-old Kawika Nobriga of Pāhoa, were arrested and charged with second-degree criminal trespass and second-degree theft. Their bail was set at $2,500 each.

Kawika Nobriga

Kawika Nobriga

The woman, 30-year-old Sabrina Jaeger of Pāhoa, was arrested on a bench warrant and charged with contempt of court. She was released after posting $300 bail.
Sabrina Jaeger
Mattos and Nobriga are being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (August 25).

Hawaii DLNR Supporting Feds Rule Prohibiting Swimming With Dolphins

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is supporting a proposed rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which would prohibit approaching a Hawaiian spinner dolphin within 50 yards by any means.  This would include commercial swim- with-dolphins programs.

swim with dolphin

Bruce Anderson, administrator of DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), said “We believe NOAA’s preferred option is reasonable.  Two of the five initial alternatives involved closing off entire areas designated as essential daytime habitats.  We felt that was going a little too far, but we can support approach rules and eliminating swim-with-dolphins activities.”

Anderson noted that the public comment period for the proposed rule ends October 23, 2016.  “We intend to comment,” he said.  “The proposed regulations would be in effect within two nautical miles of the main Hawaiian Islands, and within certain designated waters between Maui, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.  We will recommend NOAA expand that beyond two miles, all the way out to the limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which is 200 miles from shore.  We don’t see a rationale for a two-mile limit.”

Anderson also hopes NOAA will develop a plan to monitor the effectiveness of the proposed rule, once it goes into effect.

Hawaii TSA Worker/Department of Human Services Worker Busted for “Double Dipping”

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Ms. Roselani Wise was sentenced last month after pleading no contest to theft in the second degree for receiving unearned compensation from the State of Hawaii, Department of Human Services (DHS) from 2008 through 2012. During that four year period, Wise was employed as an Investigator for DHS. An investigation revealed, however, that while Wise was supposed to be working at her job at DHS, she was simultaneously working for – and being paid by – the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the Lihue Airport.

Roselani Wise

Attorney General Doug Chin said, “Public employees can hold outside employment as long as it is not legally prohibited. In this case, however, Ms. Wise claimed to be working for DHS during the same exact time she was actually working for TSA. That is theft of state money and that is why she was prosecuted.”

Due in part to her lack of prior criminal history, Wise was granted a deferred acceptance of no contest plea by Judge Randal Valenciano on July 21, 2016. The terms of Wise’s sentencing include five (5) years of probation, restitution to the State of Hawaii in the amount of nine-thousand seven-hundred-one dollars and thirty-two cents ($9,701.32), and 200 hours of community service. Wise is also required to pay eight-hundred ninety-five dollars ($895) to the Crime Victim Compensation Commission.

Theft in the second degree, a violation of section 708-831, Hawaii Revised Statutes is a class C felony.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Celebrates 20 Years Delivering Babies and Receives Certificate of Approval

North Hawaii Community Hospital is celebrating 20 years of service to the community by inviting everyone born at the hospital since its opening in 1996 to a birthday celebration on Friday, August 26 at 3 pm.

North Hawaii Community Hospital FrontAttendees will be treated to birthday cake and party favors, and are asked to bring their baby photo to display.

The hospital will also be celebrating Baby Friendly Day.  North Hawaii Community Hospital was designated a Baby Friendly hospital by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund for offering an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, and is one of only three in the state with this special designation.

And

North Hawaii Community Hospital Women’s Health CenteringPregnancy® program recently received their certificate of approval from the Centering Healthcare Institute.  After a thorough site visit and program review, Centering officials determined that North Hawaii Community Hospital’s program has demonstrated fidelity to the Centering model and is on track for sustainability.

Centering officials, who visited from Massachusetts, noted that Women’s Health is implementing the Centering model while integrating important cultural practices and traditions, making it unique and very special to the participants. “The staff and participants have created a sacred space that forges strong bonds and a sense of pride. This is a model site and should be encouraged to share their experiences,” said Centering officials.

Officials also noted the program’s excellent outcomes and patient satisfaction, good average group size, strong administrative support, and an effective and engaged steering committee.

CenteringPregnancy offers a group approach to prenatal care, combining three essential elements of care- health assessment, education, and support.  Approximately 10 to 12 expectant moms meet for 10 two-hour sessions starting in the first trimester of pregnancy.  Moms-to-be share stories and learn from one another and talk about health issues.  Each two-hour session is led by a Women’s Health certified nurse midwife and childbirth facilitator.  In the past year, CenteringPregnancy participants reported 100% satisfaction and exceeded goals for low birth weight and premature births.

For questions about the CenteringPregnancy program, contact Women’s Health at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 885-9606.

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Volcano Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Volcano girl who was reported missing.

Casey Baker-Fien

Casey Baker-Fien

Casey Baker-Fien was last seen in Volcano on August 4.

She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-3, 140 pounds with blue eyes and dark brown shoulder-length hair.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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

USS Port Royal and USS Hopper to Deploy Tomorrow

Guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), with an embarked detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37), and guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) will depart their homeport of Pearl Harbor for an independent deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of operation, Aug. 25.

USS Port Royal (CG 73)  U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Johnnie R. Robbins.  (RELEASED)

USS Port Royal (CG 73) U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Johnnie R. Robbins. (RELEASED)

“The warriors aboard USS Port Royal and USS Hopper have been working together diligently to prepare for this deployment to the 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet AOR,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37)

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37)

While deployed, Port Royal and Hopper will transit through the western Pacific to enter the 5th Fleet area of operation supporting maritime security operations and theater cooperation efforts.

USS Hopper (DDG 70)  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

USS Hopper (DDG 70) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

“Port Royal and Hopper crews are trained and ready to execute higher headquarters tasking. We join their friends and families in wishing them a safe and successful deployment,” said Fuller.

Port Royal and Hopper help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Sustaining Healthy Forested Watersheds For Hawaii’s Communities

As global climate change progresses, what will happen to Hawai‘i’s aquifers and the ecosystem services which healthy forest watersheds provide? Will we be able to meet our future fresh water needs for drinking and agriculture?

Watershed fence

A report just issued by the Hawai‘i Environmental Funders Group, “He Lono Moku: The State of the Environment,” says “Hawai‘i consumes water at almost double the national average, with residents and non-agricultural businesses using an average 144 gallons of water per day, or 4,320 gallons per month, due in part to the impact of 7 million tourists a year.” The report was issued in advance of the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress meeting in Honolulu, Sept. 1-10, and highlights the need to protect and more efficiently use our fresh water supply.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) manages a little more than one million acres of public land.  Approximately 900,000 acres fall within a Watershed Partnership boundary.

One way that DOFAW seeks to protect priority watersheds is by supporting Watershed Partnerships. These are voluntary alliances between public and private landowners who recognize that cooperating across landscapes and landowner boundaries is the most cost-effective way to maximize watershed protection.  Watershed Partnerships play an important role in protecting and preventing the loss of more native forest by: combating the main threats of ungulates (hooved animals such as goats, deer, sheep, pigs, cattle); controlling invasive species; and outplanting native forest species.

These management actions also benefit our coastal and coral reef areas by reducing erosion and sedimentation effects in streams and during heavy rains.

Watershed Partnerships help secure grant funding and in-kind services matching state dollars to achieve broad scale conservation goals. DLNR is currently going through its annual process of awarding $2.5 million in state funding to Watershed Partnerships and other groups engaged in watershed protection and management.

To formally recognize the state’s dedication to watershed protection, the Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships* (HAWP) was established in 2003 to build public and private support for watershed protection.  Division of Forestry and Wildlife Watershed Partnerships planner Katie Ersbak says, “Over the last 25 years they’ve grown to encompass 10 active partnerships across the state, covering about 2.2 million acres; roughly half the land in the entire state. These are areas that are the most critical for water recharge. They also have the highest percentage of biodiversity, unique flora and fauna, and rare and endangered plants.”

The Watershed Partnerships involve over 74 public and private landowners and partners. The benefits of collaborative management practiced under Watershed Partnerships are many:

  1. Cooperative management actions address large landscapes and threats affecting multiple habitats and species;
  2. Leverage available funding for maximum benefits and allow the pooling of resources as well as expertise to reduce redundancy efforts;
  3. Allow operational infrastructure to fill gaps and work on both public and private land
  4. Develop long-term relationships with communities and hire locally to help train the next generation of conservation leaders.

DLNR & YOU-Sustaining Healthy Forested Watersheds for Hawaii's Communities from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Genki Sushi Updates Customers On Status of Reopening of Restaurants

Genki Sushi today issued an update on the status of its efforts to reopen its restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Since being notified by the Department of Health (DOH) of its decision to temporarily close 10 Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and one on Kauai on Aug. 15, the company has been working cooperatively with the department to take the required steps to comply with health standards and resume business.

Genki Sushi

“While our goal is to reopen our restaurants as soon as possible, Genki Sushi’s top priority is the health and safety of our customers, employees and the community,” said Mary Hansen, chief administrative officer, Genki Sushi USA. “Since the Department of Health announced the source of the illness was a food product that was received from a distributor, we have been working closely with state health officials to take the necessary actions to ensure all of our restaurants meet or exceed DOH guidelines and requirements.”

In addition to discarding produce, open packages of food, and single-serve equipment and utensils, as well as thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the restaurants according to DOH standards, the company has been focused on ensuring all of its employees in the impacted restaurants are screened and vaccinated.

The testing and vaccination results of the 358 employees will be compiled and provided to the DOH for their review and certification. The company hopes to have all of the employee screenings and vaccinations completed as soon as possible subject to the logistics of screening such a large number of employees at once.

“We appreciate our customers’ understanding and support as we continue to focus on preparing our restaurants to reopen so that customers can have confidence in the safety and quality of the food we serve,” said Hansen.