NHCH Offering Free Diabetes Educational Classes

In an effort to curb diabetes and promote healthy living, North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) will begin offering free prediabetes educational classes.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 86 million American adults – 1 out of every 3 – has prediabetes with only 11% of individuals with prediabetes aware they have the condition.   Without intervention, 15 to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

Prediabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they are: 45 years of age or older, overweight, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, physically active fewer than three times per week, and/or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during a pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds. Additional signs and symptoms of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes include excessive thirst and hunger, change in weight, frequent urination and high blood glucose.

Classes will consist of three 1.5-hour group sessions, presented by a certified diabetes nurse educator from the hospital’s Diabetes Wellness Center.

Topics covered will include: nutritional education, carbohydrate vs. protein, the importance of exercise for good health and awareness of complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes. Other areas of discussion include meal planning and the social aspects of living with diabetes as well as how to take control of your health.

Classes are offered by NHCH’s Diabetes Wellness Clinic in support of the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) focus topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition.” Classes are currently scheduled for March 17, 24 and 31; April 6, 13, and 20; May 6, 13, and 20; June 9, 23 and 30; and July 15, 22 and 29.

Self referrals and physician referrals are welcome. Program consists of 3 classes. Classes are held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa Conference Rooms at North Hawaii Community Hospital. Pre-registration is required. Please call 808-881-4832 to register or for more information.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is located at 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kamuela, Hawaii. Additional information can be found by visiting www.NHCH.com.

Kauluwehi 2015 Juried Lei Art Contest and Exhibition

Amateurs and professional lei artists of all ages are invited to demonstrate their lei-making skills in the second annual Kauluwehi Lei Contest 2015, from May 1 to 8.

kauluwehi

This is a juried lei art contest, award ceremony and exhibition celebrating the native plant species, Hawaiian culture and sustainable picking practices on Hawaii Island. The event at the Wailoa Center in Hilo, will also feature refreshments, live music, keiki and adult crafts.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)/Hawaii Island Natural Area Reserves Program (NARS), the Three Mountain Alliance (TMA) and the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center are sponsors.

The contest and preceding lei workshops encourage lei makers and non-lei makers alike to explore the rich assemblage of extraordinary native plants and animals unique to Hawai‘i. The practice of lei making provides an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the native ecosystems and build connections to our ‘âina.

There are three main categories for entries: kahiko (traditional style lei), ‘auana (contemporary lei) and lei hulu (feather lei).

The kahiko category features several subcategories, each showcasing a particular material such as the leaves, flowers, or the fruit and seed of a plant.

The ‘auana category moves away from the traditional style of lei making by incorporating recycled materials, synthetic materials and exotic plant materials. Lei will be judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material and the complexity or effort applied.

All lei entries, accompanying entry form and a $5 fee for each entry must be submitted on Thursday, April 30, at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Hilo at 19 E. Kawili St., between 3 to 6 p.m.

The Kauluwehi opening reception is set take place on Friday, May 1, May Day at the Wailoa Center in Hilo between 5 and 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to come down to witness the craftsmanship and artistry that Hawai‘i Island’s lei makers have put forth in a display of intricate beauty and color that can be found nowhere else. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Lei will be displayed during the opening reception through Friday May 8.

For more contest rules, information and entry form for Kauluwehi Lei Contest go to http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/education/kauluwehi, or contact Anya Tagawa, outreach and education specialist of the DLNR Hawaii Island NARS at anya.h.tagawa@hawaii.gov or (808) 443-4245.

Palace Event Remembers Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka’ahumanu

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe’e on Sunday, Mar. 15. The 4 p.m. event on the grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace remembers the late Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu.

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 17 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu.  Photo by Fern Gavalek

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 15 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu. Photo by Fern Gavalek

The event presents the Merrie Monarchs, the Hulihe‘e Palace West Hawai‘i County Band and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Known as the Citizen Prince, Kuhio was born on Kaua‘i and raised by his aunt and uncle, Queen Kapiolani and King Kalakaua, to become successor to the royal throne. After Hawai‘i became a U.S. territory, the Republican Party persuaded Kuhio to enter politics.

Kuhio was named Hawai‘i’s second delegate to the U.S. Congress in 1902 and served the post 10 times. Honored today as the father of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Kuhio secured an area of Hawai‘i Island’s Kilauea Volcano in 1916 for public enjoyment. He was the driving force behind the development of Pearl Harbor and instituted the Hawaiian Homestead Commission.

Queen Ka‘ahumanu, who hailed from Hana, Maui, was the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great.  Though much younger than her husband, Ka‘ahumanu was charismatic, intelligent and politically shrewd. Kamehameha granted her the title of kuhina nui (queen regent) upon his death in 1819. Tired of the Hawaiian laws of kapu that forbade women from certain activities, she convinced the throne’s successor, Liholiho, to overturn the kapu system.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday—with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.  Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2015 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace West Hawai‘i County Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

What Lies Beneath the Lyman Mission House

Anyone who has taken a guided tour of the Lyman Mission House knows that, prior to the 1930s, the House was actually situated directly over present-day Haili Street and the adjacent House lawn.  But did you know that when it was built in 1839, the House had a cellar similar to those Sarah and David Lyman remembered from their childhood homes in New England?

Such cellars, typically a feature of mission homes in Hawai`i, did not transfer well to rainy climates and porous soils and often fell into disuse.  But what might the Lymans’ buried cellar tell us today about how they lived in the mid 1800s?

Courtesy of Lyman Museum

Courtesy of Lyman Museum

On Monday evening, March 9, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Lynne Wolforth, of UH-Hilo’s Department of Anthropology, describes two limited public archaeology projects carried out in the 1990s to identify the location of the Mission House cellar and to recover and analyze historic artifacts from that site—work in which UH-Hilo students were active, hands-on learners.  Doors open at 6:30 pm, additional parking is available in the Hilo Union School parking lot.  Cost is $3 and free to Lyman Museum members.

Explore Pu‘u Loa Petroglyphs with Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The non-profit Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (FHVNP) presents its next “Sunday Walk in the Park” on March 8, 2015 from  9:30 am – 12:00 pm. Led by Pōhai Montague-Mullins, this month’s 1.5 mile round-trip walk takes us to the largest petroglyph field in Hawai’i.

Park Ranger Adrian Boone will lead a special trek to the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs during National Park Week, on April 25. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.  ⌂ Home

Mentoring Program Assists in Community Reintegration

HOPE Services Hawaii Inc. has launched “Mentoring,” a program designed to help recently released Hawaii Island prisoners transition back into the community.

Hope Services Hawaii

In partnership with the Department of Public Safety (DPS), HOPE will provide support, mentorship and skills training to help participants successfully reintegrate.

The program offers support by teaching positive values, providing training opportunities that develop job skills, and assists with securing stable work and living arrangements.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 95 percent of all individuals incarcerated will eventually be released and return to the community; of that, 77 percent will be arrested again within five years. In 2013, 1,615 inmates were released in Hawaii, many in need of housing and jobs.

HOPE Services, a non-profit specializing in homeless services and transitioning people off the streets, has committed to addressing the cycle of recidivism in 2015 through Mentoring. The two-year pilot program will provide support and mentorship for 50 adult male and female inmates island wide. The program already has secured 10 qualified volunteer mentors in East Hawaii, but more are needed to make Mentoring successful.

“Often, individuals released from incarceration feel helpless in their transition,” said Brandee Menino, Chief Executive Officer for HOPE Services. “The Mentoring program works with inmates before they are released, which allows them the opportunity to build on the skills and values needed to make reentry successful. It makes all the difference to have someone in your corner that believes in you and gives you hope.”

Through Mentoring, each participant is matched with a volunteer mentor who offers advice, provides positive support, helps hone skills development and assists with securing housing and employment. Mentors are trained to build and foster the relationship, providing non-judgmental support and guidance.

By the end of the Mentoring program, the goal is that participants have increased self-confidence and achieve a level of self-sufficiency through employment and housing and are contributing, productive members of society.

Community members interested in volunteering as a mentor must be 21 years or older and participate in a mentor training workshop. A Mentor Support Group meets monthly and is open to all volunteer mentors.

For more information, or if you would like to become a Mentor, contact Steven “Happy” Stachurski, HOPE Services Hawaii’s Mentoring Coordinator, at (808) 935-3050 or send an inquiry to volunteer@hopeserviceshawaii.org.

St. Michael’s Dedicates New Church March 25

The newly constructed St. Michael the Archangel Church will be dedicated 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. Parishioners and statewide clergy are invited. Most Reverend Larry (Clarence) Silva, Bishop of Honolulu, will preside.

Masses will be celebrated at the new church starting March 26.

Masses will be celebrated at the new church starting March 26.

“Listening to our parishioners and the community, we built our new church to resemble the original St. Michael’s,” notes pastor Rev. Konelio “Lio” Faletoi. “They share the same exterior profile and we incorporated several elements from our first church into our new one.”

At nearly 9,500 square feet, the $11 million church is larger and offers seating for 500. Constructed by Heartwood Pacific on a three-acre campus fronting Ali‘i Drive, the new church will offer outdoor parking for 125 vehicles and is ADA accessible.

St. Michaels2New footings on the property’s south side are in place for St. Michael’s future parish center, which will house administrative offices, conference rooms, a library and certified kitchen. The landmark 1940 Coral Grotto was moved to grace the front of the future center. Throughout the construction process, St. Michael’s on-site cemetery was not disturbed.

A baptismal font sculpted from a large piece of West Hawai‘i lava will greet the faithful entering the church. The font is surrounded by mosaic tiles etched with words that appeared over the altar of the first church: “E Ku‘u Keiki: E Ho Mai No‘u Kou Pu‘uwai A E Ike Oe I Ku‘u Alahele-The Lord Says to Thee: Give Me Thy Heart and Let Thine Eyes Keep My Ways.”

“Having the font at the entrance of the church reminds all who enter that it is in the waters of baptism that Christian life begins,” explains Father Lio.

The north and south sides of the rectangular-shaped church have six sliding glass doors that open to two sprawling lanai along the length of the building. Behind the main altar is a small adoration chapel, which houses two of the original church’s tall stained glass windows.

Local artisans crafted the church’s new altar, ambo (pulpit) and presider’s chair and cabinetry in both sacristies were completed by a local woodworker. Similar to the original church, a steeple crowns the eastern end of the new, one-story structure and contains the parish’s 1853 bell, a gift from France.

St. Michaels3

Designed by Lively Architects of Honolulu, the front of the church is elevated 21 feet to meet building code requirements and the entrance is accessed via two semi-circular stairways. Cradled between the stairways is a restored, fresh water well that was historically used by the Kailua community.

“The well has been preserved to serve as a central feature in the outdoor Waikupua Brick Garden,” says Fr. Lio. “We invited parishioners and the community to become part of the history of St. Michael’s by sponsoring a brick in the garden.” The 35-foot diameter garden uses multi-colored, inscribed pavers in a circular mosaic design to chronicle not only those who played a significant role in North Kona’s Catholic heritage, but also inscriptions by brick sponsors. A total of 2,450 bricks were used and over 1,000 are inscribed using 14 languages from contributors in 36 states.

A long-time Kailua Village landmark, the original St. Michael’s was built in the early 1850s of lava rock and coral sand mortar; the floor was simple, hard-packed dirt. Reportedly one of the island’s best buildings of its time, the simple church was dedicated upon completion in 1855. Through the years, it was weakened by ocean flooding and damaged beyond repair during the October 15, 2006 earthquakes. After deemed unsafe, the church was closed and decommissioned in 2009 with services held on the grounds under a tent. The church was soon demolished along with the adjacent wooden administration building, which opened as a convent for the Sisters of the Holy Family in 1955. When the new church construction commenced, tent services were moved offsite to Honokohau Industrial Park.

Demolition of St. Michael’s included locating the remains of Father Joachim Marechal, a member of the Congregation of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary who oversaw the construction of the original church and was buried in the church in 1859. Archeologist Bob Rechtman of Rechtman Consulting guided the exhumation and the priest’s remains have been reinterred in front of the altar and under the sanctuary.

Rev. Marechal came to St. Michael’s in 1848 to serve Catholics in the North and South Kona Districts. He succeeded two French missionary priests, Fathers Ernest Heurtel and Robert Walsh, who offered the Big Island’s first Catholic mass in 1840. With the blessing of Governor John Adams Kuakini, the founding priests built a “native-style” chapel on the site of the current Kona Plaza Shopping Arcade; a stone hitching post marks the location. Kuakini subsequently offered the priests a piece of land to build a church and school—the present property of St. Michael’s Church.

Today, St. Michael’s Parish—which includes the four mission churches of Immaculate Conception in Holualoa, Holy Rosary in Kalaoa, St. Paul’s in Honalo and St. Peter’s by the Sea in Keauhou—serves 2000 families. In addition, the parish welcomes thousands of visitors annually.

“Building the church has been a long, arduous process that involved working with multiple agencies and professionals, getting numerous permits and finalizing a design that satisfied our current needs and building codes while preserving our important history,” shared Fr. Lio. “We thank all who donated their time, talent and treasure and we continue to believe our most important asset is the faith of our members who continue to carry Christ to the community and its less fortunate persons.”

St. Michael’s has an ongoing Capital Campaign to pay off construction debt and build the future parish center. Phone (808) 326-7771.

St. Michael the Archangel Church is part of the North Kona Catholic Community that includes Immaculate Conception Church in Holualoa, St. Paul’s Church in Honalo, St. Peter’s Church in Keauhou and Holy Rosary Church in Kalaoa. NKCC serves 2,000 families and a steady stream of visitors, many who return year after year.

Michigan Man Dies After Police Car Hits Bicycle – Cop Arrested

A Michigan man died early Sunday (March 1) from a vehicle-bicycle crash in South Kohala.

HPDBadgeHe has been identified as 63-year-old Jeffrey C. Surnow of West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Police have determined that Surnow was riding a bicycle east on Waikoloa Road near the 11-mile marker when he was hit by a vehicle driven in the same direction by an on-duty police officer assigned to the South Kohala District. The officer who struck Surnow reported the crash around 6:25 a.m. Sunday.

Surnow was taken to North Kohala Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers initiated a negligent homicide investigation and arrested the officer, 30-year-old Jody Buddemeyer, on suspicion of negligent homicide. He was later released pending further investigation.

The Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation as is standard practice in any officer-involved fatality. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, extension 229.

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

Commentary – Lack of Redundancy Caused Inconvenience

Hawaiian Telcom’s main fiber-optic trunk cable for West Hawaii was damaged three times over the past year (twice in the same week). These outages were a major  inconvenience for anyone making a purchase or trying to make a phone call. In addition, residents living from Waikoloa to Pahala were not able to call 911 to report any emergencies.

The lack of redundancy is the culprit of these outages. Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Hawaiian Telcom have a fiber-optic cables going from Kawaihae to the Kona area. Oceanic’s fiber traverses along Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Hawaiian Telcom’s  goes along Highway 190.

However, these fiber-optic cables end in the Pahala area and don’t circle the island. So, a simple tree limb can knock out service to a large part of our island.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs estimates it will cost 6 million  dollars to extend the fiber-optic cable between Volcano and Pahala, which will eliminate this dead zone and create a true fiber-optic ring around the Big Island. This added redundancy will help minimize these recent outages in the future.

I hope the County of Hawaii, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaiian Telcom and the Federal government can work together to help resolve this issue, as our economic well being and public safety is at stake if this not resolved soon.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Hōkūleʻa Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Her First Launch

Hōkūleʻa, the iconic canoe of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, will celebrate her landmark 40th anniversary with a series of celebratory events and festivities throughout 2015.

hokulea4The traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, designed by artist and historian Herb Kawainui Kane, launched from the sacred shores of Kualoa in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O’ahu, on March 8, 1975. The launch of Hōkūleʻa helped begin a generation of renewal for Hawai‘i’s people that, along with the revitalization of voyaging and navigation traditions, introduced a new-found respect and appreciation for Hawaiian culture and language in the state of Hawai‘i and beyond.

Hokulea Nainoa

“Hōkūleʻa is more than a voyaging canoe – she awakened us to the importance of bringing people together from all walks of life to perpetuate the values we care about in Hawaiʻi,” said Nainoa Thompson, master navigator and president of PVS. “We have a kuleana to build a future worthy of our children. As we celebrate 40 years of sailing, we look forward to sharing Hōkūleʻa’s story, and hope that she inspires many more people to navigate their own voyages of kindness and compassion.”

Hokulea1In celebration of Hōkūleʻa’s 40th anniversary, PVS will ask community members in Hawaiʻi, the 26 Polynesian islands visited this year, and future ports of the Worldwide Voyage to share a birthday message and submit inspiring local “stories of hope” about young people taking leadership roles in caring for their natural environment and culture. This “Birthday to Earth Day” campaign will run from March 8 to April 23 on hokulea.com.

Anniversary festivities throughout 2015 include a fundraising campaign with local musicians Jack Johnson, Chucky Boy Chock and Paula Fuga, a talk story series and birthday Paʻina hosted by ‘Ulu‘ulu at the University of Hawai‘i at West O’ahu, an Earth Day beach cleanup, summer film screenings, and events in conjunction with the Friends of Hawaiʻi State Libraries. Events will be posted on hokulea.com.

hokulea5Since her first voyage to Tahiti in 1976, Hōkūleʻa, which means “Star of Gladness,” has brought together hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Pacific Ocean. As she continues to connect stories of hope throughout the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hōkūleʻa will seek to inspire and establish a lasting network of people and cultures around the globe to work collectively to care for our Island Earth.

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The canoes are currently in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Hōkūleʻa’s 40th Anniversary March Events (Please check hokulea.com for updates and ongoing events):

March 10 through April 22
Hōkūleʻa “Birthday to Earth Day” campaign at hokulea.com

March 16, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Celebrating Hōkūleʻa @ ʻUluʻulu—University of Hawai‘i at West O’ahu: Talk Story with Keoni Lee.

Keoni Lee, co-founder of ʻŌiwi TV and a crewmember of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, will share about ʻŌiwi TV’s efforts to document the voyage using video, social media and other technologies. He will discuss the diverse traditional and new media channels used to share Hōkūleʻa’s story with Hawai’i and the world.

March 17, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Celebrating Hōkūleʻa @ ‘Ulu‘ulu – University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu: 40th Anniversary Pā‘ina.

Join us for a pā‘ina celebration of Hōkūleʻa and her 40 years of accomplishments. Polynesian Voyaging activities for students and the public, with music and light refreshments.

March 19, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Celebrating Hōkūleʻa @ ‘Ulu‘ulu – University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu: Elisa Yadao & Cliff Watson
Elisa Yadao, a former television news reporter, and Cliff Watson, cameraman and producer, will share their experiences documenting Hōkūleʻa’s early voyages and share footage from the archives.

April 25
Earth Day Mauka to Makai Cleanup
Join PVS and Sustainable Coastlines at Kailua Beach Park to help us mālama aina this Earth Day.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

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

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

It will be visible beginning tonight, Friday, February 27 at 6:50 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes.  Maximum Height: 50 degrees, and it will appear in the Northwest part of the sky and disappear to the South Southeast.

Quarantine Restrictions Extended to All Coffee Grown on Oahu

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture (HBOA) voted Wednesday to place coffee grown on all areas of Oahu under the same quarantine restrictions as was issued earlier for the Waialua area on Oahu and Hawaii Island to prevent the spread of the coffee berry borer (CBB).

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

On Dec. 17, 2014, HBOA placed coffee grown at Waialua Estate Coffee Farms and coffee roasted at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill under the same quarantine restrictions as coffee grown on Hawaii Island due to the detection of CBB infestations at the sites. Since the initial detections in Waialua, CBB has been found in Wahiawa and Poamoho in Central Oahu.

Today, the board voted unanimously to expand the designated infested area and extend the interisland quarantine restrictions to all of Oahu beginning tomorrow, Feb. 25, 2015.

“Expanding the coffee quarantine safeguards to cover Oahu is an important step in helping to keep other coffee-growing islands free of the coffee berry borer,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the HBOA. “Oahu is a hub for the state’s coffee trade and we need to make sure that coffee beans that are imported to, as well as exported from Oahu are not spreading this destructive pest.”

So far, CBB has not been detected on Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai.

The quarantine restrictions imposed today for Oahu are exactly the same as those which have been in effect for coffee from Hawaii Island since December 2010. It requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from CBB-infested islands to other non-infested areas or islands to prevent CBB movement. The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment. The coffee beans must also be roasted at a facility that is at least five miles from any commercial coffee-growing area.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In early December 2014, HDOA confirmed the presence of the CBB (Hypothenemus hampei) on the coffee farm in Waialua, Oahu. This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.

Since its detection in Kona in 2010, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation practices. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

For more information on CBB in Hawaii, go to HDOA’s CBB information page at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/

Big Island Police Looking to Question Man Caught on Tape at Scene of Suspicious Fire

Hawaiʻi Island police want to question a man whose image was captured on a surveillance video at the scene of a suspicious fire.

arson suspectAt 6:10 a.m. Thursday (February 26), Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a fire at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Captain Cook. When they arrived, firefighters were on the scene and the north rear entrance was fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and determined that it was deliberately set. Damages, estimated at more than $80,000, were limited to the north side of the building.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the case as arson. They recovered a photograph from a surveillance video that shows a Caucasian man in his 50s who appears to be tall with a large build and who has light hair with a receding hairline and a mustache. He was wearing dark shorts, a long-sleeved shirt light in color, and rubber slippers.

Police ask anyone who knows the identity of the man in the photo or who has any information about the fire to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Sean Smith at 326-4646, extension 262, or ssmith@co.hawaii.hi.us, or Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238, or wahmow@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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

Hawaiian Electric Companies Continues to Accept Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Applications

Contrary to some reports, the Hawaiian Electric Companies are continuing to accept solar photovoltaic (PV) applications through the current net energy metering process, which includes a technical review for safety and reliability. The companies are also making significant progress clearing pending applications on circuits that already have very high amounts of solar.

Shaka For HELCOOverall, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light continue to lead the nation in rooftop PV. An estimated 12 percent of the utilities’ customers have rooftop solar system, compared with the national average of less than one percent.

These efforts are part of the companies’ commitment to meet three overarching energy commitments by 2030. These include:

  1. Nearly tripling the amount of distributed solar
  2. Achieving 65 percent renewable energy use
  3. Lowering customer bills by 20 percent

“We know rooftop PV is an important option for our customers. We are continuing to follow the current net energy metering process while the Public Utilities Commission considers our proposal to transition to a fairer, more sustainable program. It’s critical for our community that we increase solar in a way that maintains reliability and is safe and fair for all customers,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service.

A recent letter to some Hawaii Electric Light customers who submitted applications for projects in areas of Hawai‘i Island with high amounts of solar has been mischaracterized by a national solar group as an effort by the Hawaiian Electric Companies to stop all solar installations.

“We apologize for the confusion and want to assure our customers that we are continuing to process solar applications. We are reviewing our notification procedures to improve communication with our customers,” Alberts said.

Highlights of progress made

  • Earlier this week, Hawaiian Electric reported to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission that it notified an additional 548 O‘ahu customers who have been waiting for their net energy metering applications to be processed. Hundreds more are now being approved.
  • This was the first large group of Oahu customers to be cleared from a backlog of 2,749 applications, all from neighborhoods with high existing amounts of PV as of last October. Hawaiian Electric has committed to clearing 90 percent of that backlog by April, with the remaining customers applications to be approved by the end of 2015.
  • In addition, Maui Electric approved 331 applications in neighborhoods with high amounts of solar, nearly clearing its entire backlog. Hawaii Electric Light had 336 applications under review in neighborhoods with high amounts of solar, and approvals have since begun.
  • Overall, more than 3,000 net energy metering applications have been approved since the beginning of the year across the five islands that the Hawaiian Electric Companies serve.

In January, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light proposed a new program that would support the continued growth of rooftop solar while ensuring equitable rates for all customers. The new transitional distributed generation program would help address the current growing cost shift for operating and maintaining electric grids from customers who have rooftop solar to customers who don’t. At the end of 2013, that cost shift was approximately $38 million. By the end of 2014, that subsidy borne by non-solar customers had grown to $53 million.

In conjunction with this transitional distributed generation program, the utilities expect to be able to help the growth of solar by more than doubling the threshold for neighborhood circuits to accept solar systems. This would eliminate in most of those cases the need for a longer and costly interconnection study.

Public Workshops Scheduled For Input On Statewide Water Resource Protection Plan

The Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) is in the process of updating the statewide Water Resource Protection Plan (WRPP) and is seeking the community’s input on water resource issues of importance.

The purpose of the Water Resource Protection Plan is to establish policies and identify actions needed to ensure the long-term protection and sustainability of Hawaii’s precious and limited ground and surface water resources.

Commission staff will be holding seven workshops statewide starting next week, so people on each island may participate. All workshops are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will include a short slideshow about the Water Resource Protection Plan. This will be followed by smaller group discussions to talk in more detail about specific water resource issues in each community.

The meeting schedule locations and dates follow.

water meetings

For more information, visit the WRPP update website at  http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/cwrm/planning/hiwaterplan/wrpp/wrpp2014/

Hawaii Residents – Spot the International Space Station Tonight

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

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

It will be visible beginning tonight, Tuesday, February 24 at 7:52 PM. It will be visible for approximately 2 minutes.  Maximum Height: 48 degrees, and it will appear in the North Northwest part of the sky and disappear to the West Northwest.

Hawaii Electric Light Company Selects Ormat to Provide Additional Geothermal Energy

Following a rigorous review of bids submitted as part of a competitive bid process, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company has selected Ormat to provide an additional 25 MW of geothermal energy for Hawai‘i Island.

Puna Geothermal Venture

Puna Geothermal Venture

The next step in the process is to begin contract negotiations with Ormat, with an agreement to be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval.

“We have continued to pursue ways to increase our use of renewable energy and lower costs to our customers, while also ensuring reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company president. “Ormat was selected based on numerous criteria, including attractive pricing, technical design and capability, financial soundness, as well as commitment to resolving all environmental issues and to working with our Hawai‘i Island communities.”

Geothermal technologies provide renewable, controlled dispatchable energy and firm capacity that allow Hawai‘i Electric Light to schedule and control output from the geothermal plant to its island-wide grid.

Firm energy sources like geothermal support the integration of intermittent renewable resources, such as wind or solar, while maintaining reliable service for Hawai‘i Island customers.

A draft Geothermal RFP was issued in early November 2012. The PUC also selected an Independent Observer, Boston Pacific Company, to monitor and advise on all steps of the competitive bidding process to ensure that the process is fair and adheres to the PUC Framework for Competitive Bidding.

More than 47 percent of electricity on Hawai‘i Island is already generated from renewable resources, including hydro, wind, distributed solar and geothermal.

Puna Man in Custody on $1 Million Bail for Meth Trafficking & Other Offenses

A 31-year-old Puna man is in police custody on $1 million bail for meth trafficking and other drug and weapons charges.

Richard Theodore Frias

Richard Theodore Frias

Richard Theodore Frias of Mountain View was one of three men arrested Friday afternoon (February 20) during the execution of a search warrant at a home on the 200 block of Alaloa Road in the Waiākea Ūka area of Hilo.

Police recovered 7.75 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, paraphernalia associated with the distribution of “ice,” an unregistered handgun, two unregistered rifles and $5,700 in cash.

Two other men, 32-year-old Christopher Manukai Mae of Hilo, and 35-year-old Waylon Thomas of Hilo, were also arrested at the scene on suspicion of drug offenses. All three were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Vice Section continued the investigation. In addition, Mae was charged with contempt of court for an unrelated bench warrant.

At 9 p.m. Saturday, detectives charged Frias with first-degree meth trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia and three weapons offenses. He remained at the cellblock until his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (February 23).

Thomas was released Saturday pending further investigation. Mae was released Sunday after posting $1,500 bail for the contempt charge. Detectives continue to investigate drug offenses in connection with Thomas and Mae.

Puna Lava Flow Reaches Fire Break

Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front; new breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

22315pic1The leading tip of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Today, one of these breakouts (marked by the arrow) had advanced a short distance towards the north, reaching one of the fire break roads.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip.

22315pic2

The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 450 m (490 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

New breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō 22315pic3

This photograph looks east, and shows the breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began over the weekend. The breakout, visible as the lighter colored region in the center of the photograph, occurred from the area of the June 27th vent (upper right portion of photograph).

22315pic4A small lobe of pāhoehoe on the new breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.22315pic5A closer look at some of the activity on the new breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Carpet Cleaning Company Caught Dumping in Public Sewage Drains

Well Island Carpet Cleaning won’t be getting any of my business in the near future as one of their employees has been caught dumping stuff in a public sewage drain!

Island Carpet Cleaning