HI-PAL Seeking Teams for Upcoming “Click It or Ticket” Tournaments

HI-PAL is seeking teams interested in playing in “Click It or Ticket” 5-on-5 basketball tournaments August 30-31 at Pāpaʻikou Gym and September 12-14 at Waiākea Uka Gym.

HI-PAL LogoBoth 5-6 division and 7-8 division teams are being sought for the August tournament. Both 9-10 division and 11-12 division teams are being sought for the September tournament.

Deadline to enter and submit all completed forms to participate in the tournament is September 1.  The age cut-off for the tournaments is December 31, 2014. Players are allowed to play on only one team per division.

All HI-PAL roster, waiver and seat belt forms are required for participation.  Interested teams may contact HI-PAL at 961-8121 to register.

Governor Presents $1.6 Million to Innovative Zero-Waste Biofuel Program in Hilo

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today presented a $1.6 million check on behalf of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center’s (DKI-PBARC) zero-waste biofuel and high-protein feed program on Hawaii Island.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Agribusiness Development Corporation check presentation to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Agribusiness Development Corporation check presentation to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

DKI-PBARC, and Florida-based BioTork LLC, have invested more than $1 million to successfully develop an economically sustainable zero-waste conversion project producing biofuel and high-protein animal feed from unmarketable papaya and other low-value agriculture feedstock. The conversion process takes fewer than 14 days to cycle in a heterotrophic environment, meaning no sunlight is needed using organically optimized algae/fungi developed and patented by BioTork.

The state’s $1.6 million is in addition to its initial $200,000 investment that will assist DKI-PBARC in moving the Hilo-based project to demonstration scale as a prelude to commercial production. The ADC will become a venture partner to globally export the rapid conversion technology in association with PBARC and BioTork.

“Our investment promotes further use of agricultural crops to provide clean energy and leads us on a more definitive path towards food sustainability,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “We need to focus on projects like this as Hawaii emerges as a global leader for biofuel and feed research and development.”

“Another by-product of this process is the production of high-protein feed and fish feed,” explained Scott Enright, HDOA chair. “The feed can greatly benefit cattle, swine, poultry and support aquaculture operations.”

The state also hopes to develop a long-term revenue generator as a partner exporting this technology. At full scale, more than 1,000 jobs are projected.

While papaya was chosen as the initial feedstock, this technology can be applied to any plant material as a carbon source. In Hawaii, other identifiable feedstocks are unmarketable sweet potato, sugar cane, mango, molasses and glycerol. Invasive trees, like albizia, could also be used as feedstock in this zero-waste program.

It is imperative that we provide support to build the necessary infrastructure which opens up new markets for agriculture,” said Jimmy Nakatani, ADC executive director. “Progress at DKI-PBARC has been nothing less than stellar to accomplish this, through efforts led by Research Plant Pathologist and Program Manager Dr. Lisa Keith.”

Funds are also being used to research the conversion of locally produced molasses. Samples from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company are being tested to determine which high-value and economically viable co-products can be developed using natural methods to create much more value to the local economy.

Statement from the Governor and Finance Director on Revised Council on Revenues Forecast

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Finance Director Kalbert Young today commented on the adjusted forecast from the state Council on Revenues.

abercrombieheaderGov. Abercrombie stated:

“The outcome of today’s meeting is another reason for us to remain optimistic about Hawaii’s strong and vibrant economy.

“Due to sound fiscal management, our financial house continues to be on a solid foundation, with the state concluding fiscal year 2014 with a $664.8 million ending balance, even after contributing $55.5 million to our state reserves via the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund and setting aside $100 million for the state’s unfunded liability for retiree health care benefits.

“Hawaii’s economy is running at a sustainable level and regardless of short-term revenue cycles, we are focused on long-term fiscal stability.”

Finance Director Young added the perspective:

“As finance director, my approach is to manage the budget and financial condition across multiple fiscal years. As a result, near-term revenue forecasts are evaluated and incorporated into the state’s six-year plan.

“As in the past, the state’s financial management team is prepared to exert measured controls of the state’s budget to ensure that programs are sustainable through any economic cycle. You will continue to see that exhibited in fiscal year 2015.

“While the fiscal year 2014 revenue collection is down 1.8 percent compared to fiscal year 2013, revenue growth over a five-year period from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2014, has been substantial – about 21.7 percent. The Council’s forecast shows revenue and economic growth of at least five percent a year for the next five years.”

Groundbreaking Held for $22.3 Million Pahoa District Park

The biggest single investment in recreational opportunity in Hawai‘i County history is coming to Lower Puna, following a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the $22.3 million Pāhoa District Park.

Photo Op

Photo Op

Mayor Billy Kenoi, Councilmembers Greggor Ilagan and Zendo Kern and County officials joined members of the Puna community to kick off the project, which will provide more recreational opportunities than ever before to the fastest growing region of Hawai‘i Island.

“We are committed to giving the families of Puna access to first-class recreational opportunities,” said Mayor Kenoi. “The facilities in this park will be safe places for our kids to learn good sportsmanship and teamwork, and to stay active and healthy.”

This $22.3 million, year-long project to deliver a district-level park to Lower Puna will include a covered playcourt building, two baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, a keiki playground, concession building, new comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking areas. Contractor Nan, Inc. is scheduled to start clearing and grading the site immediately.

“This wonderful sports facility is going to really, truly benefit our children,” said Kel Lee, president of the Puna Panthers Pop Warner Football Association. “It’s a dream come true for Pāhoa.”

“Building this park, making this a better place for our children, is a collaborative effort,” said Councilmember Zendo Kern, who represents District 5 (Puna Mauka) and remembers playing in the existing Pāhoa Park as a youngster. “It was never a matter of if, and now it’s a matter of getting it done.”
Pahoa Park Rendering

Totaling more than 29 acres, the improvements will complement the park’s existing facilities that include the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center, Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, Pāhoa Senior Center, and Pāhoa Skate Park.

“This park will be a place for our community to play, bond, and build memories for generations to come,” said Councilmember Greggor Ilagan, who represents District 4 (Puna Makai).

The Puna Community Development Plan, adopted by the Hawai‘i County Council in 2008, identified the need for a district park in Lower Puna. A comprehensive planning process involving the community, the County, and project designers WCIT Architecture began in 2012 to ensure these new facilities reflect the recreational needs of Puna’s residents.

Following the Money in Local Politics? There’s an Site/App for That!

Hi Damon,

I’m working with Common Cause Hawaii (along with an organization I co-founded called Hawaii Open Data) to spread the word about new tools designed to help Hawaii residents get a better view of how local government works. With the Primary Election looming next week, it’s the perfect time to try them out.

I wanted to encourage you to consider covering these web apps, which all work with publicly available data from the Campaign Spending Commission, but offer different ways to make sense of it. As the data is statewide, there’s also an additional opportunity to gain insight into candidates and campaigns on Hawaii Island specifically.

Here’s a list of the free apps, each of which was created by a local developer (or team of coders) that participated in the Civic*Celerator, a tech competition that challenged geeks to build something to encourage greater participation in civic life and greater transparency in government: http://civic.celerator.org/apps/

Though we’re not talking fun and games like Angry Birds here, I hope the value of these apps to the community is clear. :)

Examples? Perhaps the most compelling web app, visually, is the Hawaii Campaign Spending Data tool by Jason Axelson. Beautiful yet intuitive graphic representations of campaign spending by office (governor, Hawaii county council, OHA, etc.), candidate, party, category… just click around for a minute or two, and some interesting patterns will emerge: http://viz.hawaiicampaignspending.com/

spending data

Spending data 2Or here’s an app by Royce Jones that includes both candidate filing information and campaign spending information, and links it to an easily-navigated map of the islands: http://civic-celerator.maps.arcgis.com/home/

Spending data 3

You can figure out which voting precinct you’re in, who’s running, who’s donating to their campaigns, and even see online exactly what your ballot will look like.

Spending data 4

These only scratch the surface of these free tools, created for everyday people by (slightly geekier) every day people. While there’s been volumes and volumes of data available for years, now a growing corps of “civic hackers” are building ways to make sense of it all.

Not only do I think these web apps would make for a great “tech for good” story, but I think bloggers like you could actually use them to generate a number of other interesting stories. Which candidate spent the most on food on Hawaii Island? Which political party, besides the Democrats, is fielding the most candidates for public office statewide? The possibilities, once you begin to explore the data in new ways, are endless.

Please let me know if you’d like to speak to someone about these tools. I can help connect you with some of the organizers of the Civic*Celerator for the big picture, or help set up a walk through from one of the developers for an in-depth tour of any of the apps. Just reply to this email and I’ll get the ball rolling. Otherwise, feel free to try them out, review them or post a tour, whatever you think will help demonstrate the value of campaign spending data and these volunteer-built apps.

Thank you very much for your consideration!

Burt Lum, Hawaii Open Data

Lava Flow Advance Rate Increases

The June 27 flow front has advanced more rapidly over the past four days, and is now 4.2 km (2.6 miles) from the vent.

This recent increased advance rate is due to the confinement of the flow against the slopes of an older perched lava channel, from 2007.

This recent increased advance rate is due to the confinement of the flow against the slopes of an older perched lava channel, from 2007.

The advance rate will likely drop in the coming days as the flow passes the confines of the perched channel and spreads out on flatter topography.

Another view of the front of the June 27 flow, looking northeast.

Another view of the front of the June 27 flow, looking northeast.

The flow front has narrowed as it has been confined against the slopes of the 2007 perched lava channel, and this is associated with a higher advance rate of the flow front over the past four days.

View, looking southwest, of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the new perched lava pond. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is the fume-filled crater in the top half of the image.

 This perched lava pond is now inactive, but the June 27 flows continue to advance towards the northeast (see other photos).

This perched lava pond is now inactive, but the June 27 flows continue to advance towards the northeast (see other photos).

The circular feature in the lower portion of the photograph is the perched lava pond active earlier this month, which was fed by the June 27 lava flow.

Visual-thermal comparison of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, looking west. In the normal photograph on the left, large portions of the crater floor are obscured by thick volcanic fume.

The thermal image on the right can "see" through this fume, revealing features in the crater.

The thermal image on the right can “see” through this fume, revealing features in the crater.

Over the past month, a large portion of the crater floor has subsided. Within this triangular subsidence area, three small lava ponds were active today. Two are visible in this thermal image, while a third (near the South lava pond) is blocked by a steep wall from this angle.

Wordless Wednesday – Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater at Dawn

A time-lapse camera on the rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater captured this image at dawn.

NPS Timelapse Photo

NPS Timelapse Photo

The view is towards the southeast, and shows two glowing pits in the southern portion of the crater floor. Overflight the next day showed that these pits are filled with small lava ponds.

Mauna Loa Access Road Receives Funding for Reconstruction

$802,500 for reconstruction of 2.3 miles of Mauna Loa Observatory Road

Road projects on federal lands in four states will receive $3.04 million from the Federal Highway Administration to improve access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced today.

Highway Funds

“The roads that carry America to and through its national forests and parks, tribal lands and other federal lands need help, just like the rest of our nation’s highway system,” said Secretary Foxx. “These funds are an important investment to rehabilitate roads vital to preserving the high quality of life for the communities they serve.”

The funds, which come from the FHWA’s Public Lands Highways Discretionary program, will reconstruct the road to an observatory in Hawaii critical to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, the funds will help make improvements to parking facilities and trails in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, and to rebuild nearly four miles of Montana’s SH 569 and four miles of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) roads near Tellico Plains, Tenn.

“At a time when states are facing serious budgetary challenges, these grants will help fill a critical need,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Investments like these are immediate, long-lasting and will help create jobs.”

Unlike most of the nation’s public roads, which are managed by state departments of transportation, federal lands roads are maintained by various tribal and federal agencies. Funds from the Public Lands Highways Discretionary program supplement their existing infrastructure programs. They can also be used for cities and counties that are responsible for the roads providing access to federal and tribal lands.

Importantly, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, would build on current support for public and tribal lands, including creating a new program to support construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of large, nationally significant transportation infrastructure within or accessing federal or tribal lands, including national parks and forests.

 

Summer Italian Food and Wine Celebration

The alluring Italian wines of Veneto, Sicilia, Toscana and Piedmonte are paired with the innovative cuisine of guest Chef Nick Mastrascusa Monday, Aug. 4 at Pueo’s Osteria’s Summer Italian Food and Wine Celebration. The fun and festive event is 5-9 p.m. at the popular Waikoloa Highlands Center restaurant. All food and wine specials can be ordered a la carte, in addition to the regular menu.

Rupert Billings

Rupert Billins

Certified wine educator Rupert Billins, southwest regional manager of Dalla Terra Winery Direct, will lead an engaging dialogue on the evening’s six fine wines that hail from four Italian regions. A native of England and resident of San Francisco, Billins has authored articles and taught classes on Italy’s vintages throughout the U.S. David Ellis “Waimea Dave” of Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants is joining in the fun.

Attendees can watch Chef Nick in the dining room at an exciting Bruschetta Action Station where he will prepare three different bruschettas available individually or as a trio of three. Enjoy Chef’s specialized cuisine created for the evening like Squid Ink Spaghettini with fresh, seared, wild-caught opelu and Kauai shrimp. Other tasty pasta dishes include Veal and Hamakua Mushroom Tortelloni and Braised Oxtail with kabocha pumpkin risotto.

“Chef Nick will combine fresh ingredients sourced from the weekend’s farmers markets with the finest Italian products we regularly use here at the restaurant,” details Pueo’s Executive Chef James Babian. “Rupert will introduce two new wines, including one using nero mascalese grapes from Mt. Etna.”

Mastrascusa is executive chef at Kukio Resort and former executive chef at Four Season’s Hualalai’s Beach Tree restaurant. He honed his culinary skills at Florida’s Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach. Chef Nick grew up in Uruguay and credits his grandparents, who immigrated from Sicily and Spain, for inspiring his passion for cooking.

Pueo’s GM Kurt Umehara and Proprietor Christine Babian will serve as the evening’s hosts. Reservations are recommended by calling 808-339-7566.

Pueo’s Osteria is an Italian-inspired restaurant providing enticing regional, seasonal and artisanal cuisine in Waikoloa Village above the Kohala Coast. The menu focuses on the finest Italian products paired with seafood, produce and meats sourced from boutique farms, including “farm-fresh” products from Hawaii’s hard-working food producers. Pueo’s is open nightly, focusing on dinner and late-night eats served until midnight. Reservations appreciated, 808-339-7566. www.pueososteria.com.

Ground Broken for $27.9 Million Mamalahoa Highway Bypass

Mayor Billy Kenoi joined County officials and members of the Kona community today in a blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, which will provide relief to motorists traveling in South Kona when it opens in 2016.

Ground was broken today for the $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass in South Kona.

Ground was broken today for the $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass in South Kona.

The bypass is located midway between the shoreline and Māmalahoa Highway. The bypass starts at the southern edge of Keauhou and runs approximately 3.5 miles to the bottom of Haleki‘i Street below Kealakekua’s Kona Scenic subdivision. The southern segment will extend the roadway another 2.2 miles from Kealakekua to a new signalized intersection with Māmalahoa Highway in Nāpo‘opo‘o.

Isemoto Contracting Co. will construct both the $14.8 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass and the $13.1 million Nāpo‘opo‘o Road/Māmalahoa Highway intersection. Both projects are scheduled for completion in 2016.

A large portion of the South Kona community works in either North Kona or South Kohala and commutes daily along Māmalahoa Highway. The two-lane bypass gives motorists an alternate route between North and South Kona. Opening this bypass was one of Mayor Kenoi’s priorities upon taking office in December 2008. The Mayor was personally involved in talks with Mauka Kona residents to ensure that this bypass helps meet the critical need for the transportation infrastructure in West Hawai‘i.

“The main thing is that people spend more time with their families at home and less time frustrated in traffic,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Our job is to alleviate and mitigate that congestion. It’s not about asphalt. It’s about connecting family and friends.”

The first segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened in 2009 under a temporary agreement with 1250 Oceanside Partners, the developer of Hōkūli‘a. Initially, the bypass was only open in one direction for limited hours. Even under those conditions, the alternate route alleviated traffic congestion and driver frustration. The bypass was later opened to allow for two-way traffic for longer hours.

Māmalahoa Highway Bypass Timeline

1960 – A Māmalahoa Relief Highway was first envisioned in “A Plan For Kona,” a document prepared with community input for the State Planning Office. The plan was transmitted to the Hawai‘i County Board of Supervisors, the predecessor of today’s Hawai‘i County Council.

1996 ­– In rezoning the area that would become Hōkūli‘a, County ordinances formalized the developer’s agreement with the community to complete the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass from Keauhou to Captain Cook.

1999 – The Environmental Impact Statement for the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass was completed. Developer 1250 Oceanside Partners broke ground on the Hōkūli‘a development, the first phase of which included the northern segment of the road.

2008 – The County proposed a number of improvements prior to the opening of the northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass. Improvements included work along Ali‘i Drive, along Haleki‘i Street, and on Māmalahoa Highway. These improvements allowed residents to benefit immediately from the northern segment of the bypass before the southern segment was completed.

March 2009 – Under a grant of easement in anticipation of dedicating the road to the County, the northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened to limited traffic – one lane southbound from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. on weekdays only. On March 10, the first day it was open, 650 vehicles took the drive from Keauhou to Kealakekua.

June 2010 – The Māmalahoa Highway Bypass between Keauhou and Haleki‘i Street opened to northbound and southbound traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

2012 – The northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass and the .8-mile portion of Haleki‘i Street makai of Muli Street was dedicated to the County.

January 2013 – The Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened daily, 24 hours a day. Restrictions on vehicle types and sizes were removed.

November 2013 – The Hawai‘i County Council passed a resolution regarding the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, renaming it Ali‘i Drive.

July 2014 – Ground was broken for the southern segment of Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, which will extend 2.2 miles from the Haleki‘i Street intersection to Māmalahoa Highway at Nāpo‘opo‘o. Roadway work will commence immediately. Work on the Māmalahoa Highway junction at Nāpo‘opo‘o is scheduled to begin in the fall.

2016 – The southern segment of Māmalahoa Highway Bypass is scheduled to open, completing Ali‘i Drive from Kailua to Nāpo‘opo‘o.

Under the Blood Red Sun – 20th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, September 14, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor presents Under the Blood-Red Sun Day, a day to join author Graham ‘Sandy’ Salisbury for a family Sunday at the Museum to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Edition of this cherished childhood book and a film screening of the new movie of the same name.

Under the Blood Red Sun

Under the Blood-Red Sun is the story of a young Japanese-American boy’s struggles with wartime discrimination and the friends who stood by him, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The newly released film of the same name will screen in the Museum’s theater, also.

Salisbury’s 20th Anniversary edition of Under the Blood Red Sun, his new book Hunt for the Bamboo Rat, and new reprints of Eyes of the Emperor and House of the Red Fish will all be released Sept 14 and available for purchase and author signature at the Museum that day, as well.

Also join the movie’s director Tim Savage and actors Kyler Sakamoto (Tomi Nakaji), Kalama Epstein (Billy Davis), Chris Tashima (Papa Nakaji), Dann Seki (Grampa Nakaji) and many others, for a special showing of the newly released movie version of Under the Blood-Red Sun. Meet and greet the director and cast; bring your cameras. This story has been called a heart-warming experience for young and old.

Schedule of Events

  • 12:00 to 1:00pm – Book signing, Autograph Session, Meet & Greet the Author, Actors, and Director
  • 1:30 to 3:00pm – Screening of the movie, Under the Blood-Red Sun
  • 3:00 to 4:00pm – Author, Actors & Director Panel Discussion
  • 4:00 to 5:00pm – Book signing, Meet & Greet

Free with Museum admission and free to Museum members. For more information, 808-441-1007. Tickets and event information are available at PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Another special screening of the film will occur at the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument on Saturday, September 20 at 6:15pm on the lawn at their “Movie in the Park” event. While the no bag policy is still in effect, families are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and food and beverages in clear, plastic bags for this presentation on the lawn. Contact: Amanda_Carona@nps.gov.

Statement From University of Hawaii President David Lassner

As a matter of policy and in accordance with Hawaii public records law, university personnel matters are confidential and we abide by that commitment to confidentiality out of respect for our employees. Experience teaches that personnel issues are best addressed in private, and when a change in leadership is necessary, it is best accomplished with as much dignity as the circumstances permit.

David Lassner

David Lassner

It is my job as President to hold the executives who report to me accountable for their performance and the effectiveness of their leadership. At UH, this is a holistic process that spans the full range of the executive’s duties and responsibilities, not a reaction to specific incidents. I have maintained confidentiality both to provide the chancellor the privacy and dignity that any of us would want for ourselves in a difficult personnel situation, as well as to attempt to avoid disruption to the university’s critical work of teaching, learning, scholarship and service.

Unfortunately, many statements are circulating and the privacy I had hoped for has been compromised with a mix of truths and rumors from many sources. I regret that my attempt at maintaining privacy and dignity has been perceived by some as lacking transparency and accountability. And I am truly sorry this has become a public spectacle.

UH Manoa is Hawaii’s only research university and the flagship campus of our UH System. I am committed to fully supporting our UH Manoa students, who work every day to develop the knowledge and skills for success in their careers and as contributing citizens in our communities. I am committed to supporting our superb UH Manoa faculty members, who teach and mentor students every day and engage in scholarship to advance human knowledge and address the challenges and opportunities facing our communities. And I am committed to supporting our hardworking UH Manoa staff and administrators who every day balance the complexity of multiple missions and expectations from internal communities and external stakeholders.

At this time we all need to focus on polishing our crown jewel in the new financial environment faced by UH and public higher education across the country. The financial conditions that have developed at UH Manoa over the past two years must be addressed with thoughtful leadership and deep collaboration. I am committed to embracing this broader challenge with effective campus leadership in a considered, open and collegial manner with the faculty, students, and staff of the UH Manoa campus and our stakeholders across the State of Hawaii.

Big Island Police Searching for Man With Medical Condition

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 40-year-old Kealakekua man who was reported missing.

Aron Makani Beshore

Aron Makani Beshore

Aron Makani Beshore was last seen July 17 in Kainaliu. He is described as Caucasian, 6-feet tall, 250 pounds with brown eyes and brown buzz-cut hair.

He has a medical condition that requires medication.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts 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.

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.

Hawaii Forest Legacy Program Looks For New Projects

The State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking new projects for under the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program to protect important working forest lands from the threat of conversion to non-forest uses. The U.S. Forest Service-funded Forest Legacy Program, administrated through DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, welcomes applications for conservation acquisition assistance.

forest buffer

The Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program works with private landowners, conservation non-profit groups, the counties, and other state agencies to promote sustainable, healthy forests.

“The Forest Legacy Program can be a very competitive program with only a few dozen projects being funded by the U.S. Forest Service each year,” stated Lisa Hadway, administrator of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, “but Hawai‘i projects have always competed well in this national program.”

Roughly 58 percent of the land in Hawai‘i is privately owned, and 45,000 acres have been protected under the state’s program. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is also currently working on projects that will protect an additional 5,000 acres of important forested watershed lands through the establishment of conservation easements.

Conservation easements, similar to the agreement reached this year between the state, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort for 665.8 acres in Kahuku, are a relatively new conservation tool that allows a landowner to retain ownership of the restricted title to their property while providing permanent protection from development or unsustainable uses, providing landowners with an alternative to selling their land to development companies. While entering into a conservation easements is voluntary, restrictions are binding to all future owners in perpetuity.

The Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program has identified forest lands throughout the state as important and in need of permanent protection, complementing the state’s broader watershed initiative, “The Rain Follows the Forest.” More about this can be found in the States Assessment of Needs on the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program website (http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy/). The Hawai‘i program accepts both fee title and conservation easement acquisitions. Fee title acquisitions are voluntary and can provide landowners with the knowledge that their property will be managed and owned in perpetuity by the state.

“With the help of land trusts and conservation minded landowners, we have been able to protect our important forest resource, preserving watersheds, sheltering endangered species, and safeguard our culturally important sites,” added Ms. Hadway.

The deadline for the next round of applications to the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program is Aug. 20, 2014. Applications can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy/ and should be submitted to Irene Sprecher by email at Irene.M.Sprecher@Hawaii.gov. Landowners and non-profits entities who are interested in participating in the Forest Legacy Program are encouraged to contact Irene Sprecher at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife at (808) 587-4167 or by email to discuss their property and interest in the program.

Hawaii Energy, DLNR Release Two New Handbooks To Encourage Water Conservation And Greater Energy Efficiency

Two of Hawaii’s leading authorities on water conservation and energy efficiency jointly announce the distribution of two new handbooks written for Hawaii’s water and wastewater utilities that can help save up to 20 percent, or $16.1 million, in electricity costs annually – enough to power 9,400 homes in Hawaii.

Kate Aurilio, Energy Engineer, Hawaii Energy (Left); Ray Starling, Program Director, Hawaii Energy; Ernest Lau, Manager/Chief Engineer, Board of Water Supply and William Tam, Deputy Director, Commission on Water Resource Management (Right)

Kate Aurilio, Energy Engineer, Hawaii Energy (Left); Ray Starling, Program Director, Hawaii Energy; Ernest Lau, Manager/Chief Engineer, Board of Water Supply and William Tam, Deputy Director, Commission on Water Resource Management (Right)

Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu, developed the Water & Wastewater Energy Management Best Practices Handbook to help water and wastewater facilities operate with increased energy efficiency.

The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Commission on Water Resource Management released the Hawaii Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Manual to assist all public water systems in Hawaii to assess their water supply efficiency through water audits and water loss programs.

Hawaii Energy’s Water & Wastewater Energy Management Best Practices Handbook

Water and energy usage are inextricably linked, referred to as the water-energy nexus, due to the significant energy required to transport and treat water and wastewater.

Based on a Hawaii Energy survey conducted in 2013, the state’s public water and wastewater systems consume an estimated 290.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is approximately 3.2 percent of the electric utilities’ total sales.

The generally accepted industry standard for water and wastewater facilities is that energy efficiency measures can generate 20 percent or more in energy savings. For Hawaii, the 20 percent potential savings translate to more than 58 million kWh per year (or $16.1 million) based on an average electricity rate of 28 cents per kWh.

“The handbook is another example of our commitment to increase the adoption of energy conservation and efficiency throughout Hawaii,” said Hawaii Energy Program Director Ray Starling. “The water and wastewater best practices have been proven effective in other parts of the country, are simple to follow and offer a wide spectrum of energy-efficient measures.”

It is written as a practical guide to help water and wastewater management personnel make informed decisions to reduce energy consumption in all aspects of facility operations, repair and investment. It outlines how to develop and assess an energy management program, implement capital and operational improvements to reduce energy usage and track energy performance.

The handbook provides an overview of each energy-efficient best practice and outlines the potential impact on productivity, the economic benefit and potential energy savings. Each practice is presented in a one-page format for easier readability and reference.

Portions of the handbook were developed with the permission of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable resource program, Focus on Energy.

Municipal and private regulated water and wastewater utilities provide service to 95 percent of Hawaii’s population. There are 206 regulated wastewater treatment facilities with a treatment capacity of more than 243 million gallons per day and an average daily flow of 121 million gallons, according to the state Department of Health.

The drinking water sector includes 130 regulated public water supply systems that consist of surface and ground water sources that produce approximately 260 million gallons per day, according to the State of Hawaii Annual Public Water System Compliance Report from 2010.

DLNR’s Hawaii Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Manual

DLNR’s Commission on Water Resource Management funded the development of the Hawaii Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Manual, which was prepared by the Hawaii Rural Water Association.

The commission acknowledged that a water utility’s energy bill is one of its largest operating expenses. By improving water system efficiency, the utility can prevent unnecessary waste, defer costs for new water source development and reduce energy bills.

“The majority of Hawaii’s drinking water comes from groundwater wells that require substantial amounts of electricity to pump out of the ground, into elevated storage reservoirs and then transported to customers,” explained William Tam, deputy director for the Commission on Water Resource Management. “If a lot of water is lost during this process, more energy is needed to pump additional water to compensate for the shortfall. Reducing water loss reduces energy consumption.”

The additional benefits of implementing water audits and water loss control programs include the following: increased knowledge of the water distribution system; reduced water loss by identifying problem/risk areas; efficient use of existing supplies; less legal liabilities and minimal service disruptions to customers.

The manual was developed based on the International Water Association’s (IWA) and the America Water Works Association’s (AWWA) “IWA/AWWA Water Audit Methodology.” The methodology was selected based on its research, industry acceptance, simplicity, adaptability and standardized performance indicators.

The manual was adopted from the Georgia Water System Audits and Loss Control Manual (September 2011, Version 1.0) with permission from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Georgia Watershed Protection Branch.

In April 2014, the commission conducted water audit training workshops in the four counties for drinking water utilities. Future workshops may be held based on interest. Water audits are not required in Hawaii. However, the commission is evaluating the implications of requiring water audits in the future.

Downloadable Versions
Hawaii Energy’s Water & Wastewater Energy Management Best Practices Handbook can be downloaded by visiting www.HawaiiEnergy.com/water-and-wastewater. For more information, call 839-8800 on Oahu or toll-free at (877) 231-8222 on the neighbor islands.

To download the Hawaii Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Manual, visit the commission’s water conservation website at www.dlnr.hawaii.gov/cwrm/planning/conservation.
For more information, call (808) 587-0214.

Tourist From Florida Robbed in Waipio Valley

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an armed robbery in late May in the Hamakua area.
HPDBadgeAt approximately 3:30 p.m. on May 25, police responded to Waipio Valley after receiving a report from a 54-year-old Florida man that while walking up Waipio Valley Road, a dark Jeep Wrangler drove past him and stopped approximately 50 yards away. The suspect reportedly exited the vehicle, approached the victim, pointed a shotgun at him and demanded his backpack. The victim refused to give the man his backpack and instead handed over an undisclosed amount of cash.

The victim was not injured in the robbery.

The suspect is described as a local male, approximately 5-foot-7, 190 pounds with brown hair. He was wearing multi-colored shorts. He was last seen getting back into the Jeep and leaving the area in the mauka direction.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who may know the identity of the suspect to contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or duyetetake@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.

Shooting Victim Dies – Police Reclassify Case to Murder

The victim of a July 3 shooting in Hōnaunau has died from his injuries. As a result, Hawaiʻi Island police have reclassified the case from attempted murder to murder.

Todd Shaver, 52, of Hōnaunau was pronounced dead at Kona Community Hospital at 7:45 p.m. Saturday (July 26). An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Monte Moreau

Monte Moreau

Monte Moreau, 44, of Hōnaunau was initially charged July 5 with attempted second-degree murder.

On July 3, Kona Patrol officers responded to a 6:35 p.m. report of a shooting on the 83-5300 block of Highway 11 in Hōnaunau.

At a house being rented to several tenants, police found Shaver with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Fire/rescue personnel took him to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition.

Police arrested Moreau at the scene.

Big Island Police Reclassify Suspicious Death of Infant to Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have reclassified a suspicious death of an infant to murder following an eight-month investigation and recent results of an autopsy.
HPDBadgeOn November 25, Kona patrol officers responded to a report of possible child abuse. Responding officers learned that Fire Department rescue personnel had taken an unresponsive 18-month-old boy to the hospital with multiple bruises reportedly from a fall several days earlier.

The infant was later transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition. He was pronounced dead on November 27.

The infant has been identified as Rylee Sele-Pang of Kailua-Kona.

Juvenile Aid Section detectives had initially investigated the incident as a possible abuse case. Police deferred reclassifying it pending autopsy results.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office conducted extensive testing and analysis, which required the use of a mainland laboratory.

On Wednesday (July 23), after receiving the results of the testing and analysis, the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was complications of blunt force injuries of the head. As a result, detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section have reclassified the case as murder.

No arrests have been made. Detectives continue to actively investigate this case.

Movies Show Explosions at Halemaumau

Movie from a webcam positioned on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu, directly above the summit lava lake, showing the July 23 explosive event. The movie images were captured at 1 frame/second, and the playback speed is 12 frames/second.

Movie from a webcam positioned in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, next to Jaggar Museum, near the summit of Kīlauea, showing the July 23 explosive event. The movie images were captured at 2 frame/second, and the playback speed is 12 frames/second.

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Begins Construction on Mauna Kea

Following the approval of a sublease on July 25 by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) announces the beginning of the construction phase on Hawaii Island and around the world throughout the TMT international partnership. Contingent on that decision, the TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board of Directors, the project’s new governing body, recently approved the initial phase of construction, with activities near the summit of Mauna Kea scheduled to start later this year.

TMT with the Laser Guide Star at Night (An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated).

TMT with the Laser Guide Star at Night (An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated).

Kahu Ku Mauna and the Mauna Kea Management Board reviewed, and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents recently approved, the proposed TMT sublease. The final approval from the Board of Land and Natural Resources—the last step in the sublease process—allows TMT to begin on-site construction on Mauna Kea, home to many of the world’s premier observatories.

“It has been an amazing journey for TMT, from idea to shovel-ready project,” said Henry Yang, TIO Board Chair and Chancellor of the University of California Santa Barbara. “We are grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Hawaiian government, its citizens, and our project partners in bringing this important astronomical science effort to fruition. It is also my rewarding experience to work with so many community friends, University of Hawaii colleagues, and officials on both the Big Island and Oahu in this journey.”

The Rise of a New Observatory – Activities Around the World

The TMT project was initiated a decade ago by the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the University of California as the TMT Observatory Corporation. Now, as the TMT International Observatory (TIO)—founded as a nonprofit limited liability company on May 6, 2014 —the project has the official green light to begin constructing a powerful next-generation telescope.

The TIO founding members are Caltech, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan, and the University of California. India, an associate, is expected to become a full member later this year. Canada is also an associate and aiming to join as a full member in 2015.

Initial construction activities in Hawaii will include grading the site in preparation for future building work, enabling a site dedication ceremony in October. TMT is committed to work within a plan for responsible development on Mauna Kea created by the Office of Mauna Kea Management.

“TMT has worked for many years to design an unprecedented telescope, but also to work with the community to incorporate respect for Mauna Kea in our stewardship,” said Gary Sanders, Project Manager for TMT. “It is an honor and a privilege to now begin building our next-generation observatory in so special a place.”

Other work has already been proceeding off-site and will continue now apace.

“Design of the fully articulated main science steering mirror system in the telescope, as well as development of the lasers, laser guide star systems and other high-tech components, is proceeding in China,” said Yan Jun, Director General of the National Astronomical Observatories of China.

“Japan has seen to the production of over 60 mirror blanks made out of special zero-expansion glass that does not alter its shape with temperature changes. The blanks will be highly polished for use in the telescope’s 30-meter diameter primary mirror. The final design of the telescope structure itself is nearing completion,” said Masanori Iye, TMT International Observatory Board Vice Chair and TMT Japan Representative for the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

In Canada, the TMT adaptive optics facility is in final design. Ernie Seaquist, Executive Director of the ACURA, added, “The TMT enclosure design is complete and the enclosure is now ready for construction by a Canadian industrial firm.”

“Prototyping of TMT’s primary mirror assemblies and the building of mirror actuators, edge sensors, and support systems is ongoing in India,” noted Eswar Reddy, Program Director of the India TMT Coordination Centre.

Three “first-light” instruments are also under development with major contributions from all of the TMT partners.

The Path to Construction

The announcement of an imminent start to on-site work, where all of these initial developments will come together, is welcome news to scientists worldwide.

“The start of construction means that TMT is becoming real, and that’s exciting news for astronomers,” said Catherine Pilachowski, an astronomer at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., and an observer representing the United States astronomical community at TMT board meetings. “The science TMT will do is breathtaking, and will engage all astronomers in the adventure of new frontiers.”

The advancement of TMT to this stage of imminent on-site construction has been made possible by the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The foundation has spent $141 million to date to fund the design, development, and construction phases of TMT.

“I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and all of our partners and supporters,” said Edward Stone, the Morrisroe Professor of Physics at Caltech and the new Executive Director of TIO. “We are looking forward to starting construction this year and moving ahead.”

A Boost for Hawaii

The start of TMT on-site construction will directly benefit the local Hawaiian community. TMT will now make its first annual contribution to The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund, a program that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math education across grades K-12, secondary, and post-secondary education. Over the life of the TMT lease on Mauna Kea, TMT will give $1 million per year to the THINK Fund.

In the construction sector, TMT will create about 300 full-time construction jobs. TMT has committed to the hiring of union workers for these positions. Looking further ahead, during operations, TMT will have a staff of about 120-140, which will be drawn as much as possible from Hawaii Island’s available labor pool. A workforce pipeline program in the meantime will also educate and train island residents for jobs with TMT, as well as other observatories and high-tech industries.

“The start of construction of TMT is great news for Hawaii Island residents,” said Sandra Dawson, TMT’s Manager of Hawaii Community Affairs. “We are proud to be a good citizen of the community as we all work toward building a revolutionary astronomical instrument.”