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BREAKING NEWS – Dengue Fever Case Reported on Maui

The Hawaii State Department of Health sent out a memo on January 29th to Maui residents notifying them that a Dengue Fever case has been confirmed on the Island of Maui.
Dengue Fever Case in MauiAs of today on the Big Island of Hawaii… we currently have 244 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever with no end in site.

Coast Guard Responds to Report of Flares Off Maui – Rescues Mariner

The Coast Guard rescued a mariner aboard a disabled 18-foot recreational vessel following a report of four red flares off Maui Thursday night.

Cadets and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle fire pencil flares off the fantail of the ship as part of a pyrotechnics training session Saturday, July 4, 2009. In recognition of the national holiday, everyone aboard also participated in the Square-Rigger Olympics, pyrotechnics training, and karaoke on the ship's waist later that night. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

Cadets and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle fire pencil flares off the fantail of the ship as part of a pyrotechnics training session Saturday, July 4, 2009. In recognition of the national holiday, everyone aboard also participated in the Square-Rigger Olympics, pyrotechnics training, and karaoke on the ship’s waist later that night. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

A Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew located the mariner during a search 5 miles west of Kihei and towed the vessel back to Maui.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a report of three red flares off Kihei around 9:23 p.m. A fourth flare was sighted by Maui Fire Department personnel from the shoreline shortly after.

The watchstanders launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point and the RBM crew from Maui to respond. The RBM crew sighted the mariner and confirmed he launched the flares before towing him back to Kihei.

“This mariner did everything right with his flares and the case illustrates the importance of having proper emergency gear aboard your vessel,” said Charles Turner, of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “In addition to required flares and flotation we recommend mariners have multiple forms of communication with them including a handheld VHF-FM radio, charged cellular devices and a properly registered personal locator beacon if possible. It’s State law to have a VHF radio on your boat if you’re more than a mile offshore. Communications can be a challenge around the islands and not all devices may have consistent coverage. It’s also a good idea to leave word with friends or family about your voyage and when you intend to return so they can alert responders if you are overdue.”

Flares should never be used as fireworks as they may prompt a Coast Guard search. If you are conducting flare training please contact the Coast Guard to advise them of the location and time of the training to deconflict any search and rescue calls. Flares are especially useful at night and burn red or white. Mariners who choose to further mark their location and signal with chemical lights are asked to use red colored lights as the typical yellow and green and very hard for rescue crews to detect with night vision goggles.

Alexander & Baldwin Announces Transition of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company to a Diversified Farm Model

Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. today announced that it is transitioning out of farming sugar and will instead pursue a diversified agricultural model for its 36,000-acre Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (“HC&S”) plantation on Maui.

Alexander and BaldwinSugar operations will be phased out by the end of 2016, and the transition to a new model will occur over a multi-year period. No immediate layoffs will result from today’s announcement and approximately half of the 675 employees will be retained through the end of the sugar harvest, which is expected to be completed late in 2016. Beginning in March, employees will be laid off as their specific functions are completed. Under the new diversified model, the plantation is planned to be divided up into smaller farms with varied agricultural uses, potentially including energy crops, food crops, support for the local cattle industry, and the development of an agriculture park.

“A&B’s roots literally began with the planting of sugar cane on 570 acres in Makawao, Maui, 145 years ago,” said Stanley M. Kuriyama, A&B executive chairman. “Much of the state’s population would not be in Hawaii today, myself included, if our grandparents or great-grandparents had not had the opportunity to work on the sugar plantations. A&B has demonstrated incredible support for HC&S over these many years, keeping our operation running for 16 years after the last sugar company on Maui closed its doors. We have made every effort to avoid having to take this action. However, the roughly $30 million Agribusiness operating loss we expect to incur in 2015, and the forecast for continued significant losses, clearly are not sustainable, and we must now move forward with a new concept for our lands that allows us to keep them in productive agricultural use.”

“This is a sad day for A&B, and it is with great regret that we have reached this decision,” said Christopher J. Benjamin, A&B president and chief executive officer, who ran HC&S as its general manager from 2009 to 2011. “Having had the privilege of working alongside the employees of HC&S for two years, I know firsthand the professionalism and dedication with which they perform their jobs. The longevity of the plantation is a testament to their resourcefulness and hard work. This transition will certainly impact these employees and we will do everything we can to assist them. The cessation of sugar operations also will have a significant impact on the Maui community and we will do our best to minimize that impact. A&B remains committed to Maui and will continue to be a significant corporate supporter of Maui charities and organizations.”

Employee Transition & Support
A&B is committed to supporting its impacted employees. The Company will provide transition coordinators to assist HC&S employees in finding alternate employment opportunities. The coordinators will identify and coordinate available federal, state, county and private job assistance programs (including employment counseling, job training, financial counseling, job placement and education services).  A&B will offer all employees enhanced severance and benefit packages. Retirement benefits accrued by eligible employees, retirees, and past employees will not be affected by the transition out of sugar. Additionally, the Company will consider displaced employees for positions in its new operations as they become available.

“We are very focused on helping our employees during this time,” Benjamin said. “Many of our employees have dedicated their careers to HC&S and have followed in the footsteps of previous generations of family members that worked on the plantation. We are grateful for their years of service and we will support them through this transition period.”

Transition to Diversified Agriculture
“A&B is committed to looking for optimal productive agricultural uses for the HC&S lands,” said Benjamin. “Community engagement, resource stewardship, food sustainability and renewable energy are all being considered as we define the new business model for the plantation. These are leading us toward a more diversified mix of operations.”

The Company is evaluating several categories of potential replacement agricultural activities. These include energy crops, agroforestry, grass-finished livestock operations, diversified food crops, and orchard crops, among others.

HC&S has several test projects underway to further assess these opportunities, and the Company plans to expand the scope and scale of the trials during the coming year. Initial projects include:

  • Energy crops:  Building upon its extensive experience with crop-to-energy production, HC&S has initiated crop trials to evaluate potential sources of feedstock for anaerobic conversion to biogas. This on-farm testing currently is being expanded from plot to field-scale and HC&S has entered into a confidential memorandum of understanding with local and national partners to explore market opportunities for biogas. HC&S also is assessing the potential of cultivating purpose-grown oilseed crops for biodiesel production and has entered into preliminary, but confidential, discussions with other bioenergy industry players to explore additional crop-to-energy opportunities.
  • Support for the local cattle industry:  The Company is exploring the costs and benefits of irrigated pasture to support the production of grass-finished beef for the local market. HC&S has converted a test site of former sugar land to cultivated pasture and is working with Maui Cattle Company to conduct a grass-finishing pasture trial in 2016. High-quality grazing lands could enable Maui’s cattle ranchers to expand their herds and keep more cattle in Hawaii for finishing on grass.
  • Food crops/Agriculture park:  A&B plans to establish an agriculture park on former sugar lands in order to provide opportunities for farmers to access these agricultural lands and support the cultivation of food crops on Maui. HC&S employees will be given preference to lease lots from the company to start their own farming operations.

“Transitioning HC&S to a diversified agribusiness model underscores A&B’s commitment to the community and our intention to keep these lands in active agricultural use,” said Benjamin. “It will take time but, if successful, these efforts could support the goals of food and energy self-sufficiency for Hawaii, preserve productive agricultural lands, and establish new economic engines for Maui and the state.”

Tropical Storm Watch Issued for Hawaii and Maui Counties

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR HAWAII COUNTY AND MAUI COUNTY.

Guillermo2

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…

* HAWAII COUNTY

* MAUI COUNTY…INCLUDING THE ISLANDS OF MAUI…MOLOKAI…LANAI AND KAHOOLAWE

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE MAIN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF GUILLERMO. WATCHES MAY BE REQUIRED FOR ADDITIONAL ISLANDS LATER TONIGHT OR EARLY TUESDAY.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC FOR YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HONOLULU.

Former Maui Mayoral Candidate Sentenced to 20 Years Prison for Securities Fraud

Nelson N. Waikiki, a former 2014 candidate for Maui mayor, was sentenced Friday by Maui circuit judge Rhonda I. L. Loo to 20 years in prison for securities fraud, the state attorney general’s office announced.

Nelson Waikiki

Nelson N. Waikiki

“Mr. Waikiki convinced several people to invest money in a water rights company on Maui,” said Deputy Attorney General Albert Cook. “Following an investigation by the State, it was determined that Mr. Waikiki did not have any such rights to the water, that he was not registered to sell securities in Hawaii, and that the securities he sold were not registered. In total, Mr. Waikiki’s schemes scammed up to 21 victims for more than $100,000.00.”

In addition to sentencing Waikiki to two consecutive 10-year prison terms for four counts of securities fraud, Judge Loo has ordered Waikiki to pay restitution to the victims.

DLNR Closes Maui Beach After Fatal Shark Attack

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has closed Makena State Park and ocean waters from Big Beach to La Perouse light house to swimmers, divers, and other ocean users.

Makena State Park Beach is closed after a fatal shark attack.

Makena State Park Beach is closed after a fatal shark attack.

This is in response to a fatal shark bite this morning in the Kanahena Cove area of Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve.  DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, Division of Aquatic Resources staff, and County lifeguards are on scene to investigate and warn the public. Shark warning signs are being posted. Further details about the incident are pending.

The area will be closed at least until noon tomorrow, at which time officials on the scene will assess the area for reopening.

Details about other recent shark incidents in Hawaii can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/sharks/shark-incidents/incidents-list/

Big Island Geothermal Plant Canned

Plans for a new geothermal plant on the Big Island of Hawaii has been canned.

Eastland Geothermal

Eastland Geothermal Plant in New Zealand

Eastland Group Ltd has pulled the plug on a potential $10 million investment in a project to build a geothermal power plant in Hawaii.

More than two years after the idea was first mooted, Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd yesterday confirmed the company decided last month not to take the process any further…

…Eastland Group’s investment in building a 25MW plant on Hawaii’s Big Island would have been as a 20 percent partner, costing $5m-$10m, with Innovations Development Group (IDG) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Eastland Group had an investment option in the project through its relationship with Hawaii-based IDG in geothermal projects in eastern Bay of Plenty. In 2012, it wrote-off a $1.25m loan to IDG associated with this option.

Eastland Generation Ltd’s subsidiary company Eastland Hawaii Inc first made a bid to Hawaiian Electric Company (HELCO) to build the plant in 2013, with a decision expected to be made in September of that year.

Mr Todd said all costs associated with the work done in Hawaii were part of the company’s business development budget. Expenses, including the $1.25m loan to IDG, would not be recovered.

Eastland Group subsidiary Eastland Generation already runs a 8.5MW geothermal plant near Kawerau.

The decision to pull out of the Hawaii deal will not affect plans for a second power plant at Kawerau, or the company’s relationship with IDG, said Mr Todd.

Last year the company received consent for Eastland Generation’s Te Ahi O Maui geothermal project to go ahead, with plans to build a 15MW to 20MW plant.

Mr Todd said that project was still a partnership between Eastland Generation, Kawerau A8D Ahu Whenua Trust and IDG.

“Eastland Generation holds the majority interest in Te Ahi O Maui, with its partners each holding a minority position. The relationship hasn’t changed.

“The Te Ahi O Maui project is progressing as planned, with resource consents now in place for 15,000 tonnes a day of geothermal fluid for a 35-year period. The consents allow for the design and construction of a sustainable geothermal power plant on a site 2.3km north-east of Kawerau.”

Full story here Hawaii Plan Canned.

VOG Causes Kayaker to Get Lost Crossing From Maui to Big Island

The Coast Guard is responding to a kayaker in distress off Big Island, Tuesday.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification at 6:29 p.m. via cell phone from a kayaker approximately 19 miles northeast of Kohala, Big Island. The 38-year-old man was en route Big Island from Maui when he reportedly lost sight of the island due to volcanic smog and drifted off course.

Watchstanders were able to triangulate his signal with the aid of Hawaii County Police Dispatch to determine his location.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point diverted from training flights to the kayaker’s location. The Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, homeported in Hilo, is en route to assist.

The HC-130 Hercules crew arrived on scene at 7:15 p.m. and dropped a radio and lifejacket to the kayaker. The kayaker has no other life saving equipment aboard.

Due to depleted cell phone battery, the Hercules crew dropped a radio to establish communication with the kayaker.

Mariners should always carry essential safety equipment when heading out on the water to include a VHF marine radio, lifejacket and flares. VHF radios have the advantage of reaching all vessels within the broadcast range simultaneously. Cell phones only provide one-to-one communication and are an unreliable emergency communication method when offshore. Mariners are also advised to use and register an emergency position-indicating radio beacon or personal locator beacon. For more information on EPIRBs, visit www.epirb.com.

Federal Aid Programs Announced for Hawaii Residents Affected By Iselle

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Hawaii.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

  • Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

FEMA Statement on Federal Aid for State of Hawaii After Tropical Storm Iselle

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Hawaii to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Tropical Storm Iselle during the period of August 7-9, 2014.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle in Hawaii and Maui counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Kenneth K. Suiso has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Suiso said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

President Obama Issues Major Disaster Declaration for Hawaii and Maui Counties

Today, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i activating the release of federal funds to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Iselle that occurred from August 7-9, 2014.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

“This is great news for the thousands of people in Puna who were affected by Iselle,” Senator Schatz said.  “This federal assistance is critical to supporting our communities’ ongoing recovery. I thank President Obama for recognizing the critical needs of the many families still rebuilding in Puna.”

“I thank President Obama for issuing a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i,” said Senator Hirono. “Families and the community continue to rebuild after Tropical Storm Iselle hit over a month ago and much of the damage to our farms and homes will take many years to rebuild.  Similar to how our communities came together during the disaster, we’ll continue to come together during recovery. I look forward to the ongoing work with my colleagues in our joint effort to help ensure people get the resources they need to rebuild.”

All areas in the State of Hawai‘i are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Maui Felon Arrested for Refusing to Provide DNA Sample – State Looking for Others

Attorney General David M. Louie announced that on August 22, 2014, John P. Dunbar Jr. (60) of Haiku, Maui, was arrested by patrol officers and officers assigned to the Maui Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit for refusing to provide a DNA sample. Mr. Dunbar, had been convicted of Escape in the Second Degree, which is a felony, in June 2005 and was provided notice of the legal requirement that he provide a DNA sample.

Pursuant to section 844D-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, any person convicted of a felony is required to provide a buccal swab sample containing DNA. This law applies to all convicted felons, even if their conviction occurred before the passage of the law in 2005. Refusal to submit a DNA sample is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment or a maximum fine of $2,000.

This case is the result of the Attorney General’s on-going law enforcement effort to obtain DNA samples from thousands of unsupervised convicted felons in the State of Hawaii and was a joint effort between the Attorney General Investigations Division’s DNA Swabbing Unit, the United States Marshals Service, the Maui Police Department, and the Maui Prosecutor’s Office.

“I thank the various law enforcement agencies that have assisted our office in ensuring that state law is followed and that convicted felons who refuse to provide DNA samples are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Attorney General Louie. “The DNA collection program has already assisted law enforcement in closing unsolved crimes. I encourage anyone that has been convicted of a felony that has not yet provided a DNA sample to voluntarily comply with the law and provide a sample to our DNA Swabbing Unit.” The DNA Swabbing Unit can be contacted at 808-586-1240.

An arrest does not constitute a conviction and Mr. Dunbar is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the criminal offense charged.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

Civil Defense Update for Hurricane Iselle

This is a civil defense message.

This is a Hurricane Warning information update for Wednesday August 6th at 12:00 Noon.

Hurriane Iselle

The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for  the Island of Hawaii remains in effect.  A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions can be expected within the next 36 hours.  The hurricane conditions will include high surf and surge along all coastal areas, heavy rains and possible thunder showers that may present with flood conditions, and sustained storm force winds of over 75 mph and higher gusts.  Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions and to prepare for hazardous conditions.  Boat owners are advised to check moorings and to secure all vessels.  All preparation activities should be completed before tonight.  Hurricane Iselle continues to be monitored and is currently located approximately 625 miles east southeast of Hilo and moving west northwest at 16 miles per hour.  Although hurricane Iselle had previously shown signs of weakening current assessment show the system is maintaining hurricane force conditions.  Hurricane Iselle will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be broadcasted as information is made available.  All schools are open today however the following schools will be closing at 2:00 PM today and the after school programs and activities at these schools will be suspended:

  • Laupahoehoe School
  • Kohala HS & Elem.
  • Kealakehe HS
  • Konawaena HS
  • Hilo HS
  • Waiakea HS
  • Keaau HS
  • Pahoa HS & Int
  • Honokaa HS & Int
  • Kau HS
  • Waikoloa Elem

The department of Education reports that all Hawaii Island Schools will be closed tomorrow Thursday August 7th.

In addition, all beach parks will be closed effective tonight and remain closed until conditions improve and it is safe to reopen.

Updated information for the Big Island, Maui county and the surrounding coastal waters.

Situation overview

Iselle is expected to bring heavy rains, high surf and damaging winds. Hurricane conditions are expected on the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread to Maui county Thursday night and possibly to Oahu on Friday. Swells generated by Iselle are expected to reach the main Hawaiian islands today, possibly becoming damaging along some coastlines starting late tonight or Thursday. High surf is expected to reach the islands ahead of the heavy rains and strong winds. The high surf may bring coastal flooding, particularly when combined with afternoon astronomical high tides.

While there is still some uncertainty in the exact track and strength of Iselle, the Big Island and Maui are expected to be impacted first. The rest of the state remains at Risk to experience the impacts of Iselle.

Department of Health Reaches Settlement With Central Maui Landfill and Molokai Solid Waste Facility

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management have reached a settlement on two enforcement cases concerning solid waste violations at the Central Maui Municipal Solid Waste Landfill and the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility.

Department of Health

The combined settlement involves a cash penalty payment of $70,000 and a supplemental environmental project that is valued at not less than $70,000.

The proposed supplemental project is a household hazardous waste collection program for the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai to be conduct ed during fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). The County of Maui, the remaining county that currently lacks such a program, plans to continue the project beyond the inaugural year.

DOH cited the Central Maui Municipal Solid Waste Landfill with three counts of permit violations from January to April 2011 for failure to maintain leachate compliance levels in the leachate wet well and sump, and failure to monitor and record leachate levels after a storm event. The DOH initially imposed an administrative penalty of $121,900 prior to the settlement. The facility is located off Pulehu Road in Puunene.

DOH cited the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility with a two-count violation in April 2011 for failing to minimize liter generation and failure to place daily cover at the facility. An administrative penalty of $20,955 was initially imposed prior to the settlement. The facility is located off Maunaloa Highway in Naiwa.

The County of Maui has completed all corrective actions stemming from the alleged violations.

3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Registered Off Maui This Morning

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake was registered off the coast of Maui this morning… no tsunami was generated from it:

maui 31

Mokulele Airlines Announces Grand Opening Celebration For Kalaeloa Airport – Adds Flights

Mokulele Airlines has announced that it will host a grand opening celebration on July 1 at the airline’s newest service location, Kalaeloa Airport on west Oahu, marking the successful conclusion of a year of preparations. Kalaeloa is located at the former Barber’s Point Naval Air Base John Rogers Field, and the grand opening and inaugural flight will take place 15 years to the day that the former base was closed and turned over to the State of Hawaii.

mokulelejet

The celebration, which is open to the public, will begin with a facility tour and entertainment by Kainani & Friends. Jenn Boneza, TV personality for Oceanic Cable 16 and Hawaii Five-0 actress will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.  Ron Hansen, president & CEO of Mokulele Airlines will welcome guests and special guest speakers will include Evelyn Souza, Chairperson of Neighborhood Board #24; Senator Mike Gabbard, Representative Karen Awana, Ross Higashi Deputy Director Airports Hawaii DOT,  and Shan S. Tsutsui, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii. Dignitaries from the Hawaii Department of Transportation will also be in attendance and Kahu Daniel “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr. will offer a traditional Hawaiian blessing of the airport and the plane that will make the inaugural flight.

July 1 will mark the beginning of Mokulele’s daily nonstop service to Kahului, Maui from Kalaeloa, with six scheduled daily flights, three each way. The inaugural flight to Kahului will depart at 1:00 pm. After the plane departs, closing remarks will be offered by Mokulele’s executive vice president and COO Dave Berry and a reception will follow with entertainment by award-winning slack key master Kawika Kahiapo and refreshments provided by Chef Paul Onishi, of the Culinary Art Academy and Young Life Oahu High School Students.

Kalaeloa will be the ninth airport Mokulele serves. As with most of the other airports Mokulele operates from, parking is hassle-free and TSA screenings are not required. Travelers will also save time by eliminating the need to drive to and from Honolulu on the H1. Mokulele is offering a special introductory webfare of $99 roundtrip including taxes and fees for the new Kalaeloa-Kahului route for reservations booked through July 31th for travel through August 30.

Mokulele Airlines said it has announced the expansion of its service between Kamuela-Waimea on the Big Island and Kahului, Maui by adding a third daily roundtrip flight to meet growing demand.

Mokulele began offering service form Kamuela in September 2013 after being awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract from the Hawaii Department of Transportation. EAS is a government program designed to help ensure that smaller communities have access to commercial air service.

Mokulele will now offer 42 weekly flights between the two destinations, only 24 of which are subsidized by the EAS program.

More information is available at www.mokuleleairlines.com.

Department of Health Fines Hawaiian Commerical and Sugar Company for Over 400 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch has issued a Notice and Finding of Violation and Order (NFVO) to Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S) for excess emission and reporting violations that occurred from 2009 to 2013 in Puunene, Maui.

Hawaii Sugar Fine

A penalty of $1,335,000 has been assessed for the alleged violations. HC&S may request a hearing to contest the violations within 20 days of receiving the NFVO.

More than 400 violations were documented by DOH’s extensive records reviews of HC&S’s semi-annual reports, deviation letters and additional information submitted by HC&S. A copy of the NFVO, which includes a complete list of the violations, may be viewed at http://health.hawaii.gov/cab/Issued Formal Notices of Violation and Order

Through the air permit process, the DOH ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public. The DOH Clean Air Branch (CAB) protects the people and environment of Hawaii by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air.

The CAB reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality.

Police Searching for Maui Woman and Children Who May Be On the Big Island

6/18/2014 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 28-year-old Halley Leah Ries of Maui, who was reported missing.   Ries and her two children were found unharmed in Kalapana at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday (June 17).

Hawaiʻi Island police are assisting Maui police in locating a 28-year-old Haiku woman who was reported missing and may be on the Big Island.

Halley Leah Ries

Halley Leah Ries

Halley Leah Ries is reportedly with her two daughters, ages 5 and 8 months, and operating a gray 2014 Nissan 4-door sedan, license ZBN 509. She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-11, 145 pounds with green eyes and blond hair.

She has a medical condition that requires medication.

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

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

EPA Settlement with Destination Maui Will Fund Blood Lead Testing for 350 Children

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement valued at $55,000 with Destination Maui, Inc. for failing to notify its tenants about the potential presence of lead-based paint at eight properties located on Maui.

EPA LOGO“More than half a million children in America have blood lead levels that can lead to learning disabilities and behavior problems,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Household paint is the main source of exposure, so it’s crucial for landlords to provide tenants the information they need to protect their families from lead poisoning.”

In addition to a fine of $5,500, Destination Maui will spend approximately $49,500 to fund the testing of 350 children for lead exposure and provide blood lead analysis equipment to three community health clinics operated by Malama I Ke Ola Health Center on Maui that serve low income and homeless residents. The blood testing program will take place over the next three years, and will target uninsured children under the age of 6 years old.

An EPA inspection found that the firm did not provide information about the potential presence of lead based paint before leasing eight properties in Kahului, Kihei, Wailuku, Lahaina, Makawao, Kula, and Haiku. These actions violated the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

The inspection was one of several conducted at property management firms in May 2011 throughout Maui that rent older housing that may have a risk of lead hazards. EPA places a high priority on addressing environmental health risks like lead poisoning that disproportionately affect children and environmental justice communities. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, and other harmful health effects. Because such effects may not be immediately apparent in young children, testing is recommended to identify lead poisoning and take action to prevent further harm.

The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Federal law requires that persons and entities that sell or rent housing built before 1978, such as the units managed by Destination Maui involved in this case, provide lead hazard information to buyers or tenants. In addition, contractors who work on such housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified by EPA if they perform significant renovation, repair, or painting.

For additional information on lead in paint and the Toxic Substances Control Act requirements, please visit the EPA website at http://www2.epa.gov/lead

Statement From Piiholo Zipline Company Regarding Today’s Death

Statement from Piiholo Zipline company regarding the death that happened at the zipline company today:
Piiholo Ranch Zipline

The Piiholo Zipline Ohana expresses its condolences and sympathy to those involved in today’s tragic event. We especially offer our deepest aloha and prayers to the family and friends of our co-worker Patricia “Trish” Rabellizsa at this difficult time. We are working in full cooperation with the Maui Police Department’s ongoing investigation.