Coast Guard Rescues Fishermen in Distress Off Maui

Two fishermen are safe after their vessel began taking on water approximately two miles north of Kahului, Maui, Wednesday.

Crew members from Coast Guard Station Maui tow a 21-foot recreational vessel after it began to take on water approximately two miles north of Kahului, Maui, Nov. 20, 2013. Open lines of communication between multiple agencies allowed for assets to respond quickly, locate and save the lives of two fishermen. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Crew members from Coast Guard Station Maui tow a 21-foot recreational vessel after it began to take on water approximately two miles north of Kahului, Maui, Nov. 20, 2013. Open lines of communication between multiple agencies allowed for assets to respond quickly, locate and save the lives of two fishermen. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Maui received a call for assistance from the Maui Fire Department who were responding to a 21-foot recreational vessel named Kakaloa, which began to take on water at 7:45 a.m.

The captain of the vessel reported his bilge pump was pumping out water but was unable to determine how long the pump would last.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued over VHF marine radio channel 16 to notify other vessels in the area of the emergency and the need for immediate assistance.

A 25-foot Response Boat – Small boatcrew was launched to the scene from Coast Guard Station Maui along with a helicopter aircrew from the Maui Fire Department who was able to pass the exact position of the vessel to the RBS crew.

Station Maui deployed a crewman and a P-6 portable pump to help dewater the vessel as it was towed into Kahului Harbor where it was safely removed from the water.

All of the boaters were wearing their life jackets and no injuries were reported.

“This case highlights the hard work that Maui County, state and federal agencies including the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary have put into developing effective partnerships,” said Chief Petty Officer Erin Stapleton, Officer in Charge of Coast Guard Station Maui. “Open lines of communication between the agencies allowed for the correct assets to respond immediately and locate and save the lives of these two fisherman. The Coast Guard response boat was vectored into the location by Maui County’s Air One helicopter, nearly ten miles away from the location the vessel thought they were in. This allowed for the Coast Guard small boat to arrive on scene and expeditiously dewater the vessel”.

For more information on boating safety visit http://www.uscgboating.org.

For more information on this case contact Lt. Kevin Cooper, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu public affairs officer, at (808) 842-2657.

Maui Member of State Board of Education Resigns Due to Time Constraints

The Maui member of the state Board of Education resigned effective the end of October.

A member of the original appointed board, Wesley Lo left the panel that governs the public school system eight months before his three-year term was to end in June.

Increasing responsibilities with his job as regional chief executive officer at Maui Memorial Medical Center effectively forced him to leave the Board of Education, he said Wednesday in an interview with The Maui News.

WESLEY LO Time constraints “just too much”

WESLEY LO Time constraints “just too much”

“The time constraints were just too much,” Lo said. “I was really depressed that I had to step down.”

In addition to being in charge of three hospitals in the county, Lo was given additional responsibilities from the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the quasi-public entity that runs Neighbor Island public hospitals, after the departure of Bruce Anderson, HHSC chief executive officer and president, in July.

Lo said he has been given the responsibility to look into possible public-private partnerships.

As far as replacing Lo, the governor is “considering all applicants and will be making an appointment as soon as possible,” said Christine Hirasa, deputy director of communications for the governor, in an email Wednesday.

The governor’s nominee to the volunteer post on the nine-member board must be confirmed by the state Senate.

Lo was a member of the inaugural governor-appointed Education Board in the spring of 2011. A state constitutional amendment passed in 2010 by voters switched the board from an elected to an appointed panel.

While having high regard for the elected board, Lo said he thought the appointed board worked well. “The idea was we could have some common vision as a board” without the worry of re-election, he said. He thought the appointed board could become more focused without the politics.

“It takes time for a board to develop,” he said. “We had our ups and downs. . . . We started jelling a little bit better and trusting members.”

One of the initial challenges for the new board was getting a handle on the size and complexity of the state Department of Education, the only statewide public school system in the country. He thought Maui Memorial with its 1,500 employees was a large entity, but the hospital pales in comparison to the DOE with 20,000 employees, 260 schools and a “budget not in the millions (but) . . . in the billions.”

“I guess that I was surprised at how big the Department of Education is . . . how complex it is,” he said. “It’s hard to maneuver. It took a lot of time to understand.”
He was thankful for the support and counsel he received from Maui County school superintendents Lindsay Ball and Alvin Shima and also Bruce Anderson (not the same as the former HHSC head), Shima’s predecessor who moved on to become Maui High School’s principal.

Lo also recalled a gathering with social studies teachers who provided him with information on graduation requirements.

“I realized how little I did know about the education system,” said Lo, whose children attend public schools and whose wife is a counselor at Maui High.

The departing board member had high praise for state schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and her staff. Given the size and complexities of the DOE, Lo noted that it is difficult to make changes, saying “it’s like turning the aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean.”

“The superintendent and the board are taking some bold steps,” he said. “It will take time. It’s really exciting.”

He noted the Race to the Top initiatives, improving test scores and the implementation of teacher evaluations.

There were some things he would have liked to continue to work on, such as centralizing and reorganizing nonacademic functions. He cited, for example, creating a centralized food service system instead of the current school-by-school one. The goal of centralization and reorganization would be to allow principals and teachers to focus more of their time on academics, he said.

Locally, he had two issues he wishes he could “have seen through” – the opening of the Kihei high school and the Hawaiian immersion program. The long-sought high school received $130 million in construction funding in the last Legislative session, with construction expected to begin in July 2015. At Paia Elementary School, there is a move to turn the school into a fully Hawaiian immersion school.

“Both are controversial issues I was involved in and appreciated the community input,” he said.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Possible Missing Kayaker Off Maui

The search for a possible missing kayaker off Maui has been suspended pending further developments.

The search began after an abandoned kayak was found off La Perouse Bay, Maui, at approximately 11 a.m., Tuesday.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Maui, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point and a Jet Ski from Ocean Safety searched the area for a possible kayaker in distress.

Every year, countless man hours and taxpayer dollars go to search and rescue missions where someone is not in danger.

Paddle Smart

Paddle Smart Identification Sticker

“The Coast Guard highly recommends mariners use Paddle Smart stickers and mark their personal watercraft with their contact information,” said Chief Petty Officer Jerrod Sneller, operations unit controller at Sector Honolulu Command Center. “This will reduce the number of man hours spent searching for individuals not in distress and it will allow valuable resources to be ready for actual search and rescue cases.”

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The decal is weatherproof and reflective.

The goal of Paddle Smart is to save lives and taxpayer dollars. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

For information on obtaining a Paddle Smart sticker, contact 808-535-3424.

Lahaina Bypass Receives 2013 Overall Grand Outstanding Civil Achievement Award

The Kahoma Stream Bridge in Lahaina, part of the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment Project, also known as the “Lahaina Bypass,” received the 2013 Overall Grand Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Hawaii Section, at a ceremony this past weekend.  The ASCE Hawaii Section annually recognizes an exemplary civil engineering project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society.

The new bridge, seen above under construction, utilizes an inverted tier arch design, which places arched support beams below the road surface rather than above.  This design was selected to minimize obstructions of ocean views for motorists and the Lahaina community.

The new bridge, seen above under construction, utilizes an inverted tier arch design, which places arched support beams below the road surface rather than above. This design was selected to minimize obstructions of ocean views for motorists and the Lahaina community.

“The Hawaii Department of Transportation and our Highways Division is honored to receive this very prestigious engineering award,” said state Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto.  “Completion of this bridge was a key component in the first segment of the Lahaina Bypass, giving motorists a new alternate route to bypass the busiest section of Lahaina Town.”

Seen here after completion, the bridge design eliminates the need for foundation pillars below which leaves the Kahoma Stream unobstructed.

Seen here after completion, the bridge design eliminates the need for foundation pillars below which leaves the Kahoma Stream unobstructed.

The 360-foot, two-lane bridge structure, which spans the Kahoma Stream Gulch, utilizes an inverted tier arch design, which places support beams below the road surface rather than above.  This design was selected to minimize obstructions of ocean views for motorists and the Lahaina community.  The unique support beam design also eliminates the need for foundation pillars below the bridge which leaves the Kahoma Stream unobstructed.  Construction of the bridge was completed at an approximate cost of $24.3 million.

The project will now be submitted to the ASCE national competition for consideration against other construction projects nationwide.

Senator Hirono Announces $7,485,000 to Improve Inter-Island Ferries

Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that $7,485,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation funding is coming to Hawaii to improve its inter-island ferries.

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai

The funding will be used to support ferries from Kaunakakai, Manele, and Maalaea small boat harbors, located on Molokai, Lanai, and Maui respectively.

“Connecting our islands through transit and supporting air transit alternatives are necessary strategies to develop a more sustainable economy,” said Hirono. “This funding will help modernize Hawaii’s small commercial ferry infrastructure and ensure that residents on Lanai, Maui and Molokai can easily get from island to island.”

The DOT funding will go to projects that rehabilitate ferry terminals and piers, increasing the efficiency, safety and hospitability of the existing inter-island ferry system. The ferries make daily roundtrips and provide critical transportation needs between the three islands.

 

Shark Bites Woman Off Maui Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) this morning closed the beaches from Polo Beach Park to the Mana Kai Maui Resort in the Kihei-Wailea area due to a shark incident earlier today. Closure is in effect until further notice.

Polo Beach

Polo Beach

DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers were informed of a shark incident between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

The female victim was approximately 30 feet seaward, north of the rocky point at Ulua Beach Park. The victim was taken to the hospital and is currently receiving medical treatment.

DOCARE and Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) staff initiated a beach closure one mile in either direction from the incident  – approximately from Polo Beach Park to the Mana Kai Maui Resort — and posted shark warning signs. DOCARE officers remain in the area to facilitate and maintain the closure.

Females Lead Population Collapse of the Endangered Hawaii Creeper

Only 22 to 28 percent of the remaining adult population of the endangered Hawai‘i creeper (Oreomystis mana) found in the southern portion of the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is female, raising concerns about the birds’ ability to continue to propagate the species, according to new research published by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa scientists Leonard Freed and Rebecca Cann.

Hawaiian Creeper

Hawaiian Creeper

“Nesting is an energetically expensive activity, and females can incur more risks under increasingly challenging conditions,” said Biology Professor Freed.

Both male and female Hawai‘i creepers are olive green and have a short, straight gray bill and black mask.  The birds are endemic to the Island of Hawai‘i.  Creeping up and down koa and ‘ōhi‘a tree trunks and along the underside of larger branches, they feed on insects living under loose bark.

From 2001 to 2007, Hawai‘i creeper population declined by 63 percent throughout a 3,400-hectare open forest area at Hakalau Refuge on the windward slope of Mauna Kea, according to trend analyses by Freed and Cann.  The scientists observed the male-biased sex ratio along the elevation gradient in a formerly high density section of the forest, including a closed forest area study site that is considered more pristine, and found that it was associated with the population decline in the refuge’s open forest areas.  Hakalau formerly had the best population of creepers on the island…

More Here: Hawaiian Creeper

Governor Enacts Legislation on Maui – Statement Regarding the Federal Shark Conservation Act

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed four bills related to land preservation, emergency medical services, small boat harbors and the Kahoolawe Island Reserve while at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui.

Shark Legislation
“These measures will help to preserve Maui’s natural resources, encourage cultural activity, and improve emergency services,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The population has increased significantly on Maui, and it’s imperative to provide timely responses to emergencies.”

HB1424 (Relating to the Acquisition of Resource Value Land) requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), in consultation with the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, to engage to acquire the parcel of land located at Lipoa Point.  This measure requires DLNR to ensure to the maximum extent practicable that the seller of the land uses the proceeds of the sale to benefit the pension plan of retirees of the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc.

SB498 (Relating to Emergency Medical Services) appropriates funds out of the Emergency Medical Services Special Fund to establish and fund a 24/7 special emergency medical response vehicle unit based in Maalaea, Maui, including acquisition of a vehicle, equipment, and personnel costs.

HB1412 (Relating to Small Boat Harbors) requires DLNR to accommodate mooring of native Hawaiian canoes owned or leased by nonprofit entities and used for educational purposes in small boat harbors.

HB1328 (Relating to the Kahoolawe Island Reserve) makes permanent the exemption for the procurement of food or fuel products necessary for the Kahoolawe island reserve commission.

Statement Regarding the Federal Shark Conservation Act:

Gov. Neil Abercrombie agrees with Hawaii Sen. Clayton Hee and William J. Aila, Jr., chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, that Hawaii law prohibiting the possession and sale of shark fins should not be pre-empted by the federal government. Under proposed National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration rules, fishing vessels would be not be allowed remove shark fins in federal waters, but required to bring whole sharks into Hawaii to cut their fins off on land.

Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“We must preserve the strong position the Hawaii State Legislature took in May 2010 when Hawaii became the first state in the nation to make it illegal to possess, sell or distribute shark fins in the state. This model legislation symbolizes Hawaii’s concern for the welfare of all creatures. “We oppose federal pre-emption of the Hawaii law. Our law is working as intended. We have educated fishers and restaurants, and they are complying.”

Honey Badgers Ready to Compete in 3rd Battle of the Islands – Maui

The Paradise Roller Girls’ Honey Badgers are riled up and ready for some hard-hitting action in the upcoming 2013 Battle of the Islands in Maui, June 28-29. Honey Badger Talina DiMartino, aka “Sasha Buzzkill”, said the PRG all-star team is prepared to “out-block, out-score, and out-skate” their opponents. “We’re ready for anything, she said. “We’ve been doing extra endurance drills, scrimmaging, and having meetings about strategy.”

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit: Mr. Forbidden

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit: Mr. Forbidden

Teammate Hau’oli Sayles, aka “Stealth SoulJAH”, agrees with DiMartino about the team’s readiness, saying all the players are in top shape and eager to play. “We are working on specific strategies and skills that will be used to hopefully win this tournament,” Sayles said.

The Maui Owie Rollers and Waimea Wranglers will roll out to warm the fans up in the first matchup of the tournament, Friday, June 28 at 6:30 pm. Second up in the starting night’s double header will be the much anticipated bout between the Honey Badgers and the Maui Roller Girls, slated to begin at 8 pm.

Teams from Pacific Roller Derby (Oahu), Garden Isle Renegade Rollerz (Kauai), and Aloha City Rollers (Oahu) will play on the second day of the tournament, with the first bout starting at 10 am. Seven teams will vie for the championship slot in two separate brackets. The final bout for B bracket is scheduled for 5 pm on Saturday. The battle for the top spot in bracket A starts at 6:30 pm.

In addition to the extra endurance drills and team strategy meetings, Honey Badger players are taking time out to do some personal training too. Sayles said she is doing High Intensity Interval Training in order to “step up the jammer game, increase performance, and prevent injury.”

Kaya Lela, aka “Chola Roll-ya”, said she’s “eating a nutritious diet and practicing four times a week.” Lela started skating with PRG “from the get-go,” but said this will be her first time competing in the Battle of the Islands.

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers SheBang SheBang #911, Reba Smack N’ Flyher #65, Tsunamea #25, and VonSchlappenbitsch #8 hold back the Maui Roller Girls jammer at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit Mr. Forbidden

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers SheBang SheBang #911, Reba Smack N’ Flyher #65, Tsunamea #25, and VonSchlappenbitsch #8 hold back the Maui Roller Girls jammer at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit Mr. Forbidden

Battle of the Islands is a state-wide bi-annual flat-track roller derby tournament. The tournament rotates to different islands where it is hosted by the local roller derby league. Paradise Roller Girls hosted the first Battle of the Islands tournament last July in Hilo. A second Battle of the Islands took place in Oahu last September. The fourth Battle of the Islands will be in Kauai later this year. Money earned from the June 2 PRG Skate-a-Thon fundraiser is being used to pay for some of the Honey Badgers’ travel costs for this year’s trip to Maui.

Games will take place at Central Maui Boys and Girls Club Outdoor Basketball Court 100 Kanaloa Avenue Kahului, HI 96793. For tickets and a full schedule of the upcoming June 28-29 tournament visit mauirollergirls.com. Those attending the tournament are encouraged to bring a canned food or pantry item to help support the Maui Food Bank.

Paradise Roller Girls is a women’s flat-track roller derby league located on the Big Island of Hawaii. PRG’s mission is to promote a healthy, athletic lifestyle in their community through the alternative sport of roller derby.

 

Maui and Molokai Residents Invited to Visit the Hōkūle‘a

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a welcomes the public to visit her in Mā‘alaea Harbor for a few more days.  Crew members have been connecting with youth and community groups since their arrival on Maui on June 17th.

The Hokulea in Hilo

The Hokulea in Hilo

A community presentation about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage is planned for Wednesday, June 26, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the headquarters of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 726 S. Kīhei Road (see attached flyer).  Apprentice navigator Ka‘iulani Murphy and crewmembers from Hui ‘o Wa‘a Kaulua, ‘Ohana Wa‘a and Polynesian Voyaging Society will be sharing their stories.

While docked at Mā‘alaea, the public is welcome to visit Hōkūle‘a between 9 AM – 12 noon and 1-5 PM through the 27th.

Mālama Hawai‘i is the first leg of Mālama Honua, the Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.  Hōkūle‘a will pay respects to communities throughout Hawai‘i in gratitude for 38 years of support of voyaging here.

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

In addition, we will feature stories of leadership and wise practices in resource management, voyaging and navigation, innovative education, and cultural practice throughout the islands.  The plans for the Worldwide Voyage will be shared at every port.  Over the next several weeks*, Hōkūle‘a will be in the waters of Maui Nui:

  • Through June 27      Mā‘alaea, Maui
  • June 28 – Jul 1           Lahaina, Maui
  • July 1 – 3                      Kealaikahiki, Kaho‘olawe
  • July 3 – 8                      Mānele, Lāna‘i
  • July 8 – 15                   Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i
  • August 16 – 18           Hāna, Maui
  • August 18 – 19           Honolua, Maui
  • August 19 – 20          Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i
  • August 20 – 23          Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i

* All dates are subject to change.  Committed to the safety of our crews and vessels, all sail dates are weather/safety dependent.

Department of Health Cites United Solvent Services for Solid Waste Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed a Notice and Finding of Violation and Order against Unitek Solvent Services, Inc. for violations that occurred in 2012 and 2013, at 330 Hukilike St., Kahului, Maui.

Unitek

The incidents involved the operation of an unpermitted solid waste management system that was accepting and processing disposed tires.

During an inspection conducted in February 2013, DOH noted the presence of approximately 10,000 tires at the 15,078 square foot site.

DOH conducted two inspections of the site, one in 2012 and one in 2013. Unitek was warned to cease operating the unpermitted facility in a letter dated May 11, 2012.

DOH imposed a penalty of $10,100 and ordered Unitek Solvent Services, Inc. to cease accepting solid waste and remove all solid waste from the facility. Unitek Solvent Services, Inc. may request a hearing to contest the allegations or order.

The DOH, Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation, and transfer systems. Such standards are intended to prevent pollution of the drinking water supply or waters of the state; prevent air pollution; prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances; protect the public health and safety; conserve natural resources; and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

 

 

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company Have Scheduled Meetings

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company have scheduled meetings to seek public comment on draft Five-Year Action Plans.

IRP2013

Click to see plans

The Action Plans are part of the Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process, which looks at how the utilities will meet future energy needs. The Hawaiian Electric Companies intend to file an Action Plan for each company with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by June 28, 2013.

Hawaii Island

  • Tuesday, June 4:  6-8 p.m.. Aupuni Center Conference Room, 101 Pauahi St., Hilo
  • Wednesday, June 5: 6-8 p.m. 96-1149 Kamani St., Pahala
  • Thursday, June 6: 6-8 p.m. King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Rd., Kailua-Kona

Oahu

  • Wednesday, June 12: 6-8 p.m. Farrington High School cafeteria, 1564 N. King St.

Maui County

  • Thursday, June 13: 6-8 p.m. Pomaikai Elementary School, 4650 S. Kamehameha Ave., Kahului
  • Wednesday, June 19: 6-8 p.m. Mitchell Pauole Center, 90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai
  • Thursday, June 20: 5-7 p.m. Hale Kupuna, 1144 Ilima Ave., Lanai City

The Hawaiian Electric Companies will consider all comments in developing plans that will guide the utilities in coming years.

Information about IRP, including the four energy scenarios that guided the planning analysis, is available at www.irpie.com, the website of the PUC’s independent representative facilitating and monitoring the process.

Ongoing technical analysis of the scenarios is available on the site. The completed analysis and Draft Action Plans will be available for public review on the site after presentation to the citizens’ Advisory Group on Thursday, May 30, 2013.

The PUC initiated the latest round of integrated resource planning in March 2012 and named Carl Freedman of Maui-based Haiku Design & Analysis as the commission’s “independent entity” to oversee the process. The PUC also named a 68-member IRP Advisory Group, composed of representatives from diverse locations and organizations in Hawaii, to provide public input to the Hawaiian Electric utilities in the planning process. According to the PUC: “The goal of integrated resource planning is to develop an Action

Plan that governs how the utility will meet energy objectives and customer needs consistent with state energy policies and goals while providing safe and reliable utility service at a reasonable cost through development of Resource Plans and Scenarios of possible futures that provide a broader long-term perspective.”

 

High Surf Causes Havoc to Maui Boats – Destroys Three Boats

DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation Lahaina harbor office is working to address removals of three vessels moored off the shore near Mala Wharf which went aground today due to high surf between six to ten feet. Witnesses said the vessels broke loose from their moorings during a large set of five waves. High surf is also forecast for Saturday. No rescues of boaters were required.

1. 30’ fiberglass sailboat “Best Revenge” which broke off its mooring.

The "Best Revenge"

The “Best Revenge”

Staff are working to obtain a bid from a salvage company to remove this vessel.

2. 30’ sailing vessel “Caribou III” which went aground also near Mala rocky shoreline due to high surf.

Caribou Before

Caribou III Before

The vessel had completely broken up by this afternoon.

Caribou After

Caribou III After

Staff are working to contact the vessel’s owner who has insurance and determine a removal plan. A marine salvage company is expected to begin removal work on Saturday, ocean conditions allowing.

3. 38’ trimaran “Triple Play” also aground at the Mala shoreline.

The "Triple Play"

The “Triple Play”

This vessel does not have insurance. Staff are working to obtain a bid for emergency salvage removal of the vessel.

 

Top 10 U.S. Electric Utilities For Solar Power Usage

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released a new list of the 10 U.S. electric utilities that have added the most new solar power to their systems and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis in 2012.

Solar

This annual ranking, which identifies the companies that are integrating solar into the nation’s power grid, is part of SEPA’s sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report. The full report, which will be released next month, identifies industry trends, such as total installed capacity, market share and industry growth rates.

Utilities ranking in this year’s top 10 (by solar megawatts) accounted for 73% of all capacity integrated in 2012, a slight increase from 2011. Among the top three in the rankings are some of the nation’s largest utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), Southern California Edison and Public Service Electric & Gas Co. – which often rank highly in this category due to their expansive customer solar programs and utility purchasing programs.

Rounding out the list are Arizona Public Service, NV Energy, Jersey Central Power & Light, Tucson Electric Power Co., Progress Energy Carolinas, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Hawaiian Electric Co. All were previously ranked in 2011, with the exception of Progress Energy Carolinas, which is in its first year on the list.

This is the fifth year that PG&E has topped the list, SEPA notes.

Separately, the rankings of the top 10 utilities by solar watts per customer take into account the number of customers each utility serves relative to their solar megawatts installed, giving small utilities a more competitive opportunity to measure their solar energy capacity.

Leading these rankings are many municipal utilities, including the City of St. Mary’s, Ohio; Kauai Island Utility Co-op in Hawaii; and Bryan Municipal Utilities in Ohio. Both Ohio utilities were not previously ranked, and Kauai moved up from No. 12 in the 2011 rankings.

The remaining top 10 providers include Hawaiian Electric Co., Chickasaw (Tenn.) Electric Co-op; Maui (Hawaii) Electric Co.; Imperial Irrigation District in California; Tucson (Ariz.) Electric Power Co.; City of Napoleon, Ohio; and Vineland Municipal Electric Utility in N.J.

Complete rankings can be found here.

 

Lahaina Receives Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant

he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $11.2 million in competitive grants to 15 states for projects to support recreational boating through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.  The Fish and Wildlife Service will also release approximately $2.4 million to 25 states, commonwealths, and territories willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as “BIG Tier 1” funding.

Fish and Wildlife

Grantees use Boating Infrastructure Grant funds to construct, renovate, and maintain facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

“These grants, funded by fishing and boating enthusiasts, have helped communities across the nation build and enhance recreational boating facilities that provide recreational opportunities while supporting jobs and economic growth,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.  “This program is a win-win situation for recreational boaters, conservation initiatives and job creation.”

“The BIG Grants have major impacts – not only do cruising boaters get the benefit of facilities that they help to pay for, waterfront communities and their small businesses also get an economic boost from visitors who enjoy boating,” said Thom Dammrich, chairman of the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council and president of the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association.

For example, a BIG grant of nearly $1.5 million, matched with nearly $1 million in non-federal funding, will enable the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to partner with the Bucks County Riverfront Program to install 25 new day slips on the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey. The ADA-compliant project, part of a larger effort to improve the waterfront in Bristol Borough, will also include new educational signage, lighting, and breakwater structures to protect the facility.

And in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a grant of nearly $1.3 million, matched by nearly $3.9 million in non-federal funding from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the City of Chattanooga, will go toward the construction or extension of guest dockage at four prominent locations along the south shore of the Tennessee River. Each location will include up to 10 slips, for a total of 40 new slips for eligible vessels.

Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.

Projects receiving competitive grants are:

  • Shoal Bay Marina Redevelopment, Logan County, Ark. – BIG grant: $1,215,841; non-Federal match: $721,175; total project cost: $1,937,016
  • City of Rio Vista Guest Dock, Rio Vista, Calif. – BIG grant: $225,000; non-Federal match: $75,000; total project cost: $300,000
  • Thamesport Marina Transient Docks, New London, Conn. – BIG grant: $1,430,975; non-Federal match: $502,775; total project cost: $1,933,750
  • Gulfport Casino Dock Redevelopment, Gulfport, Fla. – BIG grant: $112,613; non-Federal match: $268,137; total project cost: $380,750
  • Madeira Beach Municipal Marina Redevelopment, Madeira Beach, Fla. – BIG grant: $322,516; non-Federal match: $499,550; total project cost: $822,066
  • Lahaina Roadstead Offshore Mooring Installation, Lahaina, Hawaii – BIG grant: $248,500; non-Federal match: $248,500; total project cost: $497,000
  • Belfast Harbor Waterfront Rehabilitation, Belfast, Maine – BIG grant: $120,897; non-Federal match: $120,897; total project cost: $241,795
  • Annapolis City Dock Improvement, Annapolis, Md. – BIG grant: $1,500,000; non-Federal match: $2,703,478; total project cost: $4,203,478
  • Seaport Landing Marina Transient Boat Access, Lynn, Mass. – BIG grant: $267,700; non-Federal match: $100,000; total project cost: $367,700
  • Port Austin State Harbor Dock Renovation, Port Austin, Mich. – BIG grant: $747,250; non-Federal match: $747,250; total project cost: $1,494,500
  • Ironton Riverfront Boat Ramp and Docks, Ironton, Ohio – BIG grant: $636,000; non-Federal match: $212,634; total project cost: $848,634
  • Port of Arlington Marine Fuel Station and Utility Upgrade, Arlington, Ore. – BIG grant: $190,191; non-Federal match: $129,809; total project cost: $320,000
  • Bristol Borough Waterfront Improvement, Bristol, Pa. – BIG grant: $1,492,195; non-Federal match: $999,355; total project cost: $2,491,550
  • Ann Street Public Pier Project, Newport, R.I. – BIG grant: $740,000; non-Federal match: $260,000; total project cost: $1,000,000
  • Downtown Chattanooga Transient Docks, Chattanooga, Tenn. – BIG grant: $1,285,868; non-Federal match: $3,857,607; total project cost: $5,143,475
  • Deltaville Marina Transient Pier, Deltaville, Va. – BIG grant: $743,891; non-Federal match: $261,367; total project cost: $1,005,258

For more information on each of the grant projects, visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/BIG/BIG_Funding.htm

Coast Guard Rescues Kayakers Off Coast of Maui

A group of kayakers was rescued by the Coast Guard when weather took a turn for the worst approximately three miles off the coast of Wailea, Maui, Saturday.

Coast Guard Station Maui was notified by a vessel operator in the area that four kayakers, one adult and three children, were being blown toward the open sea by approximately 25mph winds. Sea conditions worsened to swells of three to four feet.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui was conducting training in the area and diverted to the scene. All four kayakers and their kayaks were picked up and taken to shore at 2 p.m. The kayakers were wearing life jackets and uninjured.

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to check weather conditions prior to getting underway. Weather conditions in Hawaii can change rapidly and can include high wind, breaking surf and extreme currents. Individuals unfamiliar with the area are encouraged to speak with lifeguards before entering unfamiliar water in order to become familiar with local weather and ocean hazards.

Mariners are also urged to file a float plan with a responsible friend, family member or harbor master. A float plan should include the projected course, time of departure, arrival and return which will provide responders with vital information in the case of an emergency.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

More information on float plans can be found at the following link: http://www.floatplancentral.org/

For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association Statement on Anti-GMO Marches Across the State

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association statement on Anti-GMO Marches Across the State:

HCIA

“Organizers of these anti-GMO and evict Monsanto marches are creating a hostile environment in our communities by using scare tactics and spreading misinformation. It is not pono to rally support for an agenda by repeating myths and exaggerations to our Hawaii communities. It is also unfortunate that misleading and false claims made by these activist groups are often repeated by mainstream media without verification of their accuracy.

“We value the concerns of the public and work to address these concerns through informative and respectful dialogue based on facts and proven studies. We also respect freedom of speech; however, we believe the community would be better served if they were provided facts instead of myths and false accusations.

Some of those facts include:

  • To date, people have consumed more than 3 trillion servings of foods produced using biotechnology, without one documented case of illness resulting from these foods.
  • Seed farmers keep agricultural land in agricultural use, with plenty of land available for other farmers. Seed farmers own or lease approximately 5 percent of the available prime agricultural land in Hawaii.
  • GMOs are some of the most extensively tested and federally regulated of all crops, so we actually know more about their safety than many other types of crops, including conventional and organic.”

Alicia Maluafiti, Executive Director of Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hilton to Operate Three Waldorf Astoria Resorts – Maui Grand Wailea Resort One of Them

GIC Real Estate, the real estate arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), has completed its purchase of three landmark resorts managed by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand of Hilton Worldwide. They are: the 740-room Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix, Ariz.; the 780-room Grand Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii; and the 796-room La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, Calif.

The Grand Wailea in Maui

The Grand Wailea in Maui

The transition of ownership will have no impact on the day to day operations of the properties as GIC has assumed the existing management agreements for all three Waldorf Astoria properties. California-based, KSL Group will act as asset manager for the three resorts and will work closely with GIC and Hilton Worldwide to ensure that the luxury properties continue their legacy of offering guests True Waldorf Service and authentic moments set amidst the inspirational environments for which the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand is legendary.

The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort has been an Arizona landmark since opening in 1929, when it was crowned the “Jewel of the Desert.” The Grand Dame remains one of the most recognized resorts in the world for its distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright architectural style, luxurious facilities and storied history as a playground of the rich and famous. Nestled on 39 acres at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the legendary resort offers: 740 guest accommodations; full-service spa, salon and fitness center; two 18-hole golf courses; six restaurants and lounges including Frank & Albert’s serving Arizona comfort food; and eight swimming pools including the Paradise Pool for the ultimate in poolside fun. For more information call 800-950-0086 or visit www.arizonabiltmore.com

Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort is the only Waldorf Astoria Resort in the Hawaiian Islands. Nestled on 40 acres of lush, tropical gardens fronting Wailea Beach, Grand Wailea offers open spaces for the active vacationer, beauty for romantic getaways and fun for the whole family. Built to portray the richness of Hawaii’s culture, people and nature, Grand Wailea is the ultimate Hawaiian resort providing an extensive selection of amenities and activities. Since opening in 1991, Grand Wailea consistently ranks among the world’s best resorts by leading travel consumer reports and industry peers. For more information, call 800.232.4604 or visit www.grandwailea.com.

La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort and PGA WEST is a renowned desert destination in the greater Palm Springs area featuring 796 elegantly-appointed casitas, suite and villas; the 23,000-square-foot Spa La Quinta®; 41 swimming pools and 53 hot spas; 23 tennis courts and exceptional cuisine at Morgan’s in the desert; TWENTY6; Adobe Grill; Ernie’s at PGA WEST. Known as The Western Home of Golf in America® and named “North America’s Golf Resort of the Year,” it is home to five award-winning public golf courses and four private courses, designed by legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf.

In addition to the three Waldorf Astoria resorts, GIC has a global portfolio of hotel properties in the U.S., France, the UK, Australia, China and India. Included in these holdings is the 1053-room Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk hotel in Fukuoka, Japan.

New Auwahi Wind Project Dedicated To Maui’s Energy Independence

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa today joined officials from Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, BP Wind Energy and community leaders for the dedication of the new Auwahi Wind facility on Ulupalakua Ranch.

Sen. Brian Schatz Tweeted this picture earlier today.

Sen. Brian Schatz Tweeted this picture earlier today.

The eight wind turbines are situated along the slopes of the Haleakala volcano and generate enough electricity to power 10,000 local homes.

More than 200 guests attended Friday’s dedication ceremony, which included traditional Hawaiian chants and prayers.

Sen. Schatz said the Auwahi wind farm contributes significantly to Hawaii’s clean energy goals.  He said the project is consistent with the State of Hawaii’s values of cooperation, contributing to a solution nationally on climate change and maintaining the ranching lifestyle on Ulupalakua Ranch.

“Auwahi Wind Farm is critically important,” he said.  “This is about keeping Maui Maui and setting an example not just for the state, but the rest of the nation.”

Tsutsui, who was born and raised on Maui, said the state and the island welcomed the Auwahi Wind farm as it brought much-needed jobs. More than 180 jobs were created during the project construction. Four full-time employees operate the wind farm today.

“We’re always talking about sustainability and being independent,” Tsutsui said. “This goes hand in hand with a lot of our initiatives. It’s definitely a step in the right direction and we look much forward to other projects.”

“We are very pleased that Auwahi Wind was completed on time, on budget and, most importantly, with an impeccable safety record,” said Kevin C. Sagara, vice president of renewables and corporate development for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. “This project will provide clean, sustainable power to Maui residents for generations and will bring Hawaii another step closer to meeting its goal to derive 40 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.”

The 21-megawatt (MW) Auwahi Wind facility represents BP and Sempra’s first alternative energy venture in Hawaii.

“Today is a celebration for the community of Maui in harnessing wind power as part of a diverse and adequate energy supply,” said John Graham, president & CEO of BP Wind Energy.  “On behalf of the owners of Auwahi Wind, I would like to thank the local community, the Ulupalakua Ranch, and neighbors without whom this project would not be the success it is.”

Maui Electric Co. President Sharon Suzuki said the project provides a valuable energy alternative for the island.

“The addition of the Auwahi Wind project brings Maui’s total installed capacity of wind generation to 72 MW, a great accomplishment for such a small island and one that will help further our efforts to break our dependence on foreign oil,” she said.

An important component of the project is an 11-MW/4.4-megawatt-hour grid battery system.  At its peak, this system is capable of 11 MW sustained for approximately 25 minutes.  The battery system’s energy helps regulate and sustain power to Maui Electric Co.’s grid during light wind conditions.

“We are especially pleased with the work Sempra and BP have accomplished in using a state-of-the-art battery system to help compensate for the fluctuations of variable wind,” Suzuki said.  “This high level of wind penetration on Maui would not be possible without such innovative measures.”

Sumner Erdman, president of the Ulupalakua Ranch, said the ranch has benefited from its partnership with Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP.

“Now, we can preserve much of our ranch land and its grazing areas in open space and continue to raise cattle,” he said. “Auwahi Wind will go a long way toward preserving the ranching lifestyle at Ulupalakua and on Maui.”

Ulupalakua Ranch is one of the largest cattle ranches on Maui. The Erdmans are environmentalists and have been its owners since 1963.

Construction of Auwahi Wind began in March 2012. More information on Auwahi Wind is available at www.SempraUSGP.com/Auwahi.

 

Hawaii Will Receive $17 Million for Disaster Relief

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Senator Brian Schatz, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard announced today that Hawaii will receive $17 million for disaster relief.

Grant

The funds come from a grant administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will help the state repair roads and highways damaged by heavy rains causing flooding and landslides on Kauai and Maui in late February and early March 2012. Repair work will include emergency repairs to restore traffic flow, minimize existing damage, protect remaining facilities, and restore highways to pre-disaster condition.

“Last year, Hawaii experienced highly unusual and severe weather, including hail, a tornado, flooding, and landslides. Critical roads and infrastructure across the state sustained major damage, and this $17 million in federal assistance will go a long way to fund repairs and help get Hawaii moving again,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

“Today’s grant of $17 million will serve as much needed assistance for the state of Hawaii to recover from last year’s tornado and hail storms that caused flooding and damage throughout Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Molokai,” said Senator Schatz, member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “This demonstrates the value of teamwork. From President Obama to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood to the Congressional delegation to the State administration, everyone came through and the result is receiving $17 million for critical transportation needs.”

“Kauai and Maui experienced significant hardship following last year’s devastating rains, including destroyed roads, contaminated drinking water, and damaged homes,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “This $17 million federal grant will be a strong first step toward fixing our highways and getting people back to their normal routines.”

For more information, please visit: http://grants.ost.dot.gov/public/ViewMessage.cfm?MsgID=v99byehukd