Agreement Reached to Place a Conservation Easement Over Lands Owned by Turtle Bay Resort

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced an agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort (TBR) to establish a conservation easement on 665.8 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. Portions of this land had previously been planned for development but will now be protected forever from future development.

Governor announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

Governor Abercrombie announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

“As I said in my State of the State Address this year, ‘there are times for planning, and there are times for acting; now is the time to preserve open spaces at Turtle Bay,’” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This historic agreement is the result of public and private interests joining together to benefit the people of Hawaii and our visitors. This protects the heritage and rural character of the North Shore to ‘Keep the Country Country.’ ”

State Sen. Clayton Hee said: “The shoreline from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay represents one of the most beautiful and pristine areas on all of Oahu. As elected leaders, we have a profound and solemn duty and responsibility to preserve and protect this shoreline for future generations just as our ancestors did before us.”

The conservation easement will be placed upon the land and will permanently limit use of the land in order to protect the ecological, recreational and open space characteristics of Oahu’s North Shore. TBR will continue to own, use and hold title to the land, but it and future owners of the land will be bound by the restrictions. The easement will protect, and in many cases, allow restoration of critical marine and land ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural resources. It will foster and enable recreational and educational uses of the land.

The total value of this agreement is $48.5 million; $40 million will be provided by the state, $5 million will be provided by the city, and $3.5 million will be provided by The Trust for Public Land. The amounts of money provided by the state and the city are subject to appropriation and release of the funds. Gov. Abercrombie has previously asked for and encourages the Legislature to appropriate $40 million in general obligation bonds. The City Council has previously appropriated $5 million for this matter. TPL will be obtaining funds from various sources. The final documents and details of the agreement are to be worked out between the parties.

“We are excited to be a part of the stewardship to protect these natural resources and to secure forever the public’s access to that entire shoreline from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to thank the state for its leadership in this effort and to the people around the table who worked hard to make sacrifices and to find common ground. The work is not yet complete, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said: “The City Council has constantly demonstrated its commitment to land conservation as evidenced by the Fiscal Year 2014 budget appropriation of $5 million to preserve Kawela Bay. Protecting such a valuable natural resource on the North Shore today is an investment that will reap dividends for generations to come.”

This agreement benefits the public in many ways, such as preserving open space and providing public access to beaches in the area at no charge. It also allows public access to more than five miles of coastal hiking trails and opens up the area for traditional native Hawaiian cultural practices. In addition, the agreement keeps recreational use available to the public and prevents the sprawl of urban development in the area.

“This historic conservation agreement is supported by The Trust for Public Land, The North Shore Community Land Trust and many community organizations, residents of the North Shore and people from all over our island, along with visitors who enjoy and treasure the area,” said The Trust for Public Land, Hawaiian Islands State Director Lea Hong.

TBR Chief Executive Officer Drew Stotesbury said, “As a part of the North Shore community, Turtle Bay Resort is proud to contribute to the conservation of these unique lands.”

DLNR Preparing Draft Kawainui Master Plan And EIS

After an extensive public input process, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will release a draft updated master plan for its management of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex on May 16. At that time, DLNR will initiate a 30-day comment period to seek public comments on the draft plan.

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

“We will continue to develop and finalize our master plan and prepare an EIS as part of the process, which allows opportunities to hear community concerns,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We ask for everyone to go through this important process with us as we listen to all voices in the community.”

The draft master plan, an update of the 1994 Master Plan for Kawainui Marsh, is the result of ongoing discussion with the public that seeks to strike a balance among a wide range of opinions regarding management of the area. An EIS will also be prepared for the project that will allow the community to review environmental impacts associated with the updated master plan concepts as part of that environmental review process.

“We want to make it clear that our primary concern is protection and management of the wetlands in Kawainui and Hamakua,” Aila said. “Our main objectives within the marsh are management of native water bird habitat, including habitat for Hawaii’s four species of endangered waterbirds, and the migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that utilize the area on a seasonal basis.”

“The built elements currently being considered in the draft master plan revision – trails, education center, and cultural facilities – are the result of input we have received from the community,” he added. “Neither our Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife and State Parks nor the planners have an agenda either way regarding built elements and public access. We are seeking to accommodate the various opinions and views presented to us. These proposed features are common to natural areas of this type throughout the country and the world. Whatever built elements ultimately make it into the revised plan should not detract from the fact that our primary focus is protection and management of the natural resources at the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex. We have no intention or interest in creating a ‘tourist attraction’ at Kawainui Marsh, as some have suggested.”

Another important element of the master plan for Kawainui Marsh is the flood control project installed by the City and County of Honolulu and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This involves maintenance of the flood control levee, and maintaining the marsh lands in such a way as they do not inhibit water flow through the marsh and out into the ocean.

According to David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Oahu branch manager, “The main elements of our resource management program include control of invasive vegetation that is choking out bird habitat. This is a very large and ongoing task involving a huge number of personnel-hours and highly specialized equipment. In addition, the program includes control of non-native predators such as cats, dogs, mongooses and rats that prey on the waterbirds. In the upland areas, we are preserving and managing existing forest cover, and converting non-native forest to native forest through selective control of certain tree and shrub species, and the planting of native species.”

These natural resource management activities make up the bulk of DOFAW’s work in the marsh. Other land management responsibilities include cleaning up illegally dumped trash, cleaning out homeless camps along the marsh periphery, control of illegal access and off-road vehicles that damage marsh resources, clearing over-grown vegetation, mowing open lawn areas, and cleaning up decades of abuse and neglect to the marsh before DLNR gained control of the land. These land management activities are an ongoing, though costly part of DOFAW’s responsibility as stewards at Kawainui.

Honolulu Police Department Responds to Allegations About Officers Engaging in Sex with Prostitutes

Recent news reports claimed that the Honolulu Police Department urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to engage in sex with prostitutes. This statement is misleading and inaccurate.

Prostitutes

First and foremost, the HPD asked the legislature to keep the existing language in the exception. The HPD did not ask for permission to engage in sexual conduct with prostitutes.

Under Hawaii law (HRS Section 712-1200), merely agreeing to pay a fee for sexual conduct constitutes a violation of the statute thus, the exemption for police officers is necessary so they can conduct prostitution investigations. If there was no exemption, officers would not be able to respond to a verbal offer from a suspected prostitute. This does not mean that officers are allowed to engage in sexual penetration.

The HPD has never asked the legislature to allow officers to engage in sex with prostitutes. When HB 1926 was originally drafted, it contained language that allowed the law enforcement exemption UNLESS “the act” involved sexual penetration or deviate sexual intercourse. It was poorly worded so the department asked the committee to omit that sentence, or our officers would not have been able to respond to even a verbal offer of sexual intercourse from a suspected prostitute – one of the most common prostitution violations. The request was NOT made to allow officers to engage in sexual penetration. If we were to codify these rules, we would be publicly revealing specific undercover officer guidelines and Hawaii’s prostitutes, “pimps,” and johns would be able to use the information to avoid prosecution and continue their illegal activity.

The department is keenly aware that prostitutes are often victims of human trafficking or other offenses. Because of this, we work closely with the Hawaii Coalition Against Human Trafficking and other community groups. Our goal is to conduct fair, accurate investigations, taking into consideration the need for prosecution as well as the need to protect the innocent. To accomplish this, we maintain careful oversight of all prostitution cases. There are strict written guidelines to regulate the conduct of officers conducting prostitution investigations.

Healthy Schools Day at Capital Engages Policymakers in Hands-On Student Wellness Activities

As part of Education Week, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DOE) will conduct interactive demonstrations for legislators at this year’s Healthy Schools Day on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in the Capitol Rotunda from 9 to 11 a.m.

capitalPolicymakers will meet student gardeners, experience a fitness assessment that DOE students receive in PE class, and compete in a fitness relay race. Students in grades K-12 will assist and cheer on legislators. Demonstrations will showcase policies and programs in Hawaii schools that support healthy students, including school gardening and promising practices for health and physical education (PE).

“Our successful DOH-DOE partnership has led to exceptional policies and programs for Hawaii public schools,” said Health Director Dr. Linda Rosen. “We want our senators and representatives to know about these initiatives so that we can continue to provide a healthy environment for our keiki and expand offerings statewide.”

The event will also celebrate DOE schools receiving the 2014 Excellence in Wellness Awards.

The awards are presented annually to schools that have reached high levels of achievement on the DOE Wellness Guidelines, a set of standards for schools that includes benchmarks for foods and beverages offered to students, health education, physical education, and other activities that support a healthy school environment. The Excellence in Wellness Awards are given to schools that score 90 percent or above on the state’s annual Safety and Wellness Survey. A total of 55 schools are receiving awards in 2014, up from 50 schools last year.

“We recognize the accomplishments of our school administrators who emphasize health and wellness,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We commend them for promoting student health as it contributes to enhanced academic achievement and better learning.”

Hawaii public schools have direct contact with more than 80 percent of the state’s children ages five to seventeen. School settings are an ideal location to nourish children’s minds and bodies when they align classroom instruction with foods and beverages sold and offered on campus and support regular physical activity.

For more information about wellness in schools, please visit: http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/BeyondTheClassroom/HealthAndNutrition/WellnessGuidelines/Pages/home.aspx or http://health.hawaii.gov/school-health/

 

Collaboration Between the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and Wilcox Hospital Formed to Help Combat Infectious Diseases on Kaua`i

A collaboration between the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and Wilcox Hospital has formed Hawai’i’s first interdisciplinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) to help combat infectious diseases on Kaua`i.

UH Hilo MonikerASPs are programs designed to improve the utilization of appropriate antibiotics with the goals of improving patient outcomes and lowering healthcare associated costs, as well as slowing the development of antimicrobial resistance.

“The management of infectious diseases is a constant arms race, and, as medication experts, pharmacists are uniquely qualified to help drive ASPs,” said Roy Goo, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, who is based on Kaua`i. “As new antimicrobial agents are developed, bacterial, viral and fungal organisms evolve with new resistance mechanisms that confer immunity to even our best medications. Even with proper medication, it is estimated that 50 percent of antibiotics are used inappropriately.

“The practice of infectious diseases is the art of using only what is necessary to cure the infection and nothing more,” added Goo. “One of the basic principles of infectious diseases is the more antimicrobial agents we use, the faster resistance develops.” He points out that in recent years multiple strains of bacteria have arisen that are resistant to all currently available antibiotics.

In Hawaiʻi, Goo shows how the College of Pharmacy has played an integral role in the development of these programs across the State. With support from Wilcox Hospital’s inpatient pharmacy department and the hospital’s infectious disease physician Dr. Jimmy Yoon, students screen for patients who are on high-cost or high-risk antimicrobials. They then assess the appropriateness of the antimicrobial regimen for each patient and present their recommendations to the entire infectious disease team, who makes changes to optimize therapy.

“The Center for Disease Control strongly recommends that hospitals perform some form of antimicrobial stewardship, and it is likely that it will become mandated by the Center for Medicare/ Medicaid Services (CMS) in a couple of years,” Yoon said. “At Wilcox Memorial Hospital, we like to be ahead of the curve. Right now we are lucky that we have very few resistant bacteria, and we want to keep it that way. There is a clear correlation between bacterial resistance and increased morbidity and mortality as well as healthcare costs.”

Recognizing the importance of training pharmacists to fill this growing need, Yoon often spends time with students and tests them on their drug knowledge. Students consult with members of Wilcox Memorial Hospital’s Radiology staff, who also volunteer their time to go over chest X-rays and other imaging studies to point out abnormalities that serve as possible indications of infection.

“The drug pipeline for antimicrobial agents is dry so we need to save the agents that we have,” Yoon said. “My anticipation is that for pharmacists this is going to be a huge area for growth.”

This positive experience has led to other collaborative programs at Straub Hospital and Pali Momi Medical Center (PMMC) on O`ahu. Pharmacist Melissa Yoneda, a DKICP alumni from the Class of 2013, is currently helping to establish a pharmacy-driven ASP at PMMC in collaboration with the PMMC pharmacy, nursing and physician staff.

The release of an ASP module and guidance statement from the CDC indicates that ASPs will likely become a requirement across the United States. Certain states such as California have already made it mandatory that hospitals that enjoy Medicare reimbursement have an established ASP in place.

Navy Finds Boat Grounded in Reef at Pearl Harbor – May Be Japan Tsunami Debris

Chief Warrant Officer Three (CWO3) Timothy Greene, Port Operations, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and Paul Sensano, Deptartment of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) paddle a 12-foot long skiff which was grounded on a reef near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 8.

 U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio

The skiff, possible marine debris from the Japan Tsunami of March 11, 2011, appeared in waters near Pearl Harbor, and posed both a navigational hazard as well as potentially damaging the shallow reef. Greene and Sensano righted the skiff and secured it before moving it to the Hickam boat ramp for removal.

To date, 17 large items including boats or skiffs have been identified in Hawaii as being associated with the tsunami.

Four Rescued From Disabled Boat 12 Miles Off Oahu

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled boat approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

At 3:14 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Honolulu was patched in to a call from the Honolulu Fire Department notifying watchstanders that a 19-foot Boston Whaler suffered an unknown engine casualty and was adrift. An individual aboard the vessel was able to contact the fire department via cell phone.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was dispatched from Coast Guard Station Honolulu at 3:36 p.m.

The boat crew arrived on scene at 5:15 p.m. and took the vessel in tow. The RB-M crew towed the vessel into Kaneohe Bay where it was met by a Good Samaritan who safely moored the disabled vessel at Hee’ia Kea Pier.

The vessel was boarded and issued a warning for expired flares. The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they have all necessary safety equipment aboard and that it is in working condition. This includes flares, lifejackets and a working VHF radio. Cell phones are often unreliable off-shore and only provide one-on-one communication versus one-to-many with a VHF radio.

Mariners who want to ensure their vessel is safe and compliant with current regulations can request a free safety check by visiting www.vesselsafetycheck.org. For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.

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

Free Concert!

 

Free Concert at SkyDive Hawaii

Showdown In Chinatown, Honolulu’s Premiere Underground Film Challenge Returns

Showdown in Chinatown presents the launch of the 2014 Showdown in Chinatown Short Film Series, with a 48-hour Challenge! Honolulu’s premier underground short film challenge & showcase is designed to provide a creative outlet to those interested in careers in broadcast, film, and television production.

Showdown in Chinaton

Filmmakers will have 48-hours to write, shoot, and edit a short film, seven minutes or less. Filmmakers will also be given a topic, two props, and a line of dialogue they must use in their film. The top 12 films will premier on the big screen at Wade Warehouse screening hall, 449 Cooke Street, in Kakaako, Saturday March 8 at 7:00pm. The topic will be announced on Wednesday March 5, at 5pm online at www.ShowdownInChinatown.com and at Showdown in Chinatown’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Films are due Friday, March 7 between 5-8pm, the drop-off location to be announced online.

Some of our participants, dubbed “Showdown Graduates”, had never written a story or even picked up a video camera prior to entering their first competition, and are now producing broadcast quality films and showing in festivals around the world. Neil Sauvage and Kurt Loney of Cheap Rental Productions were the winners of our 2013 Championship Challenge with their short Cineparadoxia. Their team received a $15,000 grand prize from Hawaii Photo rental and will have their short entered into Hawaii International Film Festival and other film festivals all over the mainland. Here is a link to their short film https://vimeo.com/81869964

Showdown In Chinatown appeals not only to aspiring actors and filmmakers, but also to ordinary people who have never thought of visual storytelling as a possible means of expression.  Young and old alike… professional and amateur… all are given the opportunity to do something creative and have their work premiered on the big screen.

The aim of Showdown In Chinatown is to improve the talent and strengthen the community within Hawaii’s independent film and storytelling network.  We hope that this creative exercise is a launch pad for filmmakers to discover their talent, try new things and push their own creative boundaries.

Showdown is open to the public and relies on contributions, in-kind donations, and its volunteers to operate.  Visit www.ShowdownInChinatown.com to give today.  Showdown in Chinatown is a registered LLC. Donations are not tax-deductible.

For more information, contact Neil Sauvage or SIC Producer, Cyrina D Hadad.

Video: Kendama USA Hawaii Adventures – Volume 1

Recently the folks from Kendama USA came to Hawaii to put on a demonstration and show over on Oahu.  While the team was here they put together the following video:

Aloha!
Hawaii was amazing! I have never seen so many people playing Kendama in my life! 1800 people signed up to battle before we had to cut it off. 5000 people total were at the event. Choke players were there! It was great to get some time on Oahu an meet the people and the players. Hawaii is defiantly where it’s happenin. Amazing hospitality and kindness from everyone. Huge thank you to Razor Sports and Pearl Ridge Mall for their support and dedication. We will be back soon!

Hawaii Tuskegee Airmen a Big Hit at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Today

Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, USAF (Ret.) from Michigan, Hawaii’s own Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham, Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, PhD, and a panel of members of the Baham Goldsborough Chapter of the Hawaii Tuskegee Airmen discussed the legacy of the first African-American military aviators who served during WWII. The Hangar Talk, “Tuskegee Airmen Then and Now” in the Museum Theater was followed with a Meet & Greet in the Gallery. Both in Hangar 37.

Tuskegee3

Lt. Col. Alexender Jefferson, USAF (Ret.) flew P-51s with the “Red Tail”  332nd Fighter Group 301st Fighter Squadron escorting B-17s and B-24s. He was shot down over Germany after flying 18 long range missions and was a prisoner of war for nine months. After the war, he became a science teacher and later an assistant principal in the Michigan school system. He is the author of Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW.

Tuskegee1

One of the original WWII Tuskegee Airmen, Philip Baham was drafted into the Army Air Corps at 21 years of age and served as crew chief assigned to the 377th Composite Group at Tuskegee Field.

Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, PhD, is a Professor Emerita at Chaminade University and a lecturer at University of Hawaii Manoa. She is the wife of the late Romaine Goldsborough, another documented original Tuskegee Airman who served in the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.

On the panel, also were: Mario Taryer, Tuskegee Airmen Hawaii Chapter vice president and Master Chief Dewayne Barnes of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

For more information, call (808) 441-1007, email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org or visit online www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, which depends on membership and donations for support. A Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, it is rated one of the top 10 aviation attractions nationally by TripAdvisor®. It is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818.  www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Living History Day at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Another Success

History came alive at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor today Saturday, February 1, 2014, when visitors experienced the people, the aircraft, and the stories of Pacific aviation “stars” — from the early years of flight to today’s space age. Historical characters in period attire, a Pacific Warbirds T-6 flyover, the Nisei Veterans, musical performances, hands-on activities for the keiki, open cockpits to explore, and film screenings were featured.

Living History

Collected short films spotlighting the Asian-Pacific American experience were featured in the Museum’s Main Theater as part of the Smithsonian Young Historians, Living Histories Project. The two documentaries, researched and produced by students from Aliamanu Middle School on Oahu, explore the experiences of Pan Am Nisei stewardesses, and the life of Chinese American pioneer aviator Tom Gunn.

Living History Flyover tower

Living History Day activities also took place at Battleship Missouri Memorial, making this a full day of fun and learning on Historic Ford Island.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) private nonprofit organization that depends on memberships and donations for its Restoration and Education projects. Open 9am to 5pm daily the Museum’s two hangars and tower are located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818. Named “one of the top 10 aviation attractions” nationally by TripAdvisor, it is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum. Main contact: 808-441-1000; www.PacificAviationMuseum.org

Hawaii Department of Education Statement on Shooting at Roosevelt High School

Roosevelt High ended classes at 10 a.m. today as a result of an incident that placed the school under lockdown earlier in the morning. Classes will resume tomorrow as scheduled.

Roosevelt High School

Roosevelt High School

The lockdown began around 8:30 a.m. when two police officers arrived to escort a 17-year-old reported “runaway” off campus. The male is a non-active student registered at Roosevelt High. According to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD), upon seeing the police officers, the male became combative and brandished a knife, which he used to slash at the officers. One of the officers fired two shots, striking the male once. The male was taken to a hospital in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Parents were immediately notified of the lockdown through the school’s emergency call system. An hour and a half later, the school released students early to allow the HPD to conduct an investigation. Parents and guardians were notified of a student pick-up location.

“Incidents like this are very rare in Hawaii, however, our partnership with the Honolulu Police Department on safety drills played a major role in the success of today’s lockdown,” stated Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “I commend Roosevelt High staff and students for their diligence in following safety protocols, as well as police officers for quickly bringing the situation under control. I also want to thank parents for their patience and understanding during the incident.”

Complex Area Superintendent Ruth Silberstein added, “Today’s situation was handled in a manner that caused the least disruption on campus and it is a testament to our teachers, faculty and students.”

Roosevelt High will have supports and counselors available to students when classes resume. There are 1,390 students enrolled at Roosevelt High.

All Hawaii State Department of Education schools conduct regular safety drills in coordination with HPD to ensure students and staff are prepared to respond to emergencies.

Land Exchange Next Step in Creating Central Oahu Agriculture Hub

State senators introduced this session land exchange legislation that would help protect agricultural and conservation lands, boost the agricultural industry and put the appropriate entities in the proper places to grow a better Hawai‘i. The measure is supported by eighteen lawmakers in the Hawai‘i State Senate, including the bill’s main sponsor Senator Donovan Dela Cruz (D- Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, and portion of Poamoho).

sb3065
The measure, Senate Bill 3065, Relating to Land Exchange, would allow the Department of Land and Natural Resources to exchange state-owned parcels in Kapolei for 20,000 acres of agricultural and conservation lands in Central O‘ahu. The lands, currently owned by the Castle & Cooke, surround the 1,207 acres of arable land purchased by the state for $13 million in 2012.
The land acquisition was part of a detailed plan for the future of Hawai‘i known as the Whitmore Project, an initiative to revitalize Hawai‘i’s local agriculture industry by bringing farmers and the state together to increase local food production, create jobs, engage in partnerships, and provide affordable housing.

Castle & Cooke has listed the land for sale at $175,000,000 and has also been supportive of the idea of a land exchange. The State currently owns land near areas where transit-oriented development is in the works.

“A land exchange with Castle & Cooke makes real sense here,” said Sen. Dela Cruz, “We have to look at all our options and think outside the box to help diversify Hawai‘i’s ag industry and preserve our lands. The state would spend little to no taxpayer money, and the exchange would allow for the appropriate entity to oversee smart development around transit plans and put the State in a place where it can provide opportunities for farmers and preserve lands.”

“Wahiawā can be an ag industrial hub,” he added. “These lands are up for sale and anything can happen to them. Do we want to see them parceled out and developed or do we want to see them as part of a plan that supports agriculture and our farmers?”

Calling All Keiki Lemonade Makers – Lemonade Alley 2014

Lemonade Alley, an exciting, hands-on business program for kids, today announced its 2014 competition date and call for team applications. The BizGym Foundation program is in its fourth year of teaching budding keiki entrepreneurs, or “#Kidpreneurs,” business, financial literacy, and social good skills through a competition in which teams of kids sell lemonade to raise funds for charities of their choice.

lemonade alley“As entrepreneurial skills become increasingly important in our society, Lemonade Alley looks forward to providing Hawai‘i’s next generation with a positive experience that encourages them to make our state – and the world – a better place through sustainable business practices,” said Steve Sue, Chief Lemon Head of Lemonade Alley. “This year, we invite keiki big and small to paint the town yellow for a one-of-a-kind experience at the coolest lemonade sale in town!”

Over a month-long time period, participating Lemonade Alley teams concoct a lemonade recipe, design and build a stand where they can sell their lemonade, pitch their business on-stage, and select a charity of choice, culminating in a head-to-head competition where teams sell lemonade and raise money for their chosen charities. The winning teams go home with $1,000 in cash for their chosen charities, with additional cash prizes and awards also distributed at the competition.

Lemonade Alley 2014 team applications are due on Friday, Mar. 7 via mail to 3155 Alani Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822. The first 30 teams to submit applications will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis. The 2014 application form is available for download at www.lemonadealley.com.

Lemonade Alley will take place on Saturday, Apr. 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Pearlridge Center, host sponsor venue of Lemonade Alley 2014, at the Pearlridge parking lot between Uptown and Downtown. Lemonade Alley welcomes corporate sponsors, donors, and volunteers to support this year’s competition. For more information, visit www.lemonadealley.com,

“Tuskegee Airmen” Hangar Talk Scheduled for Saturday, February 8 During Black History Month

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will welcome Hawaii’s own Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham, Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, and a panel of Black History experts, as they discuss the stories and the legacy of the first African-American military aviators who served during WWII. The Hangar Talk, “Tuskegee Airmen Then and Now” is Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2 to 4pm in the Museum Theater.

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The panel discussion will begin at 2pm, followed by an audience question and answer session. A Meet and Greet with the panelists will follow at 3pm. The event is free with regular Museum admission and free to Museum Members.

One of the original WWII Tuskegee Airmen, Philip Baham was drafted into the Army Air Corps at 21 years of age and served as crew chief assigned to the 377th Composite Group at Tuskegee Field. Despite facing the racial injustice prevalent throughout his career, Mr. Baham continued to serve his country, achieving the rank of TSgt in the newly formed United States Air Force. Mr. Baham received a number of medals and commendations for his service. He is a founding member of Hawaii’s Artis-Baham-Goldsborough Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and is a volunteer docent at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough is a Professor Emerita at Chaminade University and a lecturer at University of Hawaii Manoa. She is the wife of the late Romaine Goldsborough, another documented original Tuskegee Airman who served in the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.

For more information, call (808) 441-1007, email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org or visit online www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Pacific Skydiving Incident on North Shore Sends Skydiver to Hospital

A skydiving incident at Pacific Skydiving on the North Shore has sent a skydiver to the hospital this afternoon.  It is not known at this time the extent of the injuries.

Another skydiving incident at Pacific Skydive

Another skydiving incident at Pacific Skydiving

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Detected on Oahu

Another new invasive pest has been detected on Oahu, one that damages coconut trees and other palm plants. The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) was detected at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Dec. 23, 2013 during routine surveys conducted under a cooperative agreement between the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection & Quarantine (USDA-PPQ). Samples of the suspect beetle were sent to the USDA entomology laboratory in Miami and confirmation of CRB, Oryctes rhinoceros (L.), was received on Jan. 3. 2014.

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Coincidentally, the discovery of the CRB happened on the same day that Little Fire Ant (LFA) was discovered on hapuu (Hawaiian tree fern) at a garden shop on Maui and subsequently confirmed on Oahu. LFA had previously been established on Hawaii Island.

Since the discovery, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and the USDA-PPQ have been working jointly with the military and the University of Hawaii (UH) to survey and conduct trapping activities in the Pearl Harbor – Hickam area to determine the extent of the infestation. So far, nine adult beetles have been trapped.

It is a major pest of palms in India, the Philippines, the Palaus, Fiji, Wallis, Nukunono, American and Western Samoa and Guam. It is not known exactly how the beetles arrived in Hawaii.

“The threat of the coconut rhinoceros beetle has been a growing concern in Hawaii since it turned up in Guam in 2007,” said Dr. Neil Reimer, administrator for HDOA’s Plant Industry Division. “We have initiated the strong, coordinated efforts among HDOA, USDA, UH and other partners that will be required to effectively manage this invasive pest.”

CRB is mainly a pest of coconut and oil palms, but may also attack other palm species. Adult CRB are dark brown in color and measure 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches long. CRB larvae are white in color with a brown head. (Photos attached)

They damage palms by boring into the center of the crown where they injure young, growing tissue and feed on the sap. As they bore into the crown, they cut through developing leaves, causing damage to the fronds. V-shaped cuts in the fronds and holes through the midrib are visible as leaves mature and unfold.

CRB is native to the Asian tropics, but was accidentally introduced to western and central Pacific islands.

Natural enemies of CRB include pigs, rats, ants, and some beetles, which may attack CRB eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. They may also be killed by two diseases, a fungus and a virus; however, both are not known to occur in Hawaii.

Suspected CRB on coconut and palm plants on all islands should be reported to HDOA’s PEST HOTLINE – 643-PEST (7378). This is also a toll-free number for neighbor islands.

USS John Paul Jones to Replace USS Lake Erie; USS Preble Also Moving to Hawaii

The U.S. Navy announced Jan. 7 that USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) will swap homeports with USS Lake Erie (CG 70) this summer. USS Preble (DDG 88) will also leave San Diego for Hawaii this summer to replace the decommissioned frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57).

I got this coin a few weeks ago when I went on a tour of the USS Lake Erie

I got this coin a few weeks ago when I went on a tour of the USS Lake Erie

Moving the two guided-missile destroyers to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will provide updated, advanced Aegis capabilities to Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (CNSGMP). It will also allow Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, to proceed to San Diego for a scheduled extended docking ship repair availability (EDSRA).

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Lake Erie is expected to replace John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego once the EDSRA is complete. John Paul Jones and Preble are Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers that perform key roles in support of a carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group or surface action group. John Paul Jones is currently the most technologically advanced ship within the BMD program and will be used in that capacity to support the Navy and Missile Defense Agency testing program. Recently, the ship was updated with the latest Aegis BMD capability to engage ballistic missiles with the SM-3 missile.

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DDGs are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence. These combatants operate in a network centric warfare environment and execute multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space and cyber warfare. DDGs coordinate with units of a task group to conduct naval operations and execute the Maritime Strategy under a naval component commander.

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USS Reuben James, the last remaining guided-missile frigate homeported in Hawaii, was decommissioned July 18, 2013 after nearly 30 years of distinguished naval service.

Maintaining the most technologically advanced ships supports the United States’ commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Department of Agriculture Confirms Stinging Little Fire Ant Has Spread to Oahu and Maui From Hawaii Island

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has confirmed that an invasive stinging ant called the Little Fire Ant (LFA) has spread from Hawaii Island to Oahu and Maui.  On Dec. 23, a customer at garden shop on Maui reported a suspicious ant to the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC), which sent the specimens to HDOA entomologists who confirmed the identification of LFA.

Little Fire Ant - Worker Ant

Little Fire Ant – Worker Ant

On Dec. 26, HDOA entomologists surveyed several nurseries and stores and found LFA infestations on hapuu (Hawaiian tree fern) at several garden shops on Oahu and at another Maui store.  All infested hapuu were contained and the areas secured. On Dec. 27, HDOA staff revisited the stores and treated the areas with pesticides.  Through trace-back and trace-forward efforts, HDOA believes the infested hapuu originated on Hawaii Island and products from that nursery have been ordered for treatment prior to shipping. The last shipment was made to Oahu and Maui on Dec. 11.  Surveys and treatment will continue by HDOA and MISC staff.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

HDOA is advising those who recently purchased hapuu logs or planters to contain the logs by placing them in a plastic or garbage bag and seal it securely.  They should contact their nearest HDOA office as soon as possible.  Due to the holiday, please leave a message and staff will respond as soon as they are able:

Maui – (808) 872-3848

Oahu – PEST HOTLINE – 643-PEST (7378).  This is also a toll-free number for neighbor islands.

“It is important that those who have recently purchased hapuu which may be infested with little fire ants to help contain the infestation and contact us as soon as possible,” said Dr. Neil Reimer, administrator of HDOA’s Plant Industry Division. “Through past experience, we know we can contain an infestation if we find it in its early stages.”

Originally from South America, LFA is considered among the world’s worst invasive species.

LFA are tiny ants, measuring 1/16th inch long, are pale orange in color and move slowly. LFA move slowly, unlike the Tropical Fire Ant which is established in Hawaii, move quickly and are larger with a larger head in proportion to its body. LFA can produce painful stings and large red welts and may cause blindness in pets. They can build up very large colonies on the ground, in trees and other vegetation and completely overrun a property. They will also freely move into homes.

Infestation of LFA

Infestation of LFA

The first detection of LFA in Hawaii was in the Puna area in 1999. Surveys determined that LFA appeared to have been on the east side for several years prior to their initial detection and was widely distributed in Puna. Attention was then focused on controlling ant populations and preventing the spread to non-infested areas on the island and to other islands.

In October 2009, LFA was detected on a farm in Waihee, Maui. Eradication efforts at that site appear to have contained the infestation, which is being continually monitored. HDOA staff also trained Maui County employees, MISC and private pest control operators on Maui to assist in recognizing and reporting possible infestations on the island. MISC is also assisting HDOA in conducting surveys at high-risk areas on Maui.

Attached is a HDOA Pest Advisory that contains information on LFA and its history in Hawaii.
(Also available on the department’s website: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/npa99-02-lfireant.pdf).