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Navy Re-Sodding High School Football Field After Military Debris Discovered

Naval Facilities Engineering Command announced this week it is ready to begin re-sodding Radford High School football field.  The field has been the site of remediation actions by the Navy after decades-old military debris was discovered there two years ago.
Radford High Navy
The Navy has worked closely with the state Department of Education and Department of Health on required remediation actions at the school.

“On behalf of the Navy, I offer a big thank you to the parents, teachers and especially the students of Radford High School for their patience and understanding,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

“We were and are committed to doing a careful and thorough job in restoring the Radford track and field. Our highest priority continues to be the safety, health and welfare of people, especially young people,” Fuller said.

“We appreciate that this project is moving forward. The Hawaii State Department of Education is grateful for the patience of the Radford High School community throughout the delays,” Office of School Facilities and Support Services Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson said.

The Navy contractor began site work this week, which includes scraping vegetation and weeds from the field area, placing new top soil, and shaping the field for drainage. Over the next two weeks, the Navy will continue field preparations and begin installing fresh sod.

“Special thanks goes to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii teams – environmental, contracting, engineers and other support. NAVFAC got the funding, ensured contractor availability, and worked closely with the Department of Education and the school administration to ensure the track and field will be ready for the 2016 football season,” Fuller said.

“By the way, congratulations again to Coach Fred Salanoa and the Radford Rams for winning the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II football championship last November at Aloha Stadium. Go Rams!”

Honolulu Selected for “Local Foods, Local Places” Federal Initiative

On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 27 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places, and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

Local Foods Local Places

“Local Foods, Local Places helps people access healthy local food and supports new businesses in neighborhoods that need investment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The program is good for the environment, public health and the economy. By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.”

Honolulu was one of the cities selected in 2016 from EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region:

Honolulu, Hawaii – The Hawaii Community Development Authority will focus their Local Foods, Local Places efforts on plans to identify food-based projects that will spur greater investment and stewardship in the Kakaako Makai community; enhance local food production; integrate food security initiatives with community and transit-oriented development planning; and reduce stormwater runoff and vulnerability to sea level rise.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Each Local Foods, Local Places partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.

Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority. The initiative was launched in 2014 and has already helped 26 communities make a difference in people’s lives.

Local Food, Local Places is one of the administration’s community-based initiatives in action across the country. In these places federal experts are working side by side with residents and local leaders to create customized solutions; bolstering coordination across agencies and improving how we interact with communities as a ‘one Government’ partner; and relying on valuable data to help inform solutions and evaluate what is working and what is not.

A complete list of communities participating in the Local Food, Local Places Initiative can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places-summary-reports

Security Guards Indicted for Taking Bribes at Honolulu Airport

An Oahu grand jury indicted four Securitas law enforcement and traffic control officers for accepting bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers at the Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced.

SecuritasDeputy Attorney General Albert Cook said, “Securitas employees Ruben Corpuz Alonzo, Ranie A. Ilagan, Gay Manicia Gatchalian and Euriphides Magalang allegedly solicited and accepted more than three thousand dollars in monetary payments from taxi and shuttle drivers at the airport. In exchange the defendants provided customers to these drivers and allowed the drivers to circumvent the rules and regulations relating to taxi and shuttle drivers and ground transportation at the Honolulu International Airport.”

“These indictments followed a months-long, complex undercover investigation conducted by the FBI in conjunction with Special Agent Investigators at the Attorney General’s office. Taxi drivers complained about certain officers at the airport taking bribes and showing favoritism to those willing to pay,” said Attorney General Chin.

The four Securitas employees were indicted for bribery, a violation of section 710-1040, Hawaii Revised Statutes. This is a class B felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Securitas receives about $33 million a year to provide security.

Another Pacific Skydiver Seriously Injured on North Shore of Oahu

Another skydiver jumping with Pacific Skydiving was seriously injured this afternoon.

Skydiving injury

Details on the injury are still coming in as of this report.

Decision to End Search for Marines “Extremely Difficult”

The Coast Guard will suspend the active search at sunset Tuesday for the 12 Marine aviators of Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron 463 off the North Shore of Oahu.

marine search

“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Marine Corps helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Capt. Jim Jenkins, chief of staff and acting commander, Coast Guard 14th District. “I want to thank all our partners, the Navy, Army, the National Guard, the Hawaii Fire, Police and Ocean Safety for their extraordinary professionalism. I am proud of my Coast Guard crews and most of all thank you to the Marines for your leadership and partnership during this case. I emphasize that as we suspend the search, we pass the baton to the Marine Corps for any follow on actions. We stand ready to support any future maritime operations, and we will continue to provide any comfort we can for those suffering from this terrible loss.”

As of sunset Tuesday, the Coast Guard and military partners will have conducted a cumulative search effort of 40,530 sq. nautical miles, plus the extensive shoreline effort by the Honolulu Fire and Police Departments with Ocean Safety Lifeguard Service. More than 130 individual searches were conducted over five days, a continuous sustained search effort of 115 hours.

Involved in the search were:

Aircraft:
Surface assets:
Shoreline:
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter & HC-130 Hercules airplane with multiple crews
Navy P-3 Orion airplane with multiple crews
Navy H-60 helicopter with multiple crews
Army H-60 helicopter with multiple crews
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter with multiple crews
Honolulu Police Department helicopter with multiple crews
USS Gridley
USS John Paul Johns
USS Paul Hamilton
USNS safeguard-class ship Military Sealift Command
Mobile Diving & Salvage Unit 1 with ROV
Coast Guard Cutter Kiska & Coast Guard Cutter Ahi
Ocean Safety jet ski teams with multiple crews
Honolulu Fire Department rescue boat
Marines comprising shoreline search teams
Incident Command Post team Honolulu
Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
Coast Guard MSST 91107 & Regional Dive Locker Pacific
Coast Guard Sector Honolulu
Hawaii Army National Guard  & Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu received notification of two possible downed military helicopters off the coast of Oahu’s Waimea Bay, each reportedly with six personnel aboard, late Thursday evening prompting the joint search effort. The aircraft were CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters with Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

The Marine Corps has the lead role for any salvage and the ongoing investigation into the cause of the incident.

Life Rafts Found From Missing Marine Helicopters

Search efforts continue Monday for 12 Marine aviators off the North Shore of Oahu.

Coast Guardsmen and a Navy sailor scan the shoreline outside the Haleiwa Incident Command Post in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2016. Service members from multiple branches of the military as well as many state and local agencies in Hawaii are searching for 12 Marines who went missing after being involved in a helicopter crash off the the North Shore of Hawaii. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Released)

Coast Guardsmen and a Navy sailor scan the shoreline outside the Haleiwa Incident Command Post in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2016. Service members from multiple branches of the military as well as many state and local agencies in Hawaii are searching for 12 Marines who went missing after being involved in a helicopter crash off the the North Shore of Hawaii. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Released)

Air, surface and shoreline assets are actively searching for the survivors and cataloging debris. Of the four life rafts confirmed to be aboard the two aircraft all have been sighted and three have been recovered. Two assets are working to recover the fourth today, sighted Sunday evening north of  Kahuku by a good Samaritan. There is no indication from the sightings that any survivors have been aboard any of the life rafts.

Over Sunday night a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, the Navy warship and the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska searched. On scene today are:

Aircraft: Surface:  Shoreline:
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
Navy P-3 Orion
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter
Honolulu Police Department helicopter
(1) Navy warships
USNS Salvor, safeguard-class salvage ship,
supporting Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1
Coast Guard Cutters Kiska and Ahi
(2) Ocean Safety jet ski teams
(65) Marines comprising shoreline search teams
Incident Command Post team Honolulu
Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
Hawaii Army National Guard

As of 8 a.m. Monday responders have conducted 89 searches comprising 21,000 sq. nautical miles (24,150 sq. miles) of search effort. The searches are layered on top of each other to provide multiple perspectives and fresh eyes on scene.

The USNS Salvor, a safeguard-class salvage ship from the Military Sealift Command, arrived on scene late Sunday from Pearl Harbor to support the Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1’s efforts to conduct an underwater search of the last know position of the aircraft off Haleiwa with sonar and a remotely operated vehicle. MDSU-1 conducted searches Sunday but did not sight any debris. Anything located in this search can assist search and rescue planners with their analysis of factors and conditions, allowing them to narrow down the search area and maximize the odds of locating the missing Marines.

“Today our country celebrates Martin Luther King. Jr. who once said ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others.’  As we enter the fourth day of around the clock operations I would submit the men and women responding to this search effort are truly answering Dr. King’s question,” said Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer.  “Our focus is to locate these Marines and know with absolute certainty we’ve thoroughly canvassed every location we might find them.”

Weather conditions Monday are reportedly 11 mph winds, with seas up to 2 feet and swells of 8 feet. A high surf warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect for the North Shore of Oahu.

The public is reminded to use caution along the north and west shores of Oahu as the search continues. Debris should be treated as hazardous material and reported to the Marines at 808-257-8458 or 808-257-3023.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.

For questions specific to the Marine Corps please contact the III Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs officer at 808-216-7183.

Boater Access To Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor Is Limited During Emergency Rescue Efforts For Downed Helicopter Crews

Portions of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Haleiwa small boat harbor are being used as an emergency command center authorized by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, and set up by the Honolulu Police Department during multi-agency rescue efforts today for the missing crews of two Marine Corps helicopters which collided last night off Haleiwa. Officers from DLNR’s Division of  Conservation and Resources Enforcement are assisting by checking the shoreline from  Waialua to Kaena Point for any debris.

Haleiwa Harbor

Entry roads to the harbor, one boat launch ramp and a trailer parking area are blocked as emergency vehicles and search helicopters are using the harbor premises.

High surf conditions, including 30 foot waves over the harbor breakwater, are expected to peak this afternoon and evening.  Although boaters may still use one launch ramp closest to Haleiwa Joe’s, they are advised to check marine advisory warnings calling for very high surf. Forecasters are predicting a large and dangerous swell that could bring waves as high as 40 feet to the north-facing shores today.

The Coast Guard is urging people to stay out of North Shore waters, citing a debris field from the collision of the helicopters that stretches for miles.

The adjacent Haleiwa Alii Beach Park will be closed to the public on Friday as crews use the beach as a recovery area in an ongoing military rescue operation, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Poisonous Dart Frog Found on Oahu – More Common Then Thought

My wife’s cousin Cory Nakamatsu caught a poisonous dart frog in Palolo Valley over on Oahu today and posted the following picture of it to Facebook:

Poisonous Frog on Oahu

Poisonous Dart Frog caught in Palolo Valley on Oahu

After sharing it on Facebook today… I learned that they are not that uncommon here in Hawaii… at least on Oahu:

http://www.explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/BiodiversityForgotten/Wildlife/Reptiles/Frogs%20-%20Poison.htm

Anyone else come across these frogs in Hawaii?

WWII Triple Ace Bud Anderson, WWII and Pearl Harbor Survivors at Dinner Gala

More than a dozen Pearl Harbor and WWII survivors are expected to join WWII Triple Ace Fighter Pilot and Congressional Gold Medal recipient Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson at this year’s 9th annual Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor gala, December 5, at 6 pm.

Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson

Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson

The event is the Museum’s largest fundraiser of the year, and for many WWII survivors, serves as a prelude to the December 7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration at Kilo Pier, Pearl Harbor.

“It’s such a privilege to host these WWII heroes at our signature event,” said Kenneth DeHoff, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director. “The evening is intended to honor the spirit of the men and women who serve our country, and what better way to do this than in the presence of Pearl Harbor and WWII survivors in this historic Hangar 79.”

During WWII, Col. Anderson served two combat tours, escorting heavy bombers over Europe in the P-51 Mustang from November, 1943 through January, 1945. He flew 116 combat missions and destroyed 16.25 enemy aircraft in aerial combat and another one on the ground. In addition to his Congressional Gold Medal of Honor,

Col. Anderson has been decorated 26 times, including 2 Legion of Merits, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, 16 Air Medals, The French Legion of Honor, and the French Croix de Guerre, as well as many campaign and service ribbons.

Themed, “For Love of Country—Pass It On,” this year’s gala will remember the past, honor the present, and inspire the future, while raising funds for the Museum’s education and restoration programs. The event takes place in the Museum’s historic 86,000 square foot WWII Hangar 79 – its windows still riddled with bullet holes from guns fired on December 7, 1941.

Highlights for the evening include:

7:15 pm: American Flag Art Explosion by Speed Painter and Artist Michael Ostaski.

8:00 pm: Partnership announcement and unveiling of commemorative Nose Art emblem for Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s B-17 Swamp Ghost by Greg Coleman, VP of Worldwide Marketing & Franchise Management at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

8:45 pm: Keynote address by WWII Triple Ace Fighter Pilot and Congressional Gold Medal of Honor recipient Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson. Special performance by American Idol finalist Jordon Segundo

This year marks the 74th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, and according to the United States Navy, more than 40 Pearl Harbor survivors are expected to attend the December 7 commemoration ceremony.

Historic Conservation Agreement Forever Preserves North Shore Coastline

Land conservation history was made today as Turtle Bay Resort and a collaboration of entities led by the State of Hawai‘i, completed an agreement to preserve in perpetuity almost 630 acres of open space along O‘ahu’s North Shore coastline. The transaction was recorded in the State’s Bureau of Conveyances as Escrow No. 210-15066667.

“Today marks the formal beginning of a partnership that will forever preserve this precious stretch of land for generations to come,” said Gov. Ige.

Gov. Ige signed into law Senate Bill 284 on June 12, 2015, following the initiative of the Hawai‘i State Senate and the State House of Representatives which created legislation supporting this historic agreement. The details of the agreement were approved by the State Board of Land and Natural Resources on September 25, 2015.

The property protected by this conservation agreement covers more than four miles from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay and represents nearly four percent of O‘ahu’s coastline.

The agreement between Turtle Bay Resort, the State of Hawai‘i, City and County of Honolulu, U.S. Army and The Trust for Public Land is supported by a host of community groups and stakeholders, including the North Shore Community Land Trust.

North Shore Community Land Trust

The land acquired by the City and County of Honolulu under its Clean Water Act grant funding is located in Kawela Bay near a 4.9 acre site that will be dedicated as a public park for recreational use by residents and visitors.

 “Today is a victory for everyone who believes in private public partnerships and the ability to find solutions that fairly and wisely balance the interests of landowners, the environment and the community. We are very grateful to Gov. Ige for his leadership and partnership, and are thankful for all the support from our state and county lawmakers and community residents. This settles decades of disagreement on the future of Turtle Bay Resort. Everyone wins with this conservation agreement,” said Drew Stotesbury, chief executive officer for Turtle Bay Resort.

The U.S. Army, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, contributed $2.5 million toward the conservation agreement via the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB), which preserves land around military installations. The Army’s Kahuku Training Area is its largest on O‘ahu and is used by all of the military services for ground and aviation training.

At the grassroots level, the North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT) was vital in providing Turtle Bay Resort officials with both perspective and guidance from the Ko‘olauloa and North Shore communities on the need to reach an agreement acceptable to residents’ interests.

Scott McCormack, vice president, Turtle Bay Resort noted that the resort’s remaining development rights – 725 units, or 20 percent of what was allowable before this agreement – represent an opportunity to create much needed employment for area residents, while also conserving massive amounts of open space. Moreover, gaining approval of this residual development plan from key stakeholder groups was key to the agreement.

Reactions to the closing

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz

“This is a victory for the community that has fought for so long and so hard to ‘keep the country country’. More than 600 acres of conservation land will be preserved in perpetuity. This historic agreement is the result of a collaborative effort by many to reach a resolution on the future of one of the last undeveloped coastlines on Oahu. I thank Governor Ige, Mayor Caldwell, other State, City and County officials, and conservation leaders who came together to protect the natural beauty of Kawela Bay. This agreement ensures the availability of healthy coastline that is home to monk seals, sea turtles, whales and other fish and wildlife unique to our state. It also provides community access to the area so that it can be enjoyed for generations.”

U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono, member of the Senate Armed Services and Energy and Natural Resources Committees

“The preservation of nearly five miles of coastline along O‘ahu’s north shore ensures that this open space will be enjoyed by future generations. Today’s agreement reinforces the value of public-private partnerships coming together to find meaningful solutions that benefit the community. I appreciate the work of the Ige administration, City and County of Honolulu, Turtle Bay Resort, the North Shore community, and the U.S. Army through its program to protect habitat and buffer training.”

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard

“This collaboration between state and local government, the North Shore community, and private businesses is what made this historic agreement possible.  The preservation of one of our most iconic and precious resources – O‘ahu’s North Shore coastline – is something that current and future generations will benefit from.”

U.S. Representative K. Mark Takai

“I would like to applaud Governor Ige, Turtle Bay Resort, the City and County of Honolulu, US Army, The Trust for Public Land and the North Shore Community Land Trust for their work on securing this public-private venture that is good for the community, good for conservation efforts, and good for the U.S. Army. This is a win-win deal that allows the Hawaii tourism industry to thrive, allows the Army to continue much-needed training, all while protecting and preserving the natural beauty for those that live in the community and that attracts many to vacation in the Turtle Bay area.”

Gil Riviere, Senator, District 23, O‘ahu’s North and Windward Shores

“The people of Hawai‘i and our visitors will forever enjoy the beautiful Kawela Bay and miles of pristine coastline because of this landmark agreement. The Senate is pleased to have helped make this land conservation plan a reality under the leadership of Governor Ige and with the cooperation of so many diverse parties.”

Joseph M. Souki, Speaker, State House of Representatives

“This is a day to celebrate. Kawela Bay is now preserved for future generations thanks to the efforts of the many who recognized its importance to the community.”

Kirk Caldwell, Mayor, City and County of Honolulu

“This is the successful result of an effort that has spanned decades, with the kokua of government, the private sector, and community organizations. The fact that over 600 pristine acres are being preserved forever is a testament to the North Shore community and a tremendous gift to future generations of residents and visitors. This historic agreement is proof that great things are possible when everyone works together with aloha.”

Ernest Martin, chair, Honolulu City Council

“The Honolulu City Council, which committed the first investment in this endeavor through a $5 million budget appropriation in 2014, is very pleased with the result. The recordation today concludes a long and complex process. The real winners in this are the people, who can now rest assured that this land will be forever preserved and protected in its near pristine form. Future generations will be able to experience this unique area in the same manner as we are able to today. The City looks forward to its role in this historic partnership and develop the planned park and recreational area for all to enjoy.”

Col. Richard Fromm, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawai‘i

“For the Army, these kinds of partnerships are a necessity. We have to preserve our soldiers’ ability to train, and ACUB projects allow us to do that in a way that benefits the community and the military.”

Gregg Takara, chair of The Trust for Public Land’s Hawaiian Islands Advisory Board

“Conserving this land would not have been possible without the North Shore community’s decades long commitment, the strong support of our congressional delegation for buffer funding, and the U.S. Army Garrison Hawai‘i’s coordination with public agencies and community organizations on its buffer program. Mahalo to the governor, the legislature, the mayor, the city council, the landowner Turtle Bay Resort and the thousands of people who made phone calls, sent emails and testified in support of saving this land for our children and generations to come.”

Doug Cole, executive director, North Shore Community Land Trust

“The community is forever grateful to everyone who helped us preserve one of the island’s only remaining undeveloped shorelines. This is a wonderful example of how much can be accomplished when government, community and the private sector all work together. Thanks to this excellent collaboration, future generations will enjoy this special place forever!”

Chinese Navy Ships to Visit Hawaii

The U.S. Navy announced today that a People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] ship is expected to visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 12-16.

Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81)

Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81)

Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81), a midshipmen training ship, is expected to arrive at 8 a.m. This routine port visit will give Chinese sailors an opportunity to interact with their U.S. counterparts

Foreign Navy ships come to Pearl Harbor-Hickam regularly for scheduled port visits.  Ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force have visited the base twice in recent months.

As part of a planned series of military-to-military exchanges between the two nations, Zheng He will be hosted by USS Chosin (CG 65). Chinese and U.S. naval officers will conduct dialogues to build confidence and mutual understanding.

Senior Captain Yan Zhengming, Superintendent of the Dalian Naval Academy; Senior Captain Xu Ping, Deputy Political Commissar of Dalian Naval Academy; and Senior Captain You Dade, Chief of Training Division of Dalian Naval Academy will be met by Captain Eric Weilenman, Chief of Staff, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

American and Chinese sailors plan to engage in deckplate level events and sporting events – including soccer, tug-of-war and basketball games – between our sailors. Receptions aboard the Zheng He and USS Chosin are also planned.  Capt. Ye Kaihua is commanding officer of Zheng He; Capt. Kevin Brand commands USS Chosin.

The last port visit by PLA(N) ships to Pearl Harbor-Hickam was in September 2013.

The U.S. Navy is committed to continued engagement to improve mutual understanding, build trust, enhance transparency, and reduce the risk of misperceptions and miscalculations. Military-to-military engagement is an important tool to build trust, encourage multilateral cooperation, enhance transparency, and mitigate risk.

Two Million Provided for Hawaii Bikeshare Program Seed Funding

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Hawaii State Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler, M.D. today signed a contract providing matching funds for Bikeshare Hawai‘i.

Bike ShareUnder the agreement, the City and State will each provide $1 million in seed funding to assist the nonprofit Bikeshare Hawaii in building its large-scale bicycling infrastructure system, which is set to launch next year.

“We’re proud to support this important transportation public-private partnership between the City, State, and Bikeshare Hawaii,” said Mayor Caldwell. “This expansion of Honolulu’s bicycling infrastructure will be a game-changer in giving residents and visitors options to avoid traffic, help the environment, and have fun.”

bike share signing

“The Department of Health is thrilled to partner with the City and County on this important initiative that puts bikeshare within the reach of Hawaii’s residents and visitors,” said Director Pressler. “Having access to active transportation modes like bikeshare makes it easier for us to meet out daily physical activity needs, ultimately helping to reduce obesity and chronic disease to improve the health and well-being of our community.”

Bikeshare Hawaii will be a low-cost, flexible public transportation system that provides on-demand access to a network of publically-rentable bicycles at strategic locations. Approximately 1,700 bikes will be available at stations throughout urban Honolulu during the initial rollout. Upon completion of Honolulu’s rail project, bikeshare stations will provide first/last mile connectivity to rail and TheBus stations, facilitating the use of public transportation. Bikeshare will eventually expand the system statewide as demand increases.

Bikeshare systems have been proven to expand mobility options, create new bicyclists, and reduce automobile use. Bikeshare systems also promote healthier cities, active lifestyles, reduced vehicle emissions, and reliance on imported fossil fuel.

More information: http://www.bikesharehawaii.org/
https://www.facebook.com/bikesharehawaii

Hawaii Bishop Does Funeral for Accused Predator in Hiding, Victims Respond

A Catholic bishop recently led a funeral for an accused predator priest who was hiding in another country.

We just learned that Fr. Anthony Bolger, a priest who is publicly accused of sexually abusing a child in Hawai’i, died months ago while in hiding in Tijuana, Mexico.

Fr. Anthony Bolger

Fr. Anthony Bolger

http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/2015/01/30/obituary-father-anthony-bolger-1943-2015/

Hawai’i Bishop Clarence Silva even presided over Bolger’s funeral.  http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/2015/02/10/memorial-mass-for-father-anthony-bolger/

We are upset by Silva’s recklessness, callousness, and secrecy.

Fr. Bolger joins a long list of credibly accused child-molesting clerics who have been allowed by their Catholic supervisors to live unsupervised in the Mexico border town among unsuspecting families and vulnerable children. As best we can tell, the local Tijuana community was not warned of the accusations against Bolger and that children were put in direct risk. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2013/05_06/2013_05_09_TheStarAdvertiser_CatholicChurch.htm

Bishop Silva has done little or nothing to reach out and comfort the brave men and women who have come forward to say that they were sexually abused by Hawaii’s clerics. Instead of doing even the smallest thing to comfort the wounded, he salutes and honors those who may have caused horrible damage. Not only does this defy the way of Aloha, but Silva’s irresponsible actions deter other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up. He’s also essentially encouraging other Catholic officials to behave in similarly hurtful ways in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director,

Los Angeles Lakers in Honolulu for Preseason Games – Tickets Available Thursday

The Los Angeles Lakers will be having two preseason games at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu on October 4th and 6th.

Lakers at Stan Sheriff

Individual game tickets for the Lakers preseason games in Hawaii go on sale at 9:00am HST on Thursday, May 21.

Tickets for the game in Hawaii will be sold at www.etickethawaii.com and will be available by phone at 1-808-944-2697. Tickets are priced from $18 to $84.

Environmental Protection Agency Settles with Honolulu – County to Pay Nearly $17 Million

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with the City and County of Honolulu to resolve air violations at its closed Kapaa Landfill in Kailua, Oahu by agreeing to pay nearly $17 million—$16.1 million solar power system and a penalty of $875,000.

EPA LOGOThis environmental project involves the installation of photovoltaic arrays on more than 250,000 square feet of buildings and open space area at the city’s waste-to-energy H-POWER facility by 2020.

Because decomposing refuse in a large landfill generates methane and hazardous air pollutants, EPA, under the authority of the federal Clean Air Act, requires a system to collect and control the gases. The city failed to install and operate the gas collection and control system by its deadline in 2002. The gas collection and control system at the landfill was not in place until April 2013, and is currently operational.

“Air emissions from a closed landfill are toxic, and can contribute to global warming,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “If the proper systems had been in place at the landfill, over 343,000 tons of methane, and 6,800 tons of hazardous air pollutants and volatile organics would not have escaped to the atmosphere.”

Honolulu is the owner/operator of the 215-acre landfill, which also includes the smaller adjacent Kalaheo Landfill. The landfill first received solid waste in 1969 and closed in May 1997. From 1990 to 2002, Gas Recovery Systems, Inc. installed and operated a gas collection system and turbine on behalf of the city for the generation of electric energy. GRS ceased operation of the gas turbine due to its failure in 2002.

Effective gas controls at a landfill reduce the release of hazardous gases such as benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, ethylene dichloride, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride and vinylidene chloride. Many air pollutants identified in landfill gas are either known or suspected carcinogens. Air emissions of methane from landfills can also contribute to global methane levels, a greenhouse gas with about 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

“This settlement holds Honolulu accountable for past failures to collect and control toxic gases and greenhouse gas emissions from the Kapaa Landfill, but it also lays the foundation for better environmental stewardship in the future,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Residents who call Oahu home will realize the benefits of this agreement – which includes clean solar power production and reduced reliance on fossil fuels – for many years to come.”

The solar panels will be installed at the City’s H-POWER (Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery) facility in Campbell Industrial Park. The new solar panels will have a capacity of 3.1 megawatts and will generate over 5.0 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to power 800 Oahu households on average. This action will lead to less reliance on fossil fuels on Oahu.

Today’s proposed Clean Air Act consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court in Hawaii, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval, and is now available for review at: www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html

For more information about Clean Air Act landfill regulations, please visit the EPA’s web site at:
http://www.epa.gov/outreach/lmop/faq/landfill-gas.html.

Venomous Spiders Found in Foreign Container

A venomous spider was captured by agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Honolulu on Mon., April 13th.

Spider2

The spider was found in a container of granite and flagstone from Brazil that was being off-loaded in Honolulu. The CBP agents sealed the container and immediately turned the spider over to entomologists at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), who identified it as a venomous Brazilian wandering spider (genus: Phoneutria). The brown-colored spider had a leg span that measured about 3.5 inches.

Yesterday, a second container from the same shipment was opened and another spider was found and  killed immediately by a worker unloading the container. The spider was destroyed to the extent it could not be positively identified, but the worker said it looked like the photo of the Brazilian wandering spider. The second container was sealed and quarantined. The Plant Quarantine Branch is working with the importer to have the containers shipped back to Brazil.

“This incident emphasizes the importance of coordinated efforts between federal and state inspection agencies in preventing invasive species from entering Hawaii,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “We each have our own inspection areas and duties, but communication is key in protecting the state.”

spider

The CBP is responsible, not only for keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., but also screening international visitors and foreign cargo. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with inspection of agricultural material and animals transported from foreign countries into the U.S. and the HDOA is responsible for agricultural inspections from ports within the U.S. entering the State of Hawaii.

The Brazilian wandering spider is found in most areas of South America; however, it is not established in North America. They are considered one of the most venomous spiders in the world and may grow to have a leg span of five inches. Their venom is a strong neurotoxin that can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, vomiting, blurred vision and intense pain where the bite occurs.

This species of spider does not spin webs, but wanders around for their food – thus the name. Their diet consists of insects, other spiders, lizards and small rodents.
Suspected invasive species should be reported immediately to the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE –

643-PEST (7378).

Honouliuli National Monument Dedicated

U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel was in Hawaii today to dedicate the Honouliuli National Monument.

Honored, humbled to dedicate Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii today.  Secretary of State Sally Jewel

“Honored, humbled to dedicate Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii today,” said Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel

The monument will help tell the sad but important story of Japanese internment in Hawaii during WWII.

Commentary – Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division Desecrates Memorial

Over the last year, Skydive Hawaii has won a formal Part 16 FAA Hearing regarding economic discrimination and exclusivity of use at Hana Airport – violations of FAA AIF Grant Assurances 22 and 23. Earlier this year, in the Supreme Court of Hawaii, we provided oral arguments on the limitations of the ability of the Director of Transportation to make rules at airports owned by the United States of America (Dillingham Airfield).

In 2005, the State of Hawaii DOT-A was found moving sand containing human bones to local North Shore resident Thomas Shirai’s property. At that time the DOT-A blamed the contractor, Stay and Sons for the problem.

Click to enlarge

The present barrier (click to enlarge)

On March 19, 2015, Mr. Curtis Lau and another maintenance worker at Dillingham Airfield, under the direct supervision of Mike Navares, erected a second rope barrier between the skydive memorial at Dillingham Airfield and Skydive Hawaii. Prior to commencing with the project, Frank Hinshaw, President at Skydive Hawaii explained to Mr. Lau and his worker that putting a barrier up would only serve to cause outrage in the skydiver community.

An aircraft crash into Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1981 took the lives of 11 skydivers. In their memory a memorial was established at their home, Dillingham Airfield. The memorial is simple, a large rock with a bronze plaque and 11 milo trees in a circular arrangement symbolizing the “round or star” skydiving formation.

Skydiving Memorial

At the time the State DOT-A said that the area would not be rented or leased under revocable permit. Over the years, the skydiving community has lost more friends, but this memorial has served as a place of all their remembrances. The staff of Skydive Hawaii has maintained the memorial, cutting the grass, raking the leaves, and keeping the trees trimmed for the last 25 years and at no time was access to anyone restricted in any manner.

Friday, January 30, Mike Navares, verbally notified this company that beginning February 1 2015 the State had leased the skydiver memorial to Pacific Skydiving, a commercial company. The State and Pacific skydiving understood that the area was a skydive memorial and that this would be considered as an act of disrespect.

Desecration 2

Barrier in early February

A Pacific Skydiving business sign was moved onto the “memorial property.”A first rope barrier was put up and rocks moved in the front of the memorial to prevent access. Outraged skydivers removed the first rope barrier.

While it appears to us that the State DOT-A is using the desecration of the skydiver memorial as retribution to our FAA hearing win and likely future victory at the Hawaii Supreme Court, the memorial held sacred by skydivers and representing the memories of those who have preceded us on that eternal flight should be held above commercialization and willful desecration by our State government.

Frank Hinshaw,
Skydive Hawaii

Skydivers

2011 group of friends at the memorial – 30th anniversary of the plane crash.

Quarantine Restrictions Extended to All Coffee Grown on Oahu

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

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coast Guardsman Convicted of Lewd Act on Minor

A Coast Guardsman was convicted of committing a lewd act on a minor and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice during a general court-martial at the United States District Court – District of Hawaii Thursday.

Petty Officer 1st Class Shane E. Reese was found guilty of Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing a lewd act on a minor on the Island of Oahu between January and May 2013.

Reese was also found guilty of Article 134 for threats to the victim, Article 107 for making false official statements during the course of the investigation, and Article 112a for wrongful possession, distribution and use of marijuana.

He was sentenced to five years confinement in a military brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to paygrade E-1, the military’s lowest enlisted grade.

While awaiting court-martial, Reese served at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point as an aviation maintenance technician and was assigned to the unit at the time of the offenses.

According the the Coast Guard Facebook page:

Petty Officer 1st Class Shane E. Reese was found guilty of Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing a lewd act on a minor on the Island of Oahu between January and May 2013.
Reese was also found guilty of Article 134 for threats to the victim, Article 107 for making false official statements during the course of the investigation, and Article 112a for wrongful possession, distribution and use of marijuana.

He was sentenced to five years confinement in a military brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to paygrade E-1, the military’s lowest enlisted grade.
While awaiting court-martial, Reese served at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point as an aviation maintenance technician and was assigned to the unit at the time of the offenses.