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Hawaii Delegation Introduces Legislation to Protect Drinking Water and Improve Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility

The Hawai‘i congressional delegation introduced legislation to ensure the Navy, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) meet their obligations to the State of Hawai‘i to protect drinking water and improve the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oahu.

Inside one of the Red Hill fuel tanks.

“The EPA, the Navy, and the State agree that protecting the aquifer that supplies Oahu’s drinking water is essential,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i). “Our bill firms up that commitment into federal law by making sure the agencies responsible for improving Red Hill have the federal funding they need to implement the actions that are agreed to.”

“Red Hill is critical military infrastructure and we want the Navy to succeed in successfully remediating environmental concerns associated with past fuel leaks above Oahu’s aquifers,” said U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01). “Working together, this will be a win-win for military readiness and Oahu residents.”

“Completing the necessary infrastructure upgrades at Red Hill Fuel Facility will safeguard our water and environment, while also protecting a critical asset to our national security,” said U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i). “Providing budget flexibility and conducting strict oversight of EPA and DOD’s progress towards meeting their commitments is an appropriate way to stretch a short supply of critical federal dollars.”

“These fuel storage tanks sit above aquifers that provide drinking water for up to 30% of Oahu’s residents,” said U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “It’s essential the Department of Defense commit the necessary resources to eliminate any threat these tanks pose to our most precious resource – water.”

The legislation, written and introduced by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, ensures the Navy, DLA, and other federal agencies charged with protecting Oahu’s drinking water from fuel leaks follow a set of actions the agencies agreed to take following the January 2014 leak of jet fuel from the Red Hill facility. The Navy’s investigation of the January 2014 leak determined that it was the result of contractor error. In September 2015, the Navy, DLA, and EPA entered into an Administrative Order on Consent/Statement of Work (AOC/SOW) with the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Health (DOH). That agreement establishes a roadmap for how the Navy and DLA will protect Oahu’s drinking water from future fuel leaks by making improvements to Red Hill, including the fuel tanks. The bill requires the Department of Defense, which includes the Navy and DLA, and the EPA to include the necessary funding in their respective budgets to make the improvements identified in the agreement.

U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Six Foot Iguana Found on Oahu While Doing Yard Work

A six-foot-long iguana was turned in on Sunday by a resident in Waimanalo who found the lizard while doing yard work. The resident contained the animal and called the State’s toll-free Pest Hotline at about noon and inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the iguana later that afternoon.

When fully grown, iguanas may reach up to six feet in length from head to tip of tail. Its tail is quite powerful, acting as a dangerous weapon in fending off enemies. Iguanas are native to central Mexico through South America and are typically vegetarians, but are known to disturb bird nestlings and feed on eggs.

Although they are believed to be established in some areas on Oahu, it is illegal to import, possess or transport iguanas in Hawaii. Persons possessing illegal animals are subject to stiff penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in prison.

Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378). Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the state’s amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, municipal zoo or Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii to Feature World Class Pilots and Planes

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular remote control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is back for its tenth year, Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Parking is free. A family favorite, the Airshow features local and nationally acclaimed remote control pilots and their award winning Giant Scale aircraft.  Other attractions include open cockpits, hangar tours, restored World War II aircraft displays, and the return of “Snow Fields in June” for kids.

For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying, static aircraft and full-size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for kids, hands-on modeling stations, a Kids Zone with rides, food, drinks, retail, music, entertainment, and other activities. Hangar 79 will be open, providing access to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits, plus the B-17E Swamp Ghost and Nakajima Kate, in restoration.

This year, the Airshow welcomes back Warbirds West, a nationally acclaimed award winning team of pilots flying giant-scale remote controlled aircraft. This year’s airshow will pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, a 1942 four-day, sea-and-air battle that was the decisive turning point of World War II in the Pacific. Performances include innovative aircraft showcasing action packed in-air stunts, demonstrations and dogfights, and a tribute to the role of aviation in the defense of our nation’s freedom. On the ground, spectators will be able to explore static aircraft displays and interact with pilots and crew members.

Visitors can also enjoy free tours of Hangar 79 and climb into the open cockpits of some of the Museum’s classic aircraft. Hangar 79 still bears the bullet holes of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Inside, guests will see helicopters, fighter planes, and Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop, the 1941 machine shop that is busy restoring the Museum’s aircraft. They’ll also get up close and personal with an F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-86s, P- 40, MiG-15, F-111, and the one and only “Swamp Ghost,” the Museum’s B-17E Flying Fortress.

Sponsors, exhibitors and vendors are invited to participate. For more information including sponsorship and booth opportunities, call 808-441-1013 or 808-445-9069.

Admission to the Airshow is $5 per person (including entry to Hangar 79). It’s free with Museum general admission and free to Museum Members. Tickets for the Airshow only and tickets for the entire Museum (2 hangars and 50+ aircraft) are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Museum admissions may also be purchased at the Museum ticketing desk and at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center ticketing desk. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes, 7:30am to 5:00pm from Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, round trip to the Museum. Call 808/441-1007 for more event information or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and @PacificAviation on Twitter, for updates.

Red Hill Tanks Pass Tightness Testing, Show No Leaking

The Navy completed routine tank tightness testing for the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility Feb. 2. The Navy began its latest tank testing in November 2016. All operating tanks continue to pass leak detection criteria of Title 40 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.*
A tank tightness test is a procedure that determines if an underground storage tank leaks. Operators precisely fill the tank and measure pressure to ensure the tank is not leaking.

Inside one of the Red Hill Fuel Tanks

Planned to be a biennial test, the Navy increased tank tightness testing frequency to annually in 2015.  The Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) and Statement of Work (SOW), as regulated by the EPA and the State of Hawaii Department of Health, incorporated this test.
In his most recent letter to stakeholders, Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, said, “To address fuel tank integrity, the Navy employs a continuing process that monitors the tanks with testing and inspections and sustains them with planned preventative as well as corrective maintenance, as needed.  We take to heart and apply the lessons learned and process improvements we developed after the fuel release from Tank 5 in 2014.”

The release that occurred in January 2014 was from Tank 5, which had undergone regularly scheduled maintenance. No other tanks were involved in the 2014 fuel release. The Navy took appropriate action to fix the contracting issues of poor workmanship, lack of quality control and procedural failures.

Since then, the Navy modified its quality assurance practices and policies, increased testing frequency and capabilities, and improved facility operating procedures to help prevent fuel releases from happening again in the future.

“While we have a world class system today, the Navy will continue to improve monitoring systems under AOC section 4,” Fuller said.

In an earlier letter to stakeholders, Fuller said, “I assure you that we are applying – and will continue to actively apply – what we learned to improve our processes and that we will only return Tank 5 to service after certifying it is safe.”

Since 2006, the Department of Defense invested more than $200 million to continue modernizing Red Hill and to conduct environmental testing. The Red Hill facility is of vital strategic importance to our nation since its construction. It is vital today and will remain vital for the foreseeable future.

More information can be found on the Navy’s website on Red Hill at www.cnic.navy.mil/redhill. Information is also available on the EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/region9/waste/ust/redhill/index.html.
(*Title 40: Protection of Environment is the section of the CFR that deals with the Environmental Protection Agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.)

WWII Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee Packs Them in at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and 400 guests paid tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with a special “WWII Tuskegee Airman Hangar Talk” by decorated WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee. The event commemorated African American History Month.

Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds a record for one of the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers who fought racial prejudices to fly and fight for their country during WWII. His career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and three wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (25 times).

Also honored at the Hangar Talk was WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37.

The day before, on Friday, February 3, more than 250 Honolulu students in grades 6—12 were invited and attended another Museum presentation geared towards youth entitled, “In His Own Words,” presented by Colonel McGee.

“It was such an honor to have a veteran pilot of Col McGee’s stature and distinction speak with us,” said Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff.

Prior to 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. Even in light of extreme racism, African Americans fought to defend their country, which led to the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of WWII. Their dedication to defending the freedom of all Americans and their acts of heroism paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Tuskegee Airmen completed more than 1,500 missions.

HDOA Quarantines Coffee Plants on Kauai That May Have Been Shipped from Oahu

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is investigating the source of coffee plants found at a Home Depot on Kauai earlier this week. Coffee plants from islands infested with the coffee berry borer (CBB) are restricted from being transported to uninfested islands, such as Kauai. Hawaii Island, Oahu and Maui have established populations of CBB.

coffee berry borer (CBB)

Eight coffee plants were found at the Kauai store by HDOA Plant Pest Control specialists conducting pest surveillance on Monday. Since then, HDOA personnel have been working to determine where the plants came from and, at this point, it appears that the plants were transported from Oahu. Coffee berries on those plants have been examined by HDOA entomologists in Honolulu and no CBB have been found. Those plants have been quarantined and will be destroyed as a precaution. HDOA has asked the retailer to provide information on recent plant shipments. Also as a precaution, anyone who purchased coffee plants from that store is encouraged to contact HDOA on Kauai at (808) 241-7132 or the State’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).

“The department is taking this matter very seriously and is working with the store and nurseries to determine the exact source of the coffee plants,” Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, said while attending a conference on the Mainland.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in Sept. 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In Dec. 2014, it was discovered on Oahu and was reported on Maui in Dec. 2016.

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

CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America. It is still unknown how CBB made its way to Hawaii Island and how it got to Oahu and Maui.

Hawaii has strict importation rules that require fumigation of all green coffee beans imported into the state to rid the beans of pathogens and insect pests. Coffee plants and plant parts are also restricted from being imported into Hawaii under Plant Quarantine rules.

After the discovery of CBB in Hawaii, HDOA issued a quarantine order that requires certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping interisland. 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.

For more information on CBB in Hawaii go to the HDOA CBB webpage at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/ and the UH-CTAHR webpage at: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site/CBB.aspx

Island Air Announces Flight Expansion Plans

476 flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island, compared to the 266 flights per week it currently offers

With the addition of new Q400 aircraft to its fleet, Island Air has begun increasing the number of interisland flights to its schedule.

Island Air’s first new Q400 aircraft, named Ola Kūpono, which means “safety in everything we do,” began service on January 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of island Air

Over the next four months, Island Air plans to phase in new regularly scheduled flights that will significantly increase its roundtrip service between Oʻahu and the neighbor islands. The number of daily roundtrip flights between Honolulu and Kahului will double to 16; between Honolulu and Kona will increase from six to 10; and the number of daily roundtrip flights between Honolulu and Līhu‘e will grow from six to eight. The airline will also add flights to accommodate high travel days (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays) and spring break travel demands.

By the beginning of May, Island Air expects to offer up to 476 flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island, compared to the 266 flights per week it currently offers.

“The added flight service is in response to growing demand from our customers and travel partners and also reflects the improved operational efficiencies of the new Q400 aircraft that are being phased into our fleet” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air. “The entire Island Air team remains focused on enhancing the interisland travel experience for residents and visitors, which includes providing more convenient options to island hop, either for business or to enjoy a weekend getaway or visit.”

Island Air’s first new Q400 began service on January 12. The aircraft is 30 percent faster than conventional turboprops, resulting in shorter flight times, which enables Island Air to operate more flights each day. The airline plans to add up to seven new Q400s by the end of the year and will transition its existing fleet of five ATR-72 aircraft out of service.

Island Air currently offers eight roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Kahului (one flight was added on Feb. 1), with three additional roundtrips on Fridays and Sundays; six roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Kona, with one additional roundtrip on Fridays and Sundays; and six roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Līhu‘e.

Island Air’s flight schedule can be viewed at: https://www.islandair.com/flight-schedules

 

Department of Health Cites Island Recycling, Inc. for Water Pollution Violations at Kapolei and Dillingham Facilities

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Island Recycling, Inc. at both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities located at 91-140 Kaomi Loop in Kapolei and 1803 Dillingham Blvd in Honolulu respectively.

The company has been cited for failing to comply with Hawaii’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for industrial storm water discharges. DOH has ordered Island Recycling to pay a penalty of $25,400, clean the affected drainage ditch on its property in Kapolei, and take corrective actions at both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities to prevent the facilities’ from discharging polluted storm water to nearby storm drains and state waters. The company may contest the order and request a hearing within 20 days.

Island Recycling has NPDES permit coverage for both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities under Hawaii’s General Permit authorizing discharges of industrial storm water. However, during inspections performed in June 2014 and subsequent file reviews, DOH found the facilities were not implementing controls to properly prevent polluted storm water discharges. The company had also placed discarded materials and equipment in a drainage ditch that is recognized as a state water body and protected by state and federal regulations. In addition to inadequate storm water controls at the facilities, Island Recycling also failed to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports required by the NPDES General Permit that are vital to determining the safety and quality of the facilities’ storm water discharges.

The Clean Water Act prohibits discharging pollutants through a point source into state waters unless it is allowed by an NPDES permit. The permit contains limits on what can be safely discharged, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people’s health. The permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of facilities discharging pollutants. For information on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System go to www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-permit-basics.

The DOH Clean Water Branch regulates, permits, and inspects a variety of industrial facilities ranging from construction sites to landfills and recycling facilities to ensure that these facilities do not pollute Hawaii’s waters especially during rainfall and storm conditions. The Clean Water Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii’s residents, visitors, and environment through regulation of high-risk water pollution sources, and education of industrial sectors and the general public. More information about the DOH Clean Water Branch and access to water quality data and files for NPDES permitted facilities is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/cwb/.

Health Department Issues Notice of Violation and Order Against Oahu Sushi Restaurant for Intentionally Camouflaging Placard

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp. (dba AFC Sushi @ Safeway #2747) for $6,000 for intentionally camouflaging the posted yellow or conditional pass placard and for food safety violations.  AFC Sushi @ Safeway #2747 is located at 888 Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu within the Safeway Supermarket. The company may contest the notice and has 20 days to request a hearing.

“Tampering with a health inspection placard is a serious violation with substantial consequences because this act compromises the public’s trust and their right to know when violations occur during an inspection,” said Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager. “Fortunately, these types of incidents have been rare since the start of the placarding program and this is only the fourth incident with more than 14,500 inspections completed. Overall compliance with Hawaii’s food industry has been excellent.

”On Jan. 19, DOH conducted a routine inspection of AFC Sushi located in the Kapahulu Safeway and a yellow placard was issued for three major food code violations. AFC Sushi was cited for improper hot holding temperatures, improper cold holding temperatures, and failure to properly label discard times on perishable food items kept at room temperature. On Jan. 23, a health inspector conducted a follow-up inspection and observed the yellow placard was not clearly visible to the public and appeared to have been removed, turned around and reposted. During the inspection, the inspector determined that two major violations were still outstanding and the yellow placard was re-posted.  DOH conducted another follow-up inspection on Jan. 24 and all outstanding major violations were found to be corrected. A green or pass placard was issued and is currently posted at the facility.

Since the start of the state’s Food Safety Placarding Program, DOH has conducted more than 14,500 inspections and issued more than 3,000 yellow placards or conditional passes that require the establishments to address violations. To date, only three have resulted in red or closed placards due to non-compliance. Green placards are issued for those establishments with no more than one critical violation, which must be corrected at the time of inspection; yellow cards are issued to those with two or more critical violations; and red placards are issued to those food establishments that need to be immediately closed because they pose an imminent health hazard to the community.  Major violations are those conditions known to cause foodborne illnesses as recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only authorized DOH agents may post or remove a color-coded placard indicating the compliance status of a food establishment.

“There has been an impressive 99.8 percent voluntary compliance rate for Hawaii food facilities that are issued a yellow placard, with the time for correction averaging just two to three days,” said Oshiro. “We commend the restaurants, hotels, retail and food manufacturing industry in Hawaii for doing an amazing job in embracing the new Food Safety Placarding Program.”

The DOH Sanitation Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii residents and visitors through education of food industry workers and regulation of food establishments statewide. The branch conducts routine health inspections of food establishments where food products are prepared, manufactured, distributed, or sold. The branch also investigates the sources of food borne illnesses and potential adulteration of food products; and is charged with mitigating foodborne outbreaks and/or the prevention of future occurrences. Health inspectors work with business owners, food service workers, and the food industry to ensure safe food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.

The public may access food establishment health inspection results online at http://hi.healthinspections.us/hawaii/. For more information on the department’s restaurant placarding program go to http://health.hawaii.gov/san/.

EPA Settlement with Matson Resolves 2013 Molasses Spill Into Honolulu Harbor

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Matson Terminals, Inc. over federal Clean Water Act violations relating to a September 2013 molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor. Matson has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $725,000.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, handles a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

“Dockside facilities must ensure their operations do not pollute nearshore waters,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The Honolulu Harbor spill affected marine life, coral reefs and kept residents and visitors from enjoying the city’s incomparable coastal environment.”

From September 8 to 10, 2013, Matson spilled approximately 233,000 gallons of sugarcane molasses into Honolulu Harbor during ship-loading activities. The spill occurred from a section of pipe that the Hawaii Department of Transportation found was leaking in 2012, and reported to Matson. The molasses discharge killed approximately 25,000 fish in the harbor and damaged coral reefs in the area. Matson no longer ships molasses from Honolulu Harbor.

Today’s civil action by EPA follows a January 2015 criminal action taken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Matson, in which Matson paid a $400,000 fine plus restitution of $600,000 after pleading guilty to criminal charges of unlawfully discharging molasses into Honolulu Harbor. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the restitution was divided equally between the Waikiki Aquarium to support coral reef programs and invasive algae cleanups and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to inspire local communities to care for coastlines through beach cleanups.

In 2015, Matson also reached an agreement with the State of Hawaii to cease transporting molasses through Honolulu Harbor, remove the molasses distribution system, pay for re-growing corals that were damaged or destroyed, and reimburse related cleanup costs.

Python Snake Turned in on Oahu

An illegal snake was turned in over the weekend under the State’s Amnesty Program. The snake was turned in on the evening of Friday, Jan. 13th to the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu. Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the snake the next morning and it is being safeguarded at the Plant Quarantine Branch. It has been identified as a ball python and measures about four-and-a-half feet long and weighs about four-and-a-half lbs.

Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. They have no natural predators here and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to endangered native birds. Large snakes can also be a danger to the public and small pets.

Ball pythons are non-venomous and are common in the pet trade on the mainland. They are native to Western and West-Central Africa and are related to boas, which are also constrictors that subdue its prey by coiling around and suffocating it.  Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds.  Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet long.

Under the amnesty program, illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo on Hawaii Island or any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed. Anyone with information about illegal animals should call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).  The maximum penalty under State law for possession and/or transporting illegal animals is a class C felony, $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hosts WWII Tuskegee Airmen

On February 3 and 4, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with special presentations by decorated WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee to Hawaii’s youth and the public.

On Friday, February 3, 10 – 11 am in the theater, teachers are encouraged to bring their students, in grades 6-12, to a presentation geared towards youth entitled, “In His Own Words,” by Colonel McGee. Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds the record for the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in the United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers who fought racial prejudices to fly and fight for their country during WWII. Colonel McGee’s career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and 3 wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (twenty-five times).

Admission is free for this youth presentation, and funding for bus transportation to the Museum will be provided for school groups who register in advance. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly advised. To register, contact 808-445-9137 or email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

On Saturday, February 4, Colonel McGee will once again be the featured speaker at a “Hangar Talk” in the theater, 11am to 12 noon. This event is open to the public.

Also present at the Hangar Talk will be WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37. Access to the Hangar Talk is free with Museum admission, free to Museum Members, and free for Navy League members with I.D. For more information, call 808-441-1007. Discounted tickets are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Prior to 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. Even in light of extreme racism, African Americans fought to defend their country, which led to the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of WWII. Their dedication to defending the freedom of all Americans and their acts of heroism paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Tuskegee Airmen completed more than 1,500 missions.

Both events are being held in conjunction with Black History Month.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in America’s winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Martin Luther King Day… A Day of Service – Beach Cleanups

Plastic Free Hawaii and Kailua Beach Adventures are hosting beach cleanups on Martin Luther King Day at Kahuku Beach and Kailua Beach Park:

Hawaii Comedian Returns Home for the New Year

Meet comedian Kermet Apio. The Oahu native has been living in Seattle over the course of his 3 decade comedy career and is returning home for three comedy shows.

He has appeared on Comedy Central, National Public Radio, and Sirius/XM Radio. He has showcased at comedy festivals in Aspen, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Grand Rapids, and he was the winner of the Great American Comedy Festival, a national competition which takes place in Norfolk, Nebraska, Johnny Carsons home town.

He is also a past winner of the Seattle Comedy Competition. He has performed in 47 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and as far as Israel and Hong Kong.

As a comedian who performs squeeky clean, family friendly material, Kermet has been performing in front of sell-out crowds in theaters across America, as the opening act for Brian Regan.

Kermet Apio returns to Hawaii to HEADLINE his own three show comedy tour, as Bud Light & KMA Productions Presents the Kermet Apio Stand Up Comedy Show.

The Hilo show featuring Simon Kaufman, Anthony Silano, & Jose Dynamite is Thursday January 5, 2017, at Hilo Town Tavern, 168 Keawe St.  Doors open at 8pm and the show begins at 9pm,

AGE: 21+ General Admission $20 advance or $25 at the door

TICKET OUTLETS: CD Wizard, Hilo Town Tavern or online at www.brownpapertickets.com

Hawaii Governor’s Statement on Historic Pearl Harbor Visit of President Obama and Prime Minister Abe

Today we saw President Obama and Prime Minister Abe stand together at Pearl Harbor. They honored the bravery and courage demonstrated in this sacred place 75 years ago. Most importantly, they both delivered a message of tolerance, reconciliation and peace. I know the people of Hawaiʻi join me and our national leaders in committing to a continued partnership that benefits our state and both nations.

— Governor David Y. Ige

Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area Will Close to Fishing for Year Starting Jan. 1, 2017

The Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area (SFMA), O‘ahu, will be closed to fishing for one year, from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017.

The SFMA encompasses the nearshore waters between the ‘Ewa wall of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse, from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards.  The area is closed to fishing during odd-numbered years.

“The periodic closure of Waikiki-Diamond Head SFMA to fishing is intended to give fish a temporary break from fishing pressure,” said Bruce Anderson, administrator of the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources.  “Waikiki-Diamond Head is the only area in the state where this management approach is used, and we are in the process of re-evaluating its effectiveness in rebuilding fish populations over the long term.”

Fishing is not allowed at any time in the adjacent Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), which extends from the ‘Ewa wall of the Natatorium to the Kapahulu groin (jetty).

Copies of statewide fishing regulations are available at the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) main office, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 330, Honolulu, all neighbor island DAR offices, at many sporting goods stores, and on the DAR web site at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar.

To report violations of any fishing regulation, please call the DLNR enforcement hotline at (808) 643-DLNR (643-3567).

EPA Fines Weston Solutions for Violating Cleanup Requirements at Former Wood Treatment Facility on Oahu

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has assessed Weston Solutions, Inc. a $25,000 fine for violating an order issued in 2010, when Weston committed to clean up the former Chem-Wood wood treatment facility located in the Kapolei area of Oahu.

Between 1975 and 1988, Chem-Wood pressure-treated wood using hazardous chemicals containing chromium, arsenic and mineral spirits, some of which were released to the soil and impacted groundwater. EPA first took an enforcement action in 1988 and has overseen site investigations and cleanup activities.

Weston, a Pennsylvania-based environmental cleanup firm, has sold the property since 2010, but retains responsibility for carrying out the cleanup requirements. This includes maintaining the asphalt-concrete cap that provides a protective barrier from contaminated soil on the site. Weston violated the order when it failed to notify and obtain approval from EPA or the Hawaii Department of Health after learning the current property owner, Goodfellow Brothers, Inc., had partially removed the cap.

“Our order requires Weston to maintain the integrity of the protective cap covering this hazardous waste site,” said Jeff Scott, Director of the Land Division for U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “This penalty sends a clear message that EPA takes these requirements seriously.”

The facility’s cleanup plan requires EPA approval prior to altering the asphalt-concrete cap. Weston was aware that Goodfellow began work in December 2015 to install a concrete pad to support a new above-ground fuel tank, but failed to notify EPA or seek its approval until March 2016. The work involved removal of 776 square feet of the cap and a 360 square-foot layer of clean fill material. Weston and Goodfellow claim that no underlying contaminated soil was disturbed by the project. EPA has since approved the fuel tank installation plan and Weston is now back in compliance with the consent order.

The 2010 EPA order directed the Estate of James Campbell, a former property owner, and Weston to grade the site and consolidate contaminated soil under an asphalt-concrete cap, monitor and treat contaminated groundwater, and it included restrictions prohibiting residential reuse of the property.

For more information on hazardous waste, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard

Hawaii DLNR to Auction Lease for Mapunapuna Property

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Land Division, O‘ahu District Branch, will be conducting a public auction sale of a 20-year lease for State land at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at the Kalanimoku state office building, 1151 Punchbowl St., in room 220. Pre-qualified bidders or authorized representatives must be present in person at the auction.

The lease to be auctioned will be for a 9,005 square foot parcel located at the corner of Kilihau Street and Kakoi Street, in Mapunapuna, O‘ahu. Permitted uses are for open storage or parking purposes.

Interested applicants are advised to review the bid packet, which describes the auction sale procedures, bidder qualifications and other requirements, and contains the application form, memorandum of lease, draft lease document (including survey map and descriptions of the subject premises), and other relevant information.

Applications by prospective bidders for this lease must be received by DLNR no later than Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 4 p.m. at any one of the DLNR district land offices listed below. Applicants must submit one (1) original and three (3) copies of the application form (including copies of all required attachments).  Any person who has failed to submit the completed application and all required attachments (and required copies) by this date and time will not be allowed to bid.

The bid packet may be examined at any of the district land offices listed below or downloaded from the DLNR website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/public-hearings-and-notices. Any person requiring special accommodation or information in an alternate format is asked to contact the O‘ahu district land office at (808) 587-0433.

  • O‘ahu District Land Office, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 220, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813 Phone (808) 587-0433
  • Hawai‘i District Land Office, 75 Aupuni Street, Room 204, Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720 Phone (808) 961-9590
  • Maui District Land Office, 54 South High Street, Room 101, Wailuku, Hawai‘i 96793 Phone (808) 984-8103
  • Kaua‘i District Land Office, 3060 ‘Eiwa Street, Room 208, Lihu‘e, Hawai‘i 96766 Phone (808) 274-3491

Any person wishing to bid and purchase the lease described above must first qualify to bid under the general qualifying criteria and the pre-qualifying criteria as described in the public auction bid packet.  Eligibility to bid is determined by the information supplied by prospective bidders in the application and qualification questionnaire/Appendix A of the bid packet.

Each applicant will be informed in writing before the auction date if they are eligible to bid at the public auction.

Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage Update – Hokulea Homecoming Scheduled

The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines today announced that iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea is scheduled to return to the Hawaiian Islands in June 2017.  On Saturday, June 17, Polynesian Voyaging Society and its crew members will conclude the three-year sail around the globe and make an historic arrival at Oahu’s Magic Island after sailing nearly 40,000 nautical miles since departing Hawaiian waters on May 30, 2014. Themed Lei Kaapuni Honua, meaning “A Lei Around The World,” Hokulea’s homecoming celebration will include a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a hoolaulea at Magic Island.  A series of additional homecoming events are being planned during the week following the June 17 arrival event.

“When Hokulea first set sail on the Worldwide Voyage, our mission was to seek out and share stories of hope that would inspire a movement to strengthen the health and well-being of Island Earth,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Our vision is that this Voyage of a 1,000 stories will launch 10,000 voyages needed to protect and care for Hawaii and the world,” he added.

Leading up to the homecoming in June, Polynesian Voyaging Society will be highlighting stories of schools, organizations and local individuals that have taken lessons from the Worldwide Voyage to launch efforts that further care for the world’s natural and cultural environments.

At the completion of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, Hokulea and Hikianalia will have covered approximately 60,000 nautical miles, over 150 ports, 27 nations and approximately seven of UNESCO’S Marine World Heritage sites. Along the way, over 300 experienced volunteer crew members have helped to sail the vessel and connect with more than 100,000 people throughout the world in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea, including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, the East Coast of the United States and Canada. Currently, Hokulea is in Miami and is scheduled to depart for Panama in a few days. The canoe will transit through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean and will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia before returning home to Hawaii.

The mission of the Voyage is to spread the message of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth) by promoting environmental consciousness, fostering learning environments, bringing together island communities and to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Voyage has sought to engage the public by practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of Island Earth.

After returning to Hawaii, the crew will sail Hokulea and Hikianalia around the Hawaiian Islands to visit communities and share stories and lessons learned on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.  For updates on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage homecoming, visit www.hokulea.com/home .

Security Zone Set Up in Kailua in Anticipation of President Obama’s Annual Vacation

Coast Guard personnel, federal, state and local law enforcement partners will enforce a temporary security zone in waters of Kailua Bay, Oahu, Hawaii beginning Friday, Dec. 16 and running through Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.

The temporary security zone is necessary to ensure the safety of a distinguished visitor.

The security zone will be in effect from 8 a.m. HST on Dec. 16, 2016 to 4 p.m. HST on Jan. 2, 2017, unless canceled earlier by the Captain of the Port.

The Coast Guard is coordinating with the Honolulu Police Department, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and other federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies to conduct patrols of the area under the direction of the U.S. Secret Service.

The Coast Guard has established a temporary security zone on the waters of Kailua Bay off the eastern coast of Oahu. The security zone includes all waters in Kailua Bay to the west of a line connecting two points beginning at the shoreline of Kapoho Point and thence westward at a bearing of 227 degrees true to the shoreline at the southeastern corner of Kailuana Loop in Kailua. In addition, the security zone includes the adjacent channel beginning at Kapoho Point to a point along the channel ending at the North Kalaheo Avenue Road Bridge. An orange marker will be placed in the canal to indicate the perimeter of the security zone.

Under U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 33 CFR 165.33 prohibits any unauthorized person or vessel from entering or remaining in this security zone. Any person entering the security zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $88,613 for each violation or a criminal penalty resulting in imprisonment of not more than 25 years and a fine of not more than $250,000. Offending vessels may also be seized and held liable for any monetary assessments.