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Mayor Kim Writes in Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

Dear Ms. Marrone,

Subject: Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

The County of Hawaii supports the efforts of BIA Hawaii to remove Section 3 (the Sunset provision) of Act 83, SLH 2012. Removal of the sunset provision in this Act would prohibit the Counties from requiring the installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers or an automatic fire sprinkler system in most new construction of one or two family residential dwellings, which is currently mandated in the International Residential Code (IRC).

We understand and respect the position of the Fire Fighters in our community and remain committed to preventing loss of life and property through financially sensible building codes and ongoing community education.

At the same time, we in Hawaii are concerned about the dramatic increase in housing prices, especially for our first time home buyers and families. Adding the cost of a new automatic fire sprinkler system and required upgrades to water meters will add to the already high prices of housing in Hawaii.

We firmly believe that there are more cost effective methods of addressing the concerns raised by the fire protection organizations. These methods will not only protect fire fighters and homeowners but will NOT significantly increase the price of a new home in Hawaii.

As such, we are in full support of the proposed amendment to Act 83, SLH 2012 to delete the sunset provision of the bill.

Sincerely,

Mayor Harry Kim

Hawaii Department of Transportation Launches 8th Annual Pedestrian Safety Month with New Girl Scouts Partnership and Drive Wise Hawaii Brochure

Governor David Y. Ige, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), and federal, state and community partners kicked off the state’s 8th annual Pedestrian Safety Month today at the State Capitol with an official proclamation ceremony. Held each August, Pedestrian Safety Month works to increase awareness of pedestrian safety to make Hawaii a safer place to walk. The month is organized by HDOT’s Walk Wise Hawaii program and will feature daily public and private pedestrian safety events.

“The primary cause of pedestrian accidents is inattentive behavior on both the part of the pedestrian and the driver,” HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami said. “Our Walk Wise Hawaii program is an important tool, along with enforcement and safety engineering, in increasing awareness to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in our state.”

In 2016, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in the U.S., which is the highest in more than two decades. State data shows that there were 32 pedestrian fatalities in Hawaii in 2016, and one pedestrian fatality in 2017.

On average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes nationwide,” Fuchigami said. “We believe that this alarming trend can be reduced through increased awareness of the problem and education, which is why we created Pedestrian Safety Month.  Protecting our most vulnerable roadway users is one of our top priorities.”

During today’s event, HDOT announced a new community partnership with the Girl Scouts of Hawaii. Walk Wise Hawaii conduct safety presentations to nearly 5,000 Girl Scouts throughout the state. Girl Scout troops will then create a pedestrian safety project to share key Walk Wise Hawaii safety tips with the public, earning each participating Girl Scout an inaugural Walk Wise Hawaii Pedestrian Safety Patch.

“Pedestrian Safety is an important message to everyone, and Girl Scouts in Hawaii look forward to carrying that message throughout our community,” said Shari Chang, CEO Girl Scouts of Hawaii. “Scouts of all ages will be participating in a variety of community awareness projects to support this program.”A new Drive Wise Hawaii brochure was also unveiled, which outlines ways that drivers can safely handle pedestrian activity on Hawaii’s roadways, including:

  1. Always be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk. A pedestrian may be hidden from view.
  2. Be vigilant. Always look for pedestrian movement in your direction.
  3. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Proceed when the pedestrian has safely passed your vehicle.
  4. Be aware that pedestrians can be hidden from view when you are stopped at multilane roads.
  5. When driving between dusk and down, watch for pedestrians in dark clothing. Always use your headlights.
  6. Always watch for pedestrians when backing out of driveways or parking stalls. Children can be hidden from view.
  7. Make sure that you are fit to drive.

The brochure features a Drive Wise Hawaii Pledge for drivers that asks them: “As a good driver to always be aware that pedestrians can be hidden from view by stopped vehicles on multi-lane streets.” Brochures will be distributed at participating McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii drive-through locations and community events throughout the state during Pedestrian Safety Month.

Pedestrian Safety Month public partners include the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services; all County police departments; the Hawaii Police Department’s Community Policing Teams and Neighborhood Security Watch Teams; and Safe Routes to School. Private partners include First Hawaiian Bank, DTRIC Insurance and Moms In Hawaii. Pedestrian-related community events and campaigns will be taking place throughout the month to encourage safe pedestrian behaviors and raise driver awareness of pedestrians.

For more information on Walk Wise Hawaii and a list of Pedestrian Safety Month events, call (808) 587-2160 or visit https://www.facebook.com/WalkWiseHawaii/.

About Walk Wise Hawaii
Walk Wise Hawaii is a public education program focusing on pedestrian safety and driver awareness, and is sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Transportation through its “Safe Communities” program with funding from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Walk Wise Hawaii has employed extensive outreach methods including partnerships with public and private entities since its inception in 2003.

About Girl Scouts of Hawaii
Supporting almost 5,000 girl and adult members statewide, the Girl Scouts of Hawaii (GSH) builds girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. GSH’s headquarters is located on the island of Oahu, with three neighbor island service centers on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui. GSH is chartered by the national office, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and is responsible for the leadership, administration and supervision of Girl Scout programs in the State of Hawaii. For more information about GSH, visit www.gshawaii.org or call (808) 595-8400.

Hawaii Coffee Association Hosts Annual Conference and 9th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) the 22nd Annual Conference and ninth Annual Statewide Cupping Competition Thursday through Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation. This year, the HCA combined its annual conference with the Maui Coffee Association’s popular Seed to Cup Festival.The cupping competition featured 107 entries in two divisions— Creative and Commercial —hailing from origins located throughout the island chain including Hawaii Island’s Kona, Ka‘u, Hamakua, Hilo and Puna districts; plus Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu.

“When you got to the last cup, we just said, ‘Wow,’ this is exiting!” exclaimed cupper Warren Muller of Walker Coffee Trading of Houston, Texas. “The level of experimentation is such that we’re now seeing coffees that you wouldn’t expect from the Hawaiian Islands,” shared fellow cupper Shawn Hamilton of Java City of Sacramento. Now in its ninth year of the competition, the cuppers agreed, “The quality just keeps getting better and better. It’s very good for Hawaii.”

Workshops covered topics including coffee brewing, cupping, roasting and roaster maintenance, composting, processing for ‘’quality, differentiation and competition;” branding and packaging, specialized fermentation, plus farm management and sensor technology utilizing drones. A fantastic historic timeline of the Hawaiian coffee industry over the past 30-plus years was presented by retiring University of Hawaii’s CTAHR coffee research icon, Skip Bittenbender. Activities included a tour of O’o Farms in Kula.

A healthy schedule of presenters included a diverse assemblage of state and federal researchers and innovators from private industry. Presenters from USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, as well as Synergistic Hawaii Agricultural Council, offered updates and answered questions. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, “mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

Competing in the Creative cupping division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Olinda Organic Farm with its wet-ferment Red Catuai varietal earning a score of 87.4. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a wet ferment typica variety produced by Miranda’s Farm of Ka‘u; it tallied a score of 84.1.

District honors were awarded to Hamakua’s Papaaloa Joe, Hawaii’s Second Alarm Farm, Kauai Coffee Company, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC, and Oahu’s Hawaii Agricultural Research Center.

HCA’s Cupping Committee Chair David Gridley of Maui commented, “Ninety-four coffees (88%) scored 80 and above. It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawaii for their remarkable efforts.”

Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

The association membership gathered to elect a new board and officers. Officers include President Chris Manfredi of Ka‘u; Vice-President Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms, Treasurer Adrian Guillen of Hawaiian Queen Coffee and Secretary Donna Wooley of the Kona Coffee Council.

The new board of directors features broad representation spanning a variety of business disciplines including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Heavenly Hawaiian Farms, Hawaii Coffee Company, Royal Kona Visitors Center, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Daylight Mind Coffee Co., Maui Coffee Association and UCC-Hawaii.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.

Learn more about the HCA at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

Learn more about the Hawaii coffee industry at hawaiicoffeeindustry.com

Hawaii Books and Medical Supplies Heading to Micronesia

Education and healthcare in the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are about to get a significant boost from organizations in Hawaii.  An estimated 10,000 book not sold at the annual Friends of the Library sale will be combined with books from Moanalua Middle School, Hongwanji Mission School, and an assortment of medical supplies donated by Shriner’s Hospital.

“The libraries and hospitals in Micronesia have meager resources,” says Reach out Pacific (REPAC) President Glenn Wakai who is organizing the project.  “The books not sold will fill two containers and ultimately improve literacy in Majuro and Yap.”

Volunteers from the local Micronesian community and the Farrington Football team will box and load the books.  Matson is providing the containers free of charge, and Pacific Transfer is donating trucking services.

“Many of these items were bound for our landfill or incineration, but this Sunday they are being redirected to impoverished areas of Micronesia.  What a win-win projct,” says Reach out Pacific (REPAC) Vice President, Miki Wakai, “There are a variety of volunteers and organizations coming together to send this care package of Aloha.”

  • What:  Volunteers loading thousands of books bound for Micronesia
  • Where: McKinley High School Cafeteria
  • When: Sunday, July 23, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.REPAC was established in 2005.  The organization has sent more than $2.5 million in surplus medical supplies to: Kiribati, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Palau, Guam, Philippines, Vietnam and Nepal.

Statewide Public Hearings On Proposed Amendments to State Boating Rules

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will hold public hearings statewide starting next week on proposed amendments to state boating rules.

Click to view proposed changes

These amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) are being proposed to allow DLNR to better manage and facilitate boating and ocean recreation-related activities within State small

Boat harbors and nearshore waters, and to reorganize the HAR provisions relating to DOBOR for clarity and general efficacy.

“This extensive rule package contains modifications we have wanted to make for many years,” says Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator.  “Some amendments are being proposed because facility management and the ocean recreation industry are changing rapidly and our existing rules cannot address the way people are using our harbors and the ocean today.  Some rules are being repealed because they are obsolete.  In all cases, the rules being proposed will allow DOBOR to do its job of managing its facilities and responsibilities more effectively.”

Proposed amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules,Title 13, Subtitle 11, Ocean Recreation and Coastal Areas, parts I, II and III, are posted on the DOBOR website at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/draft-rules/

Hearings to present the rules and accept public testimony will be held as follows:

On Kauai – July 24, 2017, 6 to 8 p.m. at Wilcox Elementary School Cafeteria. 4319 Hardy Street in Lihue.

On Maui – July 26, 2017, 5 to 7 p.m.at Velma McWayne Santos Community Center Wailuku Community Complex, 395 Waena Place in Wailuku.

On Hawaii Island (Hilo) — July 27, 2017, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hilo State Building Conference Room 75 Aupuni Street.

On Hawaii Island (Kona) — July 28, 2017,  6 to 8 p.m. at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona.

On Oahu —  July 29, 2017,  8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Aiea Elementary School Cafeteria 99-370 Moanalua Road.

Notice was published in The Garden Island, Hawaii Tribune Herald, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Maui News, and West Hawaii Today. During the comment period DOBOR will only accept testimony on the rules proposed for amendment.

All interested parties are invited to attend the meetings and to present their views on the proposed amendments, either orally or in writing.

All forms of written comments will be accepted up to one week following the last public hearing date, by midnight, Saturday August 5, 2017.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing to submit your testimony, written testimony may be submitted:

  1. By e-mail to dlnr.harreview@hawaii.gov, Subject: Rule Amendment Package 2017;
  2. By fax to (808) 587-1977, Attn: Rule Amendment Package 2017.
  3. By mail to the Dept. of Land & Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, Attn: Chairperson, Re: Rule Amendment Package 2017

The proposed rule amendments can be reviewed online on the Division of Boating and Ocean

Recreation (DOBOR) website located at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/draft-rules or can be

Reviewed in person at the following DOBOR district offices:

  • Hawaii District Office – 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740, Telephone: (808) 327-3690
  • Kauai District Office – 2494 Niumalu Road, Lihue, Hawaii 96766, Telephone: (808) 241-3111
  • Maui District Office – 101 Maalaea Boat Harbor Road, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793, Telephone: (808) 243-5824
  • Oahu District Office – 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819, Phone: (808) 832-3520

Persons unable to review the proposed rule changes online or in person may request, verbally or in writing, a copy of the proposed rules. A charge of $0.50 per page will be assessed for hard copies. Hard copies will be mailed at no charge upon receipt of a valid request and applicable payment. Please make requests to:

Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation – 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819, (808) 832-3520

Meeting locations are disability accessible. For persons requiring special needs accommodations (e.g., large print, taped materials, sign language interpreter, etc.), please call (808) 832-3520 at least one week in advance of the designated date and time of the applicable public hearing to make special needs requests.

State of Hawai‘i Partners with SANS Institute to Help Students Test Cyber Aptitude

Participants serve as ‘Cyber Protection Agents’ in free online simulation

Gov. David Y. Ige today announced a partnership between the State of Hawai‘i and SANS Institute to offer high school and college students the opportunity this summer to participate in a free online cybersecurity assessment and exercise called CyberStart.

In coordination with the Hawaii Departments of Education and Defense, University of Hawaii, and the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), SANS Institute is encouraging students to participate in the CyberStart program, which involves a game simulation through which students interested in cybersecurity as a career can learn basic cybersecurity skills and test their cyber aptitude. An introductory “practice” version of CyberStart is available through July 28, 2017. The full-scale program will run from Aug. 1 to 28, 2017.

“CyberStart is an innovative opportunity for Hawaii students to test and develop skills applicable to careers in high-demand IT security and related fields,” Gov. Ige said. “There is clearly high interest in cybersecurity among Hawaii youth, as demonstrated by strong participation in existing programs coordinated by the Department of Education, University of Hawai‘i, and organizations such as Cyber Hui. Exploration of this exciting career path can now continue with CyberStart.”

Students don’t have to travel to participate; all they need is an Internet-connected computer and a desire to explore. Each player starts as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting a hypothetical operational base. The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. An agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise and helpful hints when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number of challenges at one level, a new level opens and new challenges appear – for a total of 31 layers. Experienced players have cited CyberStart as being particularly useful to a wide variety of students because everyone can excel, not just a few superstars.

Students who excel in the CyberStart game will have the opportunity to share in $150,000 in scholarships for further cyber education, and ultimately for $500,000 in scholarships for college and graduate-level training in preparation for highly sought-after industry certifications.

“It’s exciting to see our youth being given the opportunity to excel in cybersecurity with the CyberStart program,” said Reynold Hioki, state cybersecurity coordinator within the Hawai‘i Department of Defense, whose protective mission extends to law enforcement agencies and public sector partners providing critical infrastructure and services to the Hawaii community. “Hawai‘i is taking advantage of CyberStart and other related youth programs like CyberPatriot, CyberCamps, GenCyber, Safe and Secure Online, and Hacker High school that directly contribute to increasing the state’s cybersecurity posture.”

ETS Chief Information Security Officer Vincent Hoang, who is responsible for securing state government information resources and infrastructure, said: “These types of programs provide a fun and interactive environment where students are exposed to challenges of varying difficulty and are approachable at any experience level. This is a great opportunity for students to level up their cybersecurity skills.”

SANS Director of Research Alan Paller added: “SANS trains more than 30,000 advanced cybersecurity professionals each year for military and intelligence organizations and for large high-tech companies in the U.S. and its allies. We discovered that those who have mastered the topics taught and measured in the CyberStart program do far better than others in the advanced cybersecurity courses that prepare the critically needed people. By opening CyberStart to hundreds of thousands of students we may be able to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”

To join the program, participants must be 16 years or older and enrolled in any high school or college in Hawai‘i, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, or Virginia. For more information, visit: www.sans.org/cyberstartUS

Ciber Lawsuit to Remain in Hawaii

A federal bankruptcy court ordered yesterday that Ciber, Inc. v. Hawaii will be heard in Hawaii state court, despite mainland-based Ciber’s attempts to move Hawaii’s claims to Delaware.

The case began in September 2015 when Ciber sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) regarding a project to implement new software for the HDOT’s Highway Division. Hawaii counterclaimed, alleging that the consulting firm defrauded the State, staffed the project with incompetent consultants, and engaged in other misconduct on the project. Hawaii alleged that Ciber pulled a “bait and switch” by misrepresenting its capabilities to win a contract with HDOT, and that the fraud continued once Ciber had the contract.

First Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki said, “Keeping the case in Hawaii is a victory for the state and for common sense. The witnesses are here and the fraud occurred here. Litigating in Delaware would have been illogical and only served to disadvantage the State.”

This is the latest court loss for Ciber. In February 2016, the state circuit court rejected Ciber’s attempts to dismiss many of HDOT’s claims. If Ciber had succeeded in its attempts to transfer the case to Delaware, Hawaii would have been forced to litigate in court thousands of miles away at great expense. With yesterday’s order, while Ciber’s bankruptcy will remain in federal court, Hawaii’s underlying fraud claims against Ciber will be tried in Hawaii state circuit court.

A copy of the order is attached.

Hurricane Fernanda Moving North of the Big Island – Weakening

At 800 PM PDT (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 16.5 North, longitude 134.4 West. Fernanda is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h).  The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest on Wednesday at about the same rate of speed, and this general motion should continue through Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.  Fernanda is a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Continued weakening is forecast during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 976 mb (28.82 inches).

Hawaii County at Risk of Losing 11 Million in Federal Funding for Highway Project

In a July 7, 2017 letter Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim sent to State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson Suzanne Case, Mayor Kim is asking for an “expeditious review” of the Section 106 process  so that the county doesn’t risk losing 11 million dollars in federal funding for the Mamalahoa Highway Rt. 19 Widening Project.

It is not known by me if Case has responded to the Mayor’s request.
Here is the letter:

 

Dear Ms. Case:

SUBJECT:   DLNR STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION DIVISION MAMALAHOA HIGHWAY (RT 19) WIDENING Federal Aid Project No. NH-019-1(044) South Kohala, Hawaii

I am once again respectfully asking for your help in getting the subject project through the environmental process; more specifically the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) and the Section 106 process.

We are at a critical state where we need to reach a planning and design conclusion, by August 14, 2017, to encumber Federal obligation funds.  We are still so far away.

The draft Archeological Inventory Survey (AIS) report is presently with SHPD.  The Effect Determination letter is in route to SHPD, from FHWA.  We need an expeditious review and hopefully an approval from the SHPO to conclude this Section 106 process.

I ask for your help because we are in dire need to move this project along, or lose Eleven (11) Million Dollars of Federal funding if deadlines are not met.

Should you need any additional background information, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 808-961-8526 or our Director of Public Works, Mr. Frank De Marco at 808-961-8321.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your help,

Sincerely, Harry Kim

Mayor

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Global Tourism Summit to Honor Malama Honua and Crew of Hokulea at Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon

Recognizing their global quest to share Hawaii’s sustainability message, Malama Honua and the crew of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hokulea, will be the honorees of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon, September 19.

Over a three-year period, from May 2014 until its triumphant return to Honolulu on June 17, 2017, Hokulea’s crew circled the world sailing approximately 40,300 nautical miles, stopping in more than 150 ports, and visiting 23 countries and territories. In completing Malama Honua (which means “to care for our Earth”), Hokulea’s crew shared its message worldwide on the significance of perpetuating native cultures and protecting natural resources, especially the ocean environment.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit takes place September 19-21 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon is a highlight event of the opening day. The festive luncheon in the Center’s ballroom will feature live music, a video tribute to the worldwide voyage of Holukea, and remarks from Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“Malama Honua is the greatest accomplishment in modern Hawaiian history and we are proud to honor the crew and the purpose for the voyage at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit can join us in showing their aloha to the legacy of Malama Honua and Holukea’s crew, and celebrate the message of sustainability they shared with nations and people around the world.”

Attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon honoring Malama Honua is included as part of the registration to the Global Tourism Summit, which is available online at the dedicated summit website, www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265

Sustainable tourism is the theme of the Global Tourism Summit. The significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will be shared in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intent to bring people together to improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

Previously known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name of the annual event to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism.

Hurricane Fernanda Re-Intensifies – Hawaii In the Picture

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 16.0 North, longitude 133.9 West.  Fernanda is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h).  The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest at about the same rate of speed during the next two days.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Fernanda is anticipated to become a tropical storm by Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 972 mb (28.71 inches).

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to Host Live Veterans Telephone Townhall with State, Federal Leaders

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will host a live veterans-focused “telephone town hall” on Tuesday, July 25 at 4:00pm HST with Jennifer Gutowski, Director of the VA Pacific Island Health Care System (VAPIHCS); Karen Gooden, Director of the Honolulu Veterans Affairs Regional Office; and Ron Han, Director of the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Veterans’ Services (OVS). The call will provide an opportunity for Hawaiʻi’s veterans, their families, and our community to get updates on veterans legislation being considered by Congress, receive an overview of resources for Hawaiʻi veterans, and ask state and federal leaders about veterans’ healthcare, benefits, services, and more.

Please note: To protect each individual’s privacy, veterans living in Hawaiʻi’s Second Congressional District with questions regarding a personal claim or casework with the VA should contact Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s office directly at 808-541-1986 or TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.

How to register for this event:

  • To dial in to the call at the time of the event, call 888-476-4187 at 4:00pm HST on Tuesday July 25
  • To receive a call reminding you to join this event: Text “TULSI” to 828282, OR  Go to vekeo.com/reptulsigabbard and enter your name, phone number and email. Once you submit your information, you will receive a confirmation email. Please note: you must click “Verify” in the confirmation email in order to complete your registration

Hawaii Department of Health Reminds Food Establishments of Law Prohibiting Use of Latex Gloves

Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) food safety inspectors will begin stepping up enforcement of a State law that bans the use of latex gloves by Hawaii’s food service industry.

Act 180, which took effect Jan. 1, 2017, prohibits the use of latex gloves by personnel working in food establishments. DOH has asked the Hawaii Restaurant Association, Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association, the Hawaii Food Industry Association and the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Associations to remind their members about the latex glove prohibition.

“Enforcing the prohibition will be a routine part of our food safety inspections,” said Peter Oshiro, head of the state’s food safety program. “Our inspectors and field staff will be checking food establishments to ensure that workers are not using latex gloves, and educating management and staff about the new law.”

Non-compliance with the law may result in fines of up to $10,000 for each offense. Violations of the ban will not affect a food establishment’s placard status.

The original measure, SB911 SD2 HD2 CD1, was co-introduced in 2015 by State Sen. Rosalyn Baker and former senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland and signed into law by Gov. David Ige in July 2016. The purpose of the bill is to prevent the occurrence of severe and potentially life threatening allergic reactions such as impaired breathing and anaphylaxis by those who are sensitive to latex. An estimated three million people in the U.S. are allergic to latex, according to the American Latex Allergy Association.

DOH requires all food-handlers who come into contact with ready-to-eat food products to use gloves to prevent the occurrence of food illnesses. Non-latex and nitrile gloves are readily available and currently used by employees in both the food service and health care industries.

DOH’s Sanitation Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii’s 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 foodborne illnesses and potential adulteration 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 food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.

For more information on the department’s food safety program, go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/san/.

Regulators Accept Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Plan to Reach 100% Renewable Energy

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has accepted the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ plan charting the near-term actions that will lead to 100 percent of Hawaii’s power generation needs coming from renewable resources to meet 100 percent of Hawaii’s power generation needs by 2045.

The Power Supply Improvement Plan Update accepted by the PUC on July 14 describes the work by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light that will form the foundation to meet or exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones, the most ambitious in the country.

In its decision, the commission commended the companies’ analysis of options to meet Hawaii’s future needs for electricity, the openness of the planning process and the “high-quality stakeholder input” that together resulted in “a set of plans that provides useful context for making informed decisions regarding the near-term path forward.”

“After review, commission has reasonable assurance that many of the actions identified … are credible, supported by sound judgment and analysis, informed by stakeholder input and consistent with state energy policy and prior commission orders,” the commission stated.

The plan describes several key goals, including acquisition of nearly 400 megawatts of new renewable energy resources by 2021. The commission urged the companies to move quickly on a “transparent, timely and successful procurement process” to work with project developers and capture federal investment tax credits before they expire.

“We appreciate the commission’s acceptance of our plan and its guidance for moving forward,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “As the commission noted, thoughtful input from the participants was a key to developing a successful plan and we will continue to work with everyone in our community as we implement it.”

The companies followed an open, collaborative process to develop the plan, participating in multiple stakeholder workshops and technical conferences to share information and ideas. Planners used industry-leading tools and techniques to analyze multiple scenarios to balance the desires for reliability, affordability and sustainability.

Among the participants in planning were the state Consumer Advocate; County of Hawaii; County of Maui; Ulupono Initiative; Blue Planet Foundation; Hawaii Gas; Paniolo Power on Hawaii Island and the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Additional independent technical analysis was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and Electric Power Research Institute.

The plan emphasizes work that is in progress or planned over the next five years on each of the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

The companies exceeded the state’s 2015 renewable energy target and forecast they will exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones in 2020, 2030 and 2040 by attaining a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of:

  • 48 percent by the end of 2020; the mandated goal is 30 percent
  • At least 72 percent by the end of 2030; the mandated goal is 40 percent
  • At least 100 percent by the end of 2040; the mandated goal is 70 percent. This would be five years ahead of the 2045 deadline to reach the goal of 100 percent renewable energy.

By 2020, Hawaii Island is forecast to reach an RPS of 80 percent; Maui 63 percent; Lanai 59 percent and Oahu, 40 percent. On Molokai, Maui Electric is working with the community on options for reaching 100 percent RPS by 2020.

To maintain reliability of electric service, the plan calls for adding energy storage and other grid technologies to accompany new renewable resources.

The plan includes continued growth of private rooftop solar and describes the work to expand and upgrade grid infrastructure and to use the newest generations of inverters, control systems and energy storage to help reliably integrate an estimated total of 165,000 private systems by 2030, more than twice today’s total of 79,000.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies already have the highest percentage of customers using rooftop solar of any utility in the U.S. The national average is one percent while the percentage in the Hawaiian Electric Companies service territories is 17 percent.

Feral Goat, Sheep, and Pig Hunt and Ungulate Control Program Announced for the Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) announces the opening of the hunting season in the Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve (PWW) Youth and Disabled Hunt and Makai Sections pursuant to Title 13, Chapter 123, “Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting.”

DLNR-DOFAW also announces a special Ungulate Control Program for the PWW Mauka section pursuant to Title 13, Chapter 123, “Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting,” §13-123-9.

The SPECIAL YOUTH AND DISABLED HUNT will be open in the Safety Zone above the Pu’u Lani subdivision on weekends and State Holidays for the month of August 2017. Only youth (children who are 15 years of age or younger) and disabled hunters may hunt in this area.

Only one adult licensed hunter may accompany each youth hunter and one licensed, non-hunting assistant may accompany each disabled hunter. The bag limit for this hunt is three (3) nontypical rams and one (1) typical ram per hunter per day. This is also the season limit (See Table 1). Deboning and skinning is allowed. Skull with attached horns must remain intact and genitals must remain attached to the carcass.

The MAKAI ARCHERY (below Mamalahoa Highway) season will take place during the first four consecutive weekends in August, and during any State holidays that occur during that time (i.e. August 18, 2017; Statehood Day). The bag limit for this hunt is one (1) pig, one (1) nontypical ram, and three (3) goats per hunter per day. This is also the season limit. Deboning and skinning is allowed. The tail and genitalia of harvested animals must remain attached for species and sex identification purposes.

The MAKAI MUZZLELOADER season will take place during the three weekends following the archery season, and during any State holidays that occur during that time (i.e. September 4, 2017; Labor Day). The bag limit for this hunt is one (1) pig, one (1) non-typical ram, and three (3) goats per hunter per day. This is also the season limit. Deboning and skinning is allowed. The tail and genitalia of harvested animals must remain attached for species and sex identification purposes.

The PWW MAUKA UNGULATE CONTROL PROGRAM (above Mamalahoa Highway), will be a non-typical ram and feral goat hunt, and will take place concurrently with the Makai Muzzleloader season (during the three consecutive weekends following the Makai Archery season, including State holidays). The bag limit will be one (1) non-typical ram and two (2) goats (either sex) per hunter per day. During this program, the whole carcasses (entrails can be cleaned, but with attached genitalia on carcass) need to be inspected at checkout. For safety purposes, a maximum of 30 permittees will be allowed per day. Hunters interested in participating on the PWW MAUKA UNGULATE CONTROL PROGRAM will be issued permits at the hunter check station on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunters will need to purchase 2018 goat and ram tags to legally hunt these species in these areas. Tags may be purchased from any Hawaii Island Division of Forestry and Wildlife office and at the PWW Hunter Check Station during the hunt. Exact change of $10/tag (resident hunters) and $25/tag (non-resident hunters) is required when purchasing tags at the hunter check station.

The harvest tags will be non-transferable and non-refundable and must be placed through the hind leg of the animal immediately after each kill, and remain tagged until the hunter checks out of the hunting area and arrives home or to their final destination.

Hunters are to check in at the Pu’u Wa’awa’a check station beginning at 5 a.m. the day of the hunt and must be checked-out 7:45p.m. There is NO CAMPING allowed in the hunting area on any night before or during the hunt.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the DOFAW Office in Kamuela at (808) 887- 6063.

Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program Accepting Applications for Conservation Acquisition Assistance

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking new projects for its Hawaiʻi Forest Legacy Program that will protect important working forest lands from the threat of conversion to non-forest uses. The Forest Legacy Program, administrated through DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is accepting applications for conservation acquisition assistance through the program.

The Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program works with private landowners, state and county agencies, and conservation non-profit groups to promote sustainable, working forests. Roughly 66 percent of forest land in the State of Hawai‘i is privately owned, with the majority of private landowners wanting to preserve these forests and leave a lasting legacy. Unfortunately, nationwide millions of acres of privately-managed working forests have been lost or converted to other uses with millions more projected to be converted in the next decade. Hawai‘i is no exception to this trend.

“With the help of land trusts and conservation-minded landowners, we have been able to protect our important forest resources, preserve forest essential for water production, shelter endangered species, and safeguard our culturally important sites,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR Chairperson.

More than 2.5 million acres of threatened private forests in the U.S. have been protected under the Forest Legacy Program, of which 47,000 acres have been protected in Hawai‘i. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is currently working on projects that will protect an additional 3,700 acres of important forested watershed lands through the Forest Legacy Program.

The majority of Hawaii’s projects are conservation easements that allow landowners to retain ownership of the restricted title to their property while providing permanent protection from development or unsustainable uses. Oftentimes, this economic opportunity provides landowners with an alternative to selling their land to development companies. Conservation easements are strictly voluntary to enter into and the restrictions are binding to all future owners in perpetuity.

“The national Forest Legacy Program is very competitive with only a few dozen projects funded by the U.S. Forest Service each year,” Case said. “Hawai‘i always puts in strong projects that compete well in this national program,” she noted.

The Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program has identified forest lands throughout the state as important and in need of permanent protection. More information about this status can be found in the State’s Assessment of Needs on the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program website (http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy/).

The Hawai‘i program accepts both fee title and conservation easement acquisitions. Fee title acquisitions are voluntary and can provide landowners with the knowledge that their property will be managed and owned in perpetuity by the State of Hawai‘i.

The deadline for the next round of applications to the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program is August 21, 2017. Applications can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy/ and should be submitted to Malia Nanbara by email.

Landowners and non-profits entities who are interested in participating in the Forest Legacy Program are encouraged to contact Malia Nanbara at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife at (808) 587-4176 or by email at Malia.Y.Nanbara@Hawaii.gov to discuss their property and interest in the program.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Travel Ban Plaintiffs

Yesterday, Hawaii federal district Judge Derrick K. Watson issued an order, which largely grants the State of Hawaii and Dr. Ismail Elshikh’s motion to enforce, or in the alternative, to modify the preliminary injunction, filed last Friday in Hawaii v. Trump.

Click to view order

On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued an order in this case that the travel ban could not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States, including those with a “close familial relationship.” The same standard applies with respect to refugee admissions. The federal government subsequently issued guidance that such “close familial relationships” did not include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of people currently living in the United States.

Judge Watson’s order notes that “context matters” and:

“[W]hen appropriately considered in the context of the June 26 order, the Government’s narrowly defined list finds no support in the careful language of the Supreme Court or even in the immigration statutes on which the Government relies.

[T]he Government’s utilization of the specific, family-based visa provisions of the [Immigration and Nationality Act] … constitutes cherry-picking and resulted in a predetermined and unduly restrictive reading of ‘close familial relationship.’ Other, equally relevant federal immigration statutes define a close family in a much broader manner.

In sum, the Government’s definition of ‘close familial relationship’ is not only not compelled by the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision, but contradicts it. Equally problematic, the Government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”

Attorney General Chin said, “The federal court today makes clear that the U.S. Government may not ignore the scope of the partial travel ban as it sees fit. Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough. Courts have found that this Executive Order has no basis in stopping terrorism and is just a pretext for illegal and unconstitutional discrimination. We will continue preparing for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in October.”

Judge Watson’s order also notes that contrary to the Trump Administration’s arguments, “[n]othing in the Supreme Court’s decision requires a refugee to enter into a contract with a United States entity in order to demonstrate the type of formal relationship necessary to avoid the effects of [the Executive Order]. An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s touchstones … [b]ona fide does not get any more bona fide than that.”

A copy of Judge Watson’s order is attached.

Hawaii Department of Health Confirms 11 New Cases of Mumps – Total Now at 154

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed eleven (11) new cases of residents with the mumps, raising the total number of statewide cases this year to 154. Seven (7) of the new cases of individuals are adults. Ten (10) of the cases are from Oahu and one is from Kauai. None of the individuals required hospitalization and all are recovering.  More cases are expected in the coming weeks as mumps is a highly-contagious disease.

To help prevent the spread of mumps, ensure that your family is fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.  All adults born in or after 1957, without evidence of immunity to mumps and who cannot verify previous MMR vaccination, should receive one MMR dose.

Individuals with only one documented MMR dose are strongly encouraged to consider receiving a second vaccine dose at a minimum of four weeks after the first dose.  Although it is not ideal, receiving extra doses of the vaccine poses no medical problem.

All children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine. The first dose is given at age 12–15 months and the second dose routinely at 4–6 years of age. However, because of the continued circulation of mumps in Hawaii, children between 1–4 years of age should receive their second dose now (a minimum of also four weeks after the first dose).

Patients suspected or diagnosed with mumps should remain at home to avoid spreading the disease to others. According to Hawaii State Law, a person with mumps may not attend school, work or travel for nine (9) days after the onset of parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands).Mumps is spread easily through coughing, sneezing and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands.  Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen glands in front of the ears or jaw, tiredness and muscle aches.

To locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccinesimmunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.  More information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

EPA Requires Matheson Tri-Gas Kapolei to Close Illegal Cesspools

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with Matheson Tri-Gas to close three cesspools at its Kapolei facility on Oahu.

Click to read the consent agreement and final order

In May 2016, EPA inspected the Matheson Tri-Gas facility, a commercial gas supply company in the Campbell Industrial Park, and found two large-capacity cesspools (LCCs) in use. EPA regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act required closure of all existing LCCs by April 5, 2005.

Matheson, which acquired the facility in 2015, will close the two LCCs and convert to a septic system. The company will pay a civil penalty of $88,374 for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and spend $50,000 on a supplemental environmental project to close an on-site small-capacity cesspool. Matheson expects to complete the closure of all three cesspools and convert to a septic system by the end of 2017.

“Matheson has agreed to not only close and replace its LCCs with approved systems, but will also close an additional small-capacity cesspool at its facility,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA will continue to focus on closing illegal cesspools to protect Hawaii’s drinking water and coastal water resources.”

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. Groundwater provides 99 percent of all domestic water in Hawaii, where cesspools are used more widely than in any other state. Since EPA banned LCCs in 2005, over 3,000 large-capacity cesspools have been closed state-wide, many through voluntary compliance. The ban does not apply to individual cesspools connected to single-family homes.

For more information and to submit comments on this specific agreement visit:

https://www.epa.gov/uic/hawaii-cesspools-administrative-orders#oahu

For more information on the large-capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large-capacity cesspool, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

Neil Everett of ESPN to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu

Neil Everett, the popular ESPN SportsCenter anchor known for opening each show with Howzit! and frequently referencing other Hawaii terms during broadcasts, will present the opening keynote address on the second day of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu.

Photo Credit: ESPN

Everett will make his presentation on Wednesday, September 20, starting at 8:30 a.m., at the Hawaii Convention Center. His topic, Paying Aloha Forward – How Hawaii Saved My Life, will draw upon the inspiration of Hawaii’s aloha spirit in helping to steer him through a difficult period in his life and how, today, he shares the power of aloha with others.

“I spent 15 years in Hawaii and the love I have for the people and aloha will forever be in my heart,” said Everett. “Living in the islands changed me and made me into a better person, and now I pay aloha forward whenever I can.”

Everett moved to Honolulu in 1985 after graduating from the University of Oregon. For the next 15 years, he worked in the athletics department at Hawaii Pacific University, while also writing, producing and reporting news and sports at various times for three Hawaii TV networks, KITV, KHNL, and KGMB. Everett joined ESPN in 2000 as a SportsCenter anchor at its headquarters studio in Bristol, CT, before moving to Los Angeles in conjunction with the opening of ESPN’s West Coast studio in 2009.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit, September 19-21, will share the significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intention of bringing people together to help improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad. Sustainable tourism is the summit theme.

“Like people throughout the country, I’m a fan of SportsCenter because of Neil Everett and how he cleverly combines fun with professionalism in the telling of scores and reporting of sports news,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “You meet Neil and can quickly tell his soul is filled with a goodness to do what’s right and to help others, and much of that stems from him living in Hawaii. Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit will enjoy hearing his story of personal inspiration.”

Attendees can register to attend the Global Tourism Summit and hear Everett’s keynote address by registering online at www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265