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Gabbard Honors Legacy and Service of Hawaii Nisei Veterans – Airport Unveils New Exhibit

At the Interisland Terminal of the Honolulu International Airport this morning, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard  joined the Nisei Veterans Legacy Center and Department of Transportation officials at the unveiling and blessing ceremony of a new permanent exhibit celebrating Hawaii’s Nisei veterans.

tulsi-nisei“It’s a privilege and an honor to be here to celebrate the Hawaiʻi Nisei Veterans display and all that it symbolizes—especially with our Nisei veterans here today, representing service and sacrifice from different conflicts and different generations,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

tulsi-nisei2“Your courage during a very difficult time says so much about the values that we strive to uphold and celebrate in this great country. To have this display here provides the opportunity for people coming through as they travel—both kama’āina and visitors from across the country and around the world—to learn more about your sacrifice and to make sure that the legacy of your service continues for generations to come.”

tulsi-nisei3The exhibit was produced by volunteers from the Nisei Veterans Legacy Center, a nonprofit organization created to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of the Americans of Japanese Ancestry who served in the United States armed forces during World War II, including the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. Nisei stands for second generation and represents American citizens born in the United States whose parents immigrated from Japan.

Hawaii Supreme Court Upholds Flexible Approach to State and County Retiree Health Plans

Today the Hawaii Supreme Court unanimously held that the State may provide constitutionally protected health benefits to state and county retirees in a flexible manner. Under this decision, the State has the ability to structure retiree health insurance plans in a way that provides strong benefits while simultaneously keeping costs down for the taxpayers and the retirees themselves.

Click to read decision

Click to read decision

This class action lawsuit, initiated in 2006, contended that state and county retirees were entitled to the same health benefits as active employees receive now. The Hawaii Supreme Court rejected this argument. The Court instead concluded that retirees’ health benefits are based on the benefits that were promised when the employees became members of the State’s retirement system. Most importantly, the Court also concluded that a “rigid” understanding of retirees’ protected health benefits “is inconsistent with and inadequate to provide the flexibility that legislatures need to deal with changing economic and social realities.”

“The marketplace for health benefits changes constantly,” said Attorney General Doug Chin. “Today’s decision allows the State to respond to those changes.”

The case is Dannenberg v. State of Hawaii and it was argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court in May 2016. Judge Katherine G. Leonard of the Intermediate Court of Appeals served as Acting Chief Justice for the Hawaii Supreme Court in this case. All five of the regular justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court had recused themselves. A substitute 5-judge panel was appointed by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald in their place.

Today’s decision remands the case to the trial court for the parties to address some material issues of fact.

Notice of Last Date of Molokai Ferry Service and How to Obtain Refunds

On October 17, 2016, the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawaiʻi (“PUC”), in Order No. 33977 in Docket No. 2016-0214, approved Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc.’s (“Sea Link”) request to voluntarily surrender its certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) to provide water carrier services between Maui and Molokaʻi (“Maui-Molokai Ferry”).

molokai-ferryThe PUC found “good cause” to approve, subject to certain conditions, Sea Link’s request to voluntarily surrender its CPCN, in part, because the Commission acknowledged Sea Link’s representation that its financial losses are no longer sustainable and the Commission cannot compel (i.e. force) Sea Link to continue to operate as a water carrier of passengers and property at a financial loss.  As a result, the last date of ferry service operations will be Thursday, October 27, 2016.


Refund instructions for unused fares:

Unused Paper Tickets and Coupon Books

  • Refund Forms will be made available on Sea Link’s website, molokaiferry.com, and at Sea Link’s main office by mail by phone at (808) 661-3392, by email to info@molokaiferry.com, or by postal mail, 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761.
  • By December 16, 2016, completed Refund Forms may be mailed, along with unused paper tickets or coupons, to Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc., 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761. Unused paper tickets or coupons must be stapled to or enclosed with the form.
  • Until October 27, 2016, Refund Forms will also be available in person at:
    • Sea Link’s ticket sales/terminal at Lahaina Harbor from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday;
    • Sea Link’s ticket sales/terminal at Kaunakakai Harbor from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and
    • Sea Link’s Main Office, located at 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Unused Electronic Tickets

  • By December 16, 2016, Sea Link will attempt to notify Electronic Ticket holders using the contact information provided at the time of sale of the last date of ferry service and options for refunds via phone and/or email. Electronic Ticket holders may contact Sea Link’s office by phone, 808.661.3392, or by email, info@molokaiferry.com.  Please provide full name and/or confirmation number to expedite refund.

Unused Prepaid Bulk or Group Tickets

  • By December 16, 2016, Sea Link will attempt to notify Prepaid Bulk or Group Ticket holders using the contact information provided at the time of sale of the last date of ferry service and options for refunds via phone and/or email. Prepaid Bulk or Group Ticket holders may contact Sea Link’s office by phone, 808.661.3392, or by email, info@molokaiferry.com.



Comments addressed to the PUC may be mailed to 465 South King Street, Room 103, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813, or sent by electronic mail to Hawaii.PUC@hawaii.gov.

Hawaii First Becomes First Blue Zones Approved Worksite in Hawaii County

Hawaii First Federal Credit Union has been approved as a Blue Zones Project Worksite, an initiative to creating a healthier, happier and more purpose-driven work environment. Hawaii First joins the Blue Zones Project, sponsored by Hawaii Medical Services Association, to take a systematic approach to community transformation.

blue-zonesHawaii First becomes the first financial institution to be Blue Zones approved in the state of Hawaii. The 60-year-old credit union is also the first Blue Zones approved worksite in Hawaii County.

The Blue Zones Project was first introduced to Hawaii in 2013. The Blue Zones principles are at work in cities and communities in seven states. The initiative is based on nine evidence-based common denominators of communities across the globe where people happily live the longest.

For Hawaii First, the goals for improving well-being includes reducing healthcare costs, lowering absenteeism and improving productivity. By promoting better lifestyle principles, the credit union says better retention and a more engaged, focused and happy workforce will ultimately lead to happier members.

“Our world – what we do every day –  is about putting people first,” said Hawaii First President and chief executive Laura Aguirre. “The Blue Zones Project is a movement among movements that provides the tools and resources to support healthier choices. We fully embrace making Hawaii a Blue Zone where our residents live longer, happier, healthier lives.”

Within two branches, Hawaii First employs 21 full-time and three part-time employees. The credit union serves 7,756 members on the Island of Hawaii.

Hawaii Game Bird Hunting Season for 2016-2017 to Start on November 5

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announces the opening of the 2016-2017 Game Bird Hunting Season on Saturday, November 5, 2016.  Department biologists are predicting a below average season of bird hunting, with lingering drought impacts in many parts of the state.

hawaii-turkeyThe fall game bird hunting season will run through Sunday, January 29, 2017.  A valid hunting license and a game bird stamp are required for all game bird hunting on public and private lands.  All game bird hunting is regulated by Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 13, Chapter 122 (see http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw “Administrative Rules” for all legal hunting days).


HUNTING UNITS A, B, E, H and I on the island of Kaua‘i will be open for the entire 2016-2017 game bird hunting season.  Game bird hunting will be permitted on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and State Holidays.  Hunters planning to hunt in Unit I (Wailua Game Management Area) should review the hunting map at either Rice Gate or the Kondo Gate hunter check stations to find out which paddocks will be open to bird hunting.  Wailua GMA maps are also available at the State Office building in Lihu‘e.

HUNTING UNIT J will be open to game bird hunting using archery equipment only during the regular season on weekends, Mondays and State holidays.

New HUNTING UNIT L – formerly WAIMEA HEIGHTS SPECIAL GAME BIRD HUNTING AREA will be open during the regular season on Saturdays and Sundays only.  Access is not allowed thru safety zones surrounding Unit L.  Access from the bottom will be restricted to the Paua valley roadway (Kokee Road checking station) only.  No other makai ingress / egress routes will be permitted.  For more information and maps on the new hunting Unit L, please inquire with the Lihue DOFAW office at 274-3433.

Other PRIVATE LANDS on the island of Kauai are open to game bird hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays, with landowner permission in accordance with Chapter 13-122.


KUAOKALA GMA (UNIT 1) will be open on weekends and State Holidays from November 7, 2015 through January 31, 2016.  Hunters must check in and out of the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station Access Road.  Species occurring in this area include ring-necked pheasant (common and blue variety), Erckel’s francolin, black francolin, gray francolin, chukar partridge, barred dove, and spotted dove, with bag limits as listed in Chapter 122, Rules Regulating Game Bird Hunting.  Hunting of female Ring-Necked Pheasants is allowed, in Kuaokala GMA only, and will count against the listed “Daily Bag Limit” in Ch. 122.  Hunting of peafowl (male and female) is allowed in Kuaokala, no bag limit. HUNTING OF WILD TURKEYS IS STILL PROHIBITED in all public and private hunting areas to allow the population to reach a level suitable for hunting in the future.

MAKUA KEAAU PHA (UNIT2) will be open on weekends and State Holidays.  Species occurring in Makua Keaau include ring-necked pheasant (rare), Erckel’s francolin, barred dove and spotted dove, with bag limits as listed in Chapter 122.

PRIVATE LANDS on the island of Oahu will be open to game bird hunting on weekends and State Holidays in accordance with Chapter 122.



KULA FOREST RESERVE AND COOPERATIVE LEASE AREA (HUNTING UNIT C) will be open for game bird hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire season.

Game mammal hunting will be closed within Unit C on legal game bird hunting days.

KAHAKULOA GMA AND WEST MAUI FOREST RESERVE (HUNTING UNIT F) will be open for game bird hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire season.

Game mammal hunting will be closed within Unit F during the game bird hunting season (November 2016 through January 2017).


MOLOKAI FOREST RESERVE (HUNTING UNITS C, D, AND E) will be open for game bird hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire season.

For Units C, D and E, game mammal hunting will be closed from November 2016 through January 2017.


COOPERATIVE GMA (UNITS 1, 2, AND 3) will be open for game bird hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire game bird season.

Special conditions:

  1. Access to Unit 3 will be by the main perimeter roads (“Guard Road” and “No. 57 Road”).
  2. Abandoned field plot roads are closed for safety reasons.


MAUNA KEA GAME MANAGEMENT AREA AND FOREST RESERVE AND PUU MALI MITIGATION SITE (UNIT A) will be open for game bird hunting Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire game bird season. Mammal hunting will be closed in Unit G and A below Tree Line during the legal game bird season as stated in Ch. 123 “Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting”.

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA will be open for game bird hunting, at the direction of the Department of Defense, subject to training schedule.  Hunters are to use the iSportsman website (https://pta.isportsman.net/) for information on hunting days, open areas and access routes.

KAPAPALA RANCH COOPERATIVE GMA AND KAPAPALA FOREST RESERVE will be open for game bird hunting Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire game bird season.

PUU WAAWAA  FOREST RESERVE AND PUU ANAHULU, WEST SECTION (UNIT F) – All sections of Puu Waawaa FR, will be open for game bird hunting Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire game bird season.  Vehicles must remain on designated roads to minimize the risk of fire. Maps will be made available at the Puu Waawaa Hunter Check Station and at the DOFAW offices in Hilo and Kamuela. Please leave all gates as they are found due to active cattle ranching in the area.

PUUANAHULU GMA, EAST SECTION will be open for game bird hunting Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire game bird season. 

KAOHE GAME MANAGEMENT AREA AND KAOHE MITIGATION SITE (UNIT G) will be open for game bird hunting Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays for the entire game bird season.

KIPUKA AINAHOU will be open for game bird hunting on weekends and State Holidays throughout the game bird hunting season.  A special permit is required, and is available from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices in Hilo and Kamuela and at the Puu Huluhulu  or Kaumana Hunter Check Station.  Hunters are to avoid nene geese that are in the area.  Mammal hunting in this area is closed from November 1 through February. Note: Portion of Kipuka Ainahou on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is no longer open to public hunting.

KAHUA/PONOHOLO RANCH SPECIAL PERMIT AREA will be open for game bird hunting on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) beginning Saturday, December 17, 2016 through Sunday, January 15, 2017. Hunting in the area will be closed on Sunday, December 25, 2016 (Christmas) and Sunday, January 1, 2017 (New Year’s Day).

OPEN:  All other public hunting areas not listed above are open to game bird hunting on weekends and State holidays, November 5, 2016 through January 29, 2017 in accordance with Chapter 13-122.

PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS are open to game bird hunting on weekends, State holidays and Wednesdays – Thursdays for Units A, G, PTA and private lands during the regular game bird season which is November 5, 2016 through January 29, 2017, with landowner permission and in accordance with Chapter 13-122.



All game bird hunters should be familiar with Title 13, Chapter 122 “Rules Regulating Game Bird Hunting.”

Hunters will be required to check in and out at established hunter check stations.  First obtain permission from landowners when seeking to hunt on private land.  Prevent wildfires.  DO NOT PARK OR DRIVE IN TALL GRASS OR BRUSH WITHOUT EXPECTING TO START FIRES!  Report fires to 911.

Support wildlife conservation:  Report game law violators to the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement by calling 643-DLNR (-3567).  Further information may be obtained by contacting Division of Forestry & Wildlife offices at the following phone numbers:  Kauai:  274-3433; Oahu:  587-0166; Maui:  984-8100; Molokai:  553-1745; Lanai:  565-7916; Hilo: 974-4221; Kamuela: 887-6063.

Prohibited Advertising/Political Signs Being Removed From State Right of Ways

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) would like to remind the public that outdoor advertising, including political campaign signage, is prohibited on the state right of way. In the last month alone, Highways Maintenance staff have removed more than 200 signs from HDOT jurisdiction, which takes time and resources away from other maintenance duties.

The exceptions to this are the following:

(1)  Directional and other official signs and notices, which signs and notices shall include, but not be limited to, signs and notices pertaining to natural wonders, scenic and historic attractions as authorized or required by law.

(2)  Signs, displays, and devices advertising the sale or lease of the property upon which they are located.

(3)  Signs, displays, and devices advertising activities conducted on the property upon which they are located.

(4)  Signs lawfully in existence on October 22, 1965, determined by the director to be landmark signs, including signs on farm structures or natural surfaces, of historic or artistic significance

The state law prohibiting the installation of signs is Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 264, Part V. Text of the law can be found at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol05_Ch0261-0319/HRS0264/HRS_0264-0072.htm

illegal-signsThe removal of outdoor advertising along state highways is also in line with the federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965. More information on the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/real_estate/oac/oacprog.cfm#OACP

To report an illegally placed sign in HDOT jurisdiction, please contact the Highways Maintenance Hotline at 808-831-6714 or email MSWClerk@hawaii.gov

2 New Cases of Hepatitis A – 291 Confirmed Cases in Hawaii

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new cases of hepatitis A. Seventy-three (73) have required hospitalization.

hepatitis-headerFindings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Eleven (11) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and seven visitors have returned to the mainland or overseas.

Although the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date of the scallops embargo has passed, HDOH continues to be alert for people who have had onset of illness earlier but may present late to a clinician, as well as possible secondary cases. Secondary cases have been rare in this outbreak and have been limited to household members of cases or close contacts of cases.


Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 10/9/16.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Offer Customers a Lower-Cost Daytime Option With Time-of-Use Rates

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are offering an optional Time-of-Use rate program that will charge customers less for power used during the day – when solar energy production is highest – and more at night.

Developed under the direction of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, these rates encourage customers to use electricity when solar power is abundant and enable cost-effective integration of renewable energy.

This program will provide customers with an opportunity to save money if they shift their energy use to daytime hours. For example, customers who do laundry, cook, or heat water during the day may be able to save. Customers who charge electric vehicles or energy storage systems in the day may also benefit. The amount of any savings will depend on how much a customer changes their usage. As a result, this program may not fit the needs of all customers.

Here’s how the rates will compare with current residential rates for October 2016 (all prices in cents per kilowatt-hour):


As directed by the PUC, this program will run for two years and these rates are only for residential customers. Participation will be voluntary and limited to the first 5,000 customers who enroll.

Participating customers will receive information on their bills that compares their costs under this program and the normal residential rate for electricity. Customers may opt out of the program at any time if they feel it isn’t the right fit for them.

To enroll or for more information, go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/timeofuse or call:

  • Oahu: (808) 548-7311
  • Maui: (808) 871-9777
  • Molokai and Lanai: 1-877-871-8461
  • Hilo: (808) 969-6999
  • Kona: (808) 329-3584
  • Waimea: (808) 885-4605

Hepatitis A Infection in Food Service Worker at McDonald’s of Kahala

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in an Oahu food service worker. The infected case is an employee at McDonald’s of Kahala, located at 4618 Kilauea Avenue in Honolulu. Affected dates of service are Sept. 20–21, 23–24, 27–29, and Oct. 1, 4–5, 7, and 11, 2016.

kahala-mcdonalds“This case was identified and reported to us later in their illness, but had their symptom onset within the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date the scallops were embargoed,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “The department will continue to investigate all reported cases of hepatitis A and remain alert for other late-presenting cases as well as secondary cases.”

The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. DOH is providing this information to the public as a precaution to prevent any new cases. To date, 291 cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed as part of the outbreak investigation that began in August. Updated case counts and information are provided at: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any person who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business during the identified periods may want to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin (IG). This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or by calling the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Help prevent the spread of hepatitis A by washing your hands often and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food. For more information on proper handwashing, go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.

Rescued Newell’s Shearwater Chick Heads To Sea – Miracle Bird Highlights Extraordinary Recovery Effort

At the Nihoku predator-proof enclosure at the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, it was designated Newell’s Shearwater (‘A‘o) Chick #8.  On Sunday evening this healthy chick left its manmade burrow and headed out to sea; one of eight young birds that had been translocated to Nihoku as part of an extraordinary effort to save Hawai‘i’s endemic seabirds from extinction.

newells-shearwater-chick“This particular chick holds a special place in our hearts because it was rescued from one of the upper montane colonies after being found lost, alone, and hungry on a trial in the Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve in August,” explained Dr. Andre Raine of the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP). “If the chick had been left by itself in the colony it would have surely died, so it’s great to see it now flying safely out to sea as a strong and healthy fledgling.”

It was the first time KESRP team members have encountered a live chick out in the open. Typically the only reason why they are found outside of their burrows is because they have been attacked and eaten by predators, including rats and feral cats.

Initially, #8 was flown by KESRP to the Save our Shearwaters (SOS) program at the Kaua‘i Humane Society, where Tracy Anderson, SOS program coordinator and her staff gave it fluids and food. Ultimately it was translocated to the Nihoku enclosure, where over the course of the past month it continued getting daily feedings and health checks. “I’m glad that we could give him a second chance and that he might be one of the founders of this new colony of Newell’s Shearwaters”.

Robby Kohley of Pacific Rim Conservation (PRC) is one of the team members responsible for the daily care of this chick.  He said, “It’s one of those lucky things that the colony monitoring team people found this little chick.  It acclimated to its burrow well and its weight and wing cord (wing length) steadily increased, so it’s a nice team effort. There are so many birds that don’t make it; the fact that they were able to rescue this bird is pretty exciting. It is a bit of a miracle and a bright spot.

Adding to the bright spots is the fledging of 4 other Newell’s Shearwaters translocated to the Nihoku enclosure from burrows deep in Kaua‘i’s mountain forests in September. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and its Hawai‘i partners conducted the first ever translocation of endangered Newell’s Shearwaters in an effort to establish a protected breeding colony at the national wildlife refuge.

Dr. Lindsay Young, project coordinator with PRC explained, “Team members removed seven, large, healthy chicks from their mountain burrows by hand.  Once they arrived at Nihoku their growth was carefully monitored and they were hand fed daily, a slurry of fish and squid.  Once they were big enough, their caretakers opened their burrows to allow them to depart when the time came.”

Newell’s Shearwater chicks imprint on their birth colony location, once they emerge from their burrows, and as adults will return to breed at the same colony. Since the chicks were removed from their natural burrows before the critical imprinting stage, it’s hoped they’ll imprint on the artificial burrows and return to the predator-proof colony as adults in three to five years.

Hannah Nevins, director of ABC’s Seabird Program said, “The new colony will be the only fully protected colony of this species anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands. It’s an enormous step toward recovering this rare seabird and we hope it marks a turning point in the downward trend for this species.  The future of the Newell’s Shearwater on Kaua‘i is dependent on multiple actions, from colony protection in the mountains to creating new predator-free colonies with fences, and continuing to mitigate light and collision impacts.”

Dr. Young concluded, “We are very excited to have accomplished a major recovery objective for one of Hawaii’s endemic seabird species.  What we learn from this project will be crucial in implementing what we hope will be many more projects like this on Kaua‘i and across the state.”

The recovery team has a year’s worth of experience under its belt, having translocated endangered Hawaiian Petrels to the nearly eight acre Nihoku enclosure a year ago.  Those birds fledged successfully last year and next week a new group of Hawaiian Petrels will be removed from their mountain burrows and flown to the enclosure.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Companies for HI-5 Violations

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has issued Notices of Violation and Order against six companies for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law.

hi-5The companies were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2016 and each company was fined an administrative penalty fee of $400 for failure to comply with deposit container requirements. Each company may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The companies cited were:

  • Arakaki Store, Inc.
  • Hawaiian Fresh Farm dba Culture Brew
  • La Hiki Ola
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • World of Aahs!
  • World Pac, Inc.

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. DOH conducts regular inspections of beverage distributors and certified redemption centers to ensure compliance with Hawai‘i laws. The companies received multiple written notices informing them of reporting requirements prior to the issuance of a penalty.

Hawaii Governor Appoints Darrel Galera to Board of Education

Gov. David Ige has appointed former public school teacher and principal Darrel Galera to the Board of Education.

Darrel Galera was appointed to the Board of Education today.

Darrel Galera was appointed to the Board of Education today.

Galera has a rich background in public education in Hawai‘i. He is the School Leadership Consultant and Coach for the Hawai‘i Center for Instructional Leadership and is currently serving as chairman of the Governor’s ESSA Team (Every Student Succeeds Act).

Galera began his career in education as a social studies teacher at Moanalua High School where he was named Teacher of the Year in 1984. He has also served as principal at Shafter Elementary, S.W. King Intermediate, ‘Aiea Elementary, Moanalua High and Castle High. Galera has been recognized as the Hawai‘i National Distinguished High School Principal of the Year, Central O‘ahu District Principal of the Year and the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program’s Distinguished Teacher, 1989 (Washington, D.C.).

A graduate of Waipahu High School, Galera earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration and bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies at the University of Hawai‘i.

“Darrel has been instrumental in engaging the public all across the state to help build the blueprint for our public school system. His service on the board will help bridge the work of the Board of Education and the ESSA Team,” said Gov. Ige.

“It’s truly an honor and privilege to serve our students and schools. I’m inspired by Governor Ige’s vision and plan for public education in Hawai‘i,” Galera said.

Galera replaces Jim Williams who resigned from the board last month.

Public Information Meeting for Lahaina Ferry Pier Improvements

Maui legislators Rep. Angus McKelvey, Sen. Rosalyn Baker, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources are jointly hosting a public information meeting  on Thursday October 20, 2016, to provide an update on the design of the proposed Lahaina Small Boat Harbor ferry pier improvements.

lahaina-small-boat-harborThe meeting will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Na Aikane O Maui Cultural Center located at 526A Front Street in Lahaina.

The new interisland ferry pier will be located approximately 70 feet to the north of the existing public pier at the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor.  It will be approximately 115 feet long and 20 feet wide and will be on piles.

Construction will also include:

  • construction of a shade roof involving four open-sided, roofed structures 14 feet in height, connected by three open trellises on the ferry pier to shelter passengers during arrivals and departures;
  • construction of two sewage pump out stations;
  • construction of a concrete gangway measuring 16 feet by 70 feet to connect the existing pier with the new pier structure;
  • replacement of the existing harbor administration office; and
  • resurfacing of a portion of Wharf Street to facilitate safe passenger/pedestrian movement in and around the small boat harbor.

Gonorrhea Outbreak in Hawaii Showed Increased Antibiotic Resistance

CNN reported today that there was a gonorrhea outbreak here in Hawaii recently:

Seven gonorrhea patients in Hawaii are the first known US cases in which the sexually transmitted infection showed reduced susceptibility to the single available effective treatment option, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. The patients were diagnosed in April and May.

The six men and one woman were all cured by ceftriaxone and azithromycin, the two-drug regimen recommended for treating gonorrhea by the CDC. However, laboratory tests by the Hawaii State Department of Health showed that the patients’ gonorrheal infections did not succumb as easily to the antibiotics as infections have in the past.
CNN goes on to report that gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD):
“Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, but most people do not realize they have it. The only way they find out is through testing,” she said.
When health care providers do not treat according to the CDC’s two-drug regimen — a single shot of ceftriaxone and an oral dose of azithromycin — patients may feel better, and their symptoms may disappear, but they may still have the infection incubating inside them, explained Bolan.
“If you’re not treated correctly, you cannot rely on your symptoms to tell you you’ve been cured,” she said.
Though no failures of the current treatment regimen have been confirmed in the United States, the CDC has been closely monitoring antibiotic resistance.
“We usually see emerging decreased susceptibility or resistance coming from the West, starting with Hawaii, and then we also see a higher proportion of isolates with decreased susceptibility in men who have sex with men. This is a pattern we’ve seen with penicillin resistance and other antibiotics,” Bolan said.

Hawaii Attorney General Statement Regarding Suboxone Prescription for Opioid Detoxification

In light of recent inquiries regarding physicians’ legal authority to prescribe the drug Suboxone for the purpose of opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment of opioid dependence, Attorney General Doug Chin today issued the following statement:

“Last week the state Narcotics Enforcement Division was asked whether a doctor may prescribe the drug Suboxone for opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. NED subsequently asked the Department of the Attorney General to review the relevant statute to determine how the law should be interpreted and applied. Our analysis has concluded that current portions of section 329-38 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes can be interpreted in more than one way, but within the context of the entire section, the existing practice of doctors who prescribe Suboxone for the purpose of opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment of opioid dependence may continue. It may be appropriate to clarify this statute during the next legislative session.”

suboxoneSuboxone is a prescription medicine that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used to treat adults who are addicted to opioids.

Hawaii Hepatitis Outbreak Increases to 276 Confirmed Cases

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 5 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 68 have required hospitalization.


Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.


Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/15/16.

Iconic Hawaiian Bird Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

In response to a 2010 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed protection for the ‘i‘iwi as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This bird, a bright-scarlet, nectar-feeding Hawaiian honeycreeper, was once widespread across all of the main Hawaiian Islands, but is now primarily found at higher elevations on East Maui and the island of Hawaii. The number one threat facing the species is climate change, which is driving the spread of highly lethal mosquito-borne diseases.

The ‘i‘iwi. (Photo by Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity.)

The ‘i‘iwi. (Photo by Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity.)

“The ‘i‘iwi is a spectacular, iconic Hawaiian bird that desperately needs Endangered Species Act protection to survive,” said the Center’s Loyal Mehrhoff. “But the good news is that if we protect it, it has a good shot at dodging extinction. A recent study by the Center found that the majority of U.S. birds with endangered species protection are improving.”

The ‘i‘iwi (Drepanis coccinea, also known asVestiaria coccinea) is a medium-sized honeycreeper that lives in native forests of ohia and koa. It is one of more than 50 species of honeycreepers that evolved, in a spectacular example of adaptive radiation, from a single finch-like bird that colonized Hawaii 2.5 million to 4 million years ago. Two out of three Hawaiian honeycreepers are now extinct, and most of the remaining honeycreepers are either already listed as threatened or endangered, or are declining. The ‘i‘iwi has seen a 92 percent decline on Kauai in the past 25 years and a 34 percent decline on Maui. As temperatures increase with global warming, so does the spread of introduced mosquito-borne diseases like avian malaria — which is almost 100 percent fatal to the bird.

“Protected areas that we once thought could save the ‘i‘iwi are now expected to be uninhabitable in the future because of the expanding range of mosquitoes and malaria,” said Mehrhoff. “So it’s crucial for the ‘i‘iwi to get the help it needs to avoid extinction and recover. This will require removing or greatly reducing the threat from introduced mosquito-borne diseases, as well as restoring and protecting native Hawaiian forests.”

Dept. of Education Reminds Parents to Secure Vehicles in School Parking Lots

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) reminds parents to always secure their vehicles in school parking lots to prevent thefts.  Five vehicle break-ins using similar methods of entry have occurred at East Oahu public schools in September during after-school hours.  In each case, vehicle windows were broken and small items inside were stolen, including purses, bags, cell phones and laptop computers.


“Parents are reminded to be vigilant and always remove valuables or hide them from direct sight,”said HIDOE spokesperson Donalyn Dela Cruz.  “Although there is normally lots of activity on campuses during afterschool hours, such crimes of opportunity can take place in seconds, especially when valuables are left in plain sight.”

Parents can take actions to make their vehicle less attractive to property theft, including avoiding leaving valuables inside in open view, locking valuables in the trunk and installing anti-theft alarm systems.  Bags, such as backpacks and shopping bags, may be seen as a carrier of valuables by thieves and should be hidden from view.

Hawaii Electric Bills to Increase – Company Cites Albizia Trees and System Upgrades for Increase

Company cites costs of albizia clearing, system upgrades

Hawaii Electric Light proposed the first increase of base rates in nearly six years to help pay for operating costs, including expanded vegetation management focusing on albizia tree removal, as well as system upgrades to increase reliability, improve customer service and integrate more renewable energy.

The request is for a 6.5 percent increase in revenues, or $19.3 million.

Rate reviews are required by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) every three years.

If approved, a typical residential bill for 500 kilowatt hours on Hawaii Island would increase by $9.31 a month to $171.16. The proposed rate change will be reviewed by regulators and would likely not take effect until the summer of 2017 at the earliest.

Thanks to lower fuel prices, bills reflecting the new rates, if approved today, would still be lower than a year ago.

In 2013, with PUC approval, Hawaii Electric Light withdrew its request to increase base rates, leaving in place the same base rates established in 2010.

As part of the current review, Hawaii Electric Light is proposing benchmarks to measure its performance in key areas, such as customer service, reliability and communication for the rooftop solar interconnection process and to link certain revenues to that performance.

$14M spent clearing albizia since 2014

Among the increased operating costs driving the rate change is an extensive vegetation management and tree removal initiative.


The threat from invasive albizia trees toppling in high winds became clear after Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and led the company to triple its annual spending on vegetation management. Since 2014, Hawaii Electric Light has spent $14 million on tree trimming and removal, concentrating on areas where falling albizias threaten utility equipment and highways.

The tree removal program, which is continuing, reduced the impacts of the recent tropical storms Darby and Madeline on roads and power lines, resulting in fewer outages and faster power restoration.

Investments in customer service pay off

Hawaii Electric Light has also spent more than $14 million over the past six years improving customer service systems, developing technical solutions to integrate more private rooftop solar, replacing and upgrading equipment to improve efficiency and reliability and developing detailed plans to achieve the state’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy. The company has absorbed a large portion of these increased costs in the years between rate cases without passing them on to customers.

Investments in more customer service staffing and new technology have resulted in significantly improved service, including reduced call-waiting times. The percentage of customer calls answered within 30 seconds went from 33 percent in 2010 to 93 percent in 2015. And in surveys of customers who called in to stop, start or change electric service in 2015, 94 percent said they were satisfied with the experience.

Renewable energy use grows to 49%, highest in state

Hawaii Electric Light has increased its use of renewable energy from 35 percent in 2010 to 49 percent today, using wind, hydroelectricity, solar and geothermal to replace oil imported to generate electricity. The company reduced its use of oil by 13 percent over the same period. Part of the proposed rate adjustment will help pay for continued improvements to the power grid to help integrate even more renewable resources while improving reliability.

By the end of 2016, Hawaii Electric Light will have made more than $290 million in capital investments over the past six years, including replacing and upgrading transmission lines in West Hawaii; modernizing generation equipment to increase efficiency; increasing grid capacity and system reliability; and adding or replacing lines and transformers as well as more than 4,500 poles for new and expanded service.

Hawaii Electric Light has “decoupled” rates – a regulatory model that periodically adjusts rates to remove the company’s need to increase sales to recover a level of PUC-approved costs for providing service to all customers. The company is required to submit full rate cases every three years for an updated review by the PUC of the current costs of service.

Hawaii Health Centers to Receive $753K for IT Enhancements

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announced today that 14 Hawaiʻi Health Centers will receive a total of $753,064 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support health information technology (IT) enhancements. The funding is part of more than $87 million provided by HHS to 1,310 health centers in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. The funding will support health IT enhancements to accelerate health centers’ transition to value-based models of care, improve efforts to share and use information to support better decisions, and increase engagement in delivery system transformation. This is the first significant investment directly awarded to health centers to support the purchase of health IT since 2009.

health-center“Health centers across Hawaiʻi provide high-quality health and wellness services that our communities depend upon. Yet, in Hawaiʻi and in states across the country, remote locations, lack of funding, and staff shortages make it difficult to keep up with rapidly changing healthcare technology,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Investing in our local health centers will increase information sharing, improve electronic healthcare record systems, and expand access to comprehensive, quality care for people in every county across the state.”

The following organizations are the Hawaiʻi recipients of the HHS health IT enhancement funds:

  • Hilo – $66,682 for the Bay Clinic
  • Wailuku – $52,900 for the Community Clinic of Maui
  • Honokaʻa – $46,535 for the Hamakua Health Center
  • Hana – $42,428 for the Hana Community Health Center
  • Līhuʻe – $46,320 for Hoʻola Lahui Hawaiʻi
  • Honolulu – $73,739 for the Kalihi-Palama Health Center
  • Honolulu – $54,075 for Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
  • Kahuku – $48,198 for the Koʻolauloa Community Health and Wellness Center
  • Lanaʻi City – $41,749 for the Lanaʻi Community Health Center
  • Kaunakakai – $42,884 for Molokaʻi Ohana Health Care
  • Waiʻanae – $81,237 for the Waiʻanae District Comprehensive Health and Hospital Board
  • Honolulu – $55,087 for the Waikiki Health Center
  • Waimānalo – $46,056 for the Waimānalo Health Center
  • Kailua-Kona – $55,174 for the West Hawaiʻi CommunityHealthCenter

For a list of all fiscal year 2016 Delivery System Health Information Investment Awards recipients, visit: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/dshii/fy2016awards/index.html

To learn more about HRSA’s Health Center Program, visit: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html

To find a health center in your area, visit: http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/