Public Forum To Reduce User Conflicts In Oahu Surf Breaks

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is hosting a public forum to generate discussion about a management concept designed to reduce user conflicts in specific surf breaks in the waters off of Oahu.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Jefferson Elementary School cafeteria at 342 Kapahulu Avenue in Waikiki, Oahu.

SafeSurf

Proponents of the concept, representing a movement called “Safe Surf Hawaii,” are suggesting the creation of a framework for separating user groups competing for waves in the same surf breaks with the ultimate goal of improving safety and reducing user conflicts.

What’s being proposed:
A one year pilot project, in which, during a limited number of time periods each week (i.e., Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from 3 to 9 p.m.), standup paddleboarders (SUPs) would not be permitted in the surf zones located between the entrances of Ala Moana / Ala Wai harbor and Kewalo Basin harbor.
(excerpt from http://www.safesurfhawaii.com).

“The department was asked by Safe Surf Hawaii to solicit comments from the general public and gauge acceptance of this plan to limit use of SUPs in this waterway,” said William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR chairperson. “If the concept gains wide support, the department may consider rulemaking as a way to formalize the plan. However, the support would need to be nearly unanimous among all users.”

Representatives of Safe Surf Hawaii will be given an opportunity to present their plan before the floor is opened to discussion.

DLNR faced a similar challenge when user groups asked for the department to ban the use of SUPs in the waters of Ala Moana Lagoon. Instead of creating a rule, the department elected to install a series of buoys and suggested a voluntary separation of the conflicting uses in 2010.

“Our goal at that time was to reduce the user conflicts and create a safe environment for all users, but without a formal rule change that would have prevented access to these high-value ocean waters for a specific user group.”

“In our opinion, the Ala Moana Lagoon decision was very successful,” Aila said. “Once we installed the SUP corridor, complaints stopped coming in. No one was prevented from accessing the resource. What we are hoping is that discussion and understanding can again help us resolve a growing problem.”

The department encourages all ocean users to comment on the proposed plan and/or suggest other solutions by attending the meeting in person or by sending comments to DLNR’s generic address for receiving comments at dlnr.HarReview@hawaii.gov.

The meeting location is disability accessible. If special needs are required (i.e., large print, taped materials, sign language interpreter, etc.), call Clifford Inn on Oahu at (808) 587-1972 at least three business days prior to the public forum.

Mainland Law Firm “Fears for Their Safety in Hawaii”

I mentioned a few months ago about a lawsuit that local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker had filed against CafePress for copyright infringements.

Illegal  “knock off” Slippers with “Forbidden Island” original art by Brad Parker.

Illegal “knock off” Slippers with “Forbidden Island” original art by Brad Parker.

Looking at a motion filed in Honolulu Federal Court last month, it appears that Greenburg Traurig LLP,  one of the largest law firms on the planet “fears for their attorney’s safety due to threat of violence against them in the State of Hawaii, especially in Kona!”

What the heck… this isn’t the Christopher Deedy trial or anything like that.

With over 35 offices and employing 1700 + attorneys globally, Greenburg Traurig is a massive law firm who is currently defending the highly publicized copyright infringement lawsuit filed against their client Cafe Press by Big Island based Tiki Shark Art Inc.

“It is astonishing to see what legal maneuvers these big law firms pull out of their hats to try to outspend a small company like mine when money is no object”  Brad Parker Owner and Artist at Tiki Shark Art Inc. said.

Brad at Capital

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker at the Capital

“However, for the sake of all my fellow artists who Cafe Press has ripped off, I feel obligated to see this case to its end to the best of my company’s financial ability” Parker told me.

Despite several unsuccessful legal tactics used by the Mainland law firm to move some of the motions to Los Angeles – California, the case is set for a jury trial in Honolulu in February 2015.

Public Information Meeting on Planned Improvements at Hapuna Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks will hold a community information meeting on its planned improvements at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. The meeting will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in the dining hall in the mauka section of the park.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach

State Parks staff will describe and seek community input on proposed repair and renovation improvements of existing facilities in various park locations that include: roadway and pathway improvements, new foot showers, new rinsing shower, pavilion and barbecue facility improvements, comfort station repairs and renovations, improvements to picnic areas on the south end, stairway and pathway improvements at the Waialea section of the park, and related improvements to comply with current regulations and requirements, including the Americans with Disability Act.

“DLNR is committed to improve our facilities and management of Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, said State Parks Administrator Dan Quinn. “We are implementing these planned facility improvements and interested in community input to assess options to improve this park for residents and visitors.”

(To get to the dining hall, take Old Puako Road from Queen Kaahumanu Highway, then turn mauka, across from the makai entry to the beach and follow the road past the A-frame cabins to the dining hall at the top of the hill. There is a small parking lot for the facility and also ample open space parking in the unpaved areas of this section).

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is a beach park, with restrooms, picnic pavilions, picnic tables, lodging, trash cans, drinking water, and payphone. There is hiking along the Ala Kahakai coastal trail. It is located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19), 2.3 miles south of Kawaihae.

DLNR Opens Some Areas After Arrival Of Iselle Storm System

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announces limited openings of its state-managed park and forest lands in the wake of the Iselle storm system.

Lava Tree State Park

Some areas will remain closed as a precautionary measure for public safety until personnel can assess the areas for damage such as downed trees and make any necessary repairs. Status updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

AREAS REMAINING CLOSED:

All areas managed by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, forest hiking trails, and game management areas, until further notice

  • County of Hawaii – Lava Tree State Monument and MacKenzie State Recreation Area
  • City and County of Honolulu – Aiea Loop Trail
  • County of Kauai – All state parks remain closed

ALL OTHER STATE PARKS ARE OPEN

DOFAW and the Division of State Parks continue to suspend issuance of camping permits for state forest and park campgrounds.

Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) small boat harbors remain open.

The public is asked to remain cautious. Storm impacts continue to affect the islands, including flooding, high wind, wave actions, and muddy trail conditions.

Pacific Edge Magazine Announces New Gala Date and Updated Nomination Deadline

Hawaii’s best and brightest companies and business leaders to be honored at red-carpet awards gala on September 25

Pacific Edge Magazine (PEM) announced today it has moved the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards to September 25, 2014. Element Media, Inc., Hawaii’s premier custom publishing firm, will host the exclusive red-carpet soiree to recognize the state’s most influential business leaders, organizations and non-profits while celebrating the company’s eighth anniversary.

pacific Edge

Local business and community leaders are encouraged to submit nominations for the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards by August 14, 2014 at www.pacificedgeawards.com. Self-nominations are encouraged.

“Since our very first issue in 2005, we’ve been passionate about highlighting the individuals, companies and organizations that inspire and innovate our local business community through our monthly networking events, in-depth articles and online presence,” said Jamie Giambrone, co-founder of Element Media, Inc. and co-publisher of Pacific Edge Magazine. “This awards gala will provide the opportunity to shine the spotlight on those most deserving of their achievements, while also celebrating the eighth anniversary of Pacific Edge.”

Nomination categories include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Young Professional of the Year
  • Business Executive of the Year
  • Educator of the Year
  • Commitment to Green Award
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award
  • Best New Business
  • Best Family-Run Business
  • Best Social Media Campaign

All submissions are evaluated by an independent panel of judges comprised of respected local community leaders.  Detailed information about the gala and award nomination submissions are available at www.pacificedgeawards.com.

Last year’s gala attracted an esteemed crowd of more than 350 guests in which the following individuals, businesses and organizations were recognized:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Mel Tanioka, Founder & President, Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering
  • Young Professional of the Year Award – Ina Chang, President, Aloha Data Services
  • Business Executive of the Year Award – Shelley Wilson, President & CEO, Wilson Care Group
  • Commitment to Green Award – Oceanit
  • Educator of the Year Award – Matt Lawrence, Teacher, Waikiki Elementary School
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award – Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu
  • Best Social Media Campaign Award – W.M. Keck Observatory
  • Best Family-Run Business Award – Kamaka Hawaii
  • Best New Business Award – Mojo Barbershop
  • Best Non-Profit Impact – The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery

Inquiries about corporate sponsorship or nominations can be directed to Jamie Giambrone at (808) 737-8711 or Jamie@elementmediahi.com

Receive updates and the latest awards news by following Pacific Edge Magazine on Twitter at @PacificEdge and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PacificEdge.

Summer Italian Food and Wine Celebration

The alluring Italian wines of Veneto, Sicilia, Toscana and Piedmonte are paired with the innovative cuisine of guest Chef Nick Mastrascusa Monday, Aug. 4 at Pueo’s Osteria’s Summer Italian Food and Wine Celebration. The fun and festive event is 5-9 p.m. at the popular Waikoloa Highlands Center restaurant. All food and wine specials can be ordered a la carte, in addition to the regular menu.

Rupert Billings

Rupert Billins

Certified wine educator Rupert Billins, southwest regional manager of Dalla Terra Winery Direct, will lead an engaging dialogue on the evening’s six fine wines that hail from four Italian regions. A native of England and resident of San Francisco, Billins has authored articles and taught classes on Italy’s vintages throughout the U.S. David Ellis “Waimea Dave” of Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants is joining in the fun.

Attendees can watch Chef Nick in the dining room at an exciting Bruschetta Action Station where he will prepare three different bruschettas available individually or as a trio of three. Enjoy Chef’s specialized cuisine created for the evening like Squid Ink Spaghettini with fresh, seared, wild-caught opelu and Kauai shrimp. Other tasty pasta dishes include Veal and Hamakua Mushroom Tortelloni and Braised Oxtail with kabocha pumpkin risotto.

“Chef Nick will combine fresh ingredients sourced from the weekend’s farmers markets with the finest Italian products we regularly use here at the restaurant,” details Pueo’s Executive Chef James Babian. “Rupert will introduce two new wines, including one using nero mascalese grapes from Mt. Etna.”

Mastrascusa is executive chef at Kukio Resort and former executive chef at Four Season’s Hualalai’s Beach Tree restaurant. He honed his culinary skills at Florida’s Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach. Chef Nick grew up in Uruguay and credits his grandparents, who immigrated from Sicily and Spain, for inspiring his passion for cooking.

Pueo’s GM Kurt Umehara and Proprietor Christine Babian will serve as the evening’s hosts. Reservations are recommended by calling 808-339-7566.

Pueo’s Osteria is an Italian-inspired restaurant providing enticing regional, seasonal and artisanal cuisine in Waikoloa Village above the Kohala Coast. The menu focuses on the finest Italian products paired with seafood, produce and meats sourced from boutique farms, including “farm-fresh” products from Hawaii’s hard-working food producers. Pueo’s is open nightly, focusing on dinner and late-night eats served until midnight. Reservations appreciated, 808-339-7566. www.pueososteria.com.

Tourist From Florida Robbed in Waipio Valley

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an armed robbery in late May in the Hamakua area.
HPDBadgeAt approximately 3:30 p.m. on May 25, police responded to Waipio Valley after receiving a report from a 54-year-old Florida man that while walking up Waipio Valley Road, a dark Jeep Wrangler drove past him and stopped approximately 50 yards away. The suspect reportedly exited the vehicle, approached the victim, pointed a shotgun at him and demanded his backpack. The victim refused to give the man his backpack and instead handed over an undisclosed amount of cash.

The victim was not injured in the robbery.

The suspect is described as a local male, approximately 5-foot-7, 190 pounds with brown hair. He was wearing multi-colored shorts. He was last seen getting back into the Jeep and leaving the area in the mauka direction.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who may know the identity of the suspect to contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or duyetetake@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Skydiver Seriously Injured on North Shore – Pacific Skydive Has Another Incident

This afternoon at Pacific Skydive on the North Shore of Oahu, a man was was seriously injured skydiving, when the steering line on his canopy broke and he was not able to land properly.

Guy Banal, President at Pacific Skydiving

Guy Banal (sunglasses), President at Pacific Skydiving looks on.

The Emergency Medical Team and the Hawaii Fire Department are on the scene now:

Paramedics on the scene

Paramedics on the scene

A skydiver at the scene stated, “…Broken steering line on landing. Check your gear, especially if it is older, for degradation.

Coast Guard and Fire Department Rescue Snorkelers Near Molokini Crater – One Unresponsive

The Coast Guard and the Maui County Fire Department rescued four snorkelers near Molokini Crater off Maui, Sunday.

Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification from the operator of the vessel, Double Scoop, that one of their snorkelers was unresponsive and three others were stranded in the rocks in the surf zone near Molokini Crater.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Maui and a jet ski from Maui County Fire Department were launched to the scene.

The rescue crews arrived on scene, safely recovered the unresponsive and three stranded snorkelers and transferred them onto the RB-M.

Rescue personnel administered CPR to the unresponsive snorkeler.

The snorkelers were transported to the Maalaea Boat Ramp where local emergency medical personnel were waiting to take them to the hospital.

Tourism to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Creates $124, 937,400 in Economic Benefit

Report shows visitor spending supports 1,476 jobs in local economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2013 shows that the 1,583,209 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spent $124,937,400 in communities near the park. This spending supported 1,476 jobs in the local area.

The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to attract visitors to the park.  NPS Photo by

The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to attract visitors to the park. NPS Photo by Stephen Geiger

“We are pleased to again report a steady annual increase of visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The ease of viewing the summit eruption from Kīlauea, the many free cultural and scientific programs, the re-opening of Volcano House, and the diverse ecosystem of native plants and animals that park stewards have worked hard to protect for nearly 100 years are part of what attracts people, and can be attributed to the increase,” she said.

Visitors from across the country, around the world, and from local communities statewide and island-wide, visit Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

“National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities and businesses,” Orlando said.

The 2013 report reflects a consistent trend of increasing visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park over the last five years, as well as higher spending by visitors in local communities. In 2013, visitation increased 6.7 percent over 2012 (1,483,928 visitors), and spending increased by 10.2 percent ($113,376,400). The 2012 visitation to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was 9.7 percent higher than 2011 (1,352,123 visitors), and 2012 spending was up 17 percent from 2011.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the NPS.

The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i, and how the NPS works with Hawai‘i communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/hawaii.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Announces 2014 Pualu Awards

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) recently recognized 11 individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual Installation and Membership Banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

“Meaning to “work together,” Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawai‘i for their dedication and hard work in the community,” explains Vivan Landrum, Chamber president/CEO. Winners are tapped in seven categories and chosen by an awards committee from nominations received by Chamber members and the general public.

The Community Education Award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning. There are three recipients of this award: Kei-Lin Cerf of Kealakehe High School’s Life Plan Youth Mentoring Program, West Hawaii Community Health Center and Jack’s Diving Locker.

Kei Lin

Kei Lin pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lifeplan pairs community volunteers with high school classrooms to learn about student’s individual values, dreams and goals. These mentors assist in turning these aspirations for students into action steps for success. Currently the program supports almost 650 students with the help of 32 volunteer mentors, 32 homeroom teachers and 42 youth leaders.  At the helm of this program is Kei-Lin Cerf, who, for the past four years, has taken this program to a new level through her innovation, dedication and hard work.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center Representative pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center was honored for its Patient Centered Health Care Home program that builds personal relationships through medical providers. These professionals bring education and coaching to high-risk patients with chronic diseases and significant health challenges. This program establishes an ongoing and long-lasting relationship that educates patients on how to self-manage their health care and improve outcomes.

Jack's Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Locker has been offering educational programs in ocean ecology, marine life conservation and environmental stewardship for kids and teens since 1987. Jack’s educational Junior Programs include a six-week Sea Camp for ages 8 – 14 and a Keiki Sea Camp for ages 6 – 8. These camps focus on marine life education and positively impact the lives of many children in the community as well as our ocean resources.

The Environmental Awareness Award taps an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. There are two recipients in this category: David Chai and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Chai has been active in pond and wetland environmental assessment and management plans since the late 1980s. His many projects include restoring water resources and monitoring marine life and water quality at Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Kaloko-Honokohau and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Parks, plus the shorelines of Makalawaena, Awake’e, Kohanaiki and Kiholo. In addition, one of his projects, a water feature at Ke`olu Golf Course, received one of only two EPA environmental awards in Hawai‘i, and was cited as an example of natural filtration technology and its potential application to keep all Hawai‘i streams, lakes and oceans free of harmful pollutants.

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawaii Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization that specializes in the conservation of native birds and the Hawaiian hoary bat. It is the first organization of its kind exclusively for native Hawaiian wildlife and is the state’s only organization providing professional wildlife response services exceeding the national standards, including state-of-the-art care and rehabilitation to all species of native birds and bats throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to wildlife treatment, it also provides rescue and response training and research assistance for wildlife response to seabird fallout and contaminant spills and avian diseases.

The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employee’s lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. The recipient is Interim Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS).

UH Hilo Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

UH Hilo Rep and Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

In an effort to ensure the island has a viable workforce, Gomes was proactive in forming creative and innovative credit and non-credit classes and professional development programs to meet new workforce needs. The CCECS program worked with community partners to ascertain the training needs, identify curriculum and forge delivery partnerships to address those needs.

The Lifetime Service Award taps an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by their personal and/or business achievements. This year’s recipients are Gretchen Lawson and the late Guy Toyama.

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lawson has dedicated the last 18-plus years of her life to empowering persons with disabilities to live life to the fullest. Under her leadership, the Arc of Kona moved from near bankruptcy to a thriving, financially secure, effective and well-respected organization that employs over 100 individuals, who are offered opportunities for self-improvement and training. Outside of the office, the Holualoa resident has been an avid advocate for the disabled by participating in government and community organizations, including the Hawaii State Rehabilitation Council, the UH College of Education Advisory Board, the State Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Board and the County of Hawai‘i Community Alliance Partners.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was honored by Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was dedicated to improving the quality of life in West Hawai‘i. During his short, 42 years of life, his leadership in entrepreneurship, business development, education and policy illustrated his unmatched passion for inspiring our community to be more self-reliant and sustainable. Mr. Toyama organized dozens of conferences and workshops at the NELHA Gateway Center, hosted environmental films for the Kona Earth Festival and helped organize community events. He also helped build relationships between the County of Hawai‘i and Japan and was instrumental in the establishment of a sister-city relationship between KKCC and the Hatsukaichi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hiroshima.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award is presented each year to that person or group who diligently works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawai‘i. Congratulations to Gerry Rott of the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon.

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Since its inception in 1997, the number of participants for the Waikoloa Lavaman has grown from 83 to over 1500. Rott’s ingenious job of branding the Lavaman Triathlon series—including the signature petroglyph logo, website, merchandising, vendor exhibits, celebrity participants, creative sponsorship opportunities and ever changing event additions, such as the Friday Night Fun Run and Lavakids—keeps the event fresh and appealing not only to repeat participants, but consistently draws in new athletes, volunteers and sponsors each year.

The Culture & Heritage Award is given to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multi-cultural heritage. This year’s recipient is Rick Gaffney.

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gaffney has undertaken leadership responsibility to promote island traditions and help preserve our cultural heritage by contributing both time and money to the preservation of Hawaii’s unique marine traditions and multi-cultural heritage. While the voyaging canoe Hokulea was in dry dock during preparation for its current worldwide voyage, Gaffney arranged for the donation of a $250,000 sailing catamaran to the Polynesian Voyaging Society to be used as a navigation and training platform. Upon the launch of Hokulea this year, he arranged for the transfer of that sailing catamaran to a local business here and supported the work of the Nakoa Foundation, to continue the training of Kona’s youth in the traditional use of Hawaiian sailing and fishing canoes.

Chamber Member of the Year recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of KKCC through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service. This year KKCC honors Sharon Sakai.

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawai’i Island native has been very active in KKCC for 15 years, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for several terms and South Kohala Vice President, and participating on the Marketing & Communications Committee, the Education Resource Group and the Economic Development Committee. She has worked tirelessly as a behind-the-scenes volunteer by staffing KKCC events and offering support and guidance. As KKCC President/CEO Landrum stated, “I couldn’t imagine the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce being where it is today without the support and guidance of Sharon Sakai. She exemplifies service above self and is truly deserving of this award.”

Man Seriously Injured Skydiving at Pacific Skydiving

Pacific Skydiving had another skydiving incident today that sent a person to the hospital.

Whoops!

Whoops!

According to a skydiver on the scene it was “…totally preventable with proper instruction. This is why you should trust professionals, not a bunch of poser skydivers…The guy stalled his canopy from 100ft and held toggles buried pretty much until he hit. No PLF, no training, straight to the hospital.”

Didn't walk away!

Didn’t walk away!

Pacific Skydiving has had a few mishaps sending skydivers to the hospital over the years.

Skydiving incident as Pacific Skydive

Skydiving incident as Pacific Skydive

As of this write-up there has been no release on the condition of the skydiver.

United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

A United Boeing 777 diverted to the tiny Pacific island of Midway last night after a burning smell filled the plane while it flew over one of the most remote places on earth.

Stranded Plane

The airline will only say it was a mechanical issue. But this may have been a fairly serious incident. No one was hurt but those on board had the scare of their lives, says Teresita Smith from Maryland, who was traveling on board with 25 family members.

“The smell was getting stronger…it smelled like something burning,” she told ABC News in a phone interview today from Honolulu.

The departure had originally been delayed in Honolulu because of the odor but was cleared for takeoff for the eight-hour flight to Guam after about three hours, she said.

And then five hours into the flight the smell returned. “In the back section of the plane alarms were going off,” Smith said. Then after the pilot announced the plane would be diverting to Midway, the power seemed to go out and the plane dropped precipitously. “It was very scary,” she said. “It shook a lot of people up.”

More here: United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

House Tourism Chair to Introduce Legislation Banning Aerial Advertising

Representative Tom Brower (Waikiki, Ala Moana) announced plans to introduce legislation banning aerial advertisement in the state of Hawaii. The proposed legislation will seek to clarify the ambiguities and jurisdiction of aerial advertising written in federal, state, and city law. The measure will specifically make it illegal for a pilot to fly a plane out of a state airport for the purpose of towing a banner for advertisement.
Aerial Banner
“I have had discussions with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and state officials to identify what we can do. Due to the ambiguities of city, state and federal law, there is a need for legislation to add more clarity. Right now, we have federal and state laws that need further explanation,” said Brower. “Our skies are under federal and local jurisdiction, but state airport officials issue contracts and agreements with pilots and businesses. While the FAA has indicated that plane operators need to abide by state law and county ordinance, the contract signed by the particular pilot in question did not specifically allow or deny the operation of a tow banner business.”

The plane operator, Aerial Banners North (ABN), has received a federal waiver to conduct banner towing operations nationwide, but state and city officials have strongly asserted that aerial advertisement is illegal under local law. ABN has argued that the waiver allowing them to operate across the nation, and in Hawaii, supersedes any state or county prohibitions.

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration clarified that the waiver granted to Aerial Banners North which authorizes the company to conduct banner towing operations nationwide, “does not waive any state law or local ordinance. Should the proposed operations conflict with any state law or local ordinance, or require permission of local authorities or property owners, it is the operator’s responsibility to resolve the matter.”

“I care about the threat of aerial banners flying over Hawaii’s tourist destinations, ruining the natural beauty, interfering with outdoor recreation and enjoyment of residents and tourists. Most importantly, if we don’t act, this will set a bad precedent, opening the flood gates for more aerial advertising in Hawaii’s skies,” added Brower, Chair of the House Tourism Committee.

Mokulele Airlines Announces Grand Opening Celebration For Kalaeloa Airport – Adds Flights

Mokulele Airlines has announced that it will host a grand opening celebration on July 1 at the airline’s newest service location, Kalaeloa Airport on west Oahu, marking the successful conclusion of a year of preparations. Kalaeloa is located at the former Barber’s Point Naval Air Base John Rogers Field, and the grand opening and inaugural flight will take place 15 years to the day that the former base was closed and turned over to the State of Hawaii.

mokulelejet

The celebration, which is open to the public, will begin with a facility tour and entertainment by Kainani & Friends. Jenn Boneza, TV personality for Oceanic Cable 16 and Hawaii Five-0 actress will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.  Ron Hansen, president & CEO of Mokulele Airlines will welcome guests and special guest speakers will include Evelyn Souza, Chairperson of Neighborhood Board #24; Senator Mike Gabbard, Representative Karen Awana, Ross Higashi Deputy Director Airports Hawaii DOT,  and Shan S. Tsutsui, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii. Dignitaries from the Hawaii Department of Transportation will also be in attendance and Kahu Daniel “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr. will offer a traditional Hawaiian blessing of the airport and the plane that will make the inaugural flight.

July 1 will mark the beginning of Mokulele’s daily nonstop service to Kahului, Maui from Kalaeloa, with six scheduled daily flights, three each way. The inaugural flight to Kahului will depart at 1:00 pm. After the plane departs, closing remarks will be offered by Mokulele’s executive vice president and COO Dave Berry and a reception will follow with entertainment by award-winning slack key master Kawika Kahiapo and refreshments provided by Chef Paul Onishi, of the Culinary Art Academy and Young Life Oahu High School Students.

Kalaeloa will be the ninth airport Mokulele serves. As with most of the other airports Mokulele operates from, parking is hassle-free and TSA screenings are not required. Travelers will also save time by eliminating the need to drive to and from Honolulu on the H1. Mokulele is offering a special introductory webfare of $99 roundtrip including taxes and fees for the new Kalaeloa-Kahului route for reservations booked through July 31th for travel through August 30.

Mokulele Airlines said it has announced the expansion of its service between Kamuela-Waimea on the Big Island and Kahului, Maui by adding a third daily roundtrip flight to meet growing demand.

Mokulele began offering service form Kamuela in September 2013 after being awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract from the Hawaii Department of Transportation. EAS is a government program designed to help ensure that smaller communities have access to commercial air service.

Mokulele will now offer 42 weekly flights between the two destinations, only 24 of which are subsidized by the EAS program.

More information is available at www.mokuleleairlines.com.

Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is Back

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular Remote-Control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is back and it’s bigger than ever, Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There will be music, food, drinks, retail and entertainment booths and exhibits, and lots and lots of airplanes.

biggest 4For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying and static aircraft and full size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for the keiki, hands-on modeling stations, and open access to Hangar 79 to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits and Restoration Shop.

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Talented local performers, Mainland pilots from the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and remote control flyers from Japan will perform remote-control aviation feats for two days. Airshow pilots will fly their massive, 1-to-5 scale planes in the skies above the Museum. Specialty acts to be performed include: Pattern, 3-D fixed wing and helicopter aerobatic flights, South Pacific battles, “Candy Bomber” drops, and Skycam drone helicopters. There will be remote control aircraft in the air and on static display, including jets, helicopters, F-22s, warbirds, B-17s, P-38s, Corsairs, OV-10s and more.

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Visitors can also enjoy free tours of Hangar 79, which still bears the bullet holes of the December 7, 1941attack. Inside, guests will see helicopters, fighter planes, and the Lt. Ted Shealy Restoration Shop–the 1941 machine shop that is busy restoring the Museum’s aircraft. They’ll also get up close and personal with an F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-86s, P-40, MiG-15, F-111, and the Museum’s “MiG Alley” and Flying Tigers Exhibits.

biggest 3Admission to the Airshow is $5 per person (including entry to Hangar 79), $15 per family (limit 6 entries per family). It’s free with Museum general admission and free to Museum Members. Tickets for the Airshow only and tickets for the entire Museum visit that day are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Museum admissions may also be purchased at the Museum and at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center ticketing desk. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes, 7:30am to 5:00pm from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, round trip to the Museum. Call 808/441-1007 for more information or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and @PacificAviation on Twitter, for updates.

This is a City & County of Honolulu and Hawaii Tourism Authority sponsored event. Sponsored in part by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Yelp, Pearlridge Center, Mokulele Airlines, Pizza Hut, Aqua Hospitality, and Hawaii Gas. Sponsors and vendors are invited to participate by calling 808-441-1013.

Hawaii Lava Flow Update

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front

View is toward the southwest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and the Northeast spatter cone.

View is toward the southwest.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Yesterday, its most distant tip, in the foreground of this photo, was burning into the forest 7.0 km (4.3 miles) from its source at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and the Northeast spatter cone

Lava reaches the surface at that point and flows directly into a lava tube, which feeds the active flows downslope. View is toward the west.

Lava reaches the surface at that point and flows directly into a lava tube, which feeds the active flows downslope. View is toward the west.

The fuming spatter cone near the center of the photo is informally called the “Northeast spatter cone”, and is the source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

This has happened several times over the past year, and is likely a temporary situation. View is toward the northwest.

This has happened several times over the past year, and is likely a temporary situation. View is toward the northwest.

Right: While the top of the Northeast spatter cone is often open, revealing a small lava pond (see photo from June 6, 2014), today its top was sealed shut.

Halemaʻumaʻu and the Overlook Crater lava lake

The mostly destroyed visitor overlook is at the left side of the photo, on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu. View is toward the west.

The mostly destroyed visitor overlook is at the left side of the photo, on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu. View is toward the west.

The summit lava lake, its surface composed of solidified plates separated by incandescent seams, was about 42 m (138 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu today.

Spattering like this is common, can occur anywhere around the lake margin (though it most often occurs at the southeast edge), and repeatedly starts and stops. View is toward the southeast.

Spattering like this is common, can occur anywhere around the lake margin (though it most often occurs at the southeast edge), and repeatedly starts and stops. View is toward the southeast.

Spattering was occurring at three locations along the edge of the lava lake during today’s overflight.

Hilo Coffee Mill Owners Put Business, Land Up for Sale

After 14 years in business, the founders of one of the Big Island’s most iconic “farm to cup” coffee operations have decided it’s time for someone else to take the reins.

The Hilo Coffee Mill

The Hilo Coffee Mill

“We’re finally ready to pursue other passions” said Katherine Patton, who started the business with partner Jeanette Baysa back in 2001.

Patton and Baysa, who both held successful careers prior to getting into the coffee business, spent more than a decade developing a 23.86-acre parcel of raw land in Mountain View into a full-scale coffee business, complete with roasting facilities, a certified kitchen and a retail shop along one of the busiest highways in the state of Hawai`i.

The partners estimate there are now more than 6,000 actively producing coffee trees supplying their wholesale, retail and online operations. The pair also provide much-needed roasting services for farms around the island.

Hilo Coffee Mill’s retail shop offers fresh-roasted beans for sale, and a full-service espresso bar which has become a favorite watering hole for locals, and a frequent stop for tour groups and visitors making day trips to Volcanoes National Park. The business was awarded TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” award for 2013 and 2014.

Kelly Moran, Principle Broker of Hilo Brokers, Ltd, described the business location as a potential “gold mine.”

“It can take years of effort to get a retail location on Ag land properly permitted along a busy highway”, said Moran, who added “millions of visitors pass through this area, and for the right entrepreneur, there is serious money to be made.”

Hilo Brokers, Ltd currently has the business and surrounding acreage listed for sale at $1,495,000. The operation is being sold “turn-key”, with transitional training provided for new owners.

When asked what their plans are once the business is sold, Baysa responded, “We’d like to pursue other passions, like retirement. The last 13 years have passed by so quickly, we barely even noticed.”

Lyman Museum Participates in Blue Star Museums

The Lyman Museum is one of the more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.

The Lyman Museum

The Lyman Museum

The nation’s active duty military personnel, including the National Guard and Reserve, and their families, can visit the Lyman Museum for free from Memorial Day, May 26, through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

The Blue Star Museums program provides military families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their community.

“We’re really excited to be participating again in Blue Star Museums,” said Rachel Pierson, Membership and Development Associate for the Lyman Museum.  “It’s a privilege to offer free admission to members of the military and their families and it’s a great opportunity for them to learn more about the local community and the resources it holds.  The Lyman Museum really has something for everyone.  We’ve got science, culture, and history exhibits as well as guided tours of the historic Lyman Mission House.”

This year, more than 2,000 museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative.  The complete list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173‐1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military ‐ Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps ‐ and up to five family members.

Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid Begins – Mayor Kenoi’s Message

The 2014 Big Island Film Festival is kicking off tonight at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

Here is Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s message inside the program guide welcoming folks to the festival:
Mayor Kenoi Message to BIFF