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Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

ag-conference-2016This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail. The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

ag-conference

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships.  This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org. Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well. For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org. Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

Hawaii Ecotourism Association Announces Winners of Sustainable Tourism Awards

Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA) announced the winners of sustainable tourism awards at a luncheon today in Waikiki. Twenty-three tour operators were certified as sustainable tour operators by HEA, a local nonprofit organization that protects Hawaii’s unique natural environment and host culture by promoting responsible travel.

Valley Isle Excursions, a company known providing luxury and eco-friendly tours to Hana and the road beyond, was awarded with the coveted the 2016 Sustainable Tour Operator Award. “This outstanding example of a sustainable tour operation far exceeds HEA’s mission and goal of protecting the unique natural and cultural resources of Hawaii nei,” said Aaron Lowe, President of HEA’s Board of Directors.

The 2016 Ecotour Guides of the Year were announced as follows: From Oahu – Manly Kanoa of Hokupaa and Andrew Puchalski of Kailua Beach Adventures; from Kauai – Abraham Frehm of Na Pali Experience, from Maui – Rowdy Lindsey of Hawaiian Paddle Sports and Curtis Geary of Maui Kayak Adventures; from Hawaii – Ben Catcho Jr. of KapohoKine Adventures and Richard Lindberg of Hawaiian Legacy Tours. Guides make each tour guest feel connected to Hawaii’s natural resources and Hawaiian culture. HEA is delighted to recognize the contribution of the award winners.

The Travel Writer of the Year was awarded to Shannon Wianecki. She is a prolific freelance writer who shares the natural and cultural history of the Hawaiian Islands with the readers of local and international travel magazines and books.

Pro Surfer Jamie O'Brien is sponsored by Body Glove.

Pro Surfer Jamie O’Brien is sponsored by Body Glove.

The twenty-three tour operators were awarded HEA’s Sustainable Tourism Certification for 2016-2018. They include: Under the Sea Hawaii, Hopkupaa, Dolphins and You, and Ocean Joy Cruises on Oahu; Kipu Ranch Adventures, Holo Holo Charters, and Na Pali Experience on Kauai; Aloha Kayaks Maui, Maui Nei Native Expeditions, Haleakala Bike Company, Temptation Tours, Maui Dreams Dive Company, Valley Isle Excursions, Maui Ocean Center, Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Maui Surf Lessons, and Hawaii Mermaid Adventures on Maui; and Body Glove Cruises, Mauka Makai Adventures, Essential Hawaii Tours, Kona Honu Divers, Sea Quest Hawaii, and Kohala Ziplines on Hawaii.

“As a founding member of the organization, I am excited that the number of certified operators across the State more than doubled since the 2014-2016 certifications were awarded,” said Annette Kaohelaulii, HEA Board Treasurer.

IUCN recognized HEA’s Sustainable Tourism Certification Program in the tours organized especially for this event, which just ended. The Hawaii Tourism Authority also supports HEA efforts to educate commercial tour operators and community stakeholders on best management practices for the use of natural and cultural resources. HEA’s Certification Program is only one of two statewide programs in the U.S. providing a third party, comprehensive assessment of tour providers whose operations positively affect the State’s natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation and help sustain local communities.

Kīlauea’s Summit Lava Lake on the Rise Again

During recent summit deflation, the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater dropped out of view of overlooks in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

But since the switch to inflation early Sunday morning (September 18), Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake has been rising again, bringing the lake surface back into view. This morning the lake level was measured at 12 m (39 ft) below the vent rim, with sporadic spattering visible from the Park’s Jaggar Museum Overlook.

Click to enlarge

This telephoto image provides a closer view of the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater and spattering on the lake surface. Click to enlarge

This image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, the crater wall of Halemaʻumaʻu behind the eruptive vent is about 85 m (~280 ft) high.

This image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, the crater wall of Halemaʻumaʻu behind the eruptive vent is about 85 m (~280 ft) high.

Informational Meeting for Manta Ray Viewing Rules This Weekend

A public information meeting will be held this Saturday to discuss new, proposed rules for the Makako Bay and Keauhou manta ray viewing sites in Kona.

manta-rayThe Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Boating and Ocean Recreation Division (DOBOR) has scheduled the meeting on September 24, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palamanui Campus of Windward Community College, 73-4255 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room B-126, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i. The meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 3 due to severe weather forecasts earlier this month.

Manta ray viewing opportunities on the Kona coast are unique worldwide  Tours are presently conducted in two specific areas where mantas tend to congregate at night to feed on plankton – at Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove) and at the coastline fronting the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel.  The activity has become so popular in recent years that it has reached a point that is unsustainable and unsafe. Regulation is needed to preserve the resource and address the dangers posed by overcrowding of boats and swimmers/divers in the water.

The first part of the meeting will be devoted to discussing the history of manta ray viewing on the Kona coast. The second part of the meeting will be to present DOBOR’s proposed management plan in detail and collect feedback from all interested stakeholders.

DOBOR staffers have been working closely with DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources staff, commercial tour operators, the staff of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel and other stakeholders to draft administrative rules to mitigate environmental hazards and decrease the potential risk for accidents causing harm to people or manta rays.

In 2016 DOBOR has been surveying the two manta viewing sites to determine where and how additional moorings could be placed to alleviate coral damage from vessel anchoring and allow for a safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious regulation of commercial manta diving activities.

DOBOR has drafted a proposed management plan and potential management options for the sites based on two years of collected stakeholder input.  The proposed management plan contemplates strategies such as prohibiting anchoring at the sites, limiting the number of commercial operators, prohibiting rafting, and restricting live boating to improve safety.

In order to give stakeholders time to review the proposed management plan before the September 24 meeting, DOBOR released the plan on its website on September 10, 2016.  Interested parties can access the proposed management plan and get meeting updates by visiting DOBOR’s meeting announcement page: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/meetings/

(The original meeting announcement was issued Sept. 1, 2016).

Tips for Safe and Easy Lava Lake Viewing in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Visitors and local residents gather nightly at the Jaggar Museum observation deck in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to watch the lava lake spatter and glow within the summit crater of Kīlauea volcano, vying for the best parking spot and vantage point.

Daytime viewing of the lava lake activity has been exceptional. Photo taken from Jaggar Museum observation deck on Friday, 9/9/16. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Daytime viewing of the lava lake activity has been exceptional. Photo taken from Jaggar Museum observation deck on Friday, 9/9/16. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

The lava within Halema‘uma‘u Crater recently became visible for the first time since May 2015, and rangers have been busy directing vehicles at Jaggar Museum from 5 p.m. until well after dark, often sending people to park at Kīlauea Overlook, about 1/3 of a mile away.

Park rangers share the following tips for an optimal viewing experience:

  • Avoid the busy times, and visit the lava lake during the day. Or come after 9 p.m. The park is open 24 hours a day.
  • Be mindful of air quality. Hazardous volcanic gas and particulates can drift over the summit area in light or southerly winds. These gases are a danger to all, especially people with heart or respiratory problems,      young children and pregnant women. Kīlauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawai‘i SO2 network website.
  • Be prepared to hike a 1/3 of a mile each way between Kīlauea Overlook and Jaggar Museum on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in the parking areas.
  • Monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from HVO, near Jaggar Museum.

In addition, air quality is poor at the coast where another eruption from Kīlauea enters the ocean at the Kamokuna site. Park rangers have roped off sections downwind of the ocean entry and have placed signs warning about toxic fume clouds which contain sulfur dioxide, volcanic particulates, and hydrochloric acid near the coast.

To stay upwind of the fumes, it is currently best to hike in from the County of Hawai‘i lava viewing area on the Kalapana side to access the ocean entry in the park. The Kalapana access is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s about a 4.2-mile hike from the Kalapana boundary to the ocean entry viewing point, one way, along the gravel emergency access road.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Centennial Events for October

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, and continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public in October.

All ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. In addition, two artists-in-residence arrive for their October residency, sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Centennial Hike: Hawaiian Adze Production—Lithic Block Quarries on Kīlauea. Join Park Ranger Jay Robinson on an easy hour-long hike among the abandoned adze quarry at Kīlauea Overlook. Most visitors have no idea this area was showered by large basalt rocks erupted from Kīlauea during its summit eruptions of 1790, or that Hawaiians coveted the rocks for stone tools (adze). Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.

When: Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 at 11 a.m.

Where: Meet at Kīlauea Overlook

Lili‘uokalani at Washington Place.  Jackie Pualani Johnson performs an amazing, one-woman show about Queen Lili‘uokalani, the last monarch of Hawai‘i. Lili‘uokalani was imprisoned for a year at ‘Iolani Palace following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, where she composed the poignant song Aloha ‘Oe and translated the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant, into English. Johnson’s performance emphasizes the relationship with her hānai children, and is taken directly from the writings of Queen Lili‘uokalani, the queen’s family and other historical sources. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Nā Pa‘ahana Hula (Tools of Hula). Learn about the beautiful implements that accompany traditional hula and ‘oli (chant).

Instruments of Hula.  NPS Photo

Instruments of Hula. NPS Photo

Pele Kaio, kumu hula for Unulau, and an instructor at Hawai‘i Community College, displays and describes the importance of ‘ulī ‘ulī (feathered rattles), pahu (drum), ‘ipu heke (gourd) and other Hawaiian hula tools. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

When: Wed., Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Hawai‘i Nei Art Adventure: Palm Trail Hike. The featured category for this year’s Hawai‘i Nei Art Contest are the national parks of Hawai‘i Island to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. Come get inspired on Kahuku’s Palm Trail. This ranger-led hike across the 1868 lava flow reveals the pioneer plants that thrive on new flows, and more diverse and established flora in areas with deeper soil. The hike is moderately difficult, 2.5 miles roundtrip and will take 2-3 hours.  Carpooling is encouraged. Space is limited; register by Oct. 5 at www.hawaiineiartcontest.org. Free!

Where: Enter the Kahuku Unit on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile market 70.5

When:  Sat., Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m.

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki 17 and younger and their families to help the park’s natural resources staff restore native forest by planting native trees in the Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū. Call (808) 985-6019 to register by October 3. Bring lunch, snacks, water, a re-usable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants and shoes. Sponsored by the park and the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Free.

When: Sat., Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit

Bert Naihe in Concert. Hawaiian musician and singer Bert Naihe will perform songs from his own CD, You’re the One, and catchy versions of other favorite tunes. Naihe, who was born and raised in Hilo, is also a musician for Hālau o ka Ua Kanileua with Kumu Hula Johnny Lum Ho.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

When: Wed., Oct. 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

After Dark in the Park: LiDAR Sheds New Light on Hidden Gems. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is used to digitize archeological resources including ancient footprints, petroglyph fields and agricultural systems. Join Park Archeologist Dusten Robbins to learn how the park uses LiDAR in managing cultural resources, and future uses of this exciting technology.

When: Tues., Oct. 25, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ulana Niu (Coconut Leaf Plaiting). Join park rangers and learn to make fun and creative trinkets out of coconut leaves to take home. Park rangers and staff from the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association share their knowledge of this beloved Polynesian tradition. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

When: Wed., Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark Out of the Park: LiDAR Sheds New Light on Hidden Gems. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is used to digitize archeological resources including ancient footprints, petroglyph fields and agricultural systems. Join Park Archeologist Dusten Robbins to learn how the park uses LiDAR in managing cultural resources, and future uses of this exciting technology. Sponsored by Mokupāpapa Discovery Center.

When: Wed., Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

Where: Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo, 76 Kamehameha Avenue

Centennial Hike: LiDAR Sheds New Light on Hidden Gems. Join park rangers on a moderate, 2 ½-mile roundtrip hike into the Ka‘ū Desert and learn how LiDAR has helped rescript the history surrounding the ancient footprints embedded in this landscape. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.  About two hours.

When: Sat., Oct. 29, 2016 at 1 p.m.

Where: Meet at the Ka‘ū Desert Trailhead

Artists-in-Residence Programs for October. Composer, jazz musician and ‘ukulele champion Byron Yasui and accomplished painter and cellist Noreen Naughton, are the park’s Artists in Residence for October. Join the artists for these upcoming free events, which include public workshops, an After Dark in the Park presentation, and an open-house studio.

‘Ukulele: A Brief History and a Sampling of Playing Styles. Byron Yasui shares the various ‘ukulele styles he grew up with as a living history interpretation of the instrument’s varied history. This class is for players of moderate to advanced level, and could also inspire composers and arrangers in the areas of playing techniques, notation and tablature. Free, but registration is required. Call Laura Schuster at 808-985-6130 or email laura_c_schuster@nps.gov.
When: Sat., Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Theater at Kīlauea Military Camp

Painting Workshop with Noreen Naughton. Artist-in-residence and painter Noreen Naughton will talk about her process of discovering the subject and how she arrives at abstraction while painting out in the park. She will also discuss creative process and how it works for her. Free, but registration is required. Call Laura Schuster at 808-985-6130 or email laura_c_schuster@nps.gov.
When: Sat., Oct. 8 and Sat. Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: the lobby of the ‘Ōhi‘a Wing, between Kīlauea Vistor Center and the Volcano House

‘Ukulele Kani Ka Pila with Byron Yasui. Bring your ‘ukulele to this workshop for players of all skill levels. The objective is to have fun and learn easy-to-finger chords as an accompaniment to singing simple songs. Free, but registration is required. Call Laura Schuster at 808-985-6130 or email laura_c_schuster@nps.gov.
When: Sat., Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Theater at Kīlauea Military Camp

After Dark in the Park with Artists-in-Residence Bryon Yasui and Noreen Naughton. The artists speak about the creative process and how Hawai‘i informs and inspires their different art forms. Yasui, a Professor Emeritus of Theory and Composition at the University of Hawai‘i, is a composer, jazz musician, and ‘ukulele aficionado. Naughton is a renowned painter, educator and cellist. Free.
When: Tues., Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium

The artists’ residency begins Sept. 27 and ends Oct. 27. The residency is brought to the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park by the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF). These residencies are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Informational Meeting for Manta Ray Viewing Rules Rescheduled

A public information meeting planned this weekend to discuss new, proposed rules for the Makako Bay and Keauhou manta ray viewing sites has been rescheduled due to the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Lester. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Boating and Ocean Recreation Division (DOBOR) will now hold the meeting on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palamanui Campus of Hawaii Community College, 73-4255 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room B-126, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i.

manta Ray

Manta ray viewing opportunities on the Kona coast are unique worldwide  Tours are conducted in two specific areas where mantas tend to congregate at night to feed on plankton — Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove) and the coastline fronting the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel.  The activity has become so popular in recent years that it has reached a point that is unsustainable and unsafe. Regulation is needed to preserve the resource and address the dangers posed by overcrowding of boats and swimmers/divers in the water.

The first part of the meeting to be held on September 24 will be devoted to discussing the history of manta ray viewing on the Kona coast. The second part of the meeting will be to present DOBOR’s proposed management plan in detail and collect feedback from all interested stakeholders.

DOBOR staffers have been working closely with DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources staff, commercial tour operators, the staff of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel and other stakeholders to draft administrative rules to mitigate environmental hazards and decrease the potential risk for accidents causing harm to people or manta rays.

In 2016 DOBOR has been surveying the two manta viewing sites to determine where and how additional moorings could be placed to alleviate coral damage from vessel anchoring and allow for a safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious regulation of commercial manta diving activities.

DOBOR has drafted a proposed management plan and potential management options for the sites based on two years of collected stakeholder input.  The proposed management plan contemplates strategies such as prohibiting anchoring at the sites, limiting the number of commercial operators, prohibiting rafting, and restricting live boating to improve safety.

In order to give stakeholders time to review the proposed management plan before the September 24 meeting, DOBOR will release the plan on its website on September 10, 2016.  Interested parties can access the proposed management plan and get meeting updates by visiting DOBOR’s meeting announcement page: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/meetings/

Most Areas in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Now Open

Most areas previously closed within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park due to Hurricane Lester are now open.

Visitors drive down Chain of Craters Road Friday afternoon. NPS Photo

Visitors drive down Chain of Craters Road Friday afternoon. NPS Photo

Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, remains closed this afternoon due to tree hazards, but should open Saturday.

Park rangers opened Chain of Craters Road, all backcountry campsites and trails, the coastal lava viewing area, and Mauna Loa Road under sunny skies Friday afternoon, much to the delight of visitors eager to explore the park during the long Labor Day weekend.

Visitors to the park’s coastal areas are reminded that although the hurricane watch was canceled for Hawai‘i Island as Hurricane Lester moves to the west-northwest, a high surf warning remains in effect for all east-facing shorelines.

“We urge all park visitors to maintain a safe distance from the shoreline, whether viewing lava at the Kamokuna ocean entry, hiking the Puna Coast Trail, or camping at any of the coastal campsites,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We are anticipating surf up to 25 feet tonight and possibly through the weekend,” he said.

The Kahuku Unit will be open on Saturday and Sunday, with no cancellations to any guided hikes or programs.

Backcountry campers are reminded that all overnight stays require a backcountry permit. Permits can be obtained up to 24 hours in advance from the backcountry office, located at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center, and open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Now Closed Until Further Notice

To ensure the safety of visitors and employees, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close at noon today until it is determined safe to reopen.

NPS Photo

NPS Photo

Park staff and volunteers not directly involved in storm efforts were directed to stay home. Guests at Kīlauea Military Camp and Volcano House will shelter in place, or if necessary, be directed to the nearest shelter.

Rangers will assess impacts from Hurricane Madeline at 8 a.m. Thursday. The strongest winds are predicted to hit the park between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predict the park could see up to 10 inches of rain, maximum winds of 45 mph up to 75 mph (depending on the storm’s track), and dangerously high surf.

“The closure will continue until we have a chance to assess the impact to the park and mitigate any damage. With Hurricane Lester right on the heels of Madeline, and still a Category 4 hurricane, we could end up continuing the closure for a few days until it’s safe to reopen,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.

Rangers will determine by Friday if the Kahuku Unit, open only on Saturdays and Sundays, will remain closed over the weekend.

Updates will be posted to the park’s website www.nps.gov/havo, and its official social media sites.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org.  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org.  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

International Market Place Celebrates Grand Opening Today in Waikiki

Thousands gathered today to take part in the grand opening of the fully reimagined International Market Place in Waikīkī. The 345,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center offers Hawai‘i’s first Saks Fifth Avenue as well as a world-class lineup of restaurants and retailers – nearly 50 percent of which will be unique to O’ahu.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

“From dining under the sun and stars on the spectacular Grand Lānai to the excellent retail and entertainment, International Market Place will once again serve as a special gathering place for residents and tourists in the heart of Waikīkī,” said Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, Inc. “We believe it will become a premiere destination on the island, and one of the best assets in our portfolio.”

Situated between the bustling Kalākaua and Kūhiō Avenues, International Market Place will offer approximately 90 of today’s most sought-after retailers and ten world-class restaurants. The center’s exceptional design incorporates a “cultural journey” of the land and its people, water features, indigenous landscaping and the historic 160-year-old banyan tree.

“International Market Place offers a unique Hawaiian sense of place that honors the past, perpetuates Queen Emma’s legacy and looks to the future,” said Cordell Lietz, president, CoastWood Capital Group. “It has been an honor to work with Taubman and Queen Emma Land Company to bring to fruition our shared vision for the important historic site.”

“We are excited for this property’s future as it establishes its own reputation and legacy as a new iconic landmark and gathering place,” said Eric Martinson, president of Queen Emma Land Company, the owners of the land on which International Market Place sits.

The International Market Place retail and restaurant lineup includes the following. A single asterisk (*) before the name indicates brands that are unique to the island.

STORES:
*45rpm
ABC Stores
*Abeo
Abercrombie & Fitch
Aesop
Anthropologie
Banana Republic
*BCBG MAX AZRIA
Brunello Cucinelli
*Capital Teas
*Catimini
Chapel Hats
*Christian Louboutin
Clarks
Crazy Shirts
*Fabletics
Flip Flop Shops
FootAction USA
Fossil
*Free People
GameStop
GNC Live Well
Godiva Belgium 1926
Greenroom Hawaii
*Hanna Andersson
*Hervé Léger
Hilton Grand Vacations (kiosk)
Hollister
Honolulu Cookie Co.
*Intermix
Island Art & Sole
*Jo Malone
*Kona Coffee Purveyors
*Kula & Ko
Laline
Lani Beach by Mireille
L’Occitane en Provence
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
MAC
Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats
Maui Divers Jewelry
Michael Kors
*Mitsuwa Marketplace
*Oliver Peoples
*Ondademar
Pacific Harley-Davidson
Pandora
Papyrus
*Penhaligon’s
*Robin’s Jean
*Saks Fifth Avenue
Sand People
*Seafolly Australia
*Shinola
Shoe Palace
*Stuart Weitzman
*Sugarfina
Sunglass Hut
Swarovski
Tabora Gallery
Tesla
*Trina Turk
Vera Bradley
Vilebrequin
*YOGASMOGA

RESTAURANTS ON THE GRAND LĀNAI (THIRD LEVEL):
*Baku
*Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi
*Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza
Goma Tei Ramen
*Herringbone
*Kona Grill
*STRIPSTEAK
*Yauatcha

RESTAURANT ON THE FIRST LEVEL:
*The STREET, A Michael Mina Social House

In addition to the stellar shopping and dining, guests can enjoy a free show each evening called “O Nā Lani Sunset Stories” that kicks off with a ceremonial lighting of the Lamakū Torch Tower that sits proudly on Kalākaua Ave. Honoring the beloved Queen Emma, the nightly show highlights stories, traditions and culture of this special gathering place.

Guests to International Market Place may take advantage of many amenities, including a 700-space parking garage, valet parking, electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi and much more.

International Market Place was developed through a partnership between Taubman and CoastWood Capital Group in conjunction with Queen Emma Land Company. Revenues will directly support The Queen’s Medical Center, the state’s largest private, nonprofit hospital and its mission of providing quality health care to all of Hawai‘i’s people.

For more information on the shopping, dining and entertainment destination, please visit ShopInternationalMarketPlace.com, Instagram: @intlmktplace and in Japanese @intlmktplacejp; Facebook: facebook.com/IntlMktPlace and in Japanese at facebook.com/IntlMktPlaceJP.

Fair Wind Cruises Celebrates 45 Years of Cruises with $4.50 Kona Coast Cruises

On Saturday, September 10, 2016, family-owned and operated Fair Wind Cruises will celebrate 45 years of offering world-class ocean adventures on the breathtaking south Kona coast.

Fairwinds in KonaTo say mahalo to the community and visitors to Hawaii Island for their support, Fair Wind Cruises will be hosting a fun-filled day for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fair Wind Courtyard at Keauhou Bay.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the day will go towards the Kahaluʻu Reef Teach Program committed to promoting reef etiquette to protect the bay’s fragile ecosystem. Fair Wind Cruises will match the money raised on the day dollar-for-dollar.

Fairwind3In honor of the 45-year milestone, the day’s festivities will be just $4.50 including 45-minute cruises on the Fair Wind II and Hula Kai vessels. The boats will depart every half hour from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

fairwindFair Wind II passengers will have the chance to swim and play on the water slides and high-jump platform. Hula Kai passengers (minimum 5-years) will enjoy a scenic cruise along the Keauhou and Kona coastline with historical narrative throughout the journey.

Also on offer throughout the day:

  • Hot dogs, shave ice and refreshments.
  • Raffle drawings with prizes such as Fair Wind snorkel cruise certificates, shirts, hats and more.
  • Live music by Dennis Garcia.
  • Games and activities for the whole family.
  • Live broadcast by The BEAT 93.9.

The first 200 paid entrants will receive a free special edition Fair Wind Cruises trucker hat.

fairwind2Fair Wind Cruises was born from what was supposed to be a brief stopover in Kona on a cruise from Monterey to the South Pacific in 1971. The Dant family turned their passion into a lifetime of adventure and today, 45 years later, and several Dant generations later, Fair Wind is now one of Hawaii’s premier ocean activity companies.

For more information about Fair Wind Cruises 45th anniversary celebration visit Fair-Wind.com/anniversary

  • WHAT: Fair Wind Cruises 45th anniversary celebration
  • WHEN: Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Fair Wind Courtyard at Keauhou Bay, 78-7130 Kaleiopapa Street Kailua-Kona
  • COST: $4.50 per person (toddlers under three free)
  • PARKING: Available on Kamehameha III Road. Link to map: https://www.fair-wind.com/directions/

INFORMATION: Call 808-322-2788 or visit:

https://www.fair-wind.com/anniversary/

Delta Airlines to Serve Free Alcohol on Flights Flying To or From Honolulu

Well this is a sure way to get customers back after the recent computer glitches left passengers stranded around the country:

Delta enhances its services onboard, offering complimentary meals and beer, wine and spirits for customers on all flights, in all cabins on its long-haul flights to and from Honolulu.

Mai Tai on flightThe service will initially launch on flights between Atlanta and Honolulu beginning Sept. 15, and will apply to seasonal flights to/from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport beginning Nov. 3 and John F. Kennedy International Airport to/from HNL beginning Dec. 17.

Delta inflightDelta Comfort+ and Main Cabin customers will be offered two complimentary meal services, one at the beginning of the flight and one prior to arrival, to align with the airline’s similar long-haul flights.

Snack boxMeal service enhancements include a meal service with a choice of two hot entrees, a sandwich with a brownie and a continental breakfast snack box, depending on the route, as well as complimentary beer, wine and spirits, including the airline’s signature Mai Tais.

Debi Bishop Appointed Managing Director at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hilton Worldwide announced today that Debi Bishop has been named managing director of its flagship resort in Hawai‘i, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

Debbie Bishop

Debi Bishop

Bishop brings with her 30 years of industry experience as she takes the helm of the company’s largest hotel, which encompasses 22 beachfront acres and 2,860 guest rooms effective April 1. “I’ve been impressed watching Debi successfully develop and lead our team at Hilton Waikoloa Village over the past seven years,” said Jerry Gibson, area vice president, Hilton Hawaii.

“We’re lucky she’ll remain in our Hilton Hawaii Ohana as the new leader at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.” Bishop served as general manager of Hilton Waikoloa since 2008. During her tenure at Hilton Waikoloa Village, the resort achieved numerous awards of excellence, including the Hilton Worldwide Genius of the AND; Hilton Worldwide Sales American Summit Breakaway; Best Use of Social Media; Best Tactical Marketing Revenue Generating and Most Improved Profit.

She currently serves on the board of directors for the Big Island Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Island Chapter of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Waikoloa Beach Resort Conference, and Waikoloa Resort Association. She is also on the advisory board for University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Business and Economics.

Prior to joining the Hilton Waikoloa Village, Bishop served as managing director of Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Bishop also served as vice president of sales for Interstate Hotels & Resorts and worked with MeriStar Hotels & Resorts in several capacities, including vice president of operations and director of operations, Atlanta.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Centennial Events for September 2016

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, and continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public in September.

All ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Conservation in Hawai‘i: A Living Legacy. Join Bryan Harry, former superintendent of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and founding member of the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance, as he talks about the state of conservation in Hawai‘i and what it means for Hawai‘i to host the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016.

Bryan HarryPart of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hawaiian ‘Ukulele Demonstration. Oral Abihai shares his passion for making ‘ukulele from discarded or naturally fallen pieces of wood.

Oral Abihai Ukulele

Learning only several years ago in Lahaina from Kenny Potts, he has since made more than 50 ‘ukulele. Oral currently lives on Hawai‘i Island, where he makes ‘ukulele by hand. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Hula Performance by Hālau Hula Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū. Kumu hula Mamo Brown is a lifelong resident of Hilo, and was formally trained by Nālani Kanaka‘ole and Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele of Hālau Kekuhi in the ‘ai ha‘a, or low bombastic style, of kahiko (traditional) hula.

Halau at volcanoAfter her ‘ūniki (graduation), Mamo started her own hālau and carries on the kahiko tradition. She and her hālau have performed at the park’s annual Hawaiian cultural festival several times. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

  • When: Wed., Sept. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Centennial Series After Dark in the Park: Hawaiian Adze Production and Lithic Block Quarries on Kīlauea. Park Archeologist Caleb Houck shares his knowledge about the lithic block quarries on Kīlauea volcano.

Basal Rock

Learn how Hawaiians crafted finely grained basalt rock into adze (stone tools) following the 1790 summit eruptions, why these particular rocks were prized by Hawaiians, and how archeologists discovered these abandoned quarries centuries later.

  • When: Tues., Sept. 27, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Make a Hawaiian Broom. Join park rangers and learn to make a useful pulumi nī‘au.

Hawaiian BroomFashioned from the midribs of coconut leaves, pulumi nī‘au are a kind of broom used to keep houses tidy and clean. The coconut tree is an incredibly useful species utilized by people throughout the Pacific, and pulumi are just one example of its myriad uses. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Centennial Hike: Hawaiian Adze Production—Lithic Block Quarries on Kīlauea. Join Park Ranger Jay Robinson on an easy hour-long hike among the abandoned adze quarry at Kīlauea Overlook. Most visitors have no idea this area was showered by large basalt rocks erupted from Kīlauea during its summit eruptions of 1790, or that Hawaiians coveted the rocks for stone tools (adze). Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.

  • When: Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 at 11 a.m.
  • Where: Meet at Kīlauea Overlook

Hawaii DOTAX Release – July 2016 Preliminary Comparative Statement

One month into Hawaii’s fiscal year (FY) 2017, the cumulative general fund tax deposits are down by 2.2% compared with the same period in FY 2016.

General excise and use tax collections, the largest single category of tax collections, were $252.5 million in July, down by 0.6% compared to last July.  Individual income tax collections were $148.4 million in July, down by 2.8% from last July.

Transient accommodations tax collections were $40.7 million for the month, up by 13.2% from last July.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Summit Explosion Justifies Closure of Halema‘uma‘u Crater

An explosion from Kīlauea volcano’s summit Saturday evening flung chunks of molten and solid rock onto the rim of Halema‘uma‘u Crater, turned night into day, and destroyed the power system for scientific equipment used to monitor the volcano.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater as seen from Volcano House on Saturday night, just following the explosion. Volcano House is approximately two miles away from the vent. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater as seen from Volcano House on Saturday night, just following the explosion. Volcano House is approximately two miles away from the vent. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp.

The explosion, which occurred just past 10 p.m. on August 6, further justifies the closure by the National Park Service of the summit lava lake and Halema‘uma‘u Overlook, and the partial closure of about four miles of the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive and Crater Rim Trail. The closures have been in place since 2008 when the current summit eruption began.

 “This type of volcanic explosion is not that uncommon at the summit of Kīlauea, and could have easily killed or seriously injured and burned anyone in the area,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Despite the closure, people continue to trespass into the closed area, putting themselves and first responders at great risk,” she said.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Park ranger Tim Hopp was on routine patrol of the closed Halema‘uma‘u Overlook parking lot in his vehicle Saturday night. Suddenly, the dark sky lit up bright orange, “so surreal and bright you could read a book,” he said. He heard a violent and extremely loud sloshing sound from the crater. Fragments of volcanic rock, or tephra, were ejected from the volcano and rained down on his patrol vehicle as he cautiously left the area, respirator on. He noticed the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory equipment perched on the rim shooting off light as electrical wires burned. “It lasted about a half hour,” Hopp said.

An hour later, Hopp cited two individuals for sneaking into the closed area to get a closer look at the potentially lethal lava lake.

According to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, rocks in the vent wall can become unstable and crash into the lava lake when the level drops, which has been the pattern the last few days. The explosion covered the southeast crater rim with a layer of tephra about eight inches thick in places, and lava bombs and spatter were hurled nearly 300 feet out beyond the crater rim at the closed overlook, extending over an area about 720 feet in width along the rim. 

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

“Part of the mission of the national park is to provide safe access to active volcanism, and our emphasis is always on safety,” Superintendent Orlando said. “The view of the summit eruption is fantastic one mile away from the Jaggar Museum observation deck, and that’s as close as visitors can safely get,” she said.

The park has no plans to reopen the closed areas until the eruption from Halema‘uma‘u ceases, she added.

Alaska Airlines Beginning Weekly Service Between Kona and Bellingham

Passengers flying out of Bellingham International Airport (BLI) will have convenient access to some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling and the world-famous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park starting Nov. 12 when Alaska Airlines begins new weekly service between Bellingham and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The new service compliments the airline’s seasonal service from BLI to Maui which is set to begin on Nov. 6.

“The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the top rated travel destinations in the world and we are delighted Alaska Airlines is going to provide our customers with non-stop service to this incredible location,” said Sunil Harman, aviation director.  “Alaska Airlines is offering very competitive fares and we anticipate high demand for these flights.”

Alaska Airlines is offering one-way fares to Kona starting at $219.  The flights will be operated with Boeing 737-800 aircraft, accommodating 16 passengers in first class and 147 in the main cabin.

Online Travel Companies Owe Hawaii Taxes for Rental Car Transactions, Court Rules

State circuit judge Gary W.B. Chang ruled yesterday that online travel companies, including Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, and others, must pay Hawaii’s general excise tax on certain rental car transactions in Hawaii.

expediaThe State had issued tax assessments of general excise taxes, interest, and penalties to online travel companies for failing to file tax returns and pay general excise taxes for tax years 2000 through 2012. Last year, the Hawaii Supreme Court concluded online travel companies must pay general excise tax on the sale of hotel rooms in Hawaii.

The Court upheld tax assessments on gross receipts from online travel car rentals not sold as part of a travel or tour package with other services like airline or hotel reservations. The Court also ruled that under a special provision in Hawaii’s general excise tax law for tourism related services, these companies owe general excise taxes on their net receipts from car rental transactions that were included in a travel or tour package sold to consumers.

The final amount of taxes, penalties, and interest to be collected by the State is yet to be determined but is expected to be in the millions of dollars.

Justin Bieber Leaves the Big Island – His Pals Were…

Well Justin Bieber left the Big Island last night after being here for a few days staying at Waterfalling Estate.

bieberbyeA lot of folks were asking who the girls were that were with him.  I have learned that one of the girls is Australian bikini model Sahara Ray and another of the ladies was Meredith Hennessy.

Bieber Girls
Fashion designer Cedric Benaroch was the guy that was seen in many of the pictures while he was on the island.  Bieber has removed this picture from his Instagram of the two of them together.
Bieber and Cedric
Benaroch later posted a photo on Instagram confirming they were leaving Hawaii by saying “Peace Out Hawaii”.
aloha bieber