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Hokulea Re-Enters the Pacific Ocean, Sailing Towards the Galapagos Islands

Iconic polynesian voyaging replica Hokulea yesterday departed Balboa, Panama and began her sail to the Galapagos Islands. After making a momentous crossing of the Panama Canal, crews spent several days engaging in a cross-cultural engagement with indigenous groups and sharing the meaning of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines. Hokulea’s voyage to the Galapagos will take approximately 10 days.

“Hokulea is back in Pacific waters after nearly two years and the Galapagos will be the first Pacific islands we will visit on this journey home,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society.  “The Galapagos Islands will be an important mission stop where we will celebrate their sustainability efforts, identify parallels with Hawaii and bring attention to science, evolution and protecting the earth’s most fragile natural resources,” added Thompson.

A contingent of students and teachers from Castle High School, Kamehameha Schools and Halau Ku Mana will be traveling to the Galapagos to work with the crew of Hokulea. Students will join the crewmembers on their engagements and take part on an unparalleled educational journey in this UNESCO World Heritage Marine site.

Hokulea will stay approximately in the Galapagos for approximately one week before setting sail for Rapa Nui.

9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

The 9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop is happening February 1-28, 2017, featuring five different shops from Kona to Hilo and points in between. Traveling quilters can have passports stamped for a chance to win prizes, collect quilting patterns and kits to create a custom “Tropical Flowers of Hawaii, a Stain Glass Quilt” quilt for 2017, and enjoy the company of fellow quilters island-wide.

Those who visit and get passports stamped at all five shops are eligible to win the Grand Prize. Other winners will receive fabric, quilt shop gift certificates and more—with special in-store prizes at individual shops, for a total of 11 winners. The five shops will also have exclusive quilt block patterns, one from each store, plus a customize bonus add-on to give the 2017 Shop Hop quilt some added zip.

The 9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop launches February 1, leading into the 24th Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the Hawaiian Quilt Show held in Waimea. Maps and passports can be picked up any quilt shop on the route, and “shop-hoppers” can follow their own path, or sign up for one of two bus tours. In West Hawaii, call Karen Barry at Quilt Passions, 808-329-7475. In East Hawaii, call Leimomi at Kilauea Kreations II, 808-961-1100.

For more information contact Mary at bigislandquiltsh@earthlink.net, or visit www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii.

2017 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop shops:

West Hawaii

East Hawai‘i

First Annual Global Tea Innovation Symposium

The launch of a Hawaii tea co-op, the first not for profit consumer cooperative tea business in the world will happen on February 1st, 2017 at 10am – 4pm at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, in Volcano, Hawaii.

Presenters scheduled:

  • Nigel Melican, Chairman,TeaCraft Ltd. (U.K): A global business development consultant to the leading world tea businesses.
  • Chairman, Kawasaki Kiko Ltd. (Japan): leading manufacturer of automated tea farming and tea processing equipment.
  • Jason McDonald, Founder of The Great Mississippi Tea Company and Co-Founder/Vice President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).
  • Grif Frost: Co-Founder/President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).  Expert in not for profit consumer cooperative development.
  • Takeshi Akatsuka, Vice President, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, the site of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.

Purpose: Provide A-Z, tea business development services, for Hawaii Tea enthusiasts.

Mission: Develop a model, which can be replicated, to help other tea enthusiasts worldwide, work together, to sustainably grow their tea businesses.

Services to be offered:

  • Propagation services: contract growing of the ideal tea plants, for specific geographical locales in Hawaii.
  • Farm Design services: contract selection and design of tea farm sites, suitable for automated equipment use.
  • Minimum tea farm acreage: 1 acre. There must a minimum of 10 acres of Co-op contracted tea farms, within a 5-minute driving radius.
  • Farm Site Preparation services: contract preparation of sites for automated tea planting services.
  • Planting Services: contracted automated tea planting services.
  • Growing Services: contracted automated pruning, pest control and fertilization services.
  • Harvesting Services: contracted automated tea plant harvesting services.
  • Processing Services: contracted processing services to prepare harvested tea for consumption
  • Sales Services: contracted sales of packaged tea
  • Research and Development Services: contracted research and development related to Hawaii tea community development.

50 seats available to people interested in participating in the development of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.  Price $250 ($200 may be applied to the purchase of Hawaii Tea Co-op shares). A tea and food pairing lunch will be served.

How to order: visit www.HawaiiTea.Coop to reserve your seat.

OHA Named Co-Trustee of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Gov. David Ige, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the U.S. Secretaries of Interior and Commerce have signed an updated Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) adding OHA as a co-trustee of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. It is the largest, contiguous, fully protected conservation area in the U.S. and encompasses 583,000 square miles of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

With the signing of the updated MOA, co-trustee agencies are: the Commerce Department (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); the Interior Department (Fish and Wildlife Service); the State of Hawai‘i Land and Natural Resources Department (DLNR) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“Honoring, respecting and perpetuating the Native Hawaiian culture and sustainability are among my administration’s top priorities. OHA has participated in the decision making process since the monument was first designated by President Bush more than ten years ago, and previously, when the area was managed as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. The monument is world renowned for both its natural and cultural attributes and OHA’s co-trustee role will ensure the protection of Native Hawaiian cultural features and provide a critical cultural sensitivity to every decision that is made to protect this unique place,” said Gov. David Ige.

“We fully support and embrace OHA as a co-trustee of the monument. It is impossible to separate decisions about nature from cultural considerations. OHA’s elevated voice and input will inform management actions on a broad scale,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.

OHA has been one of seven collaborating agencies for Papahānaumokuākea, including NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Fisheries Service; the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ecological Services and Refuges, and the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources and Forestry and Wildlife.

Papahānaumokuākea is rich in history and cultural significance. In 2010, UNESCO inscribed the area as our nation’s first mixed (natural and cultural) World Heritage Site.

“The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is of great cultural significance to the Native Hawaiian community and houses important marine ecosystems that the Department of Commerce is committed to protecting for future generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Over the past 10 years, we have forged a strong partnership with the State of Hawai‘i and we look forward to collaborating with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on our continued efforts to preserve this unique environment.”

“The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems on the planet and a sacred place for the Native Hawaiian community,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “By including OHA as a co-trustee for Papahānaumokuākea, we are highlighting not only the protection of natural treasures like the pristine coral reefs and deep sea marine habitats, but also the significant cultural and historic resources of the area that will be preserved for current and future generations.”

“We thank President Barack Obama and our partners and supporters for making this a reality. Since our community’s first involvement in the management of these kūpuna island more than a decade ago, the goal has been to get Native Hawaiians a seat at the decision-making table. We understand the challenges ahead and are firmly committed to fulfilling our kuleana to this place and our beneficiaries,” said OHA Chair Rowena Akana.

“This historic action rightfully places the Native Hawaiian voice at the highest levels of decision making for this culturally and spiritually significant wahi pana (sacred place) and will help advance our people’s understanding of the deep connection of our entire paeʻaina (archipelago).  We look forward to serving in our new role, in partnership with our co-trustees, to develop and implement a resource management structure that integrates the best of conventional science and traditional practices. We hope that Papahānaumokuākea will demonstrate to the world that integrating science and indigenous knowledge is the best management model to sustain our fragile global environment,” said Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, OHA’s chief executive officer.

OHA is a constitutionally established body, set as a separate state entity independent of the executive branch of the State of Hawai‘i. Its primary responsibility is representing the interests of the Native Hawaiian community, including in the monument, through the perpetuation of Hawaiian cultural resources. This includes the customary and traditional rights and practices of Native Hawaiians that are exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes under the Hawai‘i Constitution.

Hawaiian Airlines to Begin Nonstop Service Between Kauai and Hawaii Island

Tickets as low as $89* one way now available for flights starting March 12

Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai‘i’s flagship carrier, today announced it will launch once daily non-stop service between Kaua‘i’s Līhu’e Airport (LIH) and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawai‘i Island beginning Sunday, March 12. This is the first time in the airline’s history that it will connect Līhu‘e and Kona with a direct flight.

“Demand from our kama‘āina and visitors for travel between Hawai‘i Island and Kaua‘i has been growing steadily over the past few years,” said Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines. “We are proud to now offer our guests direct access between these islands, in addition to our connecting flights through Honolulu or Maui. This gives travelers greater flexibility and convenience when traveling through the Hawaiian Islands.”

The 263-mile flight becomes Hawaiian’s longest Neighbor Island route, besting its flights between Hilo, Hawai‘i Island (ITO) and Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on O‘ahu by nearly 60 miles.

LĪHU’E (LIH)/KONA (KOA) SCHEDULE
*beginning March 12, 2017

Flight Route Departs Arrives  Frequency
HA 599 KOA – LIH 9:38 a.m. 10:36 a.m. Daily
HA 500 LIH – KOA 3:44 p.m. 4:44 p.m. Daily

Hawaiian first launched flights to Kona from Honolulu on July 10, 1949 and started service from Honolulu to Līhu‘e six months later on Jan. 8, 1950. Today, the state’s largest and longest serving carrier operates an average of 21 daily departures from each airport with its Boeing 717 fleet, including:

  • LIH – HNL: 17 flights
  • LIH – Kahului Airport (OGG): four flights
  • KOA – HNL: 16 flights
  • KOA – OGG: five flights*
    *two flights operated by ‘Ohana by Hawaiian’s ATR42 aircraft

During the busy summer months, Hawaiian also offers direct flights from both Kona and Līhu‘e to Los Angeles and from Līhu‘e to Oakland, California.  In December 2016, Hawaiian started its first-ever international service from Kona with thrice-weekly flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

*Tickets between Līhu‘e and Kona, starting as low as $89 one way including taxes and fees, are now available for purchase online at HawaiianAirlines.com.  Fare is available for non-stop, one-way flights between Līhu‘e, HI and Kona, HI. Tickets must be booked by 1/19/17 for travel between 3/12/17 – 5/24/17 and are only valid in the Economy (coach) cabin.  Fares are subject to seat availability during the travel period shown. Other restrictions apply. Additional baggage charges may apply. See HawaiianAirlines.com for terms and conditions.

Hokulea Completes Transit Through Panama Canal and Returns to Pacific Waters

After two days of transit through the Panama Canal, iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea reached the Panama city of Balboa today at 2:54 p.m. EST.

The canoe went through three sets of locks on the man-made waterway and returned to Pacific waters for the first time in nearly two years. Because Hokulea has no engines, and because of the turbulence and currents within the canal, the canoe was safely towed by a powerful work vessel – DWS Linda – through the canal.

Crewmembers moored the double-hulled canoe at Balboa Yacht Club and will remain docked in Balboa for about seven days. From Balboa, Hokulea will depart for the Galapagos Islands, a sail that is expected to take approximately 10 days.

While in Balboa, Hokulea’s crew will engage with several indigenous organizations and leaders of the Panamanian community. Crewmembers will also use their time in Balboa to provision the vessel for her upcoming sail to the Galapagos Islands and then Rapa Nui, ensuring she is in exceptional condition for the remainder of her voyage home to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hokulea Makes its Way Through First Lock of the Panama Canal

Famed voyaging canoe Hokulea has begun her journey through the Panama Canal lock system, following a one-day delay due to maintenance on the waterway.
In preparation for the next set of locks, Hokulea has been moored in Lake Gatun for the night and will continue her transit through the man-made waterway towards the Pacific Ocean tomorrow. Crews are expected to arrive in Balboa, Panama tomorrow, Jan. 11.

Hokulea will be welcomed by Panama’s indigenous organizations and community leaders after her arrival in Balboa. The crew will prepare and restock the vessel for her departure to the Galapagos Islands and then Rapa Nui, paying close attention to hull cleanliness to assure respect and care for these vibrant ecosystems.

To follow the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage

Hokulea Transit Through Panama Canal Delayed

Traditional voyaging vessel Hokulea’s historic transit through the Panama Canal has been delayed due to unforeseen repairs being performed on the east lane of the Canal. The canoe was scheduled to make its legendary crossing today towards the Pacific Ocean and through the Atlantic Locks. Crewmembers have docked Hokulea in Colon, Panama and are now expected to commence her transit through the Panama Canal possibly as early as tomorrow, Jan. 10.

Crossing the Panama Canal from Colon to Balboa will take the crew approximately two days. Hokulea crewmembers will use their time in Balboa to work alongside indigenous communities and organizations to offer culturally relevant maritime activities to the Panamanian public. The canoe will also undergo necessary assessment and preparations before setting sail to the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia.

Casting Call for National Park Service Films on the Big Island

The National Park Service is producing new Visitor Center films for the following sites on the Island of Hawaiʻi: 1) Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park; 2) Kaloko-­‐Honokōhau National Historical Park; 3) Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site; and 4) Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

Told from the native Hawaiian perspective, the inspirational films will tell rich stories of Hawaiiʻs past, from 300 A.D to the age of Kamehameha (1790). To bring the stories of these sacred places to life, the Park Service will recreate key historical events and lifestyle scenes.

CASTING ROLES

  • King Kamehameha I , age 30-­35
  • Keōua Kū’ahu‘ula, age 30-­35
  • 8-­12 Hawaiian Warriors, ages 18-­30
  • 3-­6 Kūpuna (men, women –ages 50+) to portray Aliʻi and High Priests
  • 2-­3 Children (ages 10-­13)
  • 2 English Sailors (approximately 30 years old)

Must be physically fit. Acting experience not required. Knowledge of Hawaiian language is a plus. Accepted applicants will receive compensation, meals, and possible dormitory accommodations.

The film shoot will occur over 6 consecutive days on location at the west side Parks and Trail in May 2017

TO APPLY –DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 15, 2017 Submit email to: gdpcasting@gmail.com.  Subject Line: NATIONAL PARKS FILMS.  Please attach 2 photos (wide body shot, face close up),  height/weight, and a short paragraph that conveys your passion for Hawaiian history and culture. If unable to email, send via USPS to: Rae Godden, Kaloko-­‐Honokōhau National Historical Park, 73-­‐4786 Kanalani St, 14, Kailua-­‐Kona, HI 96740.

You will be contacted if you are selected for further review.

QUESTIONS? Call Jackie Pualani Johnson: (808) 937-­‐6600.

Hawaiian Airlines Carries Record 11 Million Passengers in 2016

Hawaiian Airlines welcomed a record 11,050,911 guests in 2016, a 3.5 percent increase over the previous year. Hawai’i’s largest and longest-serving airline today announced its system-wide traffic statistics for the month, quarter and full year ending December 2016.

The record passenger count in 2016 marks 12 straight years of growth as the airline continues to expand its network and fleet, providing travelers with more options to fly to and within the Hawaiian Islands than any other carrier.

In July Hawaiian launched daily non-stop service between Narita and Honolulu international airports, and last month it inaugurated triweekly service between Haneda and Kona international airports. This past summer Hawaiian added one A330-200 aircraft (bringing the company’s A330 fleet to 23), and took delivery of two Boeing B717-200s in November and December for a total of 20 of the aircraft type. The company also operates eight Boeing 767s on transpacific routes and three turboprop ATR-42 through its interisland subsidiary, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian.

The carrier has recently unveiled several product investments to enhance the flight experience, including the debut of a new Premium Cabin featuring lie-flat seating and luxury amenities, additional Extra Comfort seating, and a first-class auction upgrade service called Bid Up.

The Company expects to recognize a $5 million non-cash loss in non-operating expense from the translation of its foreign currency denominated bank accounts.

In December, the Company announced its intention to early retire its fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft by the end of 2018 resulting in a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $45 – $50 million.  In addition, the Company completed an agreement with a third-party maintenance vendor for its Boeing 767 aircraft and expects to record an additional financial charge of approximately $21 million.

Hawaiian Airlines Named Most Punctual Airline in the World

Hawaiian Airlines has been named the world’s most punctual airline in 2016 according to results released by air travel intelligence company OAG in its annual ranking of on-time performance (OTP) for all airlines and airports. The OAG Punctuality League, covering 200 airlines from every corner of the globe, revealed that 89.9 percent of Hawaiian’s flights arrived on time in 2016.

“This accomplishment was won through the hard work and dedication of our more than 6,000 employees,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “Together they have made Hawaiian an industry leader not only in punctuality but also in the quality of service they deliver every day to our guests.”

Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving airline provides daily non-stop service to Hawai‘i from 11 gateway cities in North America – more cities than any other carrier – using Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft, along with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian Airlines also operates approximately 160 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands using Boeing 717-200 aircraft.

The OAG Punctuality League is derived from the most comprehensive airline schedules database in the world and is the most transparent global benchmark for the world’s airlines and airports.

The report is available online http://www.oag.com/punctuality-league-2016.

Hokulea Reaches Colon, Panama and Prepares for Historic Canal Crossing

Thirteen days since departing Key West, iconic sailing canoe Hokulea arrived yesterday in Colon, Panama, a seaport located by the Caribbean Sea near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. The crew will spend the next two to three days preparing for their historic crossing through the 48-mile isthmus of Panama. Upon completion of the waterway, Hokulea will arrive in Balboa to re-enter the Pacific Ocean for the first time in nearly two years.

“It’ll surely be a sight to see Hokulea travel through the Panama Canal,” said pwo navigator and Hokulea captain, Bruce Blankenfeld. “Like Hokulea, the Panama Canal brings international communities together and serves as a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific.”

The Panama Canal has been an international landmark for over 100 years. The unique geography of Panama has allowed for increased international trade, fortifying international relations through modern technology. The canal continues on a new purpose with the passage of Hokulea, where both the vessel and its mission to share a message of caring for Island Earth will travel through the stretch of man-made waterway.

It will take the crew about two days to make their way from Colon to Balboa through the canal. With her return to the Pacific as an ancestral homecoming, Hokulea will continue with the mission of engaging with local communities worldwide before she reaches Hawaii.  The canoe will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia. Hokulea will conclude her Worldwide Voyage with a historic homecoming at Magic Island on June 17, 2017.

Hawaiian Airlines Leasing Plane From China – Phasing Out B767-300s

Hawaiian Airlines will dry-lease an A321neo from China with delivery scheduled for 2018.

As previously reported, Hawaiian plans to phase out its fleet of eight B767-300s by the end of 2018. To expedite the process, it has ordered one A330-200 from Airbus Industrie, and will lease one more A321neo in addition to this one.

Hawaiian plans to phase in sixteen A321neos by end of 2020, plus the two leased aircraft, which will free up some its fleet of twenty-three A330-200s for more flights to Asia. It also has eighteen B717-200s which it uses for flights between the islands of Hawaii.

Hawaii Partnership Aims to Teach Kids Importance of Dental Hygiene

In an effort to provide oral health services for students who need it, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the Hawaii Dental Association (HDA) are joining forces. The agencies have established a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to promote oral health by teaching students proper dental hygiene techniques and providing information about access to free dental health services.

Click to read memorandum

Dentists will be visiting HIDOE first and second grade classes on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island from Jan. 16-Feb. 28, 2017, which coincides with National Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

“When students do not get the health care they need we find that it affects their performance in school. This partnership is a huge step to provide services to many children who are not getting proper oral healthcare,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “As we work towards closing the achievement gap, we must look at the whole child and that includes their experiences outside of the classroom. We’re grateful to the Hawaii Dental Association for making this opportunity available for students.”

In October, the Hawaii Department of Health released “Hawaii Smiles,” a statewide report that showed a need for oral health improvement for Hawaii’s children. A few of the key findings included:

  • More than 7 out of 10 third graders (71 percent) are affected by tooth decay;
  • About 7 percent of Hawaii third grade children are in need of urgent dental care because of pain or infection;
  • Children from low-income families, as defined as those who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program, have a disproportionate amount of tooth decay (about 31 percent of children eligible for National School Lunch Program have untreated tooth decay compared to 13 percent who are not eligible).

These efforts are also part of a national initiative from the American Dental Association to bring preventative education and dental services to underserved children, which include 92,000 economically disadvantaged public school students in Hawaii.

“The goal of this partnership is to educate children from a young age on the importance of proper dental care. We also want to raise awareness about services that provide free dental care so their families can encourage and foster these new habits,” shared Melissa Pavlicek, president, Hawaii Public Policy Advocates who coordinated the MOA on behalf of HDA.

In ensuring that students come to school healthy and ready to learn, Superintendent Matayoshi has made the health and wellbeing of public school students a priority. She has worked on other innovative partnerships and programs that range from proper nutrition to healthcare access. In 2014, HIDOE launched the “Hawaii Keiki” program with the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The program builds school based health services that screen for treatable health conditions; help prevent and control communicable disease and other health problems; and provide emergency care for illness or injury.

Hokulea’s Crew Celebrate Christmas in Caribbean Waters

Crewmembers aboard the historic vessel Hokulea are celebrating Christmas Day at sea while in transit to Panama where they will clear customs before crossing the Panama Canal.

With approximately a week to go before Hokulea reaches Panama, the crew took the opportunity to decorate the canoe with festive trimmings to get into the holiday spirit while they are away from their families and loved ones over the holiday season.

“Not many people get to celebrate the holidays while at sea on the deck of Hokulea during this epic around-the-world voyage,” said Hokulea captain and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld. “As much as we’d love to be home in Hawaii with our loved ones at this time of year, we are all truly honored to be sailing Hokulea to share our Malama Honua message with communities around the world.”

Hokulea was sailing along the coast of Cuba today and will arrive in Panama around December 31, where the crew will possibly ring in the new year. Once she re-enters the Pacific Ocean, Hokulea will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia before her sail west back to a celebratory homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017.

Hokulea Sets Sail for the Panama Canal

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea and her crew departed from Key West yesterday morning. The crew of the 26th leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines will continue to make way for the historic Panama Canal, where the ancient Polynesian voyaging replica will transit through the modern industrial marvel.

During her stay in Key West, Hokulea underwent usual inspections and maintenance in preparation for the next journey. The crew left Key West around 10:10 a.m. EST and sailed through the island’s channel under tow of the ship Gershon II. As she re-enters Caribbean waters, Hokulea will shift her sights for the 48-mile journey through the Panama Canal heading back to the South Pacific Ocean.

“Hokulea traveling through the Panama Canal will be a sight to see and is symbolic of ancient technology meeting modern day technology,” said Hokulea captain and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld. “We anticipate this will be a special moment for everyone aboard, and will mark another tremendous milestone for the crewmembers who have sailed this vessel to great lengths.”

After the canoe’s transit through the Panama Canal, Hokulea will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia before her sail west back to the Hawaiian Islands. She is scheduled to make a celebratory homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017. With just under seven months to go on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, the Hokulea team will continue engaging communities through education, collaboration and service, sharing the message of ocean conservation and sustainability and the mission of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth).

Hawaii Casting Call for Major Cable Network Food Show

A local company is seeking “Hawaii Locals” to host a new Hawaii-Based television series on food & drinks for a major cable network.

Hokulea Departs Miami

Crewmembers aboard the iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea departed Miami’s waters this morning and are headed for Key West for a brief stop before sailing to Panama to transit through the Panama Canal.

Hokulea ended Leg 25 of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage in Miami where she was moored for approximately two weeks for necessary re-provisioning and preparations for the canoe’s next crew and journey to Panama.  The canoe was docked at Shake-A-Leg Marina, which is home to a non-profit organization that offers therapeutic watersport activities and marine environment education to people with physical and developmental disabilities.  The crew hosted several canoe tours for the youth and adults participating in the Shake-A-Leg Miami programs.

During the two-week stay in South Florida, the crew also utilized their time to host public canoe tours and reconnect with schools to share the environmental and cultural mission of the Voyage. Na Kelamoku, Polynesian Voyaging Society’s youth leadership group, also joined the crew in Miami to visit with schools and learn from other Miami organizations studying the environment.  Both groups also visited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center and Weather Service and heard from local experts on how they track weather, forecast storms and collaborate with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.

“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to work with Florida’s people, fulfilling our hope of inspiring and strengthening more communities throughout Island Earth” said Kalepa Baybayan, pwo navigator and captain for Hokulea’s sail throughout Florida. “Hokulea has been prepared for a successful crossing back into the Pacific Ocean and we look forward to welcoming her back home to beautiful Hawaii Nei.”

After the canoe’s transit through the Panama Canal, crews will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia. She will continue to sail west until she concludes her Worldwide Voyage with a historic homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017. Within the remaining seven months, the Voyage will further its mission of engaging communities worldwide with education, collaboration and service and share the message of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth).

Hawaii Ranks First for Health in the Nation

Hawaii is ranked as the healthiest state according to the United Health Foundation’s 2016 America’s Health Rankings®: A Call to Action for Individuals & Their Communities released today. This year is the 27th anniversary of the rankings, which provide a state-by-state analysis of available health data to determine national benchmarks and state rankings. During the 27 years in which the rankings were conducted, Hawaii’s rank has varied from first to sixth place.

“The department is pleased with Hawaii’s top ranking which reflects our state’s focus on maintaining healthy lifestyles and protecting our environment,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “However, while our state scored well among most of the report’s measures, we must remember that some health areas and population groups are not always captured in the data. We need to pay attention to groups that aren’t enjoying good health status so that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy and full life.”

Recent health improvements in Hawaii described in the report include a 4 percent decrease in drug-related deaths over the last two years, and a 38 percent increase in vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV) among girls 13 to 17 years old in the last year. Hawaii also has low percentage of population without insurance with only 5 percent (or about 1 in 20 people) lacking health insurance, compared with over 10 percent nationally.

While Hawaii has fared well compared to other states, the report is limited by available data, such as low screening rates for some health conditions. According to the report, diabetes is said to have decreased by 13 percent over the last year, however the data reflects only diagnosed cases of diabetes. When including undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes, it is estimated that more than half (54 percent) of Hawaii’s population has type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

“We are only now beginning to understand the pervasiveness of type 2 diabetes in our state,” said Lola Irvin, Administrator for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division.
“As we improve screening rates, we expect to see a sharp increase in the number of people living with diabetes and prediabetes.”

Highlights of Hawaii’s health ranking include a low prevalence of obesity at 23 percent compared with 30 percent nationally. However, when including those who are overweight, more than half of Hawaii’s adult population (57 percent) is overweight or obese. Obesity is associated with a higher risk of preventable chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes.  Among some population groups, Hawaii data shows a high correlation between obesity rates and diagnosed diabetes and prediabetes rates, with Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) and Filipinos having the highest rates. More than 61% of Hawaii adults—or 3 in 5—are living with at least one chronic disease or condition such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

The report shows that other areas where Hawaii can improve include higher-than-average rates of excessive drinking, a recent increase in violent crimes, and high rates of Salmonella infection. Details of the determinants and outcomes that make up Hawaii’s top ranking are available at www.americashealthrankings.org.

Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage Update – Hokulea Homecoming Scheduled

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

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

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

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

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

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