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Hokulea Sails Through Florida and Georgia Via Intracoastal Waterway

Since departing Titusville, Florida, on Friday, April 8, 2016, Hokulea has been traveling north on the Intracoastal Waterway making overnight stops at Palm Coast and St. Augustine.

Hokulea Canal

Last night, she entered the state of Georgia for the first time and docked in Brunswick. Tonight, the canoe and crew are staying overnight in Fort McAllister, GA and plan to depart first thing tomorrow morning to continue the voyage up the East Coast.

Watch Captain Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau preps the tow line in anticipation of departure from Titusville Marina. Mahalo nui to everyone who came out to show their support and wish us well as we begin Leg 19.

Watch Captain Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau preps the tow line in anticipation of departure from Titusville Marina. Mahalo nui to everyone who came out to show their support and wish us well as we begin Leg 19.

The Hokulea and crew are scheduled to be part of the Charleston Outdoor Festival in South Carolina on April 15.

hokulea 41116

During the voyage up the Intracoastal Waterway, Hokulea has sailed under several bridges and the crew has spotted various kinds of wildlife including manatees, pelicans, dolphins and flamingoes.

Hokulea Crew Visits NASA Kennedy Space Center

Continuing their journey of connecting ocean wayfinding with space exploration, Hokulea crewmembers visited Florida’s NASA Kennedy Space Center today and engaged with the center’s staff. Polynesian Voyaging Society president and pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson also took the opportunity to speak to the NASA team on Hawaii-born NASA astronaut Lacy Veach’s contribution to space voyaging, and how Veach inspired the canoe’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

NASA Hokulea

“Coming to NASA for me has been an amazing celebration,” Thompson expressed during his speech today to a crowd of about 160 people that included both Hokulea and NASA crew. “I made a promise to Lacy back in ’95 when we lost him, that we’re going to go. It took us 22 years from the idea to actually leave, to get prepared to do something as dangerous as what we’re doing now. Lacy is our navigator on this voyage, and for that, this is the most important two days for me.”

NASA Hokulea Nainoa

Yesterday, the crew honored Veach along with Ellison Onizuka, another Hawaii-born astronaut for their extraordinary contributions to space voyaging, in an intimate ceremony onboard the canoe. Hokulea crewmembers conducted a star compass activity with local students, and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld led a navigation presentation for the public visiting the center. Wednesday’s activities also included a tour of the NASA headquarters: Hokulea crewmembers visited the facilities where astronauts would get suited up before their flights, NASA’s vehicle assembly building and the launch control center.

Nasa Hokulea Building

Hokulea is scheduled to depart Titusville on Friday, April 8, and continue her journey up the east coast. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.

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

House Hawaiian Affairs Chairman Responds to Governor’s Proposal to Fund Department of Hawaiian Homelands

Capital

Rep. Kaniela Ing ((Kihei, Wailea, Makena) today issued the following statement:

“The Governor’s DHHL appropriation message to the legislature represents a huge first step in meeting the state’s constitutional obligation to native Hawaiians. Now the legislature needs to do its job and ensure DHHL’s operations and maintenance costs are covered so that from now on the proceeds from the trust funds are used solely for putting native Hawaiians back on the land.This appropriation also represents a test for DHHL as the public money being used for these new positions will all be a matter of public record and must be reported back to the legislature. This additional funding needs to be attached to a clear timeline of hard outcomes to reduce the waitlist and restore native Hawaiians to the land.”

Governor Proposes Highest Level of Funding Ever for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

Gov. David Ige is proposing a funding plan that is consistent with the State Constitution requirement to provide sufficient funding for administrative and operating expenses for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (article XII, section 1).

hawaiian home lands logoFor FY16, the state proposes replacing DHHL’s $9.63 million general fund appropriation for administration and operating expenses with $17.14 million in general funds. For FY17, the state proposes $17.8 million in general funds with fringe benefits of $5.7 million, for a total of $23.5 million for the department.

If approved, the funding would be the highest level of funding ever for DHHL.

“We want to give DHHL the tools and flexibility to reform and restructure the department. I will hold DHHL accountable, with the ultimate goal of giving beneficiaries greater access to DHHL programs and services,” said Gov. Ige.

DHHL’s funding has been varied over the years. From 2010-2013, the department received no general funds and used trust and special funds to operate.

The proposal must be approved by the state Legislature.

Ke Ola Magazine Names Gayle Greco General Manager

Now in its eighth year of publishing, Ke Ola Magazine announces Gayle Greco is filling the position of Ke Ola’s general manger. A resident of Kailua-Kona, Greco is a long-time haumana (student) of Hawaiian culture and a regular Ke Ola editorial contributor.

Ke Ola

In 2013, Greco was hired in an interim executive management position at the Seattle Times. During that time, Greco provided successful leadership in the advertising sales division resulting in positive goal achievement. In addition to this assignment, Greco has worked on consulting projects for the Sacramento Bee, Tacoma News Tribune and locally at La’i ‘Opua 2020.

Gayle’s current responsibilities at Ke Ola Magazine include overseeing and managing the sales, distribution, editorial and administrative departments, while helping to create a business plan for the magazine’s next stage of growth and development.

Barbara Garcia, publisher and owner, has recently updated Ke Ola Magazine’s mission and vision statements. The updated mission states Ke Ola is in business to help other businesses reach new customers, while perpetuating Hawai’i Island’s arts, culture and sustainability.

Ke Ola is the only island-wide magazine that is published to reach people who live on Hawai’i Island, as well as frequent visitors. Its five-part vision statement includes points such as offering marketing solutions for businesses that want to reach new and existing customers while providing opportunities to support Hawai’i Island’s artists, writers and the subjects they write about. By using Hawaiʻi Island and native Hawaiian culture as a model, Ke Ola aims to help educate the rest of the planet on sustainable (pono) practices to preserve all lands and cultures.

DLNR Announces Appointment of Hearings Officer for Mauna Kea Contested Case Hearing

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announced today that retired Hawaii island circuit court judge Riki May Amano (Ret.) has been selected as the hearings officer to conduct the Mauna Kea contested case hearing relating to the application for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case issued a minute order to the contested case parties today announcing Judge Amano’s selection.

TMT laser

Judge Amano was selected pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes section 103D-304. HRS 103D-104 requires DLNR to assemble and vet a list of applicants. The list is reviewed by a selection committee, which ranks at least three candidates. The DLNR Chairperson then negotiates a contract with the first ranked person. If the DLNR Chairperson is unable to successfully negotiate a contract with the first ranked person, then he or she attempts to negotiate a contract with the next ranked person. In this case, Chairperson Case was able to successfully negotiate a contract with Judge Amano as the first ranked applicant of the selection committee.

The selection committee consisted of:

  • James Duffy, Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court (Ret.);
  • Stella Kam, Deputy Attorney General;
  • Christopher Yuen, Member of the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR).

Any comments on and objections to this appointment shall be filed no later than April 15, 2016, 4:30 p.m. at DLNR Administrative Proceedings Office, 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 130, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

Judge Amano will determine the schedule for the contested case hearing.

Judge Amano served as a judge in the district and circuit courts of the Third Judicial Circuit, State of Hawaii from February 1992 until her retirement in April 2003. Judge Amano has been recognized annually as a Best Lawyer in America/Hawaii from 2007 to the present. Judge Amano was born and raised in Hilo; she currently resides in Honolulu. She completed her undergraduate education in 1976 with a BA degree in Political Science and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii in 1979. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Amano was a deputy attorney general assigned to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Transportation and Labor and Industrial Relations; and in private practice from 1981 until 1991.

Hamakua Springs Offering Free ‘Thank You’ Bananas this Friday

Hamakua Springs Country Farms will be giving away 300 boxes of bananas from its final banana harvest this Friday, April 1, 2016 (no fooling). That’s 12 thousand pounds of bananas – about 30 thousand bananas – so there’s definitely enough for everyone who’s interested.

Hamakua Springs bananas

Hamakua Springs bananas

Bananas will be available for people to drive in and pick up at Kumu Street in Hilo. (Turn off Kamehameha Avenue onto the short Kumu Street, which is just past Ponahawai St. at the soccer fields.)

Hamakua Springs owners Richard and June Ha, along with other family members and workers, will be at the Hilo soccer fields from 10 a.m. Friday morning.

“It’s our way of saying thank you for the community’s support over all these years,” said Richard Ha. The company, first as Kea‘au Bananas, then Mauna Kea Bananas and most recently Hamakua Springs Country Farms, was in business for 35 years.

Richard Ha and family at Hamakua Springs Country Farms. From left: Richard Ha, his mother Florence Ha, Richard’s wife June Ha, son-in-law Kimo Pa and daughter Tracy Pa.

Richard Ha and family at Hamakua Springs Country Farms. From left: Richard Ha, his mother Florence Ha, Richard’s wife June Ha, son-in-law Kimo Pa and daughter Tracy Pa.

The primary reason they stopped farming bananas, Ha explained, was that Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) was found on the farm. “We had experience with BBTV at our banana farm in Kea‘au, and we knew that if the disease became imbedded in the gulches it would become a constant source of infection,” he said. “That’s the main reason we decided to stop bananas.”

Another factor is the rising cost of oil, which has significantly driven up farm costs such as fertilizer, plastic, and other items with oil petroleum costs embedded in their price. When the oil price dropped recently, those costs stayed up. “We know the oil price will go back up again, and anticipating that we had to make a decision,” he said. “It’s not that we’re going bankrupt – we’re not. We just needed to do what we had to do before it got to that point.”

The former banana acreage has been leased to another farmer, and other possibilities are being investigated for the farm land and hydroelectric system.

Hawaii Endangered Species Gain 157,000 Acres of Protected Habitat – More Than 100 Hawaiian Plants, Animals Get Critical Habitat Designations

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected 157,000 acres of critical habitat for 125 species of plants and animals from the Hawaiian islands of Molokai, Maui and Kahoolawe.

Click to view (warning large file)

Click to view (warning large file)

The species range from plants like Haleakala silversword; the state flower, mao hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei); and bird-pollinated lobelias as well as a tree snail and striking forest birds like the Akohekohe or crested honeycreeper. Invasive species, habitat loss and the effects from introduced pigs, goats and deer are the primary threats to these species.

“Critical habitat will speed restoration efforts for many of these imperiled species so I’m glad to see that happen,” said Loyal Mehrhoff, endangered species recovery director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Endangered Species Act continues to save hundreds of Hawaiian species from extinction and can be a significant force to save these species too.”

With more endangered species than any other state, Hawaii continues to be on the front line of the extinction crisis. The 135 species addressed in today’s rule include two birds, three snails and 130 plants. However, only 125 species actually received critical habitat. The final rule excluded critical habitat for 10 species. A total of 84,892 acres were excluded from critical habitat because they are included in management plans and agreements thought to benefit these species. An additional 29,170 acres were removed from critical habitat.

“The lack of designated critical habitat for these species is a concern if the management agreements do not hold up or are ineffective,” said Mehrhoff. “We’re also concerned with the removal of 9,800 acres of lowland rainforest from critical habitat designation on Maui.”

Hokulea Makes U.S. Mainland Arrival at Everglades National Park

Hokulea has made her first touch on the U.S. Mainland at Everglades National Park to pay homage to nature, the National Park Service and the area’s indigenous people.

Everglades

Arriving at Everglades National Park on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. (EST); 1:00 a.m. (HST), the Hokulea crew were welcomed by The Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples in a sacred ceremony honoring the Voyage. Following this sacred ceremony, The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Everglades National Park Service hosted a welcoming ceremony at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, where the public was invited to meet the crew and learn about the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

“We thought it would be most appropriate to have Hokulea’s arrival into the U.S. mainland take place where we could honor and pay respect to the area’s native people and to our National Park Service,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator and president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This arrival represents two key pillars of our voyage, which are to connect with other indigenous cultures and to discover the efforts of our environmental mission partners such as the National Park Service, which is celebrating its Centennial,” he added.

Everglades3

Everglades National Park is a public park for the benefit of the people. It is set aside as a permanent wilderness preserving essential primitive conditions including the natural abundance, diversity, behavior, and ecological integrity of the unique flora and fauna. The park is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and Wetland of International Importance.

Hokulea sailed to Everglades National Park from Key West, FL where she entered the US on March 23, 2016, after two years of sailing around the globe. The canoe departed Key West on March 25, 2015 to set sail for the Everglades. Her next destination after Everglades National Park is Fort Meyers, FL.

From Fort Meyers, Hokulea will cross the Florida peninsular via the Okeechobee Waterway to the eastern coast of the state where the crew will honor the late Lacy Veach at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in early April. Veach was a Hawaii-born NASA astronaut who first suggested the idea that Hokulea should sail around the world to share the message to care for Island Earth.

Everglades2As Hokulea sails up the East Coast of the U.S. for the first time in history, the Polynesian Voyaging Society has been developing the canoe’s sail plan based on stops where the crew will be able to make deeper connections with schools, Native American tribes and environmental mission partners such as National Park Service, UNESCO, NOAA and Mission Blue.

Following Florida, the crew will travel up the east coast making several stops including South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, where PVS will celebrate Earth Day with the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, offering canoe tours and dockside outreach to the public. Additional engagement stops in Virginia include Yorktown and Tangier Island, where the crew will focus on many of the environmental issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and the efforts to protect the country’s largest watershed. From there, the iconic canoe will arrive at the nation’s capital by sailing down the Potomac River and docking at the Washington Canoe Club.

After spending about a week in Washington DC, Hokulea will sail to New York City, where she will be a focal point at World Oceans Day events hosted by the United Nations on June 8, 2016. The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. While in New York City, Hokulea will also participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, which is the east coast’s largest Pacific Islands festival and one of the world’s most competitive outrigger races. Hokulea is expected to depart New York City on June 18, for several engagements in the New England area.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil.

For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Merrie Monarch Dengue Fever Precautions – Vector Spraying at Venues

With the annual Merrie Monarch Festival just around the corner, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging both residents and travelers to take extra precautions to stay away from and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while they are in Hilo for the event.

Mosquito Bite

Although the number of locally-acquired dengue fever cases have slowed over the past several weeks, the outbreak is not over, and the public should reduce their risk of infection as much as possible.

In the days leading up to one of Hawaii’s most celebrated traditions, Vector Control teams will be taking preventive measures by surveying and treating areas near the venues where the Merrie Monarch Festival will be held: the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.

“People from all over the world come to Hawaii to celebrate the tradition of hula during the Merrie Monarch Festival, so we are doing our due diligence and taking proactive measures now to reduce the risks of both imported and local cases of mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health.

“We continue to work with our county partners to coordinate and implement best practices for mosquito abatement and prevention.”

DOH is advising visitors to be vigilant in their efforts to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during their stay. Recommended precautions include:

  • Apply insect repellent when outdoors, and always follow directions for using repellants -especially on small children.
  • Wear covered clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks, to help protect skin from mosquito bites.
  • Be aware and avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes.

In addition to these recommendations, DOH advises Hilo residents to take the following steps in their own neighborhoods to help fight the bite:

  • Eliminate standing water in buckets, containers and puddles around your home;
  • Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that may be dripping water;
  • Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvicide;
  • Clear storm gutters and other outdoor drains of leaves and lawn cuttings;
  • Repair screens and jalousie windows to keep mosquitoes out; and
  • Dispose of old tires and anything else that may collect and hold standing water.

For further recommendations on how to take precautions against mosquitoes and dengue fever, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dengue-outbreak-2015/ .

Hawaii DOE Awarded Grant to Launch Pilot of Culturally Accurate Student Assessments

The Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) announced today that the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) Office of Hawaiian Education was selected as one of 12 recipients to receive a portion of $2 million in grants from the organization and its partners. The winning proposal, titled “Culturally Responsive Assessment of HĀ Outcomes,” looks at designing an assessment that can support a broader and culturally accurate definition of student success in Hawaii.

DOE Breath​“This grant is crucial in helping the Department with its efforts to implement Nā Hopena A’o (HĀ), a board policy which was adopted in 2015,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We have developed a strong framework and through this grant, will work towards creating an assessment that can accurately measure a student’s experience and understanding of these competencies.”

​In 2015, the Board of Education adopted a set of six learning outcomes based on Hawaiian culture and values known as Policy E-3: Nā Hopena A’o (HĀ). The goal of this policy is to develop a set of skills and behaviors that reflect the values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawaii. The framework reflects HIDOE’s core values and beliefs in action, and includes the following competencies: Belonging, Responsibility, Excellence, Aloha, Total-well-being and Hawaii (BREATH).

​“Culture is an important factor in many aspects of education, including assessments,” said D. Kau’ilani Sang, director, Office of Hawaiian Education. “Hawaii is unique in so many ways from our language to our culture, it is only fair that we create a evaluation that takes this into consideration and accurately measures our students’ abilities.”

Some of the schools being tapped for the initial pilot based on their self identif​ied readiness are Castle High School, Ho’ola Leadership Academy, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Ānuenue and Maui District Kaiapuni schools. HIDOE plans on adding additional schools as the pilot progresses.

ALP issued a “request for learning” last fall inviting educators to submit proposals that rethink assessments and how they are being adapted to accommodate new forms of personalized learning. The other grant awardees include Henry County School District in Georgia, the Center for Collaborative Education, Del Lago Academy – Campus of Applied Science, Fairfax County Public Schools, Summit Public Schools, The Colorado Education Initiative, Two Rivers Public Charter School, WestEd, Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium, Learning Policy Institute, New Hampshire Department of Education.

To learn more about Policy E-3: Nā Hopena A’o (HĀ), click here. To learn more about ALP, visit www.assessmentforlearningproject.org.

Hokulea Sails To Florida

After spending six days in Cuba interacting with the country’s local community for the first time in her history, Hawaii’s famed voyaging canoe Hokulea continues her journey by sailing roughly 96 nautical miles north to Key West, Florida. The crew left Havana, Cuba early today at 6:00 a.m. and is estimated to arrive at the Sunshine State’s southernmost point at approximately 9:00 p.m. local time. Note: Florida is six hours ahead of Hawaii time.

Hokulea equator

“Our experience in Cuba was very memorable,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain and pwo navigator on board Hokulea. “Once again, we discovered common threads with a community who is also perpetuating the Malama Honua message of taking care of our precious natural resources through various innovative initiatives.” The Cuba engagement gave the Hokulea crew the opportunity to see FINCA Marta, an organic farm that used mostly solar power for irrigation. The crewmembers also visited the Museo de la Canoa to learn about Caribbean canoe history and Old Havana Town.

The Key West stop will allow Hokulea to clear customs before she reaches the continental US at Everglades City, Florida in the next few days. In Florida, the crew will have the opportunity to honor the indigenous people of the land. From Florida, the canoe will travel up the US East Coast with stops in South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC and New York. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to be part of the United Nations’ World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Merrie Monarch Travel Alert

Travelers attending the Merrie Monarch Festival later this week are being alerted to quarantine restrictions on the transport of ohia from Hawaii Island due to a serious plant disease called rapid ohia death (ROD), also known as ohia wilt, which is devastating the native forests on that island.

Travel Alert

The quarantine restricts the movement of ohia plants and plant parts, including flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, twigs, cuttings, untreated wood, logs, mulch greenwaste and frass (sawdust from boring beetles) and any soil from Hawaii Island. Transport of such items is only allowed with a permit issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA).

“Ohia is one of the most important trees in our native forests and has such cultural significance,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Researchers are working hard to find methods to stop ROD and we ask that everyone obey the quarantine and assist in containing the spread of the disease to other islands.”

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture issued the emergency quarantine in August of 2015 to stop the spread of the plant fungus from Hawaii Island to other islands. Any person who violates the quarantine rule may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100. The maximum fine is $10,000. For a second offense committed within five years of a prior conviction under this rule, the person or organization shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $25,000.

HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors have printed a travel alert that is available at airports statewide. The card explains the quarantine and what travelers should and should not do. The information is also available on the department’s website at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/reportingohiawilt/

The Merrie Monarch Festival runs from March 27 to April 2 with dozens of hula halau and hundreds of spectators traveling to and from Hawaii Island. It is important to note that the very act of harvesting ohia may spread the disease as spores may be carried in soil and by vehicles, shoes and clothing to uninfected areas.

Multi-agency ROD working groups have been meeting with Native Hawaiian groups, the Merrie Monarch organization and other community groups to provide advice and guidance on the handling of ohia material.

ROD was first noticed in 2010 in Puna. In 2014, the fungus was identified as Ceratocystis fimbriata by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Daniel K. Inouye Agricultural Research Service. In 2014, it was estimated that the disease covered approximately 6,000 acres from Kalapana to Hilo and exhibited tree mortality rates of more than 50 percent. Currently, it is estimated to infect about 34,000 acres. So far, the disease has not been found on other islands. It is not known how the disease entered the state or where it came from.

Travelers seeking more ohia inspection information may contact HDOA’s Plant Quarantine offices:

Hilo – (808) 974-4141
Kona – (808) 326-1077
Honolulu – (808) 837-8413
Maui – (808) 872-3848
Kauai – (808) 241-7135

More information on ROD may be found at:

HDOA website: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/reportingohiawilt/

UH-College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources website:  http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/disease/ohia_wilt.html

2016 “Hawaii: Next 50” Contest Winners Announced

The winners of the 2016 Hawaii: Next 50 Contest were honored as conductors of change on the floor of the Hawaii State House of Representatives today, followed by a luncheon with former Governor George Ariyoshi. More than 350 students statewide submitted essay, poster, and video submissions with ideas from new ways on harnessing solar, wind, wave, and geothermal power to increasing available energy efficient measures in everyday life.

next 50

The Hawaii: Next 50 Contest is inspired by Ariyoshi’s book, Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years, which provides a look back at our state’s history as well as suggestions for the road ahead. Students received free copies of the book and were asked to use it as a starting point to create their own predictions and vision of Hawaii’s renewable energy future.

The contest sponsored by aio Foundation, Hawaii Future Caucus, the Hawaii State House of Representatives, HGEA, and Ulupono Initiative.

In addition to the floor presentation and luncheon, winners received a monetary prize and will have their entries posted online at www.HawaiiNext50.com.

2016 Hawaii: Next 50 Contest Winners

Grades 4-5
Essay: Mei Rosa, Manoa Elementary School
Poster: Mana Harada, Maemae Elementary School

Grades 6-8
Essay: Alize Pagaduan, Highlands Intermediate School
Poster: (tie) Angelica Devers, Kapolei Middle School; Febelie Rodriguez, Waipahu Intermediate School

Grades 9-12
Essay: Sydney Millerd, Waipahu High School
Poster: Aolele Taulapapa, Kahuku High School

Hokulea Arrives in Cuba

Hokulea, the legendary voyaging canoe from Hawaii internationally known for her pioneering travels, has reached another “first” in her Worldwide Voyage: arrival on the shores of Cuba. The vessel reached Havana on Friday at 7:30 a.m. local time, after traveling over a thousand nautical miles from the British Virgin Islands, where the canoe was most recently docked. Note: Havana, Cuba is six hours ahead of Hawaii time.

Hokulea Cuba

“Being part of this hardworking crew who just completed a historic sail to this island country in the Caribbean Sea is nothing short of amazing,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain and pwo navigator. “We’re anticipating great learning experiences to emerge from our engagement with Cuba’s local community and customs. Our crew is also looking forward to sharing with Cuba’s residents Hokulea’s Malama Honua message of taking care of our precious natural resources.”

While in Cuba, the crew plans to visit Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meet with ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) about US-Cuban relations.   They also plan to meet with leaders of urban sustainability and marine conservation efforts in Cuba.

Hokulea Cuba2

From Cuba, Hokulea will sail up to US waters and stop at Key West before making her arrival in the continental US at Everglades City, FL at the end of March. From Florida, the canoe will travel up the US East Coast. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to be part of the United Nations’ World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crew members have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

Hokulea Cuba3

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Funds Received to Pilot an Innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) Project

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) has received grant funding to pilot an innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) project, starting this spring. The funding is provided by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Hawaii Reef

Across the island, the most common coastal interaction for DOCARE is with fishermen.  Often this interaction is a punitive measure like a citation.

DOCARE, the enforcement arm of DLNR, has long recognized the importance of building relationships with the public. The goal of the REEF project is to provide opportunities for officers and fishers to engage in activities together, such as site visits to walk shorelines and clarify state rules and regulations.

Studies have shown that when an officer takes the time to participate in something that is important to a certain segment of the community, this shows that they really care about people, not just about writing citations.

“Many fishers have asked for trainings to understand the “western science” behind rules and regulations…” said Luna Kekoa, Makai Watch coordinator for DOCARE, “…but fishers feel a lot of current training lacks cultural sensitivity.”

To address this concern, a component of the REEF project will include a newly developed `Ike Kai curriculum that incorporates relevant cultural knowledge and sensitivities, while covering rules and regulations from the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR).

DOCARE Chief Tommy Friel says, “Education is a critical component to help people understand why it is important to comply with the rules and regulations our officers enforce. Building this relationship is the means by which education is best achieved.”

For more information on the `Ike Kai curriculum visit the Makai Watch website: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/makaiwatch

Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces the Worldwide Voyage’s Upcoming Sail Plan – Hokulea to Set Sail Towards the US Mainland

Hokulea is changing course in pursuit of new connections and opportunities to share the principles of malama honua – caring for our Island Earth – the core mission of the legendary voyaging canoe’s ambitious Worldwide Voyage. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) released the new sail plan today, which charts a course for the East Coast of the continental United States from her current position in the Caribbean en route to Havana, Cuba.

worldwide voyage

“We see tremendous opportunities in these ports to engage with people who are leading the world in sustainable practices, including those who are integrating indigenous knowledge and perspectives to inform the choices we make about our future world,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of PVS. “We are hungry to learn from these visionaries, and we are honored to have the opportunity to share the story of our Voyage with the communities we will visit.”

As part of this new sail plan, Hokulea’s first contact with the continental United States will be in Florida at the end of March, hosted by organizations and communities such as Everglades National Park.

“It makes sense to have Hokulea’s arrival into the continental U.S. be at a place that is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a national park focused on restoring and protecting the country’s largest subtropical wilderness,” said Thompson. “This represents an important part of the mission of this Voyage, which is to recognize the efforts and learn from mission partners such as the National Park Service, which is celebrating its Centennial this year,” he added.

From Everglades National Park, the crew will sail up to Fort Meyers and then travel across the Florida peninsula via the Okeechobee Waterway to the eastern coast of the state, where they will celebrate the spirit of exploration and honor the late Lacy Veach at Kennedy Space Center in early April. Veach was a Hawaii-born NASA astronaut who first suggested the idea that Hokulea should sail around the world to share the message to care for Island Earth.

Following Florida, the crew will travel up the East Coast making several stops including South Carolina and Virginia. In Virginia, Hokulea and her crew will celebrate Earth Day with the Mariners’ Museum and community of Newport News, offering canoe tours and dockside outreach to the public. Additional engagement stops in Virginia include Yorktown and Tangier Island, where the crew will learn about the environmental issues affecting Chesapeake Bay and the efforts to protect the country’s largest watershed.

Continuing through the Chesapeake, Hokulea will sail to Piscataway Park, Maryland for a private ceremony with the area’s First Nations tribes followed by a Celebration of Friendship the next day that will take place in Old Town Alexandria, VA and will be open to the public. From there, the iconic canoe will arrive at the nation’s capital by sailing along the Potomac River and docking at the historic Washington Canoe Club.

After spending about a week in Washington D.C.,Hokulea will sail to New York City. On June 5, an arrival ceremony will be held as the canoe sails down the Hudson River and docks at North Cove Marina.

During Hokulea’s New York visit, the Polynesian Voyaging Society will be engaging in a variety of education and outreach activities. The organization has been working with local community organizations and schools in preparation for the June visit, and expects to reach out to children in different boroughs throughout the city.

On June 8, Hokulea will be a focal point at the World Oceans Day events hosted by the United Nations. The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. UN delegates, global conservation leaders, Hawaii environmental leaders, Hawaii education leaders, and supporters will come together to hear first-hand stories of the state of the ocean and celebrate the journey of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. During this time, Thompson will share progress on the declarations and commitments to action entrusted to Hokulea during the Voyage from the UN Secretary General, world leaders, and communities.

“New York City will be a pivotal point of the Worldwide Voyage,” said Thompson. “This is the place where we will bring together many of our partners and fellow ocean protectors, and we will be able to reflect, celebrate and thank everyone who has supported our mission,” he added.

While in New York City, Hokulea also will participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, which is the East Coast’s largest Pacific Islands festival and one of the world’s most competitive outrigger races.

Hokulea is expected to depart New York City on June 18 for several engagements in the New England states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Worldwide Voyage collaborators for this sail plan engagement include the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, UNESCO, American Canoe Association, Halawai NY, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and National Geographic Society among many others. PVS is working with U.S. East Coast schools to create opportunities for educational exchanges, and will open a door for Hawaii educators and students to join in these partnerships and engagement opportunities.

Sir Richard Branson Welcomes Navigator Nainoa Thompson and Hokulea to the British Virgin Islands

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea made a special stop and visited The Branson Estate on Moskito Island, which is owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

Branson and Nainoa

Branson greeted master navigator Nainoa Thompson and the crew as the canoe arrived on March 5, 2016.  The visit gave Branson and Thompson an opportunity to share their respective efforts and thoughts about ocean conservation.  During the visit, Thompson also honoured Branson as a Great Navigator of Island Earth in recognition for his contribution to the Earth and mankind and for his lifetime achievement of making the world a better place. During the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Thompson has been seeking out the Earth’s great navigators and has honored leaders such His Holiness Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

During the two day visit at Moskito Island, the crew was hosted at a welcome gathering and were able to explore the island’s pristine beaches.

Branson and Hokulea“On behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, it was an honor to bring Hokulea to Moskito Island while we are sailing through the Caribbean,” said Thompson.  “We were able to learn more about Sir Richard Branson’s work to conserve the Caribbean and hear how the region is becoming a leader in ocean conservation and sustainability,” he added.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “The Hokulea, just like our ocean, is majestic and performs remarkably so it’s good to see she is sailing around the world urging citizens of our planet to care of our oceans.

“Caribbean islands emit less than 1% of total global greenhouse gases, but with rising sea levels and extreme weather events, they are bearing the brunt of climate change. I truly believe the small islands in the Caribbean can be global leaders in ocean conservation and sustainability. By working together we can act as a test bed to demonstrate and scale innovative, clean energy solutions.”

Branson and Nainoa 2

While on Moskito Island, the crew also hosted Branson, community members and students from the environmental club of Lavity Stoutt Community College on a sail on Hokulea.

Both Branson and Thompson are members of the Ocean Elders, an independent group of global leaders focused on the protection of the ocean.

11th Annual Laupahoehoe Music Festival

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS) will host the 11th Annual Laupahoehoe Music Festival on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from  9 a.m.to 6 p.m.at beautiful Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park. Proceeds go to the LCPCS agricultural and technology programs.

Laupahoehoe Music Festival

First organized in 2005 under the foresight of Laupahoehoe resident musician Braddah Smitty, the nonprofit Malama Hawaii Nei hosted the event until 2015, awarding nearly $27,000 in scholarships to the students.

This year’s Hawaiian style event features some of the island’s best music and hula entertainers performing at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, noted for its sacred and natural beauty and was a regular stopover by Kamehameha in his canoe voyaging conquest of the islands. The LCPCS Ukelele Band will play this year, featuring secondary school students under the direction of music instructor Todd Otake.

Music Festival Laupahoehoe

Tickets are $10 in advance at Hilo Guitars, Basically Books, CD Wizard and Hilo Music Exchange in Hilo, and Sakado Store in Laupahoehoe, Taro Patch in Honokaa, and in Kona at Music Exchange, or $15 at the gate. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.LaupahoehoeMusicFestival.org. Age 10 and under are free.

Traditional cuisines such as Hawaiian style, Thai and more will be available for sale.  Vendors are still being accepted. Please contact Gerry Delgado at (808) 962-2200 or email gerry.delgado@lcpcs.org before March 10th.

Sponsors include Kau Coffee, Big Island Toyota and Ke Ola Magazine. For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact Delgado at the contact information provided above.

The 2015 Music Festival drew 500-600 people to the Point. This is a great opportunity to spend the day with ohana. Games for keiki are $5 for eight games with automatic prizes.

Hui Kako-o O Laupahoehoe, the LCPCS non-profit organization, will again offer a silent auction, with proceeds going to the arts and garden projects at the school.

It’s a day of music, music, music, ono grinds and crafts. Drinks available on site. No coolers please. This is an alcohol and drug free event.

“Uncle ‘Uke” Brings Hawaiian ‘Ukulele & Guitar Shop to Queens’ Marketplace

In the 100+ years since the ‘ukulele was introduced, it has become an icon for Hawaii’s music and island lifestyle. Expanding its reach, the Hawaiian ‘Ukulele & Guitar shop will open a new location  at Queens’ MarketPlace in April, more than doubling its retail space, and sharing new products with a growing family of ‘ukulele-lovers.

"Uncle 'Uke" Robert Yates with a custom pineapple 'ukulele. Photo courtesy Queens' MarketPlace.

“Uncle ‘Uke” Robert Yates with a custom pineapple ‘ukulele. Photo courtesy Queens’ MarketPlace.

In addition to instruments, Hawaiian ‘Ukulele & Guitar will stock an extensive selection of sheet music, CDs, DVDs, books, strings and accessories, plus a new line of ‘ukulele-centered clothing for men and women. Owner operator “Uncle Uke” Robert Yates has been building and playing instruments since he was a teenager on Oahu. He and his wife returned to Hawaii in 2012 and opened their first location in Kailua-Kona.

Uncle Uke will carry a wide variety of ukuleles, guitars and other instruments, including banjos and banjoleles. Many are custom made by nine different luthiers across the islands, himself included. Working in batches, Yates sets aside time two or three times a year to produce handmade instruments, a process he obviously loves.

“Being a builder—it’s not just about making a buck. It’s about creating something that’s unique, something that’s beautiful, something that sounds fantastic,” said Yates.

Yates is also working on a number of joint ventures with others around the world. “One is with a master luthier in Philippines to produce six very special pineapple ukuleles,” said Yates.

“Another one coming up, out of Canada, is “Prestige,” a semi-hollow body, cutaway steel string electric ‘ukulele. We’ve also started talking to a company about making a ‘harp ‘ukulele,’ with two necks, one with regular ‘ukulele strings and one with harp strings,” said Yates. “We have all sorts of different things coming up.”

For more information, call (808) 315-2919, or visit www.Hawaiian-Ukulele.com.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.