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Hula to be Featured at UH Hilo Fall Commencement

Fall commencement at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo takes on a different look this year, reflecting the view of higher education through an indigenous lens promoted by the UH System’s Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao initiative. The program will feature a student speaker, a hula presentation about learning and growth, and the awarding of degrees on Saturday, December 17 at 9 a.m. in Vulcan Gym.
uh-hilo-moniker
A total of 242 students have petitioned for 318 degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences (233), Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (21), Business and Economics (30), Pharmacy (6) and Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (7), while 21 others are candidates for various post-graduate honors.

Kyle James Davis, an agriculture major, will represent the graduating class as student speaker. Davis, who will receive a BS in tropical horticulture, has maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.48. His academic achievements include being named to the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management Dean’s List in 2013 and 2015. Davis also earned a Semester at Sea Scholarship and spent spring 2014 studying aboard the MV Explorer in nearly a dozen countries.

Davis is an ordained minister, who served five years in the US Army, including over two and a half years in Iraq as a combat medic. His commencement address will draw from his numerous life experiences and will include a call for his fellow graduates to broaden their horizons.

The chant- hula will be performed by UNUKUPUKUPU, Indigenous Leadership through Hula Program under the directorship of Pele Ka`io, Hawaiian Protocols Committee chairperson, and Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō, director of Hawaiian Culture and Protocols Engagement, at UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College.

Organizers anticipate a dynamic performance, with at least 50 individuals representing UH Hilo, HawCC, and Waiākea High School. Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, interim executive assistant to Chancellor Donald Straney, director of Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, and a member of UNUKUPUKUPU, will introduce the chant-hula, entitled ʻUlei Pahu I Ta Motu, which was composed more than 200 years ago and documents the evolution of world view.

The chant-hula will be preceded and followed by the sounding of 20 pahu (drums) and 20 pū (conch-shell trumpets). The 20 pū will also sound honoring Moana-nui-ākea (large and broad oceans) that connect Hawaiʻi to the world. The performance concludes with the presentation of Paʻakai (sea-salt) to honor the profound intersection where the learner transitions to graduate.

Straney said fall commencement provides a unique opportunity to showcase the UH Hilo – Hawaiʻi Community College Papa O Ke Ao collaboration, which seeks to make the UH campuses leaders in indigenous education.

Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit, or License System in Hawaii

Following six meetings earlier this year, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has received a report from a group of experts and organizations with interest in establishing non-commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii’i.

Click to read the study

Click to read the study

The independent group studied the potential benefits and impacts of different forms of a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license system.  Participants in the meetings, held between May and November, included the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Conservation International, fisheries resources managers, experts, and representatives from different fishing organizations and interest groups.

The study group interviewed fisheries managers from other coastal states, conducted a detailed economic feasibility analysis, and consulted with legal experts, including an expert in native Hawaiian law.

According to DAR Administrator Dr. Bruce Anderson, “This group specifically focused on the ability of a potential system to meet three primary fishery objectives.”  This includes providing additional and more robust data to support fisheries management; to foster more dialogue between fishers and managers; and to create a continuous source of independent funding to support effective fisheries management.  In expressing the DLNR’s appreciation to the members of the study group, Anderson wrote, “It is indeed a thorough and well-researched document.  We are impressed with the way all the members worked together throughout the project.

While Study Group members did not hesitate to express divergent views, their comments were always intended to be constructive. I believe the final report reflects this spirit of cooperation and collaboration as well as the dedication and hard work of all members.  Every member certainly has a great passion and appreciation of the value of our marine resources.”

Anderson concluded, “We look forward to getting comments from a broad range of stakeholders before making such a decision on what option is preferred. Undoubtedly, this report will generate considerable discussion and serve as a valuable reference for all those interested in this issue.”


The Division of Aquatic Resources has received the Final Report from the Study Group for the Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit, or License System for Hawai‘i.  The Study Group was jointly convened by Conservation International Hawai‘i and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, and consisted of fisheries resource managers, experts, and representatives from various fishing organizations and interest groups.  The Study Group examined the potential benefits and impacts of different forms of a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license system and specifically focused on the ability of such as system to meet three primary fishery management objectives: (1) provide additional and more robust data to support fisheries management, (2) foster more two-way dialogue between fishers and managers, and (3) create sources of independent, continuous funding to support effective fisheries management and enforcement.  The process included interviews with fisheries managers from other coastal states, a detailed economic feasibility analysis, and consultation with legal experts, including an expert in native Hawaiian law.

The final report and supporting appendices can be downloaded below. All are pdf files under 1 MB except where noted.

Final Report (6.2 MB)
Executive Summary (3.6 MB)
Appendix A – Charter of Commitments (1.4 MB)
Appendix B – Coastal States & Territories Comparison Matrix
Appendix C – List of Listening Sessions Between Study Group Meetings
Appendix D – Comparison of Non-commercial Marine Fishing Regulation Systems in States Similar to Hawaii
Appendix E – Overview of Hawaii Legal Considerations for Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing
Appendix F – Table of Provisions on the Right to Fish from Other States
Appendix G – Hawaii’s Traditional and Customary Rights Impact Analysis of Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing (19.9 MB)
Appendix H – Financial Impact Analysis of Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing
Appendix I – Personal Statements from Study Group Members

Hokulea Arrives in Miami, Completing Journey Along US East Coast

Traditional voyaging canoe Hokulea yesterday made her safe arrival into Miami, Florida, and the final stop on the 25th leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.

miamiCrewmembers moored the vessel at the city’s Shake-A-Leg Marina on Saturday afternoon where the canoe will remain for about three weeks for re-provisioning and preparations for the next leg of the voyage. The crew also will be engaging with the Miami community to share the message of Malama Honua (to care for Island Earth).

miami2The marina hosting Hokulea and her crew is home to Shake-A-Leg Miami, a non-profit organization providing opportunities for children, youth and adults with physical, developmental and economic challenges to experience watersports and Miami’s marine environment by teaching environmental lessons, therapeutic sailing and other water sport activities.  The children and adults participating in Shake-A-Leg Miami’s programs will be able to meet the crew and learn the inspiring stories about Hokulea while she is moored there.

miami3While in Miami, the crew also will conduct a series of free canoe tours and plans to connect with cultural and community leaders for educational opportunities that extend the mission of the Worldwide Voyage. The crew plans to reconnect with several Florida schools and representatives of the Miccosukee and Seminole Nation tribes, who welcomed Hokulea when she first arrived in Florida at Everglades National Park in March of this year before spending the next nine months sailing up the East Coast.

miami4“With every person our crew engages with, we get one step closer to growing a global movement of people who share a common passion of malama aina,” said Kalepa Baybayan, pwo navigator and captain for Hokulea’s sail throughout Florida. “Miami will be a critical break for our team as we create and engage in conversations with people who nurture and inspire stewardship for our Mother Earth.”

Miami is the final stop for Leg 25 of the Voyage, which began in Virginia following Hokulea’s drydock for maintenance and repairs.  A new crew will be arriving for Leg 26, which will sail the canoe to Hokulea will then prepare to cross the 48-mile Panama Canal before returning to the South Pacific Ocean to make her momentous journey home to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hulihe’e Palace Remembers Kamehameha Schools Founder

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi. Presenting hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

huliheePrincess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Jolee Chip, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Chip.

Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday—with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.

Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday- Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges President to Immediately Halt Dakota Access Pipeline

In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard called on President Obama to immediately halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and announced plans to join thousands of veterans from across the country to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota this weekend.

tulsi-dakota“Growing up in Hawaii, I learned the value of caring for our home, caring for our planet, and the basic principle that we are all connected in a great chain of cause and effect.

“The Dakota Access Pipeline is a threat to this great balance of life. Despite strong opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux and serious concerns raised by the EPA, the Department of Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other Federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers approved permits to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline without adequately consulting the tribes, and without fully evaluating the potential impacts to neighboring tribal lands, sacred sites, and their water supply. Just one spill near the tribe’s reservation could release thousands of barrels of crude oil, contaminating the tribe’s drinking water.

“The impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline is clear. Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the Dakota Pipeline, has a history of serious pipeline explosions, which have caused injury, death, and significant property damage in the past decade. The future operator of the planned pipeline, Sunoco Logistics, has had over 200 environmentally damaging oil spills in the last 6 years alone—more than any of its competitors.

“Protecting our water is not a partisan political issue—it is an issue that is important to all people and all living beings everywhere. Water is life. We cannot survive without it. Once we allow an aquifer to be polluted, there is very little that can be done about it. This is why it is essential that we prevent water resources from being polluted in the first place.

“Our Founding Fathers took great inspiration from Native American forms of governance, and the democratic principles that they were founded on. Their unique form of governance was built on an agreement called the Great Law of Peace, which states that before beginning their deliberations, the council shall be obliged, and I quote, “to express their gratitude to their cousins and greet them, and they shall make an address and offer thanks to the earth where men dwell, to the streams of water, the pools, the springs and the lakes, to the maize and the fruits, to the medicinal herbs and trees, to the forest trees for their usefulness, and to the Great Creator who dwells in the heavens above, who gives all the things useful to men, and who is the source and the ruler of health and life.”

“This recognition of our debt to the Creator and our responsibility to be responsible members of this great web of life was there from the beginning of Western democracy.

“Freedom is not a buzzword. The freedom of our Founding Fathers was not the freedom to bulldoze wherever you like.

“Our freedom is a freedom of mind, a freedom of heart, freedom to worship as we see fit, freedom from tyranny and freedom from terror. That’s the freedom this country was founded on, the freedom cultivated by America’s Native people, and the freedom the Standing Rock Sioux are now exercising.

“This weekend I’m joining thousands of veterans from across the country at Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with our Native American brothers and sisters. Together we call on President Obama to immediately halt the construction of this pipeline, respect the sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, and respect their right to clean water. The truth is, whether it’s the threat to essential water sources in this region, the lead contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, or the threat posed to a major Hawaiʻi aquifer by the Red Hill fuel leak, each example underscores the vital importance of protecting our water resources.

“We can’t undo history, but we must learn lessons from the past and carry them forward—to encourage cooperation among free people, to protect the sacred, to care for the Earth and for our children, and our children’s children. What’s at stake is our shared heritage of freedom and democracy and our shared future on this Great Turtle Island, our great United States of America.”

Background: In September, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and 18 House Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama calling on the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill their responsibility of holding meaningful consultation and collaboration with the Standing Rock Sioux over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Full text of the letter is available here.

American Indians and Native Hawaiians Mortgages Shot Down Half the Time

According to an article published today in Indian Country Today,
American Indians and Native Hawaiians when applying for home mortgages were shot down half the time:

Image via 808 Viral

Image via 808 Viral

Neither American Indians nor Native Hawaiians received half of the mortgages they applied for last year, though Hawaiians came to within a hair of it.

Native Americans (including Alaska Natives) received 46 percent of the loans they applied for, according to data lenders filed with the federal government. They applied for 70,000 mortgages in 2015 and received 32,500, the data show.

Native Hawaiians (including indigenous Pacific Islanders from Guam and American Samoa) applied for 49,000 and were successful in 24,600 cases, or a rate of 49.95 percent…

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/11/27/american-indians-and-native-hawaiians-mortgages-shot-down-half-time-166563

Hawaiian Airlines Pilots Closer to Striking – Possible Shutdown of Airlines

Many folks have seen Hawaiian Airline Pilots wearing lanyards that read “Fully Qualified… Partially Paid” for the last few months that represents the pilots frustrations with their contract negotiations.

I have learned that “mediation process” that was going on during November has ended without resolution.

What this means, is that Hawaiian Airline pilots are getting closer to a strike and shutdown of the airline!

mec-alertHawaiian Pilots:

Your MEC and Negotiating Committee were back in Virginia this week for the last scheduled round of mediation under the supervision of Senior Mediator Patricia Sims and NMB Board Chair Linda Puchala. Like our other sessions, mediation again ended without an agreement. To say we are unhappy is an understatement.

Management efforts to reach an agreement were completely unsatisfactory. While adding money to their previous substandard position, the company does not believe that Hawaiian pilots are due the market compensation that other pilots receive. Instead management continues to argue that we should work for less than our professional colleagues, or “buy” industry pay rates by generating offsets that fund those increases.

The MEC and NC categorically and emphatically reject that choice.  We are tired of subsidizing the company’s success. The company has no choice but to pay market rates for airplanes, and they will have no choice but to pay market rates for pilots.  It’s alarming that the CEO risks Hawaiian Airlines’ 2017 financial plans and projections, and its long-term future, by repeatedly denying the reality of the commercial marketplace.

Not only was the Company’s final pay proposal more than $20 less than the rates in recent pilot settlements, but also, management’s offer continues to pro-rate days off, keep vacation and training days at their current rate, and demand non-seniority list simulator instructors.

Early Saturday morning the NMB advised the bargaining parties that it will not schedule additional mediation sessions.  While no specific timeline was discussed, the NMB stated it will instead move forward with the actions available under the Railway Labor Act to bring negotiations to a close.  We left the meeting with renewed resolve to achieve a market-rate contract – and one that reflects our contribution to the company’s stunning and record profitability.

Senior management will no doubt try to “spin” a story about their latest proposal and argue that ALPA rejected a major pay increase without providing the full picture. We will provide additional information about the parties’ positions in the coming days.  The Association will also provide opportunities for increased pilot activity to warn the public about our looming dispute and possible disruptions to their travel plans once the RLA process is completed.  In addition, ALPA will soon be setting new informational picketing dates and other opportunities for you to show your resolve through lawful activity.

Amazingly, management continues to request contract concessions that facilitate more efficient training and operation!  In the face of management’s failure to consider the interests of Hawaiian pilots, ALPA pilot leadership has no appetite whatsoever for new LOAs like those.  In fact, we are considering whether it is even appropriate to continue existing discretionary arrangements.

It’s unfortunate that we have reached this point. Hawaiian continues to earn massive profits and its finances are stronger than ever. The company can afford your proposals. It simply doesn’t want to agree to them and considers pilot pay increases “discretionary” or “controllable.”  As the end of the year approaches, each Hawaiian pilot family must carefully review its personal financial situation to determine whether you are prepared for a strike. We recommend that major purchases or expenditures be postponed.  Be prudent and be ready.

Thank you for your continued interest, support and activity.  Regrettably, we will soon ask you to do even more to help bring home the market rate contract you have earned and deserve.

December’s Centennial Events at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

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

All ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply for programs in the park. 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:

Hawai‘i Nei Saturday. Come “Find Your Park” in Hilo and enjoy artwork that celebrates the native plants and animals of the five national parks on Hawai‘i Island, and the human connection to these special places. The “National Parks Preserving Pilina” category celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and features artwork from talented Hawai‘i Island artists, including a painting titled “Lava Coming to Life on the Coastal Plain,” by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Ranger Diana Miller! Hawai‘i Nei is an annual juried art show that is not to be missed. Visit www.hawaiineiartcontest.org for more information. Free.

  • When: Sat., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: Wailoa Center, 200 Piopio Street, Hilo

Gorillas, Volcanoes and World Heritage of Virunga National Park. Founded in 1925, Virunga National Park became the first national park on the continent of Africa. Join travel writer and Virunga advocate, Kimberly Krusel, as she takes us on a virtual visit to what has been called “the most biologically significant park in Africa.” Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kapa Making. Feel the unique texture and beautiful designs of Hawaiian bark cloth created by skilled practitioner Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell. Kapa is the traditional cloth used by native Hawaiians for clothing. Kupu kapa, the skill of creating kapa, is rarely seen today and requires years of practice and labor to master. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park: Kīlauea Military Camp, Once a Detainment Camp. Most people are unaware that Kīlauea Military Camp in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was used as a Japanese detainment camp during World War II.

Soldiers outside Building 34 in Kīlauea Military Camp during the 1940s. Photo courtesy of Kīlauea Military Camp.

Soldiers outside Building 34 in Kīlauea Military Camp during the 1940s. Photo courtesy of Kīlauea Military Camp.

Park Archeologist Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura will discuss the experience and subsequent detention of Japanese-Americans here following the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The last After Dark in the Park Centennial series presentation of 2016! Free.

  • When: Tues., Dec. 13, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Centennial Hike: Kīlauea Military Camp. Park staff will lead a revealing walk through Kīlauea Military Camp, used as a Japanese detainment camp during World War II. About an hour. Free.

  • When: Sat., Dec. 17, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Meet at the flagpole at Kīlauea Military Camp

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki 17 and younger and their families to journey into the past on the new Pu‘u Kahuku Trail in the Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū. Create your own piece of Hawaiian featherwork on this day of fun and discovery. Call (808) 985-6019 to register by December 2. Bring lunch, snacks, a reusable water bottle, water 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., Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Register by Dec. 2.
  • Where: Kahuku Unit

Find Your Park on the Big Screen: Acadia National Park. Acadia and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Parks are thousands of miles apart, but they have much in common. Both parks turned 100 this year, and both are on islands defined by their indigenous host cultures, fascinating geology, and intriguing biodiversity. Learn about Maine’s iconic national park in the new film, “A Second Century of Stewardship: Science Behind the Scenery in Acadia National Park,” by filmmaker David Shaw. Free.

  • When: Tues., Dec. 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kenneth Makuakāne in Concert. Enjoy the melodies of multiple award-winning artist Kenneth Makuakāne. His accolades include 15 Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards and six Big Island Music Awards. A prolific songwriter, Kenneth’s compositions have bene recorded by artists such as The Brothers Cazimero, Nā Leo Pilimehana, and many more. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

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

Rapid Ohia Death Kills Forest Giant and Confirms Spread to Hamakua

Twin Tests Verify Fungal Disease Killed Centuries Old Tree

From the road, in the Laupahoehoe Section of the Hilo Forest Reserve, Steve Bergfeld of the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources spots the enormous, towering, ōhiʻa tree; its thick branches now completely without leaves.  The Hawai’i Island Branch Manager for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife wants to get a close-up look at the tree, after a technician first spotted it and took samples a week ago.  Two laboratory tests have confirmed that this very old tree was killed by the fast-moving fungal infection known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death.

ohia-death2Across Hawai’i Island, the disease is killing trees and devastating tens of thousands of acres of native forest. First reported in the Puna District in 2010, the latest aerial surveys show that the fungus has impacted nearly 50,000 acres of forest here.

Named for the rapidity in which it kills infected trees, the loss of the 100-130 foot tall ōhiʻa in the Laupahoehoe forest, and perhaps others around it, shows the disease has spread to the island’s eastern side, along the Hamakua Coast.  Bergfeld observed, “It’s devastating to look at the forest and the damage Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death is doing to our ecosystem and our watersheds. That tree is a giant in the forest. It also supports a lot of other plant life and bird life. It was an important part of our ecosystem. These trees have been here for hundreds of years and to see them go down to a disease like this is really heartbreaking.”

ohia-death1ʻŌhiʻa trees are culturally significant and their flowers are prized for lei making. Foresters consider ōhiʻa the most important species for protecting the state’s forested watersheds for its dense canopy, where virtually all domestic water supplies originate.

That’s why a strong collaboration between state and federal government agencies and conservation organizations is actively researching the cause of the disease, potential treatments, and the establishment of quarantines and protocols to prevent further spread.

ohia-death3The identification of this diseased tree is the latest example of this cooperative effort.  The tree was spotted by a technician from the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Island Forestry, who collected the wood samples for lab testing.  Verification of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, as the trees cause of death, was done by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo.

An entomologist from the University of Hawai’i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Extension Service also collected samples for research that suggests beetles are a primary cause for the spread of the fungus.

ohia-deathBergfeld explains the next steps involving experts from the Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death working group. “We’ll put everyone’s heads together and see what the best management strategy will be for this particular tree.  I assume, more than likely, we’ll fell the tree to get it out of the forest and cover it with tarps to keep insects from putting out frass (the powdery refuse or fragile perforated wood produced by the activity of boring insects), into the air,” he said.

Experts are very concerned that with the confirmation of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death in this tree, the disease has spread to a previously unaffected area farther up the Hamakua Coast: a forest already impacted by a 2013-2014 outbreak of the Koa looper, a native insect that defoliates entire koa trees during rare, unexplained outbreaks.
Governor David Ige, lead scientists, and policy makers engaged in the fight against Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, will gather for the first-ever summit on the disease at the State Capitol on

Wednesday, November 30, 2016.  The event is open to the public and is scheduled from

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Capitol Auditorium.  More information on this to follow.

‘Alalā Doing Well in Aviary in Natural Reserve Area

The five male birds living in an aviary at the Pu’u Maka`ala Natural Area Reserve on Hawai‘i island are adjusting well to their new environment according to animal care staff of the San Diego Zoo Global’s Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program.  The birds were moved to the aviary in mid-October to allow them to acclimate to the sights and sounds of a Hawaiian forest.  This reserve is an area that conservationists have worked to preserve, protecting native plants and species, and represents the type of habitat ‘alalā were originally native to before they began to decline.

"Nahoa" rebuilds his perching ability in a custom-made sling.

“Nahoa” rebuilds his perching ability in a custom-made sling.

“Decades of intensive management by the State Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, in stewardship with local conservation partners, have led to the preservation of some of the most intact native-dominated wet and mesic forest on windward Hawai`i Island, known as Pu`u Maka`ala Natural Area Reserve,” said Jackie Gaudioso-Levita, Project Coordinator of the ‘Alalā Project.

‘Alalā are an important part of the life of the Hawaiian forest, eating and assisting with the dispersal of native plant seeds.   The reintroduction of this species, gone from the forest for more than a decade, is expected to be an important part of the overall recovery of the ecosystem.

“This reserve is the highest quality habitat and is the best place on the island of Hawai`i for the reintroduction of the ‘alalā,” said Donna Ball, Conservation Partnerships biologist, U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service.  “Pu’u Maka`ala Natural Area Reserve has all the components for the survival of this species and soon it will also have the ‘alalā, a missing species of the ecosystem that has returned.”

The ‘alalā, or Hawaiian crow, has been extinct in the wild since 2002, preserved only at the Keauhou and Maui Bird Conservation Centers managed by San Diego Zoo Global.  With more than 100 individuals of the species now preserved at the centers, conservationists are ready to put them back into their native forests.  Although it was hoped to release the birds this month, the release was unexpectedly and cautiously postponed to ensure the transmitters that will track the birds could be properly refined.

“‘Alalā are very intelligent and precocious birds and are inclined to play with and manipulate new items, so our ability to observe their behaviors closely and give them more time allows us to make adjustments to the tracking systems we will be using once they are released,” said Bryce Masuda, conservation program manager of the Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program. “It is important for us to track these birds once they go out into the forest so that we can continue to support them as they explore their new home.”

Hawai’i  Dept. of Land and Natural Resources mission statement – Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawai’i nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The mission of the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office is to conserve and restore native biodiversity and ecological integrity of Pacific Island ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations through leadership, science-based management and collaborative partnerships.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Help Celebrate the ʻAlalā on Saturday in Hilo

E Hoʻolāʻau Hou ka ʻAlalā 

‘Alala are unique treasures of our Hawaiian forests, revered in Hawaiian culture. This very intelligent native bird is found nowhere else on earth. It’s been extinct in the wild for some time and is our only native crow still surviving in captivity. The DLNR ʻAlalā Project is holding a community celebration in advance of the first release of the Native Hawaiian crow back into the wild, to be scheduled in the next few weeks.

alala-celebrationWhat:   Everyone is invited to join us for the celebration of one of Hawai‘i’s most interesting native forest birds. Learn about the ʻAlalā Project, the extraordinary efforts underway to best ensure their reintroduction and survival in their native habitats, Fun for the whole ‘ohana.  Enjoy videos, keiki activities and conservation information displays and booths.

When:  Saturday, November 19th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, 76 Kamehameha Ave. in downtown Hilo.

Who:  The ʻAlalā Project is a partnership between the State of Hawaiʻi Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and San Diego Zoo Global.

Nainoa Thompson Honored with 2016 Legacy Award at the Annual BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit

Renowned navigator and Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson was honored yesterday with the 2016 Legacy Award at the annual BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit. The prestigious accolade celebrates and recognizes leaders that have made extraordinary achievements to create a lasting legacy in ocean conservation, exploration, education, innovation, and the pursuit of marine knowledge.

nainoa-blue“Like crossing the deep ocean in a voyaging canoe, navigating towards a better Island Earth takes a crew of passionate people with the power and commitment to make a difference,” said Thompson. “I am truly inspired to be surrounded by so many others here at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival who are taking risks and making great strides towards global sustainability, respect for our ocean, and the kind of education that prepares our next generation of stewards who will navigate our communities to a brighter future.”

Thompson was acknowledged for his leadership on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage as captain and navigator of iconic sailing canoe Hokulea. Throughout the world-spanning wayfinding journey, he has guided crew members in successfully sharing experiential education and inspiring communities to care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments. In addition to Thompson, the honor was also presented to Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, who has produced and directed some of the industry’s most enduring conservation education films.

“It is a privilege to welcome Nainoa and Greg as this year’s Legacy Award winners and praise them as outstanding pioneers that personify great courage, passion and wisdom,” said BLUE CEO Debbie Kinder. “For seven years, we’ve successfully hosted this celebration of achievements in ocean conservation and are proud to call it the birthplace of many inspiring and innovative collaborations each year.”

Founded in 2009, BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit is a unique convergence of film festival and ocean conservation summit, highlighting ocean-related films, breath-taking photography, inspiring keynotes, captivating art, thought-provoking panels, engaging music, hands-on workshops, conservation activities and great parties. It has become one of the world’s most popular ocean events for innovators, entrepreneurs, government dignitaries, emerging talent, media icons, thought-leaders, scientists, teachers, explorers and industry professionals from all walks of life who share a common passion for the sea.

Past recipients of the Legacy Award include Captain Don Walsh for ocean exploration, James Cameron for ocean filmmaking, Phil Nuytten for ocean exploration, Eugenie Clark for ocean science, Stan Waterman for ocean filmmaking and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco for ocean stewardship.

For more information on the 2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, please click here.

Nordstrom Ala Moana Picks Up Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen and Tiki Shark

Located in Hawaii’s biggest and most high profile mall, Nordstrom Ala Moana has picked up Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen and artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parkers souvenir line just in time for the 2016 Holiday Season.

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Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker getting into the holiday spirit.

“We are so excited to feature such a colorful and high quality line in our At-Home section” quoted Deja Young At-home Dept Manager “hope to see you for Chef Sam Choy’s and artist Brad Parker’s personal appearance next month” she added.

sam-choy-nordstrom-display“Wow these towels are soft and absorbent…turned out better than I expected”, “I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful store” commented the world famous celebrity chef.

“These are embroidered designs specially manufactured for Nordstrom and other limited venues” commented Abbas Hassan – Senior Vice President of Tiki Shark Art Inc. who is also the celebrity chefs and renowned artists agent.  “We had a lot of inquiries about Brad’s art being available in Honolulu and we are so happy to be able to fill that demand thru Nordstrom’s” he quoted.

sam-in-nordstromsA public signing and personal appearance is scheduled at the 186,000 square foot store on December 4 – 2 PM to 6 PM.  General public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid the rush.

sam-in-front-of-nordstromsChef Sam Choy’s products can also be purchased on line at www.chefsamchoy.com

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his artworks are currently featured in Hawaiian Airlines Hana Hou Magazine. His company Tiki Shark Art Inc was name the 10th Fastest Growing Companies in the State of Hawaii by Pacific Business News.

Hokulea Celebrated at Virginia’s Nationally-Acclaimed Mariners’ Museum

As Hokulea undergoes maintenance while in dry dock at the nationally-acclaimed Mariners’ Museum, guests can learn about the history of the legendary voyaging canoe at the new Polynesian Voyagers exhibition. In collaboration with the Polynesian Voyaging Society,the display was designed to highlight the story of settlement in the vast Pacific Islands and celebrate the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Polynesian Voyagers is offered in conjunction with Hokulea’s second visit to Hampton Roads, Virginia and will remain open until June 11, 2017.

drydockThe educational partnership was established to further the voyage’s mission of fostering learning environments and honoring cultures on a global scale. The unique showcase was made possible through a collaboration of thought leaders, including Museum curators, crewmembers, Native Hawaiian educators, Polynesian leaders and local community partners. As a result, visitors can explore traditional supplies and methods encountered on a voyaging canoe and learn more about the time-honored wayfinding skills of Polynesian navigators.

drydock-calvin“This collaboration has helped us celebrate the time-honored legacy of Hokulea and pave a new pathway for education,” said Miki Tomita, director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society Learning Center. “It’s been a privilege to partner with the Mariners’ Museum as we continue our nautical journey along the Worldwide Voyage.”

As the dry dock crew works on Hokulea, museumgoers are invited to experience the vessel up close and watch as repairs and restoration work take place during Museum business hours. Hokulea is scheduled to remain parked at the Mariners’ Museum until Sunday, Nov 6.

drydock-marcFor over 80 years, the Mariners’ Museum has been dedicated to connecting communities to the world’s waterways through exploration and engaging experiences. With its rare international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime artifacts, guests take on history through an interactive lens and are offered a unique educational opportunity.

During the week of Nov. 7, the vessel will be transported back to the open ocean to begin its next leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage to Miami, Florida.

For more information on the Mariners’ Museum’s Polynesian Voyagers exhibit, visit http://www.marinersmuseum.org/polynesianvoyagers/

14th Annual ‘Ukulele & Slack Key Guitar Festival

If it is mid-November and Waimea, it is almost guaranteed that local legends in Hawaiian music will be somewhere in town, strumming a guitar, plucking ‘ukulele, singing, talking story, jamming, teaching, laughing, eating, and giving their all to honor the best of Hawai‘i’s musical traditions.

The 14th Annual ‘Ukulele & Slack Key Guitar Festival takes place November 17, 18 and 19, 2016, and will offer concerts, workshops and Kahilu Theatre’s most inclusive educational outreach for students.

Led Kaapana & Mike Kaawa (photo credit: Steven Roby)

Led Kaapana & Mike Kaawa (photo credit: Steven Roby)

This year’s event features treasured Festival performers Nathan Aweau, Benny Chong, Ledward Kaapana, Mike Kaawa, Sonny Lim, and Jeff Peterson. New to the Kahilu Festival, but not to Hawaiian music, is Hilo-based musician and songbird, Kainani Kahaunaele, and from Waikoloa on steel guitar, Iaukea Bright.

The 14th Annual ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Festival includes two days of the musicians travelling from Kona to Laupahoehoe to give free concerts in Hawai’i Island schools. Organized by Kahilu Education Coordinator Lisa Shattuck, last year’s Festival musicians performed to more than 5,000 local students.

Nathan Aweau (photo credit: Steven Roby)

Nathan Aweau (photo credit: Steven Roby)

“It is a delightful confluence of our mission and vision,” says Kahilu Theatre Executive Director Deb Goodwin. “These renown musicians, many who have been regular performers since our very first ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Institute, tell us they look forward to coming together to play music and to give back. Our staff, Board members, and sponsors are all enthusiastic to know Hawaiian music and all the trimmings will once again fill the Theatre and reach out to schools across the island.”

Jeff Peterson (Photo Credit: Steven Roby)

Jeff Peterson (Photo Credit: Steven Roby)

Thursday night’s concert will invite audience members who bring their own instrument to come on stage after intermission and play along with the performers in true “kanikapila” style. The Friday night concert will feature all the Festival musicians performing new work as well as playing together in crowd-pleasing, classic collaborations. Saturday morning Kahilu will offer a slate of workshops led by the musicians and culminate in a final performance of island favorites with some special guests adding to the mix. All of the musicians are active and passionate cultural practitioners and have individually and collectively played at a variety of esteemed public and private events.

Benny Chong (Photo Credit: Steven Roby)

Benny Chong (Photo Credit: Steven Roby)

“The Festival members hope to offer a fresh new program that renews respect for the unique sounds of traditional Hawaiian music,” says Paul Buckley, proprietor of Waimea Music Center and one of the event sponsors. “What we all share in common is that we want to inspire the next generation to pick up an instrument and play.”

Sonny Lim (Photo Credit: Steven Roby)

Sonny Lim (Photo Credit: Steven Roby)

The 14th Annual Waimea ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar Festival is sponsored by Zora & Les Charles, Ka‘eo & Mahina Duarte, Alva Kaipoleimanu Kamalani, Bob & Donna Povich, Kamuela Inn, and Waimea Music Center.

The Kahilu 2016/17 Hawaiian Series is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and Kapa Radio.

Ticket Pricing & Information:

  • Thursday: $23 / $13 with Instrument
  • Friday: $63 / $43 / $23
  • Saturday: $63 / $43 / $23

Tickets – Thursday: http://kahilutheatre.org/ Showinfo/14th-Annual—- Ukulele—Slack-Key-Guitar- Festival—Kanikapila

Tickets – Friday: http://kahilutheatre.org/ Showinfo/14th-Annual—- Ukulele—Slack-Key-Guitar- Festival—Main-Concert

Tickets – Saturday: http://kahilutheatre.org/ Showinfo/14th-Annual—- Ukulele—Slack-Key-Guitar- Festival—Festival-Finale

 

People’s Congress Tonight at UH Hilo

Leading non-profit and advocacy groups in Hawai‘i launched “The People’s Congress,” a new initiative to build a more just, fair and healthy future for Hawai`i. Working with organizations and individuals across the islands, this coalition seeks to end systemic barriers to justice with the launch of a “People’s Agenda” – a political and organizing strategy for lasting positive change in Hawaiʻi.

peoples-congressThe main launch event of The People’s Congress is a two-day statewide convention on December 2-4, 2016 in Honolulu, hosted by organizations and community leaders working across the islands on issues of social, economic, racial and environmental justice. Also, from October 19th – 27th, community forums will be held on each island to convene local leaders and gather input for the People’s Agenda.

Today, Thursday Oct. 27th, from 6pm-9pm in UCB 100 at UHH 200 W. Kawili St. Free parking on campus after 4pm. This event is free and will include some light pupus from local restaurants and farmers, feel free to bring something to share.

There will be food/refreshments at the event and free HAPA T-shirts for the first 15 people to sign-in.

The People’s Congress will provide an opportunity to engage in shared movement building and concrete action. More information is available at: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesCongressHI. (Upcoming website address: www.PeoplesCongressHI.org)

People’s Congress Partner Organizations include Aikea Movement, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety (HCFS), Hawai‘i People’s Fund, Hawai‘i SEED, Hawai‘i Teachers for Change Caucus, Hawai‘i’s Thousand Friends, Life of the Land, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC), Sierra Club of Hawai`i, the Aloha ‘Aina Project, and Unite Here! Local 5 Union and Global HOPE.

Why Now? Hawai‘i residents are facing fundamental challenges: historic wealth inequality and a high cost of living, lack of affordable housing, an education system in crisis, and the 6th highest rate of poverty in the United States. And Hawai‘i’s lands and waters are at increasing risk: local funding for environmental protection is dropping as the climate crisis worsens; streams are diverted even as we face drought. Because Hawai`i imports 80% of our food and much of our energy, we are vulnerable to high food and energy prices, shortages in basic necessities, and unstable job markets. Hawaiʻi’s residents need fundamental change. That is why The People’s Congress will convene concerned citizens throughout the islands to focus on positive solutions to these long-standing problems.

“Hawai‘i Appleseed is excited to be a part of the People’s Congress because of its potential to bring together a strong, unified voice to address the most pressing issues facing Hawai‘i,” said Gavin Thornton, Co-Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. “So many of our residents struggle with high housing costs, low wages, inequitable tax burdens, and other widespread problems that threaten their ability to achieve economic stability and fulfill their potential.

The People’s Congress can help create a shared vision of a better Hawai‘i and raise the chorus for positive change.” Cade Watanabe, of Unite Here! Local 5 and Aikea Movement said, “We live in a Hawai`i that today provides less and less opportunity for Hawai‘i’s working families. The People’s Congress is an exciting opportunity for our members to connect, strategize and organize for a better Hawai‘i. It’s time for us to take back our community.” Tiare Lawrence, Project Coordinator for HAPA, and also a founder and community organizer for the Aloha `Āina Project, believes that the People’s Congress “will allow us the opportunity to build partnerships and help us help each other. I believe these partnerships will assist us in achieving our goals for a better Hawai‘i.”

Moses K.N. Haia, Executive Director for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) said, “The People’s Congress represents cooperative and collaborative work which seeks proactive change for the benefit of the entire community. For NHLC, this initiative provides a partnership opportunity that will greatly assist with identifying the issues important to members of the larger community as a means of engaging in a collective effort to align those interests with the best interests of the Hawaiian community.”

The head of the Hawai`i “Teachers for Change” Caucus, Mireille Ellsworth, makes clear “we want to establish connections with activists on other issues that also affect our students, members and the larger community. Without developing shared understanding of the need for crosscutting solidarity in action, we will always be easily isolated and defeated.”

Marti Townsend, Director of Sierra Club of Hawai‘i said, “People’s Congress provides a unique opportunity for us to work together with others of like-mind and mission. The Sierra Club’s mission is to protect both the natural and human environment. To achieve this mission we need a fair and open government committed to serving the interests of the people, not corporations. We need a system that respects and includes all of us equally. We need a community united in our collective best interest to overcome the oppression and fear that dictates so much of our decisionmaking today.”

“There are so many good people working on important issues, from protecting our natural resources for future generations, to issues of homelessness, wealth inequality, open government, education and equal rights,” said Anne Frederick, Executive Director of HAPA. “We believe that if we come together through the People’s Congress to identify the barriers we face in common and illuminate the root causes of injustice we all face, that we (and our work) can be more powerful and effective.”

Local Artist Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Combat Native Tree Disease

This week, Hawai’i artist and documentary filmmaker Laurie Sumiye launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness and prevent the spread of Rapid Ohia Death (ROD), a fungus killing swaths of native ‘ohia forest on Hawaii Island.

iloveohiaOn October 24th, “I Love Ohia: A Forest Fundraiser” began accepting donations on the social change crowdfunding site, StartSomeGood. The campaign has raised over half of its $4,000 goal in just three days.

The fundraiser will pay for decontamination kits for the public to prevent the spread of the disease. Supporters receive rewards with the artist’s signature drawings on stickers, tshirts and prints. If the campaign exceeds its goal, monies will go towards test kits for landowners to identify diseased trees on their property. Test kit samples will be used to aid researchers in discovering a cure for ROD.

Ms. Sumiye is collaborated on the effort with outreach specialists from Department of Land and Natural Resources and University of Hawai’i to figure out a new way to engage the public to help protect the future of Hawaii’s native forests.

“I was inspired to help my friends Anya Tagawa and Corie Yanger, who work in Hilo doing amazing outreach work with ROD. When I heard they needed help to fund ROD conservation projects, I immediately offered my ‘ohi’a artwork and volunteered my video skills to the cause,” said Sumiye.

The local-born artist from Mililani previously worked with them when she lived in Hilo for a year to do research for her environmental art and documentary projects.

ABOUT: StartSomeGood is an Australia-based crowdfunding platform for social impact projects and organizations. Their focus is on social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for creating change.

Crowdfunding link:
https://startsomegood.com/i-love-ohia

Hokulea on Display at Virginia’s Mariner’s Museum as Crew Conducts Vital Maintenance Work in Preparation for Journey Home

Legendary voyaging canoe, Hokulea, is currently in dry dock at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia to undergo her last major maintenance of the World Wide Voyage.  This process brings her out of the water for about three weeks to undergo routine inspection and maintenance. During the dry dock period, visitors at the Mariner’s Museum are able to see the iconic sailing vessel while her crew completes their work. In conjunction with Hokulea’s visit, the museum is holding a new exhibition called Polynesian Voyagers, which celebrates the Malama Honua message and voyaging heritage of Polynesian wayfinding.
hokulea-drydock3
“This is an educational opportunity to display Hokulea’s beauty and history to an audience unfamiliar with the complexities and skills of Polynesian navigation,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “It also allows us time to take necessary care of our seafaring home, our canoe.”
hokulea-drydockHokulea’s last dry dock was in Cape Town, South Africa; the process includes varnishing, repainting or repairing parts of the canoe. At the museum, the crew is working on sealing and replacing parts such as the canoe’s main steering blade.
“It’s so important for any vessel to be examined and refurbished out of the water,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo navigator overseeing the dry dock procedures. “But especially for Hokulea, as she journeys an unprecedented expedition that even motorized vessels don’t attempt.”
hokulea-drydock2Hokulea will remain at the museum until early November, when she will leave Virginia to embark on the last legs of her journey around the world before arriving home in June 2017. To help ensure Hokulea is safe, seaworthy and beautiful for the thousands of nautical miles that lay ahead, supporters can help fund the 2016 dry dock efforts at Hokulea.com/give.

Iconic Hawaiian Bird Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sea to Sky” – Rebuilding Hōkūalaka’i

A free youth event called “Sea to Sky” will be held this weekend.  This event is designed to bring different aspects of our island together with the common purpose of rebuilding the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.  The Hōkūalaka’i will be used for teaching purposes on Hawaiʻi Island and beyond. Hōkūalakaʻi’s home is in the same location (Palekai) that the historic Hōkūleʻa departed from on its world wide voyage.

hokulakaiThis will be the first of many “Sea to Sky” events at Palekai in Hilo.  It will be an all day event with something for everyone to enjoy.  We have invited many members of the scientific field to have fun educational learning stations available for kids and all participants will be hosted with great food and activities. The focus of the monthly events are structured to:

  • Unite community in helping to restore the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.
  • Promote indigenous knowledge in science programs
  • Increase cultural relevance
  • Create opportunities to pursue careers in science and culture education fields

The schedule for the September 24th will be:

  • 8:00-8:30am Informal meet, setup and discuss days activities and work planned for the canoe.
  • 8:45-9:30am ‘awa ceremony and welcome
  • 9:30-11:30am Work on Hōkūalakaʻi, Visit Learning Stations, and Site Beautification Project
  • 11:30-12:30pm Lunch
  • 1:00-4:30 Paddling, Sailing, Swimming (Ocean Activities)
  • 4:30-5:00 Closing talk and cleanup

We will have “Learning Stations” and a variety of organizations joining us each week. Come down to Palekai and join in the community effort to restore Hōkūalakaʻi and help our youth learn about the science and culture that is happening on the Big Island.

If you would like to setup a booth to help educate kids, please contact us!  This will be an on-going event to share Hawaii’s Science and Culture with our youth and each other.  We will be publishing more details and our upcoming events on our website: http://alohapueo.org/pueo-events