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Coast Guard Conducts Overflight, Prepares for Return of Hōkūleʻa to Oahu

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point conducted an overflight of the voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and other vessels en route to Oahu from Molokai, Friday morning.

Crewmembers on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, conduct a fly over of the Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hikianalia and other voyaging canoes, June 16, 2017. The Hōkūleʻa will return home to Oahu, June 17 after being gone for 36 months, sailing approximately 40,000 nautical miles around the world. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle/Released)

“We recognize the incredible outpouring of public interest and support surrounding the homecoming of the Hōkūleʻa,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and Captain of the Port. “Along with DOCARE we want to ensure that this is a safe, enjoyable and memorable time with our primary focus being on the safety of all waterway users and responders while we honor the cultural significance of this event.”

Saturday residents and visitors to Oahu will welcome Hōkūleʻa home from their 3 year worldwide voyage. The canoes will sail from a mooring to Waikiki and then up the Ala Wai Canal to Magic Island. Hōkūleʻa and the Hikianalia are expected to moor at Magic Island by 9 a.m., with an official welcome ceremony to follow at 10 a.m.
The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), the City and County of Honolulu Emergency Services Department Division of Ocean Safety, the Honolulu Fire Department, Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Coast Guard are teaming up to provide on-water safety and security for the homecoming.

  • For its transit to Waikiki, water safety assets will be enforcing a 500-yard safety perimeter around Hokule’a. Vessels and canoes may be allowed to operate within the 500-yard safety perimeter with the permission of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, coordinated through the on-scene patrol commander, but will be required to remain a minimum of 100 feet from Hōkūleʻa. All crossing traffic will be prohibited on Hōkūleʻa’s final approach to the Ala Wai Canal.
  • The Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor boat ramp will be closed Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Only vessels returning to their berth in the Ala Wai boat harbor will be allowed up the Ala Wai channel adjacent to Magic Island. All motorized traffic will be asked to turn around and stay out of the canal as the canoes and Hōkūleʻa transit up the Ala Wai to their mooring. This is for safety in an area of limited space and restricted maneuverability.
  • Following the Hōkūleʻa’s mooring, all motor vessels wishing to transit the Ala Wai will require an escort coordinated through DOCARE.
  • Operators of all watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) are reminded to keep a sharp lookout for other traffic and waterway users. They are also reminded not to boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to comply with all state and federal regulations regarding life jackets and other safety equipment.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s July 2017 Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017. In addition, the community is invited to lend a hand to save native rainforest through the park’s  Stewardship at the Summit (SAS) volunteer program.

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

Stewardship at the Summit. Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stewardship at the summit volunteer Heather removes invasive Himalayan ginger near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo/David Boyle

Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required for groups under six people, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply. Visit the park website for details. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: July 1, 7, 15, 21 and 29 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: Meet project leaders at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. on any of the above dates.

37th Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park! Everyone is invited to engage in authentic Hawaiian cultural practices and learn how Hawaiians live closely to the land as its stewards. Enjoy hula and music, watch skilled practitioners demonstrate their art, and try your hand at Hawaiian crafts. This year’s festival will again include a “BioBlitz,” a chance to join scientists and cultural practitioners and discover the biodiversity that thrives in the park.

  • When: Sat., July 8; Cultural Festival is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; BioBlitz activites from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Military Camp, about 1 ½ miles from the park entrance

What We Can Do Now to Data Recorded Way Back When. Now in its second century of operation, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has fully embraced digital data recording and analysis. As technologies evolve, the challenge is to apply contemporary digital analysis techniques to historic paper seismic records. Join USGS HVO Geophysicist Paul Okubo as he describes a current look into seismograms from HVO’s first 100 years. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Tues., July 11 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Lei Making Demo. Join local cultural practitioner Pua O’Mahoney and learn to make traditional Hawaiian lei with natural materials that include leaves, flowers, and more. The beautiful and versatile Hawaiian lei is used for adornments, blessings, rituals, gifts and as an expression of love and celebration. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Wed., July 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Nā Wai Chamber Choir Performs. Revel in music that honors the traditions, sacred places, mythology, and legacies of Hawaiʻi Island. Based in Honolulu, Nā Wai Chamber Choir is a professional women’s vocal ensemble that celebrates the works of women, preserves and propagates Native Hawaiian music both past and present, and champions innovative repertoire for treble voices. Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan leads the choir on their Moku o Keawe tour.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Tues., July 18 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hālau Nā Pua o Uluhaimālama Performance. Hālau Nā Pua o Uluhaimālama, from Hawai‘i Island, is a hula dance troupe that perpetuates the culture and arts of hula.

They are led by Kumu Hula Emery Aceret, a student of the revered Kumu Hula Ray Fonseca, and they have participated in many notable hula competitions. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

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

Vespers at Hānaiakamālama. Vespers at Hānaiakamālama is an amazing one-woman show on the life of Queen Emma. University of Hawai‘i-Hilo Performing Arts Graduate Denyse Woo-Ockerman brings the audience into Queen Emma’s home as she contemplates her eventual life, rich in family history and the weight of unexpected tragedy. Married to King Kamehameha IV, Alexander Liholiho, Emma reveals her resilience as they attempt to build, side-by-side, a better life for all Hawaiians, during a time of great change in the islands. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Tues., July 25 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

‘Ohe Kāpala Demonstration. Learn to create designs from traditional patterns using bamboo stamps (‘ohe kāpala). Originally used to decorate clothing with symbolic meaning, we now use ‘ohe kāpala to tell stories on a wide variety of modern materials. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., July 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Lawsuit Launched to Stop Hawaii’s Airport, Harbor Lights From Killing Rare Seabirds

Conservation groups today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Hawaii Department of Transportation for failing to prevent bright lighting at state-operated airports and harbors on Kauai, Maui and Lānai from causing injuries and death to three species of critically imperiled seabirds.

The Newell’s shearwater is a threatened species, and Hawaiian petrels and band-rumped storm petrels in Hawaii are endangered species. According to today’s notice from Hui Ho‘omalu i Ka ‘Āina, Conservation Council for Hawai‘i and the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, the department’s failure to protect these native seabirds from harmful operations at its facilities violates the federal Endangered Species Act.

“Since ancient times, Hawaiian fishermen have looked to the ‘a‘o (Newell’s shearwater) to help them find fish,” said Kauai fisherman Jeff Chandler of Hui Ho‘omalu i Ka ‘Āina, which works to protect cultural and natural resources. “They’re an important part of our culture, and the Department of Transportation needs to take seriously its kuleana (responsibility) to protect them.”

The seabirds circle the bright lights at the department’s facilities until they fall to the ground from exhaustion or crash into nearby buildings. Bright lights have contributed significantly to the catastrophic 94 percent decline in the population of threatened Newell’s shearwaters on Kauai since the 1990s. They have also harmed endangered Hawaiian petrels, whose numbers on Kauai have plummeted by 78 percent in the same period.

“Fixing the lights so these magnificent seabirds on the brink of extinction aren’t killed is completely feasible,” said Brian Segee, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead, the department is doing everything in its power to avoid protecting these highly imperiled native Hawaiian birds. It’s worse than irresponsible — it’s unethical and illegal.”

Last October the department abruptly broke off discussions with federal and state wildlife agencies regarding its participation in an island-wide habitat conservation plan to minimize and mitigate harm to the rare seabirds on Kauai.

“By withdrawing from talks on Kauai, the department left the county of Kauai and private entities holding the bag to address harm from the airports and harbors, even though the department’s facilities are among the largest sources of illegal death and injury on the island,” said Marjorie Ziegler of Conservation Council for Hawai‘i. “The department needs to fulfill its duty under Hawaii’s constitution to conserve and protect our natural heritage, not stick its head in the sand and do nothing.”

The groups seek to compel the department to comply with its obligations under the Endangered Species Act to minimize and mitigate harm to the imperiled seabirds by securing incidental take permit coverage of its activities on all three islands. The Act requires that citizens provide 60 days’ advance notice before filing a lawsuit to address illegal activities.

“Time is running out for these rare and culturally important seabirds,” said David Henkin, an Earthjustice attorney representing the groups. “If the Hawaii Department of Transportation continues to shirk its obligations under the Endangered Species Act, we’ll see them in court.”

Click to read full letter

Man Who Gave Native Bird its Hawaiian Name Given Citizen Conservationist Award

During a ceremony at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park today, Noah Gomes was honored with the second DLNR Citizen Conservationist award. Gomes, a park ranger is known here as someone who perpetuates Hawaiian culture in his interactions with visitors and always demonstrates the spirit of Aloha.

As a graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Gomes conducted painstaking research in an effort to find the historical name for the endangered Hawai‘i Creeper. He pored through hundreds of pages of old Hawaiian newspapers and reviewed virtually every bit of literature he could find on the traditional name of the tiny forest bird.  In his thesis, which was published in the ‘Elepaio Journal, Gomes posited that the customary name of the Hawaiian Creeper is ‘Alawī.  This convinced the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee to approve the name.  The committee, established in 1987, approves the creation of words for concepts and material culture, unknown to Hawaiian ancestors.

DLNR First Deputy Director Kekoa Kaluhiwa presented the award to Gomes.  He said, “As a graduate student, Noah chose to research and review major literature on native Hawaiian birds by important authors in the late 19th and early 20th century to try and find a specific Hawaiian name for the Hawaii Creeper.  For more than a century there was no known Hawaiian name for this endangered bird.” In a statement read during today’s award ceremony Kaluhiwa added, “We are grateful for Noah’s efforts and hereby present him with a DLNR Citizen Conservationist Award, for his efforts to preserve our Native Hawaiian cultural heritage; in a time when birds like the ‘Alawī are endangered and even on the brink of extinction. His efforts help us all recognize not only the ecological importance of the ‘Alawī, but also the role it plays in our lives and those of our ancestors.

On May 31, 2017, during a naming ceremony for the ‘Alawī at the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve, not far from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Gomes did the blessing and led an ‘awa ceremony in honor of the bird’s naming. In remarks after he received his award Gomes explained, “This joined my life-long love of birds with my passion for Hawaiian culture and our language. I’m thrilled and honored to have been involved in the naming of the ‘Alawī.”

Alex Wang, (pronounced Wong) a bird specialist with the DLNR Natural Area Reserve program, and a Gomes’ friend commented, “Noah has such a deep sense of place and appreciation for native Hawaiian culture and what it represents to everyone, Hawaiian or not, living in these islands today.  He truly personifies the very best traits associated with the people of our host culture. In addition to what I expect will be many notable accomplishment in his future, he will be known in the history books as the person who named the ‘Alawī. and as Noah said how many of us are fortunate enough to marry a childhood fascination with a professional contribution to science and culture.”

The DLNR Citizen Conservationist Award program was established in early 2017 to recognize people in the community who go above and beyond to assist the department in fulfilling its mission of protecting the natural and cultural resources of Hawai‘i nei.

Hollywood Movie Seeking Native Hawaiians to Audition for Chiefess Kapiʻolani and Queen Liliʻuokalani

Seeking Native Hawaiians to audition for Chiefess Kapiʻolani and Queen Liliʻuokalani – Send pics to: casting@theislandsmovie.com

How would you like to be involved in the biggest movie on Hawaii’s history ever told on the big screen?

We plan to shoot “THE ISLANDS” – The sweeping, incredible story on the beginning of Hawaii from Captain Cook to King Kamehameha to the last reign of Queen Liliuokalani.

We believe the film will be nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards and are shooting for this goal. We will also have a well-known cast matched with the award-winning producer/director Tim Chey. The film will hit 3,000 theaters worldwide on November 9, 2018.

We are seeking to raise $20 million to produce the groundbreaking film and $15 million in marketing and advertising to take the film out to a guaranteed 2,500 theaters nationwide. We will also receive a 20% rebate back from the State of Hawaii ensuring another $4 million in our advertising war chest.

We believe “THE ISLANDS” will be one of ten films nominated for ‘Best Picture’ for 2018.

We’re aiming for a $65-$150 million box office.“THE ISLANDS” will be the biggest movie on Hawaiian history ever put in cinema.

We’re aiming for A-list stars like Russell Crowe, Pierce Brosnan, or Hugh Jackman to play Captain Cook. And also get The Rock and Marcus Mariota to possibly play roles. In other words, we’re aiming to hit a major homerun.

This is YOUR chance to participate in history in the making, and make a possible huge return and income. Join us on this amazing voyage! Don’t miss the boat on this.

Hokulea Sights the Hawaiian Islands

At 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, the crew of Hokulea sited the sacred mountain of Haleakala, signifying that the legendary canoe is officially back home after sailing for 37 months, 40,000 nautical miles and visiting more than 150 ports in 19 countries around the world. After spending 400 days at sea and 700 days on foreign soil, Hokulea will be bringing home wisdom, lessons and ideas as gifts to share with Hawaii’s children from this voyage of rich learning.

This tremendous voyaging accomplishment was a fitting way for the crew to celebrate World Oceans Day. One year ago today, Hokulea was in New York at the United Nations to participate in World Oceans Day dialogue about the importance of protecting Island Earth – especially the seas Hokulea has sailed throughout the world these past three years.

“We want thank this crew of Hokulea for sailing with such a high level of excellence and commitment to honoring the tradition of voyaging and ancestral navigation,” said Nainoa Thompson president the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “All of us in the voyaging community are extremely proud of them.”

“I also want to express our gratitude to the crews of the 30 other legs and the thousands of people in Hawaii, the Pacific and around the world for allowing this voyage to happen. We are grateful for all that they have given to the success of the voyage,” Thompson added.

Although Hokulea and Hikianalia are in home waters, the canoes are still under kapu until the arrival ceremony at Magic Island on June 17.

“We will be spending the next week slowly making our way towards Oahu,” said Thompson. “We appreciate the aloha and support of friends and families eager to greet our canoes and crew, and we ask for your patience and understanding as we direct all those interested in greeting Hokulea, Hikianalia and our crew to our June 17 arrival at Kalia (Magic Island), Oahu,” he added.

After returning to Oahu, Hokolea and Hikianalia will begin the most important leg of the voyage, which will be an eight-month sail to 30 ports throughout the Hawaiian islands.

“When we sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands, we will go to as many as 70 communities and 100 schools to thank Hawaii’s people and share what we have learned with their children. We are also looking forward to hearing Hawaii stories of Malama Honua,” said Thompson. “Kalia (Magic Island) is the first stop of a year-long homecoming,” he added.

Hōkūleʻa Homecoming Schedule of Events – More Then 50,000 Expected to Attend

The culmination of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hōkūleʻa’s historic return to Hawai‘i on June 17, 2017 will be celebrated at Magic Island, Oʻahu, with a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by an all-day grand celebration open to the entire community.

More then 50,000 people are expected to take part in the homecoming.

Event Timeline:

  • 7-8:00 AM Four local voyaging canoes from Hawaiian Islands arrive at Magic Island marina: Arrival Times:​ 7:00 AM – Nāmāhoe / 7:30 AM Moʻokiha / 7:45 AM Makaliʻi / 8:00 AM Hawaiʻiloa
  • 8:30 AM Two canoes from the Pacific voyaging community arrive at Magic Island marina Okeanos Marshall Islands / Faʻafaite of Tahiti
  • 9:00 AM Hikianalia enters marina and docks along bank
  • Hōkūleʻa enters marina and ties up to floating dock at Marker 7
  • 10:00 AM Kāliʻi Rite conducted by Hale Mua
  • 10:30 AM Formal Homecoming Ceremony
  • 12:30-1 PM Screening of Mālama Honua Voyage Highlights
  • 1:00-5:30 PM Hoʻolauleʻa: Music and Community Celebration
  • 1-1:20 PM Olomana
  • 1:30-1:45 PM Jon Osorio
  • 1:50-2:20 PM Kapena
  • 2:30-2:55 PM Keauhou
  • 3:00-3:10 PM Auliʻi Carvalho
  • 3:15-3:30 PM Leon & Malia
  • 3:35-3:45 PM Steve Grimes
  • 3:50-4:10 PM Kainani Kahaunaele
  • 4:15-4:40 PM Tahiti MANA
  • 4:45-5:20 PM John Cruz, Brother Noland & Paula Fuga
  • 5:20-5:25 PM Mahalo message from Nainoa Thompson
  • 5:25-5:30 PM “Hawaiʻi Aloha”

Parking:

  • No general parking in Magic Island, strictly enforced
  • Limited handicap parking in Magic Island, must have placard-holder in the car with ID, strictly enforced
  • Encouraging public transportation and off-site parking to alleviate expected congestion;
  • HPD may shut down Ala Moana Park Drive as needed
  • Offsite parking available with shuttles running as needed from 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Free parking at McKinley High School, enter at Pensacola St.
  • Paid parking at Hawai‘i Convention Center, enter at Kalakaua Ave.

Food:

Participating vendors will be using compostable items; no one-time use plastics.  PVS encourages reusable water bottles, coconut filtered water stations provided by Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation

Participating food vendors:

  • Ahi Ambassadors
  • Da Spot
  • Hale Kealoha
  • IL Gelato
  • L&L Hawaiian Barbecue Hawaiian Plate and Mix Plate
  • Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
  • Waimānalo Farms

Other:

  • Pop-up tents only allowed around perimeter of multi-purpose field
  • No canoe tours or entry onto Hōkūleʻa
  • PVS commemorative Homecoming t-shirts available for sale

Hokulea and Hikianalia Approach Hawaiian Waters, Nearing Home

Legendary voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia are approaching the Hawaiian Islands after three years at sea.

Given that Hokulea and Hikianalia are dependent on nature, a two week window was created to ensure the canoes arrive on time to meet the love, support and aloha of Hawaii. The two-week window also allows crewmembers to visit three very special sacred sites in Hawaii: Kahoolawe, Kalaupapa and Kualoa. There, the crew will pay respect to the culture, environment, history and heritage.

These sites will be the last ports of the Worldwide Voyage and act as the final permission that allows Hokulea to come home and finish the epic voyage.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet jokes with members of the Hokule’a Crew following the Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hokule’a and the World Wide Voyage.

Hokulea was launched from Kualoa; on the return leg of her maiden voyage, from Tahiti to Hawaii, the first place she anchored back in Hawaii was at Kalaupapa. These are spiritual and deeply important places for all people in Hawaii and Hokulea crewmembers will be paying respect to them with a private ceremony.

Hokulea has not been in Hawaiian waters since the journey’s launch in May 2014. One of the many extraordinary aspects of the Worldwide Voyage is the opportunity it provided to train the next generation of navigators. “Succession is part of the mission and we are so proud,” says Nainoa Thompson, pwo navigator and president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “We made a promise to the next generation that we would train them to be able to navigate these canoes in the future.”

Thousands of people have been working over a year to celebrate the completion of the worldwide voyage. Hokulea will be welcomed home to Oahu on June 17 at Magic Island, with a grand public celebration and ceremony followed by community Hoolaulea later in the day.  The Malama Honua Fair and Summit, held at the Hawaii Convention Center, will extend the celebration through June 20.

Accused Iolani Palace Vandal Indicted

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that an Oahu grand jury indicted Michael Aquino today on felony criminal property damage counts related to alleged vandalism that occurred on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at Iolani Palace and the State Capitol.

Michael Acquino

Attorney General Chin said of the indictment: “The cultural and historical significance of Iolani Palace to the people of Hawaii cannot be overstated. The State Capitol is a vital public building. Aquino will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”

On Sunday, Aquino allegedly used a three-foot long metal pipe to break three palace door windowpanes, some of which were more than a century old. Aquino was also indicted for breaking the glass in the door to the House of Representatives chambers of the State Capitol building.

Aquino is a 57-year old man with five previous felony convictions. He was indicted for one count of first degree criminal property damage, a class B felony punishable by up to ten years in prison; and one count of second degree criminal property damage, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He is also eligible for enhanced sentencing as a repeat, persistent, and multiple offender. Bail is set at $100,000.00. He remains in custody.

Aquino is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Hokulea Crew Celebrates Equator Crossing with Ceremonial Protocol

Hokulea crossed the equator yesterday, marking an important milestone in her journey north from Tahiti back to Hawaii. Now having been at sea for ten days during this final international leg of the Worldwide Voyage, Hokulea crew members  performed a deeply significant ceremony to mark the crossing.

Paying close attention to the canoe’s position relative to the elements surrounding them, the crew accurately tracked their latitude to recognize this moment entering the piko o wakea, or equatorial crossing point. “To be in this space, and to be able to confirm where we are based on what we’re seeing in the sky–and to then justify it, back it up one more time with our mileage and navigating process–has been very gratifying,” said Pua Lincoln Maielua, apprentice navigator aboard Hokulea.

The crew performed a traditional awa ceremony; one by one, each person then placed pohaku, or stones, in the water, representing the crew member’s home and family. The ceremony performed yesterday fulfilled a vision by pwo (master) navigator Bruce Blankenfeld, set in motion at the beginning of the Worldwide Voyage three years ago. Now the sail master on board for this final leg of the Malama Honua voyage, Bruce led the crew to begin this new tradition. As traditional Polynesian voyaging continues to grow and flourish and as crossings occur over years and generations, sailors will continue to drop pohaku into the ocean here in honor of this place.

Hokulea’s expected return to Hawaii on June 17 will be celebrated at Magic Island with a cultural welcoming ceremony  followed by a grand celebration open to the entire community. The week-long celebration will continue with the Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day event at the Hawaii Convention Center, which will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public.

The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh. Registration for these events is now open at www.hokulea.com/summit.

Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces Death of Founder Ben Finney

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is saddened to announce that Ben Finney, co-founder and first president of the organization, passed away today in Honolulu surrounded by family.  He was 83 years old.  Services are pending.

Ben Finney

Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS, responded to Finney’s passing with the following statement:

“What I was told was that there was a Hawaiian Professor in Hawaii who handed Ben a book called Kon Tiki, and she said ‘this is all wrong, you need to change this.’ Years later, Ben called a man named Herb Kawainui Kane, who together with Tommy Holmes spearheaded the building of Hokulea.  So, if we’re going to celebrate 42 years of voyaging and honor and celebrate Hokulea’s voyage around the earth, we have to think that none of this would have happened without that phone call.  Ben provided the vision and mission and the leadership to set the foundation for all that we would do in voyaging since 1976.  If Ben didn’t make that phone call, there wouldn’t be a Hokulea and there probably wouldn’t be voyaging in the Pacific today.  And, there would be no real connection between the values of malama honua and this island earth.  We owe so much to him. Hawaii, the pacific and the world is indebted to the work of Ben Finney.”

An anthropologist and pioneer in the reconstruction and sailing of Polynesian voyaging canoes, Finney first began dreaming about building a canoe and sailing it to Tahiti while studying at the University of Hawai’i in 1958.  In the mid-1960s, he built Nalehia, a replica of a Hawaiian double canoe that provided the basic information on sailing performance that went into planning Hokulea’s initial voyage to Tahiti.

Finney co-founded PVS in 1973 with Herb Kawainui Kane and Tommy Holmes and served as its first president.  Together with countless volunteers, they built Hokulea, the first Polynesian voyaging canoe in 600 years and launched her in 1975.

He set out to show that Hawaiians could intentionally sail long-distances without modern instruments.  He sailed on Hokulea’s first voyage to Tahiti in 1976.  He also sailed on the 1985 voyage to Aotearoa, the 1992 voyage to Rarotonga, and also covered the 1995 voyage from the Marquesas to Hawaii from Hokulea’s escort vessel.

The history and practice of Polynesian voyaging is an epic story of human migration: Ben’s love of it inspired his contributions to the anthropology of the human experience in space.

During his career, Finney held faculty appointments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Australian National University, the University of French Polynesia, and the International Space University. From 1970 through 2000 he was a professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his courses included Human Adaptation to the Sea and Human Adaptation to Living in Space.  From 1994 through 2003 he was the co-chair of the department of Space and Society at the International Space University.

REPORT: Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector

The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) has released the report “Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector”. To obtain the report, click here.

The executive summary begins with “According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Native Hawaiians owned a total of 13,147 firms in Hawaii in 2012. 3,972 or 30.2 percent of these firms were in the tourism sector and accounted for 10.1 percent of the total tourism sector firms in the state.”

Click to read report

An updated DBEDT ACS interactive map is also now available. It may be found on the Office of Planning’s State GIS Program’s website here.

This map product is a joint project between our Research and Economic Analysis Division and the Hawaii Statewide GIS Program. In this map, area profiles for all Hawaii census tracts, State Senate Districts and State House Districts were updated with the latest 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data . State of Hawaii as well as county figures are also provided. For downloadable files containing this profile data, click here.

An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How Does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today, “An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?” The report examined various consumer debt categories.

The report highlights why our per capita debt is high, which is due to high housing prices in Hawaii, with 77 percent of our debt from mortgage debt.

Hawaii’s home ownership increased 10 percentage points from 46.9 percent in 1970 to 56.9 percent in 2015 while the U.S. home ownership increased less than one percentage point from 62.9 percent to 63.8 percent during the same time period.

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the high mortgage debt may also have negative impacts, including less consumers spending on other goods and services by home owners, increasing rental payment for renters, and the leakage of mortgage payment to out-of-state financial institutions.

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Hawaii’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to $67,010 in 2015, ranking it second highest in the nation.
  • For mortgage debt per capita, Hawaii has been steadily increasing in the state rankings, from the sixth highest state in 2005 to the highest state in 2015.
  • Hawaii ranks low among states for auto loans per capita, while defaults for those with auto loans are close to U.S. average.
  • Hawaii residents have relatively high credit card debt. Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2010 and 2015 for credit card debt per capita.
  • Hawaii ranks the lowest in the nation for per capita student debt.
  • For the other debt category (home equity lines of credit, consumer cards, and consumer-financed debt), Hawaii leads the nation for the average amount per capita at $5,300. This partially reflects Hawaii’s high residential real estate values and the home equity loan balances supported by these high values.

The report is available at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/consumer_debt_final.pdf

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani Na Pua Lei O Ka Na’auao, Kupulau 2017 (College of Hawaiian Language Dean’s List, Spring 2017)

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawai’i ma Hilo koleke `o Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha `oi no ke kau Kupulau 2017:

(The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the Spring 2017 semester):

Jainine Abraham, Rhonda Akano, Destanie Alayon, Zion Apao, Joshua Bass, Laura Birse, Christopher Chow, Ramzen Coakley, Kaleimomi Dolera, Jayme Doyle, Kalamaku Freitas, Roberta Gaskin, Ezra Grace, David Griffith, Karise Hallsten, Stephen Hasegawa, Jetamio Henshaw, Kameron Ho, Pomaikai Iaea,

Alexa Iannantuano, Yukako Iha, Alana Kanahele, Mary Kealaiki, Hyesun Kong, Brittany Laddusaw, Yan Liu, Sheena Lopes, Haruka Miura, Lauren Mizuba, Ashley-Anne Morishita, Ashley Nakoa-Kawahakui, Ikaaka Pang, Moananuimaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Sarah Rafferty, Samantha Reis, Sharnelle Renti Cruz, Josiane Saccu, Steven Sayers, Kaulana Stanley, Taylor Traub, Jessica Valladares, and Kotaro Yogi.

Hokulea Sets Sail for Hawaii and Historic Worldwide Voyage Homecoming

After 5 days in the community of Tautira – a  second home of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and legendary canoe Hokulea – the crews of Hokulea and Hikianalia bid  a warm goodbye to their Tahitian voyaging ohana and departed on the final historic leg of the Worldwide Voyage: sailing home to Hawaii.

The people of Tautira have been the Tahitian caretakers of the canoes and crews of PVS since Hokulea’s maiden voyage in 1976. Upon arrival in Tautira, the crew payed homage to the family ties so important to the shared voyaging heritage of Hawaii and Tahiti, visiting the grave sites of leaders who helped build the connection more than forty years ago.

The crews were hosted at Mayor Papa Sane’s home and welcomed as family in this voyaging community so closely held to Hawaii’s own.

The morning of Wednesday, May 17, Hokulea, sister canoe Hikianalia, and escort vessel Gershon II began the final leg of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage departing from Tahiti to head back home to Hawaii. This last, historic stretch of the sail plan is expected to take 3-4 weeks (pending weather).

The canoes will make a celebratory return to Honolulu on Saturday, June 17 at Magic Island for a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration open to the entire community.

The week-long celebration will continue with the Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day event at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center , which will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public.

The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh. Registration for these events is now open at www.hokulea.com/summit.

Hālau Kū Māna PCS, Kamehameha Schools Maui Win Top Prizes at Hula Competition

With an impassioned tribute to Mauna Kea, the students of Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School took home the Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy at the 39th Annual Malia Craver Hula Kahiko Competition held this past Saturday at ‘Iolani School. This overall prize is awarded to the hula hālau with the best combined hula kahiko score and best Hawaiian language score.

The hālau will now also be invited to perform at the 40th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival in July.

The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui took home the George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy, which is the top prize for the intermediate division.

This unique competition, which offers intermediate and high school hula hālau the opportunity to compete among their peers, was founded by kūpuna Aunty Malia Craver and Uncle Earl Kawai. Both were staff at Queen Lili‘ūokalani Children’s Center (QLCC) Windward Unit at the time and created the event so secondary school students had an opportunity to learn and train in hula kahiko, the ancient Hawaiian hula.

This vision was recently realized when last year’s winners, the high school boys from Saint Louis School, placed in the kahiko division of this year’s Merrie Monarch competition.

The first second school hula kahiko competition was held in 1978 at Kualoa Regional Park. QLCC ran the competition until 1985, when Aunty Malia asked the Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society (KPCA) to take over the event. The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society has proudly been the lead producers and sponsors of the event since 1986.

Aunty Malia Craver remained a critical member of the competition for many decades. She served as a judge for over 20 years. She wrote and gifted many oli (chants) to the competition. She remains the guiding light of the event. The competition was renamed in her honor after her passing in 2009. “We strive daily to honor her vision and her legacy,” says KPCA President Trisha Kehaulani Watson. “I have no doubt she is proudly watching over us, delighted to see how these students continue to flourish.”

The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society also produces the Queen Lili‘ūokalani Keiki Hula Competition, which will take place this year at the Blaisdell Center July 20-22, 2017.

For a full list of winners, please see below:

Intermediate Division:

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Ka Lani Kalākaua”, Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Wāhine First Place: Kamehameha Schools Maui, “He Ho‘oheno Kēia No Wilikoki” Kumu Hula: Pilialoha Kamakea-Young

Wāhine Second Place: ‘Iolani School, “Nani Wale Ku‘u ‘Ike”
Kumu Hula: Kū Souza and Lehua Carvalho

Wāhine Third Place: Robert Stevenson Middle, “‘Ano ‘Ai Ku‘u Wehi”
Kumu Hula: Rich Padrina and Blaine Kaohe Nohara

Lokomaika‘iokalani Snakenberg Hawaiian Language Trophy:
Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy: Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

High School Division

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Holo Mai Pele”
Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Kāne Second Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Makali‘i”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Kāne Third Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Nu‘uanu Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “No Luna I Ka Halekai”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Wāhine Second Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Haili Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine Third Place: Sacred Hearts Academy, “Nā Wahine Waipahē”
Kumu Hula: Kahaku & Puka Asing

Hui ‘ia First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Kū Kia‘i Mauna”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Aunty Malia Craver Hawaiian Language Trophy: Mid-Pacific Institute

Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

Invitation to Perform at the Prince Lot Hula Festival: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

 

37th Annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz

Save the date for the free 37th annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz, Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kilauea Military Camp.

The festival’s theme, Hilina‘i Puna, Kālele iā Ka‘ū, (Puna leans and reclines on Ka‘ū), celebrates the two land districts that comprise the national park. People of all ages and districts are invited to enjoy a day of traditional mele (music), hula, and Hawaiian cultural demonstrations, crafts, and games. This year’s festival will again include a “BioBlitz,” a chance to join scientists and cultural practitioners in the field and discover the diversity of biology, geology and culture of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The 37th annual cultural festival showcases an extraordinarily talented line-up of local performers. Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū will dance their powerful hula kāhiko, and kūpuna hula group Haunani’s Aloha Expressions also take the stage. Renowned solo musicians Kenneth Makuakāne and Lito Arkangel will sing and play instruments, and the “Songbird of Miloli‘i,” Aunty Diana Aki, closes the festival.

Keiki to kupuna can participate in authentic Hawaiian cultural activities like ku‘i kalo (pounding poi), lomilomi (massage), ‘ohe kāpala (Hawaiian bamboo stamping), play Hawaiian games, discover lā‘au lapa‘au (medicine from plants), make a small kāhili (feather standard), weave lei, and more. All cultural festival activities are located at the grassy lawn and ball field area at Kilauea Military Camp.

The BioBlitz expert-led field inventories will be offered, and include Birds of Kīlauea by Sight and Sound; Nā Mea Kanu o Ka Hula (Plants of Hula); an ADA-friendly inventory, Hawaiian Adze Production, and more. Free registration will soon be available through the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website, www.fhvnp.org. Visitors can learn more about conservation and biodiversity through fun, interactive exhibits sponsored by many of Hawai‘i’s leading conservation organizations on the festival grounds.

The BioBlitz field inventories run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the cultural festival is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, July 8. Entrance into the park and all events are free.

Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets. Lunch and beverages will be available for sale.  This wonderful family experience is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

Hokulea Greeted by Mayor of Mataiea and Over 500 Community Members

As part of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia visited Mataiea and were greeted by Alpha Tearii, mayor of Mataiea and minister of Marine and Land Resources, and with an overwhelming show of support by the community.

In a grand welcoming ceremony, over 500 third graders and college students from Mairipehe Primary School, Nuutafaratea Primary School, Matairea Primary School, and Teva I Uta College celebrated the shared malama honua vision of caring for the oceans and land for future generations in Tahitian, French and English.

It has been over 40 years since Hokulea first arrived in Mataiea, which is known for its rich cultural heritage and abundant in natural beauty. “They are doing a lot of really good things here and we are witness to that,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, pwo navigator of the Hokulea. “I see us coming back with future generations to engage, because that is what the voyage is about. It’s about discovering.”

The next day, following a community breakfast and coconut tree planting ceremony with local children, Hokulea and Hikianalia departed for Tautira on Tahiti’s south-east coast.

The sister canoes will continue to travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Hokulea and Hikianalia are making their way back to Hawaii together for a homecoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

Hawaiian Airlines Relocating to Terminal 5 at LAX

Hawaiian Airlines will have a new home at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) when it moves to Terminal 5 from Terminal 2 effective May 17. The change, part of a major relocation project involving 21 airlines at LAX, is expected to bring an improved experience for Hawaiian’s customers.

Hawaiian’s new Terminal 5 facilities will provide guests with enhanced curbside check-in, convenient access to domestic codeshare partner JetBlue Airways, and simplified flight connections – without the need to re-clear TSA – via a secure corridor to the nearby Tom Bradley International Terminal as well as terminals 4, 6, 7 and 8.

Hawaiian has operated out of Terminal 2 since June 12, 1985, when Los Angeles became the airline’s first scheduled West Coast destination. On May 17, Hawaiian’s Team Kōkua employee volunteers will be stationed at both terminals throughout the day to help guide and welcome guests to its Terminal 5 location.

“We look forward to providing our guests an improved, more efficient and comfortable airport experience in our major gateway of Los Angeles,” said Jeff Helfrick, Hawaiian’s vice president of airport operations. “Our new position on the west end of Terminal 5 comes with better facilities for both our guests and our employees.”

Hawaiian, Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier, offers three non-stop daily flights between LAX and Honolulu International Airport, one non-stop daily flight between LAX and Kahului Airport on Maui, and beginning May 26, daily non-stop service between LAX and Līhu‘e Airport on Kaua‘i. Additionally, in response to popular demand, this summer the airline will once again offer a seasonal, triweekly non-stop flight between LAX and Kona International Airport on the Island of Hawai‘i from May 28 through Sept. 4.

Hokulea Returning Home

Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea will conclude its epic three-year sail around the globe and return home to the Hawaiian Islands in June 2017.  The mission of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines was to weave a lei of hope around the world through sharing indigenous wisdom, groundbreaking conservation and preservation initiatives while learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the Island Earth.

On Saturday, June 17, Hokulea and its crew members will make their historic return to Hawaii at Oahu’s Magic Island after sailing more than 40,000 nautical miles since departing Oahu for the first deep sea leg of the voyage in May 2014. Hokulea will sail into Magic Island along with a fleet of about seven deep sea voyaging canoes from Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand.  The homecoming celebration, themed Lei Kaapuni Honua, meaning “A Lei Around The World,” honors the journey of connecting cultures and people around the world.

“It is the realization of decades of hard work and planning on behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society crew and our partners and friends around the world to embark on the final leg of Hokulea’s voyage and return home,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Watching Hokulea crest the waves of Oahu’s south shore as she returns home, much like the canoes of our ancestors, will be a once in a lifetime experience. We are overwhelmed with emotion at all we have accomplished during this historic voyage and we look forward to setting sail on the next chapter together.”

Hokulea’s homecoming will include a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration. To further engage the local community and continue the festivities, a series of additional homecoming events are planned during the week following the June 17 arrival. The Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day summit, will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public. The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh.

The mission of the Voyage has been to spread the message of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth) by promoting environmental consciousness, fostering learning environments, bringing together island communities and growing a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage has celebrated a resurgence of pride and respect for our native cultures and has created opportunities for people throughout the world to honor our shared heritage.

The Malama Honua sail plan included over 150 ports, 18 nations and eight of UNESCO’S Marine World Heritage sites, engaging local communities and practicing how to live sustainably. During the voyage, over 200 volunteer crew members have helped to sail the vessel and connect with more than 100,000 people throughout the world in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea, including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, the East Coast of the United States, Canada, Panama, and the Galapagos Islands.

After returning to Hawaii in the fall of 2017, Hokulea and Hikianalia will sail around the Hawaiian Islands to reconnect with local communities and schools to share stories and lessons learned on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.