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UH Hilo Students to Participate in Conservation Congress Gathering

Four cohorts of students from the Kūʻula Integrated Science class in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Science program have been invited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Marine Program to open the Marine World Heritage Reception on September 5. The reception is part of the Internal Union of Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC) that will be held in Honolulu September 1-10.

UH Hilo Moniker

The Kūʻula students will present a chant and hula describing human relationships with the ocean and coral reefs. One of these chants, Uku ʻĀkoʻakoʻa, was composed specifically for Kūʻula by Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō, the director of Hawaiian Culture and Protocols Engagement for UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College through the Uluākea Program. The students presented the same chant and hula to open the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu attended by 2,500 people in July.

Kū’ula students integrate western and Native Hawaiian scientific knowledge and research methodologies to understand the environment of Hawai’i. Their research has enabled them to establish personal and meaningful connections to the places they study, which have included Midway Atoll and Ha’ena, Kaua’i. Most Kū’ula graduates have gone on to graduate schools or to jobs in natural resource management and education.

“This is a significant achievement for our students majoring in natural sciences, Hawaiian Studies, and social sciences, who worked together through the Kūʻula class experience,” said Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, professor, marine science. “The recognition they are receiving is well-deserved.”

For more information about Kūʻula, contact Takabayashi at 932-7095 or email
misakita@hawaii.edu.

Grant to Develop Chikungunya Virus Vaccine Awarded to Hawaii Biotech

Hawaii Biotech, Inc., in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and the Sabin Vaccine Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, has been awarded a grant by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, to develop a vaccine to protect against infection caused by the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus.

Senator Hirono and Governor Ige get a firsthand look at Hawaii Biotech's work in developing a Zika virus vaccine

Senator Hirono and Governor Ige get a firsthand look at Hawaii Biotech’s work in developing a Zika virus vaccine

Chikungunya virus is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the mosquito that also transmits dengue and Zika virus. Common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. At this time there is no vaccine to prevent or therapeutic medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. Chikungunya has emerged as a major arbovirus infection that threatens global public health.

The Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant will be used to develop a vaccine using Hawaii Biotech’s proprietary recombinant subunit protein vaccine platform, which is also currently being used to develop a vaccine for Zika. The same platform technology was previously used to develop vaccines against similar mosquito-borne viruses including dengue and West Nile, which have been evaluated in human clinical studies.

David Clements, director of Vaccine Research at Hawaii Biotech, will be coordinating development efforts with Dr. Coreen Beaumier, assistant professor at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of Product Development at Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, together with Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, deputy director, and Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and president of Sabin Vaccine Institute.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Hawaii Biotech on this important vaccine,” said Hotez. “Chikungunya, like Zika, is infecting large populations throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region. In addition, chikungunya transmission has now begun in Texas. This is a disease that will be endemic to the Western Hemisphere for years to come.”

“This award enables Hawaii Biotech to apply our knowledge and experience in recombinant subunit vaccine development to this important emerging disease threat,” said Clements. “The recent outbreaks of both chikungunya and Zika viruses in tropical and sub-tropical areas pose major public health threats to individuals living in these areas, as well as global travelers.”

“Hawaii Biotech is pleased to be able to contribute to the protection of people against illness from these mosquito-borne threats,” added Dr. Elliot Parks, HBI’s CEO.

“This grant offers us an exciting opportunity to partner our expertise in preclinical testing with Hawaii Biotech on an effort to develop a vaccine to Chikungunya virus, an emerging mosquito-borne threat,” said Beaumier.

Hawaii Biotech is also collaborating with Drs. Beaumier and Hotez and others at Baylor and Sabin Vaccine Institute in Houston on the development of a therapeutic West Nile virus vaccine.

“This funding will allow Hawaii Biotech to expand our productive collaborations with our colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine and the Sabin Vaccine Institute,” Parks added.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Message – Hurricane Madeline Update

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is a Hurricane Madeline update for Monday, August 29th at 11 AM.
madeline7A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Hawaii County. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible in Hawaii County within the next 48 hours.

As of 11 AM today the National Weather Service reports Hurricane Madeline is located about 630 miles east of Hilo. Madeline strengthened overnight, and sustained winds are 115 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Madeline is moving to the west-northwest at 10 miles per hour. Effects of the storm are expected to be felt as early as Wednesday, including heavy rains, high surf, and high wind.

In preparation for Hurricane Madeline, the public is advised to be StormReady.

Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight with fresh batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and any medication or supplies specific to you or your family members.

Plan how to communicate with family members. Create an evacuation plan for your household. Bring in or secure outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.

Keep your vehicle fueled and cell phone charged.

Find more StormReady tips and sign up for notifications at hawaiicounty.gov.

Civil Defense will maintain close communications with the National Weather Service and monitor the system. Continue to monitor your local radio broadcasts for up-to-date information.

Interior Department and Senator Brian Schatz Announce Additional Federal Support to Combat Rapid Ohia Death

In response to a request from Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), the U.S. Department of the Interior announced today $497,000 in additional federal funding to combat a tree-killing fungus that causes Rapid ‘Ohia Death (ROD), a disease that threatens the State’s tropical forests and delicate ecosystems which could jeopardize local water supplies and Hawai‘i’s economic vitality. The funding comes on the eve of the World Conservation Congress that is convening for the first time in the United States this week in Honolulu.

Rapid Ohia Death

Today’s funding announcement immediately activates an Early Detection Rapid Response Team (EDRR Team) and leverages another $673,000 of in-kind Federal contributions to suppress or contain a disease that potentially could have enormous biological, economic, social and cultural repercussions for the Aloha State. The EDRR Team comprised of Federal and state agencies and a consortium of scientists will immediately begin to conduct field surveys for the disease, support critical research to pioneer adaptive treatment protocols and complete assessments of those treatments.

“Rapid ‘Ohia Death is a biosecurity issue that warrants urgent action. It threatens to leave Hawai‘i’s forests, ecosystems, watersheds and commerce in a vulnerable state. Agencies must work together to generate the science needed to support decisive decisions,” said U.S. Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kristen J. Sarri. “Our funding will enable this to happen. An Early Detection and Rapid Response Team will identify and rapidly respond to diseased trees while pioneering effective treatment options that will preserve the cultural significance of the ‘ohia for Native Hawaiians and enable the species to continue to provide countless ecological benefits to the State for generations to come. What we learn from this interagency approach will be applicable to addressing other invasive species of priority concern, in Hawai’i and across the United States.”

“This is an ecological emergency, and it requires everyone working together to save Hawai‘i Island’s native forests. I’m pleased to see our federal partners step up to help. The additional funding will make a big difference, and it will give us the tools to understand the disease, develop better management responses, and protect our ‘ohia,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI).

At the invitation of Senator Schatz, Sarri is attending a summit today with scientific experts, leaders from the conservation community and government leaders to better understand the current status of ROD management and science, discuss developments, and identify the most pressing opportunities to make progress.

The fungal disease is attacking and killing the ‘ohia lehua, a tree species sacred to Native Hawaiians that covers nearly one million acres in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is a keystone species for 60% of Hawai‘i’s forests and is integral to keeping the State’s delicate ecosystem in balance. The fungus causing ROD, first identified in 2014, already claimed 38,000 acres of trees on Hawai‘i Island where nearly two-thirds of the tree species lives. Scientists and resource managers worry that ROD will continue to ravage Hawai‘i Island’s forests and spread to other islands. This could potentially decimate habitat for many rare, threatened and endangered species, as well as jeopardize water resources and native cultural practices unless immediate interventions are implemented, including strengthening early detection and rapid response actions.

The disease was first confirmed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Hawai‘i (UH). The State of Hawai‘i responded quickly by implementing an emergency ban on the movement of ‘ohia plant parts and soil interisland and intrastate, and requesting further assistance. Immediately, numerous agencies and organizations at the local, state and federal levels, including USFS, ARS, UH and Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formed a working group to improve detection, understand the spread and develop mitigation measures for ROD.

This multi-organizational effort facilitated sharing information, coordinated research and resource management and spurred public education and outreach efforts. As a result of these efforts, scientists were able to identify a fungus as the cause of the ‘ohia tree’s mortality, as well as develop methods to detect the fungal agent, and are tracking the spread of the disease. Hawai‘i mapped the location of diseased trees and instituted biosecurity measures to contain the spread of ROD, as well as kicked off a major public education effort to better inform landowners, resource managers and the general public about the disease.

The Federal government is committed to improving its ability to prevent invasive species from impacting national assets. The President’s Priority Agenda on enhancing climate resilience called for a national framework for the early detection of and response to invasive species. In response, an interdepartmental report, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response was released last February. The recommendations in that report have since been taken up as priority actions in the recently adopted 2016-2018 National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Management Plan. Implementation of the Management Plan is already in progress. Assessments are being conducted of the Federal authorities, programmatic structures and technical capacities needed to support a national program for the early detection of and rapid response to invasive species. NISC anticipates releasing the findings in early 2017.

Hurricane WATCH Issued for Hawaii County

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Hawaii County.

Hurricane Madeline2

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Hawaii County.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A Hurricane Watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm force winds… conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Interests elsewhere in the main Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Madeline. Watches may be required for additional Hawaiian Islands later today or tonight.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 18.6 North, longitude 145.5 West. Madeline is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A gradual turn toward the west is expected by Tuesday, with little change in forward speed.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Madeline is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in intensity is expected through Tuesday, with weakening forecast thereafter.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 966 mb (28.53 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND: Winds to hurricane force are possible over Hawaii County on Wednesday.

SURF: Swells generated by Madeline are expected to reach the Hawaiian Islands over the next couple of days, possibly becoming damaging along some coastlines Wednesday and Thursday.

RAIN: Heavy rains associated with Madeline may reach Hawaii County on Wednesday, and may impact other Hawaiian Islands Wednesday night and Thursday.

Hawaii Republican Party Terminates Membership of Candidate Kaaihue

The Hawaii Republican Party has terminated the membership of Candidate Angela Aulani Kaaihue.

Angela Aulani Kaaihue

Angela Aulani Kaaihue

“In accordance with the Rules of the Hawaii Republican Party, our Party has terminated the membership of Ms. Kaaihue based on her public statements on social media that she is ‘not a Republican’. Additionally, Ms. Kaaihue has filed as a Democrat in the upcoming Special Election for the remainder of the term of the late U.S. Representative Mark Takai in Congressional District 1.”

“I want it understood by the general public and the media that the recent inflammatory comments made by candidate for Congress (CD2) Angela Kaaihue do not represent the views, values, or the sentiments of our Party and its members,” Fritz Rohlfing Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party stated previously.

Hokulea Heading to the Great Lakes

Hokulea departed Jersey City, New Jersey this morning to embark on a new journey that will take the iconic canoe to the Great Lakes for the first time in history. After sailing through New York via the Hudson River, Hokulea is slated to sail through the fresh water systems of the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence.

great lakesThe canoe will reach the farthest point north of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage when she arrives in Sorel, Canada in mid-September and is expected to return to New Jersey by October (weather-permitting).

Great Lakes1Leg 23 of the the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage gives the Hokulea crew an opportunity to learn about Canada’s parks, lakes, rivers and wetlands and what the country is doing to protect and conserve these resources. Canada has one fifth of the world’s freshwater.

great lakes2Another first in her sailing history, the traditional sailing vessel will travel through Canada’s locks and waterways exploring new territory for the canoe and her experienced crew. Hokulea’s crew will sail up New York’s Hudson River to the Erie Canal to reach Lake Ontario and plans to travel all the way to the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec to access Montreal. The canoe is expected to journey through 52 locks and under 160 bridges, crossing fresh water systems throughout inland Canada.

great lakes3“Exploration is core to what we do, which is why we are sailing Hokulea to waters where we never imagined she could go,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging society and pwo (master) navigator. “Because of Canada’s lock system and other complexities, the voyaging team has spent months preparing for this leg by researching and studying these waterways,” he added.

great lakes4

Multi-Agency, International Partners Rescue 2 From Uninhabited Island in Pacific

Two mariners who were stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia, are safe, Friday, after writing “SOS” in the sand.

A pair of stranded mariners signal for help by writing "SOS" in the sand as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 flies over in support of a Coast Guard search and rescue mission. The P-8A crew flew in support of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam after AMVER vessel British Mariner reported light signals from an uninhabited island in the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Patrol boat Palikir from Federated States Micronesia is currently en route to conduct rescue operations. VP-8, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is in the midst of a routine deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

A pair of stranded mariners signal for help by writing “SOS” in the sand as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 flies over in support of a Coast Guard search and rescue mission. The P-8A crew flew in support of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam after AMVER vessel British Mariner reported light signals from an uninhabited island in the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Patrol boat Palikir from Federated States Micronesia is currently en route to conduct rescue operations. VP-8, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is in the midst of a routine deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

A Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 was responding to a report from AMVER vessel British Mariner of flashing lights when they spotted survivors on the beach near the makeshift sign. This information was then relayed to search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Guam. The survivors were picked up and transferred by patrol boat Palikir to Nomwin Atoll.

A pair of stranded mariners signal for help by writing "SOS" in the sand as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 flies over in support of a Coast Guard search and rescue mission. The P-8A crew flew in support of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam after AMVER vessel British Mariner reported light signals from an uninhabited island in the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Patrol boat Palikir from Federated States Micronesia is currently en route to conduct rescue operations. VP-8, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is in the midst of a routine deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Watchstanders at Sector Guam command center received notification Aug. 19 from Pan-Pacific Education and Communication Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) of an overdue 18 ft. vessel with two people aboard en route Tamatam Island, Federated States of Micronesia. The couple departed Weno Island Aug. 17 with limited supplies and no emergency equipment on board en route Tamatam with an expected arrival of Aug. 18.

While conducting a search pattern provided by Sector Guam’s watchstanders, AMVER vessel British Mariner spotted light signals from a nearby island Aug. 24. Based on this information, Sector Guam requested deployment of a U.S. Navy P-8 aircraft crew to investigate the source of light. The P-8 crew successfully located the survivors and Sector Guam watchstanders then contacted patrol boat Palikir who rescued the survivors Aug. 26.

During the seven-day search, Sector Guam watchstanders coordinated the assistance of 14 AMVER vessels, two aircraft crews and one FSM National Police Patrol boat, searching a total of 16,571 square miles.

 (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

(U.S. Navy photo/Released)

AMVER, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and request the ships’ to divert and respond.

Hawai‘i Awarded Nearly $4 Million in Federal Grants to Study Alternative Transportation Funding Methods

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded $3.998 million in competitive grant funding to the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) as part of the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program. The grant will allow the HDOT Highways Division to study and explore alternative methods of funding state and county transportation systems in the future.

Surface Transportation“Trends toward more fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars have a significant impact on transportation funding in Hawaiʻi because of our current reliance on the gas tax as a transportation funding mechanism,” said Gov. David Ige. “While I encourage the move away from fossil fuels as part of our commitment to a clean energy future, the resulting lower consumption reduces the funds available for highways projects. Moving forward, we need to explore new ways to fund our state highway system. We are thankful for FHWA’s commitment to help Hawaiʻi confront this challenge.”

HDOT Highways Division plans to use the $3.998 million grant to study alternatives to the gas tax by working with county and state officials and stakeholders to design new systems to obtain highways funding. These systems will then be tested with Hawaiʻi residents and visitors. One example of an alternative funding mechanism is road maintenance fees based on the number of miles driven, similar to how electric or water utilities are metered.

“Our goal is to design a system for highways funding that is fair, transparent, and easy to use for the public,” said Ford Fuchigami, director, Hawai‘i Department of Transportation. “We will continue to work toward creating a sustainable funding source for the many projects we have, to address the care and maintenance of Hawaiʻi roads.”

Dwindling gas tax revenues is a national problem. Congress created the grant program so that states can study alternatives that will help the federal government restore solvency to the Federal Highway Trust Fund. For Federal Fiscal Year 2016, a total of $15 million in STSFA funds were granted to states on a competitive basis.

President Barack Obama Announces the Expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Today, President Barack Obama announced the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) by more than 442,000 square miles.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), who formally proposed the PMNM expansion in a letter to the president in June, applauded the decision. This action will create the world’s largest marine protected area by putting some of the world’s most important ocean ecosystems under conservation.

new area
“This is one of the most important actions an American president has ever taken for the health of the oceans,” said Senator Schatz. “Expanding Papahanaumokuakea will replenish stocks of ‘ahi, promote biodiversity, fight climate change, and give a greater voice to Native Hawaiians in managing this resource.  President Obama’s declaration is only the beginning.  To create continued success, we will need to follow through with management, research, educational opportunities, and enforcement.  This declaration sets us on a strong path forward for our irreplaceable environment and the generations to come.”

At 582,578 square miles, the declaration creates the world’s largest marine protected area by expanding the PMNM west of 163° West Longitude out to the full 200 nautical miles of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, while preserving access for local fishermen on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau by maintaining the current boundaries of the PMNM east of 163° West Longitude.  President Obama will also grant Schatz’s request to make the Office of Hawaiian Affairs a Co-Trustee of the PMNM.

International Market Place Celebrates Grand Opening Today in Waikiki

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

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii’s Public High School Graduates Improve in ACT College Preparedness Test Scores

A national report released Tuesday shows an increase in Hawaii public schools’ Class of 2016 graduates meeting college readiness benchmarks. ACT, a research-based non-profit organization, issued The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report, which includes information on students taking the ACT test in every state, including Hawaii.

2016 act

Hawaii’s Class of 2016 public high school graduates meeting ACT’s college readiness benchmarks saw these year-over-year changes:

  • A 2 percentage point improvement in Mathematics
  • A 1 percentage point improvement in English and Science
  • Unchanged Reading scores

Approximately 10,525 Hawaii public school graduates in the Class of 2016 took the ACT college preparedness test as juniors. All of Hawaii’s public school juniors now take the ACT test as part of a range of recent transformational efforts to increase students’ college and career readiness. Learn more about these efforts in an Expectation of College . These efforts have produced strong increases in college enrollment, enrollment in early college programs at the high school level, as well as significant declines in college-level remediation in English and Mathematics.

The ACT results provide students information about their readiness for postsecondary education, a score that they can use for college admissions and placement, and information about how to better prepare for postsecondary education during their senior years. The ACT includes a student survey to gauge their plans for life after high school.

“Eighty percent of 2016 graduates who took the ACT test indicated their desire to earn a two- or four-year college degree, and we are encouraged by steady gains in our students’ college preparation and enrollment,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  “However, we recognize the need for more of our students to be ready for the rigors of work and study after high school.”

Over the past three years, Hawaii public school students have seen steady improvements in the individually tested ACT subjects:

  • 4 percentage points up in English
  • 3 percentage points up each in Mathematics, Reading and Science

While Hawaii’s scores have been rising, ACT scores nationwide have shown declines and fluctuating results. Also, not all states administer the ACT to all juniors.

Improvements in the recent ACT scores are a promising reflection of college readiness in Hawaii’s public high school graduates. The ACT is one of only two readiness examinations used for U.S. college and university admissions and was taken by approximately 2.09 million 2016 graduates nationwide.

Click here to view The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report.

 

Hawaii Governor Signs Letter of Support for Expansion of Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Gov. David Ige sent a letter to President Barack Obama conveying his support for the expansion of the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

The letter was signed and transmitted on the evening of Aug. 24.

USS Port Royal and USS Hopper to Deploy Tomorrow

Guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), with an embarked detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37), and guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) will depart their homeport of Pearl Harbor for an independent deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of operation, Aug. 25.

USS Port Royal (CG 73)  U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Johnnie R. Robbins.  (RELEASED)

USS Port Royal (CG 73) U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Johnnie R. Robbins. (RELEASED)

“The warriors aboard USS Port Royal and USS Hopper have been working together diligently to prepare for this deployment to the 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet AOR,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37)

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37)

While deployed, Port Royal and Hopper will transit through the western Pacific to enter the 5th Fleet area of operation supporting maritime security operations and theater cooperation efforts.

USS Hopper (DDG 70)  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

USS Hopper (DDG 70) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

“Port Royal and Hopper crews are trained and ready to execute higher headquarters tasking. We join their friends and families in wishing them a safe and successful deployment,” said Fuller.

Port Royal and Hopper help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Sustaining Healthy Forested Watersheds For Hawaii’s Communities

As global climate change progresses, what will happen to Hawai‘i’s aquifers and the ecosystem services which healthy forest watersheds provide? Will we be able to meet our future fresh water needs for drinking and agriculture?

Watershed fence

A report just issued by the Hawai‘i Environmental Funders Group, “He Lono Moku: The State of the Environment,” says “Hawai‘i consumes water at almost double the national average, with residents and non-agricultural businesses using an average 144 gallons of water per day, or 4,320 gallons per month, due in part to the impact of 7 million tourists a year.” The report was issued in advance of the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress meeting in Honolulu, Sept. 1-10, and highlights the need to protect and more efficiently use our fresh water supply.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) manages a little more than one million acres of public land.  Approximately 900,000 acres fall within a Watershed Partnership boundary.

One way that DOFAW seeks to protect priority watersheds is by supporting Watershed Partnerships. These are voluntary alliances between public and private landowners who recognize that cooperating across landscapes and landowner boundaries is the most cost-effective way to maximize watershed protection.  Watershed Partnerships play an important role in protecting and preventing the loss of more native forest by: combating the main threats of ungulates (hooved animals such as goats, deer, sheep, pigs, cattle); controlling invasive species; and outplanting native forest species.

These management actions also benefit our coastal and coral reef areas by reducing erosion and sedimentation effects in streams and during heavy rains.

Watershed Partnerships help secure grant funding and in-kind services matching state dollars to achieve broad scale conservation goals. DLNR is currently going through its annual process of awarding $2.5 million in state funding to Watershed Partnerships and other groups engaged in watershed protection and management.

To formally recognize the state’s dedication to watershed protection, the Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships* (HAWP) was established in 2003 to build public and private support for watershed protection.  Division of Forestry and Wildlife Watershed Partnerships planner Katie Ersbak says, “Over the last 25 years they’ve grown to encompass 10 active partnerships across the state, covering about 2.2 million acres; roughly half the land in the entire state. These are areas that are the most critical for water recharge. They also have the highest percentage of biodiversity, unique flora and fauna, and rare and endangered plants.”

The Watershed Partnerships involve over 74 public and private landowners and partners. The benefits of collaborative management practiced under Watershed Partnerships are many:

  1. Cooperative management actions address large landscapes and threats affecting multiple habitats and species;
  2. Leverage available funding for maximum benefits and allow the pooling of resources as well as expertise to reduce redundancy efforts;
  3. Allow operational infrastructure to fill gaps and work on both public and private land
  4. Develop long-term relationships with communities and hire locally to help train the next generation of conservation leaders.

DLNR & YOU-Sustaining Healthy Forested Watersheds for Hawaii's Communities from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Genki Sushi Updates Customers On Status of Reopening of Restaurants

Genki Sushi today issued an update on the status of its efforts to reopen its restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Since being notified by the Department of Health (DOH) of its decision to temporarily close 10 Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and one on Kauai on Aug. 15, the company has been working cooperatively with the department to take the required steps to comply with health standards and resume business.

Genki Sushi

“While our goal is to reopen our restaurants as soon as possible, Genki Sushi’s top priority is the health and safety of our customers, employees and the community,” said Mary Hansen, chief administrative officer, Genki Sushi USA. “Since the Department of Health announced the source of the illness was a food product that was received from a distributor, we have been working closely with state health officials to take the necessary actions to ensure all of our restaurants meet or exceed DOH guidelines and requirements.”

In addition to discarding produce, open packages of food, and single-serve equipment and utensils, as well as thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the restaurants according to DOH standards, the company has been focused on ensuring all of its employees in the impacted restaurants are screened and vaccinated.

The testing and vaccination results of the 358 employees will be compiled and provided to the DOH for their review and certification. The company hopes to have all of the employee screenings and vaccinations completed as soon as possible subject to the logistics of screening such a large number of employees at once.

“We appreciate our customers’ understanding and support as we continue to focus on preparing our restaurants to reopen so that customers can have confidence in the safety and quality of the food we serve,” said Hansen.

Hawaii is 2016’s Best State for Women’s Equality

With Women’s Equality Day just three days away and the U.S. in 28th position on the Global Gender Gap Index — falling eight places since 2014 — the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst States for Women’s Equality.
equalityIn order to determine the most gender-egalitarian states, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states across 15 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity between women’s and men’s unemployment rates.

Women’s Equality in Hawaii (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 1st – Earnings Disparity
  • 7th – Executive Positions Disparity
  • 5th – Work Hours Disparity
  • 1st – Educational Attainment Disparity (Among Bachelor’s Degree Holders)
  • 5th – Minimum-Wage Workers Disparity
  • 1st – Unemployment Rate Disparity
  • 8th – Entrepreneurship Rate Disparity
  • 1st – Political Representation Disparity

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-women-equality/5835/

Finger Flipper Not Showing “Aloha Spirit” Creates Resolution of Removal

(UPDATE) A resolution to remove Chelsea Kent, the woman from Texas that moved to Oahu and became part of the Hawaii delegation at the Democratic National Convention and decided to flip the cameras off while the Hawaii Democrats were reading their votes during a live broadcast… has been removed was created from the Hawaii Democratic Party based on a Hawaii Revised Statute that is to hold the Aloha Spirit in high regards.

Aloha Spirit removalThe Aloha Spirt Law (HRS 5-7.5):

[§5-7.5] “Aloha Spirit”. (a) “Aloha Spirit” is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, “Aloha”, the following unuhi laula loa may be used:
“Akahai”, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
“Lokahi”, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
“Oluolu”, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
“Haahaa”, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
“Ahonui”, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii. “Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. “Aloha” means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. “Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. “Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the “Aloha Spirit”. [L 1986, c 202, §1]

Also a resolution was made to remove Bart Dame as the Hawaii Democratic Party National Committee District Chair for his role in not enforcing things it appears he failed to manage the behavior and expression of Kent and it appears he took no decisive action against Kent.

Bart Dame

Attorney Filing Lawsuits on Behalf of Hawaii Residents Who Got Hepatitis A

Attorney Wayne Parson will be filing lawsuits on behalf of Hawai‘i residents who got hepatitis A as a result of contaminated scallops eaten at one of the Genki Sushi restaurants in the islands.

Genki Sushi

Lawsuits for people who have contracted hepatitis A in this outbreak will not be part of a “class action”. These will be individual lawsuits for each affected person because the injury suffered by each person is unique to that person. The lawsuits will be filed in state Circuit Court which is the main court for jury trials in Hawai‘i. Since there will be multiple lawsuits, it is not uncommon for the court to assign the cases to a single judge for the purposes of having consistency in rulings by the court on pretrial matters and an orderly setting of cases for trial.

For more detailed questions call his office at 808-845-2211 or his mobile phone at 808-753-0290. There will be no charge for this call. It is most important that people get answers to their health questions so the injuries can be prevented or the harm minimized.

He is currently involved in 30+ lawsuits filed on behalf of Hawai‘i residents who suffered liver damage as a result of another food product. His office has great experience in helping people with injury to their liver get back on their feet. In those other cases, as well as the upcoming cases to be filed in regard to the contaminated scallops, he will be working with Andrews & Thornton, a mainland law firm, which has a long history of success in representing persons who have suffered damage to their liver from food products. In these types of cases he works on a contingency fee which means that the lawyers do not get paid unless and until money is recovered for the injured person. All litigation costs are paid by his firm and Andrews & Thornton. The fact that two law firms are working on the cases together does not mean an increased fee.

The fee will be the same as charged for a single law firm and my firm and Andrews & Thornton divide up the standard fee. The client gets the benefit of two law firms for the price of one. The client also will have him as their local lawyer to be responsible for all aspects of the case. Anne Andrews has developed national prominence in legal circles for representing people who have suffered injuries like those suffered by the patrons of Genki Sushi who ate the contaminated scallops.

Some people have called him over the weekend with questions about what they should do if they ate the scallops at Genki Sushi but have not become ill.  The answer is that they should go to a doctor and get a blood test to see if they have hepatitis A. They should then follow the doctor’s directions going forward.  The incubation period for hepatitis A is 15 – 60 days and people should be alert to the following symptoms according to the CDC:

Some persons, particularly young children, are asymptomatic. When symptoms are present, they usually occur abruptly and can include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

If you ate at Genki Sushi and develop any of these symptoms go to your doctor  or an emergency room and get a blood test to find out  if you have hepatitis A.

Remember  that hepatitis A can be  spread  by human contact  and therefore  is important to find out if  a person has contracted hepatitis A. Since the incubation period can stretch up 60 days the fact that a person does not have symptoms is not completely reassuring. so they don’t spread it to family members and friends. It is equally  important to know that you could  contract hepatitis A even though you didn’t eat  the contaminated scallops but had contact  with someone  who has contracted  hepatitis A from the scallops. The Hawaii  Department of Health  has been outstanding  in  managing this outbreak and getting information to the public  that will allow people to protect themselves.  Following  daily announcements  at the Department of Health website  is the best way  to get the latest information on how to protect you and your family.

Wayne Parsons Law Offices, (808) 845-2211

www.wayneparsons.com

Scallops Linked to Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Shipped to Nevada and California Too

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses linked to raw scallops.

Fast Facts

  • The FDA and CDC are supporting the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) in an investigation of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections linked to scallops supplied by Sea Port Products Corp. On August 17, 2016, Hawaii Department of Health reported that 206 people have been confirmed to have become ill with hepatitis A in that state.
  • On August 17, 2016, the FDA, Hawaii DOH, CDC and state partners informed Sea Port Products Corp that epidemiological, laboratory and traceback information indicates their scallops are the likely source of illnesses. On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada.  According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale. The FDA is working with the recalling firm to ensure their recall is effective and that recalled product is removed from the market.
  • Restaurants and other retailers should not sell or serve the recalled Bay Scallops. According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their scallops came from to make sure they do not eat recalled Bay Scallops from Sea Port Products Corp.

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are supporting the State of Hawaii in an investigation of hepatitis A illnesses linked to raw scallops.

According to the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), 206 people have been confirmed to have become ill with hepatitis A. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 12, 2016 to August 9, 2016. All cases have been in adults and 51 have required hospitalization.

The FDA’s traceback investigation involved working with Hawaii DOH to trace the path of food eaten by those made ill back to a common source. The traceback investigation determined that Sea Port Products Corp imported the scallops that were later supplied to certain Genki Sushi locations in Hawaii, where ill people reported eating.

On August 17, 2016, FDA laboratory analysis of two scallop samples, which were collected on August 11, 2016, were confirmed positive for hepatitis A. These samples were imported by Sea Port Products Corp.

The FDA, CDC and state partners immediately informed Sea Port Products Corp that epidemiological, laboratory and traceback information indicates their scallops are the likely source of illnesses. On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale. The FDA is working with the recalling firm to ensure their recall is effective and that recalled product is removed from the market.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person (fecal-oral route).

What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Illness occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure and in adults includes fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.

Who is at Risk?

Hepatitis A is a disease that originates in and is spread by people, rather than animals. It can occur  when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand hygiene. However, food (as is suspected in this outbreak) or water contaminated with HAV can cause outbreaks of disease.

In rare cases, particularly in patients with pre-existing severe illness or who are immunocompromised, HAV infection can progress to liver failure and death.  People who have underlying liver conditions or pre-existing severe illness, or who are immunocompromised, should be vaccinated for HAV.

What Specific Products were Recalled?

On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015.

scallops

The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale.

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers and other food service operators should not sell or serve the recalled products. These operations should also:

  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store potentially contaminated products.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Water, shellfish, and salads are the most frequent foodborne sources of hepatitis A. You can avoid Hepatitis A transmission from seafood by thoroughly cooking it. Hepatitis A can be transmitted from person to person. Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures.  Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after using the bathroom and changing diapers to help protect themselves from hepatitis A, as well as other foodborne diseases.

Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their scallops came from to make sure they do not eat recalled Bay Scallops from Sea Port Products Corp.

The FDA has provided information on selecting and serving fresh and frozen seafood safely.  Some people are at greater risk for foodborne illness and should not eat raw or partially cooked fish or shellfish. These susceptible groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Older adults
  • Persons whose immune systems are compromised
  • Persons who have decreased stomach acidity

If you are unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.

Who Should be Contacted?

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating raw scallops.

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult http://www.fda.gov.