Contingency Plans Announced for Pahoa Schools in Case of Highway 130 Closure

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (DOE) continues to work on contingency plans for public schools, students and staff in preparation for lava to eventually cross Pahoa’s Highway 130. The lava flow stalled Sunday on its approach toward Pahoa town. However, volcanic activity is ongoing.

Pahoa High and Intermediate
“We are doing our best to keep a sense of normalcy in our schools and we stand ready to adjust our operations as needed,” stated Mary Correa, complex area superintendent for Ka‘u, Kea‘au, Pahoa.

Given the information from the subject-area experts, the DOE is committed to doing what is necessary to allow public school teachers and students to continue teaching and learning. This includes preparing for the potential loss of an elementary school. The DOE is building an alternate site for elementary students in the Kea‘au High lower parking lot that could hold a number of classrooms. The site would accommodate at least 17 classrooms and up to 500 students and staff. The initial estimated cost to the DOE is $9 million.

“We believe that setting up an alternate site is necessary in order to ensure that our teachers and students have everything ready should we lose a school,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We continue to tackle a number of scenarios and we appreciate the flexibility of our staff, the cooperation of our families, and the collaboration with Hawai‘i County agencies in our preparation efforts.”

Based on the expectation that access to Keonepoko Elementary, Pahoa High & Intermediate, and Pahoa Elementary will be compromised, plans are being made for students who reside north of the flow to be rerouted to the Kea‘au complex when the flow crosses Highway 130. Students who reside south of the flow will remain in their homeschools if those facilities are not negatively impacted.

“When the lava crosses the highway, we want to make sure everything is in place in order to provide continued school services,” said Correa.

Pahoa complex currently has an estimated 1,800 students and roughly 300 employees.

Plans have been shared with parents at all three schools via letters and school meetings. Besides student planning, the DOE is also initiating plans that would guide affected employees on necessary changes. Earlier this month the DOE asked parents and staff who may have changed their residence to immediately update their contact information with school administrators.

Another Lava Flow Update This Evening From USGS – Video of Flow

Between September 6 and 10, the June 27th flow advanced north then northeastward at an average rate of 400 m/d (0.25 mi/d).

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie provides an overview of activity near the front of the June 27th lava flow, and shows the position of the flow front relative to Kaohe Homesteads and Pahoa.

In this way, the flow had advanced approximately 14.5 km (9.0 miles straight-line distance) from the vent, or to within 0.6 km (0.4 miles) of the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, by the afternoon of September 10. At the average rate of advancement of 400 m/day (0.25 mi/day) since September 6, we project that lava could flow from its current location to the northwest edge of Kaohe Homesteads in 1.5 days and to the Pāhoa Village road (government road) in Pāhoa within 14-16 days if lava is not further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano. These estimates will be continually refined as we track this lava flow.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Kaohe Homesteads is located between the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve and the town of Pāhoa in the Puna District of the County of Hawai`i.

Recent Observations: Lava flow turned to the northeast and is advancing at a rate of 400 m/day (0.25 mi/day).

Hazard Analysis: Lava Flow from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent could reach the northwest edge of Kaohe Homesteads in 1.5 days and the government road in Pāhoa within 14-16 days.

Remarks: The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent in the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano began erupting on January 3, 1983, and has continued erupting for more than 31 years, with the majority of lava flows advancing to the south. Over the past two years, lava flows have issued from the vent toward the northeast. The June 27th flow is the most recent of these flows and the first to threaten a residential area since 2010-2011. On June 27, 2014, new vents opened on the northeast flank of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o cone that fed a narrow lava flow to the east-northeast. On August 18, the flow entered a ground crack, traveled underground for several days, then resurfaced to form a small lava pad. The sequence was repeated three more times over the following days with lava entering and filling other cracks before reappearing at the surface, in two of the cases farther downslope. Lava emerged from the last crack on September 6 and moved as a surface flow to the northeast.

TONIGHT – Hawaii County Civil Defense Meeting on Eruption and Lava Flow

Civildefense
Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will hold additional community meetings TONIGHT and Thursday, Sept. 11 to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

The briefings will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Civil Defense Message on Eruption and Lava Flow Information

This is a civil defense message.

Civildefense

This is an Eruption and Lava Flow Information Update for Tuesday September 9th at 8:15 AM.

This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues and is moving in a north/northeast direction.  There is no wildfire threat at this time.  Weather and fire conditions are being monitored closely.  The surface flow has advanced approximately 300 yards since yesterday.  Subsurface flow activity also continues.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

The surface flow is moving slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents.  The surface flow is located approximately .7 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a north/northeast direction and parallel to the forest reserve boundary.

Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities.  No evacuation is required at this time.  Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.

The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas.  Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will be restricted and limited to subdivision residents only.

Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force Announces Updated Report on Policies and Procdures

UDATE: The meeting will not be open for public testimony.

The Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has announced the release of a newly updated report on the policies and procedures for access, distribution, security, and other relevant issues related to the medical use of marijuana in Hawaii. The report was produced by the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) and updates findings released in an earlier report first published in August 2009.

Medical Marijuana

In 2000, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a law enabling the use of medical marijuana by qualified individuals. However, the law did not provide these individuals with a legal method of obtaining marijuana—making it illegal for patients and caregivers to get medical marijuana for legitimate use.

This year the Legislature passed HCR48, establishing under the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Public Policy Center, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force to develop recommendations to establish a regulated statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana.

The updated LRB report highlights glaring uncertainties within Hawaii’s medical marijuana program in regards to the access and transportation of medical marijuana. The program currently only allows qualifying patients to use medical marijuana, but does not provide them with any method to obtain it other than for them to grow a limited amount on their own. However, the sale of marijuana—including seeds for cultivation—remains illegal under state law.  As a result qualifying patients who suffer from cancer or other debilitating diseases are unable to legally acquire medical marijuana to find relief and improve the quality of their lives.

Additionally, it is uncertain whether or to what extent a qualifying patient or caregiver may transport medical marijuana anywhere outside the home on the same island, or island to island, without violating state drug enforcement laws.

“It has been over a decade since Hawaii took the historic step of legalizing medical marijuana to better the lives our residents. But as we have learned throughout the years and once again validated by the report, issues still exist with the program that need to be addressed,” said House Health Chair Della Au Belatti. “The task force is working towards improving our medical cannabis system with the goal of facilitating access for patients through a legal dispensary system or other means.”

The Dispensary System Task Force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation to the 2015 Legislature.

On Tuesday, September 9, from 9:00 – 11:00 am at the Hawaii State Capitol, Room 325, the Dispensary Task Force will be briefed by the Legislative Reference Bureau on its 2014 report.

Public hearings on Hawaii Island and Oahu have been scheduled by the Task Force to obtain public testimony on issues and concerns regarding dispensaries in Hawaii and any input on the updated Legislative Reference Bureau report.  These public hearings are scheduled as follows:

  • Hawaii Island (Hilo): Wednesday, September 10th at 5:00 pm. Aupuni Center.
  • Oahu: Wednesday, September 24th at 5:00 pm. Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium.

The updated report and more information on the Dispensary Task Force is available online at http://www.publicpolicycenter.hawaii.edu/projects-programs/hcr48.html

Latest USGS Lava Flow Map as of September 6th

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 6, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on September 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 6 at ~11:10 AM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, and was advancing toward the north, roughly parallel to the Forest Reserve boundary. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

New Lava Flow Map Shows Pahoa Town in Direct Path of Lava

Small-scale map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 4, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lava on the surface at 1 PM, outlined in red, was 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The front of the flow was spilling into another crack, which was steaming.

The blue lines show potential flow paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

Lava Flow Emerges From Crack – Continues Advancing East

June 27th lava flow front emerges again from ground crack, continues advancing eastward

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The June 27th lava flow remains active, with lava at the flow front issuing from a ground crack and advancing through thick forest, creating dense plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This forest reserve boundary is at the western boundary of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, a portion of which is visible at the bottom of the photograph.

This view looks east at the far end of the June 27th lava flow. In the center of the photograph is an isolated pad of lava which came out of ground crack last week. Further movement of lava within ground cracks has enabled the flow front to advance farther east, with lava issuing from a ground crack in the upper left portion of the photograph, where plumes of smoke mark the location of lava burning forest. Click to enlarge

A closer view of the flow front, looking west. It is difficult to see the active lava surface through the thick smoke. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the upper left portion of the photograph, partly obscured by smoke.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

One small portion of the flow front was quite vigorous, with an open stream of lava moving through the forest.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie shows activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow. The flow front continues to advance eastward, with lava issuing out of a ground crack and spreading through dense forest, creating thick plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

Lava Flow Map Updated – Flow Advances/Cascading Into Deep Crack

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 1, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow as mapped on August 29 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of September 1 is shown in red. The only place where lava significantly widened the margin was at the distal end of the flow, where lava in the forest had reached 12.6 km (7.8 miles) from the vent. Most lava at the far end of the flow, however, was cascading into a deep ground crack (brown line), which was steaming at the surface. The most distant steam, which may represent the leading end of the lava in the crack, was 12.9 km (7.9 miles) from the vent and 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line within the flow marks the lava tube.

Candidate Accused of Fraud States Surf Shop Has Living Quarters

The following was posted by Hawaii County Council Candidate Tiffany Edwards Hunt regarding allegations of voter fraud that have been posted in the Hawaii Tribune Herald and other places such as Puna Web in a few different forums.

I can’t imagine living in a surf shop when you have two other places to live… but if this is your excuse that you want to publish publicly to attempt to avoid prosecution then so be it.

Lately, there have been press reports calling into question my voter registration history and suggesting that I might be guilty of some sort of voter crime. It is becoming increasingly obvious that these reports and the source(s) of them are politically motivated.

I am a resident of Puna Council District 5, and have been for over 90 days before the primary election. Under the Hawaii County Charter, any voter and candidate for office must be a resident of the district for at least ninety (90) days before the primary election.

I am currently registered to vote in Puna Council District 5, residing with my husband at our family home in Hawaiian Acres.

In 2012 I was registered to vote in what is now Puna Council District 4, and listed my residence at my husband’s Pahoa home and surf shop, which has a living quarters.

Shortly after the 2012 election I was nominated to serve on the Windward Planning Commission. After being nominated to the commission for District 4, I learned that I should be registered in District 5 in Mountain View. I declined the nomination and updated my voter registration residency address for the next election.

I welcome any legitimate investigation regarding this issue.

After I learned of a potential pending investigation by police, I immediately contacted the responsible officer but I have not yet received a response.

I am properly registered as a voter and candidate in District 5.  I look forward to serving the people of this Puna district, if elected.

Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Lava Flow Reactivates – Spills Out of Steaming Crack

Far end of June 27th lava flow reactivates, lava spills out of steaming crack

The steaming ground crack observed yesterday suggested that lava was close to the surface within the crack, and today lava in the crack reached the surface and began spilling out into the thick forest. The leading edge of the lava today was near the abandoned well site (cleared area at left). This farthest lava was about 11.9 km (7.4 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō (visible on horizon) and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

A closer view of the pad of lava that emerged from the ground crack earlier this week, which had renewed surface flows today. At the east end (upper left in photograph) of the lava pad new breakouts spilled into adjacent ground cracks, and lava was visible within the ground crack extending farther to the east (visible by line of smoke extending towards upper left portion of photo). Heiheiahulu is visible in the upper right.

A wide view of the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow, looking east down Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. The main body of the June 27th flow ends near the center of the photograph, where lava poured into a deep ground crack. After traveling along the ground crack, lava emerged at the surface earlier this week, creating an isolated pad of lava (where the thick smoke is just above the center of the photograph). This pad of lava had renewed surface activity today, with lava filling and spilling out of a ground crack extending farther to the east of the lava pad.
 Another wide view of the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow, again looking east. This shows the east end of the isolated lava pad. The thick smoke originates from lava filling a deep ground crack up to the surface. The smoke partly obscures the abandoned well site.

At the site of the isolated pad of lava near the leading edge of the June 27th flow, renewed surface flows today resurfaced the existing lava flow and also spilled into nearby ground cracks. In this photograph, two large streams of lava plunge into a crack that is a couple meters (yards) wide.

At the far end of the lava-filled crack, lava spilled out towards the north a very short distance. In this view from a thermal camera, the small lobe of lava moving north is easily visible. The trees surrounding the crack show brighter colors as they are heated by the lava flow, but not to the point of combustion.

The vent for the June 27th lava flow is on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The vent area is now covered by lava, but the lava tube that carries lava to the flow front is easily visible by the line of blue-colored fume. In the lower right, two skylights can be seen.

More Community Meetings Announced to Update Folks on Lava Flows

Civildefense

Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will host additional community meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Thursday, Sept. 4 to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

The briefings will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Civil Defense Lava Flow Update

Daily helicopter over flights and assessments of the eruption are continuing.  This morning’s assessment showed that there is currently some surface activity.  The current flow had entered a crack system earlier this week and there is some evidence to indicate subsurface lava activity.  The surface flows remain on the existing flow area and has not extended beyond or further than the location where it had entered a crack. The evidence is limited to steam plumes along the area of the crack.

HVO121

Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities.

The location of the crack and areas of the steam is approximately 1.6 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary.  Eruption activity will be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Area residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.  As stated, the current flow activity does not present with an immediate or imminent threat.  This update is to keep area residents informed of current observations.

The public is advised that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas.  Please do not attempt to access the area as there are many cracks and dense vegetation.  In addition please refrain from attempting to do so through the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision and respect the privacy of area residents.  Enforcement officers of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources will be conducting patrols and reminding persons in the area of the restricted access.

Where the Lava is Now – Live Camera Views of Current Lava Flow

If you look at the top right of this picture (near the ocean) you can see that the lava and steam has increased above Kaohe Homestead.

Picture taken a few minutes ago.  Click to enlarge

Panorama of Puʻu ʻŌʻō North Flank from the North Rim, Picture taken a few minutes ago. Click to enlarge

The steam is just barely visible in the top right but it’s still not a good sign.  It means the Lava has not stopped flowing towards Pahoa.

To view other live cameras of this flow… you can click here: HVO Webcams

 

Lava Flow Update – Steam Suggests Flow Advancing Again Towards Pahoa

Steaming extends northeast along ground crack, suggesting lava is advancing again along the crack

Steaming (center of photograph) was reported this morning east of the small pad of lava (just above center) that emerged from a ground crack this past week. This renewed progression of steaming suggests that lava is again continuing to advance beneath the surface, along these ground cracks. On our afternoon overflight, the farthest point of steaming was near an abandoned well site, which serves as a convenient landmark in this broad expanse of forest. The farthest steaming was 11.9 km (7.4 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. In the top portion of the photograph, numerous plumes of smoke originate from scattered surface flows burning vegetation. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen on the horizon.

This figure compares the photo above with an equivalent view from a thermal camera. The plumes of smoke mark the farthest active lava on the surface (small, scattered lobes of pāhoehoe), which are also shown as small hotspots in the thermal image. The pad of lava that emerged from the ground crack earlier this week was inactive at the surface but still quite warm (high temperature patch in center of image). East of this pad of lava, steaming (just below the center of the photograph) has appeared over the past day, suggesting that lava is continuing to advance below the surface along a ground crack. Direct views into the crack were not possible due to thick vegetation, but close views of the steaming areas with the thermal camera reveal temperatures up to 190 C (370 F). These high temperature are further evidence of lava moving through the crack.

A closer of the new steaming. The thick vegetation obscures direct views of the ground crack, and only a line of steaming and browned vegetation is evident at the surface.

Slow-moving pāhoehoe advances through thick forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The pāhoehoe lobes surround, and burn through, the base of the trees. By the time the trees topple over, the lava surface temperature has cooled sufficiently that the downed trees do not completely burn through, leaving a field of tree trunks on the recent lava surface. One tree in the center of the photograph is completely surrounded by active lava, and likely on the brink of toppling over.

Another view of the lava expanding into the forest.
Closer to the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, one of several skylights provides a view of the flowing lava stream within the lava tube. This lava tube supplies lava from the vent to the active surface flows near the flow front.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

New Lava Flow Map Released – Lava Flow Once Again Advancing

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of August 28, 2014:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow as mapped on August 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of August 28 is shown in red. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. The thin yellow line marks a portion of the lava tube feeding the flow.

The only place where lava significantly widened the margin was at the most distant surface breakout, which was 8.6 km (5.3 miles) from the vent. The brown line at the far end of the flow marks the ground crack that channeled lava to the east, where it later emerged to form a new pad of lava.

Yesterday, there was no surface activity there and no indication that lava was continuing to advance within ground cracks. This morning, however, steam was rising above a crack extending east beyond the end of the lava pad, suggesting that lava was once again advancing within a crack below ground.

The most distant steaming area was 11.9 km (7.4 miles) from the vent and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve.

Updated Map of Lava Lava Flow Approaching Pahoa

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of August 27, 2014.

Click to enlarge map

Click to enlarge map

The area of the flow as mapped on August 25 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of August 27 is shown in red. The brown line marks the ground crack that channeled lava to the east, where it emerged to form a new pad of lava over the past couple of days.

The distal tip of this new lava pad is 11.5 km (7.1 miles) east-northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 3.0 km (1.9 miles) from the edge of the Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve. However, the tip of the flow was inactive today and there was no indication that lava was continuing to advance within ground cracks.

The most distant active flows were 8.5 km (5.3 miles) from the vent. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. The thin yellow line marks a portion of the lava tube feeding the flow.

Lava Flow Update – Activity at Flow Front “Appears” to Stall But Surface Flows Remain Active

The June 27th flow remains active, but surface flows at the very farthest reaches of the flow appear to have stalled today.

lava flow 827

Click to Enlarge

The lava flow front consisted of an isolated pad of lava that emerged from a deep ground crack several days ago. Today, this pad of lava appeared inactive at the surface, with no sign obvious activity in the adjacent crack. On today’s overflight, the farthest active surface flows were on the main body of the June 27th flow, and were 8.5 km (5.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, or about 6 km (3.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

A closer view of the southern lobe of the June 27th lava flow. Smoke plumes originate from active surface breakouts, the farthest today reached 8.5 km (5.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The spot at which this lobe plunged into a deep ground crack last week can be seen near the bottom of the photograph. In the upper right portion of the photograph, smoke originating from active breakouts on the northern lobe can be seen.

A comparison of the normal photograph (see above) of the south lobe of the June 27th flow with an equivalent view from the thermal camera. The thermal camera clearly shows the extent of the farthest active breakout, which was relatively small.

Top: Another view of the south lobe of the June 27th flow, which plunged into a deep ground crack last week (this spot is visible at the right side of the photograph). This wide view, looking west, also shows another deep crack nearby, a short distance to the south of the active flows (which are producing the smoke plumes). This immediate area contains many ground cracks, which are part of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the distance.

Bottom: The isolated pad of lava that emerged from the deep ground crack several days ago did not have any active breakouts at the surface today, but incandescent lava could be seen in numerous cracks on the surface. This likely represents lava that had ponded within the flow and remains hot, but immobile.

U.S. Court Overturns Law Limiting Biotech Crops on Kauai

A group of global biotech crop companies won a court victory on Monday that blocks enactment of a law passed last year limiting the planting of biotech crops and use of pesticides on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren of the U.S. District Court in Hawaii ruled that the law passed in November by local leaders on the island was invalid because it was pre-empted by Hawaii state law.

The Kauai law required large agricultural companies to disclose pesticide use and genetically modified (GMO) crop plantings while establishing buffer zones around schools, homes and hospitals to protect people from exposure to pesticides used on the crops…

More Here: U.S. court overturns law limiting biotech crops on Hawaiian island

 

Hawaii Earns Top Ranking in National Report on Progress in Open Data

One of 6 States to Receive a Perfect Score from Center for Data Innovation

The State of Hawaii is ranked among the top states for progress in open data in a new report (http://www.datainnovation.org/2014/08/state-open-data-policies-and-portals/) published this week by the Center for Data Innovation, the leading think tank studying the intersection of data, technology and public policy.

Click for more information.

Click for more information.

“This national recognition shows that collaborative and determined efforts on the part of this administration and the Legislature, together with our private sector partners and the public, have made great strides since launching our state’s business and information transformation in 2011,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “We have developed a strong open government program that is rapidly improving transparency and accountability of state government.”

Hawaii was one of six states (Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah) to receive a perfect score in the Center for Data Innovation’s report, which evaluated states based on the contents of their open data policies and open data portals. Points are awarded for the presence of an open data policy, quality of open data policy, presence of an open data portal, and quality of an open data portal.

“Open data that does not compromise security or privacy is becoming more readily available to the public through data.hawaii.gov, recognizing that it belongs to the people of Hawaii,” said the Governor’s Chief Advisor on Technology and Cybersecurity, Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, who launched Hawaii’s Open Data Portal as Hawaii’s first chief information officer. “This award demonstrates that Hawaii can set a new national standard of excellence for open government.

“I’d like to acknowledge our dedicated state personnel at the Offices of Information Management Technology (OIMT) and Information Practices, as well as our partners at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Open Data, and Socrata. We all need to support State CIO Keone Kali and his OIMT team as they continue to enhance the standard of excellence for the State of Hawaii.”

Hawaii’s Business & Information Technology/Information Resource Management (IT/IRM) Transformation Plan and initiatives have received national recognition for innovation winning 20 national awards including being the only state recipient for the Fed 100 Award in 2013 and Government innovator of the Year in 2014. For more information on the plan, visit OIMT’s website at oimt.hawaii.gov.

The Center for Data Innovation is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute affiliated with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. For more information about the center, visit datainnovation.org.