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‘Broncos’ Hold Mile High Training Exercise at Pohakuloa Training Area

Maneuver elements of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, found invaluable support from mortar, artillery and helicopter gunships during a fire support coordination exercise (FCX), here, June 24-26.

A Soldier assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, scans his sector with an M240B machine as part of a maneuver element during a fires coordination exercise (FCX) lane at the Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, on June 25, 2017. The battalions of 3rd BCT went through a series of realistic combat lanes during the three daylong FCX. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

The maneuvers were held on the big island of Hawaii at the more than mile high plateau between Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Hualalai volcanic mountains.

The purpose of the FCX is to provide realistic training, which includes maximum flexibility during the company-level maneuvers.

Second Lt. Victor Perez, a native of Snyder, Okla., and a fire support officer assigned to 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, said the FCX “allows us to practice with our maneuver element and also be able to de-conflict measures such as coordination and indirect fires.”

Perez said the training with close air support assets such as the AH-64 Apache helicopter provides excellent planning to de-conflict the use of air and indirect fire assets.

“We get down here to really train and focus on for when the next war that happens,” he said. “It’s not exactly being overseas, but allows us to get really good training out here.”

Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, act as a maneuver element during a fires coordination exercise (FCX) lane at the Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, on June 25, 2017. The battalions of 3rd BCT went through a series of realistic combat lanes during the three daylong FCX. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Capt. Trent Sutterfield, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., and commander of Blackfoot Troop, 3-4th Cav. Regt., said it was a great experience for his troops on PTA.

“It’s a chance to not only work with your platoon leaders, which you work with quite a bit, but that external audience such as your FSO, your fire support coordination piece with the artillery and mortars,” Sutterfield said.

He stated the ranges were doable on the island of Oahu, but they’re a great many constraints for training on the highly population island.

“This allows us to build again not just shoot our maneuver elements or normal direct fire systems such as the M2 machine gun and Mark 19 grenade launcher, but also emphasis our fires capabilities and air platforms,” he said. “We have the land and the ability without constricting training of other units on Schofield.”

Spc. William Holt, indirect fire infantrymen, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, applies camouflage face paint prior to the start of a fires coordination exercise (FCX) lane at the Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, on June 25, 2017. The Soldiers provided indirect fire support during near pitch-black conditions to maneuver elements during the FCX. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

The company-level leadership involved their FSOs during their operational planning.

“We involved them in our planning process, and directly through our fire support officer and fire support NCO,” he said. “They develop the fires plan as we conduct the maneuvers piece, and build that on top in support of us.”

Spc. Matthew Blankenship, a native of Sparta, N.C., and a fire support specialist assigned to 3-4th Cav. Regt., worked directly with the maneuver elements on the simulated battlefield.

Blankenship stated the tight constraints on the ranges on Oahu make it difficult for the M777 150 mm howitzer to fire with full affect during training.

“There’s a lot of wide open places so we can use some of our larger caliber weapon systems,” he said. “You can’t really fire that well Schofield because there isn’t enough range to. So when we come to PTA, we get to actually use the larger caliber weapons in the way it was designed to be used.”

With his second rotation at PTA, Blankenship’s views on the PTA ranges were highly positive.

“I never imagined Hawaii being like this,” he said. “It’s sort of a desert climate, and it’s really different. It’s a really good place to train.”

22 DUI’s Last Week on the Big Island

During the week of June 19, 2017, through June 25, 2017, Hawaiʻi Island police arrested 22 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Six of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. Two of the drivers were under the age of 21.So far this year, there have been 560 DUI arrests compared with 535 during the same period last year, an increase of 4.67 percent.

There have been 675 major accidents so far this year compared with 720 during the same period last year, a decrease of 6.25 percent.

To date, there were 18 fatal crashes (one of which had multiple deaths), resulting in 20 fatalities, compared with 10 fatal crashes (one of which had multiple deaths), resulting in 11 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 80 percent for fatal crashes, and 81.82 percent for fatalities.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island-wide.

Rat Lungworm Informational Meeting on Lanai

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), Maui District Health Office, will hold a public informational meeting on rat lungworm disease on Tuesday, July 6, 2017 at the ILWU Hall in Lanai City, Lanai from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The meeting will include an opportunity for the public to ask questions.

A number of public health experts and community partners will be present to share their findings and recommendations on preventing the spread of rat lungworm, including the DOH, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR), the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) and Maui School Garden Network.

Rat lungworm is a rare disease caused by the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis which is found in rats, slugs and snails. The disease affects the brain and spinal cord and occurs when a person ingests raw or undercooked snails or slugs or unwashed raw produce such as leafy greens. To date, DOH has confirmed 15 cases of the illness in Hawaii for 2017, including nine (9) from Hawaii Island, four (4) Maui residents and two (2) Maui visitors.

DOH has launched a number of initiatives to address rat lungworm. Together with partner agencies, DOH has held community meetings on Maui and Molokai to educate the public on rat lungworm and to share best practices on the prevention of this disease, including the proper care and washing of produce, as well as rodent and slug control. DOH food safety inspectors have also worked with permitted food establishments on hygiene and food preparation, and medical advisories were sent to physicians and hospitals to increase awareness of the disease.

DOH is planning future public information efforts to educate residents and visitors about rat lungworm prevention.

For additional information on the disease, go online to https://mauiready.org/ratlungworm/ or http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/rat-lungworm-angiostrongyliasis/. Call the DOH office on Lanai at (808) 565-7114 or on Maui at (808) 984-8201 for more details on the meeting.

Hot Crack at Kamokuna

Thermal images collected during the overflight on Wednesday, June 21, show a hot crack spanning much of the width of the lava delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry.

These cracks are common on lava deltas, and suggest sagging and instability at the front of the delta.

Hawaii Community Correctional Center – Keanu Krause NOT Mistakenly Released

The Hawaii Community Correctional Center did not mistakenly release Keanu Krause as reported.

Keanu Krause

The Third Circuit Court did not issue orders pertaining to bail or any related paperwork authorizing the continued detention of Keanu Krause at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC).  The District Court dismissed his cases and ordered his release. HCCC followed through with the order and released him today at approximately 11 a.m.

Krause is currently once again in Hawaii Police custody and was transported back to HCCC.

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Found in Pearl City Peninsula

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) survey crews from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) have detected an infestation of the plant-damaging beetles in small mulch piles on a farm located on Waiawa Road on the Pearl City Peninsula. This is north of the previously known infestation zone which involved mainly military property. Because this is in a residential and agricultural area, HDOA is asking the cooperation of property owners to allow CRB response crews to enter their properties to survey for the beetle, which destroys palm trees and other plants.

The new infestation was found during routine surveillance activities by the CRB team. That particular area was surveyed in April 2017 and a cursory survey on June 19th found a few larvae in a mulch pile. CRB crews were immediately dispatched to the area to conduct a more extensive search. Since then, about 206 larvae and two male adult CRB have been found in three small areas. HDOA entomologists estimate that, given the developmental age of the beetles found, it is likely the eggs were laid in April. Additional barrel traps were deployed to attract CRB in the area and more extensive surveys are already occurring.

CRB crews report that area farmers and residents have generally been cooperative with the surveys so far; but crews request continued access to check their mulch piles and other green waste.

Traps

“We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for residents to allow our crews to survey their yards if we have any hope to control the spread of this serious pest,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “As evidenced in the past, the cooperation of residents is key to the success of eradication and control efforts.”

Due to the new detections, HDOA is expanding the survey areas from the H-1 freeway south to the Pearl Harbor Bike Path and between Lehua Ave. and Leeward Community College.

CRB boring damage

CRB response crews will be clearly identified with HDOA-issued badges and in marked state  vehicles. If residents have any question about survey crews in their area, they should contact the CRB Response Headquarters at 832-0585.

Currently there are 3,079 CRB traps deployed and maintained all over Oahu. The traps, which contain a CRB-attracting pheromone, are designed for early detection of the pest.

The CRB was first detected on Oahu in December 2014 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam. So far, CRB has not been detected on other islands.

Adult CRB are dark brown in color and measure 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches long. CRB larvae are white in color with a brown head and up to three inches long.

CRB Larvae

CRB are capable of killing all palm species and have been found to attack banana, taro, pineapple and sugarcane. The grubs live exclusively in decaying plant material such as green waste, mulch, compost and manure. Residents on the entire island of Oahu are urged not to move any green waste or mulch from any location as CRB do not move long distances on its own, but may be transported by humans. Oahu residents are also asked to inspect their mulch piles periodically for CRB larvae and adults.

Currently, the CRB team involves 27 staff which conducts surveys throughout Oahu. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) and HDOA.

Headquartered at HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch, the team includes personnel from several agencies, including USDA, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, Hawaii National Guard, HISC, Oahu Invasive Species Committee, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the University of Hawaii – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

For more information, go to HDOA’s CRB Information webpage: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/main/crb/

Hawaii Department of Transportation Comments on Earthjustice Lawsuit

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is tasked with ensuring that the State of Hawaii’s transportation facilities including its airports and harbors are run in a way that protects the safety and well-being of its citizenry. These facilities play a vital role in the life and economy of the State. Currently, 80% of all goods consumed in the State are imported with over 98% of those goods being shipped through Hawaii’s commercial harbors. HDOT also operates the airport system which services more than 34 million total passengers who fly to and from Hawaii each year.

As a trustee of the State’s environmental resources and as required by law, the HDOT also always works to ensure that these facilities are operated in ways that are protective of the Islands’ sensitive resources including threatened and endangered species. To that end, HDOT recently expended hundreds of millions of dollars to install energy efficient lighting improvements at the State airports and commercial harbors to avoid impacts to sensitive species on the Islands as well as millions of dollars to safely translocate the endangered Nene away from airport facilities. HDOT also continues to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies to ensure that operation of the facilities minimize environmental impacts and are consistent with state and federal laws.

On June 15, 2017, the HDOT received a notice dated June 15, 2017 from Earthjustice declaring its intent to sue HDOT on behalf of Hui Hoomalu i Ka Aina, the Conservation Council for Hawaii, and the Center for Biological Diversity for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act in connection with the HDOT’s operation of the State’s airport and harbor facilities. While HDOT cannot comment on the specific allegations given the threatened litigation, HDOT has and will continue to operate its facilities in manners which are protective of all sensitive species and are consistent with legal requirements.

US Navy Missile Defense Test Fails Off Hawaii

An interceptor missile fired from a US Navy destroyer off the coast of Hawaii failed to hit it’s target, the US Missile Defense Agency said:

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Japan Ministry of Defense conducted a development flight test today of a new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile off the coast of Hawaii.

A planned intercept was not achieved.

US Navy destroyer John Paul Jones (DDG 53) fires a missile interceptor in this file photo

The SM-3 Block IIA is being developed cooperatively by the U.S. and Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. This is a new, developmental interceptor that is not yet fielded by either country.

At approximately 7:20 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time, June 21 (1:20 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 22), a medium-range ballistic target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile, but the missile did not intercept the target.

Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the test data. Until that review is complete, no additional details will be available.

This was the fourth development flight test using an SM-3 IIA missile, and the second intercept test. The previous intercept test, conducted in February 2017, was successful.

Though currently still in the development and test phase, the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor is being designed to operate as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. Currently, the Aegis BMD system operates with the SM-3 Block 1A, SM-3 Block 1B, and SM-6 interceptors.

EPA Requires County of Hawaii to Close Large Cesspools – Reaches Agreement with Aloha Island Mart

Agency also reaches agreement with Aloha Island Mart in Captain Cook over LCC violation

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the County of Hawaii to close seven large capacity cesspools (LCCs) that serve the Pahala and Naalehu communities. The County will replace the cesspools with wastewater treatment systems approved by the Hawaii Department of Health.

In a separate action, EPA reached an agreement with Aloha Petroleum, Ltd. requiring the company to pay a civil penalty of $57,500 for its operation of an LCC at its Aloha Island Mart convenience store and gas station in Captain Cook on the Big Island. EPA found that Aloha Island Mart operated an illegal LCC until 2014. Aloha Petroleum has since closed the non-compliant cesspool and replaced it with an approved wastewater system.

Click to read the consent agreement

An LCC is a cesspool that serves multiple residential dwellings or a commercial facility with the capacity to serve 20 or more people per day. Cesspools collect and discharge waterborne pollutants like untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. LCCs were banned under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in April 2005.

The agreement with the County of Hawaii requires the closure of two LCCs serving the Pahala community, three LCCs serving the Naalehu community, and two LCCs serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments. Combined, the seven cesspools serve about 280 households.

“EPA and the County of Hawaii are taking important steps to close these banned cesspools and replace them with modern wastewater treatment systems,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These actions will protect Hawaii’s drinking water and coastal resources, as we seek to modernize Big Island water infrastructure.”

In the Pahala and Naalehu communities, the County has developed closure and replacement plans for the cesspools. Newly-constructed secondary wastewater treatment facilities and updated collection systems will come online in 2021 for Pahala and in 2022 for Naalehu. Cesspools serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments will be closed by September 2018 and replaced with septic systems. The agreement also includes specific reporting requirements and allows for stipulated penalties should the county fail to meet agreed-upon deadlines.

Construction of the new treatment and disposal facilities will be financed in part with federal grants and low-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program. Under the agreement, an additional 95 properties in the Pahala and Naalehu communities not currently served by the LCCs will also be connected to the new county sewer systems.

Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than in any other state, despite the fact that 95 percent of all drinking water in Hawaii comes from groundwater sources. over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed state-wide, many through voluntary compliance.

For more information on this specific agreement visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/hawaii-cesspools-administrative-orders#hawaii

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large capacity cesspool, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

Hawaii County Civil Defense Message on King Tides

This is a Civil Defense message.  This is an Extreme High Tides Message for Thursday, June 22.

The National Weather Service reports unusually high tides, also known as “King Tides”, may cause dangerous flooding conditions along all shores of Hawaii Island from today through the weekend before gradually subsiding next week.

The water came over the parking lot at Coconut Island last King Tide.

Due to King Tides, be aware that coastal areas of beaches, low-lying roads, boat ramps, and harbors may be dangerously impacted during the afternoon and evening hours.

These tides may cause higher than usual beach run-up, flooding, and erosion.

Because of these dangerous conditions, the following precautions should be taken; ocean front residents, beach-goers, and boat owners are advised to be on the alert for high surf, strong current, and coastal flooding.

As a precaution, consider postponing ocean activities until these hazards are over.  As always, precautionary measures should be taken before the onset of night fall.

Special caution should be taken to the coastal areas in and around Kapoho during the high tide periods.

There are no closures of roads or beaches at this time. Please be aware however that closures may occur without notice.

Radio station will be updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Thank you and have have a safe day.

Lessons From a Tsunami Could Help Protect Seabirds in the Face of Rising Seas

Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning

In a study published Thursday, researchers evaluated the effects of sudden flooding from the Tohoku tsunami on more than 20 bird species nesting on the distant Pacific islands. The results shed light not only on how those birds weathered the dramatic rise in seas from the extreme event, but also how island wildlife may fare with the threat of rising sea levels and increased storm surges.

Young Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) at its nest near the coastline at Midway Atoll, Hawaii

Many seabird species have disappeared from human populated higher islands, and their worldwide distributions are now concentrated on the low-lying islands protected as Wildlife Refuges and Marine National Monuments.

“Much of our Pacific island biodiversity is vulnerable to catastrophic flooding. Many of the bird’s eggs are in low-lying island baskets, so to speak,” said U.S. Geological Survey ecologist, Dr. Michelle Reynolds, lead researcher on the study. “The research here shows that sudden flooding from dramatic events like tsunamis as well as longer-term sea level rise create risks for the birds, but also reveal that there are opportunities to establish breeding colonies at higher elevations. Higher elevation habitat that is free of invasive predators may provide more resilience for island seabirds.”

“Estimates of nest flooding from the tsunami combined with models of sea-level rise flooding and storm wave flooding give us a tool to glimpse into future,” said John Klavitter, co-author of the study and manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. “We can better understand where the populations are most vulnerable to flooding, what proportions of the seabird populations are most vulnerable, and where restoration and invasive predator management may achieve the most long-term value.”

At the far northwestern reaches of the Hawaiian Island chain, protected as part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Laysan Island and the three islands of Midway Atoll have a combined area of about 2,300 acres and a mean elevation of less than 11.5 feet. These islands are used by 6 million to 10 million birds including the world’s largest colonies of Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses, and the global populations of endangered Laysan teal.

An aerial photograph of Laysan Island, Hawaii, part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. USGS photo July 2010

Catastrophic flooding of Pacific islands occurs periodically not only from tsunamis but also from storm surge and rainfall. With rising sea levels, the frequency of flooding events will likely increase. To understand where and which bird populations are most vulnerable to sudden flooding, the spatial extent of flooding from the 2011 Tohoku tsunami was detailed on the islands of Laysan and Midway Atoll. The spatial boundary of flooding on each island was then combined with bird nesting data. Species that nest near the coast, nest simultaneously, or have strong nest site and island fidelity are identified as more sensitive to population declines from island over-wash events.

The scientists estimated the 2011 tsunami flooded 26 to 52 percent of the Black-footed albatross nests concentrated on the coast of islands and that across the four islands more than 275,000 Black-footed and Laysan albatross and Bonin petrel nests were flooded. Populations of endemic land birds, such as the Laysan teal were especially vulnerable to the longer-term habitat changes from catastrophic flooding.

This study and recent research describing potential inundation from sea level rise and storm wave highlight the vulnerability of these low islands to wave over-wash and the opportunity restore species to the higher islands. The researchers hope the information can help natural resource managers make decisions about where restoration and conservation efforts can have the most long-lasting effects.

Map of the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake epicenter in relation to the Northwestern and main Hawaiian Islands

The study “Lessons from the Tohoku tsunami: a model for island avifauna conservation prioritization” was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution by USGS authors Michelle Reynolds and Karen Courtot, Paul Berkowitz of Hawaii Cooperative Study Unit at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and John Klavitter of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management to Host Telephone Town Hall on Hurricane Preparedness

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will host a telephone town hall on Monday, June 26 at 4:00pm HST on hurricane and disaster preparedness. The congresswoman will be joined by Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi, Anna Foust of Maui Emergency Management Agency, Elton Ushio of Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency, Talmadge Magno of Hawaiʻi Island Civil Defense Agency, and Melvin Kaku of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management to answer questions from the community, discuss the forecast for the upcoming hurricane season, and review new recommendations that Hawaiʻi residents prepare an “emergency kit” with a minimum of 14 days of food, water and other supplies. Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.

“We are so fortunate to live in Hawaiʻi, but we have some seasonal disasters that are unique to our islands, and it’s important to be prepared. With hurricane season kicking off this month and running through November, I’m hosting a telephone town hall meeting with emergency management leaders in each of our counties to talk about how Hawaiʻi families can prepare and stay safe,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

How to register for this event:

To receive a call reminding you to join this event on Monday June 26, 2017 at 4:00pm:

  • Text “TULSI” to 828282, OR
  • Go to vekeo.com/reptulsigabbard and enter your name, phone number and email. Once you submit your information, you will receive a confirmation email. Please note: you must click “Verify” in the confirmation email in order to complete your registration
  • To dial in to the call at the time of the event, call 888-476-4187 at 4:00pm HST on Monday June 26.

HURRICANE CHECKLIST:

Informational Meeting On Hawaii Coral Reef Bleaching

Senator Will Espero, in cooperation with the Friends of Hanauma Bay, is co-hosting an informational meeting on Wednesday, June 21 in conference room 229 from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the eroding health of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs due to pollution from personal health products such as sunscreen.

During the meeting, Dr. Craig Downs, Executive Director of the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory will present his latest scientific findings on sunscreen pollution and its damaging impact on Hawai‘i’s coral reefs, including the creation of what researchers call “coral reef zombies.”“The health of our coral reefs is important not only for the protection and preservation of our oceans, but also to our state’s economy and tourism industry,” said Sen. Espero. “Efforts were made to mitigate the toxic effect of pollution from oxybenzone on our coral reefs through a number of bills introduced this past legislative session. Through meetings like this, we’ll continue to work collaboratively with scientists and stakeholders to address the protection of our reefs for future generations.”

  • WHO:  Sen. Will Espero, Friends of Hanauma Bay, Dr. Craig Downs
  • WHAT:  Informational Meeting
  • WHERE:  Conference Room 229, Hawai‘i State Capitol
  • WHEN:  Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

USS Carl Vinson, Embarked Tigers, Depart Pearl Harbor for Home

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, after a scheduled four-day port visit, June 17.

While in Hawaii, Carl Vinson Sailors hosted tours and greeted family and friends who will ride the ship on her easterly transit to her homeport of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

“Being able to have my family get a feel of the ship when we’re out here grinding every day is really special,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Jason Stanfield, of Cypress, Texas. “I’m really looking forward to showing them my spaces and the air power demonstration the ship has coordinated. It’s a rare opportunity.”

Stanfield’s father shared his son’s enthusiasm, noting that he is excited to see what life is really like on a Navy warship at sea.

“We see many portrayals of life at sea in the media, but I am looking forward to experiencing it firsthand,” said Chad Linna. “As I do that, I get to spend the final days of my son’s deployment with him. It’s an all-around rewarding and unique experience.”

U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific regularly and routinely for more than 70 years and will continue to do so. Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the Western Pacific in 1983 a year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea.

8 More Mumps Cases Reported on Oahu – Number of Cases Now at 104

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed eight (8) additional cases this week of Oahu residents with the mumps, pushing the total number of cases this year to 104.

Three new cases were confirmed on Tuesday, June 13, and involved two (2) adults and one (1) child. None of the cases required hospitalization and all three are recovering. An additional five (5) cases were confirmed today, involving one (1) adult and four (4) children, none of whom required hospitalization.

DOH expects the current mumps outbreak to continue and the investigation of new cases is ongoing. Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. People who think they have mumps should contact their health care provider and remain at home.  The MMR vaccine provides the best protection against the disease. Two doses of the vaccine are 88 percent effective at protecting against mumps and one dose is 78 percent effective. Being fully vaccinated can help protect loved ones, family members, friends, classmates and coworkers.

The MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies across the state. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccinesimmunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

Hawaii DLNR Enforcement Division Launches New DLNRTip App

Last weekend a man sent DLNR Chair Suzanne Case photographs of two hammerhead sharks, left dead near the He‘eia Small Boat Harbor on Windward O‘ahu.  It’s impossible to determine how they died.  Were they hooked and discarded?  Were they caught up in a net?  Did someone kill them illegally?  This is exactly the kind of situation the DLNR hopes people will report immediately using its new DLNRTip app.

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) launched the new app to help people connect directly with conservation officers, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips from smartphones. It is an important extension of the agencies DLNR & You brand.

Developed by tip411, the DLNRTip app is an innovative program that encourages people to provide DOCARE with factual information leading to the arrest of anyone who poaches or harasses protected wildlife species, pollutes, or violates any State conservation resources rules.  1400 communities around the country are currently using the application developed by and managed by tip411. DLNRTip is available for download for free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the DOCARE website at dlnr.hawaii.gov/docare.

“Our stated mission is to serve to protect, conserve and manage Hawaiʻi’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of visitors and the people of Hawai’i nei,” said Robert Farrell, DOCARE Enforcement Chief. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case commented, “We think DLNRtip is a natural extension of the DLNR & You brand and furthers our belief that we can’t protect our state’s natural and cultural resources without the thousands of eyes and ears of concerned citizens who can serve as proxies for DOCARE officers who clearly cannot be everywhere, all the time. DLNRTip will better connect our officers to people and expedite receipt of tips of wrongdoing and our subsequent responses.”

“We’re proud to partner with agencies like DLNR/DOCARE to help better connect members of the public with law enforcement to share information,” said tip411 President Terry Halsch.  “DLNRTip powered by tip411Mobile will greatly improve the public’s access to agency alerts, social media channels, important information, and more, to help protect natural and cultural resources in Hawai‘i.”

The DLNRTip app and tip411 are completely anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before officers see tips so there is no way to identify senders. People without a smartphone will be able to send an anonymous text tip via their cell phone to DOCARE by texting keyword DLNRTIP and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411).  Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the DOCARE website noted above.  DOCARE will also continue to take calls and tips on its Statewide Hotline, 643-DLNR or 643-3567

North Kona Water Restrictions – URGENT All Customers Reduce Use By 25%

Due to ongoing repairs of four (4) wells in the North Kona area, the Department of Water Supply’s mandatory 25 percent Water Restriction remains in effect.

Monitoring over the past several months indicates little to no change in water usage.  It is extremely urgent that all customers reduce their water use by 25 percent.

To ensure continued water service to all customers in the Kona community, your help is needed.  Please do your part.

For information on what you can do to reduce your water usage please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org.  You can also call the Department of Water Supply at 961-8060 for more information or to report misuse during normal business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For after-hours emergencies, please call 961-8790.

Sewage Spill Leads to Closure of Kailua Bay

This is a Civil Defense Message for Monday, June 12 at 3:30 PM.

The Department of Environmental Management reports a sewage spill occurred earlier today at Ali’I Drive and Palani Road due to a ruptured main and has entered the ocean at Kailua Bay.

Warning signs are posted and Kailua Bay from Kamaka Honu Beach to Hulihee Palace is currently closed out to 1,000 feet offshore.

Water samples have been taken and the Department of Health Clean Water Branch has been notified.

Please cease all water activity in this area until tests indicate bacteria levels are normal.

The spill is contained and repairs to the ruptured main will beginning tomorrow.  Expect road closure and/or detour in this area beginning tomorrow.

You will be notified as the situation changes.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.

Hawaii State Land Board Imposes $15,000 Fine for Lava Tour Boat Violations

The Board of Land and Natural Resources today assessed a fine of $15,000 for three violations by lava tour boat operator Shane Turpin (dba Kohala Tours) for conducting commercial activity from a state boating facility without a required commercial use ramp permit, in violation of boating administrative rule, HAR 13-231-51.

The violations took place between February 3-7, 2017 from the Pohoiki boat launch ramp in south Hawaii island. These involved repeated launches of the vessel LavaKai II from the ramp without having a valid commercial use ramp permit.

Turpin’s other company Lava Ocean Tours, Inc. does hold one of the four available commercial use ramp permits issued by the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) for use of the state ramp for operation of its vessel, LavaOne. On the same dates the LavaOne was also carrying passengers for lava viewing tours. However, permit holders may not use the boat ramp to launch other vessels not covered by the permit.

The board declined to assess additional fines ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 against two vessel captains for multiple counts of violating the same boating rule. Any future violations may result in citations, fines or possible revocation of the commercial use launch ramp permit.

Island Air Flight Attendants, Molokai Police Officer Recognized by Hawaii Governor and Mayors for Lifesaving Actions

Two Island Air flight attendants and an off-duty Moloka‘i police officer were recognized today by Gov. David Ige for recently coming to the aid of a woman in need of medical attention.

Gov. David Ige recognized two Island Air flight attendants and a Moloka‘i police officer for their life saving actions (left to right): Moloka‘i Police Officer Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario; Island Air flight attendant Shanay Coloma; Island Air flight attendant Wendy Nakamura-Chan; Gov. David Ige

On March 6, 2017, Island Air flight attendants Wendy Nakamura-Chan and Shanay Coloma witnessed a medical emergency at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Commuter Terminal in Honolulu. The two flight attendants, who were on reserve assignment at the time, immediately responded when a 50-year-old female passenger became unconscious and unresponsive. With the assistance of Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario, an off-duty police officer from Moloka‘i who was waiting to board a flight, Nakamura-Chan and Coloma used an automated external defibrillator (AED) located in the terminal to revive the passenger. The woman regained consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital for further examination. She was released from the hospital and was able to continue her family vacation on Maui the following day.

“Island Air flight attendants Wendy Nakamura-Chan and Shanay Coloma and Officer Bishaw-Juario came to the aid of a stranger in need, and that speaks volumes about their character,” said Gov. Ige, who presented the three individuals with letters of commendation in the Executive Chambers of the Hawai‘i State Capitol. “Without hesitation, they used their CPR and AED training, and their quick response likely saved a woman’s life. Their actions serve to remind us of the importance of learning CPR and knowing how to properly use automated external defibrillators.”

Earlier this week, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa presented the flight attendants and police officer with commendations in his office, while also declaring June 1-7, 2017 as “CPR/AED Awareness Week” in Maui County. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued Award of Recognition certificates to them.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa recognized two Island Air flight attendants and a Moloka‘i police officer for their life saving actions (left to right): Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa; Island Air flight attendant Wendy Nakamura-Chan; Moloka‘i Police Officer Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario; Island Air flight attendant Shanay Coloma; Maui County Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu; Island Air Vice President of Administration, Safety and Security Dee Airman.

“Wendy and Shanay, with the assistance of Officer Bishaw-Juario, instinctively responded to a critical situation and assisted a passenger in need,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO. “I would also like to thank Gov. Ige and Mayors Arakawa and Caldwell for recognizing these three individuals and raising awareness for training in CPR and the use of AEDs.”