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Big Island Entrepreneurs Launch $25,000 Business Plan Competition

Two long-time Big Island businessmen are aiming to give would-be entrepreneurs a serious jump start.

Click for more information

Click for more information

World-renowned aquaculture expert Dr. Jim Wyban and Kelly Moran, President/Founder of Hilo Brokers, are co-chairing the upcoming “Best Big Island Business Plan” competition, to be hosted by the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the fall of 2016.

At stake is a total of $25,000 in seed money from a variety of sponsors including the Natural Energy Lab, the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and the Ulupono Initiative..  Entry is open to any and all types of businesses, from Astronomy and Agriculture to Technology and Tourism.

“As long as it’s Big Island-based, it qualifies,” explains Moran, adding, “there’s so much talent out there, and this is a great opportunity to fast-forward someone’s killer concept.”

But the purpose of the competition goes beyond jump-starting a lone entrepreneur or co-op.  Both men are confident that by encouraging budding businesses to put their ideas forward, a better entrepreneurial ecosystem can be built on the Big Island.

“Good ideas can’t thrive in isolation,” describes Dr. Wyban, adding, “it takes peers, mentors and even competitors to push a venture to its full potential.”

Dr. Wyban speaks from experience.  An aquaculture pioneer, he helped to develop pathogen-free shrimp varieties that helped to quadruple global production before selling his technology to a multinational corporation.

Moran is a 30-year real estate veteran, who has overseen more than $500 million worth of transactions in his career.

Plan entries are being accepted now.  Competition proceedings will be held at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the Fall 2016 semester, exact date and time to be announced.

For more information on the competition and to download entry forms, visit the Best Big Island Business Plan’s website at www.BBIBP.org.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Wyban by emailing jim@BBIBP.org.

Big Island of Hawaii 10 Days of Free Health Care – Tropic Care 2016

The Big Island of Hawaii will have 10 days of free health care as a result of Tropic Care 2016.

The Oahu-based 1984th United States Army Hospital will conduct a two-week Innovative Readiness Training mission providing medical care to under served communities of Hawaii.

Screenings will be held in Pahala, Hawaii Ocean View Estates and Keaau.  See flyer below for times and dates.

tropic care 2016

Working closely with the Department of Health, State of Hawaii, and other private corporations, the 1984th USAH, along with other military units, are proud to serve the people in the community.

Thanks to the support of The US military, Hawaii State and county plus many non-profits and volunteers for making Tropic Care 2016 possible.

Hawaii Department of Education to Expand Free Meal Program to 30 Schools on Six Islands

This upcoming school year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will expand a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) free meal program, called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), from seven public schools to 30 across the state. 

School Lunches

The CEP program allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to all students even if they do not qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch reimbursements.

“We are pleased to be able to expand this program to more schools and include nearly every island with free meals,”stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We’ve heard from parents in this year’s pilot project who say the program was a tremendous help for their families.”

The 23 additional schools being added to the program in school year 2016-17 are:

Kauai:

  • Kekaha Elementary

Hawaii Island:

  • Kau High & Pahala Elementary
  • Keaau Elementary
  • Keaau High
  • Keaau Middle
  • Keonepoko Elementary
  • Naalehu Elementary
  • Pahoa Elementary
  • Pahoa High

Maui:

  • Hana High & Elementary

Lanai:

  • Lanai High & Elementary

Oahu:

  • Leihoku Elementary
  • Maili Elementary
  • Makaha Elementary
  • Nanaikapono Elementary
  • Nanakuli Elementary
  • Nanakuli High & Intermediate
  • Olomana School
  • Pope Elementary
  • Waianae Elementary
  • Waianae High
  • Waianae Middle
  • Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate

The seven schools in the pilot program will continue participating next year, including:

  • Kaunakakai Elementary School, Molokai
  • Kilohana Elementary School, Molokai
  • Maunaloa Elementary School, Molokai
  • Molokai Middle School, Molokai
  • Molokai High School, Molokai
  • Mountain View Elementary School, Hawaii Island
  • Linapuni Elementary School, Oahu

To qualify for the CEP program, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Currently HIDOE pays an average of $5.50 a meal (including food costs, labor, utilities, etc.). The USDA reimburses the state $3.85 for students who qualify for a free meal and $0.40 for those paying for a meal. HIDOE charges $2.50 for elementary school meals for a total of $2.90 in recouped cost for the state. 

Under the program all students in the CEP school would qualify for the higher $3.85 reimbursement. While the seven schools will no longer be collecting meal monies and ensuring accounts have sufficient funds, families will be required to provide information for data collection.  

“Last year, we were able to launch this pilot project at seven schools to establish its impacts on finances and staffing,”said Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson, Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “The response was positive and we are happy that this year we will be able to expand the program to all counties and include several new whole school complexes. This USDA program allows us to feed more students, for free, and do so in a way that does not increase the cost to the state.”

For more information about the USDA CEP program visit: http://1.usa.gov/1iP9FQI.  For details on HIDOE’s CEP pilot program, visit http://bit.ly/1Kh8SL1

HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch has a website that will provide families at schools that are not in the CEP program with the option to submit applications for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits online. For more information visit http://bit.ly/1VX1OID.

Pahoa Round-A-Bout – “Phase B” Begins, “Phase C” Still to Come

Today, “Phase B” of the Pahoa round-a-bout opened and people have already been complaining about the “wait” to get into Pahoa.  Someone on my Facebook page commented “Today it was only about a 13-15 minute “back up” getting to the roundabout…at 4 pm. It will be interesting.”

“Phase A” (April 11th – April 24th) consisted of a half a round-a-bout:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now “Phase B” (May 2nd – May 15th) is in action, where you can go in a full circle:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“Phase C” is expected to be worked on between May 16th and May 27th:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The entire project is scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2016:

phase date

Hirono, Ige, Public Health, and Emergency Response Experts Raise Awareness, Call for Funding To Fight Zika

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Governor David Ige, Hawaii Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler, State Administrator of Emergency Management Vern Miyagi, Healthcare Association of Hawaii emergency responders, and Dr. Elliot Parks, CEO of Hawaii Biotech today called for increased public awareness and additional federal resources to prepare for and fight the Zika virus in Hawaii and across the country. Senator Hirono and Governor Ige also got a firsthand look at Hawaii Biotech’s work to develop a Zika vaccine.

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.

“As Hawaii continues to recover from the recent dengue fever outbreak, we must act before the Zika virus poses a major threat to Hawaii families,” said Senator Hirono. “Bringing together Governor Ige and Zika experts today underscored that we must ensure first responders, state and county governments, and pioneering scientists like Dr. Parks have the necessary resources to face Zika head on. Stopping a widespread U.S. Zika outbreak requires a comprehensive approach and that’s why I’ll continue to push for action on the President’s emergency funding request to fund vector control, education programs, and vaccine development in Hawaii.”

“We all have a stake in preventing the Zika virus and other mosquito borne illnesses from taking hold in Hawaii. We must continue our collaboration and coordinated statewide fight against these illnesses, and with much needed support from the federal government, we will work to reduce the risks here in Hawaii and across the country,” said Governor David Ige.

“Although Zika is not currently circulating in Hawaii and there have been no locally-acquired cases, the mosquitoes that can transmit Zika – the same species that transmit dengue fever and chikungunya – are found in Hawaii, so the virus could be brought into our state by an infected traveler if precautions are not taken,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler, Hawaii State Department of Health. “All of the cases identified here have been travel-related and infected while outside of Hawaii, and the risk of imported cases increases as we head into warmer summer months and peak travel season. It is crucial for infected individuals to avoid mosquito exposure for three weeks upon their return home. The Department of Health aggressively investigates all reported cases of Zika to reduce the possibility of the disease spreading in our state.”

“We thank Senator Hirono for highlighting the dangerous potential for a Zika outbreak in Hawaii. The recent fight against Dengue has prepared us for Zika however we must continue our efforts to eliminate the mosquito vector. County, state, and Federal agencies can provide support and guidance, but success can only come as the result of a strong and sustained community effort to eliminate the mosquito vector and its breeding grounds,” said State Administrator of Emergency Management Vern Miyagi.

“It’s important for Hawaii to prepare now in order to prevent or minimize a Zika outbreak,” said Chris Crabtree, Interim Director of Emergency Services, Healthcare Association of Hawaii Emergency Services. “HAH Emergency Services has been supporting the efforts of the state and community partners during the dengue outbreak, and is prepared to do the same for future outbreaks of any infectious disease including Zika. Active preparation can prevent or reduce the health impact of disease outbreaks and increase the safety of our residents and visitors. We support any increase in aid to fight Zika.”

“We strongly support Senator Hirono’s call for the Federal government’s leadership in the battle against the Zika virus. Hawaii Biotech is working diligently to rapidly develop a safe and effective vaccine to protect all of us from this dangerous virus,” said Dr. Elliot Parks, CEO of Hawaii Biotech, Inc.

For nearly three months, Congressional Republicans have failed to respond to the President’s emergency funding request, even though the virus continues to spread from South America. In Hawaii, there are nine confirmed cases of Zika since 2015, which includes a case of an infected infant born with microcephaly, a serious birth defect directly linked to Zika. On Friday, the first U.S. death caused by Zika was reported in Puerto Rico.

Senator Hirono is an original cosponsor of federal legislation that would fund the President’s emergency request to provide resources for education and outreach programs, shore up Hawaii health care workers’ response to Zika, increase Hawaii vector control programs, and support the work of companies like Hawaii Biotech, which is racing to develop a Zika vaccine.

Dunkin’ Donuts Entering Hawaii Market

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. has signed a multi-unit store development agreement with new franchise group, Aloha Petroleum, Ltd., under which Aloha Petroleum will develop 15 new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii (The Big Island) in the state of Hawaii.

dunkin-donuts

The first restaurant is scheduled to open in 2017 and will mark Dunkin’s foray into Hawaii.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to launch the Dunkin’ Donuts brand in Hawaii and look forward to opening our first location early next year,” said Richard Parry, president and chief executive officer of Aloha Petroleum. “This new business venture will complement our existing retail offerings throughout the islands and help us diversify our portfolio.”

The agreement would mark Dunkin’s entry into its 42nd U.S. state.

Island Air Adds Kona Service

Island Air today announced it plans to offer interisland air service to Hawai‘i Island with five daily round-trip flights between Honolulu and Kona, starting June 14, subject to government approval. The airline’s expansion of service to Kona will offer increased seat availability and more interisland travel flight options for local residents and visitors, as well as create job opportunities in West Hawai‘i.

Mayor Kenoi said " "In a state of islands, air travel is not a nicety – it is a necessity to our economy and to our people. Because of this, our administration has long been advocating for increased airlift to Hawai’i Island. We welcome Island Air’s return to Kona, offering another option for our local families and our visitors."

Mayor Kenoi said “In a state of islands, air travel is not a nicety – it is a necessity to our economy and to our people. Because of this, our administration has long been advocating for increased airlift to Hawai’i Island. We welcome Island Air’s return to Kona, offering another option for our local families and our visitors.”

“Both the community and our travel industry partners have reached out to us asking for more support for the West Hawai‘i community,” said Les Murashige, Island Air’s president and CEO. “As we continue to improve our operations and expand our presence in the community, Island Air is proud to once again serve Hawai‘i Island and provide service to support Hawai‘i’s families, local businesses and our visitors so that all may enjoy our Island way.”

Island Air is celebrating its new service to Kona by offering an introductory fare sale from April 14 through April 20, 2016. The special introductory fare for a one-way flight between Honolulu and Kona will start from $69* for travel between June 14 and Sept. 30, 2016. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

In addition to providing increased seat capacity, Island Air’s Kona service is expected to create approximately 25 airport-related jobs in West Hawai‘i, including customer service agents, ramp agents and station manager.

Island Air’s check-in ticket counter will be located in Terminal 1 and arrivals/departures will be out of Gate 5 at Kona International Airport.

*Subject to availability. Fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee. Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

ABOUT ISLAND AIR:

Island Air is the value-leader in the Hawaiian Islands, offering 238 convenient flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. The affordable alternative for interisland travel, Island Air’s 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft are able to provide captivating up-close views of Hawai‘i’s remarkable landscapes. Founded in 1980 as Princeville Airways, the company was renamed Island Air in 1992 and has been proudly serving the islands of Hawai‘i for more than 35 years.

For more information about Island Air, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 652-6541. Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

 

Friends of NELHA Debuts New Tours

The non-profit Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (FON) offers a new lineup of tours open to the public that can be conveniently booked online.

View the world’s largest operational Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) power plant and find out how it works.

NEHLA MakaiDiscover how many aquaculture operations are utilizing deep, cold, nutrient-rich water and warm, surface water to farm our food at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST)—and taste samples.

Learn about what HOST facilities are working to protect and restore our unique ocean inhabitants and why it’s important.

Morning tours are Mondays through Fridays. All tours start at the LEED-certified Gateway Visitor Center. The schedule includes:

FON Ocean Matters Tour: Offering an introduction to cutting edge green energy, aquaculture, desalination and research efforts underway at HOST the activity is 10-11:15 am Monday with options to also visit the OTEC tower at Keahole Point, Big Island Abalone and the Kanaloa Octopus Farm.

NEHLA Octopus

FON Ocean Conservation Tour: Fun starts with an overview presentation and continues with a visit to Ke Kai Ola, the monk seal rehabilitation center. Learn about the efforts to revive Hawai‘i’s declining seal population. Next stop is at the world’s first octopus farm to get up-close-and-personal with cephalopods before seeing the nearby OTEC Tower. Time is 10 a.m.-12:30p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

NEHLA Tour

FON Sustainable Aquaculture Tour: Attendees hear about the challenges and successes of producing sustainable food in the ocean during a tour at Kampachi Farms. Next, see how Big Island Abalone produces feed, brood stock and market product before enjoying a delicious, grilled sample of the company’s premium ezo abalone. Stop at the OTEC Tower and overview presentation. Time is 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

Book tours and find more details at www.friendsofnelha.org or phone 808-329-8073.

Friends of NELHA (FON) is a nonprofit, conservation education organization offering public tours with a focus on renewable energy, sustainability, sustainable aquaculture and the uniqueness of the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point . Presentations begin 10 a.m. weekdays at the Gateway Visitor Center, a mesmerizing location where visitors are inspired by the technologies being developed on the Big Island. Tours are offered Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). www.friendsofnelha.org.

Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail Established – Birding Festival in September

Birders and nature lovers will find it easier to locate birds on Hawaii Island later this year thanks to the creation of the Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail (HICCBT).

The 90-mile trail will cross Hawaii Island from Kona on the west coast to Hilo on the east coast linking varied habitats from ocean to mountain top, from rainforest to lava plains. The trail, modeled after similar North American trails, follows a route that is a network of sites so users can join or leave the route at any point along the way. While birds will be the focal points, elements of Hawaii Island’s unique plants and trees, geology, history and, of course, scenic view points, will be highlighted.

A team of Hawaii Island volunteers with knowledge of the island’s birdlife and natural history created the trail project. The team also includes travel industry marketing professionals, logistics experts, and interpretive planning specialists. A number of government and nonprofit organizations have expressed interest in the development of the trail and will be included in planning efforts as the volunteer team moves forward.

“Hawaii Island is a worldwide treasure combining both endemic species and introduced birdlife from five continents. We want to make sure people in Hawaii and around the world have the tools and accurate information to experience these wonders in a way that is safe, and culturally and environmentally appropriate,” said Hawaii Forest & Trail owner and HICCBT Steering Committee member Rob Pacheco.

Birding Festival

To open the trail, HICCBT will host the inaugural Hawaii Island Festival of Birds on September 24 and 25 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. The Hawaii Island Festival of Birds program will include expert guest speakers including The Nature Conservancy’s Dr. Sam Gon III, a trade show for outdoor and birding equipment, a children’s corner, bird-themed arts and crafts fair, photography and painting workshops, time to interact with Hawaii Island naturalists and bird experts and guided field trips on land and sea.

Festival sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Audubon Magazine, Hawaii Forest and Trail, Destination Marketing and others.

For more information log on to www.hawaiibirdingtrails.com.

Big Island Business Selected for Elite Air Force One Detailing Team

John Paul of West Coast Detailing and Cornerstone Mobile Detailing has been selected to the elite Air Force One Detailing Team that restores and now preserves the original Air Force One presidential jet, on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The Boeing 707-120, also known as Special Air Missions (SAM) 970, was a flying Oval Office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It also entertained many international VIPs such as Nikita Khrushchev and Henry Kissinger.

John Paul detailing a car.

John Paul detailing a car.

“I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of such a significant project as preserving Air Force One, a beautiful icon of our country’s aviation heritage and history,” quoted Paul.“How many chances do you get to work on preserving a piece of our country’s history and here we are cleaning and restoring more than fifteen of Boeing’s most prestigious vintage aircraft. It is a privilege to be a part of this team and to share in this unique opportunity” he added.

air force detailing

As a member of the 2016 team, Paul was selected out of hundreds of detailers nationwide to help celebrate Boeing’s 100th Anniversary and the opening of the Seattle Museum of Flight’s new Airpark Pavilion with the biggest and most prestigious historic aircraft detailing project on record.

Brad Detail

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and John Paul

Renowned Big Island based Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his company Tiki Shark Art Inc promptly jumped in support of Paul as his main sponsor. “Paul always takes care of detailing and maintaining our Tiki Fleet of automobiles so well, like they were his own” stated Parker. “He is a perfect fit for this project”.

“It is a pleasure to support our local business, watch them grow and give back to the community…..all the best to you John Paul” he added.

Student Photography Competitions at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites Big Island students, grade 6-12 to take their best shot at cash scholarships in The Shops’ first-ever Photography Competition. Cash scholarships will be awarded to the top three finishers, in the amounts of $500, $300 and $200, for photos that best express an inspiring image on location at The Shops—including architecture, nature, food, onstage performances, and whatever captures the student photographer’s imagination.

From performers to nature, still life to food and fashion, student photographer are invited to capture inspiring moments at The Shops for a chance to win cash scholarships.

From performers to nature, still life to food and fashion, student photographer are invited to capture inspiring moments at The Shops for a chance to win cash scholarships.

Deadline to enter is April 15, and all photo entries will be on exhibit at The Shops’ Suite 306, April 22-30, generally 3-8 p.m. (April 25 and 28, 3-5 p.m. April 27, 5:45-8 p.m.) Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 30 at 11 a.m.

“We love seeing photos from people who visit The Shops, especially young people, and that inspired us to create a photography competition with scholarship prizes,” said General Manager Michael Oh. “Our hope is that lots of students take the challenge, come down and take pictures of whatever catches your eye—whether it’s our jumping fountains or a pair of shoes, an ice cream cone, a fire dancer, lei-maker or a special event. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.”

PHOTOS courtesy The Shops at Mauna Lani.

PHOTOS courtesy The Shops at Mauna Lani.

There are no entry fees, and multiple submissions will be accepted. Entry forms and information is available at www.shopsatmaunalani.com/SPC or by phone 885-9501.

Governor Ige Releases $550,000 in CIP Funding for Puna Regional Library (PRPL)

Governor David Y. Ige has announced the release of $550,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds for the Puna Regional Public Library. In his release of funding for the library project, Governor Ige stated, “Mahalo for your work on behalf of the residents in your district to secure these funds. Projects such as this are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building better a better home for our kupuna, keiki and all residents of Hawai’i.”

Senate Ways and Means Committee visited the Pahoa Library located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate campus.

Senate Ways and Means Committee visited the Pahoa Library located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate campus.

Senator Russell Ruderman has made the Puna library project one of his top priorities. The Puna Regional Public Library will play a vital role as one of the cornerstones of our community by transforming lives through nurturing lifelong learning and promoting increased community engagement by delivering new services that connect closely with user needs. Additionally, it will improve our quality of life and provide unlimited educational opportunities.

“The Puna district has long loved and consistently made good use of its libraries. I am very happy and grateful to Governor Ige for releasing these funds for the Puna Regional Public Library in such a timely manner,” Senator Ruderman stated, “For rural and economically challenged areas like Puna, projects like the library are a much-needed and highly anticipated resource. We are excited to learn that the Public Library System is also considering a pair of libraries in both upper and lower Puna areas to serve our large district. I look forward to working for continued support and funding of key projects like the library, and these newly released funds will help bring our goal of a state of the art community gathering place to fruition.”

“Hawaiian Style Cafe” Expanding to Tokyo

“Ready or not, the pancakes are coming,” says Hawaiian Style Cafe – Hilo’s owner, Guy Kao`o, when describing his restaurant’s Tokyo debut.

Hawaiian Style

With a newly-built location set to debut in Japan’s famous Ginza shopping district, Kao`o is intent on making a big splash using his establishment’s signature plate-hogging flapjacks.

Although Tokyo diners aren’t exactly famous for “super sizing” their meals, Kao`o felt it was important to preserve the restaurant’s core identity, and to promote its homespun appeal.  “It’s right there in our name,” explains Kao`o.  “We plain on giving the people of Japan the most authentic taste of Hawaiian home cooking that they can get.”

Ginza, Japan

Ginza Shopping District

Hawaiian Style’s monster pancakes actually helped open the door to the new location, having been continually splashed over social media and restaurant review sites in recent years.  Indeed, Kao`o’s Japanese partner in the venture discovered the restaurant in part thanks to its wide-spread internet presence.

“I got a call one day, just out of the blue, from a guy wanting to open a local-style restaurant there,” he explains, adding, “within days we were sitting down across from each other.”

Hawaiian Style Pancake

An agreement was made between the two men, followed by a two year search for a high-profile location and test kitchen trials.  “We cooked over there to see what works,” says Kao`o.

To his delight, the most well-received items on the menu included island staples like Kalua Pork with cabbage.  “Home-style cooking really seems to strike a chord in Japan these days,” Kao`o explains, adding, “it’s almost like, the simpler the better.”

Ginza, Tokyo is one of the world’s most heavily trafficked urban locations.  Kao`o, who will be on hand for the restaurant’s opening, feels that the frenetic setting is perfect for making a big splash.

After their Tokyo debut, Kao`o is set on expanding Hawaiian Style’s reach to the U.S. mainland.  “We’re actively scouting locations in California,” he says, adding, “it’s gonna be a busy year.”

Hawaiian Style Cafe’s Ginza, Tokyo location will hold a soft opening on March 27, followed by a grand opening celebration on March 31.

Established in the town of Kamuela, Hawai`i in 1993, the Hawaiian Style Cafe has been serving local portions of local food (with aloha) for over 23 years.  Their Hilo location opened in 2012 and will be followed in 2016 by a location in Ginza, Japan.

Hawaii House to Launch Pilot Project to Accept Neighbor Island Video Testimony

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will launch a pilot project to accept video testimony from neighbor island residents during a hearing of the House’s Committee of Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs hearings.  Maui Judge Richard Bissen will be the first video testifier, speaking in support of his and Ing’s initiative to incorporate the Hawaiian language into the Judiciary website.
hb1595Initially, the pilot project will include only video testimony for the Committee of Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs.  The project will be the first of its kind in the Legislature, and simply requires a laptop with a camera and internet connection.  However, House Bill 1595, HD2 is currently moving through the Legislature to explore the possibility of expanding the program to all committees in both chambers.

  • WHO:  Rep. Kaniela Ing (Kihei, Wailea, Makena) and  Rep. Nicole E. Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau)
  • WHAT:  House Committee of Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiians Affairs hearing
  • WHEN:  Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 9 a.m.
  • WHERE:  Room 325, third floor, State Capitol

Hawaii Chief Justice Seeks Public Comment on Judicial Nominees

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald announced today that he is seeking public comment on judicial nominees for a vacancy in the District Court of the Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii) as a result of the upcoming retirement of the Honorable Barbara T. Takase.

Judge Barbara T. Takase

Judge Barbara T. Takase

The names submitted for this vacancy by the Judicial Selection Commission, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Kevin S. Hashizaki
  • Peter K. Kubota
  • Michelle K. Laubach
  • Laureen L. Martin
  • Darien W.L.C. Nagata
  • Jeffrey W.S. Ng

Because the Chief Justice has the discretion to assign judges to the district or district family court calendar, comments about the qualifications and character of any of the nominees with regard to either calendar assignment may be sent, in writing, to:

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald
Supreme Court of Hawaii
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI  96813

Fax: 808-539-4703
Email: chiefjustice@courts.hawaii.gov

Comments must be post-marked, emailed, faxed, or hand delivered no later than Monday, March 28, 2016.  All comments will be kept confidential.

The individual selected by the Chief Justice is subject to Senate confirmation.

Hawaii Department of Health’s HI-5 Deposit Beverage Container Program Offers New Search Tools to Locate Recycling Centers

The Hawaii State Department of Health is launching two new search tools designed to help make it easier for Hawaii residents to redeem and recycle deposit beverage containers. The tools help consumers statewide locate their nearest certified redemption center with street addresses and current hours of operation.

Click to view site

Click to view site

“These search tools are currently in the beta development stage, but we wanted to make them available to the public now so that they could test drive them and provide us with feedback as we continue to make them as user-friendly as possible,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of environmental health with the Hawaii State Department of Health. “We believe these tools will provide the public with a readily available and convenient source of information about the locations and operating times for HI-5 recycling centers throughout the state.”

The new mapping tools were developed with the assistance and expertise of the State of Hawaii Office of Planning, software company ESRI, and George Lee and McKay Davis, dedicated volunteers with Code for Hawaii, the local brigade of the national nonprofit organization Code for America.
Code for America enlists the talents of local technology professionals to provide public service. Code for Hawaii developed a mapping tool (www.redeemhi5.com) that is optimized for mobile devices (especially phones).

“Sharing information and expertise between state, private and non-profit organizations can reap innovative and practical advances that benefit the public and the environment,” added Kawaoka. “We believe these convenient new tools will help encourage more recycling in Hawaii.”

The tools are available on the Department of Health’s Deposit Beverage Container Program website and are accessible via most web browsers on computers and mobile devices. To find these new search tools go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/hi5/

Governor Ige Applauds White House Decision to Select Hawai‘i’s High Technology Development Corporation for TechHire Program

The White House announced today the next round of 15 new TechHire regions, which includes Hawai‘i. President Obama selected the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), an attached agency to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, to participate in the program.  HTDC has led the effort to demonstrate Hawai‘i’s ability to respond quickly to its growing technology workforce.

tech jobs

Obama launched the bold multi-sector TechHire initiative one year ago, to empower Americans with the skills they need through universities, community colleges and nontraditional approaches that offer rapid or flexible paths to tech training.

To kick off TechHire, 21 regions, with more than 120,000 open technology jobs and more than 300 employer partners are announcing plans to work together to find new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their actual skills and to create more fast track tech training opportunities.

“We fully support the president’s TechHire program, which will enable our residents to access accelerated job training opportunities and compete for higher wage earning jobs,” said Gov. David Ige. “The president’s selection of Hawai‘i as a TechHire region is a step in the right direction and supports our 80/80 initiative to create 80,000 new technology jobs earning more than $80,000 annually by 2030.”

HTDC has created a coalition of workforce organizations, employers and state and local government to develop and align training to meet the demands of employers.

“HTDC is committed to matchmaking employers and high-potential candidates by working with stakeholders to develop innovative training programs such as “coding boot camps,” virtual classrooms and high-quality online courses to rapidly train workers for high-paying tech jobs,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO at HTDC.

“TechHire is an invaluable program to the training and development of Hawai‘i’s technology workforce,” says Matthew Sasaki, director, Strategic Business initiatives at ‘ike, a partner in the TechHire Hawaii Coalition. “Over the next few years the industries that we are in will see increased demand for technology trained professionals. TechHire, in partnership with HTDC, is key to meeting this demand.”

To learn more about TechHire visit:  www.whitehouse.gov/issues/technology/techhire

About HTDC (High Technology Development Corporation)

HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). The agency was established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1983 to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. The state views high technology as an important driver in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy and one that provides quality, high-paying jobs for Hawaii residents.

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism)

DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Time Warner Cable Invests in Kona and Waimanalo with Solar Deployments

Time Warner Cable (TWC) is pleased to share their Go Green commitment is beginning to reach beyond the walls of their business and help create renewable energy for communities that they serve.

TWC Solar Panels

For the past couple years, TWC has invested in solar deployments in Southern California, North Carolina, and Hawaii. In the last year, we have amplified our commitment with partnerships that will generate over 13 megawatts (MW) of solar power. Just to give you an idea of how much 13 MW actually is, it’s equal to powering over 600 homes in one year.

At our Charlotte campus, pictured above and below, we’ve supplemented our 500 kilowatt (kW) roof mounted system with a new, ground mounted 400 kW system surrounding the data center.

At our Charlotte campus, pictured above and below, we’ve supplemented our 500 kilowatt (kW) roof mounted system with a new, ground mounted 400 kW system surrounding the data center.

Through this effort, we’re facilitating the generation of green energy that is put on the grid for our operations and customers alike to use. Here are some examples of solar efforts underway:

  • In the Central New York area, we’re bringing 12 MW of solar energy through remote net metering in local farm fields.
  • In Indio, CA we are working to bring on over 500kW through the use of our facility roof and parking canopies.
  • In Hawaii, we are bringing on a 30 kW system at our Waimanalo hub site and a 330 kW solar carport system coupled with a battery storage system at our Kona facility.

We’re also encouraging our employees to make green lifestyle choices.  TWC has partnered with three solar companies to offer employees up to a $1,500 discount on solar energy for their homes. This is just one more step forward in demonstrating our commitment to “Go Green!”

“Uncle ‘Uke” Brings Hawaiian ‘Ukulele & Guitar Shop to Queens’ Marketplace

In the 100+ years since the ‘ukulele was introduced, it has become an icon for Hawaii’s music and island lifestyle. Expanding its reach, the Hawaiian ‘Ukulele & Guitar shop will open a new location  at Queens’ MarketPlace in April, more than doubling its retail space, and sharing new products with a growing family of ‘ukulele-lovers.

"Uncle 'Uke" Robert Yates with a custom pineapple 'ukulele. Photo courtesy Queens' MarketPlace.

“Uncle ‘Uke” Robert Yates with a custom pineapple ‘ukulele. Photo courtesy Queens’ MarketPlace.

In addition to instruments, Hawaiian ‘Ukulele & Guitar will stock an extensive selection of sheet music, CDs, DVDs, books, strings and accessories, plus a new line of ‘ukulele-centered clothing for men and women. Owner operator “Uncle Uke” Robert Yates has been building and playing instruments since he was a teenager on Oahu. He and his wife returned to Hawaii in 2012 and opened their first location in Kailua-Kona.

Uncle Uke will carry a wide variety of ukuleles, guitars and other instruments, including banjos and banjoleles. Many are custom made by nine different luthiers across the islands, himself included. Working in batches, Yates sets aside time two or three times a year to produce handmade instruments, a process he obviously loves.

“Being a builder—it’s not just about making a buck. It’s about creating something that’s unique, something that’s beautiful, something that sounds fantastic,” said Yates.

Yates is also working on a number of joint ventures with others around the world. “One is with a master luthier in Philippines to produce six very special pineapple ukuleles,” said Yates.

“Another one coming up, out of Canada, is “Prestige,” a semi-hollow body, cutaway steel string electric ‘ukulele. We’ve also started talking to a company about making a ‘harp ‘ukulele,’ with two necks, one with regular ‘ukulele strings and one with harp strings,” said Yates. “We have all sorts of different things coming up.”

For more information, call (808) 315-2919, or visit www.Hawaiian-Ukulele.com.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Hokulea to Visit Cuba

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) announced today that legendary traditional sailing canoe Hokulea will be making an historic visit to Cuba during the Caribbean leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Hokulea is expected to arrive at Havana, Cuba on March 17, 2016, for an approximate four-day visit after stopping in the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.Hokule’a Crew Members before they left Hilo, Hawaii.

Hokulea equator

PVS has been working with the Cubanakoa Foundation and Altruvistas on an itinerary for the Hokulea crew that includes a meeting with the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples about US-Cuba relations; briefings on Cuba’s marine conservation, urban sustainability and environmental efforts; and discussions about cultural connections between Cuba, Hawai’i and other island nations.

“Visiting Cuba supports the mission of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Because of the country’s political situation over the last few decades, Cuba has developed sustainability practices that are now considered a model for the rest of the world,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of PVS. “We look forward to learning more about Cuba’s cultural and environmental preservation efforts, and we hope to share the commonalities between Hawaii and this island nation,” he added.

Hokulea arrived in St. John, US Virgin Islands on Sunday, February 28, 2016, and is expected to depart for the British Virgin Islands on March 4, 2016, weather permitting. After the Cuba visit, Hokulea will sail to Florida and then up the East Coast, reaching New York City by June 8, 2016, for World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,000 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 180 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of mālama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/.