End of an Era – Keaau Village Market Demolished

I just drove by Keaau Village Market and was stunned to see it getting demolished.

I spoke with a lady at 7-11 across the street and she said that there was going to be a CVS Longs Market moving into the parcel.

Hawaii Electric Light Company was on scene today removing it’s electrical equipment from the premise.

Businesses were given 30 days to move out of the location and October 15th was the last day tenants were able to remove their stuff.
The Hawaii Tribune heard rumors that Walgreens might be opening in the location and when I called Bill Walters of Shipman Park to confirm whether it would be CVS Longs or Walgreens he declined to comment and said an announcement would be forthcoming from the store themselves and not Shipman Park.

Walters did confirm that the Sakata Statue that was placed there in 2006 to celebrate the Filipino culture and the people of the area will remain in place and will be kept up by the new tenant.

The new store will begin construction soon and as soon as I confirm which store it is… I will let folks know.

 

Hawaii Electric Light’s Energy Fair on Oct. 21

Hawaii Electric Light invites the community to its energy fair on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Keauhou Shopping Center.

The free, family-friendly event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature educational displays, demonstrations, and interactive activities on electrical safety, energy conservation, electric vehicles and fast charger stations, renewable energy, and our plan to reach a 100% renewable energy future.

Fun activities will include games as well as building and racing a model solar boat made with recycled products. Enjoy live, local entertainment by Kahakai Elementary School, The Humble Project, Kealakehe High School Dance Team, Mauka Soul, and Solid Roots Band.

For more information on the energy fair, visit www.hawaiielectriclight.com/energyfair or call 327-0543.

Puna Kai Shopping Center Breaks Ground

Today, ground was broken for the new Puna Kai Shopping Center that will be located in Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

About 100 community members along with dignitaries from the county and the mayor’s office were in attendance.
Pi’ilani Ka’awaloa gave the opening pule (prayer) and blessing of the land while elected officials and company representatives did the actual groundbreaking.

Situated on 9.93 acres, and featuring more than 83,110 SF of retail, office, dining, and entertainment space, Puna Kai will become the community’s premiere shopping center.

Conveniently located at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road & Kahakai Boulevard in the town of Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii.Puna Kai will be grocery anchored by 35,000 SF Malama Market (Malama Market name will be changed). Leasing opportunities are now  being offered from 1,000 SF to 5,540 SF.

Puna Kai, will provide a distinctive blend of daily services, specialty shops, entertainment, and eateries.
The building architecture will reflect the old Hawaii ambiance and charm, inspiring Puna Kai to be the gathering place in Pahoa that has something for everyone.

Hawai‘i Telehealth Summit Moves State Toward Increasing Access to Healthcare Using Innovative Technology

More than 150 healthcare and information technology professionals from throughout the state will gather for the Hawaiʻi Telehealth Summit this week to explore ways to improve access to care for Hawaiʻi residents through telehealth technology.

The two-day Hawaiʻi Telehealth Summit, co-sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, will be held at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Dole Cannery Ballrooms on Oct. 12 and 13.

“Today, we have technology capable of improving access to healthcare services for Hawai‘i residents who are homebound or living in rural areas, including the neighbor islands where there is a shortage of specialists,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawai‘i Department of Health. “The Department of Health has adopted telehealth for adolescent psychiatric counseling and has piloted teledentistry for West Hawai‘i residents, but as a state, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface.

The event will feature exhibits and hands-on demonstrations of the latest telehealth technologies, equipment, and services.

On the first day, summit attendees will hear a keynote address, “Telepresence Skills: How to build and maintain authentic and effective provider-patient relationships when practicing telemedicine,” by Dr. David Roth of Mind and Body Works.  The second day of the summit will feature keynote addresses from Gov. David Ige and Congressman Brian Schatz. The event will culminate in facilitated discussions to establish a statewide telehealth strategic plan.

Hawai‘i has adopted new payment models to keep pace with advances in telehealth technology. In July 2016, Gov. Ige signed a law that allows healthcare providers to receive the same reimbursements for patient care, whether it is through a telehealth consultation or a face-to-face office visit. These types of changes are expected to further accelerate telehealth’s popularity in Hawai‘i.

“It is exciting that the telehealth law paves the way for tremendous opportunity for providers and communities in Hawaiʻi, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Denise Konan, the dean of the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences. “The university is fully supportive of the summit and committed to bringing people together to keep the momentum going.”

Currently, about 15 percent of Hawaiʻi physicians use electronic communications to deliver health care, according to the Hawaiʻi Physician Workforce Assessment Project’s 2017 report to the state legislature.

“Telehealth is changing the way providers interact with patients,” Dr. Pressler said. “Telehealth is particularly convenient for our island state, where many segments of our population face challenges in accessing quality healthcare due to geographical constraints. Telehealth can be a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional face-to-face way of providing medical care and provides greater access to healthcare.”

For example, the state’s physician shortage often forces neighbor islands residents to fly to Oʻahu for treatment. These patients — or government programs such as Medicaid — must absorb the added cost of travel and patients must endure long wait times. With telehealth, medical specialists on Oʻahu can treat patients at smaller, neighbor island hospitals that lack such specialists.

Pressler added, “We look forward to working with our partners in the community to develop a strategic plan for telehealth and ultimately improve the way we deliver healthcare for Hawaiʻi’s people.”

For additional information on the summit, call the DOH Office of Planning, Policy and Program Development at (808) 586-4188.

Asteroid Named After Hawai’i County Traffic Engineer

Ronald Thiel (Courtesy Photo)

Hawaiʻi County Traffic Division Chief Ronald Thiel knows lights.  Much of his work focuses on keeping local streets safe with street lights, traffic lights and hazard lights.

He also knows where lights are not helpful – when light pollution interferes with the work of astronomers and the lives of native wildlife.  For Thiel’s work preserving “dark skies” in Hawaiʻi County, an asteroid was recently named in his honor – 9923 ronaldthiel.

The asteroid naming ceremony took place on September 28, 2017, presented by Dr. Richard Wainscoat of the University of Hawai’i at a meeting of the Mauna Kea User’s Committee in Hilo.  The asteroid was first discovered by astronomer Bobby Bus on March 7, 1981, with an orbit of 1,723 days around the sun.  It has a diameter of 2.55 miles.

Over the years, Thiel has doggedly pushed for innovation, sometimes going against the flow of traffic.  Industry naysayers said it could not be done with Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) lamps, so he waited for technology to catch up, and he searched for the right manufacturer.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made it possible to take small steps with the purchase of the first LED street lamps.  Subsequent County investments and a partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi resulted in the installation of 11,000 LED lamps on County and State roadways across Hawaiʻi Island.  Hawaiʻi County, which is nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, became the first county in the nation to convert all of its street lights to LED lamps.

The LED lamps support the Island’s $58.4 million astronomy industry’s needs for dark skies.  Island observatories scan the heavens to improve our understanding of the far reaches of space, including asteroids like the 9923 ronaldthiel.

The lamps use filters to remove the LED’s blue spectrum, resulting in improved visibility, safer roads, and reduced eye fatigue by cutting glare.  The filtered lamps have also proven to be far less of an attraction for Hawaiʻi’s endemic threatened and endangered birds and bats.  The highly-efficient lamps have also reduced electrical and maintenance costs by over 50 percent, so the new fittings, lamps and installation expenses will pay for themselves in five years.  An added benefit is that the LED lamps have a life of 20 years.  The low-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced typically lasted just over four years.

Letter to Alan Oshima, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Electric Company (“HECO”), Regarding HEI New Subsidiary Pacific Current

Dear Mr. Oshima:

The Commission received a press release issued by Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (“HEI”), dated September 20, 2017, stating that HEI has established a new subsidiary, Pacific Current, which has agreed to purchase the Hamakua Energy Partners (“HEP”) power plant on Hawaii Island, “for an undisclosed price.” The HEP power plant provides energy and capacity services to Hawaii Electric Light Co., Inc. (“HELCO”) under a power purchase agreement which is in effect and expires in 2030.

Under Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) Section 269-19.S(a), “affiliated interests” of public utilities include “every corporation ten per cent or more of whose voting securities is owned by any person owning ten percent of more of the voting securities of a public utility.” Under HRS Section 269-19.S(b), “contracts and agreements between [a] regulated entity and its affiliates must be shown by clear and convincing evidence to be in furtherance of the interests of the public.”

To assist the Public Utilities Commission’s determination whether the power purchase agreement between HELCO and its affiliate Pacific Current is in furtherance of the interests of the public, please respond to the following:

  1. Please discuss in detail all measures HELCO has instituted to identify and prevent potential preferential treatment of its affiliate’s interests in the HEP power plant, in the following areas:
    a) operational decisions about unit commitment and dispatch;
    b) interconnection of new generation resources, including both utilityscale and distributed sources;
    c) solicitation and procurement of new generation resources from nonaffiliate independent power producers (“IPPs”);
    d) negotiation of future power purchase agreements with nonaffiliate IPPs;
    e) re-negotiation of existing power purchase agreements with nonaffiliate IPPs;
    f) re-negotiation of the HEP power purchase agreement with an affiliate IPP;
    g) development and implementation of new programs to invest in “nonwires alternatives” to generation, such as energy storage and distributed energy resources; and
    h) development and implementation of new programs to expand customer choice, such as community-based renewable energy (CBRE), demand responset and “smart export” options.
  2. Please discuss in detail measures HELCO has instituted to prevent disclosure of confidential information to its affiliate and its affiliate’s owners.
  3. Please discuss in detail the code of conduct between representatives from HELCO and Pacific Current that ensures any contracts or agreements between these entities are in furtherance of the interests of the public.
  4. Please discuss in detail any additional measures HELCO has taken to ensure that the agreement between HELCO and Pacific Current is in furtherance of the interests of the public.
  5. Is HELCO or another Hawaiian Electric regulated utility currently in discussions or negotiations with Pacific Current for any new contracts or agreements? If so, please describe the nature of the contract or agreement under discussion or negotiation and any measures to prevent conflicts of interest with potential competitive procurement of similar services, equipment, or supplies from non-affiliated entities.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Randy Iwase, Public Utilities Commission Chair

Kilauea Update via USGS

Coastal breakouts put on a show

All photos courtesy of USGS

There were clear views of the delta today (October 6), with only weak plumes being produced by the few ocean entries. Multiple pāhoehoe streams and drips entered the ocean on the east side of the delta (pictured).


Over the past two weeks, there have been at least three breakouts within 100 m (330 ft) of the Kamokuna ocean entry. The western-most breakout (pictured above) had no visible surface breakouts on the cliff today (October 6), but was producing a nice cascading ‘a‘ā flow off the edge of the cliff and onto the delta. These lava cascades have been occurring often starting on October 1 just after 10:00 pm (HST), and consisted of both ‘a‘ā and pāhoehoe flows onto the delta. There was a weak plume originating from several lava entry points on the delta today, visible on the right side of the photo.
Time-lapse image of multiple lava cascades on the sea cliff on October 4 at 3:31 am (HST). Just a few of the many resulting surface flows can be seen on the delta both below the cliff and near the front, which is lit by lava and moonlight.

Time-lapse image taken on October 5 at 6:11 pm (HST), with the lava streams showing up nicely as the sun starts to go down.

A small channel flowing down the cliff to the delta creates an ‘a‘ā fan at its distal tip. Many lava falls over the past week have locally built up the height of the sea cliff and covered much of the blocky rigid cliff face.
is just visible abutting the littoral cone.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Launch Online Tool to Streamline Solar Application Process

Customers submitting new applications to install private rooftop solar can now complete the process entirely online using a new tool launched by the Hawaiian Electric Companies.

The Customer Interconnection Tool (CIT) is believed to be the first of its kind to provide a seamless, start-to-finish online solar application process that allows customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light to check the status of their applications. The tool provides a user-friendly interface to guide contractors and customers through all steps of the Customer Self-Supply program application process, from submittal to finalizing the agreement.

“We’re excited to offer a streamlined electronic process to our customers,” said Jim Alberts, senior vice president of customer service. “The tool is able to show customers exactly where they are in the application process, which eliminates guesswork. This is one more way to make interacting with our companies as smooth and as easy as possible.”

CIT allows applicants to submit all of their information, including electronic documents, online. For convenience, customers and their designated representatives will have the ability to submit electronic signatures as well.

Applicants are prompted to provide required documentation, reducing the potential for delays caused by errors of omission. The tool also automatically calculates the system size based on four design guidelines, which simplifies the procedure.

Customers will receive regular status updates by email as various milestones are reached, keeping them informed every step of the way.

For more information, visit:

www.hawaiianelectric.com/DistributedEnergyResources

www.hawaiianelectric.com/CITonline

Hawaii Launches New Online Workforce Tax Credit Application

Tax Credits for Hiring Vets Can Be Just a Click Away

Businesses applying for tax credits for hiring veterans and others can now do it online the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced. The Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal program that makes tax credits available to employers who hire veterans and individuals with significant barriers to employment.

“Making these requests available online is part of my effort to make government more effective and efficient while also facilitating the employment of our veterans and other job seekers,” said Gov. Ige. “I especially appreciate the department using special federal grant monies to develop the eApplication without State funds.”

Using the WOTC eApplication service, employers fill out online forms and their requests are immediately entered in to the processing queue. The WOTC eApplication also centralizes the processing of requests and serves as a repository for supporting documentation, all of which results in improved efficiency in processing.

“The department receives nearly 400 certification requests a month for the tax credit,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “This service enables employers to monitor the status of their requests via a personalized dashboard, which is a level of service we could not provide before.”

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Workforce Development Division developed the WOTC eApplication service as part of the eHawaii.gov State Portal Program (portal.ehawaii.gov). The department strongly recommends that employers use the new electronic system, but anticipates lag time before the federal government updates its website. Businesses seeking to use the new system may inquire through the following methods:

Email: dlir.workforce.develpment@hawaii.gov
Phone: (808) 686-8877
Mail: Workforce Development Division
Rm 112
830 Punchbowl St
Honolulu, HI 96813

About the Workforce Development Division
Workforce Development Division (WDD) is a customer-driven workforce development system that assists job seekers, workers and industries. WDD provides a free referral and placement service that links qualified job seekers with employers. WDD also strives to develop and maintain various partnerships with the private sector to identify emerging employment trends, technological advances, declining industries and economic issues. The division develops grant proposals in coordination with other agencies to carry out employment and training program activities and services.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Reformats for 2018

The island’s largest agricultural showcase is returning in 2018 with a new twist at a different location.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range will be Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Mana Christian ‘Ohana (Old Kahilu Town Hall) and the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea. The 2018 Taste will offer all-day agricultural-themed fun and educational activities before culminating with an evening tasting event showcasing locally produced food.

“We’re changing up the Taste to share info with families about our local agriculture,” says event co-chair and rancher Jeri Moniz. “We will still have our popular, evening food tasting event to showcase pasture-raised meats, but will also offer earlier activities geared for the general public, including keiki.”

Daytime fun will include agricultural-themed activities and exhibits at the YMCA Park, with plans for horseback rides and viewing of livestock animals complete with educational displays. Community school groups and organizations will be invited to provide food concessions for daytime attendees. Admission to the park exhibits is free.

Also planned are tours at local farms to see firsthand where some of our locally produced foods come from. Ag-related classes and the annual Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 will be offered during the day inside the classroom building adjacent to Mana Christian’s Hall. Chef Edwin Goto of Waimea’s Village Burger and Noodle Club will lead the popular cooking class with sampling.

Featuring about 20 culinary stations, the evening Taste will be both inside and out of the hall and open to 500 attendees. Tickets will go on sale next summer both online and at select islandwide locations.

In its 22nd year, Taste of the Range is changing its focus to share the importance of all types of Hawai‘i agriculture while acquainting keiki with farm animals and how agriculture is the science, art and practice of producing food.

“In the past, Taste was geared to inform chefs and attendees on the benefits of using grass-fed beef, while encouraging ranchers to produce it,” explains Dr. Russell Nagata, co-chair and retired CTAHR Hawaii County administrator. “Our committee has been meeting all year to come up with a new event emphasizing agriculture in a more broad and comprehensive way. We want to share how our local ranchers and farmers take pride in producing our high-quality food.”

Mana Christian ‘Ohana is located behind Parker Ranch Center at 67-1182 Lindsey Road. For more event information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com and stay connected via Facebook at TasteoftheHawaiianRange and at @TasteHI on Twitter and Instagram.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Volunteers and sponsors are welcomed; contact Dr. Russell Nagata at rnagata@gmail.com

Big Island Burritos Bring ‘Fresh Kitchen’ Flavors to Queens’ MarketPlace

The only Food Court on the Kohala Coast is about to serve up the tasty new flavors of Big Island Burritos, scheduled for opening in October. The new eatery will offer more than the expected stuffed tortillas, with their innovative “Fresh Kitchen Pacific Island, Mexican fusion restaurant concept.”

A variety of ‘fresh kitchen’ Mexican fusion cuisine will be offered at the new Big Island Burritos in Queens’ MarketPlace food court.

The menu will feature signature island style gordo burritos, loaded rice bowls, local farm salads, and fresh soft tacos, prepared in multiple styles and with a variety of flavors to choose from.

“We are thrilled to become a part of the prestigious Queens’ MarketPlace community,” said Hawai‘i restaurateur Pat Kashani. “From our chefs and culinary experts to our operations team, we will truly be honored to add our name alongside all the other excellent food and beverage names that serve the Queens’ MarketPlace and Waikoloa community.”

Kashani operates Auntie Pasto’s restaurants on Oahu, My Big Fat Greek Restaurants in Arizona, and two Hawai‘i Island establishments: Tropics Ale House in Waikoloa Beach Resort and Tropics Tap House in Keauhou.

Heading the kitchen is Donn Rodriguez of Waimea, who is also Chef at Tropics Ale House, and has cooked for top quality restaurants, most recently at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

Big Island Burritos will be open in the Queens’ MarketPlace Food Court from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.bigislandburritos.com or call (808) 479-0620.

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 (808) 886-8822.

Entry Road to Mahai`ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park to Close for Road Repairs

The DLNR Division of State Parks will begin the first of three improvement projects planned for Kekaha Kai State Park on Monday, October 2, 2017 with full closure of the entry road to the Mahaiula section of the North Kona park for planned roadway repair improvements.

Kua Bay

The entry road will be closed on weekdays only from October 2 to November 3, 2017, and will remain open on the weekends during normal park hours.

Construction will include pothole repairs, pavement patching of existing paved areas, placement of new compacted gravel in existing unpaved areas, placement of 2 speed humps for speed mitigation, grading of shoulder areas of the entry road for safe access, and additional parking, signage and security barriers. Project contractor is Isemoto Contracting Co. Inc. and project cost is $408,844.

Two future projects for Kekaha Kai are still pending review and approval by the County of Hawaii. DLNR will provide notice when these projects begin after final approvals are obtained. Full closure of the park will not be required, but certain park areas may be closed due to construction activities taking place.

Planned for the park’s Kua Bay section are: installation of two new rinsing showers, two new accessible picnic tables, a new stairway and railings to replace the existing ramp to the beach, and comfort station improvements.

Also planned for the Mahai’ula section will be: a new storage building for parks staff and supplies, equipment and maintenance materials; repair of existing walkway railings; new accessible picnic table and BBQ pit; and comfort station renovations.

Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines Announce Comprehensive New Partnership

Two of the most popular airlines between Hawai’i and Japan yesterday signed a comprehensive new partnership agreement that will greatly enhance the ease and comfort of travel for passengers traveling between the two island chains. The agreement between Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines, signed at a ceremony in Tokyo, takes effect March 25, 2018 (subject to government approval). The agreement provides for extensive code sharing, lounge access and frequent flyer program reciprocity.

(L-R): Theo Panagiotoulias, senior vice president of global sales and alliances, Hawaiian Airlines; Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO, Hawaiian Airlines; Yoshiharu Ueki, representative director and president, Japan Airlines; and Hideki Oshima, executive officer, Japan Airlines.

“We are delighted to partner with Japan Airlines for our long-term future in Japan,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley. “Japan Airlines embodies the welcoming culture of Japan and is renowned for the quality of its services. Our partnership will greatly increase travel choices for those in Japan looking to travel to Hawaii as well as for those in Hawaii looking to travel to Japan.”

“Hawaiian Airlines is well known among Japanese travelers for its warm hospitality and its excellent record for punctuality and safety,” said Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki. “We look forward to providing our passengers with additional options of exceptional service and comfortable travel to and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.”

As part of this comprehensive partnership, the two carriers also intend to establish a joint venture designed to provide even more choices, convenience and enhancements to the traveling public to/from Japan and beyond to multiple Asian markets.

In the near-term:

• JAL guests will have unlimited access to Hawaiian’s vast neighbor island and Japan-Hawai’i network, including non-stop flights between Sapporo and Honolulu.

• Hawaiian Airlines will have full access to JAL’s domestic network, which includes Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sendai and Aomori.

• Hawaiian’s Japan-to-Hawai’i flights will be offered as new options within Japan Airlines’ wholly owned subsidiary, JALPAK, a highly reputable package tour operator in Japan.

• JAL Mileage Bank and HawaiianMiles members will be able to earn miles on the codeshare flights. Further opportunities for accrual and redemption of mileage will be expanded at a later date.

• Guests will have access to both airlines’ lounges, and when Hawaiian has completed its planned relocation to Terminal 2 at Tokyo Narita Airport, guests of each airline will be able to seamlessly transfer between each carrier’s networks.

Public Hearings Scheduled on Proposal to Increase Commercial Marine License Fees

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has scheduled statewide public hearings on proposed administrative rule amendments that would increase the annual commercial marine license fees from the current $50/year to $100/year initially, then to $150/year on January 1, 2018. This date may be delayed until later in the year, depending on when the rules are approved. The proposed rules also would establish a reporting deadline for dealers who buy marine life directly from commercial fishers.

Click to view proposed amendments

Bruce Anderson, DAR administrator said, “Commercial license fees haven’t increased in nearly 20 years.  We’re updating the fee schedule to reflect current and future needs.  Increased revenues from these fees will offset losses in revenues from non-resident fees for on-going operational expenses and to add new on-line reporting and licensing options to our website to better serve the fishing public.”

The hearings will be held at the following times and locations:

Thursday, September 28, 2017
MOLOKA‘I – Mitchell Pau‘ole Center Conference Room, 90 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Friday, September 29, 2017
O‘AHU – Stevenson Middle School Cafeteria, 1202 Prospect Street, Honolulu, 6 to 9 p.m..
LANA‘I – Lana‘i High/Elementary School Cafeteria, 555 Fraser Avenue, Lana‘i City, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
HILO – Hawai‘i County Aupuni Center Conference Room, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 101, Hilo, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
KONA – Honokohau Harbor Big Game Fishing Clubhouse, Kailua-Kona, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
MAUI – Maui Waena School Cafeteria, 795 Onehe‘e Street, Kahului, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 5, 2017
KAUA‘I – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Cafeteria, Lihue, 4431 Nuhou Street, 6 to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
KAUA‘I – Kapa‘a Elementary School, 4886 Kawaihau Road, Kapa‘a, 6 to 9 p.m.

All interested persons are urged to attend the public hearing to present relevant information and individual opinion for the DLNR to consider. Persons unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments, may mail written testimony by Friday, October 13, 2017 to the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Anyone with a hearing impairment who desires to attend the public hearing may request assistance of a sign language interpreter. The request may be made in writing (to the DAR address in the preceding paragraph), or by calling 587-0100 (voice or TDD) in Honolulu. The request will need to be received at least seven days before the hearing is scheduled to start. Additional information or a copy of the proposed rules will be mailed at no charge upon receipt of verbal or written request to the DAR address.

To view the draft rule, go to the Division of Aquatic Resources website at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/files/2017/08/HAR_13-74dr.pdf

Clarification – Cash Will Be Accepted at Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

This was shared w/ Governor Ige’s followers on Facebook yesterday.

I received the following Press Release from Richard Ha this afternoon clarifying the shared Facebook post that Governor Ige shared from Civil Beat yesterday:

HONOLULU – Hawaiʻi Educational Association for Licensed Therapeutic Healthcare (HEALTH) has long been involved in seeking banking options for Hawaiʻi’s nascent medical cannabis dispensaries. We deeply appreciate the leadership and creativity demonstrated by Governor David Ige and Hawaiʻi Financial institutions Commissioner Iris Ikeda that culminated in yesterday’s announcement that the state had secured a banking solution for its legal cannabis industry.

Partner Colorado Credit Union’s Safe Harbor Private Banking Program is a pioneering program that takes on the regulatory burden required for our industry to be in compliance with federal guidelines so that state-licensed cannabis dispensaries can access banking services. Because these services are unavailable in Hawaiʻi, we are grateful that Colorado has stepped up to help.

The CanPay debit payment application is an alternative to cash payments that will be a welcome option for patients and dispensaries alike. Unlike a credit or debit card, payment will be instantly transferred from the patient’s existing bank account to the dispensary’s account in Colorado to facilitate a cashless purchase.

We recognize that the success of Hawaiʻi’s medical cannabis dispensary program is directly linked to the ability of patients to have safe access to cannabis products to help manage their medical conditions. As employers, we also want to ensure our employees enjoy a safe work environment. These options take us in the right direction at the right time.

Hawaiʻi’s aspiration to have a predominantly “cashless system” for all medical cannabis dispensaries is admirable. However, it is important to clarify that progress toward this goal will take considerable time. We will work with all stakeholders to successfully implement the proposed system. Patients who choose not to participate in a program that requires checking account transfers will still be able to make cash purchases in all Hawaiʻi-Licensed Medical Cannabis Dispensaries. Qualified patient access and compassion are two key tenets to any successful medical program.

Hawaii Pacific University and Honokaa High Launch Virtual Classroom

Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) and Honokaa High School today kicked off their new partnership that gives Honokaa students access to HPU’s new, virtual college-credit program. The 17 Honokaa students who are enrolled in the program will connect with HPU professors using video technology that allows for real-time learning.

The 17 Honoka’a students who are enrolled in the program will connect with HPU professors using video technology that allows for real-time learning.  Photo Credit: HPU

“This innovative partnership with Hawaii Pacific University helps us equip students for success at the next level, empower them to explore their potential, and inspire them to reach their aspirations,” said Suzanne Mulcahy, Hawaii State Department of Education. “Together, as a community, we can meet and exceed our goal to successfully guide students to become leaders for Hawai’i’s future.”

“We are grateful to HPU for this partnership as it gives our students direct access to a post-secondary education trajectory,” said Rachelle Matsumura, principal of Honokaa High & Intermediate School. “Programs like this encourage our students to strive for their highest potential and provides a valuable head start on earning college credits that will potentially save them time and money.”

This program is the first of its kind for the private university, which provides real-time, distance learning for high school students. To increase access and opportunities for Honokaa students, HPU tuition has been waived so the high school students may earn college credits and experience the university’s rich curriculum.

“HPU is deeply committed to making higher education increasingly cost-efficient, attainable, and expedient for the students in our local communities,” said John Gotanda, HPU president.  “We recognize an opportunity to not only provide our keiki o ka aina with their best chance to attain their desired goals, but also attract and cultivate high achievers within our islands who will one day be leaders of our community making a profound impact on Hawai’i and beyond.”

L to R: Rachelle Matsumura, principal of Honoka’a High & Intermediate; Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Mulcahy; Complex Area Superintendent Art Souza; John Gotanda, president of HPU; Carol Mon Lee.  Photo Credit: HPU

Dual Credit allows Hawaii DOE high school students to take classes that satisfy requirements for both a Hawaii high school diploma and a University degree.

The Dual Credit program is also made possible through generous support from Carol Mon Lee, a retired lawyer and educator.  Ms. Lee’s investment makes higher education more attainable for local students. She noted, “President Gotanda’s vision for educating the youth of Hawaii, especially those in our public schools, is not just inspiring but vital to our state.”

Ms. Lee currently volunteers as executive-vice president and chief operating officer of ThinkTech Hawaii, a non-profit media company. She also sits on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education and the Board of Governors, UC Hastings College of Law, San Francisco.

The partnership highlights HPU’s expertise as the state leader in online education and expands its services to support public high school students. The university has been providing online education for deployed students in the military and have provided dual-credit programs with high schools around the state. In 2016, HPU became the first school in Hawaii to be approved by a state agency to participate in NC-SARA, a national authorization program to reciprocate online education across state lines.

Mayor Kim Gets Honorable Mention at US Conference of Mayors’s Climate Protection Awards

The United States Conference of Mayors 11th anniversary Winners Mayors’ Climate protection awards:

Honorable Mentions (Large City) – Hawai’i Mayor Harry Kim and the Lalamilo Windfarm Project:

Hawai’i Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Lalamilo Windfarm project officially opened for commercial operations in September 2016, with five turbines generating 3.3 megawatts of electricity with no-export to the grid.
As an island state, the State of Hawai’i has been at the mercy of imported fossil fuel supplies. The Lalamilo Windfarm contributes to the State of Hawai’i’s Clean Energy Initiative’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

Among the challenges in developing this project were permitting hurdles, most notably those involving the expected take of endangered bats and sea birds such as petrels.

Lighting was installed at downward facing angles and down-shielded to avoid attraction and disorientation of night-flying seabirds. It also will be less attractive to insects at turbine blade heights which may attract bats.

The turbines are also programmed to cut in and produce energy only when the wind exceeds 5 meters per second and the blades are feathered into the wind when the wind speeds are below 5 meters per second to minimize impact to both bats and birds. Bird flight diverters were also installed to minimize the potential for birds colliding with the overhead electrical transmission lines.
The windfarm is designed to provide a renewable energy source and a stable rate platform for the Department of Water Supply’s pumping equipment for the next 20 years. The CO2 offset for the Lalamilo Windfarm is estimated at 5,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

At the 2015 groundbreaking for Lalamilo

This is arguably the first time in Hawai’i, and perhaps the nation, that a local government has developed such a wind-powered, water-pumping facility capable of significant greenhouse gas reductions at no cost to the taxpayer.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, in partnership with DWS and the Department of Research and Development, worked out models of the energy output potential for the windfarm site, at no cost to DWS or its customers. In April 2013, the project was awarded to Lalamilo Windfarm Wind
Company LLC, which designed, constructed, owns, and maintains the facility, through a Power Purchase Agreement. Planning, design, and construction were also done at no cost to DWS.

The turbines of the Windfarm are located on 78 acres adjacent to eight DWS water wells in Lalamilo Windfarm, South Kohala, on the site of a previous windfarm built in the mid-1980s. The use of wind energy while reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels, also ensures a stable source of energy that is expected to reduce energy costs to DWS and its customers over the next
20 years.

Five Hawaii Schools Selected to Open Pre-K Classrooms in School Year 2018-19

The Executive Office on Early Learning has selected five new schools to open new public pre-kindergarten classrooms in the 2018-19 school year. A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education and research has shown that early childhood education sets the foundation for life-long learning and success.

A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education and research has shown that early childhood education sets the foundation for life-long learning and success. Photo Dept. of Education

A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education and research has shown that early childhood education sets the foundation for life-long learning and success. Investing in high quality early childhood programs have resulted in narrowing achievement gaps, decreasing the need for special education and increasing high school graduation and college attendance rates.

The Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) launched Hawaii’s first publicly funded pre-kindergarten program in the 2014-15 school year. The program provides high-quality early learning experiences for students in the year prior to kindergarten eligibility. As a partnership between the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and EOEL, 21 pre-kindergarten classrooms on 19 HIDOE elementary school campuses statewide constitute Hawaii’s first state-funded pre-kindergarten program. The program, a first step toward developing Hawaii’s early learning system, is beginning its fourth year.

EOEL has selected five schools to open new public pre-kindergarten classrooms in the 2018-19 school year.  Schools were selected based on a competitive application process and include:

“Through this program, we have the opportunity to empower young children who otherwise would not have access to high quality early childhood education,” said Lauren Moriguchi, EOEL Executive Director. “This partnership has the potential to shape lives and change future trajectories. We are fortunate to have received funding for expansion of the program and are excited to open five new pre-k classrooms in the 2018-19 school year.”

Kapalama and Keolu Elementary Schools have been designated as alternates and have been invited to participate in EOEL’s Early Learning Induction Program, which is required for school teams to attend prior to opening a new EOEL Pre-Kindergarten Classroom.

For more information on pre-kindergarten and early learning, please visit http://bit.ly/1P9ewxx.

Guest Commentary – Audit the Honolulu Rail Project

Dear Damon,

When the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii first kicked off our “Audit the Rail” campaign, we had a feeling the idea would catch on.

Over the summer, we’ve seen respected voices across the state join the chorus.

At the outset, we did some digging and uncovered the fact that several HART board members supported a forensic audit of the rail.

Following that, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a story echoing our call to audit the rail explicitly for fraud, waste and abuse.

Then, Honolulu Councilmember Trevor Ozawa introduced a resolution to perform a special audit of the rail. Since then, at least four other Honolulu Council members have endorsed an audit.

And now, state legislators are floating the idea of auditing the rail, according to a presentation leaked to the press last week.

As influential voices across the state join the Grassroot Institute’s call to audit the rail, we intend to continue making a reasoned case for a full forensic audit.

If you have not yet signed our petition, please do so at AuditTheRail.com and share this e-mail with your friends.

Mahalo for helping this idea to catch on.

E Hana Kakou (Let’s work together!),

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.
President/CEO Grassroots Institute of Hawaii

Island Air Named Official Airline Sponsors of 2018 Miss Hawaii USA & Miss Hawaii Teen USA Pageants

Island Air is proud to announce its role as the Official Airline Sponsor of the 2018 Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Hawaii Teen USA pageants.

As part of its sponsorship, the airline will provide interisland flights valued at more than $22,000 to enable pageant contestants from the neighbor islands to travel to O‘ahu for appearances and other preparations leading up to the state pageants on Nov. 19, 2017 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The 2018 State titleholders also will be able to utilize the flights when they travel interisland for appearances during their yearlong reign as Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Hawaii Teen USA. In the past, contestants were responsible for covering their transportation costs, which often deterred participation.

“Island Air is proud to be the first official airline sponsor of the Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Hawaii Teen USA program, and to support local young women throughout our state as they pursue their dreams and develop confidence and character that will help advance their careers and make a difference in our communities,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air.

“Being born and raised on Kaua‘i, I understand firsthand how much more challenging it is competing as a contestant from a neighbor island,” said Alicia Michioka, executive director of Miss Hawaii USA & Miss Hawaii Teen USA, who eventually went on to win Miss Hawaii USA 2003.