Commentary – TMT Has Bent Over Backwards to Address Concerns

I’ve followed the Thirty Meter Telescope public vetting process over the past seven years. The unprecedented public protests against this project caused me to write this commentary.

The public had equal opportunity to give comments about this telescope project. It underwent an extended contested case hearing process before the Board of Land and Natural Resources granted the conservation district use permit in 2013. In addition, Governor Lingle accepted the FEIS in 2010. There was a 60 day window to contest the FEIS after acceptance. No one stepped forward to do this during that window.

The hearing officer determined the Thirty Meter Telescope met all eight criteria to develop their project in the conservation district.

Click to view

Click to view

In addition, he noted the Hawaii Administrative Rules #13-5-24c permits the construction of astronomy facilities in the conservation district, as long there is a management plan in place.

In short, the Thirty Meter Telescope Corporation has bent over backwards to address all concerns about their project over the last seven years.

This is why it would be huge mistake to revoke their vested permits after they’ve been granted. The TMT relied on these permits to start construction on their telescope.

The possible revocation of their legally obtained permits would bring up eerie parallels to the Hokuli’a project in South Kona. Judge Ibarra invalidated their permits after four years of construction and after Oceanside spent 350 million dollars on their project. However, the big difference between these two project is the fact TMT followed the law when obtaining their entitlements, Oceanside (Hokuli’a) did not.

Judge Ibarra placed an injunction on Hokulia project for 2.5 years until a settlement agreement allowed construction to resume in 2006. I foresee a similar scenario happening with the TMT project. The Mauna Kea stakeholders need to reach a global settlement that would allow construction to resume on this telescope.

The Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan contains an excellent framework to get this process started. For example, the TMT will be last new telescope on Mauna Kea. All new telescope projects after the TMT will recycle existing sites.

However, I believe any global settlement needs to go further.

The University Hawaii and the other owners of the Mauna Kea telescopes should reevaluate the telescope decommissioning plan for the science reserve area. The Hawaii Tribune Herald reported the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, James Maxwell Clerk Telescope and Very Low Baseline Array are facing possible decommissioning before the Mauna Kea science reserve master lease expires in 2033.

This is on top of the scheduled decommissioning of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory slated to begin 2016.

The University of Hawaii also needs to indefinitely delay any attempts to extend the master lease for the science reserve area. The current lease expires in 2033, which means all telescopes on Mauna Kea face decommissioning between 2025 and 2033.

The university naturally wants the lease extended another 65 years.I believe more discussion between all Mauna Kea stakeholders is necessary before this proposal moves forward. If this doesn’t happen, the University of Hawaii risks turning an ugly situation uglier.

Mauna Kea’s telescopes have contributed 92 million dollars of direct economic impact in Hawaii County per year. This figure cannot be understated. If all the Mauna Kea telescopes were removed, it would be a huge economic hit to this island.

This is another reason why all the Mauna Kea stakeholders need to come to together and discuss a mutually agreeable plan for Mauna Kea’s future. These discussion need to occur in a face to face environment and not through social media. The latter has poisoned all civil discussion regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope project and future of Mauna Kea.

Aaron Stene,
Kailua-Kona

Hawaii Volcano Observatory Statement on Current Volcanic Activities and What We Can Expect to Happen

Hawaii Volcano Observatory  Statement on current activities:

After a week of elevated activity, HVO would like to review recent observations and thoughts on what we may expect next at Kīlauea Volcano.
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LAVA FLOWS ON THE FLOOR OF HALEMAʻUMAʻU

Beginning at about 9:40 p.m., HST, last night and continuing into this morning, the Overlook crater lava lake overflowed its rim on several occasions, sending short, lobate sheets of pāhoehoe as far as 130 m (142 yds) across the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. These overflows were captured on USGS-HVO’s web cameras. Thus far, the flows have been brief and their forward motion ceased as the lava lake level fell and lava subsided into the Overlook crater. As yet, no change in lava spattering or surface circulation patterns on the lake in response to these overflows has been noted.

Given the sustained high, and slowly rising, levels of lava within the vent during the past week, these overflows were expected and they are likely to continue intermittently. During similar lava lake activity at Halemaʻumaʻu in the 1800s and early 1900s, lava lakes frequently produced overflows. Over time, overflows and intermittent spattering can build a collar of solidified lava that then contains the rising and circulating lava lake. This phenomenon is known as a ‘perched lava lake.’

ROCKFALLS, EXPLOSIONS, AND SPATTER ON THE HALEMA‘UMA‘U CRATER RIM;
ASHFALL AT JAGGAR OVERLOOK AND BEYOND

Yesterday morning at about 10:20 a.m., HST, a rockfall from the southeast wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater above the lava lake initiated an explosion from the lake surface. Large clots of molten spatter up to 2 meters (2 yards) across showered the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu in the vicinity of the closed visitor overlook fence. The hot spatter formed a nearly continuous blanket for about 100 m (110 yards) along the crater rim and extended back from the rim about 50 m (55 yards). Small bits of crater-wall rock were embedded in the spatter clots. Additional explosions and showers of rock and spatter can be expected. They can occur suddenly and without warning and underscore the exceedingly hazardous nature of the Halema‘uma‘u Crater rim, an area that has been closed to the public since late 2007.

Visitors to the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Jaggar Museum Overlook and other Park areas should also note that under southerly wind conditions, similar rockfalls and explosions can result in a dusting of powdery to gritty ash composed of volcanic glass and rock fragments. Several such ashfalls occurred last weekend and, although they represent a very minor hazard at this time, people should be aware that additional dustings of ash are likely at Jaggar Museum and other areas around the Kīlauea summit. For more information about volcanic ash hazards and precautions at Kīlauea, please see: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/FAQ_SO2-Vog-Ash/main.html

CONTINUED INFLATION AND EARTHQUAKE ACTIVITY IN THE KĪLAUEA SUMMIT AND UPPER EAST RIFT ZONE

For the past week or so, HVO monitoring networks have recorded steady inflation of the Kīlauea Volcano summit area. Shallow earthquake activity has also been elevated beneath the summit caldera, upper East Rift Zone, and upper Southwest Rift Zone. Of the hundreds of earthquakes that have occurred in the past week, most have been small, less than magnitude-2 (M2).However, this morning (April 29) a M3.0 earthquake occurred at the easternmost caldera boundary. It is the second M3+ earthquake in this region during this sequence.

During this period of elevated summit activity, there has been no obvious change in the eruption rate of lava from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Rates of gas emission from both the summit and Puʻu ʻŌʻō remain largely unchanged. Short-lived increases in sulfur dioxide from the summit lava lake have been noted during rockfall-triggered explosive events, such as the one that occurred yesterday morning.

Video by Mick Kalber:

WHAT WE CAN EXPECT

The current activity is best explained by an increase in magma supply to the Kīlauea Volcano magma reservoir or storage system, something that has occurred many times during the ongoing East Rift Zone eruption. Increased supply and shallow storage can explain the higher magma column in the Overlook crater, as well as the continuing inflation and elevated earthquake activity in the summit region. Higher volumes of magma moving throughout the summit and upper East Rift Zone pressurizes the reservoir and magma transport system and causes small earthquakes and inflationary tilt.

As long as magma supply is elevated, we expect continued high lava lake levels accompanied by additional overflows. Lava from these overflows could cover more of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor, form a perched lake, or result in some combination of these two processes. Spattering or lava fountaining sources can migrate across the surface of the lava lake, as recently observed. We expect continued rockfalls, intermittent explosions and ash fall, and continued high levels of gas release.

The evolution of unrest in the upper East Rift Zone is less certain. It is possible that a surge of lava will reach Puʻu ʻŌʻō and lava flow output will increase, both on the flanks and within the crater of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. It is also possible that lava will form a new vent at the surface. If this happens, it will most likely occur along a portion of the East Rift Zone between Pauahi Crater and Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Other outbreaks in the summit area or along either rift zone on Kīlauea cannot be ruled out. If a new outbreak or surge in lava to Puʻu ʻŌʻō occurs, we will expect a drop in the summit lava lake.

HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea Volcano. We are especially watching for any sign of unrest that may precede a new outbreak of lava or a change in output at either Puʻu ʻŌʻō or the summit Overlook crater vent. We will continue to post daily eruption updates on the HVO web site, along with photos, videos, and maps as they are available at: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php

An annotated photograph showing summit features named in this statement, such as Overlook crater and Halemaʻumaʻu, is posted at: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/archive/summit-labels.jpg

HVO Contact Information: askHVO@usgs.gov

Lava Lake Overflows Vent Rim

Photo from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu showing the lava lake in the completely filled Overlook crater. Repeated overflows are beginning to construct levees around the lake, such that the level of the lake is now perched about 2 m (7 ft) above the original floor of Halemaʻumaʻu.

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake, which was about 12 m (40 ft) below the vent rim on April 25 (left), overflowed the vent rim for the first time at about 9:40 p.m., HST, on April 28. As of noon on April 29 (right), the lava lake had overflowed the vent rim several more times. These Webcam images capture the summit vent before and after the overflows. (Click to enlarge)

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake, which was about 12 m (40 ft) below the vent rim on April 25, overflowed the vent rim for the first time at about 9:40 p.m., HST, on April 28. As of noon on April 29, the lava lake had overflowed the vent rim several more times. (Click to enlarge)

Lava Breakouts Continue – Lava Lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Reaches New High Level

Breakouts on the June 27th lava flow remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. A new, small, breakout appeared recently from the tube adjacent to Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, the small forested cone near the center of the photograph.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper right portion of the photo.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper right portion of the photo.

The new breakout is the light-colored curved flow in the left portion of the photograph.

The farthest active breakout on the June 27th flow reached about 8 km (5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the photograph.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the photograph.

The tip of this breakout was narrow and burning forest.

A small breakout from an inflated portion of the June 27th flow. Large gas bubbles reach the surface near the source of the breakout, and are then carried and deformed as the surface advances and cools.

A small breakout from an inflated portion of the June 27th flow. Large gas bubbles reach the surface near the source of the breakout, and are then carried and deformed as the surface advances and cools.

The June 27th flow covers much of the top of the photograph, and recent expansion of the flow margins has sent lava cascading into one of the ponds on the 2007 perched lava channel.

This 2007 lava fills the bottom of the photograph, and is covered with yellow alteration.

This 2007 lava fills the bottom of the photograph, and is covered with yellow alteration.

Over the past week small flows have filled the bottom of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater.

This 2007 lava fills the bottom of the photograph, and is covered with yellow alteration.

These flows originated from vents in the south portion of the crater, and one of the flows can be seen near the center of the photograph.

hvo141The Overlook crater lava lake, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea’s summit, has been rising over the past few days, and today reached the highest point yet measured for the current summit eruption.

The lava lake this afternoon was 20 meters (66 feet) below the Overlook crater rim.

 Another view of the lava lake, with several areas of spattering active.

Another view of the lava lake, with several areas of spattering active.

The lava level was high enough at the lava lake this evening that bits of spatter were reaching the rim of the Overlook crater.

hvo143

 

‘Chocolate Soirée’ Dinner a Prelude to Big Island Chocolate Festival

As a prelude to Big Island Chocolate Festival, local event planning and catering company The Feeding Leaf presents the premier “Chocolate Soirée” dinner on Thursday, May 7, 5-8 p.m. at Kokoleka Lani Farms.

Chef Scott Hiraishi, Tracey and Les Apoliona of the Feeding Leaf

Chef Scott Hiraishi, Tracey and Les Apoliona of the Feeding Leaf

The seven-course feast features Original Hawaiian Chocolate, savory and sweet, in dishes created by notable chefs like Stanton Ho (Amoretti), Clayton Arakawa (Mauna Lani Resort), Angela Smith (Sweet Eatz), and Scott Hiraishi (The Feeding Leaf), assisted by culinary students from University of Hawai‘i Center—West Hawai‘i Campus.

Also providing chocolate for the Soirée, Kokoleka Lani Farms is a working cacao farm in Keauhou, run by Greg Colden and Marty Corrigan, owner-operators of Kona Natural Soap Company. By special arrangement, the exclusive Chocolate Soirée event begins in their retail shop, with passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary students. Dinner will be served family-style in their adjacent home.

Chocolate cocktail concoctions will be provided by mixologist and general manager Keith Malini of Ray’s on the Bay, the oceanfront restaurant at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. Ray’s on the Bay has also selected fine wines to serve with the elegant farm-to-fork feast, and the restaurant will feature one of the signature chocolate entrees on their dinner menu in the days leading up to the event.

“The Chocolate Soirée is a fun way for us to do some education. It gives the students a chance to work with top chefs in a unique environment, and to work with the more unusual Hawai‘i Island ingredients they don’t see or use every day,” said The Feeding Leaf General Manager Les Apoliona.

“It gives our guests a chance to learn about new and different aspects of local chocolate while they enjoy a beautiful, exclusive dinner at the source,” he said. “We’re so grateful to Greg and Marty for opening their home and their cacao farm for us. And, with two more days of chocolate indulgence Friday and Saturday, we think this will be and outstanding pre-event for Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

Tickets for Chocolate Soirée are limited to 100 at $125 per person, including cocktails and wines, available at Kona Wine Market and Westside Wines, online at wew.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-soiree-tickets-16328176014, or by calling 808-325-3803. Big Island Chocolate Festival takes place May 8-9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, with Chocolate Gala, Seminars, Chocolate Competition and more. Part of the proceeds benefit American Culinary Federation/Kona Kohala Chefs Association scholarships.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

The Future of Outdoor Recreation in Hawaii – DLNR Seeks Public Comment on the 2015 Outdoor Recreation Plan

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks in partnership with PBR HAWAII & Associates, Inc., is inviting the public to review the draft of the 2015 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).

2015 SCORP

The comprehensive recreation plan is updated every 5 years to assess Hawai‘i’s outdoor recreation trends, needs and priorities. The plan also provides direction for the State’s recreational future and allows Hawai‘i to remain eligible to receive funds for outdoor recreation projects through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal grants program administered by the National Park Service.

Using the priorities for outdoor recreation identified in the comprehensive recreation plan, the National Park Service selects projects to receive conservation funding that best meet Hawai‘i’s recreational needs and help resolve recreational conflicts.

The 5-year strategic plan for outdoor recreation as presented in the draft 2015 recreation plan is based on comments received from recreation agencies and the public through online surveys and public meetings held between January and March 2014. More than 1,100 people participated in the process and identified the operation and maintenance of recreation facilities as the number one issue and priority for investment in outdoor recreation.

The public and recreation agencies both recognize an increasing demand on outdoor recreation facilities due to a growing population of residents, military, and visitors. While County leaders have placed an emphasis on the maintenance of their parks, they also recognize the need for public-private partnerships. Ocean recreation continues to be a high recreation priority for Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors, but user conflicts in the ocean remain a challenge. Sports fields are in high demand, especially with year-round seasons that stress the demand and maintenance for these multi-purpose fields.

The 2009 recreation plan identified multi-use paths for walking, jogging, and bicycling as one of Hawaii’s recreational priorities and this trend continues into the 2015 SCORP.

In response to this demand, LWCF grants were awarded in 2014 to the County of Hawai‘i and DLNR to assist with the construction of the new Hilo Bayfront Trails. This multi-use trail system will run through several County parks, including Mo‘oheau Park, Hilo Bayfront Park and Hilo Bayfront Soccer Fields, as well as Wailoa River State Recreation Area.

Ocean recreation and hiking trails are major recreational activities that are experiencing higher demand and user conflicts as the population grows and the funds and staffing to expand and maintain the resources and facilities remain limited.

The increase in ocean and hiking related accidents and rescues points to the popularity of these recreational activities but also the dangers and concerns for public safety when recreating in Hawai‘i’s natural environment.

In response to the demand for hiking opportunities, another current project being assisted with an LWCF grant is the repair of, and improvements to the Makapu‘u Trail within the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline.

“We have seen the popularity of the Makapu‘u Trail continue to grow among both residents and visitors. The repairs will promote a safe, enjoyable hiking experience while the new viewing areas with interpretive signs will share the resources and history of this park,” said Dan Quinn, State Parks administrator. The Makapu‘u Trail work is currently underway with completion scheduled for July 2015.

A 14-page summary of the SCORP findings and strategic plan, as well as the full draft SCORP document with appendices, can viewed on the State Parks website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/
Public comments are due by April 30, 2015 and can be submitted by e-mail or in writing to:

ccullison@pbrhawaii.com
or
PBR HAWAII & Associates, Inc.
Attn: Catie Cullison, AICP
1001 Bishop Street, Suite 650
Honolulu, HI 96813-3484

BACKGROUND
LWCF grants provide a match for State and County funds to acquire new land for outdoor recreation and develop or renovate recreational facilities. Since 1967, the State of Hawai‘i and the four counties have received more than $38 million in LWCF grants for acquisition and development of outdoor recreation lands and facilities. In recent years, LWCF grants have been awarded to the County of Hawaii to install new playground equipment at Panaewa Zoo in Hilo, to the City and County of Honolulu to replace the ball field lights at Ala Wai Community Park, to the County of Maui to construct a new skate park within the Lahaina Recreation Center, and to State Parks for renovation of the Makapu‘u Trail within the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline on O‘ahu.

 

Virgin Launches Flight Service from West Coast to Hawaii – $199 Flight Deals

Virgin America, the airline known for reinventing domestic travel, today announces it will start flying from San Francisco to Honolulu, Oahu from November 2, 2015, and Kahului, Maui from December 3, 2015, with fares on sale as of today from $199 one way* (with taxes and restrictions applying).

Virgin Airlines

As the only California-based airline, Virgin America will offer Bay Area travelers a fresh and upscale new travel option to the Aloha state, the ‘most wanted’ destination by members of its Elevate loyalty program.  Hawaii continues to be the number one tourism destination from the West Coast, with over 3.2 million visitors in 2014. Virgin America’s service is uniquely tailored to the modern traveler and to the longer-haul Hawai‘i flight experience.

With new aircraft that offer three custom-designed classes of service, touch-screen personal entertainment and an award-winning on-demand food and cocktail menu on every flight – travelers departing from the stylish and convenient new Terminal Two at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) can kick-off their Hawai‘i vacation as soon as they step onboard.  Virgin America has been named the “Best Domestic Airline” in both Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past seven consecutive years.

In honor of the new route, Virgin America is celebrating with a nationwide ‘Now Serving Paradise’ fare sale and a complimentary ‘mai tai’ toast for travelers at its home airport of SFO today.

The new Hawai‘i flights are on sale now and can be purchased at virginamerica.com or 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN**.  As of tomorrow, Elevate members can redeem reward flights to Hawai‘i – with no black-out dates, for as few as 8559 points. Members can earn more points by signing up for the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card.

“As one of the most popular leisure destinations among Bay Area travelers, we are pleased to announce our new nonstop service to Hawai‘i,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer, David Cush. “This marks the next phase of growth for our airline, as we take delivery of new Airbus aircraft and expand our Elevate program with more world-class rewards destinations.  With a loyal following of Bay Area-based business travelers who have long requested our expansion to the islands, we couldn’t be more pleased to offer our ‘work-hard/play-hard’ frequent flyers the opportunity to fly in style to the ultimate getaway.  We look forward to bringing a new kind of flight service to the market and to building lasting community ties with the state of Hawai‘i.”

In a private call last month, Cush received permission from Hawai‘i Governor David Ige to bring Virgin America’s new flight service to the state.

“On behalf of the state, I would like to welcome Virgin America to Hawai‘i and congratulate the company on its new service to the Hawaiian Islands,” said Governor David Ige. “We are excited about the business and leisure travel opportunities the service will provide. We look forward to Virgin America’s success in serving both visitors to and residents of Hawai‘i.”

“We are pleased that Virgin America will launch inaugural service to Honolulu and Kahului this fall. These flights will boost air seat capacity to Hawai‘i from our core U.S. West market and attract new visitors through Virgin America’s vast flight network across the United States,” said David Uchiyama, Vice President, Brand Management of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency. “San Francisco is one of our top visitor markets and we look forward to welcoming Virgin America and its guests to the Hawaiian Islands. These flights will generate an estimated $138.6 million in annual visitor spending and $14.8 million in state tax revenue.”

Beginning November 2, 2015, Virgin America’s Honolulu service is as follows:

Beginning December 3, 2015, Virgin America’s Kahului-Maui service is as follows:

The daily, nonstop flights will be operated with new Airbus A320 aircraft that Virgin America will take delivery of this year, which will be equipped with fuel-saving, ‘sharklet’ wingtip devices, allowing the airline to operate flights more efficiently, especially over longer haul routes.  Virgin America is working with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) and Airbus to ensure that the airline’s new Airbus A320 aircraft are certified for Extended Operation (ETOPS).  ETOPS is the standard certification process carriers obtain for longer range over water flights.

In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America’s First Class cabin offers plush white leather ‘cradle sleeper’ seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers.  The carrier’s Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.  The Red® in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 20 films, TV***, interactive Google Maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight.  With a full service First Class menu and a unique on-demand menu in the Main Cabin, Virgin America was named Travel + Leisure’s “Best Domestic Airline for Food” in 2014.

Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created more than 2,800 new jobs and expanded its network to include Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu (as of November 2, 2015) and Kahului, Maui (as of December 3, 2015).  The new Hawai‘i markets will represent the 22nd and 23rd destinations served by the California-based airline.

Hawaii County Announces Web Based Puna Traffic Cameras

The County is pleased to announce the launch of punatraffic.com, a publicly available web based traffic monitoring service for the lower Puna to Kea`au area.

Click to view current conditions

Click to view current conditions

Traffic conditions along several transportation corridors that may be affected by the June 27th Lava Flow, including HWY 130, will be monitored with thirty cameras. The images are available for public viewing at punatraffic.com.

The camera images refresh every three to five minutes and are meant to assist the public in making their travel plans. The website also provides estimated drive times based on current traffic conditions.

The traffic monitoring system is a part of the County’s overall plan to monitor traffic flow that may have to be re-routed as a result of the June 27 Lava Flow.

The cameras were installed by ICX Transportation Group. The service went live on March 25, 2015.

The cameras are government property and specifically programmed to only work with government equipment. Please kokua and respect this public benefit and service.

The website also provides social media links to Civil Defense and the County of Hawai`i and can be updated to inform the public about road incidents.

NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric to Hold Informational Meetings Across State

NextEra Energy, Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. and Maui Electric Company Limited (collectively referred to as Hawaiian Electric), today announced that the companies will be hosting a series of 13 open house informational meetings across Hawaii to introduce residents to NextEra Energy and the benefits of the companies’ pending merger as well as to provide members of the public with the opportunity to provide input directly to company officials.

NextEra Logo

The open houses will take place on Oahu, Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai from April 7 to April 16.

“Since we announced our merger late last year, we’ve been gratified at the reception we’ve received as well as the high level of interest in this important topic for Hawaii,” said Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii, LLC. “NextEra Energy shares Hawaiian Electric’s vision of increasing renewable energy, modernizing its grid, reducing Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil, integrating more rooftop solar energy and, importantly, lowering customer bills. We recognize that addressing Hawaii’s energy challenges requires Hawaii-specific energy solutions, and that is why we look forward to meeting with and listening to residents across Hawaii. The meetings will provide us with the opportunity to receive valuable feedback while allowing residents to learn more about NextEra Energy and the significant near- and long-term benefits this merger will deliver to Hawaiian Electric customers and the state of Hawaii.”

“In selecting NextEra Energy as our partner, we will join a company that shares our community and environmental values, has a proven track record of lowering electric bills, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and is committed to rooftop solar in Hawaii,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric’s president and chief executive officer. “We can’t imagine a better match to help us accelerate the clean energy transformation we all want for Hawaii. We hope our customers will take the opportunity to meet members of the NextEra Energy team and learn firsthand why NextEra Energy is the right partner to help us achieve a cleaner and more affordable energy future for Hawaii.”

About the Open House Meetings

Each open house meeting will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Senior leaders and other employees from NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric will be available to discuss NextEra Energy’s track record of increasing renewable energy, lowering customer bills, creating innovative solutions for modernizing the grid, and supporting local communities, as well as all the expected benefits from the proposed merger with Hawaiian Electric.

The dates and locations for the meetings are as follows:

Maui County

April 7

  • Central Maui: Maui Electric Auditorium
  • South Maui: Kihei Community Center

April 8

  • West Maui: Lahaina Civic Center
  • Lanai: Lanai Community Center

April 9

  • Molokai: Kaunakakai Elementary School Cafeteria

Hawaii Island

April 13

  • Hilo, Hawaii: Hilo High School Cafeteria
  • Puna, Hawaii: Pahoa High School Cafeteria

April 14

  • West Hawaii: Kealakehe High School Cafeteria
  • Waimea, Hawaii: HPA Village Campus Dining Hall

Oahu

April 15

  • West Oahu: Kapolei High School Cafeteria
  • Leeward Oahu: Pearl City High School Cafeteria

April 16

  • Honolulu: Ward Warehouse, Kakaako Conference Room
  • Windward Oahu: Windward Community College, Hale Akoakoa

Website

To learn more about the benefits of the transaction, please visit www.forhawaiisfuture.com.

Hawaii Moon RIDERS Honored at Capital

The House of Representatives today recognized the Iolani School and Kealakehe High School robotics team, known as the Moon RIDERS, for their work on the electrodynamic dust shield lunar project and their partnerships with PISCES, NASA, and Google Lunar Xprize. 

PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso, Moon RIDERS, and members of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso, Moon RIDERS, and members of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

In February, the group was selected to take part in an experiment involving electrodynamic dust shield technology that will be conducted on the surface of the moon by the end of 2016. 

Kealakehe teacher Justin Brown, Kealakehe student Moon RIDERS, and Reps. Nicole Lowen and Mark Nakashima.

Kealakehe teacher Justin Brown, Kealakehe student Moon RIDERS, and Reps. Nicole Lowen and Mark Nakashima.

The selected Hawaii students will be mentored by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.  The project came about through an agreement with PISCES and NASA to work on a Hawaii high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) project.

Kauai Biomass Project Nears Completion

The new biomass-to-energy power plant near Koloa on Kauai has successfully started its hot commissioning and expects to begin selling electricity to Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) by the beginning of May 2015.

The 6.7-megawatt biomass-to-energy facility will burn wood chips from trees grown and harvested on Kauai.  The plant will provide more than 11 percent of the island’s energy needs.  Once in operation, the plant will replace 3.7 million gallons of imported oil a year.

Once in operation, the plant will replace 3.7 million gallons of imported oil a year.

The plant is being constructed by Green Energy Team LLC (GET), a Hawaii limited liability company, and is using a biomass energy generation technology developed by Standardkessel Baumgarte, a German company that is one of the world leaders in energy technology.

The plant will burn wood chips produced from several sources on Kauai, including short-rotation trees grown on about 2,000 acres of land and several locations on Kauai that have been cleared of invasive species.

The plant will have the capacity to generate 7.5-megawatts of renewable energy to be delivered as electricity to KIUC under a power purchase agreement approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in October 2011. Unlike solar and wind energy, the plant will provide firm power—day and night, independent of weather conditions—to KIUC. It will supply about 11 percent of Kauai’s annual electricity needs and will substitute power produced by diesel generators.

The facility will contribute to the State’s renewable energy portfolio goals that presently aim to have 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy needs from renewable resources. It will also be an addition to KIUC’s renewable energy portfolio, which currently consists of several hydropower projects and the utility co-op’s own two solar farms as well as other solar farms and customer-sited solar photovoltaic systems.

Construction on Green Energy Team’s biomass plant began in January 2013 and is nearly completed. Standardkessel provided the design and equipment for the plant and is providing construction management for the project. Construction was done by Bodell Construction Company; final work shall be completed by Diana Prince Construction, Inc. Financing for construction of the $90 million project is being provided by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas.

Once completed and operational, Green Energy Team’s plant will create 39 permanent operating jobs and many indirect jobs for local service providers and agricultural operations.

The Kauai-based plant will be the first closed-loop biomass-to-energy plant in the United States and fueled by trees grown on-island. This is also the first commercial biomass project since the period when former sugar companies also sold electricity to Hawaii’s electric utilities.

BioEnergy Hawaii Plans Hawaii Island Resource Recovery, Energy Conversion System

BioEnergy Hawaii, LLC, (BEH) a designer, developer and operator of waste treatment and alternative energy systems, plans a fully integrated resource recovery facility on the west side of Hawaii Island. The $50 million facility will incorporate state-of-the-art material handling equipment and energy conversion technology to substantially reduce the amount of waste currently going directly into the landfill.
Bioenergy fact sheetThe West Hawaii facility will be totally financed with private equity. The project has the support of a $100 million special purpose revenue bond issued by the State of Hawaii. The project will be located near the Puuanahulu landfill; the exact location of the facility will be released when lease negotiations are finalized.

BioEnergy Hawaii is the long-term vision of Kosti Shirvanian, president of Pacific Waste, Inc., the parent company of BEH. “We have lived and worked on the Big Island for almost 20 years; and as members of the community we all share a responsibility to care for the land,” said Shirvanian. “This project will transform our waste into a resource and make a positive contribution to our community and our environment.”

The project will accept municipal solid waste (MSW) delivered by local waste collection companies, and divert a significant amount of the incoming waste (70 percent) from the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill.

“We believe this project will meet Mayor Billy Kenoi’s goal of extending the life of the County’s landfills by diverting more waste, and the joint goal of protecting the aina,” said Guy Kaniho, BEH general manager.

The project will establish advanced recycling operations and produce multiple value products from the incoming waste. In order to maximize the diversion rate, the facility design integrates the recovery of three separate value streams: recyclable commodities, organics and solid fuel.

The recyclable materials, which would have been buried in the landfill, will be recovered and directed into the local recycling commodity market.

The wet organic waste (i.e. food and green waste); will be treated through an anaerobic digestion (AD) process to stabilize the material and produce a nutrient rich natural fertilizer and high-quality compost. The AD operations will also recover an energy rich biogas—a flexible fuel source that can be used to generate electricity, be upgraded to pipeline quality renewable natural gas (RNG), or compressed to create an alternative transportation fuel (known as bio-CNG).

The residual solid fuel portion—items not suitable for use in the anaerobic digester such as mixed paper, textiles, low-value plastic and wood—will be processed into a post-recycled engineered fuel—a dry, light material suitable for thermal energy conversion operations.

BEH plans to establish “closed-loop” waste recovery operations by encouraging local haulers to convert their waste collection vehicles to utilize the locally sourced bio-CNG. The fleet conversions will stabilize the waste hauler’s long-term fuel costs and allow them to utilize the low-carbon renewable biofuel and reduce the island’s dependency on imported fossil fuels.

Incoming waste will be handled and processed in an enclosed building to ensure dust and odor control. The waste will be separated and sorted through a combination of automated and manual recovery methods. Materials that cannot be recycled or processed into renewable fuel, fertilizer and compost will be delivered to the Puuanahulu landfill—about 30 percent of the total volume.

“Given our Island’s limited land area and fresh water resources,” said Kaniho, “recycling and waste diversion is a priority, as it is in much of the industrialized world.”

The goals of BEH are to divert the waste from traditional landfill disposal, preserve the environment, create local jobs, and make valuable products to circulate into the marketplace. “BioEnergy Hawaii has an experienced development team in place with a strong commitment to the community,” said Kaniho. “We use superior technologies, have solid financing and employ smart logistics to accomplish BEH’s goals.”

The BEH resource recovery facility is designed to address the challenges of waste disposal operations in Hawaii and to provide sustainable resource management solutions. The project is in alignment with current governmental goals and waste industry directives. BEH believes diverting the waste stream to create recycled energy value out of recovered material is a priority as it will benefit the community, preserve the environment and spur long-term economic growth.

Construction on the BioEnergy Hawaii facility is scheduled to begin during the summer of 2016.

For more information on the project and BEH, visit www.bioenergyhawaii.com.

Ulu Wini Playground Project Breaks Ground

HOPE Services Hawaii joined residents of Na Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini (The Homes at Ulu Wini) to break ground on a brand-new outdoor playspace at the Ulu Wini housing complex in Kailua-Kona on February 25.

ulu wini blessing

The $180,000 state-of-the-art Miracle Mega Tower is a first for Ulu Wini and was made possible through a donation from the Roberts Foundation. Anne Bailey from the Office of Housing and Community Development was present on behalf the County of Hawaii administration.

“The residents and keiki of Ulu Wini are so excited and grateful to have a beautiful and safe outdoor play structure in their backyard,” said Brandee Menino, Chief Operating Officer of HOPE Services. “We have so much aloha for the Roberts Foundation.”

The 62’ X 52’ Mega Tower will feature four play structures including a heptagon double decker tower and water fountain, spiral and wave slides, a fish bridge, play panels and climbing apparatuses including stairs, risers, ladders and a fossil bluff climbing wall. The play structures, with the exception of the water fountain, will be covered with recycled steel roofing or commercial grade fabric umbrellas.
ulu wini renderingThe Mega Tower playspace allows access to multiple levels and is meant to encourage social inclusion and sensory play.

Volunteers from Lake Mead Christian Academy and residents from Ulu Wini will be assisting NyLawn with construction of the playground, which is expected to be complete by the end of March 2015.

Built in 2013 by the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing & Community Development and operated by HOPE Services, The Homes at Ulu Wini provides 96 two-bedroom units—23 transitional housing for homeless families, 72 affordable housing dedicated to low-income families and one unit for the resident manager.

Jack Johnson and Polynesian Voyaging Society Launch Song Celebrating 40 Years of Hōkūleʻa

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) today launched a special online crowdfunding campaign in partnership with musician Jack Johnson.

Nainoa Thompson and Jack Johnson

Nainoa Thompson and Jack Johnson

The campaign, which is now live at RallySong.com, offers users a chance to download the song “Na Ho‘okele Opoipio (The Young Navigators),” which was written by Chucky Boy Chock and recorded with Johnson and Paula Fuga in honor of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

“The Polynesian discovery of islands throughout the Pacific Ocean was one of humanity’s most amazing achievements,” said Jack Johnson, songwriter and musician. “With the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, we have a new generation of navigators exploring the earth and bringing people together to find a sustainable future. We are proud to support them with this song, “Na Hoʻokele Opiopio,” which means, “The Young Navigators.”

Cultivating and nurturing the next generation of navigators is a key focus for the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, which seeks to educate people and communities around the world about the values of traditional wayfinding (non-instrument navigation) and the importance of caring for our Island Earth.

Chucky, Jack and Paula

Chucky Boy, Jack and Paula

“We are grateful to Jack Johnson, Chucky Boy, and Paula for honoring our next generation of navigators,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Jack and Paula and Chucky Boy“Across the globe, there are young people with the courage to set a new course and protect our natural environment. They are our leaders and navigators, whether they are on canoes or not, and we hope this campaign will provide a way for more people to join our voyage.”

All proceeds from the RallySong campaign will benefit PVS and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. In addition to purchasing and downloading the song, fans can also purchase collector’s items and enter a raffle for a chance to win grand prizes such as an ukulele autographed by Jack Johnson and a Papa He‘e Nalu (small wood surfboard), crafted with mahagony wood from the deckboards of the Hōkūleʻa. The campaign runs through April 25, 2015 and seeks to meet a fundraising goal of $75,000.

“This fundraiser comes at a critical juncture for PVS and the Worldwide Voyage, as we prepare to leave the Pacific for the first time,” said Clyde Namuʻo, PVS Chief Executive Officer. “In 2015 we will be travelling from New Zealand to Australia and South Africa, and every contribution from our community will make it possible for us to complete this historic leg of our journey around the world.”

Hōkūleʻa, a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, is celebrating 40 years this year since her first launch from the sacred shores of Hakipu‘u-Kualoa in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O’ahu, on March 8, 1975. The iconic canoe helped contribute to a significant generation of renewal for Hawaiian culture and language, and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific Ocean.

The Hawaiian name for this journey, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Island Earth” and is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The canoes are currently in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

New Cultural Center Planned for Honoka’a

The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua will be a multi-cultural, multi-generational community center situated in the heart of Honoka’a where residents and visitors alike can deepen their connection to Hawaiian culture.

Click to support

Click to support

The center’s adopted emblem of the he’e, or octopus, represents the center’s community outreach efforts. One arm of the he’e will reach out as classes in hula, the arts, Hawaiian language, history, agriculture, philosophy, and more. Another would extend into the community with special events, guest speakers, community service projects, and cultural exchange programs.

Beyond our community, it will be a place where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Hawai’i in an authentic setting. With a mini-museum curated in partnership with UH Hilo’s Heritage Center, visitors will have a chance to browse historic memorabilia and talk story with volunteer docents knowledgeable about the area and Hawaiian history.

Each arm of the he’e is supported through the active participation of committed community members.  All donations are welcome and can be made through the Kickstarter crowd-funding effort at: http://kck.st/1vdR73g

For more information, or to see our full press kit, visit our website at http://www.hccoh.org/

Atomic Dreams at the Red Tiki Lounge

This weekend, award winning author S.P. Grogan and artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker held two book signing events for their new book “Atomic Dreams at the Red Tiki Lounge“, for folks in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island.

Parker and Grogan sign books while Aiden James performs in the background.

Parker and Grogan sign books while Aidan James performs in the background.

The first book signing took place Friday at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery on Ali’i drive where folks gathered to listen to 13-year-old Aidan James jam on his ukulele while checking out the art gallery and getting their books signed.

#AtomicDreams Book Signing 081On Saturday, folks gathered at the Royal Kona Resort where Don’s Mai Tai Bar was converted into the “Red Tiki Lounge” and folks got to listen to both Aidan James and John Cruz!

John Cruz and Aiden James

John Cruz and Aidan James

Atomic Dreams at the Red Tiki Lounge” is a fast-paced historical fantasy, featuring a transoceanic chase, a race against the countdown, battles against war gods and Godzilla-like sea creatures for control over earth and the heavens.

Award winning author S.P. Grogan (www.spgrogan.com – “Vegas Die” and “Captain Cooked”) introduces the readers to a post World War II watering hole, the Red Tiki Lounge and Bar: a Pacific Oasis of Dreams and Visions, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, American Territory.

Hawaii, 1946.  The goddess Pele needs a hero.  But why did she choose an alcoholic, war wounded ex U.S. Naval commander Hunter Hopewell, to battle fire-breathing dragons and evil gods and save the world?  Maybe, because he’s changing… but changing into what?  Meanwhile, attractive, young Tammi Chen, once a Japanese student and spy, now successful in the black market, but not what she seems, is seeking revenge and has decided to steal an atomic bomb… before it explodes.

Body Glove celebrities were on hand as well as famous Hawaii chef Sam Choy to enjoy the show and the book signing event.

Body Glove owner Billy Meistrell, Daughter Jenna and Celebrity Chef Sam Choy

Body Glove owner Billy Meistrell, Daughter Jenna and Celebrity Chef Sam Choy

You can check out Parker’s website (http://www.tikishark.com) and you can purchase the book by visiting Grogan’s website (www.spgrogan.com).

New Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-In-Charge

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Christina (Tina) Neal to serve as the new Scientist-in-Charge of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Neal succeeds Jim Kauahikaua, who served in the position for the past ten years.

Christina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Christina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

It is a fitting coincidence that Neal, only the second woman to lead USGS HVO in its 103-year-long history, takes the helm on March 8, International Women’s Day, a day established to celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

“Tina brings to the HVO Scientist-in-Charge position the required breadth of scientific background, strong communication skills, and eruption response experience, including much work with various communities at risk. I was thrilled when she accepted the position, because I knew that both HVO and the communities that it serves will be in good hands going forward,” said Tom Murray, Director of the USGS Volcano Science Center, which oversees all five U.S. volcano observatories.

Neal comes to Hawai‘i from Alaska, where she spent almost 25 years working as a USGS geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory. After so many years in the land of the midnight sun, swapping snowshoes for ‘slippahs’ (flip-flops) might seem a drastic change, but she’s no stranger to the aloha state—or HVO.

From 1983 to 1989, Neal lived in Volcano, and worked on the staff at HVO.  Her work included monitoring Kīlauea Volcano during the early years of its ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, as well as Mauna Loa during its 1984 eruption. She fondly recalls one day in March 1984, when she spent the morning working atop the erupting Mauna Loa and the afternoon collecting lava samples from the active Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on Kīlauea.  For a volcanologist, simultaneous eruptions on two volcanoes made for an unforgettable workday.

As part of the Big Island Mapping Project, Neal mapped the summit of Kīlauea, resulting in the USGS publication “Geologic Map of the Summit Region of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii.” She also mapped Kīlauea’s Southwest Rift Zone for the “Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai‘i.”

In 1990, Neal moved to Alaska to work at the newly-created AVO in Anchorage.  There, she monitored and studied a number of Alaskan volcanoes and their eruptions, including Redoubt (1989–1990 and 2009), Mount Spurr (1992), Augustine (2005–2006), and Okmok (2008). Working on remote Alaskan stratovolcanoes is not for the faint-hearted—the steep-sided, glacier-covered volcanic mountains are hazardous even when not erupting—a tip-off to the mettle of which Neal is made.

In 1998, Neal accepted a two-year assignment in Washington, D.C., as the first USGS geoscience advisor to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, within the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is responsible for coordinating U.S. government responses to disasters overseas. Her travels during this assignment took her to Thailand, Nepal, Ecuador, Colombia, Kazakhstan, and other foreign countries, where she reviewed or assisted with the implementation of hazard mitigation programs.

When Neal returned to AVO in 2000, she resumed her work as a geologist—mapping and studying active Alaskan volcanoes. With colleagues, she strengthened the Alaska-based interagency response system for volcanic eruptions and coordinated AVO’s eruption monitoring and crisis response efforts with Russian volcanology counterparts. She is also internationally recognized for her efforts to reduce the risk of volcanic ash to aviation in the North Pacific and globally.

In addition to outstanding geologic work, Neal honed her managerial skills during two details as Chief of Staff and Deputy Regional Director for the USGS Western Regional Office in 2009–2010 and as Acting Scientist-in-Charge at AVO in 2010.

Over the years, Neal has maintained ties to HVO.  In 2012, she helped with HVO’s 100th Anniversary Open House, and in October 2014, she spent two weeks at HVO assisting with monitoring efforts and community meetings as Kīlauea’s active lava flow moved toward Pāhoa.

10th Annual Building and Design Expo

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will hold its 10th annual Building & Design Expo February 6 – 8 at the Keauhou Convention Center at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.Building and Design ExpoFriday evening the expo is open to the public from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and includes a musical performance by Randy Ressler. Saturday expo hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visit over 40 exhibits featuring home design, construction and remodel ideas including home decorating; fine art; windows and doors; flooring and window treatments; kitchen and baths, home energy products and more. The booths will present products, services and information relating to the building and improvement of homes, apartments and condos. Enter to win giveaways and drawings at vendor booths.

Attendees can also enter to win a grand prize: a 2-night stay at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.

For additional information regarding the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Building & Design Expo, go to www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 329-1758.

Hōkūleʻa Ventures Furthest from the Equator in Her History

Traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle’a achieved a new milestone in her journey around the word. During this leg of the Worldwide Voyage, she successfully completed the roundtrip sail from Wellington to Golden Bay, New Zealand. This marks the furthest into the Southern Hemisphere that Hōkūleʻa has sailed in four decades of voyaging. The crew returned safely to Wellington on Saturday, and Hōkūleʻa is now in route to Napier, New Zealand.

Hokulea equator

This leg of the Worldwide Voyage was an ambitious journey, taking Hōkūle’a far beyond the warm waters of the Pacific in which she has travelled extensively over the past four decades. The harsh sea and weather conditions along New Zealand’s South Island and beyond will continue to push the boundaries of contemporary Polynesian voyaging as Hōkūleʻa sails around the world.

hokulea equator3

“On March 8th, 1975, Hōkūle’a was launched with the vision of one voyage to Tahiti and back,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo (master) navigator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “She has been restored and reenergized through the aloha and good mana of our large voyaging community, young and old, from near and far. In 2015, 40 years later, she continues to afford us the opportunity to explore new horizons.”

While on South Island on January 21, 2015, crew had the opportunity to visit and honor the place where a 600-year-old voyaging canoe was recently rediscovered.

hokulea equator 2

Making this connection between Hōkūle’a and her ancient predecessor honors Polynesians’ ability to explore the ocean world, proving the strength and vitality of these voyaging vessels. This ancient Polynesian double-hulled canoe “is the reason why Hōkūleʻa sailed to Mohua Bay,” said the captain for this leg of the voyage, Kālepa Baybayan. “It is to pay homage, to recognize the importance of this artifact.”

“This is the farthest south we have ever gone to a part of the ocean that is notoriously rough,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “It was accomplished because of unprecedented collaborations and support, and Kālepa Baybayan’s good leadership. This leg of the Worldwide Voyage was extensive, exceptional, and honored our traditions. It was foundational to our ability to do well as we prepare to depart Polynesia.”

The Hawaiian name for this journey, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Island Earth” and is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017.

Tiki Shark Art and Author S.P Grogan Confirm Dates for Big Bash on the Big Island to Celebrate New Novel Release

Renowned local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker along with award winning author S.P. Grogan are hosting a free public event to inaugurate their second novel in collaboration titled – Atomic Dreams at The Red Tiki Lounge.

SP Grogan and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

S.P. Grogan and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Tiki Shark Art Inc., Big Island based, owned by Parker has confirmed that the book signing event will be held on March 6th from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery and on March 7 from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM at The Royal Kona Resort – Don The Beachcomber Bar area.

“I am excited to be doing another book with Brad” commented Grogan, “it is always a pleasure to be back on the Big Island” he added.

Author S.P. Grogan

Author S.P. Grogan at his last book signing

Part of sales proceeds generated from this high profile two day event will be donated to The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.  “We are fortunate to have been chosen by our friends at Tiki Shark Art” commented En Young Executive Director, “We also love the fact that this event is taking place right here and their willingness to support the local charities is a blessing,” he added.

Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker in his studio.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker in his studio.

“The novel is written and built around my existing works of art and is a fast paced action piece set in 1946 with lots of romance and Hawaiian History” exclaimed Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker.

Free entertainment will be provided at both events by teenage Aidan James, the YouTube star ukulele player.

Parker with YouTube sensation Aidan James

Parker with YouTube sensation Aidan James

“I am stoked to share the spotlight with uncle Brad at this event” commented the youngster who is making his debut appearance in Kona. Celebrities from the iconic surf brand Body Glove will be in attendance who along with Brad and S.P. Grogan will be there to sign limited edition surf memorabilia.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker – (www.tikishark.com)
After working for Marvel & DC Comics for many years, he gave it all up and moved to the Big Island of Hawaii over a decade ago. Through his Kailua Kona based company Tiki Shark Art Inc., Parker sells his art though galleries in the USA and around the world. His unmistakable, lurid style of art reflects influences as diverse as the Flemish masters, comic books, and Hawaiian tourist kitsch. His designs can be seen on products from surfboards to skate boards to beach towels and calendars.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is a truly a master and a world class, award winning creator of Polynesian Pop Surrealistic Art with a Hawaiian twist.

About S.P. Grogan – (www.spgrogan.com)

A resident of Las Vegas NV, Grogan has had a career in writing as magazine editor, and a past Shubert Fellow in Playwriting.  In 2011, his novel, Captain CookedHawaiian Mystery of Romance, Revenge…and Recipes” was an island favorite featuring 25 recipes from the top chefs and restaurants on the Big Island with part of the proceeds of  book sales going to The Food Basket program.

Captain Cooked used GPS in its plotting and the book won a prestigious Ka Palapala Po‘okela award from the Hawai’i Book Publishers Association. The book cover was from a Brad ‘Tiki Shark’ Parker painting which started a friendship and dialogue towards the new novel.