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    October 2016
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Hawaiian Electric Companies Begin Use of Unmanned Aircraft to Provide Better Service

The Hawaiian Electric Companies have begun to use unmanned aircraft, also known as “drones,” for a variety of inspections, including in storm response. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (the preferred industry term) can be invaluable for more cost effectively accessing remote and difficult areas, for increased employee safety, and to reduce the utility’s carbon footprint.

helco-drone“Using unmanned aircraft, when appropriate, can help us provide our customers with better service by allowing inspections that are safer, faster, and less expensive,” said Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy delivery. “While unmanned aircraft won’t replace helicopters and other traditional inspection techniques, they can reduce their use in some cases.”

The Hawaiian Electric UAS program is in full compliance with all Federal Aviation Administration rules and has developed safety, training and operating procedures to make sure the unmanned aircraft are flown with the highest regard for the safety of the public and our crews.

“We also understand some may have concerns about privacy. By complying with federal rules and our own strict operating standards, we can assure people we will respect that privacy in how we collect and use information gathered,” Ching said. “And by setting a good example, we hope to inspire appropriate use by others.”

Unmanned aircraft can be deployed quickly to provide a snapshot of system conditions that is vital to restoring power after storms, wild fires or other disasters. Unmanned aircraft can also be used routinely as part of Hawaiian Electric’s asset management program, allowing inspection and then repair or replacement of equipment ahead of likely failure, resulting in better service.

Inspections of poles, towers and power lines, especially in remote areas, often involve line crews climbing once to inspect and again to make repairs. A small, maneuverable unmanned aircraft allows crews to see the tops of poles and cross arms or the sides of power plant stacks where damage is hard to spot from the ground.

Unmanned aircraft can also assist with environmental concerns, like identifying albizia tree infestations near power lines that can cause service outages, particularly in storms. Hawaii Electric Light Company’s albizia removal program eased the impact of recent tropical storms, unlike the widespread damage caused during Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014. Unmanned aircraft can make this program more efficient in the future.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies have unmanned aircraft in various sizes. Three weigh less than 7.5 pounds and can fly for approximately 15 minutes on a charge to provide state-of-the-art video and photography. They can be outfitted with additional sensors such as infrared and multispectral cameras that capture images across the electromagnetic spectrum. Two are under a pound and can be quickly deployed and easily maneuverable in high winds.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ UAS program is being developed in consultation with Teena Deering, a former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, who has developed a similar program for San Diego Gas & Electric Company. Deering teaches classes for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency EMA around the country in using UAS for disaster response.

Hawaiian Electric Companies are also collaborating on technical issues with the University of Hawaii College of Engineering.

Hokulea Completes Ambitious Inland Journey to Canada and Northeastern United States

During Leg 23 of Hokulea’s Worldwide Voyage, the legendary Polynesian canoe and her crew have been elevated and lowered to substantial heights through the waterway lock systems in major channels such as the Erie Canal and Lake Champlain. As Hokulea navigated through the most extensive and complex lock system of her voyage, she has traveled through an incredible 61 locks.

hokulea-locksVarying in heights and sizes, a lock is a sophisticated waterway system used for raising and lowering watercraft between bodies of water of different levels on rivers and waterways. Hokulea and her crew have gone through rising levels of up to 420 feel and back down as she continued on her journey.

hokulea-locks-mapSharing the message of Malama Honua, to care for our Island Earth, the crew eagerly sought out opportunities to learn how other communities contribute to preservation and sustainability of our world.

hokulea-locks2“The most memorable locks were Lock 17 of the Erie Canal and the Chambly Locks. With Hokulea at 19.5 feet wide and the locks being the widest at 21 feet, left us with only less than a foot of clearance on either side,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain of Hokulea’s Leg 23 of the Worldwide Voyage. “We entered and exited with a lot of control and without incident. I’m extremely proud of the Leg 23 Crew for meeting that challenge,” Baybayan praised.

hokulea-locks3Hokulea is currently docked in Kingston, New York at the Hudson River Maritime Museum – the only museum in New York State dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting historic artifacts associated to maritime heritage of the Hudson River. The crew will be holding canoe tours for the public today, Sept. 29 and Friday, Sept. 30.

hokulea-locks4Hokulea will continue her voyage south, arriving in Annapolis, Maryland on Oct. 9. Having achieved another major milestone in the Worldwide Voyage, Hokulea’s crew is now poised to turn their eyes toward home, navigating back to Oahu for an expected homecoming celebration in June 2017.

First Applebee’s Restaurant In Hawaii Opens On October 3

Applebee’s Grill and Bar began with a single restaurant in suburban Atlanta in 1980. It has since grown to one of America’s most popular restaurants with over 2,000 locations in 49 states, two U.S. territories and 17 countries, but there has never been a location in Hawaii—until now.

Hawaii's first Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar opens Oct. 3, 2016

Hawaii’s first Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar opens Oct. 3, 2016

On October 3, Applebee’s marks a milestone, when Hawaii—the last remaining state in the Union without an Applebee’s—gets its first restaurant in Ewa Beach on Oahu.

The new Applebee’s restaurant will feature the brand’s new American-made, wood-fired grill menu which includes certified USDA Choice steaks and bone-in pork chops that are hand-cut in-house, as well as chicken, shrimp and salad entrees that benefit from the smoky fresh taste of food being grilled over American oak wood.

A second Applebee’s location is already planned to open next year at the Ka Makana Alii Mall in West Oahu.

Applebee’s will also bring the tradition of helping the neighborhood to Hawaii by sponsoring a month of fundraising activities for Make-A-Wish Hawaii, which grants wishes for children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. Beginning in mid-September, the restaurant will offer the charity’s “Stars” for purchase in restaurant, and will contribute $1 from each sale of a designated Applebee’s menu item, among other fundraising activities. These events will culminate with a ceremony where a very special surprise will be revealed to a local Wish child.

Applebee's celebrates the opening of the first Hawaii location with a ribbon cutting

Applebee’s celebrates the opening of the first Hawaii location with a ribbon cutting

“For 36 years, Applebee’s has been America’s first choice neighborhood grill and bar, for guests all across the United States, and increasingly, around the world—with one exception, our great 50th state,” said Daniel del Olmo, President, International, DineEquity Inc., the parent company of Applebee’s. “I am delighted that as of today, we can say ‘Aloha’ to our friends and neighbors in Oahu and welcome them to the first Applebee’s in Hawaii.”

“We are delighted and honored that we are the franchise partner who at long last, has brought this great brand to Hawaii,” said Vince Espino, President, Apple Five-O LLC. “We look forward to welcoming guests to Applebee’s and to being a part of the neighborhood—and through our support of Make-A-Wish Hawaii, being a great new neighbor. I know the community will be generous—and in addition to the donations we receive, we plan to match their contributions dollar for dollar!”

This location is expected to bring 136 new jobs to the local economy, and is located at 91-1401 Fort Weaver Road, Ewa Beach. It seats approximately 128 guests and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to midnight, and on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 1am.

GOT ‘UKE? Grand Opening of Hawaiian ‘Ukulele and Guitar

One of the top music shops in the state, Hawaiian ‘Ukulele and Guitar will celebrate its Grand Opening on Saturday, October 1, 2016, in the Queens’ MarketPlace Coronation Pavilion. Music lovers can enjoy free mini-concerts, a live remote by KAPA radio, and the chance to win guitars, ‘ukulele and other prizes, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
got-ukesThe outstanding entertainment lineup includes 2010 Clyde Kindy Sproat Falsetto Contest winner, Hawaiian singer-songwriter Ali‘i Keana‘aina and his hālau, Kaleilaniakeali‘i Hula Studio, plus the 2016 Junior Hawaiian Idol Michael Hanato, and Robert Yates, “Uncle ‘Uke” himself, in a special appearance.

“We’re giving away two guitars, one on the radio and one at the Grand Opening,” said Yates. “These are two complete ‘gig packs,’ with electric guitar, amp, and all the cords and straps you need. And we’ll have at least four ‘ukulele from some of our favorite brands, and other merchandise from the store.”

With decades of experience building and playing instruments, Yates has connected with some of the best luthiers in Hawai‘i and across the planet. As a result, his shop is a showroom for in-demand brands like Kala, Kamoa, Koaloha and Pono ‘ukulele, plus Cordoba, Guild, Prestige, Jose Ramirez and Breedlove guitars.

Since it opened this spring, Hawaiian ‘Ukulele and Guitar has become one of Kala Music’s “Custom Elite Vendors.” The status allows them to carry Kala’s custom-made instruments, available nowhere else in Hawai‘i.

“We are able to order unique, one-of-a-kind ‘ukuleles from Kala, like the ‘21 Pilots’ ‘Ukulele,” said Yates. “They are one of the hottest bands in the country, now sponsored by Kala. Theirs uses a combination of three different tone woods for an incredible sound.”

“We also have a really nice lap steel by Iseman, the leading lap steel builder in the world.  We have a ‘lute-ulele,’ a ‘Baroque-ulele,’ and a ‘balalaika-lele.’ These are custom instruments you won’t see anywhere else.”

In addition to their collection of upper-echelon, professional instruments, Hawaiian ‘Ukulele and Guitar offers more affordable lines for beginners and everyday enthusiasts.  The shop also features a large selection of sheet music, CDs and DVDs, quality strings, picks, tuners, instrument cases, stands, humidifiers and much more.

For more information, visit www.hawaiian-ukulele.com or call 315-2919.

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

Pan Pacific Robotics Championships Scheduled Oct. 7-9, 2016

The Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championships return, Oct. 7-9, 2016 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus Kekuhaupio Gym, with nearly 700 students from Hawaii, California, Canada, China, and Taiwan competing for qualification slots at the 2017 VEX Worlds. The event is free to the public.

vex-challengeCorporate grants from the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Okinawa Enetech, with support from Kamehameha Schools, have helped organizers reinstate the Pan Pacific VEX Championships which were last held in 2013. Organizers plan to rotate the tournaments between Hawaii and the Pacific Rim in future years.

“VEX Robotics is the largest and fastest growing scholastic robotics program in the world which teaches engineering, high-tech and problem-solving skills while students work in teams to achieve a common goal,” said Art Kimura of the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, one of the event organizers and a champion of space, robotics and science education programs in Hawaii. “For Hawaii teams, the Pan Pacific VEX tournaments give our students an opportunity to compete at an international level without the expense of travel. For all the students, VEX Robotics offer invaluable life experiences they wouldn’t find in a classroom setting,” he added.

For the past several months, the student teams have been working together under the guidance of teachers and mentors to build innovative robots designed to solve a set of difficult challenges presented in the game.

In the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC), 51 teams comprised of middle and high school students will square off in the game of “Starstruck,” which involves a two-team alliance maneuvering their autonomous and driver-controlled robots to place as many stars and cubes into their opponent’s side of the field and by hanging robots onto a bar.

In the VEX IQ Challenge, 36 teams made up of elementary and middle school students will compete in the game called “Crossover.” The objective of this game is to maximize the alliance teams’ scores by placing as many hex balls into the opponent’s side of the field and by parking and balancing robots on a bridge by the end of the match.

According to organizers, the Pan Pacific VEX Championships are the first tournaments of the 2016-17 robotics season to qualify teams for the 2017 Championships. Of the total 87 teams participating, only two (2) will earn an opportunity to participate in the 2017 VEX Worlds, the ultimate showcase of robotics engineering expertise, held in Louisville, KY next April. Hawaii teams will have one more opportunity to qualify for the 2017 VEX Worlds through the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Hawaii State High School VEX Championship and Hawaii State Middle School VEX Championship events scheduled in January 2017.

Opening ceremonies for the Pan Pacific VEX games begin at 9:00 a.m. on Oct. 8, with the first qualification matches to start at 9:30 a.m. through the end of the day, and resume on Oct. 9 at 8:30 a.m. The VEX IQ Challenge and VRC will be held simultaneously on two different playing fields. The VEX IQ awards presentation will take place on Oct. 9 at 1 p.m., followed by the VRC awards presentation at 2:30 p.m.

PBS Hawaii Opens Doors to New Home

Hawai‘i’s statewide public television station today opened its new home to the public, after a blessing ceremony and donor thank-you event this morning.


PBS Hawai‘i’s new home, The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus at 315 Sand Island Access Road fronting Nimitz Highway, is a $30 million facility, the result of a successful capital campaign. Construction was completed on time and on budget. The building features three multimedia studios; the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Learning Zone, which includes the home base of the station’s statewide student news network, HIKI NŌ; and open work spaces with cheerful colors and natural light.

Event attendees included three multi-million dollar funders of the building – the State government, The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. PBS Hawai‘i is offering tours of the building to all donors, large and small, totaling more than 2,000 people and organizations.

“We felt deeply the trust and aloha that people have in PBS Hawai‘i as an important part of this community,” said Board Chair Robbie Alm. “They reached out and supported the diversity of perspectives that we present and the fairness they find here.”

President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said, “We can’t thank the people of Hawai‘i enough. This new home reflects the values of people throughout the state and a vision for a closer relationship with our communities. The building design supports collaboration, creativity, culture and context.”

The mission of the educational media organization is to advance learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches lives.

The two-story, 32,000 square-foot building was designed by architect Sheryl Seaman of Group 70 International. The general contractor was Allied Builders System, and Cumming served as owner’s representative.

Hawaii Electric Bills to Increase – Company Cites Albizia Trees and System Upgrades for Increase

Company cites costs of albizia clearing, system upgrades

Hawaii Electric Light proposed the first increase of base rates in nearly six years to help pay for operating costs, including expanded vegetation management focusing on albizia tree removal, as well as system upgrades to increase reliability, improve customer service and integrate more renewable energy.

The request is for a 6.5 percent increase in revenues, or $19.3 million.

Rate reviews are required by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) every three years.

If approved, a typical residential bill for 500 kilowatt hours on Hawaii Island would increase by $9.31 a month to $171.16. The proposed rate change will be reviewed by regulators and would likely not take effect until the summer of 2017 at the earliest.

Thanks to lower fuel prices, bills reflecting the new rates, if approved today, would still be lower than a year ago.

In 2013, with PUC approval, Hawaii Electric Light withdrew its request to increase base rates, leaving in place the same base rates established in 2010.

As part of the current review, Hawaii Electric Light is proposing benchmarks to measure its performance in key areas, such as customer service, reliability and communication for the rooftop solar interconnection process and to link certain revenues to that performance.

$14M spent clearing albizia since 2014

Among the increased operating costs driving the rate change is an extensive vegetation management and tree removal initiative.


The threat from invasive albizia trees toppling in high winds became clear after Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and led the company to triple its annual spending on vegetation management. Since 2014, Hawaii Electric Light has spent $14 million on tree trimming and removal, concentrating on areas where falling albizias threaten utility equipment and highways.

The tree removal program, which is continuing, reduced the impacts of the recent tropical storms Darby and Madeline on roads and power lines, resulting in fewer outages and faster power restoration.

Investments in customer service pay off

Hawaii Electric Light has also spent more than $14 million over the past six years improving customer service systems, developing technical solutions to integrate more private rooftop solar, replacing and upgrading equipment to improve efficiency and reliability and developing detailed plans to achieve the state’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy. The company has absorbed a large portion of these increased costs in the years between rate cases without passing them on to customers.

Investments in more customer service staffing and new technology have resulted in significantly improved service, including reduced call-waiting times. The percentage of customer calls answered within 30 seconds went from 33 percent in 2010 to 93 percent in 2015. And in surveys of customers who called in to stop, start or change electric service in 2015, 94 percent said they were satisfied with the experience.

Renewable energy use grows to 49%, highest in state

Hawaii Electric Light has increased its use of renewable energy from 35 percent in 2010 to 49 percent today, using wind, hydroelectricity, solar and geothermal to replace oil imported to generate electricity. The company reduced its use of oil by 13 percent over the same period. Part of the proposed rate adjustment will help pay for continued improvements to the power grid to help integrate even more renewable resources while improving reliability.

By the end of 2016, Hawaii Electric Light will have made more than $290 million in capital investments over the past six years, including replacing and upgrading transmission lines in West Hawaii; modernizing generation equipment to increase efficiency; increasing grid capacity and system reliability; and adding or replacing lines and transformers as well as more than 4,500 poles for new and expanded service.

Hawaii Electric Light has “decoupled” rates – a regulatory model that periodically adjusts rates to remove the company’s need to increase sales to recover a level of PUC-approved costs for providing service to all customers. The company is required to submit full rate cases every three years for an updated review by the PUC of the current costs of service.

New “Fun Pass” Being Introduced at Hawaii County Fair

E.K Fernandez shows will be introducing their fun pass card system in this year’s 66th Annual Hawaii county Fair which runs from Sept. 22nd to the 25th.

fun-pass-cardsPlease understand cards are none refundable once purchased and only good for the following:

All E.K Fernandez carnival rides, all games and novelty wagons and all EK food wagons Pizza, cotton candy, funnel cake, hamburger, and corn dog wagons.

fun-pass-standThese cards will be pre-sold starting Sept 21-22 ,2016 from 10:00am until 5 pm each day! Location will be in the fairs grounds next to our information Booth area behind the Afook-Chinnen Civic auditorium

ALL ENTRY GATES WILL STILL BE CASH ONLY and ALL OTHER FOOD BOOTHS AND SODA BOOTH VENDORS ARE CONSIDERED CASH ONLY ZONES, which means please have CASH available to purchase in these areas, placing all your money on fun pass cards may limit you to selected participating areas of EK Fernandez Shows and food wagons.


Kozy’s Tiki Palace – Comedy Magic Club By Night and Tiki Art Gallery By Day

The Shops at Mauna Lani announces its newest addition, Kozy’s Tiki Palace, a comedy club venue and gallery. By day, discover colorful, hard-to-find Hawaiiana and decorative Tiki Art, while night brings Kozy’s mystifying mix of comedy and magic to life.

kozys-tiki-palaceProclaimed by comedian Dennis Miller as “the single greatest magician I have ever seen,” Kozak the Magician, better known as Kozy, has been amazing audiences for over 39 years, from his start on the streets of Pittsburgh, to Las Vegas and beyond, including a performance for Prince Charles and Princess Diana.



He has appeared in global stand-up comedy markets, nightclubs, theaters and casino resorts as well as HBO, Showtime, MTV, “The Tonight Show” and Comedy Central.

Artist Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker delivering some art.

Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker delivering some art.

His Tiki Gallery brings together art inspired by 1950’s Tiki Bars, including what artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker calls his “Lowbrow Pop Surrealism” paintings, Tiki inspired art from Trey Surtees, Jin An Wong and Jacob Medina, original pieces from world famous tattoo ink artist Rockwood and one of a kind Cigar Box Guitars hand crafted by Michael Zack. The Gallery is open daily, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Kozy’s Tiki Palace is located on the shopping center’s ground level, Suite 106, next to Reyn’s and Tommy Bahama Store. His “World Class Magic Comedy” is presented nightly at 8 p.m. for adults 18 and over. Appetizers and drinks by Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar are available for purchase. For tickets and information, visit www.konakozy.com, or call (808) 430-1957.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Plans Mileage Based User Fee Demonstration Using Federal Grant

Demonstration to focus on operational considerations for transition to a mileage based user fee for highway maintenance

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highways Division, in partnership with the four county governments, is planning to test a statewide mileage based user fee as a potential source of revenue for the State Highway Fund.

Click to read about the demonstration

Click to read about the demonstration

HDOT Highways Division is pursuing a mileage based user fee as a possible replacement to the fuel tax, which currently makes up 33 percent of State Highway Fund revenue. A statewide mileage based user fee demonstration would allow HDOT Highways Division to test operational considerations in the assessment and collection of a sustainable source of funding to maintain and build Hawaii roadways.

Details of the planned test, or demonstration, are available in a grant proposal sent by HDOT Highways Division to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The grant proposal may be downloaded at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/administration/library/publications/

HDOT Highways Division was awarded a $3.988 million grant from FHWA based on the grant proposal. A total of $14.2 million was awarded to eight states on a competitive basis. Hawaii received the largest Surface Transportation Funding Alternatives grant award for this grant cycle. HDOT is working with a consortium of states, such as Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado, who have or are in the process of performing their demonstration project.

The mileage based user fee demonstration will include outreach and ample opportunities for public feedback. HDOT Highways Division will make updates on the demonstration to Hawaii drivers through mailings, news releases, and through the department website at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/

Hawaii Senate Confirms District Court Judges

The Hawai‘i State Senate today unanimously confirmed Dakota K.M. Frenz to the District Family Court of the Third Circuit – Island of Hawai‘i and Michael K. Soong to the District Court of the Fifth Circuit – Island of Kaua‘i.

Dakota K.M. Frenz was most recently a sole proprietor of her own private law practice in Hilo specializing in criminal law, family law, and civil litigation/collections.

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

Prior to opening her own law practice, Frenz was a partner at Laubach & Frenz, AAL, LLC, where she focused her legal practice in the same areas of law.  Prior to entering private practice, Frenz served as deputy prosecuting attorney in the County of Hawai‘i where she handled cases in the District, Family, and Circuit Courts. In addition to her legal experience, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, a member of the Board of Directors of the Hawai‘i County Bar Association, an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, a member of the County of Hawai‘i Bench Bar Committee and Hawai‘i State Bench Bar Committee. She also volunteers with the Friends of Drug Court and the Self-Help Center in East Hawai‘i.  Frenz is a graduate of Whittier Law School and was admitted to the Hawai‘i State Bar in 2006.

Frenz fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lloyd X. Van De Car.

“Ms. Frenz bring to the bench a reputation as an intelligent, hard-working and prepared advocate with substantial trial experience as a former county prosecutor and more recently as a private attorney,” said Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “Her background and what people say about her makes it likely that she will be a very good addition to the District Family Court, one of the most challenging assignments for a Hawai‘i jurist.”

Michael K. Soong has nearly 30 years of trial experience and has been in private practice since 2009 focusing on criminal law, personal injury and plaintiff litigation.

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

His work in the public sector includes being elected to two-consecutive terms as Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kaua‘i. Prior to his tenure as the Prosecuting Attorney, he served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kaua‘i, a Deputy Public Defender, and Deputy Corporation Counsel. Soong serves as a Board member of the Friends of the Kaua‘i Drug Court, and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also currently serves on the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Kaumuali‘i Chapter, Hokule‘a-Kaua‘i Crew member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and member of Na Kalai Wa‘a ‘O Kaua‘i. Soong is a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1986.

Soong will fill the vacancy due to the retirement of Judge Trudy K.T. Senda in December.

“Mr. Soong’s successful tenure as Prosecuting Attorney and private practice speaks well for his work, but he also stands out for his reputation of being fair, hard-working and having compassion for the less fortunate in our community,” said Sen. Keith-Agaran. “His knowledge of the law, commitment to the Kaua‘i community, and his character and even-keeled demeanor promise that Mr. Soong will be a very good addition to the District Court, the forum where most Hawai‘i residents will likely encounter the legal system.”

The term of office for both judgeships is for six years.

New Restaurant Opens at King’s Shops: A-Bay’s Island Grill

King’s Shops is pleased to announce the opening of another great dining option, A-Bay’s Island Grill.  This new restaurant focuses on Island Fare while utilizing fresh and local ingredients with a menu that combines classic and locally inspired dishes at a family-friendly price.

a-baysA-Bays’s Island Grill is open for lunch, dinner, late night cocktails, and Sunday Breakfast with a menu that offers “something for everybody.”  Options include seafood, tapas, steak, chicken, and sandwiches wit all greens and vegetables coming from local farms.  A-Bay’s also utilizes local commercial fisherman, providing locally raised lobster and seafood.

“We are pleased to have this great new dining option at Kings’ Shops,” said Lynn Rostau, Kings’ Shops General Manager.  “A-Bay’s indoor/outdoor venue is a wonderful option for enjoying the best of Hawaii’s climate and their menu options offer a fresh, quality and affordable dining experience.

In addition to their wonderful menu options, A-Bay’s bar features beer, cocktails and a tropical drink menu.  The bar area showcases a gorgeous Monkeypod bar top with 18 seats and has one of  only a few Frostrails (A frosted metal rail attached to the bar to keep drinks cool) in Hawaii and a first on the Big Island.  The bar also features a 24-tap direct draw beer system focusing on Hawaii-based microbreweries.

Their classic cocktail list compliments the food dishes, and their tropical drink menu wil more than satiate the tropical fruit flavor seeker.

A-Bay’s Island Grill is located near Macy’s Resort Store. Visit A-Bays.com for a complete menu and more information or call 808-345-6519

Satellite Image Shows New Breakout on Lava Flow Field

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, September 8, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Over the past few weeks, lava on the episode 61g flow has been mostly confined to subsurface lava tubes, with little activity on the surface. This image shows that a new surface breakout has appeared near the base of the pali, with lava extending about 1 km (0.6 miles) onto the coastal plain. This breakout is fed by lava breaking out of the lava tube onto the surface. Small amounts of surface lava (red pixels) are also present at the ocean entry, where lava is spilling into the water.

New Lava Flow Map Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field at the coast. The area of the active flow field as of August 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on September 1 is shown in red. The base is a Digital Globe image from January 2016.


Lava deltas – the new land accreted to the front of an older sea cliff – are prone to collapse because the loose underwater lava rubble on which they are built can sometimes become unstable and slide. The interaction of the hot rock composing the delta and cold seawater has led to violent explosions that blasted rocks in all directions, caused local tsunami, and produced billowing plumes of ash and hot, acidic steam.

The dotted line surrounding the Kamokuna lava delta indicates a distance of 300 m (790 ft), which is the maximum documented distance that rocks and spatter have been thrown inland from the older sea cliff by delta explosions that occurred during the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption. It is possible that debris could be thrown even farther during exceptionally large explosions

International Market Place Celebrates Grand Opening Today in Waikiki

Thousands gathered today to take part in the grand opening of the fully reimagined International Market Place in Waikīkī. The 345,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center offers Hawai‘i’s first Saks Fifth Avenue as well as a world-class lineup of restaurants and retailers – nearly 50 percent of which will be unique to O’ahu.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

The new International Market Place reopened in Waikiki today.

“From dining under the sun and stars on the spectacular Grand Lānai to the excellent retail and entertainment, International Market Place will once again serve as a special gathering place for residents and tourists in the heart of Waikīkī,” said Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, Inc. “We believe it will become a premiere destination on the island, and one of the best assets in our portfolio.”

Situated between the bustling Kalākaua and Kūhiō Avenues, International Market Place will offer approximately 90 of today’s most sought-after retailers and ten world-class restaurants. The center’s exceptional design incorporates a “cultural journey” of the land and its people, water features, indigenous landscaping and the historic 160-year-old banyan tree.

“International Market Place offers a unique Hawaiian sense of place that honors the past, perpetuates Queen Emma’s legacy and looks to the future,” said Cordell Lietz, president, CoastWood Capital Group. “It has been an honor to work with Taubman and Queen Emma Land Company to bring to fruition our shared vision for the important historic site.”

“We are excited for this property’s future as it establishes its own reputation and legacy as a new iconic landmark and gathering place,” said Eric Martinson, president of Queen Emma Land Company, the owners of the land on which International Market Place sits.

The International Market Place retail and restaurant lineup includes the following. A single asterisk (*) before the name indicates brands that are unique to the island.

ABC Stores
Abercrombie & Fitch
Banana Republic
Brunello Cucinelli
*Capital Teas
Chapel Hats
*Christian Louboutin
Crazy Shirts
Flip Flop Shops
FootAction USA
*Free People
GNC Live Well
Godiva Belgium 1926
Greenroom Hawaii
*Hanna Andersson
*Hervé Léger
Hilton Grand Vacations (kiosk)
Honolulu Cookie Co.
Island Art & Sole
*Jo Malone
*Kona Coffee Purveyors
*Kula & Ko
Lani Beach by Mireille
L’Occitane en Provence
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats
Maui Divers Jewelry
Michael Kors
*Mitsuwa Marketplace
*Oliver Peoples
Pacific Harley-Davidson
*Robin’s Jean
*Saks Fifth Avenue
Sand People
*Seafolly Australia
Shoe Palace
*Stuart Weitzman
Sunglass Hut
Tabora Gallery
*Trina Turk
Vera Bradley

*Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi
*Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza
Goma Tei Ramen
*Kona Grill

*The STREET, A Michael Mina Social House

In addition to the stellar shopping and dining, guests can enjoy a free show each evening called “O Nā Lani Sunset Stories” that kicks off with a ceremonial lighting of the Lamakū Torch Tower that sits proudly on Kalākaua Ave. Honoring the beloved Queen Emma, the nightly show highlights stories, traditions and culture of this special gathering place.

Guests to International Market Place may take advantage of many amenities, including a 700-space parking garage, valet parking, electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi and much more.

International Market Place was developed through a partnership between Taubman and CoastWood Capital Group in conjunction with Queen Emma Land Company. Revenues will directly support The Queen’s Medical Center, the state’s largest private, nonprofit hospital and its mission of providing quality health care to all of Hawai‘i’s people.

For more information on the shopping, dining and entertainment destination, please visit ShopInternationalMarketPlace.com, Instagram: @intlmktplace and in Japanese @intlmktplacejp; Facebook: facebook.com/IntlMktPlace and in Japanese at facebook.com/IntlMktPlaceJP.

Hawaii Governor Signs Letter of Support for Expansion of Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Gov. David Ige sent a letter to President Barack Obama conveying his support for the expansion of the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

The letter was signed and transmitted on the evening of Aug. 24.

Look Out Nate Garner… Councilman Ilagan Starting YouTube Channel

After serving four years on the Hawai’i County Council, Greggor Ilagan is seeking a bigger audience — working with YouTube.

ilagan youtube

One week after the primary election, he launched his new venture as a content creator, Ilagan Videos, with the shaving cream challenge. Besides the Ilagan Challenges, other possible ventures that are being explored include Ilagan News and Ilagan Travel.

It’s far from his original goal of running for the State Senate, but after the hard-fought campaign, it is a way to keep moving. It is also in line with his innovative use of technology to run his office and to reach out to constituents. “Sometimes in life our path changes,” Ilagan said. “And it’s how fast we adapt to that change that matters.”

So the Puna councilman decided to follow a new path outside of government. “Thank you everyone for your support,” he said. “Continue to exercise your right to vote, and please subscribe to Ilagan Videos.”

Island Air Expands College Student Standby Program

As Hawai‘i college students start the new semester, they can look forward to their next interisland getaway with Island Air’s expanded College Student Standby Program. Students enrolled in Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU), Chaminade University of Honolulu and Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i (BYUH) now have the opportunity to stand by for any Island Air interisland flight for the student-friendly price of just $45* each way.

Island Air PlaneIsland Air launched its college standby fares last October as a pilot program available to students enrolled at University of Hawai‘i (UH) schools and community colleges on O‘ahu and Maui. As Island Air added routes to Līhu‘e and Kona, the standby program was expanded to include all universities and community colleges in the UH system. The program’s popularity among UH students, along with growing requests from students at other Hawai‘i universities led Island Air to extend the standby fares to HPU, Chaminade and BYUH students.

To qualify for the College Student Standby rate, students must present a valid University of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Chaminade University or Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i student identification to a customer service agent at any Island Air ticket counter. There is no maximum number of times a student may participate in the offer.

“As an island business, we support our students who are pursuing their higher education goals, and we want to make traveling interisland more convenient and affordable for them,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air. “We know the importance of getting away from hitting the books for a little exploration or taking some time to visit family and friends. We hope students will take advantage of this opportunity and ‘Fly the Island Way’.”

*$45 is a standby rate, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice.  Fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee.  Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.


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

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

Canadian Firm Awarded $10 Million for Design and Production Readiness Phases of TMT Enclosure

Empire Industries Ltd. announced that its Dynamic Structures division has been awarded a contract from Canadian Commercial Corporation for the final design and production readiness phases of the Thirty Meter Telescope enclosure.  The contract is valued at approximately $10 million, and is expected to be completed over the next 20 months.

TMT laserThe Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth. When completed, TMT will enable astronomers to study objects in our own solar system and stars throughout our Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies, and forming galaxies at the very edge of the observable Universe.  For more information about TMT, go to www.tmt.org.

The TMT project is being undertaken by a consortium of universities, institutions and governments from the United States, Canada, Japan, China, and India.  The TMT enclosure is one of several key deliverables that Canada will be contributing to the TMT partnership under which Canada will provide up to $243.5 million over 10 years to support Canada’s participation in TMT.

Dynamic Structures has developed an innovative calotte shape for the TMT enclosure.  The design significantly reduces the size and improves the speed of the enclosure, to effectively shield the telescope and instruments from temperature variations, unbalanced wind forces, snow and ice.  The enclosure will rotate and track the telescope’s field of view. When completed, the enclosure will be 55 meters high and be assembled from over hundreds of thousands of parts.

The enclosure design is expected to be executed between 2016 and Q1 2018. Subsequent phases of the Canadian enclosure project, including fabrication, shipping the enclosure to the project site, supervision of the enclosure’s installation, and commissioning of the structure, have not yet been awarded.

“It is an honor to be selected to design one of the most sophisticated moving structures on the planet, said Guy Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Empire Industries Ltd.  “Dynamic Structures has been actively working on TMT since it was first conceived over ten years ago.  We are looking forward to seeing it through to completion.”

Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Update – Lava Reaching Ocean 0.6 Miles Wide

Measuring how much lava is flowing through the 61g tube.

hvo81916HVO geologist conducts a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube.

hvo81916aAerial view of the Kamokuna ocean entry. Lava is reaching the sea along a broad area about 1 km (0.6 miles) long.

hvo81916bIn this view, the 61g lava flow is lighter gray in color compared to older lavas.

Mick Kalber posted the following video earlier today: