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Delta Announces New Daily Nonstop Flights Between Seattle and Kauai

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Delta Air Lines will be launching daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Kauai beginning this December.

“Delta’s expansion of service to Kauai from its Pacific Northwest hub speaks to the confidence the airline has in the Garden Isle to drive demand from travelers in the greater Seattle area and nationally.

“Reliable air access extending throughout the Hawaiian Islands is instrumental to our tourism industry’s continued viability to support businesses and residents statewide. Delta’s new Seattle-Lihue service strengthens Hawaii’s ties to one of our major gateway cities, and will make it easier for travelers anywhere in the mainland U.S. to make daily flight connections to Kauai.

“It’s gratifying that Delta has factored Kauai into its nationwide expansion plans considering the options available to the airline. HTA meets with Delta’s route planners on a regular basis, which included the Airline Summit we hosted last September at the Hawaii Tourism Conference. As HTA does with all carriers, we provided information on the advantages of increasing flights to Hawaii, especially to the neighbor islands.

“Kauai’s economy will benefit significantly from this new service. Delta’s Seattle-Lihue flights on Boeing 757 aircraft will add 63,510 air seats annually to Kauai, generating an estimated $77.9 million in direct visitor spending for the island, and $9.1 million in tax revenue for the State.”
Continue reading

Update Map of Lava Flow Field

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of December 14 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of January 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. Surface flows are focused on a branch of the flow east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that has been active since late last year. The front of that flow branch has stalled, but there are weak scattered breakouts upslope along its length.

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Disregard the area around the Kamokuna ocean entry, where the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed on New Year’s Eve. The lava flow polygons in these maps are layered to show additions to flow. As such, they do not show where material has been removed, such as by lava delta collapse.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

First Annual Global Tea Innovation Symposium

The launch of a Hawaii tea co-op, the first not for profit consumer cooperative tea business in the world will happen on February 1st, 2017 at 10am – 4pm at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, in Volcano, Hawaii.

Presenters scheduled:

  • Nigel Melican, Chairman,TeaCraft Ltd. (U.K): A global business development consultant to the leading world tea businesses.
  • Chairman, Kawasaki Kiko Ltd. (Japan): leading manufacturer of automated tea farming and tea processing equipment.
  • Jason McDonald, Founder of The Great Mississippi Tea Company and Co-Founder/Vice President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).
  • Grif Frost: Co-Founder/President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).  Expert in not for profit consumer cooperative development.
  • Takeshi Akatsuka, Vice President, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, the site of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.

Purpose: Provide A-Z, tea business development services, for Hawaii Tea enthusiasts.

Mission: Develop a model, which can be replicated, to help other tea enthusiasts worldwide, work together, to sustainably grow their tea businesses.

Services to be offered:

  • Propagation services: contract growing of the ideal tea plants, for specific geographical locales in Hawaii.
  • Farm Design services: contract selection and design of tea farm sites, suitable for automated equipment use.
  • Minimum tea farm acreage: 1 acre. There must a minimum of 10 acres of Co-op contracted tea farms, within a 5-minute driving radius.
  • Farm Site Preparation services: contract preparation of sites for automated tea planting services.
  • Planting Services: contracted automated tea planting services.
  • Growing Services: contracted automated pruning, pest control and fertilization services.
  • Harvesting Services: contracted automated tea plant harvesting services.
  • Processing Services: contracted processing services to prepare harvested tea for consumption
  • Sales Services: contracted sales of packaged tea
  • Research and Development Services: contracted research and development related to Hawaii tea community development.

50 seats available to people interested in participating in the development of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.  Price $250 ($200 may be applied to the purchase of Hawaii Tea Co-op shares). A tea and food pairing lunch will be served.

How to order: visit www.HawaiiTea.Coop to reserve your seat.

Apple Mapping Car Being Spotted Around the Big Island

This afternoon as I was driving in Hilo, I noticed a weird car drive by me with all these cameras on top of it.  At first I thought it was the Google Car that I had seen a few years ago on Bayfront but learned it wasn’t.
I was driving down the Mohouli extension road and the car turned on to Loko Place.  Knowing that Loko Place was a dead end street that was just recently built… I flipped a U-Turn and pulled over on the side of Loko Place and positioned myself to take a picture of the car.
It turned out it was an “Apple” car that was doing mapping for it’s “Maps” application http://maps.apple.com.

Apple Maps states:

Offering an all-new design and a host of innovative features, Maps makes finding and getting to your destination faster and easier than ever. With turn-by-turn spoken directions, interactive 3D views, proactive suggestions, and the ability to use third-party apps right inside Maps, there’s so much to explore.

Maps now predicts the places you’re most likely to go and suggests the fastest way to get there based on traffic, your current location, the time of day, and events on your schedule. So in the morning, Maps can provide a proactive suggestion for the best route to work that avoids traffic. And any upcoming meetings on your calendar are presented with suggested routes. Simply tap the suggestion to display the directions and start navigation.

It looks as though they are trying to compete with Google for customers.  The last time that I can recall the Google car being on the Island was in 2011 but I could be wrong.

The Google car in Wailoa Park

The Google Car works in connection with the Google Bike as the bike can take folks on even narrower roads and trails where the car can’t go.

Update HVO Lava Map Shows Revised Coastline

This map updates the preliminary ocean entry map below, based on mapping conducted on January 3, 2017. The map of the coastline at the lava flow ocean entry at Kamokuna shows the areas of the lava delta and adjacent coastline that collapsed into the ocean on December 31, 2016.

The collapsed areas are shown with an ‘x’ pattern and a blue background and are now part of the ocean. The shape of the eastern Kamokuna lava delta was revised based on satellite imagery acquired on December 25, 2016. The remaining sections of the lava delta, including the inactive western Kamokuna delta, are shown as a stippled pattern with a pink background. The active lava tube is shown with a yellow line and is dashed where its location is uncertain.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

The current ocean entry point, where lava cascades into the water, is located where the lava tube intersects the sea cliff. The NPS ropeline is shown as a dashed black line. The western extent of the ropeline was not mapped and is therefore not show; the eastern extent of the ropeline was moved on January 3, and has been approximated on this map between the emergency road and the coast. The dotted black line inland from the coast marks the location of the sea cliff before the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption began in 1983. The background is a Digital Globe satellite image acquired January 9, 2016; the episode 61g lava flow is the partly transparent area that overlies the background image.

New Map Shows Collapsed Section of Lava Viewing Area

This map shows the coastline at the Kamokuna lava entry on Kīlauea Volcano, with labels denoting areas impacted by the large, progressive lava-delta collapse on December 31, 2016. Nearly all the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed into the sea, along with a large section of the older sea cliff east of the delta.

Click to enlarge

The red line denotes the current (post-collapse) sea cliff; the land seaward of this line collapsed into the ocean. The blue line refers to the rope line that marks the boundary of the area closed by the National Park Service; a section of this rope line was taken out by the collapse on Saturday. These mapped lines, based on handheld GPS points captured on January 1, 2017, are preliminary and subject to change (HVO geologists are in the field again today). For up-to-date information about access to the new ocean entry viewing area, please consult the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Hawaiʻi County websites.

New Year’s Eve Delta Collapse Causes Temporary Closure at Kamokuna Ocean Entry

A large section of the 26-acre lava delta formed by the 61g lava flow collapsed into the ocean around 2:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, launching showers of volcanic rock into the air, and creating a flurry of large waves that eroded away a portion of the older sea cliff and viewing area.

As a result, the Kamokuna ocean entry within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will remain closed today as park rangers and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists survey the area. Rangers on duty New Year’s Day reported that the former viewing area is gone, and that loud cracks continue to be heard throughout the unstable area.

Although park rangers temporarily closed the Kamokuna lava viewing area last night, five visitors ducked beneath the white rope closure line and made a beeline for the coastal cliffs around 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Eruption Crew Ranger Travis Delimont and a co-worker had to chase after them before they turned around.  Within 15 minutes, the section of cliff where the visitors were standing crashed into the ocean.

“It was a really close brush with death for them,” Ranger Delimont said. “Luckily, they finally listened to us and turned around in time,” he said.

The lava viewing area will remain closed until it is determined safe to reopen. The County of Hawai‘i also closed the Kalapana access to the park.

“Fortunately, there were no aircraft or boats reported in the area at the time of the collapse, nor were any visitors on the delta itself, which is closed for public safety,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Had anyone been close by on land, water or air, lives would have surely been lost,” she said.

There is a temporary flight restriction of 1,000 feet above ground level at the Kamokuna ocean entry.

Lava deltas are extremely hazardous volcanic features and are formed when lava enters the ocean and builds new land on loose and unstable substrate. In addition to the threat of collapse, lava entering the ocean produces a highly a corrosive plume of hydrochloric acid and volcanic particles that irritate the lungs, skin and eyes. Visitors are strongly urged to stay out of closed areas and heed all posted warning signs.

Hawaiian Airlines Leasing Plane From China – Phasing Out B767-300s

Hawaiian Airlines will dry-lease an A321neo from China with delivery scheduled for 2018.

As previously reported, Hawaiian plans to phase out its fleet of eight B767-300s by the end of 2018. To expedite the process, it has ordered one A330-200 from Airbus Industrie, and will lease one more A321neo in addition to this one.

Hawaiian plans to phase in sixteen A321neos by end of 2020, plus the two leased aircraft, which will free up some its fleet of twenty-three A330-200s for more flights to Asia. It also has eighteen B717-200s which it uses for flights between the islands of Hawaii.

Lili‘uokalani Gardens in Hilo Featured on New U.S. Postage Stamp

The Postal Service announced more stamps to be issued in 2017 and one of them features Lili‘uokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawai‘i.

“The new year is shaping up to be exceptional as the Postal Service continues to produce stamps that celebrate the people, events and cultural milestones that are unique to the history of our great nation,” said Mary-Anne Penner, U.S. Postal Service Director, Stamp Services. “We are very excited to showcase these miniature works of art to help continue telling America’s story as we add to the lineup of 2017 stamps announced earlier.”

Lili‘uokalani Gardens (Priority Mail)
This Priority Mail stamp is being issued to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Lili‘uokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Built on land donated by Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838–1917), the last Hawaiian monarch to govern the islands, the gardens were dedicated in 1917 and named in her honor. Hilo’s Lili‘uokalani Gardens are Japanese in style with influences of Hawaiian remains of lava flows, plantings of tropical trees and flowers, and a view of the Mauna Kea volcano — Hawai‘i’s highest point. The stamp art features one of the gardens’ most iconic structures, the red wooden shelter on a stone bridge spanning a portion of the pond. The bridge is surrounded by three stone lanterns and lush tropical plants. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with original art by Dan Cosgrove.

Hawaii Partnership Aims to Teach Kids Importance of Dental Hygiene

In an effort to provide oral health services for students who need it, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the Hawaii Dental Association (HDA) are joining forces. The agencies have established a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to promote oral health by teaching students proper dental hygiene techniques and providing information about access to free dental health services.

Click to read memorandum

Dentists will be visiting HIDOE first and second grade classes on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island from Jan. 16-Feb. 28, 2017, which coincides with National Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

“When students do not get the health care they need we find that it affects their performance in school. This partnership is a huge step to provide services to many children who are not getting proper oral healthcare,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “As we work towards closing the achievement gap, we must look at the whole child and that includes their experiences outside of the classroom. We’re grateful to the Hawaii Dental Association for making this opportunity available for students.”

In October, the Hawaii Department of Health released “Hawaii Smiles,” a statewide report that showed a need for oral health improvement for Hawaii’s children. A few of the key findings included:

  • More than 7 out of 10 third graders (71 percent) are affected by tooth decay;
  • About 7 percent of Hawaii third grade children are in need of urgent dental care because of pain or infection;
  • Children from low-income families, as defined as those who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program, have a disproportionate amount of tooth decay (about 31 percent of children eligible for National School Lunch Program have untreated tooth decay compared to 13 percent who are not eligible).

These efforts are also part of a national initiative from the American Dental Association to bring preventative education and dental services to underserved children, which include 92,000 economically disadvantaged public school students in Hawaii.

“The goal of this partnership is to educate children from a young age on the importance of proper dental care. We also want to raise awareness about services that provide free dental care so their families can encourage and foster these new habits,” shared Melissa Pavlicek, president, Hawaii Public Policy Advocates who coordinated the MOA on behalf of HDA.

In ensuring that students come to school healthy and ready to learn, Superintendent Matayoshi has made the health and wellbeing of public school students a priority. She has worked on other innovative partnerships and programs that range from proper nutrition to healthcare access. In 2014, HIDOE launched the “Hawaii Keiki” program with the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The program builds school based health services that screen for treatable health conditions; help prevent and control communicable disease and other health problems; and provide emergency care for illness or injury.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Submit Updated Energy Plans

Companies will reach 48% renewable electricity by 2020, including 100% renewable on Moloka’i

The Hawaiian Electric Companies today outlined a detailed plan charting the near-term actions that will lead to the use of renewable resources to meet 100 percent of Hawai’i’s power generation needs by 2045.

The Power Supply Improvement Plan Update filed with the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission describes the work that will form the foundation to meet or exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones, which are the most ambitious in the country.

The updated plan describes greater and faster expansion of the companies’ renewable energy portfolio than in the plan filed in April 2016 and emphasizes work that is in progress or planned over the next five years on each of the five islands the Hawaiian Electric Companies serve.

It also stresses the need to remain flexible so that decisions made today don’t crowd out future technological advances in power generation, distribution and storage.

The companies forecast that they will exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones in 2020 and can exceed the milestones in 2030 and 2040 by attaining a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of:

  • 48 percent by the end of 2020; the mandated goal is 30 percent
  • At least 72 percent by the end of 2030; the mandated goal is 40 percent
  • At least 100 percent by the end of 2040; the mandated goal is 70 percent. This would be five years ahead of the 2045 deadline to reach the goal of 100 percent renewable energy.

The plan estimates that the RPS after 2030 could exceed 100 percent when taking into account customers’ generation of electricity for their own use as well as the anticipated widespread use of battery storage.

In the near-term, using a proposed mix of solar, wind, battery storage and biofuels, the plan aims to achieve an RPS of 100 percent on Moloka’i by 2020.

By 2020, Hawai’i Island is forecast to reach an RPS of 80 percent, Maui 63 percent, Lānaʻi 59 percent and O’ahu 40 percent.

The plan includes the continued growth of private rooftop solar and describes the work to expand and upgrade grid infrastructure and to use the newest generations of inverters, control systems and energy storage to help reliably integrate an estimated total of 165,000 private systems by 2030, more than double today’s total of 79,000. Hawaiian Electric already has the highest percentage of customers using rooftop solar of any utility in the U.S. and customer-sited storage is seen as a key contributor to the growth of the renewable portfolio on every island.

In addition, the plan forecasts the addition of 360 megawatts of grid‑scale solar, 157 megawatts of grid‑scale wind and 115 megawatts from programs known as Demand Response, which can shift customer use of electricity to times when more renewable energy is available, potentially making room to add even more renewable resources.

“The energy transformation must include everyone” is one of seven principles that the Hawaiian Electric Companies developed to broadly help define the mission of the power supply improvement plan. The need to balance the pursuit of renewable energy with price stability and affordability for customers is described throughout the plan. Investments in grid infrastructure, as well as rising oil prices, are expected to increase the typical residential bill over the next several years, with gradually declining bills forecast to start in the mid-2020s.

A change from the document filed in April is that this update does not include the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to generate power in the near-term. While LNG remains a potential lower-cost bridge fuel to be evaluated, the companies’ priority is to continue replacing fossil fuel generation with renewables over the next five years as federal tax incentives for renewables begin to phase out.

An interisland cable is not in the near-term plan, which states that its costs and benefits should continue to be evaluated.

The plan also provides a solid foundation for the electrification of transportation, reducing the use of fossil fuels for ground transportation. For example, charging electric vehicles during the day when renewable energy is abundant could create an additional demand for renewables.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are exploring additional actions and resources beyond those described in the plan. For example, working with land owners and developers, planners are exploring pumped storage hydropower, run-of-the-river hydropower, hydrogen and wave energy as potential additions. As part of this ongoing exploration, the companies recently issued a Request for Information to land owners who may be interested in teaming with a developer to host a renewable energy project.

“We have a solid plan that accelerates our progress to get to 100 percent renewable energy. We can do this,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.  “We want to work with parties from all segments of our community — government, business, community, and environmental groups – to refine the plans for Hawai’i’s energy future.”

The companies followed an open, collaborative process to develop these plans, participating in multiple stakeholder workshops and technical conferences to share information and ideas. Planners ran and analyzed multiple scenarios to balance the desires for reliability, affordability and sustainability.

Among the stakeholders who provided input into the plan are the state Consumer Advocate; Ulupono Initiative; Blue Planet Foundation; Hawai’i Gas; Paniolo Power on Hawai’i Island and the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Additional independent technical analysis was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute.

Island Air Embarks on Fleet Renewal and Expansion with Bombardier Q400 Aircraft

Island Air announced today that it has accepted delivery of the first of three Q400 turboprops from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. The new aircraft, the first to be added to Island Air’s fleet since the company was acquired by local Hawai‘i investment firm PacifiCap last January, is part of its long-term strategic plan for growth and expansion in Hawai‘i’s interisland travel industry. The new aircraft is expected to arrive in Honolulu by the end of the month.

Q400 turboprop

“As we look to expand our regional route network and connect local residents and visitors across the Islands, the reliable, operationally flexible and cost-efficient Q400 turboprop is the perfect choice to take our airline to the next level,” said David Uchiyama,‎ president and chief executive officer, Island Air. “Additionally, the comprehensive support from Bombardier in acquiring the aircraft and integrating them into our network reconfirms our decision to utilize this superior product for our fleet renewal and expansion strategy.”

The aircraft are being leased through leasing company Elix Aviation Capital Limited (“Elix”). The agreement includes three Q400 aircraft. The second Q400 is scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2017, and the third is expected to be delivered in April. Also in this agreement is an option for two more new aircraft. The airline plans to convert to a full fleet of new Q400s and transition its existing fleet of five ATR-72 aircraft out of service.

The Q400, which was built at Bombardier’s Toronto, Ontario facility, has a seating capacity of 78 passengers. The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 414 miles per hour and a maximum operating altitude of 27,000 feet.

The Q400 is 30 percent faster than conventional turboprops and features a new, advance noise reduction and vibration suppression system to allow passengers to enjoy a quieter, smoother cabin experience. The new aircraft also burns 30 percent less fuel and produces 30 percent lower emissions on short-haul routes, making it more environmentally friendly compared to other aircraft currently serving the Hawai‘i market. In addition, its noise footprint is two-and-a-half times smaller, which will be less disruptive to the community as it flies overhead.

Island Air pilots have been undergoing a two-month training program to become certified to fly the Q400s. The training process included ground school as well as simulator training conducted in Seattle, Washington. The pilots will now have the opportunity to undergo flight training on the new aircraft. Other employees including flight attendants and the ground operational team members will also go through training with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure all operational procedures are in accordance with the FAA.

Island Air will host a formal blessing and naming ceremony for the first new aircraft in January prior to the Q400’s inaugural flight.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Gathering Information on Land Available for Renewable Energy Development

To help accelerate and inform efforts to achieve 100 percent renewable energy, the Hawaiian Electric Companies today launched an effort to gather information about land that may be made available for future renewable energy projects that will benefit all electric customers.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and the Hawaii Electric Light Company are issuing a Request for Information (RFI) which asks interested landowners to provide information about properties on Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai available for utility-scale renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind farms, or for growing biofuel feedstock.

“Land is one of the most important resources to consider in the development of renewable energy projects. By proactively identifying potential sites, we are hoping to make the process of developing renewable energy projects faster and more efficient for both land owners and prospective developers,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president of strategic planning and business development.

To reach 100 percent renewable energy, Hawaii will need a broad mix of renewable energy resources. Continued growth of private rooftop solar energy systems and energy storage will offer customers more options. These resources will be complemented by additional large-scale projects, which will help ensure all customers receive the benefits renewable energy.

Interested parties should submit responses to the RFI by Jan. 27, 2017. For more information, go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/landRFI or email landrfi@hawaiianelectric.com.

EPA Awards Funding to Replace Buses on Big Island

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a total of $6,329,500 in Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds to public and private partners in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and American Samoa. EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator, Alexis Strauss made the announcement today at a meeting of the international Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Long Beach, California. The funds will be used to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, trucks, agriculture and port equipment, and generators.

The Diesel Emission Reduction Act program is administered by the EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a clean air partnership comprised of EPA’s Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regions, which leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in impacted communities.

“By promoting clean diesel technologies, we can improve air quality and human health while supporting green jobs in disadvantaged communities,” said Ms. Strauss. “Public-private partnerships like the West Coast Collaborative are leading the way on reducing harmful diesel emissions and advancing domestic economic development.”

The 2016 grants will fund the following projects:

California Air Resources Board (CARB): CARB was awarded a $539,412 grant to be combined with $371,168 in state funding to retrofit 41 heavy-duty diesel school buses operating throughout California.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD): BAAQMD was awarded a $1,420,263 grant to be combined with a BAAQMD contribution of $4,278,662 to replace one older locomotive and two Tier 0 switcher locomotives with cleaner Tier 4 locomotives operating in the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD): SJVUAPCD was awarded a $900,000 grant to be combined with $4,789,626 in local funding to replace 41 model year 1994-2006 Class 5 through 8 heavy-duty diesel delivery trucks operating in the San Joaquin Valley with ones powered by 2015 or newer model year engines.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD): SCAQMD was awarded a $523,809 grant to be combined with $2,229,000 in local funding to replace one pre-model year 1973 diesel switch locomotive with a new cleaner Tier 4 diesel locomotive that will be operating at the Port of Long Beach.

Port of Long Beach: The City of Long Beach Harbor Department was awarded a $1,469,818 grant to be combined with $1,957,164 in funds from the Long Beach Container Terminal, Inc. to replace five existing diesel powered yard tractors with electric automated guided vehicles used for handling cargo at the Port of Long Beach.

Port of Los Angeles: The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department was awarded a $800,000 grant to be combined with $2,214,000 in funds from APM Terminals and TraPac, LLC. to replace 16 yard tractors with cleaner Tier 4 models and repower two heavy lifts with Tier 4 engines used for handling cargo at the Port of Los Angeles.

Arizona’s Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD): MCAQD was awarded a $217,069 grant to install Diesel Oxidation Catalyst retrofits on 37 heavy-duty public works vehicles operating in Arizona. The project will be implemented through a partnership the Maricopa County Equipment Services Department and other participating fleets.

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP): NDEP was awarded a $193,627 grant to be combined with $580,881 in local funding to replace four Class 5 legacy diesel vehicles with new vehicles powered by model year 2013 or newer engines. The project will also retrofit 15 Class 5 vehicles with diesel oxidation catalysts and switch them from ultra-low sulfur diesel to renewable diesel fuel.

Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH): HDOH was awarded a $194,787 grant to be combined with $584,361 in local funding to replace two Class 5 legacy diesel transit buses operating on the Island of Hawaii.

American Samoa: The American Samoa Power Authority was awarded a $70,715 grant to repower an existing diesel-powered stationary generator with a clean, 1.4 megawatt photovoltaic solar system and a Tier 3 275 kilowatt backup diesel-powered generator on the Island of Ta’u. The system will also include 6 megawatt hours of batteries, allowing island residents to continually utilize the renewable energy on days when the sun is not shining.

The projects selected today will result in cleaner diesel or electric engines that operate in economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart, and lung disease. These actions are estimated to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen by 1,315 tons, fine particulate matter by 167 tons, hydrocarbons by 71 tons, carbon monoxide by 541 tons, and carbon dioxide by 32,830 tons over the lifetime of the affected engines.

This funding is part of U.S. EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act fiscal year 2016 allocation that includes engine replacements, idle reduction and retrofit technologies to clean up a variety of older diesel engines. Since 2008, the program has awarded more than 700 grants across the country in 600 communities. These projects have reduced emissions from more than 60,000 engines. Reducing particulate matter emissions has important public health and air quality benefits, including the reduction of soot and black carbon.

To learn more about all of this year’s West Coast Collaborative DERA projects, including those awarded in the Pacific Southwest, please visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org.

For more information about EPA’s National Clean Diesel campaign and the awarded DERA projects nationally, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.

Cookie’s Clothing Company Comes to Queens’ MarketPlace

Fashionable Hawai‘i Islanders have a stylish new opportunity at Queens’ MarketPlace, with the opening of Cookie’s Clothing Company on December 3, 2016. The popular boutique specializes in the latest women’s dresses, separates and accessories for the colorful island lifestyle.

This is the eighth store for the Cookie’s brand, founded by owner-operator Christina Cook. Born into the fashion world on Oahu, Cookie learned the business from her parents, Howard and Darcy Cook, who created the Bebe and Bebe Sport lines.

“I was raised in fashion my whole life,” said Cook. “I decided to pursue it as a career after college at the age of 24. Having my own clothing store is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.”

Describing the Cookie’s look as “fun, flirty and affordable” Cook continues, “We focus on fashion and styles for all women’s sizes and ages,” said Cook. “From age 20-70 we have you covered.”

“Our shopping center is a growing, thriving place for all kinds of shoppers,” said Sales & Operations Manager Margo Bunnell. “And, as the passion for fashion continues to grow, we are excited to keep expanding the Queens’ MarketPlace community of fashion retailers—where local residents and visitors from around the world love to come shop for great clothes for women, men and children.”

Cookie’s Clothing Company in Queens’ MarketPlace will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. For more information, visit www.cookiesclothingco.com.

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

More than 1,000 Enroll in Hawaiian Electric Companies Time-of-Use Rates Program

As of Dec. 2, 1,008 customers had signed up for the Hawaiian Electric Companies new Time-of-Use rates, a program that will charge customers less for power used during the day – when solar energy production is highest – and more at night.

helco-new-logo-2The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) set a limit of 5,000 customers for the program, meaning 20 percent of the total enrollment has already been reached.

Developed under the direction of the PUC, this program provides customers with an opportunity to save money if they shift their energy use to daytime hours. For example, customers who do laundry, cook, or heat water during the day may be able to save. Customers who charge electric vehicles or energy storage systems in the day may also benefit.

The amount of savings, if any, will depend on how much a customer can shift the use of electricity from night to day. As a result, this program may not fit the needs of all customers.

As directed by the PUC, this program is voluntary and will run for two years. The rates are only available to residential customers.

Participating customers will receive information on their bills that compares their costs under this program and the standard residential rate for electricity. Customers may opt out of the program if they feel it isn’t the right fit for them.

To enroll or for more information, go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/timeofuse or call:

  • Oahu: (808) 548-7311
  • Maui: (808) 871-9777
  • Molokai and Lanai: 1-877-871-8461
  • Hilo: (808) 969-6999
  • Kona: (808) 329-3584
  • Waimea: (808) 885-4605

Community Opens Waimea District Park

Mayor Billy Kenoi, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, and Councilman-Elect Tim Richards joined the Waimea community today to celebrate the completion of the 24-acre Waimea District Park, offering new, diversified indoor and outdoor recreational facilities for keiki, kupuna, and families in North Hawaiʻi.

waimea-park-1The first phase includes a covered play court building with three courts, a multi‐purpose field with spectator seating and lighting for nighttime use, a playground, and parking. The park is adjacent to the Parker Ranch rodeo arena, accessed off Ala ʻŌhiʻa.

“These facilities are the heart of our communities. This is where are kids come and grow up. This is where families build relationships,” said Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter.

waimea-park-2Land for the project was provided by Parker Ranch to fulfill prior rezoning commitments made to the County. Through the efforts of the Legislature spearheaded by Senator Mālama Solomon, the State provided $5.5 million toward the project. The County provided the remaining $18.5 million of the $24 million project.

waimea-park-3Mel Macy of the Waimea District Park Builders, a community group that advocated for the construction of the park, credited Mayor Kenoi with pushing the project to the finish line. “From the time he took office, we had his full support. Not only was he responsible for the majority of the funding, but his get-it-done attitude helped keep things moving forward.”

In the park’s environmental documents, the first phase of the park was contemplated to be completed in 2020. By working in concert with Parker Ranch and the Waimea community, ground was broken for the park in November 2015. General contractor Nan, Inc. and a number of sub-contractors completed the work in a year.

waimea-park-4“We all know we live in a special place, and it isn’t just about facilities,” said Mayor Kenoi. “This is for family. This isn’t only for our kids. Our kūpuna will have yoga and Zumba in here. When we adults stand on the sideline to wait for our kids to finish a game or practice, that’s when we strengthen our community.”

The next planned phase will include a community center, a comfort station, and a baseball field.

Island Air Offers “Buy Three, Get One Free” Holiday Promotion

Ready to take a neighbor island vacation with the family or visit relatives and friends for the holidays? Now is the time to take that long overdue trip, and book tickets with Island Air’s limited-time holiday promotion, the Pā‘ina Pass – “buy three, get one free”.

island-airStarting today through Saturday, December 3, 2016, customers are able to make reservations utilizing the Pā‘ina Pass promotion. The travel period is Monday, November 28, 2016 through Wednesday, January 11, 2017. No blackout dates.

In order to qualify for the Pā‘ina Pass, “buy three, get one free” promotion, all travelers need to be booked on one itinerary and traveling to the same location on the same day, flight and time. This promotion cannot be combined with any other Island Air promotion, offer or deal, such as the Kūpuna & Keiki Fare, College Student Standby Program and Travel Pak.

Reservations for the Pā‘ina Pass promotion must be made by calling (800) 652-6541 between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. (HST).

For more information, visit www.islandair.com.

New Lava Breakout Sends Lava South and Northeast

A breakout started from the episode 61g vent on the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday morning (Monday, November 21) at around 08:40 AM.

The breakout sent lava flows south and northeast, and these flows were still active as of Tuesday afternoon (November 22). This image, captured at 2:10 PM yesterday, is from a webcam on Puʻu Halulu that looks southwest toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō (background).

The light colored lava extending into the foreground is the more-active northeast branch of the breakout. This breakout poses no threat to nearby communities.

The light colored lava extending into the foreground is the more-active northeast branch of the breakout. This breakout poses no threat to nearby communities.

This photo was taken today November 23, 2016 at 1:10 PM

The flow has not progressed very far since yesterday.

The flow has not progressed very far since yesterday.

Puako Provisions’ and Catering – New Culinary Option on Kohala Gold Coast

Vacationers and residents on Hawaii island’s Kohala Gold Coast now have a new local culinary option with the debut of Puako Provisions and Catering at the landmark Puako General Store located in the popular beachside community.

puako-general-store-front

Puako Provisions and Catering now open at the Puako General Store

Puako Provisions and Catering will offer a variety of grab-and-go “beach-friendly” food options – provisions! – such as salads, sandwiches on freshly-baked breads and poké bowls made with locally-sourced fish.   Shoppers can also choose from pre-packaged menu items as well as catered food, picnic baskets and special order meals for pickup or delivery to their rental or home.

Along with its grab-and-go and other food offerings, Puako Provisions will feature weekly specials available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., including handmade pizza, and on Friday, “make-your-own” poké bowls.   Whenever possible, the chef uses seasonal, organic products sourced locally from land and sea, yet they are priced to be affordable.

The new operation is directed by Noah Hester, former executive chef and manager of the popular Blue Dragon Restaurant in nearby Kawaihae, which closed earlier this year.  Though just 34 years old, Hester has already received accolades while at the Blue Dragon, including “Best Chef America 2014-2015” and “Best Chef North Hawaii 2012-2015.”  He has also been featured prominently in Edible Hawaii Islands Magazine.

Hester grew up in Puako and has fond childhood memories of visiting the Puako General Store – now owned by his Mom, Mary Fox. The store is an iconic destination that sells groceries, many locally made gifts and souvenirs, including t-shirts, handmade jewelry and much more. Tables are available on the store’s front porch for casual dining, while compostable carryout containers are used for all food items.

The store is located at 69-1649 Puako Beach Drive.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.  The store phone is 808-882-7500; or visit their website www.thepuakostore.com.