HTDC Awards More Than $3 Million in Grants to Hawaii Companies

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) recently awarded $3,273,533 in funding from two grant programs to 13 Hawaii companies to help support development of new products to solve critical issues. In addition to state funding, the federal government awarded nearly $20 million in research and development grants to the same companies.

HTDC

The projects receiving funding include: developing next generation 5G technology; enhancing the immune response of inactivated dengue fever vaccines; developing methods for marine fish that can eat invasive algae; and increasing the efficiencies in the design of aerospace vehicles.

Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (HSBIR)
The Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research program (HSBIR) provides funding to companies developing new technology products. There are four phases to the program, with each progressive phase allowing for more extensive funding. Six companies were awarded Phase 1 grants, which funds projects through the earliest stages of product development; and seven companies were granted Phase 2 funding to accelerate getting their products into market. The companies include:

HSBIR Phase 1 Grants:

  • Diagenetix, Inc. ($49,000)
  • Hawaii Biotech ($30,000)
  • Kampachi Farms, LLC ($30,000)
  • Nalu Scientific, LLC ($74,548)
  • Oceanit Laboratories ($40,000)
  • Spectrum Photonics ($49,985)

HSBIR Phase 2 Grants:

  • Hawaii Evolutionary Development, LLC ($346,750)
  • Hawaii Fish Company ($146,250)
  • HNu Photonics ($350,000)
  • Makai Ocean Engineering ($325,000)
  • Spectrum Photonics ($350,000)
  • Studio Kinection ($320,000)
  • Terasys Technologies ($162,000)

Hawaii Office of Naval Research (HONR) Program

  • In addition to the HSBIR grants, HTDC awarded $1 million in matching funds to three companies through the Hawaii Office of Naval Research (HONR) program, a two-year pilot effort to develop energy projects funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

HONR Grants:

  • Makai Ocean Engineering ($400,000)
  • Navatek, Ltd. ($300,000)
  • Oceanit Laboratories ($300,000)

“In today’s competitive global landscape, these grants help to support our local businesses as they create new and unique products,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees HTDC and promotes Hawaii’s innovation economy. “We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners who help drive Hawaii’s economy.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to support these local companies in their research and development efforts through HTDC’s grant programs,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC. “Coupled with federal grants, these companies will have resources to continue to develop their technology from concept into a product. Only 20 percent of companies applying for Federal Small Business Innovation Research grants receive funding. The fact that these companies were awarded Federal SBIR grants is a testament to the important research they are doing.”

Blue Jay Wireless to Pay $2Million, Ending Investigation Into Its Tribal Lifeline Reimbursements in Hawaii

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau announced that it has reached a settlement with Blue Jay Wireless to resolve an investigation into whether the company improperly enrolled several thousand Hawaiian customers as eligible for enhanced Tribal support reimbursements from the FCC’s Lifeline program.

blue jay

The Lifeline program provides a discount on phone service so that low-income consumers have access to the communications tools necessary to connect with jobs, family, and emergency services.

Qualifying low-income consumers who reside on Tribal lands, which include Hawaiian Home Lands in the State of Hawaii, are eligible for higher support from the Lifeline program (up to an additional $25 per month).

Under the settlement, Blue Jay will reimburse the Universal Service Fund approximately $2 million and adopt substantial compliance procedures. “The Lifeline program is vital to millions of consumers in cities, rural areas, and tribal lands who rely upon it every day to connect with loved ones, interview for jobs, and contact emergency services,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “This settlement makes clear that no Lifeline provider should turn a blind eye to potential fraud on the program.”

The Enforcement Bureau’s Universal Service Fund Strike Force conducted the investigation of  Blue Jay, which is headquartered in Texas and is eligible to participate in Lifeline in 17 states and Puerto Rico. The investigation found that Blue Jay had incorrectly requested and received Lifeline Tribal reimbursements for enrolled consumers who did not reside on Hawaiian Home Lands.

In 2014, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission staff informed Blue Jay that the number of Tribal consumers it was claiming appeared to exceed the number of households on Hawaiian Home Lands. Despite knowing that Blue Jay could be improperly claiming enhanced Tribal support reimbursements, Blue Jay continued to seek reimbursement for those improper consumers while it sought to gather more accurate information about its Hawaiian Home Lands Tribal consumers.

This settlement ensures a total of $2,002,000 in reimbursements by Blue Jay to the Universal Service Fund, including the company’s forfeiture of $918,010 in Lifeline disbursements that the Commission has already frozen. Blue Jay also will develop and implement a compliance plan to ensure appropriate procedures are incorporated into its business practices to prevent the enrollment of ineligible Tribal consumers, including the use of an approved software tool to identify and verify the accuracy of consumers’ self-certification of their residency on Tribal Lands.

Last year, the Commission sought public comment on whether to require additional evidence of \residency on Tribal lands beyond self-certification and how carriers should provide proof of eligibility to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of enhanced support. More information can be found here: http://go.usa.gov/xcHNT.

This is the second Lifeline enforcement action this year. In April, the Commission announced that it planned to fine Total Call Mobile $51 million for apparently enrolling tens of thousands of ineligible and duplicate consumers in the Lifeline program. A copy of the Total Call Mobile Notice of Apparent Liability can be found here: http://go.usa.gov/xcH5R.

 

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

International Space Station

It will be visible beginning tonight, Sunday, July 24, at 8:11 PM. It will be visible for approximately 4 minutes at a Maximum Height of 62 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 30 degrees above the East Northeast part of the sky.

Facebook Using Safety Check Feature for Tropical Storm Darby

Well I have heard of the Facebook “Safety Check” feature that happens on Facebook when natural disasters happen or major things like terrorist attacks.

Never in my mind did I think I would ever have it pop up on my Facebook timeline, but tonight it did!
Facebook Safety CheckI marked myself “safe” of course.  I could have marked some of my friends that I know are safe as well… but I figure I’ll let them do that so they get the opportunity to use the new feature themselves.

State Engages Tech Community to Help Improve Government

Gov. David Y. Ige, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), and the State of Hawaii Transformation Internship Program (TIP) will host the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (HACC) in Honolulu from Aug. 27 to Sept. 24, 2016, with a kickoff event on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Aloha Tower Marketplace (Multi-Purpose Room 3).

code challengePresented in partnership with local nonprofit Hawaii Open Data, the month-long event is being held to engage the local tech community in the modernization of Hawaii state government.

“We are reaching out to local talent to identify innovative, out-of-the-box solutions to government service needs, ultimately promoting an efficient, effective and open state government,” said state Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy. “The event is also a way to support and help develop our local IT workforce, which is critical to our state’s technological future. Skilled IT personnel are in demand across all sectors — public and private — and creating opportunities for local talent to gain experience and showcase their work helps us all.”

HACC is open to everyone, from students to professionals to amateurs “born to code.” Participants are invited to compete in elementary school, middle school, high school, college and open categories.

A first of its kind for the state, HACC is based on the concept of a hackathon, a problem-solving event that brings together creative individuals over a set duration. Hackathons serve a variety of purposes, from exploring a new technology or programming language to encouraging economic growth through technology development, and they are often sponsored by companies, nonprofit groups, and other organizations. But rather than the traditional around-the-clock development over a single day or weekend, HACC will offer an extended period for development over one month.

The kickoff event will include team formation, foundational training, and workshops. In addition, participants will select from a list of challenges themed around key problems facing the state, and then work over the next several weeks to develop their solutions. The expanded month-long timeframe is meant to encourage sustainable solutions that are appropriately matched with technologies and platforms in use or being considered by the state.

Participants will return on Sept. 24 to present their solutions for judging and winner selection. Awards will go to top participants, and outstanding projects will be considered for implementation.

Rules and judging criteria will be announced prior to the kickoff event, with the list of challenges to be announced at the event itself.

Prior to the kickoff, participants are encouraged to submit their own ideas for state-related challenges facing the citizens of Hawaii. Submissions will be considered for inclusion in the challenge pool.

For more information, latest updates as well as registration and challenge idea submission, visit HACC.hawaii.gov.

Robotics and STEM Events Receive Funding From Hawaiian Electric

sgcAs part of its 2016 second quarter contributions, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have donated $20,000 to the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium for the:

  • Pan Pacific VEX (high school) and VEX IQ (elementary and middle school) Championships, Oct. 7-9 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus Kekuhaupio Gym. Initiated in 2008 as a means to have Hawaii teams participate in an international robotics tournament, the Pan Pacific VEX has hosted more than 100 teams from China, Taiwan, the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, growing to become at one time the second largest VEX tournament in the world. The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ support will help to reinstate the Pan Pacific VEX Championship which has not been held for the past two years.
  • Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery, Oct. 29 at Punahou School. The event honors the late Astronaut Charles Lacy Veach who considered Honolulu his home, and promotes interest in science and technology among educators, students and their families. The 2016 event will include hands-on workshops, displays and a VEX IQ qualifying robotics tournament involving 18 school teams. Hawaiian Electric is a founding sponsor of the event that was first held in 2002. Company employees continue to actively participate in providing workshops, a display and volunteers at the event.
  • 2016-17 Hawaiian Electric Companies Hawaii State High School and Middle School VEX Championships, featuring the high school event on Jan. 5, 2017 at Keaau High School on Hawaii Island, and the middle school event on Jan. 7, 2017 at Stevenson Middle School on Oahu. In these team-based games, first held in 2013, students must design, build and control their robots to participate in various skills challenges that demonstrate their grasp of STEM concepts. The event will qualify teams to participate in the 2017 Worlds VEX Championships.

To date in 2016, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have provided more than $60,000 in corporate contributions to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning and enrichment programs for Hawaii students and educators, including math and science bowls, engineering and science fairs, education summits, robotic programs, and STEM projects and events.

Company employees also volunteer countless hours to provide student mentoring as well as staffing at robotic tournaments, science, engineering and math fairs, and other related events. Hawaiian Electric has supported STEM programs and initiatives in Hawaii for more than 30 years and contributed more than $1 million during that time.

Good Outdoor Ethics Encouraged as “POKEMON GO” Craze Impacts Hawaii

A DLNR Division of State Parks employee reports that two people searching for virtual reality Pokemon Go figures wandered into a sensitive heiau on Kauai where a cultural protocol was underway.

Pokemon Hawaii

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Unfortunately, we are quickly seeing unintended consequences of this new application by Google, in the outdoor issues that the hunt for Pokemon characters via digital devices can create, for both cultural and natural resources here in Hawai’i and elsewhere.”

In the first week since the release of Pokemon Go, the media has reported on two men walking off a cliff in California while using the app.  This increases the potential of increasing public safety and unauthorized access problems for local people and visitors venturing into our state parks, onto our trails and onto beaches, when paying attention to electronics rather than trails and signs.

This phenomenon provides a good opportunity to remind people to practice good outdoor ethics.  Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator reminds folks heading into the outdoors:

  • Be safe.  Use electronic devices responsibly and in emergencies to call for help. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.
  • Stay on designated trails.  Follow all signs and closures.  Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited.
  • Carry out what you carry in.  Leave no trace.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources  Hawai’i has to offer.  Given the release of Pokemon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way,” Case concluded.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Adds New Live Webcam to View Lava Flow 61G

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has added a new live web camera so that folks can view the new Lava Flow “61G” from the comforts of your own home:

Click to view

Click to view

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

Click here to view at anytime:  Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana

Disclaimer:
The webcams are operational 24/7 and faithfully record the dark of night if there are no sources of incandescence or other lights. Thermal webcams record heat rather than light and get better views through volcanic gas. At times, clouds and rain obscure visibility. The cameras are subject to sporadic breakdown, and may not be repaired immediately. Some cameras are observing an area that is off-limits to the general public because of significant volcanic hazards.

Robot Swims to the Big Island After Help Fighting Illegal Fishing in the South Pacific

Liquid Robotics, the leader in long-duration, unmanned ocean robots, announced that a Wave Glider swam 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) to the Big Island of Hawaii after successfully completing a 4-month patrol mission of the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Wave Glider 2802 nautical miles journey (Google Maps)

Wave Glider 2802 nautical miles journey (Google Maps)

This achievement represents a fundamental enabling capability for unmanned systems as it proves the feasibility and flexibility of autonomous mission deployment. Using the Wave Glider platform, Liquid Robotics’ customers are able to deploy sensors in the most remote marine locations without sending a large ship for recovery. This opens up large expanses of the ocean that once were previously inaccessible due to the high cost and risk of deploying manned vessels for research, commerce, or defense.

The Wave Glider began its mission on November 27, 2015 in the South Pacific, where it helped the UK FCO protect the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary against illegal fishing activities. After successfully completing its mission, the Wave Glider was remotely piloted more than 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) — through strong equatorial currents, doldrums, and challenging sea states — back to port in Hawaii. Along the way, it collected 9,516 measurements of meteorological, oceanographic, and marine biodiversity data over expanses rarely traveled.

This data was recently used to support the worldwide Fishackathon, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to promote innovative ways to stop illegal and unregulated fishing. Altogether, the Wave Glider was continuously at sea, untouched, for 213 days while traveling a total of 7,205 nautical miles (13,344 km).

Wave Glider's solo journey home from the South Pacific, courtesy of Liquid Robotics

Wave Glider’s solo journey home from the South Pacific, courtesy of Liquid Robotics

“The Wave Glider’s ability to travel to and from remote mission areas is a real game changer for our customers,” said Roger Hine, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “This enables them to collect real-time data from previously inaccessible waters without the expense of manned deployment or recovery missions. This is an incredibly powerful tool for helping our customers capitalize new opportunities at sea.”

To learn more about the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary Surveillance mission and the Wave Glider’s journey home, visit: http://www.liquid-robotics.com/Pitcairn-swim-home.

Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for Remote Sensing and Resource Management

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is accepting registration for a workshop entitled Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for Remote Sensing and Resource Management. Classes will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 11, 12 and 13, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at UH Hilo’s Edith Kanaka’ole Hall, Room 274. Tuition is $750 and includes all training materials.

Aerial Photography

Aerial Photography

The course will be taught by Dr. Ryan Perroy, assistant professor, geography and principal investigator, Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Lab in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at UH Hilo. Participants will gain the essential knowledge and organization required to safely and legally integrate UAS operations into their daily work activities through live demonstrations, hands-on UAS simulations, and computer processing techniques working with UAS-derived data.

Topics will include mission planning and execution, choosing the right fixed wing or copter platform, applying for a FAA Certificate of Authorization application (COA), creating high resolution orthorectified imagery, using Structure from Motion technology to create 3D digital surface models, and change detection applications.

Due to federal export laws, enrollment is limited to U.S. citizens only. A USB is recommended. For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or email ccecs@hawaii.edu.

RIMPAC Begins… May Affect Garage Door Openers

Dozens of ships from 26 nations are arriving in Pearl Harbor this week for the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC 2016 will be held in and around the Hawaiian islands and off the coast of Southern Calif. June 30-Aug. 4.

RIMPAC brings international participants together to foster and sustain cooperative relationships.  Training during RIMPAC builds credible, ready maritime forces that help to preserve peace and prevent conflict.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered here, and led by U.S. 3rd Fleet. The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and several other locations in the state.

Hawaii’s operating areas and ranges offer realistic, relevant training opportunities like nowhere else in the world and environmental stewardship and protection of marine mammals are always top priorities during RIMPAC.  During the in port portion of the exercise, crews receive training on sighting marine mammals and required protective measures. Participants follow established and approved procedures to minimize the potential impact on marine life.

Some Temporary Noise and Crowds

With 25,000 participants coming to Hawaii, noise, crowds and traffic will increase in the last week of June and through the end of July. Some residents in Hawaii can expect aircraft noise temporarily in certain areas, including the early evening.

According to the Hawaii State Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Research and Economic Analysis Division, RIMPAC 2016 is initially anticipated to bring $52.5 million to Hawaii, based on the number of exercise participants and their time in port.

By the end of RIMPAC, the overall economic benefit is expected to be tens of millions of dollars higher than $52.5 million after purchases of supplies, fuel and food or the spending by family and friends of participating personnel are calculated.

Raising Discussion of Garage Door Openers

During RIMPAC some remotely operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed Part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.
Garage Door
Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they are not pointed directly at the door.  If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door.  If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance.  Surface search radars are available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue.  Exercising safety is a top priority for the Navy.

To be sure their garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company.  At least one company in Hawaii asks their customers to be patient in dealing with the inconvenience, “for a short bit of time, [but] for a lifetime of safety and freedom.”

To learn more about RIMPAC, please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014/
For concerns, noise complaints or general questions about RIMPAC, please call the Combined Information Bureau at (808) 472- 0235. Media interested in covering RIMPAC can call 808-472-0239.

High Technology Development Corporation Announces Three New Graduates

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the state of Hawaii agency that promotes and supports innovation and technology business startups, has graduated three more companies from its successful business Incubator Program at the Manoa Innovation Center (MIC).

High technology development corporation announces three new graduates.

High technology development corporation announces three new graduates.

Having graduated from the program, these firms have moved out of the MIC into their own headquarters, where they will continue to develop and grow. The graduating companies are:

  • The Collective, a startup created by Hawaii fashion designers Allison Izu Song and Summer Shiigi that helps independent designers use technology to streamline manufacturing and develop ways to provide high quality, locally produced clothes to consumers.  The Collective has helped launch a number of Hawaii designers and has managed DBEDT’s Creative Industries inaugural Creative Lab Fashion Immersive.  The Collective recently expanded their operations to Ward Village with retail space.
  • MeetingSift, a “meeting collaboration platform” that uses technology to bring meeting attendees closer and encourage participation, no matter where they may be in the world. MeetingSift’s products make meetings more efficient, allowing participants to use their smartphones to provide real-time feedback and communication, keep track of minutes, and provide more focus to discussion topics.  The company is moving closer to its investors.
  • Slickage Studios, a Honolulu-based company specializing in creating full-stack software solutions including customized website backend development, web applications, and native mobile apps.  Downtown Honolulu is their new home where they will be closer to their clients.

“We are happy to partner with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to host this celebration, which honors the three graduating companies from the Manoa Innovation Center,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees HTDC and promotes Hawaii’s innovation economy. “MIC’s mission to accelerate the growth of local tech companies by providing business development services, funding, and training are part of the state’s overall growth strategy to build a strong innovation economy.”

Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC adds: “It’s always an honor to see companies graduate from our incubation program. The creativity and innovation that propelled these startups from dreams to functioning business entities will ensure they will make their mark in the marketplace, no matter their field. Birthing a startup takes immense drive, talent, and perseverance, and we congratulate the principals of all three companies for moving on to the next step.”

The three companies graduated at a ceremony during HTDC’s Wetware Wednesday on June 29, 2016, a monthly networking event for the innovation and technology industry.  The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored the graduation celebration.

“We are grateful to HTDC for the support and guidance,” said Allison Izu Song. “In today’s fast-paced society, it’s nice to find an organization that sees the potential in small businesses, and offers the tools and guidance to learn and grow.  We are especially thankful for the guidance and mentorship from Innovate Hawaii’s, Wayne Inouye, and HTDC’s, Len Higashi.  Their doors were always open for us to talk about our issues, roadblocks, ideas and successes!”

International Ships Sail to Hawaii for Rim of the Pacific 2016

Four multinational groups have set sail toward Hawaii in support of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise commencing on June 30.

The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a group of multinational ships during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010.  RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise.  Since 1971, this large-scale biennial exercise has been designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea.   (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor/RELEASED)

The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a group of multinational ships during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Since 1971, this large-scale biennial exercise has been designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor/RELEASED)

Participating in Group Sail, 10 ships departed from San Diego, while 12 ships met in the Western Pacific Ocean.

  • USS America (LHA 6) departed San Diego on June 21, leading Canadian ship HMCS Vancouver, Chilean ship CNS Cochrane, USS San Diego (LPD 22), and USS Howard (DDG 83).
  • USS Princeton (CG 59) departed San Diego on June 22 along with Canadian ship HMCS Calgary, USCG Stratton, and USS Pinckney (DDG 91). USS Coronado (LCS 4) departed San Diego on June 23.
  • Singaporean ship RSS Steadfast departed the Western Pacific Ocean on June 18 with Japanese ship JS Hyuga, Indonesian ship KRI Diponegoro, Indian ship INS Satpura, and USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93).
  • USS Stockdale (DDG 106) departed the Western Pacific Ocean on June 18 with USS William P Lawrence (DDG 110), and the People’s Republic of China vessels PLA(N) Hengshui, PLA(N) Peace Ark, PLA(N) Xian, PLA(N) Gaoyouhu, and PLA(N) Changdao.

The ships participating in Group Sail are expected to arrive in Pearl Harbor during the last week of June.

USS Chung Hoon gets fuel during an exercise in 2010.

USS Chung Hoon gets fuel during an exercise in 2010.

Conducted prior to the start of RIMPAC, Group Sail offers participating units the chance to operate together and conduct basic training like tactical maneuvering drills and communication system checks. Group Sail helps prepare participating units for the more complex exercises conducted during RIMPAC.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet and executed by U.S. Third Fleet in the Hawaiian operating area. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Hawaii Becomes First State in Nation to Enroll Firearms Owners in Centralized Information System

Gov. David Ige signed SB 2954 (ACT 108) which authorizes county police departments in Hawai‘i to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms, in a criminal record monitoring service.

“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai‘i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” said Gov. David Ige.

“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai‘i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” said Gov. David Ige.

The system, also known as the “Rap Back” system, is a service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides continuous criminal record monitoring for authorized government agencies such as law enforcement agencies. The service notifies the agencies when a firearm owner is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country. This will allow county police departments in Hawai‘i to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms. The law also authorizes the Hawai‘i Criminal Justice Data Center to access firearm registration data.

“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai‘i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” said Gov. David Ige.

Gov. Ige also signed HB 625 (ACT 109) and HB 2632 (ACT 110) Relating to Firearms.

HB 625 specifies that harassment by stalking and sexual assault are among the offenses that disqualify a person from owning, possessing or controlling any firearm or ammunition.

HB 2632 requires firearms owners to surrender their firearms and ammunition to the Chief of Police if they have been disqualified from owning a firearm and ammunition for the following reasons: Diagnosis of significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder, or emergency or involuntary hospitalization to a psychiatric facility. This measure authorizes the Chief of Police to seize firearms and ammunition if a disqualified firearms owner fails to surrender the items after receiving written notice.

Hawaii Bowhunter Education Certification Now Available Online

In order to expand Bowhunter Education certification options in Hawaii, the Hawaii Hunter Education Program within the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, will begin offering Hawaii residents an online Bowhunter Education course, beginning on July 1, 2016.

Hawaii will be available July 1, 2016.

Hawaii will be available July 1, 2016.

This course is approved by the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) and meets the requirements to purchase a bowhunting license where required. In addition, it does not require completion of a field day.

Although Hawaii does not require a Bowhunter Education certification to bowhunt, many states are increasingly requiring this additional certification to purchase a bowhunting license.

Currently, the Hawaii Hunter Education Program offers a three-day in-person Bowhunter Education course with field day once a year. Over the past three years, classes have been held on Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii Hunter Education Program will also continue to schedule one three day in-person bowhunter course per year for those individuals wishing to attend an in-person course.  Please visit: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/huntered/classes/ for a list of our current classes.

This online course is offered through the NBEF approved Bowhunter-ed.com. The cost for this online course is $30, which is assessed directly from Bowhunter-ed.com after completion of the online course. Students must have completed Basic Hunter Education prior to completing the online Bowhunter Education course.  In addition, students must be at least 10 years old to take this course. This online course is limited to Hawaii residents.

After passing and paying for this course, students will be able to immediately print their Temporary Bowhunter Education Certificate, which is valid to purchase a bowhunting license (where required) so long as it is purchased within the expiration date Students will be mailed their permanent Hawaii Bowhunter Education Certificate from the Hawaii Hunter Education Program within 3-4 weeks. If you complete the online Bowhunter Education course but do not meet the requirements above, you will not be issued a Bowhunter Education certificate from the Hawaii Hunter Education Program.

To take the online Bowhunter Education course after July 1, 2016, simply go to: https://www.bowhunter-ed.com/#select-your-state. Select “Hawaii,” register, and begin the course. The online course includes chapter quizzes and a final exam. For more information, please call the Hawaii Hunter Education Program at: 808-587-0200.

Spot the International Space Station Tonight in Hawaii

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

International Space Station

It will be visible beginning tonight, Sunday, June 19, at 8:02 PM. It will be visible for approximately 3 minutes at a Maximum Height of 72 degrees. It will appear 24 degrees above the North Northwest part of the sky and disappear 27 degrees above the South East part of the sky.

Creative Lab Hawaii Announces Music Immersive Participants for Songwriting Boot Camp and Mentors

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) Creative Industries Division (CID) announces the participants and coaches for the Music Immersive Program (June 11-15) through the department’s Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH). The program will take place on Hawaii Island, right before the annual Hawaii Songwriters Festival (June 16-18).

Hawaii Songwriting Festival“The music immersive program aims to jumpstart the careers of 10 attendees who are all promising songwriters and musicians with a proven track record, including 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, Kimie Miner, of Hauula,” said DBEDT Director, Luis P. Salaveria. “The department’s Creative Lab Hawaii is building creative entrepreneurs, strengthening the economy and generating future jobs.”

The five-day intensive program focuses on giving participants the opportunity to co-write and produce music for specific film or TV projects with a team of professional mentors. Following the completion of the program, attendees will receive year-round mentoring support, and three of the most promising attendees will be selected by the mentors to participate in networking opportunities with music industry leaders in Los Angeles.

In addition to composing songs, participants will learn the finer points of music licensing, publishing, intellectual property (IP) protection, and other aspects of the business from industry experts.

Leading the CLH Music Immersive are  music supervisors, producers, industry execs and songwriters including : Adam Zelkind, “Hookman” Marlin Bonds, Richard Harris, , Christine Ayres, Brian Fennell, Katie Herzig, Adrianne Gonzalez, Todd Wright, Janine Scalise-Boyd, Dave Jordan, Julianne Jordan, Gwen Riley, Heather Anderson, Susan Schwartz and Natalie Wali. http://creativelab.hawaii.gov/music-immersive-mentors/

The CLH Music Immersive program is spearheaded by the Creative Industries Division, under the direction of the president of the Hawaii Songwriter’s Festival, Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, Charles M. Brotman and , Jerome Spence VP of Film/TV/Ads & Business Development of Secret Road Music.

Admittance to the program was competitive and managed by the Hawaii Songwriter’s Festival executive committee.  Applicants were selected by a review committee consisting of representatives from organizations such as The Recording Academy, The Guild of Music Supervisors, and internationally recognized music publishing, licensing and management company, Secret Road.

“The expansion of Creative Lab Hawaii into music industry development is delivering world class mentors from the music, publishing and media industries to provide new opportunities to monetize songwriter’s works in film and television – a potentially lucrative additional source of revenues for our singer/songwriters,” said Georja Skinner, chief officer for the Creative Industries Division.

“Creative Lab Hawaii’s Music Immersive is the newest module in the program, which will deliver unprecedented opportunities for artists to extend their reach into film and television, while expanding their network of mentors in the mainstream music industry.”

Selected participants in addition to Miner include:  Annie Dingwall (Los Angeles, CA), a songwriter who’s worked with worked with PJ Bianco (Jonas Brothers, Veronicas, LP); Jeffrey Steele (Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill); Jacques Brautbar (Phantom Planet); Brent Magstadt (Keaau, HI), a professionally trained jazz musician and songwriter; Isaac Moreno (Izik) (Kapolei, HI), a musician and songwriter working in pop, alternative R&B genres; Maelan Abran (Hilo, HI), a singer-songwriter whose song, “Irresistible,” was placed on the major network television show, Sleepy Hollow; Nitanee Paris (Malibu, CA), a multi-genre songwriter who has won more than 100 awards; Ryan Higgins (Kamuela, HI),  a singer-songwriter working in the rap, Christian, pop and alternative genres who’s performed in music events in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii; Ryan Hiraoka (Keaau, HI), who won a Na Hoku Hanohano award for R&B album of the year in 2010; Sebastian Hughes (Honolulu, HI) the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner for Electronic and 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominee; Sierra West (Solana Beach, CA), a singer-songwriter who won Best Singer-Songwriter at the San Diego Music Awards and has had songs placed in various television series including BRAVO TV’s “Southern Charm” and ABC TV’s “Resurrection”.

Noting the talents of Hawaii, Charles Brotman shares, “There is a wealth of musical and songwriting talent in Hawaii, and it is exciting to see this kind of talent making more connections with the mainstream music industry.  With the vision and support of the state’s Creative Industries Division, this Music Immersive will not only give a boost to the careers of the participating songwriters, it will also help to move Hawaii’s music community forward.”

Commenting on his excitement over this year’s Music Immersive, Jerome Spence adds, “I am thrilled to help organize such an amazing program with Charles Brotman and the State of Hawaii’s Creative Lab Hawaii. The collaborative writing efforts between Secret Road, Hawaii Songwriting Festival and local Hawaii writers is an attempt to bridge the gap between Hawaii and mainland media projects. Our special guest music supervisors bring years of knowledge and experience to the camp increasing the number of opportunities for the camp’s attendees.”

CLH strategic partners include:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA); Innovate Hawaii; High Tech Development Corporation (HTDC); the Writers Guild of America (WGA), West; International Game Developers Association (IGDA); the Producers Guild of America (PGA); The Modern Honolulu; The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel; Twenty20 Sound; Lava Tracks Recording; GVS/Honua Studios; Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF); and Arthur’sLimousine/SpeediShuttle.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

International Space Station

It will be visible beginning tonight, Thursday, May 26, at 8:02 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a Maximum Height of 61 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the Southwest part of the sky and disappear 11 degrees above the North Northeast part of the sky.

High Technology Development Corporation Hosts Forum on Entrepreneurship with Noted Business Innovation Expert

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) will host a free brown bag lunch lecture by nationally recognized venture capitalist, technology expert, business executive and media commentator Jonathan Aberman on Wednesday, June 1 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. at the NELHA Gateway Center in Kailua-Kona. Seating is limited for Aberman’s presentation, “The Challenge of Growth: It’s a high class problem, but still a problem.”

Jonathan Aberman

Jonathan Aberman

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Jonathan Aberman address our local business leaders in Kailua-Kona,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC.  “His vast experience in the technology innovation and business startup fields has made him a highly respected voice that people across the nation look to for guidance. We’re very fortunate to welcome him to Hawaii to share his thoughts on the challenges facing small businesses today.”

Aberman is founder, chairman, and managing director of Amplifier Ventures, a Washington, D.C.-based consortium of technology innovation consulting and investment management businesses that assists technology startups and provide consulting services to government agencies, academic institutions, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. He has been cited as a thought leader in the areas of technology innovation and entrepreneurship by numerous media outlets. Washingtonian Magazine named him as one of its “Tech Titans,” and the Washington Business Journal tabbed him as one of the “Power 100” in the region. The Commonwealth of Virginia has also listed Aberman as one of its “50 Most Influential Entrepreneurs.”

Online registration is available at nelha-jonathanaberman.eventbrite.com. Tickets are free, but limited to 50 seats. The NELHA Gateway Center is located at 73-4460 Kaahumanu Highway in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island. Following his presentation, Aberman will be available for consultation. Appointments are limited and reservations are required.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Tom Leonard at tom.ni3@htdc.org or (808) 936-0222.

Planned Parenthood Launches Online Access to Birth Control in Hawaii

Today, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) officially announced the launch of Planned Parenthood Care in Hawaii.

Birth Control ApThe app allows people to talk to a Planned Parenthood provider online and face-to-face through a secure video consultation system, and then receive birth control in the mail. Consultation for urinary tract infections is also available. This mobile app will bring reproductive health care services directly to women and men across the state.

“Planned Parenthood Care provides the same high-quality health care people have trusted Planned Parenthood to provide in Hawaii for 50 years.  What’s new is now our clinicians can literally meet people where they are—wherever they are—to get them the care they need,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “Telehealth is an incredible tool in expanding access to care. We know that life gets busy and that is why we are proud to lead with this technology that allows us to deliver health care and information to people who need it, regardless of their location.”

PPGNHI launched Planned Parenthood Care in Washington state in 2014 and in both Alaska and Idaho in 2015. Planned Parenthood Care™ builds upon decades of innovative health care and information delivery from Planned Parenthood and its affiliates nationwide. Planned Parenthood’s websites provide accurate, nonjudgmental information about contraception, sex, and reproductive health to 60 million visitors each year. Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program, which has served nearly 577,000 users so far, has been successful in reducing worry around sexual health issues by connecting youth to a real person through their computer or phone in real time.

“Hawaii is uniquely positioned to benefit from this service given the geography of this great state and the limited access to local health centers,” said Sonia Blackiston, Hawaii Education Manager at PPGNHI. “This app allows people to consult with a physician in real time via video on their device and determine what makes the most sense for them. It provides convenient access to Planned Parenthood’s trusted, high quality health care.”

The app is available at the iOS app store or from Google Play, but at present health care can only be delivered through Planned Parenthood Care to residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Washington, and Minnesota.