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Hawaii Coast Guard Rescues Sailor – No Food or Water in 3 Days

Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) Incident Report Number: 8285

Coast Guard Inflatable

Type of Incident: Vessel in Distress

Situation Found at Scene: 30 foot sailing vessel with no motorized power, but initially able to make its way in the direction of Hilo on wind power.  Contact made with Coast Guard via marine radio.

Cause: Undetermined

Remarks: After approximately 2 hours, person on board stated that his said became disabled and is not able to steer boat. Coast Guard initiated a response by their cutter with an estimate time of arrival of approximately 10 hours. The person on board relayed information to Coast Guard that he had not eaten or drank anything for 3 days. Coast Guard then made a request for HFD to provide assistance. HFD rescue initiated and towed the distressed vessel in to Hilo Bay. Person on board did not need any medical attention and was in good spirits.

Hawaii State Senators Pass Important Measures on Final Reading

Members of the State Senate voted to pass a number of important measures on today’s final reading.

Capital

By a unanimous vote, the Senate adopted HB1700 CD1 which added for the supplemental operating budget $405,792,059 in all methods of financing, of which $202,317,436 accounts for general fund increases for Fiscal Year 2017.  This represents a targeted 3.1% increase on last year’s biennium budget, and $159,773,111 less than what the Governor requested.  The conference draft also reduces $13,761,322 in general funds in Fiscal Year 2016 as a result of Medicaid savings that were realized, in line with the Senate Ways and Means’ guiding principle of better utilizing base funding and maximizing existing resources.

Other highlights of the budget bill include:

  • $81.9 million in prefunding for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB)
  • $12 million lump sum appropriation for homeless programs
  • $10 million for Preschool Open Doors
  • $4.7 million for conservation efforts and protection against invasive species
  • $4.8 million for programs supporting the agriculture industry
  • $3 million for kūpuna care
  • $4 million in grants supporting high tech and manufacturing industries

In support of education, the Senate passed SB3126 SD2 HD2 CD1, which provides $100 million in general funds to install air conditioning for public schools.

The Senate also voted to approve HB1850 HD1 SD3 CD1 which would allow alternative accommodations companies to register as tax collection agents with the state.

Other bills passed on final reading include:

  • HB2501 HD1, SD2, CD1 requires that where an application has been made for a lease to continue a previously authorized disposition of water rights, a holdover may be authorized annually until the pending application for the disposition of water rights is finally resolved or for a total of three consecutive one-year holdovers, whichever occurs sooner.
  • HB2675 HD1 SD2 CD1 which appropriates funds for research to combat rapid ohia death.
  • SB2659 SD2 HD1 CD1 which establishes an industrial hemp pilot program.
  • HB1907 HD2 SD2 CD1 requires all law enforcement agencies and departments charged with maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault evidence collection kits to conduct an inventory of all stored kits and report to the Attorney General.
  • SB2618 SD1, HD2, CD1 requires the department of transportation to conduct a feasibility study of establishing an interisland and intra-island ferry system.
  • SB2954 SD2 HD1 authorizes county police departments to enroll firearms applicants and individuals who are registering their firearms into a criminal record monitoring service used to alert police when an owner of a firearm is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country.
  • SB2647 SD1 HD2 prohibits the sale, offer to sell, purchase, trade, or possession with intent to sell, or barter of any part or product from various animal and marine species. Provides exceptions for traditional cultural practices protected under the State Constitution.

The Senate recommitted SB2816, SD1 HD2 which would have amended the criminal trespass law to apply to state properties regardless of whether it is fenced, enclosed, or otherwise secured and HB32, SD2 CD1 which would have clarified crosswalk procedures and establish safety precautions at crosswalks.

The bills that were adopted on final reading and passed by the House will now be enrolled to the Governor for his signature, veto or passage without his signature.

For a list of all the bills that were voted on Final Reading, visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov

Pahoa Round-A-Bout – “Phase B” Begins, “Phase C” Still to Come

Today, “Phase B” of the Pahoa round-a-bout opened and people have already been complaining about the “wait” to get into Pahoa.  Someone on my Facebook page commented “Today it was only about a 13-15 minute “back up” getting to the roundabout…at 4 pm. It will be interesting.”

“Phase A” (April 11th – April 24th) consisted of a half a round-a-bout:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now “Phase B” (May 2nd – May 15th) is in action, where you can go in a full circle:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“Phase C” is expected to be worked on between May 16th and May 27th:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The entire project is scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2016:

phase date

Hawaii Electric Light Conducting Aerial Line Inspections

To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company is conducting aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Tuesday, April 26, to Friday, April 29, 2016.

Helicopter Line Inspection

The islandwide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruptions this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Right Turn Lane Being Installed on Kuauli Road

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works will be installing a right turn lane on Kuauli Road where it intersects the Volcano Highway (makai side) heading towards Keaau.  Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, April 26th, and is estimated to be completed by Friday, May, 20th, weather and construction conditions permitting.  There will be no roadwork on weekends or holidays.

kuauli

Motorists are advised to expect delays and drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Big Island Substance Abuse Council Opening Food Trailer

Tomorrow, the Big Island Substance Abuse Council will proudly unveil their food trailer, Big Island Fusion as part of their Poʻokela Vocational Training Program.   The Food trailer will allow individuals to gain marketable skills and experience in food marketing, sales, business, and food preparation.

Bisac Food TruckBISAC has been providing aspects of vocational training for well over four years and has seen firsthand the positive aspects that training does to help individuals reclaim their lives and become positive citizens in the community. “We can already see the benefits this program has provided to our clients” says, BISAC’s CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita. “Connecting the food trailer to our therapeutic garden provides an array of skills and opportunities for our clients to explore their inner strengths while enhancing their recovery.”

BISAC’s food trailer also brings to life the farm to table initiative. The Big Island Fusion’s culinary and vocational trainer, Willie Leong is currently in recovery and brings both the experience and passion for culinary arts.   “With my years of experience I will bring passion, creativity, and love for the food in every plate that is created” says Willie. “I know how it is being in recovery. The struggle is real. This trailer will allow me to give these individuals the chance for success so that they are ready to return to the real world and work on their recovery.”

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

Toyota Hawaii Awards Nine Local Student Winners in Toyota’s 2016 Dream Car Art Contest

Toyota Hawaii is announcing the local finalists and People’s Choice Competition winners for the 2016 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. Among the hundreds of entries received, only nine works of art (three from each age category) were selected to move on to the Toyota MotorCorporation World Contest held in Japan.

Category 2 (Ages 8-11) winners

Category 2 (Ages 8-11) winners

KHON2’s evening news weather anchor Justin Cruz, KITV’s news anchor Yunji de Nies and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson emceed the awards ceremony held over the weekend.

“We received hundreds of creative works of art,” said Glenn Inouye, Senior Vice President representing the Toyota Hawaii Dealers. “Family and friends really rallied for their loved ones as well by voting for their favorite entries in the People’s Choice Competition on our Facebook page in February.”

Finalists:

Category 1 (Ages 7 and under):
1st Place WINNER: Aja Middleton, age 6, Punahou School (Hawaii Kai)
2nd Place: Sarah Asato, age 7, Iolani School (Honolulu)
3rd Place: Phoebe Hirashima, age 6, Iolani School (Honolulu)

Category 2 (Ages 8-11):
1st Place WINNER: Ryan Handa, age 9, Kainalu Elementary School (Kailua)
2nd Place: Camille Quindica, age 11, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
3rd Place: Raphael Stark, age 9, Home School (Honolulu)

Entry by Angelica Devers

Entry by Angelica Devers

Category 3 (Ages 12-15):
1st Place WINNER: Angelica Devers, age 13, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
2nd Place: Min Hua Tsou, age 14, Mililani High School (Mililani)

3rd Place: Melia LaFleur, age 14, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

People’s Choice Winners

From February 15 – 28, 2016, Toyota Hawaii’s Facebook friends had the opportunity to view all eligible entries and vote for their favorites in each of the three age categories. The Facebook contest received an overwhelming response of 6,105 votes and 5,791 unique visitors to the contest page.

The following entrants were awarded $100 cash and were automatically entered for final judging in the local competition for receiving the most votes in each category:

  • Category 1 – (Ages 7 and under): Justice Wakamatsu, age 6, Pu’ukukui Elementary School (Maui)
  • Category 2 – (Ages 8-11): Dylan Yanazakiage, age 9, Waikele Elementary School (Waikele)
  • Category 3 – (Ages 12-15): Angelica Devers, age 13, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

This year’s judging panel included Honolulu Museum of Art School Director Vince Hazen; KITV’s Yunji de Nies; KHON2’s Justin Cruz; Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum; Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson; 94.7 KUMU FM Radio DJ Bryan “Brudduh Bryan” Min; Hawaii Association of Independent Schools Executive Director Robert Landau; APP-AIR Resource Teacher Una Chan; and Toyota Hawaii’s Glenn Inouye.

This international art contest was established in 2004 with the goals of creating an opportunity for children to have fun and to understand the importance of having a dream, while at the same time to encourage them to become interested in cars through drawing their “Dream Cars” using their creative imaginations.

About Toyota Hawaii

Toyota has been Hawaii’s top-selling automotive brand since 1997 with seven dealership locations statewide — Big Island Toyota (Hilo and Kona); Maui Toyota; Servco Toyota Kauai; Servco Toyota Honolulu, ServcoToyota Waipahu, and Servco Toyota Windward. For more information about Toyota Hawaii, visit ToyotaHawaii.com.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor to Display Rare Kate Aircraft

The Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber was the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was considered the most effective aircraft of its kind at the beginning of World War II. She caused most of the battleship damage during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941.

Seventy-five years later, the Type 97 Carrier Torpedo Bomber, dubbed the “Kate” by the allies, will return to the exact spot where she made aviation history and be displayed at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island.

Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber

Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber

“This aircraft is one of a few known to have survived the war,” said Kenneth DeHoff, executive director of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. “An estimated 1,149 B5N’s were built, and only bits and pieces survive today, except for this Kate with its intriguing history.

Work has begun on the Kate’s fuselage and wings in the Museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop, located in historic Hangar 79.  “We expect it will take five years to restore the B5N for static display quality” according to DeHoff. “With this year being the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the museum is honored to be able to display the Kate where she made aviation history, sharing a legacy with thousands of visitors worldwide.”

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where the first bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Air Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes that still remain. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.

Island Air Adds Kona Service

Island Air today announced it plans to offer interisland air service to Hawai‘i Island with five daily round-trip flights between Honolulu and Kona, starting June 14, subject to government approval. The airline’s expansion of service to Kona will offer increased seat availability and more interisland travel flight options for local residents and visitors, as well as create job opportunities in West Hawai‘i.

Mayor Kenoi said " "In a state of islands, air travel is not a nicety – it is a necessity to our economy and to our people. Because of this, our administration has long been advocating for increased airlift to Hawai’i Island. We welcome Island Air’s return to Kona, offering another option for our local families and our visitors."

Mayor Kenoi said “In a state of islands, air travel is not a nicety – it is a necessity to our economy and to our people. Because of this, our administration has long been advocating for increased airlift to Hawai’i Island. We welcome Island Air’s return to Kona, offering another option for our local families and our visitors.”

“Both the community and our travel industry partners have reached out to us asking for more support for the West Hawai‘i community,” said Les Murashige, Island Air’s president and CEO. “As we continue to improve our operations and expand our presence in the community, Island Air is proud to once again serve Hawai‘i Island and provide service to support Hawai‘i’s families, local businesses and our visitors so that all may enjoy our Island way.”

Island Air is celebrating its new service to Kona by offering an introductory fare sale from April 14 through April 20, 2016. The special introductory fare for a one-way flight between Honolulu and Kona will start from $69* for travel between June 14 and Sept. 30, 2016. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

In addition to providing increased seat capacity, Island Air’s Kona service is expected to create approximately 25 airport-related jobs in West Hawai‘i, including customer service agents, ramp agents and station manager.

Island Air’s check-in ticket counter will be located in Terminal 1 and arrivals/departures will be out of Gate 5 at Kona International Airport.

*Subject to availability. Fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee. Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

ABOUT ISLAND AIR:

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 up-close 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, 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.

 

“U Drive U Text U Pay” – Big Island Police Participate in National Campaign

Hawaiʻi Island police will increase enforcement of distracted driving in the month of April as part of a national campaign called “U Drive U Text U Pay”.
U Drive U Text U PayDistracted driving is a problem of national concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the task of driving requires a driver’s full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers.

Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road or hands off the wheel.

On July 1, 2013, the State of Hawaiʻi enacted law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle (with certain exceptions) and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming and e-mailing, which take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road and hands off the wheel. Use of an electronic device while operating a vehicle is a $297 fine and $307 if the violation is within a school or construction zone.

Hokulea Sails Through Florida and Georgia Via Intracoastal Waterway

Since departing Titusville, Florida, on Friday, April 8, 2016, Hokulea has been traveling north on the Intracoastal Waterway making overnight stops at Palm Coast and St. Augustine.

Hokulea Canal

Last night, she entered the state of Georgia for the first time and docked in Brunswick. Tonight, the canoe and crew are staying overnight in Fort McAllister, GA and plan to depart first thing tomorrow morning to continue the voyage up the East Coast.

Watch Captain Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau preps the tow line in anticipation of departure from Titusville Marina. Mahalo nui to everyone who came out to show their support and wish us well as we begin Leg 19.

Watch Captain Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau preps the tow line in anticipation of departure from Titusville Marina. Mahalo nui to everyone who came out to show their support and wish us well as we begin Leg 19.

The Hokulea and crew are scheduled to be part of the Charleston Outdoor Festival in South Carolina on April 15.

hokulea 41116

During the voyage up the Intracoastal Waterway, Hokulea has sailed under several bridges and the crew has spotted various kinds of wildlife including manatees, pelicans, dolphins and flamingoes.

Driver Flees Accident in Pahoa – Body Found in Bushes

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report:

Type of Incident:

Motor Vehicle Accident fronting 14-3469 Nanawale Boulevard in Pahoa.

14-3469

Situation Found at Scene:

Found single mid-sized car involved in single vehicle accident. Vehicle with extensive left rear and top damage. Vehicle struck trees and snapped a utility pole before coming to rest in bushes ~ 5′ below the grade of the road.

Cause:

Under Investigation

Remarks:

Found 1 male passenger lying on ground next to vehicle stating driver fled scene prior to arrival and that he and driver were only occupants involved. HPD got information from witness that there may have been other parties in the vehicle.

Search of area using thermal imaging equipment revealed female in very thick brush about 10 feet from where vehicle came to rest. Female party found without signs of life. Area searched for additional occupants with negative findings.

Hokulea Crew Visits NASA Kennedy Space Center

Continuing their journey of connecting ocean wayfinding with space exploration, Hokulea crewmembers visited Florida’s NASA Kennedy Space Center today and engaged with the center’s staff. Polynesian Voyaging Society president and pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson also took the opportunity to speak to the NASA team on Hawaii-born NASA astronaut Lacy Veach’s contribution to space voyaging, and how Veach inspired the canoe’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

NASA Hokulea

“Coming to NASA for me has been an amazing celebration,” Thompson expressed during his speech today to a crowd of about 160 people that included both Hokulea and NASA crew. “I made a promise to Lacy back in ’95 when we lost him, that we’re going to go. It took us 22 years from the idea to actually leave, to get prepared to do something as dangerous as what we’re doing now. Lacy is our navigator on this voyage, and for that, this is the most important two days for me.”

NASA Hokulea Nainoa

Yesterday, the crew honored Veach along with Ellison Onizuka, another Hawaii-born astronaut for their extraordinary contributions to space voyaging, in an intimate ceremony onboard the canoe. Hokulea crewmembers conducted a star compass activity with local students, and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld led a navigation presentation for the public visiting the center. Wednesday’s activities also included a tour of the NASA headquarters: Hokulea crewmembers visited the facilities where astronauts would get suited up before their flights, NASA’s vehicle assembly building and the launch control center.

Nasa Hokulea Building

Hokulea is scheduled to depart Titusville on Friday, April 8, and continue her journey up the east coast. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.

To follow the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage

Hawaii DLNR to Hold Public Information Meeting on Draft Environmental Assessment for Keauhou Bay Offshore Moorings

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will hold a public informational meeting on Friday April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kealakehe High School cafeteria, to discuss the Draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed Keauhou Bay Offshore Moorings project.

Keauhou Project

The proposed project involves the replacement of the existing nine (9) unpermitted offshore moorings in the bay with 16 new permitted offshore moorings as well as two proposed alternatives.  The purpose of the meeting will be to present the proposed Alternatives introduced in the Draft Environmental Assessment and allow the public to provide input and feedback on the proposed alternatives. The document can be found online at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/current_issue.pdf

Kealakehe High School Cafeteria is located at 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Big Island Business Selected for Elite Air Force One Detailing Team

John Paul of West Coast Detailing and Cornerstone Mobile Detailing has been selected to the elite Air Force One Detailing Team that restores and now preserves the original Air Force One presidential jet, on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The Boeing 707-120, also known as Special Air Missions (SAM) 970, was a flying Oval Office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It also entertained many international VIPs such as Nikita Khrushchev and Henry Kissinger.

John Paul detailing a car.

John Paul detailing a car.

“I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of such a significant project as preserving Air Force One, a beautiful icon of our country’s aviation heritage and history,” quoted Paul.“How many chances do you get to work on preserving a piece of our country’s history and here we are cleaning and restoring more than fifteen of Boeing’s most prestigious vintage aircraft. It is a privilege to be a part of this team and to share in this unique opportunity” he added.

air force detailing

As a member of the 2016 team, Paul was selected out of hundreds of detailers nationwide to help celebrate Boeing’s 100th Anniversary and the opening of the Seattle Museum of Flight’s new Airpark Pavilion with the biggest and most prestigious historic aircraft detailing project on record.

Brad Detail

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and John Paul

Renowned Big Island based Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his company Tiki Shark Art Inc promptly jumped in support of Paul as his main sponsor. “Paul always takes care of detailing and maintaining our Tiki Fleet of automobiles so well, like they were his own” stated Parker. “He is a perfect fit for this project”.

“It is a pleasure to support our local business, watch them grow and give back to the community…..all the best to you John Paul” he added.

Reply From Hilo Medical Center to Senator Kahele’s Helipad Safety Concerns

Helipad

Dan Brinkman, Regional CEO East Hawaii Region HHSC, replied to Senator Kai Kahele’s letter yesterday about the Senators concerns over the Hilo Medical Center’s Helipad:

Dear Senator Kahele,

Several weeks ago we gave HLF notice that we would not be renewing their MOA with us when it expires in April. We asked HLF to locate its helicopter at HIA instead of the HMC helipad. Among other issues, the repeated failure of HLF to meet its MOA commitments to move its rotor within the agreed upon time parameters……when other rotors needed access, was a significant factor in the non renewal. At the expiration of the MOA, the helicopter will no longer be located on the helipad

As an aside, the East Hawaii Regional Board is the governing body for decisions that directly affect the well being of the East Hawaii community. Both HMC administration and our board welcome your continued input and involvement in improving the health and safety of our constituents.

It is good to be on the same page…
Aloha, Dan

Dan Brinkman
Regional CEO East Hawaii Region HHSC

Commentary – Senator Kahele on Safety Concern of Hilo Medical Center Helipad

On behalf of our constituents within the first senatorial district of Hilo and all of Hawai‘i Island, I am writing to request Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) Board to discontinue its Agreement for Purchase of Goods and Services (APGS) with Hawai‘i Life Flight, Inc. (HLF), signed on April 10, 2013 which allows permanent parking on the helipad of Hilo Medical Center (HMC) and has presented numerous safety of flight issues for other operators in the area.

Helipad

Although the agreement allows HLF to park their aircraft to one side of the helipad and the space meets the minimum requirements to do so – it has still proven, on numerous occasions, to present a safety concern.

The U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area Department of Emergency Services has reported that on two occasions within the past year, several of their Blackhawk Medevac helicopters have been prevented from landing safely during training patrols and other exercises because of HLF’s permanent occupation of the helipad. On October 29, 2015 an emergency transport helicopter arrived at the HMC helipad to find the HLF helicopter still on the helipad. As an HLF employee was securing the aircraft, the Medevac Blackhawk was in its final approach and unfortunately was forced to land with the HLF aircraft only partially secured.  The Engine Company Captain on scene reported a “near miss” incident with both aircraft being on the helipad at the same time.

Additionally, the County of Hawai‘i Fire Department which maintains two helicopters for emergency medical services has reported that on three separate incidents their Chopper 2 aeromedical helicopter has landed at the helipad with the pad being occupied by HLF.

One way to resolve this issue is to keep the helipad vacated and available at all times. This would ensure a safer overall operation.  It is our understanding that the aforementioned APGS is up for renewal on April 10, 2016 and that last fall representatives of the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area met with HHSC’s Board of Directors and raised these safety of flight issues with them.  At that time, there was an indication that HHSC’s board did not intend to renew the agreement.

Because of these safety of flight issues which could have resulted in serious loss of life to patients, crew and bystanders on the ground – as well as loss of necessary medical equipment funded by and provided for the use of our community – we support your efforts to preserve necessary landing space at HMC to allow for a safer environment and improved access.

Thank you for your leadership in keeping the health and safety of our residents HHSC’s top priority and we look forward to working with you towards a positive solution.

Hau‘oli ka mana‘o,

Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele, Senate District 1-Hilo

Hokulea Makes U.S. Mainland Arrival at Everglades National Park

Hokulea has made her first touch on the U.S. Mainland at Everglades National Park to pay homage to nature, the National Park Service and the area’s indigenous people.

Everglades

Arriving at Everglades National Park on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. (EST); 1:00 a.m. (HST), the Hokulea crew were welcomed by The Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples in a sacred ceremony honoring the Voyage. Following this sacred ceremony, The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Everglades National Park Service hosted a welcoming ceremony at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, where the public was invited to meet the crew and learn about the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

“We thought it would be most appropriate to have Hokulea’s arrival into the U.S. mainland take place where we could honor and pay respect to the area’s native people and to our National Park Service,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator and president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This arrival represents two key pillars of our voyage, which are to connect with other indigenous cultures and to discover the efforts of our environmental mission partners such as the National Park Service, which is celebrating its Centennial,” he added.

Everglades3

Everglades National Park is a public park for the benefit of the people. It is set aside as a permanent wilderness preserving essential primitive conditions including the natural abundance, diversity, behavior, and ecological integrity of the unique flora and fauna. The park is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and Wetland of International Importance.

Hokulea sailed to Everglades National Park from Key West, FL where she entered the US on March 23, 2016, after two years of sailing around the globe. The canoe departed Key West on March 25, 2015 to set sail for the Everglades. Her next destination after Everglades National Park is Fort Meyers, FL.

From Fort Meyers, Hokulea will cross the Florida peninsular via the Okeechobee Waterway to the eastern coast of the state where the crew will honor the late Lacy Veach at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in early April. Veach was a Hawaii-born NASA astronaut who first suggested the idea that Hokulea should sail around the world to share the message to care for Island Earth.

Everglades2As Hokulea sails up the East Coast of the U.S. for the first time in history, the Polynesian Voyaging Society has been developing the canoe’s sail plan based on stops where the crew will be able to make deeper connections with schools, Native American tribes and environmental mission partners such as National Park Service, UNESCO, NOAA and Mission Blue.

Following Florida, the crew will travel up the east coast making several stops including South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, where PVS will celebrate Earth Day with the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, offering canoe tours and dockside outreach to the public. Additional engagement stops in Virginia include Yorktown and Tangier Island, where the crew will focus on many of the environmental issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and the efforts to protect the country’s largest watershed. From there, the iconic canoe will arrive at the nation’s capital by sailing down the Potomac River and docking at the Washington Canoe Club.

After spending about a week in Washington DC, Hokulea will sail to New York City, where she will be a focal point at World Oceans Day events hosted by the United Nations on June 8, 2016. The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. While in New York City, Hokulea will also participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, which is the east coast’s largest Pacific Islands festival and one of the world’s most competitive outrigger races. Hokulea is expected to depart New York City on June 18, for several engagements in the New England area.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil.

For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Public Information Meeting Scheduled for Pahoa Roundabout Project

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) will be holding a public information meeting in coordination with area legislators, Senator Lorraine Inouye and County Council Members Greggor Ilagan and Daniel K. Paleka, Jr., to inform the public of the anticipated opening date of the Pahoa Roundabout.

Pahoa Round-a-boutThe meeting will include information on the project schedule and remaining work. A display station demonstrating how to drive through a roundabout will also be available for public viewing.

The meeting is scheduled at the following location and time:

Thursday, April 7, 2016
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Pahoa Neighborhood Center
15-2710 Kauhale Street, Pahoa

The public information meeting is accessible for individuals with disabilities. For more information or to request an auxiliary aid or service (e.g., sign language, interpreter, specific language interpreter, designated parking, and materials in alternate format) contact J. Sonomura at (808) 933-8866 or e-mail dotpao@hawaii.gov by March 28, 2016.

HDOT thanks motorists for their patience as they work through the temporary detour and traffic signal changes in the area. Anticipated opening of the area to limited use is scheduled for mid-April. Full operation of the Pahoa Roundabout will be announced at a later date.

For the latest information on lane closures and detours, visit the HDOT website at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/roadwork/ or follow us on our Facebook (facebook.com/HawaiiDepartmentOfTransportation) or Twitter (@DOTHawaii) accounts.

Former Hawaii Superferry Renamed USNS Puerto Rico and Will Run Between US and Canada

The former Hawaii Superferry Alakai is being renamed by the US Navy to USNS Puerto Rico and will now run routes between the United States and Canada.

SuperferryAccording to Fosters.com:

High-speed ferry service will return this summer between Maine and Nova Scotia on a vessel that is smaller and faster than one that operated for two financially disastrous seasons.
Mark MacDonald, president of Canada-based Bay Ferries, said the company will operate a twin-hulled vessel under a lease agreement with its owner, the U.S. Navy.
The ship, USNS Puerto Rico, can make the 212-mile trip in 5 1/2 hours. The Nova Star, which ended service in October, took 11 hours to make the crossing…
…The Puerto Rico was built in Mobile, Alabama, in 2007 for Hawaii Superferry LLC and designed to operate in the Hawaiian islands. The federal government obtained the vessel after Hawaii Superferry went bankrupt in 2009.

More information here: High-speed ferry to run between Portland and Nova Scotia