• Breaking News

  • Hawaii Island Energy Coop
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • RSS Mayor Kenoi’s Blog

  • Say When

    November 2015
    S M T W T F S
    « Oct    
  • When

  • RSS World Wide Ed

  • RSS Pulpconnection

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Seek Witnesses to Fatal Car Crash

National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to a fatal single-vehicle accident that occurred on Highway 11 near mile marker 30 and the Pi‘i Mauna Drive intersection in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Thursday night.

volcano car crashAt approximately 9:38 p.m., a female driver traveling south on Highway 11 crashed into a cluster of large ‘ōhi‘a trees and was ejected from the vehicle, a 1992 Honda sedan. Park rangers and County of Hawai‘i rescue personnel determined the victim did not survive, and her body was transported to Hilo Medical Center.

The identification of the victim is unknown, and an investigation is underway.

Anyone with information regarding the accident is asked to call Park Dispatch at (808) 985-6170.


Umauma Bridge Remains Closed, Unknown When Bridge Will Reopen – Expect Long Delays

The State Highways Department reports that the Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 in the area of the 16 to 17 mile marks in Hamakua remains closed to all traffic.  A detour has been set up through the Old Mamalahoa Highway and motorists are advised to drive with caution and to expect traffic delays.

Umauma Detour

Presently delays of up to 30 minutes can be expected and if possible alternate routes should be used.   It is unknown at this time when the bridge will be reopened.  All other major roadways and highways are open at this time.

1,000 Desks Donated to South African Schools on Behalf of the Worldwide Voyage

Hokulea crewmembers and a delegation of Hawaii students, teachers and families visited St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School near Cape Town, South Africa to present 50 Tutudesks featuring artwork inspired by the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. An additional 1,000 desks will be delivered to township schools in the Durban, South Africa area in early 2016. The donation of desks will support the campaign’s goal to provide 20 million desks to 20 million children by 2020.


“These Tutudesks will help students have space at home to do their homework. Even in the   classroom, it’s going to help teachers do individual work with each child,” said Vuyiswa Lebenya, principal of St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School.

Following the presentation, Ke Ka o Makalii – a group comprised of teachers and students from Kamehameha Schools and Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School – offered hula and mele celebrating the past voyages of Hokulea. Students from St. Mary’s then followed with their own local songs and dances before inviting the Hawaii delegation to participate.


“When I saw them dancing together, that is what global peace looks like. It’s finding that rhythm that’s down deep inside that allows us to be completely the same, to be respectful and caring of everyone,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Hokulea crewmembers and the Hawaii delegation are in South Africa this week as part of Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.


The Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign provides portable school desks to children in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 95 million school children do not have the benefit of a classroom desk. This shortage affects the development of literacy and overall academic performance.

Hawaii Electric Bills Fall to Lowest Levels in More than Five Years

Customers of Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric this month are seeing the lowest monthly electric bills in more than five years, largely due to the continued drop in fuel prices. And on Hawaii Island, customers of Hawaii Electric Light are benefitting even further, with the lowest monthly bills in more than six years.

“Lower oil prices are helping our customers right now, but we know our state needs to stay committed to long-term solutions, which means developing a diverse portfolio of low-cost renewable energy resources. It’s critical that we keep working toward our state’s goal of a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard,” said Darren Pai, Hawaiian Electric spokesman.

Based on 500 kwh/month for Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui; 400 kWh/month for Molokai and Lanai

Based on 500 kwh/month for Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui; 400 kWh/month for Molokai and Lanai

Currently, 22 percent of the electricity needs of the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ customers are met using renewable resources and Hawaii is by far the national leader in the percentage of customers with rooftop solar. And the Hawaiian Electric Companies are continuing to increase renewable resources and develop new options for customers to manage their bills. Recent actions include:

  • Proposed time-of-use rates for residential customers, public schools and electric vehicle owners
  • Expansion of utility-owned electric vehicle fast chargers
  • Piloting intelligent energy storage systems
  • A proposed community-based renewable energy program that would benefit customers who cannot or chose not to take advantage of rooftop solar to receive the benefits of renewable energy
  • Plans to install 137 megawatts of solar power from grid-scale projects to be completed in 2016

First Humpback Whale of the Season Spotted by Body Glove Cruise

Today I had the opportunity to go out on Body Glove Hawaii’s 65 foot Catamaran with folks affiliated with Body Glove.

World Champion Surfer Jamie O'Brien was one of the guests invited on the cruise.

World Champion Surfer Jamie O’Brien was one of the guests invited on the cruise.

On our way out to a snorkeling spot along the Kona coast we came across both Spinner Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins .

Spinner Dolphins

Spinner Dolphins

We spent about 2 hours at the snorkeling spot where we had lunch and drinks on the boat.  Some folks jumped off the high platform of the boat, others slid down the boats slide… and others simply socialized on board.

Tiki Shark Agent Abbas Hassan, Surfer Jamie O'Brien and Artist Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker talk story about things.

Tiki Shark Agent Abbas Hassan, Surfer Jamie O’Brien and Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker talk story about things.

After a few hours in the sun, the boat turned back for Kona.  On our way back to the pier… a Humpback Whale BREACHED about 100 yards from the boat.  The captain of the boat said that this was the first sighting of a Humpback Whale that they have seen (this year)!  Of course it only breached once and so I wasn’t able to capture a picture of it… but many of us on the boat saw it as well as the captain as he slowed the boat to a gentle crawl.

Folks enjoying themselves in the water

Folks enjoying themselves in the water

Mahalo to the folks at Body Glove Hawaii for making this trip possible.  I highly suggest folks give this a try if you are staying in the Kona area.  They have both a morning snorkeling cruise and an evening dinner and dancing cruise!

The boat departs from the Kona Pier.

The boat departs from the Kona Pier.

You can visit the Body Glove Hawaii website here:  Body Glove Hawaii

$54 Million in Settlements to Benefit Hawaii Purchasers/Lessees of New Motor Vehicles and Purchasers of Certain Replacement Parts

Settlements totaling approximately $54.1 million have been reached with two Defendants.  The lawsuits allege that they fixed the price of certain motor vehicle components, causing millions of consumers and businesses from around the country to overpay for new or leased automobiles and replacement parts, such as air flow meters, alternators, ATF warmers, electronic throttle bodies, fuel injection systems, ignition coils, inverters, motor generators, radiators, starters, and valve timing control devices.

Consumers and businesses in Hawaii may be included in the Class if, from 2000 to 2015, they:

  1. Bought or leased an eligible new vehicle in the U.S. (not for resale), or
  2. Indirectly paid for an eligible motor vehicle replacement part. (Indirectly means they bought the replacement part from someone other than the manufacturer of the part.)

Eligible new motor vehicles are automobiles, light trucks, vans, mini-vans, and sport utility vehicles.


The Settlements provide monetary relief for consumers in the District of Columbia and 30 states – Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The Settlements also provide non-monetary relief, including cooperation, and an agreement by the Defendants not to engage in certain conduct for a period of 24 months.

The litigation is continuing against the remaining Non-Settling Defendants.  All funds received in this case will be distributed at the conclusion of the lawsuits or as ordered by the Court.  Notice about the claims process will be provided at a later date, and consumers and businesses should register to receive notice about the claims process or future settlements at www.AutoPartsClass.com.

Important Information and Dates:

  • Eligible consumers or businesses that want to sue the Settling Defendants regarding a particular component part must exclude themselves from that Settlement Class by March 28, 2016.
  • Eligible consumers or businesses can object to one or more of the Settlements by March 28, 2016.
  • The Court will hold a hearing on May 4, 2016, to consider whether to approve the Settlements and approve Class Counsel’s request that up to $2 million be set aside for future litigation costs and expenses.  Class Counsel will also request at the hearing, or at a later date, attorneys’ fees of up to one-third of the Settlements’ funds, plus reimbursement of costs and expenses.

For more detailed information about the Settlements and a full list of Settling Defendants and time periods:

  • Visit: www.AutoPartsClass.com
  • Call: 1-877-940-5043
  • Write to: Auto Parts Settlements, P.O. Box 10163, Dublin, OH 43017-3163

Delta to Fly Direct Routes From Seattle to Kona

Delta Airlines today announced they will be launching new flights  from Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and one of the destinations announced was Kona airport here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Delta Airlines
In all, Delta will launch service to ten destinations from Seattle between November 2015 and May 2016: Billings, Mont.; Boston; Cancun, Mexico; Edmonton, Alberta; Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island; Missoula, Mont.; Orange County; Orlando; Pasco, Wash.; and Victoria, British Columbia. Some service may be operated by Delta Connection carriers SkyWest Airlines and Compass Airlines.

Island Air Launches College Student Standby Program – University of Hawaii Students Will Benefit From $35 Fares

College life in Hawaiʻi just got a lot more affordable with the launch of Island Air’s new College Student Standby Program.  With this new pilot program the airline is offering students enrolled at University of Hawaiʻi campuses on Oʻahu and Maui the opportunity to stand by for any flight on any day for the wallet-friendly price of just $35* each way.

Island Air

The College Student Standby Program is available to all students currently enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu and six community institutions (Honolulu Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College, Leeward Community College, Maui College, Lānaʻi Education Center, and Windward Community College) who are traveling between the islands of Oʻahu, Maui and Lānaʻi.

To qualify for the College Student Standby rate, students must present a valid University of Hawaiʻi student ID and their state or federal ID card or passport to a customer service agent at the Island Air ticket counter. There is no maximum number of times a student may participate in the offer.

As the state’s affordable alternative airline, Island Air is constantly building new programs that enhance its value and services.  “We support our student communities and know how important it is to have a reliable, affordable connection to family and friends, especially for holidays,” said Dave Pflieger, CEO of Island Air.  “We are testing this program with the University of Hawaiʻi schools on Oʻahu and Maui for a limited time. The fare is an additional way that Island Air demonstrates its commitment to providing an economical, quality travel experience.”

*$35 is a standby rate, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice.  Fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee.  Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

For more information about Island Air’s College Student Standby rate, visit http://www.islandair.com or call (808) 840-2323.  Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

Chinese Navy Ships to Visit Hawaii

The U.S. Navy announced today that a People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] ship is expected to visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 12-16.

Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81)

Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81)

Zheng He (Type 679, Hull 81), a midshipmen training ship, is expected to arrive at 8 a.m. This routine port visit will give Chinese sailors an opportunity to interact with their U.S. counterparts

Foreign Navy ships come to Pearl Harbor-Hickam regularly for scheduled port visits.  Ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force have visited the base twice in recent months.

As part of a planned series of military-to-military exchanges between the two nations, Zheng He will be hosted by USS Chosin (CG 65). Chinese and U.S. naval officers will conduct dialogues to build confidence and mutual understanding.

Senior Captain Yan Zhengming, Superintendent of the Dalian Naval Academy; Senior Captain Xu Ping, Deputy Political Commissar of Dalian Naval Academy; and Senior Captain You Dade, Chief of Training Division of Dalian Naval Academy will be met by Captain Eric Weilenman, Chief of Staff, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

American and Chinese sailors plan to engage in deckplate level events and sporting events – including soccer, tug-of-war and basketball games – between our sailors. Receptions aboard the Zheng He and USS Chosin are also planned.  Capt. Ye Kaihua is commanding officer of Zheng He; Capt. Kevin Brand commands USS Chosin.

The last port visit by PLA(N) ships to Pearl Harbor-Hickam was in September 2013.

The U.S. Navy is committed to continued engagement to improve mutual understanding, build trust, enhance transparency, and reduce the risk of misperceptions and miscalculations. Military-to-military engagement is an important tool to build trust, encourage multilateral cooperation, enhance transparency, and mitigate risk.

“State of Aerospace” in Hawaii – Opportunity for a New Industry Growth

The State legislature has indicated interest in growth in the aerospace industry of Hawaii as a means of diversifying the economic risk within the State beyond tourism, service industries and military.
AerospaceClick here to register

Hawaii County Charges Skateboarders Extra to Use Pahoa-Pohoiki-Hilo Route

Does anyone know why the county charges skateboarders an extra dollar to use the buses that run the Pahoa-Pohoiki-Hilo route but NOT ON ANY OTHER ROUTES?

hele on pahoa bus
I’m not quite sure why I can bring a briefcase on the bus… but skateboarders can’t bring boards on the bus?
Skateboard pahoa

Section of Cemetery Road Covered by Lava to Be Restored

The Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works will begin work on restoring the functionality of Cemetery Road on Monday October 5, 2015.

Lava crosses Cemetery Rd.   Photo by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd

Lava crosses Cemetery Rd. Photo by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd

On October 25, 2014 lava associated with the Pu‘u O‘o Volcanic Eruption crossed onto Cemetery Road that extends from Apa‘a Street near the Pāhoa Transfer Station.  After assessing ingress and egress for the area, including the Ka‘ohe Homesteads, restoring the functionality of Cemetery Road is in the best interests of public safety.

Reconstruction work involves removing the new lava to original grades and then paving the 500-foot stretch of roadway.   The project is expected to take approximately forty (40) working days to complete, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Seventy five (75) percent of the $150,000 project cost will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Motorists are advised to use caution as heavy trucks and equipment will be utilizing Cemetery Road and Apa‘a Street.  Cemetery Road will be closed as a though street for the duration of this restoration project.

Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works thanks the community for their cooperation in keeping the construction area clear and roadways free from potential traffic and safety problems.

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

Hawaii Wins $53.1 Million Settlement Against Online Travel Companies

The State of Hawaii has recovered $53.1 million in general excise taxes, penalties and interest from online travel companies (the “companies”) including Travelocity.Com, LLP, Expedia, Inc., Orbitz, LLC, and Priceline.Com, LLP from tax litigation that began in 2011.

Attorney General Clip

Attorney General Doug Chin said “Online travel companies derive substantial profits from the sale of hotel rooms, rental cars a nd other services in Hawaii. The importance of the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling is the precedent it establishes. People or companies who provide goods and services through the Internet that are used or consumed in Hawaii are subject to Hawaii taxation, despite being domiciled in other states.”

The Tax Appeal Court previously ruled that the companies owed general excise taxes but not the State’s transient accommodations tax that is assessed on operators of transient accommodations, like hotels. The State and the companies appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court from these rulings.

On March 17, 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court upheld the Tax Appeal Court’s ruling that the companies are subject to Hawaii’s general excise tax, but concluded that they are taxable only on their net receipts from the sale of hotel rooms in Hawaii, not their gross receipts. The Court ruled that the companies receive the benefit of an income splitting provision that applies to travel agents in chapter 237, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The Court rejected the companies’ argument that they were not doing business in Hawaii. The Court stated in its opinion, “the [companies] are not passive sellers of services to Hawai‘i consumers. The [companies] actively solicit customers for Hawai‘i hotel rooms and actively solicit hotels to contractually provide the right to sell on their website the right of occupancy of hotel rooms.”

The Court remanded the case to the Tax Appeal Courtto re-determine the amount of general excise taxes, penalties and interest the companies owe to the State of Hawaii. On September 22, 2015, the Tax Appeal Court entered final stipulated judgments setting forth the amounts owed by the companies and the amounts that the State needed to refund from the State’s litigated claims fund.

Litigation against the companies for their other State tax obligations for their other business activities in Hawaii during the period 2000 through 2013 is continuing.

Department of Health Cites Ken’s Towing for Vehicle Salvage and Solid Waste Inspection Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed a Notice of Violation and Order against Ken’s Towing Service, Inc. The violations occurred at 55 Kukila Street in Hilo, Hawaii (TMK 2-2-058:027 and 2-2-047:061) and involved the operation of an unpermitted vehicle salvage facility and the obstruction of a DOH inspection.


Ken’s Towing Service, Inc. was previously operating under a solid waste management permit that expired in February 2012. DOH conducted an inspection of the facility on Mar. 13, 2013 and found approximately 40 junk vehicles, at least five cubic yards of scrap metal, at least 100 scrap tires, and approximately 3 pallets of shrink wrapped lead acid batteries.

The company submitted a permit application in June 2013, but the department was unable to issue the permit as the facility neglected to finish the permit process and the application remains incomplete. On Oct. 20, 2014, DOH attempted an inspection of the facility and was denied entry.

Based on these findings and events, DOH has imposed a penalty of $7,500, and ordered the facility to remove all solid waste and close the unpermitted salvage operation. Ken’s Towing Service, Inc. may request a hearing to contest the allegations or order.

The DOH, Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation, and transfer systems. Such standards are intended to prevent pollution of the drinking water supply or waters of the state; prevent air pollution; prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances; protect public health and safety; conserve natural resources; and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

27-Year-Old Dies in Two-Vehicle Collision

A 27-year-old Laupāhoehoe man died Saturday (August 15, 2015) from injuries he received in a two-vehicle collision on Route 19 (Hawaii Belt Road) in the area of the 9-mile-marker.

Daven Dolan

Daven Dolan

The man was identified as Daven Dolan of a Laupāhoehoe address.

Responding to a 4:11 a.m. call, South Hilo Patrol officers determined that Dolan was operating a 2006 Lexus four-sedan and traveling north on Route 19 when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2008 GMC Master delivery truck traveling south.

The driver of the GMC truck, a 37-year-old man from Hilo, was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire Rescue personnel and later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center for further treatment.

Dolan was also transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:40 a.m.

Police believe that alcohol may be a contributing factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.

This is the 15th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 8 at the same time last year.

26-Year-Old Arrested in Kona Collision that Resulted in Fatality

A 52-year-old Kailua-Kona man died following a two-vehicle collision east of the intersection of Kaiminani Drive and Laui Street in the early morning hours of Monday (August 3) in Kailua-Kona.

He has been positively identified as Robert N. Weinstock.

Responding to a 12:41 a.m. call, police determined that a green 2007 Ford pickup truck was traveling west on Kaiminani Drive before the Laui Street intersection when it crossed the centerline of the roadway and crashed head-on into a 2003 Nissan sports-utility vehicle being driven by Weinstock.

Both drivers were taken to Kona Community Hospital, where Weinstock was officially pronounced dead at 1:29 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Justin Rohan

Justin Rohan

The driver of the Ford pickup, 26-year-old Justin Rohan of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. He was released pending further investigation while being treated for his injuries at Kona Community Hospital.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Justin Hooser or Sergeant Bradley Freitas at 326-4646, Ext. 229.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

This is the 14th traffic related fatality this year compared with eight at this time last year.

Kaiminani Drive, which had been closed to traffic for several hours, was reopened shortly after noon.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Propose New Electronic Vehicle Charging Rates

The Hawaiian Electric Companies have asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve discount electric vehicle charging rates in a new time-of-use program.

The new rates aim to promote plug-in electric vehicle use by offering simpler terms and sign-up procedures compared to the existing EV discount charging pilot and to foster more use of excess electricity generated by rooftop solar systems during the middle of the day.

Hawaiian Electric is recommending that customers enrolled in the present EV time-of-use pilot program have the option to continue at their existing rates when the current pilot expires at the end of September, 2015.

“EV numbers continue to increase and automakers are bringing more advanced plug-in electric vehicles to market. And with over 70,000 customers statewide who have or will soon have rooftop solar, we see increasing amounts of excess solar electricity available at mid-day,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service.

“The proposed new rates will help make greater use of that solar electricity and accelerate EV adoption in Hawaii,” Alberts said.

In addition to upgraded discount charging rates, the Hawaiian Electric Companies are installing up to 25 DC fast chargers across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island to alleviate EV drivers’ “range anxiety” and working with stakeholders on other endeavors as new ideas and technologies enter the market.

The proposed rates will have only two time-of-use schedules over 24 hours instead of three. Charging an EV at home using electricity from the grid will be most expensive during peak electricity demand from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. All other hours will be at the less expensive off-peak rate. EV owners may still choose to add a separate meter just for EV charging or keep a single meter for all household and charging use.

Signing up for EV rates will also be simpler. Customers need only certify ownership of a plug-in electric vehicle. As with the discount charging pilot in place for the last five years, customers on Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Oahu would be eligible to participate, upon PUC approval.

For commercial customers, the proposed new EV rates will waive “demand charges” during off-peak periods and eliminate demand charge minimums. This will make it less expensive for commercial customers who wish to provide charging for EV fleets or their customers with EVs.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are asking the PUC to approve this proposal by the end of September when the present pilot ends. The companies suggest the new program last until June 30, 2020, when all EV rates would be re-considered for the future.

The new rate is designed to provide more off-peak hours for home EV charging with a 6.1¢ per kWh savings for a typical residential customer on Oahu. By charging off-peak, that driver is estimated to save half the cost to “fuel” an electric vehicle (compared to a mid-sized gasoline-fueled sedan) by buying no gasoline but paying a slightly higher monthly electric bill. The proposed per kWh savings for off-peak EV charging for a typical residential customer on Hawaii Island is 9.2¢; on Maui is 7.3¢; on Lanai is 7.1¢; and on Molokai is 9.4¢.

Here are comparative sample driving costs under the proposed rates based on Oahu electricity and gasoline costs:

energy costs

Dalai Lama and Nainoa Thompson Discuss Education and Universal Human Values

Nainoa Thompson, pwo (master) navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, today joined a panel discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in celebration of His Holiness’s 80th birthday. The topic of discussion for the panel of inspiring leaders was The Significance of Education in Advancing Universal Human Values.

Dalai Lama and Nainoa

“I was honored and humbled to be invited to speak with His Holiness, one of my heroes and a true inspiration for our work aboard Hokulea as we travel around the world,” said Thompson. “We came together to celebrate his legacy of peace, kindness and universal compassion, and the true gift for his 80th birthday was the lesson he has offered all of us.”

Thompson acknowledged His Holiness as one of Earth’s greatest navigators and offered a gift of traditional Hawaiian oli (chant) by apprentice navigator Lehua Kamalu.  Thompson then presented him with a maile lei he had carried from the Hawaiian islands.

The event was the final session of His Holiness’s three-day Global Compassion Summit at University of California, Irvine’s Bren Center on Tuesday, July 7 and took place at 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Thompson was one of 15 distinguished panelists to participate in the conversation.

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year.  Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Thompson’s visit to the Global Compassion Summit marked a truly global moment for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage today. Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea is scheduled to arrive at Darwin, Australia, while sister canoe Hikianalia today returns home to Honolulu after a fruitful trip to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument with NOAA researchers and crew from The Nature Conservancy.

The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessels Hokulea and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Hawaii and the Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world.

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, began in Hawaiʻi in 2013 and will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth – practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Two Million Provided for Hawaii Bikeshare Program Seed Funding

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Hawaii State Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler, M.D. today signed a contract providing matching funds for Bikeshare Hawai‘i.

Bike ShareUnder the agreement, the City and State will each provide $1 million in seed funding to assist the nonprofit Bikeshare Hawaii in building its large-scale bicycling infrastructure system, which is set to launch next year.

“We’re proud to support this important transportation public-private partnership between the City, State, and Bikeshare Hawaii,” said Mayor Caldwell. “This expansion of Honolulu’s bicycling infrastructure will be a game-changer in giving residents and visitors options to avoid traffic, help the environment, and have fun.”

bike share signing

“The Department of Health is thrilled to partner with the City and County on this important initiative that puts bikeshare within the reach of Hawaii’s residents and visitors,” said Director Pressler. “Having access to active transportation modes like bikeshare makes it easier for us to meet out daily physical activity needs, ultimately helping to reduce obesity and chronic disease to improve the health and well-being of our community.”

Bikeshare Hawaii will be a low-cost, flexible public transportation system that provides on-demand access to a network of publically-rentable bicycles at strategic locations. Approximately 1,700 bikes will be available at stations throughout urban Honolulu during the initial rollout. Upon completion of Honolulu’s rail project, bikeshare stations will provide first/last mile connectivity to rail and TheBus stations, facilitating the use of public transportation. Bikeshare will eventually expand the system statewide as demand increases.

Bikeshare systems have been proven to expand mobility options, create new bicyclists, and reduce automobile use. Bikeshare systems also promote healthier cities, active lifestyles, reduced vehicle emissions, and reliance on imported fossil fuel.

More information: http://www.bikesharehawaii.org/

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Crash on Hawaii Belt Road

Five people were injured—one critically—in a three-vehicle crash Friday (June 19) on the Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Highway 19) at Maulua Gulch along the Hāmākua Coast.

Malua GulchResponding to a 9:14 a.m. call, police learned that a 2003 Toyota pickup truck traveling south near the 23-mile marker crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 2008 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer traveling north. The tractor-trailer lost control and crossed the centerline, colliding with a 2003 Chevrolet four-door sedan traveling south.

All occupants of the three vehicles were taken to Hilo Medical Center.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 40-year-old Hilo woman, was treated and released for minor injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 49-year-old Hilo man, and his passenger, an 11-year-old Hilo boy, were treated for their injuries and released.

The passenger in the sedan, a 24-year-old Laupāhoehoe woman, was treated for her injuries and released. The sedan’s driver, a 23-year-old Laupāhoehoe man, was transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.

Traffic Enforcement Unit investigators have initiated a negligent injury case and are continuing the investigation. It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Hawaiʻi Belt Highway was closed in both directions for more than two hours. Traffic was then allowed to take turns using one lane until the road was reopened to all traffic at approximately 3:40 p.m.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call Officer Clarence Acob at 961-2293.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.