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Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin Supports “Dreamers”

Attorney General Doug Chin today joined California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 18 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In the letter, the attorneys general explain how DACA has benefited their states and the nation as a whole and call on the President to fulfill his public commitment to Dreamers.

Click to read

Attorney General Chin said, “I am the son of immigrants. Hawaii is the most diverse state in our country – a nation founded by immigrants. A legal process has been established to ensure the almost one million Dreamers under DACA can stay in the United States and continue contributing to our country. Rescinding DACA would be senseless, cruel, and self-defeating.”

Since DACA’s inception five years ago, nearly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to this country as children have been granted DACA status after paying application fees, submitting to and passing background checks and applying for work permits. In Hawaii, approximately 2,000 people are eligible for DACA status.

Today’s letter to President Trump states:

“Mr. President, now is the time to affirm the commitment you made, both to the ‘incredible kids’ who benefit from DACA and to their families and communities, to handle this issue ‘with heart.’ You said Dreamers should ‘rest easy.’ We urge you to affirm America’s values and tradition as a nation of immigrants and make clear that you will not only continue DACA, but that you will defend it. The cost of not doing so would be too high for America, the economy, and for these young people. For these reasons, we urge you to maintain and defend DACA, and we stand in support of the effort to defend DACA by all appropriate means.”

The letter refutes arguments set forth by those opposing DACA and threatening litigation, saying they are wrong as a matter of law and policy and urges the President not to capitulate to their demands.

The letter further states:

“DACA is consistent with a long pattern of presidential exercises of prosecutorial discretion … DACA sensibly guides immigration officials’ exercise of their enforcement discretion and reserves limited resources to address individuals who threaten our communities, not those who contribute greatly to them. Challenges have been brought against the original DACA program, including in the Fifth Circuit, but none have succeeded.”

Joining Attorneys General Chin and Becerra in sending the letter are attorneys general from: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.

Big Island Police Identify Man Who Stole Ambulance

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a 24-year-old Hilo man in connection with the theft of an ambulance from the Hilo Medical Center (July 20).

At 1:43 p.m., hospital staff reported that a privately owned ambulance belonging American Medical Response (AMR) was stolen from the hospital. An extensive search by police and AMR personnel was underway when a witness reported seeing the ambulance on Leilani Street, leading into the solid-waste transfer station.

Maksim Stasyuk

At 2:20 p.m., police located the ambulance and arrested Maksim Stasyuk at the scene without incident. He is being held at the Hilo cellblock while detectives from the Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Kayne Kelii of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378 or Kayne.Kelii@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Ciber Lawsuit to Remain in Hawaii

A federal bankruptcy court ordered yesterday that Ciber, Inc. v. Hawaii will be heard in Hawaii state court, despite mainland-based Ciber’s attempts to move Hawaii’s claims to Delaware.

The case began in September 2015 when Ciber sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) regarding a project to implement new software for the HDOT’s Highway Division. Hawaii counterclaimed, alleging that the consulting firm defrauded the State, staffed the project with incompetent consultants, and engaged in other misconduct on the project. Hawaii alleged that Ciber pulled a “bait and switch” by misrepresenting its capabilities to win a contract with HDOT, and that the fraud continued once Ciber had the contract.

First Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki said, “Keeping the case in Hawaii is a victory for the state and for common sense. The witnesses are here and the fraud occurred here. Litigating in Delaware would have been illogical and only served to disadvantage the State.”

This is the latest court loss for Ciber. In February 2016, the state circuit court rejected Ciber’s attempts to dismiss many of HDOT’s claims. If Ciber had succeeded in its attempts to transfer the case to Delaware, Hawaii would have been forced to litigate in court thousands of miles away at great expense. With yesterday’s order, while Ciber’s bankruptcy will remain in federal court, Hawaii’s underlying fraud claims against Ciber will be tried in Hawaii state circuit court.

A copy of the order is attached.

Local Big Island Businesses Try to Raise $20,000 for The Food Basket

Hawaii Island’s Food Bank serves 1 in every 3 Hawaii Island residents through its partner agencies, providing nutritious and high quality food to Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. And while many residents generously reach into their cupboards to donate spam, vienna sausage, rice and saimin, it’s the monetary donations that keep the island-wide operation going, allowing The Food Basket to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island.

So when Randy Kurohara, owner of Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store, heard that The Food Basket needed additional funding to sustain their critical programs, he decided to utilize their in-house designing, printing and retail outlets to create a limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tee with 100% of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

According to Randy Kurohara, President & Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki…now it’s our turn. In just a few short weeks, we already reached 20% of our goal. Please purchase your Malama tee and help us raise $20,000 for The Food Basket!”

The shirts are $20 each with 100% of all monies being donated to The Food Basket. That means every “Malama” tee sold will allow The Food Basket to help feed seven children breakfast for a week, one senior lunch for over a month, or an entire family dinner for a week.

The Food Basket Executive Director, En Young, said “We are greatly appreciative of local businesses like Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store for helping us raise funds in our time of need. We remind everyone that all donations made to The Food Basket stay right here on Hawaii Island and assist the kupuna and keiki in our local communities.”

Kristine M., a recipient of The Food Basket services, wrote in a letter, “We so appreciate the food that you contribute to the Naalehu seniors. We need this help with food so very much. Last year our only grocery store here closed…..since most of us live on social security fixed income, this is so important to get these vegetables and canned goods. You have no idea how much this helps us out!”

The “Malama” tee was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.Aloha Grown “Malama” tees are $20 each and available for purchase in-store at Aloha Grown (224 Kamehameha Ave – Hilo), Creative Arts Hawaii (500 Kalanianaole Ave – Hilo), Parker Ranch Store (Parker Ranch Center – Waimea), The Food Basket (40 Holomua St – Hilo). Or to purchase online visit www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/donat e/.

For more information on the Aloha Grown “Malama” Tee Fundraiser, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/malam a.

30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim – Sunday, July 30

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the 30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim.The annual event will be held on Sunday, July 30th, 2017, with the race beginning at 8:00 am.  Registration forms will be accepted until 7:30 am on race day. We will have prizes for the winners.

You may register online at  https://flpregister.com/ or pick up a registration form at the Recreation Division office, 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo and all County pools.

For more information, please contact the Aquatic Specialist at 961-8694.

Fernanda Expected to Weaken to a Tropical Storm Tonight

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 136.3 West. Fernanda is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts.  Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Fernanda is expected to weaken to a tropical storm tonight.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 985 mb (29.09 inches).

Attorney General Doug Chin’s Statement on Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Order

This morning Attorney General Doug Chin issued the following statement in response to today’s order from the United States Supreme Court:

“Today the United States Supreme Court denied the Trump Administration’s motion to clarify. They confirmed the Hawaii federal court order that grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins are indeed close family. This confirms we were right to say that the Trump Administration over-reached in trying to unilaterally keep families apart from each other, in violation of the Supreme Court’s prior ruling. The Supreme Court did stay Judge Watson’s order with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance, pending resolution by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We are currently preparing our arguments for the Ninth Circuit to resolve that issue.”

UH Hilo Adds Australia to List of Countries with Formal Collaborative Ties

Student pharmacists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) are now able to formally expand their educational experiences to the Land Down Under following an agreement with an educational partner in Australia.

UH Hilo has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Blackmores Institute, an academic and research organization headquartered in the northern Sydney suburb of Warriewood, New South Wales.

“We are excited to partner with Blackmores Institute,” said DKICP Dean Carolyn Ma. “This MOU signifies our commitment to giving our students the most competitive education possible while fulfilling our mission to establish a global identity.”

The agreement establishes a program called the “U.S. BI Student Pharmacist Intern Program” that promotes the exchange of international experiences. Students will have the opportunity to get credit through elective Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience courses, which all fourth-year students in the professional program must take before obtaining a Pharm.D.

“Blackmores Institute’s focus on advancing the knowledge and research on complementary medicine dovetails nicely with our own emphasis on natural products,” said Ma.

Blackmores Institute, with regional offices in Singapore and Malaysia, is the academic and professional arm of Blackmores Limited, an Australian natural health company. In addition to UH Hilo, the Institute also collaborates with Taylor’s University in Malaysia and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.

Leslie Braun, director of Blackmores Institute, said that DKICP’s student pharmacist intern program supports their commitment to developing and delivering education that translates evidence into practical skills relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice and patient-centered care.

“Blackmores Institute welcomes this new MOU with UH Hilo as an opportunity to work with a like-minded body in advancing the quality use of complementary medicine in pharmacy practice,” Braun said. “We look forward to a mutually rewarding and productive collaboration with the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.”

Ma said she looks forward to the possibility of expanding research and clinical practice opportunities among mutual partners.

“We already have in common working relationships with universities in Thailand, such as Chulalongkorn and Rangsit Universities, so we have a good start at developing new and exciting possibilities in the field of natural products health care,” Ma noted.

The first DKICP student pharmacists will travel to Australia for a six-week advanced fourth-year rotation later this fall.

Guest Commentary – Public Works Director Decides to Retire… Management Style Didn’t Work

Frank DeMarco, the current Hawaii County Public Works director, has decided to retire.

Frank DeMarco

This action allows Mayor Kim to select a new director for this key county department. I hope he selects someone with a strong rapport with the public and won’t treat concerned citizens, such as myself, like an enemy of the state.

Mr. DeMarco has a military background, and tried to run this critical department as a military unit with a chain of command structure. His management style obviously didn’t work very well and caused a lot of unnecessary issues. I was caught in the cross hairs of one of his ill advised decisions, which restricted me from communicating with anyone in the county public works department. I was able to get this directive somewhat amended, so I could at least go through the county public works public information officer. If this effort was unsuccessful, I’d be required to submit all inquires via postal mail directly to the mayor’s office.

The Department of Public Works is a key part of county government.  They’re responsible for approving building permits, and maintaining our roadway infrastructure.  It is imperative that the new director to be transparent and have strong rapport with the public at large. Anything less would go against Mayor Kim’s campaign pledge to bring trust and integrity to county government.

Aaron Stene

Hurricane Fernanda Moving North of the Big Island – Weakening

At 800 PM PDT (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 16.5 North, longitude 134.4 West. Fernanda is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h).  The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest on Wednesday at about the same rate of speed, and this general motion should continue through Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.  Fernanda is a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Continued weakening is forecast during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 976 mb (28.82 inches).

Hawaii County at Risk of Losing 11 Million in Federal Funding for Highway Project

In a July 7, 2017 letter Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim sent to State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson Suzanne Case, Mayor Kim is asking for an “expeditious review” of the Section 106 process  so that the county doesn’t risk losing 11 million dollars in federal funding for the Mamalahoa Highway Rt. 19 Widening Project.

It is not known by me if Case has responded to the Mayor’s request.
Here is the letter:

 

Dear Ms. Case:

SUBJECT:   DLNR STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION DIVISION MAMALAHOA HIGHWAY (RT 19) WIDENING Federal Aid Project No. NH-019-1(044) South Kohala, Hawaii

I am once again respectfully asking for your help in getting the subject project through the environmental process; more specifically the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) and the Section 106 process.

We are at a critical state where we need to reach a planning and design conclusion, by August 14, 2017, to encumber Federal obligation funds.  We are still so far away.

The draft Archeological Inventory Survey (AIS) report is presently with SHPD.  The Effect Determination letter is in route to SHPD, from FHWA.  We need an expeditious review and hopefully an approval from the SHPO to conclude this Section 106 process.

I ask for your help because we are in dire need to move this project along, or lose Eleven (11) Million Dollars of Federal funding if deadlines are not met.

Should you need any additional background information, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 808-961-8526 or our Director of Public Works, Mr. Frank De Marco at 808-961-8321.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your help,

Sincerely, Harry Kim

Mayor

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Global Tourism Summit to Honor Malama Honua and Crew of Hokulea at Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon

Recognizing their global quest to share Hawaii’s sustainability message, Malama Honua and the crew of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hokulea, will be the honorees of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon, September 19.

Over a three-year period, from May 2014 until its triumphant return to Honolulu on June 17, 2017, Hokulea’s crew circled the world sailing approximately 40,300 nautical miles, stopping in more than 150 ports, and visiting 23 countries and territories. In completing Malama Honua (which means “to care for our Earth”), Hokulea’s crew shared its message worldwide on the significance of perpetuating native cultures and protecting natural resources, especially the ocean environment.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit takes place September 19-21 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon is a highlight event of the opening day. The festive luncheon in the Center’s ballroom will feature live music, a video tribute to the worldwide voyage of Holukea, and remarks from Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“Malama Honua is the greatest accomplishment in modern Hawaiian history and we are proud to honor the crew and the purpose for the voyage at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit can join us in showing their aloha to the legacy of Malama Honua and Holukea’s crew, and celebrate the message of sustainability they shared with nations and people around the world.”

Attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon honoring Malama Honua is included as part of the registration to the Global Tourism Summit, which is available online at the dedicated summit website, www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265

Sustainable tourism is the theme of the Global Tourism Summit. The significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will be shared in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intent to bring people together to improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

Previously known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name of the annual event to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism.

Hurricane Fernanda Re-Intensifies – Hawaii In the Picture

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 16.0 North, longitude 133.9 West.  Fernanda is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h).  The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest at about the same rate of speed during the next two days.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Fernanda is anticipated to become a tropical storm by Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 972 mb (28.71 inches).

22-Year-Old Hilo Woman Dies in Single Vehicle Crash

A 22-year-old Hilo woman died following a single vehicle crash on (July 18), in Hilo.
Her name is being withheld pending notification of her family.

Responding to a 5:41 a.m. call, police determined that a 2004 Honda sedan was traveling north bound on Highway 19 at Nahala Street when it ran off the roadway.

The woman who died was taken to the Hilo Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 7:26 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police believe that speed was a factor in this crash.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest report and ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Casey Cabral at (808) 961-2329 or at Casey.Cabral@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers does not tape record phone calls or subscribe to Caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

This is the 21st traffic fatality this year compared with 12 at this time last year.

PISCES and Honeybee Robotics Receive $119K Grant From NASA

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) and Honeybee Robotics, Ltd. have received a $118,690 NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to jointly develop an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology that could launch the future of space settlement.

ISRU takes raw, natively sourced materials and converts them into usable resources. On places like the Moon and Mars, ISRU can transform regolith (or surface soil) into critical necessities like oxygen, water, rocket fuel and construction materials.PISCES and Honeybee Robotics have partnered on the 12-month ISRU project to design and develop an automated construction process that creates building blocks made entirely of sintered Hawaiian basalt. Since Hawaii’s basalt closely resembles Martian and lunar regolith in chemical composition and appearance, the blocks will have applications both on Earth and in space. ISRU basalt materials could enable the construction of habitats, tools, shelters, roads, landing pads and other critical infrastructure required for space settlement. Basalt building blocks could also provide a sustainable new construction material for the State of Hawaii in place of imported cement.

Through the STTR grant, PISCES is currently investigating the ideal sintering temperature to create these building blocks with an optimal balance of strength and volume. Honeybee Robotics is designing a robotic process for creating and/or deploying the blocks to automate the ISRU construction process. The Brooklyn-based company designs, builds and integrates technologies for a range of challenging environments including space exploration. It has contributed sample acquisition and processing tools for NASA rovers currently exploring Mars.

“We are excited to be working with Honeybee Robotics again on this NASA STTR project,” said PISCES Program Manager, Rodrigo Romo. “Honeybee was a key partner in our robotically built launch and landing pad that we constructed using only local basalt materials. This grant award will take the process a step further, allowing us to optimize the building block design and construction materials to allow for both vertical and horizontal construction applications that can be used both on Earth and on other celestial bodies for space settlement.”

A Honeybee Rover

“Hawaiian basalt is a great analog to the challenging environments we are likely to find on Mars or the Moon, where autonomous ISRU systems will need to work reliably and autonomously in tough conditions,” said Kris Zacny, vice president of the Exploration Technology Group at Honeybee Robotics. “Using local resources will be critical to enable new mission architectures by harvesting materials from the planet as needed. Also, approaches we develop for ISRU can also have applications in space mining, opening doors for both exploration and commercial missions. That’s why we’re so excited to be working with PISCES to advance our experience and robotic technologies.”

The STTR-funded project is Phase I in the development for planetary building blocks. If successful, PISCES and Honeybee Robotics will solicit a proposal for a Phase II STTR award which provides funding awards up to $1 million over two years.

The joint PISCES-Honeybee Robotics project was selected among 1,621 proposals submitted to NASA’s 2017 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and STTR programs. Of those, NASA selected 61 STTR Phase I proposals to negotiate contracts for funding. NASA’s STTR Program funds businesses and research institutions developing technologies that can support the space agency’s missions into deep space.

5th Annual Big Island Summer Jam

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) will be celebrating their 5th annual Summer Jam event.  This event is scheduled for July 29, 2017 at Hilo’s Edith Kanaka`ole Multi-purpose Stadium.

The event begins at 8:00 a.m. and finishes at 3:00 p.m.  This year’s event will include a craft fair with over 40 vendors, health fair, keiki activities, Strong Man contest and an Arm Wrestling competition.   The event’s purpose is to provide a free fun-filled event for the whole family.   BISAC will be honoring Judge Greg Nakamura for his years of service in Hawaii County Drug Court.

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

For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

Hawaii Department of Health Reminds Food Establishments of Law Prohibiting Use of Latex Gloves

Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) food safety inspectors will begin stepping up enforcement of a State law that bans the use of latex gloves by Hawaii’s food service industry.

Act 180, which took effect Jan. 1, 2017, prohibits the use of latex gloves by personnel working in food establishments. DOH has asked the Hawaii Restaurant Association, Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association, the Hawaii Food Industry Association and the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Associations to remind their members about the latex glove prohibition.

“Enforcing the prohibition will be a routine part of our food safety inspections,” said Peter Oshiro, head of the state’s food safety program. “Our inspectors and field staff will be checking food establishments to ensure that workers are not using latex gloves, and educating management and staff about the new law.”

Non-compliance with the law may result in fines of up to $10,000 for each offense. Violations of the ban will not affect a food establishment’s placard status.

The original measure, SB911 SD2 HD2 CD1, was co-introduced in 2015 by State Sen. Rosalyn Baker and former senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland and signed into law by Gov. David Ige in July 2016. The purpose of the bill is to prevent the occurrence of severe and potentially life threatening allergic reactions such as impaired breathing and anaphylaxis by those who are sensitive to latex. An estimated three million people in the U.S. are allergic to latex, according to the American Latex Allergy Association.

DOH requires all food-handlers who come into contact with ready-to-eat food products to use gloves to prevent the occurrence of food illnesses. Non-latex and nitrile gloves are readily available and currently used by employees in both the food service and health care industries.

DOH’s Sanitation Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii’s residents and visitors through education of food industry workers and regulation of food establishments statewide. The branch conducts routine health inspections of food establishments where food products are prepared, manufactured, distributed or sold.

The branch also investigates the sources of foodborne illnesses and potential adulteration and is charged with mitigating foodborne outbreaks and/or the prevention of future occurrences. Health inspectors work with business owners, food service workers and the food industry to ensure food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.

For more information on the department’s food safety program, go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/san/.

Coast Guard Assists Disabled, Adrift Vessel Off Maui

The Coast Guard successfully assisted the crew of the 25-foot pleasure craft Nohuli, safely towing the vessel back to shore after it became disabled and adrift approximately 17 miles north of Kahului, Maui, Sunday.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcew from Coast Guard Station Maui launched to assist the vessel due to a health condition of one of the passengers, impending sunset and lack of available commercial assistance.

Once onscene, the RB-S crew safely brought the three passengers aboard and placed the Nohuli into a stern tow. The passengers and Nohuli were transported back to Kahului Harbor. No injuries were reported.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a call from Maui 911 dispatch just before noon Sunday and were conferenced in with the operator of the Nohuli. The operator reported that all three people were wearing lifejackets, had plenty of food and water, were in no immediate danger and had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon however, one member was diabetic. Attempts to coordinate commercial or good Samaritan assistance were unsuccessful prompting the Coast Guard response.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of having proper equipment and being prepared when out to sea”, said Lt. Victoria Lacefield-Rodriguez, a command duty officer at Sector Honolulu. “The Nohuli crew’s actions are a perfect example of being prepared. This tow was executed perfectly and without further incident by Station Maui, but in the event conditions worsened or something went wrong, having that EPIRB, extra provisions and any necessary medications put this crew in a position to be self sufficient until help arrived.”

Hawaii Police Department Backpack Drive For Children Who Can’t Afford Them

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is proud to participate again in a backpack drive for children who cannot afford to buy them. As in previous years, all police stations around the island will double as drop-off points for persons interested in helping children in need. Backpacks may be dropped off between now and (August 30).

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaiʻi. The donated backpacks will be distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

This is the ninth consecutive year the Police Department has worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry), and Camp Agape Big Island.

Regulators Accept Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Plan to Reach 100% Renewable Energy

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has accepted the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ plan charting the near-term actions that will lead to 100 percent of Hawaii’s power generation needs coming from renewable resources to meet 100 percent of Hawaii’s power generation needs by 2045.

The Power Supply Improvement Plan Update accepted by the PUC on July 14 describes the work by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light that will form the foundation to meet or exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones, the most ambitious in the country.

In its decision, the commission commended the companies’ analysis of options to meet Hawaii’s future needs for electricity, the openness of the planning process and the “high-quality stakeholder input” that together resulted in “a set of plans that provides useful context for making informed decisions regarding the near-term path forward.”

“After review, commission has reasonable assurance that many of the actions identified … are credible, supported by sound judgment and analysis, informed by stakeholder input and consistent with state energy policy and prior commission orders,” the commission stated.

The plan describes several key goals, including acquisition of nearly 400 megawatts of new renewable energy resources by 2021. The commission urged the companies to move quickly on a “transparent, timely and successful procurement process” to work with project developers and capture federal investment tax credits before they expire.

“We appreciate the commission’s acceptance of our plan and its guidance for moving forward,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “As the commission noted, thoughtful input from the participants was a key to developing a successful plan and we will continue to work with everyone in our community as we implement it.”

The companies followed an open, collaborative process to develop the plan, participating in multiple stakeholder workshops and technical conferences to share information and ideas. Planners used industry-leading tools and techniques to analyze multiple scenarios to balance the desires for reliability, affordability and sustainability.

Among the participants in planning were the state Consumer Advocate; County of Hawaii; County of Maui; Ulupono Initiative; Blue Planet Foundation; Hawaii Gas; Paniolo Power on Hawaii Island and the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

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

The plan emphasizes work that is in progress or planned over the next five years on each of the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

The companies exceeded the state’s 2015 renewable energy target and forecast they will exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones in 2020, 2030 and 2040 by attaining a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of:

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

By 2020, Hawaii Island is forecast to reach an RPS of 80 percent; Maui 63 percent; Lanai 59 percent and Oahu, 40 percent. On Molokai, Maui Electric is working with the community on options for reaching 100 percent RPS by 2020.

To maintain reliability of electric service, the plan calls for adding energy storage and other grid technologies to accompany new renewable resources.

The plan includes continued growth of private rooftop solar and describes the work to expand and upgrade grid infrastructure and to use the newest generations of inverters, control systems and energy storage to help reliably integrate an estimated total of 165,000 private systems by 2030, more than twice today’s total of 79,000.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies already have the highest percentage of customers using rooftop solar of any utility in the U.S. The national average is one percent while the percentage in the Hawaiian Electric Companies service territories is 17 percent.