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Two Teams Share Top Honors at Hawaii Annual Code Challenge

Solutions tackling state challenges involving homelessness and jail facility visitation received top honors at the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (HACC) Judging and Awards Ceremony, held today at the Aloha Tower Marketplace.

haccThe event was the culmination of the month-long, hackathon-inspired competition designed to engage the local tech community in the modernization of Hawaii state government.

Twenty-seven teams presented solutions to the HACC judges panel, which consisted of Gov. David Y. Ige; Sen. Glenn Wakai; Todd Nacapuy, state Chief Information Officer (CIO); Garret Yoshimi, vice president of IT and CIO, University of Hawaii; Camille Au, director, Desktop Services, Hawaiian Electric; Bill Hozey, business sales managing partner, Hawaii and Alaska, Verizon; and Donna Scannell, VP of IT operations and business information officer, Kaiser Permanente. Solutions were judged on originality, design, sustainability, utility and impact, team collaboration, presentation and delivery, and bonus points for “audience’s top choice.”

The winners were as follows:

1st Place — two-way tie! (each team receives $4,000 and will also have the opportunity to interview with Blue Startups and XLR8UH)

  • Team: Team Cobra

Challenge Category: Homelessness (a challenge presented to HACC participants by Scott Morishige, state coordinator on homelessness)

Team Cobra

Team Cobra

Team Members: Arun Lee, Jayson Lee, Kyle Loo, and Kim Vo

NOTE: Team Cobra was also selected to represent the State of Hawaii at GlobalHack, being held from Oct. 21 to 23, 2016, in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • Team: Hawaii Advanced Technology Society (HATS)

Challenge Category: Oahu Community Correctional Center Visitation Scheduling (a challenge presented by the Department of Public Safety)

Team HATS

Team HATS

Team Members: Andrew Abila, Gerome Catbagan, Edward Chang, Kenneth Dedicatoria, Samuel Erwin, Gabriel Farinas, Jayson Hayworth, Neil Knight, Robert Kuakini, Ben Lamosao, Duong Le, Dylan Nakahodo, Willam Ng, Rodgem Ragsac, Phillipe Rigor, Christine Rioca, Kevin Ryan, Bryan Tanaka, and Sharey Vendiola

3rd Place ($2,000)

  • Team: Local Mocos

Challenge Category: Made in Hawaii (a challenge presented by the Department of Agriculture)

Team Members: Jesse Copeland, Nikki Kobayashi, Javen Nakamoto, Bryce Saito, Steven Yamashiro, and Lisa Zhou

1st Place in Student Category ($1,000 and the opportunity to interview with Sultan Ventures)

  • Team: Team Imua (from Kamehameha Schools)

Challenge Category: Open (application assisting local high school students with preparing for college)

Team Members: Sage Foi, Davin Takahashi, Kevin Takahashi, and Zion Basque

At the HACC kickoff event on Aug. 27, more than 200 individual coders and innovators answered the call to apply their collective creativity to improving state government. Participants formed teams and selected from diverse challenges presented by state officials and personnel, to tackle over the next several weeks. Among the presenters were state Coordinator on Homelessness Scott Morishige and staff representing the Departments of Accounting and General Services, Agriculture, Health, and Public Safety, and others.

The HACC teams returned today to present their solutions for judging and selection of winners. In addition to awards, one team, Team Cobra, was selected to represent the State of Hawaii at GlobalHack. For more information on GlobalHack, visit: https://globalhack.org/

The HACC is the result of collaboration across public and private sectors. In coordinating the event, the CIO-led Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) partnered with the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, DevLeague, Empowered Presentations, Hawaii Open Data, Blue Startups, Sultan Ventures, and XLR8UH. Award prizes are being underwritten by sponsors such as Hawaiian Electric, Kaiser Permanente, KPMG and Verizon. Additional support is being provided by DataHouse, eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Socrata, Uber, Unisys, DRFortress, and Hawaiian Telcom.

For more information on the HACC, visit http://HACC.hawaii.gov.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Kahilu Theatre

World famous music machine the Dirty Dozen Brass Band makes their way to the Kahilu Theatre stage on Friday, October 14th at 7pm.

dirty-dozenBorn over thirty-five years ago in the New Orleans neighborhood of Treme, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band revolutionized the New Orleans brass band by incorporating funk and bebop into the traditional style. Anchored by original members Roger Lewis, Kevin Harris, Gregory Davis, Efrem Towns, and Kirk Joseph, they are still breaking through boundaries of the traditional brass band to evolve into a highly lauded world-renowned musical force.

To describe how the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has arrived at this point, trumpet player Gregory Davis employs a tried-and-true New Orleans-centric analogy: “It ends up being like a pot of gumbo—you drop in a little okra, drop in a little shrimp, you drop in some crabs. Before you know it, you’ve mixed in all these different ingredients and you’ve got a beautiful soup. That was our approach to music early on and it still is today.”

They have revitalized the brass band in New Orleans and around the world, progressing from local parties, clubs, baseball games, and festivals in their early years to touring nearly constantly in the U.S. and in over 30 other countries on five continents. The Dirty Dozen have been featured guests on albums by artists including David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Buckwheat Zydeco, Dave Matthews Band, Modest Mouse, Widespread Panic, and the Black Crowes. The band is sure to have concertgoers tapping their feet and shaking their tail feathers during the genre-bending romp and high-octane performance at Kahilu Theatre.

The Kahilu Theatre doors open at 6pm for the performance. There will be beverages and snacks available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. The Kapa Kahilu exhibit, featuring some of today’s most respected kapa artists, is currently on display in the Kohala Gallery.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $48 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday – Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Mimi & Brian Kerley, Nancy Lematta, Bob & Nancy Male, Kona Brewing Company, and Fairmont Orchid.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Celebrates Living History Day with Smithsonian Museum Day Live

In recognition of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s 10th anniversary and the upcoming 75th anniversary of the December 7th bombing of Pearl Harbor, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor presented an expanded Living History Day with a multitude of historical exhibits, presentations by award-winning authors, and hands-on demonstrations highlighting the history, bravery and heroes of WWII and the sacrifices made by both military and civilians.

living-history-day2Living History Day saw more than 2,000 guests at the Museum on Saturday, September 24, held in partnership with Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!. The Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate and ranked one of the nation’s top 10 aviation attractions in the nation by TripAdvisor.

living-history-day3This year’s event included special tributes to the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, WWII exhibits created by local high school students, and meet and greets with WWII American military veterans of Japanese ancestry. Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii presented a short documentary film called “Honouliuli: Hawaii’s Hidden Internment Camp” that sheds light on the longest operating and largest WWII internment and POW camp in Hawaii.

living-history-dayCostumed interpreters represented Rosie the Riveter, Cornelia Fort, USCG Lieutenant Frank Erickson, Japanese AFC Shigenori Nishikaichi who bombed Pearl Harbor, and more WWII characters of history.

living-history-day4There were presentations and book signings by WWII authors Dorinda Nicholson (Pearl Harbor Child) and Marc Wortman (1941: Fighting the Shadow War). Nell Calloway, granddaughter of General Claire Lee Chennault who led the “Flying Tigers” and the Republic of China Air Force during WWII, spoke, presenting her grandfather’s heroic feats.

Other activities included swing dance, aircraft riveting in Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop, historic aircraft modeler demonstrations, open cockpits, and meet and greet time with the WWII veterans.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on historic Ford Island, where 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 Field Control Tower still under restoration, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes and battle damage in hangar 79. 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 America’s winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

For more information, contact 808-441-1000, Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org, or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.

“Lava Ocean Entry” 1 of 15 Photos Selected for National Geographic Contest

Kailua-Kona Photographer Mason Lake’s photo titled “Lava Ocean Entry” taken on the Big Island of Hawaii at the lava flow entrance Kamokuna, is one of fifteen photos that are in the running for the title of 2016 National Geographic “Nature Photographer of the Year”.

Lava Ocean Entry ... Lava ocean entry from the 2016 Kalapana lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Watching new earth being formed is an amazing experience. Boiling ocean waves crashing into fresh lava & giving off clouds of steam along with scatter violent lava bursts from pressure release, creation of the earth is mesmerizing & powerful sight to see. Photo and Caption by Mason Lake/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Lava Ocean Entry … Lava ocean entry from the 2016 Kalapana lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Watching new earth being formed is an amazing experience. Boiling ocean waves crashing into fresh lava & giving off clouds of steam along with scatter violent lava bursts from pressure release, creation of the earth is mesmerizing & powerful sight to see. Photo and Caption by Mason Lake/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

The Grand Prize of the contest provides the winner with a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions.

Roseanne Barr Comedy Shows at Blue Note Hawaii

Blue Note Hawaii, the state’s premier venue for the world’s most celebrated artists, announces two nights of comedy with television superstar and award-winning actress, Roseanne Barr. The original domestic goddess Roseanne Barr will amaze audiences November 4 and 5, with one show nightly at 8:00 p.m (Doors open at 6:30).roseanne-barr-at-blue-noteAfter 9 years, 224 episodes, 4 Emmy Awards, and countless other accolades, you couldn’t blame Roseanne if she wanted to quietly slip away, able to take solace in the fact she single-handedly re-landscaped the medium of situational comedy forever. Her creation and stark portrayal of “Roseanne Conner” and the Conner family on ABC’s Roseanne has been hailed as “the most ground breaking kitchen-sink sitcom since All in the Family,” (Entertainment Weekly) adding, “she’s the funniest disturber of peace that we have.”

She began her career as a stand-up comedian, turning her experiences as a wife and mother into a hilarious comedy act that audiences couldn’t resist. She subsequently produced and starred on her own hit sitcom, “Roseanne,” which ran for nine seasons and averaged a staggering 30 million viewers each week. The role earned Barr an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, the prestigious Peabody Award, Kids Choice and multiple American Comedy Awards.

At Full Moon and High Tide Studio (FMHT), Barr’s family-run Production Company, she is currently spearheading numerous projects. The studio produced her first DVD for children, titled “Rockin’ with Roseanne: Calling All Kids!” which was inspired by Barr’s grandchildren. FMHT has produced original programming for VH1 and also produced her 4th HBO comedy special “Roseanne Barr: Blonde and Bitchin'” as well as numerous videos for Roseanne’s YouTube channel.

A titan in the world of stand-up comedy, Roseanne returned to her love for live performance, touring select cities around the country and abroad. In addition to making people laugh, Roseanne continues to be a “voice for the voiceless.” Whether it be fighting the BDS movement in Israel, thwarting GMO efforts on the Big Island in Hawaii, aiding the native American families of Pine Ridge, or advocating for the legalization of marijuana, Roseanne’s activism is unwavering. Fans can find Roseanne more information and frequently updated content on her website – roseanneworld.com, on Twitter – @TheRealRoseanne, and Instagram – @OfficialRoseanneBarr

UH BOR Approves Appointment of Carolyn Ma as UH Hilo Dean of Pharmacy

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved the appointment of Carolyn Ma to be the second dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at a meeting held on Maui on September 22.

Carolyn Ma

Carolyn Ma

Ma has served as interim dean since Founding Dean John Pezzuto left UH Hilo in August 2015. UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney said he asked UH President David Lassner to appoint Ma as permanent dean because “important work will be required” to prepare for an accreditation visit in March 2017 as well as to “continue ongoing efforts to enhance recruitment.”

“The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy plays a critical role for our campus, our communities and our state,” Straney wrote in a letter to DKICP faculty and staff about the decision. “Dr. Ma has successfully guided the College in her year as interim dean. The College finances are secure and construction of a permanent facility has begun.”

Born and raised on O`ahu, Ma earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Santa Clara in California, and her doctor in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from the University of California-San Francisco. She was awarded a residency in clinical pharmacy practice at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Department of Pharmacy in Philadelphia. She went on to become an advanced oncology resident in the Department of Pharmacy and Drug Information at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

With an extensive background in clinical pharmacy practice, pharmacy and hospital administration, Ma is a registered pharmacist with licenses in Hawaiʻi, Nevada and California and remains boarded in Oncology Pharmacy. She joined DKICP in 2007 as the clinical education coordinator and designed, constructed and implemented 4,200-square feet of space in what is formerly known as the Gold Bond building in Kakaako on O`ahu. Additionally, in preparation for the advanced rotations, or internships for student pharmacists, she helped place numerous faculty in residence at O`ahu, Maui and Kaua`i hospitals and clinics.

Former Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed her Director for O`ahu on the Hawaiʻi State Board of Pharmacy from 2011- 2015 and Governor Ige re-appointed her to a 2015-2019 term. She also is past president of the Hawaiʻi Pharmacists Association (HPhA).

“Dr. Ma’s impeccable credentials give us a strong foothold as we take the College of Pharmacy to the next level,” Straney said. “Meanwhile, this milestone comes at a timely juncture as bulldozers are currently at work on the construction of the permanent building. This is truly a testament to Senator Daniel Inouye’s dream of making the College the ‘center of excellence’ for Hawaiʻi Island.”

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

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

international-space-stationIt will be visible beginning tonight, Saturday, September 24, at 7:29 PM. It will be visible for approximately 2 minutes at a Maximum Height of 46 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 46 degrees above the South part of the sky.

Makers of the Prescription Drug that Treats Opioid Addiction Sued for Antitrust Practices

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin and 35 other attorneys general today filed an antitrust lawsuit against the makers of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, over allegations that the companies engaged in a scheme to block generic competitors and cause purchasers to pay artificially high prices.

suboxoneSuboxone is a brand-name prescription drug used to treat heroin addiction and other opioid addictions by easing addiction cravings. No generic alternative of the film is currently available.

Attorney General Chin said, “Helping addicts recover from the deadly effects of opioids is a top priority here and in other states. This week I had commented on the legal authority in Hawaii to prescribe Suboxone for the purpose of opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Unfortunately, the makers of this drug have capitalized on this serious public health crisis and raked in huge corporate profits.”

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, now known as Indivior, is accused of conspiring with MonoSol Rx to switch Suboxone from a tablet version to a film (that dissolves in the mouth) in order to prevent or delay generic alternatives and maintain monopoly profits. The companies are accused of violating state and federal antitrust laws.

According to the lawsuit, when Reckitt introduced Suboxone in 2002 (in tablet form), it had exclusivity protection that lasted for seven years, meaning no generic version could enter the market during that time. Before that period ended, however, Reckitt worked with MonoSol to create a new version of Suboxone – a dissolvable film, similar in size to a breath strip. Over time, Reckitt allegedly converted the market away from the tablet to the film through marketing, price adjustments, and other methods. Ultimately, after the majority of Suboxone prescriptions were written for the film, Reckitt removed the tablet from the U.S. market.

The attorneys general allege that this conduct was illegal “product hopping,” where a company makes modest changes to its product to extend patent protections so other companies can’t enter the market and offer cheaper generic alternatives. According to the suit, the Suboxone film provided no real benefit over the tablet and Reckitt continued to sell the tablets in other countries even after removing them from the U.S. market. Reckitt also allegedly expressed unfounded safety concerns about the tablet version and intentionally delayed FDA approval of generic versions of Suboxone.

As a result, the attorneys general allege that consumers and purchasers have paid artificially high monopoly prices since late 2009, when generic alternatives of Suboxone might otherwise have become available. During that time, annual sales of Suboxone topped $1 billion.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Pennsylvania, accuses the companies of violating the federal Sherman Act and state laws. Counts include conspiracy to monopolize and illegal restraint of trade. In the suit, the attorneys general ask the court to stop the companies from engaging in anticompetitive conduct, to restore competition, and to order appropriate relief for consumers and the states, plus costs and fees.

Attorneys general of the following jurisdictions joined in the lawsuit:  Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

New Traffic Pattern at Waikoloa Intersection with Queen Kaahumanu Highway Begins Monday

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces the opening of the intersection of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Waikoloa Road to traffic in all directions beginning Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.

waikoloa-intersectionThe intersection at Mile Post 75 on Route 19 was previously a three-way intersection. HDOT Highways Division, Hawaii District added an access road to the Waikoloa Beach Resort area, which allows drivers heading towards Kona on Queen Kaahumanu Highway to turn onto Waikoloa Beach Drive.

Motorists are asked to use caution when driving in the area, especially if they were used to the previous intersection configuration. Motorists coming down Waikoloa Road making the left turn onto Queen Kaahumanu Highway should be aware of the possibility of oncoming traffic from the new access road.

HDOT thanks motorists for their patience as this new four-way intersection goes into operation.

Coast Guard Searching for Canadian Sailor Last Seen Leaving Hilo

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a Canadian sailor seen leaving in Hilo, Hawaii, Aug. 1 by a fellow mariner.

Paul Lim

Paul Lim

Mr. Paul Lim of Salt Spring Island, British Colombia, reportedly left Hilo bound for Victoria, Canada, aboard the 35-foot Sailing Vessel Watercolour. U.S. Coast Guardsmen estimate Mr. Lim should’ve have arrived in Victoria by approximately Sept. 10 or 11.

U.S. Coast Guardsmen at Rescue Coordination Center Alameda began broadcasting to mariners along Mr. Lim’s possible route to be on the lookout for his vessel Sept 21. They have queried dozens of commercial vessels along his route and are broadcasting to all mariners along the Pacific coast including Alaska and Hawaii.

A U.S. Coast Guard C-130 from Air Station Barbers Point in Honolulu completed a search in an area between Hilo and Victoria Thursday with no sign of Mr. Lim.

The Canadian Coast Guard is assisting by maintaining contact with Mr. Lim’s family and is acting as a conduit for information in the search. Mr. Lim was reported overdue by his loved ones to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Watercolour is a 35-foot white hull Spencer vessel with whites sails and a blue canvas dodger. Mr. Lim was also towing a nine-foot pink dingy behind the Watercolour.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr. Lim or the Sailing Vessel Watercolour is asked to call the U.S. Coast Guard at 510-437-3701.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on DOI Rule Announcement

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard released the statement below following announcement of the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Final Rule for Procedures for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community.

Click to read

Click to read

The rule incorporates and takes into account more than 54,000 public comments submitted to the Department of Interior from the Native Hawaiian community and other key stakeholders:

“For decades, many in the Native Hawaiian community have fought for the same rights and treatment as indigenous groups across the United States, like Native American tribes and Alaska Natives. The Department of Interior announcement today simply places the decision-making authority solely within the hands of Native Hawaiians to determine what, if any, government-to-government relationship they choose to have with the U.S. federal government. I had the great honor of working as a legislative aide to Senator Akaka, who dedicated so much of his life to creating this opportunity for our Native Hawaiian community. I look forward to continuing to engage and work alongside our Native Hawaiian brothers and sisters as they determine their path forward.” 

Department of Health Workers Doing Door-to-Door Surveys Saturday on Oahu

Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) workers and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will be canvassing neighborhoods in McCully-Moiliili, Makiki-Lower Punchbowl, and Ala Moana-Kakaako on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon to conduct a Community Health Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER). Participation in the door-to-door survey is confidential and voluntary.

department-of-healthHousehold in these areas can expect to see teams of two volunteers wearing DOH identification badges and carrying clip boards. The purpose of this survey, or CASPER, is to gain a clearer picture of possible public health needs in case of an emergency or disaster. The survey includes general questions about household size, makeup and existing emergency preparations. The information gathered will help DOH and state and county partners better understand how Honolulu communities prepare for public health emergencies to then better shape response and recovery plans.

The pilot project was presented at a McCully/Moiliili neighborhood board and other meetings in the past months to encourage participation and collaboration. Project results will be shared with the respective area neighborhood boards and state and county emergency management agency partners. For more information, contact the Public Health Preparedness Branch at (808) 587-6569.

The Department of Health’s Public Health Preparedness Branch is funded by a Hospital Preparedness Program – Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Through the grant, the branch works to prepare for, respond to, and assist in recovery from natural and human-caused public health emergencies and threats.

The Hawaii Medical Reserve Corps has local volunteer members throughout the state and is housed within the Public Health Preparedness Branch. Volunteers are asked to attend quarterly meetings, participate in disaster preparedness exercises, and assist with non-emergency community health activities, such as the Stop Flu at School program, vision screening clinics, and community health fairs.

Hawaii Governor to Request Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance After Surveying Storm Damage

Gov. David Ige today toured Maui’s Iao Stream area, which suffered severe damage during last week’s storm. The governor was joined by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, State Adjutant General, Major General Arthur Logan, Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi and other government and emergency management officials for aerial and ground tours of the disaster site.

maui-storm1The tours follow initial assessments of the disaster area by the National Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

On Thursday, Gov. Ige took a 30-minute aerial tour of the site aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter before surveying the disaster site on the ground where he met with residents directly affected by the storm.

maui-storm4“It truly is a sobering reminder of the power of nature and to see the impact on the stream and the change of the flows that had a devastating effect on families, the state and county. I will be sending a letter to President Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance,” said Gov. Ige.

maui-storm3The governor also met with some of the 30 Hawai‘i Air and Army National Guard members who have been activated to clear out debris and boulders which have diverted the stream flow into residential areas along the stream.

Initial assessments put the state and county’s damage estimate at $15 million. About 20 families were directly impacted by the storm.

maui-storm2While the county and National Guard continue to clear out an estimated 9,000 truckloads of debris, the state and county are working to ensure the safety of the community.

maui-storm5“This is going to be a large project. Very expensive. It’s going to take months and months to try and secure this area, but it’s going to be worth it,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.

Click here for video of the governor’s aerial tour.

Hawaii Innocence Project Event Will Test Reliability of Eyewitness Identification

Could you be a reliable eyewitness? Want to test your skills with some expert attorneys?

eyewitnees-identification

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, in recognition of “International Wrongful Conviction Day,” the Hawai‘i Innocence Project will challenge audience members to see how well they can identify a possible suspect in a mock exercise at the UH Law School.

The program, titled “Eyewitness Identification,” is scheduled from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. in Classroom 2.  Lunch is available in the courtyard; donations are welcome.  Similar programs are taking place across the nation and around the world.

“Eyewitness Identification” aims to demonstrate pitfalls in the standard technique that has been used in courtrooms for decades. Documentation has begun to show that faulty eyewitness identification accounts for as much as 75 percent of all wrongful convictions, according to Innocence Project data.

The Hawai‘i Innocence Project is run by faculty members at the William S. Richardson School of Law, with assistance from community attorneys. In 2011, using advanced DNA testing technology, the Hawai‘i project succeeded in having Alvin Francis Jardine exonerated after he spent almost 20 years in prison for a rape and burglary he consistently maintained that he did not commit. The national organization has freed several hundred wrongly incarcerated people by using advanced DNA testing.

As part of the national Innocence Project network, Faculty Specialist Kenneth Lawson and Associate Dean Ronette Kawakami head the project and work with other attorneys on cases in Hawai‘i.  Said Law Dean Avi Soifer, “Our faculty and students, along with our cooperating attorneys, deserve great admiration for their passionate, tireless work to free those who have been unjustly imprisoned.”

The October 4 program will help show just how fallible eyewitness testimony can be.

World’s Largest Forensic Anthropology Laboratory is Completed on Oahu

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s (DPAA) Forensic Identification Laboratory recently reached construction completion at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Oahu, Hawaii. Designed by SmithGroupJJR, the new $89 million laboratory will aid in the investigation, recovery and accounting of Americans lost during the nation’s past conflicts dating back to World War II.

pow-building-2

SmithGroupJJR served as architect, MEP engineer and laboratory planner and programmer of the new DPAA Laboratory, the world’s largest forensic anthropology laboratory.

The 136,497-square-foot facility consolidates operations that were previously dispersed on three military locations on Oahu. The goal of the new facility is to improve efficiency, productivity and support the DPAA mission, which is to “provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and the nation.”

By bringing all operations under one roof, the new three-story facility demonstrates the unique function and mission of DPAA by providing advanced investigation laboratories, a highly sustainable and flexible working environment for staff and appropriate spaces for the families of the deceased.

Primary laboratory spaces include the DPAA Laboratory, the Material Evidence and Life Support Investigation Lab, DNA lab and a complete forensic medicine facility.

The mission of the DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and the nation.

The mission of the DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and the nation.

“The process of designing this unique facility was a humbling one for our firm,” said Mark Kranz, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, design director, SmithGroupJJR. “Having the ability to meaningfully impact DPAA’s mission was a professional honor.”

The design for the new DPAA facility acknowledges the architectural legacy of Hickam Air Force Base (now Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam), while creating a uniquely Hawaiian character. A three-story garden space with outdoor lanais provides a serene respite for staff, while a chapel-like space for family viewing hovers above. Structural concrete as well as pre-cast concrete panels, which were manufactured on the island and fashioned with an abstracted Hawaiian pattern, create the primary architectural aesthetic. A one a kind craftsman-like shade trellis welcomes families and visitors to this highly secure, yet public facility.

DPAA Laboratory

The DPAA Laboratory spaces within this facility occupy the third floor of the building including 70 tables for examination. Approximately half of the floor space is devoted to conducting laboratory procedures, while the remaining half consist of a family viewing room providing a serene meeting space for families to reunite with their deceased loved ones, as well as offices and administrative spaces for the DPAA Laboratory. The general design of the DPAA Laboratory conforms to Biological Safety Level Two in accordance with requirements set forth by the Center for Disease Control/National Institutes of Health.

“The unique island and Pearl Harbor setting, coupled with this significant national mission allowed for a truly one-of-a-kind facility of national significance,” Kranz added.

Lend a Hand to Protect Volcanoes National Park on Public Lands Day this Saturday

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates 100 years protecting native ecosystems and invites everyone to lend a helping hand on National Public Lands Day (NPLD) this Saturday, Sept. 24. It’s a fee-free day, and while all park visitors can enjoy the park at no charge, NPLD volunteers will receive a free pass to use on another day of their choosing.

Keiki cut invasive Himalayan ginger from rainforest near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Keiki cut invasive Himalayan ginger from rainforest near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Join volunteers on Saturday for the Stewardship at the Summit program, from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Meet NPLD coordinator Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center, then head into the rainforest to remove invasive Himalayan ginger from the summit of Kīlauea. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, raingear, snacks, and water. Loppers/gloves provided.  No advance registration required.

While pretty and fragrant, Himalayan ginger (also called kāhili) is one of the most invasive plants in the park, and on earth. It is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the 100 World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species. The park strives to protect the rainforest habitat of native birds and plants, but Himalayan ginger takes over the native rainforest understory, and makes it impossible for the next generation of forest to grow. This inedible ginger species crowds out many native plants, including pa‘iniu (a Hawaiian lily), ‘ama‘u fern, and others.

Every year on NPLD, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, all fee-charging national parks offer free entry. Many parks and public lands across the nation organize stewardship projects and special programs to raise awareness about why it is important to protect our public lands. To find out more, visit www.publiclandsday.org.

HPD Officers, Civilians Honored During Ceremony

Thirty-four police officers and six civilian employees are moving up the ranks in the Honolulu Police Department. They were honored today during a recognition ceremony at the Ala Moana Beach Park’s McCoy Pavilion Auditorium.
hpd-honored
Promoted to the rank of major is Ryan Nishibun. He is a 27-year veteran and will command the Human Resources Division. His earlier assignments were in District 1 (Central Honolulu), District 5 (Kalihi), and the Traffic Division. Immediately prior to his promotion, he was the executive officer for the Human Resources Division.

Promoted to the rank of captain are Stephen Silva Jr. and Roland Turner. Silva, a 24-year veteran, was a lieutenant in District 1 and will be assigned to District 5. Turner, who has 19 years of experience, was a lieutenant in District 5 and will go to the Finance Division.

The new lieutenants include:
Rommel Baysa, District 8 (Kapolei/Waianae)
Shellie Paiva, District 1
Scott Vierra, District 5

The new sergeants include:
Robert Canady, District 1
Everett Higa, District 7 (East Honolulu)
Wyllie Lum Jr., District 1
Kevin Takehara, District 5

The new detectives include:
Thomas Chang, Professional Standards Office
Jonathan Locey, Criminal Investigation Division
Andrew Maddock, Information Technology Division
Kalae Phillips, Criminal Investigation Division
James Shyer, Criminal Investigation Division

The new corporals include:
Keli Ah-Hoy, District 1
Christopher Bugarin, District 3 (Aiea/Pearl City/Waipahu)
Patrick Bugarin, District 8
William Daubner, District 5
Christel Davis, District 8
Michael Dela Cruz, District 5
Jason Hendricks, District 8
Celestino Herana Jr., District 2 (Mililani/Wahiawa)
Woo Kang, District 5
Mark Kealoha, District 3
Vernon Kleinschmidt, District 5
Rowney Martinez, District 1
Billy Masaniai, District 2
Tyler Medeiros, Criminal Investigation Division
Jacob Miyashiro, Traffic Division
Joseph O’Neal, District 5
Marvin Parengit, District 1
Adam Schonhardt, District 5
David Young, District 2

The six civilians include:

  • Amber Alarcon, Police Radio Dispatcher 1, Communications Division
  • Adelaida Domingo, Senior Police Documents Clerk, Records and Identification Division
  • Lorna Eugenio, Police Documents Clerk, Professional Standards Office
  • Bradly Hirata, 911 Emergency Response Operator III, Communications Division
  • Richard Perron, Police Evidence Specialist III, Scientific Investigation Section
  • Wanda Wallis, Senior Account Clerk, Finance Division

 

Hawaii Ecotourism Association Announces Winners of Sustainable Tourism Awards

Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA) announced the winners of sustainable tourism awards at a luncheon today in Waikiki. Twenty-three tour operators were certified as sustainable tour operators by HEA, a local nonprofit organization that protects Hawaii’s unique natural environment and host culture by promoting responsible travel.

Valley Isle Excursions, a company known providing luxury and eco-friendly tours to Hana and the road beyond, was awarded with the coveted the 2016 Sustainable Tour Operator Award. “This outstanding example of a sustainable tour operation far exceeds HEA’s mission and goal of protecting the unique natural and cultural resources of Hawaii nei,” said Aaron Lowe, President of HEA’s Board of Directors.

The 2016 Ecotour Guides of the Year were announced as follows: From Oahu – Manly Kanoa of Hokupaa and Andrew Puchalski of Kailua Beach Adventures; from Kauai – Abraham Frehm of Na Pali Experience, from Maui – Rowdy Lindsey of Hawaiian Paddle Sports and Curtis Geary of Maui Kayak Adventures; from Hawaii – Ben Catcho Jr. of KapohoKine Adventures and Richard Lindberg of Hawaiian Legacy Tours. Guides make each tour guest feel connected to Hawaii’s natural resources and Hawaiian culture. HEA is delighted to recognize the contribution of the award winners.

The Travel Writer of the Year was awarded to Shannon Wianecki. She is a prolific freelance writer who shares the natural and cultural history of the Hawaiian Islands with the readers of local and international travel magazines and books.

Pro Surfer Jamie O'Brien is sponsored by Body Glove.

Pro Surfer Jamie O’Brien is sponsored by Body Glove.

The twenty-three tour operators were awarded HEA’s Sustainable Tourism Certification for 2016-2018. They include: Under the Sea Hawaii, Hopkupaa, Dolphins and You, and Ocean Joy Cruises on Oahu; Kipu Ranch Adventures, Holo Holo Charters, and Na Pali Experience on Kauai; Aloha Kayaks Maui, Maui Nei Native Expeditions, Haleakala Bike Company, Temptation Tours, Maui Dreams Dive Company, Valley Isle Excursions, Maui Ocean Center, Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Maui Surf Lessons, and Hawaii Mermaid Adventures on Maui; and Body Glove Cruises, Mauka Makai Adventures, Essential Hawaii Tours, Kona Honu Divers, Sea Quest Hawaii, and Kohala Ziplines on Hawaii.

“As a founding member of the organization, I am excited that the number of certified operators across the State more than doubled since the 2014-2016 certifications were awarded,” said Annette Kaohelaulii, HEA Board Treasurer.

IUCN recognized HEA’s Sustainable Tourism Certification Program in the tours organized especially for this event, which just ended. The Hawaii Tourism Authority also supports HEA efforts to educate commercial tour operators and community stakeholders on best management practices for the use of natural and cultural resources. HEA’s Certification Program is only one of two statewide programs in the U.S. providing a third party, comprehensive assessment of tour providers whose operations positively affect the State’s natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation and help sustain local communities.

Mark Alan Vocal Works Brings A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias to Hilo

Local singing students from Mark Alan Vocal Works, Mark Sheffield’s voice studio, together with singers from his UH Hilo voice studio, will present a recital of (mostly) classical songs and arias.  Together with legendary pianist Quack Moore and the new vocal ensemble VOICES, they bring their unique interpretations of classics and modern favorites to Hilo. Showtime is Friday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Hilo’s Church of the Holy Cross. Admission is free.  For more information, call 238-6040.

classical-recital

A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias presents singers in various stages of vocal development – from young beginners to experienced performers – in a recital designed to showcase and celebrate their particular strengths.  Singers include RyAnne Raffipiy, Landon Ballesteros, Samantha Saiki, Rachel Edwards, Amy Horst, and Bridge Hartman, along with Mark Sheffield, who teaches the other singers. Students from Mark’s private Vocal Works studio join singers from his UH Hilo voice studio to bring to life songs of love, heartbreak, joy, and beauty.

VOICES, a new vocal ensemble also led by Mark Sheffield, joins the concert with a return to their roots. They will perform their signature motet, “The Silver Swan” by Orlando Gibbons.  The solo singers follow, celebrating classics including old Italian songs “O cessate di piagarmi” and “Caro mio ben;” while bringing to life arias such as “Si, mi chiamano Mimi” from La Boheme and Rachmaninoff’s haunting “Vocalise.” The recital earns its (mostly) classical label with the performance of pop tunes by Adele and Billy Joel, and sizzling Broadway hits including Sondheim’s great song “Being Alive.”

Mark Sheffield maintains a busy private voice studio in Hilo, where he has taught both privately and at UH Hilo for ten years. 2016 saw the inauguration of Mark’s Vocal Works program, designed to provide both individual training and theory-based practical education in the vocal arts. This year also saw the inception of VOICES, a vocal ensemble comprised of Mark’s advanced students from both his Vocal Works and UH Hilo studios. Mark is joined at the helm of this recital by Quack Moore, the Grammy-winning pianist of Hilo Palace Theater and Saturday Night Live fame, who now devotes much of her time to supporting and promoting young musicians.

When asked how he came to create A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias, Mark said, “For a decade now, my students have performed in joint studio recitals given by my wife, piano teacher Katie Sheffield, and I. Beyond this, my students have performed to acclaim in shows locally and around the country, as they pursue studies, work, and dreams of Broadway success. Now we invite our friends and our community to a recital of our very own.  Thank you, Hilo, for supporting vocal music. We look forward to singing for you.”

A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias comes to Hilo September 30, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at Hilo’s Church of the Holy Cross for one show only.  Admission is free.  Call 238-6040 for more information.

Gonorrhea Outbreak in Hawaii Showed Increased Antibiotic Resistance

CNN reported today that there was a gonorrhea outbreak here in Hawaii recently:

Seven gonorrhea patients in Hawaii are the first known US cases in which the sexually transmitted infection showed reduced susceptibility to the single available effective treatment option, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. The patients were diagnosed in April and May.

The six men and one woman were all cured by ceftriaxone and azithromycin, the two-drug regimen recommended for treating gonorrhea by the CDC. However, laboratory tests by the Hawaii State Department of Health showed that the patients’ gonorrheal infections did not succumb as easily to the antibiotics as infections have in the past.
gonorrhea
CNN goes on to report that gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD):
“Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, but most people do not realize they have it. The only way they find out is through testing,” she said.
When health care providers do not treat according to the CDC’s two-drug regimen — a single shot of ceftriaxone and an oral dose of azithromycin — patients may feel better, and their symptoms may disappear, but they may still have the infection incubating inside them, explained Bolan.
“If you’re not treated correctly, you cannot rely on your symptoms to tell you you’ve been cured,” she said.
Though no failures of the current treatment regimen have been confirmed in the United States, the CDC has been closely monitoring antibiotic resistance.
“We usually see emerging decreased susceptibility or resistance coming from the West, starting with Hawaii, and then we also see a higher proportion of isolates with decreased susceptibility in men who have sex with men. This is a pattern we’ve seen with penicillin resistance and other antibiotics,” Bolan said.