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Costco Violates Hawaii HI-5 Rule – Ordered to Pay Fine

Costco Wholesale Corporation has paid a fine of $4,799.40 for violating State deposit beverage container (DBC) requirements.On April 24, 2017, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) sent a Request for Information letter to Costco requesting that the company submit sales information for auditing purposes. Despite more than 15 emails and telephone calls, Costco remained non-cooperative in providing the requested information in violation of the DBC Program audit authority specified in Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-121.

DOH issued a Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO) against the company on June 13, 2017. Costco paid an administrative fine of $4,799.40 on July 12, 2017. Costco also provided the requested sales information and submitted a letter summarizing its procedure for generating sales data, satisfying the compliance requirements set forth in the NOVO.

Darren Park, manager of the department’s Deposit Beverage Container Program, said it is important for wholesalers and distributors to comply with requests from the DOH which administers the “HI-5” recycling program.

“The program relies on self-reported data, so the department conducts audits and inspection activities to ensure accuracy and completeness of information submitted, which helps to prevent fraud and financial harm to the State,” Park said. “Overall, the recycling program reduces litter at our parks and beaches and has kept billions of bottles and cans out of our garbage.”

More than 600 million deposit beverage containers are recycled annually at certified redemption centers that otherwise would be landfilled or end up littering Hawaii’s environment. Since 2005, Hawaii’s residents have recycled nearly 8 billion deposit beverage containers through the DBC Program.

Final 8 Boats Arriving in Transpac 2017

With all Hawaii affiliated boats having crossed the finish line at Diamond Head safely we now give our final 8 boats the traditional ALOHA WELCOME, during the next 36 hours in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor at Hawaii Yacht club, including  our “Tail End Charlie”, the final boat to cross the finish line, projected to arrive late Monday night, early Tuesday morning, Kastor Pollux.

Photos courtesy Sharon Greene (Ultimate Sailing)

Yes, Transpac is a very prestigious race, started in the late 1800’s by King Kalakaua, but nothing says race orgainzers don’t have tons of fun and throw the best parties for sailors the world knows, in fact our Welcome Parties greeting sailors from across the globe are legendary. And this has been done the same way for over 100 years.

A large wave of finishers in the 2017 Transpac have arrived in the Ala Wai last night and in the pre-dawn hours to start to fill up the slip spaces set aside in the Marina for the finishers, known as Transpac Row. From tallest mast to shortest, most of the race entries are moored here, bedecked with leis and ti leaves as symbols of Aloha hospitality from a culture that recognizes the special nature of having completed a long sea voyage.

After crossing the finish line, all boats are escorted to the narrow (sometimes treacherous) entrance to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, a safe haven from the Pacific swells. Donned in their flowered shirts, the crews stand on deck to be greeted like conquering heroes by the amplified sounds of native drums, slack key guitar music and a loud and resounding “Aaaahhh- looohhh – haaaaah” given by staff commodore Howie Mednick from the second deck of the Hawaii YC.

“We welcome you to Hawaii, and ask only that you do Drink well, Sing well, Eat well, Sleep well…and Drink well some more!”

Boats then proceed to their assigned slips, get boarded and inspected for rules compliance, and then are released to the awaiting leis and hugs of family, friends and well-wishers. Regardless of the time of day or night, every crew is given an Aloha Party of food and drink, some more traditionally Hawaiian than others, with the unshaven and weary crews growing their smiles with each re-told story and re-acquaintance with terra firma.

This is a unique feature of Transpac among the world’s ocean races: nowhere else will you find this intimate and embracing level of hospitality and respect. Finishers of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vendee Globe will experience their re-entry into life ashore under the glare of TV lights, crowds and microphones, whereas at Transpac it will be under the flickering flames of a tiki torch and the inner glow from a Mai Tai.

The lore of this hospitality reaches far and wide, as evidenced by not only entries who come every two years from around the Pacific Basin, but also those who come from the other side of the world. This year two entries from Europe were here to have the Aloha experience.

One was Michael St Aldwyn’s J&J 50 Zephyr from the Royal Yacht Squadron, with many of the team hailing from London and Lymington. Despite the reception another English crew received in Hawaii in 1778 when Captain Cook met his demise on the island of Hawai’i, David Sharples was effusive in praise of the race, the help given by TPYC, and the reception received at their finish at 7:11 PM last night.

“We have sailed in many races, and there is nothing like the warm reception we had here,” said Sharples. “This was a great race, and from here we are off next to Australia for the Sydney-Hobart.” This is a typical path for many yachts from overseas as they pursue the items on their bucket lists…another for St Aldwyn is black marlin fishing, which Hawaii offers on the Kona Coast.

Another entry from another seafaring nation in Europe was Karl Otto Book’s Wasa 44 Cubanaren from Norway, the first to finish in Division 7 at 3:24 AM this morning. Book is an active racer, competing in a variety of regattas and a variety of boats throughout Europe. His modest-sized team of four started their journey a year ago at the ORC World Championship in Copenhagen, where racing on a Landmark 43 they placed 6th in a competitive class of 59 boats in Class B.

“We really enjoyed this race, and had no problems except for one broken afterguy,” said Book. “We sailed the boat well I think, but we don’t know if we will continue to have our lead when Azure comes in.” At their current rate of speed Rod Pimentel’s Cal 40 is only 2.5 hours behind Cubaneren in corrected time, and they will be asking for time in redress for having diverted mid-race race to assist the Division 4 Santa Cruz 52 Medusa with fuel. If given more then this margin, Azure will likely take the prize in this class as the last finishers come in today, tonight and tomorrow.

Book says they were considering going south and west to Australia, but have changed their plans to stay in this hemisphere for a while. “We will cruise around the islands for a week, then go back to California, down to Panama, the Caribbean, Cuba, then the East Coast, possibly the Bermuda Race next year.”

Another story from today was the morning finishes of Scott Grealish’s Farr 400 Blue Flash, hampered by an ailing steering system since the second day of the race, and thus on training wheels of having to use smaller sails while nursing their steering system. Grealish said they may have tried to push harder, but with only a crew of five this was difficult, and three of the five were teenagers: son Sean, Kyle Collins, and John Ped were all 18 and 19 years old, with Kyle celebrating his 18th birthday today at their Aloha party.

Another teenager finishing today was 16 year old Will Vanderwort on board Ross Pearlman’s Jeanneau 50 Between the Sheets. “I’m really interested in keelboat and match race sailing, but my dad started a tradition of bringing [us kids] on the Transpac, and this was my turn. I think it was great, I really enjoyed it.”

Transpacific YC’s handling of this race is full-service: not only are there dozens of volunteers to handle all aspects of this complex race, but a prerequisite for membership in this club is in having done this race at least once, so everyone has a passion to replicate its special and unique features every two years. Planning for the next race begins immediately after the last, with a new Commodore installed and dates set within weeks after the Awards…this year the torch will be passed from Bo Wheeler to Tom Hogan.

There are already ideas floating around about expanding the reach and appeal of this special race to include more multihull classes, re-examine the Barn Door Trophy criteria, and other notions. Start dates for 2019 will be examined to consider moon phases, consolidation of the fleet into being in the same weather, weekend start days to encourage more spectating, etc.

“It’s a balance between tradition and innovation,” said Dan Nowlan, TPYC Commodore for the 2015 race. “This is a unique race, and we want to preserve its character, but also invite entries to come from all over the world.”

For more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com.

Stay tuned also to the Transpac Facebook page for photos, videos and even stories coming in from the teams while at sea: www.facebook.com/ TranspacRace/.

Lili`uokalani Gardens Teams With Na Makua Designs

Nelson Makua and Na Makua Designs created a centennial design for Lili`uokalani Gardens that brings the Queen to the gardens named for her.

Shirts designed by Nelson Makua

“For quite a while time, some of us have visualized what it might have been like for the Queen to visit the gardens in Hilo, a place she visited often through 1913,” said garden enthusiast K.T. Cannon-Eger. “We know she considered having a home built for her in Hilo and corresponded with John T. Baker about those plans. Illness prevented her travel to Hilo after 1913. Although she knew the garden acreage was set aside in early 1917, her death on November 11, 1917, precluded her ever seeing the gardens completed.

“The board of directors of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is thrilled with Nelson Makua’s design which shortly will appear on tee shirts and tote bags among other centennial celebration uses.”

Makua has been an artist and designer on the Big Island for more than 40 years. Born and raised in Kailua, Oahu, he and his ‘ohana moved to the Big Island in 1975, where they reside in Puna, the original home of the Makua ‘ohana.

“My ancestors were part of the migration from Tahiti to Hawaii who settled in Kalapana in the district of Puna,” Makua said. “Living here gave me the opportunity to connect with ‘ohana, it was like coming home.”

He is best known for his design work, with clients in Hawai‘i, the mainland and Japan. He is a two time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for graphic design and is the only artist to have created six years of Merrie Monarch Festival posters with his limited edition “Pele” series.

Makua’s first 2003 poster has now become a collectors’ item.  His 2008 Merrie Monarch poster received the prestigious Pele Award for best illustration by the Hawaii Advertising Federation.

Last year, Nelson was honored as a MAMo Awardee for 2016 in recognition for his artistic contribution as a Native Hawaiian artist.

In 1999 Nelson and his son Kainoa, created a line of casual Hawaiian wear under the brand of Nä Mäkua. “Na Makua gives us a visual voice to express our views and feelings as native Hawaiians, creating images that speak out to other Hawaiians and honor our rich heritage.” They retail their apparel and art on their website www.namakua.com.

As well as being an artist and designer, Nelson has been the director of the annual Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair for the Merrie Monarch Festival for the past 14 years. He is also the director of the Moku O Keawe Marketplace at the Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival and along with his son Kainoa, they produce their annual Na Mäkua Invitational Christmas Gift fair in Hilo.

Though Nelson was classically trained in drawing, painting and photography, he has been a digital artist for more than 20 years. “The digital age has opened up a whole new world of creating for the artist, with countless possibilities. Guided by my kupuna before me, I consider myself a Hawaiian living in my own time, creating images that reflect my time and place.”

To find out more about the garden centennial or to purchase fund raising tee shirts or tote bags, please go to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens at P.O. Box 5147, Hilo HI 96749.

Banyan Gallery near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is one retail outlet for people who live in the Hilo area.

UH Hilo HOSA Students Compete at International Leadership Conference

Students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo earned a pair of top three finishes at the 40th Annual HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) -International Leadership Conference held recently in Orlando, Florida. The gathering featured 10,000 participants from across the nation, including 230 delegates from Hawaiʻi, along with teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada.
UH Hilo’s top performer was Chrisovolandou Gronowski, who placed 1st in Behavioral Health. Lark Jason Canico took top 10 honors in Prepared Speaking.

In team competition, HOSA at UH Hilo members Leslie Erece Arce, Marjie Ann Retundo and Jerold Alexis Cabel, placed 3rd in the Public Service Announcement event with their 30-second PSA on “My Preparedness Story: Staying Healthy and Resilient!”

UH Hilo Alumna Amerfil Grace Acob presided as the Hawaiʻi HOSA Postsecondary Collegiate Voting Delegate and participated in the election of the upcoming National HOSA Executive Council. Lorelei Domingo served as a member of the National HOSA conference staff. The Hilo HOSA Chapter was also recognized for its participation in the HOSA Happening event, where local chapters are required to submit a newsletter showcasing their activities and achievements.

Competition resumes in January 2018 with the Hawaiʻi Island HOSA Regional Conference at UH Hilo. Next year’s International Conference will be held in Dallas, Texas.

University of Hawaii Research Uses Satellites to Predict End of Volcanic Eruptions

Researchers from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) recently discovered that infrared satellite data could be used to predict when lava flow-forming eruptions will end.

Map of 34 volcanoes used to test hypothesis. Modified from Google Maps.

Using NASA satellite data, Estelle Bonny, a graduate student in the SOEST Department of Geology and Geophysics, and her mentor, Hawai‘i Institute for Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) researcher Robert Wright, tested a hypothesis first published in 1981 that detailed how lava flow rate changes during a typical effusive volcanic eruption. The model predicted that once a lava flow-forming eruption begins, the rate at which lava exits the vent quickly rises to a peak and then reduces to zero over a much longer period of time—when the rate reaches zero, the eruption has ended.

HIGP faculty developed a system that uses infrared measurements made by NASA’s MODIS sensors to detect and measure the heat emissions from erupting volcanoes—heat is used to retrieve the rate of lava flow.

Mt. Etna from space. Credit: NASA & US/Japan ASTER Science Team.

“The system has been monitoring every square kilometer of Earth’s surface up to four times per day, every day, since 2000,” said Bonny. “During that time, we have detected eruptions at more than 100 different volcanoes around the globe. The database for this project contains 104 lava flow-forming eruptions from 34 volcanoes with which we could test this hypothesis.”

Once peak flow was reached, the researchers determined where the volcano was along the predicted curve of decreasing flow and therefore predict when the eruption will end. While the model has been around for decades, this is the first time satellite data was used with it to test how useful this approach is for predicting the end of an effusive eruption. The test was successful.

Erupting Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

“Being able to predict the end of a lava flow-forming eruption is really important, because it will greatly reduce the disturbance caused to those affected by the eruption, for example, those who live close to the volcano and have been evacuated,” said Bonny.

“This study is potentially relevant for the Hawai’i island and its active volcanoes,” said Wright. “A future eruption of Mauna Loa may be expected to display the kind of pattern of lava discharge rate that would allow us to use this method to try to predict the end of eruption from space.”

In the future, the researchers plan to use this approach during an ongoing eruption as a near-real time predictive tool.

Honolulu Fire Department Release on Marco Polo Apartment Fire – Fire Under Investigation

On July 14, 2017, at 2:17 p.m. the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) responded to a high-rise building fire at the Marco Polo Apartments, located at 2333 Kapiolani Boulevard. The first HFD unit arrived at 2:21 p.m. to find a 36-story high-rise apartment building with heavy smoke and flames emanating from multiple units on the 26th floor. HFD personnel established command, requested for further resources, secured a water supply and entered the building.

Photo by Nicholas Augusta

As HFD personnel commenced with fire fighting and rescue operations the fire spread to several units on multiple floors, extending to the 28th floor. Over a dozen apartment units were involved in the fire and many more units were evacuated. There were multiple reports of occupants trapped by the smoke and flames. Many occupants were instructed to shelter in place until emergency personnel could escort them to safety. Emergency responders assisted dozens of occupants down stairwells to exit the building.

As the incident progressed, HFD personnel discovered and confirmed three fatalities during search operations. Approximately 12 occupants received medical attention by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Four people, including one fire fighter, were transported in serious condition to nearby hospitals.

A total of five alarms were struck for this incident; resulting in over 30 HFD units staffed with over 100 personnel responding to this incident. Other responding agencies include EMS, the Honolulu Police Department, the Federal Fire Department, the Department of Emergency Management, and the American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter.

The fire is under investigation and the specific cause of the fire and damage estimate are not available at this time.

Mayor Recognizes Numerous Agencies, Private Entities for Fighting Waimea Fire

Mayor Harry Kim on Friday expressed his appreciation to Federal, State, County agencies and private entities for their response to the recent Waimea fire, which burned some 2,200 acres of pasture last week.

The effort to put out the July 7 brush fire involved the County of Hawai’i Fire Department; Hawai’i Police Department; and the County of Hawai’i Department of Public Works; the State Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Fisheries and Wildlife; State Highways Division; the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; the Pōhakuloa Training Area’s Fire Department.

Waimea residents swung into action, too. Parker Ranch mobilized a water tanker to help fight the blaze.  Glenn Bertlemann and Kamuela Bertlemann brought in D-8 and D-6 bulldozers, and Rocket Fergerstrom brought in a D-9 bulldozer.

“This was a tremendous cooperative effort, where everybody came together to control, contain and put out the fire,” Mayor Kim said.  “I cannot find words to express how much I appreciate everyone’s hard work, quick action and the tremendous team system of responding to this fire.”

The fire, whose cause is under investigation, destroyed one home and a vehicle.  Some farm animals were also lost in the blaze.

Officer Cal-Jason Hoopai – “Kohala Officer of the Quarter”

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association recognized Officer Cal-Jason Hoopai as “Kohala Officer of the Quarter,” (July14), at the the Kona Beach Hotel.

Officer Cal-Jason Hoopai

Officer Hoopai has served with the Hawaiʻi Police Department for over 8 years and previously served with the Maui Police Department.

On (April 9), Officer Hoopai responded to a call to check on the welfare of a female party in Kamuela. The reporting party, who resides out of state, requested that a check be made on her sister; however, she did not know her sister’s address or where she actually lived except that she lived in Kamuela.

After making checks, Officer Hoopai responded to 2 different addresses for the female and could not locate her. He was not deterred and decided to return to the subdivision to continue checking houses broadening his search. Luckily, he heard a dog barking at a residence that appeared to be locked up and secured. He noticed a small window opening just large enough to shine his flashlight in the room and saw a woman lying on the floor.

He immediately called for medics and took quick action gaining entry into the residence to assist the female who was unconscious. Medics transported the female to the hospital while Officer Hoopai made sure there was food and water for the small dog and secured the residence. The following morning, during his time off, he took the time to contact the hospital relative to the condition of the female and his concern for the welfare of her dog.

Officer Hoopai went above and beyond to find this female party and immediately went into action to get her the help she needed. He is consummate individual who exemplifies the Core Values of the Hawaiʻi Police Department with Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork and Community Satisfaction.

Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program Accepting Applications for Conservation Acquisition Assistance

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking new projects for its Hawaiʻi Forest Legacy Program that will protect important working forest lands from the threat of conversion to non-forest uses. The Forest Legacy Program, administrated through DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is accepting applications for conservation acquisition assistance through the program.

The Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program works with private landowners, state and county agencies, and conservation non-profit groups to promote sustainable, working forests. Roughly 66 percent of forest land in the State of Hawai‘i is privately owned, with the majority of private landowners wanting to preserve these forests and leave a lasting legacy. Unfortunately, nationwide millions of acres of privately-managed working forests have been lost or converted to other uses with millions more projected to be converted in the next decade. Hawai‘i is no exception to this trend.

“With the help of land trusts and conservation-minded landowners, we have been able to protect our important forest resources, preserve forest essential for water production, shelter endangered species, and safeguard our culturally important sites,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR Chairperson.

More than 2.5 million acres of threatened private forests in the U.S. have been protected under the Forest Legacy Program, of which 47,000 acres have been protected in Hawai‘i. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is currently working on projects that will protect an additional 3,700 acres of important forested watershed lands through the Forest Legacy Program.

The majority of Hawaii’s projects are conservation easements that allow landowners to retain ownership of the restricted title to their property while providing permanent protection from development or unsustainable uses. Oftentimes, this economic opportunity provides landowners with an alternative to selling their land to development companies. Conservation easements are strictly voluntary to enter into and the restrictions are binding to all future owners in perpetuity.

“The national Forest Legacy Program is very competitive with only a few dozen projects funded by the U.S. Forest Service each year,” Case said. “Hawai‘i always puts in strong projects that compete well in this national program,” she noted.

The Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program has identified forest lands throughout the state as important and in need of permanent protection. More information about this status can be found in the State’s Assessment of Needs on the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program website (http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy/).

The Hawai‘i program accepts both fee title and conservation easement acquisitions. Fee title acquisitions are voluntary and can provide landowners with the knowledge that their property will be managed and owned in perpetuity by the State of Hawai‘i.

The deadline for the next round of applications to the Hawai‘i Forest Legacy Program is August 21, 2017. Applications can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy/ and should be submitted to Malia Nanbara by email.

Landowners and non-profits entities who are interested in participating in the Forest Legacy Program are encouraged to contact Malia Nanbara at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife at (808) 587-4176 or by email at Malia.Y.Nanbara@Hawaii.gov to discuss their property and interest in the program.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Travel Ban Plaintiffs

Yesterday, Hawaii federal district Judge Derrick K. Watson issued an order, which largely grants the State of Hawaii and Dr. Ismail Elshikh’s motion to enforce, or in the alternative, to modify the preliminary injunction, filed last Friday in Hawaii v. Trump.

Click to view order

On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued an order in this case that the travel ban could not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States, including those with a “close familial relationship.” The same standard applies with respect to refugee admissions. The federal government subsequently issued guidance that such “close familial relationships” did not include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of people currently living in the United States.

Judge Watson’s order notes that “context matters” and:

“[W]hen appropriately considered in the context of the June 26 order, the Government’s narrowly defined list finds no support in the careful language of the Supreme Court or even in the immigration statutes on which the Government relies.

[T]he Government’s utilization of the specific, family-based visa provisions of the [Immigration and Nationality Act] … constitutes cherry-picking and resulted in a predetermined and unduly restrictive reading of ‘close familial relationship.’ Other, equally relevant federal immigration statutes define a close family in a much broader manner.

In sum, the Government’s definition of ‘close familial relationship’ is not only not compelled by the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision, but contradicts it. Equally problematic, the Government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”

Attorney General Chin said, “The federal court today makes clear that the U.S. Government may not ignore the scope of the partial travel ban as it sees fit. Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough. Courts have found that this Executive Order has no basis in stopping terrorism and is just a pretext for illegal and unconstitutional discrimination. We will continue preparing for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in October.”

Judge Watson’s order also notes that contrary to the Trump Administration’s arguments, “[n]othing in the Supreme Court’s decision requires a refugee to enter into a contract with a United States entity in order to demonstrate the type of formal relationship necessary to avoid the effects of [the Executive Order]. An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s touchstones … [b]ona fide does not get any more bona fide than that.”

A copy of Judge Watson’s order is attached.

Hawaii Department of Health Confirms 11 New Cases of Mumps – Total Now at 154

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed eleven (11) new cases of residents with the mumps, raising the total number of statewide cases this year to 154. Seven (7) of the new cases of individuals are adults. Ten (10) of the cases are from Oahu and one is from Kauai. None of the individuals required hospitalization and all are recovering.  More cases are expected in the coming weeks as mumps is a highly-contagious disease.

To help prevent the spread of mumps, ensure that your family is fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.  All adults born in or after 1957, without evidence of immunity to mumps and who cannot verify previous MMR vaccination, should receive one MMR dose.

Individuals with only one documented MMR dose are strongly encouraged to consider receiving a second vaccine dose at a minimum of four weeks after the first dose.  Although it is not ideal, receiving extra doses of the vaccine poses no medical problem.

All children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine. The first dose is given at age 12–15 months and the second dose routinely at 4–6 years of age. However, because of the continued circulation of mumps in Hawaii, children between 1–4 years of age should receive their second dose now (a minimum of also four weeks after the first dose).

Patients suspected or diagnosed with mumps should remain at home to avoid spreading the disease to others. According to Hawaii State Law, a person with mumps may not attend school, work or travel for nine (9) days after the onset of parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands).Mumps is spread easily through coughing, sneezing and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands.  Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen glands in front of the ears or jaw, tiredness and muscle aches.

To locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccinesimmunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.  More information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

EPA Requires Matheson Tri-Gas Kapolei to Close Illegal Cesspools

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with Matheson Tri-Gas to close three cesspools at its Kapolei facility on Oahu.

Click to read the consent agreement and final order

In May 2016, EPA inspected the Matheson Tri-Gas facility, a commercial gas supply company in the Campbell Industrial Park, and found two large-capacity cesspools (LCCs) in use. EPA regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act required closure of all existing LCCs by April 5, 2005.

Matheson, which acquired the facility in 2015, will close the two LCCs and convert to a septic system. The company will pay a civil penalty of $88,374 for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and spend $50,000 on a supplemental environmental project to close an on-site small-capacity cesspool. Matheson expects to complete the closure of all three cesspools and convert to a septic system by the end of 2017.

“Matheson has agreed to not only close and replace its LCCs with approved systems, but will also close an additional small-capacity cesspool at its facility,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA will continue to focus on closing illegal cesspools to protect Hawaii’s drinking water and coastal water resources.”

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. Groundwater provides 99 percent of all domestic water in Hawaii, where cesspools are used more widely than in any other state. Since EPA banned LCCs in 2005, over 3,000 large-capacity cesspools have been closed state-wide, many through voluntary compliance. The ban does not apply to individual cesspools connected to single-family homes.

For more information and to submit comments on this specific agreement visit:

https://www.epa.gov/uic/hawaii-cesspools-administrative-orders#oahu

For more information on the large-capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large-capacity cesspool, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

HPD Task Force Catches Two Individuals in Huge Crime Spree

Four days after the Hawaiʻi Police Department developed a task force to address the alarming number of auto thefts, two individuals were arrested.

Christian Olivera

At 1:30 p.m., (July 11), 19-year-old Christian Olivera and 24-year-old Jasmine Saragosa-Taoy were arrested without incident at a Hawaiian Paradise Park residence in Puna. They were taken to the Hilo cellblock while police continued the investigation.

Jasmine Saragosa-Taoy

During the investigation, police learned Christian Olivera was responsible for the following crimes:

  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic (a different vehicle)
  • July 7, 2017, fled from police in a vehicle pursuit
  • May 28, 2017, stole a Subaru coupe at gunpoint
  • May 28, 2017, operated a stolen Subaru coupe
  • May 28, 2017, pointed a rifle at a male party
  • May 31, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • April 28, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • May 22, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • June 21, 2017, stole and operated a Honda two-door hatchback
  • May 6, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • July 6, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 8, 2017, recklessly placed a police officer in danger or death of bodily injury
  • July 8, 2017, recklessly placed a police officer in danger of death or bodily injury
  • July 8, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 8, 2017, stole and operated a Subaru
  • June 25, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 9, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma

Police also learned Jasmine Saragosa-Taoy was responsible for the following crimes:

  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic (a different vehicle)
  • May 31, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • July 8, 2017, recklessly placed a police officer in danger or death of bodily injury
  • July 11, 2017, possession of stolen credit cards
  • July 11, 2017, theft of credit cards
  • July 11, 2017, possession of confidential information
  • July 11, 2017, theft of credit cards

At 7:10 p.m., (July 12) and after conferring with prosecutors, police charged Olivera with 13 counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, three counts of resisting an order to stop, two counts of terroristic threatening and one count each of criminal property damage and robbery. His bail is set at $600,000.

Saragosa-Taoy was charged with hindering prosecution, two counts of credit card theft and two counts of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information. She was also charged with being an accomplice to Olivera in three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, one count of terroristic threatening and criminal property damage. Her bail is set at $115,000.

Both suspects remain at the Hilo cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon (June July 13) in District Court. Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

All charges are classified as felonies and involve vehicles that were stolen from the Puna, Hilo, Hāmākua, South Kohala and Kona districts. Investigators are continuing to examine these cases to determine if additional suspects are involved. The task force will continue to focus their attention on dismantling organized groups responsible for stealing cars.

Anyone with information about these incidents or any stolen vehicle is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3111 or Sergeant James Correa of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2272 or James.Correa@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 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.

Neil Everett of ESPN to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu

Neil Everett, the popular ESPN SportsCenter anchor known for opening each show with Howzit! and frequently referencing other Hawaii terms during broadcasts, will present the opening keynote address on the second day of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu.

Photo Credit: ESPN

Everett will make his presentation on Wednesday, September 20, starting at 8:30 a.m., at the Hawaii Convention Center. His topic, Paying Aloha Forward – How Hawaii Saved My Life, will draw upon the inspiration of Hawaii’s aloha spirit in helping to steer him through a difficult period in his life and how, today, he shares the power of aloha with others.

“I spent 15 years in Hawaii and the love I have for the people and aloha will forever be in my heart,” said Everett. “Living in the islands changed me and made me into a better person, and now I pay aloha forward whenever I can.”

Everett moved to Honolulu in 1985 after graduating from the University of Oregon. For the next 15 years, he worked in the athletics department at Hawaii Pacific University, while also writing, producing and reporting news and sports at various times for three Hawaii TV networks, KITV, KHNL, and KGMB. Everett joined ESPN in 2000 as a SportsCenter anchor at its headquarters studio in Bristol, CT, before moving to Los Angeles in conjunction with the opening of ESPN’s West Coast studio in 2009.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit, September 19-21, will share the significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intention of bringing people together to help improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad. Sustainable tourism is the summit theme.

“Like people throughout the country, I’m a fan of SportsCenter because of Neil Everett and how he cleverly combines fun with professionalism in the telling of scores and reporting of sports news,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “You meet Neil and can quickly tell his soul is filled with a goodness to do what’s right and to help others, and much of that stems from him living in Hawaii. Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit will enjoy hearing his story of personal inspiration.”

Attendees can register to attend the Global Tourism Summit and hear Everett’s keynote address by registering online at 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

Kona Crime Prevention Officer of the Month of August: Adam Cho

Officer Adam Cho

Officer Adam Cho was recently on patrol on Aliʻi Drive when he was waved down by a woman who had just witnessed a man purportedly stealing items from a store. As the officer approached the subject he bolted and ran through several parking lots and businesses with Officer Cho on foot pursuit. They lost sight on the man, but saw him at a different location a few minutes later. With the assistance of another officer driving ahead of the suspect it caused the man to slow down and allow Officer Cho to catch up and make the apprehension. He was arrested and charged with theft of merchandise.

Officer Cho is a consummate individual who continually exemplifies the Core Vales of the Hawaiʻi Police Department with Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork and Community Satisfaction.

HDOT Fire Chiefs receive Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Fire Chief Martinez Jacobs, Airport Fire Chief Glen Mitchell and Assistant Chiefs John Kennedy and Raymond Vegas (Ret) received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s (ESGR) Patriot Award during a ceremony on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. which took place at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The award was presented by Robert Lee, MG (Ret), ESGR Hawaii State Chair.

From left to right: CMSgt Desmond Yogi, Assistant Chief Raymond Vegas (Ret), Airport Fire Chief Glen Mitchell, Airports Fire Chief Martinez Jacobs, Lt.Col Reid Matsuda, Assistant Chief John Kennedy, and Robert Lee, MG (Ret)

The Patriot Award is given to individuals who support citizen warriors through various measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. The Patriot Award is part of a series of ESGR’s Employer Awards that recognize employers who support their Guard and Reserve employees. This support increases retention rates in the Armed Forces which strengthens our national security.

More information on ESGR’s Employer Awards can be found by clicking here.

Founder of Nepal’s First Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Hosting Three Big Island Presentations

Reverend Sonam Wangdi Bhutia, a Tibetan Monk, is the founder of Nepal’s first Hongwanji Buddhist temple, and has helped create a thriving new Buddhist community in Kathmandu. Rev. Bhutia will talk about his dramatic personal journey in three Hawai‘i Island locations on July 15 and 16, as part of the Buddhist Study Center’s 40-year-old summer education series.

Reverend Sonam Wangdi Bhutia

Presentations are free, and take place as follows: Saturday, July 15 at Kona Hongwanji at 12:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 16 at Pa‘auilo Hongwanji at 10 a.m.  and Puna Hongwanji at 2 p.m. Talks will be followed by time for questions and answers, and informal reception to meet Rev. Bhutia.

Raised in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition from age three, and advancing into its highest ranks, Bhutia took a different path at age 28, when he encountered the Pure Land tradition of Jodo Shinshu. Pure Land, a simplified school of Buddhist thought, began in India in the 2nd Century, and was refined by Shinran Shonin in the 12th Century, as Jodo Shinshu. The practice of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism focuses on faith, trust and a personal relationship with Amitabha Buddha, with the chanting of his name as an expression of gratitude.

Rev. Bhutia will also speak about how the story of the Buddha is resonating today with young adults in Nepal, the birthplace of Shakyamuni (Siddhartha Gautama Buddha).

The presentations are hosted by the Four Temples Association (Honoka‘a, Kamuela, Kohala and Pa‘auilo Hongwanji Buddhist Temples, www.honokaahongwanjibuddhisttemple.org), in partnership with the Buddhist Churches of America – Center for Buddhist Education, in association with Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii – Buddhist Studies Center, Midwest Buddhist Temple (Chicago), New York Buddhist Church, and American Buddhist Study Center.

For more information, and to RSVP, please contact Mayette Drake, phone and text 808-937-2901, email  ad31088@yahoo.com.

National Accreditation Board Approves Eight-Year Tenure for UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) has graduated to the next step in national recognition by attaining full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) for a full eight years for the first time.
ACPE is the national accreditation body that evaluates all colleges of pharmacy in the nation. They sent the results after the June 21-24 Executive Board Meeting in Chicago to Chancellor Donald Straney and DKICP Dean Carolyn Ma.

“This is affirmation of the significance of maintaining excellence in all ways at UH Hilo,” said Chancellor Straney. “As DKICP passes the 10-year anniversary as the only College of Pharmacy in the Pacific Region, we can celebrate with all stakeholders, both at the University level and in the community, to recognize their hard work that has gotten us this far.”

DKICP was found to be “compliant” or “compliant with monitoring” in all 25 standards set by ACPE with no “partial” or “noncompliant” findings. In a prior ACPE evaluation in 2015, DKICP was granted full accreditation for two years with the provision that it was “contingent on continuous progress” and monitored by ACPE.

This year’s positive assessment was determined by a combination of a site visit as well as from a 110-page self-study compiled by faculty, staff, students, preceptors, administrators and community members from the Dean’s Advisory Council.

The ACPE survey team, representing faculty and administration from several notable pharmacy schools, practitioners in the field, and the ACPE accreditation staff, conducted the on-site evaluation in Hilo and Honolulu during the week of March 7-9.

According to their report, particular attention was made to the progress and changes that have occurred since the last focused on-site evaluation in fall 2014. It cited the appointment of a new dean as well as new chairs for each of the College’s departments.

The report to the Board noted that while research is still regarded critical activity for faculty, the College has revisited its mission and vision so that “evaluative expectations have been revised to more realistic levels.”

Other changes noted in the report include progress on construction for the College’s permanent building.

“As we all recall, accreditation was at risk previously when we couldn’t prove support for a permanent building,” Dean Ma said. “This time when the survey team visited, they could see concrete evidence that building has begun, and that we have a clear future. We are forever appreciative to the many members of our College, the community and the legislature who rallied behind us.”

Citing “good support” from the University, the report showed encouragement by future developments in interprofessional education, which includes working with members from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work and public health.

The accreditation term granted for the Doctor of Pharmacy program extends until June 30, 2025.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Seeks Witnesses to Tuesday Campground Fire

Fire officials at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are seeking witnesses to a fire Tuesday afternoon that burned about ¼ acre of native koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest  behind a cabin at Nāmakanipaio Campground.

Smoke obscures the koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest at Nāmakanipaio Campground on Tuesday afternoon. NPS Photo/Luke Kittle

The fire started behind Cabin 3 shortly before 3 p.m., and was human-caused. A female and several children told firefighters they saw how it started, but left the scene before anyone could get her name and contact information.

The fire was quickly doused with water by County of Hawai‘i Engine 19, Volcano volunteer company 19, and National Park Service resources. No structures were burned, although flames came close to Cabin 3. No closures or evacuations were required.

The fire, which started behind Cabin 3 at Nāmakanipaio Campground, nearly reached the A-frame cabin. The campground and cabins are located within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and are managed by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. NPS Photo.

An investigation is underway. Witnesses and anyone with information about the fire are encouraged to call Park Dispatch at 808-985-6170. Callers may remain anonymous.

“With a hot and dry summer upon us, we’re definitely at an increased risk for fire in the park, and across the island,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Fire Management Officer Greg Funderburk. “It’s important to remember that while parts of the island might be getting rainfall, other areas are very dry and quite susceptible to fire,” he said.

67th JCCIH Installation Draws Leaders from Across the State and Japan

Continuing the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) mission to promote values-based business and interconnection, JCCIH welcomed State and Japanese leaders of government and commerce at its 67th installation at the end of June.

Audrey N. Takamine of Takamine Construction, Inc., was inducted as the 2017-18 president of the JCCIH, becoming the fourth woman to lead the organization.

Audrey Takamine, new president of Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, right, presenting Russell Arikawa, immediate past president, with mahalo plaque.

“When Craig and I founded Takamine Construction,” she said, “we set our philosophy as ‘building long-term relationships,’ and that’s a major goal I have for the Chamber. These friendships across the state and with Japanese business leaders foster that goal.”

Lt. Governor Shan S. Tsutsui, a Maui native, gave the keynote remarks, calling on businesses to “acknowledge the rich history of the community and the State and remain grateful for the contributions and sacrifices of generations past.”

From Japan, dignitaries and delegates from sister city Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry (HHCCI) joined the celebration. Tsutsui noted that he was encouraged by the relationship between Higashi-Hiroshima and Hilo business communities “in exploring unique business opportunities while gaining a better understanding of one another.”

Also in attendance was Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (CoCH) which represents statewide business interests. JCCIH works with CoCH to promote mutually beneficial programs and legislation.

The group from HHCCI included the chamber Chair Kazuyuki Kihara, Executive Councilor Katsuhiko Muneto, Councillor Takashi Shohara and his wife Yuko Shohara, Councilor Masao Ninomiya and his wife Ruriko Ninomiya, Councilor Atsushi Isobe and Managing Director Kazunari Ohara.

Besides Takamine, the other 2017-18 JCCIH Executive Officers include:

  • First Vice President: Stephen N. Ueda, Suisan Company, Ltd.
  • Second Vice President: Donn S. Mende, HFS Federal Credit Union
  • Treasurer: Joseph F. Skruch
  • Immediate-Past President: Russell M. Arikawa, Ginoza Realty, Inc.

The installation drew a record crowd of more than 250, requiring a change of venue.

“We are very grateful that the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel opened its doors to accommodate our Installation, said Takamine.  “I look forward to working with our new officers. I also welcome the many new members that JCCIH has attracted over the past year. We intend to continue that growth.” JCCIH now has more than 300 members from businesses and professions.

Takamine is a 2002 graduate of the University of Hawaii-Hilo College of Business and of Waiakea High School.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii fosters economic sustainability as well as perpetuating the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. Its mission is to promote the wellbeing of our community through business and personal relationships that embody the values of Kahiau & Okage Sama De. In Hawaiian, Kahiau means giving without expecting anything in return. Okage Sama De is a Japanese proverb, which means I am what I am because of you.

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo, set this year for Sunday, October 22. The Chamber hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit www.jccih.org