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$3,000 Raised for the Food Basket at Taste of Mauna Lani

The 7th Annual “Taste of Mauna Lani” fundraising event to benefit Hawai‘i Island Food Basket raised 50 percent more than the 2015 event.

shops-at-mauna-lani
The Taste of Mauna Lani is held during three weeks in September, with participating restaurants offering specially discounted three-course prix-fixe dinners.  A portion of each sale is donated to Hawai‘i Island Food Basket. Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar at The Shops at Mauna Lani contributed over $1,000 from sales during the event.

Other participating restaurants at The Shops at Mauna Lani included Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Blue Room Brasserie & Bar and Monstera Noodles & Sushi.  CanoeHouse at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalow was the second highest contributor with over $500 donated to the charity.  A new participant this year was Brown’s Beach House at The Fairmont Orchid.  In addition, The Shops at Mauna Lani made a 20% matching contribution to all funds raised by the restaurants.

“With everyone’s participation in this event, a total of $3,000 was raised by ‘Taste of Mauna Lani,’ which is a significant increase over last year’s amount.” said General Manager Michael Oh. “We are always looking for ways to give back, especially to the Food Basket, who works so hard all year round to help the people who need it most in our community.”

To make a donation as an individual or business, visit www.hawaiifoodbasket.org.

Hawaii Department of Health Clears Marine Agrifuture to Resume Sales of Ogo and Sea Asparagus

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has lifted its Cease and Desist Order against Marine Agrifuture LLC (Olakai Farm). This morning, the company was notified it may resume the sale and distribution of Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo and Sea Asparagus food products harvested at the Kahuku farm.

marine-agrifutureLaboratory test results from samples taken on Nov. 29 indicated that Marine Agrifuture’s processing areas and products were negative for Salmonella. The wells, all inlets to production ponds, and the growing and rinse tanks were also free from Salmonella and levels of indicator organisms (Enterococci and Clostridium perfringens) that would signal possible environmental contamination.

“Based on lab test results and visual confirmation by health inspectors of the thorough cleaning and improvements made to several critical components of the farm’s physical infrastructure, the department is satisfied that all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the safety of Marine Agrifuture’a food products,” said Peter Oshiro, Food Safety Program manager. “The department will continue to work with the farm on measures to prevent any future contamination of products.”

The department has recommended the farm continue to sample and test their wells, inlets to the production areas and growing ponds, and rinse/grow tanks to insure corrective measures remain effective and sufficient. The farm is urged to share test results with DOH for compliance assistance and consultation. All components of Marine Agrifuture’s farm, piping, wells, source/rinse water, production areas, equipment and food products are subject to further periodic and unannounced testing by health inspectors. In addition, the farm is not allowed to grow or harvest any products from streams, or other areas not approved by DOH.

The Department of Health’s Sanitation Branch is a statewide program responsible for the inspection of food establishments, issuance of permits and enforcement of food safety regulations. The Branch does not conduct routine inspections or issue permits for Raw Agricultural Commodities such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and other food crops grown on farms. Educational classes on food protection and safety are provided to the public, food industry and other agencies through the branch’s Food Handlers Education Program.

Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit, or License System in Hawaii

Following six meetings earlier this year, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has received a report from a group of experts and organizations with interest in establishing non-commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii’i.

Click to read the study

Click to read the study

The independent group studied the potential benefits and impacts of different forms of a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license system.  Participants in the meetings, held between May and November, included the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Conservation International, fisheries resources managers, experts, and representatives from different fishing organizations and interest groups.

The study group interviewed fisheries managers from other coastal states, conducted a detailed economic feasibility analysis, and consulted with legal experts, including an expert in native Hawaiian law.

According to DAR Administrator Dr. Bruce Anderson, “This group specifically focused on the ability of a potential system to meet three primary fishery objectives.”  This includes providing additional and more robust data to support fisheries management; to foster more dialogue between fishers and managers; and to create a continuous source of independent funding to support effective fisheries management.  In expressing the DLNR’s appreciation to the members of the study group, Anderson wrote, “It is indeed a thorough and well-researched document.  We are impressed with the way all the members worked together throughout the project.

While Study Group members did not hesitate to express divergent views, their comments were always intended to be constructive. I believe the final report reflects this spirit of cooperation and collaboration as well as the dedication and hard work of all members.  Every member certainly has a great passion and appreciation of the value of our marine resources.”

Anderson concluded, “We look forward to getting comments from a broad range of stakeholders before making such a decision on what option is preferred. Undoubtedly, this report will generate considerable discussion and serve as a valuable reference for all those interested in this issue.”


The Division of Aquatic Resources has received the Final Report from the Study Group for the Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit, or License System for Hawai‘i.  The Study Group was jointly convened by Conservation International Hawai‘i and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, and consisted of fisheries resource managers, experts, and representatives from various fishing organizations and interest groups.  The Study Group examined the potential benefits and impacts of different forms of a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license system and specifically focused on the ability of such as system to meet three primary fishery management objectives: (1) provide additional and more robust data to support fisheries management, (2) foster more two-way dialogue between fishers and managers, and (3) create sources of independent, continuous funding to support effective fisheries management and enforcement.  The process included interviews with fisheries managers from other coastal states, a detailed economic feasibility analysis, and consultation with legal experts, including an expert in native Hawaiian law.

The final report and supporting appendices can be downloaded below. All are pdf files under 1 MB except where noted.

Final Report (6.2 MB)
Executive Summary (3.6 MB)
Appendix A – Charter of Commitments (1.4 MB)
Appendix B – Coastal States & Territories Comparison Matrix
Appendix C – List of Listening Sessions Between Study Group Meetings
Appendix D – Comparison of Non-commercial Marine Fishing Regulation Systems in States Similar to Hawaii
Appendix E – Overview of Hawaii Legal Considerations for Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing
Appendix F – Table of Provisions on the Right to Fish from Other States
Appendix G – Hawaii’s Traditional and Customary Rights Impact Analysis of Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing (19.9 MB)
Appendix H – Financial Impact Analysis of Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing
Appendix I – Personal Statements from Study Group Members

Pepper to Perform at Kona Brewing Company

In honor of Kona Brewing Company’s Makana Series, the company is celebrating two successful years of fundraising with a party at the original brewery in Kona on December 17, 2016.  Pepper, a three piece band originally from Hawaii, will be headlining this special concert event.

Pepper

Pepper

WHAT:  Celebration of Kona Brewing Company’s Makana Series, featuring Pepper.  Makana Series are four limited edition, island-brewed beers, inspired by Hawaii’s landscape and made with island ingredients that tell Kona Brewing Company’s story. In the spirit of makana, a portion of proceeds of all beers sold benefit local non-profit organizations.

The event will celebrate the two years Kona Brewing Company has run the program, which has raised more than $100,000 for four non-profit organizations on the island.

Pepper will headline the special event, with opening acts including Divercité and Kimié.

WHEN: Saturday, December 17, 2016, Gates open at 6.00pm, Pepper on stage at 8.40pm

LOCATION: Kona Brewing Brewpub and adjacent Brewery Block, 74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

COST: General Admission – $39

Tickets are on sale now from https://kiosk.eztix.co/kiosk-optimised/297242.

Kona Brewing Company has been on the island for 22 years, and created the Makana Series as a way to give back and say mahalo to the island. The series is inspired by Earth [Aina], Fire [Wela], Water [Kai] and Wind [Makani]. Proceeds from the sale of these brews benefit local nonprofits committed to the islands’ natural wonder: Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Malama Maunalua, Surfrider Foundation Hawaii and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

Eric Chang, Hawaii Market Manager, Kona Brewing Company, said: “Kona Brewing Company has always made it a priority to help support those who help pave the way for a sustainable future for our planet. For the last two years, we have taken that further by supporting and highlighting four other local charities that share our passion for sustainability and the environment through the Makana Series.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating two years of giving with this special event, and are honored that the local friends from Pepper are able to join us.  “We hope to see many of our ohana here to celebrate with us.”

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges President to Immediately Halt Dakota Access Pipeline

In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard called on President Obama to immediately halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and announced plans to join thousands of veterans from across the country to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota this weekend.

tulsi-dakota“Growing up in Hawaii, I learned the value of caring for our home, caring for our planet, and the basic principle that we are all connected in a great chain of cause and effect.

“The Dakota Access Pipeline is a threat to this great balance of life. Despite strong opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux and serious concerns raised by the EPA, the Department of Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other Federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers approved permits to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline without adequately consulting the tribes, and without fully evaluating the potential impacts to neighboring tribal lands, sacred sites, and their water supply. Just one spill near the tribe’s reservation could release thousands of barrels of crude oil, contaminating the tribe’s drinking water.

“The impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline is clear. Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the Dakota Pipeline, has a history of serious pipeline explosions, which have caused injury, death, and significant property damage in the past decade. The future operator of the planned pipeline, Sunoco Logistics, has had over 200 environmentally damaging oil spills in the last 6 years alone—more than any of its competitors.

“Protecting our water is not a partisan political issue—it is an issue that is important to all people and all living beings everywhere. Water is life. We cannot survive without it. Once we allow an aquifer to be polluted, there is very little that can be done about it. This is why it is essential that we prevent water resources from being polluted in the first place.

“Our Founding Fathers took great inspiration from Native American forms of governance, and the democratic principles that they were founded on. Their unique form of governance was built on an agreement called the Great Law of Peace, which states that before beginning their deliberations, the council shall be obliged, and I quote, “to express their gratitude to their cousins and greet them, and they shall make an address and offer thanks to the earth where men dwell, to the streams of water, the pools, the springs and the lakes, to the maize and the fruits, to the medicinal herbs and trees, to the forest trees for their usefulness, and to the Great Creator who dwells in the heavens above, who gives all the things useful to men, and who is the source and the ruler of health and life.”

“This recognition of our debt to the Creator and our responsibility to be responsible members of this great web of life was there from the beginning of Western democracy.

“Freedom is not a buzzword. The freedom of our Founding Fathers was not the freedom to bulldoze wherever you like.

“Our freedom is a freedom of mind, a freedom of heart, freedom to worship as we see fit, freedom from tyranny and freedom from terror. That’s the freedom this country was founded on, the freedom cultivated by America’s Native people, and the freedom the Standing Rock Sioux are now exercising.

“This weekend I’m joining thousands of veterans from across the country at Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with our Native American brothers and sisters. Together we call on President Obama to immediately halt the construction of this pipeline, respect the sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, and respect their right to clean water. The truth is, whether it’s the threat to essential water sources in this region, the lead contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, or the threat posed to a major Hawaiʻi aquifer by the Red Hill fuel leak, each example underscores the vital importance of protecting our water resources.

“We can’t undo history, but we must learn lessons from the past and carry them forward—to encourage cooperation among free people, to protect the sacred, to care for the Earth and for our children, and our children’s children. What’s at stake is our shared heritage of freedom and democracy and our shared future on this Great Turtle Island, our great United States of America.”

Background: In September, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and 18 House Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama calling on the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill their responsibility of holding meaningful consultation and collaboration with the Standing Rock Sioux over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Full text of the letter is available here.

Annual Closure of ‘Ama‘ama (Striped Mullet)

Spawning season is here for ‘ama‘ama (striped mullet), which puts the popular nearshore fish off-limits from December through March.  “‘Ama‘ama are about to enter their peak spawning season, which increases their vulnerability to fishing pressure,” said Bruce Anderson, DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources administrator.  “The annual winter closure is designed to help the fish reproduce successfully and protect the species from overfishing.”

amaama-striped-mullet‘Ama‘ama was one of the most important fish species in traditional Hawaiian culture.  Young fish were caught in nets along the shoreline, then raised in the many fishponds throughout the islands.  After being fattened in the fishponds, they were harvested and eaten raw with seaweed added, or wrapped in ti or ginger leaves and broiled or baked.

There are three species of mullet in Hawaiian waters, but the closed season applies only to the striped mullet ‘ama‘ama.  There are no regulations pertaining to the other two species: uouoa (sharp-nose mullet), which is native, and kanda (summer or Marquesan mullet), which is introduced.  Differences between the species can be seen at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/files/2016/11/mullet_handout_estuaries.pdf.

During the open season, the minimum size for ‘ama‘ama is 11 inches (fork length), and a bag limit of ten per day applies in Hilo Bay only.  The season will re-open April 1, 2017.

“We ask the public’s compliance with the closed season,” Anderson said. “While it’s DLNR’s job to protect our marine resources, everyone shares in the responsibility to take care of important fish species like ‘ama‘ama to ensure healthy populations into the future.”

There are two kinds of penalties, criminal and civil for seasonal violations.  The criminal penalty is a petty misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $500 per violation and/or 30 days in jail.  There is no per specimen fine.  First offense civil penalties are up to $1,000 per specimen and $1,000 per violation.

Copies of statewide fishing regulations for ‘ama‘ama and all other marine species are available in Honolulu at the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) office, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 330, and at all neighbor island DAR offices.  Fishing regulations can also be found on the DAR website at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar.  To report violations of fish catch size or net use, call the DLNR enforcement hotline at (808) 643-DLNR (643-3567).

Kona Brewing Company Releases Mahalo Variety Pack for the Holidays

Kona Brewing Company recently introduced the ‘Mahalo’ 12pk variety pack, available for a limited time during the holidays. Sold exclusively in Hawaii, the ‘Mahalo’ 12pk variety pack features four brews with tropical island ingredients.
kona-brewing-companyFor the very first time, Magic Sands Mango Saison will be available in bottle-form within the Mahalo variety pack, alongside Lemongrass Luau, Wailua Wheat and Pipeline Porter.

Magic Sands Mango Saison
A traditional farmhouse style ale with a Hawaiian twist, with mango juice added to this crisp and refreshing brew. 5.5% ABV

Lemongrass Luau
Lemongrass Luau is a crisp, refreshing blonde ale with a touch of wheat malt, ginger, and fresh lemongrass. With it’s modest alcohol content this brew is perfect for pau hana, sharing pints with friends, and great with almost any meal. 5% ABV

Wailua Wheat
This golden, sun colored ale has a bright, citrusy flavor that comes from the tropical passionfruit brewed into each batch. 5.4% ABV

Pipeline Porter
Pipeline Porter is a bold, but smooth blend of roasted barley and rich Hawaiian-grown coffee – the perfect ode to the Banzai Pipeline, one of the most spectacular surf spots on the planet. 5.3% ABV

Created in the spirit of the holidays, the ‘Mahalo’ variety pack is also a great way for locals to say thank you to friends and family during the gift-giving season. The diversity of flavors mean there will be a brew to suit all palates – from the sweet fruitiness of Magic Sands Mango Saison, to the dark and rich Pipeline Porter.

The 12-bottle Mahalo variety pack is exclusively available at retailers in Hawaii.  There is also a 24-bottle Mahalo variety pack at select merchants for a limited time.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Seeks 2017 Beneficiaries

The sixth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival invites non-profit organizations to apply as a beneficiary of the 2017 event held on April 28-29 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The festival annually awards non-profits a portion of event proceeds.

big-island-chocolate-festival-2017Beneficiaries should be associated with culinary education, cacao farming/education, local chocolate, farming or sustainability. Awards will be given ranging from $500 to $6,000 and beneficiaries are expected to provide volunteers and support event execution.

Visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com for application details and the deadline is December 31, 2016.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Hawaii Department of Health Holds Statewide Public Hearings for Changes to Food Safety Code

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) will hold public hearings on Hawaii Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai from Dec. 5-9, 2016 (see exact scheduling details below) to introduce amendments to the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Title 11, Chapter 50, Food Safety Code, which outlines standards for all food establishments statewide.

food-safety-cardsIn February 2014, the state passed new food safety rules that significantly changed the food service inspection process by introducing the highly visible “stop-light” placarding system that displays the results of each inspection. The new state rules also adopted the 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Model Food Code as its basis, increased the frequency of permit requirements based on health risk, and increased permit fees to create an online database of inspection records for the public.

“The department is continuing to raise the state’s food safety standards by further updating regulations to increase the focus on prevention and reduce the risk of residents and visitors contracting foodborne illness,” said Peter Oshiro, head of the DOH Food Safety program. “Updating state requirements and fees and aligning our state with federal standards are essential for creating a world class food safety program in Hawaii.”

The proposed amendments include establishing a new food safety education requirement for persons-in-charge at all food establishments. The new rule will require at least one employee on every work shift be certified at the formal Food Handlers Training level. This will ensure a standard baseline of food safety knowledge for all establishment owners and managers. Studies have shown that food establishments with properly trained persons-in-charge have a lower occurrence of critical food safety violations that are directly linked to food illnesses.

The department is also proposing the adoption of the 2013 FDA Model Food Code. This will provide Hawaii with the most current nationally recognized food code based on the latest scientific knowledge on food safety. Updating the state’s food code will also align Hawaii with national standards and provide consistent requirements for food facilities that operate across multiple states.

Additional proposed changes to the state’s food safety rules include:

  • Removing the 20 days of sale limit for homemade foods (cottage foods) that are not considered a potential public health risk;
  • Removing the restriction on the number of days a Special Event Temporary Food Establishment permit may be valid;
  • Establishing a new fee structure for Temporary Food Establishment Permits ($100 for a 20-day permit plus $5 for each additional day over 20 to a maximum of one year);
  • Streamlining regulations for mobile food establishments (e.g. food trucks) by incorporating the requirements into existing rules for their base operations or “brick and mortar” establishments;
  • Revising the fee structure for mobile units with no increase to the total amount currently paid by a mobile operator;
  • Allowing placarding during all inspections;
  • Allowing the state to refuse permit renewal for non-payment of fines or stipulated agreements more than 30 days overdue; and
  • Requiring state approval for the sale of “Wild Harvested Mushrooms.”

The draft rules are available for review at http://health.hawaii.gov/opppd/proposed-changes-to-department-of-health-administrative-rules-title-11/. Written public comments are recommended and may be submitted at the public hearings or to the Sanitation Branch at 99-945 Halawa Valley St., Aiea, Hawaii 96701 prior to the close of business on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

Public hearings on the proposed rules will be held on the dates, at the times, and places noted below:

Island of Oahu

Monday, Dec. 5 (2 – 5 p.m.)

Environmental Health Services Division

Food Safety Education Room

99-945 Halawa Valley St., Aiea

Island of Maui

Tuesday, Dec. 6 (2 – 5 p.m.)

UH-Maui College Community Services Building

310 Kaahumanu Ave., Bldg. #205, Kahului

Island of Hawaii – Hilo

Wednesday, Dec. 7 (2 – 5 p.m.)

Environmental Health Building Conference Room

1582 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo

Island of Hawaii – Kona

Thursday, Dec. 8 (2 – 5 p.m.)

West Hawaii Civic Center, Bldg. G

74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona

Island of Kauai

Friday, Dec. 9 (2 – 5 p.m.)

Lihue Health Center Conference Room

3040 Umi St., Lihue

Hawaii Department of Health Issues Cease and Desist Order to Marine Agrifuture LLC

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Sanitation Branch has ordered Marine Agrifuture LLC (also known as Olakai Hawaii) to immediately cease and desist selling or distributing their products, Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo, and Sea Asparagus. The farm is located in Kahuku on Oahu.

marine-agrifutureReports of Salmonella infections on Oahu were linked to consumption of ogo (or limu) and subsequently led to the investigation of Marine Agriculture LLC on Nov. 2 and 7.  During the investigation, testing was conducted on environmental, processing area, and ogo samples. Laboratory tests identified Salmonella bacteria in the packing and processing tanks and in the farm environment.

“Distributors and retailers have been notified to remove the affected products from sale or distribution immediately,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Sanitation Branch.  We advise the public to discard any suspect product they may have.”

Marine Agrifuture is a major distributor of ogo and sea asparagus in Hawaii and its products may have been shipped to all islands as well as the mainland (California and Washington state). The department is still confirming all locations and states the product may have been shipped to.

Marine Agrifuture will be allowed to resume their sale of Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo, and Sea Asparagus once the farm demonstrates to DOH that the risk of contamination from pathogenic bacteria has been mitigated at the source and that sanitation practices have been implemented to preclude contamination during the processing of the food product. DOH will continue to work with the farm and will require retesting of areas and products to assure food safety.

Coast Guard Terminates Voyages of Fishing Vessels – Issues Violations

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) terminated the voyages of the commercial fishing vessels Azure, Capt. Millions III and Capt. Danny for hazardous safety conditions during boardings off Honolulu Harbor in early November.

Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. Partnering with the Galveston Island during the boardings were two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents bringing their expansive knowledge and fisheries expertise.

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) makes contact with commercial fishing vessels near Honolulu in early November to conduct boardings looking for compliance with state and federal regulations. Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. They also had two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents aboard which was the first time the Coast Guard engaged in this partnership. The USFWS agents were looking for Endangered Species and Lacey Act violations, thus facilitating the protection of natural resources that the fishing fleet encounters in the region. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) makes contact with commercial fishing vessels near Honolulu in early November to conduct boardings looking for compliance with state and federal regulations. Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. They also had two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents aboard which was the first time the Coast Guard engaged in this partnership. The USFWS agents were looking for Endangered Species and Lacey Act violations, thus facilitating the protection of natural resources that the fishing fleet encounters in the region. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

Of the three fishing vessels whose voyages were terminated by the Galveston Island crew, the boarding team found multiple discrepancies, including excessive volatile fuel, multiple five-gallon buckets of oily water, oily water in the bilge, lack of a sound-producing device, lack of a record log book for training and drills as well as inoperable bilge and general alarms. In one case, a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of a U.S. documented vessel.

“Our role as the boarding team is to ensure compliance with all federal regulations,” said lead boarding officer, Lt. j.g. Chelsea Sheehy. “We identified various types of violations and instructed the respective masters to make the necessary corrections in order to ensure the overall safety of the Hawaii-based commercial fishing fleet.”

The Galveston Island crew escorted the three fishing vessels to the pier in Honolulu. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel are attending the vessels to ensure all discrepancies are rectified prior to any new voyages.

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Galveston Island/Released)

Mandatory dockside safety exams must be completed for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. These exams are free and any discrepancies found at the dock may not result in fines. Fishing vessel that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (not expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.

The Galveston Island is a 110-foot Island class patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. The cutter is a multi-mission platform with a primary operation area in the main Hawaiian Islands that completes several such patrols annually.

“Sam Choy In The Kitchen” Renewed for 2017

The Big Island of Hawaii is very fortunate to have one of the best chefs in the world living on this island and I feel honored to have met him personally.  Celebrity Chef Sam Choy lives in on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii and recently I had the opportunity to meet up with him over on Oahu.

Sam Choy and some of the production crew celebrate the renewal of "Sam Choy in the Kitchen".

Sam Choy and some of the production crew celebrate the renewal of “Sam Choy in the Kitchen”.

On Thursday November 3rd at the Honolulu Design Center, I learned of the success of one of Choy’s more recent projects… the television show “Sam Choy in the Kitchen” being selected for a second season.

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood announced  that the show would be picked up for its second season at a “Mahalo Breakfast” thrown for Chef Choy with many of the sponsors of the show in attendance.

Sam and John make a creation on the spot.

Sam and John make a creation on the spot.

Sam and the show’s co-host John Veneri entertained the folks in attendance with a quick demonstration of what kind of things goes on in the production of making an episode and Veneri even mentioned how Chef Choy was able to make a dinner out of left over McDonald Chicken McNuggets in one of his shows and after that they showed a video clip highlighting just some of the clips from this past season. “ I am so honored to be the chef’s Stew Chef for the second season” quoted John, “we have a some fun episodes planned for next year” he added.

Sam talking with sponsors of the show.

Sam talking with sponsors of the show.

Choy stated that he is “So happy the viewers enjoyed the first season, thank you all for watching.  The show and the idea behind it are both hot and fresh, just like my dishes!”

Agent Abbas Hassan, John Veneri, Sam Choy and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

Agent Abbas Hassan, John Veneri, Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Some of the sponsors that were in attendance to say mahalo to Chef Choy were D.Otani Produce, Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union, Modelo Beer and renowned artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker to name a few.

Nordstrom Ala Moana Picks Up Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen and Tiki Shark

Located in Hawaii’s biggest and most high profile mall, Nordstrom Ala Moana has picked up Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen and artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parkers souvenir line just in time for the 2016 Holiday Season.

sam-choy-and-brad-parker-at-nordstroms

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker getting into the holiday spirit.

“We are so excited to feature such a colorful and high quality line in our At-Home section” quoted Deja Young At-home Dept Manager “hope to see you for Chef Sam Choy’s and artist Brad Parker’s personal appearance next month” she added.

sam-choy-nordstrom-display“Wow these towels are soft and absorbent…turned out better than I expected”, “I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful store” commented the world famous celebrity chef.

“These are embroidered designs specially manufactured for Nordstrom and other limited venues” commented Abbas Hassan – Senior Vice President of Tiki Shark Art Inc. who is also the celebrity chefs and renowned artists agent.  “We had a lot of inquiries about Brad’s art being available in Honolulu and we are so happy to be able to fill that demand thru Nordstrom’s” he quoted.

sam-in-nordstromsA public signing and personal appearance is scheduled at the 186,000 square foot store on December 4 – 2 PM to 6 PM.  General public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid the rush.

sam-in-front-of-nordstromsChef Sam Choy’s products can also be purchased on line at www.chefsamchoy.com

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his artworks are currently featured in Hawaiian Airlines Hana Hou Magazine. His company Tiki Shark Art Inc was name the 10th Fastest Growing Companies in the State of Hawaii by Pacific Business News.

Butchering and Curing Meat Class Coming to Hilo

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers a class in “The Art of Butchering and Curing Meat for Home Food Preservation” on Saturdays, November 19 and December 3, from 1 – 4 p.m. at The Kitchen, located at 615 Haihai Street in Hilo. Tuition is $80.

Porchetta

Porchetta

Chef Dean Shigeoka, co-founder of The Kitchen, will cover a wide range of topics, including meat dressing, salting, corning and aging. Shigeoka will also provide participants with an introduction to the craft of charcuterie as they make sausage and porchetta, corn their own beef, and taste samples. The instruction and hands-on experience will provide students with the basic skills needed to begin experimenting with home butchery and charcuterie.

For more information, disability accommodations, or to register, call CCECS at 932-7830 (V) or 932-7002 (TTY).

Acting Governor of Hawaii Proclaims October “Farm to School Month”

Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui proclaimed the month of October “Farm to School Month.”  Stakeholders from the community, including the Ulupono Initiative, The Kohala Center, Jack Johnson’s Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Department of Agriculture attended the proclamation presentation held this morning at the State Capitol.

farm-to-schoolFarm to School Month in Hawai’i coincides with National Farm to School Month, designated by Congress in 2010, to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, encourage diverse careers in agriculture, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.

“It’s important that we celebrate Farm to School month to raise awareness about the movement and school gardening programs, which empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and connecting keiki to the aina,” said Acting Governor Tsutsui, who is spearheading the Farm to School Initiative, in collaboration with HIDOE and Department of Agriculture.

“The Hawaii Farm to School program provides an important connection between local farms and Hawaii’s keiki,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “This program not only helps to strengthen the local agricultural community, but also creates an opportunity to educate our youth about agriculture, nutrition and food sustainability.”

The Farm to School Initiative aims to systematically increase State purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with their food through the use of products from the local agricultural community.  With Hawaii importing about 85 percent of our food, the Farm to School Initiative is one way the State is working towards becoming food sustainable.

“The Department is excited in finding new ways to increase the amount of local produce on the menus of our schools,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “While the schools as a whole currently purchase a higher percentage of local food than the average home, we would like to deliver more fresh fruits, vegetables and meats to our students’ plates.”

HIDOE has 256 public schools and its School Food Services Branch feeds approximately 100,000 students and staff each day.  The Farm to School Initiative also seeks to address the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our school cafeterias.

In April, the Farm to School Initiative gathered information from farmers and ranchers as well as hosted a mixer to inform them on how to become a qualified vendor with the State.  Those events, including the invitation for bids, culminate with the Farm to School Initiative Pilot Project, which is expected to begin in 2017.

“The Kohala Center has been involved in Farm to School for about a decade and we’re so thrilled that this pilot project is at this place of being ready to launch because of the potential of Farm to School to not only impact our agricultural community, but also the positive impact it can have on our school children from a nutritious standpoint and education standpoint as well,” said Anna-Lisa Okoye, Chief Operating Officer of The Kohala Center.  “We’re so excited for this next step that we’re going to get into the schools and make some changes on how schools cook and source food and teach kids about nutrition.”

Across the nation, farm to school programs are reconnecting students to a better understanding of the food system and where their food comes from.  Farm to school programs introduce students to healthier eating habits and help them become familiar with new vegetables and fruits that they and their families will then be more willing to incorporate into their own diets.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Recognized As Top Advocate For National Food Policy

Food Policy Action announced Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as a top advocate for improving the nation’s food system.

ep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a top advocate for a clear, transparent, uniform food labeling standard

ep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a top advocate for a clear, transparent, uniform food labeling standard

The congresswoman earned a perfect score on the recent release of the National Food Policy Scorecard for her leadership advancing good food policy in the 114th Congress.

“Fighting for sensible, transparent food policies and supporting local and domestic agriculture have been among my key priorities. This Congress, we’ve unfortunately seen numerous attempts to roll back progress on good food policy, like undermining common sense food labeling standards across the country, fast-tracking the destructive Trans-Pacific Partnership, and lifting restrictions on the use of harmful pesticides near our vital water resources,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Food security is a critical issue for people in Hawaiʻi and across the U.S. and I will continue to work hard toward creating a more secure, safe, and healthy future for our people and our environment.”

“Tulsi Gabbard is a strong food champion who has been a steadfast advocate for measures to fix our food system, voting to protect clean water, transparency in food labeling, workers’ rights, and the long-term viability of our food supply. Her 100% score on the National Food Policy Scorecard showcases her leadership on food policy issues in Congress,” said Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action co-founder, chef and food advocate.

Background:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a strong advocate for food and production safety and transparency, and was among just 18% of House members that received a perfect score on this year’s Food Policy Action Scorecard. Food Policy Action recognized Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for:

  • Fighting against the DARK Act and “fast-track” Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
  • Working to pass clear, easy-to-read food labeling standards
  • Protecting the Clean Water Act and upholding restrictions on pesticide use
  • Reauthorizing services for kūpuna under the Older Americans Reauthorization Act

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has introduced legislation to protect local agriculture and help local farmers fight back against invasive species, including the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative and the Areawide Integrated Pest Management Act. As an original cosponsor of H.R. 913, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, she helped lead Congressional opposition to legislation like the DARK Act and S.764, legislation that pre-empts state and local laws that already require labeling of genetically modified foods and creates a food labeling system based solely on industry science and corporate influences. She has continued working to pass a clear, uniform national labeling standard that makes it easier for consumers to know what’s in their food.

 

Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. The National Food Policy Scorecard reflects the consensus of top food policy experts who select the key food policy votes each year. The scorecard considers lawmakers votes on a variety of issues relevant to food policy in the U.S., including domestic and international hunger, food safety, food access, farm subsidies, animal welfare, food and farm labor, nutrition, food additives, food transparency, local and regional food production, organic farming and the effects of food production on the environment.

New Zealand Firm to Acquire All Hawaii Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Restaurants

Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited today announced it has entered into agreements to purchase 100% of the shares in Pacific Island Restaurants Inc for US$105 million.

taco-bell-pizza-hutPIR is the sole Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchisee in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. PIR’s store network includes 37 Taco Bell stores and 45 Pizza Hut stores.

Restaurant Brands Chairman Ted van Arkel said “Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are both well-established franchises and are leaders in the Mexican and pizza quick service food categories in Hawaii.

In particular, Restaurant Brands is excited to gain exposure to Taco Bell, a brand with attractive margins and a product offering that has worldwide appeal.

We have nearly 20 years’ experience successfully operating the Pizza Hut brand in New Zealand and will look to leverage this experience to drive the Hawaiian franchise’s continued performance.

Restaurant Brands looks forward to working with PIR’s highly experienced management team to drive the next phase of PIR’s growth in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.”

The acquisition of PIR would be approximately 6% accretive to earnings (excluding non-trading items) per share, based on unaudited non-GAAP pro forma 12 months to September 2016 results for the Restaurant Brands group and allowing for the new shares issued in the entitlement offer and additional debt funding.

“The acquisition of PIR provides the next stage to Restaurant Brand’s growth platform and aligns with our growth strategy” said Russel Creedy, CEO of Restaurant Brands. “It also provides an entry point into the Hawaiian market, which has a similar total population to Auckland and is currently benefitting from positive economic growth.

We also see a number of other potential bolt-on opportunities in the market that we may look to pursue over time where they make strategic and financial sense.”

2 New Cases of Hepatitis A – 291 Confirmed Cases in Hawaii

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new cases of hepatitis A. Seventy-three (73) have required hospitalization.

hepatitis-headerFindings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Eleven (11) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and seven visitors have returned to the mainland or overseas.

Although the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date of the scallops embargo has passed, HDOH continues to be alert for people who have had onset of illness earlier but may present late to a clinician, as well as possible secondary cases. Secondary cases have been rare in this outbreak and have been limited to household members of cases or close contacts of cases.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
291

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 10/9/16.

Hepatitis A Infection in Food Service Worker at McDonald’s of Kahala

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in an Oahu food service worker. The infected case is an employee at McDonald’s of Kahala, located at 4618 Kilauea Avenue in Honolulu. Affected dates of service are Sept. 20–21, 23–24, 27–29, and Oct. 1, 4–5, 7, and 11, 2016.

kahala-mcdonalds“This case was identified and reported to us later in their illness, but had their symptom onset within the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date the scallops were embargoed,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “The department will continue to investigate all reported cases of hepatitis A and remain alert for other late-presenting cases as well as secondary cases.”

The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. DOH is providing this information to the public as a precaution to prevent any new cases. To date, 291 cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed as part of the outbreak investigation that began in August. Updated case counts and information are provided at: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any person who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business during the identified periods may want to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin (IG). This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or by calling the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Help prevent the spread of hepatitis A by washing your hands often and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food. For more information on proper handwashing, go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Companies for HI-5 Violations

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has issued Notices of Violation and Order against six companies for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law.

hi-5The companies were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2016 and each company was fined an administrative penalty fee of $400 for failure to comply with deposit container requirements. Each company may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The companies cited were:

  • Arakaki Store, Inc.
  • Hawaiian Fresh Farm dba Culture Brew
  • La Hiki Ola
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • World of Aahs!
  • World Pac, Inc.

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. DOH conducts regular inspections of beverage distributors and certified redemption centers to ensure compliance with Hawai‘i laws. The companies received multiple written notices informing them of reporting requirements prior to the issuance of a penalty.