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Hawaii Hepatitis Outbreak Increases to 276 Confirmed Cases

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 5 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 68 have required hospitalization.

hepatitis-header

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
276

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/15/16.

Hawaii DLNR Shares Concerns Over Reports of Sub-Standard Living Conditions on Certain Longline Fishing Vessels

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is aware of media reports regarding living and working conditions on longline fishing vessels that bring catches into Hawai‘i ports. DLNR’S area of responsibility is limited to the ministerial task of issuing commercial fishing licenses to qualified applicants.

dlnr“The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), issues licenses to individual fishermen engaged in commercial catch.  DAR continues to follow long-established statutory and administrative rules which require commercial marine licenses for the taking of marine life and landing it in the state for commercial purposes,” explained DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.  The rules regarding Hawai‘i commercial marine licenses can be found in Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS-189-2 and HRS-189-5).

“We are naturally concerned about press reports pertaining to on-board living conditions, pay disparity and the issue of involuntary labor, and applaud the longline fishing industry for the efforts it is taking to resolve these issues,” Case added.  “Further we are happy to engage with any stakeholders, including lawmakers, commercial fishing interests, and other regulatory agencies, in explaining the current laws and regulations pertaining to licensing of commercial longline fishers and in exploring any legislative or administrative rule changes,” Case said. “While our jurisdiction only extends to the protection of natural resources, we are certainly very concerned about any human rights violations that are reportedly occurring on the longline fishing fleet, and stand ready to assist in any way possible,” she concluded.

Hepatitis A Infection in Food Service Worker at Ohana Seafood in Sam’s Club Pearl City

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in an Oahu food service worker.

sams-club

The infected case is an employee at Ohana Seafood, the seafood vendor located within the Sam’s Club warehouse store at 1000 Kamehameha Highway, Pearl City. Food handled by the employee may have been sold from August 29 to September 11, 2016.

“We expect to continue seeing new cases of hepatitis A infection through at least early October because of the long incubation period for this illness, even though the source of the outbreak has been identified as contaminated scallops,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “While this case involves a food handler working with raw seafood, the food handler is another victim, and none of the products sold by Ohana Seafood at Sam’s Club have been identified as a source of the ongoing outbreak.”

As with previous cases of food handlers who have tested positive for hepatitis A, DOH is providing this information to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases. The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. To date, DOH has confirmed a total of 271 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation. Updated case counts and information are provided each Wednesday along with a complete list of food service establishments, which have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis infection within the past 50 days at the following link: 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 can be found 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, please go to the following site: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.

Genki Sushi Having Grand Reopening on Kauai

Genki Sushi’s only restaurant on Kauai will hold a grand reopening on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 at 11 a.m., after completing a $300,000 renovation that included the installation of an interactive, automated Bullet Express ordering and delivery system.

genki-sushi

“We are excited to welcome back our customers to enjoy all their favorite sushi dishes and Genki specialties, while experiencing our new, fun, interactive Bullet Express system,” said Mary Hansen, chief administrative officer, Genki Sushi USA, Inc. “Genki Sushi is continually looking for ways to improve customer service and enhance the overall dining experience at our restaurants, and that includes offering the latest technology, while adding an element of playfulness and excitement.”

The upgraded restaurant at Kukui Grove Shopping Center in Lihue features easy-to-use touch screens that allow customers to order food from their seats and have it delivered by a double rail express system via carriers in the form of a bullet train, F1® race cars, surfboards and a space shuttle. The Kukui Grove location is the first Genki Sushi restaurant on a neighbor island to feature the Bullet Express system. Five locations on Oahu currently offer the automated system, and Genki plans to outfit other restaurants with the Bullet Express system in the future.

The new system at the Kauai location follows a $1.3 million renovation the company undertook last year that included expanding the seating capacity to 80 diners, adding new equipment and modernizing the overall look and feel of the restaurant.

Department of Health Approves Reopening

The grand reopening comes one week after the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) approved the reopening of Genki Sushi’s restaurants on Kauai and Oahu as health officials investigated whether customers may have become ill from a food product provided to Genki Sushi by a distributor. On Sept. 9, DOH announced it had cleared Genki’s restaurants on Kauai and Oahu to reopen after full compliance with the department’s strict conditions, including confirmation that none of its employees scheduled to work for the reopening tested positive for hepatitis A. Genki’s 10 restaurants on Oahu reopened on Sept. 10, but the Kauai location remained closed to complete the renovations.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience, understanding and support while we worked with the Department of Health and simultaneously focused on completing renovations in order to reopen the Kukui Grove restaurant,” said Hansen. “Now with DOH’s approval and our new Bullet Express system ready to go, we are happy to resume operations on Kauai.

“We also want to acknowledge our 40 dedicated employees on Kauai for their efforts during the temporary closure. It is very reassuring that none of our employees tested positive for the virus and we are happy that our Kauai team can get back to work. At the same time, our hearts go out to those who have the illness and hope for their speedy recovery,” Hansen added.

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Rises to 271 Cases – New Restaurant Identified

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 19 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 68 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
271

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/4/16.

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in an Oahu food service worker. The infected case is an employee at Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38, located at 1133 North Nimitz Highway, Honolulu. Affected dates of service are Aug. 26 through Sept. 12, 2016.

harbor-bar

“Because of the long incubation period for hepatitis A, we are continuing to see new cases of this illness even after identifying and removing contaminated scallops from Hawaii restaurants, and individuals exposed in July and August may become ill as late as September or October,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “We want the public to understand that this does not represent a new outbreak, nor is this restaurant considered a source of the ongoing outbreak.”

DOH is providing this information to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases. The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. To date, DOH has confirmed a total of 252 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation.

Updated case counts and information are provided each Wednesday along with a complete list of food service establishments who have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis infection within the past 50 days at the following link: 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 can be found 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, please go to the following site:  http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.

 

New Restaurant Opens at King’s Shops: A-Bay’s Island Grill

King’s Shops is pleased to announce the opening of another great dining option, A-Bay’s Island Grill.  This new restaurant focuses on Island Fare while utilizing fresh and local ingredients with a menu that combines classic and locally inspired dishes at a family-friendly price.

a-baysA-Bays’s Island Grill is open for lunch, dinner, late night cocktails, and Sunday Breakfast with a menu that offers “something for everybody.”  Options include seafood, tapas, steak, chicken, and sandwiches wit all greens and vegetables coming from local farms.  A-Bay’s also utilizes local commercial fisherman, providing locally raised lobster and seafood.

“We are pleased to have this great new dining option at Kings’ Shops,” said Lynn Rostau, Kings’ Shops General Manager.  “A-Bay’s indoor/outdoor venue is a wonderful option for enjoying the best of Hawaii’s climate and their menu options offer a fresh, quality and affordable dining experience.

In addition to their wonderful menu options, A-Bay’s bar features beer, cocktails and a tropical drink menu.  The bar area showcases a gorgeous Monkeypod bar top with 18 seats and has one of  only a few Frostrails (A frosted metal rail attached to the bar to keep drinks cool) in Hawaii and a first on the Big Island.  The bar also features a 24-tap direct draw beer system focusing on Hawaii-based microbreweries.

Their classic cocktail list compliments the food dishes, and their tropical drink menu wil more than satiate the tropical fruit flavor seeker.

A-Bay’s Island Grill is located near Macy’s Resort Store. Visit A-Bays.com for a complete menu and more information or call 808-345-6519

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Responds to AP Story on Alarming Fishing Industry Practices

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard issued the statement below today in response to the report by the Associated Press on alarming labor abuses and human rights violations in the U.S. fishing industry:

“The AP’s report that hundreds of foreign workers are being subjected to human rights abuses and inhumane conditions just off our shores is deeply disturbing. This is a problem that has been ignored for years, and must be immediately addressed. We are working with major stakeholders to determine the most expedient course of action to put an end to this unacceptable situation, and protect the safety and human rights of these crewmen, making sure that fair labor standards are enforced for all workers.”

In this March 23, 2016 photo, foreign fishermen aboard an American fishing boat unload a moonfish.

In this March 23, 2016 photo, foreign fishermen aboard an American fishing boat unload a moonfish.

Kitchen Fire at Ling’s Chop Suey House in Puainako Center

A kitchen fire was reported this morning at Ling’s Chop Suey Restaurant located at 2100 Kanoelehua Ave. (Puainako Center).
lings
Situation Found at Scene: Upon arrival found extensive smoke emanating from exhaust stack above kitchen.  Owner and maintenance personnel at front door.  Fire contained to interior of gas range.

Cause: Grease build up on and within gas range.

Remarks: Extinguished fire using 25 pound dry chemical fire extinguisher.  Fire suppression aided by sprinkler system within kitchen area.  Fire search within suspended ceiling was conducted with negative findings.  Fire search within exhaust duct revealed high temperatures.  Cooled down ductwork using booster line and foam.

Loss: $120,000
Save: 320,000

Third Annual Historic Kailua Village Luau October 1st

The Kailua Village Business Improvement District continues to host exciting community events that add to the vibrancy within Historic Kailua Village. Next up is the Third Annual Historic Kailua Village Luau on Saturday, October 1 at 6 p.m. on the makai (oceanfront) lawn at Kona Inn.

kailua-luau“The Historic Kailua Village Luau is very popular with both local residents and visitors,” said KVBID President Riley Smith. “Our aim is to celebrate a special Hawaiian evening by the sea and keep the price within reach. Too often we are wrapped up in daily responsibilities and we don’t take enough time to enjoy where we live with our friends and family. Our Historic Kailua Village Luau is an opportunity to enjoy traditional Hawaiian food and entertainment in a perfect oceanfront setting.”

Traditional Hawaiian luau fare will be complemented with entertainment by Halau Kalaakeakauikawekiu under the direction of Kumu Hula Kenneth “Aloha” Victor with music by Iwalani Hoomanawanui and friends.

Special value tickets are priced at $45 each and reserved tables of 10 are available in limited quantities at $400 per table. Tickets may be purchased online at HistoricKailuaVillage.com.

The Third Annual Historic Kailua Village Luau is brought to you by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Big Island Honda, Kona Commons and Courtyard Marriott Kona Beach Hotel. Contact HKVevents@gmail.com a minimum of 5 days in advance to request an auxiliary aid or reasonable modification.

Lawmaker Ing Calls for AG Opinion on Fishing Vessel Controversy, Seeks Injunction

Representative Kaniela Ing, Chairperson of the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs today sent a letter to Attorney General Douglas Chin requesting an opinion on the alleged unfair labor and business practices conducted outside Piers 17 and 38 at Honolulu Harbor.

Click to read allegations

Click to read allegations

“I am extremely alarmed by recent reports of the gross mistreatment of workers aboard American fishing vessels right here in our Aloha State,” Ing said. “If these investigations hold any validity, we must act swiftly to end any human rights violations occurring on our docks.”

Ing believes that, while the fishing vessels operate in federal waters in accordance to federal law, vessel operators conduct business under a license with the State of Hawaii, therefore subjecting them to State regulation. Ing’s letter asks whether “the (reported) acts…constitute a restraint of trade or other anti-competitive practices prohibited by HRS§480-13.”

Ing explains: “the first step is requesting an Attorney General’s opinion, which he is required to publish under a legislator’s request. An affirmative answer will likely lead to an injunction that will halt any labor or business violations. A non-affirmative answer illuminates the need for bill that clarifies our ‘anti-competitive practices’ statute, which I am committed to pursue”

Ing believes this issue highlights a larger issue of the abuse of undocumented workers.

“Without any legal recourse, millions of undocumented workers suffer through starvation wages and inhumane work environments across America,” Ing said. “It’s an issue too often ignored by mainstream politics. We can all agree that any abuse of any human being has no place in our Aloha State. These investigations reveal why we must act now.”

Genki Sushi Receives Approval From Hawaii Department of Health to Reopen After Hepatitis A Outbreak

Genki Sushi announced today it has received approval from the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) to reopen its restaurants after full compliance with the department’s strict conditions, including confirmation that none of its employees scheduled to work for the reopening tested positive for hepatitis A. Genki Sushi will reopen all 10 of its restaurants on Oahu tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 10). Genki’s only restaurant on Kauai will remain closed temporarily to complete renovations already underway.

genki-sushi“Serving safe, high-quality food is always our top priority and we deeply regret that the ongoing investigation by the Department of Health is indicating that customers may have become ill from a food product that our restaurants on Oahu and Kauai received from a distributor,” said Mary Hansen, chief administrative officer for Genki Sushi USA. “After being informed by the Department of Health of its decision to temporarily close some of our restaurants while it investigated the source of the illness, we worked cooperatively with health officials to take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our customers, our employees and the community. We are now pleased to reopen our Oahu restaurants and appreciate the understanding and support of our customers during this period.”

Genki has been closely communicating with DOH to determine what the company needed to do in order to eliminate any potential sources of the infection from its restaurants and meet specific requirements from the DOH to resume operations.

 “The management team of Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai has given us their full cooperation, and the department is confident that they are in compliance with all health regulations,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawaii Department of Health. “Genki Sushi has been cleared by the Department of Health to reopen to the public.”

While DOH directives only called for the disposal of opened containers or packages of food items that may have been exposed, Genki Sushi made the decision to discard all produce and food items that could have been exposed, and sanitized sealed food packages as specified by the DOH. In addition, all single-serve equipment or utensils such as napkins, chopsticks, cups and takeout containers were also discarded.

Following state guidelines, all food and non-food-contact surfaces throughout each of the restaurants were completely disinfected with DOH-approved sanitizing formulas. The surfaces, including counters, machines, equipment, floors and walls throughout the kitchens, dining rooms, restrooms and employee areas were scrubbed and rinsed.

“We greatly appreciate the ongoing assistance and guidance provided by the Department of Health throughout this situation as we focused on the common goal of protecting the public’s health,” said Hansen.

All employees scheduled to work in the impacted restaurants were screened, tested and vaccinated for the hepatitis A virus subject to DOH standards and all of the test results were negative. The DOH also conducted food safety classes for Genki employees at each restaurant site which were based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manual on hygiene and food safety. Genki Sushi will continue to follow the FDA manual on hygiene and food safety in addition to the company’s regular employee training and policies.

“Our entire staff has shown tremendous resiliency and teamwork in doing what was needed to reopen our restaurants so we can continue to serve our customers in the safest manner possible,” said Hansen. “It is very reassuring that none of our employees tested positive for the virus and we are happy that they can get back to work when the restaurants reopen. At the same time, our hearts go out to those who have the illness and hope for their speedy recovery.

“Genki Sushi is a longtime member of the local community with over 350 enthusiastic employees, and our restaurants have been venues for countless birthday and graduation parties and family get-togethers. We want to make sure that our customers can rest assured when they come in for sushi that they will be served safe, high-quality food,” added Hansen.

Genki Sushi remains committed to continuing to enforce its food safety and sanitation program and will work with health officials to make any recommended improvements to its policies and procedures. These efforts include continuing to require all of its managers to be ServSafe certified, a training program administered by the National Restaurant Association.

Genki is also taking additional steps beyond required state rules to ensure the long-term health and safety of its restaurants. Genki will also work with all its vendors to improve food safety policies and procedures. The company will continue to require that all its vendors are certified and follow Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) management systems for addressing food safety and handling, as well as FDA and DOH policies and regulations.

11 New Cases of Hepatitis A Reported – Confirmed Cases Now at 252

hepatitis-headerSince the last update, HDOH has identified 11 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 66 have required hospitalization.

Findings 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 four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
252

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/30/16.


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 Zippy’s

Restaurant, located at 950 Kamokila Blvd. in Kapolei. The employee worked evenings and nights at the sit-down dining section and bakery of the restaurant (and did not work at the fast-food window) on Aug. 14, 18–19, 21, 23, and 25–26, 2016.

“This case is a reminder that even though contaminated scallops have been removed from the market, the long hepatitis A incubation period means we must continue to remain vigilant for new cases,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “DOH will continue to work with the public and businesses to prevent further illness.”

The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. Most people do not get sick when an employee at a restaurant has Hepatitis A. However, if an infected food handler is infectious and has poor hygiene, the risk goes up for patrons of that restaurant. DOH is providing information on food handlers to the public as a precaution and in an attempt to prevent any new cases.

West Hawaii Today Picks Up Sam Choy Story – Pearl Harbor Restaurant Sends Me Cease and Desist Letter

A few days ago I posted about the Pearl Harbor restaurant using well known Celebrity Chef Sam Choy’s name without paying him royalties.

On the front page of today’s West Hawaii Today, they followed up with my post with this article where they state:

Click to read article

Click to read article

…Choy’s verified Facebook account, identified by a blue check mark next to the name, defended the claims in the blog post, saying he has “never to this day received any form of royalty (from) you.”

On his own page, the chef posted Thursday that, “to the best of (his) knowledge, (he has) not signed any documents indicating a ‘royalty free’ use of my name to anyone!”

The restaurant replied to that post with the open letter, to which Choy responded “Please produce a such a document with my signature on it and I will never bother you again. Mahalo.”

Choy told West Hawaii Today he’s retained legal counsel to force Sam Choy’s Island Style Seafood Grille to drop the “Sam Choy” from the name.

Vandeman, meanwhile, said he’s pursuing legal action against Tucker for his blog post.

“We’re gonna file for a substantial amount of damages,” he said. “Because of the nature of what he said and how he said it and how widely he published it.”

You can read the full West Hawaii Today article here: Choy disputes Oahu restaurants name use

Here is a Cease and Desist email request I received from the restaurant owner asking me to remove the blog post on August 30th at 12:46pm

Mr. Tucker,

We hereby demand that you cease and desist immediately publishing any statement to the effect that we are using Sam Choy’s name without permission.
We have seen that you have posted on the internet a per se defamatory statement that Sam Choy’s Island Style Seafood Grille is using Sam Choy’s name without permission. This statement is false. No matter how few the number of people who read your website, this statement is sufficient to establish substantial damages against you. 
The fact that you sent a spam email to me on this question is irrelevant. The fact that I didn’t respond to a spam email, and that you had no reason to even ask the question is irrelevant. You have absolutely NO BASIS TO MAKE THIS CLAIM. 
 
As Sam Choy himself well knows, as Sam’s current attorney David Smith well knows, and as Sam’s prior legal counsel well knows (and has acknowledged), Restaurants Hawaii, LLC has the fully documented legal right to use Sam’s name on our restaurant. In fact, on more that one occasion I have invited Sam’s attorney, Mr. Smith, to show me any documents which establish that we do not have that right, and he has failed and refused to do so. The reason is that he cannot do so. Neither he nor Sam have any such documents. 
If you do not cease and desist immediately, as specified above, we will retain legal counsel to sue you for damages for intentional defamation. 
George A. Vandeman
Managing Member
Restaurants Hawaii, LLC

A Feast from Mauka to Makai – Waikoloa Beach Resort Food Events Feature the Best from Land and Sea

September 9-10, 2016 is the weekend foodies look forward to all year, when two of the island’s tastiest culinary events happen back-to-back in Waikoloa Beach Resort: Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Friday, September 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and Hawai‘i Island Festival’s Poke Contest, Saturday, September 10 at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

Poke Festival 2016

Celebrating its 20th year, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range (TOTHR) is not just for carnivores anymore. Along with island-raised meats—skillfully prepared by 30 top chefs from around the state—TOTHR showcases a bounty of locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts and other farm products. Additionally, a special culinary activity, “Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101,” presented by chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason Schoonover of the award-winning 12th Ave. Grill, takes place at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets are $45 and $60 at the door for TOTHR, $10 for Cooking 101, available online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com or at the Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. For general event information, phone 808-322-4892.

For kama‘āina, Hilton Waikoloa Village offers a Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package, starting at $239, which includes two tickets to the event. A valid Hawai‘i state ID and address are required. For hotel reservations, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, (package code TSH), or call 1-800-HILTONS.

On Saturday, September 10, the culinary journey travels from the pastures to the ocean for Hawai‘i Island Festivals Poke Contest at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. A traditional Hawaiian food that has stood the test of time and continues to trend in popular cuisine, poke is a side dish made of bite-size pieces of fish, combined with a limitless range of creative additional ingredients.

Doors open for the Poke Contest at 11 a.m., where for both professional chefs and home cooks, will compete for cash prizes in numerous categories. And, after the judges announce the winners, the audience gets to taste too. For information and entry forms, visit www.hawaiiislandfestival.org.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties.  The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs.  For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Climbs to 241 Cases

Since the last update, Hawaii Department of Health has identified 13 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 64 have required hospitalization.

hepatitis header

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
241

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/25/16.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org.  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org.  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

Guiding Restoration of Hawaiian Fishponds

Loko i‘a, or traditional Hawaiian fishponds, are unique aquaculture systems that existed throughout ancient Hawai‘i. Although a 1990 statewide survey identified 488 loko i‘a sites, many were in degraded condition, and either completely beyond repair or unrecognizable.

fishponds2However, there is hope, as communities and stewardship groups continue to actively restore or have expressed interest in reviving the integrity and productivity of fishpond locations still in existence.

Suzanne Case, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair says, “In 2012, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations came together to overcome difficulties in obtaining approvals from multiple agencies, to maintain and restore Hawaiian fishponds.”

fishpondsFishpond practitioners formed Hui Malama Loko I‘a to empower one another and leverage their skills, knowledge and resources, while working to feed and connect communities around the islands.  This network currently includes over 38 fishponds and complexes, with over 100 fishpond owners, workers, supporters and stakeholders.

Case adds, “Now the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands is releasing a new guidebook on fishpond restoration in time for the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. This guidebook marks the beginning of what we hope will be a new day in Hawaiian fishpond revitalization,” she said.

Fishponds3The newly published, high-quality, full-color “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook” is intended to help cultural practitioners, landowners and community groups navigate a new streamlined application process for Hawaiian fishpond revitalization.

Historically, fishponds have been subject to an extensive permitting process that requires large amounts of resources and time to secure. So in 2015 the State of Hawai‘i completed streamlining the permitting process for the repair, restoration, maintenance and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds in Hawai‘i.

The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) and collaborators have developed a master permit for traditional Hawaiian fishponds that encompasses the main permits currently required. This master permitting process and program is called “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a.” The program was designed to be in compliance with as many federal and state regulations as possible to make the permitting process easier for fishpond practitioners to navigate.

Practitioners can now use a simplified conservation district use permit to apply for permits under this programmatic permit.

A programmatic environmental assessment (EA) was also completed to comply with the Hawai’i Environmental Quality Act (HEPA). The CDUP and programmatic EA were designed to cover all existing traditional fishponds in the State.

fishponds4Another helpful step was the signing of Bill 230 by Governor Ige in July 2015, which waived the need to obtain a Department of Health 401 Water Quality Certification for fishpond restoration.  This waiver is only available to projects that obtain permits through the OCCL program.  While the program vastly reduces government red tape, projects are still required to have water quality monitoring, mitigation and best management practices in place to keep Hawaii’s waters clean and reefs healthy.

The Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook further provides clear guidance on how to meet State water quality standard.

Although this streamlined permitting program covers many of the authorizations for restoring a loko i‘a, in some cases, additional permits or authorizations may still be required, such as:

  • A right of entry agreement from DLNR land division for a state-owned pond
  • A stream channel alteration permit from the Commission on Water Resource Management)
  • A special management area county permit for work mauka of the shoreline

Applications submitted to OCCL are reviewed and subject to best management practices and monitoring standards that help to protect Hawaii’s environmental and cultural resources while supporting the need for communities and practitioners to care for
loko i‘a.

7th Annual Kau Kau Kailua Showcases Restaurants Throughout September

Restaurants are essential in thriving towns and Historic Kailua Village celebrates their culinary contributions every September. Beginning September 1, the 7th Annual Kau Kau Kailua gets underway with a month-long opportunity to enjoy great values and restaurant specials at a wide array of eateries throughout Historic Kailua Village.

kau kau kailuaMore than 20 participating restaurants have already posted their special value coupons at HistoricKailuaVillage.com. Kau Kau Kailua coupons can be printed in advance or displayed via smartphone at the time of ordering. The coupons are valid throughout the month of September. Each restaurant has customized their special value coupons and the offerings are as diverse as the dining choices.

Kau Kau Kailua is 30 days of fun for the whole family with great food and drink from celebrated eateries throughout Historic Kailua Village. And as the summer travel season slows, September is a perfect time to dine out. Residents and visitors are invited to take advantage of the great special restaurant values Kau Kau Kailua offers.

Participating restaurants include:

  • ‘Ai Pono Café
  • Daylight Mind Coffee Company
  • Evolution Bakery & Café
  • Fish Hopper
  • Fresh Off Da ‘Boat Polynesian Cuisine
  • Fumi’s Kitchen
  • Get Sum’ Pizza
  • Honu’s on the Beach
  • hBAR at Huggo’s
  • Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse
  • Kona Coffee & Tea
  • Kope Lani Coffee
  • Krua Thai Cuisine
  • Laverne’s Sports Bar
  • One Aloha Shave Ice
  • Paradise Brewing Co.
  • Patricio’s Mexican Taqueria
  • Seiji’s Sushi
  • Splashers Grill
  • Sushi Shiono
  • Thai Rin Restaurant
  • Ultimate Burger

Log on to www.HistoricKailuaVillage.com for complete details. Check back often as restaurants continue to add their Kau Kau Kailua special values to the site.

Kau Kau Kailua is brought to you by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Kona Commons, Big Island Honda and Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.

Pearl Harbor Restaurant Using Celebrity Chef Sam Choy’s Name Without Permission

A restaurant located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is not what many folks may think it actually is and certainly isn’t what the United States Navy may have thought what they were getting when they allowed the restaurant to open up on the military base.

Island Grille2

Image from the Island Grille website

Sam Choy’s Island Style Seafood Grille” located on the base at 3465 Malama Bay Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii IS NOT AFFILIATED with the Celebrity Chef Sam Choy that we have all come to know and love here in Hawaii.

I asked the owner to respond to an email about the ownership of the restaurant… however, after 4 days he has not responded to my email.

Image from Island Grille website

Image from Island Grille website

After speaking with those associated with the “Real” Sam Choy, I learned that the restaurant is not even serving the same recipes; Sam does not cook there, and hasn’t ever even been compensated for his namesake on the restaurant.

Sam Choy stated:

“The Hickam / Pearl Harbor Restaurant was opened using my name.  To this day I have never seen a penny of royalty or any payment of any sort going towards using my name.  I just want the community to be aware of this fact.”

According to an August 19th Facebook post the Island Style Grille is accepting applications using Sam Choy’s name as a hiring point:

“Sam Choy’s Seafood Grille is hiring! Located conveniently on JBPHH right next to Hickam beach! Positions available for all back of house kitchen staff including Line Cooks as well as all front of house including Bartenders and Servers. Experience required for line cook, bartending and serving. Please inquire and/or apply in person or contact us with any questions!!!!!”

I have learned that Choy and his team have retained an attorney and are looking to get his name removed from the restaurant… so until then… just know that this restaurant is not affiliated with the “Real Sam Choy”.

Real Sam Choy

Click to see the REAL Sam Choy!

New Restaurants, Exhibitors Join Taste Hawaiian Range Sept. 9

Fresh and nutritious Hawai’i Island food and the people who produce it are the stars of Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Taste HaydenTasty culinary stations, food producer booths and agricultural-themed displays—totaling over 75 stations— will sprawl both inside and out at the resort’s conference center.

Pre-sale tickets are available online for $45 through midnight September 8 and at island wide locations until sold out; they are $60 at the door. Details: www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Each Taste chef is assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of pasture-raised beef—or locally sourced pork, lamb, mutton, goat or USDA-inspected wild boar—and the result is a festive adventure of tasting everything from tongue to tail. Most of the beef cuts are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones.

Taste ShankIn addition to “grazing” on expertly prepared beef sirloin, lamb or Rocky Mountain Oysters—aka bull’s testicles—attendees can taste samples at local food product booths and view compelling educational displays on sustainability and agriculture.

New participating exhibitors include Beyond Organic Consulting, Waimea Butcher Shop, Paradise Hawaii Balsamics, Spicy Ninja Sauce, Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death, Farm Works Hawaii, Orchid Isle Traders, Hawaii Lassi-Akmal Foods, USDA Farm Service Agency and UH-CTAHR Veterinary Extension.

Restaurants debuting at the 2016 Taste include Noodle Club, Waipio Cook House, 3 Fat Pigs, Daylight Mind Coffee Company Waikoloa, Monstera and The Fish Hopper.

Also new will be a streaming video shown at different event locations featuring seven Big Island ranchers and farmers talking story about why they produce food.

taste2015

Those wanting to learn first-hand how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef can attend the event’s annual Cooking 101 culinary demonstration. This year’s team of guest presenters are chefs Kevin Hanney and J Schoonover of Oahu’s 12 Ave Grill and Kokohead Café. The 3 p.m. presentation includes sampling and is $10; tix available online or at the door. A 1 p.m. seminar, “Learn Where Beef Cuts Come From,” is free.

Islandwide tickets locations include Kuhio Grille in Hilo, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 322-4892.

Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of the Taste can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This Kama‘aina Special also includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i state ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel room prices start at $149 plus tax per room, per night, based on availability. To book an overnight stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or https://secure3.hilton.com/en_US/hi/reservation/book.htm?hotel=KOAHWHH&spec_plan=TSH&arrivaldate=20151009 or call 1-800-HILTONS.