Action Moves Navy in Hawaii to Greater Energy Security

By Rear Adm. Frank Ponds (Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific)

Adm. Frank Ponds

In order to achieve greater energy security the Commander in Chief declared October “Energy Action Month.”

The Navy is leading efforts to accelerate from “awareness” to “action” in order to save energy, water and money for American taxpayers.

The idea of focusing on action to achieve greater energy security is especially timely.

Last week the Navy commemorated our 237th birthday.  It was an opportunity to focus on our Navy’s legacy of innovation and commitment to new technologies, including warfighting techniques and platforms.

The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), left, delivers a 50-50 blend of advanced biofuels and traditional petroleum-based fuel to the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) during the Great Green Fleet demonstration portion of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise. In the background are the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93). Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the biennial RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ryan J. Mayes/Released)

In our Navy’s history, we have moved from wooden sailing ships to steam-powered steel hulls and nuclear power, from cannons and battleships to naval aviation, submarines and advanced surface warfare capability with Aegis guided missiles.

Here in Hawaii, ever mindful of the call for action to achieve greater energy security, we embrace innovation while preserving history and maintaining force readiness.

History shows us that wars are often fought over resources.  World War II in the Pacific began because of Imperial Japan’s aggression against other Asian countries in search of petroleum and raw materials.  The United States and allies prevented the importing of oil and minerals into Japan in the late 1930s, leading directly to the attack of Dec. 7, 1941.

Our Navy and Marine Corps leaders testify that U.S. service members in the field are at greater risk because of a dependency on fossil fuels.

As Senator Daniel K. Inouye points out, “Our sons and daughters have fought and died in the desert” in order to “stabilize the Middle East and to safeguard democracy” — in part because of oil.

As a Medal of Honor recipient from World War II and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye speaks with great credibility and insight.  He commends the Department of Defense’s investment in alternative energy and supports the Navy’s innovative approaches in adapting new technologies and methods on conserving and generating renewable energy.

Done right, our energy security initiatives here in Hawaii can serve as a tribute to our warfighters, past and present.

Working with other services and agencies, we are implementing the Joint Energy Security Initiative in Hawaii to continue our efforts to achieve greater energy security and sustainability.  The Navy in Hawaii is working with our partners to evaluate different types of renewable energy, including wind, wave, photovoltaic, biofuels and geothermal.

We are looking at all available and acceptable sites for our most effective renewable energy option in southern Oahu – energy from the sun.  We are evaluating sites at Waipio Peninsula, West Loch and at the Joint Base.  Done right, we can preserve history and protect areas, including the former runway at Ford Island, as a tribute.  In the first year of operation, that one solar array at Ford Island would save taxpayers $1.5M.

Another innovative approach that is working for the Navy is the Renewable Energy Conservation Program — a way for military residents in public-private venture housing to do their part to reduce excessive energy use.  Navy Region Hawaii and our Forest City partners served as the pilot program for RECP, which is now being instituted worldwide.  Families now have an incentive to save electricity, and they are doing their share.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, left, and Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus observe as the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), background, transfers biofuels to the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) during a replenishment at sea. The fueling is part of the U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet demonstration portion of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Sam Shavers/Released)

This past summer we hosted RIMPAC 2012, in which the whole world watched the Navy demonstrate advanced biofuels in the “Great Green Fleet.”

Recent awards show our commands in Hawaii are demonstrating their ability, as one team, to manage energy and water resources.   Each of our installations in Hawaii and several area afloat commands received recognition directly from the Secretary of the Navy this month for energy and water management.

We all need to work together to meet national, state and Secretary of the Navy renewable energy sustainability goals as we face ever-growing fuel costs and budgetary challenges in the years ahead.

This is a force readiness issue.  The reasons to act are clear.  The time to act is now.

During Energy Action Month we are asked to “think globally … lead locally.”  Let’s continue to lead and take action together.

2.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Volcano Area of the Big Island

UPDATE: This has been downgraded to a 2.7 after seismologist researched it further.

Magnitude 3.3
Location 19.415°N, 155.279°W
Depth 0 km (~0 mile) (poorly constrained)
  • 6 km (4 miles) SW (230°) from Volcano, HI
  • 17 km (10 miles) WSW (248°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 20 km (12 miles) SW (226°) from Mountain View, HI
  • 38 km (24 miles) SSW (212°) from Hilo, HI
  • 339 km (211 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.1 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 34, Dmin=0 km, Rmss=0.12 sec, Gp= 47°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=2
Event ID hv60414646

Hawaii’s Innovative Approach To Green Growth Takes International Stage In India

Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William J. Aila, Jr. highlighted Hawaii’s international leadership in green growth at the Island Summit held at the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity, Conference of the Parties (CBD COP-11) on October 16. Aila led a Hawaii delegation to Hyderabad, India, where Hawaii was featured in yesterday’s event—Island Innovations: Celebrating Bright Spots, Leadership and Successes in Island Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods. Aila took the international stage to address the high-level audience and shared Hawaii’s innovative approach and commitment to integrated green growth with the world.

Hawaii Delegation (from left to right): Hau`oli Wichman (National Tropical Botanical Garden), William Aila (DLNR), Chipper Wichman (National Tropical Botanical Garden), Minister Rolph Payet (Seychelles), Jacqueline Kozak Thiel (Hawaii Invasive Species Council), Didier Dogley (Seychelles). Photo courtesy J. Thiel

“Hawaii is the most isolated population on the planet, and we depend on imports for 80 to 90 percent of our energy and food. We must take action to build a more sustainable and self-sufficient economy for our people,” Aila stated.

The Hawaii delegation highlighted the state’s commitments to renewable energy and a sustainable economy as outlined in Governor Neil Abercrombie’s New Day Plan, DLNR’s “Rain Follows the Forest” watershed initiative, Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative, Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan, county sustainability initiatives and local grassroots community efforts.

William Aila addresses international, high-level audience at Island Innovations event at Convention on Biological Diversity, Conference of the Parties, Oct. 16, 2012 in Hyderabad, India. Photo by J. Thiel.

The Island Innovations event was organized by the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and co-hosted by the governments of Seychelles and India. GLISPA promotes actions for island conservation and sustainable livelihoods by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration. The United States helped found GLISPA in 2006, and the state of Hawaii is now engaging in this international network of island leaders. GLISPA is co-chaired by the Presidents of Seychelles and Palau and the Prime Minister of Grenada.

Working with Hawaii leaders, GLISPA helped form the Hawaii Green Growth Initiative (HGG) in 2011.  “HGG’s mission is to bring Hawai`i leaders from energy, food and the environment together to achieve sustainability in Hawaii and serve as a model for integrated green growth,” explained Chipper Wichman, CEO of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens (NTBG) on Kauai and member of the Hawaii delegation. “Hawaii’s participation in the Island Summit is an unprecedented opportunity to represent our country’s commitment to island conservation and sustainability.”

Hawaii DLNR Chairman William Aila Jr. greets Seychelles Minister of Environment and Energy Rolph Payet. Photo courtesy J. Thiel

Hawaii was also featured at the Island Bright Spots discussions on building a green-blue economy. The Hawaii delegation spoke with representatives from all over the world about Hawaii’s collaborative and cultural-based efforts to build a green-blue economy with ambitious targets to increase renewable energy, local food production, and protection of natural resources from mountaintop to sea while creating a more diverse economy with green jobs. Aila and Wichman were joined on the delegation by Jacqueline Kozak Thiel of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council and Hauoli Wichman from NTBG.

While in Hyderabad, the Hawaii delegation met with members of the U.S. State Department, as well as delegates from the Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Oceans, as well as nations with islands to share with and learn from other islands.

“The Hawaii Green Growth Initiative is important to all islands because we need to build sustainable economies for our environment and our communities” said Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy for the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. We welcome Hawaii to the global island family and look forward to learning from one another.”

“As islands, we understand that the challenges facing islands and our planet are linked, and we must solve them together. Our economic future depends on caring for our wnvironment mauka to makai,” Aila explained.

Maku’u Park & Ride to Alleviate Traffic Congestion

The Mass Transit Agency, along with Councilmember Fred Blas and Mayor Kenoi will be promoting the Maku’u Park & Ride lot on Friday, October 19, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. next to the Maku’u Farmer’s Market.

The idea behind the event is to encourage Puna residents to park their vehicles at the park & ride lot and carpool with other residents or ride the Hele-On bus.  This will alleviate traffic congestion and riders will be able to put a few extra dollars in their pocket by saving on gas.  The park & ride lot is open Monday – Friday, from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Security is available.


Construction on Waiakea Recreation Center Starts Monday

The Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce its upcoming renovation of Hilo’s Waiākea Recreation Center. Work will include replacing the lower roof and structure, removing any hazardous building materials and modifying the facility so it meets federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Construction will start Monday, October 22, and is scheduled to be completed March 11, 2013. The center’s main building and parking area will be closed during this period.

Stan’s Contracting Inc. submitted the winning bid of $1,073,300 to complete those and other related renovations at the facility.

Waiākea Recreation Center’s Quonset hut and boxing-training room will remain open through much of the construction phase, with only brief closures when necessary to ensure the public’s safety. Since onsite parking will be severely limited, people utilizing those buildings should use on-street parking and other appropriately designated parking areas. Only the Kuawa Street driveway access will be kept open.

The department will move the Waiākea Recreation Center’s tatami mats to Pi‘ihonua Gymnasium at Gilbert Carvalho Park so martial arts practices, fitness programs and other functions may continue.

The department will move the Waiākea Recreation Center’s tatami mats to Pi‘ihonua Gymnasium at Gilbert Carvalho Park so martial arts practices, fitness programs and other functions may continue. To accommodate that move, Pi‘ihonua Gymnasium will be closed Monday, October 22, and be reopened for public use on Monday, November 5.

Questions about Waiākea Recreation Center programs should be directed to John Kushi, the department’s recreation director in charge of the center, who can be reached at 936-4721.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks users of the Waiākea Recreation Center and the general public for their patience while the facility is being repaired, enhanced and made more accessible.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or


Hawaii County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study Receives Award

The Hawai’i County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline study received a 2012 Planning Award from the American Planning Association, Hawai’i Chapter at the recent Hawai’i Congress of Planning Officials annual conference in Honolulu.

The Hawai‘i Island Food Self-Sufficiency Scorecard shows the percentages of locally produced food consumed in 2012, part of the award-winning Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study.

The report was produced for the Department of Research and Development by the University of Hawai’i Geography Department and Jeffrey Melrose of Island Planning.  The award was given in the category of Innovations for Sustaining Places.

The Baseline study was a recommendation of the Hawai’i County Agricultural Development Plan that was adopted in 2010.  It provided a summary of the current state of local food production and import data for Hawai’i County. The baseline study also produced detailed maps of existing agricultural activity on the island as a way to measure current farm activity, and to distinguish the unique circumstances that drive farming in each region around the island.  The report also provided a list of 100 Things to Do to Increase Food Self-Sufficiency on the island.  This list emphasizes the need for everyone, from consumers and government to farmers and retailers to be involved in the process for increasing food self reliance.

The APA Awards Jury selected this study for recognition because “… it provides important baseline data for measuring food production and consumption and agricultural activity as a basis for monitoring food self-sufficiency in Hawai’i County”. The Award Committee found the work innovative, including “the creation of a self-sufficiency scorecard and maps depicting agricultural activity throughout the County.  Information on area specific food production is particularly useful. The development of key metrics related to production and consumption is particularly useful and many of the concepts, tools, and findings are transferable to other communities.  The study provides a good foundation for future action affecting agriculture in Hawai’i.”

Department of Research and Development Director Randy Kurohara said that “the baseline study is an important tool for improving the quality of conversation we have about the future of Hawaii Island’s food self-reliance, and it makes some very useful suggestions about the role that everyone has to play in this process.  Dr. Tim Richards of Kahua Ranch and the Hawai’i Cattlemen’s Association said that the “Baseline Study is a defining piece on agriculture on Hawai’i Island and is the envy of others around the state.”

A link to the Study and many of its maps and graphics is available on the web at under the Announcement section.

PETA Urges Criminal Investigation Following Death of 23 Big Island Cows

This morning, PETA sent a letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol urging him to open a criminal investigation into the deaths of at least 20 cows and the suffering of others after a cattle transport container fell from a truck being hauled for J & H Express on Interstate 90 in Seattle on Saturday. The animals were piled atop each other, covered with feces, and apparently deprived of veterinary care for up to six hours while crews righted the container and hauled the animals to Sunnyside, Wash.

In its letter, PETA points out that Washington law states that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns with necessary medical attention commits the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree. PETA also notes a state animal transport law that may have been violated. In addition, the J & H Express driver was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load.

“The terror and pain that these animals experienced as the container slid along the highway on its side and in the hours after the crash are difficult to imagine,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Laws are in place to protect animals from this type of cruelty and negligence, and PETA is calling on the Washington State Patrol to hold everyone responsible for the suffering accountable.”

Photographs from the incident show the filthy conditions that the cattle were forced to endure inside the container.

PETA’s letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol follows.


October 17, 2012


Chief John R. Batiste
Washington State Patrol


Dear Chief Batiste,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. This communication serves as a request for the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to investigate and, as appropriate, bring cruelty-to-animals and unsafe-animal-transport charges against the person(s) responsible for the deaths and prolonged suffering of up to 70 cattle following the October 6, 2012, crash of a transport container on Interstate 90 in Seattle.

The container unhinged and slid 200 yards along the road when driver Nikolay Ivanovich Karavayev, 52, of Bellingham, Wash., rounded a curve while driving for J & H Express, Inc. Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and hooves, which were stuck in the container’s grated sides, and the animals were apparently denied emergency veterinary care. WSP responders’ photographs show cattle piled atop one another and covered with feces. About three hours passed before the cattle—who had already endured many hours of transport from Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Wash. At least 20 of the cattle were evidently dead upon arrival. Karavayev was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP personnel found that he “failed to lock down all four corners” of the container given that two of its locking pins “had no damage or marking on them.”

RCWA §16.52.207 provides that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns with necessary medical attention, and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result, commits the offense of animal cruelty in the second degree. RCWA §16.52.080 provides that any person who willfully causes animals to be transported in a manner that jeopardizes their safety or that of the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.

None of the conduct described above illustrates the accepted husbandry practices used in the commercial raising or slaughtering of livestock that RCWA §16.52.185 protects from prosecution as cruel. For example, the American Meat Institute Foundation requires that slaughterhouses have emergency plans in place for animals involved in accidents, including unloading at alternate locations. Similarly, the Washington Dairy Products Commission requires that cattle be handled, moved, and transported in a manner that avoids unnecessary pain or distress. I hope you agree that this incident merits criminal investigation. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Dan Paden
Senior Research Associate
Cruelty Investigations Department


Video – Hilo in the Early 1940′s Before the Tsunami

Downtown Hilo before the Tsunami

Check out this vintage video of Hilo uploaded today by youtube user Kailuakid:


Kailuakid states:

We recently discovered several vintage, never before seen, 16mm films at a garage sale which were taken during a worldwide tour in 1940. This digital conversion of a short portion of those films depict the pre-tsunami town of Hilo, Hawaii. Music: “Hilo My Home Town” “Hilo Hula” “Kaua I Ka Huahua’i” by Ku’uipo Kumukahi

November After Dark in the Park Programs at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors throughout November.  These programs are free, but park entrance fees may apply. Mark the  calendar for these upcoming events:

The Statues Walked: Revealing the Real Story of Easter Island. Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is widely known as a case study of human-induced environmental catastrophe resulting in cultural collapse. However, a closer look at the archeological and historical record for the island reveals that while an environmental disaster unfolded, the ancient Polynesians persisted.

Dr. Terry Hunt (NPS Photo)

Join Dr. Terry Hunt as he discusses The Statues That Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island, a book he co-authored with fellow archeologist Carl Lipo. In this presentation, Dr. Hunt outlines the evidence for the island’s astonishing prehistoric success, and explores how and why this most isolated and remarkable culture avoided collapse. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kalapana ‘Awa Band in Concert.  Enjoy a memorable evening listening to the gentle voices of Sam Keli‘iho‘omalu, Ipo Quihano, and Ikaika Marzon, group members who are all ‘ohana from Kalapana and have been playing together for more than 10 years. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Weds., Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Whose Footprints Are These Really? Research suggests the story behind the fossilized human footprints in the Ka‘ū Desert may be more complex than originally thought.

Whose footprints are these? (NPS Photo)

Footprints found in desert ash layers were believed to have been created in 1790 by the army of the Hawaiian Chief Keōua on their way back from battle. While in the area, Kīlauea is said to have erupted, sending suffocating ash down on one group. Others made it out alive, leaving their footprints in the then-wet ash. The ash dried, forever memorializing this event…or did it? Join Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura as she examines fascinating geologic evidence that may indicate much more prehistoric activity in the area. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

East Hawaii Democratic Candidates Bus Stop Tour

Come join your Democratic Candidates on Friday, October 26th as they travel around East Hawaii stopping off at four locations throughout the day and having rally’s.


Candidates scheduled to be on the bus are:

  • Governor Neil Abercrombie
  • Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz
  • Mazie Hirono
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Malama Solomon
  • Gil Kahele
  • Russell Ruderman
  • Josh Green
  • Mark Nakashima
  • Clift Tsuji
  • Faye Hanohano
  • Richard Onishi

The schedule for the “Bus Stop Tour” i:

  1. 9:30am- 11:00am Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School – Band Room
  2. 11:30am -1:30pm  North Hawaii Educational Center in Honoka’a
  3. 3:15pm – 4:45pm  Hawai’i Academy of Arts & Sciences Public Charter School in Pahoa
  4. 5:30pm – 7:30pm Aunty Sally’s in Hilo

Rally with your Representatives and Rock the Vote!


Poll: Who Will You Vote for President of the United States in 2012

Tonight was the second major debate between current US President Barack Obama and Republican Candidate Mitt Romney.

Has the debates changed the way you may vote?

[polldaddy poll=6614441]

Pa’auilo Slaughterhouse Improvements Commence

The County of Hawai’i held a blessing this morning to commence $4.15 million worth of improvements to the State-owned slaughterhouse in Pa’auilo. Funds for the improvements were appropriated by the State Legislature and released by the Governor directly to the County of Hawai‘i to implement improvements that will help secure the future of Hawai‘i Island’s grass-fed beef industry.


“Today marked the beginning of $4.15 million in improvements to the Paʻauilo Slaughterhouse, improvements that will increase the plant’s capacity by 40% and create 10 to 15 more jobs! It took years of work to get us to this point. Mahalo nui to Jill Mattos, the De Luz family, and the ranching community for your efforts, to our State legislators for working to get the funding, and to our County departments of Research & Development and Public Works for taking on the project! We look forward to being able to grow and expand Hawaiʻi Island’s grass-fed beef industry!” (Mayor Kenoi’s Facebook page)

“If the rancher cannot ranch and the farmer cannot farm, we’re all in trouble. This isn’t all that we need, but it’s an important first step. We look forward to Hawai‘i Island being able to grow and expand our grass-fed beef industry,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi.

The proposed project will make much needed improvements in the critical areas of wastewater disposal, rendering of unusable solid waste, and refrigeration space to expand plant capacity and improve meat quality.

When complete, the plant’s capacity will increase by 40% and reduce the current processing backlog that makes it difficult for ranchers to bring their animals to market in a timely fashion. Improvements will also transform waste that currently goes to the landfill into useable value-added and energy producing by-products. Improvements will also address outstanding wastewater issues.

Once complete, the improvements will create new employment opportunities and increase the economic sustainability of the Hāmākua district.

“The future of beef depends on an up-to-date processing plant that can accommodate all the ranchers’ needs. Hawai‘i Beef Producers does, at present, three to four hundred head a month. With these improvements, we hope to increase to 600 head a month and add on 10 to 15 more employees,” said Jill Mattos of Hawai‘i Beef Producers.

Contracts for the work have been awarded to three separate contractors. Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. will be responsible for expanding refrigeration capacity and installing a new dry chill box to age grass fed beef before it is marketed. Ludwig Construction will install wastewater improvements including a new septic system and improvements to enable the recycling of wash water to irrigate surrounding pastures. Site Engineering will make repairs to the rendering plant and install equipment that turns inedible waste into compost material and animal fat for processing into biofuels.

The rendering plant work and the wastewater system will take 9 months to complete. The refrigeration improvements will begin after the holidays to reduce impact on slaughterhouse use and is scheduled for completion by the summer.

The Pa’auilo Slaughterhouse is owned by the State of Hawai’i and leased to Hawai’i Beef Producers, a partnership between David DeLuz Sr. and a group of ranchers. It is one of two USDA certified slaughterhouses on Hawai‘i Island, where over 75% of all the state’s cattle are raised.

According to the County’s recently released Food Self Sufficiency Baseline study, only about 17% of the beef eaten on Hawai’i Island is locally produced, in spite of the fact that the cattle industry produces nearly twice the number of cattle annually that the island consumes. Since the early 1990’s the cost of grain imports has made it too expensive for local ranchers to finish cattle locally. As a result, the bulk of the cattle industry ships young cattle to the mainland to be grown to market size and harvested there. Local slaughter capacity has fallen dramatically in the last 20 years and needs to be revitalized before a strong local grass fed industry can re-emerge.

The cattle industry has gone through its challenges, and it continues to face challenges,” said Randy Kurohara, director of the County’s Department of Research & Development. “But this slaughterhouse and rendering facility really represents a milestone in the advancement of our grass-fed beef industry here. Increasing our capacity to produce locally-raised beef is very important to our island’s self-reliance.”

Second Kona Community Meeting Planned on Rash of Burglaries and Car Thefts

Police and members of the County Administration will hold a second informational meeting about the recent rash of burglaries and car thefts in the Kona area and other parts of Hawaiʻi County.

Konawaena High School

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (October 18) at the Konawaena High School cafeteria.

This is a follow-up meeting to one held September 11.

Persons desiring additional information may call either Bobby Command, executive assistant to Mayor Kenoi, at 323-4442 or Police Captain Richard Sherlock of the Kona District at 326-4646, extension 299.

Intersection Conversion at Ohuohu and East Puainako

Roadwork to change the Ohuohu Street and East Puainako Street intersection to an all way stop is near completion.  The conversion could happen Wednesday, October 17, weather permitting.

Ohuohu and E. Puainako Intersection

Once the change is made, motorists approaching this intersection will be required to stop.

Stop signs will be installed on E Puainako and turn lanes removed.

Whichever vehicle comes to the intersection first has the right of way.  If vehicles approach the intersection at the same time, right of way is to the vehicle on the right.

This message is brought to you with the support of the Traffic Education Safety Program, County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works.

Special off duty police officers will be directing traffic as traffic patterns will be temporarily altered during the work hours of 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM.

California Man Gets Jaw Broken in Kona Robbery

Big Island police are investigating the robbery of a California man Monday night (October 15) in Kona.

At 10:35 p.m., Kona patrol officers responded to a report of a robbery in the rear parking lot of Aliʻi Sunset Plaza, which is located between Kuakini Highway and Aliʻi Drive in Kailua-Kona.

A 50-year-old Los Angeles man reported that he walked in the direction of a group of males at the rear of the plaza, where he was attacked by two of them. One reportedly struck him in the chin with an unknown object and removed an undisclosed amount of cash from his pants pocket. The other one reportedly struck him in the face with his fist.

The suspects left the area in a small white sports-utility vehicle.

The first suspect, the passenger, was described as a short and stocky local male between 21 and 25 years old with spiked hair. He was wearing white shorts and a white shirt. The second suspect, the driver, is described as 5-foot-10, thin, possibly in his 20s, with a dark complexion and black curly hair.

The victim suffered a broken jaw, loss of teeth and a laceration to his chin. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has information about the identity of the suspects call Detective Sean Smith at 326-4646, extension 262.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Volcano Art Center Invites the Crafty to Come Unhinged

Join award-winning artist Charlene Asato for a crafting workshop like non other: Piano Hinge, Unhinged on Saturday, October 20, 2012 will dispel the mysteries of the piano hinge structure to guide you through the process of creating a decorative, functional and unique hand-bound book.

Charlene Asato

Charlene Asato is a renowned Big Island artist whose works have been praised in many juried shows. She avidly pursues book arts, paper arts, photography, calligraphy and doll arts. This whimsical and creative workshop of her design will inspire you to explore the potential for sculpturally and texturally rich homemade books using all kinds of imaginative materials.

Piano Hinge, Unhinged with Charlene Asato will be held Saturday, October 20 from 9:00am to 12:00pm at VAC’s Niaulani Campus located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Cost is $35 or $31.50 for VAC members plus a $10 supply fee.

For more information and to reserve your space, visit or contact VAC’s Program Coordinator Julie Callahan at (808) 967-8222 or

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.

“Aloha Buddha” – Award Winning Documentary Comes to North Hawaii

Aloha Buddha,” winner of “Best Documentary” at Hawaii International Film Festival last year, tells the story of Japanese Buddhism in Hawaii—from its historic temple buildings, many of which have fallen into disrepair, been demolished or abandoned altogether.  The film will be screened on Saturday, October 20 at 2 p.m. at Hawi Jodo Mission and on Sunday, October 21 at 9:30 a.m. at Kamuela Hongwanji, and 3:30 p.m. at Honokaa Peoples Theater.

In it, filmmakers have gathered interviews with priests and elder temple members across the state—including Hawi Jodo Mission in North Kohala—and painstakingly restored 16mm color film footage from the early 1900’s.  At that time, according to the website,, Buddhism was a major religion in Hawaii, with about 50% of the population belonging to one of 170 temples across the islands.  However, according to the 2010 census, the number of Buddhists in Hawaii has shrunk to less than 5%.

From the site: “What has happened over the past 80 years to the people of Hawaii to cause such a shift, and why, with the tremendous upswing and interest in Buddhism on the mainland U.S. doesn’t Hawaii increase its membership even today? The answers to this are simple, yet complex at the same time, and a final question remains: is there any way to save the foreseeable death of Buddhism in Hawaii from happening?”

Filmmaker/producer Dr. Lorraine Minatoishi, PhD, AIA, will be available to talk story at informal receptions following the film screenings.  Founder and owner of Minatoishi Architects, Inc. and certified Historic Architect and Architectural Historian, Dr. Minatoishi earned her Doctorate of Engineering from Waseda University in Tokyo where she focused on ancient traditional Japanese architecture and the preservation thereof.

“I was looking at the architectural style of the temples focusing only on that,” said Minatoishi.  “However, I realized that the memberships of the temples were going down and I saw that most members were already older nisei and sansei generation.  I also realized that this story of the architecture was much broader…  The architecture reflected the story of immigration and settlement of the Japanese people in Hawaii.”

“I would like people to come away with a much greater and better understanding of the history of Hawaii—a big part of the history that has been largely untold,” said Minatoishi.  “For Japanese Americans, I would like for them to come away with a greater appreciation of the sacrifices that our ancestors have gone through.  Finally, I would like people to come away with an appreciation of Buddhism as a religion. The ministers and members were able to be flexible enough to change the religion to relate to the immigrants and to the larger society to meet the needs of the people.”

A donation of $5 is suggested for the screenings.  “Aloha Buddha” film presentation and talk story with filmmaker/producer Lorraine Minatoishi, Ph.D., AIA are presented by the Hawi Jodo Mission (889-5456), Kamuela Hongwanji (885-4481), Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (775-7232) and the Peace Committee.


15 Big Island Plants and Animals, Plus 19,000 Hawaiian Acres, Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed protection today for 15 species on the island of Hawaii, with 18,766 acres (29 square miles) of habitat. The decision stems from a 2011 settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring the agency to speed protection decisions for 757 species around the country. Thirteen plants, a picture-wing fly and an anchialine pool shrimp were proposed for protection.

“Hawaii’s home to an amazing diversity of plants and animals, but many of them are on the razor’s edge of extinction. I’m thrilled to see these unique species being proposed for the Endangered Species Act protection that can save them,” said Tierra Curry, a biologist at the Center.

Seven of the 15 species being proposed for listing — five plants, the pool shrimp and the picture-wing fly — have been on the “candidate” waiting list since before 2004, when the Center petitioned for their federal protection.

anchialine pool shrimp

The anchialine pool shrimp lives only on the Big Island and nowhere else in the world; only five individuals of the species have ever been seen. Anchialine pools are land-locked bodies of water that have underground connections to the sea and show tidal fluctuations in water level. The pool shrimp is threatened by degraded water quality due to siltation, which harms the algae, bacteria and small invertebrates it feeds on. Its body is two inches long; it has two-inch antennae and eyestalks, but no eyes. One of the most primitive shrimp species in the world, it can only swim forward, whereas most shrimp can also swim backward.

picture-wing fly

The picture-wing fly was discovered in 1968. Adults are less than a quarter-inch in length and have brownish-yellow bodies, yellow legs and shiny, clear wings with prominent brown spots. They are dependent on one specific host plant to reproduce, laying their eggs only on decaying stems of Charpentiera plants. Adults live for one to two months. Historically there were five known sites for the fly, but today it survives in only two places, the Manuka Natural Area Reserve and the Olaa Forest Reserve. The fly is threatened by forces that harm its host plant, including browsing by goats, pigs and cattle; invasive plants; fire; drought; and hurricanes. It is also threatened by predation from non-native wasps.

The 13 plants being proposed for protection are threatened by habitat loss, agriculture, urban development, feral pigs and goats, invasive plants, wildfire, hurricanes and drought.


The Service is proposing 18,766 acres of “critical habitat” to protect the kookoolau — a yellow flower in the aster family — due to the imminent threat of urban development to 98 percent of the individuals known for this species. The habitat is also being designated to protect two previously listed plants, the wahinenohokula and the uhiuhi, that occur in the same lowland dry areas as the kookoolau. Approximately 55 percent of the area being proposed as critical habitat is already designated as critical habitat for 42 other protected plants and the Blackburn’s sphinx moth.

In addition to the seven candidate species, the Service is proposing to protect four plants that have been identified as the “rarest of the rare” by the Plant Extinction Prevention Program. They each have fewer than 50 individuals surviving in the wild and are in need of immediate action to conserve them. The Service is proposing to protect four additional plants at risk of extinction that occur in the same areas and face the same threats as the other proposed plants.

“The Endangered Species Act has been 99 percent effective at preventing the extinction of the plants and animals under its care. I’m hopeful its protection, coming in the nick of time, will be able to save the picture-wing fly, anchialine pool shrimp, and these unique Hawaiian plants,” said Curry.

Big Island Police Identify Man Who Died at Hirano Store Crash

Big Island police have identified the man who died Thursday (October 11) from a two-vehicle crash on Highway 11 in front of Hirano Store as 57-year-old John K. Isabel Jr.

23 Big Island Cows Die in Mainland Shipping Container Accident

Many folks don’t realize that many of Hawaii’s cows are shipped to the mainland to feedlots to be fattened up.

23 cows died in this Washington State container accident

In Washington State there was a tragic accident involving cows that were shipped from Hawaii.

“…Twenty-three of the 68 cattle aboard died in the container, which was en route from Hawaii to a feedlot.

“This was an unfortunate accident that turned out pretty well,” Jared Gould said. He was the veterinarian on duty at Horse Heaven Cattle Feeders in Sunnyside when the surviving cattle arrived.

“They were not in terrible shape,” he said. “They were tired and walked off to feed and water.”

The loaded container fell off a tractor-trailer and onto Interstate 90 on Oct. 6, landing on its side. After hitting the pavement, the container skidded about 200 feet.

When state troopers arrived at the scene, they found that some of the cattle had died in the crash and some of the surviving cattle had their hooves stuck in the container’s barred windows…

…Horse Heaven has been receiving cattle from Hawaii the past four or five months, he said. A drought on the islands has crippled producers’ ability to fatten the animals there.

Hawaii ranchers ship 40,000 live cattle a year to the mainland; only 4,000 are slaughtered for meat sales there.

Hawaii’s local and grass-fed beef industry will get a boost when Hawaii County breaks ground on renovations to a state-owned slaughterhouse on the Hamakua Coast…

You can read the full article here: Most Cattle Survive Washington Container Accident

I have two questions… why is a slaughter house called “Horse Heaven Cattle Feeders” and was the meat still edible?