• Follow on Facebook

  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • puako-general-store
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    August 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Jul    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

  • Recent Comments

Lehua Restoration Operation to Rid Island of Rats Begins

Eradication of damaging rats aimed at protecting incredible bird, plant, and marine diversity

Today, hope reigns for Lehua Island, as an operation commenced to make the island’s threatened wildlife safe from introduced, damaging, invasive rats. DLNR and its partners carried out carefully made plans to remove the invasive rats with support from Native Hawaiian and local communities. Dozens of Federal and State permits affirming that the operation poses very little risk to people, marine mammals, fish, sea turtles, birds, or other wildlife were secured in advance of the operation.

Lehua Island

The operation was executed as planned—successfully, safely, and under the close watch of regulators from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture and an independent monitoring team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A science and values-based cost-benefit analysis reflected in project proponents’ Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) required years of operational planning, scientific research, trials, analysis, and community engagement. After exhaustive evaluation of scientific publications and hundreds of island invasive species eradications around the world, the Lehua Island Restoration Steering Committee determined that the only feasible method for safely removing rats is the deployment of bait containing a small amount of rodenticide.  The committee chose urgent intervention over allowing Lehua’s invasive rats to continue to devastate birds, plants, marine waters, cultural sites and resources.

Sheri Mann, Kaua‘i branch manager for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) which manages Lehua Island as a State Seabird Sanctuary, said, “Our teams applied the first of three rounds of conservation bait to Lehua Island today by helicopter with supplemental applications by hand. About 99.995 percent of the bait used is comprised of non-toxic, human food-grade ingredients made to attract rats. The remaining fraction is diphacinone, a first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide.”

The project presents little risk to marine life. Consistent with rules and regulations governing rodenticide application, project permits acknowledge and authorize a negligible amount of bait drift into shallow near-shore waters. The permits also acknowledged that this poses little risk to the environment. Lab studies have shown that fish reject bait containing diphacinone. Furthermore, fish are among the least likely animals to be affected by the rodenticide. What little bait drifts into water from the over-land application sinks to the sea floor and degrades quickly.

Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright approved the aerial application permit, necessary for the project to move forward. He observed today’s operation from the helibase on Ni‘ihau and commented, “I am pleased with the planning, preparation and execution of this project to restore Lehua Island. It was carried out very professionally and with the utmost care.”

Diphacinone, being almost insoluble, scarcely dissolves in water and thus most remains in bait pellet fragments on the sea bottom. Diphacinone breaks down quickly in water when exposed to ultraviolet light (e.g. sunlight) —  a likely fate for some drifted bait. Eventually, the rodenticide decomposes into carbon dioxide and water and intermediate compounds in its decomposition process are non-toxic. In hundreds of similar projects, no documented impacts to marine mammals or corals have been documented, and invertebrates are not affected at all as they do not metabolize diphacinone. Thus, regulators concluded that marine life will have little to no exposure to the negligible amount of rodenticide that drifts into the water.

Patty Baiao, Hawai‘i Program Manager for Island Conservation, the NGO partnering with DLNR on the project explained, “Despite the low risk, the operation is using proven strategies to avoid, minimize, and mitigate risks whenever possible. All bait is distributed over land with deflectors in place when baiting adjacent to the shoreline to direct it inland.”

Lehua is one of the largest and most diverse seabird colonies in the main Hawaiian Islands with 17 seabird species and 25 native plants (14 Hawai`i endemics – occurring nowhere else in the world) inhabiting the steep, rocky, windswept slopes of the tiny island. Lehua is an important part of native Hawaiian culture—the Ni‘ihau community gathers ‘opihi (limpets) in adjacent marine waters and on the island are several important native Hawaiian cultural sites.

The invasive rats forage on native plants and seeds, which imperils the entire ecosystem. These impacts can contribute to erosion which can in turn impair near-shore marine and coral ecosystems and fisheries. Native birds like the threatened Newell’s Shearwater are likely being restricted from breeding on Lehua Island due to predation by rats. Smaller, open-nesting seabirds such as terns and noddies are conspicuously absent from Lehua (save small numbers found in sea caves), also a suspected artifact of rat predation. Invasive rats ravage other threatened birds.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case concluded, “A safe, careful, by-the-book operation, together with the downstream conservation outcomes of this project in coming years, will provide the proof-of-concept the community is seeking for this important conservation intervention”. Two additional applications of rodenticide are planned in the next few weeks depending on weather conditions.

North Kona Water Restictions Update – Residents CAN Hand Water Prescious Plants On Occasion

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

Due to a significant level of overall compliance, water levels in the tanks have remained stable. The Department appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Therefore, the following is an update on irrigation under the current Emergency Water Restriction. 

  • Limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is acceptable.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited.

For other unique situations, please contact the Department to discuss possible options. Suggested best practices for hand watering plants are:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation. 
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/greenwaste/ for more information. 
  • Use of recycled water from downspouts, washing machines, washing dishes, and shower “warm up” water is also encouraged. 
  • Do not over-water plants.

Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Short-Lived Lava Falls at Kamokuna Ocean Entry

On Saturday, August 19 at 04:10 HST a breakout that started 120 m (394 ft) up-slope of the ocean entry, began to spill over the sea cliff and onto the delta.

The lava fall was located to the west of the ramp (tubed-over firehose), and produced a small ‘a‘ā flow on the western portion of the delta. This breakout was short-lived and appeared to have died by 1:30 pm HST, lasting about 9.5 hours. The photo pictured above was taken at 6:40 am HST, showing the lava fall and some faint activity of the ‘a‘ā flows on the far side of the delta. Many cracks remain and continue to widen on the delta, although they are more difficult to see in the early morning light.

At 9:35 pm HST on August 19, there was a large littoral explosion near the front of the delta.

Another smaller explosion was seen 5 minutes later. These explosions are typically caused by mixing of cool sea water and hot lava. The August 19 explosions were not followed by obvious delta subsidence or collapse, something we have seen in the past.

Female Opihi Picker Dies From Apparent Fall

Hawaii Fire Department arrived on scene and found a 20s female, with no signs of life, on the shoreline. Due to the terrain, Hawaii Fire Department Rescue personnel utilized a helicopter to extricate body. This was an obvious DOA and scene was turned over to HPD for investigation.

Cause is unknown and under investigation.

Search Enters Third Day for Missing Army Aviators off Oahu

Responders enter day three in the continuing search for five missing Army aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Friday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point returns from a first-light flight to refuel and continue searching for five Army aviators Aug. 17, 2017. An Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, prompting the joint search effort. (U.S. Coast Guard by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

Searching are:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew from Honolulu
  • Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) and crew from Base Honolulu
  • Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point
  • Navy P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay
  • Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay
  • UH-60 Black Hawk from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services
  • Crew from the Hawaii Department of Land of Natural Resources
  • Shore patrols from the Army

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point searched throughout the night and is scheduled to resume efforts Friday afternoon following sufficient crew rest.

The search area remains at as much as 50 miles offshore having expanded since the incident due to swift and dynamic currents in the area. Fixed-wing aviation assets are searching the leading edge while helicopters and vessels are concentrating efforts now 25 miles offshore.

None of the missing aviators have been located yet. Debris continues to be spotted and recovered in the area off Ka’ena Point by responders. Personnel at the joint forward operating base at Hale’iwa Boat Harbor continue to coordinate efforts.

A safety zone remains in effect extending out in a five nautical mile (5.75 statue mile) radius from the point 21-27.919N 158-21.547W, geographically located roughly two miles northwest of Ka’ena Point, established by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Wednesday. No vessels or persons are authorized to enter this zone without prior approval from the Captain of the Port. A broadcast notice to mariners has been issued. Ka’ena State Park trails remain closed at this time.

Debris from the crash should be considered hazardous material and should only be recovered by recovery teams with the proper training and personal protective equipment. The debris poses potential risk and could cause serious bodily harm due to sharp edges. Those who see or encounter debris consistent with this type of aircraft along the north and west side of Oahu are asked to report it to responders by calling the 25th Combat Infantry Brigade Staff Duty Officer at 808-656-1080.

The search began late Tuesday following notification to the Coast Guard from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communication with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. The missing aircrew was reportedly engaged in night time training operations between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield.

Weather on scene is similar to the previous days, with 17 mph winds, seas to 4-feet and isolated showers. Visibility is good.

North Kona Water Restiction Update – Spare Motor Defective and Cannot Be Used

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

During today’s work, it was discovered that the spare motor is defective and cannot be used. DWS is now working on several options to obtain another spare motor before resuming the installation work. The updated repair schedule is to be determined.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies, businesses, and other customers that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended. Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained.

However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Search Enters Second Day for 5 Missing Army Aviators Off Oahu

Responders enter day two in the continuing the search for five missing Army aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Thursday.

Searching are:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew from Honolulu
  • UH-60 Black Hawk from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services
  • Crew from the Hawaii Department of Land of Natural Resources
  • Shore patrols from the Army

En route:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) and crew are replacing the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) and will head to the scene from Base Honolulu.

The search area has expanded to as much as 50 miles offshore due to the swift and dynamic currents in the area. Fixed-wing aviation assets are searching the leading edge while helicopters and vessels are concentrating efforts 15 – 20 miles offshore. Additional assets are being considered and may join the search throughout the day.

The Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205), a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu is shown coordinating search efforts with a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 17, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

None of the aviators have been located yet. Debris continues to be spotted and recovered in the area off Ka’ena Point by responders. Personnel at the joint forward incident command post at Hale’iwa Boat Harbor continue to coordinate search and rescue efforts.

A safety zone extending out in a five nautical mile (5.75 statue mile) radius from the point 21-27.919N 158-21.547W, geographically located roughly two miles northwest of Ka’ena Point, was established by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Wednesday. No vessels or persons are authorized to enter this zone without prior approval from the Captain of the Port. A broadcast notice to mariners has been issued. Ka’ena State Park trails are currently closed at this time.

Debris from the crash should be considered hazardous material and should only be recovered by recovery teams with the proper training and personal protective equipment. The debris poses potential risk and could cause serious bodily harm due to sharp edges. Those who see or encounter debris consistent with this type of aircraft along the north and west side of Oahu are asked to report it to responders by calling the 25th Combat Infantry Brigade Staff Duty Officer at 808-656-1080.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu received a call at 10:08 p.m. Tuesday from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communications with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of response assets.

The two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting training between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield at the time communications were lost.

Weather on scene is currently 17 mph winds with 4 foot seas and isolated showers.

North Kona Emergency Water Restrictions Update

This is an Emergency Water Restriction Update for North Kona District customers for Wednesday August 16 at 3:45 PM.

The Department of Water Supply reports the North Kona emergency water restriction continues. North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and Honalo to Makalei must restrict water use to health and safety needs only. This means use water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only. Cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicle and boats.

Extraction of the Honokohau Deepwell pump and motor is now complete. After an inspection of the well, the spare pump and motor will be connected and reinstallation work will continue through the holiday weekend.

The Department of Water Supply sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Adjustments have been made to the water system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained. However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

For your use, drinking water is available from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as from a water spigot along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For after hours emergencies, or to report any observed wasteful use of water call the DWS at 961-8790. During normal business hours, call 961-8060.
This email account will be kept updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Army Helicopter Down – Search Continues for 5 Missing Aviators Off Oahu

Responders are continuing the search for five missing Army aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Wednesday.

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield and a fireboat crew from the Honolulu Fire Department are shown conducting a search for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Searching are:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) and crew, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu
  • 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • MH-60R Seahawk helicopter aircrew from Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37
  • P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and a crew from the Hawaii Department of Land of Natural Resources

En route is:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu

None of the aviators have been located yet. Debris has been spotted and recovered near Ka’ena Point by responders. A joint forward incident command post has been established at Hale’iwa Boat Harbor to coordinate search and rescue efforts.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364), an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu, are shown conducting a search for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Debris from the crash should be considered hazardous material and should only be recovered by recovery teams with the proper training and personal protective equipment. The debris poses potential risk and could cause serious bodily harm due to sharp edges.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu received a call at 10:08 p.m. Tuesday from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communications with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of response assets.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu are shown conducting a search for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting training between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield at the time communications were lost.

Weather on scene is currently 17 mph winds with 6 foot seas.

STATEMENT from Governor David Y. Ige on President’s Remarks About Charlottesville

“The president has abandoned any pretense of standing up for American values or the moral authority that defines the United States.

The racism and bigotry that he defended today goes against every value that makes me proud to be an American citizen and governor of the State of Hawai‘i – the place that President John F. Kennedy once said represents all that we are, and all that we hope to be.”

UPDATE on the North Kona Water Restrictions

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

The contractor started removing column pipe today and expect to extract the pump and motor in a couple of days. The spare pump and motor will then be connected and reinstallation work will continue through the Admissions Day weekend.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies and businesses that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended.

Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained. However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org.  For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Another Water Pump Goes Down – North Kona Water Restrictions Mandated

This is an Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona District customers for Monday August 14.

The Department of Water Supply reports Honokohau Deepwell located in North Kona is now out of service. Due to the loss of this pump this morning, North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and Honalo to Makalei must restrict water use to health and safety needs only. This means use water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only. Cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicle and boats.

Conserve water by flushing toilets less often and taking shorter showers.
We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water (5-10) gallons for basic household needs, such as flushing toilets, hygiene and consumption in the event of service disruption.

Until further notice, the Department of Water Supply is suspending temporary service accounts and irrigation accounts in North Kona.

Department of Water Supply will be monitoring water usage and wasteful water use will be subject to further water restrictions and possible water shut off.

In order to help meet general customer demand, Water Supply has established Public Potable Water Distribution Stations at the following locations:

  • Ane Keohokalole Hwy. between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School
  • Hina Lani between Anini St. and Manu Mele St.

For after hours emergencies, or to report any observed wasteful use of water call the DWS at 961-8790. During normal business hours, call 961-8060.
This email address will be kept updated and you will be informed of any conditions that may affect your safety.

Thank you, have a safe day, this is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Fire at Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory Causes $105,000 in Damage

A fire at a structure last night at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory caused over $100,000 in damage early Monday morning:Location: Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory

Found at Scene: 20’x30′ structure at rear of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut processing plant fully engulfed

Cause: Unknown

Remarks: Smoke and flames visible from Hwy 11 and Macadamia Nut Dr. Upon arrival found 20’x30′ structure fully engulfed. Security guard described structure as a mac nut husk dryer. Fire was under control at 0313. Wet down and mop up was prolonged due to access and abundance of macadamia nut mulch. HFD Inspectors on scene investigating at time of press release.

Details On Last Nights Emergency Landing at Hilo International Airport

At 10:21 pm last night Hawaii Fire Department was dispatched to an aircraft emergency. A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 carrying 276 passengers and crew from Kauai to LAX experienced smoke in the cockpit and was diverted to Hilo International Airport.

The aircraft was 2 hours into their flight when diverted. All units were on scene prior to touchdown. The plane landed safely and taxied to the terminal without further incident. The cause of smoke is under investigation.

Statement Regarding School Bus Situation on Maui

“We continue to work diligently day in and day out to recruit and train drivers. Over the last week, we have made significant progress. However, we need to hire 14 more drivers to fully service temporarily suspended and consolidated routes for Baldwin, Lahainaluna and Maui high schools and Iao Intermediate.

We are in daily communication with HIDOE about where we are with driver recruitment and how we can strategically restore routes. Our contracts with HIDOE included changes to multiple pick-up and drop off locations and times, some of which may be different from years past.

Getting students to school, safely, is paramount which is why we invested in a brand new bus fleet for Maui and have an extensive screening and training process for our drivers.

We had hoped to be fully ready on day one of school, but repeated appeals and challenges of our contract award by Robert’s Hawaii, which lost contracts on Maui and Kauai, set our hiring timetable back. That, coupled with the growing national bus driver shortage crisis, means finding high quality drivers hasn’t been easy.

We sincerely apologize to students, families and the community for the inconvenience caused by the temporary disruption in service and appreciate their patience as we work to resolve this situation.”

Louis Gomes, President of Ground Transport Incorporated

Questions and Answers: Hawaii and the Threat of a North Korean Missile Strike

Click to enlarge

1. Why now? Has the North Korea missile threat increased so much recently that you were urged to begin preparations for an attack?

Preparations for the North Korea missile and nuclear threat began in late 2016 when this assessment suggested early preparations should be initiated. Hawaii has maintained plans to cope with missile testing since 2009. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) conducts a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) every year. This process examines potential hazards and threats to the State of Hawaii including natural (hurricane, tsunami), technological (cyberterrorism) and man-made (acts of terrorism) hazards.

2. I have heard that planning for a nuclear attack from North Korea is futile given most of the population will be killed or critically injured. Is that true?

No. Current estimates of human casualties based on the size (yield) of North Korean nuclear weapon technology strongly suggests an explosion less than 3 miles in diameter. More than 90% of the population would survive the direct effects of such an explosion. Planning and preparedness are essential to protect those survivors from delayed residual radiation (fallout) and other effects of the attack such as the loss of utilities and communication systems, structural fires, etc.

3. How will the public learn of a possible missile launch from North Korea?

Approximately 5 minutes into the launch sequence, the U.S. Pacific Command will notify the Hawaii State Warning Point (SWP) that a missile is in route from North Korea. The SWP is staffed on a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week basis by skilled emergency management professionals.
Upon receipt of the notification, the SWP will activate the ‘Attack-Warning’ signal on all outdoor sirens statewide (wailing sound) and transmit a warning advisory on radio, television and cellular telephones within 2 minutes.

4. What should Hawaii residents and visitors do when they hear the ‘Attack-Warning’ siren signal?

All residents and visitors must immediately seek shelter in a building or other substantial structure. Once the sirens sound, residents and visitors will have less than 12 to 15 minutes before missile impact.

5. Was the recent public messaging recommending that each individual/family maintain a 14-day survival kit made because of the North Korea threat?

The 14-day recommendation was made following an intensive analysis suggesting that Hawaii could experience a major disruption to maritime transportation (shipping and ports) in the event of a major hurricane. This recommendation does however complement the potential need for 14 days of sheltering following a nuclear attack.

6. When will schools begin nuclear drills?

Schools are not expected to conduct drills specific to a nuclear attack. Existing drills known as ‘lock down’ drills serve the same purpose. These drills are regularly conducted at all schools statewide and are considered more than adequate in terms of protecting students and staff.

7. When will the new ‘Attack-Warning’ siren signal will available and how will it be tested?

The new (second) ‘Attack-Warning’ siren signal (wailing sound) will be available for use beginning in November 2017. The signal will be tested on the first working day of every month thereafter together with the existing ‘Attention-Alert’ signal (steady sound) used for other emergencies.

8. Are there public shelters (blast or fallout) designated in our communities?

No. There are currently no designated shelters in the State of Hawaii at this time. The short warning time (12 to 15 minutes) would not allow for residents or visitors to locate such a shelter in advance of missile impact.

9. How long will residents and visitors need to remain sheltered following a nuclear detonation?

In most cases, only until the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has assessed residual radiation and fallout. This could be as little as a few hours or as long as 14 days.

10.  What is fallout?

Debris including soil, fragments of destroyed buildings and other material will be drawn into the cloud of a nuclear detonation and propelled into the sky. This debris will begin to settle back to earth within hours. This debris includes residual radiation that poses a significant health risk to humans and animals.

11. How can I tell if nuclear radiation is present?

Nuclear radiation cannot be perceived by the human senses (sight, smell, etc.). Specialized instruments are needed to detect its presence and intensity. Those instruments are available for use by public safety agencies across the State of Hawaii.

12. How long will nuclear radiation persist after a nuclear detonation?

A: Radiation from nuclear detonation in the form of fallout decays very rapidly. Days to weeks in most situations.

13. Are the neighbor island safe?

We do not know. North Korean missile technology may not be adequately advanced to accurately target a specific island or location. Although most analysts believe the desired target will be Oahu given the concentration of military and government facilities, a missile may stray and impact the open ocean or even a neighbor island. All areas of the State of Hawaii must consider the possibility of missile impact.

14. How will the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency communicate with the public post-impact? I have heard that most broadcast stations and other forms of electronic communications (cellular telephones, radio, television) will be damaged or destroyed.

When a nuclear weapon detonates, one of the direct effects produced is called an Electromagnetic Pulse (or EMP). EMP has the potential of destroying electrical devices and telecommunications systems. It may also disrupt electrical power and other essential utilities. Broadcast stations many miles distant from the explosion (such as on another island) will survive EMP effects. Our current plans are to utilize AM and FM broadcast radio stations on unaffected islands to provide essential information to the public. This means residents and visitors should include a battery-powered AM-FM radio in their 14-day survival kit.

15. How can I learn more about the nuclear threat and preparedness?

Public outreach and online information is available to all Hawaii residents.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Email: HawaiiEma@hawaii.gov Web: http://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/ Telephone: 808 -733-4300 or contact your county emergency management agency:

  • Kauai Emergency Management Agency 808-241-1800
  • Honolulu Department of Emergency Management 808-723-8960
  • Maui Emergency management Agency 808-270-7285
  • Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency 808-935-0031

Ready.Gov website https://www.ready.gov/nuclear-blast

Two People Treading Water Rescued Off Capsized Vessel Off Kaloli Point

Two people were rescued off a capsized vessel off Kaloli Point this morning around 11:00.

Location: Open Ocean Quarter Mile off Shore area of Kaloli Point

Found at Scene: Ocean Rescue

Cause: Capsized Boat

Remarks: Responded to report of capsized vessel in the area of either Hilo Bay or Kaloli Point. Company 1 and Chopper 1 unable to locate vessel in Hilo Bay. Chopper 1 was able to locate a 20 foot Bayliner partially submerged in ocean ~ 1/4 mile from shoreline in the area of Kaloli Point with 2 occupants treading water beside it.  Both parties safely rescued from the ocean by Chopper 1 and rescue personnel, assisted to safe area by Engine 18. No injuries reported. US Coast Guard to arrange salvage of boat with owner. No further assistance needed.

Hawaii DLNR Holding Public Information Meeting in Hilo About Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will be holding its fourth public information meeting on sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Aupuni Center Conference Room, located at 101 Pauahi Street in Hilo, Hawai‘i.This meeting is one of a series of public information meetings being held statewide to educate people about the impacts of sea level rise and to gather comments and input about key issues and concerns regarding preparedness and adaptation. The first meeting was held on O‘ahu in June 2016, a second one in January on Kaua‘i, a third one in March on Maui, and fifth one is planned for Kona on August 22, 2017.

Climate change has the potential to profoundly impact our wellbeing and way of life. In particular, rising sea levels will increase the occurrence and severity of coastal erosion and flooding, threatening coastal communities and natural resources concentrated along low-lying shores.

“We are in the process of developing a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (SLR Report) that is to be submitted in anticipation of the 2018 Hawaii State Legislature, and we are interested in soliciting input from our island communities to help us complete the report,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.

“This SLR Report is the first state-wide assessment of the impacts of sea level rise on our coastal areas. Using the best available scientific knowledge and local experience, it will help us prepare for future sea level rise and present recommendations to reduce our exposure to SLR hazards such as erosion and extreme flooding,” said Sam Lemmo, co-chair of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee.

Anyone with special needs requiring accommodations or assistance, is asked to please contact OCCL at least four days prior to the public hearing. For more information contact the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands at (808) 587-0377 or visit our website at http://climateadaptation.hawaii.gov/.

University of Hawaii Partnership Aims to Improve Tornado Forecasting, Warning Lead-Times

The Jonathan Merage Foundation and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) have expanded their partnership with a new project aiming to improve severe weather forecasting and warning lead-times associated with Front Range thunderstorms over northeastern Colorado.

Colorado storm. Credit: Steven Businger.

Improvements in Colorado’s thunderstorm forecasting rely on innovative data from its Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) network. The network is comprised of 12 stations north of Denver that monitor lightning activity. LMA sensors have revealed distinct tornado signatures 30 minutes prior to the formation of a tornado and are used to predict severe storms that also produce strong straight-line winds and large hail.

The southernmost LMA sensor is currently located 25 miles north of Denver. The new gift will enable the construction and installation of six additional sensor stations around and south of Denver, expanding the LMA network to cover the Denver Metro Area and improve severe weather forecasting for the most densely-populated area of Colorado.

Steven Businger and Jonathan Merage. Credit: Jana Light.

“Not only will this project allow us to provide better information to the Colorado community about incoming and potential severe thunderstorms,” said Professor Steven Businger, chair of the Atmospheric Science Department in SOEST and project lead, “but it will allow scientists to study and refine relationships between lightning information and the tornadic potential of thunderstorms. It will allow us to better predict dangerous storms and improve lead-times for tornado warnings, which has the potential to save lives.”

Two new sensors will be installed this year and four additional sensors will be installed over the next two years.

In addition to the new LMA collaboration, the Jonathan Merage Foundation has funded another year of investigation into long-range lightning data. The project is funding a postdoctoral student in Businger’s lab.

“Last year we developed a tropical storm model that can assimilate lightning data,” said Businger. “This year we aim to improve the way cloud processes are handled in the model and run some case studies, such as Hurricane Patricia and Typhoon Haiyan, through the model. This year will get us closer to our goal of improving our ability to predict the track and intensity of tropical cyclones.”

Both projects are currently under way.

Rep. Morikawa Asks State to Delay Lehua Rat Eraddication Until Critical Questions Answered

Rep. Daynette Morikawa is asking the state to delay its planned rat eradication project on Lehua Island until critical environmental questions can be answered.

“Residents are very concerned about the process of dropping poison on Lehua Island to kill rats, especially as we enter hurricane season,” Morikawa said in a letter delivered to the state this week. “There are also questions about the possible effects of the poison on the coral reef, the endangered monk seal and green sea turtle, and fish near the island.”

By Polihale, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3862929

Morikawa, who represents the section of Kauai including Lehua, Niihau, Koloa and Waimea, has written to both Suzanne D. Case, chairperson of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Scott Enright, chairperson of the state Board of Agriculture, asking them to delay the project scheduled to drop rodenticide pellets set to begin August 8.

Public hearings on the project were inadequate and ineffective and many residents left the meetings without having their questions addressed by state experts, she said.

Morikawa said the same type of eradication was attempted in 2009 and failed. She is asking the state to explain what alternatives have been explored.

In addition, brodifacoum, which is planned to be used as the rodenticide, has not been licensed for use in Hawaii.

“I am asking the state to delay the rat eradication project until all concerns from the public have been addressed and an agreement is reached on how to best proceed,” she said.

*To read the letter to the state, click here.