• Follow on Facebook

  • Begins Thursday!

    2016 Big Island Film Festival
  • Breaking News

  • World Botanical Garden
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • RSS Mayor Kenoi’s Blog

  • Say When

    May 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Apr    
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Super Slam Finished on Big Island of Hawaii, 49 States… 49 Turkeys

A Pennsylvania man flew to the Big Island of Hawaii for one and only one reason… to kill a turkey.

After missing a gobbler earlier in the morning during a hunt in Hawaii, Hudak connected later in the day to achieve the U.S. Super Slam.

After missing a gobbler earlier in the morning during a hunt in Hawaii, Hudak connected later in the day to achieve the U.S. Super Slam.

Tony Hudak of Noxen, Pennsylvania set out to kill a turkey in every state in the United States (except for Alaska where there are no turkeys), becoming only the fifth person to do what is known as the Super Slam..

According to the Times Leader, he was successful!

…But Hudak set out on the morning of March 19 hoping to find the final gobbler in his quest.

At 6:30 a.m. a gobbler sounded off from its roost from far away. Hudak began to maneuver into position when another bird gobbled. It was closer and Hudak focused on the second bird instead.

Hudak called, the bird answered and then things happened quickly.

“Apparently he was rushing in because the next time I called he was just 50 yards away over a little hill,” Hudak said. “I got against a koa log and the bird came around a knob in full strut, 30 yards away.”

The gobbler lifted its head and Hudak shot.

And missed.

And that’s when Hudak began having doubts.

“I was thinking that I just flew 6,000 miles to get here, and all these years of traveling to every state and it comes down to this and I blow it. I whiffed,” Hudak said. “It took me an hour to get my wits back after that ordeal.”

At 8 a.m. another bird gobbled but Hudak couldn’t get it within range, and that’s when Big Island of Hawaii posed another unique challenge.


“Turkeys clam up when it gets foggy,” Hudak said.

The fog rolled in thick from the ocean, forcing Hudak and John Sabati – the ranch manager for where he was hunting, to retreat to a lower elevation. All he could do was cover ground and call with the hope a gobbler was out there somewhere.

Finally, at 3 p.m. Hudak spotted a gobbler in a cow pasture in full strut. The bird walked back-and-forth along a fence, unaware it was being watched.

Hudak would get a second chance.

“Once I saw what he was doing I tried to get on one end of his strut zone and cut him off,” Hudak said. “He came to about 60 yards, walking right to me, then turned around and walked away 100 yards, still strutting.”

Sabati suggested sneaking below the gobbler, so Hudak made a wide loop and came up to the fence. The gobbler was there, and still unaware.

Hudak clucked once with his mouth call and the gobbler turned and walked right into range. Hudak shot and this time he didn’t miss…

You can read the full story here: Tony Hudak achieves US Super Slam

Hawaii Team Attends National Zika Action Plan Summit Held at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today held a Zika Action Plan Summit, bringing together state and local senior officials to provide them with the information and tools needed to improve Zika preparedness and response within their state and jurisdictions. A delegation of leaders from the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) are attending the summit at CDC Headquarters in Atlanta to share their experiences and learn from their counterparts across the country.

This timely opportunity comes as the state is experiencing an uptick in imported Zika cases, among other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever and chikungunya.

Attendees were provided with presentations on the latest scientific knowledge about the Zika virus, including effects it can have on pregnant women and best-practices for mosquito control. One of the greatest challenges posed by this disease is that scientists are still learning more about Zika’s symptoms and how the disease can be transmitted.

“The summit provided an excellent opportunity for Hawaii to share our experience and knowledge while learning from other states about specific issues around the science behind Zika. This is especially important for our nation as we head into the summer months, when temperatures will rise and travel into and out of the country will peak,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler.

“It is crucial for Hawaii to have a unified outreach and response plan that is both scalable and flexible, and easily implemented at all levels of government.”

The summit also provided an opportunity to discuss communications challenges and effective strategies for increasing public awareness about Zika virus and precautionary measures that all people should take, especially pregnant women and women planning on becoming pregnant.


Pregnant women need to take special precautions against Zika virus and should avoid travel to areas where Zika is spreading. If a Zika infected mosquito bites a woman that is pregnant or may become pregnant, the Zika virus can be passed to her baby during pregnancy or at the time of birth. Scientists believe the Zika virus may be linked to microcephaly in newborns, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared with other babies of the same sex and age.

Scientists also believe that Zika virus can be spread from an infected man to his sexual partners. It is still unknown how long the virus can be spread in this way after the infected male’s symptoms have cleared.

Most people who contract the Zika virus will have mild or no symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika include rash, joint pain and red eyes (conjunctivitis), but can also include muscle pain and headaches. DOH urges people who are showing symptoms and have a recent history of travel to areas experiencing Zika outbreaks, to see their healthcare provider as soon as possible for testing.

For additional information about Zika virus and precautions, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/zika_virus/.

For travel information and advisories, visit CDC’s website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.

“Aloha From Lavaland” to Premier at Hawaii International Film Festival

Hawaiian Anthropological documentary Aloha From Lavaland is set to premiere on April 7 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.


Produced by three Big Island-based production companies, the film follows the aftermath of the 2014 eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which sent a flow of lava directly toward the center of Pahoa, a small rural town on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Hard to predict and impossible to stop, the flow threatened to cut off the town’s only access road, leaving the residents of this remote community to rely heavily on  one another as they prepare for possible isolation.

Produced in conjunction by Gift Culture Media, Larkin Pictures and Pure Mother Love, this 52 minute documentary explores an inner community perspective of the lava flow, following residents as they ask and answer important questions about community, sustainability, harmony, and what it really means to live in such an unpredictable paradise.


In addition to street interviews and news coverage, the documentary follows a local Hawaiian kumu (healer), a sustainability expert and the leader of a sovereign Hawaiian community over a period of seven months as they attempt to prepare for the unpreparable.
“Puna is unlike any place I’ve ever lived,” says co-director Suzenne Seradwyn, who has created films in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Hawaii. “The people here have different values because of the natural elements at play, and the rich cultural history surrounding those elements. There is a very important message to share about what happens when you allow yourself to trust these elements.”

“This film is important for anyone living in a state of change, whether it be due to external elements or an internal shift,” says the film’s co-director, Phillips Payson. “Part of what this film explores is how one’s attitude toward change can make all the difference.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. This is his fourth film.

The film will premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival at the Dole Cannery on Thursday, April 7 at 6:15pm.

For more information, visit www.alohafromlavaland.com.


Updated Lava Map Shows Lava Flow Still Advancing

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the eastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow field on February 20 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on March 25 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. The black box shows the extent of the accompanying large scale maps.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface.

DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate potential flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent regional land cover map from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coastal Management draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). The bathymetry is also from NOAA.

Because the flow field is changing very little at the moment, mapping of the lava flow is being conducted relatively infrequently. We will return to more frequent mapping if warranted by an increase in activity.

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the flow field on February 20 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on March 25 is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at lower left.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate potential flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

This map overlays a georeferenced thermal image mosaic onto the current map of the flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō to show the distribution of active and recently active breakouts.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal images were collected during a helicopter overflight on March 25. The June 27th flow field as of March 25 is outlined in green for comparison. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system, as currently mapped. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at lower left.

USGS Update – Lava Breakouts and Small Lobe Advancing Through Forest

Breakouts persist northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with scattered activity along the north margin of the flow field at the forest boundary.


One narrow lobe of lava has pushed through forest over the past few weeks, and is 7.6 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photo looks southwest, and the front of the narrow lobe is in the foreground, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō near the top of the photo. The breakouts active at the forest boundary along the northern flow margin can be seen by their smoke plumes along the right side of the photo.

Another view, looking west, showing the activity along the forest boundary and northern flow margin.


Scattered breakouts were burning forest in this area. In the upper left portion of the image, Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen.

The altered and fractured rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater is prone to small collapses.

hvo326cPortions of the eastern crater rim, shown here, have collapsed onto the crater floor, covering the recent lava flows with rubble.

In the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, there has been a small pit for nearly a year.

hvo326dThe pit is about 60 m (200 feet) wide, and a small circular lava pond resides beneath the overhanging west rim of this pit.


HVO geologists walk along the edge of the inner crater in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, making stops periodically to perform laser rangefinder measurements of crater dimensions.

Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake remains active

Last Saturday, March 19, marked the 8-year anniversary of the start of Kīlauea’s ongoing summit eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.


Halemaʻumaʻu spans much of the width of this photo, and the small inner crater in the foreground is the Overlook crater, which contains the active lava lake. The gas plume at this time was originating from a spattering area in the southern portion of the lake, obscured by the crater wall from this angle.


Zika Virus Case Suspected on Maui

The Maui County District Health Office and the County of Maui jointly announced today a suspected case of Zika virus brought to the island by a resident who became ill while traveling in Latin America and upon return to Maui in February.

While initial lab tests were not conclusive, results did warrant further testing and pointed to a high probability of Zika, which carries other, more serious impacts than Dengue Fever.

Both Dengue Fever and Zika are spread when a sick person gets bit by a mosquito, which later bites another person. Evidence suggests that Zika can also be transmitted through sexual contact if a man has been infected. The best way to prevent both Dengue and Zika is to take mosquito control measures, and to avoid getting bitten. Some who carry Zika do not show symptoms, and in others, illness may last from several days to over a week. There is currently no cure for either virus.

“Because the lab results thus far point to the high probability of Zika, we are taking this very seriously,” said Dr. Lorrin Pang, Maui County District Health Officer. “We need the public’s help in preventing the spread of whichever virus caused the illness so that we don’t get locally transmitted cases. The best way to do this is to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and make sure people avoid getting mosquito bites.”

Additionally, Department of Health and County of Maui staff and volunteers will be conducting site visits in various areas along the North Shore of Maui this weekend to assess problem areas for mosquito breeding and inform residents of the need to take precautions against mosquito-borne viruses.

“If you receive a flyer or letter from the Department of Health, please be sure to read the information carefully, as this public health issue affects us all,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “This is the time for our community to step up efforts to ‘fight the bite,’ by seeing a doctor if you have even mild symptoms, especially if you have traveled to parts of the world where there are outbreaks of these viruses.”

The public is advised that anyone who has traveled outside the country and has mild to severe symptoms such as fever, joint pain, rash or pink eye to see their physician. All residents and visitors should avoid getting mosquito bites by using repellent and wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves, pants, shoes and socks when outdoors. Residents should fix broken window and door screens at home, and get rid of standing water in the yard. Old tires, buckets, toys and plants, especially bromeliads, can become breeding sites for mosquitos. A mixture of soapy water (1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to 16 ounces of water in a spray bottle) can be sprayed on backyard plants to control mosquito larvae.

For more tips on how to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne viruses, visit www.mauiready.org.

Merrie Monarch Dengue Fever Precautions – Vector Spraying at Venues

With the annual Merrie Monarch Festival just around the corner, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging both residents and travelers to take extra precautions to stay away from and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while they are in Hilo for the event.

Mosquito Bite

Although the number of locally-acquired dengue fever cases have slowed over the past several weeks, the outbreak is not over, and the public should reduce their risk of infection as much as possible.

In the days leading up to one of Hawaii’s most celebrated traditions, Vector Control teams will be taking preventive measures by surveying and treating areas near the venues where the Merrie Monarch Festival will be held: the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.

“People from all over the world come to Hawaii to celebrate the tradition of hula during the Merrie Monarch Festival, so we are doing our due diligence and taking proactive measures now to reduce the risks of both imported and local cases of mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health.

“We continue to work with our county partners to coordinate and implement best practices for mosquito abatement and prevention.”

DOH is advising visitors to be vigilant in their efforts to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during their stay. Recommended precautions include:

  • Apply insect repellent when outdoors, and always follow directions for using repellants -especially on small children.
  • Wear covered clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks, to help protect skin from mosquito bites.
  • Be aware and avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes.

In addition to these recommendations, DOH advises Hilo residents to take the following steps in their own neighborhoods to help fight the bite:

  • Eliminate standing water in buckets, containers and puddles around your home;
  • Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that may be dripping water;
  • Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvicide;
  • Clear storm gutters and other outdoor drains of leaves and lawn cuttings;
  • Repair screens and jalousie windows to keep mosquitoes out; and
  • Dispose of old tires and anything else that may collect and hold standing water.

For further recommendations on how to take precautions against mosquitoes and dengue fever, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dengue-outbreak-2015/ .

Former Hawaii Superferry Renamed USNS Puerto Rico and Will Run Between US and Canada

The former Hawaii Superferry Alakai is being renamed by the US Navy to USNS Puerto Rico and will now run routes between the United States and Canada.

SuperferryAccording to Fosters.com:

High-speed ferry service will return this summer between Maine and Nova Scotia on a vessel that is smaller and faster than one that operated for two financially disastrous seasons.
Mark MacDonald, president of Canada-based Bay Ferries, said the company will operate a twin-hulled vessel under a lease agreement with its owner, the U.S. Navy.
The ship, USNS Puerto Rico, can make the 212-mile trip in 5 1/2 hours. The Nova Star, which ended service in October, took 11 hours to make the crossing…
…The Puerto Rico was built in Mobile, Alabama, in 2007 for Hawaii Superferry LLC and designed to operate in the Hawaiian islands. The federal government obtained the vessel after Hawaii Superferry went bankrupt in 2009.

More information here: High-speed ferry to run between Portland and Nova Scotia

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 263

Mosquito Bite

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 263:

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/17/16
Cases no longer infectious
262 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 3/4/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 237 are Hawaii Island residents and 26 are visitors.
217 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/17/16.

As of today, a total of 1517 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Public Invited to View Solar-Powered Plane “Solar Impulse 2”

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is pleased to announce a free public viewing of the Solar Impulse 2. The public will be able to view the aircraft and meet the crew that’s making the first flight around the world in a solar-powered plane.

Solar Impulse in Hawaii

The viewing is scheduled at the following location and time:

Saturday, April 2, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hangar 111 at Kalaeloa Airport
Midway Street, Kapolei, HI 96707

The date of the event may need to be changed to Sunday, April 3, 2016, depending on the possibility of the plane leaving the hangar for training flights linked to weather conditions.

Those interested in attending the event are urged to register online which includes accepting a waiver granting Solar Impulse SA and their affiliates the right to use photos, video, and other materials taken at the event for promotional purposes.

On the day of the event, attendees who registered in advance will save time upon arrival by presenting a print out of their registration or by showing it on their smartphone. Those who have not registered prior to the event will not be able to utilize the express line. The public may register and read more about the waiver by clicking here.

For more information on the Solar Impulse’s mission and journey around the world, please visit their website at http://www.solarimpulse.com/.

Parking map for Hangar 111

Hawaii Health Department Confirms Second Case of Zika

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating another imported case of Zika virus in Hawaii. This is the second case of Zika to be confirmed this year by the department’s State Laboratories Division. The Kauai resident has a history of recent travel to Latin America and may still be infectious. The individual has been advised to keep indoors and stay protected from mosquitoes. No additional information will be made available about this case to respect the privacy of the individual.

microcephalyA Vector Control team will visit the individual’s residence to survey the area for mosquitoes and determine if there is a need to treat the area to reduce any mosquito breeding sites. DOH is coordinating closely with its county partners to assure a targeted and efficient response.

“As Zika continues to spread in multiple regions across the world, we anticipate that we will experience an increase in imported cases and must take precautionary measures to reduce our risk for an outbreak in Hawaii,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “There are several simple steps that we can take as a community to accomplish this, such as getting rid of standing water around our homes to reduce mosquito breeding sites and using repellant or protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. It is crucial that we keep these practices top-of-mind as we prepare for travel in and out of the state, especially to areas that may be affected by Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends special precautions for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika. If travel cannot be avoided, women should consult with their healthcare providers first and vigilantly follow steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

For travel guidance, visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.

For information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, visit:


For information on Zika and pregnancy, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html.

Hokulea Arrives in Cuba

Hokulea, the legendary voyaging canoe from Hawaii internationally known for her pioneering travels, has reached another “first” in her Worldwide Voyage: arrival on the shores of Cuba. The vessel reached Havana on Friday at 7:30 a.m. local time, after traveling over a thousand nautical miles from the British Virgin Islands, where the canoe was most recently docked. Note: Havana, Cuba is six hours ahead of Hawaii time.

Hokulea Cuba

“Being part of this hardworking crew who just completed a historic sail to this island country in the Caribbean Sea is nothing short of amazing,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain and pwo navigator. “We’re anticipating great learning experiences to emerge from our engagement with Cuba’s local community and customs. Our crew is also looking forward to sharing with Cuba’s residents Hokulea’s Malama Honua message of taking care of our precious natural resources.”

While in Cuba, the crew plans to visit Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meet with ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) about US-Cuban relations.   They also plan to meet with leaders of urban sustainability and marine conservation efforts in Cuba.

Hokulea Cuba2

From Cuba, Hokulea will sail up to US waters and stop at Key West before making her arrival in the continental US at Everglades City, FL at the end of March. From Florida, the canoe will travel up the US East Coast. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to be part of the United Nations’ World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crew members have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

Hokulea Cuba3

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Funds Received to Pilot an Innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) Project

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) has received grant funding to pilot an innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) project, starting this spring. The funding is provided by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Hawaii Reef

Across the island, the most common coastal interaction for DOCARE is with fishermen.  Often this interaction is a punitive measure like a citation.

DOCARE, the enforcement arm of DLNR, has long recognized the importance of building relationships with the public. The goal of the REEF project is to provide opportunities for officers and fishers to engage in activities together, such as site visits to walk shorelines and clarify state rules and regulations.

Studies have shown that when an officer takes the time to participate in something that is important to a certain segment of the community, this shows that they really care about people, not just about writing citations.

“Many fishers have asked for trainings to understand the “western science” behind rules and regulations…” said Luna Kekoa, Makai Watch coordinator for DOCARE, “…but fishers feel a lot of current training lacks cultural sensitivity.”

To address this concern, a component of the REEF project will include a newly developed `Ike Kai curriculum that incorporates relevant cultural knowledge and sensitivities, while covering rules and regulations from the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR).

DOCARE Chief Tommy Friel says, “Education is a critical component to help people understand why it is important to comply with the rules and regulations our officers enforce. Building this relationship is the means by which education is best achieved.”

For more information on the `Ike Kai curriculum visit the Makai Watch website: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/makaiwatch

Coast Guard Rescues 50-Year-Old Female Who Went for Accidental Overnight Swim

The Coast Guard rescued a 50-year-old female swimmer Sunday, who had reportedly been in the water overnight.
Keehi Lagoon
At 11:20 a.m.Sunday, good Samaritans aboard the Navatek I, a tour boat operating out of Honolulu, spotted the woman in distress in the vicinity of Ke’ehi Lagoon.

She was recovered by a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu at 11:30 a.m.

She was taken to Kewalo Basin Harbor where local emergency medical services personnel and the Honolulu Police Department were waiting to provide further assistance. The swimmer reportedly appeared in good condition and declined any medical services. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu’s command center received a call at 11:25 a.m.Sunday, from the captain of the Navatek I informing them that they located the swimmer approximately 1 mile out of Ke’ehi Lagoon.

The woman reportedly told responders she went swimming between 9 and 10 p.m. Saturday, in the Waikiki area and was taken out to sea by the current.

“It’s never a good idea to swim by yourself, especially at night,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Lenk, a duty watchstander at Sector Honolulu. “If you are going out, inform someone where you plan to go as well as when you plan to return. That way if you do not return promptly, the proper authorities can be notified to search for you. We are happy that she was located safely especially after a long night in the water.”

Hawaii Nurse Injects Herself With Propofol While on Duty and Passes Out

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) and the state Boards and Commissions released a summary of disciplinary actions through the month of February 2016 taken on individuals and entities with professional and vocational licenses in Hawaii.  These disciplinary actions include dispositions based upon either the results of contested case hearings or settlement agreements submitted by the parties.  Respondents enter into settlement agreements as a compromise of claims and to conserve on the expenses of proceeding with an administrative hearing.

The DCCA and the Boards and Commissions are responsible for ensuring those with professional and vocational licenses are performing up to the standards prescribed by state law.


This particular case involving a nurse at the Hilo Community Surgery Center caught my attention:

Respondent:        Victoria T. Moats (Hawaii Island)

Case Number:      RNS 2015-57-L

Sanction:              Voluntary surrender of license                                                                  

Effective Date:     2-11-16

Respondent allegedly violated HRS § 457-12(a)(6) and HAR § 16-89-60(7)(D) by engaging in unprofessional conduct.  Respondent allegedly self-injected Propofol into herself while on duty as a nurse at the Hilo Community Surgery Center in Hilo, Hawaii, causing her to lose consciousness. (Board approved Settlement Agreement.)

Sir Richard Branson Welcomes Navigator Nainoa Thompson and Hokulea to the British Virgin Islands

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea made a special stop and visited The Branson Estate on Moskito Island, which is owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

Branson and Nainoa

Branson greeted master navigator Nainoa Thompson and the crew as the canoe arrived on March 5, 2016.  The visit gave Branson and Thompson an opportunity to share their respective efforts and thoughts about ocean conservation.  During the visit, Thompson also honoured Branson as a Great Navigator of Island Earth in recognition for his contribution to the Earth and mankind and for his lifetime achievement of making the world a better place. During the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Thompson has been seeking out the Earth’s great navigators and has honored leaders such His Holiness Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

During the two day visit at Moskito Island, the crew was hosted at a welcome gathering and were able to explore the island’s pristine beaches.

Branson and Hokulea“On behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, it was an honor to bring Hokulea to Moskito Island while we are sailing through the Caribbean,” said Thompson.  “We were able to learn more about Sir Richard Branson’s work to conserve the Caribbean and hear how the region is becoming a leader in ocean conservation and sustainability,” he added.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “The Hokulea, just like our ocean, is majestic and performs remarkably so it’s good to see she is sailing around the world urging citizens of our planet to care of our oceans.

“Caribbean islands emit less than 1% of total global greenhouse gases, but with rising sea levels and extreme weather events, they are bearing the brunt of climate change. I truly believe the small islands in the Caribbean can be global leaders in ocean conservation and sustainability. By working together we can act as a test bed to demonstrate and scale innovative, clean energy solutions.”

Branson and Nainoa 2

While on Moskito Island, the crew also hosted Branson, community members and students from the environmental club of Lavity Stoutt Community College on a sail on Hokulea.

Both Branson and Thompson are members of the Ocean Elders, an independent group of global leaders focused on the protection of the ocean.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 261

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 261:

Mosquito Bite

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 1 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

IMPORTANT: Infectious mosquitoes may still be present, even if no cases remain infectious to mosquitoes. “Fight the bite” preventative measures remain crucial throughout the Big Island.

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/4/16
Cases no longer infectious
260 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/13/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 236 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
215 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/4/16.

As of today, a total of 1440 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

USS Oklahoma Sailor to Receive Full Honors at Funeral Service – Identification Delayed 7 Decades

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke, 43, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will be buried March 9 at 11:30 a.m. with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke

Luke was aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during Imperial Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was killed in action, but identification of his remains was delayed for more than seven decades.

Luke’s remains had been previously thought to be “unrecoverable” and “unidentifiable.” But thanks to determined efforts of Pearl Harbor Survivor and former Navy Chief Petty Officer Ray Emory, the remains of Luke and other USS Oklahoma Sailors were disinterred for identification by the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Emory was stationed aboard USS Honolulu (CL 48) on Dec. 7, 1941.

“Chief Ray Emory works tirelessly to get his shipmates identified and properly honored,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “We owe Ray a huge debt of gratitude for his research, compassion and ongoing commitment to our Sailors and their families,” Fuller said.

Both Fuller and Emory will attend Luke’s funeral service and meet with family members. The service will include a flag detail, firing detail, bugler and military chaplain.

Updated Map Shows Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection – No Areas at High Risk

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The response to the ongoing Dengue Fever outbreak continues. Although the number and frequency of new confirmed cases appears to be on the decline, the outbreak is not anticipated to be considered over anytime in the near future. Therefore we need everyone’s help to continue to Fight the Bite.

Of the confirmed cases, 235 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
214 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1391 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Hawaii Department of Health Statement on First Case of Zika This Year

The Hawaii State Department of Health has confirmed the first imported case of Zika in Hawaii this year. The individual had a history of travel in the Pacific and has since recovered and is no longer infectious. The case was confirmed this week by the department’s State Laboratories Division.

Mosquito sucking blood on a human hand

Mosquito sucking blood on a human hand

The department conducted an investigation of the case and has determined there is no health risk to the public.

To protect the privacy of the individual, no other information will be made available about the case.“Because people frequently travel to areas abroad where Zika virus is present, we can expect that we may see more imported cases in the coming months,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “With Zika, and our current dengue outbreak, it’s important for everyone in the state to reduce mosquito breeding areas by getting rid of standing water, and use repellant or protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites.”

The department sent an advisory to healthcare providers statewide on Feb. 17, 2016 updating them on clinical guidance for Zika virus and urging them to be aware of areas abroad where Zika virus is circulating.

In 2015, the Department of Health reported four imported cases of Zika virus in the state.

For travel guidance go to http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information For information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment go to: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/index.html For information on Zika and pregnancy go to: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html