State Temporarily Suspends Tuberculosis (TB) Clearance Requirements Due to Nationwide Shortage of Testing Solution

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is announcing the state’s temporary suspension of tuberculosis (TB) clearance requirements that are mandated in Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 164, for school personnel, students, food handlers, and workers in health care, domiciliary care, daycare, and residential care facilities. Beginning today, the state will not restrict attendance at work or school due to the absence of a TB clearance. The suspension is in response to a nationwide shortage of testing solution required for tuberculin skin testing.

Department of Health“With limited supplies of testing solution available due to nationwide production delays that began late last year, we anticipate people may have some difficulty getting tested for TB at this time,” said Dr. Richard Brostrom, TB Control Branch Chief. “TB clearance requirements will be suspended until further notice, and our state TB clinics will be limiting testing to specific high-risk groups to prioritize and extend current supplies.”

Because of the shortage of Tubersol® and Aplisol® purified protein derivative (PPD) solution, DOH is limiting TB testing available at state clinics to specific high-risk groups until further notice. These groups include:
• Persons with signs and symptoms of active TB disease
• Contacts exposed to an infectious case of TB
• High-risk immigrants referred from the Honolulu Quarantine Station
• Persons with immunodeficiencies
• Persons who require TB screening due to medical treatment

All other individuals seeking a TB clearance are advised to contact their private health care provider or health center.

DOH services related to the evaluation and treatment of persons suspected or confirmed to have active TB disease are not affected by the PPD shortage; these services will continue without change.

Manufacturers of the PPD have been experiencing delays in production since November 2012. It is estimated that adequate supplies of PPD solution will be available several months from now. DOH anticipates the temporary suspension of state TB clearance requirements may be in effect for up to 120 days or until the PPD shortage has ended. Public notice will be issued when the suspension is lifted and a grace period or catch-up date will be announced for individuals whose TB clearance was postponed to meet their requirement.

Hospitals and medical providers in Hawaii have received detailed recommendations from DOH on steps to take during the PPD shortage. For more information on tuberculosis or TB testing, the public may call the Hawaii TB Control Program at (808) 832-5731 or go to www.hawaii.gov/health/tb.

The DOH TB Control Branch provides effective prevention, detection, treatment, and educational services to reduce the incidence of TB in Hawaii. Program activities include diagnosis, treatment, case investigation, preventive therapy for persons at high risk, and direct testing services. Each year, DOH conducts roughly 50,000 tuberculosis skin tests, and provides treatment to approximately 120 individuals identified with TB.

 

 

Facial Recognition System Maintenance to Be Discussed During First Conference Committee Meeting at Hawaii Legislature

The conference meeting to negotiate differences in the state budget between the House and Senate was held a week earlier than normal to allow more discussion time for conference members and avoid the last minute rush to act on other fiscal bills.

capital

In his opening remarks today, Senate Ways and Means Chair, David Ige said, “This is an historic convening of the conference committee.  I cannot ever remember beginning this early in the session on the budget.  I would like to commend the House for its quick action and work in passing the budget over to the Senate early, and the Senate was inspired to do likewise.”

House Finance Chair, Sylvia Luke acknowledged the leadership of Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and House Speaker Joseph M. Souki “in making it possible for us to start the conference meetings early.”  Luke added, “Today we are not only ready to officially open conference meetings, we are ready to make significant decisions.”

Of the thousands of budget items facing the conference committee, two-thirds of them have already been agreed between what was contained in the House and Senate drafts of the budget.

Today, the chairs agreed to appropriate $100 million for fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and $117.4 million for FY2015 to begin payments on the unfunded liabilities.  Currently, the unfunded liabilities for the Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund is $13.6 billion.

“We believe that paying down the State’s unfunded liabilities must be a priority and can no longer be left to discretion,” said Senator Ige. “Additionally, this will put the State at the leading edge of national efforts to address this issue.”

Also today, the committee agreed on appropriating about $1.2 million each year to the Charter School Commission.  This appropriation would add 15 positions.

“We both agreed to fully fund the Charter School Commission to ensure that they do have the resources to conduct the audits, to establish the performance contracts, to really do the public’s business to ensure that the public charter schools are capable of providing quality educational services to our children,” said Representative Luke.

The two sides also resolved differences on four other items today.

  • An allocation of $1 million to sustain the Hawaii Health Information Exchange (HHIE) contract for FY14. The HHIE is a local non-profit organization designated by the State of Hawaii to build the statewide health information exchange, a secure electronic network that allows health care providers to transmit patient medical information more efficiently.
  • Protection against invasive species by providing $750,000 in each of the next two years for the Hawaii Invasive Species Council. These funds will support a wide variety of invasive species prevention, control, and outreach projects across the state.
  • $4.7 million over the next biennium for risk management ensuring the state is adequately protected against catastrophic losses.
  • $700,000 for FY14 for the State Library System to purchase additional books, e-books, and other circulatory materials statewide.

Additionally, Ige and Luke highlighted some of the other notable budget items upon which there was agreement in the House and Senate budget drafts.

  • $1.2 million in special funds over the next biennium to fund seven new positions, including environmental health specialists and engineers. These positions will monitor watershed and surface water quality, the state water reuse and green house gas program, air pollution control programs and the enforcement of clean water regulations.
  • Approval of $126,400 for two juvenile parole officer positions on the neighbor islands which will help keep youth with their families instead of requiring them to relocate to the Oahu Youth Facility.
  • $135,000 to fund three animal disease inspector positions that will assist in controlling livestock diseases.
  • An appropriation of $327,000 over the next two years for the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Facial Recognition System maintenance. This will enable all county law enforcement agencies to keep their systems running 24-hours 7-days a week.
  • $100,000 in general funds and $225,000 in federal funds to upgrade 120 emergency sirens around the state.
  • Support for veteran services by providing $870,000 for the next two years for five new counselor positions, burial service support, special housing for disabled veterans, and program operations.
  • $456,000 each year in federal funds for domestic violence prevention and support services.
  • An increase in the special fund ceiling by over $700,000 for eight new food sanitation inspector positions to address an increasing number of food safety violations on Oahu.
  • Over $2.2 million for both years to restore 32 custodial positions for the maintenance and upkeep of Honolulu International Airport. As the first and last place that visitors will see during their trip, it is important to create a pleasant impression for all visitors to Hawaii.
  • Nearly $81 million in FY14 for the repair and maintenance of our state highways.

The conference committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Friday, April 12 in conference room 309 at 2:30 p.m.

Hawaii House Approves Gender Equity Amendment

Hawaii Island Representative Cindy Evans Successfully Amends Bill Relating to Boards and Commissions

The House of Representatives today approved SB858 which included an amendment to add a gender equity section . It was introduced by Representative Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala) and asks that appointing authorities for boards and commissions strive to achieve the goal of equal gender representation.

capital

The section reads:

“The governor or relevant appointing authority, as far as practicable, shall strive for the goal of equal gender representation when appointing members to boards and commissions and shall give priority to achieving the goal of gender equity when appointing members to vacancies, at-large positions, and as alternates.”

“The amendment is a policy statement requesting the appointing authority to strive to achieve gender equality, it is not a mandate.  While I realize that qualified individuals need to sit on boards and commissions the glaring discrepancies in the makeup of these boards and commissions need to also be recognized and addressed,” said Evans.

“Half of our State’s population is female and working.  Yet there exists great disparities on several boards and commissions responsible for overseeing our industries and institutions that play significant roles in Hawaii.  For example, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents has 12 male members and 3 females; The Hawaii Tourism authority has 10 males and 2 females; and the Land Use Commission has 8 males and 1 female.  We need to be mindful of under representation and strive to correct it where it occurs,” noted Evans.

Police Searching for Woman Wanted for Questioning in Connection with Robbery & Assault

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 25-year-old Kapaʻau woman wanted on a warrant and for questioning in an unrelated case.

Malia Rivera

Malia Rivera

Malia Rivera is wanted on a $10,000 bench warrant for violating probation in an abuse case. She is also wanted for questioning in connection with a robbery and assault investigation. She is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-5, 170 pounds with brown eyes and long brown hair.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Detective Sandor Finkey at 326-4646, extension 281, or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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.

 

Na Wahine o Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe Announce They Will Join Forces for 2013 Race

Registration Open for 35TH Na Wahine O Ke Kai and 61st Moloka‘i Hoe

For the first-time in the history of both races, Na Wahine o Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe race committees are joining forces on all aspects of race planning, including logistics and sponsorships.  It is the hope that this new direction will align resources and bring more support to both races.

Molokai Combo“We are happy to team up with the Moloka‘i Hoe, officially,” said Hannie Anderson, Race Director and co-founder of Na Wahine O Ke Kai.  “While we have always helped each other’s race over the years, we felt it important that we pull all our resources together so that we can leverage our strengths to put on the premier races for the sport of outrigger canoe racing in the world.”

Photos by Brooke Wilson

Photos by Brooke Wilson

For over 35 years, Na Wahine O Ke Kai has been organized by co-founders Anderson, Shelly Gilman, Haunani Campos-Olds, Carleen Ornellas, and Rosie Lum.  The Na Wahine O Ke Kai committee will team up with organizers from the O’ahu Canoe Racing Association (OCRA), who put on the men’s Moloka‘i Hoe.

“This coming together will allow us to streamline a lot of the logistics that go into planning such a large event,” said Stan Kaleiana‘ole Dickson, Moloka‘i Hoe race director.

Organizers anticipate more than 200 crews will compete in this year’s races, including clubs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Guam, Tahiti and the continental United States.  Each year over 2000 paddlers from around the world compete in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe.

The course is a daunting 41-mile, non-stop race from the island of Moloka‘i to the island of O‘ahu, taking a crew of ten about 5-6 hours to complete.  Crew changes occur every 20-30 minutes in the open ocean, with paddlers in the canoe rolling over one side while the rested paddlers are climbing in the canoe from the other side.  Crews contending for the title must endure major training and preparation for months in order to complete the race.

Molokai 3
Of Polynesian origin, the canoes are about 45 feet long and weigh about 400 lbs.  Six paddlers sit evenly spaced the length of the canoe.  The canoe is very narrow, about 2 feet wide, and stabilized by an ama, a 10-foot long float which is connected to the canoe by two wooden struts called ‘iako.  It is this catamaran design that allows the canoes to venture into large open ocean swells.  While the sport of outrigger canoe racing originated in Hawai‘i, today it can be found all over world, with healthy participation from girls and boys and men and women of all ages.

Na Wahine O Ke Kai
Race Date:  September 22, 2013
Race Start:  8:00 a.m., Hale O Lono Harbor, Moloka‘i
Race End:  Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki (Fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa)

For additional info, registration, and pre-race activities, please visit www.nawahineokekai.com.

Moloka‘i Hoe
Race Date:  October 13, 2013
Race Start: 8:00 a.m., Hale O Lono Harbor, Moloka’i
Race End:  Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki (Fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa)

For additional info, registration, and pre-race activities, please visit the website, www.molokaihoe.com

ABOUT THE NA WAHINE O KE KAI
Hannie Anderson, Na Wahine O Ke Kai co-race founder and race director, dreamed of the day women would conquer the rough waters of the Kaiwi channel.  In 1954, then 17 years old, Anderson and two of her teammates from the Waikiki Surf Club hitched a ride on a boat from O‘ahu to Moloka‘i to watch their men’s team paddle in the Moloka‘i Hoe, a race across the Kaiwi channel open only to men.  Anderson’s coach was furious that the girls had found their way to Moloka‘i, but reluctantly allowed them to observe the race from the safety of the escort boat.  After six hours of observing their male counterparts, the girls were convinced that women were capable of making the crossing.  It wasn’t until 25 years later that Anderson and friends saw that dream come true with the creation of the first official women’s race on October 15, 1979.

Now in its 35th year, the Na Wahine O Ke Kai continues to be the premier competition for female outrigger canoe racing in the world.

ABOUT THE MOLOKA’I HOE
On October 12, 1952, three koa outrigger canoes launched through the surf at Kawakiu Bay on Moloka’i’s west side. Powered by six paddlers, each of the canoes was bound for Oʻahu across 38+ miles of open ocean in the Kaiwi Channel. Eight hours and 55 minutes later, the Molokaʻi canoe, Kukui O Lanikaula, landed on the beach at Waikiki in front of the Moana Hotel.  Thus began the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe race, the Molokaʻi Hoe.

Registration is now being accepted online for the 2013 Na Wahine O Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe open ocean outrigger canoe races.  Teams can access the race registration system at www.molokaihoe.com and www.nawahineokekai.com.

15-Year-Old California Boy Lucky to Be Alive After Falling Into Steaming Earth Crack at Volcanoes National Park

A 15-year-old San Rafael, CA boy who fell 25 feet into a steaming earth crack at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Wednesday night was pulled to safety by Park Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel.

Steam vent near Volcano House where the California boy fell. A nearby sign reads: Rain water encounters hot rock as it seeps into the ground, and rises as vapor through a system of cracks to condense in the chilled air. Vapor temperature four feet down is 160 degrees F, cooling to 120 degree F at the surface. NPS Photo.

Steam vent near Volcano House where the California boy fell. A nearby sign reads: Rain water encounters hot rock as it seeps into the ground, and rises as vapor through a system of cracks to condense in the chilled air. Vapor temperature four feet down is 160 degrees F, cooling to 120 degree F at the surface. NPS Photo.

The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park SAR team, and County of Hawai‘i Fire crews based in the park, responded to a 911 call from the victim’s mother at approximately 6:43 p.m. It was reported that the youth had attempted to leap over the protective railing surrounding a steam vent between Kīlauea Visitor Center and Volcano House.

Park SAR Coordinator John Broward, assisted by County Fire, rappelled into the deep, narrow, chimney-like crack and rescued the boy, who suffered a bump on his head and minor abrasions. His family declined further medical treatment, and he was released at the scene following assessment by County of Hawai‘i responders.

“This young visitor and his family are extraordinarily lucky that he survived this mishap,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. “This incident serves as a reminder that park visitors are urged to stay on trails and not engage in reckless behavior while visiting their national parks.”

Rescues like this also put park staff and other first responders at risk, Orlando noted.

This is the seventh SAR mission conducted by park staff so far this year. Last year, park SAR crews responded to a total of 26 incidents.

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Fern Forest Area of Big Island This Morning

earthquake

Magnitude 3.2  Upgraded to 3.3
Date-Time
Location 19.325°N, 155.122°W
Depth 8.7 km (5.4 miles)
Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
Distances
  • 16 km (10 miles) S (177°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 18 km (11 miles) SE (139°) from Volcano, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) S (185°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 34 km (21 miles) SW (222°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI
  • 42 km (26 miles) S (185°) from Hilo, HI
  • 358 km (222 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.7 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 55, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp=137°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event ID hv60488291

Senator Russell Ruderman: Reversal of Fate – “… I Support Safe Geothermal Development”

Aloha Constituents and Concerned Citizens,

I want to thank everyone who supported my position in objecting to the process used to create and pass House Bill 252. Please know that all the emails and calls that each senator received were crucial to the approval of the important amendment I proposed this morning.  Without your public comments, this may not have happened. I remain concerned that due process, including public comment, was by-passed, yet as the process was going forward regardless, including a major improvement was the best course of action to take.

Rudderman and Geothermal

I object strongly to the process that introduced geothermal permitting procedures into an unrelated bill, HB252, without public notice of the changes or opportunity to testify. While the bill has some desirable provisions, the lack of transparency is difficult to support. The procedures used to by-pass public input are potentially unconstitutional, as is the fact that HB252 now contains two unrelated subjects. It is unfortunate this kind of politics persists in our State legislature.

Earlier in the session we had two bills on this issue, HB106 and HB932.  HB106, which restored County oversight and contested case hearings, was supported by Hawaii County Council, OHA, Puna community groups, and 90% of testifiers.  HB106, which had the support of the majority of the subject matter committees, was deferred, probably in hopes of passing HB932 instead, yet HB932 did not have support in committee. HB932does restore county oversight, but replaced contested case hearings with forced mediation and made changes to the definition of geothermal.  It was opposed by all community groups and individuals, yet supported by Hawaii County Mayor and DLNR.

The last minute language inserted in HB252 is similar to HB932. Inserting this language, from the bill with the least support, thwarts the desires of the impacted community, the Hawaii County Council, and OHA. The voice of the community was ignored by this objectionable procedure. This continues a long-standing trend that has resulted in the problems and controversy we now have over poorly planned geothermal development.

Instead of voting “no,” in what appeared to be a losing battle to kill the bill, I submitted an amendment to improve HB252. My amendment removes the requirement for mediation from this bill. As senator of the only district with geothermal development, I am aware of some of the problems that result from poorly regulated planning. Required mediation processes proved profoundly unsuccessful in 1990. The agreements reached in mediation were violated, and the enforced mediation process is widely reviled by the community. The affected communities deserve the right to contested case hearings, as is the common remedial action in most planning disputes. By removing references to mediation, citizens’ rights are protected, and one of the most objectionable portions of HB252 is corrected.

My community and I support safe geothermal development. We simply desire fair treatment and due process to ensure a safe community. Given that the amendment was approved; I can now support this bill instead of opposing it, since it does provide for the reinstatement of county oversight that was taken away in Act 97.

Again, I want to thank everyone who submitted comments and will continue to remain vigilant when similar tactics are applied to legislation that could negatively affect my district and the State. You provided a voice that was heard loud & clear! No new testimony is needed at this time.

Thank you for your support and involvement!

Mahalo,

Senator Russell E Ruderman

Hawaii State Senate

Development of University of Hawaii Palamanui Campus Moves Forward

The University of Hawaii Palamanui Campus has cleared a major hurdle, and work on the long awaited project will finally move forward, according to officials from the University of Hawaii Community Colleges. After facing issues with cost overruns and procurement, the bidding process was concluded this past Friday–without any challenges—and the University will proceed with finalizing the contract for construction of the community college campus for West Hawaii.

The new Hawai‘i Community College Pālamanui campus will provide an accessible and affordable gateway to higher learning for residents who have been underserved in the region. The campus will aim for LEED Platinum certification and boast a net zero environmental impact, while academic programs will offer top quality higher education coursework and curricula.

The new Hawai‘i Community College Pālamanui campus will provide an accessible and affordable gateway to higher learning for residents who have been underserved in the region. The campus will aim for LEED Platinum certification and boast a net zero environmental impact, while academic programs will offer top quality higher education coursework and curricula.

The Palamanui Campus will be the 11th permanent campus of the University of Hawaii system. The first phase of the project will include a culinary arts building and a health science and student services building.

Big Island legislators are working together to ensure that the needed additional funding for Phase 1 of the Palamanui Campus will be in this year’s State budget. Representative Nicole Lowen, who represents State House District 6 where the new campus will be located, sits on the House Finance Committee and will participate in upcoming conference committee budget negotiations with the Senate.

“The Palamanui Campus, which has been one of my top priorities this legislative session, is an essential addition to the West Hawaii Community,” said Rep. Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau). “As a former teacher, I am personally aware of our district’s need to provide an opportunity for quality education close to home. Children who were my students when they were in preschool are now graduating high school, and many of them have had to leave West Hawaii to pursue their education, or have had to forgo post-secondary education altogether due to the lack of affordable option close to home.  With the development of the Palamanui Campus, we will finally have opportunities in our own community, and these young adults will have a greater chance of succeeding in a setting where they can remain close to home and have the support of family and friends.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Deadly Game in Hawaii

This video titled “Deadly Game in Hawaii” was uploaded to YouTube today:

Deadly Game
With all of the drownings that we have been having recently… some folks still won’t get the message that the ocean is NOT THEIR PLAYGROUND!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/CBB-sYjrnEI]

 

10 Hawaiʻi Island Students Awarded Prestigious Dorrance Scholarships

The second cohort of prestigious Dorrance Scholarships has been awarded to 10 Hawaiʻi Island high school students who will begin their studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in fall 2013.

The Dorrance Scholarship is an innovative, four-year award designed to benefit local students who are the first in their family to attend college. Each year, up to 10 eligible students are awarded need-based scholarships of $8,000 per year to attend UH Hilo. Awards are renewable for a total of eight semesters of funding, and additional cohorts of scholars will be added in subsequent years.

The 2013 recipients include:

• John Alokoa, Kealakehe High School, Waikoloa
• Rachel Gristock, Kea`au High School, Kurtistown
• Tawanaka (Puki) Kaupu, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi, Ocean View
• Richard Kerr, Hilo High School, Hilo
• Cheyenne Losalio, Konawaena High School, Captain Cook
• Gabriel Lubbess, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi, Kea`au
• Stareynelle (Kaua) Mitchell, Ke Kula`o `Ehunuikaimalino, Holualoa
• Justin Shiigi, Hilo High School, Hilo
• Benjamin Wada, Christian Liberty Academy, Pahoa
• Luana Zablan, Kanu o ka `Aina, Kamuela

Prior to their freshman year, Dorrance Scholars will participate in a custom-designed summer bridge program to help them transition from high school to college. In future summers, scholars will take part in international travel and employment preparation, bringing the estimated total value of each award to over $60,000 for the entire four-year period.

“Higher education is the key to a brighter future,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “The Dorrance Scholarship goes to the heart of our mission at UH Hilo, where some 70 percent of our students are the first in their family to attend college and an equal number rely on some form of financial aid.
Dorrance Scholars
“The support from the Dorrance family is a very important gift to UH Hilo and we are extremely grateful for their commitment to our Hawaiʻi Island students,” he added.

UH Hilo’s program is an extension of the highly successful Dorrance Scholarship Programs that have operated in Arizona for the past 13 years. The program is credited with opening the doors of higher education while boosting graduation rates for more than 400 first-generation college students.

Hawaii Department of Health Sending Avian Influenza Medical Advisory to Local Healthcare Providers

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has sent a medical advisory to local healthcare providers advising that Chinese public health officials have reported cases of a novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus detected in humans. As of today, 16 cases have been confirmed in people from four different provinces in China. No cases have been reported in Hawaii or the mainland United States at this time.

Bird Flu

The DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD), State Laboratories Division, and CDC Honolulu Quarantine Station are working together to follow the situation closely. “While it is not yet known how people have become infected with influenza A (H7N9), the public is always advised to follow proper hygiene including washing hands, covering coughs, and staying home when ill,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist.“ Additionally, persons who become ill after travel to China are asked to notify their physician or healthcare provider.”

Influenza A H7 viruses are normally found among birds. Occasionally, H7 viruses have been found to infect humans, but no human infections with H7N9 have been reported until these recent reports from China.  At this time, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.

For more information, go to the DOH DOCD web page: http://hawaii.gov/health/DOCD/index.html

DLNR Participating in Statewide Earth Month Events

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is celebrating Earth Month in collaborations with several Earth Day events to share stewardship tips with the public. Together we can all protect our natural and cultural resources for a healthy environment and a clean world.

Earth Month

“DLNR is attending these events, along with several other organizations, to draw attention to the care of our resources during Earth Month. We encourage anyone to bring the family out to celebrate Earth Day and learn more about what the Department is doing, and what individuals can do, to be good stewards of Hawaii’s resources,” said Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr., “We’re thankful for the hard work and commitment of the organization hosting community events focusing on our environment.”

Scheduled Events

Oahu

April 13, 2013
Saturday 9 am – 2 pm
Mauka to Makai Oceans Day at Waikiki Aquarium

This family-friendly event will have hands on educational displays and showcase more than 20 city, state, and federal agencies that are aimed to preserve and protect Hawaii’s environment. The City & County of Honolulu and State of Hawaii Department of Health host this Earth Day celebration at Waikiki Aquarium with an emphasis on the Island’s unique water resources from mauka to makai.

The event is free; trolley service from Waikiki Elementary school will start at 8:45AM.

DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources Sea Urchin Hatchery, Commission on Water Resources Management, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the co-managed Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary are participating and will have informational booths and activities for kids. DAR Sea Urchin Hatchery is donating 200 native collector sea urchins to the Waikiki Aquarium as part of the Mauka to Makai Expo.

For more information visit
www.waquarium.org/news-events.html or www.cleanwaterhonolulu.com/storm/

April 13-14, 2013
Saturday 9 am – 7 pm and Sunday 9 am – 5 pm
Ocean Expo at Neil Blaisdell Convention Center – Exhibition Hall

DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the Aquatic Invasive Species; DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will team with the USCG Auxiliary, Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron, Hawaii Ocean Safety Team (HOST); and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are participating to meet and greet the public and provide information and family activities. Special guest appearance of Coastie the Safety Boat.

For more information visit
www.hawaiioceanexpo.com/

April 20, 2013
Saturday, 9:30 am – 3 pm
Honolulu Zoo Earth Day

DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary are participating in a family friendly Earth Day event coordinated by The Honolulu Zoo. DLNR DOFAW staff are participating to share information on Project Learning Tree and forestry information on landowner assistance programs along with samples of educational posters, coloring books, and activities for kids. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary booth will share information about the sanctuary program, the humpback whales and the disentanglement program and children’s marine science activities.

Note: Event requires zoo admission.

For more information visit
www.honoluluzoo.org

April 20, 2013
Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm
Earth Day at Windward Mall Center Court

DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is participating in a family friendly Earth Day event coordinated by The Nature Conservancy. Along with informational booths the Aquatic Invasive Species booth will have invasive algae samples, juvenile urchins, a Super Sucker video and the Marine Wildlife Program will have a hands on activity to teach kids how to make barbless circle hooks and to share information about the population, diet, and responsible viewing of monk seals and sea turtles.

For more information visit
www.windwardmall.com/event/earth-day-at-windward-mall/

April 20, 2013
Saturday, Noon – 4 pm
Earth Day at Sea Life Park

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Sea Life Park are hosting the annual Earth Day Cleanup and continuing the fun with an Arts & Music Festival. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary booth will share information about the sanctuary program, the humpback whales and the disentanglement program and children’s marine science activities.

For more information visit
www.facebook.com/SeaLifeHawaii

April 20, 2013
Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm
Earth Day at Pearl Harbor

Hosted by Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will team with the USCG Auxiliary to provide boating safety outreach materials for ocean users and make custom ColorOn t-shirts for children. Special guest appearance of Coastie the Safety Boat. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will share information about the sanctuary program, the humpback whales and the disentanglement program and children’s marine science activities.

Note: The event is open to NEX patrons and those that can obtain access to the base.

For more information visit
www.hookelenews.com

April 22, 2013
Monday, 10 am – 1 pm
Navy Earth Day 2013 at NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, Kilo-8 Pier

DLNR Division of State Parks, Division of Aquatic Resources – Aquatic Invasive Species Program, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and the Waianae Mountains Watershed Partnership are participating with informational booths and family activities at this event hosted by Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor.

Note: The event is open to anyone can obtain access to the base.

April 24, 2013
Wednesday, 1 – 4 p.m.
Earth Day Festival at Schofield Barracks at the Kalakaua Community Center

DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary are participating with informational booths and family activities at this event Sponsored by Island Palm Communities and the U.S. Army Garrison Directorate of Public Works.

For more information visit
www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/sustainability/EarthMonth/IPC_EarthDay_24thPoster.pdf

April 27 2013
Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm
Earth Day at Fort Shafter

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary booth will share information about the sanctuary program, the humpback whales and the disentanglement program and children’s marine science activities at this event Sponsored by Island Palm Communities and the U.S. Army Garrison Directorate of Public Works.

For more information visit
www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/sustainability/EarthMonth/IPC_EarthDay_27thPoster.pdf

Molokai

April 19, 2013
Friday, 5 pm – 9 pm
Molokai Earth Day at Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai

DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) are participating in a family friendly Earth Day event coordinated by The Nature Conservancy. DAR staff will share information on the Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Survey, measurement guides, fishing regulations, etc. DOFAW staff will share information on Project Learning Tree and landowner assistance programs along with samples of educational posters, coloring books, and activities for kids.

For more information visit
www.molokaievents.com/

For more information on the Department programs visit
dlnr.hawaii.gov or find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/HawaiiDLNR to keep up with the latest events, activities, and news. Or feel free to call or stop by a DLNR office, contact information is available under the “contact us” tab.

 

 

House and Senate Ready to Begin Conference Meetings

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige have announced that the first conference committee meeting on the state budget will be held on Thursday, April 11, 9:30 a.m. in room 309 at the State Capitol.

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The conference committee meetings for the state budget are being held a week earlier than normal to avoid last minute rushes to get conference bills out for final vote.

“Both the Senate and the House moved quickly to get the budget moved out of their respective legislative bodies to get us into a position to negotiate differences a week earlier and allow for more discussion time. This also allows the public the opportunity to better follow the work of the conference committee,” said Representative Luke.

“We look forward to working with the House to make strategic investments in our community and provide a solid financial foundation for the State,” said Senator Ige.

The House Conferees are: Representatives Sylvia Luke, Chair; Scott Nishimoto, Aaron Ling Johanson, Ty Cullen, Mark Hashem, Kaniela Ing, Jo Jordan, Bert Kobayashi, Nicole Lowen, Dee Morikawa, Richard Onishi, Gregg Takayama, James Tokioka, Justin Woodson, Kyle Yamashita, Beth Fukumoto, Gene Ward.

The Senate Conferees are: Senators David Ige, Chair; Michelle Kidani, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Donovan Dela Cruz, J. Kalani English, Will Espero, Gilbert Kahele, Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Ronald Kouchi, Russell Ruderman, Laura Thielen, Jill Tokuda, Sam Slom.

The meeting’s hearing notice can be found on the Capitol website.

 

The “Swamp Ghost/B-17E” Arrives at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

You may have seen it on the freeway this morning, April 10, in seven Matson containers, with a Honolulu Police escort. One of the most talked about artifacts of American aviation history–the Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress bomber #41-2446 “Swamp Ghost”–makes its home at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, today, Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

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The remarkable story of this WWII aircraft has been featured in numerous media, including National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Daily News, and Smithsonian magazine.

B-17E 41-2446 was one of the bombers in the Kangaroo Squadron stationed in Townsville, Australia. It was to have been one of the B-17s in the flight that made it to Hickam Army Air Field during the December 7, 1941 attack. It was delayed due to engine problems but flew to Hickam on December 17 and then leapfrogged its way to Townsville, Australia. On the night of February 22, 1942, five B-17s took off from Townsville with the mission of attacking ships at Rabaul, a harbor of Japanese-held New Britain. The mission was the first American heavy bomber offensive raid of World War II.

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Unfortunately, this B-17 never made it back. Having sustained damage from enemy fire causing the aircraft to run out of fuel, it crash-landed in the remote primitive Agaiambo swamp on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. Over the next several days, the nine-member crew battled malaria, fatigue, and heat exhaustion, while they hacked their way through razor-sharp swamp grass to safety. Amazingly, all nine men made it back to the base alive.

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Having crash-landed in one of the most remote locations on Earth, the aircraft virtually “disappeared” and slipped into an oblivion that lasted almost three decades, until Australian soldiers on routine maneuvers spotted the aircraft in 1972, still partially submerged in the swamp and nicknamed it Swamp Ghost.

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To the soldiers’ amazement, it was found to be in remarkable condition and fully intact; the machine guns were in place, fully loaded and, in the cabin, there was a thermos with what used to be coffee. It soon became obvious that this plane would become the best-preserved example of a combat B-17 in existence.

The amazing story of this aircraft doesn’t end there. Over the next 30 years, David C. Tallichet and the Swamp Ghost Salvage Team attempted to recover the bomber. The government of Papua New Guinea became involved, which further stopped the process. Finally, after years of negotiations, it was cleared to return to the United States in 2010. In 2011, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor began negotiations to receive the aircraft.

“We are absolutely thrilled that this national treasure will call Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor home,” said Kenneth DeHoff, Museum Executive Director. “The B-17E ‘Swamp Ghost’ will be one of the crown jewels in our aircraft collection. While we restore these aircraft to static display standards of aviation museums globally, this one will take us several years to raise the funds to do so. We expect it to cost $5 million dollars,” said Mr. DeHoff.

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When funds are received and restoration is complete, the B-17E Flying Fortress will be on display in a specially constructed outdoor exhibit, resembling the Papua New Guinea swamp in which it was found, the perfect backdrop for this historic artifact. Donors are invited to purchase a brick for a loved one or WWII pilot, in the garden setting of the exhibit, and help restore the aircraft. The Museum invites donations of historic aircraft and aviation memorabilia. Donated artifacts are professionally cared for and enjoyed by millions of visitors from all over the world. The Museum also invites monetary donations for its restoration and education programs, as it is a nonprofit, private Museum, which depends on members and donors. To support the Museum, call 808-441-1006 or donate online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in the Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.

 

Hawaii House Votes to Move Bills to Conference Committees for Further Debate

The State House of Representatives voted on over a hundred-fifty bills today dealing with education, sustainability, the environment, revitalizing our economy, and improving the quality of life for Hawaii residents.  The majority of bills will go into conference committees where House and Senate conferees will negotiate differences in the measures and determine which will go through for final consideration.

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“We look forward to meaningful discussions with our Senate counterparts that will lead to agreements on legislation important to our State and citizens. With just about a month left in this legislative session, I believe that the state budget that we developed and the bills that we crafted have met the objectives that the House set for itself when the session began.  We have engaged the community, developed sound public policies, and approached the state budget in a fiscally conservative manner,” said House Speaker Joseph M. Souki.

SB1082 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN Repeals various provisions relating to student transportation policy requirements allowing the State to have reasonable flexibility with school bus contracts.

SB1083 HD2 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN Exempts contracts from statutory requirements for wage certification, primarily base salaries for bus drivers.

SB105 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO HEALTH Requires the Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch to establish and maintain a statewide Fall Prevention and Early Detection Program to support the health and well-being of the elderly population.

SB102 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO THE ELDERLY Requires financial institutions to report instances of suspected financial abuse directly to the appropriate county police department as well as the Department of Human Services.

SB106 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO AGING Appropriates funds for programs and services that support the State’s elderly population and establishes a Task Force on Mobility Management.

SB1093 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO SCHOOL READINESS Establishes a School Readiness Program as part of the State’s Early Learning System.

SB1084 SD1 HD1 PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE X, SECTION 1, OF THE HAWAII STATE CONSTITUTION TO PERMIT THE APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PRIVATE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS Proposes a constitutional amendment to authorize the appropriation of public funds for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs.

SB1095 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Establishes the Early Childhood Education Program. This bill is contingent upon the ratification of the constitutional amendment proposed in SB1084 above.

SB237 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL LANDS Authorizes the Board and the Department of Education to facilitate the redevelopment of public school lands, by cooperating with private enterprises; the various components of federal, state, and county governments; and the public in order to generate income to improve public school facilities and infrastructure to meet the challenges of the twenty first century.

SB563 SD3 HD2 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Reconstitutes the form and processes of the Candidate Advisory Council to ensure the appointment of qualified individuals to serve as members of the Board of Regents and effectively lead the University of Hawaii. Several concerns have been raised as to the selection process, which has hampered the work of the Board of Regents Candidate Advisory Council, and this bill seeks to address those concerns.

SB9 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO ANIMALS Provides greater protections for animals by requiring that a person convicted of cruelty to animals in the first or second degree shall, in addition to any fine or imprisonment, be prohibited from possessing or owning any animal involved in the offense for a period of time.

SB978 HD1 RELATING TO THE PENAL CODE Increases protections for pet animals by making the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree involving twenty-five or more pet animals in any one instance a class C felony.

SB635 SD1 HD3 RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY Establishes felony and misdemeanor offenses for injuring or killing an animal engaged in law enforcement or corrections activities.

SB642 HD2 RELATING TO HEALTH The intent of the bill is to reduce the number of under aged individuals using tobacco products by requiring that tobacco products, including cigarettes, be stored for sale behind a counter in certain retail establishments. The bill also amends the Medical Marijuana Law to, among other provisions, increase the number of plants that can be grown, limits the “adequate supply amount” to 21 or less marijuana plants among registered patients and caregivers, and transfers the Medical Use Marijuana Program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.

SB655 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO HEALTH Protects public health by allowing health care professionals to provide Expedited Partner Therapy by dispensing or prescribing antibiotic medication.  Allows health care professionals to prescribe medication for partners of a patient diagnosed with sexually transmitted disease without first examining them.

SB548 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO TELEMEDICINE Exempts from the licensing requirement to practice medicine in the State any commissioned medical officer employed by the U.S. Department of Defense, who is credentialed by Tripler Army Medical Center to provide telemedicine support. This measure is necessary to ensure that service members who seek medical services at Hawaii National Guard armories on the neighbor islands will be able to receive telemedicine support by qualified medical personnel.

SB668 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO HEALTH Requires health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder treatments.

SB1171 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE REVIEW OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS The purpose of this bill is to protect Hawaii’s historical and cultural heritage while providing flexibility in the review of construction projects. It authorizes the phased review of projects by the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Division. The inability to phase review could affect complex multi-year and multi-phase projects.

SB535 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO LABOR Extends certain basic labor rights and protections to domestic workers by prohibiting an employer from discharging or discriminating against a domestic worker in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

SB930 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTER FOR EXPLORATION SYSTEMS SUSTAINABLE CONCRETE INITIATIVE Appropriates funds to support the investigative stage of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) sustainable concrete initiative.  Requires PISCES to provide reports to the Legislature regarding the Sustainable Concrete Initiative and other issues that would support economic development in Hawaii.

SB1256 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTER FOR EXPLORATION SYSTEMS Appropriates an unspecified amount for operations, personnel costs, and the purchase of equipment required to support the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) activities. Requires PISCES to submit an annual report to the Legislature.

SB1221 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION Appropriates an unspecified amount for each year of fiscal biennium 2013-2015 for a Program Coordinator and technical support staff member for the proposed international flight training center and associated proposed aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.

SB23 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE REVENUE BONDS TO ASSIST A SEAWATER AIR CONDITIONING PROJECT Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds in an unspecified amount to assist Kaiuli Energy, LLC, with financing the planning, design, construction and other cost items of a seawater air conditioning district cooling facility and chilled water distribution system in and around Waikiki, on the island of Oahu.

SB1092 SD1 HD1 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION TO RECAPITALIZE THE HURRICANE RESERVE TRUST FUND Makes a general fund appropriation of an unspecified amount for fiscal year 2014-2015 to recapitalize the hurricane reserve trust fund.

SB1094 SD1 HD1 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION TO THE EMERGENCY AND BUDGET RESERVE FUND Makes a general fund appropriation of an unspecified amount for fiscal year 2014-2015 to recapitalize the emergency and budget reserve fund.

SB1194 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX Repeals the additional Transient Accommodations Tax imposed by Act 61, SLH 2009 and reestablishes the tax rate at 7.25%. Repeals the daily tax on transient accommodations furnished on a complimentary or gratuitous basis imposed by Act 103, SLH 2011. Makes permanent the caps on Transient Accommodations Tax revenue distributions to the Tourism Special Fund and the counties beginning July 1, 2013.

SB98 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO TAXATION Reduces the tax liability for low-income taxpayers by creating a tax credit that will reduce a taxpayer’s income tax to a minimum amount if the taxpayer’s federal and Hawaii adjusted gross income falls below certain thresholds.

SB498 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES Appropriates funds out of the Emergency Medical Services Special Fund to establish and fund a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week, special emergency medical response vehicle unit based in Maalaea, Maui.

SB524 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE Appropriates funds to support the objective of food security and self-sufficiency by establishing an agricultural development and food security program. Establishes state economic planning and policy objectives regarding increased demand for, to, and production of locally grown foods and appropriates funds to begin meeting these objectives.

SB606 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Appropriates an unspecified amount to the University of Hawaii to pay student employees at new or expanded worksites on each campus and for the University of Hawaii at Manoa student employment functions.

SB614 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO PUBLIC WORKS OF ART Requires the Comptroller and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to commission permanent works of art to honor the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink.

SB66 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE CODE OF ETHICS Makes the financial disclosure statements of members of certain state boards and commissions available for public inspection and duplication. Clarifies the fair treatment law by separating out certain limitations placed on task force members from those placed on legislators and makes clear that legislators are not prohibited from taking action in the exercise of the legislator’s legislative functions.

SB1357 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION Specifies that a government agency does not assume ownership or jurisdiction over a disputed road solely through maintenance activities. This bill would allow for government entities to repair disputed roads that would otherwise not be maintained.

SB19 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY Exempts landlords and lessors who install renewable energy systems on their property and provide, sell, or transmit electricity generated from those renewable energy systems to tenants or lessees on the premises from the definition of public utility.

SB623 SD2 HD3 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY Replaces the current renewable energy technology systems tax credit with tax credits for solar energy property and wind energy property. Requires the Department of Taxation and Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to report tax credits claimed under the renewable energy technology property tax credit and make recommendations to the Legislature.

SB1087 SD2 HD3 RELATING TO GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE Establishes a regulatory financing structure that authorizes the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) low-cost loans for green infrastructure equipment to achieve measurable cost savings and to meet Hawaii’s clean energy goals.

The House also passed two bills that will go to the Governor for his consideration and approval.  They are:

SB120 SD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES Authorizes the public utilities commission to establish a policy to implement economic incentives and cost recovery regulatory mechanisms to induce and accelerate electric utilities’ cost reduction efforts, encourage greater utilization of renewable energy, accelerate the retirement of utility fossil generation, and increase investments to modernize the State’s electrical grids.

SB1040 RELATING TO ELECTRIC SYSTEMS Directs the Public Utilities Commission to consider the value of implementing advanced grid modernization technology in the State.

Biennial Condominium Association Registration Starts with New Look

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) is kicking off the 2013-2015 Condominium Association registration period with the introduction of a redesigned website and enhanced access.

Registration is available through May 31, 2013 via the upgraded website at https://aouo.ehawaii.gov.

More than 1,650 condominium associations are registered with the DCCA’s Real Estate Branch. Those associations cover more than 157,000 condominium units and their owners in Hawaii.  “We’re pleased to provide upgraded services for Hawaii’s condominium associations and managing companies,” DCCA Director Kealii S. Lopez said. “The new design is clean and user friendly, making the registration process quick and easy, even from a mobile device.”

The website upgrade is part of the Abercrombie administration’s Information Technology (IT) Transformation Initiative, as set forth by the state Office of Information Management Technology (OIMT).

Click for more information

Click for more information

The design elements of this online service follows the new State of Hawaii website template, optimized for touch screen technology and smart phone interfaces by providing larger text, buttons designed for touch response and custom layouts for smaller screens.  They were developed through the eHawaii.gov program, a largely self-funded public-private partnership between the State of Hawaii and Hawaii Information Consortium LLC (HIC), a Hawaii corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV).

Big Island Water Resources Meeting Addresses Freshwater, Coastal Water Resources

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo recently hosted over 40 researchers from universities, local and federal agencies, as well as natural resource managers and community planners to share information about their past, current, or future projects regarding freshwater and coastal water resources on the Big Island at the 2nd Big Island Water Resource Meeting held March 25th on the UH Hilo campus.

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Effects of climate change, invasive species, development, and pollution on Big Island water resources, as well as cultural and traditional Hawaiian management use and practices were discussed by presenters, specifically ecohydrology, hydrology, ecology, and biogeochemistry of freshwater and coastal resources.

“This meeting was a great opportunity for the water resource community to share information about their ongoing projects and brainstorm on collaborations that will allow us to more effectively manage and protect our island’s water resources,” said Dr. Tracy Wiegner, associate professor of marine science and event chair. “We hope to make this meeting an annual event.”

UH Hilo, Hawaiʻi EPSCoR, and Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) funded and provided logistical support for the meeting.

Highlights of the presentations can be found at: http://www.epscor.hawaii.edu/content/big-island-water-resources-conference-ii.

Lahaina Receives Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant

he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $11.2 million in competitive grants to 15 states for projects to support recreational boating through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.  The Fish and Wildlife Service will also release approximately $2.4 million to 25 states, commonwealths, and territories willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as “BIG Tier 1” funding.

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Grantees use Boating Infrastructure Grant funds to construct, renovate, and maintain facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

“These grants, funded by fishing and boating enthusiasts, have helped communities across the nation build and enhance recreational boating facilities that provide recreational opportunities while supporting jobs and economic growth,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.  “This program is a win-win situation for recreational boaters, conservation initiatives and job creation.”

“The BIG Grants have major impacts – not only do cruising boaters get the benefit of facilities that they help to pay for, waterfront communities and their small businesses also get an economic boost from visitors who enjoy boating,” said Thom Dammrich, chairman of the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council and president of the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association.

For example, a BIG grant of nearly $1.5 million, matched with nearly $1 million in non-federal funding, will enable the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to partner with the Bucks County Riverfront Program to install 25 new day slips on the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey. The ADA-compliant project, part of a larger effort to improve the waterfront in Bristol Borough, will also include new educational signage, lighting, and breakwater structures to protect the facility.

And in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a grant of nearly $1.3 million, matched by nearly $3.9 million in non-federal funding from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the City of Chattanooga, will go toward the construction or extension of guest dockage at four prominent locations along the south shore of the Tennessee River. Each location will include up to 10 slips, for a total of 40 new slips for eligible vessels.

Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.

Projects receiving competitive grants are:

  • Shoal Bay Marina Redevelopment, Logan County, Ark. – BIG grant: $1,215,841; non-Federal match: $721,175; total project cost: $1,937,016
  • City of Rio Vista Guest Dock, Rio Vista, Calif. – BIG grant: $225,000; non-Federal match: $75,000; total project cost: $300,000
  • Thamesport Marina Transient Docks, New London, Conn. – BIG grant: $1,430,975; non-Federal match: $502,775; total project cost: $1,933,750
  • Gulfport Casino Dock Redevelopment, Gulfport, Fla. – BIG grant: $112,613; non-Federal match: $268,137; total project cost: $380,750
  • Madeira Beach Municipal Marina Redevelopment, Madeira Beach, Fla. – BIG grant: $322,516; non-Federal match: $499,550; total project cost: $822,066
  • Lahaina Roadstead Offshore Mooring Installation, Lahaina, Hawaii – BIG grant: $248,500; non-Federal match: $248,500; total project cost: $497,000
  • Belfast Harbor Waterfront Rehabilitation, Belfast, Maine – BIG grant: $120,897; non-Federal match: $120,897; total project cost: $241,795
  • Annapolis City Dock Improvement, Annapolis, Md. – BIG grant: $1,500,000; non-Federal match: $2,703,478; total project cost: $4,203,478
  • Seaport Landing Marina Transient Boat Access, Lynn, Mass. – BIG grant: $267,700; non-Federal match: $100,000; total project cost: $367,700
  • Port Austin State Harbor Dock Renovation, Port Austin, Mich. – BIG grant: $747,250; non-Federal match: $747,250; total project cost: $1,494,500
  • Ironton Riverfront Boat Ramp and Docks, Ironton, Ohio – BIG grant: $636,000; non-Federal match: $212,634; total project cost: $848,634
  • Port of Arlington Marine Fuel Station and Utility Upgrade, Arlington, Ore. – BIG grant: $190,191; non-Federal match: $129,809; total project cost: $320,000
  • Bristol Borough Waterfront Improvement, Bristol, Pa. – BIG grant: $1,492,195; non-Federal match: $999,355; total project cost: $2,491,550
  • Ann Street Public Pier Project, Newport, R.I. – BIG grant: $740,000; non-Federal match: $260,000; total project cost: $1,000,000
  • Downtown Chattanooga Transient Docks, Chattanooga, Tenn. – BIG grant: $1,285,868; non-Federal match: $3,857,607; total project cost: $5,143,475
  • Deltaville Marina Transient Pier, Deltaville, Va. – BIG grant: $743,891; non-Federal match: $261,367; total project cost: $1,005,258

For more information on each of the grant projects, visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/BIG/BIG_Funding.htm

“Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

On Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia and Tim Tunison lead the field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Sunday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Sunday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.

“Please join us for this exciting program, following on the heels of the Merrie Monarch Festival, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula,” stated Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Elizabeth Fien.

From kumu hula Valencia, learn about hula plants as kino lau, manifestations of Hawaiian deities in plant form (as his Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu understands them).

“There are plants for the hula altar, the kuahu, which include maile, ‘ie‘ie, ‘ilima, lehua, and halapepe.  Plus, there are adornments—mele hula plants that are worn by the dancers—which include maile, ‘ilima, and lehua, plus palapalai, ‘a‘ali‘i, pukiawe, and ‘olapa,” Valencia explained.

Participants meet at the Kilauea Visitor Center.  The day begins with a welcoming oli (chant), followed by a short walk to the kahua hula—the hula platform that overlooks Halema‘uma‘u Crater, home to the volcano goddess Pele.

Next the group will drive to Kilauea Overlook to discuss cultural protocols used when picking plants—and to walk among native species in their natural environment, with scientific information and insight shared by botanist Tunison.

“After lunch, we’ll visit Tunison’s property in Volcano Village, where he is restoring the land to its native ecosystem.  We’ll get a hands-on lesson in native plant propagation, plus receive plant seedlings to grow at home,” said Valencia.

Valencia was born and raised in Honolulu, though his ‘ohana (family) was originally from Hilo.  He established Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu in Honolulu in 1991, and currently maintains his halau (school) in Honolulu as well as Volcano.

Tunison worked for the National Park Service for over 30 years.  He was a Botanist at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from 1982-1994 and Chief of Resource Management from 1995-2006, when he retired.  Since then, Tunison has taught field botany, native plant propagation, and forest restoration.

This event is presented by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization.  Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members.  Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25.  Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

To register for the “Plants of Hula” field seminar, call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should email institute@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days prior to the program start.