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“Malama” for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island

Locally-owned and operated Big Island shops – Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design, print and sell limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees, in an effort to raise funds for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

According to Randy Kurohara, President & Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki…now it’s our turn to kokua. Here at Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and the Parker Ranch Store, we truly believe in giving back to the community. Through this ‘Malama’ Tee fundraiser, we hope to raise up to $20,000 for The Food Basket.”

The limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees will be sold for $20.00 each with 100% of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

The shirt was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.

The Food Basket serves 1 in every 3 Hawaii Island residents through its partner agencies, providing nutritious and high quality food to Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. Every $20 shirt purchase allows The Food Basket to help feed seven children breakfast for a week, one senior lunch for over a month, or an entire family dinner for a week.

Aunty Bev, Aloha Grown employee, and En Young, The Food Basket Executive Director.)

The Food Basket Executive Director, En Young, said “We are greatly appreciative of local businesses like Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store for helping us raise funds in our time of need. While we always appreciate food donations, it’s the monetary donations that help us keep our operations going and allow us to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island. We remind everyone that all donations made to The Food Basket stay right here on Hawaii Island and assist the kupuna and keiki in our local communities.”

Kristine M., a recipient of The Food Basket services, wrote in a letter, “We so appreciate the food that you contribute to the Naalehu seniors. We need this help with food so very much. Last year our only grocery store here closed…..since most of us live on social security fixed income, this is so important to get these vegetables and canned goods. You have no idea how much this helps us out!”

Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees are available for purchase in-store at these locations while supplies last:  Aloha Grown (224 Kamehameha Ave – Hilo), Creative Arts Hawaii (500 Kalanianaole Ave – Hilo), Parker Ranch Store (Parker Ranch Center – Waimea), The Food Basket (40 Holomua St – Hilo).

For more information, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/ malama.

Mauna to Mauna Ultra Race Results

Endurance Events USA is pleased to announce the inaugural edition of the Mauna to Mauna Ultra, which took place from May 14 – May 20th, 2017, has been completed successfully.  This unique event is a 6-stage, 7 day, self-supported footrace.  It was held in the state of Hawaii, USA on the Island of Hawaii, covering a cumulative distance of approximately 155 miles (250 km).

The 155-mile course route began at Coconut Island, Hilo and wound its way from the east side to the west side of the Island of Hawaii finishing at Hapuna Beach. The course took participants up the world’s most massive mountain (Mauna Loa) as well as the world’s tallest mountain (Mauna Kea), hence the name of the race: Mauna to Mauna Ultra. Participants climbed 22,238 feet (6,778m) over the course of the race. They experienced the remotest part of the world and the eleven-climate zones phenomenon that is Hawaii Island.

The field of participants representing 20 countries came together for this challenging event, assuming the responsibility of carrying their own backpacks containing food, sleeping bag, mat and other mandatory equipment for the week in which survival skills played as important a role as running and hiking. The competitors included five champions from the sister race, Grand to Grand Ultra.

The winners of the first ever Mauna to Mauna Ultra were:

Men

  • Rank       Name                       Time
  1. Garcia Beneito, Vicente Juan (Spain) 26:46:17
  2. Vieux, Florian  (Switzerland)             27:38:16
  3. Wakaoka, Takuya (Japan)                   30:37:36

Women

Sylvia Ravaglia                      

  • Rank       Name                           Time
  1. Ravaglia, Sylvia (Hawaii, USA)    34:32:28
  2. Gayter, Sharon  (UK)                    37:52:14
  3. Lavender Smith, Sarah (California, USA)     39:03:36

The event was sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawaii.

Please visit the event website at www.m2multra.com for more information and registration details for the Mauna to Mauna Ultra 2018.

Please follow the event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mauna2mauna.

For information regarding registration, sponsorship, or other event-related questions, please contact Colin Geddes at info@g2gultra.com

 

Hawaii County Civil Defense Alert on King Tides

This is an extreme tides and high surf message for Wednesday, May 24th at 11:10 A.M. The National Weather Service reports unusually high tides, also known as “king tides,” may cause intermittent coastal flooding along all shores of the Hawaii Island from today through the holiday weekend.

Beach flooding and standing water on roadways and low-lying coastal areas are possible, especially during the afternoon high tides each day.

In conjunction with the unusually high tide, an incoming large south swell is expected to build on Friday and will continue through the Memorial Day weekend. The expected high surf may further affect high tide impacts resulting in additional beach run-up, flooding and erosion.

Oceanfront residents and beachgoers are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf. As a precaution, boat owners and oceanfront residents should take actions to secure their property from possible tidal inundation and coastal flooding.

Precautionary actions should be done before tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Two Many Sopranos Brings Vocal Concert to Hilo

The vocal duo Two Many Sopranos, consisting of singers Amy Horst and Erin Smith, will bring their unique interpretations of classics and new favorites to Hilo. The duo’s pianist is Walter Greenwood. Joining them are Douglas Wayman, Cathy Young, and members of the Orchid Isle Orchestra. Showtimes are Saturday, June 10, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

The evening’s program, entitled Two Many Sopranos, presents music for duet and solo voices both with piano and with strings.  From songs which may be new to the audience to beloved classics of stage and screen, the concert brings to life old favorites and new gems. With composers as varied as Stephen Sondheim and Bob Dylan, and songs as varied as the sacred Pie Jesu by local favorite Pedro Ka‘awaloa and I Love a Piano by Irving Berlin, the concert promises something for every fan of vocal music. Solos and duets intermingle with featured guest performers, including Douglas Wayman as Janelle Nieman and Cathy Young in a viola solo, to provide variety and interest.

Amy Horst

Amy Horst and Erin Smith, local stage and concert performers, have worked together in Wayman’s Palace Theater Vaudeville Variety Shows and in the Palace’s production of Mary Poppins, where Horst played the title role and Smith played the lead role of Mrs. Banks. Both singers have also performed to acclaim in Hilo as soloists, onstage, and in concert.  This concert brings them together to sing duets and solos that showcase their particular talents.

Erin Smith

Smith and Horst are joined by local performer and drag queen Douglas Wayman, best known to Hilo audiences as Albin/Zaza from the Palace Theater’s production of La Cage Aux Folles; and as Janelle Nieman in his Vaudeville Variety Shows at the Palace Theater. The duo is also joined by local string player and orchestra leader Cathy Young, who has created an original string arrangement to accompany the haunting “What Makes a Man a Man,” to be sung by Wayman. Walter Greenwood, popular local pianist, organist, conductor, composer, and arranger, accompanies the concert.

Asked about how they came to create Two Many Sopranos, Horst said, “Erin and I have wanted to perform together in concert for several years. This program takes us and the audience on a journey through songs we want to share with our audience, songs we have been planning for a long time. We are excited that the time has finally come to sing together for you!” Smith continued, “This concert is the culmination of several years of dialogue and several months of planning, and we are happy to bring not only ourselves, but the redoubtable Walter Greenwood as pianist, and our featured performers Douglas Wayman and Cathy Young, to our audience. This concert is suitable for all ages and so we say – e komo mai!”

Two Many Sopranos comes to Hilo June 10 at 7:00 and June 11:00 at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center for two shows only.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

Hawaii Police Conducting DUI Checkpoints Through Memorial Day Weekend

With the approach of the long Memorial Day weekend and the continuation of graduation parties, Hawai’i Police will be on alert to help prevent tragedy on our roads. Officers will conduct DUI checkpoints and roving patrols beginning Friday, May 26, and continuing through Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”.

Every day, 28 people in the United States die in an alcohol-related vehicle crash—that’s one person every 53 minutes. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, the chance of being in an alcohol-impaired crash is still one in three over the course of a lifetime. These deaths and damages contribute to a cost of $52B per year.

Please do your part to keep our roads safe. Always remember to have a designated sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you don’t find one, don’t take a chance—take a taxi or Uber which has recently been established in Hawai`i County.

Big Island Police Identify Man in Keaau Fatal Accident

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash Monday (May 22) on Highway 11, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) in Keaʻau.

He was identified as 71- year-old Ulysses Guillermo of Hilo.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Hu Honua Reaches Agreement with HELCO on Biomass Plant

Hu Honua Bioenergy announced today it has reached a settlement with Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) that will help put Hawaii Island closer to energy self-sufficiency.

The agreement puts its lawsuit on hold as it works with the utility to secure approval of an amended power purchase agreement (PPA) from the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

HELCO and Hu Honua have also agreed to an expedited procedural schedule that would make it possible to complete the plant by the end of 2018.

“We have come to terms with Hawaii Electric Light Company and now have a clear path, pending PUC approval, to get the plant built and operational in time to meet the federal tax credit deadline of December 31, 2018,” said Harold Robinson, president of Island BioEnergy, parent company of Hu Honua.

These developments come on the heels of a May 17 decision by the PUC to transfer review of the amended PPA to a new docket. The PUC cited several reasons for the docket transfer, including the request to consider a preferential rate in evaluating pricing, an element not considered in the 2012 docket.

In its amended PPA, HELCO requested approval of Hu Honua’s pricing based on HRS Section 269-27.3. The statute was enacted to increase energy self-sufficiency and enhance agricultural sustainability; it allows the PUC to approve preferential rates for renewable energy produced in conjunction with agricultural activities. In Hu Honua’s case, agricultural crops will be used to generate renewable biomass electricity.

“The Hu Honua project is the perfect candidate for utilizing the law,” Robinson said. “Through the cultivation and harvesting local eucalyptus trees, the project will bring a combination of agricultural benefits and renewable energy to Hawaii Island.”

If the amended PPA is approved, Hu Honua will have the capacity to provide up to 30-megawatts of firm renewable energy to HELCO’s power grid. The project will be a boost to the agricultural industry on Hawaii Island, triggering approximately 150 jobs in forestry, including logging and hauling eucalyptus trees, the primary feedstock for the biomass-to-energy facility. Ancillary jobs related to forestry and wood products are also anticipated, along with 200 construction jobs needed to complete work on the plant.

About Hu Honua

Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC is located in Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island. When completed, the Hu Honua facility will be able to produce up to 30-megawatts (MW) of clean renewable baseload power, which means the plant can deliver reliable power that can be dispatched 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When operating at capacity, Hu Honua will be able to produce approximately 14 percent of the island’s electricity needs and displace approximately 250,000 barrels of oil per year.

For more information visit www.huhonua.com

Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces Death of Founder Ben Finney

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is saddened to announce that Ben Finney, co-founder and first president of the organization, passed away today in Honolulu surrounded by family.  He was 83 years old.  Services are pending.

Ben Finney

Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS, responded to Finney’s passing with the following statement:

“What I was told was that there was a Hawaiian Professor in Hawaii who handed Ben a book called Kon Tiki, and she said ‘this is all wrong, you need to change this.’ Years later, Ben called a man named Herb Kawainui Kane, who together with Tommy Holmes spearheaded the building of Hokulea.  So, if we’re going to celebrate 42 years of voyaging and honor and celebrate Hokulea’s voyage around the earth, we have to think that none of this would have happened without that phone call.  Ben provided the vision and mission and the leadership to set the foundation for all that we would do in voyaging since 1976.  If Ben didn’t make that phone call, there wouldn’t be a Hokulea and there probably wouldn’t be voyaging in the Pacific today.  And, there would be no real connection between the values of malama honua and this island earth.  We owe so much to him. Hawaii, the pacific and the world is indebted to the work of Ben Finney.”

An anthropologist and pioneer in the reconstruction and sailing of Polynesian voyaging canoes, Finney first began dreaming about building a canoe and sailing it to Tahiti while studying at the University of Hawai’i in 1958.  In the mid-1960s, he built Nalehia, a replica of a Hawaiian double canoe that provided the basic information on sailing performance that went into planning Hokulea’s initial voyage to Tahiti.

Finney co-founded PVS in 1973 with Herb Kawainui Kane and Tommy Holmes and served as its first president.  Together with countless volunteers, they built Hokulea, the first Polynesian voyaging canoe in 600 years and launched her in 1975.

He set out to show that Hawaiians could intentionally sail long-distances without modern instruments.  He sailed on Hokulea’s first voyage to Tahiti in 1976.  He also sailed on the 1985 voyage to Aotearoa, the 1992 voyage to Rarotonga, and also covered the 1995 voyage from the Marquesas to Hawaii from Hokulea’s escort vessel.

The history and practice of Polynesian voyaging is an epic story of human migration: Ben’s love of it inspired his contributions to the anthropology of the human experience in space.

During his career, Finney held faculty appointments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Australian National University, the University of French Polynesia, and the International Space University. From 1970 through 2000 he was a professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his courses included Human Adaptation to the Sea and Human Adaptation to Living in Space.  From 1994 through 2003 he was the co-chair of the department of Space and Society at the International Space University.

Johnny Rockets Coming to Hilo as “Rock ‘n Fun”

I’ve known for a while now that Johnny Rockets was coming to Hilo and a Craigslist ad posted today confirms that it will be coming here in the form of an E.K. Fernandez Restaurant Chain called “Rock ‘n Fun” and is currently seeking Front of the House Assistant Managers at this time.

They will eventually be hiring for these positions as well.

“Presenting “Games, Burgers & Beer” in a fun, family-friendly environment where you can play the latest games or sip a cold beer or glass of wine at the bar while watching your favorite sports teams.  Then comes Johnny – Johnny Rockets that is with its delicious burgers, shakes, and fries.

Rock ‘N Fun is the latest in Fernandez Entertainment’s long list of family-owned companies that have brought fun and entertainment to the Islands for over 100 years.”

According to this Craigslist Ad they are expanding and looking for a Food and Beverage Manager and they will be opening in the Waiakea Center:

Rock N Fun will be opening soon at the Waiakea Center and currently seeking qualified Food & Beverage Managers…

Auto Body Hawaii Announces Winner of Senior Essay Contest

Auto Body Hawaii has announced the winner of this year’s Senior Essay Contest answering the question: “What was your biggest ‘Moment of Awesomeness’ in your life?”

All senior year students from West & North Hawaii’s schools were invited to participate.  This year’s student winner is Neena Charles from Makua Lani Christian Academy. She wins a $1000 cash prize.

Neena Charles wins this year’s Auto Body Hawaii Essay Contest

Ms. Charles’ essay, titled “My Moment of Awesomeness: Home Alone,” described how, in addition to her school work load as a senior, she had to step into the role of parent to her two young siblings while her mother and father had to attend to business in the Philippines for weeks, even months at a time. Her essay not only described a crash course in multitasking, it exemplified maturity and a deep sense of responsibility.

An excerpt of her essay follows:

“By the end of the several weeks my parents were gone, I felt a sense of accomplishment and maturity. In the end, what left the deepest impression was the value of never giving up. The act of playing the role as both my mom and dad was the ultimate event that marked my transition from childhood to adulthood. With so many responsibilities on my plate, I was able to learn how to manage my time better, be more on top of my work, and become more organized. Through this experience, I have gained a greater understanding of the duties of an adult and the hard work that is needed to get things done.”

The full essay is posted on the Auto Body Hawaii website; www.autobodyhawaii.com.

Call Tracey Taylor, 329-2544; tracey@autobodyhawaii.com, for more information.

Tommorow – Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO Disestablishment Ceremony

Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO Disestablishment Ceremony is taking place on May 24 at 6 p.m. at Hangar 105 on Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (Aug. 1, 2005) Capt. Robert J. Adrion relieved Capt. William F. Moran as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two (CPRW-2) during a ceremony in Hangar One Zero Five, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jennifer L. Bailey (RELEASED)

Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO will memorialize and celebrate over 80 years of history and service on the Hawaiian Islands as they haul down the colors for the last time during a sunset disestablishment ceremony.  The ceremony will take place in Hangar 105, home of the last US Navy P-3C squadron on Kaneohe Bay and the last squadron to detach from CPRW-2.  There will be a P-3C static display to discuss the history of the P-3C as well as a P-8 static display to discuss the future of Maritime, Patrol, and Reconnaissance and the transition to the new airplane.

The Chief of Naval Operations officially established Patrol Wing TWO at Fleet Air Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on October 1, 1937. On December 7, 1941, the Wing was at the center of the Pearl Harbor attacks from Japanese raiders.  On June 30, 1949, the Wing was relocated to the leeward side of Oahu at Naval Air Station Barber’s Point, Hawaii where it remained for 50 years and experienced many changes in aircraft, missions, and commands.  In the 1970’s Patrol Wing Two became known as the “Rainbow Fleet” and began to routinely deploy with the P-3 Orion, a long range Anti-submarine Warfare patrol aircraft.

Wing Two squadrons tracked Soviet submarines patrolling off the western coast of the United States and supported operations in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the NATO air campaign over Kosovo.  Post-Cold War, the Wing continued to meet the evolving needs of the Navy, proving the P-3C as a multi-mission platform over land and sea; supporting Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, establishing an airborne reconnaissance capability during the Balkan wars; and supporting counterdrug detection by monitoring and interdiction operations in the Southern Hemisphere.

In June 1999, the Patrol Wing Hawaii forces moved from their Cold War home at Naval Air Station Barbers Point to the windward side of Oahu to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. After September 11, 2001, Wing TWO squadrons joined the Global War on Terrorism and engaged in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines, Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, and Operation Anaconda.  Recently, Wing TWO squadrons lead expeditionary Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces in support of THIRD, FIFTH, and SEVENTH Fleet operations.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Trump’s Massive Budget Cuts Threaten Hawaii, American People

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today warned that the Trump Administration’s 2018 Budget Blueprint puts the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our country at risk with massive cuts to government programs that spur economic growth and provide critical services. The budget slashes $1.4 trillion from programs families in Hawaiʻi and across the country depend on, including:

  • $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid that serves over 348,000 people in Hawaiʻi
  • $191 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that serves over 170,000 people in Hawaiʻi
  • $72 billion in cuts to the Social Security’s disability program, which serves over 19,000 people in Hawaiʻi
  • $143 billion from federal student loans, including the elimination of federally subsidized loans and loan forgiveness programs that serve Hawaiʻi nurses, police officers, and teachers
  • $40.4 billion in cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which assist one in eight Hawaiʻi keiki living in poverty

Click to read

In a speech on the House floor today, the congresswoman said, “The president’s budget proposal put forward today will be damaging to the people in our communities and the places that we call home. It cuts Medicaid by over $600 billion, cuts the food stamp program by over 25%, affecting the most needy within our communities. It slashes infrastructure programs, eliminates TIGER grants, cuts student loan and financial aid programs, and includes catastrophic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. In my home state of Hawai’i, this budget zeros out federal funding for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant, the Native Hawaiian Loan Guarantee Program, and cuts Native Hawaiian Education programs by $33 million dollars, crippling the progress that’s been made for over 30 years to strengthen Native Hawaiian early education, literacy, gifted and talented education programs, higher education, vocational programs and more. I strongly oppose this budget, and look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass a budget that actually serves the people and our planet.”

Kahilu Theatre Offering Summer Performing Arts Camps

Kahilu Theatre will offer three performing arts summer camps for Hawai‘i Island youth this summer. The camps are Let’s Dance (June 19 – June 30), Adventures in Polynesia (July 3 – July 15), and KPAW (July 17 – July 28).

Let’s Dance! (Summer Dance Camp)

Directed by KPAC Director, Angel Prince, Let’s Dance! teaches technique and choreography classes in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Jazz. The camp also includes daily Pilates and Yoga classes as foundational strength and flexibility training. There are additional courses in Acting, Anatomy, Choreography and Improvisation, Stage Makeup, and Salsa.

Let’s Dance! runs from June 19 through June 30 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, June 30 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 16.

Adventures in Polynesia

Adventures in Polynesia, directed by Kalena Ohilo, is inspired by the motion picture Moana and focuses on Acrobatics, Tumbling, Vaulting and Aerial Silks. The camp is infused with Polynesian Music, Implements, and Dance. In addition to indulging creative energies in Acrobatics, students will create their own “Moana Skirt” and Maori Poi Balls.

Adventures in Polynesia runs from July 3 through July 14 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 14 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 5 to 12.

Note – There is no class on July 4. A makeup class will be held Saturday, July 8.

KPAW (Keiki Performing Arts Workshop)

Directed by former Kahilu Youth Troupe member, Marena Dunnington,  KPAW focuses on teaching stage skills necessary for musical theatre, with singing, acting and dancing as the three primary disciplines. Classes in playwriting and storytelling, makeup, improvisation, accents and dialects will also be offered.

KPAW runs from July 17 through July 28 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 28 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 12, or rising 3rd through 6th grades.

KPAW instructors are alumni of the Kahilu Youth Troupe: young performers who have trained at Kahilu with Beth Dunnington and are now pursuing their acting careers at the collegiate level.

Camp Enrollment Information:

  • All camps run Monday through Friday, 10 am – 2:30 pm
  • Each camp concludes with a performance
  • Fee: $230 for each camp
  • Scholarships are available

Scholarship application deadline is May 28 and scholarships to be announced on June 5

  • Max enrollment = 30
  • Students should bring a packed lunch from home

For more information about the Kahilu Performing Arts Camps call the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 808.885.6868. Registration is available online at www.kahilutheatre.org.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, May 23rd at 7:51 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 72 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the Southwest part of the sky and disappear 12 degrees above the North Northeast part of the sky.

REPORT: Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector

The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) has released the report “Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector”. To obtain the report, click here.

The executive summary begins with “According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Native Hawaiians owned a total of 13,147 firms in Hawaii in 2012. 3,972 or 30.2 percent of these firms were in the tourism sector and accounted for 10.1 percent of the total tourism sector firms in the state.”

Click to read report

An updated DBEDT ACS interactive map is also now available. It may be found on the Office of Planning’s State GIS Program’s website here.

This map product is a joint project between our Research and Economic Analysis Division and the Hawaii Statewide GIS Program. In this map, area profiles for all Hawaii census tracts, State Senate Districts and State House Districts were updated with the latest 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data . State of Hawaii as well as county figures are also provided. For downloadable files containing this profile data, click here.

Update on Today’s Fatality in Keaau

A man died following a one-vehicle crash this morning (May 22) in Keaʻau.

His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to an 8:06 a.m. call, police determined that a 1998 Toyota truck was traveling Hilo bound, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) onto Highway 11 when the driver lost control, ran up an embankment and overturned.

The man died on the scene and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:02 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 16th traffic fatality this year compared with 10 at this time last year.

Hawaii Department of Health Confirms Four Additional Mumps Cases on Oahu

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed four (4) additional cases of Oahu residents with mumps bringing the total number of cases in 2017 to 51. The recently confirmed cases include children and adults. Two of the cases are linked to other cases on Oahu. None of the cases required hospitalization.

The department expects to see more cases of mumps in Hawaii as the viral disease is highly contagious and circulating on Oahu.

The classic mumps symptom of parotitis often results in a tender, swollen jaw. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Some people with mumps have very mild or no symptoms. The disease is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The disease can also be spread by sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, and prevents most cases of mumps. Two doses of the vaccine are 88 percent effective at protecting against mumps and one dose is 78 percent effective. Being fully vaccinated can help protect loved ones, family members, friends, classmates and coworkers.

MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies across the state. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy in your community, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccines-immunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How Does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today, “An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?” The report examined various consumer debt categories.

The report highlights why our per capita debt is high, which is due to high housing prices in Hawaii, with 77 percent of our debt from mortgage debt.

Hawaii’s home ownership increased 10 percentage points from 46.9 percent in 1970 to 56.9 percent in 2015 while the U.S. home ownership increased less than one percentage point from 62.9 percent to 63.8 percent during the same time period.

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the high mortgage debt may also have negative impacts, including less consumers spending on other goods and services by home owners, increasing rental payment for renters, and the leakage of mortgage payment to out-of-state financial institutions.

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Hawaii’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to $67,010 in 2015, ranking it second highest in the nation.
  • For mortgage debt per capita, Hawaii has been steadily increasing in the state rankings, from the sixth highest state in 2005 to the highest state in 2015.
  • Hawaii ranks low among states for auto loans per capita, while defaults for those with auto loans are close to U.S. average.
  • Hawaii residents have relatively high credit card debt. Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2010 and 2015 for credit card debt per capita.
  • Hawaii ranks the lowest in the nation for per capita student debt.
  • For the other debt category (home equity lines of credit, consumer cards, and consumer-financed debt), Hawaii leads the nation for the average amount per capita at $5,300. This partially reflects Hawaii’s high residential real estate values and the home equity loan balances supported by these high values.

The report is available at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/consumer_debt_final.pdf

Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.

Reps. Gabbard, Perry Introduce Bill to Permanently End Warrantless Collection of Americans’ Emails

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Scott Perry (R-PA), both founding members of the Fourth Amendment Caucus, introduced legislation today to permanently codify protections on Americans’ privacy.

Last month, the NSA announced it is ending its collection of Americans’ Internet communications that merely mention identifying terms for foreign targets, but are not to or from those targets, also known as “about” surveillance. The legislation introduced today would permanently codify this policy change into law. Gabbard and Perry, both veterans of the Iraq War, also co-chair the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “For years, the NSA has been collecting phone and online communications from everyday Americans across the country, defying the rights and liberties granted to us under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The 2008 FISA Amendments, specifically Section 702, has led to massive government-led exploitation of personal privacy through the collection of American citizens’ emails. We need serious reforms that balance the protection of our civil liberties and rights through our constitution, and also keep the American people safe. The NSA recently announced that they would stop collecting our emails and electronic communications under Section 702, but what is to say that it won’t start up again? Our legislation will keep our country from backtracking on this progress by permanently codifying this policy change and banning this privacy-invading collection from taking place again.”

Rep. Scott Perry said, “The NSA recently changed policy to prohibit the collection of electronic communications sent or received by American citizens that merely mention a foreign target of surveillance. This practice has long been used as an end-around the Fourth Amendment, and we commend the NSA for aligning their collection efforts with the Constitution. The legislation ensures that this important win for the American people cannot be reversed under future administrations. I thank Congresswoman Gabbard for her continued efforts on this issue and look forward to seeing this bill move quickly.”

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long advocated for reforms that address our government’s responsibility to protect civil liberties and ensure a strong national defense. She has actively sought reforms to Section 702, the Patriot Act, introduced legislation to strengthen and expand the functions of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), and is a founding member of the bipartisan Fourth Amendment Caucus focused on protecting the privacy and security of Americans in the digital age.