Civil Defense Brush Fire and High Surf/Beach Closure Warning

This is a brush fire information update for Wednesday January 21st at 4:00 PM.

Brush fire 12115

The Hawaii Fire Department reports that two brush fires have started as a result of the lava flow in the Pahoa area.  The fires are located to the west or mauka of Highway 130 and to the south or Pahoa side of the Ainaloa Subdivision.

Brushfire 12115

All fire activity is contained within the fire breaks and there is currently no threat to any communities or properties.  Fire department personnel and units are on scene and working to maintain control and containment of the fire.

This is a High Surf Warning and Beach Closure Information Update for Wednesday January 21st at 4:15PM.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for the West facing shores of Hawaii Island effective through 6:00 PM tomorrow, Thursday January 22nd.  Dangerous surf is expected to start building today through this afternoon and remain at warning levels through Thursday.   Surf heights of 15 to 20 feet are forecasted for the West facing shores of Hawaii Island.  Residents along the coast and in low lying areas are advised to take precautions and boat owners are advised to secure their vessels.  Beachgoers swimmers and surfers are advised to exercise caution and to heed all advice given by Ocean Safety Officials.  Due to the current rising and anticipated dangerous surf conditions the following beaches will be closed effective 12:00noon today:

  • Laaloa or Magic Sands in Kona
  • Kahaluu Beach in Kona
  • Kohanaiki Beach in Kona
  • Ooma
  • Old Airport Park
  • Hapuna Beach
  • Kaunaoa (Mauna Kea Beach)
  • Mahukona Park

County Fines Hawaii Property Owner for Having Illegal Rave Party

Community Policing Officers are working with the Hawaiʻi County Planning Department to protect the public from illegal “rave” parties.

HPDBadgeAs a result of this partnership, the Planning Department issued a $5,000 fine to a property owner in connection with a “rave” party in Hawaiian Acres last year.

The two-day event held October 31 through November 1 was advertised on social media outlets. Community Policing Officers from the Puna District were made aware of the event and warned the property owner that he did not have the proper permit to conduct such an event on his property.

The party was held despite police warnings, and enforcement action was taken near the property on the night of the event to ensure public safety. Police conducted a follow-up investigation with the assistance of the Planning Department that resulted in the fine.

Police are reminding property owners that conducting an unpermitted non-agricultural commercial event on agricultural property is prohibited. The Hawaiʻi Police Department will continue to work with members of the public, property owners and the Planning Department to ensure compliance and enhance public safety.

Department of Health Now in Charge of Medical Marijuana – Rules Change

The Hawaii State Department of Health has completed the transfer of the medical marijuana registration program from the Department of Public Safety. The program officially became part of the Department of Health on Jan. 1, 2015. Hawaii is one of 23 states along with the District of Columbia that allows medical marijuana use.

Possession of a valid medical marijuana registration card issued by the Department of Health and based on the written certification of a physician permits the lawful cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Act 177 was signed into law in June 2013 and authorized the transfer of the 14-year-old program to the Department of Health. As a health initiative, the medical marijuana program is better aligned with the Department of Health’s mission and the department’s experience in working with patients and health programs that involve public outreach, education and safeguarding patient privacy.

Act 178, which was also signed into law in June 2013, amends sections of the existing law. The Department of Health has made the following changes to comply with the law:

  • Law Enforcement 24/7 Online Verification – In accordance with Act 178, the Department of Health will provide 24/7 subject verification to designated law enforcement officers. Although no confidential information will be released, designated law enforcement officers will be able to verify if an individual has a valid medical marijuana registration card should the need arise for official law enforcement purposes. Designated officers are being trained by the department.
  • Registration Fee Increase -The patient medical marijuana registration fee has increased from $25 to $35 effective Jan. 1, 2015. A new, convenient online application and payment system makes the application process easier and faster. A portal administration fee of $3.50 will be charged for the required online services. “We’re working to make the medical marijuana program more accessible to Hawaii residents who may have a qualifying debilitating medical condition and could benefit from medicinal use of marijuana,” said Scottina “Scotty” Malia Ruis, medical marijuana program coordinator with the Department of Health.

The Hawaii Department of Health has also initiated a number of upgrades to the medical marijuana program:

Click to enter site

Click to enter site

  • New Medical Marijuana Website – The Department of Health has established a website with information on the medical marijuana program at www.health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana This is the most complete and up-to-date source of information for patients, physicians, law enforcement officials and the public. The site’s home page features a sign-up box for automatic medical marijuana program updates. This is the best way to keep abreast of all improvements and changes as the Department of Health’s medical marijuana program develops.
  • Phone Information Hotline – The Department of Health has established a phone hotline with recorded messages on different aspects of the medical marijuana program. The phone number is 733-2177. Toll free numbers have also been established for neighbor island residents: Hawaii Island residents may call 974-4000, ext. 32177; Maui residents may call 984-2400, ext. 32177; and Kauai residents may call 274-3141, ext. 32177.
  • New DOH Medical Marijuana Registration Card – This month, the Department of Health began issuing its new medical marijuana registration card, which includes the location of the where the marijuana is grown and the name of the primary care physician. The new card is thin and wallet-sized like an insurance card making it easier for patients and caregivers to keep with them whenever they are in possession of medical marijuana. The new white card with a colored Department of Health logo will replace the long familiar Department of Public Safety “blue card.”
  • Physician Education – Physician outreach and information sharing through planned conference calls has been ongoing to ensure healthcare providers have accurate information about the program. Physicians who are currently certifying patients for the program are emailed information about conference calls and other updates.

Beginning Jan. 28, DOH will hold public hearings for the proposed adoption of Chapter 11-160, Hawaii Administrative Rules for Medical Use of Marijuana. This proposed new chapter will include the process for DOH to consider approval of additional debilitating medical conditions for medical use of marijuana; physician requirements to participate in the program; registration of qualifying patients and primary caregivers; monitoring and corrective action; administrative procedure; and confidentiality of information. The proposed rules are posted at http://co.doh.hawaii.gov/sites/har/admrulechange/default.aspx

Public hearings are scheduled in each county as follows.

  • Jan. 28 (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) in Hilo, Hawaii at the State Office Building conference rooms A, B and C located at 75 Aupuni St.
  • Feb. 2 (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) in Honolulu, Oahu at the Diamond Head Health Center room 418 located at 3627 Kilauea Ave.
  • Feb. 3 (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) in Wailuku, Maui at the State Office Building third floor conference room located at 54 South High St.
  • Feb. 5 (10:30 a.m.-12 noon) in Lihue, Kauai at the State Office Building basement room located at 3060 Eiwa St.

Requests or questions related to the upcoming public hearings may be sent to medicalmarijuana@doh.hawaii.gov

Big Island Police Investigating Murder of Man Found in Hilo Parking Lot

Hawaiʻi Island police have opened a murder investigation following the death of a man who was found injured in a Hilo parking lot.

HPDBadgeAt 3:55 p.m. Tuesday (January 20), South Hilo Patrol officers and Hawaiʻi Fire Department medics responded to a call of a stabbing victim in a drug store parking lot on the 500 block of Kīlauea Avenue. The victim sustained multiple stab wounds and was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he died at 7:18 p.m.

Police learned that the victim had been confronted by two men while in the grassy area between a business off Kīlauea Avenue and the mauka soccer fields off Kamehameha Avenue. After being stabbed, the victim managed to walk to the parking lot where he was found.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section and evidence specialists responded to the scene to further the investigation into this incident, which is classified as a second-degree murder.

Police have tentatively identified the victim, believed to be a 43-year-old man with no permanent address. Police are withholding his name pending positive ID and notification of his next of kin.

Detectives are seeking witnesses who may have seen two men running in the north, or Hāmākua, direction along Kīlauea Avenue between Hualalai Street and the downtown area between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. One was described as Caucasian, about 6-feet tall, about 160 pounds with short blond hair and hazel eyes. He was wearing green knee-length shorts and a white T-shirt. The other was described only as a local male with a fair complexion wearing a white tank top and prescription glasses. Both men are wanted for questioning in connection with this investigation.

No arrests have been made. Detectives continue to canvass the surrounding businesses for witnesses or video surveillance.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.

Police and ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Norbert Serrao Jr. at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 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.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Propose Plan to Sustainably Increase Rooftop Solar

As part of its transformation to deliver a more affordable, clean energy future for Hawaii, the Hawaiian Electric Companies are proposing a new program to increase rooftop solar in a way that’s safe, sustainable and fair for all customers.

In conjunction with this “Transitional Distributed Generation” program, the utilities expect to be able to help the growth of solar by more than doubling the threshold for neighborhood circuits to accept solar systems. This would eliminate in most of those cases the need for a longer and costly interconnection study.

Sustainable Solar

Under the proposal, existing Net Energy Metering (“NEM”) program customers and those with pending applications would remain under the existing NEM program. Any program changes from this proposal would apply only to new customers.

The initiative is part of the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ clean energy transformation to lower electric bills by 20 percent, increase the use of renewable energy to more than 65 percent, triple the amount of distributed solar by 2030, and offer customers expanded products and services.

“We want to ensure a sustainable rooftop solar program to help our customers lower their electric bills,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “That means taking an important first step by transitioning to a program where all customers are fairly sharing in the cost of the grid we all rely on.”

Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service, added, “At the end of 2013, the annualized cost shift from customers who have rooftop solar to those who don’t totaled about $38 million. As of the end of 2014, the annualized cost shift had grown to $53 million – an increase of $15 million. And that number keeps growing. So change is needed to ensure a program that’s fair and sustainable for all customers.”

New Transitional Program

Currently, NEM customers use the electric grid daily. Their rooftop solar systems send energy into the grid, and they draw power when their systems do not provide enough for their needs, including in the evenings and on cloudy days. However, many NEM customers are able to lower their bills to the point that they do not help pay for the cost of operating and maintaining the electric grid.

As a result, those costs are increasingly being shifted from those who have solar to those who don’t.

The new transitional program would create a more sustainable system and ensure the costs of operating and maintaining the electric grid are more fairly shared among all customers.

Under the current NEM program, customers receive credit on their electric bills at the full retail rate for electricity they produce. This credit includes the cost of producing electricity plus operation and maintenance of the electric grid and all other costs to provide electric service.

The Transitional Distributed Generation program would credit customers at a rate that better reflects the cost of the electricity produced by their rooftop solar systems. This is consistent with how Kauai Island Utility Co-Op compensates its solar customers.

Increasing PV Integration

If this transitional program is approved, the Hawaiian Electric Companies expect to be able to modify their interconnection policies, more than doubling the solar threshold for neighborhood circuits from 120 percent of daytime minimum load (DML) to 250 percent of DML. In many cases, this will eliminate the need for a longer and costly interconnection study.

To safely integrate higher levels of solar, rooftop systems will need to implement newly developed performance standards, including those established using results of a collaboration among Hawaiian Electric, SolarCity and the Electric Power Research Institute. Through this partnership, the performance of solar inverters was tested at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. These standards can reduce the risk of damage to electronics in a customer’s home and to utility equipment on the grid, safety hazards for electrical line workers, and even widespread power outages.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies will also make strategic and cost-effective system improvements necessary to integrate more rooftop solar. They will work with the solar industry to identify areas where demand for upgrades is highest. Planning for these upgrades will also consider the needs of the State of Hawaii’s Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program, which will make low-cost loans available to customers who may have difficulty financing clean energy improvements like solar.

To further support even more customers adding solar on high solar circuits, Hawaiian Electric will also be doing several pilot projects for “Non-Export/Smart Export” solar battery systems with local and national PV companies in Hawaii. These projects will provide real-world operational experience on their capability to increase solar interconnections on high-penetration circuits.

The company is also developing a community solar program as another option to help make the benefits of solar available to all customers, including those who may not be able to install rooftop solar (for example, renters or condo dwellers).

Hawaiian Electric is asking the PUC to approve the new program within 60 days. Under the utilities’ proposal, the Transitional Distributed Generation program would remain in effect while the PUC works on a permanent replacement program, to be developed through a collaborative process involving stakeholders from across the community, including the solar industry.

The PUC has stated it believes programs designed to support solar energy need to change. In an Order issued in April 2014, the PUC said:

“It is unrealistic to expect that the high growth in distributed solar PV capacity additions experienced in the 2010 – 2013 time period can be sustained, in the same technical, economic and policy manner in which it occurred, particularly when electric energy usage is declining, distribution circuit penetration levels are increasing, system level challenges are emerging and grid fixed costs are increasingly being shifted to non-solar PV customers.”

Across the three Hawaiian Electric Companies, more than 51,000 customers have rooftop solar. As of December 2014, about 12 percent of Hawaiian Electric customers, 10 percent of Maui Electric customers and 9 percent of Hawaii Electric Light customers have rooftop solar. This compares to a national average of one-half of 1 percent (0.5 percent) as of December 2013, according to the Solar Electric Power Association.

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Medical Use of Marijuana Program Transferred to Department of Health

Effective January 1, 2015, Hawaii’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program was transferred from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health, according to Act 177.   Act 178  amends sections of HRS 329 Part IX , some notable changes, which became effective January 1, 2015, are:

  • “Adequate supply” changes from “three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana” to “seven marijuana plants, whether immature or mature, and four ounces of usable marijuana at any given time.”
  • Notification of changes to information on the application – if the information provided to the department of health for registration changes, the registered program participant MUST report this change to the department of health “within ten working days” of the change. The previous requirement was “within five working days”

To get a complete understanding of ALL changes to the law, please read Act 178.

Medical MarijuanaClick Here to Learn What’s New About the Program

Click Here to Learn What’s Staying the Same

Click Here to Download the General Information FAQ

Other Documents related to Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Program

Act 228 SLH 2000.  Hawaii’s initial Medical Use of Marijuana law.

Act178 SLH  2013 –  Makes several changes to the current law (such as: “adequate supply” of medical marijuana changes to 7 plants, regardless of maturity; useable marijuana changes to 4 oz; increase in registration fees from $25 to $35; and other changes) please read Act 178 for more information.

HRS-329 Hawaii’s Uniformed Controlled Substances Act (see part IX – Medical Use of Marijuana).

Department of Public Safety Medical Marijunana Program Info

U.S. Department of Justice “Update to Marijuana Enforcement Policy  Aug. 29, 2013.

U.S. Department of Justice “Formal Medical Marijuana Guidelines”  Oct. 9, 2009.

Senator Brian Schatz Responds to State of the Union Address

Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement following President Obama’s annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

Sen. Brian Schatz

Sen. Brian Schatz

“Tonight we heard the President lay out his vision for the year ahead to ensure that our economy continues its recovery and that our economic policies and priorities strengthen and expand the middle class.

“This is particularly important in Hawai‘i, where the high cost of living makes it tougher for hard-working middle class families to share in the American dream.

“For too long, the wealthiest Americans and big corporations have used unfair loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Tonight, the President proposed a simpler, fairer tax code that closes those loopholes and uses those savings to support tax credits for working parents. These smart investments will help middle class families succeed and bolster our economy.

“The President’s proposal to expand access to higher education and make community college free for every responsible student is an important step forward. We all know that a college education is the best way for people to move up the economic ladder.

“I am also glad that the President focused on home ownership and the need to make mortgages more affordable. Helping families attain the dream of home ownership is even more important in Hawai‘i, where the high prices stress family budgets.

“I hope as we begin the New Year my Republican colleagues in Congress will welcome the President’s proposals to strengthen the middle class and will work with Democrats to make the American dream a reality for all Americans.”

 

Master Food Preserver Trainings Set for Kona, Hilo

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) and the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) presents two food preservation trainings this spring.

Ken Love and his Same Canoe Lifetime Achievement Award from the One Island Sustainable Living Center

Ken Love and his Same Canoe Lifetime Achievement Award from the One Island Sustainable Living Center

Taught by Master Food Preserver Ken Love, executive director of HTFG and the Hawaii Master Food Preserver Program, the 64-hour training session is targeted to individuals looking to expand their knowledge of safe, home food preservation—plus learn the business side of selling syrups, preserves and sauces. Learn the steps for canning fruit and vegetables, plus pickling, fermenting and more.

Participants must be able to commit to an eight-day training and volunteer at least 20 hours in a year. Graduates earn a master food preserver certificate from UH-Hilo.

Kona dates are February 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 23 and 24 at the classroom/kitchen at 81-6393 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Kealakekua. Applications are due January 28. Hilo dates are March 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 23 and 24 at the Komohana Research and Extension Center, 875 Komohana St. Applications are due February 16.

“The training is designed to teach small agribusinesses and local residents how to safely preserve delicious and attractive, value-added products from underutilized produce,” explains Love, who is certified to teach the course by the University of California Master Food Preserver program. “It’s like the old adage, ‘Waste not, want not.’”

Tuition is $100. Apply by contacting CCECS 808-974-7664 or ccecs@hawaii.edu.

The classes are made possible by a grant from the Hawaii Department of Labor Workforce Development Division.

Hawaii House Representative Submits Letters of Resignation

Representative Mele Carroll delivered today letters to Governor Ige and House Speaker Souki announcing that on February 1, 2015, with the support of her family and friends, she is resigning from representing the 13th District in the Hawaii State House Representatives.

Rep. Mele Carroll has announced she will retire from her Hawaii House of Representative seat.

Rep. Mele Carroll has announced she will retire from her Hawaii House of Representative seat.

After consulting with doctors, contemplating her situation, and confirming with her husband and family, Rep. Carroll decided to resign due to her health.  Complications from her previous cancer treatments have arisen in the recent months that now affect her quality of life and which may affect her ability to do her job.  The time has come for her to address her health and spend quality time with her loved ones and closest friends.

“While it is with deep sadness that I accept the resignation of Rep. Carroll from the State House, I fully understand and support her priorities regarding her health,” said House Speaker Joseph M. Souki.  “I speak for every member of the House in wishing her well and in expressing our gratitude for all that she has done for the people of her district, the Legislature and the State of Hawaii.

“Rep. Carroll has worked hard to call attention to the needs and wishes of the people of Maui, and I’ve personally witnessed how much she has sacrificed and seen how passionate she is about her role as their representative.”

In 2005 Representative Mele Carroll started her Legislative career when she received a phone call from then Governor Linda Lingle in the first week of February to represent the 13th District in the State House of Representatives.  At the time she was working as the chief legislative liaison for Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and humbly accepted the call to serve her community by representing them at the state level.

Representative Carroll was re-elected on November 4, 2014 to begin her sixth term representing the 13th House district.   The 13th District is a “canoe” district that includes East Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini.

“Making the decision to step down has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It is a heartbreaking reality that I have to face,” Carroll said.  “Serving in the State House of Representatives has been a truly rewarding experience.  I am thankful that the people of the 13th District have trusted in me to represent them as their elected legislator.  Every day that I came to work was a blessing and something I never took for granted.  I cannot say enough about the dedication of people I have met in my journey through the State Capitol, they and my fellow legislators have become my family.

“I want to thank Speaker Souki for his support and understanding as I made this difficult decision, as well as Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say for his support during his tenure and while I served as the Chair of the House Hawaiian Legislative Caucus.  Both Speakers showed me their compassion and understanding as I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments during my service in the State House.  I will never forget the sensitivity and compassion they bestowed upon me.  They made my fight a little easier.   My colleagues have been a tremendous support throughout my tenure at the Capitol and I am confident the people of Hawaii will continue to be served honorably by our state legislators,” Carroll said.

Carroll served as the Chair of the House Committee on Human Services and as a member for the Committees on Health and Housing.  During her tenure, she also served as the chair of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, and a member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, Keiki Caucus, Kupuna Caucus, as well as the Historical Preservation Caucus.

Prior to her appointment in 2005 by Gov. Linda Lingle, Carroll served as the executive assistant and the chief legislative liaison to County of Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and was responsible for representing Maui at the Legislature by providing oral and written testimony, researching and drafting bills as well as providing community updates through public forums and meetings.

As the Mayor’s chief legislative liaison, she was also responsible for writing a federal grant proposal to the U. S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for $2 million that contributed to the purchase of Muolea Point (73 acres) in Hana and worked with the community to develop a management plan to preserve Muolea Point which was known as King David Kalakaua’s summer home for the alii.

Carroll was a key leader and instrumental in helping secure funding for the new emergency medical helicopter service for Maui County. She did this by working with a bi-partisan coalition of community leaders.  The Maui representative also served as chief of staff to State Senator J. Kalani English for two years, in addition to serving four years as his chief of staff at the Maui County Council.  She was appointed and served on the state’s Cable Television Advisory Committee and the state’s Na Ala Hele Trails Council.

Carroll’s community service includes serving on the following boards of non-profit organizations:  past president of the Waikikena Foundation;  past president of the Maui AIDS Foundation; past vice president for the Friends of Maui County Health Organization; past board director of the `Aha Ali`i Kapuaiwa O Kamehameha V Royal Order of Kamehameha II; past board director for the Maui Adult Day Care Center; member of the Aloha Festivals Maui Steering Committee; past board director of the Na Po’e Kokua; and Paia Youth & Cultural Center.  She also served as the head coach of the Lahainaluna High School’s girls varsity basketball team.

“Again, thank you for this honor,” Rep. Carroll said in closing. “This has been an extremely rewarding experience that I will never forget.”

According to state law, Governor Ige has 60 calendar days from the date of the vacancy to name a replacement for Representative Carroll’s House seat from a list of three names submitted by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

Pahoa Community Aquatic Center to Open for Nighttime Swim Sessions

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation will keep the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center open until 8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to accommodate nighttime swim sessions.

Pahoa Pool

Swimmers of all ages are invited to the free open-swim sessions that start Wednesday, January 21. Children younger than 11 years old must be accompanied and supervised by a parent, guardian or responsible adult.

Nighttime swim sessions at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center are being offered on a trial basis to gauge patron interest and to meet the needs of swimmers who requested extended operating hours.

Information regarding County of Hawai‘i swimming pools is available at www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-aquatics/.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Next Community Lava Flow Meeting Scheduled

The next lava flow community update meeting will be held with representatives from Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pāhoa High School Cafeteria.

For the latest Civil Defense message, go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. For more information, contact Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.

12015mapoverview

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow. The area of the flow on January 13 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as determined from satellite imagery on January 17 is shown in red. The most distal portion of the flow on January 17 was approximately 700 meters (0.4 miles) from Highway 130. Overall the activity is sluggish and comprised of scattered breakouts and oozing pāhoehoe toes.

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

Medical Marijuana “Collective” Opens on the Big Island of Hawaii

Alternative Pain Management Pu`uhonua’s Collective is Now Open.

Medical MarijuanaMembers must have a valid Hawai`i medical marijuana (cannabis) certification, a Hawai`i State I.D. card & complete a membership intake & agreement and confidentiality statement.

We are a diverse group of the medical cannabis community dedicated to raising awareness and to educating the public and politicians alike, about the unique and dynamic physical, psycho-emotional, and spiritual issues related to chronic pain and chronic disease management. Each collective member comes from a different walk of life and contributes his or her unique perspectives, credentials, education and experiences.

We come together as a magnificent blend of support and diversity.  We encourage each other to pursue high quality and fulfilling lives, by using alternative health management modalities and lifestyle modifications. It becomes possible for all our members needs to be met by linking qualifying patients and caregivers together with one another while providing enhanced safety and quality control. Our collective strives to maintain an uninterrupted supply of medicine in all forms, for all our members.

We are your one stop shop for all of your medical cannabis needs.

Like us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/apmch808 or email alternativepainmanagementclub@gmail.com

 

Kona Grounded Sailing Vessel Caused Limited Damage

The grounding of the sailing vessel Hawaii Aloha off Hualalai on the Big Island’s Kona Coast on Jan. 3, 2015 caused limited resource damage.
Sailboat salvage

This is the determination of a team from the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) that conducted an in-water assessment of the area offshore of the grounding on Jan. 13.

Dr. Bill Walsh, the DLNR/DAR aquatic biologist for West Hawaii said, “The good news is this boat grounded on a bench area, so we didn’t expect to see any catastrophic damage to coral reef environments.  We did see some broken coral heads, but it’s impossible to determine whether the boat caused this damage, or they were impacted by the storm that resulted in the boat’s grounding.”  The DAR team did find debris scattered on the ocean floor, including relatively small pieces of fiberglass, cloth, eating and cooking utensils, and a few personal items.  DLNR will follow-up on the removal of debris discovered during this assessment. Hazardous medical waste was removed by non-DLNR divers shortly after the grounding.

The Hawaii Aloha, a 75-foot long, 84-ton, cement vessel was removed from the near-shore bench last weekend.  The salvage and debris removal work was conducted by Sea Engineering Inc., under a $150,000 contract from DLNR.  Dan Mersburgh, the acting Hawaii district manager for the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) in Kailua-Kona commented, “Sea Engineering did a good job and they did it quicker than I thought they could do it. They did it quicker than they thought they could do it.  So they did a good job.”  The company used a land based excavator to drag the vessel onto the beach, broke it up, and then dumped it into a truck for disposal at the county landfill.

Hawaii Aloha Salvage-Web from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

DLNR funded the cost of the salvage, as the insurance covering the Hawaii Aloha did not cover wreck removal.  This has prompted DLNR/DOBOR to institute a new policy, requiring vessels using temporary state moorings to show proof of adequate insurance coverage in the event of an accident or grounding.  “We are saddened that one man was lost at sea when the Hawaii Aloha grounded during the storm,” said Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator. “To protect State of Hawaii taxpayers, we want to be sure that all vessels temporarily mooring in Hawaii waters have adequate coverage to cover incidents like this grounding,” Underwood said.

Parker Ranch Partners with NextEra Energy Resources

 Parker Ranch announced earlier today that Parker Ranch Foundation Trust (PRFT) has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. This agreement provides NextEra Energy Resources with long-term access rights to PRFT lands to develop renewable energy derived from PRFT’s wind resources.

“We have been aggressively seeking ways to reduce the cost of electricity for our community and our island by using the potential renewable energy resources available on PRFT’s Hawaii Island lands,” said Neil (“Dutch”) Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch. “During this time, we have also been seeking capital and technical expertise from potential development partners. We have been working collaboratively with NextEra Energy Resources for more than a year and believe that they are the ideal partner to utilize PRFT’s wind resources.”

In 2013, Parker Ranch, Inc. commenced a utility-grade integrated resource planning effort with assistance from Siemens, Booz Allen Hamilton and Pace Global to evaluate alternative energy strategies for Parker Ranch and the surrounding communities of Waimea and North Kohala as well as the Island of Hawaii.

“Our work with Siemens identified several valuable scenarios utilizing PRFT’s wind resources, combined with storage, that could drive down electricity rates and cut our excessive vulnerability to volatile imported oil prices,” said Kuyper. “Reducing Hawaii Island electricity rates, slashing our reliance on imported oil and decreasing carbon emissions are all important to us because the cost of energy is tied to everything we do.”

Through its Paniolo Power Company subsidiary, Parker Ranch, Inc. is continuing to evaluate the merits of pumped-storage hydro and the economics of utility-scale battery solutions in the generation mix.

“Our community is inherently at the center of our mission and core values,” said Kuyper. “We will continue to engage our neighbors and friends in the process of pursuing our renewable energy and sustainability goals.”

The potential for renewable energy on PRFT’s lands is unique on Hawaii Island and in the State due to the size and scale of the wind resource.  PRFT’s mission is focused on the sustainability of the Waimea community, the hometown of Parker Ranch, by providing perpetual support for PRFT’s four Waimea-based beneficiaries.

PRFT and Parker Ranch, Inc. have recently completed comprehensive strategic planning efforts and each has decided to elevate the pursuit of renewable energy-related opportunities to be one of their highest strategic priorities.

NextEra Energy Resources is one of the largest developers of clean and low-cost renewable energy in North America and is the largest producer of zero-emissions energy from wind resources.

Hawaii Facilities Report 3 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemical Released During 2013

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report that showed that the majority of toxic chemicals managed at industrial facilities in the U.S. were not released into the environment. Nationally in 2013, approximately 84 percent of the 26 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were managed through the use of preferred practices such as recycling.

Of the 4 billion pounds that were disposed of or otherwise released to the environment, 66 percent went to land, 19 percent to air, 5 percent to water, and 10 percent was transferred to other facilities. Individual fact sheets for the Pacific Southwest Region states and territories were also made available yesterday.

toxic releases 2013

A total of 35 Hawaii facilities reported 3 million pounds of toxic chemical releases during 2013. Hawaii’s total reported on-site and off-site releases increased when compared to the 2.7 million pounds reported in 2012. AES Hawaii Inc., and Hawaiian Electric Co.’s Kahe Generating Station, both electric generation utilities, were the top two facilities for total on-site and off-site releases. For detailed Hawaii information and the list of the top facilities, please visit: http://iaspub.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_factsheet.factsheet_forstate?&pstate=HI&pyear=2013&pDataSet=TRIQ1

Puna Lava Flow Causes Runaway Brush Fires – Evacuation Not Required Yet

This is a brush fire information update for Thursday January 15th at 3:30PM.

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The Hawaii Fire Department reports two runaway brushfires in the area of the lava flow in Pahoa.  Both fires started from the active lava flow and are currently burning in a north/northeast direction.  The fires are located to the west or above highway 130 and approximately .6 to .9 miles from the Ainaloa subdivision.

The fires have not yet burned to the fire break adjacent to the Ainaloa subdivision and currently no homes or properties are threatened.  No evacuation is required at this time.

Fire department personnel and equipment are on scene along with helicopters and a bull dozer working to contain and extinguish the fires.

Additional updates will be broadcast as conditions change.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense

Nisei Veterans to Receive French Legion of Honor

Five veterans of Hawaii’s 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team from the Big Island will be awarded the French Legion of Honor by French Consul General Pauline Carmona in recognition of their service to liberate France during World War II.

Consul

Two of these veterans, Hidetaka Sato (Honaunau) and Mitsuo “Benty” Tachibana (Hilo) will be receiving the award posthumously.  Tokuichi Nakano and Iwao Yonemitsu, both from Naalehu, and Kazuma Taguchi from Hilo will also receive the medal.

The ceremony will be held at the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery, 72-3245 Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Kailua-Kona,  on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. and will be followed by light refreshments.  The public is invited to attend.

Lava Flow Crosses Fire Break – Brush Fire Reignited

The lava flow has gone over the fire break line that was designed to hopefully contain the fires that were happening from the Puna Lava Flow and a brush fire has reignited in the Hawaiian Home Lands area of Puna.

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Brush fire at 12:50 this afternoon

Another fire break line is currently being made to hopefully protect residents and businesses in the affected area of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Pu'u O'o erupting on the left... Brush fire down the slope on the right.

Pu’u O’o erupting on the left… Brush fire down the slope on the right.

Civil Defense is waiting for an update from Hawaii County Fire Department to make an assessment on their plan of actions.

A shelter will be set up at the Pahoa Community Center if an evacuation is ordered.  In the mean time… here is the Civil Defense Message that was published before the brush fire broke out.

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Thursday January 15th at 11:30 AM.

Today’s helicopter over flight and assessment will be delayed however preliminary ground assessments show that the original flow front and south margin breakout remain stalled. A breakout along the north side of the flow is active and has advanced down slope to an area near the stalled front. This current active down slope breakout has advanced approximately 200 yards per day over the past two days and is located 0.6 miles from the area of Highway 130 to the west or mauka of the Pahoa Police and Fire Stations. Two breakouts along the north margin approximately 1-1.5 miles further upslope or behind the flow front remain active and a more thorough assessment will be performed later today. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are maintaining close observations of the flow. All current activity does not pose a threat to area communities and residents and businesses down slope will be informed of any changes in flow activity and advancement.

With the ongoing dry weather conditions, brush fire activity related to the lava flow is likely. Hawaii Fire Department personnel and equipment are on scene and monitoring the fire conditions. There is currently no fire threat to area residents and properties.

Smoke and vog conditions were heavy with a southwest wind blowing the smoke in a northeast direction over the areas of lower Puna through Hilo. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and individuals who may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

Additional updates will be broadcast as conditions change.

On behalf of the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and our partners we would like to thank everyone for your assistance and cooperation.

16-Year-Old Girl Dies in Single-Vehicle Crash

A 16-year-old Pāhala girl died in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday night (January 14) in Pāhala.

She was identified as Leiani Camba-Penera.

Leiani Camba-Penera

Leiani Camba-Penera

Responding to a 9:21 p.m. call, police determined that a 1994 Toyota pickup truck operated by an 18-year-old Nāʻālehu man was traveling south on Route 11, seven-tenths of a mile south of the 41-mile marker, when the driver reportedly fell asleep, ran off the right shoulder and struck a utility pole.

Camba-Penera, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. Thursday (January 15). An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The driver was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Police believe that speed and drugs may have contributed to this traffic fatality. They have initiated a negligent homicide investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, Ext. 299. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the first traffic fatality this year compared with two at this time last year.

Big Island Man Charged With 21 Offenses

A Captain Cook man is in police custody after being charged with 21 offenses for an assortment of crimes in the Kona District in December and January.

On December 26, it was reported that two men broke into a limousine and taxi rental service on Hulikoa Street in Kailua-Kona at around 2:30 a.m. and stole keys to three taxi vans, along with a cellular telephone, office equipment and cash. One taxi was damaged and two were removed from the property.

Douglas Daniel Kaimiola

Douglas Daniel Kaimiola

Investigation led to the identity of one of the suspects as 30-year-old Douglas Daniel Kaimiola, also known as “Oni.” Police began searching for him.

On Sunday (January 11) police received an anonymous tip that led to Kaimiola’s arrest at a home in Hōnaunau for a no-bail warrant for furlough violation and for discharge of sureties and two counts of contempt of court. His bail on the latter three counts was set at $2,750. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock.

At 8 a.m. Monday (January 12), detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section arrested Kaimiola at the cellblock on suspicion of burglary and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle before he was taken to court for the earlier charges.

After court, Kaimiola was returned to the cellblock while detectives continued investigating the new charges. Their investigation linked him to additional crimes in the Kona District between December 18 and January 10.

At 7:45 a.m. Wednesday (January 14), Kaimiola was charged with two counts of burglary, five counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, two counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, three counts of theft, two counts of theft/forgery of a credit card, two counts of unauthorized possession of confidential information and a firearm offense.

His bail on those charges was set at $178,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance on those charges scheduled for Thursday (January 15).