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UH Researcher: “Marijuana Compounds Show Promise in Treatment of Cardiac Disease”

A Nevada company is hoping to develop new medicines for heart failure using compounds in marijuana and a novel therapy identified by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher.

Dr. Alexander Stokes in his JABSOM laboratory.

Dr. Alexander Stokes, assistant research professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, obtained a U.S. patent for his novel therapy in 2015.  The patent claims the cannabinoid receptor TRPV1 can be regulated therapeutically by plant-based cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids include psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds derived from marijuana, both of which have medicinal properties. They exert their effects inside cells after binding to receptor proteins in the cell membranes, such as TRPV1 and the classical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

Pharmaceutical development company GrowBlox Life Sciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GB Sciences Inc., obtained the license for Stokes’ intellectual therapy last December from Makai Biotechnology LLC, a Hawaiʻi-based cardiovascular therapy company founded by Stokes.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030,” said Dr. Stokes. In the U.S, he explained, this equates to one in three deaths, about one every 40 seconds, and costs the country approximately $316.6 billion a year.

Patients urgently need new drugs that can prevent or reverse the stages of cardiac disease and heart failure, according to Dr. Stokes. He further explained that TRPV1 is clearly a major cellular receptor involved in the progression to heart failure, and there is great potential for the new, proprietary mixtures within the GB Life Sciences portfolio to regulate the TRPV1 cannabinoid receptor.

GB Sciences said licensing the TRPV1 patent is a major step in its commitment to discovering new drugs that interact with the non-classical cannabinoid receptors, in addition to binding to the better characterized CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

“Our vision of novel, patentable cannabis-based formulations in the treatment of major diseases is now married with a proven drug target for modulation of adverse outcomes in cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, Chief Science Officer of GB Sciences.

Cannabinoids in native plant extracts exerted a more significant effect on TRPV1 receptors than purified cannabinoids in published research reports.

“GB Sciences believes its cannabis-plant-based approach may provide additional clinical benefits to patients due to the ‘entourage effect.’ In addition, the side effect profiles of cannabis-based therapies have generally been well tolerated,” said Dr. Small-Howard. The “entourage effect” refers to the theory that some cannabis compounds have greater effects on the human body when combined with other compounds than when given alone.

Said GB Sciences CEO John Poss, “This license is an important step in our company’s march to successful drug discovery.  We are very proud of Dr. Small-Howard and her team, and we expect results from this effort that will enable the company to do well by doing good for literally millions of cardiac patients around the world.”

Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates 22 Successful Graduates

The Veterans Treatment Court of the First Circuit (Oahu) held its fourth graduation ceremony on January 13, 2017.  Friends and supporters gathered in the Supreme Court courtroom to congratulate the six U.S. veterans who graduated from the intensive two-year program.

First Circuit Veterans Treatment Court Presiding Judge Edward H. Kubo, Jr. (left) congratulates a veteran of the program’s January 2017 graduating class. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Matthew K.H. McCarville, an Associate Vice President at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (right), served as the distinguished speaker for the First Circuit Veterans Treatment Court’s fourth graduation ceremony.

Twenty-two veterans have now successfully completed the First Circuit program since it was initiated by Judge Edward Kubo in 2013.  Over the past four years an increasing number of attorneys have heard about the Veterans Treatment Court and submitted applications for their clients to be referred to the program.  Hawaii now has Veterans Treatment Courts on both Oahu and Hawaii Island (Third Circuit).

Soldiers returning from war have demonstrably higher rates of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, pain, and substance use disorders (SUDs) than the general population.  Often, these issues are compounded by family strife, unemployment, and homelessness, ultimately leading to incarceration.

A 2016 study published by the Community Mental Health Journal found that veterans who participate in veterans treatment courts experience significant improvement in housing, relationships and social connection, overall functioning and well-being, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and mental and emotional health.

The Veterans Treatment Court takes a holistic approach to helping veterans by providing them with the resources and treatment they need to regain their health, obtain steady employment, and return to being law-abiding citizens so they may enjoy the freedoms they helped protect.

Each program participant has undergone extensive treatment and counseling, which includes frequent urinalysis, meetings with probation officers, and court appearances.  Many of the services rendered to these veterans were provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at no cost to the state of Hawaii.

Participants have also been assisted with finding housing and employment.  Their graduation celebrates their success in achieving a clean and sober lifestyle and a chance for a successful future with a job and other opportunities.

“I’d like to thank the staff from the U.S. Vets and Sand Island Treatment Center for their role in Veterans Treatment Court,” said Judge Edward Kubo.  “I’d like to also recognize the volunteer veteran mentors, who are an integral part of this program’s success.  These men and women understand the difficulties our program participants are facing, and walk alongside them throughout the process of recovery.  Veterans Treatment Court is a team effort, and that’s what changes lives.”

Delta Announces New Daily Nonstop Flights Between Seattle and Kauai

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Delta Air Lines will be launching daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Kauai beginning this December.

“Delta’s expansion of service to Kauai from its Pacific Northwest hub speaks to the confidence the airline has in the Garden Isle to drive demand from travelers in the greater Seattle area and nationally.

“Reliable air access extending throughout the Hawaiian Islands is instrumental to our tourism industry’s continued viability to support businesses and residents statewide. Delta’s new Seattle-Lihue service strengthens Hawaii’s ties to one of our major gateway cities, and will make it easier for travelers anywhere in the mainland U.S. to make daily flight connections to Kauai.

“It’s gratifying that Delta has factored Kauai into its nationwide expansion plans considering the options available to the airline. HTA meets with Delta’s route planners on a regular basis, which included the Airline Summit we hosted last September at the Hawaii Tourism Conference. As HTA does with all carriers, we provided information on the advantages of increasing flights to Hawaii, especially to the neighbor islands.

“Kauai’s economy will benefit significantly from this new service. Delta’s Seattle-Lihue flights on Boeing 757 aircraft will add 63,510 air seats annually to Kauai, generating an estimated $77.9 million in direct visitor spending for the island, and $9.1 million in tax revenue for the State.”
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Update Map of Lava Flow Field

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of December 14 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of January 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. Surface flows are focused on a branch of the flow east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that has been active since late last year. The front of that flow branch has stalled, but there are weak scattered breakouts upslope along its length.

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. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Disregard the area around the Kamokuna ocean entry, where the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed on New Year’s Eve. The lava flow polygons in these maps are layered to show additions to flow. As such, they do not show where material has been removed, such as by lava delta collapse.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

UH Hilo College of Arts and Sciences’ Fall 2016 Dean’s List

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Arts and Sciences received Dean’s List recognition for the Fall 2016 semester:

Shannon Abarra, Jozie Acasio, Kendra Adams, Madeleine Adler, Hildhang Adona, Clifford Agcaoili, Reygan Agcaoili, Keinan Agonias, Sherry Agonoy, Princess Agtang, Breanna Aguiar, Rhonda Akano, Leahi Akao, Eric Alabanza, Jeannelle Alejo, Alia Alvarez, Catherina Amantiad, Austin Anderson, Brian Anderson, Keion Anderson,

Kinsley Anderson, Li Ju Anderson, Harrison Andina, Nicole Antonio, Kamalani Aona, Zion Apao, Shannon Apostol, Ralph Aquino, Kathleen Aragon, David Arakawa, Justin Araki-Kwee, Jodi Ariyoshi, Keanu Arke, Kapuanani Arsiga, Nicholas Asuncion, Toshonnie Baker, Sharlene Bala, Kayla Balezentis, Valerie Balken, Kellsie Ballesteros,

Jill Banach, Kaitlin Barcoma, William Barden, Ashley Barhite, Benedick Baris, Ruth Bascar-Sellars, Joshua Bass, Daniel Baumgartner, Natalie Baus, Crystal-lynn Baysa, Anya Benavides, Chase Benbow, Cynthia Benevides, Chakra Best, Jahnu Best, Marjorie Betiong, Daniel Bilafer, Kateleen C. Bio, Victoria Birrenbach,

Kalaiakea Blakemore, Casey Blanchette, Chloe’ Blandino, Chelsea Blaquera, Sierra Bloomer, Hannah Blue, Marcia B. Blyth, Thomas Bolton, Stephen Bond, Jonathan Botticelli, Andre Brouillette, BreAnna Brown, Eleanor Brown, Laurel Brown, Matthew Brown, Rachel Bruck, Kathryn Brunk, Kailah Buchanan, Amberly Buer, Malia Byram, Ridge Cabaccang, Sydney Cabanas, Cheyrub Cabarloc, Riley Cabarloc,

Jerold A. Cabel, Leischene Calingangan, Chriztalee Calpito, Litah Campbell, Amanda Canda, Kirsten Cannoles, Terra Carden, Sheila M. Cariaga, Sheryl L. Cariaga, Tiari Carreira, Nicholas Carrion, Anne Carsey, Briauna Carter, Micah Carter, Kanoeuluwehianu Case, Gisele Cassarotti Prescott, Keenan Castro, Kahana Cazimero, Isabella Cebreros, Roget Chan, Andy Chang, Cheuk W. Chiu, Soo B. Choi,

Pono Christianson, Victor Ciaramitaro, Jessica M. Clark, Lautisha Cleavenger, Heather Coad, Ramzen Coakley, Zoe Coffman, Michael Coombs, Alysha Cosier, Clarence Cottrell, Celeste Cox, Seneca Cox, Rose Criscione, Tifaine Crivello, Trixie A. Croad, Callie Crowder, Kawelina Cruz, Ryan Cruz, Justin Cueva, Kendrick J. Dalmacio,

Uilani Dasalla, Stephanie Dawrs, DaShon Dean, Laura Deaton, Kaylee Decambra, Edwina Degrood, Marissa Dellomo, Audrey Deluca, Carey Demapan, Billi Derleth, Amy DeSa, Maluhia Desha, Leialii Dias, Stephi Dickinson, Savannah Directo, Danielle Dodge, Amelia Dolgin, Lorelei M. Domingo, Princess D. Domingo, Jasmine Donner, Sadie Dossett, Cortney Dougherty, Michael Dowsett, James Drescher,

Jordan Drewer, Jayahmie Drio, Alejandra Duarte, Jennifer Eastin, Caili Ebaniz, Raelyn Eckert, Jamie Economy, Michael Elder Waters, Meghan Elimon, Sara Ellsworth, Kenji Emerson, Remedios Epp, Tiffany Erickson, Chelsey Erickson-Vierra, Brianna Ernst, Duke Escobar, Corey Eshpeter, Raynell Espaniola, Herbert Estes, Rakeem Estrella-Clark, Meridith Farley, Jade Farmer, Sheilla M. Felipe,

Rachel A. Felix, David Finley, Amy Fischer, Rachel Fisher, Catrina Flores, Kirstie A. Flores-Oishi, Lindy Foust, Megan A. Francisco, Jeena Franco, Ella R. Fregeau-Olmstead, Dallas Freitas, Silmai U. Fritz, Esther Frost, Todd Frost, Brittany Fuemmeler, Shaylyn Fujii, Trent Furuta, Dylan Gable, Dillon-Jon Gabriel, Nicholas Galliani, Kelly Gani, April Gaoiran, Princess Gaoiran, Lehua Garcia, Nicole Garcia, Reyna Garcia Lopez, Madison Gates, Stacy M. Gelacio,

Emma-Lei Gerrish, Tuan G. Giang, Cody Gibo, Kawika Glimane, Kahri Golden, Kassidy Gonsalves, Jennifer Gonzales, Maya Goodoni, Rachel Gorenflo, Zachary Gorski, Michael Graue, Siera Green, Raymond Greene, Zechariah Greene, Rachel A. Greer-Smith, Chrisovolandou Gronowski, Rihei Grothmann, Courtney Guirao,

Katelyn Gundvaldson, Basu Guragain, Adrienne Gurbindo, Brittany Hale, Ariel Halemano, Quinn Hamamoto, Maile Hanaoka, Arielle Harnik, Katelyn Harris, Bridge Hartman, Krysten Hayashida, Kylee Hayashida, Jelyn Heaster, Alexander Hedglen, Dakota Helfrich, Jordan Heltz, Hannah Hendershot, Tessa Henderson, John Herman,

Jasmine Higa, Adam Hill, Kristie Hirai, Rachel Holmes, Tiana Honda, Lauren Hong, Alena Hookano, Alyssa Hoshide, Kainoa Howard, Karlie Howe, ZhiLing Huang, Merissa Hull, Francesca Huml, Kimberly Hutchinson, Mi Huynh, Thien Huynh, Joyce A. Ibasan, Hannah Ibbotson, Laura Ibbotson, Andi Igawa, Kadi Igawa,

Marina Ignacio, Alleonore-Destiny Iguin, Austin Inouye, Elise Inouye, Joanne Isabella, Kristen Ishii, Brian Ishola, Debby A. Itchon, Alexa Jacobs, Cyrus Johnasen, Lindsay Johnson, Kailani Jones, Kyle Jones, Mikayla Jones, Kara Jorgensen, Jaune A. Jose, Jamie Josephson, Kiilani Judd, Jessica J. Julian, Kayuri Kadoya, Janis Kaeo,

Polanimakamae Kahakalau, Kelii Kailipaka, Kahoruko Kajiya, Nainoa Kalaukoa, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, Brinell Kaleikini, Brooke Kamahiai, Keiki O Namahiai Kanahele-Santos, Stuart Kaneshiro, Tayler Kaniho, Sumire Kanno, Candace Karvas, Melvalee Kaulia, Germaine Kaululaau-Young, Martha Kawasaki, Hokuto Kawashima,

Kawena Kawelu, Jill Keely, Bianca Keohokapu, Emma Khachikian, Chantelle Kiessner, Brittany Kimball, Isaac Kimura, Mary L. Kimura, Sean Kirkpatrick, Rachel Kishimoto, Joshua Kitagawa, Keely Kitamura, Zena Kiyota, Tiana Klask, Alexandra Kler Lago, Aaron Knell, Kristi Kobashigawa, Sheena Kobayashi, Kamrie Koi, Rochelle Koi, Emilee Kojiro, Hyesun Kong, Krystle Koshiyama, Lisa Kosilla,

Joshua-Martin Kuanoni-Banagan, August Kubo, Kealiiahonui Kuikahi, Morgan Kultala, Keohikai Laikupu, Mia Lamirand, Brittney Lane, Samantha Lathrop, Brandon Lau, Luana Lavatai, Jesse Leavitt, Laurel Ledward, Robert Lee, Shalyn Lewis, Braysen Libed, Lee Linneman, Emerson J. Llaguno, Jessica Loeffler, Devynn Louie, Kristi Lovell, Noelle Lovesy, Rebekah Loving, Brittany Luna, Susanne Lyle,

Aleta Lyman, Natasha Machado, Taylor-Keahi Macomber-Cobile, Kimberly Magsipoc, Meagan Mahiko, Brandon Mahle, Wilson Malone, Natasha Manasas, Vanessa Mancera, Shelby Marhoefer, Danielle Marrufo, Dario Martin, Keelee Martin, Chanade Martins-Keliihoomalu, Mark Marzan, Shae Massie, Seth Master, Jaymie Masuda, Carle-Ann Mata, Moriah Mathson, Abcde Matias, Kasey Matsumoto, Kelley Matsumoto, Aspen Mauch, JoeAnna McDonald,

Danielle McDowell, Shaina McEnroe, Christina McIntosh, Jared McLean, Brannon McQuillan, Luana Mendiola-Smith, Ana Methuselah, Zoey Meyers, William Midgley, Anna B. Mikkelsen, Candice Miner-Ching, Zayin Minia, Jordan Mirels, Risako Mise, Philip Mitchell, Kelsy Miyake-Kamahele, Autumn Miyares-Thompson, Melissa Moats, Corrina Molina, Roseline Moniz, Brendan Moore,

Ariyana Moran, Jasmine Morikami, Lindsey T. Morin, Juliann Morris, Marilyn Motoishi, Shane-Earl Naeole, Amber Nagata, Lorelei Nakagawa, Robynn A. Namnama, Monnisa Nash, Jordan L. Nauka, Christopher Nelson, Cameron Nicholson, Richelle G. Nicolas, Karen Nishimoto, Allen G. Y. Nitura, Aaron O’Connor, Nai‘a Odachi, Amy Odaira, Dianna Oh, Morgan Olson, Ryder Oshiro, Cheynielle Pacheco, Lorelei T. Padasdao, Shandyn Pahia, Matthew Paio, Isaac Pang,

Jessica Pang, Stephanie Pasco, Taylor Patrick, Tyson Pavao, Jordan Pedersen-Fukunaga, Bryson Pedro, Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani Blankenfeld, Ulupuamahinamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Graham Pernell, Trevor Perry, Brenden Peterson, Michele Peterson, Mark Petner, Sharon Petrosky, Michelle Phillips, April Pinyerd,

Terri Pinyerd, Sarah Pitman, Debra Potter, Michelle Proue, Theodore Pruyne, Danielle Pulido, Froile Queja, Jasmin M. Quiamas, Natalie Quinajon, Sheri Quon, Crystal Rances, Skye Rances, Duchess Rapoza, Kaydee Rapozo, Evangeline Raza, Jeff M. Regalario, Karl Reid, Venesha Rems, Marleah Renti Cruz, Sharnelle Renti Cruz, Emily Risley, Anne Rivera, Johnvie Rivera, Joshua Robinson, Arlene Roche,

Alicia Rodriguez, Nikola Rodriguez, Janalynn Rollins, Ashley Romero, Jerome Romero, Shyla Ronia, Norie-Anne Rosal Calit, Megan Rose, Nickolas Rosenberg, Hannah Rosenow, Meghin Russell, Tahaanuiiterai Rutkowski, Nina Sabahi, Josiane Saccu, Melanie Sacro, Julie A. Sagabaen, Ruby A. Sales, Ilysia S. Sana, Gabriella Sanchez, Shelbi Santiago, Ryan T. Sasaki, Jacey Savage,

Kristen Savea, Blessing Savusa, Kimberly Schmelz, Dehrich Schmidt-Chya, Jacquelyn Schoenherr, Artem Sergeyev, Elisha Sevareid, Vanessa Shaffer, Ang Sheng, Laura Shepherd, Leah Sheppard, Jeffrey Shikany, Albert Shim, Jaci Shinoda, Keani Shirai, Dominique Shirazi, Jaylen Shiroma, Sheldon Shishido, Keian Shon, Ululani Siangco, Aimee-Joyce Silva, Malia Silva, Lindsay Simmons,

Heather Simon, Solomon Singer, Summer Singer, Hazel F. Sivila, Trevor Slevin, Alexa Smiley, Clara Smith, James Smith, Nicole Smith, Jonathan Snyder, Kiana Soloria, Vincent Soriano, Kalena Spinola, Ashlin Stahlberg, Maria Steadmon, Kyle Steckler, Phillip Steering, Luke Steinbach, Marguerite Stith, Jeremiah Storie, Oliver M. Strachan, Tiffany Stranathan, Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Jamie Sugai,

Kylee Sullivan, Taliesin Sumner, Tyler Sumner, Tevis Swain, Kaylah M. Swanson, Randolph Tafua, Yaeko Tagami, Ryan Taifane, Marina Takada, Melia Takakusagi, Shania Tamagyongfal, Sophia Tang, Victoria Taomia, Morgan Tate, Taavili Taylor, Temau Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Allicyn Texeira, Gin Tezuka, Travis Thieme, Nicolette Thomas,

Kori Todd, Jodie Tokihiro, Julie Tom, Jeffrey Tomas, Kaycie Tomei, Ashley C. Tomori, Brandon Tomota, Kaye-Karren Topenio, Ryotaro Toshima, Cao-Minh Tran, Hulali Trask, Dominick Trevino, Kasey A. Udan, Lavin Uehara, Mary-Fem Urena, Nicholas Vallatini, Nicolas Vanderzyl, Ja’ie Victorine-Dyment, Aundrea Vidal, Yesenia Villafuerte, Audrey Villanueva, Fred Visaya, Nelson Vo, Lily Voitek,

Ashley Vongsy, Cecile Vulliet, Amirah Waite, Wailana Walker, HeNaniNoOeKaWahineUioIkePono Wandasan, Kenton Wandasan, Vernon Warnock, Sondra Warren, Misa Webber, Tino Wells, Zoe Whitney, Kaira Whittington-Ramirez, Brian Wild, Vanessa Winchester-Sye, Jade Wong, Tiana Wong, Selisa Wright,

Sharmaine Yacavone, Kazuma Yamaguchi, Marilyn Yamamoto, Lia Yamashiro, Yuto Yamauchi, Jia Hao Yao, Phillip Yawata, Shaniah Yogi, Ivana Yoon, Deanna Young, Jenna Yugawa, Justme Yulian, Luana Zablan, Turfa Zaman, Xiaoqing Zheng, Matthew Zizzi, Gregory Zukeran.

Washington Man Found in Waters Off Kua Bay

A coroner’s inquest investigation has been initiated in connection with a possible drowning in Kona on Thursday (January 12).

At 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of an unresponsive man in waters off Kua Bay.

When officers arrived, beach goers were attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Fire/rescue personnel took the man, identified as 57-year-old Brad O’Gara of Amboy, Washington, to Kona Community Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m.

Police do not suspect foul play. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Democratic Party Rally to Save Health Care

The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i (DPH) will host a Rally to Save Health Care on Sunday, January 15th 2017 from 11am – 2pm at the Hawai‘i Legislature Rotunda.

DPH State Party Chair Tim Vandeveer, Sen. Brian Schatz, health experts Dr. Reni Soon and Dr. Steven Kimble, and other health care professionals and elected officials will speak to the dynamics — preserving and improving health coverage and how to be involved. There will be a sign waving on Beretania Street following the Rally.

At a time when the United States remains the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all as a right, the Republicans want to throw nearly 30 million people off of health insurance, make massive cuts to Medicaid and defund Planned Parenthood. What, if anything, they would replace it with has not been articulated.

Senator Schatz explained, “The ACA is covering more Americans and saving lives. It’s working. And while we can all agree that the ACA can and should be improved, leaving millions of Americans with no coverage, and no alternative, is just irresponsible. It’s time to stand together, organize, and fight every attempt to repeal the ACA.”

DPH Chair Tim Vandeveer said, “We gather not only to stand up for health care as a fundamental human right, but also to state unequivocally, that we will not compromise our values or go back on the rights we fought so hard to achieve.” Vandeveer stated that the event will also “Be a chance to thank President Obama for fighting to make heath care accessible and affordable to all Americans, especially the most vulnerable among us.”

The Rally will begin with a remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (upon his day of birth) and a reading of his quote: “Of all forms of discrimination and inequalities, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”

The Democratic Party encourages attendees to bring their own signs for waving on Beretania Street after the Rally. Light snacks will be provided.

Big Island Police Still Searching for Man Missing Since 2015

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about a 51-year-old Volcano man who was reported missing in 2015.

Eddie Seenarine

Eddie Seenarine was last seen in the Volcano area on September 30, 2015.

He is described as 5-foot-9, 176 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Police ask anyone with any information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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

November Lava Breakout Remains Active and Kamokuna Ocean Entry Continues

The November 21 breakout from the episode 61g lava flow remains active.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the upper left of the photo.

The tip is 2.4 km (1.5 mi) straight-line from the vent, and the furthest active lava is roughly 600 m (660 yd) back from the tip. The breakout, extending to the lower right of the image, can be identified by its light silver color.

The Kamokuna ocean entry remains active. On December 31, approximately 21 acres of delta collapsed into the ocean. The remaining ~2.5 acres can be seen at the base of the sea cliff in long narrow sections. On the lower right of the photo, a scarp is visible where a portion of the old sea cliff collapsed.

Degassing from the 61g lava tube is visible from the ocean entry to the upper right of the photo, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the top middle of the photo.

A close up view of where approximately 4 acres of old sea cliff fell into the ocean during the delta collapse on December 31.

The far eastern end of this collapse (right), is where the old public viewing area was located prior to the collapse.

On the left is a normal photograph of the ocean entry, which produces a robust steam plume and an area of discolored water extending out from the entry point.

The thermal image on the right shows how this area of discolored water corresponds to scalding water temperatures.

Another view of the ocean entry, with the plume of hot water extending out from the ocean entry point.

National Weather Service Has Issued a High Surf Warning

This is a Civil Defense message.

This is a High Surf Warning information update for Friday, January 13th at 11:30 AM.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for the shores of Kohala, Kona and Ka‘ū to go into effect from mid-day today and will remain in effect through tomorrow morning.

A High Surf Warning means there is a significant threat to life and property from the surf.

Surf over 12 feet is predicted along these shores with highest surf heights to coincide with the high tides early this evening and again around sunrise tomorrow.

Oceanfront residents, all ocean activities and beachgoers along the affected shores are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf.

You are advised to exercise caution due to the unpredictability of huge swells and dangerous surf.

As a precaution, boat owners and oceanfront residents should take actions to secure their property.

Thank you. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Banyan Drive Art Stroll Schedule of Artists, Demonstrations and Entertainment Announced

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll on Saturday, January 14, runs from noon until 6 p.m. Art exhibits are open at the Grand Naniloa Hotel, Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, and Banyan Gallery. People’s Choice ballots may be cast at the Grand Naniloa until 6 p.m.

From noon until 3 p.m. painters will be in Lili`uokalani Gardens. In addition to en plein air, the following schedule of demonstrations will happen in the square roof pavilion near the red bridge: 12 noon Valentina Montoya, 12:45 p.m. William Wingert, 1:30 p.m.  Peter Heineman, and at  2:15 p.m.  F Scott Cahill

  • Noon to 1 p.m. Christy Lassiter Trio (Christy Lassiter, J.J. Ahuna, and Kyle Kaaa) plus hula will perform at Grand Naniloa. Copies of the CD “Le`ale`a” will be available for purchase.
  • 2 p.m. Paradise Helicopters will award grand prize in the calendar contest at Banyan Gallery
  • 2 to 3 p.m. Puna Taiko will play at the old sumo area near the tea house.
  • 3-4 p.m. Brandon Tengan will demonstrate gyotaku (fish printing) at Suisan Fish Market.
  • 3-4 p.m. Puna Taiko will play outside Banyan Gallery, pupu will be served.
  • 4:00 p.m.  Ken Charon drawing demo at Grand Naniloa.
  • 4-5 p.m. Desmon Haumea and Bambu will play at Hilo Hawaiian, pupu will be served. Copies of the CD “Des and BAMBU – Maui Style will be available for purchase.”
  • 5-6 p.m. Desmon Haumea and Bambu will play at Grand Naniloa, pupu will be served. Copies of the CD “Des and BAMBU – Maui  Style will be available for purchase.”

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll is the first in a series of events to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens. For further information, see the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact K.T. Cannon-Eger by email kteger@hawaii.rr.com or cell phone (808) 895-8130.

Court Interpreter Applicants Wanted

The state Judiciary is seeking individuals who speak English and another language to become court interpreters.Applications are now being accepted for the next state court interpreter orientation workshop to be held on each of the major islands in February and March. Completion of the two-day workshop is one of the mandatory requirements to become a court interpreter for the Hawaii State Judiciary.

The two-day orientation workshops will be held on:

  • Hilo: February 16-17, 2017 (Thursday/Friday)
  • Maui: February 22-23, 2017 (Wednesday /Thursday)
  • Kona: February 28-March 1, 2017 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
  • Oahu 1: March 4-5, 2017 (Saturday/Sunday)
  • Kauai: March 7-8, 2017 (Tuesday / Wednesday)
  • Oahu 2: March 11-12, 2017 (Saturday/Sunday)

Registration deadline is February 10, 2017. Registration forms are available on the Judiciary’s website and from the Office on Equality and Access to the Courts at 539-4860.

The workshop registration fee is $95.  A grant from the Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation and Hawaii Friends of Justice and Civic Education is being used to lower the cost from the original $120 fee.

Certified sign language interpreters are also encouraged to apply.

In addition to successfully completing the orientation workshop, persons seeking to become a
state court interpreter must pass a written English proficiency exam and court interpreter
ethics exam and clear a criminal background check.

Court interpreters work on a freelance basis as independent contractors in cases when parties or witnesses are unable to hear, understand, speak or use English sufficiently.  Depending on their performance on written and oral exams, court interpreters are paid between $25 to $55 per hour with a two-hour minimum.

Governor Ige to Consider Nominees to Replace Retired Judge Karen Ahn

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancy created by the retirement of former Circuit Judge Karen S. S. Ahn. Ahn retired in June 2016.

The commission submitted the list of nominees to the governor on January 12, 2017 after careful evaluation and investigation into the background and qualifications of each applicant.

The nominees are:

  • Todd W. Eddins – Attorney, Todd Eddins, Attorney at Law
  • Jeffrey A. Hawk – Attorney, Hawk Sing Ignacio & Waters, Attorneys at Law
  • Darolyn Lendio Heim – Attorney/Partner, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon
  • Keith K. Hiraoka – Attorney/Managing Partner Roeca Luria Hiraoka LLP
  • Timothy E. Ho – Attorney, Chief Deputy Public Defender, State of Hawai‘i
  • Paul B. K. Wong – Judge, District Court of the First Circuit

Gov. Ige will interview each nominee and is seeking public comment on the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov – Contact the Governor.

Gov. Ige has 30 days, or until Feb. 11 to make his appointment.

Governor Ige to Consider Nominees to Replace Retired Judge Steven Alm in First Circuit Court

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancy created by the retirement of former Circuit Judge Steven S. Alm. Alm retired in August 2016.

Judge Steve Alm

The commission submitted the list of nominees to the governor on Jan. 12, after careful evaluation and investigation into the background and qualifications of each applicant.

The nominees are:

  • James H. Ashford – Judge, District Court of the First Circuit
  • Todd W. Eddins – Attorney, Todd Eddins, Attorney at Law
  • Jeffrey A. Hawk – Attorney at Law
  • Keith K. Hiraoka – Attorney/Managing Partner Roeca Luria Hiraoka LLP
  • Catherine H. Remigio – Judge, Family Court of the First Circuit
  • Paul B. K. Wong – Judge, District Court of the First Circuit

Gov. Ige will interview each nominee and is seeking public comment on the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov – Contact the Governor.

Gov. Ige has 30 days, or until Feb. 11 to make his appointment.

First Annual Global Tea Innovation Symposium

The launch of a Hawaii tea co-op, the first not for profit consumer cooperative tea business in the world will happen on February 1st, 2017 at 10am – 4pm at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, in Volcano, Hawaii.

Presenters scheduled:

  • Nigel Melican, Chairman,TeaCraft Ltd. (U.K): A global business development consultant to the leading world tea businesses.
  • Chairman, Kawasaki Kiko Ltd. (Japan): leading manufacturer of automated tea farming and tea processing equipment.
  • Jason McDonald, Founder of The Great Mississippi Tea Company and Co-Founder/Vice President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).
  • Grif Frost: Co-Founder/President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).  Expert in not for profit consumer cooperative development.
  • Takeshi Akatsuka, Vice President, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, the site of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.

Purpose: Provide A-Z, tea business development services, for Hawaii Tea enthusiasts.

Mission: Develop a model, which can be replicated, to help other tea enthusiasts worldwide, work together, to sustainably grow their tea businesses.

Services to be offered:

  • Propagation services: contract growing of the ideal tea plants, for specific geographical locales in Hawaii.
  • Farm Design services: contract selection and design of tea farm sites, suitable for automated equipment use.
  • Minimum tea farm acreage: 1 acre. There must a minimum of 10 acres of Co-op contracted tea farms, within a 5-minute driving radius.
  • Farm Site Preparation services: contract preparation of sites for automated tea planting services.
  • Planting Services: contracted automated tea planting services.
  • Growing Services: contracted automated pruning, pest control and fertilization services.
  • Harvesting Services: contracted automated tea plant harvesting services.
  • Processing Services: contracted processing services to prepare harvested tea for consumption
  • Sales Services: contracted sales of packaged tea
  • Research and Development Services: contracted research and development related to Hawaii tea community development.

50 seats available to people interested in participating in the development of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.  Price $250 ($200 may be applied to the purchase of Hawaii Tea Co-op shares). A tea and food pairing lunch will be served.

How to order: visit www.HawaiiTea.Coop to reserve your seat.

Governor Ige Announces Increases in Shelter Beds Through New State Contracts

Gov. David Ige announced the state Department of Human Services will award contracts to 33 homeless shelters. Funding will total $13,000,000 for 12 months. The new contracts require shelters to focus on outcome measures such as the number of people they will permanently house over the coming year.

Photo by Sean King

The results of the competitive bids show a net increase in state-funded homeless shelter beds, with 3,761 for the next year vs. 3,577 for last year. Additionally, the shelters are proposing to double the number of people they place in permanent housing from approximately 3,000 to 6,200.

“This is about more than increasing shelter beds,” said Gov. Ige. “It’s about increasing results. For the same taxpayer investment as last year, we’re doubling the number of people getting housed. We are finding better solutions, getting better efficiency, and creating better cooperation.”

The Request for Bids (RFP) process was open to all shelters statewide and follows state law which requires shelters to increase accountability, privacy, and safety for residents while moving people more quickly into permanent housing. In accordance with the state procurement process, shelters were encouraged to ask questions about the RFPs and received written answers. Revisions were made to the RFP based on their feedback. A written record can be found on the state’s procurement office website at:

http://gpcprod.spo.hawaii.gov/spo2/health/rfp103f/detail.php?id=MTI1Mw==&hs=e53b7f8e4919fbec14cb2c182ab6b247.

Contracts will be effective as of Feb. 1, 2017. All state-funded shelters will receive training by the Department of Human Service’s Homeless Programs Office.

Shelter RFP Award Listing

Bed Count Projections

OHA Named Co-Trustee of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Gov. David Ige, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the U.S. Secretaries of Interior and Commerce have signed an updated Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) adding OHA as a co-trustee of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. It is the largest, contiguous, fully protected conservation area in the U.S. and encompasses 583,000 square miles of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

With the signing of the updated MOA, co-trustee agencies are: the Commerce Department (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); the Interior Department (Fish and Wildlife Service); the State of Hawai‘i Land and Natural Resources Department (DLNR) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“Honoring, respecting and perpetuating the Native Hawaiian culture and sustainability are among my administration’s top priorities. OHA has participated in the decision making process since the monument was first designated by President Bush more than ten years ago, and previously, when the area was managed as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. The monument is world renowned for both its natural and cultural attributes and OHA’s co-trustee role will ensure the protection of Native Hawaiian cultural features and provide a critical cultural sensitivity to every decision that is made to protect this unique place,” said Gov. David Ige.

“We fully support and embrace OHA as a co-trustee of the monument. It is impossible to separate decisions about nature from cultural considerations. OHA’s elevated voice and input will inform management actions on a broad scale,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.

OHA has been one of seven collaborating agencies for Papahānaumokuākea, including NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Fisheries Service; the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ecological Services and Refuges, and the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources and Forestry and Wildlife.

Papahānaumokuākea is rich in history and cultural significance. In 2010, UNESCO inscribed the area as our nation’s first mixed (natural and cultural) World Heritage Site.

“The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is of great cultural significance to the Native Hawaiian community and houses important marine ecosystems that the Department of Commerce is committed to protecting for future generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Over the past 10 years, we have forged a strong partnership with the State of Hawai‘i and we look forward to collaborating with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on our continued efforts to preserve this unique environment.”

“The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems on the planet and a sacred place for the Native Hawaiian community,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “By including OHA as a co-trustee for Papahānaumokuākea, we are highlighting not only the protection of natural treasures like the pristine coral reefs and deep sea marine habitats, but also the significant cultural and historic resources of the area that will be preserved for current and future generations.”

“We thank President Barack Obama and our partners and supporters for making this a reality. Since our community’s first involvement in the management of these kūpuna island more than a decade ago, the goal has been to get Native Hawaiians a seat at the decision-making table. We understand the challenges ahead and are firmly committed to fulfilling our kuleana to this place and our beneficiaries,” said OHA Chair Rowena Akana.

“This historic action rightfully places the Native Hawaiian voice at the highest levels of decision making for this culturally and spiritually significant wahi pana (sacred place) and will help advance our people’s understanding of the deep connection of our entire paeʻaina (archipelago).  We look forward to serving in our new role, in partnership with our co-trustees, to develop and implement a resource management structure that integrates the best of conventional science and traditional practices. We hope that Papahānaumokuākea will demonstrate to the world that integrating science and indigenous knowledge is the best management model to sustain our fragile global environment,” said Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, OHA’s chief executive officer.

OHA is a constitutionally established body, set as a separate state entity independent of the executive branch of the State of Hawai‘i. Its primary responsibility is representing the interests of the Native Hawaiian community, including in the monument, through the perpetuation of Hawaiian cultural resources. This includes the customary and traditional rights and practices of Native Hawaiians that are exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes under the Hawai‘i Constitution.

Hawaiian Airlines to Begin Nonstop Service Between Kauai and Hawaii Island

Tickets as low as $89* one way now available for flights starting March 12

Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai‘i’s flagship carrier, today announced it will launch once daily non-stop service between Kaua‘i’s Līhu’e Airport (LIH) and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawai‘i Island beginning Sunday, March 12. This is the first time in the airline’s history that it will connect Līhu‘e and Kona with a direct flight.

“Demand from our kama‘āina and visitors for travel between Hawai‘i Island and Kaua‘i has been growing steadily over the past few years,” said Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines. “We are proud to now offer our guests direct access between these islands, in addition to our connecting flights through Honolulu or Maui. This gives travelers greater flexibility and convenience when traveling through the Hawaiian Islands.”

The 263-mile flight becomes Hawaiian’s longest Neighbor Island route, besting its flights between Hilo, Hawai‘i Island (ITO) and Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on O‘ahu by nearly 60 miles.

LĪHU’E (LIH)/KONA (KOA) SCHEDULE
*beginning March 12, 2017

Flight Route Departs Arrives  Frequency
HA 599 KOA – LIH 9:38 a.m. 10:36 a.m. Daily
HA 500 LIH – KOA 3:44 p.m. 4:44 p.m. Daily

Hawaiian first launched flights to Kona from Honolulu on July 10, 1949 and started service from Honolulu to Līhu‘e six months later on Jan. 8, 1950. Today, the state’s largest and longest serving carrier operates an average of 21 daily departures from each airport with its Boeing 717 fleet, including:

  • LIH – HNL: 17 flights
  • LIH – Kahului Airport (OGG): four flights
  • KOA – HNL: 16 flights
  • KOA – OGG: five flights*
    *two flights operated by ‘Ohana by Hawaiian’s ATR42 aircraft

During the busy summer months, Hawaiian also offers direct flights from both Kona and Līhu‘e to Los Angeles and from Līhu‘e to Oakland, California.  In December 2016, Hawaiian started its first-ever international service from Kona with thrice-weekly flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

*Tickets between Līhu‘e and Kona, starting as low as $89 one way including taxes and fees, are now available for purchase online at HawaiianAirlines.com.  Fare is available for non-stop, one-way flights between Līhu‘e, HI and Kona, HI. Tickets must be booked by 1/19/17 for travel between 3/12/17 – 5/24/17 and are only valid in the Economy (coach) cabin.  Fares are subject to seat availability during the travel period shown. Other restrictions apply. Additional baggage charges may apply. See HawaiianAirlines.com for terms and conditions.

Dying Cancer Patient Leads Suit Asserting Hawaii Law Allows Medical Aid in Dying

Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and Compassion & Choices filed suit on Wednesday on behalf of a Hawaii resident with terminal cancer, John Radcliffe, and a physician asserting the Hawaii constitution and existing state law allow the practice of medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying gives mentally competent, terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take to peacefully end an unbearable dying process peacefully.

Compassion & Choices Hawaii patient plaintiff John Radcliffe, attorney Anderson Meyer, pollster Barbara Ankersmit, Compassion & Choices Hawaii campaign mgr. Mary Steiner at news conference announcing lawsuit asserting Hawaii law allows medical aid in dying.

In conjunction with filing Radcliffe et al. v. State of Hawaii in the First Circuit Court of Hawaii, Compassion & Choices Hawaii has launched a legislative campaign as the second part of a dual approach to giving Hawaii residents definitive access to medical aid in dying. A bill is nearing final draft and will be announced at the opening of the Legislature on Jan. 18 with broad support from lawmakers.

A Nov. 2016 statewide survey by Anthology Marketing Group showed 80 percent of Hawaii voters support medical aid in dying, across all demographics including age, race, religion and geographic location. Six other states explicitly authorize aid in dying: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana, California and Colorado; there is not a single documented case of abuse or coercion.

“We must pursue every path to make medical aid in dying an accessible option for terminally ill adults in Hawaii as soon as possible,” said Compassion & Choices Hawaii Campaign Manager Mary Steiner. “Mr. Radcliffe can’t wait and see whether the courts or the legislature will ultimately resolve this question, but our hope is that this option will be made available to him as soon as possible. By filing litigation now, we have put the process in motion on all fronts.”

Compassion & Choices won a similar suit on behalf of terminally ill patient plaintiff Bob Baxter in Montana in 2009 when the Montana Supreme Court ruled: “… we find no indication in Montana law that physician aid in dying provided to terminally ill, mentally competent adult patients is against public policy.”

About the Plaintiffs

John Radcliffe, 74, is a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii. He was diagnosed in June 2014 with incurable colon cancer that has metastasized to his liver. He is currently undergoing his 43rd round of chemotherapy. He has been to the emergency room 15 times and had three extended hospital stays.

Dr. Charles Miller is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He served for 30 years in the U.S. Army Medical Department, was chief consultant to the Surgeon General and spent nine years as chief of hematology at Kaiser Medical Center in Honolulu.

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit organization committed to improving care and expanding choice at the end of life. Leading the end-of-life choice movement for more than 30 years, we support, educate and advocate. www.CompassionAndChoices.org/hawaii.

Big Island Police Searching for 15-Year-Old Boy Missing Since December

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Kamuela boy who was reported missing.

Jacob Mead

Jacob Mead was last seen December 9 in Waimea. He is described as 5-foot-8, 160 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number 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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.