Hawaii Island and Maui County State Courthouses Closing Due to Projected Hurricane Iselle

State Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Hawaii Island and Maui County will be closed beginning at noon on Thursday, August 7 through Friday, August 8, due to severe weather conditions being projected by the National Weather Service.

The closures include the Children’s Justice Centers, Offices of the Public Guardian, and Driver’s Education Offices on Hawaii Island and Maui County.  In addition, Drivers Education classes scheduled on Maui County for August 7 will be cancelled and rescheduled. Family Court hearings scheduled at the Molokai Courthouse on Thursday, August 7 and Friday, August 8 will be rescheduled to Thursday, August 28 and Friday, August 29.

The Chief Justice issued the order attached extending deadlines for any Hawaii Island or Maui County Court matters with a filing or hearing date of Thursday, August 7 or Friday, August 8.  All documents due during the Court closure will be considered timely if filed by the close of business on Monday, August 11.  Hearings or trials cancelled due to the closure of the Courts shall be rescheduled to the next available date with due regard for any statutory mandates.

Big Island and Maui County Courthouses are expected to reopen on Monday morning for business.

At this time, Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Oahu and Kauai County will be open for business as usual.  We will provide updates if there are any changes or additional closures.

Hawaii State Closing Areas in Preparation of Hurricane Iselle

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is advising the public to follow instructions of State Civil Defense and County Civil Defense agencies to prepare for the possibility of heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, power outages, large surf and coastal surge with the arrival of tropical storm system Iselle as early as Thursday on the Big Island.

Iselle

Both Iselle, and Julio in its wake, are evolving storm systems whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. However, people should heed National Weather Service reports and be ready in event of emergency situations.

DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storms approach. Additional closures may follow as the storms approach. People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf.

Areas closing on Wednesday August 6:
Hawaii – By 6 p.m., Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas, including Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground until further notice. DOFAW has suspended issuing camping permits.

Maui County – By 6 p.m., Maui DOFAW will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas (including Lanai GMA); this closure also affects Polipoli State Park (persons with camping permits are being notified).

Oahu – DOFAW has closed the Peacock Flats camping area to hiking and camping, and the Manoa Falls trail.

Kauai – By 6 p.m. DOFAW camping areas, including Waimea Canyon, Alakai Wilderness, Sugi Grove and Kawaikoi will be closed. As of Wednesday morning, Division of State Parks will close Napali Coast State Wilderness Park and the Kalalau trail will be closed to entering hikers. Trail closed signs will be posted at the Kalalau trailhead. State Parks will send a helicopter out on Wednesday to warn campers at Kalalau beach to evacuate or shelter in place.

Division of State Parks is suspending issuance of any new park camping permits statewide that would begin before Tuesday August 12th. This directive may be modified island by island as the track of the storms and their effects become known.

Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) does not plan to close any state small boat harbors but is advising boaters to monitor VHF radio for Coast Guard information on port closures and other safety advisories.

Hurricane #Iselle School Closures and Emergency Shelters Being Set Up

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is scheduling closures at designated public schools in advance of storms Iselle and Julio.

DOE ReleaseOn Thursday, Aug. 7, all public schools in Hawaii and Maui Counties (Maui, Molokai, Lanai) will be closed. All other public schools will remain open and continue their regular school schedule and afterschool activities.

School closures are being made according to the storms’ paths and in preparation of designated emergency shelter sites.

“The force of these storms remain uncertain, however, we do not want to wait until last minute to close our schools,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Additionally, many of our schools are designated emergency shelters and it is necessary to prepare these facilities as the storms approach.”

State and County Civil Defense officials expect Iselle to impact Hawaii Island and Maui County (Maui, Molokai, Lanai) on Thursday. Julio is forecasted to impact the Hawaiian Islands on Sunday.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 6: The following Hawaii County public schools, which are designated emergency shelters, will close at 2 p.m. This means all afterschool activities for students and staff are canceled at these schools, as well as any scheduled public meetings:

  • Laupahoehoe
  • Kohala High & Elementary
  • Kealakehe High (pet friendly)
  • Konawaena High (pet friendly)
  • Hilo High (pet friendly)
  • Waiakea High (pet friendly)
  • Keaau High (pet friendly)
  • Pahoa High & Intermediate (pet friendly)
  • Honokaa High & Intermediate (pet friendly)
  • Kau High (pet friendly)
  • Waikoloa Elementary

THURSDAY, AUG. 7: All public schools in Hawaii and Maui Counties (Maui, Molokai, Lanai) will be closed.

FRIDAY, AUG. 8: The schools in Hawaii and Maui Counties that are designated emergency shelters will remain closed on Friday. The Hawaii County schools are listed above, Maui County designated shelters are:

  • Baldwin High
  • Lokelani Intermediate
  • Kekaulike High
  • Hana High & Elementary
  • Molokai High
  • Kilohana Elementary

In Hawaii County, three complex areas serve more than 23,000 students: Hilo-Laupahoehoe-Waiakea (7,864), Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena (10,167), Kau-Keaau-Pahoa (5,414). There are more than 21,000 students in Maui County on three islands. Statewide, the DOE serves about 185,000 students at 289 public schools and charter schools.

DOE officials continue to meet with State Civil Defense and are closely monitoring the storms’ patterns. Information regarding public schools and afterschool activities will be announced as needed.

For updated information, follow the DOE on Twitter at @HIDOE808.

US Navy Prepares for Hurricane Iselle

In preparation for Hurricane Iselle, Commander Navy Region Hawaii has set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness (TCCOR) FOUR for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) on Oahu and the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai with destructive and sustained winds of 50 knots or greater possible within 72 hours.
Iselle
DoD civilian and military personnel and their families who live and work on JBPHH and PMRF should take this opportunity to complete preparation of family disaster kits and stock up on food, bottled water, dry milk, batteries, flashlights, candles and other emergency supplies.  Pick up any last minute material for your hurricane kit.  Prepare your home by securing all exterior furniture and loose objects.    Fill the gas tank of your vehicle and keep it above ¾ full as you complete your preparations.  The closer the hurricane is, the longer the lines for gas and groceries.

Go to the Hawaii State Civil Defense website www.scd.hawaii.gov and review closest shelter locations. JBPHH personnel and their families should monitor the Navy Region Hawaii and JBPHH Facebook and websites for updates, listen to recorded messages on the JBPHH Straight Talk Line at (808) 421-4000, and tune in to Joint Base Television (Oceanic Ch. 2) on base.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Commanding Officer, CAPT Stanley Keeve would like to emphasize the importance of gathering your belongings around the exterior of your house. Things like your lanai furniture, propane tanks and grills, children’s toys and bikes, garbage cans and doormats can be removed from your house during the high winds. Be vigilant and police your house. We also recommend filling your bathtub with water, to be used as flushing water in the event of loss of water.

Ensure that you and your pet are prepared for the upcoming severe inclement weather.

Remain vigilant and listen to local news for updates.

**This notice contains general information that may be specific to the JBPHH geographical area.  Personnel at PMRF, MCBH and other geographically separate installations should also monitor and follow locally provided guidance.

First Multinational Proliferation Security Exercise Held in Hawaii

The Unites States and its Asia-Pacific regional partners are hosting a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) exercise, Fortune Guard 2014, as the debut exercise in the new annual PSI Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation (APER) Aug. 4-7 in Honolulu.

Brig. Gen. Burt Thompson, U.S. Pacific Command's deputy director of Strategic Planning and Policy, speaks with a Fortune Guard 2014 participant during the opening ceremony at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Amanda Dunford)

Brig. Gen. Burt Thompson, U.S. Pacific Command’s deputy director of Strategic Planning and Policy, speaks with a Fortune Guard 2014 participant during the opening ceremony at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Amanda Dunford)

Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, Eric Rosenbach, kicked off the opening ceremony at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies Aug. 4.

“PSI exercises are an important way that endorsing nations demonstrate this intention to act while enhancing their capability and capacity to do so,” said Rosenbach. “The scenarios we’ll explore in Fortune Guard reflect the real-world challenges we face, from dual use commodities to maritime and air proliferation streams.”

Adm. Harry Harris, Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the keynote speaker and stressed the importance of engaging key audience participants and demonstrating its viability for countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials and delivery systems, and increasing the capabilities of countries in the region to counter WMD proliferation.

“PSI has brought together an international community capable of acting at a moment’s notice, who are committed to planning and training for any possible contingencies or eventualities, and who are willing to work together, government-to-government, to facilitate rapid decision-making,” he said. “… And now we’re upping our game, as we gather for the first exercise under the annual Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation, starting here in the United States, then next year New Zealand, then Australia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan. Together we are taking the next great step in preventing the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials. And we’re taking that great step together.”

Fortune Guard 2014 is the first event in the APER series of annual dedicated PSI exercises hosted on a rotating basis by six regional partners in the following order: the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

“In the past 6 years, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have all held at least one PSI exercise,” said Rosenbach. “Building on this robust level of activity in concert with these partners, Exercise Fortune Guard represents the launch of a new level of commitment to PSI in the Asia-Pacific. Each year, one of the Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation partners will host a PSI exercise, offering the region a key platform for cooperation on the critical threat of WMD proliferation and for the building of capacities needed to effectively counter this threat,” he said. “Fortune Guard is the first exercise in this series, and we are appreciative of our partners’ efforts in helping to plan this dynamic exercise that will focus on sharing skills and best practices related to interdiction, from rapid, national-level decision-making to operational tactics and procedures.”

The Secretary of Defense extended an invitation to participate in Fortune Guard 2014 to Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam. The Secretary of Defense also extended an invitation to observe the tabletop discussions to regional countries that have not endorsed PSI to include China, India, Indonesia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and ASEAN.

Participating nations are expected to conduct a tabletop exercise, a live exercise at sea on the USNS Henry J. Kaiser and a port exercise over at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The tabletop exercise will focus on national-level decision-making in interdiction scenarios. Which agencies engage, at what level, and at what point in process? Thinking through these challenges in advance can better prepare us all for real-world scenarios.

According to Rosenbach, a portion of the participants will spend the day aboard the Kaiser for a live exercise at sea. The Kaiser will contain a simulated WMD-related cargo and participants will witness ROK Navy and Coast Guard, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and U.S. Coast Guard special operations teams boarding and searching the ship, in a scenario that will also feature Royal Australian Navy role players.

At the same time, back on “terra firma,” another group of exercise participants will engage in an academic seminar, with topics ranging from Norway’s firsthand account of operations in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons to the relationship between UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and PSI.

On the final day of the exercise, the participants will have the opportunity to see capability demonstrations from tactical teams from Japan, Singapore and the United States, related to the simulated detection of radiological and proliferation-related materials aboard a C-17 aircraft and shipping container.

“We must always remember that the fate of all nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific is inextricably linked together. Security and stability in this region of the world comes from the united effort of like-minded nations, and like-minded people. People like many of you in the audience, here today. People who are aware of the challenges…aware of the opportunities…and aware of the dangers we all face together, now … and in the future,” he said. “By working together toward a common goal, we have an opportunity to help shape a brighter and more prosperous world for all us.”

UH Hilo Announces Trumbo, Santos & Sing Chow to Vulcans Athletic Hall of Fame

Congratulations to the Vulcans 2014 Athletic Hall of Fame class: former Athletic Director Bill Trumbo, tennis player Arthur Santos and softball pitcher Leo Sing Chow.
UH Hilo Moniker
Sing Chow (2003-07) was a 4-time all-conference, all-region and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar/Athlete selection. During her career, the Vulcans won two Pacific West Conference championships and appeared in three NCAA Regionals. She currently coaches the Hilo High School softball team. Sing Chow was nominated by Joey Estrella.

Santos (1975-79) was a 4-year player and won the 1975 Hawaii State Collegiate Singles title. While a student, he started and coached the Waiakea High School tennis program. Since leaving UH Hilo, he has conducted prison and wheelchair tennis programs in Hawaii and Wisconsin. He has competed nationally with singles and doubles titles in the Caribbean, Middle East and Austria. He is a member of the Peter Burwash International Tennis Specialists. Santos was nominated by Kip Koross.

Trumbo (1990-2000) guided the athletic department through the transition from the NAIA to the NCAA. Along the way, he secured corporate sponsorships for various programs, founded and built the Vulcans Athletic Hall of Fame, created multiple top-level collegiate basketball tournaments and engineered nine Vulcans Athletic Scholarship Fund Drive. Trumbo was nominated by Ray Fornof.

This year’s induction ceremony will be held on:
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Nani Mau Gardens
$50 per person

Reservations can be made by calling HOF coordinator Joey Estrella at 808-895-5977. Corporate tables of eight are also available.

State of Hawaii Attorney General Announces $11.3 Million Settlement Involving Deceptive Credit Card Business Practices

Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that the State of Hawaii has reached settlements totaling approximately $11.3 million to resolve cases against four credit card companies, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Discover Financial Services, and Citibank, regarding marketing practices for credit card payment protection plans alleged by the Attorney General to be deceptive under state law.

JP Morgan“We filed these cases to protect Hawaii consumers and stop illegal and deceptive practices of marketing credit card protection plans,” said Attorney General Louie. Consumers were typically solicited by their credit card company via phone or email with misleading sales pitches that omitted important information.

Many Hawaii consumers were duped into signing up for a service that they would not have otherwise purchased. The improper conduct included: enrolling consumers without their consent; providing misleading information about free trial periods; distorting plan benefits; billing for services not provided; unfairly charging credit card customers for interest and fees; or denying plan benefits to eligible customers.

“With the resolution of these cases we have taken a strong stance against unfair and deceptive credit card practices,” said Attorney General Louie. Louie added that “These cases are important because they put the credit card industry on notice that it will be held accountable if it engages in misleading practices.”

Federal enforcement actions involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and private class action lawsuits have sought and are seeking restitution for Hawaii consumers. The proceeds from these settlements will go to the State General Fund.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s office worked with the law firms of Cronin, Fried, Sekiya, Kekina & Fairbanks; Baron and Budd; and Golomb & Honik on these cases.

Pacific Edge Magazine Announces New Gala Date and Updated Nomination Deadline

Hawaii’s best and brightest companies and business leaders to be honored at red-carpet awards gala on September 25

Pacific Edge Magazine (PEM) announced today it has moved the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards to September 25, 2014. Element Media, Inc., Hawaii’s premier custom publishing firm, will host the exclusive red-carpet soiree to recognize the state’s most influential business leaders, organizations and non-profits while celebrating the company’s eighth anniversary.

pacific Edge

Local business and community leaders are encouraged to submit nominations for the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards by August 14, 2014 at www.pacificedgeawards.com. Self-nominations are encouraged.

“Since our very first issue in 2005, we’ve been passionate about highlighting the individuals, companies and organizations that inspire and innovate our local business community through our monthly networking events, in-depth articles and online presence,” said Jamie Giambrone, co-founder of Element Media, Inc. and co-publisher of Pacific Edge Magazine. “This awards gala will provide the opportunity to shine the spotlight on those most deserving of their achievements, while also celebrating the eighth anniversary of Pacific Edge.”

Nomination categories include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Young Professional of the Year
  • Business Executive of the Year
  • Educator of the Year
  • Commitment to Green Award
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award
  • Best New Business
  • Best Family-Run Business
  • Best Social Media Campaign

All submissions are evaluated by an independent panel of judges comprised of respected local community leaders.  Detailed information about the gala and award nomination submissions are available at www.pacificedgeawards.com.

Last year’s gala attracted an esteemed crowd of more than 350 guests in which the following individuals, businesses and organizations were recognized:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Mel Tanioka, Founder & President, Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering
  • Young Professional of the Year Award – Ina Chang, President, Aloha Data Services
  • Business Executive of the Year Award – Shelley Wilson, President & CEO, Wilson Care Group
  • Commitment to Green Award – Oceanit
  • Educator of the Year Award – Matt Lawrence, Teacher, Waikiki Elementary School
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award – Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu
  • Best Social Media Campaign Award – W.M. Keck Observatory
  • Best Family-Run Business Award – Kamaka Hawaii
  • Best New Business Award – Mojo Barbershop
  • Best Non-Profit Impact – The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery

Inquiries about corporate sponsorship or nominations can be directed to Jamie Giambrone at (808) 737-8711 or Jamie@elementmediahi.com

Receive updates and the latest awards news by following Pacific Edge Magazine on Twitter at @PacificEdge and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PacificEdge.

Big Island Police Searching for Man Considered Armed and Dangerous

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 36-year-old Papaʻaloa man who is wanted on two bench warrants for contempt of court.

Timothy John Nacis

Timothy John Nacis

Timothy John Nacis is also wanted in connection with a terroristic threatening and criminal property damage incident that occurred Saturday morning (August 2) in Hilo. He is described as 5-foot-11, 175 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a light-colored Lexus sedan, license plate GTR 462.

He is considered armed dangerous.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts not to approach him but 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Receives Grant for Endangered Hawksbill Turtle

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is one of 23 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The $19,200 grant will assist park efforts to protect the federally endangered hawksbill turtle, known as the honu‘ea in Hawaiian, by supporting park volunteers who monitor nesting beaches, rescue distressed females, eggs and hatchlings, improve habitat, and provide information to beachgoers along the southern coast of Hawai‘i Island.

10 honu ēa have been documented along the southern shores of Hawai‘i Island -- 6 returnees, and 4 newly tagged, NPS Photo

10 honu ēa have been documented along the southern shores of Hawai‘i Island — 6 returnees, and 4 newly tagged, NPS Photo

Loss of nesting habitat caused by beach erosion and invasive plants threatens the future of the honu‘ea on the southern coast of Hawai‘i Island. Student biologists and individuals from the community will assist as volunteers and remove invasive woody plants such as koa haole that are encroaching on to beaches, as well as relocate nests to prevent damage to fragile eggs from high surf and overcrowding. While monitoring turtle activity, volunteers assist stranded females and hatchlings, and provide on-site information of park recovery efforts to beachgoers.

“The honu‘ea is a much beloved turtle in Hawai‘i and it would be tragic to see this animal disappear from our shores. We’re very excited to work with the National Park Foundation to restore nesting habitat. In addition to helping to protect the turtle, we’ll also be providing valuable training and experience to students interested in pursuing careers in conservation biology,” said Dr. Rhonda Loh, Chief of Natural Resources Management for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

One of the returning females had not been documented since 2005, and biologists and volunteers were overjoyed to see her return!  NPS Photo

One of the returning females had not been documented since 2005, and biologists and volunteers were overjoyed to see her return! NPS Photo

Now in its seventh year, the Impact Grants program provides national parks with the critical financial support they need to transform innovative, yet underfunded, ideas into successful in-park programs and initiatives.

“Through our Impact Grants, we will help make a profound difference in our national parks by providing much-needed funding for projects that support habitat restoration, wildlife protection, and conservation research,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.

21 nests are confirmed at four beaches, including two within the national park, ‘Āpua Point and Halapē. NPS Photo

21 nests are confirmed at four beaches, including two within the national park, ‘Āpua Point and Halapē. NPS Photo

The 2014 Impact Grants were made possible, in large part, through the support of Disney and Subaru of America. A listing of these parks and their Impact Grants project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.

For more information on the National Park Foundation and how to support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org. For more information on the National Park Service, please visit www.nps.gov.

B-ELITE Basketball Garage Sale Fundraiser

Help support my son’s basketball team and Big Island youth basketball at a garage sale in Hilo.
Garage Sale

Hawaii Missed Opportunities to Improve Drinking Water Infrastructure

Millions of dollars in federal funds intended for drinking water projects in Hawaii and four other states have sat unspent, according to a federal report.

The report, issued July 16, follows one in 2011 in which the EPA's OIG said the DWSRF program was not doing enough to find water systems that weren't compliant with regulations and could benefit from the program. The EPA provides the DWSRF funds to the states.  Click to view report

The report, issued July 16, follows one in 2011 in which the EPA’s OIG said the DWSRF program was not doing enough to find water systems that weren’t compliant with regulations and could benefit from the program. The EPA provides the DWSRF funds to the states. Click to view report

The Office of Inspector General for the Environmental Protection Agency said it found that five states reviewed — Missouri, California, Connecticut, Hawaii and New Mexico — have $231 million in unspent balances above the goal level in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which provides low-interest loans for cities, towns and local water districts to make drinking water infrastructure improvements.

We found that the EPA and the five states we reviewed took many actions to reduce DWSRF unliquidated balances, but those actions have not reduced DWSRF unliquidated balances to the goal of below 13 percent of the cumulative federal capitalization grants awarded.

For the period we examined the five states reviewed — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Missouri and New Mexico — executed small numbers of loans each year and did not maximize the use of all DWSRF resources, including capitalization grant awards. State programs reviewed were not adequately projecting the DWSRF resources that would be available in the future to enable the states to anticipate the amount of projects needed to be ready for loan execution in a given year.

As a result, $231 million of capitalization grant funds remained idle, loans were not issued, and communities were not able to implement needed drinking water improvements.

We also noted that states’ project lists included in the capitalization grant application —called fundable lists —did not reflect projects that would be funded in the current year and overestimated the number of projects that will receive funding.

Less than one-third of the projects on the fundable lists we reviewed resulted in executed DWSRF loans during the current grant year.

We found that, generally, these states did not have a consistent “ready-to-proceed” definition.

When projects are not ready to proceed, expected environmental benefits are delayed.

Because states use the fundable lists to justify their annual capitalization grants, the fundable lists should communicate to the EPA and the public the projects that will be funded with taxpayer money.

Recommendations and Planned Corrective Actions

  • We recommend that the Assistant Administrator for Water require states with unliquidated obligations that exceed the Office of Water’s 13-percent-cutoff goal to project future cash flows to ensure funds are expended as efficiently as possible.
  • We also recommend that the Assistant Administrator develop guidance for states on what projects are to be included on the fundable lists and require regions, when reviewing capitalization grant applications, to ensure states are complying with the guidance.

The EPA agreed to take sufficient corrective actions on most of the recommendations.  The EPA still needs to take steps to ensure states have adopted the EPA’s guidance on the definition of “ready to proceed.

Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Launches New Data Visualization Application

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission launched a new data visualization application on its website, which will permit anyone to see how noncandidate committees which includes Super PACs are raising and spending money on 2014 state and county races.

In partnership with the State of Hawaii’s Office of Information Management & Technology (OIMT), Information & Communication Services Division (ICSD), and Socrata, the Commission unveiled its newest tool today on its website.

Access the Noncandidate Committee Data Visualization App

This new application will permit you to view charts of a noncandidate committee’s campaign spending data for a particular election period.  Similar to the candidate committee application which was released in November 2013, this app will permit you to view pie charts, a geo-map and a bar chart from data derived from the noncandidate committees’ reports which are filed electronically with the Commission from the last 6 years.  Highlights of the new app include:

  • Percentage of how contributions are funded (by individuals, candidate committees, noncandidate committees, vendor/business)
  • Percentage of contributions received from in-state versus out-of-state including geo-maps
  • Percentage of contributions by states as well as zip codes
  • Fundraising activity
  • Contributions to candidates categorized by office
  • Contributions to candidates categorized by party
  • Percentage of expenditures by category
  • Percentage of expenditures versus independent expenditures
  • Percentage of in-state versus out-of-state expenditures

campaign

This application was conceived to provide greater transparency and accountability in government and enable the public to follow the money of noncandidate committees’ participation in the elections in Hawaii.  “We hope this app will increase interest and voter engagement as we enter the primary election on August 9th and move towards the general election on November 4th,” said the Commission’s Executive Director Kristin Izumi-Nitao.

For more information, contact:

Executive Director Kristin Izumi-Nitao
Associate Director Anthony Baldomero
Campaign Spending Commission
Phone:  (808) 586-0285

DOT to Host Small Business Development Workshop for Contractors in Kona

The state Department of Transportation, Minority Business Development Center, Hawaii Business Center and U.S. Small Business Administration invites the public to its free business development workshop.

sbd

This class will incorporate a six-part series to help small businesses interested in government contracting and will feature speakers who will discuss how to win federal contracts, how to write capability statements and business plans, financing, bonding, and details about Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Small Business Administration certifications. The workshop at the Hawaii Community FCU Conference Room is scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
73-5611 Olowalu Street
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740

Registration forms are available on the DOT website at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/administration/ocr/dbe/. Due to limited seating please e-mail the online registration form by Friday, August 8, to don.fukuhara@hawaii.gov or fax it to 808-587-2025. For more information, please contact Don Fukuhara at 808-587-6333 or view the workshop flyer at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/administration/files/2013/01/Aug12.pdf.

Big Island Police Charge Hilo Man in Connection with Wednesday’s Robbery

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a Hilo man who was arrested in connection with a robbery Wednesday in Hilo.

Shannon L. Y. Estocado

Shannon L. Y. Estocado (2011 file photo)

At 3:10 p.m. Thursday (July 31), detectives charged 30-year-old Shannon L. Y. Estocado of Hilo with second-degree robbery, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and third-degree assault. He was released after posting $7,250 bail.

At 10:58 a.m. Wednesday (July 30), Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a robbery outside a restaurant on Kanoelehua Avenue.

Police determined that a man had reportedly approached and entered the passenger door of a 2004 Mazda sedan that was occupied by a 54-year- old woman. He then struck the woman in the chest and head with a closed fist and stole her car keys, cellular phone and prescription medication. The assailant then left the area in a brown jeep being driven by an unknown person.

The victim went to Hilo Medical Center, where she was treated for her injuries and released.

Investigation led to the arrest of Estocado a short time later on Railroad Avenue.

Hilo Man Charged With 18 Offenses for Possesion of Steroids

A 24-year-old Hilo man has been charged with 18 offenses after being found in possession of large quantities of illegal steroids.

On Tuesday (July 29), officers from the Area I Vice Section served search warrants at a home on Paipai Street in Hilo and recovered 10 vials of Testosterone Cypionate, two vials of Boldenone Undeecylenate, eight vials of Testosterone, eight vials of Drostanolone, 404 pills of Oxandrolone, 192 pills of Mesterolone, 95 pills of Oxymetholone, four vials of Nandrolone and 1,373 pills of Methandrostenolone.

Gregory Douglas Kama

Gregory Douglas Kama

Gregory Douglas Kama was arrested at the scene and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

On Thursday (July 31) he was charged with 10 counts of promoting a harmful drug and eight counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $82,000. He remained at the cellblock pending an initial court appearance on Friday (August 1).

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds). It will be visible beginning tonight, Friday August 1st at 7:48 PM.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes.  Maximum Height: 48 degrees, and it will appear in the South Soutwest part of the sky and disappear to the Northeast.

Another Wreck at Malama Market Intersection of H130

Today at about 12:45 there was another wreck on Highway 130 at the Malama Market intersection.

Crash 1Traffic was backed up for a while and by the time I got to the intersection… the ambulance had already left the scene.

crash 2Be careful out there folks!!!

HI-PAL Seeking Teams for Upcoming “Click It or Ticket” Tournaments

HI-PAL is seeking teams interested in playing in “Click It or Ticket” 5-on-5 basketball tournaments August 30-31 at Pāpaʻikou Gym and September 12-14 at Waiākea Uka Gym.

HI-PAL LogoBoth 5-6 division and 7-8 division teams are being sought for the August tournament. Both 9-10 division and 11-12 division teams are being sought for the September tournament.

Deadline to enter and submit all completed forms to participate in the tournament is September 1.  The age cut-off for the tournaments is December 31, 2014. Players are allowed to play on only one team per division.

All HI-PAL roster, waiver and seat belt forms are required for participation.  Interested teams may contact HI-PAL at 961-8121 to register.

Governor Presents $1.6 Million to Innovative Zero-Waste Biofuel Program in Hilo

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today presented a $1.6 million check on behalf of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center’s (DKI-PBARC) zero-waste biofuel and high-protein feed program on Hawaii Island.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Agribusiness Development Corporation check presentation to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Agribusiness Development Corporation check presentation to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

DKI-PBARC, and Florida-based BioTork LLC, have invested more than $1 million to successfully develop an economically sustainable zero-waste conversion project producing biofuel and high-protein animal feed from unmarketable papaya and other low-value agriculture feedstock. The conversion process takes fewer than 14 days to cycle in a heterotrophic environment, meaning no sunlight is needed using organically optimized algae/fungi developed and patented by BioTork.

The state’s $1.6 million is in addition to its initial $200,000 investment that will assist DKI-PBARC in moving the Hilo-based project to demonstration scale as a prelude to commercial production. The ADC will become a venture partner to globally export the rapid conversion technology in association with PBARC and BioTork.

“Our investment promotes further use of agricultural crops to provide clean energy and leads us on a more definitive path towards food sustainability,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “We need to focus on projects like this as Hawaii emerges as a global leader for biofuel and feed research and development.”

“Another by-product of this process is the production of high-protein feed and fish feed,” explained Scott Enright, HDOA chair. “The feed can greatly benefit cattle, swine, poultry and support aquaculture operations.”

The state also hopes to develop a long-term revenue generator as a partner exporting this technology. At full scale, more than 1,000 jobs are projected.

While papaya was chosen as the initial feedstock, this technology can be applied to any plant material as a carbon source. In Hawaii, other identifiable feedstocks are unmarketable sweet potato, sugar cane, mango, molasses and glycerol. Invasive trees, like albizia, could also be used as feedstock in this zero-waste program.

It is imperative that we provide support to build the necessary infrastructure which opens up new markets for agriculture,” said Jimmy Nakatani, ADC executive director. “Progress at DKI-PBARC has been nothing less than stellar to accomplish this, through efforts led by Research Plant Pathologist and Program Manager Dr. Lisa Keith.”

Funds are also being used to research the conversion of locally produced molasses. Samples from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company are being tested to determine which high-value and economically viable co-products can be developed using natural methods to create much more value to the local economy.