Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Range Named in Honor of Late Hawaii Senator

The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Range and Operations Center was officially named in honor of the late Senator from Hawaii, Daniel K. Inouye, during a naming ceremony held at PMRF on the 20th of July.  The former building 105 on PMRF was officially named the “Daniel K. Inouye Range and Operations Center (DIROC)”.

Daniel Inouye Range and Operations Center

Kekaha, HI (July 20, 2016) – U.S. Navy officers and members of the Kauai’s community come together in celebrating the naming of the range and operations center in honor of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

The 33,522 square foot Range Operations Center was erected in 1963 and houses facilities for sustaining operations for the worlds largest instrumented multi-environment training and test range that encompasses 2.1 million square miles of sea, air and space and plays a vital role in ensuring current and future force readiness.

The event which was attended by family, friends and distinguished visitors from the civilian and military communities from all across Hawaii, included the Honorable Mazie Hirono, United States Senator, Mayor County of Kauai, the Honorable Bernard Carvalho, Rear Admiral John V. Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, wife of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Mrs. Irene Inouye, their son and daughter Ken and Jessica Inouye and many more.

(July 20, 2016) - Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, talks with Irene Inouye at a naming ceremony held in honor of her late husband, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

(July 20, 2016) – Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, talks with Irene Inouye at a naming ceremony held in honor of her late husband, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

The program featured comments from distinguished guests, a traditional Hawaiian christening ceremony and unveiling of the new name and logo.

In his speech to the group, Capt. Bruce W. Hay, Commanding Officer, PMRF commended the senator’s significant actions in removing PMRF from the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure list and ensuring infrastructure improvement funding was allocated to help make PMRF the worlds premier test and training range and paving the way for a brighter future for the facility.

Hay also explained the significance of each part of the new DIROC logo which was chosen from a number of different design submissions.  The winning logo was designed by Steve Rogers, a former employee of PMRF and depicts four horizontal color bands representing the four operational domains that the Daniel K. Inouye Range and Operations Center (DIROC) is capable of controlling simultaneously: subsurface, surface, air and space.

The colors represent the natural tones of the Hawaiian sea, sky and space.  Each band depicts a submarine, surface ship, airplane and space vehicle/missile representing the participants in each of these domains. A thin line trails each craft representing that the PMRF environment is not static, but dynamic and evokes the tracks displayed on the control screens during operations.  The colors of yellow and black were the Senators favorite colors and the five white stars in the light blue field represent the Medal of Honor the Senator received for his heroism during World War II.

Mrs. Irene Inouye, wife of the late senator welcomed and expressed her gratitude for all in attendance, shared her joy in being back at PMRF and expressed her thanks for having the late senators name be part of the base.

Kekaha, HI (July 20, 2016) - Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, greets Purple Heart recipient John Iwamoto former member of the U.S. Army  442nd battalion at Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s naming ceremony at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

Kekaha, HI (July 20, 2016) – Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, greets Purple Heart recipient John Iwamoto former member of the U.S. Army 442nd battalion at Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s naming ceremony at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

To officially dedicate the building, Rear Admiral John Fuller, Captain Bruce Hay, Ms. Jennifer Goto-Sabas, Mr. Ken Inouye and Mrs. Irene Inouye drew the strings that unveiled the new signage and a new DIROC logo on the east wall of the building as Ms. Aletha Kaohi recited a Hawaiian christening prayer.  After the unveiling of the new signage, guests joined hands and sang “Hawai’i Aloha” in unison.

The naming ceremony was followed by a tour of the DIROC and a social gathering at Shenanigans All Hands Club on PMRF.

Tropical Storm Darby Heading Towards the Big Island

For most of the day, Darby’s satellite signature was indicative of a system experiencing southwesterly vertical wind shear, with deep convection located northeast of the partially-exposed low-level center.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In the last couple of hours, however, a banding feature has been wrapping around the west side of the center, with latest shear analyses from UW-CIMSS and SHIPS indicating that the shear has shifted to the south, and weakened to near 10 kt…   (MORE HERE) http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/tcpages/archive/?prod=TCDCP3.EP052016.038.201607210259

22 New Cases of Hepatitis A – Oahu Outbreak Up to 74 Cases

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of hepatitis A infections on Oahu.  HDOH staff are conducting interviews with the cases in an effort to identify the source of infection.

Department of Health

Identifying the source of infection continues to be a challenge because of the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

Individuals who are interested in being vaccinated should contact their healthcare providers.

As of July 20, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 22 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 26 have required hospitalization.

All of the cases are residents of Oahu with the exception of two individuals who now live on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, respectively, but were on Oahu during their exposure period.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
74

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 7/14/16.

Contacts of Cases

Unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

A contact is defined as:

  • All unvaccinated household members
  • All unvaccinated sexual contacts
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene

Note: A food handler is any person who directly prepares, serves, or handles food.

Places of Interest

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Establishment Location Dates of Service
Baskin-Robbins Waikele Center June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
Taco Bell Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

Hepatitis A — Information and Resources

Lava Visible at Kilauea Volcano’s Summit – Can Be Seen From Jaggar Museum Overlook

A long, hot hike was not needed to see red lava today. Vigorous spattering from Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake was visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as of this afternoon.

The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar.

The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar.

A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

Hawaii Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of SB 2077

The State House and Senate today voted to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of SB 2077 to preserve the management transfer of three state run Maui hospitals to Kaiser Permanente.

The bill, now a state law, authorizes severance benefits or early retirement incentives for employees who would be directly affected by the impending privatization of state hospital operations on Maui and Lanai.

Last year state lawmakers authorized the privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital, and the state reached an agreement in January, 2016 to have Kaiser Permanente operate all three.

Lawmakers were concerned that if they did not override the veto, the transfer would be in jeopardy along with the health and safety of Maui residents and visitors.

The hospital transfer would be the largest privatization of public facilities in state history, and Gov. Ige has predicted it will save the state $260 million in hospital subsidies over the next decade.

Veto Votes

The House with 43 votes… voted to override the Governors veto of SB2077. It is now law. Photo via Senator Kahele Facebook page.

DOT Announces Day-Time Flights to Tokyo Haneda

According to USA Today, Hawaiian Airlines will soon be able to make daytime flights to Japan.

Haneda Airport

Haneda Airport

Currently U.S. flights land at Haneda between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. local time because of noise concerns.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx tentatively announced Wednesday that the four airlines serving  Tokyo’s Haneda airport with night-time flights have been chosen to begin more desirable daytime flights this fall.

American Airlines and Delta Air Airlines will fly from Los Angeles. Delta will also fly from Minneapolis/St. Paul, which is a new route. United Airlines will fly from San Francisco and Hawaiian Airlines will fly from Honolulu.

Full story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2016/07/20/dot-announces-day-time-flights-tokyo/87343386/

Hawaii House Speaker Souki on the Passing of Congressman Takai

US Rep Mark Takai

“Mark was a thoughtful and caring public servant and a good friend to all us in the State House.  To say that he will be missed is not just a cliché but a heavy and sad reality,” said House Speaker Joseph Souki  “As much as Mark had accomplished in his full life, there was so much more he wanted to do and would have done—for himself and his family, and for all us here in Hawaii.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Sami and their children Matthew and Kaila and all of the Takai ohana in this very difficult time.”

Congressman Takai, 49, died today from pancreatic cancer.

Takai served in the House of Representatives for 20 years before his election to Congress in 2014.

Mayor Kenoi’s Statement on the Passing of Congressman Mark Takai

US Rep Mark Takai

“Congressman Mark Takai was a good, kind, gentle man. He was an admirable father and husband, and a humble servant leader. Mark was a champion athlete and a champion for the people of Hawai‘i. Our aloha goes out to his wife Sami, son Matthew and daughter Kaila. Mark’s loss is a big loss for all of us who call Hawai‘i home.” – Mayor Billy Kenoi

Tropical Storm Darby Continues Towards Hawaii

Darby continues to be relatively steady state, with convective cloud tops of -50C to -60C near the center.  An AMSR2 pass at 1017Z showed that the low-level center is located southwest of the mid-level center seen in geostationary imagery.  The initial intensity is set to 50 kt based on a blend of the latest Dvorak estimates of T3.5/55 kt from TAFB and T3.0/45 kt from SAB.  Darby will move over slightly warmer waters in the next couple of days, but this should be counteracted by moderate southwesterly shear and a generally dry atmospheric environment.

Darby2

The SHIPS and LGEM models show steady weakening, while the dynamical models are showing some restrengthening through 48 hours.  Given this, the official forecast continues to show little change in intensity during the first 48 hours.  The shear increases late in the period while SSTs will cool below 26C along the track, which should result in some slow weakening.  The new NHC forecast is close to the latest intensity consensus aid.

The initial motion estimate is 270/10.  Darby is expected to move a little south of due west for the next 48 hours under the influence of a mid-level ridge building southeastward from north of the Hawaiian Islands.

After that time, a break in the ridge develops as an upper-level low retrogrades westward well north of Hawaii, which should cause Darby to turn sharply northwestward by day 4 and then north-northwestward on day 5.

Most of model guidance remains in good agreement on this track scenario, however, there are still some forward speed differences late in the period.  The ECMWF and UKMET are faster by days 4 and 5, while the GFS and GEFS ensemble mean are slower.  Also, the latest HWRF is well south and west of the rest of the guidance envelope.

The new NHC track forecast is near the previous one through 48 hours and has been shifted a little to the left after that time, and lies between the GFS and ECMWF solutions and their respective ensemble means.

New Lava Flow Map Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of July 8 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on July 19 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

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/). 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).

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/). 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).

Lava Flow Front Remains Active on Coastal Plain, But Little Forward Movement

The flow remains active on the pali and coastal plain, with scattered breakouts of pāhoehoe lava. Over the past week, however, the leading tip of the flow has advanced only a short distance. Today, the flow front was 850 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean.

In this photograph, the current lava flow is the lighter color area in the center of the photo.

In this photograph, the current lava flow is the lighter color area in the center of the photo.

Only a few short sections of road in Royal Gardens subdivision remain uncovered by lava.

In this kipuka, about 200 m (220 yards) of Orchid Street is still exposed.

In this kipuka, about 200 m (220 yards) of Orchid Street is still exposed.

This photograph looks downslope at the uppermost section of the Episode 61g flow.

The vent is in the lower left corner of the photo. Several collapses have occurred over the lava tube, and the trace of the tube can be seen by the fuming sources extending downslope.

The vent is in the lower left corner of the photo. Several collapses have occurred over the lava tube, and the trace of the tube can be seen by the fuming sources extending downslope.

The large hole on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains open, providing a view of forked lava streams.

Since the last overflight on Friday, July 15, the lava streams have started to crust over, reducing the glow in the pit.

Since the last overflight on Friday, July 15, the lava streams have started to crust over, reducing the glow in the pit.

Puna Man Arrested After Threatening to Shoot Everyone at Community Meeting

A Puna man was arrested Tuesday (July 19) after he reportedly called a community association employee’s home [corrected location], threatening to take a shotgun to a future meeting and shoot everyone present.

James Brent Jones

James Brent Jones

Approximately an hour after the incident was reported, officers successfully located the suspect after his vehicle was spotted parked off Highway 11 near the 20-mile marker. At 12:35 p.m. officer contacted and arrested the suspect, identified as 56-year old James Brent Jones of Glenwood.

Jones was charged later Tuesday with second-degree terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $2,000. After posting bail, Jones was released from custody pending his initial court appearance scheduled for August 25.

Hawaii Senator Calls Trump: Racist, Bully, Bigot and Fraudster

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz today called out Republican Candidate Donald Trump in an interview that was posted in a Civil Beat article entitled, Schatz Enjoys A Comfortable Perch On Capitol Hill.

Senator Schatz in Pahoa after Tropical Storm Iselle.

Senator Schatz in Pahoa after Tropical Storm Iselle.

Schatz states the following about the Republican Candidate:

“This goes way beyond how you feel about any individual issue or whether you consider yourself conservative, moderate or liberal,” Schatz said. “This is about whether or not the United States is going to elect someone who is mentally unfit, who is a racist, a bully, a bigot and a fraudster to the highest office in the land.

More here: http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/07/schatz-enjoys-a-comfortable-perch-on-capitol-hill/

Aloha Darby!

Darby continues to maintain deep convection near its center, and in fact the convective cloud tops have cooled a bit over the past several hours.
Darby

The current intensity estimate, 55 kt, is unchanged from the past advisory and is consistent with the latest Dvorak estimate from TAFB.

The storm should encounter modestly increasing vertical shear and drier air over the next several days, but will be moving over slightly warmer waters.  These factors should result in only a slow rate of weakening over the forecast period, and this is reflected in the official intensity forecast, which is near the model consensus and above the latest SHIPS and LGEM guidance.

It is worth noting however, that longer-range intensity prediction has little skill.

Hilo Focus of Series Episode on KGMB Tomorrow Night

“Wahi pana” is defined as a celebrated legendary place or landmark of special interest and historical significance. Hilo is a place of ancient prophecy, natural disasters and the revival of Hawaiian culture. From the rise of Kamehameha the Great to the devastating tsunami on April 1, 1946 to the world-renowned Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo is where the old and new meet.

Wahi Pana

“Wahi Pana: Hawai‘i’s Special Places” takes viewers beyond the name to get to know Hilo, airing Wednesday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. on KGMB (re-air Wednesday, July 27, at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL).

Local nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) commissioned the “Wahi Pana” films as part of their Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool program, an innovative preschool model with 28 sites statewide. PIDF partnered with Hawaii News Now to showcase the films to a broader audience.

“The sense of place is an important Hawaiian tradition that has powerful applications in the lives of our children, families and leaders,” said Jan E. Hanohano Dill, PIDF President. “Mahalo to the late, award-winning director, editor and videographer Don Mapes for directing and producing and Hawaii News Now for airing this very special program.”

“We are very proud and excited to partner with PIDF in sharing this incredible collection of beautiful programs showcasing the rich history and beauty of our islands in a way that most of us have never seen before,” said Rick Blangiardi, General Manager of Hawaii News Now.

Future episodes set to air include Hawai‘i Island’s North Kohala and Waimea; Maui’s Lahaina; and O‘ahu’s Waiheʻe Valley.

Kekaha Beach Closed Due to Shark Sighting

Ocean Safety officials have closed Kekaha Beach to swimming until further notice due to a shark sighting.

Shark Sighting Sign

Lifeguards report that a roughly eight-foot shark was sighted off shore. The type of shark is unknown.

As a safety precaution, Ocean Safety officials are advising no swimming until further notice. Lifeguards will continue to monitor the beach.

The beach will remain closed until at least tomorrow morning when lifeguards will reassess if it can be reopened.

For updates, speak to a county lifeguard or call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-4984.

Fee-Free Weekend of Hawaiian Music, Culture & Science at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service through music, culture and science on Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27…absolutely free!

Hālau Hula o Akaunu & Kumu Hula Manaikalani Kalua in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Hālau Hula o Akaunu & Kumu Hula Manaikalani Kalua in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

A Nā Leo Manu (“Heavenly Voices”) Hawaiian concert series kicks off the special weekend festivities Friday evening, Aug. 26 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kīlauea Military Camp’s Kīlauea Theater – and celebrates the 100th anniversary of Kīlauea Military Camp.

At 6 p.m., Kumu Hula Manaiakalani Kalua and Hālau Hula o Akaunu perform ‘oli (chant) and hula that follow the Pele migration from Kahiki to Hawai‘i. Manai, who teaches for the Center for Hawai‘i Life Styles at Hawai‘i Community College, will also discuss how Hawaiian culture and science intersect.

Renowned musician Kenneth Makuakāne follows, and performs his beautiful mele (songs) until 8 p.m., then singer and songwriter Mark Yamanaka caps off the evening with his original and classic Hawaiian songs until 9 p.m.

In addition, the new Mele Ho‘oheno-Songs of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa CD will be released and available for sale. This collection of original Hawaiian songs was created by participants of the Haku Mele Hawaiian songwriting workshops this summer, under the guidance of Kaliko Trapp-Beamer and Kenneth Makuakāne.

Saturday, August 27 is the free Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz. This year’s festival honors the park’s centennial anniversary and connects visitors and the community to the culture, biology and geology of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

“We are so excited to celebrate the centennial anniversaries of the National Park Service and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park the Hawaiian way, with music, culture and community,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Hawaiians have lived as stewards of this treasured landscape for centuries, and we hope everyone can join us for a festive weekend of fun, learning and camaraderie,” she said.

Themed E Ho‘omau (to perpetuate; to continue in a way that causes good to be long-lasting), the 36th annual cultural festival will be held near Kīlauea Visitor Center, and is all about sharing authentic Hawaiian cultural practices. More than a dozen cultural practitioners will demonstrate how native Hawaiians integrate the natural world into their traditions. Interactive demonstrations include lei wili (lei making); mākau (Hawaiian fishhook); pala‘ie (loop and ball game); how to make and play the ‘ohe hano ihu (Hawaiian nose flute); ulana niu (coconut frond weaving), and much more.

Festival performers include Kumu Hula Mamo Brown and Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū; Kenneth Makuakāne; Hālau o Akaunu and Kumu Hula Manaiakalani Kalua;  Kai Ho‘opi‘i; Haunani Medeiros and kupuna (elders) of Haunani’s Hula Expressions, and Diana Aki.

The Cultural Festival also showcases the intersection of culture and science in Hawai‘i. The “BioBlitz” is a fun and hands-on opportunity for families and individuals to observe and document the biodiversity that thrives in the lava flows and native rainforests of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. Meet and work alongside scientists and alaka‘i (experts) and discover an exciting array of life the park protects.

Choose from more than two dozen field inventories like “Six Legs at the Summit,” a birding excursion called “That Thing with Feathers,” and “Bebop Botany Walk on Crater Rim Trail.” The field inventories are free, and are led by experts at the forefront of conservation, science and traditional Hawaiian culture. Registration is required; sign up on the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website.

Families and visitors can further discover how science and culture combine by visiting the BioBlitz science and cultural booths at the festival. Meet representatives of the ‘Alalā Project, Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, and others, to learn about important conservation efforts statewide. Visit Hale Ho‘ike, the BioBlitz “living laboratory” where Saturday’s discoveries will be documented, and look through a microscope at some of the tiniest but important findings.

The BioBlitz field inventories run from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Cultural Festival/BioBlitz is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Sat., Aug. 27. Entrance and all events Friday and Saturday are free and family-friendly. Please, no coolers, pets or alcohol.

The Nā Leo Manu (“Heavenly Voices”) Hawaiian concert series and the Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz are generously supported by the park’s nonprofit partners, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association.

In addition, the National Park Service (NPS) invites everyone to enjoy all 412 national parks to celebrate its 100th birthday for free. All fee-charging parks, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park in West Hawai‘i, and Haleakalā National Park on Maui, are free from Thurs., Aug. 25 (the centennial anniversary of the NPS) through Sun., Aug. 28. That’s four fee-free days!

2016 is the 100th anniversary for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. To find out what’s happening throughout 2016, visit the park website. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and to learn about centennial events at other national parks, visit FindYourPark.

PBS Hawaii Hires Cheryl Oncea as New Advancement VP

PBS Hawaii has hired Cheryl Oncea as its new Vice President of Advancement. Oncea will head fundraising initiatives at PBS Hawaii, a non-profit media organization and Hawaii’s only statewide public television station.

Cheryl Oncea

Cheryl Oncea

Oncea has 25 years’ experience in Hawaii’s media landscape, leading sales and advertising teams at KSSK Radio, KHON2, Pacific Business News, KGMB and most recently, Hawaii News Now.

PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said, “Cheryl is very skilled and creative in generating revenue support for media enterprises. We’re her first nonprofit, but she knows us well, as an avid viewer and industry colleague.”

“I am thrilled that my career path has led me to this opportunity to join PBS Hawaii,” Oncea stated. “It is a rare chance to work at a locally owned television station with the specific mission of serving our community and advancing learning and discovery.”

Supreme Court Reverses Connections School Employee’s Ethics Code Violations

This morning, the Hawaii State Supreme Court issued its decision reversing the Hawaii State Ethics Commission’s finding that Eric Boyd, from Connections Charter School in Hilo, violated the State Code of Ethics for purchases made in 2007.

Eric Boyd

Eric Boyd

In 2010, the State Ethics Commission charged Eric Boyd with twenty-six (26) counts of violating the State Ethics Code.  In 2012, the Ethics Commission amended the charge and reduced the charges to twenty (20).   After a two day hearing, the Ethics Commission found that Boyd violated the State Ethics Code and imposed the maximum fine of $10,000 and a recommended to the Governor that Mr. Boyd be terminated on February 8, 2013.

Boyd appealed the Commission’s decision to the Third Circuit Court which reduced the number of violations to nine and imposed a fine of $4,500, which Boyd paid.  Both Boyd and Ethics Commission appealed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals.  On August 19, 2015, the Intermediate Court of Appeals denied Boyd’s appeal and reinstated all charges and penalties.

After six (6) years of defending himself, the Hawaii State Supreme agreed with Mr. Boyd and ordered the Commission to dismiss all charges against Boyd.  Boyd said that he is profoundly grateful the Supreme Court heard his case.  Boyd noted that although this case had a devastating effect on his personal and professional life, he had to prove to his children and family, that what he did and how he did it, was the proper way to do things.  “The lesson of my case is to fight for what you believe in and it is something I teach my kids everyday,”  Boyd said.  “I am also grateful that Ted Hong, my attorney, was always been at my side and believed in me.”

When asked for comment, Ted Hong, an attorney in Hilo, noted that the Commission under the former leadership of Mr. Leslie Kondo and Ms. Maria Sullivan, should have listened to their argument about jurisdiction from the beginning “instead of ruining Eric’s life and dragging his name through the mud for the past six (6) years.”  Mr. Hong also noted that no state agency, including its officers and board members are above the law.  “We are humbly grateful that the  Supreme Court took a careful look at the arguments that we made.”

Early Bird Discounts Available for 26th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference

The 26th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 30-October 7, starting at the Kauai Beach Resort and then traveling to Oahu, Molokai, Hilo and Kona for mini-conferences. All attendees registering before August 1 enjoy a discounted fee of $50; visit HTFG.org to register online with paypal; conference and membership forms can also be found on the website.

htfg 2016Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the eight-day event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) and open to the public.

The conference is titled “Achieving Critical Mass” and offers a lineup of visiting researchers and agro experts sharing information and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. They include Dr. John Yonemoto on “Growing and Harvesting the Best Avocados!” and “Increasing Production,” Diane Ragone on “Ulu,” Robert Paull on “Harvest and Post-Harvest” and Peter Follett on “Market Access: Getting Fruit Approved and Shipped Out of State.”

HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says Kauai activities include USDA and NASS updates, a report and survey on specialty crops, Sunday tours with Scott Sloan of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, networking and fruit tasting.

Registration forms and fee schedule are available at www.HTFG.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Marking its 27th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.HTFG.org.