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Hawaii State Boating Division to Require Notarized Bill of Sale for Transfer of Vessel Registration

Beginning on July 1, 2016, all vessel registration transfers in the State of Hawai‘i will require a notarized bill of sale to be presented to registering agency the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR).


Presently, DOBOR needs to match a vessel owner’s signature on record with the signature on a bill of sale in order to approve a vessel registration transfer.  This method can be inaccurate since an individual ‘s official signature may change over time. It also puts a burden on the buyer if DOBOR staff cannot authenticate a signature on a bill of sale.  If that should happen the transfer request would be denied and the buyer would have to go through the process of securing a notarized bill of sale.

Often, the seller of a vessel will have changed residence or may have left the state and cannot be contacted, causing a lengthy delay in the transfer process.

“This new requirement will help DLNR provide better customer service to boaters. It helps us promise for the vast majority of our customers that transfers won’t be declined or delayed,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR Director,

On average between 2,200-2,600 transactions per year are registered annually in the state. Notarized bills of sale will not only reduce work for the vessel owners and DOBOR.  They will allow for more secure vessel registration transfers.

State boating administrator Ed Underwood adds, “We are also concerned about preventing vessel theft through fraudulent bills of sale. It is rare for DOBOR to encounter forged signatures, but it has happened several times over the last few years.”

A standardized bill of sale form is already available that includes a section for a notary’s signature. That form can be accessed at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/forms/ on the DOBOR web site.

Even if a bill of sale is not executed using the official DOBOR form it will still be accepted at the time of transfer, so long as the signature of the seller on the bill of sale is notarized.

For further information, boaters may contact Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) Vessel Registration at 808-587-1970.

Island Air Hires 22 Employees for New Service to Kona – Daily Service Starts June 14th

Island Air announced it has hired 22 employees to accommodate its new daily service to Kona International Airport starting Tuesday, June 14.

“We are proud to introduce our new Kona team members who are dedicated to providing outstanding customer service and ensuring passengers have the best interisland travel experience,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air’s president and chief executive officer. “We are excited to welcome these 22 individuals to the Island Air ‘ohana as we prepare to launch daily Kona service.”

The new team members, which include former Island Air employees, were recruited through job fairs and other outreach efforts to fill positions that include customer service agents, ramp agents and station manager. The Kona employees have been undergoing extensive training for the past two months.

Shardae Kaupu Lopez

Shardae Kaupu Lopez

Shardae Kaupu Lopez, who is from Miloliʻi and started working for Island Air in 2012, will serve as the Kona station manager and will oversee the airline’s operations at the Kona Airport.

Island Air Team

Other members of Island Air’s Kona team include:

Customer Service Agents:
Makamae Kaeo-Koanui, Melissa Nunes, Dominique Ghandour, Michael Corbitt, Roger Grissom-Miller, Zachary Andrade, Pauline Carmichael-Shopay, Keiko Kanada, Gae Mitsuda, Sharon Harada and Tammy Awai

Ramp Agents:
Tavita Laasaga, Douglas Vallente Jr., Greg Nation, Terry Robso, RJ Sullivan, Stan Kaneo, Maile Comilla, Kelly Bennet, Chad Kalele and Garyn Akima

Island Air will launch service to Kona on June 14 with five daily round-trip flights between Honolulu and Kona, with connecting flights to Kahului and Līhu‘e. Island Air’s check-in counter at Kona International Airport will be located in Terminal 1, and flights will depart from and arrive at Gate 5.

New Findings Show Promising Trends in Hawaii Student Health Behaviors

Today the Hawaii State Department of Health, Department of Education (HIDOE), and University of Hawaii released high school data from the 2015 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the state and all four counties. The YRBS is a bi-annual survey that regularly monitors the health risk behaviors of public, non-charter school students statewide. Over 12,000 Hawaii students in grades 6 through 12 participated in the 2015 survey.

Click to see results

Click to see results

Topics covered in the survey include unintentional injuries and violence; tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and physical inactivity. The survey also monitors the percentages of students affected by obesity and asthma.

“The results reflect our recent initiatives to raise the bar at all levels in education,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The downward trend of students engaging in risky behaviors and an increase in healthy choices is testament to the work done by our schools and the commitment of our students to strive higher.”

The 2015 YRBS results show trends towards less-risky behaviors in many important areas, and highlight needed improvements in others:

Physical fighting continues to decline, with 15 percent of high school students reporting that they were in a fight at least once during the 12 months before the survey. Bullying has stayed relatively steady, with 1 in 5 high school students reporting that they were bullied on school property during the same time period.

Consistent with objectives outlined in the State’s Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan, many YRBS indicators suggest an increase in youth behaviors that support healthy lifestyles. Only 13 percent of high school students report drinking at least one can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop at least once per day, compared to 23 percent in 2007. The survey does not cover drinking other types of beverages with added sugar such as sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks (other than 100 percent fruit juice) or sweetened tea and coffee. The proportion of high school students meeting physical activity recommendations remains steady, with 20 percent achieving the national recommendation of at least 60 minutes per day on each of the seven days before the survey. However, sedentary time continues to increase, with 2 in 5 high school students spending three hours or more per day playing video games or using a computer for non-school purposes.

Alcohol use has declined among Hawaii’s youth, with 1 in 4 high school students reporting that they drank alcohol within the 30 days before the survey. Similarly, we continue to see steady declines in smoking; 90 percent of Hawaii’s high school students do not smoke cigarettes. However, many have tried using electronic smoking devices, with 1 in 4 reporting that they currently use electronic smoking devices.

“This data shows that we are improving as a state in many areas,” said Director of Health Virginia Pressler. “However, the sharp rise in the use of electronic cigarettes reminds us of the importance of continually monitoring student behavior. We will continue to work in partnership with HIDOE to ensure that our programs and interventions target these emerging issues.”

One area that remains a concern is adolescent mental health. In 2015, 29.5 percent of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row at least once in their lifetime. Rates of attempted suicide over the past 12 months has steadily decreased since 1993, but remain unacceptably high at 11 percent.

Survey procedures protect students’ privacy by allowing for anonymous and voluntary participation. The data is gathered from students in public high schools across the State of Hawaii. In a change from the previous years’ survey administration, parents were offered the opportunity to “opt-out,” rather than requiring a form to “opt-in” to the process. This resulted in a 30 to 40 percent increase in response rate, providing a more comprehensive picture of student behavior across the state and all four counties.

The Hawaii YRBS is part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National YRBS survey results were also released today by CDC. For a comparison of Hawaii’s data to national rates, please visit http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Default.aspx.

For more information on the Hawaii YRBS, visit http://apps.hidoe.k12.hi.us/research/Pages/YRBS.aspx.

The full survey report, including more detailed data reports by county, gender, grade and race/ethnicity, and the survey questionnaires are available at the www.hawaiihealthmatters.org.

June 27th Lava Flow May Have Stopped – New Mobile Camera Deployed

Eruptions continue at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The summit lava lake remains relatively high, its level fluctuating slightly with changes in summit pressure. At Puʻu ʻŌʻō, only the lava flow advancing southeast appears to be active. The June 27th lava flow may have stopped. No Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows currently pose a threat to nearby communities.

An HVO overflight yesterday found no active surface lava on the June 27th flow field north of the East Rift Zone, though some small breakouts may have been overlooked. HVO scientists will continue to watch this area over the coming days – the more time that passes without active lava in this part of the flow field, the more likely it is that the supply of fresh lava to the June 27th flow has ceased.

Only the pāhoehoe lava flow that emerged from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24 was active yesterday, and it continues to advance southeast. The flow was 2.7 km (1.7 mi) long yesterday afternoon, meaning it has made it roughly half way to the top of Pūlama pali.

An HVO webcam has been deployed to monitor the flow (Mobile Cam 3, on HVO’s website).

This image is from a research camera positioned on the southeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking toward the active flow advancing to the southeast. The breakout point is at the left edge of the image, and the mid-field skyline at the right is roughly coincident with the top of the pali.

This image is from a research camera positioned on the southeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking toward the active flow advancing to the southeast. The breakout point is at the left edge of the image, and the mid-field skyline at the right is roughly coincident with the top of the pali.

California Family Searching for Daughter Last Seen in Volcano

UPDATE:  omg.. let me give you guys an update Paris Hamilton and Marissa Mea Roberts have been found they are safe they have no money and they were kicked out of their father’s house in Hawaii and left homeless and Stranded which is why they have not contacted anybody they had no way to but through the help of everybody who shared what I posted someone recognized them today at a free health clinic and let them use their phone to call me they are safe everything your father was saying was a lie he did not try to help them and he kicked them out on the streets with nothing but a dollar in their pocket thank God a very nice lady let them stay in a cottage that she has and she’s trying to assist them hopefully they will have a phone tomorrow thank you all for your love and support and for all of the shares that you did to help find my daughter

My name is Teddi Hamilton and I would like to report that my daughter Paris Hamilton and her girlfriend Marissa Mea Roberts have not been seen or heard from since May 12th, 2016.

Paris Hamilton your mother is looking for you.

Paris Hamilton your family is looking for you.

She was last seen in Volcano and our families are very concerned. This is not like my daughter or Marissa. If you have any information I would appreciate it.

Paris and Marissa

There is a missing person report filed here in my state of California #16-166073 it is being forwarded to the Hilo Police Department.

Teddi Hamilton (hamiltonteddi@yahoo.com)

Hokulea Takes Center Stage at the United Nations for World Oceans Day

Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe delivers messages to the Secretary General on behalf of the world’s oceans

Hawaii’s legendary traditional voyaging canoe Hokulea achieved the pinnacle of her historic four-year sail around the world at today’s United Nations (UN) celebration of  World Oceans Day: a global event focused on ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.

United Nations

This year’s theme of “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” encouraged individuals and organizations across the globe to take action in preventing plastic pollution in our ocean, with programming that featured the powerful and lasting presence of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

United Nations 2

“Captain Nainoa, I wish you and your entire crew a wonderful return journey,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who sailed on Hokulea in Apia, Samoa in 2014. “I count on your leadership and commitment as we carry out our plans to make this world safer and more sustainable for all. On World Oceans Day, let us renew our resolve to protect these marine treasures for generations to come.”

United Nations 3

In today’s morning ceremony at Gantry Plaza State Park, Thompson presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. with ocean protection declarations and messages of hope that the Hokulea crew members collected from their worldwide journey promoting sustainable oceans.

United Nations 4

Later in the afternoon, Thompson joined Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and representatives of the Federated States of Micronesia, for a talk-story session on the UN’s Ocean Agenda and goals. The leaders also discussed development regarding the negotiation of a new legally binding instrument to protect biodiversity in marine areas in the high seas.

united nations 5

After today’s events, Hokulea crew members will continue their outreach and engagement activities in New York, in which they will lead, participate in, and support the following events:

  • Thursday, June 9: Hokulea Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New YorkSoHo
  • Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge


Creative Lab Hawaii Announces Music Immersive Participants for Songwriting Boot Camp and Mentors

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) Creative Industries Division (CID) announces the participants and coaches for the Music Immersive Program (June 11-15) through the department’s Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH). The program will take place on Hawaii Island, right before the annual Hawaii Songwriters Festival (June 16-18).

Hawaii Songwriting Festival“The music immersive program aims to jumpstart the careers of 10 attendees who are all promising songwriters and musicians with a proven track record, including 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, Kimie Miner, of Hauula,” said DBEDT Director, Luis P. Salaveria. “The department’s Creative Lab Hawaii is building creative entrepreneurs, strengthening the economy and generating future jobs.”

The five-day intensive program focuses on giving participants the opportunity to co-write and produce music for specific film or TV projects with a team of professional mentors. Following the completion of the program, attendees will receive year-round mentoring support, and three of the most promising attendees will be selected by the mentors to participate in networking opportunities with music industry leaders in Los Angeles.

In addition to composing songs, participants will learn the finer points of music licensing, publishing, intellectual property (IP) protection, and other aspects of the business from industry experts.

Leading the CLH Music Immersive are  music supervisors, producers, industry execs and songwriters including : Adam Zelkind, “Hookman” Marlin Bonds, Richard Harris, , Christine Ayres, Brian Fennell, Katie Herzig, Adrianne Gonzalez, Todd Wright, Janine Scalise-Boyd, Dave Jordan, Julianne Jordan, Gwen Riley, Heather Anderson, Susan Schwartz and Natalie Wali. http://creativelab.hawaii.gov/music-immersive-mentors/

The CLH Music Immersive program is spearheaded by the Creative Industries Division, under the direction of the president of the Hawaii Songwriter’s Festival, Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, Charles M. Brotman and , Jerome Spence VP of Film/TV/Ads & Business Development of Secret Road Music.

Admittance to the program was competitive and managed by the Hawaii Songwriter’s Festival executive committee.  Applicants were selected by a review committee consisting of representatives from organizations such as The Recording Academy, The Guild of Music Supervisors, and internationally recognized music publishing, licensing and management company, Secret Road.

“The expansion of Creative Lab Hawaii into music industry development is delivering world class mentors from the music, publishing and media industries to provide new opportunities to monetize songwriter’s works in film and television – a potentially lucrative additional source of revenues for our singer/songwriters,” said Georja Skinner, chief officer for the Creative Industries Division.

“Creative Lab Hawaii’s Music Immersive is the newest module in the program, which will deliver unprecedented opportunities for artists to extend their reach into film and television, while expanding their network of mentors in the mainstream music industry.”

Selected participants in addition to Miner include:  Annie Dingwall (Los Angeles, CA), a songwriter who’s worked with worked with PJ Bianco (Jonas Brothers, Veronicas, LP); Jeffrey Steele (Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill); Jacques Brautbar (Phantom Planet); Brent Magstadt (Keaau, HI), a professionally trained jazz musician and songwriter; Isaac Moreno (Izik) (Kapolei, HI), a musician and songwriter working in pop, alternative R&B genres; Maelan Abran (Hilo, HI), a singer-songwriter whose song, “Irresistible,” was placed on the major network television show, Sleepy Hollow; Nitanee Paris (Malibu, CA), a multi-genre songwriter who has won more than 100 awards; Ryan Higgins (Kamuela, HI),  a singer-songwriter working in the rap, Christian, pop and alternative genres who’s performed in music events in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii; Ryan Hiraoka (Keaau, HI), who won a Na Hoku Hanohano award for R&B album of the year in 2010; Sebastian Hughes (Honolulu, HI) the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner for Electronic and 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominee; Sierra West (Solana Beach, CA), a singer-songwriter who won Best Singer-Songwriter at the San Diego Music Awards and has had songs placed in various television series including BRAVO TV’s “Southern Charm” and ABC TV’s “Resurrection”.

Noting the talents of Hawaii, Charles Brotman shares, “There is a wealth of musical and songwriting talent in Hawaii, and it is exciting to see this kind of talent making more connections with the mainstream music industry.  With the vision and support of the state’s Creative Industries Division, this Music Immersive will not only give a boost to the careers of the participating songwriters, it will also help to move Hawaii’s music community forward.”

Commenting on his excitement over this year’s Music Immersive, Jerome Spence adds, “I am thrilled to help organize such an amazing program with Charles Brotman and the State of Hawaii’s Creative Lab Hawaii. The collaborative writing efforts between Secret Road, Hawaii Songwriting Festival and local Hawaii writers is an attempt to bridge the gap between Hawaii and mainland media projects. Our special guest music supervisors bring years of knowledge and experience to the camp increasing the number of opportunities for the camp’s attendees.”

CLH strategic partners include:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA); Innovate Hawaii; High Tech Development Corporation (HTDC); the Writers Guild of America (WGA), West; International Game Developers Association (IGDA); the Producers Guild of America (PGA); The Modern Honolulu; The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel; Twenty20 Sound; Lava Tracks Recording; GVS/Honua Studios; Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF); and Arthur’sLimousine/SpeediShuttle.

Plum Village Monastic to Lead Mindfulness Workshop in Honoka’a

A special opportunity to learn about the meditation practice of mindfulness takes place Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. The Day of Mindfulness will be led by Phap Dang, a monastic from Plum Village, secluded Buddhist monastery established by global spiritual leader and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

Brother Phap Dang, visiting from Plum Village (France), Brother Phap Dang will lead a Day of Mindfulness at the Honoka'a Hongwanji Buddhist temple this Sunday, June 12th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will speak on Saturday, 7 p.m. at Sweet Cane Cafe, Hilo. Shown here, participants in a “Day of Mindfulness” recently at the Kohala Hongwanji Buddhist temple, co-sponsored by the Honoka'a Temple's Peace Committee.

Brother Phap Dang, visiting from Plum Village (France), Brother Phap Dang will lead a Day of Mindfulness at the Honoka’a Hongwanji Buddhist temple this Sunday, June 12th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will speak on Saturday, 7 p.m. at Sweet Cane Cafe, Hilo. Shown here, participants in a “Day of Mindfulness” recently at the Kohala Hongwanji Buddhist temple, co-sponsored by the Honoka’a Temple’s Peace Committee.

Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular aspect of Buddhism in the U.S., and various types of mindfulness practices are adapted for use in schools, hospitals, therapists offices, the military, and elsewhere. Defined as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis,” mindfulness is focused on the breath. It can be done in the familiar posture—seated, cross-legged, eyes closed—or while walking, working or eating.

Phap Dang has been a monastic Dharma teacher in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh since 1996. He was Abbott of Maple Forest Monastery in Vermont, and has helped lead retreats at the Omega institute, the University of Massachusetts, and many countries around the world, including North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

Brother Phap Dang, a senior monastic visiting from Thich Nhat Hanh"s Order of Interbeing, Plum Village monastery, France. (PHOTOS Courtesy the Peace Committee)

Brother Phap Dang, a senior monastic visiting from Thich Nhat Hanh”s Order of Interbeing, Plum Village monastery, France. (PHOTOS Courtesy the Peace Committee)

He is currently on a team of Plum Village Dharma teachers, training about 400 novice monastics in Vietnam. Interestingly, he also holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State University.

The opportunity to learn and experience mindfulness includes guided sitting and walking meditations, mindful (silent) eating, Dharma discussion, and a time for questions and answers. It is open to everyone, regardless of faith or meditation experience. Brother Phap Dang will address the interest of those who have no experience with meditation.

Participants are asked to bring their own lunch; vegan or vegetarian diet is encouraged. Water will be provided. No charge, but donations are encouraged.

The Day of Mindfulness is a project of the Peace Committee of Honoka’a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. To reach the temple, take Highway 19 to Honoka’a. Between 43 and 44 mile markers, turn down (makai) on Plumeria Street for 0.6 miles. Temple parking lot driveway will be on the left, just past the Catholic Church. RSVP to misterokumura@yahoo.com , or call/text  808-640-4602.

Brother Phap Dang will also be making a  presentation 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the Sweet Cane Café, 48 Kamana Street, Hilo (1/2 block mauka of the Hilo Shopping Center); 934-0002. The theme will be “How to Be Mindful in the Present Moment.”  The public is invited free of charge; donations encouraged.

HVNP’s Abbreviated Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision Signed

The Record of Decision (ROD) approving the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Abbreviated Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement (Final GMP/WS/EIS) was signed into approval on May 24, 2016. This plan provides long-term management guidance about the preservation and use of this national treasure, UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Click to read

Click to read

Over the past several years, many people have participated in the planning process through public meetings and formal comments received via mail, comment forms, and website forums. The National Park Service (NPS) released the Draft GMP/WS/EIS in May 2015 and the Abbreviated Final GMP/WS/EIS in March 2016. The approved plan is identified as the “selected action” in the ROD and as the “NPS preferred alternative” in the Final GMP/WS/EIS. The ROD includes a description of the selected action, synopses of other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, a description of the environmentally preferable alternative, a summary description of measures designed to minimize environmental harm and an overview of public involvement in the decision-making process.

“Having a comprehensive plan to guide management decisions as we enter our next 100 years is an important step in protecting Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for future generations,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

While work may start on some plan elements, Orlando said implementing the plan will not happen all at once. “It’s likely to take many years, as funds and resources become available,” she said.

The Record of Decision and related General Management Plan documents can be viewed at the website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havogmp.

Pit Bull and Suspect Killed in Big Island Police Shooting

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting Monday afternoon (June 6) at a home off West Kawailani Street in Hilo.
At about 4:20 p.m., police received a report of a disturbance. Upon arrival, an officer encounter a man wielding a knife, along with a pit bull that had earlier chased paramedics into their vehicle. Several shots were fired by the officer, resulting in the death of the man and the pit bull.

The man’s name is being withheld pending positive identification.

As is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting, and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or Robert.almeida@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide 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.

Keli`i Akina Launches Campaign for Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee-at-Large

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D. has been certified as an official candidate for Trustee-at-Large in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state-wide position for which all registered voters in Hawaii are eligible to vote.

Keli’i Akina with his mom as he files papers for OHA.

Keli’i Akina with his mom as he files papers for OHA.

Dr. Akina, who garnered approximately 93,000 votes in his 2014 bid for OHA Trustee-at-large is slated to be the leading challenger to the incumbent in the race.

Akina says,  “The people of Hawaii know it`s time to reform OHA. We have to preserve the Aloha Spirit, equally advancing the interests of both native Hawaiians and all people in unity.”

Dr. Akina has been the major voice in calling for OHA to stop wasting millions of dollars on the creation of a federally recognized race-based nation, something which most native Hawaiians and all residents don`t want.  Instead, Akina states, “OHA should spend its public funds on housing, jobs, education, and health care for those in need, rather than squandering it on a failed political agenda.”

Akina is the President/CEO of Grassroot Institute and on the adjunct faculty of Hawaii Pacific University. He is also a plaintiff in the US Supreme Court case Akina v. State of Hawaii which stopped a race-based election in 2015.

To learn more about Keli`i Akina, visit and leave a message on his Facebook site:  https://www.facebook.com/AkinaForOHA/?ref=hl


Hokulea Crew on Governors Island for Education and Environment Summit

Community leaders discuss environmental restoration through the Billion Oyster Project

Today, crewmembers of the legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea continued their momentum of focusing on community outreach through the New York Education and Environment Summit. The crew was joined by educators and community members from Hawaii and New York.

Oyster project 1The summit was held on Governors Island, where the delegation was received by the Trust for Governors Island, the National Park Service, New York Harbor School, and the Billion Oyster Project. The Hawaii delegation included University of Hawaii President David Lassner, Kanu o Ka Aina and Ka Waihona o Ka Na auao charter schools’ administrators and students, and representatives and students from Kamehameha Schools. Honolulu City and County Mayor Kirk Caldwell was also present for the discussions that centered on sustainability and protection of the environment.

Oyster project
Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, delivered a short speech on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage and its significant connections with the Billion Oyster Project – a STEM-based initiative aimed at restoring one billion live oysters in the New York Harbor.

oyster project 2

After the morning’s presentations and discussions, the New York Harbor School conducted tours of the facilities. Event attendees visited the aquaculture lab at the New York Harbor School where the oysters for the Billion Oyster Project are raised, and visited other indoor and outdoor learning environments at the innovative school. Billion Oyster Project Director Pete Malinowski answered questions from the Hawaii educators and students.

Oyster project 3

The summit is part of a roster of community events leading up to Hokulea’s significant role in the upcoming World Oceans Day gathering at the United Nations on Wednesday.

This week, Hokulea crew members will lead, participate in, and support the following events:

  • Tuesday, June 7: Presentation by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan on behalf of Imiloa Astronomy Center at Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Wednesday, June 8: World Oceans Day
  • Thursday, June 9: Hokulea Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New YorkSoHo
  • Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge

Chief Justice Appoints M. Kanani Laubach as Hawaii Island District Family Court Judge

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii). Laubach will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Melvin H. Fujino to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.

Kanani Laubach

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii).

Laubach has been in private practice since 2011 when she opened the Law Office of M. Kanani Laubach, L.L.L.C. in Hilo, Hawaii. Since 2012 she has been a partner at the law firm of Laubach & Frenz, A.A.I., L.L.L.C., handling criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court. She also has extensive experience in family law cases involving temporary restraining orders, divorce, paternity, and child custody proceedings.

Between 2006 and 2010, Laubach served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, where she worked on criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court. In 2007 she joined the Violent Crime Unit and was tasked with prosecuting violent crime cases ranging from child sex assault to homicide.

From 2003 to 2006, Laubach served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor Jury Demand, and Felony Trials divisions.

In addition to her legal experience, Laubach has previously worked with families in both the school and home environments, including teaching parenting skills and child development as a Visitation Specialist at Parents and Children Together in Waipahu, Oahu.

Laubach currently holds the office of Vice-President of the Hawai’i County Bar Association, and has been providing pro bono services at the Hilo Self-Help Center since it opened in 2012. Laubach has served as a Director on the Waiakea High School Foundation Board since 2014, and as a volunteer arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program since 2011.

Laubach is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2003. She is also a graduate of Chaminade University of Hawaii where she received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2000.

The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. If confirmed by the State Senate, Laubach will serve a term of six years.

Hokulea Greeted by Thousands in New York City

After years of preparation, legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived in New York City and was officially welcomed this morning by thousands of New York residents and a delegation of Hawaii leaders, educators, students and supporters.

Hokulea New York

Among those in attendance were Governor Ige’s Chief of Staff Mike McCartney, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Hawaii Island Senator Kai Kahele, Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George Szigeti, Solomon “Sol” Aikau (Eddie Aikau’s older brother), marine artist Wyland and Solar Impulse pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.

hokulea new york 2

The arrival event began with a traditional ceremonial welcome by Native American tribes from the area including the Ramapough Lenape Nation, Moraviantown Delaware Nation, Shinnecock, Unkechaug, Mohegan, and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. A traditional Hawaiian aha awa, or awa ceremony, was held by Hui Kipaepae of New York. Various hula halau (groups) from New York and Hawaii also offered performances celebrating the historic occasion.

Hokulea New York Kai

“There is something special that this canoe carries on behalf of our home that I think this world not only respects, but needs,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This day of celebration is really the step we need to give us strength to go to the United Nations on behalf of all of the people who are doing their part to be responsible for our island home called Earth.”

On World Oceans Day on June 8, a series of events with the United Nations will include a ceremonial presentation of ocean protection declarations by Thompson to Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The canoe’s arrival at Manhattan’s North Cove Marina – the doorstep of the 9/11 Memorial, New York’s financial business district – marks the pinnacle point of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.

Hokulea New York 3

During their time in New York, Hokulea crew members have a robust schedule of outreach and engagement, in which they will lead, participate in, and support the following events:

  • Monday, June 6: Malama Honua Education & Environment Summit at Governors Island
  • Tuesday, June 7: Presentation by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan on behalf of Imiloa Astronomy Center at Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Wednesday, June 8: World Oceans Day
  • Thursday, June 9: Hokulea Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New YorkSoHo
  • Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge

For Hokulea’s most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.


Hilo Bay Annual Race – “A Salute to Our Veterans”

A Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K 6th annual race at 7:00 am kicks off the 4th of July festivities in Hilo at beautiful Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens.


This event supports the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3830 in Pahoa which reaches out to many of Hawaii Island’s needy Veterans and their families.

The goal is to increase the size of our facility and our programs to better serve them, their families and the many other Veterans in our Big Island ohana.  All Veterans, and especially those named by participants, will be honored.

Come and participate to honor your special Veteran on this day as we celebrate our country’s independence and the Veterans who fought for it.

Registration forms and information are available at various businesses around the island or at http://www.asalutetoourveterans.org


New Lava Flow Map Shows Widening, Advancement and Relativity to June 27 Flow

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area covered by the June 27th flow as of June 2 is shown in orange. The areas covered by the new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of May 26 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the new breakouts as mapped on June 2 is shown in red.

The yellow lines show the mapped portion of the lava tube system for the June 27th flow, which is still active in scattered areas within about 5.4 km (3.4 mi) to the northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō (not shown). Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at lower left. (Click to enlarge)

The yellow lines show the mapped portion of the lava tube system for the June 27th flow, which is still active in scattered areas within about 5.4 km (3.4 mi) to the northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō (not shown). Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at lower left. (Click to enlarge)

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM)

Navy Disposes of Projectile at Makua Beach

At approximately 2:00 p.m. FRIDAY, June 3, 2016, the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel responded to a request from the Honolulu Police Department Bomb Squad with regard to a projectile located in 5′ of water approximately 20 yards off shore at Makua Beach in Waianae.


EOD personnel confirmed the object was a piece of ordnance and following standard procedure and observing safety precautions, proceeded to destroy the object in place.  HPD was on scene for public safety.

The projectile appears to have been in the water for a very long time as indicated by vegetation growth so specific identification of its origin would have been difficult.  The evolution was concluded successfully at 5:00 p.m. that day without incident.

Celebrate “World Oceans Day” June 8 at Hapuna Beach State Park

Join the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks and Big Island partner organizations, on Wednesday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for “World Oceans Day” at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area South Pavilion.

Hapuna Rainbow by Hapuna Prince Hotels

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and an opportunity to help protect and conserve our oceans. This year’s theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.”  Informational booths and educational activities will help visitors learn about Hawaii’s incredible ocean resources and how we can all help protect them. The event is free, but there is a $5 per vehicle parking fee for out-of-state visitors.

A number of different area organizations are coming together for this first-time event at Hapuna Beach, including Hawaii State Parks, DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources, Division of Conservation and Resource Management, Coral Reef Alliance, Dolphin Quest, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Ke Kai Ola Marine Mammal Center, Kohala Center Reef Teach, National Parks Service, The Nature Conservancy, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Puako Makai Watch and West Hawaii Marine Mammal Response Network.

Study Finds Endangered Hawaiian Geese at Risk From Disease Spread by Feral Cats

A new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases has documented evidence of “widespread contamination of habitat” in Hawai’i caused by feral cats. This latest research has alarming implications for endangered Hawaiian Geese (Nene) and other animals found throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

Endangered Nene (Hawaiian Goose) is the direct and indirect victim of disease-spreading feral cats. Photo: Jack Jeffrey

Endangered Nene (Hawaiian Goose) is the direct and indirect victim of disease-spreading feral cats. Photo: Jack Jeffrey

The peer-reviewed study, conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee, and the state’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, evaluated the prevalence of infection with Toxoplasma gondii among Nene (Hawaiian Geese), Hawai’i’s state bird. T. gondii is a protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in humans and wildlife and is the “most-commonly encountered infectious disease” in Nene, the study reports. T. gondii relies on cats to complete its life cycle and is excreted into the environment through cat feces. A single cat may excrete hundreds of millions of infectious eggs (called “oocysts”) in its feces.

The study found between 21 and 48 percent of Nene tested positive for past infection, depending on the island. The island of Moloka‘i had the highest infection rate (48 percent), followed by 23 percent on Maui and 21 percent on Kaua‘i. According to the authors, the higher rate on Moloka‘i may have been due to “a conspicuously consistent presence of feral cats.”

“This research confirms earlier studies dating from the 1970s that this parasite is probably found in tropical island ecosystems wherever there are feral cats,” said Dr. Thierry Work, the study’s lead author. “Recent studies also suggest that animals and humans are more prone to trauma when infected with T. gondii. Trauma is the chief cause of death for Nene, and infections with T. gondii may be making them more vulnerable, but confirming that will require additional studies.”

Hawaiian Geese are not the only Hawaiian wildlife to test positive for T. gondii. Other birds, such as the endangered Hawaiian Crow (‘Alala), and mammals, such as endangered Hawaiian monk seals, are also susceptible and have died from infection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in response to increasing seal deaths, elevated toxoplasmosis to a disease of “serious concern.” According to the Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan, NOAA is concerned both with seal deaths and “the secondary and cumulative impacts of subclinical or chronic disease.”

Visitors to and residents of Hawai’i are also at risk from toxoplasmosis. Ingestion or inhalation of cat-transmitted oocysts may result in miscarriages, fetal abnormalities, blindness, memory loss, or death. A 2011 study found that nearly 80 percent of sampled mothers of congenitally infected infants (those infected by T. gondii in the womb) contracted their infections as a result of environmental contamination from cat feces.

A 2013 study by scientists from the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University also called attention to cats as the means of transmission to people. “Because cats are now so ubiquitous in the environment, one may become infected [with T. gondii] by neighboring cats which defecate in one’s garden or play area, or by playing in public areas such as parks or school grounds,” the study said.  “Indeed, as cats increasingly contaminate public areas with T. gondii oocysts, it will become progressively more difficult to avoid exposure.”

As well as spreading disease, cats are also a non-native predator that directly kill native wildlife in Hawai‘i and on islands around the world. In Hawai‘i, already known as the bird extinction capital of the world, feral cats kill endangered Hawaiian Petrels (‘Ua‘u), Newell’s Shearwaters (‘A‘o), and Palila, among others. A 2011 study recorded feral cat impacts on at least 120 different islands worldwide and determined that feral cats are responsible for at least 14 percent of global bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions.

“While we appreciate cats as pets and acknowledge the important role pet cats play in many people’s lives, it is clear that the continued presence of feral cats in our parks and neighborhoods is having detrimental impacts on people and wildlife,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at American Bird Conservancy. “Before another species goes extinct or another person is affected by toxoplasmosis, we need to acknowledge the severity of the problem and take decisive actions to resolve it. What is required is responsible pet ownership and the effective removal of free-roaming feral cats from the landscape.”

Hawaii State Land Board Reaffirms Judge Riki May Amano as TMT Contested Case Hearing Officer

The Board of Land and Natural Resources (the “Board”) today issued Minute Order No. 9 (the “Order”) in the Contested Case Hearing for the Conservation District Use Application (“CDUA”) for the Thirty Meter Telescope (“TMT”) at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. In the Order the Board unanimously denied a motion to disqualify retired Hilo judge Riki May Amano as the hearing officer in the case.

TMT laser

The Order provides the Board’s detailed reasons for denying the motion. It also restates some of the Board’s findings in denying a previous disqualification motion.

The Board also unanimously declined to grant objections to Board member Chris Yuen’s service on the selection committee that picked Judge Amano.

The Board’s Order addresses the public scrutiny facing this contested case hearing and notes that both the Petitioners and the University of Hawaii are concerned that Judge Amano’s selection may not survive review in an appellate court. As it reasoned, however,

 “[t]he Board is concerned that, taken to its logical extreme, ensuring a contested case process that subjectively ‘appears to be fair’ to every possible person who takes an interest in the TMT project would likely necessitate not only the disqualification of Judge Amano but of every potential hearing officer who otherwise possessed the acumen to hear this case.”

It goes on to provide that

“[n]o qualified hearing officer candidate is likely to satisfy all spectators and remove all fears of reversal. The Board will not go down this rabbit hole.”

Instead, the Board adopts the objective standard cited in a previous Supreme Court decision (Mauna Kea Anaina Hou v. Board of Land and Natural Resources, 136 Hawai‘i 376, 395, 363 P.3d 224, 243 (2015)). It found,

“the commitment to an objective ‘appearance of fairness’ test is consistent throughout Hawai‘i judicial decisions.”

Further, the Order provides that,

“[w]ith due respect and consideration to the parties’ various interests and reasons for asking the Board to replace Judge Amano, the Board cannot and will not sidestep its own administrative responsibility to exercise judgment and common sense regarding whether the selection process up until now has objectively appeared to be fair. Common sense must prevail.”

As for the Petitioners’ claim that board member Yuen should recuse himself in this matter and should not have served as a member of the selection committee for the hearing officer, the Board found that a statement made nearly two decades before the TMT CDUA was filed is not evidence of bias or prejudgment.

Quoting Yuen’s written response to the Petitioners’ objections,

“I think that the policy for board members is similar to that for judges: there is a duty to serve when you are not legally disqualified, just as there is a duty to disqualify yourself when good cause exists . . . Board members should not be selected for the absence of opinions: they have to know how to review facts and decide particular cases on their merits given the legal criteria.”

Minute Order No. 9, along with all other orders released by the Board, are available on the DLNR website at the location noted below.

Minute Order No. 9