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50 Marathons 50 States… Finished at the Hilo International Marathon

A professor from Louisiana, Jorge Pullin, has completed his goal of completing a marathon in each and every state in America by finishing the Hilo International Marathon this past weekend.
Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin tweeted:

Finished the Marathon in Hilo, Hawaii in 6h29min. 50th marathon in 50th state. Mission accomplished!

According to Marathon Maniacs, Pullin started in his home state on February 26, 2005 with the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, Louisiana with a marathon time of 6:21:42.

Over the next 11 years, Pullin would run in races across the United States and his best time would be his 40th race on June 28th, 2014 at the Run4Troops Marathon held in Iowa where he clocked a time of 5:36:35.

Hokulea Sails To Florida

After spending six days in Cuba interacting with the country’s local community for the first time in her history, Hawaii’s famed voyaging canoe Hokulea continues her journey by sailing roughly 96 nautical miles north to Key West, Florida. The crew left Havana, Cuba early today at 6:00 a.m. and is estimated to arrive at the Sunshine State’s southernmost point at approximately 9:00 p.m. local time. Note: Florida is six hours ahead of Hawaii time.

Hokulea equator

“Our experience in Cuba was very memorable,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain and pwo navigator on board Hokulea. “Once again, we discovered common threads with a community who is also perpetuating the Malama Honua message of taking care of our precious natural resources through various innovative initiatives.” The Cuba engagement gave the Hokulea crew the opportunity to see FINCA Marta, an organic farm that used mostly solar power for irrigation. The crewmembers also visited the Museo de la Canoa to learn about Caribbean canoe history and Old Havana Town.

The Key West stop will allow Hokulea to clear customs before she reaches the continental US at Everglades City, Florida in the next few days. In Florida, the crew will have the opportunity to honor the indigenous people of the land. From Florida, the canoe will travel up the US East Coast with stops in South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC and New York. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to be part of the United Nations’ World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 263

Mosquito Bite

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 263:

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/17/16
Cases no longer infectious
262 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 3/4/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 237 are Hawaii Island residents and 26 are visitors.
217 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/17/16.

As of today, a total of 1517 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Merrie Monarch Travel Alert

Travelers attending the Merrie Monarch Festival later this week are being alerted to quarantine restrictions on the transport of ohia from Hawaii Island due to a serious plant disease called rapid ohia death (ROD), also known as ohia wilt, which is devastating the native forests on that island.

Travel Alert

The quarantine restricts the movement of ohia plants and plant parts, including flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, twigs, cuttings, untreated wood, logs, mulch greenwaste and frass (sawdust from boring beetles) and any soil from Hawaii Island. Transport of such items is only allowed with a permit issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA).

“Ohia is one of the most important trees in our native forests and has such cultural significance,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Researchers are working hard to find methods to stop ROD and we ask that everyone obey the quarantine and assist in containing the spread of the disease to other islands.”

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture issued the emergency quarantine in August of 2015 to stop the spread of the plant fungus from Hawaii Island to other islands. Any person who violates the quarantine rule may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100. The maximum fine is $10,000. For a second offense committed within five years of a prior conviction under this rule, the person or organization shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $25,000.

HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors have printed a travel alert that is available at airports statewide. The card explains the quarantine and what travelers should and should not do. The information is also available on the department’s website at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/reportingohiawilt/

The Merrie Monarch Festival runs from March 27 to April 2 with dozens of hula halau and hundreds of spectators traveling to and from Hawaii Island. It is important to note that the very act of harvesting ohia may spread the disease as spores may be carried in soil and by vehicles, shoes and clothing to uninfected areas.

Multi-agency ROD working groups have been meeting with Native Hawaiian groups, the Merrie Monarch organization and other community groups to provide advice and guidance on the handling of ohia material.

ROD was first noticed in 2010 in Puna. In 2014, the fungus was identified as Ceratocystis fimbriata by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Daniel K. Inouye Agricultural Research Service. In 2014, it was estimated that the disease covered approximately 6,000 acres from Kalapana to Hilo and exhibited tree mortality rates of more than 50 percent. Currently, it is estimated to infect about 34,000 acres. So far, the disease has not been found on other islands. It is not known how the disease entered the state or where it came from.

Travelers seeking more ohia inspection information may contact HDOA’s Plant Quarantine offices:

Hilo – (808) 974-4141
Kona – (808) 326-1077
Honolulu – (808) 837-8413
Maui – (808) 872-3848
Kauai – (808) 241-7135

More information on ROD may be found at:

HDOA website: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/reportingohiawilt/

UH-College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources website:  http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/disease/ohia_wilt.html

After 25 Years at Pearl Harbor, USS Chosin to Leave for New Homeport

The U.S. Navy announced that USS Chosin (CG 65) will depart for San Diego this Friday, completing 25 years of duty and deployments from its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

USS Chosin

Chosin is scheduled to depart Pearl Harbor Friday morning to begin the cruiser modernization program in San Diego. The ship will be considered on deployment until July 1, at which time it will officially change its homeport to San Diego.  This move supports the Navy’s plan to modernize select cruisers to extend their service lives to 40 years, as well as upgrade shipboard combat systems to address current and future warfighting requirements.

In 1992 Chosin deployed for the first time to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch.  On several occasions over the years, Sailors aboard Chosin rescued stranded fishermen at sea, including Iraqi and Yemeni seafarers.  In 2014 USS Chosin led recovery efforts of the disabled Canadian navy oil replenishment ship Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur (AOR 509) after an engine fire.  Chosin participated in humanitarian operations in the Pacific and dozens of international exercises, including Rim of the Pacific exercises in the Hawaiian Islands.

“Thousands of men and women served aboard USS Chosin over the past 25 years that the ‘War Dragon’ was homeported here at Pearl Harbor,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Navy Region Hawaii. “Chosin Sailors and their proud ship kept sea lanes open, built strong international partnerships and stood at the ready to defend our nation.”

“We wish USS Chosin fair winds and following seas as the ‘War Dragon’ prepares for modernization — taking warfighting readiness to the next level,” Fuller said. “I join her commanding officer, Capt. Kevin Brand, and Chosin shipmates, past and present, who offer deep appreciation to the people of Hawaii for their strong support and Aloha over many years.”

Chosin is the first U.S. Navy warship named in commemoration of the First Marine Division’s heroism at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, “The Chosin Few.” The ship’s motto is “Invictus,” Latin for invincible or unconquered.

USS Chosin was commissioned in 1991 and since then has proudly served in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor.

The Navy will maintain cruisers undergoing modernization in a commissioned status using a reduced crew size and transferring the administrative control of the ship to Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command at the start of the modernization period.  At a future date, the Navy will restore the ship to full manning and transfer administrative control back to the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet as the ship returns to operational status.

Cruisers are designed to directly support a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) as the Air Defense Commander (ADC). These ships are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, or operating as flagships of surface action groups. They are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles giving them additional long range strike warfare capability.

Maintaining the most technologically advanced ships supports the commitment of United States to the security, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

DLNR Reopens Muliwai Trail and Waimanu Valley Campground After Waipio Valley Reopens

The Department of Land and Natural Resources yesterday reopened the Muliwai hiking trail on the far cliff side of Waipio Valley and its campground in the next valley, Waimanu, following the reopening of the Waipio valley access road yesterday by Hawaii County officials.


That reopening followed an extended period of no new reported cases of dengue fever in Waipio residents. The zigzag climbing Muliwai trail and Waimanu Valley can only be accessed via the far slope of Waipio valley.

Hikers interested in obtaining permits to camp in remotve Waimanu valley may again reserve permits on the DLNR Wiki Permit website, effective today at https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/welcome.html or at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife district office at 19 E. Kawili St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720.  Phone: (808) 974-4221.

As a precaution to prevent the spread of dengue fever on the island of Hawaii, access to the Waipio Valley Access Road and valley area was restricted to in mid-January 2016 to valley residents only until an 8-12 week period of no new cases being reported had passed.

For current information on dengue and preventing its spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.

Public Invited to View Solar-Powered Plane “Solar Impulse 2”

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is pleased to announce a free public viewing of the Solar Impulse 2. The public will be able to view the aircraft and meet the crew that’s making the first flight around the world in a solar-powered plane.

Solar Impulse in Hawaii

The viewing is scheduled at the following location and time:

Saturday, April 2, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hangar 111 at Kalaeloa Airport
Midway Street, Kapolei, HI 96707

The date of the event may need to be changed to Sunday, April 3, 2016, depending on the possibility of the plane leaving the hangar for training flights linked to weather conditions.

Those interested in attending the event are urged to register online which includes accepting a waiver granting Solar Impulse SA and their affiliates the right to use photos, video, and other materials taken at the event for promotional purposes.

On the day of the event, attendees who registered in advance will save time upon arrival by presenting a print out of their registration or by showing it on their smartphone. Those who have not registered prior to the event will not be able to utilize the express line. The public may register and read more about the waiver by clicking here.

For more information on the Solar Impulse’s mission and journey around the world, please visit their website at http://www.solarimpulse.com/.

Parking map for Hangar 111

Governor Ige Releases $550,000 in CIP Funding for Puna Regional Library (PRPL)

Governor David Y. Ige has announced the release of $550,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds for the Puna Regional Public Library. In his release of funding for the library project, Governor Ige stated, “Mahalo for your work on behalf of the residents in your district to secure these funds. Projects such as this are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building better a better home for our kupuna, keiki and all residents of Hawai’i.”

Senate Ways and Means Committee visited the Pahoa Library located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate campus.

Senate Ways and Means Committee visited the Pahoa Library located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate campus.

Senator Russell Ruderman has made the Puna library project one of his top priorities. The Puna Regional Public Library will play a vital role as one of the cornerstones of our community by transforming lives through nurturing lifelong learning and promoting increased community engagement by delivering new services that connect closely with user needs. Additionally, it will improve our quality of life and provide unlimited educational opportunities.

“The Puna district has long loved and consistently made good use of its libraries. I am very happy and grateful to Governor Ige for releasing these funds for the Puna Regional Public Library in such a timely manner,” Senator Ruderman stated, “For rural and economically challenged areas like Puna, projects like the library are a much-needed and highly anticipated resource. We are excited to learn that the Public Library System is also considering a pair of libraries in both upper and lower Puna areas to serve our large district. I look forward to working for continued support and funding of key projects like the library, and these newly released funds will help bring our goal of a state of the art community gathering place to fruition.”

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Presents 2016 Luncheon with Mayor Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi and select cabinet members discuss opportunities and challenges to West Hawaii’s economy at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) 2016 Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union and Mokulele Airlines, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with county department representatives in a casual setting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific department as well as pose questions to the mayor and cabinet heads. Issues discussed may include update on the Honokohau Harbor, housing and homelessness, healthcare and opportunities for economic development in West Hawaii.

In addition, attendees can also learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m.

General admission is $65; Chamber and Rotary members $55. No walk-ins allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.

BISAC Splash Bash Entertains Hundreds

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) hosted one of its annual events in Na’alehu. The Ka’u Splash Bash, is an event which celebrated community, promoted positive messages, and provided opportunities to enhance family relationships.

splash bash

Over 40 community organizations participated in providing the community with resources and family-fun activities. In true style, BISAC had carnival games, entertainment, massive water slides, prom dress distribution, a water balloon battle of over 4000 balloons, and closed the event with a Bubblicious Foam Fest. Hundreds of individuals took part in the event.

BISAC through its events and long standing positive reputation in the community continues to inspire positive changes and helps individuals and families reclaim their lives. “This event was just amazing. To see the community come together in celebration of their families while learning positive messages, made for a very successful event” says BISAC’s CEO, Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita. “We are already gearing up and taking Splash Bash to Kona in October, so come out and join us.”

Splash bash2

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse and mental health. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

Hawaii Health Department Confirms Second Case of Zika

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating another imported case of Zika virus in Hawaii. This is the second case of Zika to be confirmed this year by the department’s State Laboratories Division. The Kauai resident has a history of recent travel to Latin America and may still be infectious. The individual has been advised to keep indoors and stay protected from mosquitoes. No additional information will be made available about this case to respect the privacy of the individual.

microcephalyA Vector Control team will visit the individual’s residence to survey the area for mosquitoes and determine if there is a need to treat the area to reduce any mosquito breeding sites. DOH is coordinating closely with its county partners to assure a targeted and efficient response.

“As Zika continues to spread in multiple regions across the world, we anticipate that we will experience an increase in imported cases and must take precautionary measures to reduce our risk for an outbreak in Hawaii,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “There are several simple steps that we can take as a community to accomplish this, such as getting rid of standing water around our homes to reduce mosquito breeding sites and using repellant or protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. It is crucial that we keep these practices top-of-mind as we prepare for travel in and out of the state, especially to areas that may be affected by Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends special precautions for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika. If travel cannot be avoided, women should consult with their healthcare providers first and vigilantly follow steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

For travel guidance, visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.

For information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, visit:


For information on Zika and pregnancy, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html.

Oregon Athletes Win 2016 Big Island International Marathon

Two athletes from Roseburg, Oregon captured the titles in the 2016 Big Island International Marathon that was held today.

Click to view individual results

Click to view individual results

Sam Settelmeyer captured the men’s division and overall title with a time of 2:37:13.  Amanda Phillips captured the women’s division and was third overall with a time of 2:53:22.

The first Big Island Resident to cross the line was Jared Burris from Kapaau, HI who came in second overall with a time of 2:48:43.

Div Rank
1 Sam Settelmeyer 175 02:37:13 06:01 Roseburg, OR M20-24 1
2 Jared Burris 36 02:48:43 06:27 Kapaau, HI M20-24 2
3 Amanda Phillips 158 02:53:22 06:38 Roseburg, OR F30-34 1
4 Kengo Yoshimoto 3 02:56:30 06:45 Honolulu, HI M40-44 1
5 Michael Sullivan 193 02:57:30 06:47 Hilo, HI M35-39 1
6 Alan Ryan 1 03:11:38 07:19 Makaweli, HI M45-49 1
7 Daniel Wagner 212 03:16:31 07:31 Honolulu, HI M30-34 1
8 Tyler Sprague 191 03:17:04 07:32 Pahoa, HI M25-29 1
9 Michael Arnstein 9 03:17:06 07:32 Kamuela, HI M35-39 2
10 Jon-Erik Jardine 90 03:18:00 07:34 Hilo, HI M25-29 2
11 Yuko Nakai 232 03:20:04 07:39 HONOLULU, HI F40-44 1
12 Joshua Johnson 230 03:26:26 07:53 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO M35-39 3
13 James Lehman 105 03:26:37 07:54 Coppell, TX M45-49 2
14 Michael Carroll 38 03:28:27 07:58 Millville, MA M50-54 1
15 Nelson Soken 186 03:30:20 08:02 Hugo, MN M50-54 2

For complete results see here: 2016 Big Island International Marathon Results

Applications Sought for Hawaii Island Forestry Advisory Council Positions

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, is now accepting applications for vacant seats on the Laupāhoehoe Advisory Council (LAC) and the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Advisory Council (PAC) on Hawai‘i Island.

DLNRLaupāhoehoe Advisory Council members are expected and encouraged to provide guidance to DLNR and the USDA Forest Service on issues related to management, research, education and public access in the Hawai‘i Experimental Tropical Forest and state lands in the Hamakua district (Laupāhoehoe Natural Area Reserve and Forest Reserve).

Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Advisory Council members are expected and encouraged to provide guidance to DLNR for state lands in North Kona that include the PWW Forest Reserve, PWW Forest Bird Sanctuary, Kīholo State Park Reserve, and the makai lands of Pu‘u Anahulu.

Laupāhoehoe forest is located on the windward side of Hawai‘i island and includes 12,300 acres of wet tropical forest in both forest reserve land as well as a Natural Area Reserve. The ‘ahupua‘a of Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a is 40,711 acres of state land and includes the Forest Bird Sanctuary, Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest reserve, and Kīholo state park reserve. Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a is on the leeward side of Hawai‘i island on the northern flank of Hualālai and includes tropical dry and wet forests, grasslands and coastal ecosystems, including anchialine ponds.

The Laupāhoehoe Advisory Council consists of 14 members with two members representing each of the following categories: cultural resources, natural resource management, recreation, education, Laupāhoehoe community, Hawai‘i community at large, and scientific research. Members of the council serve a 2 or 3-year term (staggered within each category). Applicants with appropriate backgrounds who are interested in representing community stakeholders in these categories are now being sought. Meetings are held in Laupāhoehoe from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of odd-numbered months.

The Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Advisory Council consists of 14 members in the following categories: natural resource specialist and recreation use specialist (three members each), Hui ‘Ohana mai Pu‘u Anahulu a me Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a representative and grazing specialist (two members each), cultural expert, neighboring landowner, business/ecotourism specialist, and grant writing expertise/Coastal Zone Management (one member each). Members of the PAC serve for a 2 or 3-year term. Applicants are being sought to fill two positions in the following categories: Hui ‘Ohana mai Pu‘u Anahulu a me Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a representative (one seat), and grazing specialist (one seat). Applicants with appropriate backgrounds who are interested in representing community stakeholders in these categories are now being sought. Members meet quarterly at Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a forest reserve in North Kona.

Persons interested in serving on either council may submit an application for review by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the Hawai‘i Experimental Tropical Forest working group, and current members of the selected advisory council. Final selections are made by the DLNR chairperson.

Applications must be received by May 18, 2016. Application forms including submittal instructions can be found at the following website: http://www.hetf.us/page/home/  Hard copy applications may also be obtained at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Hilo at 19 E. Kawili St. Hilo, HI and in Waimea at 66-1220A Lalamilo Road.

For more information on either the Laupāhoehoe or Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Advisory Council and the application process, contact the DOFAW Hilo office at (808) 974-4221.

2016 “Hawaii: Next 50” Contest Winners Announced

The winners of the 2016 Hawaii: Next 50 Contest were honored as conductors of change on the floor of the Hawaii State House of Representatives today, followed by a luncheon with former Governor George Ariyoshi. More than 350 students statewide submitted essay, poster, and video submissions with ideas from new ways on harnessing solar, wind, wave, and geothermal power to increasing available energy efficient measures in everyday life.

next 50

The Hawaii: Next 50 Contest is inspired by Ariyoshi’s book, Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years, which provides a look back at our state’s history as well as suggestions for the road ahead. Students received free copies of the book and were asked to use it as a starting point to create their own predictions and vision of Hawaii’s renewable energy future.

The contest sponsored by aio Foundation, Hawaii Future Caucus, the Hawaii State House of Representatives, HGEA, and Ulupono Initiative.

In addition to the floor presentation and luncheon, winners received a monetary prize and will have their entries posted online at www.HawaiiNext50.com.

2016 Hawaii: Next 50 Contest Winners

Grades 4-5
Essay: Mei Rosa, Manoa Elementary School
Poster: Mana Harada, Maemae Elementary School

Grades 6-8
Essay: Alize Pagaduan, Highlands Intermediate School
Poster: (tie) Angelica Devers, Kapolei Middle School; Febelie Rodriguez, Waipahu Intermediate School

Grades 9-12
Essay: Sydney Millerd, Waipahu High School
Poster: Aolele Taulapapa, Kahuku High School

Hokulea Arrives in Cuba

Hokulea, the legendary voyaging canoe from Hawaii internationally known for her pioneering travels, has reached another “first” in her Worldwide Voyage: arrival on the shores of Cuba. The vessel reached Havana on Friday at 7:30 a.m. local time, after traveling over a thousand nautical miles from the British Virgin Islands, where the canoe was most recently docked. Note: Havana, Cuba is six hours ahead of Hawaii time.

Hokulea Cuba

“Being part of this hardworking crew who just completed a historic sail to this island country in the Caribbean Sea is nothing short of amazing,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain and pwo navigator. “We’re anticipating great learning experiences to emerge from our engagement with Cuba’s local community and customs. Our crew is also looking forward to sharing with Cuba’s residents Hokulea’s Malama Honua message of taking care of our precious natural resources.”

While in Cuba, the crew plans to visit Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meet with ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) about US-Cuban relations.   They also plan to meet with leaders of urban sustainability and marine conservation efforts in Cuba.

Hokulea Cuba2

From Cuba, Hokulea will sail up to US waters and stop at Key West before making her arrival in the continental US at Everglades City, FL at the end of March. From Florida, the canoe will travel up the US East Coast. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to be part of the United Nations’ World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crew members have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

Hokulea Cuba3

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Funds Received to Pilot an Innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) Project

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) has received grant funding to pilot an innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) project, starting this spring. The funding is provided by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Hawaii Reef

Across the island, the most common coastal interaction for DOCARE is with fishermen.  Often this interaction is a punitive measure like a citation.

DOCARE, the enforcement arm of DLNR, has long recognized the importance of building relationships with the public. The goal of the REEF project is to provide opportunities for officers and fishers to engage in activities together, such as site visits to walk shorelines and clarify state rules and regulations.

Studies have shown that when an officer takes the time to participate in something that is important to a certain segment of the community, this shows that they really care about people, not just about writing citations.

“Many fishers have asked for trainings to understand the “western science” behind rules and regulations…” said Luna Kekoa, Makai Watch coordinator for DOCARE, “…but fishers feel a lot of current training lacks cultural sensitivity.”

To address this concern, a component of the REEF project will include a newly developed `Ike Kai curriculum that incorporates relevant cultural knowledge and sensitivities, while covering rules and regulations from the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR).

DOCARE Chief Tommy Friel says, “Education is a critical component to help people understand why it is important to comply with the rules and regulations our officers enforce. Building this relationship is the means by which education is best achieved.”

For more information on the `Ike Kai curriculum visit the Makai Watch website: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/makaiwatch

VIDEO: University of Hawaii News Conference on Lab Explosion

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa held a news conference to discuss the explosion that occurred in a laboratory at the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building on March 16.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building

Speaking at the March 17 news conference was UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Dean Brian Taylor and Environmental Health and Safety Director Roy Takekawa.

At the news conference Taylor announced that a structural engineer had confirmed that the building was sound and would be reopened.

Big Island Legislators Secure $389.3 Million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Funding

Big Island legislators secured more than $389.3 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for various projects across the island in the recently passed House proposed budget.


The proposed budget includes funding for various airport and highway improvements, Hawaii Community Correctional Center, Big Island facilities for Hawaii Army National Guard, monies for Big Island schools and Hawaii Community College, and regional community centers.

Notable CIP funding highlights for Hawaii County include:


  • $55 million for construction of Kona judiciary complex (FY2016)
  • $30.2 million for construction of a new combined support maintenance shop for Hawaii Army National Guard at the Keaukaha Military Reservation
  • $15 million for new housing and support offices for Hawaii Community Correctional Center
  • $9 million for lump sum CIP for Hawaii Community Correctional Center
  • $5.2 million for improvements and upgrades to the seawater system at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST)
  • $4 million for improvements to lower Hamakua Ditch Watershed project
  • $3.3 million for construction and renovation projects (Bldg. 621) at Hawaii Army National Guard’s Keaukaha Military Reservation
  • $3 million for improvements to Kohala Ditch irrigation system
  • $2 million for infrastructure and building of a post-harvest facility and vacuum cooling plant in Kamuela
  • $1.6 million for improvements to the Keaukaha Military Reservation’s Youth Challenge Academy
  • $1 million for construction of a storage warehouse at Pohakuloa Training Area
  • $800,000 for construction and completion of Miolii Community Enrichment and Historical Center
  • $330,000 for improvements to the research campus in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST)
  • $150,000 for plans and design for the Kamoleao Laulima Community Resources Center


  • $13.1 million for design and construction of a classroom building for Waikoloa Elementary/Middle school
  • $9.5 million for renovation of former hospital into kitchen and classrooms for North Hawaii Education and Research Center, Hawaii Community College
  • $2.3 million for covered play court at Kohala Middle School
  • $2 million for construction of a covered play court at Haaheo Elementary School
  • $2 million for renovations at Hilo Intermediate School
  • $1.5 million for track and field facilities at Honokaa Park for Honokaa High School
  • $1.5 million for construction of portable trailers for Hawaii Community College
  • $1.2 million for community food kitchen for Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School
  • $1 million for the transition from Keaau Elementary School to Keonepoko Elementary School
  • $735,000 for improvements to covered walkway at Mountain View Elementary School
  • $511,000 for electrical upgrades and covered walkway at Waiakea Intermediate School
  • $355,000 for access road safety improvements for Kahakai Elementary School
  • $335,000 to replace lighting and scoreboards in Konawaena High School gymnasium
  • $300,000 for additional parking at Kealakehe Elementary School
  • $300,000 for additional office and storage space for Hawaii Community College at Palamanui
  • $290,000 for repair and maintenance at Naalehu Elementary School
  • $285,000 for a certified commercial kitchen for Friends of the Volcano School of Arts & Sciences
  • $200,000 for covered walkway at Pahoa Elementary School
  • $150,000 for walkway safety lighting for Kau High School


  • $127.2 million for improvements, new training facility and federal inspection station at Kona International Airport
  • $15 million for repair and maintenance of feeder roads and alternate routes for Highway 130
  • $8 million for rehabilitation and/or replacement of Ninole Bridge on Mamalahoa Highway
  • $7.9 million for demolition of Pier 2 shed and water tower and related improvements at Hilo Harbor
  • $7.6 million for a road maintenance facility near Mauna Kea State Park
  • $7.1 million for improvements at Hilo International Airport
  • $4.2 million for improvements to access ways in and out of Kawaihae Harbor
  • $3.6 million for drainage improvements of Kohala Mountain Road
  • $2.9 million for Keaau-Pahoa Road improvements
  • $1.2 million for rehabilitation for Wailuku Bridge along Hawaii Belt Road
  • $1 million for drainage and rockfall improvements along Hawaii Belt Road
  • $1 million for replacement of Pahoehoe Stream Bridge along Hawaii Belt Road
  • $660,000 for the Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension
  • $$550,000 for water lines replacement at Santos Lane and Nohea Street
  • 400,000 for improvements to North Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor
  • $300,000 for repairs to Pohoiki Boat Ramp
  • $150,000 for installation of runaway truck ramp along Kawaihae Road
  • $101,000 for rehabilitation and/or replacement of Hilea Stream Bridge
  • $50,000 for feasibility study for a small commercial airport in South Puna


  • $8.5 million for a multi-purpose processing facility for Workforce Development
  • $6.7 million for reroofing and improvements to Hilo Counseling Center and Keawe Health Center
  • $2 million for land acquisition to Hilo Forest Reserve
  • $1 million for feasibility study for a new University Hospital in Kona
  • $1 million for dam compliance and improvements to Puu Waawaa dam
  • $600,000 for land acquisition and design for a community center in Waiakea Uka
  • $500,000 for an education center for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission
  • $315,000 for design and construction of the Kailapa Community Resource Center
  • $100,000 for fabrication and installation of exhibits at Hawaii Wildlife Center

Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces the Worldwide Voyage’s Upcoming Sail Plan – Hokulea to Set Sail Towards the US Mainland

Hokulea is changing course in pursuit of new connections and opportunities to share the principles of malama honua – caring for our Island Earth – the core mission of the legendary voyaging canoe’s ambitious Worldwide Voyage. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) released the new sail plan today, which charts a course for the East Coast of the continental United States from her current position in the Caribbean en route to Havana, Cuba.

worldwide voyage

“We see tremendous opportunities in these ports to engage with people who are leading the world in sustainable practices, including those who are integrating indigenous knowledge and perspectives to inform the choices we make about our future world,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of PVS. “We are hungry to learn from these visionaries, and we are honored to have the opportunity to share the story of our Voyage with the communities we will visit.”

As part of this new sail plan, Hokulea’s first contact with the continental United States will be in Florida at the end of March, hosted by organizations and communities such as Everglades National Park.

“It makes sense to have Hokulea’s arrival into the continental U.S. be at a place that is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a national park focused on restoring and protecting the country’s largest subtropical wilderness,” said Thompson. “This represents an important part of the mission of this Voyage, which is to recognize the efforts and learn from mission partners such as the National Park Service, which is celebrating its Centennial this year,” he added.

From Everglades National Park, the crew will sail up to Fort Meyers and then travel across the Florida peninsula via the Okeechobee Waterway to the eastern coast of the state, where they will celebrate the spirit of exploration and honor the late Lacy Veach at Kennedy Space Center in early April. Veach was a Hawaii-born NASA astronaut who first suggested the idea that Hokulea should sail around the world to share the message to care for Island Earth.

Following Florida, the crew will travel up the East Coast making several stops including South Carolina and Virginia. In Virginia, Hokulea and her crew will celebrate Earth Day with the Mariners’ Museum and community of Newport News, offering canoe tours and dockside outreach to the public. Additional engagement stops in Virginia include Yorktown and Tangier Island, where the crew will learn about the environmental issues affecting Chesapeake Bay and the efforts to protect the country’s largest watershed.

Continuing through the Chesapeake, Hokulea will sail to Piscataway Park, Maryland for a private ceremony with the area’s First Nations tribes followed by a Celebration of Friendship the next day that will take place in Old Town Alexandria, VA and will be open to the public. From there, the iconic canoe will arrive at the nation’s capital by sailing along the Potomac River and docking at the historic Washington Canoe Club.

After spending about a week in Washington D.C.,Hokulea will sail to New York City. On June 5, an arrival ceremony will be held as the canoe sails down the Hudson River and docks at North Cove Marina.

During Hokulea’s New York visit, the Polynesian Voyaging Society will be engaging in a variety of education and outreach activities. The organization has been working with local community organizations and schools in preparation for the June visit, and expects to reach out to children in different boroughs throughout the city.

On June 8, Hokulea will be a focal point at the World Oceans Day events hosted by the United Nations. The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. UN delegates, global conservation leaders, Hawaii environmental leaders, Hawaii education leaders, and supporters will come together to hear first-hand stories of the state of the ocean and celebrate the journey of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. During this time, Thompson will share progress on the declarations and commitments to action entrusted to Hokulea during the Voyage from the UN Secretary General, world leaders, and communities.

“New York City will be a pivotal point of the Worldwide Voyage,” said Thompson. “This is the place where we will bring together many of our partners and fellow ocean protectors, and we will be able to reflect, celebrate and thank everyone who has supported our mission,” he added.

While in New York City, Hokulea also will participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, which is the East Coast’s largest Pacific Islands festival and one of the world’s most competitive outrigger races.

Hokulea is expected to depart New York City on June 18 for several engagements in the New England states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Worldwide Voyage collaborators for this sail plan engagement include the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, UNESCO, American Canoe Association, Halawai NY, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and National Geographic Society among many others. PVS is working with U.S. East Coast schools to create opportunities for educational exchanges, and will open a door for Hawaii educators and students to join in these partnerships and engagement opportunities.

“Hawaiian Style Cafe” Expanding to Tokyo

“Ready or not, the pancakes are coming,” says Hawaiian Style Cafe – Hilo’s owner, Guy Kao`o, when describing his restaurant’s Tokyo debut.

Hawaiian Style

With a newly-built location set to debut in Japan’s famous Ginza shopping district, Kao`o is intent on making a big splash using his establishment’s signature plate-hogging flapjacks.

Although Tokyo diners aren’t exactly famous for “super sizing” their meals, Kao`o felt it was important to preserve the restaurant’s core identity, and to promote its homespun appeal.  “It’s right there in our name,” explains Kao`o.  “We plain on giving the people of Japan the most authentic taste of Hawaiian home cooking that they can get.”

Ginza, Japan

Ginza Shopping District

Hawaiian Style’s monster pancakes actually helped open the door to the new location, having been continually splashed over social media and restaurant review sites in recent years.  Indeed, Kao`o’s Japanese partner in the venture discovered the restaurant in part thanks to its wide-spread internet presence.

“I got a call one day, just out of the blue, from a guy wanting to open a local-style restaurant there,” he explains, adding, “within days we were sitting down across from each other.”

Hawaiian Style Pancake

An agreement was made between the two men, followed by a two year search for a high-profile location and test kitchen trials.  “We cooked over there to see what works,” says Kao`o.

To his delight, the most well-received items on the menu included island staples like Kalua Pork with cabbage.  “Home-style cooking really seems to strike a chord in Japan these days,” Kao`o explains, adding, “it’s almost like, the simpler the better.”

Ginza, Tokyo is one of the world’s most heavily trafficked urban locations.  Kao`o, who will be on hand for the restaurant’s opening, feels that the frenetic setting is perfect for making a big splash.

After their Tokyo debut, Kao`o is set on expanding Hawaiian Style’s reach to the U.S. mainland.  “We’re actively scouting locations in California,” he says, adding, “it’s gonna be a busy year.”

Hawaiian Style Cafe’s Ginza, Tokyo location will hold a soft opening on March 27, followed by a grand opening celebration on March 31.

Established in the town of Kamuela, Hawai`i in 1993, the Hawaiian Style Cafe has been serving local portions of local food (with aloha) for over 23 years.  Their Hilo location opened in 2012 and will be followed in 2016 by a location in Ginza, Japan.