Big Island Police Searching for Missing 72-Year-Old Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 72-year-old woman who was reported missing.

HPDBadgeCarol Westbrook, who has no permanent address, was last heard from by her family during the first week of February.

She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-3, 120 pounds with gray or graying hair.  She may be in Hilo or Puna and she may be operating a white Subaru Legacy with front-end damage.

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

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

(No photo is immediately available.)

Hilo Man Charged With Nine Offenses After He Bangs Man Twice with SUV

A Hilo man has been charged with nine offenses after he allegedly banged into another man twice with a sports-utility vehicle.

At 7:17 p.m. on February 2, police responded to Hilo Medical Center, where it was reported that a 49-year-old Hilo man had been in a discussion with the suspect in the parking lot of a commercial and residential complex on Hualani Street in Hilo just before 7 p.m. when the suspect reportedly ran into the victim two times with an SUV that didn’t belong to him and then fled the scene.

The victim sustained serious and substantial bodily injury and had to be transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where he remained until February 25.

Clifford P. Marler

Clifford P. Marler

Police investigation led to the identity of the suspect as 52-year-old Clifford P. Marler, who has no permanent address but frequents the Hilo area.

Police located Marler on Tuesday night (February 25) and arrested and charged him on two bench warrants for contempt of court. His bail for the contempt charges was set at $1,750.

During his arrest, he was found to be in possession of a syringe loaded with a substance believed to be heroin. He was held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation into the incident with the SUV and drug offenses.

At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (February 26), Marler was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangering, leaving the scene of an accident involving substantial bodily injury, failure to render aid, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail for those offenses was set at $76,000.

He is being held at Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (February 27).

New Mushroom Category at Sam Choy’s Poke Contest

Fun is mushrooming at the third Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Sunday, March 16 at the Sheraton Kona Resort Convention Center.

A new competition category—poke with Hamakua Mushrooms—encourages the use of mushrooms from the Big Isle’s gourmet fungal company located in rural Laupahoehoe. It joins four other culinary categories: traditional, cooked, poke with Aloha Shoyu soy sauce and non-seafood.

Hamakua Mushrooms

Hamakua Mushrooms

“The poke contest is all about sharing our favorite recipes and using local products,” says celebrity chef Sam Choy. ”Put your braggin’ in the bowl and enter to win prizes.”

Hamakua Mushrooms (HM) produces over 5,000 pounds of specialty and exotic mushrooms weekly. The exacting, multi-step growing process, which is done in a series of environmentally controlled rooms, will be detailed at the festival during a video. Attendees will also be able to see the bouquets of fresh, flavorful mushrooms growing in their sterilized bottles—Hamakua Mushrooms produces four varieties of shrooms.

“Contestants can source our mushrooms at islandwide grocers,” details HM co-owner Janice Stanga. “Our ali‘i oyster and pioppini mushrooms are sold at Costco, KTA, Safeway, Foodland and Sack ‘n Save.” For more info, phone HM at 808-962-0017.

Entry fee is $15 for amateurs and $30 for professionals—culinary students can participate for free. High schoolers can enter in a new High School Division and college culinary students are welcome to again vie in the non-professional category.

Suisan Company Ltd. will donate 15 pounds of fresh filet ahi to the first 50 entrants using fish. It contestant wants additional ahi, it will be offered at wholesale price. Suisan also offers seafood to contestants at a wholesale price. Contest entry deadline is March 10; find forms at www.SamChoysKeauhouPokeContest.org.

Poke contest fun is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and includes Hawai’i Island Marketplace, a “Poke Throw Down,” a celebrity “Poke Chop” cookoff, guest speakers, entertainment by Royal Hawaii Band Kona and cultural demonstrations. Public poke tasting is 12:30 p.m.

Poke Cook-off

Public admission to all contest activities is $5 (limit of five poke tastes) or $10 for an event bag and unlimited tastes until gone.  Keiki under 12 are free). Proceeds benefit the $150,000 Equip the Kitchens Campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui campus. Last year’s contest donated $5,000 to the effort.

A free trolley will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) 4-10:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 14-17 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli. The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Schools, Aloha Shoyu Company, Suisan Company Ltd., Hawaiian Springs, Hamakua Mushrooms, West Hawaii Today, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Fresh Island Fish, Coca Cola, BMW of Hawaii, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Roberts Hawaii, Bacardi, Sun Dried Specialties, Kapa Radio and Young’s Market Co.

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Middle School Band & Keiki Choir California Schedule

The Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i Middle School Band & Keiki Choir will be performing in California over the Spring Break.  Here is their schedule of public performances.
California Flier

Please feel free to forward this to your friend’s and ʻohana that live in the area. We would love to see them and I am sure they would enjoy the mele of Hawaiʻi brought to them by our Keiki.

Volunteers Needed to Malama Maunakea

The Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) is seeking community volunteers to participate in its monthly “Malama Maunakea” campaign to protect the mountain’s fragile resources.  Community members are encouraged to sign up for open volunteer days – Saturday, April 19; Saturday, June 7 or Saturday, July 26.

Volunteers work to help Malama Maunakea along with Office of Mauna Kea Management

Volunteers work to help Malama Maunakea along with Office of Mauna Kea Management

“Our overarching goal at the Office of Mauna Kea Management is to malama Maunakea. Taking care of 12,000 acres is a daunting task, but with collaborative community partnerships we can accomplish much,” stated OMKM Director Stephanie Nagata. “We are so thankful to the school groups, service organizations, Chambers, individual and families of volunteers who give of their weekend to take care of Maunakea.”

The invasive species weed pulls throughout 2013 proved to be quite successful with 236 participants volunteering 1,747 hours, pulling 363 garbage bags of invasive weeds on eight separate occasions and also planting 200 Maunakea silversword.

The Saturday weed pulls concentrate on eradicating the invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) along the Mauna Kea Access Road and around Halepohaku at approximately 9,200’ elevation.  The fireweed pulls help keep this invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea and reduce habitat for invasive insects.

The Malama Maunakea volunteer day begins at 8 am.  For Hilo-based volunteers, transportation to and from Hilo is provided. For West Hawaii volunteers, OMKM will help coordinate ride sharing. Upon arrival at Halepohaku, the volunteers are given a project orientation and allowed time to acclimate to the high elevation. Invasive weed pulls focus on the area along the Mauna Kea Access Road near Halepohaku. A brief tour of Maunakea resources completes this fulfilling day on the mountain.

Who can help? Everyone, including families and kids under parent supervision, student groups 16 years of age and older, community members, visitors, are all welcome.  Space is limited. To volunteer or for more information contact OMKM Natural Resource Program Manager Fritz Klasner at 808-933-3194 or email: OMKMvolunteers-grp@hawaii.edu.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight if there isn’t a cloud cover.

International Space Station

It will be visible at 7:21 PM, for about 4 minutes:  Max Height: 42 degrees, Appears: NNW, Disappears: E

Big Island Police Looking for Suspects Involved in Coffee Parchment Theft

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects involved in a theft in Nāʻālehu.

HPDBadge
On February 11, at about 4:06 p.m., police received a call from a 53-year-old homeowner reporting that unknown suspects had removed 10 80-pound brown burlap bags of coffee parchment, a 10-foot by 10-foot instant gazebo and an electric garage door opener from his property. The bags are marked with “14-2” in black ink. The value of the stolen items is $10,000.

Kaʻū patrol officers are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second-degree theft.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may know the identities of the suspects to call Officer Augustine Akiu at 939-2520.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers 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.

Governor Abercrombie Calls for Public Input on Climate Change

Having recently met with President Obama and other state governors on a variety of issues including climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking for ideas from Hawaii residents on how the federal government can better support state and other local efforts in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Climate Change and Abercrombie

In November 2013, Gov. Abercrombie was one of 26 members appointed to the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Members have been asked to develop recommendations in the areas of:

  • Disaster Management
  • Built Systems (water, transportation, energy, facilities and coastal infrastructure)
  • Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Community Development and Health

The public is invited to provide input through an online form at http://governor.hawaii.gov/climate-change-task-force-survey/. Since the Task Force is on an expedited timeline, the first round of input must be received by Monday, March 10.  The form is also accessible from the Governor’s homepage, http://governor.hawaii.gov, by clicking on “Your Input on Climate Change” under “Useful Links.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share Hawaii’s unique needs, challenges and innovative solutions, while advising federal officials on what kind of support is needed and what would be most effective here in the islands,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Members of the President’s task force from every part of the country agree this is the challenge of our time and we must work together to prepare for and mitigate impacts.”

“Gov. Abercrombie’s appointment to the President’s task force puts our state in a valuable position to share what matters most for Hawaii in building a resilient future,” said State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel. “The recommendations submitted will be considered by the task force for the final presentation to President Obama. Although the focus of the task force is how the federal government can better support our climate change efforts in Hawaii, this is also a chance for us to identify next steps for action that we can take together as a state.”

Resilient Hawaii Forum
Another opportunity to share recommendations and discuss next steps for addressing climate change in Hawaii will be the Governor’s second Resilient Hawaii Forum, a free and open session being held during the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) conference on March 12, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. As mentioned in his 2014 State of the State Address, the Governor is convening the forums this year to engage stakeholders – Native Hawaiian organizations, natural resource managers, the military, tourism officials, agricultural representatives, researchers and government at all levels – to create a climate change roadmap for Hawaii. For more information on the PRiMO conference, visit http://collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/PRiMO/Pages/index.aspx.

Navigating Change
Read Navigating Change, Hawaii’s Approach to Adaptation, a report presented by Gov. Abercrombie at the first meeting of the President’s Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience in December 2013: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/navigating-climate-change/.

Big Island Press Club Offering Scholarships

The Big Island Press Club (BIPC) is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for eligible students pursuing higher education in the field of journalism or a related field.

Big Island Press Club Image

BIPC annually offers: $1,000 Bill Arballo Scholarship, $500 Yukino Fukubori Memorial Scholarship, $500 Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship, $1,500 Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship and the $1,000 Marcia Reynolds Scholarship. Last year, BIPC awarded a total of $4,600 to five Hawaii Island students at the annual scholarship dinner in Hilo.

Awards are determined by the BIPC Scholarship Committee to qualified applicants.

To qualify, applicants must:

  • Have residential ties to the Big Island
  • Express a clear interest in and aptitude for a career in journalism or a related field
  • Be pursuing a degree in journalism or a related field and enrolled full time at an accredited college or university
  • Maintain a strong record of academic achievement.

Application forms and instructions are available at the BIPC website: www.BigIslandPressClub.org <http://www.BigIslandPressClub.org> and will be available from high school counselors at Big Island public and private high schools. The deadline to apply for the 2014 scholarships is April 15; applications must be postmarked by this date.

Hawaii Senate Committee Advances Bills Protecting the Environment

The Hawaii State Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means (WAM) today advanced legislation to protect and preserve the state’s natural resources. The committee passed bills that, if made law, would have immediate and far-reaching effects on beach shorelines, invasive species control, conservation, sustainability, climate change and disaster planning efforts.

Some members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at Pohoiki on the Big Island.

Some members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at Pohoiki on the Big Island.

“We must continually work together to maintain our unique island home for the health and pleasure of our families and, also, the stability of our economy through the visitor industry,” said Sen. David Ige, WAM Committee chairman. “These bills passed today touch on many facets of the environment both with immediate actions and long-term planning, and will require more meetings and consensus for success.”

The environment protection measures passed today include:

SB2742 – Establishes the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability to provide the structure and opportunity for a new generation of leaders to emerge who possess the ability to address Hawaii and the Pacific-Asia region’s risks from natural and man-made hazards and to develop solutions for sustainable economic growth within the region’s unique physical and cultural diversity.

SB3035 – Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates funds for planning for and construction for the realignment of Kamehameha Highway mauka of Laniakea beach on the North Shore of Oahu.

SB3036 – Appropriates funds to the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to create a North Shore beach management plan for the North Shore of Oahu stretching from Sunset beach to Waimea Bay.

The Senate WAM Committee last week advanced two joint majority package bills that support efforts to address invasive species and climate change. The measures are:

SB2343 – Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council for invasive species prevention, control, outreach, research, and planning.

SB2344 - Addresses climate change adaptation by establishing the interagency sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation committee under the Department of Land and Natural Resources to create a sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report that addresses sea level rise impacts statewide to 2050. Tasks the Office of Planning with establishing and implementing strategic climate adaptation plans and policy recommendations using the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report as a framework for addressing other statewide climate impacts identified under Act 286, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012. Appropriates funds for staffing and resources.

UH Hilo Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Moving to San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University announced today the appointment of Luoluo Hong as vice president for student affairs. Hong currently serves as vice chancellor for student affairs and associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, a position she has held since 2008. Her previous positions include dean of student affairs for the West Campus of Arizona State University and dean of students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She will begin her tenure at SF State on May 1.

Photo of Luoluo Hong, just appointed vice president for student affairs

Luoluo Hong

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Hong to SF State. Her passion for student success and well-being, her commitment to fostering a collaborative environment and her infectious, enthusiastic love of higher education make her the ideal person to join my leadership team and to serve as the University’s senior student affairs officer,” said President Leslie E. Wong.

“I cannot sufficiently express how honored I am to be joining President Wong’s leadership team and to be serving the students at SF State,” Hong said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me on both a personal and professional level at this point in my life. The vision, mission and forward trajectory for SF State is truly inspiring and exciting, and I cannot wait to get started in my new role.”

Hong will succeed Jo Volkert, who has served as interim vice president for student affairs and enrollment management since fall 2012.  “I am grateful to Dr. Volkert for her leadership in furthering the activities of the division. She represents SF State’s best commitment to student success in so many ways,” Wong said.

As the University’s vice president for student affairs, Hong will manage a budget of approximately $60 million and will lead a team responsible for a broad portfolio of student support services and related programs, which currently includes: student outreach and incoming student programs; residential life; career development; student life; services to students and employees with disabilities; student conduct and ethical development; student health and psychological counseling; student leadership and multicultural  development; student recreation and fitness; admissions, records and enrollment management; financial aid; university police; emergency preparedness; parking and transportation services; and the vice president’s management office.

Hong has a proven record of leadership, demonstrated by various successful initiatives that have leveraged partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs to further student success. At the University of Hawaii, Hong worked with faculty and staff to design and implement a guaranteed academic scheduling system for first-year students. She instituted an intrusive advising program aimed at identifying students in distress and then working to ensure their progress and well-being. She has worked to establish clear articulation pathways so that students from community colleges could achieve bachelor’s degrees. She has also developed and implemented a comprehensive summer bridge program for first-generation Hawaii Island students that included math and writing instruction and improved participants’ retention rates. While at UH Hilo, she also oversaw the completion of three major construction projects: a state-of-the art campus recreation facility, a 300-bed suite-style residence hall and a one-stop student services center.

In addition to her administrative leadership roles, Hong is also an accomplished teacher and scholar. She has developed a record of scholarly activity including numerous publications, particularly in the areas of violence prevention, public health and social justice.

Hong earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Amherst College, a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and research from Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge.

Hawaiian Telcom Introduces Enhanced Internet Speeds

Fueled by its expanding fiber network, Hawaiian Telcom has introduced Hawaii’s fastest internet, featuring speeds of up to 500 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload.

Hawaii TelcomBeginning 2 March, O’ahu consumers will be able to sign up for broadband speed tiers of 100, 300 and 500 Mbps, with higher speeds available for businesses. Hawaiian Telcom internet packages come with a wireless networking gateway, comprehensive internet security software and access to local 24/7 technical support.

Hawaiian Telcom president and CEO, Eric K. Yeaman said the company has invested USD 125 million in its new fiber network and systems and plans to expand network reach in the future.

Four Rescued From Disabled Boat 12 Miles Off Oahu

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled boat approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

At 3:14 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Honolulu was patched in to a call from the Honolulu Fire Department notifying watchstanders that a 19-foot Boston Whaler suffered an unknown engine casualty and was adrift. An individual aboard the vessel was able to contact the fire department via cell phone.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was dispatched from Coast Guard Station Honolulu at 3:36 p.m.

The boat crew arrived on scene at 5:15 p.m. and took the vessel in tow. The RB-M crew towed the vessel into Kaneohe Bay where it was met by a Good Samaritan who safely moored the disabled vessel at Hee’ia Kea Pier.

The vessel was boarded and issued a warning for expired flares. The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they have all necessary safety equipment aboard and that it is in working condition. This includes flares, lifejackets and a working VHF radio. Cell phones are often unreliable off-shore and only provide one-on-one communication versus one-to-many with a VHF radio.

Mariners who want to ensure their vessel is safe and compliant with current regulations can request a free safety check by visiting www.vesselsafetycheck.org. For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Another Wreck at Our Favorite Intersection

Andrews Gymnasium Reopens

Repairs to Hilo’s Joseph G. Andrews Gymnasium have been completed, allowing the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation to reopen the popular facility located within Waiākeawaena Park.

Photo of gym interior showing repaired and refurbished floor  Photo credit: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Photo of gym interior showing repaired and refurbished floor
Photo credit: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Old wax buildup was removed from the gym’s floor, which was then sanded and coated with a new layer of wax to protect the playing surface. New lines were painted to accommodate different sports, termite damage repaired and replacement basketball backboards installed. The Department of the Parks and Recreation’s Maintenance staff performed all of the work in-house.

Located at 33 West Kawailani Street, Andrews Gymnasium is open each Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays. Gym programs include the following youth activities:

  • Basketball Shooting Clinic (ages 9-14) Wednesdays 4 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Volleyball (ages 7-14) Thursdays 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Craft clubs (ages 5-12) Thursdays 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Speed and Agility workshops (ages 7-14) Saturdays 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information, please contact Maurice Janado at 959-9047.

Bill to Make Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Hawaii’s Official State Microbe to be Heard Tomorrow

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid – a two inch, glow in the dark creature – will have its moment in the spotlight tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, February 25. The Senate’s Committee on Technology and the Arts (TEC) will hear a bill designating vibrio fischeri as Hawaii’s official microbe.

image credit: guardian.co.uk

Image credit: guardian.co.uk

Vibrio fischeri is a bacteria which lives in a symbiotic relationship with the Hawaiian bobtail squid, giving the animal the power to produce bioluminescence, or light from a living organism. The squid is endemic to Hawaii and hunts at night on reef flats. However, moonlight casts a shadow onto the sea floor, which alerts predators to the squid’s presence. To counter this effect, the Hawaiian bobtail squid cultures vibrio fischeri in a special light-emitting organ, which allows it to become stealthy by projecting light that minimizes the dark shadow of its body.

Image credit: kahikai.org

Image credit: kahikai.org

The study of this chemical reaction has numerous medical and practical applications, such as testing for toxic compounds in water.

“We anticipate having a State Microbe will ignite interest in science for our kids. What could be more appropriate than a bacteria that creates a glowing blue squid that thrives just off our shores,” says Sen. Glenn Wakai, Chairman of the TEC Committee, “With 70% of our planet covered in water, it makes perfect sense to have Hawaii’s microbe tied to the ocean.”

Image credit: news.wisc.edu

Image credit: news.wisc.edu

What:   Hearing on SB 3124, designating a State Microbe

When: 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, February 25

Where: Capitol, room 414

[youtube=http://youtu.be/KCobcWsYOS8]

More information on the bill can be found by going to this link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=3124&year=2014.

Oregon became the first state to have an official microbe.  Lawmakers there designated saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as “brewer’s yeast” as its state microbe due to its importance to Oregon’s beer and winemaking industries. Wisconsin has attempted to turn lactococcus lactis into its official microbe, in recognition of its role in creating cheese.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $62.4 Million for Education Facilities Statewide

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $62.4 million for capital improvement projects (CIP) that will improve various Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) facilities across the state, while stimulating the economy and generating local jobs.

“These funds will help to create a better learning environment for our keiki and provide teachers with the tools they need to succeed,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In the process, the funds will create work for hundreds in Hawaii.”

Kau High School

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$36,365,000 – Improving and Maintaining Facilities and Infrastructure – Planning, design, construction and equipment to improve and maintain facilities and infrastructure for various schools statewide. DOE’s estimated backlog for repair and maintenance is at $265 million. These projects include general school building improvements, electrical upgrades and playground equipment repair, along with maintenance and other school repairs and renovations. Some of these funds will go to the overall repair project at the damaged Farrington High Auditorium.

$7,554,000 – Program Support – Planning, land, design, construction and equipment for program support at various schools statewide, including new/temporary facilities, improvements to existing facilities, ground and site improvements, and for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and gender equity. ADA projects include McKinley High, Baldwin High, Kohala Elementary and Honokaa High. Gender equity projects include Keaau High, Waiakea High and Waipahu High softball fields and Kahuku High and Intermediate girls’ athletic locker room. Funds will also complete construction of a locker room project at Lahainaluna High and complete design of a locker room at Konawaena Middle School.

$7,500,000 – Equity – Design and construction for equality projects to improve instructional spaces such as science labs, special education classroom renovations and classrooms on a statewide basis for classroom/learning environment parity. Equity projects also include energy improvements relating to heat abatement in classrooms.

$5,800,000 – Capacity – Plans, land, design, construction and equipment for capacity projects at various schools statewide nearing their enrollment capacity or are short of classroom space.

$5,200,000 – Staff Costs and Project Positions – Fiscal Year 2014 costs related to wages and fringe benefits for 60 project-funded permanent staff. The positions will provide the technical and clerical support necessary for the DOE to adequately address their CIP needs by moving its CIP project-funded staff to the vacant Liliuokalani Elementary in the near future.

State and County Team-Up to Tackle Hazardous Albizia Trees

The State’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the County of Hawai’i’s Department of Public Works are teaming up February 26-28 to remove invasive albizia trees along Upper Puna Road.

Albizia

State and County crews are working in coordination with the Big Island Invasive Species Committee’s (BIISC) Albizia Demonstration Project in Keau’ohana State Forest Reserve and Black Sands Subdivision, of lower Puna. Albizia trees within 100 ft. of the road, endangering motorists, will be cut down, then chipped and returned to the forest or, for larger trees, removed. BIISC will follow-up by applying herbicide to stumps and nonhazardous trees using methods developed with the University of Hawai’i extension program and the US Forest Service.

By teaming up, crews will be able to cover both County and State right-of-ways and synchronize their efforts. “This project demonstrates how all stakeholders, government, private sector, and residents, can work together to manage the albizia problem in more cost effective ways,” said BIISC Manager Springer Kaye.

The State and County tree work will be done from 8:00am-2:00pm, starting from the intersection of Upper Puna Road and Highway 130, extending 0.3 miles along Upper Puna Road. Motorists are advised to expect intermittent delays on Upper Puna Road during these times and to take the alternate route of One`Ele`Ele Road to access Black Sands Subdivision.

According to Ecologist Flint Hughes, with the U.S. Forest Service, ”Albizia, or Falcataria moluccana, is a statewide ecological and public safety problem. Albizia’s rapid and pervasive growth destroys native forests by shading out native plants and improving conditions other invasive flora, such as strawberry guava. On top of that, the tree’s brittle branches and shallow roots easily break in wind or rain, then fall on homes, roads, and power lines.”

The 500-acre Albizia Demonstration Project area in Puna includes trees overhanging homes and roads, as well as in native lowland forest. Kaye explains “Stakeholders identified this area of Puna as a case study to showcase the wide range of issues in albizia control, develop best management practices, and empower communities to limit the spread of these menacing trees in their own neighborhoods.”

Since December, BIISC has held three Community Training Workshops, where the public learned how to safely and effectively use herbicide to kill albizia trees not threatening infrastructure. The next Community Training Workshops will be held during the Hawai’i Invasive Species Awareness Week, from 9:00am-2:00pm, at various locations in East Hawai’i.

Albizia Clean-ups

For more information on Community Training Workshops, please contact BIISC at 933-3340.

 

Department of Health Cites Philips Services Hawaii, LTD for Used-Oil Permit Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed a notice of violation with a penalty fine totaling $19,500 against Philip Services Hawaii, LTD (PSH). DOH discovered two alleged violations of the state’s used-oil rules during a routine inspection on Aug. 19 and 20, 2013. PSH operates at two sites located at 91-410 and 91-416 Komohana St. in Kapolei on Oahu. The company has been at these sites since July 2001 and its operations include used-oil transport, processing and recycling.

Department of Health

PSH faces one count of significantly altering operating procedures without notifying DOH. These procedures are considered to be a part of the permit and any changes to the plans must be approved by DOH. The standard operating procedures that were in use at the time of the inspection were not consistent with the approved version. The altered procedures resulted in substantial changes in the used-oil processing steps that had not been approved by DOH. The altered procedures changed the system from a recycling system into a disposal system.

Instead of recovering used oil and waste fuels from the oily water for reuse, the altered system would absorb those components for disposal. Potentially, hazardous wastes could have been sent for recycling and been disposed of instead. The second count resulted from PSH failing to update their emergency coordinator list. PSH may request a hearing within 20 days to contest the violation notice and penalty.

To protect Hawaii from pollutants that endanger people and the environment, the DOH regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes.

The department’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch promotes pollution prevention and waste minimization, develops partnerships with waste generators and the regulated community, guides the rehabilitation of contaminated lands, and aggressively enforces environmental laws.waii

Crafts and Entertainment at Annual Spring Fundraiser at Hulihe’e Palace

The picturesque, seaside grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace will be the location of the annual spring fundraiser, Day at Hulihe‘e, on Saturday, Mar. 29. An 8:30 a.m. traditional Hawaiian blessing kicks off the 9 a.m.-4 p.m. event, which is hosted by palace caretakers the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins.

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe'e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe’e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Browse among tented arts and crafts booths, a tempting bake sale featuring Aunty Nona’s scrumptious peach cake and the ever-popular Classy Tutu’s Attic. Choose a fresh flower lei made on site by palace volunteers. The Kuakini Hawaiian Civic Club will offer ono food and local hula halau will provide cultural entertainment.

New this year are cultural demonstrations including pa‘i ‘ai (poi pounding) and ‘upena (fish net making). Prize drawings throughout the day will be featured, including the chance to win a king-sized Hawaiian quilt for a $5 donation.

Palace admission will be complimentary all day, although donations will be accepted.

Hulihe'e Palace

Hulihe’e Palace

Day at Hulihe‘e remembers Hawai‘i’s Citizen Prince who was born in March: Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (1871-1922.) Hawai‘i observes an annual state holiday to commemorate Prince Kuhio’s dedication toward serving his people; it’s Wednesday, Mar. 26 in 2014.

Beginning in 1902, Kuhio served as a delegate to the U.S. Congress for 10 terms, was the driving force behind the development of Pearl Harbor and instituted the Hawaiian Homestead Commission. A monument at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park credits Prince Kuhio for founding the park in 1916.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday—with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.  Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.