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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PBS Hawaii Hires Cheryl Oncea as New Advancement VP

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

Cheryl Oncea

Cheryl Oncea

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

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

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

Supreme Court Reverses Connections School Employee’s Ethics Code Violations

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

Eric Boyd

Eric Boyd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Traffic Signals Being Installed at Mohouli and Kapiolani Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Mohouli St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Wednesday July 27, 2016.

Kapiolani Light

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Mohouli St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Thursday, July 28, 2016.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

7 People Rescued From Ocean After Being Swept Out at Hakalau Beach Park

Hawaii County Fire Department reports that seven people were rescued from the ocean today at Hakalau Beach Park.

Hakalau Beach Park

Situation Found at Scene: Fast flowing river, unable to get a visual on victims from land.  Chopper 01 located victims, deployed 2 rescue swimmers and extricated all victims to land via chopper 01

Remarks: Total of 7 victims, All victims accounted for, and extricated out of the water by chopper 01.  No emergency medical services was needed at scene.

Hawaii Senate Looking to Override Governor’s Veto, May Amend Bill

Hawaii Senators are looking at overriding a bill that Governor Ige had previously vetoed.

Today, Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Douglas Chin requesting an opinion as to whether at this point in time during special session the Senate may override the governors veto as you indicated we may amend a bill

Chin RequestFrom what it appears to me there appears to be a small war going on between the Governor, Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) and the Legislature.

A list of the bills vetoed and the governors rationale can be found here:  http://damontucker.com/2016/07/13/hawaii-governors-veto-list-and-rationale-summary/

I’m not sure what bill in particular the Senate is looking at overriding so this should be interesting to see what the Attorney Generals opinion is in the next 24 hours per rule 86 of the Senate Rules: Questions to State Officers.

League of Women Voters of Hawaii Creates One-Stop-Site for 2016 Candidate Information

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii  announces the launch of a nonpartisan election resource about candidates, http://www.lwv-hawaii.com/candidates-2016.htm.  Candidate information is available for all counties in Hawaii.  Nearly three hundred candidates were contacted by the League.

primary candidates

This “one-stop shop” for candidate information provides simple tools to help Hawaii voters compare and contrast different candidates. Detailed candidate information, including candidates’ contact information and a statement from candidates about their background and qualifications, is available for offices at the county, state and national levels.

The LWV urges people to become familiar with the candidates and to vote in the primary Aug. 13. The League’s database will be updated to reflect winners of the primary election, so that information continues to be available for the general election on November 8, 2016.

For additional information about online voter registration, location of your polling place, and important voting procedures, the State Office of Elections provides an online guide to voting in Hawaii: http://elections.hawaii.gov/voters/voting-in-hawaii-guide/

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit http://www.lwv-hawaii.com

Senator Schatz Meets with Admiral Harris at RIMPAC

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) lead a congressional delegation to the Asia Pacific to participate in high-level meetings with leaders in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. Before heading to Asia yesterday, the delegation toured the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) headquarters at Camp Smith and met with Admiral Harry Harris, PACOM commander.

USS America pulls into Pearl Harbor

USS America pulls into Pearl Harbor

Following a briefing with Admiral Harris, the delegation boarded the USS AMERICA.  While onboard, the group toured the ship, observed the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, and met with sailors serving aboard the USS AMERICA.

In addition to Schatz, members of the delegation include U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), and Donna Edwards (D-Md.).

Hawaii Coffee Association Hosts 21st Annual Conference and 8th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled July 13-15 for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) 21st Annual Conference and 8th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel located in the heart of the world-famous Kona Coffee Belt. A robust program of presenters included numerous state and federal researchers, regulators, agencies as well as an ample trade show.

Previous cupping winners Tommy and Beth Greenwell with Hawaii News Now’s Howard Dicus.

Cupping winners Tommy and Beth Greenwell with Hawaii News Now’s Howard Dicus.

Activities included tours of area farms and processing facilities, and an optical sorter demonstration. Workshops covered coffee brewing, cupping, processing for quality and social media training. Presenters from Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture, USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources were on hand to offer updates and answer questions. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary and predictions surrounding economic and other current trends.

In the cupping competition, 83 entries from growing districts located across the state competed for top honors in two categories: Creative and Commercial. Qualifying for the Commercial division means at least 1,000 lbs. of the coffee entered is available for sale.

Competing in the Creative division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Greenwell Farms with their Pacamara varietal with a score of 84.8. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a Margogype variety produced by Aloha Hills Kona Coffee LLC with a score of 83.4.

The highest scoring entries from other participating Hawaiian coffee origins also earned honors including Hawaii District’s Second Alarm Farm (84.2), Maui’s Olinda Farms (84.3), Ka’u District’s The Rising Sun (84.2), and Kauai’s Moloa’a Bay Coffee (83.1). Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

HCA’s cupping committee chair, David Gridley of Maui, said, “75 coffees scored 80 and above. It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawai‘i for their remarkable efforts.”

Veteran cupper Shawn Hamilton noted an ongoing increase in scores. “It’s a great trend. There were so many great coffees [competing] it makes our job harder.” Fellow cupper Warren Muller added, “We’re really proud of all the great work the farmers are doing. It’s very exciting for us.”

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel’, acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

HCA membership gathered to elect their new board and officers. The new president is Chris Manfredi (Ka’u Farm & Ranch Co., LLC), vice president is Ralph Gaston (Isla Custom Coffees), treasurer is Adrian Guillen (Hawaiian Queen Coffee) and secretary is Gloria Biven (Royal Kona Visitor Center Mill & Museum).

The new board of directors features broad representation spanning a variety of business disciplines within the coffee industry including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Greenwell Farms, Heavenly Hawaiian Coffee, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Ka’u Coffee Mill, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Kona Coffee Council, Kona Mountain Coffee, Monarch Coffee and UCC-Hawaii.

Incoming President Manfredi shared, “I’m humbled and honored by the vote of confidence made by the members. I hope to fulfill their expectations by working hard to strengthen our industry and, by extension, the businesses, employees and families that depend on high quality Hawaiian coffees.”

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.

Learn more about the HCA at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

Learn more about the Hawaii coffee industry at hawaiicoffeeindustry.com

Hawaii County Product Enrichment Program Hō‘ike

The 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP) Ho’ike will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on July 29th from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Hilton Waikoloa Village Skyview

This one day event is a celebration for all who have worked hard to support festivals, events and community programs in the county of Hawai’i. This Ho’ike will also provide a platform for CPEP applicants and grantees to network and connect with each other essentially creating a greater opportunity to grow their programs.

A registration fee of $30 includes continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments, a panel discussion discussing “How To Involve Millennials in Community Events”, inspiring speakers and round table discussions with industry experts and past CPEP success stories. Bo Campos from Kai Opua Canoe Club, Richard Oshiro from Island Air, Missy Kaleohano from Island of Hawai’i Visitor Bureau, and Gary Marrow the Co-owner of KapohoKine Adventures are just a few who will be sharing their experiences, success stories and greatest achievements. For the first time this year, the County will be hosting an “Aloha Friday” gathering from 4-6pm for more time to talk story and network. Register online at cpephoike.org.

Some festivals, events and programs that are funded by CPEP include HawaiiCon, Queen Liliʻuokalani Canoe Races, Big Island Film Festival, Hawai’i Yoga Festival, Pana’ewa Stampede, and First Fridays in Downtown Hilo. They showcase the unique and diverse experiences available for residents and visitors.

This year, HTA is supporting 162 community, environment and cultural programs; 18 of those are on Hawai’i Island. The results of this program include more efficient and effective use of HTA and County funds and resources, more local control, direction and management, and better oversight and support of awardees.

Hokulea Departs Salem, MA and Arrives in Portsmouth, NH

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea left Salem, Massachusetts on Saturday morning after spending two days engaging with the community. During the stop, the crew was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody Essex Museum’s Oceanic Arts and Culture Gallery, which is currently closed to the public due to renovations.

Visitors come to check out Hōkūleʻa in Salem.

Visitors come to check out Hōkūleʻa in Salem.

This was a significant visit for the crew because of the museum’s collection of 20,000 objects from more than 36 island groups in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Among them are 5,000 Hawaiian objects that form one of the most important collections of its kind outside of Hawaii.

Curator Karen Kramer welcomes the crew into the storage facility where the crew was able to experience traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

Curator Karen Kramer welcomes the crew into the storage facility where the crew was able to experience traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

Part of the collection is one of the three statue images of Hawaiian god Kukailimoku. Only two other large carved images of Kukailimoku have survived: one at the British Museum and the other at the Bishop Museum. The three Ku images were brought together for the first time in more than 150 years for a groundbreaking exhibit at Bishop Museum in 2010.

Curator Karen Kramer explains a little about the Hawaiian artifacts in their collection.

Curator Karen Kramer explains a little about the Hawaiian artifacts in their collection.

Hokulea departed Salem on Saturday at about 6:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. HST) for Portsmouth, NH where the crew arrived at about 2:00 p.m. and were greeted by three members of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People, led by Chief Paul Pouliot. The voyaging canoe is scheduled to depart Portsmouth on Tuesday, July 19, for Portland, Maine.

Federal Settlement to Reduce Air Pollution at Hawaii Refinery

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Par Hawaii Refining for alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Kapolei Refinery, in Kapolei, Hawaii, as part of a larger $425 million settlement covering six refineries.

Click to read

Click to read

Par Hawaii will spend an estimated $47 million to install and operate pollution control equipment at the Kapolei Refinery, formerly owned by the Tesoro Corp.

“EPA remains committed to ensuring companies take responsibility for protecting public health and the environment,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With this agreement, Par Hawaii will not only reduce harmful emissions from refinery leaks and flares, but will also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by nearly 240 tons per year from the Kapolei refinery heaters and boilers.”

Under the settlement, Par Hawaii and subsidiaries of Tesoro Corp. will spend about $403 million to install and operate pollution control equipment at refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah, and Washington State. Tesoro will also pay a civil penalty of $10.45 million, of which the United States will receive $8.05 million. Co-plaintiffs Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington State’s Northwest Clean Air Agency will split the remainder, receiving $1.3 million, $850,000, and $250,000, respectively. Tesoro will also spend about $12.2 million to fund projects that will improve public health in local communities previously impacted by pollution.

Once implemented, the pollution controls required by the settlement will reduce annual emissions at the six refineries by an estimated 773 tons of sulfur dioxide, 407 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,140 tons of volatile organic compounds, 27 tons of hazardous air pollutants, 20 tons of hydrogen sulfide and the equivalent of 47,034 tons of carbon dioxide.

Tesoro Corp., is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and its subsidiaries, Tesoro Alaska Company LLC, Tesoro Logistics L.P., and Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC operate five of the refineries covered by this settlement. Par Pacific Holdings, Inc., formerly known as Par Petroleum Corp. and a parent corporation of Par Hawaii Refining, purchased the Kapolei, Hawaii refinery from Tesoro in 2013.

The penalty is due 30 days after the consent decree is entered by the court. There will be a 30 day public comment period on the consent decree lodged today. Information on how to comment on the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice’s website.

For more information on the settlement or to read the consent decree, go to https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/tesoro-and-par-clean-air-act-settlement

Halfway to Hawaii – 59 “Pacific Cup” Entrants Underway

The biennial Pacific Cup attracted 64 entrants for the 2070 nautical mile course from San Francisco to Hawaii, with the fleet divided among four staggered starts on July 11, 12, 14, and 15. With 59 of the 64 teams underway, here is a report from the race office on July 17.

Halfway

Halfway to Hawaii! Overnight, the first of the racers reached their halfway point, but it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of time for celebration given the big breeze carrying them along at top speeds. The forecast still looks strong and near perfect for the entire fleet with wind speeds in the high teens to mid 20s.

Concerns about the tropical storms are waning, with Cecilia moving off to the north and hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. Closer to Hawaii, racers will be facing squalls, advancing the big dogs and challenging the smaller boats. Everyone will be focused on VMG and gybing in local shifts.

Standings

As of this morning’s position reports, in the Kolea Double Handed Division, Moore 24 Mas! retains her lead in division and Pac Cup overall with another impressive 203 mile 24 hour run and 198 mile CMG (course made good). Second in division, Nozomi also recorded a 200+ mile day and Evermoore continues in third place.

In the North Sails Double Handed 2 Division, Sailing for ALS holds the lead on corrected time while California Condor is on a pace to potentially be the first boat to finish. With half the race to go, lighter boats like Wolfpack will be looking to erase the gap, and the maxis in the BMW of San Rafael Division will likely blast past the entire fleet.

As of the halfway point, the Cal 40 Redhead continues to lead in Honu Division A, ahead of Windswept Lady who has slowly been closing the gap.

Continuing to hold her first place position in the Weems and Plath Division B, is J/42 Tiki J. However Encore and RV Aloha are nipping at her heels, and with half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.

In the Alaska Airlines Division, Express 37s Limitless and Elan are very close, with Limitless maintaining a slight edge. Close behind are race veterans Sweet Okole and Tiki Blue.

Competition in the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division is extremely close, with current leader J World’s Hula Girl maintaining a slight lead over Surprise, and Oaxaca. The estimated difference in corrected finish times between the top four boats in this division is less than six hours, with over 1300 miles to go.

Pyewacket, the early leader in the BMW of San Rafael ORR Division, continues on a quick pace having logged 363 miles over the past 24 hours. Rio 100 covered an impressive 470 miles with an average VMG of nearly 20kts, and she could be on a pace to beat Mari Cha’s record of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 10 seconds. The 56 ft. rocket ship Varuna VI is charging along at over 18 kts, and had a 434 mile 24 hour run. (Note that due to her late arrival in SF Bay, Varuna’s PHRF certificate has not yet been issued, so her overall ranking is not being calculated in the standings.)

In the Latitude 38 Cruising Division Ticket II remains well ahead of the rest of the fleet, but they’re now being passed by the racers.

Reports from the racers indicate that many repairs have been required – not surprising given the conditions, especially the large and sometimes confused seas that can slam the boats around. The lack of sunshine has also been an issue for those boats relying solely on solar power to charge electronics such as sat phones and navigation computers.

Spadefoot, reported some significant resourcefulness, after losing the use of their sprit following a wipe out. Initially expecting that they would be out of the race, they’re now back in the hunt.

Hawaii Bookmarks Opens Online Retail Store – 25% Discount Available For Limited Time

Sponsors note:
Hawaii Bookmarks has finally opened its highly anticipated new online website located here: http://www.hawaiibookmarks.com/

Owner Jeffrey Gomes revamped his website and is currently offering 25% off his world infamous earrings in coordination with the relaunch of his new website.

Use the code below for your discount!

Click to see products

Click to see products

Australia and Republic of Korea Participate in Sinking of U.S. Naval Ship

Live fire from ships and aircraft participating in the Rim of the Pacific 2016 exercise sank the decommissioned USS Thach (FFG 43) at 7:25 p.m. Thursday in waters 15,000 feet deep, 55 nautical miles north of Kauai, Hawaii.

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 14, 2016) Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) fire an RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile during an international sinking exercise, or SINKEX, for Rim of the Pacific 2016. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Noble/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 14, 2016) Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) fire an RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile during an international sinking exercise, or SINKEX, for Rim of the Pacific 2016. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Noble/Released)

Units from Australia, the Republic of Korea and the U.S. participated in the sinking exercise (SINKEX), which provided them the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against a surface target at sea.

“This SINKEX was a tremendous event for all the units who participated. As you can imagine, the opportunity to fire live ordnances at a real target is incredibly rare and I know that these men and women learned so much today,” said Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Scott Bishop, deputy commander of the RIMPAC Combined Task Force. “This kind of training is vital to strengthening our interoperability and increasing our readiness for operations in the future.”

Former Navy vessels used in SINKEXs are prepared in strict compliance with regulations prescribed and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency under a general permit the Navy holds pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act.

Each SINKEX is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land. Surveys are conducted to ensure humans and marine mammals are not in an area where they could be harmed during the event.

Prior to the vessel being transported for participation in a SINKEX, each vessel is put through a rigorous cleaning process, including the removal of all polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), transformers and large capacitors, all small capacitors to the greatest extent practical, trash, floatable materials, mercury or fluorocarbon-containing materials and readily detachable solid PCB items. Petroleum is also cleaned from tanks, piping and reservoirs.

RIMPAC 2016

A Navy civilian environmental, safety and health manager and a quality assurance supervisor inspect the environmental remediation conducted in preparation of a vessel’s use in a SINKEX. Upon completion of the environmental remediation, the manager and supervisor provide signed certification of the work in accordance with EPA requirements.

The decommissioned USS Thach (FFG-43) was the 34th ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates. The ship was named for Naval aviator Adm. John S. Thatch, the developer of the “Thach Weave”; dogfighting tactic in World War II and former Commander, U.S.

USS Thatch

USS Thatch

Naval Forces Europe from 1965-1967. Thach participated in a number of maritime security exercises and operations both independently and as part of carrier strike groups in U.S. 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility during nearly three decades of service.

Held every two years by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and executed by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, RIMPAC is a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of southern California. This year’s RIMPAC exercise, the 25th in the series that began in 1971, is scheduled from June 30 to Aug. 4. Twenty-six nations, 45 surface ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 are participating in this year’s exercise.

Lava Flow Remains Active – Now 0.4 Miles From Emergency Road

The flow front remains active on the coastal plain, but has only moved about 60 m (~200 ft) closer to the ocean in the past three days.

hvo 71516

As of midday on July 15, the slow-moving pahoehoe is roughly 870 m (~0.5 mi) from the ocean. Activity upslope continues to widen the flow margins. The light gray surface in this image is the new pahoehoe of the 61G flow.

Aerial view of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Coastal Ranger Station at the end of Chain of Craters Road with the active lava flow (61G) in the distance.

Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

This map is a georeferenced thermal image mosaic showing the distribution of active and recently active breakouts on the Pūlama pali and coastal plain. The thermal images were collected during a helicopter overflight on July 15. The episode 61g flow field as mapped on July 8 is outlined in yellow to show how the flow has changed. Most surface flow activity is on the coastal plain, but breakouts also continue on pali.

The leading tip of the active flow was 870 m (about half a mile) from the ocean.

The leading tip of the active flow was 870 m (about half a mile) from the ocean.

According to this mornings USGS HVO Lava flow report the flow is now 0.4 miles from the emergency road:

The 61G lava flow, southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains active on the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank. HVO geologists visited the flow field on Friday. As of midday, the lava flow front was about 730 m (0.4 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 870 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean, an advance of only about 60 m (200 feet) since July 12. The leading tip of the flow was active on Friday and the area around the flow tip has widened. The most vigorous flow activity was nearer the base of the pali and extending out about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the base of the pali. See the most recent HVO thermal map and images of lava for additional information http

Robotics and STEM Events Receive Funding From Hawaiian Electric

sgcAs part of its 2016 second quarter contributions, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have donated $20,000 to the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium for the:

  • Pan Pacific VEX (high school) and VEX IQ (elementary and middle school) Championships, Oct. 7-9 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus Kekuhaupio Gym. Initiated in 2008 as a means to have Hawaii teams participate in an international robotics tournament, the Pan Pacific VEX has hosted more than 100 teams from China, Taiwan, the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, growing to become at one time the second largest VEX tournament in the world. The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ support will help to reinstate the Pan Pacific VEX Championship which has not been held for the past two years.
  • Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery, Oct. 29 at Punahou School. The event honors the late Astronaut Charles Lacy Veach who considered Honolulu his home, and promotes interest in science and technology among educators, students and their families. The 2016 event will include hands-on workshops, displays and a VEX IQ qualifying robotics tournament involving 18 school teams. Hawaiian Electric is a founding sponsor of the event that was first held in 2002. Company employees continue to actively participate in providing workshops, a display and volunteers at the event.
  • 2016-17 Hawaiian Electric Companies Hawaii State High School and Middle School VEX Championships, featuring the high school event on Jan. 5, 2017 at Keaau High School on Hawaii Island, and the middle school event on Jan. 7, 2017 at Stevenson Middle School on Oahu. In these team-based games, first held in 2013, students must design, build and control their robots to participate in various skills challenges that demonstrate their grasp of STEM concepts. The event will qualify teams to participate in the 2017 Worlds VEX Championships.

To date in 2016, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have provided more than $60,000 in corporate contributions to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning and enrichment programs for Hawaii students and educators, including math and science bowls, engineering and science fairs, education summits, robotic programs, and STEM projects and events.

Company employees also volunteer countless hours to provide student mentoring as well as staffing at robotic tournaments, science, engineering and math fairs, and other related events. Hawaiian Electric has supported STEM programs and initiatives in Hawaii for more than 30 years and contributed more than $1 million during that time.

Good Outdoor Ethics Encouraged as “POKEMON GO” Craze Impacts Hawaii

A DLNR Division of State Parks employee reports that two people searching for virtual reality Pokemon Go figures wandered into a sensitive heiau on Kauai where a cultural protocol was underway.

Pokemon Hawaii

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Unfortunately, we are quickly seeing unintended consequences of this new application by Google, in the outdoor issues that the hunt for Pokemon characters via digital devices can create, for both cultural and natural resources here in Hawai’i and elsewhere.”

In the first week since the release of Pokemon Go, the media has reported on two men walking off a cliff in California while using the app.  This increases the potential of increasing public safety and unauthorized access problems for local people and visitors venturing into our state parks, onto our trails and onto beaches, when paying attention to electronics rather than trails and signs.

This phenomenon provides a good opportunity to remind people to practice good outdoor ethics.  Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator reminds folks heading into the outdoors:

  • Be safe.  Use electronic devices responsibly and in emergencies to call for help. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.
  • Stay on designated trails.  Follow all signs and closures.  Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited.
  • Carry out what you carry in.  Leave no trace.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources  Hawai’i has to offer.  Given the release of Pokemon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way,” Case concluded.

U.S. Senate Passes Hirono Resolution Honoring 100th Anniversary of Hawaii’s National Parks

The United States Senate passed a resolution authored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono honoring the 100th anniversaries of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island and Haleakala National Park on Maui. Senator Hirono’s resolution recognizes August 1 as “Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Parks Day.”

Volcano at night

“For the last century, residents of Hawaii, the United States, and the world have visited Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and gained a greater appreciation for the natural environment, the history of Hawaii, and Native Hawaiian culture,” said Senator Hirono. “I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort, and encourage as many people as possible from across the nation to come to Hawaii to visit these national treasures.”

Senator Hirono’s resolution recognizes the economic, scientific, and cultural value of Hawaii’s national parks. In 2015, visitors to Haleakala National Park spent over $76 million in surrounding communities, supporting nearly 1,000 jobs. Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spent over $151 million in areas around the park, and supported nearly 2,000 local jobs.