“Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau” Premieres October 1st on ESPN

Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau chronicles the remarkable life and times of the late Eddie Aikau, the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer, pioneering lifeguard and ultimately doomed crew member of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea.

Legend of Eddie Aikau

With its rich combination of archival imagery, dramatic reenactments, contemporary interviews and meticulously researched historical source material Hawaiian is a compelling examination of the tragic decline and extraordinary rebirth of the Hawaiian culture as personified by a native son whose dynamic life and heroic death served as inspiration to an entire spiritual movement.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/8qhnDCPPPgY]

30 for 30 ‘Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau’ premieres October 1st, 8pm ET on ESPN.

DLNR Proposes to Restore and Manage Watershed in Pu’u Maka’ala Natural Area Reserve

Yesterday the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a management plan for Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve. The Land Board also approved Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) issuance of a finding of no significant impact for the final environmental assessment for the plan.

Puu Makaala Forest Trail

Puu Makaala Forest Trail

“This management plan is part of the DLNR’s goal to increase protection of Hawaii’s forested watersheds, and to protect and restore rare native Hawaiian animals and plants such as the ‘I‘iwi, the Mauna Loa Silversword and the ‘Alalâ,” said William J. Aila, Jr., BLNR Chairperson.

The 18,706 acre reserve, on the east side of the island of Hawai‘i, was established in 1981 to protect native wet koa and ‘ohi‘a forests and habitat for rare species of plants and animals. Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) is managed by the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and the overall management goal is to protect, maintain, and enhance the reserve’s unique natural, cultural, and geological resources.

The plan outlines specific actions needed to protect and enhance native Hawaiian ecosystems in the reserve including management of invasive species and restoration of rare and endangered plants and animals. Public access is allowed in the reserve and the management plan includes the enhancement of public access through trail improvements. New interpretive hiking opportunities will provide opportunities for the public to learn more about the reserve, its unique native species and ecosystems and ongoing management activities.

The plan discusses collaborating closely with partners, including Kûlani Correctional Facility, to achieve management goals. The Department of Public Safety is planning on reopening Kûlani in 2014.

“Before Kulani closed in 2009, inmate conservation worklines helped DLNR work to remove many invasive plant species, restoring parts of the reserve to its natural beauty,” said Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai. “This collaboration resulted in substantial cost-savings for the state and, in turn, gave inmates valuable education and work training opportunities. We are pleased to once again partner with the DLNR and reestablish these successful community service programs.”

The reserve is part of the state’s Natural Area Reserves System, created in 1971 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature to preserve and protect areas which support communities of the natural flora and fauna, as well as geological sites, both for the enjoyment of future generations and to provide baselines against which changes to Hawaii’s environment can be measured. The Natural Area Reserve System protects the best remaining ecosystems in the state, and actively manages them to preserve the natural heritage of Hawai‘i.

The Natural Area Reserve System presently consists of 20 reserves on five islands, encompassing more than 123,000 acres of the state’s most unique ecosystems. These diverse areas range from marine and coastal environments to alpine desert, and from fresh lava flows to wet forests and serve as habitat for rare native plants and animals, many of which are on the verge of extinction. The Natural Area Reserve System includes important watersheds and also contributes to the natural scenic beauty of Hawai‘i.

Fifteen species of federally listed endangered plants occur in or near Pu‘u Maka‘ala NAR, and DOFAW is planning to use the reserve as a key recovery site for these species. Pu‘u Maka‘ala is also home to endangered forest birds, the Nene and ‘Io. This area may also be considered as a potential future release site for captive-raised Hawaiian crow, or ‘Alalâ.

Click here for The management plan and final environmental assessment

For more information about the project contact Lisa Hadway, Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hawai‘i Branch Manager at (808) 974-4221.

 

Woman Drowns at Kona Beach

I clipped the following from an email that was sent to me just now… too tired to translate it:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Puna Man Dies In Vehicle-Bicycle Crash

A 66-year-old Puna man died Friday (September 27) in a vehicle-bicycle crash.

HPDBadge
Ag 11:56 a.m., a 2004 Dodge pickup truck was traveling south at a high rate of speed on Highway 11 near the 8-mile marker in Keaʻau when it lost control, crossed the grassy median and struck a bicycle traveling north on the shoulder of the road.

The bicyclist died at the scene. He was identified as 66-year-old Cenon Tranquilino A. Visaya of Keaʻau. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Fire/rescue personnel took the driver of the pickup, 27-year-old Siaiku L. Aholelei of Mountain View, to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide and is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending further investigation.

Police ask that anyone who witnessed the crash call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

This is the 22nd fatality this year compared with 30 at this time last year.

Hawaii Ranked #2 Among States in Progress Made for Women

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today highlighted a recent report by the nonpartisan Center for American Progress that ranked the State of Hawaii as No. 2 among states in the progress made for women.

Click to view report

Click to view report

The report, titled The State of Women in America: A 50-State Analysis of How Women Are Faring Across the Nation, ranks each state based on 36 factors in the categories of economics, leadership and health, as well as an overall national ranking. Hawaii also received an overall grade of “A.”

“The Aloha State has benefited from the strong leadership of women at every level including government,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Hawaii’s own Congresswoman Patsy Mink championed Title IX legislation that transformed the way our entire nation addresses equality in education, which was a catalyst for ensuring further equity throughout our society.”

That legacy is continued by this administration, in which more than half of the appointed Cabinet and staff positions are held by women.

“Since this report was conducted, additional progress has been achieved this year,” Gov. Abercrombie added. “In collaboration with the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus and Commission on the Status of Women, we are addressing a wide variety of issues including early childhood education, protections for domestic workers, human trafficking, and recognition of the societal and health benefits of breastfeeding. These advancements are the result of the community investing in our future by getting involved in state government to protect the rights and well-being of women.”

Catherine Betts, executive director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, is hopeful following the findings of this report: “This comes after years of advocacy from our women’s community and leadership in government that recognize the worth of Hawaii’s women and girls. Our women’s health community has been especially active in safeguarding our access to reproductive health care and ensuring our constitutionally protected rights remain intact. It is also timely to see how women fare in terms of paid family leave and an increase in the minimum wage – two policies that the commission is actively seeking to change.”

In Hawaii, 61 percent of our full-time minimum wage workers are women, and many of our women juggle the duties of full-time work and full-time caretaking, while struggling to feed their families and make ends meet. Gov. Abercrombie acknowledges that this study serves as a reminder that while Hawaii is doing well for our women and girls, there is always room for progress.

“I am confident that our ranking will improve,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “We will continue to pursue transformative initiatives, ranging from early education to minimum wage, to benefit the people of Hawaii.”

 

Official Count – 100 Papaya Trees Cut Down in Puna

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a criminal property damage case in connection with the destruction of papaya trees at a farm in Puna.

Papaya Trees cut down at  Bernardos Farm.

Papaya Trees cut down at Bernardos Farm.

Sometime between 5:30 p.m. Thursday (September 26) and 6:30 a.m. Friday (September 27), 100 papaya trees were cut down in Kapoho off Highway 132 near the 4-mile marker. The trees were 3- to 4-feet tall and valued at $3,000.
Papaya Trees
Police ask anyone with information about this case to call Officer Cala Arnold at 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.

 

Kahilu Theatre Presents West African Dance Yankady and Bluesman Keb Mo

“YANKADY, Here is Good?” is a new original work choreographed by Master Dancer and Musician Fara Tolno of Guinea, West Africa, and written and directed by Fara Tolno and Michal Anna Carrillo.

Fara Tolno

Fara Tolno

Kahilu Theatre will host two performances, on Saturday October 19 at 7pm and Sunday October 20 at 2pm.  Tickets are $20, $25, $35 and $45, with discounts for Kahilu Theatre members.

The YANKADY performance will be a feast for the senses that is sure to provoke thought and wonder. Steeped in West African Dance and Music, it is a fusion work that explores first and third world concepts through the vehicle of dance. The show will be performed by The Lavaroots Dance Company & Fara Tolno, with special guest artists Naby Bangoura, Sekou Camara, Shizuno Nasu and David Chapman.  Kahilu is delighted to feature this incredible multi-media dance production in its Season, and is also happy to offer two schools shows of YANKADY on Monday October 21st.

AND… On Thursday October 17th at 8pm, Kahilu Theatre presents Keb’ Mo’

Keb’ Mo’ is a multiple Grammy Award-winning blues musician – he is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter, originally from Chicago and currently living in Nashville, Tennessee.

Keb Mo

Keb Mo

He has been described as “a living link to the seminal Delta blues that travelled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America.” His post-modern blues style is influenced by many eras and genres, including folk, rock, jazz and pop. The moniker “Keb Mo” was coined by his original drummer, Quentin Dennard, and picked up by his record label as a “street talk” abbreviation of his given name.

Tickets for Keb Mo are priced $20, $34, $44 and $64, with discounts for Kahilu Theatre members.

Tickets for all Kahilu Theatre shows are available online 24/7 at www.kahilutheatre.org, or call 885-6868, or walk in to the Theatre, 9am to 12noon, Monday to Friday.

 

Car Stolen From House Next to UH Hilo

Stolen car! Please call police if you have seen it:

Aloha Friends,
I just had the misfortune of having my 2000 Tan Honda Civic stolen from in front of my house in Hilo next to UH Hilo. It would have happened after 7pm last night and 11am today. 

Stolen Car

Please keep an eye out for it.

License Plate # HCS 839

VIN # 1HGEJ6671YL004760

It has small body damage around the passenger side headlight- pic attached.

Mahalo,

Justin Avery

Another Puna Papaya Farm Attacked by Machetes

Another Puna Papaya farm has been attacked by one or more folks wielding machetes last night.  It’s at “Bernardos Farm” according to @Farmers4Choice.

Here is a picture of some of the damage:

Papaya Trees cut down at  Bernardos Farm.

Papaya Trees cut down at Bernardos Farm.

Farmers 4 Choice writes:

Really how dare you attack another small papaya grower? Who bought the machetes who destroyed over 100 trees this morning?

While the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association was gathering for their annual meeting and Mayor Billy Kenoi was speaking one farmer was absent; he was at his field with police overlooking destruction of his trees. A sad discovery awaited his trees had been chopped down!This is not okay, activism has gone to far now you have turned into eco terrorists! This is wrong!

We’re farmers not sex offenders, We will not register like a criminal…..
The criminals are the activists who have turned into ecoterrorists. Register the activists not farmers.
..

More here: We’re Farmers Not Sex Offenders

Missing Kayaker Found By Volcano National Park Ranger After Boat Breaks Up in Surf

The missing 48-year-old man who the Coast Guard and Hawaii County Police and Fire was searching for was located, Thursday.

Richard Gomez

Richard Gomez

Richard Gomez was found by a Volcano National Park Ranger after his boat broke up in the surf while attempting to come ashore, Sunday.

The park ranger rendered basic first-aid to Gomez and then assisted him to a local campsite.

“Had the boater in this case carried a reliable form of communication such as a handheld VHF radio, rescuers may have been able to eliminate several unnecessary search hours that resources were diverted from other missions,” said Cmdr. Steve Wheeler, Sector Honolulu Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “A VHF radio distress call can often be picked up and triangulated by the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system, which may reduce the search area and can change the outcome of incidents like this”.

Gomez departed Hilo in a small boat at 10 a.m., Sept. 20, 2013, and was reported missing by friends.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and crewmembers from the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake assisted in the search.

– See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/1916918/Missing-Hilo-man-located-safe#sthash.iY9vrGpZ.dpuf

Roger Christie Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Marijuana

I just got a tweet from @FreeRevChristie and it was in regards to the post that I posted the other day announcing that Roger Christie would be pleading guilty to distribution of marijuana charges today.

The tweet was short and simple and just said… “Happening”.

Roger Christie Guilty TweetI’m not sure when or if the judge has sentenced him yet.

UPDATE:

Andrew upadte

UPDATED:
Christie Release DateUPDATED:

…Christie plead guilty to one county of marijuana trafficking and two counts of failure to pay income taxes in 2008 and 2009.

Christie’s conditional plea agreement will still allow him to appeal pretrial rulings to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Those rulings include the denial of his bid to dismiss the marijuana charges under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

His lawyer Thomas Otake said this week Christie will likely be sentenced to a five-year prison term. But Christie will have to serve only about six more months because he will be credited for the time he spent behind bars awaiting trial and because of the way federal authorities calculate prison sentences, Otake said…

More here: Big Island Marijuana Advocate Roger Christie Enters Guilty Plea

Senator Schatz Announces Over $1.5 Million for Native Hawaiian Programs

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced $1.56 million from the Department of Health and Human Services for Native Hawaiian programs aimed at developing sustainable agriculture, creating stronger families, and expanding job opportunities by funding community-based projects.

Sen. Brian Schatz

Sen. Brian Schatz

“The grants announced today will provide job and educational opportunities that will help Native Hawaiian families ensure greater economic self-sufficiency, and better lives for their children,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “In Hawai‘i, our Native Hawaiian communities suffer from disproportionately high poverty and unemployment rates, making funding like this all the more impactful.”

  • $476,134 Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategy grant for the Hina’i: Hawai’i Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture at the Hawaii Alliance for Community Based Economic Development from the Administration for Children and Families and the Administration for Native Americans
  • $396,498 Social And Economic Development grant for the Mana Mele Youth Development Project at Mana Maoli from the Administration for Children and Families and the Administration for Native Americans
  • $396,336 Social And Economic Development grant for Hale Mua at the Aha Kane Foundation for the Advancement Of Native Hawaiian to re-establish practices of traditional Hawaiian male responsibilities, including preparation of adolescent males for adulthood and their roles as men in families, community and society from the Administration for Children and Families and the Administration for Native Americans
  • $295,846 Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategy grant for the Employment Readiness and Career Pathways Support Services Program for Native Hawaiians at the Native Nations Education Foundation from the Administration for Children and Families and the Administration for Native Americans

 

Department of Health Investigating Dietary/Nutritional Supplement in 10 Cases of Acute Liver Inflamation and Failure

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating at least 10 cases of acute liver inflammation and failure that have occurred in the state from May through September 2013.  Thus far, the cases have been negative for infectious causes, have no history of engaging in high-risk social activities, and have no identified commonly expected risk factors for liver failure.

Department of Health

The only common finding among all the cases, at this point, is the use of a dietary or nutritional supplement for the purpose of weight loss and/or muscle gain in the past six months. Cases have been reported from every county in the state.

“We are still in the early stages of this investigation and we have not identified the exact source of this condition,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist. “However, we want to alert the public because of our concern that more people could potentially become ill.”

DOH has issued a statewide Medical Advisory to clinicians, clinics, and emergency departments to facilitate identifying more possible cases. DOH is collaborating closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as the investigation may involve a federally regulated supplement with national distribution.

The department urges all persons who use dietary or nutritional supplements for weight loss and/or muscle gain to do so with caution and under their health care providers’ guidance and monitoring. Persons who develop symptoms, such as abdominal pain or discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting, and yellow skin or eyes, should consult their health care provider immediately.

DOH is responsible for monitoring, investigating, preventing, and controlling diseases of public health impact in Hawaii, as well as ensuring the state’s ability to respond to emergencies that threaten the public’s health.

Big Island Police Identify Victim in Mysterious Pahoa Attack

Hawaiʻi Island police have identified the victim of an assault that resulted in a large deposit of blood left fronting a vacant establishment in Puna.
Blood scene
On June 26 at about 7:30 a.m., detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section and evidence specialists responded to a report of blood discovered in an alcove fronting a closed business establishment in Pāhoa. After an extensive search in the neighboring business area using a scent discriminating canine, police could not locate a victim or any additional evidence.

This picture was taken before police arrived on the scene

This picture was taken before police arrived on the scene

On August 26, detectives were able to verify previously obtained information on the identity of the victim, who is a 60-year-old Pāhoa man. He reported that he had been in an altercation with an unidentified man in Pāhoa and that during the confrontation he had sustained a superficial head wound and did not seek treatment.

Police ask anyone with information about the confrontation to contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.

 

Acting Hawaii Governor Announces Release of $26.4 Million in Capital Improvement Project Funds

Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui today announced the release of more than $26.4 million in capital improvement projects for priority repairs and improvements at state facilities and highways under the purview of the Department of Transportation.

abercrombieheader

“These investments will increase the safety of our residents while traveling on our highways as well as support the expansion of our maritime activities,” said Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui.  “These projects will also continue our momentum of creating jobs and stimulating our economy.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the State Legislature, has been approved by the Acting Governor:

$21,400 — Interstate Route H-3 Halekou Interchange to Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii safety improvement project.   These additional highway revenue bond funds will provide for the safety improvements needed for the H-3 Halekou Interchange.

$21,700 — H-1,H-2 and H201 destination signage upgrades.  These additional highway revenue bond funds will provide for additional design costs to upgrade existing signs to meet current standards.

$198,800 — Inoaole Stream Bridge replacement project, which is on Kalanianaole Highway in the vicinity of Waimanalo.  The bridge will be replaced to increase stream flow capacity in the area to reduce or eminate flooding during heavy rainfall.  These additional revenue bond funds will provide for additional design costs and acqusition of drainage easements.

$4,500,000 — Pier 31 improvements.  These special funds will provide for the demolition of a shed  and upgrades at Honolulu Harbor’s Pier 31 in relation to Pasha’s plans for a new larger shipping vessel.

$10,740,000 — DOT Harbors Division Maui District Office.  These special funds will provide for additional design and construction of a DOT Harbors Division Maui District Office, which will be relocated in the Old Kahului Railroad Building as part of the Kahului Harbor Development Plan of July 2012.

$11,000,000 — Habors Modernation Plan.  These revenue bonds will provide for the demolition of structures located at Kapalama Military Reservation and construction for a new Kapalama Container Facility to support expanding maritime activities in Honolulu Harbor.

 

Hawaii County Closes Hot Ponds at ‘Āhalanui Park After Person Allegedly Gets Sick Swimming in Pond

The Department of Parks and Recreation closed ‘Āhalanui Park in lower Puna on Thursday, September 26, after learning of an unconfirmed report that a member of the public allegedly became sick after swimming in the park’s hot pond.

 ‘Āhalanui Park Hot Ponds

‘Āhalanui Park Hot Ponds

Ensuring the health and safety of all park users remains the top priority of the Department of Parks and Recreation. In an abundance of caution, Director Clayton Honma took immediate action to close the park and request the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch test the pond’s water quality.

‘Āhalanui Park will remain closed pending the Department’s receipt of the test results and assurance that the water quality continues to fall within safety guidelines.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks the public for its understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii Recognizes East Hawaii “Officer of the Month”

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Frank Mohica on Thursday (September 26) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for September.

Officer Frank Mohica

Officer Frank Mohica

Mohica, a Community Policing officer assigned to the South Hilo District, was honored for bringing about a peaceful resolution after a barricaded gunman fired shots in a residential subdivision in Puna.

On August 21, a convicted felon abused his female companion, left the house enraged, got into a motor vehicle accident and fled the scene.

Officers searching for him later discovered he had returned to the house and taken a firearm registered to the woman.

Hours later, police received several reports of gunshots being fired in another populated residential subdivision. When they arrived, they learned that the shooter was the same man from the earlier incident. The neighbors were evacuated and a standoff ensued with the suspect, who was intoxicated, belligerent and uncooperative.

Officer Mohica, who volunteers on the Hostage Negotiation Team, was off duty when he was alerted and responded to the scene.

Police discovered that the suspect’s father was also present on the property. Mohica quickly established an avenue of communication with the father and began to develop a rapport with him. Over time, he persuaded both the suspect and the father to surrender to police without incident.

When detectives obtained a search warrant for the premises, they recovered a rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and spent casings. The suspect was charged with nine offenses.

As “Officer of the Month,” Mohica is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Na Pua No`eau Receives Funding to Continue Providing Education for Students of Hawaiian Ancestry

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Na Pua No`eau has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education to continue providing health career pathway education for students of Hawaiian ancestry in kindergarten through college and professional schools.

Na Pua Noeau
The award represents the second year of a three-year grant totaling $502, 692 per year to fund the Ke Ola Mau Project, which seeks to increase the number of Native Hawaiian students entering the health profession.

Last year, nearly 2,000 students and family members took part in the project, which utilized existing Na Pua No`eau Centers on all the islands to conduct program activities throughout Hawaiʻi. Through the project and its partners, eligible Hawaiian students at UH Hilo and UH Manoa majoring in a health career field may also receive academic support, cultural strengthening, community support, and a stipend.

For more information, call Rachel at the Ke Ola Mau office at (808) 933-3887 (UH Hilo) or Kehau at (808) 956-9410 (UH Manoa).

Environmental Protection Agency Awards Hawaii $1.1 Million to Control Polluted Water Runoff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Hawaii Department of Health a $1.1 million grant to implement its Polluted Runoff Control (PRC) Program and to support water quality improvement projects.

“EPA’s grant helps Hawaii reduce harmful stormwater runoff,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our goal, along with the Department of Health, is to protect coastal waters and coral reefs from the effects of polluted surface water.”

When it rains, water flows downhill from Hawai`i’s high island ridges to the ocean, washing pollutants into the streams and rivers. (Kaaawa Valley, Oahu)

When it rains, water flows downhill from Hawai`i’s high island ridges to the ocean, washing pollutants into the streams and rivers. (Kaaawa Valley, Oahu)

Hawaii DOH will contribute $746,000 in state funds to the EPA grant for a total budget of $1.91 million to implement its state program developed under the authority of Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act. Grant funds support both state staff and local organizations to develop and implement watershed plans to achieve water quality improvement goals. The funding is specifically for such nonpoint source water pollution control projects and cannot be used for other water pollution discharges or spills like the recent molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor.

This year, the PRC Program will update Hawaii’s State Management Program Plan for addressing polluted runoff over the next five years. The plan will identify strategic priorities, establish both environmental and program goals and milestones, and discuss how partners will be engaged to most effectively to improve water quality.

Recently, Hawaii DOH used Clean Water Act Section 319 funds to address land-based pollution in the West Maui area to protect coral reefs. West Maui is a priority area for the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and the State of Hawaii Coral Program.

On-the-ground projects are strategically focused in specific watersheds to increase the likelihood of achieving environmental results. Previous competitively selected projects include:

  • Heeia Stream Restoration Project to stabilize eroding stream banks and restore native vegetation along the Heeia stream to reduce nutrient and sediment loads on windward Oahu.
  • Implementation of large scale agricultural management practices to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff in the Honouliuli Stream watershed.
  • A rain garden ‘how-to’ manual and the installation of several rain gardens to demonstrate an effective way to reduce the volume of polluted stormwater runoff in developed areas
  • Installation of fencing in Maui mountain watersheds to reduce the impacts of feral ungulate populations in sensitive watershed areas.

The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act established the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program. Section 319 addresses the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source efforts. Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money to support a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, restoratioin projects and monitoring efforts to assess progress toward water quality goals. EPA awards annual continuing program grants, based on a national distribution formula, to implement approved state programs.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations — home to more than 48 million people. The EPA is also a significant source of funding. In 2013, more than 85 percent of the $631 million regional operating budget flowed to state and tribal agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations and private-sector companies in the form of grants and contracts. This funding pays for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, air pollution reduction programs, Superfund site cleanups and many other activities that protect human health and natural resources.

Study Proves Cancer Cases NOT HIGHER on Kauai Then the Rest of the State of Hawaii

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) jointly with the Hawaii Tumor Registry and University of Hawaii Cancer Center is releasing an evaluation of the incidence of cancer on Kauai and each of its census tracts. The evaluation found that there is not a higher incidence of cancer on Kauai compared to the rest of the state; except for melanoma of the skin, a cancer related to ultraviolet exposure.

The evaluation was conducted at the request of Kauai legislators and community members in response to concerns about the health impact of pesticides used by agricultural chemical companies.

Kauai Cancer Report

Click to view the full report

The analysis found that cancers of the breast, endometrium, Hodgkin lymphoma, liver, ovary, prostate and thyroid were lower on Kauai compared to the entire state of Hawaii. Higher rates of melanoma on Kauai were found and may be explained by a larger proportion of older adults of Caucasian ancestry with high levels of lifetime sun exposure residing in the northern region of Kauai.

“Cancer clusters are rare, especially those that are linked to environmental exposures. Doctors and scientists often cannot explain why one person develops cancer and another does not,” said Dr. Barbara Brooks, DOH Toxicologist.

Cancer may be caused by a variety of factors acting alone or together, usually over a period of many years. These risk factors include age, family history and exposures to viruses and bacteria, lifestyle choices, sunlight exposure and on the job exposure to chemicals.

Of the more than 12,000 cancer deaths in Hawaii between 2000 and 2005, it is estimated that nearly 30 percent could have been prevented by avoiding tobacco use and up to 35 percent could have been averted by improving nutrition and maintaining a normal body weight. Geographic, economic, and educational barriers and other social inequities influence lifestyle factors that increase a person’s chance of developing cancer.

Health Director Loretta Fuddy said, “DOH through its Foundations for Healthy Generations Initiative is committed to addressing the social conditions and physical environments where people live, work and play in order to improve the health of all groups in Hawaii.”

The Hawaii Tumor Registry conducts cancer surveillance and maintains a confidential database of information on all reportable cases of cancer, benign brain tumors and many blood disorders diagnosed in Hawaii. The Registry is jointly operated by the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and DOH.

The DOH Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office provides leadership, support, and partnership in preventing, planning for, responding to, and enforcing environmental laws relating to releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances.

The full evaluation report is available on the DOH website at www.health.hawaii.gov.