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Utility Infrastructure Upgrades to Resume on Hamakua Coast – Delays Up to 45 Minutes

Hawaii Electric Light announces that construction work along Highway 19 will resume starting January 18, 2016. One lane will be closed to traffic along sections of the highway from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily between the 24-mile marker in Papaaloa and the 27-mile marker in Laupahoehoe on the Hamakua Coast.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of February, weather permitting.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of February, weather permitting.

Security personnel will direct traffic, and motorists are advised to drive with caution through the construction area. Delays of up to 45 minutes or less are anticipated. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes, if possible.

This project will improve system reliability by upgrading utility infrastructure. It involves removing and installing poles and upgrading transmission and distribution lines and equipment. Work is expected to be completed by the end of February, weather permitting. Regular updates will be provided to local media and posted on the company’s website www.hawaiielectriclight.com and Twitter account @HIElectricLight.

Hawaii Electric Light regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding. For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

EPA Finds Puna Geothermal Venture Violated Chemical Safety Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with Puna Geothermal Venture for Clean Air Act chemical safety violations at its geothermal energy plant in the Puna area of the Island of Hawaii. After an EPA inspection, the facility has now complied with the rules designed to minimize accidental chemical releases. The company has also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $76,500.

PGV

“The goal of EPA’s inspections is to protect the health and safety of the workers at the plant and the residents in the community,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our continued oversight will help ensure that it operates in a safe manner by complying with federal requirements.”

EPA conducted a chemical facility inspection in August 2013 and found that PGV had failed to take necessary steps to prevent accidental releases of hydrogen sulfide. Specifically, the company had not tested and inspected its equipment with the frequency consistent with manufacturers’ recommendations, good engineering practices, and prior operating experience.

The inspectors also found that with respect to PGV’s storage, use and handling of pentane, a flammable substance used as a working fluid in the facility’s electricity producing turbines, PGV failed to:

  • Conduct periodic compliance audits of its accident prevention program and document that identified deficiencies have been corrected.
  • Implement adequate written operating procedures that provide clear instructions for safely conducting activities.
  • Ensure that the frequency of inspections and tests of equipment is consistent with manufacturers’ recommendations, good engineering practices, and prior operating experience.
  • Analyze and report on a worst-case release scenario and estimate the population that would be affected by an accidental release of pentane.

Today’s penalty action is taken under the federal Clean Air Act’s Section 112(r) General Duty Clause and Risk Management Program requirements.

The General Duty Clause requires facilities to minimize the probability and consequences of accidental chemical releases to better protect workers, communities and the environment. The Risk Management Program requires development of a Risk Management Plan that includes: a hazard assessment detailing the potential effects of an accidental release; a chemical accident prevention program that includes process operation, maintenance, and employee training measures; and an emergency response program that spells out procedures for informing the public and local response agencies should an accident occur.

EPA’s August 2013 inspection was prompted by releases of hydrogen sulfide from the facility to the atmosphere in March and April 2013. The April 2013 release was caused by a pump failure, resulting in a leak of geothermal condensate (composed primarily of water with some contaminants, including hydrogen sulfide) for about 15 minutes before PGV personnel were able to isolate and stop the leakage. The March 2013 release was attributed to the tripping of a breaker in the local power grid, and PGV’s emergency shutdown and hydrogen sulfide abatement systems functioned as designed.

In addition to EPA’s oversight, including the Risk Management Plan updates that PGV must submit, the air permit issued to the facility by the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health requires PGV to submit regular air quality monitoring reports to the state.

For more information on EPA’s Risk Management Program, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp

For more information on the Clean Air Act’s General Duty clause, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp/general-duty-clause-fact-sheet

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 213

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 3 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 213.

Mosquito Bite

As of January 12, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 3 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 1 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
1 Illness onset  1/2/16
Cases no longer infectious
212 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/1/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
213

Of the confirmed cases, 193 are Hawaii Island residents and 20 are visitors.
172 cases have been adults; 41 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/2/16.

As of today, a total of 874 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated January 6, 2016)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Health Meets EPA Interim Targets Ahead of Jan. 29 Deadline – More Funding for Water Quality Projects

The Hawaii State Department of Health Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program disbursed more than $10.36 million in federal funds in the last half of 2015 to support infrastructure improvements in the public water systems for all four counties. This exceeded the interim target of $7.67 million in disbursements.

Clean Water Act

In addition, as of Jan. 4, the Department of Health made commitments to provide funding totaling over $32.7 million, exceeding the $28.28 million interim target. The commitments for the four Hawaii County Department of Water Supply water system improvement projects include:

  • Over $4.1 million for the Laupahoehoe Reservoir;
  • Almost $12.9 million for the Waimea Water Treatment Plant microfiltration project
  • $823,420 for phase one of the Halaula well development project;
  • $3.2 million for the Ahualoa-Honokaa transmission waterline.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply commitment involves $11.65 million for multiple water system improvements.

Each year, Congress appropriates funds that are administered by the EPA to provide grants to states to capitalize low-interest loan programs for public water system infrastructure improvements. The funds come with stipulations.

This year, Hawaii had to meet two interim requirements by Jan.29, 2016, and these were met well ahead of schedule by Jan. 4, 2016.

“We must continually demonstrate our stewardship of the federal funds and account for how the funds are being used before we can receive additional funds,” said Joanna Seto, Safe Drinking Water Branch chief. “Our SRF team and County customers were all aware of the pending deadline and what was at stake. There was great teamwork and collaboration to meet the deadline.”

The EPA awarded the Hawaii Department of Health $688,000 on Sept. 28, 2015, and withheld a little over $8 million in federal funds, pending the Department of Health’s ability to meet specific targets by Jan. 29, 2016.

Since it began in 1997, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has disbursed more than $201.5 million in low interest loans.

Background

There are two funds for water system infrastructure improvement projects: the Clean Water State Revolving Fund infrastructure loan program, established by the Clean Water Act of 1987, and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund infrastructure loan program, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is also referred to as Hawaii’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, provides low-interest loans to Hawaii’s four counties to construct high-priority wastewater, storm water, and non-point source water pollution projects.

Since it began in 1991, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund has disbursed more than 705.8 million in low-interest loans, providing significant savings in interest costs to the counties.

Martin Luther King Report: Hawaii is the Most Racially Integrated State

With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day around the corner and race relations being a top issue facing the nation today, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s States That Have Achieved the Most Racial Progress.

To identify the states that are most racially integrated and have come the furthest in their efforts of racial progress, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 key metrics. Our data set ranges from median annual income to homeownership rates to voter turnout.

In this report, we examine the differences between only blacks and whites in light of the high-profile police-brutality incidents that have sparked national controversy in recent years and the Civil Rights Movement — in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., played a prominent role — that involved mainly black and white groups.

Racial Integration in Hawaii (1=Biggest; 25=Avg.)

  • 2nd – Median Annual Income Gap
  • 1st – Labor-Force Participation Rate Gap
  • 8th – Unemployment Rate Gap
  • 21st – Homeownership Rate Gap
  • 1st – Poverty Rate Gap
  • 1st – Business Ownership Rate Gap
  • 8th – % of Residents with at Least a High School Diploma Gap
  • 1st – NAEP Test Scores Gap

Note: All of the above comparisons refer to the gaps between whites and blacks, according to the most recent available data.

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-most-and-least-racial-progress/18428/

Source: WalletHub

Hawaii Civil Defense Releases Updated Map Pinpointing Dengue Fever Cases

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Monday January 11th at 1:15PM.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported no additional confirmed cases since last Friday.  The total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak remains at 210.  These cases include 190 residents and 20 visitors.

Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 210 confirmed cases, 1 is recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Grower Surveys Fruit Growers With Goal to Increase Production

What fruit, and how much, is being locally grown? What fruit do growers want to plant in the near future? What do growers need to help them successfully produce fruit? These questions and more were asked in a recent survey conducted by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

Jackfruit

Jackfruit

Funded by the County of Hawai‘i’s Department of Research and Development, the HTFG Survey of Tropical Fruit Growers collected data from HTFG member and non-member respondents from July through September, 2015.

“The purpose of the survey was to determine what actions to take and to fullfill grants to get fruit trees into the hands of growers to increase local production,” said Alyssa Cho, assistant researcher in sustainable farming systems with an emphasis in tropical fruit and nut production at University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Avocado

Avocado

Using Survey Monkey, the project found 88 percent of growers have planted citrus, followed by 83 percent cultivating avocado and 82 percent farming bananas. Other top fruit included mango, papaya and pineapple.

The survey’s 138 participants claimed a total of 42,955 planted fruit trees. Of these, 2,586 were citrus. Limes were the top type of citrus grown, at 81 percent, followed by lemons, oranges and tangerines.

Apple was the most popular banana variety with 88 percent of respondents claiming to grow them, followed by red bananas at 34 percent. Sharwil led the varieties of the 2,151 avocadoes grown followed by Yamagata and Kahaluu. Washington Navel and Valencia were the most planted types of oranges.

Top criteria used for selection of fruit trees grown on farms included cost of plant and time needed to produce crop, followed by disease resistance and value for home use. Respondents said they keep 52 percent of their crop for personal use and directly sell 30 percent to wholesalers, 24 percent at farmers markets and the rest at fruit and farm stands, retail stores and restaurants.

The “biggest barrier to planting more trees now” was lack of space according to 37 percent of respondents and not enough labor to care for trees said 24 percent. Labor was cited as the top area of assistance needed at 43 percent, followed by horticulture/production at 25 percent.

“Other specified areas of assistance requested included market access, tips for managing market over supply and pest management,” noted Mark Suiso, HTFG president who oversaw implementation of the survey.

Jaboticaba

Jaboticaba

When asked what exotic fruit trees were desired by growers in the next two years, nearly 50 percent of respondents listed fig and breadfruit, followed by dragonfruit, jackfruit, passionfruit, mangosteen, jaboticaba, pomegranate, cacao and durian.

“The results of the survey identify what trees growers want to plant over the next few years and what type of trees we should try to clone for our members,” detailed Ken Love, HTFG executive director. “It also tells HTFG what we should focus on for study and grant writing.”

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.

2016 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

A road trip for quilters and fabric fanatics, the 8th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop revs up February 1- 29, 2016, featuring six different shops from Kona to Hilo and points in between. Traveling quilters can have passports stamped for a chance to win prizes, collect kits to create a custom “Honu on the Water” quilt for 2016, and enjoy the company of fellow quilters island-wide.

Hawaiian Quilt

Grand prize, for those who visit and get passports stamped at all six shops, is a $300 brand new Elna Sewing machine. Other winners will receive one-yard cuts of fabric, quilt shop gift certificates and more—with special in-store prizes at individual shops, for a total of 13 winners.

Each of the six quilt shops will have a different “step” available for the 2016 Honu on Water quilt. All six steps are needed to complete the quilt top, with borders and add-ons additional. This allows each quilt to be a one-of-a-kind creation.

The 8th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop launches February 1, leading into the 23nd Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the SKEA (Society for Kona’s Education and Art)  quilt show in Captain Cook February 13-14.

This year, quilt shops will have Sunday hours. West side shops will be open on Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. East Hawai’i shops will be open Feb 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Maps and passports can be picked up any quilt shop on the route, and “shop-hoppers” can follow their own path, or sign up for a West Hawaii bus tour by calling Karen Barry at Quilt Passions, 808-329-7475; or East Hawaii tour, with Leimomi at Kilauea Kreations II, 808-961-1100.

For more information contact Mary at bigislandquiltsh@earthlink.net, or visit www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii.

2016 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop:

West Hawaii

East Hawai‘i

UH Hilo College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List for Fall 2015

UH Hilo Moniker

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Arts and Sciences have been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2015 semester:

Jozie Acasio, Shelie M. Acoba, Anthony Actouka, Charlemagne Adams, Kendra Adams, Sebastian Afaga, Alexandria Agdeppa, Brandon Aguiar, Chelsea Ahsing, Rhonda Akano, Leahi Akao, Eric Alabanza, Daryl Albano, Losalia Aloisio, Alia Alvarez, Tyler Amaral, Victoria E. Amundsen, Erica Amundson, Lauren Anczak, Madeleine Andersen, Stina E. M. Andersson, Paul Ang Sheng, Shantel Antonio, Zion Apao, Shaylyn Arakaki,

David Arakawa, Justin Araki-Kwee, Jerome Arellano, Keanu Arke, Riley Arroyo, Yuki Asama, Leslie Asato, Scott Ashida, Cameron Atsumi, Lyle Auld, Salamasina Aumua, Dennis Ayap, Hunter Bailey, Jessica Bailey, Michael Bailey, Jim Baker, Sharlene Bala, Jamae Balagot, Landon Ballesteros, Zoe Banfield, Kaitlin Barcoma, Abigail Barhite, Ashley Barhite, Benedick Baris, Tiana Barrios, Ruth Bascar-Sellars, Crystal-lynn Baysa,

Conor M. Beaton, Laa Pi Bell, Chase Benbow, Justine Bernard, Lealoha Bernardo, Anthony Berson, Aspen Billiet, Ida Bing, Allexandria Blacksmith, Julianna Blair, Henry Blake, Kalaiakea Blakemore, Casey Blanchette, Thomas Bolton, Stephen Bond, Rebecca Boutin, Tyler Jo Branco Hedke, Courtney A. Brock, Veronica Brockway, Matthew Brown, BreAnna Brown, Harley Broyles, Kailah Buchanan, Ashlee Burbano, Merritt Burch, Ridge Cabaccang, Sydney Cabanas, Cheyrub Cabarloc, Jerold A. Cabel, Alexis Cabrera, Rachelle A. Cabrillas, Aldrin Calilao, Leischene Calingangan, Joseph Camara,

Keala Campbell, Amanda Canda, Alton Cantan, Jessicamae Caravalho, Frances M. Cariaga, Sheila M. Cariaga, Sheryl L. Cariaga, Imelda A.D.C. Carlos, Nicholas Carrion, Julie Carter, Micah Carter, Cjay Carvalho, Kanoeuluwehianu Case, Lily Cash, Susan Castillejos, Cibyl Chan, Roget Chan, Justin Chandler, Andy Chang, Emily Charman, Maggie Chen, Edward Cheng, Kate Chikasuye, Cheuk Wang Chiu, Adam Chong, Tahiti Chong, Christina Chow, Haylee Chung, Leilani Clark, Kobie Clarke, Rachel Clay, William Cleary, Heather Coad, Zoe Coffman, Seana Cofsky, Stefan Coney, Katherine Conners,

Taylor Contreras, Cletus Correia, Seneca Cox, Cory Craig, Tanya Craig, Leanne Crain, Trixie A. Croad, John Crommelin, Kawelina Cruz, Justin Cueva, Jasmin Curiel, Kanani Daley, Pearl Dasalla, Renee I. David, Desiree Davis, Pierre De Poyo, Kaylee Decambra, Axel Defngin, Edwina Degrood, Le’Shell Dela Cruz, Audrey Deluca, Billi Derleth, Ileana Derouin-Loando, Maluhia Desha, Erin Dewing, Amanda DiFrancesco, Cassidy Dixon,

Danielle Dodge, Amelia Dolgin, Shaylin Domingcil, Lorelei M. Domingo, Princess Dianne Domingo, Ryan Domingo, Pedro Dos Santos, Sadie Dossett, Cortney Dougherty, Mike Dowsett, James Drescher, Jayahmie Drio, Alejandra Duarte, Keanu Dudoit-Isa, Julie Duhaylongsod, Sarah Dunaway, Jennifer Eastin, Jacqueline Economy, Jamie Economy, Jon Ehrenberg, Bryce Engelland, Remedios Epp, Tiffany Erickson, Corey Eshpeter, Raynell Espaniola, Kelsie Espiritu-Tanabe, Riley Essert, Damon Ewen, Elecia Faaiuaso, Charles Fenenbock, Sarah Ferguson, Sharrylei Fernandez, Glenn Ferrier,

Misty Figueira, Taysia Figueroa, Doug Fitzpatrick, Kyla Fox, Jeena Franco, D’Jon Franklin, Ella R. Fregeau Olmstead, Lilia Fremling, Brittany Fuemmeler, Kaitlyn Fujii, Shaylyn Fujii, Kendra Fujioka, Justin Fujiwara, Trent Furuta, Dylan Gable, Sarah Gallagher, Angelina Gallegos, Philip Gamiao, Everette Ganir, Jeremy Ganir, April Gaoiran, Mary Jane Garcia, Nicole Garcia, Jessica-Ann Garett, Xue Garrett, Zachary Geisterfer, Carola Geitner, StacyMae Gelacio, Tyler Gerken, Hattie Gerrish, Tuan Giai Giang, Kahri Golden, Kassidy Gonsalves, Annabel Gonzalez, Acacia Goo, Maya Goodoni,

Samantha Gordon, Rachel Gorenflo, Beverly A. Gorospe, Alyssa Grace, Marc D. Grande, Nathan Green, Siera Green, Zechariah Greene, Lori Greenhouse, Olivia Grodzka, Kylie Grogg, Chrisovolandou Gronowski, Riana Grothmann, Rihei Grothmann, Alexander Guerrero, Juan F. Guerrero Arnaiz, Adrienne Gurbindo, Brittany Hale, Quinn Hamamoto, Yu Hamaoka, Michelle Hanson, Arielle Harnik, Jocelin Haro, Molly Harris,

Rose Hart, Bridge Hartman, Hannah Hawkins, Connor Hedrick, Dakota Helfrich, John Herman, Brad Higa, Linsie Hiraoka, Misaki Hirayama, Jaclyn Hirohama, Tyler Hoffman, Eric Holub, Tiana Honda, Lauren Hong, Trenton Hooper, Abbey Horsman, Alyssa Hoshide, Jordan Howard, Kainoa Howard, Samantha Howell, Sandra Huang, ZhiLing Huang, Adrian Huff, Brianne Huggins, Thomas Hughes, Courtney Hurt, Thien Huynh, Laura Ibbotson, Andi Igawa, Kadi Igawa, Joshua Ignacio, Derek Inaba,

Kayla Ing, Gabriela Iniguez-Isaacs, Elise Inouye, Ching Ip, Courtney Ip, Joanne Isabella, Alexa Jacobs, Rebecca Jardin, Austin Jennings, Michelle Jimenez, Lindsay Johnson, Malina Johnson, Kailani Jones, Kyle Jones, Mikayla Jones, Terrence Jordan, Jamie Josephson, Jessica J. Julian, Kahuliau Kaai, Keaolani Kaaialii, Shanise Kaaikala, Puanani Kahai, Shaylyn Kahawai, Kawena Kahui, Kelii Kailipaka, Kahoruko Kajiya,

Ellie-Jean Kalawe, Bree Kalima, Steven Kalua, Kevin Karvas, Nellie Kati, Melvalee Kaulia, Germaine Kaululaau, Angela Kauwe, Hokuto Kawashima, Tori Kaya, Jay Kayhill, Jill Keely, Joanne Keliikoa, Bianca Keohokapu, Ada Kettner, Chantelle Kiessner, Chan Gyeom Kim, Mary Louise Kimura, Andrew J. H. Kinloch, Angalee Kirby, Rachel Kishimoto, Keely Kitamura, Sheena Kobayashi, William Kobus, Rochelle Koi,

Cody Kojima, Felicia Kolb, Leina Konashi, Hyesun Kong, Kaili Kosaka, Krystle Koshiyama, Lisa Kosilla, Keisha Kotake, Maya Kottwitz, Nolan Kua, Kyle Kua-Ramirez, Johann Kuipers, Morgan Kultala, Bonnie Shuk Ping Kwok, Liezl L. Lagua, Keohikai Laikupu, Samantha Lambert, Mia Lamirand, Kailey Lapenia, Caterina LaRocca, Danielle Larson, Samantha Lathrop, Brandon Lau, Angela Laureta, Valerie Lazickas,

Da Hai Lee, Jon-Pierre Leone, Shalyn Lewis, QiXin Li, Sonia Lipka, Hannah Lipman, Eileen Liu, Sheena Lopes, Kawehi Lopez, Catherine Lord, Joyce Lovell, Kristi Lovell, Michael Lovell, Rebekah Loving, Chari-Ann Luis-Calvo, Jacob Lunz, Deanna R. Macapulay, Natasha Machado, Brandon Mahle, Desmond Mahor, Alohilani Maiava, Wilson Malone, Michael Mandaquit, Alison Mansfield, Jordyn Mansinon, Danielle Marrufo, Katherine Martinez, Lashay M. Masami, Chantelle Mashreghy, Shae Massie,

Anna C. Masuda, Carle-Ann Mata, Moriah Mathson, Rosella Mathson, Eli Matola, Nicole Matsu, Kasey Matsumoto, Kelley Matsumoto, Aspen Mauch, Shaina McEnroe, Austin McGuire, Jared McLean, Korin Medeiros, Leslie Medina, Georgette Mercado, Marina Merkulova, Anna Meyer, William Midgley, Anna B. Mikkelsen, Chelsea Miles, Bryce Miles-Leighton, Brock Miller, Brooke Miller, Amberlyn Milum, Zayin Minia, Jessica Minick, Amanda Minney, Risako Mise, Lauren Mizuba, Nicole Monette,

Ariel Moniz, Michael Moore, Ariyana Moran, Juliann Morris, Kialoa Mossman, Shane-Earl Naeole, Kenneth Nagata, Jenny Nagatori, Brandon Naihe, Lorelei Nakagawa, Tori Nakagawa, Angela Nakamura, Richard Nakamura, Blayne Nakasone Sakata, Joseph Nakoa, Kirstie Naone, Ariel Navarro, Brandon Neal, Sean Nearhoof, Christopher Nelson, Kelsey Nguyen, Sarah Nichols, Cameron Nicholson, Karen Nishimoto, Reyn Nishioka, Kelsey Noetzelmann, Eloisa Obero, Jordan Ocol,

Jasmine Oher, Shantel Okinishi, Briana Oliver, Nicole Ortiz, Sarah A. Ota, Jamie Ouye, Ryan Ozaki, John D. Padapat, Kehaulani Pakani-Tells, Keirsa Pakani-Tsukiyama, Bronson Palupe, Christiane Pang, Isaac Pang, Jessica Pang, Jannah Pante, Pauleen Pante, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, Kirsty Parker, Stephanie Pasco, Kailey Pascoe, Ishani S. S. Patel, Michael Patterson, Breanne Patton, Christian Patton, Hannah Pavao, Tyson Pavao, Casey Pearring, Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani Blanenfeld, Carlota Perez Pla Urbistondo, Graham Pernell, Shaun Perry, Trevor Perry, Mark Petner, Sharon Petrosky,

Terri Pinyerd, Rhealiza Pira, Chelsea Poe, Margot Pontius, Arwen Potochney, Debra Potter, Brett T. Pruett, Kylee Quevedo, Natalie Quinajon, Misti Quintel, Alethia Quintero, Akemi Rair, Crystal Rances, Anita Randall-Packer, Kaydee Rapozo, Evangeline Raza, Robyn Rector, Keana Rees, Angela I. Reich, Samantha Reis, William Renz, Ashley A. Resurreccion, Chloe Richards, Taumie Richie, Emily Risley, Karla Robles Moreano, Kainoa Rosa, Megan Rose, Justine Rosemond, Nina Sabahi, Josiane Saccu, Melanie Sacro, Julie Anne Sagabaen, Karl Sakai, Reese Sako, Angelica Salom,

Gabriella Sanchez, Louise V. Santos, Teresinha Santos Da Costa, Chelsea Sato, Kristen Savea, Briana Savusa, Steven Sayers, Crystal Schiszler, Kimberly Schmelz, Dehrich Schmidt-Chya, Emily Schneider, Julia Schray, Kimberly Scott, Jiyoon Seo, Artem Sergeyev, Jolene Serrano De Guzman, Seth Shaikh, Marleena Sheffield, Sydney Shiigi, Albert Shim, Jaci Shinoda, Keani Shirai, Kayla Shiroma, Kathleen Shon, Keian Shon, Maria Sideleva, Malia Silva, Heather Simon, Maysyvelle Sistoza, Cheyenne Sitts, Alexa Smiley, James Smith, Kathleen Smith, Logan Snell, Kristan-Maria Snook, Kiana Soloria, Carrie Soo Hoo, Sophia P. Soriano-Castillo, Christina Sorte, Krismon Sotiangco,

India Southern, Ethan Souza, Megan Spath, Ashley Spencer, Lauren Spreen, Jacqueline St. Clair, Ashlin Stahlberg, Erin Stamper, Maria Steadmon, Angelica Steele, Phillip Steering, Emma Stevens, Taylor Stokesbary, Jeremiah Storie, Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Cole Stremski-Borero, Paige Sumida, Taliesin Sumner, Tyler Sumner, Tanyalee Switzer, Dillon Tacdol, Dustin Tacdol, Dallas Tada, Randolph Tafua, Hazel Tagalicud, Peniamina Taii, Tara Takamori, Jolyn Takeya-Whitney, Devin Tanaka,

Yoshinori Tanaka, Morgan Tate, Reuben Tate, Patience Taylor, Zach Taylor, Temau Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Chariya Terlep-Cabatbat, Samantha Texeira, Gin Tezuka, Ginger Thomas, Nicolette Thomas, Melanie Thomason, Zachary Tman, Ashley C. Tomori, Brandon Tomota, Jianxing Tong, Ryotaro Toshima, Kyndra Trevino-Scott, Emma Tunison, Christine J. Ucol, Jenifer M. Ucol, Brenna Usher, Abigail Vandenberg, Rosella M. Vaughn, Aundrea Vidal, Joana Vierra, Lixie A. Villanueva, Rowell Villanueva, Leilani VisikoKnox-Johnson, Nelson Vo, Thomas Vogeler, Michael Voight,

Kaipoleimanu Wahinepio, George Wall, Emily Wallingford, Lucille Walsh, HeNaniNoOeKaWahineUioIkePono Wandasan, Kenton Wandasan, Donald Waner, Sondra Warren, Valerie K. Wasser, Mary Webb, Kelsea Wells, Kaira Whittington-Ramirez, John Whitworth, Ty Widhalm, Alexis Williams, Qiyamah Williams, Daisy Willis, Leah Wilson, Phillip Wilson, Skyla Wilson, Vanessa Winchester-Sye, Christina Wine, Michelle Winkler, Elijah Won, David Wong, Tiana Wong, Daniel Wright,

Chelsie Wung, Sharmaine Yacavone, Jessica Yamaguchi, Marilyn Yamamoto, Lia Yamashiro, Phillip Yawata, Shaniah Yogi, Cheyne Yonemori, Sayuri Yoshimura, Deanna Young, Kristen Young, Sable-Marie Young, Tyler Young, Anwar A. Yu, Bithiah Yuan, Trisha Yuen, Jacqueline Yuw, Marikka Zavas, Yeva Zobova, and Abcde Zoller.

Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary License Application Now Available Online

The Hawaii State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Dispensary License application is now available online at mmjdisp.ehawaii.gov. Applications must be submitted online and will only be accepted during the application period of Jan. 12, 2016, 8  a.m., Hawaii Standard Time (HST)  to Jan. 29, 2016, 4:30 p.m. HST.

Medical Marijuana“Applicants should be careful to follow the online application instructions completely,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance. “The online process is straight forward and follows Chapter 329D of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) and Chapter 11-850 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules.”

The online process allows applicants to save their entries and resume their application at any time, 24/7, and submit it at a later time. However, applicants must save their application every time they access it even if there are no revisions or new entries. An email confirmation with the application number will be sent to the email address provided upon successful submission. All information on dispensary license requirements is posted at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/.

The $5,000 application fee, for each application submitted, in the form of a certified check or cashier’s check payable to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, must be delivered or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to: Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing, Room 337, 601 Kamokila Blvd., Kapolei, HI 96707. The application fee must be received by the department or postmarked by 4:30 p.m. HST, Jan. 29, 2016.

The medical marijuana dispensary law, Chapter 329D, HRS, allows DOH to award a total of eight licenses initially: three licenses for the City and County of Honolulu, two dispensary licenses each for the County of Hawaii and the County of Maui, and one dispensary license for the County of Kauai. Each dispensary licensee will be allowed to operate up to two production centers and two retail-dispensing locations.

DOH expects to select and announce licensees by April 15, 2016. A dispensary licensed pursuant to Chapter 329D, HRS, may begin dispensing medical marijuana not sooner than July 15, 2016, with the approval of the Department.

For more information about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/.

 

Deadline for Films and Screenplays – Big Island Film Festival at The Farimont Orchid, Hawai’i

Now in its eleventth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) invites filmmakers and screenwriters to enter their project before the final deadline, Feb. 1, 2016. Complete rules and submission guidelines are available at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, for entering by mail or online via www.FilmFreeway.com.

Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival.

Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival.

BIFF takes place May 26-30, 2016 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani, giving residents a unique chance to meet and talk story with the people behind the movies they see. Attended by hundreds of filmmakers and their families from Hawai’i and around the world, BIFF has become known for its unique film festival culture that is relaxed, uncrowded, and engaging, where everyone interacts like family.

In addition, BIFF’s script contest can open the door for one winning screenplay to be considered for representation by the Paradigm Agency, one of the industry’s best, with divisions in Beverly Hills, Monterey, Nashville and New York. The contest is open to all completed narrative film scripts that meet submission guidelines.

Will Estes, Tiki Torch Guy and Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival

Will Estes, Tiki Torch Guy and Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival

BIFF also hosts notable workshop leaders, such as NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti and screenwriter Ron Osborn of “Moonlighting” fame, among others. Last year’s celebrity honorees were Arielle Kebbel of “The Vampire Diaries” and HBO’s “Ballers” with Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Will Estes of “Blue Bloods,” who enjoyed interacting with island audiences during in-depth interviews and informal garden receptions.

The complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i’s beautiful outdoor Plantation Estate, but free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, numerous networking and celebrity social events, screenwriting workshops and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top-rated Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries. “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 30.

BIFF would like to thank sponsors The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and others.

2015 BIFF Folks

For detailed information visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

Satellite Image Captures Latest Lava Flow Advancement

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, January 7, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with no overall advancement in recent months. The farthest active lava was 5.6 km (3.5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.  (Click to enlarge)

The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with no overall advancement in recent months. The farthest active lava was 5.6 km (3.5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. (Click to enlarge)

The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

Chinese Naval Hospital Ship “Peace Ark” in Honolulu, Hawaii

The Chinese naval hospital ship “Peace Ark” docks in front of Aloha Towers in Honolulu, Hawaii today after a completing their 3-month Harmonious Mission-2015.

Peace Ark

The hospital ship Peace Ark of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy set off from Malaysia’s Port Klang at 5:00 pm on September 23 to carry out the task codenamed “Harmonious Mission – 2015”.

Starting from September 23, the ship will visit seven countries and regions around the Pacific Ocean, including Australia, French Polynesia, the United States, Mexico, Barbados, Grenada and Peru, for military diplomacy, medical exchange and cultural communication. It will also provide free medical and humanitarian services.

This is the fifth Harmonious Mission task carried out by the hospital ship Peace Ark after it visited five countries in Asia and Africa in 2010, four countries in Latin America in 2011, eight countries in Asia in 2013 and four countries in South Pacific in 2014.

According to the plan, the hospital ship will arrive at the Port of Brisbane on October 7 for a four-day goodwill visit to Australia.

It is learnt that the medical crew of the mission comprises 118 medical staff from the Navy General Hospital, No.411 and No.413 Hospital of the PLA and the PLA Second Military Medical University, along with a ship-borne heliambulance.

 

Hawaii DLNR Statement on Arrest of Officer

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement  (DOCARE) will cooperate with the Hawaii Police Department criminal investigation.

DOCARE will also conduct its own internal investigation.

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson has been a Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officer (CREO) since June 27, 2013

He is still in custody and has been served with a letter of removal of police authority, and is being put on administrative leave with pay, pending adjudication.

There are 109 DOCARE officers statewide, and 27 on Hawaii Island. DLNR does criminal background checks for prospective employees.

DOCARE officers are responsible for enforcement activities of the Department. The division, with full police powers, enforces all State laws and rules involving State lands, State Parks, historic sites, forest reserves, aquatic life and wildlife areas, coastal zones, Conservation districts, State shores, as well as county ordinances involving county parks. The division also enforces laws relating to firearms, ammunition, and dangerous weapons.

VIDEO – Early Morning Explosive Event at Kilauea Summit Lava Lake

A rockfall on the east rim of the summit vent within Kīlauea Volcano’s Halemaʻumaʻu Crater triggered a small explosive event at 3:51 a.m., HST, on January 8, 2016. Explosive events like this occur more frequently when the lava lake level is relatively high, as it has been this past week—around 30-35 m (100-115 ft) below the vent rim.

explosion 1816b

Rocks in the vent wall expand as they are heated by the high temperature of the lava lake and become unstable. Sections of these unstable rocks can then collapse into the lava lake.

This Quicktime movie shows today’s rockfall as seen from HVO and Jaggar Museum.

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-1280.mov

When large rockfalls impact the lava lake, they trigger explosive events that propel volcanic rock fragments (tephra) upward. This morning’s event was vigorous enough to hurl incandescent fragments onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, about 110 m (360 ft) above the lava lake surface.

explosion 1816a

This Quicktime movie shows some of these fragments flying toward the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam that is perched on the rim of the crater. Rockfalls and subsequent explosive events occur with no warning, and the resulting fragments of hot lava and rocky debris thrown onto the crater rim pose a significant hazard in this area.

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-1281.mov

 

The January 8, 2016, rockfall and subsequent explosive event littered the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with fragments of molten lava. In this image, you can see what remains of the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook wooden fence, which has been repeatedly been bombarded by spatter and rock fragments since 2008. The blue bucket attached to the fence is one of HVO's tephra collectors so that lava fragments and rocky debris ejected from the summit vent can be quantified and analyzed.  (Click to enlarge)

The January 8, 2016, rockfall and subsequent explosive event littered the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with fragments of molten lava. In this image, you can see what remains of the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook wooden fence, which has been repeatedly been bombarded by spatter and rock fragments since 2008. The blue bucket attached to the fence is one of HVO’s tephra collectors so that lava fragments and rocky debris ejected from the summit vent can be quantified and analyzed. (Click to enlarge)

The 10 cm (4-inch) pocket knife in this image provides scale for one of the larger fragments of molten lava that was thrown onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at 3:51 a.m., HST, on January 8, 2016.

pocketknife

So much spatter was ejected to the crater rim this morning that it is hard to discern one lava fragment from another.

Hawaii Civil Defense Releases Updated Map Pinpointing Dengue Fever Cases

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Friday January 8th at 1:30PM.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported no additional confirmed cases since yesterday.  The total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak remains at 210.  These cases include 190 residents and 20 visitors.

Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 210 confirmed cases, 5 are recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Hawaii DLNR Officer Charged with Sexual Assault

A law enforcement officer for the State Department of Land and Natural Resources has been charged with five counts of sexual assault.

On January 1, a female minor reported that she was at a beach park in Hilo when the DLNR officer approached her while in uniform and sexually assaulted her.

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson

On Thursday (January 7), 39-year-old Ethan Ferguson of Hilo was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Hawaiʻi Police Department continued the investigation.

At 11:50 a.m. Friday (January 8), Ferguson was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. His bail was set at $13,000.

He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (January 11).

DLNR Holds Public Meetings on Banyan Drive and Kanoelehua Industrial Area Future Plans

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold public meetings this month in Hilo to provide information on studies it has commissioned to assist with the Department’s planning for the future of these areas as current leases expire.

Banyan Drive

DLNR leases out state-owned lands in Hilo, Hawai‘i at Banyan Drive and in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area. Revenue from these leases supports important DLNR programs, including those conducted by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Division of State Parks, Engineering Division, Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, and Commission on Water Resource Management.

One of the leases at Banyan Drive has expired and has been placed on a month-to-month revocable permit. Other leases at Banyan Drive and in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area will expire in the next several years.

The public meeting will include a brief presentation on the studies and members of the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.  The studies are available on the DLNR Land Division website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/kanoelehua-and-banyan-drive-studies/  for public review and comment:

Banyan Drive

Goal: Support the Banyan Drive Working Group’s efforts to address the future of Banyan Drive
Objective: Obtain an understanding of conditions, limitations and opportunities for the formulation of revitalization strategies
  • Tourism Market Study – To analyze the tourism industry and determine market demand for a new hotel in Hilo.
  • Sea Level Rise Assessment – To assess sea level rise effects on Banyan Drive parcels.
  • Master Lease Feasibility Analysis – To investigate the feasibility of placing management of Reed’s Bay Hotel, Country Club Condominium, and Uncle Billy’s Hotel under a single master lease.

Kanoelehua Industrial Area

Goal: Improve management effectiveness of DLNR’s Kanoelehua lands
Objective: Obtain an understanding of conditions, limitations and opportunities for the effective management of DLNR’s Kanoelehua lands
  • Market Study – To determine market demand for industrial-commercial uses in the Hilo region for the near- and long-term.
  • Lot Consolidation Analysis – To identify opportunities for consolidating/resubdividing lots to maximize functionality and value for DLNR.
  • Master Lease Feasibility Analysis – To investigate the feasibility and desirability of placing management of DLNR’s Kanoelehua properties under a single master lease.

Both meetings will be held at:

County of Hawai‘i
Aupuni Center
101 Pauahi Street, Suite 1
Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720

  • Kanoelehua Industrial Area – January 15, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Banyan Drive – January 15, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Anyone who is unable to attend the meeting, may download a comment form from the website and send in written comments to the following address.  Please provide your comments by February 1, 2016.

Mail comments to:

Munekiyo Hiraga
KANOELEHUA/BANYAN DRIVE COMMENTS
305 High Street, Suite 104
Wailuku, Hawai‘i 96793

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Lurks Near Surface

In recent days, the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has been at a relatively high level.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This view, looking roughly north-northeast, shows typical behavior, with lava rising into the lake at the distant end opposite the photographer, and sinking all along the base of the crater wall in the foreground and at right. Within this zone of subduction is a site of persistent spattering at the southeast edge of the lava lake, visible at the right edge of the photograph.

Zoomed-in view of the spattering at the southeast corner of the lava lake. The vent wall is overhung in this area.

Zoomed-in view of the spattering at the southeast corner of the lava lake. The vent wall is overhung in this area.

On the morning of January 7 when this photo was taken, the lake was about 35 m or 114 ft below the rim.

Poisonous Dart Frog Found on Oahu – More Common Then Thought

My wife’s cousin Cory Nakamatsu caught a poisonous dart frog in Palolo Valley over on Oahu today and posted the following picture of it to Facebook:

Poisonous Frog on Oahu

Poisonous Dart Frog caught in Palolo Valley on Oahu

After sharing it on Facebook today… I learned that they are not that uncommon here in Hawaii… at least on Oahu:

http://www.explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/BiodiversityForgotten/Wildlife/Reptiles/Frogs%20-%20Poison.htm

Anyone else come across these frogs in Hawaii?