Feral Goat and Feral Sheep Control Permits Announced

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is issuing permits for control of feral goats in the makai portion — and feral goat and feral sheep in the mauka portion — of the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a (PWW) Forest Reserve, pursuant to Title 13, Chapter 123, “Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting,” §13-123-9, “Nuisance or crop damage.” This program will be conducted on weekends, starting Sept. 28, 2013, and ending Oct. 20, 2013.

DLNR

For PWW Makai (below Mamalahoa Highway), the program will be limited to archery for the first three weekends, followed by one weekend of muzzleloader for feral goats. There is no bag limit on goats. Deboning is not allowed, but quartering feral goats is permissible with skin attached for identification purposes. For safety purposes, a maximum of 50 permittees will be allowed per day.

For PWW Mauka (above Mamalahoa Highway), the program will be limited to archery for the first three weekends followed by one weekend of muzzleloader for feral goats and feral sheep. There is no bag limit on feral goats and non-typical rams. One typical ram can be harvested after two non-typical rams are harvested and checked-out by the same permittee. Whole carcasses (entrails can be cleaned but with attached genitalia on carcass) need to be inspected at checkout. For safety purposes, a maximum of 50 permittees will be allowed per day.

For permit assignments, call the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063. Permits will be assigned from 8 a.m. until slots are filled on Sept. 25 for only one day of the FIRST weekend of the program for either PWW Makai or PWW Mauka. A valid hunting license is required to apply for a permit. A maximum of five permittees will be allowed per call and only one slot per hunter is allowed. Participation for the remainder portion of the program will be on a first-come, first-served basis at the hunter check station on the day of program.

Permittees are to check in at the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a check station between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. and must be checked-out by 6 p.m. Vehicle passes will be given at the hunter check station. Stand-bys will be allowed after noon for the first weekend and as slots become open for the rest of the program.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Offices in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063.

HI-PAL Volleyball Returns to The Big Island

Twenty-three youths aged 10 and under participated in eight two-set volleyball games during the “Click It or Ticket” HI-PAL and Keaukaha Sports “Jus Fo’ Fun” volleyball day held at the Kawananakoa Hall gymnasium in Keaukaha on Saturday, September 14.

HIPAL Volleyball

This tournament was the first HI-PAL volleyball activity in more than 10 years. The next HI-PAL volleyball event is scheduled for September 28 in Kailua-Kona. For further information on this tournament, call Officer Randy Morris at 326-4646, extension 258.

Other HI-PAL volleyball activities are in the works for the remainder of the year.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign aimed at increasing seat belt use and decreasing traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaiʻi Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to always use their seat belts.

 

Free Sports Equipment for East Hawaii Children Sponsored by Neighborhood Place of Puna

Neighborhood Place of Puna is now distributing new and gently used youth sports equipment to East Hawaii children and youth who want to play sports but cannot afford to buy the necessary equipment.

Neighborhood Place of Puna believes that every child deserves the right to play team sports. Our Sports Rescue program takes donations of gently used unwanted or outgrown sports equipment and gives it to East Hawaii children and youth who need help getting the equipment necessary to play sports.

If your child wants to play sports and needs help finding equipment, please call Neighborhood Place of Puna at 965-5550, to find out if we have the sports equipment that you need.

Free Sports Equipment

Neighborhood place of Puna is also still accepting donations of new and gently used sports equipment. Donations can be dropped off at our Pahoa office, 15-3039 Pahoa Village Rd, during business hours: 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday – Friday. Or call 965-5550 to arrange to drop off donations in Hilo.

This program is made possible through a grant from Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation.

Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to help families raise healthy safe keiki by providing families with the tools and supports they need to be successful.

Happy Birthday YouTube Star Lehua! Dolphin Quest Hawaii’s First Second-Generation Dolphin Calf Celebrates 1st Birthday

Lehua the dolphin celebrated her one-year birthday Tuesday (September 17, 2013) at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

My son swimming with one of the dolphins at Dolphin Quest Hawaii

My son swimming with one of the dolphins at Dolphin Quest Hawaii

Last year, Lehua’s incredible birth video touched the hearts and minds of millions after debuting on YouTube.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/6jCJiO75pxo]

The crystal clear underwater footage documented the fascinating first moments of the young calf’s life. Lehua’s mom, Keo, was also born at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, making Lehua Dolphin Quest’s first second-generation calf.

Dolphin Quest Hawaii trainers and some lucky young guests joined in Lehua’s birthday fun and festivities on Tuesday. Lehua was greeted with a chorus of “Happy Birthday”, and a delicious birthday treat. The adorable kids who participated in the event had the opportunity to meet young Lehua while learning about dolphins and ocean conservation. Video of Lehua’s birthday celebration can be seen on Dolphin Quest’s YouTube channel and on their Facebook page in a segment called the “Dolphin Calf Chronicles”.

“Lehua is an amazing ambassador, inspiring guests from all over the world to be passionate about dolphins and their ocean environment,” says Lauren Prutow-McKenna, senior dolphin trainer at Dolphin Quest.

According to Tim Murphy, General Manager of Dolphin Quest Hawaii, “Lehua’s birthday is not only a celebration of an incredible dolphin, but it is also a testament to the top-notch animal and veterinary caretakers who ensure that all of our dolphins are well-loved and well-cared for at Dolphin Quest.”

[youtube=http://youtu.be/DfBsL7D17vs]

Residents of Hawaii and military personnel who would like to wish Lehua “Happy Birthday” in person can enjoy a special 15% discount on select dolphin interaction programs through the end of the year. Reservations can be made by calling Dolphin Quest or visiting the Dolphin Quest Web site.

Dolphin Quest is an international organization known for its creative approach to education, its commitment to ocean wildlife research, its exemplary animal health care and its successful breeding programs. The innovative encounter programs featured at the Dolphin Quest locations in Hawaii and Bermuda promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the oceans.

For more information, visit: www.dolphinquest.com or www.facebook.com/dolphinquest.

Big Island Police Catch Second Man Wanted in Home Invasion Robbery

Hawaiʻi Island police have located the second man wanted and previously charged in connection with a home invasion robbery in the Leilani Estates subdivision on July 24.

Kawika Benny Kahee

Kawika Benny Kahee

At 12:20 p.m. Thursday (September 19), police arrested 30-year-old Kawika Benny Kahee at a home in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision. On the strength of a grand jury indictment, he was charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault, second-degree theft, third-degree promoting a dangerous drug, and drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested and charged with and contempt of court and two counts of no-bail probation revocation. His bail for the remaining offenses was set at $58,000.

He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday afternoon (September 20).

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update

Kahaualeʻa 2 source vent and Puʻu ʻŌʻō:

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is fed from a spatter cone, shown here, on the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor.

The spatter cone is about 8 m (26 ft) high. (click to enlarge)

The spatter cone is about 8 m (26 ft) high. (click to enlarge)

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow extends to the north and northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

From the edge of the flow, where it first reaches the forest, Puʻu ʻŌʻō still appears to tower above the surrounding plain.

From the edge of the flow, where it first reaches the forest, Puʻu ʻŌʻō still appears to tower above the surrounding plain.

Views of Kahaualeʻa 2 flow:

Active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 are scattered over a broad area.

Here, a breakout near the edge of the forest engulfs trees and burns dead foliage.

Here, a breakout near the edge of the forest engulfs trees and burns dead foliage.

This beautiful bubble of glass, about the size of an small orange, adorns the surface of a breakout on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

Note the delicate bubble walls stretched so thin that they grade from the color of honey to transparent.

Note the delicate bubble walls stretched so thin that they grade from the color of honey to transparent.

Big Island Church Offering Animal Blessing Services – Goats, Sheep and Pigs Welcome

The community is invited to bring their pets to Hilo’s Church of the Holy Apostles for the church’s Annual Feast of St. Francis Animal Blessing Services on October 6, at both the 7:30 am and 10:30 am services.  The church is located at 1407 Kapi‘olani Street.

Pet Blessing

“Pets show us unconditional love. The Feast of St. Francis gives us an opportunity to honor that and to honor our pets that give us comfort, satisfaction, and peace,” said Church of the Holy Apostle Rector, the Reverend Moki Hino.

“I love how incredibly open the Church of the Holy Apostles is to all people as well as to all animals; not just cats and dogs, but goats, pigs, chickens, sheep and horses too.  If you can bring it, it’ll get blessed,” said church member, Kim Arakawa.

For more information about the Animal Blessings call the Church of the Holy Apostles at 935-5545.

New University of Hawaii Football Helmet???

Well I wonder what twitter user @BestofNike (Followed by 154,950 followers at the time of this post) meant when they sent out a tweet showing a depiction of a new UH Football helmet.

Is this football helmet going to be worn soon?

Is this football helmet going to be worn soon?

Here is a screen capture of the cryptic tweet:
New UH Helmet Tweet

UH Hilo to Open Pharmacy on Campus, Not-For-Profit Clinic Primarily For Students

Students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo can soon leave Student Medical Services with a prescription filled by a pharmacist for the first time thanks to a collaborative effort from Student Medical Services (a unit in Student Health & Wellness Programs) and faculty from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP).

UH Hilo

Mimi Pezzuto, an instructor at DKICP, has volunteered to work with Heather Hirata at Student Medical Services in order to give students access to better health care. Pezzuto applied to the Hawaiʻi Board of Pharmacy for the clinic pharmacy to get state licensure, and was appointed Pharmacist in Charge in March. An official agreement is projected to take effect Oct. 2 that will allow pharmacy students to take part in patient care.

“This is a grassroots movement, but the goal is to operate as a fully functioning pharmacy,” said Hirata, a board-certified nurse practitioner who has supervised students from nursing programs at UH Hilo and UH Manoa. “Pharmacy students will be able to work alongside nursing students. We’re all in the same field so there are opportunities for everyone to learn something new.”

Pharmacy students have been able to contribute to the clinic in the past by labeling and stocking the medicine cabinets. Now with faculty supervision, they will be able to have direct contact with patients from the beginning of their care.

“I get to roll up my sleeves and get back in the trenches to do what I was trained to do, which is spend time with patients,” said Pezzuto, who teaches a class on Health Care Systems and is a licensed pharmacist. “Because we can take the time to have one-on-one conversations before filling a prescription, I can find out so much more about the other medications they might be taking and have an in-depth discussion about their drug therapy without interruption or pressure to perform other tasks.”

Pezzuto has had a chance to see the clinic in action while setting up the pharmacy with Hirata. She was there when a patient came in in the midst of an asthma attack and they were able to administer medication during her attack.

Another student came in complaining of severe migraines. After a discussion with her doctor, it was determined her headaches may not be migraines, and alternate medication regimens are being examined.

“Those are the kinds of opportunities pharmacists should have but often don’t because of demands on their time,” Pezzuto said. “It’s not often a pharmacist will have access to a patient’s chart. But this is the whole idea of being a clinical pharmacist.”

Pezzuto aims to set up hours at least two days a week talking to patients and helping to determine what they might need. Students are already signing up to give vaccinations with faculty supervision.

The not-for-profit clinic is open primarily to students, but the family planning clinic is open to the general public. It functions in four small rooms on the second floor of the Campus Center. Thanks to federal funding for family planning, patients have a choice whether to use insurance or not, and there’s a sliding scale for medications.

“I hope to bring students here eventually so they can learn the finer details of filling a prescription, from talking to the patient to filing for insurance if they have it,” Pezzuto said. “We also want to give them a chance to practice immunization skills, which will help them when they finish school.”

Pezzuto also is planning a fundraiser concert featuring local students studying under a world-renowned pianist on Oct. 13, with proceeds to benefit expanded student services with the Student Medical Services. She said working at the Student Medical Services gives DKICP another chance to be a part of the University and the greater community.

“We help our students plan several health fairs throughout the year on every major island in the state, and that helps remind us of our purpose, which is to help the community in which we live,” she said. “I’m really excited to find opportunities on campus where we can do the same thing.”


 

Keiki Triathlon Taking Place Week After Ford Ironman Triathlon

­­The Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Hawaiʻi Isle Police Activities League and the Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks and Recreation are once again co-sponsoring the “Keiki Triathlon.”

triathlon

It will take place in Kailua-Kona on October 19, the weekend after the Ford Ironman Triathlon. This event is open to youth between the ages of 7 and 14.

Participants aged 9-14 years will start the triathlon with a 100-yard swim at the Kona Community Aquatic Center, followed by a 3.2-mile bike ride and a 1-mile run within the Old Kona Airport Park complex.

Children 7-8 years old will race half those distances.

Persons interested in participating or needing additional information may call Officer Joseph Botelho Jr. in East Hawaiʻi at 961-8121, Officer Randy Morris in West Hawaiʻi at 326-4646, extension 258, or Darrell Yamamoto from the Department of Parks and Recreation at 961-8735.

The deadline to register is Friday, October 11.­­­­­

Sen. Hirono Takes to Senate Floor, Urges Passage of Bipartisan Bill Promoting Energy Efficiency and Job Creation

Yesterday, Senator Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor in support of a bipartisan bill that would help promote energy efficiency in Hawaii and around the country.

Hirono Touts Hawaii’s Commitment To Sustainability & Energy Conservation As A National Model

Hirono Touts Hawaii’s Commitment To Sustainability & Energy Conservation As A National Model

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act would help states reduce our nation’s CO2 emissions while also saving taxpayers money by making the federal government more energy-efficient and supporting job creation and training in the commercial building design and operation industry. If signed into law, the bill is estimated to create 164,000 new jobs, yield net annual savings of $13.7 billion, and reduce CO2 emissions by 80.2 million metric tons in the next two decades.

“The policies in this bill make significant progress towards reducing energy costs for consumers and businesses, driving innovation, reducing environmental harm, and positioning the U.S. as a leader in clean energy technology and jobs,” Hirono said on the floor.

Hirono noted how Hawaii is uniquely affected by oil prices as the state most dependent on imported fossil fuel and touted Hawaii’s commitment to sustainability as a national model, highlighting how Hawaii received the Energy Services Coalition’s top award for energy efficiency.

“Hawaii has set some of the nation’s most aggressive goals for generating renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency,” Hirono said. “Thanks to the State of Hawaii’s commitment to improving energy efficiency, Hawaii is the nation’s number one user of energy savings performance contracts. In fact, just a few weeks ago the State of Hawaii was awarded the Energy Services Coalition’s “Race to the Top Award” which recognizes the State’s commitment to pursuing energy savings through performance contracting.”

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

Hirono’s full remarks as prepared read below:

Mr. President, I want to speak for a few minutes in support of the bill currently before the Senate, S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013.
Continue reading

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases $236,277,358 in Federal Funds for Honolulu Rail Project

Today, Senator Schatz announced the release $236,277,358  in federal funds for the Honolulu Rail Transit project.  This U.S. Department of Transportation funding will be used to continue building Hawai‘i’s first light rail system.

The very first Honolulu Rail Column 45 (Copyright Iopa Maunakea use with permission only)

The very first Honolulu Rail Column (Copyright Iopa Maunakea use with permission only)

“Federal funding for the rail project continues to flow and we continue to receive assurance from the DOT and the FTA that it is full speed ahead,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “After 40 years in the making, the rail project is now quickly progressing and I will continue to work towards making a rail system in Hawai‘i a reality.”

Senator Schatz serves on the Surface Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Earlier this year, Senator Schatz met with Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Transit Administrator Pete Rogoff to receive their commitment to defend Honolulu rail transit’s funding.

 

Lahaina Bypass Receives 2013 Overall Grand Outstanding Civil Achievement Award

The Kahoma Stream Bridge in Lahaina, part of the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment Project, also known as the “Lahaina Bypass,” received the 2013 Overall Grand Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Hawaii Section, at a ceremony this past weekend.  The ASCE Hawaii Section annually recognizes an exemplary civil engineering project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society.

The new bridge, seen above under construction, utilizes an inverted tier arch design, which places arched support beams below the road surface rather than above.  This design was selected to minimize obstructions of ocean views for motorists and the Lahaina community.

The new bridge, seen above under construction, utilizes an inverted tier arch design, which places arched support beams below the road surface rather than above. This design was selected to minimize obstructions of ocean views for motorists and the Lahaina community.

“The Hawaii Department of Transportation and our Highways Division is honored to receive this very prestigious engineering award,” said state Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto.  “Completion of this bridge was a key component in the first segment of the Lahaina Bypass, giving motorists a new alternate route to bypass the busiest section of Lahaina Town.”

Seen here after completion, the bridge design eliminates the need for foundation pillars below which leaves the Kahoma Stream unobstructed.

Seen here after completion, the bridge design eliminates the need for foundation pillars below which leaves the Kahoma Stream unobstructed.

The 360-foot, two-lane bridge structure, which spans the Kahoma Stream Gulch, utilizes an inverted tier arch design, which places support beams below the road surface rather than above.  This design was selected to minimize obstructions of ocean views for motorists and the Lahaina community.  The unique support beam design also eliminates the need for foundation pillars below the bridge which leaves the Kahoma Stream unobstructed.  Construction of the bridge was completed at an approximate cost of $24.3 million.

The project will now be submitted to the ASCE national competition for consideration against other construction projects nationwide.

Kauai’s South Shore Shearwater Colony Decimated By Dogs and Cats

State urges pet owners to help protect native birds, which aid local fisherman

A large colony of Hawaiian ‘ua‘u kani (wedge-tailed shearwaters) located along a coastal path on the south shore of Kaua‘i has been decimated in two attacks this summer by dogs and feral cats.

Shearwater killed in its coastal habitate. DOFAW photo

Shearwater killed in its coastal habitate. DOFAW photo

Recently, several more freshly killed birds were found in the area, suggesting that the colony is still being hit hard by dogs and cats. At the same time state biologists searching wedge-tailed shearwater burrows in the area known to have been active this year, found that the burrows were now abandoned, many with dead eggs inside.

Earlier, in July and August, more than 80 of the native seabirds (many of them actively breeding) have been found slaughtered in their nesting area. Injuries sustained by the birds showed that they were killed by dogs and feral cats.

“It appears that the entire colony in this area has been severely depleted, and it is likely that very few breeding birds now remain,” said Thomas Kaiakapu, Kaua‘i wildlife manager for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW).

The wedge-tailed shearwater, also known as “matori” to local fishermen, is one of the more familiar seabirds on Kaua‘i, with large concentrations of the birds seen off shore in the late afternoon as they gather to return to nest sites at night. At this time of year, the birds are either sitting on eggs or raising very small chicks, making them particularly vulnerable to dogs and cats.

“Large feeding flocks of matori, or ‘ua‘u kani, help fishermen to locate feeding schools of tuna,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “The birds use tuna to drive their prey (small fish and squid) to the surface where they can catch them. We ask that fishermen speak to their neighbors about keeping their dogs and cats under control so that these important friends to fishermen can survive.”

“There are signs placed along the south coast path asking dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes and their cats indoors. No matter how friendly or docile you think your dog may be, if it gets near a nesting seabird the dog will kill it – it’s as simple as that. We ask the general public to act responsibly in these areas with their pets to prevent similar instances from happening again.”

“While this large kill of shearwaters is particularly alarming, we unfortunately get reports of mass kills of this species every year on the island,” said Kaiakapu. “As these birds breed in dense colonies along the coast, they are particularly vulnerable to dogs that have been let off of their leashes or feral cat colonies located near the breeding areas.”

 

Honolulu Harbor Water Quality Appears to Be Returning to Normal Visual Conditions

Divers completed a survey of Honolulu Harbor in the immediate vicinity of the initial release and found no visible evidence of molasses, Tuesday.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, prepares a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, prepares a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The dive survey covered an area on the bottom of the harbor of approximately 200 feet surrounding the source of the initial spill. The diver investigated the areas under the pier around the pilings and along the seabed out into the harbor.

“The seabed under the wharf and into the channel was observed to be in normal condition, with no pools or visual evidence of molasses,” Kevin Foster, U.S. Fish and Wildlife marine ecology specialist. “The consensus was that the molasses is no longer in the area.”

The dive included a live video feed to the surface where representatives from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service directed and observed the nearly two hour survey.

Water quality appears to be returning to normal visual conditions. Water sampling and testing continues in the harbor and Keehi Lagoon.

Missile Defense System Intercepts Target in Test Off Kauai

The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Pacific Command and sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie conducted a successful flight test today of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system, intercepting a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean.

An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. The Lake Erie-launched missile successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target. (U.S. Navy photo) Click to Enlarge

An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. The Lake Erie-launched missile successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target. (U.S. Navy photo) Click to Enlarge

A complex separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, and flew northwest toward a broad ocean area of the Pacific Ocean. The USS Lake Erie detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched two SM-3 Block IB guided missiles to engage the target.

The first SM-3 that was launched successfully intercepted the target warhead. This was the first salvo mission of two SM-3 Block IB guided missiles launched against a single separating target, officials said, adding that they will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

The test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System, capable of engaging longer-range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles, officials said. This was an operationally realistic test, as the target’s launch time and bearing are not known in advance, they added, and the target complex was the most difficult target engaged to date.

This was the fourth consecutive successful intercept test of the SM-3 Block IB guided missile with the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and the 27th successful intercept in 33 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002.

Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 63rd successful hit-to-kill intercept in 79 flight test attempts since 2001.

8th Annual Moku O Keawe Internatiol Hula Festivital Moves to Hilton Waikoloa Village

With a new location and a refreshed attitude for an upbeat economy, the 8th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival will take place November 7-9, 2013 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Three exciting nights of top international hula competition, an expanded Made-in-Hawai‘i Marketplace and unique Hawaiian cultural workshops make Moku O Keawe a winning choice for the classic Hawai‘i Island resort setting.

Leiomalama Soloman of Beamer Solomon Halau o Po'ohala, last year's MOK solo winner.

Leiomalama Soloman of Beamer Solomon Halau o Po’ohala, last year’s MOK solo winner.

International competition.   Moku O Keawe brings together hālau from Hawai‘i, Japan, Mexico, the U.S. Mainland and elsewhere with high-caliber hula competition in Hula Kahiko, Hula ‘Auwana, and Kupuna divisions, group and solo.  Competition nights feature live music onstage and Mistress of Ceremonies, KAPA radio personality Ka‘ea Alapa‘i.

Halau Na Pua 'Uluhaimalama peforms a hula noho during the 2012 MOKIF competition.

Halau Na Pua ‘Uluhaimalama peforms a hula noho during the 2012 MOKIF competition.

Cultural Workshops.   Essential to the Festival is the element of Hawaiian cultural education through a series of hands-on workshops, presented by the competition judges in their chosen fields of expertise.  Dance workshops include hula kahiko and ‘auwana by pre-eminent Nā Kumu Hula such as Nani Lim Yap, Nalani Kanaka‘ole, Iwalani Kalima, Cy Bridges, Chinky Mahoe and others.  The arts of hula are explored in-depth, with workshops such as lau hala weaving, crafting shell lei, and an excursion to Kalaemano (near Hualālai Resort) with Ku‘ulei Keakealani.

Workshops will also be held.

Workshops will also be held.

Made-in-Hawai‘i Marketplace.  Featuring a wide variety of some of the best products from over 50 Island of Hawai‘i vendors, the new Marketplace at Hilton Hawaiian Village will showcase Hula implements, fresh lei, silk-screened clothing, woven lauhala hats and purses, food products, fine arts, jewelry, fragrance, soaps and more.

Hilton Waikoloa Village

“We are very grateful to the Hilton for reaching out to us with their support,” said Moku O Keawe Board Advisor Sherron Rosenberger “It became clear that we had to make a change in order to keep our Festival going strong and focused on the future.  By hosting everything in one location, the Hilton has provided a way to continue our mission to perpetuate hula, the arts of hula and Hawaiian culture with the local community and our visitors from near and far.”

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts.  For information and tickets to events, visit www.MOKIF.com

Volunteers Sought for 24th Annual Light Up a Life

Hospice of Hilo is looking for volunteers to help with its 24th annual Light Up a Life hosted by Macy’s at the Prince Kuhio Plaza from November 23 to December 24.

Hospice of Hilo honored it's volunteers last week.

Hospice of Hilo honored it’s volunteers

“Each year, during the holiday season, we set up a Tree of Remembrance at each of the two Macy’s entrances in the mall to allow the community to honor loved ones by hanging a personalized commemorative ornament on the tree,” said Hospice of Hilo Volunteer Manager, Pearl Lyman.  She continues, “The ornaments are a symbolic connection with our loved ones and a reminder that they remain alive in our hearts.”

Community volunteers are needed to provide support at the tables from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and are scheduled to provide service in 2-3 hour shifts. “Volunteers are a vital to the Annual Light Up a Life, for over 23 years they have been at the tables helping with ornaments, being caring hearts, listening to stories and honoring the memories of loved ones in our community.  We couldn’t do it without these wonderful people,” said Lyman.

Please call Pearl Lyman at 969-1733 to volunteer your time at any one of the Trees of Remembrance.

Pilot Program Improves Health Outcomes, Suggests Potential to Reduce Health Care Costs

Double-digit improvements in health outcomes are among the results of a recent care coordination pilot program led by Hawai‘i Island Care Coordination Services (HICCS), a joint venture between Ho‘okele Health Innovations and West Hawaii Home Health Services, with the support of the Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community (HIBC).

Beacon CommunitySeventy-eight high-cost, high-risk patients across Hawai‘i Island enrolled in the program by invitation and received, at no charge, the help of a care coordinator Registered Nurse (R.N.) and a Health Coach for one year. Forty-two patients also received, at no charge, Ho‘okele’s iHealthHome in-home health monitoring technology for one year. All patients had complex care needs due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and were high users of emergency departments and inpatient care.

The R.N. worked with each patient to create a service plan to improve their health. They provided ongoing education about their complex conditions, helped patients get access to specialists, and helped keep track of prescriptions and appointments. The Health Coach provided support to make lifestyle changes. The iHealthHome technology enabled the patient to take biometric readings at home such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight; submit the data electronically to the R.N.; track their own progress; log food intake, exercise, and activities; and communicate with the R.N. via video calls.

Data showed a significant impact during the pilot’s 12-month timeframe, including:

  • 36 percent improvement in HbA1c blood sugar
  • 37 percent improvement in triglycerides
  • 29 percent reduction in inpatient hospital admissions
  • 25 percent reduction in emergency room visits

“These results show that care coordination is highly effective, even in a short amount of time,” said Susan B. Hunt, M.H.A., project director and CEO for HIBC. “This new model of care for patients with chronic disease is being tested across the nation.”

“The early successes we’ve achieved on Hawai‘i Island, through this pilot and the others we conducted, indicate the tremendous potential to improve care, improve health and, ultimately, lower costs by combining technology with increased patient education and support,” added Hunt. “There’s pride and accomplishment in seeing how health care in our community can be improved and knowing that this is just the beginning.”

“It was inspiring to watch people’s lives change,” said Dew-Anne Langcaon, Co-Founder of HICCS. “People who were homebound, overwhelmed and in declining health are now hopeful and excited to live life again. They gained confidence in knowing how to manage their health together with their primary care physician, and by the end of the study, most felt empowered to take control of their own plan for wellness. Utilization changes were at or better than similar programs on the mainland. We believe that this model can be replicated and adapted for other communities. With health information exchange systems underway locally and on the mainland, we’re going to see technology and care coordination working hand-in-hand to achieve even greater results.”

This complex care coordination pilot with HICCS was one of HIBC’s nine initiatives to improve health care on Hawai‘i Island: care coordination, care transitions, patient engagement, practice redesign, health information technology, health information exchange, payment reform, wellness, and data collection and analysis. In addition to the HICCS care coordination pilot, additional care coordination pilots were conducted at Bay Clinic, Hāmākua Health Center, and West Hawai‘i Community Health Center.

HMSA, an HIBC collaborator, conducted a limited financial analysis of the 42 patients with health insurance through HMSA. The post-intervention reduction in expensive services like hospitalization and patient’s reduction in the use of the emergency department suggests improvement in patient self-management has the potential to reduce care costs, though the study was not conclusive due to a small sample size and short intervention period.

“Pilot programs such as those led by HIBC provide evidence that innovation in the health care industry can materially impact patients living with chronic disease,” said Elisa Yadao, HMSA’s senior vice president of consumer experience and an HIBC board member. “The collaborative efforts that have taken place on Hawai‘i Island have given us invaluable insights and lessons for the rest of our state.”

Repair Project to Reopen Kolekole Gulch Park Restrooms

Upcoming repairs to the Kolekole Gulch Park sewage system will allow the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation to reopen the park’s restrooms.

My son enjoying himself at Kolekole Park

My son enjoying himself at Kolekole Park

A private contractor will start fixing the park’s septic system on Monday, September 23, and is expected to be finished by the end of November. The Department will continue providing portable toilets until the work is completed and the restrooms become operational.

No permits for camping or exclusive use of the park’s pavilions will be issued until the project is completed, which is currently anticipated to occur on November 29. Located about 14 miles north of Hilo, Kolekole Gulch Park will remain open during the construction phase. Park visitors may continue using, on a first-come, first-served basis, the two small pavilions closest to the ocean.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary suspension of camping and pavilion rentals may cause. It thanks all park users, campers and the general public for their patience and understanding while the important construction work is occurring.

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