Will Hawaii Based Algae Fuel Primarily Be Used for the Military?

Knowing me… I’m probably reading into this completely wrong.  But it does seem a bit strange for us to be focusing so much on “alternative energy” only to just give it up to the military.

Jet fuel and other fuels made from algae are being developed in San Diego. Some of the research is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the Department of Defense.

DARPA has provided $35 million to San Diego-based companies SAIC and General Atomics to pursue the creation of algae-based jet fuel…

Military Jet Fuel Focus:

…The DARPA money for SAIC could total up to $24 million to develop algae based military jet fuel JP-8 that costs $3 per gallon, according to an article on the Web site Earth2Tech.com

…The Web site CleanTechnica.com also noted the interest in algae fuels. It reported, “SAIC says there will be two phases to the project. The first will involve refining the technology and developing lab-scale production capabilities. The second phase will involve the construction of what SAIC calls a pre-pilot scale production facility.”

CleanTechnica.com also stated, “SAIC will do the work at company facilities in Georgia, Florida, Hawaii and Texas. The company will work with a team of industrial and academic partners.”

Here is a recent CleanTechnica article on the Maui Algae Plant.

…While a number of factors still need to be put in place before the first phase of the program can begin, the anticipated start date could be as early as 2011…

However, it appears to me, that it was sold to the State as something else:

This innovative partnership can help move Hawaii one step closer to securing energy independence and achieving our goal of having 70 percent of Hawaiis energy come from clean sources by 2030, said Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle”…

Maui Algae Plant

Maui Algae Plant

Hawaii Agencies Launch Food Safety Program

The State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Farm Bureau have partnered for a three-year pilot RFID program designed to promote food safety by enabling product visibility throughout the supply chain. The Hawaii Produce Traceability initiative uses RFID technology to track fresh produce down to the farm, or even field, level.

The initiative, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers a win-win situation for consumers and participating growers. When a food safety issue arises, product recalls can be enacted within an hour. With traceability down to the field level, growers can localize the impact of a recall to the relevant area, minimizing losses.


Beyond improving food safety, growers, who can participate by either slap-and-ship tagging or usage of a hand-held RFID system, can reap a bounty of other benefits from the program. Gathered data can be used to optimize harvest productivity, strengthen food processing controls, increase cold chain visibility, reduce produce dwell time on shipping and receiving docks, accelerate transportation times between trading partners and improve inventory turns; all this can help increase profit margins in a competitive industry.

Lowry Computer Products developed the first phase of the system, which includes hardware from Motorola and Symbol Technologies, software from Globe Ranger, and UPM Raflatac RFID inlays paired with waterproof labels. Lowry’s own Fresh Harvest tracking solution unifies these components, providing real-time supply chain data including when boxed produce is planted and harvested, what pesticides are used, and when and where RFID-tagged boxes are scanned. All this information is automatically uploaded into a database accessible to both program participants and, via the initiative’s web portal, the general public.

State officials are now planning for the next two phases of the initiative. Enhancements may include RFID-enabled cellphones to enable more farms to participate, and implementing produce temperature tracking to reduce the threat of food spoilage. The program may eventually be expand to cover 5,000 Hawaiian farms.

Funding for the pilot program was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program, and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation.

“The Ledge” Pt. 3: Relating to Taro Security and GMO

My father-in-law is one of the people spearheading this Taro Bill.  I’m not going to get into the debate here about GMO, but I just thought I’d pass along the information about the bill.

“Uncle (dad) shares a little about his life and connection with Kalo.
This video was made to encourage input from the public on House Bill 1663
prohibiting genetically modified taro.”

HB1663
RELATING TO TARO SECURITY.
Genetically Modified Taro; Prohibition
Prohibits the development, testing, propagation, release, importation, planting, or growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawaii.



Rep. Hanohano to Chair Info Meeting on Medical Cannabis Wednesday

Public Safety Chair Faye Hanohano will hold info meeting with experts on medical cannabis, Wed, 10:00 a.m. State Capitol, Room 312.

Hat tip to Georgette Deemer

Here is some of the PENDING legislation:

Senate Bill 418 and House Bill 967:

Amends the term “medical marijuana” to “medical cannabis”; transfers the administration of the program from the department of public safety to the department of health; authorizes a registration fee of $50; establishes the medical cannabis advisory board; provides for the department of health to license producers to dispense medical cannabis.

Senate Bill 44:

Amends the term “medical marijuana” to “medical cannabis”; transfers the administration of the State’s program for the medical use of marijuana from the department of public safety to the department of health.

House Bill 227 and Senate Bill 400:

Decriminalizes possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana and makes the possession a civil violation subject to a fine of not more than $100.

House Bill 305:

Provides the authority, procedures, and licensing, related to the production of industrial hemp in the State.

Senate Bill 589:

Establishes new recordkeeping requirements and establishes penalties; amends and adds definitions; requires physical examination of patient by physician; and increases penalties relating to medical marijuana.



Tomorrow: Informational Meeting on Rat Lungworm… Zsolt Halda Released From Hospital

Hat tip to Richard Ha:

Rat Lungworm Meeting this Saturday, Jan. 31, at noon at SPACE in Kalapana Seaview Estates. We hope to have many well-informed people attending as the purpose of this meeting is informational. Zsolt Halda, who has just been released from the hospital, will be there.

*update*

Jane Whitefield gives us these directions to SPACE, which is hosting the Rat Lungworm meeting mentioned here this Saturday, 1/31/09:

You drive down Hwy. 130 toward Kalapana. When you dead end at the lava, turn left. This is Hwy. 137. Drive toward Kehena and Kalapana Seaview Estates (it’s probably a 10-minute drive and very hilly, but overlooks the ocean – Spectacular!). Turn left into Seaview. Travel up the entrance road until you see the sign on the right that says “SPACE,” with a hand pointing to the left. Follow that to the entrance and parking lot.

She tells us, too, that there is a Yahoo group called Parasites out of Paradise if anyone is interested in learning more.

There is some other good information that is coming out now.

I previously blogged about this here, here and here.

Orgasm Mushroom Featured in Tribune Herald… ‘Shroom Meeting at Lyman Museum

For those of you that have followed my blog, you know about the “Stinkhorn Mushroom” that I featured on my blog here and here that Hawaii researchers allegedly say give women orgasms if smelled.

The Hawaii Tribune shows a picture of one with it’s scientific name here.

They give the name of the mushroom as  Dictyophora mushroom… But in truth, it’s just another stinkhorn.

Here is a time elapsed clip of one growing.  I think this might have something to do with the womens arousal.

The Tribune also mentions that On Monday, Jan. 26, from 7-8:30 p.m., The Lyman Museum will host Don Hemmes, Ph.D., who will give a PowerPoint presentation on, “The Strange and Fascinating Mushrooms from the Hawaiian Islands.”

More here with the picture.

Tomorrow: 1st Annual Bob Marley Day Concert & Agricultural Fair

1st Annual Bob Marley Day Concert & Agricultural Fair

bmdcaf

Sunday, February 8, 2009 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM

Mo’oheau Park and Bandstand Downtown Hilo, HI

Da Music: International Reggae artist Tuff Lion (formerly of Bambu Station & Midnite), Sahra Indio, Ai Pohaku, Big Island Conspiracy, HPP Studio Artists: Kalei’o, Mockmood & Sarah Niau. Special Guest, Nectarina plus Messenjah Selah & Lady Passion from the Virgin Islands backed by the HPP Band.

Special Guest Speaker Reknown Reggae Historian  Roger Steffens.

Bring da family to the FREE Bob Marley Day Concert & Ag Fair.

Da Fair: Food & Vendor Booths, Master Storyteller, Jeff Gere (Honolulu), Supervised Art Activities for the Youth, a Seed Exchange & Farmers Market, CPR/1st Aid Demonstrations, Disaster Preparedness info, Exhibits and Youth Garden Clubs.

Bring a container water provided by the WATERMAN.   Drug Free!  Alcohol Free!  Zero Waste!

Followed by a Digital Presentation of ‘The Life of Bob Marley’ by Roger Steffens at UH Hilo 7:30 PM

For more information contact: Sahra Indio bobmarleyday09@gmail.com

More info on the official myspace page click here

Second Person Now in Coma From Lungworm

I previously blogged about the Lungworm problem that hit Puna here.

I just read the following:

The second person of three who was diagnosed with angiostrongylus cantonensis in Hilo hospital just got taken to Honolulu. Both are in a coma due to extreme brain swelling or meningnoeocephalitis.”

Coming Soon: Seeds of Hope… The Future of Agriculture in Hawai’i

Here is a promo for the new movie “Seeds of Hope… The Future of Agricuture in Hawai’i“.  It was produced by the Hawaii Rural Development Council:

More information on the Hawaii Seed Organization here

Pesticides From Mac Nut Farm Believed to be Linked to Two-Headed Fish

I’ll file this under the strange and weird.  Let’s hope the Mac Nut farms in Hawaii are not using the same pesticides!

Toxic chemical contamination was the likely cause of fatal fish mutations in northern Australia in which thousands of bass larvae spawned with two heads, an expert said Wednesday…

…Tests had excluded the presence of a virus or bacteria, leading Landos to suspect that pesticides from a neighbouring macadamia nut farm were to blame…

More Here

And This Little Piggy Went Wee Wee Into the Bushes

Just got back from feeding the dogs up at the farm. I’m always seeing pigs up there.

If this pig wasn’t pregnant… I swear we would be eating it soon enough.

It’s such a friendly buggah too!

Rat Lungworm Prevention Meeting… The Video

BIVN has now posted a video from yesterdays meeting on the Rat Lungworm disease that recently got three puna residents sick and landed one in an Oahu hospital in a coma.

I also found this copy of a Hawaii Tribune Herald article that was republished on a web forum. (Dave Smith… was this authored by you?)

“Parmarion martensi, a brown slug that can reach about 2 inches in length, can be harmful because the mollusk is a known carrier of a disease-causing parasite, a nematode called angiostrongylus or rat lungworm, that can cause meningitis, pulmonary disease or gastrointestinal illness.

But who goes around eating slugs?

When they hatch, the slugs are very small and can cling to homegrown produce such as lettuce, said Rob Hollingsworth, an entomologist with the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo.

If produce is not washed and inspected thoroughly, there is a chance slugs could go undetected.

The slug was known to be present on Oahu as early as 1996 but its presence was not confirmed on the Big Island until June 2004. Today, say health officials, it seems to be more prevalent on the Big Island.

There were some reports of residents accidentally ingesting slugs on home-grown lettuce and becoming ill, Hollingsworth said.

“The species, we think, is native to Southeast Asia,” Hollingsworth said. “It could have gotten here on imported plants or it could have come from Oahu. I don’t think there is a way to eradicate it at this point.”

There are other types of mollusks in Hawaii, such as the Cuban slug, that can carry the parasite, Hollingsworth said, but the new slug is considered a pest for several reasons, he said.

“This one seems to be adventurous. It climbs on houses and water tanks.” Hollingsworth said. It’s also been found in cat and dog food bowls.

In one instance, a man drained his entire water tank after finding slugs in his water supply.

“The biggest message out of this is you really need to wash your vegetables really well. Getting sick from this parasite is preventable. That really is the primary message,” said Sarah Park, deputy chief for the Disease Outbreak Control Division of the Department of Health.

Jacqueline Hahn, a naturopathic physician whose office is in downtown Hilo, said she has treated eight patients with the parasite over the past three years.

“It’s a parasite that doesn’t complete its life cycle in the human body,” she said. The body attacks the foreign parasite and damage is caused by the body’s own immune response system, she said.

Cortisone can be used to treat those suffering ill effects but there is no known cure, she said.

Hollingsworth said the severity of the symptoms depends on how many nematodes are ingested.

The eight cases had varied outcomes, Hahn said, adding the parasite can cause hives, high fever, extreme rashes, and pain in the skin, eyes, head or joints. She said patients suffered from neurological problems as well.

“The potential for permanent damage is great,” she said, adding the majority of cases seem to be from Puna. “It is definitely a growing problem.”

Hahn stressed the importance of aggressively washing produce, and seeking medical help if these symptoms occur. She said a blood test can determine if the parasite is present in the body.

It is unknown how long the symptoms from the parasite last, Hahn said.

“I’ve seen several patients three years later who are still in pain,” she said.”

State Plans to Poison Wild Honey Bees in Hilo… Eat No Public Honey For Three Weeks

The state Department of Agriculture plans to poison wild honey bee hives in Hilo as an emergency measure to stop a growing infestation of bee-killing varroa mites, and warns the public against eating honey from wild hives over the next three weeks

More Here

Continental Successful Using Jatropha as Jet Fuel

A few weeks ago I blogged about how Continental Airlines was planning to use jet fuel derived from Jatropha to lift off.

Then a week ago I posted the video of the New Zealand jet that took off using Jatropha.

Today, Continental Airlines finally demonstrated the use of it.

“…Continental Airlines on Wednesday became the first U.S. commercial carrier to conduct a demonstration flight powered in part by alternative fuels, though large-scale use of such fuel is forecast to be several years away…”

More Here

Rat Lungworm Lands Puna Resident in Coma on Oahu… Two Other Sick in Puna… Others Uninsured

Just noticed this in the Starbulletin:

Just realized that reader Harry clued me into this the other day. The problem was, he gave me the link to the HFP blog and I generally avoid that blog so I skipped over it casually w/out reading the article in full.

A rare ailment that comes from eating poorly washed local produce has hit three Big Island residents in recent weeks, causing extreme pain and hospitalization.

The ailment, rat lungworm disease, is caused by a parasitic worm carried by slugs or snails…

…Halda said he and a friend, Silka Strauch, who live in Black Sands between Pahoa and Kalapana, have been eating raw vegetables and taking precautions by cleaning the produce with a peroxide rinse.

Siltka Strauch

Silka Strauch

He suspects they may have accidentally consumed tiny larvae of slugs lodged in the deep folds of peppers.

Halda said Strauch came down with agonizing pain, but no one at Hilo Medical Center could find anything wrong with her initially and she was not admitted to the hospital.

“I had to take her home … three separate times,” he said. “No one should have to be turned away.”

Halda said Strauch was unable to walk and had pain so intense that even the slightest touch hurt her.

“You couldn’t even put a sheet on her,” he said.

He said Strauch was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 8, and he was admitted on Dec. 15.

Strauch has been in a coma for several days, he said…

A 24-year-old Puna man was admitted to Hilo Medical Center with a case last week.

She said others have contracted the disease but have not gone to the hospital because they do not have medical insurance

More Here

WASH THAT PRODUCE FOLKS

What Does This Look Like to You? Subliminal County Message?

I was just checking out the “site map” to the Counties website.  I had to laugh when I looked at the background image of it.

It sure looks like a pot leaf in a way.  Especially on the Counties site when there are a bunch of them together to create a background image.

Subliminal County Message?

Subliminal County Message?

Video of New Zealand Jet Fueled by Jatropha

Jatropha is a crop that people on the Big Island have been talking about growing as an alternative energy source. Here is the just released video of the New Zealand jet that was fueled by it.

Snake Reported in Puna… Pictures

Puna resident Tom Lackey recently reported that he called in a snake to the DLNR.  I haven’t been able to find any police reports or other reports, but Tom Lackey doesn’t seem to be one to make up too many stories.

The following is an account he posted on Punaweb and below are some pictures that he sent me:

A very interesting situation happened to me the day after Xmas. One of my neighbor friends [yes, I do have neighbor friends] came thru my back yard to visit and Toast [my devoted dog] announced his visit. He informed me that he just saw a snake slither away from him. I asked, “are you sure?” He said, “hey Lack I lived in Florida for years and I recognize what a snake looks like, it was a brown snake.” He told me that it was coiled up and when he approached it the snake slithered off thru a loose rock wall behind my house. We did what I think any responsible citizen would do and called the police. They said, what ever you do don’t touch it, we’ll have someone out to take a look. Then the operator said that she informed DLNR and they will handle it. DLNR passed it off to the Ag people and we got two calls from them. This all happened within ten minutesMy neighbor and I though Wow, these people are really taking some decisive action here. The Ag guy wanted to babble with my neighbor on the phone and after quizzing him about his ability to recognizing a snake they derivably determined to come to my house and investigate. When these guys showed they were prepared for big game. One was wearing thick rubber boots and heavy leather gloves. Both had snake grabber sticks and an array of snake things to catch a snake. Also within their arsenal they had a video camera. This was too much fun for me so I went into the house and got my camera and documented it all. I informed the Ag guys that I had shot a couple of rats in the last few days and if they wanted when they located the snake I would be glad to dispatch it to a better life. They just laughed and said “stand by with that”

While the four of us were trying to locate the snake, them in snake gear and us in shorts and flip flops my neighbor asked,” if it was a poisonous snake and any of us got bit do they have any anti venom on the island?” There response was “not a drop” it has a short shelf life and they don’t get any snake bites in Hawaii. So I said, ‘so then why all the snake gear if we don’t get snake bites?”

The snake hunt went on for about a hour and the two Ag guys would confer with each other and at one point we heard them say, “ there is a lot of activity here,” when poking thru some dead leafs I asked if they had some snake traps that they could set out and they said, “we have some in Honolulu but none here.”

The snake was about 1 ½ feet long and about 1 ½ inch in diameter, brown in color. It very possibility could be a brown tree snake from areas like Guam and very dangerous. As the Ag guy said, “it most likely is a baby snake and not a big threat.” What I said? Baby snakes come from big mama snakes and we could have a bunch of them here. They laughed and left me their number and said to call if I spotted it again. The Hunt was over and the snake is at large behind my house. I don’t care how many people call the police if I see the snake I’m going to blow it’s head clean off

With the great food source here in Puna we may have a new invasive foe. The Brown Tree Snake.

The Lack

snake1

snake2

snake4

snake6

Today’s KO: How to Render a Coqui Frog Unconscious and Then Bring it Back To Life

Why this person just didn’t kill the damn coqui is the real question?

C&H Sugar Charged With Polluting Waterway

State (California) water quality regulators are charging the century-old C&H sugar refinery in Crockett with dumping sugar, coliform bacteria, mercury and other chemicals into the Carquinez Strait over the last three years, potentially harming fish and marine life


More Here