Search for Possible Missing Kayaker Near Kauai

The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing kayaker approximately half a mile northeast of Kilauea Point on the north shore of Kauai, Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Kauai received a call at 11:11 a.m. from a good Samaritan on shore stating that she noticed an unmanned, adrift yellow kayak in the area.

The Kauai Fire Department located the kayak with dive gear that included fins, a wet suit, paddle and weights aboard. The Fire Department searched in the vicinity of the kayak and found no one in distress.

KayakThe kayak is approximately 15 feet long with the words “KAYAKKAUAI.COM” and “OCEAN KAYAK,” and a single line hanging off the side. There are no other markings on the kayak.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Kauai is actively searching the area.

No one has been reported missing or in distress in the area.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to keep a sharp eye out for anyone possibly in distress.

Anyone with information can help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

Coast Guard Locates Boaters Who Were in Possible Distress Off Kauai

Two boaters who were in possible distress off Kalalau Beach, Kauai, were located safely ashore Tuesday.

The Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received the initial report at 6:30 p.m. Monday from a concerned hiker who observed two people in a small inflatable boat with an outboard engine striking a reef just off the beach. The boaters then attempted to hand paddle their black 8-foot inflatable boat out to sea toward Haena Beach Park. The boaters were observed unsuccessfully attempting to restart their engine. They were later able to restart their engine and returned to shore.

Coast Guard Station Kauai coordinated efforts with the Kauai Police and Fire Departments to check boat ramps and landing areas along the coast. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 10:30 p.m. and began searching. The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island, home ported in Honolulu, arrived on the Napali Coast at 6 a.m. Tuesday to join the search effort.

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to carry safety equipment to include a VHF radio, flares and life jackets. For more information about boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.

 

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Two Boaters Possibly in Distress off Kauai

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying two boaters who were seen in a possible distress situation off Kalalau Beach, Kauai Monday.

The Coast Guard Sector Command Center received a call at 6:30 p.m. from a concerned hiker who observed two people in a small inflatable boat with an outboard engine striking a reef just off the beach. The boaters then attempted to hand paddle their black 8-foot inflatable boat out to sea toward Haena Beach Park.  The boaters were observed unsuccessfully attempting to restart their engine.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Coast Guard Station Kauai coordinated efforts with the Kauai Police and Fire Departments to check boat ramps and landing areas along the coast to verify the safety of the two men, but have yet to find anyone matching the description. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 10:30 p.m. and began searching for the boat, but could not locate them. The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island, home ported in Honolulu, arrived on the Napali Coast at 6 a.m. Tuesday to join the ongoing search effort.

Anyone with information regarding the two boaters’ whereabouts or safety is requested to contact the Coast Guard Command Center immediately at (808) 842-2600.

State Develops Voluntary Guidelines for Pesticides Use on Kauai

The Pesticides Branch of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has completed voluntary pesticide-use guidelines and established the “Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor Program” to provide more information and education on pesticide use on the island.

Good Neighbor Program

Click to view the report

The voluntary pesticide-use guideline will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2013. It will apply to the five agricultural companies mentioned in Kauai County Bill 2491 (Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer, Syngenta, BASF, and Kauai Coffee Company) and assures that adequate buffer zones are in place when restricted-use pesticides (RUP) are applied.

The voluntary guidelines are in addition to federal guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The department used existing federal worker protection standards and increased buffer zones to provide extra protection for residents in areas surrounding these farming operations,” said HDOA Deputy Scott Enright. “We will also be requesting that the Legislature establish 10 additional inspector and pesticide education positions statewide in this upcoming legislative session.”

Under the Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor Program, neighbors who are located nearest to the farm operations will be the primary focus of continuing outreach efforts to provide information on pesticide use and to discuss any concerns.

Under the Voluntary RUP Notice section of the program, the guidelines will register schools, hospitals and medical clinics that are within 1,000 feet of the farming operations so they may receive a weekly schedule of any planned RUP application near their property. Registered entities will also be notified at least 24 hours in advance should there be any change in the weekly RUP application schedule.

The guidelines also require a 100-foot buffer zone between application areas and schools, medical facilities and residential properties, unless the EPA regulations are stricter. By law, all requirements found on the pesticide label must be followed.

The companies are also required to file a monthly report on RUP use with HDOA’s Pesticides Branch. The report will be available for public viewing at the state’s Open Data portal: https://data.hawaii.gov

The program will be assessed after one year.

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.

Coast Guard to Host Open House for Proposed Construction of Rescue 21 Radio Antenna

The Coast Guard will host an open house on the Island on Kauai for the local community to meet representatives, ask questions and voice opinions for the proposed construction of a Rescue 21 radio antenna.

  • WHAT: Hosting open house for the local community of the Island of Kauai.
  • WHERE: Elsie H. Elementary School cafeteria, 4319 Hardy St. Lihue, Kauai, 96766
  • WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

What is Rescue 21?

Rescue 21 Equipment

Rescue 21 Equipment

Rescue 21 replaces the National Distress and Response System, which has been in use since the 1970s. Rescue 21 can more accurately identify the location of callers in distress via towers that generate lines of bearing to the source of VHF radio transmissions, thereby significantly reducing search time. Rescue 21 extends coverage out to a minimum of 23 miles from the coastline. It improves information sharing and coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state and local first responders, and can also identify suspected hoax calls, conserving valuable response resources.

The Coast Guard Rescue 21 Project is proposing to construct a Remote Fixed Facility to provide communications for the Coast Guard’s Sector Honolulu Area of Responsibility. The proposed RFF will be Coast Guard owned and built on the Island of Kauai, on a leased portion of TMK (4) 3-8-002:005, in Hanamaulu, Kauai County, Hawaii. The Coast Guard proposes to construct a 68-foot tall monopole that will include a direction finding antenna mounted on top, three antennas installed at various locations, a mounting pole and a lightening rod. The total height of the monopole and all antennas will be 80-feet. The proposed monopole will be in a fenced compound. Associated equipment at the site will include a prefabricated equipment shelter that would be no more than 15 feet by 24 feet, a 20-kilowatt emergency backup generator with a 300-gallon diesel belly tank.

The Coast Guard has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment that evauluates the potential environmental impacts resulting from the construction of a RFF communications monopole and associated equipment near the community of Hanama’ulu, Kauai County, Hawaii. This draft EA supplements the National Distress and Response System Modernization Project’s Programmatic EA of 1998 and its Supplemental Programmatic EA of 2002. The 1998 PEA and 2002 SPEA are the first level of documents upon which subsequent National Environmental Act analysis and documentation, including this EA, are tiered for individual actions and their site-specific impacts.

This notice announces the availability of the proposed RFF Kalepa draft EA for public review at the following locations:

1) The Lihue Public Library, 4344 Hardy St., Lihue, Kauai, 96766
2) Hawaii State Library, 478 S. King St., Honolulu, 96813

The draft EA is also available for review at the following website: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg4/cg47/NEPAhot.asp.

Persons wishing to provide comments should contact:

Ms. Sherrill Thompson (JR07-0905),
COMMANDANT (CG-9331),
Environmental Protection Specialist – Rescue 21 Program
U.S. Coast Guard
2100 2nd St. SW
Washington D.C., 20593

Via electronic mail: Sherrill.E.Thompson@uscg.mil; Via fax: (202) 475-3916; or by telephone at (202) 475-3175.

Kona and Kauai to Get New WestJet Flights From Canada

WestJet today announced new, daily service between Vancouver and Hawaii Island (Kona) and between Vancouver and Kauai (Lihue), starting this December.

On December 12, 2013, service between Vancouver and Hawaii Island increases to daily from four times weekly last winter. Service between Vancouver and Kauai also increases to daily, beginning December 14, 2013, from three times weekly.

WestJet

“WestJet is the airline of choice for Canadians who love the Hawaiian Islands,” said Chris Avery, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “With seamless connections from many cities across Canada and no need to pick up your bag before you pre-clear U.S. customs in Vancouver, it’s never been easier to take that fabulous Hawaiian vacation you’ve been waiting for.”

In addition to increased service to Hawaii Island and Kauai, WestJet also offers twice-daily service from Vancouver to both Honolulu and Maui.

Flights are now available for sale at westjet.com.

WestJet Vacations has something for everyone, offering 29 hotels and condos situated on Hawaii Island from Kailua-Kona to Waikoloa, and on Kauai from Poipu to Princeville. Hawaii Island is inspirational with its diverse beauty and Kauai, the tropical island of discovery, is visually spectacular. More information on vacation packages is available at westjetvacations.com.

About WestJet
WestJet is Canada’s most preferred airline, offering scheduled service to 86 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Powered by an award-winning culture of care, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Recognized nationally as a top employer, WestJet now has more than 9,000 WestJetters across Canada. Operating a fleet of more than 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 and Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world. This year, WestJet launched its new regional airline, WestJet Encore.

 

Navy – Missile Defense System Completes Successful Intercept Test Off Kauai Last Night

The Missile Defense Agency and Navy sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie conducted a successful flight test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system yesterday, Pentagon officials reported.

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

In the test, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense 4.0 weapon system and a Standard Missile 3 Block IB missile intercepted a separating ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean.

A 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. 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 the SM-3 Block IB missile.

The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space based on guidance from Aegis BMD weapon system and released its kinetic warhead. The warhead acquired the target re-entry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target.

Initial indications are that all components performed as designed, officials said, and program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

Last night’s event, designated Flight Test Maritime 19, was the third consecutive successful intercept test of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system and the SM-3 Block IB guided missile, and the 25th successful intercept in 31 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002.

In this image provided by the US Navy a ballistic threat target missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, Saturday Nov. 1, 2008 enroute to an intercept over an open ocean area northwest of Kauai. The target missile was successfully intercepted by a Standard Missile - 3 (SM-3) launched from the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton. However a second threat target missile was not successfully destroyed by the USS Hopper according to the Navy. (AP Photo/US Navy)

In this image provided by the US Navy a ballistic threat target missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, Saturday Nov. 1, 2008 enroute to an intercept over an open ocean area northwest of Kauai. The target missile was successfully intercepted by a Standard Missile – 3 (SM-3) launched from the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton. However a second threat target missile was not successfully destroyed by the USS Hopper according to the Navy. (AP Photo/US Navy)

Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 59th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 74 flight tests since 2001, officials said.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The MDA and the Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.

Organic Chemical Found on Walls of Kauai Water Tank

Department of Health

Recent samples taken from the inner wall of a Princeville water tank, part of a private water System on Kauai, have been confirmed to contain the organic chemical polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The samples were tested as part of an ongoing investigation to determine a source for contamination previously announced in December of last year.

Intense and regular testing has confirmed that the community’s drinking water remains safe. However, the source of the contamination remains unclear. Efforts to remove the contamination are advancing under the Department of Health’s supervision.

PCBs do not dissolve well in water. Extensive monitoring performed on the drinking water distribution system has determined that the chemical is not in Princeville’s drinking water. Water served to the public continues to be safe. “The Department continues to sample Princeville drinking water.

We have confirmed that PCBs are not reaching people’s homes,” said Gary Gill, Deputy Director for Environmental Health. “Our Safe Drinking Water Branch is working closely with Princeville Utility Company to assure that their work to fix this problem will continue to protect the public.”

On December 14, 2012, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that contaminants had been found in a water reservoir in Princeville, Kauai.

DOH and the Princeville Utilities Company Inc. (PUCI), owner and operator of the private Princeville water system, have taken immediate action to maintain the quality of the water to protect the health of residents who use it. The water system serves a population of about 2,200 people on Kauai’s north shore.

On March 14, 2013, DOH learned that scrapings from the inner wall of the Princeville water tank were confirmed to contain PCBs. Aroclor 1254, one component of PCBs, was found at 2600 parts per million (ppm). Another component, Aroclor 1260, was also found at 2100 ppm. The caulking on the outside of the tank was also tested and was found to contain PCBs.

Concrete caulking compounds containing PCBs were sometimes used in expansion joints in concrete structures erected prior to 1980. The Princeville water tank was built in 1971. Commercial production of PCBs ended in 1977 because of health effects associated with exposure. In 1979, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of PCBs, however, PCBs may still be present in many pre-1979 products.

PUCI, with DOH approval, has decided to take the tank out of service to clean it. PUCI will remove an oily residue from the inner tank wall to help ensure that the chemicals do not leach into drinking water.

PUCI will install three new temporary 20,000 gallon water tanks to bypass the 1.5 million gallon tank.

During the bypass operation, residents will be urged to conserve water.

For more information on PUCI’s mitigation measures, contact Mike Loo of PUCI at (808) 826-6100.

The DOH has directed PUCI to continue weekly water testing to determine if PCBs are present in the distribution system and in sample water skimmed from the tank water surface. These samples are sent to CalScience Laboratory in California for testing; the CalScience Laboratory is certified by the DOH to run PCB analyses.

The DOH is also conducting concurrent monitoring twice per month to ensure that PCBs have not entered the drinking water distribution system.

The federal and state Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PCBs in drinking water is 0.5 parts per billion at the compliance sampling point, which is immediately after the 1.5 million gallon water tank. This standard is set to avoid health risks based on a lifetime of consuming water containing that level of contaminant. PCBs are a group of organic chemicals formerly used in the United States in hydraulic fluids, plasticizers, adhesives, fire retardants, and de-dusting agents. To date, the Princeville water system is in compliance with federal and state PCB standards for drinking water.

Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser – “It’s Not About Eating The Corn” (Thoughts on GMO)

Sen. Gary Hooser

It’s not about eating the corn.

Not for me anyway.  The decision to eat or not eat the corn is only a small reason I support the labeling of genetically modified foods and hold deep reservations about the industry as a whole.

People on my island are getting sick. Many believe their sickness is being caused by the secondary and cumulative impacts connected to the growing of genetically modified organisms.

Yet when I’ve asked these companies directly and officially in writing to disclose what chemicals and in what quantities they are spraying, the industrial agrochemical GMO companies on Kauai have refused to do so.

For me, that alone is enough to keep me from buying their products or supporting their industry,  and to support full labeling requirements.
63 countries around the world including all of Europe, Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand require mandatory labeling of GMO products. Some countries have banned these products completely.

Many questions exist and many doubts persist. There are valid health concerns ranging from allergen sensitivities to hormonal disruption to cancer, related to the GMO’s and to the pesticide spraying that accompanies them.

There are concerns about the globalization and corporate ownership of the worlds food supply.  There are ethical and moral questions pertaining to the concept of corporations owning patents on living organisms both plant and animal, and to the increased diminishment of bio-diversity.  All valid reasons consumers may not want to buy these products and thus the need to require labeling.

For me, it’s personal.

Kauai is ground zero in the GMO industry.  These industrial agrochemical operations dominate the landscape of Kauai’s west side and are now moving into the southern and eastern land as well.  The fields of mostly genetically modified corn not intended for human consumption grow on approximately 12,000 acres of prime farmland stretching from the base of the mountains down to within just feet of the pristine ocean waters.

These crops are subject to spraying with toxic pesticides up to 6 days a week.

Over 200 residents of WaimeaValley have filed suit claiming negative impacts from pesticide laden dust blowing into their homes and onto their bodies.  Biologists estimate over 50,000 sea urchins died last year in near shore west-side waters.

People in all parts of Kauai County are growing increasingly concerned about the impacts that result from these companies spraying their fields with toxic and experimental chemicals that then flow into streams and near shore waters and cling to the dust which blows daily into neighborhoods and schools.

Yet these agrochemical companies, who are required by law to keep records of their pesticide use, tell me blithely to go elsewhere for the data.

About half the land used for GMO production on Kauai are public lands upon which zero property tax is paid.  But they refuse to disclose to the public what they are growing or what they are spraying on these public lands.  These large transnational corporations transfer their end products to related subsidiaries, benefit from Enterprise Zone and other GET exemptions and consequently pay zero GET tax on the products they produce.

State law and terms of the public lands lease/license require compliance with Hawaii’s environmental review law Chapter 343HRS, yet no documentation demonstrating compliance exists; no exemption declaration, no environmental assessment and no environmental impact statement.

Growing genetically modified organisms, using experimental pesticides and spraying a wide array of restricted and non restricted pesticides on a mass scale have impacts on our island, our health and our environment.  There are direct impacts, secondary impacts and cumulative impacts but we don’t know what those impacts are because they have never been properly evaluated – and the companies in question won’t even give us the information needed to make a proper evaluation.

So yes, I support labeling. Absolutely.

Labeling, mandatory disclosure and a permitting process that requires a comprehensive review of the significant environmental and health impacts to our island and our community caused by this industry – I support them all, because as you can see this is about much more than just eating the corn.

Gary Hooser
Member Kauai County Council – Former Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control for State of Hawaii – Former Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader

 

Video, Pictures and Results From the Hanalei Sand Festival

The Hanalei Sand Festival was held on August 11th over on Kauai.

Here is a short video highlighting some of the festival:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/rS9csiOFWLU]

Here are a few pictures from the festival… more pictures available here: Hanalei Sand Festival

Here are the results:

Click for larger image

Hawaii Department of Transportation Seeks Public Input on Regional Long-Range Land Transportation Plans for the Islands of Maui/Molokai/Lanai, Hawaii and Kauai

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) will be updating the Regional Long-Range Land Transportation Plans (RLRLTPs) for the islands of Maui/Molokai/Lanai, Hawaii and Kauai and is asking the public to participate.

The RLRLTPs define land transportation goals and needs for each region and have not been updated since the late 1990’s. Since then, the state of Hawaii has experienced significant changes in population, development, and travel needs.

“One of the key elements of this development process is community involvement,” said HDOT Director Glenn Okimoto. “The HDOT believes in effective community involvement to plan for Hawaii’s future land transportation, and thus the HDOT is moving forward with working with the citizens of Hawaii.”

The HDOT will be holding public meetings in Wailuku, Kona, Hilo, and Lihue in February and March to introduce the plans and receive input from the public. The updated RLRLTPs will be incorporated into the Statewide Long-Range Land Transportation Plan (SLRLTP), which is being developed concurrently. The SLRLTP will also incorporate the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (ORTP 2035), which was just completed by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization. The SLRLTP will embrace the overall values of the people of Hawaii and guide land transportation policy and programs within the state through the year 2035.

Once the drafts of the SLRLTP and RLRLTPs are developed later this year, another round of public meetings will be held on the neighbor islands to receive input on their respective RLRLTPs as well as the SLRLTP, and on Oahu to discuss the SLRLTP. These meetings, in coordination with other outreach efforts, will ensure that all of Hawaii’s communities have an opportunity to participate in the development of the plans.

For more information, visit www.hawaiilongrangeplan.com or call the HDOT’s Public Affairs Office at 808-587-2160.

Upcoming public meetings schedule:

  • Wailuku, Maui, Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 5:30-7:30 PM, J. Walter Cameron Center, 95 Mahalani Street, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
  • Kona, Hawaii Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 5:30-7:30 PM, Kona Outdoor Circle 72-6280 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
  • Hilo, Hawaii Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 5:30-7:30 PM, Puueo Community Center

Dolphins “Surf” on Humpback Whales Off of Kauai

Many species interact in the wild, most often as predator and prey. But recent encounters between humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins reveal a playful side to interspecies interaction.

In two different locations in Hawaii, scientists watched as dolphins “rode” the heads of whales: the whales lifted the dolphins up and out of the water, and then the dolphins slid back down. The two species seemed to cooperate in the activity, and neither displayed signs of aggression or distress.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/lC3AkGSigrA]

Whales and dolphins in Hawaiian waters often interact, but playful social activity such as this is extremely rare between species.

Commentary by Eric Toulon on Former Garden Island Publisher Scandal

Aloha Damon,

Got a big kick out of your article about Cynthia Schur being promoted.

In 1996 a con man named Michael James Burns, Jr. came to Kauai and ran numerous cons including at Hawaii’s two largest banks, and by 1998 he was convicted and sentenced to continuous prison for five years, given partial furlough in late 1999 where he created Aspen Venture Group, unrestricted furlough in early 2000 where he was hired by the directors at Grove Farm, one of whom was a close associate of Ms. Schur’s husbands Barry’s good friend Gary Baldwin named Robert Mullins.

Mr. Baldwin became quite influential in local politics after Iniki as a result of his close relationship with Senator Dan Inouye.

During Burns extensive con spree the newspapers mentioned a Michael Barnes as running a fairly extensive crime spree around the same time as Burns and the same thing as Burns but nothing about Burns himself.

This was also around the same time that Baldwin was jumping all over Schur as a result of an article that Gary Hoosier wrote skeptical to the need of the creation of the Hawaii Tourism Authority that Baldwin appears to have been quite instrumental in creating, as a result of Hawaii’s prolonged economic malaise, that started primarily on Kauai as a result of the closed hotels following Iniki.

In the immediate aftermath of Iniki there was a strong push to reopen the hotels that stopped, around the same time that Baldwin started getting involved in the Yukimura Administration.

As a result of the pressure Hoosier left the Garden Island, and appears to have been replaced by former attorney Sam Blair, who wrote an article the following year about how the Kauai ethics committee looked into the relationship between A&B director Charlie King and Planning Commissioner Baldwin.

2002 must have been a bad year for Baldwin, first withdrawing from the HTA for “health” reasons, shortly after a scalding audit by Marion Higa, followed by his being picked up as a result of an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Shortly thereafter Ms. Schur is transferred to California.

In 2006, after I found out about Burns, and then Foley, I contacted the doctor who filed criminal charges against Baldwin and in late 2008 I received them.

After Kusaka nominated Baldwin to the Kauai Planning Commission he said on his application that he had gotten here thirteen years earlier, or in 1983, when the reality is he was last heard of in Colorado, in January 1985, where his crimes were big news particularly in Aspen, where he had been an advisor at John Denver’s Aspen Colorado Windstar Foundation.

That was the same year Burns was starting his career in wines catering to shops and restaurants a number of which were in Aspen Colorado.

Aspen Venture Group, legitimate name, or con man humor? I’m sure it’s legit!

And by the way, pigs fly!

And if you’re a reporter, and Cynthia Schur is your editor, don’t publish anything derogatory about the endeavors of con men!

Take care,

Eric Toulon

Virgin Airlines Coming to Honolulu and Neighbor Islands via Codeshare Agreement

More good news for the islands tourism industries.  Virgin Airlines is going to be flying here soon:

Virgin said on Friday it would place its airline code on Hawaiian’s flights from Sydney to Honolulu, as well as connecting services to surrounding islands of Maui, Kauai and The Big Island.

“Hawaii is a key tourist destination and this agreement will take us one step closer to obtaining global flight coverage for our guests,” Virginchief executive John Borghetti said in a statement.

The codeshare services start on October 31, 2011.

More here: Virgin Australia Spreads its Wings to Honolulu

Alaska Airlines to Expand to Kauai and the Big Island Beginning March

Alaska Airlines announced today that it would expand its schedule starting daily, nonstop service from Oakland and San Jose, Calif., to Lihue, on the island of Kauai, and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii starting March 12, 2012.

The airline has previously served the markets with three flights a week between San Jose and Lihue and between Oakland and Kona and four flights a week from San Jose to Kona and Oakland to Lihue.

“We are really excited to now offer daily service from San Jose and Oakland to three Hawaiian Islands,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska’s vice president of marketing. “Going to seven flights a week from both San Jose and Oakland to Kauai and Kona – along with our existing daily service from both cities to Maui – makes it more convenient than ever for Bay Area travelers flying to the Hawaiian Islands.”

To celebrate the new service, Alaska Airlines is offering one-way fares of $179* on flights from the Bay Area to Lihue and Kona and to Kahului on the island of Maui, which the airline serves from Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 3 for travel from March 12 through June 9, 2012. Fares are for travel Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to Hawaii and for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from Hawaii. Blackout dates apply. See terms and conditions below for information about all fares. A complete list of fares and days of travel is available at www.alaskaair.com or by calling 1-800-ALASKAAIR (800-252-7522 or TTY/TDD line 800-392-0228).

Summary of new service:

        Date   City pair      Departs    Arrives    Frequency

        Mar 12 San Jose-Lihue 8:50 a.m.  11:25 a.m. Daily

        Mar 12 Lihue-San Jose 1:45 p.m.  10:00 p.m. Daily

        Mar 12 Oakland-Lihue  7:35 a.m.  10:05 a.m. Daily

        Mar 12 Lihue-Oakland  12:25 p.m. 8:45 p.m.  Daily

        Mar 12 San Jose-Kona  7:25 a.m.  9:50 a.m.  Daily

        Mar 12 Kona -San Jose 2:00 p.m.  10:10 p.m. Daily

        Mar 12 Oakland-Kona   11:55 a.m. 2:20 p.m.  Daily

        Mar 12 Kona-Oakland   3:20 p.m.  11:25 p.m. Daily

        Times based on local time zones.

Why Can’t the County of Hawaii Have Roadside Pick Up of Garbage?

The Big Island does not have curbside pick up of garbage and we have been having a major problem with illegal dumping going on.

As the Big Island grows, I would think we would start thinking more about having the county provide garbage pick up in at least some parts of the county.  A truck could drive by an area once a week and pick up bags by residences that don’t have the means to take their opala to the transfer stations.

Kauai has it (http://www.kauai.gov/Government/Departments/PublicWorks/SolidWaste/RefuseCollection/AutomatedRefuseCollection/tabid/359/Default.aspx)

Kauai County Website

Maui has it (http://www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?NID=763)

Maui County website

And of course Oahu has it (http://www.opala.org/solid_waste/curbside.htm)

Oahu County website

So my question… why can’t the Big Island have it provided by the County?

Disney Cruise Line to Come to the Islands of Hawaii

Disney Cruise Line is coming to Hilo on the Big Island  as well as the other islands!  I noticed this about a week ago and finally it has been confirmed by Lee Hopkinson of HONBLUE.

My son has been begging to go back to Disneyland since we went there a couple summers ago!

I wonder if they would offer just an inter-island cruise ever?

Series of Puwalus Look Toward Improving Fishing

More good news for the fishing industry:

Throughout the Hawaiian islands fishermen, Native Hawaiians and the public are coming together to share their knowledge of the sea. These statewide puwalu (unions), hosted by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, are aimed at developing best practices in the marine and fishing communities based upon traditional resource management systems.

Kicking-off on Moku O Keawe (the Big Island) with stops on Lanai, Maui, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, the series delves into the subjects of adaptive management and regulation, code of conduct, community consultation, local and visitor education, and criteria necessary to be eligible to make decisions regarding natural resource management.

The findings will be presented to WPRFMC members and be used to implement the council’s Hawaii Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan, which includes enhanced community involvement in the fishery management decision making process.

The series of puwalu are just part of the WPRFMC provision to support and sustain indigenous and other fishing communities in the U.S. Pacific Islands. The council was established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, which was reauthorized in 1996 as the Sustainable Fisheries Act and most recently reauthorized in 2006…

…Joining the council in this endeavor were the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, the State of Hawaii, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and a number of other community organizations throughout the state…

More here: Series of Puwalus Look Toward Improving Fishing

The Hanapepe Massacre – September 9, 1924

Today was the first time I have ever heard of the Hanapēpē Massacre that happened back in 1924 on this date in history.

The Hanapēpē Massacre (also called the Battle of Hanapēpē since both belligerents were armed) happened on September 9, 1924, toward the end of a long-lasting strike of Filipino sugar workers on Kauai, Hawaii, local police shot dead nine strikers and fatally wounded seven; while strikers shot and stabbed three sheriffs to death and fatally wounded one, a total of 20 people died. As reprehensible as it may appear in retrospect, the incident did not arouse contemporary public censure nor bring into question the legitimacy of the coercive agents or their actions. The massacre brought an end to armed protests in Hawaii.

More Here