Governor Abercrombie Goes To White House – Voices Hawaii’s Priorities on President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

Ensuring the State of Hawaii has a strong voice in the national discussion on climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today shared Hawaii’s unique perspective as an island state at the first meeting of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The meeting was held at the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Governor Voices Hawaii’s Priorities on President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

Governor Voices Hawaii’s Priorities on President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

The President established the task force to advise his administration on how the federal government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are currently dealing with or anticipate extreme weather, sea level rise, and other impacts of climate change. This first meeting focused on building climate resilience into efforts to better prepare for and recover from natural disasters. In addition, task force members had the opportunity to share their expertise and experience in implementing climate preparedness measures, and begin to consider recommendations for the President.

Named to the task force last month, Gov. Abercrombie attended along with Deputy Chief of Staff Blake Oshiro and Hawaii State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel. Gov. Abercrombie’s congressional experience (including serving on the Armed Forces Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces and as a senior member on the Natural Resources Committee) and ability to provide insight into the needs of the Asia-Pacific were cited as factors in his selection.

Obama administration officials participating in the meeting included: Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx (pictured), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, and FEMA Associate Administrator David Miller.

 

Shark Kills Man Fishing from Kayak Off Maui

DLNR – BEACH CLOSED AT MAKENA STATE PARK FOLLOWING FATAL SHARK BITE – Victim was kayak fishing off Little Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and County lifeguards have closed waters off Makena State Recreation Area, following a fatal shark bite before 10:20 a.m. this morning in which a man was bit while fishing from a kayak half a mile off a point near Little Beach.

Makena State Recreation Area

Makena State Recreation Area

A companion, also on a kayak, said the man was fishing with artificial lures to attract baitfish when his dangling foot was bit by a shark.

His fishing partner was about 500 yards away when the incident occurred, then paddled over, tied a tourniquet and asked a nearby charter tour boat for assistance. The boat brought the injured man to Kihei boat ramp from where he was transported to the hospital.

Shark warning signs are being posted to advise the public to remain out of the water from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing.

The beaches are open but the public is advised to stay out of the water.

DLNR staff and County lifeguards will continue to monitor the nearshore waters today and in the morning will reassess the area. If no sharks are seen, the area will reopen at noon tomorrow, following state shark incident protocol.

According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, this is the 13th reported shark incident statewide this year, and the 8th on Maui. Over the last 20 years, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year (see http://www.hawaiisharks.org/incidentyear.html), but numbers per individual year are highly variable. There were no reported incidents in1998, and just one in 2008. In 2012, the 10 incidents reported were at the time unprecedented.

“We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui. That’s why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “It is our hope and expectation that numbers of incidents will return to a more normal range in the near future.”

Aila continued, “We offer our condolences to the family of the victim. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

UPDATE: Police say 57-year-old Patrick Briney of Stevenson, Washington died Monday while fishing from a kayak off Maui’s southwest coast. State Department of Land and Natural Resources says the shark bit his dangling foot.

Big Island Police Searching for 20-Year-Old Washington Man Reported Missing

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 20-year-old Washington man who was reported missing.

Alexander Adams

Alexander Adams

Alexander Adams of Lyle, Washington, was last seen January 11 at North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital.

He is described as 5-foot-8, 150 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He may be in the company of 25-year-old Johanna Kibrick of Portland, Oregon.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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

1/30/13 *UPDATE*  According to Oregon Live:

…Souther said no foul play is suspected “at this time” but said that Adams apparently doesn’t have a cell phone and “there’s no way to contact him.

“We do have people who come here to Hawaii that just backpack around and sometimes it takes awhile to track them down,” Souther said.

Kawaihae, the community where Adams was last seen, is near the northwestern corner of the island of Hawaii. Souther described it as a harbor area that is not heavily populated.

“We’re just following up leads as far as the last places he was know to be, using his bank cards and what not,” Souther said.