Maku’u Farmers Market Opens Lot for Weekday Park and Ride

I just got the following sent to me by County Councilman Fred Blas’s Aide Gwen Kupahu:

Here! Here!



6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Contact: Paula Kekahuna

Phone: 965-1441

Wordless Wednesday – Seeking “David” From Punaluu in 1937

I noticed this on youtube today and thought I might be able to help the buggah find this guy.


This is from a home movie taken by my great uncle in 1937 on a Hawaii vacation. If you know anything about David, please send me an email at

Some Big Island Firework Laws are a Bit Strange

I didn’t realize you can’t set off fireworks on a street or sidewalk on the Big Island and heck… I give sparklers to my son all the time and on occasion will let him light a fountain!

And why only from 9 at night until 1:00 am?  My son’s bed time is 8:00!  I posted the police reminder below and highlighted things in red that I may have been in violation of at some point in my life.

Media Release:

Police are reminding the public that fireworks may be set off only between 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve (Friday, December 31) and 1 a.m. New Year’s Day (Saturday, January 1). It is against the law to set off fireworks at any other time during the holiday season.

It is unlawful for any person without a valid permit to set off aerial fireworks. Persons who violate this law could be found guilty of a misdemeanor or Class C felony.

Also be aware that it is against the law:

  • to sell or give fireworks to minors
  • for a minor to possess or set off fireworks unless under the immediate supervision of a parent or guardian
  • to throw ignited fireworks at a person or animal
  • to throw ignited fireworks from a vehicle, at a vehicle or into a vehicle
  • to set off fireworks in a vehicle
  • to throw ignited fireworks from above the first floor of a building
  • to set off fireworks above the first floor of a building
  • to set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of a hospital, convalescent home, zoo, animal shelter or animal  hospital
  • to set off fireworks on school property
  • to set off fireworks on a street or sidewalk
  • to set off fireworks in a park or public beach
  • to set off fireworks within 50 feet of a cane field
  • to set off fireworks within 500 feet of a hotel

Persons who violate the above laws could face a fine of up to $2,000 for each violation.

To learn more about fireworks laws on line, go to the Hawaii Revised Statutes at and read HRS 132D-5 and HRS 132D-14.

The employees of the Hawai’i Police Department wish the public a safe and happy New Year.

Big Island Street Lights vs. Mauna Kea Astronomers… Round 2?

I see that street lights and the problems they pose here on the island are finally getting some attention!  The Tribune Herald reports in it’s article today County weighs LED streetlights:

The latest bright idea from Hawaii County’s senior traffic engineer aims to make nighttime driving safer and slash electricity use without blinding astronomers.

More then two years ago I asked what could be done to help improve lighting on the Big Island roads.

I sent Big Island astronomer Andrew Cooper the  following letter on September 8, 2008:

Dear Andrew,

With today’s technology and the High Powered telescopes that you folks have atop Mauna Kea… is it really necessary that the street lights be so dim over the entire island that it makes for driving on the roads dangerous?

Many lives have been lost because of the road conditions on these islands and I’m convinced that lighting at nights is part of the problem.

Any pertinent information would help as I research ways to make these roads safer.

Cooper quickly responded stating:

The streetlights do have an impact on the telescopes.  There is a reason my website is called “A Darker View”, the impacts of light on astronomical observation is significant.  Astronomers come to Hawai’i to  escape the massive lighting found around major metro areas, there are few places in the mainland US unaffected by artificial light.  The enormous amount of electric outdoor lighting has an impact on our lives, our pocket books, on our health and on wildlife.  Many of these impacts are quite negative.  We are in love with electric light and we use it extravagantly.  I am not saying turn all the lights off, we need to consider safety, but better design and better lights can reduce the need for light and increase safety.  Use it where we need it and not everywhere.

Astronomers prefer that the streetlights that are installed be low pressure sodium (LPS), these are the yellow lights installed for all civic lighting in Hawai’i.  These have two big advantages, they emit on a single wavelength allowing astronomers to filter that wavelength out of the data.  They are also far more power efficient to run, emitting more light per watt than competing halide or mercury lights.  This saves
the County of Hawai’i and the taxpayers, who must pay the power bill for all of these lights, an enormous amount of money.

A couple other advantages to LPS, the bulbs last longer and keep a good light output until failure (competing technologies dim with age) and the yellow light output (589nm) is nearer the peak photopic sensitivity of the human eye, meaning we see better with less light and energy.  The situation with respect to lighting type and effectiveness in safety is complex and depends on a lot of factors.

It may be more a case of badly designed and poorly chosen lights.  Many of the lights I do see on the island are older, inefficient designs.  A modern light is much better at putting its light where needed, on the ground and on the road and not all across the neighborhood around it. The differences are primarily in the reflector and lens design, the newer lights were designed on computer optical CAD software that takes
the guesswork out of the equation.  These lights give better
illumination on the road for the same amount of power and light.

Better lights for reducing glare and reducing light pollution are full cutoff types.  I see a lot of the non-cutoff types where glare is a problem, look for a big glass dome hanging below the light fixture, full cutoff does not have this.  Without the full cutoff you see the light, which is bright, but everything else, including the road below is dim in comparison, this is a glare problem.  Full cutoff also has the advantage of not shining in the windows of surrounding homes.

I have felt that many streets on the island, particularly in residential neighborhoods are badly over-lit.  There is quite a bit of research that shows that too much light at night messes with our hormonal cycles needed for good sleep, particularly with melatonin, with a range of health impacts.  Getting county lights out of the neighborhoods and onto the streets and critical intersections would help without increasing the power bills.  But considering the many people who do not understand the
issues, and are in love with light for all the wrong reasons, this is unlikely.

Sorry about the long message, a bit of a pet peeve subject.  But much of the astronomy community, amateur and professional is a little sensitive on this subject.

Andrew Cooper

A couple of days later I posted this:

I drove home tonight along H-130 during the evening time for the first time in a while.  I’ve been thinking about H-130 for awhile and what we can do to make it safer.

H-130 Needs more lighting.

I emailed Andrew Cooper the other day and he gave me reasonings for the street lights on this island  here and here.

While I take his scientific knowledge as a great learning tool… as the layman that I am… I just can’t take this as a reason to why we should continue risking lives here on the island.

I understand the bulbs could be different… I understand it’s a touchy subject to the scientific community…

But when the Scientific Community starts losing family members on Big Island roads due to poor lighting… maybe they will listen?

I’m not saying we need bright lights all over the place… but on a main Highway such as H-130 something needs to be done to improve the lighting… immediately.

Big Dog’s New Year’s Day Resolution 5K Run/Walk Coming up Saturday

"I'm looking for participants for my New Year's Day Resolution Run/Walk - need some volunteers as well. If you can help please shoot me an email." Wayne Joseph

Media Release:

Coming up on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, is the second annual Big Dog’s Resolution Run/Walk starting at 9 am from the parking area of Coconut Island at 9 am.

The 3.1 mile event is free and open to anyone interested in kicking off the New Year in a healthy way.

Keith Aoki from Anheuser-Busch will supply free Vidration sports drinks, while supplies last to those participating in the event and the Big Dog will have post race snacks available.   For more information call the Big Dog at 969-7400…….

Join Big Dog’s Big Island Running Club – FREE membership

Start 2011 with a healthy jog or walk and resolve to make the new year the best ever!

Email the Big Dog at

Top 10 Adventures in 2010… Numbers 4 and 3

Continuing on with my top 10 adventures in 2010 today brings us to adventures 4 and 3.

Coming in at #4 was getting a chance to go out to sea with the US Navy Destroyer USS CHUNG-HOON

At the helm of the USS Chung-Hoon

A group of us got to go out to sea with the sailors of the USS Chung-Hoon on their family day… despite the fact that I don’t have any family members aboard the Chung-Hoon I was well accepted on board.

Playing with toys?

I had no idea that when we were out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that a submarine would submerge next to us… that was pretty thrilling!

This tripped me out!

Like to say thanks to the folks at US Pacific Command for hooking me up with this trip… despite the fact that I got seasick on it and felt like I had sea legs for the next 24 hours!

Coming in at #3 was a Snorkeling trip off the Kona Coast with Fairwind Cruises Hula Kai where I got to use a sea rocket!

The Boat

The sea rocket that I got to use was incredible as it literally propelled me through the water so I didn’t have to use much energy trying to swim.

A "Sea Rocket"

Not only did they feed us breakfast… but they also fed us lunch… which unfortunately for me, kept me out of the water for a bit of time because I didn’t want to cramp up.

Here’s a quick video of what I got to do!


I’d like to thank Fair Wind Cruises for this opportunity of a lifetime!