Video – Dolphin Born Yesterday at Dolphin Quest Hawaii Hilton Waikoloa Village

A baby dolphin was born yesterday (Monday, September 17, 2012) at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Keo and female calf- born Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 at 5:10pm.
Video by Mike Peterson, Dolphin Quest Hawaii

It’s the first baby for proud dolphin mom, 12-year-old Keo. Dolphin Quest trainers were in the water during the dolphin birth to observe and comfort the new dolphin mom. Dolphins Pele (the new baby’s grandmother) and Noelani (the baby’s aunt) were also in the Dolphin Quest lagoon to keep Keo company.


The baby, a female calf, and mom are both well and wonderful. The baby dolphin began nursing within four hours of birth. About 50 people gathered around the Hilton’s Dolphin Quest lagoon to witness the rarely-seen event. Keo was in labor for approximately one hour.

The first 30 days of a newborn dolphin’s life are the most critical. Dolphin Quest trainers will continue round-the-clock watch over the pair, recording nursing and respiration rates, and making sure that Keo is well-fed and hydrated. Over that period, Keo’s new baby will be introduced to the other nine dolphins at Dolphin Quest Hawaii. After the initial 30 day care period, trainers will select a name for the new baby girl.

Visitors can see the new baby swimming with mom at Dolphin Quest Hawaii at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Keo’s calf is the 18th dolphin baby and the first second-generation calf to be born at the conservation and education-dedicated marine park since Dolphin Quest opened in 1988.

U.S. EPA Awards Hawaii Over $20 Million to Improve Water Quality, Protect Public Health / Hundreds of Millions in Funding Provided to Department of Health Since 1990

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Hawaii Department of Health a $10,946,000 million grant for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and a $9,125,000 million grant for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for water pollution control and drinking water infrastructure projects.

The Department of Health will use the funds to provide low-cost loans to the state’s counties for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades. In Hawaii, most of the infrastructure for wastewater treatment is along the coast and funding will assist in making improvements and adaptations to aging systems and those potentially impacted by rising sea levels from climate change.

“EPA is continuing its investment in Hawaii’s water infrastructure,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our goal, along with the Department of Health, is ensure that Hawaii has safe, reliable drinking water and proper wastewater treatment.”

The EPA has awarded $282 million in federal funding for Hawaii’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program from 1990 to the present. Every year, more funds become available as the principle, interest and fees are repaid to the program. Hawaii’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund reached $611 million last year, with a total of 74 wastewater treatment projects funded statewide totaling $509 million. The funds are used for a wide variety of water quality projects, including nonpoint source pollution control, watershed protection or restoration, improving water and energy efficiency, and traditional municipal wastewater treatment projects.

The Hawaii Drinking Water State Revolving Fund totals $192 million and the Hawaii Department of Health has issued 45 loans totaling $124 million. Funds to the program also support projects such as capacity development, sanitary surveys, drinking water operator training and technical assistance.

Forty years ago, when the federal Clean Water Act was made law, Congress charged a fledgling EPA with the goal of making the nation’s waters “fishable and swimmable.” Achieving this goal requires communities to make large investments in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The state revolving funds are EPA’s primary tools for helping communities meet their continuing and significant water infrastructure needs. Each state maintains revolving loan fund programs, capitalized by the EPA, to provide low cost financing for water quality infrastructure projects.

Contact: Dean Higuchi, 808/541-2711,

Ulupono Initiative, SolarCity Partner to Invest $15 Million to Finance Local Solar Power Projects

Ulupono Initiative, a for-profit impact investment firm, is investing a total of $15 million over the next year to finance SolarCity solar power projects in Hawai‘i. The partnership is expected to increase Hawaii’s solar power generation by approximately five percent, and can be expanded over time.

“Ulupono is investing in this partnership with SolarCity to bring affordable solar power to local customers that can help them manage their rising utility bills,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative. “We see SolarCity as a strong, nationally-recognized partner with a world-class supply chain that is committed to hiring locally, and is well-positioned to help further our work to decrease Hawai‘i’s dependence on outside sources for the state’s energy needs.”

“We’re truly excited about this collaboration, which will provide local financing to help customers in Hawai’i protect themselves from rising electricity costs through clean, homegrown energy provided by SolarCity’s local workforce,” added Jon Yoshimura, director of government affairs for SolarCity. “Solar makes sense in Hawai’i and the partnerships with Ulupono Initiative will make it more affordable and accessible.”

“As we work to accelerate renewable energy in Hawai‘i, we’re identifying ways to use available incentives to help attract more institutional capital to innovative projects like these,” said Murray Clay, managing director of Ulupono Initiative. “Our hope is that this will catalyze others to replicate this structure. We believe this can expand solar development in Hawai‘i to increase renewable power generation to help meet the State’s energy goals.”

About Ulupono Initiative

Ulupono Initiative LLC is a for-profit impact investment firm that strives to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawai‘i by working toward solutions that create more locally grown food, increase clean renewable energy production and reduce waste. For more information about Ulupono Initiative, please visit

About SolarCity Hawai’i

SolarCity® provides Hawai’i homeowners, business and government organizations cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills from its local operations center in Mililani. The company makes it simple for customers to lock in lower, long-term rates for clean energy by providing everything from permitting and installation to ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Additional information about the company’s operations in Hawai’i is available on the Web at

Big Island Company to Use Chinese Moon Lander for Space Research

A cooperative deal has been inked between a U.S. group and China to use that country’s moon lander to conduct astronomical imaging from the lunar surface.

The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) of Kamuela, Hawaii has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Beijing-based National Astronomical Observatories (NAOC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A signing ceremony took place in Kamuela on Sept. 4.

Space engineers have started work on China’s lunar rover, one aspect of a multi-pronged Moon exploration program.
CREDIT: Shanghai Aerospace System Engineering Institute

The deal is the first such U.S.-China collaboration centered on using China’s Chang’e-3 moon lander now being readied for launch next year.

Dedicated to astronomical research and public education, China’s NAOC hosts the Lunar and Planetary Research Center and is the institute responsible for the ultraviolet lunar telescope to be carried onboard the Chang’e-3 lander. That instrument will be operated by the China National Space Administration’s Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. [Gallery: China’s Moon Photos by Chang’e 2 Lunar Probe]

The Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2 lunar orbiters were launched by China in 2007 and 2010, respectively. The most recent orbiter cranked out a detailed map of the moon’s surface, including the landing zone picked for the rover-carrying Chang’e 3 lander — Sinus Iridium (Bay of Rainbows).

Natural progression

“I’ve been visiting China observatories and astronomy facilities like NAOC for about 15 years, so this memorandum of understanding has been a natural progression,” Steve Durst, ILOA founding director, told

Steve Durst, founding director of ILOA and Jun Yan, Director General of China’s NAOC, shake hands after signing agreement on September 4 to collaborate on using future moon landers to carry out science duties from the lunar surface

This science collaboration will be part of a mission that will conduct the first soft controlled landing of any spacecraft on the moon in almost 40 years, Durst said in a press statement. It will be the first ever program to conduct astronomical imaging from the moon’s landscape, he said.

The ILOA co-sponsors with its Space Age Publishing Company affiliate a number of educational initiatives, international forums to provide increased global awareness of space science, exploration and enterprise, Durst said.

Forums are held in Silicon Valley, Canada, China, India, Japan, Europe, Africa, Hawaii, Kansas and New York. Current plans, Durst said, are for expansion to South America, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Antarctica through 2014.

“We’re optimistic that resulting Space Age USA-People’s Republic of China -international interaction should be very productive for all,” Durst said. The deal struck involved quite an effort, he said, calling it “hopefully quite significant and historic.”


Candidate Forum Tonight at Kealakehe High School

The public is invited to a candidate forum for candidates for State Senate and State House on Tuesday, September 18 at Kealakehe High School.  The forum starts at 6 p.m. sharp, with Kealakehe High School selling food as a fundraiser starting at 5:15 p.m.    The public is invited to help Kealakehe High School by taking part in their fundraiser.

Candidates for office include for State Senate District 3, Kona,  Senator Josh Green and Jeff La France; for State Senate District 4, North Kona through Waikoloa and Hamakua, Senator Malama Solomon and Kelly Greenwell; for State House District 6, North Kona, Nicole Lowen and Roy Ebert; and for State House District 5, South Kona and Ka’u, Rep. Denny Coffman and Dave Bateman.

The moderator is Sherry Bracken of Mahalo Broadcasting (LAVA 105 and KKOA) and Hawaii Public Radio.

The forum is sponsored by Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Hawaii Island Board of Realtors, Kealakehe High School, Mahalo Broadcasting/LAVA 105 radio, the online news site, West Hawaii Today, Kealakehe High School, and Rotary of Kona.

It will also air live on LAVA 105.3 fm on Tuesday, September 18, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.  The public may submit questions to

Other candidate forums coming up in this series include a Mayor and County Prosecutor Forum on Monday, October 1, at 6 p.m. at Kealakehe High.  Incumbent Mayor Billy Kenoi and his challenger, former Mayor Harry Kim, and prosecutor candidates Lincoln Ashida and Mitch Roth will take part.

On Monday, October 8,  the County Council Candidates for District 6 (South Kona to Volcano), Council Member Brenda Ford and Maile David, and for District 9 (Waikoloa through Kohala), Sonny Shimaoka and Margaet Wille, will meet at 6 p.m. at Kealakehe High.

The forums will be preceded by food sales as a fundraiser for Kealakehe High starting at 5:15 a.m., which the public is encouraged to support.    The forums will air live on LAVA 105. 3 f.m. radio from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.  There will also be filming for later broadcast on KLEI TV Channel 6.