Big Island Fire Departments Implementing “One Day” Fireworks Collection Campaign

Fire Chief Darren Rosario would like to announce the implementation of a program designed for the collection of unwanted, illegal, and/or damaged fireworks. Until now, no program existed to allow for the proper disposal of unwanted fireworks. The Hawai‘i Fire Department (HFD) will be conducting a “one day only” Fireworks Collection campaign.

Old Fireworks

Members of the public will be able to drop off their unwanted fireworks at four locations island-wide on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Those wishing to participate can contact the HFD Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to get more information regarding drop off locations and drop off times.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department has been receiving inquiries from the public regarding proper disposal methods of fireworks. Improperly stored fireworks can create both a fire and public safety hazard. A significant amount of consumers do not use all fireworks purchased during the New Year or Fourth of July holidays. The unused product is then stored with the intent of being used during the next permissible occasion. Should a fire occur, the stored fireworks may add to the intensity and spread of the fire, and can pose serious safety concerns. Old and damaged fireworks are dangerous because they may not function as designed. Fireworks in general have the potential to cause significant property damage, serious injuries, and even death.

Please be advised that these fireworks are dangerous and utmost care must be taken to keep them away from any spark or open flame. Fireworks may be soaked in water overnight and dried prior to transporting them to one of the drop off locations. Please note that no other hazardous materials or explosive products will be accepted. Acceptable items will include all types of Fireworks, fountains, sparklers, firecrackers, cakes, rockets, etc.

In addition, you may also turn in any “aerial luminary devices.” The State of Hawai‘i deemed it illegal to buy, sell, use, possess, ignite, or cause to ignite any such aerial luminary device. An aerial luminary device is defined as any homemade or manufactured device that has an open flame and which can be send airborne or adrift, leaving the height and distance it travels to be determined by existing atmospheric conditions. These devices can start brushfires as well as entangle in electrical lines, and even has the ability to hit an aircraft if it drifts near an airport or in a vicinity of an aircraft. Please help us to prevent any fire threatening circumstances by turning in any unwanted fireworks at this time. The common brands found here are “Sky Lanterns” and “Hawai‘i Lanterns.”

The Hawai‘i Fire Department would like to thank you, the community, for its continued support in helping us make our Island as safe as can be. Fires and injuries caused by fireworks can be prevented and by providing proper collection and disposal opportunity, this program helps create a safer community for all.

For more information please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2911 (Hilo) or 323-4760 (Kona).


Mars Mission on the Big Island Delayed 24 Hours – What Would You Cook on Mars?

The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project was scheduled to begin today on the Big Island.

More Photos available through the HI-SEAS website.

More Photos available through the HI-SEAS website.

It will begin tomorrow following a small delay.

The HI-SEAS crew spent the morning at the Ka'ohe Restoration Area helping with reforestation efforts on Mauna Kea. This is part of the crews week long pre-mission cultural experience.

The HI-SEAS crew spent the last week at the Ka’ohe Restoration Area helping with reforestation efforts on Mauna Kea. This was part of the crews week long pre-mission cultural experience.

The HI-SEAS Project is a project that NASA has developed to figure out how to cook food on the Planet Mars, in a Mars like environment here on the Big Island.

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

Today they stated that the project’s initial start was pushed back 24 hours:

Hi-seas Project

One of the crew members posted the following on Facebook today:

Hi-Seas Begins

You can follow them on Twitter at #HISEAS or follow their website: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation.

Hi-Seas Soil

School Garden Thrives at Hale Kiaaina – State of Hawaii and Volunteer Groups Plant Lessons of ‘Seed to Table’

With Earth Day on April 22, the adoption of a very special garden by St. Andrew’s Priory School students – and the lessons it instills – is taking on extra significance.

Governor Garden

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Dr. Nancie Caraway have welcomed the sixth and seventh grade students to the grounds of historic Washington Place and the Governor’s residence, Hale Kiaaina, to learn about growing fresh food in the thriving organic garden that serves as a living, outdoor classroom.

“The New Day school garden project represents our commitment to food self-sufficiency and the importance of instilling that value – as well as the knowledge and skill to do it – in the next generation,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Growing our own food and connecting our keiki to the land through hands-on environmental education can plant lifelong lessons that students will carry with them throughout their lives.”

The New Day Garden was first planted in 2011 as a collaborative effort led by Dr. Caraway and supported by a diverse group of non-profit organizations, state agencies, local businesses, volunteers, and students. The garden is dedicated to Dr. Caraway’s mother, Ellen Caraway.

“My mother Ellen’s greatest joy was seeing green things grow,” Dr. Caraway said. “She absorbed all the beauty the earth provided. We wanted her spirit of Malama Aina to inspire us all.”

Gardening at Washington Place has proven to be a source of inspiration for the students and teachers. For some of the students, this is their first time in a garden. Jessie, a sixth grade student, said she signed up for the Garden Club because she just “wanted to learn about plants.”

But her classmate, Genevieve, not only expressed the benefit of having fun with other people while gardening together, but also the thrill of harvesting. “It is exciting because when you finish planting you can eat everything you planted,” she said.

One of the seventh grade students, Nevaeh, has more expertise than her peers in this area and could already identify many of the plants growing in the New Day Garden. “It feels great because I can share my knowledge with those who don’t know,” she said.

The students also recognize that their school garden is located at an extra special venue. When asked what she liked best about gardening at Hale Kiaaina, seventh grader Brianne replied, “The hard work we put into it will be shown to the Governor.”

Teachers Murielle Sipola and Kaipo Walsh bring their personal experiences and passion to the garden as they weave lessons of “seed to table” into the curriculum. Sipola’s primary goal is to help her students eat a healthier diet that includes more vegetables. This semester, she is integrating the after-school Garden Club with the nutrition and cooking classes for the middle school students. As the world languages teacher, Sipola plans to feature the botanical names from the garden in her Latin classes next year as well.

Walsh learned about gardening from conversations with vendors at her local farmer’s markets. She is offering a garden design class as part of Priory’s summer school program. Her students will have the opportunity to design and construct raised bed gardens on the campus, modeled after the New Day Garden, to expand and connect their efforts.

The garden project represents the concept of laulima, or cooperation. The full list of organizations and individuals that have helped the garden to thrive are listed below.


New Day Garden Helpers

  • Hawaii Department of Agriculture
  • Hawaii Department of Transportation
  • UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
  • Fresh Start Organics, 1st Look Exteriors
  • Leyla Cabugos, Grow Hawaii
  • Matt Lynch, Asia-Pacific Center of Regenerative Design
  • Kokua Hawaii Foundation
  • Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, Hawaii Invasive Species Council
  • Jeremai Caan
  • Voyager School
  • MAO Organic Farms
  • Whole Foods
  • Cameron Heen
  • Kokua Market
  • Town Restaurant
  • MOA Foundation
  • Hawaii Carpenter’s Union
  • Kainalu Elementary Garden Club
  • Koolau Farmers
  • Mike Davis
  • St. Andrew’s Priory School

“Honor Flight: One Last Mission” – Hawaii Premiere and Reception at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Honoring those who have served, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor has announced a special Memorial Day observance Friday, May 24 with the Hawaii premiere screening of the movie Honor Flight: One Last Mission. A reception honoring veterans is at 5:30pm; the screening of Honor Flight is at 6:30pm. The event is free for Museum Members and Volunteers; $25 for non-members.

Click for more information

Click for more information

The acclaimed documentary film Honor Flight: The Last Mission is the story of four living WWII veterans and the community that gave them the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorial constructed to honor them, nearly 60 years after the war. The Los Angeles Times calls it, “enormously moving.”

Seating capacity is limited to 200 for each screening. Reservations for the May 24 evening event are required by May 17. RSVP, tickets, and all information are online at Call 808-441-1007 or email  Education@PacficAviationMuseum for more information.

Commentary on Roger Christie Resolutions: “An Injustice in Lawmaking, a Manipulation of Process, and a Deliberate Disregard for Fellow Committee Members”

Guest Commentary:

Roger Christie Bail Denial
I witnessed an injustice in lawmaking, a manipulation of process, and a deliberate disregard for fellow committee members vote on the Roger Christie resolutions from the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Sen. Clayton Hee.

Here is a short video I put together to explain what happened.

[vimeo 64209566 w=500 h=281]

Hee kills Christie Resolution from Jonas William on Vimeo.

Feel free to share it with others.

Jonas William

Contemporary Artist Phan Barker Exhibits “Soul Work” in Volcano Village

Volcano Art Center’s Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani will soon serve as host to an inspiring new collection of artwork entitled The Garden Within. Created by Volcano artist Phan Barker, this contemporary multimedia exhibit will be on display Saturday, May 4 through Friday, May 31, 2013, 9:00am to 4:00pm daily (closed Sundays).

Artist Phan Barker

Artist Phan Barker

An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 from 4:00 to 6:00pm. Phan will lead an exhibit tour beginning at 5:00pm, offering insights into her technique, process and inspiration. The artist will also be available every Tuesday in May from 10:00am to noon.

The Garden Within features abstract fiber sculptures, quilts and paintings made of silk, thread, beads and wood meant to illustrate the beauty found internally as one tends to soul searching and spiritual discovery. 

“With the abundance of rain and space here in Volcano, I have been creating a flower garden with a path meandering around our property,” explains Phan. “I feel physically and mentally well working outside. But the inner work, which I call soul work, has always been very important to me. Like the outside garden, the garden within requires just as much tending, especially weeding. My artworks are metaphors that represent the garden within. The two gardens support me physically, emotionally, and spiritually; the very support one needs to become whole.”

Phan is no stranger to internal struggles. Born in Tu Chau, a Catholic Village north of Hanoi in Vietnam, she escaped to the south with her family at the time of partition in 1954. Phan emigrated to the United States in 1969, considering Vietnam to be a place of death and sorrow.

After a 23-year absence, Phan returned to her homeland in 1992 where she burned incense at her mother’s grave and visited family members she never expected to see again, including her sister, her sister’s nine children and nine grandchildren. Returning home to Kona, Phan’s overwhelming emotional response to this trip inspired a new kind of work called The White Mourning Cloth Series. One piece in this series, A Poem for My Mother, was widely exhibited across the United States as part of The Smithsonian Institution Exhibition Traveling Service.

Phan has been an active member of the Volcano community since 2000, considers Hawaii to be a healing refuge, and feels blessed by the sacred energy she feels on the Big Island.  

The Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani is located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village on Hawaii Island. For more information, visit or contact the gallery directly at (808) 967-8211 or

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.


Motor Vehicle/Pedestrian Collision on Highway 11 Kills Man

An unidentified man died Wednesday (April 17) from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on Highway 11 in the area of the 18-mile-marker in Glenwood.

HPDBadgeResponding to a 3:06 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that a 55-year-old Hilo man was operating a 2013 Toyota pick-up truck and traveling south on Highway 11 when he struck the male walking on the roadway.  The pedestrian was taken by Fire Rescue personnel to the Hilo Medical Center where he later died at 4:28 a.m.

The driver of the truck was not injured. The pedestrian had no identification and police are asking the public’s help for identification. The man is described as being a Caucasian male, late 20’s to early 30’s in age, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, about 180 pounds, long black hair, beard and mustache.  Police do not suspect that speed, alcohol or drugs were involved. Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

This is the 12th traffic fatality this year compared to 11 at the same time last year.

Wordless Wednesday – Kaumana Caves

Top 10 U.S. Electric Utilities For Solar Power Usage

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released a new list of the 10 U.S. electric utilities that have added the most new solar power to their systems and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis in 2012.


This annual ranking, which identifies the companies that are integrating solar into the nation’s power grid, is part of SEPA’s sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report. The full report, which will be released next month, identifies industry trends, such as total installed capacity, market share and industry growth rates.

Utilities ranking in this year’s top 10 (by solar megawatts) accounted for 73% of all capacity integrated in 2012, a slight increase from 2011. Among the top three in the rankings are some of the nation’s largest utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), Southern California Edison and Public Service Electric & Gas Co. – which often rank highly in this category due to their expansive customer solar programs and utility purchasing programs.

Rounding out the list are Arizona Public Service, NV Energy, Jersey Central Power & Light, Tucson Electric Power Co., Progress Energy Carolinas, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Hawaiian Electric Co. All were previously ranked in 2011, with the exception of Progress Energy Carolinas, which is in its first year on the list.

This is the fifth year that PG&E has topped the list, SEPA notes.

Separately, the rankings of the top 10 utilities by solar watts per customer take into account the number of customers each utility serves relative to their solar megawatts installed, giving small utilities a more competitive opportunity to measure their solar energy capacity.

Leading these rankings are many municipal utilities, including the City of St. Mary’s, Ohio; Kauai Island Utility Co-op in Hawaii; and Bryan Municipal Utilities in Ohio. Both Ohio utilities were not previously ranked, and Kauai moved up from No. 12 in the 2011 rankings.

The remaining top 10 providers include Hawaiian Electric Co., Chickasaw (Tenn.) Electric Co-op; Maui (Hawaii) Electric Co.; Imperial Irrigation District in California; Tucson (Ariz.) Electric Power Co.; City of Napoleon, Ohio; and Vineland Municipal Electric Utility in N.J.

Complete rankings can be found here.