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Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. Assumes Command of the Pacific Fleet from Admiral Haney

With the USS Arizona and Battleship Missouri Memorials as a backdrop, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. relieved Adm. Cecil D. Haney as commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet during a change of command ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oct. 16.

With Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, right, looking on, Adm. Cecil D. Haney passes through the side boys after being relieved by Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, right center, during a change of command ceremony on the Pearl Harbor waterfront, Oct. 16. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro)

With Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, right, looking on, Adm. Cecil D. Haney passes through the side boys after being relieved by Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, right center, during a change of command ceremony on the Pearl Harbor waterfront, Oct. 16. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro)

“The only thing that makes my departure a little easier is knowing that my good friend and Naval Academy classmate Adm. Harry Harris is my replacement,” said Haney. “He has had an exceptional career filled with challenging assignments that have more than prepared him to command the Pacific Fleet. He knows the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and fully understands its complexities.”

Haney spoke of those complexities, and how the Navy’s historic role in the region will continue to promote security, stability, prosperity and peace.

“Our nation today looks to the future as we rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific,” said Haney, who assumed command in Jan. 2012 near the beginning of the rebalance initiative. “The world watches to see how economically and politically this rebalance will work. We’ve faced austere economic cycles and political turmoil in the past, but we’ve maintained a continuous, robust and capable naval presence in the Pacific since World War II.”

The official party salutes the colors during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro)

The official party salutes the colors during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro)

“Given the consistent message of our political and military leadership, I can stand on firm ground and predict that the U.S. will remain a Pacific power far into the future,” Haney said. “It has been fantastic to see new capability join this vibrant theater … the new littoral combat ship, Virginia class submarine, EA-18 Growlers, MV-22 Ospreys, and MH-60 Romeo and Sierra helicopters.”

“As excited as I am about our new platforms, I am even more excited about the rebalance of intellectual focus and leadership attention to a region where trillions of dollars of trade flows,” Haney said. “Given the uncertainty in the region regarding friction over sovereignty claims and certain nation state provocations, we must continue to maintain a combat-ready Fleet while working peaceful solutions using existing international norms and multilateral approaches.”

Adm. Locklear pins the Distinguished Service Medal on Adm. Cecil D. Haney during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Kolmel)

Adm. Locklear pins the Distinguished Service Medal on Adm. Cecil D. Haney during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Kolmel)

Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), commended Haney on his leadership during challenging times.

“Your strategic vision has set the stage for a new level of engagement, dialogue and consistence inside the PACOM area of responsibility,” said Locklear. “You have really done wonderful things in increasing the coordination and information sharing with our allies, to growing those critical partnerships, and on the Navy making sure the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific was real and realized.”

Locklear presented Haney with the Distinguished Service Medal. The award highlighted Haney’s efforts in achieving an unprecedented level of Fleet combat readiness, advancing regional partnerships, and leading the 2012 Rim of the Pacific, the largest multinational naval exercise in modern history.

“This award is more about the hard work and sacrifice of so many outstanding Pacific Fleet Sailors, civilians and family members,” said Haney, who moves on to lead the U.S. Strategic Command in Nebraska. “They are the ones who have earned it and who I sincerely thank for their hard work during my tour.”

After reading orders and assuming command, Adm. Harris thanked the men and women of the Pacific Fleet saying: “What you do on a daily basis is of fundamental importance to our nation’s defense — I’m proud to be your commander.” As the former assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Harris said he would continue the Pacific Fleet’s commitment to the rebalance “with our brothers and sisters” in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Special Operations and Coast Guard.

Adm. Haney accepts his pennant from U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez during the change of command ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker)

Adm. Haney accepts his pennant from U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez during the change of command ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker)

“Our president and secretary of defense are clear,” said Harris. “As a nation, we will rebalance to the Pacific and we will work closely with our allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

Harris is the 34th naval officer to command the Pacific Fleet since it was established in February 1941 with headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1978, is a MIT Seminar 21 fellow, and has attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and Oxford University for East Asia security.

As commander of Pacific Fleet, Harris is responsible for 100 million square miles ‘from Hollywood to Bollywood, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle.’ Covering more than half the Earth’s surface, the Indo-Asia-Pacific region is vital to U.S. economic and security interests. Pacific Fleet maintains combat-ready and forward-deployed naval forces that consist of approximately 200 ships/submarines, 1,100 aircraft and 140,000 Sailors and civilians. Whether called to fight and win or to protect the peace, Pacific Fleet operates alongside allies, partners and multilateral organizations to ensure a stable and secure Indo-Asia-Pacific where all nations can prosper.

 

President of Charter School PTSA Accused of Theft and Money Laundering

Attorney General David M. Louie announced that a two-count complaint was filed today in the First Circuit Court charging Tonya Taylor (43) with Theft in the First Degree and Money Laundering.

Tonya Taylor

Tonya Taylor

The two-count complaint charges Ms. Taylor, the former president of the Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School PTSA, with theft of $50,574.41 of the PTSA’s funds.

The complaint also alleges that Ms. Taylor laundered the proceeds of her alleged thefts.

Arraignment and plea is set for Monday, November 4, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., before Judge Richard Perkins. The complaint filed against Ms. Taylor is merely an allegation filed by the State and she is presumed innocent of the charges unless and until she is found guilty by a judge or jury.

Big Island Police Add Link to Website to Allow Public to Monitor Status of Inmates in Jail or Prison

The Hawaiʻi Police Department has added a link to its website that allows citizens to monitor the status of Hawaiʻi inmates in jail or prison.

Click to go to site

Click to go to site

The Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) system is powered by the nationwide Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system. It offers victims and concerned citizens free, anonymous and confidential access to timely information and notification on the custody and parole status of offenders under the jurisdiction of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety.

This service does not apply to inmates in federal prison or suspects being held at a police cellblock before going through the court system.

Interested persons can look up an incarcerated offender’s status on line or sign up to receive phone, email or text messages when that offender’s status changes. This service is particularly valuable to crime victims who want advance notice when their offender will be released from prison or up for a parole hearing.

The link can be found on the Police Department’s website on the Related Links page. It can also be accessed by going to www.vinelink.com and then clicking on the Hawaiʻi portion of the map.

Hawaii Student Wins 2013 National Poison Prevent Week Poster Contest

Students from Georgia, Alabama and Hawaii found the right words and pictures to convey important messages about preventing poisonings – and they are being honored as the winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week poster contest.

The Poison Prevention Week Council announced the following winners:

  • Grades kindergarten through two: Kayla Michelle Williams – Ellenwood, Georgia
  • Grades three through five: Chandan Makwana – Vinemont, Alabama
  • Grades six through eight: Rachelle Lariba – Kapolei, Hawaii
Rachel

Winning poster submitted by Rachelle Lariba

National Poison Prevention Week, held the third week in March each year, is observed nationally to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. In honor of this awareness week, the Poison Prevention Week Council conducts a nationwide poster contest to educate the public about the dangers of poisonings and the importance of poison prevention.

The winning artwork in each division will be featured on the 2014 National Poison Prevention Week posters. First, second and third place winners in each division are posted online at www.poisonprevention.org/poster.htm.

Kayla Williams’ poster depicted various household scenarios where children can come into contact with hazardous substances. Her message: “Bad things happen to good people. Keep poisons out of [the] reach of children.”

Chandan Makwana drew a checklist of reminders on avoiding accidental poisonings for young and old alike. His message: “Poisonings span a lifetime. Poisons do not discriminate. Lock them away!”

Rachelle Lariba drew a vivid image about keeping poisonous substances out of the reach of children, along with a written reminder that “Children act fast. So do poisons.”

“The winning posters play an important role in our public awareness campaign each year,” said Nancy Bock, Poison Prevention Week Council Chair. “The Council is extremely proud of the winners and we are excited to share their posters with the public in an effort to teach others about poison safety,” added Bock, Senior Vice President of Education at the American Cleaning Institute.

The posters can be ordered on the Poison Prevention Week Council website at www.poisonprevention.org.

For more information, contact Nancy Bock, Chair, Poison Prevention Week Council at 202.662.2507 or nbock@cleaninginstitute.org.

 

Body Glove’s 60th Anniversary and Tiki Mug Release Party One Week Away

One week away until Body Glove’s 60th Anniversary party at the Royal Kona Resort.

Body Glove Party

State Department of Health to Hold Public Hearings for New Food Safety Rules

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) will hold public hearings in all counties between Dec. 2 and 6, 2013, to introduce new food safety regulations that will affect all restaurants and food establishments in the state. The last substantial change to these rules was made nearly 17 years ago in 1996.

Department of Health

Highlights of the new food safety rules include: adoption of the 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Model Food Code as the basis for the rules; introduction of a highly visible restaurant grading system that will require food establishments to post the results of their last state inspection; move to annual permitting from biennial permitting; and permit fee increases.

“Adoption of the FDA Model Food Code will provide Hawaii with nationally recognized standards based on the most current scientific findings on food safety,” said Peter Oshiro, Sanitation Branch chief. “We look forward to enhancing our current state food regulations with these new and improved rules.”

The new grading system will consist of “PASS” (green), “CONDITIONAL PASS” (yellow), and “CLOSED” (red) placards. A “PASS” green placard will be given to food facilities that have one major violation or less that is corrected prior to completion of the inspection. A “CONDITIONAL PASS” yellow placard will be issued to a facility with two or more major violations during an inspection regardless of whether the violations are corrected on site. Major violations require a follow-up inspection. Follow-up inspections are conducted the next working day after notification from the facility that all major violations have been corrected. A “CLOSED” red placard will be issued if there are imminent health hazards that warrant immediate closure of the facility (lack of water, lack of electricity, sewage overflows in food preparation areas, sick employees, vermin infestation, etc.).

Major health inspection violations at food establishments are conditions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA recognize as the main causes of food illnesses (lack of hand washing, poor temperature controls, and contamination by raw/uncooked foods, etc.)

It is anticipated that the fee increases outlined in the new food safety rules will fund 13 additional full-time inspector positions granted by the state Legislature to be filled in fiscal years 2012-2015. The additional staffing will support an expanded inspection schedule that will include a minimum of three on-site inspections each year for high-risk establishments, two on-site inspections each year for medium risk establishments, and annual visits for all other establishments to meet national program standards and reduce foodborne illness.

“The new food safety rules will mean a huge step forward for our program and will result in overall improvements by expanding food safety testing, pesticide monitoring of local produce, and shellfish monitoring, among many other activities that protect public health every day,” added Oshiro.

To view Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapter 11- 50, titled, “Food Safety Code,” go to http://health.hawaii.gov/san/. Public hearings will be held at the following dates and locations:

Hawaii (Hilo): Monday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m.

Environmental Health Facility conference room (1582 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo)

Hawaii (Kona): Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m.

West Hawaii Civic Center – Liquor Control conference room, 2nd Floor, Bldg. B

(74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy., Kailua-Kona)

Oahu: Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m.

Environmental Management Division conference room, 5th Floor (919 Ala Moana Blvd.,

Honolulu)

Maui: Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m.

UH- Maui College Community Services Building (310 Kaahumanu Ave., Bldg. #205, Kahului)

Kauai: Friday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m.

Lihue Health Center conference room (3040 Umi St., Lihue)