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President Obama Appoints Gov. Abercrombie to Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

President Barack Obama has appointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to serve on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the White House announced today.

President Barack Obama has appointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to serve on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the White House announced today.   Co-chaired by Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Director David Agnew and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, the task force consists of a select group of governors, mayors and other leaders who will develop recommendations on how the federal government can better support local preparedness and resilience-building efforts. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this task force, which will allow the State of Hawaii to have a strong voice in the national discussion on addressing the impacts of climate change,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “As the only island state in nation, Hawaii is unquestionably vulnerable to changes in climate such as rising temperatures, droughts, flooding, sea level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification.” In conjunction with the announcement, Gov. Abercrombie introduced State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, recently appointed by the Governor to the newly created position. Thiel is charged with coordinating across departments and with counties, federal agencies, and community partners to support progress on Hawaii’s sustainability goals.  “The task force established by President Obama gives Hawaii a direct line to provide recommendations on removing barriers to federal resources, identifying opportunities for collaboration, and developing tools to better support our unique needs and local efforts,” Thiel said. “Gov. Abercrombie’s congressional experience, particularly on the Armed Forces Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, as well as a senior member on the Natural Resources Committee, was cited as a factor in his selection, along with his ability to provide insight into the needs of the Asia-Pacific.

President Barack Obama has appointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to serve on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the White House announced today.
Co-chaired by Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Director David Agnew and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, the task force consists of a select group of governors, mayors and other leaders who will develop recommendations on how the federal government can better support local preparedness and resilience-building efforts.

Co-chaired by Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Director David Agnew and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, the task force consists of a select group of governors, mayors and other leaders who will develop recommendations on how the federal government can better support local preparedness and resilience-building efforts.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this task force, which will allow the State of Hawaii to have a strong voice in the national discussion on addressing the impacts of climate change,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “As the only island state in nation, Hawaii is unquestionably vulnerable to changes in climate such as rising temperatures, droughts, flooding, sea level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification.”

In conjunction with the announcement, Gov. Abercrombie introduced State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, recently appointed by the Governor to the newly created position. Thiel is charged with coordinating across departments and with counties, federal agencies, and community partners to support progress on Hawaii’s sustainability goals.

“The task force established by President Obama gives Hawaii a direct line to provide recommendations on removing barriers to federal resources, identifying opportunities for collaboration, and developing tools to better support our unique needs and local efforts,” Thiel said. “Gov. Abercrombie’s congressional experience, particularly on the Armed Forces Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, as well as a senior member on the Natural Resources Committee, was cited as a factor in his selection, along with his ability to provide insight into the needs of the Asia-Pacific.

Governor Abercrombie’s statement:

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this task force, which will allow the State of Hawaii to have a strong voice in the national discussion on addressing the impacts of climate change,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “As the only island state in nation, Hawaii is unquestionably vulnerable to changes in climate such as rising temperatures, droughts, flooding, sea level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification.”

In conjunction with the announcement, Gov. Abercrombie introduced State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, recently appointed by the Governor to the newly created position. Thiel is charged with coordinating across departments and with counties, federal agencies, and community partners to support progress on Hawaii’s sustainability goals. She has been working to care for Hawaii’s environment and communities for over a decade, most recently with the interagency Hawaii Invasive Species Council. She earned her master’s in urban and regional planning as an East-West Center Fellow with a focus on implementing sustainability plans.

“The task force established by President Obama gives Hawaii a direct line to provide recommendations on removing barriers to federal resources, identifying opportunities for collaboration, and developing tools to better support our unique needs and local efforts,” Thiel said. “Gov. Abercrombie’s congressional experience, particularly on the Armed Forces Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, as well as a senior member on the Natural Resources Committee, was cited as a factor in his selection, along with his ability to provide insight into the needs of the Asia-Pacific region.”

In September, Hawaii was the first sub-national government to sign onto the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, joining other islands and nations in making bold commitments to reduce carbon emissions and invest in adaptation.

William J. Aila Jr., chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, said: “Hawaii is especially vulnerable but we have made significant commitments toward mitigation and investments in adaptation. We know that our weather will be drier, and managing and protecting our native forests and watersheds is the best investments in capturing and delivering greater water quantity and quality. The state’s Rain Follows the Forest Watershed Initiative protects this vital resource needed for our survival.”

State Office of Planning Director Jesse Souki added: “Hawaii is the only state to have adopted both a climate change mitigation and adaptation policy. In 2012, Gov. Abercrombie signed Act 286, codifying into law the state’s Climate Change Adaptation Priority Guidelines, which will help us to build resiliency in agriculture, conservation lands, coastal and marine areas, education, health, transportation, and the built environment.

“We also recently updated the Ocean Resources Management Plan, which includes two priority management measures that address climate change impacts to marine resources and coastal areas. The State of Hawaii has approximately 1,052 miles of coastline with a vast majority of its communities located on or near coastal areas that may be impacted by sea-level rise.”

President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience will convene for the first time as early as next month in Washington, D.C., with its recommendations to the President expected within one year.

In June 2013, as part of his Climate Action Plan, President Obama called for the establishment of a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal leaders to advise on key actions the federal government can take to better support local preparedness and resilience-building efforts.

Link to the White House’s news release here:

Pahoa Cash and Carry Closing After 75 Years in Business

Pahoa Cash and Carry is closing after 75 years in business.

Pahoa Cash and Carry

Pahoa Cash and Carry

The company posted the following on their Facebook page earlier today:

Our last day will be November 15. New hours 7:30-4.

Thanks for your support and friendship throughout the years.
Aloha and a hui hou

Going out of business sale going on now.

Also available are shelving, coolers, cash registers, flat bed truck, kitchen equipment etc.

DLNR Accepting Nominations for American Forests’ National Register of Big Trees – Fall 2013 Register Includes 10 Champions Crowned in Hawaii

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is now accepting nominations for the 2014 National Register of Big Trees. Across the United States, the largest trees of their species joined the ranks of the more than 780 national champion trees listed in American Forests’ National Register of Big Trees. More than 40 new champions were crowned across 50 states and the District of Columbia, including 6 new champions in Hawaii.

“Hawaii’s Big Tree Competition is proud to announce that our champion, Māmane in Puu Waawaa Forest Reserve, has been included in the American Forests 2014 Calendar,” said DLNR Forestry Program Manager Sheri S. Mann. “We would also like to welcome our new Hawaii Big Tree coordinator, Nicholas Joly.”

A huge Koa Tree

A huge Koa Tree

The 10 Nationally Crowned Champions in Hawaii include:

  • Koa in South Kona, Hawaii Island
  • Niu (Coconut Palm) in Hawea Heiau Complex and Keawawa Wetland, Oahu
  • Kōlea lau nui in Puu Waawaa Forest Reserve, Hawaii Island
  • Wiliwili in Puu Lani Ranch, Hawaii Island
  • Hau (Sea Hibiscus) in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island
  • Aalii (Hopbush) at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Maui
  • Olopua (Hawaiian olive) in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island
  • Pāpalakēpau in Puu Waawaa Forest Reserve, Hawaii Island
  • Mānele (Soapberry Wingleaf) in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island
  • Māmane in Puu Wwaawaa Forest Reserve, Hawaii Island

Since 1940, American Forests National Big Tree Program has promoted the importance of planting and caring for trees and forests in helping to sustain healthy ecosystems and life on Earth. The program has campaigned to locate, protect and save the biggest specimens of every native and naturalized tree species in the United States.

Beyond national champions, Hawaii’s Big Tree Competition also recognizes the biggest trees in Hawaii using the same equation as the national program. Sheri Shannon, coordinator of American Forests National Big Tree Program said: “Anyone can be a big tree hunter. It’s because of avid tree lovers that we are able to find some of the nation’s biggest trees.”

Sponsored by The Davey Tree Expert Company, the National Register of Big Trees accepts nominations for national champions year-round, and American Forests releases an updated version of the register twice a year. The National Register of Big Trees records the largest trees of each species in the United States based on height, circumference and average crown spread.

To learn more about Hawaii’s Big Tree Competition or how to nominate a potential champion tree, contact Nicholas Joly at 808-587-0915. Be ready to provide the tree’s height, circumference, and crown spread measurements. To learn more about American Forests’ National Big Tree Program or the Big Tree Measuring Guidelines, go to http://www.americanforests.org/bigtrees/. Hawaii’s Big Tree Website is under construction but will be available in the near future.

Ohshima Relief Drive To Be Held In Wake Of Typhoon

Typhoon Wipha ravaged coastal towns along Japan’s east coast on October 16, and the hardest hit place was Ohshima Island, a sister city of Hawai‘i County. Wipha brought torrential rains – a record-breaking 33 inches in 24 hours – that caused flooding and mudslides that destroyed nearly 300 homes. 32 deaths have been reported and nine people were missing in the most recent report.

Aloha OshimaAs Ohshima’s only sister city, the County of Hawai‘i will be joining the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai‘i, Japanese Community Association, and Kona Japanese Civic Association in the Aloha Ohshima relief drive. Through the end of December, donations to “Aloha Ohshima” will be accepted at Bank of Hawai‘i branches statewide.

“I offer our aloha and deepest condolences to Mayor Masafumi Kawashima and the residents of Ohshima Island. Although the destruction caused by Typhoon Wipha is unprecedented, we know that the strength and resolve of the people of Ohshima will carry them through,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

In Japanese, Ohshima means “big island” – so it’s fitting that Ohshima Island’s only international sister city relationship is with Hawai‘i’s Big Island. Though Ohshima is much smaller than Hawai‘i Island – about 35 square miles with a population of 8,200 – it is home to waterfalls, valleys, and Mt. Mihara, an active volcano 2,507 feet tall. Located 75 miles south of Tokyo, Ohshima is the largest island in the Izu group, over a dozen islands extending south from the Izu Peninsula.

The County of Hawai‘i’s sister city relationship with Ohshima Island was initiated in 1962 by the Board of Supervisors, the predecessor to today’s County Council. The Chairman and Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors, the predecessor to the office of the Mayor, was Thomas K. ‘Lofty’ Cook. Members of the Board of Supervisors at the time were Wing Kong ‘Winkie’ Chong, Elroy Osorio, Helene Hale, Sherwood Greenwell, Ikuo Hisaoka, and Elias Yadao.

A monument commemorating the sister city relationship was erected in 1992, the 30th anniversary of the relationship, in Lili‘uokalani Gardens, by Ohshima Mayor Nagaharu Shimizu.

The most recent visit to Hawai‘i Island by friends from Ohshima Island was in October 2012. Mayumi Jinguh and Zen Tanaka of Ohshima visited on behalf of Mayor Masafumi Kawashima, delivering a letter and a 50th anniversary gift – a copper relief depicting a rainbow bridge between Hawai‘i Island and Ohshima Island. Tanaka, the 19th master of a 414-year-old copper craftsmanship school, started his work with copper when he was 15 years old. The people of Ohshima Island, including Mayor Masafumi Kawashima, participated in crafting the piece.