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The Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition is Accepting Nominations for the Spring 2016 Season

The start of a new year also marks the beginning of the annual Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition.  Sponsored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife and American Forests, the Big Tree program focuses attention on the largest trees of particular native species, as a way to raise awareness about the importance of healthy trees and forests.

This national competition comes in light of the tragic falling of two previous Hawai‘i Big Tree champions: the coconut tree from Hawai‘i Kai popularly known as “Coco,” and an ‘a‘ali‘i tree (Hopbush) from the Maui Botanical Gardens.  Both trees are being respectively preserved and/or re-used at their locations so their spirit may live on.



In 2014, Coco the coconut palm, was crowned the National Big Tree coconut species winner and the National Ultimate Big Tree winner among all candidate species after several weeks of intense on-line voting.  The public is invited to find new champions for these species, as well as the other 19 eligible species acknowledged by American Forests.

The current 8 Hawaiian champions are listed below:

Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) in Waikoloa dry forest, Hawai‘i island
(circumference: 186.96”) (height: 40’) (Crown Spread: 43.50’)

Olopua (Nestegis sandwicensis) in Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i island
(circumference: 204.52”) (Height: 32’) (Crown Spread: 42.58’)

Pāpalakēpa(Pisonia brunoniana) in Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i island
(circumference: 52.46”) (Height: 28’) (Crown Spread: 15.25’)

Māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) in Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i island
(circumference: 165) (Height: 24) (Crown Spread: 25.5’)

Kōlea lau nui (Myrsine lessertiana) in Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i island
(circumference: 85.14”) (height: 32’) (Crown Spread: 25.5’)

Koa (Acacia koa) in Kona Hema Preserve, South Kona, Hawai‘i island
(Circumference: 343”) (Height: 115’) (Crown Spread: 93’)

Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) in Hulihe‘e Palace, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i island
(Circumference: 110”) (Height: 20’) (Crown Spread: 25’)

Mānele (Sophora chrysophylla) in Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i island
(Circumference: 30”) (Height: 73’) (Crown Spread: 57’)

The Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition does not have a champion for the following Hawaiian species that are eligible for the National Big Tree Program.  Therefore, any tree nominated from the following list will likely be crowned a National Champion.

Hawaiian Tree Name Genus & Species
Lama Diospyros sandwicensis
‘Ohi‘a ha Syzygium sandwicense
‘Ohi‘a ai Syzygium malaccense
Koki‘o ke‘oke‘o Hibiscus arnottianus
Ma‘o hau hele Hibiscus brackenridgei
Aloalo Hibiscus clayii
Kāwa‘u Ilex anomala
Nenelau Rhus sandwicensis
Lonomea Sapindus oahuensis
A‘e Zanthoxylum oahuense
Wauke Broussonetia papyrifera

To replace a current champion, the challenger tree must have more total points.

Total Points = Trunk Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + ¼ Average Crown Spread (feet).

To nominate a tree, contact the Hawai‘i Big Tree Coordinator Krista Lizardi at 808-587-0164 or Krista.M.Lizardi@hawaii.gov and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread.  Also, please know your tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated).

For more on the Hawai‘i Big Tree Program: dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/

For more on the National Big Tree Program: www.americanforests.org/bigtrees/bigtrees-search/

Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Girl Missing Since December

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Mountain View girl who was reported missing.

Zaxsalyn Guerpo, also known as “Missy,” was last seen in Kona on December 2. She is described as 5-foot-3, 135 pounds with black shoulder-length hair and brown eyes.

Zaxsalyn Guerpo

Zaxsalyn Guerpo

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Two Hawaii Prep Stars Nominated to Play in 2016 McDonald’s All American Games

Chanelle Molina of Konawaena High School and Keala Quinlan of Roosevelt High School have been chosen as nominees for the 2016 McDonald’s All American Games High School Girls Basketball Team. Molina and Quinlan are among 755 high school seniors from 49 states and the District of Columbia who have been culled by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.

Chanelle Molina

Chanelle Molina

Konawaena guard and five-star recruit Molina led the Wildcats to an HHSAA Div. I state championship last season, a title they are favored to win again under her leadership this year.  Meanwhile, Roosevelt forward Quinlan is a four-year letter winner helping the Roughriders capture the OIA East Division Championship in both 2014 and 2015. This is the first time a player from Konawaena or Roosevelt High School has been nominated for the McDonald’s All American Games.

“We are so proud of Keala,” said Roosevelt head girls’ basketball coach Hinano Higa. “She is our go-to person and an all-around team player going out of her way to make sure her teammates are involved and comfortable.”

“Chanelle represents the state of Hawaii so well. This nomination is not only great for our school, but for the entire state,” said Konawaena head girls’ basketball coach Bobbie Awa. “She is helping put our kids on the map.”

A complete list of 2016 McDonald’s All American Games Nominees is available at www.mcdaag.com. McDonald’s will name the final roster of 24 boys and 24 girls who will be selected to play in the 2016 Games during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU, airing Sunday, January 17 at 9:30 p.m. CT; 5:30 p.m. Hawaii Time.

The 39th Annual Boys Game will tip-off on Wednesday, March 30, at 8:00 p.m. CT; 4:00 p.m. Hawaii Time from Chicago’s United Center and will be broadcast on ESPN. The 15th Annual Girls Game will precede the Boys Game, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT; 1:30 p.m. Hawaii Time and will broadcast live on ESPNU. Information regarding tickets for the 2016 McDonald’s All American Games is available at Ticketmaster. Tickets for the 2016 Games go on sale Saturday, February 6. Tickets start as low as $10 and include free parking. There is also the popular family four-pack option that includes four tickets, four soft drinks and four hot dogs – all for $53.

Net proceeds from the Games benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The Games have raised more than $11 million for RMHC since their inception in 1978. At RMHC, programs like the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room provide stability and vital resources to families in their time of need, allowing their child time to heal and helping to keep them healthy and happy.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Remains at 202

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total amount of confirmed cases remains at 202.

Mosquito Bite

As of January 5, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 0 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset  12/26/15 to 12/27/15
Cases no longer infectious
199 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 12/25/15
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 182 are Hawaii Island residents and 20 are visitors.
164 cases have been adults; 38 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 12/27/15.

As of today, a total of 781 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated December 30, 2015)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii

HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed. Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, two imported dengue fever cases have been confirmed (one on Oahu and one on Hawaii), and one imported chikungunya case (on Hawaii) has been confirmed. These cases are not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.