Navy in Hawaii Wins Two Environmental Awards from Chief of Naval Operations

Two Hawaii-based Navy commands were winners of Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Awards, it was announced yesterday, Feb. 22, in Washington D.C.

Pacific Missile Range Facility

Pacific Missile Range Facility

The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, on Kauai won the award for Natural Resources Conservation for small naval installations (along with Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan).

(March 30, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) flies the U.S. Navy battle ensign while performing maneuvers off the coast of Hawaii. The ship was named for the late Senator John H. Chafee, former Secretary of the Navy and decorated veteran of the Marine Corp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan/Released)

(March 30, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) flies the U.S. Navy battle ensign while performing maneuvers off the coast of Hawaii. The ship was named for the late Senator John H. Chafee, former Secretary of the Navy and decorated veteran of the Marine Corp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan/Released)

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, was selected as the Navy’s top surface combatant ship for the CNO environmental award.

Vice Adm. P. H. Cullom

Vice Adm. P. H. Cullom

In a message of congratulations, Vice Adm. P. H. Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, said, “I would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to all of the fiscal year 2015 Environmental Award winners. Your efforts not only embody the environmental stewardship ethic, but also aid in fulfilling the Navy’s national security mission. I applaud all of the nominees for their tireless commitment to preserving resources and bettering the environment. Bravo Zulu!”

Working with federal and state agencies, schools, conservation organizations, the public and host community, PMRF implemented numerous groundbreaking initiatives toward conservation, environmental protection and protection of endangered species. For example, under the Laysan Albatross Conservation program, PMRF transferred eggs to Campbell National Wildlife refuge on Oahu to provide new shelter for the birds and reduce the risk of aircraft strikes.  The “Dark Sky” initiative, which directed the turning off of all non-essential exterior lighting on PMRF during the Newell Shearwater, Hawaiian and Band-Rumped Storm Petrel migration season, reduced “fallout” by these endangered birds that are naturally attracted to light.

“The Ohana (family) here at Pacific Missile Range Facility is simply awesome and they truly deserve all the recognition.  I couldn’t be more proud of the daily efforts put forth by each and every member of our team,” said Capt. Bruce Hay, Commanding Officer of PMRF.

In the past year USS Chafee transited more than 37,000 miles on a seven-month deployment to the 3rd, 4th, and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility while participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, Talisman Sabre 15, UNITAS PAC 15, and UNITAS LANT 15.  USS Chafee conducted all operations with no impact to marine mammals and with safe and clean refueling operations.

Environmental protection and energy conservation were at the forefront of operations, according to Cmdr. Shea Thompson, commanding officer of USS Chafee.

“We’re all thrilled to have been selected for this award. We strive for efficiency in all aspects of our war fighting operations and to be good stewards of our environment,” said Thompson.

All CNO winners will go on to the Secretary of the Navy level of competition.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy to Participate in the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s 3rd Annual “Hawaii on the Hill” Initiative in Washington D.C.

More Than 50 Hawaii Organizations to Participate in the Two-Day Agenda, June 7-8, 2016

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will be entertaining, with his Poke recipes, culinary skills and joyful manner, some 1000+ distinguished guests that are anticipated to attend the 3rd Annual Taste of Hawaii event as part of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s “Hawaii on the Hill” initiative in partnership with Senator Mazie Hirono.

Sam Choy will be featured in Washington DC. Photo by Douglas Peebles Photography

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will be entertaining guests in Washington D.C. at the “Hawaii on the Hill” event. Photo by Douglas Peebles Photography

“Sam Choy is a pioneer of Pacific Rim cuisine, and I’m excited to have him as part of our 3rd annual Hawaii on the Hill hosted in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. For decades, Chef Choy has been committed to sharing the culture of our state through its food, and is the latest local celebrity to participate in Hawaii on the Hill, joining Willie K, Amy Hanaialii, and Aidan James. Hawaii on the Hill has grown to be one of the most anticipated state showcase events because of participants like Chef Choy and Tiki Shark Art, who truly bring a slice of the Aloha State to Washington, D.C.,” commented Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

Mazie Hirono with Abbas Hassan and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

Sen. Mazie Hirono with Abbas Hassan and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

“It was an honor for me to get a direct invite from the Senator to attend this event. My cell phone rang and it was Mazie Hirono on the other line…wow!” he exclaimed. “I am so pleased to see that Poke, a true Hawaiian food, is making its way to the mainland in a big way,” he added.

“The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is very excited and pleased to welcome Chef Sam Choy to this year’s Hawaii on the Hill initiative and, particularly, our Taste of Hawaii on the Hill event, which has grown to over 1,000 attendees,” said Chamber President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “Having Chef Choy represent the Aloha State with Tiki Shark Art will add even more stature and a colorful dimension to our line-up of participants. This will be our third year in a row to lead this effort, in partnership with Senator Mazie Hirono and her team, and we’re looking forward to sharing Hawaii’s food, culture, and industries with our nation’s leaders, and other officials and representatives, again.”

More than 50 organizations from Hawaii are participating in the Taste of Hawaii representing made-in-Hawaii products and the tourism, agriculture, innovation and technology, manufacturing and military industries. The Taste of Hawaii is one of several events slated for the two-day Hawaii on the Hill agenda, which also includes a “Talk Story” hosted by Senator Hirono and a Policy Summit with Congressional committee members and other officials.

This year’s Hawaii on the Hill will take place June 7-8. For additional information, please contact Lori Abe with the Chamber at email: or by calling (808) 380-2605.

Coast Guard Searching for Owner of Found Kayak Near Kahaluu Beach Park

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner or operator of an unmanned adrift black kayak found one mile offshore of Kahaluu Beach Park, on the Big Island, Tuesday.

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner or operator of an unmanned adrift black kayak found 1 mile offshore of Kahaluu Beach Park, on the Big Island, Feb. 23, 2016. Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner or operator of an unmanned adrift black kayak found 1 mile offshore of Kahaluu Beach Park, on the Big Island, Feb. 23, 2016. Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point is currently searching for a possible person in the water.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner or operator of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report at 10:40 a.m., from a good Samaritan stating they had recovered a black kayak in the vicinity of Keauhou Bay near Kahaluu Beach Park.

Sector Honolulu issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners and launched the Dolphin crew. There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

“The Coast Guard encourages ocean goers to always file a float plan and leave it with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify the Coast Guard, or other rescue agency, should you not return or check‐in as planned,” said Lt. Nicholas Spence, a command duty officer at Sector Honolulu. “In addition, it’s important to label your watercraft with contact information so that if found adrift, we can help identify the owner and determine whether or not that person is in distress.”

The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program.  The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action. Positive identification may also allow the item to be returned to the owner.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Parking on Kamehameha Highway to Be Restricted Near Waimea Bay for the Eddie Aikau Tournament

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is alerting motorists of parking restrictions on Kamehameha Highway on Oahu’s North Shore in anticipation of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surf tournament. No parking will be allowed on either side of Kamehameha Highway from Iliohu Place to the Saints Peter & Paul Mission beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 at 10 pm through the duration of the tournament.

Eddie contest

Temporary barriers will be placed in the shoulders to prevent parking and allow safe pedestrian access. Honolulu Police officers will be patrolling the area enforcing the parking restriction. Vehicles parked within the restricted area will be cited and/or towed at the owner’s expense. Should the event be cancelled the barriers will be removed as quickly as possible and the parking restriction will be lifted.

HDOT is postponing planned lane closures on Kamehameha Highway along Oahu’s North Shore in anticipation of the crowds of people venturing to Waimea Bay. Previously planned utility installation and repair work on Thursday, Feb. 25 will be postponed.

Electronic message boards will be strategically placed at key decision making points including Wahiawa, Kahaluu and Kahuku to alert motorists of parking restrictions and heavy traffic on the North Shore. Additional signs will be placed on both ends of the designated area near Waimea Bay to notify drivers of the parking restriction.

We ask those travelling to the North Shore to be patient, drive safely, and expect delays. As with past Eddie’s, we expect the number of cars on the road to significantly exceed the capacity. HDOT has been in coordination with the Honolulu Police Department, City & County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department, and Department of Transportation Services to mitigate impacts to the best extent possible.

To view a complete list of the scheduled roadwork around the state visit the Hawaii Department of Transportation website by clicking here.

Former OHA Staffer Lukela Ruddle Joins Office of Mauna Kea Management as Cultural Resource Program Manager

The Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM), charged with the management of approximately 12,000 acres of State-owned land on Maunakea, continues to advance its mission to malama (take care of) Maunakea resources with the recent hiring of Lukela Ruddle as its Cultural Resource Program Manager.

Office of Maunakea Management Logo

In her new position, Ruddle’s responsibilities include assisting Kahu Ku Mauna with project reviews, policy development, community consultation, and implementation of the Comprehensive Management Plan, in particular, the Cultural Resources Management Plan. Ruddle will also initiate an educational campaign for cultural landscape preservation and a collection of the traditional, contemporary, and customary cultural practices on Maunakea.

“Lukela’s vast knowledge and problem-solving skills has already made her a key addition to the OMKM team. We are delighted to have her onboard and part of the OMKM team as we move forward with our management of the resources on Maunakea. Lukela will play a key role in providing and implementing high quality solutions and implementation of new programing,” said OMKM’s Director Stephanie Nagata.

“The job of a Cultural Resources Program Manager on Maunakea needs to be done. My desire is to contribute to the ongoing work of integrating a cultural view into meaningful management of the mountain,” said Ruddle. “I look forward to working with lineal descendants and persons having historical ties to Maunakea and developing culturally appropriate procedures and protocols.”

For fourteen years, Lukela served as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee Aide to Hannah Kihalani Springer and as OHA’s East Hawaii Community Resource Coordinator. She conducted community outreach, advocacy and community coalition building. Her working familiarity with county, state and federal laws enabled her to advise OHA on various matters and boosted the creation, review and implementation of OHA policies and programs. With this understanding of community needs and available public resources, Lukela also collaborated in drafting legislation, securing capital improvements funds and expanding programs to directly advance OHA beneficiaries.

Hawaii DLNR To Hold Public Hearing On Nāpu‘u Conservation Project

Concerns draft habitat conservation plan for game management at Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a and Pu‘u Anahulu

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), pursuant to Chapter 195D, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the Nāpu‘u Conservation Project Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for Game Management at Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a and Pu‘u Anahulu.

Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a and Pu‘u Anahulu

The DLNR  Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) manages lands in the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve and the Pu‘u Anahulu Game Management Area, in North Kona, on the island of Hawai‘i.  Current land management in the Pu‘u Anahulu Game Management Area is primarily for maintenance of non-native game mammal populations for hunting, in addition to conservation of native habitat. Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve is a multi-use area where management includes game population maintenance for hunting, natural resource conservation and restoration, and other activities such as cattle grazing and trail use. The habitat conservation plan is intended to consider and mitigate for the potential impacts from game mammal management activities on endangered species within the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a and Pu‘u Anahulu areas.

  • DATE:             March 1 and 7, 2016
  • TIME:              5:30 p.m.      
  • PLACES:           March 1, 2016: Auntie Sally’s Luau Hale, 799 Piilani Street, Hilo, HI  96720 and March 7, 2016: West Hawaii Civic Center, Community Hale, 74-5044 Ane   Keohokalole Highway

The anticipated life of the project is 25 years. Prior to the expiration of the 25-year period, DOFAW will evaluate whether to pursue an extension of the incidental take license.

DOFAW has prepared a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) – in consultation with staff and local experts, – for authorization and issuance of an incidental take license for incidental take of endangered species associated with game management activities.  The draft HCP was published in the November 8, 2015 Office of Environmental Quality and Control’s Environmental Notice and is currently available for public review and comments for a one hundred and twenty day period.

The purpose of the draft HCP is to mitigate for potential impacts to the threatened and endangered species found in the project area.

It is anticipated that game management activities have the potential to result in the incidental take of one animal species, Blackburn’s sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni), and 15 state and federally listed  plant species:  Asplenium peruvianum var. insulare, Hala pepe (Chrysodracon hawaiiensis), Kauila (Colubrina oppositifolia), Honohono (Haplostachys haplostachya), Ma‘o hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp. brackenridgei), Koki‘o (Kokia drynarioides), Neraudia ovata, ‘Aiea (Nothocestrum breviflorum), Uhiuhi (Mezoneuron kavaiense) Po‘e (Portulaca sclerocarpa), Hawaiian Catchfly (Silene lanceolata), Pōpolo kū mai (Solanum incompletum), Creeping Mint (Stenogyne angustifolia), A‘e (Zanthoxylum dipetalum var. tomentosum), and A‘e (Zanthoxylum hawaiiense).

Potential negative impacts on these listed plant species are primarily in the form of take from grazing, browsing, and trampling associated with the management of game mammals and cattle in the project area.

Potential impacts to Blackburn’s sphinx moth larvae and eggs are from the clearing and maintenance of fuel breaks and four-wheel drive access roads.

No other listed, proposed, or candidate plant or animal species are anticipated to be taken by project activities. The HCP outlines provisions for net benefit to the covered species and environment, and contributes to the recovery of each of these species.

The appointed hearing officer will be: James Cogswell, wildlife program manager, DOFAW. Should Jim Cogswell be unable to act as hearing officer, DOFAW will substitute appropriate staff as needed to conduct the public hearing.

Copies of the draft HCP are available for review at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices in Honolulu and Hilo, as a link provided in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s November 8, 2015 issue of the Environmental Notice, and copies will be available at the public hearing.

Anyone who plans to attend the hearing and requires auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter), please request assistance by contacting the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-0166.

If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to provide testimony, please send comments to the aforementioned address, attention Afsheen Siddiqi. Comments should be received by March 7, 2016.

Hawaii Island Prom Dress Drive to Help Local Ladies go to Prom

Friends of the Children’s Justice Center are having a Prom Dress Drive to help local young ladies go to a prom. Donate a formal dress to give a local high school student an opportunity to join their friends at a memorable High School event and do so with confidence.

Prom Dress Drive

Collecting new and gently used prom/party dresses & evening gowns, shoes, jewelry & accessories.

Collection Location, Hilo Naniloa Hotel, 93 Banyan Dr. Hilo, HI:

  • Friday, March 11th 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Saturday, March 12th 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM & 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, March 13th 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM