Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor to Remain Open During Abe/Obama Visit to USS Arizona

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will remain open from 8 am to 5 pm on December 27, and has made alternate shuttle arrangements to Pacific Aviation Museum and Battleship Missouri Memorial on Ford Island. USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and its accompanying parking lot and Ford Island attractions shuttle bus depot will be closed to the public on this day for the expected visit by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States President Barack Obama.

Guests planning to visit Pacific Aviation Museum or the Battleship Missouri Memorial on December 27 can park at Aloha Stadium and catch a free shuttle to both attractions on Ford Island. Aloha Stadium is close to Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at 99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard.

Ample parking will be available at a flat fee of $7 per passenger vehicle. There will be no charge for tour buses that provide transportation to Pacific Aviation Museum or Battleship Missouri Memorial on a regular basis – required screening will take place at Aloha Stadium.

Aloha Stadium parking lot will remain open from 7:15 am to 6 pm, with the first shuttle leaving for Ford Island at 8 am, and the last departing Pacific Aviation Museum at 5 pm. Shuttles will depart Aloha Stadium parking lot every 15 minutes.

Vehicles should enter the Aloha Stadium’s Main Salt Lake Gate off of Salt Lake Boulevard. Visitor parking and the shuttle bus pick up/drop off will be in this area. Directional signs will be posted.

Visitors are encouraged not to bring any bags with them. For security reasons, no bags are allowed on the shuttle bus to Ford Island. Storage lockers will be available for a nominal fee.

For more information on the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, visit Facebook.com/ValorNPS or NPS.gov/valr.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org

East Hawaii “Officer of the Month” – Officer Brian Souki

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Brian Souki on Thursday (December 22) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for December.

Officer Brian Souki

Souki was honored for solving an increase in the number of burglaries in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Puna after August.

According to Sergeant Charrise Wakita, police noticed an “alarming spike” in burglaries during the first week of September.

In response to a tip that a vacant property in Orchidland was being used as a “dumping ground,” officers encountered a woman standing near a van on a lot strewn with trash and abandoned vehicles. Officer Souki noticed a piece of a torn check dropping to the ground at her feet.

While other officers were attempting obtain the woman’s identity, Officer Souki called Dispatch but learned that no burglary or theft had been reported under the name or address printed on the check. Despite the dead end, Souki obtained a phone number of the woman whose name was on the check and learned that her checks had been stored at the home of her sister, who had a different last name, and that her sister had reported a burglary at her home during the previous week.

The woman on the vacant lot was arrested on suspicion of burglary and for an outstanding warrant. Further investigation led to charges of burglary, theft, habitual property crimes, promoting a harmful drug, four counts of unauthorized possession of confidential information, and 10 counts of forgery. Her bail was set at $195,000.

Sergeant Wakita praised Souki’s “keen observation skills, unwavering persistence, and diligence” in nominating him for the award. “Officer Souki’s apprehension and solving of this crime undoubtedly put a dent in the recent Puna crime wave and it all began with a piece of paper which could have easily been dismissed as trash,” she wrote in nomination papers.

In October, the Law Enforcement & Security Coalition of Hawaiʻi named Souki the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s 2016 “Top Cop.” As “Officer of the Month,” he is also eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Local Foods Sales Reach $84.4 Million in Hawaii

Hawaii local food production sales reached $84.4 million, according to the 2015 Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Of the $84.4 million in total local food sales in Hawaii, $69.5 million were from produce such as vegetables, nuts and fruit, while $14.9 million were from value-added products such as jams, meat, and cheese.

Most farms selling directly to consumers sold through outlets such as farmers markets and on-farm stores. Value of sales directly to consumers in Hawaii, including value-added products, was $22.8 million. The remainder of local food produce and value-added products were sold to supermarkets, restaurants, institutions, and wholesalers.

There were 2,423 operations involved in the sales of local foods in the state, representing 3,512 farm operators. Of those operators, 1,287 were female operators.

This report contains the results of the first Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey conducted. The Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey is part of the larger Census of Agriculture program. It is the first survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service to measure the effect of local foods on local economies.

Nationally, the top five states for value of direct food sales were California with $2,869 million, Michigan with $459 million, New York with $441 million, Pennsylvania with $439 million, and Wisconsin at $431 million.

Access the full Local Foods Marketing Practices dataset at NASS’s Quick Stats database: https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Local_Food/index.php

Hokulea Sets Sail for the Panama Canal

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea and her crew departed from Key West yesterday morning. The crew of the 26th leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines will continue to make way for the historic Panama Canal, where the ancient Polynesian voyaging replica will transit through the modern industrial marvel.

During her stay in Key West, Hokulea underwent usual inspections and maintenance in preparation for the next journey. The crew left Key West around 10:10 a.m. EST and sailed through the island’s channel under tow of the ship Gershon II. As she re-enters Caribbean waters, Hokulea will shift her sights for the 48-mile journey through the Panama Canal heading back to the South Pacific Ocean.

“Hokulea traveling through the Panama Canal will be a sight to see and is symbolic of ancient technology meeting modern day technology,” said Hokulea captain and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld. “We anticipate this will be a special moment for everyone aboard, and will mark another tremendous milestone for the crewmembers who have sailed this vessel to great lengths.”

After the canoe’s transit through the Panama Canal, Hokulea will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia before her sail west back to the Hawaiian Islands. She is scheduled to make a celebratory homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017. With just under seven months to go on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, the Hokulea team will continue engaging communities through education, collaboration and service, sharing the message of ocean conservation and sustainability and the mission of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth).

Road Closed to Thru Traffic on Haihai St. Between Iwalani St. and Laula Rd.

Haihai St. between Iwalani St. and Laulā Rd. will be closed to thru traffic beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2016 to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2017.  Only local and golf course traffic will be allowed access.

The purpose of the closure is to install a new box culvert and waterline tie-ins for the Haihai Fire station project, weather and construction conditions permitting.  This closure is necessary to complete the installation in a timely manner and for the safety of the traveling public.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes to avoid the work area. Special off-duty police officers will be posted in the area to facilitate traffic movement.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Cherry Blossom Festival Names 2017 Honorees

The 24th Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival honors long-time festival contributor Roberts Hawaii and Guinness World Record holder Betty Webster. The honorees will each be recognized at the festival’s opening ceremony. Time is 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 4 on the entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center.

Roberts Hawaii

Roberts Hawaii provides complimentary shuttle transportation among a host of festival venues for those wishing to ride, rather than walk, to the many activities. The statewide company provides transportation, tours and entertainment by employees who strive to perpetuate the unique culture of Hawaii. The company’s core values are lokahi (teamwork), kinaole (flawless) and haaheo (pride).

Employees at Roberts are tasked to perform their jobs with a sense of ownership and commitment to the community and to each other. The company takes pride in offering transport and fun in a “safe and service-focused manner.”

“We’re very honored to receive this wonderful recognition by the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival,” said Percy Higashi, president and COO of Roberts Hawaii. “We’ve enjoyed being a part of this special annual event, not only because it celebrates a centuries-old cultural tradition, but because it’s a fun and festive gathering made possible by the community, for the community. Our very best wishes to the 24th annual festival, and a warm mahalo to its many organizers and contributors.”

Betty Webster

“Aunty” Betty Webster of Waimea has the world’s largest sunglass collection according to Guinness World Records. She boasts over 1500 pairs and is known around town for her sunny disposition and love for life. The octogenarian has had numerous stints as a Waimea restaurant hostess and started wearing zany sunglasses “as a conversation piece.”

“I am very proud to be an honoree participating in our upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival,” notes Webster. “I have always enjoyed making people smile and laugh and it is my hope by representing the community at this event I can make that happen. The Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival is a wonderful event that brings together our community and visitors to enjoy entertainment, food, culture and historic activities.”

An avid festival attendee, Webster will be participating with the Waimea Seniors Citizen Club. Wearing a pair of her signature “shades,” she’ll be serving cherry pie at the Senior Center Hall on the Waimea Historic Corner.

The Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival annually celebrates the Japanese tradition of viewing the season’s first blooms, a celebration called “hanami,” which literally translates to hana, “flower” and mi, “look.” Held the first Saturday of February, the festival includes a variety of activities 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at multiple venues throughout Waimea. Look for pink banners identifying site locations throughout town.

Spend the day to experience an all-day lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, fun mochi pounding, plus a host of colorful craft fairs, a large quilt show and food booths. Enjoy free shuttle transportation among most venues. For info, 808-961-8706.