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Free Presentation By Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club offers a free presentation by Julie Goettsch at the August 9 meeting. Open to those interested in orchids, the gathering is 7 p.m. at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. A potluck starts off the meeting and guests are invited to participate.

Goettsch is past president of the Hilo Orchid Society and leads the Orchid Isle Project, a public service initiative with the goal to beautify the island through orchids. She will present “Since Before Dirt: The Unlikely History of Orchids that Made the Orchid Isle.”

For info, phone 808-328-8375.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise.

Big Island’s Do-It-Yourself Used Motor Oil Collection Sites

Used motor oil contains toxic substances that can contaminate our land, ground water and ocean. The County of Hawai‘i operates a program for the do-it-yourself person who changes their own non-business vehicle’s motor oil.

Do-it-yourself used motor oil collection sites at the following seven locations are open and accepting used motor oil:

  • Lex Brodie’s Tire & Service Center in Hilo
  • Pa‘auilo Village Service
  • Kealakehe High School Auto Shop
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts in Kona
  • CarTow Kohala in Hāwī
  • RPM Kawaihae
  • South Point U-Cart in Ocean View

Unfortunately, at this time, empty motor oil containers are not recyclable at a global level. Research is being conducted to study how to remove oil from plastic, but is still in development. To avoid contamination of other recyclable plastic, empty motor oil containers need to be placed in regular disposal.

For more information on hours of operation, acceptability conditions, and contact information, please visit our Used Motor Oil page at www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/motor-oil. 

Hawaii Department of Health Certifies Lab to Begin Testing Medical Cannabis

Steep Hill Hawaii, a private independent laboratory on Oahu, can now begin testing medical cannabis from Hawaii’s licensed medical cannabis dispensaries and registered patients and caregivers. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) granted Steep Hill a provisional certification today after the laboratory successfully passed its final onsite inspection and met requirements that demonstrate it has the capacity and proficiency to test cannabis and manufactured cannabis in compliance with state law.

Click to visit

“We realize that registered patients and caregivers and some of the licensed dispensaries have been waiting for a laboratory to become operational to test medical cannabis prior to consumption and sale. This is a major step forward as it allows the dispensaries to now begin testing their products to sell to qualified patients,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of DOH’s Office of Health Care Assurance, who oversees the medical cannabis dispensary program.

A laboratory is restricted from handling, testing, or analyzing cannabis or manufactured cannabis products until it is certified by the state. Under the interim administrative rules governing the medical cannabis dispensary program, certification allows a laboratory to conduct specific tests required to ensure the safety of products sold to registered patients in Hawaii.

“Certification follows a rigorous scientific process that requires meticulous attention to detail and constant refining to ensure product and patient safety,” said Chris Whelen, chief of DOH’s State Laboratories Division. “Our State Laboratories Division team is currently working closely with two other private independent labs to help them obtain certification. They are continuing to submit or resubmit their validation studies for certification.”

To receive certification, a laboratory must submit validation studies to demonstrate it is capable of conducting testing with consistent and accurate results for the following areas: cannabinoid profile (including THC), compound that are considered “active ingredients,” heavy metals such as arsenic, pesticides, solvents, moisture content, microbial contaminants, intestinal bacteria and pathogens, dangerous molds that can cause infection and disease, and toxins produced by molds. In addition, a laboratory must also meet the accreditation standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii are required to have their products tested for safety by a state-certified independent laboratory prior to sale. Laboratories interested in providing testing for medical cannabis on Kauai, Hawaii Island, Maui, or Oahu may apply for state certification at http://health.hawaii.gov/statelab.

Governor to Consider Nominees to Fill the Vacancies in Third Circuit Court Left by the Retirement of Judges Hara and Ibarra

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancies created by the retirement of former Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (Island of Hawaiʻi) Judges Glenn S. Hara and Ronald Ibarra.

The commission submitted the list of nominees to the governor on July 31, 2017 after careful evaluation and investigation into the background and qualifications of each applicant.

The nominees to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of the Honorable Glenn S. Hara are:

  • Harry P.N.S. Freitas – District Court Judge, District Court of the Third Circuit (Hawaiʻi)
  • Jeffrey A. Hawk – Attorney
  • Henry T. Nakamoto – District Family Court Judge, Third Circuit
  • Jeffrey W.S. Ng – Deputy Public Defender, State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Public Defender

The nominees to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of the Honorable Ronald Ibarra are:

  • Gregory A. Ferren – Attorney, Law Office of Gregory A. Ferren
  • Robert D.S. Kim – Attorney/President, Robert D.S. Kim, Inc.
  • Michael H. Schlueter – Attorney/Partner, Schlueter & Kwiat, LLLP
  • Kimberly B.M. Taniyama – Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawaiʻi

Gov. Ige will interview each nominee and is seeking public comment through the governor’s website: http://governor.hawaii.gov/contact-us/contact-the-governor/.

Gov. Ige has 30 days, or until August 30 to make his appointments.

Hawaii Joins Multi-State Pledge to Strengthen Cyber Defense, Workforce

Gov. David Y. Ige today announced that Hawai‘i has joined a multi-state cybersecurity compact signed by 38 governors to enhance state cybersecurity and develop the cyber workforce.

The “Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity” is part of the National Governors Association’s “Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge” initiative. The compact makes recommendations to better secure states’ cyber infrastructure by building cybersecurity governance, preparing and defending the state from cybersecurity events, and growing the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

Click to read

“The top priority of any governor is the public’s welfare and safety, which now includes protecting citizens from cyber threats,” Gov. Ige said. “I am proud to join my fellow governors in signing this compact and committing to its recommendations.”

The compact specifically recognizes that a “competent and plentiful workforce” is critical to successful cybersecurity policy.

“Hawaii has already taken proactive steps toward the compacts goals,” said state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy, who leads the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, the agency responsible for securing state government information resources and infrastructure. “These include establishing a state chief information security officer, reclassifying IT security positions to align with modern industry best practices, offering cyber internship opportunities, and supporting programs such as SANS Institute’s CyberStart program that encourages high school and college students to explore careers in cybersecurity.”

Read the full Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity here:

Endangered ‘Io Released After Recovering From Severe Wing Injury

An endangered ʻIo, Hawaiian hawk, has been returned to the wild after six months of extensive rehabilitation following a severe wing injury back in January. The ʻIo, a young female, was found with a fractured wing by a concerned citizen. The bird’s rescuer contacted the Division of Forestry and Wildlife who then sought out a local veterinary clinic to provide emergency care to stabilize the injured bird. Once stabilized, the ʻIo was transferred to the care of the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center in Kapaʻau in the hopes that she could be rehabilitated for a second chance at life in the wild.

“Initially we were concerned about the location of the fracture and questioned the likelihood of her regaining the ability to fly and survive in the wild,” said Samantha Christie, Wildlife Rehabiltation Manager at the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center. Fortunately, the ʻIo demonstrated a tenacious fighting spirit and overcame all obstacles between her and a triumphant return to the skies of Hawai‘i island. In total, the ʻIo spent six months in captivity as professional rehabilitators and veterinarians examined her case and prepared her for release.

The ʻIo was housed in large raptor aviary at HWC which allowed her to stretch her newly healed wing and exercise. “We were able to monitor her activity thanks to a remote camera in the enclosure. This way, we could minimize her contact with humans and still observe her progress,” said Christie. It seems the techniques were successful as the ʻIo exhibited a healthy fear and distrust of her caretakers throughout her captivity. “While I’m sure she appreciates the free mouse dinner, there’s no question of us being friends. This is a wild animal and she resists human contact and handling with all of her strength.”

Radiographs showed a severe fracture near the ‘Io’s shoulder.

The ʻIo was provided with a varied diet of mice, rats, and birds, but she took it upon herself to supplement her menu with something a bit more exciting. “Each raptor that we treat is presented with live prey before they are released to ensure that they have retained the ability to hunt. Not only did this ʻIo pass mouse prey-testing with flying colors, she was also seen on camera catching and eating large centipedes on several occasions,” said Alexis Wessels, Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician at HWC.

HWC consulted with experts regarding the timing and location of the ʻIo’s release. Her flight, hunting skills, body condition, feathers, and bloodwork were each evaluated to ensure that the young hunter was adequately prepared to return to a life in the wild. She was also banded by Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife before her release. The tenacious ʻIo flew quickly and easily upon release outside the HWC facility in Kapaʻau. She came to rest in a nearby tree, seemily taking in her new surroundings and showing great interest in the small birds arriving to investigate the newcomer. Then, with surprising stealth and confidence, she took off to resume the mysterious life of a wild bird. Six months of hard work, collaboration, and dedication lead to this moment—a hard-fought success for an endangered species and a victory for Hawaiʻi’s native wildlife.  

Public Information Meeting to Introduce North Kohala Agricultural Water Study

A public information meeting to initiate the North Kohala Agricultural Water Study will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at the Kohala Village Hub – Barn, located at 55-514 Hawi Road, in Hawi, North Kohala, Hawai‘i.  The meeting is sponsored by DLNR and Sen. Lorraine Inouye.

Representatives of the DLNR Engineering Division and its consultants, Waimea Water Services, LLC are conducting the study to identify the current and future demands, and explore options to evaluate existing and potential new water sources and transmission necessary to meet the agricultural needs of the region.

Funds for this study were appropriated by the Legislature with the support of Senator Inouye.

Meeting facilitators are from One World One Water.

 For more information, or to request an ASL interpreter, materials in an alternative format, or other auxiliary aid support, please contact admin@oneworldonewater.org 5 days before the meeting.