Free Concert in Lili`uokalani Gardens August 17

A free concert of classical and Hawaiian music will be held in Lili`uokalnai Gardens on Thursday, August 17, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Bring your own mats, blankets, or beach chairs to the lawn between the Pahoa-side gate and the restrooms.

“This free concert is part of the second annual Hawaii International Music Festival,” said K.T. Cannon-Eger of Friends of Lili`uokalanin Gardens.

Eric Silberger

Founded by internationally acclaimed virtuoso violinist Eric Silberger, Metropolitan Opera soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, and esteemed pianist and photographer Carlin Ma, the 2017 Hawaii International Music Festival includes interdisciplinary classical music concerts and appearances on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii.

Carlin Ma

Joining the founders at Lili`uokalani Gardens will be cellist Sung Chan Chang (Hawaii Symphony), world-renowned Argentinean Bandoneon Player JP Jofre, and Mexican Tenor Manuel Castillo. Their program will include classical music and Argentinian tango music as well as selected compositions by Lili`uokalani, Queen of Hawaii for whom the gardens are named.

Desmon Haumea

Preceding the performances by the artists of the Hawaii International Music Festival and opening the afternoon entertainment will be local musicians including guitarist Desmon Haumea, harpist Cymber Lily Quinn and flutist Kathy Dorn.

Cymber Lily Quinn

The free concert in Lili`uokalani Gardens is a prelude to an evening Hawaii International Music Festival concert, “Tastes, Sights, and Sounds of the Big Island,” where specialty coffee from Rusty’s Hawaiian and estate chocolate courtesy of Hawaiian Crown Chocolate Plantation will be served. The evening event begins at 6:30pm at First United Protestant Church Hilo, 1350 Waianuenue Ave. Tickets for the evening concert and artisanal tastings are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

Tickets for the evening are available online at .

For further information, please go to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or visit the festival website:

Senator Inouye, DLNR Host Public Information Meeting on North Kohala Agricultural Water Study

State Senator Lorraine Inouye (Dist. 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) are sponsoring an informational meeting on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Kohala Village Hub –Barn in Hawi for the public to learn more about the North Kohala Agricultural Water Study.

This meeting will allow community members to meet the project team and hear more about the plan for researching and gathering information on agricultural water users, demands, and agricultural water system conditions. Representatives of the DLNR Engineering Division and its consultants, Waimea Water Services, LLC are conducting the study.

Funds for the study were appropriated by the Hawai‘i State Legislature with the support of Sen. Inouye.

For more information, or to request an ASL interpreter, materials in an alternative format, or other auxiliary aid support, please contact five days before the event.

WHO: Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Department of Land and Natural Resources

WHAT: Public Informational Meeting

WHERE: Kohala Village Hub – Barn
55-514 Hawi Road
Hawi, North Kohala

WHEN: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Monk Seal Safely Transferred From Big Island to Oahu to Return Home – 2017 “Year of the Monk Seal”

Personnel from the Coast Guard 14th District, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and The Marine Mammal Center have partnered to transport a rehabilitated monk seal from Kona to Honolulu aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane Wednesday for further transport to her original home in the wild.

Personnel from the Coast Guard 14th District, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and The Marine Mammal Center have partnered to transport a rehabilitated monk seal from Kona to Honolulu aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane August 9, 2017, for further transport to her original home in the wild. Photo taken under the authority of NMFS MMP A/ESA Permit NO. 18786-01. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

“This is one of our 11 statutory missions and it’s a great one because it’s part of our living marine resources program and it allows us to be not only and enforcement arm for the protection of our natural resources but also to help with conservation,” said Eric Roberts, marine resource specialist, Coast Guard 14th District. “This is a unique opportunity for the Coast Guard to play a part in the recovery of this critically endangered species.”

This collaboration has successfully rehabilitated and released more than 15 young Hawaiian monk seals and become a critical piece in the monk seal recovery plan now in its 10th year. The Coast Guard transports six marine mammals on average each year in conjunction with other missions such as necessary training flights.

“The public can help us with Hawaiian monk seals because they can be aware when seals are in an area that they might be swimming or fishing and give seals a very safe distance,” Dr. Michelle Barbieri, veterinarian for the Hawaiian monk seal research program at NOAA. “It’s very important we keep seals wild by giving them the space that they need to do their natural behaviors. They can also help by reporting sightings of monk seals to their local hotline.”

This young female seal was rescued by NOAA in May and taken to The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola monk seal rehabilitation facility on Hawaii Island for care and stabilization.

Upon arrival to Oahu, the seal will be temporarily housed at the NOAA IRC facility on Ford Island and then be loaded onto a NOAA Fisheries ship and transported to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office announced in July that 2017 is the “Year of the Monk Seal” incorporating events throughout the year. It is also a celebration of a new, positive population estimate for the species. The most recent annual population assessment shows that the Hawaiian monk seal, bucking past trends, has increased in numbers by 3 percent annually for the past three years. The population is now estimated to be around 1,400 seals.

To report monk seal sightings:
Email NOAA at or
Call your island’s Marine Mammal Response Coordinator:
Island of Hawaii: (808) 987-0765
Kauai: (808) 651-7668
Maui/Lanai: (808) 292-2372
Molokai: (808) 553-5555
Oahu: (808) 220-7802

To report stranded / entangled marine mammals:
Call: 1-888-256-9840

Rear Adm. Fort Becomes Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

With a reading of his orders to a packed “all-hands call” of Sailors, Airmen and DoD civilians, Rear Adm. Brian P. Fort became commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Aug. 9.

Rear Admiral Brian P. Fort, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and commander of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. US Navy Photo

Commander, Navy Region Hawaii has leadership oversight of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oahu and Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific has leadership oversight of the 10 surface ships homeported in Hawaii.

“It is a remarkable privilege to return for duty in Hawaii,” Fort said. “The Region/MIDPAC team has an amazing reputation of integrity, service and commitment, and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this amazing team.”

As an operations officer Fort served aboard USS Ingersoll (DD 990) and USS Lake Erie (CG 70), both formerly homeported in Pearl Harbor. He also served as the executive officer aboard Hawaii-based USS Port Royal (CG 73) in the wake of 9/11/2001.

A change of command ceremony with Rear Adm. John Fuller was canceled in June when Fort was notified of an immediate assignment to Yokosuka, Japan to be an investigating officer of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 60) collision. The Navy has not released results of the investigation.

“While I am not able to speak about the details of the investigation,” Fort said, “I would ask you to continue to keep the Fitzgerald Ohana in your thoughts and prayers for the seven shipmates we lost in the early morning hours of June 17th.”

To his new Region/MIDPAC team Fort says, “Together we can do great things. Our mission is a sacred trust: the defense of our nation. Together, we can all be part of something larger than ourselves.”

Rental Car Return Route Modified to Construction of New Facility at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division is alerting the public of traffic signal modifications impacting rental car returns at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). The modified route is part of the scheduled improvements project to build a new Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC) on airport property.

Advantage, Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National customers returning rental cars to the interim rental car facility will enter the airport property and remain on the arrivals or ground level. They will loop around to Ala Onaona Street, pass the lei stands and continue in the eastbound or Diamondhead direction until they turn south (right) into the interim car rental facility. Please note that Ala Onaona Street transitions to Aolele Street. (See map 1). Electronic message boards have been placed in strategic areas throughout the airport to help motorists through the modified route. Permanent signs directing motorists to the new rental car return entrance have also been installed.

Click to enlarge and view all maps

The traffic signal located at the merge where vehicles exiting the H-1 Freeway westbound direction and eastbound direction, meets ground level vehicular traffic from Aolele Street will be activated on August 14, 2017. Vehicles are reminded to obey the speed limits, drive safely and be prepared to follow the instructions of the red light traffic signal. (See map 2).

The previous rental car return entrance at the corner of Paiea Street and Aolele Street will be unusable due to construction related activities. (See map 3).
HDOT has coordinated with Advantage, Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National rental car companies to distribute flyers to customers so they are aware of the changes. Rental car returns for Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty and other off site companies are not impacted.

Once completed, the 5-story permanent CONRAC will house the major rental car companies in one convenient location and will feature approximately 4,400 parking stalls compared to the current 895 existing parking stalls. Additional features include a Quick-Turn-Around area with fuel and car wash facilities, ready and return rental car spaces, office space and customer service counters. It will also have a common busing operation utilized by all the car rental companies that will transport passengers between the CONRAC and airport.

All customers will be able to take the same shuttle to the new facility instead of waiting for the individual company vehicle, which will reduce traffic around the airport and will be beneficial to the environment.

Construction on the HNL Car Rental Facility project began November 2016 and is 12 percent complete. It is anticipated to be finished in December 2020. The $330 million project is funded by a Customer Facility Charge which consists of a daily charge of $4.50 for cars rented on airport property, not taxpayer money from the State’s general fund.

Hawaii DLNR Holding Public Information Meeting in Hilo About Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will be holding its fourth public information meeting on sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Aupuni Center Conference Room, located at 101 Pauahi Street in Hilo, Hawai‘i.This meeting is one of a series of public information meetings being held statewide to educate people about the impacts of sea level rise and to gather comments and input about key issues and concerns regarding preparedness and adaptation. The first meeting was held on O‘ahu in June 2016, a second one in January on Kaua‘i, a third one in March on Maui, and fifth one is planned for Kona on August 22, 2017.

Climate change has the potential to profoundly impact our wellbeing and way of life. In particular, rising sea levels will increase the occurrence and severity of coastal erosion and flooding, threatening coastal communities and natural resources concentrated along low-lying shores.

“We are in the process of developing a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (SLR Report) that is to be submitted in anticipation of the 2018 Hawaii State Legislature, and we are interested in soliciting input from our island communities to help us complete the report,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.

“This SLR Report is the first state-wide assessment of the impacts of sea level rise on our coastal areas. Using the best available scientific knowledge and local experience, it will help us prepare for future sea level rise and present recommendations to reduce our exposure to SLR hazards such as erosion and extreme flooding,” said Sam Lemmo, co-chair of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee.

Anyone with special needs requiring accommodations or assistance, is asked to please contact OCCL at least four days prior to the public hearing. For more information contact the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands at (808) 587-0377 or visit our website at

Island Air Named Official Airline Sponsors of 2018 Miss Hawaii USA & Miss Hawaii Teen USA Pageants

Island Air is proud to announce its role as the Official Airline Sponsor of the 2018 Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Hawaii Teen USA pageants.

As part of its sponsorship, the airline will provide interisland flights valued at more than $22,000 to enable pageant contestants from the neighbor islands to travel to O‘ahu for appearances and other preparations leading up to the state pageants on Nov. 19, 2017 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The 2018 State titleholders also will be able to utilize the flights when they travel interisland for appearances during their yearlong reign as Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Hawaii Teen USA. In the past, contestants were responsible for covering their transportation costs, which often deterred participation.

“Island Air is proud to be the first official airline sponsor of the Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Hawaii Teen USA program, and to support local young women throughout our state as they pursue their dreams and develop confidence and character that will help advance their careers and make a difference in our communities,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air.

“Being born and raised on Kaua‘i, I understand firsthand how much more challenging it is competing as a contestant from a neighbor island,” said Alicia Michioka, executive director of Miss Hawaii USA & Miss Hawaii Teen USA, who eventually went on to win Miss Hawaii USA 2003.

University of Hawaii Partnership Aims to Improve Tornado Forecasting, Warning Lead-Times

The Jonathan Merage Foundation and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) have expanded their partnership with a new project aiming to improve severe weather forecasting and warning lead-times associated with Front Range thunderstorms over northeastern Colorado.

Colorado storm. Credit: Steven Businger.

Improvements in Colorado’s thunderstorm forecasting rely on innovative data from its Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) network. The network is comprised of 12 stations north of Denver that monitor lightning activity. LMA sensors have revealed distinct tornado signatures 30 minutes prior to the formation of a tornado and are used to predict severe storms that also produce strong straight-line winds and large hail.

The southernmost LMA sensor is currently located 25 miles north of Denver. The new gift will enable the construction and installation of six additional sensor stations around and south of Denver, expanding the LMA network to cover the Denver Metro Area and improve severe weather forecasting for the most densely-populated area of Colorado.

Steven Businger and Jonathan Merage. Credit: Jana Light.

“Not only will this project allow us to provide better information to the Colorado community about incoming and potential severe thunderstorms,” said Professor Steven Businger, chair of the Atmospheric Science Department in SOEST and project lead, “but it will allow scientists to study and refine relationships between lightning information and the tornadic potential of thunderstorms. It will allow us to better predict dangerous storms and improve lead-times for tornado warnings, which has the potential to save lives.”

Two new sensors will be installed this year and four additional sensors will be installed over the next two years.

In addition to the new LMA collaboration, the Jonathan Merage Foundation has funded another year of investigation into long-range lightning data. The project is funding a postdoctoral student in Businger’s lab.

“Last year we developed a tropical storm model that can assimilate lightning data,” said Businger. “This year we aim to improve the way cloud processes are handled in the model and run some case studies, such as Hurricane Patricia and Typhoon Haiyan, through the model. This year will get us closer to our goal of improving our ability to predict the track and intensity of tropical cyclones.”

Both projects are currently under way.

Hawaii Army National Guard Units Set to Deploy in 2018/2019

The Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) has just been notified by the Department of Defense about upcoming unit deployments to the Central and European Command’s areas of operation starting in the spring of 2018. A total of six units and approximately 1000 soldiers have received a Notification of Sourcing (NOS) which includes two aviation units from the 103rd Troop Command and elements from the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT).NOS requirements are generated by a Combatant Commander (CENTCOM, PACOM, EUCOM, etc.) based upon operational needs. For the Army, United States Forces Command (FORSCOM) will delegate the requirement to an Army Component (Army Active Duty, Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserves) to identify a unit to fulfill the requirement. Units are selected based upon readiness levels and timing within a readiness model. This notification formalizes the process by which a unit is resourced (training and funding) to prepare for deployment. It is not guaranteed that every unit named on a NOS list will be alerted to mobilize and then deploy.

The units named in the NOS are:

  1. Company B, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment (CH-47 Chinook helicopter)
  2. All HIARNG detachments of 1st Battalion, 189th General Support Aviation Battalion (HH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, Medical Evacuation)
  3. Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 29th IBCT (Brigade Staff)
  4. 227th Brigade Engineer Battalion
  5. 1st Squadron, 299th Cavalry Regiment
  6. 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery
  • The 1-171st Aviation has deployed to Iraq in 2004, Afghanistan in 2010 and 2013.
  • The 1-189th GSAB is a brand new unit and this will be their first deployment.
  • The 29th IBCT has deployed to Iraq in 2004, Kuwait in 2008, and elements to Afghanistan in 2012.

Currently, the HIARNG’s 297th Fire Fighting Team have deployed in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel to provide first-responder and firefighting support to the U.S. Army on Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base.

Exact dates, locations, numbers or missions have not been finalized. The NOS gives the HIARNG sourcing to plan and coordinate future training necessary for deployment. Soldiers from the affected units have been informing family and their civilian employers about the possibility of an upcoming deployment.

Coast Guard, Navy Conduct Joint Medevac of Crewman From Research Vessel Off Oahu

A 55-year-old crewman from the research vessel Kilo Moana arrived safely to Honolulu Tuesday following a joint medevac conducted by the Coast Guard and Navy 175 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay.

“This case illustrates the importance of our partnership with the Navy and the value of hoist capable helicopters to conduct medevacs so far offshore, allowing us to deliver mariners to a higher level of medical care in the shortest amount of time possible,” said Lt. j.g. Tim Lae, of Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu.

Navy MH-60 Seahawk

A Navy MH-60 Seahawk crew from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 hoisted the crewman aboard and safely delivered him in stable condition to emergency medical personnel at Kaneohe Bay at 6:17 p.m. He was further transported by ambulance to Queens Medical Center. A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew flew cover and provided additional communications for the Seahawk crew.

The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a request for a medevac from the captain of the Kilo Moana Monday evening. The crewman reportedly injured his foot when a box of frozen goods fell on it and his condition had declined in the 24 hours since. The vessel was more than 500 miles offshore of Oahu at the time of the request.

Watchstanders from JRCC Honolulu consulted the vessel’s on call doctor at George Washington Medical Facility and the Coast Guard duty flight surgeon who both recommended the medevac. The captain of the vessel altered course toward Oahu to close the distance and it was determined an HSM-37 Seahawk was the safest and quickest means to transport the crewmember to higher medical care.

The Seahawk crew departed Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay around 2:15 p.m. The Hercules crew departed Air Station Barbers Point on the west side of Oahu near Kapolei, met up with the Seahawk en route and provided cover during the hoist and return transit.

The Kilo Moana is a 186-foot research vessel, based out of Honolulu, owned by the Navy and operated by the University of Hawaii Marine Center.

HSM-37 is the largest expeditionary squadron in the Navy and the Easyriders support all Pearl Harbor-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers with 15 Seahawks. While anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare are their primary missions, secondary missions include search and rescue and medical evacuations.

The men and women of Air Station Barbers Point serve as “Guardians of the Pacific” in the largest and most culturally diverse of all Coast Guard operating areas — 12.2 million square miles of open ocean, atolls, and island nations. They enhance the readiness of the 14th District with long range patrol and logistical support capabilities, as well as quick and versatile search and rescue response using the Hercules and the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.