Driving Credentials & COVID-19 Emergency Orders

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highways Division announces the following changes to its vehicle licensing and safety check programs as part of the effort to reduce face-to-face interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driver’s Licenses and State IDs

  • The state is invoking a 90-day waiver on all expired driver’s licenses and State identification cards. If your driver’s license or State ID expires between March 23 and May 15, your credentials will be considered valid in the State of Hawaii for an additional 90-days.
  • In coordination with the county driver’s licensing centers, HDOT has suspended all in-person driver’s license transactions and in-vehicle testing. There are limited non-in-person driver’s license services available such as online ordering of duplicates currently offered by the City and County of Honolulu for eligible residents, and mail-in duplicates and renewals offered by all counties. Please visit the county’s website or contact the county that issued your driver’s license or state ID for instructions on using their mail-in services.
  • The 90-day waiver for driver’s licenses also applies to Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders. Additionally, HDOT is allowing extension of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) and hazardous materials endorsement expiration for motor carriers through the period of the Governor’s emergency proclamation which began March 4 and was extended to May 15.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is accepting expired driver’s licenses or State IDs that expired on or after March 1 for use at TSA checkpoints. See https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus for more information.
  • On March 23, President Donald Trump announced that the Oct. 1, 2020 REAL ID deadline would be extended. The new deadline has yet to be announced.

Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection (Safety Check)

The annual safety check requirement is suspended, and no safety checks will be done through the month of April. If your safety check is expired, it will remain valid through May 31. Also, you may renew your vehicle registration online or with your expired safety check certificate during this grace period.

Vehicle Registration

Vehicle registrations may still be done online or by mail even though your safety check may have expired. Not all counties allow online renewals after your registration submission deadline. Please check your county’s website or contact your county office for further information.

City and County of Honolulu


County of Maui


County of Hawaii


County of Kauai


HDOT thanks the counties and the community for their social distancing efforts.

Coast Guard, Partners Respond to Aground Vessel off Waikiki

The Coast Guard and partners are responding to a report of a 35-foot, double-masted sailing vessel grounded off Waikiki, Saturday evening.

The Coast Guard and partners are responding to a report of a 35-foot, the double-masted sailing vessel grounded off Waikiki, March 21, 2020.
Pollution responders are on the scene assessing the situation and surrounding area for impacts.  At this time, there are no reports of pollution. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

Pollution responders are on the scene assessing the situation and surrounding area for impacts.  At this time, there are no reports of pollution. 

There is a maximum potential fuel load of 30 gallons of diesel aboard, including miscellaneous oil and marine batteries.

The Coast Guard, working in partnership with the State of Hawaii and local officials, will oversee assessment and mitigation efforts. Contractors have been hired to assess and relocate the vessel. The oil spill liability trust fund has been opened to allow the response to move forward quickly. 

There are no reports of personnel injuries or impacted wildlife. The weather on scene is 2-foot surf seas and 3 mph winds.

At 2:50 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from Ocean Safety of the vessel, Steady Beat, aground about 50 yards off Waikiki Reef Hotel with two people aboard. The vessel was reportedly at anchor offshore when the anchor failed, allowing the vessel to drift. 

Ocean Safety crews, a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, and Coast Guard marine safety personnel responded.

State Senate Launches Special Committee on COVID-19

Senate President Ron Kouchi announced today that he has appointed a special committee to advise the Senate on the State of Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 plans and procedures.

The Committee members are: Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, Senator Michelle N. Kidani, Senator Donna Mercado Kim, Senator Sharon Y. Moriwaki and Senator Kurt Fevella.

Due to social distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the meetings will not be open to the public to attend in person.

The initial meetings are scheduled for tomorrow, March 19, 2020,  and on Friday, March 20. Additional meetings will be announced.

Gov. Ige Announces State Actions to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Gov. David Y. Ige announced today state actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The actions I’m announcing today may seem extreme to some of you, and we know that it will have negative effects to our economy. But we are confident that taking aggressive actions now will allow us to have a quicker recovery when this crisis is over,” said Gov. Ige.

Gov. Ige strongly encouraged our visitors to postpone their vacations for at least the next 30-days and reschedule for a later date.


Effective this Friday (March 20), screening of all passengers disembarking cruise ships will be screened. Our airports are working on implementation plans for screening arriving visitors.

Gov. Ige is directing the following:

  • Limit social gatherings to groups of 10 people or less to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • Close bars and clubs.
  • Close restaurants or provide drive-thru, take out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Close theatres, entertainment centers and visitor attractions.
  • Avoid any discretionary travel.
  • Suspend services and activities in places of worship.
  • Stay home if you are a high-risk individual and take additional precautionary measures.
  • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities.
  • If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home.

Stability is also critical in this unprecedented situation.  Accordingly, the following steps have been taken:

  • All utilities have been directed to take necessary measures to ensure that they can continue to operate in the normal course.
  • Dir. Kenneth S. Hara, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, has the full authority to determine what constitutes critical infrastructure or essential services that will continue operations. This includes utilities, fuel producers, shipping facilities and industry, financial institutions, financial services, telecommunications companies, wholesaler or distributors, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other industry vital to our community.
  • For both the utilities and essential services, government resources and support can be deployed as necessary.
  • The one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits is waived for those unemployed because of COVID-19.
  • The Office of Consumer Protection is working with its Landlord Tenant Center, and effective already are emergency provisions applicable to tenants.
  • During the emergency, the following additional steps are being discussed with our community’s business partners and non-profit organizations to maintain stability for our families by:
    • Ensuring employees have benefits, even if employees are not at work.
    • Halting eviction for non-payment of rent.
    • Halting foreclosures.
    • Working with public and private utility providers to avoid shut-off of service to critical utilities such as electric, gas, water, internet, landline telephone and cell phone.

Gov. Ige has also directed all department and agency heads to review their employees and identify the following:

  1. Essential-functions (will be required to report to work)
  2. Non-essential – able to work remotely via telework (work from home)
  3. Non-essential – unable to work remotely via telework or otherwise
    1. These employees could be re-assigned to work that could be done remotely, as long as it’s in the employee’s job description and classification

For the next 15 calendar days, Gov. Ige is directing the departments to have all non-essential staff stay home. Essential workers will continue to report to work. All employees will continue to be paid and will still be eligible for sick leave, vacation and other benefits. Every employee should look to their respective department for detailed instructions.

Gov. Ige has also banned all non-essential travel for state workers, including to the Neighbor Islands.

In addition, the state is taking the following actions:

  • Temporarily closing State Libraries to public access to evaluate and adjust operations to maintain social distancing. There will be no fees for late returns and the Library online resources will still be available.
  • The Dept. of Land and Natural Resources is closing parks, offices with in-person access and large.
  • All events at the State Capitol, State Art Museum, and tours at Washington Place are suspended.
  • The Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has suspended all combat sports in Hawaii.
  • Cancelled events at Aloha Stadium and Hawaiʻi Convention Center for the next 30 days.

“It is essential that our government operations and services continue during this time, but we must keep all of our employees and community safe and healthy.  We expect more stringent actions in the days to come. These are difficult times, but Hawaiʻi has a history of coming together when faced with challenges. I’m confident that together we will rise to the task,” said Gov. Ige.

Members Selected to COVID-19 Committee on Economic & Financial Preparedness

Hawaii House Speaker Scott K. Saiki today announced the appointment of individuals to serve on the Select House Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness adopted through House Resolution 54.

The first meeting of the Select Committee is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, at 10 a.m., in Room 329 at the State Capitol. The meeting is open to the public.

Members of the committee:

Speaker Scott K. Saiki, Co-Chair

Mr. Peter Ho, Co-Chair – Chairman, President & CEO Bank of Hawaii

Representative Della Au Belatti

Representative Richard H. K. Onishi

Representative Kyle T. Yamashita

Representative Bob McDermott

Dr. Carl Bonham – Executive Director and Professor of Economics UHERO

Mr. Mufi Hannemann – President & CEO
Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association

Mr. Peter R. Ingram – President & CEO Hawaiian Airlines

Mr. Nathaniel Kinney – Executive Director
Hawaii Construction Alliance

Ms. Lisa Maruyama – President & CEO
Hawaii Ailiance of Nonprofit Organizations

Ms. Sheryl Matsuoka – Executive Director
Hawaii Restaurant Association

Ms. Sherry Menor-McNamara – President & CEO
Hawaii Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Scott Murakami – Director
State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Mr. Kuuhaku Park – Vice President, Government & Commercial Relations Matson, Inc.

Dr. Sarah Park – Disease Outbreak Control Division State Department of Health

Mr. Mark Perrieilo – President & CEO ; Kauai Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Noelani Schilling-Webster – Executive Director
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Mr. Gino Soquena – Executive Director
Hawaii Building &. Construction Trades Council

Mr. Chris Tatum – President & CEO
Hawaii Tourism Authority

Dr. Eugene Tian – State Economist – Research and Economic Analysis Division Administrator State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

Ms. Pamela Tumpap – President/Secretary
Maui Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Tina Yamaki – President
Retail Merchants of Hawaii

Mr. Miles Yoshioka – Executive Director
Big Island Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Robert Yu – Deputy Director
State Department of Budget and Finance

Ms. Lauren Zirbel – Executive Director
Hawaii Food Industry Association

Thieves Break Into State Base Yard Steal Truck & Tools

Hawaii Island Police are investigating a break in that occurred at the State base yard in Hilo overnight. Taken in the break-in was a 2018 Ford Truck, white in color with a black lift gate.

Pictured is a similar truck. Investigators are still trying to determine what type of tools were removed from the base yard.

The license plate is SH H626, and both doors have the Hawaii state seal on them.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the police non-emergency number at 935-3311, tips via Nixle, or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300. Tipsters using CrimeStoppers can remain anonymous.

RE: Police Report 20-019034

Fix-A-Leak Week

Nutrient Pollution, Ocean Warming Negatively Affect Early Life of Corals

Corals are constantly exposed to many environmental stressors. On a global scale, climate change is increasing seawater temperatures which can cause coral bleaching. Locally, land-use practices can cause poor water quality, run-off of land-based fertilizers and sediment washing over coral reefs. 

study conducted by researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) found the survival and development of coral larvae in their first few days of life were negatively affected by elevated nutrients and a modest increase in water temperature.

A swimming (bottom) and settling (top) coral larvae. Credit: Raphael Ritson-Williams.

Before reef corals build their hard, rocky skeletons they actually start their life as tiny, gelatinous larvae adrift in waters adjacent to coral reefs. The research team used larvae of three common Hawaiian coral species, starting at less than one-day old, and exposed them to various combinations of low or high nutrients and water temperatures. At the end of five days, the team determined how individual and interacting stressors impacted coral during the first days of the life cycle for each species.          

When nitrogen was high, coral larvae showed the lowest survivorship. However, when phosphate was added, the negative effects of nitrate were lessened. Surprisingly warming didn’t reduce survival, but the interaction of high temperature with nutrients affected larval growth, generally reducing larval size. This showed that nutrients can have serious impacts on coral larvae, but importantly the imbalance of nutrients and their interactions with temperature can harm corals at very early stages.

“The study also revealed that the way corals reproduce and other biological differences among larvae influence how they respond to environmental change,” said Chris Wall, study co-author and postdoctoral researcher at SOEST’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center. “The impacts of warming and elevated nutrients were greatest on small larvae that develop outside the parents, called broadcast spawners, and dependent on whether the larvae had already formed a relationship with their symbiotic algae. And interestingly, those larger larvae that develop inside their parents, called brooders, were quite resistant to warming and nutrient spikes.”

Adult, larval stages of corals. Credit: MR Souza, EA Lenz, RM Kitchen, CB Wall, R. Ritson-Williams.

In adult corals, nutrient pollution can increase the negative effects of ocean warming, such as increasing the severity of coral bleaching. As marine heat waves and bleaching events have become more common because of climate change, it is critical that conservationists and managers consider how reducing different forms of local impacts like pollution—such as nitrogen and phosphate from residential and agricultural runoff—can significantly affect adult corals and also the viability of coral larvae.

“Understanding the impacts of stressors on adult corals has been a primary focus of coral research, but this is just one piece of the puzzle,” said study co-author Madeline Piscetta. “In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of how temperature and nutrients will shape coral reefs, we need to examine these interactions across all life history stages.”

EPA Completes Factory Street Lead Removal in Honolulu

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is paving part of Factory Street as the last activity in the removal of lead-contaminated soil in the Kalihi-Palama neighborhood of Honolulu.

On January 20, work began to remove and dispose of soil and other project debris. EPA ensured that proper dust control measures were in place during the excavation and monitored and sampled the air to verify that the community was not impacted by our work.

High lead levels of up to 24,000 parts per million (ppm) were found under Factory Street. Removing the lead was the most protective action for the community, since no one is responsible for maintaining the private street. Beginning today, no parking is permitted on the paved portion of the street for the next two weeks, to allow the paved area to dry completely.

“EPA is working hard to reduce childhood exposure to lead in Hawai‘i,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “The work completed today is an important step towards that goal.”

This project stems from the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s April 2019 request for EPA to address high levels of lead in soil under a portion of Factory Street.

In older neighborhoods like Kalihi-Palama there are a number of ways that people may be exposed to lead. EPA has a strong partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Health and encourages residents to explore the great resources on their website; lead.hawaii.gov to learn more and protect themselves and their children from lead exposure.

For additional project information please visit: https://response.epa.gov/site/factorystreet

UH Hilo HOSA Students Have Strong Performance at State Conference

Students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo claimed top honors in various event categories at the 15th Annual Hawai’i HOSA – Future Health Professionals State Leadership Conference held recently on O`ahu.

UH Hilo HOSA’s Public Service Announcement Team, comprised of juniors Travis Taylor and Shayne Cabudol, freshman Kit Neikirk, and senior Jeremy Villanueva, captured 1st Place in Public Service Announcement event with their 30-second PSA on “Stop the Bleed.”

In the individual competition, junior Daniel Kimura received 2nd Place in Medical Terminology and junior Rhodney Hernando advanced as a 2nd Round Finalist in the Physical Therapy event.

Taylor, current UH Hilo chapter president, was elected as the Hawaiʻi HOSA State Postsecondary Vice President.

The UH Hilo HOSA team next participates in the 2020 International Leadership Conference, scheduled for June 24-27, 2020 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

HOSA – Future Health Professionals is an international organization with more than 245,000 members and 2.5 million alumni. HOSA was established in Hawaiʻi in 2005 and has grown to more than 1,700 members.

Coffee with a Cop

The Hawaiʻi Police Department’s South Kohala Community Policing Section invites you to join them for a “Coffee with a Cop” event on Monday (March 9), from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Waimea McDonald’s located at  65-1154 Māmalahoa Highway.

This casual event has no agenda and is an opportunity for community members to engage in conversation with their district police officers over a cup of coffee. Topics of conversation can range from sharing personal stories to answering questions or even discussing neighborhood or community issues. Come talk story and get to know your district police officers over a cup of java.

Please contact the South Kohala Community Policing Section at (808) 887-3080 if you have any questions.

Welcome Back… Yeah It’s Me

Aloha and welcome back!

This is Damon here… I’m testing my site and looking forward to bringing you news and information again.

It’s been awhile and I was bought out by another news organization for awhile. Looking forward to providing timely information to folks here in Hawaii again.

HTA Grant Enables Restoration of 3 Anchialine Pools Within Kekaha Kai State Park

Volunteers are invited to participate in a community workday and free fun activities to help restore the natural ecosystem of three anchialine pools in the Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park on Saturday, July 29. A beach cleanup is also part of the day’s events.

Showing two photographs of the current condition of the pool that is location of restoration work on Saturday, as well as a photograph of what the pool looked like in the 1990s before the tsunami.

The restoration project will involve removing the non-native plant and fish species, built-up sediment, and sand that was deposited as a result of the 2011 tsunami in a portion of the large pool/fishpond located at Ka‘elehuluhulu Beach in the Mahai‘ula section of the park.

The day will feature the first on-site work that has taken place as part of the anchialine pool restoration project made possible by an HTA grant. The work day represents the culmination of two years of planning and preparation for this project

Its purpose is to restore the anchialine pool ecosystems so that the native red shrimp (‘opae‘ula) can return to the anchialine pools. Guppies and sediment are currently preventing the opae’ula from living in the pools.

The DLNR Division of State Parks was awarded a $10,000 grant by the HTA Natural Resources Program grant that is administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the restoration project. Grant money will also be used to develop educational materials related to the anchialine pools so that they can be used to teach school groups about the pools while on field trips to the park.

Future community work days like the one on Saturday will be scheduled.  Division of State Parks also plans to partner with a few local schools to teach students about anchialine pools and get them involved in the restoration efforts

Schedule for the day and directions:

  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. – sign-in with morning coffee courtesy Kona Coffee and Tea
  • 8 to 9 a.m. – morning beach yoga with Alyssa from Soul Shape Yoga
  • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – anchialine pool restoration work
  • 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. – potluck lunch – bring a dish to share
  • 12:30 to 3 p.m. – beach cleanup with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Slackline fun with Jesse from SlackHi

Directions: take the road to Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park to the parking lot at the very end of the road. Bring water and reef-safe sunscreen. Gloves and equipment will be provided. Please bring a refillable water bottle, potluck dish and beach chair.

Mahalo for support from:  Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, Soul Shape Yoga, Hawai‘i Kombucha, Kona Coffee & Tea, and Slackline fun.

For more information call Dena Sedar, Division of State Parks at (808) 209-0977.

Security Changes Planned for the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has notified the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (DPS) of its intention to terminate the agreement between the departments at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). HDOT believes the agreement is out of date. The current agreement between HDOT and DPS began July 1, 2002 and states the agreement may be terminated by either party at any time, upon no less than 180 calendar days’ prior written notice. HDOT is open to working with DPS to create a new agreement.

“The safety and security of the passengers, employees and the entire airport community continues to be of utmost importance,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “As the contracting agency, HDOT is ultimately responsible for providing the best possible services and security at its facilities.”

“The end of the current agreement is now the starting point for us to make operational, legal, and personnel related improvements that meet the HDOT Airport Division’s requirements,” said Nolan Espinda, Hawaii Department of Public Safety Director. “We understand we are on the clock to make the improvements before the end of the year and we are working to make the necessary adjustments.”

HNL is the only airport in the state with deputies stationed at the facility. Sheriffs’ deputies will respond to Kalaeloa Airport and Dillingham Airfield as needed.

The Department of the Attorney General will continue leading felony investigations related to airport property. In addition to Securitas, Homeland Security, CBP/ICE, DEA and FBI have armed employees at the airport.

There are two very distinct and separate functions for the private and public security agencies. The two agencies do not cross over in their daily responsibilities.

The role of Securitas is to enforce the TSA approved Airport Security Plan (ASP). This is to ensure that all security preventive measures are met to the satisfaction of Transportation Security Administration Office of Inspections.

Sheriffs’ deputies respond as needed and assist with arresting and transporting suspects. The Sheriff’s Division Airport Section complements Securitas.

There are currently 72 armed Securitas law enforcement officers and nearly 300 total Securitas officers working at HNL during a 24-hour day. There are 57 total uniformed Sheriff’s deputies assigned to HNL.

Securitas has had arrest power since being awarded the contract in 2004, as did the previous security firms that had the contracts prior to Securitas.

There are three categories of Securitas officers:

  • Law Enforcement Officer (LEO)/Contract Security Supervisor (CSS)/Contract Security Manager (CSM)
    Per HRS 261-17 LEO/CSS/CSM have the authority to carry firearms and badges, issue citations, and make arrests while on State of Hawaii Airport property. LEO/CSS/CSM follow the Airport Security Plan governed and approved by Transportation Security Inspectors and federal government. The extensive LEO qualifications, training and background process is attached separately.
  • Airport Security Officer (ASO)
    Unarmed, uniformed security officer certified and registered by the State of Hawaii under Act 208, HRS 463-10.5, to provide visible security and patrol of the entry/exit points for airport tenants and vehicles into the sterile areas of the airport and, if needed, assist in the traffic control of vehicles and pedestrians on the public side of the airport.
  • Traffic Control Officer (TCO)
    Unarmed, uniformed security officer certified and registered by the State of Hawaii under Act 208, HRS 463-10.5, to provide directional control for the safe movement of pedestrians and vehicles on the non-sterile side of the airport.

Private security companies have worked to keep Hawaii’s airport facilities safe since 1976. Securitas was awarded the Oahu and Hawaii County contract in 2004 and the Maui and Kauai districts contract in 2007.

HDOT is self-sustaining and the Airports Division does not receive funding from the State’s General Fund. Instead, the Airports System generates its own revenues and pays for its own expenses, including security, from concession and airline revenue. Primary sources of funding include landing fees, terminal rentals, parking revenue, and passenger facility charges and concessions, in addition to federal funds.

Mauna to Mauna Ultra Race Results

Endurance Events USA is pleased to announce the inaugural edition of the Mauna to Mauna Ultra, which took place from May 14 – May 20th, 2017, has been completed successfully.  This unique event is a 6-stage, 7 day, self-supported footrace.  It was held in the state of Hawaii, USA on the Island of Hawaii, covering a cumulative distance of approximately 155 miles (250 km).

The 155-mile course route began at Coconut Island, Hilo and wound its way from the east side to the west side of the Island of Hawaii finishing at Hapuna Beach. The course took participants up the world’s most massive mountain (Mauna Loa) as well as the world’s tallest mountain (Mauna Kea), hence the name of the race: Mauna to Mauna Ultra. Participants climbed 22,238 feet (6,778m) over the course of the race. They experienced the remotest part of the world and the eleven-climate zones phenomenon that is Hawaii Island.

The field of participants representing 20 countries came together for this challenging event, assuming the responsibility of carrying their own backpacks containing food, sleeping bag, mat and other mandatory equipment for the week in which survival skills played as important a role as running and hiking. The competitors included five champions from the sister race, Grand to Grand Ultra.

The winners of the first ever Mauna to Mauna Ultra were:


  • Rank       Name                       Time
  1. Garcia Beneito, Vicente Juan (Spain) 26:46:17
  2. Vieux, Florian  (Switzerland)             27:38:16
  3. Wakaoka, Takuya (Japan)                   30:37:36


Sylvia Ravaglia                      

  • Rank       Name                           Time
  1. Ravaglia, Sylvia (Hawaii, USA)    34:32:28
  2. Gayter, Sharon  (UK)                    37:52:14
  3. Lavender Smith, Sarah (California, USA)     39:03:36

The event was sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawaii.

Please visit the event website at www.m2multra.com for more information and registration details for the Mauna to Mauna Ultra 2018.

Please follow the event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mauna2mauna.

For information regarding registration, sponsorship, or other event-related questions, please contact Colin Geddes at info@g2gultra.com


Councilmember Jen Ruggles Urges County to Address Disparity

Hawaii County Councilmember Jen Ruggles of Puna has introduced a measure acknowledging that Hawaii County has historically discriminated against low income and Native Hawaiian communities in the Puna and Ka’u districts. Resolution 205-17 (See Below) states that the county will commit to identifying, addressing, and preventing discrimination against disadvantaged populations.

Photo via David Corrigan

The resolution is based on a ruling by the Office of Civil Rights in 2000 that ruled in favor of the complainants in the case of Sustainability Committee vs. the Department of Transportation (HDOT) and Hawaii County. “The ruling found that substandard subdivisions of Puna and Ka’u have been, by design, denied access to basic infrastructure and services for forty years while providing taxes that subsidize services to already served, higher income communities,” said Ruggles.

The investigation also found that HDOT, and Hawaii County have failed to consider economic development and multi-model transportation needs of low-income communities of Puna and Ka’u, and concluded that HDOT and Hawaii County were in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 12898.

The resolution points to the fact that Puna has substandard roads, no wastewater treatment facility, fewest police per capita, and that human right standards set by the United Nations on access to clean drinking water are not met in the district.

“Puna is one of the fastest growing districts in the state. The lack of infrastructure severely economic growth and compromises the well-being of our residents,” says Ruggles, “moving forward, it is pertinent we recognize historical inequity and commit as leaders and decision makers, to addressing disparity, especially for the low-income and Native Hawaiian communities on our island.”

Testimony for Resolution 205-17 will be taken at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 16th in the Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development meeting. Testimony by video conference will be available at the county satellite offices and can be sent via email to: counciltestimony@hawaiicounty.gov.

Click here to read: RES 205-17

13th Annual Celebration of Life at Wailoa State Park

Hospice of Hilo will host its 13th Annual Celebration of Life at Wailoa State Park on Sunday, April 30, 2017.  “Celebration of Life is a beautiful and profound ceremony.  Walking together is uplifting, and watching the twinkling lights from the lanterns as they float down the river is a moving sight,” said Community Bereavement Counselor, Cathy Hough.

Attendees can purchase a commemorative lantern in memory of a cherished loved one. “We use lanterns as a symbol to help people remember loved ones are always in their hearts.  Watching the lanterns glide on the water also helps those in grief express emotion, and provides a shared experience with others, reminding participants that they are not alone on their healing journey,” said Bereavement Counselor, Anjali Kala. In addition, participants can dedicate a 2-mile walk around Wailoa State Park while raising funds to support compassionate care in East Hawai‘i.

“The cost of delivering the care our community needs often exceeds the reimbursements received from insurance companies,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO, Brenda Ho.  “Donor support of our programs through events like Celebration of Life helps provide the wheelchair and the oxygen, reduces a family’s anxiety in the face of illness, brings comfort to patients in pain, and helps children in grief smile again.”

Those interested in registering for the walk, or purchasing a lantern, can do so online at www.hospiceofhilo.org, by calling Lisa Kwee at (808) 969-1733, or at the event.  Luminaries are $20 before event day, and $25 if purchased at the celebration. Live Entertainment will be provided by Darlene Ahuna, Doug Espejo and Boni Narito, and Keaukaha’s – The Kipapas. ‘Ono food will be available for purchase.  Prizes will be awarded to walking teams and individuals who raise the most funds. Registration opens at 3:30 pm on event day, with the walk beginning at 5 pm, and the luminaries will make their way down the river at 7 pm.

Groundbreaking Celebrated by Hawaii Island Adult Care and Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation

A New Home In Hilo For Hawaii Island Adult Care

A groundbreaking and blessing for a new 9,000 square foot Adult Day Care Center in Hilo was celebrated on March 6, 2017.  This senior project is a joint venture between the Hawaii Island Adult Care, Inc. and the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation.

From left, Jeanne Beers, HIAC President; Maile Young, Health Services Director/GHW Program Director, Paula Uusitalo HIAC Executive Director, Betty Nagao, founder, former employee and now participant; and Lori Thal, Art Therapist.

“Our success to this point is in large part due to the significant support we have received from the Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development Block Grant program, appropriations from the State Legislature and a large grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.” said Paula Uusitalo, executive director of Hawaii Island Adult Care (HIAC).  Additional grants from local foundations and corporations have made it possible for construction to begin on the new facility.  “We are extremely grateful for their support.”

The HIAC Hilo Adult Day Center is currently operating in the old Hilo Hospital on Rainbow Drive.  This present structure, built in 1923, is inadequate to serve the current or future needs for the growing Day Center over the next 60-70 years.

The new building will feature large open spaces for art/craft activities, physical fitness geared to elders and quiet indoor spaces for reading, socializing and relaxing. The project features a fully certified kitchen to provide hot meals, outdoor gardens and a wandering path. Construction of the new home for the program is expected to take 13 months to complete.

However, Hawaii Island Adult Care is asking for added community support to pay for the commercial kitchen equipment that will provide meals for the seniors, furnishings, and the completion of an outdoor walking and resting area for the seniors.  This and other related expenses amount to an additional $600,000 needed.

“This collaborative effort between Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation and Hawaii Island Adult Care, Inc. has been a wonderful opportunity for our two not for profit organizations to ensure that our seniors are well taken care of now and well into the future” remarked Keith Kato, executive director of the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation.  “The adult day center will complement the existing and planned senior housing in the Mohouli complex that will have 182 units at full build out.  The first phase with 60 units was completed in 2014, the second phase with 30 units is now under construction and funding for the last increment of 92 units has been secured from the State Housing Finance and Development Corporation.  This truly has been a joint venture between many public and private organizations all with the same aim of aiding our kupuna.”

For information on how to donate to the capital campaign contact the Hawaii Island Adult Care Executive Director Paula Uusitalo at (808) 961-3747, ext. 105 or Keith Kato, Executive Director of the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation at (808) 319-2422 or visit www.hawaiiislandadultcare.org.

Hilo Community Economic Meeting Open to the Public

On Wednesday, March 8 a coalition of individuals and organizations focused on improving the East Hawaii economy will hold a community meeting to discuss legislative efforts that will guide in the revitalization of Hilo and Banyan Drive.  We have invited the entire East Hawaii caucus to join us, it is a Recess day for the Legislature so this gives them the best chance during session to visit with us.

The coalition includes Kanoelehua Industrial Association (KIAA), Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Hawaii (JCCIH) and Hawaii Island Economic Development Board (HIEDB).

The public is invited to attend and hear from coalition representatives and area legislators on the various, proposed economic development measures that have been introduced this legislative session (see full list below). The measures are aimed at providing much-needed tools and mechanisms to attract investment and foster partnerships that will help revitalize the local economy while promoting a healthy environment where East Hawaii families can thrive.

  • When:  Wednesday, March 8, 2017
  • Time: 5:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Location: Grand Naniloa Hotel

The coalition thanks the hard working East Hawaii Caucus that introduced the bills:

Representative Mark Nakashima
Representative Richard Onishi
Representative Joy San Buenaventura
Representative Christopher Todd
Senator Lorraine Inouye
Senator Kaialii Kahele
Senator Russell Ruderman

List of 2017 29th Legislature bills promoting East Hawaii’s economic interests introduced by members of the East Hawaii caucus:

  • HB 575 / SB 274 – Authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources to extend state land leases when the lessee makes qualifying substantial improvements to leased public lands. Download HB 575, SB 274.

Current Status-HB575 has passed WAL and FIN amended and will crossover

  • HB 1310 / SB 1184 – Establishes the Waiakea Peninsula Redevelopment District, Planning Committee, and Revolving Fund. Download HB 1310, SB 1184. 

Current Status- HB1310 has passed TOU/WAL, and FIN and will crossover

  • HB 1469 / SB 1185 – Establishes procedures for designating public land redevelopment districts, planning committees (including powers and duties), district redevelopment plans, and designated revolving funds. Modifies public land lease restrictions. Download HB 1469, SB 1185.

Current Status- HB1469 has passed TOU/WAL, and FIN amended and will crossover

  • HB 1479 / SB 1292 – Establishes the Hilo community economic district and places it under the jurisdiction of the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Establishes a revolving economic development fund and designates a percentage to be transferred to the special land and development fund under the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Download HB 1479, SB 1292.

Current Status-Both bills have passed through committees and will crossover SB1292 has been amended

Mayor Kim Issues Reaffirmation Oaths to Police Chiefs

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim issued a reaffirmation oath to Police Chief Paul Ferreira and Deputy Chief Kenneth Bugado at a public ceremony at the Hilo police station on Monday (January 9).

Mayor Harry Kim administers a reaffirmation oath to Police Chief Paul Ferreira and Deputy Chief Kenneth Bugado.

In an address to a standing-room-only crowd of Police Department employees and members of the community, Chief Ferreira said he has no plans to make major changes to the Police Department because that would imply that something is wrong with the way it is performing. Instead, Ferreira said, he will enhance existing successes, including the Community Policing philosophy and the department’s accreditation program.

Ferreira said he supports body-worn cameras for police officers but added they are just one tool for law enforcement and not a “fix-all.” The first course of action for body cameras, he said, will be to establish policies and procedures. He added he will seek state and federal funding to help offset the cost of purchasing equipment, storing videos and staffing positions dedicated to administering a body-camera program.

The new chief said two major challenges facing the Police Department are adequate staffing to accomplish the department’s mission, and costly repairs and maintenance of police facilities.

He told his employees he will provide “unwavering support and leadership” that will allow them to accomplish their mission as professionally as possible. He told the community the department will stay true to its vision of “providing the highest quality of police service and forming partnerships with the community to achieve public satisfaction making the Big Island—Hawaiʻi Island—a safe place to live, visit and conduct business.”

The Hawaiʻi County Police Commission named Ferreira as chief on December 8 and confirmed Bugado as deputy chief on December 20. The mayor officially swore in the two during a private ceremony on December 30, when outgoing Chief Harry Kubojiri retired at the close of business after 37 years of service.

Ferreira, who was deputy chief under Kubojiri, joined the Police Department in 1982. During his career he worked as a patrol officer and a detective and then held several positions in the Administrative Bureau, including assistant chief.

Bugado joined the Police Department in 1989 and most recently served as the captain of the Criminal Intelligence Unit and the Office of Professional Standards. During his career, he also worked as a patrol officer, a sergeant and detective, and the lieutenant in the Administrative Services Division, where he managed the Police Department’s Accreditation Section.