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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.

Hawaii-Based Media Accelerator Wraps First Feature Film, “Jo – The Medicine Runner,” Starring Matt Dillon and Jim Caviezel

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and its attached agency, the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), applauds the GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program on its announcement that private investors have funded one of their graduates, a feature film project. The film, “Jo – The Medicine Runner,” is currently being shot, edited and produced entirely on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Producer David L Cunningham with Matt Dillon and Jim Caviezel striking a pose for Instagram.

Launched in 2014, the GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program, Hawaii’s only film and creative media accelerator, is a public-private partnership between GVS, HSDC‘s HI Growth Initiative, the County of Hawaii and private investors.

The independent feature film wrapped principal photography in November after shooting in Kona, Hawaii. The production, helmed by David L. Cunningham (“To End All Wars”) with producer Edwin Marshall (“After.Life”), is set in the Kona coffee belt of Hawaii’s segregated 1920’s plantation era. Jo, a homeless orphan of mixed race, is taken in by a doctor and newcomer to town, played by Oscar-nominated Matt Dillon (“Crash”). Ryan Potter (“Big Hero 6”) plays Jo, who competes for the love of the plantation owner’s daughter against rival doctor Reyes played by Jim Caviezel (“Person of Interest”).

“Jo — The Medicine Runner,” is the second project to reach production out of a slate of Hawaii-based feature films and TV projects coming out of the GVS Accelerator. Earlier this year, the comedy series, “Surf Break Hotel,” set on Maui, raised funds from private investors to produce a pilot episode. Writer-director Stefan Schaefer teamed up with longtime friend Jonathan Stern, an Emmy-winning producer on the pilot.

“We are committed to helping Hawaii’s creative media startups achieve success in the commercial marketplace,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “Supporting entrepreneurs in the film and media industry is an important part of building a creative innovation sector that generates new job opportunities needed here in Hawaii.”

Projects incubated by GVS are put through a year-long program, beginning with an intensive six-month-long acceleration period. The balance of the year is used to raise the private capital needed to execute their projects. To date, GVS has reviewed more than 200 applications in two years for a total of 12 slots. GVS was recently recognized for the third consecutive year as one of the nation’s leading innovators by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is led by Cunningham, who is based in Kona.

“Hawaii has the potential to be a thriving film hub,” said Cunningham. “It has 11 of the 13 climate zones for every type of look and growing local crews and facilities. This project has put to work dozens of local people, giving them opportunities to work on a Hollywood-level film in high level production positions. We are thrilled that ‘Jo’ demonstrates the viability of homegrown Hawaii filmmaking.”

United Talent Agency’s Independent division packaged the film and represents sales.   The film’s Casting Director is Beverly Holloway. Christian Parkes wrote the original material, which Cunningham adapted for Hawaii.

The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program,  together with the state’s Creative Lab Hawaii Program, develops creative entrepreneurs and helps them launch their businesses. Combined with two broadband facilities outfitted with state-of-the-art multi-gigabit connectivity provided by GVS Connect, these programs help to create new possibilities for Hawaii as a strategic base for global film production.

HDSC President Karl Fooks explained:  “The State’s HI Growth program supports accelerators, entrepreneurial events and investment funds – all critical pieces of a startup ecosystem that enables Hawaii entrepreneurs to be successful.”

ABOUT HSDC (Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation)

HSDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), which promotes economic development and economic diversification in Hawaii through a return-driven investment program in partnership with private capital. HSDC runs the HI Growth Initiative, which is the state’s effort to catalyze and support an entrepreneurial, innovation-focused ecosystem. The program supports entrepreneurial development through events, venture accelerator programs and investment funds targeted at Hawaii companies.

ABOUT DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Hawaii Department of Health Holds Big Island Forum to Discuss Military Munitions and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Safety

Hawaii has the distinction of being home to the single largest site in the nation contaminated with military munitions and unexploded ordnance, the ‘Waikoloa Maneuver Area’ on the Big Island. While cleanup is currently underway, completing it is an enormous, expensive, and long-term job. The total cost to clean up the formerly used ‘live-fire’ training area is estimated to be approximately $750 million and expected to take decades. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Department of Health will sponsor the first Hawaii Forum on Munitions and Unexploded Ordnance at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott.

uxoThe forum will bring together experts to speak on the issues involving Hawaii properties affected by military munitions and what this means for landowners in those areas. The department will also present the state’s proposed Munitions Safety Areawide Hazard Management Plan for the Waikoloa area of Hawaii County. The plan describes the history of military ‘live fire’ training in Waikoloa and precautions people should take to protect themselves from accidentally detonating an item of unexploded ordnance or UXO.

The site in question occupies over 100,000 acres in the Waikoloa area of the Big Island.  The site was acquired from Parker Ranch in 1943 during World War II. From 1943-1946 the ‘Waikoloa Maneuver Area’ was used extensively to simulate realistic battle conditions using live artillery, ammunition, and explosives. The area was large enough to train an entire division of troops at once on the same day. This site is one of several “live-fire” training areas throughout the State.

Cleanup is being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of the Army (DOA) in coordination with the Hawaii Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The cleanup work follows a very thorough process prescribed by the federal Superfund law.

This large land area is now in the hands of many private owners. Each of the owners must first grant the USACE an official Right of Entry (ROE). Although the USACE is willing to survey and dispose of the potential unexploded ordnance at no cost, owners are often reluctant to grant access to their properties. The USACE has recently initiated cleanup in an area comprised of over 800 privately owned parcels of land and the Department of Health is urging landowners to grant access to their property for their own safety and protection. Private landowners who decline the USACE’s offer could be required to conduct discovery and disposal of unexploded ordnance at their own expense in the future.

The Department of Health forum is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is intended for state and county officials, bankers, realtors, developers, resort owners, landowners, and emergency responders. The day’s agenda will include expert speakers, informative display tables, and facilitated discussions of the major issues.  Presenters include the Hawaii Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and munitions disposal contractors on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge.

There is no charge to attend, however, space is limited and confirmed reservations are required. Anyone interested in attending the event should contact Paul Chong, DOH coordinator, at paul.chong@doh.hawaii.gov.

Editors Note On Lost Posts

Sorry folks… the mainland server that my website sits on had a “major meltdown” last night.

Posts for the last few weeks were lost.

At least we are back online.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Partially Open as Hurricane Lester Nears

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open Thursday, with partial closures in place as Hurricane Lester nears, and Hurricane Madeline,  now downgraded as a tropical storm, passes south of Hawai‘i Island.

NPS Photo/Jay Robinson: Hurricane Madeline caused an ‘ōhi‘a tree to fall near Kīlauea Visitor Center on Wednesday. Several other trees were reported down on closed park roadways.

NPS Photo/Jay Robinson: Hurricane Madeline caused an ‘ōhi‘a tree to fall near Kīlauea Visitor Center on Wednesday. Several other trees were reported down on closed park roadways.

Open areas include Crater Rim Drive and Crater Rim Trail, Kīlauea Visitor Center, Jaggar Museum and observation deck, Steam Vents, Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube), Kīlauea Iki, Devastation Trail, Sulphur Banks and most front-country trails.

These closures remain in place: all camping and campgrounds, Chain of Craters Road, including the coastal lava viewing area, all backcountry areas, Hilina Pali Road, and Mauna Loa Road after Kīpukapuaulu to the overlook.

“Hurricane Lester is still a threat to Hawai‘i Island, even though it is projected to go north.  Therefore we will maintain the aforementioned closures until Lester has passed and is no longer a threat,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.

Hawai‘i Island and Maui are under a hurricane watch, and according to the National Weather Service as of 11 a.m., the center of Hurricane Lester was 675 miles east of Hilo, moving west at 13 mph. Forecasters are again expecting very heavy rainfall, dangerously high surf, and hurricane-force winds.

The Kahuku Unit, open only on Saturdays and Sundays, will remain closed on Saturday. Rangers will determine if Kahuku can reopen for Sunday.

Updates are posted to the park’s website www.nps.gov/havo, its general information phone number, (808) 985-6000, and its official social media sites.

Hurricane Lester May Move into the Central Pacific Basin this Afternoon

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Lester was located near latitude 18.0 North, longitude 139.9 West.

LesterLester is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.  A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast on Thursday.  On the forecast track, Lester will move into the central Pacific basin this afternoon.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.  Lester is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 954 mb (28.17 inches).

Big Island Courthouses and Judiciary Offices Closing Due to Hurricane Madeline

Hawaii Island Courthouses and Judiciary Offices to Close Due to Projected Severe Weather Conditions


State Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Hawaii Island will be closed on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, due to severe weather conditions being projected by the National Weather Service.

The Chief Justice issued an order extending deadlines for any Hawaii Island court matters with a filing or hearing date of Wednesday, August 31, 2016. All documents due during the court closure will be considered timely if filed by the close of business on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Hearings or trials cancelled due to the closure of the courts shall be rescheduled to the next available date with due regard for any statutory mandates. We will provide updates if there are any changes or additional closures.

The World’s Worst Lyft Passenger Freaks On Hawaiian Bobble Doll

I don’t know what to say about this lady who is freaking out on this Lyft driver for having a Hawaiian Bobble Doll on his dashboard:

  • The video purports to show a woman named ‘AN’ arguing with a driver
  • She berates him for being ‘disrespectful’ by having the bobblehead
  • At one point she says he’s white and he tells her he’s Asian
    But she continues to complain, eventually upsetting the other passenger
  • The video ends with her calling him a ‘f******g dumba** idiot’

After-School Programs for Middle and Intermediate Schools Expands With R.E.A.C.H.

As the new school year gets underway, Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui today announced the participants in the statewide R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Arts, Culture and Health) Initiative for the 2016-2017 school year.  Nearly 5,000 middle and intermediate public school students at 28 schools across the state will be part of the program.

reach1R.E.A.C.H.’s mission is to ensure all public school students in grades 6 to 8 receive the academic and community-based support they need to stay on track toward high school graduation by engaging them in a broad-base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours, in the areas of academic enrichment, arts and culture, and athletics.

“I am thrilled that we, along with the support of the Department of Education and community partners, are able to continue positively impacting after-school programs for middle and intermediate schools,” said Tsutsui.  “The after-school programs participating in the R.E.A.C.H. initiative are improving and reaching more students every year.”


The initiative, spearheaded by Lt. Governor Tsutsui in collaboration with state Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, provides an organizational framework for public middle and intermediate schools to offer students expanded learning opportunities during after-school hours.

“R.E.A.C.H. provides a very positive option for our students that keeps them engaged in activities and learning after the school day has ended,” said Matayoshi.  “Keeping young minds and bodies active is essential for growth and we appreciate the support of our R.E.A.C.H. partners and their commitment to our keiki.”

Studies have shown that after-school programs not only keep students safe and engaged in learning, but also help improve their academic performance, school attendance, behavior and health.


Selection of the schools was based on criteria, which included:  strong student interest and/or participation for the after-school program and established relationships with key stakeholders.

The applications were also evaluated on its readiness to achieve the goals and student outcomes set forth by the initiative. Some schools apply for the grant every year and are selected based on the criteria.  This year, 14 of the 28 schools are returning R.E.A.C.H. participants.

Since the initiative was launched in 2013, 39 public middle/intermediate schools (including this year) from across the State have benefited from R.E.A.C.H. funding. To date, along with its partners in the business sector, the Initiative has awarded $2.25 million to middle and intermediate schools statewide.

The schools participating in the R.E.A.C.H. Initiative during the 2016-17 school year are:

  • Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle
  • Connections Public Charter School
  • Dole Middle
  • Hana High & Intermediate
  • Hilo Intermediate
  • Iao Intermediate
  • Kalama Intermediate
  • Kapolei Middle
  • Kau High & Pahala Elementary
  • Kawanakoa Middle
  • Ke Kula O Nawahiokalani’opuu Charter School
  • Keaau Middle School
  • Lahaina Intermediate
  • Lanai High & Intermediate
  • Lokelani Intermediate
  • Maui Waena Intermediate
  • Moanalua Middle
  • Molokai Middle
  • Nanakuli High & Intermediate
  • Niu Valley Middle
  • Pahoa High & Intermediate
  • Stevenson Middle
  • Wahiawa Middle
  • Waiakea Intermediate
  • Waialua High & Intermediate
  • Waianae Intermediate
  • Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate
  • Wheeler Middle

For more information on R.E.A.C.H., please go to www.reachouthawaii.org. Archive photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/seqajwa5honglhp/AAD8-YLdlQbBkebDw0SqZBfWa?dl=0

Big Island Police Identify Two Who Died in Mohouli Crash

Police have identified two individuals who died in a two-car crash Thursday (August 4) on the Mohouli Extension near Kukuau Street in Hilo.

The woman has been identified as 20-year-old Alicia Andres of Hilo.

Facebook picture

Alicia Andres Facebook picture

The other deceased person was identified as a 17-year-old boy. Police are not releasing his name because he is a minor.

An autopsy conducted Friday morning (August 5) determined that both died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Mohouli Wreck

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Acting Lieutenant Grant Todd at 961-2385 or grant.todd@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Department of Health Awarded $3.7 Million to Support Epidemiological and Laboratory Activities

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has been awarded $3.7 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support infectious diseases epidemiological and laboratory activities in the state. The funding is being provided through the CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Disease Cooperative Agreement (ELC).

Mosquito Bite

In addition to funding vital ongoing infectious disease surveillance and investigation for areas such as foodborne disease, flu, and healthcare-associated infections, the ELC award will provide increased support in the area of arboviral disease (e.g., dengue, Zika, chikungunya) and critical new resources to address growing concerns presented by general antimicrobial resistance and specifically, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea and chlamydia.

“These new funds will help in many critical areas of disease investigation, including providing support for our current Hepatitis A outbreak,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “We’re grateful for this recognition and generous grant from CDC, and will work to ensure that these new funds translate to sustainable efforts to protect our residents and visitors in Hawaii.”

Of the approximately $3.7 million awarded, ELC funding will focus on areas including:

  • $1,062,000 to support Hawaii’s efforts to protect the state from Zika and other arbovirus diseases such as chikungunya and dengue. ELC funds will be used to augment epidemiologic surveillance and investigation, enhance mosquito monitoring, and provide supplies and support to the State Laboratories Division for arbovirus testing.
  • $2,711,149 to support other ELC efforts, including: building capacity to address antimicrobial resistant gonorrhea and chlamydia concerns, increasing laboratory capacity for antimicrobial resistance detection and response infrastructure, strengthening flu surveillance and foodborne surveillance and response capacity, increasing health information systems capacity, and other ELC activities.

“The funding of this award will greatly boost our efforts to protect our community against the potential introduction of Zika virus and many other infectious diseases,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “By building our capacity to find and stop disease outbreaks we increase our ability to help save lives.”

Dr. Chris Whelen, State Laboratories Division administrator added, “We are grateful to the CDC ELC program, and very excited about expanding the role of the State Laboratories in combating drug resistant infectious diseases.”

The Department of Health’s Disease Outbreak Control, Environmental Health Services, Family Health Services, Communicable Diseases and Public Health Nursing, and State Laboratories Divisions are working jointly across the department and with partners throughout the state to assure a comprehensive Zika prevention strategy and response plan. The ELC funding in addition to grants through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement and the Hawaii Birth Defects Surveillance, Intervention, and Follow-up for Zika Virus Grant will further support these efforts to protect public health.

Information on Zika virus can be found at the Department of Health’s Zika webpage at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/zika_virus/.

For more information on the ELC program, go to http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dpei/epidemiology-laboratory-capacity.html.

Happy 100th Birthday Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Kīlauea is putting on quite a show for park visitors eager to see a volcanic eruption – just like it was 100 years ago today when Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was established on August 1, 1916.

Visitors were treated to free entry to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on its 100th anniversary, August 1. The entrance station was draped in two 40-foot tī leaf lei made by park staff . NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Visitors were treated to free entry to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on its 100th anniversary, August 1. The entrance station was draped in two 40-foot tī leaf lei made by park staff . NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Today, as the park enters its next century, park visitors were treated to free entry,  a native plant giveaway, Hawaiian music by Ken Makuakāne, lei making and kōnane (Hawaiian checkers), plus presentations about park efforts to save endangered nēnē (Hawaiian goose) and honu‘ea (Hawaiian hawksbill turtle). Lava cookies and centennial stickers were shared with the first 100 visitors who arrived for the festivities.

A lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at the volcano’s 4,000-foot summit continues to rise and spatter, deflate and degas. At night, the lake casts a magnificent glow; by day, a plume of steam, particles and gas billows upward. Visitors can easily and safely observe this eruptive activity from an accessible overlook at Jaggar Museum.

“It is amazing that in 1916, the year the park was established, we had two eruptions. Mauna Loa erupted during May, and sent lava towards Kahuku, and Halema‘uma‘u fountained and spattered,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.  “Fast forward 100 years and Kīlauea erupts from two locations. What an auspicious way to commemorate our centennial anniversary,” she said.

A week ago, out in the volcano’s remote east rift zone, lava from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent streamed down forested cliffs and crossed an emergency access route. Early the next morning, streams of rough ‘a‘ā and smooth, viscous pāhoehoe lava plunged down jagged coastal cliffs into the ocean. This cascade of molten lava, at the Kamokuna ocean entry, has enlarged to almost 800 feet (240 m) across and is being fed by the active flow field on the coastal plain.

Park visitors are urged to stay away from the steep, unstable sea cliffs, and rangers have placed rope barriers along the ocean entry to keep people safe.

hvo roped

Visitors observe the beauty of the Kamokuna ocean entry on the eve of the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 100th anniversary. Rangers have placed rope barricades to keep people away from the unstable, steep cliff edges, flying volcanic debris and fumes, and bench collapse. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Hikers can access the active flow field from the end of Chain of Craters Road in the park, along the gravel emergency route (Chain of Craters-Kalapana Road), and are rewarded with beautiful sights of molten, flowing lava. It’s a long and hot hike, nearly five miles one-way. Preparation is key. Bring at least three to four quarts of water per person. Wear sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, gloves to protect the hands, and long pants to protect against lava rock abrasions. Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Visitors who plan to stay after dark need a flashlight and/or headlamp with extra batteries.

“There’s no way to tell what Kīlauea will do next, and it’s likely that someone will be saying the same thing 100 years from now,” Orlando said.

Coast Guard Opens All Hawaii Ports – Investigation Under Way on Spirit of Kona Tour Boat

Coast Guard Captain of the Port opened all commercial ports in the Hawaiian Islands and cargo operations have resumed, Monday.

Tropical Storm Darby is expected to continue to move west and degrade. Vessel and facility operators are recommended to exercise caution when maneuvering in the ports as there may be fields of debris present.

Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Department of Natural Resources, Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation, commercial salvors and the owner of the vessel continue to address the grounding of the Spirit of Kona on Hawai’i Island.
Spirit of Kona

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watch standers received notification Sunday morning from a good Samaritan reporting the 65-foot Spirit of Kona, a commercial passenger vessel, aground on the rocks near the Kailua-Kona Lighthouse. The vessel reportedly broke free of its mooring in Kailua Bay as Tropical Storm Darby passed over the region early Sunday. No one was aboard the vessel at the time.

Kona Boat

A non-recoverable sheen was seen in the area. The vessel reportedly has a maximum pollution potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, commercial batteries and 19.5 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils. As the Spirit of Kona is a commercial vessel, operated by Blue Sea Cruises, the Coast Guard is investigating the cause the of the grounding. A notice of federal interest has been issued.

As a reminder, the public and visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may continue to impact beaches as the storm degrades. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.