Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Announces Partial Closure as Hurricanes Approach

To ensure the safety of visitors and employees, sections of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close starting at 5 p.m. today as hurricanes Madeline and Lester approach Hawai‘i Island.

Halema‘uma‘u is seen from Crater Rim Trail near Steam Vents on Tuesday morning, the calm before the storms.

Halema‘uma‘u is seen from Crater Rim Trail near Steam Vents on Tuesday morning, the calm before the storms.

Park closures are as follows for Tuesday, August 30 by 5 p.m.:

  • Kulanaokuaiki Campground and Hilina Pali Road
  • All backcountry sites and Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu to the overlook

The following closures will commence on Wednesday, August 31:

  • Nāmakanipaio Campground and A-Frame Cabins will close by 9 a.m.
  • The coastal lava viewing area and Chain of Craters Road will close by 9 a.m.
  • Jaggar Museum & Kīlauea Visitor Center will close Wed., 8/31, time to be determined
  • The entrance station will close on Wed., 8/31, time to be determined

Guests staying at Kīlauea Military Camp and Volcano House may shelter in place, or be directed by employees to the nearest shelter (if necessary). In addition, the Kahuku Unit will remain closed over the weekend, but may reopen if Hurricane Lester is not a threat.

“Although we don’t intend at this time to close the entire park, visitors are advised to stay off the roads and plan to visit the park once the storms pass and damage is assessed,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Hurricane-force winds, dangerous surf, and very heavy rainfall are expected.

Closures will remain in effect until the storms have passed and conditions are safe. Additional closures may be warranted as the storm gets closer, and any damage is assessed. Updates will be posted to the park’s website www.nps.gov/havo, its official social media sites, and recorded to (808) 985-6000.

Popular visitor areas at the summit of Kīlauea will remain open at this time, including Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube), Kīlauea Visitor Center and the Jaggar Museum and observation deck.

Project Better Place Comes to Hawaii… East Hawaii Residents on the Big Island Left Uncharged

For the last few years I have been blogging about Project Better Place coming to Hawaii and how I didn’t see it working on the Big Island very well.  Better Place today announced it’s network here in Hawaii and of course folks on the EAST SIDE OF THE ISLAND… ARE OT OF LUCK… Again.  See the map of charging station options available for Big Island users on the bottom of this press release.

Media Release:

Better Place today announced activating the largest electric car charging network in Hawaii, offering drivers free charging via more than 130 charge points through the end of 2012. The network allows drivers to charge their electric cars at convenient locations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island that include hotels, resorts, office buildings, shopping centers, parking garages, businesses and public venues.

“As more Hawaii drivers experience the benefits of electric cars, it is important to have the network that gives people convenient access to charge their cars,” said Brian Goldstein, director of Better Place in Hawaii. “The Better Place network of Charge Spots on four islands offers more public charge points per capita in Hawaii than any other state. Our multi-island network is another step toward making sustainable transportation a reality in Hawaii and moves us toward achieving the state’s goal to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels by at least 70 percent by 2030.”

“As electric car adoption grows, we are excited to see the Better Place charging network in place and ready to support the Aloha State’s growing number of Nissan LEAF™ drivers,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan EV Marketing, Sales and Strategy, Nissan North America Inc. “Nissan understands the importance of locations to plug in when it comes to making EVs more convenient and enabling drivers to take full advantage of all electrified transportation has to offer.”

To use the network, drivers can signup for a free membership and see an interactive map of Charge Spot locations at www.betterplace.com/hawaii. New members will receive a welcome kit with a membership card, giving them access to all Better Place Charge Spots across the state, and a guide to using the network. Membership includes free network access for 2012. Beginning January 1, 2013, drivers will have the option to sign up for an affordable Better Place membership plan.

“Our vision is a world no longer dependent on oil, so for a limited time we are offering free membership to early electric car champions who can both help enhance the network with feedback from their own experiences and encourage more people to switch to electric driving in the country’s most oil-dependent state,” said Goldstein.

The Better Place network offers the public convenient locations to charge electric cars that are compliant with the current standard for plug-in vehicles in North America — such as the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, and Mitsubishi i and other vehicles in the future— as a supplement to a primary charging location at home or work. The network is intended to support charging for periods of up to four hours, rather than overnight or long-term charging.

Over the past year and a half, Better Place has been working with businesses and property owners to install charging infrastructure across the state, as well as completing a project that included Chevy Volts, with funding in part from the State Energy Office at the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) and the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Chevy Volt customers have the freedom to drive their electric vehicles wherever and whenever they want,” said Britta Gross, General Motors Director, Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization.“We applaud Better Place’s initiative to open its charging network to new Volt customers in Hawaii, who will benefit from the ability to drive on pure electricity more often.”

In April 2011, Better Place installed its first Charge Spots in Hawaii in the parking structure of the Sheraton Waikiki/The Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Today, there are also Better Place Charge Spots at five Starwood hotels and resorts on Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

“As the first Hawaii hotel to install charge stations, we are pleased to expand our partnership with Better Place to offer our guests – both visitors and kamaaina – convenient locations to recharge their electric cars, while helping our Islands become more environmentally sustainable,” said Keith Vieira, senior vice president and director of operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii and French Polynesia.

Last year Enterprise Rent-A-Car began adding electric cars to its fleet on Oahu, enabled by Better Place Charge Spots at the Enterprise site next to the Honolulu International Airport.

“Since we installed our first charging station and began renting electric vehicles last year, the demand from both visitors and kamaaina has continued to increase,” said Paul Kopel, vice president and general manager of operations for Enterprise Rent-A-Car Hawaii.“More people are discovering the convenience of electric cars, and the addition of Better Place’s charge stations at our locations on Maui, the Big Island and Oahu will help meet the needs of EV renters.”

In March, Better Place will host a series of public events around Hawaii to increase awareness of electric cars and the Better Place charging network. We invite current electric car owners and those interested in learning more about electric cars to join Better Place and its partners for charging demonstrations. “Drive Electric Days” will be held as follows: Drive Electric Maui, March 9, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kihei Town Center (Foodland Kihei); and Drive Electric Big Island, March 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kona Commons Shopping Center. Better Place also will be in the Hawaiian Electric Company booth at the First Hawaiian International Auto Show in Honolulu, March 30 to April 1.

About Better Place

Better Place is the leading global provider of electric car networks that enable the mass market adoption of electric cars through an innovative battery switch model that makes driving electric cars more affordable, convenient and sustainable than today’s gasoline-powered cars. Better Place owns and operates a network of battery switch stations and public/personal Charge Spots, along with the supply of batteries that power the cars, to provide drivers with instant range extension and the convenience to drive, switch and go across an entire region. Where possible, Better Place uses renewable sources of energy to deliver fully zero-emissions driving. The World Economic Forum has named Better Place a “Global Growth Company Industry Shaper” for its innovative approach in advancing the global switch to electric cars. Check out www.betterplace.com.

Blue represents the current stations... Grey represents PLANNED locations

Here is a video of former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle driving a Project Better Place car back in 2008 when company founder Shai Agassi first set his eyes on the Hawaii Islands:


Navy Looking to Transfer Hawaii Superferries Into Naval Service of the United States

Well I called this one more then a few years ago!

…The Navy “is working with the U.S. Maritime Administration to permit the transfer of the two high-speed vessels, formerly Hawaii superferries, into the naval service of the United States,” Lt. Cmdr. Alana Garas, a Navy spokeswoman, said Friday.

One of the ferries, the Huakai, was used in the military’s relief efforts after the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. The Navy first expressed interest in the ferries after the Maritime Administration took possession of them in 2009.

The Maritime Administration said Friday that a deal had yet to be reached…

More Here: Navy hope to gain two Hawaiian Superferries

Ed Case Comments on Linda Lingle’s Candidacy Announcement for the Senate

U. S. Senate candidate Ed Case (D) had these comments today on Linda Lingle’s announced candidacy for the Senate:

I welcome Linda Lingle to the U. S. Senate election. Hawai‘i’s voters couldn’t have a clearer choice among very different candidates in the most important election in a generation.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who will apply our values to the changes so deeply needed on Capitol Hill. Those values, my values, are best represented by the Democratic Party, while Linda’s first vote in the Senate would be for a leadership and agenda that would tank our economy, skimp on education and welsh on our promises to seniors and veterans.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who will reject purely partisan politics and get things done. Despite what she’ll say, that wasn’t Linda’s record as Governor and she deserted Hawai‘i at crucial times to campaign for mainland Republicans.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who will listen to us. I did that in 172 Talk Stories across Hawai‘i, while Linda carefully stage-managed her every communication.

If nominated, I ask Linda to travel with me throughout Hawai‘i to discuss our values side-by-side where voters can size us up for themselves. Only then can voters decide who can best find that better way forward for our Hawai‘i and country.

Ed Case will be available for questions on Lingle’s candidacy and the Senate race at 2PM this afternoon, October 11th, at his Honolulu campaign headquarters at Ward Warehouse, 2nd Floor. Questions to Campaign Coordinator Sarah Kaopuiki at (808) 596-4920

Former Hawaii Superferry’s Now Up for Public Auction

View of the second Hawaii Superferry (currentl...

The Second Superferry, HuaKai, that never made it to Hawaii, Image via Wikipedia

Media Release:

Former Hawaii Superferry’s ALAKAI and HUAKAI have been put up for sale by the U.S. Maritime Administration(MARAD).  Marad had owned the vessels since purchasing them from Hawaii Superferry, LLC in 2010.

Hawaii Superferry operations had been suspended since March 2009 when an exception to a state law allowing the ferry service to operate without a complete environmental impact statement expired.  Plans to reopen were left open, but the company was forced into bankruptcy shortly thereafter and the Maritime Administration stepped in and purchased the vessels.

Interesting in purchasing on of these vessels?  Bids need to be be submitted before 5 p.m. on July 20, 2011. Additional information can be found in the Federal Register notice at http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-15147

Linda Lingle… Blogger!

This goes under the “Oh My God” category.

Ex-Governor Linda Lingle has started blogging!

You can view her blog here:  Looking Back, and Looking Forward

If she is doing this site herself… she needs to work on her grammar about as much as I do!

… There is no one answer, and while there are many initiatives and accomplishments that I look back on with pride,…


Governor Lingle Gets $16,350 Self Portrait Taken at Tax Payers Expense

From the Governors site:

Governor Linda Lingle’s official State portrait was unveiled this evening at a ceremony held at Washington Place.  The portrait of Governor Lingle standing in the garden at Washington Place is the first official portrait of a Hawai‘i Governor that was painted by a local artist since Governor John Burns, and the first portrait of a Governor wearing a flower lei.

Governor Lingle’s portrait was painted by local artist Christy Fujii.  The Governor selected Fujii after seeing a painting of Queen Emma that the artist had done for The Queen’s Medical Center.  While Governor Lingle reviewed portfolios of other artists who expressed interest in painting her portrait, it was Fujii’s stirring portrait of Queen Emma that won the Governor’s final approval.  Fujii was commissioned by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

The oil on canvas portrait was painted by Fujii from a digital photograph of Governor Lingle that was taken by local photographer Ric Noyle.  Fujii painted the portrait over a span of seven weeks.  The portrait, which measures 36 inches by 48 inches, is framed in a six-inch wood frame with four layers, the largest part being koa wood, and gold highlights.  The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts budgeted $35,000 for the portrait.  The final cost for the photo, portrait and framing came in under budget at $16,350.

The portrait will be installed next week in the Executive Chambers at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, alongside the portraits of Hawai‘i’s past 11 Territorial Governors and five State Governors.  Governor Lingle’s portrait will hang next to the portrait of Governor George Ariyoshi in the Ceremony Room where State visits, news conferences, proclamation ceremonies and other official events are held.

The unveiling ceremony at Washington Place was hosted by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the Board of the Friends of Hawai‘i Robotics.

Governor Lingle chose to highlight one of her Administration’s key initiatives, educational robotics, as part of the unveiling.

About the Artist

Christy Fujii, owner of Christy Fujii Gallery in Chinatown, is a contemporary landscape artist that utilizes elements of impressionism in her pieces.   In her childhood years, she would sketch portraits and images from her hometown of Gyongju in South Korea.  She began to work with oil paint in her early teens and moved to Hawai‘i in 1973.  Inspired by the beauty of the islands, she enhanced her painting skills and learned to incorporate the palette knife under the guidance of her mentor, George Eguchi.  Each of her paintings reflects her imagination, her talent, and her love of art.  Fujii is currently a member of the Korean Artist Association of Hawai‘i.

About the Photographer

Ric Noyle, born in Capetown, South Africa, has resided in Honolulu for the past 30 years.  In this time, Noyle’s award-winning work has been used and enjoyed by his vast worldwide clientele. He operates Ric Noyle Photography, a full-service commercial photography studio and specializes in photographing people, food and resorts.  In addition to his assignment work, he also maintains an extensive stock library which contains more than 30,000 images of Hawai‘i.  Noyle has become a leader in the field of digital photography over the past years.  He has produced many catalogs, aerials, murals and advertising material with his state-of-the-art digital scan backs.

Pot Possession in California Now Like Speeding Ticket

Possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in California is now no more serious than getting a speeding ticket. This after a bill the governor signed into law Thursday.


Rep. Herkes Requests Attorney General Review of HHSC Loan to Alii Health Center

From the Hawaii House Communication Office:

State Representative Robert Herkes has sent a letter to Governor Lingle requesting that the Attorney General review and issue a legal opinion on a case involving the Hawaii Health System Corporation (HHSC) and the Alii Health Center in Kailua-Kona.

At issue is a loan of $2.9 million from Kona Hospital, which is part of the HHSC system, to the Alii Health Center, which is a private, non-profit facility. The Alii Health Center is not part of the Kona Hospital, but is a subsidiary of HHSC and falls under the jurisdiction of the West Hawaii Regional Board (WHRB) of HHSC. Over the past few years, the board has taken action to forgive parts of the loan, now totaling about $1.4 million of the loan. HHSC recently told the Governor that the board will be reviewing the legality of its actions.

“It hardly seems appropriate for the WHRB to investigate its own actions, and then report back to you as to whether or not it has broken the law,” said Rep. Herkes in his letter to Governor Lingle. “It would seem more appropriate to place the task of issuing a legal opinion regarding this matter in the hands of the Attorney General.”

Herkes added that the former chief development officer for the Kona Hospital Foundation (KHF) has been indicted on theft and forgery counts related to her work for the KHF, and suggests that the Attorney General could broaden the scope of the review and examine this issue as well.

You can read Rep. Herkes Letter Here: HHSC letter WHRB investigation-1

Governor Linda Lingle Visits the USS Hawaii


Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, sponsor of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776), visits with the crew and receives a tour of the submarine. Hawaii is the third Virginia-class submarine constructed and the first submarine to bear the name of the aloha state. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

Who are the “Political Royal” in Hawaii?

The Washington Post is making a list of the “First Families” of each state in America. They are basically looking for the “Political Royal” from each state.

However, Hawaii has not had anyone submitted or nominated for this list. I can’t really think of a “family” per say that would dominate local politics statewide necessarily.

…We’re still collecting and sorting through all of the submissions but we still need the dominant political family from the following states: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Oregon…

Here on the Big Island, I guess the ties between Mayor Kenoi, Senator Hanohano and Councilwoman Naeole would constitute something to what they are looking for… but I know they are looking for more of a State family and not just a County family.

So who do folks consider the “Politically Royal” of Hawaii and do they even have power any more?

Lingle Signs Law Which Will Hire More Inspectors and Strengthen Sanitation Inspection Programs

From the House Majority Communications Office:

Governor Lingle today signed into law HB2688 which strengthens the state’s sanitation inspection program, including the hiring of more inspectors.

The measure, now Act 176, changes the name of the “Environmental Health Education Fund” to the “Sanitation and Environmental Health Special Fund”, and allows the money in the fund to be used for sanitation programs and activities, including monitoring Hawaii’s restaurants and food establishments.

“Proper sanitation in public areas is critical to the health and safety of our population,” said Rep. Ryan Yamane, Chair of the House Committee on Health.  “I’m pleased that the Governor signed this bill into law since it will allow the Department of Health to hire needed sanitation and vector control inspectors and to provide greater support to Hawaii businesses which have an impact on public health.”

The sanitation branch is charged with implementing programs related to:

  • Food protection
  • The regulation of barber shops, beauty parlors, massage parlors, tattoo shops, mortuaries, public swimming pools, and public laundries;
  • The inspection of tenement houses, lodging houses, and boarding houses;
  • The licensing of tattoo artists and embalmers; and
  • Enforcing the sanitation requirements for hospitals and medical facilities.

“Even before the infamous video of the rats in certain food vendor areas, I’ve been concerned that the number of sanitation inspectors is woefully low for the number of food establishments in Hawaii,” said Rep. Marcus Oshiro, the introducer of the bill.  “It’s irresponsible to create that kind of health risk for the general public.

This new law sets up a special fund that allows the sanitation branch, which brings in much of the fees through their activities, to use the money for sanitation purposes and not just for environmental health.  It’s a good bill that will greatly benefit the public.”

New Law Benefits Taxpayers, Avoids Future Refund Delays

Media Release:

Governor Lingle today signed into law HB1948, a bill that requires the Department of Taxation to provide refunds to taxpayers in a timely manner.  The legislation, now Act 171, states that the department must provide refunds within 90 days from the date the tax return is filed, or the due date of the tax return, whichever is later.

“One of the main benefits is that the state must pay interest to the taxpayer if the return is not paid within the required time frame,” said Rep. Pono Chong, the introducer of the bill.  “The legislature was concerned that using the refunds as a way to balance the budget was merely delaying our fiscal responsibility.  In addition, I think most taxpayers understand that the overpayment to the government is their money and they expect a return in a reasonable period.

The bill also requires that all general revenues collected from an increase of any general excise or use tax be used first to pay tax refunds delayed from fiscal years 2010 and 2011.  The law goes into effect on July 1, 2010.

Governor Lingle Proclamation: May 31- June 4, 2010 Hawaii Island Hoops Week

From the Governors Office:


In 2004, Hawai‘i Island Hoops (HIH) was established by Andy Smith to help local high school student-athletes achieve their goals and help place them in a college that is right for them. Since its inception, HIH has helped send more than 30 local players to colleges across the county. The program also offers basketball camps and clinics on the fundamental development of the basketball and valuable tools and resources that contribute to well-rounded student-athletes on and off the court.

Through college-prep camps, shooting mini-camps, clinics, seminars, strength and quickness programs and leagues, Hawai‘i Island Hoops offers participants a comprehensive sports and educational experience. Players can also learn about academic requirements, available financial aid and all aspects of athletic recruitment.

Now in its milestone fifth year, Hawai‘i Island Hoops is holding its 2010 College-Prep Basketball Camp May 31 – June 4, 2010 at the Kekuaokalani Gym in Kailua-Kona. The camp is open to those between the ages of 13 to 20 who are interested in playing college basketball. In addition to the advanced coaching staff who will provide multiple levels of instruction, NBA Sacramento Kings Rookie Jon Brockman will join the camp as a special guest and coach.

We offer a sincere mahalo to the coaches for emphasizing the importance of athleticism and academics, as well as to the student-athletes who dedicate their time and energy to achieving their fullest potential. Best wishes for a memorable camp and continued success in the future.

THEREFORE, I, LINDA LINGLE, Governor, and I, JAMES R. “DUKE” AIONA, JR., Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, do hereby proclaim May 31 – June 4, 2010 as


in Hawai‘i, in recognition of the program’s fifth anniversary.

DONE at the State Capitol, in the Executive Chambers, Honolulu, State of Hawai‘i, this eighteenth day of May 2010.

Citizens Group Announces Hawai‘i Equal Rights Book

Media Release:

Plans to publish a Hawai‘i Equal Rights Book were announced today by Citizens for Equal Rights (CFER) who led the effort to get House Bill 444 voted on before the legislature adjourned.

Pictured: (Left to right) Suzanne King, Kat Brady and Rachel Orange of Citizens for Equal Rights at the State Capitol on April 26th, delivering first edition copies of the booklet to House representatives.

The book is a compilation of photos of people who have already lent their names and photos to the booklets and ads that were produced in support of HB444. Others who have signed up since the bill was passed as well as those who may now wish to demonstrate their support of HB444 can also submit their names and photos over the next ten days if they wish to be included.

“CFER decided to publish this commemorative book because it’s a way of honoring the many people across the state who are ready to stand up for equal rights and be associated with this historic bill.” said CFER president Rachel Orange. “In just ten days before the House voted on HB444, over a thousand people sent in their photos for our equal rights supporters booklet.”

Pictured: Rep. Blake Oshiro (wearing an orange lei) meets with fellow legislators during a caucus before HB444 passed on the last day of the legislative session.

“A key factor that shifted the political landscape for HB444 was CFER’s successful effort in having community and faith leaders publicly support the civil unions bill,” said Rep. Blake Oshiro. CFER’s newspaper ads of prominent leaders and booklet of supporters helped bolster the confidence of many house members who already supported HB444.

Citizens for Equal Rights plans to publish the book before the Memorial Day weekend, and has set a May 21 deadline for submission of photos. Supporters of equal rights and the civil unions bill should email their photo, name, and affiliation to equality808@gmail.com.

“CFER is all about positive change. It’s a simple stand for equality,” said Kat Brady, CFER’s vice-president. “We believe the Equal Rights Book is an opportunity for people in the community to show their support for equal rights, while respecting the sincerely held beliefs of those who oppose civil unions.”

“No matter what Governor Lingle decides on HB444, I believe the community should come together to seek understanding and mutual respect,” said Sen. Les Ihara, Jr. “Efforts like this commemorative book help to put a human face on the civil unions debate and remind us that people of all viewpoints share a common desire to seek the best for our community.”

New Electric Car Plant to be Built in Hawaii… Lingle and Some Prototypes

Governor Linda Lingle and DBEDT Director Ted Liu help champion the expansion of energy independence for Hawaii with the addition of another electric car product for Hawaii’s Consumers:


Governor Lingle Vetoes Quota Bill

Media Release:

Governor Linda Lingle today vetoed a bill that would have mandated the makeup of the workforce on state and county public construction works projects.  The bill, SB2840 SD2 HD1, would impose an ambiguous quota system that would impair contractors’ flexibility to maintain a workforce that is responsive to the specific changing needs of a project.  This bill would further stretch the limited resources and staffing of state and county agencies that award the contracts by adding the burden of having to monitor and enforce the quota requirements, as well as verify the residency status of each contractor’s employees.

While the bill has been touted as a job creation measure, the end result would likely discourage job creation by increasing project costs to taxpayers, as well as increasing the likelihood of project delays due to additional grounds for protests by contractors who are not selected…

Continue reading

The GET Tax Plan Circulating Around the Capitol

GET Tax Plan-2

…attached a plan that is circulating around the capitol that might interest you. I also hear that some people are thinking about calling for democratic legislators to reach super-majority agreement on revenue generating legislation to forestall Lingle from being allowed to make further large budget cuts that would result if the legislature approves the four revenue-generating bills (deferred in the senate on April 14). The senate does not have enough votes to override vetoes of the 4 bills backed by the house, but the house does not have enough votes to override a veto of the GET. In either case, the governor will have to fill the budget gap by making further cuts in amount of about $250M.

Some senators are proposing the attached GET tax plan that would offset its regressivity, ie people earning under $60,000 would have their taxes reduced, and that plan is attached…

GET Tax Plan-2

NASA Partners With Hawaii on Space Exploration, Science

Media Release:

NASA and the State of Hawaii agreed Tuesday to collaborate in a variety of activities involving small satellite development, advanced aviation, space exploration, education and science.

"Nano Satellite"

During a ceremony at the state capitol in Honolulu, NASA’s Ames Research Center Director S. Pete Worden and Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed a three-year non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement establishing a partnership for space exploration, scientific research and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM.

“NASA and Hawaii have collaborated in space exploration since the early years of our space program when Apollo astronauts trained for their missions on the lunar-like volcanic terrain on the Big Island of Hawaii,” said Worden. “With this agreement, we look forward to extending that partnership even further as we continue to explore and expand into space.”

“The inauguration of a new Space Act Agreement with NASA is an innovative partnership that will leverage Hawaii’s unique location, strategic technological assets and capabilities, and international ties throughout the Asia-Pacific region to advance space exploration, next-generation aviation, scientific research and STEM education,” said Lingle.

“This alliance represents a truly exceptional and timely opportunity for our state that will help diversify our economy by developing the local aerospace industry, as well as expand Hawaii’s leadership role in the global space enterprise,” Lingle added. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with NASA in realizing the substantial scientific, educational and commercial development opportunities this agreement will afford both our state and our nation.”

“For nearly 50 years, Hawaii has been at the forefront of pioneering programs in astronomy, planetary geosciences, broadband satellite communications, space-based environmental monitoring, and deep-space surveillance,” said Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr., who represents Hawaii as a vice chairman of the national Aerospace States Association. “This new agreement builds upon a dynamic partnership with NASA that over the next three years will substantially increase Hawaii’s competitive advantages and help to enhance our long-term economic prosperity.”

NASA maintains a satellite tracking station on the island of Kauai and has a long history of conducting deep space observations from the advanced telescopes on the Hawaiian Islands. It also supports a broad range of educational programs through the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium at the University of Hawaii. NASA’s Space Grant national network of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico includes more than 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts for NASA’s aeronautics and space projects.

The agreement’s first annex provides for small satellite development with the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory under a new program called HawaiiSat. The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory will train engineering and science students to design and build small satellites.

Students and professors from the university will be sent to Ames to work with scientists and engineers to design, integrate and manage small satellites. During their training, the visiting students and professors also will work with other small satellite contractors in NASA Research Park, such as Santa Clara University.

The overall goal of the collaboration is to develop a Hawaii-based program for small spacecraft missions and a satellite project developed and managed by students. NASA will benefit from the insights provided by the students and their professors toward future NASA missions. HawaiiSat also will enable NASA to help develop the next generation of explorers, engineers and scientists needed for future space exploration. The Space Act Agreement also provides for the addition of future annexes for NASA and Hawaii to collaborate.

For more information about Ames, visit:


To learn more about NASA’s small satellite program, visit:


For information about NASA’s education programs, visit:


For more information about Hawaii’s aerospace initiatives, visit:


For more information about the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory, visit:


City & County of Honolulu Rail Transit Press Conference FTA Commits $1.55 Billion