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Hawai‘i Gas Prices on the Rise

Wikicommons photo.

Average retail gasoline prices in Honolulu have risen 4.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.04/g Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 214 gas outlets in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

This compares with the national average that has increased 1.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.55/g.

Including the change in gas prices in Honolulu during the past week, prices on Sunday were 27 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average has increased 8.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 39.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on Nov. 12 in Honolulu have ranged widely over the last five years:

  • $2.77/g in 2016
  • $2.72/g in 2015
  • $3.86/g in 2014
  • $3.93/g in 2013
  • $4.11/g in 2012

On average, gas prices across the state $3.54/g, up 17.4 cents per gallon from last week’s $3.37/g.

“If you use gas prices to figure out the time of year it is, you’d probably think it’s spring based on the continued upward trend showing up in much of the country,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Absent is the beloved fall at the pump that we’re used to that accompanies the fall weather, but apparently this year is playing a trick on motorists. The cheapest price this year was in July while the most expensive showed up after the driving season concluded as Harvey hit, and we may get closer to that mark as gasoline inventories continue to drift to new multi-year lows. It’s been a lousy time for motorists, and I’d expect to see some cut their spending during the holidays as gas prices are up.”

For live fuel price averages, go online.

Emergency Response Exercise at Kona Airport

Emergency response exercise drills will be taking place at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport in Keahole on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, as the airport will serve as the staging area for the Triennial Aircraft Disaster Exercise.

The exercise is a mandatory certification requirement by the Federal Aviation Administration, which tests airfield disaster preparedness and response by simulating a full-scale aircraft emergency disaster. The exercise tests and evaluates the operational capacity of emergency response in a stress environment.

Aircraft Rescue Firefighters cart a simulated victim to the triage area as part of the Triennial Aircraft Disaster Exercise. HDOT Photo

The multi-agency exercise from 8 a.m. to noon will utilize student and teacher volunteers from the West Hawaiʻi Explorations Academy who will act as injured passengers.

Participating agencies include the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division staff, HDOT Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting units, Securitas, FAA, Transportation Security Administration, Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, Hawaiʻi County Fire and Police Departments, Emergency Medical Services, Kona Community Hospital, American Red Cross, University of the Nations Kona Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), American Medical Response, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaiʻi Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaiʻi Air National Guard 154th Wing, United Airlines and other airline personnel.

Flight operations will continue as normal during the exercise with no impact to scheduled flights.
HDOT alerts the public there will be realistic scenarios portraying injured people on the airport property and may include fire, fire suppression, rescue, triage, treatment and transportation using emergency response vehicles.

This is a drill and not a real-life emergency.

DOH Places 7 Hospital Employees on Off-duty Status Without Pay

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is placing seven Hawaii State Hospital employees on off-duty status without pay pending the investigation of the escape of a patient on Nov. 12. The hospital employees are being notified and will be relieved of their duties for 30 days as the internal investigation continues. As the investigation progresses, more employees may be identified and placed on off-duty status.

The department is committed to a thorough investigation, evaluation and correction of our hospital protocols and procedures to prevent this type of incident from reoccurring. In addition to placing employees on off-duty status, all unescorted on-campus and off-campus privileges have been stopped, visits to Kaneohe Clubhouse have been suspended, all staff have been retrained on the accountability process, security staff have been reassigned, all levels of patient privilege and visitation policies are being reviewed, additional unannounced patient area searches are being conducted, and procurement of additional security fencing is being expedited.

Hilo Native Stars in ‘Kuleana’ at HIFF

Kealani Warner and Kristina Anapau star in “Kuleana.” Courtesy photo.

Kuleana, directed by Brian Kohne, is the opening-night movie at the Hawaii International Film Festival kick-off in Hilo on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theater.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores, Vene Chun and Branscombe Richmond.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In 1971, few understood the concept of kuleana, as the Hawaiian Renaissance, a reawakening of island culture, had yet to begin and ancient customs and values teetered on the precipice of extinction.

In Kuleana, which takes place on Maui, childhood friends Nohea and Kim share a common nemesis: Kim’s father, Victor Coyle, a real-estate developer who blatantly exploits the land and the people he has managed to usurp and control. Ancestral spirits and modern day warriors also contribute to the fight as Nohea and Kim learn the most important lesson: kuleana is not a burden; it is a privilege.

Burt Sakata and Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson. Courtesy photo.

Burt Sakata is the production designer for Kuleana and Get a Job, the previous feature comedy from Writer-Director Kohne and Producer Stefan Schaefer.

He will attend the Big Island premiere, introduce the movie and be on-hand for a Q&A sessions after the screening.

Sakata is also a member of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana since the 1970s. He served as an island commissioner through the 10 years clean-up through 2004.

HIFF will be held from Nov. 16 through 19. As the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region, HIFF endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.

The Palace Theater is proud to be a part of the Hawaii International Film Festival with 10 full-length films and nine shorts to offer this year, including Kuleana.

Sonya Balmores and Kristina Anapau at the “Kuleana” world premier at the Maui Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

TICKETS: $8 General; $7 Seniors & Students. Purchase a HIFF PASS for $35 and see ALL HIFF films. Tickets can be purchased at the Palace Theater box office or over the phone with a credit card at (808) 934-7010, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Kealani Warner and Big Island native Kristina Anapau at the O‘ahu Premier of Kuleana at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

Burt Sakata and Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson (also a member of Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana) at the O‘ahu Premier of Kuleana at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

The theater is located at 38 Haili St.

Hawaii Ecotourism Association Recertifies Six Big Island Tour Operators

The Hawaii Ecotourism Association has certified more than 45 Hawai‘i tour operators—including six on Hawai‘i Island—and also awarded the 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year to Trilogy Excursions on Maui on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

The HEA developed Hawai‘i’s only ecotourism certification program to help educate tour operators on the importance of using natural cultural resources, promote sustainable practices and raise awareness among visitors, residents and businesses in Hawai‘i.

“We’ve built sustainability into our tours; giving back to the community and preserving our environment have been an important part of our company and how we operate for over 45 years,” said LiAnne Driessen, director of marketing, sales and media relations at Trilogy Excursions.

In addition to awarding Trilogy Excursions on Maui as the 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year (see below), HEA also recognized newly certified and recertified operators.

Newly Certified Sustainable Tour Operators

Holokino Hawaii Tours (O‘ahu)

Recertified Sustainable Tour Operators

HAWAI‘I ISLAND
Fair Wind Cruises
Hawaii Forest & Trail
Kohala Zipline
KapohoKine Adventures
Hawaiian Legacy Tours
Atlantis Adventures

OTHER ISLANDS
Atlantis Adventures (Maui, O‘ahu)
Holokai Snorkel and Kayak Adventure (O‘ahu)
Maui Kayak Adventures (Maui)
Hawaiian Paddle Sports (Maui)
Pacific Whale Foundation (Maui)
Kualoa Ranch (O‘ahu)
Pacific Islands Institute (O‘ahu)
Kailua Beach Adventures (O‘ahu)

Pending Final Evaluation – Certified Sustainable Tour Operators
Hoku Hawaii Tours (O‘ahu)
Coral Crater Adventure Park (O‘ahu)

Trilogy Excursions, which runs sailing, snorkel and whale watching tours on Maui, received the award for its ongoing efforts in supporting the principles of sustainable tourism and promoting practices and programs that enhance the local community and environment.

Some of these practices include:

  • Becoming the first company to retrofit its vessels to pump out waste at onshore facilities [instead of in the open ocean]
  • Launching the successful Blue ‘Aina Reef Cleanup Campaign. Since its inception in 2010, the Blue ‘Aina program has conducted 123 reef cleanups along Maui’s coastline, educated the public, and supported numerous ocean-based nonprofits
  • Converting Trilogy V to run completely on biodiesel
  • Undertaking extensive staff trainings and ongoing staff development to ensure high-quality and accurate tours
  • Supporting environmental initiatives that include the elimination of single-use plastics on all vessels, outfitting all vessels with reef friendly sunscreen, and supporting the establishment and ongoing maintenance of a day-use mooring system on Maui.

“We congratulate and applaud Trilogy Excursions on their commitment to providing sustainable tours to better serve our tourism industry,” said Aaron J. Lowe, president of HEA.

 

To be considered for the Sustainable Tour Operator certification, companies are assessed based on the following requirements:

Step 1: Self-Evaluation: Applications must complete and submit a self-assessment checklist, which evaluates their operating principles. Submissions include an administration fee of $200 and supporting document for review.
Step 2: Third Party Evaluation: An HEA evaluator contacts the applicant to review the checklist and schedule an in-person evaluation. The evaluator participates in a tour to verify components of the self-assessment checklist, and rates the applicant on various operating principles.
Step 3: Reporting & Certification: The HEA evaluator submit their findings and all supporting documents to HEA for final approval. If certified, HEA award certification status, and tour operators are recognized at the HEA Annual Luncheon.

About Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Since 1994, HEA has been committed to helping better Hawaii’s travel industry through promoting responsible ecotourism travel and educational tours to conserving the natural and cultural resources in Hawaii. HEA is composed of tour and lodging operators, travel writers, and community organizations. For more information, visit www.hawaiiecotourism.org.

Privateer’s Cove: Adventures in Dining

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Vick Traxler, owner of Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

For diners looking for an experience as unique as their food, Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona offers just that and more. Tucked away in the old industrial complex, Privateer’s Cove serves interesting dishes and features exotic meats from around the world.

Even more interesting than the menu, is the founder of Privateer’s Cove, Nick Traxler.

“I wanted a place unlike any other—a living room for my friends,” said Traxler.

The restaurant is indeed unlike any other and Traxler invites guests to dine in his establishment with the understanding they abide by his well-documented rules…

Displayed in extra large print, the rules of Privateer’s Cove are clearly defined for diners so there are no misunderstandings.

[slideshow]

The first posted rule is No Pretension. In other words, customers must be nice and act like adults.

The second rule is no talking on cell phones—no exceptions or excuses accepted.

The third rule is all red meat is cooked medium rare or rare. If a guest prefers their steak cooked more well done, the staff will happily recommend other establishments that will, according to Traxler, “overcook your meat and charge you more.”

The last rule is guests may not speak against men and women in uniform.

Traxler makes his rounds from table to table chatting with customers and sharing stories of his days performing at Renaissance fairs and being a police officer in Arizona. He’s proud to run his business as he sees fit and feels those who don’t care for his style can eat somewhere else. Outspoken and uniquely brazen, he has as much character as his menu.

Speaking of the menu, kangaroo potstickers are a favorite appetizer. Kangaroo meat is shipped in every Wednesday from Sydney, Australia. Traxler donates a portion of the sales from the pot stickers to help benefit the Kealakehe High School Wrestling Team. If kangaroo isn’t your thing, the Truffle Mac & Cheese is a delicious and rich comfort food appetizer.

The American Legion Special is an Alligator and Chicken Étouffée. Part of the proceeds for this entree help support the American Legion Post #20 in Kailua-Kona.

If beef is more your thing, the Port of Helena Filet Mignon is served rare to medium rare with a mushroom red wine and poached egg over mashed potatoes.

For seafood lovers, try the Port of Charleston Shrimps and Hominy, an eclectic take on the classic creamy cornmeal topped with shrimp on homemade garlic sauce.

On Wednesdays, the lunch special is camel burger, which is nicely seasoned and served on a fresh bun.

Privateer’s Cove is a bring-your-own-adult-beverage establishment, so guests are offered the opportunity to pair their exotic meats with their beverage of choice.

If there’s any room left after all the exotic critters, indulge in the creme brûlée or mud pie.

Overall, Traxler’s goal is to make new friends. As it states on his menu, “With almost 7.4 billon people in this world, we should all endeavor to make new friends.”

Privateer’s Cove is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Call (808) 882-1200.

The restaurant is located at 74-5565 Luhia St in Kailua-Kona.

For more information or to view the menu, visit privateerscove.wixsite.com.

 

Alligator and Chicken Etouffee at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Filet Mignon at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

A very hungry customer at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Kangaroo Wontons at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Rack of Lamb at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Shrimp and Hominy at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Kona Job Fair Set for Displaced Island Air Employees

Island Air photo.

In addition to the upcoming Nov. 18 Honolulu Open House for former Island Air employees announced last week, Hawaiian Airlines has confirmed additional job fairs in Kona, Kahului and Līhu‘e.

These sessions are reserved for displaced Island Air workers.

Kona (KOA) interviews for Customer Service Agents and Ramp Agents
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
8:20 a.m.–12:40 p.m. (20-minute interviews)
KOA HA Offices – Check-in at HA ticket counter
Bring two copies of your resume
Must register online at https://calendly.com/hacareers/kona

Līhu‘e (LIH) interviews for Customer Service Agents and Ramp Agents
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017
8:20 a.m.–noon (20-minute interviews)
LIH State of Hawaii Mezzanine Conference Room
Bring two copies of your resume
Must register online at https://calendly.com/hacareers/lihue

Kahului (OGG) interviews for Customer Service Agents and Ramp Agents
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017
8:20 a.m.–2:40 p.m. (20-minute interviews)
OGG WP Offices – check in at the WP ticket counter
Bring two copies of your resume
Must register online at https://calendly.com/hacareers/kahului

President Trump to Land in Hawaii Tomorrow Morning

President Trump is scheduled to land in Honolulu tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at the Hickam Airforce Base.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) for the island of O‘ahu for Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


The President is expected to stay on the military base and no roads or traffic will be stopped during his time on O’ahu.

The following operations are not authorized within this TFR: flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, agriculture/crop dusting, animal population control flight operations, banner towing operations, sightseeing operations, maintenance test flights, model aircraft operations, model rocketry, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and utility and pipeline survey operations.

HPD Charges Pāhoa Man in Connection With Burglary

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department has charged a 29-year-old Pāhoa man in connection with a burglary of a vacant business building.

At 11:50 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, officers noticed a man in a pickup truck parked between a shipping container and the fence line of a business on Silva Street in Hilo. Police also discovered that the fence was cut and the door to the business had been kicked in. Several items taken from the vacant business were seen in the bed of the truck.

Nicholas Blackwell. HPD photo.

At midnight, police arrested Nicholas Blackwell on suspicion of burglary and he was taken to the Hilo cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continued the investigation.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, police charged Blackwell with second-degree burglary. He remains in the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $2,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo District Court on Monday, Nov., 13.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Tuck Loy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2385 or Tuckloy.Aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

This information was provided by the authorities. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Winners Named in 2017 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition

Judges at the 2017 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition assessed entries according to a new scoring system this year. The competition was held at Daylight Mind Coffee Company. Courtesy photo.

Three winners claimed victory in the 2017 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition. Pele Plantations won the Commercial Division; Castaway Bay Kona Coffee took the Artisanal Division’s Heritage Profile and Onila Farms captured the win in the Artisanal Division’s Modern Profile.

The winners were selected from 76 entries using a new scoring system that departed from national standards and emphasized regional characteristics specific to Kona coffee. Judges used a 10-point intensity scale to parse the subtle differences between brews in two new flavor profiles: Heritage Profile, a classic Kona Coffee profile; and Modern Profile, one that would be celebrated by modern, specialty coffee consumers. Judges rated entries according to acidity, body, coffeeness, sweetness, floral, complexity and defects.

“There’s a wide range of profiles that we are tasting this year,” said Kona Coffee Cupping Judge Andrew Hetzel. “We have more traditional coffees and we have a lot of dried, natural processed coffee that we are tasting as well, which is something that didn’t exist here in Kona five or six years ago.”

The two-day competition was held at Daylight Mind Coffee Company in Kona as part of the 47th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. It was overseen by an internationally recognized panel of cupping judges that included:

  • Ian Fretheim, Café Imports, Director of Sensory Analysis
  • Madeleine Longoria-Garcia, Four Seasons Hualalai, Head Barista, Pacific Coffee Research Q Grader
  • Miguel Meza, Paradise Coffee Roasters, Director of Coffee Quality
  • Andrew Hetzel, Coffee Strategies, Coffee Policy and Market Consultant
  • Hideki Mike, Ueshima Coffee (UCC Hawai‘i) Corp., Store and Sales Manager
  • Kelleigh Stewart, Big Island Coffee Roasters and Paradise Roasters, Head Roaster and Q Grader

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s competition,” said Valerie Corcoran, Kona Coffee Cultural Festival President. “Every year, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival looks forward to this important event that really helps Kona carry forward the legacy and culture behind our cup of famous brew. Our coffee harvest is as unique as the many hands that grow it, and we are so proud to lead the harvest celebration.”

Temporary Flight Restrictions Ordered for O‘ahu, Nov. 14

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) for the island of O‘ahu for Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

No pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).

Except as specified below and/or unless authorized by air traffic control in consultation with the air traffic security coordinator via the domestic events network (DEN), all aircraft operations within the 10 NMR area(s) seen above, known as the inner core(s), are prohibited except for:

Approved law enforcement, military aircraft directly supporting the United States Secret Service (USSS) and the office of the president of the United States, approved air ambulance flights, and regularly scheduled commercial passenger and all-cargo carriers operating under one of the following TSA-Approved standard security programs/procedures: aircraft operator standard security program (AOSSP), full all-cargo aircraft operator standard security program (FACAOSSP), model security program (MSP), twelve five standard security program (TFSSP) all cargo, or all-cargo international security procedure (ACISP) and are arriving into and/or departing from 14 cfr part 139 airports. All emergency/life saving flight (medical/law enforcement/firefighting) operations must coordinate with ATC prior to their departure at (808) 840-6563 to avoid potential delays.

For operations within the airspace between the 10 nmr and 30 nmr area(s) shown above, known as the outer ring(s): All aircraft operating within the outer ring(s) listed above are limited to aircraft arriving or departing local airfields, and workload permitting, ATC may authorize transit operations. Aircraft may not loiter. All aircraft must be on an active IFR or filed VFR flight plan with a discrete code assigned by an air traffic control (ATC) facility. Aircraft must be squawking the discrete code prior to departure and at all times while in the TFR and must remain in two-way radio communications with ATC.

The following operations are not authorized within this TFR: flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, agriculture/crop dusting, animal population control flight operations, banner towing operations, sightseeing operations, maintenance test flights, model aircraft operations, model rocketry, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and utility and pipeline survey operations.

AA recommends that all aircraft operators check NOTAMs frequently for possible changes to this TFR prior to operations within this region.

TMT Primary Mirrors Enter Production Phase

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has entered into a contract with Coherent Inc., a provider of lasers and laser-based technology, to polish its U.S. manufactured primary mirrors, marking a major production milestone.

The metrology device used in the polishing process of Roundel production, Coherent’s Two Dimensional Profilometer (2DP), is shown above in a special-use case where it is validating the active warping of the Polished Mirror Assembly (PMA). PC: TMT International Observatory

TMT, with its thirty-meter diameter primary mirror and a collecting area greater than all other optical telescopes on Maunakea combined, is the largest optical/near-infrared telescope planned for the Northern Hemisphere.

Under the terms of the contract, Coherent will precisely contour and polish the optical surfaces of 230 mirror segments to the accuracy of less than 1/50th of the width of a human hair. The remaining segments, including spare segments, are being provided by TMT’s international partners Japan, China and India.

Coherent will use a unique “Stressed Mirror Polishing” (SMP) technique, a process refined jointly with TMT, for the production of the polished mirror segments. The Stressed Mirror Polishing uses specially designed fixtures that apply precise forces to the mirrors during their fabrication. The Ohara ClearCeram blank is warped into an aspheric shape, then accurately polished into a smooth spherical surface using a conventional polishing technique. The forces are released after polishing, and the mirror relaxes into the desired aspheric shape.

SMP methodology was originally developed for the construction of the Keck telescope primary mirror, led by the late TMT Project Scientist, Jerry Nelson. This process both reduces the cost of polishing and improves the smoothness of the resulting optical surfaces. Nelson’s revolutionary concept of segmented mirrors replacing a single large collecting aperture has been used worldwide for several large telescopes that cannot be created using a single optical element, including the James Webb Space Telescope.

Waiānuenue Resurfacing Begins Nov. 13

Resurfacing work on Waiānuenue Avenue will start from Kamehameha Avenue intersection and proceed to Ka‘iulani Street beginning on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Motorists heading in the mauka direction from Kamehameha Avenue to Kino‘ole Street will be redirected to Wailuku Drive as a one-way travel pattern on Waiānuenue Avenue in the makai direction will be in effect.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as emergency response vehicles will be allowed to travel in both directions through the work zone at all times.

Travel lanes from Keawe Street to Wailuku Drive will remain open.

The one-way travel restriction will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and travel in both directions will be restored at the end of the workday. Normal traffic patterns in this area will be restored once the project has proceeded past the Kino‘ Street and Waiānuenue Avenue. intersection.

Special off-duty police officers will be in the area to facilitate traffic movement during the lane closures and lane shifts. Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.

Questions or concerns, contact Information and Education Specialist Barett Otani at (808) 961-8787.

Aloha From Lavaland Documentary Debuts Online

Courtesy image

Hawaiian anthropological documentary Aloha From Lavaland is scheduled to be released on Amazon and iTunes on Nov. 15, 2017. The film follows the aftermath of the 2014 eruption of Hawai‘i’s Kilauea volcano, which sent a flow of lava directly toward the center of Pahoa, a small rural town on Hawai‘i Island.

Hard to predict and impossible to stop, the flow threatened to cut off the town’s only access road, leaving the residents of this remote community to rely heavily on one another as they prepare for possible isolation.

Produced in conjunction with Gift Culture Media, Larkin Pictures and Pure Mother Love, this 55 minute documentary explores an inner community perspective of the lava flow, following residents as they ask and answer important questions about community, sustainability, harmony, and what it really means to live in such an unpredictable paradise.

In addition to street interviews and news coverage, the documentary follows a local Hawaiian kumu (healer), a sustainability expert and the leader of a sovereign Hawaiian community over a period of seven months as they attempt to prepare for the unpreparable.

“Puna is unlike any place I’ve ever lived,” says co-director Suzenne Seradwyn, who has created films in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Hawai‘i. “The people here have different values because of the natural elements at play and the rich cultural history surrounding those elements. There is a very important message to share about what happens when you allow yourself to trust these elements.”

“This film is important for anyone living in a state of change, whether it be due to external elements or an internal shift,” says the film’s co-director, Phillips Payson. “Part of what this film explores is how one’s attitude toward change can make all the difference.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. This is his fourth film.

Aloha from Lavaland premiered at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and has won three awards including Best Hawai‘i Film at the Honolulu Film Awards.

To view the Aloha from Lavaland trailer, click here. You can also learn more about the film online.

 

Foreign Journalists Converge in Hawaiʻi

An organization of 28 public and private schools, colleges and universities dedicated to increasing the enrollment of international students in Hawaiʻi along with the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Study Hawaiʻi Educational Consortium, announces a press and media tour of six journalists from Asia, Europe and South AmericaThe tour will take place during the week of Nov. 12 to 18, during International Education Week.

Journalists from Ei! Magazine by Belta of Brazil; EL Gazette and PIE News of the UK; Ryugaku Journal and Mainichi Newspapers of Japan; and Studying Abroad Online China will participate in the mission.

In honor of International Education Week, Gov. David Ige will sign a proclamation to recognize the contributions of foreign students to Hawaiʻi’s economy and culture.

The signing will take place on Nov.14, in the Ceremonial Room, Governor’s Office, Hawai‘i State Capitol.

According to DBEDT’s 2017 Hawaiʻi International Education Survey, Hawaiʻi hosted 10,800 students from 27 institutions during the 2016-17 academic year, down from 12,200 students from 31 institutions during the 2015-16 academic year.

The total direct economic financial impact of international students for the State of Hawaiʻi was an estimated $225.3 million in 2016-17, down from $302 million in 2015-16.

This amount includes tuition and fees plus living expenses. In addition to the direct impact, other economic benefits of international students in Hawaiʻi for the 2016-17 period included:

  • $484 million added to the state’s total economic output, including direct, indirect, and induced effects
  • $32 million in state taxes generated from the total economic output
  • $192 million in household earnings attributed to foreign students
  • 5,093 jobs supported by foreign students’ spending
  • $24,139 overall average annual per student spending

The journalists’ mission is designed, in part, to counter the downward trend in international students studying in Hawaiʻi, by showcasing Hawaiʻi’s educational assets and unique features under the overall theme—“Hawaiʻi, the Best Classroom in the World!”

The group will visit various sites including Kapiolani Community College’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Iolani School for presentations by Study Hawaiʻi member institutions, Coconut Island Marine Research facility, MidPacific Institute, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Hawaiʻi Pacific University, UH Maui College, the Institute for Astronomy at Haleakalā, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hawaiʻi Prep Academy and Hawaiʻi Community College.

“Hawaiʻi’s educational institutions host a diverse group of students from all over the globe,” said DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria. “While Japan remains the top country of origin for Hawaiʻi’s international students, students from Korea and China show tremendous potential for growth.”

DBEDT recently established the Study Hawaiʻi Ambassador Program, which is estimated to host to more than 25,000 students for school excursions and other education-related travel from Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea.  As a result, the students become well aware of the various educational offerings and institutions available in Hawaiʻi.

“Students who participate in the program receive an official certificate recognizing them as Study Hawaiʻi Ambassadors,” said Dennis Ling, administrator of DBEDT’s Business Development and Support Division. “This approach spreads the word on Hawaiʻi with authentic peer-to-peer, often viral, multiple channel distribution of information about Hawaiʻi as a premiere study destination.”

More information about Study Hawaiʻi may be found at www.studyhawaii.org.

The “Economic Impact of International Students in Hawaiʻi – 2017 Update” may be downloaded here.

Kailua-Kona to Receive New Sheriff

There will soon be a new sheriff in Kailua-Kona town.

Hawai‘i Public Safety Department officials, family members and friends gathered in Waipio, O‘ahu, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, to witness the graduation of the Law Enforcement Recruit Class 17-01 for Deputy Sheriffs at the Hawai‘i Okinawa Center.

Twenty new deputies were added to the Sheriff Division and will be assigned to positions across the state. One will be assigned to Kona on Hawai‘i Island and the remaining 19 will be assigned to O‘ahu.

Hawai‘i Public Safety Department Photo

The new deputies were presented with graduation certificates, followed by the recitation of the Oath of Office and the badge presentation. A family member was picked to pin the badge on the new deputy sheriff.

“After six long months of developing the skills necessary to prepare for a career as a State Law Enforcement Officer, 20 new deputy sheriffs stand ready,” said Sheriff Training Lt. Lane Martin. “Ready to serve and protect our Kupuna, our Keiki, our Ohana, across all of Hawai‘i Nei. I am honored to stand alongside these men and women and be a part of that.”

The recruits were trained in nearly 1,000 hours of academic instruction in laws and procedures, constant testing, training in physical fitness, and police tactics.

Student awards for Top Gun, Physical Fitness, Leadership and Academic Average were also handed out to the recruits who ranked at the top of their class in those areas.

The Sheriff Division carries out law enforcement services statewide. Its mission is to promote public safety by: protecting all persons and property within premises under the control of the Judiciary and all state facilities, providing process services and execution of court documents, handling detained persons and providing secure transportation for persons in custody.

It also provides law enforcement services at the Honolulu International Airport.

Massive Fishing Net Bundle Removed from Hilo Bay

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Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Local groups completed an effort that began in late February to remove more than 1,500 pounds of marine debris from Hilo Bay on Nov. 4.

The effort began following a report received by the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund (HWF) from faculty at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s (UHH) Marine Science Department that a massive fishing net bundle had lodged itself into the Hilo breakwall. HWF worked together with biologists from the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) – Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and UHH to attempt a removal of the bundle in late March, but only managed to free a small portion of the tangled net.

Six months later, mother nature took charge when high surf broke the net bundle free of the breakwall. On the morning of Oct. 14, a dive team from the UHH Marine Option Program’s Sea Surveying, Training and Response Squad (SeaSTARS) spotted the loose net floating in Hilo Bay with assistance from members of the Kamehameha Canoe Club. A team of four MOP divers led by UHH MOP staff coordinator Matthew Connelly used a 17-foot vessel to tow the net from the end of Hilo breakwall towards Bayfront. Within 100 yards of the shoreline, the vessel anchored and three UHH students—Julia Stewart, Rosie Lee and Keelee Martin—swam the debris to shore using safety lines.

With the help of several canoe club members including Troy Parker-Bailey with the Puna Canoe Club, MOP co-coordinator Jen Sims, and two large 4WD vehicles, the team successfully hauled the massive bundle from shore to the Bayfront parking lot.

HWF staff and volunteers used a winch and pickup truck to retrieve the last remains of the net bundle on Saturday, Nov. 4, completing a nearly nine-month recovery effort. The net was hauled to the County of Hawai‘i’s Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station where it will be stored until January 2018 when HWF arranges a 40-foot container full of nets to be shipped to O‘ahu for processing in the NOAA Nets-to-Energy Partnership with support from Matson Navigation and Schnitzer Steel.

Matt Connelly, UHH MOP Staff Coordinator and Marine Science Academic Support Specialist expressed his gratitude for the collective effort: “I want to thank the awesome Marine Option Program/Marine Science students that were really the driving force behind the whole operation; the Marine Science Department for having the resources available to do this for the ocean and the community; the canoe club members who helped out even though they were in the middle of a gathering, and for sharing their food with us when the work was pau; and HWF and DLNR for coordinating to get it hauled away and put to good use.”

“Getting this net out took time and patience,” said Stacey Breining, HWF education coordinator. “It was a true community effort. We (HWF) rely on the relationships we create with our communities to make our coastal ecosystems less dangerous for native wildlife. We are happy this net is out of the ocean, out of our landfill and awaiting transport to H-Power so it can be combusted in the Nets-to-Energy Partnership and bring electric power to O‘ahu.”

HWF is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to conserve native wildlife. Since it started, staff and volunteers have removed a total of 264 tons of marine debris from the shores of Hawai’i Island, Maui, Midway and the French Frigate Shoals. In 2017 alone, HWF and volunteers have removed 68,750 pounds of marine debris from Hawai’i Island and Maui through 60 community cleanup events.

For more information on these conservation efforts, or to learn about volunteer opportunities with HWF, email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, call the Hawai‘i Island marine debris hotline at (808) 769-7629, or visit www.wildhawaii.org.

Rent Survey to be Conducted on Hawai‘i Island

Families on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu will soon be surveyed by SMS Research & Marketing Services on what they are paying for rent. The Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority and Counties of Honolulu and Hawai‘i have commissioned the survey.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually publishes Fair Market Rents based on data from the U.S. Census. HUD’s Fair Market Rents are used to set pricing for many federally subsidized programs, including Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, that help low-income families obtain and keep safe, decent and sanitary housing.

Proposed HUD 2018 Fair Market Rents will decrease from 2017.

“Voucher holders already have a difficult time finding safe, decent and affordable rentals within the range of HUD Fair Market Rents,” said Hawai‘i Island House Administrator Neil Gyotoku. “Decreasing Fair Market Rents will worsen the situation especially in high rent areas such as West Hawai‘i.”

The information collected will be used to support the state’s request to HUD to re-evaluate the 2018 Fair Market Rents for O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.

“HUD’s Fair Market Rents are also used to determine Difficult to Develop Areas (DDAs) under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program,” said Craig K. Hirai, executive director of HHFDC. Rental housing projects located in a DDA can receive additional tax credits, and therefore, increase financial feasibility.”

The rent surveys will be mailed to selected households and be short. Non-renters need only answer one question, but the agency is asking everyone to answer the survey for accurate results. The data will be not used for any other purpose and kept strictly confidential. Only county-wide average rents will be reported to HUD and individual responses will be destroyed at the end of the project.

Island Air ‘Hopes to Compensate Employees in Full’

UPDATE

Hawaiian Airlines has added three extra roundtrip flights from Honolulu to Kona, Lihue and Kahului on the afternoon and night of Sunday, Nov. 12, in anticipation of high passenger traffic resulting from Island Air’s shutdown.

The new flights are: Flight No.

Departing

Time

Arriving

Time

HA1108

Honolulu

16:15

Kona

17:03

HA1107

Kona

17:33

Honolulu

18:20

HA1103

Honolulu

18:55

Lihue

19:36

HA1104

Lihue

20:10

Honolulu

20:44

HA1106

Honolulu

21:19

Kahului

21:58

HA1105

Kahului

22:26

Honolulu

23:02

The flights are available to the general public for purchase at www.hawaiianairlines.com.

ORIGINAL POST

Island Air has been working to connect its team members with prospective employers as the company prepares to cease operations at midnight tonight, Friday, Nov. 10.

Island Air hopes to compensate its employees in full for the work performed through Friday, Nov. 10, 2017; however, the final determination will be up to the Bankruptcy Court Trustee. The employees’ existing healthcare insurance benefits will expire on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the earliest.

Island Air. Courtesy photo.

Island Air officials have been in communication with businesses around the state that have expressed interest in assisting the employees.

In addition, Island Air is working with these and other prospective employers to schedule a job fair for the employees in the near future.

“We appreciate the outpouring of support from so many local businesses that want to provide opportunities for our employees,” said Island Air President and CEO David Uchiyama. “Our 423 dedicated employees are among the best in the industry. I can’t speak enough about the commitment, work ethic, professionalism and company loyalty our team members have displayed throughout their careers, and I am confident they will make positive contributions to other businesses and organizations that need talented, experienced and committed individuals.”

Uchiyama noted that businesses, including other airlines, hotels, healthcare providers and other industries, have reached out to Island Air to provide information about potential employment opportunities as well as to inquire about the skills and qualifications of the impacted employees.

“The high caliber of our employees makes them ideal candidates for job opportunities across many industries,” said Uchiyama. “Island Air’s employees have undergone stringent background and security checks, completed extensive training and education and earned numerous safety and technical certifications. In addition to being leaders in their fields, many of our employees are actively involved in our local community. Whether they were born and raised here or have adopted the Islands as their home, our employees know and love Hawai‘i and incorporate our Island traditions and values into their everyday work and service to our customers.”

“I am so proud of the professionalism and integrity of our team members as they focus on providing our passengers with the Island Way experience on our final day of operations,” Uchiyama added.

Also today, Island Air employees met with representatives from the state’s Workforce Development Branch to begin the job transition process. Employees on O‘ahu attended three separate meetings with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DLIR) “Rapid Response Team” to learn about job placement and training assistance, as well as applying for unemployment insurance and other benefits. Rapid Response Team meetings for employees on the Neighbor Islands are being scheduled.

“We appreciate the assistance the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is providing to our team members during this difficult period,” said Uchiyama.

 

USS Olympia Returns from Western Pacific Deployment

The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following the successful completion of a Western Pacific deployment, Nov. 9.

USS Olympia (SSN 717) approaches the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 9. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Shaun Griffin)

Olympia participated in several coordinated exercises with U.S. and allied forces and completed three highly successful missions vital to national security.
“The total commitment and level of effort this crew has demonstrated over the last 18 months both prepared for and executing this deployment is nothing less than outstanding,” said Cmdr. Benjamin J. Selph, native of Prescott, Arizona and commanding officer of Olympia. “This group of young men conducted themselves as professionals of their trade and ambassadors of their country throughout the deployment and I could not ask to lead a more dedicated crew.”

The deployment was a great opportunity for junior Sailors to gain vital operational experience and to hone guidance and leadership skills from the senior leadership.

“The sincere efforts by our experienced submariners instilling qualities that every Sailor needs to be successful and safe helped the junior Sailors become more knowledgeable and helpful in the execution of ship’s operations,” said Master Chief Electronics Technician Submarine, Navigation Roland R. Midgett, chief of the boat and native of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

During the deployment, Olympia advanced 16 enlisted Sailors to the next rank, promoted seven officers and saw 37 submariners earn the right wear the Submarine Warfare device.

Between missions, Olympia enjoyed four port calls to Guam and Japan.
“Having the opportunity to visit Japan on two separate occasions was an unforgettable experience,” said Machinist’s Mate (Weapons) Fireman Raul Bonilla, a native of San Diego.

The return of the Olympia to Pearl Harbor marks nearly 33 years of commissioned service since November 17, 1984.

Olympia is the second ship of the Navy to be named after Olympia, Washington. Olympia is the 29th ship of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines. The submarine is 362-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.