Volunteers Needed to Malama Maunakea

The Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) is seeking community volunteers to participate in its monthly “Malama Maunakea” campaign to protect the mountain’s fragile resources.  Community members are encouraged to sign up for open volunteer days – Saturday, April 19; Saturday, June 7 or Saturday, July 26.

Volunteers work to help Malama Maunakea along with Office of Mauna Kea Management

Volunteers work to help Malama Maunakea along with Office of Mauna Kea Management

“Our overarching goal at the Office of Mauna Kea Management is to malama Maunakea. Taking care of 12,000 acres is a daunting task, but with collaborative community partnerships we can accomplish much,” stated OMKM Director Stephanie Nagata. “We are so thankful to the school groups, service organizations, Chambers, individual and families of volunteers who give of their weekend to take care of Maunakea.”

The invasive species weed pulls throughout 2013 proved to be quite successful with 236 participants volunteering 1,747 hours, pulling 363 garbage bags of invasive weeds on eight separate occasions and also planting 200 Maunakea silversword.

The Saturday weed pulls concentrate on eradicating the invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) along the Mauna Kea Access Road and around Halepohaku at approximately 9,200’ elevation.  The fireweed pulls help keep this invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea and reduce habitat for invasive insects.

The Malama Maunakea volunteer day begins at 8 am.  For Hilo-based volunteers, transportation to and from Hilo is provided. For West Hawaii volunteers, OMKM will help coordinate ride sharing. Upon arrival at Halepohaku, the volunteers are given a project orientation and allowed time to acclimate to the high elevation. Invasive weed pulls focus on the area along the Mauna Kea Access Road near Halepohaku. A brief tour of Maunakea resources completes this fulfilling day on the mountain.

Who can help? Everyone, including families and kids under parent supervision, student groups 16 years of age and older, community members, visitors, are all welcome.  Space is limited. To volunteer or for more information contact OMKM Natural Resource Program Manager Fritz Klasner at 808-933-3194 or email: OMKMvolunteers-grp@hawaii.edu.

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37 Facilities in Hawaii Reported 2.7 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Being Released in 2012

Nationally, total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12 percent from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report and Pacific Southwest state fact sheets published today.

In Hawaii, a total of 37 facilities reported a total of 2.7 million pounds of toxic chemical releases during 2012. Hawaii’s total reported on-site and off-site releases increased when compared to 2011 data.

Highlights of data from 2012 in Hawaii show that since 2011:

  • Air: Air releases increased 2 percent
  • Water: Water releases increased 6 percent
  • On-Site Land: On-site land releases increased 46 percent.
  • Underground Injection: Underground Injection releases increased 21 percent
  • Off-Site Transfers: Total off-site transfers have decreased 9 percent

For detailed Hawaii information and the state’s Top 5 releasing facilities please see the state fact sheet at http://www.epa.gov/region9/tri/report/12/tri-2012-hawaii-report.pdf

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

“Our yearly analysis of chemicals being used by industry helps residents understand which chemicals are used in their neighborhoods,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This year we have enhanced our fact sheet system to aid in getting TRI information about specific locations.”

New for this year is an updated fact sheet system that allows users to explore customized data. Scroll down at the link www.epa.gov/tri to enter your zip code, city, or county, and the new tool will create a fact sheet to show you toxic releases near you.

The annual TRI report provides citizens with critical information about their communities. The TRI Program collects data on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water, and land, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities by facilities across the country.

The TRI data reports are submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Many of the releases from facilities that are subject to TRI reporting are regulated under other EPA program requirements designed to limit harm to human health and the environment.

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. TRI data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air), and site-specific conditions, may be used to evaluate exposures from releases of toxic chemicals.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund Kau Community Work Day

Join Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) to learn about native plants, animals, and anchialine pool ecosystems, participate in “muck sucking” and help us remove invasive grasses from this fragile habitat!

Kau Restoration DayWHEN: Friday January 24th and Sat January 25th

Please bring your kids, families, tabie, bag lunch, water/beverages, hat, sunglasses, small hand tools, work clothes, swimsuit and 4WD vehicles (if can)

HWF will provide gloves, buckets, tools, sunscreen and water re-fills.

PRIZES will be awarded to the best ne “muck sucker”, for the best fall into the pool, to the dirtiest volunteer (i.e. covered in much and/or limu and to the person who hauls the most buckets of paspalum.

For more info OR to RSVP please contact Megan Rose Lamson at meg.HWF@gmail.com or 808/769-7629.

 

Hawaii County Plastic Bag Ordinance Transition Period Ends January 17, 2014

The one-year transition period specified in the Hawai‘i County Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance ends January 17, 2014. After that date, businesses on Hawai‘i Island shall not provide plastic checkout bags to their customers. The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce the usage of single-use plastic bags by prohibiting their distribution at store checkouts and encouraging the usage of reusable bags.
Bring your bags

Many stores are choosing to stop using plastic bags and are already encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags. One high quality reusable bag can replace hundreds of single-use plastic bags over its lifetime. In the long term, the cost of a reusable bag can be lower than the cost of the single-use plastic bags it replaces.

The ordinance exempts plastic bags without handles that are used for retail items such as meat, produce, bulk food items, garments, and prescription drugs. It also exempts non-profit organizations and non-incorporated community booster organizations. Paper bags are still permitted under the ordinance.

If a business violates the ordinance, a warning letter will be issued. A second violation will result in a civil fine of $250 per day. The third violation will result in a civil fine of $500 per day and subsequent violations will result in civil fines of $1,000 per day.

Environmental problems posed by plastic bags warrant the implementation of this type of law and it is consistent with the County’s General Plan, which implores the County to “take positive action to further maintain the quality of the environment.” It is an important milestone on the County’s path toward Zero Waste, a commitment to protecting our island.

Hawai‘i County residents join 54% of the world’s population who live in an area that has plastic bag bans or fees to reduce plastic pollution. All Hawai‘i counties have passed plastic bag reduction ordinances, joining a growing list of cities, counties, and nations around the world taking similar initiatives including 28 entire countries.

For more information, please visit HawaiiZeroWaste.com where the ordinance, rules, and outreach materials can be viewed and downloaded. For questions and additional information about the new ordinance, please contact the Department of Environmental Management at bring-ur-bag@hawaiicounty.gov or (808) 961-8942.

Pacific Shipyards International Cited for Hazardous Waste Violations

FuddyThe Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch has filed a Notice of Violation and Order against Pacific Shipyards International, LLC (PSI) for violations of hazardous waste regulations. DOH has cited the company for exceeding the 90 day storage limit of hazardous waste that is awaiting disposal, failing to label the required accumulation start dates for stored hazardous waste containers, and failing to label a hazardous waste drum in a satellite accumulation area.

Facilities that generate large amounts of hazardous waste must dispose of that waste within a 90 day period. If the waste is still in storage at the end of the 90 days, a facility must hold a storage permit in order to be in compliance. Permitted storage facilities have stringent guidelines in place, such as increased frequency of inspections and emergency and contingency plans, to ensure public health and safety. PSI, located at Pier 41 in Honolulu, is not a permitted storage facility and was previously cited for violations in 2007 which were resolved.

DOH discovered the violations during December 2012 inspections of PSI, which performs mechanical and structural repairs and maintenance on ocean vessels. PSI has 20 days to respond to the violation notice and could face a penalty of $60,000.

The Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch oversees the management of solid waste generated within Hawaii to prevent releases of petroleum, hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants into the environment through aggressive enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. The branch promotes pollution prevention and waste minimization activities and the development of partnerships with the community.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events on the Big Island

Household Hazardous Waste collection events will occur between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., as follows:

  • Saturday, December 7, 2013, at the Hilo Recycling and Transfer Station.
  • Saturday, December 14, 2013, at the Kailua-Kona (Kealakehe) Recycling and Transfer Station.

These events are for household-generated and self-hauled waste only.  No business or farm wastes and NO electronic waste will be accepted.

hazard_house

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management holds these regular collection events so households can conveniently dispose of acceptable HHW in a manner that protects both public health and the environment.  Some acceptable HHW are automotive fluids, used batteries, fluorescent lights and pesticides.  For a more complete list of acceptable or unacceptable HHW, please visit our website hawaiizerowaste.org. The website includes other useful information on solid waste diversion and recycling.

If you are unable to attend the events described above, the next scheduled HHW Collection Events will be on Saturday, March 1, 2014 in Waimea and on Sunday, March 2, 2013 in Pāhoa.

Please direct your comments or questions regarding these HHW Collection Events to Linda Peters, Recycling Coordinator with the Department of Environmental Management at 961-8942 or email to lpeters@co.hawaii.hi.us.  Mahalo for your kōkua.

 

First Annual Guy Toyama Day – Beach Cleanup and Barbecue

A memorial fund was established earlier this year to commemorate the life of a true Hawaii visionary, Guy Toyama. Consistent with the fund’s purpose, The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund is celebrating the first annual Guy Toyama Day with a beach cleanup and barbeque.

Guy Toyama gave a presentation at the 2012 Sam Choy's Keauhou Poke Contest

Guy Toyama gave a presentation at the 2012 Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

“Guy was such a big part of our success and this event symbolizes a small part of the Guy’s vision for a better future by simultaneously improving our community and our environment,” said Greg Barbour, Executive Director of NELHA. Beautifying Hawaii’s coastline fosters a sense of community pride and improves the beach experience for residents and visitors alike.

An aerial photo will also be taken to commemorate the event and capture the moment with an exciting visual. Photographer Angy Chesler and Paradise Helicopters are providing this service and it is a fun way to recognize those who participate in this unique event. Guy Toyama, a Hawaii visionary and champion of sustainable business and renewable energy, passed away in November of 2012. In honor of his longstanding commitment to improving the relationship between people and the islands, his never‐ending spirit of kuleana is being carried on through the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund.

Guy Toyama rides a hydrogen fuel scooter

Guy Toyama rides a hydrogen fuel scooter

All who knew Guy were touched by his enthusiasm for life and his many passions. His joyful exuberance and his exceptional knowledge of how to live lightly on the planet were a source of inspiration to many. This memorial fund, made possible by donations from friends, family, and businesses, furthers Guy’s global vision for a better future.

Event Details:

  • Who: The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund is sponsoring this event
  • What: 1st Annual Guy Toyama Day Celebration: A Gathering for Guy: Beach Cleanup and BBQ
  • When: 2:00pm – 5 :00pm, Sunday December 1, 2013, rain or shine.
  • Where: Wawaloli Beach Park on Makako Bay Drive at the Natural Energy Lab (OTEC)

About the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund

The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund is dedicated to honoring the memory of Guy Toyama by establishing scholarships and giving grants to non‐profits working in the areas of sustainability, renewable energy, waste reduction, and local food production. Requests for additional information can be addressed to info@guytoyamafund.org, or by visiting www.guytoyamafund.org.

About the Institute for a Sustainable Future

The Institute for a Sustainable Future (ISF), a Hawaii 501(c)3 non‐profit organization, is dedicated to empowering communities to manage their resources and affairs in a sustainable manner. The ISF is accepting contributions to the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund. Checks should be made payable to Institute for a Sustainable Future, include “Guy Toyama Memorial Fund” in the memo line, and be mailed to Institute for a Sustainable Future, PO Box 3220, Kailua Kona, HI 96745.

FREE – “Ola – Health is Everything” at UH Hilo November 14th

The public is invited to a special screening of “Ola – Health is Everything” on Thursday, November 14 at 12:30 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo University Classroom Building Room 127. There is no admission charge and seating is limited.
Ola
The Hawaiʻi documentary premiered at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival in April 2013. It highlights the power of communities to heal, explores how society must rethink what it means to be healthy, and portrays individuals who bring hope to communities across Hawaiʻi. A Q & A will follow the screening with film writer and producer Matthew Nagato of the Hawaiʻi Primary Care Association.

The screening is supported by UH Hilo’s Student Health & Wellness Programs and the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund.

For additional information, call 932-7458.

Ola (Hawaiian for “life, well-being”) is a feature length documentary which explores the widespread social factors that helped create Hawai’i’s health care crisis and offers an intimate look at individuals who have, in the face of these challenges, brought hope to their communities.

Consumer Electronics Industry to Team with ERI for Hawaiian E-Waste Recycling Events

Partnering with the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM), in an effort to properly recycle unwanted consumer electronics in the state of Hawaii, Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) has announced two one-day opportunities for Hawaiians to recycle e-waste on Saturday, October 19th. Both events are free to the public, and accepted items include computer equipment, televisions and mobile devices.

Ewaste

For this special manufacturing takeback program, ERI, the largest recycler of electronic waste in the nation, partnering with a number of electronics manufacturers and a local recycling organization in Hawaii, safely recycles all e-waste collected across the Hawaiian islands. Manufacturers work through MRM to sponsor the events. Sponsoring manufacturers include Funai Corporation, Inc., Hitachi America Ltd., Imation, JVC America, Mitsubishi, Orion, Panasonic, PLR IP Holdings (Polaroid), Sanyo Manufacturing Corp., Sharp, Toshiba and VIZIO.

The special e-waste collection events will take place at the following venues:

· Kaimuki High School (2705 Kaimuki Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816), as part of the 10th Annual Community Cleanup for many items beyond electronics — 9:00 – 1:00 pm

· Kapolei Middle School (91-5335 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI 96707) — 1:00 – 5:00 pm

For those unable to participate in the events, MRM-participating manufacturers and ERI have provided and continue to provide the community an opportunity to safely unload their old computers, television sets and other out-dated, unusable or unwanted consumer electronic items via permanent drop off locations across the Hawaiian islands for proper recycling that is safe and environmentally sound.

“With their collaborative support and proactive actions in Hawaii – and across the U.S. as well,” said Tricia Conroy, MRM’s Executive Director, “ERI has continued to be an organization we are proud to partner with. Just as the manufacturers that make up MRM are leaders in the electronic profession by being responsible recyclers of electronic waste and stewards of the environment, so too is ERI. ERI uses innovation and a commitment to doing things right to help forge processes that benefit all of us as well as our planet’s natural resources.”

“Partnering with the responsible electronics manufacturers through MRM to benefit the good people of Hawaii has been and continues to be an honor and a privilege, and the events we are holding later this week are no exception,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “MRM has proven to be a partnering of manufacturing organizations that has been forward-thinking in terms of environmental concerns. That we have already prevented literally millions of pounds of electronic waste from ending up in landfills in Hawaii through our partnership with MRM is a further example of just what can be accomplished when great organizations pool their resources for the common good.”

“Events like these are so important because they help the local residents unload the electronic junk that’s just sitting around while also benefiting the environment,” said Nik Nikolaidis of T&N Computer Recycling Services, who will be collecting the e-waste at the events. “We are proud to be able, alongside MRM and ERI, to help Hawaii’s residents become more environmentally responsible by offering them convenient opportunities to safely dispose of their old electronic devices.”

For local information about these special recycling events, consumers can contact Nik Nikolaidis of T&N Computer Recycling Services at (808) 371-0281. Also, consumers can visit the Hawaii MRM webpage (http://mrmrecycling.com/locator_hi.htm) for ongoing collection information.

For more information on general recycling needs, visit www.electronicrecyclers.com, http://1800recycling.com or www.urbanmining.org.

 

Environmental Protection Agency Awards Hawaii $1.1 Million to Control Polluted Water Runoff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Hawaii Department of Health a $1.1 million grant to implement its Polluted Runoff Control (PRC) Program and to support water quality improvement projects.

“EPA’s grant helps Hawaii reduce harmful stormwater runoff,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our goal, along with the Department of Health, is to protect coastal waters and coral reefs from the effects of polluted surface water.”

When it rains, water flows downhill from Hawai`i’s high island ridges to the ocean, washing pollutants into the streams and rivers. (Kaaawa Valley, Oahu)

When it rains, water flows downhill from Hawai`i’s high island ridges to the ocean, washing pollutants into the streams and rivers. (Kaaawa Valley, Oahu)

Hawaii DOH will contribute $746,000 in state funds to the EPA grant for a total budget of $1.91 million to implement its state program developed under the authority of Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act. Grant funds support both state staff and local organizations to develop and implement watershed plans to achieve water quality improvement goals. The funding is specifically for such nonpoint source water pollution control projects and cannot be used for other water pollution discharges or spills like the recent molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor.

This year, the PRC Program will update Hawaii’s State Management Program Plan for addressing polluted runoff over the next five years. The plan will identify strategic priorities, establish both environmental and program goals and milestones, and discuss how partners will be engaged to most effectively to improve water quality.

Recently, Hawaii DOH used Clean Water Act Section 319 funds to address land-based pollution in the West Maui area to protect coral reefs. West Maui is a priority area for the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and the State of Hawaii Coral Program.

On-the-ground projects are strategically focused in specific watersheds to increase the likelihood of achieving environmental results. Previous competitively selected projects include:

  • Heeia Stream Restoration Project to stabilize eroding stream banks and restore native vegetation along the Heeia stream to reduce nutrient and sediment loads on windward Oahu.
  • Implementation of large scale agricultural management practices to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff in the Honouliuli Stream watershed.
  • A rain garden ‘how-to’ manual and the installation of several rain gardens to demonstrate an effective way to reduce the volume of polluted stormwater runoff in developed areas
  • Installation of fencing in Maui mountain watersheds to reduce the impacts of feral ungulate populations in sensitive watershed areas.

The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act established the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program. Section 319 addresses the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source efforts. Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money to support a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, restoratioin projects and monitoring efforts to assess progress toward water quality goals. EPA awards annual continuing program grants, based on a national distribution formula, to implement approved state programs.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations — home to more than 48 million people. The EPA is also a significant source of funding. In 2013, more than 85 percent of the $631 million regional operating budget flowed to state and tribal agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations and private-sector companies in the form of grants and contracts. This funding pays for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, air pollution reduction programs, Superfund site cleanups and many other activities that protect human health and natural resources.

Honolulu Harbor Water Quality Appears to Be Returning to Normal Visual Conditions

Divers completed a survey of Honolulu Harbor in the immediate vicinity of the initial release and found no visible evidence of molasses, Tuesday.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, prepares a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, prepares a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The dive survey covered an area on the bottom of the harbor of approximately 200 feet surrounding the source of the initial spill. The diver investigated the areas under the pier around the pilings and along the seabed out into the harbor.

“The seabed under the wharf and into the channel was observed to be in normal condition, with no pools or visual evidence of molasses,” Kevin Foster, U.S. Fish and Wildlife marine ecology specialist. “The consensus was that the molasses is no longer in the area.”

The dive included a live video feed to the surface where representatives from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service directed and observed the nearly two hour survey.

Water quality appears to be returning to normal visual conditions. Water sampling and testing continues in the harbor and Keehi Lagoon.

Federal Officials Conduct Water Sampling Tests on Molasses Spill in Honolulu Harbor

Representatives from the Coast Guard National Strike Force, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted water sampling as part of a joint effort to analyze the effects of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor Sunday.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard National Strike Force head to their first location to use a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard National Strike Force head to their first location to use a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The combined team departed Coast Guard Station Honolulu Sunday morning aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium. The National Strike Force crewmembers from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Strike Teams used a water quality instrument to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels at various locations around the harbor that were affected by the spill.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, prepares a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, prepares a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The National Strike Force provides highly trained, experienced personnel and specialized equipment to Coast Guard and other federal agencies to facilitate preparedness for and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents in order to protect public health and the environment. The National Strike Force’s area of responsibility covers all Coast Guard Districts and Federal Response Regions.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, handles a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, handles a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The National Strike Force team members arrived in Honolulu Saturday after Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received an official request from the Hawaii Department of Health to assist with the response to the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor, Friday.

The Coast Guard began supporting the response Monday morning when investigators from Sector Honolulu responded to a report of discolored water in the harbor. Since then, the Coast Guard has held daily meetings with the lead State agency, Hawaii Department of Health. Crews from Station Honolulu have conducted daily patrols in the affected area since Monday.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard National Strike Force discuss data from a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels with a member of the state of Hawaii Department of Health in Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard National Strike Force discuss data from a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels with a member of the state of Hawaii Department of Health in Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The request for federal assistance allows the Coast Guard to support the lead agency with a wide variety of resources to include specialized response personnel, boats and equipment from the Coast Guard and other Federal Agencies.

For more information contact the Sector Honolulu public affairs officer, Lt. Kevin Cooper at (808) 286-4675 or the Department of Health Public Information Officer, Janice Okubo at (808) 586-4442.

Coast Guard Supports State of Hawaii’s Response to Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received an official request from the Hawaii Department of Health to assist with the response to the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor Friday.

Molasses Sharks

“The Coast Guard is prepared to bring all the requested resources to this incident to support our state and local partner agencies” said Capt. Shannon Gilreath, captain of the port Honolulu. “We have been working closely with state partners since the spill occurred to offer advice and resources. This official request is the next step in our joint response to this incident.”

The Coast Guard began supporting the response Monday morning when investigators from Sector Honolulu responded to a report of discolored water in the harbor. Since then, the Coast Guard has held daily meetings with the lead State agency, Hawaii Department of Health. Crews from Station Honolulu have conducted daily patrols in the affected area since Monday.

The request for federal assistance allows the Coast Guard to support the lead agency with a wide variety of resources to include specialized response personnel, boats and equipment from the Coast Guard and other Federal Agencies. The captain of the port requested support from the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force for water sampling and monitoring and is currently coordinating with technical specialists from the EPA to help assess additional response mitigation strategies.

The Hawaii Department of Health remains the lead agency for the response. Other agencies involved include the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbor Police, Hawaii Health Department Clean Water Branch, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, Clean Islands Council and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

For more information contact the Sector Honolulu public affairs officer, Lt. Kevin Cooper at (808) 286-4675 or the Department of Health Public Information Officer, Janice Okubo at (808) 586-4442.

 

Alexander & Baldwin Buy Kahala Properties Owned By Genshiro Kawamato for $98 Million

Alexander & Baldwin Properties, Inc. announced today that it has acquired a portfolio of 31 properties from Japanese real estate investor Genshiro Kawamoto for approximately $98 million. Twenty-seven of the properties are located on Kahala Avenue, Honolulu’s premier residential address, which runs along the ocean from Diamond Head to Waialae Country Club, home of the Sony Open, and the world-famous Kahala Hotel & Resort. The 27 properties represent nearly 16% of the residential lots on Kahala Avenue, with about half of the lots having ocean frontage or beach access. A&B plans to reposition and refurbish the properties to take advantage of the continuing improvement in the Honolulu real estate market.

278 House on Kahala Avenue Honolulu

278 House on Kahala Avenue Honolulu (Photo credit: MattSims)

“The opportunistic acquisition of this highly coveted residential land portfolio in Hawaii represents a significant investment in a key Oahu market and reflects A&B’s confidence in Hawaii’s economy and real estate markets,” said Christopher J. Benjamin, A&B’s president & chief operating officer. “From a strategic perspective, the transaction highlights our competitive strengths in Hawaii. We were able to leverage our local market knowledge and relationships to complete an off-market transaction at attractive pricing. Our experience and balance sheet strength allowed us to negotiate and close the all-cash deal in less than 90 days, once the seller indicated a willingness to sell, and we anticipate achieving investment returns consistent with our past Hawaii investments.”

“Through this transaction, we have acquired a significant position in Kahala real estate — nearly 90% of the current inventory on Kahala Avenue, a well-established, world-class residential Honolulu community for local and offshore homeowners,” noted Michael G. Wright, executive vice president, A&B Properties. “We will be focused on cleaning up these properties, and anticipate a full recovery in property values. This acquisition is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are gratified to see our efforts come to fruition.”

280 House on Kahala Avenue Honolulu

280 House on Kahala Avenue Honolulu (Photo credit: MattSims)

The acquired portfolio includes 27 fully entitled Kahala residential properties encompassing 13.7 acres, as well as two residential lots and a preservation-zoned parcel in Windward Oahu, and a 146-acre agricultural-zoned parcel in Kihei, Maui. The Kahala residential properties include eight oceanfront lots (6.5 acres); one oceanfront home/lot (0.8 acres); five non-oceanfront lots (1.7 acres) and one home (0.2 acres) located on the makai, or ocean, side of Kahala Avenue; and six lots (2.4 acres) and six homes (2.1 acres) located on the mauka, or mountain, side of Kahala Avenue. The land-only component of the tax assessed value of the 31 properties acquired totals $117.6 million. Sales will commence immediately and continue over a projected three- to five-year timeframe.

Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Hosts Next Volunteer Forest Restoration Project

The Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park hosts our next volunteer FOREST RESTORATION PROJECT on Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Volunteers needed to help control fountain grass along roadways in Hawaii Ocean View Estates (HOVE). Fountain grass increases fire potential, and the park is working to prevent its spread in HOVE and keep it from establishing in the Kahuku unit. Photo NPS

Volunteers needed to help control fountain grass along roadways in Hawaii Ocean View Estates (HOVE). Fountain grass increases fire potential, and the park is working to prevent its spread in HOVE and keep it from establishing in the Kahuku unit. Photo NPS

September 28th is National Public Lands Day. We will be joining the park and the Ocean View Community Association in controlling fountain grass along roadways in Hawaii Ocean View Estates (HOVE). Fountain grass increases fire potential, and the park is working to prevent its spread in HOVE and keep it from establishing in the Kahuku unit. Learn about the problems of fountain grass and its safe control from a member of the park’s Natural Resources Management team.

We will be driving the roads of HOVE looking for fountain grass along the roadside, with 2-3 people per vehicle. Volunteers who can drive their own vehicle will be helpful. The roads in HOVE are paved. For those coming from Volcano and the east side who would like to car-pool, we will meet at the Kilauea Visitors Center. There will be some space available in park vehicles.

Volunteers should be at least 12 years old, and able to walk up to a mile along roadways and rough roadsides.  Sturdy walking shoes and long pants and are required, along with gear for variable weather conditions (be prepared for sun or rain with a hat, raincoat, sunscreen, etc.) plus drinking water and a lunch.

Pre-registration is required. All participants will need to sign a Friends release form and a park volunteer form. For those under 18, an adult will need to co-sign.

***If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Patty Kupchak at forest@fhvnp.org or (808) 352-1402 by Monday evening, September 23. Please include your first and last name, email address, and a phone number where we can reach you at the last minute in case of cancellation***

 

Wordless Wednesday – Free Camper Top

I’m always browsing the free stuff on Craigslist and this ad kind of had me laughing:

Camper Top

Camper Top, been sitting under weeds for a while, window hinges broken … still seems solid … come pull it down and it’s yours… http://honolulu.craigslist.org/big/zip/4027984164.html

Ulupono Initiative Invests $1 Million In Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning

Ulupono Initiative announced today that it has invested $1 million in Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC (HSWAC) for the development of the company’s seawater air conditioning district cooling system.

HSWAC

“This investment will help HSWAC begin construction in 2014 of one of the largest energy-efficiency projects in Hawaii,” said Murray Clay, managing partner of Ulupono Initiative. “The system promises significant savings in energy that will help move us closer to our goal of more renewable energy use for the state.”

When it begins operation, HSWAC’s district cooling system will eliminate the need for 178,000 barrels of oil per year by saving enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes. The system will provide an alternative to using imported fossil fuels to cool downtown Honolulu, which will decrease the island’s environmental footprint and the state’s oil dependency.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Ulupono on this project,” said Eric Masutomi, president and CEO of Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning. “Not only do the missions of both organizations – to create a more sustainable future for Hawaii – align perfectly, Ulupono’s investment represents a strong vote of confidence in the potential of HSWAC’s deep seawater cooling technology to greatly improve the quality of life in our island community.”

“It’s fully proven at multiple locations in Europe and the United States, so there is zero technological risk,” said Clay. “And, the system also saves significant amounts of fresh water, when compared to conventional cooling.”

The system will cool water to provide air conditioning to buildings in downtown Honolulu by pumping deep ocean water through a pipeline more than four miles offshore to a cooling station in Kakaako.

About 70 percent of a building owner’s air conditioning cost typically goes toward operating cooling systems that include on-site chillers, condenser pumps and cooling towers. Operating costs prove volatile, as they are affected by increasing costs of electricity, water, wastewater and other infrastructure expenses.

District cooling creates a way to convert large blocks of buildings to energy-efficiency measures rather than one at a time. This project is expected to create the opportunity for expansion of district cooling projects across the state.

Additional project partners include the Capital Cooling Group and Renewable Energy Innovations (REI). Capital Cooling, the leading European deep-water cooling expert, is serving as a management consultant as well as a $500,000 co-investor with Ulupono on this Hawaii project. Capital Cooling was also involved in the 80,000-ton deepwater air conditioning project in Stockholm, and REI, through its affiliated company Ever-Green Energy, owns and operates district cooling and heating systems in Minnesota. Other team members are Hawaii-based Makai Ocean Engineering, involved in the 20,000-ton deepwater air conditioning project built in 2000 in Ithaca, N.Y.; R.M. Towill Corporation; Yogi Kwong Engineers; and InSynergy Engineering.  All three are well-known Hawai‘i design companies in the fields of civil, geotechnical and mechanical engineering.

The HSWAC system annually reduces potable water consumption for air conditioning by more than 260 million gallons. Each year it also reduces sewage discharge by up to 84 million gallons, and avoids emissions of 84,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Combined, this is the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the road per year. The project is anticipated to generate more than $200 million in construction spending in Honolulu and create more than 900 construction jobs.

The team estimates the new system will reduce electricity usage by 77,000 MWh per year, which is the equivalent of a 30-megawatt wind farm; or a 53-megawatt solar farm, more than all of the utility scale photovoltaic systems currently operating in Hawai‘i.  Customers who have already signed on include Hawaiian Electric Co., Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Center, and One Waterfront Towers.

Squatters in Paradise… Dogs on the Loose – What is the Solution?

Mahalo to Pahoa Community Police Officer Pacheco for helping to secure this building that has been an ongoing problem with squatters, homelessness and drugs here in Pahoa for the last few years.

BEFORE:

Photo by Sean King

Photo by Sean King

AFTER:

After the police secured the building

After the police secured the building

We have a serious problem here in Puna and that is that folks are just taking over houses that are foreclosed and there is nothing the local police can do.  Here is an example of a recent letter I received with some things cut out to ensure their privacy:

Aloha Neighbors,

I know everyone is quite busy, so I will keep this as concise as I can.

I thought I would keep you abreast of a few issues that have happened in your neighborhood.  BTW, thank you for keeping me in the loop with other concerns happening in our neighborhood, past or present.

#1.  There has been squatters that have moved in the house on Kula Street. Some of you may know this as (edited) old place.

What I can tell you is this:

-They have established electricity

– The police can not do anything since it is a civil matter, not criminal.

-Chase Bank owns the house, and is paying the taxes on it.

– The Leilani Community Association can not do anything to help in this regard per advise of there consult with an attorney.

-The owner is the only one who can order these people to leave.

-Chase bank is not very forthcoming about taking possession of the house since there are at lease $40k in liens against the property. (btw, formally foreclosed in 2009 by the court system).

-There are several people that come and go all hours of the day/night.

-I do not want to pursue calling in a drug suspicion, as I do not want any retribution…

-Charlie Stanton, Leilani resident, has been kind to patrol the streets of Leilani as Neighborhood Watch, and knows of this matter and has even taken photos of a few cars as they have drove by and decided not to stop at the house as he was present.  Thank you Charlie.

Has anyone else been faced with this kind of issue or maybe can shed some light on this matter? Maybe an elected official?

And,

#2.  On Friday, June 7th, (EDIT) roughtweiler attacked my dog in our front yard. I have asked her repeatedly to keep her dog restrained.  I have filed a police report in regard to this issue and my dog will need an expensive surgery to walk normal again.  The police have filed this as a vicious dog claim. The officer who reported to the call is Officer C. Arnold. He said to call the Humane Society every time I see the dog out of the owners yard.  The Humane Society said that every photograph of the violation will result in a fine. As many of you may know, this is not the first time I have had to deal with a vicious dog issue on my property.

Thank you for taking the time to read over the information in this email. If you have insight or know of a good resources to tap for more info to move either of these issues forward, I would be very happy to hear about them.  Also, if you would like to connect this email to others in our neighborhood who may want to know about this matter, please do so.

Stay safe and have a fantastic Friday!

So with that being said… does anyone have any advice?

Nice Boots… Homeless in Pahoa

Homeless in Pahoa by Sean King

The homeless problem is getting worse and worse all over the place and Pahoa has also been affected by it.  This picture was submitted to me the other day.  Today, I saw a guy walking down the street who had literally crapped his pants.

Anyone have any solutions to the problem?

Hawaii County Fire Department Collecting Unwanted, Illegal and Damaged Fireworks

Fire Chief Darren Rosario would like to announce that the Hawai‘i Fire Department will be conducting a collection of unwanted, illegal, and/or damaged fireworks from anyone wishing to turn them in for proper disposal. Members of the public will be able to drop off their unwanted fireworks (island-wide) on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.

Old Fireworks

Those wishing to participate can contact the HFD Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 on Monday, July 15, 2013 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to get more information regarding drop off locations and drop off times.

Please be advised that these fireworks are dangerous and utmost care must be taken to keep them away from any spark or open flame. Fireworks may be soaked in water overnight and dried prior to transporting them to one of the drop off locations. Please note that no other hazardous materials or explosive products will be accepted. Acceptable items will include all types of Fireworks, fountains, sparklers, firecrackers,
cakes, rockets, etc.

In addition, you may also turn in any “aerial luminary devices.” The State of Hawai‘i deemed it illegal to buy, sell, use, possess, ignite, or cause to ignite any such aerial luminary device. An aerial luminary device is defined as any homemade or manufactured device that has an open flame and which can be send airborne or adrift, leaving the height and distance it travels to be determined by existing atmospheric conditions. These devices can start brushfires as well as entangle in electrical lines, and even has the ability to hit an aircraft if it drifts near an airport or in the vicinity of an aircraft. The common brands found here are “Sky Lanterns” and “Hawai‘i Lanterns.”

The Hawai‘i Fire Department would like to thank you, the community, for its continued support in helping us to make our Island as safe as can be.

For more information please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912.