Crew for Second HI-SEAS Mission Announced – Next Extended Simulation of Mars Exploration Begins March 28

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has announced the crew for the second mission of the Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program. The next extended simulation of Mars exploration here on Earth begins March 28.

HI-Seas photo by Angelo Vermeulen

HI-Seas photo by Angelo Vermeulen

“The upcoming mission is focused on the social, interpersonal, and cognitive factors that affect team performance over time,” said Kim Binsted, associate professor at UH Mānoa and principal investigator for the next three HI-SEAS missions planned for 2014 and 2015.  “Hawai‘i provides a unique setting to simulate the challenging conditions for human exploration to Mars. We have selected a strong crew for our next four-month study.”

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

HI-SEAS crew members were required have “astronaut-like characteristics,” including the ability to pass a Class 2 flight physical examination and undergraduate training as a scientist or engineer. The youngest crew member is 26; the oldest is 60 years old.  Like the astronaut mission specialists they represent, each participant is expected to bring a significant research project or other scholarly work of his or her own to complete while inside the space analog habitat.

The six crew members and the reserve (alternate) member are:

  • Ross Lockwood – A PhD candidate in condensed matter physics at the University of Alberta. Ross is from Winfield, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Casey Stedman – An officer in the US Air Force Reserve. Born in Vermont, Casey now considers Washington his home.
  • Ronald Williams – Director of the Neuropsychology Department at Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Indiana. Ron holds a PhD in Neuropsychology and is from Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Tiffany Swarmer – Research assistant studying human factors and performance for long-duration space missions at the University of North Dakota’s Human Spaceflight Laboratory.  Tiffany was born at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
  • Lucie Poulet – A PhD candidate at the Institute of Space Systems at the German Aerospace Center.  Lucie designs hybrid lighting systems for greenhouses to enhance plant growth and is from the Lorraine region of France.
  • Anne Caraccio – A NASA researcher developing a method of turning waste from space missions into useable gases for fuel/propulsion, environmental control, and life support systems. Anne is from Bellmore, New York.
  • (Reserve crew member) James Sakai, a mechanical engineer and Captain in the US Army Reserve, is from Rupert, Idaho.

During the upcoming study, researchers from outside of the HI-SEAS habitat will monitor the six crew members isolated inside the solar-powered dome at a remote site at 8,000 feet elevation on the slopes of Mauna Loa.  The researchers will evaluate the crew’s communications strategies, crew workload and job-sharing, and conflict resolution/conflict management approaches to determine the most important factors for the success of a long-duration space mission.

Food inventory by Sian

Food inventory by Sian

This mission follows on the heels of a successful 2013 Mars food study, which simulated the experience of astronauts on a real planetary mission and compared two types of food systems:  crew-cooked vs. pre-prepared.

More information, photos, and full biographies for the 2014 crew members are available on the HI-SEAS website at http://hi-seas.org/.  Members of the media can download high-resolution photos from the previous HI-SEAS mission at:  http://go.hawaii.edu/GQ

For more information, visit: http://hi-seas.org/

New Mushroom Category at Sam Choy’s Poke Contest

Fun is mushrooming at the third Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Sunday, March 16 at the Sheraton Kona Resort Convention Center.

A new competition category—poke with Hamakua Mushrooms—encourages the use of mushrooms from the Big Isle’s gourmet fungal company located in rural Laupahoehoe. It joins four other culinary categories: traditional, cooked, poke with Aloha Shoyu soy sauce and non-seafood.

Hamakua Mushrooms

Hamakua Mushrooms

“The poke contest is all about sharing our favorite recipes and using local products,” says celebrity chef Sam Choy. ”Put your braggin’ in the bowl and enter to win prizes.”

Hamakua Mushrooms (HM) produces over 5,000 pounds of specialty and exotic mushrooms weekly. The exacting, multi-step growing process, which is done in a series of environmentally controlled rooms, will be detailed at the festival during a video. Attendees will also be able to see the bouquets of fresh, flavorful mushrooms growing in their sterilized bottles—Hamakua Mushrooms produces four varieties of shrooms.

“Contestants can source our mushrooms at islandwide grocers,” details HM co-owner Janice Stanga. “Our ali‘i oyster and pioppini mushrooms are sold at Costco, KTA, Safeway, Foodland and Sack ‘n Save.” For more info, phone HM at 808-962-0017.

Entry fee is $15 for amateurs and $30 for professionals—culinary students can participate for free. High schoolers can enter in a new High School Division and college culinary students are welcome to again vie in the non-professional category.

Suisan Company Ltd. will donate 15 pounds of fresh filet ahi to the first 50 entrants using fish. It contestant wants additional ahi, it will be offered at wholesale price. Suisan also offers seafood to contestants at a wholesale price. Contest entry deadline is March 10; find forms at www.SamChoysKeauhouPokeContest.org.

Poke contest fun is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and includes Hawai’i Island Marketplace, a “Poke Throw Down,” a celebrity “Poke Chop” cookoff, guest speakers, entertainment by Royal Hawaii Band Kona and cultural demonstrations. Public poke tasting is 12:30 p.m.

Poke Cook-off

Public admission to all contest activities is $5 (limit of five poke tastes) or $10 for an event bag and unlimited tastes until gone.  Keiki under 12 are free). Proceeds benefit the $150,000 Equip the Kitchens Campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui campus. Last year’s contest donated $5,000 to the effort.

A free trolley will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) 4-10:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 14-17 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli. The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Schools, Aloha Shoyu Company, Suisan Company Ltd., Hawaiian Springs, Hamakua Mushrooms, West Hawaii Today, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Fresh Island Fish, Coca Cola, BMW of Hawaii, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Roberts Hawaii, Bacardi, Sun Dried Specialties, Kapa Radio and Young’s Market Co.

Hawaiian Telcom Introduces Enhanced Internet Speeds

Fueled by its expanding fiber network, Hawaiian Telcom has introduced Hawaii’s fastest internet, featuring speeds of up to 500 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload.

Hawaii TelcomBeginning 2 March, O’ahu consumers will be able to sign up for broadband speed tiers of 100, 300 and 500 Mbps, with higher speeds available for businesses. Hawaiian Telcom internet packages come with a wireless networking gateway, comprehensive internet security software and access to local 24/7 technical support.

Hawaiian Telcom president and CEO, Eric K. Yeaman said the company has invested USD 125 million in its new fiber network and systems and plans to expand network reach in the future.

Bill to Make Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Hawaii’s Official State Microbe to be Heard Tomorrow

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid – a two inch, glow in the dark creature – will have its moment in the spotlight tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, February 25. The Senate’s Committee on Technology and the Arts (TEC) will hear a bill designating vibrio fischeri as Hawaii’s official microbe.

image credit: guardian.co.uk

Image credit: guardian.co.uk

Vibrio fischeri is a bacteria which lives in a symbiotic relationship with the Hawaiian bobtail squid, giving the animal the power to produce bioluminescence, or light from a living organism. The squid is endemic to Hawaii and hunts at night on reef flats. However, moonlight casts a shadow onto the sea floor, which alerts predators to the squid’s presence. To counter this effect, the Hawaiian bobtail squid cultures vibrio fischeri in a special light-emitting organ, which allows it to become stealthy by projecting light that minimizes the dark shadow of its body.

Image credit: kahikai.org

Image credit: kahikai.org

The study of this chemical reaction has numerous medical and practical applications, such as testing for toxic compounds in water.

“We anticipate having a State Microbe will ignite interest in science for our kids. What could be more appropriate than a bacteria that creates a glowing blue squid that thrives just off our shores,” says Sen. Glenn Wakai, Chairman of the TEC Committee, “With 70% of our planet covered in water, it makes perfect sense to have Hawaii’s microbe tied to the ocean.”

Image credit: news.wisc.edu

Image credit: news.wisc.edu

What:   Hearing on SB 3124, designating a State Microbe

When: 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, February 25

Where: Capitol, room 414

More information on the bill can be found by going to this link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=3124&year=2014.

Oregon became the first state to have an official microbe.  Lawmakers there designated saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as “brewer’s yeast” as its state microbe due to its importance to Oregon’s beer and winemaking industries. Wisconsin has attempted to turn lactococcus lactis into its official microbe, in recognition of its role in creating cheese.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Announces the Creation of Agency’s First-Ever Office of Digital Engagement

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today the creation of the agency’s first-ever Office of Digital Engagement. This new office – housed within the Office of Public Affairs – serves as the frontline for digital communication with consumers, businesses, and other key Department stakeholders.

Commerce Digital Engagement

“I am proud to announce the launch of the first-ever Office of Digital Engagement within the Department of Commerce. The Office of Digital Engagement is an important component of our ‘Open for Business Agenda’ and will help us engage in a two-way, 21st Century dialogue with America’s business community,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “By using the power of digital media, the Department of Commerce and our bureaus are working together to ensure that American businesses have access to more agency information and resources that can help them grow and hire.”

To further amplify the “Open for Business Agenda” and the priorities of the Department of Commerce, Secretary Pritzker has used LinkedIn, Vine, Youtube and other platforms and hosted a number of digital events including Twitter and Facebook chats that attracted interest from a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including small business owners, exporters and venture capitalists. The Office of Digital Engagement also launched Secretary Pritzker’s Instagram account last month, making her the first-ever Cabinet official to have an Instagram account.

The Office of Digital Engagement is directed by Director of Digital Strategy, Mike Kruger, and Deputy Director, Rand Ruggieri.  The office is part of the Department of Commerce Office of Public Affairs, run by former technology communications executive Jim Hock.  The team also includes Quintin Haynes in the Office of the Secretary and a Digital Engagement Council made up of representatives from the following Commerce bureaus:

•             Ryan Poole, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

•             Lisa Wolfisch, U.S. Census Bureau

•             Chris Higginbotham, International Trade Administration (ITA)

•             Tami Holzman, Economic Development Administration (EDA)

•             Lucas Hitt, Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)

•             Alicia Sowah, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

•             Mark Esser, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

•             David Miller, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

•             Juliana Gruenwald, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

•             Paul Rosenthal, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Follow Secretary Pritzker on:

•             Twitter – www.twitter.com/PennyPritzker (@pennypritzker)

•             Instagram – www.instagram.com/PennyPritzker

Find out more about the Department of Commerce at:

•             www.commerce.gov/blog

•             www.twitter.com/CommerceGov

•             http://www.linkedin.com/company/u.s.-department-of-commerce

•             https://www.facebook.com/Commercegov

•             https://www.youtube.com/user/CommerceNews

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

View of the flow front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, looking west. The flow front has focused into a new lobe that is slowly migrating through thick forest, triggering scattered forest fires. The smoke from these fires seems to be “seeding” the cloud above it. The active flow front was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Mauna Loa can be seen in the distance.

Top: Looking northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, the smoke coming from forest fires at the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow can be seen in the distance. In the foreground, thick fume is coming from the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube, which is supplying lava to the flow front. Bottom: View of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. This small cone is also the vent area for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. The cone has recently hosted a small lava pond, but today this seemed to be crusted over. See the time-lapse sequences below to see recent activity at this cone.

Thermal image of the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Yellow and white areas depict active breakouts, while red areas are cooler, inactive portions of the flow. Over the past week a new lobe has pushed east, between lobes that were active in November and January. The tip of this new lobe was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Compare this view to the February 20 map (see link above).

Spattering and gas pistoning in the northeast cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This selection of images shows activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past two weeks. The lava pond was undergoing gas pistoning, a gradual buildup and release of gas in the lava pond that is often associated with spattering and lava level changes. For scale, the lava pond is about 10 m (30 feet) across.

More images of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, taken with a time-lapse camera.

This Quicktime movie shows a time-lapse sequence of activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on February 9-10. Rapid fluctuations in the height of the lava pond are caused by gas pistoning, which is the gradual buildup and release of gas in the pond. Mauna Kea is visible in the upper right portion of the frame. The sequence was captured by an inexpensive time-lapse camera, whose plastic housing was warped by the extreme heat.

Body Glove Wake/Surf Team to Travel to the Middle East – “Making Wave History”

The official green light has been posted for the Body Glove Wake / Surf Team to travel to the Middle East for an exhibition performance as the world watches and awaits in anticipation!

Photos courtesy of Xtreme Wake PJ Cutting– Dubai, www.xtremewakeuae.com and Centurion Boats, www.centurionboats.com

Photos courtesy of Xtreme Wake PJ Cutting– Dubai, http://www.xtremewakeuae.com and Centurion Boats, http://www.centurionboats.com

This is the first time in history that we are sending our team to perform in that part of the world” quoted Billy Miestrell, Body Glove Owner and SVP, “and we are very excited about the opportunity!”  he added.  The magic of their performances is going to take place on April 4, 2014 at the world famous Xtreme Wake facility in the ultimate high glamour City of Dubai – UAE..

To mark this occasion, Centurion Boats will be unveiling their brand new, ultra cool Body Glove Limited Edition ENZO FX22 in the ruby blue waters of the Arabian Peninsula that very same day!

Body Glove Enzo

Riders participating in “Making Wave History” are:

  • Rusty Malinoski – Current WWA World Champion
  • Harley Clifford – 2012 Pro Tour and “King Of Wake” Series Champion
  • Bob Soven – Alliance WAKEBOARD Magazine’s 2013 “Rider Of The Year”
  • Melissa Marquardt – Alliance WAKEBOARD Magazine’s 2012 Female “Rider of the Year”
  • Keenan Flegel – Current World Wakesurfing Champion

This unique and extraordinary event is going to be highly published and filmed thru our partners Alliance Wakeboard magazine www.alliancewake.com and our very own award wining Body Glove Entertainment team headed by Greg Browning.  “Our Team is thrilled to be preforming on the high profile world stage” quoted Browning ……”what an great back drop the skyline of Dubai will make for our film!”  he added.

Photos courtesy of Xtreme Wake PJ Cutting– Dubai, www.xtremewakeuae.com and Centurion Boats, www.centurionboats.com

Photos courtesy of Xtreme Wake PJ Cutting– Dubai, http://www.xtremewakeuae.com and Centurion Boats, http://www.centurionboats.com

The team will be on camera during their entire visit to the Middle East with the Grand Finale one –day exhibition held at the facilities of Body Glove’s newest partners in the region, Xtreme Wake.  www.xtremewakeuae.com Get ready to make wave history and for some jaw dropping action!  https://www.facebook.com/XtremeWakeUAE

“We are extremely proud and excited to have this opportunity to presented to us by our local partners in the Emirates,” says Robbie Meistrell, Body Glove International CEO. “We know the folks there will never have seen a performance as specular as this one”.

NELHA, County of Hawaii, and Hawaii Electric Light Jump into Energy Storage Race

The state, County of Hawaii, and Hawaii Electric Light Company announced a strategic partnership to share resources and attract companies interested in testing and evaluating pre-commercial energy storage units at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology (HOST) Park in Kailua-Kona, managed by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA).

NEHLA Aerial

“This strategic partnership highlights NELHA’s value to our state as a test-bed for new technologies and driver of innovation and economic development,” said Gov. Abercrombie, who last month released more than $13 million for capital improvements at NELHA facilities.

“With the significant cost reduction in clean energy generation over the years, some consider lower cost energy storage to be the ’missing link’ and one of the most challenging elements in the design and function of a clean energy microgrid,” said NELHA Executive Director Gregory Barbour.

Energy storage is a rapidly evolving market and offers significant potential for future growth as microgrids require higher degrees of reliability and power quality, sophisticated generation-load balancing.

According to some reports, the worldwide market for energy storage systems for wind and solar will grow from less than $150 million annually in 2013 to $10.3 billion by 2023 and an installed capacity of projected to total 21.8 GW.

“The good news is that we have already developed the necessary infrastructure to allow for the ‘real-world’ grid connected standardized testing and validation of energy storage devices at HOST Park,” Barbour said. “NELHA plans to offer low-cost outdoor and indoor sites for testing, up to 30kW of power, power sensors, and real-time monitoring data of energy storage devices at no additional cost.”

“Hawaii Island offers an ideal opportunity to develop technologies that will allow more cost-effective, sustainable energy solutions to benefit our residents,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“Our mission is to provide secure, clean energy for Hawaii,” said Hawaii Electric Light President Jay Ignacio. “There are great opportunities in energy storage to increase clean energy, support reliability and ultimately lower costs for customers. This partnership will help our efforts to identify economic and reliable energy storage options that support our mission.”

Added Barbour, “Efforts like these are providing a backbone that NELHA can build out further in the coming years and greatly assist in making the critical seawater system more cost efficient for businesses at HOST Park.”

Video: Kendama USA Hawaii Adventures – Volume 1

Recently the folks from Kendama USA came to Hawaii to put on a demonstration and show over on Oahu.  While the team was here they put together the following video:

Aloha!
Hawaii was amazing! I have never seen so many people playing Kendama in my life! 1800 people signed up to battle before we had to cut it off. 5000 people total were at the event. Choke players were there! It was great to get some time on Oahu an meet the people and the players. Hawaii is defiantly where it’s happenin. Amazing hospitality and kindness from everyone. Huge thank you to Razor Sports and Pearl Ridge Mall for their support and dedication. We will be back soon!

Hawai‘i Bidding for Major Conservation Gathering Event Would Be a First for the U.S

As a four-person delegation representing the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) visits Hawaii this week, the state is showcasing its position as the anchor of the Pacific in a bid to host the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress. The congress is the world’s leading summit on the environment.

IUCN delegation and Hawaii committee members tour Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

IUCN delegation and Hawaii committee members tour Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

A Hawai‘i-hosted congress would be the first time it has been held in the United States since the founding of IUCN in 1948, and the event would provide a unique opportunity to share with the world, the state and nation’s values and dedication to conserving nature on both national and international levels. As many as 8,000 delegates are expected to attend the 2016 meeting.

“Based on our success hosting the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, I believe we have a compelling case as to why the United States and Hawaii provide the ideal venue to host this gathering,”Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “The Aloha State is the anchor of the Pacific, and our bid is financially competitive and highlights the unique benefits of our location and host culture. We’re encouraging the IUCN evaluating team to review all that Hawai‘i has to offer for this preeminent conference.”

Chipper Wichman, Co-chair, Hawaii IUCN 2016 Steering Committee and Director and CEO of national Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai.

Chipper Wichman, Co-chair, Hawaii IUCN 2016 Steering Committee and Director and CEO of national Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai.

“IUCN has been fortunate to always receive strong invitations to host our World Conservation Congresses and the 2016 Congress is no exception. There are two excellent candidates in the running to host the event: Honolulu, Hawai‘i, United States of America and Istanbul, Turkey.

We are very grateful for the enthusiasm and commitment shown by Hawai‘i and thank the team for their warm welcome throughout the site visit. The IUCN Council will make a decision regarding the venue and hosts of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in May 2014,”said Dr. Enrique Lahmann, Global Director, Union Development Group; Congress Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Randy Tanaka and Enrique Lahmann at a reception for the IUCN delegates.

Randy Tanaka and Enrique Lahmann at a reception for the IUCN delegates.

The delegation is receiving broad exposure to a wide-range of the natural and cultural attributes of the Hawaiian Islands through site visits on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i, as well as meetings and receptions with government, hospitality industry, conservation and Native Hawaiian leaders. A cross-discipline, multi-agency organizing team, led by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), is showing the delegation convention facilities, transportation, lodging and security infrastructure, attractions and meeting/marketing expertise. Members of the IUCN evaluating team also received a 107 page-long Hawai‘i Nature + Aloha, Imagine 2016 proposal, which documents broad support for the conference and includes in-depth detail about the Aloha State’s bid for the event.

DLNR Chairperson William Aila said, “With environmental and conservation issues very much at the forefront of worldwide attention, Hawai‘i is in a unique position to demonstrate what we are doing to advance conservation issues like climate change, watershed management, coral reef protection, and traditional knowledge. Having Hawai‘i host the 2016 Congress will show the world how our core values of Aloha Aina connect to nature and our diversity.”

IUCN delegates contemplate the stillness and vastness of Halemaumau vent.

IUCN delegates contemplate the stillness and vastness of Halemaumau vent.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome the IUCN Site Visit Team to Hawai‘i,”said Chipper Wichman, director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and CEO and co-chair of the Hawai‘i IUCN 2016 Steering Committee. This is a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have been working for the past five years to bring the IUCN World Conservation Congress to Hawai‘i. “Our state is a world leader in biocultural conservation, and Gov. Abercrombie has put together a dynamic group led by William Aila and Esther Kia‘āina from the DLNR to host the IUCN team and show them the facilities and organizations that make Hawai‘i the best location for the world to convene and discuss global conservation issues. It has been an amazing week so far –we are leaving the IUCN delegation with a strong and lasting impression of Hawai‘i.”

Governor Abercrombie at reception at Hawaii Community College.

Governor Abercrombie at reception at Hawaii Community College.

Hosts for the IUCN delegation are demonstrating that Hawai‘i is a destination where “hospitality is not a sideline.”The IUCN World Congress bid has the full support of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and the Hawai‘i Convention Center (HCC). During this week the delegation is having meetings with HCC staff and management and many of Hawai‘i’s leading HTA-member hospitality providers. Both HTA and HCC have been working for the past five years to support the bid process.

Bruno Mars Ticket Fiasco Has Lawmaker Introduce Resolution to Assist Local Residents in the Future

If you’re a loyal fan standing in line to purchase a coveted concert ticket, and plan to attend that concert, you should be able to have more than six percent of a chance to purchase that ticket, said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. The lawmaker has introduced a resolution urging concert and entertainment venues to require only in-person ticket sales for the first 48 hours.

Capital Logo

The resolution was triggered by the disappointment of local residents after the quick sale – three concerts sold out in 2-hours – of tickets for local boy Bruno Mars’ Hawaii shows in April. It was later announced that people from the mainland and Canada snagged 42 percent of the 17,000 tickets. Even more frustrating was for those who stood in the long lines at the Blaisdell box office, only six percent of tickets were bought there. It’s also been reported that scalpers who purchased tickets in bulk are selling them for exorbitant prices. Kim is hoping to change this for concertgoers so that those who will actually go to a performance are able to purchase tickets from the original venue at the actual ticket price, and not from a secondary market at inflated prices.

“Despite waiting in line for hours, many fans were unable to purchase tickets to the upcoming Bruno Mars concert at the Blaisdell Center,” said Kim. “Anyone who takes the time to show up in person should have the opportunity to purchase tickets for at least the first two days before opening up to online sales. It’s unfortunate that out-of-state ticket brokers and scalpers will resell these concert tickets back to local residents for an enormous profit.”

The resolution names and urges the following entities to set purchasing terms: Hawaii Community Development Authority, Stadium Authority, Department of Enterprise Services of the City and County of Honolulu, Board of Regents, President of the University of Hawaii and Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

These entities hold concerts at venues such as Kakaako Park, Aloha Stadium, the Neil S. Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell, University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center and the Hawaii Convention Center.

“Our residents should enjoy a night of entertainment without having to pay inflated prices,” said Kim.

Students Across State Testify Via Videoconferencing – Bringing the Legislature to Neighbor Islands Through Technology

Students from across the state participated in the legislative process by testifying via videoconferencing during a Senate hearing on two education bills.

Click to view the hearing

Click to view the hearing

Senate Bill 2441 establishes the R.E.A.C.H. program within the Office of Youth Services to provide a standardized framework and funding for after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools.

sb2441The bill establishes a revolving fund to receive fees and other moneys to supplement the costs of administering and operating the program; appropriates funds for establishing the R.E.A.C.H. program to provide funding for after-school programs in middle and intermediate public schools; and establishes one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) position to support the program and appropriates funds for that position. Students from Hana High and Elementary School, Waiakea Intermediate School, Mililani Middle School and Molokai Intermediate School testified before the committee on this measure via video conferencing.

SB2446 requires the Department of Education to name the new public high school in Kihei, Maui the “Patsy Takemoto Mink High School,” in honor of the late United States Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink. Students from Kihei Public Charter School, Maui Waena Intermediate School and Maui High School testified on this measure via video conferencing.

SB2446

“Increasing access and transparency has always been a top priority for the Senate, and utilizing technology is an effective way of achieving this goal,” said Senator Jill Tokuda, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. “The measures before us impact our students and our schools, and the policies we draft are strengthened by their input and ideas. I look forward to seeing more individuals use this tool to provide testimony.”

Beginning this legislative session, all Hawaii residents will now have the chance to testify at hearings before the Senate Committees on Education (EDU) and Technology and the Arts (TEC) without physically being there. In January 2013, the Senate began a pilot project to allow neighbor island residents the opportunity to participate in the legislative process without traveling to Oahu. Understanding that access is also a barrier for Oahu residents, the committees now pilot the videoconferencing technology statewide.

In its inaugural year, the Neighbor Island Videoconferencing Program was piloted by the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Technology and the Arts.  In its second year, the two committees will continue to pilot this project, increasing the amount of constituents that can be reached and who can testify by expanding statewide. Hearing notices for the pilot project hearings will indicate that videoconferencing testimony will be allowed and contain a link to instructions for the public on how to participate.  Because this is a pilot project, there are some limitations to how many individuals are able to participate.  Following the completion of the legislative session, the project will be evaluated.

Wordless Wednesday: Invasion – Little Fire Ants in Hawaii (The Movie)

Invasive species introductions to Hawaii often end in regret and a list of should-haves.

little fire antThis film, produced by the Maui Invasive Species Committee, aims to change the result of the arrival of little fire ants in Hawaii.

Featuring videography from award-winning film makers Masako Cordray and Chris Reickert, this half-hour film examines the biology, impacts, and potential solutions to the spread of little fire ants through interviews with scientists, farmers, and community on the Big Island reeling from the impacts of this minuscule, but devastating, ant.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Viewers will learn how to identify and report new infestations, helping to protect Hawaii from this small stinging ant.

More info here: http://www.lfa-hawaii.org/

The East Rift Art Show Starts Friday

Hawaii Museum Of Contemporary Art’s presents The East Rift Art Show – celebrating alternative contemporary art from tattoos to motorcycles, skateboards to metal-work, The East Rift Art Show rocks Hawaii’s wild side.

Tatoo

Named after the Big Island’s volcanic East Rift Zone – famous for its explosive creation – the East Rift Art Show is the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art’s first tag-art exhibition. From the classic hot-rod, rockabilly spray-paint to Hawaii’s dynamic tribal fusion, alternative contemporary art has a vibrant history, but like Hawaii’s volcanoes it’s always changing.

motorcycle

According to Rose Adare, the artist who organized the exhibition, “Graffiti, tagging, body-paint, piercings, tattoos and the art of personal expression not only reflect a unique, and above all valid cultural identity, but are often the first generational introduction of a new emergent style.”

Miscelaneous

Opening night is First Friday, February 7th, 5:30 – 9:30 pm, and features Smack Dab Acoustic, the StarFire Flame Sisters and a provocative body-art fashion show. The East Rift Art show runs from February 8th through February 26th, and features art by Sigmund Alberin, Robert Bennett, John and Rae Butler, Robert Lapkoff, Kristin Lowery, Jacob Arthur Medina, Mydock, Selina Paiva, Roy Ruiz, Leilani Yates and many more. Admission is free, donations appreciated.

The show runs from February 8th through February 26th at the Museum of Contemporary Art at 141 Kalakaua Street in downtown Hilo.  Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9am-4pm, and Saturday, 9am-5pm. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Tarp Surfing!

Epic Tarp Surfing in Hawaii. Shot at Kuliouou Community Park in East Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Apparel by: VH07V – http://a7oha.com

Shot by: Shibby Stylee – http://shibbystylee.com
Music by: Jody Kamisato – http://ukulelehale.com
Mastered by: Vance Morimoto – http://funsongsguy.com
Boards by: DY Skateboards – http://danielyoungskateboards.com

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Target to Open First Store in Maui – Will Employ 200… Candidates Can Apply Online

Target is pleased to announce plans to open a new store in the city of Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, in March 2015. The store will be located on Hookele Street as part of the Pu‘unēnē Shopping Center.  This will be the first Target store in Maui.

Target Location

The Maui store will be approximately 140,000 square feet, and will offer guests the everyday essentials and exclusive brands they have come to expect from Target. In addition, the store will include a selection of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, as well as a Starbucks and a Target Pharmacy, to further enhance guests’ shopping experience.

The Maui location will employ approximately 200 team members. Target will host job fairs approximately two months prior to the new store opening, at which prospective candidates may apply and interview for open team member positions. Candidates may also apply online at Target.com/careers or at in-store kiosks located in all Target stores approximately three months prior to the new store opening.

“Target is excited about our first store on the island of Maui,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior vice president of stores in the Western region.  “Since opening our first store in Hawaii in 2009, we’ve created strong partnerships with the local community and delivered our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise to guests throughout the islands.”

Target creates strong partnerships with local organizations in all of the communities where the company does business through Target’s community giving programs. This store will start a local grant program, contribute to the United Way and donate food to a Feeding America member, or approved agency. Target also encourages team members to volunteer their time to serve the needs of their community.

Narissa Spies Identifies Rare Species of Coral Found Off The Big Island

A coral species new to the main Hawaiian Islands has been discovered in West Hawaii by a research team of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources divers, under the leadership of senior biologist Dr. Bill Walsh.

Table coral Acropora cytherea

Table coral Acropora cytherea

While doing reconnaissance SCUBA dives along the Kona coast of the Island of Hawaii, the dive team came across a large number of coral colonies, which none of the researchers had ever seen before. These robust finger-like colonies didn’t even look like they were related to any other corals in the vicinity of the main islands.

After returning the next day and photographically documenting the colonies, the coral was tentatively identified as Acropora gemmifera. Not only is this the first record of Acropora gemmifera in the main Hawaiian Islands, it’s the first record of any Acropora species occurring around the island of Hawaii.

table coral Acropora cytherea

Narrissa Spies of the Richmond Lab at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory identified it

Visual identification of the coral was subsequently confirmed by genetic sequencing done by Narrissa Spies of the Richmond Lab at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory, Pacific Biomedical Research Center in Honolulu.

“The presence of these coral colonies is a significant contribution to our understanding of local reef diversity and opens up speculation about what other rare corals may be found on the reefs of Hawaii island,” Walsh said.

Several Acropora species have been identified in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; previously, several small colonies of the table coral Acropora cytherea have been reported from Kauai, and a single colony was recently sighted off Oahu.

table coral Acropora cytherea

The discovery of this rare species in the main Hawaiian Islands emphasizes the need for local marine and land-use conservation practices. Members of this genus have a low resistance and low tolerance to bleaching and disease, which can be made worse by pollution, overfishing, and climate change. They are also a coral species preferred by Acanthaster planci, the crown-of-thorns starfish, which is a coral predator.

Acropora gemmifera is common in shallow, tropical reef environments in the Red Sea, Australia, the Indo-Pacific, and central and western Pacific, but there are few records from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It does occur at Johnston Atoll, approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.

There have been no historical reports of any Acropora species occurring around the Island of Hawaii nor were any observed in more than 4,500 DAR coral reef monitoring/research dives over the past 15 years.

Typically, this species is found intertidally and subtidally from 1 to 15 meters. The colonies can vary in color from tan/brown to green, blues and even purples. The Kona population is located in waters 4 to 10 meters deep and consists of tan/brown colonies ranging from young encrusting forms to mature colonies estimated to be at least 80 years old. A total of 75 A. gemmifera colonies were found at the Kona site along a 50-meter stretch of reef.

This finding was recently published online in the journal Coral Reefs.

Innaugural Hawai’i Island Ranchers Dinner at Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai

Inspired by storied lands, Hawaii’s leaders in education, agriculture and culinary arts have cooked up a deliciously innovative collaboration in the 2014 Hawai‘i Island Ranchers Dinner at Sam Choy’s Kai Lānai, Friday, February 28, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. Presented by Choy and prepared by Executive Chef Scott Hiraishi, the Ranchers Dinner not only highlights local-grown foods and sustainable grass fed beef, but offers the chance for diners to meet and eat with the farmers, ranchers and chefs who bring “farm-to-fork” full circle.

Executive Chef

Executive Chef Scott Hiraishi.  Photo by Britten Traughber

The Ranchers Dinner is the first in a series of collaborative culinary-agriculture projects of Kamehameha School-Land Asset Division (KSLAD) in partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. KSLAD manages 365,000 acres of Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate land, bequeathed for the education and betterment of her people by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop in 1884. Of those, 160,935 acres are agricultural property on Hawai‘i Island alone.

“Two out of three Kona Coffee farms are on KS land,” said Land Asset Manager Les Apoliona, explaining that part of their mission is to support agricultural education, business planning, and farmer certification programs. Working to connect Hawai‘i Island food producers with skilled chefs also connects agriculture to hospitality and tourism. “It’s about relationships,” said Apoliona. “We are actively exploring various options, and looking at partnering for a sustainable Hawai‘i.”

Hiraishi is doing his best to further the concept. Hawai‘i born and raised, Hiraishi has worked alongside Choy for much of the last two decades, starting as young culinary student. When the iconic Sam Choy’s Kaloko location closed, Hiraishi expanded his career into resort service at the AAA 5-Diamond Four Seasons Resort Hualālai and the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. Hiraishi has cooked for the International Food and Wine Travel Writers Welcome Reception and the James Beard Celebrity Chefs Tour Reception at Mauna Lani Resort, and was a featured chef at Taste of the Hawaiian Range.

In 2010 Hiraishi once again teamed up with Choy for his new Keauhou location, which is located on KS land. The connection became clear. Bringing the best food from the region to the tables of one of the region’s best restaurants completes the circle—supporting the vision of sustainable local agriculture that nurtures business and vice versa.

“I’ve learned so much from the entire experience,” said Hiraishi. “One of the most important things—to get the freshest ingredients you can—is to talk to the farmers and work with them. When you can’t find something specific they will go out and find it for you, or grow it for you.”

For the Ranchers Dinner, Hiraishi created a five-course plated feast with wine pairings that stars select cuts of versatile Hawai‘i Lowline Cattle Company beef, including “cook your own” Tenderloin with ishi yaki (Japanese hot stones) where guests may interact with Choy and Hiraishi. Also in the spotlight are creative preparations of Local-Style Oxtail Soup, Beef Tongue, Flank Steak, Rib-Eye, Short Ribs and more, served with Hāmākua Mushrooms, fresh vegetables from Living Aquaponics farm and other products sourced from local farmers markets. Dinner concludes with a smile, and Chef Scott’s Chocolate Macaroon “Cow Pie.”

Cost of the Ranchers Dinner is $75 per person which includes select wine pairings and a custom logo “Ag Bag” with sampling of ingredients used in the menu. Only 75 seats are available for the exclusive dining event and reservations are required. For more information, visit www.SamChoy.com, follow Ranchers Dinner at Sam Choy’s Kai Lānai on Facebook, or call 808-333-3434.

Waterfalling Estate to Host UH-Hilo Tennis Exhibition

It’s a sporting venue like no other.  On February 8, athletes from the UH-Hilo Tennis team will put their skills to the test in exhibition matches held on a cliff-side court overlooking thundering waterfalls and panoramic ocean vistas.

Waterfalling Estate Tennis Court

Hosted at the 8-acre Waterfalling Estate in Ninole, the expo serves as a benefit fundraiser for the Richard and Ruth Matsuura Vulcan Tennis Endowed Scholarship.  The scholarship was named after the late state senator and his wife, a local pediatrician, in appreciation for their generous contributions to athletics and education on Hawai`i Island.

Waterfalling Estate
Senator Matsuura was a key figure in Hawai`i politics during the 1980s and 1990s, helping to promote geothermal energy in Puna, and the Natural Energy Lab in West Hawai`i. Though the senator passed away in 1997, Dr. Ruth Matsuura and her children have continued to play an active role in the Hilo community.
Richard and Ruth Matsumura

Richard and Ruth Matsuura

 The Matsuuras were key donors in the construction of the Haili Tennis Courts located at Hilo Intermediate School, and according to UH-Hilo tennis coach Karl Sloss, were “instrumental” in supporting the university’s tennis program in recent years.
“This endowment will help us work toward a fully-funded future for Vulcan Tennis,” said Sloss, who is also a volunteer member of Hui Kako`o Kenika, a nonprofit organization that promotes tennis on the Big Island.
The event, which runs from 3 pm to 6 pm, will feature a “best of five” world team tennis competition, along with light pupus, and live music by Lito Arkangel.
Waterfalling Estate Piano Room
Tickets are $25, and can be purchased in advance from the UH athletics ticket office or at the door. For more information, contact Karl Sloss at (842)-922-7221 or at ksloss@hawaii.edu.

DLNR Invites Public Input On Survey Of Hawaii’s Outdoor Recreation Trends, Needs, Priority

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks (State Parks) in partnership with PBR HAWAII, is inviting the public to participate in a survey designed to assess Hawai‘i’s outdoor recreation trends, needs and priorities.

DLNR

The survey is one component of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). This plan is updated every five years to provide guidance for our Hawaii’s recreational future and to remain eligible to receive funds for outdoor recreation projects through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal grants program administered by the National Park Service (NPS). Public participation in the survey will help State Parks and NPS select projects to receive federal funding that best meets Hawaii’s recreational needs and help resolve any recreational conflicts.

“In the 2008 plan, the public identified multi-use paths for walking, jogging, and bicycling as one of Hawaii’s recreational priorities. In response to this demand, we look forward submitting a grant to support the construction of the new Hilo Bayfront trail in 2014. It is with the public’s input that we are able to support projects that best meet the community’s recreational needs,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

The survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/HISCORP2014 and is open now through Feb. 28, 2014. Public meetings will be held over the next several months to give the public the opportunity to directly express their recreation needs and concerns. Meeting announcements will be also be made through news media outlets and via the DLNR Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Land and Water Conservation Fund grants provide a match for state and county funds to acquire new land for outdoor recreation and develop or renovate recreational facilities. Since 1967, the State of Hawaii and the four counties have received more than $38 million in LWCF grants for acquisition and development of outdoor recreation lands and facilities.

In recent years, LWCF grants have been awarded to the County of Hawaii to install new playground equipment at Panaewa Zoo in Hilo, the City and County of Honolulu to replace the ball field lights at Ala Wai Community Park, the County of Maui to construct a new skate park within the Lahaina Recreation Center, and State Parks for renovation of park cabins, pavilions, and comfort stations at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area on Hawaii island.