News Bites

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

The Honolulu Zoo has lost its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

HURL/ University of Hawaii.
HURL/ University of Hawaii.

Scientists with UH’s School of Ocean, Earth Science and Technology have recovered the bell from a Japanese WW2 submarine sunk off of O‘ahu.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

For the last two-decades the Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center has sat on outskirts of the Kona airport.  It’s a tribute to astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who was killed in the Challenger accident after becoming the first Asian American to reach space.

Around 15,000 people visit the center each year to see exhibits which teach the principles of space and physics as well as memorabilia from Onizuka’s life.  But the center plans to close its doors at the end of the month to make way for a seventy-million dollar renovation to the Kona Airport.

Marufish / Flickr
Marufish / Flickr

Homeowners frustrated over Hawaii Electric’s reluctance to add more solar power systems to their grid may soon have another option.

SolarCity announced the addition of battery sustained photovoltaic systems into the residential market.  Their design lets customers gather and store solar power throughout the day in batteries, using it at night when it’s most needed.  Homes would still be connected to the Hawaii Electric grid, but only drawing power if it were needed.

The Eddie Is On

Feb 24, 2016
Nick Yee
Nick Yee

After a six-year wait, and one false alarm… The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is on.  Contest organizers gave the “green alert” warning early Wednesday morning following a forecast for another round of record-breaking surf.  The contest commenced early this morning and is now underway.

Randy Rerick is the former director of the Triple Crown and acting Beach-Master for the Eddie. 

UPDATE - 10:00

Updates:

Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Exactly how much land in Hawai‘i is used for agriculture?

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has released an agricultural land use study which provides information on the location of commercial agriculture activities statewide.

The 2015 baseline study updates the last survey done in 1980 and provides current information and maps of the locations of Hawaii’s farms and ranches. The 1000 page report published under contract with UH Hilo is intended to help the community to make decisions about agricultural land use in the state.

TravelingOtter / Flickr
TravelingOtter / Flickr

A project to measure sediment runoff on Lāna‘i is connecting the effectiveness of watershed restoration techniques used on land. Runoff is caused by soil erosion, allowing dirt to flow downstream where it empties onto coral reefs.

Alejandro Forero Cuervo / Flickr
Alejandro Forero Cuervo / Flickr

The State Department of Health has selected the on-line “seed-to-sale” tracking system that will manage Hawai‘i’s medical marijuana inventory.

Florida based BioTrackTHC was awarded the contract yesterday.  Their system will track every plant with a unique number, measuring each fraction-of-a-gram of cannabis from seed, through sale. Patrick Vo is the CEO of BioTrack THC. He says the system is important to bring transparency and accountability to cannabis operations.  

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Brian Shimkovitz was on a Fulbright scholarship in Ghana when he got hooked on the cassette culture of the region.

There street vendors hawk West African recordings in a variety of genres, from highlife to African disco, old left-field soul to curious local pop.  As he explored the region- he found an Africa much richer and more diverse than the version usually presented in American media.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

For some families in Hawai‘i the end of the year brings the tradition of Mochitsuki or mochi pounding.

Glutinous rice is steamed, and then put into a mortar where it’s pounded.  It’s then cut, formed into balls, and filled with sweet beans or covered in soybean powder.

HPR visited the Kubo family for their annual gathering.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Two locations of a popular Honolulu café chain are suddenly closing their doors.

Brett Levin / Flickr
Brett Levin / Flickr

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has released operation guidelines for the medical marijuana licensing program.

Under the current law, the DOH will establish eight dispensaries – three on O‘ahu, two for both Maui and Hawai‘i Island, and one for Kaua‘i. The rules explain the process for awarding dispensary licenses, and outlines security, safety, and tracking requirements.

Earlier this month the department announced that an on-line “seed to sale” system will be installed to track all marijuana in the islands.

Kyle Nishioka / Flickr
Kyle Nishioka / Flickr

Thousands of runners have already made their way to O‘ahu…as the Honolulu Marathon takes place this weekend.

It’s the 4th largest race in the country and attendance for this year is expected to be even larger than last year- with more than 32,000-participants already signed up- and more expected throughout the weekend.  13,000 runners are coming from Japan alone and participants from the US mainland are up 30% with more than 1,000 coming from California alone.  The event is expected to bring $130-million into the local economy.

Tony Webster / Flickr
Tony Webster / Flickr

The deadline for comment on a proposed bridge between Native Hawaiians and the US Government is closing soon.

In the fall the US Department of the Interior proposed establishing a formal government-to-government relationship as part of the reconciliation process.  The proposal would give Native Hawaiians a legal framework that would help the native Hawaiian community work with the US government.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Steel guitars have played an essential role in Hawaiian music since they were pioneered by musicians like Joseph Kekuku and Sol Ho‘opi‘i.  In the early nineteen-hundreds - Herman Weisseborn developed a new type of instrument by creating a square hollow neck on the guitar that increased the volume of the steel strings.  But the introduction of electric amplification made that acoustic style obsolete.

Bielman
Bielman

 The three-month holding period for the 31st annual “In Memory of Eddie Aikau” big wave surfing competition begins on December 1st.  The one-day big wave surfing event held in Waimea bay follows strict wave height requirements that mimic conditions Eddie Aikau liked to ride with faces of 40-feet and hold for at least eight hours.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

State health officials say the outbreak of Dengue Fever could last for months and are urging the public to take precautions.

The number of confirmed cases on Hawai‘i island has now risen to 88 as the infection hotspot has moved from South Kona to Ka’u.

Beginning this weekend workers will begin spraying insecticide in Kona and Hilo around schools and areas where infections have been reported.  But officials say the real effort begins at home – where people are being advised to wear mosquito-protective clothing and use bug spray.

Kapolei Commons
Kapolei Commons

Kapolei is the fastest growing area on O‘ahu – and its mall is expanding to meet the demand.

The Kapolei Commons shopping center announced the addition of an entertainment complex to the existing area.  The new space will add more than seventy-thousand square feet to the current location.  Restaurants from Roy Yamaguchi, Gyu-kaku and La Tour Cafe will add more food options for shoppers. 

Revolution Books
Revolution Books

Honolulu’s oldest bookstore is settling into a new home.

For almost 40 years- Revolution Books has carried literature for UH Students as well as in political science, women’s studies, and workers’ rights. The little store has served as a community center as well – hosting discussions, poetry readings, and small concerts.

Schmidt Ocean Institute
Schmidt Ocean Institute

A research team with the Schmidt Ocean Institute has just finished mapping the world’s largest undersea volcano.

Tamu Massif is an undersea volcano off the coast of Guam which lies 6,500 feet below the surface.  For perspective- it’s about the size of New Mexico. 

Researchers aboard the Falkor research vessel were able to map about 98% of the area – filling in gaps of information about the geography of the volcano.  Scientists also collected almost 2-million magnetic measurements which help to better understand how the volcano was formed.

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

You’re probably familiar with the luxury high-rises going up in Honolulu’s Kaka‘ako neighborhood - but you may not know about the latest addition: an ice skating rink.

The Ward Entertainment complex plans to add an outdoor ice rink into the courtyard of the historic IBM building.  Admission to the 4,200 square-foot outdoor rink will be around fifteen dollars for 1.5 hours – and includes skate rental.

Todd Apo is the Vice President of Community Development from The Howard Hughes Corporation. 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra is generating dialogue about what Hawai‘i’s sustainable energy future should look like.

ChefSteps / Flickr
ChefSteps / Flickr

Kapi‘olani Community College has broken ground for a new culinary school campus.  The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head is located at the former site of the Cannon Club.

The school will offer students an advanced professional certificate in culinary management.  The 25-million-dollar first phase includes two classroom buildings, parking, and an outdoor cooking area. Future plans include pastry and confectionary classrooms… as well as a teaching restaurant.  John Morton is the Vice President of the U-H Community College systems. 

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

Campbell estate heiress Abigail Kawānanakoa has filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu to re-address the City Council’s approval of the rail project.  The lawsuit seeks to invalidate key votes of two former Honolulu City Council members who favored the rail project.  Former city council members Romy Cachola and Nestor Garcia agreed to pay fines to the city ethics commission for accepting gifts from lobbyists who profited from rail construction.

Bridget G. Morgan is an attorney representing Kawānanakoa. 

Raphael Ritson-Williams
Raphael Ritson-Williams

Researchers with the University of Hawaii at Manoa are being honored for their work to understand and reverse coral bleaching. The team headed by Ruth Gates and Madeleine van Oppen from the Australian Institute of Marine Science attempts to grow coral that’s resistant to the effects of global warming and rising levels of acid in the water.

www.theoceancleanup.com
www.theoceancleanup.com

The first leg of the largest ocean clean-up in history kicked off this weekend from Honolulu.

“The Ocean Clean-up” began as an idea by 17-year-old Boyan Slat.  His idea was simple… use the ocean’s current to clean out plastic debris.  He came up with a catch system designed to be moored to the sea-bed.  The floating design traps debris circulating in the great pacific gyre and collects it in a V-Shaped barrier for recycling.  The stationary design uses minimal energy… and allows marine life to swim free of the debris.

  

Hawaii’s live jazz scene will be getting a well-known venue next year with the addition of a Blue Note Jazz Club. The 300 seat venue will occupy the former Society of Seven showroom inside the Outrigger Waikiki.  Barbara Campbell is the Vice President of Retail Leasing and Property Management for Outrigger Hotels.

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