News Bites

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

The IUCN World Conservation Congress continues this week as policy makers meet with leaders in global conservation.

Ready, Set, IUCN!

Aug 31, 2016

    

The World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN starts tomorrow at the Hawai‘i Convention Center and the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Honolulu City officials are scrambling to make the final adjustments before the IUCN World Conservation Congress. Around 8,000 delegates and dignitaries are expected to attend the nine day event which kicks off on Thursday.  A potential visit from President Obama has also heightened levels of security and traffic issues.

Hurricane Watch Canceled for State

Aug 29, 2016
National Weather Service
National Weather Service

The hurricane watch for has been canceled for the state. 

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

When you think of the business boom in China, philanthropy may be one of the last things that comes to mind.  But the China Global Philanthropy Institute is working to change that with the help of UH’s East-West Center.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

The International marketplace in Waikīkī opens today as a re-imagined shopping mall.

kris krüg / Flickr
kris krüg / Flickr

Sea level rise is threatening to flood or erode islands in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument located north of the Hawaiian Islands.

Pulelehua Project
Pulelehua Project

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is overseeing projects to save two of Hawai‘i’s smallest creatures.

Hawaii Opera Theater
Hawaii Opera Theater

    

The Hawai‘i Opera Theater’s 2016-2017 season is taking a different look at a classic art form.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The fate of a historic tall ship moored in Honolulu Harbor could be left up to the state.

The 138-year-old Falls of Clyde has been moored in Honolulu Harbor for more than 50 years at pier 7.  Built in 1878 the ship is the last surviving iron-hulled ships with a four mast full rigging.  In her prime, she served the Matson Company as a passenger ship, making runs between the Hawaiian Islands and San Francisco before being modified into an oil tanker.   Se survived two scuttling attempts in 1963 and then again in 2008.

Mike Mozart / Flickr
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Goodwill Hawaii has gotten the green light to open up a charter school in West Oahu.  The State Public Charter School Commission approved application this week to open in the first Goodwill charter school inside their building on Lauwiliwili Street in Kapolei, making Hawai‘i the fourteenth state to feature a Goodwill charter school.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The number of permits for rooftop residential photo voltaic systems has been cut nearly in half for Hawaii Island and almost a quarter for Oahu compared to this time last year.

Maui Memorial Medical Center
Maui Memorial Medical Center

A standoff over control of three Maui hospitals appears to be over.

A settlement between the United Public Workers Union and the state was announced Friday.  The state run Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community Hospital will transfer to the supervision of Kaiser Permanente.  Employees represented by the union will work under Kaiser until their contracts expire next June.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

  

  

The application process for Section 8 low income housing in Hawai‘i has opened for the first time in more than a decade.  Section 8 housing provides vouchers which pay for a large portion of rent and utilities.

To accommodate all applicants, state officials are accepting application through an online portal.  The portal will be open for just three days… beginning next Thursday, August 16th, and closing on the 18th.  In that time… city officials expect to receive around 12,000 applicants.  And for those selected… the rent is usually around a $1000 a month.

Kenneth Lu / Flickr
Kenneth Lu / Flickr

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a better way to forecast vog….help may be on the way.

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $750,000 grant to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop Vog sensors on Hawai‘i Island.  Volcanic Smog or “Vog” is a mixture of sulfur dioxide and fine particulate matter which has negative impacts on human health, as well as agriculture.

DLNR
DLNR

Two tourists from Texas stumbled onto a collection of Hawaiian petroglyphs in Wai‘anae.  Sands shifted by the tide revealed at least 17 figures, stretching over roughly 60 of beach.  While the figures may have been seen in the past… it’s the first time the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources is documenting the site.

Chester Harman / NASA
Chester Harman / NASA

A team of astronomers known as the Kepler Habitable Zone Working Group has identified a handful of planets that are most likely to be similar to our home.  

Michael Sonnabend / Flickr
Michael Sonnabend / Flickr

There has been lots of discussion about the influence of corporate money in politics in this year's presidential campaign.   Just two days before Australians went to the polls earlier this summer, an independent think tank published a report on how donations from big mining companies may have influenced six projects, including one of the biggest coal mines in the world.  Details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

NASA
NASA

Tickets go on sale today for the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks season. 

Amon and Smith, UHM
Amon and Smith, UHM

A push to survey the seafloor for undersea mining has revealed an abundance of life on the seafloor in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) — an area the size of the US mainland in the equatorial Pacific Ocean being targeted for deep-sea mining.

Andrew Nash / Flickr
Andrew Nash / Flickr

State Department of Health officials are investigating a case of Hepatitis A on Hawai‘i island.  That pushes the number of confirmed cases to 93. 

An employee of Sushi Shiono in Waikoloa tested positive... and all other employees were cleared.  DOH officials say the restaurant is safe, but they are asking patrons who visited the shop from July 5th through July 21st to watch for symptoms.

Dr. Melissa Viray is the Deputy State Epidemiologist for the DOH.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

Supporters of the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea marine sanctuary have rejected a proposal from the Western Pacific Fisheries Council.  WESPAC proposed allowing long-line fishing within the monument, and added the expansion would cause economic hardship on fisherman.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs expressed support for the expansion, but trustee Peter Apo broke ranks in favor of the fisherman.  He questions why environmentalists are rushing to pass the expansion. 

Hawaii Polo Club
Hawaii Polo Club

Update: Due to Tropical Storm Darby, polo and the Jeff Peterson concert have been canceled for this weekend.  The schedule will resume next week. 

For 53 years the Hawai‘i Polo Club has hosted matches on its field on Oahu’s North Shore.

The organization hosts 3 polo matches each Sunday during its 4 month season which is currently running until September with teams and players from around the world fly in to compete against local teams from each Hawaiian island.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is requesting $9 million to fund local projects around the country to benefit fish habitat restoration projects.

The Community-based Restoration Program distributes funding to seventeen different costal and marine habitat restoration efforts.

NOAA
NOAA

Updated: Monday Afternoon. 

Flash flood warnings and high surf advisories have been canceled and emergency shelters on all islands have closed as Darby is downgraded to a Tropical Depression but it is still expected to bring 1 to 3 inches of additional rainfall over parts of the islands.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

No Deal for NextEra

Late Friday afternoon, Hawai‘i’s Public Utilities Commission rejected the proposed merger between NextEra and the Hawaiian Electric Companies.

Secretary of State met in Honolulu with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea.  Antony Blinken called the relationship among the three countries an “indispensable and foundational pillar” of the US “rebalance” to Asia.

He also mentioned how Hawai‘i is in the middle of that security and political relationship.  Blinken said the three diplomats discussed ways to pressure North Korea on the issues of nuclear weapons and human rights….but he gave no details about specific actions under consideration.

Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS)
Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS)

  An international team of astronomers has discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in a disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune.  The new object is a little more than 400 miles wide and has one of the largest orbits recorded for a dwarf planet.  The small icy planet was spotted with the large camera at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope on Mauna Kea  as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS).

UHMed / Flickr
UHMed / Flickr

A gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease has been found in the brains of developing children.

Researchers from the John A. Burns School of Medicine participated in a test of nearly 1,200 subjects between the ages of 3 and 20.  Scientists say studying these genes in young children may ultimately give us early indications of who may be at risk for dementia in the future.

Linda Chang is the author of the study.  She says the research could develop ways to prevent the disease from occurring or to delay the start of Alzheimer’s. 

Steven Depolo / Flickr
Steven Depolo / Flickr

The State Department of Health is urging the public to seek vaccinations for hepatitis A following an increase in cases.  The number of cases on O‘ahu has grown to 52…with 16 of those people requiring hospitalization.

DOH officials are also investigating a confirmed case from an employee at a Baskins-Robbins in Waikele.  People who consumed food from the shop between June 1th, and July 3rd are being advised to contact healthcare providers to receive a vaccine or immune globulin.

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