News Bites

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.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

Astronomers with the University of Hawai‘i are examining possible ice pockets on the dwarf planet Ceres which orbits Pluto.

Youtube Via CC Search
Youtube Via CC Search

The Blood Bank of Hawai‘i is asking the public to increase their donations.  Supplies of O-positive and O-negative blood in the islands have fallen to a critical level with less than a days’ worth on reserve due to a busy holiday weekend and adjustment to the blood bank’s new location.

Jose Rafael Gonzalez
Jose Rafael Gonzalez

The 4th annual Big Island pride festival takes place this weekend in Hilo.

A parade through old town begins Saturday at noon and is followed by a musical festival near the Mo’oheau bandstand.  The Big Island’s transgender community will be specifically honored at this year’s celebration, and will lead the parade.  

Organizers say it’s an important year for LGBTQ rights following President Obama’s declaration of New York’s Stonewall Inn as a historical site, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.  Greg Lupton is the Hawai‘i Island Pride Committee Chair.

PREL
PREL

An initiative to collect and share stories from around the region is getting under way.  A group called Pacific Resources for Education and Learning has launched the Pacific Storytellers Cooperative.

It’s an internet platform for stories from around the Pacific to be uploaded and shared with a global audience.  The cooperative is accepting stories, videos, pictures, and poems from across the region and organizers say the goal is bridge the gap between oral history and the digital world.

The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land

Restoration work has begun on the Kuamoʻo battlefield and burial grounds on Hawai‘i Island.  The 47 acres of land south of Kona was purchased earlier this year through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and managing group- Kuamoʻo ʻĀina.

UH Pacific Biosciences Research Center
UH Pacific Biosciences Research Center

An international team of scientists led by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa may have discovered an effective way to control insect pests which threaten agriculture and humans.  They identified a gene in vinegar flies which is responsible for the insect’s waterproof coating.

lookcatalog / Flickr
lookcatalog / Flickr

Women’s rights advocates are applauding a measure signed into law by Governor David Ige. 

Senate bill 2319 makes Hawai‘i the first state to require all public and private insurance providers to issue 12 months of birth control at a time. Currently most women are provided with a year-long prescription, however they are only able to pick up a few months at a time.  The measure allows women to pick up their prescription only once a year.

pexels Commons
pexels Commons

The 9th annual Honolulu Surf Film Festival kicks off Saturday at the Doris Duke Theater inside the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Although there haven’t been any recent outbreaks of dengue fever … the threat of the Zika virus is still making the news. 

So the Hawai‘i State Department of Health is re-launching its “Fight the Bite” educational campaign about preventing mosquito borne disease.  The department is putting up educational posters in airports, in busses, and will soon be running a series of ads on TV and radio.

Officials are urging the public to take the same precautions that were taken for dengue fever.  Anna Koethe is the Public Health Information Coordinator with the DOH.

as_tue / Flickr
as_tue / Flickr

   

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is responding to vandalism at one of O‘ahu’s oldest structures.  Last week crosses were carved in multiple places on the ruins of King Kamehameha the third’s summer palace, Kaniakapupu

DLNR officials say social media, and online hiking sights have popularized hiking to the ruins--which are actually off limits to the public. Baron Ching, Vice President of Aha Hui Malama O Kaniakapupu was interviewed in a video released by the DLNR.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Hawaiian language students at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa are working with millions of historical documents that were previously lost in translation.

Image: Viewer Via Hawaii News Now
Image: Viewer Via Hawaii News Now

One of Honolulu’s new rail cars has been hit with graffiti.

Cuddleparty.com
Cuddleparty.com

Honolulu is getting its first “cuddle party”. Yes…a cuddle party.

It’s a social event for adults to meet, chat… and with consent… cuddle up together.  But for participants, it’s a lot more about learning to communicate than just snuggling.  

The events were started in 2004 by a pair of relationship coaches as a way to explore communication, boundaries, and affection without sex, drugs or alcohol. It’s also growing in popularity and there are now classes springing up across the country.

Håkan Dahlström / Flickr
Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

Hawai‘i has become the first state in nation to enroll gun owners into a centralized information system.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Researchers with the UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology are exploring a new way of viewing and interpreting California’s largest earthquake fault.  Scientists use Global Positioning System stations placed up and down the San Andreas Fault to track the movement of tectonic plates.

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope

A team of Hawai‘i based astronomers have discovered a newborn planet larger than Jupiter that has an orbit very different from our own.  The planet is in the Taurus stellar nursery, more than 400 light years away and it’s orbiting a 2-million year old sun that’s considered the stellar equivalent of a week old human baby.

Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project
Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project

Feral cats are continuing to kill and eat endangered Hawaiian petrels on Kaua‘i.

Last week, researchers discovered the bodies of six-birds at a remote breeding colony in the Hono o Na Pali natural area reserve.  The petrels had been dragged from their breeding boroughs and partially eaten, including one incident that was caught on camera.  Although several colonies are being protected by seabird management, a single cat can kill a large number of nesting birds in a small time.

NOAA Photo Library / Flickr
NOAA Photo Library / Flickr

  Scientists working to prevent coral reef destruction have stumbled onto some good news.

In one of the largest global studies reef studies, researchers discovered fifteen “Bright Spots” where reefs were doing better than expected.   The areas weren’t always pristine… but had more fish, and were more resilient to human impact and unfavorable environmental conditions.

Friends of the Library
Friends of the Library

The 69th annual Friends of the Library Book sale kicks off tomorrow at the McKinley High School cafeteria.

More than 150,000 books and media are for sale, along with CDs and DVDs.  Prices range from 50 cents to $5,000 for the most expensive rare books. There are also more than a hundred pieces of art for sale, both framed and loose.

All of the proceeds from the sale go to supporting the 50 public libraries across the islands. Nainoa Mau is the Executive Director of the Friends of the Library. 

Lynette Cook
Lynette Cook

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, you may recall a scene where Luke Skywalker looks out onto a double sunset on the planet of Tatooine.  But for scientists working with UH’s Institute for Astronomy… that vision is now a reality.

Early next month the public will get a chance to see the works of Hayao Miyazaki on the big screen.

The Hawai‘i Theater is hosting the Miyazaki Ghibli film festival from July 8th to the 10th.  The films Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service will be featured.

The festival will also include a pop-up shop, arts and crafts workshops with Art + Flea, a costume contest for children and food from Chinatown’s Pig and the Lady.  Ruth Boland is the Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Theater. 

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