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Hawaii open data bill becomes law

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed into law a measure to enhance government transparency and accountability in Hawaii through increasing public awareness and access to open data. House Bill 632 (HB632) now Act 263, requires the State’s Executive Branch departments to make electronic data sets available to the public. [...]

Eisa Drum Festival celebrates Okinawan culture

Kapiolani Community College is hosting the 3rd Eisa Drum Festival on Saturday, May 11 from 5:30 to 9 pm on the Great Lawn at the center of campus. The outdoor festival brings together food prepared by KCC’s culinary program and the spectacular art form of taiko performed amid the beauty of Diamond Head under the stars. The program begins at 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public, with ample parking on campus. Performers include Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts, Hawaii Taiko Kai, Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate and Urizun Minyo Group. This year’s festival also features special guest performers from Okinawa, including Daiichi Hirata, acclaimed producer, choreographer, and musician, as well as members of Requios, the 2012 World Eisa Competition winner. [...]

World’s Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Another Chick

A Laysan albatross known as “Wisdom” – believed to be at least 62 years old – has hatched a chick on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) for the sixth consecutive year. Early morning on February 3, 2013, the still-wet chick was observed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary, who said the chick appears healthy. Wisdom was first banded in 1956, when she was incubating an egg in the same area of the refuge. She was at least five years old at the time. “Everyone continues to be inspired by Wisdom as a symbol of hope for her species,” said Doug Staller, the Fish and Wildlife Service Superintendent for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Monument), which includes Midway Atoll NWR. [...]

Honolulu Theatre for Youth Presents ‘Hold These Truths’

Actor Daniel Dae Kim is part of the team bringing the acclaimed Off-Broadway drama “Hold These Truths” to Hawaii. Dedicated to the memory of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the show tells the true story of second-generation Japanese American Gordon Hirabayashi, who resisted the Japanese American internment during World War II in the famous case, Hirabayashi v. United States. Set in Seattle during World War II, “Hold These Truths” follows Hirabayashi, then a University of Washington student, as he fights to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution. President Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hirabayashi (1918-2012), the nation’s highest civilian honor, in April 2012. Kim said: “I was deeply moved by ‘Hold These Truths’ when I saw it in New York. Having lived in Hawaii for almost nine years now, I recognized how inspiring Gordon Hirabayashi’s story would be to our community.” [...]

Second annual STEM Week in the works

The Hawaii Academy of Sciences (HAS) this week is putting out an early call to the state’s most innovative companies and organizations to help set the stage for the second annual STEM Week Hawaii. STEM Week Hawaii is a multi-day celebration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education across the state, organized by HAS and supported by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The 2013 program will expand upon the first STEM Week Hawaii, held in April. Scheduled to run concurrently with the 56th Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), several special events will culminate in a gala awards dinner. These events include an Industry Exposition and Job Fair, which gives local businesses and organizations an opportunity to demonstrate their technology and services, and two fast-paced “Ignite STEM Week” presentations that will showcase some of the cutting-edge research and development taking place in Hawaii. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye was on hand to present the inaugural STEM Week Hawaii awards, which recognized STEM programs at 14 local schools. Mililani High and Highlands Intermediate schools took statewide honors, and Hawaiian Electric Company received the first Daniel K. Inouye Award for Commitment to STEM Education. [...]

‘Walking Dead’ Star to Speak at UH on ‘Chekhov and Zombies’

Film and television actress Sarah Wayne Callies, known for her role on AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead,” grew up in Honolulu. And she’s now returning to the islands for a special presentation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, set for Saturday, Dec. 8 at Kennedy Theatre. It’s being described as the final event in the University of Hawaii’s Department of Theatre and Dance’s “undead marathon,” following the conclusion of Kennedy Theatre’s “Uncle Vanya and Zombies.” Callies will come to Kennedy Theatre to offer her insights on the zombie phenomenon and its connection to Anton Chekhov. This public presentation will be presented free of charge; tickets will be handed out at the box office before the event. Callies grew up in Honolulu before attending Dartmouth College, where she majored in Drama and graduated magna cum laude. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree at the National Theatre Conservatory, spending two seasons in principal and understudy roles at the Tony Award–winning Denver Center Theatre Company. [...]

BizGym partners with Hong Kong accelerator

BizGym.com, an online rapid business plan building program based in Hawaii, has formed a partnership with CyberPort, the largest information technology accellerator in Hong Kong. The relationship was sparked by BizGym.com’s recent partnership in “Hawaii Tech Asia,” a business development tour organized by Hawaii Business and Entrepreneur Acceleration Mentors (HiBeam). The two companies will create a Chinese language version of the BizGym online entrepreneur’s toolset, branding it as the “Cyberport Business System powered by BizGym.” It will feature team-matching, collaborative business planning and a direct link to Cyberport’s micro-fund application process. Operations will begin by year-end in Hong Kong and mainland China. Cyberport is a government-owned enterprise, and when breaking news of the partnership on Hawaii Public Radio’s Bytemarks Cafe show last week, BizGym.com founder Steve Sue said that the co-branded arrangement with a prominent Hong Kong organization will likely discourage copycats from diluting the BizGym.com model in Asia. [...]

HECO streamlines solar power installation requirements

It will now be faster and simpler for many residential and some small commercial customers to receive approval for on-site solar photovoltaic installations without worrying about the need for a possible interconnection study, Hawaiian Electric announced today. As of October 1, most residential and some commercial customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company can install certified single-phase PV systems up to 10 kW on single-phase transformers and participate in Net Energy Metering (NEM) with no interconnection study. In addition, any customer of the three companies who paid for an interconnection study and system upgrades to install a 10 kW or smaller single-phase PV system will be refunded the cost of the study and any upgrades. [...]