‘Voice of the Sea’ TV series debuts in January

A new television show highlighting ocean and coastal scientists and cultural experts from Hawaii and the Pacific will debut on January 5, 2014. “Voice of the Sea” will be broadcast on on KVFE (Channel 5 and 1005) on Sundays at 6:00 p.m.

The show is hosted by Dr. Kanesa Duncan Seraphin, world paddleboard champion, shark researcher, and science education expert.

Dr. Seraphin, director of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Center of Excellence in Marine Science Education and associate professor at the Curriculum Research & Development Group in the College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, has traveled across the Pacific to bring stories of relevance to Hawaii. Each half-hour episode profiles local science and cultural celebrities and presents thought-provoking information in an exciting, original, reality-based way.

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Battleship Missouri Screens Special ‘Five-0’ Episode

Starting this Saturday, December 7 through December 13, visitors to the Battleship Missouri Memorial will enjoy a special sneak preview of the ‘Hawaii Five-0’ episode that will later air nationwide on Friday, December 13, 9PM ET/PT, on the CBS Television Network.

Titled ‘Ho‘onani Makuakane’ (‘Honor Thy Father’), the episode focuses on the attempted murder of a Pearl Harbor veteran that leads ‘Five-0’ to use decades old evidence to investigate a deadly crime committed within the internment camps holding Americans of Japanese ancestry on Oahu during World War II. A remembrance ceremony using actual World War II veterans was filmed at the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

The ‘Hawaii Five-0’ episode in its entirety will be projected onto a large video screen in the Missouri’s educational classroom, which is air-conditioned and located one deck below the main deck next to the Mess Hall.

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Hawaii hosts first VEX robotics state championships

Forty middle and high school VEX robotics teams from across the state will compete in the first-ever Hawaii VEX State Championship on Dec. 20-21, 2013 at Honolulu Community College. The event is free and open to the public.

“For the robotics teams and individuals, the state Championship is a brand new event comparable to regional Olympics in terms of the level of competition, skill and discipline required,” said Art Kimura of the VEX Steering Committee. “In this ‘sport,’ the students are using science, technology, engineering and math skills to maneuver their robots in a fast-paced, exciting game challenge to score points. While they are having fun, the students also are developing life skills that are vital to success in a 21st century global market.”

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Tiger shark tracking program underway

In response to an uptick in the number of shark attacks recorded on Maui, the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is funding a study on the movements of tiger sharks caught and released around the Valley Isle. DLNR plans to use the results of the study to guide future decisions regarding management of shark populations in Hawaii.

Lead scientists Drs. Carl Meyer and Kim Holland report that in late October, the shark research team caught and released the tiger sharks in waters off the south shore of Maui. Eight of these sharks were equipped with satellite transmitters to track their movements.

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Student breakthrough innovation winners announced

A team of students from the University of Hawaii College of Engineering and the School of Architecture captured the top prize in the UH Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC) for their Namib beetle inspired building material.

“The Breakthrough Innovation Challenge was a unique competition that forced us to think outside of our comfort zones and look to nature for inspiration,” says Monica Umeda, Cloud Catcher team leader. “These competitions are effective catalysts to help stimulate the type of innovation Hawaii desperately needs.”

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UH robotic vessel research earns new partnership

The University of Hawaii’s Unmanned Port Security Vessel (UPSV) is a robotic platform designed to support maritime missions in harbor and port environments including infrastructure inspection and incident response and recovery, and harbor surveillance. The UPSV was designed and built in Hawaii by UH researchers, students and contractors. UH Principal Investigator Brian Bingham demonstrated the vessel’s capabilities at Honolulu Harbor today.

Rapidly deployable, the vessel can be used to map the seafloor in high resolution, photograph critical infrastructure below and above the waterline, detect chemical leaks or spills, and relay real-time video—all at the same time. This made-in-Hawaii technology can provide critical decision support to first-responders and other maritime security personnel around the world. Interest in UH’s UPSV technology has led to a business development agreement with a global innovation leader Battelle.

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Polynesian Cultural Center marks 50th year

Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) opened and began a new venture highlighting the peoples and cultures of Polynesia through entertainment, arts, education, and personal interaction.

It was October 14, 1963, when the PCC welcomed its first guests. Today, more than 37 million guests later, the PCC continues to thrive on Oahu’s North Shore as the only cultural tourist attraction of its kind in the world.

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Battleship Missouri expands access during shutdown

Starting Friday, October 4, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will begin offering special tour access in response to the federal government shutdown and subsequent closure of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, including a free interpretative tour experience from its pier of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

“We want to ensure continued access for our guests to see the Mighty Mo, while also supporting the expectations of visitors who came here to see the USS Arizona Memorial,” said Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “Our pier offers the best possible vantage point from land and our tour guides will provide a very informative presentation about the USS Arizona Memorial and its place in our nation’s history.”

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New surf magazine ‘nude’ launches with app

A new quarterly surf culture magazine is launching alongside a custom, free iPhone app. Co-founders Matt Luttress and Chance Carpenter say ‘nude’ will be “documenting surf stories from the ageless sea… focusing on enchanting art and cultural stories.”

In print, the bilingual publication will be distributed at select locations on each of the major Hawaiian Islands. Digitally, it will explore surfing’s elegant roots in both article and short films through the app.

Luttress and Carpenter say that ‘nude’ aims to create an unparalleled mobile magazine experience, seamlessly melding the beauty of print with the immediacy of digital. The magazine will release a teaser trailer for a new surf story every Friday via the app.

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Hawaii ‘Energy Excelerator’ gets $30M from Navy

The Navy’s Office of Naval Research, under the Asia Pacific Technology Education Program, announced today that it will invest $30 million dollars in the Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator. The new Navy commitment triples the funding that the program operated with over the past three years, showing that they recognize the value of Hawaii as an ideal place for new energy innovation.

The Energy Excelerator funds seed-stage and growth-stage startups with compelling energy solutions and immediate application in Hawaii.

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Hawaiian Telcom to acquire datacenter firm

Hawaiian Telcom today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SystemMetrics Corporation. The cash transaction is valued at approximately $16 million, according to Hawaiian Telcom. SystemMetrics is a Honolulu-based data center firm that currently generates annual revenues of approximately $8 million, and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hawaiian Telcom Services Company.

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Design community to focus on homeless

The local homeless population is incredibly diverse, and a unified visual language could help human services agencies and other community groups cross language barriers in reaching those in need. On Saturday, civic-minded geeks will come together to explore the creation of universal symbols to serve the homeless and those who work with them at Hawaii’s first IconLocal.

IconLocals are local design workshops supported by The Noun Project, an international movement to build a global visual language that everyone can understand. IconLocal events have been held in cities across the country with partners ranging from the American Red Cross to the New York Times. They have tackled topics ranging from energy to agriculture to human rights.

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Local startup aims to help other startups

Is it possible to grow a bootstrapped tech startup in Hawaii? A new boutique solutions and product-focused tech business, Sudokrew Solutions, is looking to answer this question.

Sudokrew is led by local talent Jason Sewell and Spencer Toyama. Sewell is the former lead developer for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, and Toyama is the former operations director of Kinetiq Labs and the Pele-Award winning Agency Collaborative.

“There are many incredible web developers and designers in Hawaii building the front-facing websites for our local community, and we really want to differentiate our services by focusing on development and enterprise solutions.” stated Spencer Toyama.

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State launches app for electric vehicle charging stations

The State of Hawaii has launched a new mobile app designed to help drivers locate publicly available electric vehicle charging stations statewide. The free “EV Stations Hawaii” app is available for Apple and Android smartphones and mobile devices.

“The EV Stations Hawaii app is a great example of our state using new technology to advance the widespread use of electric vehicles in Hawaii,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Convenience is key to further the adoption of EVs, which are part of Hawaii’s clean transportation future and move us toward reducing our dependency on imported oil.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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‘Hunger Games’ Sequel to Film in Hawaii

“Catching Fire,” the 2013 sequel to “The Hunger Games,” started principal photography yesterday in Atlanta. The film will then be shot on location in the beaches and jungles of Hawaii before wrapping in late December.

According to Lionsgate, “Catching Fire” will be released worldwide on November 22, 2013, and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jeffrey Wright, with Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland.

“We are so excited to be embarking on this adventure with Francis Lawrence, who has already exhibited immense creative vision and resourcefulness in casting the film and planning its look and feel,” Said Lionsgate’s President of Production Eric Feig. “The stakes are raised in every way in this second story, and we are thrilled to get the production underway in these perfect locations, with our excellent returning cast and some world class actors in new roles.”

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Omidyar Fellows Program Announces First Class

The Hawai’i Leadership Forum announced today the 13 Fellows selected to participate in the inaugural class of the Omidyar Fellows program. Launched in May 2012, the Omidyar Fellows program was developed to inspire and equip emerging leaders with the skills needed to affect positive, lasting change in Hawai’i.

“Omidyar Fellows is a long-term investment in our shared future. We are eager to work with the 2012 class, exploring new ideas and thinking that may benefit Hawai’i,” said Pierre Omidyar, founder, Omidyar Fellows. “Hawai’i’s next generation of leaders will inherit huge challenges – some of them recent developments, some passed down from their predecessors. Effective leaders must address existing challenges and at the same time, create proactive measures that move Hawai’i forward – all while operating in an increasingly fast-paced and transparent world.”

More than 150 candidates completed a rigorous application process for the Omidyar Fellows inaugural class, representing a wide range of sectors including government, nonprofit, business, and labor unions. The class was designed to be representative of these sectors.

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Hawaii, other states reach antitrust settlement over ebook pricing

Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie, along with 53 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories, announced today that they have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States.

Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster have agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books (E-books). They have also agreed to change the way they price E-books going forward.

The settlement occurs in conjunction with a civil antitrust lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster.

The lawsuit alleges that the three settling publishers and two nonsettling publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, “conspired and agreed to increase retail E-book prices for all consumers” and “agreed to eliminate E-book retail price competition between E-book outlets, such that retail prices to consumers would be the same regardless of the outlet patronized by the consumer.”

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