Kauai utility pleads guilty to seabird take

The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) entered a plea agreement today in federal court in Honolulu to resolve violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the U.S. Department of Justice announced today.

KIUC pleaded guilty to count one and count 16 of a 19-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in May 2010.

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World folk group HuDost coming to Maui

Experimental world folk group HuDost has added Hawaii to its cross-country tour, and will perform at Studio Maui in Haiku next Saturday, Dec. 11. This after Wednesday appearance on Mana’o Radio’s “Alanamana Show” on 91.5FM on Wed., Dec. 8.

HuDost has been getting rave reviews across the board for their latest releases “Trapeze” and “Waking the Skeleton Key.” As one music critic said: “It’s nice to see a band that doesn’t sacrifice content for commercialism, yet has a theoretically almost limitless upside for hit potential.”

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National 9/11 flag coming to Pearl Harbor

The National 9/11 Flag, destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001 but stitched back together seven years later, will be in Honolulu for a ceremonial stitching ceremony scheduled to coincide with the Dec. 7 anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The National 9/11 flag was restored by tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas, and is now a living testament to the resilience and compassion of the American people. It’s been described as the modern day version of The Star Spangled Banner.

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Abercrombie names first cabinet members

Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie today appointed five Cabinet members in his first announcement on leadership positions in the Abercrombie Administration. William J. Aila Jr. was named the Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, an appointment that Robert Harris, director of the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club, called “an outstanding choice.”

In addition to Aila, Abercrombie’s appointments are Richard Lim as the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Jodie Maesaka-Hirata as the Director of the Department of Public Safety; and Alapaki Nahalea and Bobby Hall as the team leading the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands as its Director and Deputy Director, respectively.

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UH study predicts more global warming

Current state-of-the-art global climate models predict substantial warming in response to increases in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The models, though, disagree widely in the magnitude of the warming we can expect.

In a paper recently published in the Journal of Climate, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa researchers have assessed the performance of current global models in simulating clouds and have presented a new approach to determining the expected cloud feedbacks in a warmer climate.

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Royal Hawaiian Center open on Thanksgiving

oyal Hawaiian Center is open on Thanksgiving Day! Take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, or begin your holiday shopping early, before Black Friday even begins! Several participating merchants will also feature deals/specials, which will be posted online at RoyalHawaiianCenter.com.

As a special Mahalo to our Black Friday patrons, stop by Lei Ohu Guest Services during November 25-28 and pick up a complimentary eco-friendly jute bag with purchase of $200 or more combined receipts from Royal Hawaiian Center.

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Local rockers bring on the hooks for debut album

The local hard rockers Kilroy thrive on guitar riffs and lyrical hooks to drive their success. The band looks at different sources of inspiration for their 12 track debut album “Something’s Gotta Give,” due out in December 2010.

Kilroy’s music leaves the listener feeling a sense of familiarity. The listener hears a song that is not immediately recognized and it doesn’t sound like anything they have heard in a while. Then it hits the listener, the sound of guitar driven riffs and hard rock beats that are synonymous with hard rock & roll music.

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Hawaii Supreme Court to Convene in Kapolei

The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear oral argument on Thursday, December 2, at 10 a.m. in the Ronald T. Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. It will be the first time the Supreme Court convenes in the Hawaii State Judiciary’s newest facility, which opened to the public in May 2010 and houses the First Circuit Family Court, Juvenile Detention Center and Waianae District Court.

Attorneys on each side will have a half hour to present arguments in a dispute over property division in a First Circuit divorce case, Cvitanovich-Dubie v. Dubie. The appellant is asking the Supreme Court to review the April 12, 2010 decision by the Intermediate Court of Appeals
(ICA).

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Pianist Donna Stoering to tour islands

Internationally renowned pianist Donna Stoering will be giving free concerts throughout Hawaii. This will be her first-ever performance tour in Hawaii. All of the concerts will be free to the public but donations will be collected to benefit specific causes in Hawaii.

The beneficiary organizations were selected by Ms Stoering through her Notes for Nourishment series, a project of the global non-profit Listen for Life.

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Alaska Air launches Big Island service

Alaska Airlines launches new seasonal service today between Kona on the Big Island and Portland, Ore. The new flights are in addition to the airline’s existing service from Portland to Kahului, Maui, and Honolulu.

Each week, Alaska Air will depart Portland for Kona at 5:40 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Those same days, a flight from Kona to Portland will depart the Big Island at 9:25 a.m.

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Kalapana lava delta collapsed last week

The Puhi-o-Kalaikini lava delta in Kalapana abruptly shed its western edge last week – no injuries or deaths this time. The Puhi-o-Kalaikini lava delta, which will be four months old later this month, currently stretches along the coast for about 1 km (0.6 miles) and protrudes about 150 m (490 ft) or so out from the pre-eruption coastline. Its surface area is about 9.3 hectares (23 acres).

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Hawaii robotics students win Tokyo tournament

An alliance of Waialua High and Waiakea High Schools won the 2nd Annual American School in Japan VEX Robotics Tournament held today in Tokyo, hosted by the American School in Japan.

Two teams of students and coaches from Waialua, Oahu, three teams from Waiakea and one team from Kohala, Big Island, competed against teams from Tokyo, Yokohama, Taiwan and Thailand. Waialua High School also won the Best Build award.

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Local documentary wins film festival award

Out of more than 600 films screening at the 11th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, ‘One Voice,’ a local documentary from Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) about the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, was this year’s audience award winner.

“The Harrah’s Rincon Audience Award is special because it is chosen by the people who attend the festival and actually saw the film,” says Ruth Bolan, producer of ‘One Voice’ and executive director of Pacific Islanders in Communications. “It reaffirms our mission of sharing the stories of the Pacific with the world, and the importance of perpetuating Hawaiian language and culture.”

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Maui wind power expansion plan published

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the availability of a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) submitted by Kaheawa Wind Power II, LLC for public review. Kaheawa Wind Power II is a subsidiary of the Boston-based wind energy company First Wind that supplies electricity to the Maui Electric Company.

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PREL launches reading game

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), in collaboration with Mentor Interactive, has released Cosmos Chaos! an educational game for the Nintendo DS console that targets vocabulary learning in science, social studies and mathematics.

Resulting from a U.S. Department of Education grant focused on the development, delivery, and evaluation of a supplemental vocabulary instructional game for Nintendo DS, this digital game-based vocabulary enrichment program is designed to increase 4th grade struggling readers’ word knowledge and use of word learning strategies to help improve comprehension.

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State mulling Big Island coffee bean quarantine

The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals, attached to the State Department of Agriculture, will meet on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 to consider one or more quarantine zones on the island of Hawaii to prohibit the importation of green coffee beans.

At issue is a serious infestation of the Coffee Berry Borer in local crops reported by Kona Coffee farmers. The pest infestation was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service Systematic Entomology Laboratory.

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HPU appoints new trustees

Hawai‘i Pacific University officials voted in James Polk, Michele Saito and Stephanie Saito to the University’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 22.

James Polk is a senior executive vice president and manager at Bank of Hawaii in the Hawaii Commercial Banking Division. Michele Saito is the president of Farmers Insurance Hawaii, Inc. Stephanie Saito is the executive vice president of Bank of Hawaii.

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Pacific Voyages and Hawaiiana at Auction

An interesting and diverse collection of material related to 18 and 19th century exploration of the Pacific islands, the work of Hawaiian missionaries, and the annexation of Hawaii, will be offered by fine arts auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields on the 22nd of November 2010 in San Francisco.

The firm’s Pacific Voyages and Hawaiiana auction will feature first editions; scarce manuscripts, memoirs and pamphlets; prints and engravings; and artifacts formerly in the collections of island royalty.

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Chef Ming Tsai to appear at Macy’s Ala Moana

Famed chef Ming Tsai, a member of Macy’s Culinary Council, will demonstrate a few recipes from his new cookbook, “Simply Ming One-Pot Meals: Quick, Healthy and Affordable Recipes,” at Ala Moana next Tuesday.

The new cookbook tackles the four basic needs in everyday cooking: taste, healthfulness, simplicity and affordability. After the cooking demonstration, Mr. Tsai will greet guests and sign copies of his book which can be purchased at Macy’s during the event.

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Children’s Librarian is Employee of the Year

The Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) announces the selection of Curt Fukumoto, Children’s Librarian of Salt Lake-Moanalua Public Library, as the 2010 HSPLS Employee of the Year.

Fukumoto is outstanding in opening up the wonderful world of reading to his young patrons. His weekly story times, which have continued year round since May 2006, routinely draw over one hundred preschoolers and their caregivers. In 2010 alone, Fukumoto’s programs have has drawn an attendance of more than 5,000.

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Republican Caucus Selects New Leaders

House Republicans selected Representative Gene Ward Ph.D. as Minority Leader and Representative Kymberly Pine will continue to serve as the Minority Floor Leader. Cynthia Thielen remains the Assistant Minority Leader, Corinne Ching will be the Assistant Minority Floor Leader and Barbara Marumoto will be the Minority Policy Leader. The three freshman George Fontaine, Aaron Johanson and Gil Riviere will serve as Whips.

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Monsanto supports “Gene-ius Day” at UH Manoa CTAHR

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has received $20,000 from the Monsanto Fund, a private foundation and the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, to support salaries and materials for “Gene-ius Day.” Gene-ius Day is a special program that introduces students from grade 4 through 12 to basic genetics and the function of DNA.

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New director to lead Institute for Astronomy in 2011

Günther Hasinger, an expert in astrophysical studies whose work has been instrumental in the operation of x-ray satellites and the development of future observatories, has been appointed director of the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) at UH Mānoa, effective January 2, 2011.

Hasinger is currently the scientific director at the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

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Award-winning recycling display at two Oahu libraries

An award-winning educational recycling display by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services, is currently on an island-wide tour of 10 selected Oahu public libraries.

The Green Channel “Opalavision” display, which earned an Ilima Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), will be available for viewing in November at Aina Haina Public Library, and at Wahiawa Public Library in December.

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Abercrombie announces transition plan

Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie today announced plans for the transition to a new Abercrombie/Schatz Administration, including the process for ensuring a smooth transition from the current administration.

Bill Kaneko, who served as the campaign manager for the Abercrombie for Governor campaign, will serve as the Transition Director.

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