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. [...]

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.” [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

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.” [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

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.” [...]

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. [...]

Early Childhood Education Discussed Using Google+ Hangout

Honolulu– Early childhood education providers and stakeholders from across the State, along with lawmakers, Early Childhood Coordinator Terry Lock and Governor Neil Abercrombie, participated in a roundtable discussion on early childhood education in Hawaii today. Stakeholders from Maui, Kauai, Waimea, Kona and Hilo participated in the discussion via Google+ Hangout, hosted by Senate Committee Education Chair Senator Jill Tokuda. U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono’s Chief of Staff Betsy Lin also linked in, via Google+ Hangout from Washington, D.C. [...]

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.” [...]

Entrepreneur, Deal of the Year awards announced

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association awarded its 2012 HVCA Deal of the Year to Darren Kimura, CEO of Sopogy, maker of concentrated thermal solar collectors. In addition five local entrepreneurs were acknowledged in various categories with the HVCA Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Young Entrepreneur award went to Scott Mercer of Volta Industries, makers of advertising driven free electric vehicle charging stations. Dan Leuck, co-founder of CONTIX and CEO and founder of Ikayzo won the Software Entrepreneur award. Ken Berkun, founder of Labels That Talk won the Inventor Entrepreneur award for his patented invention, Soundpaper. Winner of the Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year award is Elyse Petersen, founder of Tealet, a social enterprise that connects tea drinkers with small tea growers around the world. David Watumull, co-founder of CARDAX Pharmaceuticals and former CEO of Hawaii Biotech was acknowledged for his many years of devoted entrepreneurship in biotech as the 2012 Legacy Entrepreneur. “These entrepreneurs are local heroes and role models. They have worked long hard days, made personal sacrifices and taken extreme risks that prove there are people in Hawaii that have what it takes to build great companies,” said Bill Spencer, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. [...]

Obama praises Sen. Inouye upon his passing

“Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. The second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union. In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve. But it was his incredible bravery during World War II – including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor – that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family.” [...]

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. [...]

Digital Government Summit explores Hawaii tech roadmap

Nearly 700 state employees, community leaders and members of the public joined Governor Neil Abercrombie today for the 2012 Hawaii Digital Government Summit at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to engage employees and other stakeholders in the state’s business and information technology transformation initiative. Presented by Government Technology Executive Events and the Center for Digital Government – at no cost to the state – the event featured more than 20 sessions on topics ranging from modernization of public schools to health information technology. “Transformation of state government is about delivering the services people need – anywhere, anytime,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Hawaii’s IT Transformation Plan, launched in October, will accomplish its goals by investing in the state’s greatest asset – its employees. Making government more efficient and effective brings opportunities to those who work in state offices, enabling employees to provide a higher level of service while attaining new skills and playing a role in reshaping the way government conducts business. This will help us to strengthen our economy, sustain Hawaii for future generations and build public confidence in government.” [...]

Navy powers up city’s largest solar facility

An official “Flip the Switch” ceremony and Hawaiian blessing was held today to mark the completion of more than 4,300 solar panels installed at the Pearl City Solar Energy Facility. Capable of generating 1.23 megawatts of electricity, it is now the newest and largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic project on O’ahu. This project marks the fourth utility-scale solar facility that developer Forest City Hawaii has completed in Honolulu, making it one of the largest renewable-energy developers and owners in the state. At today’s ceremony, Jennifer Sabas, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, praised the project’s vision, and Governor Neil Abercrombie commended the project for advancing the state’s clean energy goals. These sentiments were echoed by other event attendees, including Jerrod Schreck, president of Hoku Solar, and Connie Lau, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, chairman of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. and chairman of American Savings Bank. [...]

‘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. [...]