‘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. [...]

‘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.” [...]

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. [...]

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.” [...]

Five local nonprofits awarded $427,000 from Island Innovation Fund

The Hawaii Community Foundation announced today the final round of recipients for its Island Innovation Fund initiative. In total, five grant recipients were awarded $427,920 to support and develop their proposed innovations. Recipients were selected from a group of eight finalists who presented creative concepts that will affect widespread positive change in the community and transform existing ways the nonprofit sector operates. Applicants from all three funding rounds were also invited to vote for a People’s Choice Award from among the eight finalists. “While grantee selection for the Island Innovation Fund has wrapped up, the Hawaii Community Foundation is committed to opening doors for local nonprofits that are looking at new and innovative ways to address challenges and issues our islands face,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of Hawaii Community Foundation. [...]

Hawaiian Airlines upgrades in-flight meals, hospitality

In the first comprehensive redesign of its domestic onboard service product in more than a decade, Hawaiian Airlines has cemented its signature ‘Mea Ho‘okipa Service’ as the gold standard in domestic air travel and the only authentic Hawaii experience in air travel. Hawaiian’s ‘Mea Ho‘okipa’ (translation: I am host) inflight service philosophy has long been embraced by travelers for its celebration of the culture, people and Aloha Spirit of Hawaii. Reintroduced August 1 on all flights between Hawaii and its 11 gateway cities in North America, Hawaiian has taken its acclaimed inflight service and made it even more enjoyable with enticing new made-in-Hawaii products, Island-style complimentary meals and improved service offerings. The new program was inspired by customer feedback, solicited by Hawaiian to further align its service with the things that customers value most in onboard service and amenities. [...]

Isle startup aims to help utilities reward energy savings

Ikehu Naturals LLC, a Hawaii-based startup, recently won an award in a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The award was given for its Demand Response Incentive (DRIVE) system. The DRIVE technology gives power companies the ability to offer airline miles to their energy efficient customers. Ikehu said in a statement that it hopes the award generates interest by power companies around the world. “It’s an honor to be selected among the winners in such a prestigious competition” says Ikehu CEO and founder Holland Wood. “Soon, utilities will have the ability to use airline miles to guide consumers towards responsible energy use.” [...]

City unveils web apps for traffic, tsunami sirens, art

Israel Kamakawiwoole, the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Information Technology (DIT) says there are “apps for that.” DIT has partnered with software developers to put key information in the hands of smartphone and computer users. “We are using mobile applications to provide useful information for the public and make them aware of what is happening around them in a timely manner. It’s exactly what a 21st Century city is supposed to do,” said Mayor Peter Carlisle. “The launch of these applications, and the way in which they were developed and implemented, shows how the City and County of Honolulu is leading in its use of technology to work directly with citizens,” said Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code for America. “By using lightweight, innovative approaches, reusing existing software, and building deeper connections with residents, Honolulu is creating real value and strengthening the fabric of the city.” [...]

Second Oahu Fringe Festival set for November

The second annual Oahu Fringe Festival is set to hit the stages of Honolulu’s Chinatown November 8-10, 2012. After a successful premiere in 2011, Oahu Fringe Festival returns as a Fringe Festival destination, offering more innovative new works related, but not limited to, theatre, music, dance, improv and comedy. Based in Chinatown, the Oahu Fringe Festival offers local, US and international artists a place to showcase their work in an atmosphere of community and creativity. Shows will run at various venues in Chinatown including Kumu Kahua Theatre, The ARTS at Marks Garage, Ong King Arts Centre and The Loading Zone. [...]

Verizon fires up 4G LTE network on Kauai, Big Island

Verizon has extended its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Kauai and the Big Island. The company says that customers on those islands can now use their 4G LTE wireless devices on Kauai to surf the Web, listen to music, stream live video, take advantage of thousands of applications, and stay in touch with family and friends, all with speeds up to 10 times faster than before. On Kauai, Verizon customers who live in or visit areas including Lihue, Puhi, Nawiliwili, Wailua Homesteads, and Kapaa now have access to the Verizon Wireless 4G network. On the Big Island, the service is available in Hilo, Keaau, Mountain View, and Pahoa. With the network expansion, residents in several other areas also have access. [...]

State business website wins international award

The State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) was recently honored with two awards for its suite of mobile business applications. The mobile apps are the first of their kind worldwide and the first mobile apps launched by the state. The International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) awarded a prestigious 2012 Merit Award for Outstanding Innovation, one of the top international honors for business registries, to DCCA’s Business Registration Division (BREG) last month at the IACA annual conference. “Hawaii’s technological transformation remains a top priority for my administration, and this award is recognition that we are on track to bringing state government where it needs to be in the 21st century,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Through the innovative work now being done by DCCA and others in our state, we are creating technological assets that improve efficiency, expand services and save businesses money.” [...]

Hawaii Apps company to tackle booming mobile business

A new local company has set its sights on no less than the top spot among Hawaii’s mobile app developers. Today, Hawaii Apps Inc. is launching an Island-based business focusing only on the development of mobile apps to help local businesses, government agencies, community organizations and individuals “tap” into the marketing, advertising and entertainment potential of mobile apps. “Mobile apps are where the world is going,” said Melialani “Meli” James, one of four principals who founded Hawaii Apps. “We want to offer Hawaii the chance to get in on the trend, for Island businesses and individuals to be able to create an app that will be developed right here in the Islands, by people who know Hawaii’s culture, traditions and lifestyle.” [...]

Local datacenter launches pay-as-you-go cloud computing service

DRFortress, Hawaii’s leading colocation and cloud services provider, today announced that it has launched “DRFcloud,” which it says is the first local, pay-as-you-use, cloud computing services based in the state. This new service, offered in partnership with Appcore, follows the successful start of the Nirvanix cloud storage service and is available to Hawaii customers as well as clients throughout the Pacific Rim. Both the “DRFcloud” and the Nirvanix cloud storage hybrid node are maintained at the DRFortress datacenter in Hawaii with redundant mainland nodes for disaster recovery purposes. [...]

Blood Bank Calls for Donors Over Memorial Day Weekend

While Memorial Day is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, it also anchors a traditionally dangerous holiday weekend on the roads. Some studies have found fatalities rise by as much as 30 percent on a day Americans set aside to commemorate the fallen. Unfortunately, the holiday also presents a challenge to local blood banks, as donations drop when communities focus their attentions elsewhere. The Blood Bank of Hawaii today put out the call for donors to step up this weekend. “With the upcoming three-day weekend and anticipated low donor turnout, we ask for your help… the need for blood is 365/24/7,” the announcement reads. “Thank you for all your support and effort in helping meet the blood needs of Hawaii’s patients.” [...]

Robotic wave gliders leave Hawaii for Australia, Japan

Liquid Robotics, an ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider — the first wave-powered, autonomous marine robot — launched the PacX Wave Gliders from the Big Island of Hawaii on Monday on the final phase of a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition across the Pacific Ocean. Continuing their record-breaking journey across the high seas with approximately 5000 nautical miles until their final destinations of Australia and Japan, the Wave Gliders have collectively already traveled more than 13,000 nautical miles. This is more than twice the distance from San Francisco to Tokyo, Japan. During their voyage, the Wave Gliders are collecting and transmitting in near real-time, unprecedented amounts of ocean surface data on a scale never before continuously collected across the Pacific Ocean. [...]

Nine Hawaii students win awards at international science fair

Nine Hawaii students earned recognition, over $7,500 in cash awards, and even an overseas travel opportunity this week at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international student science competition. The premier pre-college science event culminated today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. In all, two dozen high school students from Hawaii public, private, and home schools represented the Aloha State. At today’s Grand Awards ceremony, three Hawaii students were recognized for their work in life sciences. Danielle Lyn Keahi, 18, of Kamehameha Schools at Kapalama on ‘Oahu, tooksecond place overall in Medicine and Health. She received $1,500 for her work on mutated cells in mice. [...]

Wally Amos Returns to Cookies with ‘WAMOS’

Nationally renown, Honolulu-based entrepreneur Wally Amos is returning to the business that made him “Famous Amos.” He posted the announcement on Facebook, where he’d accumulated the maximum 5,000 friends, asking them in turn to spread the word. “I am re-entering cookie business,” Amos wrote. ” I will sell three flavors from my original recipe; chocolate chip, butterscotch chip pecans, [and] chocolate chip pecans.” Amos launched the “Famous Amos” brand of cookies in 1975, starting with a cookie store in California and growing to find space on supermarket shelves across the country. His name and likeness became so synonymous with success that he found a career in public speaking and authoring books. Amos even appeared as himself in an episode of the ABC sitcom “Taxi” in 1981. [...]

Waikiki Aquarium seeks kids’ YouTube videos

The Waikiki Aquarium has become a partner with Youth on Board, a collaborative project with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in California and Nausicaa Aquarium in Boulogne, France. The program encourages young people to tell others about the ocean near where they live in a humorous, one-minute video. Videos will be uploaded to the respective aquarium’s YouTube channel for the world to see. All videos will be entered into a contest and one will be selected at each partner aquarium as the Youth on Board Video of the year. Applications are due on April 20, 2012, with videos being due on May 24, 2012. “Our oceans are all interconnected and so it’s critical that we not only learn how to care for our own marine life but also learn about the marine life in other parts of the world,” said Aquarium Director Dr. Andrew Rossiter. “The Youth on Board program encourages youth to be inspired to take care of the ocean by learning about the diversity of marine species that call the ocean home. Our hope is that through the video-making process and viewing portion of this contest, the young people of our community will develop a deeply-rooted appreciation for our delicate ocean ecosystem.” [...]

Hawaii students headed to international science fair

Two dozen high school students from Hawaii public, private, and home schools will travel to Pittsburgh next month to represent the Aloha State at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. The students took top honors in their respective categories at the 55th Annual Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), held April 2-4 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Over 700 students from schools across the state participated in the HSSEF, the oldest and largest science education program in Hawaii and the showcase event of the Hawaii Academy of Science. The Intel ISEF allows more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research as they compete for over $4 million annually. This premier global science event will be held May 13-18, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and will give Hawaii students a chance to showcase their efforts, and an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and engineers from around the world. [...]

Kakaako incubator hatches Screenfuse service

A local group of entrepreneurs and developers yesterday unveiled ScreenFuse, an interactive social media display for businesses and special events. The web-based service creates an attractive, live-updating screen that can show real-time social media activity connected to a store, restaurant, hotel, concert, or conference. Screenfuse was developed in under a month by Hawaii-based web developer Evan Nagle, digital designer John Garcia, and L.A.-based entrepreneur Mike Prasad. The startup was incubated at The Greenhouse Innovation Hub in Kakaako. [...]

Offshore Fish Farm Receives Key Permit

Hawaii Oceanic Technology, Inc. has been issued permit HI-0028140 in accordance with the provisions of the Clean Water Act, Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 342D; and Hawaii Administrative Rules as administered by the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH). In a letter dated March 30, 2012, the DOH stated that it has “reviewed the (company’s) application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, and that after consideration of the expressed views of all interested persons and agencies, pertinent Federal and State statutes and rules regarding the discharge, the DOH hereby issues the NPDES permit effective April 30, 2012.” This comprehensive process took the company more than a year of effort and required a thorough public review and response to comments from the public and several NGOs. [...]

City Smartphone Apps Gaining Steam in Honolulu

The City Department of Information Technology (DIT) partnered with local developers to enhance public service by providing key information to campers, bus riders, and those interested in reporting problems to the City and the public is making good use of the new services. “We are pleased that the public has embraced the City’s newest online services as well as other services such as the NIXLE notification system and our Facebook and Twitter accounts,” said Mayor Peter Carlisle. The successful online camping registration program allows campers, who formerly had to wait in line for hours—and sometimes days—before camp registration deadlines, to now register online for campsites. More than 1,300 users have already taken advantage of the new registration system. [...]

Student Excellence in Science, Engineering Celebrated

Hawaii and the nation have seen renewed focus on the fields of science and engineering as key to future success. But the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair has been committed to the cause for more than half a century. The HSSEF is the oldest and largest science education program in Hawaii, today reaching more than 7,000 students across the state. Over 600 students — representing public, private and home schools — participate in the premier event, competing for significant prizes and awards. “It’s exciting to talk with students about the work put into their science fair projects, as these kids are bright, inquisitive, and our future leaders,” said Kerry Kakazu, President of the Hawaii Academy of Science. “In this age of global competitiveness it is reassuring to see our young students embracing science and tackling tough problems.” [...]

Middle schoolers off to MathCounts nationals

The Hawaii MathCounts Committee has announced the winners of the 29th Annual State MathCounts Competition held Saturday, March 3. The top four students — David Chang and Jion Kato of Washington Middle School, Mark Klein of Punahou School and Jesse Doan of Seabury Hall — will now comprise the Official Hawaii State MathCounts team and represent Hawaii at the National Competition in Orlando, Florida on May 11, 2012. The team will be led by Washington Middle School math coach Mr. Sung Park, whose team captured first place honors at the Oahu Chapter and Hawaii State competitions. In addition to winning the state competition, the Washington Middle School team placed first in the Oahu Chapter competition on February 25. [...]