Polihale Beach on Kauai, Wailea Beach on Maui and Black Sand Beach on Maui are among the stretches of scenic sand that won “best in class” in Travel + Leisure magazine’s first-ever reader rankings of the world’s best beaches in six different categories.
In Travel + Leisure’s January issue, Polihale Beach is considered the world’s best secluded beach, with the magazine giving this description: “Verdant cliffs frame the westernmost public beach on Kauai, accessible only via old farm roads.”
Wailea Beach gets the nod for the best beach for activities: “Expert guides lead snorkeling, canoeing and boogie boarding excursions amid the private coves.”
And Maui’s Black Sand Beach in Waianapanapa State Park is the winner for beach with the most dramatic landscape: “Only a quarter of a mile long, it makes a big impression because of its black sand and spiny hala trees.”
Looks like the new year is off to a good start for the state’s visitor industry.
To take top beach honors in three of the six categories in Travel + Leisure’s reader rankings is a form of publicity that the Hawaii Tourism Authority could not generate on its own no matter how big its market budget. Click here to see the magazine’s slide show of the winning beaches.
Brian Schatz has been sworn in as Hawaii’s newest U.S. senator.
Schatz arrived in Washington D.C. aboard Air Force One with President Barack Obama this morning, less than 24 hours after being named to replace the late-Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.
Schatz was sworn in at about 9:30 a.m. in a brief ceremony on the Senate floor.
After the ceremony, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described Schatz as “a young man with a future full of promise and opportunity.”
Sen. Daniel Akaka, now Hawaii’s senior senator until January, welcomed Schatz to the Senate.
“Brian is a leader for Hawaii’s present and for our future,” Akaka said. “I welcome him with much aloha.”
Akaka said Schatz will be a progressive voice for Hawaii, the environment and native Hawaiians.
“He (Schatz) will uphold the values and priorities of our unique state,” Akaka said. To Schatz, whom Akaka called the junior senator from Hawaii, Akaka said, “Never forget that you are here with a solemn responsibility to do everything you can to represent the people of Hawaii, to make sure that they are represented in every policy discussion.”
Schatz’s wife, two children and parents were in Washington to witness the swearing-in ceremony.
Schatz is now the youngest member of the U.S. Senate at age 40. However in January, when the new Congress is sworn in, Schatz will become the second-youngest senator. He will also become Hawaii’s senior senator when U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono begins her new term as a U.S. senator, replacing Akaka.
In an interview with reporters at Andrews Air Force Base, Schatz said he talked to the president while on board Air Force One.
“We had a brief chat. We’re anxious to get to work, and see what we can to try to avert the fiscal cliff and I’ll be looking forward to supporting the administration’s priorities,” Schatz said.
Schatz, who leaves his post as lieutenant governor to fill Inouye’s seat until a 2014 election, said of his trip aboard Air Force One, “It was a lovely flight. I slept almost the whole way.”
He was wearing a new overcoat that he said he just purchased Wednesday in anticipation of the Washington D.C. weather.
Schatz said he was informed of his appointment by Gov. Neil Abercrombie at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, an hour before the governor announced it publicly.
He said he didn’t know that he would get to fly on Air Force One until later in the day and that the rest of his family, including his parents, wife and children, were flying commercial to attend today’s swearing-in.
Schatz, who served as the chairman of Obama’s 2008 campaign in Hawaii, said, “I’ve been a supporter of his from the very beginning. For Hawaii it’s not just a matter of him being from Hawaii but we feel that he represents our values on the national stage. That’s what I’m looking forward to supporting.”
When asked about the selection process in which Abercrombie chose him over Inouye’s preferred successor, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, he echoed remarks he made at Wednesday’s news conference. “No one can fill Senator Inouye’s shoes, but we’ll all try to walk in his footsteps together.
“His humility, his service to his state and his country, his kind demeanor — we’ll all try to emulate that. But certainly no one can fill his shoes.”
Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient, died of a respiratory illness on Dec. 17 after a 50-year Senate career.
Schatz abrupt job change came in response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s request that Abercrombie chose Inouye’s successor quickly so that another Democratic vote was in place for any possible “fiscal cliff” vote in the days ahead.
Of the fiscal cliff crisis, Schatz said, “It’s at this stage difficult to understand why we would inflict this on ourselves. And so I’m hoping that cooler heads will prevail and we will be able to avert this disaster.
“Everyone seems to agree that we want to avoid this. There are some practical balanced approaches that have been set forth. And now it’s time, and we’re really running out of time, to negotiate a settlement, which I believe no one will be thrilled with. But the only thing worse than a solution to the fiscal cliff would be actually going over it.”
Obama cut short his Hawaii vacation to try to hammer out a deal with Republicans to avert a huge increase in taxes for most Americans with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts next week.
Air Force One left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just after 10 p.m. Wednesday. A few residents waved goodbye as Obama’s motorcade left Kailua just after 9 p.m.
At Hickam, Obama greeted members of the armed forces who were waiting in a holding area off the tarmac.
Before leaving Hawaii, Obama made separate phone calls to congressional leaders to discuss the impending fiscal cliff.
A White House official says Obama called Reid, House Speaker John Boehner , Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi late Wednesday.
The calls come amid little progress before the Dec. 31 deadline to avoid the fiscal cliff. Americans face major tax increases and spending cuts if Congress and the White House fail to reach a compromise by the end of the year.
Obama arrived in Hawaii early Saturday morning. First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha will remain in Hawaii through the beginning of January. However, first dog Bo left with Obama. Reporters traveling with the president saw the dog on the return flight to Washington.
White House media pool reporter Michael Memoli of the Tribune Washington Bureau, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
EVENTS: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a HIGH SURF WARNING for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI & MAUI and WEST FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI, in effect from 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 6:00 a.m. Friday.
A High Surf Warning indicates that dangerous battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents.
EFFECTS: A large northwest swell will arrive late tonight, causing surf to exceed advisory levels along north and west facing shores on Thursday. Surf is expected to rise around the warning level for north facing shores Thursday night into Friday.
Surf along north and west facing shores will rise to 14 to 18 feet Thursday and build to 20 to 25 ft. Thursday night.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves
A high tide of approximately 2.7 feet is expected between 2:36 a.m. and 3:54 a.m. tomorrow morning. The next high tide of approximately 1.4 feet is expected between 1:17 p.m. and 2:35 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i– The County of Maui’s Department of Environmental Management reported that a wastewater overflow of approximately 566 gallons occurred on December 25, 2012 along Ani Streetin Kahului due to rags and debris in the mainline. The overflow was reported at 5:30 p.m. and was stopped by 6:30 p.m.
This sort of overflow can be avoided if residents do not flush cloth and other insoluble material down their toilets.
“We’ve found all sorts of things in our pipes that shouldn’t be there,” said Environmental Management Director Kyle Ginoza. “Underwear, hand towels, feminine hygiene products and other items such as wet wipes should go into the trash can instead of the toilet. Wet wipes especially are a huge problem.”
Most wet wipes, wet naps, moist towelettes and anti-bacterial hand wipes do not dissolve in water and can clog a drain as easily as rags and other insoluble refuse. Some brands do make flushable/dissolvable wipes so please check first before deciding to flush something down the toilet.
In this latest spill, wastewater flowed from a sewer manhole onAni Streetand entered a storm drain. No wastewater reached the ocean or other waterways.
Workers cleared the line, pumped up the wastewater, and cleaned and disinfected the spill site before notifying the state Department of Health.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – The County of Maui’s Office of the Mayor is honoring the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye by putting together a book of condolences for those wishing to express their appreciation and extend their sympathies to the family.
The book will be presented to Inouye’s family on Saturday, during a memorial service at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 9 a.m. For those residents who are unable to attend the ceremony, Mayor Alan Arakawa invites them to stop by in advance of the service.
“The late Senator Inouye was a tremendous supporter and cared deeply about our community. He was a friend to us all,” said Mayor Arakawa. “This book of condolences is just one small way that we can express our gratitude to such a great man.”
The book of condolences will be available in the front lobby of the Mayor’s Office on the 9th floor of the Kalana O Maui Building located at 200 South High Street in Wailuku tomorrow and on Friday. For more information contact Communication Director Rod Antone at 270-8222.
HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of current Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the passing of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.
“Today, I will inform the leadership of the United States Senate that I have appointed Brian Schatz as the next United Sates Senator from Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “I make this decision with full confidence that Brian’s appointment is in the best interest of the State of Hawaii and the nation.
“As Lieutenant Governor, Brian has demonstrated all of the qualities Hawaii could ask for in a Senator: respect for our traditions and a strong sense of values, remarkably strong character and problem-solving capacities, and above all an abiding love for and commitment to the people of our state. Brian Schatz will do us proud.”
The governor added: “These are challenging times for Hawaii. We are mourning the loss of Sen. Daniel Inouye, a leader who gave a lifetime of selfless service to our country. At the same time, this is an opportunity to build on the remarkable foundation Sen. Inouye laid. It is an opportunity to shape a prosperous and vibrant future for our state.
“In the U.S. House, Hawaii will benefit from the continued leadership of Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa as she keeps building on her service on the House Armed Services Committee that is so vital to our state,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Without her in that capacity, we would have no one in the House or Senate serving in this critical position.
“In the U.S. Senate, we expect great things of Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono. She, like Senators Inouye and Akaka, brings a lifetime of distinguished public service to this new role.
“Hawaii also awaits the dynamic promise of Congresswoman-Elect Tulsi Gabbard, representing a new generation of leadership, rooted firmly in the timeless traditions of Hawaii.
“With today’s appointment, I am confident Hawaii has the strongest, best-prepared congressional delegation to lead us today, and the strongest, most well-rounded congressional delegation for Hawaii in the years to come.”
On Dec. 6, 2010, Brian Schatz was inaugurated as the 11th Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii. Before being elected Lieutenant Governor, he served for eight years as the CEO of Helping Hands Hawai’i, one of Hawaii’s largest non-profit community social services organizations.
From 2008 to 2010, Schatz was the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. He also chaired President Barack Obama’s campaign in Hawaii in 2008.
From 1998 to 2006, Schatz was a member of the State House of Representatives, representing the state’s 25th district. During this time, he served as the House Majority Whip, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Vice-Chair of Water, Land and Ocean Resources, Vice-Chair of Consumer Protection and Commerce, and as a member of the Hawaiian Affairs, Higher Education, Energy and Environmental Protection, and Agriculture Committees.
Schatz was raised in Hawaii, and graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. He is married to Linda Kwok Schatz, an architect. They have a son and daughter.
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