Two female nēnē were killed recently by speeding motorists on Crater Road at Haleakala National Park. One fatality occurred outside the park near mile marker 9, the other occurred at the Hosmer Grove intersection inside the park. One of the deaths was reported after an adult bird carcass was found November 15. The other incident occurred November 12.
“This is a truly worrisome start to the nēnē breeding season,” said park superintendent Natalie Gates. “We didn’t just lose two birds; we lost several potential generations of an endangered species. Driving slowly along the entire length of Crater Road is the only truly controllable thing humans can do, on a daily basis, to help this species.”
“The road bisects the nēnē’s breeding habitat,” said park wildlife biologist Cathleen Bailey. “Nēnē literally cross roads to ‘get to the other side.’”
In addition, nēnē often seek food in the short grass along road shoulders or drink the water run-off that accumulates along roads. The park is working to make roadsides less attractive to nēnē by removing short grass and filling in holes. The birds are especially active during breeding season and more likely to be seen by visitors.
“Many motorists are not used to the steepness of the road and how fast a car can suddenly pick up speed,” said Polly Angelakis, chief of interpretation. “Visitors should use low gear when driving downhill to hold back their vehicles and save wear and tear on their brakes. Using low gear will make their own journey safer and help save this bird and other wildlife.”
“Nēnē have been around for thousands of years; cars have only been here for 100. The birds just aren’t used to cars,” said Angelakis. “Please slow down and drive carefully, especially in low light conditions.”
Traffic cones, caution signs, and other traffic calming devices have been placed in the park to remind drivers to slow down. Posters, with guidance in 6 languages, are in the two summit visitor centers and at the Summit Entrance Station. The park is working with the visitor industry to get the word out as well.
The nēnē is endangered due to habitat loss and non-native predators, such as cats and mongoose, that eat eggs and prey on birds. There are less than 300 nēnē left in the park.
HONOLULU — Two fishermen are safe after their vessel began taking on water approximately two miles north of Kahului, Maui, Wednesday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Maui received a call for assistance from the Maui Fire Department who were responding to a 21-foot recreational vessel named Kakaloa, which began to take on water at 7:45 a.m.
The captain of the vessel reported his bilge pump was pumping out water but was unable to determine how long the pump would last.
An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued over VHF marine radio channel 16 to notify other vessels in the area of the emergency and the need for immediate assistance.
A 25-foot Response Boat – Small boatcrew was launched to the scene from Coast Guard Station Maui along with a helicopter aircrew from the Maui Fire Department who was able to pass the exact position of the vessel to the RBS crew.
Station Maui deployed a crewman and a P-6 portable pump to help dewater the vessel as it was towed into Kahului Harbor where it was safely removed from the water.
All of the boaters were wearing their life jackets and no injuries were reported.
“This case highlights the hard work that Maui County, state and federal agencies including the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary have put into developing effective partnerships,” said Chief Petty Officer Erin Stapleton, Officer in Charge of Coast Guard Station Maui. “Open lines of communication between the agencies allowed for the correct assets to respond immediately and locate and save the lives of these two fisherman. The Coast Guard response boat was vectored into the location by Maui County’s Air One helicopter, nearly ten miles away from the location the vessel thought they were in. This allowed for the Coast Guard small boat to arrive on scene and expeditiously dewater the vessel”.
For more information on boating safety visit http://www.uscgboating.org.
Washington, D.C. – Following the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan caused in the Philippines, Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and 16 Senate colleagues to call on the Obama Administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Filipino nationals currently residing in the United States and to consider additional avenues of relief for certain Filipinos with family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. TPS is granted to foreign nationals who cannot safely return to their native country.
“Typhoon Haiyan has wrought unparalleled destruction and tragic loss of life in the Philippines,” the Senators wrote. “Victims of Typhoon Haiyan clearly meet the eligibility requirements for TPS, and we urge you to extend this designation as soon as possible. The United States has demonstrated its commitment to assisting the Philippines with the recovery effort through foreign aid, military assistance and relief supplies, but we must also assist the victims’ families in whatever way possible.”
The letter was also signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), Harry Reid (D-NV), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY),Chris Coons (D-DE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dean Heller (R-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
Currently, the United States grants Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria. TPS would only be available to Filipinos already living in the United States who pass a background check and meet related eligibility requirements.
Below is the full letter:
The Honorable Rand Beers
Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20528
Acting Secretary Beers:
In light of the tremendous devastation suffered by the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Haiyan, we write to express our deep concern about the impact of this tragedy on Filipinos in the United States. We ask that you consider granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to eligible Filipino nationals within the United States and additional avenues of relief for certain Filipinos with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members in the U.S.
As you know, Typhoon Haiyan has wrought unparalleled destruction and tragic loss of life in the Philippines. The U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated the storm’s sustained winds at 195 miles per hour at landfall, which if confirmed would make Haiyan one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced with no shelter or clean water and millions face food shortages.
The United States has granted TPS to other nationals after similarly traumatic events. Following Hurricane Mitch in 1999, the United States granted TPS to Honduran and Nicaraguan nationals; following several earthquakes in Central America in 2001, the United States granted TPS to Salvadorans; and following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the United States granted TPS to Haitians. Victims of Typhoon Haiyan clearly meet the eligibility requirements for TPS, and we urge you to extend this designation as soon as possible. Providing TPS is critical to humanitarian relief efforts as it both protects individuals who would be endangered by returning to their country of origin and it allows the home country more time to recover before accepting returnees.
It is important to note that granting TPS to Filipino nationals will not endanger our security. An alien is ineligible for TPS if he has a criminal background or poses a threat to national security. The decision to deny, withdraw or terminate TPS is in the sole discretion of the government; there is no judicial review of such a determination. Moreover, TPS is not a backdoor to U.S. citizenship. TPS does not make a beneficiary eligible for legal permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship. When the TPS designation of a country is terminated, beneficiaries revert to the same immigration status they maintained before the designation.
We also ask that you consider humanitarian parole and expedited visa processing for Filipinos who have U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relatives in the U.S. and approved or pending family petitions, especially Filipinos who have been orphaned, lost relatives in the storm or suffer other serious hardships. We also ask that you consider an automatic extension of visas, in categories where an extension is feasible, for Filipinos currently present in the U.S. Lastly, we ask that you consider temporarily suspending deportations to the Philippines and utilizing alternatives to detention in appropriate cases.
The United States has demonstrated its commitment to assisting the Philippines with the recovery effort through foreign aid, military assistance and relief supplies, but we must also assist the victims’ families in whatever way possible. Therefore, we respectfully request that you extend TPS to Filipino nationals residing in the United States and support the reunification of U.S. citizens and their Filipino family members.
Thank you for your consideration.
HONOLULU – Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (NYSE: ALEX) (“Company” or “A&B”) announced today that it has agreed to acquire a portfolio of commercial properties in Hawaii from Kaneohe Ranch and the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation (“HKL Castle Foundation”) for $373 million ($260 million of Kaneohe Ranch assets and $113 million of HKL Castle Foundation assets). Due diligence was completed yesterday and, subject to the satisfaction of normal closing conditions, the transaction is anticipated to close in late December.
The portfolio, which encompasses grocery- and drug store-anchored shopping centers, retail strip centers, light industrial properties and ground leases, is primarily located in the Windward Oahu town of Kailua. The portfolio also includes about 585 acres of mostly preservation-zoned land in Kailua. A&B will fund the purchase with proceeds from the planned sale of several commercial properties it owns on the Mainland, along with other tax-deferred 1031 proceeds.
“With this purchase, we will be acquiring one of the state’s largest and finest retail portfolios, in an excellent market. This is an opportunity that rarely arises in Hawaii, and our decision to purchase is a reflection of our confidence in and commitment to Hawaii’s future,” said Stanley M. Kuriyama, A&B chairman and chief executive officer. “This acquisition dramatically accelerates our strategy of migrating our Mainland portfolio to Hawaii, diversifies our holdings with a major investment in the Windward side of Oahu, and improves the quality of earnings from our overall commercial portfolio. We look forward to working with the Kailua community in meeting the community’s needs and building upon the successes achieved by Kaneohe Ranch and HKL Castle Foundation.”
“We take a long-term perspective on our community development efforts and strive to work closely with communities to meet their changing needs,” said Christopher J. Benjamin, A&B president and chief operating officer. “Kailua is a thriving and vibrant community, and we intend to partner with the community in maintaining the livability, desirability and beauty of Kailua town.”
“The acquisition solidifies A&B’s position as the second largest retail owner in Hawaii,” Benjamin added. “The portfolio includes 386,000 square feet of prime retail and light industrial space in the heart of Kailua, and over 50 acres improved with retail and other commercial centers that are ground leased to third-parties in Kailua and other parts of Windward Oahu and urban Honolulu. The retail portion of the portfolio comprises the majority of the grocery-anchored centers in Kailua, and includes the only Whole Foods store in Windward Oahu.”
“When this transaction and the related Mainland property sales close, we will have shifted, in less than a year, approximately two-thirds of our Mainland net operating income to Hawaii, where we believe we are better able to leverage our local market knowledge,” continued Benjamin. “Eighty percent of our commercial portfolio net operating income will now come from Hawaii assets versus 42% at the beginning of 2013.”
The portfolio includes a diversified and well-occupied mix of fully entitled commercial properties:
The portfolio also includes 76 acres of agriculture-zoned land, and 509 acres of preservation-zoned land, in Kailua.
The Company intends to fund over 70% of the purchase price with proceeds from the sale of a number of its U.S. Mainland commercial properties via tax-deferred 1031 exchanges, with the balance of the funding to come from other 1031 proceeds. The Company expects to temporarily finance the difference between cash funding needs at close and the receipt of cash from planned dispositions.
The Company will host a webcast on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at 11:45 a.m., HST, to discuss the transaction. The webcast presentation will be followed by questions from investors invited to participate in the interactive portion of the discussion. Parties listening via the webcast will be in a “listen-only” mode. Access to the webcast will be via a link called “Kaneohe Ranch and Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Hawaii Assets Acquisition” on the home page and the investor relations page of A&B’s corporate website at www.alexanderbaldwin.com.
HONOLULU – Hawaiian Electric Industries – along with its subsidiaries Hawaiian Electric, Hawaii Electric Light, Maui Electric, and American Savings Bank – is contributing $100,000 to the Filipino Community Center of Hawaii (FilCom Center) for relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. The donation from the HEI Charitable Foundation will be doubled to $200,000 by the Consuelo Foundation, which has pledged to match up to $2 million in donations toward Philippine relief efforts.
“Through HEI’s generous contribution and our partnership with the FilCom Center, we will be able to provide much-needed relief and secure more aid for disaster-stricken victims in the Philippines,” said Jon Matsuoka, president and CEO of the Consuelo Foundation.
In addition to the $100,000 donation, the HEI Charitable Foundation will match personal donations made by employees of HEI and its subsidiaries to relief efforts. Alternatively, donations made directly to the FilCom Center will be matched by the Consuelo Foundation.
“We appreciate the good work of the Consuelo Foundation in partnership with the FilCom Center to support this humanitarian cause,” said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO. “Our thoughts are with the people impacted by this devastating disaster – those in the Philippines and their families here in Hawaii.”
It was a dud. That suspected unexploded ordnance found by a snorkeler Tuesday at DT Fleming Beach in Kapalua contained no explosive components or substance.
The good news was determined around 8:45 Tuesday evening. The U.S. Army’s Explosive Ordnance Team from O’ahu arrived a few minutes earlier and used an x-ray instrument to scan the eight-inch canister brought ashore around 1 p.m. yesterday. After the x-ray was deemed negative, the canister was opened and no explosive contents were found.
The beach reopened at 9:04 p.m.
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