By Jeff King
A Makawao man, on the last leg of a l-o-o-n-g flight, returning from Asia for the holidays, has become the 10,000,000th Hawaiian Airlines passenger of 2014.
For the record, it took Hawaiian from the time the wheels left the ground in 1929 all the way to 1967 to carry that many folks. This year it took just 351 days. Also for the record, December 1967 was the first month in which Hawaiian carried a million passengers. And today, almost home, Harrison Matthews of Makawao was the 10 millionth passenger. Matthews is a 2005 graduate of Seabury. He has been in Asia for the last four years.
Prior to boarding Flight 386 from Honolulu to Kahului Airport (which departed at 10:13 a.m.) president and CEO Mark Dunkerley surprised the mystery traveler, Harrison Matthews of Maui, with a gift of 250,000 HawaiianMiles and awarded all travelers on Flight 386 with 1,000 HawaiianMiles as part of the celebration.
For being there, then, Matthews received 250,000 frequent flier miles which he says he can most definitely use. All passengers on Flight 386 were credited with 1,000 Hawaiian Miles.
Hawaiian Airlines’ first 10 million passengers took nearly 40 years to carry from 1929 to 1967. The former and late president John H. Magoon marked the occasion in December 1967, when Hawaiian Airlines also surpassed the milestone of carrying one million customers annually. Forty-seven years later, Hawaiian Airlines is celebrating almost a 40-fold achievement, carrying just as many passengers in 11 and a half months.
HONOLULU — Coast Guard law enforcement officers will enforce a temporary security zone in waters off Kailua Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. The temporary security zone is necessary to ensure the safety of the President of the United States.
The security zone will be in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Jan. 5 unless canceled earlier by Captain Shannon Gilreath, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port.
The Coast Guard is coordinating with the Honolulu Police Department, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and other federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies on patrols of the area under the direction of the Secret Service.
The maritime security zone includes a portion of Kailua Bay, beginning at Kapoho Point and extending westward to the shoreline near Kailuana Loop. The zone also includes the adjacent canal beginning near Kapoho Point to a point extending the canal way to approximately 150 yards south of the North Kalaheo Avenue Road Bridge.
A marker will be placed on Kailua Beach, a yellow buoy will be placed on the water and an orange marker will be placed in the canal for visual references of the zone.
Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 165.33), the temporary law prohibits any unauthorized person or vessel from entering or remaining in this security zone. Any person entering the zone without the permission of the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port is subject to a penalty of not more than $40,000 for each violation or a criminal penalty resulting in imprisonment of not more than 10 years.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) congratulated Hawai‘i’s own Marcus Mariota on winning the Heisman Trophy.
CNN reports: University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the best college football player in the United States, on Saturday night during a ceremony in New York.
Mariota beat two other finalists, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon. KHON-2 shared the broadcast.
Mariota, a junior, is the first player from the University of Oregon and the first native of Hawaii to win the Heisman, according to www.heismancentral.com, a website operated by the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Now, an unusual battle of the Heisman winners is in the offing. Oregon, a No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, will face No. 3 seed Florida State, led by last year’s Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, on January 1.
Each year, the Heisman Memorial Trophy recognizes an outstanding college football player whose performance best demonstrates the pursuit of excellence with integrity. This season alone, Marcus Mariota, the University of Oregon’s star quarterback, accounted for 53 touchdowns, leading Oregon to a 12-1 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Saint Louis School graduate was also recently honored with the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and Walter Camp awards.
Today, Air Canada rouge launches its first flights to the Hawaiian Islands, providing additional access for visitors from our core North America market.
The first flight from Vancouver to Honolulu is scheduled to arrive today at 9:40 p.m. with air seat capacity of up to 280 passengers. Air Canada rouge will also establish a Vancouver to Kahului flight which will commence in December. These two routes will operate daily during the peak winter months from November 2014 through April 2015. A Toronto to Honolulu route will also launch in December and operate twice weekly. This new route for Hawaii will provide access from Canada’s third largest market area. These three routes are anticipated to generate an estimated $57 million in visitor expenditures or $6 million in tax revenue for the state, during the winter period.
Interim Hawaii Tourism Authority Ronald Williams, commented, “As we look to reaching a record 11.1 million air seats in 2015, we will continue to work with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and our industry partners to ensure there is sufficient demand to sustain these seats.”
The Hawaii Department of Health has confirmed a patient is currently in isolation and undergoing testing in Honolulu over concern he may have contracted the Ebola virus. Following is the report from Honolulu partner, KHON-2.
The Hawaii Nurses Association said the person is being treated at The Queen’s Medical Center. Officials told KHON-2 Ebola is a possibility, however the patient has yet to be specifically tested for the virus.
“We are early in the investigation of a patient — very, very, early, who we’re investigating that might have Ebola,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, deputy state epidemiologist. “It’s very possible that they do and they have Ebola, I think it’s also more likely that they have another condition that presents with similar symptoms.”
Dr. Viray said the patient could have a number of illnesses including Ebola, flu, malaria and typhoid.
Dr. Viray wouldn’t confirm any details about the patient, symptoms, or if the person had recently traveled to West Africa. But she did say red flags for Ebola include fever and recent travel to that area.
“Why is this person being isolated?” KHON-2 asked. “When we’ve asked the hospitals to tell us about is anyone with a travel history, and anyone with a fever, and when those things come together, we’ve asked them to be very careful and in an abundance of caution while you’re working, for whatever else might be going on, also make sure you isolate against Ebola, just in case,” she said.
“So it sounds like this person does have a fever and recently traveled to West Africa,” KHON-2 asked. “Again, I can’t be the one to confirm that,” Dr. Viray said.
The patient is currently being kept in a regular room and anyone who goes in or out must wear protective gear, officials said. “They’re monitoring who goes in and out of that room and making sure that everybody as safe as possible, while the patient is being evaluated for Ebola and what other conditions that patient might have,” Dr. Viray said.
“Should the public concerned?” KHON2 asked. “No, absolutely not. Like I said, this is a possible case we’re investigating. We don’t know if this is Ebola or a number of other conditions,” she said.
Health officials say it’s too early to say if the person will be tested. There are 1,400 nurses assigned to work at The Queen’s Medical Center. The hospital has assured them that procedures are in place to protect them while the patient is being monitored. A message sent to all employees Wednesday said that the hospital is “evaluating a patient for possible symptoms that may be consistent with Ebola.”
The union that represents the nurses was tipped off about the message Wednesday afternoon. Joan Craft, president of the Hawaii Nurses Association, immediately contacted the hospital for assurance that safety procedures are in place to protect her members.
“Blood and fluid procedures are safe, but there are a lot of contagious things you can come in contact with,” she told KHON2. “Ebola is very frightening, but procedures are safe and we just want to make sure everyone knows that.”
The HNA also wanted to make sure that if someone is pregnant or otherwise uncomfortable dealing with the patient, that he or she does not have to be involved in the monitoring of the patient. Experts gave us that reassurance last month and said then that unless you traveled to an area that was experiencing an outbreak, the risk of contracting Ebola is very low.
There is no room designed specifically for Ebola at Queen’s Medical Center, but the hospital says it is equipped to deal with the virus if needed.
“If someone showed up in the ER with suspected Ebola symptoms, they would immediately be placed in an isolation room,” Erlaine Bello, Queen’s Medical Center infectious disease specialist, previously told KHON-2. “The door would be closed at all times. There would be a facilities log kept of everyone who entered the room and anyone who entered the room at a minimum would be wearing gloves, eye protection, goggles and a mask and impermeable gown.”
Dr. Bello said major hospitals and the health department have a good relationship with the federal CDC and that the state itself has the resources and the expertise to handle a case of Ebola if it were to appear here in the islands.
Washington, DC – A new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) audit released today found that the average wait time for new patients seeking primary care at the VA Medical Center in Honolulu was 145 days, significantly higher than the desired goal of the VA. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called the findings of the wait times in Hawai‘i unacceptable and called for improvements in access to health care for veterans.
“This excessive wait time is unacceptable. It is clear that the VA needs additional resources to match increasing demand for health services,” Senator Schatz said. “Our veterans deserve better. That is why I’m
supporting legislation that would cut wait times and establish a major new VA medical facility on Oahu that would double VA clinical services on the island.”
Last week, Senator Schatz announced his support for bipartisan legislation authored by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would make the VA more accountable and
improve access to health care for veterans. It would allow the VA to reallocate $500 million in unspent funds to hire new doctors and nurses, expanding the pool of health care providers to help reduce the wait times for veterans. The bill would also authorize a $15.88 million lease for the Advance Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access (ALOHA) Center in the Ewa Plain of Oahu. Once completed, the 118,000 net usable square-foot ALOHA Center will double the VA’s existing clinical capacity on Oahu, helping veterans get the timely care they need by alleviating the demand for existing services at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. The facility is initially expected to provide care to 15,000 veterans, with enrollment growing annually as more veterans visit from the North Shore and the center of the island.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement on data revealed today showing Honolulu’s Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center has the longest average wait time – 145 days – in the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) system when it comes to new patient primary care appointments.
“These long wait times for new patients at Honolulu’s Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center are extremely troubling. The medical center faces challenges involving neighbor island transportation and access, but these should not be excuses. Prior to this data release, my office reached out to the VA Inspector General’s Office asking for an impartial review and verification of wait time data for Hawaii-based VA medical clinics and centers. The audit released by VA today makes clear that we need to get to bottom of what is going on in the VA system in order to take appropriate action. I will also introduce bipartisan legislation this week to provide immediate relief for waiting veterans who require emergency procedures.”
Download Hirono’s letter to the VA here: http://www.hirono.senate.gov/download/letter-to-va-ig.
Copyright © 2015 - Island News Technologies, LLC - All rights reserved