In Print

  • Counterfeit coffee: Senate bill to re-introduce mandatory certification for green advances

    West Hawaii Today - February 4, 2019

    KAILUA-KONA — Counterfeiting isn’t a crime limited to printing fake currency.

    Falsifying a brand name, for instance, can be just as profitable, providing sellers and distributors access to markets and price points they could never achieve otherwise.

    It’s unclear just how frequently coffee counterfeiting has happened around Kona, Ka‘u and other popular Hawaii brands since the recession required the state roll back a number of inspector positions at the state Department of Agriculture.

  • Ancient Hawaiian site in Kalaeloa threatened

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - January 30, 2019

    The future of Kalaeloa Heritage Park remains uncertain. In early January, the Hawaii Community Development Authority board voted unanimously to proceed with terminating a 40-year lease with the park's curator, the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation.

    The Kalaeloa Heritage Park is home to several cultural structures, remnants of an ancient Hawaiian village including sinkholes that were once filled with drinkable water, and a restored Hawaiian trail. Thomas Cleek walks past a sinkhole that was once filled with drinkable water.

  • Bill allowing dogs in Hawaii restaurants introduced, referred to committees

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - January 29, 2019

    A bill that would allow restaurant owners to decide whether dogs are allowed on their premises has been introduced at the Hawaii State Legislature.

    State Rep. John Mizuno introduced House Bill 681, and Sen. Mike Gabbard introduced Senate Bill 1152, proposals that would allow a change in state health codes so that a restaurant owner or manager can allow dogs in their restaurants, providing that certain conditions are met. Both passed first reading and have been referred to various committees.

  • Hawaii legislators introduce measures to protect sharks, rays

    West Hawaii Today - January 21, 2019

    KAILUA-KONA — Save the sharks?

    Most people are familiar with the slogan “save the whales” as well as the efforts behind curbing the whaling industry and limiting plastic pollution in oceans to help protect some of the world’s largest mammals. But a couple of state legislators in Hawaii believe sharks and rays are in equal need of protection.

    Rep. Nicole Lowen, D-North Kona and chairwoman of the House Environmental Protection and Energy Committee, introduced a bill that would make it illegal to knowingly kill, capture or abuse any variety of shark or ray in state waters.

  • Great white sharks are no strangers to Hawaii

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - January 19, 2019

    With the recent viral video of a massive great white shark off the South Shore of Oahu, it may be valuable to note that such sharks are routinely present in Hawaii waters and might visit here at any time of the year.

    Carl Meyer, shark researcher with the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, said scientists don’t know why these apex predators make their way to the islands.

  • Bills would protect Hawaii’s sharks, rays

    The Garden Island - January 19, 2019

    State Sen. Mike Gabbard and state Rep. Nicole Lowen have introduced companion measures in their respective chambers that will offer greater protections to Hawaii’s sharks and rays.

    The proposals would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly capture, take, possess, abuse, or entangle any shark or ray, whether alive or dead, or kill any shark or ray, within state marine waters.

  • Researchers come face to face with huge great white shark

    The Washington Post - January 18, 2019

    HALEIWA, Hawaii — Two shark researchers who came face to face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.

    Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist, told The Associated Press that she encountered the 20-foot (6-meter) shark Tuesday near a dead sperm whale off Oahu.

    The event was documented and shared on social media by her fiancé and business partner Juan Oliphant.

  • State Biosecurity Plan Update

    Honolulu Public Radio - January 7, 2019

    The State Department of Agriculture briefed members of the Senate today on some of its budget priorities.

    Biosecurity: keeping out invasive species like the Brown Tree Snake from Guam is one of the top priorities for Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee Chair, Mike Gabbard, who reviewed the State Department of Agriculture Budget request.

    “You know I was looking at your report and it mentioned that 90 percent of all the vessels coming from Guam had been inspected and Brown Tree Snake – BTS – if they ever come here it’s gonna be a $2B impact on our economy.”

  • Spark Up Your Cannabis Knowledge: The second annual Maui Cannabis Conference brings cannabis education to the masses

    Maui Time - January 2, 2019

    The Maui Cannabis Conference returns to the Royal Lahaina Resort this weekend for a weekend of cannabis-related education, entertainment, and networking. The goal of the two-day event is to build awareness and bridge education for the various health and economical benefits of cannabis for legal medical use, and industrial hemp. The conference will be a gathering of cannabis experts, educators, industry leaders, and local politicians. Without a doubt, there will be many opportunities to learn, network, and create discussion.

  • 2nd Hawaii Hemp Conference Set for Dec. 1

    Big Island Now - November 14, 2018

    Just after Hawai‘i’s first legal hemp harvest, the second annual Hawaii Hemp Conference will gather the industry’s most knowledgeable hemp experts from the islands—and the world—at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu on Dec. 1, 2018.
    The event will offer information from leading researchers, farmers and entrepreneurs about hemp cultivation, sales and marketing, and a full expo hall with hemp vendors and products.

  • States are stepping up to end animal testing in cosmetics while federal legislation stalls

    The Hill - August 17, 2018

    The use of non-animal tests to assure consumer safety has followed an upward trajectory for at least the last 20 years and that trend has accelerated as countries around the world move to prohibit the use of animal tests for cosmetics. The most significant boost to this trend is the closing of the European market to animal tested cosmetics which came into force in March of 2013.

  • Some Sunscreen Harms Reefs—Warming Could Mean More of It

    Worry over environmental damage is being pitted against public health concerns
    Scientific American - August 15, 2018

    Climate change, in general, is a bad thing. But for sunscreen manufacturers, there’s opportunity in a warmer planet—though maybe not one that’s always environmentally friendly.

    Over the last several years, U.S. sunscreen sales have risen steadily, bolstered in part by skin cancer concerns. One industry estimate found that over-the-counter sun care sales had grown from roughly $1.16 billion in 2014 to nearly $1.23 billion in 2017. Other research published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology noted a related increase in sunscreen unit sales from 2011 to 2016.

  • Will A Second State Move To Ban Chlorpyrifos?

    AGPRO - July 30, 2018

    On July 30, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation released its comprehensive risk assessment of chlorpyrifos. Per that document, a scientific panel has recommended chlorpyrifos be listed as a toxic air contaminant (TAC). Now, the state’s department has 10 working days to officially begin the process to list chlorpyrifos as a TAC.

    As defined in California, a TAC is “an air pollutant which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health.”

  • Mangoes on parade

    West Hawaii Today -July 22, 2018

    KAILUA-KONA — The 10th annual Mango Festival held Saturday at Hale Halawai was about more than just the mango or the dozens of varieties that grow throughout Hawaii.

    It was, for many at this weekend’s festival, a way to promote a way of eating that is both sustainable and supports local farmers.

    “You can act responsibly and sustainably to take care of the land, take care of yourself and, most of all, to be an example of what it is to live in paradise,” said Randyl Rupar, president of Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, the nonprofit that put on the event.

  • Best to ditch plastic straws

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - July 18, 2018

    The plastic straw is an easy target for environmental change. Because it’s largely unnecessary — and because of the need to cut waste that ends up in the ocean, of course — more than a dozen cities, including Seattle and several in California, have recently either banned it or are requiring eatery customers who want a straw to ask for it.

    Hawaii’s Legislature and was one of three that this year weighed straw measures. While legislation in California and New York is pending, it has stalled here. Still, the push should continue.

  • State grants hemp licenses

    The Garden Island - July 8, 2018

    HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has issued the first licenses to growers under the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

    In June, three industrial hemp licenses were issued to Raymond Maki of Kilauea, 10 acres, and Gail Baber and Thomas Pace, both of Hawaii Island, 10 acres each.

    Each license is valid for two years as long as the licensee complies with the program rules, including submission of annual fees of $250 plus a $2 per acre assessment. The time from planting to harvest is estimated to be anywhere from three to six months.

  • Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral

    San Francisco Chronicle - July 7, 2018

    That long-awaited Hawaii vacation just got a little more complicated for Californians and other tropical holiday lovers who slather sunscreen on their pale skin between dips in the aqua blue water.

    The state of Hawaii will ban two chemicals commonly used in sunscreens starting in 2021, a move that will force visitors from more temperate climes like San Francisco to begin using products that don’t harm the environment.