News Bites

Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Exactly how much land in Hawai‘i is used for agriculture?

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has released an agricultural land use study which provides information on the location of commercial agriculture activities statewide.

The 2015 baseline study updates the last survey done in 1980 and provides current information and maps of the locations of Hawaii’s farms and ranches. The 1000 page report published under contract with UH Hilo is intended to help the community to make decisions about agricultural land use in the state.

The Eddie Will Go

Feb 9, 2016
Noyle
Noyle

6:30am update: The Eddie has been called off. Event officials say the big wave surf contest will not run at Waimea Bay today due to slowly building conditions. 

5:30am update: The Eddie MAY Go.  Swell has shifted, with Waimea no longer getting a direct hit.  Start of contest may be delayed till noon.  Officials are contemplating running a modified heat format. 

Parking in Waimea valley has been filled for hours, and there are reports of heavy traffic delays. 

After a six-year wait…Eddie will GO.

Global Reactions / Flickr
Global Reactions / Flickr

Toyota will discontinue its line of Scion cars later this year.

Scion was formed in 2003 to attract a younger American market with experimental designs and easily customizable body kits. You may remember the infamous “toaster shaped” XB model. Although more a million cars were sold nationally, several years of slumping sales and a lack of connection to the intended market are being blamed for the decision.

But here in Hawai‘i, local dealerships sold more than 12,000 Scion cars, with half of those sales going to people under the age of 35.

Duncan Hull / Flickr
Duncan Hull / Flickr

Here's a story to take you back to high school biology class.

You may recall that the "Y" chromosome is present in all males.  While a lot remains unknown about that gene, a recent study shows that it can be mimicked or replaced. The application of that knowledge could lead to advances in fertility treatments.

A team from the Institute for Biogenesis Research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine spent the last 2 years researching replacements for the Y chromosome.

bluewaikiki.com / Flickr
bluewaikiki.com / Flickr

Some change is in the works at Honolulu’s largest art museum.

Stephan Jost is stepping down as the director of the Honolulu Museum to lead Canada's largest art gallery the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Over the last five years he oversaw the rebranding of the museum’s different locations including the Spalding House on Tantalus and the historic Doris Duke estate on the slopes of Diamond Head.

Jost is credited with balancing the museum’s budget as well as increasing the museum’s attendance, programs and membership.

Christopher Michel / Flickr
Christopher Michel / Flickr

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will remain in its current form.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had proposed broadening the sanctuary to include a larger area and the protection of other species.

But after a lengthy process including public hearings and discussions with the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, NOAA has decided to withdraw its proposal.

Allen Tom is the Regional Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Pacific Fire Exchange
Pacific Fire Exchange

Scientists with the University of Hawai‘i are mapping the human impact of wildfires in the islands.

Over the past decade, the state has experienced on average, more than 1,000 fires burning over 20,000 acres each year.  Relative to total land area, the percentage of Hawai‘i’s land that burned from 2005 to 2011 was roughly equivalent to a fire consuming the western United States.

Robert Hartwick
Robert Hartwick

Box jellyfish are responsible for more deaths each year than shark attacks.  But despite the danger, scientists and medical professionals still do not agree on the best way to treat and manage jellyfish stings.

Researchers at UH Mānoa have developed an array of experiments to allow scientists to safely test first-aid measures used for box jellyfish stings without using human subjects.  By creating an artificial skin with human cells, scientists were able to simulate a sting and test different scenarios.

TravelingOtter / Flickr
TravelingOtter / Flickr

A project to measure sediment runoff on Lāna‘i is connecting the effectiveness of watershed restoration techniques used on land. Runoff is caused by soil erosion, allowing dirt to flow downstream where it empties onto coral reefs.

Alan L / Flickr
Alan L / Flickr

Hawai‘i residents will have a rare opportunity to visit the telescopes atop Mauna Kea.

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will begin a series of tours beginning this Saturday to see the telescopes and learn about the cultural and environmental importance of the mountain. The Kama‘āina Visitor Experience is held on every third Saturday, and space is limited.  It’s offered on a first come, first served basis with only 24 seats available each month. 

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