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    Coffee association inks deal to verify Hawaii origins

    The Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) has enlisted product traceability company Oritain to build a statewide “Origin Fingerprint” database to verify the origins of Hawaii-grown coffee.

    “This partnership will allow us to sample green and roasted coffee to prove its origin,” explains Chris Manfredi, HCA executive director. “The effort will build Hawaii coffee traceability and integrity.”

    Manfredi says the intent is to thwart counterfeiting and build marketability.

    “Coffee counterfeiting is the bane of Hawaii-grown coffee — it represents unfair competition to Hawaii’s growers,” he said. “It undermines our pricing and the generations of growers who have contributed to the exceptional quality associated with Hawaii’s brands.”

    “It’s important to the industry and consumers to know where coffee is grown and in the case of counterfeiting, where it is not grown,” he added.

    Oritain uses scientific testing to measure a product’s stable isotopes and trace elements and verify its origin. The methodology originated in the criminal forensic field and has since been peer-reviewed in scientific journals over the last two decades.

    A product’s origin can be identified by measuring the chemical compositions of plants and animals that vary naturally in the environment. As something is grown, reared or made, it absorbs a unique ratio of elements and isotopes depending on the local temperature, altitude, precipitation, soil conditions, fertilizer and farm practices.

    Oritain runs this data through its statistical models to produce an “Origin Fingerprint” that it then uses to test subsequent samples as they move through the supply chain. Any samples that are inconsistent with the “Origin Fingerprint” have likely been adulterated.

    The technology and the specifics of how it will apply and be implemented for Hawaii coffee will be detailed by Oritain at a 12:45 p.m. presentation Saturday, May 21 during the 2022 HCA conference at the Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa in Keauhou-Kona. Oritain will also have an informative display at the conference’s trade show and is an event sponsor.

    “Our Hawaii coffee industry is excited about this project and its possibilities for the future,” adds Manfredi. “It will build product trust and boost marketability.”

    “Hawaii-grown coffee has earned a world-renowned reputation for its specialty status, farming practices and flavor profile — it is coffee that is unrivalled from anywhere else in the world,” said Oritain CEO Grant Cochrane. “However, with such a strong reputation, brings a temptation to cheat by substituting coffee from other origins and labelling it as Hawaiian. This partnership marks a significant step in deterring this type of behavior by protecting the integrity and reputation of an important specialty crop.”

    The May 19-21 HCA conference offers educational opportunities, interactive workshops on cupping, roasting and field-grafting, plus talks on soil health, on-farm technology and updates on the latest industry research and legislative issues. The winners of the HCA’s 13th annual statewide cupping competition will also be announced.

    Major sponsors of the HCA Conference include State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Oritain, American AgCredit, FedEx, Honolulu Coffee Company, Kauai Coffee Company, Kona Hills, Monarch Coffee, Satake, Savor Brands, Sustainable Agro Solutions, TricorBraun Flex and UCC Hawaii.

    Register for the conference here: https://hawaiicoffeeassoc.org/page-1771716

    Sponsorship and trade show exhibitor opportunities are available and silent auction donations are welcome.

    The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaii-grown coffees. A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Learn more about the HCA at http://www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org/.

    AlohaSafe Alert adds COVID-19 home test reporting

    AlohaSafe Alert, the State of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 exposure notification service, announced an update that allows users to self-report a positive at-home test result.

    The app will also be transitioning to the AlohaSafe Alert Express version, which utilizes the built-in exposure notification features on both Apple and Android devices.

    The free app launched statewide in January 2021 as a way to reduce community spread of the virus and is designed to provide anonymous notifications utilizing Bluetooth technology to people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Since its launch, there have been over 1.6 million activations of the app and 10,330 codes were claimed by people who tested positive for COVID-19.

    An important new feature of the built-in exposure notification service is that users will now be able to self-report a positive at-home test result. The self-report feature allows users to proactively report a positive at-home test results and request a verification code via the exposure notifications setting on their smartphones.

    While PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) laboratory testing remains the gold standard for testing, many people are now taking at-home tests. Home test results are not being added to test databases, which were previously required to generate a verification code for AlohaSafe Alert. This new feature aims to decrease the time elapsed between a positive test result and exposure notifications being distributed, allowing people to anonymously notify others that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

    The self-report feature was piloted in Colorado and has been successful in multiple other states.

    Android users will not be required to update their app to access these features. However, iPhone users will need to turn on Exposure Notifications in Settings to access the new features.

    Besides Hawaii, 26 states and the District of Columbia have also deployed the exposure notification technology. Hawaii was among the first to adopt EN Express, which allowed iPhone users to opt-in to the service without downloading the app and allowed compatibility with older phones to promote greater access across the community.

    AlohaSafe Alert was developed through a public-private partnership with DOH, aio Digital, and the Hawaii Executive Collaborative. It is funded by DOH and donations from the private sector.

    How to turn on Exposure Notifications on an iPhone

    1. Open Settings on your iPhone
    2. Scroll down to Exposure Notifications
    3. Click on “Turn On Exposure Notifications”
    4. Click on “Continue”
    5. Select your Country or Region (select “United States”)
    6. Select your State or Region (select “Hawaii”)
    7. Accept the Terms & Conditions
    8. A pop-up menu will appear asking you to Turn on Exposure Notifications. Click on “Turn On”

    For more information, visit https://www.alohasafealert.org/.

    Hawaiian Airlines to offer trans-Pacific Wi-Fi with Starlink

    Hawaiian Airlines today became the first major airline to announce an agreement with Starlink to provide complimentary high-speed, low-latency broadband internet access to every guest onboard flights between the islands and the continental U.S, Asia and Oceania.

    Hawaii’s largest and longest-serving carrier will equip its Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft, as well as an incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9s, with Starlink’s industry leading satellite internet connectivity service.

    Hawaiian Airlines logo. (PRNewsFoto)

    “When we launch with Starlink we will have the best connectivity experience available in the air,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. “We waited until technology caught up with our high standards for guest experience, but it will be worth the wait. Our guests can look forward to fast, seamless and free Wi-Fi to complement our award-winning onboard Hawaiian hospitality.”

    “Hawaiian Airlines is ensuring its passengers will experience high-speed internet the way we expect it in the 21st century, making hassles like downloading movies before takeoff a relic of the past,” said SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales Jonathan Hofeller. “With Starlink, the inflight experience is greatly simplified so that once passengers step onboard the plane the internet works seamlessly throughout their flight. Soon, passengers will enjoy all the benefits of having the world’s best inflight internet connectivity from the comfort of their seats.”

    In Starlink’s low-Earth orbit constellation of advanced satellites, the latest of which utilize a revolutionary laser mesh network, Hawaiian found an ideal solution to ensure reliable, high-speed, low-latency connectivity on transpacific flights. Guests will be able to stream content, play games live with friends on the ground, work and collaborate in real-time, plan their Hawai’i vacation, or share their special island moments on social media. Connecting to the internet will be seamless when guests walk on board, without registration pages or payment portals.

    Hawaiian and Starlink are in the initial stages of implementation and expect to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year. Hawaiian is not currently planning to deploy the service on its Boeing 717 aircraft that operate short flights between the Hawaiian Islands.

    About Hawaiian Airlines

    Hawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 18 years (2004-2021) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation and was named No. 1 U.S. airline by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers Choice Awards. Consumer surveys by Travel + Leisure and TripAdvisor have placed Hawaiian among the top of all domestic airlines serving Hawaiʻi.

    Now in its 93rd year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaiʻi’s biggest and longest-serving airline. Hawaiian offers approximately 130 daily flights within the Hawaiian Islands, daily nonstop flights between Hawaiʻi and 16 U.S. gateway cities – more than any other airline – as well as service connecting Honolulu and American Samoa, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Tahiti.

    The airline is committed to connecting people with aloha by offering complimentary meals for all guests on transpacific routes and the convenience of no change fees on Main Cabin and Premium Cabin seats. HawaiianMiles members also enjoy flexibility with miles that never expire. As Hawai’i’s hometown airline, Hawaiian encourages guests to Travel Pono and experience the islands safely and respectfully.

    Sea Life Park gets long-range Wi-Fi

    Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@plhnk?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Paul Hanaoka</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/collections/28038399/wi-fi?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
    Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash.

    Sea Life Park and Sun Global Broadband (SGB) have deployed the latest in communications technology to enhance the park visitor experience.

    Visitors to the East Oahu marine park now have seamless Wi-Fi connectivity to share live video of their experiences with friends and family worldwide, post to social media, and in the near future pre-order meals and drinks remotely from anywhere within the Park.

    “Fast seamless connectivity across the Park grounds will encourage social sharing and video streaming of the wide variety of the Park’s activities, whether it be interacting with the dolphins or exchanging marriage vows at Seaside Gardens,” explains Edward Sun, founder and CEO of Sun Global. 

    “We are glad to work with SGB to provide Wi-Fi to our guests, allowing them to share the special experience they have at Sea Life Park with their friends and families,” says John Reilly, COO of Palace Entertainment, Sea Life Park’s corporate parent. “Now guests can stream and share every part of the visit to Sea Life Park, from the stunning seaside setting to the amazing marine life that call this place home.”

    SGB’s unique Super Long-Range Wi-Fi technology blankets the park with safe, low-power service, supporting thousands of daily guests as well as special events inside and along the perimeter of Sea Life Park. The Park network also connects seamlessly with SGB’s network that spans from Diamond Head to Waikiki, providing increased touchpoints with visitors.

    “This upgrade will also expand visitor knowledge of the park and allow follow-up communications to encourage return visits,” Sun says. “It also allows for live video conferencing and expanded event packages at the Wedding Chapel and Luau Venues at Sea Life Park.”

    SGB has strong relationships with tour groups and airlines, as well as a partnership with NTT Broadband Platform, Inc. (NTTBP), a leading Wi-Fi service provider in Japan.

    About Sun Global Broadband:

    Founded in 2014 with the mission of building a wireless bridge between Asia and Hawaii, Honolulu-based Sun Global Broadband offers a state-of-the-art private and mobile international Wi-Fi network that enhances convenience for international travelers and provides a greater cultural exchange between visitors, Hawaii businesses and communities, Asia and North America. For more, visit SunGlobalBroadband.com.

    About Sea Life Park:

    Founded in 1964 in East Honolulu, Sea Life Park is Hawaii’s #1 marine park, where guests can enjoy the company of dolphins, sea lions, rays, sharks, native fish and more. With a focus on educational and interactive programs, Sea Life Park has been committed to the research, protection and preservation of the native marine species of Hawaii, and to educating visitors on the importance of ocean conservation and sustainability. For more, visit SeaLifeParkHawaii.com.

    Free Wi-Fi photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash.

    Homeland Security thwarts attack on Oahu undersea cable

    Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Honolulu disrupted a cyber-attack on an underwater cable linking Hawaii and the Pacific Region to critical telecommunications, including the internet, cable service, and cell phones. The breach specifically targeted infrastructure on Oahu.

    “This is only one of the many examples of cyber incidents that HSI has responded to in Hawaii and the Pacific Region,” says Special Agent in Charge John F. Tobon. “Not only do we aggressively pursue these bad actors, but we also provide significant support to the private sector victims.”

    Last week, based on a tip from HSI Agents on the mainland, an HSI Honolulu Cyber Incident Response Team disrupted the significant breach involving a private company’s servers associated with an oceanic undersea cable. Agents immediately implemented protocols to prevent any further unauthorized access.

    Furthermore, an HSI investigation identified an international hacking group responsible for the attack. HSI agents and international law enforcement partners in several countries were able to make an arrest. No further information will be released pending prosecution.

    “HSI Honolulu is on the frontlines of the cyber fight every day, and our expertise in this area is unmatched,” says Tobon. “We live in paradise, but that does not mean there is a diminished threat, particularly in the cyber world. Our goal is to interrupt the hackers before serious damage is done.”

    HSI uses cutting-edge technology and the extensive cyber expertise of its workforce to conduct high-impact investigations into people and networks who commit online criminal activity. Additionally, as access to and utilization of the internet expands globally, people, organizations, and companies rely more heavily on digital information and records, substantially increasing the number of criminal cyber intrusions in the U.S. and abroad.

    Damage or disruption to critical telecommunications infrastructure in Hawaii was prevented, and there is no immediate threat at this time.

    Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through international trade, travel, and finance.

    Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

    Hub Coworking opens second location in Waikiki

    Hub Coworking Hawaii has announced a second location in the International Market Place in Waikiki, with a grand opening scheduled for June 2022.

    The new Hub location is touted as the first coworking space in Waikiki, bringing the “Work From Anywhere” movement into the heart of Hawaii’s tourism Mecca and providing a flexible 2,500-square-foot space mere steps away from a wide variety of visitor amenities.

    The location has begun its “soft opening,” utilizing the front half of the location and providing free coworking until March 21.

    “This decentralized work space presents the opportunity to foster community for kama‘āina while still serving the needs of business travelers and remote workers,” said Nam Vu, cofounder of Hub Coworking Hawaii. “Waikiki is a quintessential location in Hawaii with a vibrant community of locals, restaurants and shops.”

    As the Hub’s second location, this space will cater to local entrepreneurs, small business owners, as well as traveling professionals in need of a productive and collaborative work environment in the heart of Waikīkī. Membership prices will range from $40 for two days of coworking a month to $350 for unlimited coworking a month.

    The Hub Waikiki will be located on Level 2 Mauka Court at International Market Place next to Mitsuwa Market Place and across from Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats.

    Since its inception in 2017, “the Hub” — formerly Impact Hub — has allowed people to change they way they work, gather, build community and make an impact together.

    Started in Kakaako by George Yarbrough and Nam Vu, Hub Coworking Hawaii is a local multipurpose space for coworking, small in-person and virtual events, meetings, studying, idea smithing, and more. The Hub is home to a range of companies from nonprofits, startups, small businesses and national corporations.

    A Hawaii Kai location, crowdfunded in 2019, did not open as scheduled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

    For more information on the Hub community and about its COVID-19 Safety protocol, please visit HubCoworkingHI.com or follow @HubCoworkingHi on Instagram and Facebook.

    Hawaiian Telcom touts $100 million fiber expansion

    Last year, Hawaiian Telcom says it set a new record in capital spending to expand fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) availability and improve broadband connectivity in Hawaii.

    The company says it invested more than $100 million to expand and support its next generation fiber network, connecting an additional 30,000 locations throughout the state. With FTTP broadband service, customers can access 500Mbps uploads, which Hawaiian Telcome says is the fastest upload speed in the state.

    “Our core purpose at Hawaiian Telcom is to connect and empower Hawaii, so we are accelerating our fiber expansion to bring the benefits of high-speed broadband access to more people in more places throughout our state than we’ve ever done before,” said Su Shin, president and general manager.

    Areas enabled with FTTP in 2021 include Kapa‘a, Hanamā‘ulu, and Hanapēpē on Kaua‘i; Kula and Makawao on Maui; Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hilo, Kaumana, Kea‘au, Mountain View, Nā‘ālehu, and Volcano on Hawaii island, and ‘Aiea, ‘Āina Haina, ‘Ewa Beach, Kahalu‘u, Kapolei, Mākaha, Mililani Mauka, Nānākuli, Waialua, Wai‘anae, and Waikiki on Oahu.

    More than 215,000 locations in Hawaii now have access to Hawaiian Telcom’s ultra-fast FTTP services.

    FTTP brings a fiber connection all the way to homes and businesses, providing a far superior experience in speed and reliability than any other type of internet connection. In addition to transmitting data at much faster speeds, fiber-optic cables are more durable and less susceptible to elements such as water and electromagnetic interference.

    Last year Hawaiian Telcom says it leveraged federal programs, including the Connect America Fund (CAF), to expand FTTP broadband access to nearly 1,000 locations in underserved areas statewide.

    The federal funds, which represent less than 10 percent of Hawaiian Telcom’s total capital investment, helped to offset some of the high costs to build to these rural areas that include ‘Āinaloa, Hakalau, Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Honomū, Kea‘au, Mountain View, Pāpa‘aloa, Pōhaku, Umauma and Volcano on Hawaii island as well as portions of Olinda, Pi‘iholo and ‘Ulupalakua on Maui. 

    “Imagine the possibilities when everyone from keiki to kūpuna, from Hilo to Hanalei, has access to the benefits of online education, e-commerce, telehealth opportunities and the countless benefits that broadband can offer,” Shin said. “Our team is actively working to make this a reality.”

    Residents and businesses can log onto hawaiiantel.com to check if their home or business qualifies for Hawaiian Telcom’s FTTP products and services.

    About Hawaiian Telcom

    Hawaiian Telcom, established and headquartered in Honolulu since 1883, offers a full range of services to business and residential customers including Internet, video, voice, data network solutions and security, colocation, and managed and cloud services – all supported by the reach and reliability of its next generation fiber network and 24/7 state-of-the-art network operations center. For more information, visit hawaiiantel.com.

    AFCEA Hawaii opens STEM scholarships

    AFCEA Hawaii this week announced its 2022 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) scholarships and grants application season.

    AFCEA Hawaii is a non-profit membership association for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the field of communications, information technology, intelligence and security. Its more than 800 members make up the local chapter of AFCEA International, founded in 1946.

    High school seniors, college students, teachers, and organizations are highly encouraged to apply through May 31,2022. Awards will be applied to the 2022-2023 school year.

    The AFCEA Hawaii Chapter works with the community at large—private, public and academia—to increase the investment in STEM education throughout Hawaii. AFCEA Hawaii has a long history of supporting Hawaii-based students, teachers and professionals and has contributed over $2,000,000 in scholarships and grants to enhance learning and education initiatives in STEM.

    Over the past six years, Hawaii-based students have been awarded $442,000 in merit-based scholarships. The STEM grant program began two years ago and has awarded $70,000 to teachers, advisors and other organizations providing STEM programs to K-12 students in the state of Hawaii.

    Scholarship Application:

    STEM Grants Application:

    First Tropical AgTech Conference to be held in Hilo

    Conference to Introduce Innovations for Increased Tropical Agricultural Productivity and Efficiency

    Top thought leaders and industry influencers in agricultural technology will gather in Hilo in June to tackle the food problem in the tropics, where the highest levels of hunger currently exist.

    The inaugural Tropical AgTech Conference, hosted on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, will be an opportunity to introduce innovative technologies that are being used successfully throughout the world.

    With climate change already disrupting food production in these regions, finding solutions that increase productivity, efficiently and profitably is necessary and urgent.

    “This conference focuses on the tropical region, small scale farms and new high value crops,” noted conference co-organizer Jim Wyban. “Finding ag-tech solutions for smallholder farms in the tropics is challenging, as they must increase productivity and efficiency, be climate-smart, relatively farmer-friendly to use and economically viable at small scale production.”

    Wyban is working with Jason Ueki, executive director of the Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition, to plan the two-day event.

    “This conference differentiates itself from other AgTech conferences by including breeding technology that can assist farmers achieve more valuable production capacity,” Wyban adds.

    Conference organizers say that Hawaii can play a critical role by incubating tropical ag-tech ideas and solutions, especially given its year-round climate, microclimate zones, as well as research and development already underway in the islands.

    Registration is now open at tropagtech.com to anyone interested in learning and participating in solutions for smart, sustainable tropical agriculture. 

    • WHAT: Tropical AgTech Conference 
    • WHEN: June 22-23, 2022
    • WHERE: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center, 342 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720
    • COST: $200 for in-person or live streaming at tropagtech.com

    For kama’aina discount, please use code: kamaaina

    To stay up to date on the latest details of this year’s Tropical AgTech Conference, visit tropagtech.com and join the Tropical AgTech social community on Facebook at TropAgTech, Instagram at @tropagtech, and Twitter at @AgtechTropical.

    With physical collector cards, Aloha NFT plans ‘Alohachella’ launch

    With a Polygon grant, Aloha NFT will launch “Alohachella” on February 22, featuring digital and physical collectables designed by Hawaii artists

    Hawaii-based NFT marketplace Aloha NFT has scheduled its “genesis drop” for this week.

    Dubbed “Alohachella,” the launch of its first major NFT collection is funded in part through a grant from Polygon Studios. It will involve artwork from 22 local artists and physical collectors’ cards as well as the digital versions.

    “”I feel like crypto and NFTs are here now, and we must provide a platform for our artists, community and especially, our children, to engage and create,” said John Prime, who co-founded Aloha NFT with Daniel Kim and Ka’iulani Kauihou.

    Prime also founded 808 Urban.

    “Despite Hawaiʻi’s limitations on crypto exchanges, Aloha NFT has found a way to provide local collectors a fun and engaging way to access NFTs,” added Kauihou, founder of Hawaii publishing company Hiʻohia.

    “We want local artists and collectors to participate in the NFT movement by making NFTs easy and accessible through physical NFT redemption cards,” explained Kim, founder of NFT4Good. “This allows users of all levels to participate in collecting NFTs that may or may not have an existing crypto wallet.”

    The physical cards, powered by Meteor NFT, feature QR codes to facilitate redemption.

    The “Alohachella” launch is made possible through Polygon Studios, the NFT arm of the layer-two Ethereum scaling network called Polygon (MATIC). The studio, which debuted last July, is committing $100 million to projects utilizing the Polygon blockchain.

    Aloha NFT launched in April 2021 with a mission to help the next generation of local creatives in Hawaii “share their aloha” with the rest of the world, utilizing blockchain technology.

    “Alohachella” Launch Details

    • The collection will drop at 2:22 p.m. on February 22, 2022 at AlohaNFT.com.
    • NFTs will sell for $30 each and will be issued through a redeemable physical collectors’ card.
    • 22 NFT art pieces with 100 editions each will be made available.
    • Five rare holographic versions of each NFT will be randomly minted.
    • 80 percent of profits go directly back to the participating Hawaii artists.
    • 10 percent of profits will be donated to a local Hawaii charity.
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