Announcements: February 19, 2021

  • Three elusive trees — the Wauke­ (left), Koki‘o ‘ula (center) and A’e (right)­ — have yet to be crowned in the Hawaii Big Tree competition. If nominated, one of these trees will likely be crowned a national champion. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Meetings set to discuss new rules for solid waste facilities

The Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management Solid Waste Division will host informational meetings to discuss the newly enacted Administrative Rules for the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill, West Hawaii Organics Facility, East Hawaii Reload Facility, and the East Hawaii Organics Facility.


Meetings are set for 5 p.m. Monday at Spencer Kalani Schutte District Park Gym (Waimea District Park) in Waimea and 5 p.m. Feb. 24 at Aupuni Center Conference Room.

For more information, contact the Solid Waste Business Services Section at (808) 961-8339 or or visit The rules can be viewed at

Give local Special Olympics athletes a virtual high five

A quick tap of your fingers is all you need to support local athletes in Special Olympics Hawaii’s first-ever Virtual High Five Campaign that aims to help athletes with intellectual disabilities who have all been impacted by the unprecedented shutdown of in-person sports. You can “send a virtual high five” by making a donation of $5 (or more) by text now through the end of April.

To make a donation, text SOHI5 to 44321. You will then receive a secure online link that will direct you to Special Olympics Hawaii’s Virtual High Five Campaign donation page. Donation can also be made online at

Funds raised through the Virtual High Five Campaign will help Special Olympics Hawaii continue to provide virtual and online programs, and ensure over 3,400 athletes can safely “return to play” with the proper personal protective equipment and supplies. Special Olympics Hawaii provides year-round sports programs and training for athletes with intellectual disabilities, free of charge.

For more information, visit:

Nominations sought for Hawaii Big Tree Competition

As the spring season nears, it also marks the beginning of the annual Hawaii Big Tree competition.

This competition, sponsored by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and nonprofit organization American Forests, aims to find the largest trees of native species and to raise awareness about the importance of healthy trees and forests. Hawaii has been competing with states across the nation in American Forests’ Big Tree Competition since 2011.

This year, the National Register of Big Trees represents 644 species across 45 states and the District of Columbia. Currently, the American Forests database has 22 champion tree species eligible for nomination in the State of Hawaii, including one new champion tree species for the state: the false kamani (also known as the tropical almond). Thirteen of Hawaii’s champion tree species are endemic to Hawaii, meaning they’re found nowhere else in the world.

Hawaii has 19 current champions of the 22 species available that were found and nominated by the community as the largest trees of their species. Three elusive trees — the A’e, Koki‘o ‘ula and Wauke­ — have yet to be crowned in the Hawaii Big Tree competition. If nominated, one of these trees will likely be crowned a national champion.


To replace a current champion, the challenger tree must have more total points. Points are calculated using trunk circumference, height, and crown spread measurements.

To nominate a tree, contact Hawaii Big Tree Coordinator Brayden Aki at (808) 587-0164 or email to and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread, as well as the tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated). The deadline for nominations is May 31.

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