NEWS

Legislator sees gold at end of rainbow-locating app

A House resolution backs the creation of state-approved arch-viewing spots

Rob Shikina (rshikina@staradvertiser.com)     March 22, 2015     Star Advertiser

Chasing rainbows would become a new recreational activity in Hawaii under a proposed pilot project that will predict where the next colorful arch will appear.

State Rep. Sharon Har introduced a House resolution for the project after one of her constituents, Paul Cynn, a Korean inventor, created a method for predicting the next rainbow.

Cynn is currently working on a smartphone app that will show users the best place and time to catch the next rainbow, she said Saturday.

“This is actually a really brilliant idea,” Har said. “He actually already has the formula in determining when a rainbow is going to hit.”

She said Cynn sees rainbows as a natural resource in Hawaii that should be tapped for the state’s benefit.

Cynn could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Har’s measure, House Concurrent Resolution 199, is scheduled for its first hearing Wednesday.

The resolution said the “Rainbow Stop Pilot Project” would create “state-approved rainbow viewing locations throughout the state … similar to a scenic viewpoint where residents and tourists would be able to pull their vehicle over to a safe roadside area in order to view Hawaii’s natural, beautiful rainbows.”

The resolution says viewers could take photographs of Hawaii’s rainbows and promote the islands’ natural beauty with the rest of the world.

“It’s kind of an interesting idea,” said state Rep. Tom Brower, chairman of the Tourism Committee.

Brower, who co-sponsored the bill, said he chuckled when he first heard about the idea, but he knows of places where he’s seen rainbows frequently and said marketing those areas could be a possibility.

Har said Cynn is working with a University of Hawaii professor on gathering scientific data that will help predict the next rainbow, such as the rotation of Earth and changing weather conditions.

If the resolution passes, the state Parks Division would post signs saying “Rainbow Stop” at rainbow viewing locations. And if the project proves to be a success, it will be expanded outside of parks, wherever rainbows can be seen, Har said.

The Honolulu Tourism Authority also has agreed to market the project in tourism materials if the pilot is successful, Har said.

She said Rainbow Stop will enhance the Hawaii experience, especially for visitors who have never seen a rainbow.

“This is just further marketing the beauty of our islands and what a unique place we are,” Har said. “Rainbows are prevalent. You can easily find them through this application. Go and do something different.”

A website about the effort was created at rainbowstop. org.