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Big Island Has 3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Last Night

Magnitude 3.1
Location 19.667°N, 156.236°W
Depth 33.8 km (21.0 miles)
  • 25 km (16 miles) W (277°) from Kailua, HI
  • 25 km (16 miles) WSW (256°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 29 km (18 miles) W (281°) from Holualoa, HI
  • 120 km (75 miles) W (268°) from Hilo, HI
  • 247 km (153 miles) SE (137°) from Honolulu, HI


More Here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/hv60226271.php

Kama’aina, Malihini Welcome to Halau ‘Ilima’s 31st Holomua Ka No’eau

Media Release:

The 31st annual Holomua Ka No‘eau concert, presented by Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva and the dancers of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, will be presented on Saturday, April 2nd, at 6 p.m., at the Hawai‘i Theatre Center in Downtown, Honolulu.  This year’s production is entitled “Young Hawai‘i Dances Old Hawai‘i.”

Halau Mohala 'Ilima

The concert is a one-and-only chance to preview the halau’s entire Merrie Monarch 2011 presentation, Miss Aloha Hula, Kahiko and Auana, all in one evening.  Dancers from every class will perform.  Special surprise guests are also highly anticipated. Uncle Babe Bell will blow the Pu (conch shell).

Kihei and Mapuana DeSilva

The music will be presented by Hui Waianuhea o ka ‘Awapuhi, with Na Hoku award-winning musician and kumu hula, Manu Boyd, and friends Glen Smith, Richie Heirakuji, and Kala‘i Ontai; and Dennis Kamakahi, Anuenue Punua and Mahina Paishon Duarte.  Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine will present dancers from her Pua Ali‘I ‘Ilima halau.  This concert is the preview of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima’s 33rd consecutive  presentation in the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.

Kama‘aina and malihini from all over the world will enjoy the wonderful feeling of being grounded and connected, to the cultural wealth and pure enjoyment of true Hawai‘i.

Tickets are $25 and $35 at the Hawai‘i Theatre Box Office.  Call (808) 528-0506, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or order online 24 hours a day at www.hawaiitheatre.com.

For more information on the halau, please visit http://web.mac.com/halaumohalailima/HMI/HMI_Home.html.

House Kills Law That Would Adjust Big Island Public Funding Pilot

Media Release:

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today for a case that challenges one piece of Arizona’s Clean Elections law, which was enacted by voters through a ballot referendum 13 years ago.  This is significant for Hawaii because our pilot public funding law on the Big Island is modeled after Arizona’s.

In anticipation of a negative ruling by the Supreme Court, Fair Elections advocates submitted legislation that would adjust the specific piece of the program that would be affected by the court case.

“Even though the Supreme Court upheld the idea of public funding for elections in the 1976, we’ve seen a new trend with the current makeup of the Supreme Court,” said Kory Payne, executive director for Voter Owned Hawaii.  “In the expectation of a negative ruling from the Supreme Court, we submitted legislation this year that would have adjusted Hawaii’s law preemptively.  That law was killed by Representative Keith-Agaran in the House Judiciary Committee,” he said.

John McComish

John McComish, an Arizona Republican running for state office, originally filed the complaint against their Clean Elections program.  McComish was running against a publicly funded competitor.  Like Hawaii’s law, publicly funded candidates can receive limited amounts of matching funds when their privately funded opponents outspend them.

Proponents of Hawaii’s pilot Fair Elections pilot program say this is a good thing.  “We don’t let people pay judges when they’re interpreting laws, so why would we want private money to determine what laws are made in the first place?” said Payne.

Since the addition of Justice John Roberts during the Bush administration, the U.S. Supreme Court has demonstrated a willingness to step in on campaign finance issues.  Last year, they made a controversial ruling on the case Citizens United v FEC.

After McComish lost his case in a lower court, the Supreme Court stepped in and blocked enforcement of Arizona’s provision last June and decided to hear the case.  This, say advocates of Fair Elections laws, is alarming.

In 1978 Hawaii created its original public funding program during the Constitutional Convention.  The Campaign Spending Commission and the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund were established then, and voters were able to try to qualify to receive public funds.  Advocates lobbied for a modernization to this program in the form of the Big Island pilot.

“Hawaii was ahead of our time when we created the public funding option in 1978, but since then the program has become ineffective and outdated,” said Payne.  “The Big Island pilot program is an exciting new way to resurrect our effort to limit the corrupting influence of money in politics,” he added.

Big Island Man Arrested After Sledge Hammer Attack

Media Release:

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section have taken into custody a 19-year-old man in connection with an assault with a sledge hammer that occurred at a residence in Panaewa on March 25, 2011.

Tevita Moala

On Friday at about 4:00 pm, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of an unconscious male at a residence on Auwae Road in Hilo. Responding officers and Fire Department personnel discovered a 55-year-old man with a severe head injury. The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by medics and was initially listed in serious condition. He was transferred to Queen’s Medial Center on Oahu via air ambulance and has since been upgraded to stable condition following surgery.

Police arrested Tevita Moala at the scene for an unrelated warrant and he was being held in the East Hawaii Detention Center while detectives conducted further investigation into this incident, which has been classified as a first degree assault.

After conferring with Big Island prosecutors, detectives charged Moala for first degree assault and his bail is set at $25,000.00. He is being held in the police cellblock pending his initial court appearance on Monday.

Congressional Inaction on Long-Term Highway & Transit Bill Puts 12,690 Hawaii Jobs at Risk, New Study Shows

Map of the present Interstate Highway System i...

Image via Wikipedia

Media Release:

As partisan bickering and posturing continues on Capitol Hill, the failure to pass overdue legislation that provides multi-year federal aid to state highway and transit programs jeopardizes 12,690 jobs in Hawaii, according to new research.

These employees earn a total annual payroll of $673.1 million and contribute an estimated $53.3 million in state and federal payroll tax revenue.  This employment includes the equivalent of 6,322 full-time jobs directly involved in transportation construction and related activities, and 6,368 that are sustained by transportation design and construction industry employee and company spending throughout the state’s economy, according to the analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF).

The ARTBA-TDF report, “U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile,” revealed the existence of more than 385,103 full-time jobs in Hawaii in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing that are dependent on the state’s transportation network.

The need for road and bridge improvements is clear.  According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Hawaii has 4,365 miles of roadway.  Of the state’s 1,554 miles of roadway eligible for federal aid, 44.5% are rated “not acceptable” and need major repairs or replacement.  This compares to 43% of roads in 2007.  Hawaii also has 1,133 bridges.  FHWA reports 43.2% of the state’s bridges are either “structurally deficient” (143 bridges) or “functionally obsolete” (347 bridges).  It will cost an estimated $1.2 billion to make needed bridge repairs on 775 structures in the state.

The last highway and transit law expired in October 2009.  Federal aid to the states has been sustained ever since through a series of short-term extensions.  The uncertainty of future funding levels is causing state transportation departments to slow down or delay projects, and in turn, impacting hiring decisions and equipment purchases by transportation design and construction firms.

The ARTBA-TDF is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity created to “promote research, education and public awareness.”  It supports an array of initiatives, such as scholarships, awards, safety training and economic reports.

An interactive website—www.transportationconstructionjobs.org—has comprehensive data about the impacts of transportation investment on the national and all 50 state economies.