Paradise Roller Girls “Honey Badgers” Send 20 to the Mainland

Paradise Roller Girls’ Honey Badgers shared the Aloha and traded blows with four other teams at the Wild West Showdown outside of Seattle, Washington, March 2-4. After finding out they were accepted into the Showdown just 6 weeks before the date the Paradise Roller Girls launched into action and held a flurry of fundraisers to raise enough to send the team of 16 skaters, 2 coaches and 2 referees to Seattle. The Big Island community and fans from abroad rose to the occasion and through their generous support helped Paradise Roller Girls exceed their $10,000 goal and allow the Honey Badgers to participate in the premier roller derby event.

The Honey Badgers skated in four bouts over the three day Showdown. Though they did not bring home a victory, Paradise Roller Girls certainly won the hearts of all in attendance. The Honey Badgers turned in an even performance over their four bouts and were regarded as some of the hardest hitters at the event. The first bout was against Sin City Roller Girls, final score 221 to 64. The following day the Honey Badgers faced the Slaughter County Roller Vixens, followed by the Bellingham Roller Betties (final score 201 – 84).  For the final day of the Showdown the Honey Badgers bouted against Humboldt Roller Derby for an end score of Humboldt 203 to 72.

During the first half of PRG’s final bout the teams were holding even until Humbolt took a commanding lead before the half-time buzzer. Spirits flagging, the Honey Badgers went to the bench for half-time. With 10 minutes before second half, Honey Badger and hula dancer Destinee “Big Daddy’s Addiction” Pakani brought the team to their feet for an impromptu half-time hula on skates. Facing the crowd, the whole team began to dance to the intense delight of the audience. The spectators in the bleachers and balcony were cheering so loudly that the bout in-progress on the neighboring track stopped in the middle of play to skate around the barrier and watch. The Humbolt team even joined in the dance. Every eye in the stadium was on the “Hawaii Girls” as they finished their performance with an “AaaalllloooHA!”

The Honey Badgers were cheered on for all four days by “Roarin Lauren” Selden and her family. Lauren is PRG’s brave Big Island Babe who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer shortly after her 11th birthday. Leaving their home on the Big Island the Selden family moved to the Seattle area where Lauren is receiving treatment at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. As part of their visit Paradise Roller Girls donated $2,500 to the Selden family to help with medical costs. The Seattle roller derby teams have rallied around her family as well, holding benefit bouts and fundraising events. Throughout the Showdown “Roarin’ Lauren!” was a rallying cry for the Honey Badgers.

The Paradise Roller Girls are looking forward to hosting their Showdown opponents on the Big Island in the future. All four teams plus two others want to travel to Hawaii for another opportunity to play the Honey Badgers.

“The entire experience was incredibly positive,” said PRG President and Honey Badger Mari “Bad Brains Betty” Ortega. It was PRG’s finest moment to date “everyone just really came together – our teamwork, our unity. We played hard.”

The Paradise Roller Girls are set to start their official season on June 23 with the debut of their four home teams – the Hilo Bay Bruisers, Volcano Vixens, Mauna Killahz and Kona’s Tsunami Slammers in a double header at the Hilo Civic. The girls will be warming up with a pre-season scrimmage at the Kona Old A’s on May 5. More details on paradiserollergirls.com.

More on Honolulu Rail Transit by Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Last week Congressional Candidate Bob Marx released the following comments regarding Honolulu’s Rail Transit Project.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

I just received the following update:

I’ve been asked before how a rail advocate like me can be against the proposed HART project. Let me make this clear: I am an ardent supporter of mass transit systems. Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Reverend Martin Luther King’s speech denouncing the war in Vietnam and standing up for the poor.  In this spirit, thousands of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) supporters and working people across the country stood up to have their voices heard. I commend the efforts of the folks out there on the streets in their own communities demanding that federal cuts to public transportation be stopped.

The bitter reality is that the proposed GOP budget and cuts nationwide to mass transit systems make it highly unlikely that Hawai‘i will receive the $1.5 billion in federal subsidies that Honolulu is relying on to fund the steel-on-steel elevated rail program. I cannot support a project that does not produce enough local jobs for the people of Hawai‘i nor benefit the people of my district. We are not supporting our local economy (or even the American economy) by outsourcing $1.4 billion in construction and maintenance of the trains to an Italian-owned business venture with questionable success rates. And writing the bill off on future generations or people in rural Oahu who won’t have direct access to the system is not right either.

To me, public transportation–like health care–should be a universal right for all our citizens. Dr. King knew this to be true. As this historic day draws to a close, we must be reminded that the main goal of public transportations should not be to alleviate traffic for weekday shoppers and sports fans, but to help those struggling to find work, or those paying $25 a day on gasoline and maintenance for their 40 mile commutes.

Dr. King called “urban transportation a true genuine civil right” and with ever-rising gas prices, we must make every effort to help those in the most need. The hard working people on the Waianae Coast–many struggling now just to get by–should be the first with access to a modern rail system. As the cost of living has steadily risen in the last decade, folks on the Makaha Valley have lost over 22% of their income. A modern, grounded maglev train from the Makaha through Nanakuli to Ewa beach can help those that need it the most, and at a fraction of the cost.

If the main goal of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit (HART) is merely to alleviate traffic congestion in downtown Honolulu, I believe there are easier ways. It’s less than a quarter-mile from Hickam Air Force Base to Iroquois Point; a bridge (or tunnel if that better suits the Navy) would greatly alleviate traffic in downtown and provide an alternate route to the leeward side of Oahu and beyond. It would help everyone from Ewa Beach to Waianae to the commuters going west to east in the evenings.

Bob Marx practices law in Hilo, Hawai‘i and is a Candidate for Congress in the Second District.

Wordless Wednesday – Underwater Skateboarding in Haleiwa, Hawaii

I thought this video entitled “Underwater Skateboarding Haleiwa Hawaii” was worthy enough for my Wordless Wednesday category.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/9g-5J05BIiQ]

Hilo Man Arrested After Using Cell Phone to Record Females in Public Bathrooms

Big island police charged a Hilo man Monday (April 2) in connection with two incidents from Saturday night (March 31).

Faavae E. Tuinei

Thirty-five-year-old Faavae E. Tuinei was arrested after South Hilo patrol officers took two separate reports of a man using a cellular phone to record females in public bathrooms.

Tuinei reportedly went into a women’s public bathroom in Hilo and used a cellular phone in a bathroom stall to record a 24-year-old woman using the bathroom in the next stall. When witnesses confronted him, he left the area on foot.

Less than an hour later, Tuinei was allegedly observed using a cellular phone in an adjacent stall to record a 13-year-old girl using a public bathroom in the Panaʻewa area. A relative of the victim detained him until police arrived.

Tuinei was arrested and held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation. On Monday night, they charged him with two counts of first-degree violation of privacy. He remained in the cellblock in lieu of $20,000 bail until his initial court appearance in South Hilo District Court on Tuesday afternoon (April 3).

Abercrombie Releases Funds for Mamalahoa Highway, Pu’uwa’awa’a Gets the Drain

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $600,000 in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for road improvements in the Pu’uwa’awa’a area of the Mamalahoa Highway on the Island of Hawai’i.

The project is slated to start in July 2012 with an estimated completion date of December 2014. The improvements will include the design of an underground drainage system to help rain runoff from flowing across the highway. The system will include drain lines, grated drop inlets and a drainage basin. Related improvements in the area include the design for a retaining wall and realigning the roadway as necessary to improve safety.

“Improving safety within this particular section of Mamalahoa Highway has been one of my top priorities and I’m happy to hear that we’ll be receiving the funds necessary to provide the highly needed improvements in highway infrastructure,” explained Representative Cindy Evans, who represents District 7 – North Kona, South Kohala.

“The improvement in the drainage system to help prevent rain runoff is part of a series of improvements that have been made in this section of the highway,” added Rep. Evans, who serves as the House Majority Floor Leader. “The State Department of Transportation has added guard rails and lowered the speed limit; these new improvements will only help contribute to making this area of the highway safer.”