Puna Ohana Day at Maku’u Farmers Market

What: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Invites You to the Puna Ohana Day!

Come and join local practitioners as they share their knowledge of cultural arts and crafts.  Explore the native garden and have fun on a scavenger hunt.

Where: Maku‘u Farmer’s Market

When: Saturday, April 21, 2012  from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Who: Everyone! Children of All Ages Welcome

How Much? FREE!!!

Call 985-6019 to reserve a space and lunch for your ‘ohana.

Sponsored by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, Maku‘u Farmers Association and Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center

Carvalho Park in Hilo Re-Opened Today

Joy, fellowship and family were the themes for an April 12 ceremony commemorating the reopening of an improved and expanded Gilbert Carvalho Park in Hilo.

"We re-opened Gilbert Carvalho Park in Hilo today. I really enjoyed getting to meet Mrs. Ruby Carvalho and her daughter Geldine Namahoe. The park is named after Mrs. Carvalho's late husband Gilbert, one of Hawaiʻi's greatest athletes who passed away at the age of 25." said Mayor Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda joined Carvalho family members in the blessing ceremony for the park’s new off-street parking area located mauka of the baseball field.

“If it wasn’t for him, we could never build this place because we had no money,” Councilman Ikeda said of Mayor Kenoi’s willingness to help finance the safety improvements.

Mayor Kenoi expanded on the message Pastor Renee Godoy delivered before formally blessing the recent improvements and untying a maile lei, which officially opened the new area. Joy, fellowship and family were the reasons for Thursday’s event, he said.

“Our children, regardless of how challenging the economy is, deserve safe, healthy, positive places to be,” Mayor Kenoi said.

Mayor Kenoi credited Councilman Ikeda for having the vision to improve the park and the persistence to see the project realized. He also praised the cooperation between the County Departments of Parks & Recreation, Public Works, and Environmental Management to get the project done.

Councilman Ikeda presented Ruby Carvalho, widow of Gilbert Carvalho, with a framed copy of a 1955 County Council resolution naming the park after him. Although he passed away at age 25, Gilbert Carvalho was described in the resolution as “Hawai‘i’s greatest athlete.”

The gravel parking lot, which doubles the amount of available parking, has a two-tiered design that provides for outstanding vantage spots for watching games and other park activities. Connecting the lot to the ball field is a new bridge that crosses a fresh-water spring and natural pool, adding to the park’s accessibility and ambiance.

County personnel were assisted by Hawai‘i Correctional Industries to do the initial clearing of the jungle area to assess the area, determine the best layout for motorists, and build the parking area.

For years, spectators who flock to the park to watch baseball and softball games have parked along the shoulder and grassy median of Waiānuenue Avenue. This practice has impeded ambulances and other emergency vehicles rushing to nearby Hilo Medical Center, creating a serious hazard for both park users and people needing medical treatment.

A certificate commemorating the Hawai‘i Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and acknowledging its efforts to perpetuate Portuguese culture was presented to Margo Aguiar, widow of Dennis Aguiar. The annual Dennis Aguiar Portuguese Day-in-the-Park is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 15. In celebrating all things Portuguese, the festival will feature an 11 a.m. performance by the Hawai‘i County Band, genealogy booths and the serving of free Portuguese bean soup and bread at noon.

The new parking lot is part of an approximately $890,000 upgrade that includes remodeling of the gymnasium restrooms, new paved walking paths meeting federal accessibility standards, and installation of new bleachers.

Gilbert Carvalho Park features a lighted baseball field, gymnasium, pavilions and keiki playground. It attracts numerous users, including youth, adult and kupuna sports teams. The park serves as the site for softball tournaments and parties, and is home to the popular Dennis Aguiar Portuguese Day-in-the-Park Festival.

Another Victim in Highway 130 Rock Throwing Incident

Big Island police have charged the suspect who was in custody on suspicion of throwing a large rock through the windshield of a moving motor vehicle Tuesday (April 10) on Highway 130 in Puna.

Police also located a second victim, a 52-year-old Pāhoa woman who reported that the man threw a rock at her car shortly after the first incident but that she applied her brakes and was able to avoid being hit.

Police Mug shot of John Vezina

The suspect, 49-year-old John Vezina of Hilo, was charged at 2:13 p.m. Thursday (April 12) with first-degree criminal property damage and first-degree attempted criminal property damage.

Police are looking for anyone else who may have encountered someone throwing rocks at vehicles Tuesday near the intersection of Highway 130 and Highway 132. Anyone with information about rock throwing is asked to contact Detective Joel Field by phone at 961-2381 or by email at jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Meth Head Busted for Robbing Homeless Man in Kona

A Kona man has been charged with robbery and drug charges following an encounter early Wednesday (April 11) in Kailua-Kona.

At 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Kona patrol officers responded to a parking lot in the Hanama Place shopping area. A 43-year-old Kailua-Kona man with no permanent address reported that he had been sleeping outside a business building when he woke up to find an acquaintance forcibly removing money from his pants pocket. The victim struggled with his assailant until the assailant brandished a pocket knife and then fled with the cash.

Marcus Anthony Winkler

No one was injured in the struggle.

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, a Kona patrol officer located the suspect on Aliʻi Drive in the Kailua-Kona town area and arrested him. Officers found a glass smoking pipe with a crystalline residue believed to be methamphetamine, along with drug paraphernalia.

The suspect—31-year-old Marcus Anthony Winkler of no permanent address in Kailua-Kona— was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 1 p.m. Thursday (April 12), detectives charged him with first-degree robbery, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $70,000.

He remains at the Kona cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (April 13).

State of Hawaii Files Lawsuit Against Seven Major Credit Card Companies

Today the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii filed lawsuits in First Circuit Court against seven major credit card companies, alleging that these companies improperly charged their Hawaii customers for products not requested or for products that did not provide the benefits claimed.

The suits are being brought by the State of Hawaii by Attorney General David M. Louie, with the State of Hawaii being represented by local attorney Rick Fried in association with two mainland firms, Golomb & Honik of Philadelphia, and Baron & Budd of Dallas.

An example of an alleged improper charge is where a credit card company bills a consumer for something called “payment protection” or something similar, which supposedly pays the cardholder’s required minimum monthly payments in certain circumstances. The consumer is not told of the numerous restrictions, and often the consumer doesn’t qualify for the product in the first place. Solicitations for these products are often telemarketing calls using predatory tactics to sign up customers for services they either don’t want or don’t qualify for.

The suits point out that, unlike other telemarketers, these credit card companies already have their customers’ credit card information and therefore are able to charge their customers for products without their knowledge or consent.

The seven credit card companies that have been named as defendants are Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, HSBC, and their subsidiaries.

The State has requested injunctive relief to stop the alleged illegal practices, full restitution for all affected consumers, and penalties, which could subject the credit card companies to up to $10,000 per violation. If awarded, restitution funds would go directly to consumers and penalties would go to the state’s general fund.

Please call Rick Fried at (808) 524-1433, if you believe you have been a victim of such conduct. When you call, please mention that your call relates to possible payment protection fraud.

Kona Historical Society’s Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series Presents “Spearfishing and the Evolution of Freediving”

“Spearfishing and the Evolution of Freediving” are the subjects of speaker Richard “Sonny” Tanabe in the fourth free monthly presentation in Kona Historical Society’s Hanohano ‘O Kona -Honoring Kona Lecture Series. Scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tanabe’s talk takes place at West Hawai‘i Civic Center, where Kealakehe Parkway intersects with Ane Keohokālole Highway.

A self-described “barefoot boy from the island of Hawai‘i,” Tanabe began his swimming career by free diving with his uncle off the coast of Hilo. Soon his father persuaded him to participate in the activities of Hilo Aquatic Club coached by Sparky Kawamoto. Tanabe was an All-America swimmer at Hilo High School and Indiana University, where he earned NCAA and AAU honors. He won a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team that participated in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

After serving in the military and returning to Indiana University to earn an MS in Physical Education, he became Assistant Aquatic Director and Swim Coach for Hinsdale Township High School in Hinsdale, Ill. It wasn’t too long, however, before he came home to Hawai‘i to teach and coach for more than 33 years at Kamehameha Schools.

In addition to his commitment to competitive swimming, Tanabe has enjoyed spear fishing and free diving all his life, recently writing books about each of them. He has also given back to the world of aquatics by volunteering his talent and time to various organizations and competitions connected with water sports.

The Hanohano ‘O Kona – Honoring Kona Lecture Series is hosted by the County of Hawai‘i.

Month Long Celebration of Music in Hawaii – 2nd Annual Mele Mei

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) and the Hawaii Tourism Authority (“HTA”) are excited to announce live concert events featuring Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners and nominees at premiere Waikiki hotels as part of the 2nd Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of the music of Hawai‘i, from April 27 through May 29, 2012.

Click for more information

These concerts will be held at Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, The MODERN Honolulu, The Royal Hawaiian, and Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Find out more about our hotel partners and the artists, below.

A summary of the concert events is, as follows, by venue, in alphabetical order.

HALEKULANI – HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY

• Tuesday, May 8, 2012 • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring WAIPUNA

• Tuesday, May 15, 2012 • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring MAILANI MAKAINAI

• Tuesday, May 22, 2012• 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring KUPAOA

• Tuesday, May 29, 2012 • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring MARK YAMANAKA

Halekulani Ticket Information: Free
Halekulani Parking: Valet
Halekulani Event Information: Tel. (808) 923-2311

HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE WAIKIKI BEACH RESORT – GREAT LAWN

• Friday, April 27, 2012 • 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Presents Na Hoku Hanohano All-Stars – featuring ROBI KAHAKALAU, NAPUA MAKUA and AMY HANAIALII

• Friday, May 18, 2012 • 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Presents Na Hoku Hanohano All-Stars – featuring MAUNALUA, CYRIL PAHINUI, and JOHN CRUZ

Hilton Ticket Information: $20 General. $50 VIP. $600 VIP Table for Six (includes food & beverage); Food & beverages available for purchase; All proceeds benefit the 34th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk (www.charitywalkhawaii.org).
Hilton Parking Information: $5 Self-Parking. $13 Valet.
Hilton Event Information: Tel. (808) 949-4321 or www.hiltonhawaiianvilllage.com/mele

The MODERN Honolulu – POOL DECK

• Saturday, May 26, 2012 • Time: TBA
The Modern Honolulu Presents Island Rock Pool Party – featuring THE THROWDOWNS and PIMPBOT

The MODERN Ticket Information: TBA
The MODERN Parking: Valet
The MODERN Event Information: Tel. (808) 943-5800

THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN – MONARCH ROOM
Thursday, May 24, 2012 • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The Royal Hawaiian Concert Event: Na Wahine Hanohano – featuring TERESA BRIGHT and NATALIE AI KAMAUU

The Royal Ticket Information: $42 Pre-Sale. $49 at the Door (includes parking validation)
The Royal Parking: Valet (see above)
The Royal Event Information: Tel. (808) 923-7311

MOANA SURFRIDER, A WESTIN RESORT & SPA

Moana Surfrider Presents the Sounds of Waikiki
(All Moana Surfrider event information TBA)

Please visit www.melemei.com for all event updates and ticket information.

MORE CONCERTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

Avid Kona Fisherman Caleb Wolfson Dies in Kailua-Kona Motorcycle Crash

A 38-year-old Kona man died early Thursday morning (April 12) from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle crash Wednesday night (April 11) at the intersection of Henry Street and Palani Road in Kailua-Kona.

Caleb Wolfson "Papio shot on my birthday off Hualalai" (Facebook photo)

The victim has been identified as Caleb Wolfson of Kailua-Kona.

Responding to a 10:22 p.m. call Wednesday, police determined that Wolfson had been operating a 2006 Yamaha motorcycle eastbound on Henry Street when he struck a concrete barrier and was ejected from the bike.

Fire/rescue personnel took him to Kona Community Hospital, where he died at 3:12 a.m. Thursday.

It is not known if he was wearing a helmet, but a helmet was found at the scene. Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case and ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 11th traffic fatality this year, compared with seven at this time last year.

Kona Meth Dealer Steals Rental Car

A Kona woman who allegedly stole a rental car has been charged with seven offenses.

Michelle T. Regohos

On March 4, Kona patrol officers received a report that 29-year-old Michelle T. Regohos had not returned the 2012 Nissan Altima sedan she had rented at the Kona airport. Police put out an all-points bulletin for the woman and the car.

At noon on Tuesday (April 10), a Kona patrol officer located Regohos in the vehicle in Kailua-Kona. The license plates of the car had been changed. Police arrested Regohos and took her to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued to investigate the case.

The investigation led to a search warrant for the sedan. When detectives searched the car, they found 31 zip packets and a glass smoking pipe, all with crystalline residue believed to be methamphetamine, along with other drug paraphernalia.

At 8 p.m. Wednesday (April 11), detectives charged Regohos with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, two counts of theft (for the license plates), two counts of promoting a dangerous drug and two counts of drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $11,500.

She was held at the cellblock until her initial court appearance Thursday (April 12)..

George Gomes Jr. Named Executive Chef at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Island son George Gomes Jr. is the new executive chef at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. In the new post, Chef Gomes will oversee all menus, buffets and banquets at the recently renovated property, focusing on the seaside, flagship restaurant, Honu’s on the Beach.

George Gomes Jr. Named Executive Chef at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

“Our style at Honu’s will be farm-to-table cuisine, with bold, assertive flavors,” describes Gomes, who was born and raised on the Big Island. “Our menu will be ingredient-driven, utilizing as many local products as possible.”

Serving most recently as executive chef at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Gomes brings a wealth of culinary experience to the Kona dining scene. In the 1990s, he teamed up with Chef Jean-Marie Josselin to enhance menus and service at restaurants on O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i. In 2000, he became corporate executive chef of Tri-Star/Jas Restaurant Group, establishing eateries in Waikiki and Maui. In addition to dazzling diners in Hawai‘i, Chef Gomes has been a guest chef in New York City, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and Taipei, Taiwan.

“I anticipate using my experience in cultures and cuisine to enhance our food and service,” adds Chef Gomes. “We look forward to welcoming our kama‘aina back to our newly renovated property.”

Honu’s is open 6-10:30 a.m. for breakfast and 5:30-9 p.m. daily for dinner. The popular Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet is 5:30-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are recommended, phone 808-329-2911. For information on hotel accommodations, visit www.konabeachhotel.com, or find us on Facebook.

North Hawai‘i Community Hospital Receives Grant to Support 24th Annual Senior Health Fair

North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) has received a $5,000 grant from the Richard Smart Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation to support its 24th Annual North Hawai‘i Senior Health Fair. Ken Wood, President and CEO of North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, said the funds will be used to support this community outreach event.

A patient has his blood pressure checked at the North Hawaii Community Hospital

“With this grant, our hospital is able to continue this annual outreach event in our community, which is often the only time seniors in our community have the opportunity to receive health screenings by physicians, registered nurses and other medical professionals,” said Wood. “This event provides complimentary health screenings and wellness education to nearly 350 seniors in North Hawai‘i and helps to fulfill the hospital’s mission ‘to improve the health status of the people of North Hawaii by improving access to care and providing high quality services at a reasonable cost.’”

Complimentary health screenings offered at this event include: cholesterol, glucose, oral screenings, hearing tests, stroke risk assessments, skin checks, eye screenings, holistic care services, foot screenings, blood pressure, blood tests by Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i and more. Health education will also be available to North Hawai‘i seniors by the following vendors: Tutu’s House, Hawai‘i Fire Department, American Cancer Society, Chiropractor, North Hawai‘i Hospice, Kohala Home Health Care, Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i, Diabetes Wellness Center, Foodland, Legal Shield and more.

NHCH’s 24th Annual Senior Health Fair, normally held in November, has moved to Sunday, May 20th, 2012 to support National Senior Health and Fitness Day. This event is held at North Hawaii Community Hospital and registration is open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with lunch, bingo and prizes to follow. For more information, please contact Laurie Edmondson by calling 808-881-4425.

NHCH Background: North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) is a rural 29-bed acute care hospital located in Kamuela, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Non-profit, community owned and locally governed, the hospital opened in May 1996 and cares for Big Island residents and visitors. NHCH offers an extensive set of hospital services that are centered on patient needs, creating a healing experience for the whole person – mind, body and spirit.

Hawai‘i Community Foundation Background: Established in 1916, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is a statewide, charitable services and grantmaking institution endowed with contributions from many donors. Hawai‘i Community Foundation is a steward of more than 500 donor funds, including more than 150 scholarship funds, and distributes charitable funds to Hawai‘i’s nonprofit organizations through a variety of programs. Hawai‘i Community Foundation also serves as a resource on philanthropy and community investing.