Funds Released for Kona Community Hospital Capital Improvement Projects

A portion of the more than $34.2 million of Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds released today by Governor Neil Abercrombie will benefit Kona Community Hospital.

The Kona Community Hospital will receive $5,000,000 in CIP funds towards the repair and upgrade of emergency disaster infrastructure at the hospital, including replacement of elevator, water sprinkler, and chiller systems; reroofing to repair leaks above the emergency and operating rooms; and upgrades within the emergency room.

“We thank the Governor for his support of Kona Community Hospital,” said Representative Denny Coffman (District 6 – North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau).  “These funds will allow Kona Community Hospital to better serve the communities and residents of Kona.”

“We need to make sure our hospital infrastructure can meet the demands on it,” added Rep. Cindy Evans (District 7 – North Kona, South Kohala).  “I’m pleased the Governor released funding to ensure the infrastructure is in top condition to meet the treatment of patients.”

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx On Early Childhood Education

Bob Marx calls on Congress to increase funding for early childhood education immediately so that we create a brighter future for the next generation of Americans.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Speaking to a group of Big Island residents today, Marx stated: “The time is now to invest in early childhood education. We cannot afford to wait any longer. The state of our education system here in Hawai‘i is in shambles – our schools fall far below the national average, and many are below developing countries like Singapore. Less than half of our keiki entering kindergarten is prepared for elementary school, mostly due to not attending preschool.”

There have been dramatic cuts in preschool and pre-K programs nationwide. The results of these cuts have been especially devastating in Hawai‘i: 1 in 3 of our third grade students cannot read. “The problem is that we are on the wrong side of trying to solve the problem at the third grade level – when what we should be doing is investing in preventative measures like early education,” Marx stated.

Recent statistics show that for every $1 spent on early education there is a $4.20 return on that investment in taxpayer savings by reducing the amount of spending on social welfare services. Hawai‘i spends $16,520 per student per year to attend public schools versus $46,720 per person per year to house our prisoners. Long term studies show the quality early education leads to reduced crime, promotion of the importance of education, resulting in a more skilled workforce. The annual rate of return nears 10% on every dollar spent on early education.

“We need to start investing in young children. We can do this by making sure there is sufficient funding to train more teachers,” Marx added. “We need to stimulate this struggling economy, but we need to invest in the things that matter, in the things that will have a long-term benefit for our ’Ohana. Pouring millions into infrastructure, like fixing roads and potholes is a great way to create new jobs in the short-term. But what happens when the roads are fixed and the potholes are filled? What kind of return on that investment do we get? I can tell you that the return is nowhere near the return we will see if those same dollars are spent on early education,” Marx stressed.

“Very young children are some of the most underrepresented sector of our population. Did you know that 85% of the human brain develops before the age of 5? Children’s brains are much more active than adult brains – in children ages 3 to 10, brain function is 2 ½ times that of an adult. Studies show that poor experiences as a young child lead to devastating effects later in life, including unhealthy relationships, poor dietary habits and the inability to hold a job,” Marx continued.

Our state spends three times as much money housing prisoners than it does on education for our children: $46,720/year vs. $16,520/year. Nationally, the Federal Government spends 8 times more money on Defense than on Education. Instead of spending $1 million on one bomb, that same money could be spent on paying 25 teacher’s salaries at $40,000/year.

“We need to start investing in human potential now. It cannot wait any longer,” Marx stressed. “People insist that we cannot instill the importance of education in families who don’t put an emphasis on going to school. How can we instill the value of education to parents and grandparents who did not finish high school? We must start by investing in early education.

“Behavior is learned, but if we can instill the importance of educating our children, then we can stop that cycle. Our children are our future, and if we don’t invest in our future now, pretty soon it will be too late. We are at a tipping point. If we don’t act immediately, the long-term effects will be irreversible. If we don’t put in the money now, there will be nothing to cash in on later,” Marx continued.

“The amount of money spent of welfare services: medical assistance, food stamps, welfare subsidies, special education programs, family interventional services, mental health services, and corrections, pales in comparison to what can be saved by investing in our kids. All the millions and millions of dollars we spend annually on these services would be dramatically reduced if those same dollars were invested in educating our children now. Every five hours a child is born into poverty in Hawai‘i. We need to ensure that all of those children have access to a quality education so that they can create a better life for themselves and their families,” Marx concluded.

Bob Marx is a Democratic Candidate for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, which represents rural Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and the Big Island

Tomorrow – Hawaii Community College’s 24th Anniversary Earth Fair

COME ONE! COME ALL! It’s the biggest event Hawaiʻi CC puts on each year. The EARTH FAIR is our largest outreach to the people of the Big Island where we host them for a day of fun and educational activities and. This year there will be 50 + exhibits and more giveaways. Hawaiʻi Community College’s 24th ANNIVERSARY Earth Fair will feature an environmental presentation by Jesse Law – the Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle.

The event goes from 9AM to 4:00 PM. Several schools will be participating in field trips in the morning, so the public should come at noon. There will be 50 BOOTHS AND EXHIBITS with ENTERTAINMENT and ACTIVITIES ALL DAY.

Featured performers are Hawaiʻi Community College’s Unukupukupu; Ukulele and Hula by students from Kua O Ka La PCS, Hawaiʻi Community College students in a Trash Fashion show, To’a Here Tahitian dancers, Tupalaga O Samoa Mo A Taeao -Samoan dancers, Japan Club dancers, music by Ras Sparrow, IBIS with Dave Seawater and One Journey. Students and visitors may participate in Face Painting, Crafts, Garden tours and Puppetry. Building 388-101 will be the venue for the showing of ENVIRONMENTAL VIDEOS, which will be available for the kids and for the general public.

The event is FREE and there will be many surprises and giveaways for school participants and the general public with bags full of gifts, plants, goodies, and informational brochures.

Hawaiʻi Community College Forest Team and Agriculture departments as well as and other native plant growers will donate over 1,000 FREE NATIVE TREE SEEDLINGS and edible herbs.. There will be FREE LEMONADE, FREE POPCORN, FREE FRUIT, COOKIES and many other giveaways available for fair attendees.

Parking is FREE at the Manono campus, and student volunteers will be directing visitors to the parking lots at the rear of Manono campus. The “Fair Grounds” are centrally located on the lower campus near the cafeteria and adjacent buildings. Booths and exhibits will give out important educational information to help make us all better Earth Citizens. This Celebration provides a great opportunity to share important environmental news and education with our island community. Plan to attend and help advertise the Fair to your family, friends, church, and organizations. For more information contact Roberta Brashear-Kaulfers at 966-7002 (brashear@hawaii.edu), or Larissa Leslie at 934-2732. Exhibitors may contact Graceson Ghen graceson@hawaii.edu. Thanks to our sponsors Hawaiʻi CC Student Life Council (SLiC), Hawaiʻi Community College Student Government (SG),and Creative Arts Hawaiʻi.

Come and enjoy yourself at Haw CC’s Earth Fair. Become more aware and dedicated to conservation and sustainability issues in your environment. This is Hawaiʻi CC’s signature even, so remember that it’s the College’s outreach to the community that sustains us. Let’s all work together to help make it great. See you at the Fair!

Hawaii State Third Circuit Court Dismisses the Action Filed that Attempted to Block Opening of Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School

On April 18th, Hawaii State Third Circuit Court Judge Glenn S. Hara granted the joint motion of the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) and Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS) to dismiss the action filed by the Hawaii State Teachers’ Association (HSTA), Robert Beekman and Andrea Wilson that attempted to block the opening of the Charter School. Laupahoehoe Alumni and Community Association joined BOE and LCPCS in the motion to dismiss.

Judge Hara ruled that the HSTA, Mr. Beekman and Mrs. Wilson had no standing to present claims on appeal from the BOE’s January 24th order for the Charter School to hold local school board elections on or before September 30 2012. The BOE decision and order also provided for LCPCS to open in the 2012-2013 school year.

An increasing number of parents of prospective students from across the island have already contacted Loida Navalta, Administrative Consultant for the Charter School. LCPCS, which opens its doors to students on August 1st, has room for more than 400 students and anticipates an increase over the current year in enrollment.

Incoming students are excited about the partners and new programs that will be offered at the Charter School. For information about enrolling new students, contact Loida Navalta by email at info@laupahoehoecharterschool.com or call 808-430-8699. For more information about LCPCS, go to the website (www.laupahoehoecharterschool.com). Questions and concerns about the charter school may be presented at the public Interim Local School Board meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm (the website will list the most up to date information).

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Puna Girl

5/4/12 *UPDATE* She has been located.

Big Island police are searching for a 15-year-old girl reported as missing from Puna since April 11.

Jaysha S. Arnold is described as Portuguese, 5-foot-9, about 190 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Pilot Being Airlifted to Queens After Crashing in O’okala Corn Field on the Big Island

The pilot of the small plane that crash-landed in Oʻokala on Thursday (April 19), is being air-lifted to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.


At 10:45 a.m., North Hilo officers responded to the Oʻokala Dairy road, near the 30-mile marker of Route 19 (Hawaii Belt Road), where they found the pilot—a 68-year-old Hilo man—seriously injured.

He had attempted an emergency landing onto a newly planted corn field after his two-seat single-engine propeller airplane reportedly lost power due to engine failure. Fire Department rescue personnel extricated him from the plane and airlifted him to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital before he was transferred to Queen’s.

An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to arrive at the scene today.

Update on the Craigslist Internet Scam – AKA’s and a Photo of Suspect

Detectives have charged a 19-year-old Puna man in connection with an internet scam and are continuing to look for additional victims.

Anthony Derick Berson

At 11:30 a.m. Thursday (April 19, 2012), Anthony Derick Berson of Keaʻau was charged with four counts of second-degree theft, one count of third-degree theft, and four counts of use of a computer in the commission of a separate crime. After conferring with the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney and Berson’s private attorney, Berson was released on his own recognizance.

The crimes surfaced after four victims on the mainland reported that they responded to a posting on Craigslist by someone claiming to be selling tickets to the sold-out Coachella Music Festival being held this weekend in Indio, California. The supposed seller arranged for the victims to wire him money and said he would send them festival passes and wrist bands by Federal Express. The victims sent the money but never received the passes or armbands.

Berson used various aliases while posting the ads on Craigslist, including “Nathan Parker,” “Christopher Wilson,” “Terry Morton” and “Trevor Hart.” It is hoped that potential victims may recognize these aliases and file a complaint with law enforcement.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section collaborated on a joint operation with the Office of Consumer Protection in the Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

As part of the joint sting operation, an investigator from the Office of Consumer Protection posed as a buyer who wanted three sets of passes and wrist bands. He and the seller agreed on a control number and password for the seller to use when claiming the money.

When Berson went to a Western Union office in Hilo on Tuesday (April 17) using the agreed-upon control number and password to claim $900, police detectives arrested him on suspicion of attempted theft and use of a computer in the commission of a separate crime.

Berson is scheduled to appear in District Court on May 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Police ask that any other victims of this alleged fraud contact Detective Derek Morimoto by phone at 961-2380 or by email at dmorimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Puna Stabbings Involving Four People Leads to Arrest of Kapoho Man

Big Island police are investigating a stabbing incident involving four people that resulted in two of them being sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

Responding to an 11:11 p.m. call Wednesday (April 18) at a home near the 7-mile marker on Route 132 in Kāpoho, arriving officers discovered a 28-year-old Kāpoho man with a severe head wound and lacerations, a 25 -year-old Kāpoho woman with a severe laceration to her upper body, and a 45-year-old Kāpoho woman with a minor injury being treated by Fire Department rescue personnel.

The 28-year-old and 25-year-old were taken to Hilo Medical Center. Although the 28-year-old man’s injuries were potentially life-threatening, he and the 25-year-old woman underwent surgery and both are listed in serious condition.

Police arrested Jeffrey Robert Perkins, 43 of Kāpoho on suspicion of one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. He is being held in the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case contact Detective Norbert Serrao by phone at 961-2383 or by email at nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Mixed Martial Arts at Pahoa’s Akebono Theater – “Pride of Puna” Fight for Hunger

Monsta MMA Presents “PRIDE OF PUNA” – Fight for Hunger!

The Big Island’s newest Mixed Martial Art’s Promotion is just a few week’s away from there first of many event’s event’s. This event “The Pride Of Puna” will be held at the Akebono Theater in Puna on April 27th, and will be feathering fighter’s such as Just Scrap Amateur 135lb Champion Riquo Abadilla, Crowd Favorite and heavy hitting Petey Vital,The alway’s ready for action Donald Gonzales,Keola Arakai, Conrado Martin, and the highly anticipated 8 Man Heavyweight Tournament that will have fighter that are sure to surprise everyone in attendance.

Also fighting on this card will be the younger fighter’s that always leave the crowd screaming for more, were talking about kid’s like Ricky “The lil Monsta” Mamone, Elijah & Kaleo Apao,Derek Romero,David Martinez jr, Tallen Saragosa, and many more of Hawaii’s future Champion’s. This is sure to be an event that you will not want to miss. Ticket’s are $15 at the door, or $10 with a Non Perishable Food item that will be donated to the Hawaii Island Food Bank for the family’s here in Hawaii that are having a hard time. If you want to bring more then one can your more then welcome to. Door’s open at 6:30 PM and Fight’s start at 7:00 PM. Come out and show your support for our local fighter’s, and help family’s that are in need.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/WUEXyu_YBxE]

APRIL 27, 2012 – at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa, Hawaii

Hawaii’s Woodshow 2012 People’s and Artist’s Choice Winners Selected

The 20th Annual Hawai`i Forest Industry Association’s Hawaii’s Woodshow wrapped up recently at the Honolulu Museum of Art Academy Art School Gallery at Linekona.  While Jurors for the show previewed and

Kulalic Desk and Chair
Vedad Kulalic’s impressive and playful “Desk and Chair” earned the People’s Choice Award.

Photo courtesy of Little Looks Photography

selected winners in various categories before the show’s opening date, the People’s Choice and Artist’s Choice winners have just been announced.
Master craftsman Vedad Kulalic won the People’s Choice award with his playful yet skillfully designed and crafted “Desk with Chair.”  Kulalic, who lives on Oahu, utilized a combination of monkey pod and koa to mimic a soft fabric-draped desk that many onlookers mistook as sculpture rather than furniture.
Prior to the show’s opening Peter Ziroli’s “Round Center Table” had received the 1st Place Furniture award designated by

Ziroli Center Table
Peter Ziroli’s “Round Center Table” won two awards at the 2012 Hawaii’s Woodshow.

Photo courtesy of Little Looks Photography

Woodshow Jurors. Participating artists agreed and chose Ziroli’s table for the Artist’s Choice award. The table is based on an 1869 design by William Fisher. The table top is koa with a longon wood star and pheasant wood banding. Medallions on the table apron and base are longon and applied panels are of light koa and kamani. Ziroli lives and works in O’okala on Hawai’i Island.

“I’d like to thank our team of volunteers for making the 20th annual Hawaii’s Woodshow such a huge success,” said Marian Yasuda, show coordinator. “The Woodshow would not be possible without the collective effort of many people. The generosity and sacrifices are greatly appreciated by me and all those who enjoy seeing such a fantastic exhibit each year.”

Only art pieces crafted predominately from Hawai’i-grown woods are displayed at Hawaii’s Woodshow as part of its endeavor to encourage and strengthen appreciation for sustainable forestry through the planting of native species. Endangered woods and certain rare species are prohibited.  Many Woodshow pieces are for sale to the public at http://gallery.hawaiiforest.org/

Hawaii’s Woodshow sponsors included Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Kamehameha Schools, Ron and Myra Kent, Specialty Forest Products, Inc., State of Hawai’i Department of Agriculture, Alexander & Baldwin and the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation, Halekulani Hotel, C. Barton Potter, Bubbies Ice Cream, Martin & MacArthur, and wood artist and HFIA Board President Tai Lake.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Celebrates Its Greatest Natural Resource

North Hawaii Community Hospital recognized nearly 60 volunteers on Wednesday, April 18th, during an annual appreciation luncheon to honor and celebrate their volunteers during National Volunteer Week.

“This year our Volunteer Appreciation Week theme is ‘Volunteers: Our Greatest Natural Resource’, says Arielle Faith Michael, Director of Holistic Healing Services and Volunteers Program at NHCH. “Volunteers are indeed our greatest natural resource. They help to lighten the load in so many areas of the hospital by assisting with filing, photo copying, answering phones, delivering items, helping visitors and patients, and even tending to the hospital’s healing gardens,” says Michael. During Wednesday’s appreciation luncheon, volunteers were honored for their service and dedication by CEO, Ken Wood, who shared, “Each volunteer plays an integral part of our healing environment, and your contributions are appreciated every day.”

The hospital is grateful to the nearly 60 volunteers who donate 15,000 hours annually. Many of them started volunteering shortly after the hospital opened nearly 16 years ago, including Julie, who has volunteered for 15 years in NHCH’s Rehabilitation Services Department. “I retired and moved to Kohala in 1994 and was delighted to see that a hospital was under construction. After shoulder surgery in 1996, I received physical therapy from NHCH’s Rehab Department and have been in the department longer than anyone who works here,” says Julie. NHCH also has several new volunteers, including Kathy, who started volunteering at NHCH 5 months ago after retiring from the airlines. “I thought it would be a fun way to support the hospital and our community,” says Kathy, who volunteers in Kohala Home Health Care and Same Day Surgery departments. “When I have the opportunity to wheel patients out to the front entrance of the hospital after their surgery, I am always amazed at their strength and resilience. They impact me so much more than I impact them, I’m sure,” says Kathy.

“Our volunteers compliment our healing environment with their personalities, talents, time and especially their love for the hospital. As members of our ‘ohana, they do their part without compensation to help NHCH achieve its mission and vision of becoming the most healing hospital in the world,” stated Michael. “This week we officially say Mahalo to our volunteers, but every day we appreciate the role each of them plays as part of our hospital’s healing legacy,” says Michael.

Anyone 18 years and older and willing to give a minimum of four hours per week is invited to apply for volunteering positions. Please contact Arielle Faith Michael, NHCH’s Director of Holistic Care Services and Volunteer Program at 808-881-4416 or via email at Arielle.Michael@nhch.com.

Waikoloa Woman Charged with Identity Theft and Other Offenses in Connection with 91-Year-Old Family Member

Big Island police have charged a 55-year-old Waikoloa woman with identity theft and seven other offenses in connection with the theft of various items from a 91-year-old family member.

South Kohala patrol officers responded to Waikoloa Village Monday (April 16) to a report that the suspect had stolen jewelry and cash from a 91-year-old woman who was visiting from California. When officers attempted to arrest the suspect, she allegedly resisted arrest and assaulted a police officer by striking him in the chest. The officer did not require medical attention.

Janice Feeney

Janice Feeney, who has no permanent address but lives in the Waikoloa area, was arrested and held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation. Detectives executed a search warrant Tuesday (April 17) at the condominium where Feeney had been staying and recovered additional property belonging to the victim.

At 7:10 p.m. Wednesday (April 18), detectives charged Feeney with second-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, identity theft, theft of a credit card, fraudulent use of a credit card, unauthorized possession of personal information, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Her bail was set at $14,000.

She remained at the police cellblock until her initial court appearance Thursday (April 19).

Gilbert Kahele Announces Hawaiʻi State Senate District One Candidacy

State Senator Gilbert Kahele will be officially announcing his candidacy and submitting his nomination papers on Friday, April 20th at the Hilo County Clerks Office at 8:00AM.

Gil Kahele, who was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve as the State Senator for District Two on Hawaiʻi Island last year is a Hilo resident and Hawaiʻi Island native.

He will be running in the newly created Senate District One which encompasses all of Hilo, where he and his family currently reside.

In addition Gil and the Friends of Gil Kahele campaign team will be hosting a grand opening of his 2012 campaign headquarters situated in downtown Hilo Friday evening at 6:00PM.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have served the people of Hawaiʻi Island in the State Senate. Over the last two years, I believe I have succeeded in bringing positive attention to the immediate needs of Hawaiʻi Island and have advanced the case for critical issues such as education, agriculture, transportation and careful budgeting. The relationships I have forged over the last 30 years as a community organizer and my skills as a consensus builder in the Senate have allowed me to be an effective legislator amongst my colleagues. I truly believe East Hawaiʻi and Hilo in particular has tremendous potential and is on the cusp of leading the State and being a benchmark for other communities across our great nation. That is why, after consulting with my family, supporters and constituents, I have decided to run for the Senate District One seat. I am looking forward to sharing my message and vision with the voters of Hilo and am humbled by their consideration to serve as their State Senator

Hawaiʻi State Senator Gilbert Kahele

April 20th 2012
Gil Kahele Filing Nomination Papers
County of Hawaiʻi, Office of the County Clerk, Elections Division
25 Aupuni Street, Suite 1502, Hilo, HI, 96720
8:00-8:30AM

Grand Opening of Kahele 2012 Campaign Headquarters
126 Keawe Street, Hilo, HI, 96720
6:00-8:00PM