Hawaii Reporter Turns Ten… Congrats Malia Zimmerman

The award winning website the Hawaii Reporter, run by Malia Zimmerman turns 10 on June 1st and she has invited folks to come and enjoy the anniversary.

Congrats Malia Zimmerman!

VHO7V Spotted on The Big Island

VHO7V first sighting on the Big Island!

Kēōkea Beach Park to Reopen this Weekend Following Tsunami Damage that Forced Closures

Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Department of Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald will join the North Kohala community in celebrating the reopening of Kēōkea Beach Park during a public blessing and dedication ceremony set for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12.

The Friends of Kēōkea Beach Park will assist in welcoming the public back to the North Kohala facility. The park’s main pavilion has been closed since it was badly damaged Oct. 15, 2006, by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck near Kiholo Bay and also a 6.0 Hāwī temblor.

Kēōkea Beach Park has since undergone a $1.4 million renovation that included fixing extensive earthquake damage to the main pavilion and modifying the entire park so it complies with federal accessibility requirements. In addition to the park’s new paved walkways, its main pavilion has been enlarged, the kitchen completely renovated, and new restrooms constructed.

Anbe, Aruga and Ishizu Architects Inc. prepared the plans for the project, while Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. was the general contractor. The Friends of Kēōkea Beach Park’s numerous community volunteers assisted Parks and Recreation staff with painting, clearing debris, trimming trees and other maintenance duties.

“Although the park has remained open since the earthquake, we understood the critical role the main pavilion plays in providing the community a safe, attractive and appropriate venue for family parties and public gatherings,” Director Fitzgerald said. “We truly appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we diligently pursued the comprehensive upgrades that will serve the community and park visitors well for many years to come. We are proud of the final outcome and welcome everyone to join us this Saturday as we celebrate the reunion of park and community.”

Free entertainment will be provided by the Kupuka‘as, John Keawe and DJ Darren Bermudez, all of whom are donating their services for the reopening celebration.

Encompassing more than 7 acres, Kēōkea Beach Park is located near Hala‘ula, not far from Hāwī. It features picnic areas, pavilions, restrooms, and ocean access for swimming, fishing or diving.

According to Director Fitzgerald, Kēōkea Beach Park’s completion is significant because it is the department’s final Kiholo Bay earthquake-related project, joining Ikuo Hisaoka Gym at Kamehameha Park, Pa‘auilo Gym Annex and many others that underwent safety repairs before being reopened for public use.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Marjorie Mrasek and Joseph Ah Choy Recognized from Hawaii County as Outstanding Senior Citizen Volunteers

As part of Older Americans Month in May, the Hawai‘i State Executive Office on Aging has joined with county Area Agencies on Aging and communities around the state to recognize eight outstanding senior citizen volunteers. They are: Marjorie Mrasek and Joseph Ah Choy of Hawai‘i County; Myrtle Nanbara and Ed Hayashi of Honolulu County; Nancy Fuertes Fuller and David Walker of Kaua‘i County; and Michelle Paularena and Matthew Napier of Maui County.

These volunteers represent the thousands of seniors who support their families, friends and communities every day.

“The diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans spans three generations and is well deserving of our respect and admiration,” said Wesley Lum, executive director of the Executive Office on Aging. They have lived through wars and hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity. They pioneered new technologies in medicine, communications and industry while spearheading a cultural revolution that won equal rights for minorities, women and Americans with disabilities.

“These remarkable achievements demonstrate the strength and character of older Americans and underscore the debt of gratitude we owe to the generations that have given our society so much.”

Older Americans are a core component of service delivery to seniors – they volunteer at group meal sites and deliver food to homebound seniors; they act as escorts and provide transportation for older adults who cannot drive; they help seniors with home repair, shopping and errands; and they provide vital counseling, information and referral services. Their energy and commitment reminds all Americans – not just senior citizens and their caregivers – to do their part to enhance the quality of life for older generations.

Older Americans are living longer and are more active than ever before. With the aging of the baby boomer generation – the largest in our nation’s history – America’s senior population is expected to number 71.5 million by 2030.

In Hawai‘i, seniors are also living longer and more active lives. There were more than 195,000 people age 65 years or older in 2010, about 14 percent of the total state population. This percentage is anticipated to increase to a remarkable 25 percent in year 2035 while the proportion of those who are 85 years of age and older is expected to double. Our life expectancy in Hawai‘i of 80.5 years or age is higher than the U.S. overall life expectancy, which is 76.8 years.

More than 76 percent of Hawai‘i seniors report that they engage in leisure time physical activity, and this year’s Older Americans Month theme – Never Too Old to Play! – puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding; as well as passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways. These celebrations will recognize the value that older adults continue to bring to Hawai‘i communities through spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organizations, and other activities.

For more information, contact The Executive Office on Aging at (808) 586-0100 or a local Area Agency on Aging by visiting the Aging and Disability Resource Center at www.hawaiiadrc.org. Call (808) 643-2372 to find ongoing opportunities to celebrate and support older Americans.

Draft Information Technology Transformation Strategy Released – Public Encouraged to Provide Comment & Feedback

On May 8, 2012, the state released the first draft of its strategy to transform its information technology and business processes, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Chief Information Officer Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia announced. In a demonstration of the state’s commitment to creating an open and transparent government, the public is being encouraged to review the draft plan and provide ideas and feedback via the Office of Information Management and Technology’s website (http://www.hawaii.gov/oimt).

In September 2011, the state released the first-ever comprehensive assessment of its IT assets, policies and procedures in a baseline report. The baseline report identified 204 business functions and services delivered by state government employees in 18 Departments and over 500 IT applications currently in use. The recommendations and findings in the baseline report (Phase A) provided the basis for the priorities; architecture and projects identified in the Business and IT Transformation Strategic Plan.

“The state’s business and information technology transformation strategy establishes the foundation for a fundamental re-thinking of the way government conducts business,” stated Bhagowalia. “The transformation is not about just modernizing legacy technology systems. It is about transforming the state’s current business processes. Naturally, technology will play a significant role in enabling this transformation and the new way of how we deliver programs and services to citizens and businesses in Hawai’i. We have a lot to change and improve but we are taking important foundational and methodical steps to get to a New Day.”

The transformation strategy outlines a multi-year plan and transformation strategy, which are planned for implementation in five major phases over the next decade. Major focus areas of the strategy include:

  • Governance and Management Methodologies – The life-cycle management of processes and policies that guide the management and oversight of the state’s portfolio of business transformation and IT investments, acquisitions and projects, including system development, business process re-engineering, and infrastructure improvements.
  • Business and IT/Information Resources Management (IRM) Transformation Strategic Plan – The Business and IT/IRM Transformation Strategic Plan documents the mission, vision, goals, strategies objectives, and performance measures of the transformation effort, as well as specific prioritized projects and initiatives that will be launched over the next 10 years.
  • Enterprise Architecture – The blueprint for change that provides the framework for the design and development of IT systems, applications, business information, and processes to best support the goals and missions of the various departments’ line of business. This also describes the details relative to ongoing and planned investments and projects that will address the transition between from state’s current information technology environment to the future vision and the sequence that projects should be implemented over the next eight to ten years.
  • Projects An overview of the business process reengineering and IT/IRM projects that have been completed, are currently being implemented or are being planned.

Comments will be taken through Friday, June 1. Feedback will be considered by OIMT and incorporated into the final version of the Business and IT Transformation Strategic Plan that will be published in July.

Click the links below to comment on the appropriate focus area:

Governance and Management Methodologies
Business and IT/Information Resources Management (IRM) Transformation Strategic Plan
Enterprise Architecture

Projects

Big Island Man Dies from Surfing Injury at Pohoiki Beach

A Big Island man died Thursday (May 10) from a surfing injury in lower Puna.


The victim has been identified as 42-year-old Nathan Keliikuli of Keaʻau.

At 10 a.m., Puna Patrol officers responded to a report of a surfing accident at Pohoiki Beach.

Officers learned that Keliikuli had reportedly fallen and hit his jaw on his surfboard while surfing. Bystanders found him unconscious and took him to shore, where they attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until Fire Department rescue personnel arrived and took him to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.

Keliikuli was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:13 a.m.

The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest. Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Dedication Held for New Keaukaha Homestead Home Built by Hawaiʻi Community College Students

A home built by students in the Hawai‘i Community College (HawCC) Model Home Program was dedicated today in the Hawaiian homestead community of Keaukaha.

“Today we celebrate the completion of a custom-built home, and the beginning of a new life of homeownership for a Hawaiian home lands beneficiary,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Alapaki Nahale-a. “This collaboration helps us fulfil our mission of returning Native Hawaiians to the land, while providing real-world experience to our community college students.”

A traditional Hawaiian ceremony called moku ka piko, meaning the cutting of the umbilical cord, was performed to initiate the new home. The symbolic piko was made of plant materials gathered by the HawCC students and woven together, with each plant possessing a specific reason for its use in the piko. For example, the kukui represents enlightenment and the koa represents strength.

The three-bedroom, two-bath home was built at a cost to the future homeowner of $199,935. Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary Denice Keliʻikoa is the prospective homeowner for the home. She has been on the Hawaiian homes waiting list since January 1986.

The Pakele Lane home utilizes energy-efficient technology including a solar water heater system, a 4 KW Photovolatic system, and Energy Star qualified appliances. The home also includes custom-built cabinets, doors, and windows.

The Model Home program at HawCC provides instruction in drafting, welding, carpentry, electrical, and landscaping. HawCC coordinates the painting, plumbing, carpeting, and drywall subcontracting work. The residential dwelling was the 45th home to be built under the partnership between DHHL and HawCC.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/egGRsogun1k]

Under the agreement, the DHHL provided space and funding which allowed the students to acquire on-the-job skills in home construction, while also helping the DHHL fulfill its mission of returning native Hawaiians to the land. Since the Model Home program’s inception in 1965, over 3,640 drafting, welding, carpentry, electrical and agricultural students have participated in the program.

Vote for the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts “Favorite Entertainer of the Year”

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) invites the public to vote for this year’s “Favorite Entertainer of the Year” at http://www.hara-vote.com/, from among ten extremely talented finalists, as follows, in alphabetical order.

  • ROBERT CAZIMERO for “Hula”
  • RAIATEA HELM for “Sea of Love”
  • HIIKUA for “Aia I Hiilalo”
  • WILLIE K for “Warehouse Blues”
  • KUANA TORRES KAHELE for “Kaunaloa”
  • LEHUA KALIMA for “Rising in Love”
  • NATALIE AI KAMAUU for “A”
  • MAILANI MAKAINAI for “Aina”
  • JAKE SHIMABUKURO for “Peace, Love, Ukulele”
  • WAIPUNA for “E Hoi Mai”

HOW TO VOTE FOR “FAVORITE ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR”

Go to http://www.hara-vote.com/ and Learn about each of the finalists. Make your selection by clicking “Vote” in your favorite artist’s box. You may only vote once.

Click to vote for your favorite entertainer of the year

All votes are final. Deadline to vote is May 15, 2012.

The winner of “Favorite Entertainer of the Year,” by public vote, will be announced at the 35th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 27, 2012, 5-10 p.m., Hawaii Convention Center.  The main program, including the announcement of this award, will be telecast live from 7-10 p.m. locally on KFVE, and via live streaming at www.k5thehometeam.com.

All artists who released a CD in 2011 were eligible for the preliminary ballot.  The top ten, as voted by HARA members, advanced to the final ballot.  (Artists in Compilation and Anthology categories are not eligible, and non-resident artists in the Hawaiian, Island Music, Slack Key, and International categories are also ineligible.)

Past winners of this prestigious award have included Napua Makua (2011), Jake Shimabukuro (2010), and Led Kaapana & Mike Kaawa for Force of Nature (2009).

ABOUT NA HOKU HANOHANO AWARDS & MUSIC FESTIVAL
Part of the month-long Mele Mei 2012, and sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, Kintetsu, Ala Moana Hotel, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Alaska Airlines, Star-Advertiser & MidWeek, KZOO Radio, Hawaii.com, and other partners, this music festival offers the public a unique chance to experience a rich cultural interchange, making the connections between music, our culture, and the spirit of aloha, through interesting and unique workshops, demonstrations, performances and exhibitions, as follows:

DATE                     EVENT                                                 LOCATION
Friday, April 27      Public Opening Event & Media Day     The Willows
Saturday, May 5     Lifetime Achievement Awards               Ala Moana Hotel
Friday, May 25       Workshops, Day 1                                  Hawaii Convention Center
Saturday, May 26   Workshops, Day 2                                  Hawaii Convention Center
Sunday, May 27      Na Hoku Hanohano Awards                  Hawaii Convention Center

For Na Hoku Hanohano event and ticket information, please:
•  Go to www.nahokumusicfestival.com
•  Call HARA at (808) 593-9424
•  E-mail info@nahokumusicfestival.com

19-Year-Old Puna Man Arrested in Crime Spree

Big Island police have located 19-year-old Kale Thomas Ramangmou, who was wanted for robbery.

Kale Thomas Ramangmou

Ramangmou was arrested Monday morning (May 7) and charged Tuesday (May 8) for numerous offenses in connection with three separate incidents.

At 3:15 p.m. Tuesday he was charged with second-degree robbery, first-degree criminal property damage and first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. The victim in that case, a 30-year-old woman from Mill Valley, California, reported that 2-3 unknown suspects threw a rock through the front passenger window of a car she was parked in across from Ahalanui Hot Ponds in lower Puna at 11:30 p.m. on April 29, and then demanded money. The suspects allegedly stole a cell phone holster before fleeing the area. The victim sustained minor injuries from flying glass but declined treatment.

At 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Ramangmou was charged with second-degree robbery, third degree assault, second-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle in connection with an incident at 1 a.m. on January 28. A 40-year-old Pāhoa man reported that while he was in a parked van at a rural retreat in lower Puna, a man got into his car and asked for cigarettes and beer and then punched him and took away his cordless phone. A second suspect punched him again and a third suspect threw a golf ball-size rock through a side window of the van.

At 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, he was charged with second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft for a robbery on May 1. In that case, a 43-year-old Pāhoa man reported that he was at a 24-hour convenience store in Pāhoa at around 2 a.m. when an acquaintance he knew previously, parked in the area and offered him a ride home. The victim accepted the ride and was driven to an area off of Ka‘ohe Homestead Road in Pāhoa, where the same suspect reportedly assaulted him and removed undisclosed items. In addition, upon making his way home, he discovered that it had been burglarized and several items were stolen.

Ramangmou’s bail was set at $159,000. He was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Wednesday (May 9).