West Hawaii Community Health Center Kealakekua Expands Care to Serve All Ages

West Hawaii Community Health Center Kealakekua is making quality healthcare more accessible in South Kona by expanding care to serve all ages. “We have expanded our West Hawaii Community Health Center in Kealakekua to better serve our community,” said Richard Taaffe, WHCHC Director. “Two additional exam suites have been added to accommodate patients of all ages – from keiki to seniors.”

Beginning Wednesday, June 6, 2012, Dr. San Tun, a Board Certified Family Physician, will join pediatricians Dr. Locatelli and Dr. Stevenson at the West Hawaii Community Health Center-Kealakekua located in the Selwyn Plaza at 81-6627 Mamalahoa Hwy., Suite 106.

Dr. San Tun will accept patient appointments (adults and children) Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Medical appointments for keiki will continue on Mondays through Saturdays.

Before moving to Kona, Dr. San Tun worked in urban and rural medical practices in France and California. Dr. San Tun has traveled the world on emergency medical missions in Somalia and at refugee camps in Thailand and Burma. She is conversant in Spanish, French and English.

Dental care appointments for keiki are also available at West Hawaii Community Health Center on Mondays through Thursdays.

To make a new adult care appointment, patients may call 326-5429. Keiki and dental appointments are being accepted at 323-8005.

First of What May Be Dozens of Child Sex Abuse and Cover Up Lawsuits Filed Under New Unusual Hawaii Law

The first of what may be dozens of child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits was filed yesterday under an unusual new Hawaii law.

That measure lets adults who were molested as kids take legal action even decades after the violations took place.

Fr. Gerald Funcheon

An Oahu resident and former Damien Memorial High School student sued the Diocese of Honolulu charging that he was sexually assaulted as a child by Fr. Gerald Funcheon, a Crosier priest and former Damien chaplain in 1983 and 1984. The alleged crimes happened on an overnight retreat with the cleric on the Oahu eastern shore when the victim was 13 years old.

According to public documents and the lawsuit, church officials already knew that Funcheon was abusing prescription drugs and alcohol and had allegations of inappropriate behavior with children well before he was sent to Damien. http://www.abusedinhawaii.com/documents%5CFuncheon_partial.pdf

“This is a classic case of ‘priest-dumping,'” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been abused in religious and institutional settings. “Church officials knew that Funcheon was a predator, but still gave him complete access to vulnerable kids. They also made sure that Funcheon was sent far away, to escape prosecution and deny his victims justice. You can’t get much further away from mainland law enforcement than Hawaii.”

The victim first came forward as a part of the Irish Christian Brothers bankruptcy. The bankruptcy allowed sex abuse victims at all Irish Christian Brothers schools—including Damien Memorial—until August 1, 2012 to come forward and expose their abusers.  At least five molesting clerics worked at the school. http://www.k5thehometeam.com/story/16904070/group-says-child-predators-worked-at-catholic-school?clienttype=mobile

“We never would have learned about Funcheon and other child molesters who worked at Damien if brave victims had not come forward under the bankruptcy and the civil window,” Casteix said. “The diocese didn’t warn parents about the gross risk and did nothing to protect kids.”

Two Funcheon victims have come forward from Palma School in Salinas, CA, where Funcheon was immediately sent after allegations came forward at Damien. Both have filed lawsuits against the Crosiers. http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_20611521/palma-alumnus-alleges-abuse-reaches-out-other-possible?source=most_viewed.  More than a dozen victims from across the country have alleged that Funcheon sexually abused them.http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-F.html

According to Funcheon’s personnel file, the priest was removed and sent to California when a parent alleged that Funcheon was abusing kids at Damien. According to the documents, the cleric also worked in numerous Honolulu-area parishes during the weekends. The documents may be viewed here: http://www.abusedinhawaii.com/documents%5CFuncheon_partial.pdf

“This cover-up and reckless disregard for child safety should be a wake-up call to parents across Hawaii,” Casteix said. “Instead of calling the cops and getting help for the kids who were hurt, officials at Damien and the Honolulu Diocese silenced victims and spirited Funcheon out of town. That kind of cover-up is criminal.  We hope this lawsuit shines a bright light on sneaky, back-handed tactics that protected predators instead of kids.”

Funcheon’s last known address was a church-run facility in Missouri, where he apparently lived with Robert Brouillette, an Irish Christian Brother and former Damien teacher who was convicted of child pornography in 2000. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/1999_12_04_Presecky_CatholicBrother.htm

“Our experience has shown us time and time again that although church officials claim that these facilities are ‘secure’ and ‘monitored,’ that’s just not true,” said Barb Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s Outreach Director.  “Funcheon may be just as free to hurt children now as he was in Hawaii, California and the other states where he abused kids.”

Casteix also says that the civil window is an anti-crime measure that will help keep kids safe right now. “Soon, we will learn what the diocese knew and when they knew it. We also hope that younger victims will find the strength to come forward and report, so that law enforcement can make arrests and get convictions.”

In California and Delaware, civil window laws exposed hundreds of predators and help law enforcement put predators behind bars. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2007/11_12/2007_12_04_Spano_ExPriest.htm

The victim is represented by Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson (651) 227-9990, jeff@andersonadvocates.com; and California attorney Mike Reck (714) 742-6593, mreck@andersonadvocates.com. Copies of the lawsuit are available on the website  http://www.abusedinhawaii.com/Hawaii_Abuse_News.aspx

The new law, Act 068, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on April 24, 2012 gives victims of child sex abuse a two-year “window” to use the civil courts to expose their perpetrators and those who may have ignored or concealed the crimes.

The lawsuit was filed in the First Circuit Court, State of Hawaii, and seeks unspecified damages.


Congressional Candidate Marx Files Nomination Papers

Bob Marx, candidate for Hawaii’s Second Congressional District, filed nomination papers today with the Office of Elections. Marx is the only candidate from a neighbor island.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Marx spoke to a group of people in Keaau on Monday, discussing the problems faced by areas on the neighbor islands and in rural Oahu. “I am not running because I see an easy opportunity to win,” said Marx. “I am running because I too am fed up with the problems in infrastructure, education, and unemployment we face.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Marx discussed Hawaii’s major infrastructure problems on Kauai radio program “Soap Box Live.” Marx noted that infrastructure problems are not limited in scope to Oahu; rather, all of the islands need infrastructure upgrades. One of the key problems identified is the lack of alternate routes to some communities—and in times of emergency, traffic and gridlock has the potential to endanger lives.

As a small business owner himself, Marx discussed the nature of Hawaii’s faltering economy with Philip Matlage, owner of a small farm in Puna. “If we create tax incentives [for local businesses] we can alleviate some of the burden,” stated Marx. “Unlike the career politicians in the race, I know what hard work is like.” In a prior press release, Marx discussed the nature of his early jobs, which included jobs in the construction sector and working as a Teamster in Local 670.

Marx’s campaign manager Jose Casey remarked on how the race was progressing; noting that “[Bob] has surged ahead in many key districts where we expected more opposition.” For Marx, it appears the race is only just beginning. As he travels to the state convention today, Marx will be seeking to expand his support on Oahu.

Kona Man Charged With Kidnapping and Other Offenses Discovered During Shoplifting Investigation

A Kona man has been charged with kidnapping and other offenses stemming from an incident that was discovered during a shoplifting investigation.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday (May 22), South Hilo patrol officers responded to a call at a chain store on Makaʻala Street, where police learned that a 29- year old Kona man and a 21-year-old Kona woman had been detained by store security for shoplifting. The man identified himself by using another person’s name. Police discovered this when a 23- year-old Volcano man came forward at the store and informed officers that he was actually the person whose name the shoplifting suspect was using.

The Volcano man informed police that while he had been home, the suspect and a female companion had entered his house and demanded drugs. The victim was reportedly threatened by the male suspect, who brandished a bladed weapon and then forced the victim into a vehicle, held him against his will and drove him to the store on Makaʻala Street. When the male and female suspects exited the vehicle, the victim, who was not injured, left and eventually contacted police.

Both suspects were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, terroristic threatening and kidnapping. The woman was held at the Hilo police cellblock and the man was held in police custody at Hilo Medical Center for treatment of an undisclosed condition while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Angelea Maldonado

At 3:45 p.m. Thursday (May 24) detectives charged 21-year-old Angelea Maldonado of Kailua-Kona with shoplifting. She was released pending further investigation of the other offenses and after posting $250 bail on the shoplifting offense.

On the same day, detectives charged Dane Frank Kendrick with shoplifting, first-degree terroristic threatening, kidnapping, and third-degree promoting a dangerous drug. His bail was set at $71,000. He was originally scheduled to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon (May 25) but cannot make that appearance because he remains in police custody at Hilo Medical Center.

Rock the Vote in Pahoa

Rock the Vote! This free, grass roots, non partisan music & information event for youth voters and ANYONE interested in becoming more informed about who is running in the very important upcoming elections.

Participating young bands will be “rocking out” and encouraging people to register and vote on August 11th & November 6th. 2012.

Candidates from all parties running for all positions in all levels of government have been invited to attend and be available to talk story and answer questions.

Put a face with a name, find out what they believe in and what they will do for us if elected!

With the current trend of protest and frustration people have with their governments everywhere, the organization Global Hope http://globalhopehawaii.com/ will be present with interesting facts and possible solutions to help us understand the facts, but the first step is to register and vote. Global Hope has pushed this far, and will keep fighting to get people to vote, this year especially.

Global HOPE works for positive change in our local and global community. They believe that democracy requires an active and informed public, and work to make this ideal a reality.

The event will feature a variety of bands such as Birth Machine, Gin N Chronic, Uncle Greenie, Repellent, Bruddah Kuz & Miss Killa, Apple Sauce Boys and more!

This FREE event is DRUG/ ALCOHOL Free. No coolers please, refreshments will be available.

Mahalo to the Men of Pa’a, Kokua O Pahoa, Kanaka O Puna, all of our Politicians, Global HOPE, Big Island Music Scene, Killa Entertainment.

Big Island’s First “Cash Mob” Planned for June 2nd

Mama’s House Thrift Shop & 12-Step Bookstore in Waimea is gearing up for the Big Island’s first-ever “Cash Mob” on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The Cash Mob happens at Mama’s House, in the industrial complex off Mamalahoa Highway, just past NAPA Auto and across from Kamuela Liquor Store.

“A Cash Mob is sort of the local business version of a flash mob,” said Executive Director Beth Mehau.  “It’s a fun, fast way to encourage shoppers to ‘buy local’ by showing up and shopping en masse at a certain place and time.  We’re really excited, and hoping it’s only the first of many local Cash Mobs yet to come in our community.”

According to NPR.com, the first Cash Mob was started last fall by Buffalo, NY blogger Chris Smith.  The idea was to stimulate small businesses economically, by giving them a sudden surge of customers.  Nearly 200 Cash Mobs have happened since then, in 35 states and several other countries.  Hawaii’s first Cash Mob happened March 24, 2012 at Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop and The Source health food store in Kailua, Oahu.

Although it’s an informal happening, according to www.CashMobs.com, there are three simple rules for Cash Mobbers:  1.) Try to spend $20 at the business, 2.) Meet three new people, and 3.) Have fun!

Afterwards, Cash Mobbers are invited to an “After Mob” at Solimene’s Italian Restaurant and Expresso Bar from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for more socializing and no-host refreshments or lunch.  Solimene’s is located in the Waimea Shopping Center (“KTA-side”).

To keep up with the Cash Mob at Mama’s House, follow @CMmamashouse on Twitter.

More than a thrift store, Mama’s House offers consignment furniture, art, hand-poured all natural soaps, hundreds of used books, affordable keiki clothing and unique recovery gifts.  Their extensive recycling programs keep tons of reusable goods out of island landfills and provide work opportunity in a safe environment.

Mama’s House Thrift Shop & 12 Step Bookstore is a project of The Pantry 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that includes Waimea Artists’ Guild and other groups, serving community, supporting recovery.  For additional information, contact: Beth Mehau at 887-2289.