Remember When? Couple That Had Wedding at Hilton Waikoloa Now Up to 33 Weddings

The couple that I introduced to the Hilton Waikoloa Village on their embark to have wild and crazy weddings all over the world were featured on the home page of Yahoo today!

The couple was on the home page of Yahoo today!  (See Dolphin Quest and Hilton Waikoloa)

Congrats to Lisa and Alex who are now up to their 30th plus wedding!

I liked the fact that Yahoo featured their trip to Hawaii on their homepage!

Lisa and Alex even gave props to me in one of their posts here about their stay on the Big Island:

…Our following on twitter is growing slowly but my faith was low and I wasn’t expecting much more than a few sad faces but…the tweet was retweeted several times and picked up by several Hawaiian companies, blogs and individuals…including Damon Tucker.
Damon reports the real Big Island local news on his blog and really has his finger on the pulse with all things Hawaii and luckily he is also a close friend of the Hilton Waikoloa and Jaques who promptly sent us an email!…

When I was first introduced to them… they were only on wedding number seven or something like that.

Jellyfish to Be Banned From Hawaii Shorelines… NOT

A website setup to prank tourists was set up in 2010 called Hawaii Humor.Com

I just came across the following youtube clip and had a good laugh at the tourists that actually believed they were being filmed for a legitimate news station.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5_OqWJgxIMY]

Hawaii Humor is a hidden camera prank show based on Oahu, covering all the islands with a Hawaiian flair.  If your a tourist or a local, look out! YOU might get pranked by HawaiiHumor.com!  With our unique blend of comedic pranks and special celebrity guest stars both local and from afar.

You can check out more about the site here: Hawaii Humor

Looking at their facebook page, it seems like they haven’t been that active of late as this was one of their first videos and I can’t seem to find anymore just yet.

Hilo Priest Accused of Child Sex Crimes Still Travels and Works with Youngsters Today

Holding signs and photos of themselves when they were abused, child sex abuse victims will announce that a long-time Hilo Catholic priest, Fr. George DeCosta, has been accused of molesting two boys, but continues to work for a church group that teaches music to teenagers.

They will also beg Honolulu Bishop Clarence Silva to: disclose why the priest was forced to retire, insist that the music group oust him immediately, personally visit every parish, school and facility where he worked reaching out to others he may have hurt.

Where: Outside of Malia Puka O Kalani Church, 326 Desha Ave in Hilo

Malia Puka O Kalani Church

When: Tuesday, August 21, at 11 am

Who:

One to two members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused as children in religious and institutional organizations, including a California woman who is the group’s Western Regional Director

FR. GEORGE DECOSTA is a retired priest of the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii

Why:

Last month, two victims of child sexual abuse filed legal claims in New York state charging they were sexually abused by a long-time Hilo priest, Fr. George DeCosta.   Now, DeCosta is the pastor of the Hale Lokahi community in Hilo. He also works with Music Ministry Alive, a MN-based group that trains young people to be liturgical music leaders http://www.musicministryalive.com/mma2012/meettheteam.html.

The victims are coming forward as a part of the recent bankruptcy of the Irish Christian Brothers, the Catholic religious order that runs Honolulu’s Damien Memorial School, where DeCosta was a teacher. http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/16904070/group-says-child-predators-worked-at-catholic-school

Both victims were young students at Damien in the late 1960s, when DeCosta worked as a religion teacher and director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) at the school. At least one of the victims charges that DeCosta molested him at an Oahu CYO camp.

At the time of the alleged abuse, DeCosta was also assigned to St. Theresa’s parish in Honolulu, a parish with a school.

In 1973, DeCosta was transferred to St. Mary Gate of Heaven—now Malia Puka’O Kalani—Parish in Hilo. He stayed there until 2002, when Honolulu Bishop Francis DiLorenzo mysteriously forced him to retire at age 65. That was the year that the clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis attracted national headlines. Bishops pledged then to be “open” about child sex cases and oust predators from ministry.

Currently, DeCosta is a member of the leadership team of Music Ministry Alive, a MN-based group that trains young people to serve as liturgical music leaders in the Catholic church. http://www.musicministryalive.com/mma2012/meettheteam.html. He is also the founder of the Big Island Learning and Arts Community (BILAC).

SNAP believes that there may be more victims in Hilo and Honolulu and that church officials must do more to reach out to survivors. They want Honolulu Bishop Silva to make sure DeCosta is ousted from his current positions and personally visit all of the churches, schools and communities where DeCosta has worked, reaching out to potential victims. They also want Silva to release DeCosta’s secret personnel file and publicly disclose the full reason DeCosta was forced to retire.

The victims asked SNAP to speak out on their behalf, to make sure that what happened to them does not happen to other children.

Both victims also have rights under Hawaii’s new civil window law that gives victims of child sexual abuse a chance to seek justice in the courts no matter when they were abused.  http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/18627821/lawsuit-claims-abuse-by-former-honolulu-priest.

Both victims are represented by California attorney Michael Reck (714) 742-6593.

State and Hawaii Disability Rights Center Reach Settlement Agreement Over Class Action Lawsuit

A settlement agreement has been reached for the class action lawsuit (E.P., et. al. v. State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health, et al, Civil No. 10-1-1357-06) filed against the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s Adult Mental Health Division (AMHD) by the Hawai‘i Disability Rights Center and Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Hawai‘i residents that were denied eligibility for state mental health services because of state policy and procedural changes that became effective on July 1, 2009.

The plaintiff class is defined as: “All residents of the State of Hawai‘i who have a mental illness and applied for services from the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health, Adult Mental Health Division (“AMHD”) between July 1, 2009 and December 16, 2010 and were denied eligibility for AMHD services due to the implementation of AMHD’s Policy and Procedure No. 60.601, which became effective on July 1, 2009, but would have been found eligible for services under the policy in effect on June 30, 2009.”

The settlement will require AMHD to allow all members of the plaintiff class to be reassessed under the state’s 2004 eligibility criteria for mental health services provided by the state. AMHD estimates there are approximately 250 individuals in the plaintiff class. All identified members of the plaintiff class will be notified by mail, and all those who respond will be provided an assessment for services under the eligibility criteria in effect on June 30, 2009.

Preliminary approval of the settlement was granted by Judge Virginia L. Crandall on June 7, 2012, and a fairness hearing is set for September 7, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Crandall at 777 Punchbowl Street in Honolulu.

Prior to the court hearing, members of the plaintiff class may choose to “opt out” and not participate in the settlement. They may then retain their own attorney and take legal action on their own. Members of the plaintiff class may also attend or be represented at the court hearing, at their own expense, to state their position as to whether the settlement should or should not be approved.

Members of the plaintiff class who do not opt out of the proposed settlement will be bound by the settlement and dismissal of claims against the state and will have no right to re-litigate any of the claims asserted on behalf of the plaintiff class.

If members of the class wish to opt out and not participate in this settlement, they must send written notice of that intent to class counsel (contact information provided below). A request to opt out and be excluded from the Class must contain the Class member’s: (1) legal name, (2) address, (3) telephone number, (4) a clear written request to be excluded from the class, (5) the case reference number, Civil Number 10-1-1357-06 (VLC) and (6) the class member’s signature. Any request to opt out must be received by plaintiffs’ counsel by August 31, 2012.

Members of the plaintiff class or their counsel may also file a written objection with the court pursuant to the rules and procedures of the Circuit Court for the First Circuit of the State of Hawai‘i prior to the fairness hearing. The deadline for submitting written objections is August 31, 2012.

The Complaint; Settlement and Release Agreement; Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement; and other relevant documents are available at www.hawaiidisabilityrights.org. Members of the Class may contact Class Counsel at:

Louis Erteschik Esq., Hawai‘i Disability Rights Center, 1132 Bishop Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, Phone: (808) 949-2922

or

Paul Alston or J. Blaine Rodgers Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, 18th Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813, Phone: (808) 524-1800

Three Hilo Student-Athletes Start Their College Career at Santa Rosa Junior College

Three student-athletes from the Hilo area start their college career at Santa Rosa Junior College.  Cameron Ita (Waiakea) Isaak Janado (Waiakea) and Randan Berinobis (Hilo) were all-stars at the Hawaii Island Hoops College-Prep Basketball camp this past June.

With many college coaches in attendance and offering not just their coaching expertise, but teaching the local student-athletes what it takes to play on the next level.  Coach Craig McMillan, Head men’s basketball coach at Santa Rosa Junior College and his assistant Troy Stevenson helped direct evening academic seminars that included how to apply to college, financial aid that is available and the college recruitment process.

“The camp was awesome and I learned a lot from the coaches as what to expect at the college level”. Said Cameron Ita from Waiakea High School.  “This is a blessing to me and I am very thankful for this opportunity”.

Isaak Janado, also from Waiakea High School stated, “The college-prep camp gave me the tools I needed to take to the next level.  I got to work with many different high caliber coaches from all over the nation and met some outstanding overseas players. I’m eager to represent my hometown”.

“My goal is to go to Santa Rosa JC and focus on school and basketball.  I will be majoring in kinesiology and after that I plan to go to a 4 year university”. Said Randan Berinobis.  All three student-athletes had a renewed enthusiasm about the opportunity to go away to college and start their higher education.

Andy Smith, Director of Hawaii Island Hoops summed up another successful year by stating, “Our goal at Hawaii Island Hoops is to give our young student-athletes the tools and present the resources to them to succeed on and off the court.  We understand the value of a higher education and try to impart that to our participants”.

Hawaii Island Hoops looks forward to helping more young student athletes by providing more opportunities through sports and education.  “Our programs will teach and inspire you to take advantage of every opportunity to better your lives.  Providing top notch instruction, knowledge and utilizing resources has always been the cornerstone of our organization” said Smith.

For more information on Hawaii Island Hoops and its programs please contact Director Andy Smith at (808) 937-3082 or director@hawaiiislandhoops.com