Sex Trafficking in Hawaii – On the Streets and Behind the Headlines

The other day I posted a video that Malia Zimmerman of the Hawaii Reporter posted entitled “Jana’s Story: Life as an Underage Sex Trafficking Victim in Honolulu”.

KHON2 News just reported on Emergency responders train to help sex trafficking victims.

…”Well I know they learned of the magnitude of the problem. And I think that is the most valuable thing that’s heart wrenching to hear how widespread this problem is in Hawaii,” said Yamamoto.

“Prostitution is inherently detrimental to women and children. Okay there is no legislating it. There is no regulating it, you can’t fix it, it’s just the way it is,” said Xian.

But you can fight it, with lots of soldiers on the street knowing what to look for.

Tonight I will post Matt Levi’s special on “Sex Trafficking in Hawaii” that was just posted a few months ago:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/-5qlKdlIZ1w]

Matt Levi looks into the world of sex trafficking in Hawaii. We meet a former victim and speak with experts in the field.

Hospice of Hilo Seeking Volunteers for Light Up A Life Festival

Hospice of Hilo is looking for volunteers to help with its 23rd annual Light Up a Life hosted by Macy’s at the Prince Kuhio Plaza from November 23 to December 24.

Hospice of Hilo is seeking volunteers for it’s “Light up a Life” ceremony

“Each year, during the holiday season, we set up a Tree of Remembrance at each of the two Macy’s entrances in the mall to allow the community to honor loved ones by hanging a personalized commemorative ornament on the tree,” said Hospice of Hilo Volunteer Manager, Pearl Lyman.  She continues, “The ornaments are a symbolic connection with our loved ones and a reminder that they  remain alive in our hearts.”

Community volunteers are needed to provide support at the tables from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  and are scheduled to provide service in 2-3 hour shifts. “Volunteers are a vital to the Annual Light Up a Life, for over 22 years they have been at the tables helping with ornaments, being caring hearts, listening to stories and honoring the memories of loved ones in our community.  We couldn’t do it without these wonderful people,” said Lyman.

Please call Pearl Lyman at 969-1733 to volunteer your time at any one of the Trees of Remembrance.

Petition for Property Tax Agricultural Use Dedication Due Sept. 4

The County Real Property Tax office would like to remind property owners that the deadline to petition the County of Hawai‘i for participation in the Agricultural Use Dedication program is September 4, 2012 for the 2013-2014 tax year.

For more details about the program or to obtain an application form, go to www.hawaiipropertytax.com or contact the Real Property Tax Office at 961-8201.

Video, Pictures and Results From the Hanalei Sand Festival

The Hanalei Sand Festival was held on August 11th over on Kauai.

Here is a short video highlighting some of the festival:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/rS9csiOFWLU]

Here are a few pictures from the festival… more pictures available here: Hanalei Sand Festival

Here are the results:

Click for larger image

Hawaii Tourism Authority Presents its 2012 Legacy Awards

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, presented the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace with its 2012 Tourism Legacy Awards, in recognition of both organizations’ established lifelong efforts in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and sustaining a “legacy of aloha”.

Daughters of Hawaii

“As the only state with a monarchy history, the dedicated efforts of these organizations to recognize Hawai‘i’s ali‘i and their legacy is a testament to the vital importance of historical preservation for Hawai‘i,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “Mahalo and congratulations to the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace for their commitment and dedication in honoring, preserving and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and history. Their work is important to our community, our residents, visitors and future generations.”

At yesterday’s Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, the HTA’s 2012 Tourism Legacy Awards were presented to:
The Daughters of Hawai‘i is a nonprofit organization founded in 1903 “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawai‘i and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.” The Daughters are one of the first organizations in Hawai‘i to recognize the importance of historical preservation. The organization owns and maintains the Queen Emma Summer Palace, the Hulihe‘e Palace and the site of Kamehameha III’s birth at Keauhou Bay in Kona on Hawai‘i Island. Through their collective efforts, the Daughters of Hawai‘i conserved these significant historical sites for generations of locals and visitors.

The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace was established “to preserve, restore, interpret, share and celebrate the unique cultural, historical, and spiritual qualities of ‘Iolani Palace and its grounds for the benefit of native Hawaiians, the people of Hawai‘i and the world.” Designated as a national historic landmark and as the only royal palace in the U.S., ‘Iolani Palace embodies Hawaiian cultural heritage and offers genuine opportunities for residents and visitors to experience our host culture.

The Tourism Legacy Awards, evolving from the Keep It Hawai‘i program, was established by the HTA to honor individuals, organizations and businesses that perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and traditions. Honorees have worked diligently to nurture the host culture creating respectful and authentic visitor experiences while securing bonds between the visitor industry and the Hawaiian community. Previous honorees included the late Dr. George Kanahele and the Bishop Museum.

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is a state agency established by law in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry and tourism economy in the state of Hawai‘i. As the state’s tourism authority, its mission is to strategically manage tourism to optimize benefits for Hawai‘i, integrating the interests of visitors, the community and visitor industry. Through the implementation of the statewide Hawai‘i Tourism Strategic Plan and HTA’s own strategic plan, the authority works to direct Hawai‘i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with our economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, community desires, and visitor industry needs. For more information on the HTA, please visit

Union Charge Against Hawaiian Telcom Dismissed

Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. said Tuesday that the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, has dismissed a charge brought by IBEW Local Union 1357. In its charge, the union had complained of unfair labor practices while implementing Final Offer employment terms by the company’s unit Hawaiian Telcom Inc.

The NLRB recently communicated its determination that collective bargaining negotiations did reach an impasse and that the company appropriately imposed the terms of employment. As a result of the dismissal, the terms of employment will remain in effect for the company’s union-represented employees.

Informal discussions between the company and union are ongoing regarding the possibility of entering into a collective bargaining agreement in the future, the company said.

When Will Hawaii Save Taxpayer Money and Quit Putting Paid Public Notices in Newspapers?

I’d love to know how much Hawaii County is wasting on public and legal notices printed in the newspapers that are REQUIRED to be be posted in the newspapers.

There is an organization called Legal Notice Online that has been monitoring the policies of different states laws regarding legal and public notices and today they sent out the following.

Simply put… the State and the County could save lots of money by putting these notices online, they could reach a larger audience in a more timely basis, they could save a lot of paper waste, and they could control any changes in the notice if need be at any time?

Competition In The Legal Notice World? We Hope So.

A new non-profit trade group- The Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION) was formed this month, it has been reported. Over 100 of these publishers, according to CJR.org will gather at the Block by Block conference next month in Chicago.

How Does This Effect The World of Legal Notices?

We’ve discussed the emerging influence of the hyperlocal news sites when they’ve made noise in specific public notice legislative battles over the past year. In most instances, though the local publisher has acted on his or own. So far, better organized Press Associations have defeated the online publishers, often with professional lobbyists and legislative arm twisting. As a group, maybe LION will allow these hyperlocal sites to help each other in moving public opinion.

LION has stated neither on their Facebook page nor on their web site that they intend to try to be considered as newspapers of record for the lucrative publishing of legal notices in their local communities. We think it is a worthy endeavor and is consistent with several of their values and strategic goals. More than that, competition in that world would save all taxpayers money.

According to LION’s web site, The Patterson Foundation provided support for the initial organizational effort. Dylan Smith, publisher of the TucsonSentinel.com and former online editor of the Tucson Citizen is the organization’s chairman.

The emergence of this type of organization is a great story for all media. Smith sees this organization as the future and we hope he’s right. From the ashes of the burning of the unwieldy corporate, profit motivated journalistic behemoths rises grass roots journalism organizations that are in touch with their readers and are the watchdogs of their communities. 

To read how other states are addressing this issue Click HERE

Sailboat Sinks Off Waikiki – Removal Begins Today

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has hired marine salvage company Sea Engineering to begin removal of a 26-foot sailboat that sank on Sunday in nearshore waters off the Elks Club. State officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the boat’s sinking.

Sea Engineering has begun mobilizing today but will not begin work on site until early tomorrow morning so that it can better assess a forecast of increased surf. Precautions will be taken to maximize safety while minimizing the potential for damage to the reef. The vessel will be relocated to Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, where it will be inspected by staff and then disposed of by the contractor. Cost of removal to the state is estimated at $21,750.

On Friday afternoon, DLNR was notified of the vessel’s presence between 80 and 100 yards from shore in waters 12- to 14-feet deep. A DLNR enforcement officer and biologist responded on Saturday. State boating laws allows boats to anchor up to 72 hours in a location without a mooring permit. At the time, the vessel was not grounded, but the anchor line was found to have been wrapped around live rock and coral, causing concern for reef damage. As a result, the state began the process of notifying the owner to remove the vessel. At the time, the vessel was otherwise afloat and appeared to be sitting fine in the water above a substrate of small corals, rubble and sand.

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