Tsunami Siren Testing Today May Not Validate Actual Emergency Situation

I wonder why I get emergency emails from the county hours after I get them via Hawaii Nixle Emergency Alerts.

The most recent Nixle “EMERGENCY ALERT” paid for with our tax dollars.

Of course I find it funny that the Hawaii County Police Department would use an emergency alert service like Nixel to promote it’s self at times by posting thing like “Police Officer of the Month” on an emergency service.  Lord knows if we as the public used a service like 911 to promote ourselves all hell would break out.

Then again… I didn’t get anything via Nixle the night of the Tsunami Evacuations!

If folks are relying on email for emergency notifications… it may be too late when a real emergency does happen!  I’m gonna depend on myself for notices until the county get’s the kinks worked out.

The Sirens will be tested today with county workers stationed at each siren.

I guarantee they will report that the Pahoa Siren closest to my house is functioning properly (as it always does on the drill days)

I know for a fact that Pahoa’s siren didn’t go off until about 9:15 at night more then two hours after I posted the warning on my site.

Having County workers standing by at these sirens tomorrow won’t prove much I expect…. as I expect my siren to go off as usual during a warning.

WILL IT GO OFF DURING A REAL EMERGENCY?

There was a moral to the story of the boy who called wolf!

Hawaii County Elections Update and Information

VOTER REGISTRATION

104,323 Hawaii County residents are registered to vote in the 2012 General Election. This is the official voter registration count for the 2012 General Election and is not subject to change for this election.

ABSENTEE MAIL BALLOTS

As of October 31st, Hawaii County has received 17,305 voted absentee mail ballots.  Voters are reminded that the deadline to submit an absentee mail ballot for the General Election is 6:00 p.m. on November 6, 2012.  Voters are further reminded that absentee mail ballots may be submitted for the General Election by: (1) mailing their ballot to the Hawaii County Elections Division, (2) hand delivering their ballot to the Hawaii County Elections Division office in Hilo, (3) hand delivering their ballot to any absentee/early walk-in voting location in Hilo, Waimea and in Kona, (4) hand delivering their ballot to any precinct on election day, November 6, 2012, no later than 6:00 p.m.

ABSENTEE/EARLY WALK-IN VOTING

On October 23rd, Hawaii County opened absentee/early walk-in voting precincts in Hilo, Waimea and in Kona.  Absentee/early walk-in voting is open to all registered voters at any early walk-in voting precinct on the island, regardless of district or residency assignment.  Absentee/early walk-in voting will continue until November 3, 2012.

As of October 31st, 6,308 Hawaii County voters have voted absentee/early walk-in voting in Hawaii County.

For more information please contact Lehua Iopa, Acting Elections Program Administrator, Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277 or by electronic mail to eiopa@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Wordless Wednesday – Happy Halloween

Former Honolulu High School PRINCIPAL Accused of Sex Abuse in Legal Claim

At least five other school employees have been accused, Seattle school officials quietly removed cleric in August, Religious order filed bankruptcy after more than 200 victims came forward, Now, more than 400 say they were abused by Christian Brothers, At least 12 came from Damien Memorial School.

A man who says he was sexually abused by the former principal of a Honolulu high school has filed a sex abuse and cover-up claim in the New York courts.  http://www.king5.com/news/ODea-High-school-principal-resigns-sexual-abuse-allegations-176691111.html

Karl Walczak

The suit charges that the victim, known as John Doe, was sexually abused by Damien Memorial School former principal Br. Karl Walczak in 1971 at Brother Rice High School in Chicago. At the time, Walczak was a teacher at the school. http://www.komonews.com/news/local/ODea-High-School-principal-resigns-amid-sex-abuse-allegations-176692501.html

Walczak is a member of the Irish Christian Brothers, a New York State-based religious order that runs Brother Rice High School and more than a dozen other schools across the country. Walczak was principal at Damien Memorial School from 1987 to 1999.

Walczak is currently the principal of O’Dea High School in Seattle http://www.odea.org/academics/faculty-staff-bios/administrative-team. He was quietly put on leave in August when the lawsuit was filed. In a letter to parents, school officials said that Walczak was “fighting a claim” in the Christian Brothers bankruptcy, but refused to state that he had been accused of sexual abuse in the New York courts. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2012/07_08/2012_08_10_ODeaHighSchool_LETTERFrom.htm

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), were appalled to learn that the Christian Brothers had keep quiet about the allegation.

“Parents and students in Hawaii have been duped yet again,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, California, SNAP Western Regional Director. “A brave victim has come forward to the courts to expose the man who abused him. Yet, the Christian Brothers have—at every turn—kept quiet about allegations, misled parents and put more kids at risk because they refuse to come clean about predators in their employ.”

In light of this latest allegation, the groups wants Damien Memorial and diocese officials officials to immediately alert parents, students and alumni about the allegations. “There may be a victim suffering at the school right now,” Casteix said. “Victims need to know that it is safe to come forward and report abuse, because that is the only way to put predators behind bars.”

More than 12 victims from Damien High School have come forward and filed claims. In addition, at least five other known, admitted or arrested predators who worked at the school have been exposed. http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20120824_Clergy_child_sex_abuse_allegations_arise.html?id=167294085&id=167294085&c=n

Last year, the Irish Christian Brothers declared bankruptcy in light of more than 50 child sex abuse lawsuits in the United States and more than 200 in Canada. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Mounting-sexual-abuse-claims-causes-US-Christian-Brothers-to-file-for-bankruptcy–121020724.html. The order has also been rocked by sex abuse scandals in Ireland.

In January, the New York Bankruptcy Court set a “bar date” of August 1, 2012, for all victims of Irish Brother predators to expose their abusers in court. More than 400 victims have come forward and filed claims.

According to O’Dea High School. Walczak is currently living in New York. He has also worked in schools in Illinois and California.

The attorney for John Doe is Mike Reck of New York, (714) 742-6593, mreck@andersonadvocates.com.

Seattle press articles:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/ODea-High-School-principal-resigns-amid-sex-abuse-allegations-176692501.html

http://www.king5.com/news/ODea-High-school-principal-resigns-sexual-abuse-allegations-176691111.html

http://www.nwcn.com/news/washington?fId=176691111&fPath=/home&fDomain=10212

http://theworthyadversary.com/1554-breaking-seattle-principal-removed-for-abuse-parents-not-informed

http://news.silobreaker.com/odea-high-school-principal-resigns-amid-sexual-abuse-allegations-5_2266086944012238907

http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-odea-high-school-principal-resigns-amid-allegations-of-sexual-abuse-20121031,0,2277878.story

Contact:

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

John Schuster of Seattle, WA, SNAP Seattle Leader, 360-551-9982, js98367@hotmail.com

Barb Dorris of St. Louis MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Outrigger Opens Luxury Property on Phi Phi Island, Thailand

The Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa officially opens this weekend in southern Thailand. As of November 3, the stunning 156-key 70-acre property, formerly known as the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Spa, will be run by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, the 65-year old Hawaii-based company that continues to expand throughout Asia-Pacific from its regional headquarters in Phuket, Thailand.

Outrigger took over the sales and marketing of the property in October of last year. Since then, extensive improvements have been made, including the addition of 44 new Deluxe Garden Bungalows. Food and beverage venues have been enhanced, and the gym has been improved.

“We have started to implement Outrigger international standards across facilities, food and beverage and human resource services,” said Darren Edmonstone, Managing Director Asia-Pacific for Outrigger. “It’s a completely new era for one of the most beautiful beach resorts in Thailand,” he said.

The new 571 sqf (53 sqm) Deluxe Garden Bungalows are the highlight of the changes. They are located in clusters giving the atmosphere of a traditional Thai village. Inside, the interiors are contemporary with Thai touches. Each one features a walk-in wardrobe, a flat screen television, and iPod/iPhone docking station.

“The new Deluxe Garden Bungalows now give our guests superlative comfort and amenities on a par with the idyllic standards set by Mother Nature all around,” said the property’s General Manager, Marc Landgraf, who was appointed in July.

A new executive chef with extensive luxury hotel experience has also been hired to implement a completely refreshed food and beverage offering. He will bring acclaimed culinary expertise in Thai, French, Italian and Japanese cuisine to the Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa. His new creations will be available in the resort very soon.

The property already wins consistent accolades on TripAdvisor. The unique location in a quiet peninsula of northeast Phi Phi allows guests to step from the resort right on to a nearly half-mile (800-metre) white sand beach with translucent sea water. Outrigger guests can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, private boat excursions, fishing and a full spa facility.

“Guests seeking a wonderfully unique beach setting in Thailand with high quality international standards of service and comfort, should take a new look at what we offer on Phi Phi Island with Outrigger,” said Landgraf.

A 360-degree virtual tour of the new Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa is available here.

 

 

Big Island Police Searching for 22-Year-Old Wanted on Five Warrants

Big Island police are searching for a 22-year-old Puna man wanted on five $5,000 warrants.

Justin Gryde

Justin Gryde of Pāhoa is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo with the name “Gryde” on his neck.

Detectives also want to speak with him in connection with a burglary.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts 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 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.

Local Artist Commissioned to Create Posters Commemorating Sainthood of Mother Marianne Cope

Standing in front of Bishop Home where she ministered to girls and women suffering from Hansen’s disease, Saint Marianne Cope has been honored in a new work of art commissioned by Pacific Historic Parks (PHP).

The just-released 12” x 18” poster commemorates Saint Marianne’s canonization, which took place on October 21. It was designed by O‘ahu artist Nick Kuchar and uses a combination of rich hues, shapes and text to create a unique retro look.

“Saint Marianne’s canonization is an incredible event that holds so much meaning to our local community,” said Brad Wallis, President and CEO of Pacific Historic Parks. “We felt it was important to commission a local artist who would understand the historical significance of this event and be able to tell the story of Saint Marianne through the use of art.”

The poster is available exclusively at PHP’s Kalaupapa National Historical Park Bookstore and online at www.pacifichistoricparksbookstore.org. PHP, a cooperating association that assists the National Park Service (NPS), supports the education, preservation, development and interpretation of four historic sites throughout the Pacific. Proceeds from the sale of the Saint Marianne poster will support education and research at Kalaupapa NHP.

“The support we receive from Pacific Historic Parks plays an integral role in our ability to maintain the historical integrity of our national parks, including Kalaupapa National Historical Park,” said Steve Prokop, NPS Superintendent at Kalaupapa NHP. “Our partnership with PHP helps us to meet our mission of preserving the natural and cultural resources of our parks and to educate visitors on the historical significance of each site. Saint Marianne’s interpretive poster is a perfect example of how this partnership allows us to share her story with the world.”

In 1888, Saint Marianne established Bishop Home for women and girls in Kalaupapa, a small community located on Moloka‘i’s northern peninsula where Hansen’s disease patients were sent to live in isolation from 1866-1969. Saint Marianne spent 35 years helping these patients and lived on Moloka‘i until her death in 1918. The National Park Service and Hawai’i State Department of Health now manage the area.

Pacific Historic Parks also commissioned Kuchar to create a poster honoring Saint Damien, who was canonized in 2009. According to Kuchar, “I feel extremely honored and blessed to be able to create one-of-a kind tributes to these two great humanitarians in Hawai’i.”

For more information on the Saint Marianne poster, contact Sarah Safranski, Communications and Publications Manager, Pacific Historic Parks at ssafranski@pacifichistoricparks.org or visit www.pacifichistoricparksbookstore.org.

Hawaii Island’s Most Wanted for November

The most recent edition of the Crime Stoppers television program “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted” highlights a 42-year-old man suspected of three thefts from elderly victims and two men wanted on bench warrants.

The new episode begins airing Friday (November 2).

In it, police ask for the public’s help in locating 42-year-old Nicholas Stevens, who is suspected of contacting elderly women at their homes in Hilo and Kona, persuading them to hire him to repair their driveways, collecting money in advance and then failing to complete the jobs.

Nicholas Stevens

He is described as 5-foot-9, 166 pounds and balding, with a thin build and a tan complexion. He may be in Hilo or Kona.

The television program also asks for help in locating a 27-year-old man wanted on three bench warrants. Albert Aukai Manners is wanted on a $15,000 contempt of court warrant for failing to appear in court for a hearing on eight criminal charges, including driving under the influence and assaulting a police officer.

Albert Aukai Manners

He is also wanted on no-bail warrants for violating terms of release on bail in an assault case and a domestic abuse case. He is described as 5-foot-8, 155 pounds with brown eyes and short black hair. He has numerous tattoos on his neck and chest. His address is unknown.

In this latest edition of “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted,” Officer Patrick Menino also asks for help locating a Kaʻū man wanted on four bench warrants with bail totaling $200,000. Mario A. Espino is wanted for contempt of court and violating terms of probation relating to convictions for theft and auto theft.

Mario A. Espino

He is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-2, 130 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his arms and back. He is most likely in the Ocean View area.

Police ask that anyone with information about any of these cases call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential. Crime Stoppers does not tape record phone calls or subscribe to caller ID.

“Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted” is a project of Crime Stoppers Hilo, Inc., which is a partnership of the business community, the media and the police. It was inspired by the national TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” The program airs on Na Leo O Hawaiʻi Community Television Channel 54 on Sundays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m. It also airs intermittently on Channel 53.

Public Hearing on Bill No. 292 – Restricting Geothermal Hours

The Hawaii County Council is having a public hearing on Bill No. 292 which would restrict geothermal exploratory and production drilling to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The public will be allowed up to 3-minutes to provide testimony.

Pahoa Neighborhood Facility

The public hearing is on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm in the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility.  For more information, please call Chairman Yagong at 961-8538.

 

30-Year-Old Woman Dies in South Kona Vehicle/Pedestrian Collision

A 30-year-old woman from Honaunau died Tuesday (October 30) after being involved in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on Highway 11 in the area of the 107-mile marker in South Kona.

Jasmin Robertson

The woman was identified as Jasmin K. Robertson of a Honaunau address.

Responding to a 6:38 p.m. call, traffic investigators determined that the woman, who appeared to be intoxicated, had been sitting on the northbound lane of the highway when she was struck by a 2003 BMW two-door sedan that was traveling north and being operated by a 50-year-old Captain Cook man.

Fire Department rescue personnel took the woman to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:15 p.m.

The driver of the vehicle was wearing seatbelt and was not injured.

It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved on part of the driver but the woman had been drinking.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 36th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 18 at the same time last year.