Big Island Police Charge Driver of Truck Involved in Fatal Vehicle-Bicycle Crash Friday

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged the driver of a pickup truck involved in a fatal vehicle-bicycle crash Friday (September 27) in Puna.

Siaku L. Aholelei

Siaku L. Aholelei

At 8:30 a.m. Sunday, police charged 27-year-old Siaku L. Aholelei of Mountain View with first-degree negligent homicide and first-degree manslaughter. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $275,000 bail pending his initial court hearing scheduled for Monday (September 30).

At 11:56 a.m. Friday, Aholelei was was traveling south at a high rate of speed on Highway 11 near the 8-mile marker in Keaʻau when he lost control, crossed the grassy median and struck a bicycle traveling north on the shoulder of the road.

The bicyclist, 66-year-old Cenon Tranquilino A. Visaya of Keaʻau, died at the scene.

Kohala Center Awarded $152,000 To Assist Island Farming Cooperatives

The Kohala Center, Inc., a community-based non-profit on Hawaii Island, has been awarded a $151,913 grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist several farming cooperatives on Hawaii Island and Maui. USDA announced the grant awards today under the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers Grant program, which offers technical assistance to help producers develop new markets and grow their operations.

Click to view release

Click to view release

In its grant proposal, the Kohala Center states it will use the funds to provide technical assistance to  Palili `O Kohala Cooperative (Hawaii Island), Maui Aquaponics Cooperative (Maui), Kau Agricultural Water Cooperative (Hawaii Island) and Cho Global Natural Farming Cooperative (Hawaii Island).

“Rural cooperatives are in a position to employ special marketing strategies to increase the bottom line for their farmers but may not always have the experience to do so,” said Russell S. Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “The Kohala Center has been a valuable resource for the agricultural community and this grant will expand its ability to strengthen these farming cooperatives, which the Abercrombie Administration recognizes as vital contributors to our economy and food-sustainability.”

Hawaii was one of 13 states that received funding under the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers Grant. For more information on this grant, go to the USDA website:

Domino’s Pizza Golf Tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Domino’s Pizza in Waimea is excited to announce their first annual benefit golf tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The tournament takes place on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Makalei Golf Club and will be played in a four-person net scramble format, with shotgun start at 8 a.m.

Dominoes St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

On the corporate level, Domino’s has supported the hospital since 2004, contributing over $16 million to help take care of keiki with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, at no charge to their families.  In January of this year, Domino’s “delivered” an entire Assessment and Triage Clinic to St. Jude’s, colorfully decorated with children’s art and murals, most incorporating a pizza theme.

The Waimea store is proud to be part of their company’s good work with this first annual golf tournament.  Entry fee is $125 per player, including green fees, cart, lunch, prizes and some surprises during the tournament.  To sign up, please stop by Domino’s Pizza in Waimea, or call Tournament Coordinator Charmaine Mood at 808-756-2743 by October 15.

Peace Day Parade & Festival Wrap Up

The peaceful town of Honoka‘a was filled with people celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace on Saturday, September 21, during its 7th annual Peace Day Parade & Festival, “Peace in the Streets,” and other related events. Thousands of people gathered to enjoy the colorful “moving stage” of music, floats and entertainment with a message–as taiko drummers, bon dancers, cirque performers, rock and roll and kachikachi bands, hula hālau and more, joined together in the spirit of peace.

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala and Waimea. Photo by Sara Anderson

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala and Waimea. Photo by Sarah Anderson Photography

A Peace Day Festival following the Parade featured food booths and entertainment, begun with a ceremonial chant and bell-ringing by Rev. Kosho Yagi of Honoka‘a Hongwanji .  Music and entertainment was provided as a gift to the community by the Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band, Magician Bruce Meyers, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, the Big Rock band, the Hiccup Circus and others,  and a large community Bon Dance that filled the field of the County Sports Complex.

Gerald DeMello of University of Hawai‘i read a proclamation from Governor Neil Abercrombie, in which he pledged continued support of “initiatives that inspire and further the advancement of peace throughout the State of Hawai‘i and the world.”

Gerald De Mello reads a proclamation from Gov. Abercrombie. Sarah Anderson Photography

Gerald De Mello reads a proclamation from Gov. Abercrombie. Sarah Anderson Photography

The proclamation also quoted the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King: “One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”

Sasaki family honored

Special guests for the Parade & Festival were members of the Sasaki family from Japan, whose sister and aunt Sadako Sasaki inspired the book “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes.”

The Sasaki 'ohana in Honoka'a. Sarah Anderson Photography

The Sasaki ‘ohana in Honoka’a. Sarah Anderson Photography

Sadako was only a child when the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Although she survived the blast, she later succumbed to radiation-caused leukemia, but not before working to reach her goal of 1,000 origami paper cranes, each enfolded with a wish for peace and healing.   Nephew Yuji Sasaki, a popular singer in Japan, performed his song “Inori” in her honor at the Festival.

One of Sadako's cranes will be part of a permanent exhibit at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. Others reside in New York at the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero, and in Vienna at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution.  Sarah Anderson Photography

One of Sadako’s cranes will be part of a permanent exhibit at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. Others reside in New York at the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero, and in Vienna at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Sarah Anderson Photography

Earlier on Saturday, the Sasaki’s donated one of Sadako’s original cranes to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center for a permanent exhibit.  Two others have been given, to the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero in New York, and to the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Vienna.

“199,000 Cranes” project

The Peace Committee has taken on a year-long project to gather origami cranes and send as a “flock” to the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum in Sadako’s honor.

Peace Day Cranes

Peace Day Cranes

Featured on KITV news, the “199,000 Cranes” project aims to reach their goal by Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2014. To contribute cranes, please contact by email,

Run for Peace

Saturday’s events also included the third annual 5K “Run for Peace,” directed by Sue DeLaCruz of Hamakua Health Center.  All runners received a logo participation medal and awards were presented to finishers as follows:

  • Overall Male and 16-18 Division winner: Tony Connors, 19:05
  • Overall Female and 16-18 Division winner: Hildhang Adona, 24:58

Age Division Winners:

  • 0-9 Male: Kyle Ignacio, 37:17
  • 10-15 Male: Chaystin Peters, 25:12
  • 19-29 Female: Amber Green-Weiss, 32:43
  • 30-39 Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19
  • 40-49 Male: Thomas Martin, 36:12
  • 40-49 Female: Kendra Ignacio, 37:19
  • 50 and up Male: Patrick Donovan, 31:40
  • Masters Male: Don Choquette, 39:15

Cash Prize Division:

  • Male: Seanry Agbayani, 20:38
  • Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19

Peace Poster Contest

Also during Festival, winners of the annual student Peace Poster Contest were announced. Led by artist Jay West, poster entries were reviewed for focus on the theme, “Prepare for Peace,” purpose, layout and design, drawings, mechanics, creativity and neatness.

Posters displayed in Honoka'a. Sarah Anderson Photography

Posters displayed in Honoka’a. Sarah Anderson Photography

Winners are:


  • 1st. Miami Minahan, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 2nd, Reina Moriguchi, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 2nd (tie),  Ocean Yagi, Honokaa Elementary School
  • 3rd (3-way tie), Samantha Allen, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 3rd, Kira Kumitake, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 3rd, Kaitlin Mercado, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu

Grades 4-6

  • 1st, Lyla Gonsalves, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 2nd, Brooke Peralta, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 3rd, Leah Delos Sants, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu

Grades 7-9

  • 1st, Mae Lee Solomon, Honokaa Intermediate School
  • 2nd, Terri Conner Honokaa Intermediate School
  • 3rd, Quinlan Mata Bishop, Waiakea High School

Grades 10-12

  • 1st, Joanne Bell, Honokaa High School
  • 2nd, Zoey Chang, Waiakea High School
  • 3rd, Tyana Yamamoto, Honokaa High School

Sponsor prize, presented by Waianuhea Bed & Breakfast: 

  • Brandee Samio, HHS
  • Megan Kauni, HHS

“Peace in the Streets”

From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, the Honoka‘a Business Association teamed up with the Peace Committee to produce the first-ever “Peace in the Streets” activity.

The Zoo Choo

The Zoo Choo

Musicians performed on four different mini-stages up and down Mamane Street; keiki enjoyed the inflatable Jump & Slide and Zoo Choo train rides and everyone had a chance to visit 21 participating businesses in town to win Scavenger Hunt prizes.

Winners were:  Oarlene Wingate -$100 cash prize, Clinton Branco, Alicia Togi-Branco, Stacey Emerson, Mitchell Echavez, Branalyn Juan, Kaylene Torres, Moses Decoite, Megan King, Karen Yagi, Gary Tomes Jr., Barbara J. Moran, Annie Pacana, Lee Watanabe, Debbie Filippai, Melanie Ebreo, Shyla Kailalani, Yoshie Yagi, Jordan Marlin, and Ocean Yagi.

Earlier in September, other peace-related activities included a rummage sale fundraiser for the Carteret Atolls relocation project, support of the “Aloha Peace” award presented to President Obama’s half-sister Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, a “Day of Mindfulness” in Kalōpā State Park, reception and Peace Poster exhibit at C&J Woods and the Friends of the Library’s “Read for Peace.”  The Peace Committee is open to all and new members are always welcome.

The United Nations has celebrated Peace Day since 1981. In 2007, as a result of lobbying by the teen group, United Junior Young Buddhists Association, the Hawai‘i State legislature and Governor Linda Lingle passed a law establishing September 21 as Peace Day in Hawai‘i.  Hawai‘i is the first and only state in America to have a permanent Peace Day.

The 7th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace was presented by the Peace Committee of the Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations.  Major financial support has been provided by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i Social Concerns Committee, the Seymour Stern Memorial Trust and other generous sponsors.

Peace day 2013

The Peace Committee’s mission is to promote peace, compassion and the awareness of global interdependence by supporting activities year-round. It depends upon the community’s help and support for the continued success of the parade and festival annually.  Contributions can be made as tax deductible donations, purchases of t-shirts and various sponsorship packages.  Call 808-640-4602 or visit


Pahoa Rummage Sale to Benefit Sacred Heart Building Fund

Clothing, books, musical records and other entertainment as well as all variety of household goods will be offered at rock-bottom prices at this rummage sale to benefit the Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s building fund.

Pahoa Sacred Heart Church

The Pahoa sale will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the church’s Avery Hall where lots of free parking will be available. The church is located across the street from Pahoa Elementary School.