Health Department “Heated Pond DOES NOT Have Unsafe Levels of Bacteria”

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will reopen ‘Āhalanui Park after verifying that the park’s volcanically heated pond does not have unsafe levels of bacteria.

‘Āhalanui Park will reopen Friday morning

‘Āhalanui Park will reopen Friday morning

Swimmers will be welcomed back into the Puna park starting at 7 a.m. Friday, October 4.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health collected water samples from the hot pond and has determined the bacteria levels to be normal for safe swimming areas. The Department of Health has found no evidence to suggest that the pond water is contaminated.

After learning September 26 of media reports that the swimmer was hospitalized, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma took immediate action to close the park to ensure the public’s safety. The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks swimmers, park users and the general public for their patience and understanding while the temporary closure was in effect.

The Department of Health wishes to remind the public not to go swimming with an open cut. Signs posted in ‘Āhalanui Park warn against this activity. Open wounds, according to state health experts, should be kept clean, dry and covered to prevent infection, which can come from anywhere, including from bacteria that lives naturally on the human body.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or


Captain Cook Woman in Custody in Connection With Theft of Car

A Captain Cook woman is in police custody in connection with the theft of a car from Kealakekua.

The Acura Legend sedan was removed from Māmalahoa Bypass Road on September 12.

Randi-Keli Banagan

Randi-Keli Banagan

Police investigation led to the arrest Wednesday afternoon (October 2) of 22-year-old Randi-Keli Banagan, who was already in custody at the Kona police cellblock on a contempt of court charge.

Criminal Investigations Section detectives charged her at 1:05 p.m. Thursday with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. Her bail was set at $2,000. She remains at the cellblock pending her court appearance scheduled for Friday (October 4).

Tips From Public Lead to Arrest of Four During Burglary in Progress

Tips from the public Monday (September 30) led to the arrest of a man and three women during a burglary in progress in Hilo.

At 2:45 a.m. Monday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of a suspicious truck at a home on the 2000 block of Ainaola Drive.

Responding officers found a 36-year-old Keaʻau man, Raylad Brown, and three women, 37-year old Linda Kamahele of Hilo, 38-year old Lorilei Brown of Keaʻau and 39-year old Jeraldine Brown of Keaʻau, with a pickup truck containing items from the property and the house.

All four were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock.

Lorilei Brown

Lorilei Brown

Tuesday night, police charged Lorilei Brown with first-degree burglary and third-degree theft. Her bail was set at $51,000.

Kamahele was released pending further investigation.

Raylad Brown and Jeraldine Brown also were not charged in connection with Monday’s burglary pending further investigation.

However, Raylad Brown was charged with shoplifting in an unrelated case. His bail was set at $1,000. Jeraldine Brown was charged with theft and contempt of court in connection with outstanding warrants. Her bail was set at $12,500.

The three Browns were held at the cellblock until their initial court appearances on Wednesday.

Police commend the public for their diligence in reporting suspicious activities in their neighborhood.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Tweets Live During Lockdown as Shots Fired Outside US Capitol Building

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and her office were put on lockdown as gunshots were fired outside the US Capitol Building today in Washington DC.

She tweeted the following during the incident (read in reverse order for chronological sequence):

Gabbard Tweets
Here is a video of the chase that lead up to the shooting:

At a 6:00 pm ET (22:00 GMT) press conference, officials confirmed the car chase suspect is dead and that a child, approximately a year-old, was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. The female suspect attempted to “breach” an outer-perimeter checkpoint to the White House just prior to a pursuit by police.

Miriam Carey

Miriam Carey

Washington reports the driver has been identified by law enforcement as Miriam Carey.

Coast Guard Establishing Evacuation Plan for Hawaii Islands in Case of Large Tsunami

If a large tsunami ever is about to hit Hawaii, like the one that hit Hilo in 1946, the Coast Guard is implementing an evacuation plan that would ensure the safe evacuation of boats and vessels from Harbors around the state.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in helping the park achieve its  TsunamiReady/StormReady designation.  NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John
Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in
helping the park achieve its TsunamiReady/StormReady designation. NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

There are no public meetings planned by here is some general information on the plan:

The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a permanent regulated navigation area (RNA) and to enforce this proposed regulation only when a tsunami warning is issued for the Hawaiian Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Tsunami warnings require the evacuation of a large number of vessels from their respective harbors. Following the evacuation, these vessels must remain offshore until the emergency situation has passed and the harbors have been deemed safe for reentry.

Past tsunami warnings have created potentially dangerous offshore traffic congestion between commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Because of this, designated vessel traffic staging areas are necessary for a safe and orderly evacuation of Southern Oahu ports.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before November 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2012-0080. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. The following link will take you directly to the docket:!docketDetail;D=USCG-2012-0080. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For more information click here: Coast Guard Evacuation Plan

Workshop Helps Increase the Appetite for Breadfruit

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona. 

Breadfruit Festival

Photo credit: Angela Tillson, Courtesy of the Breadfruit Institute

Sponsored by Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture, the half-day Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will assist Hawai‘i’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit, and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers and home users of breadfruit will also find the workshop pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit.

Due to the sales and distribution of thousands of breadfruit trees in Hawai‘i, the production of breadfruit is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years—representing millions of dollars in potential retail sales of breadfruit in the next 5-8 years. Breadfruit can also play an increased key role in island food self-sufficiency, as it has been a primary staple food in the Pacific for thousands of years. The workshop teaches how to properly harvest, handle and utilize breadfruit to fully realize its commercial and community value.

Topics and speakers include: “Working with Variety”—an introduction to the three most common breadfruit varieties in Hawai‘i, presented by Dr. Diane Ragone, Director, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and postharvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Beyond Sticky”—preparing breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes or for storage, presented by Shirley Kauhaihao, Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.  “Some Like It Sweet”—making gourmet dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. “Going To Market”—marketing and value added products, presented by Andrea Dean and Craig Elevitch, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project. “Food from the Gods” —Breadfruit and the cultural importance in the Pacific Islands, presented by Ku‘ulei Keakealani, Educational Coordinator, Ka‘ūpūlehu Interpretive Center at Kalaemanō.

The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be followed by music and a locally grown lunch prepared by volunteers from the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Hua o Ke Ao, and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program.

Breadfruit—From Tree to Table is presented by Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project and is cosponsored by Kamehameha Schools and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person and lunch by donation.  To register please visit To volunteer at the workshop, to donate breadfruit or for general inquiries, please email or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727.