Man Gets Assaulted and Photographed in UH Hilo Bathroom

According to the University of Hawaii Hilo Crime records, a man was assaulted and had pictures taken of him inside a bathroom at K-Hall.

UHH Bathroom assault

You can read the full release here: Assault at UH Hilo Bathroom.

In other UH Hilo news:

A female reported her math book was stolen by a student while she was waiting for class on Thursday.

Big Island Now Has Only One Crime Stoppers Number – 961-8300

Hawaiʻi Island now has one Crime Stoppers telephone number to serve the entire island. The number is 961-8300.

HPDBadgeIn the past, two community organizations ran Crime Stoppers operations, one serving East Hawaiʻi and one serving West Hawaiʻi.

The community organization that previously served East Hawaiʻi now operates islandwide.

Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. When you call Crime Stoppers, you will be given a code number to track the status of your case. By calling later and giving your code number, you can find out whether you qualify for a reward.

If the Crime Stoppers board of directors selects you for a reward, you will be directed to an agreed-upon location to pick up the money. You will never be required to provide your name. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record any calls or subscribe to caller ID.

Councilman Ilagan to Introduce Bill 185 – Certified Organic Bill

On Tuesday, February 4, Councilman Ilagan will be introducing Bill 185, which further defines agricultural tax incentives to include an organic produce provision. This bill will be heard in the Finance Committee scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m.

Click to read the proposed bill

Click to read the proposed bill

Encouraging the growing certified organic industry is a positive step forward in helping Hawaii County move towards the goal of food self-sufficiency. In conjunction with conventional farming operations, we need to explore and promote all means possible for reducing the amount of food and agricultural products imported into the state.

Bill 185 is a step along this path. Supporting local agricultural activity is not only an economic benefit but can also significantly reduce the threat of importing pests, and lower the possibility of introducing diseases that can threaten native plants and locally produced foods. A thriving agricultural industry is an important part of our island lifestyle, and helping farmers from different agriculture fields will bring us closer to realizing food self-sufficiency on the Big Island.

Highlights of Bill 185:

  1. Certified organic farmers are assessed at the same value as pasture and slow rotation forestry, which is the lowest assessed value per acre for agricultural use.
  2. A certified organic tax relief is based on more intensive agricultural use with limited County agency oversight due to third party enforcement and site inspections.
  3. A tax incentive for certified organic operations will help to enable new farmers to start, and established small farms to continue farming.
  4. Annual recertification process for certified organic operations encourages farmers to continue farming land for intensive agriculture use.
  5. Tax breaks will lessen the burden of certification costs which ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, and relatively high production costs due to the increased labor requirements.
  6. Approximately 200 growers are certified organic farmers in Hawai’i, and the median size is 5 acres on the Big Island, according to the 2007 Agriculture Census.
  7. Encourages the establishment of high value niche market products.

For more information call (808) 961-8825, or visit http://puna4.com

Big Island Police Charge 61-Year-Old Man for Wednesday’s Bank Robbery in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged the man arrested after a bank robbery that took place Wednesday afternoon (January 29) in Hilo.

Lelome Kahaualoa Rogers

Lelome Kahaualoa Rogers

At 12:05 p.m. Friday (January 31), 61-year-old Lelome Kahaualoa Rogers, who has no permanent address, was charged with second-degree robbery and second-degree theft. His bail was set at $70,000.

He remains at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (February 3)

Governor Abercrombie Releases $15.85 Million for Agriculture, Watershed Preservation

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $15.85 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) administered by the state Department of Agriculture in support of the local agriculture industry and further preservation of Hawaii’s watersheds.

“Hawaii’s agriculture industry is vital to our local economy and supports thriving rural communities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “It’s essential to protect our mauka forest areas, which contain native plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Our state’s watershed initiative remains a top priority, and it is the most cost-effective and efficient way to absorb rainwater and replenish groundwater resources to prevent erosion that muddies our beaches and fisheries.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$12,500,000 – Agricultural Land, Oahu – Funds to purchase three land parcels in Wahiawa for agribusiness operations; the properties have access to roads, municipal water, and utilities, which make it efficient for transport of produce and cost effective for agribusiness operations (A fourth parcel may be purchased, pending negotiations with another buyer)

Temporary repair of one of the original wooden flumes. Some of the wooden flumes will be restored to their original state for historical purposes.

Temporary repair of one of the original wooden flumes. Some of the wooden flumes will be restored to their original state for historical purposes.

$1,500,000 – Lower Hamakua Ditch Watershed Project, Island of Hawaii – Construction to repair flumes, ditches, reservoirs and tunnels; remove sediment in the ditches; modify intake structures; and install new lateral distribution lines for the irrigation system

$1,000,000 – State Agricultural Water Use Development Plan, statewide – Project planning to continue to inventory irrigation systems throughout the state, prepare historic description of the original irrigation infrastructure, assess the current condition, propose maintenance improvements, identify irrigation source and water use requirements, and develop long-term water use projections

$700,000 – Kunia Agricultural Park, Oahu – Design of the 150-acre Kunia Agricultural Park in Royal Kunia; design plans will include provisions to subdivide the land parcel into 26 lots and coordinating adjacent infrastructure to make utilities available to the parcels

$75,000 – East Kauai Irrigation System, Kauai – Construction for upgrades and repairs including clearing, lining, repairing and stabilizing the access roads, ditches, flumes, tunnels, reservoirs, diversions and intakes

$75,000 – Waimanalo Irrigation System Improvements, Oahu – Design for the extension of the main irrigation pipeline; the extension will be approximately 1,500 linear feet

DLNR Invites Public Input On Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks in partnership with PBR HAWAII, invites the public to informational meetings about the 2014 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Hawaii updates the SCORP every five years to remain eligible to receive funds for outdoor recreation projects through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal grants program administered by the National Park Service.

DLNR

Public participation in the meetings will help State Parks and National Park Service select projects to receive Land and Water Conservation funding that best meets Hawaii’s recreational needs and helps resolve any recreational conflicts.

Meetings will be for two hours and will include a brief presentation near the beginning, but information will be available throughout the evening. The public can drop by for as much or as little time as they wish. Keiki are welcome, and there will be a special activity for them.

Anyone who is unable to attend any of the meetings is invited to take the SCORP survey, which is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HISCORP2014 and will be open through Feb. 28, 2014.
MEETINGS SCHEDULE

Oahu
Wednesday, Feb. 5
5 – 7 p.m.
——–
Kanaina Building Conference Room
at Iolani Palace
364 South King St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
From King Street, turn left onto Likelike Mall and left again into the Iolani Palace grounds. The Kanaina Building is the first building on the right after the gates.
Kauai
Thursday, Feb. 13
5 – 7 p.m.
——–
Lihue Neighborhood Center 
Main Hall
3353 Eono St.
Lihue, HI 96766
Hawaii
Hilo
Tuesday, Feb. 18
5 – 7 p.m.
——–
State Office Building
Conference Rooms A, B, C
75 Aupuni St.
Hilo, HI 96720
Kailua-Kona
Thursday, Feb. 27
5 – 7 p.m.
——–
Community Meeting Hale at the
West Hawaii Civic Center
74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Maui
Monday, March 3
5 – 7 p.m.
——–
Planning Department Meeting Room
Room 106, 1st Floor, Kalana Pukui Building
250 South High St.
Wailuku, HI 96793

BACKGROUND

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants provide a match for state and county funds to acquire new land for outdoor recreation and develop or renovate recreational facilities. Since 1967, the State of Hawaii and the four counties have received more than $38 million in LWCF grants for acquisition and development of outdoor recreation lands and facilities. In recent years, LWCF grants have been awarded to the County of Hawaii to install new playground equipment at Panaewa Zoo in Hilo, the City and County of Honolulu to replace the ball field lights at Ala Wai Community Park, the County of Maui to construct a new skate park within the Lahaina Recreation Center, and State Parks for renovation of park cabins, pavilions, and comfort stations at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area on Hawaii Island.

Big Island Police Searching for Suspect in Hilo Robbery This Morning

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a robbery Friday morning (January 31) in Hilo.

HPDBadge

Between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., a 31-year-old man was standing on the sidewalk on the mauka side of Kanoelehua Avenue near the intersection of Leilani Street when he was approached by a man on a bicycle who brandished a knife and demanded money. The suspect then rode north with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The victim was not injured in the robbery.

The suspect is described as Caucasian, thin, in his mid 30s to early40s with long hair. He was wearing a white tank top, bright red or orange shorts and was carrying a light-colored messenger bag.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the robbery or who knows the identity of the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 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.

Big Island Police Arrest 23-Year-Old Man Following Robbery in Pahoa on Wednesday

A 23-year-old man was arrested and charged with several offenses following a robbery in Pāhoa on Wednesday night (January 29).

Puna Patrol officers responded to a 9:09 p.m. report that a 59-year-old Pāhoa man had been walking in Pāhoa around 8:30 p.m. when an unknown man kicked him, knocked him to the ground and stole his backpack. The suspect fled on foot.

Fred I. Silva

Fred I. Silva

A short time later, police found the suspect in the vicinity. Fred I. Silva, 23, who has no permanent address, was arrested and charged with four counts of contempt of court and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation into the robbery.

At 10:50 a.m. Thursday (January 30), detectives charged him with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault and fourth-degree theft. His bail was set at $27,000. He remained in the cellblock pending his initial court appearance on Friday (January 31).

“Jive for Wildlife” – Benefit Concert to Protect Native Wildlife & Wild Places

Layout 1The concert will be held on Monday, February 17, 2014 (Presidents’ Day), 12 noon to 4 pm at the Moku Ola Ballroom, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Please come and enjoy the music, heavy pupu, no-host bar, door prizes, silent auction, and wildlife store.

Tickets are $50 ($25 of which is tax-deductible).  To purchase tickets or to help sponsor the event, please contact Julie Leialoha on the Big Island at jakleialoha@gmail.com or 443-4039.

Chocolate Lover’s Paradise – The Big Island Chocolate Festival is Coming Up!

The alluring, rich taste of chocolate, in both its sweet and savory forms, is showcased at the third annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) May 2-3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Headlining the event is “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity from New York City, plus Derek Poirier of Valrhona USA, Donald Wressell of Guittard and Stanton Ho for Amoretti.

Big Island Chocolate FestivalThe two-day chocolate decadence opens with a student competition on Friday, followed by public culinary and agriculture-themed, hands-on seminars and demonstrations on Saturday. Fun culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Grand Ballroom—indulge at a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.

Culinary stations will be vying for awards in a variety of categories judged by a panel of celebrity chefs led by Torres. Attendees can get in on the friendly voting by casting a ballot for the People’s Choice Award.

Chocolate Festival

Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, live entertainment, dancing and a silent auction. Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fantasyland of chocolate,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar. “It inspires our chefs, encourages our island farmers to grow cacao and shows our chocolatiers that chocolate can be a viable business.”

Early bird tickets for Hawai‘i’s premiere chocolate gala are $65 until sold out or through Feb. 28. Pre-sale tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Festival

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Senator Introduces Law Enforcement Bills

Senator Will Espero, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, introduced six bills related to law enforcement that address several concerns of public safety around the state.
capital

“These bills will improve and strengthen our law enforcement at the county and state level,” said Espero (D, ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages). “The bills are good for law enforcement officers and for the general public as a whole.”

One of the bills, SB2590, prompted by the Christopher Deedy trial, in which the defendant, a federal agent, was charged with murder after shooting a man at a fast-food restaurant after a night of bar-hopping, seeks to prohibit all county and state law enforcement officers from the consumption of alcohol while carrying a firearm. (On Aug. 26, 2013, a Honolulu judge declared a mistrial as the jury was unable to reach a verdict.)

“We expect the best from those who serve and protect, and we hold them to the highest standards,” said Espero. “This bill helps to ensure the safety of both civilians and law enforcement in the state.”

“On another issue of firearms, I’ve introduced a bill that would establish an online firearms registration process to streamline the process for owners and officials,” he added, “One of the biggest complaints about government is inefficiency. With this measure, everyone will save time and money.”

IMPROVING AND STRENGTHENING LAW ENFORCEMENT

SB2937 Relating to a Law Enforcement Standards Board

Establishes a statewide law enforcement standards board for the licensing and certification of county police officers, state public safety officers, and employees of the departments of transportation and land and natural resources with police powers. Establishes a special fund. Appropriates funds.  Hawaii is only state in the nation without any state-level regulation of police.

SB2591 Relating to Law Enforcement

Requires the chief of each county police department to submit an annual report to the legislature of misconduct incidents that resulted in suspension or discharge of a police officer from the calendar year immediately prior to the year of the report submission. Requires the county police departments to provide updated information in each successive annual report until the highest non-judicial grievance adjustment procedure has concluded. Requires the county police departments to retain the disciplinary records in accordance with its record retention policy or for at least six months, whichever period is longer.

SB2589 Relating to Law Enforcement

Transfers the law enforcement functions of the harbors division of the department of transportation to the department of public safety, effective July 1, 2016.

SB2938 Relating to Firearms Registration

Requires each county to establish an online firearms registration process to be fully implemented by July 1, 2015.

SB2590 Relating to Firearms

Prohibits state and county law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry firearms from consuming alcohol or ingesting prescription medications that would impair the judgment or physical response of the employee while carrying a firearm. Prohibits the consumption of alcohol for an unspecified number of hours prior to carrying a firearm.

SB2588 Relating to Unsworn Falsification to a Law Enforcement Officer

Creates the offense of unsworn falsification to a law enforcement officer and a penalty of not less than a misdemeanor.

Man Wanted in Connection With Robbery Involving Hatchet Arrested

A a Kaʻū man who was being sought in connection with a robbery involving a hatchet has been arrested.

Kainoa Kahele-Bishop

Kainoa Kahele-Bishop

Kaʻū patrol officers arrested 23-year-old Kainoa Kahele-Bishop of Ocean View Thursday morning (January 30). He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

The arrest stems from a report Sunday (January 26) that a 47-year-old Discovery Harbor woman walking near her parked car on South Point Road had been threatened with a hatchet by another woman who got out of a white Toyota sedan.

The two women scuffled and the victim was able to take the hatchet away and throw it into the brush on the side of the road. During the scuffle, the victim suffered a bite on the right forearm. A man then exited the Toyota, reached into the victim’s car and removed a bag containing a laptop, a cellular telephone and a wallet.

The male suspect fled in the Toyota after a passerby stopped to intervene. The female suspect entered the victim’s car and unsuccessfully attempted to start it. She then ran into the bushes.

Trinety Crapser

Trinety Crapser

Police investigation led to the identity of the suspects. The woman, 25-year-old Trinety Crapser of Ocean View, was arrested Monday (January 27) and charged Tuesday (January 28) with first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle.

Senate Bill Restores Resources for Hawaii Public School Athletics

State Senator David Ige (D-16 Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, ‘Aiea, Royal Summit, ‘Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Hālawa, Pearl Harbor), chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, has introduced Senate Bill 3083, which, if passed, would make an appropriation to restore resources to the athletic programs in public schools throughout the state. The measure would also increase the positions authorized for school athletics and allow the Department of Education to create, fill and fund full-time equivalent, permanent, or temporary positions for fiscal year 2014-2015 for its athletic programs.

SB3083

SB3083 is also supported by Senator Michelle Kidani (D-18 Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia), vice chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Senator Jill Tokuda (D-24 Kāneohe, Kāneohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Āhuimanu), chairwoman of the Education Committee.

“During the time of the ‘Great Recession’, the athletic programs at public schools have borne much of the brunt of the budget cuts made in education. This measure will help to provide additional resources to assure the development and safety of our high school athletes,” said Ige. “For many students in our public schools, the opportunity to play sports motivates and positively impacts their success in the classroom. In recognizing the positive influence coaches and athletics can have on our students, this measure helps illustrate the investment we are making in our students to help them succeed in both the classroom and on the playing field.”

SB3083 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Education Committee on Monday, February 10 at 1:15 p.m.  Those wishing to submit testimony or to sign up to provide testimony via teleconferencing can do so by visiting www.capitol.hawaii.gov.

Hiker Caught in Hawaii Snowstorm is Rescued from Mauna Loa

Park rangers rescued a lone hiker Thursday morning who was  stranded on Mauna Loa after a winter snowstorm pummeled  the summit and lower elevations with heavy snow and high winds.

Search-and-rescue pilot David Okita shows snow-covered Mauna Loa and the cindercone Pohaku o Hanalei in foreground, near where Sverdlov was spotted. Snow-covered Mauna Kea is seen in the distance.

Search-and-rescue pilot David Okita shows snow-covered Mauna Loa and the cindercone Pohaku o Hanalei in foreground, near where Sverdlov was spotted. Snow-covered Mauna Kea is seen in the distance.

Last Sunday, New York resident Alex Sverdlov, 36, began the grueling 18-mile trek from the top of Mauna Loa Road at 6,662 feet towards the summit of Mauna Loa. He reached the 13,677-foot summit on Tuesday, after dropping off his heavy gear at a lower elevation.  The snowstorm struck on his late-afternoon descent, creating a blinding white-out. Night fell, and after a few futile attempts to locate his pack, Sverdlov decided to hunker down in the snow until daylight. His only protection was the clothes he had on, and a bottle of frozen water.

Earlier Tuesday, park management closed the mountain to visitors because of the dangerous weather. Sverdlov was the only registered hiker, and park rangers tried unsuccessfully to call his cell phone. They drove up Mauna Loa Road, and confirmed his car was there. When Sverdlov’s car was still there Wednesday afternoon, Park Ranger John Broward decided to search for him by helicopter Thursday morning. Sverdlov was located by 9 a.m.

Rescued hiker Alex Sverdlov (middle) stands with his rescuers, park ranger John Broward (right) and park ranger Tyler Paul (left) outside the park's Visitor Emergency Operations Center on Thursday.  NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Rescued hiker Alex Sverdlov (middle) stands with his rescuers, park ranger John Broward (right) and park ranger Tyler Paul (left) outside the park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center on Thursday. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

“I’ve done many crazy hikes, but this one pretty much tops the bill,” said Sverdlov, an experienced hiker who successfully summited Mauna Loa last winter. After locating his pack Wednesday morning, the deep snow made it impossible to gain much ground, and he spent a second frozen night on the mountain. Sverdlov worried that he’d die on Mauna Loa, and was astonished when he heard the helicopter.

“Even the most experienced and prepared hikers can get into trouble in the park,” said Broward, who serves as the park’s search-and-rescue coordinator. “What saved Alex is that he had a backcountry permit so we knew he was up there, he is extremely fit, and he stayed calm. We’re all fortunate this had a happy ending.”

On Thursday afternoon, his face sun-burned and wind-whipped, Sverdlov applied for another backcountry permit, for the park’s remote coastal area. “This time I’m going to the sunny part of the park,” he said.

Two Students Arrested at Hilo High School After Explosion Puts School on Lockdown

Two high school students are in police custody in connection with a small explosion at Hilo High School.

Lockdown

No one was injured in the incident.

At 11:34 a.m. Thursday (January 30), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report that a device had detonated on campus. When police arrived, the school went into lockdown.

Lockdown2

Police recovered the remnants of a plastic liquid container and an unidentified liquid substance. The device was in an open corridor near the school’s auditorium. The only damage was residue at the site.

Patrol officers and school security guards screened the campus for any additional devices but found none.

Lockdown3The lockdown was lifted shortly before 1 p.m.
Lockdown4
Two 16-year-old male students were arrested and taken into custody while detectives from the Juvenile Aid Section continue the investigation.

Some Good News Amid Bad News, for Hawaii’s Endangered Honeycreepers

Warming temperatures due to climate change are exposing endangered Hawaiian forest birds to greater risk of avian malaria. But new research led by the U.S. Geological Survey holds out some hope that the birds may be able to adapt.

Hawaiian Honeycreeper Photographer: Carter Atkinson, USGS

Hawaiian Honeycreeper Photographer: Carter Atkinson, USGS

For decades, scientists have documented declines and extinctions among species of Hawaiian honeycreepers due to the spread of avian malaria and other diseases. At one time, the Hawaiian Islands had no mosquitoes—and no mosquito-borne diseases. But, by the late 1800s, mosquitoes were firmly established in the islands. Another invasive species—feral pigs—helped the mosquito population boom by creating larval habitat as they rooted through forests. The honeycreepers had no natural defense against a disease they had never before experienced.

“Honeycreepers are exquisitely sensitive to avian malaria,” said Dr. Carter Atkinson, a USGS microbiologist based at the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center in Hawai’i. Atkinson is the lead author of two new research papers examining how climate change is increasing the honeycreepers’ risk of infection.

One paper, accepted for publication by the journal Global Change Biology, confirms the bad news that infection has doubled in the last 20 years among birds in one of the last high elevation refuges in the Hawaiian Islands. Atkinson and his colleagues compared data collected from birds at three sites on the remote, rugged `Alakai Plateau of Kaua`i during 1994-1997 and 2007-2013. The most disturbing result was found at the highest elevation site, where malarial infection increased from 2.0 percent to 19.3 percent.

Alakai Plateau

Alakai Plateau

“These increases in infection appear to be driven by a combination of environmental factors,” said Atkinson. “Warming temperatures, decreased precipitation, and changes in streamflow may be allowing mosquitoes and disease transmission to invade the highest reaches of the Plateau.”

The other paper, published in EcoHealth, provides a glimmer of good news. Atkinson and his colleagues found that a rapidly expanding, low elevation population of a honeycreeper species, the Hawai’i‘Amakihi, on the island of Hawai’i has developed a tolerance for the disease.

In this study, Atkinson and his research team captured birds from both the low elevation population and from a higher elevation site. The birds were screened to ensure that they were not infected with avian malaria, and then assigned to experimental or control groups. Birds in the experimental group were exposed to malarial infection, while birds in the control group were not.

Results showed that the low elevation ‘Amakihi were able to tolerate infection much better than birds from higher elevation. Mortality rates were lower, and the low elevation birds lost less weight and maintained normal food consumption.

But why?

“That’s the next step,” said Atkinson. “The emergence of this population provides an exceptional opportunity for determining the physiological mechanisms and genetic markers associated with malaria tolerance. Adaptation may be the best long-term hope for recovery for many of these species.”

Target to Open First Store in Maui – Will Employ 200… Candidates Can Apply Online

Target is pleased to announce plans to open a new store in the city of Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, in March 2015. The store will be located on Hookele Street as part of the Pu‘unēnē Shopping Center.  This will be the first Target store in Maui.

Target Location

The Maui store will be approximately 140,000 square feet, and will offer guests the everyday essentials and exclusive brands they have come to expect from Target. In addition, the store will include a selection of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, as well as a Starbucks and a Target Pharmacy, to further enhance guests’ shopping experience.

The Maui location will employ approximately 200 team members. Target will host job fairs approximately two months prior to the new store opening, at which prospective candidates may apply and interview for open team member positions. Candidates may also apply online at Target.com/careers or at in-store kiosks located in all Target stores approximately three months prior to the new store opening.

“Target is excited about our first store on the island of Maui,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior vice president of stores in the Western region.  “Since opening our first store in Hawaii in 2009, we’ve created strong partnerships with the local community and delivered our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise to guests throughout the islands.”

Target creates strong partnerships with local organizations in all of the communities where the company does business through Target’s community giving programs. This store will start a local grant program, contribute to the United Way and donate food to a Feeding America member, or approved agency. Target also encourages team members to volunteer their time to serve the needs of their community.

Photography Is Not a Crime – Lawyer Threatens Me Over Today’s #WordlessWednesday Picture

Well once again I’m getting threatened by an attorney for something that seems ridiculous and I will ask this question now… Is taking photographs of cars and the signs that are on them illegal?

Earlier today, as I do on many Wednesdays, I posted a post entitled: “Wordless Wednesday – I Lost My Implants…” where I simply stated:  “I saw this truck parked at Island Naturals in Pahoa on the Big Island yesterday:” and then posted a picture of a truck that I saw parked at Island Naturals in Pahoa.

This afternoon I received an email from Honolulu Law firm WILLIAM J. NAGLE III, ESQ., Roeca Luria & Hiraoka LLP stating:

Mr. Tucker:

This firm represents Dr. ***********  in the matter of the photograph of the sign displayed on your blog dated 1/29/14.  We request that the photograph be removed from your blog (damontucker.com) as the contents of the sign are offensive to our client.  Because your blog is widely read on the Big Island, the photograph of the sign has disappointed and upset Dr. *********.
Mahalo for your kokua in this matter.

Well I don’t know what I should do really and feel that I have every right to post pictures I take in public.  I was just posting an observation I saw and really wasn’t making any statement other then it was “Wordless” in a sense.

I’ve left the blog post up… but have now removed the Doctors name from the picture.

IS PHOTOGRAPHY A CRIME?  Here is the incriminating photograph… minus the doctors name:

Dr. Who?

Dr. Who?

Big Island Police Arrest 61-Year-Old Man – Investigation of Bank Robbery Underway

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a bank robbery that took place Wednesday afternoon (January 29) in Hilo.

HPDBadge

At 1:42 p.m., South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of a robbery at Central Pacific Bank on Kīlauea Avenue, where a man reportedly produced a note and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect, 61-year-old Lelome Kahaualoa Rogers, who has no permanent address, was located on Aupuni Street and arrested at 2:05 p.m. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 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.

The Bad Boys of Dance Returns to UH Hilo

Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance performs once again at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center in one performance only on Tuesday, February 11 at 7:30 pm.

Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance

Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance

“Back by popular demand, the Bad Boys of Dance is comprised of the most talented and versatile young male dancers in the world today,” said PAC Manager Lee Dombroski. “Each Bad Boy is selected based on his extraordinary physical abilities and artistry; the talent of the Bad Boys is unparalleled in the industry.”

Founded by the dance world’s very own Bad Boy Rasta Thomas, “we show the world what great male dancing looks like, and to make dancing fun, entertaining and accessible to a whole new generation.”

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Tickets are reserved seating and priced at $25 General, $20 Discount and $12 UH Students/Children. Box Office hours are Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. -1 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call 932-7490 or order online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.