Governor Abercrombie Releases $475,000 in CIP Funds for Ka’u Hospital

Senator Russell Ruderman just announced on Facebook the following release of funds for the Ka’u Hospital on the Big Island:

Kau Hospital

I am very happy to announce that today I received notification from Governor Abercrombie that he has released $475,000 in CIP funds for the Ka’u Hospital Renovations, Repairs, and Maintenance.

“It gives me great satisfaction to share with you that my Administration is releasing the following Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for work in your District:

Ka’u Hospital, Hospital Renovations – $201,000

HHSC, Repair and Maintenance Projects, Statewide (Ka’u Hospital, Energy Audit) – $75,000

HHSC, Repair and Maintenance Projects, Statewide (Ka’u Hospital, Plumbing Upgrade) – $199,000

I understand how important these projects are to the people you serve in your District. Thank you for your work in securing these projects and I look forward to working together to see its completion.”

I appreciate the Governor’s New Day Work Projects initiative and thank him for his personal attention to this matter. The release of CIP funds for renovations to Ka’u Hospital is a welcome influx of needed funding to improve the infrastructure and safety for our community and projects like this will help improve the safety and health of our community in addition to help reduce unemployment in our district.

School Athletics Funding Bill Scheduled For Hearing

Athletics has become a key factor in helping students stay motivated and succeed in the classroom. However, after the downturn in the economy, many athletic programs and positions have been cut. State Senator David Ige introduced this session a measure that would restore some of these positions and programs.

Click to learn more

Click to learn more

He urges public school, teachers and coaches to submit testimony on Senate Bill 3083, and become an active participant in the legislative process. During the hearing, scheduled for Monday, Feb. 10 at 1:15 p.m., schools across the state will be able to provide live testimony via the Hawaii State Senate’s Statewide Videoconferencing Pilot Program, which launched this year. Lawmakers initiated the program last year allowing neighbor island residents the opportunity to provide testimony using technology. Many people, especially students, are unable to travel to the State Capitol to provide testimony in person. The Senate’s technology initiative will allow them to testify on SB3083

“The advent of videoconferencing technologies within the Senate gives students easier access to the legislative process,” said Ige, “allowing them to be stewards of their own education and to voice opinions on how school sports has personally affected their lives.”

Ige, who is chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, spoke with many coaches, parents and teachers about the important role athletics play in overall student development. “For many students in our public schools, the opportunity to play sports motivates and positively impacts their success in the classroom. “

SB3083 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Education Committee on Monday, February 10 at 1:15 p.m. in Room 414 of the State Capitol. Those wishing to submit testimony or to sign up to provide testimony via teleconferencing can do so by visiting www.capitol.hawaii.gov.   

Students Across State Testify Via Videoconferencing – Bringing the Legislature to Neighbor Islands Through Technology

Students from across the state participated in the legislative process by testifying via videoconferencing during a Senate hearing on two education bills.

Click to view the hearing

Click to view the hearing

Senate Bill 2441 establishes the R.E.A.C.H. program within the Office of Youth Services to provide a standardized framework and funding for after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools.

sb2441The bill establishes a revolving fund to receive fees and other moneys to supplement the costs of administering and operating the program; appropriates funds for establishing the R.E.A.C.H. program to provide funding for after-school programs in middle and intermediate public schools; and establishes one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) position to support the program and appropriates funds for that position. Students from Hana High and Elementary School, Waiakea Intermediate School, Mililani Middle School and Molokai Intermediate School testified before the committee on this measure via video conferencing.

SB2446 requires the Department of Education to name the new public high school in Kihei, Maui the “Patsy Takemoto Mink High School,” in honor of the late United States Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink. Students from Kihei Public Charter School, Maui Waena Intermediate School and Maui High School testified on this measure via video conferencing.

SB2446

“Increasing access and transparency has always been a top priority for the Senate, and utilizing technology is an effective way of achieving this goal,” said Senator Jill Tokuda, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. “The measures before us impact our students and our schools, and the policies we draft are strengthened by their input and ideas. I look forward to seeing more individuals use this tool to provide testimony.”

Beginning this legislative session, all Hawaii residents will now have the chance to testify at hearings before the Senate Committees on Education (EDU) and Technology and the Arts (TEC) without physically being there. In January 2013, the Senate began a pilot project to allow neighbor island residents the opportunity to participate in the legislative process without traveling to Oahu. Understanding that access is also a barrier for Oahu residents, the committees now pilot the videoconferencing technology statewide.

In its inaugural year, the Neighbor Island Videoconferencing Program was piloted by the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Technology and the Arts.  In its second year, the two committees will continue to pilot this project, increasing the amount of constituents that can be reached and who can testify by expanding statewide. Hearing notices for the pilot project hearings will indicate that videoconferencing testimony will be allowed and contain a link to instructions for the public on how to participate.  Because this is a pilot project, there are some limitations to how many individuals are able to participate.  Following the completion of the legislative session, the project will be evaluated.

Big Island Police Arrest 54-Year-Old Hilo Man Following Robbery in Downtown Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police have a 54-year-old Hilo man in custody for an alleged robbery in Downtown Hilo Wednesday (February 5).
HPDBadgeAt about 12:03 p.m., police responded to the Moʻoheau bus terminal after receiving a report of a fight. Upon arrival, they contacted a 32-year-old Hakalau man who reported that an acquaintance took an undisclosed amount of money from him while at Moʻoheau Bandstand. When the victim attempted to retrieve the money, the suspect reportedly punched him several times and fled the area.

The victim sustained facial injuries. Fire Department medics took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated and later released.

The suspect was identified as a man who frequents the Downtown Hilo area.

At 8:40 a.m. Thursday (February 6), police arrested 54-year-old John Michael Kapahu, who has no permanent address, on suspicion of second-degree robbery. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may have witnessed it to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@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.

Man Identified From Yesterday’s Two-Vehicle Car Crash

A 52-year-old Kona man died Wednesday (February 5) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway.

HPDBadge

He was identified as Matthew B. Lee of Kailua-Kona.

Responding to an 11:30 a.m. call, South Kohala patrol officers determined that Lee, who was operating a 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck loaded with several empty propane gas tanks, was traveling south on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway between the 71- and 72-mile markers when he veered across the centerline into the north-bound traffic lane and sideswiped a 2013 Dodge Dart 4-door sedan being operated by a 62-year-old man from Alberta, Canada.  Also in the Dodge Dart were three other adults. No one in the Dodge Dart was injured. After colliding with the car, Matthew’s truck struck an embankment on the north-bound shoulder and came to a stop.

Lee was pronounced dead upon arrival at North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital.

Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway was closed to traffic at about 11:35 a.m. and reopened around 4:15 p.m.

Police do not believe that alcohol or speed contributed to this collision.

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

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, ext. 229.

This is the fourth fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.

Big Island Police Searching for Koa Thieves

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men wanted for a theft in Puna last week.

On January 29 at about 11:40 p.m., police received a call from a 60-year-old homeowner reporting two suspicious vehicles and at least four male suspects who were on his property in Mountain View and allegedly stealing cut pieces of koʻa wood.

Composite drawing of driver

Composite drawing of driver

The victim initially thought a relative was on the property and approached the vehicles and the subjects, discovering that the suspects had loaded their trucks with the wood. After confronting two of the men, the victim managed to recover several pieces of his wood. While he was calling police, both trucks fled the area. The victim reported that he heard gunshots coming from the direction of the vehicles at a distance away. He discovered that a chain preventing access to his property had been cut. The victim was not injured in the encounter.

Composite drawing of passenger

Composite drawing of passenger

One truck was described as a yellow full-size truck and the other as a red-and-white full-size truck. Neither vehicle displayed any license plates.

One suspect—the passenger in the red-and-white truck—was described as a local male in his 30’s, about 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall, about 200 pounds with a muscular build, short black hair, and possible tattoos on his neck. He was wearing a light-colored short-sleeved T-shirt.

Another suspect—the driver of the red-and-white truck—was described as in his 30’s, local, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a lighter complexion (compared with the muscular man) with short black hair. He was not wearing a shirt.

Although the victim did not get a good look at the two remaining suspects, he could recall that one of them was taller than the others and the other was about the same height as the first two.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second-degree theft, first-degree reckless endangering, fourth-degree criminal property damage and first-degree criminal trespass.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or may know the identities of the suspects to contact Detective Clarence Davies of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2384 or cdavies@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.

Big Island Police Searching for 41-Year-Old Man Wanted for Abuse of Family/Household Member

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 41-year-old man wanted for abuse of a family/household member.

Hacha Carva

Justin S. Hollenbaugh aka Hacha Carva

Justin S. Hollenbaugh also goes by the name Hacha Carva. He has no permanent address but was last seen in Captain Cook. He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-10, 160 pounds with green eyes and brown shoulder-length hair that may be worn in dreadlocks.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts 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.

Roseanne Barr Stars in Vagina Monologues – Extra Show Added

Vagina Monologues at the Kahilu Theatre this Saturday 7pm and Sunday 2pm shows are completely sold out.  The cast and Theatre are delighted to offer a third show at 6pm on Sunday.  The Women’s Health Fair will continue in the foyer through the last show.

Vagina

The Theatre is also arranging for free tickets for groups of high school students to come to the last Sunday show, from Kanu o ka Aina, Honokaa High School, HPA High School, Parker School and Kohala High School.  Tim Bostock, Artistic and Managing Director of Kahilu Theatre, explained; “We had offered to several schools to arrange for groups to come to the show free of charge, but by the beginning of this week both of the shows were sold out, just as Makana last Friday sold out.  We want to make good on our offer, as we sincerely believe that Vagina Monologues is a truly educational and inspiring show to see, especially for teenagers.”

The Kahilu cast for Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues includes Roseanne Barr, actress, comedian, writer, television producer, director, and 2012 presidential nominee of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party.

This riveting, socially illuminating production is as flat out hilarious as it is spectacularly emotional. Vagina Monologues is a piece of theatrical history not to be missed.  100% of proceeds go to services helping women and children in crisis, with the huge majority staying here on the Big Island. The Light On Foundation, Child & Family Services and Hamakua Youth Center will all benefit from tickets sold. The performance is suitable for ages 13 and over.

Tickets are priced $25, $20, $15 and $10, and are available from the Kahilu Theatre website www.kahilutheatre.org and the box office, which is open 9am to 12noon Monday to Friday, walk in or call (808) 885-6868.

39-Year-Old Dies in Construction Site Accident

On Wednesday (February 5) at about 1:11 p.m., Kona patrol officers responded to a reported construction site accident with injuries in Hōlualoa.

Donny Loando

Donny Loando

It was determined that 38-year-old Donny Loando of Hōlualoa had been operating a single drum roller while constructing a private driveway when the vehicle rolled backwards down a steep slope and crashed into a carport at a neighboring residence.

Loando was thrown from the roller and sustained injuries. He was transported to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m.

No one in the residence was injured.

The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask that anyone with additional information on this incident call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646 extension 229

Public Comments Sought on Park’s Administrative Aviation Plan and Environmental Assessment

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has released its Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan and Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) for managing the use of administrative aviation over the park. The public is invited to comment online or via mail by March 7, 2014.

Air Tour

The park and cooperating agencies use helicopters over the 333,086-acre park to respond to eruption activity, monitor and study Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, control invasive species, recover rare species, restore degraded ecosystems, protect cultural resources, and conduct wildland fire, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations.

The plan/EA outlines project alternatives, including a no-action alternative and a preferred alternative. Under the no-action alternative, park staff and cooperating agencies would continue to use aviation as needed. Under the preferred alternative, aviation would be used for the health and safety of visitors, employees, and island residents, and for park resource protection and restoration activities. Under this plan, formal best-management practices (BMPs), area closures, and flight restrictions would be instituted to minimize impacts to park resources, soundscapes, wilderness, visitors, and adjoining landowners.

To review the plan/EA, and provide comments online, go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo. Select the Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan link, and click “Open for Comment” on the left, then open the document name. Download the document, or comment directly on the page. Comments can also be mailed to Superintendent, re: Admin Aviation Mgmt Plan/EA, PO Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI  96718-0052. Comments are due March 7, 2014.

Commercial air tours over the park are being addressed through a separate planning process to develop an Air Tour Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (ATMP/EIS). The lead agency for the ATMP/EIS is the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Park Service is a cooperator.

Senator Solomon to Hold Series of Legislative Community Meetings on the Big Island

Senator Malama Solomon will hold a series of legislative community meetings on Hawaii Island for residents of the 4th Senatorial District, which includes N. Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, and N. Kona.

Sen. Malama Solomon

Sen. Malama Solomon

The meetings are held for community members to attend and to voice their concerns on issues affecting the district and state and to share their priorities for the legislative session.

Solomon will be holding the series of meeting during the legislative session’s mandatory recess. “The original legislative intent of the annual mandatory recess was primarily to enable neighbor island legislators to meet on island with constituents to discuss priorities and concerns,” said Solomon.

SCHEDULE:

  • Thursday, February 20, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate School Cafeteria, 27-330 Old Mamalahoa Hwy., Papaikou, HI
  • Friday, February 21, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Laupahoehoe Public Charter School Cafeteria, 35-2065 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea
  • Monday, February 24, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Kohala Senior Center, 65-1291A Kawaihae Rd., Kamuela
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., North Hawaii Education and Research Center, 45-539 Plumeria St., Honokaa
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Waikoloa Elementary School Cafeteria, 68-1730 Hooko St., Waikoloa Village, HI 96738

For more information, please call toll free 974-4000, Ext. 67335 or email sensolomon@capitol.hawaii.gov.