Commentary – Hawaii County Housing Violated My Right to a Fair Hearing

This is how Hawaii County Housing violated my right to a fair hearing due to notice of rent increase, by back dating my notice to 03/21/2014 and mailing it out postmarked 04/17/2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Not only do I not get a chance to appeal the decision but they only gave me 13 days notice of a rent increase to be effective 05/01/2014, based on the date the notice was postmarked! Is that against the law!

Melissa Morris, County of Hawaii

 

Pacific Islands Climate Science Center Head to Speak at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a seminar featuring David Helweg, director of the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PICSC), on Wednesday, April 23 at noon in Room 118 of the Science and Technology Building. The event is free and open to the public.

David Helweg

David Helweg

Helweg’s talk, entitled Vision and Framework of Science at the Department of Interior: Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, focuses on the Center and its efforts in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. PICSC, hosted by a consortium of the University of Hawaiʻi and the University of Guam, was launched in 2012 as one of eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs) set up by the Department of Interior to complement and work with a national network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to address challenges of climate change.

PICSC, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), works with Federal, State and other entities to deliver scientific research and interpretation to support management of natural and cultural resources. PICSC’s vision is to inform and support sustainability and climate adaptation of human and ecological communities in the Pacific.

For more information, call 933-0759 or email ziegler@hawaii.edu.

Abercrombie Releases Money for Hawaii Airports – ITO to Get $3.3 Million

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $335 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP). These funds will improve the air travel experience for Hawaii’s residents and visitors that drive our economy, while invigorating our growing construction industry and creating local jobs in the process.

“We have seen great strides in our Hawaii Airports Modernization Program over the past few years, and the release of these funds is evidence that we remain committed to transforming our airports into world-class facilities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Any investment in our airports is an investment in our economy and jobs.”

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

Kahului Airport Consolidated Car Rental Facility

Kahului Airport Consolidated Car Rental Facility

$305,500,000 – Consolidated Car Rental Facility and Roadway Improvements, Kahului Airport, Maui – Construction funds for a multi-level consolidated car rental facility that will include a customer service building, quick turnaround, ready and return vehicle parking spaces, four 15,000-gallon fuel storage tanks, a people mover system to and from the terminal, site improvements, roadway connections to airport terminal roadways, additional employee parking spaces and potential flat-plate, non-reflective photovoltaic panels. The new facility will provide added customer convenience and will reduce traffic congestion at the airport. Access to the new facility will be through a new access road from Hana Highway to Airport Loop Road.

$14,460,000 – Overseas Terminal, 2nd Level Roadway Improvements, Honolulu International Airport, Oahu – Construction funds to improve the 2nd level roadway fronting the Overseas Terminal. Improvements will include repair of the concrete roadway, replacement of existing expansion joints, drainage system repairs, roadway lighting system repairs, hazardous material abatement and demolition of existing planter boxes.

$11,749,000 – Concession Improvements, Honolulu International Airport, Oahu – Construction funds for an additional 28,000 square feet of concession space for the Ewa Concourse, which currently has just 5,200 square feet. The project will include the demolition and/or renovation of existing restrooms and the enclosure of the exterior sidewalk by relocating the existing curtain wall to the Wiki-Wiki shuttle roadway, including necessary interior improvements. The concession area development should allow the state Department of Transportation to maximize potential sales revenue, and improve the passenger experience by bringing the concessions closer to the gates.

$3,300,000 – Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Facility Improvements, Hilo International Airport, Hawaii Island – Construction funds for a new ARFF station to replace the current one, which does not meet the requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration. The current ARFF building will be utilized for storage upon completion of the new facility.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Puna Boy

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Puna boy who was reported missing.

Justin Pola

Justin Pola

Justin Pola was last seen in his Pāhoa home on April 11. He is described as 5-foot-9, 170 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

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 the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Asking Public’s Help Identifying Two People

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two persons depicted in surveillance images in connection with an incident outside a department store in Hilo last week.

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At 12:09 p.m. Friday (April 18), a female patron was observed concealing an item and then exiting a store in a shopping mall on Puainakō Street without paying.

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After store employees confronted the woman and a male companion outside the store and attempted to escort them inside, the male threw one of the employees to the ground, causing injuries to his head and ribs. The pair then fled the area on foot in the direction of Makaʻala Street.

Police ask anyone with information about the identity or location of the persons in the surveillance images to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number 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.

Wheel of Fortune Returns to the Big Island – Seeking Contestants

Wheel of Fortune, America’s #1 game show will celebrate its 32nd season with shows taped on Hawaii, the Big Island. Host Pat Sajak, co-host Vanna White, and the entire Los Angeles-based crew will set up shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in September to tape four weeks of shows.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Marking the fifth time Wheel of Fortune has taped in Hawaii since 1996, the production will ship 37 trailers and containers with 1.8 million pounds of equipment. More than 225 staff and crew will be on hand to produce 20 episodes and share the beauty of Hawaii with the show’s 25 million weekly viewers.

“We have taped Wheel of Fortune on location 65 times,” said Executive Producer Harry Friedman. “But no destination creates a greater sense of excitement than Hawaii. The scenery, the hospitality and the warmth of the Aloha spirit simply can’t be found anywhere else.”

Contestant auditions will be held on Hawaii, the Big Island in late May; and on Oahu in late June for individuals (18+), and married couples, as well as best friends who are not related. Tune into KHON2 or log on to www.khon2.com to find out how to audition and for audience ticket information.

Click here to apply to be on the show: Hawaii Contestant Search

UH Hilo Student Awarded Space Internship

A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo student has been selected for NASA’s prestigious Sally Ride Internship.

Melissa Adams. (Photo courtesy of PISCES)

Melissa Adams. (Photo courtesy of PISCES)

Melissa Adams, a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Geology, was among a select group chosen for the program, which awards only 10 internships during the spring and fall semesters of each school year.

The Sally Ride Internship was established in 2013 to encourage more students from underserved backgrounds to pursue a research interest at one of NASA’s centers nationwide and eventually enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program named after the first American woman in space provides students the opportunity to work side-by-side with practicing scientists and engineers.

Adams, a native Hawaiian, was awarded the internship for joint research she conducted with Jacobs/NASA Scientist Trevor Graff and John Hamilton, logistics and EPO manager for the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES). The trio employed satellite imagery to identify specific geologic properties contained in basaltic lava located on Mauna Kea. For Adams, a former PISCES intern, her selection is a dream come true that took a while to sink in.

“I am so busy with school work that the news about getting the internship did not phase me at first,” Adams explained. “But one evening in the middle of the night, I awoke out of a deep sleep, startled, and said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be working at NASA this summer.’ I still cannot believe it.”

The 10-week internship begins in May and will reunite her with Graff and fellow NASA Scientist Dr. Richard Morris, who will serve as her mentors at the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. Their research will involve a chemical analysis of the analog samples collected in Hawaiʻi, with the findings used to support various robotic missions to Mars.

Adams will prepare samples, conduct instrumental analysis and assist with data analysis and interpretations using some of the most sophisticated instrumented research techniques, including Visible Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, Optical/Digital Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy.

“To think of where I was two years ago and what I have done since then makes me feel so blessed,” Adams said. “I am so grateful for the people that have been instrumental in helping me get this opportunity. To them I say my warmest mahalo nui loa!”

Waikoloa Man Charged With Attempted Murder

A 35-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder in connection with a stabbing Thursday evening (April 17) in Waikoloa.

At 6:48 p.m. Thursday, South Kohala patrol officers responded to a report of a man bleeding from the neck on the 68-1600 block of Malie Street in Waikoloa.

Responding officers located the victim, a 20-year-old Waikoloa man, who had multiple wounds to his torso and throat. He was taken to North Kohala Community Hospital.

Investigation revealed that the suspect, who was an acquaintance of the victim, went to the victim’s house and the two got into an altercation. The victim was cut with a sharp object and then ran to another house nearby.

Joel H. White

Joel H. White

The suspect, 35-year-old Joel H. White of Waikoloa, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 11:05 a.m. Saturday, detectives charged him with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree burglary. His bail was set at $275,000.

He remained at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Monday (April 21).

The victim remains hospitalized for treatment of his injuries.