Big Island Police to Make “Active Shooter” Presentations

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation during an evening community meeting in Kona later this month.
HPDBadgeThe meeting will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 22 at the pavilion at the Old Kona Airport State Recreational Area.

The first portion of the meeting will allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss police related concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in West Hawaiʻi. This meeting, similar to district community meetings that have been rotated throughout the island’s eight police districts during the day, will allow attendance by citizens who cannot get away during the daytime.

The second portion of the meeting will be an awareness presentation to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent situation. The presentation will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such a situation, understanding law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community to prevent these critical events from happening. It will also provide additional resources for participants so they may continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

A similar meeting will be held at a future date in East Hawaiʻi.

Big Island Press Club Protests… Council Chair Apologizes

On April 7, 2014, Journalist Nancy Cook Lauer, President of the Big Island Press Club (BIPC), sent an email to the Chairman of the Hawaii County Council J. Yoshimoto formally protesting the treatment of three BIPC members and their equipment.

Council Members, County Clerk Stewart Maeda, and Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida also received copies of this email.

After the email was sent, Chair Yoshimoto apologized to Cook Lauer on behalf of all the parties involved in the incident.

Here is a copy of that email:

Dear Chairman Yoshimoto:

On behalf of the Big Island Press Club, we are writing to formally protest the treatment of three BIPC members and their equipment on April 1.

I understand from witnesses and partially from my own personal observation that Clerks Office staff removed thousands of dollars worth of laptops, bags, cameras and other equipment belonging to members of the media from the media area of council chambers and deposited them in the hallway.

This happened after the council had called an executive session and the media had cleared the chambers. The media had gone to the meeting room across the hall and were within calling distance of staff, had they wished to call us back to retrieve our belongings.

Instead, the gear was left in the hallway, risking the loss of equipment by theft in addition to damage by those not familiar with handling others’ equipment. A working journalist’s gear is worth more than its monetary value. It also holds irreplaceable photos, video, notes and articles.

If the rules have changed about whether equipment must be removed during executive session, it would be a professional practice to notify the media ahead of time. As it happened, journalists who have been covering the council for years were treated with disrespect and a lack of trust that they felt undeserved.

Sincerely,

Nancy Cook Lauer

President, Big Island Press Club

23 Nations to Participate in RIMPAC Exercises Around Hawaiian Islands

Twenty-three nations, 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

All Aboard!

All Aboard!

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2014 will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) Commander. Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Simon Cullen will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Yasuki Nakahata as the vice commander. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Rear Adm. Gilles Couturier of the Royal Canadian Navy, who will command the maritime component, Air Commodore Chris Westwood of the Royal Australian Air Force, who will command the air component, and the land component will be led by Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Simcock. RIMPAC 2014 will also include for the first time a special operations component, to be led by U.S. Navy Capt. William Stevens.

Two nations, Brunei and the People’s Republic of China, will participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2014.

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

Also for the first time at RIMPAC this year, two hospital ships, USNS Mercy and PLA (N) Peace Ark, will participate in the exercise.

The theme of RIMPAC 2014 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training syllabus includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

Social Media folks invited to participate in previous RIMPAC Exercises.  Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Department of Health Cites Hawaii County for Solid Waste Permit Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed two Notices and Findings of Violation and Order against the County of Hawaii for solid waste permit violations occurring at the South Hilo and West Hawaii sanitary landfills.

Hawaii Department of Health

During compliance inspections conducted on May 23 and 24, 2013, at the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill located off Leilani Road in Hilo, DOH found that the county failed to cover disposed solid waste with daily or intermediate cover for approximately 28 days. These violations occurred between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2013, and over many areas of the landfill including closed and active disposal areas.

In addition, the county failed to monitor groundwater quality for at least one sampling event, failed to monitor for explosive gas along the perimeter of the landfill for two consecutive quarters between September 2012 and June 2013, and failed to ban and remove whole tires from the active disposal area. DOH has ordered the County of Hawaii to correct the violations and pay an administrative penalty of $328,190. The county has requested a hearing to contest the allegations and order.

During a March 5, 2014, inspection of the West Hawaii Landfill located at 71-1111 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. in Puuanahulu, North Kona, DOH discovered unpermitted storage of approximately 800-1,000 tons of scrap metal and appliances. DOH has imposed a penalty of $21,900, and ordered the county to cease accepting and accumulating scrap metal and white goods and remove and dispose of all accumulated scrap metal and white goods. The County of Hawaii may request a hearing to contest these allegations or the order.

The DOH Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation and transfer systems. Such standards are intended to prevent pollution of the drinking water supply or waters of the state, prevent air pollution, prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances, protect the public health and safety, conserve natural resources, and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

Learn How to Care for Kapa Saturday

The Daughters of Hawai‘i, caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace, is partnering with the University of Hawai‘i Library’s Preservation Department on a FEMA-funded project to stabilize kapa that was damaged during the March, 2011 tsunami. The kapa was in the palace’s basement when the tsunami hit the Kona Coast and inundated properties along Ali’i Drive.

'Ohe kapala/NPS Jay Robinson

‘Ohe kapala/NPS Jay Robinson

Project consultants are kapa maker Moana Eisele and paper conservator Mary Wood Lee, along with UH Preservation Department staff. The team will show slides of the kapa and the efforts to care for them during a presentation 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 10 at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center.

Titled “After the 2011 Tsunami: Caring for 19th Century Historic Kapa from Hulihe‘e Palace,” the activity is free and open to the public. For info, phone 329-9555.

Missing Man Found Disoriented in Lava Field

Hawaiʻi Island police have located 33-year-old Arthur Medina of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing.

HPDBadgeHe was found disoriented at 8 a.m. Thursday (May 8) in a lava field off the side of Highway 190 in Puʻuanahulu about 1/8 of a mile south of Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Ranch, not far from where his car had been found on Tuesday (May 6).

Police determined that Medina got into a single-car accident on Tuesday morning. He apparently attempted to walk for help and became disoriented.

He was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries.