Marine Corps Base Hawaii Commanding Officer Canned for Loss of Trust and Confidence

Maj. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific, relieved Col. Eric W. Schaefer of his duties today as commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead his command.

Col. Eric W. Schaefer

Col. Eric W. Schaefer

Col. Christopher B. Snyder, deputy commander, MCIPAC, has been assigned as the interim commanding officer of MCB Hawaii until Headquarters Marine Corps names a permanent replacement.

Schaefer assumed duties as the commanding officer at MCB Hawaii Aug 13, 2014. He has been reassigned to another position effective immediately.

The Marine Corps holds all Marines, especially commanders, responsible for their actions, and is committed to upholding high standards of honor, courage and commitment within the ranks.

Big Island Author Receives Top Honor at Hawaii Book Publishers Association Awards

Waimea resident and nationally best-selling author Darien Gee received the Award of Excellence in Special Interest Books at the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s 2015 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards for Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir: Advice and Exercises to Help You Tell Your Story, released by Honolulu-based Watermark Publishing.

Darien Gee

Darien Gee

The Award of Excellence is the highest honor in the category. The awards, which recognize the best local books published during the previous calendar year, were announced at ceremonies held on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the East-West Center.

“What an amazing gift it would be for the Hawaiian Islands and the rest of the world if more people started to write down what might otherwise be lost,” the competition’s judges observed in their comments. “Writing your memoir or telling your family history is something special to think about [but] it’s a daunting task to actually sit down and know where to begin. Darien Gee has solved this problem. [This] book takes you through the process step by step…it takes the stress out of where and how to start and offers you the tools and encouragement to help keep the stories alive, documented for the generations to come. The format of Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir is inspiring in itself, creative and original in its design.”

Gee is a nationally best-selling author with six novels to her credit; Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir is her first non-fiction release. A former columnist for the North Hawaii News (“Writer’s Corner”), she continues to write fiction (also under the pen name Mia King) and teaches writing and publishing workshops.

“I was lucky to connect with so many Hawai‘i writers on this project, many of whom gave me their best advice on the writing process and how to handle challenges and roadblocks,” Gee says. Six of the 21 other writers whose advice Gee sprinkles liberally throughout the book are also current and former Big Island residents: Dr. Billy Bergin, Frances H. Kakugawa, Leslie Lang, Mark Panek, Phil Slott and the late Patricia Jennings. In addition, Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir features work from Gee’s Big Island students and workshop participants Christian Gomez, Levi Higa, Ryan Hooley, Kai Ibana, George Manu, Elsbeth McKeen, Arielle Faith Michael, Kamuela Spencer-Herring and Taran Takahashi. Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir is introduced with a pule from Rev. Danny Akaka, Jr., and dedicated to community treasure Stephanie Bengene Lindsey, aka Aunty Tūtū.

Watermark Publishing swept the Special Interest Books category with Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir taking the top prize and Honorable Mention in the category going to The Hawaiian Survival Handbook by award-winning Hawaiian musician (and lifelong outdoorsman) Brother Noland, illustrated by Andrew J. Catanzariti and designed by Jen Tadaki Catanzariti. The Hawaiian Survival Handbook received further recognition with an Honorable Mention for Design.

Each year, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association presents the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards to honor the best of Hawai‘i book publishing from the previous year. “Ka Palapala Po‘okela” literally translated from Hawaiian means “excellent manuscript.”

Big Island Police Searching for 23-Year-Old Hilo Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 23-year-old Hilo man who is wanted on a no-bail warrant of arrest for violating terms of supervised release and a bench warrant for contempt of court.

Kalyp Rapoza

Kalyp Rapoza

Kalyp Rapoza is also wanted for questioning in connection with a terroristic threatening investigation.

He is described as 5-foot-8, 145 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a mustache and goatee.

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 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.

Rise in Lava Lake Creates Surge in Visitation at Volcanoes National Park

Thousands of additional visitors are flocking to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to witness the large lava lake steadily rise at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. lava Lake 427

Over the last several days, visitors waited up to 30 minutes or longer to park. To ease traffic once the Jaggar Museum and Kīlauea Overlook parking lots fill up, rangers are currently redirecting vehicles during peak visitation hours to park at the Kīlauea Military Camp ball field. From there, visitors can hike one mile to the Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest and best vantage point to view the spectacular lava lake.

“Visitors should come prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable park experience,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We encourage people to avoid peak hours, and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. if possible, or they will likely wait in line for parking. The park remains open 24 hours a day,” she said.

Tips for an optimal viewing experience:

  • Be prepared to hike one mile each way between Kīlauea Military Camp ball field and the Jaggar Museum observation deck on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.  ​
  • Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in the parking areas.
  • As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in the Jaggar Museum or Kīlauea Overlook parking lots. Choose another picnic location so others have a chance to view the eruption.
  • To observe viewing and weather conditions, monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from HVO.
  • High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. Kīlauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawaii SO2 network website.

In addition, the public is reminded that park entrance fees apply and that the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited in all national parks.