Security Guards Indicted for Taking Bribes at Honolulu Airport

An Oahu grand jury indicted four Securitas law enforcement and traffic control officers for accepting bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers at the Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced.

SecuritasDeputy Attorney General Albert Cook said, “Securitas employees Ruben Corpuz Alonzo, Ranie A. Ilagan, Gay Manicia Gatchalian and Euriphides Magalang allegedly solicited and accepted more than three thousand dollars in monetary payments from taxi and shuttle drivers at the airport. In exchange the defendants provided customers to these drivers and allowed the drivers to circumvent the rules and regulations relating to taxi and shuttle drivers and ground transportation at the Honolulu International Airport.”

“These indictments followed a months-long, complex undercover investigation conducted by the FBI in conjunction with Special Agent Investigators at the Attorney General’s office. Taxi drivers complained about certain officers at the airport taking bribes and showing favoritism to those willing to pay,” said Attorney General Chin.

The four Securitas employees were indicted for bribery, a violation of section 710-1040, Hawaii Revised Statutes. This is a class B felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Securitas receives about $33 million a year to provide security.

Updated Map Shows New Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection – Spraying at 2 Kona Schools Saturday

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported 2 additional confirmed cases since yesterday and the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak is at 248. These cases include 224 residents and 24 visitors.

As a proactive and preventative measure, the Department of Health will be conducting spraying or treatment of the Kealakehe Elementary and Intermediate Schools in Kona this Saturday, February 6th. 

 

Building and Design Expo Feb. 12-14 – Live Cooking Demo and Book Signing with Sam Choy

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce presents the 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Sheraton Kona Resort at Keauhou Bay‘s Kaleiopapa Convention Center.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, known for his Hawaiian cuisine, will feature his newest kitchen accessories line, Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen. He will also do a live cooking demo and book-signing.

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Touted as “Hawai‘i Island’s largest home show,” more than 40 vendor booths will exhibit their goods and services in the three-day event. From general contracting and materials to home design and décor including fine art, the expo often features furnishings, blinds and shutters, window-tinting, kitchen countertops, cabinets and flooring, pest control PC solar and financing.

Event sponsors include Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Gas, P.A. Harris Electric, Renewable Energy Services, Sam Choy & Tiki Shark Art and West Hawaii Today. Contact the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce office at marketing@kona-kohala.com or 808.329.1758.

“25 by 25” Bill to be Heard by Public Safety Committee

“OCCC is severely overcrowded and in disrepair. Native Hawaiians are over represented in our prison population. One third of Hawaii’s prisoners are housed in Arizona. Over 60% of the inmate population in the U.S. are non-violent, primarily for drug related offenses. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate on any nation in the world.

None of this is new information, but what are we doing to address these issues?” states Rep. John M. Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley and portions of Lower Kalihi) who introduced HB2001 with a provision to reduce the State’s prison population by 25% by the year 2025. “We have already set a goal for renewable energy for the State; it is time to set a goal for our prison population that is currently costing state taxpayers millions of dollars every year and has been one of the fastest growing segments of the state budgets.”

House Bill 2001 (HB2001) will be heard tomorrow – February 4th – at 10:00am at the State Capitol conference room 309 by the Public Safety Committee.

Stolen StuffMichael Kitchens, creator of the 42,000 strong community watch group, Stolen Stuff Hawaii, believes in striking at the core of the problem. “We have to attack the root cause for crime…the factors that drive someone to relapse into crime even after punishment.  This commission will study these factors and offer alternative strategies that can combat recidivism and provide opportunities for the misguided to become productive members of society.”

“In reviewing the State’s probation system, the commission that would be established by the bill could evaluate current practices relating to incarceration, crime prevention and education with a focus on reducing spending on corrections and reinvesting the savings gained in strategies that will increase public safety and reduce recidivism.

The Governor in his recent State of the State Address noted the need to tear down the Oahu Correctional Facility in Kalihi and build a new facility in Halawa ‘to take advantage of all that we have learned about incarceration, and the need to give inmates a real opportunity to change their lives.’ recognizing that the current facility is ill equipped to effectively lower the recidivism rate in the State. We need to develop effective programs that offer greater opportunities for offenders’ rehabilitation”

Breakdancing, Hip Hop, and Gender Roles in Opposing Forces

Kahilu Theatre presents AmyO’Neal’s Opposing Forces.

In Amy O’Neal’s Opposing Forces, five B-Boys from different generations and cultures come together in curiosity, strength, vulnerability, and grace in this dance performance that has one foot squarely in street style dance (hip hop) and one foot in contemporary dance story telling.

In Opposing Forces, choreographer Amy O’Neal examines the paradoxical nature of B-Boy culture as it relates to femininity and the value systems of dance battling, commercial dance, stage performance, and freestyle cyphers (jam circles). How do these different environments affect expression? Where are stereotypes changing and where do they remain the same? O’Neal pries open these topics and more via conversation, collaboration, and transfixing dance moves.

Breakdancing

Opposing Forces Performers and Movement Collaborators consist of:

  • Alfredo “Free” Vergara Jr.
  • Brysen “Just Be” Angeles
  • Fever One
  • Michael O’Neal Jr.
  • Mozeslateef

Amy O’Neal is a dancer, performer, choreographer, and dance educator based in Seattle. For fifteen years, she has taught and performed throughout the US, Japan, Italy, and Mexico, and she has choreographed for stage, commercials, rock shows, galleries, dance films and music videos. Her work is an amalgam of her diverse movement and life experiences presenting social commentary with dark humor and heavy beats.

She teaches Contemporary Dance and Urban Styles at Velocity Dance Center and House dance at The Beacon: Massive Monkees studio in Seattle. She teaches dance composition and improvisation for Seattle Theater Group’s “Dance This” program. She spent seven years developing and teaching for Young Choreographer’s Lab and Seattle Youth Dance Collective. She hasworked extensively with musician/comedian Reggie Watts since 2002 both on stage and screen.

Amy O’Neal will also give a Master Class on Friday, February 12 at 4pm. Their master class will provide lessons in stylistic and cultural differences between Hip Hop (which is Breaking, Popping, Locking, and Party Dances), House, Vogue, Whacking, Commercial Hip Hop, Street Jazz, and Amy’s signature amalgam of all these things. The cost is $10, and reservations are available online.

This presentation of Opposing Forces by Amy O’Neal was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as sponsorship by the Western Arts Federation.

Kahilu Theatre doors open at 6pm for evening shows, with food and beverages available for sale.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $47 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

Coming Up – Award Winning Magicians at the Honoka’a Peoples Theatre

Award-winning magicians Bruce and Jennifer Meyers will bring their amazing feats of original magic to Honoka’a Peoples Theatre on Sunday, February 28 at 4 p.m., presented in collaboration with the Peace Committee of Honoka’a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

Magician Bruce Meyers

Magician Bruce Meyers

Designed with keiki in mind, the creative show involves the audience in surprising ways—as Bruce might levitate children in the audience, cut a local politician in half, make dozens of roses, or chickens, appear and disappear. As a prelude to The Magic of Bruce Meyers, aerial artist Luna Sophia will “fly” above the audience in a gracefully athletic performance on the aerial silks.

“Our goal is to provide positive, affordable activities for kids and youth,” said Peace Committee Chair Miles Okumura, “We have this in common—we value the next generation, and depend on them to carry on the traditions, values and messages we share today. And that’s the magic.”

To help further that goal, the team has reached out to the Hamakua Youth Center (HYC), who will be assisting with ticket sales from their Mamane Street location. They are also recruiting business and individual sponsors to help send children and youth to the performance. A $100 donation can provide a classroom of students, a sports team or school club with tickets to attend.

Bruce Meyers Magician

In addition to performing, Bruce and Jennifer run four-day Magic Camps for keiki age 6 and up, where they learn multiple tricks and illusions, and build their own magic kit to take home and practice for a lifetime. (For information on Magic Camp, please call 982-9294.)

“For children, as with music, magic can be an inspiring and fun way to share wonder and learn about achieving goals, to build self-esteem, poise, confidence and teamwork. The mystery of magic inspires children to want to know more and to learn and to do. It inspires that thirst for knowledge. They learn that to give and share wonder is an act of kindness,” says Bruce.

Bruce continues, “We are constantly and diligently involved in providing pathways and direction for the young to carry the torch as the wonder workers and peacemakers of tomorrow. It is they who will spread happiness and joy and remind the audiences of the future that, despite all of its faults, it’s still a breathtakingly beautiful and mysterious world.”

On Bruce’s website is the Hawaiian phrase, “Aka‘aka Loko I Ka Ike A Ke Aloha,” which translates to; “The secrets within me are seen through Aloha.”

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, available online at www.BruceMeyers.com or at Hamakua Youth Center, 775-0976. For information on sponsoring a classroom, club or team contact Miles Okumura, misterokumura@yahoo.com .

Appeal Period for the Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps Begins on Feb. 9th

The 90-day appeal period for the Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) issued last August by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officially begins February 9, 2016.  Any owner or lessee of real property on Hawai‘i Island who believes his or her property rights will be adversely affected by the proposed flood hazard determinations may appeal to the County.

Flood MapThe preliminary maps are not just a digital version of the existing paper maps, but include new flood zones and changes to existing flood zones along the entire island coastal area, as well as the upper Waiākea area of Hilo, certain parts of Waimea and North and South Kona.  Hāmākua and Kohala remain largely unchanged.

The sole basis for such appeals is based on information from a certified survey done by a licensed surveyor or a drainage study done by a licensed civil engineer showing that the proposed flood hazard determinations are scientifically or technically incorrect.  All appeals should be submitted to the County Department of Public Works (DPW) Engineering Division by April 26, 2016 to be included in the Appeal Package the County will forward to FEMA for review.

DPW offices are located in Hilo at the Aupuni Center ((808) 961-8327) across from Long’s downtown and in Kona at the West Hawai‘i  Civic Center ((808) 323-4850) on the Ane Keohokālole Highway.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have many uses, including insurance rating and regulation of development.  Use of the maps is required for the County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes the County eligible for federal disaster aid in the event of a federally declared natural disaster.  Examples are Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and the heavy flooding in November 2000.

The new digital maps are intended to replace the existing paper maps.  The digital format will allow the maps to be more easily accessed and viewed on the internet.

Flooding is one of the major natural disasters in the United States. These maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance options and flood protection measures.

More detailed information is available on the County’s website at http://flood.hawaiicounty.gov/.

FEMA has posted digital copies of revised DFIRM and FIS report materials to the following Website:  https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 248

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 2 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 248:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 3, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/23/16 to 1/28/16
Cases no longer infectious
245 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/23/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
248

Of the confirmed cases, 224 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
203 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/28/16.

As of today, a total of 1087 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and “Tiki Shark” Parker Host VIP Party at the Trump Hotel in Waikiki

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy along with renowned local Big Island artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker held a VIP by invitation only party at The Trump International Hotel – Waikiki Beach Walk last week. This event was an extension to the 2 day public celebration held in Kailua Kona last November where Chef Choy and Artist Parker introduced their collaboration and the new Sam Choy in The Kitchen line.

Sam Choy along with Brad Parker and Agent Abbas with KHON2 Executives

Sam Choy along with Brad Parker and Agent Abbas with KHON2 Executives

The A Lister’s party was attended by close friends and buyers of several large retail chains. In addition Tiki Shark’s financial backers, State of Hawaii representative Nicole Lowen, President & CEO of Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Sherry Menor McNamara, owners of Surf Giant Body Glove International and high ranking executives from KHON Channel 2 also dropped in to wish the Chef and Artist well.

“We are excited with teaming up with Chef Choy for the exclusive distribution of his new Hawaiian Kitchen line for the Islands, Guam and Saipan” quoted Tina Kagoshima – President of “HIC” Hawaii Intercontinental Corp.  “Looking forward to getting these beautiful towels into every kitchen” she added.

Sam with HIC President Tina

Sam with HIC President Tina Kagoshima

“What a great group of local folks, I feel my brand is in very good hands and will get the exposure it deserves in Hawaii with Tiki Shark Art Inc and HIC Corp behind it” said Chef Sam Choy. “Plus I love Brad’s art” he quoted.

Sam Choy Cooking Line Beach

For more information and availability about Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen Line please contact:

Nick Corish – Sales Manager HIC Corp, 808 216 9324 ncorish@hi-corp.com chefsamchoy.com