Investigative Reporter Jim Dooley Slated for Hilo Talk

The Big Island Press Club is delighted to have Jim Dooley, author of Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers and Corruption in the Aloha State, as our featured lunch speaker April 22. He’ll be signing books available for sale, and we’ll have a couple as door prizes as well.

Sunny Skies

Dooley is a take-no-prisoners kind of journalist. A longtime investigative reporter whose work led to the indictment of former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi on bribery charges, Dooley has focused his career on digging deep into Hawaii organized crime and yakuza, government contracting fraud, Teamsters Union movie driver violence, Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools, police corruption and secret land ownership huis in Hawaii whose members included political, judicial and criminal syndicate figures.

There are major Big Island connections to his latest saga, so you won’t want to miss it!

Event is scheduled for Friday, April 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at restaurant Kenichi, 684 Kilauea Ave. in Hilo, across from the Circuit Courthouse. Tickets are $20 for BIPC members, $25 for nonmembers. Buffet lunch includes chicken katsu, furikake panko salmon, yakisoba, salad, vegetable, beverage.

Register and pay online at http://jimdooley.eventbrite.com

Pay with a credit card or PayPal (small surcharge applies) or send a check to reach BIPC by Wednesday, April 20, to Big Island Press Club, P.O. Box 1920, Hilo, HI 96721.

Island Schools Launch Recycling Drive and Environmental Awareness Campaign – Phone Book Recycling Drive

The Berry Company, LLC, proud publisher of the Hawaiian Telcom Directory, is partnering with schools on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai to launch the #SmallBizBigOutcome recycling drive and environmental awareness campaign. The campaign runs through May 15, and is in conjunction with the 2016 Hawaiian Telcom Directory delivery on the neighbor islands.

Phone books can still be seen scattered through out Hilo.

Phone books can still be seen scattered through out Hilo.

Local schools on each island will compete to collect the most outdated telephone directories, which will keep the directories out of landfills through recycling. For the first time, all participating schools will receive a cash prize for their involvement in the program, and one school will win a grand prize. The grand prize winner will be selected based on book collection totals and efforts to engage and educate students about recycling and protecting the local environment.

“Berry’s recycling drive helps to protect the local environment, but also raises funds for neighbor island schools, and we’re grateful for the support from our local community partners that help bring this campaign to life,” said John Lambert, branch manager of The Berry Company in Hawaii. “We love seeing how students of all ages get involved and learn first-hand the difference recycling can make.”

Hawaiian Telcom Directories are 100-percent recyclable. After the close of the contest, the telephone directories are shipped off-island for recycling. On Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai and Maui the materials are converted into an array of new products, including building insulation, writing and copier papers, newsprint and paper towels. The directories from Molokai are processed at a waste-to-energy facility where they are used to generate a valuable source of renewable energy for Oahu. Recycling and environmental sustainability are important initiatives year round, so residences and businesses throughout Hawaii should check with their local recycling department for more information on recycling programs offered in their area.

Berry is also partnering with local food banks, including Hawaii Foodbank, Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch, The Food Basket and the Maui Foodbank, to host a community food drive. By using the recyclable directory delivery bags, Berry encourages the community to fill the bags with nonperishable food items and donate them to local food banks.

For more information about reusing, repurposing and recycling, visit Berry’s online hub dedicated to spotlighting business and residents working to create positive change, SmallBizBigOutcome.com. There you can also find more information about the recycling drive, drop-off locations and hours, as well as a list of the participating schools and food banks.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor to Display Rare Kate Aircraft

The Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber was the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was considered the most effective aircraft of its kind at the beginning of World War II. She caused most of the battleship damage during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941.

Seventy-five years later, the Type 97 Carrier Torpedo Bomber, dubbed the “Kate” by the allies, will return to the exact spot where she made aviation history and be displayed at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island.

Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber

Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber

“This aircraft is one of a few known to have survived the war,” said Kenneth DeHoff, executive director of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. “An estimated 1,149 B5N’s were built, and only bits and pieces survive today, except for this Kate with its intriguing history.

Work has begun on the Kate’s fuselage and wings in the Museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop, located in historic Hangar 79.  “We expect it will take five years to restore the B5N for static display quality” according to DeHoff. “With this year being the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the museum is honored to be able to display the Kate where she made aviation history, sharing a legacy with thousands of visitors worldwide.”

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where the first bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Air Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes that still remain. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.

UH Hilo Announces 2016 Dorrance Scholarship Recipients

Ten high school seniors from Hawaiʻi Island who are enrolling this fall at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have been awarded the Dorrance Scholarship.
UH Hilo Moniker
The 2016 Dorrance Scholarship recipients and their schools are:

  • Lexi Dalmacio, Honoka’a High School
  • Twylah Marie Morelli, Konawaena High School
  • Alec Goodson, Kealakehe High School
  • Jordan Drewer, Hawai’i Academy of Arts and Science
  • Keinan Agonias, Pahoa High School
  • Kaylyn Ells-Hookano, Hilo High School
  • Eva Abraham, Waiakea High School
  • Duke Escobar, Waiakea High School
  • Kahele Joaquin, Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo PCS
  • Yukio Ishii, Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i

The Dorrance Scholarship was established by Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance at the Arizona Community Foundation in June 1999. The innovative, four-year, need-based award provides local students, who are the first in their family to attend college, up to $10,000 a year in direct financial assistance. Recipients will also participate in a custom-designed summer bridge program, international travel, conservation experience, an entrepreneurship program and employment preparation, bringing the total estimated value of each award to more than $90,000.

“Providing educational opportunities for first-generation college students is a core part of UH Hilo’s mission,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “The Dorrance Scholarship has become a model for how to effectively address that need.”

The Dorrance Foundation began offering up to 10 scholarships a year to Hawai’i Island high school graduates attending UH Hilo in 2012. The latest awards bring the total number of recipients to 49.

For more information about the Dorrance Scholarship, visit
www.dorrancescholarship.org or contact Mathew Estrada, program coordinator,
Dorrance Scholarship Programs, at mestrada@azfoundation.org or (808) 339-4500.

Hawaii Legislature to Meet in Special Joint Session to Consider Three Key Appointments

The state House and Senate will meet Friday, April 22, at noon in the House chambers in a special joint session to vote on three key legislative appointments, including the ombudsman, the director of the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) and the legislative auditor.  Nominees for those positions include Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi as the director of LRB, Robin Matsunaga as the ombudsman, and Leslie Kondo as legislative auditor.

CapitalRobin Matsunaga has been director of the Office of Ombudsman since 1998 and is up for reappointment to a six-year term.  The ombudsman is an officer of the Legislature who investigates complaints from the public about actions by state and county executive-branch agencies.

Prior to his appointment, Matsunaga worked for 12 years in the Legislature, starting as a budget analyst in the House Finance Committee under Rep. Ken Kiyabu, and later as chief of staff for Speaker Souki.

“Robin has provided strong and consistent leadership to the Office of the Ombudsman, ensuring that impartial and independent investigations are conducted whenever complaints are registered to that office,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi.  “We look forward to his continued guidance in matters of concern from the public relating to our state agencies.”

The ombudsman is an officer of the Legislature who investigates complaints about actions of executive branch agencies of the state and county governments.  The office has the power to obtain necessary information for an investigation and to recommend corrective action if a complaint is found to be substantiated.  The ombudsman serves as a neutral, independent intermediary between the public and the state agencies.

Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi has been acting director for LRB since 2010.  She began her career with the bureau as a research attorney, and was appointed as the assistant director for research in 2003 and the first assistant in 2008.  If approved, she will be appointed for a six-year term.

Prior to her appointment, Carter-Yamauchi was in private practice, served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu, and worked as a staff attorney for the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia.

“The LRB has been an outstanding and invaluable resource to not only the Legislature but to the general public as well, and Charlotte has provided strong leadership since becoming acting director,” said House Speaker Joseph M. Souki.  “It is with great confidence that we ask her to continue to lead the LRB in support of the Legislature’s mission.”

The Legislative Reference Bureau is a nonpartisan legislative service agency that provides a wide variety of services to legislators, legislative committees, and in some cases, members of the public.

The LRB was originally founded in 1943 when the Territorial Legislature created it as a department of the University of Hawaii.  Originally, LRB was established to provide research services for the Governor, the Legislature, and the various departments, institutions, and agencies of the territory.  In 1972, the bureau was transferred to the legislative branch and its mission broadened to provide informational services to the general public.

Leslie Kondo is currently executive director and the chief legal counsel of the state Ethics Commission.  Prior to joining the Ethics Commission, he was a commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission and headed the Office of Information Practices from 2003 to 2007.  He is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and Northwestern University, where he majored in industrial engineering.

“When we began discussing the position of the auditor, we wanted someone who could refocus the auditor’s office beyond financial audits to help the departments become more efficient and performance driven in all facets of their operation,” Kouchi said.

“We strongly believe that Les brings that kind of discipline, integrity and independence to the office,” added Souki.  “His background in industrial engineering will also be an advantage in his new position in helping the departments operate more efficiently—a goal we’ve focused on over the last several years through the budgeting process at the Legislature.”

If approved, Kondo will be appointed to an eight-year term.  Created by the first state constitutional convention in 1950, convention delegates envisioned an auditor who would help eliminate waste and inefficiency in government, provide the Legislature with a check against the powers of the executive branch, and ensure that public funds are expended according to legislative intent.

If approved by the joint session, all three candidates will begin their terms starting May 1, 2016.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series – “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace”

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts a free talk on April 21 as part of their “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace” Brown Bag Lunch Series.  Talks are Third Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at 655 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo.

Tracie White

Tracie White

This month’s speaker is Tracie White on the topic “Personal Accountability: Managing Your Energies, Priorities, and Reputation.”

“Managing your energies, priorities, and reputation is the path to fulfilling your life goals,” says White.  “This is your life.  There is no one more important to be personally accountable to than you.  Your complete commitment for yourself is best built on a clear vision of things that truly matter and you have the greatest passion for.” 

Tracie White was born in San Leandro, California and lived in Latin America and Europe before calling Hawaiʻi Island home 6 years ago.  She currently serves as HPM Building Supply’s Talent Development Manager.  White’s quick success at HPM reflects her positive and energetic approach to life and her wide skill set in customer service, staff development and training, and networking.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series is free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, enjoy an informal and educational talk-story session, and meet others interested in “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.”

This lunch-and-learn series is made possible thanks in part to funding from the Atherton Family Foundation.  For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Program Coordinator Gail Takaki at 935-7844 x 9 or gail@hawaiimediation.org.  Or visit www.hawaiimediaiton.org.