Live Snake Captured on Maui Coffee Farm

A live snake was captured by a worker on a Maui coffee farm on Friday afternoon, July 1, 2016. The snake was reported to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture on Maui and a plant quarantine inspector picked up the snake, which was later identified as a non-venomous ball python.

Ball Python Found on Maui Coffee Farm

Ball Python Found on Maui Coffee Farm

The snake measured about three to four feet long and was euthanized on Maui due to its condition. It is not known how the snake got to the farm, which is located in Kaanapali.

Ball pythons are non-venomous and are common in the pet trade on the mainland. They are native to Western and West-Central Africa and are related to boas, which are also constrictors that subdue its prey by coiling around and suffocating it. Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds. Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet long.

Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to endangered native birds. Large snakes can also be a danger to the public and small pets.

Individuals who see or know of illegal animals in Hawaii are encouraged to contact the State’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

Hepatitis Outbreak on Oahu Continues

Additional cases of hepatitis A infection have been reported to the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), increasing the number of confirmed cases to 31.  DOH staff worked through the holiday weekend to conduct interviews with the newly identified cases in an effort to identify the cause of infection.

Hepatitis A Facts“Identifying the source of infection is a challenge,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “Hepatitis A has a long incubation period lasting anywhere from two weeks to as long as 50 days.

Accurately recalling all of the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place is challenging for many, especially those who are still feeling ill.” Patients infected with hepatitis A virus are most contagious during the week before the symptoms start until at least one week after the start of  the first symptoms.

“Since people are contagious before they feel ill, we are very concerned about the disease unknowingly being spreading to others,”said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler.

The virus is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A infection and is usually spread by eating contaminated food or drinking water, and can be spread through close personal or sexual contact. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

For this reason, DOH investigators are currently reaching out to individuals who were in contact with those who have or had hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (a substance made from human blood plasma that contains antibodies to protect the body against diseases) administered within the first two weeks after exposure may provide some protection against the disease.

Unvaccinated individuals recently exposed to the disease are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about these preventive measures.

DOH continues to encourage the public to review their immunization record and talk to their healthcare provider about vaccination.

For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking and preparing foods can also help prevent infection.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/.

BISAC Summer Jam 2016 – Saturday, July 30

BISAC Summer Jam 2016

From Senate President Ron Kouchi to Attorney General Douglas Chin Requesting a Formal Legal Opinion

The following letter dated July 6, 2016 from Senate President Ron Kouchi to Attorney General Douglas Chin requesting a formal legal opinion on Article V, Section 6, Hawaii State Constitution vis-à-vis HRS Sections 26-34 and 269-2 was sent to Hawaii Senators today:

Senate to Attorney GeneralTo: Douglas S. Chin, Esq., Attorney General

RE: Request for Formal Legal Opinion: Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Article V, Section 6 Hawaii State Constitution vis-à-vis HRS sections 26-34 and 269-2

Dear Attorney General Chin:

I am informed that by letter dated June 27, 2016, you provided Governor David Y. Ige with an informal opinion relating to the Public Utilities Commission – Interim Appointment and by letter dated June 30, 2016, you essentially reissued the June 27, 2016 informal opinion to Senator Rosalyn Baker.

The issue presented by Governor Ige and Senator Baker was whether Governor Ige had the authority to make an interim appointment naming Thomas Gorak to the PUC to replace Commissioner Michael Champley, a de jure holdover commissioner pursuant to statute, after the Hawaii State Legislature, including the Hawaii State Senate, had adjourned sine die.

You assert that Hawaii State Constitution Article V, Section 6 confers interim appointing authority to Governor Ige and this authority cannot be limited by statute (HRS sections 26-34 and 269-2).

Questions presented:

  1. You assert that Article V, Section 6 is “self-executing; it does not contain the phrase “as provided by law”, and therefore, “the holdover provision contained in HRS section 269-2 cannot be read to qualify the self-executing powers conferred upon” Governor Ige to make an interim appointment. If Article V, Section 6 contains the phrase “as provided by law” in relation to the “term of office and removal of such members”, can Article V, Section 6 be limited by HRS sections 26-34 and 269-2?
  2. Assuming that Article V, Section 6 contains the phrase “as provided by law” in determining the “term of office and removal of such members”, does the language contained in HRS section 269-2(a) stating that the PUC members “shall be appointed in the manner prescribed in section 26-34” limit the governor’s interim appointing authority in Article V, Section 6?
  3. Assuming that Article V, Section 6 contains the phrase “as provided by law” in determining the “term of office and removal of such members”, does HRS section 26-34, Selection and terms of members of boards and commissions, prohibit replacement of a de jure holdover member? See, HRS section 26-34(b).
  4. Assuming that Article V, Section 6 is indeed “self-executing” and does not contain the phrase “as provided by law”, are HRS section 269-2(a), requiring the appointment of members “in the manner prescribed in section 26-34” and HRS section 26-34(b) unconstitutional?
  5. In light of your informal opinions via letters dated June 27, 2016 and June 30, 2016, are Attorney General Opinions 73-7 and 80-4 null, void and overturned?
  6. Assuming that Article V, Section 6 is indeed “self-executing” and does not contain the phrase “as provided by law”, are the at least fifteen other holdover statutes relating to various boards and commissions likewise unconstitutional?

In responding to the questions presented, please state your reasons therefore with specificity and detail, in order that this office will be able to properly inform the Senate in exercise of all of its rights and responsibilities as provided by law.

As time is of the essence, request is made that a formal Attorney General Opinion be issued forthwith. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,
RONALD D. KOUCHI

Senate President, 8th Senatorial District

Island Air 48-Hour Summer Sale – $64 Flights to Kona & Lihue

Summer fun has just begun with Island Air’s 48-hour summer sale. From Wednesday, July 6 through Thursday, July 7, Island Air is offering special summer fares on its newest routes to Kona and Līhu‘e starting at $64* one way. The travel period is July 20 through October 6, 2016. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

Island Air

“Interisland travel is such an integral part of summer in Hawai‘i, and we want to make it a little easier for families to ‘Fly the Island Way,’” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air.

*Island Air’s special summer promotional fares start at $64 one way for weekday flights, are non-refundable and non-transferable, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice. The fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee. Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

ABOUT ISLAND AIR:

Island Air is the value leader in the Hawaiian Islands, offering 238 convenient flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. The affordable alternative for interisland travel, Island Air’s 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft are able to provide captivating aerial views of Hawai‘i’s remarkable landscapes. Founded in 1980 as Princeville Airways, the company was renamed Island Air in 1992 and has been proudly serving the islands of Hawai‘i for more than 35 years.

For more information about Island Air or to make a reservation, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 652-6541. Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

Two UH Hilo Student-Athletes Recognized as All-American Scholars

Two University of Hawai’i at Hilo student-athletes were recognized as Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholars as announced on Tuesday, July 5.
vulcan golfers

Earning the honors were freshman Shantel Antonio (Hilo, Hawai’i/Kamehameha-Hawai’i) and sophomore Andi Igawa (Hilo, Hawai’i/Waiakea).

A total of 830 women’s collegiate golfers were recognized with this prestigious honor. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

About the Women’s Golf Coaches Association
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women’s collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents nearly 600 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent

Hawaiian Adds New Kona-Tokyo Route – Senator Schatz Responds

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) welcomed the announcement today that Hawaiian Airlines has begun ticket sales for a new non-stop service between Kona International Airport and Haneda International Airport.

“I congratulate Hawaiian Airlines on their new route from Kona to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. This new service is not just great news for Hawaiian, it’s excellent news for our visitor industry and for Hawaii Island’s local economy,” said Senator Schatz. “There are still five additional routes up for competition and I plan to continue strongly advocating for Hawaiian Airlines in their effort to obtain these routes and expand Hawaii’s reach around the world.”


Hawaiian Airlines today announced that new non-stop service between Hawai’i Island’s Kona International Airport (KOA) and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND) will begin on December 20, 2016, when the inaugural flight departs KOA.

Hawaiian Airlines Plane in Sky

Hawai’i’s flagship carrier has successfully operated daily service between Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and Haneda since November 2010.  In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved Hawaiian’s application to provide three times weekly service between KOA and HND airports, along with a second frequency four-times weekly from HNL to HND beginning December 21.

“Since launching our first daily service to Haneda six years ago, Hawaiian has had the pleasure of carrying nearly 1 million visitors to Honolulu,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and chief executive officer. “As Hawai’i’s largest international market, it is clear Japanese travelers have chosen Hawaiian as their carrier of choice when visiting our beautiful islands. We are excited to offer even more choices for service with a second flight option from Haneda, the option to fly nonstop to Kona, and our new nonstop daily service from Narita launching later this month.”

Starting today, travelers in Japan can book tickets for these flights online at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp or through their preferred accredited travel agent or by calling Hawaiian Airlines’ sales office in Tokyo at +03-6435-1179. For English-speaking travelers, tickets can be purchased at www.HawaiianAirlines.com, through any travel agent or by calling Hawaiian’s Reservations Department toll-free at 800-367-5320.

The new flight schedules for both routes are as follows:

KONA (KOA)-TOKYO HANEDA (HND) SCHEDULE

Flight

Route

Departs

Arrives 

Frequency

Start Date

HA 851

KOA-HND

5:05 p.m.

10:05 p.m.*

Tues., Thurs., Sat.

Dec. 20, 2016

HA 852

HND-KOA

11:55 p.m.

12:15 p.m.**

Wed., Fri., Sun.

Dec. 21, 2016

HONOLULU (HNL)-TOKYO HANEDA (HND) SCHEDULE

Flight

Route

Departs

Arrives 

Frequency

Start Date

HA 855

HNL-HND

5:30 p.m.

10:05 p.m.*

Mon., Wed., Fri., Sun.

Dec. 21, 2016

HA 856

HND-HNL

11:55 p.m.

11:55 a.m.**

Mon., Tues. Thurs., Sat.

Dec. 22, 2016

Flights cross the international dateline and land:   

*At HND the following day 

**At KOA and HNL the same day

The DOT is still deciding which five of eight remaining applications from four other U.S. air carriers it will approve for daytime slots, and Hawaiian has urged the DOT to confirm its existing daily Honolulu-Haneda service be among them. Dunkerley previously advised that flights between Hawaii and Japan are the most traveled and most beneficial to the U.S. economy, and being able to expand the number that Hawaiian can offer to Tokyo’s Haneda airport is especially important.

The new Kona-Haneda and Honolulu-Haneda services will be operated by Hawaiian Airlines’ wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft, seating 294 passengers. From the moment guests arrive, they will enjoy Hawaiian’s signature Mea Ho’okipa (translation:I am host) onboard service, long-celebrated for its warm and friendly celebration of the culture, people, and Aloha Spirit of the Hawaiian Islands.

The comfort, roominess and amenities of Hawaiian Airlines’ A330 aircraft will add to the enjoyment of customers’ travel experience throughout the flight. With high-resolution LCD touch-screen monitors in each seatback, the A330’s state-of-the-art entertainment system lets customers choose from a wide-range of movies, TV programs, music, and video games, while also offering a USB port for the use of their own personal media players.

Amenities for guests traveling between Hawai’i and Japan also include an expanded selection of entertainment, including Hawaiian music starring award-winning performers, classic artists and emerging new talent as well as original Japanese-language programming showcasing the best of Hawai’i on Hawai’i Local News.

On inbound flights from Japan, travelers in all cabins are treated to the best of modern Hawai’i cuisine before even reaching the Island shores with regional and global fusion dishes provided by renowned local Chef Lee Anne Wong, owner of island favorite Koko Head Cafe. When booking flights, families with children ages 12 and under can also pre-order keiki (kids) meals, which include a Hawaiian-print drawstring snack bag.

Hawaiian’s Honolulu to Haneda service served as a springboard for an expanding Japan network that today includes: Osaka (July 2011) and Sapporo (October 2012). On July 22, 2016, the airline will start service to its fourth destination in Japan, with daily nonstop service between Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) and Honolulu.

About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 12 years (2004-2015) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai’i.

Now in its 87th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai’i’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. Mainland. Hawaiian offers non-stop service to Hawai’i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 160 jet flights daily between the Hawaiian Islands, with a total of more than 200 daily flights system-wide.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and become a fan on its Facebook page.

Darren Cho Recognized as “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Kona Patrol Officer Darren Cho as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (July 6) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Darren  Cho was honored for using his community contacts to help identify and locate suspects in a deliberately-set fire at Big Island Drug Court.

Officer Darren
Cho was honored for using his community contacts to help identify and locate suspects in a deliberately-set fire at Big Island Drug Court.

During his investigation, Cho obtained a tip about a male suspect’s identity and learned that a pickup truck the man had used during the incident might be near Hoʻokena Beach Park. Cho located the abandoned truck in a heavily overgrown pasture in the area and determined that it had been reported stolen. Further investigation led to the identities of a key witness and a female accomplice. Both suspects were arrested and charged with first-degree arson, first-degree conspiracy to commit arson and criminal property damage. The male suspect was also charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Detective Walter Ah Mow, who nominated Cho for the honor, noted that the officer is a “seasoned veteran” with 11 years of service.

“Officer Cho’s experience as an officer and his relationship within the community he serves, combined with his own self-motivation and professionalism, have resulted in the apprehension of criminal offenders, recovery of stolen property and the continued safety of our communities,” Ah Mow wrote in nomination papers.

Cho was previously named “Officer of the Month” in December of 2011, May of 2012 and July of 2015. As “Officer of the Month” again, he is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.

Robot Swims to the Big Island After Help Fighting Illegal Fishing in the South Pacific

Liquid Robotics, the leader in long-duration, unmanned ocean robots, announced that a Wave Glider swam 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) to the Big Island of Hawaii after successfully completing a 4-month patrol mission of the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Wave Glider 2802 nautical miles journey (Google Maps)

Wave Glider 2802 nautical miles journey (Google Maps)

This achievement represents a fundamental enabling capability for unmanned systems as it proves the feasibility and flexibility of autonomous mission deployment. Using the Wave Glider platform, Liquid Robotics’ customers are able to deploy sensors in the most remote marine locations without sending a large ship for recovery. This opens up large expanses of the ocean that once were previously inaccessible due to the high cost and risk of deploying manned vessels for research, commerce, or defense.

The Wave Glider began its mission on November 27, 2015 in the South Pacific, where it helped the UK FCO protect the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary against illegal fishing activities. After successfully completing its mission, the Wave Glider was remotely piloted more than 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) — through strong equatorial currents, doldrums, and challenging sea states — back to port in Hawaii. Along the way, it collected 9,516 measurements of meteorological, oceanographic, and marine biodiversity data over expanses rarely traveled.

This data was recently used to support the worldwide Fishackathon, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to promote innovative ways to stop illegal and unregulated fishing. Altogether, the Wave Glider was continuously at sea, untouched, for 213 days while traveling a total of 7,205 nautical miles (13,344 km).

Wave Glider's solo journey home from the South Pacific, courtesy of Liquid Robotics

Wave Glider’s solo journey home from the South Pacific, courtesy of Liquid Robotics

“The Wave Glider’s ability to travel to and from remote mission areas is a real game changer for our customers,” said Roger Hine, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “This enables them to collect real-time data from previously inaccessible waters without the expense of manned deployment or recovery missions. This is an incredibly powerful tool for helping our customers capitalize new opportunities at sea.”

To learn more about the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary Surveillance mission and the Wave Glider’s journey home, visit: http://www.liquid-robotics.com/Pitcairn-swim-home.

Volunteers Sought for Stewardship at the Summit

Help ensure the future of the Hawaiian rainforest at the summit of Kīlauea volcano for the next 100 years and volunteer for “Stewardship at the Summit” programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, now through September 2016.

"Many hands." Park volunteers and staff work to remove invasive plant species near Devastation Trail.   NPS Photo

“Many hands.” Park volunteers and staff work to remove invasive plant species near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo

Stewardship at the Summit begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates July through September are: July 9, 13, 23, and 29; August 5, 13, and 19; and September 2, 10, 14, 24 (National Public Lands Day) and 30.

Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on any of the above dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply.

Park entrance will be free on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24, 2016, and volunteers on this day will receive a pass to return and enjoy the park fee-free on another day of their choosing.

“Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park enters its second century this year, and we encourage everyone to lend a hand to protect the park’s native ecosystems to ensure their survival, and for future generations to enjoy,” said project leader and volunteer Paul Field. “It’s fun and fairly easy work. We have volunteers who range in age from eight to over 80 helping out,” he said.

Volunteers have dedicated more than 5,000 hours of their time, and have restored more than 35 acres of native rainforest within the national park since 2012. Countless Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive, non-native plants that threaten the native understory near the summit of Kīlauea volcano have been removed. In their place, once-shaded ‘ama‘u and hāpu‘u tree ferns have re-emerged, and pa‘iniu, kāwa‘u, and other important native plants are returning to the stewardship plots.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016. The park provides numerous ways for visitors to connect with and appreciate Hawaiian culture, active volcanoes, and native plants and animals. It is a designated World Heritage Site (1987) and International Biosphere Reserve (1980).

Lift Off at Pahoa Park – Drone Footage of Pahoa’s New Regional Park Being Built

This is Nan, Inc.’s video of the Pahoa Park project for Hawaii County.

Pahoa Park Aerial

It’s a 40 acre site in the Puna district.

Once finished, residents will enjoy three covered basketball courts, two baseball fields, and two multi-purpose fields.
Pahoa Park Gym
It will also include a new comfort station and concession center.

According to an email sent out from the mayors office, the park is scheduled to open next month sometime.

KDEN Presents “The Music Man” – Opens This Weekend

Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network (KDEN) presents for their annual summer musical Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” July 8 – 24 at KMC’s Kilauea Theater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Music Man Poster

“The Music Man” follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to the naive Iowa townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band. But Harold is no musician and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons. His plans are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian. Musical favorites include “Seventy-six Trombones”, “Trouble”, “’Till There Was You”, and “Gary, Indiana”.

Music Man coupleA cast of 36 theater veterans and newcomers are busy with rehearsals for Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” The cast is lead by Scott Wuscher as Harold Hill and Alyssa Ishihara as Marian Paroo. Stephen Bond plays Marcellus, Harold’s old friend who has settled in River City and has started a new life with his girlfriend, Ethel Toffelmeir, played by Hayley Pereira. The Paroo family also includes Stephanie Becher as Mrs Paroo and Hayden Konanui-Tucker as Winthrop. Mayor Shinn is Steve Peyton, with Terry Sever as his wife, Eulalie and Samantha Saiki and Fiona Broward as his daughters, Zaneeta and Gracie. Chanan Lopez plays Zaneeta’s love interest, Tommy Djilas.

The schoolboard members who are the Barbershop Quartet are  Joy Sever, Joel Kelley, Dick Hershberger and Michael Kingston. Kelley’s daughter Ariana plays Amaryllis. The Pick-a-little ladies are Asia Helfrich, Carolyn Lee, and Helie Rock. Bill Chikasuye is the anvil salesman, Charlie Cowell.

Others in the cast include Sawyer Becher, Kaulima Boyer, Kamaile Carvalho, Raina Dale, Gordon and Gracelyn Greenlaw, Susie Halemano, Jalen Hook, Katie Kluzak, Joe Miyazaki, Kathy Mulliken, Dawn Pelletier, Deakon Temple, Briana Tucker-Archie, Coral Walker and Elizabeth Young. They are led by director Suzi Bond, music director Chris Tomich and choreographer Rachel Klein. Jonathan Sudler is the set designer.

Music Man LadiesShowtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30. Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Pre-sale tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea’au Natural Foods and The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo. Tickets are also available at the door. For more information call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

Prosecutor, State Senate Candidates to Square Off Saturday in Lower Puna

Candidates for County Prosecutor incumbent Mitch Roth and Deputy Attorney General Michael Kagami will lead off the Public Forums being sponsored by the Dist.4 members of the Hawaii County Democratic Party. The public is invited to these free events aimed at enlightening Puna’s voters on their candidates, the issues and their visions.

Dean Kelley will moderate the forums

Dean Kelley will moderate the forums

Pahoa businessman Dean Kelley will moderate the Saturday, July 9 forum set to begin at 2 PM at Hawaiian Shores Community Center, also known as The Stables, on the corner of Kahakai Blvd. and Punawai St., just opposite Keonepoko School.

The second hour will feature the two Democrats running for State Senate Dist. 2, incumbent Russell Ruderman and challenger Greggor Ilagan, currently Dist. 4 County Councilman.

Dist. 4 Democrats are invited to send questions they would like to have the candidates answer to their precinct presidents ASAP and not later than midnight July 6. The precinct presidents are Prec. 1 (HPP) Joy SanBuenaventura joy4puna@outlook.com; Prec.2 (WaaWaa-Hwn Beaches/Shores) Thom Gagne thomgagne@hotmail.com; Prec. 3 (Ainaloa/Orchidland to Kalapana/Seaview) Greg Ward seaviewgreg@att.net; and RoxAnne Lawson paanipuppets@hotmail.com.

The following Saturday, July 16 the Dist. 4 Democratic Public Forum will move to Pahoa Community Center and will feature the Dist. 4 and Dist. 5 County Council candidates and Democratic Party mayoral candidates Pete Hoffmann, Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a, Harry Kim, Wally Lau, and Shannon McCandless.. That forum will take place from 1 to 6 PM at the community center on Kauhale Street in Pahoa.