Panaewa Car Accident on Highway 11

A car accident at the turn off to the Panaewa Zoo is slowing traffic down on Highway 11 right now.

Panaewa wreck

Photo via Hugh Broughton

Hawaiian Petroglyphs Revealed By Shifting Sands – Experts Believe 400+ Years Old

On a warm July evening, visitors Lonnie Watson and Mark Louviere from the Ft. Worth, Texas metro area did what they normally do during their frequent visits to Hawaii.  They wandered out to the coastline to watch the setting sun. On this particular day they spotted something that they say has humbled and blessed them. Watson explained, “For some reason there was a beam of light…just a beam…it landed right on one of them and for some reason I just turned my head. I said, look, it was just a stroke of luck.”

Waiana PetroglyphWhat they saw was a large petroglyph, etched into the sandstone. Upon further investigation, they discovered at least 10 figures, stretching over roughly 60 feet of beach. While it’s likely this series of petroglyphs, created by aboriginal inhabitants of the Waianae coast, have revealed themselves in the past, this is the first time they’ve come to the attention of the DLNR State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) and the U.S. Army. Both agencies have been working together to record and document the petroglyphs; which now number at least 17 figures.

Army archaeologist and Waianae native Alton Exzabe was one of the first officials to arrive at the site. He said, “What’s interesting is the Army in Hawaiʻi manages several thousand archaeological sites, but this is the first one with petroglyphs directly on the shoreline.

What’s exciting for me, is I grew up coming to this beach and now as an archaeologist working for the Army, helping to manage this site, we discovered these petroglyphs that have never been recorded. Some people have said they’ve seen them before, but this is quite a significant find.”

Waianae PetroglyphsGlen Kila is a lineal descendent of the aboriginal families who first settled in Nene’u on the Waianae Coast. His family home is a short ways from the petroglyph field, and he says until now he was unaware of these particular figures. “They record our genealogy and religion. It’s very important to know about the lineal descendants of the area and their understanding of these petroglyphs. The interpretation of these petroglyphs can only be interpreted by the lineal descendants who are familiar with its history and culture,” Kila said.

Several days after the Texas families first saw the petroglyphs, a small group of people stood atop the rocks as sand was washing back in to recover them. Exzabe and fellow archaeologists from the SHPD encourage people to look and not touch. Even the process of scraping sand away by hand or with brushes can damage the integrity of the figures.

Exzabe added, “We can now come up with a plan to further protect and preserve this site.  The ones with the fingers, for me, are pretty unique. I believe there are some elsewhere with fingers, but fingers and hands are pretty distinct, as well as the size of them.  We find a lot of petroglyphs that are a foot or so tall, but this one measures 4-5 feet from head to toe. It’s pretty impressive.”

Waianae Petroglyphs2

The petroglyphs were only viewable for a short time. Since the Texans’ initial reporting, the sand has moved back in to cover them; however, the Army and SHPD are committed to protecting the “new” discovery whether visible or not.

Dr. Alan Downer, the administrator for the SHPD said, “We’re eager to join the Army in developing a protection and preservation plan for these petroglyphs. They are an important part of Hawaii’s culture and while sands have covered them again, in time they will reappear and we want to make sure people know that they are fragile and culturally sensitive and should only be viewed; not touched.”

Paradise Roller Girls Looking for New Recruits

The Paradise Roller Girls are looking to expand their forces and recruit more girls to join their roller derby league for the upcoming season.

PRG 2016 recruitment

Anyone immediately interested should attend the informational session Friday Sept. 9 at Wainaku Gym starting at 6 p.m.

This will be a “formal kind of presentation where we explain what the sport is and isn’t, the expected time commitment, anticipated upfront costs, practice schedule and more,” Michelle ‘Da Kraken’ Montgomery, PRG President and active skater said.

In the past, PRG has put on a Rookie Camp where new people can learn to skate through repetitive drills and activities. This year, Paradise Roller Girls will not be hosting a Rookie Camp.

Instead, the league encourages anyone interested in becoming a derby girl to come to “Free Skate Friday.”

Open to the community nearly every Friday night located at 30 Aikane Loop Rd in Wainaku, Free Skate Friday is a great place to practice the basics of skating. Several league skaters are typically present and available to help anyone who desires to improve their skating or talk story.

“I love talking blood and guts with people when it comes to skating and answering questions they may have,” Amy ‘AC SlayedHer’ Shipley, PRG coach and skater said. “I’ve made the best friends of my life playing roller derby.”

Those seriously considering joining the league will also be encouraged to attend open skate practices (closed to the general public) Sundays at Wainaku from 9-10 a.m.

A key aspect to be noted—although PRG is a competitive skate league, skaters have the option to be fully recreational. Some girls participate just for the physical training. It serves as great exercise and fun workout, helping women get into better shape.

“I can go up so many stairs at work now and I don’t get tired,” Shipley said.

The league also welcomes people who may not want to skate but would like to be a part of the derby culture. Non-skating officials, penalty timers, and jam timers are always needed. Those inquiring about such positions can find more information by attending the informational recruitment session Sept. 9. Other recruitment sessions will be held in the same venue Oct. 4 and Nov. 7.

Any questions should be directed to the Paradise Roller Girls Facebook page at

Alaska Airlines Beginning Weekly Service Between Kona and Bellingham

Passengers flying out of Bellingham International Airport (BLI) will have convenient access to some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling and the world-famous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park starting Nov. 12 when Alaska Airlines begins new weekly service between Bellingham and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The new service compliments the airline’s seasonal service from BLI to Maui which is set to begin on Nov. 6.

“The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the top rated travel destinations in the world and we are delighted Alaska Airlines is going to provide our customers with non-stop service to this incredible location,” said Sunil Harman, aviation director.  “Alaska Airlines is offering very competitive fares and we anticipate high demand for these flights.”

Alaska Airlines is offering one-way fares to Kona starting at $219.  The flights will be operated with Boeing 737-800 aircraft, accommodating 16 passengers in first class and 147 in the main cabin.

Restaurants at Taste of the Hawaiian Range – Rocky Mountain Oysters Served By…

The 21st Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 9 at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Attendees will enjoy delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.
Taste 2016
Each year the restaurants change what cut of meat they will be preparing and every year the question comes up of which restaurant will be serving the Rocky Mountain Oysters (Cow Balls).

Rocky Mountain Oysters

This year the winning (or depending on how you take it… the losing) restaurant that gets to cook up the Oysters is: Mai Grille

Restaurant Meat Cut
12th Ave Grill Beef Tongue
Blue Dragon Kalua Pork
Cafe Pesto – Kawaihae Beef Cheek Meat
Daylight Mind – Waikoloa Beef Clod / Cross Rib
Earl’s Waimea Beef Heart
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel Beef Tri Tip
Hawaii Community College – East Hawaii* Beef Tripe
Hawaii Community College – West Hawaii* Island Lamb
Highway Inn Beef Flap Meat
Hilton Waikoloa Village Beef Top Round
Honolulu Burger Co. Beef Bottom Round
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Beef Chuckroll
Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ Feral Pork
Kohala Burger & Taco Island Lamb
Kuhio Grille Beef Bottom Round
Mai Grille Beef Mt. Oysters
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Island Goat
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows Beef Skirt Meat
Merriman’s Waimea Commercial Pork
Monstera Noodles & Sushi Bar Beef Chuckroll
Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill Beef Top Round
Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai Beef Eye Of Round
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar Beef Oxtail
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay Feral Pork
The Feeding Leaf Beef Flank
The Fish Hopper Ground Beef
Tiki’s Grill & Bar Beef Boneless Shortrib
Tommy Bahama Mauna Lani Restaurant & Bar Beef Top Sirloin
Tropics Ale House Beef Sirloin Tip
Noodle Club Waimea Beef Shank
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa Mutton
Waipio Cook House Beef Boneless Brisket
* Student stations: Hawai’i Community College (HawCC) in both Kona and Hilo

Rotary Clubs and the Big Island Substance Abuse Council Team Up For Therapeutic Garden Beautification Project

On August 6, 2016, Rotary Club of South Hilo, Rotary Club of Hilo, Rotary Club of Hilo Bay, and Rotary Club of Volcano volunteered at BISAC’s therapeutic garden beautification project.

Rotary Day

The therapeutic garden is a place where clients, staff and partnering agencies can work together, learning about sustainable gardening practices and developing vocational training skills.  “This project was very successful because of the many hands making a difference at our garden and continues to inspire positive changes in our communities” said BISAC’s CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

The Rotary Clubs of Hilo and Volcano was able to move and spread over 60 tons of gravel and paint raised beds and common meeting areas.  BISAC has already completed the first phase of the project and is currently working towards completing the next phase.

This phase will include therapeutic walking paths and planting and harvesting fruits and vegetable gardens to be used in BISAC’s Food Trailer, Big Island Fusion. “I am grateful to the Rotary Clubs of Hilo and Volcano for helping us inspire change” said Dr. Hannah.

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse.  They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

EPA Enforces Ban on Cesspools on Big Island and Maui – Fines Levied

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced separate agreements with the County of Hawaii, the County of Maui, and the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), to close illegal large capacity cesspools on Maui and the Big Island.

The County of Hawaii will pay a $105,000 fine for its two cesspools at the Hilo Drag Strip and one at the Hilo Trap & Skeet Range.

Hilo Trap and Skeet RangeThe County of Maui will pay a $33,000 fine for one cesspool at the Maui Raceway Track. The DLNR will pay a $50,000 fine for its cesspools at Wainapanapa State Park on Maui and will close or convert smaller cesspools at seven state park and recreational areas on Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island.

Wainapanapa State Park

Wainapanapa State Park

“To make Hawaii’s coastal waters safe for both residents and visitors, we must stop the flow of pollutants and pathogens from large capacity cesspools,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Public facilities have the same obligations as private ones to close them.”

EPA found continued use of the illegal cesspools despite a 2005 ban under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control program. Subsequent to the Agency’s investigations, the Hawaii County has closed the three illegal cesspools at the drag strip and skeet range, with plans to replace them with approved individual wastewater systems at each location. Maui County has closed the illegal cesspool at the raceway. DLNR closed the six illegal cesspools that served the park’s 12 rental cabins at the Waianapanapa State Park near Hana and converted them to approved septic systems.

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. They are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state. Throughout Hawaii, over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed since the 2005 ban, many through voluntary compliance. The EPA regulations do not apply to single-family homes connected to their own individual cesspools.

All three cases are each subject to a 30-day public comment period. For more information on the cases please visit: For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large capacity cesspool, please visit:

University of Hawaii Law Students Getting New Building

University of Hawaii law students are getting a new $7.4 million dollar building to work on projects.

law buildingConstruction will begin in October on the William S. Richardson School of Law’s new Clinical Building at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It’s expected to be complete in July 2017.

“We are extremely pleased that this much-needed and long-awaited project is actually under way,” said Dean Avi Soifer. “Our law school is uniquely involved with, and committed to, the community. This Clinical Building gives us vital professional space for our students to be prepared for trial practice and advocacy.  Additionally, it is significant for reaccreditation and also helps us remain on par with other law schools around the country that have recently upgraded their facilities.”

Maui-based F&H Construction is scheduled to break ground late September. The building design has already qualified at the LEED Silver level as a green building and may attain Gold status.

More here: University of Hawaii Builds New Clinical Building

Hawaii Department of Health Exceeds Federal Targets for Drinking Water State Revolving Funds

The Hawaii State Department of Health Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program has exceeded funding requirements by disbursing more than $30,180,000 of loan funds in state fiscal year 2016 to support infrastructure improvements in public water systems for all four counties. This successfully meets and exceeds the target of $30 million in total disbursements approved last year by federal officials.

Clean Water Act Logo

In addition, the Department of Health executed loan agreements to provide funding totaling more than $55.5 million, exceeding the $51.8 million target.

“The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is an important resource for Hawaii where infrastructure improvements are routinely required to support our communities,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health. “I commend our staff and the counties for making the best possible use of this federally funded source and for strengthening confidence overall in sustaining the program.”

Joanna Seto, Safe Drinking Water Branch chief said, “Mahalo to our State Revolving Fund team and County partners who stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam home run by initiating major improvements to water systems in every county. Everyone at the Department of Health and the County water departments pulled together to effectively use these funds to improve every county’s infrastructure and meet the 2016 targets for our state.”

Each year, Congress appropriates funds that are administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide grants to states to capitalize low-interest loan programs for public water system infrastructure improvements. By meeting these targets, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is positioned to receive the entire EPA capitalization grant award of $8,312,000 for state fiscal year 2017.

“The Hawaii Department of Health has made significant progress in funding needed drinking water infrastructure, in response to our 2015 corrective action plan,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will continue to ensure that critical drinking water projects are funded promptly to support safe drinking water for all in Hawaii.”

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund supported the following projects in FY 2016:

  • The Hawaii Department of Water Supply received $32.29 million in commitments and disbursed more than $14.21 million. The commitments will support the following six projects: Laupahoehoe 0.5 MG Reservoir, Olaa #6 Production Well and 1.0 MG Reservoir, Halaula Well Development Phase 1, Waimea Water Treatment Plant Microfiltration, Kapulena Well Development Phase 2, and the Ahualoa-Honokaa Transmission Waterline.
  • The Honolulu Board of Water Supply (HBWS) committed $11.65 million and disbursed $9.49 million. The commitment will support the HBWS Water System Improvements 2 loan which includes the Liliha Water System Improvements Phase V, Pensacola Street Water System Improvements, and Kapahulu Water System Improvements Phase I projects.
  • The Maui Department of Water Supply received $11.64 million in commitments and disbursed more than $4.29 million. The commitments will provide support for the following five projects: Wailuku Heights Tank 30 Booster Replacement, Phase 6 Booster Pump Upgrades, Kualapuu MCC Upgrades, Omapio 2.1 MG Tank Replacement, and Source Generator Installation at 4 Sites.
  • Kauai Department of Water disbursed $2.18 million.

Using the Financial Operations and Cash Flow Utilization in the State Revolving Fund (FOCUS) financial planning model, the state has set its fiscal year 2017 targets at $38.8 million for executed loans and $44.3 million for disbursements by June 2017.

Since it began in 1997, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has disbursed a total of more than $222.7 million in low interest loans for infrastructure improvements throughout the state.


There are two funds for water system infrastructure improvement projects: the Clean Water State Revolving Fund infrastructure loan program, established by the Clean Water Act of 1987, and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund infrastructure loan program, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is also referred to as Hawaii’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, provides low-interest loans to Hawaii’s four counties to construct high-priority wastewater, storm water, and non-point source water pollution projects. Since it began in 1991, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund has disbursed more than $686.9 million in low-interest loans, providing significant savings in interest costs to the counties.

Hawaii Jury Questionnaires to be Mailed Out for 2017

Every August, the Hawaii State Judiciary mails juror questionnaires to individuals who have a Hawaii state driver’s license or are registered to vote in the State of Hawaii.

questionaireThis year, beginning August 15, 2016, approximately 235,000 juror questionnaires will be mailed to 85,000 residents on Oahu, 55,000 in Maui County, 70,000 on the Big Island and 25,000 on Kauai.  The questionnaires are used to help select potential jurors who may be eligible to serve in 2017.

Those who receive a questionnaire have 10 days to complete and return the questionnaire to the Jury Pool Office.  Anyone who fails to respond may be penalized.

To be eligible to serve as a juror, you must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Hawaii, and able to read and understand English.

Hawaii Police Warn of Telephone Tax Scam

A Kailua-Kona resident received a call from someone claiming to be a tax office employee providing the recipient with a new tax identification number. The caller also requested personal information. The recipient did not provide any information and hung up the phone.

scam alert
A check with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation confirmed that a May 5 press release announcement stated that new tax identification numbers will be sent out by mail only beginning August 20. For more information, visit the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation website at

Police remind the public to be diligent in protecting their personal information and to protect themselves from identity theft by releasing personal information only to trusted sources. When in doubt, check out the source first. Identity theft can lead to years of problems in clearing the victim’s name from obligations incurred from a thief’s use of the victim’s personal information.

Governor Ige Community Connection Meeting Tomorrow in Hilo

Governor  David Ige will be having a Community Connection meeting tomorrow.  He will talk briefly about his Administration’s strategic initiatives and more importantly, to listen and engage in conversations about top-of-mind issues for the people of East Hawai’i.

Statewide engagement and collaboration with our Island communities are essential for creating positive and lasting changes within our State.  Representatives will also be present from the following departments:  Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Transportation and Governor’s Leadership on Homelessness:

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at University Classroom Building (UCB) 301, Room 100

As you enter the main entrance off of West Kawili Street, the flag poles will be straight ahead and the building will be on the left side.  The building name is UCB 301 and Room 100 is on the first floor.

As you enter the main entrance off of West Kawili Street, the flag poles will be straight ahead and the building will be on the left side. The building name is UCB 301 and Room 100 is on the first floor.

After the General Session, breakout sessions will provide you with an opportunity to focus on your area of interest.  The room assignments are as follows:

  • Department of Land and Natural Resources:  UCB 301, Room 100
  • Department of Agriculture/Department of Health:  Campus Center Building, Room 301
  • Department of Transportation:  UCB 301, Room 127
  • Governor’s Leadership on Homelessness:  Campus Center Building, Room 306

If you have time in your schedule, we hope you can attend the Governor’s Community Connection meeting.

For additional information, please contact the Governor’s East Hawai`i office at 974-6262.


Corie Tanida Named as New Common Cause Hawaii Executive Director

Corie Tanida, who over the last three years has led a series of successful civic engagement campaigns for Common Cause, today was named Executive Director of Common Cause Hawaii.

Corie Tanida

Corie Tanida

“We’re delighted that Corie is ready to take the helm and eager to build on the good work done by Carmille Lim and our state board in leading Common Cause Hawaii,” said Jenny Flanagan, Common Cause’s vice president for state operations. “Her leadership on the annual “Mark Yes” campaign encouraging public support for Hawaii’s Publicly Funded Elections Program and her tireless and successful advocacy persuading the legislature and every county in Hawaii to pass resolutions calling for Citizens United to be overturned have been outstanding. She’s also conducted important research on state agencies’ compliance with Sunshine Laws and organized community events such as the Public House community discussion series and film screenings of Inequality for All and Pay 2 Play.

Tanida joined Common Cause Hawaii in May 2013, serving as project coordinator; she was promoted to senior organizer in January 2015. A graduate of the University of Evansville, where she studied political science, Tanida returned to Hawaii and worked on statewide political campaigns and for the state legislature before coming to Common Cause.

“I am very honored and humbled to be selected to lead Common Cause Hawaii,” said Tanida. “While Common Cause has been successful in advocating for good government reforms in Hawaii, such as online voter registration, election day voter registration, and closing campaign finance and ethics disclosure loopholes, there’s still much to be done. I look forward to continuing to advocate for more reforms such as Vote-By-Mail, Automatic Voter Registration, and ensuring the sustainability of our Publicly Funded Elections Program and Campaign Spending Commission.”

Carmille Lim left Common Cause in July to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan.

Online Travel Companies Owe Hawaii Taxes for Rental Car Transactions, Court Rules

State circuit judge Gary W.B. Chang ruled yesterday that online travel companies, including Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, and others, must pay Hawaii’s general excise tax on certain rental car transactions in Hawaii.

expediaThe State had issued tax assessments of general excise taxes, interest, and penalties to online travel companies for failing to file tax returns and pay general excise taxes for tax years 2000 through 2012. Last year, the Hawaii Supreme Court concluded online travel companies must pay general excise tax on the sale of hotel rooms in Hawaii.

The Court upheld tax assessments on gross receipts from online travel car rentals not sold as part of a travel or tour package with other services like airline or hotel reservations. The Court also ruled that under a special provision in Hawaii’s general excise tax law for tourism related services, these companies owe general excise taxes on their net receipts from car rental transactions that were included in a travel or tour package sold to consumers.

The final amount of taxes, penalties, and interest to be collected by the State is yet to be determined but is expected to be in the millions of dollars.

Civil Defense Siren Testing in Pahala on Wednesday

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), together with the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, will conduct siren testing on Hawaii Island on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.


Testing will be between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the following location:

  • Pahala

These new sirens are part of the Statewide Siren Modernization Project. Residents nearby may hear the siren sound six to eight times for 30-second to one-minute intervals during the identified timeframe. Testing will include short blasts known as “burps.” During these tests, emergency management officials and technicians will check that siren installations were properly completed.

Residents can direct questions about this siren testing to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency at (808) 935-0031.

Hawaii EMA encourages the public to make use of other supplemental methods of warning including, but not limited to, Hawaii County’s mass text notification system, Blackboard Connect, and NOAA Weather Radio.