Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

The Governor’s Office in West Hawai‘i Presents:  Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum on Thursday, October 27, 2016, 6-8 p.m. Doors Open at 5:30 p.m Hawai‘i Community College, Palamanui Campus located at 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room 127

Little fire and and queen ant.

Little fire and and queen ant.

With presenters from: Hawai‘i Ant Lab, State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, County of Hawai‘i  Department of Research and Development.

Little Fire Ants, one of the most detrimental invasive species in Hawai‘i, threaten agriculture, native ecosystems, animals, and people. Come learn how you can prevent and control this pest.


Gabbard Honors Legacy and Service of Hawaii Nisei Veterans – Airport Unveils New Exhibit

At the Interisland Terminal of the Honolulu International Airport this morning, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard  joined the Nisei Veterans Legacy Center and Department of Transportation officials at the unveiling and blessing ceremony of a new permanent exhibit celebrating Hawaii’s Nisei veterans.

tulsi-nisei“It’s a privilege and an honor to be here to celebrate the Hawaiʻi Nisei Veterans display and all that it symbolizes—especially with our Nisei veterans here today, representing service and sacrifice from different conflicts and different generations,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

tulsi-nisei2“Your courage during a very difficult time says so much about the values that we strive to uphold and celebrate in this great country. To have this display here provides the opportunity for people coming through as they travel—both kama’āina and visitors from across the country and around the world—to learn more about your sacrifice and to make sure that the legacy of your service continues for generations to come.”

tulsi-nisei3The exhibit was produced by volunteers from the Nisei Veterans Legacy Center, a nonprofit organization created to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of the Americans of Japanese Ancestry who served in the United States armed forces during World War II, including the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. Nisei stands for second generation and represents American citizens born in the United States whose parents immigrated from Japan.

Mauna Kea Polo Club Hosting Andrew Kauai Jr Memorial “Cowboy Cup”

The Mauna Kea Polo Club is hosting the second annual Andrew Kauai Jr Memorial “Cowboy Cup” on Sunday, November 6 starting at 12 noon at the Waikii Ranch Polo Field. The polo event honors Andrew Kauai Jr, and is a benefit for the Andrew Kauai Memorial Future Polo Player Fund.

mauna-kea-polo-clubMauna Kea Polo Club’s Andrew Kauai Memorial “Cowboy Cup” will feature a round robin tournament played by paniolo representing ranches from around Hawaii Island.  The cowboys will ride their ranch horses and play with Western saddles. Paniolo will battle it out for the title of Mauna Kea Polo Club Cowboy Polo Champions.

Andrew Kauai was a fourth generation paniolo and a beloved member of the Mauna Kea Polo Club who worked for many years as a cowboy and ranch hand for Parker and Ulupalakua Ranches. Kauai’s grandfather was the polo trainer at Ulupalakua Ranch where the tradition of cowboy or paniolo polo started.

For some good bumping polo action come down to Waikii Ranch on Sunday, November 6 as the Mauna Kea Polo Club keeps the cowboy polo tradition alive.

The Sunday event will also feature a match with the more advanced polo-playing paniolo mixed with the best club players. For those new to polo each polo match consists of 4 to 6 chukkers or periods that each last seven and a half minutes. The game is played on a field with goal posts and the players attempt to hit the ball between the posts to score one point. After each goal, the teams change direction. At the end of the chukker, the players change horses.

Gates open at 11 am so bring the whole family and tailgate at the lush Waikii Ranch Polo Field. The cost to attend is a $5 entry fee per person with children under 12 and military members with an ID free.

A silent auction will be held to support the Andrew Kauai Memorial Future Polo Player Fund.

The Mauna Kea Polo Club was established in the mid 1970s. It’s mission is to promote and expand the sport of polo in Hawaii through continued education, sportsmanship, member support and community outreach.

The remaining Mauna Kea Polo Club dates in 2016 include:

  • November 13, US Polo Association Masters Cup, a benefit for the new USO facility at the Pohakuloa Training Area
  • November 20, US Polo Association Wahine Challenge, a benefit for Hope Lodge
  • November 27, US Polo Association Sportsmanship Cup
  • December 4, US Polo Association Amateur Cup
  • December 11, US Polo Association Players Cup

The Mauna Kea Polo Club is sponsored by huggo’s, Mauna Kea Resort, Lava Lava Beach Club, Big Island Brewhaus, The Rice Partnership, Fair Wind/Sea Paradise, Lex Brodie’s Tires, Ponoholo Ranch, Sassafras, Jon McCumsey, Chandi Hefner, Roberts Construction, Philips Contracting, Mirandas (Kaonoulu Ranch) and Welding Services Hawaii.

For a complete list of the Mauna Kea Polo Club events log on to

Hawaii Supreme Court Upholds Flexible Approach to State and County Retiree Health Plans

Today the Hawaii Supreme Court unanimously held that the State may provide constitutionally protected health benefits to state and county retirees in a flexible manner. Under this decision, the State has the ability to structure retiree health insurance plans in a way that provides strong benefits while simultaneously keeping costs down for the taxpayers and the retirees themselves.

Click to read decision

Click to read decision

This class action lawsuit, initiated in 2006, contended that state and county retirees were entitled to the same health benefits as active employees receive now. The Hawaii Supreme Court rejected this argument. The Court instead concluded that retirees’ health benefits are based on the benefits that were promised when the employees became members of the State’s retirement system. Most importantly, the Court also concluded that a “rigid” understanding of retirees’ protected health benefits “is inconsistent with and inadequate to provide the flexibility that legislatures need to deal with changing economic and social realities.”

“The marketplace for health benefits changes constantly,” said Attorney General Doug Chin. “Today’s decision allows the State to respond to those changes.”

The case is Dannenberg v. State of Hawaii and it was argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court in May 2016. Judge Katherine G. Leonard of the Intermediate Court of Appeals served as Acting Chief Justice for the Hawaii Supreme Court in this case. All five of the regular justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court had recused themselves. A substitute 5-judge panel was appointed by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald in their place.

Today’s decision remands the case to the trial court for the parties to address some material issues of fact.

Hokulea on Display at Virginia’s Mariner’s Museum as Crew Conducts Vital Maintenance Work in Preparation for Journey Home

Legendary voyaging canoe, Hokulea, is currently in dry dock at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia to undergo her last major maintenance of the World Wide Voyage.  This process brings her out of the water for about three weeks to undergo routine inspection and maintenance. During the dry dock period, visitors at the Mariner’s Museum are able to see the iconic sailing vessel while her crew completes their work. In conjunction with Hokulea’s visit, the museum is holding a new exhibition called Polynesian Voyagers, which celebrates the Malama Honua message and voyaging heritage of Polynesian wayfinding.
“This is an educational opportunity to display Hokulea’s beauty and history to an audience unfamiliar with the complexities and skills of Polynesian navigation,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “It also allows us time to take necessary care of our seafaring home, our canoe.”
hokulea-drydockHokulea’s last dry dock was in Cape Town, South Africa; the process includes varnishing, repainting or repairing parts of the canoe. At the museum, the crew is working on sealing and replacing parts such as the canoe’s main steering blade.
“It’s so important for any vessel to be examined and refurbished out of the water,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo navigator overseeing the dry dock procedures. “But especially for Hokulea, as she journeys an unprecedented expedition that even motorized vessels don’t attempt.”
hokulea-drydock2Hokulea will remain at the museum until early November, when she will leave Virginia to embark on the last legs of her journey around the world before arriving home in June 2017. To help ensure Hokulea is safe, seaworthy and beautiful for the thousands of nautical miles that lay ahead, supporters can help fund the 2016 dry dock efforts at

Big Island ‘Top Cop’ is Brian Souki

Puna Patrol Officer Brian Souki was named the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s 2016 “Top Cop” by the Law Enforcement & Security Coalition of Hawaiʻi.

Brian Souki ‘Top Cop’

Brian Souki ‘Top Cop’

Captain Samuel Jelsma, who nominated Souki for the award, described the 11-year veteran officer as “street smart,” dependable, hard-working and diligent. “His work ethic is infectious and he serves as a motivator and example to those who work alongside him on his patrol watch,” Jelsma wrote in nomination papers.

Jelsma cited four cases as examples of Souki’s outstanding performance.

  1. The recovery of a stolen car.
  2. The arrest of one person and identification of five other suspects for a burglary.
  3. The arrest of a fugitive in a stolen car and in possession of illegal drugs.
  4. The foot pursuit of a suspect and his subsequent arrest for theft, felony assault and three drug offenses.

In one of the highlighted case, Officer Souki observed a vehicle being abandoned in the Ainaloa subdivision with the occupant leaving in another vehicle. He noted the license plate of the vehicle leaving, and then conducted checks on the vehicle that remained. That vehicle was discovered to have been stolen in a burglary the night before, along with firearms and two other vehicles. After additional officers arrived to secure the abandoned vehicle, Officer Souki conducted a search for the second vehicle. He located it and arrested two male suspects. Drugs and a stolen firearm were later recovered from that vehicle.

Souki’s award was presented Thursday (October 20) at the Hawaiʻi Prince Hotel Waikiki during the 32nd Annual Top Cop Law Enforcement and Security Awards Banquet.

Foul Play Suspected in Discovery of Body

An autopsy conducted Friday (October 21) on the body found Tuesday afternoon (October 18) off Hawaiʻi Belt Road determined that 36-year-old Alanaokala Solomon Covington of Kailua-Kona died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

hpd-badgeDetectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the murder investigation.

On Sunday, police received an anonymous tip about a possible murder in Kailua-Kona.

Investigation led to the discovery of a burial site late Tuesday afternoon (October 18) off Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Highway 190) north of the 27-mile marker. Police secured the area overnight and recovered Covington’s body Wednesday morning (October 19).

Police ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Jerome Manuel at 326-4646, extension 262, or

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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Body Glove Hawaii is Hiring

Pro Surfer Jamie O'Brien in front of the Body Glove Hawaii boat.

Pro Surfer Jamie O’Brien in front of the Body Glove Hawaii boat.

Body Glove Hawaii is hiring two separate positions:

Deckhand Position – This is a FULL TIME position. Must be able to work in a fast paced environment, providing world class customer service. CPR and Lifeguard certified a plus. Pay will commensurate with experience. Candidates must be able to work flexible hours, including early mornings, afternoons, early evenings and weekends. Some heavy lifting are required. Pay will commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits; medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, paid vacations, simple IRA and tips!

Apply online at

Prep Cook – Candidate must have basic food prep knowledge, excellent communication skills, be multi task oriented, enjoy working with people in a fast paced environment, have strong organizational skills, be a self-starter with the ability to keep on task and in line with programs. Must have flexible availability, hours to include mornings, afternoons and weekends. Hawaiian drivers license, and clean drivers abstract required. Kitchen Experience Required.  Pay will be based upon qualifications and experience.

Please apply online at:

Body Glove Cruises is a drug free work environment. Pre-employment Drug testing required.

Enterprise Truck Rental Opens First Hawaii Location

Enterprise Truck Rental opened its first location in Hawaii this month. The new branch – located at 3250 Ualena Street in Honolulu – is close to the city’s main airport and cruise port, providing convenience and accessibility for truck rental customers. Enterprise Truck Rental is a service of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which has delivered local transportation solutions in Hawaii for nearly 25 years.

truck-rentals“As our car rental business in Hawaii has grown, we’ve also experienced increased customer demand for other transportation options, including light- and medium-duty truck rentals,” said Andrew Shults, Enterprise Group Truck Manager in Hawaii.

The 30,000-square-foot Honolulu truck rental facility carries light- and medium-duty vehicles – including cargo vans, pickup trucks, flatbeds and small box trucks – with plans to expand the fleet to include larger box trucks and refrigerated units within the next year. The branch also offers vehicles with hydraulic lift gates and tow-capability. Enterprise will work with local service shops and other area vendors to maintain the vehicles.

“At Enterprise, we are committed to listening to our customers in order to meet their transportation needs,” Shults said. “Whether a customer needs a short-term truck rental to move personal goods or a long-term truck rental for business, we now offer solutions to meet those needs.”

The new Honolulu Enterprise Truck Rental branch is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.

Kaiser High Hosts Cultural Exchange With Students From Japan

Kaiser High’s gymnasium was filled anticipation and excitement this morning as the school welcomed more than 300 students from Hokkaido Sapporo Intercultural & Technological High School (HSITHS). The visitors arrived for cultural exchange activities, which included musical performances, speeches and traditional Japanese dance demonstrations.

kaiser-elementary2Before the assembly started sophomore Noah Matsumoto said, “I’m looking forward to meeting the students from Hokkaido. I’m Japanese and have never been to Japan, so it’ll be interesting to have a chance to talk with them and learn about their culture and be able to teach them about ours.”

kaiser-elementary3The group comprised of 13 dignitaries from Hokkaido including Vice Governor Yoshihiro Yamaya who presented a gift to Principal Justin Mew and shared his goal of increasing educational opportunities between Hokkaido and Hawaii.

“Sharing music is a wonderful way to showcase any culture,” said Principal Mew. “We were honored to be able to make our visitors feel welcomed this morning by having our Kaiser High band play the Hokkaido school song to conclude the assembly. It was heartwarming to hear their song and our alma mater played with such pride in front of a packed gym.”

MCLC at Kaiser High.

MCLC at Kaiser High.

Following the assembly, students spread out in small groups throughout the campus to discuss a variety of topics such as Foreign Studies, Science, Engineering, and Global Business. The students also discussed pop culture.

“I was really excited to talk to the students from Hokkaido about fashion,” said sophomore Grailee Caldwell. “This was an incredible opportunity and experience because we were able to meet with them one-on-one and really get to talk about our similarities and differences, like our high school experiences.”

This morning’s cultural exchange was part of ongoing efforts to establish a Sister-State agreement between Hokkaido and Hawaii in 2017. It will be the fifth prefecture in Japan to establish a formal relationship with the State.

The Hokkaido students will be in Hawaii until Oct. 23. Their only school visit was with Kaiser High because of the school’s prestigious International Baccalaureate accreditation.

For more information about Kaiser High School, visit Information about the State of Hawaii’s current Sister-States is available at

Explosions at Volcano Summit – More Reminders Why Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Area is Closed

Two explosions in as many days were triggered by rocks falling into Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake.

hvo-102116The event shown above occurred around 12:26 p.m., HST, yesterday (Thursday, October 20). The other explosion happened around 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19. Both events are reminders why the area around Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains closed to the public.

hvo-102116aYesterday’s explosion, triggered by a rockfall from the south-southeast wall of the summit vent within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, blasted spatter (molten lava) and rock fragments on to the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, as well as on to the closed section of Crater Rim Drive, about a quarter-mile from the vent.

hvo-102116bFollowing yesterday’s explosion, spatter (bit of molten lava) and fragments of solid rock littered this closed section of Crater Rim Drive in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. This section of the road, adjacent to the former Halemaʻumaʻu Crater parking area, has been closed since 2008 due to elevated sulfur dioxide emissions and other ongoing volcanic hazards, such as today’s rockfall-triggered explosion.

hvo-102116cSpatter and “ribbon bombs” (stretched fragments of molten lava) up to 30 cm (about 12 inches) long fell to the ground surface on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater during the two most recent explosions from Kīlauea’s summit lava lake. The black, glassy lava fragment shown here, about the size of a standard donut, landed amidst smaller, solid pieces of rock blasted from the vent.

A marking pen is shown for scale to indicate the size of this solid rock fragment hurled from the vent during the explosion.

A marking pen is shown for scale to indicate the size of this solid rock fragment hurled from the vent during the explosion.

A close-up of spatter and rock fragments blasted from the summit vent during the recent explosions.


These pieces of rock and lava, now scattered among the Pele’s hair that blankets the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, remind us of the hazards that still exist in this area.


Donations Secured to Replace Kids Stolen Laptops

Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz  secured donations to help in replacing some of the 27 Chromebooks that were taken in a burglary at Wahiawa Middle School last month. Sen. Dela Cruz and the Leilehua Alumni and Community Association will be launching a fundraising drive to raise additional funds to replace the remaining stolen items.

chromebookThe computers that were stolen are needed for a proper learning environment. Sen. Dela Cruz, who is an alumnus of Wahiawa Middle, wanted to act quickly so students would not be without the computers for a long period.

“As schools move forward with an education based in science, technology, engineering, and math, the right equipment is vital to building their skills,” said Sen. Dela Cruz. “The Leilehua Alumni and Community Association will play a critical role as schools make this transition. Whether it be donating computers or receiving grants for educational programs, the Association exists to assist all schools in the Leilehua complex.”

Additional Chromebooks, along with a MacBook Pro laptop, and an LCD projector are still needed. The Leilehua Alumni and Community Association is asking the community to make a small donation so they can continue to support our students. More information on the fundraising drive is forthcoming.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Honolulu Police Department. Police are still seeking leads on the suspects wanted for the burglary.

Kids Halloween Party Moved to Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it has moved the Halloween Hilo Kids Party from Pana‘ewa Park to Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium located at 350 Kalanikoa Street in Hilo.

halloween-partyOpen to all ages, the free event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the venue change might cause and thanks the public for its understanding to utilize a different venue with more parking to accommodate the large number of participants.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

international-space-stationIt will be visible beginning tonight, Friday, October 21 at 6:41 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 75 degrees. It will appear 10 degrees above the Northwest part of the sky and disappear 12 degrees above the Southeast part of the sky.