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Applicants Sought to Serve on Disciplinary Board of the Hawaii Supreme Court

The Nominating Committee of the Hawaii Supreme Court is seeking qualified applicants to serve on the Hawaii Supreme Court Disciplinary Board.  Four attorney and two non-attorney board positions are expected to be available.  Applicants from all islands are invited to apply.
The term of each position is three years, beginning July 1, 2017.  These positions are not compensated; however, expenses to attend board meetings are reimbursed.

The Hawaii Supreme Court Disciplinary Board oversees the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which investigates allegations of attorney misconduct and incapacity, and recommends appropriate action to the Hawaii Supreme Court to effectuate the purposes of its Disciplinary Rules.

The application deadline is April 14, 2017.  Those interested in serving should submit a resume and letter of interest to:

Gayle J. Lau, Chair
Nominating Committee
Supreme Court of Hawaii
P.O. Box 26436,
Honolulu, Hawaii  96825

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 16-Year-Old Keaau Boy

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Keaʻau boy who was reported missing.


Jason Kua-Cantan was last seen in Hilo on February 19, 2017.

He is described as Hawaiian, 6-foot tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 16-Year-Old Hilo Girl

Hawaiʻi Island Police are searching for a 16-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Sariah Paaluhi was last seen at her Pāpaʻikou residence on January 8, 2017.

She is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-2, 90 pounds with brown shoulder length hair, brown eyes and a light complexion.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Lightning Storm Causes Power Outages in East Hawaii

Hawaii Electric Light reports that customers in the Hilo and Puna districts experienced brief power interruptions due to lightning strikes from a storm system that swept through the island late yesterday afternoon. About 1,250 customers in the Hilo area experienced a longer interruption of about 1½ hours. Most customers were restored by early evening.

“After lightning strikes damaged utility equipment, crews responded immediately and rerouted electricity to restore power to most customers,” said company spokesperson Rhea Lee-Moku. “Our transmission and distribution systems are designed with redundancies, or duplicate critical components, that provide alternate routes if one component fails or is damaged. This allows us to improve reliability and restore power to customers more quickly until permanent repairs can be made.”

Following a damage assessment, crews will prioritize repairs to the equipment damaged by lightning.

To report an outage, please call 969-6666. Hawaii Electric Light also posts outage information on its Twitter account @HIElectricLight with the hashtag #BigIslandOutage.

Out-of-State Owner Contribute Up to One Third of Hawaii’s Property Taxes

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) today released a report titled, “An Analysis of Real Property Tax in Hawaii.”  The report estimates that 32.3 percent of Hawaii’s real property tax was paid by out-of-state owners in fiscal year 2016.

Click to read the report

The analysis is based on the real property tax records obtained from all four counties in the state. DBEDT conducted the analysis at the request of the Hawaii State Legislature.

“The report provides detailed information about property ownership and the contributions of real property tax by type of property and by residency of owners”, said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria.  “This study examines the correlation between real property tax and the other sectors in the economy such as government, finance, real estate investment, construction, housing demand, and tourism.“

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian explained, “It is a challenge to determine the location of residence for property owners, since this is not included in property tax records.  Therefore, the analysis used tax notice mailing addresses as a proxy for the resident location of the property owner. However, mailing addresses provide an estimate rather than an exact measure because, in addition to including property owners, the mailing address may also include management companies, attorneys, accountants, or even friends and relatives.  As a continuation of the study, DBEDT is planning to conduct a survey to identify the nature of the mailing addresses.”

The following is a brief summary of the analysis:

  • Hawaii is one of 14 states in the United States where property taxes are not levied at the state level, but at county level only.
  • Nearly one-third (32.3 percent) of the property taxes were contributed by property owners residing out-of-state.
  • Growth of Hawaii’s real property tax base (valuations) has been following economic conditions; the growth of the property tax base slowed when unemployment rates were high and vice versa.
  • Of the total number of properties (TMKs) in the state, the report estimated that 75.1 percent are Residential and Related; 15.8 percent are Agriculture, Conservation, and Preservation; 5.6 percent are Hotel/Resort and Tourism Related; and 3.5 percent are Commercial/Industrial and Public Service.
  • The estimates for property tax collection in the state showed that 53.2 percent of total property tax are collected from Residential and Related; 23.2 percent from Commercial/Industrial and Public Service; 18.2 percent from Hotel/Resort and Tourism Related; and 5.4 percent from Agriculture, Conservation, and Preservation.
  • For the state overall, it was estimated that 87.5 percent of the Residential & Related properties were owned or managed by Hawaii residents or entities; 10.8 percent were owned or managed by U.S. mainland residents; 1.1 percent were owned or managed by foreign residents or entities; and 0.6 percent of the residential properties were jointly owned by Hawaii and out-of-state residents.
  • For the Hotel/Resort and Tourism Related category, it was estimated that 59.1 percent were owned or managed by U.S. mainlanders; 31.8 percent by Hawaii residents; 7.9 percent by foreign residents; and 1.2 percent were jointly owned between Hawaii and non-Hawaii residents.
  • For the Commercial/Industrial and Public Service category, it was estimated that 84.8 percent were owned or managed by Hawaii residents; 12.3 percent by mainlanders; 0.3 percent by foreigners; and 2.6 percent were jointly owned by Hawaii and out-of-state residents.
  • For the Agriculture, Conservation, and Preservation category, it was estimated that 59.8 percent were owned by Hawaii residents or entities; 35.2 percent by mainlanders; 2.6 by foreigners; and 2.3 percent were jointly owned between Hawaii and out-of-state residents.
  • Including all tax classes, it was estimated that Hawaii residents contributed 67.8 percent of the total real property taxes collected; U.S. mainlanders contributed 29.9 percent; and foreigners contributed 2.4 percent of property tax collections.
  • For the Residential and Related category, Hawaii residents contributed the majority at 76.5 percent of total real property tax collected; U.S. mainlanders contributed 21.1 percent; and foreigners 2.3 percent of property tax collections.
  • For the Hotel/Resort & Tourism Related category, U.S. mainlanders contributed over half of real property taxes paid at 52.0 percent; Hawaii in-state contributed 42.8 percent; and foreigners contributed 5.3 percent of real property taxes paid.
  • For the Commercial/Industrial and Public Service category, Hawaii residents contributed 68 percent; mainlanders contributed 31.9 percent; and foreigners contributed 0.2 percent of real property taxes paid.
  • For the Agriculture, Conservation, and Preservation category, Hawaii residents contributed 64.3 percent; mainlanders contributed 33.3 percent; and foreigners contributed 2.4 percent of total property taxes paid.
  • The average effective rates for in-state-owners were 0.43 percent for the state overall; 0.38 percent for Honolulu County; 0.9 percent for Hawaii County; 0.56 percent for Maui County; and 0.49 percent for Kauai County.
  • The average effective rates for out-of-state-owners were 0.83 percent for the state overall; 0.46 percent for Honolulu County; 2.22 percent for Hawaii County; 1.05 percent for Maui County; and 1.01 percent for Kauai County.

The full report is available at: dbedt.hawaii.gov/economic.

Rewards for Information on Monk Seal Killings Tops $50,000

Local and national non-profit and non-governmental organizations are offering $50,000 for information about the killings of five Hawaiian seals, with the February suspicious death of seal R4DP near ‘Ele‘ele on Kaua‘i making the matter even more urgent. Since 2011, these groups have offered $10,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved in the killing of Hawaiian monk seals.

These deaths are among 11 reported monk seal killings since 2009 that remain open and unsolved. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We are deeply indebted to The Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, Conservation Council for Hawai‘i and the Center for Biological Diversity, which once again have stepped forward to try and help solve the senseless and outrageous killings of one of Hawai‘i’s iconic, naturally and culturally important marine mammals.”

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) continue to seek witnesses and information on the suspicious death of the 15-year-old female seal, tagged as R4DP.  Angela Amlin, the Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator for NOAA’s Pacific Islands Regional Office commented, “We are still waiting for final lab results but everything indicates that R4DP was in good health and did not have any diseases.” DOCARE Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell commented, “These may be serious crimes with significant fines and jail time punishable under both federal and state laws. DOCARE officers on Kaua‘i are working closely with NOAA/OLE agents to gather information and we hope anyone who has information about the death of R4DP or any of the other outstanding cases will come forward.” (Confidential tip line information is below).

Keith Dane, Hawai‘i policy advisor for The Humane Society of the United States, said “The magnitude of the reward for information about these suspicious deaths of defenseless monk seals reflects how much our community values these critically endangered animals and demands justice for those who would seek to harm them.”

Ben Callison, president of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust said, “If someone intentionally killed this defenseless endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal as she lay resting on the beach they did so with complete disregard for regulations and the reasons behind them.

This is an egregious crime against wildlife, and is particularly reprehensible when it involves an endangered species struggling to make a comeback. We must work together to ensure any and all who were involved are held fully accountable”

“We are deeply saddened by the cruel and senseless killings of precious monk seals,” said Marjorie Ziegler, executive director of the Conservation Council for Hawai’i (CCH). “For our own sake and the good of the planet, we must learn to coexist with other species that share our island home.  If you know anything about any of these killings, please speak up.” CCH is a membership non-profit dedicated to protecting native Hawaiian plants, animals, and ecosystems.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization. Dr. Loyal Mehrhoff is the organization’s Honolulu-based endangered species recovery director. “Monk seals are still highly endangered and a very special species,” Mehrhoff said. “It is important to protect our seals from malicious acts.”

Hawaiian monk seals are endemic to Hawai‘i – a native species found nowhere else in the world. The species is critically endangered with an estimated 1,400 remaining in the wild.

Anyone with information about these deaths should call the NOAA OLE hotline at

1-800-853-1964 or the statewide DOCARE hotline at 1-855-DLNR-TIP or 643-DLNR (3567).

Relief Stream Bridge on Kahana Drive to be Repaired

The Relief Stream Bridge No.46-10 on Kahana Drive, approximately half way between Kalehua Road and the Old Māmalahoa Highway will be closed (24-hour closure) for repair work beginning on Monday, March 13, 2017, and will re-open on Thursday, March 30, 2017.  Work is scheduled between the hours of at 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., weather and construction conditions permitting.

The repair work involves the rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure which includes replacing the old timber components (railings, decking, stringers, bearing plates, and back plates).

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes as bridge access will be blocked for the duration of the rehabilitation project.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.  If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Island Air Launches Saver Fares for First and Last Flights

Island Air, the value leader airline in the Hawaiian Islands, is making it more affordable to travel interisland with the introduction of its “Hele Mai Saver Fare.” Starting immediately, travelers can save by booking the first and last flights of each of Island Air’s routes. Fares on the first and last flights will be $60* one way between Honolulu, Kahului and Līhu‘e, and $70* one way on flights between Honolulu and Kona.

“The Hele Mai Saver Fare is ideal for anyone traveling between the Islands for early morning appointments or all-day meetings, as well as those who want to enjoy an early dinner or sunset pau hana (happy hour) before catching the last flight out,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO. “The Hele Mai Saver Fare is also a great way for travelers to maximize their time by getting an early start and having a full day to spend time with family and friends on our beautiful Islands.”

Island Air’s flight schedule can be viewed at: https://www.islandair.com/flight-schedules. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

*The Hele Mai one-way fare includes one federal transportation segment tax and one security fee. Other taxes and fees may apply.

 

Kupu Fire Service Internships Available on Hawaii Island

Kupu and the USDA Forest Service has partnered with Hawai’i Community College’s (HawCC) Fire Science Program to create a Hawai’i Island-exclusive summer internship opportunity for students interested in in fire science and management.

Due to limited access to paid, local professional development opportunities in fire management, many students who studied fire science may have the required knowledge but not field experience and or training to become qualified, competitive candidates for entry employment in Fire Service.

“We are pleased to partner with USDA Forest Service and Hawai’i Community College to offer this collaborative internship to students on Hawai’i Island,” said John Leong, Kupu CEO. “This is a unique opportunity to develop the next generation and empower them with hands-on experiences not only in fire management but how it relates to, and impacts our environment.”

The rigorous eight-week summer program starts June 12 and goes through Aug. 4. Five select participants will gain entry-level experience in conservation, while working on various fire-related projects throughout Hawai’i Island.

Kupu participants will gain hands-on experience and mentoring in conservation, fire science, fuel break and fire management. Other benefits include: healthcare (if eligible); Red Card certification; $375 in bi-weekly living allowances; $1,222 in education award scholarship that can be applied to higher education or student loans, upon completion of the program. In addition, Kupu participants will be positively impacting the environment and their communities through more than 300 hours of service and learning.

Applicants must be at least 17 years old. Experience or background in fire service management is not required, only an interest in learning more and gaining experience in fire service and conservation. For more information and to apply, visit www.kupuhawaii.org/conse rvation/. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Mar. 15.