Plywood Cup Challenge This Saturday – Proceeds Benefit Local Programs of United Cerebral Palsy

The 2017 Transpacific Yacht Race is holding its Plywood Cup Challenge at the Kaneohe Yacht Club this Saturday, July 22, starting at 9 a.m. The family-friendly event, in its 26th year, benefits the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii (UCPA) and is the ultimate challenge for racing enthusiasts young and old. Participants get the opportunity to build a boat with provided materials and race it against the clock and other competitors.

Teams of up to ten members are supplied with the same materials and tools and have just two hours to construct a boat. Race planning and tactics for the triangular course are allowed one hour. Entrants can participate by either sponsoring a team or forming a team. Space is limited to twenty teams and all entry fees are tax deductible.

Visit www.ucpahi.org to learn more. Register by emailing ucpa@ucpahi.org or calling 808-532-6744.

30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim – Sunday, July 30

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the 30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim.The annual event will be held on Sunday, July 30th, 2017, with the race beginning at 8:00 am.  Registration forms will be accepted until 7:30 am on race day. We will have prizes for the winners.

You may register online at  https://flpregister.com/ or pick up a registration form at the Recreation Division office, 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo and all County pools.

For more information, please contact the Aquatic Specialist at 961-8694.

Big Island Police Capture 25-Year-Old Man Responsible for Crime Spree

Hawaii Island police arrested a 25-year-old Volcano man as they continue to address the deeply concerning increase in property crimes, mainly stolen motor vehicles.

“BJ” Fernandez

On (July 17), and acting on tips from the public, officers responded to the Orchidland area in Keaʻau to look for Arnold Bartolo Jose Fernandez, also known as “BJ” Fernandez, who was wanted for an outstanding warrant and reportedly driving a stolen Subaru. Police located the unattended Subaru at a business complex on Orchidland Drive.

As officers approached the vehicle, Fernandez ran from a nearby retail business, across the highway and into the Hawaiian Paradise Park (HPP) Subdivision. At 9:30 p.m., after an extensive search of the area, Fernandez was found hiding on the pro perty of an uninvolved HPP resident. He was arrested without further incident and taken to the Hilo cellblock while a special task force within the Criminal Investigations Division continued the investigation.

During the investigation, police learned Fernandez was responsible for the following crimes, all occurring during (July) in the Puna District:

July 3, Discharging a firearm on a road

July 3, Threatening with the use of a firearm

July 3, Possession of a firearm while previous felony cases are pending against him

July 3, Possessing a firearm on a roadway that was not in an enclosed container

July 3, Driving a stolen Toyota truck

July 3, Driving without a license

July 5, Driving a stolen Toyota truck

July 5, Driving without a license

July 6, Stealing items after breaking into a residence

July 16, Stealing items after breaking into a residence

July 16 , Possession of a stolen credit card

July 16, Possession of confidential personal information

July 17, Stealing items after breaking into a residence

July 17, Stealing items after breaking into a different residence

July 17, Driving a stolen Subaru

July 17, Driving without a license

July 17, Possession of marijuana

July 17, Possession of ammunition that was not in an enclosed container

July 17, Possession of ammunition while previous felony cases are pending against him

On (July 19), police charged Fernandez with four counts of first degree burglary, three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, three counts of driving without a license, two counts of ownership prohibited (of a firearm) and one count each of third degree promoting a detrimental drug, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, theft of a credit card, place to keep ammunition, place to keep pistol, second degree reckless endangering, first degree terroristic threatening and having a firearm on a highway. His bail is set at $249,000.

Fernandez is being held at the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center pending his initial court appearance scheduled for (July 20), in District Court.

Investigators are continuing to examine these cases to determine if additional suspects are involved. The task force will continue to focus their attention on those responsible for these types of crimes. We thank the community for their continued support by providing information regarding crimes such as these as well as locations of these criminals.

Anyone with information about these incidents or any stolen vehicles are asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3111 or Sergeant James Correa of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2272 or James.Correa@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Fernanda Expected to Weaken to a Tropical Storm Tonight

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 136.3 West. Fernanda is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts.  Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Fernanda is expected to weaken to a tropical storm tonight.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 985 mb (29.09 inches).

Attorney General Doug Chin’s Statement on Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Order

This morning Attorney General Doug Chin issued the following statement in response to today’s order from the United States Supreme Court:

“Today the United States Supreme Court denied the Trump Administration’s motion to clarify. They confirmed the Hawaii federal court order that grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins are indeed close family. This confirms we were right to say that the Trump Administration over-reached in trying to unilaterally keep families apart from each other, in violation of the Supreme Court’s prior ruling. The Supreme Court did stay Judge Watson’s order with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance, pending resolution by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We are currently preparing our arguments for the Ninth Circuit to resolve that issue.”

UH Hilo Adds Australia to List of Countries with Formal Collaborative Ties

Student pharmacists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) are now able to formally expand their educational experiences to the Land Down Under following an agreement with an educational partner in Australia.

UH Hilo has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Blackmores Institute, an academic and research organization headquartered in the northern Sydney suburb of Warriewood, New South Wales.

“We are excited to partner with Blackmores Institute,” said DKICP Dean Carolyn Ma. “This MOU signifies our commitment to giving our students the most competitive education possible while fulfilling our mission to establish a global identity.”

The agreement establishes a program called the “U.S. BI Student Pharmacist Intern Program” that promotes the exchange of international experiences. Students will have the opportunity to get credit through elective Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience courses, which all fourth-year students in the professional program must take before obtaining a Pharm.D.

“Blackmores Institute’s focus on advancing the knowledge and research on complementary medicine dovetails nicely with our own emphasis on natural products,” said Ma.

Blackmores Institute, with regional offices in Singapore and Malaysia, is the academic and professional arm of Blackmores Limited, an Australian natural health company. In addition to UH Hilo, the Institute also collaborates with Taylor’s University in Malaysia and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.

Leslie Braun, director of Blackmores Institute, said that DKICP’s student pharmacist intern program supports their commitment to developing and delivering education that translates evidence into practical skills relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice and patient-centered care.

“Blackmores Institute welcomes this new MOU with UH Hilo as an opportunity to work with a like-minded body in advancing the quality use of complementary medicine in pharmacy practice,” Braun said. “We look forward to a mutually rewarding and productive collaboration with the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.”

Ma said she looks forward to the possibility of expanding research and clinical practice opportunities among mutual partners.

“We already have in common working relationships with universities in Thailand, such as Chulalongkorn and Rangsit Universities, so we have a good start at developing new and exciting possibilities in the field of natural products health care,” Ma noted.

The first DKICP student pharmacists will travel to Australia for a six-week advanced fourth-year rotation later this fall.

Guest Commentary – Public Works Director Decides to Retire… Management Style Didn’t Work

Frank DeMarco, the current Hawaii County Public Works director, has decided to retire.

Frank DeMarco

This action allows Mayor Kim to select a new director for this key county department. I hope he selects someone with a strong rapport with the public and won’t treat concerned citizens, such as myself, like an enemy of the state.

Mr. DeMarco has a military background, and tried to run this critical department as a military unit with a chain of command structure. His management style obviously didn’t work very well and caused a lot of unnecessary issues. I was caught in the cross hairs of one of his ill advised decisions, which restricted me from communicating with anyone in the county public works department. I was able to get this directive somewhat amended, so I could at least go through the county public works public information officer. If this effort was unsuccessful, I’d be required to submit all inquires via postal mail directly to the mayor’s office.

The Department of Public Works is a key part of county government.  They’re responsible for approving building permits, and maintaining our roadway infrastructure.  It is imperative that the new director to be transparent and have strong rapport with the public at large. Anything less would go against Mayor Kim’s campaign pledge to bring trust and integrity to county government.

Aaron Stene