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3.6 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island

A 3.4 3,6 (updated) magnitude earthquake shook the Volcano area of the Big Island at 10:37 this morning.

34-volcano-1026No tsunami was generated from this quake and no damage has been reported.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Captain Cook Boy

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Captain Cook boy who was reported missing.

Dante Blanchard

Dante Blanchard

Dante Blanchard was last seen in Captain Cook on October 4.

He is described as 5-foot-10, 160 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 islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 22-Year-Old Kona Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 22-year-old Kailua-Kona woman who was reported missing.

Jessica Tsibulski

Jessica Tsibulski

Jessica Tsibulski was last seen in Kailua-Kona on October 9.

She is described as a 5-foot-5, 100 pounds with blond hair, blue eyes and tattoos on both sides of her torso.

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 islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

40-Year-Old Woman Dies in South Kona Crash

A 40-year-old woman died in a single-vehicle traffic crash Tuesday evening (October 25) in South Kona near the 102-mile marker of Māmālahoa Highway (Route 11).

hpd-badgeShe has been identified as Denise Scott of Oceanview.

Responding to a 10:16 p.m. call, police determined that Scott had been operating a 2006 Nissan pickup truck, and that she had been traveling south on the Māmālahoa Highway Route 11 just south of the 102-mile marker when she ran off the west shoulder of the roadway and struck a large tree. Scott was taken to Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday (October 26).

Police believe speed and inattention were factors in this crash, but it not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 25th traffic fatality this year compared with 16 at this time last year.

Hawaii State Judiciary Thanks West Hawaii Community and Partners in Kona Courthouse Groundbreaking Ceremony

The Hawaii State Judiciary joined its partners in a traditional Hawaiian groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction of the Kona Judiciary Complex. About 200 people gathered under a white tent at the future site of the courthouse, which is a 10-acre site in Keahuolu, North Kona, above the beautiful Kona coastline.

kona-judiciary3The dedication included the traditional pikai (ritual sprinkling of salted waters) with accompanying pule kahea (Hawaiian prayer chants) to sanctify the premises. Kahu Daniel Akaka said a special prayer for the leaders involved in this project as well as the workers who will be involved in the construction of the new courthouse.

kona-judiciaryThe Kona Judiciary Complex will meet the critical needs of the West Hawaii community and provide improved access to the civil, criminal, and family court justice system. Currently, proceedings are held in three different locations in Kona, in buildings not designed to serve as courtrooms.

“This is a momentous day for me, both professionally and personally,” said Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra. “I was born in the courthouse where I work today—it used to be the Old Kona Hospital. But the building is more than 75 years old and we need to be able to provide the infrastructure to deliver justice for generations to come. This groundbreaking symbolizes the future, while bringing with us the solid foundation we have built thus far.”

The Hawaii State Judiciary thanked the legislature for appropriating the $90 million needed to construct the building, which will enable the Judiciary to provide the West Hawaii community with a secure, efficient, and modern court facility that will accommodate the area’s projected growth in population and court caseload.

Artist rendition

Artist rendition

The 140,000 square foot complex will be a three-story facility with five courtrooms, a law library, self-help center, conference rooms, holding cells, witness rooms, attorney interview rooms, and a grand jury meeting room. The design includes space for future expansion or courtroom additions. Plans also provide 290 parking stalls for public and employee vehicles.

“This would not be possible without the support of the Legislature and Governor David Ige,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. “I’d like to especially recognize the leadership of Representative Sylvia Luke and the members of House Committee on Finance; Senator Jill Tokuda and the members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means; Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran and the members of Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor; and Representative Karl Rhoads and the members of the House Committee on Judiciary. I would also like to acknowledge the deep commitment and enormous efforts of Representative Nicole Lowen, Senator Josh Green, the late Senator Gil Kahele, and all the Big Island legislators. These partners were key to providing this much needed courthouse to the people of West Hawaii. Because of their commitment, the people of West Hawaii will have a courthouse that will support our justice system in this community for many, many years to come.”

“On behalf of Governor David Ige, I extend my appreciation to all those who made this project possible,” said Susan Kim, the Governor’s West Hawaii representative. “This area outgrew the Judiciary facilities long ago, and today we celebrate the start of construction on a new courthouse, one that will have the capacity to serve the current and future needs of the people of West Hawaii.”

Rep. Nicole Lowen said, “Since my first day in office, a new Kona Courthouse has been on the top of my priority list. This ceremony represents many years of work and advocacy from the community, from the judiciary, and from myself and my colleagues, and we are all so pleased to see construction finally beginning today. With the growing population here in West Hawaii, a modern, safe, centralized courthouse facility is long overdue.”

kona-judiciary-josh-greenSenator Josh Green said, “This is a very special day for all of us. This project has been among my highest priorities and is critical for my community. The jobs that will be created will be a game changer for Kona in addition to how it will help with public safety.”

kona-judiciary2“I am very pleased that construction of the Kona Judiciary Complex is moving forward,” said Representative Joy San Buenaventura. “This courthouse will ensure that the Judiciary can fulfill its mission of providing justice for the West Hawaii community in a secure and efficient venue.”

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald also thanked members of the bar for supporting this effort, including the West Hawaii Bar Association, the Hawaii County Bar Association, and the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA). “I appreciate the support of past and present bar presidents and executive directors who have supported this project over the years.”

Administrative Director of the Courts Rodney Maile expressed appreciation for the continued support of Hawaii County, including: Hawaii County Administration and leadership; Hawaii County Council; Prosecuting Attorney, Mitchell Roth; and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. He also thanked the Department of Accounting and General Service (DAGS) for diligently overseeing the project and contract.

“We are committed to delivering this project on time and on budget,” said Frank Oshiro, Vice President of Operations at Nan Inc. “We have a great team of professionals working on this project and we look forward to standing in this same area in 2019 and blessing a brand new courthouse.”

kona-judiciary-bikesThe new complex was designed by Architects Hawaii with the goal of keeping the building’s architecture consistent with the West Hawaii community. In December 2014, Architects Hawaii invited the public to view the preliminary renderings and design plans and solicited its input and feedback. The interior design will reflect local culture, landscape, and values. The building is also designed to be water, energy, and environmentally efficient and sustainable. Please click on this link to view the design plans and renderings.

The Notice to Proceed (NTP) will be formally issued on October 28, 2016, signaling the official start of construction. Nan Inc. is the general contractor and Rider Levett Bucknall was selected to support Construction Management on this project. Construction is expected to be complete in 2019.

A special thanks for today’s program goes to Nan Inc., Kealakehe High School, Lai Opua Community Center, and all those on the planning committee who made this event possible.

West Hawaii Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

WHAT: The Office of the Governor in West Hawai‘i presents:       

Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

Little fire ants are one of the worst invasive species in the world and one of the most detrimental invasive species in Hawai‘i.

lfa-in-hawaiiThey threaten agriculture, native ecosystems, animals and people. This forum aims to support the community and provide residents with valuable information on how to prevent and control little fire ants.

WHO: Presentations 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

WHEN: Thursday, October 27, 2016 – 6 to 8pm (Doors open at 5:30 pm)

WHERE:  Hawai‘i Community College-Pālamanui, 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room 127

Judge Dismisses Records Tampering Counts Against Mayor Kenoi, Felony Theft Counts Remain

State circuit court judge Dexter D. Del Rosario dismissed today three of eight counts against Hawaii County Mayor William P. Kenoi based upon insufficient evidence after the State of Hawaii rested its case.

Mayor Kenoi in court during a recess.

Mayor Kenoi in court during a recess.

The three counts were for tampering with a government record; each was a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

On March 23, 2016, a Hawaii Island grand jury indicted Mayor Kenoi for two counts of felony theft, two additional counts of misdemeanor theft, and one count of false swearing, in addition to the three counts dismissed today. The charges arose from alleged conduct taking place from 2011 through 2015. Mayor Kenoi is presumed innocent of the remaining five counts unless and until a trial jury finds him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvahlo was one of the witnesses called to the stand today by the defense.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvahlo was one of the witnesses called to the stand today by the defense.

Closing arguments and the conclusion of the trial are expected to occur on October 31.

Pahoa District Park Grand Opening is THIS WEEKEND!

An official opening and blessing ceremony for the Pahoa District Park will be held at 9 am  Saturday, Oct. 29.

pahoa-park-flyerKeiki athletic contests, sports clinics, jumping castle and a HI-PAL basketball tournament will be among the featured activities slated to start at 10 am. and continue until late afternoon.

Hospice of Hilo Seeking Volunteers for “Light Up a Life” Events

Hospice of Hilo invites individuals and groups to provide volunteer support for its 27th annual “Light Up a Life” event hosted at the two Prince Kuhio Plaza Macy’s from November 25th to December 24th.

Rotary Club of South Hilo Members, Jim Nakagawa and Rosemary Linden, Volunteer for the 2015 Hospice of Hilo Light Up a Life event at the Prince Kuhio Mall Macy’s.

Rotary Club of South Hilo Members, Jim Nakagawa and Rosemary Linden, Volunteer for the 2015 Hospice of Hilo Light Up a Life event at the Prince Kuhio Mall Macy’s.

Each year, during the holiday season, Hospice of Hilo sets up a Tree of Remembrance at each of the two Macy’s entrances in the mall allowing the community to honor loved ones by hanging a personalized commemorative ornament on the tree.  For many, the ornaments are a symbolic connection with loved ones and a reminder that they remain alive in our hearts.

Community volunteers are needed to provide support at the tables from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are scheduled to provide service in 2-3 hour shifts.  Volunteers are asked to provide a loving presence for those shoppers who wish to decorate and hang an ornament.  Donations are accepted for the ornaments, but are not required.  Volunteers are requested to assist any person who chooses to donate by accepting cash, check or credit card on behalf of Hospice of Hilo.

“Volunteers are vital to the annual ʻLight Up a Lifeʻ, helping with ornaments, being caring hearts, listening to stories and honoring the memories of loved ones in our community. We couldn’t do it without their support,” said Volunteer Manager Jeanette Mochida.

Hospice of Hilo provides specialized comfort care for patients facing a life-limiting or serious illness.  Services are delivered to patients in their place of residence, or at the Pōhai Mālama a Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Care Center.  In addition to hospice services, Hospice of Hilo also provides bereavement counseling to any and all residents who have lost a loved one (regardless of whether the loved one received hospice care).

If you, or your group, is interested in supporting compassionate care in East Hawai‘i call Lisa Kwee at 969-1733, to sign up.

Free Youth Soccer Clinic November 2 in Hilo

Boys and girls age 6 to 14 years old are invited to a free soccer clinic that will be held 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, at Dr. Frances F.C. Wong Stadium in Hilo.

wong-stadiumHawai‘i’s Chevy dealers, in partnership with the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, are sponsoring the Chevy Youth Soccer Instructional Clinic. Special needs participants of all ages are welcome to attend.

Players will be divided into age groups and rotate through skills stations to learn the essentials of dribbling, passing, shooting, and more. Instruction will be provided by soccer.com staff. All players will receive a T-shirt and post-clinic snack.

Clinic spots will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.

To register, go to http://soccer.youthsportsclinics.com/, select “Hawai‘i” in the drop-down menu, enter the password “kickit” in lowercase, and click “Submit.” Then, click “Register Now” for the desired session, enter registration information, click “Add Attendee” on the next screen to add players, and click the blue “Complete Registration” button at end of the page to submit the registration. Don’t forget to download the wavier. Each keiki must have a completed waiver to participate.

Questions should be directed to Beth Heyer at 678-852-5379 or bheyer@gmdealerprograms.com.

Big Island Visitors Bureau Officially Changes Its Name

The Big Island Visitors Bureau has officially changed its name to the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB).

“Depicted in IHVB’s new logo, the design retains its overall elements and feel of the previous look, while aligning itself with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau branding of the Hawaiian Islands,” said Ross Birch, IHVB executive director.

IHVB will continue to use the island’s name, Hawaii, to help identify the destination accurately in its marketing communications and business operations.

To avoid confusion with the state name, IHVB is encouraging the use of “island of Hawaii” when referring to the destination. For shorter references, it also suggests the use of “Hawaii Island” to identify the island.

There will be no interruption in IHVB’s operations during this naming transition.

The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is an Island Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in the United States. The HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

Largest Cat-Proof Fence Built in the U.S. to Protect Hawaiian Birds from Feral Cats

Work is complete on what could be the largest cat-proof fence in the United States, designed to protect the federally endangered ‘ua‘u, or Hawaiian petrel, from the birds’ primary threat: feral cats.

Park staff install the cat-proof fence in rough and rugged high-elevation lava fields on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The five-mile-long fence protects more than 600 acres of Hawaiian petrel habitat, and could be the longest of its kind in the United States. NPS Photo.

Park staff install the cat-proof fence in rough and rugged high-elevation lava fields on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The five-mile-long fence protects more than 600 acres of Hawaiian petrel habitat, and could be the longest of its kind in the United States. NPS Photo.

The seafaring ‘ua‘u nests in deep lava rock burrows on the rugged high-altitude slopes of Mauna Loa, and, despite the remote location, are not safe from cats. In order to protect the species, the National Park Service (NPS) teamed up with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American Bird Conservatory, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit at the University of Hawai‘i (PCSU), to build the five-mile long cat barrier fence in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The specifically designed barrier is more than six feet high, and has a curved top section that prevents cats from climbing over it.

Construction began in 2013, and was limited to January through May to avoid disturbing nesting birds. The seabirds spend most of their lives at sea, and come to land only during breeding season. ‘Ua‘u return to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park briefly in April to prepare nest sites, and return in early June to lay a single egg. The fluffy chicks hatch in August and remain in their burrows until November when they fledge or take their first flight out to sea. Adults, eggs and chicks are extremely vulnerable to predators throughout the long breeding season as all activity occurs on the ground.

Cat-proof fence aerial/Courtesy of Scott Hall/NFWF

Cat-proof fence aerial/Courtesy of Scott Hall/NFWF

The high-altitude project was grueling. NPS and PCSU fence crews worked and camped at elevations between 8,000 and 10,000 feet, in steep and loose lava rock terrain, and in weather that ranged from hail, and high wind, to extreme heat. The site is very remote and all materials, gear and staff had to be flown in and out. But the discomfort paid off: the fence now protects more than 600 acres of ‘ua‘u nesting habitat on Mauna Loa.

“To our knowledge, this is the largest fence of its kind in the U.S. To build such a fence is an incredible feat, and an important victory for a native species that is extremely rare on Hawai‘i Island,” said NPS biologist Kathleen Misajon. “Through the partnership of the cooperating organizations, the cat-proof fence will protect these amazing seabirds and support the expansion of this small population,” she said.

The endangered Hawaiian petrels are more typically seen on neighbor islands. The species is very rare on Hawai‘i Island, with just 75 nesting pairs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and another small population on the slopes of Kohala. The park and cooperating partner agencies have studied this remnant population of ‘ua‘u on Mauna Loa since the early 1990s, both on the ground and more recently, through remote game cameras. The birds only come and go at night, nest in deep cracks and crevices in the lava, and are rarely seen.

Both parents take turns incubating a single egg and later, feeding the chick. They fly from high atop Mauna Loa to forage in the Pacific Ocean, ranging as far north as Washington State before returning to the nest to feed their chick.

For more information on ‘ua‘u on Mauna Loa, watch this six-minute video on the park website: https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=A718E6AF-B4CB-8719-5F489DE87AE57E25

HCFCU Presents Hawaii Island United Way with $16,531

Through the support of donations and pledges across all of its five branches, the staff of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is pleased to announce that they raised $16,531 during its Hawaii Island United Way (HIUW) annual employee campaign.  All monies will be donated to HIUW to support its mission “to unite people, organizations, and resources to build a healthier community.”

Bottom row, L-R;  Jessica Kaneakua, HIUW, President & CPO, Wally Lau, HIUW Board Director   Middle Row, L-R:  Steve Bader, HIUW Board Director; David Miyashita, HCFCU Marketing Coordinator, Nellie Medeiros, HCFCU Corporate Development & Marketing Manager; Tricia Buskirk, HCFCU President & CEO   Top row, L-R:  Toby Taniguchi, Board Director; Sasha Payao, HIUW Campaign & Special Events Coordinator; Dean Uemura, HCFCU Executive Vice President Support Services.  Photo credit: Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union

Bottom row, L-R; Jessica Kaneakua, HIUW, President & CPO, Wally Lau, HIUW Board Director
Middle Row, L-R: Steve Bader, HIUW Board Director; David Miyashita, HCFCU Marketing Coordinator, Nellie Medeiros, HCFCU Corporate Development & Marketing Manager; Tricia Buskirk, HCFCU President & CEO
Top row, L-R: Toby Taniguchi, Board Director; Sasha Payao, HIUW Campaign & Special Events Coordinator; Dean Uemura, HCFCU Executive Vice President Support Services. Photo credit: Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union

“Each year our staff opens their hearts—and wallets—to support those in need,” said Tricia Buskirk, President and CEO of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union.

The Hawaii Island United Way invests in 54 health and human service programs that reach over 75% of Hawaii Island families and individuals each year.  All funded programs fall within the parameters of its Community Care Impact Initiatives, which include, Education (encouraging and nurturing positive values to develop skills in children, youth and adults), Income (empowering families and individuals to become financially stable; increasing self-sufficiency and independence) and Health (providing for basic needs and a safety net of services that promote prevention and encourage healing and recovery).

HCFCU branches are located in Kaloko, Kailua-Kona, Kealakekua, Kohala, and Honoka’a.  For more information, contact us at 808-930-7700, marketing@hicommfcu.com or visit www.hicommfcu.com.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its over 40,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents.

Kona Man Charged With Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a Kailua-Kona man with murder in connection with a body found last week off Hawaiʻi Belt Road.

Gafatasi Jorden Kaipo Napoleon

Gafatasi Jorden Kaipo Napoleon

Shortly before noon Saturday (October 22), Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of criminal property damage in progress in the Oʻoma subdivision in Kailua-Kona. Officers located 29-year-old Gafatasi Jorden Kaipo Napoleon of Kailua-Kona, who was also wanted on suspicion of murder for the shooting death of 36-year-old Alanaokala Solomon Covington of Kailua-Kona. Napoleon was arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 9:55 p.m. Sunday (October 23), he was charged with second-degree murder, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, promoting a dangerous drug and criminal property damage. His bail was set at $271,000. He remained at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (October 24).

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 jerome.manuel@hawaiicounty.gov.

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.

92-Year-Old Woman Dies Following Two Vehicle Crash in Hilo

A 92-year-old Hilo woman died following a two vehicle crash Sunday afternoon (October 23) in Hilo.

She was identified as Masako Okano.

hpd-badgeResponding to a 12:22 p.m. call, police determined that a 2000 Ford pickup truck was traveling south on Komohana Street and starting to make a left hand turn down Ponahawai Street when it was struck by a 2012 Nissan sedan that was traveling north on Komohana Street.

Okano, who was the front seat passenger of the sedan, was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 3:54 p.m.

The driver of the sedan, a 25-year-old Pāhoa woman, was also taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was treated for her injuries and released.

The driver of the pickup, a 28-year-old man from Hauʻula, Oahu, was not injured.

Police do not know if speed was a factor in this crash but they do not believe alcohol was a factor.

The Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation. Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Officer Clarence Acob at 961-2293 clarence.acob@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 24th traffic fatality this year compared with 16 at this time last year.

Updates from Day 3 of Mayor Kenoi Trial

Today is day 3 of the Mayor Kenoi trial that is taking place at the Hilo Judiciary.

kenoi-trialHonolulu Star Advertiser reporter Dan Nakaso is in the courtroom and is live tweeting the trial.

You can follow him live here: https://twitter.com/dannakaso



Judge dismisses three counts against Mayor Kenoi. 5 charges remain.

4h4 hours ago

AG counters that Kenoi atty only focused on 5 ASB/FHB personal and joint accounts. Two additional accounts suggested debts. 4h4 hours ago

Kenoi atty said forensic accountant orig included an equity line of credit to suggest Kenoi needed $ when he had plenty of money

4h4 hours ago

Kenoi atty walking AG forensic accountant through pcard expenditures and kenoi accounts to show that mayor had money.

MT : Judge asks whether AG alleging a “cover up.” AG: “We don’t know if there was a conspiracy.” Jury not present.

AG: “We wouldn’t be here” if not for efforts of AG investigator who had to get Kenoi purchase receipts directly from merchants.

3m3 minutes ago

AG wants jury to get a transcript of Kenoi presser in which jurors will “hear a confession.”

Kenoi presser held April ’15 relates to his pCard purchases; AG wants jury to hear additional docs, evidence

Hawaii Wildlife Fund Releases New Marine Debris Prevention Curriculum for Elementary School Students

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) is excited to announce the release of our new marine debris prevention curriculum designed for elementary school students around Hawaiʻi.

hwf-kidsOver the past two school years, HWF mentors piloted this curriculum in 20 public schools working with over 52 different teachers and 1,140 students (grade kindergarten to 5th).  HWF mentors worked with students at schools around Hawaiʻi Island: in Kona, Kohala, Kaʻū, Hāmākua, Hilo, and Puna.

beach-clean-up-hwfThe “Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach” program teaches children about:

  • Understanding aquatic life and ecosystems (basic marine biology concepts)
  • Marine debris and how land-based litter sources find their way into the sea
  • Exploring what a “discard” really is and how our daily choices affect the amount of trash we produce
  • Vulnerability of island ecosystems and communities and the responsibility (kuleana) that we each have to protect them.

The curriculum was designed as a 3-visit program that challenged students to put forward innovative solutions to this global marine-debris problem.  The lessons are aligned with all Common Core and Next Generation Science and other benchmarks relevant to the elementary school level.

innovations-posterAll of the lessons and activities are available for free download from the HWF website or at the following link: http://wildhawaii.org/MDKEO/Su mmaryTeacherEdition.pdf

“It was a great pleasure guest teaching in the many different classrooms around the island.  We look forward to deepening our relationships with Hawaiʻi Island students and teachers in the coming years” said HWF mentor and Education Coordinator, Stacey Breining.


In addition, nine cleanup events were conducted as an optional follow-up component of this program (6 beach cleanups, 2 stream cleanups, 1 campus cleanup).   During these nine cleanup events, 286 students participated in removing over 1,500 lbs. of marine and land-based debris items from the coastline, stream banks, or their campus.

Please contact HWF at marine.debris.KEO@gmail.com or 808-769-7629 for more information or visit the HWF website (www.wildhawaii.org).

Groundbreaking Held for Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial – Affordable Senior Housing

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor-Elect Harry Kim and Big Island Veterans broke ground on the Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial.
harry-kim-at-hivmThe project has been in the works for quite some time and it’s good to see that it is finally going to happen.The location is located off Kawili Street below the University of Hawaii Hilo Campus and across the street from Waiakea High School.

hivm-site-planEarlier this year, after HIVM received the first increment of our $425,000 state grant to help us start the project, we had an engineer prepare a plan for a box culvert common-use entrance into our lots along Kawili Street. Isemoto Construction was selected from our list of bidders to construct the common-use driveway entrance and perform related construction tasks and they have begun the installation of the box culvert and new entryway. We are in the final stages of an agreement with a large and respected non-profit housing development corporation, EAH Housing, Inc., to develop and operate 75 units of affordable senior-living units on our upper 5+ acre lot.

Artist rendition

Preference for these units will be given to veterans and their spouses. Other income-qualified senior Hawaii residents will also be able to rent these units in the event there is an insufficient number of qualified vets, their spouses or vets’ widows on the wait list at the time of vacancy. This senior independent living community will also include a centrally located community center for socializing, educational, recreational, and leisure activities.

 The lot is outlined with a thin white line and is bordered on the left by Kapiolani Street across from the lower end of the UHH campus. The lot is bordered at the bottom by West Kawili Street.

The lot is outlined with a thin white line and is bordered on the left by Kapiolani Street across from the lower end of the UHH campus. The lot is bordered at the bottom by West Kawili Street.

History: Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial, Inc. (HIVM) is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) all-volunteer non-profit corporation privately organized in 1997 to serve as a development entity for the island’s many veterans and veterans groups. Our mission was to develop a one-stop combined veterans center (CVC) together with a senior independent living community complete with a multi-purpose activity center and dining facility for our islands’ 20,000+ active, reserve, retired, veterans, and other eligible seniors. A site was identified on an overgrown 7 acre parcel of unplanned public lands in Hilo along Kawili St. just below the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and was obtained for this purpose in 2004 by a Governor’s executive order.

After acquiring a start up lease in 2005, funds were raised privately to complete an approved final environmental assessment (FEA) including a master plan with all preliminary engineering. This was developed with all stakeholders, including the University of Hawai’i at Hilo (UHH), neighbors and neighboring institutions, AARP, all the veterans organization on Hawai’i and the county of Hawai’i. The FEA was completed in 2006 and was accepted and approved by the County.

Re-zoning and subdivision into 3 separate lots for each project component were completed by mid-2007 when the lots were graded, partially grubbed and a sewer tap installed on the lower lot planned for the one-stop CVC as Phase 1. With an agreement in hand with the USDVA (VA) to build and lease to them a 5000 sq ft facility estimated at $2.1m. $1m in state and county matching funds were then sought, approved, and appropriated for FY 2008 to enable HIVM to privately finance the balance and begin the project. However the national financial meltdown reached Hawaii in the summer of 2008 and stopped all planned construction because of no available private or public financing. With development actions at a stop for the next 4 years, HIVM subleased the site to a private contractor to use as a base yard in exchange for periodic mowing and essential maintenance.

We resumed progress in 2012 with an improved economic outlook, a new lease, new opportunities, and a rejuvenated board of directors to move us forward to our current status.

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.


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 www.maunakeapoloclub.com.