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Big Island Police Kill Man Wielding Crossbow

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Saturday (April 29), in Papaʻaloa.

At about 3:35 p.m., police were investigating a disturbance at a residence when they encountered a man wielding a loaded crossbow. One officer fired several shots, resulting in the death of the man.

The man’s name is being withheld pending positive identification.

As is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting, and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask that anyone with any information about this incident cal l the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Lieutenant Miles Chong at 961-2252, or via email at miles.chong@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Kamokuna Ocean Entry Slowly Building New Lava Delta

The episode 61g Kamokuna ocean entry has been slowly building a new lava delta for a little over a month now.

Click to enlarge

Two large cracks parallel to the coast are visible on the delta (center), with the distal portion slumping slightly seaward—suggesting further instability. Thursday, the ocean entry activity, most of which was located along the western side of the delta and obscured by the thick plume, was producing occasional weak littoral explosions.

Hawaii Department of Health Publishes First LGBT Health Data Report

Today the Department of Health released the first-ever Hawaii Sexual and Gender Minority Health Report at the Building Competency in Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth Conference. The report reveals that, compared to heterosexual youth and adults, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth experience many early risk factors that contribute to poorer health outcomes in adulthood.

Click to view report

“We are pleased to share our current research on the health of Hawaii’s sexual and gender minority people,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director of Health. “The new findings will help us tailor programs to better address the health challenges of LGBT people in our State.” Over ten percent of public high school youth identify as LGB or questioning, and three percent of adults aged 18 years and older identify as LGB. An additional 5,600 adults in Hawaii identify as transgender or gender non-conforming.

Sexual and gender minority people experience discrimination and stigma, and are often victims of bullying, family rejection, and lack of acceptance. Consequently, LGB and questioning youth experience greater mental health challenges than heterosexual youth. Half of LGB youth report feeling sad or hopeless, and 60 percent report purposely hurting themselves through behaviors such as cutting or burning themselves. Each year, nearly one in three LGB youth attempt suicide.

LGB youth are also more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors that increase their risk for chronic disease and poor health outcomes later in life. One-quarter of LGB youth report that they currently smoke cigarettes, and nearly half drink alcohol. One in ten LBG youth also say they have injected illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime.

Consistent with the findings on youth, the report shows that LGB adults live with poorer health outcomes than heterosexual adults. Forty percent of LGB adults report having multiple chronic conditions, and they are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to suffer depression.

Women identifying as lesbian or bisexual also experience poorer health outcomes compared to heterosexual women. One-quarter of lesbian or bisexual women have asthma, and they are three times more likely to have a stroke. Men identifying as gay or bisexual are seven times more likely to experience abuse by a partner, and three times more likely to be a victim of rape or attempted rape.

“The report demonstrates that there is much work to be done to understand and address the unique challenges of sexual and gender minority people,” said Lola Irvin, Administrator of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. “By improving the health of at-risk and underserved populations, we will make Hawaii a healthier, happier place for all our citizens.”

To download a copy of the report, please visit https://health.hawaii.gov/surveillance/files/2017/04/HawaiiSexualandGenderMinorityHealthReport.pdf.

Animal Control Activities and Temporary Closure of Mauna Kea Forest Reserve

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i.

Palila Bird

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawai‘i.

Control schedules are May 10 and 11, 2017.  Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

  • 7 a.m. May 10, 2017
  • 6 a.m. May 11, 2017

These actions are pursuant to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Ch. 13-130-19 and § 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.  The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

Locked 7 p.m. May 9, 2017, and reopened 7 p.m. May 11, 2017.

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. May 3, 2017, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only.  Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in.  A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu‘u Ko‘ohi location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu‘u Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicles are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On May 10, 2017, at Pu‘u Ko‘ohi. Permittees must meet at Mauna Kea Recreation Area at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On May 11, 2017, at Pu‘u Mali. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for April – Thomas Chun-Ming

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized South Hilo Patrol Officer Thomas Chun-Ming on Thursday (April 27) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for April.
On March 27, 2017, Officer Chun-Ming was patrolling the Honomū area following a recent increase in property crimes when he received information about a suspicious vehicle in the garage of a vacant home. Upon further investigation, Officer Chun-Ming arrested a male and female for Criminal Trespass in the first degree. The male suspect received additional charges of Promoting a Dangerous Drug and Drug Paraphernalia.

Later that same evening, while supplementing another shift, Officer Chun-Ming observed a pickup truck without a safety inspection sticker on the rear bumper. As he followed the t ruck onto a side-street in Pepeʻekeo he observed the vehicle to stop suddenly and two males immediately exit from the driver and passenger sides. As he ordered them back into the vehicle and then made further contact with the driver he detected the odor of burnt marijuana and observed drug paraphernalia inside the truck. At this time Officer Chun-Ming arrested the driver for Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the third degree and Driving without a License. The passenger was arrested for a no bail warrant and Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the third degree and the truck was recovered as evidence. The Hawaiʻi Police Department’s VICE section was assigned to continue the investigation and recovered 1.5 grams of methamphetamine and “meth pipe” after serving a narcotics search warrant on the truck. The two males were given additional charges, three counts of Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the third degree and three counts of Drug Paraphernalia.

On March 28, 2017, Officer Chun-Ming spotted a vehicle which had recently been reported stolen to be traveling in the opposite direction of him on Highway 19. After losing sight of the vehicle he continued to make diligent checks of the area and the vehicle was located along a muddy, unpaved road. As Officer Chun-Ming approached, two males immediately fled from the vehicle on foot. After a short foot pursuit, Officer Chun-Ming was able to apprehend one of the males until back-up officers arrived. With the assistance of the Hawaiʻi Police Departments tracking dog, the second suspect was located hiding in the brush and was subsequently also arrested. Both men were arrested for Theft in the second degree and one of them was also arrested for Promotion of a Detrimental Drug.

Chun-Ming was nominated for the award by Sergeant BJ Duarte who stated that he “demonstrates on a daily basis, his attention to detail, superb investigative skills, his dedication to duty and his proactive approach to police wor k.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Chun-Ming is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Community Based Palliative Care Program Hosts Free Talk

Kupu Care, a Community Based Palliative Care program offered exclusively in East Hawai‘i by Hospice of Hilo, is inviting the public to join them in their free community talk titled, “Why Does Everyone Need an Advance Health Care Directive” on Wednesday May 3rd , from 5:00pm-6:00pm at the organization’s Community Building located at 1011 Waiānuenue Avenue, Hilo.

Kupu Care Patient, Robert Gomes with Wife Phoebe, receiving a health check from Kupu Care Nurse, Julia Lindbergh.

The session will be presented by Kupu Care’s Clinical Relations Manager, Lani Weigert.  “This program focuses on bringing relief from symptoms caused by treatments for those suffering from serious illness.  Kupu Care currently focuses on providing support and relief to both the patient and their caregivers who are dealing with Advanced Congestive Heart Failure or Cancer,” explains Weigert.

This month’s talk will focus on Advance Health Care Directives.  Developed as a result of widespread concerns over patients undergoing medical treatments and procedures in an effort to preserve life at any cost, from a practical standpoint, medical directives and living wills facilitate a person’s medical care and decision making in situations when they are temporarily or permanently unable make decisions or verbalize their decisions. By having previously documented personal wishes and preferences, the family’s and physicians’ immense decision-making burden is lightened. At the same time, patient autonomy and dignity are preserved by tailoring medical care based on one’s own choices regardless of mental or physical capacity.

“Medical technology makes it possible for patients with little or no hope of recovery to be kept alive for months or even years. This makes it important to discuss what kind of care you want before serious illness occurs.” Said Weigert.  “For those who don’t have an Advance Health Care Directive, we will discuss how that process is done, and why it’s so important to have one.  We will explore ideas and beliefs that affect our end of life decisions, who should be involved and the type of medical care you do or don’t want.”

Those interested in attending the talk are asked to RSVP no later than Tuesday, May 2nd by contacting Lani Weigert at (808) 934-2913 or online at www.kupucare.org (events).

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Hilo Boy

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

No photo was made available

Anthony Souza was last seen in Hilo on January 31, 2017. He is also known to frequent the Puna district.

He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-6, 130 pounds with short brown hair and hazel eyes. He has the word “Puna” tattooed on his right forearm and a tribal tattoo on his left calf. Souza was last seen wearing a maroon-colored shirt, gray shorts, knee-high socks and camouflage-colored Crocs.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts contact Officer Daniel Kuwabara at 961-2213, or to call the Police Departments non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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

National Take-Back Day on the Big Island of Hawaii

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will coordinate a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies on the Big Island of Hawaii on Saturday, April 29th to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation’s medicine cabinets.

Locations:

  • Hilo – Ka Waena Lapa‘au Medical Complex (Upper Parking Lot), 670 Ponohawai St., Hilo, HI 96720
  • Kona – Hawai‘i Police Department Kealakehe Police Station Parking Lot, 74-0611 Hale Māka‘i Pl., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety from accidental poisonings and groundwater contamination.

This recurring one-day effort is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse and provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

  • The program is free & anonymous.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter solid dosage medications, i.e. tablets and capsules accepted.
  • Liquid medications – cough medicine with codeine and other over-the-counter liquid medications accepted.
  • Injectables (pre-loaded with medication) and needles/sharps/syringes will not be accepted.
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

Kohala Officer of the Quarter: Tyler Prokopec

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association has recognized Officer Tyler Prokopec as the “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” for the first quarter of 2017. A ceremony was held on Friday (April 21), at the Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo.

Pictured from left to right: Captain Randall Ishii, Mayor Harry Kim, Officer Tyler Prokopec, Bill King of Securitas, and Wesley Taketa of Royal Kona Resort

Officer Prokopec was honored for his actions while off-duty which resulted in the arrest of a disorderly male at the Waikoloa Queen’s Market Place in February.

On February 15, 2017, at 9:30 p.m., Officer Prokopec, who was off-duty, was driving along Waikoloa Beach Drive when he observed a security guard and a civilian struggling to detain a disorderly male near the Queen’s Market Place. The disorderly male, upon being alerted that Prokopec was a police officer, immediately jumped up and ran to the roadway in an attempt to flee. The male then attempted stopping a moving vehicle before jumping onto the hood of a pickup truck and then shattered it’s windshield by kicking it. Officer Prokopec was then able to remove the suspect from the truck and safely place him under arrest. It was later learned that the suspect had caused damages to two other vehicles in the area.

Sergeant Erich Jackson commented in his nomination papers that “without Officer Prokopec’s immediate and decisive intervention, the suspect may have harmed himself further or committed more crimes. Officer Prokopec exemplified the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s core values of Professionalism, Integrity and Community Satisfaction and is deserving of this award.”

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association is an organization of hotel and airport security managers and visitor industry professionals. Its “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” program is an opportunity to recognize outstanding officers from the North Kohala and South Kohala Districts.

Carrying On with Tradition with Robert Cazimero on the Big Island

Saturday, May 13 at 7 pm, Hawai‘i’s most revered and loved Kumu and singer, Robert Cazimero, returns to Kahilu Theatre to carry on with an unbroken 32-year-old tradition – celebrating May Day in Waimea.

Robert’s beautiful voice is so distinctive that whether he performs on piano or with his brother Roland as the Brothers Cazimero, people recognize him instantly and are compelled to listen.

Robert has been a part of close to forty full album projects; many considered classics in the history of Hawaiian music. The popular success of the music he has made and participated in has been recognized through dozens of awards, performances on the world’s most prestigious stages and the millions of albums that have been bought by people around the world.

Robert has studied the art of hula for decades and has been an essential player in the evolution of modern Hawaiian music. His passion and talent have played a huge role in taking Hawaiian music and dance to stages all over the globe. Robert’s kane of Na Kamalei were overall winners at the 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival.

“Waimea is one of my favorite places in Hawai`i, and it’s always such a pleasure to perform for the folks (many I consider family),” says Robert. “It wouldn’t be spring without this concert, and I relish our time at Kahilu Theatre, one of the best venue’s in Hawaii!”

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, May 13, at 7 pm, with snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar.  In the Kahiu Galleries, a Climate of Change juried exhibit is on display in the Kohala Gallery, and Dance of the Bees – The Exhibit is on display in the Hamakua Gallery.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $48 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Marianne Maynard, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and Kona Brewing Co.

Hawaiian Airlines and KAPA Radio sponsor the 2016/17 Hawaiian Series.

Umauma Bridge to Reopen to Two-Way Traffic Monday – Continued Alternating Lane Closures

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) alerts the public it will be reopening the Umauma Bridge on Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) in the vicinity of Hakalau on Monday, April 24, 2017. One lane of traffic will be contraflowed over the bridge beginning at 9 a.m., weather permitting, and the bridge will be open to two-way traffic at 3 p.m. There will continue to be alternating lane closures at the bridge on Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Dayton Kalai YouTube clip screenshot

The Umauma Bridge, which was built in 1911, underwent a full rehabilitation. The $31 million improvement project involved the reinforcement of the bridge’s deteriorating steel structure by building concrete towers within the existing steel towers. Other improvements included widening and replacement of the bridge deck, an asphalt concrete pavement overlay with 12-foot travel lanes and 8-foot shoulders, and new concrete railings that comply with current federal pedestrian and bike safety regulations.

HDOT thanks the public for their patience and support during this project. Lane closure updates are posted weekly to our website at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/roadwork/hawaii/.

Commentary – Mayor’s Administration Has Taken Action Against Me

Mayor Harry Kim ran on a platform of transparency, and restoring trust in county government. Nonetheless,  his administration has taken action against me, which goes against those campaign promises.

The problems started on February 6th, 2017 when the Department of Public Works director Frank DeMarco sent me an official e-mail stating that I cannot communicate with anyone in the Department of Public Works going forward. Mr. DeMarco also states all further inquiries from me have to be sent to the mayor’s office through postal mail. This e-mail was disseminated to all DPW managerial staff, and to the mayor’s secretary.I was able to get  that  part rescinded, so I could go through DPW’s public information officer for any future inquiries. This somewhat addressed the issue at hand, but not completely. This directive made it impossible to provide feedback about future county highway projects.

In addition,  I still couldn’t communicate with front line engineers,  or division heads. I’ve established relationships with these individuals that  have lasted ten or more years in some cases. These individuals have always appreciated my efforts to report traffic signal and pothole issues, along with my assistance with getting various highway projects completed.

DPW Director DeMarco has painted a different picture of my efforts, which he stated in recent testimony to the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee on April 11th. He stated that I was making too many inquiries with DPW staff, which was causing issues for DPW and other county departments.

This statement doesn’t make any sense whatsoever based upon the positive feedback I’ve received from public works  staff over the years. This is why I believe  this directive is smokescreen for the real reason why I’ve been treated this way. Mayor Kim simply doesn’t welcome, or want, feedback from from community.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Navy Attending Merrie Monarch Festival, Will Join in Royal Parade

The U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will march and perform in the 54th annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on April 22. Capt. James Jenks, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii, will also attend the festivities.

HILO, Hawaii (April 26, 2014) Under the direction of Lt. Patrick K. Sweeten, the Pacific Fleet Band marches in the 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival Parade. The parade is the culmination of a week-long festival featuring an internationally acclaimed hula competition and a grand parade through the heart of Hilo. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 2nd Class Andrea Sematoske/Released)

Capt. Jenks will attend the Hula Kahiko competition on Friday, April 21. He will also attend the Group Hula ʻAuana & Awards and participate with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.

The Navy recognizes that the Merrie Monarch Festival honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. King Kalākaua negotiated a treaty with the United States that led to the Navy’s presence at Pearl Harbor.

“We appreciate King David Kalākaua’s commitment and legacy,” Jenks said. “King Kalākaua supported the Navy and provided the opportunity to establish a coaling station at Pearl Harbor more than a century ago. He was a big supporter of education, which is something we all value today; especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

Members of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band have been on Hawaii Island this week, working with local school bands, reinforcing STEM education and providing community outreach.

Multi-Media Dance Show – “Dance of the Bees”

Saturday, May 6, at 7 pm, and Sunday, May 7, at 4 pm, Kahilu Theatre presents Dance of the Bees, a multi-media dance show that examines the life and plight of honeybees. Director Angel Prince is collaborating with local beekeepers to create an artistic and educational show based on a topic that is both relevant, and urgent. Over 100 students from the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC), ages five to adult, will come together in this original Kahilu Production.

Photos by Evan Bordessa

“The subject of the honeybee, an insect of which the future of our species is intrinsically tied too, is an urgent matter,” says Angel Prince. “The concept of the show is to elevate the life of the honeybee to a stage performance, in part to raise awareness of the honeybee, and perhaps to soften their image. This show is both entertaining and exuberant and showcases the talented youth and choreographers of the Big Island.”

Dance of the Bees includes contemporary dance, trapeze, aerial silks, hip-hop and breakdancing, and features choreography by Angel Prince, Lynn Barre (Kona), Elizabeth McDonald, Mana Ho‘opai (Hilo), and Kat Reuss, with exciting and eclectic music from Mum, Zoe Keating, Jon Hopkins, and more.

Dance of the Bees will also play for local schools and children in two youth Shows on Wednesday, May 3rd at 9 am and 10:30 am. For more information about the Youth Shows offered at the Theatre please contact Education Coordinator Lisa Shattuck at youth@kahilutheatre.org.

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, May 6, at 7 pm, and at 3 pm for the performance on Sunday, May 7 at 4 pm. There will be snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. In the Kahiu Galleries, a Climate of Change Juried Exhibit is on display in the Kohala Gallery, and Dance of the Bees – The Exhibit is on display in the Hamakua Gallery. Both exhibits run through May.

Tickets are $38 / $28 / $22 / $16 and available for purchase online at kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, M-F 9 am to 1 pm.

This Kahilu Production and these performances are made possible by sponsorship from Terry & Michael Cromwell, Mimi & Brian Kerley, and John & Anne Ryan.

TMT Contested Case Deadlines Set

Presiding Officer Issues Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Deadlines

In an order (Minute Order No. 43) issued today, contested case hearing officer Judge Riki May Amano (ret.) notified the parties of upcoming filing deadlines in the Contested Case Hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. During the evidentiary portion of the Contested Case Hearing, spread over five months in late 2016 and early 2017, twenty-five parties to the case presented testimony and evidence.

Today’s order sets May 30, 2017 as the deadline for the parties to submit proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law.  Responses to these proposals are due by June 13, 2017.  Each response shall identify by Document Number the specific decision and order, findings of fact and conclusions of law to which it responds.

Minute Order No. 43 and all other minute orders and documents related to the TMT Contested Case can be viewed at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/mk/documents-library/.

Complete transcripts from the TMT Contested Case Hearing were made available yesterday at Hilo Public Library, Kailua Kona Public Library, Thelma Parker Memorial Library, and Edward H. Mookini Library on Hawaii island, and at the Hawaii State Public Library on Oahu.

Judge Amano will consider all filings and submit her proposed recommendation.  The matter will then go back to the State Board of Land and Natural Resources for argument, review and final decision.

39th Annual Golf Tournament Supports Brantley Center

The Brantley Center, a services provider for people with disabilities, will host its 39th Annual Golf Tournament at Waikoloa Village Golf Course on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

The 39th Annual Golf Tournament supports the Brantley Center’s work with people with disabilities.

The tournament starts at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start, two-person best ball modified format. Entry fees are $125 per player for golf, lunch and prizes, including a chance to win $10,000 for hole-in-one. A silent auction fundraiser offers exciting items, like rounds of golf at the exclusive Nanea and Kohanaiki golf clubs.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Waikoloa Village Golf Course opened in 1972 and is known to be enough for the serious golfer, and a fun experience for beginners as well. The 6,971-yard, par 72 layout includes wide, forgiving landing areas, and well-bunkered and undulating greens with picturesque ocean and mountain views.

Brantley Center, founded in 1964 by Sergeant Gilbert Brantley, a former National Guard Advisor, provides adult day programs for clients with physical, emotional or mental disabilities. In a safe and supportive environment, men and women from North Hilo, Hāmākua and Kohala receive independent life skills and employment training, vocational rehabilitation, and help transitioning into the regular job market. Work opportunity is also available for some clients through the Center’s business services, such as aquaponic lettuce, auto detailing, janitorial, lawn and landscaping services.

A 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization administered by a volunteer Board of Directors, Brantley Center depends on government funding and grants from charitable organizations such as Hawaii Island United Way. The golf tournament and other fundraisers throughout the year fill a critical gap in budgetary need.

Golfers and non-golfers are invited to contribute to the benefit golf tournament, and various sponsorship levels are available. Organizers also welcome silent auction items, gift certificates and other donations at all price levels, to generate enthusiasm and give everyone a chance to participate.

For more information, please contact Golf Tournament Chairman Roland Kaneshiro, 987-7712, or call the Brantley Center, 775-7245.

Draft Environmental Assessment Public Meeting Ali‘i Drive Culvert Replacement Project

A public meeting on the Draft Environmental Assessment will be held on Monday, May 1, 2017 at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center’s Community Meeting Hale (Bldg. G), 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM to:

  • Allow individuals to comment, ask questions, and discuss concerns regarding the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA).
  • Discuss the County’s plans to replace the double-cell culvert bridging the Waiaha Drainageway on Ali‘i Drive; adjacent to the Kona Tiki Hotel.
  • Present the project’s description, history and scope of work, to construct a new bridge structure that has a wider stream flow opening, a longer span and wider lane bridge above.

A Draft Environmental Assessment was released on April 8, 2017, and can be obtained and viewed by selecting the April 8, 2017 edition of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) Environmental Notice at http://health.hawaii.gov/oeqc/.  A copy can also be viewed at the Kailua Public Library.  Comments on the project and its Draft Environmental Assessment are due on May 7, 2017.

If you require special accommodations or auxiliary aid and/or services to participate in this meeting (i.e. sign language interpreter, large print) or for more details on the meeting, please call Barett Otani, Department of Public Works, Information and Education Specialist at (808) 961-8787.

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Help in Locating Owner of Adrift Kayak Off Big Island

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help identifying the owner of an unmanned, adrift red kayak found approximately one mile off Airport Beach, on the west side of the Big Island, Thursday.

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help identifying the owner of an unmanned, red kayak found approximately one mile off Airport Beach, on the west side of the Big Island, Thursday.

The kayak was found with bait fish onboard but no gear and has the word tango written on both sides.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

At 6:50 a.m., watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received notification from the crew of the vessel Kamalami that they had recovered an unmanned, adrift kayak.

Sector Honolulu issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners and launched an MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to conduct a search of the area.

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area. Kayak companies on the Big Island are checking the area but reported no kayaks out or missing.

The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Tourism to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Creates $199,923,400 in Economic Benefits to Local Economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,887,580 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2016 spent $159,195,500 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,917 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $199,923,400.

Visitors observe Kīlauea summit lava lake last month from the Jaggar Museum observation deck, open 24 hours a day in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo by Janice Wei

“It’s exciting to see the steady increase in both visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and the consistent economic benefit park visitors provide to our Hawai‘i Island community in the way of jobs, and their spending,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We noticed the increase in visitation from the start of 2016, which marked the 100th anniversary of both the National Park Service and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. When lava from Kīlauea reached the ocean last summer, coupled with the ease of steady viewing of the summit lava lake, visitation continued to climb. We’ve seen consecutive increases in both spending and visitation at Hawai‘i Volcanoes since from 2009,” Orlando said.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the NPS. The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $ 34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/Hawaii.

Big Island Residents Catch Rat Lungworm – Residents Consumed Drink Tainted by Slug

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed two new cases of individuals with rat lungworm illness on Hawaii Island. In addition, four related cases are considered highly probable based on clinical indications, a common discrete exposure, and symptoms consistent with the illness. All six cases are adults who were hospitalized and their illnesses reported to the department over the past weekend.

The adults became infected with the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis at a home in Keaau on Hawaii Island a few weeks after drinking homemade kava which they had left out in uncovered buckets after preparing the drink at the home. The kava was poured into a large bowl and after consuming most of the contents, the individuals noticed a slug at the bottom of the bowl. The department’s investigation determined the source of the infections was likely the homemade kava tainted by slugs.

“The department is continuing to monitor this serious illness spread to individuals by infected slugs and snails,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Cases like this recent cluster are especially concerning because they can be prevented with basic precautions such as storing food in covered containers and properly inspecting and washing food before eating. These healthy habits can protect against food contamination and prevent serious illnesses.”

With the addition of the two illnesses confirmed today, there have been a total of 11 confirmed cases of rat lungworm infection this year in the state.

Earlier this year, four Maui resident cases, two non-resident cases who were visitors to Maui, and three Hawaii Island resident cases were confirmed. The two cases confirmed today were Hawaii Island residents and of the four probable cases, three were Hawaii Island residents and one was a resident of Maui who traveled to Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii Department of Health advises everyone to carefully store, inspect and wash produce, especially leafy greens. Always store food in covered containers, wash all produce thoroughly and supervise young children playing outdoors to prevent them from putting snails or slugs into their mouths. Controlling snail, slug, and rat populations is one of the most important steps in fighting the spread of rat lungworm disease. Take precautions to control slugs, snails, and rats around properties, and especially around home gardens. Farmers as well as food handlers and processors should increase diligence in controlling slugs, snails, and rats on the farm.

The Department of Health’s Food Safety Program continues to inspect and educate food establishments statewide on safe food handling and preparation to prevent contamination and food borne illness. Food establishments statewide are reminded to use only approved and licensed sources and carefully inspect and wash all produce during food preparation.

The most common symptoms of angiostrongyliasis or rat lungworm include severe headache and neck stiffness, but symptoms may vary widely among cases. Seek medical attention for headache, fever, stiff neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin or extremities. The most serious cases experience neurological problems, pain and severe disability. Healthcare providers should monitor and support patients’ symptoms, and report any persons they suspect may be infected. More information on the signs and symptoms of rat lungworm infection are at: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2015/07/angio-fact-sheet-20150716.pdf