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Pahoa Citizens Community Meeting – “We Take Back Our Town”

A lot has been said on social media about the fire that took Luquins Restaurant and the historic Akebono Theater in Pahoa last week and many folks are quite fed up with what has happened in Pahoa over the last few years with the increase in the homeless folks that have been attracted to the area.
A citizens community meeting has been scheduled for Monday, January 23rd at the Pahoa Community Center beginning at 5:30 pm.

Invited to attend are staff members from the Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorneys Office, Hawaii County Police Department, Hawaii County Council Representatives as well as concerned citizens in general.

Hawaii Forest Institute (HFI) Awarded IUCN WCC Hawaii Climate Fund

In honor of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that met in Hawai‘i last year, the Hawaiian Airlines Foundation, the Hawaii Conservation Alliance Foundation, and Conservation International established the IUCN World Conservation Conference (WCC) Hawaii Climate Fund. The IUCN WCC Hawaii Climate Fund believes that as an island state, Hawai‘i is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Through a Request for Proposal process, the Fund awarded Hawai‘i-based non-profit organizations for community-based projects for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and education. Hawai‘i Forest Institute (HFI) was awarded a $15,000 grant for its Ho‘ola Ka Makana ‘a Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

HPA Middle School students plant seedling at Kaʻūpūlehu. Photo credit: Keoki Apokolani Carter

Grant funds, with support from HFI, Kamehameha Schools and National Tropical Botanical Gardens, and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority allow the Ka‘ūpūlehu Cultural Ecology Team to continue mitigation initiatives in preparation for climate change and stewardship efforts to protect and enhance cultural resources found within the endangered Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest. The Ka‘ūpūlehu team is comprised of four integrated land-based learning and stewardship programs that have mutually beneficial partnering as a foundation of its work.

A significant partnership is with the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), as one of a few Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) sites that integrates indigenous science with institutional science to better prepare for climate change and share knowledge across disciplines. The four program directors along in concert with seven partner programs, were honored with the opportunity to give a formal international presentation at the IUCN WCC.

Through diverse outreach and restoration activities, Hawai‘i residents and visitors help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Adaptive management approaches are the cornerstone of this initiative and by using biocultural and mālama ‘āina “learn-while-doing” approaches, Ho‘ola Ka Makana ‘a Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest will engage stakeholders and provide learning opportunities throughout the ahupua‘a giving a mauka/makai, or a well-rounded regional approach to managing this rich and storied place.

Planned hands-on forest restoration activities include invasive plant removal, outplanting native seedlings, seed collection and monitoring wild regeneration of rare native plants.

“We are extremely thankful to IUCN WCC Hawaii Climate Fund for supporting our mission of protecting and perpetuating Hawai‘i’s endangered dryland forests,” said HFI Executive Director Heather Simmons. “Grant funds received help the mission of the Hawai‘i Forest Institute to promote the health and productivity of Hawai‘i’s forests through forest restoration, educational programs, information dissemination, and support for scientific research.”

Located in North Kona, Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest is a 76-acre dryland forest once home to thriving populations of Hawaiians. In Hawai‘i, 95% of dryland habitats have been destroyed and 25% of the endangered plants in the Hawaiian flora are from such drylands.

Today, Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest is a safe haven for place-based learning, strong in partnerships with the land, Hawaiian culture and community. Since 2000, over 8,000 native seedlings have been planted and cared for by more than 9,000 individuals within Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest through the dedication of volunteers, cooperators and staff.

By the end of 2017, Ho‘ola Ka Makana ‘a Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest initiative will have brought four additional acres of endangered dryland habitat under intensive management, engaged 800 volunteers for over 4,000 work hours, hosted over 1,000 people in classrooms and outreach events, and planted 600 native seedlings.

Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Cuts Water Use

Due to mandatory North Kona water restriction requirements from the Department of Water Supply, the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Kona Parks Maintenance Division has curtailed the irrigation schedule from daily watering to twice a week only at the following facilities:

  • William Charles Lunalilo Playground at Pualani (2 fields)
  • Old Airport Park (5 fields)
  • Honl’s/Wai’aha Bay Beach Park
  • Hale Halawai
  • Pāhoehoe Beach Park
  • Ali’i Kai Park
  • Harold H. Higashihara Park
  • Kona Hillcrest Park

The irrigation schedule was changed on January 12, 2017, the same day the water restriction notice was issued.

Although the restriction requires 25% reduction in use, the Kona Parks Maintenance Division water use will be cut by more than half according to the new schedule.  In addition, Parks District Superintendent Dennis Riordan says, “we will monitor our grass, and, if possible, reduce even more. We will also irrigate only at night, and closely monitor the showers, sinks and toilets for leaks.”

Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka said, “The County of Hawaii wants to lead by example, and we are working with the Department of Water Supply to take proactive steps to reduce water use as much as possible.”

Big Island Police Renew Request for Information in 1996 Murder Investigation

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information or leads related to an unsolved murder investigation from 1996.
On August 12, 1996, the body of an 18-year-old man was discovered off a dirt road above the Keaʻau ball park at about 3:45 p.m. The victim was identified as Glenn Guerrero of Keaʻau. An autopsy determined that he died from a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide.

Glenn Guerrero

Detectives learned that earlier in the day and prior to the discovery of Guerrero’s body, witnesses reported seeing Guerrero in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was leaving the area of the ballpark. Detectives have been unable to identify the driver or locate the pickup truck.

“Previous leads have since been exhausted and, despite the advances in forensic science technologies, this murder investigation remains unsolved,” said Lieutenant Gregory Esteban of the Area I Criminal Investigations Section. “We’re still hopeful that with the passage of time and changes in relationships, individuals may be more willing to come forward with useful information that may lead to a resolution to this investigation. The Hawaiʻi Police Department remains committed in its efforts to revisit and re-evaluate this and other unsolved homicides and to bring closure for the families of the victims.”

Police ask anyone with any information on this or other unsolved murders to contact Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or derek.morimoto@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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Kona Historical Society to Close Store Museum in Preparation for Special Exhibit

The H.N. Greenwell Store Museum in Kealakekua is closing its doors from January 23 to March 27 as the Kona Historical Society prepares a special exhibit.

Sharing the rich history of coffee in Kona through the eyes of families and farmers who built the lucrative industry, Kona Historical Society will present the award-winning exhibit, “The Kona Coffee Story:  Along the Hawaii Belt Road.” The exhibit is slated to run March through November in the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum.

With the introduction of coffee to Kona in 1828, the development of Kona’s world-famous coffee industry experienced its highs and lows. Voices of hard working coffee farmers and community leaders can be heard through personal accounts, historic photographs and artifacts featured in this exhibit, all of which tell the compelling story of the early days of Kona coffee.

A product of extensive community collaboration led by the Kona Japanese Civic Association and the Japanese American National Museum, Kona Historical Society’s renewal of this world-traveled exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to be inspired by stories of Kona’s coffee pioneers and learn more about the deep roots of Kona’s coffee heritage and culture.

The H.N. Greenwell Store Museum’s regular programming is temporarily discontinued while Kona Historical Society Collections staff installs “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road” and while this exhibit is running in the historic general store museum. Kona Historical Society apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may have caused.

As an alternative, Kona Historical Society encourages the public to explore its other historic site, the Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook, as well as participate in its educational programs such as the Portuguese Stone Oven Bread Baking Program and Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series. Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.

Māmalahoa Highway Roadway Improvements – Iona Court to Mana Road

The County of Hawai‘i  Department of Public Works Highways Division will begin resurfacing work on the Māmalahoa Highway beginning at Iona Court and proceeding towards Mana Road on Monday, January 23, 2017 to approximately Friday, February 3, 2017.  Work is scheduled approximately between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, weather and construction condition permitting, and it may be occasionally modified to facilitate the work.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles will be in the work zone.  Alternating lane closures will be in effect and at a minimum, one lane of travel (for two way traffic) will be provided at all times through the construction area.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted in the area to facilitate traffic movement.

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 contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival Names 2017 Venues, Artwork

The 24th annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival has a full lineup of free, multi-cultural performing arts and hands-on demonstrations, plus over 150 crafters and food booths 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at various venues sprawling through the town’s center—look for pink banners identifying site locations.

Festival parking is available at Parker Ranch Center, the soccer field across Church Row Park and along Pukalani Street. Festival shuttles offer free transportation among most venues 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. by Roberts Hawaii, though walking is encouraged among venues.  A map of the shuttle route and festival venues is available in a detailed festival program available at each venue location on February 4.

Organized by members of the upcountry community and the county’s department of parks and recreation, the festival marks the blooming of the historic cherry trees at Church Row Park and celebrates the age-old Japanese tradition of hanami, which translates to “cherry blossom viewing party.” After a seasonal winter chill, the trees typically are blooming in early February.

This year’s festival is dedicated to long-time event partner Roberts Hawaii and Guinness World Record holder Betty Webster of Waimea. Honorees will be recognized 9 a.m. on the main entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center. In attendance will be Governor David Ige, Mayor Harry Kim, Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka and County Councilman Tim Richards. Awarding lei to honorees and dignitaries will be the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce 64th Cherry Blossom Festival queen and court.

The 2017 event artwork is “Mauna Kea Io and Cherry Blossoms” by Honokaa artist and nature enthusiast Pat Dinsman. The oil painting will appear on a limited number of collector posters available for $10 at the Waimea Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery.

A quick rundown of festival activities at various locations follows (times are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. unless specified otherwise).

Church Row Park

  • Historical Cherry Tree Display: Waimea Lions’ Club offers a pictorial history of the cherry trees and serves as the festival’s official Lost and Found station. T-shirt sales.
  • Entertainment: Hawaiian hula, taiko drumming and more 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Bonsai: The Waimea Bonyu Kai Bonsai Club offers a display and sale of bonsai, ongoing demonstrations and a clinic to discuss and work on the art of bonsai.
  • Asian Collectibles/Food Sales at Kamuela Hongwanji: Browse Asian-themed collectibles, lanterns made from recycled beverage cans, cherry tree seedlings and cherry blossoms in mugs; plus Asian foods: Inari sushi, chicken bowl, nishime bento, chichi mochi, andagi and prune mui.
  • Cooking Demos at Kamuela Hongwanji: Kona-Kohala chefs offer cooking demonstrations with free samples 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Also, Waikoloa Beach Marriott (WBM) teams up with its sister property in Japan, the Tokyo Marriott (TM), when local boy and WBM Executive Chef Jayson Kanekoa partners with TM Executive Sous Chef Takashi Ogawa in a memorable demo.
  • Origami at Kamuela Hongwanji: Hands-on fun for all ages

Parker Ranch Center- Hwy. 19

  • Festival Entertainment Stage: In the back parking lot. Opening 9 a.m. dedication ceremonies kick off continuous entertainment until 3 p.m.: Bon Odori Taiko and Kona Taiko, Christy Lassiter Trio, Lion Dancers, Enka Sisters, Darlene Ahuna, Aloha Kings & Poi Dawgz and Tai Shoji Taiko.
  • Craft Fair: Nearly 150 crafters inside Center and in the back parking lot.
  • Mochi Tsuki Pounding: Help pound mochi using 500 pounds of rice with the Kona Hongwanji Mission outside the Fireside Food Court starting 10 a.m.; samples.
  • Meet & Greet NHCH: Talk to medical staff from North Hawaii Community Hospital near Lilikoi Café and find out about job opportunities

Kahilu Theatre – Lindsey Road/Parker Ranch Center

  • Cultural Demos: Ritual Japanese tea ceremony led by Emi Wakayama 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Performing Arts: Japanese and international music led by Annu Shoko Shionoya with vocalist Kauilani Trainer and Marius Stranger and dancer Shizuno Nasu; lyre harp by Miyuki Ikesue of Tokyo, flutist Yumi Kikuchi and vocalist Gen Morita at 10 a.m. Vocal and dance concert “Sakura Sakura” 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Art and Film: Contemporary art displayed by Susumu Sakaguchi of Volcano and “Hokulea: Malama Honua-The Voyager Exhibit.” Ikebana by Chikako Powers.

Mana Christian Ohana Church – (Former Kahilu Town Hall) Behind Parker Ranch Center

  • Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea’s 22nd Biennial Hawaiian Quilt Show: Extensive quilt display with the theme “Honor Our Past” and craft sale; members offer a “learn how” area and pattern tracing.
  • New Car Display: Vehicle display by IK Dealer Group at Hamakua side of parking lot.

Historic Spencer House – (Next to Waimea Center) Hwy. 19

  • Koto Presentation and Japanese Collectibles: Koto player and instructor Darin Miyashiro of Sawai Koto Kai Hawaii and the Hawaii Koto Academy performs the national instrument of Japan at noon. View a vintage wedding kimono and collection of kokeshi dolls.

Waimea Historic Corner-Hwys. 19/190 intersection

  • Firehouse Gallery Activities: Waimea Arts Council presents art with a cherry blossom theme, sidewalk chalk drawing for all ages, ikebana, doll exhibit.
  • Waimea Senior Center: Cherry Baked Goods Contest with community entries due 9:30 a.m. for 11 a.m. judging. Goods sold after winners announced to benefit Waimea Senior Citizens Club.
  • Waimea Preservation Association: Waimea Outdoor Circle heirloom seed giveaway
  • Thelma Parker Gym: Craft fair

Waimea School Field-Enter Lindsey Road/Back of Post Office

  • Waimea Homestead Farmers Market: Pop-Up Yard Sale from Cars with a portion of proceeds benefitting Waimea Elementary and Middle Schools 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Parker School-Lindsey Road

  • Waimea Town Market/Performing Arts: Outdoor market with fresh produce, food and artisan booths open 7:30 a.m.-noon with drum performances by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Kohala-Waimea at 10 and 11 a.m.

Pukalani Stables-Pukalani and Ala Ohia Roads

  • Kamuela Farmers Market: Museum open house, farmer’s market, craft and food booths, cherry tree planting 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

W.M Keck Observatory Headquarters-Hwy. 19

  • Solar Telescope Viewing: Keck and the West Hawaii Astronomy Club sets up solar telescopes for public viewing and answers questions 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the front lawn. 

Kamuela Liquors-Hwy. 19

  • Sake Tasting: Noon-3 p.m.

Ginger Farm- (old Anderson Homestead) MM 55 across from Puu Nani St. on Hwy. 19

  • Japanese Home Tour/Tea Tasting/Craft: Self-guided tour through traditional Japanese-style home and garden. Cherry tea is served and art students assist attendees to make a cherry blossom-hanging scroll. Petting zoo.

Kukio Hale Hawaiian Homes-MM 55 on Hwy. 19

  • Waimea Nui Farmer’s Market: 7 a.m.-noon

Waimea Country Lodge-Lindsey Road

  • Offering discounted rates on deluxe, superior and standard rooms, plus kitchenettes, during the festival weekend; ask for promo code “Cherry Blossom 2017,” 808-885-4100.

Parker Ranch Historic Homes-Hwy. 190

  • Free, self-guided tours of Mana Hale and Puuopelu from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Local Feather Hui offers feather displays and demonstrations.

The Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival is produced by the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation’s Culture and Education Section. Overseen by the park’s culture education administrator, Roxcie Waltjen, the festival is a community-wide effort by a dedicated team of volunteers, 808-961-8706.

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters From Sunken Vessel Off Big Island

Three boaters were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 48-foot sailing vessel Bobo Link sank two and a half miles off of Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Wednesday.

Three boaters were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 48-foot sailing vessel Bobo Link sank two and a half miles off of Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Jan. 18, 2017. The crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336), homeported in Hilo, safely recovered the men from their life raft and transported them to Kawaihae Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Rescued are three Big Island residents:

Steven Jenkins, 48-years-old, owner and operator of the Bobo Link
Brandan Jenkins, 23-years-old
Nathan Gibson, 43-years-old

The crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336), homeported in Hilo, safely recovered the men from their life raft and will transport them to Kawaihae Harbor.

The Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB-1336) USCG photo by PA3 Jacquelyn Zettles

“We cannot stress enough the importance of carrying and properly registering an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon which is ultimately what saved the lives of these men,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center. “While the men also were able to contact emergency services personnel via cell phone, we strongly recommend boaters carry a working VHF radio in the event that cell service in unavailable.”

At 1:48 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a hit from a registered EPIRB.

Minutes later, watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a relayed call from the Hawaii County Fire Department notifying them that a sailing vessel, with three persons aboard, sank off of the Big Island.

Sector Honolulu diverted the Kiska crew already on patrol in the area to the scene where an HCFD helicopter crew was to provide oversight until they arrived.

No injuries were reported.

Lower Level of Kīlauea’s Summit Lava Lake Exposes Vent Wall

The summit lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater on Sunday Jan. 15, 2017 was about 50.5 m (166 ft) below the crater floor (vent rim). One of the most interesting things exposed by the lower lake level was the clear view of the thick, dark veneer of lava on the eastern vent wall (close-up shown below). This veneer formed when the lava lake level was high; lava next to the vent wall cooled and solidified, leaving “bathtub rings” as the lake level rose and fell.

HVO and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum, perched on the rim of Kīlauea’s summit caldera, are visible in the upper left corner of the photo. (Click to Enlarge)

The black rock on the crater floor around the vent was created when the lava lake rose to the point of overflowing in April-May 2015 and October 2016.

Telephoto image of the lava veneer on the 50.5 m (166 ft) tall eastern vent wall; the lava lake surface is visible at lower left. The solidified lava coating the vent wall is quite thick. Parts of it have bathtub rings, but much of it is composed of lumpy protuberances that might have been small ledges at the lake margin or ramparts that formed around spattering sources.

If the lake level remains low, sections of this veneer will likely peel away from the vent wall and collapse into the lava lake.

In places, the dark-colored veneer of lava, or bathtub rings, have already collapsed into the lava lake, exposing older, light- or rusty-colored rocks in the vent wall. The lava lake surface is visible in the foreground.

The distance from the vent rim to the lake surface is 50.5 m (166 ft).

Commentary – Former Councilman Airlifted to Oahu, Cardiac Care Unit Wanted at Kona Hospital

Former Council member Dominic Yagong is the latest high profile community member to be airlifted for heart or stroke problems to Maui Memorial or Queen’s on Oahu. Please ask your Hawaii State Senator and Council members to include a Cardiac Care unit in the state budget. It would be $2 million to remodel the ER at Kona Community Hospital and money for a stipend for two cardiologists.

Yagong posted the following on his Facebook page:
“Medivac to Queens hospital tomorrow morning. Spending the night in Waimea ER after experiencing severe chest pains at Basketball game in Honokaa. Sorry girls for missing announcing your game. I’ll be fine,,,,got my lucky Green Bay cap with me! Thanks Kahea for calling EMT. No worries…thumbs up!”

THE PROBLEM: There is a 2- hour window when patients need to be treated in order to expect a full recovery. Think about where you live on the Big Island. From my home it would take 45 minutes to get to Kona Community Hospital Emergency Room, then the time to be diagnosed and then get the helicopter and then the 45 minute + time to Oahu, getting checked in and a cardiologist hopefully is at the hospital and you need to be seen, an Operating Room hopefully is available. Get the picture? Other important island residents to be airlifted are Mayor Kim, Council Chair Pete Hoffmann and OHA Representative Bob Lindsey.

I talked to an architect who specializes in building hospitals and a medical planner at NBBJ Architects. There is currently no facility or any cardiologists to staff a dedicated cardiac care unit for West Hawaii. We agreed that Kona Community Hospital (KCH) was the best location for a Cardiac Care unit. Kona Community Hospital has one cardiologist, Dr. Michael Dang who travels from Honolulu. Dr. Larry Derbes is an interventional cardiologist in private practice in Kona, who agrees that a Catheterization Lab to do stents and ablations and to treat strokes, would save lives and result in better outcomes and quality of life for cardiac patients. He is eager to help. I talked to Jay Kreuzer, is the CEO of KCH, and has also been a cardiac patient. He pointed out that staffing the Catheterization Lab is the biggest challenge because we lose doctors, because the Medicare reimbursement rate of only 93% of the actual cost is compounded by Hawaii Medical Services Association (Hawaii’s biggest healthcare insurer), which compensates at only 110% of the Medicare Reimbursement. He told me that there is an airlift almost every day from KCH to either Queens in Honolulu or Maui Memorial and they are usually for heart or stroke patients.
I also met with Dr. Frank Sayre, Chair of the Board for the West Hawaii Regional Hospital Board of Directors, which oversees Kona Community Hospital and the North Kohala Community Hospital. He agreed with Jay Kreuzer. He told me that he had discussed setting up a “funded chair” for specialists (similar to academic chairs) as a stipend to keep doctors on the island.
SOLUTIONS:
1. A HYBRID CATHETERIZATION LAB/ OPERATING ROOM FOR KONA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL was recommended by architect and planner. The recent flooding of the Operating Room at KCH presents an opportunity to remodel the Operating Room and accommodate Cath Lab equipment.
2. STAFFING: An annuity with the Hawaii Community Foundation or the Kona Community Hospital Foundation to generate a yearly stipend for two cardiologists to establish a “chair position.
Please get in touch with your State Representatives and State Senators to include these items as allocation in their Budget Legislation for the coming year.
There has been some discussion about building a new hospital sometime, but even if that were started tomorrow, it would still take about 6 years to be built, with land acquisition, EIS, plans, hiring a contractor and building. We need a Cardiac Care unit NOW to save our friends and family and allow heart attack and stroke patients to recover fully and at home on our island. Please ask your Hawaii State Senator and Council members to include a Cardiac Care unit in the state budget. It would be $2 million to remodel the ER at Kona Community Hospital and money for a stipend for two cardiologists. Healthy people are happy people.

For more information go to this site: https://debbiehecht.com/2016/06/21/a-cardiac-care-unit-for-the-big-island-of-hawaii/

Debbie Hecht
Kailua-Kona

Drone Footage – A Sad Day in Pahoa

As most folks know by now, Luquins and Akebono Theater caught fire in Pahoa early Monday morning.

Here is aerial footage of the aftermath:

Sad Day In Pahoa from Clive on Vimeo.

Project Vision Hawaii Receives $25,000 Grant from Walmart Foundation for Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Project Vision Hawaii (PVH) will increase its emergency and disaster relief program efforts through a $25,000 donation from Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program.

State Senator Karl Rhoads, Anne Chipchase (PVH board president), State Senator Josh Green, Steven Reed (Hawaii market manager for Walmart), Annie Valentin (PVH executive director) and Maika Motas (AED Institute of America) with $25,000 check from Walmart Foundation.

The grant from Walmart Foundation will be used to stock all three Project Vision mobile screening units with emergency preparedness supplies such as automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and wound care items to help residents affected by natural disasters.

“Walmart’s gift will strengthen Project Vision’s ability to serve Hawaii’s most vulnerable and underserved populations in the event of a natural disaster,” said Annie Valentine, executive director of PVH. “The supplies we’ve purchased are critical in ensuring those severely affected and unable to get help, receive the resources and support they need to recover.”

Project Vision operates three mobile screening units – one to serve Oahu, Molokai and Lanai, another on Hawaii Island, and a third shared between Maui and Kauai – in an effort to increase access to health care. The nonprofit provides free vision and health screenings to the state’s underserved communities with the goal of detecting and addressing eye diseases early on.

“We believe in giving back to the communities we serve,” said Steven Reed, Hawaii market manager for Walmart. “On behalf of more than 4,000 Hawaii associates, it’s our privilege to collaborate with Project Vision and support this important community outreach program for those in need.”

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

The 9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop is happening February 1-28, 2017, featuring five different shops from Kona to Hilo and points in between. Traveling quilters can have passports stamped for a chance to win prizes, collect quilting patterns and kits to create a custom “Tropical Flowers of Hawaii, a Stain Glass Quilt” quilt for 2017, and enjoy the company of fellow quilters island-wide.

Those who visit and get passports stamped at all five shops are eligible to win the Grand Prize. Other winners will receive fabric, quilt shop gift certificates and more—with special in-store prizes at individual shops, for a total of 11 winners. The five shops will also have exclusive quilt block patterns, one from each store, plus a customize bonus add-on to give the 2017 Shop Hop quilt some added zip.

The 9th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop launches February 1, leading into the 24th Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the Hawaiian Quilt Show held in Waimea. Maps and passports can be picked up any quilt shop on the route, and “shop-hoppers” can follow their own path, or sign up for one of two bus tours. In West Hawaii, call Karen Barry at Quilt Passions, 808-329-7475. In East Hawaii, call Leimomi at Kilauea Kreations II, 808-961-1100.

For more information contact Mary at bigislandquiltsh@earthlink.net, or visit www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii.

2017 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop shops:

West Hawaii

East Hawai‘i

North Kona Residents MUST Reduce Water Consumption by 25%

This is a Department of Water Supply water notice for customers in the North Kona area.  Due to ongoing repairs to wells in North Kona, a water restriction notice is being issued.

Customers must reduce water consumption by 25 percent.

For a list of ways to reduce water use, please go to our website at www.hawaiidws.org.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in using water sparingly at this time.  Once again, this is a water restriction notice for North Kona. For further information, please call 322-0600 during normal business hours, 7:00 to 3:30.

Foul Play NOT SUSPECTED in Pahoa Fire – Police Seeking Witnesses

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking witnesses to the start of a fire Monday (January 16) in Pāhoa.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

The fire started just after midnight Monday at a vacant business at 15-2948 Pāhoa Government Road next to Luquin’s restaurant in Pāhoa town.

Police do not suspect foul play. They ask anyone who saw or heard the start of the fire to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or wendall.carter@hawaiicounty.gov

Hawaii Fire Department Press Release on Pahoa Town Fire

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 1116

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: Smoke and fire coming from the back of Luquins building, adjacent to Akebono Theater. Smoke coming from the windows of Luquins buildings on the Pahoa Village Road side.

Cause: UNDER INVESTIGATION

Remarks: 3 commercial properties, including historic Akebono theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial building from 1938 and a large multiuse residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s restaurant, built in 1907. Fire was brought under control and an extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued until the time of this press release.

Hawaii Civil Defense Message on Pahoa Village Road Closure

Hawaii Police Department reports Pahoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through tomorrow afternoon.

Area residents should expect to smell smoke tonight.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department will remain on scene through the night to monitor any flare ups that may occur.

Thank you. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

Coast Guard, Local Responders Searching for Overdue Diver Off Big Island

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department are searching for an overdue diver off Pohoehoe Beach, Big Island, Sunday.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew  launched and is searching the surrounding areas. The crew from USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336) is also en route to assist in the search.

The Hawaii Fire Department is also searching with helicopter, rescue boat and ground crews. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center.

Anyone with information that may help locate the diver is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

The initial call was made to Hawaii Fire Department by a good samaritan who is an experienced diver. The good samaritan said the man was caucasian, looked to be in his early 20s, about 150 pounds with red hair. He is reportedly wearing blue board shorts and a white rash guard with blue lettering. The man was last seen at 12:40 p.m. leaving the beach to swim out to the farthest rocks with fins, a mask, diving gear and a back up regulator.

The good samaritan watched since the diver was going out alone, did not have a float or any safety gear and noticed, based on experience, the diver only had enough air for a maximum of 80 minutes. After two hours, the good samaritan reported the diver overdue to Hawaii Fire Department who relayed the report to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center at 2:11 p.m.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 10 mph winds with waves at 2 feet and approximately 6 miles of visibility.

Steve Ueda Named President of Suisan

Steve Ueda will assume the role of president and CEO of Suisan Group, Inc., Suisan Company, Ltd. and Suisan Properties, Ltd. on January 16, announced Glenn Hashimoto, chair of the Suisan board, current president and CEO.

Steve Ueda

Ueda will be Suisan’s eighth president. He is the grandson of Rex Matsuno, the former longtime president, CEO and chairman of the board of Suisan. The board, which includes members of the Matsuno family, carefully considered the succession plan over several years. Hashimoto was instrumental in recruiting Ueda to return from the mainland ten years ago to eventually assume Suisan leadership.

Ueda will take over the 110-year-old food distribution business from Hashimoto, who will stay on as executive advisor. In his new role, Hashimoto will oversee Suisan’s business development and assist with executing the company’s strategic vision.

Ueda has been with the family company since 2007 and held numerous positions including distributor sales representative, buyer, sales manager for the company’s retail market segment, and most recently, vice president of sales.

Steve Ueda, Rex Matsuno, Christine Matsuno (Rex’s youngest daughter), Leslie Ann Sumitani (maiden name Kohashi, Christine’s daughter), and Esther Ueda (Rex’s eldest daughter, Steve’s mother) taken in 1983 at the grand opening of “Super Jumbo 1,” Suisan’s first cold storage warehouse expansion.

“Steve understands Suisan’s mission of making a difference by contributing to the success of our customers,” said Hashimoto. “Over the years, he has applied his analytical skills and data-driven expertise as an engineer to increase operational efficiencies. I am confident that under Steve’s leadership, Suisan will continue to thrive and provide value to the community.”

Ueda, son of Esther Ueda, Rex Matsuno’s first daughter, is a Honolulu native and graduate of the University of Hawaii–Manoa in mechanical engineering. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in business administration from University of California–Irvine.

Prior to Suisan, Ueda worked throughout the United States and United Kingdom as a product and systems developer for companies such as Ford, Visteon and Altia Automotive.

“Under Glenn’s leadership, Suisan adapted to the times while remaining competitive and continued the company philosophy of taking care of the customer. Glenn has been a great mentor. As Suisan celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, I am focused on keeping the company relevant and invested in the community. I am deeply humbled to continue the family legacy of leading Suisan,” Ueda said.

Ueda is second vice-president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, where he also chairs the economic development committee. He is a member of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and Hawaii Food Industry Association, and a community leader for the Blue Zones Project.

Commentary – Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III Should Be Top Transportation Project

Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III should be top transportation project for Hawaii County in North Kona. This segment will connect Hina-Lani Street to Kaminani Drive, so we’ll be able to drive from Henry Street to Kona Palisades without having to use Mamalahoa or Queen Kaahumanu highways.

Much attention was paid to honoring the culture and the place in building the Ane Keohokālole Highway. Markers indicate the boundaries of the ahupua‘a that the road runs through, like this one where Keahuolū meets Kealakehe.

This will help address chronic traffic circulation issues prevalent in this area. Its frustrating to see  the horrible traffic congestion on Highway 190, especially in the mornings and afternoon at Hina-Lani Street intersection. The intersection at Kaiminani Drive and Queen Kaahumanu Highway is  another traffic congestion hot spot. Both of  these issues will be addressed if the county proceeds with Phase III of Ane Keohokālole Highway.

There has been some discussion about resurrecting the Alii Parkway
project in light of the completionof the Alii Drive Extension (Mamalahoa Highway bypass) instead of proceeding with Ane Keohokālole Highway. I strongly believe this would be a huge mistake. Hawaii County has spent decades and untold millions of dollars to construct this road with nothing to show for it. I highly doubt the lingering archaeological issues will ever be resolved, especially with the renewed focus on preserving sensitive Native Hawaiian archaeological sites.

The Hawaii DOT has started preliminary planing to widen  Queen Kaahumanu Highway Extension (from Henry Street) and  Kuakini Highway past Kamehameha III Road, which should adequately address the ongoing congestion issues in this area.

I hope Mayor Kim’s administration decides to proceed with Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III instead of Alii Parkway. The latter project divided the community  when the county tried to proceed around 13 years ago.  Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III is a better choice for the community.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona