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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Seek Witnesses to Fatal Car Crash

National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to a fatal single-vehicle accident that occurred on Highway 11 near mile marker 30 and the Pi‘i Mauna Drive intersection in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Thursday night.

volcano car crashAt approximately 9:38 p.m., a female driver traveling south on Highway 11 crashed into a cluster of large ‘ōhi‘a trees and was ejected from the vehicle, a 1992 Honda sedan. Park rangers and County of Hawai‘i rescue personnel determined the victim did not survive, and her body was transported to Hilo Medical Center.

The identification of the victim is unknown, and an investigation is underway.

Anyone with information regarding the accident is asked to call Park Dispatch at (808) 985-6170.


Video – How the Hawaii Department of Health Investigates Dengue Fever

Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) epidemiology specialist and field investigator Joe Elm gives an overview of the steps taken in a dengue fever investigation.

Presentation – Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii

The Zonta Club of Hilo is hosting a presentation by Kathy Xian, Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, on understanding the dynamics of human trafficking in Hawaii on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at the Hilo Women’s Club located at 7 Lele Street from 5:30 – 7:30.

The free, public presentation is part of the Zonta Says NO 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence—an international campaign that aims to inspire action and end violence against women and girls around the world.

16 Days of Activism kicked off on Nov. 25 (International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women) and ends on Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day).

  • WHO: Kathryn Xian, Executive Director of The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS)
  • WHAT: “Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii” Presentation

kathy xian

NOTE: Presentation is free and open to the public. Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, and Zonta Says NO Hilo campaign chair, Ashley Kierkiewicz, will be present and available for remarks.

In addition, Zonta Hilo has teamed up with local businesses to host shoe displays geared towards increasing awareness of gender-based violence. Each display includes a pair of shoes, “Who will be next?” poster, domestic violence survivor quote and resource cards. To date, 12 businesses have agreed to host a display for the duration of the 16 Days of Activism. A limited number of displays are left; interested individuals should contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004 or by emailing alk@hastingsandpleadwell.com.

Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever Rises to 107 on the Big Island of Hawaii

As of November 26, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 93
Visitors 14
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 107

Of the confirmed cases, 93 are Hawaii residents and 14 are visitors.
83 cases have been adults; twenty-four have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/18/15.

Mosquito Bite

As of today, a total of 230 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated November 25, 2015)

Lava Erupts at Second Vent at Pu’u O’o Crater

Lava continues to erupt for a second day onto the floor of Pu`u `O`o crater.

112515Thermal webcams show lava continuing to erupt onto the floor of Pu`u `O`o crater.


A small amount of lava began to erupt from a second vent within the crater this morning, and flows from both vents are confined to the crater.

County Council to Hold Special Meeting to Discuss Dengue Fever Outbreak

A special County Council meeting to discuss the Dengue Fever Outbreak will take place on December 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at the Council Chambers in Hilo at 25 Aupuni Street.

Mosquito Bite

Public testimony will be allowed directly after presentations from the following:

  • Hawai‘i County Civil Defense
  • Office of the Governor
  • Hawai‘i State House of Representatives
  • Hawai‘i State Senate
  • State Department of Health

Public attendance will be available at:

  • Kona Council Office, West Hawai‘i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona
  • Waimea Council Office, Holomua Center, 64-1067 Māmalahoa Highway, Suite 5, Waimea
  • Conference Room adjacent to Hisaoka Gymnasium, Kamehameha Park Complex, 54-382 Kamehameha Park Road, Kapaau
  • Nā‘ālehu State Office Building, 95-5669 Māmalahoa Highway, Nā‘ālehu
  • Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, 15-2710 Kauhale Street.

Live stream viewing will be available by using this link:  http://hawaiicounty.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=1

101 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – CDC Official to Visit Big Island

As of November 25, 2015 there were 101 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever reported on the Big Island:

Hawaii Island residents 88
Visitors 13
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 101

Of the confirmed cases, 88 are Hawaii residents and 13 are visitors.
78 cases have been adults; twenty-three have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/17/15.

As of today, a total of 190 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

101According to the Hawaii Tribune, an official from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will be coming to the Big Island on Tuesday of next week:

“…a top CDC official is set to arrive on island next week to assess the handling of the outbreak here.

Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, will vet containment efforts and share his analysis with county and state officials during his visit, confirmed Gov. David Ige’s communications director Cindy McMillan.

“(Petersen) will evaluate ongoing efforts based on his visit and analysis of the most current data being captured on a daily basis,” McMillan said.”

World of Magic at the Hilo Palace Theater

The Hilo Elks Lodge 759 will present its annual World of Magic show from 11am to 12:30pm at downtown Hilo’s Palace Theater on Sunday, December 6.

world of magic

This year’s special performer will be international award magician Bruce Meyers. Based in Hawaii and Washington, Bruce’s masterful stage presence and his warm, benevolent, and funny personality quickly connects with his audience, compelling them to become part of the fun, wonder and magic.

Together with wife and long-time stage partner Jennifer, the Meyers will fill Hilo’s Palace Theater with astonishing wonder. They will perform ancient magic from India such as the Basket of Immortality. It will feature aerial dancer Luna Sophia as she ascends from the basket to perform her beautiful aerial silk artistry.

During the show, Bruce may ask the audience to hold on tight to a solid oak table as it floats around the stage, shower them with real flowers, or, if they’re not careful, perhaps dozens of eggs.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy. That’s real magic. It’s what we do” said the Meyers. As the Magician of the Year by the Northwest Ring of Fire in Seattle, Comedy Magician of the Year in Vancouver, Canada, and 1st Place In Stage by the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians, Bruce and company will spread happiness and joy to remind the audiences that, despite all of its faults, the world is still a breathtaking, beautiful, and mysterious place.

At the end of the show, expect Santa to make a special appearance.

Sponsored by the Elks National Foundation and community members, admissions to this performance is free, and donations are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lily at the Hilo Elks 935-1717.

93 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – More Community Meetings Scheduled

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Tuesday November 24th at 2:15PM.

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak. As of 10:00 this morning the Department of Health has reported 93 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island. These cases include 80 residents and 13 visitors.

Mosquito Bite

Community Information Meetings on the Dengue outbreak will be conducted at the following locations:

  • Tonight at 6:30 PM at the Mountain View School Cafeteria
  • Friday November 27th at 6:00PM at the Ocean View Community Center
  • Monday November 30th at 6:00PM at the Waimea Middle School Cafeteria
  • Tuesday December 1st at 6:30PM at the Kohala High School Cafeteria
  • Thursday December 3rd at 6:30 at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria

Lava Erupts Onto Floor of Pu’u O’o Crater

Lava began to erupt onto the floor of Pu`u `O`o crater at about 6 a.m. this morning. At the summit the lava lake is still active.

lava 1124

A section of the northern rim and wall of the summit vent collapsed at around 2:30 this morning causing increased pond spattering and turbulence. Low levels of seismic activity continue across the volcano.

Summit Observations: The summit lava lake remains active, and seismic tremor continues with episodic bursts associated with spattering within the Overlook vent. A Very Long Period earthquake at the summit at around 2:30 this morning corresponded to the collapse of a large section of the northern rim and wall of the summit vent. This caused increased pond spattering and turbulence.

lava 11241

The depth to the surface of the lava within the overlook vent has been approximately 40-50 m (135-165 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u over the past day. In general, seismicity remains at low levels. Summit sulfur dioxide emission rates averaged around 4,000 metric tons/day for the past week.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Lava began to erupt from a vent within Pu`u `O`o onto the floor of the crater at about 6 a.m. this morning and continues at the time of this report.

Big Island Company Recognized in OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2015

Hawaii Forest & Trail is the only company from the state of Hawaii to have been selected as one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2015. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious, and prioritize giving back to the community.

Hawaii Forest and Trail President Rob Pacheco interprets the geology of Hualalai.  Photo PF Bentley

Hawaii Forest and Trail President Rob Pacheco interprets the geology of Hualalai. Photo PF Bentley

This prestigious recognition by OUTSIDE magazine as one of the best places to work across the country is truly an honor. When we started Hawaii Forest & Trail in 1992, my wife Cindy and I made a commitment to build our business around the concept of ohana, or family, where we foster connections between our co-worker ohana and the natural world. It’s what we strive for,” said Hawaii Forest & Trail President Rob Pacheco.

“The companies recognized in this year’s Best Places to Work list are the gold standard for stellar work environments that seek to empower their employees both in and out of the office,” said OUTSIDE Online Editor Scott Rosenfield. “The new categories in this year’s list serve to highlight outstanding workplaces in distinctive fields-making it all the easier for our readers to find their dream jobs.”

What Makes Hawaii Forest & Trail A Great Place to Work?

When Rob and Cindy Pacheco founded Hawaii Forest & Trail in the garage of their house, they never dreamed their tour operation would grow to have more than 50 employees at 3 locations on Hawaii Island. The secret to their success has always been finding employees who share their passion for the outdoors, for each other and their island home.

As the company continues to grow, Hawaii Forest & Trail emphasizes the cultivation of close personal connections and provides employees with new opportunities. Just recently Hawaii Forest & Trail launched its “Ohana and Natural Resources Department” where the primary focus is to develop staff education opportunities, conservation partnerships, and community involvement. Initiatives developed by this department include staff BBQs, group volunteer programs, ongoing educational lectures from natural and cultural experts, and an invitation to participate in community hikes. These opportunities for personal growth coupled with the company’s unparalleled access to some of Hawaii Island’s most beautiful natural sites make working at Hawaii Forest & Trail a dream job for many of Hawaii’s outdoor enthusiasts.

Hawaii Forest & Trail also believes in kuleana and acts on that sense of responsibility by providing a strong package of staff benefits that includes healthcare, a 401K matching plan, paid vacation time, and comp tickets on any of their adventures.

“We strongly believe that to be the best at what we do, we have to compete for the best candidates every time we hire,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Jason Cohn. With all their employee perks it’s no wonder Hawaii Forest & Trail has managed to retain their first full-time guide and first full-time dispatcher who both still remember showing up to clock-in at Rob and Cindy’s house more than 17 years ago.

To find the best places to work in the United States in 2015, OUTSIDE started by creating five company categories that reflect the magazine’s values and focus: Adventure/Travel, Wellness, Culture, Gear, and Media. OUTSIDE then conducted a rigorous vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices, and demographics of hundreds of companies. Outside’s Best Places to Work 2015 was driven by employee reviews of their workplaces, taking into account factors like corporate culture, role satisfaction, work environment and overall employee engagement. The Best Places to Work list represents the cream of the crop: companies that are empowering their employees to live bigger, better lives.

The complete list of Best Places to Work winners is featured online at www.outsideonline.com/dreamjobs

Dengue Fever Update – 92 Confirmed Cases, 143 Potential Cases Excluded

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island. Dengue is not endemic to Hawaii. However, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu.

The mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever

The mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever

As of November 23, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 79
Visitors 13
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 92

Of the confirmed cases, 79 are Hawaii residents and 13 are visitors.
70 cases have been adults; twenty-tw0 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/17/15.

As of today, a total of 143 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated November 18, 2015)

HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed.  Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, one imported dengue fever case has been confirmed (on Oahu). This case is not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.

Dengue Fever and Mosquitoes — Information and Resources

Fight the Bite Fact Sheet
Fight the Bite Flyer
Frequently Asked Questions (11/18/2015)
Letter to Hawaii Island Residents and Visitors
Bug Off! Using Mosquito Repellants
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites (11”x17”)
CDC Mosquito Control

Dengue Fever Brochures


Call Aloha United Way 2-1-1 for general information about dengue fever and the current Big Island dengue investigation.

To report a suspect case, contact:

  • On the Big Island: 808-974-6001 (East Hawaii) or 808-322-4880 (West Hawaii)
  • On other islands: DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division at 808-586-4586.

To report mosquito concerns, contact:

  • On the Big Island: 808-974-6001 (East Hawaii) or 808-322-4880 (West Hawaii)
  • On Oahu: 808-586-8021, on Maui: 808-873-3560, on Kauai: 808-241-3306

If you are ill and are worried that you might have dengue fever, contact your healthcare provider.

Clinicians: for updates go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/updates-and-resources-for-clinicians/

*Updates to case counts, when available, will be posted Monday-Friday by 1:00 p.m. HST

**Updates to the map, when available, will be posted Wednesday by 1:00 p.m. HST

TOMORROW – Free Thanksgiving Luncheon For the People of Puna

A FREE Thanksgiving luncheon will be held for the Puna Community tomorrow at the Pahoa Community Center.

Thanksgivng 2015Sponsors and members from Hope Services Hawaii, Aloha Lehua Cafe, Kalapana Mauna Kea Church and Puna New Hope will be providing free thanksgiving dinners from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Throuple – Film Shot on Big Island Premieres at Hawaii International Film Festival

Throuple, a dark comedy shot on the big island by big island-based filmmakers, premiered on November 15 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.


The film will also screen at the Palace theater in Hilo on Saturday, November 21 at 8:30 pm. Produced by local Big Island-based production company Larkin Pictures, the film was shot in Puna over 23 days in July 2013.

Filming locations were spread around the famed red road and Kalapana. Cast and crew were flown in from New York, LA, and Antigua and housed summer camp style to encourage a bond that would translate on screen.

Whimsical and weird, the film follows young couple James and Lexi who find themselves washed up and estranged from one another. In the hope of a fresh start, the couple moves from New York to a secluded Hawaiian jungle town on the edge of an active volcano. Once there, the pair become entangled with the neighbors living on either side of their property: a mysterious recluse, and a young polyamorous “throuple.”

Portions of the film were also shot at Kalapana Seaview's now-infamous castle.

Portions of the film were also shot at Kalapana Seaview’s now-infamous castle.

“Throuple is the result of a calculated risk to change my life,” says director Phillips Payson. “After spending years working various roles on other productions and at a post house, I realized that no one was ever going to give me permission to go out and make my own film. I had to pull that trigger myself.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. With the help and collaboration of the film’s writer and producer Zoe Eisenberg, the pair set out to make something unique, handmade, and weird.
“The big island is alive with the playful energy that we were trying to convey in the film,” said Payson. “We found it to be such an inspiring environment. The landscape is this beautiful blend of lush jungle, stunning coastlines and lava fields that feel alien. We identified with the weirdness of it all and felt the location brought our story to life.”

For more information, visit www.larkinpictures.com/throuple.

Pictures of the Two Types of Mosquitoes That Can Transmit Dengue Fever

The following pictures were released by the Hawaii Department of Health Department depicting the two types of mosquitoes capable of carrying dengue fever… the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (aka Asian Tiger Mosquito) mosquito:

Top - aedes aegypti Bottom - aedes albopictus

Top – aedes aegypti and Bottom – aedes albopictus

Hawaii Lawmakers to Hold Informational Briefing on Dengue Fever Outbreak

Tomorrow at 10:0am at the State Capital in conference room 329, the Hawaii State Legislature House Committee on Health and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health will hold an informational briefing to receive an update on the status of the current dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii island and the coordinated efforts of the Department of Health and other governmental agencies to treat, monitor, and prevent further transmission of dengue fever.


Invitees to this informational briefing are:

  • Director Virginia Pressler, M.D., Department of Health
  • Sarah Y. Park, M.D., Chief & State Epidemiologist, Disease Outbreak Control Division
  • Chief Darryl Oliveira, Civil Defense Administrator, Civil Defense Agency, County of Hawaii (via telephone) & designated representatives.

The hearing will be aired live on Oahu channel 55 and broadcasted live to the neighbor islands on their local public access stations.  It will also be streamed online at www.olelo.org.

Hawaii Department of Health Calls Press Conference Tomorrow on Dengue Fever Outbreak

The Hawaii State Department of Health has called a press conference tomorrow at noon to address the Dengue Fever outbreak.

They have also released a more detailed map that defines potential risk areas:
Dengue Fever Map 1118

Umauma Bridge Remains Closed, Unknown When Bridge Will Reopen – Expect Long Delays

The State Highways Department reports that the Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 in the area of the 16 to 17 mile marks in Hamakua remains closed to all traffic.  A detour has been set up through the Old Mamalahoa Highway and motorists are advised to drive with caution and to expect traffic delays.

Umauma Detour

Presently delays of up to 30 minutes can be expected and if possible alternate routes should be used.   It is unknown at this time when the bridge will be reopened.  All other major roadways and highways are open at this time.

72 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – Some Schools Will Be Treated this Weekend

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak.  As of 10:30 today the Department of Health has reported 72 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island.  These cases include 62 residents and 10 visitors.


Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and not directly from person to person.  Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii. It was likely introduced by a person who contracted the virus in another area of the world and became infectious while in Hawaii.

Because dengue fever is only transmitted by mosquitoes, the Department of Health is spraying and treating areas with high mosquito presence and confirmed cases.  The Department of Health may be conducting spraying at various locations in the Kona, Hilo, and Puna areas today.  In addition, the Department of Health with support from the County of Hawaii and the Department of Education will be conducting preventive spraying or treating of areas around the following school campuses this weekend:

  • Konawaena High, Middle and Elementary Schools
  • Honaunau School
  • Hookena School
  • Hilo High School
  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • Waiakea Intermediate and Elementary Schools

Again, these school campuses are being treated as a preventative measure and based on proximity to confirmed cases in the area.  There are no cases directly related to any of the school facilities or campuses.

Although spraying and treatment of areas is ongoing, the most effective method to reduce the spread and possible elimination of Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellant and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

In addition, persons feeling ill and having a fever should remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing the spread of Dengue Fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001., Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival Accepting Submissions

The 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES is in prep phase and is accepting films, art, music, and interested companies!

Kona Surf Film Festival 2016The Festival is Hawaii’s premiere international surf film showcase, running Jan. 30th 2016 from 3:30 – 10pm at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona Hawaii .

The 12th Annual promises to be another awesome year of surf movies, art, live music, and good people.  Submission deadline is Christmas, 2015.  Check the website for more info:www.konasurffilmfestival.org.

Tickets range from $12-$30