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Officer Kupono Mata Named Aloha Exchange Club Officer of the Month

Officer Kupono Mata (a 6-year police veteran) has been recognized as the Aloha Exchange Club Officer of the Month for March 2017. This is due to his outstanding performance both as a solo patrolman and more recently as a Field Training Officer. He serves as a “role model” for new officers by his consistent dedication to police work, investigative skill, and quick reactions during evolving volatile situations that bring them to a conclusion.

Officer Kupono Mata

On August 12, 2016 at 12:30 p.m., Officer Mata and other officers encountered a 72-year-old male at his residence yelling that he wanted to die and telling officers to shoot him. Officer Mata immediately responded and subdued the man safely bringing an end to a potentially deadly situation.

On December 9, 2016 at about 11:00 a.m. Officer Mata and his recruit responded to a domestic call in the Mountain View area. Upon arrival the situation had calmed down and it did not appear there was a criminal case to be made, however while talking to a female at the front of the property Officer Mata heard a vehicle start-up from an area behind the house. He proceeded to that location and found a 21-year-old male party who had been involved in the argument attempting to leave in a pickup truck. Officer Mata directed his recruit officer to check the license plate number of this vehicle with dispatch on the random hunch that it could be stolen. Dispatch confirmed that the truck was indeed stolen in November 2016 from a Hilo fuel station parking lot. The suspect was subsequently arrested and the 1991 Mazda truck recovered.

Later that same afternoon at approximately 4:00 p.m. Officer Mata and his assigned recruit had completed their shift but were still working on finishing up reports from that day. Officer Mata overheard officers on the radio making checks for a stabbing suspect operating a stolen vehicle who was observed traveling recklessly through the Puna district at a high rate of speed. Officer Mata realizing the dangerous nature of the call took the initiative and self-assigned himself and his recruit to assist other on-duty officers by making checks on Highway 11 and Highway 130 in the Keaʻau area. While conducting these checks Officer Mata spots the suspect on the shoulder of the road using a gas can to refuel the stolen Nissan pickup truck and broadcasts the information to fellow officers. The suspect seeing the police re-enters the vehicle and attempts to flee as Officer Mata and other officers converge on him. As Officer Mata makes an attempt to stop the vehicle the suspect guns the engine as Officer Mata grabs him and nearly falls from the moving vehicle (putting himself at the risk of being run over). The suspect is finally stopped and apprehended.

On December 13, 2016, Officer Mata takes a felony report of thefts from a business that occurred over a 2-year-period, suspected to have been committed by a fired employee. The victim also relates that he has information that much of his stolen equipment, including a Caterpillar bobcat and a trailer, are located on a property in Mountain View. Officer Mata proceeds to the Mountain View location and is able to obtain a visual from the roadway of the suspected stolen items. Officer Mata obtains a Search Warrant, and serves it later that evening. As a direct result of Officer Mata’s efforts machinery and equipment having an estimated value exceeding $35,000 are recovered.

Officer Kupono Mata on a daily basis displays his dedication to the profession, maintaining perfect attendance for the last year and a half period. Officer Mata’s consistent actions and work ethic embodies the Hawaii Police Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.

Kona Coffee Exhibit Open First Saturday of June

The award-winning exhibit, “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road,” which was featured at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, as well as in museums world-wide, will be on display for the public at the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum in Kealakekua on Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 2pm.

Kona Historical Society Board Member Alfreida Fujita enjoying photos from “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road” during the exhibit’s Opening Reception earlier this year.

The exhibit will be closed earlier in the week for Kona Historical Society’s preservation-project planning. If you can’t join us Saturday, please join us the following week on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, June 5, 6 and 8, from 10am to 2pm during the exhibit’s regular hours of operation.

Regular admission is $5, but it’s free to students, military and Kona Historical Society members. To become a member, visit store.konahistorical.org.

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. The exhibit includes rare family portraits, scenes from the coffee land during the early 20th century, and a miniature model of a hoshidana, a traditional coffee mill. For this special exhibition of “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road,” Kona Historical Society has incorporated never-before-seen photos and artifacts from the organization’s collections and archives.

A product of extensive community collaboration led by the Kona Japanese Civic Association, Kona Historical Society and the Japanese American National Museum, the 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.

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.

Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month – Cala Arnold

Officer Cala Arnold (a 10-year police veteran) has been named as the Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month for May 2017. Officer Arnold was selected for his apprehension of a suspect with a weapon in a residential/preschool area.

Officer Cala Arnold

On April 25, 2017, Officer Arnold was dispatched to Hawaiian Paradise Park for a weapons incident in close vicinity to a preschool involving a male party stated to have brandished and pointed a rifle at an individual before walking away. Officer Arnold then began canvassing the area for the suspect and successfully located him. As the officer approached, the suspect ran to the edge of the road, bent down into the grass and retrieved what appeared to be a rifle with a scope, before backing away. Officer Arnold began ordering the suspect to drop the rifle, however the male ignoring his commands depressed the barrel release and loaded a pellet, at which time Officer Arnold identified the weapon as high powered pellet rifle.

The suspect subsequently dropped his weapon and was taken into custody. The father of the suspect who was on the scene expressed his gratefulness and praise for Officer Arnold’s ability to bring the situation under control in a peaceful manner.

Officer Cala Arnold’s calm demeanor, deliberate planning, and astute actions were directly responsible for the positive outcome of a potentially volatile and dangerous situation. The apprehension of this unpredictable individual insured the safety of all involved and was a display of the Police Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.

Shoulder Widening and Drainage Improvements in Keaukaha Area

The County of Hawai‘i  Department of Public Works Highways Division will be working on shoulder widening and drainage improvements for Desha Ave., Pua Ave., Baker Ave., and Todd Ave. beginning on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, except on holidays and weekends.  The project is estimated to be completed by the end of June 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  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.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 59-Year-Old Honomu Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in searching for a 59-year-old Honomū man who was reported missing on (March 20).

Glenn S. Oyama

Glenn S. Oyama was last seen in Hilo on March 19 at about 11:30 p.m. He has a condition that requires medication.

He is described as Japanese, 5-foot-7, 190 pounds, with black/gray hair, and brown eyes. Police located Oyama’s unattended Toyota Camry along Highway 19 in the area of the Kolekole Bridge on the morning of March 21.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Tuckloy Aurello at (808) 961-2385 or via email at Tuckloy.Aurello@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.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 32-Year-Old Woman

Big Island Police are looking for Crystal Lemaster, Female age 32, 4’11 approximately 140 lbs with brown eyes and a partially shaved head, last seen wearing red plaid clothing.

Crystal Lemaster

She was last seen in Kurtistown, Puna district

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 55-Year-Old Pahoa Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 55-year-old Pāhoa male who was reported missing.

Andrew Brown

Andre Brown was last seen at Hilo District Court on 07-28-2014 .

He is described as an African-American 5-foot-6, 160 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, and with tattoos of “DRE” on his upper left shoulder and swords on his right breast area.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Will Implement Third Phase of Fee Increase June 1

On June 1, entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will increase, the last phase of a three-year incremental plan to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities.

The 2017 per-vehicle fee will change from $20 to $25 and the pass is valid for seven days. The per-person fee (the rate bicyclists and pedestrians pay) will increase from $10 to $12, and the motorcycle fee will increase to $20.

The popular annual Tri-Park Pass will increase from $25 to $30 in 2017. The annual Tri-Park Pass is available to all visitors and allows unlimited entry for one year to three national parks: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

Entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park support ongoing trail maintenance, road and parking lot striping, cabin repairs, hike guides, restrooms, picnic tables, and much more.

Recreational entrance fees are not charged to holders of the Tri-Park Pass, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands (“Interagency”) Pass, Senior, Access, Every Kidin a Park, Volunteer, or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park, or online. In addition, visitors less than 16 years old are not charged entrance fees.

Fee increases for the park’s backcountry and front-country campsites were implemented in October 2016. There is a $10 per night charge for the front-country campground at Kulanaokuaiki, up to seven consecutive nights; and a $10 per permit charge for backcountry campgrounds like Nāpau, ‘Āpua Point, and Halapē, up to three consecutive nights. Availability is on a first-come basis, not a reservation system. The camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.

In addition, entrance fees will increase for commercial tour companies on June 1. Road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and starting June 1, will pay a $12 per-person rate to enter the park. The commercial tour per-person rate will remain at $12 through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate but their per-person entrance fees will increase under the schedule.

The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. Projects funded by entrance fees enhance the visitor experience and safety at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and include ongoing trail maintenance, road and parking lot striping, cabin repairs, hike guides, restrooms, picnic tables, and more. The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fee-funded project. Entrance fees also protect the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native ungulates like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants.

An 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 on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $199,923,400.

On the Passing of Hawaii Island Judge Shunichi Kimura

Judge Shunichi Kimura

“On behalf of the Judiciary, I extend our sincere thoughts and condolences to the family of Shunichi Kimura, who served Hawaii Island with distinction as both mayor and Circuit Court judge. Judge Kimura is remembered with the highest degree of respect and admiration. He was characterized as being above reproach, both for his conduct in the courtroom and in the community. We thank Judge Kimura for his outstanding service to the people of Hawaii throughout his distinguished career, and for his dedication to the Hawaii State Judiciary.”

— Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Hawaii State Supreme Court

“Judge Shunichi Kimura left an indelible mark on the judges who served with him, the judges who came after him, and on the lawyers who appeared before him in the Third Circuit Court. While he had a brilliant legal mind, he was humble and treated everyone with dignity and respect. He was the model for judicial temperament. I learned so much from him, both as an attorney and a judge, and I can’t thank him enough for being a mentor and role model. The Hawaii Island community has lost a true public servant. On behalf of the Third Circuit, I send my sincerest condolences to Judge Kimura’s family.”

— Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra, Third Circuit

Judge Kimura began his career as a deputy prosecutor for the City and County of Honolulu and later the County of Hawaii. He was elected chief executive officer of the County’s Board of Supervisors in 1964. In 1968 he became the first mayor of Hawaii Island and was re-elected for a second term. Judge Kimura was first appointed to the bench of the Third Circuit Court in May 1974, and retired in June 1993 as the Senior Family Court Judge.

After his retirement, Judge Kimura became a mediator in the Appellate Mediation Program, volunteering his time to continue serving the community.  He also fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he was selected to serve on a jury.  At that time he said, “I realize that from a judge’s perspective you can only understand the jury process intellectually, but you can never know how it feels or empathize with jurors without actually sitting there. I encourage every lawyer and judge to serve if they have the opportunity. Unless you actually sit on a jury, you can’t understand the emotional dimensions.”

“Malama” for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island

Locally-owned and operated Big Island shops – Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design, print and sell limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees, in an effort to raise funds for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

According to Randy Kurohara, President & Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki…now it’s our turn to kokua. Here at Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and the Parker Ranch Store, we truly believe in giving back to the community. Through this ‘Malama’ Tee fundraiser, we hope to raise up to $20,000 for The Food Basket.”

The limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees will be sold for $20.00 each with 100% of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

The shirt was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.

The Food Basket serves 1 in every 3 Hawaii Island residents through its partner agencies, providing nutritious and high quality food to Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. Every $20 shirt purchase allows The Food Basket to help feed seven children breakfast for a week, one senior lunch for over a month, or an entire family dinner for a week.

Aunty Bev, Aloha Grown employee, and En Young, The Food Basket Executive Director.)

The Food Basket Executive Director, En Young, said “We are greatly appreciative of local businesses like Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store for helping us raise funds in our time of need. While we always appreciate food donations, it’s the monetary donations that help us keep our operations going and allow us to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island. We remind everyone that all donations made to The Food Basket stay right here on Hawaii Island and assist the kupuna and keiki in our local communities.”

Kristine M., a recipient of The Food Basket services, wrote in a letter, “We so appreciate the food that you contribute to the Naalehu seniors. We need this help with food so very much. Last year our only grocery store here closed…..since most of us live on social security fixed income, this is so important to get these vegetables and canned goods. You have no idea how much this helps us out!”

Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees are available for purchase in-store at these locations while supplies last:  Aloha Grown (224 Kamehameha Ave – Hilo), Creative Arts Hawaii (500 Kalanianaole Ave – Hilo), Parker Ranch Store (Parker Ranch Center – Waimea), The Food Basket (40 Holomua St – Hilo).

For more information, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/ malama.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Alert on King Tides

This is an extreme tides and high surf message for Wednesday, May 24th at 11:10 A.M. The National Weather Service reports unusually high tides, also known as “king tides,” may cause intermittent coastal flooding along all shores of the Hawaii Island from today through the holiday weekend.

Beach flooding and standing water on roadways and low-lying coastal areas are possible, especially during the afternoon high tides each day.

In conjunction with the unusually high tide, an incoming large south swell is expected to build on Friday and will continue through the Memorial Day weekend. The expected high surf may further affect high tide impacts resulting in additional beach run-up, flooding and erosion.

Oceanfront residents and beachgoers are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf. As a precaution, boat owners and oceanfront residents should take actions to secure their property from possible tidal inundation and coastal flooding.

Precautionary actions should be done before tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Two Many Sopranos Brings Vocal Concert to Hilo

The vocal duo Two Many Sopranos, consisting of singers Amy Horst and Erin Smith, will bring their unique interpretations of classics and new favorites to Hilo. The duo’s pianist is Walter Greenwood. Joining them are Douglas Wayman, Cathy Young, and members of the Orchid Isle Orchestra. Showtimes are Saturday, June 10, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

The evening’s program, entitled Two Many Sopranos, presents music for duet and solo voices both with piano and with strings.  From songs which may be new to the audience to beloved classics of stage and screen, the concert brings to life old favorites and new gems. With composers as varied as Stephen Sondheim and Bob Dylan, and songs as varied as the sacred Pie Jesu by local favorite Pedro Ka‘awaloa and I Love a Piano by Irving Berlin, the concert promises something for every fan of vocal music. Solos and duets intermingle with featured guest performers, including Douglas Wayman as Janelle Nieman and Cathy Young in a viola solo, to provide variety and interest.

Amy Horst

Amy Horst and Erin Smith, local stage and concert performers, have worked together in Wayman’s Palace Theater Vaudeville Variety Shows and in the Palace’s production of Mary Poppins, where Horst played the title role and Smith played the lead role of Mrs. Banks. Both singers have also performed to acclaim in Hilo as soloists, onstage, and in concert.  This concert brings them together to sing duets and solos that showcase their particular talents.

Erin Smith

Smith and Horst are joined by local performer and drag queen Douglas Wayman, best known to Hilo audiences as Albin/Zaza from the Palace Theater’s production of La Cage Aux Folles; and as Janelle Nieman in his Vaudeville Variety Shows at the Palace Theater. The duo is also joined by local string player and orchestra leader Cathy Young, who has created an original string arrangement to accompany the haunting “What Makes a Man a Man,” to be sung by Wayman. Walter Greenwood, popular local pianist, organist, conductor, composer, and arranger, accompanies the concert.

Asked about how they came to create Two Many Sopranos, Horst said, “Erin and I have wanted to perform together in concert for several years. This program takes us and the audience on a journey through songs we want to share with our audience, songs we have been planning for a long time. We are excited that the time has finally come to sing together for you!” Smith continued, “This concert is the culmination of several years of dialogue and several months of planning, and we are happy to bring not only ourselves, but the redoubtable Walter Greenwood as pianist, and our featured performers Douglas Wayman and Cathy Young, to our audience. This concert is suitable for all ages and so we say – e komo mai!”

Two Many Sopranos comes to Hilo June 10 at 7:00 and June 11:00 at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center for two shows only.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

Hawaii Police Conducting DUI Checkpoints Through Memorial Day Weekend

With the approach of the long Memorial Day weekend and the continuation of graduation parties, Hawai’i Police will be on alert to help prevent tragedy on our roads. Officers will conduct DUI checkpoints and roving patrols beginning Friday, May 26, and continuing through Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”.

Every day, 28 people in the United States die in an alcohol-related vehicle crash—that’s one person every 53 minutes. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, the chance of being in an alcohol-impaired crash is still one in three over the course of a lifetime. These deaths and damages contribute to a cost of $52B per year.

Please do your part to keep our roads safe. Always remember to have a designated sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you don’t find one, don’t take a chance—take a taxi or Uber which has recently been established in Hawai`i County.

Big Island Police Identify Man in Keaau Fatal Accident

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash Monday (May 22) on Highway 11, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) in Keaʻau.

He was identified as 71- year-old Ulysses Guillermo of Hilo.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Hu Honua Reaches Agreement with HELCO on Biomass Plant

Hu Honua Bioenergy announced today it has reached a settlement with Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) that will help put Hawaii Island closer to energy self-sufficiency.

The agreement puts its lawsuit on hold as it works with the utility to secure approval of an amended power purchase agreement (PPA) from the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

HELCO and Hu Honua have also agreed to an expedited procedural schedule that would make it possible to complete the plant by the end of 2018.

“We have come to terms with Hawaii Electric Light Company and now have a clear path, pending PUC approval, to get the plant built and operational in time to meet the federal tax credit deadline of December 31, 2018,” said Harold Robinson, president of Island BioEnergy, parent company of Hu Honua.

These developments come on the heels of a May 17 decision by the PUC to transfer review of the amended PPA to a new docket. The PUC cited several reasons for the docket transfer, including the request to consider a preferential rate in evaluating pricing, an element not considered in the 2012 docket.

In its amended PPA, HELCO requested approval of Hu Honua’s pricing based on HRS Section 269-27.3. The statute was enacted to increase energy self-sufficiency and enhance agricultural sustainability; it allows the PUC to approve preferential rates for renewable energy produced in conjunction with agricultural activities. In Hu Honua’s case, agricultural crops will be used to generate renewable biomass electricity.

“The Hu Honua project is the perfect candidate for utilizing the law,” Robinson said. “Through the cultivation and harvesting local eucalyptus trees, the project will bring a combination of agricultural benefits and renewable energy to Hawaii Island.”

If the amended PPA is approved, Hu Honua will have the capacity to provide up to 30-megawatts of firm renewable energy to HELCO’s power grid. The project will be a boost to the agricultural industry on Hawaii Island, triggering approximately 150 jobs in forestry, including logging and hauling eucalyptus trees, the primary feedstock for the biomass-to-energy facility. Ancillary jobs related to forestry and wood products are also anticipated, along with 200 construction jobs needed to complete work on the plant.

About Hu Honua

Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC is located in Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island. When completed, the Hu Honua facility will be able to produce up to 30-megawatts (MW) of clean renewable baseload power, which means the plant can deliver reliable power that can be dispatched 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When operating at capacity, Hu Honua will be able to produce approximately 14 percent of the island’s electricity needs and displace approximately 250,000 barrels of oil per year.

For more information visit www.huhonua.com

Johnny Rockets Coming to Hilo as “Rock ‘n Fun”

I’ve known for a while now that Johnny Rockets was coming to Hilo and a Craigslist ad posted today confirms that it will be coming here in the form of an E.K. Fernandez Restaurant Chain called “Rock ‘n Fun” and is currently seeking Front of the House Assistant Managers at this time.

They will eventually be hiring for these positions as well.

“Presenting “Games, Burgers & Beer” in a fun, family-friendly environment where you can play the latest games or sip a cold beer or glass of wine at the bar while watching your favorite sports teams.  Then comes Johnny – Johnny Rockets that is with its delicious burgers, shakes, and fries.

Rock ‘N Fun is the latest in Fernandez Entertainment’s long list of family-owned companies that have brought fun and entertainment to the Islands for over 100 years.”

According to this Craigslist Ad they are expanding and looking for a Food and Beverage Manager and they will be opening in the Waiakea Center:

Rock N Fun will be opening soon at the Waiakea Center and currently seeking qualified Food & Beverage Managers…

Auto Body Hawaii Announces Winner of Senior Essay Contest

Auto Body Hawaii has announced the winner of this year’s Senior Essay Contest answering the question: “What was your biggest ‘Moment of Awesomeness’ in your life?”

All senior year students from West & North Hawaii’s schools were invited to participate.  This year’s student winner is Neena Charles from Makua Lani Christian Academy. She wins a $1000 cash prize.

Neena Charles wins this year’s Auto Body Hawaii Essay Contest

Ms. Charles’ essay, titled “My Moment of Awesomeness: Home Alone,” described how, in addition to her school work load as a senior, she had to step into the role of parent to her two young siblings while her mother and father had to attend to business in the Philippines for weeks, even months at a time. Her essay not only described a crash course in multitasking, it exemplified maturity and a deep sense of responsibility.

An excerpt of her essay follows:

“By the end of the several weeks my parents were gone, I felt a sense of accomplishment and maturity. In the end, what left the deepest impression was the value of never giving up. The act of playing the role as both my mom and dad was the ultimate event that marked my transition from childhood to adulthood. With so many responsibilities on my plate, I was able to learn how to manage my time better, be more on top of my work, and become more organized. Through this experience, I have gained a greater understanding of the duties of an adult and the hard work that is needed to get things done.”

The full essay is posted on the Auto Body Hawaii website; www.autobodyhawaii.com.

Call Tracey Taylor, 329-2544; tracey@autobodyhawaii.com, for more information.

Kahilu Theatre Offering Summer Performing Arts Camps

Kahilu Theatre will offer three performing arts summer camps for Hawai‘i Island youth this summer. The camps are Let’s Dance (June 19 – June 30), Adventures in Polynesia (July 3 – July 15), and KPAW (July 17 – July 28).

Let’s Dance! (Summer Dance Camp)

Directed by KPAC Director, Angel Prince, Let’s Dance! teaches technique and choreography classes in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Jazz. The camp also includes daily Pilates and Yoga classes as foundational strength and flexibility training. There are additional courses in Acting, Anatomy, Choreography and Improvisation, Stage Makeup, and Salsa.

Let’s Dance! runs from June 19 through June 30 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, June 30 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 16.

Adventures in Polynesia

Adventures in Polynesia, directed by Kalena Ohilo, is inspired by the motion picture Moana and focuses on Acrobatics, Tumbling, Vaulting and Aerial Silks. The camp is infused with Polynesian Music, Implements, and Dance. In addition to indulging creative energies in Acrobatics, students will create their own “Moana Skirt” and Maori Poi Balls.

Adventures in Polynesia runs from July 3 through July 14 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 14 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 5 to 12.

Note – There is no class on July 4. A makeup class will be held Saturday, July 8.

KPAW (Keiki Performing Arts Workshop)

Directed by former Kahilu Youth Troupe member, Marena Dunnington,  KPAW focuses on teaching stage skills necessary for musical theatre, with singing, acting and dancing as the three primary disciplines. Classes in playwriting and storytelling, makeup, improvisation, accents and dialects will also be offered.

KPAW runs from July 17 through July 28 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 28 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 12, or rising 3rd through 6th grades.

KPAW instructors are alumni of the Kahilu Youth Troupe: young performers who have trained at Kahilu with Beth Dunnington and are now pursuing their acting careers at the collegiate level.

Camp Enrollment Information:

  • All camps run Monday through Friday, 10 am – 2:30 pm
  • Each camp concludes with a performance
  • Fee: $230 for each camp
  • Scholarships are available

Scholarship application deadline is May 28 and scholarships to be announced on June 5

  • Max enrollment = 30
  • Students should bring a packed lunch from home

For more information about the Kahilu Performing Arts Camps call the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 808.885.6868. Registration is available online at www.kahilutheatre.org.

Update on Today’s Fatality in Keaau

A man died following a one-vehicle crash this morning (May 22) in Keaʻau.

His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to an 8:06 a.m. call, police determined that a 1998 Toyota truck was traveling Hilo bound, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) onto Highway 11 when the driver lost control, ran up an embankment and overturned.

The man died on the scene and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:02 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 16th traffic fatality this year compared with 10 at this time last year.

Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.