Ku’uali’i Fishpond Wall Repair and Construction Creates Temporary Closure of Public Parking Lot

In order to replace the rock walls at Ku‘uali‘i fishpond, irreparably damaged during the 2011 tsunami, Waikoloa Beach Association announced a temporary closure of the public parking lot, and a portion of the beach, at ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay. Signs informing beachgoers have been posted on the site.

Waikoloa Wall
The repair project, a complete re-build of the rock wall fronting the fishpond, is set to begin in early August, and its duration is approximately 8-10 weeks. During this time, temporary public beach parking and beach access will be provided at the North Kolea beach parking lot (see map). Parking will be on a first come-first served basis with parking for no more than 46 vehicles available at any one time. No overflow area is provided.

At ‘Anaeho‘omalu, the comfort stations near the showers and canoe hale will be open for beach-goers, and can be accessed from the north end of the beach, via the trail behind the fishpond. For public safety, the ocean side of the fishpond will remain closed during the project. For employees and patrons of Lava Lava Beach Club, controlled access will be provided via the normal Ku‘uali‘i Place beach public access roadway.

Waikoloa Beach Association plans to reopen the large parking lot at Anaeho‘omalu when the repair project is completed.

Hawaii Electric Light Restores Power to 900 Customers After Tropical Storm Darby

Overnight, Hawaii Electric Light restored electric service to 900 customers in various parts of Hamakua, upper Puna, and Kona that were impacted by high winds from Tropical Storm Darby. About 100 customers in Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, Kapoho, Orchidland Estates, Honokaa, and Kailua-Kona remain without power.

 Hawaii Electric Light crews work to restore electric service in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Hawaii Electric Light crews work to restore electric service in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Crews worked through the night to repair damage to utility poles and power lines that was caused primarily by fallen trees, tree branches, and tree bark contacting power lines.

“Many of our employees have been working around the clock since Friday to prepare for the storm and to then safely restore electric service as quickly as possible,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, public information officer. “We know how difficult it is to be without electricity for a long period of time, and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”

Hawaii Electric Light expects to restore service to the remaining 100 customers tonight. However, it cautions that although the eye of the storm has passed over Hawaii Island, the weather forecast reports thunderstorms and heavy rain approaching the east side of the island. Lightning and moisture-soaked trees can make work conditions unsafe for crews. This may delay restoration efforts in areas impacted by the thunderstorms. Crews will continue to work to restore power to customers unless weather conditions become hazardous and unsafe.

The company also reminds the community that high winds and heavy rains may have partially-uprooted trees and cracked tree branches that can easily topple or break. Do not approach or touch a downed line as it can be energized and dangerous.

To report an outage, a low-hanging or downed power line, please call 969-6666. Hawaii Electric Light continues to proactively post outage notifications, including power restoration updates, on its Twitter account @HIElectricLight with the hashtag #BigIslandOutage.

New Thermal Image Map Shows Where Lava is Active

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal map shows minimal activity on the upper pali, with a channelized ʻaʻā flow at the base of the pali. The flow front area had scattered pāhoehoe breakouts, with a narrow lobe of active lava forming the leading tip of the flow. The leading tip of the flow was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

Civil Defense Update on Tropical Storm Darby

This is a Civil Defense message.

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update as of Saturday July 23rd 11 AM.

Darby Sat 723 1244

The flash flood warning for the Big Island has been downgraded to a flood advisory.  A flood advisory means minor, general or area flooding is occurring, imminent or highly likely in flood prone areas. The High Surf Warning for east facing shores and a Tropical Storm Warning for the entire island remains in effect for Hawaii County.

As of 11 AM today, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 60 miles south-southeast of Hilo moving to the west at 10 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Rain and wind from Tropical Storm Darby are affecting the Big Island. Residents are urged to stay off the road if at all possible.

Should power be lost or access be blocked-ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep everyone safe, all State and County park facilities and remote areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are closed until further notice.

Hele-On Bus service is suspended today. Solid waste transfer stations and landfills are closed today.

Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 remains closed with a detour through Old Mamalahoa Highway.

For a list of County Emergency Shelters and the details of this message, go to hawaiicounty.gov

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates.

~ Hawaii County Civil Defense

Hawaii Island Humane Society Storm Tips for Pet Owners

With the onset of a Darby Tropical Storm Warning across the Island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Island Humane Society has a few tips to help keep animals safe during and after the storm:

  • Bring pets inside.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and may isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet tied up during a storm.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag.
  • Take advantage of a special HIHS 50% discount today only and microchip your pet for just $10.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally.
  • If you find a stray pet during the storm, please provide it shelter and then drop it off when weather conditions clear at one of three islandwide Hawaii Island Humane Society shelters in Keaau, Waimea and Kona.

HIHS encourages all pet owners to be safe and well prepared. If you are advised to evacuate or do not trust the stability of your home, please consider your pet’s safety. Here is a list of Emergency Pet Friendly Shelters due to open at 4:00 p.m. today on our island. If you evacuate, take your pets!

  •  Honokaa High & Intermediate
  • Kalanianaole Elementary
  • Kau High
  • Keaau High
  • Kealakehe High
  • Konawaena High
  • Pahoa High
  • Waiakea High

Come prepared with these items: Crate, Leash, Food, Water, Bowls, Towel, Litter and litter box, Identification, Medication (if applicable)

These shelters are for safety only and will not have the comforts of home. Pet owners need to stay with their pet and provide the necessary care.

We are also seeking volunteers to help us staff these emergency shelters. If you are a pet owner who is evacuating to these shelters and are willing to help, please see the staff member present.

After the Storm

Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home. After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.

darby 722 11am

Civil Defense List of “Pet Friendly” Evacuation Shelters

Hawaii County Civil Defense warning:

If possible, please shelter in place or with friends and family. If you need to evacuate, here is a list of pet friendly shelters available.

You will need to bring bedding, food, water and any other items you may need. Shelters open at 4 p.m. today

Pet friendly:

  • Waiakea High
  • Kalanianaole Elementary
  • Keaau High
  • Pahoa High
  • Honokaa High and Intermediate
  • Kealakehe High
  • Konawaena High
  • Ka’u High.

Unable to accommodate pets:

  • Hilo High
  • Laupahoehoe Community Charter School
  • Mountain View Elementary
  • Waikoloa
  • Kohala High and Elementary

darby 722 11am

Civil Defense Warning – NWS Issues Tropical Storm WARNING for Hawaii County

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update for Friday July 22nd at 10:00 AM.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Hawaii County.  A tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected in Hawaii County within 36 hours.  A high surf warning for east facing shores is also in effect.

darby 722 11am

As of this morning, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 390 miles east of Hilo moving to the west at 12 miles per hour.  Maximum sustained winds are 60 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The public is advised to be storm ready.  Damaging surf, rain, wind, flooding, rock and mud slides are expected to begin affecting the Big Island later today.  Residents are urged to complete storm preparations before nightfall.

Should power be lost or access be blocked – ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep visitors and employees safe as Tropical Storm Darby approaches, all camping and pavilion reservations at County and State parks have been cancelled today through Sunday. All backcountry areas and certain roads in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, are closed effective 5 p.m. today. County lava viewing and swimming pools are closed effective noon today. Beginning Saturday, all State and County park facilities are closed until further notice.

If possible and safe, shelter in place or with family and friends.  However, the following pet friendly emergency shelters open today at 4 pm: Waiakea High, Kalanianaole Elementary, Keaau High, Pahoa High, Honokaa High and Intermediate, Kealakehe High, Konawaena High and Ka’u High. Requirements for pets that need shelter are listed at hawaiicounty.gov. Bring bedding, food, water and any personal items you may need. Hilo High, Laupahoehoe Community Charter School, Mountain View Elementary, Waikoloa, and Kohala High and Elementary open today at 4 pm but are unable to accommodate pets. Again, bring bedding, food, water and any personal items you may need.

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates and go to hawaiicounty.gov for more details.

Tropical Storm Darby Continues Towards Hawaii

After decreasing through much of the night, deep convection around Darby has once again flared along the northern quadrant. Exposed low cloud bands across the southern semicircle show a reasonably well organized system, with good outflow to the northeast.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Full storm discussion here: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/tcpages/archive/?prod=TCDCP3.EP052016.044.201607221447

Tropical Storm Darby Update – Emergency Shelters Open at 4pm Tomorrow

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update for Thursday July 21st at 6:00 PM.

darby 721 5pm

The National Weather Service reports a Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County.  A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible in Hawaii County and Maui County within the next 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Darby is located about 500 miles east of Hilo moving in a west direction at 13 MPH with sustained winds of 65 MPH. For the next 48 hours, little change in the storm’s strength is expected.

A high surf advisory for east facing shores will go into effect at 6 PM today, and is forecast to become a high surf warning tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. through Sunday.

The public is advised to be storm ready.  As Tropical Storm Darby approaches, residents and visitors should be aware of:

  • High surf warning conditions for east facing shores.
  • Tropical storm force winds.
  • Heavy rains and flooding.
  • Mud slides and rock slides.

Please also consider preparations should power be lost or access be blocked – ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, and back up power if needed.

All camping reservations at County parks are being cancelled from Friday to Sunday. Pavilion reservations at County parks are also being cancelled on Saturday and Sunday, and County swimming pools will also be closed along with the Ho’olulu Complex.. Lava viewing in Kalapana will be closed from Friday to Sunday.

Darby SheltersThe following public schools are scheduled to be opened as emergency shelters at 4 pm tomorrow, or Friday afternoon:

  • Hilo High
  • Waiakea High
  • Kalanianaole Elementary
  • Keaau High
  • Pahoa High
  • Laupahoehoe Community Charter School
  • Honokaa High and Intermediate
  • Kohala High and Elementary
  • Waikoloa Elementary
  • Kealakehe High, Konawaena High
  • Ka’u High and Mountain View Elementary.

Consider bringing bedding, food, water and any personal items you may need.

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates and plan early for possible impacts from wind and rain to homes, businesses, and communities. For more information go to www.hawaiicounty.gov/civil-defense

Hawaii County Civil Defense

Big Island Police Fatally Shoot Man in Hawaiian Paradise Park

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon (July 21) in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

Kaloli Beach

In response to a 1:20 p.m. call reporting a man possibly armed with a weapon, Puna District officers combed the subdivision and located him on Beach Road off Kaloli Drive seated in a pickup truck.

Two officers approached the vehicle. They made contact with the man and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the man in the truck pointed a handgun at one of the officers. In response, that officer fired his duty weapon, fatally injuring the gunman. The man’s name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

An autopsy will be ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The officer who fired his weapon has been with the Hawaiʻi Police Department for nine years. The other officer, who has five years’ experience, was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

No officers were injured by gunfire.

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

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Detective Tuckloy Aurello at 961-2385.

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.

Puna Man Arrested After Threatening to Shoot Everyone at Community Meeting

A Puna man was arrested Tuesday (July 19) after he reportedly called a community association employee’s home [corrected location], threatening to take a shotgun to a future meeting and shoot everyone present.

James Brent Jones

James Brent Jones

Approximately an hour after the incident was reported, officers successfully located the suspect after his vehicle was spotted parked off Highway 11 near the 20-mile marker. At 12:35 p.m. officer contacted and arrested the suspect, identified as 56-year old James Brent Jones of Glenwood.

Jones was charged later Tuesday with second-degree terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $2,000. After posting bail, Jones was released from custody pending his initial court appearance scheduled for August 25.

Hilo Focus of Series Episode on KGMB Tomorrow Night

“Wahi pana” is defined as a celebrated legendary place or landmark of special interest and historical significance. Hilo is a place of ancient prophecy, natural disasters and the revival of Hawaiian culture. From the rise of Kamehameha the Great to the devastating tsunami on April 1, 1946 to the world-renowned Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo is where the old and new meet.

Wahi Pana

“Wahi Pana: Hawai‘i’s Special Places” takes viewers beyond the name to get to know Hilo, airing Wednesday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. on KGMB (re-air Wednesday, July 27, at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL).

Local nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) commissioned the “Wahi Pana” films as part of their Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool program, an innovative preschool model with 28 sites statewide. PIDF partnered with Hawaii News Now to showcase the films to a broader audience.

“The sense of place is an important Hawaiian tradition that has powerful applications in the lives of our children, families and leaders,” said Jan E. Hanohano Dill, PIDF President. “Mahalo to the late, award-winning director, editor and videographer Don Mapes for directing and producing and Hawaii News Now for airing this very special program.”

“We are very proud and excited to partner with PIDF in sharing this incredible collection of beautiful programs showcasing the rich history and beauty of our islands in a way that most of us have never seen before,” said Rick Blangiardi, General Manager of Hawaii News Now.

Future episodes set to air include Hawai‘i Island’s North Kohala and Waimea; Maui’s Lahaina; and O‘ahu’s Waiheʻe Valley.

New Traffic Signals Being Installed at Mohouli and Kapiolani Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Mohouli St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Wednesday July 27, 2016.

Kapiolani Light

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Mohouli St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Thursday, July 28, 2016.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

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

Mahiʻai Match-Up Selects Farming Finalists

Two finalists have been selected in the 2016 Mahiʻai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest dedicated to supporting Hawaiʻi’s sustainable food movement by cultivating local farmers and decreasing the state’s dependence on imports.

The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Schools, the Pauahi Foundation, the Ulupono Initiative, “Hawaiʻi Farm and Food” Magazine and Hiʻilei Aloha.

Kaivao Farm team members Keone Chin, Angela Fa‘anunu, and Kalisi Mausio pay a visit to their Mahiʻai Match-Up land parcel in Pāhoehoe on Hawai‘i island. The team plans to cultivate cassava and ‘ulu at their farm and will include education and internship components in their program.

Kaivao Farm team members Keone Chin, Angela Fa‘anunu, and Kalisi Mausio pay a visit to their Mahiʻai Match-Up land parcel in Pāhoehoe on Hawai‘i island. The team plans to cultivate cassava and ‘ulu at their farm and will include education and internship components in their program.

This year’s Mahiʻai Match-Up finalists are Kaiaʻulu o Paʻalaʻa on Oʻahu and Kaivao Farm on Hawai‘i island.  Both finalists will receive an agricultural land agreement with up to five years of waived rent from Kamehameha Schools.

Farmer Rob Barreca is a proprietor of Counter Culture Foods, one of last year's Mahiʻai Match-Up winners. His North Shore business specializes in seed-to-countertop fermented food production.

Farmer Rob Barreca is a proprietor of Counter Culture Foods, one of last year’s Mahiʻai Match-Up winners. His North Shore business specializes in seed-to-countertop fermented food production.

Judges this year include Kāʻeo Duarte, vice president of Community Engagement and Resources for Kamehameha Schools; Kyle Datta, general partner for Ulupono Initiative; Martha Cheng, editor for “Hawaiʻi Farm and Food” magazine; Martha Ross, capacity-building manager for Hiʻilei Aloha; and Mark “Gooch” Noguchi, executive chef for the Pili Group.

In July, the finalists will have a chance to present their plans in front of the judging panel. Based on the quality of both the business plans and presentations, seed monies from the Pauahi Foundation will be awarded in the amounts of $20,000 and $15,000 for first and second place.

 Tickets and sponsorships for the July 30 Mahiʻai Match-Up Gala are available at www.pauahi.org.

Tickets and sponsorships for the July 30 Mahiʻai Match-Up Gala are available at www.pauahi.org.

Seed monies awarded help to make these winning business plans a reality and increase the probability of long-term, sustainable success.

“Mahiʻai Match-Up provides a venue for farmers and entrepreneurs to access some of our most valuable agricultural lands,” said Sydney Keliʻipuleʻole, senior director of Statewide Operations for Kamehameha Schools.

“The goal of Mahiʻai Match-Up directly aligns with our Agriculture Plan to help make Hawaiʻi more self-sufficient by increasing local food production.”

The Mahiʻai Mentorship
Working to help mahi (cultivate) new farmers and integrate education, culture, agriculture and sustainability, KS is providing more opportunities for aspiring farmers with the introduction of Mahiʻai Mentorship – created through a partnership between the schools and GoFarm Hawaiʻi, aimed at developing the next generation of farmers.

The The first- and second-place winners and mentees will be announced at the Mahiʻai Match-Up Gala on July 30.  Proceeds from the event go towards agricultural scholarships and grants. Anyone interested in attending the Gala or becoming a sponsor can get more information by visiting the Mahiʻai Match-Up website.  Sponsorship deadline is July 11.

HPP’s Loss is Pahoa’s Gain – $22.3 Million Dollar Pahoa Park “In a Nutshell”

Mahalo to Councilman Paleka’s Assistant Nadia Malloe for following up on my question as to why the Pahoa Park has inflated from $5 million dollars to $22.3 million dollars and she got this answer:

Pahoa Park ExpansionAfter inquiring with Hawaii County Parks and Recreation (P&R), the following was shared:

P&R designs 4 types of parks, listed by size/capacity:

  • NEIGHBORHOOD Park – typically designed to meet the needs of neighborhood, such as University Heights
  • COMMUNITY Park – typically designed for small neighborhood communities, such as Isaac Hale and Hawaiian Beaches
  • DISTRICT Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of an entire district population capable for islandwide attractions, such as Pāhoa Park
  • REGIONAL Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of a specific region, usually a larger scale in comparison to a district park, such as Old Ace Park in Kona
    *Swimming pools are only allowed in DISTRICT and REGIONAL Parks.

Approximately 10 years ago, it became very apparent that Puna is a rapidly growing community. Thus, in efforts to meet the recreational needs in this geographic area, the administration of P&R proposed building a 20-acre community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park, with an estimated cost of $5.5 million.

At the time this $5.5 million project was being proposed in 2010-2012, area residents were strongly in opposition of this project due to concerns relating to traffic, safety and privacy of area residents, fee simple ownership, etc. P&R did not want to impose this project where it was not wanted. Thus, P&R began to look at other solutions to our rapidly growing Puna community.

In Pāhoa, the geographical heart of Puna, a district park already existed with 56 acres of land not yet developed. Since County P&R already had an established district park, it would ease the process as no land acquisition nor eminent domain was necessary to move forward.

This district park expansion is the most expensive project in P&R history and its being granted to not just Puna, but the geographical heart and center of Puna. There will be multiple benefits such as reducing criminal activity, promoting healthy living, creating a safer community, potential revenue for Puna, area residents and vendors.

P&R can offer more programs, engaging families, elderly, and persons with disabilities as well. In fact, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, in the past 4 years, juvenile crime decreased approximately 52%, thanks to the hard work and dedication from our County Parks and Recreation Dept. The projected completion of this project is as soon as next month or early September.

In a nutshell, basically the proposed project went from a small community park in HPP to a large district park in Pāhoa. For a price comparison, the amount of money the State spent to build the ONE new gym at Pāhoa High School, can build FIVE of our County gyms.

Nan Inc. provided me with the following aerial footage of the park being built:

Tacos, Chips, Salsa…. and Madie Greene for County Council District 4


Aloha to All!!! With the incoming Tropical Storm expected to arrive soon, Aunty Madie has decided to reschedule her Fundraiser until the following Saturday. Sal Luquin has already reserved the date for Madie, 6pm, Saturday, July 30th at the Akebono. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Please be safe out there and be prepared.

Mahalo for your understanding…

Folks are invited to a tacos, chips and salsa fundraiser for County Council Candidate Madie Green on Saturday, July 23rd at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa.
Madie Green FundraiserA suggested donation of $15.00 will go to her campaign funds.

Active Shooter Presentation in Honoka’a

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation in Honokaʻa on Tuesday, July 19.
Active Shooter
The presentation, which is open to the public, will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the large conference room at the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center, located at 45-539 Plumeria Street.

It is designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident. Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention. They will also provide additional resources for participants so they can continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

Persons unable to attend may obtain “active shooter” information by viewing the “Active Shooter/Violence Awareness” page on the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website (www.hawaiipolice.com) under the “Services” tab.

Lift Off at Pahoa Park – Drone Footage of Pahoa’s New Regional Park Being Built

This is Nan, Inc.’s video of the Pahoa Park project for Hawaii County.

Pahoa Park Aerial

It’s a 40 acre site in the Puna district.

Once finished, residents will enjoy three covered basketball courts, two baseball fields, and two multi-purpose fields.
Pahoa Park Gym
It will also include a new comfort station and concession center.

According to an email sent out from the mayors office, the park is scheduled to open next month sometime.

Prosecutor, State Senate Candidates to Square Off Saturday in Lower Puna

Candidates for County Prosecutor incumbent Mitch Roth and Deputy Attorney General Michael Kagami will lead off the Public Forums being sponsored by the Dist.4 members of the Hawaii County Democratic Party. The public is invited to these free events aimed at enlightening Puna’s voters on their candidates, the issues and their visions.

Dean Kelley will moderate the forums

Dean Kelley will moderate the forums

Pahoa businessman Dean Kelley will moderate the Saturday, July 9 forum set to begin at 2 PM at Hawaiian Shores Community Center, also known as The Stables, on the corner of Kahakai Blvd. and Punawai St., just opposite Keonepoko School.

The second hour will feature the two Democrats running for State Senate Dist. 2, incumbent Russell Ruderman and challenger Greggor Ilagan, currently Dist. 4 County Councilman.

Dist. 4 Democrats are invited to send questions they would like to have the candidates answer to their precinct presidents ASAP and not later than midnight July 6. The precinct presidents are Prec. 1 (HPP) Joy SanBuenaventura joy4puna@outlook.com; Prec.2 (WaaWaa-Hwn Beaches/Shores) Thom Gagne thomgagne@hotmail.com; Prec. 3 (Ainaloa/Orchidland to Kalapana/Seaview) Greg Ward seaviewgreg@att.net; and RoxAnne Lawson paanipuppets@hotmail.com.

The following Saturday, July 16 the Dist. 4 Democratic Public Forum will move to Pahoa Community Center and will feature the Dist. 4 and Dist. 5 County Council candidates and Democratic Party mayoral candidates Pete Hoffmann, Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a, Harry Kim, Wally Lau, and Shannon McCandless.. That forum will take place from 1 to 6 PM at the community center on Kauhale Street in Pahoa.

Community Invited to Unite Against Hatred at LGBT Pride Parade July 9th

The Fourth Annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival will be held on July 9th in downtown Hilo with the theme “Live, Love, Be”. The celebration will begin at noon, followed by a festival at the Mo’oheau Park Bandstand featuring live music, food, crafts, information booths, and a play area for keiki.

Pride Parade

“Everyone is invited to join us in celebration of LGBT Pride,” said Greg Lupton, Hawaii Island Pride Committee Chair. “Whether you’re gay, trans, genderqueer, or an ally — this is our chance to join together in a colorful chorus of pride and creativity.”

This year’s celebration will feature a drag show and live music from GLB&T (Groovy Lesbian Band & Tim), Puna Men’s Chorus, Bruddah Kuz Band, and Soulstice Band.  Any individuals or organizations who want to walk in the parade can submit a free parade entry form online and arrive by 11am.

Big Island’s transgender community will be specifically honored at this year’s celebration.  “The trans community has fought for gender and sexual equality for generations,” said Sadie Dossett, a genderqueer student at UH Hilo. “Gender nonconformity is a lightning rod for hate-filled legislation and homophobic violence. Being honored at the Parade is a great step towards creating a more accepting and inclusive community.”

“Pride is even more important than ever in the aftermath of this month’s tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,” said Josslyn Cruz, Big Island Puerto Rican Diva. “Many of us have looked hatred in the eyes and could’ve easily been victims ourselves.  Orlando is the latest in a pattern of homophobic violence our LGBT people, and we refuse to let haters cloud our pride.”

In addition to this year’s parade and festival, Hawaii Island Pride will also be hosting a Peace Vigil for Victims of Hatred on Sunday, July 10th.  The public is invited to light a candle to honor lives lost in Orlando and across the world in the fight for equality.

Additional information about Hawaii Island Pride can be found at HawaiiIslandPride.org or on Facebook.