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Hilo Attorneys Recognized for Volunteer Service to the East Hawaii Community

Forty-three attorneys were recognized during the Self-Help Center Recognition Awards on December 2nd for providing free legal information to more than 700 Hawaii Island residents who sought assistance at the Hilo Courthouse Self-Help Center in 2016.  Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald attended the recognition ceremony at the Hilo Yacht Club.

judiciaryThe Hilo Self-Help Center was established in July 2012 as part of the Hawaii State Judiciary’s commitment to increasing access to justice in the courts. Since opening, the Hilo Self-Help Center has assisted more than 3,700 people, with volunteer attorneys providing over 900 hours of legal information on civil matters, such as temporary restraining orders and divorce.  For over four years, these services have been provided at almost no cost to the state.

“I am grateful to the attorneys who volunteer their time at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals representing themselves in civil legal cases.  The generosity of these attorneys has been essential to increasing access to justice in our civil courts,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.

The volunteers were recognized by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra, Chief Court Administrator of the Third Circuit Lester Oshiro, and Third Circuit Deputy Chief Court Administrators Dawn West and Cheryl Salmo.

The individual attorneys who were honored are as follows:  Al Konishi, Robert Crudele, Paul Hamano, Melody Parker, William Heflin, Jeff Ng, Chris Schlueter, Damir Kouliev, Francis Alcain, Jennifer Ng, Laureen Martin, Chris Rothfus, J. Yoshimoto, Raymond Hasegawa, Joy San Buenaventura, Al Thompson, Austin Hsu, Doug Halsted, Dwayne Lerma, Joanne Goya, Kenneth Goodenow, Michelle Oishi, Nelson Kinoshita, Amy Self, Charlene Iboshi, Dakota Frenz, Darien Nagata, Edith Kawai, Harry Eliason, Jennifer Wharton, Jo Kim, Kanani Laubach, Lincoln Ashida, Lionel Riley, Lynne Kushi, Michael Kagami, Peter Kubota, Ryan Caday, Steven Strauss, Sylvia Wan, Ted Hong, Zachary Wingert, and Mitch Roth.

Chief Justice Recktenwald acknowledged the strong support of the late State Representative Clift Tsuji, who had attended the ceremony in previous years to recognize the volunteer attorneys.  “Representative Tsuji’s commitment to access to justice for all was truly inspiring, and is part of the legacy that he leaves for this community.”

Also acknowledged were AmeriCorps Advocates Samantha Puluole-Mitchell and Alexandria Agdeppa, as well as Legal Aid of Hawaii Staff Attorney Mark Haines, who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, organize the Self-Help Center at the Hilo Courthouse each week.

Valerie Grab, Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Hilo Office said, “I am so pleased by the support the Hawaii County Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort.  Every week, Hawaii Island residents use the Hilo Self-Help Center to gain information that helps them meet their legal needs.  The Hilo Self-Help Center is the product of a statewide collaboration of the Hawaii State Judiciary, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.  With the donation of their time and talents, today’s honorees are helping to make access to justice a reality for the Big Island community.”

The Chief Justice also thanked the Hawaii County Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and the Access to Justice Commission for their support of the Self-Help Center.

Attorneys who would like to become involved with the Hilo Self-Help Center are invited to attend the next volunteer attorney training on Friday, January 20, 2017.  To register, please visit: http://www.legalaidhawaii.org/pro-bono-attorney.html.

For more information on the Hilo Self-Help Center as well as the Self-Help Desk at the Kona Courthouse, visit the Hawaii State Judiciary website, click on the “Self-Help” tab at the top of the page, and look for “Self-Help Centers” (see: http://bit.ly/23bEaXX).

New Map of Lava Flow Field Shows New Flow

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of November 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of November 29 is shown in red.

The new flow branch east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō started from a breakout at the episode 61g vent on November 21. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow lines (dashed where uncertain) show the mapped trace of lava tubes as determined from aerial thermal imaging and ground mapping.

hvo-112916-mapThe blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Hawaii County Celebrates New Micro Units to Address Chronically Homeless

Representatives from social service agencies joined Mayor Billy Kenoi and Council Chair Dru Mamo Kanuha today for a ceremony to dedicate Hale Kīkaha, the County of Hawaiʻi’s newest housing project with 23 micro units to address a critical need in Kailua-Kona, particularly amongst the chronically homeless.

micro-unitsNumbers of homeless are increasing statewide. The January 2016 point-in-time count showed nearly 1,400 homeless people on Hawaiʻi Island, an increase of 10% from 2015. Of those people, about 500 were unsheltered in West Hawaiʻi.

“Our families who are homeless need a sense that they have a chance. They can believe that because they can sleep in a clean, safe place,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We’re creating a puʻuhonua, a safe haven, a place of refuge where people can walk around with dignity and respect.”

The $2.5 million Hale Kīkaha is on Pāwai Place in Kailua-Kona’s industrial area, adjacent to the area’s emergency homeless shelter. Hale Kīkaha will provide on-site wraparound social services to residents to increase their chances of success.

Kīkaha means to soar, and the name Hale Kīkaha represents the County’s hope for and commitment to the residents that will call the project home. Design and engineering work was done in-house. General contractor Kona-Kaʻū Construction and a number of sub-contractors completed the project in nine months.

The County recognizes that housing is a primary need, especially in West Hawaiʻi. The County has worked to address homelessness through the nationally recognized best practice Housing First model with a number of projects during Mayor Kenoi’s administration.

West Hawaii Emergency Shelter

West Hawaii Emergency Shelter

Recognizing the most immediate need, the County constructed the $1.8 million, 31-bed West Hawaiʻi Emergency Shelter and opened it in November 2010.

The Homes of Ulu Wini provides 96 units for families, a mix of transitional housing and affordable rentals for families with low-moderate income, or no higher than 80% of the area median income. Construction of the $23.7 million project’s phases were completed throughout Mayor Kenoi’s administration.

The Homes at Ulu Wini.

The Homes at Ulu Wini.

Kamakoa Nui offers affordable home ownership to working families along the Kohala Coast. The Kenoi administration restarted a previous attempt to build workforce housing in Waikoloa Village, and the first families were welcomed into their homes in 2013. To date, all 91 lots at Kamakoa Nui have been sold and 69 homes have been built. Construction continues on the remaining homes, which include six participants in a self-help housing program by Habitat for Humanity. Kamakoa Nui offers fee-simple home ownership to families between 100-140% of the area median income.

A home at Kamakoa Nui.

A home at Kamakoa Nui

In addition to County-built housing, the Office of Housing & Community Development administers programs to assist tenants renting existing housing. Over 2,000 people and families receive over $14 million in assistance every year through Tenant-Based Rental Assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher programs.

“We are measured not by what we do for those who have the most, we are measured by what we do for those who have the least,” Mayor Kenoi said.

Community Opens Waimea District Park

Mayor Billy Kenoi, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, and Councilman-Elect Tim Richards joined the Waimea community today to celebrate the completion of the 24-acre Waimea District Park, offering new, diversified indoor and outdoor recreational facilities for keiki, kupuna, and families in North Hawaiʻi.

waimea-park-1The first phase includes a covered play court building with three courts, a multi‐purpose field with spectator seating and lighting for nighttime use, a playground, and parking. The park is adjacent to the Parker Ranch rodeo arena, accessed off Ala ʻŌhiʻa.

“These facilities are the heart of our communities. This is where are kids come and grow up. This is where families build relationships,” said Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter.

waimea-park-2Land for the project was provided by Parker Ranch to fulfill prior rezoning commitments made to the County. Through the efforts of the Legislature spearheaded by Senator Mālama Solomon, the State provided $5.5 million toward the project. The County provided the remaining $18.5 million of the $24 million project.

waimea-park-3Mel Macy of the Waimea District Park Builders, a community group that advocated for the construction of the park, credited Mayor Kenoi with pushing the project to the finish line. “From the time he took office, we had his full support. Not only was he responsible for the majority of the funding, but his get-it-done attitude helped keep things moving forward.”

In the park’s environmental documents, the first phase of the park was contemplated to be completed in 2020. By working in concert with Parker Ranch and the Waimea community, ground was broken for the park in November 2015. General contractor Nan, Inc. and a number of sub-contractors completed the work in a year.

waimea-park-4“We all know we live in a special place, and it isn’t just about facilities,” said Mayor Kenoi. “This is for family. This isn’t only for our kids. Our kūpuna will have yoga and Zumba in here. When we adults stand on the sideline to wait for our kids to finish a game or practice, that’s when we strengthen our community.”

The next planned phase will include a community center, a comfort station, and a baseball field.

New Lava Breakout Sends Lava South and Northeast

A breakout started from the episode 61g vent on the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday morning (Monday, November 21) at around 08:40 AM.

The breakout sent lava flows south and northeast, and these flows were still active as of Tuesday afternoon (November 22). This image, captured at 2:10 PM yesterday, is from a webcam on Puʻu Halulu that looks southwest toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō (background).

The light colored lava extending into the foreground is the more-active northeast branch of the breakout. This breakout poses no threat to nearby communities.

The light colored lava extending into the foreground is the more-active northeast branch of the breakout. This breakout poses no threat to nearby communities.

This photo was taken today November 23, 2016 at 1:10 PM

The flow has not progressed very far since yesterday.

The flow has not progressed very far since yesterday.

Local Nonprofit Organizations Receive Electric Vehicles

The Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation and Hawaii Electric Light Company recently donated Smart electric vehicles to three local nonprofit organizations. The vehicles and symbolic keys were presented to representatives from the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island, HOPE Services Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

“At HEI, we strive to be a catalyst for a better Hawaii,” said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO and chairman of the HEI Charitable Foundation. “The HEI Charitable Foundation is proud to partner with Hawaii Electric Light to recognize these wonderful organizations and at the same time promote the use of electric vehicles on Hawaii Island and throughout our state to help Hawaii achieve a clean energy future.”

electric-vehicle

The popularity of electric vehicles has risen in recent years as the world takes greater notice of the importance of reducing reliance on fossil fuels for transportation. They also cost less per mile than vehicles with a conventional gasoline-fueled engine, and they are good for the environment by reducing emissions and noise pollution. The donated cars are lightly-used Smart ForTwo electric vehicles with an average mileage of 4,000 miles. The cars come equipped with electric charging equipment and are valued at more than $10,000. HEI worked closely with Mercedes-Benz of Honolulu who inspected, registered, and ensured delivery of the vehicles to the nonprofit organizations.

“These deserving organizations strengthen our community by nurturing our youth, offering hope to our less fortunate, and providing our students with quality higher education,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “We know these electric vehicles can broaden their reach and support their efforts to serve our community.”

The Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s mission is to inspire and enable Big Island youth to be productive and responsible citizens, through quality programs in a safe and caring environment. It provides after school services for youth ages 6-17 Hilo, Keaau, Pahoa, Pahala, and Ocean View.

“In the words of our keiki when experiencing something new, fun and exciting: ‘Awesome!’ It is truly awesome to gain this environmentally-friendly resource and have an educational tool that helps us teach our lessons of sustainability, science and resource management,” said Chad Cabral, Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island chief executive officer. “What better way to let kids see how an electric vehicle works, view the electric engine components, and speak about energy efficiency concepts. We are thrilled to have this educational resource. Mahalo to the HEI Charitable Foundation and Hawaii Electric Light.”

HOPE Services Hawaii provides an array of services to the homeless. The organization envisions a world where those who face great challenges realize their value and self-worth. Programs and services include homeless outreach, residential housing programs, prison re-entry services, representative payee services, and one-stop centers. The organization plans to use the electric vehicle to transport program participants to become document-ready for housing by helping them obtain identification as well as helping them find gainful employment and comply with their legal requirements.

“We end homelessness by housing at least 270 households each year. We intentionally serve those with the deepest needs first and help at least 85% of them stay housed forever – never returning to homelessness,” said Brandee Menino, HOPE Services Hawaii chief executive officer. “We do this work because it improves the health and wellness of the people we serve, maximizes the potential of each individual and family we serve, and is economically in the best interest of the taxpayers of Hawaii to end homelessness rather than manage homelessness.”

The University of Hawaii at Hilo offers its 4,000 students a wide range of liberal arts and professional programs, as well as a number of graduate and doctoral programs. As a campus of the University of Hawaii System, its purpose is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery and creativity inside and outside the classroom.

“We are thankful and honored to have been selected as one of the recipients,” said Jerry Chang, University of Hawaii at Hilo director, University Relations. “This is another step in our goal of conservation and starting an Energy Science program at UH Hilo.”

For more information about the benefits of electric vehicles, please visit www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Seeks 2017 Beneficiaries

The sixth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival invites non-profit organizations to apply as a beneficiary of the 2017 event held on April 28-29 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The festival annually awards non-profits a portion of event proceeds.

big-island-chocolate-festival-2017Beneficiaries should be associated with culinary education, cacao farming/education, local chocolate, farming or sustainability. Awards will be given ranging from $500 to $6,000 and beneficiaries are expected to provide volunteers and support event execution.

Visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com for application details and the deadline is December 31, 2016.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Puako Provisions’ and Catering – New Culinary Option on Kohala Gold Coast

Vacationers and residents on Hawaii island’s Kohala Gold Coast now have a new local culinary option with the debut of Puako Provisions and Catering at the landmark Puako General Store located in the popular beachside community.

puako-general-store-front

Puako Provisions and Catering now open at the Puako General Store

Puako Provisions and Catering will offer a variety of grab-and-go “beach-friendly” food options – provisions! – such as salads, sandwiches on freshly-baked breads and poké bowls made with locally-sourced fish.   Shoppers can also choose from pre-packaged menu items as well as catered food, picnic baskets and special order meals for pickup or delivery to their rental or home.

Along with its grab-and-go and other food offerings, Puako Provisions will feature weekly specials available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., including handmade pizza, and on Friday, “make-your-own” poké bowls.   Whenever possible, the chef uses seasonal, organic products sourced locally from land and sea, yet they are priced to be affordable.

The new operation is directed by Noah Hester, former executive chef and manager of the popular Blue Dragon Restaurant in nearby Kawaihae, which closed earlier this year.  Though just 34 years old, Hester has already received accolades while at the Blue Dragon, including “Best Chef America 2014-2015” and “Best Chef North Hawaii 2012-2015.”  He has also been featured prominently in Edible Hawaii Islands Magazine.

Hester grew up in Puako and has fond childhood memories of visiting the Puako General Store – now owned by his Mom, Mary Fox. The store is an iconic destination that sells groceries, many locally made gifts and souvenirs, including t-shirts, handmade jewelry and much more. Tables are available on the store’s front porch for casual dining, while compostable carryout containers are used for all food items.

The store is located at 69-1649 Puako Beach Drive.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.  The store phone is 808-882-7500; or visit their website www.thepuakostore.com.

Hawaii First CEO Receives National Honor for Community Development

Laura Aguirre, president and CEO of Hawaii First Federal Credit Union, received the 2016 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award during the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’ Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. This award is the highest honor given by the Federation to community development credit union staff and volunteers.

Laura Aguirre, president and CEO of Hawaii First Federal Credit Union, received the 2016 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award.

Laura Aguirre, president and CEO of Hawaii First Federal Credit Union, received the 2016 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award.

Under Aguirre’s Leadership, Hawaii First has received five Community Development Financial Institution awards totaling $3.3 million. These federal dollars allow Hawaii First to provide financial services in low-income communities and to those who lack access to financing.

The credit union also operates two Hawaii First Community Resource Centers and has provided 3,600 East and West Hawaii residents with financial counseling, career resources, tax preparation and more.

“Laura is one of the most caring people dedicated to helping the underserved that I know. It has been an honor to be a part of her team,” said Diane Guidry, Hawaii First board chairperson. “We are always looking for better ways to help our community. Laura shares with her staff so that they all can make a difference, one person at a time, to be the best they can be and achieve their dreams.”

Today, Hawaii First has assets of $42 million. From 2012 to 2016, the credit union’s assets and loans have grown 21% and 23%, respectively, and provided more than $60 million in loans to members.

The Federation is a certified CDFI intermediary representing community development credit unions. The Helping Hands Award was created in 1993 in honor of Annie Vamper, a national advocate for consumer education and cooperation among low-income people until her death in 1990.

Hawaii First’s previous honors with the Federation include the 2009 Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility, the Circle of Honor Leadership Award from the Opportunity Finance Network in 2014, and the 2016 National Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action.

Hawaii Electric Light Company to Conduct Aerial Line Inspections Next Week

To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company will conduct aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Monday, Nov. 28, to Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.

helicopter-line-inspectionThe islandwide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruptions this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

“Chip Away at Cancer” Golf Tournament

Friends of Elton Goo, former Food & Beverage manager at the Marriott are rallying and having an amazing golf fundraiser to help him fight recently-diagnosed, stage IV lung cancer.

chip-away

The tournament takes place on December 4 at 11 a.m. at Hapuna Golf Course, with food booths, DJ and prizes — followed by a four-course Whiskey Dinner at Arnie’s Restaurant (priced separately).

Rapid Ohia Death Kills Forest Giant and Confirms Spread to Hamakua

Twin Tests Verify Fungal Disease Killed Centuries Old Tree

From the road, in the Laupahoehoe Section of the Hilo Forest Reserve, Steve Bergfeld of the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources spots the enormous, towering, ōhiʻa tree; its thick branches now completely without leaves.  The Hawai’i Island Branch Manager for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife wants to get a close-up look at the tree, after a technician first spotted it and took samples a week ago.  Two laboratory tests have confirmed that this very old tree was killed by the fast-moving fungal infection known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death.

ohia-death2Across Hawai’i Island, the disease is killing trees and devastating tens of thousands of acres of native forest. First reported in the Puna District in 2010, the latest aerial surveys show that the fungus has impacted nearly 50,000 acres of forest here.

Named for the rapidity in which it kills infected trees, the loss of the 100-130 foot tall ōhiʻa in the Laupahoehoe forest, and perhaps others around it, shows the disease has spread to the island’s eastern side, along the Hamakua Coast.  Bergfeld observed, “It’s devastating to look at the forest and the damage Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death is doing to our ecosystem and our watersheds. That tree is a giant in the forest. It also supports a lot of other plant life and bird life. It was an important part of our ecosystem. These trees have been here for hundreds of years and to see them go down to a disease like this is really heartbreaking.”

ohia-death1ʻŌhiʻa trees are culturally significant and their flowers are prized for lei making. Foresters consider ōhiʻa the most important species for protecting the state’s forested watersheds for its dense canopy, where virtually all domestic water supplies originate.

That’s why a strong collaboration between state and federal government agencies and conservation organizations is actively researching the cause of the disease, potential treatments, and the establishment of quarantines and protocols to prevent further spread.

ohia-death3The identification of this diseased tree is the latest example of this cooperative effort.  The tree was spotted by a technician from the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Island Forestry, who collected the wood samples for lab testing.  Verification of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, as the trees cause of death, was done by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo.

An entomologist from the University of Hawai’i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Extension Service also collected samples for research that suggests beetles are a primary cause for the spread of the fungus.

ohia-deathBergfeld explains the next steps involving experts from the Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death working group. “We’ll put everyone’s heads together and see what the best management strategy will be for this particular tree.  I assume, more than likely, we’ll fell the tree to get it out of the forest and cover it with tarps to keep insects from putting out frass (the powdery refuse or fragile perforated wood produced by the activity of boring insects), into the air,” he said.

Experts are very concerned that with the confirmation of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death in this tree, the disease has spread to a previously unaffected area farther up the Hamakua Coast: a forest already impacted by a 2013-2014 outbreak of the Koa looper, a native insect that defoliates entire koa trees during rare, unexplained outbreaks.
Governor David Ige, lead scientists, and policy makers engaged in the fight against Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, will gather for the first-ever summit on the disease at the State Capitol on

Wednesday, November 30, 2016.  The event is open to the public and is scheduled from

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Capitol Auditorium.  More information on this to follow.

Officer Baumgarner Named East Hawaii “Officer of the Month” for November

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Puna Patrol Officer Joshua Baumgarner on Thursday (November 17) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for November.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Officer Joshua Baumgarner.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Joshua Baumgarner.

Baumgarner, who just began solo patrol duty in April, was honored for saving the life of a woman who would have bled to death without his aid.

On September 23, Baumgarner was among the officers who responded to a home in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision to find a 29-year-old woman bleeding profusely after punching a glass window during a domestic dispute. The woman’s husband and young children were frantic at the scene, where the husband was unsuccessfully attempting to stem the bleeding.

Baumgarner quickly took action. He applied direct pressure to the woman’s affected artery, elevated her feet to concentrate remaining blood in her vital organs, and reassured her to prevent shock. He was successful in stopping the bleeding, and he continued to maintain constant pressure on the artery until Fire Department rescue personnel arrived on the scene about 8-10 minutes later. The woman was taken to the hospital and survived her injuries.

Sergeant Chris Correia, who nominated Baumbarner for the award, noted that the officer had training as a combat medic in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

“Officer Baumgarner’s background in the medical field, as well as his calm demeanor in providing and maintaining first aid treatment saved the life of a gravely injured person,” Correia wrote in nomination papers. “His decisive action in the saving of a life truly embodies the Hawaii Police Department’s Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Baumgarner is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

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

“Hawaii: Next 50 Contest” Offers New Prize

A new prize will allow students winners of the Hawaii: Next 50 Contest to interface with innovation professionals and navigate their ideas from conception to reality.

hawaii-next-50Sultan Ventures will provide one-on-one mentorship opportunities for the winners in each contest category as well as host an innovation boot camp for the top-24 scoring participants.

The 2017 contest focuses on using technology to solve problems in affordable housing, food sustainability, or economic industries. All students in grades 4 – 12 are eligible to submit their solutions now through January 31, 2017. In addition to the mentorship, winners will be honored at the Hawaii State Capitol, attend a luncheon with key legislators, and receive a monetary prize.

“This contest hinges on the premise that the next big, great idea to help our state can come from anyone,” said Representative Takashi Ohno. “These opportunities to hone their ideas into actual solutions are a way we can show kids that it’s possible for them to make a real-world impact now.”

The Hawaii: Next 50 Contest is inspired by former Governor George Ariyoshi’s book, Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years, and students will read the book before launching their own ideas for Hawaii’s future in an essay or multimedia creation. Free copies of the book can be requested online at www.HawaiiNext50.com.

The contest is a collaboration of the Hawaii State House of Representatives, aio Foundation, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and Sultan Ventures.

More information can be found online at www.HawaiiNext50.com or email HawaiiNext50@gmail.com.


Hawaii: Next 50 Contest

WHO:      Students enrolled in grades 4 – 12 are eligible to enter.

WHAT:     Students are asked to read Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years and respond to the question Looking ahead to the next 50 years, imagine how we can use current technology or future technology to:

  • Create more affordable housing
  • Achieve food sustainability
  • Promote new and innovative industries

Students are encouraged to get creative and find solutions using technology in one of the three topics. The technology utilized can exist currently or be an idea that might be possible in the future as long as the details are explained in the contest entry.

Submissions will be accepted in two categories: essay or multimedia (e.g. drawing, painting, other art piece, video, etc.)

Free copies of Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years are available by request at www.HawaiiNext50.com.

WHEN:    All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2017. Winners to be announced in March 2017.

WHY:   To challenge the up-and-coming generation to become stakeholders in shaping our future. Prizes include:

  • Floor presentation at the Hawaii State Capitol
  • Luncheon with state legislators
  • Two-hour mentorship program with Sultan Ventures
  • Monetary prize
  • Winning entry published online

The top-24 scoring entries will also be invited to an innovation boot camp hosted by Sultan Ventures.

2017 Pahoa Holiday Parade Information and Application

Pahoa Mainstreet Association would like to cordially invite you to join them in making this year’s Pāhoa Holiday Parade our best ever.

parade-pahoa-picInstructions for the parade and below is the application for the parade.  Please complete the application and return the form and the entry fee as soon as possible.  Please keep the instructions and rules page for reference.

We are also looking for event volunteers, goodies we can hand out to the keiki, and monetary donations that will help us purchase insurance & security.  With your kokua we can create an awesome community experience that we can all be truly proud of!

This year’s Parade Celebration will include:

  • Harry Kim, Mayor Elect
  • Nancy Kramer CPA, Grand Marshall
  • Ho’olaule’a at Pāhoa High and Intermediate School
  • Crafts & Food at Sacred Heart Church
  • Judging for Awards at First Hawaiian Bank
  • Free Santa Photos at Savio Realty
  • Pāhoa Merchant Specials + More

Please have the application completed and returned as soon as possible and no later than Monday,  November 30th, 2016.  Parade Entry Fee is $25.

If you wish to volunteer on parade day, donate goodies for the keiki hand-outs, or if you have any questions, please contact MSPA secretary, Henry Brazil @ 785-5395 or hgb3LLC@gmail.com.

We are seeking donations in-kind for prizes or if you wish to make a monetary donation, please make your check out to Mainstreet Pāhoa Association and mail it to Mainstreet Pāhoa Association PO Box 1189 Pāhoa, HI 96778.

Mahalo Nui Loa from Mainstreet Pāhoa Association!

pahoa-santa


  • Date and Time- Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9:30 am. SHARP!  Line-up begins promptly at 9 am. In the event of SEVERE rain, thunder, lightning, etc., the parade will be canceled and will not be rescheduled. Please try and be there at least 30 minutes earlier (8:45) so that your group can get organized.
  • Parade Route-The parade will begin at Pāhoa High School Parking Lot and end at Apaa Street.
  • Staging Area-Parade participants need to begin lining up near the beginning of the parade route by the Pāhoa  High School  They will be directed to their order in the Parade by volunteers who will use their discretion based on all of this year’s entrants.
  • Placement in the Parade-Entrants will be placed in order at the discretion of the Parade Director (Committee).  This decision will be based on type of entry, whether an animal is part of the entry, noise level, age of entrants and primarily safety.
  • Entrants-The Pāhoa  Holiday Parade is open to many different units including Color Guards, floats, marching units, emergency vehicles, equine or animal entries, car clubs, novelty units, commercial or business entries and political units.  We welcome all groups and individuals to participate as entrants so long as they conform to the Parade Instructions and Rules.  In the interest of presenting the finest entertainment value to the spectators, all groups are encouraged to enter decorated floats, music units and themed entries.
  • All parade entries must be in good taste and contribute entertainment value to the Holiday Parade theme, “Go Pāhoa ”   Participants should be dressed in uniform/costume or ride in a decorated vehicle, float or bicycle.
  • At check-in, you will be provided a number, please place your parade number in the left front windshield of the vehicle (or as close to the front left of your entry as possible) for proper identification at the judges stand.
  • All entries must keep moving and in the line of march at all times.  Units must not stop along the parade route at any time.  No driver or parade participant shall consume, possess or be under the influence of intoxicating or controlled substances during this event.
  • No “For Sale” signs on any vehicles.
  • Mainstreet Pāhoa Association will provide the only Santa in the Parade.
  • Candy Distribution-In the interest of safety, there will be absolutely NO CANDY THROWING from parade entries. However we encourage individuals in your entry to walk to the curb and distribute candy. This can really get the crowds excited.
  • Entries with Animals-You are responsible for all animals in the staging area and throughout the parade route.  Horses should be calm and comfortable in the excitement of a parade setting.  All animal entrants should have adequate drinking water provided for the animals and clean-up details.
  • Equine Safety-Unless involved with an entry including horses, all participants will refrain from entering the equine staging area.  The Parade Director will make every effort to space out the horse entries.  If you are placed after a horse entry, take care not to approach horses from behind, as that is a horse “strike zone”.  Do not crowd or push them forward, remember that they are animals not cars and need their space to feel comfortable. If you need to approach a horseback rider, the best approach is toward the shoulder, without making eye-contact with the horse.
  • All entries will be considered for Awards- Awards to be determined by Mainstreet Pāhoa  Association.
  • We reserve the right to restrict, content, signage and refuse access to the parade route for any unregistered, non-complying and/or inappropriate entry.  Unacceptable entries will be directed to leave the parade staging area.  Pre-registration required.

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2017 Closure Schedule Announced for Select Hawaii County Parks

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces its 2017 closure schedule for ‘Āhalanui Park, Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park, Kahalu‘u Beach Park and Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach. Monthly closures are necessary to maintain and repair high-use parks without exposing park patrons to potential hazards associated with large-scale maintenance work.

hot-pondsLocated in Puna, ‘Āhalanui Park will be closed between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, with the exception of the October closure, which will occur on the third Wednesday of that month. The closure dates are:

  • January 11
  • February 8
  • March 8
  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 14
  • July 12
  • August 9
  • September 13
  • October 18 (third Wednesday due to schools’ Fall Break)
  • November 8
  • December 13

Located in Puna, Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park will be closed on the third Wednesday of each month and reopened at 1 p.m. on the following day. Overnight camping permits will not be issued for the night before each closure date. The closure dates are:

  • January 18
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 17
  • June 21
  • July 19
  • August 16
  • September 20
  • October 18
  • November 15
  • December 20

Located in North Kona, Kahalu‘u Beach Park will be closed until 10 a.m. on the first or second Tuesday of each month. The closure dates are:

  • January 10
  • February 7
  • March 7
  • April 4
  • May 2
  • June 6
  • July 11
  • August 1
  • September 5
  • October 3
  • November 7
  • December 5

Located in South Kohala, Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach will be closed all day on the following dates:

  • January 11-12
  • February 8-9
  • March 8-9
  • April 12-13
  • May 9-11
  • June – No scheduled closures
  • July – No scheduled closures
  • August – No scheduled closures
  • September 12-14
  • October 11-12
  • November 8-9
  • December 13-14

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for its understanding and cooperation during these temporary closures.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or Jason.Armstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Hawaii President’s Statement on the Passing of Rep. Clift Tsuji

clift-tsuji“The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Hawaii is deeply saddened by the news of Rep. Clift Tsuji’s passing,” said Russell Arikawa, president of the Chamber.

“He was truly a public servant, and a long-time member of our Chamber. He served our country in the 442nd Infantry from 1959 to 1965, and our beloved Hawaii Island as State Representative since 2004,” Arikawa said.

Rep. Tsuji was a strong supporter of agriculture and economic diversity for our island and state and as a Chamber, we counted on him to support our island in the Legislature. Our hearts and prayers are with his family; his genuine, friendly spirit will truly be missed,” he added.

Public Hearing on Draft Safe Harbor Agreement for Kamehameha Schools Lands at Keauhou and Kilauea, Ka’u

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday November 16 to receive testimony on the request of Kamehameha Schools for a 50-year Incidental Take License (ITL) from the Board of Land and Natural Resources for a Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for a 32,280-acre property located near Volcano Village on the island of Hawai‘i.

Click for more information

Click for more information

The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on November 16, 2016 at the Volcano School of Art & Science, Keakealani Campus, 19-4024 Haunani Road, Volcano, HI 96785.

The safe harbor agreement is a voluntary agreement between parties that is intended to promote recovery of endangered species. It covers 8 wildlife and 25 plant species (“covered species”). The 50-year agreement promotes recovery of the Federal- and State-endangered Hawaiʻi Creeper (Loxops mana), Hawaiʻi ʻĀkepa (Loxops coccineus), ʻAkiapōlāʻau (Hemignathus wilsoni), ʻIʻiwi (Vestiaria coccinea), ʻIo or Hawaiian Hawk (Buteo solitarius), Nēnē or Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis), ʻAlalā or Hawaiian Crow (Corvus hawaiiensis), ʻŌpeʻapeʻa or Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) and twenty-five endangered plant species.

The SHA specifies the types of activities that would occur and that could result in incidental take. Overall, the plan will increase the likelihood of recovery of the covered species and result in a net environmental benefit through habitat improvement and resulting expanded species ranges and populations, and increased genetic diversity.

Baseline is a key concept for an SHA and is defined in the SHA as a quantified habitat area (in acres) or a specific number of listed individuals present on the Enrolled Property and that reflect how much habitat or how many individuals of a species are present at the start of the SHA.

SHA conservation measures are intended to increase the baseline. Although unlikely, the enrolled property can be returned to baseline upon termination of the agreement.

Copies of the draft safe harbor agreement are available for review at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Honolulu, 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 325. Copies will also be available at the public hearing.

The draft SHA can also be viewed at a link provided in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s October 23, 2016 issue of the Environmental Notice. http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/Archives/2010s/2016-10-23.pdf

Anyone planning to attend the hearing who requires auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter) please contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-0166.

If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to provide testimony, please send comments to the above address, attention Kate Cullison or send an email request to katherine.cullison@hawaii.gov. Comments should be received by December 22, 2016.

Hawaiian Telcom Unleashes 1 Gig Internet on Hawaii Island

Today Hawaiian Telcom announced that it has expanded availability of its ultra-fast 1 gigabit per second High-Speed Internet service to homes in Hawai‘i Island’s Puʻu Lani Ranch subdivision and the surrounding Puʻuanahulu area, using Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology. Hawaiian Telcom has been extending its broadband infrastructure on Hawaiʻi Island, an effort partially supported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Connect America Fund (CAF).

Initially launched in 2015, Hawaiian Telcom’s Fiber 1 Gig service is the fastest in Hawaiʻi and among the fastest in the nation. Today more than 125,000 homes and 5,600 businesses statewide are enabled for 1 gigabit per second service and Hawaiian Telcom continues to expand availability to new locations every month.

“As Hawaiʻi’s Technology Leader and our state’s only local service provider, Hawaiian Telcom is committed to increasing speeds and expanding broadband access statewide,” said Scott Barber, President and CEO. “Puʻu Lani Ranch is our first 1 gigabit per second deployment using CAF Phase II support and we’re excited about the increased educational and economic opportunities that are now open to this community with Hawaiʻi’s fastest internet.”

One gigabit per second, which is equal to 1,000 megabits per second, enables multiple connected devices to run bandwidth-intense applications like streaming video and online gaming simultaneously over a shared connection without sacrificing quality.

“Studies have shown that there are at least eight Internet-connected devices in the average U.S. household today and that number is continuing to rise,” said Jason Fujita, Vice President – Consumer Sales and Marketing. “All of these bandwidth-hungry devices are pulling on the same broadband connection. With Hawaiian Telcom’s Fiber 1 Gig, you can operate all of your connected devices simultaneously without interruption.”

Last year Hawaiian Telcom announced that it was awarded approximately $26 million in CAF Phase II support to deploy a minimum of 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabits per second upstream by the year 2020 to more than 11,000 unserved and underserved locations.

Click to check available services in your area.

Click to check available services in your area.

Since 2015, with CAF Phase I support of approximately $1.4 million, Hawaiian Telcom successfully deployed High-Speed Internet to more than 1,800 locations on Hawaiʻi Island. These locations are within areas that include Ainaloa, Aliʻi Kane, Fern Acres, Fern Forest, Glenwood, Hawaiian Acres, Kaiwiki and Miloliʻi. Interested residents should visit hawaiiantel.com/Internet and key in their address to learn which services and speed tiers are available or call Hawaiian Telcom’s consumer sales center at (808) 643-3456.

The FCC created CAF in 2011 by reforming its Universal Service Fund (USF), which consumers contribute to as a Federal Universal Service fee on their monthly telephone and wireless bills, in an effort to accelerate broadband deployment to the approximately 23 million Americans in rural populations that lack access.

Kona Historical Society to Host Online Membership Drive

Kona Historical Society is hosting its first-ever month-long online new membership drive via Facebook. Starting Nov. 10 and ending Dec. 9 on Kona Historical Society’s Facebook Page, the drive aims to recruit 100 new members by offering special membership rates, new membership levels and benefits, as well as special weekly challenges with prize drawings generously provided by Hawaii Island sponsors, such as the Kona Brewing Co., Body Glove Hawaii and Kohanaiki. The drive will also feature posts about the special resources Kona Historical Society protects and the services it offers.

kona-historical-society-facebookAs a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Kona Historical Society relies on the support of its membership to help fund the essential role it plays in collecting, preserving and sharing Kona’s and Hawaii’s history. Kona Historical Society members are part of large and growing ohana of people who appreciate and support the important roles that history, culture and the arts provide on our island and state. Members are the lifeblood of Kona Historical Society, and annual membership dues, which start at $35 for individuals, provide the organization with a major source of vital revenue to cover day-to-day needs and special projects.

Supporters of Kona Historical Society will be able to purchase membership by calling 808-323-3222 or going to store.konahistorical.org. Information about membership and the various levels is available at www.konahistorical.org/index.php/khs/membership. Be a part of Kona Historical Society’s Online Membership Drive at www.facebook.com/konahistoricalsociety.

Founded in 1976, Kona Historical Society is the only museum in West Hawaii with permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as a full docket of public programming. Over the past four decades, it has provided public space, free or deeply discounted school and other educational programs and lectures throughout the year, access to unique and significant Hawaii collections and artifacts, stewardship and financial care of two State- and National-registered historic sites and structures, and more than 10 acres of State Legacy Land reserves. Every year, Kona Historical Society serves thousands of people through its work, which gives a clear-eyed view of what Hawaii’s rich, complex and multiethnic community truly looks like and is.  Kona Historical Society has garnered dozens of awards and commendations for its museums, historic structures and public programs.