Ground Broken for $27.9 Million Mamalahoa Highway Bypass

Mayor Billy Kenoi joined County officials and members of the Kona community today in a blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, which will provide relief to motorists traveling in South Kona when it opens in 2016.

Ground was broken today for the $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass in South Kona.

Ground was broken today for the $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass in South Kona.

The bypass is located midway between the shoreline and Māmalahoa Highway. The bypass starts at the southern edge of Keauhou and runs approximately 3.5 miles to the bottom of Haleki‘i Street below Kealakekua’s Kona Scenic subdivision. The southern segment will extend the roadway another 2.2 miles from Kealakekua to a new signalized intersection with Māmalahoa Highway in Nāpo‘opo‘o.

Isemoto Contracting Co. will construct both the $14.8 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass and the $13.1 million Nāpo‘opo‘o Road/Māmalahoa Highway intersection. Both projects are scheduled for completion in 2016.

A large portion of the South Kona community works in either North Kona or South Kohala and commutes daily along Māmalahoa Highway. The two-lane bypass gives motorists an alternate route between North and South Kona. Opening this bypass was one of Mayor Kenoi’s priorities upon taking office in December 2008. The Mayor was personally involved in talks with Mauka Kona residents to ensure that this bypass helps meet the critical need for the transportation infrastructure in West Hawai‘i.

“The main thing is that people spend more time with their families at home and less time frustrated in traffic,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Our job is to alleviate and mitigate that congestion. It’s not about asphalt. It’s about connecting family and friends.”

The first segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened in 2009 under a temporary agreement with 1250 Oceanside Partners, the developer of Hōkūli‘a. Initially, the bypass was only open in one direction for limited hours. Even under those conditions, the alternate route alleviated traffic congestion and driver frustration. The bypass was later opened to allow for two-way traffic for longer hours.

Māmalahoa Highway Bypass Timeline

1960 – A Māmalahoa Relief Highway was first envisioned in “A Plan For Kona,” a document prepared with community input for the State Planning Office. The plan was transmitted to the Hawai‘i County Board of Supervisors, the predecessor of today’s Hawai‘i County Council.

1996 ­– In rezoning the area that would become Hōkūli‘a, County ordinances formalized the developer’s agreement with the community to complete the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass from Keauhou to Captain Cook.

1999 – The Environmental Impact Statement for the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass was completed. Developer 1250 Oceanside Partners broke ground on the Hōkūli‘a development, the first phase of which included the northern segment of the road.

2008 – The County proposed a number of improvements prior to the opening of the northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass. Improvements included work along Ali‘i Drive, along Haleki‘i Street, and on Māmalahoa Highway. These improvements allowed residents to benefit immediately from the northern segment of the bypass before the southern segment was completed.

March 2009 – Under a grant of easement in anticipation of dedicating the road to the County, the northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened to limited traffic – one lane southbound from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. on weekdays only. On March 10, the first day it was open, 650 vehicles took the drive from Keauhou to Kealakekua.

June 2010 – The Māmalahoa Highway Bypass between Keauhou and Haleki‘i Street opened to northbound and southbound traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

2012 – The northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass and the .8-mile portion of Haleki‘i Street makai of Muli Street was dedicated to the County.

January 2013 – The Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened daily, 24 hours a day. Restrictions on vehicle types and sizes were removed.

November 2013 – The Hawai‘i County Council passed a resolution regarding the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, renaming it Ali‘i Drive.

July 2014 – Ground was broken for the southern segment of Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, which will extend 2.2 miles from the Haleki‘i Street intersection to Māmalahoa Highway at Nāpo‘opo‘o. Roadway work will commence immediately. Work on the Māmalahoa Highway junction at Nāpo‘opo‘o is scheduled to begin in the fall.

2016 – The southern segment of Māmalahoa Highway Bypass is scheduled to open, completing Ali‘i Drive from Kailua to Nāpo‘opo‘o.

Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach Program

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund is pleased to announce that it will begin its Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach “MDKEO” program on Hawaiʻi Island this Fall.

HWF works with Imi Pono No Ka ‘Āina group from Kaʻū to float microplastic debris from the beach sand at Kamilo Point.  Photo by M Lamson/HWF.

Handpainted keiki output from the HWF workshop at the “GEMS” (Girls Exploring Math & Science) program in Keauhou last year. Photo by M Lamson/HWF

This program will bring two marine science mentors into 20 different elementary schools (K – 5th grade classrooms) to introduce topics like ocean circulation, marine ecology, and human impacts (like marine debris).  Mentors will work with receptive Hawaiʻi Island teachers to coordinate relevant student activities that meet the math and science benchmarks and “Common Core” standards for the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Education for each grade level.

HWF works with Imi Pono No Ka ‘Āina group from Kaʻū to float microplastic debris from the beach sand at Kamilo Point.  Photo by M Lamson/HWF.

HWF works with Imi Pono No Ka ‘Āina group from Kaʻū to float microplastic debris from the beach sand at Kamilo Point. Photo by M Lamson/HWF.

These in-class lectures will conclude with student presentations of potential solutions to reduce marine debris here in Hawaiʻi and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Basin.

The program will culminate with a family “Beach Cleanup Day” at local marine debris hubs like Kamilo Point (Kaʻū), Pololu (North Kohala), Kānekanaka Point (South Kohala), Cape Kumukahi (Puna), Kaipalaoa (Hilo), and Oʻoma (Kona).  This MDKEO program began with financial support from a HWF t-shirt fundraiser and will now be sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program.

“Microplastics” photograph given with permission by HWF volunteer Sean P. King.

“Microplastics” photograph given with permission by HWF volunteer Sean P. King.

For more info about this marine debris prevention program or to sign up a classroom, please contact Catherine at spina.HWF@gmail.com; and for more info about volunteering for our next Kaʻū coastal cleanup event, contact Megan at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com  or 808/769-7629. Find additional resources and details about HWF’s ongoing conservation projects online at www.wildhawaii.org.

Second Round of Public Informational Meetings Scheduled for Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The Hawaii Department of Transportation will be holding its second round of statewide public informational meetings to discuss the fiscally constrained draft of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for Fiscal Years 2015-2018 (+2). The STIP is a four-year plan that identifies state and county transportation projects to be funded, in part, with Federal Highway and Transit Funds.

Round a Bout

Fiscal constraint of the new STIP was done using technical information from management systems, project schedules and readiness information, and coordination with relevant public agencies and the public. Survey results gathered from the first round of public meetings will be shared, along with information about next steps.

Meetings for the island of Oahu are being scheduled by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization. For more information, please visit the OahuMPO website at: http://www.oahumpo.org/plans-and-programs/transportation-improvement-program-tip/

Upcoming public meetings on neighbor islands are scheduled as follows:

Pahoa, Hawaii
Monday, July 28, 2014, 6 PM
Pahoa Community Center
15-2910 Puna Road
Pahoa, Hawaii 96778

Hilo, Hawaii
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 6 PM
Hilo State Office Building Conference Rooms A, B, & C
75 Aupuni Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Kamuela, Hawaii
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6 PM
Waimea Civic Center, State Office Building Conference Room
67-5189 Kamamalu Street
Kamuela, Hawaii 96743

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 6 PM
Kealakehe Intermediate School Cafeteria
74-5062 Onipaa Street
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

 Kula, Maui
Monday, August 4, 2014, 6 PM
King Kekaulike High School Cafeteria
121 Kula Highway
Pukalani, Hawaii 96768

 Kihei, Maui
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 6 PM
Kihei Elementary School Cafeteria
250 E. Lipoa Street
Kihei, Hawaii 96753

Lahaina, Maui
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 6 PM
West Maui Senior Center Cafeteria
788 Pauoa Street
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761

 Kahului, Maui
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 6 PM
Maui District Office Conference Room
650 Palapala Drive
Kahului, Hawaii 96732

More information on the fiscally constrained DRAFT Fiscal Years 2015-2018 (+2) STIP, can be found at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/stip-fiscal-years-2015-2018-2-development-information/

Comments may also be submitted by August 15, 2014 through E-mail, mail, or FAX to:

E-mail Address: Hwy.Stip.Projects@hawaii.gov

Mailing Address: Highway Planning Branch

869 Punchbowl Street, Room 301

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Phone: (808) 587-6355

FAX: (808) 587-1787

To request language interpretation, an auxiliary aid or service (i.e., sign language interpreter, accessible parking, or materials in alternative format), contact Tracy Ho at (808) 587-1831 fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting date, if possible. TTY users may use TRS to contact HDOT at 808-587-2210.

More STIP information can also be found at the following web address:

http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/other/other-related-links/stip/general-stip-information/

Boaz Johnson Investigator Honored as Officer of the Month

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Detective Robert Almeida as “Officer of the Month” for June and Officer Eddie Cardines as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Thursday (July 24).

Hilo Exchange Club President Andy Iwashita presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Detective Robert Almeida.

Hilo Exchange Club President Andy Iwashita presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Detective Robert Almeida.

Almeida, who is assigned to the Area I Criminal Investigations Section, was honored for his work as lead investigator of a high-profile murder case. Cardines, a Puna Patrol officer, was honored for helping to save the life of a choking woman.

From the onset of Almeida’s investigation into the strangulation death of a woman whose body was found floating in the ocean off Kalapana, he was able to accurately evaluate the facts supporting his theory of the crime. While the case was still under active investigation, it received nationwide news coverage, much of which contained misinformation and false speculation. Ultimately, scientific and forensic analysis corroborated Almeida’s findings.

According to Lieutenant Gregory Esteban, Almeida’s “unwavering commitment” was instrumental in resolving the case, leading to a Grand Jury indictment.

“Detective Almeida received well-deserved praise from the victim’s family members, his peers, and superiors,” Esteban said. “He is an excellent example of a resourceful and proficient investigator who continues to enhance his skills through application.”

Hilo Exchange Club President Andy Iwashita presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Officer Eddie Cardines Jr.

Hilo Exchange Club President Andy Iwashita presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Eddie Cardines Jr.

On April 26, Officer Cardines was sent to a home in Mountain View, where a 23-year-old woman was choking and had stopped breathing. When Cardines arrived at the scene, the woman’s frantic mother said her daughter was dying. The victim was lying on her back with a weak pulse and turning blue.

Officer Cardines immediately went into action, taking steps to clear her airway and perform chest compressions. He continued his efforts for four or five minutes until Fire Department personnel arrived and rushed the woman to the hospital.

According to Sergeant BJ Duarte, Officer Cardines considered his response just part of a day’s work as a patrolman and sought no recognition.

“Officer Cardines’ actions and quick thinking on this call likely were key contributing factors in saving the victim’s life, assuring family members that every effort was being made to do so,” Duarte said. “He later learned that the victim was able to make a full recovery from this incident.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Detective Almeida and Officer Cardines are each eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

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

Pāhoa District Park Project Groundbreaking to Be Held July 31

A public groundbreaking ceremony for the Pāhoa District Park project will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 31, at the park.

Pahoa Park Rendering

Join Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Council members Greggor Ilagan and Zendo Kern, Parks Director Clayton Honma, and other dignitaries as they signify the start of the biggest recreational project in Hawai‘i County history. The $22.3 million, yearlong construction project will more than double the size of Pāhoa Park and deliver increased recreational opportunities to one of Hawai‘i Island’s fastest-growing communities.

Refreshments and light pupu will be served.

Contractor Nan, Inc. is scheduled to start clearing and grading the site on August 4. During the following 12 months, it will construct a covered play court building, two lighted baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, one of which will be lighted for nighttime use, a keiki playground, concession building, new comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking areas.

Totaling more than 29 acres, the improvements will complement the park’s existing 15 acres of developed recreational facilities that include a 50-meter swimming pool, community center, senior center, and skate park.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

HCA Taps Statewide Cupping Winners at 19th Annual Confab

The Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) celebrated its 19th Annual Conference and 6th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition July 18-20 at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay located in the world-famous Kona Coffee Belt.

Cupping

The HCA divided more than 82 entries assembled from across the state into two categories: Creative and Commercial. Qualifying for the Commercial division means that at least 1,000 lbs of the entered coffee is available for sale as of April 15.

In the Creative Division, four of the top 10 coffees hailed from Ka’u, including the top two: Ali’i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee earned a score of 88.7 out of a possible 100; followed by FL Farm of Wood Valley with a score of 88.5

In the Commercial Division, five of the top 10 coffees were proudly grown in Kona with Aloha Hills Kona Coffee and Maui Grown Coffee tying for the top spot with a score of 87.3. The second spot went Kona’s Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation earning a score of 87.0.

The HCA also presented awards to the highest scoring coffees entered from each of the eight growing districts from across the state. These include Hamakua, Hawai‘i, Ka’u, Kaua‘i, Kona, Maui, O‘ahu and Moloka‘i.

One Heart Farm of Hamakua was the finest coffee sampled from that verdant district, while Hilo Coffee Mill received top honors in the Hawai‘i district tallying a score of 87.2. Kauai Coffee Company captured the top spot for that origin and Kona Mountain Coffee was judged as the premier entry from Kona with a score of 87.4. The award for the highest scoring coffee from Maui was Keokea Farms with their organic entry of Typica, Kent and Caturra varietals with a score of 88.4.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel’, acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

Complete results can be found at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

“I am very impressed with the quality of the coffees coming out of all of the districts. It just keeps getting better”, said David Gridley of Maui, HCA’s Cupping Committee chair. “I applaud all the coffee farmers of Hawai‘i for their remarkable efforts”

Veteran cupper Warren Muller said “The competition was very close” noting an overall increase in scores among a broad spectrum of coffees. “But some just jumped off the table” referring to the outstanding quality of this year’s crop. He remarked that the upward trend signifies continuous improvement and that experimentation was evident in new varietals and processing methods.

The HCA also hosted a Reverse Trade Mission designed to expand markets in Canada. Inbound missionaries included buyers, brokers, industry media and professionals.

HCA members elected a new Board of Directors to include two new representatives in Big Island Coffee Roasters of Mountain View and Isla Custom Coffees of Pahala.

Outgoing two-term President Greg Stille of Maui was replaced by incoming President Jim Wayman of Hawaii Coffee Company in Honolulu.

The HCA Annual Conference was followed on Saturday by the inaugural Roast & Roots event hosting nearly 1,000 attendees. This new event featured notable local chefs participating in culinary demonstrations and competitions and included a People’s Choice coffee tasting won by Rusty’s Hawaiian 100% Ka’u Coffee of Pahala. Roast & Roots represents a partnership between the Hawaii Coffee Association, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i’s Department of Agriculture through its ‘Buy Local it Matters’ campaign.

Sunday’s activities included a bus tour of area farms and processing facilities.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers.  The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. This annual conference has continued to grow each year and has gained increased international attention.

For more information visit Hawaii Coffee Association’s website at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org.

Community Meetings Scheduled to Assist and Educate Kupuna From Becoming Victims of Crime

Mayor Billy Kenoi, the Hawaiʻi Police Department, Hawaiʻi County Office of Aging and Hawaiʻi County Mass Transit Agency, in partnership with  Department of Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, Community and Crime Prevention Branch, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affair, Office of the Securities Commissioner, Department of Health, Executive Office on Aging, Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP Hawaiʻi), Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division will hold four Kupuna Alert Partners (KAP) presentations to assist and educate our kupuna to curtail and prevent becoming victims of fraud, prescription drug misuse and crime.

HPDBadgeThe KAP program was initially formed as a State multi-agency group partnership to bring pertinent information on Medicare fraud prevention, securities fraud prevention and prescription drug misuse to the community. Additionally, the Hawaiʻi Police Department will provide information and tips on securing your residence to prevent burglaries and thefts.

“Because our kupuna are particularly vulnerable and oftentimes targeted as victims of property crimes, the Hawaiʻi Police Department has established partnerships with these State and County agencies in order to reach out and educate our kupuna about awareness and prevention,” said Police Chief Harry Kubojiri. “These KAP presentations are not only for our kupuna, but also for their family members and caregivers.”

Immediately following each 1-hour Kupuna Alert Partners presentation, the Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division will conduct a half-hour prescription drug take-back operation. Participants are encouraged to bring their unused or expired mediation for safe, anonymous disposal.

The following topics will be covered during the KAP presentations in Kona and Waimea on August 12 and in Hilo and Puna on August 13:

Medical Identity Theft and Medicare Fraud Prevention
Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse
Investor Fraud Prevention
Burglary Prevention Tips

The presentations will take place at the following times and locations:
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kona
West Hawai‘i Civic Center, County Council Room
10:30-11:30 a.m. (Medication Take-Back 11:30-12:00)

Waimea
Hawaiian Homes Hall
2:30-3:30 p.m. (Medication Take-Back 3:30-4:00)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hilo
Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale
10:00-11:00 a.m. Wednesday (Medication Take-Back 11:00-11:30)

Puna
Keaʻau Community Center
2:00-3:00 p.m. (Medication Take-Back 3:00-3:30)

The public is encouraged to attend.

Historical Kakaako Pumping Station to be Rehabilitated and Refurbished

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday announced the release of $1 million in capital improvement grant funds to the Pacific Gateway Center (PGC) to rehabilitate and refurbish the historical Kakaako Pumping Station into a community resource center.

The once historic Kakaako Pumping Station

The once historic Kakaako Pumping Station

Identified by the state Legislature, these funds will create a new facility that will focus on services for the elderly and specifically on inter-generational programs, in which Hawaii’s youth will be engaged to help older adults with workshops and services, such as teaching computer skills or assisting with lifelong learning opportunities.

“After 35 years of neglect, this administration is transforming Kakaako into a vibrant community with affordable housing options that Hawaii needs,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The Kakaako Pumping Station is the latest example of a facility that had fallen into disuse but now will be preserved and given the opportunity for a second life, providing area residents with a gathering place for kupuna and keiki as the community grows.”

PGC was founded in 1973 and has since developed a 40-year track record of delivering critical need-based services and designing innovative social enterprises to support the community. It offers a wide range of direct and support services to approximately 5,000 clients per year.

Senator Ruderman Hosts Meeting With Governor Abercrombie in Pahoa

Senator Russell Ruderman hosted a meeting with Governor Neil Abercrombie including about twenty-five Puna community leaders. This was the first time in several years that the Governor has visited Puna to specifically listen and address concerns of the district. The meeting was held at Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences school in Kea’au on Saturday, July 12th.

Ruderman Abercrombie

It was a productive meeting, with both the Governor’s staff and Puna leaders expressing great appreciation for the opportunity to meet directly with one another to address community concerns.

Governor Abercrombie intently listened as the issues of the Puna District, such as substandard subdivisions and the problems they are facing including roads and other necessary infrastructure; emergency access; geothermal; need for social & medical services; unsafe highways; safe access to medical marijuana; charter schools; and a variety of other concerns were presented by those in attendance. The governor acknowledged their concerns, asked questions, and agreed that Puna is in need of long-denied attention and resources.

One theme emerged repeatedly, as Senator Ruderman explained, “Puna is the state’s fastest-growing district, and includes some of the state’s poorest population areas, yet it has received less funding than other districts for several decades.”

Ruderman at Haas

One example of the problems this has caused is that Lower Puna has only one road for access and emergencies (Highway 130) and this overburdened highway is the most dangerous road in the state. As Community leader Jon Olson said “We’re dying out here, literally, on the unsafe state highway.”

The Governor stated, “This is the 21st Century, and we need to look at things anew.” The old assumptions about our subdivisions, roads, and what Puna residents deserve must be re-evaluated. The Governor agreed to focus more attention on our needs and will follow up with more communication.

Senator Ruderman coordinated this meeting to create a productive avenue of communication between the administration and the Puna community, which has been lacking in recent years. Senator Ruderman said “For this meeting, we put aside the most contentious issues and focused instead on all the other basic issues so desperately in need of attention in Puna. I am thankful for this renewed dialog between my community and the administration.”

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Announces 2014 Pualu Awards

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) recently recognized 11 individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual Installation and Membership Banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

“Meaning to “work together,” Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawai‘i for their dedication and hard work in the community,” explains Vivan Landrum, Chamber president/CEO. Winners are tapped in seven categories and chosen by an awards committee from nominations received by Chamber members and the general public.

The Community Education Award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning. There are three recipients of this award: Kei-Lin Cerf of Kealakehe High School’s Life Plan Youth Mentoring Program, West Hawaii Community Health Center and Jack’s Diving Locker.

Kei Lin

Kei Lin pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lifeplan pairs community volunteers with high school classrooms to learn about student’s individual values, dreams and goals. These mentors assist in turning these aspirations for students into action steps for success. Currently the program supports almost 650 students with the help of 32 volunteer mentors, 32 homeroom teachers and 42 youth leaders.  At the helm of this program is Kei-Lin Cerf, who, for the past four years, has taken this program to a new level through her innovation, dedication and hard work.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center Representative pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center was honored for its Patient Centered Health Care Home program that builds personal relationships through medical providers. These professionals bring education and coaching to high-risk patients with chronic diseases and significant health challenges. This program establishes an ongoing and long-lasting relationship that educates patients on how to self-manage their health care and improve outcomes.

Jack's Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Locker has been offering educational programs in ocean ecology, marine life conservation and environmental stewardship for kids and teens since 1987. Jack’s educational Junior Programs include a six-week Sea Camp for ages 8 – 14 and a Keiki Sea Camp for ages 6 – 8. These camps focus on marine life education and positively impact the lives of many children in the community as well as our ocean resources.

The Environmental Awareness Award taps an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. There are two recipients in this category: David Chai and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Chai has been active in pond and wetland environmental assessment and management plans since the late 1980s. His many projects include restoring water resources and monitoring marine life and water quality at Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Kaloko-Honokohau and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Parks, plus the shorelines of Makalawaena, Awake’e, Kohanaiki and Kiholo. In addition, one of his projects, a water feature at Ke`olu Golf Course, received one of only two EPA environmental awards in Hawai‘i, and was cited as an example of natural filtration technology and its potential application to keep all Hawai‘i streams, lakes and oceans free of harmful pollutants.

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawaii Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization that specializes in the conservation of native birds and the Hawaiian hoary bat. It is the first organization of its kind exclusively for native Hawaiian wildlife and is the state’s only organization providing professional wildlife response services exceeding the national standards, including state-of-the-art care and rehabilitation to all species of native birds and bats throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to wildlife treatment, it also provides rescue and response training and research assistance for wildlife response to seabird fallout and contaminant spills and avian diseases.

The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employee’s lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. The recipient is Interim Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS).

UH Hilo Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

UH Hilo Rep and Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

In an effort to ensure the island has a viable workforce, Gomes was proactive in forming creative and innovative credit and non-credit classes and professional development programs to meet new workforce needs. The CCECS program worked with community partners to ascertain the training needs, identify curriculum and forge delivery partnerships to address those needs.

The Lifetime Service Award taps an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by their personal and/or business achievements. This year’s recipients are Gretchen Lawson and the late Guy Toyama.

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lawson has dedicated the last 18-plus years of her life to empowering persons with disabilities to live life to the fullest. Under her leadership, the Arc of Kona moved from near bankruptcy to a thriving, financially secure, effective and well-respected organization that employs over 100 individuals, who are offered opportunities for self-improvement and training. Outside of the office, the Holualoa resident has been an avid advocate for the disabled by participating in government and community organizations, including the Hawaii State Rehabilitation Council, the UH College of Education Advisory Board, the State Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Board and the County of Hawai‘i Community Alliance Partners.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was honored by Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was dedicated to improving the quality of life in West Hawai‘i. During his short, 42 years of life, his leadership in entrepreneurship, business development, education and policy illustrated his unmatched passion for inspiring our community to be more self-reliant and sustainable. Mr. Toyama organized dozens of conferences and workshops at the NELHA Gateway Center, hosted environmental films for the Kona Earth Festival and helped organize community events. He also helped build relationships between the County of Hawai‘i and Japan and was instrumental in the establishment of a sister-city relationship between KKCC and the Hatsukaichi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hiroshima.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award is presented each year to that person or group who diligently works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawai‘i. Congratulations to Gerry Rott of the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon.

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Since its inception in 1997, the number of participants for the Waikoloa Lavaman has grown from 83 to over 1500. Rott’s ingenious job of branding the Lavaman Triathlon series—including the signature petroglyph logo, website, merchandising, vendor exhibits, celebrity participants, creative sponsorship opportunities and ever changing event additions, such as the Friday Night Fun Run and Lavakids—keeps the event fresh and appealing not only to repeat participants, but consistently draws in new athletes, volunteers and sponsors each year.

The Culture & Heritage Award is given to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multi-cultural heritage. This year’s recipient is Rick Gaffney.

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gaffney has undertaken leadership responsibility to promote island traditions and help preserve our cultural heritage by contributing both time and money to the preservation of Hawaii’s unique marine traditions and multi-cultural heritage. While the voyaging canoe Hokulea was in dry dock during preparation for its current worldwide voyage, Gaffney arranged for the donation of a $250,000 sailing catamaran to the Polynesian Voyaging Society to be used as a navigation and training platform. Upon the launch of Hokulea this year, he arranged for the transfer of that sailing catamaran to a local business here and supported the work of the Nakoa Foundation, to continue the training of Kona’s youth in the traditional use of Hawaiian sailing and fishing canoes.

Chamber Member of the Year recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of KKCC through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service. This year KKCC honors Sharon Sakai.

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawai’i Island native has been very active in KKCC for 15 years, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for several terms and South Kohala Vice President, and participating on the Marketing & Communications Committee, the Education Resource Group and the Economic Development Committee. She has worked tirelessly as a behind-the-scenes volunteer by staffing KKCC events and offering support and guidance. As KKCC President/CEO Landrum stated, “I couldn’t imagine the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce being where it is today without the support and guidance of Sharon Sakai. She exemplifies service above self and is truly deserving of this award.”

Who Took Pahoa’s Trash Cans?

I noticed the other day that trash was beginning to pile up in Pahoa around different spots of town.

Pahoa Town

Pahoa Town

Today as I was driving around… I noticed that the public garbage cans that were around town had been removed.

I asked Pahoa Businesswoman and County Council Candidate Madie Greene what happened to them and she said that the contract for the people who were taking care of them had expired.

Greene said that the garbage cans should be back this week with a new contract in place but she wasn’t sure which company is contracted for the services as of yet.

Also if you haven’t heard, Business Services Hawaii has now set up a recycling redemption center right across from the Pahoa Post Office.

County to Present Plans for Improving Hilo Municipal Golf

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation’s plans for improving the Hilo Municipal Golf Course will be the subject of a public presentation set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, in the Hawai‘i County Council Chambers located at 25 Aupuni Street in Hilo.

countylogo

The purpose of this meeting is to explain the project’s entire scope to interested parties and gather their input.

Proposed improvements include replacing the clubhouse facility, waterlines and both of the course restrooms, reconstructing four greens, and performing various maintenance and repair work throughout the site. Another key component involves bringing the Hilo Municipal Golf Course and adjacent driving range into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Design work has started, and the Department of Parks and Recreation expects to solicit construction bids early next year.

The golf course, restaurant and pro shop will continue operating throughout the anticipated construction period of 12 to 16 months. However, it’s anticipated that pedestrian, vehicle and golf cart traffic will be rerouted intermittently while construction work is occurring. Also, areas of play on the course will require temporary modifications to allow construction operations to occur safely and successfully.

The 18-hole Hilo Municipal Golf Course totals 165 acres, making it the largest developed recreational site in Hawai‘i County’s inventory. It’s located at 340 Haihai Street in Hilo and is open daily, except Christmas and New Year’s Day, from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The meeting place is accessible to individuals with disabilities. To request an Auxiliary Aid or other accommodation, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us by Wednesday, July 16. Individuals who are Limited English Proficient may also request an interpreter.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

BISAC Inviting Public to Its 50th Anniversary at Summer Jam 2014

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council is inviting the public to celebrate its 50th Anniversary at Summer Jam 2014. The free event will be at the Waiākea High Campus located on 155 W. Kawili Street in Hilo on July 26 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with the strongman competition starting at 7:00 am.

Summer Jam

The Summer Jam will feature a strongman contest as well as ‘ono food like roasted corn on the cob, Hawaiian Nachos from Aloha Lehua Cafe, wood fire pizza from @islandwoodfired, mochiko chicken from the Po‘okela Vocational Program, poke bowls from the Waiākea High School Athletic Booster Club, the Snow Factory and sweets from Hilo Bake Company. There will be crafts, a silent auction featuring an opportunity to bid on a car, free keiki activities including the Zoo Choo and an incredible entertainment line up featuring New Zealand pop sensations, J-Geeks.

Since 1964, the Big Island Substance Abuse Council has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

“We are so grateful to have been able to serve the community for so many years. And we are incredibly grateful to all our sponsors, especially our title sponsors KTA and the Olson Trust, for making the event possible,” said BISAC CEO Hannah Preston-Pita.

Money raised from food and craft booths and the silent auction will go to support BISAC’s Po‘okela Vocational Program, which is in the process of creating a food truck business as part of its training program.

For more information about Summer Jam 2014 go to summerjamhawaii.com.

Big Island Police Conducting DUI Checkpoints This Weekend

With the approach of the long Fourth of July weekend and the continuation of graduation parties, Hawaiʻi Island police will be on alert to help prevent tragedy on our roads.

HPDBadgeOfficers will conduct DUI checkpoints and roving patrols beginning Thursday, July 3, and continuing through Sunday, July 6. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a potential danger to every motorist, passenger and pedestrian the driver encounters. Already this year, Hawaiʻi Island police have made more than 600 DUI arrests, and seven people have died in traffic fatalities.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department wishes everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.

Road Closures Announced for 4th of July Festivities

HPDBadgeThe Hawaiʻi police Department would like to inform all motorists of the July 4th festivity road closures:

Bayfront Highway (Route 19) from Waianuenue Ave, to Pauahi St.
Closed 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 4. Alternate route is on Kamehameha Ave.

Lihiwai Place
Closed 2 a.m. July 4 to 10 a.m. July 5.

Kumu Street and Bishop Street
Closed 3 a.m. July 3 to 10 p.m. July 4.

The Road Closure information phone number is 961-2350.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this celebration.

Officer Nahale Recognized as “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Wyattlane Nahale as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (July 2) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Wyattlane Nahale

Officer Wyattlane Nahale

Nahale was honored for his diligence and hard work in organizing the 2014 Dare Day event on May 1 in Kailua-Kona.

Nahale, who is the School Resource Officer for Konawaena Middle school, reached out to other schools in the area to assist and teach the DARE curriculum. Approximately 1,000 students from schools in the Kona, Ka‘ū, South Kohala, North Kohala and Hāmākua Districts competed the program and attended the DARE Day celebration.

During the time Nahale organized and directed DARE Day, he continued to perform his assigned duties and effectively handled both, said Sergeant Floyd Richards.

Sergeant Richards described the DARE Day event as “a huge success,” noting that local celebrities, such as Augie “T” and Brittany Pawai participated. The event generated a front-page story in a local newspaper.

As “Officer of the Month,” Nahale is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.

Kailua Village 4th of July – Natural Vibrations, Parade and Fireworks

Kona Concert

4th of July at Waikoloa Beach Resort

Waikoloa Beach Resort invites the community to celebrate the pursuit of happiness, and their freedom to have fun, with ten free mini concerts on two stages, carnival food and games, the annual Rubber Duckie Race and musical sounds of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, capped off with spectacular fireworks over the Waikoloa Bowl.

Waikoloa FireworksNon-stop family entertainment starts at 11 a.m. with live music at Kings’ Shops, followed by the ever-popular Merriman’s Market Café Watermelon Eating contest and the Rubber Duckie Race to benefit United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii (UCPAH) at 3 p.m. Thousands of the bright yellow ducks take a “quack” at crossing the finish line first, with great prizes for winning waterfowl and 100% of the proceeds going to UCPAH. To adopt a duck, call Kings’ Shops office, at 886-8811.

At 12:30 p.m., Salsa Latinos fire up the music at Queens’ MarketPlace Coronation Pavilion, followed by the rocking rhythm of Girls Night Out, cruising into Tomi Isobe Blues Band, toe-tapping Friends of Bluegrass and Mystik Rhythmz, building up momentum for the big show in Waikoloa Bowl. Meanwhile, families from near and far enjoy free cotton candy, popcorn and more from 1-5 p.m. Throughout the shopping center, Balloon Sculpting, Photo Booth ($1), colorful Zoo Choo Train rides ($2) and carnival games (50 cents) treat the keiki to extra fun, in support of UCPAH.

Just after dark, a fireworks extravaganza lights up the sky at Waikoloa Bowl, and families are encouraged to come early to enjoy pre-show country music by the Michael Strand Band, and the full sound of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, with contemporary Hits and patriotic music leading into the rockets’ red glare. Gates open at 5 p.m., admission is free. Beach mats or chairs are welcome for open lawn seating (smoking, coolers and alcoholic beverages are not permitted). This is a non-smoking event.

Waikoloa Beach Resort would like to thank the Hawaii County Fire Department for co-sponsoring the community fireworks display. For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822.

July 4 Schedule of Events

Kings’ Shops

  • 11 a.m. Kahikina’s Nahenahe Ohana, traditional Hawaiian sounds
  • 12 p.m. Kris Fuchigami, contemporary Hawaiian, high energy ukulele
  • 1 p.m. Merriman’s Mediterranean Cafe, Watermelon Eating Contest
  • 1:30 p.m. Music by Laulima
  • 3 p.m. Rubber Duckie Race
  • 3:30 p.m. Dam Str8, contemporary Hawaiian, pop, rock classics and originals
  • 5 p.m. Duck Calling and Waddling Contests
  • 5:30 p.m. Award Ceremony

Queens’ MarketPlace, Coronation Pavilion

  • 12:30 p.m. Music by Salsa Latinos, name says it all
  • 1-5 p.m. Zoo Choo train rides, balloon sculpting, carnival games, photo booth, popcorn, and cotton candy. (Small fee for carnival games, photo booth and Zoo Choo rides to benefit United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii)
  • 2 p.m. Girls Nite Out, rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian, country
  • 3 p.m. Tomi Isobe Blues Band, blues to cruise by
  • 4 p.m. Friends of Bluegrass, Waikoloa’s best bluegrass
  • 5 p.m. Mystik Rhythmz, rock, reggae and blues
  • 8:30 p.m. Full Circle at the Coronation Pavilion, pop, rock and jazz to wind down the night

Waikoloa Bowl

  • 5 p.m. Gates open to Waikoloa Bowl
  • 5:30 p.m. The Michael Strand Band, country sounds to light up the night
  • 7 p.m. The U. S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, pop, rock & roll and patriotic music8 p.m. FIREWORKS SHOW

For more information visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Police Department to Hold Community Meeting In Kea’au

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, July 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Keaʻau Community Center, located at 16-192 Pili Mua Street (off Old Volcano Highway).

HPDBadgeThe purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in the Puna District.

This Puna event continues the district community meetings, which are rotated throughout the eight police districts on the Big Island. To aid police commanders in focusing on specific concerns, it is requested that participation be limited to persons who live or work in the Puna District.

Those interested in participating but unable to attend may call Captain Samuel Jelsma at 965-2716, stop by the Pāhoa police station, or e-mail their concerns or comments to copsysop@hawaiipolice.com.

Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament August 15-17

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites anglers to enter the 18th annual ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament to be held August 15 through August 17.

Pictured are some of last year’s tournament awards Photo Credit: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Pictured are some of last year’s tournament awards
Photo Credit: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Again this year will be separate divisions for keiki 5 to 12 years old, teens, men, women, kupuna 55 years and older, and ‘ohana. Entry fees are $20 per person for the keiki and senior divisions, $25 per person for the men’s and women’s divisions, and $20 per team for the ‘Ohana Division open to one adult and at least one keiki family member.

Entry forms must be turned in or postmarked by Friday, July 18. Forms are available at Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation swimming pools, gymnasiums and other facilities island-wide. They also can be picked up at S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown.

Tournament weigh-ins will be held from noon until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 17, at Honoka‘a Gymnasium. An awards ceremony will follow, with valuable prizes for at least the 10 heaviest fish in each of the six divisions. Entrants must be present to receive prizes. No alcohol allowed on premises.

For more information, please call Jayme Carvalho at 962-2103 or 936-4285.