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Big Island Police Looking for Witnesses to Start of Brush Fire that Continues to Burn

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating witnesses to the start of a brush fire (July 7) in Kamuela.

The fire started at approximately 11:58 a.m. in a dry grassy area of a residential property in the 64-700 block of Paeli Alanui Street. The fire spread quickly through the dry brush causing damage to an uninhabited structure and a vehicle and continues to burn.

There have been no reported injuries and the extent of the damages incurred by this fire have yet to be determined as Hawaiʻi Fire Department personnel continue their efforts to contain the fire.

This investigation is being continued by the Area II Criminal Investigation Section and police ask that anyone with any information about this incident to contact D etective Dominic Uyetake at 326-4646, extension 228, or via email at Dominic.Uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Callers who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

New Service for Cancer Patients at North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawai’i Community Hospital will host a support group for cancer patients from throughout Hawai’i Island, as well as their families and caregivers, starting on Thursday, July 20, 2017. The meeting will be held at the hospital from 2 to 4 pm; there is no charge and no RVSP is required.

The support group will offer educational presentations on a variety of topics of interest to cancer patients and their families, as well as informal discussion in a relaxed and supportive environment. The group will be facilitated by

Corey McCullough, licensed social worker at North Hawai’i Community Hospital, and Crissy Kuehn, RN, Cancer Center patient navigator, North Hawai’i Community Hospital.

“Being able to provide support to cancer patients and their families is extremely important,” said Dr. Gary Goldberg, Chief Medical Officer at North Hawai’i Community Hospital. “A support group provides a unique opportunity to discuss and share with others in similar circumstances. People often have complex questions – a support group offers time and resources to address those concerns and help reduce anxiety.”

Corey McCullough, LSW, is a licensed social worker at North Hawai’i Community Hospital and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has worked in the hospital, rehab, hospice and home health environments.

Crissy Kuehn, RN, ONN-CG, OCN, is the oncology nurse navigator at North Hawai’i Community Hospital’s Cancer Center. As a patient navigator, Crissy provides education and works as a liaison between the patient and various resources and members of the health care team.

The guest speaker on July 20 will be Angela Wolfenberger, RDN, LDN, Clinical Dietician at North Hawai’i Community Hospital, who will talk about healthy eating habits and will be available to answer any questions cancer patients or their caregivers may have.

For more information, please call 881-4417.

Hawaii Department of Water Supply Apologizes – Special Community Forum July 20th

“The current conditions are critical and we need to act now to prevent a potential catastrophe.”  ~ State Senator Josh Green

Due to the emergency nature of the current and prolonged water restrictions in North Kona and the greater Kona area, we have scheduled this special forum event during the normal West Hawaii Forum series summer break of July-August.   July 20, 2017 at 6pm West Hawaii Community Center

During this forum, we expect officials from DWS to explain the how and why of the current water emergency.

We will also explore, with the help of our community forum audience;

  1. why the agency was not better prepared for critical equipment failures and service disruptions,
  2. why it will take nearly an entire year to fully restore water service to the Kona area,
  3. the lessons learned from this experience and prevention plans to avoid potential future service disruptions and impaired operations.
  4. And we will also explore DWS power dependency and relationship to customer water supply services.

The seriousness of the current area water emergency cannot be emphasized enough.

The Forum’s featured speakers include:

Keith Okamoto, Manager and Chief Engineer of Department of Water Supply along with Kawika Uyehara, DWS Deputy, Kurt Inaba, Head of Engineering, and Clyde Young, DWS Lead Mechanical Engineer.

This forum will feature a new and improved audio listening experience. We look forward to seeing you there.

Continue reading

Residents in Black Sands Sub-Division Evacuated Because of Brush Fire

Situation Found at Scene: Brush fire on Iolani St. spreading both mauka and makai driven by intermittent trade gusts.  Initial visibility less than 10′, no radio or cell phone communication.

Cause: Unknown

Remarks: Fire located on vacant lots bordering structures on all sides. Engine 10 attacked head of fire on Iolani St., Engine 18, VE-10D and BT-8 defended mauka structures along Cook. St. and Engine 5 defended structures makai along Kapiolani St with at times zero visibility.  Near by residents evacuated.  Chopper 1 called in to assist in aerial survey and Tanker 1 and Tanker 10 for water supply.  Fire area extinguished and wet down with booster, forestry lines and foam.  5 structures threatened, no damage incurred.  4 night watch recall personnel called in to monitor and suppress hot spots and flare ups with T-10 and BT-10 throughout the night.

North Kona Water Restriction Update – One Well Fixed… Four to Go

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is a Water Restriction update for North Kona customers for Wednesday July 5 at 4 PM.

The Department of Water Supply (DWS) reports that Keahuolu Deepwell, which was out of service since last Thursday causing an emergency restriction limiting water usage to health and safety needs only, has now been repaired and is operational.

Due to your help, water service was maintained to all users during this emergency.

Because four (4) wells are still being repaired, you are reminded that the mandatory water restriction is still in effect for the North Kona area. This means everyone must continue to reduce their normal usage by 25 percent.

DWS will continue to monitor water use.

For more information including schedule of well repairs and ways to reduce water usage, please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org or call the Department of Water Supply. During normal business hours – 961-8060. After-hours and emergencies – 961-8790.

Information Public Meetings for Hawaii County’s FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is at the end of a multi-year effort to update and modernize the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for Hawai‘i County.  The FIRM has been finalized and will become effective on September 29, 2017.  The opportunities to appeal the maps were over last year.  The FIRM will help community officials better identify known flood risks and will be used for flood insurance, land use, development, and regulatory purposes.  Use of the FIRM is required for the County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes the County eligible for federal disaster aid in the event of a federally declared natural disaster.

The main purpose of these informational public meetings is:

To inform property owners, residents, and interested parties about the impacts the final Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) will have on flood insurance.  It will help them make an informed decision about flood insurance options and flood protection measures.  The details on the two informational public meetings are shown below:

  • Hilo – Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Aupuni Center Conference Room, 101 Pauahi St., Suite 1, Hilo, HI  96720, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Kona – Thursday, July 13, 2017, West Hawaii Civic Center, Bldg. G, 75-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy., Kailua Kona, HI  96740, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.,

Two short formal presentations will start at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The meetings will be an open house format with multiple stations

(The stations will discuss a structure’s particular flood zone, flood insurance, building criteria, etc.)

Personnel from FEMA, State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and Hawai‘i County will be available to answer questions, concerns, and provide information on flood insurance and property specific flood zone determinations.

The final FIRMs are currently available for viewing at the Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works Engineering offices at either 101 Pauahi St., Suite 7 in Hilo (808 961-8327) or 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy., Building D, 1st  floor of the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona (808 323-4850). They are also available for online viewing on the State of Hawai‘i’s Flood Hazard Assessment Tool (FHAT) at http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/fhat.  To learn how to view the preliminary maps using the FHAT, click on the tutorial link provided on the Hawai‘i NFIP Website http://dlnreng.hawaii.gov/nfip/.

Be advised that flood insurance rates will be based on the new flood data.  If a property is mapped into a high-risk area (an SFHA labeled with letters starting with “A” or “V”) on the new FIRM and the owner has a mortgage through a federally regulated or insured lender, flood insurance will be required when the FIRM becomes effective.  Property owners who obtain flood insurance before the FIRM becomes effective may be able to benefit from the NFIP’s “grandfathering” insurance rating process and pay a lower premium.

Everyone is at some risk from flooding, even those behind levees or in low or medium-risk areas. Therefore, FEMA encourages everyone to purchase flood insurance.  Property owners should contact their insurance agent or visit www.FloodSmart.gov for more information.

If you require special accommodations or auxiliary aid/ and or services to participate in this meeting, (i.e. Sign language interpreter, large print,) please call (808) 961-8321 by July 10, 2017.

Another Fire Happened!

Another fire was reported tonight:

Situation Found at Scene: Fully involved structure fire, 1300 sq.ft. single story single family dwelling. Fire spread to immediate brush/foilage in surrounding area, no other structures threatened.  Light winds 1-2 mph from north.

Cause: under investigation

Remarks: Fire involved 20×40 single story structure, and 25×20 attached carport. Fire was contained to structure of origin and mop-up/overhaul completed. Two occupants, referred to Red Cross for assistance.

Description of Property:  Wooden structure with corrugated metal roof on fee simple land.

Roadway Shoulder Improvement in Front of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation on Mamalahoa Highway

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Highways Division will be paving approximately 400 feet of the roadway shoulder on the southbound lane of Māmalahoa Hwy. beginning at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope Corporation and extending south towards Kaomoloa Rd. on Thursday, July 6, 2017 from 8:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather and construction conditions permitting.

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

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Hawaii Department of Water Supply Water Restriction Update

This is a Department of Water Supply Water Restriction update for Sunday, July 2, at 2:00 p.m.

The Department’s Keahuolū Deepwell is out of service and currently being repaired.

ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all irrigation activities.

Work to install the replacement pump and motor continues. Crews are working double shifts to complete repairs as soon as possible. Based on available information from the field, repairs are anticipated to be completed by Sunday, July 9.

DWS appreciates everyone’s assistance and continued cooperation. Due to your help, water service has been maintained to all users.

DWS will continue to monitor for unnecessary water use.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, a water tanker is located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street and a water spigot on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School.

Please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org for more information. To report wasteful water use, call the Department of Water Supply. During normal business hours – 961-8060. After-hours and emergencies – 961-8790.

The next update is scheduled for Monday, July 3, at 4:00 p.m.

Kona Historical Society Online Auction Starts Next Sunday

The Kona Historical Society Online Auction opens for bidding on Sunday, July 9 at 9:00am HST.

CLICK HERE to see what they have up for bid.

This is KHS’ biggest fundraiser of the year and they need your help! This is an exciting and fun way to help us, and at the same time have a chance to win fun and valuable items!

They will be adding more to our auction for you to preview as the auction date approaches. Check back often to see what’s new. Feel free to place a watch on your favorites, so that you’ll know as soon as bidding begins!

And don’t forget, your participation in this auction helps support a non-profit organization which provides educational experiences for our keiki; maintains two historic Hawai’i sites: the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum and the Kona Coffee Living History Farm and provides public history programs through exhibits, off-road tours, lectures, living history programs and historic preservation.

View All Auction Items

Update on Emergency Water Restriction Notice – Store Water in Event of Service Disruptions

This is an update for the Emergency Water Restriction notice. The Department’s Keahuolū Deepwell is out of service and currently being repaired. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all irrigation activities.

Repairs are currently under way. Troubleshooting aboveground equipment yesterday and last night indicated that the problem occurred underground. Contractor is currently on site and the extraction of pump and motor has begun today. There is a spare pump and motor for this well, which is currently on site. Based on this information, the repairs are anticipated to be completed within a week and a half.

More details on completion date will be available as further progress is made. Adjustments were made to the water system to provide customers a minimum level of water service; and thus far, there were no reports of loss of water service. The DWS appreciates everyone’s assistance and asks for everyone’s continued cooperation, because without it, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

As of this afternoon, DWS has suspended service to all temporary service and irrigation accounts. DWS will be actively restricting specific accounts due to exorbitant water use.

For the community’s use, potable water distribution stations are at the following locations:

  • Ane Keohokalole Hwy., between Kealakehe Parkway and KealakeheHigh School
  • Hina Lani between Anini Street and Manu Merle Street

For information, please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. You can also call the Department of Water Supply at 961-8060 or 961-8790 for more information or to report wasteful water use during normal business hours.

For after-hours emergencies, please call 961-8790.

Civil Defense Notice on Water Restrictions – Public Potable Water Distribution Stations Set Up

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is an Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona District customers for Thursday, June 29 at 4PM. The Department of Water Supply reports Keahuolu Well located in North Kona District is out of service.

Due to the loss of this pump and to avoid the loss of water pressure and service, the Department of Water Supply is issuing an immediate restriction on water use to health and safety needs of drinking, cooking, and sanitation ONLY.  North Kona customers in the area from Keauhou to Keahole and  Honalo to Makalei must cease all other water use including all irrigation and washing of vehicles and boats.    

Conserve water by flushing toilets less often and taking shorter showers.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water (5-10 gallons) for basic household needs, such as flushing toilets, hygiene and consumption in the event of service disruption.

Until further notice, the Department of Water Supply is suspending temporary service accounts and irrigation accounts in North Kona.

Department of Water Supply will be monitoring water usage and wasteful water use will be subject to further water restrictions and possible water shut off.

In order to help meet general customer demand, Water Supply has established Public Potable Water Distribution Stations at the following locations:

  • Ane Keohokalole Hwy. between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School
  • Hina Lani between Anini St. and Manu Mele St.

 

Community Forum on Kona Water Restrictions – One Year to Fully Restore Water Service

Due to the emergency nature of the current and prolonged water restrictions in North Kona and the greater Kona area, we have scheduled this special forum event during the normal West Hawaii Forum series summer break of July-August.

During this forum, we expect officials from DWS to explain the how and why of the current water emergency.

We will also explore, with the help of our community forum audience;

  1. why the agency was not better prepared for critical equipment failures and service disruptions,
  2. why it will take nearly an entire year to fully restore water service to the Kona area,
  3. the lessons learned from this experience and prevention plans to avoid potential future service disruptions and impaired operations.
  4. And we will also explore DWS power dependency and relationship to customer water supply services.

The seriousness of the current area water emergency cannot be emphasized enough.

The Forum’s featured speakers include:

  • Keith Okaomoto, Manager and Chief Engineer of Department of Water Supply

Additional forum presenters will be announced in the coming days.

This forum will feature a new and improved audio listening experience. We look forward to seeing you there.

WEST HAWAII FORUM DATE: Thursday, July 20th, 2017

TIME & PLACE: 6 – 8 PM, WHCC

EVENT DETAILS:  http://www.westhawaiiforum.org/event/department-of-water-supply-apologizes-questions-remain/

Emergency Water Restriction Notice for North Kona – Cease ALL Irrigation Activities

This is an Emergency Water Restriction notice for North Kona. The Department’s Keahuolū Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking and sanitary purposes) only. Cease all irrigation activities.

Cause of failure is being assessed to determine what needs to be done and how long it will take. Adjustments to the water system have been made to provide customers a minimum level of water service. Without everyone’s cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

DWS will be suspending service to all temporary service and irrigation accounts as well as actively restricting specific accounts due to exorbitant water use.

Report any observed wasteful use of water to the DWS at 961-8060 or 961-8790.

For information, please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. You can also call the Department of Water Supply at 961-8060 for more information or to report wasteful water use during normal business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For after-hours emergencies, please call 961-8790.

DLNR Issues Notice of Alleged Violations to Simon Valej of Hang Loose Boat Tours

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued a Notice of Alleged Violations to Simon Valej of Hang Loose Boat Tours for Alleged Unauthorized Alteration of Historic Properties and Unauthorized Land Use Within the Conservation District Located at Punalu‘u Wharf, Ka‘u, Hawai‘i.

A site inspection conducted on June 26, 2017, revealed remnants of the historic Punalu‘u Wharf have been impacted allegedly with heavy equipment, and significant ground disturbance has occurred with the State Land Use Conservation District.

State of Hawai‘i historic preservation laws state that it is a civil and administrative violation for any person to take, appropriate, excavate, injure, destroy, or alter any historic property or burial site during the course of land development or land alteration activities, without obtaining the required approvals; and State of Hawai‘i Administrative Rules for land use(s) within the State Land Use Conservation District state that no land use (s) shall be conducted in a Conservation District unless a permit or approval is first obtained from the DLNR or the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR). It is alleged that Mr. Valej failed to obtain any such approvals from the State.

For historic preservation violations, the statute states: Any person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $10,000 for each separate violation. If the violator directly or indirectly has caused the loss of, or damage to, any historic property or burial site, the violator shall be fined an additional amount determined by the court or an administrative adjudicative authority to be equivalent to the value of the lost or damaged historic property or burial site. Each day of continued violation of this provision shall constitute a distinct and separate violation for which the violator may be punished. Equipment used by a violator for the taking, appropriation, excavation, injury, destruction, or alteration of any historic property or burial site, shall be subject to seizure and disposition by the State without compensation to its owner or owners.

For violations of Land Use Conservation District administrative rules: the BLNR may subject individuals to fines of up to $15,000.00 per violation in addition to administrative costs. If activity continues after written or verbal notice from the DLNR, willful violation may incur an additional fine of up to $15,000.00 per day per violation for each day in which the violation persists.

In the Notice of Alleged Violations sent to Mr. Valej, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case writes, “This notice is to inform you that the alleged alteration and destruction of historic properties, and permanent change in the land area within the Conservation District created by the land use was not reviewed nor authorized by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The matter will be scheduled for a decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources at a time and date to be announced.”

DLNR is working with Hawai‘i County to further investigate allegations that the company left two piles of dirt on the shore after trying to excavate land for a launch. It is also attempting to work with the land owner on mitigation measures with respect to potential impacts in the ocean.

Hang Loose Boat Tours has a valid commercial use permit (CUP) from the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR). Its access permit from the private land owner was revoked, so unless the company can show it has another access point, which is required for the commercial use permit, DOBOR could ask the Land Board to revoke it.

Public Access to Pepeekeo Point Shortline Ending Soon

For several years, a temporary arrangement between Hilo Project, LLC and the County of Hawaii has allowed people to safely walk to the Pepeekeo Point Shoreline using the landowners’ property.

The owners have tried, without success, to work out boundary and setback issues through three successive County planning directors and their staffs.  Strong local support has existed for years for the County to permanently receive the safe access route offered by the owners.  The project and temporary access were determined to be safe from erosion on this old sugar mill industrial site.  Nevertheless, the County has taken years too long without securing the safe access for the community.  Landowners regret that they must now modify their project and people will not be able to safely walk to the shoreline anymore.

Effective July 10, 2017, the temporary access used to reach the ocean will be permanently closed.  The owners intend to post a sign showing the location of the existing legal access, but caution that the legal access may be difficult to use and does not reach the walkable shoreline.

Community Talk – “How to Live with a Life-Limiting Illness”

Kupu Care, a Community-Based Palliative Care program offered exclusively in East Hawai‘i by Hospice of Hilo, is inviting the public to join them for their free community talk titled, “How to Live with a Life-Limiting Illness” on Wednesday, July 5, from 9:00am-10:30am at the organization’s Community Building located at 1011 Waiānuenue Avenue, Hilo.

Last month’s presentation on Living with a life-limiting illness.

This month’s presentation explores the medical specialty called palliative care, part of a growing nationwide movement to bring a greater quality of life to those challenged with a serious illness.

“When someone we love is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, the worst thing we can imagine is that he or she might die,” said presenter Lani Weigert.  “The sobering fact is that there are worse things than having someone you love die, but our tendency as a society is to deny the reality of death.  That unwillingness by mainstream culture to grapple with the fundamental fact of morality keeps us from knowing what to expect and what is possible when the inevitable happens.”

Attendees will learn the natural progression of the disease process and the eight activities for basic physical independence, as well as get the health support they need to prepare for dealing with a life-limiting diagnosis.

“Most people can’t imagine anything worse than having the person you love die,” said Weigert.  “But watching your loved one die badly is even harder, and worse still is realizing later that much of his or her suffering could have been prevented.”

Those interested in attending the talk are asked to RSVP no later than Monday, July 3rd by contacting Lani Weigert at (808) 934-2913 or online at www.kupucare.org (events).

Duane Rapoza Jr. Selected East Hawaii Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month

Officer Duane Rapoza, Jr. (4-year police veteran) has been selected as the East Hawaiʻi Aloha Exchange Club’s June 2017 Officer of the Month. Officer Rapoza was selected for singlehandedly locating and arresting two individuals in high profile cases, the most recent being a person who had fled the scene of a fatal traffic collision, the other being a highly elusive car thief in a brand new stolen vehicle.

Officer Duane Rapoza, Jr.

On (May 17) at around 9:00 p.m. Officer Rapoza and other officers responded to a two-vehicle crash on Highway 130 near Pōhaku Drive, one vehicle was reported to be fully engulfed in flames. Upon Officer Rapoza’s arrival he confirmed it was a fatal traffic crash with a 1990 Toyota Pickup laying on its side, and that the driver of the responsible 2003 Mazda sedan had been observed walking away and lea ving the area.

Officer Rapoza conducted witness interviews, and then advised other officers of his intent to make checks for the registered owner of the vehicle. Officer Rapoza proceeded to the home of the registered owner and successfully located the 26-year-old male, apprehending him before any other officer’s arrival.

On (January 21) at around noon Officer Rapoza was dispatched to a suspicious vehicle report on Amaumau Road in Volcano. Arriving in the area and while conducting checks, he was flagged down by a resident who related there was suspicious activity at a vacant property located up the road. Officer Rapoza drove to the entrance to the property and discretely parked his vehicle at the beginning of the driveway electing to proceed solo on foot through the thick, overgrown foliage. Upon walking up the driveway, Officer Rapoza observed a new white Subaru WRX sedan within the carport of the home and a male and female loading items into the trunk of the vehicle.

As the two individuals become aware of his presence, they immediately dove into the vehicle and attempted to flee, reversing rapidly out of the carport but losing control crashing into some bushes. The occupants then bolted off on foot into a thick, grassy field toward some bushes, Officer Rapoza immediately chased after them and caught the male on the uneven, grassy terrain, after a short struggle he was able to safely apprehend him. The female was able to get away.

As a result of Officer Rapoza’s actions the stolen 2017 Subaru (taken from a car dealership in Kona earlier that week) was recovered, Officer Rapoza additionally recovered a stolen motorcycle, and parts from another stolen Subaru which were discovered in the carport of the vacant residence.

Through his continued actions, Officer Rapoza exemplifies the ʻPolice Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork and Community Satisfaction.

Hawaii Community Correctional Center – Keanu Krause NOT Mistakenly Released

The Hawaii Community Correctional Center did not mistakenly release Keanu Krause as reported.

Keanu Krause

The Third Circuit Court did not issue orders pertaining to bail or any related paperwork authorizing the continued detention of Keanu Krause at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC).  The District Court dismissed his cases and ordered his release. HCCC followed through with the order and released him today at approximately 11 a.m.

Krause is currently once again in Hawaii Police custody and was transported back to HCCC.

EPA Requires County of Hawaii to Close Large Cesspools – Reaches Agreement with Aloha Island Mart

Agency also reaches agreement with Aloha Island Mart in Captain Cook over LCC violation

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the County of Hawaii to close seven large capacity cesspools (LCCs) that serve the Pahala and Naalehu communities. The County will replace the cesspools with wastewater treatment systems approved by the Hawaii Department of Health.

In a separate action, EPA reached an agreement with Aloha Petroleum, Ltd. requiring the company to pay a civil penalty of $57,500 for its operation of an LCC at its Aloha Island Mart convenience store and gas station in Captain Cook on the Big Island. EPA found that Aloha Island Mart operated an illegal LCC until 2014. Aloha Petroleum has since closed the non-compliant cesspool and replaced it with an approved wastewater system.

Click to read the consent agreement

An LCC is a cesspool that serves multiple residential dwellings or a commercial facility with the capacity to serve 20 or more people per day. Cesspools collect and discharge waterborne pollutants like untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. LCCs were banned under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in April 2005.

The agreement with the County of Hawaii requires the closure of two LCCs serving the Pahala community, three LCCs serving the Naalehu community, and two LCCs serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments. Combined, the seven cesspools serve about 280 households.

“EPA and the County of Hawaii are taking important steps to close these banned cesspools and replace them with modern wastewater treatment systems,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These actions will protect Hawaii’s drinking water and coastal resources, as we seek to modernize Big Island water infrastructure.”

In the Pahala and Naalehu communities, the County has developed closure and replacement plans for the cesspools. Newly-constructed secondary wastewater treatment facilities and updated collection systems will come online in 2021 for Pahala and in 2022 for Naalehu. Cesspools serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments will be closed by September 2018 and replaced with septic systems. The agreement also includes specific reporting requirements and allows for stipulated penalties should the county fail to meet agreed-upon deadlines.

Construction of the new treatment and disposal facilities will be financed in part with federal grants and low-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program. Under the agreement, an additional 95 properties in the Pahala and Naalehu communities not currently served by the LCCs will also be connected to the new county sewer systems.

Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than in any other state, despite the fact that 95 percent of all drinking water in Hawaii comes from groundwater sources. over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed state-wide, many through voluntary compliance.

For more information on this specific agreement visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/hawaii-cesspools-administrative-orders#hawaii

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large capacity cesspool, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii