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Navy Attending Merrie Monarch Festival, Will Join in Royal Parade

The U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will march and perform in the 54th annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on April 22. Capt. James Jenks, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii, will also attend the festivities.

HILO, Hawaii (April 26, 2014) Under the direction of Lt. Patrick K. Sweeten, the Pacific Fleet Band marches in the 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival Parade. The parade is the culmination of a week-long festival featuring an internationally acclaimed hula competition and a grand parade through the heart of Hilo. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 2nd Class Andrea Sematoske/Released)

Capt. Jenks will attend the Hula Kahiko competition on Friday, April 21. He will also attend the Group Hula ʻAuana & Awards and participate with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.

The Navy recognizes that the Merrie Monarch Festival honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. King Kalākaua negotiated a treaty with the United States that led to the Navy’s presence at Pearl Harbor.

“We appreciate King David Kalākaua’s commitment and legacy,” Jenks said. “King Kalākaua supported the Navy and provided the opportunity to establish a coaling station at Pearl Harbor more than a century ago. He was a big supporter of education, which is something we all value today; especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

Members of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band have been on Hawaii Island this week, working with local school bands, reinforcing STEM education and providing community outreach.

Department of Health and University of Hawaii at Hilo Notify Students and Staff of TB Exposure at Hilo Campus

Clinic to be held on campus in April

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and University of Hawaii at Hilo are notifying approximately 120 students and staff members of their recent possible exposure to a person with active tuberculosis (TB) at the Hilo campus. All students and staff will be receiving a notice describing the situation and whether testing is recommended. A clinic for TB testing will be held on campus this month and DOH will be testing only those persons with regular close contact to the patient.

“The University of Hawaii Hilo campus activities and all classes can be held as scheduled with no safety concerns related to the past possible exposure,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “We don’t expect to find more individuals with infectious TB disease, but we hope to identify individuals who may have had recent exposure, are not contagious, and could benefit from preventative medication.”

“Tuberculosis usually requires many hours of close indoor person-to-person contact to spread it to others,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacNeill, chief of the TB Control Branch. “Most of the students and staff are not at risk, and our investigation to date has found no related active TB cases and no spread of the disease at the university or in the community.”

DOH conducted an extensive investigation and evaluation of potential contacts and possible exposure immediately after being notified of the active TB case. The individual is receiving treatment and is no longer infectious. Further Information on the individual and their case is confidential and protected by law.

TB is a disease that is commonly seen in the lungs and can only be spread from person-to- person through the air. When a person with active TB disease in the lung or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings, tiny drops containing M. tuberculosis may be spread into the air. If another person inhales these drops there is a chance that they will become infected with TB.  Two forms of TB exist, both of which are treatable and curable:

  1. Latent TB infection – when a person has TB bacteria in their body but the body’s immune system is protecting them and they are not sick. Someone with latent TB infection cannot spread the infection to other people.
  2. Active TB disease – when a person becomes sick with TB because their immune system can no longer protect them. It usually takes many months or years from having infection to developing the disease and most people (90 percent) will never become ill. Someone with active TB disease may be able to spread the disease to other people.

For more information on tuberculosis, please call the State of Hawaii Tuberculosis Control Program at 832-5731 or visit the Department of Health website at www.hawaii.gov/health/tb.

Hilo Woman Arrested for Theft of School’s Booster Club Money

Big Island police have arrested a 42-year-old Hilo woman this afternoon (April 11) in connection with the theft of money from a public school booster club. Investigators arrested JoAnn Maldonado just after 2:30 p.m. today for second degree theft and false reporting to law enforcement authorities.

JoAnn Maldonado

Yesterday (April 10), Maldonado reported to South Hilo Patrol officers that an unknown suspect entered her Waiākea Uka residence and removed, among other personal belongings, in excess of $10,000 cash which belonged to the Waiākea Intermediate School Ukulele Band Booster Club. Subsequent investigations determined that Maldonado, who is the club’s Vice President, took the money for herself, staged the burglary and made the fictitious report to police about a break-in.

Maldonado is being held at the Hilo cellblock while detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continue this investigation.

Police ask anyone who may have information about this investigation to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Tuckloy Aurello at 961-2385 or via email at Tuckloy.aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

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

Hilo High Students Win Championship

Hilo High School Sophomores Emma Laliberte and Bryn Wilcox took first place at the Hawaii State Forensic Championships held last Saturday on Oahu.

Emma Laliberte and Bryn Wilcox

Organized by the Hawaii Speech League, this years championship tournament hosted eighteen schools competing in sixteen speech and debate events over a three day period.  Hilo High School was the only public high school from the neighbor islands to attend the event held at Kamehameha and Punahou Schools on Oahu.

“We worked hard and it paid off,” said Bryn Wilcox.  “I can’t believe we’re champions!” said Emma Laliberte.  After judges announced their win the team received a standing ovation.  On the flight home passengers cheered when the Hawaiian Airline pilot announced their victory on the loudspeaker.

Debate Coach and Emma’s father, Greg Laliberte, sees the win as an opportunity to attract more students to the debate club at Hilo High.  He said, “we have a lot of talent at Hilo High. We are going to build on this momentum.” Interested students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to contact Coach Greg at  Hilospeechanddebate@gmail.com to get involved.

Aerial Show Coming to Hilo for First Time Ever

For the first time, an aerial show is coming to Hilo town! “Take Flight: An Evening of Aerial” will show for one-night only at the historic Hilo Palace Theater on Friday, May 12. Produced by Mirabilia Aerial Co. and Puna Aerialists, the 90-minute show features 10 artists performing 15 different acts on aerial silks, lyra, rope, hammock, and pole.
The show spotlights an international lineup with artists from Columbia, Germany, Italy and Sweden, as well as several Big Island-born aerialists. While the Palace Theater has featured singular aerial acts at various events in the past, never before has it housed an aerial-only show.

“Our aerial group has been dreaming of doing a show at the Palace Theater for over four years, and we’re very excited it’s finally happening,” says show producer Zoe Eisenberg, who is co-producing the event alongside Bella O’Toole, an aerial instructor who teaches aerial classes twice a week at Pacific Gymnastics’ facility in Hilo.

This is not the first show put on by Eisenberg and O’Toole. The pair, who will appear in a duo lyra act, produced a 2015 show at Kalani Retreat Center in Kalapana.

“We encourage all our artists to choreograph their own routines, which inspires more creativity and diversity in the show,” explains O’Toole, founder of Mirabilia Aerial Co. Acts will range in emotion from dramatic to soulful and even comedic.

The show is being sponsored by Hawaii’s Volcano Circus. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at https://takeflightaerial.eventbrite.com/ now, or at the Hilo Palace Box Office beginning April 21st.

More information can be found at the show’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1823075377718360/

For information on aerial classes in Hilo, visit bellaotoole.com.

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Hilo Girl Missing Since February

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Hilo girl, who was reported missing.

Kylin Bohol was last seen in Hilo on February 27, 2017.

She is described as part Hawaiian, 5-foot-1, 100 pounds with black hair, brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing gray-colored sweatpants and a maroon-colored shirt while carrying a rainbow-colored backpack.

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

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

Alchemy of Aloha: A New Play Showcase

Two original theater performances centered around Hawaii Island’s people and their stories are set to debut in Downtown Hilo during Aloha First Fridays, this Friday, April 7 at 7pm at East Hawaii Cultural Center. The event is open to all ages and admission is free.

Alchemy of Aloha is produced under the direction of Seattle-based The New Alchemists, in partnership with Waiakea High School and Full Life Hawaii. The goal of the community theater project is to uplift local voices and showcase the unique stories of the island’s diverse communities.

Performances are inspired by Full Life participant Jennifer Poblano’s published short story, ‘FUZZY LAND,’ and Waiakea High School’s recent production of an original script dealing with adolescent LGBTQ identity titled ‘FriENDship’ by Zoi Nakamura.

Alchemy of Aloha is directed by Lily Raabe, with original music by Ahmed Alabaca, and production support from Hilo native Brandon Estrella. Custom performance masks crafted by local artist Kathleen Kam.

Hilo Sewage Spill Cleaned Up – Beaches and Parks Now Open

This is a Civil Defense sewage spill information update for Wednesday April 5 at 3 PM.

The Department of Environmental Management reports that water quality levels in the spill area have returned to normal. The Department of Health confirmed that all Hilo Bayfront area beach parks can now be opened. The County is mobilizing to open up the area at this time.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding throughout this incident. Have a safe day. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Costco Coming to East Hawaii

Costco has announced plans to open on the East side of the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018.  Their current plans are to renovate and expand at the former Safeway located at Prince Kuhio Plaza.Representative Ian Kirkland stated, East Hawaii residents have been longing for a Costco and are “tired of making the drive over from the Hilo side of the island for a simple hot dog or pizza combo special.”

Costco plans to open 32 warehouses in fiscal 2018 — a record expansion pace for the retailer. By comparison, it added 23 locations last year and its highest new warehouse count over the last decade was the 31 stores it opened in 2007.

Safeway had no comment on this story and has rebuilt another store within a mile of this location.

New warehouse launches provide a quick boost to membership levels and revenue growth. But the real impact isn’t felt until the stores mature into their tenth year and beyond. Costco’s newest locations that were opened in the last three years, for example, have averaged $104 million of sales during their freshman years. But that number steadily climbs toward $178 million per year for the Costco warehouses that have been around for over a decade.

Plans for a Maui and Kauai Costco are being discussed but nothing has been confirmed as of this post.  The grand opening date is scheduled for April 1st, 2018 according to developer Lirpa Sloof.

Hawaii Island Rotarians and Weinberg Work Day at YWCA

The YWCA of Hawaii Island was again the recipient of the labor of the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay as part of its Weinberg Friends Project. The labor earned a $10,000 grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to aid survivors of sex assault.

David Herd and Paula Uusitalo painting lot lines.

More than twenty-five Rotarians perked up the YWCA of Hawaii Island Ululani campus February 26, 2017.  They cleaned, gardened, painted inside and out, scrubbed toys, power-washed exterior areas, and removed debris at 145 Ululani Street, which houses the YWCA preschool. “They put in a hundred people hours of work and everything looks great,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA Hawaii Island.

Rotary Day president Kevin Hopkins

The Weinberg grant was awarded to the Big Island Coalition Against Physical and Sexual Assault (BICAPSA). BICAPSA will use the money to provide nursing assessments to children reported to be victims of child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, regardless of their ability to pay. “We are so pleased to partner with BICAPSA as we serve survivors of sex assault.  We expect over 300 abused children could need these services this year,” McGilvray said.

Sandy and Selina Custodio

As the YWCA Hawaii Island has been a recipient of Rotary Club of Hilo Bay’s Weinberg projects before, it was quickly able to respond to the Club’s request for a proposal.  “The end result proved the value of a bunch of strong business and community leaders working together on a service project,” said Kevin Hopkins, president of the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay. He invited non-profit agencies to go to www.hilobayrotary.com and learn more about previous projects and how to apply.

88-Year-Old Texas Woman Dies in 3-Vehicle Crash in Hilo

An 88-year-old San Antonio, Texas woman died following a 3-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon (March 15) in Hilo.

She was identified as Thelma J. McLamore.

Responding to a 5:04 p.m. call, police determined that a 2003 Toyota truck was traveling southbound on Kanoelehua Avenue, near the Kekūanāoʻa Street intersection when it rear-ended a 2017 Ford sedan and then the Toyota sideswiped a 2017 Nissan SUV vehicle.

The woman, the back seat passenger of the Ford Sedan, was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for her injuries and medevaced to the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu where she later died. She was pronounced dead on March 21 at 11:30 a.m.

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

The driver of the Ford sedan, a 58-year old woman from Pearland, Texas was transported to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment for her injuries and later released.

The driver of the Nissan SUV, a 49-year old Hilo resident was not injured.

The driver of the Toyota truck, 30-year old Pāhoa man was arrested and charged for Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, Driving with a Revoked License and No Motor Vehicle Insurance.

The Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation.

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

This is the 6 traffic fatality this year compared with 5 at this time last year.

Hawaii DOCARE to Conduct “Talk Story” Session March 25 at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor

HILO – To help educate Hawaii Island’s ocean users about boating safety and marine resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers will be present at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor to speak with boaters, share information and answer questions, on Saturday March 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

DOCARE officers will be joined by staff from DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For more information, please contact the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Hawaii district office (Hilo) at (808) 933-3460.

Zonta Club of Hilo Scholarships, Award Available

The Zonta Club of Hilo is accepting applications for its 2017 Nursing, Math & Science Scholarships, the Jane M. Klausman Women In Business Scholarship, and the 2017 Young Women in Public Affairs Award (YWPA).

Each scholarship awards $1,000; the YWPAA awards $500.

The Nursing Scholarship is open to women enrolled in a nursing degree program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) or at Hawaii Community College (HCC).

The Math & Science Scholarship is open to women enrolled full-time at UHH or HCC, working towards a degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, technology, computer science, pharmacy and astronomy.

The YWPAA recognizes young women who are committed to volunteering, demonstrate leadership skills and are dedicated to empowering women and girls. YWPAA applicants are asked to reflect on their volunteer work and the problems limiting the advancement of the status of women in their community and worldwide. YWPAA applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 19 on April 1, 2017, and be a resident of Hawaii County.

The application deadline for scholarships and the YWPAA is Friday, March 31, 2017.

Applications are available at zontahilo.org or through Zonta Hilo’s Service Chair, Julie Tulang at info@zontahilo.org.

Lightning Storm Causes Power Outages in East Hawaii

Hawaii Electric Light reports that customers in the Hilo and Puna districts experienced brief power interruptions due to lightning strikes from a storm system that swept through the island late yesterday afternoon. About 1,250 customers in the Hilo area experienced a longer interruption of about 1½ hours. Most customers were restored by early evening.

“After lightning strikes damaged utility equipment, crews responded immediately and rerouted electricity to restore power to most customers,” said company spokesperson Rhea Lee-Moku. “Our transmission and distribution systems are designed with redundancies, or duplicate critical components, that provide alternate routes if one component fails or is damaged. This allows us to improve reliability and restore power to customers more quickly until permanent repairs can be made.”

Following a damage assessment, crews will prioritize repairs to the equipment damaged by lightning.

To report an outage, please call 969-6666. Hawaii Electric Light also posts outage information on its Twitter account @HIElectricLight with the hashtag #BigIslandOutage.

“Dreams of Wonder” Magic Show at Hilo Palace Theater – Keiki Magic Camps

“International award winning magicians Bruce and Jennifer Meyers present “Dreams of Wonder”, a magic show for the whole family at Hilo’s historic Palace Theater on Saturday, March 11th at 2:00pm. They will be featuring new stunning and astonishing magic and illusions, as well as a few jaw-dropping favorites which have brought standing ovations from Hilo audiences before.Also in the show will be the beautiful and engaging aerial artistry of Luna Sophia as she shares her message of peace. Josie The Jokester will be sharing her irresistible humor. Additionally, there will be a magical appearance by Keiki magicians who have attended Bruce Meyers Magic Camps. Master of Ceremonies will be none other than Pauline Victoria.

“We are simply thrilled to perform our magic show Dreams Of Wonder at the Palace”, says magician Bruce Meyers.  “Watch a mysterious dream become real as a simple scarf magically comes to life, dances on the stage and into the audience. We will also cause a bird and cage to vanish into thin air while held by members of the audience along with so many other dreams of magic!”

Much of the proceeds from “Dreams of Wonder” will benefit Full Life who work to empower people with disabilities on Hawaii Island, Abled Hawaiian Artists (AHA) promoting employment in the arts, and the historic Palace Theater. Full Life and AHA artists and entrepreneurs will be displaying and selling their art and products in the lobby of the Palace Theater on the day of the performance.

Morgen Bahurinsky, Palace Theater Executive Director, was enthusiastic about the event. “We are always happy to have Bruce and Jennifer Meyers perform on our stage and when they suggested this be a dual fundraising event for the Palace and for Full Life I was excited,” says Bahurinsky.  She adds, “As an athlete, I compete with many challenged athletes.  Organizations that encourage every person living to their fullest potential have my full support and admiration.  I am thrilled Bruce and Jennifer suggested this partnership.”

The Keiki magicians in Dreams Of Wonder will be performing magic they learned at Meyers’ Magic Camps and some that will be taught at the next Magic Camp held this March 21st through the 24th at the Palace Theater for three hours per day. Registration for the March Magic Camp costs only $70 and can be made by calling (808) 982-9294.

“We have watched the Magic Camps held here at the theater and are amazed on the final day how well the children perform their magic on us and their families.” reports Bahurinsky. After you see a few of Bruce’s graduates perform at this event, you and your child will want to sign up”

Pre-sale tickets are $12 Adults; $8 Keiki 12 and under, and will be $15 Adults; $10 Keiki 12 and under on the day of the show. Tickets are on sale now at the Palace Theater (808) 934-7010 or online at www.BruceMeyers.com .

Bruce and Jennifer’s masterful stage presence and their warm, benevolent, and funny personalities quickly connect and compel their audiences to become part of the fun, wonder and magic. Their original, highly entertaining and baffling magic have earned them several international awards, including recent awards 1st and 2nd Place In Stage awards from the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians and Magician of The Year from the Northwest Ring of Fire.”

Legislative “Crossover” Update From Senator Kai Kahele

Aloha!

We are a third of the way through the 2017 Legislative Session and just six days out from First Crossover. Now that the Senate Committees on Ways and Means; Judiciary and Labor; and Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health have completed their deliberations, bills that are still alive will make their way to third reading next week Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thanks to you, many of our priority bills are still alive:

If these bills are approved next week, they’ll crossover to the State House for further deliberations by our colleagues. In turn, House approved bills will crossover for further deliberation by the Senate. As we move forward, be sure to stay tuned for our weekly updates.

Me ka ha’aha’a,
Kaiali’i Kahele

‘Alalā Reintroduction Project Planning Further Releases After Recent Challenges – Birds Likely Killed By Hawaiian Hawk

Next Release Group to Receive Additional Predator-Aversion Training

Reintroduction efforts for the ʻAlalā, the native Hawaiian crow, began in December of last year with the release of five ʻAlalā into a Hawai‘i Island State Natural Area Reserve. Sadly, three birds did not survive, and the remaining two were brought back into captivity.

Members of The ‘Alalā Project say that the reintroduction of captive-raised birds without the benefit of experienced ‘Alalā already in the wild is very challenging. Biologists around the world say releases like this are usually marked with fits and starts, and that reintroduction success is not usually seen before multiple releases. Nēnē, the native Hawaiian goose, once had a population of only 30 birds and was part of a captive breeding program. “The recovery of Nēnē took over five decades of conservation actions to achieve, and while there are now over 3,000 birds in the wild, Nēnē populations still require active management to persist,” said Joey Mello, Hawai’i Branch DOFAW Wildlife Program Manager (East Hawai’i).

Despite the temporary setback, preparations are underway for the release of the next group of ‘Alalā. Nine birds are now in a flight aviary that was constructed in the State’s Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve; three more birds will be moved there soon. All of these birds are healthy and are checked and fed daily. Project team members closely observe their foraging skills, behaviors, and social interactions. The ‘Alalā Project anticipates the release of these 12 birds later this year.

Necropsies on the three ‘Alalā released last December indicate that none of the crows died due to disease exposure. Necropsy (autopsy for animals) results indicate that two of the birds were likely killed by another endangered bird, the ‘Io or native Hawaiian hawk. ‘Io are known to prey upon other birds – such is the circle of life in the wild. The third bird appears to have died from natural circumstances that led to poor physical condition.

Prior to any release, candidate birds undergo extensive training and conditioning to best ensure their long-term survival in the forest. This includes predator aversion training. The project team has consulted with world-renown predator aversion training specialists and is now focusing on making improvements to that training to give the released ‘Alalā a better chance of avoiding ‘Io.

The three ‘Alalā that died were named ‘Ike, Kau’ikauikalani, and Pewa. The necropsies were conducted by the San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), which operates Hawaiʻi bird conservation centers on Hawai‘i Island and on Maui. The ‘Alalā were offspring of birds brought into captivity over a decade ago, around the time that the last remaining bird went extinct in the wild in 2002.

The ‘Alalā Project is comprised of more than a half dozen state and federal agencies, non-government agencies, and private landowners, that collectively and successfully have hatched more than 200 ‘Alalā at the SDZG bird conservation centers. The ‘Alalā Project is just one of many projects across the state committed to native species conservation. Together, these efforts protect and preserve the incredible and unique biodiversity of our islands.

Zonta Hilo’s Mele Spencer Recognized at Hawaii State Senate

On February 1, Mele Spencer was recognized at the Hawaii State Capitol for assuming the volunteer post of Zonta International District 9 governor for 2016-18. The ceremony was arranged by State Senator Lorraine Inouye.

Mele Spencer with recognition at the State Capitol with Hawaii State Senators and members from the Zonta Clubs of Hilo and Leilehua.

Zonta is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

“How super to have our state senators recognize Zonta International’s work to empower women across the world,” said Spencer. “What a personal honor for me. Big mahalo to Senator Lorraine Inouye for arranging.”

As governor, Spencer serves as the link between the district and Zonta International and administers affairs of the district, which is comprised of 25 clubs and 543 members in Hawaii, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. District 9 also includes seven Z clubs (high school) and six Golden Z clubs (college), one of which is at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Spencer is one of 31 governors worldwide and nine Zontians in the United States serving as a district governor this biennium. She has been a member of the Zonta Club of Hilo since 1998.

Hilo Casting Call for Extras in Major Movie

EXTRAS NEEDED! This Sunday – February 5 – 6:30am – 11:00am in HILO.

This is your last chance to be in this movie which is completely shot on Hawai’i Island!

RSVP to konasnowpictures@gmail.com

Hilo Community Supports State Efforts to Redevelop Banyan Drive and East Hawaii

Tonight at the Hilo Innovation Center in downtown Hilo business leaders, community leaders, tenants and lessees came together to listen to the Hilo Economic Development Plan presented by Jim McCully, spokesman of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association (KIAA).

Nearly 100 folks crowded the center and listened to presentations by McCully, HPM Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Jason Fujmoto and later on Senator Kai Kahele dropped in to say a few words.

SB1292/HB1479RELATING TO THE HILO COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DISTRICT.

Establishes the Hilo Community Economic District located in East Hawai`i and places it under the jurisdiction of the Hawai`i Community Development Authority.

SB1184/HB1310RELATING TO THE WAIAKEA PENINSULA REDEVELOPMENT DISTRICT.

Establishes the Waiakea Peninsula Redevelopment District, Planning Committee and Revolving Fund.

Jason Fujimoto opened the meeting explaining why the meeting was called together. Fujimoto stated, “I know to some that the words economic revitalization may sound big and scary but in my mind it really boils down to the definition of community and community is a place where we live, where we work, where we learn and where we play and all of the components that make that happen.”

Fujimoto turned the microphone over to Jim McCully who explained some of the history of Banyan Drive and why economic development throughout all of Hilo, especially areas like KIAA are so important.

Senator Kai Kahele was able to make the end of the meeting and he stressed how important it was for the community to stand behind all the bills introduced this session and to contact our State legislators that will hear the bills in committee. He also thanked the broad range of community members that attended and also thanked his fellow Hawaii Island Legislators, Hawaii County Council members as well as the County of Hawaii Planning Department for their support and collaboration.