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Hilo to Tanzania – Open Community Forum

The Rotary Club of South Hilo, in partnership with Short n Sweet Bakery and Café, and The Church of the Holy Apostles, is inviting the community to a free Open Community Forum presenting the experiences of four Peace Corps Volunteers and their time in Tanzania.  The forum will be on Wednesday June 8 at 5:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Apostles located at 1407 Kapiʻolani St., Hilo.

Returning Peace Corp Volunteers to speak at the Church of the Holy Apostles—1407 Kapiʻolani Street, Hilo

Returning Peace Corp Volunteers to speak at the Church of the Holy Apostles—1407 Kapiʻolani Street, Hilo

The featured speaker is Kanoelehua Ho along with three of her Peace Corp colleagues; Rochelle Latka, Sarah Munteanu, and Ginny Worley.  Their talk will focus on their experiences of being a Peace Corps Volunteer, and about Ho’s projects in Tanzania.

Ho a Kamehameha Schools Keaʻau alumna graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington in 2013.  In February 2014, she headed to Tanzania to start her assignment for the Peace Corps.  During her 27 month stay in Tanzania Ho has led numerous projects in her village including several funded with the help of a $3000 grant from the Rotary Club of South Hilo.  With the grant, Ho led a project that completed the village’s visiting physician house and completed a system bringing running water to its health clinic.

The project also brought 20 beehives to the village, to teach beekeeping and provide honey.  Besides providing income to buy HIV medication, the bees also will help pollinate a plant that can help treat HIV.  The grant also purchased two acres, where Ho and the villagers planted 300 avocado trees.  The avocado crop serves as another source of income.

“It’s truly amazing all of the lives Kanoe has been able to impact in her work with the Peace Corps.  The community is so incredibly proud of all she has done.  We are really looking forward to seeing and hearing about all she and her colleagues experienced in Tanzania,” said Rotary Club of South Hilo President Kim Arakawa.

 

The award winning Short n Sweet Bakery and Café will be providing light refreshments for the event.  For more information please contact (808) 741-1475.

Use of Video Decision Aids Increases Advance Care Planning in Hilo

Pilot study part of statewide program to improve end-of-life care

A program encouraging physicians and other providers to discuss with patients their preferences regarding end-of-life care significantly increased the documented incidence of such conversations and the number of patients with late-stage disease who were discharged to hospice.

Filling in an advance health care directive

In a Journal of General Internal Medicine paper that has been released online, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describes the pilot program, which is part of a larger initiative to transform medical care for serious illness in the state of Hawaii. The program included video decision aids in 10 languages and was carried out in the city of Hilo, Hawaii.

“By collaborating with the people of Hawaii and recognizing the diversity of the community, we were able to honor and respect patients’ individual choices when it came to medical care,” says Angelo Volandes, MD, MPH, of the MGH Department of Medicine, lead author of the report. “Doctors are often uncomfortable having end-of-life conversations and have rarely been trained in advance care planning. The videos can be a valuable supplement to, not a replacement for, the doctor-patient relationship.”

Advance care planning – conversations with patients regarding the type of care they would like to receive, or not receive, if they become seriously or terminally ill and cannot speak for themselves – has been the subject of considerable attention in recent years. Earlier this year Medicare began reimbursing clinicians for advance care planning discussions with patients, and the process was mentioned in, but not funded by, the Affordable Care Act. But there have been few studies examining the impact of advance care planning efforts on medical documentation of such conversations, on the care actually delivered or on costs.

A broad coalition of stakeholders, led by Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), an independent Blue Cross/Blue Shield licensee, has been working since 2012 to improve advance care planning rates statewide through innovative collaborations, including implementation of educational videos. Hilo Medical Center, a 276-bed hospital, was the first in the state to make advance care planning the standard of care for patients, and the JGIM paper reports on the first 21 months of the program’s implementation in the city of more than 43,000.

Beginning in early 2013, Hilo Medical Center clinicians, Hospice of Hilo staff and 30 primary care physicians in the city were offered a one- to four-hour training program and access to advance care planning video decision aids in English, Japanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Korean, Ilocano, Tagalog, Spanish and Marshallese. Less than 10 minutes long, the videos are designed to be accessible to general audiences and include broad questions that patients should consider regarding their individual preferences and how they could affect future medical interventions. How or whether providers used the videos in subsequent advance care planning discussions was neither required nor tracked.

The primary study outcome for Hilo Medical Center was any change in the rate at which advance care planning conversations were documented in medical records of patients with late-stage disease. For outpatient care, any difference between the rates of advance care planning in Hilo and in a control group of similar Hawaii communities was analyzed. The researchers also compared the number of hospice admissions for late-stage patients before and after the program was implemented – compared with the control communities – as well as the rate of in-hospital deaths. Any impact on health costs was determined by analyzing HMSA claims data.

Prior to implementation of the training program, the rate of advance care planning documentation for late-stage patients at Hilo Medical Center was 3.2 percent, but during the 21 months after training was offered, the rate increased to almost 40 percent. Among almost 4,000 HMSA patients over age 75 in Hilo who saw a primary care physician during 2014, the year following primary care physician training, 37 percent received advance care planning, compared with 25.6 percent in the control communities.

The percentage of late-stage Hilo Medical Center patients who were discharged to hospice, which was 5.7 percent before the training, rose to 13.8 percent. Overall Hospice of Hilo admissions increased 28 percent in 2013 and 51 percent in 2014, compared with 2012. While average HMSA reimbursements for care during the last month of life increased from 2012 to 2013 in both Hilo and the control area, the increase for Hilo was only 5.5 percent, compared with more than 22 percent in the control area, reflecting an average per-patient savings of $3,458 for the last month of life.

Although this study was conducted in a relatively small region, the authors note that the diversity of the Hawaiian population may offset that limitation. The program has now expanded to all hospitals in Hawaii, 10 hospices, military facilities and many other providers; and Volandes expresses the hope that this study’s results will renew calls for continuing innovation in advance care planning, including certification and reimbursement for patient decision aids.

“Advance care planning videos and other decision aids offer cost-efficient and broadly applicable methods of placing patients at the center of their care,” he says. “They also allow doctors and other health providers to have critical conversations with patients that were rarely encouraged during their training. Making these decision aids widely available could be a real health care game-changer.”

Hilo Community Chorus to Perform Two Requiems

The Hilo Community Chorus will present Luigi Cherubini’s “Requiem in C minor” and Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” in concert on Saturday, May 28, at 3:00 pm at First United Protestant Church.

Requiem

The Cherubini, which will be accompanied by Walter Greenwood, premiered January 21, 1816 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution. It was admired by Beethoven and performed at his funeral. Schumann praised it as being “without equal in the world.”

The five movements of Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, (2013) form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. It will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble and will be conducted by Dr. Daniel Mahraun, who first conducted HCC last spring at the Palace Theater. Rachel Edwards, last year’s recipient of the Hawaii Concert Society’s scholarship, will be the guest soprano soloist.

Moriah Mathson, student at UH-Hilo, will be the recipient of the third annual Hilo Community Chorus Tom McAlexander Choral Music Scholarship award for 2016. According to her instructor, Amy Horst, “ Moriah is a Senior Psychology major with a 3.96 GPA. She has been an extremely dedicated alto singer in the University Chorus this past semester, and I look forward to her continuing with University Chorus in the Fall, and then joining the Kapili Choir in the Spring, next school year.”

Admission is $10 and tickets may be purchased from chorus members or at the door. For more information, call HCC choral director Tom McAlexander (985-7192) or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.

Hilo Orchid Show Gala Preview Party Information

On June 2, the Hilo Orchid Show kicks off with a gala Preview Party from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.  Ticket proceeds benefit the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

 The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. Photo by Andy Kahili

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. (Photo by Andy Kahili)

“The evening gala is a truly a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for colorful, exquisite, and rare orchid plants,” said party chair and Ku‘ikahi board member Cody Frenz.

The benefit party features a selection of beverages, catered food, live music, and orchid pre-sales.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives an etched wine or beer glass, in order to enjoy the libations and take home after the event.  A wide variety of fine wines, beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., gourmet juices, and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets feature tasty treats by Island Naturals Market & Deli and AJ & Sons Catering.  AJ’s chefs are Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, the food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

On the menu are mantou buns with three filling options: tofu, pork, and teriyaki chicken; free range chicken tandoori with turmeric rice and raita; free range turkey meatballs with sweet and sour sauce; Thai beef salad with glass noodles; various types of sushi including vegetarian, house made poi chips with sun dried tomato hummus; purple sweet potato and Ka‘u orange salad; and hearts of palm with lilikoi dressing.

“We’re happy to be back at the stadium where the Merrie Monarch is held,” Frenz noted.  “With cool breezes, exquisite views, and shorter lines for food service, we’re all set for a fabulous gala on June 2.  We hope the community will come out to enjoy a fun party and support our cause of ‘Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.’”

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from Hilo Coffee Mill, The Most Irresistible Shop, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  For reservations, contact Jenifer at (808) 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.  Tickets are also available at the door.

Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Returns to Hilo

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites keiki basketball players to the 4th Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp that returns to Hilo July 26-29.

YagiOpen to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, which feature new flooring.

David Kaneshiro, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo head women’s basketball coach, and GE Coleman, UH-Hilo head men’s coach, will serve as lead clinicians. Each will share basketball expertise and offer personalized instruction during the four-day camp. Assisting the Vulcan coaches will be Daphne Honma, Honoka‘a High School girls basketball coach, previous Division II coach of the year, and former UH-Hilo head women’s basketball coach. Additional college and high school coaches have been invited to be camp clinicians.

A team of coaches will instruct and supervise campers as they practice agility, ball-handling and other drills during morning skill sessions. Following a lunch break, players will showcase what they’ve learned by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day. Special awards will be presented to outstanding participants at the close of Friday’s session.

The registration fee is $60 per child. The fee will increase to $70 for players registering after Tuesday, July 12. All participants will receive a camp shirt and group photo. Please make checks payable to the County Director of Finance and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, county gyms islandwide, and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.

The Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years.

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

Hawaii Senate District 1 Awarded Over $89 Million in Capital Improvement Project Funds

With the adoption of the supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2017, Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele (Dist. 1 – Hilo) is proud to announce more than $89 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding has been appropriated for various projects for District 1. These projects address aging infrastructure, improve existing schools and facilities, and establish additional safety measures.

Kai Kahele Profile

“The projects funded by the budget will help move East Hawai‘i forward by creating jobs, enhancing our public infrastructure and facilities, and investing in education,” said Sen. Kahele. “By working collaboratively with my colleagues, Senator Lorraine R. Inouye, Representatives Mark M. Nakashima, Clift Tsuji and Richard H.K. Onishi, we will continue to secure funds to drive our economy and improve our quality of life.”

In realizing that the real future lies in the hands of our children and grandchildren, legislators reflected a Senate Majority priority goal of providing for our families and allocated funds for a covered play court at Chiefess Kapi‘olani and Ha‘aheo Elementary Schools, providing kitchen equipment for the Keaukaha Elementary School cafeteria and electrical upgrades for Waiākea Intermediate School.  In passing SB3126 SD2 HD2 CD1, $100 million was allocated to the Department of Education to assist in moving forward their program to install air conditioning and other heat abatement measures in our public schools and providing students with a better learning environment.

Lawmakers also recognized other imperative concerns of District 1 and allocated significant resources for the airports, harbors and health services.

“Throughout my life, my father taught me the importance of community service and I’m honored to carry on his legislative initiatives,” said Sen. Kai Kahele.

Notable CIP funding highlights for District 1 include:

  • $31.8 million for renovations on the Keaukaha Military Reservation
  • $2 million for covered playcourt for Ha‘aheo Elementary School
  • $1.5 million for design and construction for a covered playcourt at Kapi‘olani Elementary School
  • $252,000 for plans, design and construction for electrical systems upgrades for Waiākea Intermediate School
  • $6.75 million for improvements for the Hilo Counseling Center and Keawe Health Center
  • $300,000 for construction for a new adult day care facility at the Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation
  • $2 million for land acquisition to expand the Hilo Forest Reserve
  • $21 million for design and construction of a new support building, housing and support offices and security system for Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center
  • $3.5 million for improvements at Hilo International Airport
  • $7.95 million for demolition of pier shed and water tower and other improvements for Hilo Harbor
  • $2.2 million for plans for rehabilitation and/or replacement of Wailuku Bridge along Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19)
  • $600,000 for design and construction for cafeteria equipment installation; ground and site improvement; equipment and appurtenances at Keaukaha Elementary School

In addition to the executive budget CIP funding, appropriations for Grants-in-Aid (GIA) were also awarded to organizations for the benefit of the Hilo community:

  • $1 million for design and construction for an education facility for Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
  • $1 million for plans, design and construction for a health facility for Panaewa Community Alliance
  • $500,000 for construction for a new Island Heritage Gallery Exhibit at Lyman House Memorial Museum
  • $217,000 for Rainbow Falls Botanical Garden and Visitor Center
  • $200,000 for program to assist with at risk and low income school students to prevent from dropping out of High School in Hilo
  • $150,000 for Kamoleao Laulima Community Resources Center

Temple Children Launches Mural Project to Activate Hilo

This week, globally renowned artists Lauren YS, Wooden Wave and David “MEGGS” Hooke are painting sustainability-themed murals as part of a concerted effort to invigorate and beautify Downtown Hilo.
Hilo Mural
Bay Area artist Lauren YS, who studied at Stanford University, is painting the Hilo Town Tavern. Lāʻie-based artist Matthew Ortiz of Wooden Wave is leading the mural at Short N Sweet Bakery in collaboration with Australian artist, MEGGS.

At the Hilo Town Tavern, Lauren pays homage to her sister Dani, who recently graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University with an astrobiology degree. Dani is depicted as a “cyber-hybrid space biologist traversing a sustainable future dreamscape in search of nutrient rich, local flora” because of Dani’s focus during her NASA internship to find plants that could possibly be used to sustain life on Mars.

The maritime scene at Short N Sweet was commissioned by Energy Excelerator, a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to solving the world’s energy challenges. Inspired by Hawaiʻi’s mandated clean energy goals, Wooden Wave’s mural depicts a large sustainability boat equipped with various permaculture and energy producing systems. The ‘community on a boat’ is outfitted with a bakery, a nod to the building’s history and Hilo’s iconic mom-and-pop shops.

Hilo Mural 2The Hilo murals are led by Temple Children, an arts-based organization founded by Hilo-native Miya Tsukazaki and her partner MEGGS that coordinates projects to strengthen communities, promote social and environmental innovation, and incite positive global change. Ashley Kierkiewicz rounds out the team as Temple Children’s Regional Director.

To support the project, HPM Building Supply generously donated Pratt & Lambert paint and various supplies; Hilo Town Tavern and Short N Sweet provided additional onsite assistance.

The murals are expected to be complete this Saturday, May 7. A third and final mural led by MEGGS in collaboration with Oahu-based muralist and tattoo artist Lucky Olelo will commence at Lucy’s Taqueria/Laundry Express the week of May 15.

Individuals or organizations interested in contributing to the project or inquiring about a mural commission in the Hawaii region may contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004.

Jyselle Arruda Awarded Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarship

Jyselle Arruda of Hilo High School has been awarded the 2016 Youth scholarship from the Hilo Bay Rotary Club.

Hilo Bay Rotarians congratulate Jyselle Arruda on her scholarship award. Left to right, Richard Cunningham, Kim Keahiolalo, Arruda and Bettye Williams, RCHB president.

Hilo Bay Rotarians congratulate Jyselle Arruda on her scholarship award. Left to right, Richard Cunningham, Kim Keahiolalo, Arruda and Bettye Williams, RCHB president.

Ms. Arruda will receive a cash award of $5,000 for her planned studies at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. A member of the National Society of High School Scholars and active in community service and school clubs, Ms. Arruda plans to study pre-med at UH-Hilo with a goal to become a pediatrician and set up a children’s health clinic on Hawaii Island. She lives in Honomu with her grandmother, and buses daily to Hilo High.

Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarships (HRYF) are awarded to senior high school students across the state on a competitive basis of scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the community at large.

“Once again, Rotary Club of Hilo Bay had a number of outstanding scholar applicants. Jyselle impressed us not only with her academics, but with her drive to overcome obstacles on her path to meet her goals,” said Kim Keahiolalo, scholarship committee chair.

The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay is a staunch supporter of academic scholarships for future leaders, and is generally the Club with the largest contribution to the HRYF each year. This year alone, Hilo Bay contributed $6,100 to the scholarship fund. Richard Cunningham of Cunningham Galleries, spearheads scholarship donations in East Hawaii.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series – “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace”

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts a free talk on April 21 as part of their “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace” Brown Bag Lunch Series.  Talks are Third Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at 655 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo.

Tracie White

Tracie White

This month’s speaker is Tracie White on the topic “Personal Accountability: Managing Your Energies, Priorities, and Reputation.”

“Managing your energies, priorities, and reputation is the path to fulfilling your life goals,” says White.  “This is your life.  There is no one more important to be personally accountable to than you.  Your complete commitment for yourself is best built on a clear vision of things that truly matter and you have the greatest passion for.” 

Tracie White was born in San Leandro, California and lived in Latin America and Europe before calling Hawaiʻi Island home 6 years ago.  She currently serves as HPM Building Supply’s Talent Development Manager.  White’s quick success at HPM reflects her positive and energetic approach to life and her wide skill set in customer service, staff development and training, and networking.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series is free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, enjoy an informal and educational talk-story session, and meet others interested in “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.”

This lunch-and-learn series is made possible thanks in part to funding from the Atherton Family Foundation.  For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Program Coordinator Gail Takaki at 935-7844 x 9 or gail@hawaiimediation.org.  Or visit www.hawaiimediaiton.org.

12th Annual Hilo Huli

The Rotary Club of South Hilo will be celebrating its 12th Annual Hilo Huli on May 1, 2016 on Coconut Island from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The Hilo Huli is the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s main fundraising event, with over 1000 people in attendance every year.

hilo huli

“The club brings together the cuisine of local chefs, award winning music, as well as a variety of wine, beer and mix drink offerings to create an all you can eat event that helps raise much needed funds to support our local community. It’s a fantastic way to have a really great time while helping uplift the life of our community,” said Rotary Club of South Hilo President, Kim Arakawa.

To date the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s Hilo Huli has raised over $200,000 used to serve needs in our local community, as well as international projects.

The money raised from this year’s event will help the Rotary Club of South Hilo support a variety of community projects throughout East Hawai‘i including the Obstetrics & Pediatric Unit Renovations (Hilo Medical Center), Hospice of Hilo’s Children’s Bereavement Program and Hilo Bayfront Trails.

“We’re so grateful for all the work the Rotary Club of South Hilo does to make sure our community is a great place to live, and we are so honored to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Hilo Huli,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO, Brenda S. Ho.

Tickets for the event are $50.00 in advance and $65.00 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased online or from Aiona Car Sales, The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo, Short & Sweet, and any Rotary Club of South Hilo member, www.hilohuli.org or call 808-930-3609.

Hilo Center Suspends Mammograms Pending FDA Recertification

Hawaii Radiologic Associates, Ltd. (HRA) has suspended mammography operations at its Hilo Women’s Imaging Center as it goes through a U.S. Food and Drug Administration process for recertification of its mammography services. The FDA notified HRA that patients who had mammograms between June 30, 2014 and August 24, 2015 should be notified of the possibility of inaccurate tests.
mammogramEach patient is being notified by certified letter of the potential concern and urged to review mammograms with their health care provider to determine if a retest is required.

HRA will review mammograms taken during that timeframe, if requested, and when necessary perform another mammogram at its Kona facility at no charge to the patient. Patients can also go to other certified mammogram centers of their choosing; HRA will provide previous mammographic examinations to that facility for review.

HRA’s Hilo Women’s Imaging Center continues to provide breast ultrasounds, magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI), bone density tests and breast biopsies.

James Lambeth, M.D., president of HRA, said the FDA ordered the suspension of the Hilo center mammograms after random samples showed that mammograms performed on one of the units failed to meet standards and further investigation resulted in the Hilo program being decertified.

“Patients who had mammography at our Hilo center during that time should not take this lightly,” said Dr. Lambeth. “Those who receive our letter should contact their doctors immediately to review their exam and determine if a repeat exam is warranted.”

Patients can go to the HRA website at www.hirad.com for more information and FAQs.

HRA performed 12,000 mammograms during the period.

“We apologize for this apparent lapse in quality assurance at our Hilo Center,” said Dr. Lambeth. “We want to make very clear that our Kona facility is unaffected by the decertification.”

Dr. Lambeth added that HRA is aggressively pursuing recertification for its Hilo facility and hopes to complete all requirements and be fully functional within three months. Technicians and other staff are undergoing additional training.

HFD Incident Report on Today’s Fire in Hilo

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: News release for a structure fire on Mililani Street in Hilo today.

Mililani House Fire

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: First HFD Unit arrived on scene found an unoccupied residential structure fully engulfed in flames.

Cause: Under investigation.

Remarks: HFD Units extinguished an unoccupied residential structure fire. Initially, the fire threatened a residence on Manono Street, but two crews were able to protect that residence by using tactical attack lines. HPD Units provided scene control and setup roadblocks at the Piilani Street/Mililani Street intersection and also at the Hualani Street/Mililani Street intersection.

Commentary – Senator Kahele on Safety Concern of Hilo Medical Center Helipad

On behalf of our constituents within the first senatorial district of Hilo and all of Hawai‘i Island, I am writing to request Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) Board to discontinue its Agreement for Purchase of Goods and Services (APGS) with Hawai‘i Life Flight, Inc. (HLF), signed on April 10, 2013 which allows permanent parking on the helipad of Hilo Medical Center (HMC) and has presented numerous safety of flight issues for other operators in the area.

Helipad

Although the agreement allows HLF to park their aircraft to one side of the helipad and the space meets the minimum requirements to do so – it has still proven, on numerous occasions, to present a safety concern.

The U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area Department of Emergency Services has reported that on two occasions within the past year, several of their Blackhawk Medevac helicopters have been prevented from landing safely during training patrols and other exercises because of HLF’s permanent occupation of the helipad. On October 29, 2015 an emergency transport helicopter arrived at the HMC helipad to find the HLF helicopter still on the helipad. As an HLF employee was securing the aircraft, the Medevac Blackhawk was in its final approach and unfortunately was forced to land with the HLF aircraft only partially secured.  The Engine Company Captain on scene reported a “near miss” incident with both aircraft being on the helipad at the same time.

Additionally, the County of Hawai‘i Fire Department which maintains two helicopters for emergency medical services has reported that on three separate incidents their Chopper 2 aeromedical helicopter has landed at the helipad with the pad being occupied by HLF.

One way to resolve this issue is to keep the helipad vacated and available at all times. This would ensure a safer overall operation.  It is our understanding that the aforementioned APGS is up for renewal on April 10, 2016 and that last fall representatives of the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area met with HHSC’s Board of Directors and raised these safety of flight issues with them.  At that time, there was an indication that HHSC’s board did not intend to renew the agreement.

Because of these safety of flight issues which could have resulted in serious loss of life to patients, crew and bystanders on the ground – as well as loss of necessary medical equipment funded by and provided for the use of our community – we support your efforts to preserve necessary landing space at HMC to allow for a safer environment and improved access.

Thank you for your leadership in keeping the health and safety of our residents HHSC’s top priority and we look forward to working with you towards a positive solution.

Hau‘oli ka mana‘o,

Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele, Senate District 1-Hilo

Big Island Police Investigating Series of Crimes Involving Stolen Tractor and Trailer

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a series of crimes involving a stolen tractor and trailer.
HPDBadge

At 7:17 p.m. Wednesday (March 30), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a tractor and trailer that struck two other vehicles and a house on Pilipaʻa Street in Hilo.

Responding officers observed several individuals restraining the alleged driver of the tractor and trailer as he was seen walking away from the scene. Police learned that the tractor, trailer and its contents were stolen from a business on Makaʻala Street and were observed driving through a closed gate.

Police learned from witnesses that the stolen tractor and trailer also struck a vehicle and ran another vehicle off the road on Pilipaʻa Street before striking and severing a utility pole. The tractor and trailer continued southbound on Pilipaʻa Street and then ran off the street and struck a house.

Neither of the drivers of the vehicles nor the three occupants of the house was injured.

Pilipaʻa Street between Puainako Avenue and Kahaopea Street was closed to traffic overnight due to the downed power lines. Utility crews from HELCO made temporary repairs and Pilipaʻa Street was opened to traffic Thursday morning (March 31).

The suspect, 30-year-old Solomon Aloha Kepano of Hilo was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage, accident involving damage to a vehicle or property and two counts of first-degree reckless endangering. He remains in custody at the Hilo police cellblock while detective from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation

Detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed a white Freightliner and a white container trailer traveling through the industrial areas onto Kanoelehua Avenue, Puainako Avenue or Pilipaʻa Street in Hilo to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls of subscribe to caller ID and the information is kept confidential.

Coast Guard to Temporarily Move Navigation Aids Near Hilo Harbor to Assist with Dredging of Harbor

The Coast Guard began temporarily moving aids to navigation in Hilo Harbor, Hawai’i, Sunday, to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with planned dredging operations.
Harbor BuoysAs previously released, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Essayons will conduct maintenance dredging in March and April starting in Nawiliwili last week, and then at Kalaeloa (Barbers Point), Hilo, Kahului, and Honolulu harbors. Mariners should NOT rely on the aids to navigation that are relocated.

Mariners entering or departing Hilo Harbor during this time period are encouraged to contact the Essayons to determine the location of dredging operations and coordinate passing arrangements. Mariners should transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake when in the vicinity of the dredge and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made.

All waterway users should transit with caution when in the vicinity of the dredging vessel and operate at a safe speed when the potential for hazards such as dredging components are present. During operations near Barbers Point no aids will need to be moved but mariners should exercise caution around dredging operations.

The following buoys will be temporarily relocated starting March 27, 2016 through April 11, 2016. These dates may vary due to unforeseen on-site conditions, weather and other factors. See attached graphic.

Hilo Harbor Buoy 6 (LLNR 28080) relocated in approximate position 19-43-51.80N/ 155- 03-51.00W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Buoy 7 (LLNR 28085) relocated in approximate position 19-44-06.62N/ 155- 03-40.04W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Lighted Buoy 9 (LLNR 28105) relocated in approximate position 19-44- 05.10N/ 155-03-28.00W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Lighted Buoy 10 (LLNR 28110) relocated in approximate position 19-43- 44.95N/ 155-03-29.77W in 10ft of water.

Again, the relocated buoys may be in shoal water and should NOT be used for navigation.

General safety information regarding operating in the vicinity of dredging vessels can be found in Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 14-15. This safety alert and other information about the 2016 Maintenance Dredge Project can be found on the Sector Honolulu homeport website www.homeport.uscg.mil/Honolulu under the Waterways Management page and Hawaii Commercial Harbor 2016 Maintenance Dredging tab.

Hawaii is a maritime state over 2,400 miles from the mainland and far more dependent on its harbors than most of the United States. The Hawaii state DOT claims that over 80 percent of all consumer goods – food, clothing, autos, building supplies, machinery, paper, and allied products, medical supplies, and agricultural materials – are imported into the state. Of that 80 percent, approximately 98 percent enters Hawaii though commercial harbors on the major islands.

To ensure that these vital goods continue to arrive safely in Hawaii, the Essayons crew will dredge approximately 290,000 cubic yards from the five key harbors. The dredge-material will be safely disposed of at EPA-designated ocean disposal sites.

For questions about the dredging operations specifically please contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District Public Affairs office at CEPOH-PA@usace.army.mil or 808-835-4004.

Merrie Monarch Dengue Fever Precautions – Vector Spraying at Venues

With the annual Merrie Monarch Festival just around the corner, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging both residents and travelers to take extra precautions to stay away from and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while they are in Hilo for the event.

Mosquito Bite

Although the number of locally-acquired dengue fever cases have slowed over the past several weeks, the outbreak is not over, and the public should reduce their risk of infection as much as possible.

In the days leading up to one of Hawaii’s most celebrated traditions, Vector Control teams will be taking preventive measures by surveying and treating areas near the venues where the Merrie Monarch Festival will be held: the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.

“People from all over the world come to Hawaii to celebrate the tradition of hula during the Merrie Monarch Festival, so we are doing our due diligence and taking proactive measures now to reduce the risks of both imported and local cases of mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health.

“We continue to work with our county partners to coordinate and implement best practices for mosquito abatement and prevention.”

DOH is advising visitors to be vigilant in their efforts to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during their stay. Recommended precautions include:

  • Apply insect repellent when outdoors, and always follow directions for using repellants -especially on small children.
  • Wear covered clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks, to help protect skin from mosquito bites.
  • Be aware and avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes.

In addition to these recommendations, DOH advises Hilo residents to take the following steps in their own neighborhoods to help fight the bite:

  • Eliminate standing water in buckets, containers and puddles around your home;
  • Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that may be dripping water;
  • Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvicide;
  • Clear storm gutters and other outdoor drains of leaves and lawn cuttings;
  • Repair screens and jalousie windows to keep mosquitoes out; and
  • Dispose of old tires and anything else that may collect and hold standing water.

For further recommendations on how to take precautions against mosquitoes and dengue fever, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dengue-outbreak-2015/ .

50 Marathons 50 States… Finished at the Hilo International Marathon

A professor from Louisiana, Jorge Pullin, has completed his goal of completing a marathon in each and every state in America by finishing the Hilo International Marathon this past weekend.
Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin tweeted:

Finished the Marathon in Hilo, Hawaii in 6h29min. 50th marathon in 50th state. Mission accomplished!

According to Marathon Maniacs, Pullin started in his home state on February 26, 2005 with the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, Louisiana with a marathon time of 6:21:42.

Over the next 11 years, Pullin would run in races across the United States and his best time would be his 40th race on June 28th, 2014 at the Run4Troops Marathon held in Iowa where he clocked a time of 5:36:35.

Oregon Athletes Win 2016 Big Island International Marathon

Two athletes from Roseburg, Oregon captured the titles in the 2016 Big Island International Marathon that was held today.

Click to view individual results

Click to view individual results

Sam Settelmeyer captured the men’s division and overall title with a time of 2:37:13.  Amanda Phillips captured the women’s division and was third overall with a time of 2:53:22.

The first Big Island Resident to cross the line was Jared Burris from Kapaau, HI who came in second overall with a time of 2:48:43.

Rank
Name
Bib
Time
Pace
Hometown
Division
Div Rank
1 Sam Settelmeyer 175 02:37:13 06:01 Roseburg, OR M20-24 1
2 Jared Burris 36 02:48:43 06:27 Kapaau, HI M20-24 2
3 Amanda Phillips 158 02:53:22 06:38 Roseburg, OR F30-34 1
4 Kengo Yoshimoto 3 02:56:30 06:45 Honolulu, HI M40-44 1
5 Michael Sullivan 193 02:57:30 06:47 Hilo, HI M35-39 1
6 Alan Ryan 1 03:11:38 07:19 Makaweli, HI M45-49 1
7 Daniel Wagner 212 03:16:31 07:31 Honolulu, HI M30-34 1
8 Tyler Sprague 191 03:17:04 07:32 Pahoa, HI M25-29 1
9 Michael Arnstein 9 03:17:06 07:32 Kamuela, HI M35-39 2
10 Jon-Erik Jardine 90 03:18:00 07:34 Hilo, HI M25-29 2
11 Yuko Nakai 232 03:20:04 07:39 HONOLULU, HI F40-44 1
12 Joshua Johnson 230 03:26:26 07:53 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO M35-39 3
13 James Lehman 105 03:26:37 07:54 Coppell, TX M45-49 2
14 Michael Carroll 38 03:28:27 07:58 Millville, MA M50-54 1
15 Nelson Soken 186 03:30:20 08:02 Hugo, MN M50-54 2

For complete results see here: 2016 Big Island International Marathon Results

Easter at Prince Kuhio Plaza

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with several groups and businesses, invites keiki age 17 and younger to its free Easter at the Plaza holiday event Friday, March 25, at Hilo’s Prince Kūhiō Plaza.

Prince Kuhio PlazaRegistration opens at 9:30 a.m. at the plaza’s center court. Keiki activities, including Easter crafts, coloring station, carnival games, tattoos, face painting, and balloon sculpting, will be offered from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Prize giveaways will occur every half-hour.

A special milk drinking contest, sponsored by the Hilo Jaycees and Kandi’s Drive-Inn, and an ice cream eating contest, sponsored by Dairy Queen/Orange Julius, will be held at 12:30 p.m. Contests open to keiki age 12 and younger.

Easter at the Plaza is a drug-, alcohol- and tobacco-free event.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks partners Prince Kūhiō Plaza, Hilo High School Key Club and AVID, Waiākea High School Key Club, Hilo Jaycees, Living Waters Assembly, Circle K at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, East Hawai‘i Kiwanis, and Kandi’s Drive-Inn for helping sponsor the Easter at the Plaza event.

For more information, please contact the Hilo Recreation Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation at 938-2014.

Second Annual Free Easter Egg Hunt at Botanical World Adventures

Children from age two to eleven can enjoy the fun of searching for over 2,000 plastic eggs during the Second Annual Free Easter Egg Hunt at Botanical World Adventures, 16 miles north of Hilo.

maze

“The event was a huge success last year so we made it even bigger this year,” explained Kika Nixon, Operations Manager at Botanical World Adventures. “There are more eggs for the children to find and more and larger prizes for adults. “Every child will receive candy or a small prize. Plus we are having drawings for free rides on our Zip Isle zip line tour and on our unique Segway Rainforest tour.”

Mrs. Nixon said the Easter Egg hunt will take place on both Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27. The egg hunt starts at 10:00a.m. each day. Children will gather the eggs then turn them in for candy or prizes. Admission to the beautiful World Botanical Gardens at Botanical World Adventures is free for children and families attending the egg hunts.

“We want to give back to our community and just felt this is one fun way to do that,” Mrs. Nixon added. “We look forward to seeing everyone.”

A special Sunrise Service by the Hilo Coast United Church of Christ will also take place at Botanical World on Easter Sunday from 6:00 – 6:45a.m. “All are welcome. The service will be at the Kamae’e Falls overlook here at Botanical World and we have easy to access to a tent in case of rain,” said the Operations Manager.

Botanical World Adventures is located 16 miles north of Hilo at mile marker 16 on Highway 19. Additional information is available by calling (808) 963-5427; (toll free: 888-947-4753), and on the web at www.ZipIsle.com or BotanicalWorld.com