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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.

Business Community to Host Meeting on Legislative Efforts to Revitalize Hilo and Banyan Drive

On Tuesday, January 31, a coalition of individuals and organizations focused on improving the East Hawaii economy will hold a community meeting to discuss legislative efforts that will guide in the revitalization of Hilo and Banyan Drive.

The coalition includes Kanoelehua Industrial Association (KIAA), Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Hawaii (JCCIH) and Hawaii Island Economic Development Board (HIEDB).

The public is invited to attend and hear from coalition representatives and area legislators on the various, proposed economic development measures that have been introduced this legislative session (see full list below). The measures are aimed at providing much-needed tools and mechanisms to attract investment and foster partnerships that will help revitalize the local economy while promoting a healthy environment where East Hawaii families can thrive.

  • When: Tuesday, January 31
  • Time: 4:30–5:30pm
  • Location: Hawaii Innovation Center, 117 Keawe Street in Hilo, Room #105 (corner of Keawe and Kalakaua Streets)
  • Parking: Street parking only

After the community meeting, the coalition will work with the public and the Hawaii Island delegation to advocate for the various proposed measures (full list and descriptions below, with links to download bills).

The coalition thanks the hard working East Hawaii Caucus that introduced the bills: Representative Mark Nakashima, Representative Richard Onishi, Representative Joy San Buenaventura, Representative Christopher Todd, Senator Lorraine Inouye, Senator Kaialii Kahele, and Senator Russell Ruderman

List of 2017 29th Legislature bills promoting East Hawaii’s economic interests introduced by members of the East Hawaii caucus:

HB 575 / SB 274 – Authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources to extend state land leases when the lessee makes qualifying substantial improvements to leased public lands. Download HB 575, SB 274.

HB 1310 / SB 1184 – Establishes the Waiakea Peninsula Redevelopment District, Planning Committee, and Revolving Fund. Download HB 1310, SB 1184. 

HB 1469 / SB 1185 – Establishes procedures for designating public land redevelopment districts, planning committees (including powers and duties), district redevelopment plans, and designated revolving funds. Modifies public land lease restrictions. Download HB 1469, SB 1185.

HB 1479 / SB 1292 – Establishes the Hilo community economic district and places it under the jurisdiction of the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Establishes a revolving economic development fund and designates a percentage to be transferred to the special land and development fund under the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Download HB 1479, SB 1292.

Kojo Couture, 19th & Whimsy to Headline Zonta Fashion Frenzy

The Zonta Club of Hilo presents Zonta Fashion Frenzy, Hawaii Island’s premier fashion event, February 9-11, 2017, headlined by Maui’s Koa Johonson of Kojo Couture and Oahu’s Lauren Hayashibara of 19th & Whimsy. More than 60 local designers and businesses will participate over the course of the three-day event.


Fashion Frenzy puts the clubs mission – empower women through service and advocacy – into action by creating a venue for local designers and women-owned businesses to showcase their unique talents and products.

The event kicks off Thursday, February 9 with Dine Like a Diva at 6:30 p.m. at Wainaku Executive Center. Jasmine Silverstein of HeartBeet Catering and Casey Halpern of Café Pesto will prepare a locally-sourced, fashion-inspired menu. Each pupu will incorporate a fashion element by a participating designer, from garment silhouette and fabric texture/color to collection theme. For dessert, attendees will enjoy a chocolate fountain with fresh local fruit and cookies, and Kau coffee and espresso. Tickets are $65, which includes food and wine bar curated by Kadota Liquor.

On Friday, February 10, the community is invited to attend the Friday Night Market from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at Sangha Hall. The night market features nearly 45 fashion, art and food pop-ups, specialty cocktails, craft beer and wine, live music, fierce photo booth and mini fashion shows on the hour. There is no cover charge and all ages are welcome.

The finale Runway Fashion Show takes place Saturday, February 11 at Imiloa Center and is a showcase of Hawaii’s leading and emerging designers. Headliners Kojo Couture (Koa Johnson, Maui) and 19th & Whimsy (Lauren Hayashibara, Oahu) are joined by Alohiwai, Wehi Designs, Colors of Life, Simply Sisters, Hana Hou Hilo and Vested Interest Hawaii from Oahu. Tickets are $60 and includes fashion show followed by a pupu reception and exclusive shopping experience with designers. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 6:00 p.m.

All event proceeds go to the Zonta Club of Hilo Foundation to support local service projects including “Pay it Forward,” a program that provides micro-grants to women starting or expanding a business; scholarships for young women furthering their education in STEM, business and nursing; and a “Dress for Success” program to benefit Hawaii Island women in need.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.ZontaFashionFrenzy.org. Event sneak peeks available on Facebook and IG @ZontaHilo; find posts using #ZontaFashionFrenzy.

Fashion Frenzy 2017 is made by possible by Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hastings & Pleadwell: A Communication Company, Crush Skincare, Markham Insurance, A3 Telecom, Aloha All Natural Cleaning, Edward Jones, Day-Lum Rentals & Management, Mary Begier Realty, Altres Staffing, GUM Design, Mermade Spa, HeartBeet Catering, Cafe Pesto, Kadota Liquor, OK Farms, Big Island Delights and Kau Coffee Specialty.

Third Circuit Seeking Applicants for Independent Grand Jury Counsels

The Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (Hawaii) is seeking applications for Independent Grand Jury Counsels (Hilo and Kona).  The compensation shall be as provided by law.
Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of the state of Hawaii establishes that whenever a grand jury is impaneled, an independent counsel shall be appointed as provided by law, to advise the members of the grand jury regarding matters brought before it.

In accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes (§612-51 to §612-57), the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court appoints grand jury counsel for the four judicial circuits of the state, selecting from among those individuals licensed to practice law in Hawaii who are not public employees.

If you are interested in being considered for a one-year appointment to either Hilo or Kona, please submit a letter indicating your interest and resume by April 15, 2017 to:

Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra
Keakealani Building
79-1020 Haukapila St.
Kealakekua, HI  96750

Also, please fax a copy to:

Lester Oshiro, Chief Court Administrator
Fax No. 808-961-7577

VIDEO: Senator Kahele Announcing the “Hilo Community Economic District” Bill

Senator Kai Kahele announces the “Hilo Community Economic District” Senate Bill that he is about to introduce during the 2017 Hawaii State Legislature.

Building on the work of the Banyan Drive Hawai‘i Redevelopment Agency, this bill will expand the application and scope of their effort and move toward crafting a master plan of all state lands in the Hilo urban core, including Banyan Drive, Wailoa State Park, Kanoelehua Industrial Area, the Hilo International Airport and Pier, and other nearby state lands.

“This initiative combines the strengths of the public sector, private enterprise, and the community to conduct long-range planning and community building unlocking the economic potential of East Hawaiʻi,” said Sen. Kahele. “This is truly a game-changer for Hilo. With this kind of synergy, we can build a Hilo for the future. A Hilo that our children can thrive in.”

County of Hawai‘i Planning Department Releases the Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan for Public Comment and Announces Community Meeting

The County of Hawai‘i Planning Department announces the release of the Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan (DHMMP) Public Review Draft and the kickoff of the public review period, which runs through March 6, 2017.

The DHMMP Draft can be downloaded online at www.hawaiicountycompletestreets.com. Written comments may be sent by e-mail to downtownhilo@hawaiicounty.gov, or by mail to the County of Hawaiʻi Planning Department at 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720.

A community meeting is planned for February 15, 2017 from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Downtown Hilo, 76 Kamehameha Avenue. The event will include open house displays and a presentation on the DHMMP Draft at 5:00 pm. Discussion and input are encouraged.

Please contact Melissa White at (808) 628-5861 or mwhite@ssfm.com if you wish to request an auxiliary aid or service, other reasonable modification, or language interpretation to access this meeting no later than February 10, five days prior to the event, to arrange for accommodations.

ABOUT THE DHMMP

The Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan (DHMMP) has its roots in EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025: A Community-Based Vision and Living Action Plan, which set a community-defined and shared vision for Downtown Hilo as a vibrant, sustainable, safe, healthy, and active community.  Action item number 6.1 of the EnVision 2025 Plan is: “development of a master plan to include traffic circulation, parking, and pedestrian streetscape.” The County of Hawaii Planning Department initiated the DHMMP to fulfill this action item and craft a plan that can be implemented to achieve the community’s shared goals.

The Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan was developed over a two-year period and refined through more than 15 community events, from focus groups with Downtown users, landowners, and businesses to a community event that included activities and demonstrations of complete streets concepts. Input indicated strong support for making Downtown Hilo more walkable, bike friendly, and vibrant for people of all ages and abilities.

Eight major themes emerged as part of the community outreach process that represented important needs and issues to be addressed through multimodal improvements.  These became the DHMMP’s organizing themes:

  • Improve Downtown Hilo’s multimodal environment and connectivity to key destinations;
  • Celebrate and elevate Keawe Street’s identity as Downtown Hilo’s “Main Street”;
  • Improve multimodal connections between Downtown Hilo and the Bayfront;
  • Highlight Kamehameha Avenue as a retail and visitor destination by improving the pedestrian-friendly environment along the building frontage and adjacent mauka-makai streets;
  • Make bicycling attractive and safe, with a more complete bicycle network and supporting facilities;
  • Calm traffic to slow speeds through Downtown and direct through-traffic to alternate routes to achieve a more walkable environment;
  • Incorporate parking and transit solutions that make it easier to “park once and walk” to destinations in Downtown Hilo;
  • Ensure improvements preserve and enhance Downtown Hilo’s character and charm and make it more inviting and safe.

Alternatives and final recommendations for six multimodal transportation components were developed and refined with extensive input from the community and key stakeholders: 1) circulation patterns; 2) pedestrian improvements; 3) bicycle facilities; 4) parking; 5) transit; and 6) streetscape design. The DHMMP includes phasing recommendations for implementing the proposed improvements.

For additional information, please contact Hans Santiago at (808) 961-8288 or downtownhilo@hawaiicounty.gov.

Steve Ueda Named President of Suisan

Steve Ueda will assume the role of president and CEO of Suisan Group, Inc., Suisan Company, Ltd. and Suisan Properties, Ltd. on January 16, announced Glenn Hashimoto, chair of the Suisan board, current president and CEO.

Steve Ueda

Ueda will be Suisan’s eighth president. He is the grandson of Rex Matsuno, the former longtime president, CEO and chairman of the board of Suisan. The board, which includes members of the Matsuno family, carefully considered the succession plan over several years. Hashimoto was instrumental in recruiting Ueda to return from the mainland ten years ago to eventually assume Suisan leadership.

Ueda will take over the 110-year-old food distribution business from Hashimoto, who will stay on as executive advisor. In his new role, Hashimoto will oversee Suisan’s business development and assist with executing the company’s strategic vision.

Ueda has been with the family company since 2007 and held numerous positions including distributor sales representative, buyer, sales manager for the company’s retail market segment, and most recently, vice president of sales.

Steve Ueda, Rex Matsuno, Christine Matsuno (Rex’s youngest daughter), Leslie Ann Sumitani (maiden name Kohashi, Christine’s daughter), and Esther Ueda (Rex’s eldest daughter, Steve’s mother) taken in 1983 at the grand opening of “Super Jumbo 1,” Suisan’s first cold storage warehouse expansion.

“Steve understands Suisan’s mission of making a difference by contributing to the success of our customers,” said Hashimoto. “Over the years, he has applied his analytical skills and data-driven expertise as an engineer to increase operational efficiencies. I am confident that under Steve’s leadership, Suisan will continue to thrive and provide value to the community.”

Ueda, son of Esther Ueda, Rex Matsuno’s first daughter, is a Honolulu native and graduate of the University of Hawaii–Manoa in mechanical engineering. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in business administration from University of California–Irvine.

Prior to Suisan, Ueda worked throughout the United States and United Kingdom as a product and systems developer for companies such as Ford, Visteon and Altia Automotive.

“Under Glenn’s leadership, Suisan adapted to the times while remaining competitive and continued the company philosophy of taking care of the customer. Glenn has been a great mentor. As Suisan celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, I am focused on keeping the company relevant and invested in the community. I am deeply humbled to continue the family legacy of leading Suisan,” Ueda said.

Ueda is second vice-president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, where he also chairs the economic development committee. He is a member of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and Hawaii Food Industry Association, and a community leader for the Blue Zones Project.

Banyan Drive Art Stroll Schedule of Artists, Demonstrations and Entertainment Announced

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll on Saturday, January 14, runs from noon until 6 p.m. Art exhibits are open at the Grand Naniloa Hotel, Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, and Banyan Gallery. People’s Choice ballots may be cast at the Grand Naniloa until 6 p.m.

From noon until 3 p.m. painters will be in Lili`uokalani Gardens. In addition to en plein air, the following schedule of demonstrations will happen in the square roof pavilion near the red bridge: 12 noon Valentina Montoya, 12:45 p.m. William Wingert, 1:30 p.m.  Peter Heineman, and at  2:15 p.m.  F Scott Cahill

  • Noon to 1 p.m. Christy Lassiter Trio (Christy Lassiter, J.J. Ahuna, and Kyle Kaaa) plus hula will perform at Grand Naniloa. Copies of the CD “Le`ale`a” will be available for purchase.
  • 2 p.m. Paradise Helicopters will award grand prize in the calendar contest at Banyan Gallery
  • 2 to 3 p.m. Puna Taiko will play at the old sumo area near the tea house.
  • 3-4 p.m. Brandon Tengan will demonstrate gyotaku (fish printing) at Suisan Fish Market.
  • 3-4 p.m. Puna Taiko will play outside Banyan Gallery, pupu will be served.
  • 4:00 p.m.  Ken Charon drawing demo at Grand Naniloa.
  • 4-5 p.m. Desmon Haumea and Bambu will play at Hilo Hawaiian, pupu will be served. Copies of the CD “Des and BAMBU – Maui Style will be available for purchase.”
  • 5-6 p.m. Desmon Haumea and Bambu will play at Grand Naniloa, pupu will be served. Copies of the CD “Des and BAMBU – Maui  Style will be available for purchase.”

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll is the first in a series of events to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens. For further information, see the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact K.T. Cannon-Eger by email kteger@hawaii.rr.com or cell phone (808) 895-8130.

$65,000 Settlement in Hilo Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission (HCRC) Executive Director William Hoshijo today announced the settlement of a complaint brought by an employee against a Hilo business, alleging that her employer failed to reinstate her after a pregnancy-related disability leave, denied her a reasonable accommodation for her pregnancy-related disability, and terminated her because of her pregnancy.

The employee claimed that after she informed her immediate supervisor that she was pregnant, her manager made negative and derogatory comments about the inconvenience caused by her pregnancy.  She was told by her manager that the company could not hire temporary employees to accommodate her need to take pregnancy-related leave.  Approximately 1½ weeks after beginning unpaid pregnancy-related disability leave, she was told to remove her things from the workplace to “make room” for two newly hired employees.  After giving birth and after being released to return to work by her physician, the company refused to reinstate the employee and terminated her employment.

Click to learn more

Hawaii’s fair employment law protects pregnant employees by requiring employers to provide leave for an employee who has a pregnancy-related disability, with or without pay, for a reasonable time to be determined by the employee’s physician.  State law also requires reinstatement to the pregnant employee’s original job or to a position of comparable status and pay when the employee is released to return to work after pregnancy-related disability leave.  Finally, state law prohibits termination because of pregnancy.

Employers are allowed to require a pregnant employee to obtain medical verification of her inability to work due to pregnancy-related disability.

Under the terms of settlement, the employer agreed to pay $65,000 to the employee, adopt a non-discrimination policy, and provide non-discrimination training for its supervisors and managers.  The case was settled in conciliation, after a determination that there was reasonable cause to believe that illegal discrimination occurred, but before litigation and before a final decision was issued by the Commission.

“Although the identity of the parties is confidential at this stage,” explained HCRC Executive Director Hoshijo, “the settlement serves as an important reminder that pregnancy discrimination is unlawful.” Hoshijo added, “We used to see more pregnancy discrimination complaints, but now see fewer as employees and employers learn more about their rights and responsibilities under our civil rights laws.”

The Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing state civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded services.

If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment because of your sex, based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related disability, contact the HCRC at:  telephone (808) 586-8636, or email DLIR.HCRC.INFOR@hawaii.gov.

For more information on pregnancy discrimination, go to the HCRC webpage at:  http://labor.hawaii.gov/hcrc/files/2013/01/INFOpreg1.pdf.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
TDD/TTY Dial 711 then ask for (808) 586-8866

Hawaii Wood Guild 31st Annual Exhibition

Hawaii Wood Guild will have the opening and reception for its 31st annual show on January 14th at Isaacs Art Center from 5pm to 7pm.  The show will run through February 24th.  Isaacs Art Center is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Every Saturday several artists will sit at the show to give you an opportunity to ask questions about all the different aspects of woodworking or to meet some of your favorite woodworkers.
This year they have invited 20 Master woodworkers to exhibit in Joinery, Turning, Sculpture and any combination of skills working in the medium of wood. The show will consist of 58 works that will please all that enjoy the many different ways of creativity expressed through wood. 

Everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece in selecting the winner of the people’s choice award. The winner of this award will be announced on the Hawaii Wood Guild Facebook page at the end of the show.

 

For more information, contact the gallery at 885 5884 or email  marcuscastaing@aol.com.

Gyotaku Demonstration at Suisan

Brandon Tengan has a love affair with the ocean as a surfer, fisherman, and fish print artist.

He will demonstrate gyotaku, the art of fish printing, at Suisan Fish Market on Lihiwai Street, Saturday January 14, from 3 to 4 p.m. as part of the Banyan Drive Art Stroll.

An exhibit of Brandon Tengan gyotaku

As stated on his web site, Prior 2 Pupu Productions, “The Japanese Art of Gyotaku…most simply translated as “gyo”—fish, and “taku”—rubbing or impression; a technique developed to accurately record a fisherman’s prized catch, prior to eating it.  Fish are caught, painted with a non-toxic ink, and imprinted on shoji (rice) paper.  When peeled back, the paper is left with an impression yielding the exact size, shape and ultimately – the fisherman’s story.  The prints are then painted, remembered and shared.  Most importantly, the fish is then washed clean and prepared as a meal.”

Tengan was raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii. He said his, “love and passion for the ocean first began with surfing.  However, when the surf got flat, he slowly took up diving and fishing and once he started…he got hooked.  Brandon considers himself blessed and fortunate to have been taught by many skilled fisherman and dive partners, continuing to learn each time he heads out.  Initially taught gyotaku by a family friend, what started as a small backyard hobby is now a fun business endeavor.”

Brandon Tengan and a tako catch

Locally Tengan’s work is carried by Banyan Gallery, located near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Banyan Gallery will feature an exhibit of photographers’ images selected for a calendar of Lili`uokalani GArdens during the Banyan Drive Art Stroll.

The event is free and open to the public, children welcome.

This is the first of a series of events to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens, which is bounded by Lihiwai Street and Banyan Drive on the Waiakea peninsula in Hilo.