Kona Tax Office Changes Walk-In Service Hours

Effective August 1, 2016, walk-in service hours at the Department of Taxation’s Kona Office will be changed to 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. Telephone calls will continue to be taken from 7:45am to 4:30pm.

tax mission

Due to the small number of staff in the Kona Office, adjusting the walk-in service hours will help the Kona staff provide better overall service to all Kona taxpayers.  Changes to the walk-in service hours are needed to ensure documents received by our Kona Office staff that day can be timely processed.

“We thank the residents of West Hawaii for their flexibility and understanding,” stated Director of Taxation Maria E. Zielinski.

Tropical Storm Darby Claims Large Tour Boat Off Kona Coast

The Coast Guard is responding to the grounding of the Spirit of Kona on the island of Hawai’i, Sunday.
Kona Boat
Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Department of Natural Resources, Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation, commercial salvors and the owner of the vessel are working to develop a salvage plan.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received notification Sunday morning from a good Samaritan reporting the 65-foot Spirit of Kona, a commercial passenger vessel, aground on the rocks near the Kailua-Kona Lighthouse.

Kona Boat2

Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at Marine Safety Detachment Hawaii, state agencies and commercial salvors have attended the scene to assess the vessel and reported a 120 yard by 53 yard non-recoverable rainbow sheen in the vicinity.

The vessel reportedly has a maximum pollution potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, commercial batteries and 19.5 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils. No wildlife was seen in the area or reportedly affected.

The vessel reportedly broke free of its mooring in Kailua Bay as Tropical Storm Darby passed over the region early Sunday. No one was aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Sector Honolulu watchstanders have issued a broadcast notice to mariners reporting the vessel as a possible hazard to navigation.
Spirit of Kona
As the Spirit of Kona is a commercial vessel, operated by Blue Sea Cruises, the Coast Guard will investigate the cause the of the grounding and work with the owner to address repairs and operating requirements once salvaged. A notice of federal interest has been issued.

Tropical Storm Darby continues to impact the Main Hawaiian Islands Sunday. Commercial ports on Hawaii, Maui, Molokai and Oahu are closed. The Coast Guard encourages boat owners to take precautions with regard to their vessels by moving them to protected areas, doubling up lines and taking them out of the water as applicable.

Darby continues to move west northwest. Localized damaging winds of 30 to 40 mph can be expected, along with gusts of 50 to 60 mph or greater. Surf along east facing shores of Maui will be 8 to 12 feet. Surf along east facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai will be 6 to 10 feet. Passing rainbands will bring periods of showers. There is a chance for intense downpours or thunderstorms to develop near Maui county, then spread to Oahu and Kauai later today. Additional rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with local amounts up to 15 inches are expected with tropical storm Darby.

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Kona Area of Big Island of Hawaii

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake was just registered in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island.
41 Kona
No tsunami was generated from it.  Full report here:  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv61350131#executive

UPDATE:

New Alert: Tsunami Information (Hawaiian Islands) – On The Western Flank Of Mauna Loa – 4.0,
INFORMATION, A Tsunami Information has been issued by NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI for ON THE WESTERN FLANK OF MAUNA LOA at July 23, 07:20:00 GMT.

TSUNAMI SEISMIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
920 PM HST FRI JUL 22 2016

TO – EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT – LOCAL TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0916 PM HST 22 JUL 2016
COORDINATES – 19.5 NORTH 155.9 WEST
LOCATION – ON THE WESTERN FLANK OF MAUNA LOA
MAGNITUDE – 4.0

EVALUATION:

NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED. REPEAT. NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

2 Pilots Rescued From Downed Small Plane Off Kona

Survivors of a downed small plane were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard off Kona, Thursday, following a joint search involving the U.S. Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews.

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department personnel stand with the mother of Sidney Uemoto following her daughter's rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department personnel stand with the mother of Sidney Uemoto following her daughter’s rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew hoisted the survivors at 11:35 a.m. about nine miles north of the Kona airport, a mile and half offshore. They were flown to the airport where they were met by awaiting emergency medical crews and treated for minor injuries.

The mother of Sidney Uemoto checks on her daughter following her daughter's rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

The mother of Sidney Uemoto checks on her daughter following her daughter’s rescue nine miles off Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016. Uemoto and David McMahon were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

A commercial helicopter flying along the Kona coast sighted a debris field and reported it to the Coast Guard. One of the Dolphin crews was diverted to investigate and sighted the survivors. They vectored in a second Dolphin crew with a rescue swimmer aboard to conduct the hoist. The survivors were both wearing lifejackets and were swimming toward shore at the time.

Coast Guard crews safely deliver David McMahon and Sidney Uemoto to emergency medical personnel in Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016, following their rescue nine miles off Kona. They were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. They reportedly sustained only minor injures in the crash. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

Coast Guard crews safely deliver David McMahon and Sidney Uemoto to emergency medical personnel in Kona, Hawaii, July 15, 2016, following their rescue nine miles off Kona. They were both rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew following an expansive joint search by Navy, Royal New Zealand air force, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard crews. They reportedly sustained only minor injures in the crash. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Cooper/Released)

Involved in the search were:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane crews and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Air Station Barbers Point
  • A Navy MH-60R helicopter crew from the USS Chung Hoon (DDG-93) and the crew of the ship
  • The USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349)
  • A Royal New Zealand air force P3K2 Orion airplane crew
  • HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from the 353rd Special Operations Group from Kadena Air Base, Japan

At 3:15 p.m. watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received notification from Honolulu control facility personnel that the pilot of a dual engine aircraft with two people aboard radioed them reporting and in air emergency. The tower confirmed they then lost contact with the pilot and the plane no longer appeared on radar.

The plane was reportedly traveling to Kona from Oahu, not Maui as previously reported, with the last known position approximately 25 miles northwest of Kona. A Navy P3 Orion airplane was on approach to Kona and overheard the pilot’s call to the tower. The Orion crew initially diverted to investigate the report, but is not involved in the search.

Watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast advising mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to JRCC. They also directed the launch of assets to respond.

Me at the helm of USS Chung Hoon

Me at the helm of USS Chung Hoon

The Chung Hoon is homeported in Pearl Harbor. The Galveston Island is homeported in Honolulu. The Chung Hoon, Royal New Zealand air force and U.S. Air Force HC-130 are participating in RIMPAC 2016.

Island Air 48-Hour Summer Sale – $64 Flights to Kona & Lihue

Summer fun has just begun with Island Air’s 48-hour summer sale. From Wednesday, July 6 through Thursday, July 7, Island Air is offering special summer fares on its newest routes to Kona and Līhu‘e starting at $64* one way. The travel period is July 20 through October 6, 2016. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

Island Air

“Interisland travel is such an integral part of summer in Hawai‘i, and we want to make it a little easier for families to ‘Fly the Island Way,’” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air.

*Island Air’s special summer promotional fares start at $64 one way for weekday flights, are non-refundable and non-transferable, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice. The fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee. Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

ABOUT ISLAND AIR:

Island Air is the value leader in the Hawaiian Islands, offering 238 convenient flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. The affordable alternative for interisland travel, Island Air’s 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft are able to provide captivating aerial views of Hawai‘i’s remarkable landscapes. Founded in 1980 as Princeville Airways, the company was renamed Island Air in 1992 and has been proudly serving the islands of Hawai‘i for more than 35 years.

For more information about Island Air or to make a reservation, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 652-6541. Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

Darren Cho Recognized as “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Kona Patrol Officer Darren Cho as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (July 6) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Darren  Cho was honored for using his community contacts to help identify and locate suspects in a deliberately-set fire at Big Island Drug Court.

Officer Darren
Cho was honored for using his community contacts to help identify and locate suspects in a deliberately-set fire at Big Island Drug Court.

During his investigation, Cho obtained a tip about a male suspect’s identity and learned that a pickup truck the man had used during the incident might be near Hoʻokena Beach Park. Cho located the abandoned truck in a heavily overgrown pasture in the area and determined that it had been reported stolen. Further investigation led to the identities of a key witness and a female accomplice. Both suspects were arrested and charged with first-degree arson, first-degree conspiracy to commit arson and criminal property damage. The male suspect was also charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Detective Walter Ah Mow, who nominated Cho for the honor, noted that the officer is a “seasoned veteran” with 11 years of service.

“Officer Cho’s experience as an officer and his relationship within the community he serves, combined with his own self-motivation and professionalism, have resulted in the apprehension of criminal offenders, recovery of stolen property and the continued safety of our communities,” Ah Mow wrote in nomination papers.

Cho was previously named “Officer of the Month” in December of 2011, May of 2012 and July of 2015. As “Officer of the Month” again, he is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

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

Free Orchid Show – 34th Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show

It’s an “Eruption of Orchids” at the 34th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale Sunday, July 17 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. This year’s theme salutes the centennial of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with a central blooming display backdropped by a volcano.

Orchids

The free event offers attendees complimentary refreshments, plus an orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last.  Time is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. with the Daifukuji Taiko Drummers performing at 10 a.m.

Enjoy an elaborate and colorful display of live blooming cattleya, cymbidium, dendrobium, phalaenopsis, miltonia, vanda and more. Cameras are welcome. In addition this year’s show will have a display of orchids appearing on “Plates, Platters and Plaques.”

Got growing questions? Veteran members will staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts eight charter members who each have been growing orchids at least 30 years at different Kona elevations.

In addition to the other displays, the annual event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids grown by club members and Big Isle commercial growers.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.kdoc.us, get club updates at www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise or phone 808-325-3261.

Governor Ige Town Hall Meeting in Kailua-Kona Friday

Governor David Ige has announced a town hall meeting this Friday in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Governor Ige Profile

What: Governor David Ige’s Community Connection town hall meeting in Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island. This is an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with the governor and members of his administration on issues that are important to the West Hawai‘i community.

Who:              

  • Governor Ige
  • Scott Morishige, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness
  • Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Agriculture                                               

When:  Friday, June 24, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm 

Where: Hawai‘i Community College — Palamanui 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona

Big Island Police Searching for Parties Responsible for Dumping Abandoned & Derelict Vehicles

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking the public for help in identifying individuals or businesses who are responsible for the dumping of abandoned and derelict vehicles.
Abandoned
Since January 1, approximately 280 abandoned or derelict vehicles have been reported in the Kona District alone, compared with 106 reported during the same period in 2015.

“Be on the lookout for private or business vehicles that may be dumping vehicles on the sides of our roadways,” said Sergeant Roylen Valera of the Kona Community Policing Section. Dumping a vehicle is a criminal offense punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, offenders could face a criminal littering charge, which is a petty misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $1,000 and community service.

“We would like to remind vehicle owners to complete the necessary paperwork if they dispose or transfer their vehicle to another person or entity, to ensure that they will not be liable for the vehicle if it is found abandoned on the side of the road,” Sergeant Valera said. If the paperwork is not completed, you will be responsible for any fines or towing charges. Our goal is to preserve the beauty of Hawaiʻi Island. ”

Police ask anyone who knows the identity of those who dump abandoned or derelict vehicles to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Sergeant Roylen Valera at 326-4646, extension 259.

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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Passes for “HawaiiCon 2016” On Sale Now

Kama’aina passes for HawaiiCon 2016 go on sale today. This year’s science and sci-fi convention takes place September 15-18 on the beach at the luxurious Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Highly discounted rooms are available to all attendees who book through the HawaiiCon website.

Hawaiicon2016Beyond an exciting array of panels and workshops, HawaiiCon, will be offering fans the most unique celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, featuring: a lu’au under the Milky Way with sci-fi stars on the beach, a hula lesson with Star Trek crew members, and amazing, real adventures with the crew of the Enterprise. Go snorkeling with Leeta (Chase Masterson) from DeepSpace 9, or night diving and snorkeling with giant manta rays next to both Rod Roddenberry (son of Star Trek’s creator Gene Roddenberry) and Next Generation’s Number One Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes).

hawaiicon 2016 membersOriginal Star Trek crew members Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) will also be on hand to meet fans and you can celebrate Walter‘s 80th birthday at a delicious gourmet dinner at Daylight Mind Waikoloa. If you are a Battlestar Galactica fan, go ziplining via Kapohokine Adventures with Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) and the Chief (Aaron Douglas).

HawaiiCon 2016 brings together leading cast members from the various Star Trek series, as well as over twenty other celebrity guests including New York Times Best Selling Author John Scalzi (Red Shirts).

HawaiiCon 2016 will be held at the Mauna Lani Resort.

HawaiiCon 2016 will be held at the Mauna Lani Resort.

The event also features well-known cosplayers, space scientists, visionaries, gamers, comicbook artists, and writers. Each day of the convention offers scores of panels and workshops to choose from. A popular day to come to the event is Saturday because of the Keiki and Adult Cosplay contests that draw hundreds of costumed fans. This year, a special category has been added to the contest, Star Trek, with prizes for the best costumes of characters from the original series.

Rod Roddenberry calls HawaiiCon, “The best convention I’ve been to.”

HawaiiCon, a non-profit, helps children of the Big Island ‘Reach for the Stars’ in science and the performing arts.

For more information and booking go to www.hawaiicon.com and follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/hawaiicon and @HawaiiCon on Twitter/Instagram.

Island Air Launches Kona Service – George Applegate Named Island Air’s Hawaii Island Representative

Island Air today launched daily air service to Hawaiʻi Island as part of its continuing efforts to expand its presence in the Islands and offer residents and visitors an alternative option for interisland travel. The airline also announced it has hired veteran tourism industry leader George Applegate to serve as its representative on Hawaiʻi Island.

Photos courtesy of Island Air

Photos courtesy of Island Air

Island Air officials, along with government, business and visitor industry leaders from Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu gathered at the Kona International Airport this morning for a blessing of the airline’s new check-in counter located in Terminal 1 and departure/arrival gate (Gate 5). Following the blessing, passengers on the inaugural flights arriving into and departing from Kona were greeted with lei and entertained by keiki from Waimea’s Hālau Hula Ka Noʻeau. In partnership with the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB), guests also were given a tour of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi Authority located a short drive from the airport.

During the celebration, Island Air’s president and chief executive officer David Uchiyama announced that Applegate will serve as Island Air’s representative on Hawaiʻi Island. Applegate will support the airline’s sales efforts and assist in promoting Island Air’s business on Hawaiʻi Island.

island air day 1a

“Over the years, George has played an integral role in strengthening Hawaiʻi Island’s tourism industry. We are excited to have him join the Island Air team as we work to grow our Kona service,” said Uchiyama. “Our entire Island Air team recognizes the importance of having reliable interisland air travel options that allow local families and businesses to remain connected, support the local economy and provide alternatives for residents and visitors to enjoy Hawai‘i the Island way.”

Applegate has more than 40 years of experience in the visitor industry, including 24 years with the BIVB, 13 of those as its executive director before he retired in 2013. In 2015, he served as an executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi where he assisted with various tourism projects for Hawaiʻi Island. He continues to provide tourism-related consulting services on a contractual basis to the County of Hawaiʻi through his firm George Applegate Consulting.

island air day 1b

“Having another alternative for interisland travel is critical for our community and visitor industry, which is why I am excited about this opportunity to assist with the growth of a second interisland airline that will support both residents and visitors,” said Applegate.

In addition to increasing seat capacity to Hawaiʻi Island with five daily roundtrip flights between Kona and Honolulu, Island Air hired 22 employees to service the new route. The Kona-based team of customer service agents and ramp agents is being led by Shardae Kaupu Lopez, who will serve as Island Air’s Kona station manager and oversee the airline’s airport operations. Lopez is originally from Miloliʻi and started working for Island Air in 2012.

West Hawaii Natural Disaster Preparedness Workshop

State Representatives Nicole Lowen and Mark Nakashima, in partnership with UH Sea Grant, Hawaii County Civil Defense, and the National Weather Service, are hosting a free workshop on July 9, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the West Hawaii Civic Center, Council Chambers. Participants will learn how to prepare their families and homes for natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

natural hazards handbookThe workshop will cover topics from Sea Grant’s Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards, including emergency supply kits, evacuation planning, sheltering in place, insurance and home retrofits.

The Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards is also available for download at: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards

Please RSVP to reserve your seat by emailing replowen@capitol.hawaii.gov or calling (808) 586-8400.

  • WHO:  State Representatives Nicole Lowen and Mark Nakashima
  • WHAT:  Natural Disaster Preparedness Workshop with Hawaii County Civil Defense, UH Sea Grant, and the National Weather Service
  • WHEN:  Saturday, July 9, 2016, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • WHERE:  West Hawaii Civic Center, Council Chambers, Building A, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona

 

Island Air Hires 22 Employees for New Service to Kona – Daily Service Starts June 14th

Island Air announced it has hired 22 employees to accommodate its new daily service to Kona International Airport starting Tuesday, June 14.

“We are proud to introduce our new Kona team members who are dedicated to providing outstanding customer service and ensuring passengers have the best interisland travel experience,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air’s president and chief executive officer. “We are excited to welcome these 22 individuals to the Island Air ‘ohana as we prepare to launch daily Kona service.”

The new team members, which include former Island Air employees, were recruited through job fairs and other outreach efforts to fill positions that include customer service agents, ramp agents and station manager. The Kona employees have been undergoing extensive training for the past two months.

Shardae Kaupu Lopez

Shardae Kaupu Lopez

Shardae Kaupu Lopez, who is from Miloliʻi and started working for Island Air in 2012, will serve as the Kona station manager and will oversee the airline’s operations at the Kona Airport.

Island Air Team

Other members of Island Air’s Kona team include:

Customer Service Agents:
Makamae Kaeo-Koanui, Melissa Nunes, Dominique Ghandour, Michael Corbitt, Roger Grissom-Miller, Zachary Andrade, Pauline Carmichael-Shopay, Keiko Kanada, Gae Mitsuda, Sharon Harada and Tammy Awai

Ramp Agents:
Tavita Laasaga, Douglas Vallente Jr., Greg Nation, Terry Robso, RJ Sullivan, Stan Kaneo, Maile Comilla, Kelly Bennet, Chad Kalele and Garyn Akima

Island Air will launch service to Kona on June 14 with five daily round-trip flights between Honolulu and Kona, with connecting flights to Kahului and Līhu‘e. Island Air’s check-in counter at Kona International Airport will be located in Terminal 1, and flights will depart from and arrive at Gate 5.

Hawaiʻi CC-Pālamanui Offering Guided Tours

Hawaiʻi Community College—Pālamanui will host a series of guided tours on Wednesdays in June.

Hawaʻi CC–Pālamanui buildings

Hawaʻi CC–Pālamanui buildings

The tours will give prospective students and other community members the opportunity to see the new, sustainably designed facilities in North Kona and to learn more about the academic programs and how to apply.

“We are excited to be approaching our second academic year at our new state-of-the-art campus,” said Pālamanui Director Marty Fletcher. “Our facilities and programs are a valuable resource for West Hawaiʻi, and we want to ensure residents have an opportunity to get to know the campus.”

Pālamanui Tour Schedule:

  • June 8, 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • June 15, 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • June 22, 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • June 29, 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

To RSVP for a tour, please contact Pearla Haalilio at (808) 969-8824 or by email haalilio@hawaii.edu.

Kona Crime Prevention Committee Recognized Officer Wyattlane Nahale as “Officer of the Month” for June

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized School Resource Officer Wyattlane Nahale as “Officer of the Month” for June in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (June 1) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Wyattlane Nahale

Officer Wyattlane Nahale

Nahale was honored not only for his school resource work but also for extracurricular activities with students from elementary school through high school.

One of Nahale’s responsibilities is teaching DARE classes to students at Konawaena Middle School. He took the initiative to expand the anti-drug-and-alcohol classes to area elementary schools, said Sergeant Floyd Cody Richardson, who nominated Nahale for the honor.

When Nahale is off the clock, he is the head junior varsity football coach at Konawaena High School and he conducts strength, speed and agility workouts for elementary age students through high school age students when football is not in season. According to Richardson, the purpose of those workouts is to keep students focused, in shape and out of trouble. “He has at least 50 students who participate in his regularly scheduled workouts, and at least 15 are around the age of 5 years old,” Richardson said in nomination papers.

Because of Nahale’s contact with schools outside his assigned middle school—including participation in HI-PAL sporting events—administrators from high school and elementary schools contact him regularly for help with issues affecting students and their families. “All of this, he does on his own time to give back to his community,” Richardson said.

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

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

Hulihe‘e Event Marks 40th Anniversary of Palace Band, Glee Club

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabsh Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, June 12 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember King Kamehameha I, Paiea (1738-1819).  Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs, performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘I and the Hulihe‘e Palace Band.

Hulihee Palace Band and Glee Club

Hulihee Palace Band and Glee Club

The performance marks the 40th anniversary of the Hulihe’e Palace Band and the Merrie Monarchs glee club. The two organizations were founded in 1976 by the late bandmaster Bud Dant and the late palace curator and performer, Aunty Lei Collins.

Afternoon at Hulihe‘e is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Born in Kohala on the Big Island, Kamehameha moved the heavy naha stone as a teen—a feat that prophesied he would rule the island chain. In battle, Kamehameha overtook the Big Island, Maui, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu then he put Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau under his sovereignty by diplomacy. By 1810, the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was established and Kamehameha moved his court from Waikiki to Kailua-Kona.

“After Kamehameha formed his island kingdom he attempted to modify the impact of war on innocent citizens caught in the conflict,” says Jolee Chip, docent coordinator. “He issued an edict protecting women, children and the elderly from arbitrary attack.”

Kamehameha also instituted a law to protect the weak from the strong, recalling a blow he suffered as a young warrior when his foot was caught in a rock crevice. The opponent hit Kamehameha with a canoe paddle that splintered at impact and the command later became known as the Law of the Splintered Paddle. The king died in 1819 in Kailua-Kona.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday—with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.

Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday- Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

Kona Drug Court Food Drive for Hawaii Island’s Food Bank

judiciaryThe Kona Drug Court has selected The Food Basket, Inc., “Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank,” as the focus of its 2016 National Drug Court Month community service project, to give back to the charity that provides for Big Island residents in need, including children from low-income or homeless families, elderly, veterans, and many addicts in the early stages of recovery.

The Kona Drug Court asks the West Hawaii community to help support The Food Basket, Inc., by dropping off donations of non-perishable foods to Drug Court volunteers, who will be dressed in red t-shirts, in front of the KTA Super Store in Kailua-Kona.

For more information on Friday’s food drive please contact Grayson K. Hashida, Hawaii Island Drug Court Coordinator at (808) 443-2201.

  • WHAT: Kona Drug Court Food Drive for Hawaii Island’s Food Bank
  • WHO: The Kona Drug Court
  • WHEN: Friday May 27, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:    KTA Super Store Kailua-Kona, in the Kona Coast Shopping Center,  74-5594 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii


Mayor Kenoi’s Statement On New Haneda-Kona Route

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi said he is thrilled by today’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved the application by Hawaiian Airlines to provide passenger air service to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport from Honolulu and Kona International Airports.
Kona tokyo

“Our economy is uniquely tied to air service,” said Mayor Kenoi. “Thousands of our working families depend on the visitor industry, not only at resorts and hotels, but also at attractions, activities, restaurants, and retailers. This is great news for our state, and especially for Hawaiʻi Island.”

Entrepreneurs on Hawaiʻi Island who specialize in agriculture and aquaculture niche markets will also benefit from added market opportunities since this flight will be able to carry air cargo. “These products no longer have to be sent to Honolulu before being flown to Japan,” said Mayor Kenoi. “This increases freshness and reduces cost.”

The new route will bring a regularly scheduled international flight to Hawaiʻi Island for the first time since 2010, the last year Japan Airlines offered service between Kona and Tokyo’s Narita airport. Hawaiian Airlines will start flying directly into Kona from Haneda three times a week by Jan. 29, 2017.

Assisting in the restoration of this route has been a priority of the Kenoi administration ever since Japan Air Lines ended its service. “The County of Hawaiʻi has done everything it could to support Hawaiian Airlines’ application for the flight, including discussions and communications with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Department of Homeland Defense Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding Customs and Border Protection in Kona.”

Mayor Kenoi thanked Hawaiian Airlines for never giving up its pursuit to expand its Hawaiʻi-Japan routes, significantly the direct flight into Kona. “Our residents are keenly aware of the great economic impact this will have for the entire island,” Mayor Kenoi said. “This is also a win-win as it strengthens the competitiveness of Hawaiian Airlines in this market, and fulfills a U.S. Department of Transportation mandate to strengthen smaller carriers.”

Kona Business Ends Affiliation With Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Today, a well known business that was a member of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce requested to be removed from all affiliations with the Chamber of Commerce.

It all began when a deal fell through and Parker had to do what anybody would do when they were wronged.

It all began when a deal fell through and Parker had to do what anybody would do when they were wronged.

Tiki Shark Art Inc, its Owners and Board of Directors recently won a $43,000.00 judgment against a Middle Eastern Firm out of Dubai and today Tiki Shark Art Agent Abbas Hassan sent a letter to the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Kirstin Kahaloa, expressing his displeasure in the Chambers decision in having one of its board members defending the foreign corporation.

Hassan writes:

Kirstin (Kahaloa)…..thank you for taking the time to come see me.

As discussed in our meeting this morning, Tiki Shark Art Inc, its Owners and Board of Directors are not comfortable with the fact that one of your Board members is actually defending a foreign Corporation in a legal motion against us. That too when a local Hawaiian judge has already ruled in our favor over a month ago.  Furthermore, this individual may have been previewed to information via casual conversation in Chamber gatherings that could potentially effect the outcome of the case………just does not make sense to any of us!

Anyway’s it is with a heavy heart that I inform you of our immediate withdrawal as a member of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce.

Please make sure our name is taken off and “unsubscribed” to all mailing lists.

I wish you and your Chamber the very best in the future.

Sincerely,

Abbas Hassan

Well known artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker weighed in and said, “This seems unfair. It’s a question of responsibility. Someone who sits as an officer on the board of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce represents the Chamber, and to some extent, also the City of Kailua-Kona. That’s a big responsibility. To the average guy on the beach, when he hears that a law suit is being filed against a local small business and the prosecuting attorney is a officer of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, well, in the court of public opinion, the Chamber is probably in the right and the small business man is probably in the wrong.”

Officer Mike Thompson Named “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Mike Thompson as “Officer of the Month” for May in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (May 4) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Mike Thompson

Officer Mike Thompson

Thompson was honored for an act of kindness his supervisor described as “far beyond compassion.”

On December 19, 2015, an 88-year-old woman called 911 just after noon to report that Meals on Wheels had missed a 9:30 a.m. delivery and she was hungry. Dispatchers attempted to contact the appropriate agency but were unable to reach anyone, so Officer Thompson was assigned to check on the woman’s welfare and determine whether she needed medical attention.

On his way to the caller’s house, Thompson stopped at his own home and gathered food items from his pantry to share with her. He then went to her house and prepared her a meal. When he learned that she was unable to open cans on her own, he opened additional cans of food and placed them in her refrigerator in plastic containers for future use.

Sergeant Grad Elarionoff nominated Thompson for the award. “In a time when police officers are becoming increasingly hardened, a simple gesture of aloha reminds us all that police officers are people too, caring people,” Elarionoff wrote in nomination papers. “I’m at a loss for words.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Thompson is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

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