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Victims Identified in Kona Crash

A woman and a man died in a two-vehicle traffic crash Thursday afternoon (December 1) in Kona near the 31.5-mile marker of Highway 190.hpd-badge
They have been identified as 45-year-old Jeongah Hyun of Kailua-Kona and 46-year-old Iljung Nam of South Korea.

Responding to a 12:35 p.m. call Thursday, police determined that Hyun had been operating a silver 2006 Mazda multi-purpose vehicle on Highway 190 just north of the 31.5-mile marker, when she crossed left of center and was broadsided by a white 2013 Peterbilt dump truck that was heading south on Highway 190. The operator of the dump truck, a 46-year-old Honokaʻa man, was taken to Kona Community Hospital with minor injuries. Hyun and Nam, her passenger, were pronounced dead at the hospital at 6:10 p.m. and 6:11 p.m., respectively.

Autopsies have been ordered to determine the exact causes of their deaths.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation. Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 30th traffic fatality this year compared with 17 at this time last year.

Pepper to Perform at Kona Brewing Company

In honor of Kona Brewing Company’s Makana Series, the company is celebrating two successful years of fundraising with a party at the original brewery in Kona on December 17, 2016.  Pepper, a three piece band originally from Hawaii, will be headlining this special concert event.

Pepper

Pepper

WHAT:  Celebration of Kona Brewing Company’s Makana Series, featuring Pepper.  Makana Series are four limited edition, island-brewed beers, inspired by Hawaii’s landscape and made with island ingredients that tell Kona Brewing Company’s story. In the spirit of makana, a portion of proceeds of all beers sold benefit local non-profit organizations.

The event will celebrate the two years Kona Brewing Company has run the program, which has raised more than $100,000 for four non-profit organizations on the island.

Pepper will headline the special event, with opening acts including Divercité and Kimié.

WHEN: Saturday, December 17, 2016, Gates open at 6.00pm, Pepper on stage at 8.40pm

LOCATION: Kona Brewing Brewpub and adjacent Brewery Block, 74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

COST: General Admission – $39

Tickets are on sale now from https://kiosk.eztix.co/kiosk-optimised/297242.

Kona Brewing Company has been on the island for 22 years, and created the Makana Series as a way to give back and say mahalo to the island. The series is inspired by Earth [Aina], Fire [Wela], Water [Kai] and Wind [Makani]. Proceeds from the sale of these brews benefit local nonprofits committed to the islands’ natural wonder: Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Malama Maunalua, Surfrider Foundation Hawaii and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

Eric Chang, Hawaii Market Manager, Kona Brewing Company, said: “Kona Brewing Company has always made it a priority to help support those who help pave the way for a sustainable future for our planet. For the last two years, we have taken that further by supporting and highlighting four other local charities that share our passion for sustainability and the environment through the Makana Series.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating two years of giving with this special event, and are honored that the local friends from Pepper are able to join us.  “We hope to see many of our ohana here to celebrate with us.”

Hulihe’e Palace Remembers Kamehameha Schools Founder

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi. Presenting hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

huliheePrincess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Jolee Chip, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Chip.

Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.

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 International Airport to Resume International Flights

Gov. David Y. Ige and the United States Customs and Border Protection announced the re-establishment of a Federal Inspection Service (FIS) facility at the Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA). The inaugural international flight from Kona to Tokyo, Japan is scheduled to depart on Dec. 20, 2016. The flight from Tokyo to Kona is scheduled to arrive at the Kona International Airport on Dec. 21, 2016.

ige-announcement“The resumption of international flights to Kona will have a wide-ranging positive impact on Hawai‘i Island and the state as a whole by boosting tourism spending, creating jobs and generating millions of dollars for our economy,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “I especially thank our partners at U.S. Customs and Border Protection for working with us to achieve this goal. This was a top priority for my administration and I am pleased that we were able to make the Federal Inspection Service facility in Kona a reality.”

“In fulfilling our important role protecting the border and fostering lawful travel, CBP relies on strong partnerships with stakeholders. This is why we are especially grateful for the commitment of Governor Ige and the people of Hawai‘i to providing adequate airport inspection facilities,” said Brian Humphrey, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, director, field operations. “In equal good faith, CBP is committed to providing a welcoming experience to passengers in Kona while we simultaneously protect America.”

The new FIS will benefit Hawai‘i in several ways. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation estimates new international flights to Kona will result in more than $7 million in annual projected tax benefits. International visitors will also spend tens of millions of dollars at local businesses and attractions, further boosting the economy and generating jobs. Hawai‘i has seen the numbers of international travelers increase by more than one million passengers, or nearly 60 percent, since the economic downturn in 2009. The trend in international passenger arrivals in Hawai‘i is expected to continue to grow, enhancing the need for a second airport to accept flights from international destinations.

The secondary international point of entry in Kona will ease congestion at the Honolulu International Airport, especially during daily peak hours and busy travel seasons. The FIS will improve health and safety by increasing resiliency in an emergency. Should an unforeseen incident occur in Honolulu, international flights would still be able to land safely in Kona. Currently, Honolulu is the only landing option in the state for international flights.

The United States Department of Transportation approved Hawaiian Airlines’ request to fly non-stop international flights between Kona and Haneda International Airport in Tokyo beginning in December.

“We look forward to welcoming our Tokyo guests with our authentic Hawaiian hospitality as they enjoy the convenience of our direct flights to the spectacular Kona coast,” said Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines. “We are pleased to return international flights to the Big Island and thankful to all of our government, business and community partners for their support of our newest route.”

Several improvements are being made to the international arrivals section at KOA, including the installation of security cameras and motion sensors, an upgraded access control system, 10 Automated Passport Control kiosks to process incoming international passengers quickly and efficiently, and refurbished restrooms.

“After multiple meetings and on-site visits, we finally made it across the finish line,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “I thank CBP and the Obama Administration for recognizing the potential of our visitor industry and for working with the State of Hawaii, the people of Kona, and many others in state government and the hospitality industry to finally get this done.”

“After six years of working closely with federal and state officials, and community partners to reestablish direct international flights to Kona International Airport, today’s announcement is good news for Hawai‘i’s tourism industry and the Hawai‘i Island economy. In particular, I want to acknowledge the efforts of Customs and Border Protection to work with the state on the Federal Inspection Service facility that made this a reality,” said Sen. Mazie K. Hirono.

“Today’s announcement not only positively impacts our tourism-based economy, it addresses a critical safety and security need for our state by providing a secondary international port in case of emergency,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “This project has been a priority of mine, and became a reality through many years of hard work by community leaders, local businesses, and county, state, and Federal government.  I especially want to thank HDOT and CBP for their leadership and upholding their commitment to reopening international travel to Kona.”

Regularly scheduled international flights to Kona began in 1996 and were discontinued in October 2010.

Hawaii County Celebrates New Micro Units to Address Chronically Homeless

Representatives from social service agencies joined Mayor Billy Kenoi and Council Chair Dru Mamo Kanuha today for a ceremony to dedicate Hale Kīkaha, the County of Hawaiʻi’s newest housing project with 23 micro units to address a critical need in Kailua-Kona, particularly amongst the chronically homeless.

micro-unitsNumbers of homeless are increasing statewide. The January 2016 point-in-time count showed nearly 1,400 homeless people on Hawaiʻi Island, an increase of 10% from 2015. Of those people, about 500 were unsheltered in West Hawaiʻi.

“Our families who are homeless need a sense that they have a chance. They can believe that because they can sleep in a clean, safe place,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We’re creating a puʻuhonua, a safe haven, a place of refuge where people can walk around with dignity and respect.”

The $2.5 million Hale Kīkaha is on Pāwai Place in Kailua-Kona’s industrial area, adjacent to the area’s emergency homeless shelter. Hale Kīkaha will provide on-site wraparound social services to residents to increase their chances of success.

Kīkaha means to soar, and the name Hale Kīkaha represents the County’s hope for and commitment to the residents that will call the project home. Design and engineering work was done in-house. General contractor Kona-Kaʻū Construction and a number of sub-contractors completed the project in nine months.

The County recognizes that housing is a primary need, especially in West Hawaiʻi. The County has worked to address homelessness through the nationally recognized best practice Housing First model with a number of projects during Mayor Kenoi’s administration.

West Hawaii Emergency Shelter

West Hawaii Emergency Shelter

Recognizing the most immediate need, the County constructed the $1.8 million, 31-bed West Hawaiʻi Emergency Shelter and opened it in November 2010.

The Homes of Ulu Wini provides 96 units for families, a mix of transitional housing and affordable rentals for families with low-moderate income, or no higher than 80% of the area median income. Construction of the $23.7 million project’s phases were completed throughout Mayor Kenoi’s administration.

The Homes at Ulu Wini.

The Homes at Ulu Wini.

Kamakoa Nui offers affordable home ownership to working families along the Kohala Coast. The Kenoi administration restarted a previous attempt to build workforce housing in Waikoloa Village, and the first families were welcomed into their homes in 2013. To date, all 91 lots at Kamakoa Nui have been sold and 69 homes have been built. Construction continues on the remaining homes, which include six participants in a self-help housing program by Habitat for Humanity. Kamakoa Nui offers fee-simple home ownership to families between 100-140% of the area median income.

A home at Kamakoa Nui.

A home at Kamakoa Nui

In addition to County-built housing, the Office of Housing & Community Development administers programs to assist tenants renting existing housing. Over 2,000 people and families receive over $14 million in assistance every year through Tenant-Based Rental Assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher programs.

“We are measured not by what we do for those who have the most, we are measured by what we do for those who have the least,” Mayor Kenoi said.

Kona Brewing Company Releases Mahalo Variety Pack for the Holidays

Kona Brewing Company recently introduced the ‘Mahalo’ 12pk variety pack, available for a limited time during the holidays. Sold exclusively in Hawaii, the ‘Mahalo’ 12pk variety pack features four brews with tropical island ingredients.
kona-brewing-companyFor the very first time, Magic Sands Mango Saison will be available in bottle-form within the Mahalo variety pack, alongside Lemongrass Luau, Wailua Wheat and Pipeline Porter.

Magic Sands Mango Saison
A traditional farmhouse style ale with a Hawaiian twist, with mango juice added to this crisp and refreshing brew. 5.5% ABV

Lemongrass Luau
Lemongrass Luau is a crisp, refreshing blonde ale with a touch of wheat malt, ginger, and fresh lemongrass. With it’s modest alcohol content this brew is perfect for pau hana, sharing pints with friends, and great with almost any meal. 5% ABV

Wailua Wheat
This golden, sun colored ale has a bright, citrusy flavor that comes from the tropical passionfruit brewed into each batch. 5.4% ABV

Pipeline Porter
Pipeline Porter is a bold, but smooth blend of roasted barley and rich Hawaiian-grown coffee – the perfect ode to the Banzai Pipeline, one of the most spectacular surf spots on the planet. 5.3% ABV

Created in the spirit of the holidays, the ‘Mahalo’ variety pack is also a great way for locals to say thank you to friends and family during the gift-giving season. The diversity of flavors mean there will be a brew to suit all palates – from the sweet fruitiness of Magic Sands Mango Saison, to the dark and rich Pipeline Porter.

The 12-bottle Mahalo variety pack is exclusively available at retailers in Hawaii.  There is also a 24-bottle Mahalo variety pack at select merchants for a limited time.

Kona Historical Society to Host Online Membership Drive

Kona Historical Society is hosting its first-ever month-long online new membership drive via Facebook. Starting Nov. 10 and ending Dec. 9 on Kona Historical Society’s Facebook Page, the drive aims to recruit 100 new members by offering special membership rates, new membership levels and benefits, as well as special weekly challenges with prize drawings generously provided by Hawaii Island sponsors, such as the Kona Brewing Co., Body Glove Hawaii and Kohanaiki. The drive will also feature posts about the special resources Kona Historical Society protects and the services it offers.

kona-historical-society-facebookAs a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Kona Historical Society relies on the support of its membership to help fund the essential role it plays in collecting, preserving and sharing Kona’s and Hawaii’s history. Kona Historical Society members are part of large and growing ohana of people who appreciate and support the important roles that history, culture and the arts provide on our island and state. Members are the lifeblood of Kona Historical Society, and annual membership dues, which start at $35 for individuals, provide the organization with a major source of vital revenue to cover day-to-day needs and special projects.

Supporters of Kona Historical Society will be able to purchase membership by calling 808-323-3222 or going to store.konahistorical.org. Information about membership and the various levels is available at www.konahistorical.org/index.php/khs/membership. Be a part of Kona Historical Society’s Online Membership Drive at www.facebook.com/konahistoricalsociety.

Founded in 1976, Kona Historical Society is the only museum in West Hawaii with permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as a full docket of public programming. Over the past four decades, it has provided public space, free or deeply discounted school and other educational programs and lectures throughout the year, access to unique and significant Hawaii collections and artifacts, stewardship and financial care of two State- and National-registered historic sites and structures, and more than 10 acres of State Legacy Land reserves. Every year, Kona Historical Society serves thousands of people through its work, which gives a clear-eyed view of what Hawaii’s rich, complex and multiethnic community truly looks like and is.  Kona Historical Society has garnered dozens of awards and commendations for its museums, historic structures and public programs.

Southern Segment of Kona’s Mamalahoa Bypass To Open Nov. 4

The long-awaited 2.2-mile, $27.9 million southern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, which will provide relief to motorists traveling in South Kona, will open to the public on Friday, November 4.

mamalahoa-bypass

Photo by Aaron Stene via Department of Public Works.

The bypass is located midway between the shoreline and Māmalahoa Highway. The northern segment of the bypass starts at the southern edge of Keauhou and runs approximately 3.5 miles to the bottom of Haleki‘i Street below Kealakekua’s Kona Scenic subdivision.

This new southern segment extends the roadway, which the Hawai’i County Council named Ali’i Drive, another 2.2 miles from Kealakekua to a new signalized intersection with Māmalahoa Highway in Nāpo’opo’o.

A large portion of the South Kona community works in either North Kona or South Kohala and commutes daily along Māmalahoa Highway. The two-lane bypass gives motorists an alternate route between North and South Kona.

Completing the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass was one of Mayor Kenoi’s priorities upon taking office in 2008. The Mayor was personally involved in talks with Kona residents to ensure that this bypass helps meet the critical need for transportation infrastructure in West Hawai‘i.

Māmalahoa Highway Bypass Timeline

  • 1960 – A Māmalahoa Relief Highway was first envisioned in “A Plan For Kona,” a document prepared with community input for the State Planning Office. The plan was transmitted to the Hawai‘i County Board of Supervisors, the predecessor of today’s Hawai‘i County Council.
  • 1996 ­– In rezoning the area that would become Hōkūli‘a, County ordinances formalized the developer’s agreement with the community to complete the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass from Keauhou to Captain Cook.
  • 1999 – The Environmental Impact Statement for the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass was completed. Developer 1250 Oceanside Partners broke ground on the Hōkūli‘a development, the first phase of which included the northern segment of the road.
  • 2008 – The County proposed a number of improvements prior to the opening of the northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass. Improvements included work along Ali‘i Drive, along Haleki‘i Street, and on Māmalahoa Highway. These improvements allowed residents to benefit immediately from the northern segment of the bypass before the southern segment was completed.
  • March 2009 – Under a grant of easement in anticipation of dedicating the road to the County, the northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened to limited traffic – one lane southbound from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. on weekdays only. On March 10, the first day it was open, 650 vehicles took the drive from Keauhou to Kealakekua.
  • June 2010 – The Māmalahoa Highway Bypass between Keauhou and Haleki‘i Street opened to northbound and southbound traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • 2012 – The northern segment of the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass and the .8-mile portion of Haleki‘i Street makai of Muli Street was dedicated to the County.
  • January 2013 – The Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opened daily, 24 hours a day. Restrictions on vehicle types and sizes were removed.
  • November 2013 – The Hawai‘i County Council passed a resolution regarding the Māmalahoa Highway Bypass, naming it Ali‘i Drive.
  • July 2014 – Ground was broken for the southern segment of the bypass.
  • November 4, 2016 – The 2.2-mile southern segment of Māmalahoa Highway Bypass opens, completing Ali‘i Drive from Kailua to Nāpo’opo‘o.

Hawaii Recovers $130,367 in Prevailing Wages for Work Done on UH Hilo College of Hawaii Language Building

The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced it has assessed Tradewind Plastering and Drywall, Inc. a total of $143,000. $130,367 is for wages owed to construction workers, with $13,037 added for penalties. Tradewind Plastering and Drywall, Inc. was a subcontractor of Jacobsen Construction Co., Inc. on the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Hawaii Language Building construction project.

tradewind-drywallThe most costly of the violations was underpaying construction workers by misclassifying them as apprentices, and paying lower apprentice wages, with no registered apprenticeship in evidence. This was in violation of Hawaii’s prevailing wage law covering public works construction.

“Our State prevailing wage law intends that all construction contractors bid on a “level playing field” with regard to labor costs,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “Bids are to be won because of better, more efficient contracting methods, rather than by pushing down the standard of living for Hawaii’s workers.”

Director Takayama explained, “This is a different sort of misclassification from the case at the presumptive Holiday Inn Express at the Maile Sky Court. In that case, workers were wrongly misclassified as independent contractors, and protections and benefits required for employees were not provided. In this case, workers were classified as lower paid apprentices, but there was no registered apprenticeship. In both types of cases, law-abiding bidders face unfair competition, and the workers lose.”

DLIR also notes that it recently recovered wages for hair salon workers who were paid nothing for work performed. They were labelled as apprentices, and kept off-the-books for employment purposes. DLIR has been working with the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer affairs to educate salon owners and workers on the matter.

Happy “Hawaii-Ween” at Kona Oceanfront Gallery

Meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and World Famous Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker at Kona Oceanfront Gallery’s “Happy HAWAII-WEEN” this Monday, October 31st.
haloween-with-sam-and-bradBrad Parker will be doing a “Live Art Demo” between 1 to 6 and he along with Sam Choy will be carving pumpkins with one of them being raffled away.

sam-choy-and-draculaThere will original sketches up for grabs, a costume contest with a prize for the best costume along with other tricks and treats.

brad-and-skullThe Kona Oceanfront Gallery is located at 75-5770 Ali’i Drive in Waterfront Row next to Bubba Gump restaurant.  Contact 808-334-0037 for more information.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 22-Year-Old Kona Woman

11/14/16 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 22-year-old Jessica Tsibulski of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing.

She was found unharmed in Kailua-Kona on November 7.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 22-year-old Kailua-Kona woman who was reported missing.

Jessica Tsibulski

Jessica Tsibulski

Jessica Tsibulski was last seen in Kailua-Kona on October 9.

She is described as a 5-foot-5, 100 pounds with blond hair, blue eyes and tattoos on both sides of her torso.

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

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

Hawaii State Judiciary Thanks West Hawaii Community and Partners in Kona Courthouse Groundbreaking Ceremony

The Hawaii State Judiciary joined its partners in a traditional Hawaiian groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction of the Kona Judiciary Complex. About 200 people gathered under a white tent at the future site of the courthouse, which is a 10-acre site in Keahuolu, North Kona, above the beautiful Kona coastline.

kona-judiciary3The dedication included the traditional pikai (ritual sprinkling of salted waters) with accompanying pule kahea (Hawaiian prayer chants) to sanctify the premises. Kahu Daniel Akaka said a special prayer for the leaders involved in this project as well as the workers who will be involved in the construction of the new courthouse.

kona-judiciaryThe Kona Judiciary Complex will meet the critical needs of the West Hawaii community and provide improved access to the civil, criminal, and family court justice system. Currently, proceedings are held in three different locations in Kona, in buildings not designed to serve as courtrooms.

“This is a momentous day for me, both professionally and personally,” said Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra. “I was born in the courthouse where I work today—it used to be the Old Kona Hospital. But the building is more than 75 years old and we need to be able to provide the infrastructure to deliver justice for generations to come. This groundbreaking symbolizes the future, while bringing with us the solid foundation we have built thus far.”

The Hawaii State Judiciary thanked the legislature for appropriating the $90 million needed to construct the building, which will enable the Judiciary to provide the West Hawaii community with a secure, efficient, and modern court facility that will accommodate the area’s projected growth in population and court caseload.

Artist rendition

Artist rendition

The 140,000 square foot complex will be a three-story facility with five courtrooms, a law library, self-help center, conference rooms, holding cells, witness rooms, attorney interview rooms, and a grand jury meeting room. The design includes space for future expansion or courtroom additions. Plans also provide 290 parking stalls for public and employee vehicles.

“This would not be possible without the support of the Legislature and Governor David Ige,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. “I’d like to especially recognize the leadership of Representative Sylvia Luke and the members of House Committee on Finance; Senator Jill Tokuda and the members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means; Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran and the members of Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor; and Representative Karl Rhoads and the members of the House Committee on Judiciary. I would also like to acknowledge the deep commitment and enormous efforts of Representative Nicole Lowen, Senator Josh Green, the late Senator Gil Kahele, and all the Big Island legislators. These partners were key to providing this much needed courthouse to the people of West Hawaii. Because of their commitment, the people of West Hawaii will have a courthouse that will support our justice system in this community for many, many years to come.”

“On behalf of Governor David Ige, I extend my appreciation to all those who made this project possible,” said Susan Kim, the Governor’s West Hawaii representative. “This area outgrew the Judiciary facilities long ago, and today we celebrate the start of construction on a new courthouse, one that will have the capacity to serve the current and future needs of the people of West Hawaii.”

Rep. Nicole Lowen said, “Since my first day in office, a new Kona Courthouse has been on the top of my priority list. This ceremony represents many years of work and advocacy from the community, from the judiciary, and from myself and my colleagues, and we are all so pleased to see construction finally beginning today. With the growing population here in West Hawaii, a modern, safe, centralized courthouse facility is long overdue.”

kona-judiciary-josh-greenSenator Josh Green said, “This is a very special day for all of us. This project has been among my highest priorities and is critical for my community. The jobs that will be created will be a game changer for Kona in addition to how it will help with public safety.”

kona-judiciary2“I am very pleased that construction of the Kona Judiciary Complex is moving forward,” said Representative Joy San Buenaventura. “This courthouse will ensure that the Judiciary can fulfill its mission of providing justice for the West Hawaii community in a secure and efficient venue.”

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald also thanked members of the bar for supporting this effort, including the West Hawaii Bar Association, the Hawaii County Bar Association, and the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA). “I appreciate the support of past and present bar presidents and executive directors who have supported this project over the years.”

Administrative Director of the Courts Rodney Maile expressed appreciation for the continued support of Hawaii County, including: Hawaii County Administration and leadership; Hawaii County Council; Prosecuting Attorney, Mitchell Roth; and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. He also thanked the Department of Accounting and General Service (DAGS) for diligently overseeing the project and contract.

“We are committed to delivering this project on time and on budget,” said Frank Oshiro, Vice President of Operations at Nan Inc. “We have a great team of professionals working on this project and we look forward to standing in this same area in 2019 and blessing a brand new courthouse.”

kona-judiciary-bikesThe new complex was designed by Architects Hawaii with the goal of keeping the building’s architecture consistent with the West Hawaii community. In December 2014, Architects Hawaii invited the public to view the preliminary renderings and design plans and solicited its input and feedback. The interior design will reflect local culture, landscape, and values. The building is also designed to be water, energy, and environmentally efficient and sustainable. Please click on this link to view the design plans and renderings.

The Notice to Proceed (NTP) will be formally issued on October 28, 2016, signaling the official start of construction. Nan Inc. is the general contractor and Rider Levett Bucknall was selected to support Construction Management on this project. Construction is expected to be complete in 2019.

A special thanks for today’s program goes to Nan Inc., Kealakehe High School, Lai Opua Community Center, and all those on the planning committee who made this event possible.

West Hawaii Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

WHAT: The Office of the Governor in West Hawai‘i presents:       

Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

Little fire ants are one of the worst invasive species in the world and one of the most detrimental invasive species in Hawai‘i.

lfa-in-hawaiiThey threaten agriculture, native ecosystems, animals and people. This forum aims to support the community and provide residents with valuable information on how to prevent and control little fire ants.

WHO: Presentations from:

  • Hawai‘i Ant Lab
  • State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture
  • Big Island Invasive Species Committee
  • County of Hawai‘i – Department of Research and Development

WHEN: Thursday, October 27, 2016 – 6 to 8pm (Doors open at 5:30 pm)

WHERE:  Hawai‘i Community College-Pālamanui, 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room 127

Kona Man Charged With Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a Kailua-Kona man with murder in connection with a body found last week off Hawaiʻi Belt Road.

Gafatasi Jorden Kaipo Napoleon

Gafatasi Jorden Kaipo Napoleon

Shortly before noon Saturday (October 22), Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of criminal property damage in progress in the Oʻoma subdivision in Kailua-Kona. Officers located 29-year-old Gafatasi Jorden Kaipo Napoleon of Kailua-Kona, who was also wanted on suspicion of murder for the shooting death of 36-year-old Alanaokala Solomon Covington of Kailua-Kona. Napoleon was arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 9:55 p.m. Sunday (October 23), he was charged with second-degree murder, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, promoting a dangerous drug and criminal property damage. His bail was set at $271,000. He remained at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (October 24).

Police ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Jerome Manuel at 326-4646, extension 262, or jerome.manuel@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide 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.

Body Glove Hawaii is Hiring

Pro Surfer Jamie O'Brien in front of the Body Glove Hawaii boat.

Pro Surfer Jamie O’Brien in front of the Body Glove Hawaii boat.

Body Glove Hawaii is hiring two separate positions:

Deckhand Position – This is a FULL TIME position. Must be able to work in a fast paced environment, providing world class customer service. CPR and Lifeguard certified a plus. Pay will commensurate with experience. Candidates must be able to work flexible hours, including early mornings, afternoons, early evenings and weekends. Some heavy lifting are required. Pay will commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits; medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, paid vacations, simple IRA and tips!

Apply online at https://bodyglovehawaii.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=2

Prep Cook – Candidate must have basic food prep knowledge, excellent communication skills, be multi task oriented, enjoy working with people in a fast paced environment, have strong organizational skills, be a self-starter with the ability to keep on task and in line with programs. Must have flexible availability, hours to include mornings, afternoons and weekends. Hawaiian drivers license, and clean drivers abstract required. Kitchen Experience Required.  Pay will be based upon qualifications and experience.

Please apply online at: https://bodyglovehawaii.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=8

Body Glove Cruises is a drug free work environment. Pre-employment Drug testing required.

Foul Play Suspected in Discovery of Dead Kona Man

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a murder investigation in connection with the recovery of a Kona man’s body.

hpd-badgeOn Sunday, police received an anonymous tip about a possible murder in Kailua-Kona.

Investigation led to the discovery of a burial site late Tuesday afternoon (October 18) off Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Highway 190) north of the 27-mile marker. Police secured the area overnight and recovered the body Wednesday morning (October 19).

The victim has been identified as 36-year-old Alanaokala Solomon Covington of Kailua-Kona.

An autopsy to determine the exact cause of death is scheduled for Friday (October 21).

Police ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Jerome Manuel at 326-4646, extension 262, or jerome.manuel@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide 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.

Puako Boat Ramp Community Cleanup

The public is invited to participate in the Puako Boat Ramp Community Cleanup led by Keep Puako Beautiful here in Puako from 8-11 a.m. on Oct. 22.

puako-clean-upBeach cleanup tally sheets, buckets, pickers, gloves, a jug of water and snacks will be provided. Partners in marine conservation will be on site to talk story and share information.

Reservations to rent a donated tank, dive air or kayak for water cleanup are required in advance from Puako Dive company at 854-4114, Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures at 886-0980 or Hawaii Surf & Kayak at 741-7768.

RSVP for cleanup and potluck: kpb@hawaii.rr.com

Howl’ween Dog Walks Slated for Hilo and Kona

Costumed Furry Friends Take to the Street to Raise Pledges at the Big Island’s Largest Dog Friendly Events

The Hawaii Island Humane Society is readying plans for its annual Howl’ween Dog Walk slated for Saturday morning, October 22 in Hilo and a week later on Saturday morning, October 29 in Kona. All walkers with – or without – dogs are invited to participate and are encouraged to raise pledges to support shelter animals. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the walks get underway at 8:00 a.m.

dog-costume“Our Howl’ween Dog Walks bring buckets of smiles to participants, pooches and passersby. What a great way to enjoy this seasonal holiday and encourage camaraderie between pets and their owners,” said HIHS Executive Director Donna Whitaker. “Everyone always enjoys seeing the dogs – and their owners – in fantastic costumes that really add to the holiday spirit.”

The Hilo Howl’ween Dog Walk, produced in partnership with Aloha Ilio Rescue, takes place at Queen Liliuokalani Park. The Kona Howl’ween Dog Walk gathers the following Saturday on the bayfront Honu Lawn at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

dog-contestThe HIHS Howl’ween Dog Walks include fun contests, costumes, prizes and team challenges. Registration is free and walkers are encouraged to join the pack and help raise funds. Event proceeds help offset costs of shelter supplies and low-cost spay and neuter services to help eliminate pet overpopulation on Hawaii Island. Secure pledges can be made at www.FirstGiving.com/HIHS/howlween-dogwalk-2016.

Walkers who earn a minimum of $25 in pledges will receive a surprise gift. Those who earn $50 in pledges will receive a free Howl’ween Dog Walk t-shirt. Download pledge forms at HIHS.org.

Video – Ali’i Drive Open Following Watermain Break

The Hawaii Police Department reports that Alii Drive between the intersections of Hualalai Road and Walua Road in Kailua Kona is now open.

alii-flood

This portion of Alii Drive was previously closed due to ponding as a result of a watermain break.

Video via Councilman Greggor Illagan:

Informational Meeting for Manta Ray Viewing Rules This Weekend

A public information meeting will be held this Saturday to discuss new, proposed rules for the Makako Bay and Keauhou manta ray viewing sites in Kona.

manta-rayThe Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Boating and Ocean Recreation Division (DOBOR) has scheduled the meeting on September 24, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palamanui Campus of Windward Community College, 73-4255 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room B-126, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i. The meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 3 due to severe weather forecasts earlier this month.

Manta ray viewing opportunities on the Kona coast are unique worldwide  Tours are presently conducted in two specific areas where mantas tend to congregate at night to feed on plankton – at Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove) and at the coastline fronting the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel.  The activity has become so popular in recent years that it has reached a point that is unsustainable and unsafe. Regulation is needed to preserve the resource and address the dangers posed by overcrowding of boats and swimmers/divers in the water.

The first part of the meeting will be devoted to discussing the history of manta ray viewing on the Kona coast. The second part of the meeting will be to present DOBOR’s proposed management plan in detail and collect feedback from all interested stakeholders.

DOBOR staffers have been working closely with DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources staff, commercial tour operators, the staff of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel and other stakeholders to draft administrative rules to mitigate environmental hazards and decrease the potential risk for accidents causing harm to people or manta rays.

In 2016 DOBOR has been surveying the two manta viewing sites to determine where and how additional moorings could be placed to alleviate coral damage from vessel anchoring and allow for a safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious regulation of commercial manta diving activities.

DOBOR has drafted a proposed management plan and potential management options for the sites based on two years of collected stakeholder input.  The proposed management plan contemplates strategies such as prohibiting anchoring at the sites, limiting the number of commercial operators, prohibiting rafting, and restricting live boating to improve safety.

In order to give stakeholders time to review the proposed management plan before the September 24 meeting, DOBOR released the plan on its website on September 10, 2016.  Interested parties can access the proposed management plan and get meeting updates by visiting DOBOR’s meeting announcement page: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/meetings/

(The original meeting announcement was issued Sept. 1, 2016).