As most folks know by now, Luquins and Akebono Theater caught fire in Pahoa early Monday morning.
Here is aerial footage of the aftermath:
Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking witnesses to the start of a fire Monday (January 16) in Pāhoa.
The fire started just after midnight Monday at a vacant business at 15-2948 Pāhoa Government Road next to Luquin’s restaurant in Pāhoa town.
Police do not suspect foul play. They ask anyone who saw or heard the start of the fire to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or email@example.com
Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 1116
Type of Incident: Structure Fire
Situation Found at Scene: Smoke and fire coming from the back of Luquins building, adjacent to Akebono Theater. Smoke coming from the windows of Luquins buildings on the Pahoa Village Road side.
Cause: UNDER INVESTIGATION
Remarks: 3 commercial properties, including historic Akebono theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial building from 1938 and a large multiuse residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s restaurant, built in 1907. Fire was brought under control and an extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued until the time of this press release.
Hawaii Police Department reports Pahoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through tomorrow afternoon.
Area residents should expect to smell smoke tonight.
Hawaii Fire Department will remain on scene through the night to monitor any flare ups that may occur.
Thank you. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has contracted with Water Resources International, Inc. to plug and abandon two geothermal scientific wells, SOH-1 and SOH-2 located in Pahoa.
Representatives from DLNR Engineering Division, their consultant Brown and Caldwell, and Water Resources International will attend the Puna Geothermal Ventures community meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 8, from, 6-8 p.m. at Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road, Pāhoa. They will be available to answer any questions on the project.
Drilled in 1991 for research purposes to monitor temperature gradients down the shafts, the two wells are no longer being used by the University of Hawai‘i or DLNR for geothermal resource monitoring purposes.
Initial site clearing and preparations are now ongoing at the site of SOH-1 and by about December 12 work will begin on plugging the well and restoring the area with SOH-2 to follow in a similar manner. The project is expected to be completed in approximately 3 months. Work hours will be limited to between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The contract award amount for the plugging and abandonment of the two wells was $2,036,000.
Pahoa Mainstreet Association would like to cordially invite you to join them in making this year’s Pāhoa Holiday Parade our best ever.
Instructions for the parade and below is the application for the parade. Please complete the application and return the form and the entry fee as soon as possible. Please keep the instructions and rules page for reference.
We are also looking for event volunteers, goodies we can hand out to the keiki, and monetary donations that will help us purchase insurance & security. With your kokua we can create an awesome community experience that we can all be truly proud of!
This year’s Parade Celebration will include:
Please have the application completed and returned as soon as possible and no later than Monday, November 30th, 2016. Parade Entry Fee is $25.
If you wish to volunteer on parade day, donate goodies for the keiki hand-outs, or if you have any questions, please contact MSPA secretary, Henry Brazil @ 785-5395 or hgb3LLC@gmail.com.
We are seeking donations in-kind for prizes or if you wish to make a monetary donation, please make your check out to Mainstreet Pāhoa Association and mail it to Mainstreet Pāhoa Association PO Box 1189 Pāhoa, HI 96778.
Mahalo Nui Loa from Mainstreet Pāhoa Association!
Several Reno companies that operate geothermal power plants in Nevada, California, Hawaii, and elsewhere, have agreed to pay the United States $5.5 million to resolve civil fraud allegations that they unlawfully applied for and received millions in federal clean energy grants, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
“The False Claims Act is an effective civil tool to ferret out fraud in federal taxpayer-funded programs,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The settlement monies announced today will be deposited into a federal fund used to help crime victims and for a variety of other law enforcement purposes.”
Ormat Technologies, Inc., Ormat Nevada, Inc., Puna Geothermal Venture II, L.P., ORNI 18, LLC, and Puna Geothermal Venture, G.P. (hereinafter referred to as Ormat), and the United States entered into the agreement to avoid the delay, uncertainty and expense of protracted litigation. The agreement states that it is neither an admission of liability by the defendants nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.
The settlement agreement, effective this week, arises out of a civil lawsuit filed on Feb. 4, 2013, by Tina Calilung and Jamie Kell against Ormat alleging that they violated the civil False Claims Act by submitting false applications for federal clean energy grants to which they were not entitled. The defendant companies are based in Reno, Nev. Calilung and Kell are former employees of Ormat Technologies.
The lawsuit alleged that the federal government had claims against the defendant arising from the submission of applications for and receipt of grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, related to the 8MW Puna Geothermal Power Plant and Puna KS-14 Well, both on the island of Hawaii, and the North Brawley Geothermal Power Plant in Imperial County, Calif.
Since January 2009 and through the end of federal fiscal year 2015, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $26.4 billion from cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. The False Claims Act is the government’s primary civil remedy to redress false claims for government funds and property under government contracts, including national security and defense contracts, as well as under government programs as varied as Medicare, veterans’ benefits, federally insured loans and mortgages, highway funds, research grants, agricultural supports, school lunches, and disaster assistance. In 1986, Congress strengthened the Act by amending it to increase incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government.
Most false claims actions are filed under the Act’s whistleblower, or qui tam, provisions that allow individuals to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. If the government prevails in the action, the whistleblower, also known as the relator, receives up to 30 percent of the recovery. Whistleblowers filed 638 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2015 and the department recovered $2.8 billion in these and earlier filed suits this past year. Whistleblower awards during the same period totaled $597 million. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-recovers-over-35-billion-false-claims-act-cases-fiscal-year-2015.
Assistant United States Attorney Roger Wenthe handled the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.
An official opening and blessing ceremony for the Pahoa District Park will be held at 9 am Saturday, Oct. 29.
UPDATE: Aleah March, a 17-year old female from Illinois previously reported missing has been located.
Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Illinois girl who was reported missing.
Aleah March was last seen in Illinois on July. She visited Hawaiʻi and was last heard from on August 19. She was believed to have been in the Pāhoa area.
She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-4, 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
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.
For the safety and concern of her community due to Tropical Storm Darby, 4th District County Council Candidate Madie Greene postponed her taco fundraiser that was going to be held last weekend and has moved it to TOMORROW!
A suggested donation of $15.00 is a steal when you can eat all-the-tacos you want provided by Luquins Restaurant.
Aloha Friends and Community Members,
We cordially invite you to attend a Mahalo Event for Madie Greene this coming Saturday at the Akebono Theater, next to Luquins, 6 pm with awesome entertainment and taco buffet.
All are welcome, so please share with your friends and neighbors.
We hope to see you all there….
Mahalo to Councilman Paleka’s Assistant Nadia Malloe for following up on my question as to why the Pahoa Park has inflated from $5 million dollars to $22.3 million dollars and she got this answer:
P&R designs 4 types of parks, listed by size/capacity:
Approximately 10 years ago, it became very apparent that Puna is a rapidly growing community. Thus, in efforts to meet the recreational needs in this geographic area, the administration of P&R proposed building a 20-acre community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park, with an estimated cost of $5.5 million.
At the time this $5.5 million project was being proposed in 2010-2012, area residents were strongly in opposition of this project due to concerns relating to traffic, safety and privacy of area residents, fee simple ownership, etc. P&R did not want to impose this project where it was not wanted. Thus, P&R began to look at other solutions to our rapidly growing Puna community.
In Pāhoa, the geographical heart of Puna, a district park already existed with 56 acres of land not yet developed. Since County P&R already had an established district park, it would ease the process as no land acquisition nor eminent domain was necessary to move forward.
This district park expansion is the most expensive project in P&R history and its being granted to not just Puna, but the geographical heart and center of Puna. There will be multiple benefits such as reducing criminal activity, promoting healthy living, creating a safer community, potential revenue for Puna, area residents and vendors.
P&R can offer more programs, engaging families, elderly, and persons with disabilities as well. In fact, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, in the past 4 years, juvenile crime decreased approximately 52%, thanks to the hard work and dedication from our County Parks and Recreation Dept. The projected completion of this project is as soon as next month or early September.
In a nutshell, basically the proposed project went from a small community park in HPP to a large district park in Pāhoa. For a price comparison, the amount of money the State spent to build the ONE new gym at Pāhoa High School, can build FIVE of our County gyms.
Nan Inc. provided me with the following aerial footage of the park being built:
Filed under: Announcements, Big Island, Community, Economy, Entertainment, Hawaii, Hawaii County Public Notices, Pahoa, Puna, Something New?, Unexplained Phenomenon | Tagged: Nan Inc., Pahoa District Park, Pahoa Regional Park | Leave a comment »
Aloha to All!!! With the incoming Tropical Storm expected to arrive soon, Aunty Madie has decided to reschedule her Fundraiser until the following Saturday. Sal Luquin has already reserved the date for Madie, 6pm, Saturday, July 30th at the Akebono. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Please be safe out there and be prepared.
Mahalo for your understanding…
Folks are invited to a tacos, chips and salsa fundraiser for County Council Candidate Madie Green on Saturday, July 23rd at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa.
A suggested donation of $15.00 will go to her campaign funds.
This is Nan, Inc.’s video of the Pahoa Park project for Hawaii County.
It’s a 40 acre site in the Puna district.
According to an email sent out from the mayors office, the park is scheduled to open next month sometime.
Candidates for County Prosecutor incumbent Mitch Roth and Deputy Attorney General Michael Kagami will lead off the Public Forums being sponsored by the Dist.4 members of the Hawaii County Democratic Party. The public is invited to these free events aimed at enlightening Puna’s voters on their candidates, the issues and their visions.
Pahoa businessman Dean Kelley will moderate the Saturday, July 9 forum set to begin at 2 PM at Hawaiian Shores Community Center, also known as The Stables, on the corner of Kahakai Blvd. and Punawai St., just opposite Keonepoko School.
The second hour will feature the two Democrats running for State Senate Dist. 2, incumbent Russell Ruderman and challenger Greggor Ilagan, currently Dist. 4 County Councilman.
Dist. 4 Democrats are invited to send questions they would like to have the candidates answer to their precinct presidents ASAP and not later than midnight July 6. The precinct presidents are Prec. 1 (HPP) Joy SanBuenaventura firstname.lastname@example.org; Prec.2 (WaaWaa-Hwn Beaches/Shores) Thom Gagne email@example.com; Prec. 3 (Ainaloa/Orchidland to Kalapana/Seaview) Greg Ward firstname.lastname@example.org; and RoxAnne Lawson email@example.com.
The following Saturday, July 16 the Dist. 4 Democratic Public Forum will move to Pahoa Community Center and will feature the Dist. 4 and Dist. 5 County Council candidates and Democratic Party mayoral candidates Pete Hoffmann, Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a, Harry Kim, Wally Lau, and Shannon McCandless.. That forum will take place from 1 to 6 PM at the community center on Kauhale Street in Pahoa.
The active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō was on the slope near the top of the Pūlama pali today, one of the steep escarpments on Kīlauea’s southeast flank, and had transitioned into a channelized ʻaʻā flow.
This photo shows a closer view of the front of the ʻaʻā flow.
This satellite image was captured on Monday, June 27, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.
The image shows continued advancement of the flow towards the southeast. The flow front is progressing down the pali, along the western portion of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision and along the eastern boundary of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Over the past few days, the flow has moved at a rate of about 300 meters per day (0.2 miles per day) – an increase over the rate last week and likely due to the steeper slope on the pali.
Kalapana Cultural-Tours is now accepting reservations to take visitors out to see the lava safely with an experienced guide.
This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 23 is shown in red. The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.
This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 16 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on June 23 is shown in red.
The episode 61g flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues advancing downslope.
In this photo, the current flow is the lighter color area along the center of the image. The flow front has advanced about 770 m (0.5 miles) since the June 16 overflight, which equates to an advance rate of about 100 m per day (330 ft per day).
The lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains active, and has enlarged since our last observation.
An HVO geologist collects a fresh lava sample for chemical analysis.
Incandescent vents are still open on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
An aerial view of the same vent shown at left provided a look of the lava stream within the deep cavity.
The new park that is being built in Pahoa is going up rather quickly and some folks in the community had some questions about the park so I emailed Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Jason Armstrong some questions and got a reply from him today on these questions.
PBR Hawaii is the firm that appears to be handling most of the construction design at the park. You can learn more about the project on their website here: Pahoa Park Expansion Master Plan
I took this picture yesterday from the backside of the skate park:
Here are the questions and answers that I received from Armstrong:
How many people will P&R hire to maintain and operate Pahoa District Park?
Three; two park caretakers (who mostly likely will be existing employees transferred from other sites) and one recreation technician. P&R is now in the recruiting phase for the rec. tech. position. We anticipate filling this position by August 1, 2016.
What will be the park hours?
Operating hours will be set by the Director. Typically, park hours are 6 am – 11 pm daily. The pool, senior center, skate park, community center and new covered play courts (gym) likely will have different hours, however, based on patron demand and the need to have personnel onsite to operate those facilities.
Will the park have a security gate?
How many new parking stalls are being added?
373 new stalls, including 21 ADA-compliant stalls
What is the expected opening date?
No specific date has been set; we estimate opening in late August or early September of this year
Is the skate park part of the park?
If anyone is really interested in looking at all the documents related to this new park you can click here to read the 641 page Environmental Assessment that was put together in 2013 before the June 27th Lava Flow almost took out the whole project all together.
A 32-year-old Pāhoa woman died Friday (June 17) from injuries she received after being involved in a two-vehicle crash on Route 11 at the 21-mile marker in Glenwood.
The victim was identified as Crystal M. Mercado-Lopez of a Pāhoa address.
Responding to a 5 p.m. call, Puna Patrol officers determined that Mercado-Lopez was operating a 2001 Plymouth four-door sedan and traveling south on Route 11 when she crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 1997 Ford pickup truck traveling north and being operated by a 48-year-old Mountain View man, who was not injured in the crash.
Fire Rescue personnel took Mercado-Lopez and her passenger, an 8-month-old girl, to Hilo Medical Center.
Mercado-Lopez was pronounced dead at 5:56 p.m.
The child was not injured.
Police do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in this crash.
Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and the child was in a child restraint seat.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police are looking for a female witness who talked to a fire fighter at the scene.
Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118.
This is the 11th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 12 at this time last year.