• Follow on Facebook

  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    April 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    30  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

  • Recent Comments

Pahoa Pool Closed March 30th for Staff Recertification

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the Pahoa Pool will be closed on Thursday, March 30th, all day, due to island-wide staff recertification.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  If you should have any questions, please feel free to call the Aquatics Specialist at 961-8694.

Benefits of Beekeeping Course to be Held at UH Hilo and Pahoa

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers a course on basic beekeeping. Sessions will be held April 4, 11, 18, 25 and May 2 and 4 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in UH Hilo’s College Hall Room 6, and April 22 and May 6 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at Paradise Nectar Apiaries in Pahoa. Tuition is $120 and includes the text book.

Benefits of Beekeeping is designed for anyone new to bees as well as those who have bees and are interested in new ways to relate to and care for them. Participants will learn about treatment‐free beekeeping practices based on bee biology and how to develop a relationship and understanding of bees, their castes, and the roles each caste contributes to the hive.

Instructor Jen Rasmussen has been caring for honey bees on Hawaiʻi Island since 2008. She has developed various methods of maintaining her hives without the use of chemicals or treatments, and organized the beekeeping program at the Island Princess Macadamia Nut Farm.

Private and non-government employers/businesses may qualify for a 50% tuition waiver through the State’s Employment & Training Fund (ETF). For details, visit
http://labor.hawaii.gov/wdd/home/employers/etf/micro/ and apply at least 10 business days before the start of class.

For more information or to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or email ccecs@hawaii.edu.

Pahoa Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Tomorrow

Bring your own automotive fluids, chemicals and poisons and other hazardous household wastes to the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station collection area on March 5th, 2017. Business, farm, non-profit or government agency waste are NOT allowed. Electronic waste (e-waste) is also NOT allowed.

There will not be a concurrent collection at this event for reusable latex paints. Take your reusable latex paints to the Kea‘au Recycling & Reuse Center at the Kea‘au Recycling & Transfer Station year-round.

Customers should pack their items in spill-proof containers and be careful when transporting them to the event. When at the event please remain in your vehicle in line until authorized personnel come to unload your vehicle. For your safety and the safety of those around you please do not walk your hazardous materials over to the authorized personnel in the restricted area, this precaution is to prevent spillage, accidents and ensure fairness to those already waiting in line. Mahalo for your kōkua.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication (including language interpreting) or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in this event should contact Chris at 961-8554 as soon as possible, but no later February 17, 2017.

For full details on what materials are and are not accepted please visit our Household Hazardous Waste page.

Man Arrested in Pahoa With *UPDATE* (Alleged) Dynamite

Yesterday evening around 5:45 in Pahoa, a man sitting on the wall near Paul’s Gas Station was arrested and among the items found in his possession was allegedly a stick of dynamite.

An officer at the top of the picture photographing the alleged explosive device.

I asked on the Recover Pahoa Facebook Page if anyone could confirm if it was dynamite and the following was reported:

Yes the police/bomb squad detonated it around 2 this morning According to the security in Luquin parking

Here is another picture of the incident:

It is unknown at this time what he was arrested for and the Hawaii Police Department has not released a media report on this incident as of this posting.

UPDATE: I received the following report:One of the guys who had to close off the area said the ATF actually detonated the home made device under the steel shroud and it did give off a small bang.

Puna Patrol Officer Named East Hawaii Officer of the Month Following Actions at Luquin’s Fire

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Puna Patrol Officer Conrad Bidal on Thursday (February 23) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for February.

Hilo Exchange Club board member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Conrad Bidal.

Bidal, who has less than a year of service with the Police Department, was honored for what Sergeant William Derr described as his “extreme courage” while evacuating occupants of apartments above Luquin’s restaurant during a midnight fire that destroyed the structure.

Noticing lights on the second floor of the building after the fire was in progress, Bidal went inside and conducted a search for occupants. He found four people and evacuated them. When he went back to make sure no one else was inside, the occupants returned to retrieve personal belongings. As Bidal completed the task of evacuating them a second time, the building became fully engulfed in flames.

“Officer Bidal’s heroic efforts and personal disregard of his own welfare insured the safety of these four people,” Derr wrote in nomination papers. “The loss of Pāhoa landmarks Akebono Theater and Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant could have been much more tragic had it not been for Officer Bidal’s intervention.”

Bidal was also recognized for his work in solving a burglary while he was a recruit working with a field training officer. In that investigation, Bidal obtained fingerprints from the burglary scene that matched a suspect later discovered in surveillance video footage.

“Officer Bidal’s courage, work ethic, and exemplary application of forensic skill so early in his career are to be applauded,” Derr wrote. “He is a prime example of how we hope all our police officers start their careers, hitting the ground running.”

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

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Puna Town Hall Meeting

Representative San Buenaventura and Senator Ruderman will host a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, February 27, 2017 starting at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be at the Pahoa Community Center. Both the Representative and the Senator will discuss bills and issues for the 29th Legislative Session.

Folks outside a meeting at the Pahoa Community Center

The Town Hall Meeting will provide updates to what bills, both new and old, along with other issues that have arisen for this session. Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and share new ideas with both legislators during the meeting. All are welcome to attend.

Who:   Representative Joy San Buenaventura and Senator Russell Ruderman

What:  Town Hall Meeting to discuss 2017 Legislative Session Bills & Issues

Where: Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road Pahoa, HI, 96778

When:  Monday, February 27, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Pahoa Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Pāhoa girl who was reported missing.

Lehua Muranaka-Walton YouTube profile picture

Lehua Muranaka-Walton was last seen in Pāhoa on September 23.

She is described as Caucasian 5-foot-1, 120 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.

Partial Road Closure of Highway 130 (Hilo Bound Lane) Next Week

Hawaii Electric Light announces the partial closure of the Hilo-bound lanes on Keaau-Pahoa Road from Monday, Feb. 6, to Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

The makai side of the road, about 1,000 feet before Shower Drive, will be closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Pahoa-bound lanes on the mauka side of the road will be open for two-way traffic flow. Traffic control officers will be on site. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and plan for delays.

This week, Hawaii Electric Light crews installed four hurricane-class transmission poles ranging from 75-90 feet and weighing up to six tons. Next week, crews will complete the transfer of power lines and equipment from the existing poles to the new poles. The completion will allow the state of Hawaii to install traffic signals at the intersection of Keaau-Pahoa Road and Shower Drive as part of its road widening improvement project.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Pahoa Citizens Community Meeting – “We Take Back Our Town”

A lot has been said on social media about the fire that took Luquins Restaurant and the historic Akebono Theater in Pahoa last week and many folks are quite fed up with what has happened in Pahoa over the last few years with the increase in the homeless folks that have been attracted to the area.
A citizens community meeting has been scheduled for Monday, January 23rd at the Pahoa Community Center beginning at 5:30 pm.

Invited to attend are staff members from the Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorneys Office, Hawaii County Police Department, Hawaii County Council Representatives as well as concerned citizens in general.

Drone Footage – A Sad Day in Pahoa

As most folks know by now, Luquins and Akebono Theater caught fire in Pahoa early Monday morning.

Here is aerial footage of the aftermath:

Sad Day In Pahoa from Clive on Vimeo.

Foul Play NOT SUSPECTED in Pahoa Fire – Police Seeking Witnesses

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking witnesses to the start of a fire Monday (January 16) in Pāhoa.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

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 wendall.carter@hawaiicounty.gov

Hawaii Fire Department Press Release on Pahoa Town Fire

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

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 Civil Defense Message on Pahoa Village Road Closure

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.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

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.

Two Geothermal Well Scientific Observation Holes to be Plugged and Abandoned in Puna

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.

SOH - 2 (Scannned by Cheryl Ishii, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics University of Hawaii at Manoa

SOH – 2 (Scannned by Cheryl Ishii, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics University of Hawaii at Manoa)

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.

2017 Pahoa Holiday Parade Information and Application

Pahoa Mainstreet Association would like to cordially invite you to join them in making this year’s Pāhoa Holiday Parade our best ever.

parade-pahoa-picInstructions 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:

  • Harry Kim, Mayor Elect
  • Nancy Kramer CPA, Grand Marshall
  • Ho’olaule’a at Pāhoa High and Intermediate School
  • Crafts & Food at Sacred Heart Church
  • Judging for Awards at First Hawaiian Bank
  • Free Santa Photos at Savio Realty
  • Pāhoa Merchant Specials + More

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!

pahoa-santa


  • Date and Time- Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9:30 am. SHARP!  Line-up begins promptly at 9 am. In the event of SEVERE rain, thunder, lightning, etc., the parade will be canceled and will not be rescheduled. Please try and be there at least 30 minutes earlier (8:45) so that your group can get organized.
  • Parade Route-The parade will begin at Pāhoa High School Parking Lot and end at Apaa Street.
  • Staging Area-Parade participants need to begin lining up near the beginning of the parade route by the Pāhoa  High School  They will be directed to their order in the Parade by volunteers who will use their discretion based on all of this year’s entrants.
  • Placement in the Parade-Entrants will be placed in order at the discretion of the Parade Director (Committee).  This decision will be based on type of entry, whether an animal is part of the entry, noise level, age of entrants and primarily safety.
  • Entrants-The Pāhoa  Holiday Parade is open to many different units including Color Guards, floats, marching units, emergency vehicles, equine or animal entries, car clubs, novelty units, commercial or business entries and political units.  We welcome all groups and individuals to participate as entrants so long as they conform to the Parade Instructions and Rules.  In the interest of presenting the finest entertainment value to the spectators, all groups are encouraged to enter decorated floats, music units and themed entries.
  • All parade entries must be in good taste and contribute entertainment value to the Holiday Parade theme, “Go Pāhoa ”   Participants should be dressed in uniform/costume or ride in a decorated vehicle, float or bicycle.
  • At check-in, you will be provided a number, please place your parade number in the left front windshield of the vehicle (or as close to the front left of your entry as possible) for proper identification at the judges stand.
  • All entries must keep moving and in the line of march at all times.  Units must not stop along the parade route at any time.  No driver or parade participant shall consume, possess or be under the influence of intoxicating or controlled substances during this event.
  • No “For Sale” signs on any vehicles.
  • Mainstreet Pāhoa Association will provide the only Santa in the Parade.
  • Candy Distribution-In the interest of safety, there will be absolutely NO CANDY THROWING from parade entries. However we encourage individuals in your entry to walk to the curb and distribute candy. This can really get the crowds excited.
  • Entries with Animals-You are responsible for all animals in the staging area and throughout the parade route.  Horses should be calm and comfortable in the excitement of a parade setting.  All animal entrants should have adequate drinking water provided for the animals and clean-up details.
  • Equine Safety-Unless involved with an entry including horses, all participants will refrain from entering the equine staging area.  The Parade Director will make every effort to space out the horse entries.  If you are placed after a horse entry, take care not to approach horses from behind, as that is a horse “strike zone”.  Do not crowd or push them forward, remember that they are animals not cars and need their space to feel comfortable. If you need to approach a horseback rider, the best approach is toward the shoulder, without making eye-contact with the horse.
  • All entries will be considered for Awards- Awards to be determined by Mainstreet Pāhoa  Association.
  • We reserve the right to restrict, content, signage and refuse access to the parade route for any unregistered, non-complying and/or inappropriate entry.  Unacceptable entries will be directed to leave the parade staging area.  Pre-registration required.

Continue reading

Ormat and Puna Geothermal Agree to Pay the United States $5.5 Million to Resolve Civil Fraud Allegations

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.

puna-geothermal-venture-signSince 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.

Pahoa District Park Grand Opening is THIS WEEKEND!

An official opening and blessing ceremony for the Pahoa District Park will be held at 9 am  Saturday, Oct. 29.

pahoa-park-flyerKeiki athletic contests, sports clinics, jumping castle and a HI-PAL basketball tournament will be among the featured activities slated to start at 10 am. and continue until late afternoon.

Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Illinois Girl

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

Aleah March

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.

All You Can Eat Tacos, Chips & Salsa Fundraiser for Madie TOMORROW!

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.

Tacos with Madie

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….

Friends of Madie Greene, Candidate for County Council District 4.

HPP’s Loss is Pahoa’s Gain – $22.3 Million Dollar Pahoa Park “In a Nutshell”

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:

Pahoa Park ExpansionAfter inquiring with Hawaii County Parks and Recreation (P&R), the following was shared:

P&R designs 4 types of parks, listed by size/capacity:

  • NEIGHBORHOOD Park – typically designed to meet the needs of neighborhood, such as University Heights
  • COMMUNITY Park – typically designed for small neighborhood communities, such as Isaac Hale and Hawaiian Beaches
  • DISTRICT Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of an entire district population capable for islandwide attractions, such as Pāhoa Park
  • REGIONAL Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of a specific region, usually a larger scale in comparison to a district park, such as Old Ace Park in Kona
    *Swimming pools are only allowed in DISTRICT and REGIONAL Parks.

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: