• Breaking News

  • Hawaii Island Energy Coop
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • RSS Mayor Kenoi’s Blog

  • Say When

    February 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Jan    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    2829  
  • When

  • RSS World Wide Ed

  • RSS Pulpconnection

Commentary – Hawaii State Teachers Association Files Formal Grievance Against Pahoa High School Principal

The Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) has filed a formal grievance against our principal. The grievance meeting will be held TOMORROW at KKP Conference Room, February 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm. We are focused on working towards a safe campus and better school climate.

Pahoa High and Intermediate

Supporters (other union members, other unions, parents, community etc) of the grievance are welcome. We are asking for written testimony or face to face presence. If you want you can submit testimony “anonymously” directly to the union: ryamanaka@hsta.org

A lot of the teachers have complaints, but they are thinking it’s not worth it, she will retaliate etc. So this is dividing the teachers already. We could use your point of view from a parent. We would also like to hear from parents who have pulled their students from this school.

Please pass the word on. And if you can please submit testimony about your own experience with her.

“Concerned Pahoa Resident”

Puna Legislative Town Hall Meeting with Sen. San Buenventura and Sen. Ruderman

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Senator Russell Ruderman (Puna, Kau) will host a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at 5 p.m. at the Pahoa Community Center on Hawaii Island to discuss bills and issues for the 2016 session.

They will also honor the students and faculty who built a replica of the space shuttle Challenger in honor of Ellison Onizuka and the 30th anniversary of the tragic loss of the space shuttle and its crew.

The Keaau High School students that built the replica of the space shuttle.

The Keaau High School students that built the replica of the space shuttle.

The Town Hall Meeting will provide updates on bills along with other issues that may be heard during this session.  Questions, concerns and/or new ideas from those in attendance will be entertained.

  • WHO: Representative Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Senator Russell Ruderman (Puna, Kau)
  • WHAT:  Town Hall Meeting to Discuss the 2016 Legislative Session
  • WHEN: Monday, February 29, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road, Pahoa, HI, 96778

EPA Finds Puna Geothermal Venture Violated Chemical Safety Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with Puna Geothermal Venture for Clean Air Act chemical safety violations at its geothermal energy plant in the Puna area of the Island of Hawaii. After an EPA inspection, the facility has now complied with the rules designed to minimize accidental chemical releases. The company has also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $76,500.

PGV

“The goal of EPA’s inspections is to protect the health and safety of the workers at the plant and the residents in the community,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our continued oversight will help ensure that it operates in a safe manner by complying with federal requirements.”

EPA conducted a chemical facility inspection in August 2013 and found that PGV had failed to take necessary steps to prevent accidental releases of hydrogen sulfide. Specifically, the company had not tested and inspected its equipment with the frequency consistent with manufacturers’ recommendations, good engineering practices, and prior operating experience.

The inspectors also found that with respect to PGV’s storage, use and handling of pentane, a flammable substance used as a working fluid in the facility’s electricity producing turbines, PGV failed to:

  • Conduct periodic compliance audits of its accident prevention program and document that identified deficiencies have been corrected.
  • Implement adequate written operating procedures that provide clear instructions for safely conducting activities.
  • Ensure that the frequency of inspections and tests of equipment is consistent with manufacturers’ recommendations, good engineering practices, and prior operating experience.
  • Analyze and report on a worst-case release scenario and estimate the population that would be affected by an accidental release of pentane.

Today’s penalty action is taken under the federal Clean Air Act’s Section 112(r) General Duty Clause and Risk Management Program requirements.

The General Duty Clause requires facilities to minimize the probability and consequences of accidental chemical releases to better protect workers, communities and the environment. The Risk Management Program requires development of a Risk Management Plan that includes: a hazard assessment detailing the potential effects of an accidental release; a chemical accident prevention program that includes process operation, maintenance, and employee training measures; and an emergency response program that spells out procedures for informing the public and local response agencies should an accident occur.

EPA’s August 2013 inspection was prompted by releases of hydrogen sulfide from the facility to the atmosphere in March and April 2013. The April 2013 release was caused by a pump failure, resulting in a leak of geothermal condensate (composed primarily of water with some contaminants, including hydrogen sulfide) for about 15 minutes before PGV personnel were able to isolate and stop the leakage. The March 2013 release was attributed to the tripping of a breaker in the local power grid, and PGV’s emergency shutdown and hydrogen sulfide abatement systems functioned as designed.

In addition to EPA’s oversight, including the Risk Management Plan updates that PGV must submit, the air permit issued to the facility by the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health requires PGV to submit regular air quality monitoring reports to the state.

For more information on EPA’s Risk Management Program, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp

For more information on the Clean Air Act’s General Duty clause, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp/general-duty-clause-fact-sheet

Cemetery Road Restoration Project Completed – Lava Removed From Road

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works is pleased to announce that the Cemetery Road Restoration project has been completed and the functionality of the original 12 foot one lane roadway has been restored.

Cemetery road1The reconstruction work of removing the lava associated with the October 25, 2014 Pu‘u O‘o Volcanic Eruption that crossed onto Cemetery Road and paving the 500-foot stretch of roadway was completed within the forty working day time frame.  The project also completed within the budget of $150,000 and 75 percent of the construction cost was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Cemetery Road2

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works is continually striving to improve the quality of service for the health and safety of the people of Hawai‘i Island and would like to thank the community for their patience, understanding and support throughout the restoration project.

Castle House or Puppy Mill – Resident Threatens to Release 30 Dogs in Seaview

The “Castle House” in the Kalapana-Seaview area of the Big Island has had their share of problems in the last few years.

Many years ago I blogged about the illegal scam they were running by inviting folks to “Pay $100 to write an Essay” to possibly win a brand new house.  That scam pretty much fizzled out with no one winning a house and a bunch of folks out $100.00.

Castle House
Now a resident that is staying at the Castle House has threatened to release approximately 30 dogs that apparently are staying at the Castle House into the Seaview area if folks don’t start to adopt them.

Castle House resident Morgan Birdwell posted the following on Facebook:

“Hey want a puppy or 5 with great genetics? Come to the Castle we have about thirty of them!”

MorganThe Facebook post immediately drew the attention of one person who posted:

That is a joke right?

The post also caught Kalapana Seaview Neighborhood Watch member Mark Hinshaw’s attention and I’ll just post what was said between the two of them:

Mark Hinshaw Interesting info for the Humane Society….

Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell No this please help these puppies find a home or they will be free range puppies running around seaview

Mark Hinshaw
Mark Hinshaw Morgan, are you saying the Castle has 30 puppies that are going to be released as “free range puppies running around Seaview” if you can not adopt them out?

Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell They’ll replace all your chickens

Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell Dogs have more meat than chickens anyways

Mark Hinshaw
Mark Hinshaw That is about as irresponsible as one could be. Call either the humane society or the other animal shelter. I will be contacting Humane Society tomorrow morning and advising them that you intend on releasing 30 puppies that have not be fixed into our community. Thanks for the heads up.

Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell You really want all these. Puppies to be crammed into one cage there I’m trying to find good homes for them and they’re free so what’s the problem

Mark Hinshaw
Mark Hinshaw Because you advised that unless these puppies are adopted that “they will be free range puppies running around seaview”

Damon Tucker
Damon Tucker Nothing like a pack of hungry dogs running around. #CujoAtTheCastle

Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr
Damon Tucker
Damon Tucker Morgan Birdwell do you live at the castle? what’s the rent? How many folks are staying there now? How many runaways are there?

Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell Like five people live there right now and no runaways

Damon Tucker
Damon Tucker What’s the rent?

Morgan Birdwell
Morgan Birdwell im tired of all these questions good night

Damon Tucker
Damon Tucker Yep… people get tired of being questioned when they know that they are involved in doing something wrong. Mark Hinshaw you call the Humane Society yet?

Tomorrow – 2015 Pahoa Holiday Parade and Ho’olaule’a

Tomorrow beginning at 9:30 am in Pahoa the annual Holiday Parade will pass through town going from Pahoa High School to the Post Office.  A Ho’olaule’a will be after the parade at the school.
2015 Holiday Parade

Confirmed Dengue Cases Rises to 136 – Updated Map Details Spread of Outbreak

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases has risen by 6 more cases since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 136.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As of December 4, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 119
Visitors 17
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 136

Of the confirmed cases, 119 are Hawaii Island residents and 17 are visitors.
106 cases have been adults; 30 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/28/15.

As of today, a total of 369 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated December 2, 2015)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE.  (Updated December 2, 2015)

TOMORROW – Free Thanksgiving Luncheon For the People of Puna

A FREE Thanksgiving luncheon will be held for the Puna Community tomorrow at the Pahoa Community Center.

Thanksgivng 2015Sponsors and members from Hope Services Hawaii, Aloha Lehua Cafe, Kalapana Mauna Kea Church and Puna New Hope will be providing free thanksgiving dinners from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Community Meeting with Lawmakers Draws Large Attendance in Puna

Representative Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and leaders from the Hawaii State House of Representatives held a Lawmakers Listen session at the Pahoa Community Center last night where they heard a wide range of concerns from residents in the area. Puna Meeting

Discussions at the meeting were on a number of topics including managing invasive species, the rat lungworm parasite, homelessness, medical care, the public hospital system, infrastructure concerns, and the lack of broadband internet service in the region.

Puna Meeting 3Members of the community were invited to share their questions and concerns directly with Rep. San Buenaventura, Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki, Majority Leader Scott Saiki, and House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke. The group was also joined by Hamakua Representative Mark Nakashima. Puna Meeting 2

‘Lawmakers Listen’ is an ongoing series of community town halls across the state with district Representatives, members of the House Leadership, and Committee Chairpersons.  The purpose of the meetings is for legislators to listen to the concerns of area residents and to discuss solutions.

Shark Attacks Swimmer at Kehena Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii

Reports are now coming in that a swimmer at Kehena Beach on the East Side of the Big Island of Hawaii… was attacked by a shark today.

Kehena Beach

Kehena Beach

Kehena Beach is known to be a “clothing optional” black sand beach in the Puna District of the Big Island.

I’m still waiting for the official DLNR report to be released.

Rep. San Buenaventura Hosting Community Meeting With House Leadership in Pahoa

A community meeting hosted by Representative Joy San Buenaventura and joined by State House leadership and Big Island representatives will be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 5pm – 7pm at the Pahoa Community Center.
Joy Meeting
Representatives that are scheduled to appear and hear feedback on issues that matter to their constituents are:

  • Rep. Joy San Buenaventura
  • House Speaker Joe Souki
  • Vice Speaker John M. Mizuno
  • Majority Leader Scott Saiki
  • Majority Floor Leader Cindy Evans
  • Finance Chair Sylvia Luke
  • Rep. Mark Nakashima
  • Rep. Richard Creagan

The Community Center is located at 15-3016 Kauhale Street in Pahoa.

June 27th Lava Flow Update – Scattered Breakouts Persist

This photo looks west towards the upper East Rift Zone of Kīlauea. The fume-filled crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the foreground, and the vent for the June 27th lava flow is just out of view of the lower right corner of the photo.

Mauna Loa is visible in the upper right.  (Click to enlarge)

Mauna Loa is visible in the upper right. (Click to enlarge)

A hornito was active in the upper portion of the June 27th flow, with hissing and jetting sounds coming from a small opening at the top. The hornito here was about 2.5 m (8 feet) tall.

One side of the hornito has a small solidified flow of lava that oozed from the top, with the remainder consisting of spatter and Pele's hair. (Click to enlarge)

One side of the hornito has a small solidified flow of lava that oozed from the top, with the remainder consisting of spatter and Pele’s hair. (Click to enlarge)

A hornito is formed by gas and lava forced through a small opening in the roof of a lava tube.

The lava is quenched with water in the metal bucket.  (Click to enlarge)

The lava is quenched with water in the metal bucket. (Click to enlarge)

An HVO geologist collects a sample of active lava for chemical analysis.

A small channel feeds a lobe of pāhoehoe lava on the eastern margin of the June 27th flow.

Scattered breakouts like these were active on the flow field today, with the farthest active lava about 6.4 km (4 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. (Click to enlarge)

Scattered breakouts like these were active on the flow field today, with the farthest active lava about 6.4 km (4 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. (Click to enlarge)

Section of Cemetery Road Covered by Lava to Be Restored

The Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works will begin work on restoring the functionality of Cemetery Road on Monday October 5, 2015.

Lava crosses Cemetery Rd.   Photo by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd

Lava crosses Cemetery Rd. Photo by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd

On October 25, 2014 lava associated with the Pu‘u O‘o Volcanic Eruption crossed onto Cemetery Road that extends from Apa‘a Street near the Pāhoa Transfer Station.  After assessing ingress and egress for the area, including the Ka‘ohe Homesteads, restoring the functionality of Cemetery Road is in the best interests of public safety.

Reconstruction work involves removing the new lava to original grades and then paving the 500-foot stretch of roadway.   The project is expected to take approximately forty (40) working days to complete, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Seventy five (75) percent of the $150,000 project cost will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Motorists are advised to use caution as heavy trucks and equipment will be utilizing Cemetery Road and Apa‘a Street.  Cemetery Road will be closed as a though street for the duration of this restoration project.

Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works thanks the community for their cooperation in keeping the construction area clear and roadways free from potential traffic and safety problems.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Man in Pahoa Attempts to Siphon Gas and Steal Truck from Church Parking Lot

Former Alaska resident Shane Johnson has turned himself in to local authorities for attempting to siphon gas and attempting to steal a vehicle from a church parking lot in Pahoa this past week.

Shane Johnson

Shane Johnson

Shane Johnson turned himself in after people on social media recognized him after the victims family posted what happened on Facebook and began to give him heat online for what he had done to a very well known community member.

It has been reported that after he was caught “red-handed” and approached by the victim, he ran off into the bushes leaving his girlfriend behind to take the fall for him.

Second Saturday’s Start Soon – Pahoa Music & Art Walk

The town of Pahoa is alive and well following the recent scare from the lava flow that threatened the town during the past year.  Starting Saturday, August 8th and continuing on the Second Saturday of each month Pahoa town will host a Music & Art Walk through the town.

Pahoa Music and Art WalkThe festivities begin at 5 pm.  For more information, email SecondSaturday@LoveEternal.org or call 808-315-8984 for more information.

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Honors Three with “Service to Community Award”

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset honored three members of the community with their “Service to Community Award.” In addition to the awards, the recipients were presented certificates from Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and the Hawaii House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees are:

  • Catherine Ford, who wakes up at 4:30 am to look for the Pahoa homeless and find out what their needs are. Catherine visits those who are hospitalized and for those that don’t have transportation, she drives them to acquire their checks, food and medication.  She has become an advocate for those who normally have none.
Lyndon Johnson was honored.

Lyndon Honda was honored.

  •  Chef Lyndon Honda, whose passion for cuisine, food culture and compassion for others inspired him to organize various food events to benefit victims of Hurricane Iselle and the June 27 lava flow.  Chef Lyndon rallied various chefs from Maui and the Big Island to donate their skill, time and money so that 100% of the monies raised went to Puna Farmers and those affected by Iselle and the lava flow.  This unheard of percentage going to victims shows Chef Honda’s ability to organize and rally those whose compassion are like his on short notice.
  • Kalani Honua, which organization spent approximately eighty-nine thousand dollars of their own money to provide food, ice, and water to the people of Puna who were affected by Hurricane Iselle and who were without power and refrigeration.  Kalani Honua showcases lower Puna to the rest of the world as a sustainable healthy agricultural Hawaiian community and has been featured multiple times in Yoga Journal and is a vital and important contributor to the community of the lower Puna region.

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, chartered on April 1, 2009, meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Akebono Theatre in Pahoa, Puna Hawaii.

At an earlier town hall meeting, Representative San Buenaventura also honored Rene Siracusa, who has dedicated a life of volunteer service to Puna and its residents.

Ms. Siracusa is involved in a number of community organizations including the Puna Outdoor Circle, Big Island Rainforest Action Group, Puna Friends of the Parks, Puna Malama Pono, and Malama O Puna, which have all made positive environmental impacts to Puna.  Ms. Siracusa helped with the grant writing to secure funding for the Puna Community Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic and currently sits as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Her participation as part of the Coqui Frog Working Group initially controlled the coqui frog at Lava Tree State Park in Nanawale and continues to educate the residents of Puna on the importance of bringing the invasive species under control.  She has served on various boards and committees such as the “Ka’ohe Homesteads Community & Farm Watch”, Hawai’i County Planning Commission, Healing Our Island Grant Review Committee, and was Chair of the Hawai‘i County Redistricting Commission (2011).

Pahoa Woman Arrested Again On Mauna Kea – Disruptive to Protestors and Removes Clothes

For the second day in a row, a Pāhoa woman was arrested on the Mauna Kea access Road.

Cynthia Marlin

Cynthia Marlin

In response to a 9:18 p.m. call Monday (July 13), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to the Mauna Kea Access Road, where a woman was yelling. It was reported that she had been disruptive to peaceful protesters and that she had briefly removed her clothing.

At 10:30 p.m., Cynthia Marlin (aka Cynthia Kealahilahi Verschuur Marlin) was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Her bail was set at $1,000. She was held at the Hilo police cellblock overnight and is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon (July 14).

Early Sunday (July 12), officers from the Hawaiʻi Police Department processed Marlin on charges of criminal property damage and obstructing after she was detained on the mountain by a Sheriff’s deputy for allegedly using her car to ram the vehicle of an Office of Mauna Kea Management ranger. She was released from custody on those charges the same day after posting $500 bail.

Cynthia Kealahilahi Verschuur Marlin's Facebook picture

Cynthia Kealahilahi Verschuur Marlin’s Facebook picture

Missing 59-Year-Old Pahoa Man Has Medical Condition

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 59-year-old Pāhoa man who was reported missing.

Terry Ward

Terry Ward

Terry Ward was last seen at 6 p.m. Saturday (July 11) at Mahukona Beach Park in North Kohala. He has a medical condition that requires medication.

He is described as 5-foot-2, 85 pounds with brown eyes, long black hair and a gray goatee. He walks with a cane and has a tattoo of a totem pole on one of his arms. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, brown moccasins, no shirt and was carrying a blue backpack containing a red-white-and-blue jacket with the words “Army National Guard” on the back.

Police ask anyone with information on his 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.

Pahoa Safe for Now… New Lava Flow Map Released

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of July 7 is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

New Satellite Image Captures Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by the Landsat 8 satellite.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The lava flow field is partly obscured by clouds, but the image shows much of the activity on the June 27th flow. Active breakouts are scattered over a wide area northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the farthest active lava about 7.8 km (4.8 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.