Aloha From Lavaland Documentary Debuts Online

Courtesy image

Hawaiian anthropological documentary Aloha From Lavaland is scheduled to be released on Amazon and iTunes on Nov. 15, 2017. The film follows the aftermath of the 2014 eruption of Hawai‘i’s Kilauea volcano, which sent a flow of lava directly toward the center of Pahoa, a small rural town on Hawai‘i Island.

Hard to predict and impossible to stop, the flow threatened to cut off the town’s only access road, leaving the residents of this remote community to rely heavily on one another as they prepare for possible isolation.

Produced in conjunction with Gift Culture Media, Larkin Pictures and Pure Mother Love, this 55 minute documentary explores an inner community perspective of the lava flow, following residents as they ask and answer important questions about community, sustainability, harmony, and what it really means to live in such an unpredictable paradise.

In addition to street interviews and news coverage, the documentary follows a local Hawaiian kumu (healer), a sustainability expert and the leader of a sovereign Hawaiian community over a period of seven months as they attempt to prepare for the unpreparable.

“Puna is unlike any place I’ve ever lived,” says co-director Suzenne Seradwyn, who has created films in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Hawai‘i. “The people here have different values because of the natural elements at play and the rich cultural history surrounding those elements. There is a very important message to share about what happens when you allow yourself to trust these elements.”

“This film is important for anyone living in a state of change, whether it be due to external elements or an internal shift,” says the film’s co-director, Phillips Payson. “Part of what this film explores is how one’s attitude toward change can make all the difference.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. This is his fourth film.

Aloha from Lavaland premiered at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and has won three awards including Best Hawai‘i Film at the Honolulu Film Awards.

To view the Aloha from Lavaland trailer, click here. You can also learn more about the film online.

 

Town Hall Meeting on Healthcare Set for Puna District

Pāhoa Community Center. Big Island Now Photo

The East Hawai‘i Regional Board of Directors of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation will hold its annual community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pāhoa Community Center.

The Board and Regional Administration will provide an overview of the operations and financial condition of all of the facilities, as well as a view toward the future.

“The East Hawai‘i Regional Board is looking forward to hearing your input and ideas for healthcare in the Puna District,” said Dr. Dan Belcher, Chair of the East Hawai‘i Regional Board of HHSC.

Members of the community are invited to share their perspectives and concerns regarding access to healthcare services.

The East Hawai‘i Regional Board of Directors was created by the Hawai‘i State legislature under Act 290 in 2007.

For more information contact Terry Larson, Regional Board Secretary at 932-3103.

The Pāhoa Community Center is located at 15-3022 Kauhale Street.

Big Island Police Searching for 18-Year-Old Puna Man Wanted in Burglary Investigation

Hawaiʻi Island police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating an 18-year-old Puna man wanted in connection with a burglary investigation.

Donald Kepner

Sought is Donald Kepner, described as Caucasian, 5-feet-10-inches, 150 pounds, blue eyes and blonde hair. Kepner is known to frequent the Puna area.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective William Brown at (808) 961-8883 or William.brown@hawaiicounty.gov

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 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.

End of an Era – Keaau Village Market Demolished

I just drove by Keaau Village Market and was stunned to see it getting demolished.

I spoke with a lady at 7-11 across the street and she said that there was going to be a CVS Longs Market moving into the parcel.

Hawaii Electric Light Company was on scene today removing it’s electrical equipment from the premise.

Businesses were given 30 days to move out of the location and October 15th was the last day tenants were able to remove their stuff.
The Hawaii Tribune heard rumors that Walgreens might be opening in the location and when I called Bill Walters of Shipman Park to confirm whether it would be CVS Longs or Walgreens he declined to comment and said an announcement would be forthcoming from the store themselves and not Shipman Park.

Walters did confirm that the Sakata Statue that was placed there in 2006 to celebrate the Filipino culture and the people of the area will remain in place and will be kept up by the new tenant.

The new store will begin construction soon and as soon as I confirm which store it is… I will let folks know.

 

Puna Man Charged in Stabbing Incident

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 32-year-old Puna man in connection with a stabbing in Puna.

At 12:26 a.m., on (October 12), officers responded to a residence in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision to a report of a man who had been stabbed by another man who shared the same home.

The victim, a 34-year-old Puna man, sustained stab wounds to his neck and was taken by medics to the Hilo Medical Center in serious but stable condition. He was later flown via air ambulance to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oʻahu for additional treatment and has since been upgraded to good condition.

Michael Potee

At 12:40 a.m., the suspect, Michael Potee, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Hilo cellblock while detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section continued the investigation.

Friday evening, (October 13), Potee was charged with second-degree assault. He was released from police custody at 9:10 p.m., after posting $2000 bail and is scheduled to appear in District Court on (November 16).

Anyone who may have knowledge about the incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Scott Amaral of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2384 or Scott.Amaral@hawaiicounty.gov.

Updated Map of Lava Flow Field

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of September 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of October 12 is shown in red. Older Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube.

The blue lines over the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 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. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Puna Kai Shopping Center Breaks Ground

Today, ground was broken for the new Puna Kai Shopping Center that will be located in Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

About 100 community members along with dignitaries from the county and the mayor’s office were in attendance.
Pi’ilani Ka’awaloa gave the opening pule (prayer) and blessing of the land while elected officials and company representatives did the actual groundbreaking.

Situated on 9.93 acres, and featuring more than 83,110 SF of retail, office, dining, and entertainment space, Puna Kai will become the community’s premiere shopping center.

Conveniently located at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road & Kahakai Boulevard in the town of Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii.Puna Kai will be grocery anchored by 35,000 SF Malama Market (Malama Market name will be changed). Leasing opportunities are now  being offered from 1,000 SF to 5,540 SF.

Puna Kai, will provide a distinctive blend of daily services, specialty shops, entertainment, and eateries.
The building architecture will reflect the old Hawaii ambiance and charm, inspiring Puna Kai to be the gathering place in Pahoa that has something for everyone.

Puna Community Town Hall Meetings Hosted By Senator Ruderman

Senator Russell Ruderman will be hosting Puna Community Town Hall Meetings on Tuesday, October 24th in Pahoa and Wednesday, October 25th in Volcano:
I will be presenting some of my proposed legislation for the 2018 Legislative Session, and I invite you join me and take advantage of this opportunity for me to hear from you and give your input on these proposed measures, as well as hear your ideas for additional legislation to be introduced this next year.

My staff and I will also be discussing how you can be directly involved in the legislative process – by submitting language for legislation, contacting legislators and submitting testimony, and how to track legislation as it is referred to various committees and moves through the legislature.
Light refreshments will be served.

Senator Russell E. Ruderman
Senatorial District 2 – Puna-Ka’u

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 27-Year-Old Puna Woman

UPDATE:  Hawaiʻi Island police have located Sadie Ditus who was reported as missing earlier today (October 9).  She was found in good condition in Hilo at 11:00 a.m.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 27-year-old Puna woman reported as missing.

Sadie Ditus

Sadie Ditus, was last seen in Hilo (October 3).

She is 5-feet-8-inches, 115 pounds, thin build, pale complexion, with blue eyes and shoulder-length curly light-brown hair.

She is known to frequent and lives in the Pāhoa area.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Officer Terrance Scanlan at the Puna Police Station (808) 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Shooting Incident

Hawaiʻi Island police are conducting an investigation into a reported shooting incident in Puna yesterday, (October 5), which resulted in a 63-year-old sustaining gunshot wounds to his chest and head.

At 3:05 p.m., Wednesday evening, (October 5), police responded to the Hawaiian Acres subdivision for a report of a man down in his driveway with wounds to his head and chest. The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Hawaiʻi Fire Department personnel and later flown to Queen’s Medical Center by air ambulance in serious condition.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (80 8) 935-3311 or Detective Dean Uyetake of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2379 or dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Pahoa Scholars Feast Fundraiser Update – Scholarships Available

This past Saturday, on September 30th, hundreds gathered to support the Pahoa Schools Booster Club and Scholarship Fund on the grounds of Sacred Heart Church. Following this past weekend’s successful event, the organization has announced that $5,000 will be available for the Class of
2018 scholarship awards.

The Pahoa High School Girls’ Volleyball Team joined the Boys of Youth Challenge and dozens of community volunteers in creating and delivering an awesome Vegan Lasagna and Ribeye Steak meal to over 350 hungry supporters.

Our most heart-felt thanks to everyone, including the generous contributions from Island Natural Foods, Malama Market, Tin Shack Bakery, Kalani Honua, Ning’s Thai Cuisine, Stratos Pizzeria, Black Rock Café, Pahoa Auto Parts, Paul’s Repair, Boogie Woogie Pizza, Sustainable Island Products and Bananarama Bakery.

Under the leadership of organizers Mark Hinshaw, Nancy J Kramer CPA, Aaron Ferreira and Aunty Madie Greene, a good time was had by all!

The original Scholarship Endowment was established by the family of former Hawai’i County Council Member Richard G Edwards after his passing. As a former Puna Lion’s Club member, his family chose the Lion’s Club to administer the scholarship over the years.

This past year, responsibility was passed on to Mainstreet-Pahoa Associations’s Pahoa Schools Booster Club, under the financial guidance of Nancy J Kramer CPA. The initial endowment that was transferred to the Booster Club was $21,000 and thanks to the generous contributions this year by Kaleos Bar and Grill of $5,000 and the new Puna Kai Shopping Center of $5000, the current Endowment sits at $31,000. The current 2020 goal is $50,000.

Class of 2018 Scholarships also received significant contributions. Puna Geothermal Ventures provided of $1,000, local businessman Vernon Lindsey and Lava Shack $500. Former Pahoa High School Guidance Counselor Nancy Seifers has stepped up to create the “Aunty Nancy” Scholarship of $1,000.

This year’s work on the selection process, amounts to be awarded, and application tools will begin in November. The intention of the Pahoa Booster Club is to distribute the awards among all three area schools, HAAS, Kua O Ka La and Pahoa High School, to graduating Seniors with B average or better grades, who are choosing to continue their education at a university or community college.

The Class of 2018 specific award amounts and criteria for each award will be announced when the application materials are made available at the end of the year. All three schools are encouraged to participate in the application process.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information on contributing to the Scholarship Fund should contact us at PahoaBoosterClub@gmail.com or call 965-7110.

We are most encouraged at the success of this year’s event and we are already in the planning stages for next year’s Scholars Feast, the last Saturday of September in 2018.

I mua Pahoa!

Tomorrow – Mainstreet Pahoa Associations Scholars Feast

Hele-On (The Bus) Community Meetings in Puna

In 2010 Fourth District County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi received a grant check for $7.2 million on behalf of the County of Hawai‘i from U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye to fund mass transit improvements

I received the following from Councilwoman Jen Ruggles:

Aloha Kakou,

We are putting out the call to all the people in Puna that have ideas to improve our Hele-on Bus System. Now is the time to bring your needs and ideas forth.

This is the first of two rounds of meetings meant to guide the county in making its first ever 20 year Master Transit Plan. MARK YOUR CALENDAR to make one of the following meetings:

  • October 11th at 6pm at Kea’au Community Center 16-186 Pili Mua St. Kea’au HI 96749.
  • October 12th at 6pm at Pahoa Community Facility 15-2910 Kuahala St. Pahoa HI 96778.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Now is the time to show our need for:

  1. More bus routes.
  2. Expanded routes into subdivisions
  3. Your ideas for improvements

Need a ride? Call Jo-Anna at 808-356-1260 to arrange a ride at least 5 days prior to the event. If you cannot attend, please submit your suggestions to heleonsuggestions@ssfm.com.

Baby in Puna Catches Rat Lungworm Disease – Hawaii Department of Health Confirms 17th Case of Rat Lungworm Disease in Hawaii for 2017

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed an additional case of rat lungworm disease in an infant from the Puna District of Hawaii Island. This is the tenth laboratory-confirmed case of rat lungworm disease contracted on Hawaii Island this year, bringing the statewide total to 17 cases in 2017. After a detailed investigation, DOH learned the infant became infected likely after accidentally consuming a slug or snail.

“Kane’s slowly getting better but it will take time. He had RAT LUNGWORM for 9 DAYS & i took him to his doctor, urgent care & hilo medical center MULTIPLE TIMES before they finally listened to me & did a blood sample on him. Can you imagine if my baby would have died from this? & Me knowing that i did my best to tell doctors to check his blood because in my gut i could feel that it wasn’t the flu or him teething. I hope you guys feel real dumb for ignoring my instincts, i am glad that i was firm because the ER wanted to SEND US HOME AGAIN WITHOUT A BLOOD SAMPLE, but i refused to let that happen a 2nd time around. Any ways, i am grateful that he is a fighter & i am positive that he will make a full recovery.” Santini N Dylan Tauanuu

“This is an extremely unfortunate incident, with the infant currently hospitalized and receiving care,” said Aaron Ueno, Hawaii Island District Health Officer. “While the department is unable to provide specific information on this individual case, we can take this time to remind parents and caregivers about the importance of preventing infants and young children from putting slugs, snails, or other items in their mouths. We know that slugs, snails, and rats in all counties carry the parasite that can cause rat lungworm disease, so watching over young children is especially important.”

He added, “The Hawaii Island District Health Office is making a concerted effort to reach parents and caregivers of infants and young children by providing education and resources about rat lungworm disease prevention to our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Early Intervention Services clients and our partners, including pediatricians and other healthcare providers.”

DOH recommends all parents and caregivers of infants and young children take extra precautions, including:

  • Watch infants, toddlers, and children carefully while they are playing and make sure they are not picking up slugs, snails, or other objects from the ground and putting those into their mouths.
  • Help children properly wash their hands after playing and/or on the ground using running water and soap.
  • When consuming food and drinks, close and seal containers when not in use to prevent slugs and snails from crawling inside, especially when left on or near the ground.

The public is urged to take the following precautions to prevent rat lungworm disease:

  • Carefully inspect, wash, and store produce in sealed containers, regardless of whether it came from a local retailer, farmer’s market, or backyard garden.
  • All fruits and vegetables should be washed and rubbed under running water, especially leafy greens, to remove any tiny slugs or snails.
  • Controlling snail, slug, and rat populations is one of the most important steps in fighting the spread of rat lungworm disease. Eliminate slugs, snails, and rats around properties, and especially around home gardens.
  • Farmers as well as food handlers and processors should increase diligence in controlling slugs, snails, and rats on the farm.

Rat lungworm disease (angiostrongyliasis) is contracted when a person becomes infected with the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This happens when a person accidentally consumes raw or undercooked infected slugs, snails, freshwater shrimp, land crabs or frogs. The most common symptoms include severe headaches and neck stiffness, but symptoms may vary widely among cases. The most serious cases experience neurological problems, pain, and severe disability.

More information about the signs and symptoms of rat lungworm disease may be found at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/rat-lungworm-angiostrongyliasis/ and https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2017/01/RLD-rackcard-version1_06152017.pdf. The first in a series of public service announcements about rat lungworm disease prevention is posted on the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s website at http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/rat-lungworm-information/.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 35-Year-Old Woman Last Seen in Kalapana

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 35-year-old missing woman.

Parker Godwin

Parker Godwin was last seen in the Kalapana area on (August 6).

She is described as Caucasian, 5-feet-10-inches, 145 pounds, brown shoulder length hair, blue eyes and a “Led Zeppelin” tattoo on her lower back.

She primarily resides in the Hilo district.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Officer Robert Keffer at (808) 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Searcing for Missing 15-Year-Old Puna Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Puna girl reported as missing.

Tanika Nihipali-Franchey

Tanika Nihipali-Franchey was last seen at her residence (July 18). She is described as 4-feet-9-inches, 115 pounds, with brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Officer Kenneth Ishii at the Puna Police Station (808) 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Celebration of Life and Silent Auction Planned for Ernest Jackson

Ernest James Jackson was killed tragically in a motorcycle accident August 24, 2017 in Pahoa HI. He leaves behind his wife Jenn and his 3 children: Jamar, Tristan, and Amora.

His Celebration of Life will be Saturday September 2, 2017, 1pm until 4pm, at the E-Max building, Kalani Honua Resort, 12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho road, Pahoa.

There will be a silent auction in conjunction with the Celebration of Life, with the proceeds going to Ernest’s children. We are accepting all manner of donations for the auction; massages, watsu, art, meals, vacation packages, jewelry, personal services, etc.

If you would like to donate something for the auction, please contact the organizers Kevin Horton and Misti Johnson.

Contact:
Kevin Horton/Misti Johnson
Kalapana100@yahoo.com
PH: 808-965-1084
FaceBook: Kevin Horton

Community Forum to Discuss Puna Roads

Representative Joy San Buenaventura will host a Community Forum on Saturday, September 9, at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center. The panel will include representatives from the Department of Transportation, Hawaii County Council, and the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 9, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center, 15-1570 Makuu Dr, Keaau, HI 96749

Panelists will speak about the condition of roads in Puna and provide progress updates for highway 130 and other roads. The event is free and open to the public with seating space assigned on a first come basis.

Two People Treading Water Rescued Off Capsized Vessel Off Kaloli Point

Two people were rescued off a capsized vessel off Kaloli Point this morning around 11:00.

Location: Open Ocean Quarter Mile off Shore area of Kaloli Point

Found at Scene: Ocean Rescue

Cause: Capsized Boat

Remarks: Responded to report of capsized vessel in the area of either Hilo Bay or Kaloli Point. Company 1 and Chopper 1 unable to locate vessel in Hilo Bay. Chopper 1 was able to locate a 20 foot Bayliner partially submerged in ocean ~ 1/4 mile from shoreline in the area of Kaloli Point with 2 occupants treading water beside it.  Both parties safely rescued from the ocean by Chopper 1 and rescue personnel, assisted to safe area by Engine 18. No injuries reported. US Coast Guard to arrange salvage of boat with owner. No further assistance needed.

About Pahoa’s New Library

Well it looks like Pahoa will be getting a new library!

In a Mayor Kim response letter to State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich dated July 26th 2017,  Kim stated that the county fully supports a new public library for Pahoa and would allow it at the existing location where the Pahoa Police and Fire Station currently exists on Highway 130 as long as there is a separate access that wouldn’t interfere with emergency response vehicles.