Maui Felon Arrested for Refusing to Provide DNA Sample – State Looking for Others

Attorney General David M. Louie announced that on August 22, 2014, John P. Dunbar Jr. (60) of Haiku, Maui, was arrested by patrol officers and officers assigned to the Maui Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit for refusing to provide a DNA sample. Mr. Dunbar, had been convicted of Escape in the Second Degree, which is a felony, in June 2005 and was provided notice of the legal requirement that he provide a DNA sample.

Pursuant to section 844D-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, any person convicted of a felony is required to provide a buccal swab sample containing DNA. This law applies to all convicted felons, even if their conviction occurred before the passage of the law in 2005. Refusal to submit a DNA sample is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment or a maximum fine of $2,000.

This case is the result of the Attorney General’s on-going law enforcement effort to obtain DNA samples from thousands of unsupervised convicted felons in the State of Hawaii and was a joint effort between the Attorney General Investigations Division’s DNA Swabbing Unit, the United States Marshals Service, the Maui Police Department, and the Maui Prosecutor’s Office.

“I thank the various law enforcement agencies that have assisted our office in ensuring that state law is followed and that convicted felons who refuse to provide DNA samples are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Attorney General Louie. “The DNA collection program has already assisted law enforcement in closing unsolved crimes. I encourage anyone that has been convicted of a felony that has not yet provided a DNA sample to voluntarily comply with the law and provide a sample to our DNA Swabbing Unit.” The DNA Swabbing Unit can be contacted at 808-586-1240.

An arrest does not constitute a conviction and Mr. Dunbar is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the criminal offense charged.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

Civil Defense Update for Hurricane Iselle

This is a civil defense message.

This is a Hurricane Warning information update for Wednesday August 6th at 12:00 Noon.

Hurriane Iselle

The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for  the Island of Hawaii remains in effect.  A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions can be expected within the next 36 hours.  The hurricane conditions will include high surf and surge along all coastal areas, heavy rains and possible thunder showers that may present with flood conditions, and sustained storm force winds of over 75 mph and higher gusts.  Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions and to prepare for hazardous conditions.  Boat owners are advised to check moorings and to secure all vessels.  All preparation activities should be completed before tonight.  Hurricane Iselle continues to be monitored and is currently located approximately 625 miles east southeast of Hilo and moving west northwest at 16 miles per hour.  Although hurricane Iselle had previously shown signs of weakening current assessment show the system is maintaining hurricane force conditions.  Hurricane Iselle will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be broadcasted as information is made available.  All schools are open today however the following schools will be closing at 2:00 PM today and the after school programs and activities at these schools will be suspended:

  • Laupahoehoe School
  • Kohala HS & Elem.
  • Kealakehe HS
  • Konawaena HS
  • Hilo HS
  • Waiakea HS
  • Keaau HS
  • Pahoa HS & Int
  • Honokaa HS & Int
  • Kau HS
  • Waikoloa Elem

The department of Education reports that all Hawaii Island Schools will be closed tomorrow Thursday August 7th.

In addition, all beach parks will be closed effective tonight and remain closed until conditions improve and it is safe to reopen.

Updated information for the Big Island, Maui county and the surrounding coastal waters.

Situation overview

Iselle is expected to bring heavy rains, high surf and damaging winds. Hurricane conditions are expected on the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread to Maui county Thursday night and possibly to Oahu on Friday. Swells generated by Iselle are expected to reach the main Hawaiian islands today, possibly becoming damaging along some coastlines starting late tonight or Thursday. High surf is expected to reach the islands ahead of the heavy rains and strong winds. The high surf may bring coastal flooding, particularly when combined with afternoon astronomical high tides.

While there is still some uncertainty in the exact track and strength of Iselle, the Big Island and Maui are expected to be impacted first. The rest of the state remains at Risk to experience the impacts of Iselle.

Department of Health Reaches Settlement With Central Maui Landfill and Molokai Solid Waste Facility

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management have reached a settlement on two enforcement cases concerning solid waste violations at the Central Maui Municipal Solid Waste Landfill and the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility.

Department of Health

The combined settlement involves a cash penalty payment of $70,000 and a supplemental environmental project that is valued at not less than $70,000.

The proposed supplemental project is a household hazardous waste collection program for the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai to be conduct ed during fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). The County of Maui, the remaining county that currently lacks such a program, plans to continue the project beyond the inaugural year.

DOH cited the Central Maui Municipal Solid Waste Landfill with three counts of permit violations from January to April 2011 for failure to maintain leachate compliance levels in the leachate wet well and sump, and failure to monitor and record leachate levels after a storm event. The DOH initially imposed an administrative penalty of $121,900 prior to the settlement. The facility is located off Pulehu Road in Puunene.

DOH cited the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility with a two-count violation in April 2011 for failing to minimize liter generation and failure to place daily cover at the facility. An administrative penalty of $20,955 was initially imposed prior to the settlement. The facility is located off Maunaloa Highway in Naiwa.

The County of Maui has completed all corrective actions stemming from the alleged violations.

3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Registered Off Maui This Morning

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake was registered off the coast of Maui this morning… no tsunami was generated from it:

maui 31

Mokulele Airlines Announces Grand Opening Celebration For Kalaeloa Airport – Adds Flights

Mokulele Airlines has announced that it will host a grand opening celebration on July 1 at the airline’s newest service location, Kalaeloa Airport on west Oahu, marking the successful conclusion of a year of preparations. Kalaeloa is located at the former Barber’s Point Naval Air Base John Rogers Field, and the grand opening and inaugural flight will take place 15 years to the day that the former base was closed and turned over to the State of Hawaii.

mokulelejet

The celebration, which is open to the public, will begin with a facility tour and entertainment by Kainani & Friends. Jenn Boneza, TV personality for Oceanic Cable 16 and Hawaii Five-0 actress will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.  Ron Hansen, president & CEO of Mokulele Airlines will welcome guests and special guest speakers will include Evelyn Souza, Chairperson of Neighborhood Board #24; Senator Mike Gabbard, Representative Karen Awana, Ross Higashi Deputy Director Airports Hawaii DOT,  and Shan S. Tsutsui, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii. Dignitaries from the Hawaii Department of Transportation will also be in attendance and Kahu Daniel “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr. will offer a traditional Hawaiian blessing of the airport and the plane that will make the inaugural flight.

July 1 will mark the beginning of Mokulele’s daily nonstop service to Kahului, Maui from Kalaeloa, with six scheduled daily flights, three each way. The inaugural flight to Kahului will depart at 1:00 pm. After the plane departs, closing remarks will be offered by Mokulele’s executive vice president and COO Dave Berry and a reception will follow with entertainment by award-winning slack key master Kawika Kahiapo and refreshments provided by Chef Paul Onishi, of the Culinary Art Academy and Young Life Oahu High School Students.

Kalaeloa will be the ninth airport Mokulele serves. As with most of the other airports Mokulele operates from, parking is hassle-free and TSA screenings are not required. Travelers will also save time by eliminating the need to drive to and from Honolulu on the H1. Mokulele is offering a special introductory webfare of $99 roundtrip including taxes and fees for the new Kalaeloa-Kahului route for reservations booked through July 31th for travel through August 30.

Mokulele Airlines said it has announced the expansion of its service between Kamuela-Waimea on the Big Island and Kahului, Maui by adding a third daily roundtrip flight to meet growing demand.

Mokulele began offering service form Kamuela in September 2013 after being awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract from the Hawaii Department of Transportation. EAS is a government program designed to help ensure that smaller communities have access to commercial air service.

Mokulele will now offer 42 weekly flights between the two destinations, only 24 of which are subsidized by the EAS program.

More information is available at www.mokuleleairlines.com.

Department of Health Fines Hawaiian Commerical and Sugar Company for Over 400 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch has issued a Notice and Finding of Violation and Order (NFVO) to Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S) for excess emission and reporting violations that occurred from 2009 to 2013 in Puunene, Maui.

Hawaii Sugar Fine

A penalty of $1,335,000 has been assessed for the alleged violations. HC&S may request a hearing to contest the violations within 20 days of receiving the NFVO.

More than 400 violations were documented by DOH’s extensive records reviews of HC&S’s semi-annual reports, deviation letters and additional information submitted by HC&S. A copy of the NFVO, which includes a complete list of the violations, may be viewed at http://health.hawaii.gov/cab/Issued Formal Notices of Violation and Order

Through the air permit process, the DOH ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public. The DOH Clean Air Branch (CAB) protects the people and environment of Hawaii by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air.

The CAB reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality.

Police Searching for Maui Woman and Children Who May Be On the Big Island

6/18/2014 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 28-year-old Halley Leah Ries of Maui, who was reported missing.   Ries and her two children were found unharmed in Kalapana at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday (June 17).

Hawaiʻi Island police are assisting Maui police in locating a 28-year-old Haiku woman who was reported missing and may be on the Big Island.

Halley Leah Ries

Halley Leah Ries

Halley Leah Ries is reportedly with her two daughters, ages 5 and 8 months, and operating a gray 2014 Nissan 4-door sedan, license ZBN 509. She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-11, 145 pounds with green eyes and blond hair.

She has a medical condition that requires medication.

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 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

EPA Settlement with Destination Maui Will Fund Blood Lead Testing for 350 Children

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement valued at $55,000 with Destination Maui, Inc. for failing to notify its tenants about the potential presence of lead-based paint at eight properties located on Maui.

EPA LOGO“More than half a million children in America have blood lead levels that can lead to learning disabilities and behavior problems,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Household paint is the main source of exposure, so it’s crucial for landlords to provide tenants the information they need to protect their families from lead poisoning.”

In addition to a fine of $5,500, Destination Maui will spend approximately $49,500 to fund the testing of 350 children for lead exposure and provide blood lead analysis equipment to three community health clinics operated by Malama I Ke Ola Health Center on Maui that serve low income and homeless residents. The blood testing program will take place over the next three years, and will target uninsured children under the age of 6 years old.

An EPA inspection found that the firm did not provide information about the potential presence of lead based paint before leasing eight properties in Kahului, Kihei, Wailuku, Lahaina, Makawao, Kula, and Haiku. These actions violated the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

The inspection was one of several conducted at property management firms in May 2011 throughout Maui that rent older housing that may have a risk of lead hazards. EPA places a high priority on addressing environmental health risks like lead poisoning that disproportionately affect children and environmental justice communities. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, and other harmful health effects. Because such effects may not be immediately apparent in young children, testing is recommended to identify lead poisoning and take action to prevent further harm.

The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Federal law requires that persons and entities that sell or rent housing built before 1978, such as the units managed by Destination Maui involved in this case, provide lead hazard information to buyers or tenants. In addition, contractors who work on such housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified by EPA if they perform significant renovation, repair, or painting.

For additional information on lead in paint and the Toxic Substances Control Act requirements, please visit the EPA website at http://www2.epa.gov/lead

Statement From Piiholo Zipline Company Regarding Today’s Death

Statement from Piiholo Zipline company regarding the death that happened at the zipline company today:
Piiholo Ranch Zipline

The Piiholo Zipline Ohana expresses its condolences and sympathy to those involved in today’s tragic event. We especially offer our deepest aloha and prayers to the family and friends of our co-worker Patricia “Trish” Rabellizsa at this difficult time. We are working in full cooperation with the Maui Police Department’s ongoing investigation.

$2.2 Million in Safe Routes to School Grants Awarded

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is pleased to announce the following Safe Routes To School (SRTS) grant awards. Applications were received and grants awarded in each county statewide.

Safe Routes

Applications for these projects were submitted during HDOT’s third round call for applications for SRTS federal funds provided by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SRTS grants are awarded in two categories: Non-Infrastructure and Infrastructure Projects.

Non-Infrastructure Projects:

  • Fern Elementary School, Oahu, was awarded $46,933 for the Fern Elementary School SRTS Project. The project will consist of pedestrian and bicycle safety education, a walking school bus program, and school meetings and flyers to educate parents and neighbors of Fern Elementary School. In addition, the project will include a media campaign of 30-second radio spots written and recorded by students.
  • PATH – Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, a non-profit organization, was awarded $20,094 for the Putting Our Plans to Work Project. The project will provide bicycle education at West Hawaii Explorations Academy and pedestrian education, bicycle education and sign waving at Keonepoko Elementary School. Also, the project will establish new walking school bus routes at Waimea Elementary School and Waikoloa Elementary School on Hawaii Island.
  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa Office of Public Health Studies was awarded $24,630 for the Get Fit Kauai SRTS Project. The project will consist of bicycle education at Kapaa Elementary School and King Kaumualii Elementary School, as well as a comprehensive media plan that will include print and radio.

Infrastructure Projects:

  • The County of Kauai Public Works Department was awarded $251,500 for the Island-Wide Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Crosswalks and Sidewalk Improvements Project. The Project will install RRFB systems near Kalaheo Elementary School, Kekaha Elementary School and Kapaa Middle School. In addition, a new sidewalk will be constructed along the east side of Alae Road from Kaumualii Highway to Iwipolena Street near Kekaha Elementary School.
  • The County of Kauai Public Works Department was awarded $416,540 for the King Kaumualii SRTS Phase 1 Project. The project will install RRFB systems at two existing school crosswalks on Hanamaulu Road. The project will also construct new sidewalks along Hoohana Street from Laukona Street to Akuili Street, Akuili Street from Hoohana Street to Hanamaulu Road, and the north-side of Hanamaulu Road from King Kaumualii Elementary to Hanamaulu Place. In addition, a new median on Hanamaulu Road at the school entrance and a striped crosswalk at the school exit will be provided.
  • The County of Kauai Public Works Department was awarded $490,875 for the Koloa Safe Routes Phase 2 Project. The project will replace the existing sidewalk on Poipu Road fronting Koloa Elementary School, construct new sidewalk on the east-side of Poipu Road from Waikomo Road to Blakes Lane, and extend the existing sidewalk on Paanau Road west to Hikina Road. The project will also extend existing bike lanes on Poipu Road from Koloa Road to Waikomo Road and from Blakes Lane approximately 1,000 feet south.
  • The County of Maui Public Works Department was awarded $502,443 for the Paia School Frontage Improvements Project. The project will construct new sidewalk along the south-side of Baldwin Avenue from Anohou Street to Paia Gym, and the frontage of Paia School. The project will also provide a new sidewalk from the alleyway off the Haawina Street and Palekana Street intersection within Skill Village to the existing Paia Gym parking lot.
  • The County of Maui Public Works Department was awarded $455,495 for the Paia School Sidewalk Improvements Project. The project will replace and widen the existing sidewalk from Paia Gym to Paia School.

SRTS is an international effort to increase safety and promote walking and bicycling to and from school. The federally-funded SRTS program was established by Section 1404 of SAFETEA-LU and signed into law in 2005. For more information on the SRTS federal program in Hawaii, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-routes-to-school-program/.

Hawaii Wildfire – Close Call! GoPro Evacuation

On a viciously windy day while out running some errands in town we get a call from our friends saying “The backyard is on fire blowing straight towards the house, we’re taking the dogs!”.
Maui Wildfire

They were not kidding. We were 10 minutes away, and by the time we got halfway home we could see the black smoke billowing from the horizon, and we got back just in time to pull our valuables out of the house before the Maui County Fire Department closed off the street completely while they battled the 2 acre blaze being fed by the constant 30mph+ winds coming from the north.

Wildfire Truck

With the assistance of many fire trucks and a helicopter bringing water from the ocean less than 1/2 mile away they were able to bring the flames under control before they got to the neighborhood. Nothing was damaged other than the house smelling like a huge campfire for a few days afterwards thanks to the quick response by fire and police units, it could have been very much worse than it was.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/rSxnCUNpQws]

Special thanks to all involved with helping protect our homes, you guys rock!!

Via EpiCapture Productions

When Whales Fly

When whales fly?

When Whales Fly

Saw this picture on Twitter… not sure who the original photographer is.

UPDATE: (Pic by Matthew Thornton, 2012) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/entries/150230/view/ … pic.twitter.com/yDnq9mvQ6Y

Video: Flash Flood on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands have been getting a lot of rain in the last few days.  Here is a video of a flash flood on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BAJBCWYD8iQ]

The video was uploaded yesterday.

Senator J. Kalani English’s Statement on Fatal Lanai Plane Crash

Senator J. Kalani English (District 7- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe), Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, today issued the following statement after learning of the fatal plane crash near Lāna‘i Airport:

Sen. J. Kalani English

Sen. J. Kalani English

“It is with great sadness that I extend my most heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those who passed in last night’s fatal plane crash on Lāna‘i. I continue to keep the survivors who are currently under the care of Queen’s Medical Center in my thoughts and prayers.”

“We lost two officials from Maui County’s Department of Planning and the pilot of the charter plane, with three others injured. They were on their way back from a Lāna‘i Planning Commission meeting that ended at 8:30 p.m. Their flight left around 9:05, about an hour after the last commercial flight leaving Lāna‘i. The Maui Planning Department officials played an integral part in development of the county and will be remembered for their service to the community.”

“Maui County has endured great tragedy in just a few months. We are still grieving the loss of Loretta Fuddy, Hawai‘i’s State health director, to a plane crash off the shores of Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i.

“As a unique and isolated county, small chartered planes are necessary for travel within the county. As such, air travel safety is an issue that is highly important to us. Maui Air had a previously unblemished record and I trust that a thorough investigation of the crash will occur. For those traveling by air to and from Lāna‘i, I want to assure you that services are safe and will continue.”

“We are grateful to the first responders in the crash and for their continued commitment to protecting Hawai‘i and those who visit our state.”

“On behalf of the Hawai‘i State Senate, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives and will keep the survivors in our thoughts and prayers.”

 

Target to Open First Store in Maui – Will Employ 200… Candidates Can Apply Online

Target is pleased to announce plans to open a new store in the city of Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, in March 2015. The store will be located on Hookele Street as part of the Pu‘unēnē Shopping Center.  This will be the first Target store in Maui.

Target Location

The Maui store will be approximately 140,000 square feet, and will offer guests the everyday essentials and exclusive brands they have come to expect from Target. In addition, the store will include a selection of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, as well as a Starbucks and a Target Pharmacy, to further enhance guests’ shopping experience.

The Maui location will employ approximately 200 team members. Target will host job fairs approximately two months prior to the new store opening, at which prospective candidates may apply and interview for open team member positions. Candidates may also apply online at Target.com/careers or at in-store kiosks located in all Target stores approximately three months prior to the new store opening.

“Target is excited about our first store on the island of Maui,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior vice president of stores in the Western region.  “Since opening our first store in Hawaii in 2009, we’ve created strong partnerships with the local community and delivered our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise to guests throughout the islands.”

Target creates strong partnerships with local organizations in all of the communities where the company does business through Target’s community giving programs. This store will start a local grant program, contribute to the United Way and donate food to a Feeding America member, or approved agency. Target also encourages team members to volunteer their time to serve the needs of their community.

Sex Abuse Victims in Utah Seek justice from Maui Land & Pine, Mormon Church, and Others

Honolulu attorneys Charles McKay and Randall Rosenberg of Rosenberg & McKay filed a complaint in Second Circuit Court on Maui yesterday afternoon against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. (ML&P), Youth Development Enterprises, Inc. (YDE) and Brian R. Pickett, who currently resides in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  The Plaintiffs are two Utah men, Kyle Spray (42) and Jake Huggard (41), who now live in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.  Also consulting on the case are Idaho and Seattle Attorneys Craig Vernon and Leander James of James, Vernon and Weeks, P.A., and Mark Leemon of Leemon + Royer.

Kyle Spray

Kyle Spray

Jacob Huggard

Jacob Huggard

The lawsuit alleges the LDS (Mormon) Church and ML&P recruited boys in the 1970s and 80s from Mormon communities in Utah and Southeastern Idaho to pick pineapples at camps in Maui, where the Plaintiffs were sexually molested.  The camps closed in the early 1990s.

“There were hundreds of boys over more than a decade cycled through these camps,” explained attorney Randall Rosenberg, Esq., of Rosenberg & McKay.  “Hundreds were exposed to the alleged sexual predator in our case.  We do not know how many others may have been molested, but our experience is that child sexual predators with access to kids have multiple victims.”

Maui Land and Pineapple

“We are asking for anyone with knowledge about sexual abuse at these camps to come forward,” added attorney Charles McKay, Esq., of Rosenberg & McKay.

LDS men in their twenties, who qualified for supervisory positions after completing their two-year missions from the LDS Church, ran the camps.   When recruiting boys, the suit alleges the LDS Church represented to parents that the camps were a safe training ground for boys to become Mormon missionaries.

According to the suit, Defendant Brian R. Pickett, a Camp Coordinator, molested the Plaintiffs as boys while overseeing up to 200 boys at one camp from 1986 to 1988.  ML&P promoted Picket in 1988 to Vice President of Operations over both camps, exposing him to more than 400 boys employed at the camps. The alleged sexual abuse took place at the ML&P barracks while Picket was Camp Coordinator. Abuse of one boy allegedly continued at Pickett’s Maui upcountry home.  In addition to being the boys’ boss, Pickett was their spiritual leader.  Pickett was the Branch President, similar to a Mormon Bishop, who presided over the boys’ religious training.  According to the suit, Pickett baptized one 15-year-old victim who had been recruited as a non-Mormon, then sexually molested the boy.

“We believe Brian R. Pickett used his position over our clients as their supervisor and religious leader to gain access to the boys and manipulate them,” said attorney Craig Vernon, Esq., of James, Vernon and Weeks.  “The [Mormon] Church marketed this as a safe, wholesome and exciting adventure; fly to Hawai’i and pick pineapples.  That was extremely attractive to Mormon boys in Utah and Idaho in the 70s and 80s.”

[youtube=http://youtu.be/TvhaAvWdnSU]

“Thanks to a new Hawai’i law, abuse survivors as far away as Utah and Idaho now have access to justice for harm they suffered as boys in Hawai’i,” explained attorney Mark Leemon, Esq., of Leemon + Royer.   “We share our clients’ concern that other boys who may have been abused at these camps in the 70s and 80s only have until April of this year under the new law to file their claims.”

The two-year window statute in Hawaii allows child sexual abuse survivors to come forward and file suit until April 2014, regardless of when the abuse took place.

Equitable relief

Like similar suits Rosenberg and McKay filed against the Catholic Church, they and their team seek more than money for their clients.  “Our clients seek equitable relief for the protection of children, in addition to acknowledgement and restitution for the harm to them,” explains Rosenberg.   “We ask the LDS Church to take concrete steps to prevent future abuse and for the healing of victims.”  The relief sought demands the Church:

  • Change its corporate policies regarding reporting of suspected child sexual abuse. According to the suit, current policies instruct members and leaders to contact the Church instead of police or child protective services when they suspect child sexual abuse.
  • Reject current policies that state Church leaders should avoid testifying in civil or criminal cases involving abuse (Handbook 1, State Presidents and Bishops 2010, Section 17.3.2.)
  • Institute regulations that:

o   All alleged sex abusers will be immediately removed from exposure to children.

o   Members and leaders must report suspected abuse to the police and child protective services.

o   Leaders and members shall cooperate with civil and criminal authorities in cases involving sexual abuse, including testifying.

  • Publicly list abusers names on the LDS homepage of all its web sites to alert people of danger, including on the list Brian R. Pickett as a credibly accused pedophile with his last known address.
  • Identify all leaders and members who have been credibly accused of sexual molestation of a child in Hawaii.
  • Never support any laws that would shield child sexual abusers.
  • Establish age appropriate sex abuse training and educations for children ages 3 – 18 years old. This will include a “safe haven” for children to report abuse to any of three people in each Ward (a collection of individual churches).
  • Adopt a whistleblower policy so those reporting abuse will not have any retaliatory action taken against them.
  • Publish through its President an annual written statement that there exists no undisclosed knowledge that any leader has sexually abused any person in Hawaii.
  • Send a letter of apology to Plaintiffs.

“Equitable relief ensures there is concrete action for the prevention of future abuse and for the healing of victims,” explained McKay. “Given the number of young boys under Pickett’s supervision in the 1980s, there could be many more boys who experienced this abuse in Hawaii and now live in shame and silence in Idaho and Utah.”

Meet and Greet With KISS at the Fairmont Kea Lani

KISS and relax at the Farimont Kea Lani at Wailea, Maui, offers KISS fans a chance to grab a room and meet Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley at two VIP events in January with a room-and-party package starting at $349 a night.

KISS

Experience the ultimate Rock & Roll VIP weekend with KISS band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

Package Includes:

  • Accommodation in any luxurious one-bedroom suite or spacious villa (January 24 – 26, 2014, minimum of three nights) for the opening of Willow Stream Spa and Rock & Brews restaurant.
  • Two tickets to the Rock & Brews® restaurant VIP grand opening luncheon event in Paia, Maui on January 26, 2014 starting at 1:30pm:
    • Red carpet photo opportunities
    • Casual American comfort food and popular Hawaiian dishes
    • Tropical cocktails and Paia’s largest selection of craft beers
  • Admission for two to The Fairmont Kea Lani’s Willow Stream Spa VIP opening event on January 26, 2014 starting at 6:00pm:
    • Meet and take photos with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS
    • Experience the brand new, 9,000 square-foot Willow Stream Spa, complete with a KISS black & white manicure station, rock & roll red lipstick station and hot rock neck massages
    • Enjoy “Rock & ‘Roll” sushi rolls from the award-winning Kō restaurant
  •  Two Rock & Brews® Paia T-Shirt

Availability:

Between Friday, January 24, 2014 and Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rates:

The KISS Rock & Roll VIP Package rates start from $349 USD per night in a Fairmont Suite category, plus applicable taxes. This exclusive VIP package is valued at $609/night.

Please Note:

For new reservations made after January 1, 2014, The Fairmont Kea Lani has introduced a $30 resort charge per room, per night (plus applicable tax) that includes the following; access to self- parking, basic internet access, local and domestic long distance calls, 1-hour snorkel equipment rental and more.

DLNR To Consider Exchange Of Lands On Haleakala For Public Access

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has proposed an agreement that that it believes will avoid costly litigation, ensure public access to a hiking trail, and create a new access route to two large forest reserves on the leeward slope of Haleakala.

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

For more than 10 years, a disagreement, and now a lawsuit, has continued concerning the ownership of, and public access to, an obscure trail crossing privately owned lands of Haleakala Ranch. Now, in an effort to find a resolution to the issue and seek a compromise that would serve the public benefit, the state and Haleakala Ranch are considering a land exchange agreement that will provide the greatest public benefit.

Under the agreement, the state would relinquish title to the Haleakala Bridle Trail but maintain a binding, perpetual agreement for public access to the trail. In exchange, the state would receive a perpetual easement for a new access route to its Kahikinui Forest Reserve and Na Kula Natural Area Reserve.

The reserves, located on the upper slopes of leeward Haleakala, comprise more than 3,500 acres of outstanding opportunities for back country hiking, hunting, camping, and nature experience, and are important sites for several department initiatives, including watershed restoration and recovery of endangered species, such as the Maui Parrotbill.

The department is seeking approval from the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday to proceed with scoping and studies necessary for the proposed exchange but will not proceed further with the exchange without returning to the Board for approval. In addition, under state law, any such proposed land exchange would also require consideration and approval by the state legislature.

“We are considering this proposed land agreement because our initial analysis indicates that it may be the solution with the best public benefit. The public would still have access to the Haleakala Trail but would also gain access to thousands of acres of reserves on leeward Haleakala that provide exciting recreational opportunities,” said William Aila, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Hawaii is unique among the states in that is has a law that can ensure public ownership of certain trails if it can be determined that those trails were in existence at the time of the original law signed by Queen Lili’uokalani in 1892, or if other criteria are met. In practice, however, determining whether a particular trail meets the requirements under the law can be technically and legally challenging, requiring extensive research, documentation, and in some cases, litigation.

A purported historic route to the summit of Haleakala represents such a case. While public access advocates have claimed that the historic trail, known as the Bridle Trail or Haleakala Trail, falls under the state law, the landowner has vigorously disagreed. As a result, the access advocates have sued and the case is pending in court.

Conditional to the agreement would be requirements that all natural, cultural, and historic features of the Haleakala are identified, protected, and preserved, that the public must continue to have guided public access to the Haleakala trail in perpetuity at a level that is reasonably consistent with the public demand, and that the department has full management authority over the leeward access route.

By securing access to the Haleakala Trail and gaining new access to the leeward reserves, the proposed exchange represents the best outcome for the public benefit and will avoid a costly lawsuit with an unknown outcome that could result in the loss of access to both sites.

Department of Agriculture Confirms Stinging Little Fire Ant Has Spread to Oahu and Maui From Hawaii Island

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has confirmed that an invasive stinging ant called the Little Fire Ant (LFA) has spread from Hawaii Island to Oahu and Maui.  On Dec. 23, a customer at garden shop on Maui reported a suspicious ant to the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC), which sent the specimens to HDOA entomologists who confirmed the identification of LFA.

Little Fire Ant - Worker Ant

Little Fire Ant – Worker Ant

On Dec. 26, HDOA entomologists surveyed several nurseries and stores and found LFA infestations on hapuu (Hawaiian tree fern) at several garden shops on Oahu and at another Maui store.  All infested hapuu were contained and the areas secured. On Dec. 27, HDOA staff revisited the stores and treated the areas with pesticides.  Through trace-back and trace-forward efforts, HDOA believes the infested hapuu originated on Hawaii Island and products from that nursery have been ordered for treatment prior to shipping. The last shipment was made to Oahu and Maui on Dec. 11.  Surveys and treatment will continue by HDOA and MISC staff.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

HDOA is advising those who recently purchased hapuu logs or planters to contain the logs by placing them in a plastic or garbage bag and seal it securely.  They should contact their nearest HDOA office as soon as possible.  Due to the holiday, please leave a message and staff will respond as soon as they are able:

Maui – (808) 872-3848

Oahu – PEST HOTLINE – 643-PEST (7378).  This is also a toll-free number for neighbor islands.

“It is important that those who have recently purchased hapuu which may be infested with little fire ants to help contain the infestation and contact us as soon as possible,” said Dr. Neil Reimer, administrator of HDOA’s Plant Industry Division. “Through past experience, we know we can contain an infestation if we find it in its early stages.”

Originally from South America, LFA is considered among the world’s worst invasive species.

LFA are tiny ants, measuring 1/16th inch long, are pale orange in color and move slowly. LFA move slowly, unlike the Tropical Fire Ant which is established in Hawaii, move quickly and are larger with a larger head in proportion to its body. LFA can produce painful stings and large red welts and may cause blindness in pets. They can build up very large colonies on the ground, in trees and other vegetation and completely overrun a property. They will also freely move into homes.

Infestation of LFA

Infestation of LFA

The first detection of LFA in Hawaii was in the Puna area in 1999. Surveys determined that LFA appeared to have been on the east side for several years prior to their initial detection and was widely distributed in Puna. Attention was then focused on controlling ant populations and preventing the spread to non-infested areas on the island and to other islands.

In October 2009, LFA was detected on a farm in Waihee, Maui. Eradication efforts at that site appear to have contained the infestation, which is being continually monitored. HDOA staff also trained Maui County employees, MISC and private pest control operators on Maui to assist in recognizing and reporting possible infestations on the island. MISC is also assisting HDOA in conducting surveys at high-risk areas on Maui.

Attached is a HDOA Pest Advisory that contains information on LFA and its history in Hawaii.
(Also available on the department’s website: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/npa99-02-lfireant.pdf). 

Shark Kills Man Fishing from Kayak Off Maui

DLNR – BEACH CLOSED AT MAKENA STATE PARK FOLLOWING FATAL SHARK BITE – Victim was kayak fishing off Little Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and County lifeguards have closed waters off Makena State Recreation Area, following a fatal shark bite before 10:20 a.m. this morning in which a man was bit while fishing from a kayak half a mile off a point near Little Beach.

Makena State Recreation Area

Makena State Recreation Area

A companion, also on a kayak, said the man was fishing with artificial lures to attract baitfish when his dangling foot was bit by a shark.

His fishing partner was about 500 yards away when the incident occurred, then paddled over, tied a tourniquet and asked a nearby charter tour boat for assistance. The boat brought the injured man to Kihei boat ramp from where he was transported to the hospital.

Shark warning signs are being posted to advise the public to remain out of the water from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing.

The beaches are open but the public is advised to stay out of the water.

DLNR staff and County lifeguards will continue to monitor the nearshore waters today and in the morning will reassess the area. If no sharks are seen, the area will reopen at noon tomorrow, following state shark incident protocol.

According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, this is the 13th reported shark incident statewide this year, and the 8th on Maui. Over the last 20 years, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year (see http://www.hawaiisharks.org/incidentyear.html), but numbers per individual year are highly variable. There were no reported incidents in1998, and just one in 2008. In 2012, the 10 incidents reported were at the time unprecedented.

“We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui. That’s why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “It is our hope and expectation that numbers of incidents will return to a more normal range in the near future.”

Aila continued, “We offer our condolences to the family of the victim. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

UPDATE: Police say 57-year-old Patrick Briney of Stevenson, Washington died Monday while fishing from a kayak off Maui’s southwest coast. State Department of Land and Natural Resources says the shark bit his dangling foot.