• Follow on Facebook

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    January 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Dec    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

Big Island Police Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday morning (January 22) in Papaʻikou.
While conducting checks for a late-model Toyota Tacoma and an early-model Nissan Altima that were reported stolen from a home in Pepeʻekeo, a South Hilo Patrol officer encountered both vehicles, as well as a light-green Honda Civic sedan, on Enoka Place in Papaʻikou.

As the officer approached the three vehicles and exited his subsidized vehicle, the driver in the Honda drove directly toward him. In response, the officer discharged his service weapon in the direction of the Honda’s driver, who swerved around and drove past the officer, fleeing the area. Immediately following the Honda was the Nissan. The Nissan’s driver was stopped and arrested. The Toyota drove up Enoka Place and was found abandoned.

The officer who discharged his firearm has nearly six years experience as a police officer and was not injured.

Police arrested 18-year-old Royden Kekoa Wilbur, who has no permanent address, on suspicion of second-degree theft. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Detectives are also investigating the possibility that the Honda involved in this incident may be the same Honda that was reported stolen from a shopping center on Makaʻala Street earlier in the evening and are checking nearby businesses for video footage. The Honda stolen from Makaʻala Street is described as a turquoise 2000 Honda Civic four-door sedan bearing license plate ZDH 926.

Police have initiated an attempted first-degree murder investigation, as well as an additional second-degree theft case and an attempted second-degree theft case.

As is standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who observed a light-green Honda Civic on Route 19 shortly after 1 a.m. to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Sandor Finkey at 961-2384 or sandor.finkey@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide 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.

National Park Service Rangers Seeking Witnesses to Fatal Accident

National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to a fatal two-vehicle accident that occurred on Highway 11 at the Nāmakanipaio Campground intersection in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday afternoon.

Nāmakanipaio Campground (NPS Photo)

Witnesses to the accident are asked to call Park Dispatch at (808) 985-6170, and may remain anonymous.

Rangers reported that a white Hyundai Elantra and a blue Toyota Scion were involved in the traffic accident about 1 p.m. The driver of the Hyundai, a 65-year-old man from New Jersey, was fatally injured. The other driver, a 33-year-old local male, was transported to Hilo Medical Center by ambulance.

Rangers and bystanders performed CPR on the 65-year-old male, then a medic unit from the Hawai‘i County Fire Department arrived and took over patient care. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Both men were the sole occupants of their vehicles.

The accident caused a complete closure of Highway 11 between mile markers 32 and 34 for several hours Saturday afternoon while officials investigated the scene. Both lanes of the highway were open by 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Hawai‘i County Police Department is aiding the NPS in the investigation.

The identification of the victims is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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

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

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

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin Voices Opposition to Two Presidential Nominations

Attorney General Doug Chin has joined five other state Attorneys General opposing the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for United States Attorney General and has joined eight other state Attorneys General opposing the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to become Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Click to read full letter

The letter opposing Senator Sessions’ nomination to lead the United States Department of Justice notes, “The Justice Department seal reads ‘Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur’: ‘Who prosecutes on behalf of justice.’ As state attorneys general—the chief law officers of our respective states—we regularly work with the U.S. Department of Justice. Senator Sessions has stood for policies antithetical to this core mission of the Justice Department. For these reasons, we believe him to be unqualified for the role of United States Attorney General. We join the thousands of individuals and organizations that have voiced their opposition to Senator Sessions’ appointment and respectfully urge you to reject his nomination.”

The letter cites Senator Sessions’ refusal to protect racial minorities and vulnerable populations and his rejection of bipartisan criminal justice reforms.

The letter opposing Attorney General Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA says in part, “As the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt made it a priority to attack the rules—promulgated by EPA to implement Congressional mandates—that EPA is charged with enforcing. This is not just a matter of policy difference; Mr. Pruitt has sought to tear apart the very notion of cooperative federalism that forms the foundation of our federal environmental laws. That cooperation makes it possible for states and the federal government, working together, to protect the health of the American people and the resources on which we depend.”

The letter cites Attorney General Pruitt’s multiple lawsuits seeking to block the EPA from fulfilling its mandates under the Clean Air Act as well as his continued questioning of human impacts on climate change.

The letter opposing Senator Sessions was also signed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine. The letter opposing Attorney General Pruitt’s nomination was also signed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Delaware Attorney General Matthew Denn, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and Vermont Attorney General Thomas Donovan, Jr.

The letter opposing Senator Sessions’ nomination was sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. The letter opposing Attorney General Pruitt’s nomination was sent to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso and Ranking Member Tom Carper.

AG Multistate Letter to Senate Judiciary re Sessions

AG Multistate Letter to Senate Judiciary re Pruitt

Big Island Police Renew Request for Information in 1996 Murder Investigation

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information or leads related to an unsolved murder investigation from 1996.
On August 12, 1996, the body of an 18-year-old man was discovered off a dirt road above the Keaʻau ball park at about 3:45 p.m. The victim was identified as Glenn Guerrero of Keaʻau. An autopsy determined that he died from a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide.

Glenn Guerrero

Detectives learned that earlier in the day and prior to the discovery of Guerrero’s body, witnesses reported seeing Guerrero in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was leaving the area of the ballpark. Detectives have been unable to identify the driver or locate the pickup truck.

“Previous leads have since been exhausted and, despite the advances in forensic science technologies, this murder investigation remains unsolved,” said Lieutenant Gregory Esteban of the Area I Criminal Investigations Section. “We’re still hopeful that with the passage of time and changes in relationships, individuals may be more willing to come forward with useful information that may lead to a resolution to this investigation. The Hawaiʻi Police Department remains committed in its efforts to revisit and re-evaluate this and other unsolved homicides and to bring closure for the families of the victims.”

Police ask anyone with any information on this or other unsolved murders to contact Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or derek.morimoto@hawaiicounty.gov.

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.

Hawaii Representative Issues Statement in Response to Zuckerberg Lawsuit

Rep. Kaniela Ing (D-South Maui) issued a statement in response to the controversy surrounding Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s 100-acre Kauai estate, and will be introducing legislation through his House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs to address issues with “quiet title” and “Kuleana Lands” law.

“Zuckerberg is using the same legal loophole that sugar barons have historically exploited to scoop thousands of acres of Hawaiian lands. Zuckerberg’s actions may be legal and slightly more transparent, but it doesn’t make them right,” Ing said.

“We need to look at this issue through the eyes of the families affected. Here we have the world’s sixth richest individual, with a team of the world’s best lawyers, suing you, then asking you to make a deal. Obviously, no matter how expensive, you will lawyer up too.”

Ing claims that in these cases, defendants typically spend more on attorney fees than any payout they may receive. “So in the end, you have a mainland billionaire exploiting our legal system, and bullying his way through local residents, all to build his beach playground. This is not the intent of the law.”

Ing said that the State should take partial blame, because of outdated Kuleana Land title laws. A major problem with Kuleana Lands is that over generations of inheritances, land is divided into such tiny parcels that are legally worth nothing and not worth fighting over, if records can even be found. But Ing says these incremental losses adds up, and that of the original 23,000 acres designated Kuleana Lands, only a few thousand remain.

Ing claims there are better ways to address the dispute. “I was always taught that when disputes arise, to approach folks with aloha, talk story, and try to ho’oponopono. In Hawaii, you don’t initiate conversation by filing a lawsuit,” said Ing. “If Zuckerberg truly cared about Hawaiian culture, and these families, he would (1) let them hui together as a trust, rather than fighting them off one by one, then, (2) he would pay for and enter mediation to reach a fair deal without litigation.”

Ing’s bill, which is being drafted and will be submitted by next Wednesday, will require just that. “My proposal is fair and will help address this and hundreds of other quiet title cases that are weighted too heavily for the plaintiff. It goes well beyond sympathy for Native Hawaiians, because it could happen to anyone. We must stop mainland billionaires from stacking money to tilt Hawaii’s legal system against local residents.”

EPA Settlement with Matson Resolves 2013 Molasses Spill Into Honolulu Harbor

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Matson Terminals, Inc. over federal Clean Water Act violations relating to a September 2013 molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor. Matson has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $725,000.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Moore with the National Strike Force Atlantic Strike Team, handles a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in the Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

“Dockside facilities must ensure their operations do not pollute nearshore waters,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The Honolulu Harbor spill affected marine life, coral reefs and kept residents and visitors from enjoying the city’s incomparable coastal environment.”

From September 8 to 10, 2013, Matson spilled approximately 233,000 gallons of sugarcane molasses into Honolulu Harbor during ship-loading activities. The spill occurred from a section of pipe that the Hawaii Department of Transportation found was leaking in 2012, and reported to Matson. The molasses discharge killed approximately 25,000 fish in the harbor and damaged coral reefs in the area. Matson no longer ships molasses from Honolulu Harbor.

Today’s civil action by EPA follows a January 2015 criminal action taken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Matson, in which Matson paid a $400,000 fine plus restitution of $600,000 after pleading guilty to criminal charges of unlawfully discharging molasses into Honolulu Harbor. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the restitution was divided equally between the Waikiki Aquarium to support coral reef programs and invasive algae cleanups and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to inspire local communities to care for coastlines through beach cleanups.

In 2015, Matson also reached an agreement with the State of Hawaii to cease transporting molasses through Honolulu Harbor, remove the molasses distribution system, pay for re-growing corals that were damaged or destroyed, and reimburse related cleanup costs.

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters From Sunken Vessel Off Big Island

Three boaters were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 48-foot sailing vessel Bobo Link sank two and a half miles off of Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Wednesday.

Three boaters were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 48-foot sailing vessel Bobo Link sank two and a half miles off of Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Jan. 18, 2017. The crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336), homeported in Hilo, safely recovered the men from their life raft and transported them to Kawaihae Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Rescued are three Big Island residents:

Steven Jenkins, 48-years-old, owner and operator of the Bobo Link
Brandan Jenkins, 23-years-old
Nathan Gibson, 43-years-old

The crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336), homeported in Hilo, safely recovered the men from their life raft and will transport them to Kawaihae Harbor.

The Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB-1336) USCG photo by PA3 Jacquelyn Zettles

“We cannot stress enough the importance of carrying and properly registering an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon which is ultimately what saved the lives of these men,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center. “While the men also were able to contact emergency services personnel via cell phone, we strongly recommend boaters carry a working VHF radio in the event that cell service in unavailable.”

At 1:48 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a hit from a registered EPIRB.

Minutes later, watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a relayed call from the Hawaii County Fire Department notifying them that a sailing vessel, with three persons aboard, sank off of the Big Island.

Sector Honolulu diverted the Kiska crew already on patrol in the area to the scene where an HCFD helicopter crew was to provide oversight until they arrived.

No injuries were reported.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Safeway, Inc. for HI-5 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against SAFEWAY, INC. (Safeway) for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the state’s deposit beverage container law. Safeway was delinquent for the monthly reporting period of Aug. 1-31, 2016.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit monthly distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. Safeway received multiple written notices reminding them of reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

DOH has assessed an administrative penalty against Safeway of $2,800 for its failure to comply with deposit beverage container requirements.

Safeway may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

Coast Guard, Local Responders Searching for Overdue Diver Off Big Island

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department are searching for an overdue diver off Pohoehoe Beach, Big Island, Sunday.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew  launched and is searching the surrounding areas. The crew from USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336) is also en route to assist in the search.

The Hawaii Fire Department is also searching with helicopter, rescue boat and ground crews. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center.

Anyone with information that may help locate the diver is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

The initial call was made to Hawaii Fire Department by a good samaritan who is an experienced diver. The good samaritan said the man was caucasian, looked to be in his early 20s, about 150 pounds with red hair. He is reportedly wearing blue board shorts and a white rash guard with blue lettering. The man was last seen at 12:40 p.m. leaving the beach to swim out to the farthest rocks with fins, a mask, diving gear and a back up regulator.

The good samaritan watched since the diver was going out alone, did not have a float or any safety gear and noticed, based on experience, the diver only had enough air for a maximum of 80 minutes. After two hours, the good samaritan reported the diver overdue to Hawaii Fire Department who relayed the report to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center at 2:11 p.m.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 10 mph winds with waves at 2 feet and approximately 6 miles of visibility.

UH Researcher: “Marijuana Compounds Show Promise in Treatment of Cardiac Disease”

A Nevada company is hoping to develop new medicines for heart failure using compounds in marijuana and a novel therapy identified by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher.

Dr. Alexander Stokes in his JABSOM laboratory.

Dr. Alexander Stokes, assistant research professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, obtained a U.S. patent for his novel therapy in 2015.  The patent claims the cannabinoid receptor TRPV1 can be regulated therapeutically by plant-based cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids include psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds derived from marijuana, both of which have medicinal properties. They exert their effects inside cells after binding to receptor proteins in the cell membranes, such as TRPV1 and the classical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

Pharmaceutical development company GrowBlox Life Sciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GB Sciences Inc., obtained the license for Stokes’ intellectual therapy last December from Makai Biotechnology LLC, a Hawaiʻi-based cardiovascular therapy company founded by Stokes.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030,” said Dr. Stokes. In the U.S, he explained, this equates to one in three deaths, about one every 40 seconds, and costs the country approximately $316.6 billion a year.

Patients urgently need new drugs that can prevent or reverse the stages of cardiac disease and heart failure, according to Dr. Stokes. He further explained that TRPV1 is clearly a major cellular receptor involved in the progression to heart failure, and there is great potential for the new, proprietary mixtures within the GB Life Sciences portfolio to regulate the TRPV1 cannabinoid receptor.

GB Sciences said licensing the TRPV1 patent is a major step in its commitment to discovering new drugs that interact with the non-classical cannabinoid receptors, in addition to binding to the better characterized CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

“Our vision of novel, patentable cannabis-based formulations in the treatment of major diseases is now married with a proven drug target for modulation of adverse outcomes in cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, Chief Science Officer of GB Sciences.

Cannabinoids in native plant extracts exerted a more significant effect on TRPV1 receptors than purified cannabinoids in published research reports.

“GB Sciences believes its cannabis-plant-based approach may provide additional clinical benefits to patients due to the ‘entourage effect.’ In addition, the side effect profiles of cannabis-based therapies have generally been well tolerated,” said Dr. Small-Howard. The “entourage effect” refers to the theory that some cannabis compounds have greater effects on the human body when combined with other compounds than when given alone.

Said GB Sciences CEO John Poss, “This license is an important step in our company’s march to successful drug discovery.  We are very proud of Dr. Small-Howard and her team, and we expect results from this effort that will enable the company to do well by doing good for literally millions of cardiac patients around the world.”

Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates 22 Successful Graduates

The Veterans Treatment Court of the First Circuit (Oahu) held its fourth graduation ceremony on January 13, 2017.  Friends and supporters gathered in the Supreme Court courtroom to congratulate the six U.S. veterans who graduated from the intensive two-year program.

First Circuit Veterans Treatment Court Presiding Judge Edward H. Kubo, Jr. (left) congratulates a veteran of the program’s January 2017 graduating class. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Matthew K.H. McCarville, an Associate Vice President at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (right), served as the distinguished speaker for the First Circuit Veterans Treatment Court’s fourth graduation ceremony.

Twenty-two veterans have now successfully completed the First Circuit program since it was initiated by Judge Edward Kubo in 2013.  Over the past four years an increasing number of attorneys have heard about the Veterans Treatment Court and submitted applications for their clients to be referred to the program.  Hawaii now has Veterans Treatment Courts on both Oahu and Hawaii Island (Third Circuit).

Soldiers returning from war have demonstrably higher rates of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, pain, and substance use disorders (SUDs) than the general population.  Often, these issues are compounded by family strife, unemployment, and homelessness, ultimately leading to incarceration.

A 2016 study published by the Community Mental Health Journal found that veterans who participate in veterans treatment courts experience significant improvement in housing, relationships and social connection, overall functioning and well-being, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and mental and emotional health.

The Veterans Treatment Court takes a holistic approach to helping veterans by providing them with the resources and treatment they need to regain their health, obtain steady employment, and return to being law-abiding citizens so they may enjoy the freedoms they helped protect.

Each program participant has undergone extensive treatment and counseling, which includes frequent urinalysis, meetings with probation officers, and court appearances.  Many of the services rendered to these veterans were provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at no cost to the state of Hawaii.

Participants have also been assisted with finding housing and employment.  Their graduation celebrates their success in achieving a clean and sober lifestyle and a chance for a successful future with a job and other opportunities.

“I’d like to thank the staff from the U.S. Vets and Sand Island Treatment Center for their role in Veterans Treatment Court,” said Judge Edward Kubo.  “I’d like to also recognize the volunteer veteran mentors, who are an integral part of this program’s success.  These men and women understand the difficulties our program participants are facing, and walk alongside them throughout the process of recovery.  Veterans Treatment Court is a team effort, and that’s what changes lives.”

Washington Man Found in Waters Off Kua Bay

A coroner’s inquest investigation has been initiated in connection with a possible drowning in Kona on Thursday (January 12).

At 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of an unresponsive man in waters off Kua Bay.

When officers arrived, beach goers were attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Fire/rescue personnel took the man, identified as 57-year-old Brad O’Gara of Amboy, Washington, to Kona Community Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m.

Police do not suspect foul play. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Big Island Police Still Searching for Man Missing Since 2015

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about a 51-year-old Volcano man who was reported missing in 2015.

Eddie Seenarine

Eddie Seenarine was last seen in the Volcano area on September 30, 2015.

He is described as 5-foot-9, 176 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Police ask anyone with any 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. 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.

Court Interpreter Applicants Wanted

The state Judiciary is seeking individuals who speak English and another language to become court interpreters.Applications are now being accepted for the next state court interpreter orientation workshop to be held on each of the major islands in February and March. Completion of the two-day workshop is one of the mandatory requirements to become a court interpreter for the Hawaii State Judiciary.

The two-day orientation workshops will be held on:

  • Hilo: February 16-17, 2017 (Thursday/Friday)
  • Maui: February 22-23, 2017 (Wednesday /Thursday)
  • Kona: February 28-March 1, 2017 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
  • Oahu 1: March 4-5, 2017 (Saturday/Sunday)
  • Kauai: March 7-8, 2017 (Tuesday / Wednesday)
  • Oahu 2: March 11-12, 2017 (Saturday/Sunday)

Registration deadline is February 10, 2017. Registration forms are available on the Judiciary’s website and from the Office on Equality and Access to the Courts at 539-4860.

The workshop registration fee is $95.  A grant from the Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation and Hawaii Friends of Justice and Civic Education is being used to lower the cost from the original $120 fee.

Certified sign language interpreters are also encouraged to apply.

In addition to successfully completing the orientation workshop, persons seeking to become a
state court interpreter must pass a written English proficiency exam and court interpreter
ethics exam and clear a criminal background check.

Court interpreters work on a freelance basis as independent contractors in cases when parties or witnesses are unable to hear, understand, speak or use English sufficiently.  Depending on their performance on written and oral exams, court interpreters are paid between $25 to $55 per hour with a two-hour minimum.

Governor Ige to Consider Nominees to Replace Retired Judge Karen Ahn

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancy created by the retirement of former Circuit Judge Karen S. S. Ahn. Ahn retired in June 2016.

The commission submitted the list of nominees to the governor on January 12, 2017 after careful evaluation and investigation into the background and qualifications of each applicant.

The nominees are:

  • Todd W. Eddins – Attorney, Todd Eddins, Attorney at Law
  • Jeffrey A. Hawk – Attorney, Hawk Sing Ignacio & Waters, Attorneys at Law
  • Darolyn Lendio Heim – Attorney/Partner, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon
  • Keith K. Hiraoka – Attorney/Managing Partner Roeca Luria Hiraoka LLP
  • Timothy E. Ho – Attorney, Chief Deputy Public Defender, State of Hawai‘i
  • Paul B. K. Wong – Judge, District Court of the First Circuit

Gov. Ige will interview each nominee and is seeking public comment on the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov – Contact the Governor.

Gov. Ige has 30 days, or until Feb. 11 to make his appointment.

Governor Ige to Consider Nominees to Replace Retired Judge Steven Alm in First Circuit Court

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancy created by the retirement of former Circuit Judge Steven S. Alm. Alm retired in August 2016.

Judge Steve Alm

The commission submitted the list of nominees to the governor on Jan. 12, after careful evaluation and investigation into the background and qualifications of each applicant.

The nominees are:

  • James H. Ashford – Judge, District Court of the First Circuit
  • Todd W. Eddins – Attorney, Todd Eddins, Attorney at Law
  • Jeffrey A. Hawk – Attorney at Law
  • Keith K. Hiraoka – Attorney/Managing Partner Roeca Luria Hiraoka LLP
  • Catherine H. Remigio – Judge, Family Court of the First Circuit
  • Paul B. K. Wong – Judge, District Court of the First Circuit

Gov. Ige will interview each nominee and is seeking public comment on the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov – Contact the Governor.

Gov. Ige has 30 days, or until Feb. 11 to make his appointment.

Dying Cancer Patient Leads Suit Asserting Hawaii Law Allows Medical Aid in Dying

Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and Compassion & Choices filed suit on Wednesday on behalf of a Hawaii resident with terminal cancer, John Radcliffe, and a physician asserting the Hawaii constitution and existing state law allow the practice of medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying gives mentally competent, terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take to peacefully end an unbearable dying process peacefully.

Compassion & Choices Hawaii patient plaintiff John Radcliffe, attorney Anderson Meyer, pollster Barbara Ankersmit, Compassion & Choices Hawaii campaign mgr. Mary Steiner at news conference announcing lawsuit asserting Hawaii law allows medical aid in dying.

In conjunction with filing Radcliffe et al. v. State of Hawaii in the First Circuit Court of Hawaii, Compassion & Choices Hawaii has launched a legislative campaign as the second part of a dual approach to giving Hawaii residents definitive access to medical aid in dying. A bill is nearing final draft and will be announced at the opening of the Legislature on Jan. 18 with broad support from lawmakers.

A Nov. 2016 statewide survey by Anthology Marketing Group showed 80 percent of Hawaii voters support medical aid in dying, across all demographics including age, race, religion and geographic location. Six other states explicitly authorize aid in dying: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana, California and Colorado; there is not a single documented case of abuse or coercion.

“We must pursue every path to make medical aid in dying an accessible option for terminally ill adults in Hawaii as soon as possible,” said Compassion & Choices Hawaii Campaign Manager Mary Steiner. “Mr. Radcliffe can’t wait and see whether the courts or the legislature will ultimately resolve this question, but our hope is that this option will be made available to him as soon as possible. By filing litigation now, we have put the process in motion on all fronts.”

Compassion & Choices won a similar suit on behalf of terminally ill patient plaintiff Bob Baxter in Montana in 2009 when the Montana Supreme Court ruled: “… we find no indication in Montana law that physician aid in dying provided to terminally ill, mentally competent adult patients is against public policy.”

About the Plaintiffs

John Radcliffe, 74, is a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii. He was diagnosed in June 2014 with incurable colon cancer that has metastasized to his liver. He is currently undergoing his 43rd round of chemotherapy. He has been to the emergency room 15 times and had three extended hospital stays.

Dr. Charles Miller is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He served for 30 years in the U.S. Army Medical Department, was chief consultant to the Surgeon General and spent nine years as chief of hematology at Kaiser Medical Center in Honolulu.

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit organization committed to improving care and expanding choice at the end of life. Leading the end-of-life choice movement for more than 30 years, we support, educate and advocate. www.CompassionAndChoices.org/hawaii.

Big Island Police Searching for 15-Year-Old Boy Missing Since December

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Kamuela boy who was reported missing.

Jacob Mead

Jacob Mead was last seen December 9 in Waimea. He is described as 5-foot-8, 160 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.

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 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.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Reintroduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Clear Human Trafficking Victims’ Criminal Records

Bill Would Provide Post-Conviction Relief to Victims of Sex Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, and Other Forms of Human Trafficking

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and U.S. Representatives Ann Wagner (MO-02) and Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) in reintroducing the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act today. The bipartisan legislation would create a process for victims of human trafficking to request relief from non-violent federal crimes committed as a direct result of human trafficking.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks with survivor leaders and advocates on the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act

Today, January 11, is recognized as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery affecting millions in the United States and abroad. This crime involves either the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for labor or commercial sex, or the exploitation of a minor for commercial sex. As a result of being trafficked, victims are commonly charged with crimes such as conspiracy, money laundering, drug trafficking, and related offenses that then follow them throughout the duration of their lives. These charges make it difficult for human trafficking victims to find jobs and housing, leaving them vulnerable to being exploited and trafficked again.

“Tens of thousands of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking each year. Too often, they are charged as criminals, thrown in prison, and shackled with a criminal record the rest of their lives instead of being free to get the care and assistance they need. The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act will empower human trafficking victims to escape the chains of their past and move forward with their lives,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

“Because of the complexities of the criminal activity around trafficking, victims are put into situations where they may be forced to engage in other criminal acts due to their abuser. Even though they are victims of human trafficking, under current mandates, their “criminal history” can make it very difficult for them to recover and reintegrate back into society. The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act is an important key to opening the door of freedom, helping to erase the past, and empower life recovery and forward movement for the most marginalized and vulnerable population in our communities,” said Jessica Munoz, President and Founder of Hoʻōla Nā Pua.

“As an organization committed to implementing strategies and providing services that help rebuild the lives of human trafficking survivors, we believe the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act will support these uprooted individuals to reclaim dignified lives,” said Dr. Tin Myaing Thein, Executive Director of the Pacific Gateway Center.

Background:

The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act would allow survivors of human trafficking to provide supporting documentation in order to get their non-violent criminal records vacated. These documents can include the following:

  • Certified criminal or immigration court proceedings or law enforcement records demonstrating that the individual was a victim of trafficking at the time they were charged with the trafficking-related offense(s);
  • Testimony or sworn statement from a trained professional staff member of a victim services organization, an attorney, member of the clergy, a health care professional, a therapist, or other professional from whom the person has sought assistance in addressing the trauma associated with being a victim of trafficking; or
  • An affidavit or sworn testimony of the movant indicating that they were a victim of human trafficking at the time of their arrest and that they engaged in or were otherwise accused of engaging in criminal activities as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking.